A Little Inspiration Goes A Long Way….

One of my recent overshot style weaving projects started with this tribal shield inspiration picture I found on Pinterest.

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Because I was so drawn to the beautiful earthy nature of this shield, I knew I just had to weave a table runner using similar colors.  I wondered if I could mimic the same feelings of texture in the personality of the shield.   That became my artistic challenge, to bring the look and feeling of this piece to a handwoven table runner. 

As I began to plan the structure of the piece I knew that using an overshot technique for my weaving would probably give me the visual texture that I desired.

 The overshot technique in weaving is accomplished by using two different thickness of thread alternated in the weaving rows.  The pattern row is made using the thicker of the two threads and usually skips over several threads to achieve the desired pattern that you are weaving.  The thinner of the two threads is woven across the warp before and after each thicker pattern thread to “lock in” the pattern thread.  The thinner threads are woven in tabby (weaving speak for plain weave).  

I feel that using the overshot weaving technique helped me to capture the textual feeling I wanted for this runner.    Here is how the project progressed and a list of the yarns that were used.

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For the warp threads (threads going from the front to the back of the loom) and the tabby threads I used a dark brown cottolin yarn.  Cottolin yarn is made from 60% cotton and 40% linen.   The pattern thread used was an 8/4 cotton yarn.  The 8/4 refers to the size of the yarn.  The cotton yarn was about twice as thick as the cottolin yarn, thus the raised overall textural look and feel in the runner.

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With the color pallet and types of yarn I chose and using the overshot technique, I felt like I was able to achieve the look that I wanted for this project.  What do you think??

Half way through  my weaving  I decided I wanted to add a little something special to the piece that would bring the cultural influence in the tribal shield that inspired me to create this project to begin with.  As I searched for that special something, I found a vendor on Etsy that imported fair trade beads from Africa.   Handmade metal and hand-carved bone beads.    I was pretty excited!   Special handmade beads from another artist to compliment a handmade runner, just what the runner needed for that finishing touch.  When the beads arrived I laid them out on the runner that I was almost finished weaving and knew it was definitely the perfect accent! 

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Once I was finished weaving I began the long and difficult task of adding the beads to the fringe of the runner.   

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Adding the beads to the finished runner was a long and tedious task but definitely worth the work, time and effort when I saw the finished project!!  Once the beading was finished all that was left was to do the finishing wash and block drying and trimming off any overlapped threads in the weaving.  

I love how the runner turned out!  I feel it definitely has the look and feel of the inspiration photo.  This runner would look beautiful with many types of dishes or pottery.  Here is an example…..

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Another picture of the finished runner….

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After I finished this runner I decided to make this same style in a couple more colors.   In a future post I will show some pictures of those finished runners too.  

I actually had some beautiful brass and bone beads leftover from my weaving projects so I made those into some fun jewelry pieces .  I’ll have some pictures of those in my next blog post.  

So that’s about it for this post.    Hope this article inspires you to make something beautiful!   Until next time….

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…I wish you Peace.

FRIENDSHIP…..

Friends Are The People Who Know The Words To The Song In Your Heart……

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I am so fortunate to have had many friends in my life that definitely know the words to the song in my heart.  And something that makes me very sad is when one of them is going through something difficult in their lives.  You know that you can’t “fix” it for them but all the same you somehow want to help build them up and encourage them that they will get through this hardship.

Today I wanted to share a weaving project that was meant to do just that.  A friend of mine was going through something tough and was feeling pretty discouraged and I began to try to think of something that might cheer her up.  

I decided I wanted to try to weave something colorful and cheerful for my friend.  I was just finishing up a project on one of my floor looms that had some leftover dark brown cottolin warp threads, so I decided to try an experiment.  This purse was the result of that experiment. 

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 I knew my friend loved very colorful things so I knew that the purse would need to have lots of color.  I went through a bunch of leftover yarns that I had from other projects and made a pile of them by my loom and then began weaving random  patterns.    This is how it looked on the loom during the weaving process.     

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There was no rhyme or reason to how I laid the colors or patterns out, this was just random treadling and colorful playing in my threads.

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I really did not even try to repeat or keep track of any of the patterns I was weaving.

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Once I felt like I had a big enough piece woven to make a small purse I stopped weaving.  Of course I also stopped because I ran out of warp 🙂

At this point I really wasn’t quite sure if this was going to look like the cute little purse that I had envisioned.  I did the finishing wash and waited for it to dry to see if this was going to be a big enough piece to make the purse.

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During this same time period I had been experimenting with dyeing some silk scarves.  I went through some of my finished pieces and picked this one to use for the lining of the purse.

 

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As I began the construction of the purse I decided it definitely needed some

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embellishments, so I added the mirrored and hand buttonhole stitched circles and the scroll that I had made by crocheting together multiple threads.  I added a button and closure threads that had been braided and sewn into the flap.  

I twisted a bunch of the leftover weaving threads together, putting a knot at each end to make a tassel, and hand sewed it onto the purse for the strap.

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Before sewing the lining into the purse I stamped it with this friendship saying and the music notes on each side.   I heat set the printing to make sure it was permanent.  

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My experiment was now complete and I was anxious to wrap it up pretty and give to my friend.  

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I was so glad to have something to give to her that I had handmade to brighten her day.  She is still very much in my daily thoughts and prayers.  Even though we now live many miles apart we still keep in contact and are still a part of each others lives.   

I hope this article inspires you to make something beautiful, and treasure your friendships! 

Until next time……..

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….I Wish You Peace.

 

THE START OF A NEW ADVENTURE…..

ART POD STUDIOS moves to Nashville, Tennessee!

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It was hard to believe…..

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…it was finally all packed!!

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And we were headed to our new home and studio space in Nashville!!

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AS YOU CAN SEE from this picture of our new place in Nashville, it is going to be quite a bit of work transforming some of this space into studios.  This is the area where Studio I will be.    

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We are slowly making progress on transforming this into an area where I will be doing a lot of weaving on my floor looms.

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Once the painting was done we started moving supplies and equipment into the studio.  It still needs lots of tweaking and organization to get the studio up and running but I can now envision the metamorphosis of this studio into a great creative space.    

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More shelves put together and getting lots of fibers unpacked.  

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And would you believe it more fibers!!

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I’m sure like many other artists I am surprised at just how many fibers and supplies I have in my stash!  

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It’s been fun going through all this stuff and being reminded that I have some really cool books and videos I had almost forgotten I had.    I love rediscovering them all over again!

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I still have a long way to go in getting this Studio space ready to use but I am feeling like I am making lots of progress.   Once it is finished I will post some more pictures of the finished room.  

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I know this Studio will be in progress for quite a while yet as I am feeling that I may need to repaint the room again.  I painted it with a white medium quality paint and instead of it looking white it looks Peach.  Not at all what I wanted!  So back to the drawing board as they say….  

I have started work on Studio II and it is almost finished.  Next week I will show the before and after pictures.  I’m definitely loving the way it turned out!!

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Thanks for stopping by and taking a look into what Art Pod Studios is up to these days.  I will soon have some postings on what art projects I have finished recently.  

Until next time…..

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…..I wish you Peace.

At The Loom – Purse Project

Last post I gave a hint about the next project I was starting to work on and the following is an update on how that project is going.  I started out with this gorgeous  hand dyed warp thread I got from Robinjedmundson on Etsy.

IMG_0546I decided it would be cool to make a purse using this colorful rayon warp by combining it with a cotton weft.    For the weft I used a mercerized cotton flake yarn.   I felt that this combination of fibers would give the cloth enough body to make a purse.

I warped up the loom with a combined twill pattern using a 15 dent reed.  The loom was warped with 130 threads (this included the 2 float threads).

IMG_0594Because I had already done this pattern once with the same number of warp threads for another project … 

IMG_0587 I just tied the new warp onto the old warp and pulled the threads through the reed and through the heddles instead of having to thread all of them from scratch.  

IMG_0597This process saves lots of time if you are making the same pattern several times but want to do different colors.

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I wove using a mercerized cotton flake yarn in a dark teal color for the weft.

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I really love the play of colors in this dyed warp combined with the dark teal weft.

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Here is a close up picture of the interplay of colors in the pattern.

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The Weaving progressed very nicely, and the fibers were a joy to work with.

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The colors did not show up very well in this picture but this is the piece as it was being taken off the loom.

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And this is the piece laid out before finishing.

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Once I did the finishing wash, dry and cutting off of the spliced in weaving tails,  the finished cloth measured about 7 inches wide, and 64 inches long.  I cut the fringe on one end 4 inches long and at the other end I cut it 9 inches long.

The end of the cloth that has the shorter fringe will be the top flap of the purse, and the longer fringe will be at the bottom of the purse.

I decided to add some copper and beading embellishments to the shorter fringe that will be on the top front flap of the purse.

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First I strung some beads and added them.

IMG_0951Then I flattened some pennies and textured one,

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domed another and added more copper accents by twisting some copper wires and flattening them.IMG_0738

I am also considering adding these items……

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Using  this purple perle cotton, I thought I would add these beads by sewing the thread in and out of the fabric so that it shows through on top while tacking down the beads at the same time.  I also though I would use some of these purple beads (right side of the picture) to add a few more strands of purple accents in 2 or 3 other places along the fringe.

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I feel the purse is progressing nicely and I have several ideas already on how I want to piece it together.  I don’t have very much of the warp thread left, but there is enough to add some into the inkle band that I am going to weave for the purse strap.

….So for now, it’s back to the loom….

Thanks for dropping in, hope this project inspires you to make something beautiful today!!

Until next time…..

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                  ….I wish you Peace

SHIMMERING SCARF FINISHED!

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Do you remember that beautiful shimmering warp I posted about last week?  Well, it just turned into an even more beautiful shimmering scarf !!  This is the finished scarf.

 I thought you might like to see some pictures of the scarf being woven so here are a few.

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After I added the warp to the loom then the weaving process began….

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…and the twill pattern began to show through the woven threads.

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This picture shows the texture of the twill weaving.

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I love how this zig zagging textured twill pattern looks intermixed with the bands of plain weave.Image

Time to cut the woven scarf off the loom and start the finishing process.

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I wove the scarf about 98 inches long but as expected it did shrink a little in the finishing wash.  But before I washed it I tied the fringe at each end of the scarf.

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This is how the scarf looked after it was washed, air dried, then fluffed in the dryer.

It has a very fluid and silky drape.

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I love how my shimmering scarf turned out!

Here is a sneak peek at my next project going on the loom.  I will be using these beautiful hand dyed skeins of rayon yarn to make another twill patterned scarf.

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 I purchased this beautiful yarn on Etsy from the vendor  –  robinjedmundson.etsy.com

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Guess it’s time to get back to the loom and warp up another project !

 Until next time….

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                   …..I wish you Peace

At The Inkle Loom

STRINGING UP A GUITAR STRAP

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Late last fall I started warping up this Inkle Floor Loom to make an earthy colored guitar strap for a friend.

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 I hate to admit, it is still very much in the beginning stages of weaving.

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Last fall I made about 10 table runners in an overshot pattern for Christmas gifts and pretty much “forgot” about this guitar strap.  Hopefully I will get a chance to get back to this project and finish up.  Especially when you see from the pictures below the results of my last two guitar straps I did get finished for gifting…..

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……hope this inspires you to make something beautiful today!

Until next time…..

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                                          ……I wish you Peace

Shimmering Warp

Normally for me, winding a warp for a weaving project is at best,

mostly

yawn“ho-hummm”.

But today the room I was working in was flooded with sunshine,

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a plus in itself considering this is the middle of February!

Winding the warp for this scarf has been pure JOY !!

As I turned the warping mill round and round

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the sun beams caught the metallic threads and seemed to

literally dance like little fairy dust across the warp.

I immediately pictured a little odd figure of a man, Rumplestiltskin,

spinning–spinning–spinning

all night long to make the gleaming golden threads.

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The warp is now being added to the loom and I can’t wait to see the finished scarf filled with

Magic Fairy Dust !!

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May your days be filled with JOY !!

Until Next Time……

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I wish you Peace….