Category Archives: eco crafts & green projects

Button button I love making buttons

The title of this post says it all.

I. Love. Making. Buttons. 🙂

I have been making them all my adult life, using different mediums, and right now, I am in a love love love state about making wooden buttons.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

I enjoy making eco friendly buttons from the trees that fall down in our grove, or from the twigs and wood that my sisters-in-law prune from the gorgeous arbutus tree in their yard.

But recently, my friend, Molly, asked me to make thinner buttons….

So, I have been making thinner buttons, and loving it!

I’ve been doing wood burning for decades, and really enjoy embellishing the buttons with ‘pyrography’ (wood burning).

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

I will start getting them into my etsy shop next week.

I was surprised to learn that mailing them isn’t as expensive as I thought it would be, so it is definitely something I will follow through on.

(People asked me if I would do this, and I said no, because I thought that the postage would be insane. Ahem…. after I actually checked it out…. ahem…. it turns out to be ‘yes’)  🙂

I am participating in lots of artisan’s markets/maker’s faires and outdoor festivals this summer, so I will post the dates for those on my facebook page- LINK

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

In my previous post, I showed how to make  3 different styles of closures using a lucet… LINK

This makes special buttons even more special 🙂

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Filed under buttons, craft shows and makers faires, eco crafts & green projects, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, woodwork

Weaving with recycled & upcycled fabrics for Green Window City

For the last 6 weeks or so, I have been weaving up a storm, working on an installation for the Green Window City project in Edmonton Alberta.  Link to Green Window City

I wove 7 banners ( each 5 yards long) from cut up clothing and t shirts cut into t shirt yarn (tarn and ‘Farn’- fabric strip yarn) on my Saori loom.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

I rescued a warp chain that an angry weaver had cut from the loom and tossed in a box at the Reuse center:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

It wove up beautifully:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

I figured out how to weave stars for the ends of the banners:

Green Windows April 7 update 5 (c)

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

I built a mannequin, a cat,

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

a dog,

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

a stool, a loom and a stand. LINK

I made gigantic balls of yarn…. I wove a tapestry of the earth, using cut up fabric strips- whew… so many new things to figure out!  LINK

copyright  Noreen Crone-Findlay www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

And, then, yesterday, I installed it all in the window of a beautiful little boutique in Edmonton, ‘C’est Sera:

Weaving the world 10 (c)

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

And, today…  I clean the studio and work on new projects.

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Filed under eco crafts & green projects, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, Saori weaving, tapestry, weaving & handwoven

How to build an upcycled loom and stand from recycled stuff

For the last month or so, I have been building and weaving up a storm.

I am part of a project in Edmonton, Alberta, called, Green Windows City, that has partnered 13 artists with small shops in the arts district.

The artists are creating installations built from upcycled or recycled stuff, and are creating magic!

Today is installation day, so I will take photos after I complete my installation and post them.

One of the really fun things that I have done is to design and build a tapestry loom (although it can be used for other things than tapestry) and stand from trash.

I built the loom from a picture frame and the stand for the loom using heavy cardboard tubes thrown away by the fabric store, an old broomstick and a few nuts and bolts.

It has ingenious ways of tensioning the warp strands, and opening the sheds for ease of weaving.

All it all, it is a wonderfully functional loom and stand that is almost no cost.

To my delight, I have found it to be a loom that I love and will be using for years.

I liked it so much that I have built a second one to be weaving on while this one is busy being in the installation.

I made a video showing how to make the loom and stand, and how to warp it (including the warping device that I messed up on and then replaced LOL)

Here’s the video-  it’s a cheap and cheerful way of creating a really great little tapestry loom.

I love it, and hope you will, too!

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Filed under eco crafts & green projects, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, tapestry, tutorial & how to, video tutorial, weaving & handwoven

Green Window project – weaving a tapestry of the earth

I have been incredibly busy, working to deadline on  a really neat project: The Green Window City project. LINK

13 artists were paired with shops in the Old Strathcona district of Edmonton as part of Earth Day celebrations.

We are each creating an installation in our partnered shop, using stuff that was pulled out of the trash…..

I have been building and weaving like mad….

I can’t show too much until I have the installation up and running.

But – I am going to give a sneak preview of a small tapestry that I have woven for my installation.

I was nervous about using discarded fabric that I cut into strips for the weft of the tapestry- I had NO idea if it would work!

Also, I built the loom (more about that later) and wasn’t sure if it would be alright for tapestry weaving.

On top of all the other unknowns, for the warp,  I used hemp yarn that was given to me by someone who gave up on weaving.

Fuzzy, sheddie, hairy hemp yarn? As warp? Bonkers.

I was sceptical when I saw that the cone of yarn was labelled as being warp, but thought- Why not?

This is all about experimentation, and creative adaptive re-use….

So, I warped up the loom:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

And then, I cut up strips of fabric and started weaving.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

I’ve never used fabric strips to weave tapestry, so I was really quizzical about it at first….

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

Those are the fabrics that I cut up, and wow…. I LOVED weaving with them!

Its’ very slow, but I was amazed at how well it worked!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

I loved it, and I am eager to weave more tapestries with upcycled, re-used, recycled fabric cut into ‘farn’ (fabric yarn).

But, for now, I have to get back to cutting up more t shirts and discarded garments for the banners that I am weaving for the installation.

And, then, back to weaving weaving weaving…. I have 5 more long banners to weave….. oh my!~

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Filed under eco crafts & green projects, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, weaving & handwoven

Tapestry Diary 2014- 3

This week has been insanely busy, with a major new project being on the top of my list, plus a maker’s faire yesterday, AND having to rush to get a vest done that I have been working on as a wedding gift… busy… very busy!

Even so- I have been working on my tapestry diaries….

Here’s where I have gotten to with my latest ‘Dancing Lady’:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

The Schacht Mini Loom has been surprisingly satisfying for this small piece (*no affiliations or profit from saying that I do like this little loom*) although, of course, tensioning is pretty minimal!

I still have a whole lotta work to do on her, but that is ongoing.

For April, I will be working on this piece, that is the other half of the warp strands from my first Dancing Lady of the month:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

The light is so glaring in my studio right now that I am either getting totally over exposed or under exposed pics. Sorry.

One of the things that has kept me so wildly busy, is that I am participating in a very neat project in Edmonton, Alberta, called, ‘Green Windows City’.

A group of artists have been paired with businesses in Old Strathcona, a very artsy part of Edmonton.

The artists are scrounging up stuff that has been discarded, or donated to the ReUse center, and are creating magical installations in one storefront window of their assigned business.

I chose the theme: ‘Weaving a new world’, and have been busily building a mannequin and loom and stand and props, and will be weaving up all manner of things….
so, here’s the loom warped (I’ll show more about the loom and stand in the upcoming days), but I haven’t got the drawing done for the cartoon yet….

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

The warp is set at 6 epi, and is soft hemp that was given to me by someone who had given up on weaving. The label said that it was warp, but it’s sure new to me to use hemp as warp! Wish me luck!!!!

The next couple of weeks are going to be sooooooooo busy, as I have to have everything done and ready for the installation on April 17 – eeeeeeeeep!

But, I do feel that the weaving on the loom for the installation is very much part of my diary process, so I will be including it here, and posting about it.

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Filed under eco crafts & green projects, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, Mirrix loom, tapestry, weave along, Woven Women tapestries and woven works

Handmade wooden buttons

There’s been a nice long hiatus since the winter maker’s faires ended and the spring ones begin.

I’ve taken advantage of the time away from the markets/faires to be extremely productive.

I love making (and using!) handmade wooden buttons, so I have been ‘button, buttoning’ like mad.

(and of course, had to build a display for them, too!)

I am sooooooo pleased with how they have turned out.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

I’ll have them at the next Mercer Maker’s Market on Saturday March 29 from 10 -4 (The Mercer is on the corner of 104 ave and 104 St), so Edmonton peeps, I hope to see you there!

 

 

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Filed under buttons, craft shows and makers faires, eco crafts & green projects

A brooch to ponder

Last night, we were at a wonderful birthday party – it was such a pleasure to feel so much love focused on our friend!

He deserves it.

Jim and I were sitting with friends, basking in the lovely time.

One of our friends is a young woman who is a gifted musician.

She opened her bottle of Jones soda and read out the ‘fortune cookie’ written inside the bottle lid.

It said: “You will be confronted with limitless opportunities”.

She contemplated it for a minute and said: ‘Confronted with limitless opportunities….. hmmmm’…..

and that began a heartfelt conversation between us…..

‘Confronted’ with limitless opportunities really does speak to the necessity of developing discernment and wisdom, doesn’t it?

She is a woman of deep heart and great intelligence – and she is a wisdom seeker.

I felt that this small ‘fortune cookie moment’ was filled with significance, so I  asked her if I could take the bottle cap and make a brooch for her with it.

I spent the morning working on it, and have just finished it.

I hope that she will feel the love and tenderness in it……

(Update: Yes, she does like it 🙂 )

 Ending on a personal note, and speaking directly to my friend:

Jordan, my dear, may you be blessed on your journey! 

You are a gift and a blessing and you make the world a better place. 🙂

As an older woman-even though I was born with the name: Crone, I am living it now 🙂  –

speaking to a younger woman,

I spread my wings,

and I wish you well, well, well….

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

To see how I make these brooches, please go to LINK for the post with instructional video.

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Filed under eco crafts & green projects, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, jewelry, weaving & handwoven, Zoom Loom

Steampunk Brooch with woven fabric and an upcycled juice can lid

I love weaving jewelry, and I love upcycling.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

So, I have combined these loves by using upcycled elements in some really fun Steampunk inspired brooches that I have designed and made.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

I weave the backgrounds for the brooches with the Schacht Zoom loom (the new version of the classic Weave It loom).

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

Then, using the lid and base from frozen orange juice cans, I build fab brooches.

I combine all kinds of things, like tatting, found objects, various embellishments that I make, as well as crocheted and woven wire.

This video shows how I do it.

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Filed under eco crafts & green projects, jewelry, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, tutorial & how to, video tutorial, weaving & handwoven, Zoom Loom

I’ve been weaving bracelets

I am participating in all kinds of craft fairs and maker’s markets this summer in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

I’ve been weaving up all kinds of bracelets for the upcoming shows:

The bracelets are a combination of paper yarn, t shirt yarn, vintage buttons and charms and other embellishments, as well as copper and brass findings and embellishments that I have made.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

 

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

And, now, I must get back to my looms! 😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under eco crafts & green projects, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, weaving & handwoven

Introducing 2 new Peg Looms from Dewberry Ridge Looms

A couple of months ago,  I published my new eBook on weaving jewelry with stick looms: See LINK

My friend, Donna McFarland of Dewberry Ridge Looms was looking at the photos when her husband, Gary, walked by the computer.

Donna told me that he said:’ Those have to be Noreen’s designs, right?’ and she agreed.

He then mused that he would like to make stick looms.

Well… I was delighted, and immediately asked if they would consider building peg looms.

I have a couple of peg looms, but felt that they could use a re-design with improvements that I knew Gary could build.

After lots of conversations, Gary and Donna have created the most wonderful peg looms!

Here’s the link to order them LINK

They are truly the Rolls Royce of the Peg Loom world!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

Here’s what I asked for, and they have designed and created:

1: Taller pegs so I could see more of the weaving emerging before having to advance the warp. This is especially important in weaving tapestries on the peg loom.

2: Fine wooden pegs that are slimmer and closer together to give a firmer, tighter weave. A close sett avoids too loose, loopy fabric.

Another important note about the pegs: I asked for close grain wood for the pegs, as smooth pegs that don’t catch the weft are essential. Gary has found the perfect wood for the pegs that is smooth as silk. He also carefully shapes the top of the pegs to make them guide the yarn beautifully.  His attention to detail is exquisite!

3: A really nice threading tool – I came up with a rather crude one, and Gary totally surpassed my concept.

4: Legs that would stabilize the looms- Gary’s design for the legs is so elegant that it knocked my socks off!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

Donna and Gary came up with some neat ideas, too.

They suggested tilting the looms backward slightly.  This is brilliant, as it improves the ergonomics of the loom enormously and makes the loom more comfortable to work with.

They also decided to offer a loom with 3 sizes of pegs, for people who want to work with larger pegs.

Personally, I am so smitten with the thinnest pegs that I probably will just be working with them and not the larger pegs, but Gary and Donna wanted to appeal to the widest possible group of weavers.

Gary also decided to make the base of the loom removable in case a peg gets stuck. What a great idea!

Peg looms are  eco friendly, as they are great for using t shirt yarn, or tarn, or fabric strips torn from discarded clothing.

And, I am working on a new book for peg loom weaving, so do stay tuned for that 🙂

I have made a little video that introduces the Dewberry Ridge Peg Loom:

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Filed under Dewberry Ridge looms, eco crafts & green projects, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, Peg and Stick Loom weaving, peg looms and weaving sticks, weaving & handwoven