Tag Archives: tapestry weaving

Woven Women- Small Bird Sang and All Was Forgiven

When we went on holidays in July, I took along 4 small looms- My Norwegian Cradle loom, my 8 inch Mirrix tapestry loom, my wee copper pipe loom and my tiny peg loom.

I warped up my Norwegian Cradle loom with fine cotton to weave a narrow band, using my Swedish double slotted rigid heddle.

The heddle is actually too wide for the Cradle loom, but oddly enough, this worked well in a quirky way.

I wove and wove and wove and wove  as we drove for many, many days, with the Norwegian Cradle loom in my lap:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

The cotton thread in the narrow band is in the same colors that I was using to weave the sampler for Part 2 of the online tapestry course offered by Rebecca Mezoff.

I knew that I wanted to have narrow bands as part of the figure that I was weaving, using the sampler as the body.

And here she is: Her name is:
“Small Bird Sang and All Was Forgiven”.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.tottietalkscrafts.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

Her body is the sampler that includes the techniques that were covered in Part Two of the course.

I wove her arms separately, using techniques from Part 2 as well.
I have included driftwood from our beachcombing at the ocean, as well as found objects.

Her hands, head, feet and the archway panel are cut from Baltic birch plywood. (Lovely stuff!)

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.tottietalkscrafts.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

I burned the features with a wood burning tool, and then painted and embellished with encaustic.

She is 36 inches/90 cm tall.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.tottietalkscrafts.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

I wove her body first, then re-warped the loom and wove the arms separately.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.tottietalkscrafts.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

Her body and arms were woven on my 8 inch Mirrix tapestry loom, which I also took along on holidays, as it’s a fabulous little traveling loom.

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Folding stand for my Mirrix tapestry loom

I am pleased as can be- I’ve just built myself a spiffy new folding stand for my Mirrix tapestry loom.

folding loom stand (c)

I’ve done several variations on this loom stand – I began by designing a folding stand for my copper pipe looms LINK

And, then, used the same concept to make a very upcycled version from cardboard tubes and broomsticks LINK

For this version, I used conduit pipes and neat corner thingies to  make it, and it has worked out a fair treat!

Here’s the video that I made as I was building it:

The key to the success of the folding loom stand is a pivoting clamp- here’s the link to how I did that: LINK

I’ve signed up for Rebecca Mezoff’s online tapestry class LINK, and am looking forward to getting my Mirrix warped up and weaving on it.

🙂 I love my new stand! 🙂

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Tapestry Diary May 2014

I have committed to a year long project on Ravelry- weaving a tapestry diary.

I didn’t quite finish my May tapestry diary piece in May…. I just finished it today.

I have been bothered and irritated by one of the eyes and just wasn’t happy, so had to do some serious unweaving and unpicking.

I am still not quite there with it, but it’s going to be on the loom until I weave the next diary piece (I warped enough to weave several small diary entries) so, I can puzzle over it more, or simply accept it as is.

It’s called: Woven Women- Spiral Eyes.

Here it is in progress:

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

And here it is in it’s ~almost finished~ state (of course, it will have to be ‘really finished’ later when it comes off the loom, but that won’t be happening right away)

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

It’s about how we spiral inward when we are faced with difficult events in our lives-

May was very challenging for us, with the death of one of dear old dogs, the destruction of my website by hackers, then, learning that the gallery that was supposed to be hosting the solo show of my tapestries and other woven works has been botched by the builders, so the gallery can’t open this year- so my show is cancelled.

Then, we learned that a long, long time friend is very ill.

Rough, rough month…. and in the news, the school girls in Nigeria still not being released, as well as troubles all over the planet…. oh my….

And, the thing that I take away from my personal journey and looking at what others are facing,

is that we simply have to come from a place of compassion….

which is what the spirals represent to me-

spiral in, spiral out.

The eyes, of course, are about seeing….

the blue around her face represents tears,

the green in the spirals is all about hope.

So… that’s what’s woven into a very tiny tapestry.  (It’s 3 inches by 5 inches)
I will be framing it in one of my painted plaster frames when it comes off the loom.

On a very happy note, I was thrilled today to receive the most gorgeous package of yarn from LeiLaniSue of Heavenly Fibers LINK

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

Thank you, thank you, LeiLani!

So very beautiful!!!!!!! and soooooooooooooo appreciated!!!!!

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Filed under Loom & looms & small loom weaving, tapestry, weave along, weaving & handwoven, Woven Women tapestries and woven works

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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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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Tapestry Diary – 4

I’ve been working on a series of little woven ‘dancing ladies’ for my Woven Women show.

And, I  am participating in a tapestry weave along on Ravelry.

This week, I finished one of my Dancing Ladies- “Snowy Spring”.

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

I have a thing about red shoes, so, I just had to make red patent leather shoes for her….

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

And I even made heels for them (the soles and heels are heavy leather, the uppers are very thin patent leather)

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

She’s about 13 inches tall/33 cm tall.

I wove her on the Schacht Mini loom, which is a small plastic loom that I quite like.

I was surprised by how well it worked for tapestry weaving- I wasn’t sure about tensioning on it, but that was not a problem. (I wove in a tiny thin dowel at the top, which worked beautifully as a shed stick, and provided some tension).

She delights me.

I love how the tapestry diary is leading me in unexpected directions.

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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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Woven Women-The Eyes of the Butterfly

When I became a grandmother, I saw the world in a whole new way…. through the eyes of the butterfly…..

Seeing my grandson emerge, and witnessing him ‘spread his wings’ makes it so heartrendingly clear just how magical and fragile our precious world is.

In response, I wove this tapestry, which  is a love song to my daughter and her son.

Becoming a grandmother means that I now sing a love song to all the tender new lives that we must nurture.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Tapestry: Woven Women-The Eyes of the Butterfly

by Noreen Crone-Findlay 2012-2013

approximately 14 inches wide by 36 inches tall

The yarn used in the tapestry is special to me for 2 reasons…. one is that most of it came from my mother’s collection of yarns, and the rest of it was spun by my beautiful daughter in love, Alliston Findlay.

Lots of precious threads here…..

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Update on progress in tapestries Oct 2012

Yesterday, I took a tapestry off my 16 inch Mirrix loom- it’s nowhere near being finished as I am going to be doing embroidery on it.

I thought that I would give an update on the tapestries that I am weaving for my solo show next summer.

So, even though NONE of these pieces are anywhere close to being done, here’s a quick little glimpse at the works in progress:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

And yes, I did plaster copyright notices all over them, as I have found that images have a way of getting away from you, so I want people to be able to follow them home!

The large tapestry is about a meter long – when you use extenders on the 16 inch loom, you can weave very long pieces.

On the music stand are 2 tapestries that I am just getting started on.

The 12 inch tapestry has gobbled up all my ‘s’ hooks, so I need to go buy some more.

I warped up my 5 inch Mini in a totally outside the box way….. totally outside the Scrabble box, that is!

I bought a couple of extra Scrabble games from the thrift shop so I could use the letters for my titles of my video tutorials.

I plunked the tile holders into a drawer and occasionally, I wonder what I will do with them.

Well… the other day, when I was puzzling over how I could warp the Mini when all my ‘s’ hooks are in use elsewhere, I had a flash of inspiration-

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

I duct taped 2 of them together to make a cap to go over the Mini’s knobs at the top of the loom!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

This is the back of the loom, showing how I warped it continuously, going over the ‘Scrabble Cap’.

It works brilliantly!

I don’t like showing a piece before I have made some progress on it.

In November, I’ll do another update, and hopefully, I’ll have lots more to show you! 🙂

 

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How to make yarn butterflies and upcycled wooden tapestry bobbins

Some people love weaving with yarn butterflies.

And some people (like me) don’t.

I love wooden tapestry bobbins and I love making each one a unique piece- and I especially like using upcycled wood to make them.

So, for those of you who like yarn butterflies, here’s a video tutorial on how to make yarn butterflies:

And, here’s how I make my one of a kind tapestry bobbins, which wouldn’t suit everyone, but I love them and find them to be a pleasure to use:

Start with a piece of cast off wood. In this case, a wooden plaque (don’t use chipboard or mdf ! This needs to be hardwood)

a thrown away plaque from a garage sale

Flip it over, and draw in the rough lines for the first cuts:

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next, saw them into rough shape:

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Working on getting more definition and shaping:

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All the wooden offcuts are going to be burned in the wood burning stove in the studio in the winter- nothing’s wasted!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

When the rough saw shaping is done:

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I move over to the belt sander:

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and I do a whole bunch of sanding (very carefully)

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Did I mention that this is a really slow, meditative process? Yup.

Go slowly… and pay attention….

Then, it’s off to work with a bunch of different small sanding drums:

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and files:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

And more sanding:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

and then, I draw faces on each one, and get out my wood burning tool and draw and burn faces and the year on each one:

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Here’s a closer look:

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I just listen to what each bobbin wants, and then I draw on their faces. Some of them crack me up.

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Like the ‘Get to the Point’ guy… 3rd from the left….  I know, I am easily amused….

And, here they are, all wrapped up and ready to weave!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

I hope that the photos will all open for you!

So, happy butterflies, and happy bobbin-ing!

Happy weaving! 🙂

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