Tapestry Weaving Love

I finally completed my very first tapestry weaving a couple of weeks ago. It took me longer than I had hoped to finish mainly because I work full time and my only chance to weave is on nights and weekends. And also because after moving from the small Lap Loom to one that is almost triple the size is very daunting. I think it would have taken a long time regardless of working, though, since it was my first tapestry-sized piece. Since I made the loom by hand using finishing nails and canvas stretcher bars (will create a how-to post soon!), not everything is lined up perfectly. It did seem to work very well, though! Plus it saved me from spending a crazy amount of money on a brand new loom, and who doesn't like to save money?

I started off having a clear idea in my head of how I wanted this weaving to look. I made a few sketches before warping my loom in hopes that I could follow the patterns that were coming to mind. After about a day of weaving, I quickly realized that my sketches would not directly translate to my loom, and I was fine with that. I've come to love the fact that it's such an organic process that allows me to make decisions on-the-go based on the color of yarn I used last or the technique I chose. 

Initially I had planned to have a mohawk-like look to this weaving, with the long strands of yarn spanning from top to bottom, straight down the middle. After making the bottom "tail" out of thick blue and thin golden yarn, I felt how heavy that one section was and decided to go against my mohawk idea. At that point, I just started to wing it. 

I like the look of neutrals with little bursts of color added here and there. The softness of the off-white yarns mixed with a contrasting deep blue and mint green allow the piece to be subtle, but still have a presence. All in all, I'm happy with how this piece turned out. As with all of my work, I look at it and think of what decisions I could have made differently, but that's just part of the process.

Knowing that my possibilities are endless when it comes to different looks for my weavings, I'm excited and anxious to keep creating these tapestry pieces. I'm constantly inspired by everything around me so I take what I see and build off of that whenever I create. I can't wait until I am able to start creating custom, commissioned pieces for clients. They will be able to display their piece knowing I took into account their personal style and vision, and that will be the most gratifying process of my work. As long as I can make one person happy, I'll be happy!

I still have a lot to learn when it comes to tapestry weaving, but it will all come with more practice and more work. I'm ready to take that on and keep going, knowing each piece will be better than the last! 

Packaging Design

Last week I sent out a couple of my new mini-weavings to two of my friends. This was my first test in shipping my products and first attempt at creating the packaging for them. I've always known the type of experience I want the customer to have from the start. I want it to be personal, inviting; A beautiful gift they are excited to open. 

For my first shipment, I decided wrap the weavings in muslin. To me it has that soft, natural touch while also maintaining the protection I want on the weavings. A handwritten note rests in the muslin as a personal "Thank you" for purchasing one of my products, or just a simple "Hello" if it's a gift. One or two strands of yarn hold it together in a nicely wrapped package with my logo tag attached. The yarn color is matched to one that appears in the customer's woven piece to add that personal/custom touch. 

As I progress I'm sure my approach to the packaging will evolve, but for now, this is what I've got and it seems to work well so far! I'll have to adjust according to the size of the weavings since the larger ones will require more maintenance when it comes to wrapping. My friends seemed to enjoy these little packages and they held up well during the mailing process, so that's a good sign to start! 

Mini-Weavings

A couple of friends have told me that they want to buy one of my weavings. At the moment I'm working on some larger pieces that I'd like to start selling, so I don't have time to make big ones for them just yet. But at the same time, I've been wanting to send them something to hold them over until I do have the time to make larger, more personal ones. 

My solution? Create mini-weavings! Thanks to Janelle Pietrzak of All Roads, I noticed she made these awesome little weaving ornaments that inspired me to make tiny weavings for my friends. They don't take too long to make and they still have that personal touch that I wanted. I figured out that I can make two at a time using my Lap Loom (check out my Instagram page to see!). They are only about 3" wide and 10" long, so they won't take up much space on your wall. And...they're cute! I plan on having a table full of these for the Artwalk this June in Bethlehem. 

These could also be a nice miniature version of how I want to create larger pieces in the future. It allows me to decide on a color palette with limited space so that I can see what works and what doesn't. It's almost as if they are sketches for my large tapestry hangings.

I have to refrain from making a million of these for more of my friends and family because right now I have to focus on creating larger pieces to sell this summer. But once the Artwalk is over, I'll be able to send these little gifts on to more who have asked for weavings! 

"Macra-weave"

Before I really got into weaving, I dabbled with macramé....for about 5 minutes. It's still something I want to explore and take a stab at because it's so gorgeous and complex, but for now my focus is weaving. However...what I did learn was that it would be a beautiful compliment to some of my weavings. I've put this piece on hold for a while now because honestly, I don't want to screw it up. But I know that I want to create this "macra-weave" as I call it, to try something new and combine these similar techniques in a charming way.

Once I'm finished I'll upload the final product. For now, I'm going to keep weaving and gain the confidence to bring that "macra-weave" to life!