October 22, 2014

A Collaborative Experiment with Bead Weaving and Micro Macrame

Do you remember my friend, Lindsay Starr?  She's the creative genius behind Phantasm Creations and does some of the most amazing bead work I have ever seen.  I did a trade with her last year (you can read about it in this post) and we decided it was time to do another one, this time with a twist.  We would each start a piece and then send it to the other person to finish.  

I had been hoarding a face cab she made and decided it would be fun to do something with that.  Me being me (with a micro macrame obsession) it stood to reason that I would have to do something with macrame, so I knotted two pieces the size of the cab.  As you can see from the photo, the front piece is a bezel with a hole for the face to peek through and the back is a solid circle of knotting.  I sandwiched them together and did some more knotting to get this:

I didn't exactly know what I was doing, since this was my first attempt at something like this.  I learned some things I will definitely do better next time, but I like the way she turned out.  The way the knotting snugs up around her face makes me think of a woman in the cold with her hood drawn up close to keep her warm.  

I wanted to give Lindsay a little more knotting to work with in case she needed to bring it back into her design, so I knotted a couple more circles keeping with the theme.  It will be most interesting to see what she makes with these.  And meanwhile, she send me these beautiful pieces:

Gorgeous, right?!  The flower and leaf (and maybe the time of year) made me think of Day of the Dead (okay, that's probably one of those thought transitions that only I would follow, but it makes perfect sense to me).  I decided to try something really different and attempt to knot a skull.  I know!  Ridiculous, right!?

No, it's not a white strawberry and yes, it is going to be more skull-like before I'm finished.  You will just have to come back and see.  

While she was waiting for my packaged parts to arrive in the mail, Lindsay was without a project and asked me for an assignment.  Me being me (my latest catch-all un-apology excuse), I suggested she do something with a sugar skull and a Day of the Dead theme.  

She nailed it, didn't she!  I told you she was awesome.  While you're waiting to see our finished pieces, you should head over to her blog and check out her other pieces.  Prepared to be amazed.  And don't forget to come back and see what we do with our collaboration experiment!

October 12, 2014

The New Artisan Component Marketplace

Macrame necklace by Sherri Stokey with ceramic leaf pendant by Marla James.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret.  You know all those wonderful heads and pendants (like this oak leaf from Marla's Mud) I'm always showing you?  (Yes, I may have a slight bead buying problem, but that's a discussion for another time.)  There's a new online marketplace just for artisan made pieces - Artisan Component Marketplace.  You won't find any factory produced knock offs there because each shop is juried before being allowed to sell on the site.  That means each and every one of the pieces you find listed there will be hand made by the artist.  

Artisan Component Marketplace screenshot

You will find ceramic and porcelain, handpainted wood and lampwork as well as mixed media and metal.  There are seed bead components made of tiny glass beads woven together in intricate patterns, pendants made from polymer clay and clasps made from wood.  There are all sorts of little treasures from some of my favorite artists, so when I had an offer to do a guest blog post for them, I jumped at the chance.  

You're going to have to go there to see what I wrote, but I will give you a hint:  it involves Marla's ceramic leaf pendant and a little free macrame tutorial.  Have fun!  Oh, and I made up a fancy new, handy-dandy bar for the bottom of my guest post - what do you think?

Sherri Stokey

October 8, 2014

How to Get From Apples to Giraffes in 7 Easy Steps

Micro macrame bracelets by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame.

Even people close to me are confused as to just how my thought process works.  We can be having a conversation about low blood sugar and I'll interrupt with a comment on the cutest aviator glasses for Carter (true story).  I know there's a method to my madness, but it isn't always apparent to others.  So today I'm going to let you inside my mind for one brief, horrifying minute:  Here's how you (okay, how I) get from apples to giraffes in 7 easy steps.

Sage green colorway kit for Leaves Micro Macrame Bracelet Tutorial

It all starts when I'm putting together more kits for my Leaves Micro Macrame Bracelet Tutorial in this sage green colorway.  It's the strangest combination, really, and it technically shouldn't work.  The cord is more of a turquoise kind of color with a lot of blue in it, while the beads have a definite yellow tinge.  Shouldn't work at all, but it does:

Leaves Micro Macrame Bracelet done in Sage colorway.

Then I start wondering what that cord and bead combination would look like in the Hydrangea pattern, so I have to stop everything and make one up.

Hydrangea Micro Macrame Bracelet done in Sage colorway.

Which leads to trying the beads with a different color of cord.

Hydrangea Micro Macrame Bracelet done in green with marina.

And then I wonder what would happen if I use some unexpected cord color.

Hydrangea Micro Macrame Bracelet done in green with marigold cord.

And before you know it, I'm mixing all the cord colors.

Hydrangea micro macrame bracelet by Sherri Stokey.

Then I notice that the darker color makes little divisions of the flowers and the bracelet looks totally different.  The flowers look more distinct and the diamond connectors almost disappear.  And I wonder what would happen if I rearrange the cord colors.

Knotted micro macrame bracelets by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame.

And then I notice all the texture in those bracelets and I wonder what would happen if I focus more on the knotting, but keep using the same cord colors and beads.

Knotted micro macrame bracelet by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame.

Then I look up and it's three days later and we're out of milk.  Oh, and somewhere in there I made up kits for the first three colorways and there are some earrings in these colors around here somewhere that I need to put on earwires and photograph.

And that, my friends, is how you get from apples to giraffes in my world.  

Micro macrame bracelets by Knot Just Macrame.

Micro macrame bracelets by Knot Just Macrame.

October 4, 2014

Fall Daisies

Micro Macrame cord and bail by Sherri Stokey with Humblebeads pendant.

Daisies have always been one of my favorite flowers - soft and pretty without being overly showy.  When I saw this pendant by Heather Powers of Humblebeads, I was definitely smitten.  Not only is it a daisy, but it's done in my favorite colors of teal and olive green with a dash of mustard yellow.  I've been on a kick lately with knotting half knot sinnets in several colors of cord to make a braid that looks a lot like kumihimo, so I pulled cord to match the pendant.

Micro macrame cord and polymer pendant.  Knotting by Sherri Stokey

I knotted it together into a spiraling micro macrame cord.

Micro macrame cord knotted by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame.

Then I decided it needed a little something special, so I knotted a matching bail to suspend the pendant.

Knotted micro macrame necklace with daisy pendant in teal and mustard.

I was having such a good time playing with these colors that I made a couple pair of earrings, too!

Micro macrame earrings by Knot Just Macrame.

Aren't these great colors for autumn?

Macrame necklace by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame.

September 30, 2014

Shop Update - Micro Macrame Kits

Micro macrame owl tutorial and kits by Knot Just Macrame

It's no secret that putting together kits isn't my favorite job (unless they're fun kits), but I recently had some (reluctant) help, so I've been on a kit-making binge.  There are 41 micro macrame kits in my Etsy shop right now, including owl kits in no less than five different colors!

I restocked some old favorites, too, including Hydrangea kits in French Lilac, the colorway shown in the Hydrangea Bracelet tutorial:

Hydrangea Micro macrame bracelet tutorial by Knot Just Macrame

There are kits for the Leaves Bracelet tutorial in several popular colors including the Sage one shown in the tut as well as the colorful black version with bead and cord like this:

Cord and bead kit for Leaves Micro Macrame Bracelet tutorial by Sherri Stokey

It's never too early to start on holiday presents, you know (yep, I did it - I went there).  In case you need just a little more enticement, Donna over at is having a FLASH sale through Wednesday, October 1.  Use code "flash25" to save 25% on any one class (details here).  I have some pretty cool kits to go with the Micro Macrame Wrap Bracelet class there, including some Halloween ones!

Happy knotting!!

September 18, 2014

Talk Like a Pirate Day

Ahoy, me Hearties!  Tomorrow be International Talk Like a Pirate Day and what with knottin' bein' all tied t' sailin' (didja see what I done thar?) what better way t' pay me respects but t' create a piece o' micro macrame!  Boy, writin' like tha' is harder than ye'd think!  

I asked Anastasija o' Dreams and Elements t' make some pieces t' use in me micro macrame bracelets and shiver me timbers!  Beauty!  Me packages arrived from some other artists that day, too. Check t' motherload:

And out of all that booty, which treasure did I choose first?

They're just so ever-lovin' adorable!!  And what with the pirate day thing coming up and all, it seemed like fate.  I did make a very similar bracelet with one of her owl focals instead,  if ye ain't be likin' the skulls.  

Wanna try your hand at knottin' one yeself?  These bands are variations of me Micro Macrame Bracelet Watch class at  Fair winds, mateys!

September 13, 2014

Sea Shell Design Challenge Reveal

Sea shell design challenge

My generous friend, Rita of Toltec Jewels put out a challenge in one of the beading groups to which I belong:  create a piece using a ceramic scallop shell pendant by Firefly Design Studio.  Michelle (the creative genius behind Firefly Design) is also a member of the same group, so this was a particularly fun challenge for me.  Rita even supplied the shells for participants (thanks again, Rita!!).

It's no surprise to anyone who has followed me for five minutes or more that I love ocean themes.  Anything beachy and I'm there.  And to top it all off, the shell I received was in some of my favorite colors (fate or Rita's hand?):

Cord and bead palette in sage green and blue and bronze

I pulled some glass seed beads and s-lon cord I thought might work with the sagey green and soft blue in the pendant and then played up the background color of the clay as well, adding some gold and bronze.  

I started knotting around a center ring and let the cord fan out from that like ripples in the water.  I didn't have any pattern in mind when I started, I just let the micro macrame wander and flow around the beads.

Close up of micro macrame knotting by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame.

The necklace ended up with a unique keyhole shape which gives a hint of the exotic and the lavish beads and scalloped knots gives it an over-the-top, excess feel, like a mermaid dripping in jewels.  

Micro macrame necklace by Sherri Stokey with ceramic shell pendant by Firefly Design Studio

The sea shell pendant is actually drilled at the wider end, but I wanted to suspend it the other way around, so I added a bail to the narrower end of the shell.  That left me with a hole at the bottom to attach a ring full of beachy charms - a shell, some starfish beads and even a Vintaj seahorse.

Ceramic sea shell pendant by Firefly Design Studio

So?  Can you picture this on your friendly neighborhood mermaid?

Micro macrame necklace by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame.