June 23, 2015

Another Variation and A Contest!

Micro macrame by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame.

You know how much I love to play around with variations on a theme, whether it's changing a cord color, changing out beads, or modifying a pattern.  I just finished up this pretty bracelet in soft seaside colors and it's just a slight variation of my Leaves Micro Macrame Bracelet pattern.   
 
Micro macrame Leaves Pattern by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame.

I started out trying every possible color in a solid colorway in this pattern and then I needed more.   I always feel like I need to take it just a little bit further and I'm fascinated with multiple cord colors.  I never know exactly where the colors will end up until I've tested it out, so it's like opening a little gift every time.  For this new bracelet, I twisted together two different colors of cord and hid that in the center row of beads to get a different color on each end of the piece.  Clever, huh?  I also switched up the rows of beads in the center of the bracelet.
 
Micro macrame bracelet by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame.

I've experimented with shading and ombre:

Micro macrame bracelets with color shading by Knot Just Macrame.


I tried a duplex color mix on opposite sides of the bracelet instead of opposite ends:

Duplex color micro macrame bracelet.

Tuxedo color micro macrame bracelet.

You are really only limited by your imagination, even if you're working with the same basic pattern. Ms. Nadja Shields of Imbali Crafts has the same fascination with variations.  She recently worked with my Hydrangeas pattern and did a little tweaking of her own.  She changed up the closure with a loop and button and also added another row of knotting between the sections:

Hydrangeas micro macrame bracelet variation by Nadja Shields of Imbali Crafts.

Isn't that lovely?  She had such fun with it, she is sponsoring a little competition.  The challenge is to take the Hydrangeas pattern and add your own twist.   You could add beads where there aren't any or add knots instead of beads.  Maybe you could add a tie closure a sliding one.  Whatever variation you can dream up.  When you've finished it up, head over to this page to enter your creation.  You have until July 20, 2015, when she will be announcing the winner.  And the best part?  You can win any four of Nadja's micro macrame tutorials - you get to choose!

Macrame contest challenge.

Are you still here?  I thought you'd be busy working on your entry by now!  :)


June 16, 2015

Serenity

Macrame necklace with art beads.

I'm a compulsive buyer, I'll admit it.  I see something beautiful and it's not enough to admire it; I want to possess it.  I want to be able to touch it and feel the texture and admire the colors close up.  This polymer clay lotus pendant from Staci Louise Originals was one of those pieces I had to own.  I was powerless to resist.  I'm always a sucker for a lotus motif and the shading she did on this one... ooooohhhhh, the color!

Micro macrame necklace strap by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame.
 
For the macrame strap on this one I used a slight variation of my new Peacock Bracelet Tutorial (I just switched up the beads a bit and started with longer cords.)  I also used some of the new semi-glazed seed beads from Toho:

Semi glazed toho seed beads.

The colors of these beads are really soft with a little color variation to them, which plays well with Staci's pendant.  To finish off the pendant, I added a faceted polymer clay bead from Barbara Bechtel and a copper leaf headpin from Kristi Bowman Design.  I think the combination is something pretty special (then again, I may be slightly biased).

 Lotus necklace by Sherri Stokey.
Micro macrame lotus necklace from Knot Just Macrame.

June 10, 2015

I'm Still Here!

Beach theme free form micro macrame doodle necklace by Sherri Stokey

It's not that I've forgotten you, I promise.  It's been quiet around here because I've been busy clearing up a few projects and orders.  I finished the little free form macrame doodle above for a customer who likes to hang her glasses on her necklace (isn't that a clever idea?).

Hydrangeas micro macrame bracelets from Knot Just Macrame.

I also finished up an order for a customer who is going to surprise each of her sisters with a micro macrame bracelet at their upcoming family reunion and made one more bracelet in the daisy color palette (you can find the color palette and other pieces in this post).

Marquis micro macrame cuff in daisy color palette.

I finally put together a few kits for my Etsy shop and I'm "auditioning" some new backgrounds for my photographs.  All good stuff, just not really all that exciting for a blog post.  I'm still here, though.  I haven't forgotten you, I promise!  I'll be back soon with the finalists for the new backgrounds - you can help me choose :)
 

June 1, 2015

Daisies in Micro Macrame: A Color Challenge Reveal

Dry Gulch Beads & Jewelry Color Design Challenge for May
 
Dry Gulch Beads sponsors a monthly color challenge to inspire creativity.  As long as it is newly made specifically for the challenge, anything goes:  jewelry, clothing, paintings - even cupcakes!  This month's color palette (from Design Seeds) speaks to me.  I'm not sure if it is the daisies (love them) or the color palette (notice the teal and turquoise), but I adore it.

Beads and cord in the daisy color palette.

These are the beads and focal pieces from my stash that I thought might work.  (Can you name any of the artists?)  I just finished up a new micro macrame (microme!!) bracelet tutorial last week (Peacock) and I haven't had time to try out every color combination under the sun yet.  Heck, I haven't even tried all of the color combinations rattling around in my head for it yet.  So this color challenge seemed like as good a place as any to start.
 
Micro macrame bracelet by Sherri Stokey.

The first bracelet I made used all of colors from the palette - four colors of cord and coordinating glass seed beads.  I really wasn't sure what look I would get with the different colors and the contrast between them, so I just sort of put the colors in an order I liked and took off from there.  Color placement in macrame is a little different than stringing or bead weaving, etc.  The cord colors meander through the design in a pattern determined by the knots.  I have had enough practice now that I can make the colors do what I want a little bit, but it's still not an exact science.  The cords will go where the cords want to go (that's my story, anyway).  
 
When creating a piece like this, it's always an adventure for me (yes, I'm really that weird).  Once I had the knotting underway, I noticed an actual daisy shape emerging.  I hadn't really intended to do a literal daisy pattern; I'd just planned on using the color palette.  But heck, since I was this close, might as well push it.  I went back to the drawing board and took another run at it.

Micro macrame bracelet by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame.

In this piece, the round daisy shape is more complete, but this time my petal to daisy center ratio is off.  I told you it was a bit of trial and error!  Third time's a charm, though.  Right?  I figured I needed to fix the ratio and then I had a brilliant thought about "petals".  I replaced the outer row of beads with Magatamas and got this:

Daisy micro macrame bracelet from Knot Just Macrame.

Huh.  Interesting!  So there you have it:  my three daisy palette bracelets.  I think I'm still partial to the first one - something about the color placement in that one appeals to me.  The third one probably most closely captures the photo and the color palette.  It's hard to choose.  They're all my babies :)  And they're all perfect for summer!

Three micro macrame bracelets in daisy color palette.

Dry Gulch Beads has a page set up for all of the challenge pieces here.  I'm off to see how this palette inspired others!


May 25, 2015

Peacock Bracelet - A New Micro Macrame Tutorial


Micro Macrame Tutorial for Peacock Bracelet by Knot Just Macrame

A brand new micro macrame tutorial hit my Etsy shop today - a bracelet I'm calling Peacock.  I don't know if I'm always making "eye" motifs or if I just see eyes everywhere, but that's what I see in this bracelet.  Between that and the colors, Peacock seemed a good fit.  Skipping Stones was also in the running.  Doesn't it sort of look like this?

skipping stones

No matter what you want to call it, I'm calling it "finished"!  I always want to put out the best tutorial I can.  I want a person who isn't familiar with micro macrame to be able to be successful following on of my tuts, so I include lots of detail.  This one is 23 pages and includes over 60 photos.  I set the bar pretty high for myself, so when I get one to the point where I feel like it's ready for you guys to see, it's a big deal!  

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

This pattern is fun and has loads of potential for color manipulation.  I used four different colors of cord and three colors of seed beads (and all the details are included in the tutorial - even the bead color numbers for this version).  I'm too lazy to do the math, but I do know that leaves you LOTS of color combinations to explore.

Peacock micro macrame bracelet in teal, olive and turquoise by Sherri Stokey.

I've got a couple of color ideas in mind, so I'm off to experiment.  If you decide to do the same, this link will take you to my Peacock Bracelet tutorial.  And be sure to stop by my Facebook page and show me what you made!



May 23, 2015

My Dirty Little Secret

My family room a.k.a. my craft space.

At first glance, our "family room" looks like any other family room.  Not perfect, but not a huge mess.  I could have straightened out the pillows and folded up my blanket before I snapped the photo and it would be fine.  But underneath this calm exterior... I'm hiding a dirty little secret.  I have beading supplies stashed everywhere!  They're here under the TV:

Bead storage.

And here:

My end table.

And here:

My storage space a.k.a. furnace closet.

This is my craft storage.  It's really the furnace closet, but I needed somewhere to stash my stuff and the space wasn't being used for anything else.  It started off with just a big tub in there with my bags of beads all in together.  As my stash grew, it became a couple containers with little bags of beads sorted into bigger bags by color.  After I outgrew that system, my darling husband (who is a clean freak who probably wishes I shared even a little of that philosophy) built some shelves there on the left hand wall for me.

Beads and cord on shelves.

I sorted all the beads by color and I keep them in containers on my shelves.  As you can see, I've been switching over from the cheap and abundant ice cream buckets (dear husband is also an ice cream lover) to a slightly more sophisticated system of clear boxes.  My cord is on the top there, also sorted by color and size.  Sort of.  And this is all fine and dandy until I drag some things out for a challenge and a few more things for a custom order and then a few more things for another project.  Pretty soon, every horizontal surface is covered with beads and cord and partially finished projects.

Every once in a while we are expecting company (or dear husband just can't handle the mess any more) and I have to clean off the surfaces.  That mostly means sweeping everything off into the nearest box - usually the one in which my newest acquisitions arrived.  Then the box gets shoved into the closet on the floor.  Eventually there are several layers of boxes.  Interspersed with photography props, macrame boards and random lengths of cord I've saved from other projects (I'm going to use those up for earrings.  Probably.  Some day.).

A mess.  A big, fat mess.

Before I know it, I have a great big mess.  I was looking back through some photos the other day and came across this one from three years ago.

Back in the day.

Just look how much neater everything was!  (We won't mention how much less stuff I had.)  I always have good intentions.  Really, I do.  Every once in a while I get really motivated and sort through all the boxes (usually when I can't find something I want) and put everything back in its place.  And I start all over.  Until then... it's a closet and I can shut the door and pretend it's not a pile just waiting to come tumbling out in a gloriously shiny, stringy mess.

A closed door. Nothing to see here.

So there you have it.  My dirty little secret:  I am a closet slob.  Literally.



May 19, 2015

A New Dragon

Dragon bracelet by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

A customer asked me if I could make a dragon bracelet in the colors of sand and beach and surf and this is what I concocted.  I mixed a sandy tan in with some turquoise and deep marine blue (the sparkling crests of waves and the deep troughs of color), added some sky blue and a little touch of the white of a couple fluffy clouds.  Stirred them all together into a kaleidoscope of color and pattern, and came up with this:

Dragon bracelet in teal, turquise, blue and khaki by Knot Just Macrame

I am so drawn to these colors, I think I will take it a bit further and see what else pops.  Speaking of popping, which do you think works better in the photo:  a patterned background like the photo above or a plain one like below?

Dragon bracelet in teal, turquoise, blue and khaki by Sherri Stokey

The general consensus in some of the groups I belong to has been a plain, neutral background.  My eye is more drawn to the patterned photo, though.  Opinions?