March 10, 2017

Catching Up

You might be wondering what in the world would put a smile like that on my face.  So, here's the story:  my husband, Mark, retired after 30 years with the Nebraska State Patrol!  

That's him on the right looking pretty sober for some reason.  We had a big party in his honor and the Lt. Colonel came out to present him with this shadow box.  It contains mementos from his career including some of his badges from over the years, patches from his time on the SWAT team and license plates with his badge number on them.  The citation in the center outlines the commendations he was awarded over the years.  Also included are trading cards for each of his three K-9 partners from his time in the Police Service Dog Division.  He's had a great career and has always loved being a trooper so I think for him leaving was a bit bittersweet.  

Which brings us back to that smile on my face... in a show of solidarity, I retired on the same day Mark did!  Okay, so technically I retired almost 8 years ago (the post office was so eager to get rid of me they offered an early out LOL), but since I immediately went back to work, I don't really count that one.  This time I intend to stay retired.  I am excited to be able to spend more time on my micro macrame, traveling and teaching.  I already have some classes lined up around the Midwest (Omaha, Denver and Kansas City) - if you missed it, you can find those details here.  And hopefully that's only the beginning.

I have lots more to tell you - an upcoming blog hop, a whole bunch of bracelets I've finished, etc., but that will all have to wait for a day or two because Carter is on his way out and it's well known that I drop everything for my grandson.  I will leave you with a couple random photos.  The first is the chocolate torte I made for my daughter, Megan's birthday.  She turned 21 and I wanted to do something special for her, so it's a chocolate torte with raspberry filling and semisweet chocolate ganache decorated with toasted almonds and fresh raspberries.  Yes, it tasted as good as it looks!

The next picture is my family.  Mark and I are on the left, with our kids and Carter, then my parents and my brother and his family.  We don't get to spend nearly enough time together, so this photo means a lot to me.

And lastly, since this blog is supposed to be about micro macrame jewelry, my latest bracelet:

More soon!

February 17, 2017

Micro Macrame Classes Coming to a City Near You

Micro macrame class.

It's getting real, guys!  I'm retiring from my "day" job at the end of the month and my plan is to do more traveling and teach micro macrame classes (my idea of fun!).  I've got some classes already lined up:

Rocky Mountain Bead Society Bead Bazaar banner.

I'll be teaching my Micro Macrame Wrap Bracelet class and my Falling Leaves Bracelet class in Denver at the Rocky Mountain Bead Society's Bead Bazaar.  This year marks the 25th anniversary of this event and I'm thrilled to be a part of it.  If you've never been before and you have the opportunity, go!  They have an impressive array of vendors (makes my heart beat a little faster just thinking about all that loot) and classes ranging from bead weaving and bead embroidery to metal work and micro macrame.  Examples of the Wrap (on the left) and Falling Leaves (right) are shown below and class registration is open now (info here).

Micro macrame wrap bracelet class and Falling Leaves class by Sherri Stokey.

I'll also be teaching in Omaha and their Bead Affair in April.

Omaha Bead Affair banner.

The class selection in Omaha is exciting - they have a couple of beginners' lampwork classes that I'd love to take, along with enameling and fold forming and more.  I'll be teaching my Braids Micro Macrame Bracelet class.  It's suitable for beginners and works up pretty quickly (well, in micro macrame terms anyway) but also includes ending the piece with a split ring and clasp which I think really elevates macrame from the tie and slide closures.  Registration for the Omaha classes is also open and you can find all the information here

Braids in Micro Macrame bracelet class by Sherri Stokey.

 If neither of those work for you, I'll also be teaching in Kansas City at their Bead Blast.  They've scheduled the Micro Macrame Wrap Bracelet, Gypsy Earrings (on the left below) and Leaves Micro Macrame Bracelet (on the right below).  Registration just opened for the classes and information is available here.  

Gypsy earrings and Leaves micro macrame bracelet classes by Sherri Stokey.

It's an exciting time for me and I hope to get a chance to meet lots of you.  Even if you aren't taking one of my classes, if you're at one of these shows, I'll expect you to look me up and introduce yourself.  Hint:  I'll be the one looking happy to be retired and thrilled to be there!  Oh, and if you have suggestions for other places you'd like to see me teach, message me and we'll see what we can work out!  Hope to see you soon!

January 31, 2017

Leather Cabochon Component Reveal

Leather cabochon and peacock feather.

My friend, Lindsay Starr of Phantasm Creations, made the components for the January Component of the Month challenge over at the Art Elements blog.  She made cabs out of leather, then domed (using a wet molding technique she outlines here) and painted them.  I jumped at the chance when she offered to send me one so I could participate in her challenge and this is what she sent:

Leather cabochon and beads from Lindsay Starr.

I chose some colors of cord I thought might look good with the cab, as well as a few seed beads.  

Cabochon palette.

Then I started knotting.

Micro macrame bezel (back of).

This was my first attempt at a bezel and I cut it apart before I even got a photo of it on the cab.  Strike one.  I really hated the front of it, although I think the back side (shown) was pretty fun.  It came up too far on the front of the cab and the dark color really washed out the colors on the leather.  I went back to the drawing board and chose a cord color I never would have considered at first:  olive green.

Failed macrame bezel.

Strike two.  I didn't even finish this one.  Although I liked the color better, it was still covering up too much of the cab.  In desperation, I finally resorted to punching holes all around the edge of the leather and pulling my cord through it.  Boy, was that a lot of work and boy, was I wishing I'd had Lindsay do it when she offered (translated:  Linsday knows what she's doing with leather and I'm just muddling through).

Pierced leather cabochon with attached macrame.

On the plus side, though, I like this approach.  I added a few rows of knotting and a row of seed beads, then finished it off with some curly scallops.

Leather cab set in micro macrame.

All that was left to do was hang it from a knotted cord and add a dangle at the bottom:

Macrame necklace by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame.

Many thanks to Lindsay for her gift - I love a good challenge!  I hope you'll join me to see what everyone else did with their leather cabochons!

January 9, 2017

Random Ramblings

Micro macrame bracelet by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame.

The weather here has been both snowy and ridiculously cold the past week, so I've spent a lot of time indoors messing about with my macrame.  I tried a slight variation on the Gothic Tracery Micro Macrame Bracelet design.  Here's the original as a reminder:

Gothic Tracery Micro macrame bracelet by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame.

And here's the same bracelet with a slight variation:

Micro macrame bracelet design variation in khaki.

Isn't that fun?  I love the look of the second one on the wrist.  The variation adds a lot of interest.  

After that I went back to a simpler design:

Beaded macrame bracelet by Sherri Stokey.

I threw in some coconut heishi beads (the blue ones) for some fun texture.  Of course, that led to some other experimentation.  I didn't have any other coconut heishi beads small enough, so I had to go back to the glass seed beads, but I tried a light turquoise color in the mix instead of the blue (the one on the bottom in the next photo).

Beaded micro macrame bracelets from Knot Just Macrame.

And finally, I subbed out some other matte iris colors like a strange purple/olive green mix and some green/blue oddballs and came up with the top piece in that last photo.  I think it's my new favorite combination!  One more time:

Beaded micro macrame bracelet from Knot Just Macrame by Sherri Stokey.

Maybe I should have titled this post "And That's Why Nothing Else Got Done Around Here."  Stay warm!

January 4, 2017

Quick! (Enabler Alert)

Just a quick post today to share CraftArtEdu's latest sale.  You won't want to miss this one:  40% off all of their classes.  Yes, you read that right - 40% off all of the online classes at CraftArtEdu and you can get one or 100 at that price.  They have a great selection of classes covering all kinds of media, including micro macrame classes like the Falling Leaves Micro Macrame Bracelet in the photo above or this Ripples in Micro Macrame Bracelet:

There are lots to choose from, but you'll need to hurry.  This deal is only good through Friday (details here).  If you're anything like me, this time of winter is long and cold and I'm up for any kind of project to alleviate the boredom.  This is a great chance to try something fun!  Happy shopping!

December 29, 2016

A Brand New Micro Macrame Tutorial AND a Sale!

I am so excited to be rolling out a new micro macrame tutorial for you!  It's a new design that came to me one night as I was laying there un-sleeping (one my least favorite hobbies).  It's a grouping of four elliptical shapes (or horse eye or marquis shapes if you prefer) set inside diamonds outlined by parallel lines.  If you look carefully, two of the shapes meet to form an infinity link.  

When I was searching for a name for this one, someone (thanks, Linda!!) suggested the design resembled the intricate patterns found in Gothic windows.  Then someone else (thanks, Alison!) pointed out that Gothic tracery is the term for the stonework within the window arch.  I think "Gothic Tracery" is a perfectly lovely name for this pattern and so it shall be.  

Allow me to introduce my newest micro macrame tutorial:  Gothic Tracery!

This pattern uses mostly double half hitch knots with just a handful of larks heads.  The knots themselves aren't hard, but you have to keep track of which cords you're supposed to be working with as they're heading off in all directions, so I've rated this one as best for intermediate knotters.  I wouldn't recommend this for your first micro macrame project but once you've mastered the double half hitch, I'd say "go for it!".  

To make the news (of a new tutorial, silly!) a little sweeter, this tut and all the others in my Etsy shop are 30% off (no code needed) through 1/1/17.

Oh, and if you don't think you're ready for an intermediate project yet, there are plenty of others from which to choose!  You'll find them all here.  Happy knotting!

December 27, 2016

Micro Macrame Tutorial Sale

It has been a long time since I've had a sale, so for the next few days, all micro macrame tutorials in my shop are 30% off!  Yep - every one of them.  Learn how to make a braided macrame bracelet like this:

Or a beaded macrame bracelet like these"

Or a macrame owl pendant or earrings!  They're all on sale at 30% off through January 1, 2017.  (No code needed.)  You'll find them all right here in my Etsy shop.  Have fun!

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