Google+

Translate

April 20, 2014

Collaboration

Micro macrame cuff by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame with leather snap clasp by Melinda Orr.

Melinda Orr of Melinda Orr Designs makes the most awesome components for jewelry makers in addition to her jewelry designs.  She does some amazing things with metal (I've had my eye on these textured components with patina forever), and now she's branching out into leather.  I was looking for a clasp that would work for micro macrame and just look what she came up with:

Textured and colored leather snap clasp by Melinda Orr.

Is that great, or what!?!  She was even kind enough to send me a couple and I won't lie... I was as excited as a kid on Christmas morning when they arrived.  I took my color cues from the green foliage pattern in the leather and paired that with the spring vibes I've been feeling and came up with a lilac color scheme.

Sinuous curves in micro macrame with snap clasp

This pattern takes a long time to knot and adding a bead in the center of each of the shapes drug that out into eternity.  I do think it was worth it, though. 

Knotted micro macrame bracelet in olive and purple.

Even the back side of the bracelet is cool:

Reverse side of micro macrame cuff with beads.

If you would like to try your hand at this pattern, you can find a version of it in my Marquise Micro Macrame Cuff class on CraftArtEdu.com.  If you are interested in some of Melinda's components, you will want to check out her shop.   I'll show you the other things she sent to me, but you have to promise not to be jealous.  Promise?

Leather components by Melinda Orr of Melinda Orr Designs.

Those little circles?  Those are OWL EYES!!! How cool is that!  I can't wait to try them out in an owl design.  And I definitely will be ordering more clasps!

Micro macrame cuff by Sherri Stokey with leather snap clasp by Melinda Orr.

April 11, 2014

TWO New Micro Macrame Tutorials!

Marquise Micro Macrame Cuff by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

Yes, I know it's been over a week since I last posted, but in my defense, I have been busy.  I finished not one, but two new micro macrame tutorials!  I finally finished one for the bracelet in the photo above - the one I've been promising for a couple of months now.  I couldn't decide what to call it, because "Funny Little Pointed Elliptical Shapes Micro Macrame Bracelet Cuff"  just seemed to be missing something.  I finally figured out that those shapes look like a marquise cut stone and logically, if somewhat predictably, named the class "Marquise Micro Macrame Cuff".  It's a little more manageable.  I have included something like 110 still photos and 5 videos along with step by step instructions and narration.  No matter what method of instruction works best for you, it's in there!

Micro macrame bracelet collage by Knot Just macrame

To give you a little taste of my teaching style, here's an example of one of the videos showing how to mount the cords to get started on this design:


The Marquise bracelet is a bit of a challenge.  It only uses a couple of knots, but it takes some concentration to keep track of the cords and make sure you are working with the correct ones.  If you don't think you're ready for that, I also did an easier class:

Micro Macrame Stack Bracelet by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

The Micro Macrame Stack Bracelet Class is easy enough for beginners.  It looks like a stack of several bracelets, but it's really one easy-to-wear piece.  I love how the simplicity of the square knots really lets the colors take center stage.  The bracelet I made while taking photographs for the class was done in five graduating shades for an ombre effect, but you can vary the color scheme to fit your style.  Try springy pastels or a bright colorful rainbow or experiment with adding beads into the mix.  You can even substitute a different knot and make a bracelet like this:

Purple ombre shaded micro macrame

The nice folks over at CraftArtEdu.com are celebrating the release of my two new classes with a super duper sale through the weekend.  You can find the details here.  Happy knotting!

Micro macrame stack bracelet variations




April 1, 2014

Experimenting With Epoxy Clay

messy craft table

I have supplies stashed around my house for projects I really want to try.  Someday.  That darned loom is taunting me from the corner of the closet and the torch fired enamel supplies have clearly demonstrated their superiority over me.  The kumihimo disk, on the other hand, is just hanging out waiting patiently.  I like that in a craft supply - patience.  

At one point I decided I'd have to give polymer clay a whirl.  I mean, some of those talented folks make it look so darned easy, surely even I could make something passable.  Right?  So I rushed out and bought some clay paraphernalia (okay, mostly I rushed to my laptop and ordered it, but I will admit to taking some liberties in the name of good storytelling). While searching for all the things I had to have, I came across epoxy clay and thought I had to have some of that, too.  

Months passed and more months and more months and..  well, you get the picture.  I actually did get a package of polymer clay out at Christmas time intending to make an ornament to preserve my grandson's adorable little hand print for posterity, only to discover that it was hard.  Well, I guess it took the pressure off me to use it, huh?

Anyway, I got a wild hair the other day and decided to mess with the epoxy clay.  Apparently since it's packaged in two parts that have to be combined before it will harden and set properly, it has a longer shelf life than polymer?  I don't know that for a fact, but my epoxy stuff was fine.  I worked the two parts together, then rolled little pea-sized balls and pressed it into bezels.  To get a smoother surface and get rid of any fingerprints, I dipped my finger in a little water and rubbed it over the surface of the clay.  It seemed to work pretty well.

Bezels filled with epoxy clay

You might have noticed the rather impressive array of mineral powders in that first photo at the top of this post?  That was another little collection/obsession of mine - mineral makeup.  I don't know why I thought I needed to have every color under the sun, nor why I hung onto it for all these years.  Apparently it was just for this project.  I smeared it on the surface of the clay and did some rather impressive blending, too.

Bezels filled with epoxy clay with mineral powder added

I used some stamps I had laying around here to stamp a design into each of the little charms.  I didn't have too much trouble with the stamps sticking in the clay, and that might have been because of the mineral powder.  I even dug out my letter stamping set and stamped words into the clay on some of the pieces.

Stamping the clay

Stamped charm

Stamped charm

I really like the sheen and the subtle colors, but I was hell-bent on experimenting and using more of my craft supplies, so I busted out the Vintaj patinas.

Vintaj patinas

These I have used before.  I even used them to paint lucite flowers and wrote a little step by step you can find here.  I don't profess to be any kind of artist when it comes to painting, so I didn't attempt anything too complicated.  Mostly I just covered the charms in patina then wiped it off.  After that I hit the high points with a little sanding to reveal some of the clay color underneath.  I did get some nice results with that.

Epoxy clay charms stamped and antiqued with Vintaj patinas

All in all, I think the experimentation was pretty successful.  I probably should have taken pictures of some of the not-so-successful pieces, but hey, it's my blog.

March 30, 2014

Soup's On - Bead Soup, That Is!

Bead Soup from Marianna Boylan

Woohoo!!!  Check out the loot my Bead Soup partner, Marianna Boylan, sent to me!   There are pearls and dragons blood jasper and sparkling crystals and I love the little flower on the metal branch.  That ceramic mermaid pendant is by Gaea, and the lampwork was done by Marianna herself!  Let me get you a closer shot of the lampwork glass bead.

Lampwork bead by Marianna Boylan

Isn't that pretty!  See I told you she was talented.  Well I did!  You don't remember that part?  Really?  Go back to this post and reread it.  I'll wait here until you get back so I can say "I told you so".  And be sure to come back on May 3rd to see what I made with my soup!

March 25, 2014

The Winner of My Micro Macrame Owl Necklace is...

Micro macrame owl necklace by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

Andrea G!!!  Congratulations to Andrea for winning my micro macrame owl necklace and many thanks to all of you who took advantage of my birthday sale and made it a huge success!  Watch your mailbox, Andrea, as this little guy will be headed your way.


March 21, 2014

It's My Party But the Gifts Are For YOU!

Established in 1964

Yep, this is the big one, folks... the dreaded half-century mark.  I've spent more than a few minutes trying to figure out how the heck this happened.  I mean, sure, I knew I'd get old eventually.  I just didn't know it was going to happen quite so quickly.  Somehow the little sands in my hourglass started falling faster and faster and faster and then all of the sudden - POOF!  I'm fifty (pronounced "fiddy" to make it sound more hip and less old).  I'm still trying to process this whole development and decide just how to deal with it.  Part of me wants to go with this:

50

But mostly, this is how I feel:

Old on the outside

Either way, I guess I have no say in the matter.  It is what it is, so let's make the best of it!  PARTY!  Since I can't afford to fly you all here to celebrate with me, here's the alternative:  I'm having a sale.  Now, before you think "big deal, a sale...", stick with me for a minute.  In honor of my 50th birthday, it seems appropriate to have a 50% off sale on all the tutorials in my Etsy shop!  

50% off sale

Yep, that's half off any and all of the tutorials listed in my Etsy Shop, so if there are any you've had your eye on, this is your chance!  But this is a BIG birthday, so I think we need more sale...  How about a discount on top of that?  (By the way, you don't need a code for the 50% off tutorials - they are already marked down for you.)  I'm thinking we'll do an extra 10% off orders over $30 or 15% off orders over $50 (there's that number again!) or 20% off orders over $100!!!  Here are all the codes from which to choose:

Coupon codes

The small print (in regular size print, actually, because we 50-year-olds can't read that itty bitty stuff):  code must be entered at checkout to receive the discount, not applicable to previous orders, codes expire at midnight on 3/24/2014.

Now back to the PARTY!  What's a party without a gift?  I think we should have a giveaway gift, so here it is:

Micro macrame owl necklace by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

This little guy is about 4.25" from the top of his head to the bottom of the tail (tassel?).  I knotted him in nylon bead cord in a light and a dark purple and chartreuse green for some fun.  He's got tagua nut beads for eyes and a sweet little rice pearl for a beak.  The length of the necklace is 16.5" (not including the owl pendant) and the lobster clasp is sterling silver.  Want another look?

Micro macrame owl necklace Giveaway

Yes, folks, this handy-dandy, super-duper, one of a kind (so far at least), original design from Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame micro macrame owl necklace is going to belong to one of you when this party is finished.  And you don't even have to stay and help clean up to win him.  Just enter with the widget below and when March 26th rolls around, I'll pick one lucky winner.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


March 17, 2014

My Partner for the 8th Annual Bead Soup Blog Party

I don't know if you know this, but Lori Anderson hosts the party of the year for jewelry designers/bloggers - the Bead Soup Blog Party.  Seriously.  I'd been following her parties before I started this blog and was always so envious because it looked like everyone was having so much fun.  Once I'd started this blog, the first thing I did was to sign up for her next part and I haven't missed one since.  

My partner this year is Marianna Boylan of Star Girl Jewelry.  She says she does some wire work and some polymer work and a "whole lot of glass".  I did a little stalking and boy, does she make some pretty things.  She gave me permission to swipe a couple photos to share with you, so feast your eyes on these:

Lampwork beads by Marianna Boylan

And you know how I am about beach things, so you can guess how I feel about this set:

Beach Lampwork beads by Marianna Boylan

Then I found this clasp and thought I'd died and gone to heaven.

Lampwork toggle clasp by Marianna Boylan

You can find more of her work in her Etsy shop, too.  So what kind of bead "soup" does one send to someone as multi-talented as Marianna.  Good question.  We chatted for a bit and when she mentioned she loves owls, I knew I had the perfect thing. 

Bead Soup for the 8th Annual Bead Soup Blog Party hosted by Lori Anderson

The ceramic owl is from SuzieQBeads and I thought it would make a great focal for Marianna.  I added a couple of choices for the clasp - an over-sized brass lobster clasp and a flame painted copper toggle from OregonMadeJewelry.  Then I filled out the soup with an eclectic assortment of beads with everything from Swarovski crystals and pearls to Czech glass and gemstones.  And, of course, everything is in shades of teal and turquoise with bits of tan and caramel because those are my very favorite colors.  This is a soup I would send my very best friend.  Heck, it's a soup I'd love to keep myself!

And remember that first micro macrame owl I made and said it was a gift?  I made it for Marianna.

Bead Soup with ceramic owl and micro macrame owl from Sherri Stokey

My soup from her should be arriving any day now, and the mail carrier will probably get sick of seeing me at the mailbox until then.  I can't wait to see what she sent and I can't wait to see what she makes from the soup I sent to her.  The big reveal for the Bead Soup Blog Party is May 3rd, 2014, so mark your calendars.  If you want to know more about the party, Lori has all the details.

If you just can't stand it and you need something to tide you over until the reveal, you can review last year's party. I was paired with the uber talented Julie Cannon of Studio Juls  and you can see what I did with her gorgeous lampwork beads and the rest of what she sent me here.