February 13, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day!


Just popping by to say Happy Valentine's Day!  Yes, that's me.  I got a wild hair the other day and decided to curl my hair and put on some makeup.  Then I figured I'd better take a picture of it to prove that I really did it.  I'm doing well just to shower and get dressed by noon a lot of days and that's if you count sweats as "dressed".  I'm retired - it happens.

But back to the topic at hand:  I know it's a corny, made-up holiday, but when you're from Valentine, Nebraska, Valentine's Day is a big deal!  If you've missed my previous posts on the topic, you might want to check this post about Valentine because it really is a beautiful place.  

Sometimes I like to celebrate the season with a special Valentine's Day piece.  Here are a couple of the pieces I've done in the past:



This year I decided to make something with some tiny little heart shaped Czech glass beads I've had for ages and since I've been on a roll with mandala pendants...


Want a closer look?


I love the way the hearts are frosted and have one side puffier than the other.  I think it adds a lot of interest, don't you?


That's it; that's all I've got.  Happy knotting & Happy Valentine's Day!

February 7, 2018

Argus Cuff Micro Macrame Tutorial


Are you looking for a micro macrame project that is just a little more challenging?  If so, I've got just the thing for you:  my Argus Cuff.

This design was previously available only as an online class, but I've converted it to a downloadable .pdf file.  The instructions are step by step and I've included lots of closeup photos (over 50) like this one:


You'll want a good relationship with the double half hitch and some patience for this one because there are lots of cords and hundreds of knots, but it's worth it.


This tutorial is one of seventeen listed in my shop and there's something for knotters of every ability from beginner to more advanced.  You can find them all here.

Happy knotting!

February 5, 2018

Winter and Beaded Micro Macrame


 OK, I'm just gonna say it:  winter in Nebraska sucks unless you're a fan of cold wind and snow, which I am most definitely not.  I've been spending a good deal of time indoors lately (translate:  all my time) so I've had lots of chances to play with my cord and beads. 

Currently, I am in love with GemDuo beads.  They're diamond shaped and have two holes which I love for micro macrame because it keeps them from flipping over or turning around. The closeup above is from this cuff bracelet:


It's worked across instead of lengthwise like most micro macrame bracelets which allowed me to create this tiled pattern with the beads.  There's something about the rows of knots that just really appeals to me, too. (If you want to try your hand at a piece worked this way, there's a Leafy Cuff tutorial available in my Etsy shop.)  I also used the white beads in a mandala necklace design:


Don't they look fantastic?  


I did a tutorial for another bracelet using these beads that will be available through The Beadsmith (no definite word on the date yet).  It's this one:


As I look out the window, I can actually see the ice coating the driveway and the wind sounds absolutely awful.  Looks like I won't be going anywhere again today - I've stayed home so many days in a row my husband is starting to refer to me as "the recluse".  Then again, I'm not the one who fell out there this morning so it seems to me maybe one of us is just smarter, right?   If you're looking for me, I'll be downstairs with my feet up, probably watching something on BBC while I knot in front of the fireplace.  Ahhhhhhh....




January 29, 2018

Micro Macrame Mandala Necklaces



Color me excited, people!  I can finally share!  I'm extra super excited about this one because this is the bead that gave me back my mojo.  I don't know if you've noticed, but I've been in a major slump lately.  And by "lately" I mean more than six months.  Other things have been going on in my life and just sort of took the joy out of me.  It's like I've been extra appreciative of time I can spend with my family and friends, but there's just been nothing left when it came time to create something.  I've been going through the motions and doing a bit of designing for the Beadsmith but the passion just hasn't been there. And then this happened!


Steven (Beadsmith Biggie) called and asked if I could design something using a new super secret bead.  I said "sure" because I never say no to Steven (he's a really nice guy who sends me beads!) and because I kept hoping to find that spark again.  The beads arrived and they were pink.  Uh huh.  Well, more coral which is better than baby pink but still close enough to pink in my book to scare the bejezus out of me.  And then it was Christmas.  And then my family all came down with Influenza A.  And then my grandmother (she's 92) fell and broke her hip.  


When I finally managed to sit down to make something I was only one week away from my deadline.  The super secret beads are called Paisley Duos and are a really pretty paisley shape with two holes.  There's another paisley shaped bead on the market but you can't just flip it over to make the paisley shape curve the other direction like you can with this new bead.  I have always been a fan of paisley...


I tried really hard to find a design to really showcase the beads and I really wanted to show them going both directions but the harder I tried to force it, the more I disliked the outcome.  And then it came to me!  I wanted to try working them into a round mandala-like design.  


Finally!  A piece that felt like it was from my heart.  I am just a tiny bit disappointed that it seems to show off the Gem Duos (the white diamond shaped beads) a bit more than the Paisley Duos but I'm calling it a win.


And what's more, I've been loving my micro macrame time again.  I've tried several variations on this mandala design and each has been beautiful and unique (including the one I've already shown you in this post).  I'll show you them in more detail in my next few posts, but here's a peek at my micro macrame mandala necklaces: 


Look out world!  


January 24, 2018

New Stuff!


Ta da!  I finally get to show off one of my new micro macrame bracelet designs using new beads from the Beadsmith!  You don't know how hard it is for me to keep my mouth shut when I'm excited about something.  I swear, it's physical pain.  I'm not much of a "hold it in" kind of person; I'm more of a "wear it on my face" and "shout it from the rooftops" kinda gal.  Anyway, the sadistic folks over at the Beadsmith sent me these Baroque Cabochons back in November (yes, that's November) and then wouldn't let me share until now (I'm typing that in my best whiny, self-pitying voice). 


The Baroque Cab beads have two holes running parallel through them which makes them perfect for a design like this because they don't flip over when the bracelet is worn.  Oh, and I learned something, too.  I thought cabochons (cabs) were undrilled (no holes) but they are polished instead of faceted.  These are definitely not faceted - the surface is roughly dimpled which makes the backlit coloring in these appear very different in different light or with different colors.  The three bracelets in the photo above are all done with the very same beads, but they pick up some color from the cord.


The knotted sections between the beads look like tatting but they're actually done with macrame - lark's head knots.  I like how the empty space in the macrame sections mirrors the shape of the beads.  Something about that is just very satisfying.

Anyhow...  I still have another design I can't show you yet because I used super secret beads, but at least I got to get this one out there!  Whew!  That's a load off!  


I'll be back in a few days to unveil the other piece (I hope).  See you soon!  

PS.  Is it bragging and unbecoming to share with you that the Beadsmith used my bracelet design and my photo in their release for the new bead?  It really made my day when I opened their email and found this:  



January 16, 2018

Hello, World! It's Me!


Hi, there!  My name is Sherri and I make micro macrame jewelry.  I've (apparently) been on hiatus (for who knows what reason) the last couple of months.  There's been all sorts of excitement around here with the holidays and family and Influenza A and a broken hip (stop that!  Not my hip!).  There hasn't been as much macrame around here as I'd like, but I'm hoping to change all that!

You might remember that I'm a member of the Beadsmith Inspiration Squad?  They send me fun new beads and I make fun new pieces to show them off.  It's a sweet gig, I'm not gonna lie.  The only trouble is when I make something I'm dying to show off and I can't because the beads are so new they're "super secret". *sigh*  It's killing me.  I swear, my insides are drying up just a little.  Steven says they will be unveiling all the new stuff at the bead shows coming up in a week or so and then I'll be able to share.  I'll be here tapping my foot and "waiting" impatiently.

Meanshile, I did make one new piece I can share!


I'm so excited about this one I could wet myself (don't laugh, it happens)!  I love all the pattern and the texture and the symmetry makes my OCD soul happy.  Those white beads are GemDuos and I think they add a lot of interest to this piece.  Well, those and the daggers.  And the tiny gemstone beads to keep everything from being too "perfect".  

That's it for now.  I promised myself I didn't have to do an earth-shattering, life-changing post.  Sometimes it's baby steps.  Just know that I am still here!  


November 21, 2017

What I Did On My Summer-Not Summer Vacation


Okay, okay, I'll admit I haven't been the greatest about blogging lately.  Those of you who remember writing letters will remember the dilemma - I feel like I should write but I don't have anything really exciting to write about.  It's not that I'm not doing anything - I am!  I swear!  Proof:


Aren't those elephant buttons cool?  I'm on an elephant kick lately - even got one for my bedroom:


But I digress.  Besides the elephant bracelets (which are listed in my shop btw, if you're looking for a special gift for someone) and a stray dragon bracelet (also listed),  I've done several other "projects" like painting my not-niece's (not technically my niece, but she seems like one!) new (old) house.  Actually, my poor husband ended up doing most of the work since he runs the paint sprayer, but I was there every step of the way for emotional support and menial chores like keeping the paint bucket filled.  


 I also did random things like baking pine cones:


Which led to my oven conking out on me.  Well, it actually did the opposite of conking out (conking on?) because the bottom element came on full blast and would not shut off.  I had to kill the breaker to get it to stop.  It had nothing to do with the pine cones, really, other than they were what was in there (smoking!) at the time the thing went haywire.  For those of you just dying to know why I was baking pine cones, we wanted to put them on my daughter's Christmas tree and I'd read that you should soak them in a vinegar solution and then bake them on low for a bit to kill any critters that might have been living in them before you brought them indoors.  Anyway, I'm getting new appliances one at a time as the old ones die off, so I can't complain.

So, the tree!


Isn't it gorgeous!?!  We wanted a fuzzy, furry look and searched high and low for some sort of ribbon or garland and came up empty-handed.  After a lot of shopping, we found a table runner:


We pulled out the stitching and took the backing off, then measured off strips:


And cut it up to make the furry garland you see on the tree.  We're pretty proud of ourselves for that one.  It's exactly the soft look we were going for.  The pine cones got a coat of white paint and some "snow" on them to add to the white, lush look.  It's hard to see in the photo, but the "topper" is a mask that looks like it should be worn to the fanciest masquerade ball with glitter and crystal and feathers and draping ribbon.  Such a pretty tree.

So see, I have been busy!  And you know what else I did?  I got another class converted to a tutorial! 


The Drunkard's Path micro macrame bracelet tutorial has over 50 step by step photos and very clear instructions for all skill levels.  It helps if you have a knowledge of the basic macrame knots (like a double half hitch) but no worries if you don't.  There are videos here on my blog to show you how to do it!  

If this bracelet isn't the one that makes your heart beat a little quicker, you're still not out of luck.  There are fifteen other micro macrame tutorials to choose from!  Or heck, just go buy yourself something pretty that won't require any effort on your part.  You know you want to.  


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