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July 22, 2014

Enjoying Summer

summer in the grass

Ahhh...I've been relaxing and destressing and enjoying summer.  And smiling so hard you should be able to hear it.

summer in the grass

summer in the grass

The only thing more magical than summer is summer through the eyes of a child.

childish wonder

July 14, 2014

Falling Leaves: A New Micro Macrame Bracelet Class

Falling Leaves Micro Macrame Bracelet by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame.

I've been working on this micro macrame pattern for quite a while now, trying to get it just right and I think I finally nailed it.  This design reminds me of leaves falling from the trees in autumn, so I'm calling it (what else?) Falling Leaves Micro Macrame Bracelet.  

  I can imagine this bracelet done in every combination of earthy browns, olive greens, rusty oranges and reds, and pops of Aspen yellow.  You know me, though - I tried to use green and orange and it just didn't feel right.  So here you have, Autumn ala Sherri Stokey :)

The pattern is a fun one.  I used a different way of adding cords than my "usual" (whatever that is!) and a method of gathering and dropping cords to increase and decrease the width of the knotting and form the leaf shape.  The leaves even cup just a little, which I really like.

For the class, I made the version you see above with two solid colors of leaves alternating with striped leaves.  From there it's easy to back down into just the two solid colors alternating:

Falling Leaves knotted macrame bracelets by Sherri Stokey.

Or a single solid color:

Falling Leaves micro macrame bracelet - pattern by Sherri Stokey.

I cover how to make both of those variations in the class also, so you'll have loads of options.  I do show how to tie the knots in the class, but some macrame experience would definitely be preferable.  The class has 6 videos and over 60 still photos with written instructions as well as narration.  Once you purchase the class, you have unlimited access to it, so you can watch it as many times as you like, and you can pause and replay anything you like.  You can also print the handout, which is made up of screenshots of the entire class.  

You will find this class, along with my other online classes, at CraftArtEdu.com.  I know I've said it before, but I haven't chanced my mind - the folks at CraftArtEdu.com are the best.  They have a money back guarantee.  If you aren't satisfied, they will give you your money back.  Period.  If you have questions, you will get a response from a real live person.  I'm proud to be associated with them.  

To celebrate my new class, the fine folks over there have an introductory price through Friday (July 18, 2014).  And just to make it extra special festive, they've put all of my other classes on sale, too - up to 33% off!!!  You can see all of the classes and the prices here.

Variations for Falling Leaves Micro Macrame Bracelet Class by Sherri Stokey.

If you take the class, be sure to stop back by and let me know how you liked it!


July 9, 2014

Summertime

Summer fun.

Nothing beats summertime in my book, except maybe family time in the summertime!  My grandson, Carter, is 18 months now and just the right age for exploring all the good things that go along with the warm weather.  This is his father teaching him how to use the sprayer, and in case you don't figure it out from the angle of this photo, I was the target.

 He also likes to go swimming in his little pool.

At the pool.

It's even more fun when his best friend goes in the pool with him.

Besties.

So in case anyone misses me or I'm a day or two late on a project, just know I'm off enjoying the good things in life!  His laughter makes my heart swell.




July 3, 2014

A Walk on the Beach: My Micro Macrame Vacation

Beach and ocean themed micro macrame wrap bracelet by Sherri Stokey.

An island vacation isn't in the cards for me this year, but a girl can dream.  My dreams tend to manifest in my micro macrame jewelry pieces even when I don't specifically set out to design that way.  I choose components that appeal to me (these are by Heather Powers of Humblebeads) and colors to suit my mood and before I know it, I'm meandering down a sandy beach in a place where soft waves lap at the shore...


I spy a few starfish and a crab skitters across my path as the palms sway gently in the breeze.


Are you there with me?  Can you feel the warm sun on your face?

Starfish beach themed micro macrame wrap bracelet by Knot Just Macrame.

Starfish beach themed knotted micro macrame wrap bracelet by Knot Just Macrame.

I had fun with this micro macrame wrap bracelet, experimenting with some different knotting techniques.  I used two different colors in the half knot sinnet in the center and worked on perfecting the leafy, shell-like pattern I've been playing with at the top.  I'm still working on making smooth knotted curves in the bottom piece, but I'm getting better.  And I didn't set out to make these earrings matchy match, but things happen...

Starfish micro macrame earrings.



June 22, 2014

Macrame Owls and Bulahan Beads: A Match Made in Heaven


Micro macrame owl pendant with salwag seed, buri seed, and glass beads.

Antelope Beads is having a contest I just couldn't pass up.  Their challenge was simply to use at least three Bulahan Beads in a jewelry design.  Given the range of beads choose from, including different types of wood, seed, bone, horn & hoof, I thought it sounded pretty fun.  If you follow my ramblings at all, you probably know I've been on an owl jag here lately, so I thought to myself, "Sherri, why don't you try mixing the Bulahan beads with an owl design!"  Sometimes I do that, you know - talk to myself, I mean.  Don't tell anybody.

Bulahan beads including buri and salwag seed.

I ordered a selection of fun beads to inspire me.  The flowers are Salwag seed, as are the round beads.  The ones with the white surface showing are Buri seed.  I decided to use the flower shaped ones for some owly eyes and then mix all of the shapes in the necklace strap.  For the owl, I used cord in  turquoise and teal as well as white and brown.

Micro macrame owl pendant necklace by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame.

I used a few Czech glass beads and some crystals in with the natural beads for the necklace, then added a toggle clasp I made myself.  See those rings on the end of the strands in the photo of the beads?  I used one of them for the ring part of the clasp and made a toggle bar with a piece of wire.  (I'm feeling pretty clever about that one!)  I really like the way this necklace turned out, but I was afraid the busy owl sort of stole the attention away from the Bulahan beads, so I made a second necklace.

Micro macrame owl pendant necklace by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame.

This one really pops!  The bright blue cord and glass beads really glow when paired with the natural browns of the seed beads and the solid color body seems to show off the knotting more.  He looks like he has on a knitted sweater, don't you think?

Macrame owl necklaces with natural and glass beads, designed by Sherri Stokey.

I think they are both fun necklaces!  I ended up submitting the solid blue one for the Bulahan Beads Design Contest since I think it shows off those beads a little more.  If you'd like to vote in the contest, Antelope Beads has a photo album here.  They're asking that you look through all of the designs in the album and pick your top three, then leave a comment here with the letters of your top three before midnight on Wednesday, June 25th.  If you share the album, you will have a chance at a $50 shopping spree at Antelope Beads, too!

June 16, 2014

How to Make an Easy Knotted Necklace

Micro macrame owl pendant necklace by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

I might as well admit it - I'm a hippie at heart.  Not the kind that doesn't shave her underarms and showers infrequently, thank you very much, but the kind that appreciates a macrame owl and peace sign necklace.  Case in point:  this necklace.  I knotted the micro macrame owl in olive green cord with Tagua nut coin beads for eyes (eco-friendly!) and then I added an eclectic selection of beads to the necklace. 

Pease and Love hippie necklace with peace sign and wooden flowers.

Note the groovy peace sign and the mod carved wood beads.  There are some unakite rounds in there, as well as glass, artisan lamp work, and even a little brass bird.  And the clasp has a heart on it because we hippies are all about brotherly (sisterly?) love.

Light green micro macrame owl pendant necklace by Sherri Stokey

I made this owl when I was fiddling with the Micro Macrame Owl Pendant Tutorial, so I thought I'd make up a necklace for him, too.  He's done in light sage green cord with Czech coin beads eyes and I added an eclectic assortment of beads including two by Barbara Bechtel of Second Surf, a Bali style bead, some jade ribbed tubes, a pre-WWI Japanese glass diamond, a vintage ceramic tube, Czech glass and more.
 
Eclectic assortment of beads including polymer, ceramic and stone.
 
Want to make your own knotted necklace?  Once you have your owl pendant (tutorial is available here), it's really simple to make this type of necklace.  Here's how:  take a good length of cord (I start with probably 4 foot), fold it in half and attach it to the split ring on the owl using a larks head knot (or use an overhand knot if you prefer).  Add your chosen beads by sliding them onto one cord or both (usually depends on how large the hole in the bead is - sometimes only one will fit), and tie an overhand knot after each bead.  Mix it up a little - add two beads together here and there if you like.  No rules (you know how I hate rules!).  When you get the length you want, add the clasp of your choice, securing it with an overhand knot.  Super simple.  Add a dab of glue to the knot and trim the excess cord.  Leave a couple inches if you like.  You can also add a few random seed beads on the cord ends.  Repeat with another cord through the other split ring.  Done! 
 
 
And yes, you could make this style of knotted necklace without the macrame owl - but why?



June 11, 2014

New Micro Macrame Tutorial: A Retro Owl Pendant

Micro macrame owl tutorial by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

Yay!  Do the happy dance, folks (or maybe the Hustle would be more appropriate!), I finally finished a tutorial for the retro 1970's macrame owl pendant.  I've included a materials list and 64 photos in 23 pages of step by step instructions.

I don't include instructions for the actual knots in the tutorial, but you can find those all here on my blog.  Just to make sure I have them all covered, here's one to get you started.  The Square Knot:


There is a whole post on different ways to make the larks head knot here and the double half hitch is covered in this post.  And those three knots should get you through this tutorial.  

This isn't a hard pattern, but it does have a couple of more "advanced" maneuvers that might not be the best for someone who hadn't ever tried micro macrame.  If you fall into that category, you might want to start with something a little easier like the Micro Macrame Braids Bracelet.  And don't forget, there's a free class at CraftArtEdu.com that covers the basics like tools and materials, as well as a whole selection of classes for you including bracelets, earrings, a watch and a necklace!

But back to the owls.  Aren't they adorable?  That's a whole rainbow of them up there!

Retro macrame owls, a throwback to the 1970's!

Once you finish your pendant, you can add it to any kind of necklace you prefer.  I could see these on a simple chain, or a knotted macrame spiral cord.  Or, you could take some matching cord and a handful of assorted beads and make something like this:

Micro macrame owl necklace by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

If you haven't tried micro macrame yet, what are you waiting for?