May 17, 2017

Where, Oh Where, Has Sherri Been? aka: An Apology Sale


Okay, I'll admit I've been a bit absent lately.  It's been a busy couple of months and I swear I haven't just been sitting around watching tv and stuffing my face.  (Notice I didn't say I hadn't been doing that, I just said I haven't only been doing that.)  It's been crazy with family things that needed my attention and graduations and weddings on top of teaching micro macrame classes in three different states.  Things have calmed down a little for now, though (insert big sigh of relief here).  

Today I finally started unpacking my bag that I took along to classes and putting things away.  That involved checking to make sure what I have listed in my Etsy shop is actually on hand and what I have on hand is actually listed in my Etsy shop.  OMG I have a problem!  Too much stuff!  So many bracelets (we all know I have a weakness for bracelets, right?).  I have 71 different micro macrame bracelets listed right now and I found another five or so that I haven't even photographed!  Yikes!

In an effort to clear some of this stuff to make room for new pieces and as an apology for being awful scarce lately, I've activated some coupon codes:  

If you spend $20 or more, use code MayCrazy to get 10% off your total order.

If you spend $75 or more, you can use code MayCrazier to get 15% off your total... and

If you spend $100 or more, coupon code MayCraziest will get you 20% off.

Those codes will work on everything in my shop right now, which includes all of my micro macrame tutorials and materials kits in addition to all finished jewelry (did I mention there are 71 different bracelets?).  You'll find everything at KnotJustMacrame.etsy.com.  

So, go.  Go shop.  Go shop now (please?).

April 18, 2017

Housework


Hi!  I know, I know, now that I'm retired you would think I'd have all the time in the world to update this blog and here I am posting less often!  I'm not sitting around being idle, I swear!  My son bought his first house last month and we've been busy updating there.  If you're here for the micro macrame jewelry, you'll want to fast forward through this post, but here's what I've been up to.


The house he bought was built in 1955 and is in beautiful condition overall, just dated and a little dreary.  When you walked in the front door, the first thing right in front was this divider wall.  Part of me hated to take it out just because it was in such good shape, but it really was right in your face first thing and just felt wrong.  The first project was to get rid of it.


Poor Mark (my husband) really had to work to get rid of it.  The top header was actually tied into the rafters!  Note the built-in next to it, though.  It (and several others throughout the house) is in perfect condition.


See what I mean about dated and just kind of dreary?  This is the rest of the living room before.  The carpet was really nice in its day, but that was a couple days ago.  


This is the view from the front door after.  No wall in your face!  New carpet and new paint everywhere and it feels so nice now.


He's making do with the furniture he had for the most part, but I think it works.  


The hallway before.  We were going to take out the telephone nook just because it has no real use now, but in the end we kept it.


The hallway after new carpet and paint.  The built-in is great storage and is in great shape.


The bathroom is small but functional.  It has a TON of built-in storage.  We just did a little facelift on the space, removing the wallpaper and updating the window coverings.


My son loves color, so we added a bright shower curtain for him.  


One of my son's favorite upgrades was raising the shower head a few inches so he can get under it to shower!  I'm not sure why it was so low in the first place, but at least it was an easy fix.


The master bedroom before had carpet and a wallpaper border.  The ceiling fan was dated, too (who knew ceiling fans could be dated).  It had stenciled gold and painted flowers on the blades and scalloped glass pieces.  The blinds were saggy and sad.  All easy fixes, though.


We were so lucky when we pulled up the carpet in all three bedrooms.  The original hardwood floors were in great shape.  I pulled staples for two days and touched up the stain, but other than that, some restorer did the trick without having to sand the floors and completely refinish.


Carter even got in on the work, helping Grandpa Stokey put in the quarter round around the wood floors.


Can you believe how pretty that wood is?  And to think it's been hidden under that carpet for years!


You might be wondering what that first photo in this post was?  I did a couple canvas pieces for the master bedroom.  Nick picked a beautiful teal for that room which looks beautiful with the gray and white we've used throughout the house.  I stenciled a couple canvases in those colors that sort of bring the room together.


We haven't finished Carter's room yet because he wants bunk beds that will need to be purchased.  He's pretty happy already, though, with the big vinyl dirt bike on his wall!

We still have a few projects we want to do. I'm stripping out the sealer between the floor tiles in the kitchen and mudroom because it's discolored over the years and makes the floors look dirty even when they're clean.  And you know what's weird?  I'm enjoying it!  I love seeing this house come back to life.  So if you're looking for me, I'm probably over there scooting around the floor. 🙂

March 25, 2017

Bead Soup Blog Party Reveal - Bead Hoarders Edition


It's finally here!  I've been dying to show you this piece for some time now and had to keep it a big secret until today!  The lovely Lori McDaniel Anderson is once again hosting a Bead Soup blog party and this time it's the Hoarders Edition (which is pretty appropriate for me).  I was paired up with Amy Severino who sent me a beautiful fused glass pendant (by Jody Peterson) she'd been hoarding along with a pretty selection of beads:


Amy said she'd had this pendant in her stash for almost seven years and had looked at it hundreds of times with grand intentions but the piece just never made it to her beading table.  She said she was a little sad to part with it, but she's a big fan of Lori's swaps and hops so in the spirit of the party she sent it.  I'm sure hoping she likes what I did with her treasure.  


I'm really not sure why the pendant read "spring flower" to me - maybe it was the sparks of pink and green in the glass.  You know macrame is my thing, but to be a little daring I tried a sort of 3-D flower, then attached it to a ring to hold the pendant.  It seemed to be missing something, so I added some macrame leaves (with the sparkly little beads down the centers) and presto!


This necklace is definitely out of my comfort zone, but I'm really pleased with how it turned out.  Many thanks to Amy for the pendant and inspiration and to Lori for hosting these inspirational hops that bring so many artists together.  Here's a peek at what I sent to Amy:


Amy's blog is at Amybeads - I can't wait to see what she did with the cute little Marla James owl I sent to her.  I've loved this little guy for ages but just haven't ever found the right project for him.

I hope you'll join me to see what everyone else has made.  Lori will have the list of participants up here.  Happy hopping!!


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!

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