December 29, 2013

We Now Return to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

Carter and Grandpa assembling a toy

So, I've been neglectful of my blogging for a few days, but I have a good excuse.  We were just carrying on, minding our own business last weekend when life decided to throw us a curve ball.  

Nick and Carter assembling a Christmas present

Last Saturday we were having family out to celebrate Christmas a few days early to accommodate everyone's schedules.  We bought our grandson, Carter, a Little Tikes school bus with a slide because he's such a little daredevil and loves to climb.  I thought maybe if we gave him somewhere safe to climb, I could keep him from trying to climb on everything else (kitchen drawers, dishwasher, coffee tables).  My son, Nick, was doing his parental assembly duty and then suddenly starting having a seizure.  Nick is 21 years old and is the picture of health and let me tell you, this came from nowhere and slapped us right across the face.

We rushed him to the emergency room, but after scads of tests including CT scans and MRIs, doctors still couldn't tell us what was wrong.  All they could say is that our son was very, very ill.  They were guessing some form of meningitis since the scans didn't show any bleeding or tumors in the brain, and were warning us that his brain could have already sustained damage.  They put him on a ventilator and sedated him to try to stop the seizures.  I have never been so scared in my life.  

On the second day with no change and no answers in sight, my husband and I made the decision to move him to a bigger hospital with more resources.  That hospital is about 300 miles away, so they moved Nick by helicopter.  I won't bore you with all the details and minutia, but believe me, each minute he spent in the neurological critical care unit was an eternity.  I spent nights in the chair beside his bed and held his hand down when the sedation would start to wear off and he would try to pull the tube out of his throat.  My husband and daughter would try to get a few hours sleep at night and spend days in his room conferring with the teams of doctors caring for him.  

On Christmas Eve, we got the best present ever.  They were able to switch the ventilator over to where he was able to breathe for himself.  This may not look like much to you, but it was the happiest sight I'd had for days:

Breathing on his own

Breaths he was taking on his own.  What followed has been nothing short of miraculous to me.  The doctors let him start coming out of the sedation.  He was still very fuzzy and disorientated and trying to pull at the tubes and IVs and wires.  The doctors were trying to talk to him and reason with him, but he was having none of it.  I just kept thinking about the possibility of brain damage and worst case scenarios.  They asked me to talk to him and when I did, asked him if he heard his mom.  People, when he very slowly nodded his head just a little bit, I wept tears of joy.  He was responsive!!!  They were able to remove the breathing tube and stop the medications keeping him knocked out.

Nick in the CCU

He still had to spend another night in the critical care unit, but he was improving by leaps and bounds.  By Christmas day, they moved him to a regular room and let him take a shower.  By Thursday, we were able to bring him home.  He is healing and is doing so well.  

Yesterday, we decided to have our belated Christmas celebration for our family.  

Opening presents

Typical for his age, Carter spent more time playing with the boxes and paper than the new toys, but he was pretty fascinated with a Slinky.

Carter likes his Slinky

Carter and Aunt Megan

Nick still tires pretty easily, but that just puts his schedule in line with Carter's:

Tuckered out.

So forgive me, friends, for my absence here.  I am hugging my family a little tighter and treasuring even the mundane right now.  Life seems so fragile.  I just need to take a moment and regroup.  Hugs to all of you and I hope you are having a great holiday season.

December 16, 2013

Busy Busy Busy

Micro macrame bracelet in raku colors by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

I don't know about you, but I'm running myself ragged this month trying to keep up with everything.  Between work and family, decorating and shopping, I feel like there aren't enough hours in the day.  Macrame is my relaxation.  My "me" time.  I haven't been able to do as much as I'd like with all the other things, but I did manage to make a really pretty bracelet this weekend.  It's done in colors pulled from my "raku" color palette:

raku color palette in beads and cord

I've worked mostly with the colors found on the right side of this pile, so just to challenge myself a bit, I set out to work from the left side.  The colors there are more of the olive greens and the coppery golds and oranges.  I tried.  Really I did!  I finally had to add a bit of navy to get something to suit me:

Olive, orange and navy micro macrame work in progress

You wouldn't think it came from the same pile of beads, would you?  

If you missed the other pieces that rose from this mound, you can find those posts here and here and here.  And if you're looking for me, I'll be in the kitchen making candy and cookies and cheese balls for our family get-together this weekend!  

December 6, 2013

Lark's Head Knots - Macrame Knot Tutorial

Lark's head knot larks head knot micro macrame

This, my friends, is a lark's head knot.  I don't know why it's called that.  I did research it a bit out of idle curiosity and  from what I can see the knot itself has been around forever, referred to by names like "cow hitch" and "girth hitch" until some dude named Tom wrote a book in 1866 and dubbed it a lark's head.  You call it what you want, but I'm sticking with Tom and calling it a lark's head knot since that's what I've always called it.  This is one of those knots that can be made in several different ways, all resulting in a knot that looks like the picture above.  Think of it like using different shortcuts on your computer that all get you to the same place.

I did this video first because this is the version of the knot that seems to give folks the most difficulty.

This version is useful for finishing off the end of piecess, but be sure to put whatever you want on the split ring before you start knotting (clasp or extender chain).  I find it easiest to hold the piece in my hand since you need to be able to get to the underside of the split ring.  I hold the split ring in my left hand to do the knotting from left to right and I try to get the cords I am not working with (the ones on the left side of the piece) out of the way as best I can.  

Take the first knotting cord through the split ring from the top and through the loop in your cord and pull it snug for the first half of the knot.  This first knot can be tricky since it's sometimes hard to know where your loop is.  Just remember that the tail always goes behind - so if you're knotting from left to right, the tail of your cord needs to come out on the left side on that first half knot.  It's hard to describe, but if you get stuck, try to remember that the tail goes behind and it will help.  Hopefully.  

To make the second half of the knot, use the same knotting cord, but this time go through the split ring from the underside.  Then through the loop and tighten it up.  If you're knotting from right to left, hold the ring in your right hand.

Whew!  Now that you've got the hard version out of the way, let's try the easy one.  This one is great for mounting new cords and is easy.  Really easy.

See?  I told you it was easy.  But the two loose ends of your cord together and then find the resulting loop in the middle of your cord.  Put the cord down through the split ring, then tuck the two loose ends through that loop and tighten.  Bam!  Done.  Works around another cord instead of a ring, too, if you so desire.

And finally, another way to make the same knot.  This time around another cord in the middle of a piece.  Do it the same as around a split ring.  Over the cord and around, though the loop.  Tighten.  Then under the cord and around, through the loop.  Tighten.  Ta da.

If you're having all kinds of fun and want to try another knot, check out the Double Half Hitch Tutorial.

December 2, 2013

Twelve Days of Creativity, Day 1 Twelve Days of Creativity Day 1

The amazing Ms. Donna Kato and her team at have been working hard and are bringing us the Twelve Days of Creativity.  I'm tickled to say my new Spiral Micro Macrame class is being featured on Day 1!  And what exactly does that mean for you, you might ask?  Well, if you're interested in learning micro macrame, this class, and all of the others I've done for CraftArtEdu are available at a reduced price until Friday.  

I don't mean to sound like a commercial here, but there's a reason I chose to offer my classes through  They are committed to bringing you only the best classes and making sure each and every one of their customers is satisfied.  And they back that up with a 100% money back guarantee.  Add to that the fact that once you purchase a class, it's yours forever and it's just about perfect, isn't it?  View your class whenever you want.  As many times as you want.  In the comfort of your own home.

My new class will teach you how to make a knotted micro macrame spiral rope that you can use to make a bracelet like this:

Knotted micro macrame spiral rope bracelet by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

Pretty, isn't it!  The polymer clay bead that inspired this piece is by Tania Spivey of Moobie Grace.  I pulled the colors from the bead, then added some flower bud cord ends to complete the look.  I cover how to do this, step by step, in the class.  With still photos and videos.

And what else does the Twelve Days of Creativity have to offer?  Tips and hints and tricks from some great artisans, that's what!  Want to see what I do to get past a creativity slump?  You can find out here.  I can't wait to see what these folks come up with for the next eleven days, and you can bet I'll be watching!  I hope you'll join me.

November 30, 2013

Weekend Sale on Micro Macrame Tutorials

Micro Macrame tutorials on sale at this weekend

A little offer to get you started on your holiday gift making:  this weekend (through midnight on Sunday, December 1, 2013) all of the micro macrame tutorials listed in my Etsy shop are on sale!  You'll get 20% off the regular price - no coupon code necessary.  And the best part?  You don't have to get dressed and go out to fight the crowds.  

If you're so inclined, I have kits made up for most of the tutorials. 

You can find them in my Etsy shop.  And don't forget, if you need a little help with the knots, I've started a video series to help you out.  You can find videos on how to tie a double half hitch knot in this post.

Happy Shopping!

November 25, 2013

The Sea Garden Challenge

Sea Garden photo by Dinink Sonia
This photo was chosen by our hostess, Esterina Mestoko Jagiella as the inspiration for this month's challenge in one of the Facebook groups to which I belong.  This underwater photo was taken by her friend, Dinink Sonia, and I couldn't resist playing along.  You know these colors and this ocean theme is right up my alley.

I've been working on micro macrame spirals (see more here if you missed it) and might be a bit obsessed.  It's fun for me to take a handful of colors and knot them together just to see what pattern will emerge.  For this challenge, I chose cord in brown, coral, teal and two shades of blue.  I kept all of the blues together and then ran the two contrasting colors together and came up with this spiral.

Micro macrame spiral cord by Sherri Stokey

I added some antique brass caps on the cord and some beads, then a little length of chain.

Micro macrame spiral cord with cord end cap and bead links

I had the perfect porcelain bead on hand in these colors and it even had a seashell motif.  I knotted a simple bail for it and left the cords dangling from the bottom of the bead.

Porcelain seashell pendant with knotted bail

And thus my entry for The Sea Garden challenge was born.

Sea Garden micro macrame spiral necklace by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

I always enjoy doing these challenges, especially to see what pieces everyone else made based on the same photo.  The album with all entries is here, although I think you have to be a member of the Facebook group to see it.  It's a friendly group, so if you haven't already joined, maybe you should (loads of great handmade beads and jewelry)!  And if this necklace is calling to you, you can find it listed in my Etsy shop.  Or if you'd rather learn to knot your own micro macrame spiral, you can find the eClass at

Handmade knotted micro macrame spiral necklace by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

November 22, 2013

New Micro Macrame Tutorial - Spiral Rope

Spiral rope micro macrame bracelet with lampwork focal.

I've been working hard on a new tutorial for this spiral rope in micro macrame and I'm happy to announce it's finished and available!  In plenty of time for you to make a few Christmas gifts, or maybe just something for yourself.  This tutorial is an eClass at CraftArtEdu.  Their platform works really well for a class like this, because in addition to lots of step-by-step still photos, I can add video.  And I added lots of videos.

Christmas spiral micro macrame bracelets by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

I made up some festive holiday bracelets to show you some of variations, but don't be fooled.  The spiral rope can be used all year long in lots of projects.  In the pieces above, I used art beads by Lisa Suver (peppermint bead) and Barbara Handy (white snowflake and red/white/green charm).  I wish I could remember who did the pretty lampwork in the last piece, but if anyone knows, help me out.  The ones below feature a lampwork dragonfly bead by Nikki Rogalski and a polymer swirl bead by Peg Montieth.

Knotted macrame bracelets with art bead focals

You can even make it a bit longer and use it for a necklace.  I added some links with Czech glass, recycled African glass and Greek ceramics, but I left the knotting to be the star of the show.

Necklace by Sherri Stokey with spiral micro macrame center

I hope you'll take a moment to check out the class preview.  I will be working this weekend to get some kits for the spiral listed in my Etsy shop.  Happy knotting!

November 18, 2013

New Micro Macrame Bracelet Kits for the Holidays

Two tone micro macrame bracelets by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

I've been playing around a bit with different color schemes for my Micro Macrame Leaves Bracelet Tutorial and my favorite variation so far is a two tone version like these.  I love experimenting with different colors of cord in different patterns just to see where they end up and this pattern does a really need thing - the colors each stay on their own side of the bracelet!  I had such fun and such positive feedback on them that I thought I'd do a few special kits for the holidays.  I made up kits for both the black and white and gray version and the turquoise and teal version shown here, but I also did a very traditional Christmas version with red and green.

Red and green cord with white seed beads for kits

I haven't even had time to make one up yet, but I think it will be really festive!  Since I was feeling the festive vibe, I also put together a couple of kits for the solid color (not two toned) version but in special holiday colors.  The first is such a pretty red.  It's called Poinsettia and I paired it with pearly white beads.

Poinsettia red cord and white seed beads

And heck, while I was at it, I did a blue version with silver lined crystal beads for loads of sparkle.

Blue c-lon cord and sparkling beads for micro macrame

These kits are all available in my Etsy shop.  Get them while there is still time to get them made for the holiday season!

November 14, 2013

Double Half Hitch Macrame Knot Tutorial

Micro macrame bracelet by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

I thought I'd start a little tutorial series here on my blog and show you how to do some of the macrame knots that I use in micro macrame pieces like this bracelet.  The most common knot in the micro macrame pieces I make is the double half hitch (DHH).  All of the knots you can see in this piece are double half hitches.    

In order to make this knot, you need one cord called a "holding" cord and another called the "knotting" cord.  The cords will change positions throughout a design and a cord that is the holding cord can become a knotting cord in another row, but that's all stuff for another lesson.  In this post, we're just going to focus on making the knot, and for this knot, you need one holding cord and one knotting cord.  

The holding cord will be the one you tie the knot around - the knot bearer, if you will.  The knotting cord is the one you actually use to tie the knot.

Did you get that?  Start with the knotting cord under the holding cord.  Take it up, over and around the holding cord and then back through the loop.  Make the second half of the knot (it's a DOUBLE half hitch, remember) the same way - up, over & through the loop.  Tighten neatly.  One trick to a nice looking macrame piece is consistent tension, so work on that.  Tight but not too tight.

Working the knot from left to right will make a row that goes across from left to right.  But what if you need to come back across your piece?  You will need to know how to make the same knot from right to left:

Looks easy enough, right?  You can do this!  And if you can do this, you can make this:

Micro Macrame Leaves Bracelet

You can find the tutorial for this bracelet in my Etsy shop here.  To make it easier to try out micro macrame without having to buy a bunch of cord and beads, I've put together some kits for you.  They have all of the cord, beads and findings you need to make one bracelet.  Go forth and knot!  

November 10, 2013

Just One More...

Raku scarab and micro macrame necklace by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

Just this one more and then I swear I will move on.  The deep jewel tones in this color palette have become an obsession, but they're just so darned pretty!  It all started with some raku pieces and a pile of matching beads and cord and here I am two weeks later...  

This piece was inspired by a raku scarab pendant by Duane Collins of Elements Pottery.  I made a metal support for it (see what I did with the pyramid shape there?) which gave me a place to tether my macrame and still let the pendant hang freely.  

Closeup of raku scarab focal by Duane Collins of Elements Pottery

I used a couple colors of blue cord along with a burgundy color and a whole bunch of glass seed beads with rainbow finishes.  I added another raku bead, this one from Star Spirit Studio and then transitioned into a spiral rope that goes up and around the neck and then joins back up in the front with a clasp I made myself.

A closeup of the hand made clasp with matching beads and a bit of wire wrapping

And now I swear I'm going to get out some other beads and cord and do something different.  It's time.  If you still haven't had enough of this color combo, check out this past post.

Raku scarab and knotted micro macrame necklace by Sherri Stokey

November 7, 2013

The Darker Side of Raku

Micro Macrame bracelets in raku colors by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

If you've been following along, you know I've been working with some raku pieces from Star Spirit Studio and playing with the beads and cord from this big pile:

Raku color palette with cords and seed beads

I had a customer call dibs on the horse piece in the upper right part of this photo - before I'd even had a chance to make something with it!  I asked her what colors she preferred and she indicated that the harvest gold and avocado green color schemes from the 70's sent her running and screaming and that she much preferred cool colors.  Well, alrighty, then.  I can do cool.

Micro macrame bracelet with Star Spirit Studio raku horse focal

I used two the two blue cord colors and the maroon for some contrast, then stuck with beads that had an iris coating (both matte and shiny) to keep the bead color from taking away from the focal.  I LOVE the result.  So much, in fact, that I made another bracelet in the same cord and beads.

Deep and mysterious raku colors knotted in micro macrame

And I still don't have these colors worked out of my system! I'm working on another piece and I'll be back to show you it when it's finished.  Meanwhile, you can check out the other pieces I made from the raku palette here and here.  And if you're interested in making something like this for yourself, both of these bracelets are made using the pattern I demonstrate in this Micro Macrame Bracelet Watch class.

November 3, 2013

More Micro Macrame in Raku Colors

Raku color palette comprised of cord and seed beads.

Remember this big ol' pile of gorgeous inspired by Star Spirit Studio's Raku pieces?  If you missed the piece I made from the skull pendant in this photo, be sure to check out this post.  There are just so many great pieces and great colors here, I can't put them away.  This week made a set with no actual raku pieces, but in the same color palette:

Micro macrame bracelet and earrings in raku colors by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

The way the colors undulate through the bracelet fascinates me. This bracelet is done from the Leaves Bracelet micro macrame tutorial available in my Etsy shop.  I've just added the extra element of different colored cords.

Micro macrame bracelet  in raku colors work in progress

Micro macrame bracelet  in raku colors by Sherri Stokey

I had a couple other projects in mind and a custom order I need to do, but I don't think I can't put these away just yet.  Stay tuned!

October 28, 2013

Halloween/Day of the Dead Jewelry Blog Hop

Raku pieces from Star Spirit Studios

When Diana Ptaszynski of Suburban Girl Studio announced her Halloween/Day of the Dead Jewelry Blog Hop, I knew just the piece I wanted to use.  Diana's rules for this hop are just that you make one piece of Halloween or Day of the Dead themed jewelry and that you use at least one art bead in it.  When I signed up, I had just been to my first bead show and scored the gorgeous pieces above from Star Spirit Studio.  See that sugar skull on in the center, slightly to the left?  That's the piece I knew I had to use.  So I drug out a bunch of beads and cord.  

Bead and cord palette to go with my raku pieces.

When I say a bunch, I mean a bunch, huh?  The raku finish on the pendants has a huge range of color in it.  It varies from piece to piece as you can see from the photo above, and some are more colorful than others.  The sugar skull has really clear colors and I decided to play off that.

Close up of colorful micro macrame knotting.

I went with micro macrame for this piece and used four different colors of cord:  pink, blue, green and khaki.  I let the colors wander where they wanted.  Sometimes they meandered or flowed gently, and sometimes they intertwined so much it almost looks like plaid.  I used quite a few different beads, too, but I let those take a back seat to the knotting.

Sugar Skull Day of the Dead Micro Macrame Necklace by Sherri Stokey

The pendant really needed to have a place of honor, so I gussied up the front of the necklace a bit and added a bail.

Raku skull pendant on knotted necklace

For a bit of fun, I added a bit of wire wrapping in some links echoing the large bead from the center and then added a large floral clasp at the back.  And there you have it.  My sugar skull all dolled up and ready to party.  Let the festivities begin!

Micro Macrame Sugar Skull necklace by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

I don't know about you, but I can't wait to see what everyone else made!

Sherri Stokey  <--- You are here

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