August 31, 2015

Winners! And a Sale!

Festive bullie.

Actually, I tried to find a photo of a robin in a party hat because Robins seem to be lucky today!  The winner of eight of my micro macrame tutorials is Robin B. and Robin P. is the winner of the Drunkard's Path micro macrame bracelet!

 Drunkard's Path micro macrame bracelet by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame.

I also promised to give away a copy of my peacock bracelet tutorial and the winner is... Sue!  (Bet you thought it was going to be Robin, didn't you?)  I've emailed the Robins and replied to Sue's comment - I'll need to know where to send the prizes!

Meanwhile, for the rest of you... how about a sale?  Use coupon code "TENOFF" in my Etsy shop for 10% off anything and everything.  I don't do sales very often, so if you've had your eye on something, now is your chance.  The fine pint:  code expires 9/8/15 and is not valid on previous purchases or custom orders.  Hope you find something you can't live without!

August 27, 2015

Micro Macrame Giveaways! Have you Entered?

Just in case you missed it, you still have time to throw your name in the hat(s) for the giveaways I have underway!  The first one is for the micro macrame bracelet shown above.  It's my new Drunkard's Path pattern done up in dark gold cord with beads of turquoise and gold.  Great colors for fall that will carry you through into winter.  Heck, these are my summer colors, too!  If you'd like a chance to win this bracelet, enter here: 

For those of you who've been testing the waters and doing some knotting on your own, I have another giveaway I hope you might like.  It includes all eight of my downloadable tutorials, including instructions for six different bracelets (yes, I'm a bracelet kind of girl), earrings and (insert drum roll here) a macrame owl pendant!  Yes, I went there.  Every macrame should have an owl behind it.  

Anyway, one lucky person is going to win all eight of these, so if you'd like that person to be you, you will want to enter here:
   If you've already entered both of those, not to fear.  As I'm writing this, I'm feeling sorry for anyone who got their hopes all up for a new giveaway only to discover the ongoing ones... so I'm doing one more giveaway.  I'm such a pushover.  We'll call this one a consolation prize :)

My latest tutorial on Etsy is for this beaded micro macrame bracelet.  I called it Peacock because it reminds me of the eyes on peacock feathers, but if you switch the colors up, you can get a whole different vibe:

If you've stuck with me this far and you want a chance to win this tutorial, just leave a comment below.  I'll pick a winner on August 31, 2015 when I choose winners for the other two giveaways.  Good luck & happy knotting!!

August 21, 2015

The World's First KnotAlong: A Free Micro Macrame Tutorial

Micro macrame pendant from Knot Just Macrame.

Today's the day, folks!  A couple of weeks ago, I promised I would teach you how to do micro macrame and I'm here to do just that.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, you obviously missed this post, but it's okay!  You can still join in whenever you are ready.  If you did catch that post, you should have the supplies and materials all ready to go for this project.

Here's how it works.  I've prepared a video lesson to walk you through the steps required to make the pendant shown above.  In the process of making this pendant, you'll be learning how to make larks head knots, square knots, overhand knots and double half hitches.  You'll also be learning some micro macrame basics, the terminology and some tips and tricks I've picked up after eight years of knotting.  

Since we can't all physically be in the same room to do this, I've set up a virtual room where we can meet up:  KnotAlong Event.  That's where you will be able to post photos of your work, ask questions if you get stuck and just generally commune with other people learning macrame.  

 Are you excited?  (I am!  I can't believe I'm going to try to teach macrame to a whole bunch of people all at once!)  Let's do this (oh, and don't forget you can make the video full screen if you want)!

If you're having fun with this project, do me a favor and share it with your DIY friends.  You can help me in my quest to bring macrame back!  And if you're really having fun, you can find more tutorials (.pdf format available for instant download) in my Etsy shop and more classes (which include videos) at CraftArtEdu.

I bet you thought I forgot the giveaway I promised?  Since we're all about learning micro macrame here, I'm giving away a complete set of the tutorials I have listed in my Etsy shop to one lucky person.

  Micro macrame tutorials from Knot Just Macrame.

Enter through the widget below.  I'll be choosing a winner on August 31, 2015.  Good luck & happy knotting!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
PS.  Want a chance to win another prize?  How about a micro macrame bracelet?  The sign up for it is at Love My Art Jewelry and you can enter BOTH drawings!

August 18, 2015

Learn Micro Macrame with Me - For Free!

Micro macrame supplies.

In case you haven't heard, I'm hosting the world's first KnotAlong starting this Friday, August 21, 2015.  I'm going to be demonstrating how to make several macrame knots that I use in my jewelry pieces, including Larks Head, Double Half Hitch and Square Knots.  In the process of learning those knots, I'm going to teach you how to make this micro macrame pendant:

Micro macrame pendant for the KnotAlong class by Sherri Stokey.

Sounds like fun, right?!  And the best part?  It's free!  That's right - I'm not charging a thing for the class.  Okay, there might be a cost if you need to buy some of the materials involved, but there aren't too many.  If you haven't gathered them up yet, you can find the list here, along with a little video showing all of them and some sources.  You might have most of the thing you need laying around if you dabble in DIY.  Or maybe you can borrow them from Great Aunt Martha if she belongs to the sewing club down at the Senior Center (what?  could happen!).

I'll be putting the video up on Friday morning.  It's finished and ready to go and I'm telling you, it's really detailed! I will show you every single step from cutting the cord to adding a dab of glue at the very end.  I demonstrate every knot - more than once!  You'll be able to pause it and go back if you need to see something again.  You'll even be able to refer back to it later if you get stuck on your next project.

I've created a Facebook event page where we can interact, too.  You can post photos if you really muck something up and need help.  Or you can ask questions if you're too embarrassed to post a picture.  Either way, I'll be there to help out.

Are you ready?

August 15, 2015

Hold the Boats, I'm Not as Crazy as I Thought

Don't get me wrong, I'm still not as normal as some folks, but it turns out I'm not completely off my rocker when it comes to autumn colors.  Remember when I showed you these pieces and said I thought of them as autumn colors?

I've come up with a theory on that.  I went to Valentine (my hometown) this past weekend and spent some time out and about naturing.  Apparently the colors made more of an impression that I realized.  Look what palette you get if you run that soapweed photo through a palette generator:

Mystery solved!  I'm not as nuts as I thought I was.  Well, okay, the mismatched sandals and the snood thing are definitely headed in that direction, but I'm sticking by my color choices on this one.  I think I'll call it August in the Sandhills.

It's a really beautiful area (I've posted photos several times before, but some favorites are here and here).  I'll leave you with this little glimpse of heaven.

August 13, 2015

I'm Not Normal

Me as a strange toddler.

I accepted the fact long ago that I am not normal, not quite like everyone else, and I'm cool with it.  Yes, that's me in the photo and my mother swears she has no idea what was going on there.  I suspect this was just one of the early signs of my un-normalcy.

This time of year as the days are getting shorter and people are thinking of football and harvests and autumn colors, I'm still in summer mode.  I have to be drug into fall kicking and screaming.  I don't know if it's my reluctance to let go of summer or just "me", but my take on autumn colors is even different than most people's.

Micro macrame by Sherri Stokey.

I've been making some pieces that seem autumnal (in my mind) with tree themed focals and greens with browns.  I found a brass tree of life button at a Renaissance Festival in Colorado this summer.  I think it looks pretty nice in a band with a combination of khaki and brown with some myrtle green and turquoise. The back really shows off the colors.

Back of micro macrame bracelet from Knot Just Macrame.

Oak leaves and an acorn are front and center on the next button.  I went a little more traditional on this one, keeping with the myrtle green (it's a sort of blue tinged green) but dropping the turquoise cord.

Oak leaves and acorn button in micro macrame.

The overall piece is a little darker without the lighter turquoise and I sort of like that.

Oak leaves and acorn button in micro macrame bracelet.

It "feels" kind of warm and cozy to me, like a snuggly sweater on a brisk evening.  

Micro macrame bracelets by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame.

I might even be convinced to like fall if it didn't mean summer was over.  I've been known to wear sandals into November, trying desperately to hang on to the very last shred of summer.  And to go back to the not normal thing?  I've also been known to do this more than once.  *sigh*

Wearing mismatched sandals.

August 7, 2015

A Micro Macrame Primer and Upcoming KnotAlong!

Note:  I'm really excited about this project and I want to get the word out to as many people as possible.  This post is running at Love My Art Jewelry as well, so if you follow both blogs, I apologize for the duplication.

Micro macrame cuff by Sherri Stokey

Do you ever see a beautiful piece of handmade jewelry and get depressed?  Not because there's anything depressing about the piece, but because you think you'll never be "good" enough to make something that lovely?  Well, stop that!  This is a no-whining zone and self pity is counterproductive.  
Don't get me wrong, I've been there.  It's an easy trap to fall into, but basically you have two choices:  you can either admire the piece for its artistry and purchase it from the person who has probably spent countless hours creating it (and possibly several years learning before that) or you can take a stab at it yourself.  
I'm curious and I'm from a background where I want to try doing everything.  I wallpapered most every room in my house back in the 80s, learned how to give home permanents, make candles and can tomatoes just "because".  As you can probably guess, not all were wise decisions.

 DIY gone wrong.

  (She's still mad at me about that one, by the way.)  Luckily, I'm now at an age where I know my limitations and instead of taking that as a personal failing, I'm getting better at appreciating the talent of others.  Even if I could make a polymer clay lotus pendant like the one from Staci Louise that I used in this necklace, I would probably never get the feeling she has in her piece. And that's okay - it means Staci is doing something right!

Micro macrame necklace with Staci Louise Pendant.

If you decide you do want to try something for yourself, find a good tutorial or class and then go into it with the right mindset.  Learn for the joy of learning and you will leave with a greater appreciation of the artist's process, even if you never use the technique again.  And if you do discover something new that you love, that's even better!

So, for those of you who've made it this far in the post (and hopefully the others are over shopping in my Etsy store), I'm going to give you a micro macrame primer.   I'm going to cover the tools and materials you will need to get started with micro macrame, then I'm going to give you a couple weeks to round up your "stuff".  While you're doing that, I'll be busy writing up/recording a special beginner project for us:  the world's very first KnotAlong!   I'm going to meet you back here  in two weeks (on August 21st) for your first "class".

Are you ready, kids?  I can't hear you! :)

 If you want to play along with my KnotAlong (and why wouldn't you?), you have two weeks to gather up these things.  I've added some suggestions for sources* to get you started.
  • Pinning surface:  You can use cork or anything that will hold a pin.  If you want to purchase a foam board, here are some sources:   Amazon, Art Beads, Etsy, Walmart, Fusion Beads
  • Fray Check:  Fire MountainAmazonWalmart, my local Walmart carries this in the sewing aisle as do most fabric stores.
  • GS Hypo Cement:  Fire Mountain, Amazon, Walmart, Art Beads
  • Tex 400 nylon bead cord (I recommend C-lon or Superlon brand):  Bello Modo, South Pass Beads (they have Hypo Cement, too), Shipwreck Beads, Jewels in Fiber.  You will only need about 6 yards for our project, so you will have lots left on your spool for your next project.  Don't get hung up on the cord, either.  If you have some 1mm hemp on hand, it will work.  I don't recommend Rattail or other "slippery" cord.
  • Pins - straight sewing pins and/or T-pins:  can be found in fabric stores, the sewing aisle at Walmart, Michaels, Hobby Lobby
  • Scissors
  • Something to straighten cord (hair straightener, curling iron, regular iron, etc.)
  • Approximately 60 8/0 seed beads. Inexpensive craft store beads will work fine for this project.

You won't find a better time to jump into micro macrame than this.  Here's a peek at what we're going to make:

Beginner micro macrame project by Sherri Stokey

I might even sweeten the pot a little.  I'm thinking maybe a giveaway for those who participate...  So?  Who's with me?

*Sources listed are US suppliers.  Some others to try:  UK - Knotting Ways
Australia - Benjamin's CraftsOver the Rainbow, France - Perles & Co.

August 6, 2015

Drunkard's Path: A New Micro Macrame Class

Drunkard's Path micro macrame bracelets by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame.

A new micro macrame class hit the streets yesterday, for my Drunkard's Path Bracelet!  I've seen lots of variations of the waves done in macrame, but I wanted to put my own spin on things.  I added some extra knotting to beef up the knotted portion and give the macrame more equal billing with the beads.  It's only fair.

Drunkard's Path micro macrame bracelet by Sherri Stokey.

I was searching for a name for this project when about the swaying lines made me think of a crooked path.  My mom is an avid quilter (you can see several examples of her work on my blog here, and here, and here, and quite a few more in an album here) and that brought to mind the Drunkard's Path pattern.  It seemed to fit.

Drunkard's Path micro macrame bracelet from Knot Just Macrame.

I really tried to break this project down into tiny steps so anyone can do it.  I demonstrate all the knots and there are loads of photos.  There are actually 9 video clips and over 70 pictures in the class, in addition to the written direction and the narration!  

Micro macrame class at CraftArtEdu - Drunkard's Path by Sherri Stokey.

In this class, I'll show you how to get started and give you some tips to make everything go more smoothly.  I'll show you how to tie all of the knots, step by step.  And I'll show you how to finish your bracelet with a split ring and clasp to get a professional look!  Don't forget, CraftArtEdu gives you unlimited access to the classes you purchase; you can view them as many times as you like and your access never expires.

Micro macrame bracelet class at CraftArtEdu - Drunkard's Path by Sherri Stokey.

The class is on sale through Sunday (August 9, 2015).  In fact, because the folks at CraftArtEdu love a good sale, all of my micro macrame classes are on sale through Sunday!  No codes needed and you can see the whole list here.  Happy knotting!!!

Micro macrame bracelet class:  Drunkard's Path by Sherri Stokey.

Oh, and if you're just not interested in making one yourself, but you really, really think you need one?  These are available in my Etsy shop.  

August 1, 2015

Beading Back in Time, Early Civilization Reveal

Egyptian style collar with Scarab by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame.

It's time for the big reveal!  Earlier this month I posted about the third installment of the Beading Back in Time Blog Hop Challenge hosted by Lindsay Starr and I (it's here if you missed it).  Our first installment in January focused on the time before humans and the second installment, on early humans.  For this round, we drew inspiration from early civilizations.  I really meant to explore something other than ancient Egypt, but I've been an Egyptophile since I was a kid and the temptation was just too strong.

Micro macrame bracelet in Egyptian colors by Sherri Stokey.

 I have a seed bead mix called Egyptian Lapis Stripe.  I dug it out and put it with some bright blue cord to start channeling some Egyptian vibes.  It's pretty enough, but it really wasn't screaming "Egypt" to me, so I figured I'd better try a little harder.  The first thing that comes to mind when I think of ancient Egyptian jewelry is a collar.  And gold.  I don't use a lot of gold, but I knew I wanted to add it in my piece somehow.  I was also pretty set on the bright blue cord.

Ends of macrame necklace featuring ceramic pieces from Scorched Earth.

When I was digging through my stash looking for stuff with Egyptian flair, I came across some end pieces by Scorched Earth.  They're not exactly Egyptian, but I liked the feel of them.  I also had an Eye of Horus pendant from Scorched Earth and a bunch of scarabs.

Eye of Horus focal by Scorched Earth, various scarabs.

The bead mix I had didn't quite match the end pieces (not enough green, too much orange), so I mixed my own.  I also unearthed these gold pendants from a swap I did a while back with my friend, Lennis (she put together an awesome Egyptian inspired package for me you can see here). 

Custom seed bead mix, gold pendants with Egyptian theme.

By this time, even though I'd had a whole month to make a piece for this hop, I'd wasted 91% of the allotted time.  Typical.  Apparently I work best under pressure.  I hadn't counted on breaking a crown and having to have a tooth pulled, however.  Note to self:  start earlier!  I did manage to pull off a piece just in the nick of time, though.

Egyptian style collar in macrame by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame.

My Egyptian inspired collar, featuring Egyptian blue cord and a custom bead mix, several small scarabs and one larger focal scarab.  It's a super cool scarab, too.  I have no idea what the back says, but it's fun.  My original plan was to use the Eye of Horus focal and my backup plan was to use one of the rectangular gold pieces.  The shape of those just didn't work in the piece as well as the rounded shape of the scarab.

Engraving on back of scarab.

I can picture this piece being worn by some Egyptian back in the day, can't you?

Egyptian style collar in micro macrame by Sherri Stokey.

I hope you'll join me in visiting the sites of the other artists who decided to play along this round:

Sherri Stokey  <--- You are here 
Lindsay Starr  Co-Host
Susan Kennedy
Jean Wells
Michelle McCarthy
Niky Sayers
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Stephanie Haussler

Beading Back in Time Blog Hop Challenge:  Early Civilization

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