macrame+jewelry

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Isha Elafi Necklace

I’ve been much too absent of late. I’ll spare you the lame excuses but one of them involved an accidental electrical incident that put my pc in a tizzy. Anyway, I hope to make it up with this really special piece from Isha Elafi. Harkening back to a Tuscon gem show I attended some years ago, I happened upon a booth that blew my macrame mind to pieces. One of two necklaces I bought that day, this one is my favorite. I love the combination of peridot green and purple and turquoise. It seems the colors of an early Spring garden.

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Antique Miniature Rocking Chair

I must confess I’m in the middle of a sewing binge right now. I’m currently consuming twice the recommended amount of fabric and defiantly defensive about changing my behavior or my perceived need to increase my wardrobe.

Until I get back to knotting here’s a peek at what my scavenging netted me from Town & Country Antiques in Livonia: another piece of furniture for the dollhouse I don’t own yet – a wee bit crooked yellow rocking chair, a rather elaborate pair of safety scissors, and a photo that reminds me of my sister and I (because we don’t look very much alike either). Draped on the chair is a macrame choker worked in Irish waxed linen that I once used as a class sample.

I hope you noticed the textured doily. My dear grandmother must have spent weeks crocheting all those yellow popcorns. The sturdiest of women, I will always be in awe of her innate talent.

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Unakite Donut with Macrame Leaves

I’ve been lovely busy lately, but I carved out some quiet time on Friday to try a couple of macrame techniques that are new for me: 3 microdots of Cavandoli above the beaded loop, and the leaf shapes. Just goofing around and making design changes as I go. There has even been some unknotting. Thank goodness the cord has been more or less forgiving.

At the start of this piece I wanted to convey a sense of denseness. My intention is to follow this with a lighter lacier section. I’m intrigued with the idea of a one contrasting texture growing out from another.

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little pod

Macrame with Pearl Nuggets

& it’s you & me in the summertime
we’ll be hand and hand down in the park
with a squeeze & a sigh & that twinkle in your eye
& all the sunshine banishes the dark
& it’s you I need in the summertime
as I turn my white skin red
two peas from the same pod yes we are
or have I read too much fiction?

– The Sundays

I’m oh so missing summer, and being able to listen to songs I long ago purchased but the digital rights have expired. Double Ugh! So this morning I repurchased The Sundays, Summertime with it’s reference to a pod which becomes…

…a vague segue to one of two podlike shapes I created last year. They have become my favorite micro-macrame pieces of late. Even in their unfinished state I have enjoyed staring at them. Over time I have introduced them to various elements, and now I’m finally happy with all my arrangements. I wish I could tell you what the iridescent stones are, but I plum forgot to ask when I bought them. Hanging and dangling are tiny pearl nuggets and Amazonite. The macrame was worked in Conso and C-Lon cord. The sterling silver chain and twist wire jump rings have long been in my stash.

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Macrame Bracelet Tutorial Samples

I’ve been so wanting to do a tutorial and I finally decided on this cute little macrame bracelet. It’s based on the knotted bracelets you see in tourist shops. They’re very simple to make and depending on the cord and beads you choose, you can design them to suit your style. They also make great gifts because of the somewhat adjustable length on the sliding clasp.

Just about any kind of cord and beads will work as long as the bead holes are large enough for two cords to fit through. Only one knot, a simple square knot is used throughout. The sliding clasp is as simple to finish as the bracelet and the entire project can be done in one episode of American Idol or whatever you fancy TV wise.

You’ll need a few simple things:
  • clipboard with a piece of foamcore or cardboard cut to fit
  • 4 yards cord (I used C-Lon Tex 400 for this demo)
  • 8 or more beads depending on length of bracelet
  • 2 smaller beads for dangles
  • 3 straight pins
  • scissors
  • needlepoint needle for finishing (has a round ballpoint end)
  • needlenose jewelry pliers (optional)
Instructions

Step 11) Cut 2 pieces of cord about 24″, hold together and clip them under the clipboard about 8″ from the one end. These will be the filler cords. I’m using a shade of lavender for my filler cords.

Cut one piece of cord about 2 yards long. This will become the knotting cords. Normally I use the same color cord for both filler and knotting cords, but just for this demo I’m using a dark shade of purple for the knotting cords. Find the middle of the knotting cord, slip under the filler cords and pin to foamcore board. Now we’ll begin working square knots with the knotting cords over the filler cords.

Step 22) I’m right handed so I usually start with the cord to the right side of the filler cords. Lay it over the filler cords horizontally forming a loop on right. Take left cord and place over horizontal cord, then underneath all cords and up through loop on right. Pull both knotting cords out and tight. That’s 1/2 of the square knot.

Step 33) Repeating step 2, but take the left cord and lay over the filler cords horizontally forming a loop on left. Take right cord and place over horizontal cord, then underneath all cords and up through loop on left. Pull both knotting cords out and tight. You just made one complete square knot.

Step 44) Continue making square knots and placing a bead on the filler cords after every 3 to 5 square knots. The number of knots depends on the size of cord, the size of the beads and however many knots looks pleasing to you. Continue this pattern to the desired length. Keep in mind that the sliding clasp will add about 1/2″.

When you’re done, thread one knotting cord on to your needle and sew up the center as far as you can. If you have trouble, use a pair of jewelry pliers to pull your needle through. If you find that your knots are very tight and you cannot sew the entire cord through, unravel the 3-ply cord and sew each thread up individually. After neatly sewing up both knotting cords, trim off the excess.

Step 55) Next we’ll make the clasp. Form your work into a circle and hold together by loosely tying with a bit of cord near both edges of knots (I used orange). Pin bracelet to foamcore.

Cut a cord about 12″ long. Just as you did in step 1, slip this cord under all four cords and work square knots over all four cords for 1/2 inch. Finish ends off just like you did with the bracelet. While sewing these ends in, be sure to avoid putting needle through the cords that are encased in clasp.

Step 66) Remove those bits of temporary cord. There are 2 loose cords coming out of each end of the clasp section. Hold 2 cords together and form a slip knot, place a bead on both cords, then form another slip knot to hold in place. Trim off the excess. Run around and show off to everyone you know.

If you have any questions, please let me know. I’d be happy to help you. I didn’t design this bracelet, in fact I disassembled one of those inexpensive tourist versions just to see how they finished off the ends. So feel free to work up this design to your heart’s content.

Cheers, Monica

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Eleanor Amoroso Macrame Necklaces

I’m loving these super rad macrame necklaces by Eleanor Amoroso at NOT JUST A LABEL. I don’t know why, but I’m strangely intrigued by the color gradations that for all the world lend these pieces the quality of human hair.

DESCRIPTION: Intricately knotted macrame cording necklace, on hand-wrapped cord, with metal clasps. On the left, brown, with subtle black tint. On the right mid-length fringing hangs down and fades black-brown-white. 100% handmade.

DESIGNER SAYS: Inspired by ancient Macrame techniques and my graduate collection. Knots form delicately into a V shape with criss-cross detail in the middle and mid-length fringing hanging down. The dip-dye effect on the fringing makes these pieces truely unique. Looks beautiful worn over a plain white tee.

Images from notjustalabel.com

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Micro-Macrame with Small Blue Donut

And if I loved you Wednesday,
Well, what is that to you?
I do not love you Thursday–
So much is true.

And why you come complaining
Is more than I can see.
I loved you Wednesday,–yes–but what
Is that to me?

– Edna St. Vincent Millay

Out of nowhere I decided to finish this micro-macrame necklace I started a little too long ago. At the time I was in love with the idea of shaping a necklace to fit a v-neckline. So very symmetrically worked in Conso cord with a simple pale blue donut. It’s somewhat adjustable now that I have added a section of gold-filled chain at each end. Sweet and simple and finished. Finally.

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When I started these micro-macrame pieces I was aiming to create a soft organic shape, though I wasn’t really sure how I was going to go about executing it. After the first one I was so excited that my shape was so close to my idea that I started another one before finishing the first as a necklace. So here we are. Two in progress pieces that have yet to find their mates in pearls and pebbles, and one lady who is less in fear of approaching a new idea. When these are completed, I’ll be anxious to sketch and start anew.

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A goofy macrame start to bracelet

This is a macrame necklace I’ve been working on lately. Honestly my drawing started out very normal looking. A simple outline with place settings for my dangling pearls and pebbles. But there is a 4 year old in the house today and things went pink and purple and goofy stickery from there.

Like my last piece the macrame pattern is random with somewhat undulating curves and I’m liking it very much. I’ll be adding 1 or 2 more cord colors and hopefully some pebbles in darker green shades. I say hopefully because even with a brand new drill bit I’m having a really hard time drilling holes in these little green guys. Wondering what the corundum is this stuff! As for the gorgeous transparent gemstones I bought at a recent GL&W show, I’m ever so anxious to somehow incorporate these into this piece.

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Macrame w/Beach pebbles

And the days are not full enough
And the nights are not full enough
And life slips by like a field mouse
Not shaking the grass.

— Ezra Pound

I’m happy to say my little beach themed necklace is finally done. Although very different from anything I’ve done in the past, it’s a bit more balanced than I expected. You can see that I tend to gravitate toward small delicate jewelry pieces. I do like styles of all sorts but I’m not really so very stylish myself. I fall in love with jewelry when it catches me off guard emotionally. When it conjures up another time and place and earthy atmosphere.

My next thought is to explore this shape and style with some variation that complements this piece. Actually, I’m working towards 3 complementary pieces. One for each of three sisters.

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