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Freeform Peyote Beading Kits on Etsy

I’ve added a few freeform peyote beadweaving kits to my etsy store today. The bracelet sample above was created for a beadweaving class I taught a few years ago. I wear it often and when a dear friend fell in love with the style, I promised I would teach her how to create her own. Rummaging around my supplies for beading needles, I found these beautiful kits stashed away. The bad news – I only have a few color ranges left. The good news – the kits contain over 35 grams of various seed beads colors and sizes, matching nylon thread, 2 beading needles, and the pièce de résistance – a very pretty matching Czech glass button.

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Gucci Macrame Beachwear

As I type, there is snow mist falling here in Dearborn and we’re expecting about 1 to 2 inches of light snow tonight. I realize that’s not anywhere near as bad as the snow walloping that has hit the east coast this winter. Still I very much long for the warmth of summer. About this time every year I begin to have short sweet fantasies of life as a snowbird vacationer. I’m blithely strolling along some exotic beach, sinking my toes into the warm sand and of course I’m wearing something pretty like this macrame beach coverup from Gucci. That is to say over a bathing suit that offers substantially more coverage!

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Two Little Corduroy Skirts

You can tell by the way
she walks that she’s my girl.
You can tell by the way
she talks that she rules the world.

You can see in her eyes
that no one is her chief.
She’s my girl
my supergirl.

– Reamonn

Really, really trying to complete a macrame necklace, but I got sidetracked by some pretty corduroy prints. These two little skirts are for my granddaughter Tallulah who likes skirts and dresses way better than pants (my kind of girl), and really likes pink better than any color on earth. The pattern is Kwik Sew 3541. I slightly altered the pattern to flare out a bit more at the bottom, and just to be different I turned the ruffle into a pleat.


Woven quilt weaving Woven quilt weaving Linen Cloth Macrame

I’m trying two altogether new things at once. I already mention one of them in my last post, the Cloth to Cloth quilt weaving class from Jude Hill. So far I’ve created two small fragments and I’m definitely pleased with the results.

The second, is a section of macrame worked on a little strip of linen woven in cross colors. This has really not turned out as spectacular as I had hoped. I pulled the warp threads out, and it turns out the weft threads are quite fragile for knotting. In any case, I’m hoping these two new things will get along with each other. Perhaps they will morph into one something, then again maybe not.


Macrame Necklace with Vintage Poppy Jasper Donut

All the things we hide in water
hoping we won’t see them go—
(forests growing under water
press against the ones we know)—

and they might have gone on growing
and they might now breathe above
everything I speak of sowing
(everything I try to love).

– Annie Finch

Is there a bit of mystery to what seems a floating donut? No, not really, there’s a hole drilled through the back side. I bought it about 20 years ago and wore it hanging from a simple macrame cord fashioned out of a medly of rayon embroidery thread, à la friendship bracelet style.

I love bringing vintage beads back to life with a brand new design. Or in this case a new take on the v-neck design I finished with a chain last week. This one has been completed for some time, so I thought I’d better hurry up and post before I gift it. The donut and little bead near the clasp are both Poppy Jasper, the zig-zag of cords are all Conso, the beads are size 11 seed beads and 4mm fire polish in garnet, and the gold filled chain was made from my own cut links.

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)

Step 1 1) 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 2 2) 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 3 3) 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 4 4) 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 5 5) 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 6 6) 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


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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Catherine Malandrino Spring Summer 2011

Catherine Malandrino – a girl after my own heart! Her 2011 Spring/Summer apparel collection is soft and feminine and floaty. Pieces I actually want to wear. Many appear to be artisan crafted in all manner of crochet, knotwork, and embroidery. Here are a few photos of her lacy crochet and seriously sturdy macrame leather sandals and tote bag.

Now here I go again wondering aloud about the talented group of craftspeople creating these fabulous goods on a suitable scale for consumer consumption. While I can easily picture in my minds eye a roomful of seamstresses (in just about any country in the world) hunched over their sewing machines turning gorgeous swaths of fabric into designer duds, where in the world are the artists that produce this type of slow handwork? Just wondering.

Images from elle.com runway details

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Mexican Macrame Woven Blouse

Proof that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. This beautiful woven macrame blouse from Mexico was in my mother’s collection of vintage apparel (otherwise known as her wardrobe). Mom’s not really sure when it was given to her (hey she’s 87), sometime in the late 50’s, or more probably early 60’s. She does remember vividly who gave it to her, an elderly family friend named Mr. Dafoe.

Interestingly, it is constructed from one long woven piece of fabric that is folded in half and stiched at the side seams, so there are no shoulder seams. Really interesting is that as I was thumbing through my all time favorite The Macrame Book by Helen Bress, I spotted the exact same style of blouse on page 111.

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