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Feast In The House Of Levi by Paul Veronese

I pick up oodles of books at my local library. While thumbing through A History of Hand-Made Lace by Emily Jackson (reprint from a 1900 edition), I found this dictionary section on Macramé Lace:

“This pillow lace is made in many of the convents of the Riviera, and is taught by the nuns to the cottagers, the children of either sex beginning their training in this handcraft very young. It is a survival of the Knotted Point Lace, which was much used in Spain and Italy during the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, for the ornamentation of Church vestments, and other ecclesiastical purposes, and is still worn by the peasants in the neighborhood in Rome. The name Macramé is of Arabic origin; in the great picture of the supper in the house of Simon the Cannanite, by Paul Veronese, the ends of the tablecloth are ornamented with Macramé lace. House linen richly ornamented with Macramé forms an important item in the trousseau of a Genoese lady. It was not until 1843 that the Macramé made on the Riviera was executed in any but the simplest designs; then a piece of old Macramé or knotted lace was brought by Baroness d’Asti to the Albergo de Poveri from Rome. Marie Picchetti one of the workers, carefully unpicked and examined the complicated knots, and managed to discover the art of producing the intricate effects. Since then many fresh patterns have been designed, and the results are exellent.”


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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old world

Bed Corona by Paola Prati

“Old world” wandering around the internet I came across a lovely site GLOBAL TEXTILE ARTS by Paula Prati, an Italian artist who lives in Palm Beach, Florida. Her macrame offerings have an ancient romanticism about them, particularly in her headboards and linen towels. Her profile reveals that “textile art has been a traditional craft in her family for several generations. Her driving passion for this medium guides her in the creation of unique and sophisticated textile masterpieces.” And masterpieces they are!


Monica's Cottage etsy store update
Oh my, I have a lot of beads. Here’s an update to my little etsy store. Lot’s of large hole beads that are perfect for macrame. Five are glass, two are Japser, and one ceramic. Many more to come…


Not exactly lace - repair firepit screen
My goodness we live on such a beautiful planet, we should do our best to take good care of it. On trash day I’m dismayed about how much stuff we use and how much we throw away. My own best efforts to recycle-reuse-reduce are sometimes thwarted by the disposability and planned obsolescense of most consumer goods. In the case of our backyard firepit, the screening has disintegrated but the base and bowl look almost new!

Seeing that the original screen only lasted about 1 year, I’m hoping that my efforts to repair the burned out screen portion will last at least that long. I used 19 guage galvanized wire which I have to admit was a little hard on the hands. The end result is certainly not macrame, and not exactly lacy, but it does seem to me to have a woven, albiet haphazard, quality to it.


cute stuff

Macrame t-shirts from cafepress
Sometimes I find macrame or rather references to macrame in the oddest of places. I was perusing cafepress recently and I stumbled upon a some cool macrame themed products. I hesitate to be a commercial for commercial (as opposed to hand crafted) goods but these are cute and I would definitely wear this to Kroger.

Macrame from IRONIC's Flickr photostream
Macrame from IRONIC’s Flickr photostream

Art Propelled just became another new favorite web site for me. My personal list of favorites just keeps growing and growing. As it stands it would take me quite some time to visit them all. The hubby is adamant that I have reached the end of the Internet many times over.

I love the above posting of a primitive piece of macrame tribal art. There seems to me an flow and ebb to the random knotting patterns. I wonder about the scupltural faces within their framed containments. Are they memories of someone specific to the artist? Do they represent voices unheard or perhaps never to be heard again? See IRONIC’s Flickr photostream for a few more interesting pics. I’m especially fond of the photo of workers titled “Trabajo”.


Cream Macrame Dress by Matthew Williamson 2

Orange Macrame Dress by Matthew Williamson 2001

Blue Macrame Dress by Matthew Williamson 2001

Ok, yes we are only just into Autumn, but those ever forward-thinking designers are already planning for the arrival of Spring. And of course I like it that macrame is once again showing up on the runways in beautiful, elegant ways. Here’s a sampling of gorgeous dresses by Matthew Williamson. As Plum Sykes of style.com partially put it “Take a London girl and send her on a trip—through Bali, Goa, and Ibiza—and you have Matthew Williamson’s glamorous vision of a well-dressed gypsy.”


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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