Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sami Jewelry

In July, my Swedish friend Karin blogged about a Sami bracelet she had made from reindeer skin and wired pewter thread. Here it is. I was smitten by the old, old Nordic look of the piece. It reminded me that many of the old designs we consider Celtic are actually from Scandinavia.

Here is a tutorial on creating the macrame braid for a different Sami bracelet from the Sami Jewellery blog by Maria.
This is just one of the many beautiful pieces Maria has posted to her blog:

I am jazzed by this website! I'm gonna make some Sami jewelry of my own!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

KnotGypsy - Cool Earrings, Free Lessons

I realized it was about time to check in with one of my favorite fellow micro-macrame artists to see what's new. KnotGypsy has been a busy soul updating her designs and creating sparkly and splendid fan earrings.

Hie thee hither to her website and then to her Etsy store to have a looksie.

Also, also, also: she is offering a couple of great patterns for free:

Spirals Key Chain

Spirals Anklet or Bracelet

Friday, August 21, 2009

Urban Owls

The owls are back! You can now purchase a macrame owl wall hanging from Urban Outfitters!
Seriously folks, just make your own...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Marion's Jewels in Fibers

It wasn’t until the other day that I realized the name of my book “Micro-Macramé: 30 Beaded Designs for Jewelry Using Crystals and Cords” was probably derivative of the Jewels in Fiber website and blog created by Marion Hunziker-Larsen. Subconsciously I must have translated Jewels in Fiber into Crystals and Cords, and it’s no wonder I did so; if you have never perused her website, blog and store, you’ve missed out on a real treat. I have long been a fan of her exquisite artwork and love that she has put together a storefront on the internet specializing in all of those hard-to-find items for creating micro-macramé and kumihimo.

She has the most comprehensive selection of cording used for knotting on a miniature scale; no more hunting the web and having to order from a myriad of places. She features Nylon #18 C- Lon, D&E Nylon (Mastex), Conso and my favorite Tuff Cord, all in several choices of colors. Additionally, you can find 12 colors of rattail – also known as satin cord - for doing Chinese knotting or larger scale macramé jewelry and belts. She’s got findings for kumihimo, and hard to find tools like reamers, awls, macramé boards and Beadsmart’s Thread Burner as well as adhesives like G-S hypo cement. Take a look at the jewelry kits she offers, too. And for artists outside North America – Marion regularly ships overseas.
But Marion’s store is only one aspect of this very talented lady’s online contribution. Her website’s gallery displays delicate examples of her own jewels in fiber, from the intricacies of multi-colored Japanese kumihimo cording she has created to suspend pendants to neckpieces where stone cabochons sit framed by rows and rows of tiny macramé knots.

Marion also offers several of her pieces for sale, from rings to earrings to bracelets. A word of advice to jewelry lovers – snap up at least a couple of pieces of Marion’s artwork; they’re beautifully wrought collectors’ items.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mary McFadden: Goddesses

On the Threads Magazine web site there's an article by Susan Khalje about the Mary McFadden Exhibit in Washington D.C. at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

One of Mary's gowns with a macrame shawl.

If you are unfamiliar with Mary McFadden's work, may I just have you been hiding for the past 40 years or so?
One of Mary's quotes: "My goal has been to give an art form to dressing by virtue of creating some of the most beautiful hand-painted fabrics and developing new areas in pleating and quilting that have not been done before on Seventh Avenue."

In additional to her use of pleats and quilted apparel, she also dabbled in macrame and adding knotted accoutrements to her elegant dresses.

A macramed bodice

This embroidery inspires me to create micro-macramed sections for an evening dress.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mary Walker Phillips

Mary Walker Phillips, the author of Step-by-Step Macrame was an amazing textile artist who is better-known for her knitting books. I came across my copy of her book this morning and was struck by how informative the introduction was on the history of macrame as well as the following quote in the first paragraph, attributed to an 1880's book Sylvia's Book of Macrame Lace:
Goethe, somewhere or other, in exalting music above every other art, does so on the ground that it produces its marvelous effects with so little display of means and tools; and if this test be applied to our present work, it will rank very high...not even a thimble and needle are wanted to produce the charming effects of our Macrame work.

Everyone today seems to think that micro-macrame is a brand new concept. Heavens, no. It was an old old lace form before the late Victorians got their hot little hands on it. Here is another quote from Sylvia's 1880 book that Ms. Phillips used in her introduction:
This kind of fancy-work is not exactly a novelty; except in the sense that when anything becomes so old as to be forgotten, its revival has all the effects of a first appearance.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Macrame Bracelet, Peruvian Style

Here's a link to a tutorial from the Wonder How To site for creating a Peruvian macrame bracelet. What this guy covers is how to do diagonal double half hitch knots. At the end of this video this brave soul uses a cigarette lighter to singe the ends of the cords - me, I'd use either a Perfect End thread burner singeing tool available here

or a lit stick of incense (not a cone of incense) to finish off the edges of nylon cords. Don't try this with silk cords or cotton DMC floss because those cords won't melt like the nylon ones do.