Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Me Book Giveaway!

Well, Happy Anniversary to this blog, at least. In celebration of one year's worth of blathering on about knotty things, I am giving away one free copy of my book Micro-Macrame: 30 Beaded Designs for Jewelry Using Crystals and Cords to the lucky person who can best tell me what it is they like most about micro-macrame as an art form. Please leave your answer in the comments field below...Perhaps you were inspired by acrylic plant hangers in your Grandmama's back garden, or liken micro-macrame to those Victorian mourning brooches made from the hair of the dearly departed...give it a shot! Tell me what makes micro-macrame so grand to you!
The drawing for the book will held be on January 1, 2010, so you have 4 days to come up with your answer! What a great way to start the new year!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Tracking Down C- Lon in the UK

Search Press has picked up the UK rights to my book on micro-macrame and will set it out on British bookshelves in February of 2010. One of the big "you-ought-to-know-this-since-you're-such-an-expert" questions the publishers asked me was "Do you know of any UK jewelry suppliers or stores that carry micro-macrame cords?" Well, uh, no, I don't. Not really. I began my research by scanning advertisements in beading magazines from the UK, scrounging around on the 'Net, and indulging in obscure divination techniques, but didn't come up with all that many suppliers. Slim pickins'...?
Lo and behold, this morning I happened upon one shop in Lichfield that carries C-Lon cord: The Spellbound Bead Company.
If any readers of this humble blog come across any other British bead suppliers that carry micro-macrame supplies, give me a shout.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Few Encouraging Words from Domicile Interior Design

Get your macrame on! According to Domicile, it will make you feel better!

Minikinpo's Macrame

I came across a reference to a macrame artist who lives in the Yunnan district in China named Minikinpo.
Love the color combos in these freeform bracelets:

She's great at enclosing cabochons as you can see.

Friday, December 11, 2009

This 'n That

Check out Coco's Jewelry on Etsy for this lovely macrame bracelet and other goodies.

I've become intrigued by an artist who tats with micro-macrame cording (instead of tatting thread) on this website - TATBiT TaTs

Like Selfridges, the Australian company Bloom Cosmetics has installed some large-scale macrame pieces in their flagship store's windows.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

What Ever Happened to...?

That macrame surf-wear outfit created by the Project Runway team of Irina and Johnny in Episode 3 that aired last summer?
It was won in an online auction by a gal who promptly took it over to some other enthusiastic Runway fans who had to try it on and snark their two cents worth. Poor darlings. Read Real People in "Project Runway" Clothes (AKA: How to Lose Your Self-Worth in One Easy Outfit) for a giggle!

Monday, November 30, 2009


I've recently been following Tatyana Fedorikhina who calls her blog "meh-crame" and I adore her micro-macrame work!

Look how vibrant and lacy this sunflower is:
She has such a flair for combining what looks like bobbin lacework with double half hatch sequences to create a wonderful interplay of delicate and sturdy sections.

I love how she intersperces seed beads within the rows of double half hitches. This adds a pleasing (well, at least to my eyes) texture that adds dainty points of sparkle.

Here's another great combination of knots; in the petals of the central flower she combines vertical double half hitches with horizontal ones. It looks as if the vertical ones are folded over to frame the horizontals, and set against a background of basketweave:

Check out her store on Etsy.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sturdy but Lightweight - What's Not to Love?

I saw a miniature version of this chair in a museum in Paris last week. If you just happen to have an extra $3890 lying around (perhaps newly discovered from under those sofa pillows), pick up Dutch artist Wanders' Knotted Chair which is macramé knotted carbon and aramide fiber cord, and is sturdy but light enough to lift with one hand. Available at Minima, 118 N. Third St in the fair city of Philadelphia.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

City of Craft: Installation Artist Lizz Aston

Oh hey, sorry about the long absence. I've been gallivanting around Europe for the past few weeks visiting friends in Oslo, Paris and Kiel.

Lizz Aston, Artist-in-Residence in the Craft Department at Harbourfront in Toronto has created some macrame works for their annual City of Craft Show.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Those Nutty Nuts at Selfridges

I meant to post these pix a few days ago when I found them online. Selfridges is a grand old department store on the Oxford Road in London where you can buy just about anything your little heart desires (definitely hit the food halls, they're wonderful). When I lived in London as a student I would often gaze into their storefront windows marveling at and wishing for all the pretties displayed therein. Apparently in the recent past they have caught the macrame bug that is going around fashion circles. I don't know when this display was up or if it is still - I imagine not since Christmas is looming and Selfridges always goes all out with their holiday window displays.

Teresa is ready for Christmas!

Teresa from Brazil, a fellow macramer, has been busy knotting a lovely green towel for the upcoming holidays. I so envy her ability to work at this level of detail. She has graciously shared a how-to here where she describes the history of macrame (being passed from Arab sources, to the Spaniards of the 14th century, to sailors and consequently to the ports visited by those sailors).

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Macrame Scarf

Here's a nifty idea Christine at the JaneAvion blog has been making for a while - something she gleaned from Martha Stewart's "no knit scarves." I am diggin' it! Nice for Christmas prezzies, don't ya think?

On a sad note, my apologies to the members of the cancelled class that was to have taken place last Sunday at Beads and Beyond...I was laid low with the Swine Flu but am recovering nicely. I really really did not want anyone else to get what I had. The sustained high fever and aches were just horrible. Hopefully we can all get together in November for another class.

Anneta Valious's Soutache Jewelry

Check out Anneta's album on Facebook for more of her beautiful soutache jewelry. While it has little to do with macrame, it is inspiring to see what she has done with soutache braid.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Jeanne Wertman is still at it!

From the Canton Rep comes an article featuring several bead artists, among them is Jeanne Wertman, one of my favorite macrame artists. I love her ebullient combination of bead embroidery and macrame. Ain't she something else?

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Glass Bead Game

Last Friday at Beads and Beyond in Bellevue, my students outdid themselves with their bead selections and color combinations as they learned how to knot the Glass Bead bracelet from my book.

I'll be doing a demonstration of the micro-macrame Baroque Bracelet at Red Garnet Beads in Montlake Terrace on October 4th and then teaching two classes on same bracelet on October 10th and 11th. And possibly October 25th...I have to check with Jenene at Red Garnet about that schedule as my mind is still befuddled and wonky due to the flurry of events and things I've been up to these past few weeks.

In mid-September I demo'd micro-macrame knotting at the Northwest Bead Society's Annual Bead Bazaar and sold lots and lots of owl kits and books.

Monday, September 14, 2009

En Vogue...? Yes! Yes! Yes!

It seems like everybody has hopped onto the macrame band wagon this season; last week's Project Runway featured a macrame frock and now Diane von Furstenberg has a gorgeous green macrame dress in her Spring 2010 collection.
Okay, okay, I get it; you're starting to wonder about this blog - what is my fascination with haute couture and macrame?
Honestly, am I so traumatized by the stigma macrame has developed over the past 30 years as a cliche, old fashioned (and not in the good way) hippy hempy craft that I feel compelled to validate it as an art form that's come back into vogue? I dunno.
I just think it's cool that top fashion houses are on the same page as us mortal macramers.
Now back to the regular programming...maybe.

Friday, September 11, 2009

NPR - These Vintage Threads Are 30,000 Years Old

I found an article this morning from NPR about a recent archeological find in the Eurasian country of Georgia about textiles that are 30,000 years old...flax fibers twisted into string and knotted or braided together something akin to macrame...
I'm still trying to track down some pictures of these ancient textiles. If anybody has better search engine mojo than I have and finds good pix, let me know!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Salvatore Ferragamo's Macrame Sweater

Just a little macrame eye candy:
Salvatore Ferragamo's Spring 2009 fashion line featured a men's macrame sweater.

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.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Treasury of Macrame Owls

Every so often I go back to this site, A Treasury of Macrame Owls to have a good chuckle at Bill's vast collection. He features a veritable cornucopia of those winged darlings that flocked to our back porches, hallways and powder rooms in the 1970's and took roost to watch over us with their wonky googly eyes.
Which one is your favorite?

Over the weekend I taught a workshop on creating micro-macrame owl earrings. Here are some of my students' first endeavors:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Aspen Choker Tutorial

The tutorial for the Aspen Choker featured on the cover of Micro-Macramé: 30 Beaded Designs for Jewelry Using Crystals and Cords is now available online. It features a supply list, step-by-step instructions and lots and lots of color photographs to help you learn how to create this sparkly, stained glass-like modular choker. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Joan Babcock has eProjects!!!

Ohhh, take a look at Joan Babcock's new web site and her eProjects page! I am glad to see she is offering nylon cords as well as her wonderful kits and DVD.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Lorenzo Riva

Just a quick note to show you just how very fashionable macramé truly is:
On the Fashion and Runway site, a collection by Lorenzo Riva features a lacy dress which they're calling macrame. - see for yourself.

The article reads "Macramé is the choice for the cocktail party where elegantly rounded shapes are emphasized"... Hmm. What do you think? Is it macramé or some other laceform?

On another note an update on my tutorial: I am busy at work peyote-stitching a cabochon for another Aspen choker. I should have it finished by the weekend.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Focus for this Week

This week I am going to focus on shooting a video or two describing how to do a diagonal double half hitch knot for micro-macrame projects. I am also going to put together a free lesson on this project: The "Aspen Choker" lesson will be in pdf format and will have lots of color photos and step-by-step instructions. It will be downloadable from my web site, but I'll put a link to that page on this blog. While it is featured on the cover of the Micro-macramé book, it is a combination of techniques found within the book that perhaps aren't that easily intuited. In the end, I don't want anyone who buys my book to feel like they're missing any of the good stuff! So give me a couple of days and I'll get it posted.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wire Macrame

There's a talented artist named Melanie Miljan on Etsy who works with semi-precious stones and silver wire and to create wire macrame jewelry. Check out her iolite and sterling silver bracelet - nice design, yes?