Fish Scale Wind Catcher

I have finished the Tassel Wind Catcher I wrote about in my previous post .  It is gorgeous!!!  Dare I say this might be one of my most favorite pieces to date?!?  Oh, definitely in my top 5.  This wind catcher is also one of my bigger finished projects and I am struggling right now for good placement to showcase it in photographs…mostly due to the fact that Spring has not yet sprung in South Jersey.

While I try to figure this photography issue out, I thought I would take a minute to share what I’m up to today……

Fish Scale Wind Catcher 1.jpg

I’m so excited to be working with lots of colors still!!!

I found this funky piece of driftwood at the park a few weeks back and I wasn’t sure how I could use it for macrame work, so I had set it aside hoping I would be able to use it eventually and this morning when I saw it I knew it would be perfect for the next wind catcher I want to make.

The colorful pieces for this one are made from melting transparent pony beads.  The larger discs are shaped using a cupcake tin and the smaller melted pieces were set out individually on parchment paper.

***Don’t forget to create a well ventilated area where you are melting the plastic beads.  The fumes are awful!***

Fish Scales.jpg

In order to obtain the fish scale appearance, the beads will have to melt very flat which requires a hotter oven.  For this group of beads, the oven is set at 425 and I kept them in for almost 30 minutes.  The larger discs went in at the same temperature, but were finished melting at 22 minutes.  After the discs cooled, it was just a matter of drilling small holes for the fishing line to pass through.  I put two on each one of the smaller discs parallel to one another.

Now that I have all the supplies to create the wind catcher, I just need to sit down and get started.  Maybe while I am working on this one I can figure out a good way to photograph both so I can share them with you.

 

Advertisements

Bohemian Baby Mobile and More

Whenever I’m looking for a new craft, I start at my Pinterest boards and then I go through the supplies I have on hand.  Many of you know that I was blessed with the birth of a beautiful granddaughter in the late fall of last year and this latest piece was inspired by her beauty and the lovely way her Mom has decorated her nursery.

I admit I started out looking for a toy or a doll I could make for her to play with since she is on the move these days, but when I saw a photo of a bohemian baby mobile, I had to give it a try……and it came together nicely with items I already had on hand.

Bohemian Baby Girl Mobile.jpg

Isn’t it adorable?!?

The base is an old embroidery hoop I had on hand along with various mediums of fabric and thread.  The piece measures a little over 18″ in length from the hoop to the ends of the fabric.  I created the piece to hang in the nursery, but not directly over the crib.

It would be nice to say that it worked up quickly, but there was a lot of time in gathering all the supplies and cutting the fabric pieces as well as the knotting I did with most of the thread I put on the piece.  Overall, it took me three days to complete.

Of course, I can’t stop with just one mobile…..so now I’m working on one for my house.  It’s a tassel mobile I started right after I finished the Boho Baby Mobile and I love it so far, but it’s taking an enormous amount of time….

Boho Tassle Mobile.jpg

The handmade tassels are what is so time consuming.  I bought a tassel maker at the craft store to help, but it’s still a lot of work.  I have been making tassels in my free time for going on two weeks and I’m still not finished!

Today I will be finishing the last of the tassels I need to go around the hoop and I will  be adding either wood beads or plastic beaded sun catchers to it….probably both.  I plan for this piece to be longer and for the pieces to move in the wind.

I can’t wait to show off the completed work.  I will share finished photos later this week.  I hope it turns out as lovely as the Boho Baby Mobile did.  Check back to see my updates, or better yet, subscribe so you won’t miss a single post!

Happy Hooking!

Macrame Wall Hangings

I guess it’s been about a month since I started my addiction to macrame.  In that time, I have managed to complete three wall hangings.  I wanted to share them with you and see what you think.

I did all the workings free-handed and I don’t have any patterns to share since I’m learning as I go.  Also, when I started pricing cotton cording specific for macrame I almost fell over at the cost.  I did order a small amount to work with on my second wall hanging, but material costs have pushed me to look for other mediums for projects.  I’ll give my reviews on the materials as I work with them.

So….what I have learned so far about macrame is that there are only a few basic knots to learn and once you master tying knots and how they come together it’s easy working from there.  You will need something to attach your macrame work on (in my case it is driftwood), you will need your chosen cordage and plan for about triple the amount of your completed piece size; and finally….bring your creativity.  You can add beads, cuffs, feathers, paper cutouts and more!

Alright, let me show you what I’ve made so far:

The first one is a double patterned hanging.  I used nontraditional cording for both sides of the work and I share it with mixed reviews.  I like how cotton clothesline knots straight and clean, but I don’t like the way the bottoms fray when the piece is cut.

The darker side was made using cotton thread I have used for some crochet projects.  I like the way the material holds together and there is no fraying on the ends.  The way I finished the ending knots has created a clumping of cords at the base of the piece, so I don’t love that either.

I guess for this piece my favorite part of it is the beautiful driftwood I used to hold the pieces together.  One of the perks of living by the Delaware River…..lots of free driftwood to work with 🙂

Macrame Double Wall Hanging

My second wall hanging is by far my favorite.  I found this wonderful piece of dark red driftwood with amazing ends on it.  I saved it specifically for working with true cotton cording for macrame.

This piece was made using 100 yards of 3mm natural cotton cord.  It was about $20 for the cord with shipping.  It didn’t take too much time to put together either.  I really do love this piece.  I found a vendor on Amazon that sells the cording from 1mm-6mm in large spools, so when I begin working on larger projects, I can order the cording in any size I need.  I didn’t do a lot of price comparisons, so I would encourage you to shop around if you are thinking about starting macrame projects of your own.

Just look how lovely the piece is:

Macrame Wall Hanging 1

 

Macrame Wall Hanging 1-A

I just love the ends of this driftwood branch!  I also love the color.   It’s not every trip I find driftwood with this color….I wish I did though.

Alright, the third wall hanging I made is for candles or even as another planter/sprout jar.  I wanted to work with jute cording since I can get my hands on it with out having to wait for shipping.  I’ll show you first and then tell you about it.

Jute Cord Candle Holder

So, I thought jute would be painful to work with since the cording has a rough texture to it, but that wasn’t an issue.  The cording works up very nice.  It holds a great knot that looks thick and beautiful.  The piece is sturdy and I can’t wait to put some tea lights in it and light up the porch when the weather gets warmer.

I could see making more jute corded projects, but they will all be for outside.  I don’t know if it was just this brand of jute I worked with or if I can expect all of them to have a putrid petroleum smell.  It was awful…..made me sick to my stomach.  I turned on the fan in the room and it helped, but it was still pretty disgusting.  After I hung it up and took photos, I hurried it out to the porch where three days later it still smells…….a lot.

So, I hope you found the post inspirational and informative.  I am still searching for some wonderful cord options to work with over the next month.  I ordered a bulk supply of rat tail cording in a variety of colors.  I didn’t have any real project in mind, but I hope to find some creative uses for it once I arrives.

If you are working with macrame in any form, I would love to hear your stories of success and failure in your pieces and in your choices of material.  I will be posting more creations this month, so if you aren’t subscribed, click the follow button and make sure you don’t miss a single post.

 

Macrame Plant Hangers & Sprout Jars

For me, it was only a natural progression to move from working with knots and beads for jewelry to doing the same thing on a larger scale and dive into the world of macrame!

After having already made a ton of beaded bracelets and anklets,  I’m growing bored with creating the same pieces over and over.  Time to look for inspiration on Pinterest.  I did add some wonderful key ring  photos I found, but it wasn’t sparking my creativity like I wanted.

You know I’ve always believed that the best crafts to make are the ones born out of necessity and I don’t really need key rings right now……so, looking around I thought about what I could do with materials on hand to improve the look of the space and feed my need to be creative.

Well, there is a beautiful spider plant hanging above my work desk from the plastic hanger it came with when I bought it last summer at the store…it is pretty awful…love the plant….hate the hanger…

I want to make a plant hanger like the ones my Mom had in the house when I was younger, but I’m going to need some help deciphering the photos I pinned since most of them don’t come with instructions.

I settled on a YouTube video tutorial about plant hangers using recycled t-shirts knowing that there is a bag in the closet overflowing with old clothing and I also have one metal clasping ring just perfect for holding the weight of a plant.

That means I can make one for free with recycled household materials and I love that!

My First Plant Hanger.jpg

I made my first hanger with cotton clothesline and it isn’t quite right.  It works, but I didn’t tie the knots in the correct groups and it’s making the hanger a big unstable.  I also don’t love the way the clothesline frays at the cut.

My second plant hanger is my articles feature photo and it’s my favorite so far!!  I love that I made it for free with an old t-shirt and a lovely container I had sitting in storage.

The sprout jars I made were an opportunity for me to work with other materials and it gave me the chance to scale my work to a smaller size.  I was also able to put some lovely driftwood pieces to use and some beads that were too small to thread onto the larger cording.

 

 

I even went so small I used cotton twine and made some smaller sprout jars that won’t hold the wide mouth jars….only jelly jars.

Sprout Jar 2Sprout Jar 1

I love these little pops of green around the house in places that might be too small or too impractical for a larger house plant.  I’m also able to save more of the spider plants sprouts instead of tossing them when I prune.  These would make really nice housewarming gifts or a last-minute gift when visiting with friends.  You could use the jar for a small candle or fresh cut flowers.

Do you want a project that will have a small impact on your wallet and a big impact in your house? Then grab some t-shirts you don’t like any more, unhook an extra key ring from your house keys, search YouTube for video help or Pinterest for inspiration.  You will have a mastered this skill in no time at all.

I’ll be sharing some of the other macrame pieces I’ve made in upcoming posts.  If you don’t want to miss a moment of my crafting obessions, then hit subscribe and join me on my journey.

Japanese Knot Bag Pattern #3

Since last week I have been working hard to make a decent inventory of Knotty Jewelry.  I’ve learned several macrame knots and how to connect beads to create some lovely pieces.  I will post more about the bracelets (what I’ve made the most) as well as tutorials and photos soon.  I’ve been delaying the post because I don’t have a great way to display the jewelry yet.  I’m researching some DIY displays, so maybe next week I can post something about the jewelry.

In the meantime, I wanted to do a follow-up post to the Japanese Knot Bag postings from a few weeks back.  If you remember, I posted a lovely small bag with a pattern and then a medium sized bag with a wonderful pattern.  You can find the original two patterns here and here.

Let me start this with the disclaimer that I am a beginner at sewing.  This is the third JKB that I have made and each one was easier than the one before.  I say this because both of the links to the free patterns I used were very informative and helpful….so, if you know what you are doing, either pattern will probably make the perfect bag for you.

The first two bags were kept uniform with the same material pattern around the entire bag.  Since I was branching out on my own with this bag in particular, I purposely used two fat quarters with similar patterns but different color shades.  I also did not use a fleece liner but kept it cotton fabric.  It keeps the bag lighter for turning and doesn’t affect it’s usefulness in the least.

To start, you will need to cut the pattern found in this post.  I love the round bottom on the pattern.  It gives the bag shape so when I set it on a table, it doesn’t fall over!

Alright, let’s talk about assembly now because I use this post for the instructions on how to put the pieces together.  It starts with joining the seams of the pieces together following the instructions.

JKB #3 Together and Turned

This is what my bag looks like at this stage.  I have the lining of the bag sewn to the two outside pieces and the seam follows the side and across the “U” of the bag.

Now it is time to pin and sew the bottom to the piece.  There is one circle for the interior of the bag and one for the outside.  I just picked the material I had more of, so the bottom of my bag matches the panel on the left in the photo.

Let’s start pinning.

JKB #3 Pinning Bottom 2

JKB #3 Pinning Bottom Other Side

Now you should have the right sides pinned together for the lining to be completed and another for the outside panels.  Sew the bottoms on with 1/2″ seam allowance.  Tuck the liner into the outside piece and follow the final assembly instructions.

After a nice press, this is my finished piece:

JKB #3 Finished Piece Side B

I love this bag!!!  I use it as my main purse.  The size of this bag holds just enough of my essentials I can run errands with it AND when you secure the top, you can place the whole bag inside a larger bag and not have to worry about combining purses for bigger days out.  Let’s not forget the best part about the Japanese Knot Bag is the ability to be hands free while keeping your items securely in your grasp.

I hope you love all three of the bags I created using this pattern or combination of patterns.  I expect I will be making more of these to add to my craft fair inventory….and more for me!!

Make one for yourself.  I promise you won’t regret it!

 

Knotty Jewelry

That is a great name for the collection of jewelry pieces I’ve been designing since last week.  It all started with learning how to make the half square knot and creating some cool accent pieces for my beaded elastic bracelets….and now, I don’t know that it is an “obsession”, but as I am working a bracelet or anklet, I’m already thinking of the next one I can make!

There are so many inspirational photographs online and so many free tutorials it is easy to get swept away.   Look how pretty this beginner anklet is I made for myself:

Blue Bead Anklet KJ.jpg

I haven’t taken it off since I finished making it and it’s holding up beautifully and wearing very comfortably!  I just love it!

Once I broke out the seed beads….well….I’ve made two trips out for more colors of both seed beads and cording to work with; as well as buying a few things that will make working the bracelets up faster and easier.

This morning I am working on this pattern for bracelets and anklets…

Teal with Silver Beads KJ.jpg

The possibilities are endless for this pretty little piece.  The picture shows Red Heart Thread in Aqua #10.  The silver beads came in a multi-pack of beads I bought from Wal-Mart.

This is my favorite combination so far.  I’m making a bracelet now, but I will be making an anklet size for these as well.  When I have finished a few more of them, I will come back and share the free tutorials I used and a good list of supplies.

I’m going to get back to working on more pieces.  I have plans to make these two patterns in particular and add them to my booth when I sign up for a few craft fairs this coming summer.  Plus, I’m feeling crafty, so it is time to get back to it.

Happy Hooking!

 

Twisted Knot Jewelry

Yesterday I made a run to the local dollar store in order to find all the last minute things I would need for creating an allowance system/chore chart for Gracie.  I’m putting the finishing touches on it today and getting it set up for her to use starting next week.  I will share all of my printables with photos in a few weeks.  I want to see what we find useful and what we don’t.

In the meantime, I spent most of yesterday learning a bit of macrame!  I had no idea how satisfying creating knots could be!!!

Seriously, I love the stuff I created!  Check these out….

Half Knot Bracelet.jpg

I loved the bracelet so much I made an anklet….

Half Knot Anklet

If you want to make one, you probably have what you need on hand.  It does take some time to complete, but if you get started now, you could have one before the end of the day!

I used Lion Brand Yarn 24/7 Cotton in Aqua and Burgundy.  You could also use cotton twine, hemp, leather cording, or baker’s twine.  Just make sure it is a tough thread for durability.

You will need a clipboard or something to hold it tight for you and a pencil or similar to wrap the loops of thread around at the beginning.

Do you know how to create a half square knot?  Well, I didn’t either, so I had to find a tutorial.  This video from Wool and the Gang was the most helpful.  I don’t have a background in macrame or creating knots for any other reason, so it took me a bit to get the hang of it.

I watched this video just to see how to finish the bracelet.  There are some great ideas online for ways to close these bracelets, so I guess it is up to your personal taste.  I wanted to wear mine long term, so I created a large knot on the finished end so it would fit through the loops on the beginning end of the bracelet.  For the anklet, I just tied the two ends together and snipped the ends leaving enough to fray with wear.

I have a sizing chart for both men and women’s jewelry measurements on my Pinterest board in case you are making one for someone else.  If it’s for you, measure it for a perfect fit.

I’m going to make a few more of these and learn some different knot patterns to create some other pieces.  I’ve been interested in using charms for the bracelets and small bells for an anklet.  If I get brave enough, I might even try to make a plant hanger or a boho wall hanging.

If you have an interest in working with macrame, this is a great place to start.  The investment is minimal and the reward is new jewelry!!