Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Skill Levels

I recently listed all 8 patterns for one low price (savings of $7.00).

Today, I received a question regarding the skill level for each pattern. Oops. I forgot to put that in the description. I had it in the individual listings...well, now it is in this package listing, too. This brought me to think I should post the information here so it will be in one spot.

Determining skill level has been a challenge, I must admit. I call on anyone who has tried any of my patterns to add their input in "comments" at the end of this post. I am not very objective on this topic because I have been doing micro macrame for over 10 years and it is sometimes hard to remember what was difficult and what was easy.

In general, macrame is not that difficult to learn in terms of complexity. It just takes practice getting the knots to be uniform. I work hard to make my patterns easy to understand with plenty of photos.

If you have some cord lying around, check out Basic Knots and just practice the knots to see if you like macrame

For a free Key Chain pattern (and a chance to see how I write my patterns) .

If you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to ask. You may leave questions in the "comments" section at the end of this post or contact me (see profile).

Okay, Here is my assessment of the skill level of each pattern:

1. Spirals Anklet (as seen in Step by Step Bead Magazine) - Beginner. Mostly made of Half Knots (with a few Lark's Head Knots and an Overhand Knot).

2. Waves Bracelet (includes instructions for matching earrings) - Beginner. Mostly made of Square Knots.

3. Fans Bracelet - Intermediate. Mostly Double Half Hitches and some Lark's Head Knots. Tricky parts include determining number of beads per strand and performing Lark's Head knots into a split ring (at the end).

4. Fans Earrings - Intermediate. Same as for Fans Bracelet.

5. Lacy Ripples Bracelet - Intermediate. Mostly made of Lark's Head Knots and Double Half Hitches. Tricky part is alternating between the two types of knots.

6. Victorian Lace Earrings - Intermediate. Same as for Lacy Ripples bracelet.

7. Tapestry Bracelet - Intermediate. Mostly made of Double Half Hitches. Trickiest part is keeping track of where you are.

8. Diamonds Bracelet - Basic bracelet, Beginner. The variations are a bit trickier. Mostly made of Double Half-Hitches.

Added on 13 Nov 08:

9. Serpentine Bracelet - Beginner to Intermediate. Not so much complicated, but needs some practice getting the hang of the knots (mostly Double Half-Hitches and a few Lark's Head Knots).

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Very Interesting Macrame Art

I came across this video some time back and have been meaning to share it with you. What an interesting way to use macrame...

Somebody Told Murphy on Me

Okay. So, I got the second computer set up. The one a friend gave me. It was working just fine, even got that copy of Windows XP installed and everything. But, I think someone told Murphy (of Murphy's Law) that I was having some things go well....

So. Murphy can't have that. Turns out that the reason the power supply was out on that computer was because the motherboard was bad...So, now a new power supply, new motherboard, and a new CPU, and yes, new RAM are installed and I indeed have a mostly new computer now. The only thing I did not have to replace was the hard drive and the case! Oh well.

But that is not all. We had ordered the aforementioned parts and they arrived last Friday. On Saturday, we were set to build the computer. Actually my Sweetie is the techie and I just help.

On Saturday morning I got the telltale visual "aura" of a migraine. Drat. I really hate those. I took a pain pill to forestall the headache and muddled through the day. I tried a few times to nap, but could not sleep much. I just can't seem to take naps - can't sleep.

Luckily my Sweetie did most of the work and late that night he turned it over to me to install Windows XP...that part went well, but then, I got another "aura". I have never had two in the same day before. Probably because of menopause, my hormones are confused these days. Oh well, I got to sleep most of this second one off as it was nearly time for bed anyway.

Sunday, I got the computer connected to the internet and of course downloaded my favorite internet software - Firefox (browser), AVG (anti-virus ), and ZoneAlarm (firewall) - all FREE and all GREAT. Late that night, I got another "aura". Now, this was getting tiresome. It really takes a lot out of me even when I just get the "aura". It leaves me befuddled - my right brain seems fine, but my left brain (logic) not so much. Okay, time will pass and it will go away.

I recuperated a bit on Monday, just felt like I had been through the wringer. Then, Tuesday, I got another one! I am getting nervous now. I don't usually get migraines very often - every couple of months or so and never before have I gotten so many "auras" in one week. I think menopause may be arriving with a bang. Thanks be to the Universe (HaHa).

I relate my migraines to my hormones because: I first got migraines during puberty (about 2-3 times a month). Then, they settled into a schedule of once a month...dwindling over the years to almost never. So, I gathered they were related to hormones. Some people get migraines triggered by foods, but mine never seemed to fall into that pattern - yes, I tested with various foods said to be triggers. I thank all that is holy that chocolate was not a trigger of migraines for me. What would I do without chocolate? In fact, chocolate seems to help.

Well, I am getting older and a few years ago, the migraines began to make a comeback. They are becoming more frequent and it would make sense for them to be connected to hormones (for me anyway) as both puberty and menopause are both times of hormonal changes.

So, I am subsequently behind on several of my projects. Until I have recuperated a bit more, I am just not able to concentrate enough to work on them. Hopefully, tomorrow, I will be back up to speed. Now, I think I will go eat some of that chocolate...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Inspired Variations

Another customer of mine, Janine Kloubert of www.BeadDust.com in Germany, has graciously given me permission to post photos of her work. I think she has done a wonderful job!

This first one "Achat" is inspired by my "Waves Bracelet" pattern. She has substituted a button closure for the lobster claw and used smaller beads on the "spine" of the piece - giving front stage to the lovely gemstone chips along the sides.

And, this beautiful matching necklace "Achat2" was also inspired by "Waves Bracelet"...but she took it to a whole 'nother level!

Another beautiful piece "Eisprinzessin" (Ice Princess) inspired by "Waves Bracelet"...

This last one "Lila Welle" was inspired by my "Fans Bracelet" pattern. I love the transparent matte beads and the way she plays with the two colors...
I so love to receive photos of my customer's work! I love how they take the basic patterns and make them their own. That is the spirit of creativity.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Free Micro Macrame Pattern

Basic Key Chain

I decided to make "Spirals Key Chain" available for FREE...

Great pattern for Beginners!

Find tip on adjusting basic pattern to accommodate the different types of focal beads here. If you would like a pdf version emailed to you, just contact me (see my profile). Below, are a few of my variations on the basic pattern...just to give you some ideas.

Variation 1. Different type focal beads. Here I used wood.
Variation 2. Omitted the alternating half-hitch chains and used hand made fabric focal bead.
Variation 3. Different shape focal beads and omitted alternating half-hitch chains.
Copyright 2007 Donna Littlewood