A Mini Tutorial - Hemp and Button Clasp

If you can tie your shoes, you can make this clasp!


Greetings Weaving Friends!!! As promised, I am posting the instructions for the macrame finishing of my Magical Mosaic Cuff. You can do this using a simple square knot. It really isn't difficult. As I have mentioned before, experimenting with 20 lb hemp warp cords was fun and rewarding. Visible and bold warps are a colorful way to add another dimension to your bead weaving on the loom. The durability, lack of stretch, and array of colors makes hemp a very nice scaffold for heavy beads and the large button. (If you are looking for a source for hemp click here). Czech glass buttons are a stunning way to accent your bracelet - and functional as well. (Here's a source for my buttons).

In pictures, here's what you do to create the clasp….

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Color Work - Magical Mosaic Continued


Now that I have got a pattern that I like, I can employ a variety of beads and fibers to create all kinds of variations. Here I wanted to work with 2 colors of tile beads and no stud/ pyramids. With texture, placement and size relationships set, I can bring all my focus to the interplay of color. While a spool of hemp and strands of beads may look great together in my hand, this does not guarantee a pleasing look on the loom. Using the Big Sister loom, I was able to set up 2 contrasting samplers to work out the color for my Spring Blossom (pink and green) color way - seen in final form above.

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Over The Hump with Hemp


Greetings Weaving Friends! I have had a difficult time with "re-entry" after my knee surgery. No matter what I did, I was very tired all the time. I tried resting, pushing myself, smiling a lot and pretending I was fine, letting myself feel everything and even crying too. I was the dreaded…."Unproductive". It wouldn't go away! I stopped in at my shop for an hour or two here and there and was simply overwhelmed. I wondered if I would ever feel "normal" again. Even as my knee improved…I got out of bed, then off crutches, then walking with a normal gait, then not in pain all the time…My life seemed to be more difficult to manage. But slowly, the real me has been re-emerging. My life seems to be coming back on track. I guess I am "over the hump".

And guess what….I am back at the loom!

While I was on leave, we started carrying hemp cord at Poppyfield Bead Company (my bead shop in Albuquerque, New Mexico). I have never worked with it before and on one of my post-op visits to my shop it captured my attention. I like mixing opposing elements, and I wondered how the the natural organic texture could blend and contrast with elegant glass beads. In keeping with some skills I picked up during my last experiment (see post), I decided to warp with hemp cord and weave a combination of two-holed Czech beads, hexagonal delica seed beads, and fire polish beads.

Working with a variety of sizes of beads can be tricky. It took me several attempts to figure out how to keep the sections aligned. Two 3 mm fire polished beads should combine to take as much as space as a 6 mm bead. But there are other factors that come into play, and they don't. So being flexible and willing to "undo" and make adjustments is key getting the "mosaic" look I wanted.

Finishing this will be the next challenge. Stay tuned!


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