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It's wordweaverlynn's fault - she e-mailed me a little bit before Wiscon and asked if I wanted to participate in a group Fire Mountain Gems order. I thought I might, but of course in order to figure out what I needed, I first had to drag out and inventory my existing stash of jewelry stuff.

And while doing that I came across a bag full of beads and supplies that I had intended to use to make something along the lines of the "Floating Fantasy Necklace" from Beadstyle November 03 issue. I set that aside and started to work on it after Wiscon, only I found out that a number of the small beads I had chosen had holes too small to be strung on the waxed cord, and that I didn't have enough teardrop beads. What to do? I had received the botmo collection from May 07, entitled "Dragons in the Garden," and it had a lot of smallish flower and leaf beads, so I decided to use those along with the other beads I had set aside.

I made most of the necklace in one evening while watching my Two Fat Ladies videotapes. The videotapes are better than the Food Network version of the show, which cuts out a lot of fun stuff to make room for the commercials.

I used a dental pick to make the knots between beads. I got it from a guy who sells inexpensive hobbyist tools at the San Mateo County Fair.

The Beadstyle article doesn't explain how to make the macrame cord - it suggests a simplified cord with some overhand knots. I didn't like how that looked, so I did a web search to find basic macrame instructions. Somewhere in my search I found a tip that suggested you could tie the top of your macrame to the clip of a clipboard, so I used that instead of a macrame board.

dragon's garden knotted necklace

Comments

( 45 comments — Leave a comment )
saoba
Jun. 14th, 2007 08:27 am (UTC)
That is very seriously nifty.
bastette_joyce
Jun. 14th, 2007 07:57 pm (UTC)
Great icon. :)
(no subject) - firecat - Jun. 15th, 2007 06:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
fimbrethil
Jun. 14th, 2007 11:07 am (UTC)
Nice work! I use the tip of a bead reamer for my knots but anything slender works. How does it drape?
mjlayman
Jun. 14th, 2007 11:44 pm (UTC)
I use an awl, which has the deconstructive value of taking unwanted knots apart.
(no subject) - firecat - Jun. 15th, 2007 06:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mjlayman - Jun. 15th, 2007 07:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - firecat - Jun. 15th, 2007 07:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - firecat - Jun. 15th, 2007 06:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
bookofnights
Jun. 14th, 2007 11:59 am (UTC)
Oh wow! I love that. That's really beautiful.
firecat
Jun. 15th, 2007 06:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
treacle_well
Jun. 14th, 2007 12:15 pm (UTC)
Ooooo.

Nice.
firecat
Jun. 15th, 2007 06:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
epi_lj
Jun. 14th, 2007 12:20 pm (UTC)
I'm having a hard time figuring out how it would lie when worn, but it's really very cool. :)
firecat
Jun. 15th, 2007 06:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'll take a picture next time I wear it.
(Deleted comment)
firecat
Jun. 15th, 2007 06:43 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I agree.
auntysocial
Jun. 14th, 2007 05:23 pm (UTC)
So the two fat ladies still have the power to inspire! I'm glad you took the time to learn a little macrame. The whole thing looks great!
firecat
Jun. 15th, 2007 06:43 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah, I love them. Thanks!
starcat_jewel
Jun. 14th, 2007 05:52 pm (UTC)
Pretty! Not something I'd make, but all the more reason to admire it for that. (I have trouble with "random arrangement" stuff -- it never comes out looking right.)
firecat
Jun. 15th, 2007 06:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks! It seems I can only do random arrangement stuff. This is actually only semi-random - there's a certain order, but I substituted one small bead for another a lot.
bastette_joyce
Jun. 14th, 2007 07:56 pm (UTC)
Ooooooooo!!!!

Beautiful! And so complicated.
firecat
Jun. 15th, 2007 06:48 pm (UTC)
Thanks! You helped inspire me with the beautiful stuff you made!
19_crows
Jun. 14th, 2007 11:23 pm (UTC)
That's very beautiful! It looks like something I'd wear, but not make. I especially like the red leaf beads.
firecat
Jun. 15th, 2007 06:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I think the red leaf beads are esp. pretty, yeah.
mjlayman
Jun. 14th, 2007 11:49 pm (UTC)
We share some other cultural beliefs, so let me tell you why I don't buy from FMG. The primary reason is that they ask artists for samples, implying that they'll buy the lampwork/polyclay/PMC/etc. from them, and then a bit later, those designs turn up in the catalog made in China.

The secondary reason is that they've stopped being primarily a bead catalog and more of a cheap imported stuff catalog. Offering things like $5 beaded bracelets from China in bulk sets up the folks who are the competitors of the people who make items with good quality supplies and good skills.

If you're going to buy online, I'd recommend either http://www.riogrande.com or http://www.whimbeads.com for the type of beads in this piece. For pearls, stone, and some silver & gold, I'd recommend http://www.monsterslayer.com. Monsterslayer also takes scrap silver in exchange for store credit.
firecat
Jun. 15th, 2007 12:10 am (UTC)
I appreciate your thoughts on this. I mostly don't buy from Fire Mountain because of their heavy reliance on stuff made in China (I didn't know about their treatment of artists...but I'm not surprised either). But in this case (not for the beads in this necklace but for the excuse that made me inventory my supplies) I made an exception.

I haven't bought from riogrande in the past because they required a reseller's licence. Have they changed their policy?
(no subject) - mjlayman - Jun. 15th, 2007 12:43 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - firecat - Jun. 15th, 2007 07:10 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - elisem - Jun. 15th, 2007 10:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
dandelion_diva
Jun. 15th, 2007 12:07 am (UTC)
Oh, that's gorgeous and looks like it'd be fun to wear. :)
firecat
Jun. 15th, 2007 06:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
suzanne
Jun. 15th, 2007 04:17 am (UTC)
ohh.
So pretty.
firecat
Jun. 15th, 2007 06:52 pm (UTC)
Re: ohh.
Thanks! Your cross stitch icon looks like seed beading, a bit.
lorres
Jun. 15th, 2007 12:31 pm (UTC)
Very lovely!! Your choice of colors on the black cord is beautiful. Congrats on mastering all those knots! The itty bitty ones look like they took a great deal of patience!
firecat
Jun. 15th, 2007 06:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks! The knots were actually easier than I expected them to be once I figured out how to use the tool...they took a bit of time to set up, but I hardly ever had to undo and redo them, which would have frustrated me a lot.

Plus, all the knotting meant that I didn't spill the half-made strands of beads half a dozen times, which I have done every time I've strung multi-strand necklaces on tigertail.
(no subject) - mjlayman - Jun. 15th, 2007 07:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - firecat - Jun. 15th, 2007 08:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mjlayman - Jun. 15th, 2007 08:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - firecat - Jun. 15th, 2007 08:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mjlayman - Jun. 15th, 2007 09:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - firecat - Jun. 15th, 2007 10:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mjlayman - Jun. 15th, 2007 11:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
elisem
Jun. 15th, 2007 10:54 pm (UTC)
Very nice! A proper treasure necklace, that. And good to see the Dragons in the Garden beads having some fun.
firecat
Jun. 15th, 2007 10:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
( 45 comments — Leave a comment )

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