New Display

With new management comes new ideas. I think this is brilliant.
After a wall is removed and another wall is cut in half and the bottom half is made very useful. This is so much better that the clothes rack from before (see Setting Up Shop from January 28th).
Hometown Talents & Treasures is now known as Inspired For You and its management has far exceeded future plans within one month than the ideas from before. More thought and time is given to each one of the venders within the store to help boost sales.
We salute you Stacy!!

I am so much more optimistic about selling within the community than ever before. Farmer’s Market is just around the corner and we will be selling right in the middle of it instead out on the fringe. There will be the  city events that the store will be apart of in parks and festivals this summer. Stacy has added radio advertising that has already seen new visitors because of it.

I will be giving reports as the summer goes on. I am so tickled right now about the possibilities.

As always, continue to

Be Creative.


700 And Counting!

Thank you to everyone for a milestone of 700 check-ins.

I really appreciate your interest in the goings on here at SideCapers Macrame.

To be honest, blog writing is very new to me. I took quite a while to convince myself that I had anything interesting to share. Now I strive to be as thorough as possible in my explanations of the purses that I make without being boring and redundant.

I have decided to write as though you have completed basic projects before, so if there is a portion that you do not understand and wish to know how to arrive at a certain point, please ask and I will explain further.

Again, I thank you for taking an interest in someone who has re discovered the art of macrame.

Continue moving forward and Be Creative!

This Was Fun To Make

Isn’t this different? I really enjoyed making this purse. It has such a classic look. This can be made this way or drop the shoulder straps and start the body right from a wooden grasp handle to have a hand bag.

After constructing the handles, I crossed over one left strand to the right strap and one right over to the left to bridge the two straps. Four cactus green, then eight white and then the last four green are larks head knotted over the bridge. This is repeated on the other side. A square knot on the strap is added to line up with the first green SK on each side. Two black cords, folded in half are added, one row at a time to all four corners. At this point the base is made. Fourteen rows of alternating square knots are made decreasing by one with each row until you are left with one knot to make in the last row, forming a V shape. Once this is completed on both sides of the purse, you lay them side by side with right sides facing up. Pin them to a board with the end knots at the top just touching. The first cord from the right purse side is crossed over the left purse side along the bottom edge of the finished square knots. Double half hitches are made over this cord using all the cords from the left purse side down to the last white to the inside of the black cord. Then the top cord on the left crosses over the right purse side and double half hitches are made over on the right side.

This continues in an alternating pattern to form the side of the purse and  attach the left and right sides together. It will be complete after the last black cord is hitched over and moved to the bottom. Now one green SK is placed at the base of the black in the middle using two green cords from the right and two green from the left side. Continue alternating the SK until eight rows are completed down into the white area. It is a little hard to image that it is the side of the purse until you unpin and refold the purse lining up the handles. The other side will need to have this done also. Here you can see with the realignment that only one side is done.

Open up the purse once again and fold it so that the loose cords meet and touch as they did with the first side. The finished side is to the back. You will need to pin through both layers to secure it. Again start with the top cord from one side and cross it over the other side and double half hitch down the eight rows per side until all eight black cords from each side have moved to the bottom of the purse. Finish with the eight alternating SK down through the white cords at the bottom. You will see that there are the black cords left in the front and back. Just like the side bottoms, make alternating SK, but there will be only four rows. This should bring all the cords finished evenly. To bring all sections together, make two final rows of alternating SK all the way around. Turn the purse inside out and tie off to close, cut and melt ends. Turn right side out and line the inside.

The finished size is 12″ x 9.5″ with a strap height of 11″. The colors used are black, cactus green and white. The ribs formed by the half hitches give a round,  full look to the entire purse.

Let me know what you think of this design. I think it could go with most outfits.

Until the next project,

Be creative!

New Challenge-Conquered

This was a fun challenge. I found this pattern in one of my macrame books, but the purse was attached to a set of ten inch rings at the top. They were to be used as the shoulder straps. I used to make most of my purse that way back in the day, that does not appeal to me now (if you like rings for a shoulder strap, let me know).

The other thing I have noticed about any pattern that has wooden handles, especially the smaller bags, is when you look inside, the opening is too small. It does not allow easy access to your stuff.

The last part of this challenge was the color. Because I was not going to use a ring or a wooden handle, the cord coming down into the body of the purse needed to be the same as the intended body color. A square knot consists of two cords folded in half. For a shoulder strap, you take 4 cords and lay them out flat, two longer ones on the outside and two shorter on the inside. In this case, I cut all 4 cords, two black on the outside and two brown to the inside,  what  the longer length would be in a regular pattern, laying them evenly next to each other and made a row of square knots 16″ long starting from the middle. Then unpin and turn it around, switch the brown and black cords positions, outside cords to the inside and continue another 16″.

Now that the strap is complete, there will be two black cords hanging at the bottom of the brown side and visa versa with the black strap side.

Placing the strap in half untwisted, I pinned the last knots to a board and took the black from the brown side and the brown from the black side and pinned them 90 degrees toward the opposite strap bottom leaving about 6″ space between strap bottoms; this will form a D on its back. Now all cords are on the side they should be. The beige cords were then mounted over the 4 cords between the straps and additional brown and black cords to their sides. At this point the body of the purse can be started.

So far these steps have taken care of replacing the rings for straps and the color dilemma. To take care of the narrow problem, a single cord was added to each side for four rows to increase the opening for easy access. To ensure that the contents will not fall out if the purse if it’s dropped, a tab closure is added to the back and slides over the bead in the front to latch. As you can see the inside of the purse is nice and wide when pulled open. I like the daisy pattern on the fabric. This purse has three great pockets for the items you wish to get at right away like your phone or glasses. Let me know your thoughts on this project and share it with others.

As always,

Be Creative

Spring Sale

Happy Spring

To celebrate the occasion, I have activated a 10% discount coupon on all purses within my Etsy shop. Click on the SHOP tab at the top of this page.  This promotion is only on current stock items.

To receive this discount, enter SPRING10 during checkout.

This promotion will continue through May 6, 2012.

Happy Shopping!!

The Wall

I’m thinking of creating a hanging wall for display. I purchased a bulk amount of jute to hang and square knot in fish net fashion.

10′ x 10′ space

The idea is to hang purses on the net for a store wall or for the sides of craft tent to display them individually.  For last years craft fairs, we set up a push up tent and attached plastic lattice panels on the back wall. All the purses were able to move around as things sold.

I have never been a fan of clothing racks where things are all bunched together. You are not able to be creative and display them in a balance. Customers are able to see the different styles and size at a glance.
I really would like to make three walls for the tent, so it can interchangeable with a store wall.


Continue to be creative!

Flex Frame

Here is a great “gotta run” purse. It incorporates an eight inch internal flex frame. The cords are attached by using larks head knots onto the frame and tied from there. This purse uses about 54 yards of 4mm cord in three colors.

Here I am making another purse using a twelve inch frame and 189 yards of 6mm cord. I find flex frames to be a popular style because of the frame closure; it stays open until you close it.

There are two changes in the original method to make this purse project easier. One thing I found difficulty was how to easily and quickly knot the purse once the cord was mounted onto the frame. The other complication is in the closure at the bottom; the frame opening does not always allow you to pull the entire purse inside out.

Here are my solutions.
I like to knot purses from a hanging position when possible. So  I make the shoulder strap the length that I want it to be. I leave about 5 inches of loose cord on both ends of the strap. I return to the frame with the cords attached and tie the first three square knots on the left side of the frame starting with cord number through four; this I do on both sides. Make sure the knots are tightly knotted against the frame. I tie alternating square knots under the three, starting with cord three. You will notice that the second knot on the top row has a supporting knot on each side and bottom.

Remember this is done on both sides of the purse on the left sides. If you open the frame looking down at the top, you will see work started on opposite corners.

Now the focus will be on that second surrounded knot.

You will insert the four loose strap cords from the outside toward the inside of the purse. The first two cords on one side and the second two on the other side of the second knot with the cords. Tie two very tight square knots on the inside of the purse. Making sure the strap is not twisted, tie the other end of the strap around the opposite side’s second knot.

Now you have a handle to hang the purse as you work on the rest of the body. When you have used most of the cords to produce the purse and the desired length is complete, the bottom will need to be closed.

With a purse made entirely from cord, without a metal frame or wooden handle, you are able to easily turn the entire project inside out to close and secure the bottom and return it back.

But as mentioned before the frame opening does not always allow for this. I have decided to tie the closing knots with the purse right side out. As I finish a knot, I cut he long ends short, melt the ends to stop fraying and turn the knot to the inside and continue like this until the last 4-6 inches. It is easier to have a constant flame for this method. I use a hurricane lamp without the chimney set at a very low flame. Some  may think this is a stinky way, but I have found paraffin lamp oil that does not make me nauseous from the kerosine smell.  You can use a candle if you wish.

I keep the purse right side out and find the outside 2 edge cords on one side. Place the purse between your knees letting the cords to part to either side.

Take the first two edge cords and tie two tight over hand knots. Cut the cords about an 1 1/2- 2 inches and melt the ends. Turn that knot to the inside of the purse. Take two cords from each side; the first on each side will be the center cords and the next will be the tying cords. Tie a tight square knot and cut the ends like the previous, melt and turn these to the inside as well.

Make sure you grab the next set of cords that make the square knot each time. If you do not, you will end up leaving cords out of the tie off and you will not end evenly with two cords at the end.
You should notice that the closing knots will resemble alternating knots, closing the gaps from the previous row. This makes a tight closure.

When you get to the last 4 inches, you will need to push the unfinished corner out through the opening as if turning inside out. Finish the square knots to the end, then clip and melt the ends. Push it back through the opening for finished work.

Here is the finished purse ready to be lined. The inside is big and roomy. There is plenty of space for your liner to have 4-6 deep pocket on the sides.

These directions can be used to for any size flex frame purse. The finished size of this macrame purse is 14″ opening and 16″ width at the bottom with a 12.5″ length.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to add them here. If you are interested in a purse like this, visit the shop tab at the top of this page. If you would like something made special, please contact me.
Thanks for spending time here.

Be creative!

As I Promised Myself

Here is the finished 8″ frame purse. I like the color combination of forest green, silver and plum. The finished size in 8″frame opening at the top, down to 9″ across the bottom. The length is 8″ from frame top to bottom. The strap is 20″ from shoulder to opening.

This is the best size purse to carry a small wallet, keys, phone and glasses. There will be one in the future made a little glitzier; something to take on a special night out. Here is a close up of the color blend.

I hope to show the interiors on all three purses tomorrow or Thursday for sure.
My goal is to have them completed before Friday. I have decided to join a small multi-business craft store in our area. It is called Hometown Talents & Treasures. You can find a link on the right for more information. Friday will be my moving-in day. As soon as things are settled, I will upload some photos of my little shop space.
Until then,
Be creative!

And It Begins…

Happy New Year!!

2012 is almost here and with it  the arrival of SideCapersMacrame. This is how this all started.

1978 was the first year that I remember putting a few cords together and calling it a purse. To my surprise others liked it. They asked me to put a few more cords together so they too could enjoy it. A few plant hangers were made, but not that many. Last Christmas we were looking at family pictures and I saw a few pictures of animals made from cord; panda, owl and a lion. Now to the present.

During a campaign to clean out areas of our home, my husband found in our basement  two 26” wrought iron rings that I purchased in 1979 to make a hanging chair. Now a decision had to be made. Do I make the chair or scrap the rings. As you can see, the chair was made. I found that I still loved making things from macrame cord.

two 26" wrought iron rings make up this macrame hanging chair

In my search for chair pattern that I had in mind, I came across other patterns. I also found copies of the macrame books I used 30 years ago. The trick was to find cord in the colors that wanted. With that solved I turned a spare room into a craft room. There are shelves that go around the room a foot from ceiling. I was able to store all the cords by color on those shelves. Since we were going through the house, all the sewing, craft and hobby items were brought to this room. I now have a work space with proper lighting, my sewing machine and materials.

I am looking forward to showing the different purses that I have made in the past year and sharing all future ones. Then there are the crafts shows and websites that SideCapers is involved with.

Thanks for visiting SideCapersMacrame.

Be creative.

Please join me