Feb 192012

micro macrame
Macramé has grown up and is fashionable all over again as micro macrame. Macramé is the art of knotting where you create your patterns through knots. The materials most often used in standard macramé are hemp, leather, yarn,and cotton twine. These materials are sometimes used when making jewelry with beads, glass, or wood. Currently, as people have become interested in this craft again they have updated the technique. Micro macramé is a new twist the standard macramé. Size is the main difference between macramé and micro macramé. The size of everything used in micro macramé is smaller as the name micro indicates. The cords are very thin compared to that of standard macramé. They are less than 2mm, which, intern means the beads and pendants used to adorn them have to be much smaller as well.

Micro macramé can be utilized to add detailing on larger pieces as well as making handmade jewelry. Using the micro macramé technique leaves no end to the possibilities of the types of jewelry and crafts that can be created. Some of which can be necklaces, bracelets, belts and clasps. Because this style of macramé is created with finer thread, the possibilities of the color and texture of the thread are endless.

Micro Macramé allows artists to capture the style and techniques of this classic craft and spice it up with beads, elegance, and intricacy to create items that rival pieces made years ago. Regardless of the added intricacy, these pieces are easy to make and are updated with a modern appeal.

Jan 182012

tagua nut cluster
Have you ever heard of tagua? Are you wondering what is tagua? Tagua is a form of vegetable ivory harvested from a plant called ivory palm. Not only does this vegetable ivory look exactly like tusk ivory, but it has a lot of redeeming traits. Tagua can be the answer to saving rain forests and elephant conservation!

Phytelephas is a genus of six species of palms, which all grow from Panama south along the Andes through Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru. They are known as ivory palms, ivory-nut palms, or tagua palms. Their scientific name means “plant elephant”. This refers to the very hard white nut produced by the plant. This nut is called the tagua nut. It resembles elephant ivory. A full-grown tagua tree can reach up to 65 feet in height and will yield several very large, knobby wooden fruits. When it is picked from the tree the tagua nut is covered with skin or pericarp. The pericarp usually gets removed by various animals. When the fruit is cracked open, it reveals several hens’ egg sized tagua nuts, the seeds of the tree. The kernel is covered with a brown flaky skin and is shaped similar to an avocado about 4 to 8 centimeters in diameter. The tagua seeds can be allowed to grow into seedlings to perpetuate the trees, or carved into vegetable ivory products. Continue reading »