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curtain tie backs.

I’ve been using a macrame-ish curtain tieback for a few years now (pictured on left below) and it was time for an upgrade. Modern Macrame rope and idea to the rescue!

You know the drill –

Cut two strands 10 feet long and one strand 12 feet long.

Fold the two 10-foot strands in half and hang the midpoint onto the ring. Using the 12-foot strand, create sinnet of square knots. If you’re using 5mm rope 14-16 square knots is a good length for gathering one curtain; I would start with a longer working cord and do maybe 20 square knots if you want a tie back to gather two curtains together.

This is the perfect project for some footwork. 🙂 You can also hang the hoop from an S-hook if you prefer not to use your foot.

Leave a gap after your first set of square knots – make sure your ring has room to slip into the gap – and continue making 5-6 square knots. Modern Macrame suggests to switch out two of the filler cords with the working cords – you’ll get this twisted look. You could also continue knotting with the previous working cords. Then, trim the tails and brush out as you like. I personally like a lot of fringe so I kept the tails long.

I tried the same project a few times with different cords but I’m loving the sage green the most.

You can style the tie back a few different ways – by threading the tail into the ring or threading the ring through the gap; you can show the ring and tail at the front of your curtain or turn it for more of a belted look to feature the square knots.

Have fun with it!

*These are affiliate or referral links. I may earn from qualifying purchases made via linked items at no additional cost to you.

stop and smell.

Have you visited the Berkeley Rose Garden? May is a lovely time to wander the garden. I especially appreciate a sunset visit.

Sometimes Hubby tricks me by saying something adventurous and romantic like ‘let’s go to the rose garden,’ but what he really wants to do is check out the Rose Garden tennis courts (yes, they have tennis courts!). I’m not mad about it though; look at these blooms and the view!

There are plenty of spots to sit and levels of garden to wander. I not-so-secretly would love to be able to name off varieties of plants so I like that the rose bushes are labeled with common names.

Also fun: There’s a tunnel that connects the Rose Garden to Codornices Park across the street which has a playground, lots of grassy hang out space, a creek, and hiking trails.

For more rose garden adventures, try the Morcom Rose Garden in Oakland or the State Capitol Park World Peace Rose Garden in Sacramento, too.

I hope you get to take some time to enjoy nature today! 🙂

dye party.

It had been a minute since my crafty lady crew gathered for a crafternoon. We’d been dye-ing to create together, and we’d each been hoarding loads of fabric for the occasion! Here’s how it all went down.

We prepped our materials. One day prior, we washed our fabric in natural detergent (for best results!). On the day of we mixed powder dyes plus warm water in squeeze bottles (for classic tie dye) and in buckets (for dip dyeing). We set up our work stations so we had an area for fabric manipulation and soda ash water soaking, an area for dyeing, an area for fabric resting before rinsing, a rinse station, and an area for hanging (and taking photos, let’s be honest).

Next we folded fabric. I like to fold all my fabric at the same time, then dye all at once to limit having to rinse or change gloves too many times, and also the chance of me getting unwanted dye on the next fabric I touch. But the process is up to you! Rubber bands work great on their own for adding patterns and negative space, but you could also use things like acrylic shapes and clamps for more variation.

We dyed so many things! And I had a purple/pink moment. For the squeeze bottle dye it helped to have a container to catch any excess dye. At the end it’s also fun to sop up the excess dye on a last piece of fabric to see what fun colors you get (usually a nice burnt orangey-brown color!).

Here’s how they turned out. The dye we used didn’t require to sit for hours, so we revealed all the pieces shortly after dyeing.

I think my favorite things to dye are pouches because they make gifting a little extra special! I’d like to get better at dyeing wearables, though – maybe with the right color combinations and folding techniques I can get there.

Thank you to my crafty lady crew (Kristin and Angel!) for sharing this moment with me! Bring on the craft parties! Materials and resource lists below so you can host your own crafternoon with your crew.


Dye resources:

*These are affiliate links. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases made via linked items at no additional cost to you.


Chocolate dessert craft time! I purchased an Easter Egg decorating kit from Tiny B Chocolates in South San Francisco. The kit came with everything I needed to fill an Easter egg chocolate shell with brigadeiros!

Popular in Brazil, brigadeiros are like fudge bonbons. They are bite-sized pieces of decadent, rich chocolate covered in various toppings like sprinkles or nuts. The Easter Egg kit came with the brigadeiro filling, three ‘filler’ chocolates already in piping bags, assorted sprinkles and candies, and a handpainted Easter egg chocolate shell, plus instructions.

Look at these eggs! First, I filled the shells with chocolate, then used the different pastry bag tips to add texture with the yellow and red chocolates.

I rolled the brigadeiros into small balls and covered them with sprinkles. This got a little messy, but it was definitely the most fun step.

You can make about a dozen brigadeiros with this kit. I decided to decorate the eggs with just a few brigadeiros, so I had plenty left over for snacking. To finish off I dotted with additional sprinkles and candies. The kit came with cute bunny, carrot, and Easter egg shaped candies.

And…photoshoot. This is generally not the color scheme I’d go for, but it’s such a colorful crowd pleaser!

Happy almost Easter! What Easter treats are you creating this year? Share below!

sushi cake.

Need an alternative idea to cake? Why not a tower of sushi! You could take this a step further and make your own sushi, but if you have a favorite sushi spot, you can whip this ‘cake’ up in five minutes or less!

When it comes to celebrating Hubby’s birthday, I get excited when I come up with a new cake alternative. (Remember the sandwich cakes?) For this sushi cake I picked up some of our favorite rolls from Kyoto Sushi in Berkeley. This was the first time I had created such a cake so I had a hard time visualizing how many rolls I’d need. I ended up getting enough sushi to make two cakes (~6″ at the base and 4 tiers tall), but no one is mad about extra sushi.

I used about 35 pieces of California with and without roe, smoked salmon, and mackerel rolls stacked on a 6″ cake stand*. For the base I used the bigger rolls and for the top tier the smaller rolls. I topped the whole thing with pickled ginger and added matching candles*.

Hubby was pleasantly surprised and eager to dig in!

Would you celebrate with sushi cake? Yay or nay?

*This is an affiliate link. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases made via linked items at no additional cost to you.

market bag.

I’ve had this 500-foot spool of gorgeous mustard rope hiding in my craft closet. I thought maybe I would get 3 or 4 projects out of the rope, but I ended up choosing a 400+ foot market bag project. Look at this beaut!

This project was from Modern Macrame by Emily Katz.* I cut out all the lengths of rope*, attached to my feet, and got to knotting. I didn’t use the suggested rope (jute) so partway through I realized I had to adapt the pattern slightly and add an additional 8 strands to my project. It’s such a pain to undo knots, but it made sense for this project otherwise I would have had major gaps in the bag for more falling out potential.

There were so many new-to-me macrame techniques in this project. I learned how to create a bag opening and strap, how to connect two panels (the front and the back of the bag), and a crossing technique to add dimension to two sinnets of square knots.

My favorite part in creating this piece was making the strap – a series of square knots 31 inches long!

After many square knots and hair cut (I used painters tape to help guide my cut), the final piece measured in at 18″ x 36″ with the strap and fringe, and it weighs ~3 pounds.

I feel like brushing out the fringe helps secure the bottom knots a little bit more so I used a pet brush* to loosen up the rope. Side note: Who else thinks that human brushes should come with the cool self-cleaning option as pet brushes do?

Next, I stress test it at the market!

*These are affiliate or referral links. I may earn from qualifying purchases made via linked items at no additional cost to you.


So…our floor lamp toppled over and broke. But it’s ok, because this macrame chandelier lamp project was in my queue. (Ay.) This project was a kit from the Crafter’s Box (now Crafter) by Modern Macrame*.

The kit included*:

You’ll also need*:

I won’t share the pattern here because it’s Modern Macrame’s design and part of a kit, but you can see it uses two basic macrame knots – reverse lark’s head (or you can use lark’s head) and square knot.

There is also a series of wraps (around the larger hoop) and basic overhand knots at key rope-hoop connection points.

This project took about 3 leisure hours including photography time (ha!). Hubby got excited because he thought maybe I was making a basketball hoop – and now I want to make one of those!

The first part of the project (along the hoop) can be done on a flat surface; then you’ll need to move to a hanging situation. It definitely looks like a basketball hoop here.

If you’ve never tried a Crafter workshop before, I highly recommend to try one out. They do cost a little more than other online workshops, but they consistently dish out quality supplies and the instructors are top notch experts in their craft. The workshops are all self-paced, and they also host a live Q&A with the instructor during the month the craft is featured (and usually a fun giveaway for attendees!). And, they always have fun add-ons for those projects where you want to do a little something extra.

I mostly followed the pattern for this project and added a little extra fringe around the bottom. I’m not sure if I want to use it with the light yet (the shadows are low key distracting), but I am loving the dimming effect of the light cord (maybe I’ll make another project with the cord).

What do you see? Chandelier or basketball hoop?

*These are affiliate or referral links. I may earn from qualifying purchases made via linked items at no additional cost to you.

heart garland.

I’m a big fan of hearts so I Googled “macrame heart garland” and was inspired by artist Isabella Strambio. It looked daunting because this was my first try at creating a shape with knots (versus shapes/images with color blocking). It was easier than I thought it was going to be; and it only uses two knots. Bookmark this craft for Valentine’s next year. 🙂


How to:

For a garland with five hearts, cut one strand of rope at least 6 feet long. This will be your base cord and the length will give enough extra rope between each heart and hanging cords on each side. I like to tie ends with an overhand knot to create hanging loops. For each heart, cut twelve 4-foot strands of rope.

Tape down the hanging cord as you knot. Attach twelve 4-foot strands to the hanging cord with lark’s head knots. Ensure the knots are not squished too close together.

The hearts are made up solely of square knots (SK). Here is the pattern:

  • Row 1: Leaving a 1″ margin at the top, create 2 SK across the row with cords 5, 6, 7, and 8; 17, 18, 19, and 20
  • Row 2: Create 4 SK with cords 3, 4, 5, and 6; 7, 8, 9, and 10; 15, 16, 17, and 18; 19, 20, 21, and 22
  • Row 3: Create 6 SK across the whole row

You can also create one top of the heart first, then the other, before connecting in row 4, as seen in the photos. Either way you do it, try to keep the base cord as straight as possible, otherwise you’ll get ‘loose’ cords throughout your project (this happened to me!).

  • Row 4: Create 5 SK across the whole row skipping cords 1, 2, 23, and 24. The third SK (center) connects the two sides of the heart.
  • Row 5: Create 6 SK across the whole row.
  • Row 6: Create 5 SK across the whole row skipping cords 1, 2, 23, and 24
  • Row 7: Create 4 SK across the row skipping cords 1-4 and 21-24
  • Row 8: Create 3 SK across the row skipping cords 1-6 and 19-24
  • Row 9: Create 2 SK across the row skipping cords 1-8 and 17-24
  • Row 10: Create 1 SK with cords 11, 12, 13, and 14.

Trim excess rope. I went for the straight across; you can also cut parallel to the heart edges. I also kind of like the pre-cut ‘jagged’ look.

Repeat making hearts until you get your desired garland length. A single heart would also make the most adorable chair back decor or place setting.

Happy Not-Valentine’s Day! 😉

hanging garden.

On my crafty wish list: get better at macrame. So for March (National Craft Month!), I’m sharing all macrame projects, all the time. First up is a 4-plant pot hanger featuring a Modern Macrame pattern and rope.

You will need:

Shop supplies on Modern Macrame and get $10 off your order with my Modern Macrame affiliate link*.

Macrame instructions are the only time I enjoy following a pattern. For any other craft I prefer to make it up as a I go. I hope to one day grow my macrame skills to design patterns more consistently and create more intuitively. Note: I won’t share the pattern here because it’s not mine to share, but I hope this project inspires you to support a small business or to be inspired to create your own hanging garden!

The Modern Macrame pattern is fairly basic with a row of lark’s head knots and series of square knots throughout. I like the addition of the chunky ceramic beads for added texture. And these handmade beads from their shop are so dreamy!

Behold: the final piece. The branch measures 3′ across and the hanger ~5′ long (will measure slightly shorter once you add pots). Each holder can fit a 4-8″ planter. I made this plant hanger for my parents’ garden, but now I’m thinking I need one, too, and so do all my friends. 🙂

Can’t wait to share more macrame projects with you this month!

*These are affiliate or referral links. I may earn from qualifying purchases made via linked items at no additional cost to you.

mushroom embroidery.

One of my wishes in life is to learn about and scavenge for mushrooms to create natural dyes. But until I’m able to do so, I’ll embroider them!

I signed up for a Jenny Lemons workshop with MCreativeJ* to create embroidered mushrooms. The mushroom embroidery kit came with an embroidery hoop, fabric, assorted floss, a needle, “peel, stick, and stitch” patterns, and hardware for hanging. We just needed to add scissors. And if you’re extra like me, you’ll have splurged and purchased an embroidery hoop stand/holder*, too! BTW – This is a game changer!

For this project I gathered additional embroidery floss in a red and brown palette*, too.

Here we go!

We reviewed satin stitch, chain stitch, and a take on satin stitch with long and short stitches combined. The time goes by so quickly in creative workshops. It’s always so satisfying when you can complete your project in one sitting but this was definitely a few-parter.

This was my first introduction to the sticker transfer paper; they came pre-printed in Melissa’s kit (she sells them on their own, too*). It’s so helpful to have the images as a guide, especially as a newbie embroiderer. You can place the images on top of each other, too, for a layered/gathered look.

Once you’ve completed your stitches, run water over your piece to remove the transfer paper. I did a little gentle scratching around the mushrooms, too, to help with removal. Let it dry.

Tahdah! My favorite part of this piece is the addition of French knots on the leftmost mushroom – still my all time favorite stitch.

I love nature inspired crafts – and mushrooms?! The ultimate. And hey, big news! I’m now an MCreativeJ affiliate* which means I’ll share more embroidery projects on the regular-ish. Who wants to craft along with me for my next project*? Use my referral code (CRAFTERATEUR) for 10% off your entire order (limit one use per customer).

Name your favorite mushroom below. I’ll go first: maitake.

*These are affiliate or referral links. I may earn from qualifying purchases made via linked items at no additional cost to you.