Hand Painted Alaskan Beach Stones

DSC_0549 After a full day of hiking and exploring, I have enjoyed spending my evenings making these painted beach stones.

Tutorial: Macrame Stones

Macrame StonesThese are a lot of fun to make, and super easy. Here is how it’s done.

steps 1-5

 

click the image to view it larger.

1. Tie a “belt” around the stone.  Then loop 2 pieces of hemp over the belt, making a total of 4 strands hanging down.

2.  Tie a square knot.  To do this, take the strand labeled {d}.  Loop it behind the center two strands, and over the front of the strand labeled {a}.

3. Wrap strand {a} around strand {d} and pull it through the loop on the right hand side of the knot.

4. Do the same thing as before, only opposite.  So loop strand {a} behind the center two strands, and over the front of strand {d}.

5.  Wrap strand {d}  around strand {a} and pull it through the loop on the left hand side of the knot.

6. Slide the square knot that was just made to position it around the belt.

Repeat steps 1-6  as many times as needed for the size of your rock.  The rock in this example has a total of 5 square knots.

Round 2Using four strands from two neighboring knots, complete a square knot as before.  Continue around the rock using strands from two neighboring knots, until the rock is covered with knots.

finalTo finish, you can either collect all of the strands into one large knot at the base of the rock forming a tassel, or you can tie several knots along the base creating a fringe.

You could easily add beads to the macrame or tie on little treasures to the fringe. Be creative and have fun with it!

Crocheted Stones

Crocheted Stones

I love crocheted stones.  I think they are beautiful, and love how they look in a a collection.  They are one of the inspirations that inspired me to do the Creating with Nature series, so you can imagine my disappointment when, I sat down to try my hand at it only to admit defeat by the end of the day.

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I’ve been looking up tutorials for crocheting around stones, and chose this one from The Purl Bee.  It has very clear instructions, with a lot of photographs so it is easy for a beginner (like me) to follow.   After awhile however, I noticed that my crocheting did not look like the tutorials, so I abandoned it for another pattern.  The second one I tried, I found in the book Encyclopedia of Crochet.  I slowly worked my way through this pattern by looking up each stitch to know how they are created.  It was extremely time consuming.  I think I spent about 2 hours trying to follow this pattern stitch by stitch before I finally became stumped.  I’m sure you can relate to my frustration of trying to learn something new when I’ve already become accomplished at similar skill (knitting).  I wasn’t enjoying the project, so I admitted defeat on this one.  I’ll admire the crocheted stones that other crafters have made.

Indian Beads & Petosky Stones

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“Indian beads” can be found along the shore line of the Great Lakes. This pass time has been one of my favorite thing to do while at the beach.   I have been collecting these fossils since I was a kid, but  I have never known what exactly they are or where they come from.  So, I did a little research.

450px-Colorful_crinoids_at_shallow_waters_of_Gili_Lawa_LautThese treasures come from the marine animal called Crinoids.  There are two types of the plant-like animals. One type has a stalk that is used to hold on to the ocean floor.  This type of crinoid can be found deep under the sea below the lighted zone where the darkness hides the animal from predictors. The second type does not have a stalk and is found in shallow water coral reefs of the Caribbean Sea, the South Pacific Ocean and the cold waters of the Antarctic.  Since the Great Lakes are no where near any of these bodies of water, the fossils that I find come from ancient animals that lived here throughout the Devonian Age. Durring this time, Northern Michigan was covered with a sea of warm water.

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3926823992_7a896b0f35_zAnother product of the Devonian Age, and one of my favorite pieces of nature to collect are Petosky Stones.  These stones are fossilized coral and can be found along the northern shores of Lake Michigan.  They were the inspiration behind this beautiful blanket made by Amy Tylor.

petoskey afghanI really love this blanket. It might may find it’s way onto my knitting bucket list.