Turtle Tracks Macrame Bracelet

Loggerhead Turtle

Here in Central Florida, it’s early sea turtle nesting season, so turtle tracks going up the beach can be seen in the mornings around the full moon. Turtles will lay their eggs in the sand towards the dune and cover them in sand. Then, they slip back into the ocean during the night, using the moonlight as a guide.

We are lucky to still have a few turtles left around here because our local conservation agencies do a fantastic job marking nests, so people won’t trample on them hopefully. Loggerhead turtles seem to be the most common off the coast of Brevard county, but I have seen a nice-sized rarer Kemp’s Ridley when I was out paddleboarding a few summers ago.

Check out the Sea Turtle Conservancy for info about sea turtles, and things you can do to help them to keep nesting for a little while longer.

Chaos happens when you leave lights on beachside

Like you could turn off your freakin’ condo lights if you live on the beach so it won’t confuse hatchlings navigating back into the ocean. The Condo Boogeyman’s not coming to take your pills, Grandpa- turn the damn balcony light off.

Anywho, since hatchlings should make tracks that go straight into the ocean, I made a fun Macrame bracelet using some basic knotting techniques that reminds me of a turtle egg and nice straight tracks. Check out the picture tutorial below, and use this knotting guide I made as a reference:

Macrame Knots Guide by Crafty Surf

Linhasita (or C-Lon cord) a flat cut cowrie shell, and some olivewood beads

Make a lark’s head knot though one side of the shell using about 2 yards of each color, folded in half

Use a T-Pin on foam or cork to keep your holding cord straight

Do 3 double half hitches across the green cord, doing 1 double half hitch on each color

Put a T-pin in and rotate the cord to the other direction and do the same knotting pattern, going back and forth

By using T-pins, I could keep the rows tight and straight across

Braiding the remainder, adding an olivewood bead, and making a secure knot. Now do the same on the other side of the shell!

Bringing both ends together to make a sliding adjustable knot

Making the adjustable knot by making a few square knots over both bracelet ends

Clip and melt the ends. Done!

This is always the “bracelet selfie” angle Pura Vida does

Please remember that sea turtles are not pets, Disney characters, and are not there for your fun-filled family entertainment. Please respect what tiny bit of space they have remaining.

This ain’t Disney, and you ain’t Snow White

Shell Jewelry Tips

At one time or another, every surfer (or aspiring surfer) worth their cred tries to make their own beachy shell jewelry. It IS part of our primal urge. In fact, some of the earliest known forms of adornment were pierced shells and teeth on handmade string.

But after an hour after the Upper Paleolithic Revolution has worn off within the surfer, then he or she usually gives up and buys it somewhere.

But if you have a flat day of surf, and you’re

I love Pauly Shore

feelin’ a bit like Encino Man, here’s three tips I’ve found helpful over time when making shell jewelry…

 

 

 

1. Go to a thrift store for shell beads and pendants first.

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A nice shell necklace I found, but it’s too chunky and sharp to wear comfortably as a necklace

I love shell jewelry, but the current shell industry has now over harvested and overbred many species for the trade. I’ll pass on that choice first.

I’ve found MUCH higher quality shell beads among thrift store and vintage finds over purchasing recently grown and cut varieties. I’d rather buy my shells at the better vintage quality whenever possible, rather than contributing even more to the over harvesting problem. It’s kind of how I feel about pearls. Bonus that you can still get a deal at a few thrift stores these days. For now. The beach is always the great option, of course, but you will be drilling these yourself and removing natural items from the beach.

2. Use nylon or wire to string shell beads.

When shells are drilled for sale as beads, rarely is the inside diameter perfectly smooth, unless you pay a premium.

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The drill holes are clean, but at odd angles

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Various types of stringing material I use with shells 

Common shell beads will cut most cotton, hemp, or poly thread like a Ginsu knife. So, get some decent stuff that won’t cut nor fray easily, or your ocean cred probably won’t last da Summer.

Or….I guess you could

Bizarro Hasselhoff

say you sliced that freshie shell anklet you made on a shark’s tooth while saving the Mayor’s kid from the deadly riptide, you Gnar Lifeguard????

You’re welcome.

3. Check your shells for sharp burrs, and file them down before stringing.

I was warned by a lapidary long ago to ALWAYS WEAR A MASK when filing, sanding, or drilling shells. Excellent advice. The calcium carbonate particles are easily inhaled- along with whatever fun stuff that shell has absorbed. Use a bit of water to minimize dust, and go outdoors for the task preferably.

Sharp edges and burrs can often be removed using a decent nail file from the drugstore, a bead reamer from the craft store, or a rotary drill. It’s best to do this BEFORE staring a piece most times. After the piece is finished, it’s difficult to sand some areas typically.

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Keep a supply of water nearby to keep the shell wet while sanding or drilling 

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Various pieces polished and drilled

Enjoy trying out all the types of natural shell, seed, and nut beads available. If you really hate doing it yourself, though, this is a good time to plug my Etsy store where I post my random surfy jewelry (including shells), as well as projects and art I like to do. Surprise. I have an Etsy store. I think it’s mandatory for crafters.

Anywho….shell jewelry is cool since it’s nice to have a reminder that there’s a great big ocean out there and we get to be a part of it, if only for a vacation. I mean, that’s one of the beautiful things about surfing, right? Right???

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I guess you could make a surfer necklace from your sacred gym key

Seed Bead Surfer Bracelet (Pura Vida style)

Even though it’s almost Halloween, it feels like Summer here in Central Florida. Honestly, I freakin’ love it. We all may have to move within the next few decades, but it’s balmy now, right? That’s all that matters, brah.

In that spirit, I made some summertime surfy seed bead bracelets like Pura Vida’s. Don’t get it twisted, I buy their stuff, support their cause, and I’m even a monthly club member, so I’m not trying to harsh their gig. But I will show you what Pura Vida uses and how they make them in case you wanted something different from time to time, or want to reuse those neato charms from that worn out PV bracelet you have now.

You’ll need:

  • Size 11/0 seed beads (find them at most craft stores)
  • C-Lon nylon thread (becoming easier to find in craft stores)
  • 2 Larger hole beads for stopper beads (optional)
  • Small Charm or PV charm from an old bracelet (optional)

C-Lon cord, 11-0 seed beads, and some sharp scissors

I used fun Halloween-esque colors for these, stringing different patterns on the C-Lon. I didn’t need a needle to string on the beads, the nylon thread is pretty stiff on its’ own.

No need for a needle

I usually string about 5 inches of seed beads on, then use an overhand knot on both ends to keep the beads from sliding off. 

Make a knot on each end so the beads won’t fall off

Don’t make these knots too tight against the beads, since another piece of C-Lon needs to be tied above each end knot. This will create three strands of C-Lon to braid with. If you wanted to add a charm here- like Pura Vida does- now is the time to do it, prior to braiding.

Tied a strand on above the knot to make three strands for braiding

I reused one of my Pura Vida charms for this anklet

Once you’ve finished braiding, slide on a stopper bead, and tie a double overhand stopper knot about 2-4 inches from each end, depending on the size you’re wanting.

Making a double overhand stopper knot

Use some contrasting color C-Lon thread to make a series of square knots to use for a slider knot to open and close the bracelet. This type of closure is NOT recommended for necklaces (strangulation hazard).

Go outside to singe the nylon thread ends

Singe all ends with a lighter (carefully- and OUTSIDE!) Done!

Made three bracelets and an anklet in a couple of hours

Yard’s overgrown

So, I guess I’ll enjoy this seemingly Endless Summer as long as it lasts. It stinks that all these pesky storms interfere with my I-Island Breeze…..no one has to know (no one has to know)….🎶

Taylor Swift just knows

Recycled Fishing Line Bracelet

Here in the Cocoa Beach area, we are very fortunate to have an estuary system in our backyard. The Banana River (part of the Indian River Lagoon System), is a lovely place to paddleboard, since it’s scenic, protected from the wind, and flat water…. usually.

The Indian River Lagoon has an impact over a lot of area

Unfortunately, not everyone recognizes its’ value. I find trash, lawn chairs, and LOTS of fishing line whenever I go out to paddle. No exaggeration, sadly. I’ll recycle my finds, but if some of it is kinda interesting, I’ll keep it. Like this:

Thick line, must have been hunting HUGE fighting Marlin

There was about 14 inches of plastic fishing line between the hook and float, so that’s perfect for a couple of simple bracelets.

All I needed was:

  • the fishing line (be sure to clean it off, grody)
  • some crimp beads
  • some jump rings
  • a clasp
  • Size 8/0 Seed Beads (I used Miyuki 8/0’s, my favorite)
  • accent beads
  • crimp tool 

Getting my supplies together

I simply threaded a crimp bead onto the fishing line, then a jump ring or clasp, then looped the line back through the crimp bead. I took my crimp pliers, and crimped the loop closed.

Crimping the bead to keep the loop closed


Loop crimped closed

String your beads on in whatever pattern you like and finish with another loop like at the beginning. Just make sure one end has a clasp on it!

Done! With a seahorse charm


A little blue glass


Beachy stuff

It’s kinda nice to recycle something AND save cash on buying more crap from the craft store. I don’t think I’ll stick my hand into one of those fishing line recycling containers anytime soon to grab some, though. However, stuff out in the open (there’s plenty) is fair game. Hope y’all try this one with fishing line you might find out there….

DIY Mosquito Repellent Ankle Bracelet

It’s crazy hot here in Florida right now, and the mosquitoes are pretty brutal. After surfing, I like to garden and chillax outside, but the skeeters find me after about a hot second. Jellyfish stings don’t seem to bother me, but mutant Florida mosquito bites can itch seemingly forever.

I saw this post on The Renegade Seamstress showing how to make a pretty bracelet soaked in an essential oil mix to make a smelly deterrent for outdoor pests. Since I’m usually in boardshorts most days during the Summer, the critters bite me low around my feet and legs since they are also getting out of the breeze created by the patio fan. Really, the best place for a mosquito repellent for me is on my ankle.

I hate using hemp for macrame normally since it becomes featureless over time. But, it’s great for this purpose. Mid weight hemp twine (NO JUTE- that freakin’ hurts to wear on your skin) can be pretty absorbent. You can pick up a ball of hemp twine at most craft stores- even Wal-Mart carries this stuff cheap.

Hemp twine

I made a simple square knot sinnet (check out my post about macrame), with a toggle I made from FIMO clay:

Made it long enough for my ankle

Super easy

The Renegade Seamstress’ post has a recipe for the essential oil mix, but since I need a Nuclear Option, I filled a standard empty reusable prescription bottle and filled it with:

  • 3/4 full of Vodka (or, fill it full and drain off a bit…hehe)
  • Rest of the 1/4 with citrusy Essential Oils: Citronella, Lemongrass, Grapefruit blend

The potion makin’ stuff

Soak the anklet in the sauce

Save the mix to resoak the anklet again

Initially, I soaked it for a hour fully submerged, then took it out of the solution, shook it off, and put it on. It worked very well in my gardening space, and smelled nice to me, at least.

Smells better than feet

Once it’s out of the solution, it will dry pretty quickly, but will retain the smell well for about 45-60 minutes. When you come in, throw it back into the bottle again for the next use, even keep the whole thing in the car on the go. Reload as needed.

Floridian Tip:

Reload yourself with vodka as needed until the height of Hurricane Season. Then reload with rum and grilled food until Christmas.

DIY Shark Repellent Band (*Results May Vary)

It’s amazing how many surf gadgets and gimmicks have come and gone. And I’ll be the first to admit I totally have given in to the sales pitch from time to time. The Turbo Tunnel fin with the hole in it, the Wax Grater, the bottled “Special Surf Wax Remover” from Ron Jon’s…..Guilty.

The latest one making the circuit is SharkBanz, which is based on an idea that was shown on a video during Shark Week several years ago. I thought the people in the video were aiming to sell some type of anti-shark cage, they put a briefcase-sized piece of neodymium into a small tank and baited a couple of sharks in crystal clear water. The sharks did turn away, but they had to get CLOSE. With A LOT of magnet.

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SharkBanz. Not for timekeeping.

Discovery Channel Video Showing Sharks and Magnets

So, essentially, the SharkyBands idea is if you pick up some of those neodymium magnets from the craft store or the hardware store, encase them in some silicone, you can charge $65.00. That’s it.

The problem is that 5, 10, 40 SharkBanz aren’t enough to deter a hungry shark. If YOU hadn’t eaten in two days, and someone barely pinched YOU while you were reaching for that last piece of Meat Lovers’, would it stop you? Didn’t think so.

But, if you need piece of mind, here you go. For a heck of a lot less.

imageI picked up a package of neodymium magnets, some 1/4″ ID clear flexible tubing from the hardware store,  and I already had a bit o’ leftover caulk from a bathtub recaulk recently.

So, I put the magnets in the tube sleeve, and sealed each end with a dab of caulk, so no water can intrude into where the magnets are.

 

Both ends sealed.


 

Next, to make something that would be stretchy, waterproof, and could be attached to the magnet securely, I looked to my fad collection of those silly Rainbow Loom rubber band loom things. Confession day. Sad.

imageSince this is silly and stupid from the get-go, I’ll add a layer of crazy. I think it was around that same year that somebody found that sharks are fearful of poisonous sea snakes. That’s like the elephant and the mouse. So, the next gimmick was black and white striped wetsuits, surfboard stickers to cover the bottom your board, blah blah blah. So, I’ll use black and white rubber bands for this project to make snakey-poo.

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Ooooooh. Sooooo scared. Not.


I did a 5 pin fishtail on the Monster Tail loom (they’re cheap right now since the fad is kind of over- you could probably score one off a teenager in the family, or at a Goodwill. I used 8 white rubber bands, alternating with 6 black rubber bands. I made a imagelength of about 10-11 inches to go around my ankle.

Since this design is like a tube, I can insert the little sealed case of magnets inside, like  the “head” of the snake towards the end of the ankle bracelet.

I did a few more rubber bands to encase the magnets, then finished off the end, and attached it to the other end using one of those plastic loops that come with the bands.

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“It looks so….real…ly creative.”

Time to test!

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I went out, about 7:45 AM at the notorious Cocoa Beach Pier, at a spot that had a imageparticularly active bait ball of fish popping up like water fireworks. Yay! Maybe there’s something out there. I am wearing my shark covered swimsuit, and I painted my toenails a nice metallic green. The anklet held up just fine for about 2 hours of surfing little waves, and even with a lot of fish movement around me, I didn’t even get imagebumped. Well, can I sell these now? It’s not EXACTLY like the other guy’s, it’s just more stupid. One data point should be ok. As long as you haven’t gotten attacked, it’s 100% effective. Was this on Shark Tank? Please tell me Mark Cuban laughed at this.

I was more interested in whether or not the caulk held up and kept the magnets dry, so I cut the anklet open, and gave it a good inspection. I only let the caulk cure for 24 hours, and it held ok.

Woo Hoo!

The truth is, there’s sharks in the ocean. At least you hope there’s still some.

I’m gonna eat ya….