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