Friendship Bracelets Designer Program

lightning bolt in designer

I’ve been having a fun time with my new “My Friendship Bracelet Maker Clip Board.”  I’ve been working mostly on the beginner patterns, but there are some more complex ones that I’ve been working on as well, such as the lightning bolt for example.  They have this one listed as a beginner pattern, but when you actually look at the instructions, it says it’s intermediate.  Unfortunately, the instructions aren’t quite as clear as I would have liked them to be, so to be able to make this one, I had to open this program called “Friendship Bracelets Designer” so I could manually add all of the instructions so I could get a more clear picture of what I was supposed to make.

lightning bolt Last night when I first started making this bracelet pattern with the instructions on the MFBM website, I totally screwed it up and today I had to take every single knot apart and start over.  I had worked the entire pattern too and it was so screwed up, I couldn’t even begin to tell you what I had done, but it wasn’t good.  Now when I say the entire pattern, I don’t mean everything you see, the pattern only does 6 rows, so it wasn’t that much.

Using this program has really helped, as you can tell by the image above.  The bracelet on the right is one complete rotation of the pattern.  The pattern image you see to the left is the complete rotation.  That is only one rotation from beginning to end, you may need 3 rotations to complete the bracelet.  The instructions don’t see you all the way through for some reason, but this will.

If I have trouble with the instructions, I will be using this program again in the future, because it is so much easier to follow a visual map rather than written instructions, especially when it’s row by row.  There are some patterns like the cause ribbons and the BFF hearts that aren’t row by row, so those may be a bit more difficult to follow with this program.

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It’s Our 20 Year Anniversary

20 year anniversary card

Last night I was watching the clock so I could shout to the world at midnight that my partner and I would be celebrating our 20 year anniversary together.  I tweeted it to a couple of people, I posted on Facebook and got a few congratulations.  In the past I have said that we were celebrating our anniversary, but it didn’t seem as monumental as 20 is to me.  I’m sure there will be naysayers out there who will say “Come back to me when you are celebrating your 40 or 50 year anniversary, then I will be impressed.”  And you know I speak from experience of people saying that to me.

20 year anniversary cake

This is the cake that I woke up to this morning.  It’s a German Chocolate cake from the Albertson’s bakery.  I absolutely love German Chocolate cake, more than anyone will ever know, and for sentimental reasons that has to do with my mother who has been gone for almost 21 years now.  I didn’t mean to turn this into something about my mother, but the cake reminded me of her.  She would probably be thrilled that I stayed in a relationship for as long as I have if she were alive today.

I looked it up and China is the typical 20 year anniversary gift.  Well, even though we could use new dishes, we really don’t have the money for it.  I was thinking perhaps we could take a trip to China Town Buffet, but frankly I’d rather go to Golden Corral for dinner tonight, so that’s what we will be doing to celebrate.  What?  They have some Chinese entrées and sides there.

I am beaming with pride that we have lasted as long as we have, but I can say without certainty that our relationship will be till death we do part.  I don’t think I could live the rest of my life without him.

Some people have told both of us that we are going through a phase.  Well, I will be 44 this year, it’s a pretty long phase if you ask me.  There have been a few people who have told both of us that our relationship is wrong because we are both males, and my response to them could only be from the great actor Johnny Depp from the movie Dark Shadows.

“I have already prepared my counter-proposal. It reads thusly: You may strategically place your wonderful lips upon my posterior and kiss it repeatedly!”

New Toys/Tools

rainbow friendship bracelet

I have been making keychains for my Etsy shop for nearly a year now.  I have many different types of jewelry for sale, like stud earrings, hoop earrings, heart-shaped hoop earrings, hemp bracelets, hemp chokers, beaded necklaces and then the many different styles of lanyard keychains.

The one thing that I have wanted to make is something that I learned when I was 17 years old when I was homeless believe it or not.  I was actually staying with a friend and her family and my friend’s sister taught me how to make these.  I bought a few skeins of the embroidery floss, which by the way I still have.  Unfortunately, this style you see in the picture was the only thing that I learned to make oh so many years ago.

This style isn’t what I will be making for my Etsy shop, perhaps it will be many months before I even list anything because I want to learn to make the bracelets so they look a bit more professional than something I threw together.  If I’m going to ask people to pay me money for them, I want them to get their moneys worth.

I bought the “My Friendship Bracelet Maker” and the “My Lanyard Maker” from MyFBM.com.

Okay so these are just a few of the patterns that I want to make and sell on Etsy.  “Just a few.”

Zipper_ThumbBasketWeave_ThumbBat_ThumbCancerCauseRibbon_ThumbBFFMiniHeart_ThumbBorderedChevron_Thumb CandyCorn_ThumbChristmasStocking_ThumbChristmasTree_Thumb_sm1Confetti_ThumbDaisy_ThumbMustache_ThumbPawprint_ThumbShamrock_Thumb1 Stripe_Thumb

I have already started making bracelets.  It is a huge learning process and takes lots of patience and practice, but I think I’m getting the hang of it.  Here are just a few of the things I have made so far.

bracelets

The pink one on the left is the zipper pattern which I made with the My Lanyard Maker.  That is the main reason I bought that one.  I know how to make the keychains without the toy, and perhaps I may make keychains with it in the future, but I personally feel it’s a lot faster to make them by hand.  I mainly wanted to use that one for making the lanyards that are like necklaces as well as bracelets.  It is difficult to do those by hand because if you let go of it once, it will unravel.  You have to keep making it until it’s finished if you do it by hand which I can’t do with my carpal tunnel syndrome.  I have to constantly put the project down and shake my hands out because they get numb.  I do love the zipper pattern and I used the gimp that is more like spaghetti noodles rather than the flat, but I was asked to make that pattern using the flat kind, so I will find out if that even works.

The one in the middle which is still on the “My Friendship Bracelet Maker” is a work in progress, but nearly finished.  I made the one next to it that is missing the purple first because this thing only has 10 slots and if I used all 6 colors, I would need 12 slots.  Well, it looks okay, but I’d rather have all 6 colors.  I am still going to give the one that is missing the purple away as a gift though.  But you can see how loose that is compared to the one with the purple in it, and the reason for that is that I wasn’t making them tight enough.  I was doing the knots, but I wasn’t trying to be perfect, I was just trying to make it.  That one took me 2 hours to make, the one I am currently working on has taken twice as long and it’s not even halfway done.  I think perfection takes longer lol.  I do like it to be as tight as it can be.

The one on the far right is the BFF Mini Heart pattern.  I chose that pattern because it was in the beginners patterns and I loved how it looked.  I failed miserably in the beginning stages, you can’t see it but the first 3 hearts are a mangled mess because I didn’t quite understand the directions, but once I figured it out, it got better.  It was as loose as the rainbow one that was missing the purple up until the middle when I started paying more attention to how tight I was making it.  I would love to make another one to see if I can make a better one, but I’m thinking one with pink and black instead.  I think that would look cool.

Anyway, like I said, it may take months before I list anything because I want to learn as much as I can.  I have a bucket filled with beads which I can use to with these bracelets.  I also have a LOT, and I mean a lot of embroidery floss that I can use to make these bracelets with.  I’ve held onto all that floss just in case the day ever came that I might want to use them, and that day has finally come.

Friendship Bracelets and Lanyards

ClipBoard_FrontPage1 LanyardMaker_FrontPage1

I am very excited right now because I just bought 2 cool tools that I have wished to own for a long time but never could afford to buy them.  I bought them at the website TheFriendshipFactory.com.  The Friendship Bracelet Maker Clip Board was only $14.99 and the Lanyard Maker was $29.99, but I used the coupon code BFF and saved 20% off my order of $40 or more and saved $9.  With shipping, my total was $39.97.

I have been making keychains for my Etsy Store and there are a couple of patterns people have asked me to make that I just couldn’t make and now I can with the lanyard maker.  I could literally make them now, but it is so much easier with this tool.  Okay so the one thing in particular people are asking for is a lanyard that wraps around your neck like a necklace for holding an ID badge or bus pass, but more specifically an electronic cigarette.  The patterns that I am going to learn will also make bracelets, so I can literally make more than a few things that people want me to make, not just the few things I am currently capable of making.

The My Lanyard Maker will also make it easier to pull the strands tight when making a keychain.  I have been pulling them way too tight which I think looks good, but that’s my opinion and I’m sure it would look just as good if it weren’t so tight, and perhaps it will take me less time to make them if I am not trying to pull them too tight.

So here are the few patterns that I can make as lanyards and/or bracelets with the My Lanyard Maker.

zipper chain link corkscrew ridgeback square knot twisted chain link

These use the tubular material, I think they are called noodle, but I am going to try using what I have, but if what I have doesn’t work then I guess I will have to add to my collection of supplies lol.  I would prefer not to spend any more money though lol.  I like all of these, so I look forward to what they will look like.

I learned to make friendship bracelets when I was homeless at 17 and was couching it at a friends parents house.  Well, I don’t know the technical term, I was sleeping on someone’s couch, hence the term couching it lol.  Anyway, we tied the embroidery floss to a safety-pin that we pinned onto the knee of our pants and went from there, but it always tore a hole in my jeans at the knee so that is why I stopped doing it.  You could use a clipboard, but does a clipboard have slots for you to rest your floss in numbered slots?  I think not!  I guess you could improvise, but screw it, I want this gadget.

Stripe_Thumb This is the basic pattern that I learned and the only pattern that I was ever interested in making because all the rest were beyond my brain capacity.

The website MyFBN has so many more interesting patterns that I would much rather make, and they have full written instructions as well as video instructions for some of their patterns.  Who wants a plain old stripe pattern when you can wow your friends with hearts for Valentine’s Day, or Ghosts, Bats and pumpkins for Halloween as well as turkeys for Thanksgiving and Christmas trees for Christmas?  Yes, you can literally make a cool bracelet for every occasion.

I have been making the keychains nonstop for nearly a year now and it is time to switch gears to give my fingers a rest because they are literally cracking and splitting because this work dries my fingers out so much you wouldn’t even believe.  I have to slather Vaseline on my hands at bedtime to put moisture back into my hands and heal those cracks.  It’s unpleasant to say the least.  I’m going to start wearing leather gloves to protect them when I work.

So anyway, look forward to some new items in my Etsy store in the coming months.

The nerve of some people

nerves-facial-morris

The subject of this blog is not a complaint about someone’s character, rather a discussion on nerves, more particularly the nerves in my face since my Parotidectomy surgery in November.

You can read the details of my surgery in the link in the previous paragraph, or I can give you the cliff notes version.  I had a stone growing in my saliva gland and it had to be removed because it was causing a massive amount of pain.  It was removed by a surgeon at the Kern Medical Center on November 20th 2013.  It left me with a huge scar and a golf ball sized chunk taken out of my face.  It has been numb ever since, but the feeling is coming back, more importantly pain is coming back.

You see all those nerves in the diagram above?  Everything is connected.  Even though most of my face is numb, I can feel electrical impulses when I touch certain parts of my face.  If I touch my jaw line near my chin, I can feel electrical impulses in my earlobe.  If I touch anywhere near the incision area, I can also feel it all the way up my ear.  If I touch my earlobe, I can feel it in the spot on my jaw line near my chin from before.  There are certain areas that even the slightest touch can cause pain from the electrical impulses.  Even blowing on my skin can cause the feeling and possibly pain.

I’m not bothered by it as much as I probably should be because I know that my face is still healing.  The numbness is still there, but it is going away.  It’s like that pins and needles feeling you get when you sit on your foot for too long and your foot goes numb and then you get the pins and needles, although the pins and needles only shows up when I touch my face, and it doesn’t show up in the exact spot that I touch.  It’s a very strange feeling, but I am getting used to it.

The other day my partner touched my face and I recoiled in pain and he was a bit shocked at my overreaction, but he didn’t understand what I am feeling.  Heck, I didn’t quite understand it until now.

My last appointment with the surgeon at KMC was yesterday and he told me that there are more stones growing in the saliva gland on the left side of my face so eventually that will need to be taken care of like the right side, but that may take years to happen.  I am not going to worry about that until the pain comes from that.

Speaking of pain from nerves, am I having massive tooth pain and need to visit the dentist in May when my dental insurance kicks in again.  Right now all they will cover is emergency extractions and right now I am having an emergency in 3 or 4 teeth and I would much rather have fillings than more extractions.  I am using a sensitive toothpaste, but it doesn’t seem to be helping me very much.  I’ve flossed and flossed and that only makes it worse and my teeth are so jagged that they cut the floss in half and I can never get the floss out of between my teeth.  The Listerine helps numb the pain when I finish brushing, and sometimes I just swish with it just to numb the pain 3 or 4 times per day.

It seems I am always in pain.  I feel like I was the worst person in the history of humanity in a previous lifetime and I am paying for the bad karma in this lifetime.  I sometimes feel like I am earning some of my karma back by being a good person, but it doesn’t help at all.  I wonder who I was and what I did to deserve this.  Oh well, it doesn’t do any good dwelling on the past, especially a past I don’t have any memory of.

Anyway, I am looking forward for my next round of pain to end at least before my birthday lol.

Until next time…