Christmas in July

Trim the Tree Stocking Counted Cross Stitch Kit
In 2010 I made some Christmas stockings for my life partner’s grand nephew’s Andrew, Jordan and Noah. Andrew and Jordan got the embroidered stockings and Noah got the felt stocking because he was a baby at the time and it was a baby stocking in my opinion.

These were all stocking kits that were given to me when a friend passed away. She was a hoarder who had TONS of craft supplies that she never used and held onto for decades. Those stocking kits (link above) were from the 1970’s and I’ve seen them recently on eBay for as high as $250 each. Not the felt one, but the embroidery stockings. I wanted to make Noah a more adult stocking in the same style, but I can’t seem to find any that I can afford, so I bought a counted cross stitch pattern instead.

I would much prefer to make the embroidered stocking like the one Andrew and Jordan have, because they are easy to make, but I will have to work with what I can afford in this case. So I sent my life partner an email with a link to a website called The Stitchery with the stockings in the search box, and he picked the one in the image at the top of this post. I think it’s a nice stocking for a child, but it doesn’t quite match the other 2 stockings, not that it has to match, but they are a family, and they should have stockings that sort of are in the same family of stockings. But, the stocking Noah has now isn’t in the same family as the embroidered stockings for Jordan and Andrew, so I guess it doesn’t matter anyway.

This stocking project will keep my brain busy and I won’t have any time to obsess over every little thing happening in the news that I see on Facebook, which is good because I’m close to having a nervous breakdown. Crafting calms my brain, and my heart, and I have high blood pressure so this will do the trick to keep me alive to see another day lol. Crafting has always been something that I’ve used to calm myself down. Everyone has their own coping mechanisms, this is mine lol.

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Friendship Bracelet Patterns

I don’t make Friendship bracelets very often, so when I do it’s usually a custom order where someone requests that I make a bracelet. They usually ask what patterns I have, and I privately share the images, but I think what I will do now is just write a blog post with all the graphics and their names.

I have an i-Loom that has its own patterns, and I have a list of patterns not in the i-Loom, so I will show the patterns NOT in the i-Loom first. If you are interested in buying a pattern with a special button, please let me know by contacting me through my Etsy shop. My Etsy shop website is GayNerd.Etsy.com.

FBD 1FBD 2

These are the patterns that are in the i-Loom. These are broken up into their star ratings. The ratings aren’t rated by difficulty because a 4 star pattern might be just as easy as a 1 star pattern, and a 1 star pattern might be more difficult, so I think they are rated based on the amount of strands in a bracelet.

1 StariLoom 1

2 StarsiLoom 2

3 StarsiLoom 3

4 StarsiLoom 4

Patterns not in the i-Loom app

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I have been having fun with my i-Loom. I’ve made 4 1/2 bracelets so far (the half is still in the i-Loom as a work in progress). One issue I do have with the i-Loom is that it doesn’t have patterns that were created outside of the app. I have a program called FBD which is short for Friendship Bracelet Designer, and I have used that to create and print patterns in the past, and I could still use that option for making bracelets, but why would I want to do that when I have this new system with the i-Loom?

So how do I get those patterns into the app? Well, this is how I do it. I took a screenshot of the app with a pattern loaded, then in Gimp I removed all the pattern stuff and replaced it all with the pattern I want to add. The only problem is, the only way for me to work on those patterns using this method is to create many images numbered starting with 01, then add them to the Nook, and I have to go into the image gallery, load the first image, work that row, then swipe the screen to show the next image. This way each image shows each row I’m on inside the pink lines. When I get to the end, I have to swipe back to the first image and continue from there. Here’s an example of all 14 images for the pattern I want to work on. It’s supposed to be a Finding Nemo pattern.

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This is not an option I will do instead of the patterns they have in the app, this is only an option for when I need to make a pattern that someone wants me to make that isn’t available in the i-Loom app.

I really love the i-Loom app, it would be nice if I could add more patterns because there are tons of patterns that I would like to make that I have in the FBD library. Fortunately for me they have some holiday patterns in the boutique already that I was able to buy, like the hearts patterns for Valentine’s Day, then there’s one with shamrocks for St. Patrick’s Day, and of course there is a pattern called Easter Baskets. Images below.

Happy HeartsHeart StripeI Heart YouLucky CloveEaster Basket

I’ve already made the first one that is the pink heart with the purple background, I currently have the same pattern in the i-Loom (that’s the one in progress) with red hearts and a pink background, I’ve made the heart braid, except I traded the darker pink with red. I haven’t started the 3rd heart bracelet yet, that one is TBD. Valentine’s Day is still 2 days away, so I’m probably going to skip over that and work on the Shamrock and the Easter Basket one soon.

The first 4 bracelets in the image above from left to right were made with the i-Loom, the other 2 were made with the printouts from FBD. I made the i-Loom bracelets according to the patterns for 7.5 inch bracelets, and naturally neither of them were 7.5 inches. They should’ve had another inch or so, but I made them from the patterns and didn’t go off course, I just stopped when the pattern told me to. Oh well.

And finally… the image next to the bracelets is my embroidery floss collection. I tossed all the i-Loom string because it’s crap, I’m using the DMC and Loops and Threads embroidery floss exclusively because it doesn’t break easily.

My bracelets are listed on Etsy with this link.

Potholder Weaving Loom

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So I bought a potholder weaving loom. I didn’t plan on buying one, but we were at Michael’s the other day looking for Navy Blue paracord, and they didn’t have any, so I just decided to look around to see what other cool new things they had, and I found this on the clearance rack for only $3.99, so I bought it.

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It came with 120 “colorful loops” which is supposed to make 3 potholders. These are the colors it came with, and white, which I didn’t use in this potholder. I finished this one and this is what it looks like.

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I placed it inside the loom so you can see how much it shrank after I finished the edges. It’s not a very big potholder, and actually there is a note on the instructions that came in the box that says “Pot holders created for decorative use only.” Hmmm… I wonder why they say that. Is it because it’s so small, or because it’s not thick enough to protect your fingers from hot items out of the oven? I think both.

Well, they are small pot holders, and even though it says decorative, I can still use them as coasters, or to put under bowls of soup or whatever is in a hot bowl. They are thick enough that they can protect my table from the heat of a bowl.

I have one completed (seen above) and another one still in the loom so I can make a video when I receive another craft tool. The 3rd one will be different since I have a ton of the white, and not enough of the colors to make another matching potholder.

This isn’t for selling potholders or coasters, I just wanted to learn how to make these and to make potholders for us to use at home for our bowls.

I couldn’t find the picture of the box online, and my guess is because it was on the clearance rack, so obviously they stopped using that box design. They have the same brand on the Michael’s website, but it’s a different box and it’s more than what I paid.

Style Me Up i-Loom Deluxe Starter Pack

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My partner and I were at Hobby Lobby yesterday, and I saw this thing in the yarn section next to the latch hook stuff, and I wanted it. I didn’t buy it there because they wanted $60 for it, and I looked it up on Amazon and they were only charging $24.99, so I bough it and a Midnight Sky 12 pack for $5.99 so I could get free shipping. They offer free shipping on orders $25 or higher, so I couldn’t get free shipping over a penny lol.

iLoom Midnight Sky

I actually have a tool that’s like a clipboard called My Friendship Bracelet Maker, but it only goes up to 10 strands, maybe 12 strands if you let the 2 on the ends hang off the sides. This i-Loom looks like it can hold 40 strands of thread, which is awesome because I don’t want to be limited. You can also create your own patterns in the app and it’s on the screen of your tablet which is in the device, so you don’t have to print patterns. It also has the pattern on the screen according to the spot you are on, and you press the arrows to continue with your pattern to the next row, and you can save your place when you want to stop. You can’t do that with a printout.

I won’t actually get this thing until next week, so when I do get it I will make a video. I am super excited because I’ve wanted to make a bigger bracelet for myself for a long time. I also want to make bracelets for other people, and I would love to add new bracelets to my Etsy shop. It’s about time I start adding new products.

Of course, I don’t have an iPad, but the app works on Android, so I will be using my Nook HD+ since the app works on my Nook. My Nook doesn’t have a camera, so I will have to install the app on my phone and use that to scan the QR code of the patterns I will get from my order and the refill kit. It will appear in the Nook app after that. I hope…

I did have to buy the starter set in the app to be able to create my own patterns, and it still won’t let me create my own patterns, so I will have to find out what I can do when it arrives. I hope I can create my own patterns because I have a shit ton of patterns on my computer that I would like to add to the app. I’d also love to create some new patterns, so we’ll see what happens when it gets here.

Wish Wallet Stencil Template

Wallet 1

Your wallet is a very personal thing. You want it to have a certain amount of card slots and you want it in a specific fabric or color. Sometimes they don’t have the wallet you are looking for, and sometimes they have the right layout, but not the right color, or sometimes the right color, but not the right layout. It’s especially frustrating for me when I find the perfect wallet, but it’s like $60. I don’t have that kind of money for a wallet.

I found this on the Wish app for $11 plus $5 for shipping. All I need is the leather or fabric and to know how to put it together. Well, I have a sewing machine and I’ve seen enough videos to know how to put it together, I just need the material.

My partners wallet has a zipper, so I’m going to make both of us new wallets with a zipper and I will do his layout the way he wants with the material he wants, and I will make mine with the material I want with the layout I want. I actually like the layout in the left column on the very bottom in the image above. I also want to put a flap above the left side that comes down with a window for my ID. My partners wallet actually has that. Then when you lift the flap, there’s all your pictures. That is the perfect layout for me.

My wallet

My current wallet is falling apart. I thought it was real leather, but apparently it’s not. Honestly, I would rather it weren’t leather, but if fake leather means it’s going to fall apart, then perhaps I might be better off with thick fabric. I’ve always hated the layout, but it was the only one I could find that wasn’t expensive, and I wanted a chain wallet because I was constantly losing my wallet, and what’s funny is I took the chain off years ago.

Well, the wallet template will take about 3-4 weeks to arrive, and when it does I will make a couple of wallets and if I am good at making them, perhaps I will sell them. Price will depend on the material I use.

Kenmore Sewing Machine

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I want to say about 10 years or so ago my partner and I were at Sears buying bags for our vacuum cleaner. The vacuum cleaners are with the microwaves and sewing machines, so while we were there, he decided I needed a sewing machine. I want to laugh because that sounded funny to me.

So he bought me this sewing machine and I used a piece of paper to check out what the patterns are that you could sew, but as far as me learning how to actually sew something, it was hopeless. The sewing machine basically just sat in the hallway closet until recently. I wrote a blog post about The Enchanted Cottage recently, and I shared some pictures of a Zafu cover and Zabuton that I made with the sewing machine.

I bought a box of 11 sewing machine feet from Wish, which you can see in the picture above next to the sewing machine, but here is a close up of those feet. They all fit my sewing machine with the exception of the 2nd from the left on the top row. That is a zipper foot, but the sewing machine came with a zipper foot so I didn’t really need this one.

Sewing machine feet

Now that I’ve made the Zafu and Zabuton, I’ve decided I wanted to make more things. My partner basically lives on the couch and he uses a bed sheet which I’m always seeing him adjust, so I would love to either cut up some of our old sheets that we never use to make him a fitted sheet, or buy some new fabric to make the fitted sheet. I also took an old dog shirt that never really fit our dog and took out the stitches so I can use as a template to make her some clothes from our old t-shirts. I can print some dog images on iron-on paper to decorate the shirts so they’re not plain. Of course I will start with our old t-shirts as practice, but I’d love to buy fleece or flannel fabric for winter clothing.

I figured while I’m learning to make clothing for the dog and fitted sheets, I might as well learn to make actual clothing that we can wear. They sell patterns at thrift stores that I can use to practice.

I attend YouTube University (heh a phrase my aunt used the other day) and I learn from watching videos. Today I learned how to make little bags with zippers and I also learned to make grocery bags for the store. I would love to learn to make wallets because my wallet is falling apart and my partner’s wallet is also falling apart. His wallet has a zipper on it and I would love if mine also had a zipper.

It took 10 years for me to get excited about using a sewing machine, but at least I got there. What’s funny is that I was excited about getting it until we actually got it and I realized I had no clue what I was doing, then I guess I rejected it. Well, that excitement has been renewed, and that’s good.