Making puzzles with my Cricut

So I did a thing. Well, I tried to do a thing and was somewhat successful, and I’ll tell you my mistakes and how I’m trying to fix them.

So I am a member of Design Bundles and they have these $1 deals, and one of the deals was puzzle templates. So I went to Cricut Design Space and uploaded the SVG file for one of the templates and a screenshot from The Elder Scrolls Online. The screenshot above is a second attempt because the first one was too dark, and with my bad eyes, I couldn’t make out what the piece was for.

So, the template isn’t the entire puzzle that you print an image and then have the Cricut cut the entire puzzle on your image. When you go to cut the puzzle, it cuts puzzle pieces. So the only way to cut is to have the image in Cricut design space and slice the image in 250 pieces. It took awhile lol. This is what it looks like on the print and cut sheet.

That was the darker image I was cutting.

So here are the mistakes I made. I printed these on 8.5×11 65lb white cardstock. I put the glue on the paper and then placed it on the Chipboard and then ran it through the Cricut. It was too wet and I didn’t use a thin amount of glue, so it just ripped the paper. Take 2 was to use a glue stick. Unfortunately, the glue would dry before I got it all over the area I had to glue. I decided to use a repositionable glue stick because you are supposed to let it dry before you stick the paper on, but it doesn’t stay on lol. So my alternative is to buy glossy sticker paper because the cardstock wasn’t glossy and sticker paper will actually stick permanently. Not using anything glossy was a mistake and using a dark image was a mistake. Also, I’ll have to print using Best so it prints out with the best graphics it can have.

I haven’t bought the sticker paper yet because I’m having surgery soon on my right eye and I don’t want to risk it coming the day of surgery.

To make the box for the puzzles I will use the same box I use for Paracord bracelets, except I made the box bigger.

I used a light chipboard which is 22pt for the puzzle pieces I did manage to cut, but I would like to try using the 30pt chipboard to see if it would be better. I will use the 22pt chipboard for the box. I’ll also change the text I made for the box lid.

This is just a test to see if I can make a puzzle with a box. I would like to make puzzles to send as gifts. I think people would like that.

Star Trek Corner to Corner Pixel Crochet Blanket from Two Magic Pixels

Well, I’ve chosen a pattern, bought the pattern and then bought the yarn. The yarn will be here later next week.

I decided to use blue yarn instead of purple because I wanted to use the color of one of the uniforms. At first I was going to use red, but then I looked at the color and realized it’s probably going to hurt my eyes. Also, there’s that whole red uniform always getting killed on alien planets thing in TOS, so perhaps blue is the logical choice.

When I made the Betty boop 007 blanket, I had posted some videos on YouTube of the blanket as I was still making it and then eventually I made another video after it had already been finished. Many people asked me to make a tutorial on how to do Corner to Corner crochet and I tried making a video and I just wasn’t focused enough. I just decided to tell people to just go find the video that I used to learn how to make a corner to corner crochet project. But I think that when I get the yarn and I start working on it, I might just try to make a tutorial and see if I can finish the tutorial. It will take me probably a few weeks to make the blanket, so it’ll be awhile before the video is completed. But I will try to do it.

I went into the listing for this particular pattern and it says that the pattern is 100 squares wide by 100 squares high and that translates to 100 inches by 100 inches. The Betty boop blanket was 80 squares wide by 120 squares high. So this blanket will be a perfect square. The G hook is my go-to hook, but if the stitches are too tight, I might use an H hook. That will determine the size of the blanket in inches.

Let me know what you think about the pattern that I chose as well as the colors. I chose Star Trek because I seem to be on a bit of a Star Trek binge. I’ve been watching Star Trek Strange New Worlds and I just decided that I wanted to catch up on the original series which I don’t really remember that much from childhood. I’ve also been watching Star Trek Discovery, Star Trek Lower Decks, I’m going to be watching The Next Generation again and of course Deep Space Nine and Voyager. I have also been watching the movies again. I’m literally in the Star Trek world right now, so this makes perfect sense that I would want to make this blanket.

I am going to say that it is a bit hot right now and I’m not quite sure I want to be crocheting anything that’s going to make me sweat, especially since I will probably have to rest it on my legs as I crochet and that will heat me up a bit much. But I would like to work on it before it gets cold when I actually need to use it. I will update this when I start working on it.

Two Magic Pixels C2C Pixel Art Crochet

I made this blanket for my Aunt several years ago. I found the pattern from a website called Two Magic Pixels. I wrote a blog post about it.

I learned to crochet when I was no longer homeless when I turned 18 years old. Never in my life did I think I would ever make anything like this.

The last few nights I have been going through Two Magic Pixels patterns because I wanted to make another blanket for myself. Last night I went to log in to my account on their website, but I didn’t have my password available, so I clicked “forgot password” and it asked for my email address to send me a link to reset my password, but it said we don’t have an account with that email address. I had only bought a few patterns, and I know I have them on my computer, so I thought ok, that’s fine. I’ll just create a new account. When I did, it said we actually found the patterns you have bought because you used that same email address to buy patterns using Paypal. So yay for me lol.

I bought these 3 patterns and they are all in my account, although I only made the Betty Boop 007 blanket. I bought the Mini Spiderman and Mini Superman patterns because I thought they were cute and I thought I would make them, but I never did. I am considering buying a different pattern to make for myself though. I’m thinking more of a rainbow pattern or something abstract, but I do know I want to buy it from Two Magic Pixels again because they have some really cool patterns. There are a few others I would like to make, like a Buddha or a Star Trek pattern, maybe the Scooby Doo pattern lol. I just cannot commit to one.

They have so many patterns and it’s really hard to pick just one pattern. The reason I have to choose is because it took me a month to make the Betty Boop 007 blanket and it cost me $60 for all the yarn. Not to mention the fact that I have carpal tunnel syndrome, so I can only make 1 blanket, and then I won’t be able to make another one for a very long time.

I really like the rainbow flower one because it reminds me of when I was a kid in the 70’s. I can also use that as a backdrop if I decide I want to continue making videos for my YouTube channel, then I’ll have something fun to look at.

People commented in my Betty Boop videos that they wanted me to teach them to crochet like that and I’ve told them that they should go to the same channel I learned to crochet like this from, which is the crochet crowd.

Anyway, it’s a big decision because I will have to live with that pattern. I can still buy the patterns whether I make them or not, but I still want to choose one. I think I really want the rainbow flowers blanket.

Style Me Up i-Loom Disabled App

Today is a very sad day for me because I just discovered that the i-Loom app on my Samsung Galaxy tablet has been completely disabled. This is what I see when I open the app now. I can no longer log in to the app and use the more than 40 patterns that I have bought over the last few years.

I had a strange feeling this would happen. When I noticed that they stopped posting on all of their social media accounts, then their website was completely gone, I had a feeling that all of my patterns would eventually just disappear, or they would block me from accessing my account. And that just happened to me.

I know that a year or maybe 2 years ago they discontinued their app on Android, and it was only available on iPad. But I was still able to use the app that had been installed on my tablet, so I didn’t really see it as that big of a deal. I recently asked people on Facebook who had an iPad if they could do me a favor and install the app and see if they could create a new account. One person did install it and she told me she got this notice that you don’t have internet access, which I have gotten when trying to connect to the community and the boutique.

So, even though it is only available on the iPad now, you can no longer create an account, and I have a feeling that whoever still uses the i-Loom on their iPad will no longer be able to sign in as well.

Style Me Up has completely abandoned their brand, their app, their product, which you can still buy online. I would say that they have completely abandoned all of the people who have spend money on their product, only to take it away from them. I would imagine because they weren’t making any money on their products. I tried to do a Google search to find out any news about their company and I can’t find anything. It’s like they just disappeared off the face of the Earth.

This really sucks because I thought this was an excellent product and they had an excellent app that gave you step by step, row by row instructions for making a bracelet. There is nothing else like it anywhere in the app store. The only thing I can find is an app that allows you to create your own patterns. There is also a PC program called FBD which stands for Friendship Bracelet Designer, which I have been using for many years and I had copied all 40+ patterns that I had bought from i-Loom onto FBD, so I didn’t really lose them. I had a foreboding that this would happen and if I didn’t copy all of the patterns to the computer, then I would lose them forever.

So I am sad that they have blocked access from using their app, but I’m glad that I copied all of the patterns to the computer. Always have a backup plan.

Friendship bracelets

I’ve been working on my friendship bracelets for my Etsy shop a lot lately. I made 2 of the neon rainbow arrowheads, 2 of the rainbow arrowheads and 2 of the rainbow weaves. I made a rainbow lightning bracelet and I was about to start making the second rainbow lightning and 2 neon rainbow weaves when my life partner asked for breast cancer awareness.

My life partner asked for a total of 5 breast cancer awareness bracelets for his cousins, then I asked for names and next thing I know, he’s naming 7 people. I’m like omg lol.

So I started working on the 2nd breast cancer awareness bracelet when my hands started to hurt. I took about 2 days off and holy hell, the 3rd day my hands are in absolute agony. I have carpal tunnel syndrome, so I can only make so many of a certain craft before I have to stop to rest.

This may be a teenage girl’s craft, but I really enjoy it, that is until my hands scream for me to stop lol.

I am making these with an i-Loom using patterns I’ve found on the internet. I originally bought the i-Loom from Amazon for $25. Great purchase, but they don’t sell them anymore. The i-Loom uses an app that used to be available in the Google play app store, but it has been discontinued and it’s now only available on the apple app store.

I had used a “My Friendship Bracelet Maker” clipboard before using the i-Loom, but I switched because the myfbm only allowed you to make bracelets with 10 strands. You can make a bracelet with 30 strands with the i-Loom. I mostly make 12 to 20 strand bracelets.

Way back in 1987 when I started making friendship bracelets when I was 17, I had to attach the bracelet to my pants with a safety pin, which would create a rip in the knee of my jeans. I had to sit with my knee up to work on these and it was quite uncomfortable. I’m so glad technology has given us an easier way to make these bracelets.

Style Me Up i-Loom

I bought this i-Loom from Amazon in January 2018. At that time I had a 10 inch Nook hd tablet that fit perfectly in there, but it stopped working and now I use my 7 inch Samsung Galaxy tab a6 Nook. It is a bit tiny, but it still works.

Style Me Up doesn’t seem to offer any help with their app, which by the way has been discontinued for Android. It’s now only available for iOS iPad. The app still works on my tablet though. My issue with the app is there are 6 duplicates of each pattern in the app and because of that, I can’t make any custom patterns.

I would love to see an app that has a simple interface that allows you to create patterns in the app and not just allow you to make bracelets from patterns they create.

I have program on my computer that allows me to do that, and I can save patterns and the image of the pattern and look at it on my tablet, but it doesn’t show me which row I’m on, I have to just remember where I’m at or put a piece of paper on the row I’m on. But it would be nice if that program is an Android app.

I copied their interface and added the pattern like this, but I had to create 48 pictures just to be able to keep better track of where I’m at in the pattern. It would be nice to see an app similar to this that allows you to insert the image of a pattern, and then tap the button to go to the next row.

The Style Me Up i-Loom is an awesome product, and I don’t understand why they have given up on it. They haven’t posted anything on social media since 2016 and their website doesn’t exist anymore. It’s such a brilliant idea, and it would be nice if there were more apps available.

2-in-1 KumiKreator Necklace and Bracelet

I have had this in my Amazon wish list for a very long time, but it wasn’t this particular one, it was the one that only made bracelets. I deleted it from my wish list because I didn’t think I would ever buy it. Then a couple of days ago I wondered how much it was, and I found this one, the 2-in-1 that makes bracelets and necklaces, and I thought, I gotta buy it! So I did, and to my surprise it was on sale for $13.69, regular price $24.99. So I thought I better buy it before it goes back up in price.

This thing arrived today and right out of the box one of the spools wouldn’t snap into place, but that’s fine because it comes with 12 spots for spools, so I could either make a bracelet with 8 strings or 10 strings. It’s not really that big of a deal. I mean, it would be nice if I could use all 12, but it’s fine. I don’t want to try to force it to snap into place and end up breaking the entire thing, you know?

I made a bracelet, as you can see in the image. It is an 8 strand bracelet and it is so tight. Oh my goodness, I can’t even tell you how happy I am about that. I was so afraid the strands would be too loose and it would look stupid, but it really surprised me. I think that’s the reason I don’t care that one of the spools won’t snap in place, because I can overlook that one issue because of the tightness of the bracelet.

So obviously when I run out of the strings they give you, I can just add new embroidery floss from my stash. There’s no way I’m paying for refills. The only thing I would really be concerned about is the clasps because they only give you so many of those, and then once you run out, you’re screwed, unless you can find something similar at a craft store. I have my own way of doing these things. I much prefer to add a braided loop at the very top with a knot in place, then make the Kumihimo bracelet, and then braid the very end and use a button to fit through the braided loop. That’s my preferred method, but while I have the strings that came with this, I will just use them up with their clasps until I run out, then go back to making them with braided loops and buttons.

I bought a My Circle of Creativity many years ago that has a Kumihimo pattern wheel. I searched Amazon for it to add a link here, but they don’t sell it anymore. I also went to their website and it’s not there either. Perhaps they discontinued it. Anyway, that’s how I used to make Kumihimo bracelets, and I did pretty good with that, but it’s slow. This 2-in-1 machine is really fast. I literally made the bracelet in the picture in 5 minutes.

So I’m thinking if you want to make something like this, either bracelet or a necklace, this is the thing to buy.

Update: Ok so I fixed the problem. There is a jam fix that they talk about on their website where you remove one of those plugs on the inner circle of the machine, and then you just line it up with the spool holders, and then you can remove them. Well, I did that and noticed there are screws in the back. I took a tiny phillips head screwdriver and just unscrewed it a little bit and that fixed it. Now the spools pop in place like it is supposed to and now I can make a bracelet with 12 strands.

Easter box cards in my Etsy shop

I posted about my Valentine’s day cards, and I also have Easter box cards available in my Etsy shop.

These Easter cards are a bit smaller, so they don’t cost as much as the Valentine’s day cards. They are also the cutest cards to give away.

Check out this item in my Etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/listing/939492310/easter-3d-box-cards

I’ve made 4 of each card, but I can make more if someone wants more. The only reason I only made 4 of each is because the agreement I made with SVGCuts.com, which is who designed these cards, was that I could sell them in my Etsy shop, but I can’t sell them in bulk. But I wouldn’t want to sell them in bulk because I’m just one person making cards in my bedroom, and I don’t even know if anyone will even buy them, so I don’t want to count my chickens before they hatch.

So if you like these, please take a look at them in my Etsy shop. Share with friends.

Controlling my paper craft hoard for my Cricut

I have a Cricut Explore Air 2, for papercraft. I have collected a lot of 12×12 paper pads over the last 2 years for making box greeting cards. Collecting a lot of different designs requires enough space in your crafting area, which happens to be my bedroom.

A couple of nights ago I had a mini avalanche. I was trying to find a specific pad so that I could get the specific patterns for a card, and the loose scrap paper and a opened pad with 50 pages of white 8 1/2 x 11 sheets fell behind the cabinet that the paper was sitting on. I wanted to buy this cart for a long time, but it was so expensive at $80 from Michael’s. The Avalanche of paper made me decide I really need this cart now.

We went to Michael’s to buy the Essex cart from Recollections (which is the brand of all my paper pads) and I put it together and then started filling it up.

There are four drawers on the left side that hold the 12×12 paper and then two deep drawers on the right side that hold all my 8 1/2 by 11 paper. I don’t have that much 8 1/2 by 11, so I put scraps in the bottom deep drawer.

On the right side there is a tray that you can lift up, but it only holds 2 lb and I’m probably never going to use it, so it can just stay down. The shelf in the middle has more 12×12 pads that the drawers could not hold, and they are mostly glitter paper, vinyl and envelope paper. Then I also put some other craft tools and supplies on the shelf.

I feel so good that the paper pads are cleaned up. this will make finding specific paper pads that I need easier because I put all of the Christmas pads in the top drawer, Valentine’s day and Spring are in the second drawer, and then random designs that aren’t holiday related are in the third drawer. All my 12×12 scraps are in the bottom drawer and they used up the whole drawer.

It’s nice to be organized and to have a clean space for once. I’m so glad I got this.

Polymer Clay Mold Issues

Earlier this year, a friend dropped off 4 bags full of polymer clay, tools, books and magazines and asked for 1 thing in return, to make her some windchimes.

I haven’t really messed with it because it was just before summer, and the clay was already too hard to work with because it was crumbly and I figured I would just watch some videos before playing with it. Also, I figured it would be more difficult to work with in the heat of the summer.

Well, I finally started playing with it and I had to buy a few new tools to help. Like clay softener and a pizza stone, but I also bought all these Makin’s molds from Etsy. The fruit mold came with the Makin’s clay conditioner, so I just bought the rest of the molds.

Getting to the point now lol. I tried using these molds, and the clay wouldn’t release. I went to YouTube for a tutorial and the makers of these molds sell their own clay that releases from these molds easier than the Sculpey clay that I’ve been using.

I don’t remember if I had read this in a help section, or if I heard it in a video, but one of the things I was told would work is to put corn starch on the mold, then press the clay in and then pull it out. Well, of course that didn’t work for me. Just now I wondered if I dipped the clay directly into the corn starch, would it release easier? And it did. It worked.

This isn’t a color you can buy, that I know of, this is a color that I made by blending a lot of different colors of scrap clay together to use as scrap to experiment with things like trying to figure out how to get the clay to release from the molds. You can probably see a little bit of corn starch still, but I used a paint brush to brush off the remaining corn starch. When I do use the clay to make something like this, of course I will brush it off, then after it is baked, I will brush some gloss glaze on it to make it shiny.

These things from this mold are thin enough that I can use them when I make cards with my Cricut. That was the main motivation for buying all of these molds, so I can use them somehow with papercraft. And now that I have finally figured out the best way to get them to release, I will finally be able to make embellishments to help my cards win accolades from friends and family. Not really, but it could happen.