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.

Another craft

I have been crafting my entire life. I don’t normally just start a new craft unless it is something I am interested in because I saw a video, or I saw that someone had something that I thought was cool and wanted to learn how to make it myself. I have never picked up a craft that I had no interest in, until now.

A friend was going through all of her craft supplies in her craft room and she literally drove over to our house and dropped off 3 bags of things. 1 bag full of books, 1 bag full of magazines and 1 bag with tools, all for Polymer Clay.

I did buy some polymer clay for a project many years ago that never really turned into anything because I honestly had no clue what I was doing, so I basically wasted a few bucks, which I don’t mind because it was only a few dollars. My friend who dropped all this stuff on my front door said she bought all of these before she retired thinking she would be interested in this craft, but it has been 10 years since she retired and the packages are still sealed lol. She played around with some clay and used the roller, but she didn’t really do much.

So now I have all of these supplies, what should I make? Well, I decided to go to YouTube to find out what I can make. I discovered you can make canes that you can then slice and you could make them into earrings or necklaces. There was a cool cane that was in the shape of a leaf and the person curled the leaves and put holes in the end and attached them to a chain. Another person made this really neat Dragon scale bead. Then another person showed how to make a rose. That was cool.

At first I was thinking, I can’t do this, I am not creative at all. I just find a pattern and make it, and this is basically the same idea. You find a pattern and make it happen. I really want to make roses, but rainbow roses. I also want to try that leaf pattern and I was thinking, I could make candy cane earrings, pumpkin earrings, heart earrings and many other things. I’m even thinking toilet paper earrings, you know, because of the toilet paper hoarding lol.

This is something I think I will enjoy. But… I don’t have all the tools that I need, so I bought a couple things on Amazon, like a clay conditioner. It’s like a pasta roller thing. You put the clay through and it rolls it out flat and then you fold it in half and put it back in and fold it again and again to condition the clay. I have carpal tunnel syndrome, so I can’t really do that by hand. This one was really inexpensive at just $21 plus tax. I bought the Darice Studio 71 Polymer Clay Press on Amazon and Polymer Sculpey Super Slice that has handles. Trust me, the handles are something I need. I’m clumsy and cut myself easily.

I really look forward to making things out of Polymer clay, but I want to watch a lot of videos to basically use as a study tool so I know what I’m doing what I get started, in theory lol.

My time in quarantine

We’ve been living under quarantine for a little while now and I’m sure people are going stir crazy. This is nothing new to me since I am disabled and am home all day every day anyway, so it’s business as usual.

I have kept busy though. In December and January before all this started, I was making Valentine’s Day Box Cards with my Cricut because someone wanted 5 of each of these 5 designs to send out to her friends and co-workers. Then in February I started working on Easter Box Cards and the same person wanted 2 of each of 10 designs. I like to make things, and it was my pleasure to make these for her.

After Easter I decided it is better if I don’t make any more cards because at that point you really can’t trust anyone. I mean, I don’t know if the people who receive the card would trust that I didn’t have Coronavirus, so I thought it best to just be safe and not continue working on them for everyone’s safety. I haven’t gotten Coronavirus, but the recipients don’t know that.

We were told to start making masks for ourselves to go out in public, and I really wanted to, but my life partner didn’t want me to make masks because he thought a regular piece of fabric isn’t going to do any good, you need a N95 mask. Well, once he realized that we aren’t allowed to wear those since they are supposed to be reserved for medical professionals, then he was ok with it. We bought some masks from our local post office which is inside of a pharmacy, and those were nice, but I wanted to make some masks with a design that I liked.

The one that you see I am wearing was the pattern they sold at the post office / pharmacy.

The top right mask is a mask that I made out of what was supposed to be a quilt block I made for a dining room table placemat. I added some small paracord buckles that were not adjustable. My life partner loved the idea of using buckles and he wanted me to make masks for his family (bottom left) but make them adjustable because obviously I don’t have their head sizes since they are back East, and even if they told me, I am not sure they would’ve been right, so I thought it was best to use the bigger buckles that are adjustable. The fabric stores were all out of fabric, and we went to Walmart, but all they had for fabric was bed sheets, so that’s what those are made out of.

Bottom middle was fabric I had on my Zabuton (square meditation pillow) as like a pillow case. I thought it was such a fantastic pattern, so I made one for both of us with that. When that fabric is available at Joann again, I will buy another 2 yards to replace the pillow case.

Bottom right is a unique pattern that my aunt really loved. She actually shared an image on Facebook of a mask that a company was selling for $20 for 1 mask with that pattern, and I just so happened to have that image on my hard drive since my old Nook has that skin on it. So I thought it would be cool if I could make her a mask with that pattern, so I bought some printable colorfast cotton fabric that goes right through a regular printer that takes 8.5×11 sheets of paper. It is actual fabric that you can print, cool right? It’s just that it cost $18 for 10 sheets, so basically each mask cost me $9 to make. I made one for my uncle and one for my aunt and I had to make the bias tape with 8.5×11 sheets, which means I had to use 2 sheets for enough bias tape for 1 mask. I used the bottom middle fabric for the inside because that stuff is very thick and stiff and I can’t imagine putting that against my face.

So other than making some box cards and face masks, I haven’t really been doing anything different. Watching YouTube on my TV with my Roku, watching movies and TV shows with the Roku channel and Hulu and playing Terraria.

My birthday is coming and I will be turning 50 and I will most likely be turning 50 in quarantine. What a great time to turn 50 lol. Oh well, it’s ok. Not that big of a deal since my birthday hasn’t really been celebrated since I was a kid. But at least I’m still alive considering I should’ve been dead 20 years ago, so yay for getting old when I was told that was never going to happen.

How to knit socks from start to finish

Have you ever wanted to knit a cool pair of socks, but don’t know how because you’ve never knitted, or perhaps you do know how to knit, but have never learned to make socks? Well, I learned from watching many videos on YouTube. I’ve shown this image above to all my socials and it seems like several people say they wish they knew how to knit socks, so I decided I would make a video teaching how to do all the steps from start to finish. It’s an intermediate pattern, but I show you as a beginner.

I like to use Premier wool free sock yarn that I bought from the Michaels website. I’ve bought sock yarn from Michaels and they are wool which means they get hot fast and those are meant to keep your feet warm when you are in the snow or perhaps just when you are sitting at home and your feet get too cold, or if it’s just winter and your feet get cold easily. Well, Premier wool free sock yarn is great for wearing with shoes.

However, for this video I just used regular yarn. The tools I use for the Premier socks are a 9 inch 2.75mm or US 2 circular knitting needles. Preferably ChiaoGoo with the red cable. 5 double pointed knitting needles of the same size (the set usually comes with 5) a size 2.0mm crochet hook for fixing dropped stitches, stitch markers and a needle for sewing the Kitchener stitch. The circular knitting needle I used in this video was a 12 inch 5mm US 8 circular knitting needle with matching double pointed needles and a size G crochet hook and of course stitch markers and yarn needle for sewing the Kitchener stitch.

The pattern is available on the Premier website, but in the video I tell you how many stitches you will need for your sock depending on the circumference of your foot. I will show you how to do the loose long tail cast on, rib stitch for the cuff is 1 1/2 inches, then 6 inches total including the cuff before you start the short row heel. then you knit the foot and measure from the back of the heel for your foot size, but make sure you are measuring minus 2 inches because the toe is 1 1/2 inches and you want there to be a stretch, hence the last 1/2 inch. Finally the last thing to do is the Kitchener stitch to sew the toe up and then weave the tail of the yarn into the perl bars.

So here’s the video. Enjoy and let me know how it works out.

I’m knitting socks!

This isn’t the first time I’ve knitted a sock. The first sock I ever knitted was the one in the image above, and I never made the matching sock because my hand was in so much pain from making this one because of my carpal tunnel, that I just ended up putting the second one off, and then I guess I just never made it because I forgot, and then I lost the sock yarn lol.

So this time I am actually making a pair, but I’m working with regular yarn because it gets so cold here in the winter because we don’t have heat, so rather than wearing 2 pairs of socks all winter, I thought I would knit socks with yarn so they are like feet sweaters lol. I should clarify, we used to have central heating, but then the heater stopped working and now we have space heaters. The one in my bedroom is a portable radiator and it puts off so much heat that I have to turn it down because it feels like summer in my bedroom. The living room space heater is bigger, but since it blows heat like a fan, it only blows enough for a tiny space, so even if you are sitting next to it, your feet are still frozen if you’re not wearing socks.

I made 2 different socks and I messed both of them up, so those didn’t end up making the cut. My life partner didn’t like them anyway because he wanted dark, and I had this green yarn, so that’s the color he chose. I did mess up on the heel because I didn’t do a even 3 way split when doing the heel, I kept going one too many rows, so that’s why it’s so pointy, and believe me, it’s not comfortable lol. Since I made that first one that pointy, I have to make the matching one exactly the same. I do plan on making more and doing it right lol.

I made this first one going cuff down to toe, and I did it using the magic loop method, and I switched to DPN’s (double pointed needles) for the toe. I am still working on the matching sock because my hand has been in so much agony from all the failed socks, then this sock and now the sock I’m working on. It’s taking longer because I have to keep resting my hand. For the 2nd sock I decided to start making it using the DPN’s, but then I decided I wanted to buy some sock sized circular needles. I also bought actual sock yarn, so for the sock yarn I bought a 9 inch long 2.75mm US 2 size circular knitting needles, so I figured I would also buy 9 inch long 5mm US 8 size circular knitting needles for the yarn socks, but that turned out to be a mistake because 9 inches is not long enough. You can see in the regular sock yarn there is a stretch while it is on the circular knitting needles, but the regular yarn is bunched up too much and it just made it more difficult to knit, so I bought a 12 inch long 5mm US 8 size circular knitting needles, and as you can see from the pictures, it made a huge difference.

So after I finish with this green sock, I really want to go buy some more variegated yarn. My favorite is called Painted Desert. I think that will look awesome as a foot sweater lol. The regular sock yarn is Premier wool free sock yarn in the following styles. I saved the screenshots from the website of the finished sock so you can see and then took a screenshot of all 3 of them together.

I honestly don’t know why I bought the Petunia or the Vegas Lights. These were the only 3 available in the listing on the Michael’s website. Of course after I bought these 3 colors, they added more colors to the same listing that are more masculine that I really would rather have, but such is life I guess. Perhaps I will make those 2 pairs to give away. I found them on Amazon for the same exact price and free shipping with Prime, so maybe I will get them there since it’s faster shipping, that is if my hand is still alive when I finish making these.

Anyway, I like making things that are actually useful, and I can’t wait to see the Painted Desert yarn as a sock. Maybe one day I will find the sock yarn for the first sock I ever made so I can make the matching sock.

Cricut Explore Air 2 and Cricut BrightPad

Well, it happened sooner than I was expecting. I got a Cricut Explore Air 2, and it came with a free Cricut BrightPad from Michaels.

I mentioned in my last blog post that a friend had given me a Cricut Personal, which is basically one of the first electronic Cricuts ever made and that I wanted to buy a Cricut Explore Air 2 eventually, either by my birthday, or by Christmas.

I got an email from Michaels telling me about their new sale, and it said all of the Cricut stuff was on sale, so I clicked their link and discovered the 6″x12″ cutting mats for the Cricut Personal was $5.99 for 2 mats. I told my life partner the next morning that I wanted to go buy a pack of cutting mats and a new blade and on the way he asked how much a new Cricut was and I told him it was on sale and you get a BrightPad, but I don’t want him to buy it for me, and he said “Well, you might as well just get the latest one, I know you want it because you keep telling me what you can do that you can’t do now.”

So, now I have a Cricut Explore Air 2 and a Cricut BrightPad. I’ve been pretty busy making boxes and cards and their matching envelopes. I also bought some vinyl and iron on vinyl from Amazon so I can make more than just things with paper.

One thing to note about the cartridges that I bought from eBay is that if you buy something that has been used, there is a good chance that person has already linked the cartridge to their account, so you will be wasting your money on the cartridge if you are using it with a new Cricut. It will still work on the old Cricut, but if someone has already linked it, you are wasting money. I bought 2 cartridges from eBay, Creative Everyday Cards and Sweet Tooth Boxes. I was able to link Creative Everyday Cards because that one was brand new, but Sweet Tooth Boxes was already linked to someone else’s account, so it’s literally useless to me. Those patterns are available for Cricut Access, which I am using their trial right now and will probably continue to pay for every month, but if I quit using that, I won’t have access to those cut files.

I love my new Cricut Explore Air 2 and Brightpad. I’ve already made a thank you card for the person who gave me the original Cricut, plus I’ve made 2 Easter cards and 2 boxes for chocolate, one of which matches the thank you card.