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.

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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.

Rainbow DNA Keychains on #Etsy

rainbow

I recently bought some new neon colors for my keychains and earrings for my Etsy shop.  I made 5 of each style of the neon rainbow keychains and 5 of each style of the regular dark rainbow keychains.  When I say style I am referring to the color in the middle.  I have glow in the dark, gold, black, white and tie dye.  I also offer clear in the middle.

Because I have all these new colors, I will be able to offer so many more options for studs and hoops as well as dangle earrings.  I will be making the rainbow dangle earrings to match all of these styles.

I have totally changed my listing for the rainbow keychains.  Before you had the choice of rainbow A and B and so on, but now you simply choose the color like Neon Rainbow or Dark Rainbow, then choose a pattern which is the color in the middle.  I think that makes it so much easier to buy these keychains.  I will be changing the rainbow dangle earring listings so they are similar to this.

I have many listings for stud earrings, but I will be changing that as well to make buying all of the different color combinations in one listing.

When I read how to make a successful Etsy business, I was told that the more listings you have, the more successful you will become, but I just can’t see how that is true.  I think they just want you to have as many listings as possible because that’s how Etsy makes their money.  I want to offer a lot of choices, but at the same time I don’t want to confuse anyone, so I think having 1 listing for all the many color combinations is easier.

So if you would like to buy a pair of earrings, or a keychain, please look at my color swatches and read the notes below them and please visit my Etsy shop to make your choice.  My keychains and earrings are reasonably priced and are great quality.

Homemade Stylus Boondoggles

rainbow dna

Yesterday I had a vision, okay so it was more like a thought.  I was looking for a pen, but couldn’t find one and thought gosh darn it, where are the gosh darn pens?  Okay, so I was a little bit more colorful in my language, but you don’t need to know that much lol.

As I was swearing, I looked over at a keychain that I was making for a customer and it clicked, what if I made some pens that look like keychains, but they have a pen inside?  So I tried and was not very successful lol.

keychain pen fail

You cannot see the other side of the pen because I wanted to take a picture with the gold on top for some odd reason.  Anyway, the other side doesn’t look very good.  The pen does not want to  cooperate, but perhaps I didn’t give it enough chance.  Regardless, it won’t work because it’s too bendy and I just don’t think anyone will want to use this.  It’s not refillable because once I weave the material around the pen, that’s it, it’s permanently in there.  If I could find some sort of hard plastic to  weave around that you could push the pen in, perhaps you can refill it.

My next thought was a Stylus pen for your touch screen tablet and cell phone.  I have a mini stylus and I started making a keychain that the nub could attach to, but there is a component in the stylus that my keychain does not have that will make the nub work.  Unless I find out what that is, I will not be very successful.  I am not going to give up on this because I really think it’s a cool idea, but rather I am going to find alternative ways to make it work.  I will get there, eventually.

Anyway, been working all day making earrings and keychains for Valentine’s Day and now it is definitely time for bed.  Until next time!

My Keychain and Earring Colors

I will accept any custom orders for keychains, keychain dangle earrings and stud earrings and here are the colors that I have.

redneon redorangeneon orangegoldenrodneon yellowapple greenneon greenturquoisekelly greenbaby blueneon blueroyallavender neon purplewhiteblackclearsilver sparkleglow in the darkgoldrose pinkneon pinkclear tie dyepatriotic

Notes:

  • The gold that I have isn’t shiny like the gold you see in the picture.
  • The patriotic has 2 sides, one side the red on the top is bright, but the other side it is dark so for studs there are 2 choices, dark or bright.
  • The Neon Orange is kind of translucent.
  • I am out of Rose, but more is on the way.

Brands:

  • Creatology Bought at Michael’s: Red, Neon Orange, Goldenrod, Neon Green, Neon Blue, Royal Blue, Neon Purple, White, Clear
  • Pepperell Rexlace Bought at KwikCrafts.com: Neon Red, Orange, Neon Orange, Neon Yellow, Apple Green, Kelly Green, Baby Blue, Lavender, Neon Purple, Rose, Pink, Hot Pink, Gold, Tie Dye, Glow in the Dark, Silver Sparkles, Black

Here is an image of all of these colors in their spools.

gimp supplies

Here is an example of some of the colors that I have worked with.  Here is the rainbow keychain with red, neon orange, goldenrod, neon green, baby blue, purple and clear, black or white in the middle and clear on the outside.  Here is also the matching dangle earrings with the same colors.

rainbow c rainbow dna earring hypoallergenic

I have also made the rainbow earrings with white and black in the DNA style.

Here is the Red, White and Blue patriotic stud earrings so you can see how that looks, you can also see that I have the ability to make them with plastic studs or stainless steel which are both hypoallergenic.

patriotic 1 patriotic 2

Finally here is what the Tie Dye looks like with Glow in the Dark in the middle.  Of course you can’t actually see it glow in this picture, and the glow in the dark is from an old roll that I bought many years ago, it’s not the new glow in the dark that I have not yet gotten.  Of course this one is not for sale, but if someone did want me to make one to buy, I could make the color in the middle any color you wanted.  I cut the fringe really short with this one because it curled up way too much.  I made this one in the crinkle cut fry style because I wanted to be able to see the it glow and I wasn’t sure it would be as visible in the DNA style.

tie dye keychain

Rings on Etsy

gold ring

I bought a ring mandrel specifically so I could make hemp rings.  I wondered if I could make them with the plastic lace, aka gimp, and I was successful as you can see in the image above, but the success didn’t last too long because I discovered today after wearing my gold ring for 3 days that it wasn’t as strong as I thought.  Well, to be fair I couldn’t stop playing with it.  I was constantly taking it off my finger and squeezing it.  I guess I squeezed it to the point that it broke at the seam.

Someone asked me to make some rings and hoop earrings and I thought how awesome would it be to make and sell rings on Etsy?  Since I had a bad experience, I decided against it.

I bought some steel tigertail beading wire specifically so that I could make candy cane earrings.  My idea was to use the wire to bend the boondoggle into a crook to look like a candy cane, but this wire wasn’t the right wire; it’s too thin and doesn’t hold it’s shape if bent.  I knew that even if it didn’t work, I could still use it for some other project.  Perhaps I could have used it to make a beaded ring, or perhaps make a beaded earring… the possibilities are endless.

As I was deciding against making the rings, I looked at the steel tigertail beading wire and I had an epiphany.  I could weave the wire into the gimp rings so they can’t come apart.  It just might work, or will it?

glow in the dark

One of the rings I was asked to make was with the glow in the dark gimp, so I took that opportunity to use the wire knowing it could be seen through the gimp.  Here it is.  You can clearly see the wire inside the ring.  The wire holds its shape which is a good thing to know because the hoop earrings I made didn’t exactly keep their round shape.  I mean, they are still round, they just aren’t perfectly round like this ring is.

It will probably be awhile before I make the rings and hoop earrings for sale if I do decide to make and sell them.  I want to test them out on myself first.  I am my only beta tester lol.  If I play with it, I am sure someone else will and I would much rather find out if it is going to be worth the price if someone buys it or not.  I would hate to know that someone had paid money for one of these only to have to toss it in the bin.  I like to know I am selling a quality product.

I will make another gold ring for myself because I really liked that color.  It will look exactly like the image at the top, but the only difference is it will have some wire inside which you won’t see because the gold gimp is not translucent.  I am really hoping this works because I got myself excited to wear a new ring, but I also got other people excited.  I also think it would make a cool pride ring necklace to have 6 rainbow colored rings like my own pride ring necklace.  Our gay pride is coming in October so that will be perfect to wear then.

Well I better get started with my new experiment.

Ring Sizer

ring sizer

I have been having fun making keychains and earrings with plastic lacing aka gimp, but I also have fun making bracelets, chokers and rings using hemp.  Before making too many rings, I needed to buy a ring sizer so I knew exactly what size the rings were after I made them.

When making a ring using hemp, you have to measure the gimp on something round, like say your finger or a ring sizer, but I have found that the size you start out with, isn’t always the size you end up with.  Like take the 2 rings in the image above for example.  I started making both of these on the size 12 mark, the thicker hemp ended up being a size 9 and the smaller hemp ended up being a size 9.5.  That’s why I wanted a ring sizer.

These rings are specifically made without anything added, they are plain hemp rings.  I would like to make the rings with beads, but the problem that I am facing is that the seed beads that I bought are too tiny for the hemp to go through.  They are the perfect size on the outside, but their holes are way too small for the hemp.  My purpose for wanting to use beads was so I could make rainbow hemp rings with beads.

I am not sure anyone will want to buy plain hemp rings, but I will list them in every size (after I have made them in every size with both thicknesses of course) and see what happens.  If they sell then they sell, if they don’t then they don’t.  I will keep searching for the right size beads so I can keep trying what I wanted to try in the first place.

The ring sizer mandrel only cost $3 with free shipping from Etsy from DarcusTori.  It was a ridiculously low price with free shipping, but I figure I should take advantage while I still can.  Supplies end up costing me a lot more money than I am getting in profit, so the less expensive everything is, the better it is for me to be able to continue making things that probably won’t sell lol.

Anyway, I want to see about getting some better beads and I will go from there.  I think rings with rainbow colors would look awesome.  I’m thinking that I may still get some use out of the beads that I have by beading them alone.  Of course I will have to find a good pattern for beading now lol.  Ugh so many crafts, so little time.