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.

New Hypoallergenic Hooks from Uncommon Artistry on Amazon

michaels hooks vs uncommon artistry hooks

I ordered these “Hypoallergenic” Surgical Steel Ball & Coil Earring Hooks (X100) from Amazon on July 3rd, 2013.  When I bought them, I didn’t realize they were coming from China.  If I had known that, I wouldn’t have bought them.  In fact, I tried to cancel my order right away, but they wouldn’t let me.  I was able to click the link to cancel, but the drop down menu for the reason for returning didn’t have any options, so without a reason to choose from, it was impossible to cancel.  My other reason for wanting to cancel was because of the reviews saying these aren’t actually hypoallergenic which I did not read until after I bought them.

So what I did on July 4th was I went to Michael’s and bought some hooks because I was so excited about making earrings and I wanted to buy the hooks because the sooner I could make them, the sooner I could sell them.  But I found out that they weren’t actually hypoallergenic.  I wore a pair for a couple of days to test them out and my right ear lobe started to get infected.  I decided to just keep making earrings and when I finally got some hypoallergenic hooks from Etsy, I took all the Michael’s hooks out and replaced them with hypoallergenic hooks.

The earrings in the image above are the Michael’s earrings on the left and the “hypoallergenic” surgical steel ball & coil earrings from Uncommon Artistry on the right.  When you are looking at the 2 bags next to each other, you can tell there is a huge difference in the colors.  The Michael’s is like a silver, while the Uncommon Artistry is more of a gray or like a blue gray color.  They actually look exactly alike in the image above with the exception of the curvature of the 2 earrings.

I am testing a pair out on my own ears just like I tested the Michael’s earrings because before I write a review on Amazon, I want to make absolutely sure they are hypoallergenic.  If they aren’t then I can say that they aren’t, but if they are then I can say they are.  If they are hypoallergenic then I can use them and say without a shadow of a doubt in my description that they are indeed hypoallergenic.  Otherwise, I have to note that they aren’t and indeed mention that if you have allergies, don’t buy these, buy the hypoallergenic ones.

So I’ve only been wearing them for like a minute and my right ear is already starting to pulse lol.  It’s like I can feel my heartbeat in my ear lobe.  I’m not quite sure if my ear is still recovering from the infection from the Michael’s earrings.  I haven’t worn anything in my ears for weeks, or since that first test that I did.  I started wearing plastic earrings in those holes yesterday.  When I put the plastic earrings in yesterday, both ears were a bit sore and they were hard to put in at first because I think the holes started closing up or perhaps they were closing because of the (for the lack of a better word) infection juices were causing the holes to close.  LOL I didn’t know how else to say that.  Anyway, I had to clean my ears yesterday because the earring was a little red from forcing it through the back.  They are still sore, so if something is going to happen, it’s probably going to happen fast.

For reference, I finished typing this out at 2:25 p.m. on July 17, 2013.  Will update on my findings…

bent hooksQuality:  I have been reading the reviews and more than a few said there were some that were bent and the coil and ball were missing or whatever.  Well, I was curious to see if there were any like that and as I was putting the normal ones back in the bag, I was counting them.  I counted 112 hooks and there were only supposed to be 100.  But, I think that makes up for the fact that 4 earrings were bent, well, 1 of those wasn’t too badly bent, but well, you see in the picture.  And 2 of them were hooked together and as you can see 1 is missing the ball and coil.  I think I can deal with the loss of 4 earrings and I can unhook those 2 good ones and replace the ball and coil from one of the bad ones.  I still come out on top with 108 good hooks, well 2 of which I am wearing for testing that I cannot actually sell, so 106 good hooks lol.

Update 8:39 p.m.: I had to take them out.  I’m in agony right now.  My head feels tight and my jaw is in a lot of pain, more pain on the right, but in pain on both sides.  These are worse than the Michael’s earrings lol.  At least with the Michael’s earrings I was able to wear them for 40 hours, I couldn’t wear these for more than 6 1/2 hours.  Heck, I was ready to take them out after the first minute because the pain started immediately.  I will not be using these earrings, not even for people who don’t have allergies.  These are going in the trash.  At least it was only $2.32.  Next time I will make sure I read the reviews first.

Earrings for Men

checkered 1

I’ve been so focused on making the keychains and keychain style earrings for women that I totally forgot that I actually wanted to make earrings for men so I could make some for myself.  I finally figured out how to make the studs out of the plastic lanyard “gimp” by only making a couple of stitches before gluing them and sticking them to plastic studs.

black and white 3

This is the pair that I made for myself, I made another pair to sell.  When I was a kid, my parents bought me a pair of Vans with the black and white checkered pattern and for some reason I’ve been a fan of the checkered pattern ever since.  I made one in every color, except for orange because when I mix the orange with black, the orange is translucent so it turns brown.  It’s not pretty.  So I have red, yellow, green, blue, purple and white with black.  I made them in all those colors to sell, but I will be making myself one in each color.

gold and silver I also have a pair in silver and a pair in gold.  The silver is a solid silver ribbon with a mirror finish in clear gimp.  The gold is different though in the sense that it looks gold, but it’s sparkly.  When you look at it and tilt it, you see the little color spots seem to change color with the lighting.  I honestly don’t know how else to explain it.  I would have liked to have bought some solid gold like the solid silver with the mirror finish, but they didn’t have any.  They had the same type of silver as the gold, but I wanted solid silver.

These studs aren’t just for the studs, ladies can wear them too, of course.  I also have the Breast Cancer Awareness pink color in solid pink, pink and white and pink and black.  Anyone can wear those actually.  You don’t have to be a woman to wear them, you can be a man who wears them in solidarity, or whatever reason you have for wanting to wear them.

pink 1

I am quite proud of my ability to make these earrings.  I have listed them on Etsy for a mere $3 a pair.  I didn’t want to ask too much for these earrings because I am not a professional, these are just a hobby and the only reason I am selling them is to help pay for a new bicycle so I can start losing more weight with Noom.  Which reminds me, I’m going to make some solid green earrings for myself for when I start riding my future bike.

So to respond to the men who have asked for earrings, here you go.  If you would like a specific color combination, there is a link in every pair of earrings listed for requesting a custom color.  Just tell me know which two colors you would like and I will make them.

Earrings and Keychains Galore

etsy dna earrings

You know the story of when I first learned how to make keychains right?  Do I have to go back down memory lane again?  Oh alright, you twisted my arm.

When I was about 7 or 8 years old, I could be wrong on the particular age, my parents would buy us kids crafts to keep us busy.  We learned latch hook so we would make rugs that would end up on the wall for a very brief moment before they disappeared and nobody ever wondered where they went, or at least I didn’t anyway.  I went into the Cub Scouts at age 9 and that was when I learned to make the keychains, but the very simple box one.  I couldn’t even make the circular ones yet.  I certainly didn’t know how to finish them because we would end up lighting the ends on fire and they would turn black.  That was a hazard for a 9 year old to play with fire and to squash the burning plastic with their fingers lol.

I also learned plastic canvas crafts while in the Cub Scouts and I learned how to tie dye a t-shirt at Salvation Army band camp when I was 12.  When I was 17 I learned to make friendship bracelets and when I was 18 I learned to crochet, knit and embroider.

Since then my craft has certainly evolved, unfortunately so has the pain which caused carpal tunnel syndrome.  I have my good days and bad days, but mainly I just work on the keychains and earrings whenever I get the chance.

I started making the Rainbow DNA plastic lanyard earrings recently based on the actual keychains of which I have even made several different styles and color combinations.  I was looking at a keychain and thinking, this would look great on an earring, but on a smaller scale, and here I am now.  The 2nd pair of earrings that I made are a bit more patriotic to match the patriotic DNA lanyard keychain that I have made.

So I’m having fun making them and really, isn’t that what life is all about?  Doing what you love and having fun doing it.  I think it is.  I love the keychains, and I just adore the earrings to match and I think you will too.  So check them out and let me know how you like them.

The keychains are $3.50, the earrings are $5 and the shipping is $2.00 and .25 cents for each additional item in your order.  My Etsy shop is called GayNerd.

Patriotic keychains and flag lanyards

I have been having a blast playing with lanyards lately. I made quite a few keychains in the DNA pattern with many different colors and I have made a couple different patriotic keychains as well as an American flag. Take a look.

image

The flag isn’t perfect, as nothing really is in this world, but I like it anyway. The problem that I had was with the transition to the blue. I can change the colors in the DNA keychains no problem, but adding the blue to this flag was the most difficult thing I’ve ever tried to do.

Someday I will try to make another one, but for now this will have to do. I really love the keychains though.

My motivation for making these patriotic lanyard projects is the 4th of July of course. I like to make something for every holiday. Actually, flag day is coming so this works for that day too. I think an American flag works for many holidays throughout the year.

Anyway, I hope it’s pleasing. I plan on making more of the keychains as soon as I get more hooks. I think people will like them. I hope anyway.

I’m not a one trick pony after all

circle brick and wall

I have been playing around with my lanyard (or gimp) material a lot over the last week.  I thought there were only 2 styles, the square and the round.  Well, a friend told me on Facebook to try the triangle pattern which uses 3 colors.  I never even knew it was possible to use not just 3 colors, but only 3 strands.  She sent me to “Laneyards” on YouTube and I’ve been watching a lot of his videos and have discovered so many different patterns that I never even knew existed until now.

So I put all of the images on my crafts page in the Lanyard Keychains section.  I made some keychains with the Mega Lace, I made a pretzel, I made a long wall stitch with the Mega Lace, there are some imperfections in it because I had to add more of the clear gimp because I didn’t have enough, but it doesn’t matter because it was just for practice.  Then today I just added the ones you see in this post.  The one on the bottom is the brick stitch in a circular pattern and the one above that is the wall stitch in a circular pattern.  Of course they were just practice.  They are small because I used scrap gimp to make them.  I’m out of all of my gimp now so if I want to make more, I’ll have to take a trip to Michael’s, which I will do tomorrow.

I never knew I had it in me.  I really think these are so cool.  Of course, I don’t know what I’m going to do with any of them lol.  My next trick will be a rainbow wall in a circular pattern.  I honestly don’t know how it’s going to turn out, but I’m going to try it anyway.

I am also going to make many awareness ribbons for many causes that I support.  There are too many to list, and most likely I will have a keychain of only cause ribbons that I won’t be able to keep on my keychain, because if I did, they’d never fit in my pocket lol.  Of course I can put one on my keychain at a time during that awareness month.  Either way, I’m going to be very busy making lots of ribbons with the simple circular stitch, bending it to make a circle, then attaching it to the other side to make it into a ribbon, then continuing with a few more stitches to finish it off.

My hands seem to be doing fine with the stretching and pulling of the gimp.  I had to stop crocheting after 20+ years because of my carpal tunnel syndrome, so perhaps if I can make these keychains, I might be able to crochet again.  Maybe… we’ll see.

Mega Lace Lanyard

mega lace 2

I recently blogged about the lanyard keychains that I’ve been making out of boredom, and I also mentioned the thicker lace.  I said I didn’t make anything out of the thicker lace because it was too difficult to work with, but yesterday I decided to give it a shot and I actually love working with it more than the regular gimp if you can believe that.

So I have 4 different colors.  There are the 3 you see in the image above, the orange with black patterned, the green with spots and the solid black behind it all.  The black was already cut up to make a keychain and not wound up.  There is a 4th color, but I don’t have a roll of it, instead what you see is what I used in the keychain in the picture above between the 2 rolls.

I couldn’t start with a key ring, but I knew that once I was finished, I could slip a key ring into the bottom.  I just started making the keychain the same way I would make it with the regular gimp and it turned out great.  I decided to make a green and black one, but I went a bit overboard and made it really long.  My partner told me that he didn’t like the orange because he sees it as fluorescent and he hates fluorescent colors, so I gave him the green and black, but it was too long for him.

As we were driving home from the doctor’s office today, it was hanging from his car keys which were in the ignition, and the end of the keychain was tickling his leg lol.  I made him a smaller one so it doesn’t do that.  I didn’t make it as long as the orange and blue one because I didn’t want to make it too long, but it’s nearly the same length, but short enough that it won’t bother him while he’s driving.  I hope…

mega lace

I really like how they look.  They aren’t too thin like the regular lace, or gimp.  They actually fit in the palm of my hand and is comfortable enough to hold my keys from the keychain instead of just holding the keys in my hand.  Not that it would matter how I hold my keys, but it just feels good holding.  I just like how they look in general.

Of course I am using the long green and black, green for Noom.  What will I do with the orange and blue one?  Well, I guess it will go with the rest of the keychains that I am making for no reason lol.

Making these is really fun and I’m glad that I am finally using something that I bought many years ago instead of letting it collect dust in a drawer.  I just wish that I knew how cool the mega lace was when I bought them instead of thinking that they were a waste of money.  Better late than never, eh?