Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

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I was diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in 2007 after 20 years of crocheting started to take its toll on my hands. I didn’t just have it in one hand, I have it in both hands. I was given wrist splints to wear at night when I went to bed. I was told I didn’t have to wear them during the day, that they should help me when I sleep. Okay, no problem. I’ve worn them every night since then up until last year when I stopped using my bipap machine for my sleep apnea because I didn’t need it anymore because I had lost 70lbs. Wearing the bipap mask became uncomfortable because suddenly the pressure was too high.

I wore these wrist splints faithfully for 6 years from 2007 to 2013. They did help and last year I started making keychains and opened an Etsy shop. Since then I have added dangle, hoop and stud earrings and hemp and friendship bracelets. I received an order for 8 tassels for a company who makes purses, then they placed another order for 34 tassels and that took a huge toll on my hands. Someone else ordered 60 rainbow keychains. I made 36 of those and had to stop because it was hurting too much. She wanted them for her June wedding which apparently has been pushed back to November. That gives me more time to finish the rest of them, but I’m not quite sure they will follow through with buying them from me. I’ve had several people place a custom order and then not pay for it.

I’ve been working day and night making friendship bracelets over the last week. I really love making things. I don’t know if it is a gift or a curse. A gift that I can make something wonderful out of raw material with just my hands, but a curse that something I love to do can cause so much pain.

The pain is just too much on my hands. I wake up every morning with painfully numb hands and this morning my right hand was still numb for an hour after I woke up, and it was extremely painful. I put my wrist splint on and the pain and numbness eventually went away, but I am going to continue wearing the wrist splint for the rest of the day and perhaps wear it every day and night while I take a rest. I hope that helps.

Here are just a few things that I’ve been making. I am very proud of the hard work that have been doing that is ruining my hands lol.

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I had all these plans for the camouflage bracelets. I bought the different colors to make a red version and a blue version. I also had planned on buying the different shades of brown to make a brown one. People have suggested I go with a complete rainbow and make orange, yellow and purple camouflage bracelets. I can’t see that happening now.

The rainbow braid bracelet on the bottom is actually a bracelet I wanted to make for a very long time for a specific person. I actually wanted to make 2 of them, and I made this yesterday and last night I started a second one. I listed it just because it was very easy to make and if someone ordered it, well I could make another one. But now I’m not so sure about that. I do still plan on giving this one and the other one away to the specific people just because I like to give people gifts.

Well, that’s all for now I guess. Today is the first day of my new vacation from crafting. I love what I do, so I don’t know how long I’m going to be able to stay away from it. It’s addicting for sure lol. I will try though, because my hands are more important to me than making something that no one will appreciate or even buy even though they asked for it.

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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

Week 35

week 35 collage

I am absolutely freaking out that I can’t seem to lose weight anymore, and instead of maintaining my weight, I am actually gaining.  I have no excuses so I’m not going to say that it’s because of my back pain, which turns out to be scoliosis, because I got my bike back and haven’t been riding it.  I have no excuse for not riding it.

So why haven’t I been riding my bicycle and why have I been gaining weight you ask?  Well, I’m not going to blame anyone because I am in control of what I eat and what I do, or don’t do.  I would like to say that because I haven’t been able to afford the Smart Ones meals every week that that is why I haven’t been able to lose weight, but that’s no excuse.  Although I have been eating, or trying to eat healthy fruits and vegetables, I have also been eating the Banquet dinners which are a lot cheaper than the Michelina’s.  One of the Banquet meals was green in the Noom app, but all the rest have been either yellow or red.  But you can’t say I haven’t tried eating healthy because I have been eating 1 1/2 to 2 cups of broccoli or mixed veggies with broccoli, cauliflower and carrots before eating the Banquet or Michelina’s frozen dinners.  I have also been eating Malt-O-Meal for breakfast, which shows up as green in the Noom app.

I have been doing everything right, well, except for every time my partner buys cookies, I end up eating half of the package.  I have also been extra hungry and been snacking on more wheat thins than I’m supposed to be snacking on.  I’ve also been snacking on other things because the mad hunger seems to be back like it was before I went on my weight loss journey.  It’s hard to calm down my food cravings when I have deprived myself for so long.  Even though I know something is bad for me, I’ll want it that much more.  I could be eating much worse, trust me, but I’m doing my best to stay away from much worse.

So yeah, I am very disappointed in myself, but I got my check and printed out some coupons for the Weight Watchers Smart Ones frozen dinners and we’re going to go to Food Maxx today to buy some and more Malt-O-Meal.  I love those.  I am also going to ask my partner if he will please stop buying cookies and any other snacks, and if he does, be sure to hide them from me so I don’t see them and eat them.  I am also going to ask that he not ask me if I want to go to the Mexican restaurant or McDonald’s anymore because those are too tempting for me.  I don’t mind Subway, but even that is bad because of the bread, despite the fact that I always get the 9-grain wheat.

I have been doing exercises at Physical Therapy 3 days a week for approximately 30 minutes each day, which averages out to 177 calories burned each time, but I need to step it up with riding my bicycle.  I haven’t been riding it, and again this is no excuse, because my back and front tires keep going flat on me and I don’t know why.  I don’t understand why this keeps happening to me.  It’s frustrating to me.  I can’t pump the tires with my hand pump because it irritates my carpal tunnel syndrome, and I can’t keep wasting the Co2 cartridges to keep air in them daily.  1 tire uses more than 1 cartridge of air.  That’s why I haven’t been riding, because I hate having to pull over every time my tires go flat, and I can’t find what is causing them to go flat.  It’s frustrating as hell.

I wanted to save the money from the Etsy shop to buy a new bicycle, but nobody is buying anything and the Etsy shop is costing me more money every month than I am making in profits.  If people don’t start buying keychains and earrings, I’m going to have to close my Etsy store because I just can’t afford to keep paying the fees.  Of course, I will keep what items I have listed because I had to pay to list them, so I will keep them until they expire, but if nobody buys them before then, then I won’t relist them.  Whatever doesn’t sell will end up being Christmas presents because I don’t know what else to do with them.  Boy that sure showed me how unpopular my ideas are.

Wow I have totally gone off topic, haven’t I?  Anyway, I will try to do better with my diet.  If I can’t lose weight, then at least I’d like to maintain a healthy weight.  I’d love to maintain 190 if I can, which means I need to lose 6lbs again.  I’m hoping the Smart Ones will bring me back down.  I need to start saying no more too.  Those are my 2 goals for the next month.  Hopefully I can get back down to 190.  Hopefully…

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?

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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.

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.

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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.