Christmas in July

Trim the Tree Stocking Counted Cross Stitch Kit
In 2010 I made some Christmas stockings for my life partner’s grand nephew’s Andrew, Jordan and Noah. Andrew and Jordan got the embroidered stockings and Noah got the felt stocking because he was a baby at the time and it was a baby stocking in my opinion.

These were all stocking kits that were given to me when a friend passed away. She was a hoarder who had TONS of craft supplies that she never used and held onto for decades. Those stocking kits (link above) were from the 1970’s and I’ve seen them recently on eBay for as high as $250 each. Not the felt one, but the embroidery stockings. I wanted to make Noah a more adult stocking in the same style, but I can’t seem to find any that I can afford, so I bought a counted cross stitch pattern instead.

I would much prefer to make the embroidered stocking like the one Andrew and Jordan have, because they are easy to make, but I will have to work with what I can afford in this case. So I sent my life partner an email with a link to a website called The Stitchery with the stockings in the search box, and he picked the one in the image at the top of this post. I think it’s a nice stocking for a child, but it doesn’t quite match the other 2 stockings, not that it has to match, but they are a family, and they should have stockings that sort of are in the same family of stockings. But, the stocking Noah has now isn’t in the same family as the embroidered stockings for Jordan and Andrew, so I guess it doesn’t matter anyway.

This stocking project will keep my brain busy and I won’t have any time to obsess over every little thing happening in the news that I see on Facebook, which is good because I’m close to having a nervous breakdown. Crafting calms my brain, and my heart, and I have high blood pressure so this will do the trick to keep me alive to see another day lol. Crafting has always been something that I’ve used to calm myself down. Everyone has their own coping mechanisms, this is mine lol.

Teddy bear C2C crochet baby blanket

My previous post was about a Betty Boop blanket I crocheted for my aunt, this it’s a baby blanket I made for My cousins son who is 5 years old. I honestly didn’t think he would use it for anything but like sleeping, so My mind wasn’t anywhere like a Linus blanket.

So he opened it on Christmas and he said “Oh, it’s a blanket.”  My aunt warned me that he’s 5 and he already has a blanket that he carries everywhere and nothing will ever replace it. That’s not what I was hoping for. I just wanted to make him a blanket, that’s all.

So later that night he was playing with his new video game in his parents room and I brought his blanket to him and he paused the game and said “I like your blanket, but I already have a mommy blanket that I use so I will probably use your blanket when I sleep in bed.”

LMAO I looked at him like hey no problem. My intention wasn’t to give him a Linus blanket, I just wanted to make him a blanket. How he uses it is really up to him, and it was cute and funny how he explained to me that he was basically going to use, but only on his terms.

I think he’s the cutest little thing and I hope to be able to watch him grow up, which it’s nearly impossible since I live so far away, but I’ll try.

Betty Boop C2C crochet blanket

In September and October I was crocheting a blanket made out of squares with many colors each with a black background. I was making this for my aunt for Christmas.

I was watching a video on YouTube and came across one from The Crochet Crowd that was teaching how to make C2C crochet, which stands for corner to corner. I thought it seemed interesting because you could make a blanket with pictures. I then thought hmmm… I wonder if they have a Betty Boop pattern, and I found one from http://www.TwoMagicPixels.com.

I started making this blanket right away. I had some white, but not enough, then found out the new yarn isn’t the same shade of white or texture, and I had trouble finding the right shade of skin for Betty, so I made a piece up to a certain point, then when I bought white I just started over fresh, and it took me a month to make this blanket.

I had to buy different brands because one brand didn’t have the same color for the skin, so the skin and the black, white and red are all different textures.

My Aunt loved it. I was hoping to make her a couch blanket because she takes a daily nap on the couch, like a ritual, but it’s way too big and heavy for a couch nap lol. It would probably be way too warm and she’s probably have to take it off after 5 minutes lol. Her bed is king size, the blanket is queen size, so that’s not good, but hey, I tried right?

Anyway, so yeah I learned a new pattern and gave an awesome gift.

Here is an example of how it’s crocheted along with the pattern next to it. It’s literally worked from corner to corner.

PS Vita Borderlands 2 Bundle

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My partner didn’t know what to get me for Christmas, and I was dropping hints so big, I’m really shocked he didn’t get it lol. He finally did when I just blurted it out. A bit tacky, but whatever.

So he called Best Buy to find out if they had the PS Vita, and they said yes, so we got in the car to go and I told him that if truth be told, I honestly don’t want just the console, I’d rather have a bundle because it’s the same price, and you get a game AND a memory card. Best Buy only had the console, not the bundle. I looked on the Game Stop app and I thought they had the bundle, so we went to the mall and they said they didn’t have the bundle.

They said they just had the blue PS Vita, so we were just going to buy it on Amazon later, but I decided that I didn’t care about the bundle, I just want it, so we went back. They explained that I needed a memory card since the 1GB on board is used for the Vita OS, and it was too much for my partner, so we ordered the bundle to be shipped, and after shipping and the warranty, it came out to the same price lol. Oh well.

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The guy at Game Stop said Borderlands 2 will consume the 8GB memory card that comes in the bundle, so when we came home I bought a 32GB memory card for $62 and change, plus tax, plus shipping, and it will be here on Wednesday. The PS Vita will be here on Friday.

Today I went on the PlayStation app on my phone to see what games I already own that are compatible with the PS Vita, and it turns out I have quite a bit of games that will work. I listed them. I bought 2 extra games that I have many add-ons for that will work with the
PS Vita, so I figured I might as well have those games too. A lot of these games are on my PSP, but some of these games are only available for the PS Vita. I already own them, so now I can actually play them, and some of them I’ve played on my PSP, so I can play them again, but with an extra stick since my PSP only has the one stick on the left, and the PS Vita has the stick on the left and right.

PS Vita game list

I used to make PSP gameplay videos and post them on YouTube, and I was quite proud of them, but I stopped doing it because so many people made fun of the fact that my hands shake (I was born with a tremor in both hands, actually my entire body shakes). One or two people commented on how I was playing a game wrong since I wasn’t properly killing the monsters the way they would have killed the monsters. Talk about picking your battles. Dude, we all play games our own way, you play your way, I play mine. No one plays wrong. One person actually called me a pedophile. As if only children are allowed to play video games, give me a break. That was my deciding factor in quitting.

I discovered a device that you can plug your PSP into that will record your gameplay, which cuts out the need for a camcorder pointing at the screen, so no hands in the way, but I don’t know if it works with the PS Vita. If I can find out what other people use to record gameplay with the Vita, then I may consider doing that because I’d really love to record some videos again. I had so much fun doing that, and I love watching other people playing video games, so I want to do that again. If I need a device then I will buy one, but if you can do it directly from the Vita without the need for extra hardware, then I will do that instead.

So the 32GB memory card comes on Wednesday and the PS Vita comes on Friday. I wanted it so when I am in the living room, I will be able to play Destiny and Star Wars Battlefront using remote play, but I really want to play the other games like Borderlands 2 and some of these games I’ve listed. I will post again when it comes and after I’ve played around with it. Catch you on the flip side!

Black Friday at home

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Everyone loves a good deal, but who wants to camp out in front of their favorite store just to save a few bucks? Who wants to miss their Thanksgiving dinner aka family reunion only to get into fist fights over the last Star Wars Battlefront PS4 and possibly get killed? Not me! No way!

So here’s what I do, I just sit at home and wait for the Black Friday deals to come to my inbox. and then buy stuff online and have them shipped to me, or enjoy them instantly online. I mean sure, it’ll take awhile to get to me, but you don’t really need those things until Christmas day anyway, right?

This is what I saved on. It’s only a few items, but it’s what I wanted to buy.

I got an email from Choxi about 2 weeks ago telling me they miss me. I bought an iPad for my partner last year and I also bought a phone for myself. So the email they sent me was a $10 coupon. I looked at what they had on sale and what was featured, and I found this cool bed or couch table for my partner for $49. Thanks to the coupon, I only paid $39 and with $2 shipping it came to $41. I bought it for him because he spends most if not all of his time on the couch holding his iPad, and I figured he could just put it on this table at an angle and he can just swipe without holding it. He can also push it to the side when he starts to get sleepy. A couple of months ago he fell asleep and woke up to the sound of his iPad crashing to the ground on the hard wood floor. I can’t remember how much it was to replace the screen. This will prevent that from happening again, I hope.

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Yesterday I got a Black Friday email from Groupon advertising this pet carrier and more. I was telling my partner the last time we went out of town that if I had a pet carrier that was like a suitcase and backpack, we could bring her with us. I went online looking for something, but they were just too expensive. I couldn’t pass up $20, so I had to buy this.

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Finally, I went on my PlayStation 4 yesterday and saw that they had a Co-Op sale with some games I was considering, but I really didn’t want them just because they were on sale. Their sale is up to 90% with a PlayStation Plus membership, but I waited. Today I opened the PlayStation store and saw their Black Friday sale, and the game I’ve wanted forever was there, and it was a very reasonable price. It’s normally $99, but it was on sale for $40. I just so happened to have $41 and change in my account, so I bought it and I now have $1.74 in my wallet lol.

The game is The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. It’s the most expensive one they had. They had the one without all the extras for a lot less, but what’s the point when I’m going to have to buy all those extras later down the road anyway? I might as well buy the more expensive one while I have the funds in my wallet. And you can’t beat a $60 savings.

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This after I received an email from Microsoft telling me they are having a sale in the Microsoft store for apps, games, movies and music. It was a .10 cent sale. So I bought Imagine Dragons Night Visions album that is regularly $13 for only .10 cents. That’s pretty awesome if you ask me.

imagine dragons night visions

I got to have a Thanksgiving meal with my partner and I didn’t have to camp out for days in the cold with a bunch of strangers who would probably beat the crap out of me over $5., and I saved $172. You honestly can’t beat that.

PlayStation 4

Yesterday was a complete shock to me. My partner came in the bedroom as I was browsing my Amazon PS3 wish list to see if the price of the Lego Batman and Sly Copter bundle I wanted was still at $259 or if it had gone up or down. It was at $289. I didn’t expect him to say let’s go buy you a PlayStation.

I begged him not to do it because I honestly didn’t want him to spend that kind of money on me. I mean, it is a lot of money, why should he buy it? What have I done to deserve such a generous man in my life?

I told him that to be able to get the exact bundle I wanted, we would have to do research to make sure the store we go to has it so we don’t waste gas driving all over Bakersfield looking for something that doesn’t exist. He called GameStop and Best Buy and Best Buy had it, but Game Stop didn’t. I mean, 1 location did, but that was very far away from the house.

While we were driving to Best Buy, my partner told me that it doesn’t do you any good to buy the previous model just because it’s cheaper and because it connects with your PSP. In a year when they come out with the PS5, they will probably stop selling the PS3 games and you won’t be able to buy new games. I don’t know if that will happen, but it is a good point, and originally I wanted the PS4, but decided on the PS3 because of the price and the fact that it connects to my PSP. But I would have liked the PS4 instead, so that’s what he bought me.

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The PS4 that I got wasn’t a specific bundle. They had 4 games on the box, and I assumed I got all 4 games, but it said 4 games pick one. I couldn’t decide because I don’t normally play the games they offered. The choices were Destiny, FarCry 4, NBA2K14 and Little Big Planet 3. I don’t mind Little Big Planet, but I had a feeling I wouldn’t really get into it, meaning I’d probably fall asleep. I asked a gaymer Facebook group I am in and they couldn’t give me a straight answer, and it wasn’t just because they were all gay gamers lol. Some said Destiny, some said Far Cry 4 and some said Little Big Planet. I watched some gameplay videos on YouTube before I asked for Destiny and Far Cry 4 and they both seemed to be the same style of game, shooter, which I don’t really care for, but I decided on Destiny because it’s like a future space game, which I love.

I was looking at the PlayStation store and found Lego The Hobbit and saw that it was only $39.95. Well, I already had $9 in my PlayStation wallet and they gave me $10 in the box, so it only cost me $20 out-of-pocket. I also bought 2 add-ons and 2 bundles for $1.99 each.

The final game that I got was DC Universe Online. I have played that game on my PC and loved it, so I knew I would love it on my PS4. I actually love it more on my PS4 because of the game controller as opposed to using my mouse and keyboard to play. I created a “flash” type of character and was zipping around the game so fast.

So I finally have my game console, and I am so happy that it is a new one instead of an old one. I love it and I will have fun with it.

Games I am hoping to play on this is the new EverQuest Landmark and the new King’s Quest when that comes out. I read that EQ would be coming to PS4 in 2015 and I also read that King’s Quest is coming back and I saw some of the graphics and they look amazing. I’m not sure if KQ will be computer only or if it will be computer and console, I want to buy it either way.

I have a PS4 Wish List on Amazon with some games I would love to buy and some hardware like a camera. I hope to be able to buy the camera soon so I can use it for exercise.

‘Tis the Season

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Every month I try to make a coupon for my Etsy shop to give people a reason to buy my craft items, on top of my already low prices. I am always adding new items, like this month I am creating packs of 4 pairs of studs for $8. I currently have several of those already listed and more to come. Of course I still have the single pair of studs with your choice of color 1 and color 2 for the new low price of $2 a pair.

My Etsy shop items make great stockings stuffers. The friendship bracelets are a nice gift to give to someone, the studs are super cute, if I do say so myself. I wear mine every day. The coasters are adorable and they last for years. I am still using the same coasters I made more than 10 years ago. My keychains are a nice addition to your keys. They help you identify which key ring has which keys.

I am still in the stage where my sales have not paid for my materials, so it would be awesome if people would buy my stuff so I can make a profit so I can buy Christmas presents this month. I don’t want to have to just give away my craft items, I would love to be able to pay off my credit card so I can buy presents. So you buying something to give as a gift, or keep for yourself, helps me give gifts and pay for my materials. It’s a win-win situation.

No PS4 for Christmas

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Well, I am a bit sad and disappointed tonight. My dream of getting a PlayStation 4 for Christmas has been squashed. It’s at its lowest price, $399 with FREE shipping on Amazon for Black Friday, but unfortunately, there is no money for it. I highly doubt it will be this cheap for the rest of the month, but it wouldn’t matter anyway because we just don’t have the money for it. I was considering putting it on my credit card, but I don’t want to end up having to pay for the interest. The credit card that I have doesn’t charge interest for 3 months. I could pay $100 off every month, but as it is I already have $200 charged and my limit is only $500. It was a nice dream, but it will have to be put on hold for another time. Perhaps next Christmas.

black friday couponIf for some reason people feel like buying some of my jewelry and/or keychains in My Etsy Shop, then perhaps I might be able to buy it. I have a coupon code for Black Friday for 35% off which is TGIBlackFriday with a minimum purchase of $10. I will have a new holiday coupon available soon.

I have some really good quality items and they are not too expensive. Everything I make is made with love and most everything is custom-made, so it is made however you want it to be made. Think of me as the crafter version of Burger King. Have it YOUR way! It’s not made until you order it, unless it’s already made, and in that case it will be easier for me.

So help a fellow gamer out. All of my shop items make great stocking stuffers, and there is something for everyone. My stud earrings are plastic, so anyone can wear them because plastic is hypoallergenic. My hook earrings (dangle or hoops) are surgical steel hypoallergenic. I’ve tested them out on myself to make absolutely 100% sure they are safe for everyone. I have really bad metal allergies, so if it doesn’t make me break out, then I feel comfortable selling them.

So for now, I will just continue playing with my PSP games. There are still a few I want to buy. I have my PSP Wish List on Amazon and I found out that the digital download versions are cheaper, and I don’t even have to wait for them. For anyone wondering, if I have a PSP, why would I want a PS4? Well, the PSP is nice for playing with on the bicycle trainer and for trips, but I would also love to play the games on my TV. I’ve never owned a TV console. I mean, I had an Atari 2600 in my bedroom when I was 13 in 1983, but that technically was a loan from my parents, and I didn’t have it for very long. I would love to have my very own TV console gaming system to play games in higher definition and to be able to play games with other people. I don’t need it, it’s just something that I wanted because it’s a cool thing.

PS4 for Christmas

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My partner saw a commercial for Xbox One and asked if that’s what I want for Christmas. I told him I don’t want you to buy me an Xbox because they are way too expensive. He asked if I would play it and I said hell yes, but I don’t want you to buy it for me.

Up until that point it never even occurred to me that I might want a video game system for my TV. I mean, I’ve thought about it every now and then, but when I saw how expensive they were, the thoughts faded away. But now I can’t stop thinking about it.

This weekend is Black Friday and Cyber Monday. They are at least 23% off, but even still, they are way too expensive for me. The regular price of a PS4 is $520 and right now they are on sale for $400. That’s a lot of money to save, but $400 is also a lot of money to spend.

And I settled on PlayStation 4 because I already have PSP and they have much different selection than Xbox. For example Xbox doesn’t have Little Big Planet. I have some games that I love for my PSP that they don’t have anywhere else, like Jak and Daxter & Ratchet and Clank. It’s a brand, like Nintendo has Mario and Zelda and you can’t play those anywhere else. This particular game system has the Little Big Planet and Lego Batman 3. I mean don’t get me wrong, I would LOVE either Xbox One or PS4. I would be more than happy with either one of them.

Another reason I settled on the PS4 rather than Xbox One is because of the camera. I checked and the Xbox Kinect is $100 to $200. The PS4 camera is only $40. Huge difference in price. The only reason I would want the camera is so that I could use it for the dance games, which burn calories because it is cardio exercise. The Xbox One Kinect is more than just for exercise, in fact you can control your TV from what I understand, but I would probably never use that. In fact, if I did have that, every time I talked, Chip would ask me who I was talking to, so it’s better that I don’t have a game to talk to lol.

It’s a nice thing to think about, and I even created a Amazon wishlist for PS4, but I highly doubt I will ever be able to buy anything from that wishlist. Maybe one day, but probably not this day, or any time soon. If Santa “made” one for me, and it happened to be under the tree on Christmas morning, then I would be the happiest 44 year-old child the world has ever seen, but I highly doubt that would happen.

Nook HD+ from Barnes & Noble

Nook HD+ from Barnes & Noble

I love my Nook HD+.  I have been having so much fun with it since I got it for Christmas, actually the week before Christmas.  Yeah we don’t conform to the traditions of opening your presents on Christmas day, or even on birthdays.  We open presents the day we get them.  Screw tradition lol.

My Nook HD+ has a 9” screen, so it’s bigger than the Nook HD in the sense that it has 2 more inches, but I’m telling you that because there are certain apps that work with 7 inches, but don’t work with 9 inches.  Like The Sims FreePlay and Viggle for example.  The Sims FreePlay is downloadable, you just can’t play it because you get this warning when you try.

The Sims FreePlay

I am not sure if The Sims FreePlay will even work with a Nook HD 7” tablet.  I know it works with the Kindle Fire because I’ve seen people taking pictures and video of it on that device.  I’m pretty sure it was the 7”, so if it runs on the Kindle Fire 7”, then it probably runs on the Nook HD 7”.  If so or not, please let me know.

Viggle on the other hand doesn’t even show up in the Google Play Store, so they don’t even give you the option.  I know it works on 7” tablets because I installed it on my partner’s tablet to see if I could do trivia when trivia wasn’t giving me any points with my phone.  It installed and looked great too, but the trivia was not working on his tablet any better than it was on my phone.  Although, just because it installed on his tablet doesn’t mean I know if it will install on a Nook HD 7” tablet.

Facebook isn’t great on the Nook HD+ when you use the app.  Using the browser is so much better because you get the full website that you get on the computer, but the only problem I have is when I use another tab to visit another website, or even if I use an app, like if I go check my email, when I come back to the Facebook tab, it goes straight to the mobile version.  If I wanted to use Facebook mobile, I would just use the Facebook app.

The Twitter app that comes with the Nook HD+ from the Nook store isn’t updated, so it’s better to let Google Play update it.  It’s easy to use and if you have multiple twitter accounts, you can switch back and forth very easily.  It’s actually better on the Nook HD+ than it is on my phone.  When I am using @xanapus on my phone, then try to switch over to another twitter name, for some odd reason it switches me back to @xanapus.  It doesn’t do that on my Nook HD+.

I didn’t like the Google+ app on my phone and I rarely ever use it on my computer, but it is great on the Nook HD+.  That’s one of the social media websites that I wanted to start using more often.  It has a much better look than Facebook does in my opinion.  Google+ doesn’t force you to look at ads or suggested posts.

One annoying thing that I noticed is that when I am in my library, I scroll down to My Files and see there are 564 files.  How the heck am I supposed to weed through all of those files to get to the ebooks I have downloaded?  Well, I discovered that if you click the words My Files, it brings up a new window which shows folders.  They are in the Download folder.  I have 6 ebooks that I downloaded from the EverQuest Next website that are fiction based books based on EverQuest the game, but they are all in PDF format.  Ebooks that I’ve downloaded in ePub format will show up with my Nook books, but the PDF files don’t.  I did download an app called File Manager HD which allowed me to create a new folder in my download folder so I could keep the EQN ebooks in there to keep that folder more organized.

PicsArt Photo Studio is a good app that I use on my phone to add stickers and frames and text to my pictures, but it’s such a small screen that sometimes it’s difficult to see what I’m doing.  My Nook HD+ doesn’t have a camera, but I can use Google Drive to retrieve my files.  What I really like most is that I can write on the screen with this.  I can do that on my phone, but it’s too small.

Happy New Year 2014

Okay, so my handwriting isn’t the best, it’s even worse on paper lol.

ChromecastSome useful apps that come with the Nook HD+ include Netflix and Hulu+ and if you have a Google Chromecast, you can watch them on your TV.  You don’t even need to have the Google Chromecast app installed to use it.  I know this because I bought it for my partner and I couldn’t get it to connect to his tablet.  I connected it with my CR-48 aka Chromebook, then was able to connect it to his tablet.  I don’t have the app installed on my Nook HD+ or my phone, but the icon is visible on YouTube, Netflix and Hulu+.  I guess any Android or Apple device that is connected to my network will have that ability.

Of course, other good uses for the Nook HD+ is actually reading a book lol.  You aren’t limited to Nook books either, you can read your Kindle books plus your Google Play books.  In fact, if there is a service that sells ebooks, you can read the books you bought from them, including pdf files and ebooks.  Some writers only publish their ebook with Amazon KDP Select because they get more advertising, and if they chose KDP Select, they can only publish with Amazon for 3 months.  That’s why it’s good to use the Kindle on my Nook, because some ebooks aren’t available on the Nook.

One of the features that I do like is the Nook app “Your Highlights and Notes.”  If you do a lot of highlighting and like to add notes, this is a good thing.  It had all the highlights from the Nook for PC when I got it, but it didn’t show any text.  When I add new highlights, it shows the page number and the first couple of sentences that I highlighted, and if I left a note, it shows my note.  That makes it so much easier to find every highlight and every note on every ebook you own whether it’s downloaded or in the cloud.  Highlighting and leaving notes on my Nook WiFi was so difficult and as soon as I started reading another ebook, all of the highlights and notes disappeared, which was very frustrating.

There is also a Nook app called “Your Lookups” that shows you every word you ever had to find the definition for.  That does come in handy if you ever want to find that specific word again.  The list of words you looked up are on the left, and the word, the book you found it in, the page and the date and time you looked it up are on the right along with the definition of the word.  WOW!  Now you have a record of the date and time you learned a new word.

Anyway, these are some of my thoughts on the Nook HD+.  I like it a lot and I will get a ton of use out of it.  I still have my Nook WiFi and I don’t think I will use it as often for reading ebooks, but if the occasion ever arises when I go outside to read, I will be able to use it.