Crafting Pains

I am a crafter. I think I was born a crafter because I love making things with my hands from raw materials. Everyone loves something that was made specifically for them to enjoy.

When I was 9 years old in the Cub Scouts, I learned to make keychains with 2 strands of Rexlace, or as some people call it “Gimp”. I made a few here and there at that age, but never went further with the craft until I was in my early 30’s when I remembered how fun it was to make, so I decided I wanted to learn all over again. I played around with the 2 strand keychains, but still didn’t know how to finish them, so I did what we did as kids, we burned the strands to melt them together with a lighter. That of course was the wrong way to do it.

Fast forward 10 years to a couple of years ago when I broke my arm and decided I wanted to make keychains again, but this time I learned how to properly finish them. I also learned how to make keychains with more than just 2 strands and in many patterns. I went overboard and opened an Etsy shop to sell my keychains. I wasn’t as successful as I had hoped, but it was fun.

I recently had an order for 200 mini DNA red and white keychains. Unfortunately my carpal tunnel syndrome got in the way, and I was only able to complete half of the order before I was forced to take a break. I shipped out the first 100 in the first week of October, and I just finished the second 100 and am going to ship those out in the morning.

This is a casual business for me. I’m not living on the profits, in fact, when I do get an order, which is very rare, it helps me buy some groceries, or it may help me pay for a new video game, or jewelry that I wanted to buy. I never intended on huge bulk orders like this. It’s nice that someone thinks highly of my work that they want a huge order, but my hands can’t handle the constant torture from pulling strands of plastic lace.

My hands are in so much pain that I wake up every morning in agony. When I go to the gym, if I have my hands up on the bars or on the top of the treadmill, the pain in my thumb is excruciating and I have to bring my arms down to swing.

As of right now, I’m retired from making anything in bulk. I don’t mind making up to 10 keychains,  10 mini or 5 regular size, but that’s it. I’m going to have to just stop the torture on my poor hands. I love the work, and appreciate the groceries and winter cycling gear I was able to buy, but it’s just not worth permanent damage to my hands.

Actually, as of right now I am on vacation from my Etsy shop lol. I honestly don’t even want to think about making keychains and earrings, or even the Friendship bracelets or anything that is repetitive.

Come to think of it, my hands are killing me from typing this blog post. I have to rest my right hand from typing every few minutes, so I’m just going to stop typing and get in bed.

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

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.