Patterns not in the i-Loom app

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I have been having fun with my i-Loom. I’ve made 4 1/2 bracelets so far (the half is still in the i-Loom as a work in progress). One issue I do have with the i-Loom is that it doesn’t have patterns that were created outside of the app. I have a program called FBD which is short for Friendship Bracelet Designer, and I have used that to create and print patterns in the past, and I could still use that option for making bracelets, but why would I want to do that when I have this new system with the i-Loom?

So how do I get those patterns into the app? Well, this is how I do it. I took a screenshot of the app with a pattern loaded, then in Gimp I removed all the pattern stuff and replaced it all with the pattern I want to add. The only problem is, the only way for me to work on those patterns using this method is to create many images numbered starting with 01, then add them to the Nook, and I have to go into the image gallery, load the first image, work that row, then swipe the screen to show the next image. This way each image shows each row I’m on inside the pink lines. When I get to the end, I have to swipe back to the first image and continue from there. Here’s an example of all 14 images for the pattern I want to work on. It’s supposed to be a Finding Nemo pattern.

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This is not an option I will do instead of the patterns they have in the app, this is only an option for when I need to make a pattern that someone wants me to make that isn’t available in the i-Loom app.

I really love the i-Loom app, it would be nice if I could add more patterns because there are tons of patterns that I would like to make that I have in the FBD library. Fortunately for me they have some holiday patterns in the boutique already that I was able to buy, like the hearts patterns for Valentine’s Day, then there’s one with shamrocks for St. Patrick’s Day, and of course there is a pattern called Easter Baskets. Images below.

Happy HeartsHeart StripeI Heart YouLucky CloveEaster Basket

I’ve already made the first one that is the pink heart with the purple background, I currently have the same pattern in the i-Loom (that’s the one in progress) with red hearts and a pink background, I’ve made the heart braid, except I traded the darker pink with red. I haven’t started the 3rd heart bracelet yet, that one is TBD. Valentine’s Day is still 2 days away, so I’m probably going to skip over that and work on the Shamrock and the Easter Basket one soon.

The first 4 bracelets in the image above from left to right were made with the i-Loom, the other 2 were made with the printouts from FBD. I made the i-Loom bracelets according to the patterns for 7.5 inch bracelets, and naturally neither of them were 7.5 inches. They should’ve had another inch or so, but I made them from the patterns and didn’t go off course, I just stopped when the pattern told me to. Oh well.

And finally… the image next to the bracelets is my embroidery floss collection. I tossed all the i-Loom string because it’s crap, I’m using the DMC and Loops and Threads embroidery floss exclusively because it doesn’t break easily.

My bracelets are listed on Etsy with this link.

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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.

Friendship Bracelets Designer Program

lightning bolt in designer

I’ve been having a fun time with my new “My Friendship Bracelet Maker Clip Board.”  I’ve been working mostly on the beginner patterns, but there are some more complex ones that I’ve been working on as well, such as the lightning bolt for example.  They have this one listed as a beginner pattern, but when you actually look at the instructions, it says it’s intermediate.  Unfortunately, the instructions aren’t quite as clear as I would have liked them to be, so to be able to make this one, I had to open this program called “Friendship Bracelets Designer” so I could manually add all of the instructions so I could get a more clear picture of what I was supposed to make.

lightning bolt Last night when I first started making this bracelet pattern with the instructions on the MFBM website, I totally screwed it up and today I had to take every single knot apart and start over.  I had worked the entire pattern too and it was so screwed up, I couldn’t even begin to tell you what I had done, but it wasn’t good.  Now when I say the entire pattern, I don’t mean everything you see, the pattern only does 6 rows, so it wasn’t that much.

Using this program has really helped, as you can tell by the image above.  The bracelet on the right is one complete rotation of the pattern.  The pattern image you see to the left is the complete rotation.  That is only one rotation from beginning to end, you may need 3 rotations to complete the bracelet.  The instructions don’t see you all the way through for some reason, but this will.

If I have trouble with the instructions, I will be using this program again in the future, because it is so much easier to follow a visual map rather than written instructions, especially when it’s row by row.  There are some patterns like the cause ribbons and the BFF hearts that aren’t row by row, so those may be a bit more difficult to follow with this program.

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.

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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.

Friendship Bracelets and Lanyards

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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.

Plastic Canvas TARDIS Box

I had previously made a plastic canvas pattern, but I gave up on the actual project because I couldn’t figured it out. I thought I deleted the post, but I guess I didn’t because someone came here and downloaded it and tried making it, and it was way too messed up lol.

So I have remade the pattern so it actually works. Here is the new TARDIS Plastic Canvas PDF file for you to download. I will be make a video tutorial and I will add it to this post as soon as I make it. Check back soon.