Friendship Bracelets and Lanyards

ClipBoard_FrontPage1 LanyardMaker_FrontPage1

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.

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.

Plastic and Stainless Steel Hypoallergenic Stud Earrings

plastic and stainless steel

Before I only had plastic, but now I have both plastic and stainless steel which is hypoallergenic.  I can say with certainty that they are hypoallergenic because I have worn them for weeks with no problems.  I always test the earrings on my own ears for a day, a few days or until I can’t wear them anymore due to my allergies and I haven’t had any reaction or symptoms of allergies from these metal stems.

The only issue with the hypoallergenic stainless steel studs that I have is that the rubber backings don’t stay on as well as they stay on the rubber stems. They came with rubber, not metal backings, so I don’t have metal backings to go with them. I have been looking for metal backings, but I don’t have any guarantee they will be hypoallergenic. The best bet for a customer is if you have a pair of earrings that you know the backings are hypoallergenic, use those. I love the stainless steel studs, I just don’t want to use them out of fear of losing them if the rubber backings come out. I always suggest to people to buy the plastic ones because the rubber backings hug the plastic stem, so there isn’t a risk of them falling off on their own.

My main reason for wanting to make these earrings was so I could make earrings for myself because earrings are expensive and I can’t always afford them.  Plus I wanted to wear something that I made.  I now have a huge selection of earrings and that is awesome for me lol.  If I get bored with what color I am wearing, I can always make myself another color.  Of course they aren’t sparkly, but I don’t really need them to be.

So if you happen to be looking for a pair of earrings, come to my shop on Etsy called GayNerd and I will hook you up with some at great prices.  Only $5 a pair for the studs. I do have some listings that offer a discount if you buy more than 1 pair, and I also have coupons every month. I love them, so I know you will too.

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.

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?

Lanyard Keychains

noom keychains

I got bored so I started making keychains.  I honestly don’t know why I started making these again.  I think that I just needed to get my mind off of my weight loss and start focusing on something else for a change.  I literally have a worry that if I focus too much on my weight loss, I might put too much stress on my mind and my brain will release Cortisol, a  chemical which will stop the weight loss and actually make me gain weight.  I read about that.  I’m edumacated.

I decided that I want to focus my keychains on the color green for the Noom app.  Don’t ask me why.  I have a lot of the “Gimp” (as I heard it being called today) so I will be busy for quite a while.  What do I plan to do with these Noom colored keychains?  I’m not sure.  I will have to get back to you on that one.  This will give me enough practice that I will become a pro at making keychains at least.  Look at my supplies…

rexlace Can you say hoarder?  I bought these in 2004 when I was nostalgic for my childhood when I was in the cub scouts which is where I learned how to make the lanyard keychains.  Who knew I would be so nostalgic that I would buy this many?

We went to Michael’s again recently and I went to the aisle that they have these on and they were only .99 cents for the small tubes and the big ones like the black you see here were only $2.99, so they are really cheap and last a long time.  I think that when I bought them, they were half the price, but it was so long ago that I really don’t remember.

So as you can see from the ones I’ve already made, I am doing a square and a round one for each color combination.  Green and black, green and patriotic (red, white and blue), green and yellow, green and white, green and glow in the dark… etc.  I have so many colors that I could literally just keep making green and whatever color until I’ve run out of colors.  I’m sure the green won’t last that long, so perhaps if I run out I might just use random colors.

Again, I have no idea what I’m going to do with all of these keychains.  I will most likely give them away to anyone who wants them, or I might just ship them off to Noom in New York.  I’m sure they would just love that lol.  Here you go, have all of the things that I’m hoarding lol.

A long time friend of mine suggested that I learn the triangle pattern and even sent me a YouTube link.  I tried it, it didn’t work out.  It doesn’t look as fluid as the ones that I know how to make.

Even though I didn’t like the triangle one, learning it did come in handy because one of the patriotic ones (the square one) messed up as I was finishing it off; one of the green strands of gimp broke.  Just as I was about to toss it in the trash I thought, “when life brings you lemons, make lemonade,” so I used the triangle method to finish it off.  Although it looks horrible, but it’s doable.  The green is sticking out so I will have to super glue it.

Some of the gimp that I have are wider than the normal gimp, and I have tried making them into keychains, but they are difficult as heck to make.  I have solid black, green with a pattern on it and an orange with a pattern on it.  Since the green is almost the same color as the Noom green, I might see if I can make it with the black and the green and orange.  I will attempt it, but I can’t promise much.  It would be cool to see how it would look though, so I want to try it.  I might try it soon.

So that’s my “Gimp” LOL I don’t like calling it that.  The box calls it Rexlace.  I like to think of it as just lace or plastic lanyard lace.  Whatever, gimp is fine.  It’s just that when I think of the word Gimp, I think of my photoshopping program lol.

There is a YouTube channel called Laneyards and they have a video for making a hexagon keychain which uses 6 colors.  OMG!  I thought the triangle was hard, I can’t imagine making one with 6.  I actually tried it last night and failed miserably.  I would like to learn how to do it though so I can make a rainbow colored keychain.  That would be really cool.

You know, I was starting to think that I was doing something that was too juvenile or childish, but seeing that guys videos made me realize that it’s not.  I mean, if this guy is making lanyard keychains, and I’m sure many other adults throughout the world are making them, then it’s not so childish after all.  Although, the simple ones I make are probably a bit childish since they are the easier ones that children start out learning, but hey, it’s all I know how to do.  I will try to get better at it though because I want that rainbow hexagon one now lol.

Acer and Samsung Chrome Netbooks Announced


I saw the news this morning on Twitter from Editor for PC Magazine Lance Ulanoff:

Google: ACER introing netbook-sized ChromeBook #$349. Samsung’s ChromeBook: $429 for Wi-Fi Avail June 15. #io2011

I was way off on the price.  I figured that since the Google Chrome OS is a browser-based only computer that they would sell a Google Chrome OS Netbook for $150-$200.  I never thought they would sell as high as they are.

Chrome OS Site also reports the specs for the Samsung netbook along with other pictures of the netbook from different angles.  The Samsung Chrome OS netbook will sell in WiFi only for $429 and 3G for $499.

I have been using my CR-48 Google Chrome OS netbook since mid December when they first started shipping and I love it.  I still use my desktop computer but only for things that I can’t use my CR-48 for like photo editing with Gimp, balancing my checkbook via Microsoft Money and playing Lord of the Rings Online.  My CR-48 has basically become my default computer for everything else, as it was supposed to be for the pilot program.

I cannot say that I agree with those prices because you can get a netbook for the same price with Windows installed and be able to install software that you want on it to do everything my desktop computer can do.  The Google Chrome OS is internet only.  You can get the internet on a Windows netbook so why pay that much money?

It’s a great operating system, I just don’t think it’s that great that you would pay $500 for it.  I think that they will go down in price eventually so I would wait until they are a more reasonable price.