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.

Getting Back In Shape

bike path 2013

As part of my New Years Resolution to lose weight in 2013, I plan on adding an exercise routine that is sure to melt the fat away.  The plan is to get to the bike path here in Bakersfield from my house, then get on the bike path by turning left, and then just keep riding until the path ends which is 16.5 miles out.  At that point I will take about 5 minutes or so to rest before turning around and coming home.

I have done this in the past, but instead of turning left, I’ve always turned right.  That route was only 22 miles round trip.  I wanted to continue, but I’d have to ride in traffic, which I didn’t want to do, to get to Hart Park.  On the way back to the bike path from Hart Park, I’d have to ride uphill, which I did not want to do because I didn’t want to wreck my thigh and calf muscles with too much hard work.  I’m no spring chicken, I have to do what I can to keep my legs strong, but at the same time not ruin them by exercising too hard.

My weight loss coach app called “Noom” will help me this time.  In the past I have used a cheap bicycle computer that I bought at Target, but it didn’t have all of the functions that Noom has, the only thing it can’t do is map my progress.  I do plan on using my bicycle computer to let me know how many miles per hour I am riding and to see what time it is since my phone will be tucked away safely in my camelbak, but I won’t rely on it for anything else.  It’s still a useful tool.

I have tools for fixing my tires, but the one tool that I don’t have that I will need is a Co2 pump and cartridges.  I have a regular hand pump, but I have carpel tunnel syndrome and my hands are getting worse everyday.  I have fingerless gloves that are made for people with carpal tunnel syndrome, but they won’t help my hands when I pump the tire.  The Co2 pump will be a great asset.

I also need bicycle shorts.  They have gel in the butt of the shorts which will help keep my butt from hurting, trust me, I’ll need it lol.  Nashbar has a pair of “Gel Ride Bib Shorts” that I can actually afford.  I will buy that when I get some money later in the week along with the pump and Co2 cartridges.  I’m almost positive that those are the last things that I have always been missing in my bike rides.  I will especially need them if I plan to ride 33 miles per day.

Just like always, I won’t be riding 33 miles on the first day, I will start at 10 miles, then add 1 or 2 more miles everyday until I get to 33.  And I will ride every other day to give my body the rest that it deserves so I don’t overwork myself.

Oh boy, this is going to be a lot of fun.  I can’t wait!

Christmas Yarn That I Can’t Use

I was diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome a few years ago after crocheting for 20 years.  I didn’t crochet every day, but the last few years that I was able to crochet, let’s just say I crocheted a lot and it ruined my hands.  Although I cannot say if that is what ruined my hands, but when I crochet, I get numbness in both hands and my right hand gets pinching in the palm.

I haven’t crocheted for several years because when I was diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, I decided I would stop crocheting to give my hands time to rest and heal so that some day I might be able to crochet again.  That some day has come and I still can’t crochet.

Last week I gave away all of my yarn to someone who needs it more than I do.  I decided that I didn’t want to part with everything, so I kept the Christmas Ombre yarn which is a color that has not been made in at least 12 years that I know of, but I’m sure it hasn’t been made in more than 12 or 15 years.  I have held onto this yarn because I have wanted to make a Christmas blanket and had hoped that I could, but I just don’t see that happening.

Last night I decided that I was going to make one granny square.  I crocheted the chain, then did a slip stitch and began making a cluster and both of my hands went numb right away and I started to feel the pinching in my right palm.  I thought, screw that, I’m going to make this square if it’s the last thing I do, but I couldn’t do it.  I did make 3 rounds, but had to undo the whole thing because I decided against clusters, I wanted to make the clusters 3 double crochet stitches instead, but I couldn’t do it because of my hands.  It is sitting on my desk with the 8 chain round and 3 chain and 2 double crochets to make the first cluster, that’s it.

Why does it have to be this way?  I have been good, I haven’t been a bad person, why can’t I make a simple granny square?  Is it too much to ask?  I just want to make a simple blanket, why can’t I do it?  I feel like my skill has been amputated and that I am useless, not that I was very useful before, but I’m even less useful now.

Here I can sit typing out a post that is at count 411 words, but I can’t crochet one simple square.  It isn’t fair!  Why is it that my carpal tunnel syndrome doesn’t apply to typing?  Not that I want that to be taken away from me too, but why is it I can do one thing with my hands, but not the other?  I don’t get it.

Ok, whatever, I am going to make this blanket.  I can suffer the pain enough to do one simple square every day until I have all of the squares that are needed to make a blanket.  Every time I complete a square, I can sew it to the one I did the day before, this way there won’t just be a ton of squares with no purpose.  I think I can certainly accomplish that… right?

So this is my new project, wish me luck!  I’m gonna need it lol.

RoboStir

Have you seen this new product advertised on TV?  Well, I’m a huge sucker for new inventions but I didn’t really think that I would have a need for one of these until recently.

I was making some gravy from the packets (because it’s cheaper) and it says in the instructions that you have to stir it constantly.  Well, I have carpal tunnel syndrome so stirring isn’t a great thing for my hands.

Oddly enough my hands and wrists aren’t what is bothering me when I stir, now I have a new pain in my arms just below my elbows.  It’s not just my stirring arm, it’s both arms.

I’m having trouble picking up every day things like the milk carton or the tea jug.  I’ve even had trouble picking up a cup of coffee.  So if I have pain picking things up, then just imagine how much pain I am in when I try to stir things.

So I decided yesterday that I would buy a RoboStir because it was only $9.99 at Albertson’s.  I didn’t use it right away but I did turn it on and it looks hilarious bouncing around the empty pain.

I wanted to try it today so I made some oatmeal for lunch and had this thing stirring while it was cooking and it was hilarious to watch.  I mean, it did a good job, it was just funny to see it in action.

If I had my eyes closed, I could swear that someone put a vibrator in my food.  That’s how funny it sounded to me.

RoboStir did the job it was paid to do and I did not regret for one minute the money I spent on this new toy.  It wasn’t a frivolous purchase because I had thought about buying it ever since my new arm pain started developing.

I totally recommend this for anyone who has any pain in their arms.

*not a paid endorsement

Break From Restoring Blog

I have to take a few days off from restoring posts for September 2009 all the way through June of 2010.

First of all it’s hell on my hands.  With Carpal Tunnel syndrome both of my hands are getting numb a lot from this, resting my wrist on the laptop or even on the gel mouse pad is bad for my wrists because it puts way too much pressure on my wrists.  If it were softer then I might be ok but for some reason it’s a really hard surface.  After a few hours my wrists are in agony and my eyes too, I can’t see anything because I’m staring at the computer so much.

We have family visiting next week and I really need to put this blog on hold until the house is clean.  It’s not a mess but there are some places that need to be cleaned and it’s embarrassing when people can spot the dust I didn’t clean :D.

I would say give me a few days but I’m sure it won’t take that long, but you never know for sure.

Sonic Scrubber

I am fascinated by all of the “As Seen on TV” products because they all look like they are good products that will help people, especially people who have arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome which I have.

I’ve wanted to buy this for such a long time because I hate to scrub grout and having to scrub with a regular bristle brush hurts my wrists, pinches my palms and hurts my shoulder as well.  I’ve been afraid to buy it because I’ve bought a few as seen on tv things and not all of them work out with the exception of the one touch can opener which is really good for my condition.

I saw this Sonic Scrubber at Christmas time at the Walgreens but didn’t get it because I didn’t have the money.  Well, I decided today that I would go see if they still had it because I really need to clean the grout in the shower because we have guests coming next month and I don’t want to have to scrub.  So I bought it and it really works.

I opened the glass shower door and with the Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-A-Clean Power Sprayer I sprayed the tiles where you step into the shower, it was really bad.  I gave the scrubbing bubbles some time to work and then I came back in and started scrubbing and within seconds the dirt started coming out of the grout.  That would’ve taken me forever with the regular scrub brush which is why it has gotten as bad as it is, it is too painful for me to clean so I can’t clean it and now I can.

I bought the Sonic Scrubber as well as the attachments because I figured I might as well get them while they had them.  The one I bought isn’t yellow and black like the image above, it is orange and blue, attachments are the same color combo so it all matches lol.  Also when I went to look at their website it shows me that it’s now owned by Scrubbing Bubbles – SC Johnson & Son.  This must be from when they first came out because the packaging has no mention of Scrubbing Bubbles or SC Johnson and the date on it is 2007.

This product is great and I highly recommend it if you have bad hands and can’t clean with as much elbow grease as you used to when you were younger.

Crocheted Kitchen Towel Topper

Remember going to Grammas house and seeing these on the oven or fridge door?  Ever wondered how they make those?

I always have a towel on the fridge door because… well, that’s what you do, right?  When I’m done with the dishes I dry my hands on that hand towel.  Well I was thinking, I wonder if I could find a pattern for making the towel topper so when I dry my hands it doesn’t come off all the way.

Well I found one and you are welcome.

My search brought me to YouTube which has a full 22 minute video of how to make it from sewing the chain into the towel with the yarn, crocheting all of the rows, making the button and the button hole and then finishing it off.  It’s really not that difficult and it looks so good.

The video on YouTube also has a link for the full instructions which is over on the Art of Crochet by Teresa blog on Blogger.  The video is over on YouTube via the Art of Crochet channel.

My problem is that I have carpel tunnel syndrome which means my hands get numb very quickly and I feel a very painful pinch in my palms so I shouldn’t really work on this.  The problem is that I love to crochet so that’s a huge bummer for me.  I mean, I can see the endless possibilities with this, I can make a topper for a towel for every holiday and for every season.  Like in the summer I can have the sunflower or watermelon towel, Christmas can be the Christmas towels, Halloween, Easter…  If there is a towel for everything then you bet that I would want to make a towel topper for that time of the year.

I found like 4 Christmas hand towels in a drawer too that would look so awesome with the vintage Christmas yarn that I have that has the mixed red, white and green colors in it.

Maybe some day I might be able to do this but for now I can’t but that doesn’t mean I can’t share the pattern and video with all of you crafty people so besides the link above which you can view to rate, comment and subscribe to, here is that video.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdePxyZ6Kog

My Christmas List

Dear Santa Claus,

Hey dawg, long time no see.  I haven’t seen you since the mid 80′s.  Actually the last thing you ever got me was a carton of cigarettes when I was 16 years old.  Yeah, uh, I meant to tell you that I appreciated not having to spend the money on them anyway but that wasn’t exactly on my list for that particular year.  I think I would’ve rather just had a lump of coal.

I’m 40 now and I think I’ve been a very good little boy, go ahead, check  your list there.  See me?

Here is my new updated top 10 list of things that I would like to have for Christmas this year.

  1. A new pair of eyeballs so that I don’t have to wear glasses anymore.
  2. A new pair of hands/arms so I don’t have carpel tunnel syndrome anymore.
  3. A new spine so I don’t have arthritis in my back anymore.
  4. The fountain of youth at least to stop the wrinkles that are starting to form in my hands and on my face.
  5. A new tongue with all new taste buds and all new food cravings so I crave healthy foods instead of junk foods all the time.
  6. Energy and motivation to lose weight so I don’t have sleep apnea anymore.
  7. A new liver since mine has been abused by all the medicines I’ve been taking over the last 16 years to stay alive.
  8. Give me the patience and strength to put up with people who want to bring me down day in and day out.
  9. A closer relationship with my friends and family and maybe even more blog readers.
  10. And finally Santa, I’d like a new dish pan because mine is falling apart.

What did you think #10 would be?  Peace on earth?  I’m already making 9 unrealistic requests, the least I could  do is ask for something practical that might be sold at Macy’s.

It’s COLD Brrr

Last year our central heating stopped working and the estimate was thousands of dollars to repair so we went out and got some space heaters. I don’t mind space heaters because I can’t really afford to heat a whole house when I’m going to be in my bedroom all day long.

This year I decided that I’m not going to turn my heater on at all unless it gets really bad and I absolutely need it. Well, I absolutely need it now.

It’s been in the 30′s lately early in the morning and late at night. It’s in the 50′s outside right now but it’s still in the 30′s inside the house. My bedroom is nice and toasty because of my space heater which is actually a radiator.

I always say in the summer time that you can bundle up in the winter, add more clothing and you’re warm but when it’s as hot as it is in the summer time (usually when it’s 100+°F) you can be totally naked and still be miserable. Well, there is no amount of bundling up inside the house that is going to be good enough, we need the heater on lol.

One other reason I need the heater on is because of my hands. I have carpel tunnel syndrome and it gets really bad this time of year. Both my hands start pinching in the palms and then they get numb with pins and needles. During the hot months or even the nice months my hands are fine. It’s when it’s cold out (and in) that my hands really start to hurt.

I still have to finish embroidering a Christmas stocking and I have less than 1 month to do it so I hope that my hands will allow me to do it. Now is the time that I wish that I had just finished it when I was working on it instead of giving up on it. I gave up on it because I was getting burned out on embroidering. I’ll get it finished, I just need the motivation to start it up again that’s all. Unfortunately, I think that with my hands being in the pain that they are in that I won’t be able to finish it but I have to try. I’ve already announced that they are coming this Christmas and I can’t go back on that.

Well, I’m so glad that Winter is almost here but now that it is here I kind of miss the heat of summer lol.

New Crafts

I haven’t been able to do crafts since around November or December 2007 because my hands would get numb and I would even feel some pain when crocheting in my wrists so I was forced to give it up.  Not too long after that I was diagnosed with carpel tunnel syndrome after harping on my doctor every time I went 3 visits in a row.  He told me it’s probably carpel tunnel but sent me to a neurologist to get a proper diagnosis.

Ever since then I haven’t been able to do any crafts at all.  I’ve had to wear wrist straps every night to bed which helps for some strange reason.  Also not doing any crafts helped too.  I still type because I don’t feel that I can use voice recognition because when I do talk my voice is carried into the living room so nothing is private.

Since I haven’t been doing ANY form of crafts I’ve been going nuts.  Last week I picked up a crochet hook and some yarn and started crocheting.  I’ve actually done a good amount of a new blanket.  I went looking in my closet to see if I had more of the avocado color but instead I found these embroidery Christmas stockings that were given to me last year that I knew I couldn’t do.  I gave 1 a chance and so for the last 2 evenings I’ve been working on it and I have to say it’s not as hard as I thought they would be.  I’m actually having fun with it.

My left hand has been getting numb while holding it and my right hand was getting a little bit of pain here and there and so when I get the numbness and pain I stop for a while.  This stocking obviously will not be finished within the next week and half so I’m going to just keep working on it at my own pace and hopefully it will be done by next year.

There are 3 stockings (below) and I would eventually like to have them all done but I gotta do baby steps here lol.  1 at a time for now.