Things Kim Has Made: Scented Vial Necklaces


Image Description: a title-picture with four black sewing-buttons in each corner, in the centre of the picture is the text “Things Kim Has Made” in rainbow word-art text.

~Stim Toy Box: DIY scented vial necklace tutorial

For my Birthday, Kim made me a Scented Vial Necklace, here’s an image of it.
Image Description: a small glass-vial with a plastic-stopper in the top, it has two-loops of dark-blue cord threaded through the small hole at the top of the stopper. The contents of the small glass-vial are Saxa rock salt crystals that have been died dark-blue, coated in white glitter and vanilla essential oil has been added to it.
It may not be clear from the photo, but when Kim added the white glitter to the died salt-crystals, the glitter changed from white to a blue-green colour, it’s super pretty and I enjoy the smell of vanilla almost as much as I enjoy all the lavender scented-items Kim has made for me.

When I stayed over at Kim’s, one of the many things Kim offered to show me how to make was the Scented Vial Necklaces (there’s a link to the tutorial at the top of the page). When we were Hunting and Gathering for craft supplies, Kim found these super helpful small plastic-containers that come with lids (they kind of look like small containers that restaurants sometimes use for packaging sauce a small amount of salad).

This meant that I could take a couple of scoops of the pre-coloured salt-crystals and add my own essential oils to it without contaminating the whole batch. To be honest, the glass-vials we used are small, so you probably won’t need more than a single tablespoon. I was also a little too enthusiastic with the glitter. In the pictures below, you may be able to see the glitter sticking to the bottom, which means there’s too much, although both Kim and I agree that there’s no such thing as too much glitter.

Image Description: a white hand holding a small plastic container that contains Saxa rock salt crystals that have been died green, coated in white glitter and Dusk's Breathe Easy essential oil has been added to it

This batch of salt-crystals has been scented with Dusk’s Breathe Easy essential oil.

Image Description: a white hand holding a small plastic container that contains Saxa rock salt crystals that have been died blue, coated in white glitter and lavender essential oil has been added to it

This batch of salt-crystals has been scented with lavender essential oil.

Image Description: a white hand holding a small plastic container that contains Saxa rock salt crystals that have been blended together with multiple colours of food dye, however, it's mostly a yellow-orange colour variation, they've been coated in white glitter and lemon essential oil has been added to it

This batch of salt-crystals has been scented with lemon essential oil.

Image Description: a white hand holding a small plastic container that contains Saxa rock salt crystals that have been died dark-pink/red, this batch doesn't have glitter on it and it's not scented

This is a batch Kim made, it doesn’t have any glitter or essential oils added to it, however, I was thinking of obtaining some rose essential oil and maybe a light-bulb shaped glass-vial from Ebay and/or Etsy (links down the bottom), IDK, I’ll see how I go.

The Finished Product:
Image Description: a small glass-vial with a plastic-stopper in the top, it has two-loops of light-blue cord threaded through the small hole at the top of the stopper. The contents of the small glass-vial are Saxa rock salt crystals that have been died light-blue, coated in white glitter and lavender essential oil has been added to it.
This is the lavender one, unfortunately I gave the other two to my mother and sister but forgot to take a photo of them. Kim informed me that they obtained the cord from Daiso, so I’ll have to do some investigating there. Although you could use any cord you have access to, I like this particular type of cord, it’s thin so you’ll need to double-up with it, but I like the feel of it and the range of colours available.

This is a picture of the vanilla vial necklace Kim made me and the lavender vial necklace I made myself.
Image Description: the picture contains two glass-vials with cord attached to them. From left to right, a small glass-vial with a plastic-stopper in the top, it has two-loops of dark-blue cord threaded through the small hole at the top of the stopper. The contents of the small glass-vial are Saxa rock salt crystals that have been died dark-blue, coated in white glitter and vanilla essential oil has been added to it. Next to that one is another small glass-vial with a plastic-stopper in the top, it has two-loops of light-blue cord threaded through the small hole at the top of the stopper. The contents of the small glass-vial are Saxa rock salt crystals that have been died light-blue, coated in white glitter and lavender essential oil has been added to it.

So, have any readers attempted to make a scented vial necklace before? How did it go? What materials did you use? Let me know what you think about these in the comment section down below.

Links:
~Stim Toy Box: Scented Vial Necklace
~Piping Rock: Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils
~Ebay: 10Pcs-Mini-Empty-Glass-Bulb-Vials-Charms-Wish-Bottles-Pendant
~Etsy: 8MM Mini Glass Vials With Silver Metal Caps,glass bottles, DIY Bottles,Wishing Bottle/(mini/ vial/ pendants/ glass/ charms/ bottles)

Things Kim Has Made: Weighted Plushies and Bean-Bags


Image Description: a title-picture with four black sewing-buttons in each corner, in the centre of the picture is the text “Things Kim Has Made” in rainbow word-art text.

I’m finding that the My Treasure Chest series of blog-posts aren’t working for me, mostly because they end up being super long posts due to all the photos, which results in a huge list of photo items I have to describe. So, I figured if I break the Stim Toys down into smaller categories, that might make it more manageable. I have so many Stim Toys I want to talk about, but one of my favourite types are weighted items, like weighted soft toys or weighted bean-bags.

Image Description: a small bean bag made from grey, white and black tiger-print fur on one side and white-stars-on-purple flannelette on the other. It sits on top of light-grey and dark-grey striped blanket.

This is one is rectangle-shaped and it’s lavender-scented, I love the dual-fabric of this bean-bag, the white and black tiger-print fur is soft and fuzzy to touch, but I also like the feel of the white-stars-on-purple flannelette as well.

Image Description: a triangle-shaped bean-bag with a yellow tag at the end. The fabric is an olive green colour with brown monkeys printed on them.
Image Description: a triangle-shaped bean-bag with a green tag at the end. The fabric is orange with prints of Halloween creatures in numbered race cars. Think along the lines of Hanna Barbera Wacky Races meets The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Both these bean-bags are triangle-shaped and unscented, which is something I was super happy about. While I do enjoy and appreciate how Kim scents most of my items with lavender, the problem is that because those bean-bags are scented, I can’t take them outside the house, this is due to the fact that it could cause problems with people who have chemical sensitivities. While I like both of them, I’ve decided to put the second one in my on-the-go stim-toy-bag, the Halloween-style print is adorable and matches my Nightmare Before Christmas messenger-bag.

Image Description: a picture of Flossy (short for Fairy-Floss). Flossy is a light-pink chenille-duster that has had two black buttons and a red tongue attached, Flossy sits on top of light-grey and dark-grey striped blanket

This is Flossy (short for Fairy-Floss). Flossy is super soft to touch and if it weren’t for the fact I’m afraid of getting cat fur all over both of them, I’d probably carry Flossy and Contessa with me around the house (despite my best efforts, I still need to apply the lint-roller to Contessa on a regular basis). There’s just something incredibly soothing about patting Flossy, the lavender scent combining with the softness to make the process very stimmy and enjoyable.

If you’re looking into weighted plushies, I’d recommend a DIY attempt with a chenille duster or chenille mop-head. You can buy them online from K-Mart for AU $3 and as they’re cheap and easy to find, it doesn’t matter if you mess it up, you can always try again.

Image Description: a picture of Carrie. Carrie is a polar-bear weighted-plushie with a light-blue and pink party hat, pink blush-circles on both cheeks, wearing a stripped pink and green scarf with mulit-coloured triangles on her stomach. Carrie sits on top of a lime-green blanket.

This is Carrie, named in honour of Carrie Fisher. Kim informed me that they found Carrie in the Christmas themed section in K-Mart. I find this marketing campaign rather questionable, I mean, New Years Eve themed I could possibly understand, but Christmas themed? How the fuck is pink and green Christmas-themed? Regardless, this doesn’t make Carrie any less adorable, in fact it’s probably a good thing as I’m not a big fan of Christmas-themed things.

Image Description: a collection of weighted plushies sitting in an upright position on my navy-blue and golden fleur-de-lis patterned couch. From left to right, Daisy (yellow hedgehog sponge from Daiso), Carrie (a questionable Christmas-themed polar-bear), Contessa (pink-cat plushie with a yellow crown), Poppy (pink hedgehog sponge From Daiso) and in the center is Flossy (a light-pink chenille-duster with two black buttons and a red tongue attached)

Links:
~Eldritch Esoterica: Creatures From The Gutter
~Eldritch Esoterica: A pale-pink Creature From The Gutter emerges
~Eldritch Esoterica: DIY Stim Toy Collection
~Stim Toy Box: DIY Stim Toys Master Post One
~Stim Toy Box: DIY Stim Toys Master Post Two
~Stim Toy Box: Three Fat Quarters of Fabric from Lincraft
~The Spruce: How to Make a Bean Bag by Sherri Osborn
~Mama OT: DIY No-sew Bean-Bags

My Treasure Chest – Part 4: The Sum of Our Parts

Image Description: a small blue and silver chest with a handle and silver press-studs along the edge of the box on both sides. On the main body of the chest is swirling silver designs and silver Asian-style Dragons in flight against a blue-fabric background.
Image Description: a small blue and silver chest with a handle and silver press-studs along the edge of the box on both sides. On the main body of the chest is silver designs and silver Asian-style Dragons in flight against a blue-fabric background.

Unfortunately, I’ve kind of fallen behind with My Treasure Chest series and as I need to get Part 5 written and all the images described, this post will probably come across as rushed, so my apologies in advance for that.
Image Description: a 50 gram packet of assorted coloured acrylic beads with the title,
Image Description: a 50 gram packet of assorted coloured acrylic beads with the title, “Assorted Coloured Beads” up the top of the packet, with red sections at the top and bottom of the package with clear plastic in the middle. There’s illustrations of various coloured pencils at the bottom of the package.
Location: Currently, you can find these at Toyworld (Highpoint Shopping Centre, Footscray) for a AU $1 per packet.
Purpose: Crafting. Primarily, I use these for making beaded lanyards and beaded jewellery, but feel free to use them however you want.

Image Description: There are three packets of chrome coloured key-rings/split-rings, in each packet there are five key-rings/split-rings.
Image Description: There are three packets of chrome coloured key-rings/split-rings, in each packet there are five key-rings/split-rings.
Location: Kim got these for me from Yen Huot Gift Shop (18A Paisley Street, Footscray), I think they’re about AU $0.80 a packet? They have gone up since I’ve been there.
Purpose: Crafting. Primarily, I use these for making beaded lanyards and beaded jewellery, but feel free to use them however you want.

Image Description: a large red balloon sealed inside a transparent-plastic zip-lock bag.
Image Description: a large red balloon sealed inside a transparent-plastic zip-lock bag.
Purpose: This balloon serves as a squishing stim toy. It’s filled with play-dough, Kim managed to get the play-dough in there (somehow?) using a funnel, I think…? It’s very squishable but it’s a firmer squishable texture in comparison to the balloons filled with flour.

Image Description: a small yellow bandanna.
Image Description: a small yellow bandanna
Purpose: To wear on one’s head

Image Description: a package of Baby Solutions Shaped Teether in the shape of a strawberry.
Image Description: a package of Baby Solutions Shaped Teether in the shape of a strawberry
Purpose: This is a chewable baby teether, so it’s main purpose is for being chewed (I suppose). You can obtain these from K-Mart and perhaps certain Coles Supermarkets.

Image Description: a two-wired bead maze set into a round wooden base. The base is painted yellow with an outline of a teddy-bear in orange paint. The two wires are blue and orange; the blue wire goes straight across while the orange wire twirls in two circles. Both wires are strung with red, yellow, blue, orange and green wooden beads.
Image Description: a two-wired bead maze set into a round wooden base. The base is painted yellow with an outline of a teddy-bear in orange paint. The two wires are blue and orange; the blue wire goes straight across while the orange wire twirls in two circles. Both wires are strung with red, yellow, blue, orange and green wooden beads.
Purpose: To entertain. Kim thought my niece would enjoy this, although I must confess, my niece appears to enjoy the squishy caterpillar more (pictured further down).

Image Description: a small squishable grey dolphin with eyeballs pointing in different directions.
Image Description: a small squishable grey dolphin with eyeballs pointing in different directions.
Purpose: Honestly, not entirely sure, I think it’s one of those bath toys you can purchase from K-Mart (they come in little plastic bags). Kim meant it as a joke gift as people have this habit of giving me generic dolphin-themed gifts. Now, I’m not a marine biologist, but I’m fairly certain that a dolphin is not supposed to have eye-balls pointing in different directions, but my niece doesn’t seem to mind.

Image Description: from left to right, two square crimped biscuit cutters, the first one is larger and pink and the second one is smaller and orange.
Image Description: from left to right, two square crimped biscuit cutters, the first one is larger and pink and the second one is smaller and orange.
Purpose: I think Kim intended these as moulds for Kinetic Sand, but the pink one is definitely too big for sand, however, they work well for making shortbread biscuits.

Image Description: a packet of Macron Erasers inside a transparent zip-lock bag.
Image Description: a packet of Macron Erasers inside a transparent zip-lock bag.
Purpose: they are squishable, however, they are also scented, which is why Kim passed them onto me (Kim is awesome at finding adorable stuff, it’s their super power)

Image Description: a white and robin's egg-blue My Little Pony with blue eyes and bright-orange mane and tail.
Image Description: a white and robin’s egg-blue My Little Pony with blue eyes and bright-orange mane and tail
Purpose: Unfortunately, due to a lack there of storage space, Kim had to cull their herd of My Little Ponies and gifted me with this one, this one is currently sitting on my bookcase (near my collection of piggies), reminds me of the first episode of Daria, “Like a herd of wild ponies, running free across the plains.”


Image Description: a mini tsum-tsum of Disney character Piglet, small pink piglet, from the book series and animated cartoon series Winnie-The-Pooh.
Purpose: the mini tsum-tsums are great for on-the-go stim packs, they’re small, soft and fuzzy and can easily fit in a hand-bag or messenger-bag. If you’re interested in more information on Disney Tsum-Tsums, Kim has a tag dedicated to these plushies.


Image Description: a rainbow coloured (purple, blue, red, pink, green) squishable caterpillar
Purpose: To squish (obviously), however, this item has a strong plastic-y smell, so Kim offered it to me. It has the same texture and feel as a critter-puff, here’s a link with more information on how to obtain one.

Image Description: a small green plastic car with red plastic wheels and a white tag attached to the car with text displayed Tough Toys - Mini.
Image Description: a small green plastic car with red plastic wheels and a white tag attached to the car with text displayed “Tough Toys – Mini”.
Purpose: These are are a good texture stim, the wheels feel good across my skin and it feels good across certain surfaces. More information provided here.


Image Description: a transparent glass jam-jar filled with white slimy liquid, it kind of looks like there’s small grains of rice combined with the white liquid.
Purpose: I suspect this was a slime experiment conducted to gain knowledge for Kim’s Great Slime Quest, I think it’s Toothpaste Slime? I’m not entirely sure.

Image Description: a heart-shaped glitter-studded clear plastic popper made of thick pink plastic.
Image Description: a heart-shaped glitter-studded clear plastic popper made of thick pink plastic.
Purpose: These are supposedly large poppers, but they don’t work very well (at all in fact), however, I tend to use this to hold beads for when I’m making beaded lanyards or other beaded jewellery, it can hold a substantial amount. Here’s a link for more information on Stimtastic poppers.

Image Description: a packet of thin rubber/silicone bracelets in multiple colours.
Image Description: a packet of thin rubber/silicone bracelets in multiple colours.
Purpose: Pressure stimming, which is actually a big thing for me (mental note: look into DIY binders), however, these bracelets tend to be a loose on my wrists. I’m fairly certain you can obtain these items from K-Mart. It’s good for me to have a collection of loose and tight telephone-cord hair-ties and bracelets, this is because I often have RSI due to my day-job and I don’t think it’s recommended to have tight objects around my wrists when they’re sore.

Image Description: a transparent-zip-lock-bag with four multi-coloured bouncy balls, two red mini-prickle-balls and a pink dinosaur-prickle-ball.
Image Description: a transparent-zip-lock-bag with four multi-coloured bouncy balls, two red mini-prickle-balls and a pink dinosaur-prickle-ball.
Purpose: Fidgeting stims, I cackle everything I bring out my ever increasing collection of bouncy balls (I keep my large Kids & Co rainbow-string bouncy ball in my on the go stim-toy-bag), the reason for such a large collection is because I’m easily prone to losing things and these are cheap and easy items to replace, although I do try to avoid losing my hoard of bouncy balls (I should probably try keeping them in a separate glass jar).


Image Description: a small number puzzle with a pink background and border.
Purpose: Fidget stimming, this type of number puzzle can easily be found in the toy section/puzzle section/board-game section in the K-Mart and Target toy departments

Image Description: a transparent plastic container used for holding business cards (or at least I think that's what it is).
Image Description: a transparent plastic container used for holding business cards (or at least I think that’s what it is).
Purpose: To print out and hold business cards presumably, also so I can say “It’s Business Time!” (while wearing business socks) whenever I feel like it.



Image Description: From left to right, a hedgehog sponge from Daiso with dark-pink fuzzy/nubbly chenille material in place of quills, the pink hedgehog-sponge is named Poppy. Next to Poppy, there is another a hedgehog sponge from Daiso with neon-yellow fuzzy/nubbly chenille material in place of quills, the yellow hedgehog-sponge is named Daisy.
Purpose: These hedgehog plushies make great weighted-lap-pads (even though they are on the small side), these ones are also scented with lavender essential oil so they’re stimmy to touch and smell. I really enjoy gathering them around me in bed when I type in bed all snuggled up and warm under the covers.

And yeah, I know, Daisy flowers are white not yellow, so technically I should have named Daisy something else, like Sunny (short for sunflower) or some other yellow flower, but Daisy stuck for some reason and I was absolutely determined that my hedgehogs should have matching/connected names, so now I own a collected of weighted-plushies with ultra-feminine names. It’s not a bad thing per say, it’s more that this is a situation I did not envision. In fact, it’s only recently that I’ve noticed the fact that Poppy has legs, but Daisy doesn’t have legs (something I felt a bit guilty about).

There are more items in this particular collection, but this post is already super long and I’ve decided to write a separate post focusing on the beaded items as a Arts & Crafts post, honestly I’ll be super surprised if anyone actually manages to get to the bottom of this post. I’ve trying to write this post for days and brain has not been the most helpful in this regard (I know it shows).

So, just in case this isn’t obvious (because sometimes I get caught up in the excitement of discovering new stim toys), I just wanted to iterate how grateful I am for all of this, but also how I’m supremely grateful for having someone like Kim in my life. Thank you Kim, thank so much and I’m sorry if my gratitude doesn’t show clearly enough.

Aside

Autism Acceptance Month: Links

a rainbow dragon coiled around itself in pounce-position, looking as though it's about to take off.
Image Description: a rainbow dragon coiled around itself in pounce-position, looking as though it’s about to take off.

Just a short Link-post today about Autism Acceptance Month. You might be expecting me to explain what Autism Acceptance Month and #LightItUpRed or #RedInstead is about, however, I figured it would be better for those explanations to come directly from Autistic people instead of myself, so check out the links below. If you’d like me to add more links of Autistic Creators (Authors, Bloggers, Youtube Video Creators), let me know in the comments section below and I’m make sure to add their link to the post.

Links:

~ASAN: Australia and New Zealand

~Autistic Self Advocacy Network: Sharon Lewis Statement for Autism Acceptance Month (Youtube Video)

~L.C. Mawson: #RedInstead (Youtube Video)

~Stream of Awareness: Youtube Channel

~Tiffany Grey: Youtube Channel

~Neurowonderful: Ask an Autistic #22 – Why Acceptance? Autism Acceptance Month (Youtube Video)

~Neurowonderful: Ask an Autistic #1 – What is Stimming? (Youtube Video)

~A Bit of Brave: Autistic Stimming (Youtube Video) (Warnings: Flashing, Moving Images, Moving, Rapid Transitions, Coloured Lights)

~Baby Robot: Harmful Stims (Youtube Video) (Warnings: use of snap-chat filters, moving images)

~Baby Robot: The Joy of Stimming (Youtube Video) (Warnings: use of snap-chat filters, moving images)

~The Introverted Matriarch: Chronic Pain and Autism

~Megan Rhiannon: My Autism Diagnosis Story – TW self harm + suicide mentions (Blog-post)

~So Much Stranger, So Much Darker, So Much Madder, So Much Better: Autism A-Z: A is for Acceptance (Blog-post)

~Autism Doesn’t Make Me Blue: How to Support Autistic People This April by Nova Mona (Article)

~April Is Autism Acceptance Month By Laura Jo (Article)

Arts and Crafts: For Whom The Bell Tolls

Image Description: a title-post picture with the words Arts and Crafts written in the centre of the picture in rainbow word-art with a clip-art picture of a red rose in each of the corners.
Image Description: a title-post picture with the words Arts and Crafts written in the centre of the picture in rainbow word-art with a clip-art picture of a red rose in each of the corners.

Articles to read before I begin:
~Neurowonderful: Ask an Autistic #6 – What’s Wrong With Autism Speaks? by Amythest Schaber
~Autism Women’s Network: Is Autism Speaks a Hate Group? by Amy Sequenzia
~The Caffeinated Autistic: Why I am Against Autism Speaks (and you should be, too)
~My Autistic Point of View: April is Autism Awareness Month, Autism Acceptance and #RedInstead

One of the problems with working in Retail is that you quickly lose your faith in humanity, especially when you see people do questionable stuff in the name of profit. Take hot-cross buns, as far as I’m concerned, supermarkets and bakeries shouldn’t be selling them until at least March. But on January 1st, year after year, the supermarket I work at has hot-cross buns ready to go at 06:00 am when the store opens.

The first day of the year, the Christmas season has only just finished and yet, the desire to shove Easter in our faces is clearly a temptation some corporations clearly can’t resist. Now, you could blame the customer for buying in the product, after all no one is forcing them to buy hot-cross buns on January 1st, but my experience with customer service has taught me that convenience is the key.

Unless the customer has come in for a specific item for a specific purpose, if the product isn’t there on the shelf, the majority of customers won’t bother, they only want the item because it’s right there. This is why, in my personal view, I feel that boycotting a product because the company displays unethical behaviour doesn’t achieve much in the long term.

Sure, it makes me feel better not to purchase items from Nestle (reasons why here) or Lindt (reasons why here). But the reality is that I know that by the end of the Easter period all those chocolate bunnies and chickens are going to be sold and consumed, and there’s not much I can do to stop them.

I understand that boycotting and choosing to abstain from certain companies and items is the only form of protest some people can participate in, this isn’t a judgement of that, I just dislike grappling with the feeling that I should be doing more.

Eventually, I got an idea, what if I could combine Neurodivergent traits like crafting and hoarding with those little bells that accessorise the chocolate Lindt rabbits and chickens and use them as part of a beaded lanyard? Behold!

Image Description: from right to left, a chrome key-ring and lobster-claw clasp, attached to the key-ring is small gold-coloured bell. Also attached to the key ring is a long beaded lanyard made of black elastic, with four different types of beads (hourglass, pearl, acrylic, transparent) displayed in nine colour-variations of beads (light pink, dark pink, red, orange, yellow, green, light blue, dark blue and purple), with a pink-glittery-star-bead as a stopper at the end.
Image Description: from right to left, a chrome key-ring and lobster-claw clasp, attached to the key-ring is small gold-coloured bell. Also attached to the key ring is a long beaded lanyard made of black elastic, with four different types of beads (hourglass, pearl, acrylic, transparent) displayed in nine colour-variations of beads (light pink, dark pink, red, orange, yellow, green, light blue, dark blue and purple), with a pink-glittery-star-bead as a stopper at the end.

Image Description: from right to left, a chrome key-ring and lobster-claw clasp, attached to the key-ring is small gold-coloured bell. Also attached to the key ring is a long beaded lanyard made of lavender coloured elastic with with four different types of beads (acrylic, transparent, pearl, hourglass) displayed in variations of purple with a transparent-glittery-star-bead with silver glitter in between each group of beads, with a transparent-glittery-star-bead with silver glitter as a stopper at the end.
Image Description: from right to left, a chrome key-ring and lobster-claw clasp, attached to the key-ring is small gold-coloured bell. Also attached to the key ring is a long beaded lanyard made of lavender coloured elastic with with four different types of beads (acrylic, transparent, pearl, hourglass) displayed in variations of purple with a transparent-glittery-star-bead with silver glitter in between each group of beads, with a transparent-glittery-star-bead with silver glitter as a stopper at the end.

Image Description: from right to left, a chrome key-ring and lobster-claw clasp, attached to the key-ring is small gold-coloured bell. Also attached to the key ring is a long beaded lanyard made of robin's egg blue coloured elastic with with five different types of beads (acrylic, transparent, pearl, glittery, hourglass) displayed in variations of light blue with a blue-glittery-star-bead with silver glitter in between each group of beads, with a blue-glittery-star-bead with silver glitter as a stopper at the end.
Image Description: from right to left, a chrome key-ring and lobster-claw clasp, attached to the key-ring is small gold-coloured bell. Also attached to the key ring is a long beaded lanyard made of robin’s egg blue coloured elastic with with five different types of beads (acrylic, transparent, pearl, glittery, hourglass) displayed in variations of light blue with a blue-glittery-star-bead with silver glitter in between each group of beads, with a blue-glittery-star-bead with silver glitter as a stopper at the end.

Image Description: from right to left, a chrome key-ring and lobster-claw clasp, attached to the key-ring is small gold-coloured bell. Also attached to the key ring is a long beaded lanyard made of pink coloured elastic with with five different types of beads (acrylic, transparent, hourglass, glittery, pearl) displayed in variations of light pink and dark pink with a pink-glittery-star-bead with silver glitter in between each group of beads, with a pink-glittery-star-bead with silver glitter as a stopper at the end.
Image Description: from right to left, a chrome key-ring and lobster-claw clasp, attached to the key-ring is small gold-coloured bell. Also attached to the key ring is a long beaded lanyard made of pink coloured elastic with with five different types of beads (acrylic, transparent, hourglass, glittery, pearl) displayed in variations of light pink and dark pink with a pink-glittery-star-bead with silver glitter in between each group of beads, with a pink-glittery-star-bead with silver glitter as a stopper at the end.

Image Description: from right to left, a chrome key-ring and lobster-claw clasp, attached to the key-ring is small gold-coloured bell. Also attached to the key ring is a long beaded lanyard made of black rat-tail cord with eight pearl beads (pink, red, orange, yellow, green, light blue, dark blue and purple), a transparent-glittery-star-bead with silver glitter, another group of eight pearl beads (pink, red, orange, yellow, green, light blue, dark blue and purple), a transparent-glittery-star-bead with gold glitter, another group of eight pearl beads (pink, red, orange, yellow, green, light blue, dark blue and purple), with a pink-glittery-star-bead with silver glitter as a stopper at the end.
Image Description: from right to left, a chrome key-ring and lobster-claw clasp, attached to the key-ring is small gold-coloured bell. Also attached to the key ring is a long beaded lanyard made of black rat-tail cord with eight pearl beads (pink, red, orange, yellow, green, light blue, dark blue and purple), a transparent-glittery-star-bead with silver glitter, another group of eight pearl beads (pink, red, orange, yellow, green, light blue, dark blue and purple), a transparent-glittery-star-bead with gold glitter, another group of eight pearl beads (pink, red, orange, yellow, green, light blue, dark blue and purple), with a pink-glittery-star-bead with silver glitter as a stopper at the end.

So while I’m aware this might be a bad idea, if I had to pick one, I’d probably pick the last one. I love pearl beads and rainbows and that covers both. It also might not be obvious from the picture but the pearl rainbow lanyard is slightly shorter than the other ones, which I’ll admit are ridiculously long. I bought the black rat-tail cord off Ebay, I paid AU $2.00 in shipping fees (the seller is UK-based), but I honestly didn’t care. I’ve noticed the black rat-tail cord is thinner than the black rat-tail cord Kim obtained for me from Lincraft, but I felt this worked for me, the hot-pink wrap-tail cord I bought is too thick for me to use with my current collection of beads, which is super frustrating.

So what do readers think? Are the bells a good addition? Or just another one of my shitty ideas? I would offer to sell these and donate the profits to AWN or ASAN, but seeing as my Diverse Books Giveaway didn’t really take off (who had thought it would be difficult to tempt Australian and New Zealand book bloggers with free stuff?), I’m beginning to think I’m not as persuasive as I thought. Let me know what you think in the comments section down below.

Arts and Crafts: It’s A Beadiful Life

Image Description: a title-post picture with the words Arts and Crafts written in the centre in rainbow word-art with a clip-art picture of a red rose in each of the corners
Image Description: a title-post picture with the words Arts and Crafts written in the centre in rainbow word-art with a clip-art picture of a red rose in each of the corners

This post is going to be about my progress on making the beaded jewellery/beaded fidget items for my giveaway. I still have a ways to go yet, but my progress thus far has been successful.

Image Description: a Jarvis Walker worm-proof lure-box with adjustable compartments. There’s four compartments down and six compartments across. The six across compartments are sorted by colour (red, orange, yellow, green, light blue and dark blue). The four compartments down are sorted by type of bead (acrylic, transparent, pearlized, and matte hour-glass shaped beads). In the photo, there are two compartments empty: red pearlized beads and light blue pearlized beads.
Image Description: a Jarvis Walker worm-proof lure-box with adjustable compartments. There’s four compartments down and six compartments across. The six across compartments are sorted by colour (red, orange, yellow, green, light blue and dark blue). The four compartments down are sorted by type of bead (acrylic, transparent, pearlized, and matte hour-glass shaped beads). In the photo, there are two compartments empty: red pearlized beads and light blue pearlized beads.

Maybe it’s just me, but there is something indescribably frustrating about those two empty slots, for most people, they probably wouldn’t even notice. But it bothered me, so I hunted high and low via Ebay for red pearlized beads and light blue pearlized beads (with some additional trial and error), but finally, I found them. I now have a complete rainbow! Behold!

Image Description: a Jarvis Walker worm-proof lure-box with adjustable compartments. There’s four compartments down and six compartments across. The six across compartments are sorted by colour (red, orange, yellow, green, light blue and dark blue). The four compartments down are sorted by type of bead (acrylic, transparent, pearlized, and matte hour-glass shaped beads). In this photo, the are two empty compartments mentioned in the previous photo have been filled with cranberry-red (it's more of a dark red really) pearlized beads and light blue pearlized beads
Image Description: a Jarvis Walker worm-proof lure-box with adjustable compartments. There’s four compartments down and six compartments across. The six across compartments are sorted by colour (red, orange, yellow, green, light blue and dark blue). The four compartments down are sorted by type of bead (acrylic, transparent, pearlized, and matte hour-glass shaped beads). In this photo, the are two empty compartments mentioned in the previous photo have been filled with cranberry-red (it’s more of a dark red really) pearlized beads and light blue pearlized beads

Mwuhahahahah! Nothing can stop me now, except my terrible sense of organisation and procrastination tendencies, however, moving on… As I’ve completed my rainbow collection of beads, I’ve been able to make my Rainbow Beaded Lanyards (links below):

~Arts and Crafts: Beaded Lanyards

~Arts and Crafts: Beaded Lanyards Part 2

I’ve also been able to make my larger Bead Bracelets for the Zipper-lanyards (pictures below):
Image Description: A verticle picture of three 50 cm ring-binders from Daiso with beads. The first ring has red-themed beads, the second ring has blue-themed beads and the third ring has green-themed beads. The bead pattern is acrylic, transparent, pearl, hour-glass, glittery star-bead, hour-glass, pearl, transparent, acrylic.
Image Description: A verticle picture of three 50 cm ring-binders from Daiso with beads. The first ring has red-themed beads, the second ring has blue-themed beads and the third ring has green-themed beads. The bead pattern is acrylic, transparent, pearl, hour-glass, glittery star-bead, hour-glass, pearl, transparent, acrylic.

Here’s a picture of the red and blue bead-bracelets attached to the zipper-lanyards:
Image Description: The red-themed bead bracelet from the previous picture is attached to a red and yellow zipper-style lanyard and the blue-themed bead bracelet is attached to a blue and red zipper-style lanyard.
Image Description: The red-themed bead bracelet from the previous picture is attached to a red and yellow zipper-style lanyard and the blue-themed bead bracelet is attached to a blue and red zipper-style lanyard.

I’ve also made Bead Ring Necklaces. Here’s pictures of the rings:
Image Description: two silver 30 cm binder-rings from Daiso with green beads on them. From left to right, the first ring has the following beads: transparent green, acrylic green, pearlized green, acrylic green, transparent green. The second ring has the following beads: transparent light-green, acrylic light-green, pearlized green, acrylic light-green and transparent light-green.
Image Description: two silver 30 cm binder-rings from Daiso with green beads on them. From left to right, the first ring has the following beads: transparent green, acrylic green, pearlized green, acrylic green, transparent green. The second ring has the following beads: transparent light-green, acrylic light-green, pearlized green, acrylic light-green and transparent light-green.

Image Description: there are four silver 30 binder-rings from Daiso in the picture. The top two are red themed bead-rings, from left to right, the first top ring has the following beads:  transparent red, acrylic red, pearlized cranberry-red, acrylic red, transparent red. The second top ring has the following beads: transparent red, acrylic red, glittery-red, acrylic red, transparent red. The bottom two are blue themed bead-rings, from left to right, the first bottom ring has the following beads: transparent light-blue, acrylic light-blue, pearlized light-blue, acrylic light-blue, transparent light-blue. The second bottom ring has the following beads: the first bottom ring has the following beads: transparent dark-blue, acrylic dark-blue, pearlized dark-blue, acrylic dark-blue, transparent dark-blue
Image Description: there are four silver 30 binder-rings from Daiso in the picture. The top two are red themed bead-rings, from left to right, the first top ring has the following beads:  transparent red, acrylic red, pearlized cranberry-red, acrylic red, transparent red. The second top ring has the following beads: transparent red, acrylic red, glittery-red, acrylic red, transparent red. The bottom two are blue themed bead-rings, from left to right, the first bottom ring has the following beads: transparent light-blue, acrylic light-blue, pearlized light-blue, acrylic light-blue, transparent light-blue. The second bottom ring has the following beads: the first bottom ring has the following beads: transparent dark-blue, acrylic dark-blue, pearlized dark-blue, acrylic dark-blue, transparent dark-blue.

The hardest part of the Bead Ring Necklace was the little loops that go between the key-ring/split-ring and the rat-tail cord. In my case, I used black rat-tail cord for one set of necklaces, but I had to use Rainbow String I purchased from Lincraft for the second batch of necklaces, and I must confess, I do like the coloured string.

I’m just so glad I could find a use for the Rainbow String (I was super disappointed I couldn’t use it make beaded lanyards – no friction for sliding and I have a feeling I would eventually pull the beads past the knot at the end). Here’s pictures of the finished Bead Ring Necklaces:

Image Description: three bead-ring necklaces on black rat-tail cord with four chrome loops in between the rat-tail cord and the key-ring/split ring. From left to right, a red themed bead-ring necklace (transparent red, acrylic red, glittery-red, acrylic red, transparent red), a blue themed bead-ring necklace (light-blue, acrylic light-blue, pearlized light-blue, acrylic light-blue, transparent light-blue) and a green themed bead-ring necklace (transparent light-green, acrylic light-green, pearlized green, acrylic light-green and transparent light-green).
Image Description: three bead-ring necklaces on black rat-tail cord with four chrome loops in between the rat-tail cord and the key-ring/split ring. From left to right, a red themed bead-ring necklace (transparent red, acrylic red, glittery-red, acrylic red, transparent red), a blue themed bead-ring necklace (light-blue, acrylic light-blue, pearlized light-blue, acrylic light-blue, transparent light-blue) and a green themed bead-ring necklace (transparent light-green, acrylic light-green, pearlized green, acrylic light-green and transparent light-green).

Image Description: two bead-ring necklaces on a red Rainbow String and a dark-blue Rainbow String with four chrome loops in between the Rainbow String and the key-ring/split ring. From left to right, a red themed bead-ring necklace (transparent red, acrylic red, pearlized cranberry-red, acrylic red, transparent red) and a blue themed bead-ring necklace (transparent dark-blue, acrylic dark-blue, pearlized dark-blue, acrylic dark-blue, transparent dark-blue)
Image Description: two bead-ring necklaces on a red Rainbow String and a dark-blue Rainbow String with four chrome loops in between the Rainbow String and the key-ring/split ring. From left to right, a red themed bead-ring necklace (transparent red, acrylic red, pearlized cranberry-red, acrylic red, transparent red) and a blue themed bead-ring necklace (transparent dark-blue, acrylic dark-blue, pearlized dark-blue, acrylic dark-blue, transparent dark-blue).

Image Description: one bead-ring necklace on a green Rainbow String with four chrome loops in between the Rainbow String and the key-ring/split ring. The bead-ring necklace has the following beads: transparent green, acrylic green, pearlized green, acrylic green, transparent green
Image Description: one bead-ring necklace on a green Rainbow String with four chrome loops in between the Rainbow String and the key-ring/split ring. The bead-ring necklace has the following beads: transparent green, acrylic green, pearlized green, acrylic green, transparent green.

I’ll be going into Footscray and Daiso on Thursday to pick up a few bits and pieces, I’ll need to wait for a few things to come in the mail (such as the strawberries – they take forever to arrive, but they’re worth the wait) and I should be set. I’m actually kind of surprised I’ve managed to make/obtain most of the prizes before the start of March. I expected to running around like a headless-chook through out March (and maybe a little into April if I’m being honest). It could all still go horribly wrong, but thus far, things are looking good.

Links:
Image Description: site header reading “Abstruse Arcana Neurodivergent Arts and Crafts” featuring vector images of a green tape dispenser, a sewing needle, a sewing pin with a red head, a yellow measuring tape, a brown paintbrush, a light tan bandaid, an embroidered red flower and a blue and brown striped round plush thing that looks something like a bean bag.
~Abstruse Arcana Neurodivergent Arts and Crafts: Bead Ring Necklaces

Arts and Crafts – Hunting and Gathering

Image Description: a title-post picture with the words 'Arts &Crafts' written in the centre in rainbow word-art with a clip-art picture of a red rose in each of the corners
I love Stationery, it is my greatest weakness, there’s just something about hunting and gathering for Stationery items (most likely the illusion of productivity) that is both enjoyable and calming for me. The problem with Stationery is that once all the required items are assembled, that means I have to begin the desired project, which can be problem when you’ve perfected the art of obtaining items for said project but usually fail when it comes to actually completing the project.

For example: I really wanted to get into Book Binding or Book Making, I love blank notebooks and it would be awesome if I could just make my own blank notebooks. But then I found out you actually need to be talented at sewing to make books, and I am truly awful at sewing, so all of my book-binding equipment has been sitting in a canvas shopping-bag inside my Room of Laundry for several months, dusty and forgotten, until I start riffling through my bookshelf (where my guide to making handmade books is) and I wonder what happened to my Book Making equipment.

But, this time, I’m fairly certain I’ve found a hobby that is both Crafty, doesn’t rely on Sewing to complete and is possible for me to obtain all the required tools and items. I am talking about Beaded Jewellery, specifically Bead Ring Necklaces.

Image Description: site header reading “Abstruse Arcana Neurodivergent Arts and Crafts” featuring vector images of a green tape dispenser, a sewing needle, a sewing pin with a red head, a yellow measuring tape, a brown paintbrush, a light tan bandaid, an embroidered red flower and a blue and brown striped round plush thing that looks something like a bean bag.
Kim has set up a new WordPress-blog called Abstruse Arcana: Neurodivergent Arts and Crafts and the first post is a tutorial on how to make Bead Ring Necklaces, which I’m hand-flappy excited about it as I’ve been wanting to make Bead Ring Necklaces for ages now. So, this post will be going through the items I purchased in order to make Bead Ring Necklaces, where I bought them and how much they cost (and maybe some random items thrown in for good measure).

Image Description: a medium sized white box with a rainbow-spectrum of polka-dots decorating the outside with a bright-red lid on top
Image Description: a medium sized white box with a rainbow-spectrum of polka-dots decorating the outside with a bright-red lid on top
Item: a medium sized white box with a rainbow-spectrum of polka-dots decorating the outside with a bright-red lid on top
Purchased From: The Reject Shop (Ballarat)
Amount: AU $4
I’ll be using this box to store all of my bead-related items inside of, isn’t adorable? I just love polka-dots but especially rainbow polka-dots.

p1020356
Image Description: a 500 gm bag of pony beads from Lincraft in mixed-colours
Item: a 500 gm bag of Pony Beads
Purchased From: Lincraft (Bendigo)
Amount: AU $12.99
These aren’t the doughnut-shaped pony beads but rather they are shaped more like an hour-glass (I think, I’m not entirely sure, I could be wrong). Kim uses these beads on my Pink Drawstring Dice-bag they made for me.

p1020357
Image Description: Hoopla Sweets Collection pink plastic lunch-box with snap-on lid. The lunch-box has clip-art pictures of an ice-cream-on-a-stick with a smiley face, a doughnut-with-pink-icing also with a smiley face and an ice-cream-cone with blue-gelato and a smiley face. There are also clouds and a rainbow.
Item: pink plastic lunch-box with a snap-on lid
Purchased From: Aldi (Bacchus Marsh)
Amount: AU $3.99
I figured if I was going to buy a large bag of beads I would need somewhere to store them and, as you’ll be able to tell further down, I enjoy purchasing matching/themed items. The Hoopla Sweets Collection of stationery was pink and looked adorable (how could I possibly resist?)

p1020359
Image Description: a pink plastic lunch-box containing a 1 LB (435.59 gm) bag of Pearlized Pony Beads in mixed colours.
Item: a 1 LB (435.59 gm) bag of Pearlized Pony Beads
Purchased From: Riot Art & Craft (Bendigo)
Amount: AU $19.99
While I like transparent Pony Beads and glittery Pony Beads, if I had to pick just one type, it would be the pearlized Pony Beads, I am a sucker for shinny objects.

p1020361
Image Description: Hoopla Sweet Collection Stationery Pencil-case. The pencil-case is pink and has clip-art pictures of an ice-cream-on-a-stick with a smiley face, a doughnut-with-pink-icing also with a smiley face and an ice-cream-cone with blue-gelato and a smiley face. There are also clouds and a rainbow
p1020362
Image Description: The insides of the Hoopla Sweets Collection pencil-case. It’s pink with a couple of sections of netting to separate the two halves of the pencil-case.
Item: a pink pencil-case
Purchased From: Aldi (Bacchus Marsh)
Amount: AU $4.99
I bought this with the intention of using it for Beads and bead-related stuff, like storing cords and things inside, but now I’m not so sure. Oh well, I’ll just have to use it as a pencil-case, Mwuhahahaha

p1020383
Image Description: a pink Snack Container 400 mL that I obtained from K-Mart
Item: a pink Snack Container
Purchased From: K-Mart (Melton)
Amount: AU $2
I have about three of these snack containers (one from K-Mart and the other two from Aldi) and I thought I could use them for specialised beads, such as some star-beads I bought from Lincraft but also some glittery star-beads I bought off of Ebay. I thought I could use them for the ends of Bead Lanyards, however, I should probably figure out how to make Bead Ring Necklaces first (it goes cart THEN horse, I need to remember that).

p1020363
Image Description: a pink Crofton Snack Container 400 mL that I obtained from Aldi
Image Description: a pink Crofton Snack Container 400 mL that has been separated into it's three parts, from left to right are lid/top, bottom of the container and the opaque in-between layer
Image Description: a pink Crofton Snack Container 400 mL that has been separated into it’s three parts, from left to right are lid/top, bottom of the container and the opaque in-between layer
p1020365
Image Description: a pink Crofton Snack Container 400 mL that has been separated into it’s three parts, from left to right are lid/top, bottom of the container with pink Pearlized Pony Beads and the opaque in-between layer
p1020367
Image Description: a pink Crofton Snack Container 400 mL that has been combined into two parts, bottom of the container with pink Pearlized Pony Beads inside and the opaque in-between layer on top of the pink Pearlized Pony Beads (I’ve taken this picture to show scale and dimensions)
Item: a pink Snack Container
Purchased From: Aldi (Bacchus Marsh)
Amount: AU $2.49 each
Now this is one of the snack containers I bought from Aldi. I’ve placed the pink pearlized Pony Beads in the container to demonstrate size and scale of the containers. They look small and I was almost afraid they would be too small to store Pony Beads in, but they surprised me. If desired, you can fit two colours from a large mix-colour bag of Pony Beads.

p1020370
Image Description: a 100 packet of Rainbow Strings obtained from Lincraft
Item: a 100 packet of Rainbow Strings
Purchased From: Lincraft (Bendigo)
Amount: AU $4.99
I thought I might be able to use these to make Beaded Lanyards but I think these might be too thin, not sure, I’ll have to find out.

Image Description: there are two items in the photo, from left to right, the first item is a packet of Hair Elastics in pink, yellow, white and blue. The second item is a packet of hair bands in brown hair-bands with silver-sparkles mixed in and black hair-bands with silver-sparkles mixed in.
Image Description: there are two items in the photo, from left to right, the first item is a packet of Hair Elastics in pink, yellow, white and blue. The second item is a packet of hair bands in brown hair-bands with silver-sparkles mixed in and black hair-bands with silver-sparkles mixed in.
Item: Hair elastics and hair bands
Purchased From: Daiso
Amount: AU $2.80 each
I also bought these with the intention of using them to make Bead Lanyards, however, I think these might be a little too thick. I won’t know for certain until I attempt it, I shall keep readers posted on my progress.

Image Description: A small bronze-coloured clutch-purse with various brown key-ring accessories attached to it.
Image Description: A small bronze-coloured clutch-purse with various brown key-ring accessories attached to it.
This was given to me as a Christmas/Birthday gift ages ago, I don’t use it at all, however, I have re-purposed it to hold jewellery I no longer want to use such as a bracelet with dolphins on it (how do people get the impression that I like dolphins? I’m not saying they’re bad, I just don’t have any interest in them). I thought I might be able to use them as stoppers on lanyards or general decoration for Bead Ring Necklaces.

Image Description: Zutter Bind-It-All Book Making Kit in pink.
Image Description: Zutter Bind-It-All Book Making Kit in pink.
Image Description: Inside of the Zutter Bind-It-All Book Making Kit. From left to right, a crafting-scalpel, a 30 cm metal ruler with cork on the back of it, a thick white object  and it's about as long as the metal ruler (I think the kit said it was for flattening pages, I'm not entirely sure), then there's a mental cylindrical object that looks like a pen but when you open it there's a sharp metal pokey-bit at the end (I think it's a scribe for indenting), then there's a clickey black-ink pen, a small pink measuring tape, and spare scalpel-blades in a little plastic box.
Image Description: Inside of the Zutter Bind-It-All Book Making Kit. From left to right, a crafting-scalpel, a 30 cm metal ruler with cork on the back of it, a thick white object  and it’s about as long as the metal ruler (I think the kit said it was flattening pages, I’m not entirely sure), then there’s a mental cylindrical object that looks like a pen but when you open it there’s a sharp metal pokey-bit at the end (I think it’s a scribe for indenting), then there’s a clickey black-ink pen, a small pink measuring tape, and spare scalpel-blades in a little plastic box.
Image Description: Inside of the Zutter Bind-It-All Book Making Kit. There's a small pair of pink-handled scissors, a small pair of pink-handled pliers and a small pair of pink-handled needle-nose pliers.
Image Description: Inside of the Zutter Bind-It-All Book Making Kit. There’s a small pair of pink-handled scissors, a small pair of pink-handled pliers and a small pair of pink-handled needle-nose pliers.
Item: Zutter Bind-It-All Book Making Kit
Purchased From: Amazon (online)
Amount: I dunno, I’ve completely forgotten.
I bought this off Amazon ages ago (or at least four years ago), however, unfortunately Amazon no longer sells it. The closest I could find that also does international shipping is the Zutter Bag-A-Bind Tote, for some unexplainable reason most of the Book Binding/Book Making equipment that Zutter sells via Amazon is all pink.

Image Description: a Jarvis Walker worm-proof lure-box with adjustable compartments. It also has pictures of various lures on the front of it.
Image Description: a Jarvis Walker worm-proof lure-box with adjustable compartments. It also has pictures of various lures on the front of it.
Image Description: the back of a Jarvis Walker worm-proof lure-box with adjustable compartments. I took this photo so readers could see the size of the compartments. There's four compartments down and six compartments across.
Image Description: the back of a Jarvis Walker worm-proof lure-box with adjustable compartments. I took this photo so readers could see the size of the compartments. There’s four compartments down and six compartments across.
Item: an opaque white plastic lure-box
Purchased From: K-Mart (Melton)
Amount: AU $10
Kim recommended this purchase and where to find it (thank you) and I’m sort of annoyed with myself because I have the sinking suspicion I should have bought two, however, one should be enough for now. I plan on going down by type (for example: transparent beads, glittery beads, pearlized beads and hour-glass beads), then across by colour (for example: red, orange, yellow, green, light blue, dark blue, purple and pink). Although it only has six compartments across so I may need to place pink and purple beads in the snack containers for the time being. I’ll figure it out eventually.

Image Description: a pair of split-ring pliers with black handles
Image Description: a pair of split-ring pliers with black handles
Item: a pair of split-ring pliers with black handles
Purchased From: K-Mart (Melton)
Amount: AU $3.00
I know that my Bind-it-all kit looks like it has a pair of needle-nose piers attached to it, but I figured I’d get an extra pair just in case they’re too small to use.

Unfortunately, I have yet to be able to find Key-rings/Split-rings (you know, the key component to the entire thing) despite traveling to various arts and crafts stores, but I shall not give up, not when I’m this close. I’ll keep readers posted on my progress.