Tag Archives: Loom Bands

Positives for the Week

One of my loom bracelets.

I am feeling a bit stressed out after my computer started acting up again – not as in it being broken, just as in having a hiccup. I am also missing out on inspiration for my #Mumslist post this week, because I haven’t been online much. I thought I’d put these two frustrations to good use and make a list of positives of the week.

  1. Made not just two but five loom bracelets this week. Am working on a sixth one. The above pic shows a bracelet I made for a nurse.
  2. With today being the exception, the weather has been quite nice over the past week.

  3. I reached my goal of going to the gym this week. Did buy candy more than once though. I did have a binge eating episode on Friday, but let’s just consider that a slip up.

  4. The nurses made delicious macaroni for us yesterday. Had a delicious ice cream on Tuesday.

  5. Both of my computers are usually fuctioning again.

  6. Made phone calls to my mother and sister. My sister, who earned her Master’s in history a few weeks ago, got word that she may be accepted into teacher education after all.

And here are my goals for the upcoming week.

  1. Make a Christmas card for a swap I’m on. Yeah, cardmakers make and sometimes swap Christmas cards all year.

  2. Start working on an art doll for a mixed media swap. I don’t really know what an art doll is, but one of the usual activity staff will be back from vacation this week so I can ask her for inspiration.

  3. Go to the gym again.

  4. Write one original blog post (so something other than Tuesday Ten, Word of the Week, etc.).

Have a nice week everyone!

Mums' Days

(Mostly) Screenless #WotW

On Tuesday evening, I wrote here on the blog that my husband can usually fix my computer. That same evening, someone from Freedom Scientific, the screen reader company, called to get into my computer through some kind of distance control, in the hopes of fixing a problem I’d been having for a few weeks, which my husband had been unable to fix and for which he’d blamed my screen reader. After the Freedom Scientific person fiddled with my computer for a bit, it was worse than it was before. She recommended system recovery, which my husband tried on Wednesday, but failed. He took my computer to his place to reinstall Windows.

Since I hadn’t been able to use my computer from Tuesday evening until last night, and I didn’t compensate for the lack of a computer with a smartphone (which I don’t own) or TV, this was largely a screenless week. It was less of a boredom-filled week than my week without Internet acccess last May. I am thankful for loom bands in this respect.

Thursday was actually the most boring day, because we had a rather weird activity staff. I need some help with the loom bands, although after almost a week of nearly fulltime practice, I can almost entirely make a fishtail without help – the only thing I haven’t figured out is how to attach the clip on one of the ends of the bracelet.

Anyway, the other clients and I spent Thursday morning in the room pretty much keeping busy by ourselves because the man had no clue what activities we were doing let alone how to help. Besides, he went on a 45-minute cig break – thankfully there were no clients who needed to be accompanied by staff at all times. After this hilarious if not frustrating morning at day activities, I decided not to return for the afternoon. Instead, I did go to the gym, which was one of my goals for the week anyway.

A nice nurse worked the evening shift and there was some extra staffing, so she offered to help me with the loom bands. We decided to make a loom band heart for my husband. Unfortunately, I fidgeted with it too much so that a band snapped shortly after the thing was finished. I hope this isn’t somehow symbolic.

Yesterday, my husband brought me both my new computer, the one on which Windows needed to be reinstalled, and the older one, for which he had to replace the keyboard. Unforutnately, the old one returned a weird error upon startup and I forgot the password to the new one, so I had to wait for my husband to finish his late shift at work at 11:30 PM to give me the password. Today, he also “fixed” the older one – it wasn’t broken. Yay for my husband and yay for two working computers!

The Reading Residence

Week of July 28 to August 3, 2014 #Mumslist

While looking at blogs I might want to subscribe to, I came across the lovely Mums’ Days by Hannah, and her fabulous linky Mums’ List. The linky is about all kinds of lists, but especially a list detailing your week both in real life and in blogging/social media. I love linkies and lists, so I badly wanted to participate, but wasn’t sure I could since I’m not a Mom. I left a comment aking this, but then saw the rules and figured out the answer by myself. So here goes

Real Life

  1. Spent a lot of time and energy on my computer, both working on it and trying to get it to work. My husband fixed some of the problems, but not all. Left a few calls with the screen reader company, because that appears to be the problem.

  2. Enjoyed time in the garden and outside in general. It’s been sunny all week. Had a BBQ on Thursday for my ward. It was crowdy and noisy as a DJ came to play music and a lot of people sang along. Not my favorite pastime, though the food was good.

  3. Made a lovely loom bracelt. Yes, I mentioned this on Friday, too, but I mention it again because my husband was able to snap the picture today and I really want to show it off. Made an attempt at starting another loom bracelet for a nurse over coffee today, but I’d better just spend my time drinking coffee or looming than both at the same time.

  4. Finally went to the gym again after skipping it for two weeks. Had quite a nice work-out.

  5. Managed to buy a lot less candy than I usually do, but got a bag of liquorice in exchange for another bracelet so still probably ate as much as I normally do (which is too much). We also had fries tonight, but the little step I’ve taken is finally being able to eat a normal size portion.

Loom Bracelet

Blogging and Social Media

  1. Not been blogging much this week. I really had to bribe myself to write.

  2. Discovered the lovely Headspace Perspective, a blog about premature birth, birth trauma and baby loss. Since I am the oldest surviving child of a mother pregnant several times before delivering me, and I’m a preemie, I felt a kind of connectedness even though I haven’t been in Leigh’s shoes.

  3. Got a lot of compliments on my bracelet in Facebook groups.

  4. Not looked at my blog or Twitter stats (I don’t have a Facebook page or Pinterest or whathaveyou). My blog stats are probably misleading as I had around ten spam comments from what appear to be different spammers yesterday and last night. I’ve enabled comment moderation for new commenters now.

Goals for the Upcoming Week

  1. Make two loom bracelets.

  2. Buy candy only once. Go to the gym once too.

  3. Study 100 pages of intro to psychology textbook.

  4. Write at least three blog posts.

Mums' Days

Patience #WotW

It’s been a long week. The week-end was a bit boring, as on Friday night, my computer suddenly caught a bug or one that had been there all along was activated. The startup screen suddenly wouldn’t work anymore, the screen would first turn purple and then black, and the computer wouldn’t shut down properly. My husband came around on Saturday to try to fix it. This is the newest of three semi-working laptops I own. The oldest still has Windows XP on it and has a broken Enter key. The middle one, I spilled tea over two weeks ago, destroying the keyboard and making the computer essentially useless. My husband has already ordered a new keyboard via eBay at his go-to laptop keyboard shop in Hong Kong, and I’m hoping that in a few weeks, I can use this laptop at least as a spare laptop again. The newest, this one, he could fix only partly. I now have most things I’ll need on a regular basis on my desktop, and the shutdown issue is solved. The screen still turns purple and black, and my husband found out it happened whenever my screen reader starts. Someone from Freedom Scientific, the screen reader company, will have a look on Tuesday.

In the meantime, my other hobby besides the computer that I can do mostly independently is looming. Unfortunately, I broke my loom last week Friday and, though I ordered a new one immediately, the stupid people at the online store first forgot to package it along with the other supplies I ordered, which I therefore did receive. Then, when I sent them an extremely formal E-mail asking them to send the loom, they replied with an E-mail almost in text speak, saying they’d resend it. Yesterday, I got an E-mail that they’d sent it to the wrong address and the recipient would forward it to me. The store has too cute supplies not to order there again.

With all this waiting, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I choose “patience” as my word for the week. It’s only been as of yesterday that I can almost fully use my computer. On Tuesday, I ordered a cheap loom along with some lovely looming beads at one of my favorite online jewelry-making stores. It arrived this morning, and I’m so glad. After a little bit of experimenting with this loom, I figured out how to make a fishtail bracelet with beads on it. I chose butterflies and letter beads to form my name. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture, but I must say the result is quite good. I am having a fulfilling day at last. Patience does pay off.

The Reading Residence
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Is Crafting Suitable for the Blind?

I’ve contracted the loom band virus. Looming, for those who don’t know, is a way of making jewelry and accessories out of rubber bands. I’ve so far only managed to be able to use the most basic technique, but am loving it and trying out new techniques that I basically think out myself. I can’t access loom band tutorials as they are mostly videos. YouTube is still blocked on my computer to save on bandwidth, and if it weren’t, I’d have to watch a ton of videos to find out which have enough verbal content that I can follow along.

Fortunately, I’ve been helped by a few lovely people in Facebook looming groups. The fellow patient who taught me the most basic technique also offered to lend me her loom band book, so that I can scan (part of) it and see if just the text is enough. Another person offered to type out the verbal content of video instructions or send me a PDF file of the book. The PDF file is an image and the file size is over 100MB, so even though I could convert the image to text using OCR software if I were able to download it, I cannot currently download the file. Yet another person is still thinking of ways she could help me figure stuff out.

Unfortunately, as with any crafting hobby, I’ve gotten the occasional comment that looming probably isn’t suitable for the blind. I do not know this yet, as I have so far only mastered the most basic technique and have gotten stuck on some other crafts too if I tried to go more advanced. I don’t like instant adoration when I disclose in a crafting group that I am blind, either. When people haven’t seen my work, they cannot know whether it is poor, fair or good by non-disabled standards or by their standatds of what a blind person should be able to accomplish. Because of this, I do understand the curious group member’s question whether a craft isn’t too hard for a blind person. Probably I take it too personally when I see it as discouragement.

It may be kind of odd in this respect that I take gentle criticism better than instant adoration or questions about my competency before I’ve shown my work. I remember in early 2013 I sent out a totally rubbish card in a swap, and the recipient happened to be the swap group owner. She sent me a private message explaining that my card was not of sufficient quality for a swap, but also offering to give me tips on how to make better cards. That was a lot easier to handle than the message I received from another member, who said before she’d seen any of my cards that she would never make cards again if she went blind.

Generally, it seems to be that the more substance criticism or compliments have, the better I handle them. For example, I received a message on a stamping group from a person who explained in detail why stamping most likely wouldn’t be suitable for a blind person and offering feedback on the stamped images I’d sent to the group. That helped me make the choice to give up stamping before I’d bought tons of supplies. I myself used a similar approach when a blind friend of mine wantedd to start making jewelry. I explained what is needed to make jewelry and which parts of it she could likely do herself and which she’d probably need sighted help with. I offered to send her some supplies to play with, which I still need to do. She can decide for herself whether jewelry-making is suitable for her, but I can help her with feedback.