Tuesday, 31 January 2017

RainsCraftyBits: "Cross-stitch is my comfort game..."

Awhile ago, I published this cross-stitch pattern I had created on my Etsy shop.

How this pattern came about?

Many months ago, I was really stressed at work and all I could think of was to head home and continue my cross-stitch.  Then the first half of the quote came into my mind....

 "Cross-stitch is my comfort game..."

I had an idea to create a pattern out of it with inspiration drawn after watching Peacock & Fig's YouTube tutorial on french knots.  However, I find the quote itself is too plain and common and so I came up with the second half of the quote:

"to Stay sane in this reality game"

which is pretty apt in my case.  My harsh reality is I am in the accounts line of work which is zapping away my sanity. LOL!

Most of all, me being a random person as I was, I like to play around with poems and words and as it turns out, both quotes rhyme and the letters "C" and "S" is the abbreviation for "Cross-Stitch".

As mentioned above, the inspiration was drawn from Peacock & Fig's YouTube tutorial on french knots (click on the link to view). Initially it was meant to be covered in french knots but I scale it down because not everyone is a fan of knots.  Added basic patterns for flowers and it kind of resembles a cross of sakura and plum blossom? or so i thought.....

It is available as a digital download on my Etsy shop: RainsCraftyBits @ S$6.11.  There will be 3 pdf files available for download.  1 for general information, 1 chart with black symbols on white background and 1 chart with colored symbols on color background.

Pattern details as per follows:

Completed stitched area (WxH) approximately: 29.3cm X 14.1cm (11.5"X5.5")
Fabric: 18ct Aida
Number of colors: 6
Number of stitches (+/-): 5,108
Number of knots: 58

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Microsoft Excel "SUM" Formula Not Tabulating??? 0 value???

Just encountered this problem at work!
Wanted to do a simple calculation to add up the values and I used the normal "sum" formula.


But instead of a total figure I was expecting, I got a 0 value.

I did a search online and the answer was the cells in the table could be stored as text instead of numbers.  Since the original source file was done by a staff from my overseas office, I have no idea what she did.  So for some unknown reason, the formula did not work as intended.

Here's what I did:

1) Notice the green triangles at the corner of the cells?  Its actually trying to tell you something about those cells.  What I did was to highlight the entire cells with the numbers and click on that "!" and select "Convert to Number".

2)  The formula then worked at this point.

Thought I should blog about it for my future reference and to share with everyone.  If you encounter this problem as well, why not give this a shot.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Crafting: Needle Minders/Fridge Magnets (wooden buttons)

Scouring the internet on how to make needle minders.  As it turns out you only need a button, strong glue and a pair of magnets and that is only one of the ways you can make it.  There are other also other forms like glass cabochons, charms and other material buttons etc.

The following is a very easy and basic way of making needle minders for cross-stitchers/needlework crafters.

What you need:
Wooden buttons of your choice
Tooth picks
E6000 glue (super strong glue)
N35 rare earth magnets (or any other strong magnets)
5mm Rhinestones (optional)

How to do it:
1. From experience, I suggest getting a smaller tube of glue so that its easier to navigate.  To prevent excess glue wastage, gently and slowly press on the tube and using the tooth pick, take a small amount and place it where ever you wish to decorate with rhinestones.

(if no rhinestones are used then just skip this step and move on to Step 3)

2.  Using tweezers, pick up the rhinestones and gently placed it over the glue. Press down gently to secure it.  Let it sit for awhile waiting for the glue to set.

3.  The magnets I got are N35 rare earth magnets.  They are disk shaped and at 14mm (diameter) X 1.5mm (thickness).  I think its quite a good size for the button I am using.

the magnets may crack/snap when conjoined suddenly together, exercise caution when handling the magnets.  to remove the magnets *picture below* for use, just slid the magnets over using your thumb and index finger with a little strength

Squeeze a small amount of glue at the back surface and place the magnet over it.  Press it down to secure it in place.  Let it sit and wait for the glue to set.

*from experience: keep the button leveled as the magnets may shift while the glue is still wet.  It happened for mine since I had the rhinestones in the front.  Or maybe, next time i should try fixing on the magnet first then the rhinestones?

4.  Any adjustments should be done within 5mins of applying over the glue as it will start to set. Let it sit for at least a few hours.  The recommended time on the glue packaging was 24hrs-72hr for maximum strength bond.  For fridge magnets, the end product can be used just like that.

For needle minders, place this on the fabric you are working on and at the back of the fabric, attached another piece of the magnet to secure it.  Pretty easy isn't it?

1. Do this project in a well ventilated area due to the use of strong adhesive glue.
2. If fingers come in contact with the glue, remove/wash it off thoroughly and promptly.
3. Keep separate tweezers for craft.  Since it comes in contact with glue, i don't think its wise to use it for body care.
4. Most items needed can be bought from Art Friends at Bras Basah Complex (where I got the glue (S$9.50 - there is a much smaller tube below S$5.00) and rhinestones (S$4.90/pkt) from). I am not sure about the magnets thou. I bought my from a Etsy shop located in China.
5. Completed needle minders can be purchased from my Etsy shop if you are interested. Shipping charges varies.