New Packing for my Etsy Shop

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So I have had my Cricut Explore Air 2 for a couple of months now, and I’ve been learning not only how to create things that I can sell in my Etsy shop, but also to create packaging for my existing products.

My Etsy shop has lots of different things like stud and dangle earrings, bracelets that are paracord as well as Kumihimo and the regular flat friendship bracelets. Some things are better in boxes than in plastic bags with a card stapled to the top. The Kumihimo and flat friendship bracelets are OK in the bag, but not paracord.

I’ve also made a new box for the sets of 4 pairs of earrings. This is what they looked like before (left), compared to how they look now (right).

The reason I wanted to change these boxes was because it is easier for me if the Cricut scores and cuts the box in a colored thicker card stock paper that I can use as a visual so I can see what color the earrings are in the box. Like the red for example will be for this listing that has 4 pairs of earrings that are all red, but in a variety like one is solid red, another is red and white, another red and black and another that is red and gold. The same goes for the orange, yellow, green, blue and so on. I also have some neon earrings that will most likely be in a single neon color. Then of course I have my tie dye stud earrings which I would like to put in a box that has tie dye for the pattern of the paper, but if I can’t find that paper, I will figure something else out.

The earrings will actually come in the box on 2 cards rather than all 4 on one card. I did that for the picture for the listing. They will also be wrapped in bubble wrap inside the box to protect them if the package gets squished in transit.

Yes, I am selling a product, but the packaging is what I feel makes it look better when you receive it. And don’t worry, the prices haven’t changed.

Get nerdy with me and save 15% on your entire order with the coupon code NERDY. My shop’s website is GayNerd.Etsy.com. I hope you check it out today. I haven’t changed the packaging on everything, but I will be working on that.

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Plastic Canvas Tardis

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Back in 2012 I saw a embroidery pattern for the TARDIS from the show Doctor Who, but I decided I didn’t want to just embroider it, I wanted to make it into a 3D version of the TARDIS. I had a program called Plastic Canvas Design Studio that I bought when I was visiting my aunts in Texas, so I made the design from the embroidery design, and I was going to start working on it, but I lost interest, so I put the project on hold. But the problem was that I put the PDF file for the instructions on my first blog at www.xanapus.com without checking to make sure it was perfect. I should have finished making the project before even putting that out there in the world.

So recently someone contacted me on the Facebook page I have to advertise that blog, and they were asking for help because the pattern didn’t make sense. Hmmmm, I wonder why. So I tried to explain it to him, but I figured it would probably make sense if I cut all new plastic canvas, that way I can show him pictures, and that was when I saw the flaws. I fixed all the problems with the pattern and created a new PDF file and I even created a video tutorial, which is in my YouTube channel for Diary of a Gay Nerd.

It is a fun project. I didn’t sew anything on camera, well, a couple of things that were difficult to sew. But I have all the pictures in the PDF file. Plastic Canvas Tardis.

I will not stay silent…

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I have seen some pretty good memes on Facebook over the years, and a lot of them have related to my situation, but I never really talk about how they related to me because honestly, who cares right? But this one relates to me in many ways throughout my entire life. Let me explain.

When I came out of the closet, all I heard from people was “Why do people have to know you are gay? Why can’t you just stay in the closet? Why do you have to have a boyfriend? Why can’t you just pretend you are straight and get married to a woman and just shut up about being gay?” It was this and so much more.

Why should I lie to everyone and cheat myself out of a happy normal life just because you are uncomfortable? For someone to say those things to me, you really are showing me how you really feel about me as a person, not just a gay person, but as a person in general. And if you think that your level of comfortable is more important than my own personal happiness, then I hate to tell you this pumpkin, but you are not that special. If you think I should live the life that YOU think I should live, then perhaps this friendship should end.

The other way this particular meme related to me is because I wrote my book Diary of a Gay Nerd and my sister sent her friend to Goodreads and to Amazon to attack me. Not write a negative review of my book, but to attack my character, then she herself created an account with the McDonald last name to attack my character. So I’m not going to stay silent just because you aren’t comfortable with the truth. And girl, it’s not even about you, get over yourself. Gurl bye!

Anyway, so this meme really related to me.

My Website

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I have been creating websites since 1997 back when I first learned how using America Online’s very own homepage creator. When I discovered Microsoft had a program called FrontPage, I started using that, and I had such a fun time creating websites, that I actually offered up my services to create simple fun websites. Boring, yes, but fun none the less.

So when I published my book in 2012, I bought a domain with hosting and created a simple, but very plain website. I don’t know what happened to that design, but I made a design in another website and I loved that design so much that I kept it, and what you see in the image is pretty much what I created. It is not that same website, this is the new version of it.

A couple of months ago I went to my website and one of the icons at the bottom was old and no longer applicable, it was the icon for Rainbow eBooks which has since gone out of business. I opened Microsoft’s newest version of FrontPage which is called Web Expression, and I tried opening my website in the program, but it kept giving me errors. I went to the web host to see if FrontPage extensions were installed, and I couldn’t even find where the FrontPage extension option was. I contacted them and they said they no longer have that feature. Shoot! I was screwed because I’ve been using FrontPage since the late 90’s and it’s literally all I know.

So I installed a web design program that I had bought many years ago that came with another program basically to put your website on all the search engines. The design program came with it, but I never tried making anything with it because I didn’t see a point. Anyway, I installed that many months ago so I could work on my website, but it was giving me issues, it wouldn’t center the page. Ugh!!!!

Anyway, long story short (too late?) I figured out that I could just make the web page in Microsoft’s Web Expression program, and then just upload the files using a FTP program. Why didn’t I think of this many months ago? So, here is my website again. I am seriously considering adding more than just a single page that you see in the image above, but I’m not quite sure what I would add that isn’t already in this blog. It’s a thinker.

#MeToo

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I am very proud of Rose McGowan and Tarana Burke for starting a movement that exposes Hollywood executives, producers, directors, actors, and anyone who physically and/or sexually assaulted anyone, man, woman or child. Yes, men can be sexually assaulted as in the case of Kevin Spacey who is accused of allegedly sexually assaulted countless teenage males. We are also familiar with Corey Feldman’s story of sexual abuse by members of the entertainment industry in Hollywood. The casting couch has never been a secret, in fact, it’s been joked about for decades. We all know that some actors male and female have to perform certain… how should I say… jobs? to be cast in the role they are seeking.

None of us are completely in the know about all the details of all the accusations where any person accuses someone else of abuse. Someone accuses someone else of x y and z and without any proof we all believe them because we are conditioned to believe the accuser even when the accused deny the allegations, and the accused are guilty until proven innocent, wait… no, that’s not right, they are innocent until proven guilty. Right?

Now you are probably saying to yourself, but Mike, you have accused your step father and many family members of psychological and physical abuse towards you, and we’re supposed to believe you, right? Well, I have left that up to you to believe me, but I don’t expect anyone to believe me. My sister was there, she saw it first hand, yet she calls me a liar. She was also one of my abusers and she is telling people that I was the abuser. And this is my point. I don’t expect anyone to believe me because honestly I have absolutely zero proof of anything. I have witnesses, my aunt from Simi Valley who we lived with for a year. I also have other aunts who witnessed a lot of the abuse, but they only witnessed maybe 5% of all the abuse I took because it was mostly all in private. Even my own mother and my 2 sisters only witnessed 5% because they weren’t always present. So I invite you to believe what you want to believe based on my stories.

What if a accused celebrity says now hold on a minute, yeah we had our arguments, what relationship doesn’t have occasional fights? That doesn’t mean I physically, psychologically or sexually abused them. Take what Chris Hardwick said in his article on the Fox News website. Believe me, I didn’t want to link from them, this article was sent to me and I searched for the same quote from another website, and I found articles on websites that I’d never heard of, so I didn’t want to be accused of “fake news” so here it is from Fox.

“These are very serious allegations and not to be taken lightly which is why I’ve taken the day to consider how to respond,” he said in a statement Friday night, according to the website. “I was heartbroken to read Chloe’s post. Our three year relationship was not perfect—we were ultimately not a good match and argued—even shouted at each other—but I loved her, and did my best to uplift and support her as a partner and companion in any way and at no time did I sexually assault her.”

“When we were living together, I found out that Chloe had cheated on me, and I ended the relationship,” Hardwick continued. “For several weeks after we broke up, she asked to get back together with me and even told me she wanted to have kids with me, ‘build a life’ with me and told me that I was ‘the one,’ but I did not want to be with someone who was unfaithful,” he added.

“I’m devastated to read that she is now accusing me of conduct that did not occur. l was blindsided by her post and always wanted the best for her. As a husband, a son, and future father, I do not condone any kind of mistreatment of women.”

I have been a fan of Chris since I saw him hosting the show Ship Mates in the 90’s. I was absolutely crushed when I saw the allegations against him by Chloe and I tended to want to believe her too since I don’t think she has any reason to lie, but again, I don’t even know these people. I can wish something wasn’t true because I am a huge fan of them, but I was not there, so I can’t say who I should believe. I am reserving my judgement against either of them because it’s really none of my business. Who am I?

I saw a tweet from actor Robert Kazinsky today backing up Chloe’s claim.

There are several tweets from him on the subject, so go read them and decide for yourself. Also, read the comments on this particular tweet.

At first I was thinking ok why is Robert Kazinsky tweeting on behalf of Chloe? Well, it could be because they are currently in a relationship, so what I see is a guy who is just defending his girlfriend. So, once again I am reserving my judgement because like I said before, who am I? I’m nobody. In fact, who is even going to read this? I hardly ever blog so I’m most likely just talking to myself right now.

Why don’t I want to trust or believe anyone’s word? Well, here’s a great example. Remember this? 10 Years Later, The Duke Lacrosse Rape Case Still Stings. It was actually 12 years ago. This article is from 2 years ago.

The media’s coverage of the case inflamed race, gender and class divisions locally and nationally. But upon further investigation by North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Mangum’s allegations were deemed false. Cooper exonerated the students, saying in April 2007, “We have no credible evidence that an attack occurred.”

Here is an example of how someone tried to ruin Aziz Ansari’s life.

I went on a date with Aziz Ansari. It turned into the worst night of my life

Here is an interview on NPR

Grace says that things got physical at Aziz Ansari’s apartment after dinner. They kissed. He performed oral sex on her. He asked her to do the same. She briefly did. He was eager to have sex. She says she would try to move away from him and used, quote, “verbal and non-verbal cues” to show she was uncomfortable with the situation. Yet he kept trying. She eventually says she’s going to call a car. He gets her an Uber, and she leaves. And she feels violated.

Someone being uncomfortable with a situation doesn’t mean he raped her. He performed oral sex on her, then she on him, right? Then she probably had time to think about what she was doing and she probably felt uncomfortable and decided she was done. But in no way does that mean he raped her. You can’t use a powerful movement against a person because you felt uncomfortable performing oral sex on someone after you asked them to perform oral sex on you. You don’t have that right to try to ruin someone’s life over something you regretted doing. I’ve done more with a person I felt uncomfortable with, but at no point in my life have I ever tried to ruin their life just because there was a movement that I could take advantage of. I’ve been raped, I know what rape feels like. This situation is not a rape situation.

YouTube star Toby Turner was involved in his own controversy several years ago, and in this video he tells his side of the story.

Like I said at the beginning, I applaud Rose McGowan and Tarana Burke for starting a movement, but at the same time it has opened up a huge can of worms where anyone can accuse anyone else of something with absolutely no proof and ruin them for the rest of their life.

I just want to repeat what Toby says. The #MeToo movement is important, but it only works is everyone involved is telling the truth, and unfortunately without proof, we will never know if someone is telling you the truth or not, my story included. So reserve your judgement until actual proof is available.

WOW So a huge update on the Chris Hardwick story. So Chris sent Chloe a text on July 1st 2015 and linked is that text and here is the article from TMZ.

New professional bag sealer for Etsy

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I’ve had my Etsy shop since 2013 when I broke my arm. It’s funny to say that because I had a broken arm and I decided I wanted to start making keychains which required both hands. But I was able to make them with very little pain. I made so many keychains that people told me I should open an Etsy shop, so I did.

I only started packaging them a couple years ago, before that I just had everything in a drawer. I decided it would be easier to find things if I had them packaged in plastic bags with folded business card sized card stock hung up on the side of my desk. I had some plastic bags meant for loaves of bread which I bought specifically for my bread machine, and I bought a battery powered bag sealer which not only sealed the bags, but also cut them to size, so that’s how I discovered I could make my own bags. But, that plastic was too thin and could tear too easily, so that’s why I bought the bag sealer and roll of poly tubing plastic roll in the image above.

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So as you can see I have organized everything that is hanging on the side of my desk. Keychains, paracord bracelets, stud earrings, beaded bracelets, friendship bracelets and kumihimo bracelets, then beaded rings and knitting supplies. All the hanging earrings and packages of 8 pairs of stud earrings are all boxed up in a drawer and I currently have 1 beaded bracelet in a box on top of my desk above these hanging items. I don’t quite have enough craft items to actually open up a shop, that’s why I have an Etsy shop.

I probably don’t get enough orders to warrant a bag sealer and a professional roll of poly tubing plastic, but if I do get a sale, I at least want them to look and feel professional.

Everything is handmade and hypoallergenic, and it took a long time to make this stuff. I only buy quality ingredients like DMC and Loops and Threads embroidery floss, Pepperell plastic lanyard and paracord. I buy hypoallergenic earring hooks and plastic earring stems and rubber ear nuts from Etsy. I have very sensitive ears, I’m allergic to basically everything and I wore earring hooks and the plastic stems each for 48 hours to make sure they were hypoallergenic, because if they don’t work with my sensitive skin, they probably won’t work for yours. I wouldn’t sell something that will harm someone.

So please visit GayNerd.Etsy.com and help me make my credit card payments lol.

My YouTube Channel

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I posted a video from a TV show onto YouTube on my original channel called Xanapus several years ago and it went a little viral. When I say viral, I don’t mean it had millions of views, I mean it got about 20k views or so. Since then it has around 45k views. Anyway, when it had reached a certain number of views, YouTube handed me monetization on a silver platter. Wonderful, right? Well, today they took it away from me.

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So here’s the new rule. In order for me to be monetized, I need 1000 subscribers and I  need to have 4,000+ watch time minutes per month. Well, I have the minute views, I just need the subscribers. I currently have 548 subscribers (as of right this very second) and I am sure that number will grow, eventually, but I don’t think it will go up if I don’t beg people to subscribe to my YouTube channel, so here I am, on bended knee, but not really because I have bad knees lol, but you know what I mean.

By the way, I am not relying on monetization for an income, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to receive a check for $100 every now and then. I’m on a very limited income with Disability, and I was getting $100 every few years from YouTube, and it did help when I was getting them because then I could actually afford to buy groceries. I am not dying of hunger though, so don’t feel obligated, I’m just saying everything helps, you know what I mean?

I cannot make good quality videos with the equipment I have because all I have is my phone, which apparently takes horrible grainy video in my bedroom. I have acceptable lighting with my desk light and my craft light and I have a cell phone mount that attaches to my desk. I don’t have an acceptable space to film since the only place I can record is my bedroom on the edge of my bed. My life partner of almost 24 years doesn’t take my vlogging seriously. In fact, he looks at me like he’s about to 5150 me every time he sees me talking to the phone lol. He thinks it’s OK for other people, but not me, so I literally have to wait for him to get on the phone with someone, sleep, or leave to be able to film. We have a good relationship, he just doesn’t take anything I do seriously. He didn’t even want me to write or publish my book. Besides all that, I have a brand new computer, so editing video doesn’t take forever like it used to, but I am terrible at editing and the video is still grainy from the phone, so my bad editing is another reason I have terrible videos.

All that said, I still ask that people subscribe to my boring bad quality, no good editing and no effects channel lol.

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE LOL.

Here’s my channel. www.YouTube.com/DiaryofaGayNerd. Thank you for your time and thank you for subscribing.

UPDATE: I have to make an update here because I do believe I have misunderstood the terms of monetization. Here is an email I received from YouTube explaining to me what criteria I must meet to be eligible.

As of today, your channel, Diary of a Gay Nerd will no longer have access to monetization tools associated with YPP because it doesn’t meet the new threshold of 4,000 hours of watch time within the past 12 months and 1,000 subscribers. If you meet the new threshold at some point in the future, you’ll be automatically re-evaluated for YPP. The reviews typically take 1-2 weeks.

So when I originally read the requirements, I wasn’t paying attention to the word hours, I thought it said minutes, and I assumed that because when I looked at the stats (screenshot from above) it shows minutes. When I saw the email today, I saw that it said hours and it gave me a little more of an understanding.

Here is a screenshot of the last years worth of views, and again, it only shows minutes, it doesn’t show hours.

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I Googled how many hours is 54,894 minutes and the answer is 914.9 hours. So… I do not in fact meet the hours requirements. I bet if I had more videos (I currently have 97) and if I had more followers, those yearly watch time hours will rise to meet the requirement.

Again, not in any hurry. I’m not desperate, so no big deal.