Friday, 26 August 2016

3 Year Blogiversary

It's Sum of their Stories' 3 year Blogiversary this week!
doodled number 3

Sometimes I feel "Wow, where has the time gone" & other times that I've been doing this forever! One thing is for certain, I still only know a tiny a fraction of all the things you can learn about blogging. 
It's hard to know how to celebrate a Blogiversary, different people do all sorts of different things. I know a giveaway is popular, lists - what you've learnt, advice for newbies, fascinating facts etc - are also lots of fun. I read a brilliant post from Pam at Threading My Way just the other day talking about her 5 years of experience with her blog and how things have changed.

During this last year I added something new to my long list of creative pastimes - hand-lettering.

I don't really have time for another hobby but it was all the fault of the lovely & super talented Dawn from By Dawn Nicole! This time last year we were both guest contributors over on The Pinning Mama and Dawn had started her Art & Hand-lettering Class on Facebook. If you fancy having a go this is such a great place to start. Dawn has free downloadable practice sheets, freebies by email every month if you sign up, advice on what supplies you might want to try and loads more. There are a couple of Facebook and Instagram Daily Prompt Challenges each month and a really lovely supportive bunch of participants of all different levels. I've dabbled in the Monthly prompts a couple of times but haven't actually managed every day yet...
number 3 in many fonts

I had an interest in hand lettering years ago, I had this book back in the late 90's. 

It's been so much fun to revive my interest and attempt some once again. The styles have changed a bit now and there is so much inspiration around - I'm looking at you Instagram!
One of the best things about it is you can start with stationery you already have and then build up to fancy pens and the like later. 
I don't share much here because I don't think I'm very good (yet) and don't practice everyday either, even though I know that's the way to improve.
doodled number 3

Another first this past year was my invite to the Bloggers Breakfast at the CHSI In Stitches Show. It was great to meet some lovely fellow bloggers and see all the new innovations in the crafting world.

I participated in Me Made May for the first time this year too. It's a pledge to wear things you've made and share on Instagram.
You set your own pledge so it can be as much or as little as you want. I pledged to wear everything "me made" that I still have and I almost managed it. The weather wasn't playing ball though and a couple of summer dresses just never made it. The whole thing was so inspiring and I found a whole load of amazing sewists to follow for year round motivation. The only downside is taking all those photos of yourself in the garden feeling just a little bit silly. 

Thanks for visiting, I hope your last 12 months was filled with as much time for being creative as you would have liked. Here's hoping for the same in the next 12!
I'll be sharing over at these Link Parties

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Wedding Gift Wrap Nespresso Boxes

A fun wedding gift wrap idea for giving Nespresso capsules (or some other long thin boxes)
Bride and Groom gift wrap Nespresso boxes
I'm guessing that giving boxes of Nespresso capsules might be a really niche wedding gift. If you follow on Instagram you may have seen we are having a summer of weddings, we have 4 altogether, in a 7 week period! 
As you would expect I have a few wedding gift things to share. You can find a crochet flower gift wrap and romantic paper cut here, and today is quick gift wrap idea - just in case there is anyone else out there who is wanting to find a fun wedding way to gift wrap tall thin boxes.

I was inspired by something I found on Pinterest from a German Stampin' Up Demonstrators blog First Hand Emotion. They had made a Bride and Groom from tall thin boxes containing what I think is tall thin bottles of some sort of spirit. I have had to rely on Google Translate so I'm not entirely sure!
We needed to pack ours in a suitcase to take abroad so I simplified mine a little. You can check out their beautiful original idea here or pin it from here.

To make some like mine you will need:
  • white paper
  • black paper
  • scraps of white and glossy black card
  • 2 large paper doilies
  • a selection of papercrafting bits and pieces, gems, ribbon etc
Wrap your boxes, one in white paper and one in black. I only had white regular printer paper so my Nespresso box took 2 sheets to cover it.
If you are off to a traditional wedding, like we were, add details to make a traditional bride and groom as shown in the photos. But the beauty of this is that you can personalise these however you want to, so you can adapt the colour scheme, type of outfits, genders of the couple etc to suit.

The groom was pretty simple, I just cut a long thin triangle of shiny black card then added a slightly thinner triangle of white card on top. 
A teeny bowtie cut from black paper, some gem buttons and a gem flower from a broken earring finished him off.
Bride and Groom gift wrap boxes
To make the doily skirt for the bride I cut 4 shapes from paper doilies, 3 times the width of the box and half the length. My doilies were dinner plate size and I was able to get 2 from each.
I folded them over the box, then creased the sides back on themselves. The photos show this better than I can explain.
Then I just glued them onto each side of the box and added a bit of ribbon and a bow to cover the join. 
A few gems round the neck make a necklace and I added a few little flowers and gems to a punched shape with more ribbon to make the bouquet.
Bride and Groom gift wrap boxes
As we had to travel with them, we just made sure the groom was on the right so the bouquet overlapped onto that box and didn't get damaged. We put them head first (so the doily skirt didn't get creased) into a wine gift bag to keep them together and so we could add a gift tag as I didn't know where to write on them.
Wedding gift wrap Nespresso boxes
The couple loved them, they are big coffee drinkers and get a lot of use from their Nespresso machine.
I just want to apologise for the poor quality of these photos, I made them a little bit last minute and once you've given someone a gift you can't have it back for a second photo shoot!
It has just occurred to me that you could always fill tall thin boxes with something else, making this idea a little less niche "for Nespresso machine owners only" and a little more suitable for anyone.
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Button Envelope
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Monday, 1 August 2016

Crochet Flower Gift Wrap and a Romantic Papercut

I learnt to crochet years ago especially so I could make flowers! 
Crochet flowers for gift wrapping
Fortunately I discovered you can crochet all sorts of other things but sometimes I still like to rustle up a heap of crocheted flowers.
heap of crochet flowers
This lovely free crochet flower pattern comes from Annemarie's HaakBlog. These flowers are so quick and easy, each one takes about 10 minutes. You make them with just 3 rounds and then the middle petals are turned in through the centre hole which makes them sit forward nicely.
I've made mine with DMC Natura Medium yarn which is a lovely soft cotton that is an equivalent to an aran weight I think and I used a 4mm hook. 
My flowers have ended up approx 5cm or 2" in diameter.
This is another fabulous stash buster project, you can just use up whatever little bits you have left over from other projects.

I am planning to make a flower garland like the one on Annemarie's lovely blog but I needed a pretty pastel gift wrap idea for a wedding gift. We are having a summer of weddings this year, 4 in all! (I've been sharing bit from all these weddings over on Instagram and trying REALLY hard not to overdo it!). This was for wedding no.1 and the bride is a person who enjoys all sorts of crafts so I knew she would appreciate some crochet flowers (Is it bad that I wouldn't waste them on someone who wouldn't appreciate them???!)
I made them in the same way as the pattern but left a long tail at the beginning and again at the end, about 25" or so. You would have to vary that depending on the size of the gift.
Crochet flowers ready for gift wrap
When you finish one of these flowers the ends are both in pretty much the same place, the back looks like this:
To use these for gift wrapping I wanted the flowers to lay flat and the ends to be opposite each other, so I simply threaded one end onto a needle and through some of the loops on the back like so:
Then it was just a case of wrapping them twice round the wrapped gift and securing each one in a bow on the back. I did these one at a time, the ends are pretty long and it would be easy to get in a tangle it you tried to do them all at once!
Crochet flowers used or gift wrap
Photo credit C Nyanyo
We gave a jar of sweets too with a roll of card in the middle with money inside (which was the proper present) so to co-ordinate everything I added a flower to the jar too.
Crochet flowers used for gift wrap sweets in a jar
Photo credit C Nyanyo
The original idea of the sweets and roll of cash is one I saw on pinterest here years ago.
Crochet flowers for gift wrapping
Photo credit C Nyanyo
The card is just a little doodled thing inspired by several pretty doodles and designs l've pinned recently.
Crochet flowers used in gift wrapping
Photo credit C Nyanyo
The gift wrap paper I used was just white tissue paper so it has creased a little at the edges, if I were doing this again I would try to find a thicker, crisp wrapping paper.
The present inside was this papercut. 
Home is wherever I'm with you papercut
Anyone who follows on Instagram will have had a sneaky peek of this already. It's the bride and groom's favourite line from the song "Home" by Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros, with their initials and the wedding date tucked in at the bottom.
papercut wedding gift
It's not perfect by any means but it was made with love.
This wedding had so much prettiness going on, with a pastel colour scheme which I'd tried to match with the crochet flowers and sweets. So I'll finish with just a tiny glimpse of some of the loveliness from the day:

 
I'll be sharing over at these Link Parties
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Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Globe Makeover

Take an old kid's globe and give it a classy makeover with white spray paint and silver sharpie.
White and Silver globe makeover
I'm so pleased with this simple makeover. It started life as a charity shop purchase by our daughter for a uni project and it was just about to make it's way back to the charity shop when I thought it might be worth attempting a makeover. 
old globe ready for a makeover
I did a little looking around on pinterest for some inspiration (even made a globe board & pinned some Star Wars Death Stars just because!) and settled on trying something involving painting it white with some silver accents. This was an "evolve as it went along" project with no pressure because the globe had been on it's way out the door anyway.

To make one you need:
A old kid's globe
White matt spray paint
Silver spray paint
A silver sharpie
A fine black sharpie

Take the globe out of the stand.
Give it a coat of white matt spray paint. I just did this in stages, one side at a time.
White and Silver globe makeover

Whilst you can still make out the landmasses go over their outline using the black sharpie.
White and Silver globe makeover

Give it another couple of coats of white spray paint until it's evenly coated.
White and Silver globe makeover

At this point the bright colours should be all gone but you still should be able to make out the black sharpie lines faintly.
Now go over those landmass outline with your silver sharpie.
White and Silver globe makeover
Spray the stand silver and reassemble. Do this carefully so you don't scratch your nice new paint job.
White and Silver globe makeover
I'm loving this classy looking new globe, complete transformation!
Before and after globe makeover
The landmasses have become an approximation as some detail gets lost in the thickness of the pen. Some islands may have disappeared on mine, after the first coat of paint some areas were a little hard to make out. I apologise to Greece, Canada, Thailand and the Philippines as I know quite a lot of their little islands are missing on my globe now!
White and Silver globe makeover
This would work with any colour scheme I think, gold or bronze would look amazing. You could try spraying the whole globe with a metallic paint but I imagine only if you are not bothered about drawing in the land masses, I can't imagine that showing through the paint at all.
I did think about colouring in all the landmasses with the silver, I may still do that one day. Or maybe cover them in paper flowers, or glitter, or sequins....
All the top quality photos in this post were taken by our daughter, you can find her website here
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I'll be linking up this project at some of these lovely link parties