Friday, 21 July 2017

Inspired by - Comfy Flip Flops

Today another idea I've tried, inspired by another blogger. This time it's super comfy flip flops.
comfy flip flops
This was inspired by Kristen of Down Home Inspiration, she shared a little video back in 2014 showing how to make flip flops more comfy by swapping the plastic straps for stretchy fabric.
I have a love/hate relationship with flip flops, they are great for summer but some just really hurt my feet. It doesn't seem to matter what style, some rub and some don't, you just can't tell before you buy them which way it's going to go! 
I had a pair that were definitely in the 'rub my feet' category so with nothing to lose I chopped the plastic bits off and had a go. 
I used some jersey fabric left over from this top and just had enough. I didn't have quite enough to include the knot in Kirsten's version, my fabric wasn't quite long enough but it still worked out ok.
And here they are on my feet, on the beach last week.
comfy flip flops
 This is how they look without my feet in them!
comfy flip flops
They are SUPER comfy, it's amazing.
My only downside is I'm not sure how long the fabric with last before it wears through on the underneath where the knots are.
I wore these to walk down to the beach for 5 days and they are holding up just fine for now. You can see I didn't trim the fabric very close to the knots. You'd think it would make an uncomfortable lump but it doesn't seem to.
I think another time I would choose a fabric that actually matches with the foam flip flop bottoms! This time was an experimental 'just use what I have' situation!
If I want to take them on holiday for more than a week, I might take a few strips of spare fabric with me, just in case repairs are necessary. 
Get the full video tutorial on how to make them from DownHome Inspiration here.
My conclusion - definitely worth a go.

read more

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Block Craft Printed Cards

It's simple and fun to make an assortment of greeting cards using carved wooden printing blocks.
using block craft blocks to make greeting cards
This post is a review of products I received free of charge and contains my honest review.
A few weeks ago, I talked about the bloggers workshop I attended at the Stitching, Sewing and Hobbycraft Show at the NEC Birmingham. I mentioned the fab goody bag we bloggers were given and how many exciting goodies were in there. 
The lovely people at The Arty Craft Place had popped a wooden block printing starter kit into the goody bag. It contained a flower (or is it a sun?) carved wooden block, orange fabric paint, a piece of cotton fabric to practice on, a sponge, a foam mat and instructions.
Block craft starter kit
Well, I've been playing and today I have a few fun greeting cards ideas to share that I been able to make.
I tried the block printing on the fabric and onto card (the folks at the Arty Crafty Place say it works on either) I used textured card as well as smooth, which gave some interesting results.
I think I like the results on the fabric best, it was really easy to get a good print every time.
block craft printing
To make it washable you just iron it on the reverse, which I did do even though of course I'm not expecting anyone to wash these cards!  
The instruction advise you to always use the foam mat under whatever you are printing on. I found when I printed onto card the first time I pressed too hard and the card creased a little. So I tried without the foam.
No - don't do that! Just don't press too hard and the wooden blocks actually print beautifully. 
The prints onto the textured card were a little mottled as I would expect, I kind of like that look.

I trimmed the prints on the card and turned them into a selection of simple cards, just by stamping a greeting on some and mounting them using foam pads onto mini card blanks.
Block Craft Printed Cards
I experimented a bit with embellishing onto the prints, one with a few dots and doodles:
printed card with doodle
And one with some sequins, which I just glued on with PVA tacky glue:
print with sequins

After that I thought it might be fun to add some embroidery embellishment to the fabric prints.
embroidering onto prints
I tried a few different ideas, all very simple stitches, it didn't seem to need anything complicated. I just used regular DMC stranded embroidery thread and experimented with using 1 and 2 strands.
embroidery on prints
Then I just cut the fabric into squares with the fabric prints centrally and stitched them onto scraps of card the same size on the sewing machine. That way it was easy to mount the prints onto the card blanks as before. 
embroidery on block prints
embroidery on prints
Ta Dah!
Block Craft Printed Cards
Block Craft Printed Cards
Block Craft Printed Cards
This little matching gift tag was so easy. I just cut a basic tag shape, printed the design using the wooden printing block, punched a hole and added a little matching pom pom trim. 
Block Craft Printed gift tag
This gift tag is on the textured card, you can see what I meant earlier about that giving a more mottled look.

wooden Block  Printed Cards
I've loved playing with this carved wooden printing block, even with just one block and one colour of paint you can get different looks. I've got some more ideas of how I'm going to use this block next - it's not the last you've seen of it I'm sure! The Arty Craft Place have a blog with more ideas too if you want to check it out.

read more

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Handmade Monday #34

Welcome to another Handmade Monday link up, it's so good to have you join us this week. This is the place where we share our makes, bakes and other handmade craft ideas, find some new inspiration and connect with our fellow bloggers.

Have you all had a good week? I was away for a few days at the seaside so not much crafting time. I know some people take a project with them but I usually take holidays as a chance to read. I finished up A Storm of Swords (book 3 of A Song of Fire and Ice/Game of Thrones series) Oh my goodness, this is the book when all the things happen to all the people - I couldn't have put it down to stitch or crochet even if I had taken something with me!

I have a little cautionary tale for you all too. I took a cute little film with the Boomerang app of the waves coming in on the sand one evening. I was going to share it with you here and on Instagram. It was cute and it was summery ... Did you know you have to save Boomerang films if you don't share them straight away? Apparently I did not. No cute film to share :-( 

Never mind, let's get on with the features from last weeks linky, this week I've gone for a bit of a crochet theme:
This house from Kat Kat Katoen is just the cutest thing, that top window reminds me of a slice of Battenberg cake!
If you like little projects that use up scraps then you can't beat these little key rings from AnneMarie's Haak Blog. She shares links to free patterns for both the fish and the owl.

Congratulations to both of you, here is a "Yay! I was featured" button for your blog.



Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

Handmade Monday is all about building a craft community, please so take a few minutes to visit some of the other links, leave a comment, and maybe share your favourites on the social media of your choice if you can.
We have a facebook group where we share useful or interesting things so send a request if you'd like to join us. 

The rules for Handmade Monday are simple:
  • Did you make it? Yes - hooray, we'd love to see it!
  • Add the link to a specific blog post, not your main site URL.
  • Link up to 3 posts each week.
  • Mingle - visit some of the other links - comment - sharelet's support one another and grow our craft community.
If you're not sure on anything, more information can be found here.


read more

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Christmas Ornament Recycling

Got an old broken Christmas bauble? Here's how you could turn it into an all year round decorative ball.
Up date a broken Christmas ornament for all year round
What are these things called? Decorative balls, deco balls, ornamental spheres? I'm not sure but I know lots of people like to have a dish of them on the mantelpiece or side table.
We have a decorative dish with miscellaneous bits and pieces collected over the years so when one of our larger Christmas baubles had lost it's hanging bit, rather than just throwing it away, I gave it a little makeover so it can be on show all year round.
upcycle a broken christmas ornament
It was really simple, cost next to nothing and looks pretty.

To do the same you will need:

An old Christmas bauble or similar sphere (I guess you could splash out and buy a polystyrene ball at a push)
Mod Podge or PVA glue
A paper napkin/serviette
A paint brush
White paint
A cocktail stick or skewer
christmas ornament upcycle
Rip your paper serviette into pieces.
Stab the ornament with the cocktail stick to form a handle, then paint the whole thing with white paint and let it dry.
This give a nice base for the floral serviette, if you miss this step the colours from the old ornament can show through a bit.
Next apply a layer of Mod Podge and apply the pretty floral paper serviette pieces. As the serviette is very flimsy just dab it on, don't fuss it too much. Less is more here!Christmas ornament recycling
Finally cover with another layer of mod podge to seal and leave it to dry. I stabbed mine into my pin cushion as you can see.
Once it's dry remove the cocktail stick and you are ready to pop your new decorative ball/sphere on display.
Christmas ornament recycling
Our bowl has an eclectic mix, some bits of pot pourri, shells, beads, a metal wire mandala relaxation thingy (that I bought in a street market in Saint Tropez in 1986 and thought was the coolest thing ever!) and a wooden egg that belonged to my nan. No idea what the wooden egg was for but I like it! 
Christmas ornament recycling
recycle broken Christmas ornaments to enjoy all year round
These are affiliate links, if you make a purchase when clicking through from here Sum of their Stories will receive a small commission. The cost to you is the same.
Shop this post UK:


Shop this post USA:

read more

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Handmade Monday #33

Hello everyone, welcome to this weeks Handmade Monday Craft Link up.
It's great to have you join us this week for another craft link up. This is the place where we share our makes, bakes and other handmade craft ideas, find some new inspiration and connect with our fellow bloggers.

Is everyone ok? All ready for another week?

It's lovely to see how Handmade Monday is growing with new faces joining us most weeks and 'old' faces returning (you all know that I don't mean your faces are old right?! #awkward) 
Thank you all for supporting Handmade Monday. 
Don't forget to stop by and visit a few other folks. It doesn't take long and everyone likes a comment or two!
Lots of you are sharing one another's projects on various social media's during the week. You know who you are and you are wonderful people! 

Now on to the features from last weeks linky:
Liz from Howling at the Moon is on a mission to make things she has pinned on pinterest and has made some great things over the last few months. I LOVE this unicorn pendant that she shared with us last week.

Ann from The Apple Street Cottage showed us how to make this flamingo planter.  I feel this might be one of those 'every home should have one' type things, I think I should very much like a world full of flamingo shaped planters!
Congratulations to both of you, here is a "Yay! I was featured" button for your blog.



Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

Handmade Monday is all about building a craft community, please so take a few minutes to visit some of the other links, leave a comment, and maybe share your favourites on the social media of your choice if you can.
We have a facebook group where we share useful or interesting things too so send a request if you'd like to join us. 

The rules for Handmade Monday are simple:
  • Did you make it? Yes - hooray, we'd love to see it!
  • Add the link to a specific blog post, not your main site URL.
  • Link up to 3 posts each week.
  • Mingle - visit some of the other links - comment - sharelet's support one another and grow our craft community.
If you're not sure on anything, more information can be found here.


read more

Friday, 7 July 2017

Inspired By - Upcycled shirt bags

It's SO easy to make useful little bags from old shirts, perfect for traveling or just at home for containing all the things!
Upcycled shirt bags
Every now and again I see an idea on another site that is just too good not to try. Sure, I pin A LOT of stuff on Pinterest that I may/may not ever get to, but some of those pins do actually get made. 
So I'm starting a new feature here at Sum of their Stories - Inspired by: - so I can share with you the "saw it, pinned it, did it" projects. They won't be long posts with lots of step by step instructions because you'll be using the link to the original inspiration if you want to try them out too. Just a few photos to show how it all went.
Starting this "Inspired by:" feature off is this mind blowingly simple idea from the fabulous Pam at Threading My Way. She called them "Easiest Travel Storage Bags You'll Ever Make" and she's not wrong!

I started with this fabulously red shirt. I have a whole bunch of these, donated to me by my brother when he changed jobs.
Upcycled shirt bags
I was able to get 3 bags from the shirt.
Upcycled shirt bags
I just made various sizes as Pam suggested.

The littlest one has the flap opening the wrong way really but this was the placket opening bit on the sleeve so because of where the seam was it couldn't be helped. I think it'll be fine.
Upcycled shirt bags
These bags didn't use all the shirt, I also managed to get 3 metres of bias binding (with my fab new bias binding gadget) and a few flags for some more bunting that I'm making out of it. 
Upcycled shirt bags
They really are the simplest things to make. Pop over to Threading My Way to see just how easy it is.

read more