Blog Swap with Sumo's Sweet Stuff

Today is a very special day here at I Can Find The first blog swap!  And how lucky am I to be swapping with Summer from Sumo's Sweet Stuff?!?!  Crazy, I know!  She has such a great blog and is a real inspiration to me!  I hope you check out all her great projects!

Hello everyone!

I'm so excited to be guest posting over here today!

I'm Sumo, from Sumo's Sweet Stuff!

Sumo's Sweet Stuff

My real name is Summer, but my husband nicknamed me Sumo when we were dating. (Should I be offended?) Now he's got all of my family, as well as lots of our friends, calling me Sumo. I think Aunt Sumo sounds pretty great, don't you? I live in Utah with my husband, and our two beautiful daughters - Reece and Remi!

Growing up, I never used to be all that domestic or crafty, so I think no one is more surprised than my mom at how I've ended up where I am today! I started Sumo's Sweet Stuff last May as a place to keep some of my crafting projects so that my personal blog wasn't overrun with them. Somehow, that developed into a place to host giveaways, share tutorials, share recipes, and feature fellow bloggers' ideas and blogs! I also use my blog to promote my etsy shop, so if you're ever in the market for some baby girl accessories, come on over! Every Monday is Market Yourself Monday, where you can link up your latest projects, and visit other blogs to get some inspiration!
Sumo Sweet Stuff

Here's a little peek at some of the things you can find on my blog:

Three Tiered Shirts
T-Shirt Dress
Fabric/Elastic Headbands
You can find something every day of the week at Sumo's Sweet Stuff:

Market Yourself Monday
Tutorial Tuesday
Mouth-Watering Wednesday
Things to Try Thursday
Feature Friday
Showcase Saturday
Sponsor Sunday

I also am involved in a joint blogging venture - Win, Lose or Blog. If you aren't following already, you should get on over there and do so! We have a lot of great sponsors, and not all of the prizes donated are going to the contestants - they are also going to people who comment! Plus it's just nice to cheer for those lovely ladies. We're also starting to do some giveaways, so what's not to love? We'll be doing more seasons as well, so if you think you want to participate, you may get that chance in the future!

Thanks again for having me! I hope to see you all over at Sumo's Sweet Stuff soon!

How to make a Personalized Growth Chart

I am so happy to finally share with all of you one of my all time favorite projects.  This project is a big part of why I decided to start my own really made me feel like I had something unique and special to share with the world.  I want to show you how easy it can be to make a truly one of kind gift for your children....

a Growth Chart!
I used to love being measured as a child, and comparing the marks with my siblings and parents. Maybe it’s because we are all so tall (my sister and I are both 6’ tall), but I’m excited for my children to relive all those fun days we had with a pencil in the laundry room. There will be one major change though, this growth chart will be hung on the wall, and can be moved into a new house at any time. No more cutting out drywall, or worse: crying on moving day from leaving behind growth charts written right on the wall!
(Yes, you are seeing that correctly.  My 17 month old is already around 2' 9" tall!)

Since I finished this project before my blog existed I don't have a lot of good pictures to share with you of the step by step process, but I will sum it up here with any tips I learned along the way.

Supplies you'll need:
-a long and thin piece of wood.  I used an 11" x 48" piece of unfinished pine from the hardware store.  It was only about $7 and was lighter than the white finished shelving pieces I also considered.  Check out the scrap bin for even cheaper options.
-wood cutouts to spell your child's name (not required, you could always paint the letters on.  I got my 4" white letters from Michael's for $2 each)
-paint and brushes
-ribbon to hang it with
-other wood cutouts to match your theme (also not required)

The first step should be drilling the holes for the ribbon to hang the growth chart.  I did not do this until after Meredith's chart was painted and the drill caused a few splinters and the paint lifted off.  You definitely want to do this first!
There are an unlimited number of designs and patterns that you can use to paint your growth chart. Any google image search will give you lots of options for children's themes.  To paint the board, I needed three white base coats to cover the wood grain, and then two coats of blue for the sky. Next I added some simple green hills at the bottom, and some clouds at the top. A very simple background so the name and decorations will stand out.
For the letters, wanted a bright and eclectic look to her name, so I opted to paint each letter a different pattern using bright pinks and greens. This kept the look somewhat uniform, while adding a lot of charm and whimsy. And if you do a quick Google image search for painted wood letters you will get TONS of ideas on patterns and designs to paint on your letters.
(Can you tell how much I love Google images?) 
Here are some close ups of Meredith's letters...feel free to copy any of the patterns I used.

Once the letters are painted you can attach them to the background. I used a piece of blue painter’s tape to make sure the letters were straight and attached them using hot glue.
Once the letters are on, you can finish the rest of the chart. I added some 3-D flowers and butterflies painted to match the color scheme of the letters. These were less than a dollar from Michael's, and come in various shapes and sizes. I also painted one large flower right on the board.

When the background is all done, you’ll need to add the ‘ruler’ for the measurements. Since I am expecting my daughter to come in at least 6’ tall…I used 6’2” as the tallest height on the chart and went down from there. I only added numbers next to the foot increments, but you can label every inch if you’d like.

When the chart is all painted, spray it with a few coats of clear coat to seal the paint.

That's all there is too it!  One piece of wood and some paint and you can make a very special gift for a very special child in your life! 

You just have to find the time!
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How to turn anything into a Wristlet

I have a confession.  I am addicted to deals!

I have been on a 'Junking' bender these last few weeks to try to finish decorating this new house.  I am constantly on Craig's List looking for the perfect console table or arm chair.  I am in Goodwill every other Saturday hoping to score a deal during the 50% off sale. 

Side note, if you haven't been to Goodwill on the 50% off sale day it is an experience.  People are lined up before they open and it's a great way to get your "Black Friday" rush all year long.  LOVE IT!!

And since I'm usually scouring through racks of vases, or sorting through the mirrors stacked in the corner I have found that the big purses I adore are not working out so well.  Enter the wristet. 

I. Love. Wristlets! 

They are super functional and a great way to have everything you need with you and still use both hands to shop.  Genius.

While shopping at my local Target I stumbled upon their back to school section and what would soon become my favorite wristlet.  This beauty is being sold as a "multi zipper bag", but I saw potential for so much more.  I love the larger than normal size, and the 3 individual compartments. 
All that for only $2.50?  SOLD!

So here is a quick tutorial for how you can turn any small pouch into a wrislet in no time!

Supplies you'll need:
-small pouch
-coordinating scrap fabric (around 5"x16")
-seam ripper
-sewing machine

First, cut your scrap fabric to measure 5" x 16" (or as close as possible).  Fold the fabric in thirds length-wise and iron.  Fold the piece into thirds again and iron again.  You should now have around a 1/2" x 16" strip of fabric. 

Sew the strip of fabric right down the center with a straight or decorative stitch.  You can also use contrasting thread for a little more unique design.

Now that the strap is done, you'll need to attach it to the bag.  I recommend adding your strap to a seam near the top of the bag.  I prefer to have my strap near the zipper pulls when the zippers are closed, but you can add it to either side. 

Turn the bag inside out and find the seam where you want to attach the strap.  Using your seam ripper, open up the seam in the bag to the width of your strap.  Thread your strap into the opening, and leave about 1/2" to 3/4" of the ends sticking out. 

Resew the side seam of the pouch with the strap in it.  It will probably be pretty thick, so some hand sewing may be necessary. 

Turn the bag right side out and there you have it.  A quick sewing project to turn the perfect zippered pouch into a functioning wristlet.

You could use this idea to turn any pencil case, small makeup bag, or even a homemade pouch into a great wristlet.

You just have to find the time to make it happen!

Featured Projects

I have been very lucky to have quite a few of my projects featured on other blogs since I started I Can Find The Time…and I never really gave proper thanks for receiving such great praise. So I wanted to take a second to mention some of the amazing ladies out there who took the time to feature my projects this past week.

A HUGE thank you to Bree at My Crafty Crap for not only featuring my Sewing Machine Pin Cushion…but already making her own!! I was so excited to see her awesome orange pin cushion that I could hardly contain myself!
Simply Amazing!!!

Other great blogs who featured my Sewing Machine Pin Cushion:

button   Childmade  

My Matchbook Notepads also received some blog love from


Thank you all very much for featuring my projects…It really means a lot to me!

DIY Matchbook Notepads

I'm sure that most of you have lots of paper scraps laying around your craft room.  Some are worth keeping because they will end up in another scrapbook page, or on another handmade greeting card...but let's be honest...

Most of them never get used!

Maybe it's because the paper is too specific (Graduation Class of 2010, Silver wedding anniversary, etc.), or the scrap is too odd of a shape...or more likely because out of the million other scraps you have what are the odds you'll come back to that one? :)

So I came up with a project that anyone can do to reuse all those paper scraps...

Matchbook Notepads!

These notepads are perfect to keep in your purse, and in the glove box, and in your desk drawer, and by the phone.  Or as a set they can make a special hostess or white elephant gift-exchange gift.  So many uses that you won't have any problem cleaning out your scrap bin to make a few dozen!

Supplies you'll need:
- Decorative paper scraps (heavy or normal weight)
- Less pretty paper scraps (at least one blank side)
- Paper cutter or X-acto knife & ruler
- Sewing machine

Here are the paper scraps that I used from my daughter's 1st birthday party decorations...aren't the lovely?

The top 6 sheets were from an 8" by 8" paper pad, and were similar size scraps, so I decided to use them for this set of notepads.  You will want to cut your scrap pieces into a rectangle that is as close to a 1:2 proportioned ratio as possible.  For example, I ended up with an 8" by 3 3/4" strip of paper for each notepad.

Now that you have your outer strips you need to fold them twice to get this shape:

I always fold the short end first around 3/4" in from one end, then fold the other end of the paper to come about 1/4" inside that fold.  Once you've done the first one, use it as a template for the other pieces so they all create the same size middle section.

Now that you have your outer strip folded, measure and cut between 6 and 10 individual pieces of the less pretty paper to make the stack of paper in the notepad.  Again, make one to fit and use it as a template for cutting the rest.  The number of pages you can add per notepad will depend on your sewing machine, so you'll have to guesstimate the first time.

Here are my inner pieces:


(a special thank you to the free notepad from the off-site conference for having such perfect orange lines and for sacrificing yourself for the good of crafting! :) )

Now you will place 6 to 10 of the inner pieces in the small fold of the outer strip of paper and sew them into place.

**What did she say?!?!  You want me to sew...through paper...?!?!  Yes!  Don't be afraid, sewing paper is awesome!  Use your normal sewing machine, with a heavy duty needle and heavy duty thread.  I always loosen up and widen the stitches to make sure the tension isn't too high.  You should also back stitch at both ends of the seam, just like when you're sewing fabric.**

You will want to make sure that you sew at or inside the 1/4" mark so your paper flap will line up right and not pucker when the notepad is closed.

And the best part about sewing these together is that now each sheet of paper is perfectly perforated and will tear out much more easily than if you stapled or glued them.  Genius!

And that's all there is too it!  You now have a great idea for using up your paper scraps and making some great Matchbook Notepads!

I hope you can find the time to make some of these!

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Sewing Machine Pin Cushion

I have had this idea rolling around in my head for quite some time and I finally found the time to make it.

I want to show you how to make a super easy pin cushion that attaches right to your sewing machine.

If you are like me, you always pin your fabric before sewing to make sure it won't slip or bunch as you sew.  Well, I never had a convenient place to put a pin cushion so I could quickly remove the pins right before the needle went over them.  I was always fiddling with the magnet 'pin cushions' and trying to get them as close to the machine as possible so I could quickly drop the pins and not loose my spot sewing. 

So here is my solution...a quick tutorial on how to make a pin cushion to fit your machine that will tie right onto the arm of the machine and keep your pins close at hand.

Supplies you'll need:
-scrap pieces of fabric
-matching ribbon

You'll have to choose the shape for your pin cushion based on your sewing machine.  I utilized the long flat section under the reverse button on my machine to place my pin cushion, so I cut two pieces of scrap fabric to fit that shape. 

Then I measured around the arm of the machine where the pin cushion would be tied, and cut two pieces of 1/4" wide satin ribbon to a total of 1.5 times the circumference of the arm.  This will allow you ample room to tie the pin cushion on to the machine.

Once you have your fabric and ribbon cut, pin the fabric right sides together, adding the ribbon to the seams.  You'll want to sew about 90% of the outer seam (including over both ribbons), leaving the last inch or so open to stuff with stuffing.  It's really like making a throw pillow, but a miniature version with two ribbons sticking out.

Next, you'll turn the pin cushion right side out and use your scissors to push out the corners (if you have a square shape).

Add the stuffing through the opening and fill it up as much as you can.  Don't worry about putting too much stuffing in can't go wrong with really stuffing it full.

Finally, some quick hand sewing to close the seam and you're all set.  

In a few minutes you have a great accessory for your sewing machine that should make sewing that much easier.

I have since found out that I can also change the way my pin cushion sits and line it up on the inside of the arm.  This will probably be useful if I do any really intricate sewing and need to have the pins right next to my hand.

Here is a view of the back of the machine where the pin cushion is can see how you might have to account for the power cord and on/off switch when you choose your pin cushion placement.

I hope you enjoy this project and can find the time to make your own sewing machine pin cushion!
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