Category: aprons

The Friday Fifteen: Halloween Monster Mash!

They did the mash... they did the MONSTER MASH...

Really, I wasn’t planning on doing more than one Friday Fifteen this month. But the way it worked out, I just had to. There’s so much going on!

So let’s all get down & do the Monster Mash with Frankenstein & his bride…

The Friday Fifteen: Halloween Monster Mash!

  1. Look at these STUNNING Halloween macarons! Such intricate work. Some of the most beautiful decorating I’ve ever seen. And so small.
  2. I haven’t carved my jack-o-lantern yet, it’s a smidgen too early (I usually wait until the 25th or 26th at the earliest). But I’m getting inspired. Maybe I’ll go with something simple like this (via Martha Moments). Or perhaps something spookier… like this (via Miller Creative Designs).
  3. Speaking of spooky: blood spatter cupcakes, anyone? Paging Dexter Morgan. Your Halloween cupcakes have arrived. Ugh. Now I’m sad Dexter is over… but NO I HAVE NOT SEEN THE ENDING YET SO SHUT UP.
  4. If you, like me, have an obsession with all things Day of the Dead, then you’ll have to make these black velvet cupcakes with marigold colored frosting. Seriously. The hand-painted white chocolate sugar skulls aren’t mandatory… but they sure are fun.
  5. I have a recipe for Pan de Muerto as well.
  6. And of course, tres leches coconut cupcakes.
  7. You all know by now that not only is Halloween my favorite holiday, but I love decorating for it. And I love this spider pillow from parismarketplace on Etsy. It’s not too over the top but it still screams Halloween!
  8. But if you’re interested in Halloween decor that’s a bit more… *ahem* straightforward… then how about this coffin couch via VonErickson? Now that definitely screams Halloween. Or, alternative lifestyle choice. Whichever. Either way it’s pretty awesome.
  9. And while we’re talking about Etsy, since I’m currently figuring out & deciding what kind of “wedding” (if any) we’re going to have, this Hallowedding blog piece by Amy Lynn Harvey got me really excited. Now I’m thinking October is a great time of year to get hitched.
  10. For years now, I’ve been wanting to make Martha’s black candy apples. Maybe this will finally be the year!
  11. Sweater pumpkins
  12. American Horror Story: Coven. Dudes. DUDES.
  13. These free printable Halloween cupcake toppers by Johanna Parker Design are insanely awesome! Very retro-looking.
  14. Three words- Black Magic cocktails. I don’t think I need to say more.
  15. My last favorite thing for this week? My chalkboard door…

My chalkboard front door!

This photo is from earlier in the month (obviously). I had some Rust-Oleum chalkboard paint left over from a few projects & last month I decided to paint the back of my front door with it. I had already painted the front of it black with a different regular latex paint (also Rust-Oleum), and I had been planning on painting the back of it black since I painted the rest of the doors off of the hallway black. But once I thought of using the chalkboard paint & looked on Pinterest to see how other people did it (the whole door vs. a framed-out chalkboard), it was over. I’m kinda sorta obsessed with chalkboard paint anyway, but this takes it to a new level! So far, it’s mainly a running to-do list for house stuff. But once that’s done it’ll be whatever we want it to be! There will probably ALWAYS be a quote… I love quotes.

If you’re thinking about doing this, I say DO IT. It’s fun & awesome.

 

Tea towel apron D.I.Y.

Also known as: sewing for the lazy & talentless.

I’m going to preface this by saying that yes, I went to F.I.T., also known as the Fashion Institute of Technology, for Fashion Design. This is true. Yes, I have a dressmakers mannequin in my house, which you will see shortly. And yes, I spent a good many hours seated at a massive industrial sweatshop-style sewing machine, once even witnessing a girl sew her fingers together. This is all true. And yes, I also took draping & patternmaking classes. I did very poorly in them, though, to be quite honest. Yes, I also made my own dress with a Peter Pan collar, skirt with a zipper up the back & light summer-weight coat. Yes, I did also create patterns for a business suit with a Batman-style collar & fishtail skirt out of muslin. But they weren’t exactly loved by the faculty. Not the design aspect- but the patterns (and consequently the poor sewing of said patterns) themselves. My strong suit was not the actual making of the clothes, but the designing. And yes- Professor Wong made it quite clear that in order to DESIGN them well one must understand how to CREATE them well. I understand.

That’s also why I transferred to Fashion Illustration shortly thereafter. I make a better artist than seamstress, and I despise patterns.

However, that’s not to say I can’t do some damage with a needle & thread. I’ve made- all sewn by hand, mind you- skirts, shirts, handbags & scarves. I spend a fair amount of my time sewing Jay’s police uniforms as well. I’ve had a sewing machine of my own in the past, but it wasn’t a very large or expensive one & all it was good for was straight seams on thin fabric. Investing in a really good machine for me would be dangerous. First of all, I might injure myself or sew my own pants to whatever it is I’m trying to make, and second, it’s very possible I might become obsessed and never stop making things.

Make your own half-apron out of a tea towel! Insanely simple, and can be sewn by hand or with a machine!Gettin’ myself all ready to be crafty!

Then nobody would eat, and this would become a sewing blog. In the words of Sweet Brown: “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

So because of all this, I rely on the professionals to make my aprons, as a rule. I have beautiful vintage ones, gorgeous Jessie Steele ones, whimsical Anthropologie ones and amazing aprons handmade for me by the wonderful Yoyo of topstitch.org. I love them all to bits, but sometimes I feel guilty wearing a stunning apron & then getting it covered in wet flour (which basically becomes a super glue once it dries) & other messy stuff. I mean, let’s be honest- they’re too pretty to get really dirty. And when I make strawberry or cherry jam, and I know I’m going to get splattered on, I actually avoid wearing one of my super cute aprons because of that. ‘Cause I know I’ll NEVER get the stains out, and I’ll be crazy sad for the rest of my life (especially since every apron I own is either one of a kind, vintage or limited edition, so I can’t replace them). However in my internet travels, I happened upon this blog post with a how-to on making your own tea towel apron, and I thought “Oh crap! I HAVE that tea towel!” One Ikea shopper can spot another, you know. Then, I was surfing the internet & found this post. I figured that the fact that I found these two posts within a short amount of time was kind of kismet, and anyway, Yoyo is always saying how fun it is to make half-aprons from tea towels, and it seemed so stupidly easy, so I thought I’d give it a shot.

I went out, bought some ribbon and made one with that very same Ikea tea towel.

D.I.Y. tea towel apron: super easy to make, takes about 15 minutes if you sew it by hand!

I love it.

I’m not afraid to get it dirty & wipe my disgusting dough-&-batter covered hands all over it.

How to make your own tea towel half-apron using just ribbon & a towel. No sewing machine required!

Yet it’s still cute! It actually looks like a skirt from the front, not an apron. Functional yet still adorable… sounds good to me! Plus, it took me basically 15 minutes to make it by hand. If I had used grosgrain ribbon (easier to fold than satin) & had a sewing machine, it would’ve been finished in 5. It’s that easy. It makes a great gift, too. Maybe for a wishing well gift; make the apron and give that plus the three other towels from the pack with some wooden spoons. I’d even dip the ends of the wooden spoons in a paint to match.

What you need: 1 tea towel (or one piece of fabric cut to 21″ x 27″ and hemmed 1″ around), 1 spool of wide ribbon (thin ribbon doesn’t quite work) needle & thread (or sewing machine). Any tea towel will work, as long as it’s cotton or linen. Don’t use those terry cloth ones or ones that feel like a bathroom towel. Ikea has a ton of options; from the set I got mine from to fancier ones. I personally love the cupcake printed ones, the rose print/pink gingham or the multi-colored stripes. And they’re all inexpensive yet they look beautiful. But you can buy yours anywhere! Even the dollar store.

Okay… so here’s the how-to, direct from Slow Mama:

  • Cut two pieces of ribbon for your ties that are one and a half yards long each. For each piece of ribbon, put a quarter-inch fold in one end, then fold again and press (this will keep your cut edge from unraveling). On the back of your towel, align the folded end of each ribbon along the top edge of the towel so that the folded section is centered over the towel’s side seam. (I set it up so the wider edge of the towel went around my waist)
An insanely easy Do-It-Yourself apron made from an Ikea tea towel!Very simple to do this with fabric as well. Just cut & hem it to size (the size of the towels are 20″ x 26″) and then sew your ribbon on.

  • On your sewing machine, position the needle over the seam of the tea towel, then stitch a few lines back and forth over the ribbon (this will hide your new seam from the front). If sewing by hand, the same principle applies. See photo above. Repeat for both sides.
  • Try on the apron to check the length of your ties and trim as needed, then put the same fold in the free end of each tie and stitch those closed, too. If you want, you can switch thread color to match the ribbon. I didn’t. Also, using satin ribbon makes the folding harder, unless you iron it first- which I didn’t. Grosgrain would make it slightly easier… but either way, it’s really not that big of a deal. I stitched just the sides, but you can stitch across if you like. Or use a serger to prevent the ribbon ends from fraying.

The easiest apron tutorial on the internet. 15 minutes from start to finish, even if sewing by hand!

And that’s it! Your basic apron is done. Now you can add things if you want; add a pocket made from another towel, add a monogram, etc Also, just a random thought, but if you’re making it for a little girl (or boy!), depending on their size you could make a full apron from this tea towel. It wouldn’t be that hard to just turn it around the other way, sew some ribbon for around the neck and then sew some halfway down for the waist. You could also use slightly thinner ribbon. Make one for you, then make one to match for your little one!

Big thanks to Yoyo, Simple Simon & Company & Margaret Cabaniss from Slow Mama for the inspiration to finally make one of these. It was so quick & fun, I might just make more.

So what do you guys think… should I post more D.I.Y. stuff or household-y stuff on here? Or should I stick to the edibles?

Black velvet, sugar skulls & a Sourpuss giveaway!

COMMENTS ARE NOW CLOSED! THE GIVEAWAY IS OVER!

and the winner is…#50!  Kate G!

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*** Congrats Kate! I’m e-mailing you right now. And thanks to everyone else who entered. I hope to do another giveaway soon… ***

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BOY, are you all lucky this week. Cupcakes the other day, cupcakes today. It’s a cupcake-palooza around here… which is appropriate, given my blog name. But I will admit that in general, I haven’t been posting as many cupcakes as I should lately. I’ve been distracted with other goodies & yummies & I’ve kinda been neglecting the cupcakes.

Before I start going off on my tangents, lets get one thing straight right away: this entire post is going to be a big lovefest. It’s ALLLLLL about things I love. You’re going to see me write that over and over and over again, and I do apologize. Both for my repetition, my lack of other suitable words for the circumstances and also for beating you over the head with it. Are you ready?

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I love Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead. It’s one of my favorite things about this time of year; along with Halloween, spooky things, black cats everywhere, fall leaves, vampires, apples & pumpkins. Just in case you live under a rock:

Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where it is a national holiday, and all banks are closed. The celebration takes place on November 1, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased.

Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. The holiday has spread throughout the world: In Brazil, Dia de Finados is a public holiday that many Brazilians celebrate by visiting cemeteries and churches. In Spain, there are festivals and parades, and, at the end of the day, people gather at cemeteries and pray for their dead loved ones. Similar observances occur elsewhere in Europe, and similarly themed celebrations appear in many Asian and African cultures.

The Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico can be traced back to the Indigenous Pagan cultures. Rituals celebrating the deaths of ancestors have been observed by these civilizations perhaps for as long as 2,500–3,000 years.[1] In the pre-Hispanic era, skulls were commonly kept as trophies and displayed during the rituals to symbolize death and rebirth.

The festival that became the modern Day of the Dead fell in the ninth month of the Aztec calendar, about the beginning of August, and was celebrated for an entire month. The festivities were dedicated to the goddess[2] known as the “Lady of the Dead”, corresponding to the modern Catrina.

In most regions of Mexico, November 1 honors children and infants, whereas deceased adults are honored on November 2. This is indicated by generally referring to November 1 mainly as Día de los Inocentes (“Day of the Innocents”) but also as Día de los Angelitos (“Day of the Little Angels”) and November 2 as Día de los Muertos or Día de los Difuntos (“Day of the Dead”).[3]

-Wikipedia

Basically, it’s about life, despite the name. It’s about celebrating the lives of those we love who have passed on. What a beautiful concept. It’s bright, it’s colorful, it’s happy, it’s fun. It bridges that great divide between the dead & the living, and it keeps them in our thoughts through a celebration of their lives as opposed to the sadness of their deaths. I see nothing bad in that, at all. I find it to be a revelation, actually, compared to the stodgy, stuffy, overly melancholy grieving process of my Catholic childhood. I love to celebrate my ancestors & their lives, as opposed to just remembering them at the ends of their lives. In years past, I’ve not only made an altar, but I’ve celebrated by making tres leches cupcakes & Pan de Muerto. I have a hand painted Mexican sugar skull (Jay has one too, kinda like our version of Yin & Yang), and I have sugar skull printed pillows, etc. Suffice it to say I’m big into it, especially the sugar skull iconography.

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So that’s one more thing I love. Sugar Skulls. Any size, shape, colors, theme. I love them all. I want to collect a variety of them, but they’re hard to find here in New York. Hey, are you tired of what I love yet? No? Good, ’cause there’s more. Who’da thunk it that I actually do LIKE so many things?

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‘Cause you wanna know snother thing I love? Sourpuss Clothing. I’ve loved them for four years now, ever since they first contacted me to send me products to review back in 2008. I’m obsessed with their housewares department- don’t get me wrong, I love Crate & Barrel, I love Williams-Sonoma, and I love Pottery Barn too. But sometimes a gal like me, with my skull obsession & my mohawk, yearns for something more… offbeat… for my kitchen decor. And those mainstream stores will usually only carry creepy or “weird” things around Halloween. Well, that’s great, but what if I want a zombie cutting board in June? Or Frankenstein & his bride salt & pepper shakers in February? I go to Sourpuss, that’s what!

But you know, there’s one more thing I love: cupcakes. You knew that already, though. But sugar skulls on cupcakes? FORGET IT. Love it times a million. I’ve made cupcakes with little sugar skulls on them before, but why not repeat something when it’s a good thing? Thanks to Wilton for the awesome skull mold and beautiful food coloring gel that I used in this post. I made the frosting marigold color because marigolds are the traditional flowers of Dia de los Muertos, and are actually known as the flowers of the dead. (side note: they’d be great for Halloween too, with bright orange frosting)

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BLACK VELVET DAY OF THE DEAD CUPCAKES (taken from here)

Makes about 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) of black liquid McCormick food coloring (or possibly less if you’re using Americolor)
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar

Directions:

  1. Line your cupcake tins with liners and set aside. Preheat your oven to 350° degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl sift the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, mix the food coloring and cocoa powder until completely incorporated. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer) cream the butter and sugar on medium high speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg, and beat until thoroughly combined, being sure to scrape down the sides.
  4. Add the vanilla and the red food coloring-cocoa mixture and beat well to combine. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, beat on medium speed until combined, then add 1/2 of the buttermilk, and beat until incorporated.
  5. Add another 1/3 of the flour, beat well, then the other half of the buttermilk, scraping down the sides after each addition. Finish with the last 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat until just combined.
  6. In a small bowl, mix the vinegar and baking soda, and immediately add to batter. Mix on high speed for just a few seconds until evenly dispersed, and pour right away into lined cupcake pans, about halfway, maybe 2/3 full.
  7. Bake for about 20-30 minutes, until a toothpick entered into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack.
  8. Cool completely before frosting.

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They’re beautiful, aren’t they? Deep, dark, black cupcakes. Bright marigold colored buttercream and a pretty little white chocolate handpainted skull. Delicious & pretty to look at, a great combination. And the inspiration for them ain’t too shabby either, right? Look at the pattern:

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Would you like your own set? I bet you would.

In this giveaway, one lucky winner will get the ADORABLE Skulls in Love apron. I’m sorry I couldn’t get a decent photo of it for you, but it’s hard taking self-portraits that are full-on body shots; even with my awesome camera & tripod. Either way, the apron is super adorable & the winner will love it. But it’s not just that, oh no. They’ll also get a matching kitchen set (oven mitt & pot holder) & tea towel as well as a skull bowl and a matching bank too. Perhaps for saving up to buy a KitchenAid mixer? Or to upgrade your old hand mixer? Use it to hold your latte fund? Or maybe the “bad language tax” collection for your kids? Whatever. It doesn’t matter what you use it for. It’s cute, that’s the point. And it all matches & coordinates with the bowl. A little girl skull bowl with a bow, and a boy skull bank with a top hat. I die (no pun intended) of the cuteness. I used the bowl to house my handmade tissue paper marigolds (like I said, they’re the traditional flower of Dia de los Muertos & it’s also tradition to make them out of paper), but you can use it for anything. Flowers, candy, a planter. So did you get all that? ONE winner gets an apron, tea towel, kitchen set, bowl and bank. Jackpot!

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ALL YOU HAVE TO DO TO ENTER IS COMMENT. Leave a comment here telling me why you love the Day of the Dead, too. What does it mean to you? Why can you relate to it? I’ll choose a winner at random via random.org on October 25th at midnight, EST. I’m doing this for ONE week exactly so that the winner has a better chance of getting their prize in time for Dia de los Muertos. As far as the winner goes: commenting on the Sourpuss blog or Facebook is invalid, as is a reply on Twitter. You must comment here to be entered. For an optional second shot at winning, tweet the following:

I just entered to win a Dia de los Muertos sugar skull apron/kitchen set/& more from @SourpussBrand & @CupcakeRehab! http://cupcakerehab.com/2012/10/black-velvet-cupcakes-sugar-skulls-a-sourpuss-giveaway/

Just copy & paste the above phrase, post it on Twitter, and then come back & comment a second time. That’s two chances to win. Optional third chance: share the link for this post (see the icon below) on Facebook and then come back & tell me. That’s three chances. Only the first one is mandatory to enter. The other two are just added extras.

But.. there’s ONE MORE thing. For an optional fourth bonus entry, get a friend to come here & enter. If you comment telling me who your friend is, you get a fourth entry, and they get an entry for themselves when they comment (maybe more, if they choose to use the Twitter and/or FB entries as well). So what are you waiting for? Go… get to commenting!

Sources & credits: Bakelite red-handled cutlery; vintage.

SHABBY APPLE APRON WINNER!

As promised, the giveaway ended today and I picked a winner earlier this morning. Drumroll, please…

CONGRATULATIONS TO  TANIA FROM LOVE BIG, BAKE OFTEN! According to random.org, she won the Wildberry Pie apron from Shabby Apple! Okay, now Tania is a blog-friend of mine, but her number actually came up, no kidding. Just so you know that the winner was picked fair & square and that there’s no shenanigans, here’s the proof (in the form of screenshots).

I always play fair and square, and the winner is the winner. But really, that’s a perfect example of why you enter more than once, people! Tania won because she used all five of her possible entries! This is the lovely prize she’ll be getting in the mail shortly:

Huge thanks to Shabby Apple for hosting this giveaway, big thanks to everyone who entered, and congrats again to Tania. Seriously, my readers are the effin’ BEST blog readers/fans ever. EVER. You make me so happy, I love you all & I wish I could give every one of you a hug, a cupcake & an apron. But for everyone who didn’t win, don’t forget- there’s a coupon code so you can buy your own apron (or dress, or whatever) for 10% off. The code is “cupcakerehab10off” and it expires in a little less than a month (July 24th). Treat yourself!

I’m planning on doing a lot more giveaways in the future, and I usually do one for Cupcake Rehab’s blogiversary in September, so I expect you all to come back & enter again. To all my fellow Americans, have a great holiday weekend! See you guys back here next week.

A not-too-shabby giveaway from Shabby Apple!

When Darla from Shabby Apple asked me if I’d be interested in doing a giveaway, my response was pretty much HELL YES. Well, that was my internal response, externally I attempted to be a bit less extreme. But I was so incredibly excited to share this website with you guys, my awesome-amazing-fantastic-terrific-wonderful readers and not only just share the website… but actually GIVE YOU something from the website! Before I get to that- how cute is the name Shabby Apple?

Shabby Apple, in case you aren’t familiar with it, sells the most beautiful clothing & vintage-y retro inspired clothing, (and aprons, which I’ll get to in a minute); dresses & maternity dresses, little girl’s clothes, swimwear, fitness wear and gorgeous jewelry & accessories. I was just talking a few days ago about how “old fashioned” I am, and then bam! I find out about this site. Talk about kismet. My personal favorites: this adorable retro navy blue sailor dress, this super cute striped jersey dress, and of course, this black one (with a great name, Mary Jane Watson!). Lucky for you, this awesome site found me, liked my blog and wanted to share some of the delightful-ness of their merchandise with my readers!

So, I chose, just for you, my lovely readers/fans/followers/stalkers/etc… my favorite of the aprons, the Wildberry Pie empire waist apron, which was featured in USA Today. Yes, the winner of this giveaway will receive this gorgeous apron, retail value: $38.00 US.

Super adorable, right? And oh, oh, what’s that on the wall? Oh yeah. That’s right- a cupcake!


A bright patch of colorfully printed poplin provides the perfect backdrop for your wildest culinary creations. Detailed with contrasting pattern at the tie-back waist and halter straps, and pleating at the empire waist, this full bib apron will keep your sundresses spotless while you conjure up another kitchen miracle.

That’s us, right readers? Whipping up kitchen miracles. And the apron. I know. Totally & completely cute. Even cuter? The little story that’s included with the apron on the website:

Clutching the copy of The Joy of Cooking I had pilfered from my great aunt’s bookshelf as if it would somehow protect me, I walked up to the door of the guest house with all the grace and courage I could muster, and opened the door. A fresh breeze blew in off Lake Michigan, filling the airy entryway with the bouquet of scents that make up Door Country limestone beaches, smoking fish, pitch pines and midwest tradition. I breathed it in. This was not a vacation; this was a test.

I had prepped for weeks for this, the first encounter with the future in-laws and their extended family a whole gaggle of gracious ladies and hungry gentlemen from scattered points around flyover country as they descended on Sturgeon Bay for the Fourth of July. It was a longstanding family tradition of lounging, fishing, and eating obscene amounts of the women’s blue ribbon prize-winning home cooking, culminating in the family’s giant Independence Day feast, where the best of the best was on display for everyone’s viewing, and eating, pleasure.

I was assigned the pie. The test to see if the girl from the big city could be a proper wife and keep their loving son fed. (Apparently my vast knowledge of the best and cheapest places to eat out in New York didn’t count) The only small problem was I had never actually made a pie. So for weeks I practiced, watching YouTube videos of Julia Child or Martha Stewart whipping up extraordinary pastries and following along in my tiny galley kitchen, only to turn out crusts that could chip your teeth or filings so sticky you could barley swallow them. None of this was helped by my fiancee’s constant whistling of “Can she bake a cherry pie?”

I made my way down the hallway of my bungalow and into the kitchen, the sense of fear and dread welling up inside of me. But there on the counter was a little bundle tied up with string, my name handwritten on the outside of an envelope. I opened it.

Someone wise once said, “Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.” I think the trick is to look good doing both, thought these would help. Good Luck! Aunt Sue

I undid the bundle. Inside was a sweet, handmade vintage apron, and two index cards stapled together, with “TOP SECRET: 4th of July Boysenberry Pie” written at the top. I put on the apron, tying its rick-rack apron strings behind my back in a big bow, pulled the butter from the fridge, and took a deep breath.

Did that story draw you in? Make you want to know more? Make you want to make a wildberry pie of your own? Especially while wearing this apron?

Thought so.

Me too. But what I bet is that right about now you really want to know how you can win this Shabby Apple apron, dontcha? I bet you’re dying to get your hands on it. I don’t blame you. Here’s one more view, from the back, for you to revel in the cuteness. Polka dot trim!

Yeah, you want it. Okay, so here’s the deal. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents ONLY (sorry international peeps, I’ll get ya next time). What you eligible U.S. residents are going to do is the following:

  1. Leave a comment here stating (briefly) why you relate to the apron’s story above. Short & sweet is good, no novels please! Also, make sure you leave me a valid e-mail address, I’ll need it to contact you if you win!
  2. Optional ways of getting additional entries: Follow me on Twitter, follow Shabby Apple on Twitter and become a fan of both Cupcake Rehab & Shabby Apple on Facebook, then come back here & comment again.
  3. You have exactly one week from today to do so. Comments will be closed as of midnight EST, July 2nd, 2011.
  4. Then, thanks to random.org, I’ll choose a winner. Ta-da!
  5. For those of you who do not win, since there will only be one winner… there’s a coupon code for you, so you can buy your own apron, 10% off. The code is “cupcakerehab10off” and it expires in one month.

That’s all. Easy peasy. So go on, get to entering!

Aprondiculously cute.

Today’s post just so happens to be a non-recipe post. I mentioned I’d show it off the other day, so I’m just here to share my newest apron addition from Lover Dovers Clothing on Etsy, a surprise gift courtesy of an awesome friend. This brings my apron count up to… 12? 13? Something like that. I think Lover Dovers might just have matched Jessie Steele (if not slightly edged them out) in cuteness. For example: they sell an Alice in Wonderland apron, Snow White apron, I Love Lucy apron, and- get this- A WONDER BREAD APRON!!! Not to mention the apron dresses for little teeny girls. They’re so über cute I can’t even think of a word for them. Anyway here I am, modeling my lovely new addition!

And please do not comment & say I look like P!nk, Katy Perry or Kelly Osbourne. Thanks in advance.

I feel like I should be singing “The hiiiiills are aliiiiiive with the souuuund of muuuusic…” in this one…


That button? That’s a special inside thing right there *wink* & the other one is a picture of me drawn by a friend!


Isn’t my Tiffany’s cupcake necklace cute? I love it. Speaking of jewelry, for anyone out there who has a nose piercing, and who likes to change it somewhat often, that hoop is amazing because it’s not closed, it’s like a half-moon shape. Actually, ¾ moon shape. Anyway it’s really easy to change without fussing with a bead/ball or making sure it’s completely closed like with continuous rings, and it’s extremely affordable. Just a little tidbit from me to you, my pierced (or not pierced) public. OH! Remember back, like way over a month ago, when I said I couldn’t find the photos of my second try at the white velvet butter cupcakes?

Well I did. *big cheesy smile* Here they are!

Spiffy purple liners from Bake It Pretty, edible white glitter from Divine Baking Supplies

Don’t even ask how I misplace photos. They just ran into the wrong folder on my hard drive, that’s all… now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Baker’s Delight.

It’s like rappers delight, without all the hippin’ and hoppin’, but with a whole lot of mixin’ & bakin.’

So, wow, it’s December already! ‘Tis the season to go shopping! If you’re looking for a gift for the baker (or cook) in your life, then here are some ideas to help you out. It’s just a short list this year, because I’ve been busy, and sadly haven’t been able to add all that I wanted to, but enjoy it anyway! Really, it’s just a little wishlist of my own (save for the mixer which I already have) and I just thought there might be others out there like myself who’d want the same things. So here’s my Top 10 Holiday Gifts (for the baker in your life) of 2010!

I’ll have a new recipe for you all next week, but in the meantime… take notes! Psst: these ideas apply ONLY to women (or certain types of men, I suppose) who love and live to cook or bake. I take no responsibility for you buying your wife or girlfriend a stand mixer only to have your clothes thrown out in the street because she wanted a lame Dooney & Bourke or whatever.


CATEGORY 1:

USEFUL THINGS that are pretty…

Now as far as Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa/Solstice/New Year’s/Birthday/Anniversary/etc gifts go, one of my personal all-time favorites is the Kitchen Aid stand mixer. *cue angel’s singing*

The Kitchen Aid Artisan stand mixer is an investment, built to last. If you know someone who’s been wanting one, let me tell you: it’s worth the money. You’ll get your money’s worth AND MORE. I’ve heard of people who have their parents Kitchen Aid’s, and they still work! At $299.99 (and free ground shipping), it’s an amazing holiday gift no one will forget. I showed it in Empire Red because of the holiday, but there are so many other beautiful colors (I’m partial to my pink one, she’s become such a huge part of my life she’s even all over my website!) including silver, cornflower blue, boysenberry, caviar, yellow pepper and a shitload more to match any kitchen or color scheme.

Another thing I’m in love with are these amazing Tin Woodsman/Crosby & Taylor pewter measuring cups & spoons (shown: fish handles with palm tree stand). At $179.00 (for the measuring cups, the spoons are $79.99) they’re a thing of beauty, but admittedly slightly pricier than the ones you see at Williams-Sonoma or Crate & Barrel. They’re like works of art, though, and if you know a kitchen artist, it’s a wonderful gift idea. I first saw them on Paula Deen’s show and fell in love instantly. They’re absolutely amazing and they’re sure to get a few gasps (among the right crowd).

CATEGORY 2:

PRETTY THINGS that are useful…

If it’s one thing I’m obsessed with, it’s aprons. Every brand, shape, size, color and style. So here’s a little rundown of my top Christmas aprons this year, just in case you wanna buy a little something for an equally obsessed Kitchen Witch.

The first up is this adorable apron called the “Party in Pink” apron from Carolyn’s Kitchen. 10% of the purchase price of the apron ($42.00) goes to Breast Cancer Research. Same goes for the half-apron ($36.00) and the gloves/garter ($12.00 and $22.00, respectively). Yes, matching gloves AND garter. This one is a HUGE favorite of mine, I love that it’s Christmas-y but pink… and I’m really hoping to find it under the tree this year, especially since a portion goes towards a worthy charity.

Next is yet another from Carolyn’s Kitchen. It’s the “Holiday Sparkle” apron. The prices are same as above: full apron: $42.00, half-apron: $36.00 and gloves: $12.00. No garter for this one, sorry folks. This is the cutest Christmas pattern; kitschy and super retro. The style of the trees reminds me of a tablecloth my mother made as a little girl with felt and sequins.

Now this apron is from a longtime favorite company of mine, Jessie Steele. The “Mrs. Claus” apron is red with black buttons and white trim to mimic the Claus’ outfits. At $32.95 it’s the most affordable one of the first three, and it’s totally cute. Imagine making your Christmas cookies or making Christmas dinner in that! Adorbs!

And then we have this beauty. From Etsy, a retro-inspired Christmas apron with both a peppermint stripe fabric and a vintagey Santa Claus pattern. I love (no pun intended) loverdoversclothing‘s aprons and this is no exception. They’re handmade and absolutely adorable. For $29.99 it’s a beautiful gift for the vintage-loving baker that looks like it really could be vintage.

CATEGORY 3:

PRETTY THINGS that aren’t useful at all, they’re just pretty…

So I’m a sucker for a cute necklace. And since I love to bake, I’m an even  bigger sucker for a cute necklace that’s also baking-related.

Another item I hope I find under the tree this year: a sterling silver whisk necklace by exodesign on Etsy. At $38.00, it’s a handmade piece of jewelry that can be customized (with or without twisted ring) to suit you. I think it’s just so cute and I love it to pieces. And I just love Etsy, don’t you?

Another example of extreme cuteness from Etsy. This tiny little cupcake pendant on a chain is made of silver, and the pendant is just 3/8″ in diameter. How cute! It costs $28.00 and it’s by lulubugjewelry. I think this is absolutely perfect for someone who loves cupcakes (or makes ‘em), but is over the age of 16 and doesn’t want a hot pink cupcake hanging around their neck all the time. Not that there’s anything wrong with that- but there’s a time and a place. This necklace can go anyhere and be worn with anything. Perfect.

CATEGORY 4:

PRETTY THINGS that are both useful & incredibly convenient…

The thing I like BEST about making cupcakes is the fantastic liners, toppers, sprinkles & decorations that are available. Some of my favorite sites are Sweet Cuppin’ Cakes Bakery & Cupcakery Supplies, Bake It Pretty, sweet estelle’s baking supply, Sutton Gourmet Paper, and Fancy Flours. Below, I’ll give you some examples of little “sets” to buy the baker you know who’s so crazy she has plastic storage cases filled with liners & accessories *ahem* Not that I speak from experience or anything… *ah-hem*

First up is Bake It Pretty‘s “Cupcakes 101” kit. I love this idea. Whether you’re buying it for an experienced baker, or to try and encourage a newbie, it’s perfect. It includes: approx. 125 standard baking cups in assorted polka dot, striped, and solid colors, over 25 traditional toppers in assorted styles (clowns, flowers, ballerinas, etc.), 4 ounces of Rainbow Jimmy Sprinkles in resealable bag… plus, everything is packaged in a paperboard suitcase in the color of your choice (well, as long as it’s available). You also can specify whether it’s for a male or female, what colors you absolutely hate, and whether “clowns scare you.” For only $22.95, it’s a great cupcake-y gift. I have never been disappointed with Bake It Pretty, I highly recommend them.

Another adorable “kit” idea is this one from sweet estelle’s baking supply on Etsy. It’s called the “Woodland Cupcake Kit” and it has everything you need for Christmas-y cupcakes. A great hostess gift for someone who loves to bake, or a great idea for kids; get it for them to make cupcakes (or a cake) with you! At $12.00, it’s really affordable and you get a lot: 24 standard green with little dot cupcake liners, 12 small deer picks, 12 pine tree picks, 6 edible sugar snowflake decorations, 6 edible pine cone decorations & 2 ounces of green non-pareils and comes packaged in a pink bakery box with brown baker’s twine.

Well I hope you enjoyed those, and found something interesting to buy for the baker or cupcaker you love. Although I’d actually like to add just one more little thing

My dear friend Yoyo makes the cutest tissue holders, and this one is a Christmas one. So while it isn’t necessarily for a baker, it has peppermints on it and it would be mighty cute to buy and stuff in the pocket of one of those above aprons you just bought. It’s sparkly, it’s Christmas-y, it’s thoughtful, it’s only $3.00, and as if that’s not cheap enough, if you enter the code CUPCAKEREHAB you get 20% off. So click on over to Topstitch and buy one!

So go forth and buy!