Category: YOYO!

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?

Pretty pink jelly & a Valentine’s Day giveaway!

What an interesting song to come on randomly as I was typing this post. Because I do. I like food. I like making it, I like eating it, I like talking about it. Me & Jay have long conversations about food sometimes. Planning meals; either making them or eating them out someplace. I just enjoy it. We both do; I was lucky enough to find someone who gets as excited over it as I do. And furthermore… I like creating it. I like making something from something else- that’s probably the artist in me talking, but making a totally different “thing” out of a lot of random things is amazing. Like how using a mess of powders & liquids to make a cake is insane, when you think about it. Or using lemon juice, sugar & pectin to make jelly. The chemistry & artistry of cooking/baking is what gets me, I think. Oh, and eating. Eating too.

Remember back a few weeks ago, when I got all those Meyer lemons? They looked a little something like this:

If not, I suggest you refresh your memory. For the rest of you… well, back when I was going ‘Meyer lemon looney’ I also made some other things not included in that post. Specifically something pink. Pink jelly. Pink-colored Meyer lemon-cranberry jelly, actually. I can’t help it. I like pink… and I had to use up all those lemons, not to mention a half-bag of cranberries in my fridge!

It’s actually just a Meyer lemon jelly, but it turns a pinkish-red when you add cranberries. Also, the cranberries kind of get suspended in it. So it’s very cute. And perfect for the upcoming month of pink & red. Ah, but we aren’t up to that yet, are we? Nope. But… there is a special giveaway happening in this post that pertains to pink & Valentine’s Day. What kind of giveaway? Well it just so happens to be for a handmade table runner! Yes, me & Yoyo from topstitch.org are doing a giveaway for a 100% homemade, handmade Valentine’s Day table-runner! If you remember the one she made me for Christmas, then you know it was super adorable & made a perfect showcase for my table decorations. Well this one is just as cute, if not cuter! Look:

Even if you don’t like Valentine’s Day, how can you not like that? It’s pink! And red! And it has hearts! So… what do you have to do to win? Stay tuned, keep reading. The details are at the end of this post. Jelly first, people! Jelly first!

Funny thing is, long after after I made this but before I wrote up this post, the Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking blog posted a recipe for the same jelly! Except hers doesn’t have whole berries. Great minds think alike; or maybe the cliche I should use is that there is nothing new in the world? Either way, that’s another idea of executing the same basic concept. People ask me why I bother canning, well this is a perfect example. Have you ever seen Meyer lemon-cranberry jelly for sale in stores? No? Yeah me neither. Have you ever seen green coriander pickles for sale? Nope. How about candy apple jelly, have you ever seen that at Stop & Shop? Or gingerbread spice jelly? Nah, me neither. I rest my case. Although really, it goes beyond all that. There are tons of factors. The least of which being that it’s fun & enjoyable, and also much less wasteful. I mean, I got a ton of lemons from Molly & instead of letting them go bad by just letting them sit in a bowl looking pretty, I gave each lemon a new life: lemon curd, candied lemon peel, lemon cookies, and this jelly.

MEYER LEMON-CRANBERRY JELLY

Makes about 5 half-pints

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Meyer lemon juice (it took me about 9-10 lemons, they were on the small side)
  • 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice (for an acid boost)
  • 3 ½ cups white sugar
  • 1 ½ cups whole fresh cranberries
  • 1.25 ounces Certo liquid pectin (about ¾ of a pouch)

Directions:

  1. Juice the lemons and combine in a pan with bottled lemon juice and sugar. Bring to a boil for 1 minute.
  2. Remove the foam on the top of the mixture and add cranberries. Cook until the cranberries “pop”, being careful not to get burned by any liquid sugar, then add the pectin. Bring back to a boil. Remove from heat.
  3. Pour it into sterilized jars placed on a clean tea towel, wipe rims and place lids. The berries will probably all settle at the top, but that’s okay- don’t worry. Screw on the covers and turn upside down for 5 minutes. Turn the jars back over right side-up and allow to cool completely. After 12-24 hours make sure that the lids are sealed. Any jars not sealed, refrigerate & use immediately.

Because of all the acid, you don’t need to do a water bath for this recipe. Just be sure your jars & lids are fully sanitized. You will get some bubbles in there, just because of the addition of the floating berries & the flipping of the jars, but don’t worry. As long as your seals are good, you’re okay. If you feel as though you need to process it, then go right ahead. Just be sure to not over process it, because over-processing of jellies can cause them to darken and can make it soften so it won’t hold it’s shape and, well, it essentially can cease to be “jelly.” One thing to note: Meyer lemons are less tart than regular lemons. If you don’t have access to Meyer’s you can use regular lemons, but you will have to up the sugar amount slightly, maybe a half cup.

Oh- also, don’t overcook this jelly! Well, I mean, don’t overcook any jelly, but especially this one. You might be tempted to, but don’t. Between the lemon juice, packaged pectin & the pectin in the cranberries you’ll end up with a rock in a jar if you do. Seriously. You’ll end up with something similar to candy.

I say it makes 5 half-pints, but I didn’t use all half-pints. I actually used a mish-mosh of jars I had around: one 8oz. quilted jar, two 4oz. quilted jelly jars (regular mouth), one 8oz. Collection Elite jar & two 8oz. Kerr wide mouth jars. I just love those Kerr wide mouth 8oz. jars. I can only find them at one Ace Hardware store near me, why are they so rare? Anyway, this would probably be excellent on scones- especially a cranberry orange scone. Although I bet it’d compliment honey oat scones well, too. We had it with roast chicken & it was pretty spectacular, so keep in mind the savory option, particularly with poultry. But hey, anything is good on regular ol’ toast too, right?

And as per usual, I had to come up with a cute way to label them.

So in case you’re wondering, this wasn’t even the last of the Meyer lemons! I still had some left. There was much lemon pound cake, lemon cupcakes, lemonade, lemon water, dehydrated lemon slices & preserved lemons in my life. At least we know I won’t be getting scurvy anytime soon.

Okay… so now you’re wondering, how do I get your hands on that table runner? Easy. Go comment on this post at Topstitch.org. Yoyo will pick a winner via random.org on January 31st. So you have until then to enter… so go enter! Me & Yoyo will be doing this A LOT more this year, we’re gonna try to do 13 giveaways in 2012. So don’t hesitate to follow me & Yoyo on Twitter or become a Facebook fan of Cupcake Rehab to find out when the next giveaway will be.

Christmas goodies… & cupcakes.

It seems like all my decorations this year are retro & vintage ones. I’m using all my Nana‘s decorations, some of which date back to the 1940’s. They’re all so special to me & it makes it feel like she’s still here. So I guess it’s a retro Christmas around here.

Sometimes I just need to make a logo, even if it’s for nothing. Sorry. Involuntary graphic-designer twitch.

Anyway I’ve been getting a lot of love from Pinterest, so I want to say hi & thanks! Tons of you have been clicking through from there- so I hope you’re liking what you see, and keep coming back. I’ve also been getting a lot of Christmas goodies via snail mail lately. I guess that means I’ve been a good girl this year? I think I have been, but I guess every naughty person says that, right? Anyway this particular gift (& inspiration) is in the form of a Christmas table runner my amazingly-talented-with-a-needle-&-thread Californian friend Yoyo made for me. A custom made table runner. How friggin’ lucky am I?

Crazy lucky. And look! It has cupcakes on it!

A Christmas table runner with pink candy stripes & cupcakes… I can’t even deal with the cuteness. It’s just the best, and the color scheme & patterns match almost perfectly with all my grandma’s vintage Christmas stuff. The pinks & greens & lighter than usual Christmas colors just went so amazing with the white plastic trees & retro Christmas ball candle holders. And as usual, it all inspired me to make cupcakes that went with it!

And yes, they’re little cuppy cake trees. I seem to be all about the trees this year, eh? Now that I look at them, though, they’d be great for a little girl’s birthday too. The pastel colors are so sweet. They almost melt my cold heart.

Whoops, that tree to the right is leaning a bit!

I took purposely washed-out vintagey kind of photos of them, & used my grandma’s vintage jadeite plates for a more 1950’s-ish presentation. I think it worked, don’t you? Those salt & pepper shakers are from Santa’s Village in Jefferson, NH. If you’ve never been, you should go!

The cupcakes are just a plain vanilla cake, with vanilla flavored pastel green-tinted buttercream. As far as the frosting on the cakes, I used a large star tip to create that look. If you make 12 cupcakes, make enough frosting for 24 cupcakes; the trees need to be frosted twice as high as normal. The color is Wilton icing color in Leaf Green (only a drop!). Candy pearls are by Wilton, pink liners, larger pink candy ‘baubles’ (candy-coated chocolate) & pink candy pearls from Sweet Cuppin Cakes Bakery & Cupcakery Supplies. Green sanding sugar was bought at Target ages ago, but you can get it anywhere. And of course- runner by Topstitch! If you’re in the market for awesomesauce handmade items, check out Yoyo’s blog & her store. She’s always updating it with new material. And I’m sure for the right price she’ll do custom items for you, too, so just ask.

Christmas is getting closer & closer. Are you all ready?

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.

Black & white.

There are a few things I want to address before I get to the baking. First: my friend Yoyo is the best. I know that I gush about her all the time, but I can’t help it. She’s fantastic. She custom made me this awesome cowl, and I am in LOVE with it. This was taken almost 2 months ago before I met the Cooking The Books ladies for coffee.

It’s a houndstooth cotton lined with warm black fleece, and it’s reversible! I’m sure she’ll make you a custom order, if you want one. She does amazing work, and her prices are crazy affordable. I plan on having her make me another for sure. Oh, and notice all that snow behind me? Ha. Sucks. It was so bright I was squinting because the sun was reflecting off all of that snow! Thankfully by now most of that is melted, or at least all gray and slushy. Today we’re having such a bad rain/wind storm! How things change.  My hair is also (slightly) longer and darker now, in case you were wondering. Anyway, the second thing I wanted to share is I joined (finally) Frosting for the Cause a month or so ago.  Frosting for the Cause is a project you can read more about at the site, but here’s a snippet:

Beginning January 1, 2011 a total of 365 sugar cookie & cupcake bakers/decorators and bloggers from across Canada and the United States will take turns doing a guest post here at Frosting for the Cause. Once a day, every day for a year you will be treated to a new and talented blogger who will showcase their home-made, hand-decorated cookies or cupcakes together with their recipes. Almost everyone, everywhere, has been touched by cancer in one form or another. The guest bakers will also share in a very personal manner with readers of Frosting for the Cause, about a woman in their life who had to face this terrible disease head-on.

Also, in accordance with their rules, I’m pledging to donate $25.00 to the American Cancer Society, and also in my post I will be telling the story of a survivor; my mom. My posting date is April 3rd, but I’ll keep reminding everyone periodically so you don’t have to remember that. I encourage all you bakers to join- it’s fun, and its for a good cause.

So now that you know what’s going on with me, let’s get back to the baking! Continuing with the black & white theme of my cowl, I thought I’d give these cupcakes another go. Last time I did them, I was relatively new to baking, and while they came out really good… I thought I’d try ‘em again, using dark cocoa powder. This time I used a dual frosting technique as well. I also halved the recipe because from what I remember I got like 30 last time, and I really have no need for 30 black & white cupcakes right now. 17 is one thing. Over 30 is quite another. I only have so many family members to share them with, not to mention only so many glass domes & cake plates to store things in!

I might be a bit of a perfectionist, but I’m really not happy with my photos of these. I think it’s time to invest in a really good camera. In real life, they looked better, I promise, haha. Although despite how they look, these cupcakes are some of my absolute favorites. So delicious.

I’d suggest you make both batters at once, one after the other, then spoon them into the liners at the same time, side by side. Otherwise, whichever color you put in first will slide across the bottom.

BLACK & WHITE CUPCAKES

Ingredients:

Vanilla:
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup whole milk
Chocolate:
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup whole milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° degrees F. Butter and flour a standard 12-cup muffin pan, or use paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt (and chocolate powder when you’re making the chocolate cupcakes); set aside.
  2. With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; add vanilla, and mix until combined. On low speed, beat in half the flour mixture, followed by milk; end with remaining flour mixture. Mix just until incorporated (do not overmix).
  3. Fill muffin cups with 3 tablespoons of each batter, side by side. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 22 to 24 minutes. Cool cupcakes in pan, 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yeah, it’s a huge recipe. 4 eggs & a half pound of butter!  But if you halve it, it’s not bad, plus it’s definitely not as bad as these. For the frosting, I wanted to use a favorite of mine from Our Best Bites and do half vanilla and half chocolate. Be sure to read the post there on it, there are lots of weird things that can happen if you don’t use real name-brand butter or make substitutions. However, I forgot because I was making it while watching Elton John on David Letterman. I swear. So I made a new buttercream that is quite delectable from I am baker. I just used Hershey’s Special Dark unsweetened cocoa (in the cupcakes as well, however it didn’t make the buttercream quite as dark as it did the cupcakes, which was a disappointment). That was probably my fault though. Although I made a similar mistake with my last dark cocoa attempt… hmph.

Chocolate frosting never comes out good in photos, at least not for me. It always looks like shit, literally. Even with some sparkly sugar on top. Oh well.

Oh and speaking of black & white, I also received a surprise present today from Yoyo: this black & white polka dot apron! Pictures to come, of course.

Donation Time: Animal Care & Control of NYC.

Like I’ve said for a few months now, on the second of every month this year, I’m going to be asking you, my readers, to do something. It’s nothing that will drastically change your life in any way, or your financial situation, but it will help others. And potentially, in some cases help to save a life, to bring people together, to provide soldiers with things that will comfort them in war zones, provide a safe place for animals until they’re adopted (if ever), help the children and families of police officers killed in the line of duty, to help someone get through a difficult period in their lives when they need it the most, or to promote animal welfare and help keep them safe and get them into good homes. Which is what this month’s charity will do.

Every month in 2010, as you can see here, my GENEROUS & BIG HEARTED friend Yoyo is donating 100% of one days’ profits in her webstore to a different charity. January was the Villalobos Rescue Center, February was the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline & Support Program, March was Mollie’s Fund, April was Let’s Bring ‘Em Home at LBEH.org, May was Soldier’s Angels, June was Green Beans Coffee, July was Adopt-A-Bull, August was Just A Dog, and September was the NYC PBA Widow’s and Children’s fund (which was an important charity close to my heart) and last month Yoyo donated to the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline & Support Program again, in honor of my mom, and last month it was Delaney’s Dream. This month, it’s another important cause: Animal Care & Control of NYC.

Animal Care & Control of New York City (AC&C) is the largest pet organization in the North East, with an estimated number of 43,000 animals rescued each year. As a not-for-profit organization since 1995, Animal Care & Control has been responsible for New York City’s municipal shelter system, rescuing, caring for, and finding loving homes for homeless and abandoned animals in New York City. AC&C facilities operate in all five boroughs.

To find out more about them, visit their website and take a peek at their ‘about us‘ page. If you’re in the NYC area, and you’re in the market for a loving rescue pet, consider  adopting one of the many adorable adoptable pets they have! Otherwise, consider helping us out today.

What am I asking of you and how can you help us?

I’m asking you to buy something from TOPSTITCH on December 2nd. That’s TODAY. You have one whole day, 24 hours, to make a purchase. It doesn’t have to be a big purchase… even a small $2.00 order can mean a lot to an organization that needs money to help people who need it. So go check out what TOPSTITCH has to offer and then tomorrow, don’t forget to go back and buy something! Yoyo always has a ton of awesome, unique, handmade one of a kind merchandise in her store- crayon rolls, hobo bags, pouches, mini-pouches, key fobs, wristlets, APRONS, even catnip toys for your kitty! The inventory cycles and not everything I listed might be in stock tomorrow, but it doesn’t matter. Anything you buy is going to be awesome. Everything is very well made and even better, made with love. The bigger pouches are great for carrying your makeup in your bag everyday or for using as a small purse to just run to the store with, and the smaller pouches are the perfect size for personal items & “unmentionables.” Although the small ones can also fit a camera or iPod too. I definitely have been making my contributions each month, and so has Brianne! So then should you. She has plenty of affordable items, and they’re all one-of-a-kind and well made. So please think about contributing to this cause and in return getting an awesome handmade item! What could be better than helping people and getting something unique in return?

And- get this- anyone who mentions me by name or mentions ‘Cupcake Rehab’ when ordering gets extra goodies! Plus, if you use the coupon code CUPCAKEREHAB you get 20% off!

And don’t just shop at TOPSTITCH today, shop there everyday. Because we should all support our local artisans and craftspeople! Buy handmade!

Donation time: Delaney’s Dream.

Like I’ve said for a few months now, on the second of every month this year, I’m going to be asking you, my readers, to do something. It’s nothing that will drastically change your life in any way, or your financial situation, but it will help others. And potentially, in some cases help to save a life, to bring people together, to provide soldiers with things that will comfort them in war zones, provide a safe place for animals until they’re adopted (if ever), help the children and families of police officers killed in the line of duty, to help someone get through a difficult period in their lives when they need it the most. Which is what this month’s charity will do.

Every month in 2010, as you can see here, my GENEROUS & BIG HEARTED friend Yoyo is donating 100% of one days’ profits in her webstore to a different charity. January was the Villalobos Rescue Center, February was the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline & Support Program, March was Mollie’s Fund, April was Let’s Bring ‘Em Home at LBEH.org, May was Soldier’s Angels, June was Green Beans Coffee, July was Adopt-A-Bull, August was Just A Dog, and September was the NYC PBA Widow’s and Children’s fund (which was an important charity close to my heart) and last month Yoyo donated to the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline & Support Program again, in honor of my mom. This month it’s Delaney’s Dream.

My friend Becky knows a little girl named Delaney. Delaney is a little girl who has Neuroblastoma. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a rare extracranial childhood cancer. According to Wikipedia:

Neuroblastoma is the most common extracranial solid cancer in childhood and the most common cancer in infancy, with an annual incidence of about 650 new cases per year in the US.[1] Close to 50 percent of neuroblastoma cases occur in children younger than two years old.[2] It is a neuroendocrine tumor, arising from any neural crest element of the sympathetic nervous system or SNS. It most frequently originates in one of the adrenal glands, but can also develop in nerve tissues in the neck, chest, abdomen, or pelvis.

Neuroblastoma is one of the few human malignancies known to demonstrate spontaneous regression from an undifferentiated state to a completely benign cellular appearance.[3] It is a disease exhibiting extreme heterogeneity, and is stratified into three risk categories: low, intermediate, and high risk. Low-risk disease is most common in infants and good outcomes are common with observation only or surgery, whereas high-risk disease is difficult to treat successfully even with the most intensive multi-modal therapies available.[4]

Note: Esthesioneuroblastoma, also known as olfactory neuroblastoma, is believed to arise from the olfactory epithelium and its classification remains controversial. However, since it is not a sympathetic nervous system malignancy it is a distinct clinical entity and is not to be confused with neuroblastoma.[5][6]

About 20-50% of cases do not respond to high-dose chemotherapy and relapse is common. Other treatments are available, but all in all the outcome remains poor. Delaney turns 4 today, and while she’s considered NED (no evidence of disease), like I said relapse is common. She’s in a trial vaccine to prevent that from happening, and hopefully that’ll work, for more information on little Delaney, check out Becky’s post about her and the donation day today. And then please buy something and help her family pay for her medical bills and get her the treatment she needs. She’s a miracle of a little girl, and deserves to have a happy 4th birthday, and many many more.

So again, what am I asking of you?

I’m asking you to buy something from TOPSTITCH on November 1st. That’s TODAY. You have one whole day to make a purchase. It doesn’t have to be a big purchase… even a small $2.00 order can mean a lot to an organization that needs money to help people who need it. So go check out what TOPSTITCH has to offer and then tomorrow, don’t forget to go back and buy something! Yoyo always has a ton of awesome, unique, handmade one of a kind merchandise in her store-  crayon rolls, hobo bags, pouches, mini-pouches, key fobs, wristlets, APRONS, even catnip toys for your kitty! The inventory cycles and not everything I listed might be in stock tomorrow, but it doesn’t matter. Anything you buy is going to be awesome. Everything is very well made and even better, made with love. The bigger pouches are great for carrying your makeup in your bag everyday or for using as a small purse to just run to the store with, and the smaller pouches are the perfect size for personal items & “unmentionables.” Although the small ones can also fit a camera or iPod too. I definitely have been making my contributions each month, and so has Brianne! So then should you. She has plenty of affordable items, and they’re all one-of-a-kind and well made. So please think about contributing to this cause and in return getting an awesome handmade item! What could be better than helping people and getting something unique in return?

Not only that, but you’ll be helping to comfort someone who needs it, maybe give a little girl an extra chance at life, and give her parents some peace of mind. Think of children you know… and if they’re healthy, be thankful. And then lend a hand to a child who isn’t. Pay it forward.

And- get this- anyone who mentions me by name or mentions ‘Cupcake Rehab’ when ordering gets extra goodies!

And don’t just shop at TOPSTITCH today, shop there everyday. Because we should all support our local artisans and craftspeople! Buy handmade!