What's Up, Cupcake? Menu

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bedside Intruder

So my gf and I are big fans of the Antoine Dodson Bedside Intruder song... so much so that it's our ringtones and currently one of our favorite things to quote to each other.  She's playing hostess for me while I'm in SoCal for a dance workshop, so I thought I'd make her a little hostess gift.

I didn't have a ton of time to put it together as I've been trying to make progress on my sew along raincoat , so unfortunately, there's no border. But I think it still works... :)

In case you are one of the few who haven't seen this amazing phenomenon, here are a couple of links to watch:

The original news video

The song created from said video

Antoine Dodson's website

Some people think the whole thing is crude, but hey, with his new-found fame and donations from 'fans', he was able to move his family out of the projects.

And P.S. Thanks for Subversive Cross Stitch for the alphabet and the idea to make something other than kitties and unicorns on cross stitch.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My crafty corner

Here are some pictures of my craft space.  It's still in progress as we recently moved, but I'm having fun putting it together.

Previously I would work on my crafts and practice dancing in our garage... luckily I could move this operation indoors with this new bonus room.

There's space to practice my Irish and Highland dancing, and some storage space for some of my crafts.  I have a little sewing table with the tv conveniently situated so that that I can watch (or usually just listen)  while I craft.

Oh, and this is my cat Simon who looooves to help me craft. That seems to be the #1 time that he wants to snuggle.

Your turn! Tell me about where you do your crafting!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Crazy for cross stitch

Thanks to a crafty friend of mine, I’ve decided to add cross stitch to my craft repetoire.  I’ve been meaning to try it for a while, but never found a pattern I liked.  Teddy bears and kittens weren’t really something I wanted hanging on my wall (sorry, just my own personal taste).  When a fellow Highland dance friend created some tartan patterns, I had to try them out.

I picked up a pattern from her etsy shop, Tartan Hearts, and guessed my way through basic cross stitch materials.  

I wasn’t off by too much in supplies, but I did have to watch some videos to make sure I wasn’t making a mess out of the process.  The video that was a lifesaver was from Yarn Tree on YouTube.  Once I watched it, I was on a roll!

Voila! The final product!  

Thanks Jess!  The pattern was great!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Lady Grey’s Sew Along Update

Time for an update on my raincoat!  As one of my first posts mentioned, I didn’t have the Lady Grey pattern yet so I started with the Amy Butler Rainy Days raincoat.  The pattern has now arrived so I’ll start on that jacket after I finish the raincoat... which is progressing nicely!

I started with the lining. As I wasn’t doing a muslin version of this coat, I’ve been meticulous with my sewing and marking.  This has been a pretty easy pattern so far and apparel sewing is still new to me.  The hardest part was the sleeves but only because I’m not a fan of sewing gathered materials.  It wasn’t too painful - I just used a lot of pins!

I didn’t hem the length of anything yet (as you can see, the sleeves are a little long) as this is just the lining and I can cut back anything that is too long for the final jacket.  Aside from the length, I really like the fit.  I just put a little pin in front to get an idea of what it will look like closed.

I started stitching the oilcloth material.  I’ll be using binder clips and paper clips instead of pins to avoid any excessive puncture marks.  So far so good! Hopefully I’ll be done with the jacket in the next week.  I’m going to a dance workshop this weekend so anything I don’t finish in the next couple of days will have to wait until next week.  It’s been a quick sew so far, but I’m going to take my time putting the oilcloth together to avoid any scary mistakes.  More coming soon!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sweet Treat Saturdays: Banana Bread

In keeping with the cupcake name, I thought I should post some baking bits on here once in a while.  So welcome to the first edition of Saturday Sweet Treats!  
I had some overripe bananas hanging around, so I browsed some of my favorite baking blogs until I found the perfect recipe.  Smitten Kitchen had a recipe for some ‘jack’d up banana bread.’  I followed the recipe exactly, as I like to make any modifications after I’ve tried the original version.  This one doesn’t need any changes!  I did include the ‘optional’ tablespoon of bourbon; I highly recommend it.  I had enough batter to make one regular loaf and a mini one.

I’m definitely going to be adding this to my recipe collection.  It turned out great!  If you have bananas on hand, give them a few extra days to ripen and whip up this recipe.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Whoooo you lookin' at?

You may not have noticed but I like to multi-task. Or multi-craft in this case.  At any one time, I usually have 4-5 projects going so I can pick them up as the mood suits me. In this case I’m currently working on:
  1. Lady Grey’s raincoat/jacket sew along
  2. My first cross-stitch project
  3. A few knitting projects (which I’ll just count as one item)
  4. My Halloween costume

Today, I’ll share a sneak peak at my in progress Halloween costume.  
This year I wanted to make my own costume so I spent some time surfing the web and flipping through the pages of pattern books.  No one costume called out to me until all of a sudden, I had the idea to be an owl.  I had seen an owl costume that was cute, but something about it was just.... too much. So I decided to tweak a few patterns and come up with my own.  The main focal point of this pattern would be the cape, which would be covered in owl feathers.  I used Simplicity pattern 2531 as my inspiration and for the feather pattern.  

Here’s a picture of the almost finished cape.  I’m going to add the feather trim to the top edge and the hood.  

I also made a brown dress and am working on a mask with the below pieces.  

Final product coming soon!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sugar and Spice

It's my favorite time of year! This fact is kicked off by Williams-Sonoma releasing their mulling spices (well and that the first day of Fall was yesterday).  I love lounging on a chilly night with a nice big mug of hot apple cider.  If you haven't tried it, I highly recommend it.

Typically I just take standard apple juice and heat it up on the stove.  Take a loose tea strainer or cheesecloth and fill with a spoonful of the mulling spices.  Let this simmer in the apple juice for a bit... usually about 10-15 minutes, or longer depending on your preference, pour, and enjoy!  This treat keeps your hands warm while working on your crafty projects.

P.S. I am in no way affiliated with Williams-Sonoma. I just have a weakness for yummy things.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Suit up...

Sewing clothing is still new to me, but my interest was recently spurred by the need for new costumes for my Scottish Highland dancing.  When you get to a certain level, your need for costumes suddenly increases, and of course, none of them are standard.  Everything is custom made and if ordered from a Highland dance company, can be hundreds of dollars.  
The price tags on these custom made costumes made my jaw drop, so I decided to use the help of friends and family.  I had an immediate need for an Irish jig dress, so my ‘dance mom’ helped me pick out the fabrics and assemble things.  She took the hard parts (zippers, weird angles, sleeves, oh my!), but made sure I did my fair share.  

Onto the Sailor’s hornpipe costume: a tunic and pants.  I pulled my mom in for this one as Project Runway has me terrified of doing pants.  It didn’t seem like it could be that hard, but I wasn’t ready to take that chance and have them split in the middle of a dance.  Watching my mom literally crank out an amazing hornpipe costume for me was inspiring and had me instantly ready to push her out of the way so I could make my own clothes.  Of course, I didn’t, but I promptly went out and begin forming ideas of things I could make myself.  And this is where I am today... an update on my raincoat is coming soon!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mother knows best...

I’m writing this post in honor of my mom for her birthday today.  Growing up, I never thought I’d be anything like her.  Now I realize that I am like her in so many ways.  For as long as I can remember my mom has been dancing, baking and crafting.  She originally went to school to study fashion design.  I’ve been fortunate to have the coolest handmade Halloween costumes and sewn clothes.  I totally took them for granted as a kid, but looking back, I was the most realistic Ninja Turtle that I could have ever asked to be.

When she moved to the States and while we were growing up, she attended the Culinary Academy in San Francisco.  For as long as I can remember she has been making magic in the kitchen. The first thing she taught me to cook were pancakes, and they’re still my favorite thing to make to this day. (Well, that and cupcakes).
Finally, my mom loves to dance. True, she does ballroom while I do Irish and Scottish Highland dancing, but the passion of dance is so strong between the two of us.  We both love to talk about it and find ways to dance wherever we are.  She used to embarrass me so much doing the cha cha through the house.  But now I totally understand.  The hubby and I took swing dancing lessons for a couple of years which is the closest to speaking the same ‘dance language’ my mom and I have had, but she understands when I ramble on about how much time I spend dancing and why I couldn’t give it up.
So Happy Birthday Mom!  Thank you for making me who I am today!

Monday, September 20, 2010

What's Up, Cupcake?

You may be wondering where the name of this blog comes from.  Let me explain... (insert Princess Bride quote here)
About 5 years ago, a friend and I decided to go into the cupcake business together.  This was right when Sprinkles was being endorsed by Oprah and people were starting to take the world of cupcakes a little more seriously.  As we were avid bakers and connoisseurs of sweet treats, we decided to go into business together, just to see where things would take us and so that we could have a little fun in addition to our regular full-time jobs.  This is when What’s Up Cupcake was born.

Soon, what became an once every couple of weeks occurrence began to be an almost nightly baking frenzy.  Through word of mouth, our business had started to spread like crazy.  We were having a hard time keeping up but were thrilled with our success.  
Ultimately, we had ‘the talk.’  We had to decide if we were ready to put our jobs aside and concentrate on this solely.  We both realized that we were not ready to make that giant leap.  There were too many factors involved for our families, houses, etc. to take such a big risk and we didn’t want this to become something that was no longer fun for us.  

Every once in a while we talk about bringing back the business, but until then we continue to bake for fun.  She’s still my crafty partner in crime and I still love the What’s Up Cupcake name. 

P.S. whatsupcupcake.blogspot.com was our original blog and has our first mission statement still lised, but alas, it was so long ago that I don’t have any of the details to bring it back to life.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

When Irish eyes are smiling...

On a recent trip to Ireland, I was at a loss as to what I should gift my friend and hostess for the trip.  I had taken up knitting over the winter and thought I could put that skill to use.  The only problem was that I didn’t want to get her a ‘typical’ wool gift as she lives in the land of sheep and probably has access to an abundance of those products already.  She also frequently spends time in California, so she would have the opportunity to wear it in warmer weather.  
In the end, I went with a beautiful lace shawl which happened to be in the colorway ‘Ireland’.  The yarn was by Three Irish Girls and I used the Gust Lace Scarf pattern from Ravelry.  It was an easy pattern to knit and the repeat became like clockwork after time.  It was also one of my first experiences with blocking.  I was amazed at how much the scarf increased in size!  Here are some pictures of the process and the final item.

Before blocking

Soaking the scarf

After blocking

My friend loved the scarf and I had an amazing time staying at her home in Ireland.  Luckily the weather was surprisingly warm so the scarf was perfect for the occasion.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Rainy Days Here I Come...

I’m taking part in my first Sew Along: the Lady Grey jacket sew along.  I’m pretty new to the world of sewing my own clothing. I’ve dabbled in craft and accessories but until recently hadn’t attempted clothes.  As a Scottish Highland dancer, I’ve recently needed some new costumes which are custom and can be incredibly expensive.  Luckily I had help from family and friends, but it inspired me to work on this skill myself.  What better way to start than a ‘sew along’?
I ordered the pattern for the Colette Lady Grey coat, but I’ve also been wanting to make something out of oilcloth... in particular, a raincoat.  So I’m going to try the Amy Butler Rainy Days Hooded Raincoat. I picked up some nice oilcloth from Bobbin’s Nest in Santa Clara. I’m catching up with the group and cutting out the patterns and muslin tomorrow.  Because I’ll be working with oilcloth, I’m going to take this slow as the fabric isn’t very forgiving.  I’ll keep you posted as to the progress.  Here’s a picture of the oilcloth and the green lining.

Friday, September 17, 2010

My stash is overflowing...

This brought me to the realization that I need to do something about it.  After following many crafty friends and bloggers, I’ve decided to join the masses and start my own crafty blog.  I don’t claim to be an expert, but I love to try new crafts and have fun.  I’ll document past, present and future projects as I whittle down my stash (and perhaps build it back up again).
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