Saturday, March 29, 2014



Have you ever watched Cupcake wars on Food Network?   I love all the drool-worthy cupcakes and am always wanting to try out the recipes.  I asked my son if he would like to help me try out some recipes and he was happy to be my assistant. I have never made a cupcake from scratch and it turned out to be a fun activity with my son.  Not to mention we got a tasty treat when we were done.

Our maiden journey into cupcakes began with a recipe for CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CUPCAKES I found at the ANNIE EATS BLOG.

There were three parts, the cake itself;

the peanut butter filling;
and the frosting;
The cake batter was used as a base, the filling was placed in the center and covered with more batter.
The cake batter seemed kind of thick, but I am no expert so we just went with it.
They turned out pretty well but the tops of the cake was a little hard (maybe the batter was a little dense) and my husband (our flavor tester) thought the center which was a bit dry, maybe sucked  the moistness out of the cake.
The best part was the peanut butter frosting, yum!  Overall, everyone liked this one, but agreed it needs some modification to address the dryness issue.
Thanks so much for stopping by!


Thursday, March 27, 2014


Since I am a complete science nerd, I am always on the look out for fun, science related stuff. I usually just hoard it and never use it.  At the end of the Fall semester, I wanted  to give the  teaching assistants a thank you for all their hard work so I decided to make use of my nerd-ware and make them a little something.

From my hoard, I pulled out my lab ware cookie cutters from Think Geek. And made these cute cookies.  I found some neon food coloring at the grocery store that was perfect for the icing and some decorative sprinkles for the fizzy effect.

None of my experiments ever looked this tasty.

Next up was a thank you card in the form of a lab coat.  It was made from a half sheet of white card stock, scored on either end at three inches and notched  edges that were folded back to look like the collar.
I used the periodic table to make a little thanks tag that would be attached to a test tube (clean/new) that held Hershey Kisses.
The stamps are from a chemistry set made by There She Goes clear stamps.  I don't know if they are still available but I am sure there are other sets like this.

This was the envelope.

I punched a little hole in the upper corner of the envelope and used a ribbon to attach the test tube and thanks tag.  
It was a fun little gift and it was nice to be able to share some of my stash of nerdiness.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Hi there!

I have a classic apple shaped body (thanks mom...) which makes fitting commercial sewing patterns a challenge, particularly since I don't have a lot of free time. And even when I did make some time to alter patterns, the garment still didn't seem to fit properly.   I had pretty much given up sewing for myself until I found a great fitting book in my web travels. It has pretty much solved all of the challenges that have kept me from making clothes for myself except for the lack of free time of course.

 I have tried most of the traditional pattern alteration techniques like cut and slash but this one is different and has worked out really well for me.

  The technique is based on the premise that no matter how much your bust, waist and hip measurements change,  your arm to arm chest measurement never does. Therefore, this one measurement  should be used when determining your pattern size.   Mind. Blown.

Pattern Fitting with Confidence by Nancy ZiemanPattern Fitting with Confidence by Nancy Zieman
I had been buying patterns in a size 14 or 16.  When I took this measurement using Nancy's instructions, it indicated that I should be buying a 4-6.  I have a very small neck area and have always had problems with gaps and loose necklines in both pattern fitting and ready to wear.  This technique seemed  to make so much sense to me.

I chose a simple pattern to try out the technique and this was the result.  A perfectly fitted top for the first time since the olden days when I drafted my own patterns.  Holy cow was I happy! It still took a bit of alteration of the pattern but the difference is that I ended up with a wearable piece of clothing.  
I have several tops I have made hanging in my closet. Even though I like them,  I never wear them because the fit isn't quite right.  I wear this one all the time.  I made it out of a nice quality, comfy cotton knit in a style that is good for apple shapes.  

New Look 6784 Womens Top Sewing Pattern - UNCUT - Sizes 6 - 16The pattern is  New Look 6784 view A.
The three quarter length sleeves turned out a little wide at the bottom. Instead of taking them in I made a little tuck on the edge to make them a bit narrower and added a decorative button.
I checked the book out from the library to try it out before I bought it.  Once I saw how well it worked I immediately ordered it from Amazon and and have been thrilled with it.  

If you have been thinking about learning to sew or getting back to it after an absence run as fast as you can to your library and check it out to see if it works for you too.  If you do let me know I would love another sewists perspective!

If you want a little preview, check out Nancy's intro video HERE.  


Saturday, March 15, 2014


I have been trying to teach myself to crochet. I started quite a while ago in an attempt to make my son a crobot. They are these cute little crocheted robots that took a lot more crochet talent than I had at the time. I started that little bot about 50 times and ripped it out 50 times. Needles to say, it never got made. I found renewed interest when I saw these cute boot cuffs on (where else) pinterest.

DIY crochet boot cuff
They looked kind of simple so I found some basic tutorials on youtube and bought the book "I TAUGHT MYSELF TO CROCHET" at Walmart.  It is a pretty good book and helped as much or more than the tutorials on youtube.  After a bit of practice on the all the basic stitches I attempted the boot cuffs.  They are certainly not perfect but they came out pretty well.  The instructions for the cuffs are really great too and you can find it HERE.

I used Vanna White's yarn in oatmeal (bought at JoAnns) and I chose to put on a flower instead of a button.  The tutorial for the flower is reeeally easy,  very detailed and can be found HERE.  They look great with my calf high boots. 
My daughter liked them so I made her a pair too.  It took about 2-3 evenings while watching tv to finish a pair.  

I still want to make that crobot but I think I need a little more practice first.  Click HERE if you want to check out my crochet board. So many amazing projects!  So not enough time!

Have a great week!

Thursday, March 13, 2014


I really love this gift I made for both my nephew and my son. They are both into music big time and I thought the bags would make a nice carrying bag for music books, drum sticks, etc.
I used a bag my son had as a pattern and the fabric is a nice quality sweatshirt fleece I purchased at Joanns.  I bought the embroidery music font from an etsy store HERE.  How cute are those letters?
I also made my other nephew a bag reflecting his interests.  He loves to hunt so I mad him a bag that I thought he would like. I bought this design at  I can pretty much purchase designs from anywhere for use with my machine.
I can't believe i thought I could never have much use for an embroidery machine. Boy was I wrong!

Happy crafting!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Happy Tuesday!
I made use of my new embroidery machine for Christmas gifts.  I made this make up bag for my niece.
I got the fabric in the quilting department at Joanns and used a make up bag that I have as a pattern template. My machine allows me to use any regular computer font for lettering so I used the curls font for the name. 

I used the same fabric for a purse for my other niece.  I made the purse using Simplicity 2396. I had to extend the pink section about 2 inches to make room for the name but the pattern was pretty easy.
I love the colors in the print fabric.

After seeing the make up bag, my daughter wanted one so after Christmas I made her one also.

I will have a couple more embroidery gifts in upcoming posts.  I have also been teaching myself how to crochet.  My mom is a wizard at it but I have been limping along so I may (or may not)  post a couple things I have done.

Hope you have a crafty week!


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Friday, March 7, 2014


Unless your a Dr. Who fan you may not be interested in this post.  I love the Doctor so I made a TARDIS wall hanging (more like a wall covering) as a Christmas decoration for my door at work.  I used a lot of blue felt and  my embroidery machine to make the lettering.

I was surprised by how many Whovians there are in my workplace.
I took a picture off the internet and used that as a guide for cutting out the pieces.  It was mostly squares and rectangles so it wasn't too difficult. I am so lovin' this embroidery machine.

I'm looking forward to seeing how the new Doctor fits in. 

 Any of you fans?
  By Stephanie Lynn Skip To My LouTip_Me_Tuesday_Button_TipJunkie-jpg

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


My new embroidery machine is coming in pretty handy for gifts.  My niece got married recentlyI wanted to give the couple something personal.  I decided to do a monogram wall hanging and found an elegant split script alphabet on etsy.

I embroidered the monogram in black on a piece of light beige linen.  I figured that color combo would be neutral enough to fit most home decor schemes.  In case your wondering about the white edges,  I had to leave the cardboard on the edges for the pic because we were travelling and I didn't want the frame to get damaged.  

I used a beige linen blend and black Sulky embroidery thread from Joann's.  I backed the linen with a layer of easy knit interfacing in addition to using two layers of iron on stabilizer.  Once embroidered the lined was wrapped around a piece of cardboard and placed in the frame.  

The wedding and couple were elegantly gorgeous.  It was held at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington DC and it was the most beautiful setting imaginable.
Wishing a lifetime of happiness to the happy couple!

This is the card I made for the happy couple. I was in a hurry so it is a little blurry but you get the idea.

Thanks for stopping by! LINKY PARTIES By Stephanie Lynn Skip To My Lou

Sunday, March 2, 2014


Do you jump on pinterest for just a minute then look up and realize you have been there for an hour (or two)? Yep, me too.

Do you spend hours on pinterest and then complain that you never have time do any of the projects you have pinned?  Yep, me too. Think about that for a minute...

Do you look at all the amazing projects and think jeez I wish I had that creativity? Yep, me too.

Do you flit from crochet to woodworking to home improvement till your head spins? Yep, me too.

I love pinterest but I have to admit it sometimes makes me feel extremely envious that I didn't think of all that awesomeness myself and that I don't have time to stay home 24/7 and make ALL of it.  Then I get over it and run out to buy supplies for projects I will probably never get around to making.

I have been working on stuff but instead of posting the projects I have been spending these cold,  snowy winter evenings pinning future projects. I finally decided it was time to either get back to posting or stop blogging altogether.  I went with posting cause I kinda like this blogging stuff.

Also, I finally got my husband to help me finish this reclaimed shutter wall hanging I have been working on since last summer and I wanted to share cause I thought it turned out pretty cool.

The shutter was purchased at Construction Junction in Pittsburgh for a couple dollars,  the shelf is from Joann's, the knob from Hobby Lobby and the clock from Target.

I painted the shutters with Maison Blanche chalk paint in Sugar Cane.  The shelf was stained with Dark Walnut.and given a coat of poly.  Please ignore the nail hole in the wall, it will probably take me another year to patch it...

My wonderful husband (he did not make me say that) attached the shelf to the shutters, attached the knob and hung it on the wall.  He also bought me the beautiful roses for Valentine's Day.  Yes, I know I am very lucky to have him.  The little flower on the left is temporary till I find just the right "thing" to put there.

There are some amazing projects using old shutters.  Here are a couple. My shutter board is HERE.

Old Window Shuttersshutters

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