Wednesday, May 30, 2007

And Then There Was Blue

Benjamin Moore Naples Blue, to be exact.
That's right, welcome back to painting Hell at Casa Splatgirl.
And you thought I was laying on the beach someplace the last few days, didn't you?
The worst is over, but I still have the upstairs portion of the activity to complete.



now looks like this:

Sadly, I'm not crazy at all about the blue next to the red.
In fact, I'm not sure I'm crazy about the blue at all.

Bigger sigh.

You may remember I had originally bought a quart to sample on the wall.

I decided I liked it a day or two later and went and had a couple of gallons mixed. That was way back in January, and it's taken me this long to muster the psychic and physical energy (not to mention the solid weeks' worth of time) to tackle this huge job. And during that little winter-into-spring siesta, I had been gradually deciding that the blue was too dark, but then I'd reconsider and love it again, and on and on it went. But I already had the paint, and no matter how much I thought about it I couldn't come up with another viable color solution that would work with both the huge, airy living room, and the balcobrary and cozy media room upstairs, not to mention my existing color palette (which I'm loving).

And you may also recall that I originally started with a light gray on this wall, upstairs, but decided in short order that it was going to be much too blah and dull for this huge, shared wall. Fortunately, I think the blue is going to be fabulous upstairs, so I'm hoping that that gives me reason to love the whole darn acre of it...

Either way, I'm going to live with it for a while just because it's much too insane an amount of work to do over anytime soon.

And hey. Just so you know...I absolutely never, EVER want to hear about any of you complaining or procrastinating doing any painting work in your "normal" homes, because painting a "normal" house room is a cakewalk in comparison to the painting hell I have to endure just to paint a single wall and the 16 window jambs that go along with it. It's a reason to celebrate eight foot ceilings to be sure.

(edited to add that, much like the Rendezvous Bay in my kitchen, Naples Blue looks nothing like this in person. Its MUCH greener. Unfortunately, unlike the Rendezvous Bay which is nicer in reality, I think I like this color better in photographs. Again...sigh.)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

More Crafting for Canines!

Today, Vanessa wants to know " do you do make doggie leashes and collars?"

Yes! Just ask my hound. He's got a whole collar wardrobe (as Boy tells him "get used to it buddy, it's part of life with the girl") and we've got plenty of friends decked out, Splatgirl Creates style, too. I have a couple up for sale on Etsy right now but prefer to take custom orders. As I've said, any use I can find for cute fabric...

I did these a couple of weeks ago for dear reader Kellys' pups Cleo and Osiris but I had to keep them a secret in order not to ruin the surprise:

A big doggie collar and leash set for Cleo from the neato red Asian print fabric that happens to be one of mine and my MOOPocket customers' favorites:

And a too-tiny-to-possibly-fit-any-dog-sized set for her Italian Greyhound Osiris:

And Kelly was lovely to indulge my demand for pictures:

Aren't her pups just adorable?
Thanks Kelly!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

What's For Dinner Wednesday?

Boy's pick, Cold Soba Noodle Salad, with some chicken satay on the side:

I HEART soba noodle!
This recipe was decent. I did have to doctor the dressing a bit after mixing it up because I found it too sweet and in dire need of a acid component, which I supplied with a dash or two of rice vinegar. And I couldn't get any fresh bean sprouts (how lame is that), so I added in a little julienned purple cabbage for color and crunch. And I'm not sure how I felt about the cilantro, but it's hard to go wrong with soba noodles for me, and I had no problem chowing down the whole pile you see.
I actually have a cold soba noodle salad recipe that I like quite a lot better. It uses fresh ginger, and I'll post it for you right after I'm done watching LOST...or tomorrow!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Stealing PupCakes Fun

Ok, so I decided the other day that I'm officially jealous.
It's PupCake and his getting to wear all the cuteness and superneato fabrics and me being stuck with the same old accessories season after season.
And today I decided I just couldn't take it a minute longer, so I whipped this up with the hopes of re-establishing myself as the best accessorizer in the household:

It's a reversible belt, made from one of my forty or so favorite fabrics.

I absolutely LOVE it and had I finished it earlier, I would most certainly have had to change my shirt so I could wear it right this second.
When it comes to clothing, I'm generally a solids vs. prints girl, you see, so having something patterny and delicious is my accessory nirvana. You've heard me carry on about this before, I know, but I really, really love finding another use (besides handbags) for all those awesome but not necessarily apparel-appropriate fabrics. And I love how this little treat can stand in for a more mellow, solid color belt should that better suit the outfit or occasion.

I'm going to offer these on Etsy shortly. They're 2" wide and will be available in the fabric and accent color of your choice...

Friday, May 18, 2007

New Gadget Friday

This might just be the geekiest thing I've ever purchased:

I've never worn a heart rate monitor while I exercise, and I've never had or used any kind of GPS. And I've never had the desire to strap such a big, ugly thing to my wrist (why it doesn't come in pink or lime green I just don't understand), but I'm really excited to use this little gadget, of only because it is a means of tracking my time and pace while still being able to listen to the radio on my IPod. Plus, it has this neato feature that auto-pauses your elapsed time when you stop moving, so no more panicking to quickly pause both my Nike+IPod timer and my sports watch when PupCake decides he can't take another step without leaving some peemail. Or Poo.

Does the heart rate monitor strap thingie go above or below my boobs?

So, I guess since it's now saying "battery charge complete" I'm off for a run!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Crunchy Wasabi Salmon with Lime

YAY!! After quite a drought of so-so recipes, a real winner! This was so fast and easy I'm almost ashamed to be calling it cooking, and to be honest, I wasn't real excited about the recipe or the fact that the package of salmon I took out of the freezer was going to leave me with two left over servings. But now I'm celebrating those leftovers and putting this recipe in my everyday dinners file because it the whole thing was super tasty.
I made the recipe as written, including the veg which was totally awesome. Then again, I've pretty much never met a tender-crisp vegetable I didn't like but the combination of purple and green made my eyes and my mouth really really happy.
Being the saucy girl that I am, I did take the liberty of drizzling the fish with a little thick, sweet soy after plating, and I think next time I'd add a little sesame oil to the vegetable saute, but that's it. It's a pretty perfect recipe as is, but do make sure to remember the lime juice squeezed over the top of everything because it adds a much-needed spark of contrast to the slight sweetness of the wasabi pea crust and the rich salmon. And if you're a wasabi lover like me, consider upping the ante a bit and adding some extra wasabi paste in there someplace...maybe on the fillets before crusting them with the crushed peas.

So, go make this one!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

When Was the Last Time

you had a root beer float?

I just had one, and it was delicious. I tried to take a picture but it looked yucky so I just started eating instead. My favorite part is that thin layer of frozen root beer that covers the ice cream, and then at the end when it's kind of like root beer float soup with the ice cream all melty.
Y U M.

We're fortunate to have a real, honest, old fashioned drive-in close by for when I'm too lazy or incompetent to muster up a root beer float at home. It's one of the last ones around, as far as I know, and while it's no A & W, they do have darn good root beer and the onion rings are outstanding. It's just like I remember the drive-in from when I was a little kid, except without the baby, mama and papa burgers and the sign that spins around. And they serve random stuff like fried chicken and chili along with the burgers which is weird, but they still take your order though the intercom/menu on the post and bring your food out and hang the tray on your window and everything. And the waitresses sometimes wear those little change dispenser thingies which I've alway thought were neato.

But their ketchup tastes weird because it's not Heinz and that sort puts a damper on the whole meal for me.

Anyway, it's WFDW tomorrow and I have no idea what to make. I just got the new issue of Gourmet, and I have an unread, new issue of Bon Appetit sitting here so maybe I'll peruse those for inspiration.
What's everyone else (who's not going to play bingo) making?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Smells Like...

Greetings from Casa Splatgirl. Yes, I'm still here, and haven't yet managed to sew myself up into a MOOPocket and ship myself off to someplace exotic in a little kraft paper mailer. Given the major sucklitude of how the new postal rate increases are screwing me, I'm certain I couldn't afford that anyway.

So, remember how I told you about my sansavaria blooming a while ago? Well, that little situation has gotten curiouser and curiouser.
Fortunately, I chose to ignore the obvious bunk I read someplace on the internet that said to cut the bloom shoots off or the plant would die. Yea, right. Even a solid year of blatant neglect, cave-like lighting conditions and only a couple of waterings wasn't enough to faze it.
Fortunately, since this one was a gift from a friend. I've grown it up from just a couple of shoots she gifted me from her plant, which she got from her grandmother and which is evidently over 100 years old!
Anyway, those moist (eu, I just typed the grossest word ever) alien looking things looks like this now:

and those little suckers are so insanely fragrant that it's smelled like I've had a gigantic bunch of lillies in the house for the last two weeks. Not as pretty as lillies, but the exact same scent only more potent and for free! How cool is that?

In other news, yesterday mornings' breakfast, the famous puffy pancake:

A fine and extra puffy specimen if I do say so myself, despite the fact that it deflated like one second before I got to snap the picture. I had to make them with soy milk which I felt was a little questionable but I think they puffed better than any other before and tasted just the same. (For those of you in the know, is soy milk a viable alternative in any baked good? That would be fantastic to know, because I NEVER, EVER buy regular milk and that has a tendency to limit what I can bake without having to run to the store.) And too bad you can't see the puddles of butter hiding in the crevices. It was definitely a just add syrup kind of morning.

And, it's official. My Nike+IPod transmitter chip thingie is kaput. I'm so pissed. I feel like I just can't go on without it, and I've only been using it since like January so there's no possible way the battery could be used up but it's not registering any mileage and my last two workouts have clocked like the longest minute per mile pace in the history of the world and that is completely unacceptable because it screws up my all important stats which is a major boo. So, feeling sorry for myself and not wanting to waste another $30 bucks on a new one, I decided to up the tech ante a bit and ordered a geeky new workout toy which I will tell you about just as soon as it arrives.
On the bright side of this recent gadget death, I have always been annoyed at how I can't use both the IPod radio plug in thing AND the Nike+IPod thing at the same time, and now that problem should be solved. Once and for all, hopefully.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Reporting on What's For Dinner Wednesday

This weeks pick...well, actually, Boy's pick from a couple of weeks ago, put off because life has been getting in the way of cooking, Chipotle Shrimp Tacos with Avocado Salsa Verde

Not shockingly delicious, (or deliciously shocking?) but pretty tasty. I particularly liked the salsa, which basically is guacamole with tomatillos in it. Now, as a rather hard and fast rule, I am overwhelmingly opposed to adulterating guacamole with random and unwelcome ingredients, but the tomatillo added an interesting juicy freshness and the perfect touch of sweet. It was a nice change of pace and complimented the shrimp well.

I whipped up some black beans and rice to go along side. And yes, you also spy a mojito there in the background, because I couldn't bear to see the fresh mint leftover from last weekends' Pad Thai and mojoito-fest with Ms. Knit-Whit go to waste.

So as far as the taco recipe is concerned, I guess I just kept wishing for another ingredient... grilled corn kernels? Sliced mango? Dare I say cheese? I dunno, but there are definitely better shrimp taco recipes out there and I wouldn't recommend bothering with this one. And next time I venture into taco land I'm going to try making my own corn tortillas, since this is the second time I've been disappointed with purchased corn tortillas.

I also made Kahlua Flan.
I didn't take pictures partly because it's flan and flan never really looks fantastic but also because I didn't really care for this particular recipe. I probably wouldn't have bothered, as I think flan kind of falls into the same "don't mess with it" category as guacamole, but Boy picked this one too and he doesn't even like flan so I figured I HAD to indulge him if only to see if I could bring him around. Anyway, I couldn't taste the Kahlua, and really, the Joy of Cooking flan recipe that has served me well for many years is 100 times better with it's milk steeped with lime peel and cinnamon. On the other hand, Boy said this one, despite still being flan, was better...

So, that's what happened here last night. Now go check out what was cookin at NorCalMrs' house!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Have You Noticed...

that I talk about bacon here a lot?

Well, I'm about to do it again, by way of tonights dinner:
Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

Holy cow.
Or should I say holy pig?
Or is that an oxymoron?
Anyway, I hadn't made this in forever but I've now just reminded myself of how much I love it. As in might be like my #2 on the list of all time awesomest salads kind of love it.
It's got all the essential salad elements...tangy, salty, sweet, crunchy and vegetabley, and it's impossible for me to feel guilty about eating bacon when it's on the same plate as a big pile of of spinach.
In this case, in addition to the pile of spinach and handful of roughly chopped crisp bacon, I included sliced tomato, toasted almonds, thinly sliced red onion and some croutons. It's also great with cucumber and alfalfa sprouts and practically begs for broccoli, and typically the nuts are sunflower seeds, but I didn't have any of that so I punted using what was in my fridge and it was still delicious.
It wouldn't have mattered, really, because what makes this salad rock my world is the dressing, and if you're the cholesterol police you should definitely stop reading right here.

So, after you've cooked six or eight slices of really great bacon (it's for TWO entree-sized salads...don't freak out) and they've left you with a pan full of greasy love, toss in a handful of chopped shallot and let that saute for a minute. Then, whisk in an equal amount of cider vinegar and enough sugar to get a nice balance between sweet and sour, aka anywhere between 1/4 and 1/2 c., depending on how much bacon love, I mean fat, you had. Toss this with the spinach while the dressing is still warm, add the bacon and the other topping and enjoy, keeping in mind that the Popeye size serving of spinach you're enjoying complete with all those good for you vitamins and minerals more than makes up for the naughtiness.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Rainy Day Crafting

OK, so it technically wasn't raining when I made this, but I'm going to tell you about it anyway because it was such a happy accident:

It's a felty, buttony, girlie-but-not-too-girlie bracelet, and I think I love it so much I am going to go make another and wear them together as wristbands. Plus, it's 100% recycled! How fun is that?
Too bad I'm a few days too late for Whiplash.

And then, my newest MOOPocket:

This latest version has a MOO card safely and soundly ensconced behind plastic on the front panel for quick and easy MOOdentification and gazing.
SO...if I was to offer these up for sale, would it be better to make it so the card is removable/changeable or leave it permanent?

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend, and I'm going to leave you with a little factoid...

Did you know that there at least 1,430,000 hits when one Google's "what is a MOO card?"? And did you know that besides Google, there are at least 17 search engines avaliable on the internet?

Don't you just love being able to help yourself to the answers to virtually any question, however bizarre or mundane, with just a few strokes on the keyboard?

Happy Googling :)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

I HEART my Dental Hygienist

OK, so she's not really MY dental hygienist on account of me having ghetto insurance and all, but I think her level of dedication to keeping me supplied with my preferred oral hygiene swag more than makes up for the fact that I can't have her clean my teeth.
Just check out what appeared on my doorstep today:

That's right...a multi-year supply of the elusive Crest (now Oral B) extra soft toothbrushes plus several other goodies and one of her totally superduper cute MOO cards.
You have no idea the lengths to which I have searched for these toothbrushes, so having a whole box full show up on my doorstep is the greatest thing since the invention of the Reach flosser.

My tooth friend informs me that they are the same Crest toothbrushes as before, but because Oral B bought Crest, they changed the name on them. Either way, they are nearly impossible to find, and my quest for a suitable substitute yielded only a plethora of brushes that went into the bathroom cleaning caddy after a single visit to my mouth.
So I guess I can stop obsessing about where I'm going to get my next toothbrush fix from, huh?

did you notice how the box was addressed to me AND PupCake? Just lookie what he got!!

His very own woofwoof baba!! How cool is that? I tried and tried to get him to lay down on it for the picture but we had just come inside from our run and he was more interested in laying down on the cold concrete to pant. But rest assured he'll be enjoying it to bits later on...

Thank you SO much Knit-Whit!! We (and our teefies) WUUUUUBBBS you!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Bath Time

hmmm...notice a theme here?

My poor bikes have suffered the last few seasons amidst the crazyness (I mean black hole) of housebuilding. I recall giving this one a cursory once over with a bucket and sponge last spring and possibly cleaning and lubing the chain, but that's really it. I'm sure it was giving my completely anal-bike-maintenence-guy neighbor a near heart attack every time he came over, because until this afternoon, it was the sorriest smut covered excuse for Italian design that you'd ever find (well, maybe with the exception of the 998 that Boy bought and rode home from Boston) and there was just no possible way I could live with myself or it without giving it an intense going over. And it was way overdue for a valve check and it's a dang good thing we got around to that little project a couple of weeks ago because we found two valves that needed adjusting in the "so bulletproof they almost never have valves out of spec" Rotax motor). Ah yes, my Aprilia, the problem child.
Did I mention yellow bikes are cranky?
Anyway, with it being first Thursday tomorrow and all, and not just any first Thursday but the anniversary of the day Boy and I met, I figured I had better get my (other) baby cleaned up and ready to roll.
So here's to clean bikes and dirty, ruined fingernails. Oh yea, and the other reason (besides ruined fingernails) I hate washing motorcycles, the five or so bloody cuts and scrapes I get on my hands from trying to get all the nooks and crannies clean. But hey. There's nothing like a spanking clean and shiny yellow motorcycle to make you smile, right? Just as soon as I put the bodywork back on it that is...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


A couple of media related thoughts:

A nice article about the Minneapolis restaurant scene in the New York Times, although I'm not sure we were ever culturally sleeping as the author implies.

Did anyone who may have been watching "The View" this morning happen to notice it conveniently (?) went off-air during their latest heated debate about the Iraq situation? I dunno about you, but I have a sinking feeling that wasn't by accident. But perhaps it was good, as today was one of the worst for me wanting to reach through the TV and strangle the Elizabeth-a-publican-bot and after that I became much more interested in pondering the validity of my theory. And I dunno what world that chick exists in, but it's certainly not reality.

Other than that, I have nothing much interesting. I've been busy getting in to the swing of Spring, enjoying the outdoors and getting going on warm weather projects in between attending to the seemingly ever present MOOPocket thing. Unfortunately all of this stuff keeps most other crafty endeavours on the back burner, to the point that my pal Knit-Whit has informed me that she's lost all her knitting friends....
oh dear.

We enjoyed hosting a couple of friends for dinner last night, and I went round two with the Hickory Grilled Rib Eye Steaks with Bacon Molasses Butter recipe, only this time I played smart and made corn muffins as a side...the better to eat the extra bacon butter with, my dear. As I predicted the first time, it's a crazy good combination. Such a great, simple recipe and a nice change of pace for steak, and I think it's safe to say it was a hit with our guests as well.

An in growing things news, have you ever seen a mother in laws' tongue (aka sansavaria) bloom?

I took this picture a few days ago, and now there's three of these shoots that have grown quite tall.
Strange and interesting.

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