Monday, April 27, 2009

New Handbag Porn

First, a fabulous custom-sized sling bag:

This one went out this morning to Cathy in NY, who's a mom on the go. She plans to use it as a diaper bag which I hadn't considered before but...duh...what a great idea, and so much more convenient and interesting than a plain old tote or shoulder bag.
You know I'm forever on the bright and fun bus, so I loved her choice of fabrics. That dotty stuff is still one of my most favorites, and I don't think I'll ever get sick of working with it!

Then, about to go into my Etsy shop, a very spring-ish combination of my some of my favorites, namely orange leather, Amy Butler, and stripes:

This one's been on my worktable for a couple of weeks, getting attention in little shots here and there between the other projects that have been keeping me busy. I tend to be a "can't wait to see it done" kind of girl...delayed gratification is really not what I'm good needless to say I'm cheering to finally have gotten this one finished up, photographed and ready for a new home.
Am I allowed to have another favorite? Because I think this is it.

Hope everyone is filled with Monday joy ;)
Just a quick update on your friend and mine, Watson the Vizsla: I'm still waiting for confirmation, but it seems he has found himself a home! We were happy to hear that news, but we've sort of gotten attached to the little smarty pants so we'll be sad to see him go. From what I understand, he'll be heading to the other side of the cities next Monday, meaning we get to enjoy him for another week before sending him off! Yay Watson!


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

When in Doubt

...take your cue from the host and act like a Greyhound:

This is Watson, our guest since last Friday. He's a crazy-smart, crazy Vizsla. He's happy to be at your heel, unflinchingly intent on supervising your daily run and he'll do the job of fetching a ball at top speed until your arm wants to fall out of it's socket, and none of that will make any noticable dent in his energy level. Even so, I think we might be starting to rub off on him here at casa PupCake. He's a fantastic dog who made a mistake and is in need of a bit of a behavioral tune-up and a new home. If you're a high-energy dog person and you're interested in Watson, contact me.

Then: Warning... MAJOR MEAT PORN AHEAD!!!!
(aka, real women bbq pork shoulder)

I've been working the cook ahead and freeze thing fairly regular these days, and the fruits of my latest labor will be around for a while.

This is the cooked result of ~14lbs of pork shoulder I threw on the grill and let hang out there with some woodchips for the better part of a day.
It came out really amazingly delicious with just about zero effort, and talk about freezer stash.
I shredded all that luscious, succulent meat while I fantasized about tacos and bbq sauce and warm toasty buns:

I read in a recipe someplace that with pork shoulder, the yield of cooked meat is about 60% of the uncooked weight. I didn't weight this when it was finished, but I guess by that figure I ended up with ~8 lbs. of tasty goodness for dinner and leftovers plus two party-size tubs for the freezer. Just in case you and 10 of your closest friends were planning on showin up unannounced and hungry, no worries, I'll get you fed.

But really, pulled pork is the perfect leftover meat because it's tasty in about a hundred different ways and it's quick and easy to pull out of the freezer and heat up in the microwave after work on a weeknight. I told Boy I think it's my desert island meat and preparation method.

We went round one with some tacos with fresh pineapple-black bean salsa and sharp cheddar (also fantastic as nachos) and round two on a bun with bbq sauce and a side of creamy cole slaw. Yum.

So this is me encouraging you not to be afraid of the big cuts of meat, because they're inexpensive and often the most tasty. All I did to this was give it a rub with some bbq seasoning and threw it on the grill, low and slow and basically forgot about it, but the oven would work fine, too. Think ~250 degrees for several hours, until the internal temperature is 190 degrees or higher. And don't you dare go cutting off all that fat on the outside before you roast it, because that stuff turns into tasty, crispy fluff and is really a lot of what makes the whole deal what it is.

P.S. if you can suspend your meat-ethics now and then, Costco is a great place for whole pork shoulder. Grocery stores ususally have them cut up into smaller pieces and priced like steak.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Notes on the Arrival of Assorted Good Stuff

Just a quick update/follow-up to my previous post about
If you read that were and were skeptical or curious about whether it actually works or about what kinds of books you could actually hope to get, here's a peek at what we've received so far:

A pretty decent looking pile of stuff, no? And that shot isn't even including the two books I've already read and re-posted. With the exception of one book with water damage that shouldn't have been swapped (and that I requested and recieved a credit refund for), everything that's shown up has been new or like new. Nothing old or dirty or don't-wanna-touch-it creepy looking, and all for nothing!
I must say, I've been pleasantly surprised, and not only am I loving the whole swappy-recycling-ness of the site, it also sort of restores my faith in humanity a bit, this whole trading thing. So if you've signed up but not posted any books or done any swapping yet, get over there and do it. You won't be sorry.

And then, remember yesterday when I complained about being impatient with messing around with graphics programs on the computer?
I believe that problem has been solved by todays' visit from the UPS man:

...or it will be just as soon as Boy comes home and makes it work with my Linux machine(s?). Because I was given semi-explicit instructions not to try and get it working myself, which was either him being nice and keeping in mind that I am the person who washes his undies, or him worrying about me just screwing stuff up and making more work for him, I'm not sure. But whatever. T-minus a couple of hours to graphics tablet goodness! EEEEEEEEeeeee!

Do I need to warn you to prepare yourselves for impending digital art geekery?

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Cooking Up A Quilt Design, Etc.

First, something quick and easy and yummy. My new favorite salad topping, pickled garbanzo beans.

Because we love garbanzo beans, right? And you know we're all about the condiment here at Splatgirl Creates.
These are a great way to hearty-up a green salad, and they keep in your fridge for just about ever, getting tastier the longer they sit. Like three bean salad except with only one bean :)
Just drain and rinse a can of garbanzo beans and put into plastic container with a tight sealing lid. Dump in a 1/2c. or so of your favorite vinegar. Seasoned rice vinegar is nice, but I ran out so for this batch I used apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of sugar instead. Add about a teaspoon of salt and the seasonings of your choice. I reached for my quick and easy seasoning answer to lots of stuff, Penzeys Sandwich Sprinkle, but something spicy or curry or smoky would be lovely as well. Close up the container, give it a good shake and tuck it into your fridge to let steep for a couple of days. Then just start spooning them over your favorite salads. Like I said, they keep for just about forever and just get better the longer they sit.

So then, you'll recall I've been mumbling for a while about getting started on a quilt for my very own, and maybe you saw the mockup I posted to Flickr the other day:

It was a quickie because my patience for screwing around with graphics programs is fairly limited, but just enough to give me an idea of where I thought I wanted to go in terms of color and general style. And today I managed to sew up a little sampler of that digital mock-up:

You can see where I marked and started to applique on the red dashed line, and that I gave that idea up in short order. Those bits were really freakin small, my applique skills sort of suck, and I decided it wasn't a method that was going to get me what I was after.
Anyway, you get the idea.
And then I went back to the drawing board, because I decided that once I tweaked that pattern and made it big enough to be the ~90" x 100" that I'm planning, it was going to be too boring and with just too much orange. Not enough action on the center of the bed.
With the quilt, I mean.

So here's my round two from today with the same general idea:

I'm liking this one much more, but unless I can come up with an interesting way to piece or quilt it, it's still lacking something for me. More columns of narrower stripes? Maybe a thin red horizontal line through the center? Add in a print? (I have several prints that look awesome with these colors, so I'll definitely plan a print or two for the backing.)
I'm annoyingly indecisive, I know, but do give me credit for the fact that I think I've actually decided on these colors. For me, that's half the battle, because you know how I love me some colors.
I'd love to hear your thoughts!


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