Not Martha

We passed Mora Iced Creamery while on our way to the Apple store in the Bellevue mall the other weekend. I had not heard of it, but it’s by no means a secret. We tasted a bunch of flavors, and they were delightfully patient with us: maraschino cherries cream, sabayon (egg and marsala wine custard), pink grapefruit (sorbet, neither too sweet or tart, it was very refeshing), marron glace (French chestnut), crema rusa (moscato wine with walnuts, which I liked very much), and green tea. We chose dulce de leche and gianduja (hazelnut chocolate). I expected the gianduja to be like Nutella, but it was whole toasted hazelnuts, and incredible amount, packed into a nice chocolate ice cream, it was wonderful. The dulce de leche was intense, and the burnt sugar came through but didn’t overwhelm. The flavors were so big we could barely finish both cups but didn’t want to stop. So worth it. And they have a shop on Bainbridge Island, a perfect excuse for a ferry ride on the next sunny day.

· comments [0] · 05-31-2006 · categories:food · seattle ·

We’re finally coming to some picture worthy stuff in our house-fixing-upping. We’ve got a few more walls to paint white and then we come to the interesting feature in the house — our red-orange accent wall, which we’ve decided to keep but repaint.

I do like this shade with the off-white walls, but I don’t like the off-white walls. So we need to find a color that goes with a bright, cool white. We’d like to use an intense orange, something that doesn’t look like candy, looks clean (shades with the words burnt or roasted in the name aren’t working as well), and says something like “I am an adult capable of picking a sophisticated wall color”.

These are the swatches I grabbed last night, and I suspect there will be lots of test patches painted on the walls in the future.

The color swatches obviously don’t look quite the same in the pictures, but my favorite so far is Field Poppy.

Maybe a deep red?

I’ve been peeking at pictures of accent walls at Apartment Therapy (see this Google search for more).

· comments [0] · 05-29-2006 · categories:the home ·

San Francisco Apartment Therapy on the uses of white vinegar.

Super Eggplant on detergent that is good for stinky workout clothes (yay!).

· comments [0] · 05-25-2006 · categories:links ·

Anh-Minh pointed to a 100-yen store in Lynnwood, WA (which is about 15 minutes north of Seattle) that was written up in Lucky. Now, I have no love for Lynnwood (big mall, maddening traffic patterns) but this might get me to make a trip:


Pedigree: There are more than 2,500 of these popular 100-yen shops (like dollar stores here, but infinitely hipper) scattered across Japan. Now that it has opened this U.S. flagship, the 28-year-old company plans to roll out loads more throughout the country later this year.

Now In: Lynwood, WA

What You’ll Find: An irresistible and riotous collection of goods — makeup bags, barrettes, prettily painted ceramics — all labeled in Japanese. And nothing costs more than $2.

· comments [0] · 05-25-2006 · categories:seattle · shopping ·

The Rat City Roller Girls are going to have a table of Roller Girl-made goods at I Heart Rummage on June 4th. I believe the proceeds go to team expenses, so it’s a good way to support them. From their website:

Sunday, June 4, 2006 (Noon – 4 PM)

I Heart Rummage sale!

Crocodile Cafe, 2200 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA


I Heart Rummage has what’s edgy and new in the world of urban crafts and functional art. On Sunday, June 4th, the Rat City Rollergirls will have their own table of rollergirl-made crafts for sale! Pick up an item or two and make sure to get your picture taken with a rollergirl! While you shop, enjoy one of the best brunches in Seattle! Curing Saturday night�s residual punishments: grab a Mimosa with a Migas Scramble and listen to Seattle’s best DJs spin their tunes.

· comments [0] · 05-24-2006 · categories:events · seattle · shopping ·

skinny wallets at uncrate

FatMax Xtreme Functional Utility Bar, I may need one of these, we’re planning on knocking out a closet soon (yay! destruction!)

how to cook rice perfectly

history of pizza in america

· comments [0] · 05-23-2006 · categories:food · links · the home ·

a website about the taco trucks of Seattle, I go past a few of these nearly every day

upside down pineapple cupcakes

outblush, from the makers of uncrate

cute magnetic brooch, you can get it at Lu Dandy

· comments [0] · 05-22-2006 · categories:food · links · seattle · shopping ·

at Apartment Therapy – kitchen gardening part one so you want to grow some herbs, part two supplies, and part three planting

at Ask Metafilter – manners (including some stuff about elevators I was unaware of), detailing the interior of a car, and what to do when you find an old savings bond

· comments [0] · 05-19-2006 · categories:links ·

how to soundproof your home at Apartment Therapy″>heated towel racks at AT

– the editor at Popgadget got this laptop to test, and decided to buy it, what a good recommendation

buttercream frosting at Cooking For Engineers

– I like these paintings by Becky Yazdan

– recommendation for Cruel Girl jeans by Sundry Morning

– good Ebay selling tips

– felt grid wall pocket

– my favorite cocktail the Jasmine made the Spirit World! I’m so proud! (I prefer it with 1/4 ounce Cointreau)

– I’ve seen the Barbara K tool kits lots of places, and her website has a bunch of good how-to pages for your home

ice cube tray I’d like to try

imbibe, a magazine about drinks

O Fizz at the Spirit World, created for Oprah

Miele rotary iron, for people with both money and lots of things to iron

– recipe for delicious delicious Salted Creme Fraiche Caramels by Phat Duck

– Nana’s recipes how-to pages

bubble wrap candy! at J-Walk Blog

recipes with popcorn

– Ask Metafilter thread about buying an Olympus includes some good tips on choosing a digital camera

– Shelterrific loves Bar Keepers Friend

· comments [0] · 05-18-2006 · categories:drink · links · shopping ·

I’m on a little quest to find the right cafe curtain rods. All of our windows are recessed and without any sort of window trim (what do I call this? 1990s windows?). When we moved in all of them had metal mini blinds (some of them mauve, ugh), and I’d like to banish the mini blind from this house.

First I’d like to hang cafe curtains in the kitchen and dining room. I’m hoping to find the tidy looking rods and hardware used in this Martha Stewart article. I remember seeing this project both on the television show (back in the days of innocence) and in the Living magazine. She mentioned the source and the type of curtain hardware, something beyond “socket brackets”. I remember they had a bit on one end that caught a threaded end and screwed the curtain rod into place. The little bit of googling I’ve done turns up single listings in catalogs without clear pictures, or hand drawn pictures, and suggests the style is old. Before I attempt to order these I’d like get a clear idea of what I need. I’m turning up all sorts of great information on installing curtains in classic cars, boats, and coffin adjustment hardware. But so far not much useful stuff on the curtain rods.

I’m also keeping these instructions on how to make rice paper roller shades for a few other windows in the house.


I found some! And they are right here in Seattle, I’m so pleased. Rejuvenation carries these 3/8″ Concealed-mount and 3/8″ Inside-mount cafe sets in a few different finishes. Rejuvenation also has a store in Portland.

· comments [0] · 05-18-2006 · categories:the home ·

We’re currently spending all of our free time moving boxes of stuff from one room into the next so we can paint. We are painting every wall, ceiling, door frame, and door in this house in an effort to banish the too-yellow off white which covers every said surface. It’s not so exciting really. But in the last few days we’ve discovered that a finished basement is like having free air conditioning! And I’ve begun splurging, for the first time I’ll have to have a kitchen trash can that sits out in the open so I got a Simplehuman can (they are everywhere, every home-type store I’ve visited lately carries them and I eventually gave in and got mine at a big box hardware store). It’s a lovely can though, and I’m much more likely to toss the crumpled napkin than let it sit and waiting to be tidied up later. Don’t let the boxes of Simplehuman bin liners fool you, our drawstring tall kitchen bags fit just fine and don’t peek out.

Next, we’ll be hanging storage shelves. There are tons of hanging shelf systems – Elfa, Rubbermaid, Closet Maid, Ikea – but I settled on some from Lowes that would turn out being less expensive overall for my space. (And Lowes is nearby, so getting more is a bit easier.) It seems so easy to put these things in armed with a new stud finder, some wall anchors just in case, and this article on how to install wall-mounted shelves from This Old House. We seemed all set until out stud finder indicated that there was electrical wiring near almost every stud. This house was very old, and was rebuilt in the 90s. They put in plenty of electrical outlets (yay!) but there are probably wires crisscrossing everywhere. It’s time to consult and expert (aka, Scott’s Dad). But if you have any experience with this please do let me know. None of the how-to-find-studs articles that I’ve looked at so far address this, and I don’t want to nominate myself for a Darwin award. (Answer from the expert: If you can locate the center of the stud you should be just fine, electrical wiring would run up the side of the stud. This is one of those things my logical mind knew, but my hysterical mind wouldn’t allow me to get past.)

I’m considering putting in one of those curved shower rods like you can find at the Westin store (except, I found one at Bed, Bath and Beyond that has the advantage of no shipping fee). But, I’m a little worried that it will make the other side of my smallish bathroom feel too tight. Anybody use one of these? Do you feel claustrophobic while standing at the sink?

I’ve begun gathering storage things – some nice rail mounted glide-out shelf thingies from Storables for the too-narrow, too-deep, nonadjustable lower cabinet shelves in the kitchen. Storables has nice wooden ones, where The Container Store only offers wire versions. And Storables has better prices on a few items I was eyeing, so if you live in the Pacific Northwest it’s worth taking a peek at the store. Too bad they don’t have a better website.

I finally found the Amorf Frost window frosting film at Ikea — you use a little soapy water to adhere it, a little squeegee is included in the package. It’s in the bathroom section of the marketplace. Amorf Ruta – with a not-so-pretty pattern, is in the window coverings section. Places like Lowes and Home Depot do carry window frosting film, but in such a large and wide roll it would have been wasteful of me to buy just to frost a tiny bathroom window. In with the window coverings Ikea also offers a box of narrow strips of the same window covering film in white, blue, red and yellow called Bettan. It comes with a tiny little squeegee, and you are meant to create a pattern. I liked this idea but not the colors for my purposes.

The last time I frosted some windows I used clear contact paper, and when I took it down all the adhesive stuck to the glass. I spent a day with goo gone and a scraper getting that stuff off, it wasn’t worth it. (The contact paper came off cleanly the first time I used it to frost windows, but something about the adhesive changed in the years between.) I’ve also used the matte gel medium in the past, it was a pain to remove from larger surfaces, and this time around I wanted a cleaner look. And while I’m at it, here is my original, Testing How To DIY Frost Windows page. I also looked at some window frosting sprays, but the potential chipping and eventual need for solvents to remove it makes me want to try the film first. So, I’ll report on how easy the Amorf Frost is to apply and remove.

· comments [0] · 05-17-2006 · categories:the home ·

I am so excited! Last night we painted the office room and tonight I’ll get my computer back, and finally be able to answer email and check up on hundreds of new Ask Metafilter questions. While we do have internet set up* our beat up old G3 Powerbook’s AC adaptor started sparking at the worn out ends so I’ve been computerless for most of the days. It’s been desolate, I tell you.

* Let’s hear it for Comcast being able to switch our service on the same day we moved! Boo to Speakeasy for always taking two weeks to switch our service in the past. Who ever thought one could love Comcast over Speakeasy?

· comments [0] · 05-10-2006 · categories:mumbling ·


Big news – we bought a house! We moved in this weekend and we’re knee deep in painting supplies. I’m keeping track of things at Flickr using my cameraphone since I cannot find which box contains the actual camera. The new house is odd, but it fits all of our requirements – parking spaces and the ability to have a drumkit set up for band practice. I’ll likely talk about the whole thing later. Right now we’re at the moving in stage where knowing there the beer is and having the means to open it is still marginally more important than unpacking the silverware (wherever that might be).

Here is a picture of Scott doing his first home improvement project, taking down the child safety latches in the kitchen. Yes, his first act as a homeowner was to make our place dangerous for children.

p.s. This is some good straightforward room painting advice for those of us who are completely new to it.

· comments [0] · 05-2-2006 · categories:the home ·