Monday, July 31, 2006

If its not one thing, its another...

... making me worry, racking up the credit cards and all other stressful aspects of life....

The "thing" right now is
ACL surgery for Zeus. Its official... our big guy has two torn cruciate ligaments (both back knees). The right seems to be the worst one as arthritis is setting in and surgery is scheduled for next Tuesday (Aug. 8th). Its going to be a long recovery process (10 - 12 weeks) and after the right knee is healed completely, chances are more than likely that we'll have to go through it all over again with the left one. We joked that he's been quite the expensive "free" puppy over the weekend - but of course we wouldn't trade him for anything!

The once 17 pound puppy we brought home...
babyZeus

As he grew...
HeyMa Zeus_racing MyStick

And grew some more (he actually topped out at about 145!) ... when he thought he might try his paw at being a hat model (check out his great mug on items over at the Lapdog Creations Cafe Press store -- proceeds, which are only about .50 - $1 an item, are going towards his surgery, as are any sales from my Etsy shop)
Zeus

After slimming down a bit in the past year or so, he's 124 pounds of love and sloppy kisses and sometimes still thinks he's a lap dog...
Zeus_30506b

Here's hoping for a smooth recovery, with lots of knitting time (thanks to a very understanding boss, I will be at home with a combination of some vacation time and working from home next week)... and keep your fingers crossed that his little sister and brother will catch on quick to the understanding of the recovery and keep themselves entertained (and out of trouble!) while big brother rests...


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Lapdog Creations Cafe Press Store

For anyone who may be interested, I now have a Cafe Press Storefront for Lapdog Creations! You can check it out here:

http://www.cafepress.com/lapdogcreations

And if you would like to order anything, here is a coupon code that is valid until Aug. 03, 2006: POLANDSENSES. This offer is valid for $5 off any purchase of $20 or more!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

New Addition to the Family...

It is with sadness that I announce the passing of Smoke2 over the weekend. He was only with us a short 8 months and I am unsure what happened as he never showed signs of any sickness, as did his predecessors Smoke and Sparky (Beta Fish... the ever so complicated world of such uncomplicated beings!), who were both with us for a couple of years each.

Since an empty tank simply just can not stay empty for too long, a trip to Pet Smart was in order yesterday and Smoke3 is now part of the family (and for those of you interested, he actually looks just like Smoke2... and the "Smokes" are named after NASCAR driver Tony Stewart... I had debated on changing this one's name, however I have these nifty
caricature return address labels with us, the dogs and "Smoke" on them, so... SMOKE3 he is!

Smoke3

In between shopping trips to Pet Smart and Michael's and cleaning out the little fish tank to make a sparkly clean home for Smoke3, I tried to get some knitting done. As I was refilling the tank last night, I realized we were out of freaking stupid filter cartridges and had to do a quicky emergency run to Walmart. The trip would've been a bit quicker, however a very persistant
Lola made it quite clear that she was going with me for an r-i-d-e. When she wants something, she's a royal pain in the behind... and just looks so freaking cute doing it (scroll back a few entries to the infamous "tilted head" photo).

I have managed to get some knitting done on a few projects though, despite all of this and Teutul's new obsession with my sheep tape measure....

Tut2 Tut1

For entertainment sake, I'd like to say he was jealous that Mommy was using his big brother Zeus needles to work on this Plymouth car seat blanket, but I really think he just wanted to steal my tape measure and claim it for his own toy... he loves that "swooosh" sound it makes. Note to self: Be sure to keep this one tucked deeply inside a knitting bag - preferably zippered shut - and never out in plain site when not being watched!

I also started - not once, not twice, but three times! - the Broadway diagonal scarf. I started this out on bamboo needles -- MISTAKE! -- and ended up frogging it twice before deciding what a brilliant idea it would be to use my Susan Bates Quicksilver needles instead! On the 3rd frogging however, I was ready to just throw the whole darned thing in the trash frogged with a little too much agression and ended up snapping the yarn, so its possible the scarf will either 1) come out a few inches shorter than meant to be or 2) I'll have to carefully pull back the frogged part and splice that yarn in at the end.

Knit725

Note to anyone in the Cape Ann area of Massachusetts - or those of us yarn obsessed who don't mind a short - or long - drive to a LYS.... Knit Wit in Rockport, MA has officially begun her going out of business sale! I'm a little disappointed as I was just there last week and bought at FULL price! Ahhh... I guess a trip back is in order (although I did send my Mom down there today to pick up a few things I knew I wanted needed!

Have a wonderful sunny day ... and HAPPY SHOPPING to those of you near Rockport!


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Part 2 for Today - finished objects

Not sure why I couldn't get the damned stinking finished objects photos in my earlier post... but alas, here they are! 3 baby hats and the "girly girl" pink scarf with seed beads...


I also made not enough some progress on the Elann tank top at knitting guild and am about ready to start decreasing for the arm holes (audience ... please keep those fingers crossed...)

I'm off to start a scarf ... or maybe knit up a few rows on a hat ... or maybe work on the tank...nah, who am I kidding, I'm going to watch Rockstar Supernova and do some mindless knitting (i.e. probably the baby hat...)......

Enhancing the stash...

That's what I've been doing during this wicked heatwave... enhancing the stash! I purchased a couple of kits and some great yarn at A Knitter's Garden in Chester last week after a wonderful night of conversation and knitting with Joanne and the girls at guild. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo... but I did get one my new sock bag that I picked up on the same night from the wonderful Crafty Kat! Heather made my bag out of the same super cute doggy material she made my circular holder from a couple months ago (my matching straight holder is on order!). Here they are...

Aren't they the cutest? Notice the awesome hardware closure on the needle case (a dog collar and leash!)??!! Heather ROCKS!

On a much deserved and needed day off yesterday, I headed up to Gloucester for a hair appointment (LOVE the tortoise shell color - thanks Jenn!), then met up with Mom for lunch and a trip to the Knit Wit in Rockport. I picked up some gorgeous Classic Elite Bravo, a mix of silk and mohair in beautiful blue hues with pinks and grays -- most likely for a scarf. I also got a gorgeous ball of Broadway for another scarf (pattern on the label). It might be hard to tell in the photos, but it has a metallic running through it that almost looks like beads -- stunning! After I took these photos, I wound it in to a ball last night, then the power went out and it was sweltering hot, so I didn't start the scarf but plan to do so tonight! I also picked up 4 balls of the great Heirloom Breeze yarn which I've been using for the cute little baby hats. Feast your eyes....


Speaking of baby hats, I photoed the 3 I've finished thusfar. I'm playing around with some cottons yarns now (the varigated purple is a cotton). I'm really loving knitting in the round and making these adorable hats. I will soon have a selection of infant and toddler sizes available on Etsy, as well as at Spa Fina Botique in Rockport. I have photos but for some reason this freaking crazy, stupid thing blog isn't letting me upload them, so I'll try a "part 2" blog with those!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Look Who's 4!

It's LOLA! Our "little girl" (all 90 pounds of her) celebrated her 4th in style with a peanut butter flavored cake from Three Dog Bakery. Here she is showing amazing restraint from tearing in to it...
Lola4

After much indulging, she and
Tut were pooped from all the fuss & food ... meanwhile Zeus struck his famous porno dog pose when he heard the word CAKE (notice the big smile on his face ... yes, dogs really do smile!)...













I finished the girly-girl pink scarf (photo to come) with the seed beads attached.... despite along with some help from the birthday girl. She just had to cuddle with Mommy while I was knitting... nevermind it was about 90 degrees that day!

While I got some knitting done (finished the sage green baby hat and cast on a purple one...), the dogs had another eventful critter-watching weekend...

Woodchucks (think this one is Chucky, but then again it could be Woody or maybe even grown-up baby Chuckita from last year... Zeus would know...)

Squirrels galore... this one actually "sat pretty" for me!


While photographing the critters, I came across some pretty day lilies on the side of our house behind a wood pile... kind of a cool picture, no?


100_1540

OK - I confess... I haven't weeded in about 3 years and ANY flowers still growing in our yard are cool at this point!


Now, I'll leave you with a critter of a different nature... introducing our newest nephew, Benjamin Gordon who was born on June 7 ... Ben makes 7 for the niece & nephew count!


Benjamin

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Extreme Alpaca

As a side note to yesterday's post where I made mention of a great Boston band, Extreme, I wanted to point out the knitting connection to those who are unaware...

Bassist Pat Badger now has a farm in Groveland, MA where he and his family raise Alpacas. Check out Aplaca Grove and note the online store ... yes, I said online store! ... is currently under construction. Of course, in the meantime perhaps a trip to Groveland may be in order? And I'm on a quest to find out if they exhibit at any of the local fairs... I will post more info if I find out!


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Aerosmith... Boston Pops... Fireworks!

After little sleep, I'm happy to report that despite the iffy weather, we enjoyed a wonderful fireworks display in Boston last night ... the largest 4th of July celebration in the USA!

Even though I grew up just 35 minutes away, this was actually the first time I've ever ventured in to Beantown for the 4th celebration, as having become members of the Museum of Science made it a bit easier this year (i.e. we did not have to arrive at the crack of dawn and spend 15 hours sitting out in the elements guarding our 2 feet of space - oh the luxury!). The museum holds a special "members only" event (though they still charge you quite nicely!) where we were able to watch the display from atop their parking garage. We still had to guard our space, but at least not with everyone lined along the Charles River!

While dining on fried chicken meals from Wolfgang Puck, we were able to relax and enjoy the concert via several speakers set up (Steven Tyler & Joe Perry rocked ... but what else would one expect in Boston? We had kicked off the long weekend with an Extreme reunion show in Boston on Friday night that also rocked ... now if they could just all get along long enough to record another CD!) and then watch the grand show. Unfortunately, we weren't thinking too far ahead when we packed the cooler, bug spray, chairs, snacks and blanket ... we forgot our books, deck of cards, knitting (that would be my knitting of course, not Matt's... just so not to confuse anyone) and other goodies to keep us from being too bored during the wait. Oh well... there was some good freak show people watching at least ... and if we're crazy enough we opt to go again next year, we've lived and learned and now understand why people were carrying so much crap stuff in! We also weren't thinking ahead when we parked on the bottom level of the Cambridge Side Galleria garage (which strangely enough was the level we entered on ... one would think that would be the ground level for exiting as well, but no ... welcome to Boston, home of 101 one-way streets, the infamous "you can't get there from here" and crazy parking garages!). We sat for what seemed like all frigging night an hour and a half after the conclusion of the show just waiting to start moving and didn't get home until about 1:20 am... again, we've lived and learned and will take the 5th off from work if we go again! YAWN...

Monday, July 03, 2006

Summer Has Arrived!

Happy (almost) 4th of July! It has been a lovely day here, with the critters romping around and the sun shining. The dogs missed seeing the deer in our backyard this morning, however they did manage to find both "Woody" and "Chucky" (our resident woodchucks) later today. Here they are keeping their close watch.

Dogs70306

While they were busy keeping all eyes out back, the squirrels were rummaging around the bird feeders out front. This one thought he was all sly, hiding in the tree nock when I went to see what all the fuss was about with the feeders spinning around like crazy...














I still haven't had too much time to knit, though I did manage about 3" on the "girly-girl" scarf before deciding to FROG it. I didn't like they way the flutter was combining with the hot pink Moda seed bead yarn, so I ripped it back and started fresh without the flutter. I actually started what I had thought would be a 2 x 2 rib, however soon realized I only cast on 14 stitches and its turning out to be a 2 x 2 seed stitch (is that even a term?).


















I was pleased to find out that my Mom finished my gorgeous
All-Occasion Tote (did I mention she is fabulous at both knit and crochet ... among other crafty talents!). Thanks Mom!!! Since I've yet to learn to crochet, she's my go-to person for anything I must have (well, she's still my go-to person for anything I must have and don't have the time or courage to start knitting for myself just yet too.... including gorgeous baby sweater sets for friends!). This is the 4th bag she's made for me in the past year or so.... love it!


MVC-006F MVC-009F
As you can see, Zeus was still too busy keeping a watchful eye on the yard to even notice a bag hanging above his head?

That's all for now... hope everyone has a wonderful 4th... I'm going to go sit and knit!