Friday, February 27, 2009

Australia Calling

Yesterday I received my awesome ISE 7 swap box ... all the way from Australia and the wonderful Gemma! This is my second time participating in ISE and both times I was overly spoiled by an Australian... both sent not one, but two scarves! Gemma sent some pretty wrapped packages (you can click on photos to enlarge if you'd like)...

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Here's the non-scarf goodies...
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LOOK -- an authentic Australian boomerang!!! How stinking cool is that? Its even guaranteed to return... when thrown correctly (I'll have to read the instructions)! Gemma really did well with sending me things native to her land. Also included was a beautiful boomerang magnet, a kangaroo pin, an adorable koala bear, some yummy smelling T2 loose tea, the leftover Prism yarn from one of my scarves (2 1/2 skeins... what to make, what to make!?!?), Caramello Koalas (chocolate!) and some Vegemite spread. She tells me that Australian babies are fed Vegemite as soon as they're able to have solid foods... and they continue to eat it lifelong. Hmm... she also says that if I'm not daring enough to try it spread on buttered toast, it makes a great addition in soups. Matt already can't wait to try it... on buttered toast, of course!

Now for the scarves... not one, but two beautiful scarves!

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For some reason she got a little worried and second guessed herself about the colors on her first creation (beautiful!) and decided to cast on a second (red!) scarf just in case.

The first is the gorgeous Lady Eleanor Entrelac stole scarf (that's her Ravelry project page) which not only do I love, but Matt really loves it too! He thought it was so cool!

Look how nice and long it is - I love long scarves for wrapping! I was trying to get a decent shot here to show you the length, but did not succeed. Even so, I couldn't resist showing you Sophie's curiosity of the camera (and Lola & Tut's noseyness of whatever was happening outside).

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Hopefully Gemma doesn't mind that I got some 4-legged modeling help with her handknits... but given that she says she's read every single one of my blog posts since ISE 7 started, I think she knows what to expect from this crazy dog lady. Both Sophie and Zeus made this one their own (click their names for more pics)...

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The second scarf is the Celtic Cable Scarf (her Ravelry project page again), made out of one of the softest, prettiest baby alpaca yarns I've ever seen (note to self: must find this yarn)! I love everything about this scarf... the pattern is beautiful, the color so vibrant and did I mention how soft the yarn is??!!

Lola was my star model for this one and even tried her best "true Dobie" impression...

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She's such a great model... even when being pestered by her baby sister, who seemed to really like the smell of this scarf! Is Lola not giving the most diva look here or what??!!

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Gemma, I truly love it all! Both scarves are beautiful and will be worn often! Thank you so much for everything!!!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Welcome Emma!

We now interupt your regularly scheduled Dogs on Thursday post to bring you this announcement....

I. AM. OLD. As for 7:23 pm last night, I am a Great Aunt! Please join me in welcoming the early arrival of my Great Niece, Emma...

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We originially expected Emma around April 20, but apparently Mama was further along than we all knew. She came a little early, at what the docs guess is 33 weeks. Above is the Princess' 2nd photo ever, taken by yours truly (the tube is just extra air to help build up her lungs). You see, it just so happened that my hair appointment had been postponed a couple of times (due to snow - ugh), but apparently that was a good thing because it meant that I was in the area when I got the message last night and able to stop on my way home to see a 2 hour old, 4 pound bundle of cuteness!

Everyone is doing just fine... well, except maybe for this Auntie who hadn't even yet cast on some special knits... gotta get those needles clicking!

As not to be left out on a DOT, here are the happy furbaby cousins...

Zeus... "here's my baby pose for ya!"
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Teutul... "did someone say baby? I. AM. THE. BABY."

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Lola & Sophie... "Sophie's willing to share her Princess title, but the Queen reserves the right to keep hers..."
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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

15th Annual Spay Day USA

Today is the 15th Annual Spay Day USA! Please do your part to save animal lives by spaying or neutering pets and feral cats... and always ♥ your furbabies!!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

REVIEW: Namaste Zuma Bag

Namaste Bags
Where To Find:
Namaste Inc.


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Namaste has delivered yet another fun, functional and fabulous knitting bag with Zuma, the latest addition to the Cali Collection.

The first thing most people notice about Zuma is her unique shape, which reminds me of a cross between an old fashion doctor's bag and a bowling bag. What I love it is the wide top opening, which remains that way while you're working on your project, yet easily snaps shut when you're ready to put it away. While I don't see myself personally carrying Zuma as an everday bag (I actually use Namaste's Newport for such), I think it certainly makes the perfect large project bag. I'll be using this bag to house a sweater project soon. If you're among those who thought Zuma's larger Cali Collection siblings (Laguna and Newport) were a bit too large for your needs, but loved their styling, Zuma is your girl!

Zuma was released in a limited edition Eggplant colorway (pictured), which I was among those who voted for and was very anxious to see it in person. I'm a purple girl at heart and do like it, however was somewhat disappointed that they didn't got for a darker shade of purple/eggplant. It is still gorgeous though! Other popular colors during their Ravelry survey seemed to be a true, rich red and brown - both of which I hope to see in future Namaste bags.

As mentioned, Zuma has a wide opening, allowing for easy access to your project and she closes fast and easy with a set of 3 well-placed magnets. Here 5 metal feet keep the bottom protected and there are plenty of pockets to be found for stashing your notions and such. The interior features 3 pockets; 1 zipper pocket and 2 open-top. The exterior freatues 2 pockets; a handy zipper pocket on the rear for quick access and an accordian-style design pocket for multi-compartment storage on the front (perfect for stashing business cards).

Zuma

Namaste gives you many colorful choices with Zuma, as she comes in 8 different colors; the noteable limited edition Eggplant, as well as Charcoal, Hollywood Pink, Lime, Olive, Peacock, Saddle and Turquoise. As with all Namaste products, Zuma is made of PVC-free, animal-friendly faux leather - continuing to put Namaste at the top of my personal list of companies with a conscience! This mid to large size bag, measures in at 9.5" wide x 11" high x 17" long with 10" drop hangles.

Grab your Zuma now and hit the town in style - today's knitter deserves a chic carry all and Namaste continues to deliver!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Don't Stop for Every Bark

1. Give me honesty & loyalty and I'll be your friend til the end.

2. Whenever I leave in the morning, I tell all 4 of my furbabies goodbye, Mommy loves them and I'll see them after work (and give them all a treat, of course).

3. I wish we had 4 day work weeks and 3 day weekends.

4. The chicken & spinach cannelloni from Carrabba's was the last thing I ate that was utterly delicious.

5. To live in this world is to do your part to to protect those that can't fend for themselves.

6. Other than this one, Chan's is the last blog I commented on (I need to catch up on blog reading this weekend!).

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a new episode of Ghost Whisperer (as always), tomorrow my plans include lunch with my honey and Sunday, I want to hibernate in the house, get some knitting done and watch the Fontana race (after all, we're expecting more snow... which is being described as "heavy snow"... oh joy)!

Happy Friday - its definitley a TGIF day! I've fallen behind with posting reviews (my how life gets in the way some weeks), but plan to be back on track this weekend. Stay tuned for Namaste's Zuma bag... Vickie Howell's upcoming release Pop Goes Crochet... an interesting new book for my fellow doggy parents, Green Dog Good Dog: Reducing Your Best Friend's Carbon Footprint... and more!

I'll leave you with the quote on my desk calendar today... "If you stop every time a dog barks, your road will never end." ~ Arabian Proverb

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Doggy Day

Hard to believe another doggy Thursday (make sure you check out Sue's post today, its a great one!) - or Little Friday as Chan likes to say - is upon us. Its been a heartbreaking doggy week here and I just wanted to remind everyone to please, love your pets, even if its just half as much as they love you!

While I am feeling beaten and broke down due to being unable to help save one special boy, I was reminded of some of the other doggies who I was able to help. Dottie's Mom emailed yesterday with some new pictures...

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She reports that Dottie is doing good, learning manners and listening very well! She still enjoys sleeping under the covers and has a habit of waking her family up by giving soft kisses when they're sleeping. The shy little girl has come a long way - just like my Sophie!

I still adore this picture of sweet little Dottie hanging with her big step-brother, protector Zeus!

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Ahh... happy thoughts of another rescue doggy in her loving, forever home! It is one of the most rewarding experiences ever!

My kids were all excited too see snow last night, but thankfully it wasn't more than a few inches, which turned to a mix and then to rain. Here are some pics from this week...

The sleepy girls...
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The always on-guard boys...
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They all wanted to wish their Grampy a very Happy Birthday today! I think they might have been a little more concerned with trying to figure out if they get any cake out of this deal, but they'll just have to wait another couple of weeks for Zeus' birthday!

I'll end today's post by asking you to please say a little prayer for a special little guy who's life was cut much too short. RIP Luke, I always had a special place in my heart for you, after all you reminded me a lot of my Zeus (especially those adorable "airplane ears")... you will be missed dearly.

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Happy Birthday Daddy!

Happy Birthday to my Dad!

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He's back to eating all his favorite foods, and giving the unsuspecting waitresses a hard time as always! That's my Dad - a wise-cracking smart ass (if you've ever wondered where I get it from, now you know)!

It continues to amaze me that I have not one, but two parents who have beat cancer*... and I'm still glad to say that Mom battled first because without her experience, I'm not sure my Dad would have gotten his stubborn behind to the doctor so fast!

Happy Birthday Daddy... from your "little" girl!

*ETA: Between Matt and I, we actually have four parents who are cancer survivors... his Dad and stepmom have both beat the evil disease as well! There is amazing strength in this foursome..

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

FO for today!

Although I'd like to be saying FO in a much different way today, I actually have a finished object report....

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This was my second attempt at the Chunky Newsboy Cap - ravelry project link here. The first attempt, where I used the called-for yarn & needles, didn't go quite so well in sizing and ended up being gifted to my petite niece for Christmas.

meNewsboyCap_21709d NewsboyCap_209_Sophie

For this version I upped the needles to size 15 for the body and size 10 for the brim, using Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky yarn and adding a few rows to the brim... I am quite pleased with the outcome. Its actually a little loose/big, but that just prevents hat-head!

ZeusNic_21709 NewsboyCap_209_Lola

I'm very pleased with the result... well except for the bind off edge where I drew the yarn through the last stitch. Its a tad "extra bulky" there ... but I can't be too picky. Even Matt seemed to like it!

As always, I had some modeling help... even if the girls were a little sleepy and less than enthusiastic...

NewsboyCap_209_LolaB NewsboyCap_209_SophieB


Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday the 13th

Sending out prayers and good vibes to Buffalo plane crash victims' families and friends...

Time for a little Fill-Ins...

1. It seems like no matter what I do, I just can't get ahead.

2. Will you clean up when you're done, please?

3. If I thought you would say yes I'd ask!

4. Thank you for reading the blog of this crazy dog lady / knitter / multi-tasker / reviewer is what I think of most when I think of you.

5. To me, Valentine's Day means hearts, red, flowers, I Love You's and cards.

6. Coffee, my other half and my dogs gives me strength.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a new episode of Ghost Whisperer, tomorrow my plans include having *someone* make me waffles for breakfast with our spiffy new hotel-style waffle maker and Sunday, I want to hang out at home and watch the Daytona 500 - Let's Go Racing Boys!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Peeing In The Driveway

Happy Doggy Day (hop on over - I did my first official DOT post this morning)! If you only stop by on Thursdays, please scroll back a couple posts and check out the review of Pet Projects!

It has been quite warm here the past two days, causing for major amounts of mud everywhere... including our yard. Princess Sophie seems to dislike this very, very much.. doing everything she can to NOT walk on the muddy ground. Last night she performed a balance beam act by finding a spot of still melting ice to walk along. This morning was a little different... she simply decided to relieve herself smack dab in the middle of the driveway. So there may not be any Singing in the Rain going on at our house, but there sure it some Peeing in the Driveway! Gotta love my stubborn little girl!

I didn't have the chance to snap any muddy pics, so here's a few from last week when Sophie decided it was fun to do her other business atop a snow/ice pile. I thought it was a cute pic in its edited mode, however her Daddy thought the original was quite funny in a "I guard my poop from you" kinda way... you decided.

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If you promise not to tell her brothers and sister that Mama didn't have any new pics of them for today, I'll make this post all about the princess...

Slinking around in the icey driveway...


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Hanging with her buddies, Mr. Bunny & Flat Fox...

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