Sunday, February 28, 2010

REVIEW: Sleepy Eyes Knits Dreamscape

Sleepy Eyes Knits: Dreamscape
by Gina House
Spiral Bound Paperback: 60 pages
First Printing: December, 2009
Where to Find:
Sleep Eyes Etsy Shop

Dreamscape

Gina House is known for her whimsical designs and it was no surprise to me to see her first collection, Dreamscape, come together in such a beautiful package. The haunting Victorian theme throughout the book, complete with enchanting photography, will leave you itching to cast on one of the stunning wraps, scarves or hats before you can say "dream!"

The collection of 13 unique, yet classical, accessory patterns (7 past, 6 present) is presented in a 5.5" x 8.5" spiral bound book. The small size and spiral binding make Dreamscape convenient to knit from, as well as to carry in your knitting bag - or your purse when you run off to your LYS in search of that perfect ball of yarn! The patterns are clearly written and the lace charts, which have been placed together at the back of the book, are large and easy to follow.

Almost all of the designs in Dreamscape use just one skein of yarn and many are quick knits - meaning great patterns for stash diving and gift knitting! This also gives us knitters an excuse to buy that uber soft skein of 100% cashmere and knit ourselves a wonderful, self-satisfying item... the Lisha Lace scarf is on my to-knit-for-me list!

As for favorite patterns, the Amanda Hat is definitely one of my top choices. The pattern is very addicting and most knitters will find they simply can not knit just one. This is my first Amanda, knit in 2008...

As mentioned above, I'm looking forward to casting on a Lisha Lace scarf for myself. I also love the alluring style of the Perspehone Beret and the captivating look of Spellbound, a choker that looks fabulous when combined with a piece of vintage jewelry.

Gina's personality really shines throughout Dreamscape... from her well written biography and notes to the models (family and friends) and props she handpicked for the photoshoots. I really enjoyed the short descriptions provided for each pattern at the beginning of the book as well. Gina has also thoughtfully included knitting suggestions, yarn information and 2 pages for you to record your own notes about each of the Dreamscape designs.

If you love knitting accessories, Dreamscape would be a fabulous addition to your knitting book shelf. You'll find yourself reaching for it again and again when the time comes to make those special birthday and holiday gifts.

About the Author: Gina House aka Sleepy Eyes began knitting in 2002 and has been addicted to the craft ever since. When she's not knitting, she spends her time spinning, practicing yoga, reading books, writing in her journal and reading tarrot cards. Gina lives with her husband and 2 sons in New Hampshire. Two of her sock patterns were included in The Joy of Sox, published in the fall of 2009. You can read my review and interview with Gina here.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Emma!

Has it really been a whole year since my little 4 pound preemie Great Niece came into our lives?

Emma_32509cRound Emma_hat_32009e

It was a year ago today that I interrupted Dogs on Thursday to announce her arrival ... and a year later, we interrupt DOT once again to wish the Princess a Happy 1st Birthday (doggy friends, scroll back to yesterday's post!)!

A month old...

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I still love her "no more pictures" pose...
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Happy baby!
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First "official" photo shoot...
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First Halloween... isn't the Boo shirt
adorable (purchased by yours truly)?
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First Christmas...
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Happy 1st Birthday Emma!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Snow Dogs

Happy Wordless Wednesday... happy hump day... happy snow day! The kids were excited to wake up to the white stuff this morning...

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Zeus... "Lookie Momz... snoooooow!"

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Lola... "Huh? Didya sayz ya wanted a closerz up pictttture? Okayzzzzz..."

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Tut... "I'm still half asleepz...whatz all dis white stuffz on me"

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Sophie... "I peezed, now I goze back to bed... I don't likz thiz icky wet snooooow as much as da fluffyz stuffz"

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The heavy wet snow has since turned to rain... but we hear there is another storm on the way with more snow for the rest of the week.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

REVIEW: della Q Straight Needle Roll

della Q: Straight Needle Roll
Where to Find:
della Q

DellaQ_roll

In March della Q will be rolling out their Straight Needle Roll is solid colors... just in time for your spring needle shopping! Needle shopping you ask? Well, you see, if you add one of these gorgeous cases to your gear, I would bet that you will get the urge to run right out and buy some fancy new needles to fill it!

The Straight Needle Roll is a beautiful, functional case that holds up to 60 pairs of straight needles - yes, 60 pairs! If you love knitting with straight needles, you will definitely love this case. If you need a place to store your straight needles, you will definitely love this case. If you simply have nothing better to do this weekend but organize your straight needles, you will definitely love this case...

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While I have other needle rolls in my collection, this della Q roll has quickly become my favorite! One of the best features is the easy to read size tags, which are numbered with both US (from 0 to 17) and metric sizes. There are three tiers of 20 pockets, allowing you to store everything from your double points to 10" and 14" straights. The pockets get wider as the sizes get bigger, allowing you to comfortably fit your needles in them - no tight squeezes here! The last pocket has been left blank, allowing you to store even a fourth set of a few favorite sizes.

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The Straight Needle Roll measures 22" x 15.5" and is made of a super soft Poly Silk. The new Solid Color collection comes in Seafoam (shown above), Purple, Ocean, Pink, Brown, Red and Mauve. The case retails for $46 and will be available in March, 2010. The Straight Needle Roll also comes in a previously released striped version for $50.

Treat yourself to a Straight Needle Roll today and get organized in style! Fill 'er up, then roll 'er up and you'll know all of your straights are safe in one convenient place. Toss the case in your knitting bag for on the go or easily store it at home. Either way, you can't go wrong with a silky soft, gorgeous della Q case - functional and beautiful!

Monday, February 22, 2010

I'm a Ravthlete!

I'm officially an Olympian... of sorts. I received my first Ravthelete awards for the Vine Lace Baby hat, which was finished over the weekend...

Ravthlete

I entered the hat into two events, Hat Half-Pipe & Junior Olympics, and received my "medals" of honor...

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Verdict? An easy to follow lace pattern, quick knit and most adorable little baby hat. With several friends' and family babies on the way, I will definitely be making more of these!

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How is your Ravelympic knitting coming along? I'll be back to tackling Colonnade for the WIPs Dancing event tonight. Zeus just wants to know when this whole Ravelympic thing will be over... and why wasn't his face on the medals?

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Goodbye Daddy

On Friday, February 19, the dog world lost one of the most loyal, trusting, well-balanced, and influential pit bull ambassadors the world has ever known, Cesar Millan's Daddy.

Daddy was 16 and a cancer survivor... and a truly remarkable K9. RIP sweet boy... you did some remarkable things in your 16 short years and we hope that you are now happily romping over that vast Rainbow Bridge.

If you would like to honor Daddy’s memory and the contribution he made to improve the lives of other animals, you can make a donation to Daddy’s Emergency Animal Rescue Fund, which will provide assistance for dogs who are victims of abuse or violence, man-made disasters (hoarder and puppy mill rescues), and large-scale natural disasters (hurricanes, fires, and other natural catastrophes).

Friday, February 19, 2010

TGIF and a Birthday Wish

TGIF! I hadn't planned to have a 3 day weekend, however an unexpected vet visit with an ill-feeling Sophie this morning has resulted in just. I'll spare you the less than desireable details... let's just say she's got some bacteria in her stool and is now on antibiotics and a probiotic supplement (as well as a bland diet of boiled hamburger and rice, though she thinks that's just grand). We'll know on Monday whether there's an underlying culprit or if she just picked this up like a cold. No worries... the Princess is currently ignoring Tut's annoying cries for her to move curled up sleeping next to me.

Besides being Friday, today is also a special man's birthday...

Happy Birthday Dad!

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That's Dad in the middle between my Mom and Matt's Dad above, taken during a wonderful day at sea. The kids all wonder if Grampy has any cookies in his pockets send lots of sloppy birthday kisses!

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Now its time for a little Fill-Ins...

1. Johnny Weir is enjoying his life and does not deserve to be mocked or threatened for doing so.

2. I have been enjoying the 2010 Olympics.

3. And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud is amongst us once again.

4. Order your very own Lapdog Creations tee at Zazzle or Cafe Press if you get an urge.

5. Having sweet dreams makes for a restful night's sleep.

6. What does it take to be stressfree?

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a quiet evening at home with the family, tomorrow my plans include some more Ravelympic knitting and Sunday, I want to enjoy the day!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

REVIEW: Blue Dog Bakery Super Stars

Blue Dog Bakery: Super Stars Small Dog Treats
Where to Find:
Blue Dog Bakery

BDB_superstars

Blue Dog Bakery recently unleashed Super Stars, healthy small dog treats that are baked fresh in the USA with the highest quality USA bakery ingredients. They are low fat and offer an extra crunch to help clean teeth and freshen breath.

As you may guess, the official Lapdog review team was quite eager to get a taste! As I was trying to photograph the box, this happened...

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Super Stars are small in size and low in calorie count (only 9 calories per treat), making them a perfect treat for puppies and dogs of all sizes. They are thin, making them easy to break up for training bites as well. While I certainly do not promote letting your dogs break open their own box, this might give you a hint about how most all dogs go crazy for Blue Dog Bakery...

BDB_superstars_Lola BDB_superstars_Zeus

Super Stars easily received 16 paws up from the Lapdog reviewers and as a concerned doggy Mom, I am happy to say that I feel good giving these to my dogs! Super Stars are baked with 100% pure and natural USA ingredients and are therefore easy for dogs to digest. No animal by-products, artificial colors, artificial flavors, preservatives or additives are used - just high quality bakery ingredients that taste doggone good. Made in the USA with great ingredients is the first thing I look for when purchasing new dogs treats... being low fat is an added bonus... having all four of my dogs line up and be this anxious for a new treat really lets me know they like them as well.

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Each 10 ounce box of Super Stars features an assortment of Grilled Steak, Bacon and Roasted Chicken treats. The variety of flavors of the non-filling treats, help hold a dog's attention during training.

"People consider dogs as family members and we are proud to offer their canine companions a healthier alternative and more nutritious part of a balanced diet," says Margot Kenly, who founded Blue Dog Bakery in 1998 after several years in the gourmet baking industry. “Treats reward and encourage good behavior and that is why a healthier and low fat alternative is very important.”

"Our new Super Stars offer (our customers) high quality USA ingredients, a great crunchy taste and bakery fresh smell that will help keep their dog's teeth and gums clean and strong, their breath fresh, their tails wagging and their dogs coming back for more," adds Kenly.

Super Stars ingredients include: unbleached wheat flour; whole wheat flour; blackstrap or cane molasses; palm oil; whey; oats; nonfat milk; egg powder; baking soda; salt; natural caramel, tumeric or annatto for color; brewer's yeast; lecithin; and natural grilled steak, bacon or chicken flavor.

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LENDING A PAW TO ANIMALS IN NEED
Beyond offering a healthier, low-fat and natural alternative to mainstream dog treats, Blue Dog Bakery is also committed to lending a paw to animal welfare. Each year the company helps over 800 animal rescue organizations across the country raise money to save abandoned dogs. "We have an automatic "yes" policy for any organization involved in animal rescue be it a large or small organization," says Kenly. "Our customers thank us for helping out and feel good about buying our products because of it," adds Kenly.

REDUCING CARBON PAW PRINTS
All of Blue Dog Bakery's products are made responsibly in the USA. The palm oil found in their treat recipes is sustainably harvested in Columbia, giving them an environmentally friendly edge they are happy to bark about. All of the packaging is recyclable and made from post-consumer waste recycled materials. Blue Dog Bakery also works hard to minimize shipping and logistics in order to reduce transportation. A second warehouse was opened recently in the Midwest to continue their efforts to be the best global citizens possible.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Olympic Knitting

Happy Wordless Wednesday! I have been busy competing knitting with the best of 'em... go Team Ravelpaws!

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After a little frogging session (warning: do not knit even the simplest of lace patterns while WATCHING the Opening Ceremonies THAT closely), Colonnade is now coming along quite nicely. However, I got a little case of startitis (and realization that I need to get a few baby items completed) and cast on the Vine Lace Baby Hat. I've entered it into the Hat Halfpipe and Junior Olympics...

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How is your Ravelympics going?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ice Skates and Race Cars and Chocolate Hearts... Oh My!

Finally... Friday is here and we have a long weekend to boot! Good thing, considering its an eventful weekend. Tonight we have the Opening Ceremony for the 2010 Winter Olympics and Ravelympics! Bob is ready... are you?

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And of course, Sunday is not only Valentine's Day, but also the 52nd annual running of the Daytona 500! Let's go racing boys!

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I can't wait, so let's get started with some Fill-Ins...

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1. Pickles are delish - sweet or dill, just no sour for me.

2. The kids and my knitting are at home, where I'd like to be right now.

3. The snow is hitting the South way more than us lately... and I'm certainly not complaining.

4. I want to get out in nature with my new Nikon camera this summer.

5. It's 5:16 PM; that means I should be half way home.

6. Peanut butter ice cream is hard to find - meaning actual peanut butter ice cream, not vanilla or chocolate ice cream with swirls of peanut butter or mini peanut butter cups smooshed in it.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to watching the opening ceremonies and knitting on one of my Ravelympics projects, tomorrow my plans include wrapping Valentine's gifts and Sunday, I want to see Smoke or Ryan with the Daytona 500!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dog Pile

Is it really only Thursday? I had thought for sure Friday had reached us, but apparently not yet... at the very least I suppose that means we didn't miss Dogs on Thursday, right?

I know many of our DOT friends have been hit hard with snow this past week. If its any consolation, your snow-doggy pictures are great! We haven't had much of the white stuff up here, but it has been cold and that means, cuddly dogs dog piles!

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Soooo sweet you say? What you don't see is they're really hoping Mommy would just get up and give them the whole loveseat and the coveted NAP blankie (Zeus' ultimate favorite for those of you keeping score, although Sophie seems to have taken a strong liking to it recently as well)...

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Or perhaps they were just waiting for their minute to climb into my lap... when the others weren't looking!

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Where's Zeus? Probably laughing to himself as he was enjoying having the other couch all to himself...

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Enjoy the rest of your little Friday... the long weekend is almost here!