Thursday, October 25, 2018

Adventures with sheep and wool, 2018 edition...


I have returned from another year of adventures at the NY Sheep & Wool Festival in the beautiful Hudson Valley, and as ever, I had an inspiring time! I love being surrounded by a community of kind, creative people, with our fiber stimuli right at our fingertips. ;-) And being in Rhinebeck, NY in mid-October, is's an inspiration unto itself:


The infamous Rhinebeck tree, which I photograph every year
This year, just like last year, it was VERY CROWDED on Saturday. I do struggle with claustrophobia when in enclosed spaces squeezed with lots of other people, so I did lots of removing of self from various outbuildings when the need struck. :0 Shopping is difficult with so many people wedged into the buildings and tents, but we made do. Yarn hunting brings out that survival instinct in us. ;-)

This year, I actually stumbled onto the animal parade! Can you handle the cuteness?!

Don't they look *so soft*?

They are also super regal :-) 
I just love the random "baaaaa!!!" that you hear throughout the fairgrounds as one makes their way from building to building. ;-) I peeked into the animal barns several times to admire cute noses moving to and fro as their owner munched on hay. And look at THIS CUTE GUY!

My new best friend 😍
The angora rabbits were AMAZING. I have literally never touched anything so soft in my life. They loved to be petted and held, and to munch on their food, pink noses twitching in the breeze. I LOVE THEM.

Rhinebeck provides project inspiration for me for the rest of the year, so I always make sure to photograph finished items that I love when I see them set up in a booth, as inevitably they have a tag indicating their pattern and yarn source. I photographed these 2 early on Saturday:

"Hogwarts Express" by Susan Ashcroft

"Silverleaf" by Lisa Hannes
It goes without saying that I purchased yarn in an owly colorway to make the Hogwarts shawlette. ;-)
In fact, here is that yarn, along with an autumnal variegated in sport weight that I simply could NOT pass over:

The colorway is called "Cider." I mean, for REAL.

By end of the day Saturday, I had accumulated quite a few other goodies as well:

A kit to make a beaded cowl is on the left. Alpaca socks for the kids, and fleece-lined glittens for myself are in the center. On the right are 2 hanks of a medium orange fingering weight yarn to make a leaf lace poncho, and a bottle of bourbon for Mike. πŸ˜‚Yes, there is a predominance of orange and brown in my choices. I am a true autumn girl. Speaking of orange:
My Rhinebeck hat!
I made the hat, along with the top I'm wearing. One of the best parts of Rhinebeck is the parade of handknits that is on display. Every single person (man, woman and child) is wearing handknit items. Sweaters and shawls dominate, but mittens and hats abound, scarves and cowls peek in there too, and you may even glimpse a handknit dress or skirt. It is one of the funnest aspects of this fiber festival, and I love joining in! It's wonderful to plan your annual Rhinebeck outerwear back in the spring. :)

This year, I was determined to partake of a few Rhinebeck traditions I had not tried yet, such as the falafel booth:

It was spectacular
...and the apple cider donuts. I waited 35 minutes to procure 4 apple cider donuts for my family and I, and I got off easy. Apparently, the line was an hour or longer at other parts of the weekend!

Most of all, I just enjoyed being a part of all of these wonderful moments:

Life is short, yes? And though we may not enjoy every moment, we can savor the really precious ones. And it was that in droves. Wonderful memories of shopping yarn, walking amongst the fall leaves, people-watching for the handknits, eating dinner with friends, and taking in the gorgeous Hudson Valley scenery on the drive over. Life really is beautiful.

How was your weekend, friends? I'd love to hear all about it!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Keeping the faith, and preparing for more frolicking with yarn...

Hi all! I have a big weekend coming up, and this week so far has been absolutely insane, with tons going on both at home and at work. But all is well! This weekend I am bound for Rhinebeck, NY, where I will attend the NY Sheep and Wool Festival for the second straight year, and I could NOT be more thrilled! I had such a wonderful time last year, and I feel blessed to be going again with my knitting group. Mid-October, in the Hudson Valley, amongst friends, food truck falafel, fiber-bearing animals, and reams and reams of gorgeous yarn. It is a dream come true, I tell you! I will report in next week with all of the yarny goodness. πŸ€—

In other news, we were at an open house this past weekend for the local Catholic boys high school that Henry would like to go to next year. The excellent, expensive, Catholic boys high school. 😬But it was a wonderful experience, and Henry handled himself so beautifully in a new situation, interacting with lots of people, both of which I know make him very nervous. I was so proud of him. πŸ’— The entrance exam is November 17th, and I would appreciate any prayers for focus and discernment that you could wing his way!

In the lead-up to the open house on Sunday, we all attended Mass together as a family. And it was the 8 am Mass. Remember what happened the last time the kids and I went to the 8 am Mass Henry was serving at? Yeah. It was a bit of a disaster. I was feeling so low, and our experience at that Mass only made things worse. Well, needless to say, I wasn't exactly looking forward to going back, but Henry was serving, so I steeled myself, and Mike came with us, which is always lovely. After Mass, this same person came up to talk to me, which I have to say is perplexing, because we don't know each other at all, but I'm a friendly sort. It was again a little strange, but there was a key difference: God allowed me to see something very important. This man doesn't have any ill intentions, he is simply a bit socially awkward. I felt a lot of peace afterwards. And it changed the way I look back and view the other situation as well. I'm feeling peaceful and grateful for this revelation. Sometimes these little things mean a lot, you know?

And in that same vein, attending Mass has become easier for me again. In my time of spiritual dryness, it was hard to go to Mass, but I went anyway. Now, I feel peaceful there again. I know that we don't *need* that feeling in order to go, but it does help, yes? And so here is the crowd sourcing part of our time together. ;-) My subscription with Magnificat is up this month. I have always loved Magnificat, and I still do. I just ordered Anne a subscription to MagnifiKid, in fact. But I thought before taking on another 2 year subscription, I would look at the other options just to see if I liked any of those better. A refreshening and reevaluation process. I spied with my little eye Word Among Us and their format of a small monthly magazine with the optional supplement of the daily Mass readings really appealed to me. Does anybody subscribe to either of these, and what are your feelings on what they have to offer? How about a regular old Sunday missal? One of the things I love the most about Magnificat is the beautiful artwork and the special Holy Week issue each year. Word Among Us seems to have uplifting articles to read throughout, appealing to a bookworm like me.

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

How are those crafting obstacles coming along Tiffany? you reasonably ask...



I suppose I shouldn't be so dramatic. Projects like these take time! AND, we do have some progress. Looky here!

I had finished Anne's Lighthouse Pullover over the summer, I think I reported in on this last time we broached this topic. Since then, I made both school uniform cardigans (for which I deserve a medal; navy blue garter stitch gets a wee bit boring after a spell :0) AND I made a Rhinebeck sweater. I will grant, NOT the sweater I was originally planning to make, but a sweater that I will wear at Rhinebeck nonetheless.

Look how cute my little pupil is in her new cardigan!

Pattern is "Sugar Maple" by Carina Spencer
So I'm making progress! I'm getting into holiday gift making season, so I did forget about at least half of the projects that are on this list. :0 But I'll get to them. It's a marathon, not a sprint, to be sure!

In other crafting news, there's been lots of excitement! I know I mentioned over the summer how I had gotten involved in Hogwarts at Ravelry, I waited excitedly on Platform 9 3/4, submitted a project in the Orientation thread, and was happily sorted into Gryffindor when the new term started. I did well, submitting projects to multiple classes and Weekly Challenges, and so logged in at the end of the rotation to submit my intention to stay on in Gryffindor House. Well.


I had a message from the absolutely LOVELY Head of House in Gryffindor asking me to be the Prefect for the upcoming rotation. I was a little nervous about taking on a more active role so early on in my Hogwarts studies ;-), but I was also pretty excited. It's like my dream come true - I am Hermione!

So far, it's going positively swimmingly. I just check in every day and encourage my fellow Gryffindor Lions in their crafting goals. I adore the community there, and am enjoying myself tremendously! I also get to see our fellow Life of a Catholic Librarian community member Melanie, who is the ambassador to Platform 9 3/4 for Hufflepuff. She is also running one of the storylines this term (aka a class) and I really want to make something to submit over there!


So much fun. It's all about community, yes? About fostering and nurturing healthy relationships with wonderful, kind people. God is so good to us!

What are you working on this week? Are you starting to plan out your holiday gifts? I'd love to hear about it!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

My book is actually IN PRINT!

I had planned a craft post for this week, and I *promise* that we'll do that next week, because there is lots of excitement in my crafting world right now. :0 However, my little mind was all diverted this week by book stuff. LOOKY WHAT CAME LAST NIGHT:


It's all a little surreal that I have a book that actually exists in real life πŸ˜‚. I'm so excited to dive into these and use them for scripture study and journaling! That might make a good Advent and Lent project? Thoughts? I definitely want to do this with Deanna's and Allison's books, but I'm curious as to whether or not I'd be able to re-read my own like this, ha! While I was working on this book, every morning before I jumped into writing I would pray to the Holy Spirit to have it be His words and not mine, so maybe? I'll be curious to see. ;-)

Importantly, these are now available to order on Amazon. This means a couple of important things: for one, you can now get them with your Prime shipping if you are a member. Also, you can see interior previews of all 3 books, which I LOVE to do before adding things to my cart! For my book, you can now see the entire Introduction!


Finally, you can *add reviews once you've read the books* which we would so gratefully appreciate! Even if you did not purchase the book from Amazon (but ordered via the publisher, Gracewatch Media, or in the Indiegogo pre-order campaign) you can still leave a review on Amazon. This helps other readers to discover these books while they are searching and browsing for related titles. This is so crucial to the success of the series! Allison is hoping to add 3 more books to the series next year, and growing these initial 3 titles is a huge part of that.

Another tidbit: you *can* order via the publisher, Gracewatch Media, and the books are actually cheaper there. They retail for $15, are marked down to $14, and by using the code GRACE15, you will receive 15% off. This makes the books $11.90 each, and Gracewatch offers free shipping on orders of $10 and up. The disadvantage is that the shipping is not 2-day like Amazon Prime, but if you are not a Prime member, or you are not in a rush, you may be interested in this route. :)

These journals would make excellent holiday gifts, for sure. They're personal and relatable, and just lovely and inspiring to page through. I am so excited to be a part of this project, and I hope that you'll share in the excitement with me!


Is anybody interested in using one of these during Advent and making a book club for it? Would love to hear from you!