{Catching Up} Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool 2014

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You might think that as an avid crocheter and sometimes-knitter who lives right here, I’d go to the famous NYS Sheep & Wool Festival (commonly referred to simply as “Rhinebeck”} every year. Well, truth be told, the crowds often make me rather anxious and the traffic near the fairground can get snarly so it’s been a while. This year, however, was different. I found out that one of my oldest blogging friends (who lives on the complete other side of the country), was going to be there. No way was I going to miss my chance meeting the lovely kadyellebee!

I don’t remember if Kristine and I originally “met” on a wedding planning e-mail group, or via our blogs, but we’ve known each other since probably 2000. No matter, it has been a very long time of knowing someone online. Kristine noted that we knew each other long before either of us picked up a pair of knitting needles! Needless to say, it was an absolute thrill to meet this lovely and talented lady. Kristine is as sweet in person as she is online and I hope someday our paths will cross again!

Kristine & Me!

It was an absolute perfect day to wander around looking at lovely things. I visited some of my favorite yarn shops, felt lots of beautiful wool, and was inspired by so many of the designs I saw. I didn’t spend too much money this time around. I felt a little overwhelmed by the variety of colors and weights and my head just spun as I wondered what to do with it. However, I did fall in love with some of the yarns from Maple Creek Farm. 

Their gold-flecked yarns drew me in, and I ended up purchasing a hank of silk/superwash merino in this gorgeous shade of red. (The needles were a freebie!) I also picked up a felted stress ball that smells deliciously of peppermint, a vintage hankie (50 cents! How could I say no?), and a quilted sachet made from vintage fabrics. 

Rhinebeck Haul

It was definitely a fun day out and maybe I’ll even go again next year :-)

Country Living Fair 2014

Country Living Fair 2014

Guys, last year I had to miss out on the debut of the Country Living Fair here in Rhinebeck at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds. We had events that entire weekend and there was no way I could eek out the time to attend. But this year? I wrote it in my planner as soon as I found out the dates and I was not going to miss it again!

The weather was absolutely perfect for a day of walking around and being absolutely inspired by all of the creative ideas I saw. The fairground was transformed! I had just been there for CamporALL with the Cub Scouts, but it didn’t look anywhere near as pretty as this. Check it out — buntings everywhere! And I swear they were misting the scent of lavender and cinnamon because everything smelled wonderful.

Country Living Fair 2014

Obviously the vendors want you to buy their wares, but I couldn’t help but steal a few ideas for finished products that were out of my budget. This “Pickles” sign was one of them. The sign, while super cool, was not coming home with me for over $100. And while I doubt I could do a perfect lettering job, it still provided some inspiration.

Country Living Fair 2014

I loved these chairs with the ragamuffin strips hanging down the sides — kind of like a prim tutu, isn’t it?
Country Living Fair 2014

Here was another project I thought I could replicate with a shabby frame, some ticking, an old BINGO card, and a cute vintage image:
Country Living Fair 2014

And who knew that if I could safely take down a hornet’s nest I could not only use it as a home dec accent, but I could also charge $35 for it? (But I have to admit — it does look cool.)
Country Living Fair 2014

Here are a few more “this and that” photos of pretty things:
Country Living Fair 2014

Country Living Fair 2014

Country Living Fair 2014

Country Living Fair 2014

Country Living Fair 2014

Country Living Fair 2014

I am already excited for next year! I’ll have one more Country Living Fair post this week all about “glamping.” I’d never heard that term before, but if you love the idea of cute caravan/camper decor… just wait! These ladies had more style in their tiny little campers than I do in my entire house, LOL.

Can It, Bake It, Grow It, Swap It!!!

Clinton Community Library Food Swap

Last week when I was talking about my carrot cake jam, I mentioned that I was making it for a food swap our library was hosting. I knew that there would be some tasty treats there (we have a large population of excellent cooks in our community), and the results did not disappoint!

So… what is a food swap and how does it work? Well, basically you bake, can, grow, forage, or otherwise bring something to the proverbial (and literal) table. You taste. You talk. You trade. It was so fun, and a great way to engage with our neighbors! We had many curious patrons who expressed interest in participating in our next go-around. And I hope they do! What a fun way to try new things.

Here’s what we had today…

Cookies:::
Clinton Community Library Food Swap

Ginger-chocolate mini scones:::
Clinton Community Library Food Swap

(My) carrot cake jam:::
Clinton Community Library Food Swap

Granola:::
Clinton Community Library Food Swap

Fresh honey nut butter:::
Clinton Community Library Food Swap

Local eggs from happy chickens:::
Clinton Community Library Food Swap

Sriracha (better than anything with a rooster on it — trust me!):::
Clinton Community Library Food Swap

Handcrafted vanilla extract:::
Clinton Community Library Food Swap

Spicy Guinness Mustard:::
Clinton Community Library Food Swap

We shall eat well, indeed! I feel a little bit spoiled, and a lot bit lucky to be part of this.

I am already thinking ahead and deciding what to make for our next one. Perhaps some fermented sauerkraut or spicy pickled vegetables? I definitely think it will be something fresh and vinegary. But homemade hot fudge could be fun too… So many delicious possibilities!

Morning at the Lake

Saturday at the lake

This morning Jake and his Boy Scout troop participated in the 43rd annual Wappinger Creek Water Derby. He went through a swim test and canoe training to help him prepare and he was psyched! After a filling breakfast of buttered toast and ham and egg scramble, D. dropped him off at the location where he meets for Boy Scouts and he was on his own. It’s hard to “let go” but so good for everyone at the same time.

Jake had an amazing experience (and is wiped out, understandably), but it was so much fun for  him. While he was off at the derby, we decided it was the perfect opportunity to take our brand-new canoe for its maiden voyage. (Yes, after seeing all the scouts having a ball in the canoes, and not being able to jump in himself, D. bought one as a birthday present to himself.)

We headed down to Landsman Kill here in Rhinebeck and it was absolutely perfect! I can’t believe more people (especially those who live right there) weren’t out on the lake). The temperature was just right for spending some time out on the water.

Saturday at the lake

Saturday at the lake

Saturday at the lake

After rowing around the lake twice, we had a picnic lunch and called the outing a success. Next time we will probably go for longer, but considering it has been many (many!) years since I last canoed, this was a perfect way to ease back into it.

As Drew loaded the canoe back onto the Subaru (oh yes — now I totally feel like part of the club, driving around with a canoe strapped to the roof of our Forester, LOL…), Noah tossed rocks into the lake while Laura picked some flowers.

Saturday at the lake

Saturday at the lake

It was such a great start to the weekend. But now I need to make a salad and get the pizzas on the grill. Drew and Jake set up the big movie screen, and we have cupcakes and wine and tea and coffee, and… I’m just so looking forward to this fun, relaxing family night. I hope the same for you!