Last week, I finished The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne. I loved this book so much! Claiborne has inspired me with his stories of bold action and brave words. He sees the world in a beautiful way and is unafraid to stand up for the least, the lost, and the lifeless. I pray that someday I can act with such a deliberate faith.
I also read cover to cover Evolving in Monkey Town by Rachel Held Evans. Evans describes in beautiful detail the faith journey that she has experienced. She was raised in a conservative evangelical family. Her church and her college fueled her with answers to any questions that a mainline Christian or an atheist might ask her. Yet along the way, she started to see the frailty in her own arguments just as she saw them in others. Evans began to ask new questions, wondering if maybe her faith tradition didn't have all the correct answers after all.
As much as I loved Rachel's writing, I found that I enjoyed her book too much. She was supporting everything that I believed about the evangelical community without challenging my beliefs at all. Her book was a delight for me; I can't remember the last time I read a book cover to cover in 4 days. Evolving in Monkey Town was what I wanted to read, but it may not have been what I needed to read - if that makes sense.
I will make another blog post about the new necklace that I made. Here, let me post about the other items I finished last week. Here is a photo of my blocked items. I pinned them to an old mini ironing board and steamed them.
I made this tatted mask for Brett. Many of his rennie friends have hardened leather masks, but he can't have one because of his glasses. So, the tatting will work much better for him. The mask has been a work in progress for some time. I found the pattern so confusing! It wasn't written out well - I rewrote it so I could follow it better. You can find the pattern here: http://free-tatting.com/?p=34#more-34 I used black size 20 thread, green Twirlz thread, and black seed beads.
I made many items from the Flights of Fantasy book by Martha Ess. I made the tiny knight, the medieval maiden, the block tatting baby unicorn, and the baby dragon.
I also made Frivolette, the Tatting Fairy. I had never made anything so difficult before! I learned how to make daisy double stitches and picot lock joins. Honestly, the fairy was a bit of a challenge for my small hands. The fairy looks so small and simple, yet it is such a huge accomplishment!
The best part of my vacation was attending the Minnesota Renaissance Festival! I went with Brett's medieval living history group; there were 14 of us and various other friends that we met up with too. Attending such a massive faire with such a great group of people makes the experience that more special. (All of the faire photos were taken by friends.)
I really love visiting all of the shops at Ren Faires. Everything is so expensive because most of it is handmade. So many of these artisans keep old arts alive by creating unique items by hand. Being a creative person myself, I have a great appreciation for the handiwork of others.
Many of the performances are unique as well. I especially loved watching the Fandazzi Fire Circus and the Danger Committee. These people have serious talent; they are so much fun to watch!