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Sunday, September 8, 2013

State Fair Results

Hello!  Anyone still out there?  I'm hoping a few of you are still hanging around despite my lack of posts.  I have no excuse other than I am a bad bad blogger.  Shame on me!

Not a lot to blog about today.  Work is good.  Dan is good.  Kids are good.  Dogs are good.  I started looking for something to wear to the wedding.  Figured if the fat hadn't magically melted away by now it wasn't going to happen so best suck it up and find a suitable outfit.  So far I haven't found anything that is making my heart beat with excitement.  Of course the chances of that happening are slim to none so not a big surprise.

Been busy planning  spring retreat.  Fall retreat is just a few weeks away.  St Charles Market was good.  I enjoyed chatting with the designers and other shop owners and took a wonderful business law class.  Been stitching quite a bit but haven't taken any pictures.  I'll have to do that soon.  In the meantime I thought I would share my State Fair Results.

I have never submitted anything to any fair, county or state prior to this year.  Since I stitch upside down or backwards or however you want to describe it, I always figured that it wouldn't be worth my time.  Not because I needed to win to make it worth my time but because I figured they would disallow it because of the stitching being different.  But last year I heard there were very few entries in our State Fair in the counted cross stitch division and I vowed to myself that I would give it a try.  And then I promptly put it out of my mind until this spring when I talked about it a bit with Connie and MaryAnn and then let it drop again.   Finally in July I brought it up one last time, Mary Ann said her stitching was not good enough to enter so she wasn't going to do it.  At which point I thought maybe I would wait till next year.  And then I got to thinking.  How many other stitchers think the same way?  My stitching isn't good enough, I stitch backwards, what if something happens to my stitching...there are a multitude of ways one can talk oneself out of entering.  Believe me, I thought of them all.   But then I remembered the reason I was going to enter in the first place.  A lack of entries.  If folks don't enter it's just one more way that our favorite hobby is disappearing.  Shops are closing, big boxes are reducing inventory, fewer entries at the fair, fewer shops showing up at market, fewer designers and on and on.  So after waffling back and forth for a full day I went home and hopped on the computer and looked at the entry form only to find that the deadline was that day!  No more time for procrastination!  I called Connie and told her we need to do this and we need to do it today!  I more or less brow beat the poor woman into agreeing to enter!  And then I tried to decipher what the entry forms were all about and when I couldn't figure them out I got on the phone and called a friend of mine that works the fair and thankfully in spite of the fact that she was driving back from Indiana that day, Laurie was able to talk me through it and (this is the best part)  she's still talking to me!  I think I called her 5 or 6 times that day.  Poor Laurie.  She was a good teacher though and I was able to help Connie when she called me with questions.  Once the online paperwork was submitted the next hurdle was getting everything labeled properly, packed up safely and delivered to the pick up point an hour and a half away.  That required a few more calls to Laurie.  But it was all good.  Until I dropped off our stuff and they asked if it was okay to stack the pictures. I almost snatched them back out of the ladies hands but I restrained myself and calmly said I would prefer that they not stack them as damage can occur to the frames that way.  To which the witch woman replied that I had them packaged well enough that it shouldn't be a problem.  Just as I was about to leap over the table to retrieve our entries, Dan grabbed me and pulled me away from the old biddy  woman saying they would be fine and we needed to leave.  Once we got back into the car the panic set in.  OMG!!  What Had I Done!  The control freak in me was having a major meltdown!  Our stitching was no longer under my control.  It was not a pretty ride home.  So I did the only thing I could do at that point...I contacted Laurie, told her what the lady said about stacking them and begged her to let me know as soon as she could that everything arrived safely.  I am happy to report that they made the trip in one piece and in good shape and once again Laurie saves the day! Then the waiting began.  Laurie promised to call once the judging was done.  Oh, I should mention that Laurie is not a judge, just a volunteer that helps where needed.  A few days passed before the call came.   And while I was not really expecting to win any ribbons for the reason stated above,  I was pleasantly surprised to hear that I had.  Connie also won with her 3 entries.    Connie and I planned to attend the fair but the weather was excruciatingly hot the day we were supposed to go and I've been having problems with my hip since the fall I took before the shower so we opted out of going.  It would have been nice to see the other entries though.






So you might ask if having gone through the process once would I consider doing it again?  I would and I plan to again...next year.  I'm going to see if I can brow beat a few of the shops stitchers into entering next year too.  The more the merrier right?  After all if people start seeing more entries in our division maybe more will come back to stitching.  That's my thought anyway.  So I challenge all of you to enter your local fair, be it county or state.  Not because you want to win a ribbon but because you want to expose the general public to our craft.  Winning is nice, but in the end the judging is all subjective and should be taken as such, not as gospel.  I stitch to please myself.  Not to have someone validate me in some way.   So, start thinking about what you want to enter next year and expect me to bring the subject up again come next summer!

Take care till next time!

Julie  

18 comments:

Carole said...

Julie, congratulations on your fair wins. I knew they would. Especially love the box.

Robin said...

Congratulations to you on entering your fair along with your ribbons! Way to go! And I think you should "brow-beat" Carole to enter next year's fair.

Robin in Virginia

Shirlee said...

Congratulations on your wins at the state fair!

Cari said...

Way to go ... congratulations on your State Fair Ribbons. That's GREAT. Your pieces are just beautiful. Have a great stitch week.

Anna van Schurman said...

Best of division! Who's better than you? Congrats!

Karen said...

I know our state fair's entries have dwindled over the years too. I need to follow your lead and enter something just to make sure the category doesn't die.

Not surprised you won any ribbons either! Great entries. Happy stitching....

Katrina said...

Congrats on your fair wins!!!!! That's so awesome :-). All gorgeous entries.

Phyllis said...

Congratulations on your ribbons!
I have never entered anything in the fair. I've thought about it, but just haven't done it. Maybe next year!

Rita said...

Congratulations!

Your work is beautiful.

Jill said...

Congratulations! I have thought about entering in our fair, but one year a quilt "disappeared". When the owner showed up to pick it up, it had already been picked up by someone!!! And I'm afraid of people touching stuff, etc. So I just can't make myself do it. But good for you!

Carol said...

Julie--your work is all so wonderful! Congratulations on your wins--well deserved, I'd say :)

Meari said...

Congrats on the fair wins!! I'm thinking about entering the county fair next year.

marly said...

Congratulations! As for your dress hunting, good luck! It's not as easy as it sounds.

Vonna Pfeiffer said...

First off, EACH entry is absolutely gorgeous and all are winners!!!
Secondly, having done this myself for the past three years for exactly the same reason you are doing it (they have threatened to drop cross stitch/needlepoint/embroidery from our fair for lack of entries) I have found it to be a most wonderful thing to participate in. It sorta gets in your blood. I love to sit with the fair book and hit every entry in the cross stitch categories. Does your fair give you comment feedback? Its brutal at best to read what someone has to say about your work...but I will say this: It HAS made me a better, more conscious stitcher about my work. I'm a better stitcher today because I enter my projects in the fair. And because the categories aren't popular, people have gotten to know me thru my entries and I have gotten lots of people interested in stitching and entering their projects. It all works out. I'm going today (as a matter of fact) to my LNS and I'm talking up sending stuff to the fair next year! I'm on a mission! :)
Congratulations again Julie, you'll be rewarded in ways unknown for champion the art of needlework!

Good luck on the dress hunt....oh golly don't envy you there! :)

Harriet said...

Congratulations, Julie! Your work is beautiful. Everyone admired that box at the spring retreat. I know you are right about getting more entries at the fairs to help promote stitching. Will have to think about that.

Love reading your blog, you always make me laugh. Good luck with the dress search. You will look fine!

dianecally said...

Hey Julie, way to go girl. Your stitching is beautiful and the picture w/the bird should have been a blue ribbon. I saw it in person and it is gorgeous!

I hope you are working hard on Spring Retreat; it will keep you out of trouble. Hello to the girls!

Diane

Jeanne said...

I enjoyed your post a lot Julie. I don't enter my stitching or quilting and I probably should..it can become a hassle but I agree with you that if people don't see what we do it contributes to our hobby dying off. I was just lamenting that same thing last time I was my local 'big box craft store'. They keep having less and less stitching products therefore less and less people will be willing to try it. I realize they have to market what sells the best but it's sad. What we need is a celebrity stitcher to bring some publicity to what we do! Congrats on your wins at the fair.

Maggee said...

Congratulations on your ribbons! It was a good thing to have talked yourself into going now, wasn't it? You might have inspired a few more people to stitch! Good for you! Hugs!