Thursday, July 27, 2006

Off to the Fair We Go...

But first, a word...

Blogger, oh Blogger, wherefore art thou so unstable when I try to put pictures on my blog??? The only consistent thing about you is your inconsistency. I've tried to fool you with figuring out html and copying and pasting the pictures in that format, making note of and changing the numbers of the photos. That worked for a while, until you caught on to me and no longer allowed even that. What have I done to forsake you? What can I do to get back into your good graces again? To quote the diva, Ms. Barbra Streisand: "Was there a moment when I cut you down? Played around? What have I done?" I'm beseeching you now with this one request: take mercy on this girl who simply wants to share her world with her friends and loved ones. Cooperate, please. Thank you so very much.

We continue now with our regularly scheduled programming, already in place:

Have you ever gone to the fair and looked at the exhibits, especially the ones that won ribbons, and thought to yourself, "I can do that!" Well, I have. Every year I go to the fair and say that, and vow that I'm going to enter something next year. When next year comes, I remind myself again that I'm going to enter something. This continues every year.

But not this year.

This year, I joined the State Fair Knitalong, hosted by Larissa. You can read the details of her KAL by clicking on the button on my sidebar. August 15th is the date to submit entries for the Oregon state fair. I thought I'd get my feet wet first by entering submissions in the county fair. But I rarely hold onto the things I knit. Unlike most of the other crafts I've done, which I tended to hoard, I give most of my knitting away. So the only unused knitting finished objects I had were things I finished just recently: my Mock Croc socks and a picot bag, which is a gift, to be given later this summer. (This bag might look very familiar to you, Kim, as I sent you a purple one for the Knitting Vacation Swap). So as I was going through the guidelines of submission, it occurred to me that I could also enter some raspberry freezer jam and some beaded bracelets. Here is a picture of my entries:

There was also a section for homework by age group. I asked Girlie if she wanted to submit a creative writing piece she wrote last year, and she did. So off to the fair we went. Here we are last Sunday carrying our submissions to the empty fairgrounds for judging later in the week.Here is my sweet Girlie registering her submission. They classify homework under crafts. Interesting.

The fair started today, and I tell you what, I have been on pins and needles waiting to see how the judges ruled. Actually, not so much for my stuff as for my Girlie's.

You know how, as a parent, you want your child to become confident? You want to encourage them to try things without pushing too hard. You want them to succeed on their own merits. You want them to appreciate victories. You want them to be happy and proud of themselves, no matter what.

Today was a no matter what for my sweet little thing. I was nervous the entire long ride to the fairgrounds. I was sweating bullets by the time we got to the exhibits. We went to the craft section, and found my Girlie's paper. There was no ribbon. There were tears in my eyes, I couldn't help it. She took it much better than I did. She said, "Well, the judges probably noticed some misspelled words." I sat her down and looked in her beautiful big brown eyes and told her how very proud I was of her to submit her work to the fair. That I thought it was a wonderful story, that it was my favorite. And that I was sad that she didn't get a ribbon this year. That she should be very proud of herself. While we were in the room, a little boy about Girlie's age came in with his mom and fished out his paper. It didn't have a ribbon on it. He was sad. My darling Girlie went up to him and said, "Don't worry, mine didn't get a ribbon either."

Oh, how I love you, Girlie, and your precious heart.Here you are showing off your crafty homework, ribbon or not. And you're already talking about what you're going to submit next year. That's my girl. Don't you ever lose that spirit.

By then I was afraid to look at my stuff. Afraid to find a ribbon. Afraid not to find a ribbon.

The only entries I was pretty sure would get a ribbon were my two bracelets. I love to do beadwork, though I don't do it as often now since I got so interested in knitting. Knitting is challenging to me because I have yet to master it. Beadwork, on the other hand, I'm very confident about.

I've never been to a fair where the judging for jams and jellies was not highly competitive. This fair was no exception. I didn't expect a ribbon for my freezer jam, because I'm just an amateur. I have not been submitting jams to the fair for generation after generation. I entered the jam on a whim. The guidelines didn't specify that you had to present the exact recipe with the jam. So, while quite tasty, it didn't qualify for a ribbon.

The bracelets, however, did. Another thing to note for when I enter work next year: If I enter two of the same kind of thing, like crystal beaded bracelets, they will be competing against each other. Good to know. So the bracelet on the left got a first place ribbon and the bracelet on the right got a second place ribbon. Girlie said she was so proud of me and started talking more and more about all the things she would submit next year.

Then on to the knitting. I didn't expect a ribbon for either of my submissions. Not because I'm down on myself or anything, but because the picot bag was just a little thing, and the Mock Crocs were my first ever pair of knitted socks.

I fished out and found the picot bag first, but it was kind of being held down by, what is that? A second place ribbon!Totally unexpected, and therefore, happy-making. Don't get me wrong, I was very pleased about the ribbons for the bracelets, but I was less confident about the knitting. Here is a closer picture of the bag:Finally, the socks. I fished those out, and they were also being held down by a second place ribbon!That's when I did a little happy dance. It was very exciting.

Did you know that they actually pay money for entries that win a ribbon? Something like $3 or $4 for first place, $2 for second place, and $1 for third place. I must re-invest this windfall back into my craft, don't you agree?

Here we are, worn out from the emotional highs and lows of our first fair exhibits.
For the state fair, I'm working on a silk daisy scarf like the one I knit for Jimmy's teacher. Wish me luck!


Angela Martínez said...

Way to go! Both for you and for Girlie. I'm seriously proud of her for submitting her piece. The judges must have been bought off! :)

And wow on all of your awards! And while I'm drooling over the knitting, I'm in love with the beadwork! That's just amazing stuff there. You're a truly talented person, and it looks like you're instilling that in your children, too. First place all around, in my book.

Jennifer said...

Katrina! Congratulations! And what a sweet young lady you have there in girlie. She should get a ribbon just for putting herself out there and submitting.

Ah beadwork, how I love beadwork. Your pieces are fantastic, and your knitting is wonderful!

mamma said...

I'm so proud of you. That is great. Such talent. Your entries were amazing, they deserved ribbons. I wish I lived near you so you could teach me beadwork. I make little beaded bracelets, and stitch markers, but half the time the bracelets fall apart. My crimp is 50/50. Or as I like to tell myself it could just be the abuse little girls give their bracelets.

I'm also extremely proud of Girlie. What class and grace. Makes you know you're doing something right as a parent when they are so strong in the face of adversity (and as a child not winning is adveristy)

Luv2ReedGrandma said...

You should get an award for creative writing, too. I love the way you took me through that report; it felt like I was there. Congrats to sweet little girlie with her participation. And how proud we are of your awards, too!

It makes me want to bead again. You are Sunshine.

Tim said...

what a sweet little girl. thats exactly something she'd say too.

KSD said...

Congratulations to you! That family picture would garner a ribbon, too, I bet. . .

Tam said...

What fun and congrats on your winning entries!

I had a DREAM about you last night. haha I dreamed I knew you in real life and we were hanging out and knitting and being good friends. I should be so lucky. sigh I think my brain used the pictures from this blog entry for visual material because I could see you clearly in my dream and you were wearing the clothes from these pictures.

I am going to use this pattern for the mystery sock KAL.
Do you know what pattern you'll be using yet?

msubulldog said...

Congratulations all around! (I was so excited to see Girlie get her participation ribbon, though!) And you swept the beaded bracelet category--so much for competing with yourself, huh? *grin* Awesome.