Wednesday 12 August 2015

Another Fair, More Ribbons

At the next country fair in our area, I entered even more items than at the previous one and brought home 6 red (firsts) and 3 blues (seconds). Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, which is too bad because they had the larger quilts displayed nicely at the fair. I took these photos at home afterwards. 
The Florence Nightingale quilt and So You Think You Can Quilt both took red ribbons again,

while this time the Scrappy Shine quilt and the Firecracker Throw got reds as well. They both placed second in the previous fair. 

There was a Paper Pieced class at this fair, so I also entered the Dreamweaver Quilt 
which was awarded a blue ribbon.
I entered two different cowls in this show, the two dropped stitch cowls. The knitted one took a blue ribbon
and the crocheted one was awarded a red. 
In the Small Crocheted Article, I entered my Argyle Crochet Pot Holder, which won a red ribbon.
And finally I decided to include my first attempt at an acrylic painting (outside of the practice ones I did in class). 
Surprisingly, my Painted Trillium won a second. 
That's it for fair season this year. Now that the "fair bug" has bitten, I intend to plan better for next year's fairs. 

Sunday 9 August 2015

My First Fair Entries

This is my last day of vacation. During my vacation, my daughter and I took Damian to the local fair. It was kind of a bust for a toddler, not quite 3 years old. Most of the rides are too advanced for him. And the bouncy castle had too many bigger kids in it for it to be safe for him. The petting zoo had so many other kids that Damian found it overwhelming. And the bench show was rather disappointing for me as well. Only 4 quilted items total, all of which were small items. No large quilts.There was only one knitted afghan which was barely baby size, no crocheted afghan, and a few smaller items in those categories. And that for a town of 6000 with the largest fair in the area. It got me to thinking about entering some of my projects. 
I first started thinking about entering my projects many years ago when I was still living in London, Ontario. While visiting the Western Fair, I noticed a cake that had won a ribbon that was just covered with stars (different colours, according to the desired design), which is one of the simplest ways to decorate a cake. And I knew I could do better than that as I was into cake decorating at that time. However, I never followed up. Then, when my daughter was younger and we were living in Alberta, I helped her enter several projects in the local fairs. It seems almost every little community in rural Alberta has a fair or rodeo. So my daughter entered in the bigger fair in town, and a couple of smaller fairs in other communities. 
After seeing the rather dismal display at the local fair, I remembered that the two other area fairs were around the same time as our fair. And decided to investigate. Sure enough, today was the one in the small hamlet and this coming Wednesday is the one in a nearby village. Since I had never entered anything in a fair before, I had a collection of projects that qualified to enter. (You cannot enter the same item in the same fair more than once). I managed to come up with 7 items to enter: a large quilt, a crib quilt, a small quilted article, a knitted article not listed (cowl), crocheted doll clothes, crocheted afghan, and a crocheted item not listed (another cowl). And I brought home a ribbon for each one!
You may remember that I have said before that I do not make "show quality" quilts, so I did not expect to win much, if anything for my quilts. However, entering a quilt in a quilt show and entering one in a local country fair are not the same thing. 
Here's the rundown of my ribbons, just note that red ribbons are first place in Canada and blue ribbons are second place. 
The Florence Nightingale qult 

won first place in the Large Quilt class.

The Scrappy Shine quilt

won second place in the crib quilt class.

So You Think You Can Quilt
won first place in the Small Quilted Article class.
Candi's Checked Cowl
won first place in the Other Knitted Article Not Listed class.
My toilet paper doll won first place in the Crocheted Doll Clothes class (second place winner in the background).
The Firecracker Throw
won second place in the Crocheted Afghan class (first place in background, third place on the left).
And the Twisted Cowl
won second place in the Other Crocheted Article Not listed class (seen here in the background with the first place item in the foreground).
On Wednesday, I will enter some items in the next fair. I haven't decided if I'll enter all of the same items or not. I have other cowls that could be entered that I will not have the opportunity to enter again as they will be given away at Christmas. 
This was fun. There was more competition in this small fair than there would have been had I entered the one in town. And I earned a little money, too, as there are small cash prizes along with the ribbons. Next year, I will likely have entries in all three fairs, but I might be competing against my daughter as she is resuming her hobbies of quilting and crocheting. And that will make me proud. And I intend for my grandson to begin his fair entries as well. 

Wednesday 5 August 2015

Camping with My Grandson

I had originally planned on being at Campmeeting this week. However, I was unable to book a serviced campsite at our church campgrounds, and I wasn't about to stay at an unserviced site. It kind of defeats the purpose of having a trailer in the first place if I can't use the washroom, lights, furnace... There never seems to be a surplus of money in my budget, plus I had finally decided to hire someone to complete my renovation project for me, so this was going to be a "staycation." However, having my trailer sit idle on a friend's acreage for 2 or 3 years rather defeats the purpose of having it as well. I looked at the calendar and was reminded that the coming weekend was actually a "long" weekend, August 3rd being Civic Holiday here in Alberta. And I really hadn't done anything special for a long weekend in a long time. So I contacted my daughter and asked if she and Damian would like to go camping with Grandma for the weekend. So we did. 
Since it was pretty much a last minute idea, I basically threw everything together. Planning on a weiner roast, I remembered the hot dog buns, but not the weiners. There were a few other things I forgot, but we got by. And mostly had a good time. I brought along Damian's bike and his bubble lawn mower, which he drove so hard that it was "foaming at the mouth." He wasn't sure what to make of this "little house" and a couple of times asked to "go home." 
I didn't know what Sophia would bring along for him to play with, so bought a few things at the dollar store, both for inside in case of rain and as well as outdoor toys. Sophia brought some of each, too, so he had enough to do, even though it rained one whole morning. Unfortunately, the camp site was very gravelly, so not the best play site. And Damian did end up with scraped knees as a result.There was a playground in the camp, but after meeting up with the same "brat" there twice - first, when he tried to take off with Damian's bubble lawn mower and second, when he carelessly smacked Damian in the face with a stick, narrowly missing his eye - we decided to mostly avoid the playground. But having both Mom and Grandma to play with made up for that. Damian would want to be outside from before breakfast in the morning until last thing at night, outside of nap time, which we had to enforce when he got grumpy. He was quite thrilled with the water pistols that I bought him. At one point he jumped into what Sophia referred to as his Mission Impossible stance: legs spread, water pistol held front and centre in both hands. He was seldom without one of his water pistols, taking them along as we walked and squirting every stone or stick that we saw along the way. He took one of his water pistols with him when we went hiking, which turned into dinosaur hunting. In his world, dinosaurs are friendly and we weren't hunting them to shoot them, just seeking them out. And we brought one home to have lunch with us. Ah, the imagination of a toddler!
Conveniently, I had purchased a set of 3 water pistols, so we did have one water pistol fight between the three of us. I decided to try Damian's Mission Impossible stance, shouting "Freeze" as I jumped into position. But what does a not quite three-year-old know about "freezing?" Instead, he imitated me, jumping into position and shouting "Freeze." And promptly fell down. Sophia remarked that he should be on one of those gag cop shows.
We only had one campfire during the weekend. Campfires don't work very well with toddlers. Toddlers like to run and jump and play, not sit still gazing into a fire. Roasting marshmallows or weiners wouldn't have been a good plan as he'd want to do it himself and it would be too great a safety hazard. We did find a compromise when Grandma demonstrated making water sizzle by spraying water from the water pistol on the metal fire pit. He sat still for a while to join me in that activity, but it also highlighted the hazard. Instantaneous vaporization meant that fire pit was very HOT! It's amazing the silly things you find yourself doing when you have a grandchild. After he got up and started blowing bubbles with his mother, I suddenly smelled melting plastic and looked down and saw a spark had landed on his lawn chair. So thankful he was not in his chair when that landed. 
Blowing bubbles was another activity we pursued on the weekend, even in the rain. I got a set of various bubble wands and was able to produce some pretty big bubbles with some of them. One of these new wands looked like a smoker's pipe. I filled the bowl with bubble fluid, but the results were less than satisfactory. Damian decided he wanted to try that one. Unfortunately, after blowing out, he then sucked in and was pretty disgusted with the mouth full of bubble fluid he got as a result. 
I did get a lot of exercise this weekend and not enough sleep. The dining table that becomes a bed is just not comfortable enough for my middle-aged body. And I've got a mountain of laundry. So I feel like it will take the remainder of my vacation just to catch up. 
After this weekend, I have concluded that, while my trailer is perfect for just me, it's definitely crowded with the three of us. But we will make do. We'll have to because money is going to be tight for a while. Sophia and Damian are moving back in with me so that Sophia can pursue the practical nurse program and become an LPN. I'm very proud of her.