Saturday, August 11, 2012

The County Fair

 This week we have been rather absorbed with our county fair. We really enjoy this week. It is always very busy but very fun!

   One of the things that we love to do is enter things in the open class in Home Arts and Gardening. We tend to procrastinate around here or at least come up with lots of things we can enter at the last minute so the days before entry day are always crazy busy! We did have fun though- even with our messy house and hurry to get things finished (while trying to spend time with my family who was in town)- many years we have gotten stressed (which I don't like) but this year was for the most part just fun.

One of our last minute projects was a county fair themed quilt. We have all been saving ribbons that we have received throughout the years and had wanted to do something with them and had thought about adding them to a quilt but hadn't done anything yet. When we saw that there was a new category at the fair for a "county fair themed quilt" we decided we had better get busy. It was mostly my project but we all discussed ideas for it and such and Mara helped with cutting out pieces and she did a lot of the embroidery. My niece Margaret, sister Keren and Sister-in-law Molly Bea also each embroidered a little on some squares. Molly Bea also drew some of the embroidery designs. The kids had fun ironing the ribbons and getting them ready to use. We did win 1st prize which came with a special additional prize of $25 so we are pretty excited. What has been the most fun about it in my book is how much some of regular volunteers out at the fair have enjoyed it.

Here are some snapshots of the fair.....
 Jonathan baking cookies late at night. He won 1st with them at the fair.
 I finally am all done with hand quilting the quilt I made for Ken's and my bed. I entered it at the fair.
 When we were making a batch of pickles last week each of the kids wanted to make a jar to enter at the fair. I decided that would work all right. Each child was in charge of choosing and preparing his own cucumbers and putting the spices in. I did mix up the brine. The canner has room for 7 jars so they each did one and then I did 3 jars each one a little different (one whole dill pickles, one chunk and one mixed veggie- cucumbers and little onions) . All of the pickles were dill except for Jonathan's since he prefers sweet pickles. He made his own concoction of sweet and spicy pickles (with whole little onions, cloves and star anise in it). We thought Jonathan's looked cool and that he would probably win but the judges didn't think like we did and the others all got ribbons but Jonathan's just got a participation ribbon. Two of my jars from the batch also got blue ribbons so it was a very productive batch of pickles!

 Mara's cross stitch wall hanging took 3rd place in the adult category. We were happy with that as there was some good competition there and some other very nice ones didn't get any prize at all.
 Megan and Aaron's homemade dolls each got ribbons as did the girls' doll clothes, a bag Mara embroidered, some embroidery that Aaron did and mittens I made. (all in the picture above)
 Aaron entered a wooden spoon that he made for me and Jonathan entered one of the knives he carved. They both got prizes.
 I enjoyed looking at the baskets. The denim one that I entered didn't place but my funky denim vase won 1st plus a supervisor's choice award. I rather like the project about as well where somebody took an old bike wheel, painted it and gave it some western touches and then used it to display pictures on. I love all the ideas we can get when looking at things at the fair.

 Aaron made a quilt (pretty much all by himself so it is far from perfect but he was excited about doing it and it was fun) which got 2nd place.

I love looking at all the quilts there. Some people do a simply beautiful job!
Here are some of the ones I really enjoyed looking at:
An appliqued quilt that depicts farm life very beautifully!
What a cute 3D wall hanging quilt!
There were many more that we beautiful and amazing! It is so much fun to look at them all.

We also entered some things in the gardening section. Here are a couple of them:

 We entered green beans. I picked are very pretty rattlesnake beans. They are green with little purple stripes. I picked a bunch and then Megan sorted through them for me to get 8 of them that were most alike. I think she did a good job sorting because we got 2nd place.
 Mara entered a miniature arrangement category and placed 3rd (hers is the really tiny one on the far left).

  Besides entering things in the fair we also are involved with booths in the business area. Ken has a booth for his business and then we also help with the republican booth. We all spend time helping out at the booths. I enjoy it because I end up seeing a lot of people from the community that I know. The community feeling that there is at a county fair is definitely one of my favorite parts. I can hardly walk anywhere at all without going by someone that I know. It can take a long time to get from one place to another since often we have fun stopping and visiting.

Speaking of people I know...

 Some friends of ours (fellow homeschoolers and former violin students (the three girls) of mine) had a concert this afternoon on the stage at the fair. Ken and Mara were busy at the booth but the other kids and I as well as my parents and another friend had fun listening to their concert. I haven't taught the girls for several years now and I had so much fun seeing how much they have improved in their music! It is inspiring to me as well because the only music lessons the kids have had is the 3 girls taking the violin for a number of years but they have gone was past that! Now the 5 kids (ages 9-18 I think) play a combination of violin, guitar, mandolin, banjo, dobro, harmonica, bass guitar and maybe more. Many of those instruments are played by more than one child. They also do very well on the vocals with a lot of nice harmony. The parents do a great job too - I just am always impressed when I see children performing well. We totally enjoyed their concert which was full of gospel songs presented in a very nice way.  It was inspiring to both my kids and me.
 Tomorrow is the final day of the fair. Tomorrow afternoon we will need to go and pick up our stuff. Meanwhile we are dreaming about next year!


Fairyluver said...

Wow just WOW what a talented crew you have there!! It looks like a fun time at the fair!! Ours is in September and I think I might enter something this year for the first time. I've always enjoyed looking at all the inspiring works of art.

Erin said...

Looks like such a fun time! Congrats on all of your ribbon winners. You and your children are so creative. Maybe I'll enter something in the fair next year. I haven't done that since 4H in Junior High...


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