I can’t believe it’s already been 2 weeks since our county fair! It was a very busy weekend as always (The Husband is practically a single parent for all 3 days), but this year I managed to procrastinate a little less than usual. Which means that I actually entered more than 1 exhibit, remembered to get chicken cages ready so that the girls could show off their beloved pets, and just generally lowered my stress level a couple of notches. I hope this trend will continue into other aspects of life.
Here are a couple of the projects that I put together in the weeks and days before this year’s fair:
I thought that a treasure chest full of cute school supplies might help motivate The Taterbug to complete chapters and unit studies without whining. When I spotted a papier mache’ box at the thrift store for $1 (it was marked $4 when new) I knew I’d found the perfect box.
I first decoupaged gold tissue paper onto the box. Once that dried, I cut out individual roses from a sheet of scrapbook paper. Lesson learned: don’t choose stiff paper for something like this unless you really enjoy painting glue on the same object over and over again.
There was a lot of empty space left between the roses, so I pulled out a sheet of stickers that featured images of antique jewelry, roses, vines, butterflies and banners. Those filled in some of the space, and allowed me to personalize the box. The whole thing was still a little flat, so I pulled out some rhinestone stickers and applied every last one of them to the box. Perfect. It reminds me of antique goofus glass, just the look I was trying for. It is just as gaudy as can be, but both girls love it. It won a blue ribbon, but it had no competition.
I’d had the idea of crocheting a necklace kicking around in my mind for awhile, but I didn’t really care for the bulky, macrame, or hemp styles that I typically see patterns for.
When I found some lame’ beading thread at the craft store, I realized that I could crochet something more to my taste (delicate and sparkly). I bought the thread in silver tone, grabbed a couple of packages of $1 beads from Wal-Mart, and totally free-handed the necklace.
The beads were first strung onto the thread (it takes a very small-eyed needle or a twisted-wire beading needle to do this or they tend to get stuck). Once all the beads were on (you can’t add more once you start crocheting unless you frog the whole thing and start over), I just crocheted a basic chain stitch and moved the beads into place as I went. That was the easy part. I had never made any “real” jewelry before, so figuring out how to attach findings to the individual strands and assembling them into something that could be worn took some time and aggravation.
I’m basically happy with the way the necklace turned out, and I’ve worn it a couple of times since the fair. If I had it to do over again, I’d put a different clasp on the back. Toggle clasps are OK for bracelets, but they irritate the back of my neck. I would also probably skip some of the bigger beads. They are very pretty, but I don’t like the way they pull away from the rest of the necklace. The necklace also won a blue ribbon. I am pleased enough with the results that I plan to make a few more with better quality beads and see how they do at the craft shows.
I also exhibited a pink crocheted scarf, a crocheted baby afghan, a jar of chokecherry jam, and some chickens. The scarf and afghan both won blue ribbons, the jam won a red, and the chickens were a learning experience. I entered them because I wanted to make sure there were plenty of chickens for the public to look at. As it turns out, there were over 50 entered, and I’m really glad I wasn’t the chicken judge. I found that catching and caging chickens was one additional headache on Friday morning that I didn’t need. If I bring them again next year, we’ll have to do that the night before.
I’m glad the fair only comes once a year, but I’m kinda excited for next year!