Saturday, October 5, 2013

Nicole's Fair Entries 2013

My niece, Nicole, is eleven. This year she entered four things in the State Fair and brought home a ribbon for every one of them.  In Creative Arts she entered her woven painting, mini-paintings, and a wreath. The woven painting was made by painting on fabric, tearing the painted fabric in strips, weaving them together and fastening them to a wooden frame, then putting on other bits of fabric and decorative gizmos. That one got a second place ribbon. The mini paintings are 10 small canvas paintings with velcro on the back of each.  They are placed on a larger canvas which has the other side of the velcro -- so the paintings can be arranged to suit the mood.  She calls this one "Seasons of Utah".  It got a nice first place ribbon.
Woven painting

Her final Creative Arts entry is a wreath.  Each wreath was required to have a theme.  So, here's her first place winning "Forever in Blue Jeans" wreath:

Challenge Qult - Cowboy's Closet
The piece we were most pleased with was her "Challenge Quilt".  Every year at the fair a small piece of fabric is available for purchase for $2.00.  This is the challenge fabric and a small wall-hanging quilt of a specific size must be made to suit either the theme or traditional quilting patterns, and having at least 50% of the fabric showing of the front side.  This year's theme was "Best of the West" and the challenge fabric is the red bandana fabric. Each quilt must be completed by only one person, and the quilt must be sewn without help. Nicole thought up this "Cowboy Closet" idea, which I thought was really clever.  My sister, the mathematician, helped her plan the actual size of everything once Nicole had drawn out her basic plan.  I helped her find the Shirt, pants, boots and hat images on the 'net and she did the rest.  The front of the shelf is made from a strip from some fabric my sister had in her fabric cupboard -- it says "What happens on my tractor, stays on my tractor". This is the first sewing Nicole has done. She got a little sewing machine for Christmas and has made some practice seams and started a bag, but this is her first completed project -- and she got a second place ribbon.  Nice, eh?

Friday, October 4, 2013

State Fair 2013

Covered Lotion Jar
This covered lotion jar is my Creative Arts entry. I got a third place ribbon for it.  Pretty good, since there were lots of things with no ribbons at all. Of course, if one person enters two things in the same category, the judges will only award one ribbon, so that might not mean anything.  I use the jar for a pair of matching shuttles and thread, but entered it as a "trinket jar" home-decor item. They tore a piece on the lid, but when I picked it up after the Fair somebody had glued it down.  Weird. 
Lacy Chevron Afghan

My "Lacy Chevron" afghan got a second place ribbon and a comment on the back that said "nicely done."  This is the second afghan I've entered in the State Fair.  The first one didn't have any constructive comments either, so I decided I didn't need improvement.  :)  

Just so you're not holding your breath, I'm  going to have a brag moment and say everything else I entered got a first place ribbon.  Of course, I have to also say I was the ONLY entrant in the Advanced Department for tatting.  All the other tatting was in either "Amateur," or "Senior Citizens 62 or older."

18-inch crocheted doily
11-inch crocheted doily
This year I mounted all the thread-work I entered. It makes the people at the fair happy because they are easier to display and it makes me happy because they don't get displayed thrown across an afghan or quilt. The pieces are tacked to the boards in two or three spots at the top with invisible thread (so that the judges can lift it up and look at the back if they want to). Both the white crocheted doilies are on pieces of white foam-core board covered with blue cotton fabric. I use stitch-witchery (iron on double stick stuff) to put the fabric on the boards -- much easier than sewing! The nice part is that I can just clip the invisible thread after the fair and store the boards for use next year. Sometimes I don't have a board that looks good with the piece of handwork or I don't have one of the right size for what I want to display, so I have to make new ones.  I have quite a collection of boards now. They are of all different sizes and covered with different fabrics. In the past, I only mounted the smaller pieces, as it was required by the fair so they didn't get lost.
Blue pineapple doily

This is a better picture of the blue tatted "pineapple" doily than the one I got at the County Fair.  This is another of those no-pattern things playing with split chains and rings so I didn't have any threads to hide.  One of these days I should sit down and try to make actual patterns for these.  The problem is figuring out what I did and how many ds I actually used in any element. You'd think I'd be smart enough to write things down as I work, wouldn't you?  Well, hello -- that's 'cause you don't know me very well.  I don't want to waste my time writing down things that might not work -- and I have lots of bits and pieces of things that didn't work!  Still, maybe I'd better stop thinking of it as wasting time and consider it an investment in future patterns, because I like this one!
Sunrise Doily

You recognize this, right?  It's the Sunrise thread and doily center that Jess from Tat-ilicious dyed for me. I entered it in the County Fair in 2012 and intended to enter it in the State Fair that same year. Turned out there wasn't a category for it that year. The only ones they had for edgings were for a pillowcase or a handkerchief. I suppose I could have told them it was a round hanky, but it might have been disqualified.  This year they added some categories (can you believe it!?), so I entered it in the "Miscellaneous Trim Only, on an item not listed above" (the items  listed above were the pillowcase and the handkerchief).
Anyway, the Fair rules allow entry of items completed within the past two years, so -- TA-DA -- I got to enter it this year.  That was cool, because I thought more people needed to see what great things can be done with colored threads! Jess should really get the ribbon for this one, because the judge's comment was, "I like the color choices and the dying of the fabric."
Blue Christmas Ornaments

Blue Christmas ornaments. Yeah, I make a lot of the same ones. The pattern on the right is definitely mine (it's one of the few patterns I've ever written down). The one on the left is one of those I keep making by looking at an old one I have. The problem is, I can't remember where I got that pattern. I don't know if it's one I made up or one I got out of a book, or one I got free off the net. If anyone recognizes it, please let me know!  I suppose I could sit down with all my tatting pattern books and see if I can find it. You can see the problem with that idea, right?  {Open the pattern book ... start looking ...oooooo... that looks interesting ... where're my shuttles? ... thread ... yeah, that color ... what do you mean, "what am I doing?"  I'm going to make something!}

Fantasy Tree
The Fantasy Tree is another piece that had to wait until there was a category for it. There is only one miscellaneous category and in 2012 I used it for the Utahraptor. This year I used it for the Tree.  This is something like a tatting sampler (except there are NO clunies in it -- not one).  I wrapped the shuttles with two colors of Sulky blendables then kept changing the threads here and there, sometimes one thread sometimes both as the shuttles emptied.  I'm really big-headed about this one because on the back of the entry card (judge's comments) it says "Oh MY GOSH. This is an amazing piece" (you can see my head swell, can't you?).  On the front is a notation "sweeps."  It didn't get sweepstakes, but they thought about it. Maybe if I made a tablecloth sized tree...

Finally, here are the five snowflakes again. I entered them as a set of motifs.  Kind of a sneaky way of getting around choosing which I thought was best.  The card on this one tickled me too -- it says "consider for sweeps". Cool.

So, that's the State Fair for this year for me, at least.  You'll want to see what my niece did though -- really you will! 

And -- one more thing.  It drives me NUTS the way this blogger thing shows me one thing when I enter but when I look on the screen I see something else.  None of the text and pictures are in the right places, so I might just caption all the pictures and the corresponding text.  Yeah, I think I will. --- Aaaaarrrrggghhhh, that's not much better.  You'll just have to figure it out.

TIAS Day 5

Its still a bicycle.  It just looks this way because when I fell off it was a big crash -- and I bent the frame.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

TIAS Day 4

Okay, I admit it.  I'm pretty dim some days.  I cannot figure out how to post in the TIAS blog that Sherry Pence set up for that purpose.  I signed up and she confirmed it, but I'm just bewildered.  I need a big button that says "To Post, Push Here."  
So, failing that -- here's my day 4: 

I'm pretty certain I'm making a bicycle. Yup.  I dunno what everyone else is making, but mine's a bicycle.'s tipped that way because I fell off.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

County Fair 2013

The County Fair was held at the end of August.  I didn't have very many things to enter because I was busy with other not so fun stuff.  Just to heighten the tension (okay, pretend you were feeling some), here's the crochet first:  First place blue ribbons on a ripple afghan and a small white pineapple doily (which if you look closely you can see they mislabeled.  We entered at the same time and they put my sister's name on it -- she let me keep it anyway).
The other piece of crochet is an 18" (45.75 cm) diameter white pineapple doily.  It not only got a first place blue ribbon, it got a "considered for sweepstakes" high-blue ribbon.  Yeah, I'm pretty pleased with it.

I only entered three tatted items in the County Fair.  The categories are more limited than the State Fair.  I got a first place blue ribbon on the blue doily of my own design. (Well, okay, it was the shuttle's design.  I just loaded the thread and let it take me where it would.)

I entered these snowflakes as "wedding accessories" by claiming they were bride favors. Really, they need to add more categories!  The snowflakes were originally done for the IOLI convention in Salt Lake this year.  Bonneville Tatters (of which I am a member) donated them to the convention attendees.  I turned in somewhere around 40, but got sidetracked with all this other stuff and didn't attend any of the meetings in time to turn in the others.  So...what else?...I entered them in the fair.

The blue Christmas ornaments, which I entered as a set, also got a blue ribbon and considered for sweepstakes.  I know I designed the one on the right, but I'm not too sure about the one on the left.  I've made so many of the one on the right that I'm certain about it, but if anyone recognizes the one on the left as being someone's pattern, I hope you'll say so.  I want to give proper credit -- and I want to make more!  

The rest of the family did well at the County Fair too.  We brought home lots of ribbons. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

October, already? Oh, even a different year.

Just dipping my toe back in.  It's been more than a year since I posted anything -- and what a year it's been. I think we finally have Dad settled in a nice assisted living place less than 2 miles from our house. We've been using weekends to clear out his house and garage (5.5 TONS of metal taken to the recyclers -- Dad was a welder and made wonderfully creative metal birds).
I've been making little Halloween pieces for a friend's fundraiser this October.  I've made ten of Sherry Matthews' pumpkins (five with beads and five without) two of Mark Myers "Scary Ghost" without picots, and two of Jeff Hamilton's "Ripley The Ghost". Then I got this idea to make a skeleton.  Martha Ess has a really great pearl tatted skeleton on her website, but it's a bit big and more complicated than I wanted to make for a donation thing. So, I borrowed Jeff Hamilton's basic ghost body and added skinny arms and legs made with double-double stitches (or at least, my version of what I understand them to be). What do you think?

Addition:  Way cool! Jeff Hamilton just said he liked the skeleton and it would be okay to share.  Now I just have to be as good as he is and get the thing written up -- fortunately he's done most of the work.  I just have to figure out how to write the weirdness I did to be able to tat it all in one round and attach the legs the way I wanted to.  I'm wondering now if another set of split rings wouldn't be better than the chain.  I'll have to test that out.

P.S.  Don't think you're not going to have to read about this fair this year just 'cause I posted Halloween first (and before October!).  HA.  The fair post is coming...