Best of Show!

Each year for the past 4 years I have entered my handmade items into competitions at our North Carolina State Fair.  The first year I entered just crocheted items.  I have been crocheting many, many years and knew that I did good work, but I really didn’t know how my work compared to others.  All three items that I entered that first year won ribbons — 2 first place, and a second place.

(I looked for and could not find a picture of the christening gown I crocheted that year.  I’m sure I have a picture somewhere, just not sure where.)

After that first year, I was hooked.  It’s not the prize money — each first place wins just $6-$8 and second and third place win even less than that.  It’s the thrill of the competition!  It’s exciting to see a ribbon on an item you made.  It’s exciting to see others appreciate your hard work.

2012 Fair Win

2012 Fair Win

Since then, I have expanded my entries into other areas.  I usually win several ribbons, and usually do best with the items that I made throughout the year rather than the items I try to make at the last minute. And these are items I would be making anyway — they are baby gifts, Christmas presents, birthday gifts, or usually just something I wanted for my own use.  This year I focused on quilting and embroidery more than crochet.

The first quilt I entered 2 years ago, didn’t win anything.  It is still one of my favorite quilts though, and I have kept it for myself.

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The Mexican Rose original design quilt I entered last year won 4th place.  I was very happy with that because there is stiff competition in all the quilt categories, and it was my first quilting win.

Mexican Rose

Mexican Rose

My entries for the 2013 fair did great…

Torreya Turtle won 1st place in the stuff toy category.

Torreya Turtle

Torreya Turtle

Ellie the Elephant came in second place in the baby quilt category.

Ellie

My nativity embroidered quilt won a first place ribbon.

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And last but not least, my goose tracks quilt won BEST OF SHOW.  Finally, that Best of Show award is no longer evading me.  I was so excited, I was giddy.  I was like a kid in a candy store.  YAY!!

IMG_3250I’m still shooting for a best of show in the crochet/knitting category too.  Maybe next year…

2013 Goals — But NOT a New Year’s Resolution

Let me be very upfront about this. I don’t like New Year’s Resolutions. I honestly do not think I have ever seen anyone, and I mean ANYONE, keep or live up to their New Year’s resolution. I see it only as a way to let yourself down.

However, I do believe in setting goals. In fact, to quote a well-known financial guru, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Plans and goals are essential. Otherwise, you live day in and day out with no direction; and without direction, in 10-years, you’re likely to be exactly where you are now.

Very seldom does want you want come easy. It usually takes hard work and dedication. But what are you going to work towards if you don’t know where it is you want to be. Setting goals will give you that direction.  Your goals need to be SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-sensitive.  And goal setting can happen at any time, not just on the first day of each year.

So here are some of my short-term goals.

Quilting/Sewing related:

Other goals:

  • Spend more time with family and friends
  • Make a photo book for 2012
  • Plant, expand, keep up with my garden this year
  • Lose weight – isn’t this on everyone’s list?  I need to lose at least 40 pounds this year.  60 would be better, but we’ll keep it real at 40.  In order to meet that goal, I will need to:
    • Stay away from sugar and simple carbs
    • Exercise 5 hours a week.
  • Stay on a budget every month.
  • Work with monkey #1 on Pre-K workbooks
  • Do Financial Peace Jr. with my 12-year old