Thursday, September 8, 2011

State Fair of Texas

It had been many years since I’d visited the State Fair of Texas, just to visit and not work on a special event (a past life) then run quickly to the special places I hold close to my heart. Last year, my husband & I decided to go, just because. I’m so glad we did on several levels! We rode the DART rail, transferred once, then got off right at an entry into the fairgrounds. It was fabulous and the ONLY way we’ll go to the fair ever again!

While at the fair, my favorite place to visit is the Creative Arts building. It’s there one can view all the fabulous handmade creations people submitted for competition. You only see the best of the best – First, Second, Third, and Honorable Mention – ribbon winners.

Several decades ago, the items were housed in what was called the Woman Building. During that era, my mother competed and won several ribbons over the years. Back then, entrants modeled their designs during the judging segment, and winners also modeled their wares during the fair! One design she created stands out vividly in my memory bank. During the fair, I remember sitting with my daddy as we watched her model a mauve colored satin “petal” dress. At the last questioning, I learned she still has the "after five" dress safely tucked away in their cedar chest.

Between the wonderful memories my mother gave me and seeing all the lovely items on display last year, I became inspired to enter the competition for this year’s fair.

I learned 2011 would mark the fair’s 125th birthday! I knew their “theme” would focus on the celebration in some form or fashion. For this reason, the red, white, & blue apron I created and entered had 124 x’s cross-stitched and 1 large 5-pointed star on the bodice and waistband to represent the past and present years that people have enjoyed the State Fair of Texas!

I also wanted to create a bag using a pair of repurposed Dickies jeans. Big Tex wears Dickies! I couldn’t believe the specific bandana fabric I’d pictured in my mind would be difficult to find, but I finally did at Hobby Lobby! Of course, I had to add some rhinestones and Texas Star shaped brads I found at Michaels!

The doll dress – I really didn’t make a “Texas” or “Fair” specific theme – is a print with the saying “winter quilts and warm friends” scrolled around different common quilt blocks. Because people usually attend the fair with friends and so many beautiful quilts are on display, I guess the primary fabric used is “fairish” after all!!!

Well, on Tuesday, I FINALLY received notification in the mail as to the decision! And, I won! All three entries placed! Their website now has the results posted. I'm on page 7 & 8 !!!

The apron won 1st place!
The bag won 2nd place!
The doll dress won 2nd place!

When I shared the fabulous news on my Facebook page, a friend asked me, “What did you win besides bragging rights forever?”
My response: “RIBBONS!!! The honor of being displayed during the Fair! And, the quality of my work was recognized by the judges!!!”

Thanks again to Mother for the inspiration to try and follow in her footsteps.
Thanks again to Sister, who encouraged me to continue when “life” got in the way.
Thanks again to Daddy, who instilled in me the excitement and appreciation for the fair.
Thanks again to Bud, for the never-failing support for me to do the things I love to do!

The State Fair of Texas is from September 30, 2011 through October 23, 2011!

I hope everyone will attend this year!

I'll leave you with a great quote to remember, that applies to anything and everything...
"Goals. There's no telling what you can do when you get inspired by them. There's no telling what you can do when you believe in them. There's no telling what will happen when you act upon them." - Jim Rohn

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