Monday, October 29, 2012

State Fair Surprise

I blogged about my State Fair entry here. Well, I took the kids to the Fair on the first day because it costs $1 to get in per person, which left me with some room to buy some tickets for rides. Here they are having fun.

 If you ride with kids you get to ride for free. Fun. We rode the Merry-Go-Round together. The girl was hanging on for dear life and we hadn't even started moving yet.

We checked on the competitive exhibits and saw some cute things, never did see my entry on display, but that is ok, there was tons of items. So we got warm chocolate chip cookies and enjoyed the weather.

Fast forward to this past weekend. On Sunday my hubs inquired about how my item did at the Fair. I told him I didn't know because I didn't see it at the Fair and I hadn't heard anything. So, he said, "Well, let's look it up."
We can do that?
I had completely forgotten that the results would be published. The Fair was on it's last day and was closed and I hadn't even bothered to check the results. Why didn't I think to check the judging results?

He found my name and what I had made, and surprisingly right next to it was an award and some other number. Total shock and amazement on my part. I had won. First place. Blue Ribbon. Now I was super excited to go back to the Fairgrounds to retrieve my item and see if it was true.

I go to pick it up. I helped the lady locate the hat and sure enough on the tag is a blue ribbon picture. She asked if I had seen it at the Fair and I said no, I couldn't find it otherwise I would have known before Sunday. I was super excited.

She took me to another table to get my actual ribbon. The lady at the table takes my paper and gives me my ribbon and then says something strange.

"We couldn't cut you a check because you didn't leave your social security number on the application."

 Ummm...cut me a check?

Yeah. Apparently, in addition to the ribbon you can get money for first place prizes. I could have gotten $8 along with my ribbon. That's what the strange number next to the 1st meant.

I had no idea that you could get award money for sewing from the State Fair. I figured that was for the agriculture and animal exhibits since they pay to enter. I entered for free, but they will award you money anyway. Who knew?...I do now.

I will be on the lookout for a cute something to enter next year, and this time put my social down on the paperwork, just in case, now that I know what those numbers are for.

Congratulations to all of the winners and competitors!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fall Skirts

My daughter needed some more skirts to wear. She likes how easy they are to put on and take off. She would prefer to wear them over anything else in her closet. I found some cute fabric at Wal-mart, Joann's, and Hancock Fabrics to make her some skirts perfect for the Fall season.

I made her a couple of Simple skirts, a circle skirt, some apron skirts, and a bubble skirt. It was fun trying and figuring out new methods of skirt making. I am happy with the results of all the skirts and want to make more for her. The problem is she has so many clothes already for the Fall and I have other projects I want to make for her for the Fall, so does she still need more? Absolutely.

Fall Skirt rundown:

I loved this pumpkin outline fabric I found at Joann's. I found some matching solid fabric at Wal-mart to use as the apron. The apron ended up being shorter than I had originally planned, but the skirt was also a little longer when I cut the fabric. There's room for growth at least. It'll work and it's perfect for Thanksgiving.

The aprons of some skirts ended up being the main part of another skirt. I loved being able to mix and match the colors and patterns to achieve a cute look for the Fall. And the apron skirts are so adorable.

With this skirt I matched up the apron with the waistband. It was much easier than to trying to match the apron to the bottom of the waistband line like in the above photo this one.

I loved this yellow fabric when I used it for the apron. I knew it would be cute on its own as well. It would be perfect for the Fall or the Spring/Summer. It has great crossover potential.

This fabric was just too cute to pass up at Joann's. So colorful, and the leafy pattern was just so pretty. It adds some much needed color to the Fall season with the blue and green leaves. We have more options for tops and leggings, if needed. Might also go great with a pair of jeans.

Wearing skirts and having fun...

Whether running, playing or jumping, skirts are the best. She picked out the red shoes to wear for photos. She loves those shoes and will even put them on at nap time and bedtime and go to sleep. They do add some nice Fall color to the outfit though. I think she has good fashion sense. Who am I to argue with a 2 year old?

I thought the apron skirts would be perfect for a Fall sewing project, and they were, but when I went to put together an outfit for the girl to wear I realized that she doesn't have any actual matching shirts to go with them. Hmph. We'll have to fix that so that she can enjoy them before the season is over with. I did dig up this gold shirt that belonged to the boy when he was two. It works but I think it needs something more. Maybe some applique leaves in matching fabrics to help tie it together better?

Next, find some shirts to go with the skirts.

Skirts are also perfect for showing off your climbing skills while waiting for your brother's tee ball game to start. Again, with the red shoes. They just go with everything. I really like this colorful skirt and we had the perfect shirt to go with it. We also have leggings that match the shirt for when the sun starts to set and the cooler night weather settles in. Cute look.
On to Christmas sewing projects!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Beach Pillow Case Dress

Every little girl needs a cute white dress to wear to the beach.

(I found this cute one at Target on clearance, the problem it that is it a size 5T, too big for the girl this year.)

The problem was that I couldn't find one I liked. I wanted something simple and fun and cute. I did see some pretty dresses, but not for playing at the beach. They were too fancy and girlie. I had to go another route.

A co-worker of mine was having a yard sale and I was helping her organize her things. And I found the perfect item to make a beach dress. A white pillow case with details around the opening. Bingo!

So I turned it into a pillow case dress for my girl.

I didn't use ribbon this time. I just threaded the elastic through the front and the back and stitched the two ends together to form a loop. The neck line expands, if needed, to get the dress on and off. No need to tie the strings over and over again. I was going to add ribbons to the elastic for bows at the shoulders but I couldn't get the bows exactly the way I wanted them so we went without, for now.

Such a pretty girl!
We also did a photo session with both of the kids. I was eventually able to get a few good pictures of them. Toddlers are hard to photograph together. You have to get the both of them looking in the same direction, maybe even smile, preferably at the same time, and they have to hold still long enough for you to actually snap the photo. It's not easy and would be easier if someone else was helping who is good at directing the kids while I take the photo. I'm hoping this gets easier as they get a little older and enjoy helping me when I want to take their pictures.
They do look cute together though.

The end.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The State Fair

One of my sewing goals was to make an item to enter into the State Fair Competitive Exhibit. I used the Gatsby hat pattern and made a cute newsboy hat as my entry item. It made its was to the Fair this past Wednesday with judging on Thursday. I haven't heard anything so I'm pretty sure I didn't get a ribbon or anything. And that's fine, I didn't do it to win.

I did fairly well making the hat and enjoyed the process of being careful and slowing down to get the results I wanted. There are plenty of mistakes, though. There is also plenty of room for improvement.

I went into this project with no aspirations of winning. I did it to say I did it. I hope to be able to go to the State Fair and take the kids like I did last year. Maybe even let the kids go on a couple of rides. I'm not sure my girl is tall enough to ride any of them even with an adult or the boy. We shall see though.

This photo is from our visit to the State Fair last year. The bright colors and smells, so fun. We didn't stay long, but it was the first day and only cost $1 per person to get in, so I didn't feel bad about that.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Summer Bucket List: Part 2

Well, it is officially Fall, according to the calendar. Summer is over, and yet some warm weather remains. I'm ok with that. I like warm weather, not so much the hot, hot, HOT weather.
I don't like that at all.

One thing I don't like about Fall is that the sun starts to set earlier and earlier. I don't want it to get dark earlier, there are things I want to do outside after the kiddos' bedtime while it is still warm, but it's not working out for me.

The whole thing about getting darker earlier is really confusing to my boy. He wants to be able to look at his books in bed but dusk doesn't make it possible, and he doesn't understand. The best I have come up with is that I tell him it starts to get darker earlier and earlier and that means Christmas is coming, soon. Oh, how soon the holidays are approaching. I'm trying not to think about it and yet, I am looking forward to it all at the same time. So much to do. So much!

We continued our quest to visit 13 different parks with playgrounds. We didn't make it to 13 though. We ended at 12. Ran out of time and season. But I think that is fine, 12 parks is plenty of parks to visit in the 10 weeks or so of Summer. We can visit the others that didn't make the list and the one we couldn't fit in throughout the year or over the next Summer.

Here's the finale of our Summer Bucket List. Read the first list here where we visited 7 parks.
Here are the final 5:

8. Eric Fowler Park: Completely fenced in and shady. Lots of room and lots to play on. Great place for picnic, large gathering's and cookouts. Downside, not restroom facilities and no real parking lot.

9. Benton Park in Springdale. Great location, right behind the police department. Awesomely huge play set for older kids. Smaller play set for toddlers. Slides, swings, merry-go-round, and a small splash pad. What's not to love? Also, it's fenced in as well, which is a good thing since it has two major roads next to the park. Tons of fun for the kids. Big plus, restroom facilities.

10. Red Bank Arena: Very impressive play set. It was huge, and there was so much to do, so many things to climb and figure out. Even the toddler play set was impressive. The kids had a great time. And since it is located in the sports complex, restrooms are available. Even the sports complex was neat. Baseball fields, the BMX dirt track, and some open dirt areas which I eventually figured out to be areas for barrel racing. There was also a paved walking path around the parking lot and intersects with the sidewalks around the ball fields. Great place for kids and adults. This one is definitely one I will take the kids back to because it is very nice and reasonably close to the house.

11. South Congaree Park: A fire engine play set, a kids dream. Also located next to the police/emergency department. It's a cute place and if we lived closer to it we would probably visit it again. Since it's not, I don't think we will go back to this one. The kids enjoyed it though. Swings, toddler play things that I don't think I took pictures of, volleyball courts and basketball. It's a nice community park if you live in that community.

12. Sunnyside Park: A very cute community park. Downside, no real parking lot and no restrooms. Very open and fenced in. Lots of things to do as well. There was a great play set to keep kids entertained. One unique thing they did have was what I call the fitness course. It looked challenging, but also looked like a ton of fun. If I was about 7 or 8 years old, it would have been my favorite thing to explore. My kids enjoyed parts of it, but they are a little young, i.e. short, to fully enjoy all it had to offer them.

There were other play sets there as well for the younger crowd. They were a bit older than the bigger play set, but that is part of their charm. They reminded me of the play sets I used to play on. Metal parts, slides, an actual wooden suspension bridge, and monkey bars. This park has a lot to offer in the way of challenging kids without dampering the fun.


Many parks have given up on the challenge to create a safe play environment (boring). I'm all for safety, but part of the fun is the challenge and conquering fears, and trying new things. I hope I was able to do that for the kids. Well, maybe not this Summer because they are little, they are supposed to be scared of certain things, but maybe in a couple of years when they get a little braver and need to conquer some fears we will come back to this playground.
That wraps up our Summer Bucket List for 2012. Everyone had a good time. I'm looking forward to next Summer and am already planning some fun activities, well, just one at the moment. A possible trip to Texas to visit my sister. I'll probably take my son with me so he can play with her son. It'll be a new experience for him. Flying on an airplane for the first time, visiting a new state, I think he might enjoy it.
What I am not looking forward to it the end of next Summer. My son will be a Kindergartner. He's growing up, so fast. I'll be a parent of a school-age child. But that is next year.


Thank you Summer for a great season.

Bring it on Fall. I have so much I want to do!