Monday, August 04, 2014

The 2014 Monroe County Fair....


~ Hello Friends ~ 
I know that many of you are awaiting my 2014 Fair Results and look forward to what the judges told me and what my own comments are on each entry. I turned in 19 entries into 4 different divisions. I will break down each division and give comments from judges and how I scored and then give any comments that I have of my own. I mean, fair is fair, I deserve to give my own 0.02 worth too!

A note on awards:
  • All Open Class entries receive either A first place, second place or third place ribbon.
  • One Champion and one Reserve Champion ribbon can be given in each CLASS; if merited
  • Honor ribbons are picked from ENTRY first place winners
  • One Grand Champion and one Reserve Grand Champion will be given in each DIVISION
Alright with that out of the way...
LET'S GO!


Creative Crafts Division
Recycled Item Class
Entry: Altoid Tin Sewing Case

Scoring sheet results:
Recycled Items Class: Very Good
Overall Appearance: Very Good
Workmanship/Neatness: Very good
Attention to Detail: Very Good
Originality/Design: Very Good
Entry Operates Properly (If Applicable): Very Good
Proportional to its Function: Very Good
Entry is Complete: Very Good
Sturdy/Solid for Intended Purpose: Very Good

Judges Comments: 
Very useful!! Great craftsmanship!

Award Received: 
Blue
Honor 

My Comments:
:)
Creative Crafts_Recycled Items


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Mixed Media Division
Paper Class
Entry: Halloween Paper Mache Door Decoration

Scoring Sheet results:
Clean and undamaged: Very Good
Cleanliness/Workmanship: Good
Artistic Balance: Very Good
Overall Appearance: Very Good
Attention to Detail: Good
Durable for Purpose: Very Good

Judges Comments:
Really cute project! Lots of glue showing. Nice use of mixed media. Finish the inside. 

Award Received:
Blue

My Comments:
I agree with everything they said. There is some glue showing on the berries and on the witches broom. The inside is not finished, but it is a door decoration so I did not paint the inside of the cone on the witches hat. Agree with everything. 
Mixed Media_Paper Class


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Tin Item Class
Entry: Tin Snowflake Decorator Piece

Scoring Sheet Results:
Clean and Undamage: Very Good
Cleanliness/Workmanship: Very Good
Artistic Balance: Very Good
Overall Appearance: Very Good
Attention to Detail: Good
Durable for Purpose: Very Good

Judges Comments:
Make sure ribbon is even. Nice stitching. 

Award Received:
Blue 
and
Honor

My comments:
:)
Mixed Media_Tin Decorator Item

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Holidays at the Fair Division
Ornaments Class
Entry: Santa Ornament

Scoring Sheet Results:
Usefulness: Very Good
Decorative Design: Very Good
Workmanship: Very Good

Judges Comments:
Beautiful

Award Received: 
Blue
and 
Honor

My comments:
:)
Hoidays at the Fair_Santa Ornament Set


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Ornaments Class
Entry: Angel Ornament

Scoring Sheet Results:
Usefulness: Very Good
Decorative Design: Very Good
Workmanship: Very Good

Judges Comments:
Useful and neat

Award Received:
Blue
and 
Honor

My comments:
Uhhh...."useful and neat" (?!) judge must of been getting tired... but I'll take it! 
:)
Holidays at the Fair_Angel Ornament


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Ornaments Class
Entry: Single Ornament

Scoring Sheet Results:
Originality: Very Good
Decorative Design: Very Good
Workmanship: Very Good

Judges Comments:
Pretty

Award Received:
Blue

My comments:
Hmmmm.....???
Holidays at the Fair_Single Ornament


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Ornaments Class
Entry: Snowman Ornament

Scoring Sheet Results:
Originality: Very Good
Decorative Design: Very Good
Workmanship: Very Good

Judges Comments:
Good work

Award Received:
Blue
and
Honor

My Comments:
I agree :)
Holidays at the Fair_Snowman Ornament


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Ornaments Class
Entry: Other; Non-Specified Theme

Scoring Sheet Results:
Originality: Very good
Choice of Material: Needs Improvement -
**with comment: "POOR COLOR CHOICE!" (written in all caps)
Structural Design: Good
Workmanship: Good

Judges Comment:
Cute

Award Received: 
Red

My Comments:
Well...here we go again with the color choice. Let me just state right now that it clearly states in all of the Open Class rules that color choices ARE NOT supposed to enter into the judging. It is only supposed to be judged on intent, purpose, design, workmanship, etc. ~ not color choice. I got dinged last year on a beautiful set of ornaments submitted to the Needle Arts category because of my use of black ribbon on them. Is this the end of the world...no.

**Interesting side note though...yesterday when I went to pick up my entries, the supervisor of the Holidays at the Fair Division apologized for the red ribbon. She told me that she did not agree with how the whole Division had been judged. She told me I had gorgeous things and to please, please come back next year.... I assured her I would, as Christmas and Holidays in general were my "thing" and that she could bet her bottom dollar, I'd be back, a second place ribbon was not a big deal, I had many other wonderful ribbons. Although as I write this, I'm wondering what got Champion and Reserve Champion for the Ornaments Class?? I never saw them...hmmm...maybe there was deeper issues than my red ribbon?
Holidays at the Fair_Ornament Unspecified


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Soft Home Holiday Decorator Items Class
Entry: Stocking

Scoring Sheet Results:
Usefulness: Very Good
Originality: Very Good
Choice of Material: Very Good 
**with comment written: "clever"
Decorative Design: Very Good

Judges Comments:
Cute

Award Received:
Blue

My Comments:
I'm happy with blue, but the judge needs to get a Thesaurus...there are more adjectives than "cute".

Holidays at the Fair_Felt Stocking


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Decorator Items Class
Entry: Christmas Picture

Scoring Sheet Results:
Usefulness: Very Good
Choice of Material: Very Good
Decorative Design: Very Good
Workmanship: Very Good

Judges Comments:
Great

Award Received:
Blue

My Comments:
Cute
:)
Holidays at the Fair_Decorator Items


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Holiday Soft Home Accessories Class
Entry: Wall Hanging

Scoring Sheet Results:
Usefulness: Very Good
Originality: Very Good
Decorative Design: Very Good
Workmanship: Very Good
Finish: Very Good

Judges Comments:
Very well done

Award Received:
Blue
Honor
Champion

My Comments:
YAY!

Holidays at the Fair_Holiday Soft Home Accessories Wallhanging

Ok Folks....
NOW we get to the meat of the entries...the Needle Arts Division. I so badly (SO BADLY) want to be the Grand Champion or Reserve Grand Champion of the Needle Arts Division. In the Needle Arts Division you are against the following "types" of needle art: 
Tatting
Knitting
Crochet
Needlepoint
Plastic Canvas
Embroidery
Hand Applique
Bead Work
Needle Punch
Cross Stitch
Now, I'm cool with all the things that actually use needle and thread. But I personally think knitting, tatting and crochet need to have its own division. How can one judge a knitted/crochet/tatted piece against a needle and thread piece? I don't know...but that's the game.

Needle Arts Division

Cross Stitch; Other Items Class
Entry: Non-Traditional Finishing

Scoring Sheet Results:
Overall Appearance: Good
Workmanship/Neatness: Good
Attention to Detail: Good
Unique Presentation of Exhibit: Good

Judges Comments:
Unique presentation

Award Received:
Blue

My Comments:
This was the first comment card I opened for my Needle Arts submissions and knew it was going to be a long hard road to get through them. The comment from judge was: "Unique presentation" and I got a "good" mark for Unique Presentation of Exhibit? Hmmm....gonna be a long day....
And also notice...no comment on my actual cross stitching..
NeedleArts_Non-Traditional Finishing


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Cross Stitch Other Items Class
Entry: Perforated Paper

Scoring Sheet Results:
Overall Appearance: Good
Workmanship/Neatness: Good
Attention to Detail: Good
Unique Presentation of Exhibit: Very Good

Judges Comments:
Unique idea; well done on paper, watch crispness of cross stitches

Award Received:
Blue

My comments:
"crispness"....
NeedleArts_XS Perforated Paper


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Counted Cross Stitch; Other Items Class
Entry: Pillow

Scoring Sheet Results:
Overall Appearance: Very Good
Workmanship/Neatness: Very Good
Attention to Detail: Very Good

Judges Comments:
Excellent work on 40 count - all stitches can be seen, no sinking-

Award Received:
Blue
Champion

My Comments:
I'm over the moon with the Champion, and her "excellent work on 40 count" is a true compliment; however left blank on the scoring sheet is "Unique Presentation of Exhibit" I feel that this is one of the main things about this entry is the "unique presentation" yet no comment about that. Oh well...happy, happy!
NeedleArts_ XS Pillow Class


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Christmas Needlework Class
Entry: Picture

Scoring Sheet Results: 
Overall Appearance: Good
Presentation of fabric: Good
Workmanship/Neatness: Good
Attention to Detail: Good

Judges Comments:
NONE given

Award Given: 
Blue

My Comments:
No comment.
NeedleArts_Christmas Picture


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Christmas Needlework Class
Entry: Ornaments

Scoring Sheet Results:
Presentation of Fabric: Good
Workmanship/Neatness: Good
Attention to Detail: Needs Improvement
Unique Presentation of Exhibit: Very Good

Judges Comments:
well finished and shows off design; inconsistency in tension of cross stitches that creates unevenness, some are not complete crosses

Award Received:
Blue

My Comments:
Here we go on tension, (although I will say this year is a new judge, apparently). I want to address two things: the incomplete crosses, I'd love to be shown where they are, I have looked with a magnifying glass and cannot find them. The second thing I'd like to address is the "unevenness". These are done on 40 ct. with a mix of overdyed threads and DMC. This "unevenness" is not from inconsistency in tension (you cannot see where my needle came up or went down - so tension is fine) the "puffiness" or whatever of the stitching is due to the mix of overdyes and DMC. Has anyone else ever noticed that occasionally overdyed threads are flatter than DMC? They lay flatter than DMC. Like they are stretched flat when dried or something? I notice it from time to time....but whatever...my bad, I guess. I pay VERY close attention to my tension because for the past 4 years I've been boinked on the head about it year after year from the fair judges, these ornaments are beautiful and deserve greater than a blue ribbon.
NeedleArts_Christmas Needlework


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Creative Items Class
Entry: Special Item other than Christmas

Scoring Sheet Results:
Overall Appearance: Good
Presentation of Fabric: Good
Workmanship/Neatness: Good
Attention to Detail: Good

Judges Comments:
watch evenness of stitches

Award Received:
Blue

My comments:
Again no mark given for "Unique Presentation of Exhibit" and this darn judge is telling me about "unevenness" of stitches again....Again, the use of a mix of overdyes from different companies and DMC. Maybe some of my X's aren't perfect. So I'll take one for the team. Still irritates me that the "unique presentation" was not marked nor mentioned. Isn't that a part of "creativity"?
NeedleArts_Creative Items


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Framed Cross Stitch Class
Entry: Small framed

Scoring Sheet Results:
Overall Appearance: Good
Presentation of Fabric: Good
Workmanship/Neatness: Good
Attention to Detail: Needs Improvement

Judges Comments:
Sweet design, cross stitches are uneven, laying the threads would help

Award Received:
Blue

My Comments:
I agree that the cross stitches ARE uneven...I stitched this when I was basically blind, after my Lasik procedure in January. So it was a poor example and not my best stitching. Totally agree. But hey, ho: a shout out to Lizzie Kate..."sweet design"! Even though the stitcher obviously sucks! HA HA!
NeedleArts_Framed Small



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Framed Cross Stitch Class
Entry: Sampler

Scoring Sheet Results:
Overall Appearance: Good
Presentation of Fabric: Good
Workmanship/Neatness: Good
Attention to Detail: Good

Judges Comments:
Fine work, each cross stitch is seen, especially the house - there is no pulling of fabric, excellent on 36 count. 

Award Received: 
Blue 
Honor
Champion

My Comments:
Well I wonder if the judge knows that the dipshit that stitched all those poor examples of uneven stitching above actually stitched this sampler? And if this is the Champion entry for all the framed class, WHY?! did I not get one "VERY GOOD" mark on the score sheet? If this is a "fine work" piece as she wrote......then why is there not at least ONE very good mark? Mind blowing...

NeedleArts_Framed Sampler


So here is my ribbons for the 
2014 Monroe County Fair....
and again this year there is:
NO GRAND CHAMPION
NO RESERVE GRAND CHAMPION
ribbon laying in the pile....

2014 Monroe County Fair Ribbons won by me


Just a few words about entering the fair and personal things about me....
I am a very competitive person. When I do something, I put a lot of effort into it. I expect myself to be the best I can be. Period. So if I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it and do it right. If my name is attached to it, its going to be as perfect; or as perfect as I can make it be from imperfect human hands. If I'm not doing it right and I love it, then that means I'm going to research, practice, figure out and try, try try to do it better than anyone out there. 
THIS is a personal flaw, I know....ha ha ha! :)

But...
It explains why I get down when I don't see my work (especially when I have so much success outside the fair with my cross stitching) win the Grand or Reserve Grand Champion ribbon.  But I guess it isn't perfect yet ~ so more work, more practice is needed! And I'll do it! You cannot be a Grand Champion with sub par work. 

I'll admit...
that after the fair there are occasions that I do get upset when I read the comments. Its a blow to one's pride, for sure. You go in confident, thinking that your work is just pretty as a picture. And I come home a week later and read the comment cards and think...boy I stink! Its a blow sometimes. I mean come on its human...and I can't be the only person out there that can, at times, get their feelings hurt!

Having your items judged...
therefore, is a practice in humility. And being a Christian, humility is part of my faith. It is what Jesus taught. And that is a major part of my struggle in life on many different levels  - denying self, denying pride and becoming humble. I try, but I fail. 

When one practices humility...
however, it makes one realize that these judges are humans too. They took precious time away from their lives to come to Monroe County to judge other's work. It was a big job. They are human too. They have frailties just like anyone else. They are not perfect. But they did the best job they could do. And for that, I am sincerely grateful.

This is my 4th year....
to enter. And I don't want to be greedy, I've had great success in all the fairs my entries have competed. Entering into the fair has taught me invaluable lessons in life....but also I have become a better stitcher, a better finisher, a better person. Because buddy, its hard to take criticism; but to take that criticism and put to good use, that's the way to do it. 

So...
the fair is a lesson in life and that is why I keep entering. One day, after trying really hard and hopefully getting it right (eventually) here on earth. I hope to enter the pearly gates of heaven too. And hopefully when I enter, St. Peter will say: Vonna Pfeiffer, welcome our good and humble servant....and GRAND CHAMPION NEEDLE ARTS WINNER AT THE MONROE COUNTY FAIR!!!!
*but I'm not there yet...not even close! Maybe someday....

Ha! ha! 
:)

May it be so!

Until next time my dear followers...
consider entering in your county fair. Its a practice in humility. But its also a preservation of hand work that is losing ground in our young people every day that passes. Promote our art!

And until then, I'll be keeping my hands to work and my heart to God, just like always! Join me!
Hugs in stitches,
Vonna xxxx

71 comments:

  1. Congrats, you worked very very hard on all of your entries and you do amazing work. I disagree with judge about the color you choose, I love it. I think it was the pears.

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  2. Cute post! Sorry, had to throw that in there! Yeah, what's with 'cute' all the time. I could think of better adjectives than that. Pretty, gorgeous, amazing, etc.! Ha. Sometimes it's hard to please ourselves and not come down hard. The only thing to do is keep at it, right? Beautiful items, btw.

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  3. Dearest Vonna: Your entries are spectacular. congratuations on all your awards. Job well done !!!!

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  4. Congratulations to you on your ribbons and your entries! Wow, you have a lot of classes within the needlework division! I have never received a scorecard or comment on the things I have entered in the fair here other than a verbal 'how nice' comment and hope you will enter next year when I went to pick them up at the closing of the fair. Your workmanship is fabulous, Vonna.

    Robin in Virginia

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  5. Bravo!!! So very well deserved for all of your hard and detailed work. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! WOW!!

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  6. You did a great job and I love your finishes!!

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  7. first of all - congrats on all your ribbons and awards. Try not to take this too hard - after all - what are the credentials of this judge?? If it was just a freebie person with minimal exposure to our type of needlework - how could they come up with anything but "cute" or cross stitches not even - SHEESH ! I'm just saying - no matter how competitive you are - you can only do as well as any judge is good. I know from my experience of exhibiting purebred dogs for 25 years - a grand champion nod from someone whose knowledge and expertise I don't respect means nothing to me. Without knowing the actual credibility of the judge - you are just shooting in the dark and I would not give another minutes thoughts to her (his?) comments or lack of comments and awards. Just rock on my friend - you do exquisite work and you are respected among those who really matter. Have a great week - Mel

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  8. Congratulations! You are amazing. I love entering my crafts in the State Fair. This year, I plan to also enter them in the South State Fair. So much fun!

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  9. You are so funny. With that many ribbons and that much praise, I wouldn't worry about the nitpicking. They had to say something, and I think your early comment was correct.. they got tired. Your work is fabulous in every respect. I know you are a perfectionist and the rest of us think your work is perfect. Take a cue from the late, great Rick Nelson and his "Garden Party"...
    "You can't please everyone, so you've got to please yourself."

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  10. Every single one of your pieces is worthy of the top prize in my eyes, my friend! Your stitching and finishing are ALWAYS absolute perfection! Sending big hugs from one of your biggest fans on the planet! :)

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  11. Congratulations! All of your stitching and finishing is fabulous.

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  12. Vonna every one of your entries deserves Grand Champion! In my eyes your stitching and finishing is exceptional! And there is no doubt in my mind when you are standing at the Pearly Gates of Heaven God will be there with open arms and tell you what a exceptional servant he had while you were on Earth. You are the most humble person I know!

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  13. Congratulations on the fair awards and ribbons, Vonna! I think most of us in blogland believe that you are a Grand Champion. I'm sorry you didn't win that ribbon from the judges but I think that all your entries are beautiful AND creative. Bravo!

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  14. Vonna, I enjoy your post fair posts. I like how you take the time to show us the judges comments and tell us your comments. I think your work is lovely. I would never subject myself to all the judging! I know I just could not take the critical comments. I actually take the comments that you get from the judges personally! LOL. It just bugs me. But try and not take it so hard. It is just one human judging another human and none of us is perfect.

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  15. Vonna .. You are the grandest grand champion of stitching !! Love all your entries !

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  16. I think they are all wonderful, and that you deserve the highest honors and accolades. The judges seem very uneven and definitely put in comments and judging that shouldn't be there. Maybe next year? :D Anyway, congratulations! You did really well as usual!

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  17. All of your pieces are so beautiful and I think your color choice on the one they didn't like is lovely. This is why I don't enter any of my work for judging, ever. When you take pride in your work and someone shoots it down, sometimes for imaginary reasons, it is hurtful and who needs that??! I understand what you said about humility but my ego just can't take it. Laura

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  18. Hi Vonna,

    Congratuations on the ribbons - it's quite an achievement! I hope you won't be dissuaded from entering the competition in the future. I've seen several examples of your work and it is exquisite. You also come up with some of the most creative ways of finishing items. Keep in mind that there are a whole bunch of stitchers out there who are part of your fan club! :-) Margaret

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  19. Your work, as usual, is lovely. Congratulations on all of your well-deserved wins! Each of your fair entries is beautiful, and each is an inspiration to all of us stitchers to create things as lovely as these!
    Cathy
    CraftyCat

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  20. You are a grand champion to me. I lived all of your finishing. GREAT job!

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  21. Hats off to you! You've done an outstanding job with your stitching and finishing. I guess "cute" is the word of the day with the judges. I love your pieces especially your ornaments which is one of the reasons I so enjoy your blog. I, too, disagree with their comment of poor color choice for your pair topiary; I thought it was the perfect choice. At the end of the day, you have a beautiful selection of stitched pieces that will be heirlooms and something your children will cherish "when you no longer need them." That is a phrase my grandmother used to say to me. I now have many of her treasures which are priceless to me.

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  22. I love reading your fair blog every year! First let me say your work is beautiful! Well done on the ribbons! I would agree with the different categories for the needle arts.they do that in our state fair. I hope to enter some items in a community fair this fall. Hope I do as well as you.

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  23. Your stitching and finishing are really lovely!

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  24. Your work is beautiful and congrats on all the ribbons.

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  25. Congrats with all your ribbons you certainly deserve them all your stitches plus the way you finish them are just Beautiful :-)

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  26. Congratulations. All of your work is so, so beautiful, so inspiring, so colourful and above all so very neat.
    Love that you have taken the time to share all of the results and comments, some of which are a little strange!!!!!
    In my eyes you are the Grand Champion
    Linda O xxxx

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  27. Oh Vonna - you do such wonderful stitching and creative finishing you should be awash in Grand Champion ribbons! I know it is tough to 'take' criticism even if it is constructive. On the other hand our County Fair is so lame that I do not even go most years much less bother to enter anything. I'd kill to have the depth and breadth of entries you have at your fair and a team of judges who appear to have some idea about how to judge needle arts. YOU GO GIRL!

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  28. Vonna, your work is AMAZING!! Every single piece you've shown here is just so beautiful! Definitely NOT sub par work!!! Congratulations on receiving all those well deserved ribbons :)

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  29. Gratulacje! Wszystkie Twoje prace są perfekcyjne. Pozdrawiam.

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  30. Congratulations on all your ribbons! I think you have some of the most beautiful finishing that I've ever seen, so don't get too down, Vonna! Like you said, this is just a chance to grow as a person and a stitcher. I hope you crush it next year! :D

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  31. Your work is beautiful, your finishing fabulous and you are OUR GRAND CHAMPION! I never do understand what judges are looking at be it a beauty contest, a band performance or stitching! They have their own 'special' eyes I guess. I say keep up the beautiful work.

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  32. Well done Vonna. All those ribbons are amazing! Did anyone else actually get a look in with all those firsts lol? Seriously you have done brilliantly and you definitely shouldn't worry about some lousy judges remark about uneven stitches. Your work is perfect. x

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  33. Congratulations!! You should be PROUD of yourself!! In my eyes your are a Queen Champion, simply the best :)

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  34. What a wonderful haul, Vonna--so many beautiful ribbons to add to your collection! And, honestly, in my eyes, if your work isn't "Grand Champion" worthy, I can't imagine whose is!! It was really interesting to read the comments (or lack of!) on each of your pieces. We don't have fairs here so I really enjoyed seeing what the process was like.

    I'm sure you're already starting some new beauties for next year's fair--go get 'em!!!

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  35. Vonna, I loved this post!!!!!!!!! You did great, and funny note the one they didn't like the colors on is one of my favorite ornaments!!!!!! Congrats on your wonderful ribbons, you make me want to stitch like a madwoman with everything you have done and it's all so beautifully finished :-).

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  36. Congratulations Vonna; What beautiful entries, I see all your ribbons they are wonderful, you are a winner a true winner.
    Congratulations

    Catherine

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  37. Vonna, they all look like Grand Champion pieces to me! I like the variety of projects that you entered. I would be interested in knowing how experienced the judges are in doing the craft that they're judging. Do they actually stitch, knit, crochet, tat, whatever? Anyway, good job this year!

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  38. Does it help if I tell you I think you are the Grand Champion!!!!!!! Your work is always amazing and beautiful. It inspires me!

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  39. Congratulations. Your choice of fabrics and finishing and presentation is unbeatable. I can't imagine what would have higher marks.

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  40. I entered 20 items in the Home Arts Divisions of the Warren County Ohio Fair. I won 16 Blue and 3 Red ribbons. My most difficult and "star: piece, my quilt didn't win ANYTHING AT ALL. Your fair seems to be much more competitive and detail oriented then mine. I wish our judges would leave comments, but I don't think our fair is nearly as professional as yours. So many divisions and sub-divisions. A needleworkers dream! Congratulations on all you beautiful work.

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  41. Congratulations Vonna. They should all be Grand Champion's.

    Linda

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  42. Congratulations dear Vonna, you are our GRAND CHAMPION, your stitching and finishing are so beautiful, and I like so much your blog and your comments on this post, I like also humility :) it's a great quality for me

    PS: I didn't know you were blind in January, I have a big problem with my optical nerve is hurt for 11 years (after a cerebral vascular accident at 37 years old) and my eyesight is altered well; so I understand what you bore !!

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  43. Congratulations! And thank you for posting this. I attended the Judging at my fair last week and I too was going for Grand Champion as well.. I've been entering the fair for over 12 years and never received anything lower than a blue first place. This year we had a new judge and my entry was in a lot by itself as we struggle to get entries in our department, so they combined it with another entry that was in a lot that was for Specialty stitched items. Mine had no specialty stitches in it at all. They judge looked them over (with a 10x magnifying glass) at the same time and found no issues with either of them as far as technique..we both had perfect stitches (her words) The only thing she could criticize on both of them was back stitch as she doesn't like longer stitches for back stitch. Sometimes those type of stitches are used for effect and sometimes as in mine they are used so you can get a nice smooth curve..not one that is "stair-stepped". when it came time to place them she said that she chose the other one as first place because it had specialty stitches and it appeared that it "took longer" (yes it would have because it was larger than mine.. duh) then she proceeded to tell us that the one she preferred was her favorite designer. Then we got a 20 minute spiel on why chatelaine is her favorite.I was very upset and dissatisfied at the reason for placing that one first. It definately hurt my pride as i am much like you in that i do my best on every piece. But i was bummed for another reason and that is that we have lost entries every year due to the fact that the same person has recieved all the first place/grand champion/reserve champions awards for the last ...12 years or so give or take. I was trying to compete with her..and i don't think that she is really any better of a stitcher than the rest of us but she enters LARGE pieces and i think it's partly because they always get the "wow factor". I am not sure I will continue to enter the fair anymore as i've witnessed alot of bias come into the judging and i'm not comfortable with that. I love the piece that i did and I know that the stitching is perfect and that has been acknowledged by the judge...looking at it through a 10x magnifying glass... and I should be satisfied with that but a second place award was deflating. Thank you for your post and your comments about the judging. I'm glad i'm not alone. :) Your pieces are beautiful and you have always been an inspiration in your finishing techniques.

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  44. Congrats on all the ribbons! They are all beautiful!

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  45. I think you deserve a Grand Champion ribbon. Your stitching and finishing are so inspiring!!

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  46. Well - for my .02 worth - I think you are a champion and provide tons of inspiration and admiration to your fellow stitchers. I would rather be judged by my peers than some random person.

    Congratulations on your ribbons and keep your heart to God and he will make it happen, just not on your timeline.

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  47. Our county fair is this week. I enter in Textiles and adult Craft divisions. I have issues with the judges in Textiles as they come from our local guild and some of the ladies are excellent quilters and snobby, they "think" they are judging for Houston with prizes worth thousands of dollars. We get no money, just ribbons from the fair, but prizes/money is donated for "special" awards from local businesses or people. Comments are made, sometimes bias---color choice should not be a comment! I have shared your post with friends as it will help them when they get their comments when our fair is over on Sunday. Thank you for taking the time to do this. BTW your stitching is beautiful and I admire your tiny stitches. Keep up the good work.

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  48. Congratulations on the ribbons. You do wonderful work and it's about time you were recognized by the fair.

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  49. Congratulations on all your beautiful ribbons and awards Vonna! I too disagree with judge - I thought your choice of color was superb!!! I also understand about stitching hand dyed threads with DMC threads. Yes there is a difference between the hand dyed threads being more flat and silks & DMC are different yet. You do stitch beautifully and LOVE every piece you entered. I also read every word in this post - that must have taken a long time to write but I was fascinated with all your wrote about. Thank you for sharing with us and I so look forward to you entering the fair for next year:)))))
    love and blessings, Annette

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  50. "Poor colour choice"??? No way!!! Absolutely perfect in my opinion. Congratulation on such fabulous achievements. :0)

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  51. A very good post! I enjoyed seeing all your winning entries : )

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  52. Wow Vonna, you rocked it. You really did a good job. Lots of ribbons you should be proud. Of course i Like them all.

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  53. I just wonder what qualifications the judges are required to have. I think your pieces look great! Congrats on your ribbons.

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  54. Congratulations to OUR Champion!

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  55. I'm sorry that you didn't get the BIG prize and that you have come to terms with the results. :) I think you did an outstanding job on them and deserve the grand champion on volume of items alone! All of them are beautiful.

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  56. Oh my, Vonna, this is just spectacular. So many ribbons received for some absolutely outstanding work. Major congratulations!!! Your work is perfect, the stitching as much as your creative ways of finishing.

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  57. Vonna, Just wondering how many entries there are in your county fair? I just came home from the Ohio State Fair and was shocked at the number of entries and the poor quality of stitching. There were maybe a total of 15 entries and that includes the different categories. I left and told my husband I've always been afraid of entering thinking my work was not up to snuff, but I think I could have actually won! Your entries would have would definitely have taken every category there! You know there are thousands of stitchers in Ohio and NICE needlework shops I just can't believe it. That was the only thing I went to see at the fair (besides my daughter singing in the state youth choir).
    You guys must have oodles of entries. Have you entered at the state level?
    BEAUTIFUL work. I would have given you grand champion for every piece. :)
    Have a great day!

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  58. Quite frankly I'm blown away by some of the comments you received (or lack thereof). As for the judge who commented on your "uneven stitching", I would love to see stitching of her own to see how perfect she is. All of your projects are amazing. It just makes me think that they have to come up with excuses not to give you the awards you deserve. You really did have me laughing with your comments to the comments. :D We have a local fair down here in Miami, but they only allow projects submitted by children for their competitions now. I guess competition in the adult divisions got so crazy that they decided to just stop having them all together. Really sad isn't it. Keep on stitching your beautiful projects. You've got quite a big fan club that thinks you are a Grand Champion stitcher. :)

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  59. Vonna--I have read your blog for YEARS... and your work is above and beyond 'very good'. But you have to consider the source. Perhaps they are volunteers and not knowledgeable about our craft! Whatever they said, be assured that WE here in blogland think you are a fantastic stitcher and finisher! Obviously you are, if the designers use you for their model stitching and also finishing! Cannot get higher compliments than that! You are a Grand Champion in my book! Hugs!

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  60. Vonna - wow! Your work is stunning, the pieces you entered look so wonderful, and well done for all those entries, that's a huge amount of stitching! Congratulations!

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  61. Congratulations, Vonna! All of your entries are beautiful, you should be proud.

    Hugs to you my friend. :-)

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  62. Oh my goodness! Your stitching and finishing is just gorgeous! I've just discovered your blog and think I am hooked! Love your tutorial site too. I am so board with just having my stitching framed or making cards - so to see all these different ideas is a breath of fresh air.

    Well done on all your stitching results - absolutely stunning!

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  63. Congratulations on all your ribbons Vonna. All those pieces are absolutely beautiful and wonderfully finished.

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  64. I wonder if one of the judges just has a thing against overdyes? Anyway you did great!

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  65. Congratulation, you have very well finishing above all pieces. Its looks gorgeous and amazing.

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  66. WOW Vonna thats all I have to say!!! I am entering the Calgary Stampede hopefully next year again and I hope they are not that tough. I am a little worried now. Congrats on all your beautiful works!!

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  67. WOW you are sure competitive, I am very critical of my own stitching and anything i make, but are/were the judges stitchers. People see things differently, what one person might see as perfect another might see a flaw in, or just not appeal too. We can only do our best at anything and if we are satisfied then i think that is all that counts.

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  68. Vonna, your work is amazing! Congratulations on all your ribbons. By following your blog and seeing your beautiful pieces you have inspired me to start doing cross stitch again...thank you.
    Love your fall decorating...my favorite time too. Thanks for the compliment on my blog.
    Enjoy the beautiful autumn weather, Leanne

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  69. Your projects are simply beautiful - so well thought out and beautifully stitched and finished! I particularly love your Merry Christmas framed piece with the little trees...your own creation or a chart? Would love to attempt to make one as lovely as yours for a special Christmas gift for my daughter. Thank you!

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  70. That was a lot of entries! I can't believe they have that many. That's a county fair? Our county fair doesn't even have a cross stitched piece in the competition. When people see my things, they say I should enter them in the fair. To be honest, the things I've had framed, is be afraid that something would happen to them and that would be an expensive endeavor for me. I Can't Believe you haven't won Grand yet!

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Thank you for following me on my blog. If you have any questions, please ensure that your e-mail is left or associated with your profile so that I may contact you. Or you may contact me personally at: thetwistedstitcher@comcast.net
My sincere thanks for taking the time to comment!
~Vonna
The Twisted Stitcher