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