Wednesday, October 24, 2012


It's come and gone for another year ..... how I love our annual visit to the fair !!! My hubby hates the crowds so never comes with us. We normally grab some friends, and make a day of it. There's just something about the smell, and the atmosphere, that makes it a special place. It's the only time I ever eat a corndog ....... A Fleishman's Corny Dog, with lashings of mustard and ketchup ....... Oh so yummy !!!!

I entered some goodies into the Creative Arts Division of the Fair this year - I was very chuffed with the results:-) Let me share with you .....

 First up, the apron I entered ...... I won 1st Place.
 Next up, the little girls dress (actually, it's going to double as my nieces Christmas gift .... just need to make the matching bag) ..... I won 3rd Place.
 I also entered a knitted monster, into the knitted toy from a pattern category ..... I won 2nd Place.

I entered 4 jams/jelly's into the food section this year. The peach and plum jam didn't place, but my mango jam and mint jelly both won an Honorable Mention.
It's so much fun seeing your items on display among all of the lovely items ............... there really are many, many talented people around !!!

So, who is this chap you may ask ...... Well, he is Big Tex. He has welcomed fair goers to the fair for the past 60 years. He is HUGE !!! I took this photo when I was there last Wednesday, and I'm glad I did, because on Friday, he burned down !!! An electrical fault inside him caused it. It was quite sad really - the icon he was. However, he will be back next year .............. looking a whole lot younger I'd imagine, as they will be rebuilding him before The Great State Fair Of Texas, opens it's gates once again for the 2013 Fair.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


In my last post, I mentioned two swaps that I recently took part in. Well the packages have been received, so I can share with you what I made.

The one swap, was hosted by my lovely blogging friend Val - it was a Storybook Zombie Doll Swap. The title itself, just makes the creative wheels in my mind turn !!!! The task at hand - to create a zombie doll, that incorporated a storybook element from one of the stories our partners listed as their favorites. The doll had to be at least 8" big, and had to be handmade (not altered). It was not a secret swap, we got to communicate with our partners through email. I was partnered with Aniko from Finland - what a lovely lady, and someone I'm sure I would be friends with if we lived closer. One of her story choices was Snow White - what's not to love:-)

Her head I made using a styrofoam ball, that I covered in paper clay, and added a "neck peg" to. Once it was dry I modge podged tissue paper over it, to give her skin a wrinkled appearance. I then gave it a few coats of grey/white paint. Her body was sewed using calico (you'll have to believe me - it's not polite to take pictures up ladies dresses, even if they are zombies!!!). Her arms and legs are knitted - it was the method I could best achieve the look I was after. Aniko likes all things recycled - especially felted sweaters. Just last winter, I scoured the thrift shops, and felted a few sweaters ...... I used some of this felted wool to make Snow White's (aka Zombelina) dress. I gave her a black lace overlay - just because it looks spooky. Her necklace is made up of some chain and charms I found ..... a mini Snow White book charm, a mirror and an apple. When I found the red apple with a bite out of it charm, I had to put it in her hand. She has a few spiders on her too ..... It is Halloween after all !!!! I loved making her, and she was hard to part with, but the zombie doll I got in return from Aniko, is quite spectacular - once I download the photo's I'll show you all.

The next swap was hosted by Vivian  - A Witches Hat Swap. For this one, we had to create a witches hat ... we could choose to use whatever materials we liked. I chose to sew mine. I used a Halloween costume pattern - now let me just say, to find a pattern for a witches hat was a challenge, it seems most people just go and buy a ready made one. I did find one though, so it saved me having to draft my own.
My partner for this swap was the very sweet Yvonne ...... swap friends are really lovely people.

Again, this was really fun to make. I used a regular, sturdy black cotton for the entire hat, but gave the pointy part (I don't know the technical term for it), a lace overlay. I found the orange, shiny stuff at Joann's. It was similar to lame. I pleated it, and sewed it round the base of the hat. A length of Halloween ribbon finished that off. I found the big, blingy spider in the clearance basket at Michaels - it was perfect. I embroidered the spiderweb and silk onto the hat, and added some baby rhinestones. Because this will be used for decoration, I went ahead and covered a 12" round wooden disc with the black fabric. After stuffing the hat with Polyfil, I glued the wooden base to the bottom of the hat - this made sure that it was sturdy, and sat flat. The hat I received from Yvonne is gorgeous, and will be shared with you as soon as the photo's are downloaded. It has pride of place in my entrance hall.

If you've never taken part in a swap, I can highly recommend them. It is a great way to make friends, with like minded crafty ladies, and, as a bonus, you receive a lovely package in the mail full of treasures and surprises ..... what could be more fun than that !!!