Monday, September 24, 2007

Another Fair Done

Have you ever been to a country fair? Do you know the work and organization that goes into one? Our fair - The Thorndale Fair- celebrated its 150th Birthday this past weekend. Our family lives for the fair. We enter baking, crafts, sewing, flowers, run a swine show, judge the baby contest, work the gates- and this year I am President of the Homecraft Division. Talk about a whole different outlook on the whole thing!The real work begins the Saturday before the fair. We spend the entire day transforming the Progress Building from an empty shell
, to a building full of display cases. The next week is spent organizing people, getting the display cases cleaned and generally worrying that no one is going to enter anything!!
Thursday is the big day for entries. The doors open at 7pm and area residents stream in with baking, crafts, sewing, vegetables - you name it! It is really cute to watch the little kids with their marshmallow creations and collages of their families.
Friday is the last day for entries and we skurrie around like madmen making sure everything is where it should be for the judging. We stop at noon for lunch, the judges arrive, and the fun begins.

My job is usually photography, but this year I handed the job over to some very capable women as my new role includes the final tallying up the points. There is always a good contest between a couple of women who want to win! This year we had an especially difficult job as there was only a ONE point difference between first and second! We also have to make sure the contestant who wins has enteries in at least 7 of the 10 categories. This year our winner won almost every "root and fruit" section, but did not win anything in the craft or photography sections, so we had to make sure that she did indeed enter in those other two. The next step is to contact the Homecraft winner and runner up, and the Junior and Senior Royal winners. (Junior and Senior are the winners of a special homecraft class for 10-13 year olds and 14-19 year olds involving baking, sewing and crafts) We have to make sure they are ready to recieve their awards at the evening ceremony. By the time all the cases are prettied up and all the little details were taken care of, I only had 1/2 hour to talk to the MC for the night and get home to change for the opening ceremony! The evening was topped off by a pie and quilt auction. The pies usually bring an average of 250$- this year I bought a peach pie for $300! It was the winning novice pie baked by my own daughter Katelyn! She and Micaela both entered pies and got 1st and 3rd repectively. We then trundled off to our house where we continued an age old tradition. We always have a party on the friday night of the fair. Generally one of our daughters or a friends daughter have run for Ambassador or Junior or senior Royal. We invite whoever wants to come, put about $1000.00 worth of pies on the counter and eat! I forgot to get a shot of the "pie counter" but here is the empty pie plate!
Saturday morning was the fair parade. I am usually a parade watcher but this year got to sit in a friends convertaible and wave to all my friends and neighbours! To commemorate the 150th I wore a circa 1800's outfit that I borrowed from a friend who is the general manager of the local pioneer village.
The other photo is Daughter #1 Erica who got to reprise her role as Ambassador a few years ago.
The rest of the weekend was spent running from one event to another, judging the swine show and generally basking in the glory of another successful fair weekend!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Mother of the Bride is going to look FABULOUS!

I am so excited about my dress! The bodice fits like a dream, the neckline is perfect, and the zipper in the back turned out right the very first try! All that is left is a bit more handstitching on the lace at the neckline, taking in the sleeves a titch and getting the loops and (gulp) 24 buttons sewn on. THEN and only then can you have a peek. Well I should steam some wrinkles out too.

I was combining beans the other day. Dark red Kidney beans if anyone cares. They get exported to England, so next time any of you Britians open a can of beans, think of me. It is a hot, dusty job that requires me to watch 4 things at a time, but it gives me some me time alone with me, the radio and my lines for the next Murder Mystery
I was tired of my own thoughts and Dr Joy Browne was over, so I was listening to CBC Radio (Canadian Broadcasting Corp). I listen to them on and off- I get peeved when they start agriculture bashing- but that day they had an interesting piece. It was about a family with five daughters aged 15-22. Here is a transcript of the intro..
The Dargis family is still in mourning. The five girls, ranging in age from 15 to 22, lost both their parents, Jean and Joanne, and their grandmother, Anita, in a plane crash a month ago. The girls, though, have vowed to continue to family business -- a large farm and feed company in Alberta.
It hasn't been easy, but a few days ago, the community stepped in to help out. Nearly thirty neighbouring farmers showed up with their combines and plows to help harvest three quarter sections of barley.
Leona Dargis is the eldest of the Dargis girls. We reached her on her combine on her family's farm in St. Vincent, Alberta -- about two hours east of Edmonton

It made me wonder how our own 5 daughters would cope if anything (God forbid) were to happen to Mike and I. One difference between those five and our five is that we didn't raise our girls to necessarily be farmers. They all have grown up with such varied interests. Film. Kids, gerontology, criminology- and one agriculturally minded girl. They all know how to feed and care for animals, but it just wouldn't be their first choice. I know our neighbours would be the kind to pitch in.

The girls are all quick to lend a hand as well in the community - does that come from so many years of being volun-told? (voluntold is our term for when the darling mother (me) says at a meeting, gettogether, church, random situation "Oh (insert name of any or all daughters here) would love to help out. You say you need her at 6am for the entire day? Well she was just going to the beach, but she can do that any day! That being said, Micaela came home from work the other day and said that she had decided that she wanted to be a Brownie leader. Well it just so happened that our town was without one. Less than 24 hours later her and Katelyn were Brown Owl and Tawny Owl!
Don't you just LOVE moms?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

It's been a while!

Yes I know!!!

I have been busy I promise you. I have my MOB dress almost ready to show! I have a few issues with the zipper in the back. The top 4 inches is only lace, and I am afraid that an invisible zipper will look *blech*. I am thinking of (for that section) using small covered buttons - like on the back of wedding dresses. I think that will look more elegant. Other than that it looks great. I promise to take a photo when the zipper is in!

I am in the process of attaching the lace to the wedding dress- I am NOT going to show any more photos of that until it is finished! Kate and I were trying to decide what to put at the junction of the ruching and the lace- about empire height. After trying a million ideas we found that a simple band of ruched chiffon looked best. For the sleeves we were alternating between ruched chiffon or lace. The chiffon won out. It will be a bit more work but I think I can do them tonight.

Life has been hectic lately. People ask me if the wedding is keeping me busy- my reply is that there are too many things to worry about BEFORE that! The Western Fair and our 4H kids is done. 42 kids plus 42 hogs for a day at the fair is tiring! The stag and doe is done! It went over very well- check out the girls site (or click on the link at the side) It went very well. Lots of friends, great music aaanndd I got to live out my "dance on the bar" fantasy!

Still to come? The Thorndale Fair (of which I am Homecraft President) goes on next weekend. Really a whole week and a half if you consider that set up, judging etc all occurs the week before the fair. I will do a whole post on that afterwards.

I am also newly involved in a Murder Mystery group. Our first performance is the end of September and well of course I need a new costume or two!

I am planning on attending Pattern Review weekend in New York City again. I need to make a list of what I NEED this year! My next plans are to do my first SWAP. I am tentitively thinking of revolving around peacock blue
Grey, and black. More thought on that to follow!