Tag Archive | Lego

Anoka County Fair 2017

This is my 3rd year entering into our local county fair, and this year everyone but Ken had some sort of entry. It was a bit of a struggle to get everything done in time for entry, but we managed. I think next year we will plan in advance to include some school projects in our entries. Maybe make some pointed attempts to craft according to fair themes?

Well, from youngest to oldest… Echo! She was adamant she wanted a RAINBOW ribbon. This happens to be the participation ribbon for the children under 13. So there was a bit of a worry that she WOULD place with both of her pieces and thus get what she sees as the less pretty and therefore less wanted ribbon. Well, not a problem. While she did an amazing job, both of her pieces did not place. And she was still happy! Score! Crayon drawing was done using Art for Kids instructions (we love this site and pay for the subscription). 20170801_141417_HDRHer Legos  were a free form piece.20170801_140908

Trinity was a bit more prolific. She got a camera for her birthday (thanks again Gammie!) and wanted to send in 4 of her photos. 4 categories… animals, people, nature and flowers… all in colour. She didn’t do half bad!

Neko-Chan

Neko-Chan

Flowers

Flowers

Brothers

Brothers

Flowering tree

Flowering tree

And for her Lego piece – one with instructions.

In the cabinet since when we took it home we had to take it off the board and such.

In the cabinet since when we took it home we had to take it off the board and such.

Emanuel had 3 pieces this year. He remade his minion he had made and not entered last year with all Lego blocks, drew a picture and wrote a 4th Haiku to go with a seasonal series he had to write for an assignment. He copied out, arranged and glued down the whole written piece. Something to definitely be proud of!20170801_140932

20170801_14133820170801_141126Gavin put in 3 pieces. We tie dyed as a family, he chose to enter his shirt. Then it was a repeat of his Chinese New Year t-shirt theme – drawn on dragon! His third was, again, a dragon – this time in pencil. Not bad, not bad!20170801_141522

20170801_141611_HDR20170801_141437_HDRZander was a bit of a push. He was not motivated to make much of anything. I was really hoping he would work harder on the rug kit he got for Christmas, but we have hope for NEXT year with that one. This year it was his tie dye shirt and that was that.20170801_141641

I went all out this year trying to do a variety of pieces that will later be given out as gifts. According to the judges my top entry was my set of flower fairy dolls. They were entered under crochet dolls pair and ended up a Sweepstakes winner (I am still a little dodgy on what that means entirely, but the ribbon is pretty).20170807_143603

My personal favourite was the Haku dragon I entered under crochet storybook character. You can read all about our adventure to create this one and get the link to the pattern I used HERE. I have plans to make another in the near future.20170801_141739

I had a whole series of baby pieces this year. Many of which are slated to head over to a friend’s for her little one. Hat, booties, sweater, blanket. Not a bad little selection. I am still hunting for the perfect sweater pattern. This one was cute, but I agree with the judge, using the buttons it called for (toggles) was not quite right. So now that I have photographed it, time to remove the toggles and replace with some black buttons.20170805_142418

20170805_14234820170807_14373620170728_194446My second blanket entry this year was also a baby blanket. Just over sized to a toddler size really. Based on a blanket seen on the tv show Call The Midwife, I lucked out with a super deal on factory remnant yarn and ran with it.IMG_20170805_150002_388

I went all out with the critters as usual, Haku, the dolls… I also did a mini flower fairy as my solitary entry under doll. She is a small version of a larger one I entered last year. I also used a leaf pattern I had from another project to create a little leaf basket on her arm. 20170801_142351

For animals, my poor bunny lost out to FOUR Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. (although I have to say, aren’t they more storybook than…).20170805_142327

For the first time I also entered a doll I dressed with my own creations. My 18 inch doll was done up in a fall theme. Not bad for a first go!20170805_144032_HDR

I had 2 doilies… one in yarn and one in thread. The thread was with beads and everything – a wedding ring piece that I will now have to make as a belated wedding gift. (maybe)20170805_142232

20170801_142242I did up 2 Christmas ornaments – one in cross stitch (cardboard and beading) and one in crochet.20170801_142014

20170801_141954That leaves clothing… Adult hat (which made Karyn laugh when I made it), scarf (sloth), purse (it was a challenge!), and slippers (cuz I was hoping for suggestions to improve… nope).20170801_142310

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My other category was a fun one – a mermaid sack!20170801_142117

2 of my pieces did not place – my pot holders and my child hat. Not a huge surprise. Next year I will have to go with a funkier hat!

Sailor's Knot

Sailor’s Knot

Lacy Leaf Bonnet

Lacy Leaf Bonnet

So… Ken and I went on the Friday to see the pieces first hand. We had our poutine and cheese curds, got the kids cotton candy, and enjoyed ourselves! Another year’s fair experienced, we definitely have plans for the next! Wish us luck! And if you have the chance, enter a fair near you!20170728_191706

Just June

Well there is really no JUST about it… February and June are two of our busiest months. (February) June has our anniversary (16th), Father’s Day, my birthday, my stepmom’s birthday, our two god daughter’s birthdays and of course first day of SUMMER! Yup, lots of mailing and doing and enjoying in the month of June. And don’t forget a welcome visit from TWO of our Canadian friends! You can read more about Karyn and Lauralee’s visit HERE.imag001520160621_161014_hdr

We had all sorts of fun in June – We played Legos at Mall of America.20160618_122751

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Of course we did the monthly Home Depot project with Father’s Day as the theme.img_20160604_115142

Spent the majority of our weekday morning at the YMCA enjoying ClubY for the 4 older kids, daycare for Miss Echo (and on Friday’s Little Lotus Yoga) and working out for mom. Plus swimming and an hour of quiet mom time all wrapped up in a 2 mile walk each way.

These are shirts they did up in club.

These are shirts they did up in club.

It was well worth our effort. The kids had a blast playing games, meeting friends, doing stuff without me. Echo was the darling of daycare with her 2 hours a day. And me, well I got on the treadmill, swam with my baby AND had an hour of time that was my own to sew, read, socialize and just be without the kids hanging off of me.

Trinity even managed to find time to get her PINK wristband.

Trinity even managed to find time to get her PINK wristband.

Mommy hour!

Mommy hour!

Gavin worked his buns off on the shawl he entered in the County Fair in July.img_20160622_102422

And while Zander tried to join the run club, he was the only sign up and did not make the minimum count. So off he went to TRACK AND FIELD. Where we quickly learned he is a distance runner and NOT a speed demon.received_10154315595781151

I have to share the amazing yarn Ken picked up for my birthday. A portion of the proceeds went to help the people affected by the wildfires in Alberta. AND it is gorgeous… win win!img_20160629_144758

We snuck in some learning, but for the most part June was a month of outside time.img_20160620_143203

img_20160622_134802Getting to know our YMCA better and take full advantage of our membership. I was never so glad as to be able to walk 2 miles with 5 kids as I was this June. There was whining and trudging but we had so much fun when we got the the YMCA and felt so much healthier by the end of it. AMAZING.img_20160621_114153

New noodles

New noodles

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I played around with hair colours too.img_20160616_210718

The one thing that stands out when I think of June is just how much we smiled. So important and simple… we had a month full of joy.img_20160621_133928

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Anoka County Fair Result Time!

This is my second year competing as I mentioned in a previous teaser blog post. Last year was more of a rushed throw together what I already had and make a few smaller items sort of thing. This year I started after the previous fair and among my gifts and commissions and other pieces I threw in some category specific projects. The result was 15 pieces to enter myself and a few among the 4 older kids. Echo simply wouldn’t settle down and make anything. Maybe next year.

I was actually rather surprised at my results. Ken and I splurged on a date night and went out on the Wednesday and visited the fair (for the first time ever) ourselves. There was “Quebec style poutine” so how could I resist? Seriously, HOW? It has been 4 years since I have had a decent poutine… WORTH IT!

Note the stand in the background.

Note the stand in the background.

Anyway, Renee had sent me some images from her visit to the fair with her kids days previous but I had balked a finding out all of my results with the hope we would make it there in person.

We started with the kids’ stuff where they did relatively well. Emanuel only got a participation (which he loves – RAINBOW RIBBON) and Zander and Gavin’s large perler bead didn’t place either. We figure they may have assumed parental assistance… which we DIDN’T… but the rest placed. Two lego pieces and a much fought over bunny drawing. Not bad, not bad.20160801_151854

20160801_151950The lovely surprise was Gavin’s shawl taking first in his crochet item category. We ran out of steam at the end of this project and didn’t trim our fringe which was the comment on the back of the tag BUT FIRST PLACE!! WOO!! His first COMPLETED project really!20160801_152607

Then it was time to wander around, seek out Renee and her kids’ stuff and see how I did. To my surprise 13 out of my 15 entries placed. And, the two that didn’t both had great comments on the back and the statement that it was tough competition. I was not surprised on my maple leaf dishcloths… first off all, red-white and no blue (blue could have put me in the running as patriotic) in a general category that I am sure was full of variety. The other, my purse was much more “purse like” than the ones that placed. I think they were just looking for more… crochet? The winning purse was granny squares and highly colourful. Not my thing.20160801_15284420160801_152246

Onto the 2nd place pieces – TWO. And tough categories because they are super popular baby gifts – booties and blankets! Well, I am very proud of both – in fact have gifted versions of both in the past. Again favorable comment on the blanket just… the first place ones had more detail (booties) or were a different style (blanket) BUT certainly something to be proud of.IMG_20160801_172315

For first place standing alone I had NINE pieces! Woo!!! I cannot tell you how proud I am of them. This is a wonderful cross section of this past year’s creativity. TWO of these pieces will be sent to new homes in the coming weeks – the rainbow ripple blanket which I have blogged about previously) and the evil sorceress doll. Seriously if you have the knowledge and ability and the urge, it is a GREAT pattern and when I got stuck the designer talked me through it on Facebook… check her out! This piece was posted under the storybook character and though the JUDGE didn’t comment on it on the slip, the people working there said MANY of the people who came to see the exhibitions loved it.IMG_20160801_172207

Let’s see… Monkey – as in year of 2016. I did it bigger than the original and am TOTALLY KEEPING IT. Yup… my monkey, not your monkey, MINE! Ken helped me with the frame work on this little beauty. The designer is doing up all the Chinese Zodiac over the years and I totally plan to go back and do the years she has already designed for eventually.

Apparently the biggest suggestion was blocking. We THOUGHT we had that done right, but apparently they figured we could have done better. So back to the drawing board on that one. BUT that is a finishing thing and not a crucial crafting issue. So there is less worry about time and such. I did make a second of the wedding gift from this summer – that would be the off white doily. Crocus doily.

Other than that… well I am very proud of these 9 pieces! Super proud!

And now for the BIG surprise to me… 2 plus 2 plus 9 equals 13… so two more to come… and both of those first place PLUS Reserve Best of Show. Now no one could completely explain how that was chosen or anything. But what it does mean is that these are pieces that stood out to the judge. What made me laugh is that I tossed that hat in there on a whim. I had made it after I made Emanuel’s for Halloween this past year and still had enough yarn left over for a second smaller version. Go figure!IMG_20160801_172452

So all in all… we did good. We placed, we showed off skills that we will continue to nurture and next year will have a whole new batch of creative ventures to exhibit! I know I am already brainstorming how I can make newer and harder items in duplicate – one to gift/sell/etc and one to show… why not? Just getting the judge’s feedback made it all worthwhile!! And now I have some ribbon winning pieces to sell if I ever get the chance to have that craft table I want to try out. Or gift of course! EXCEPT FOR MY MONKEY! That little guy is already on my bookshelf guarding his monkey!

(Oh, if anyone is interested in any of these pieces feel free to ask me – minus the two mentioned above that are on their was to new homes of course)