The First Five Days

Sunday, August 17, 2014
At 3:30pm today, my dreams of State Fair glory died for another year. Not even one of the 3-5 items I’d planned to enter were turned in for judging.

Problem #1: Procrastination. (Duh!) I’ve known all year that I was going to enter, but did I work on stuff all year? No.

Problem #2: Depression. When the guy you really, really love and trust (at 50, that combo was a first for me!) accepts an offer in January for a “break” because he’s expressed “doubts” after a year of what seemed like a great relationship…and then doesn’t talk to you for 3 months because you promised him space and he took it and ran with it…and only speaks to you in April because you want your Dyson vacuum cleaner, Crockpot, and cowboy boots back…and then tells you he wanted to “date around” (and is)…well, it’s hard to focus on much. “Father Knows Best” marathons on the DVR were about all I could muster for weeks on end.

Problem #3: Overachieving. When I started planning, I was going to enter 2 doilies, a stuffed animal, a shawl, a scarf, and an item in the miscellaneous crochet category. By the time I turned in my entry form, reality had set in, and I only entered 3 categories: 1 doily, an animal, and a scarf. With 2 weeks left before turn-in, the scarf was scrapped. With a week to go, I got to the end of the ball of thread on my doily, so I pulled out one of the 3 balls I had of the same color. ALL of them were noticeably lighter in color! I’ve never had that happen with crochet thread before. So, I ripped out hundreds of stitches to get back to a point in the design where I could attach white, and then I would finish the last 2 rounds in the original color. Not the look I’d planned, but it would be acceptable. So, on Friday of the weekend of turn-in, I stayed up ‘til 2:30 Saturday morning and got to the point where I was done with the white. No problem…I’d finish the last 2 rounds on Saturday, block it out, and turn it in.

Reality: After spending an entire day at a conference, I lost Saturday. So, scrap the doily as it wouldn’t be dry from blocking by Sunday afternoon.

Speaking of Sunday afternoon…I woke up early Sunday morning, walked Bella, ate breakfast, did dishes, crocheted the last one of the stuffed animal’s 4 legs, and started sewing the pieces together. This usually takes me an hour or two, tops. From 9:00am until 3:30pm, I poked and prodded that darned thing, remade 2 legs because I didn’t like how they looked, and stressed over all the flaws I could see that kept it from being fair-worthy. If I’d been giving it as a gift, it would’ve been fine. But, to be judged…not so much. With the fairgrounds an hour’s drive from home, and adding some time to account for parking spot hunting and getting lost downtown, I knew that 3:30 for a 5:00 deadline was my “I MUST leave NOW” time. But, at 3:30, I wasn’t happy with him, so I had to give up.

So I went to bed. Yes, at 3:30.  In the afternoon.

I hope the fair committee spends my $12 donation wisely.

Monday, August 18, 2014
Still feeling sorry for myself. Also dread breaking the news to all my coworkers who had kindly feigned interest in what I was doing. Went to bed at 6:00. This is not good, considering I’m usually a “sleep procrastinator” who won’t fall asleep until after midnight because there’s too much to watch on TV, too many books to read, too many crafts to do, too many games to play on the iPad.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014
I did wake up last night long enough to watch Sunday’s “Big Brother” on the DVR and to eat an English muffin for dinner. I also realized that even though I missed the chance to better my 2013 showing at the Fair with my planned 2014 entries, nothing was stopping me from entering 2015’s Fair. And, boy, was I going to do it up right! I dug out my State Fair Creative Arts handbook, and I made a list of every single category I felt I had the skills and the desire to enter. There are 30 of them!

And that’s when my Fair dreams were reborn, along with the idea for this blog. It’s going to keep me accountable so maybe I will get something done on time and turned in.

On my lunch break today, I trekked over to JoAnn Fabric and bought a basket full of embroidery floss for 3 cross stitch projects. Did I first check the 3 boxes of floss I have at home so I wouldn’t buy what I already had? Of course not. I just bought the colors on the charts and plowed ahead. I don’t need any distractions.

I decided to start with a cross stitch project since I’m sick of holding a crochet hook for now, so I chose a fairly quick design to enter in the “Holiday Corner,” class G101, Any Patriotic Decoration. Since I’m planning to do some bit of crafting every single day for the entire year (anyone who’s got a pool going for “First Day She Doesn’t,” please contact me so I can get in on it), I am going to take a photo of my progress each night before bed. I SWEAR I took a picture on Tuesday night, but I guess when I hit the button on the iPad, it didn’t actually take the pic because when I looked the next night there was no image.

Look at tomorrow’s picture and just imagine a little less done.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Yay, me! All of y’all who bet I wouldn’t make it past today, you lose! Here’s where we stand:


Thursday, August 21, 2014
Despite meeting a friend for dinner tonight at 7:00, I managed to stitch from 5:45 ‘til 6:30 and again from 10:00 ‘til 11:00. I’m starting to worry though. I used 11-count fabric, and I think I should’ve used 3 strands of floss instead of 2 because I can see too much fabric between the stitches. Nothing like coming to that conclusion after hours of work. But, I’m going to stick with it anyway. Maybe it won’t win any ribbons, but at least I can say I’ve got one entry done.  (No, I’m not counting my chickens…this WILL be done by the end of the weekend!) Besides, if I don’t like it, I’ve got 51 more weeks to come up with something else!



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