The judges have spoken. The State Fair results are…

…I am a woman ahead of her time, or at least that’s how I’m comforting myself.

I totally lost. I mean, I didn’t even place.

Old family lore suggest my Great-Grandmother Ward won so many first prize ribbons at the Cleburne County Fair that they finally gave her a lifetime achievement award so she would stop entering and let someone else have chance. Obviously, I did not get this gene.

Arkansas State Fair 2015

Arkansas State Fair 2015

Let’s begin at the beginning. A few months ago, my very funny friend Jerusalem, said, “You know what would be hysterical? If you entered some of your needlepoint in the State Fair.” I don’t think she really thought I would do it.

But I agreed. It would totally be hysterical. I’ve never done anything like that before. So why not give it a try? I mean, I have some Great-Grandmother Ward in me somewhere, right? RIGHT?!?!?!

I entered two categories: cross stitch and embroidery.

After you enter online, they send you this whole packet of information about when you can drop off and pick up your entries. These ladies are organized and do not play around. They have a system. And you do not mess with the system.

There’s also a quirky little air of mystery about the whole thing. There are judges, but you cannot know who they are. I’m sure this is to keep people from trying to bribe them or influence the outcome. I also suspect if I were around the fair scene I would know exactly who these people are. No secrets are kept that well.

Somehow the notion of a secret judging panel made me oddly competitive about the whole thing. I imagined they are old women with many blue ribbons displayed about their homes. In my mind, they wear reader eye glasses and purse their lips a lot.


Cross Stitch entry: I find the Star Wars Mos Eisley reference hysterical. I’m guessing the little old ladies judging either didn’t get it or don’t find me nearly as amusing as I find myself.

In case you don’t get the reference:

It’s possible they just don’t think my stitch work was as good as others who entered. I’ll let you judge for yourself.


The first place shitzu I can live with. That’s some pretty intricate detail. I don’t understand how the pumpkins beat me. I’m not gonna lie. That stung a little.

Nevertheless, the judges decisions are final and binding. I will not be taking home the cash prize of $7 that winning would have brought. Seriously, bragging rights matter a lot because $7 won’t even pay for your parking at the fair. It’s not even worth trying to bribe judges. But I have come to believe that pumpkins there totally slipped someone a five dollar bill.

My embroidery on the other hand never even made it into the display case. I got no notice of official disqualification, but I’m pretty sure that’s what happened. I can’t say I’m surprised. I toned it down a bit from previous works. But I understand.


Embroidery entry: disqualified

The whole thing was a lark. And actually a pretty fun one. I hated to lose, but I really liked doing something I’d never done before.

Now I can say that I have competed in the Arkansas State Fair. I only know two other people who can say that. We’re an elite bunch.

Of course, I’ve already started scouting out patterns for next year. I’ll get started as soon as the holidays are over. I have gifts to finish in the immediate future. But I think I want to give it one more go to see if I can impress these old biddies with my skill and humor.

Disqualified or not, I have to believe there was some laughter when the judges saw my handiwork this time around. I mean, come on. How often do women named Ethel or Ruby see stuff like that at the State Fair? So if they laughed, I still win.


8 thoughts on “The judges have spoken. The State Fair results are…

  1. I think eventually they will ask you to stop entering too; just like Great Grandmother Ward. But maybe for a slightly different reason.

  2. First of all, I love this post. I’ll be sharing it far and wide. Your entries to the State Fair ARE hysterical and have provided me countless minutes of enjoyment as I contemplate the Ethels and Rubies of the world reporting word of your works back to their bridge clubs. “No, but she *embroidered* the “f” word.”

    Secondly, count me among your number of friends who’ve entered the State Fair. I showed market hogs for years, and in fact my face can be found just down the hill from the Arts and Crafts building in the prestigious position reserved for members of the Purple Circle Club. Dear God. I just realized this information is nowhere to be found on my LinkedIn profile.

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