When I decided to enter my artwork into the state fair, I perused all the different categories. I found animal painted rocks under Designer Craftsman. I had been painting rocks for over a year and llamas were becoming my specialty.
At the time, I was beginning work on two other projects. One was a painted rainbarrel for the city of Mansfield’s Earth Day Festival (Mansfield Texas) and the other were painted eggs for a contest by the company who makes Easter egg dyeing kits, PAAS.
Painting the rock had mostly finished before the other projects started. I say mostly because it was finished, but I knew it could be better. I wasn’t happy with the eyes of the llama or it’s nose. After I finished the barrel, I went back to work on the rock fixing the details I wasn’t happy with.
Everything was going smoothly on my rainbarrel project and I didn’t want to start (or complete) my other two projects until it was mostly complete. When I’d almost finished, I began the egg project. And at that time I developed a cold from allergies flaring up. The weather had been beautiful and I’d done a lot of the prep for the barrel outdoors on our back patio.
It took almost three weeks to complete the barrel. There was a lot of sanding and preparing the surface for paint. The barrel was plastic and in order to get the paint to really adhere you have to give it something to grip too. Sanding the surface makes it a little rough so the paint is more likely to stick and stay put.
Painting the barrel had been an absolute joy and I loved the entirety of the process, even the prep! But I was under the gun with the deadline for the barrel and the eggs. After the barrel was complete and turned in, I only had about a day or two to get photos of my eggs turned in.
Once those projects were turned in, I refocused on the rock. Repainting the llama’s eyes at least three times and the nose and mouth once. I had fiddled with it so much and applied so much sealant that it took a month to completely cure. After a month of curing, it was ready to submit to the fair!
This was my first time entering the fair. I was nervous and excited! I shipped the rock with a matching stand in a tiny box and you’re supposed to send a check to cover the shipping back.
Once they got the rock and my check, they called to inform me I’d sent too big a check. Well, I didn’t check with the post office to see what shipping would be before making the check and closing the box up. I told them to use the extra money to help another competitor with their shipping, if they’d forgotten to pay, etc.
The woman who called me about the money told me she adored my rock too! I thought that had to be a good sign!!!
Months passed, waiting for the winner’s announcements. After waiting what felt like forever, I got an email saying winners were chosen. I held my breath as I read the very long list. As I neared the end of the list, I didn’t see my name. I thought that I had a slim chance of winning, given how many competitors there were. I heard this was the largest amount of competitors the fair had ever had! At this point, I told myself I’d try again next year. No sooner had I thought that, I saw my name! I could hardly believe it! First place! A blue ribbon!
After jumping around and hooting and hollering a bit, I called my husband with the news. He was so happy and proud of me. I was elated! You couldn’t pull me off of cloud nine for several days after that!
I wanted to take my family to the fair to see my rock on display in the Creative Arts Building. Going to the fair is pretty pricey and competitors don’t get discounts, unfortunately, so we brought empty Dr. Pepper cans after five pm and got in for five dollars a piece. And we went when I knew Bob Schneider was performing. He’s a musician out of Austin I like. I’ve tried seeing him before. Bought tickets to see him at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth, but got sick and missed the show. This was actually my third time trying to see him!
Coming in after five gave us only a few hours to look around, so it was a mad dash everywhere. We didn’t get to play games and I had wanted to see llamas in the animal building, but didn’t get the chance. Regardless, we ate some fair food, my husband and son rode a ferris wheel (not the big one, the line was too long), we saw my rock and ribbon on display, and we saw movie memorabilia from Texas native stars. I found out Brent Spiner from Star Trek The Next Generation is from Houston. I had a huge crush on his Data character when I was a kid! And I finally got to see Bob Schneider! Third time is a charm, I guess! And it was a great concert! It was chilly out, but he sounded amazing! I had a lot of fun and I’m so grateful we got to go! It’s now one of my favorite memories!
Art has changed my life for the better. It’s taking me places and I’m loving every minute of it! All the new experiences I’ve gotten to enjoy because of art humbles and excites me!
To Learn More About Me And My Artwork, Please Visit: http://www.designsbymistyblue.com
Copyrights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy