Monday, July 14, 2008

Just Like in Little House on the Prairie

Willow stayed in bed with a fever all morning, watching TV, accompanied by her sister, and yet today I still managed to make an egg breakfast nobody ate, fetch juice and "bunny crackers" and juice and peanut butter sandwiches and juice, ineffectively clean house, work on the computer, curse at the printer, put a child down for a nap, conduct a large-scale craft project with another child, get into a big argument about the clean-up of said craft project, search every freakin' where for tap shoes, get children dressed for dance class, continue argument about craft project clean-up, take children to dance class, work on the computer during dance class, take children home from dance class, take car to the shop because its brakes don't work well, visit Hobby Lobby for party supplies (icing bags and tips, biiiiiiiig cake pan, candles), have serious conversation with tearful child about how we can't afford to buy her every single party supply in the store for her party (This was huge for me. I seriously want my kid to say, "Wow, Momma! A jump house--that must have cost a fortune! A cake shaped just like a dinosaur--no telling how long it took you to make that! I couldn't ask for anything more!" Instead she's all, "I want a cupcake stand to hold the cupcakes I want! And these purple glittery sprinkles! And these whistles shaped like dogs!" Seriously, what gives?), conclude argument about clean-up of craft project at home (not quite a win, but not quite a loss), melt down from low blood sugar, eat dinner, feel better, go on long bike ride continually harangued by husband because I tend to keep bike in first gear, go home, put kids to bed, collapse.

In other news, Willow and I are currently being worked up into a complete lather because we have decided to enter stuff into the Monroe County Fair. It's something that only townies do, but I've been here for eight years now, and it's time. Entering the county fair is about as awesome as it gets. There are a million categories, even for kids, and I think that everyone gets a ribbon, and first prize? It's a dollar. Awesome, right? So Willow is entering about a million of the Young Child contests, including jewelry (she beaded a frankly half-hearted necklace but a much better crown), quick bread (is it appropriate for a four-year-old to enter beer bread?), photography (Polaroid film is on our shopping list for tomorrow), collections (hello? Dinosaurs!), and paper art (I have the sweetest fingerpainting with foam heart collage that she did last week during a break from painting the playhouse. Seriously, it rocks). I, too, am entering tons, including recycled art (I'm thinking my favorite fatty steg), sewing for children (pillowcase dress?), holiday ornaments (I made these crazy spiderwebby wire things with black beads while Willow was throwing beads around the room this afternoon), photography, and whatever else I can come up with before Wednesday (I only found the entry information this week, and not being a townie, on account of they just KNOW things, I practically had to hack into somebody's server to find it). I'm making Matt enter, too--he's going to enter some of the comic strips we've drawn into the Sketch category, and tomorrow night he's getting out the Legos to show Willow, because they have a Lego category both for adults and young children. See? Awesome. I've even got my dear friend Betsy to come over on Wednesday so we can go over to the fairgrounds all together and I can make her enter these messenger bags and purses she crochets out of plastic bags. Crochets, people. Out of plastic bags.
So my photography entries are pretty much ready, except, you know, that I still have to crop the borders off them and matte them and buy a frame and frame them, but yeah, pretty much ready. Here's my entry for Creative Class:

It's Willow playing with a sand wheel at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. I changed the tone completely (obviously) so that you can really see with the color the effect that her hand is having on the pattern. Little kids often don't realize the power they wield with their tiny little hands.

This is my entry for the Black and White Class:

It's Willow again, with a sparkler. I like how abstract it is, how you maybe can't even tell that it's a child with a sparkler. It's just chaotic and beautiful and maybe frightening, just like my life.

My entry for the Color Class is a three-way tie still, but this one is my and Matt's favorite:

I love the colors, and the fact that it's in a tunnel but maybe you're not sure where, and the fact that Sydney doesn't see the camera but she's pretty delighted by whatever she does see up ahead. It's weirdly birth-like to me. I'm not in love with the fact that it's not sharply focused, but my eyesight is lousy, so my stuff always has a wide depth-of-field, a fast film speed, and a pretty loose focus to compensate. You can call that an artistic style, right?

Do you enter your county fair? You should.

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