The S-T-R-E-T-C-H yourself challenge.

Good news – My soaps were again recognized at the 2014 Denver County Fair! What started as putting myself out on a limb for a new experience has become a bit of an annual tradition. Plus, I have a challenge for you.

First, here are the winners:

Grapefruit Star Anise won a Second Place Ribbon in the Soaps and Lotions category, which felt really nice as I was experimenting with a different kind of funnel pour for the design. Below you’ll find photos of both the award and a nicer product shot – alas, the lighting/set-up in the award display area wasn’t particularly favorable.

Incorrigible Flora, my women’s soap, won a third place ribbon in the Soaps and Lotions category. Again – the awards shot with a better product shot.

But here’s the thing: having grown-up in the suburbs, it had never occurred to me to enter a county fair. After all, I had NO experience with canning, quilting, pickling, raising livestock, etc.

But a friend suggested I try entering a county fair three years ago as part of my 101 New Experiences in 1001 Days, Why not? I won a ribbon for a pastel painting (experience #92)! I was hooked. The next year I won for one of my soaps (Serene Teen). Yee Haw! And this year…well, you already know about that (above).

NOTE: While I’ve gotten some lovely recognition, I’ve entered other items that hadn’t won anything: Gluten-free muffins. A (different) pastel portrait, plus other products. Not everything wins. But when it does, it’s kinda fun.🙂 Who doesn’t like saying that they have an “award winning” soap? Or pie? Or calf?

So here’s the challenge: How about you consider entering a contest? County fairs are fun – their entry fees are totally reasonable, and win or not, it’s interesting to see what’s else is in your category. Plus, you’d be surprised at some of the categories you can enter. The Denver County Fair even has categories for “best tattoo,” “best Peeps diorama,” and “fastest speed texter.” Admittedly, The Denver County Fair is a bit more urban (and edgier) than most county fairs.

But consider entering any other number of other contests. You might come across one on your favorite internet sites. That’s how I ended up entering a “botched batch” soap contest (and WON – talk about dubious achievement), which you can read about here.

The point is, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t win a category, or DO win something goofy. It’s just nice to s-t-r-e-t-c-h yourself once in awhile. And we ain’t talking life or death here, people.

In the comments below let me know if 1) you’ve ever entered a contest and what the result was, or 2) What contest you’d be willing to enter.

It’s FUN. (Really!)

Enjoy yourself.🙂

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