Cox Green Craft and Horticulture Show

Today I ventured into the world of competitions, with some very surprising results.

Our local community centre hold an annual craft and horticulture show and I have always been along to gaze in wonder at the exhibits, promising myself that when I retired, I would, in the spirit of community, enter some items myself.

I picked up the schedule back in July and started planning my competition entries. Should I go for a fruit cake, or maybe a Victoria sandwich cake. And the handicraft section………knitting, crochet, embroidery, lace…….. some serious decisions needed to be made. I changed my mind so many times but the entry form had to be in by September 4th. and it was with much relief that I handed mine in to the centre office, now I couldn’t be indecisive any more.

This morning dawned, bright and sunny, entries had to be in place for judging by so off I went with my selection of craft and food in the boot of my trusty Micra. At this point I should perhaps divulge the choices I had agonised over and decided upon. Two exhibits in the art section, a portrait in any medium and a little watercolour in the ‘newcomers’ section. The portrait was a pencil drawing of my darling dad and the watercolour was of a water mill. Next were three photos, going into the photographic sections; 1.a  moving subject, 2. a seasonal theme and 3. a building. My moving subject was a bee hovering on a chive flower, the seasonal one was of sweetpeas in the rain (very typical of this summer) and the building was of the Freedom tower rising out of the 9/11 ashes in New York. Next on to handicraft; a bag made in any medium and a knitted item were the two catagories I chose in this section. My bag was a traditional Japanise knot bag which I had machine embroidered, and the knitted item was a little shrug that I had made ready for my forthcoming holiday. Finally the domestic section, three entries in this one, a plate of six cupcakes, a machine made loaf and a pot of lemon curd. My cupcakes were flavoured with some of the lemon curd that I had made for my second entry in this catagory, and I decorated them with lemon buttercream and little sugar butterflies. The loaf was a five seeded white loaf, a favourite of my other half. There were already a lot of entries in place when I carefully set my bits and pieces out and some of the work, particularly in the handicraft section, was really stunning.

All safely delivered, back home to to some housework and wait for the show to open at 2.30pm.

At just after 2.30 I made my way back to the centre, a little nervous, how would I feel if I hadn’t recieved any nice judges comments? Surely at least one of my entries would have got a third, or even a highly commended? But what if……..? Oh well I would put it down to experience and try again next year.

The first area I went to was the photographic section, lots of entries and sure enough, none of my photos were placed, I have to admit, the winning entries were exceptional. On to the art section, wow, my portait had come second with a lovely comment from the judge who felt I had ‘captured the expression of my subject with sensitivity’. At this point I would have gone away a very happy bunny. However the best was yet to come, my little water colour also came second, my bread got a third, my knitted shrug was highly commended, the lemon curd got a first and the cupcakes also got a first. The icing on the cake (literally), my lemon cupcakes won the silver Millenium Cup for the best exhibit in the domestic section! I get to keep this for a year so must  get some silver polish next time I am shopping.


All in all a very exciting day and I think my OH is just a little bit proud of me!

Jenny xx


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