CLACKAMAS COUNTY FAIR, August 2019, Oregon.

Best of Show, People’s Choice & other Awards

For the first time in 3 decades, I’ve attended a County Fair! Ages ago, I noted the rides, food stalls and livestock, but somehow missed the existence of indoor galleries displaying crafts and art work. Now I know what we’ve been missing, we will be sure to attend County and State fairs every year.

Over in the Art Gallery, the Fox sculpture – title “STUMPED” -earned 3 ribbons: Best of Show, First Premium (a cash award), and on last day we found a delightful surprise: People’s Choice award! That means so much to me. Visitors vote for the favorite and choosing among such diversity and abundance of lovely work, the most votes were cast for the Fox. I am both grateful and proud. He is my favorite sculpture of all I’ve created (okay, I concede the Silk Dragon is a contender for my own FAV, so my vote is a tie).

Turquoise ribbon: People Choice. We were informed that over 1,000 votes were counted, with most for the Fox. How amazing!
“OLLIE’S GONE FISHING” otter sculpture earned Second Premium ribbon
Faerie Grypon & Mouse earned a Third Premium ribbon (it’s a cash award).

BLACK SHEEP GATHERING 2019People’s Choice Award

I love you back, BSG! In the Fiber Arts Division I entered not one, or two, but fully 3 large needle felted sculptures. Whew. The Jacob, and the Faerie Gryphon & Mouse were joined by a more recent creation: a large river otter sculpture titled “Ollie’s Gone Fishing.” The OTTER won People’s Choice Award, wherein the most viewers to the gallery voted with abundant heart stickers place on the items description form.

Otter sitting on log alongside river. Basket full of his day’s catch, and with a fish dangling on the pole, and a snack in paw.

Thank you Black Sheep Fiber Gallery visitors, for your generous votes. I love to create anthropomorphic creatures (having human-like form or characteristics) just for the magical fun of it. I am so delighted that you enjoyed my otter sculpture enough to vote it your favorite. I know choosing favorites isn’t always easy. I placed my own heart sticker on a lovely shawl, lamenting the lack of ability to vote for multiple fabulous items within the gallery.

My other 2 needle felted sculptures also collected ribbons: 1st place for the Jacob sheep in chair, and the Faerie Gryphon & Mouse was awarded both a 1st place and the Reserve Champion.

Black Sheep Gathering 2019, Faerie Gryphon & Mouse earned Reserve Champion
1st Place – Jacob sheep was nearly as popular as the Faerie Gryphon

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OREGON FLOCK AND FIBER FESTIVAL 2018 brought us multiple award ribbons in the Fiber Creations Gallery, felting category.  This year the Celebrated Breed was Jacob, and the Celebrated Craft was felting.  Just pure luck that I got my first small bit of Jacob fleece a couple months ahead of the show.

The Faerie Gryphon & Mouse sculpture was awarded Champion and Grand Champion, together with glowing comments from the judges.  Instagram has a couple photos...


The large Jacob Sheep sculpture won Reserve Champion and Reserve Grand Champion in the Felting category (needle felt & wet felted), along with kind comments from the judges.


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The Silk Dragon went to the Oregon State Fair 2018, where it was entered in a division of the Creative Living Competition.  There the dragon won ribbons for First Award, Best of Division, and Best of Show: covering Felting, Spinning & Weaving divisions.  The link to awards page states the results will be posted soon.  Meanwhile, the judges sent me this photo, since I was unable to attend their award ceremony due to urgent family obligations.

I want to thank the Fair committee judges for their generosity with the ribbons and monetary award for Best of Show.  I am feeling humble despite my giddy delight.  I am SO VERY PLEASED that you really enjoyed my dragon.

Image 9-15-18 at 7.13 PM

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Whimsical Ewe has been fortunate to receive awards and recognition within the fiber festival community. With humble elation we accept these generous kudos from the very individuals and groups whom we so admire.

BLACK SHEEP GATHERING 2018  Fiber Arts Division.  The “Silk Dragon” received The Peoples Choice Award, wherein viewers vote their favorite by placing a heart sticker alongside the item on display.   BSG Instagram page has a videoclip of the dragon on it’s turntable, rotating to show dragon anatomy in 180* view.


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OREGON FLOCK & FIBER FESTIVAL 2017 Fiber Arts Contest.  The “Silk Dragon” garnered 3 ribbons: First Place / Champion / Grand Champion.  The judges gave enthusiastic comments, and I see they welcomed the samples I provided to show the 2 types of silk cocoon used in the sculpture, as well as a photo of the work in progress.  This dragon is made of wool firmly needled to shape over a wire armature.  Silk cocoons were cut, dyed and individually applied on top.  Wings are wet felted of wool and silk.


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OREGON FLOCK & FIBER FESTIVAL 2013 Fiber Arts Contest:  Omigolly – how exciting!  Four ribbons!  1st place, Champion, Grand Champion, and Judge’s Choice.   But there is another, even greater reward that comes without a ribbon.  It’s all the wonderful compliments and laughter from happy viewers.  So many of whom sought out our booth downstairs so they could chat with us about this Fiber Arts entry:   the story how a chilly little rabbit got his warm new clothes.  Bitty Bunny’s New Sweater

OFFF 2013 Fiber Arts ribbons
Oh pshaw - 4 ribbons

 More diorama photos in the blog post: “Anticipating OFFF 2013”

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Black Sheep Gathering, 2013 Fine Arts Contest:  People’s Choice Award, given for Best Overall Entry.  Also, a 1st place ribbon (I entered the sheep as combined technique, wet-felting + needle felting).  Here my Gotland Ewe & Lamb sculpture is being held by Mary, who won the Black Sheep Cup for her beautifully knit sweater, and ended up purchasing the Gotland sculpture.  How satisfying to know my sheep have gone to live with this talented lady!

BSG 2013 People's Choice Award
BSG 2013 Fine Arts contestants
BSG 2013 Gotland Ewe & Lamb sculpture
BSG 2013 Fine Arts Contest

Oregon Flock & FIber Festival, 2012:  1st place ribbon.  Champion ribbon.  Grand Champion ribbon.  Diamond Award marble plaque. (holy schmoley)

We submitted to the Fiber Arts contest a large sculpture of a Teeswater sheep.  It was made with a hard, wet-felted core.  Slender strong wire for leg support only.  Musculature built up with roving needled on.  An addition of a ‘skin’ layer, same color as curls.  Then the fleece curls layered on meticulously to secure them in place.

Sorting locks

I’ve got to tell the story of Staci & Gail, of Lawrence Cottage, who are breeders of Teeswater (& Gotland) sheep.  I had the delight of visiting them on sheering day, and purchasing the 1st fleece for sale.  This exact same fleece was used to create the winning sheep, whom they’ve named Sir Locksley! And in a very fitting turn of events, this Grand Champion sculpture went home to live at Lawrence Cottage farm.  How very perfect an outcome is that?

OFFF 2012:  2nd place ribbon.   In addition to the sheep’s awards, our other entry of a Silkworm Cocoon water bottle bag received a ribbon.    These water bottle bags are made to resemble a silk cocoon woven  among the leaves & vines.  I also make a tinier, slender version to hang on spinning wheels.

Cocoon bag 2nd place ribbon OFFF 2012
Cocoon bags, silkworm

Fiber Fusion NW, 2012:  1st place ribbon.  Best in Show ribbon.

Fiber Fusion NW, 1st place, Best in Show
Fiber Fushion NW 1st place + Best in Show


Another Teeswater sheep sculpture.  Written about in a previous post.  This sheep is still available, and will be in our booth at Black Sheep Gathering 2013.

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