"What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what is behind a windowpane."

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Old-Fashioned Carnival is FINALLY Here!

At last! At last! The Carnival has arrived!!! Resting between 2 large Beach nut trees was our tiger to greet the guests. The signs on either side of the tiger were actual carnival signs that were no longer needed. Ted got them off the side of the road and I covered up their information with stars and the clown face.

There were games, prizes, and a big Concessions booth that was actually overflowing with food as the day went on. My Mother-in-Law, Kaye, took over running this booth, taking tickets and passing out hot dogs for all.

Hot dogs, bubblegum, candy, cookies, Cracker Jacks, chips, Animal Crackers, brownies, popcorn, cotton candy, juice, soda, Yoo-Hoo, dips, and hot pretzels all made for some scrumptious eating.

There were lots of kids running around with blue and purple teeth from all this bubblegum. And lots of kids (and adults) hopped up on sugar!

There were lots of games for the kids to play, giving the parents a chance to relax and visit. This was "Tip-It". The idea was to throw a wiffle ball and knock them all down. Unfortunately, my brother Shawn, found out the hard way that it wasn't safe for a man to stand behind this game while it's being played.

I spray-painted a large metal basin red and filled it with water for the kids to go fishing.

The little ones seemed to gravitate to this Bean Bag Toss.

They were so cute playing this game!

Some people asked me, "What possessed you to do all this?" To be honest, what motivated me most was making memories for my kids and family. One of my favorite memories growing up was picnics at my Aunt Margie and Uncle Hank's house. They say they don't remember it being any big deal, but to me it was. We'd picnic all day, play baseball with the grown-ups, catch lightening bugs (fireflies to some of you) at night, roast marshmallows, and this was the time to really get to play with our cousins. My sister and I both had a crush on Uncle Hank's brother, Robin too, that just added to the memories!

Little Gracie getting ready for the Disk Toss game. No Gracie, they're not bracelets!

Action Shot! All of the really good pictures are courtesy of my sister-in-law, Luann. While being the hostess, or Ringmaster in this case, I didn't have the opportunity to take many pictures. Thanks Lu!

This game sent me to the ER. . While making it, my thumb got stuck with some wood. I never did find a splinter, but it later got really infected, enough to make me pass out one morning. An ER visit and two antibiotics later, my little thumb is back to normal.

Mary sneaking some prizes.

Pick-A -Pop. This game was a real hit. No matter what, you won. If you picked a lollipop that had red marker, you won a ticket for a prize, green meant a dollar, and one lucky winner won $5.00! If none of the sticks were colored, you still got the lollipop.

Penny Toss Game. Flick a penny into a bottle and win!

All the prizes were here. The kids had to win tickets and turn them in for a prize. Problem was, they were more interested in keeping the tickets than turning them in! We were literally running out of tickets because the kids were hoarding them in their pockets. Out of 300 tickets, I only have 1 left. Little buggers took them home with them!

This was actually one of the hardest games, so say all the adults. Trying to catch one of these animals with a ring was deceivingly difficult.

Tin Pan Alley - my FAVORITE GAME! The object is to match two colors. I used an industrial-sized hamburger bun tin. This made the wiffle ball roll around after you tossed it. This game was like a box of chocolates. Ya never know what you were gonna get.

Mary and me.

Hey! Who let this fellow out of the funny farm?!

It's ok Gary, the nice men from the Home are just going to take you on a little ride.

My friend Beth, came back home after living in California for over a decade. It's so great having her here again!

Beth's husband, Karl, worked the entire time next to Beth. They're both great with kids and Karl said he must have met every child there....some of them about 10 times. I think this one little girl in particular had a crush on him.

James wins a fish! I'm in the background telling Ted, "See?! It CAN be done!" The kids were really good at it. I don't think one adult was able to catch one. I'm thinking James either just got done eating a big bubblegum ball or some blue cotton candy.

We have a WINNER!!! Kayleigh won the grand prize of $5.00!

As a total surprise, I was given a HUGE circus-themed birthday cake from Nic's godparents, Poppy and Busha. My birthday was the next day and being so focused on this carnival, I completely forgot about it.

The cake was gorgeous. Busha added so many little details to the cake. It was amazing.

Turns out, my cousin Patrick, who is 7 years younger than me, shares the same birthday so I was happy to share my cake with him. A candle for both!

And the party continued on into the night.

Cake anyone?

Ya'all come back now, ya hear?!


  1. Oh Jill,What fun and how cute but hard work too.A big hello-happy bithday and God bless you.

  2. How much fun was this?! I love all the games-some of my very favorites! Hope you had a very happy Birthday!


  3. HAHA! My birthday and Ted's Father's Day were spent cleaning ALL DAY. My timing wasn't very good I guess. It was worth it though.

  4. What a great day! Such love and memory making and enough to go around and share with your blog world friends, too! Jill - you are something special. So happy to be getting to know you and glean inspiration from your sweet spirit!
    Miss Kathy

  5. Happy Birthday Jill!!! And wow wow wowser you really outdid yourself with the carnival... i love and adore all those pieces of artwork you made from your heart!!

  6. First of all Happy Birthday! I hope you had a delightful day! Second of all.. were people just flabbergasted over your so very awesome carnival games? Because they should be. Everything looked great. but those games take the cake!

  7. I'm stopping by and am one of your ornament partners. What a fun carnival. Your games are just amazing. What a lovely Birthday party! You and I share a common party-planning interest, I just got done hosting a superhero party for our 5 year old on Saturday. Cheers!

  8. Awesome Jill!! It looks like an amazing party!! You look so cute and happy in all your pictures!! Its good to see you!! As always your talent was the star of the party I would say!! But maybe it's cuz I adore ya!! LOL So now that is over what are you gonna do now? LOL Take care, XO Love ya Aunt Frannie.

  9. OH MY STARS Jill! What a fabulous carnival and I KNOW your kids will remember this for a long, long time! It's not the THINGS you buy your kids that they will hold dear but the memories you make with and for them. You are a good mom!

  10. Well done, Jill, and belated Happy Birthday! Looks like a great time!
    enJOY a lovely week.

  11. Your children will remember this day forever. You are the best mom. I hope you do this EVERY YEAR, because next year I plan on coming to it. It looked like so much fun.

    I flinched when I read about your infected thumb. And I'm relieved that you've taken care of it. You look so happy in these pictures. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!

  12. How awesome! what a lot of hard work,(glad your thumb is back to normal) but oh my gosh it looks so amazing!!!how fun for you and your family!!!

  13. Jill..I studied decoupage with Dorothy Harrower who lived in Upper Black Eddy years ago. Simply LOVED the area. Her home back up to one of the canels..simply beauitiful. Did you ever think of photo-copying your fabric to use in a decoupage project? My students and I do it all the time...try it you will like it Come over and visit my blog and you will see what I mean.
    Bless all your work, Vonda