Sunday, 11 November 2012

The Cow Awards – moosic to my ears!

I like cows! There, I’ve said it! I’ve always liked cows – I still, as a fully-fledged adult, take pride in shouting ‘Belted Galloway’ when I see white-striped cattle in a field … my children have given up on me. Twenty years ago (now I feel old) my family and I were holidaying in Switzerland and I took a cable car ride up to the summit of Mount Titlis (yes, I know!) The journey is several-cable car rides and you ‘dip’ over alpine pasture; on our visit the pasture was full of cattle wearing their bells … the noise was hypnotic. Cable cars move silently through the air, so the only sound was one of ding-a-ling! It’s a magical sound, it honestly is. This summer I returned to Switzerland and we took our children on the same cable car – we were not disappointed as the cows were still there, ding-a-linging away! Here’s one …

Switzerland is, of course, famous for its cows (and the yummy chocolate that it makes from the milk) – but as I’m always on the lookout for quirky handmade items, I couldn’t resist taking a second look that this beauty. :) 

Anyway – are you now suitably convinced that I like cows? Good … then let me tell how you how chuffed I was to be asked to be a Cow in a professional capacity. Around early summer this year I was in the chatroom gossiping away with the ladies at Creative Connections (not heard of them? I’ll tell you more in a minute). We were talking about Theo Paphitis’s #sbs awards on twitter – how popular they were, how everyone we knew were winning them (!) and we felt a bit left out (we’ve never been picked ). That same day, The Cow Awards were born, with three main cows – Bessie a Friesian (moi), Daisy a highland cattle with no udders, and Cow Pat, a Jersey cow with a penchant for purple earrings. We each head up our own award category – Daisy picks the most ‘Creative’ entry; Bessie chooses what she believes to be an ‘Outstanding’ entry, while Pat chooses the ‘Weird and Wacky’ winning entry … C-O-W, there we go! We approached The Cow Lady to ask if we could base our cows on some of her amazing paintings (have you seen them – go look!) – she said yes! The other Cows chatted to the illustrator Richard Green who amazingly offered to turn our cow face paintings into real characters, and to draw our award badges - what he produced was incredible. Again, please do check out Richard’s work.

We then set up our own website, Facebook page, Twitter, and Pinterest, and we decided to run the awards via twitter, each Thursday evening between 4pm and 7pm. Anyone who makes something can enter one of their makes, by tweeting a link to it to our twitter page during those hours. Although it took off really well, we subsequently decided to run the awards on the 1st of each month – simply to give each of us more time to promote it as we all have other ‘day jobs’. So the next awards will take place on 1 December, and I can’t wait to see the entries! We get such varied entries, it really is difficult to pick a winner … but of course there are three awards each time, so even if you’ve won one category, there’s two others to aim for (and then you win a herd badge!)

One of my favourite Outstanding winners to date has been this patchwork chair by Kelly Swallow – it’s so bright and cheerful – I love it and want it for my study!

It’s all really good fun, we all have a laugh when we’re promoting it and judging it for that matter. It may be lighthearted but in a small way it brings the craft community together – some of them get quite competitive we’ve noticed.

The Cow Awards is a new venture, but it’s one that has already gained a lot of followers and support – and we’re all really looking forward to seeing where it goes. Can we be the ‘new’ Theo Paphitis #sbs? Possibly not … but what we are certain of is that our bright and cheerful awards are a lot more fun and funky than his beige badges.

Remember our next awards are on 1 December. If you fancy entering, tweet a link to your entry to @CowAwards between 4-7pm and you might just end up the winner of your very own cow!!

More about Creative Connections
WowThankYou has sponsored Creative Connections for a lifetime now. Admittedly I was a bit of a slow starter – I had to be encouraged in to the chatroom … but once in, you try and shut me up! It’s great! As the day goes by people pop in, have a natter, then go off again – everyone is involved in crafting (I’m one of the few non-creatives who live in awe of these folk, but try hard not to show it!) and we chat about everything – you name it, we’ve discussed it (yes, really!) It’s a great place to run ideas by people, ask questions, or just to break the monotony of a day at the laptop with a chat about the weather or the best way to cook a chicken! Creative Crafting magazine is also part of the Creative Connections empire, as is the mega CRAFTfest event – which is fast approaching. I could write pages – I won’t – so I’m sending you to this link … join in (it’s free) and pop in the chatroom for a few minutes; we’ll tell you all about it then!


  1. Belted Galloway! lol! I do the same with all kinds of cows, but mainly White Parks!

  2. Hi Tracy, I'm happy to follow your new blog, I'm another fan of 'the cow' I done a post a while back with pics of a few local to me, English White and Highland. The Cow awards sound great fun but I don't twitter :(
    Good luck with your blog :)

    Jan x