Rules. . .You Gotta Have Rules
Back in November, still amazed and delighted with my blue ribbons (first in my class and first in the overall craft division; click on “My World and Welcome to It” on your right to see the beautiful photo taken by my friend Fran) for the mannequin head design I entered in a local flower show, I signed up to compete in the annual NJ State Flower Show, “The Finest View.”
My Dad, if he were still alive, would have smiled when I told him and said, “Hey kid, you’re running with the big dogs.”
I entered the Creative Crafts “Fantasy Gardens” category. My “class” is called “Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire. ” I (along with my fellow competitors) was issued a life-size twig chair and these instructions: “A twig chair supplied by committee, decorated with fresh and/or dried plant material. Staged on floor area 5′ square. Exhibitor may change color of or redesign chair.”
In addition to these specific instructions, the flower show itself issues “General Rules” and “Design Rules.” AND the National Garden Clubs, Inc. issues a green notebook (about 3” thick) to its members; in it are even more details and instructions regarding submissions to flower shows.
Before I even considered the design possibilities I tried to figure out from the pages of rules what I can and can’t include:
Dyed fresh flowers?
Dyed dried flowers?
Can you stand it? Am I making you crazy yet?
Basically, I created a sort of rules matrix, hoping to catch all the nuances and tricky bits. And, okay, I like rules. Well, what I should say is I like specific, well-written rules. These rules? They aren’t specific and detailed enough to suit me. I don’t like vague and open to interpretation stuff.
Break a rule?
Lose enough points?
Miss out on taking home a blue, red, or yellow ribbon.
And I am partial to ribbons, particularly blue ones. They are tough to win since your design has to be thisclose to perfect. I’ve won two so far, and I hope to become good enough to win more in the future. It takes practice, lots and lots of practice. . .and a little luck. I find it incredibly challenging and fun. Wish me luck! And stay tuned if this sort of thing interests you.