Fair Warning: Designing Woman

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.”

Design Schedule

You have to follow the rules in the design schedule

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.

National Garden Club Green Book

Follow the rules in the green book too.

Gulp. Gulp.

Before I even considered the design possibilities I tried to figure out from the pages of rules what I can and can’t include:

Fresh flowers?


Dyed fresh flowers?


Dried 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.

And remember:

Break a rule?

Lose points.

Lose enough points?

Miss out on taking home a blue, red, or yellow ribbon.

Big Blue Ribbon

This is the most impressive blue ribbon I've won for first overall.

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.

The third place ribbons are nice too.

Regular Blue Ribbon

This is a regular blue ribbon, the kind you get for winning in your class.


1 Comment

Filed under Flower Shows

One response to “Fair Warning: Designing Woman

  1. Ginger

    You go girl! I was addicted to “blue”, too! I guess I created a monster when I dragged you in – then had to move…and, as you know – there’s nothing like a little silver trophy (or two…) to brighten a day!!! Racquetman still talks about his own angst on competition days…I must admit, he always made dinner and poured copious amounts of wine for me – the night before!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s