Monday, April 18, 2011

Irises Don't Like Rides In the Car

The knowledge I gained from the AIS Artistic Design Tutorial allowed me to create two respectable arrangements for entry into the San Fernando Valley Iris Society's Spring Show, entitled "Irises Through the Ages." On the morning of the show, I asked my sister-in-law Nora to go with me, as my chosen Second. You know, the person who carries you off after you have been shot in a duel?

It was 11 am. Plenty of time to load up the car and get over to the mall, about 20 minutes away, set up the arrangements by 12:30, take a few photos, and get home for a late lunch at 1:30. I had Nora to hold the arrangement. Oh-oh. Two arrangements. We scavenged around for a box of appropriate size, but could only find one that was unopened. It held a Rival™ Ice Cream Maker purchased as a gift for an upcoming wedding. We opened the newlyweds' present and crammed kitchen towels around The Dark Ages to hold it steady in the box, and managed to secure the whole thing with the rear seat-belt. The Industrial Revolution was a bit more of a challenge. Nora climbed into the passenger seat, and I gingerly handed her the ice-cream bucket (I guess we’ll be shopping for a new wedding present) half-filled with water, teeter tottering Lady Friend stalks, and dead stick with perfect little dead leaves sticking out of the top. While paying too much attention to sloshing water, and not enough to fragile irises, SNAP went the top bud, the bud that would be at the peak of the arrangement, the bud that the tutorial assured me would give the arrangement "balance." The time on the clock? 11:32.

We made it to the Westfield Plaza without further incident, and at last Lady Luck seemed to be on our side. Until we found that the show was held at the Westfield Promenade, two blocks and countless speed bumps to the south. Ignoring the sloshing water and my bouncing Second, I screeched to a halt at the south entrance of the Westfield Promenade. It was 12:05. I grabbed the Rival™ Ice Cream Maker box with The Dark Ages out of the back seat, leaving my trusty Second stuck in the passenger's seat with wet pants and Lady Friend. I ran down the aisle, was directed down the escalator, and I threw the arrangement on the table where a little tag had my name on it. Jan Lauritzen, my arranging mentor and the Artistic Chair, glanced at her watch and said "you have seven minutes."

I sprinted back to liberate my Second, who, along with Lady Friend, had begun to wilt in the 110 degree heat of the dark truck. We made it to the arrangement tables and I threw the Industrial Revolution together sans top bud with three minutes to spare. As I exhaled a sigh of relief and Nora went to stash our supplies, Jan turned around and asked "have you filled out your cards and your paperwork?" It was 12:28.

To the rescue came three members of the Society, Jan, Lois and Debbie, who helped me fill out the cards and forms and get back down to the table, just as the clock hit 12:30. I had entered my first iris show. Piece of cake.

Next: Read the Instructions First


  1. Really captures the frantic preparations we so often go through. And how many times generous fellow exhibitors have helped us fill out the cards at the last minute! Looking forward to your third installment.

  2. Thanks for the grins. Can't wait to see how it turns out. =)