Friday, April 23, 2010

Day 110 - Entry Books!

What a fabulous event - the entry books are out!  My food pages are fast draft printing off the printer as I type (the smaller ones are already printed)!  I will 3-hole punch them and put them in my "fair book" to peruse as needed.  Tonight will be spent pouring over potential entries and possibly highlighting those that would be fun to try as well as fun favorites!  What a great activity for a rainy Iowa evening.  Later I will go back through with a more realistic eye and narrow it down to what I believe I can accomplish.  This list is still going to be large but I need to leave some wiggle room for those things that invariably just don't work (i.e. a fallen cake here, a messed up cookie there, a child spilling frosting on the kitchen floor).  My philosophy: always have a back-up plan, especially when living with toddlers!

I did realize tonight that I have one entry nearly ready to go.  I have a number of cross-stitched pictures that I completed as a set that are ready to go (now I just need to pick the best one).  All I need to figure out now is how they need to be entered.  This entry falls into an area I have never tried exhibiting in before.

Are you wondering what my "fair book" is (listed above)?  Basically this book is my guide to what I want to do as well as the book of rules and guidelines.  I love that the ISF has gone paperless and no longer prints the entry books but has put them on-line.  This allows me to print just what I need and easily assemble the pages as I need them.  When the fair is finished my book will be held onto until next year when it gets recycled in the garden as mulch.  Before the fair I highlight, circle, note, tab - you name it within the divisions (warning - I am a color coding fanatic so my book probably scares some people). Whatever I can do to readily find what I need later.  I also make note of important rules and guidelines.  I have already begun to fill the book with my recipes I plan to use along with information on changing the recipe that would be useful.  These go in page protectors -- keeps the food off them later.  I will also print my 3 x 5 recipe cards to put with each one so I am not printing them all the week of the fair.  During the fair my book goes with me in my bag in case I need to look something up - I also put in judges notes next to divisions/classes to refer to for the next year along with any placings I may have had.  For items like floriculture I mark the varieties I tried along with the varieties of winners that I might like to try the next year.  

Good tip - if you are looking to try some new varieties of flowers or veggies take a notebook and pen to the fair and write down the names of any you see that you like (exhibitors should have varieties marked on their entry tags).  That way you will remember what you want to try while flipping through seed catalogs and searching on-line sites during those cold Iowa winter months.

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