Thursday, May 26, 2011

10,000 Hits--Time For A Contest!

WOW!! Fuzzy Foliage just got its 10,000th page hit! CONTEST TIME!!
The first person who can email me the names of the 2 plants I entered (and won blue ribbons with) at Nationals last week will get 10 TOTALLY FREE African violet leaves in the mail.
U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY, PLEASE! (Sorry I can't afford international postage, I'm not rich)
Email submissions to:

Update: WE HAVE A WIENER WINNER!! Congrats to Robyn Pervin of Kansas! She answered correctly with 'Rob's Loose Noodle' and 'Mini' Minx' about 10 minutes after the contest was posted.

Video - 2011 AVSA National Convention Sales Room

For anyone who's never had the fun of going to a National convention, I thought you might enjoy seeing just how amazing the selection of vendors and plants is in the sales room:

The list of vendors at this convention:

Bloomin' Jungle (Linda Rowe)
Bluebird Greenhouse (Libbie & Tom Glembocki)
Buckeye Violets (Pat Hancock)
Cape Cod Violetry (John Cook)
Cedar Creek Violets (David & Nancy Rollins)
Dave's Violets (David Harris)
Fancy Bloomers (Donna Brining)
Lyndon Lyon Greenhouses (Paul Sorano)
Out Of Africa (Gary Mikita)
Perfect Petal (BJ Ohme)
The Violet Barn (Rob & Olive Robinson)
Violet Gallery (Brenda & Mahlen Petry)

Overwhelming, but in a good way!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Party's Over :-(

Goodbye to the 2011 AVSA National Convention. Why does the best week of the year have to fly by so fast? So sad it's over, now begins the slow 51 week wait for the 2012 Convention which will be in Detroit. Can't wait!

Fuzzy Fan Spotting!

This lovely lady Betsy from Ocean City, NJ came up to me in the sales room today and said, "Are you Ann-Marie? I love your blog! I have to show you my pictures!" Then she proceeded to show me these BEAUTIFUL plants she's been growing.
When I remarked on what a great job she's done, she said, "It's all because of your blog!" I seriously almost cried, what an awesome feeling!

All week at convention I have been overwhelmed by people saying how much they love the Fuzzy Foliage blog, but seeing her pics really gave me a huge proud grin that I will be wearing for a while.

Working REALLY Hard!

I'm at the Cape Cod Violetry table working and I don't even have time to type this blog post.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Internet Buddies Dinner Happening NOW!

Holy frijoles did we ever break the record this year, there are 55 people in attendance!

Right now we're raffling off the awesome donated door prizes, I just won the coolest hand towel with a PINK African violet embroidered on it that reads "Violet Addict". I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!

The Lovely Lorna Russell

This is my growing idol Lorna Russell from Ontario, Canada. Seriously, she grows THE BEST African violets. Most of my best photographs are pictures of her plants. And not only that--She is SUCH a sweet, encouraging, kind, generous, funny, just all-around wonderful person. Her husband Henry is a really great guy as well. I just love them both so much I wanna hop in their trunk and make them smuggle me back to Canada with them when they leave!

Finally Made It To A Presentation!

I've been so busy I haven't made it to ANY of the presentations I've wanted to attend. But I just finally put my foot down and got away so I could attend the one that is most important to me: "African Violets In Print: Taking the Mystery Out of Writing and Publication" with the awesome Mary Schaeffer.

How else am I gonna keep the Fuzzy Foliage blog awesome if I don't make sure I learn all I can about writing about African violets? This presentation was MADE for me!

Friends And African Violets

Here's a little secret, although I don't really think I keep it secret at all. For me, the best part about coming to African violet conventions isn't actually the African violets, it's all the friends you get to see, both new and old.

There are those friends who you actually see quite often, but at a convention you get to walk around and marvel with them and just go "Wow!"
And there are those who you only get to see once a year, so you cherish this week you get to have time with them. (I like these friends because my annoying habits seem "cute" to them, since they don't have to put up with me year-round!)
Then there are those who you didn't know before but you're both at an African violet convention so you make fast friends. Nobody should be a "stranger" when we all meet up because of a common interest!

Then there are those people like my friend Kathryn, someone I knew only from facebook but not in person. I am SO happy that she came to convention and I got the chance to meet "for real"! She is such a sweet and kind lady, I only wish she coulda stayed a bit longer. I am not gonna get to give her a hug goodbye 'cos she's about to catch her plane and Lenny & I haven't made our way to the hotel yet. :-( So sad! I really hope she'll come to another convention.

Friends. Where would we be in life without them? Collect them just like you collect African violets. (Yes, I'm talking to you--I know you keep squeezing new plants on your shelves all the time!)

Make friends, grow plants, try to travel at least once and bring these two worlds together--I promise you will be so glad you did.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Show Winners

(Besides all the major bigtime award winners, I went 2 for 2 on blues! But yes, they spelled my name wrong on my entry cards, grrrrr!)
Best In Show
 Exhibited by Sandy Skalski

Second Best In Show/Best Miniature
Petite Blarney
 Exhibited by Sandy Skalski

Third Best In Show/Best Species
S. 5b clone dificilis  Mather  No. 2
 Exhibited by Barbara Jones

Best Standard/Best Variegated
Buckeye Cranberry Sparkler
Exhibited by Sandy Skalski

Best Semiminiature
Optimara Little Hopi II
Exhibited by Marie Burns

Best AVSA Collection - Minis & Semis
Orchard's Bumble Magnet, Jolly Orchid, Skagit Lil Gem
Exhibited by Susan Arnao

Best Other Gesneriad (aka "weed" haha!)
Streptocarpus Fire n' Ice
 Exhibited by Marie Burns

Mini Minx - Exhibited by me, even tho my name is spelled wrong! >:-|

Rob's Loose Noodle - Also exhibited by wrongly-spelled me. Seriously HOW do they mess that up when my name was spelled (correctly and legibly) by me on my entry cards, AND the entry sheet AND my friend Paula TOLD THEM they were spelling it wrong while they were typing it in, and they ignored all of that? GRRRRR!!! If I find out who it was, they are going to get an earful. Still, I GOT TWO BLUE RIBBONS AT NATIONAL!

Some Awards Results...

(Hard to keep up typing while they rattle this stuff off, but I did my best, so here ya go! Sorry if there are errors)

First off, there were 808 total entries!!

Best Standard Collection Neil Lipson

Best Species/3rd BIS--Barbara Jones

2nd Best Holtcamp Collection-- Kathy Lahti

Best Robinson Collection, 3rd Best Optimara Collection, Best Sport (Sport of Jolly Eyes)--Lorna Russell (yaaaaay!!)

Best Semiminiature (Optimara Little Hopi II), Best Lyon's Collection--Marie Burns (crowd chanted "Fix, fix!" hahaha all in jest)

Best Variegated (Buckeye Cranberry Sparkler), Best Mini/Second Best In Show (Petite Barney), Best Buckeye Collection, Best Trailer/BEST IN SHOW (CIRELDA)--Sandy Skalski (sorry her winning shot is blurry she was kinda FREAKING OUT!)

Congratulations Sandy! Cool to see a Jersey girl and fellow African violet blogger take the cake!


For our after-dinner entertainment, we are being treated to an AWESOME concert from a Mummers string band. They are incredible! Seriously wish everyone could hear this. And Lenny & I have 2 of the best seats in the house! I had to get up and move to take this pic 'cos we're too close for me to have gotten them all in frame.

Fancy Schmancy

Got our ooh-la-las on, going to the awards banquet!

Line 'Em Up...

Look at all those eager shoppers lining up waiting for the sales room to finally open! Only 15 more minutes...

Team Awesome!

We're all done with classes 19-23 (standard variegates) and dang did we ever look good doing it!?

A Word About Pot Sizes...

Here we see 2 examples of the wrong pot sizes, conveniently sitting right next to each other. The one on the left is way UNDER potted, and the on the right is way OVER potted. Now you know!

Almost Judging (And Clerking) Time!

Bill Foster is talking to judges (and us clerks) and getting us all frenzied up to go into that showroom that is PACKED FULL of entries where the judges get to start judging and picking the best of the best, and the clerks get to start putting out ribbons and assisting the judges... I can't wait!

My judges are Jan Murasko (who is a member of our Central Jersey club who I just LOVE), Jan Davidson, and Hans Inpijn. We are in the standard variegated classes... Not as exciting as minis for me, but THANK GAWD I'm not stuck in designs hahaha!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Happy Early Birthday To Me/PLANTS ENTERED!

My birthday isn't until June 2nd but since this is when we get together, I requested Jana make her super-yummy sounding Sugar Cream Cake that I had seen her post the recipe for on the Violet  Reflections Forum and OMG did she ever make it--Not just one, but 2!
And she brought plates & forks and a cute tie-died flower to the registration table, and everyone sang "Happy early birthday to you" at me, and we all had an awesome time eating the BEST CAKE EVER, WOAH!

Then my growing IDOL Lorna Russell helped me salvage a coupla show plants from my "Box O' Wreckage". Seriously dunno what I woulda done without her help, I think she really saved me from much embarrassment in the showroom tomorrow!

So I got 2 entries in. Still might get reds, but nobody can say I didn't try REALLY HARD to get those plants to bend to my will... And anyways who cares? I'M AT CONVENTION WHOOHOO!

Entries Time/Got My Watch!

The show room is slowly starting to fill with plants as people are getting their entries in! George McDonald is grooming his, and says "Hi!"

Check out the watch with Lenny's photo on it! It looks great and is selling out rapidly.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


And the photos to prove it, haha! We're helping Rob and Olive from The Violet Barn unload allllll the boxes of stuff outta their van.

Hello From The 2011 AVSA National Convention

Jenny and I are busy bees registering people!

I didn't update when I got here 'cos I was in a pretty bad mood after I got outta the car and fell on my azz onto the curb in front of the hotel and MY BOX OF SHOWPLANTS GOT DUMPED UPSIDE-DOWN! Ugh.

I'm feeling better now because lots of awesome friends are here. It's hard to be feeling bad at National!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Convention, Here We Come!

Well, we're on the road making our way to Cherry Hill, NJ! Keep checking for lots of convention updates--I'll be blogging the whole time, I promise!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Packing 'Em Up...

Well, tomorrow I take the bus to Connecticut to stay at Nancy's for the night so we can get an early start the next day to drive down to Cherry Hill, NJ for the 2011 AVSA National Convention.

I just fixed up my "fancy traveling box", a priority mailing box (with holes cut in it for pots to sit in) fitted inside bigger box to cover/carry the 8 plants I am taking. Don't know which, if any, will actually be entered into the show.

The most bloom in have on a single plant is five flowers, and one of those is about to drop so make that four. It's embarrassing, really.
Of course there are still like 5 days left until judging, but with 2 days of that being traveling (meaning limited light and just different environments) I just don't see any chance of a miracle happening.

But I know once I get to convention and see a million friends I will forget all about these dumb plants and how mean they've been to me!

Monday, May 9, 2011


I'm almost ready to throw these things out of my 4th floor apartment window, change my name, and take up a new hobby. Maybe skydiving. Jumping from an airplane has to be more relaxing than the last week leading up to the biggest African violet show in the world when your plants aren't doing what you want.
This one might get 5 blooms or so.. But the girl foliage is growing very weird and tight. Dunno if I like it.
Finally yesterday ONE flower opened on this one. But if all those other buds that are mature enough start to open, it's only gonna be blooming on ONE SIDE!
Still my best contender. Foliage still irritates me.
This very special plant will probably have 4 open flowers max. It had another bloomstalk but I broke it off by accident. Yes, I sent myself to bed with no supper. The bloomstalk was very small and more than likely wouldn't have been ready in time, but still. Anyway, if I do enter it, if anything, I'll get a red--possibly even a white. But it's such a special plant I really can't not enter it... (I'm not gonna say the name here, but you might be able to guess by the blossom color that is already showing on the buds)
That ONE FLOWER took 4 days to fully open. I am very angry with this plant.

I'm starting to think someone snuck in here and swapped out my Optimara Little Moonstone with an Optimara Neverfloris. Yeah, so I said the name of the plant, who cares? These flowers will never be open in time.
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