Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Battle of the Beadsmith - My Journey

You know, when I put my hand up for this challenge, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would get past the first round. The calibre of the bead artists I was up against was amazing ... these girls, and yes guys, are my absolute idols. They rock my world as far as beading goes. :) These are people I aspire to be as good as one day ... they are my inspiration.

The Beginning ...

It wasn't until a couple of weeks into the "production" time, that I actually sat down and tried to figure out what I was going to do. Lucky my trusty sketchbook is always at hand, because as an idea came into my head I would sketch it down. I ended up with five designs in the end ... mmmm which one do I go for? Finally after another couple of weeks I settled on one design, got out the cabs and beads I was going to use and there it sat for another couple of weeks. Then realisation set in ... I only had about another week or so till reveal. OMG get beading Maryanne!!!! LOL I pulled a couple of late and all-nighters to get it done, but it got done.

I was happy with my piece, the kids loved it - but then again, they are my biggest fans ... mmm my husband, well that was a different matter. Unfortunately he is in no way Arty, so to him I ruined it by putting the knotting on the side. That's his opinion and he's welcome to it, but it did rock my confidence when he said that. All these doubts came into my head, but I resisted the urge to rip the knotting off and do something else.

Reveal day ... Oh my bloody god (excuse my language) ... the pieces that were slowly being revealed were absolutely amazing. I drooled endlessly over all the gorgeous pieces appearing on my computer screen - so many gasps, whistles, oohs and aahhs were heard through the day/night. Surely there was no way in hell I was ever going to make it through the first round!!! First round pairings were posted, and I was up against English beader Jill Thomas and her beautiful piece "Lydia Of Thyatira". First round judging was hard - having to go through forty albums of pairings and pick just one out of each was agonising - seriously it was a case of einey meiney miney mo for some of them. Round one results popped up and I was shocked to learn that I'd made it through. In some strange way I was content to make it that far, and if I got voted out for round two it wouldn't matter ... I'd already surpassed my expectations.

As the pairings for round two were announced, my heart sank, I was up against a fellow Aussie Noel Wyres and her piece "Chaos". It didn't matter which one of us won - we both knew that an Aussie was going to be out of the runnings after this round .. and I hoped it would be me. Voting for round two was even harder than round one - I ummed and aahhed with so many of those pairings - it was heartbreaking to think that one of those pieces would not be returning. Round two results came out, not only did some of my favs not return, but alas Noel was the one to go in our battle :( *big sad face*. Sorry Noel :(

Now at this stage I hadn't told anyone in the household how far I'd gotten .. don't know why, just kept it to myself .. call it a defence mechanism if you will :). Anyway, the kids twigged one morning when I was on the BOTB page and one of them happened to be reading over my shoulder (which I hate by the way LOL). Soon all three knew, and then hubby. Geez a woman can't keep anything to herself!!! *rolling eyes*. Kids were happy, hubby well I think he was just stunned ... hehe slightly satisfying that was :)

When Steven announced the pairings for Round three, I knew in my heart that this was it .. my time was up ... and you know something, I was actually happy about it .. go figure!!. I was up against one of my favs in the competition, "Bright Summer" by Irina Chikineva ... and I'm happy to say that her piece was voted through. Well done Irina!!

Now this competition is by no means over ... there are still two or three rounds left. We are definately down the business end of things. There's just ten .. yes TEN pieces left ... all well deserving pieces .. the creme de la creme of the pieces. Personally, I feel very priveleged to have played with all of you these last couple of months. It's been an immense honour to have my piece amongst your works of art. You ARE my beading idols and you all ROCK!! Good luck to all finalists - you so deserve this!!

Thankyou Steven for the best joy ride ever ... I'm sooo looking forward to doing all this again next year. :)


Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Round 3 - BOTB

WOW this is getting so much harder to vote on. The pairings for Round 3 were announced last week, and you could almost hear a collective gasp when we all saw who we were up against. This Challenge is down to the "prickly" end now, and its getting harder and harder to choose which one you like best in the pairings ... especially if you like both of them equally. I uummed and aahhed over every battle - and I'm sure I changed my mind a dozen times when making the decision.

My worthy opponent for this round is the very accomplished bead artist from Russia, Irina Chikineva and her piece "Bright Summer". Both of us have used similar inspirations, feelings, and colours behind our pieces. Two green pieces up against eachother :).  This round is the only time I have chosen to vote in my own Battle. I abstained from doing that in the last two Battles. However this time I couldn't let this one pass ... Irina's piece is sooooo gorgeous, that I just had to give it that extra boost to get through .. and I hope I have. I bow down gracefully to her piece .. it is gorgeous, and I'm sure you will agree.

Good luck Irina :)

Irina Chikineva
Bright Summer

Friday, 10 August 2012

Round 2 results - Battle of the Beadsmith

Well BOTB leader Steven Weiss definately did it this time!! Round 2 saw me pitted against fellow Aussie Noel Wyres, and her gorgeous piece "Chaos" (pictured below). How could he do that? LOL

The results are out today, and happily or sadly, I don't know which one yet, "Evergreen" made it through to Round 3. It means there's one less Aussie in the mix now, sorry Noel ... but two other Aussies have survived the cut - Melissa Ingram with her piece "Arabesque Armour", and Lauren Macgregor with her piece "Belisama".

From 80, down to 40, and now we're left with 20. There is not one piece in this remaining 20 that I want to be up against ... the talent is amazing!!!

Congratulations to all those that made it through Round 2 ... commiserations to those that didn't ... and good luck to everyone for Round 3.

My beautiful opponents piece ~
"Chaos" by Noel Wyres

So who are the final 20?

Cynthia Newcomer Daniel - USA
Miriam Cielo Shimon - Israel
Christian Rodriguez - USA
Ann Braginsky - Israel
Melissa Ingram - Australia
Helena Tang - Singapore
Lauren Macgregor - Australia
Ekaterina Kalinina - Russia
Betty Stephan - USA
Sue Horine - USA
Marsha Wiest Hines - USA
Sandra Dokter van Esveld - Netherlands
Kinga Nichols - USA
Heather Kingsley Heath - United Kingdom
Ella Des - Serbia/Belgrade
Julia Turova - Russia
Alla Maslennikova - Russia
Irina Chikineva - Russia
Mikki Ferrugiaro - USA
Me :) - Australia