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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Challenge yourself

I am not very competitive. And I don't like head to head conflict.

So when Steven Weiss from the Beadsmith approached me to participate in a "beading tournament"- (later to be known as "The Battle of the Beadsmith"), let me say I was less than enthusiastic.  The idea of pitting a design of mine directly against another beader's design did not appeal to me at all.  It also just scared me!  I envisioned huge cat fights, snarky remarks, and all around bad feelings.  No thanks!  Why would I want to open myself up to that?  Just plain scary!

First of all, the contestants are all amazing beaders.  If you don't believe me, check out the work on this page. Battle of the Beadsmith Facebook page  Steven adds more pictures almost every day- one more impressive than the next. Be prepared to spend a few hours drooling over some dynamite work! You can also check out how this whole thing is set up- and join the group while you are there!

So why is it that I am participating in this "battle"?  Not quite sure.  Everybody seems so nice and friendly, and frankly, supportive of each other.  The snarky remarks are few and far between, and poor Steven, who has been doing a wonderful job promoting and organizing this whole thing, has had to absorb most of them.  I guess with this many people, you are bound to nerk off  somebody!  But as a general rule, everyone has been great.  So I said yes in a moment of weakness- cuz really- it sounds kind of fun!  And honestly, I am really honored to be asked!!  Challenging yourself is good, right?!

I have always relied on competitions to push me into trying things that I would not otherwise try.  You know- think outside the box. We (I) often get caught up in making things that I know will sell, not stretching my abilities.  I don't like spending too much time on one piece, because I know I will not be able to sell it for enough to pay for my time.  And the quickest way to work, is to do something you already know how to do.

But with contests, all bets are off. I try to do something  original, whether it will be salable or not. I do not keep track of how much time I have invested, which in itself is pretty freeing.  But this risk also means there are flops.  Valuable time spent on things that don't work out. So be it.

Usually with a contest, you can quietly send in your submission, and if it isn't accepted, nobody even knows unless you tell them.  Here, it is right out there in front of everyone- if you are "voted off the island" in the first round- everyone knows it!  Yikes!

But OK, enough whining.  I'm putting on my big girl pants and getting to work.  Not sure what I am doing yet- I have a couple of ideas, but they keep changing.  I wish I was one of those people that make beautiful sketches of their designs, and know exactly what their inspiration is.  Not me!  I sit down with a big pile of beads and components, start arranging and beading, and see what comes to me.  Not very efficient- but it works for me.  If I try to force myself to stick to a vision I have- it never works out...and it isn't as much fun!   One of the things I enjoy most is just seeing what a final piece looks like.  It is always a surprise.

Oh, yeh- I have my partner for the first round. (notice: partner not competitor- trying to stay calm here!)  Her name is Elka Leonhardt Rath. I was not familiar with her work ,so it has been nice to learn a little more about her. She does excellent beadwork. When I found out she was my partner, I immediately messaged her and introduced myself. Turns out she will be at the Bead and Button show, and we have arranged to meet there. I love that!!  

So I have to get back to staring at my pile of beads, hoping for inspiration. I have my first show of the season this weekend, so I won't be getting too much past the thinking stage I'm afraid- too too busy!  

Here is the list for the 1st round: 

  • 1) Jacquie Champion-Canada vs Irina Chikineva-Russia

    2) Anastasia O'sarantseva-Ireland vs Annie Hatvani-Hungary

    3) Lea Palickova-Czech Republic vs Alla Maslennikova -Russia

    4)  Christina Neit-USA vs Christine Boyer Maj-USA

    5) Hannah Rosner-USA vs Kassie Inman-USA

    6) Olga Haserodt-Germany vs Melissa Ingram-Australia

    7) Ulyana Rakcheyeva Seryankina-USA vs Joanne Browne-Australia

    8) Mouna Marini-France vs Nancy Dale-USA

    9) Nella Moskvichjova-Russia vs Linda Roberts-USA

    10) Denise Kangas-Czech Republic vs Ibolya Ingesne Barkoczi-Hungary

    11) Heather Kingsley Heath-United Kingdom vs Katherine Gezey-Ukraine

    12) Alla Vizir-Ukraine vs Sandra Dokter van Esveld-Netherlands

    13) Olga Shumilova-Russia vs Patrick Duggan-Australia

    14) Ella Des-Belgrade Serbia vs Neva Brown-Australia

    15) Christian Rodriguez-USA vs Marta Koudelova-Czech republic

    16) Ann Braginsky-Israel vs Edgar Lopez Disenos-Dominican Republic

    17) Susan Brackett-USA vs Callie Mitchell-USA

    18) Jill Thomas-United Kingdom vs Maryanne Villalba-Australia

    19) Tammuna Lezhava-Georgia vs Kinga Nichols-USA

    20) Iva Jar-Czech Republic vs Olga Petterson-Sweden

    21) Guzialia Reed-Japan vs Katka Vaclavikova-Czech Republic

    22) Marsha Wiest Hines-USA vs Eva Dobos-Hungary

    23) Orsolya Fuzesi-Hungary vs Cynthia Newcomer Daniel-USA

    24) Betty Stephan-USA vs Elka Leonhardt Rath-Germany

    25) Eva Csizmadiz Lajosne-Hungary vs Mikki Ferrugiaro-USA

    26) Jennifer Chasalow Van Benschoten-USA vs Ekaterina Kalinina-Russia

    27 Sharayah Sheldon-USA vs Miriam Cielo Shimon-Israel

    28) Sue Horine-USA vs Misan Tejre-Sweden

    29) Anneta Valious-France vs Lynn Day-United Kingdom

    30) Alexandra Sydorenko -USA vs Katalin Budaine Nagy-Hungary

    31) Rosita Pisarchick-USA vs Helena Tang-Singapore

    32) Dini Alves-USA vsLaurence Dethier-Belgium

    33) Nausikaa Gahllof-Sweden vs Eliana Maniero-Italy

    34) Rachel Belson Smith-USA vs Amy Katz-USA

    35) Kathy King-USA vs Karyn Healy White-Australia

    36) Roxan O'brien-USA vs Julia Turova-Russia

    37) Marina Nosova-Russia vs Lauren Macregor-Australia

    38) Anna Bystryk-Ukraine vs Terri Richards-USA

    39) Sigifredo Contreras-Mexico vs Anna Lindell-Sweden

    40) Noel Wyres-Australia vs Carol Dean Sharpe-USA


  1. Nice post Betty and plenty to emphatize with here. Best of luck to you and your partner. I have to say, I am having fun, and I hope everyone will!

    1. Thanks Marsha. It has been a lot of fun seeing all the other beadwork out there. And definitely humbling! It will be great seeing all the finished pieces! Best of luck to you too

  2. Good luck Betty! Wow! Have a ball! You are so talented! You will do great! Have a great time with this and at the Bead and Button Show! Lisa