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My name is Olga Shelyag; I was born and live in Sevastopol, in Crimea. I'm a teacher of English and French by education, but also a ballroom dance instructor, and since 2007 a fan of beadwork. It took place some time ago, when after my son's birth we have lived for a few years in Dnepropetrovsk. My husband's coworker called me for shopping in some bead stores, and since that I'm hooked on beading.
Unfortunately, at that time I could spend very little time on beadwork because daily I was busy with my son, and in the evening all my time was dedicated to my family. So, I was able to craft only at night! Now my son lets me work with beads much more, I retired from my school and completely switched to beading. Now I'm a freelance jewelry designer and a ballroom dance volunteer teacher.
I'm a self-taught beader, I learned beadwork techniques in Internet and in bead forums, I have met beautiful masters there and I'm thankful to them for all I can do. I still learn from my friends, but I think the most important is to find my own way.
Once I have woven ropes, then I spent some time making embroidery, and want to try floral beadweaving. Mostly I work with Miyuki beads, I fell in love with their color palette and coating. Toho seed beads are another favorite material, now I can buy them in Ukraine, but a couple of years ago I had to order them in Japan and in the USA.
I like making jewelry with gemstones, but I don't have any preferences. I think all of them are beautiful, and I try to see their beauty and highlight it. As to my sources of inspiration, it can be music and Mother Nature; sometimes movies and books inspire me. I live on the Black sea shore, and that's another great source of inspiration for me, I even named a few of my beadworks after the Black sea.
In spring 2010 I read about Fashion Colorworks Beading Contest and felt that it was a great opportunity to try an international contest, especially I liked the keystone of it, when a beadworker had to create a piece in one of the three color combinations. By that time I have already had experience in participating in forum challenges and contests, and I decided to give a try. I like Earth tones and selected the third palette.
I haven't thought for a long time, it was clear for me that I had to showcase my Black sea, its sea foam, and sparkling drops of the sea surf, underwater weeds, and golden shells. In spite of existing stereotype, the water in the Black sea is not blue, only sea sand and reflecting sky make it blue. I know only one place no so far from my home where the sea looks blue, everywhere else it's greenish with the sun blinks.
I have fed my inspiration during daily walks along the seashore, and my hubby supported me when I worked with advice and critique honestly telling me his vision of the theme. The most difficult thing for me was... to forget about my previous thoughts and ideas and create a piece that would be quite new in design!
I have started over and remade my contest necklace five times, and there was doubt that I could finish my beadwork in time. I think that at last I created what I wanted. The contest intrigue existed until June 20, when the finalists were announced because every person could see on Mylovelybeads.com the details of entries, but only jurors could see beadworks in full! Nevertheless it was possible to state the value of submissions, they seemed to be amazing; and I believe the judgment wasn't easy for jurors. I'd like to thank them for their hard work, my big thank to all contest supporters and sponsors, they have done a great job!
When I knew about the top ten beadworks, I was happy, my Treasures Of The Black Sea Necklace was juried into the final! For now that's my greatest success because Fashion Colorworks was my first beading contest of such a level, and it gave me power. Of course, I will improve my skills - I want to enter Fashion Colorworks 2011 Beading Contest next year. I know it will be even more interesting!
|Olga Shelyag, Sevastopol, Ukraine|
|Blog (in Russian):||mrschaos.livejournal.com|
|Blog (in Russian):||liveinternet.ru/users/mrschaos|