A few weeks ago, I invited you all to take part in a Halloween competition. Yes, I know it’s not Halloween yet…but if you’re a beader, and you want to prepare, you need to start early. So, today, I am here with the Halloween lantern competition results and your opportunity to make your very own version of this fun, spooky design…
Halloween Lantern Competition Results
For those of you who missed the original competition and want to know what it was all about, click this link. For those of you who just want to know the Halloween lantern competition results, let me cut to the chase…
The winner is…
No, before I announce the name, I do need to say a few things. Firstly, a huge thank you to everyone who has been brave enough to take part and send in an entry.
I have done many competitions in my beading-life, and I have learned that they are much tougher than you might imagine. Yes, the beading process itself can be challenging. So, too can the process of taking photos and making sure you’ve met all the rules as you enter.
But the biggest challenge is actually emotional. You end up judging yourself, second-guessing your abilities and for some, it can actually feel very personal.
So, I want to acknowledge how difficult all of that is. And to genuinely say to every single person who entered…you are the winner!
Regardless of which entry I happen to pick (and that has been a ridiculously difficult task, by the way), you have achieved a personal victory by just doing this. So, please feel very proud of your achievements.
Having just told you that it has been incredibly difficult to judge the entries, let me just explain a little about the criteria I have used.
When I announced the competition, I made it clear that I would be judging both the beadwork AND the photography.
In terms of the beadwork, I asked everyone to stick rigidly to the Spooky Graveyard design. But I gave freedom to add personal touches of creativity. So, this could be in terms of picking colours, adding extra elements and in deciding whether or not to add the hanging loop to the lantern.
I have to say that every single entry fulfilled the beadwork brief perfectly. I cannot spot any faults with the beading. All have followed the design, and all have added wonderful personal touches.
I am filling this blog post with images from my favourite five entries. Although there can only be one winner, I would like to commend all of these entries as having done particularly well.
A few thoughts on the beading
Diane and Leslie both chose to use the ‘traditional’ Halloween orange to mix in with the black on the lantern. But, as you see, they both chose different ways of doing this. And both also displayed lovely creativity and thought in the way in which they added their hanging loops.
Sandy and Sharyl both chose a fabulous array of colours that definitely speak to the Halloween theme, whether you’re thinking of ghouls, or perhaps even the ‘Day of the Dead’ ideas.
And Theresa added a fabulous little skull detail to the top of her lantern. So, it just goes to show how you can get really creative even within the context of a fairly strict design brief.
Huge congratulations to all of you!
A few thoughts on the photography
Now, I know there will be many out there who will agree that photography can be even more challenging than beading! Yet, whether you simply want to show your work on social media, or you’re actually trying to sell things, good photographs are so important.
Now, I didn’t send everyone into this ‘blind’. I did offer some tips in my free email photography course. And I can see that all the entrants took good note of those tips. (For anyone else who wants to try the free email course and improve your photography skills, just use this link to access it).
So, bearing that in mind, what was I looking for in the photos?
Obviously, things like making sure the photo was in focus. I had also asked for photos showing the lantern lit and unlit. So, I was keeping a very close eye on the quality of the ‘lit’ lantern photo.
Then, there are the really picky little things. I had requested three photos. So, did they manage to show all three sides of the lantern, to give an accurate impression of ALL the design elements around it?
I had also requested photos be on a plain white background. So, the challenge there is to create a background that doesn’t have the ‘horizon’ line across it.
You can do that in a couple of ways…
- careful use of camera angle so that you don’t distinguish between the ‘floor’ on which the object stands, and the ‘wall’ behind it
- take a piece of paper or material and drape that so it creates a seamless background without an obvious ‘floor’ and ‘wall’
And finally, in my photography course, I talk about exposure, and about using editing software to brighten up images. So, this was something else that I factored in to my decision.
Halloween Lantern Competition Results…and the winner is…
As I’ve said, everyone did a brilliant job, so this was a tough choice. Equally, no single entry was ‘perfect’. I can find little ‘niggles’ with every single one.
But the entry that, for me, ticked the most boxes was the entry by Sharyl (photos immediately above).
So, very well done Sharyl!
Would you like to make your own Spooky Graveyard lantern?
If you have been admiring these images and thinking you might like to try your hand at this pattern, I have good news…
The design is now available as part of my beaded lanterns class. So, if you are already enrolled on the class, just use this link to grab your copy of the Spooky Graveyard side panel design.
If you are not yet enrolled on the lanterns class, you can use this link to sign up now and you will be able to get the Spooky Graveyard included for free.
The lanterns class includes designs for Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentines, flowers, flamingos and more. So, once you are enrolled, you can make as many different designs as you wish.
You get a PDF tutorial with instructions, and videos to demonstrate the techniques. You can work in your own time, at your own pace, and you have access for life. So, you can use the materials as often as you wish. You will be working in Peyote stitch, using size 11 delicas, so this is a lovely intermediate project.
And, as you can see from this competition, the lanterns really lend themselves to allowing you to express your creativity!
Finally, if you would like more Halloween beading pattern inspiration, use this link to check out all the patterns…