Thursday, 4 September 2014

Diary of an International Nail Artist - Pt 2 Australia 2014

Sat here at my desk in good old Blighty, it is time for me to recount the highs and lows of the second part of my is a far cry from Sydney and the land 'down under' and already I've been home a week! The trees are green and the promise of sunshine reminds me it is still summer here....I can never get my head around the seasonal difference and, of course, the time change.  Just a little over a week ago I was saying goodbye to the nail family I had played, laughed and even tutted with.

Each year I take a trip to Australia and each year I think this will be my last, but it seems I am pulled back by the passion and enthusiasm of the nail technicians over there. This last trip was divided into two parts, with the 3 day break in between, (much needed and very appreciated) it was all too soon before Tracey and I where packing up our suitcases and heading into the city. I say suitcases, because Tracey took me shopping on our break, which meant I had to purchase another bag in order to carry home the new wardrobe!

The two day Be Inspired workshop kicks off with a packed class, another new lesson plan to work from and for me wondering if I have either made it too easy or way to hard. When you come up with a lesson plan for any workshop, it is not a case of pulling ideas and designs from the cloud of inspiration, but each nail covers a range of applications and techniques, and they take you on a journey through the day to the final ultimate look. It does take me a little time to develop and come up with something different and totally awesome to wow those who have invested on the workshop, and with that effort comes the nerves; Have I chosen right?

But as normal those concerns where unfounded....naughty I know, but I love the fact that you get the stunned looked on faces around the class, and the gasps of 'oh no what have I got to do now'  when they realise  they  have to  do the nail you just demoed...and then as they develop  they achieve the most wonderful things. From feathers to hand painted parrots, we finished the day with some 3D fantasy tropical flowers ready for the ultimate nail day tomorrow.

Of course finding new friends on these trips is a bonus but hooking up with hold ones is a delight. Leah Light from New Zealand ended up crashing at our Sydney apartment...mix up with rooms and so forth meant we had a very lucky upgrade and view of the Sydney harbour bridge.  Leah turns out to have a matching wicked side to my own, and I felt like a kid again, with mummy Tracey wagging her finger at us, because we were late or just down right rude! I do miss you Leah.

Day two of the workshop and today we aim to complete the rabbit everyone is so keen to do....this is not an easy job and my time management skills were on over drive; Each part of the day was planned to military precision.
Oh my goodness what a joy the day was! and yes for those who know me, I did get the giggles looking at some of these fellows being born. Cute and weird and for some totally Alien like.  Is it wrong to say I have the best job ever?

Thrill of the day though wasn't seeing these cute and cuddly bunnies,  but for Alex Fox editor of Scratch Magazine to turned up, totally nerve racking.
I was on my best behaviour, although I didn't need to be and the facade totally wore off after our 3rd glass of wine, and right now I am proud to have found another 'fresh friend' and like minded guru of life.  This woman totally rocked my world and I had my own 'light bulb moments' in the wee hours.

The last of the workshops come to an end and I removed my educators hat and donned on the head judge hat... tomorrow it's Show time!

This is where I am in a whole knew world,  my job is to facilitate and make sure the judging is fair, every one sticks to the rules and each nail is scrutinised for ultimate other words that translates to Tracey holds me captive in the judges box with a ball and chain around my ankle and I am hidden from view. Did I say already I love my job...?

This is the third year I have worked with Tracey as head judge for the Australian nail awards, this year was super exciting as they had partnered up with Alex Fox and her team from the Nailympics. Each year I have seen this competition and the competitors grow, the quality of the entries and the standards have increased. It is so rewarding to see. I never do this job alone, and without others from the industry giving back and investing in the future we couldn't hold competitions like this. This year my team consisted of MaeLing Parrish from USA, Leah Light from new Zealand, Alisha Rimando from USA, Mindy Hamilton from Australia, Jai Harvey Lei from Australia. There are so many other names who also helped with the floor judging and nail judging, counting and marshaling, Rebecca Manz, Coleen Hindmarsh and Desiree Dowling. Thank you ladies for your support and dedication. Finally we must not forget Tracey Boyle who actually brings us the whole competition, with her persistence and devotion to running this event, she is instrumental in giving us an great competition.

I did get a chance to leave my judging cave and did a small seminar on the main stage showing of three simple and quick salon viable gel polish designs. I got a chance to try out some eye brow extensions...yes I didn't type that wrong: EYEBROW extensions.....totally awesome.

Tell me 5 years ago I would be presenting awards and hosting on a main stage and I would have laughed in your face (a nervous laugh at that), but there I find myself presenting to a sea of hopeful faces, congratulating winners as I call them onto the stage and dashing those who expected so much more. It is a bitter sweet job, and for everyone who entered having won or not you are all to be congratulated, the nerves and expectations alone is enough to put you off, but I hope to see everyone back for another go next year... and thank you everyone for laughing at my lame jokes.

Monday is the day I have been waiting for, it is time to head home to my family....I have a whole 24 hours before I get to hug them all...but it is a start.  Now some of you might have seen on my way over to Australia there was an unfortunate situation on the aeroplane and someone died mid flight, with delays and mechanical issues during this whole trip I thought to myself what else could possible go wrong. Yet again on the flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi....just a few seats from me a rather elderly lady collapsed, this time I am very thankful she survived and with a little sweet tea and her diabetic meds she was sat back in her seat enjoying 'saving mr banks' within a couple of hours. But boy oh boy it is enough to put you off flying for a while.

Well.. until October at least.

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