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VANWIJST.COM Family members tap their creativity in a frantic competition to win The Steggly Cup! Find out how this year's competition turned out by reading onward.

In 2010 we continued the recent tradition of chosing easter egg ideas from a hat, except once more with an interesting twist. Just like last year everybody submitted their egg ideas into a hat and then drew them randomly, but this year participants only had to make one egg to satisfy the requirments of the random draw. The second egg had to be made according to specifications created by last year's winner. In the event, last year's winner (one Bob of Burk's Falls), stipulated and decreed that all participants must make a Venusian Senator, i.e. a senator from the planet Venus. Of course it would be hard to agrue just what might or might not constitute such a being in such a profession, so the specifics were left to the creativity of the artists. The following are the results....
VENUSIAN SENATOR by Colin. This senator led the pack, not in grace or eloquence, but in terms of speed. Apparently full-fledged Venusian Senators can be conceived, hatched, schooled, matured and sworn into office in less than three minutes flat. A truly impressive feat, but this senator's popularity waned quickly. I guess speed isn't everything....
VENUSIAN SENATOR by Tyler. Surely the most bashful of politicians, this species of Venusian would surely be welcome at any debate or doorstep. Unfortunately it had also had a hard time stumping for votes.
VENUSIAN SENATOR by Mog. A collaborative effort involving Mog and her various handlers, this senator's sonic death-ray of red fluffiness scared away the voters in droves. "Come back, puny mortals, and feel the wrath of my intergovernmental fiscal transfer policy!"
VENUSIAN SENATOR by Martin. Half cowled sith-lord, half elvin butterfly with chest-mounted wings, and half camera tripod, this tri-ocular candidate put off the voters with mixed messages and random acts of polinization. Nevertheless, she has become a folk-hero for the christian right and will soon host her very own TV talk-show.
VENUSIAN SENATOR by Cheryl. If Carmen Miranda joined the communist party, then was scientifically respawned as an egg, transported to Venus and ran for public office there, this would roughly approximate what she would look like. But where is the sickle? Alas, those bourgeois golden pendants demonstrate that this pinko needs more reconstructing.
VENUSIAN SENATOR by Clare. This metallic robo-peacock can draw out a filabuster like the best of them. But, you know.... sometimes less is more.
VENUSIAN SENATOR by Chris. The only photographic evidence that this foreign dignitary ever visited Earth was furnished by the paparazzi, so please forgive the photo quality. The reasons for this senator's elusiveness are unknown, but the rumour mill is churning out everything from cocktail waitresses to premature baldness. Anyway, nobody likes an alien with something to hide, so this elusive Venusian raked in few human votes.
VENUSIAN SENATOR by Alex. With a feathery flourish, this bubbly glad-hander began working the crowd. Truly this specimen is a miracle of egg-gineering: a skull suspended incredibly above the jaw with only a thin tongue of shell for support. Truly remarkable. But apparently the voters this year were more interested in cheap thrills than real substance, so this little fellow got the snub.
VENUSIAN SENATOR by Cathy. Does science fiction really need another grasping senator aspiring to royalty? The saphire encrusted skirt whispers modesty, while the diamond studded fish-net lingery screams "not!". In the end the judges thought this candidate too over-the-top for their votes.
VENUSIAN SENATOR by Fern. Reason number one to vote for this senator: she has three eyes. Reason number two: she has red hair. Reason three: she wears shiny gowns. Reason four: she likes to make endless itemized lists. Reason five: have the voters lost interest yet? Reason six: hey, where are you going? Reason seven: I have more reasons! Come back!
VENUSIAN SENATOR by Jen This senator has promised to legalize just about anything if voted into office. "Don't worry, mon! Your taxes will be safe with me!" Who's worried? Not the voters, anyway, since they can rest assured that this free-thinker is a world away from electable. Back to the 400 degree beaches of Venus, mon!
VENUSIAN SENATOR by Robin. At last, a pearl-crowned Pac-man villain I can vote for! The glasses say "I'm serious", while the power throne says "I'm REALLY freakin' serious." In the end it seems as if this candidate was just a little too intense for the elecorate. Maybe if he smoked something purveyed by the last candidate he would chillax a bit....
SUDOKU by Cheryl. A tough category to draw, but at least the artist... entirely buried the egg. Egg-scluding the egg was probably the biggest liability of this piece, but there are also problems of balance and composition. Oh, and there's two twos in one line, so the artist would eventually have to go back and start from scratch anyway.
CAMPFIRE by Bob. A rustic Canadian theme hits a bicycle helmet-wearing Grover muppet cooking celophane. This artist's foray into minimalism was not nearly as successful as his ducktape campaign of 2009. It looks like this year will see a new champion hoisting the Steggly Cup!
BODY PART by Chris. Is there anything more cliche than an egg's similarity to an eye? There was lots of room for creative ingenuity on this topic, but the artist sadly went with the obvious. Well, at least it isn't a testicle.
CAT by Connor. You wouldn't want to run into this ferocious feline in a dark alley. Also, you wouldn't want to vote for it just in case it did get elected, went to parliament, rubbed up against the prime minister and had some vindictive nastiness rub off onto it, worked late, and then decided to leave via the back alley that happened to be dark in which you might at the same time be walking down. The mere spectre of this was enough to keep the voters away.
HENDRICKS by Lee-ANN. Well, excuse me while I kiss the sky. The foreground egg is a veritable portrait of a desembodied Hendricks, right down to the cannon of cannabis. But what's with the giant armless monkish looking groupy? This is starting to get just a little too trippy for my tastes....
BOBSLEDDING by Martin. This entry was just plain awesome. A topical topic helped, but look at the execution of the track, the sled, the determined expressions on the competitors' faces. The details make this piece, right down to the logo of the sponsor -a manufacturer of some sort of blue conifer-shaped umbrella, it would seem. Unfortunately it seems as if this peice violated some obscure rule about only using one egg and was thus disqualified. You'll get 'em in Sochi, boys!
SEASONS by Robin. Nice and simple, but elegant and well-balanced. The artist cunningly uses the topic to evoke national pride in our ice-fishing prowess in this idyllic scene where even the fish are blissfully happy to be caught. This entry pushed all the right buttons but still came a little short of the podium, but each year it seems this artist gets a little closer. Watch out for him in 2011!
FAIRY TALE by Ryely. Yeah, but where's the fairy?

(left to right) BOB, FERN (below), CLARE and TYLER. The infamous white trophy has to be shared four ways this year: that's only three months each! The following is a survey of the fourth place winners, in no particular order.
HITLER by Fern. This was a really tough topic to draw. Certainly the piece is well-executed and technically impressive, and it is a remarkable likeness of the German dictator, right down to the monochrome palette that was ubiquitous in the 1930s. But if there is one golden rule in democratic competition it is this: Don't let Hitler win! The artist put forth a valliant effort but it was inevitably in vane. Quite frankly I'm amazed this piece even placed. I put it down to vote splitting and the endemic superinflation of the late Weimar Republic.
PANSY by Tyler. My only disappointment with this piece is that it is not an effigy of Ryely. But seriously folks, the way the petals gently open to reveal a fleeting glimpse of the pistil is harmonious. The colours work well (especially for an Easter competition) and the extra details (thorns, patterns) make the piece all the more life-like. While not strictly speaking a very accurate rendition of a pansy, the artist certainly does a good job conveying a sense of pansy-esqueness, and therefore rightly deserves his award.
HIPPY by Clare. The flower power of this entry is overwhelming: peace sign, head-band, Cher-hair and floral-print garbs. If the artist had somehow shown the child of the sixties pissing on the Pentagon it might even have made first place. Alas, the constituency for this kind of glorification of the sixties is steadily shrinking (excessive reliance on Viagra aside), and so fourth place was the best it could muster.
VENUSIAN SENATOR by Bob. Well, it would be a poor topic-picker who couldn't win on his own turf. Here an outlandishly fanciful being stumps convincingly for its spot on the podium. While somewhat odious in that this piece reeks of being pre-conceieved, the organic weirdness of it definately merits consideration. More colour on the egg itself and less texting-style spelling would have benefited the piece: ultimately it's a good idea lazily executed, and thus solidly deserves placing white.

(left to right) COLIN, KALUM, ALEX, CATHY. Winning seems to be infectious -it be easier just to record who's not on the pedestal. Here are the bronzes, again in no particular order:
SUPER MODEL WARDROBE by Colin. Well, maybe a super-model from the 18th century. This plump and buxom diva doesn't seem to be wearing much of her wardrobe at all, but I suppose that only added to her appeal with the 13-year-old-boy set. I don't think I'll ever understand the criteria for thrusting one model over another up the greasy pole of fame. Anyhoo, this one made it so far as bronze, so her chances of turning up on a b-rated celebrity reality show are almost certain. Nevertheless, congratulations to the artist for pulling off a victory (of sorts) despite time-constraints and distractions.
VENUSIAN SENATOR by Kalum. Another Venusian Senator makes the podium. There is little to criticize about this piece: the limbs and/or mandibles are life-like, the eyebrows cum antennae realistic, the metalic over-garb exotic, and the sucker/stinger mouthy thingy is sheer brilliance. The piece relies strongly on its egg-shape, although a more visible egg might have garnered yet more votes. All in all a very strong outing, however!
OZZY OSBORNE by Alex. The freakin' prince of darkness spouts his needless profanities to the rapture of his trailer-trash fans. But this is not a judgement on the pitiful depths to which pop-culture has fallen, but rather on the triumphs of a meticulous egg-sample of character study. The piece-de-resistence was the construction-sign orange foam used to scribble in the comic-book-style exclamation symbols, which both drew eyes and made the piece appealing to a larger audience in what is essentially a family-oriented competition. Take that, Hitler!
RYELY by Cathy. Oh man, I was so looking forward to this. At last, a caricature of born-to-runner-up Ryely. If you don't know him, you know the type: the very picture of the fifteen year old punk. He's cock-strong and head-sure (and the other way around, too), and he's the biggest smack-talker since Smacky S. McSmackerson went smacking in Smackville, Smackskatchewan. The backwards hat, the wild (yet sexy) hair, the in-your-face bling and the scarlet lip-stick are all classic Ryely. This could indeed have been the overall winner if the artist had gone that extra step towards parody or comeuppance, but the voters were left to suffice with a mere portrait of this legend in his own time.

(from left to right) JEN, MOG, KALUM and CONNOR. A bumper crop of second-placers! And not a silver hair in the bunch -youth is truly the new silver. These future champions in fact include two past champions: Jen (2005) and Connor (2004). But who's to say if they're on their way up or down? All of these up-and-comers have the potential to take gold, so you are well-advised to keep apprised of their artistic growth.
VENUSIAN SENATOR by Connor. Certainly the most fanciful of the venusian species imagined by our egg artists, this orbular occular extrava-terrestrial defies Earth-based lingual descriptors. I'm having pericombobulations just trying to wrap my mind around that, and I suffer from hippopotosesquemonstropedaliophobia! In short: wow! I am envious of the multi-coloured wig-of-state and the perambulating eyeballs. Why can't my eyeballs make themselves useful and carry some of the load once in a while? Lousy freeloaders.... Anyway, the judges were all very impressed with the creativity demonstrated here. Good work, Connor!
AFRICA by Mog. A bit of a complicated topic for a 2 year old to draw. Nevertheless, Mog rose to the challenge with smashing acumen! The egg portion of this piece is entirely hers except for some parental assistance with the gluing and placement of the shells and a few marker touch-ups here and there for the sake of geographic accuracy. Madegascar proved itself a little too tempting to roving little fingers, but strictly speaking it isn't really a part of continental Africa anyway. All in all an impressive outing: who knows what future successes this precocious little competitor will achieve? Watch out next year!
DISNEY by Jen. A winged munchkin from Oz bleeds on a floor lamp while stealing eggs from a nest built in a recessed toilet-bowl and lined with goldfish corpses. Like most of my loyal readership, I believe I missed that particular outing by Mr. W.E. Disney. But you have to look past the specifics of this one and consider it as a genre piece. It is certainly a scene of fantasy, and the Hanna Barbera-esque grass gives it a cartoony gloss -so far so good. But it is almost a little too raw, too real for that Disney feel, and that's probably why it didn't take first overall. It looks and feels like one of those authentic Brother's Grimm fairy-Tales where the witch ends up being burnt alive in a cauldron of serpents and boiling oil. It certainly looks like something that Disney could purchase the rights to and then bowlderize into vaccuous fluff to its own immense profit, but it's not Disney yet.
WIZARDRY by Kalum. If Humpty Dumpty became a rapper, joined a circus, and went over to the dark-side all in one day, this is what it would look like. There is truly only one word that describes this egg's get-up: Pimpin'! The flowery gesture of effortless showmanship gives the piece a sense of graceful vitality, and the fact that he has no visible appendages at the end of his legs is both mysterious and sinister. This is a top-notch contender, but the prone position bumped it into second place. If only he had been upright, preferrably floating menacingly a couple inches off the ground... THEN it would have surely placed first.


Yes, Ryely. I was disappointed too, but you just can't argue with democracy. So congratulations, Big R. Your years in the wilderness were not in vain afterall!
VENUSIAN SENATOR by Ryely. The artist, it must be noted, has spent many years labouring against the prejudice that he had peaked somewhere between 2005-2007 at a big brown #2. Defying all expectation and scaling etiquette, this monumental piece instantly seized the voters' attention like a crocodile seizes its breakfast. The crushing splendour, the pompous magesty, the imperial decadence -it all says #1 with an attitude that only Ryley could muster. So hats on to you, sir! (Ryely likes hats, so please don't take them off just on his account.) May fortune shine brightly upon you for the duration of your reign as Supreme Family Egg Guy.
C'est fin. Catch you all in 2011 when Ryely gets smacked off his pedestal with a wet trout. See ya!