Sunday, March 25, 2012

More pretty things! NATA.ArtRoom

Hi hi Chia!

The photos of your trip to Brighton looks like something out of the movies or tv! Especially the pier part!

I had been sleeping in this morning, as I have been sick for the past few days. When I eventually woke up, Kev told me that you had blogged. I was surprised and outraged that he had read it before I had! =P

I really like your photo of the lobster-prawn-crayfish? It's so funny! For some reason it reminds me of Homer from the Simpsons and his pet lobster that he ends up eating up! =D

Shopping YAY! You look gorgeous in your profile photo and in your half-length mirror shot. Classic, timeless- Love it!

And, your plants and candles! I am loving how you are making yourself a home. It's making me want to have a place of my own to love and to make it mine. I hope you do get a venus fly-trap! I've always wanted one! They look so cool, and I think you will have a lot of fun with them!


You may be looking at my title and asking what is 'NATA.ArtRoom". Well, on Saturday I went to this workshop in napkin art! Napkin art? YES! Napkin art!

I saw Tracy and Alison's napkin art in the city during lunch time, and then later on when I was walking to the train station on my way home. I was attracted by their 'vintage looking' bags that they had for sale. Each one was beautiful and was different from the other. Tracy and Alison was super friendly, and super approachable. They explained to me that the patterns on the bags were all made from napkins, and that if I wanted to, I can tell them what I like and they can make it for me, or, I can come to one of their workshops and make my own.

Given that the night before, I was browsing through all the Cath Kidson stuff on the web (obviously influenced by your earlier post), I was super excited and really really keen on doing something different. Doing something not sport/exercise based. I have been so busy trying to get fit, and balancing it with work and family/friends, that I had not written, drawn or read a good book in a long time. I had not used my creative part of my brain and I started feeling a little 'grey'.

So, even though I was unable to drive on Friday or Saturday because I was dizzy, and nauseous from the flu, I went to Tracy and Alison's place to do the workshop. I figured that since I shouldn't be doing anything strenuous, doing some arts and crafts indoors was the perfect thing to keep me distracted from feeling like crap.

Kev was such a hero this weekend. He was patient with my whining and my genuine (and at times, exaggerated) moans of discomfort, and he drove me everywhere this weekend, which included driving me all the way to the otherside of Perth to attend the NATA.Artroom workshop.

Mr P.O.P being a hero! =D

During the workshop I was a little flustered because I just felt dizzy a lot of the time, and concentrating and looking at something for a long time made it worse. However, it was still super fun. I decided that I wanted to make a beauty bag, because the bag that you had gave me broke. So I was given a plain canvas bag to work with and I was let loose to choose from all the lovely napkins that Tracy and Alison had collected from their travels.

The napkin wheel and the napkin bits and pieces that I chose

They had a napkin wheel and folders and folders of napkins. I was amazed at how pretty some napkins could be. I can no longer dismiss a pretty looking napkin as merely something that I would wipe my food left overs, or a dirty table, as they are inspirations and tools for art!

I had planned to make a 'travel' inspired side and then a 'pretty' side to my beauty bag. So I was selecting things that reminded me of my travels, and pretty things like leaves, birds, butterflies, flowers etc.

Tracy and Alison had taken photos throughout the day, and had uploaded them onto Facebook. They said that I was able to take the photos off their page and use it on my blog! =) So I have used some of the photos in this post.

Working away

My work space while working on my travel design

I wanted to go for the 'well traveled' look: an adventure where the experience is the reward.

After finishing my design I took a photo of it so that I could remember how to arrange it.

My travel design

Tracy then showed me how to use the napkin glue in order to place the cut outs onto the bag, and to have them 'melt' into the fabric.

I felt like a child. I was so ungraceful with my brush and glue. I tried hard to be patient and only use a small amount of glue onto the brush. But as time went by, I started adding more glue to my brush. It didn't wreck the design, however it did make the edges of my napkin cut outs break away.

Tracy patiently showing me how to 'melt' the napkin into the fabric

A work in progress

After I finished one side, I started working on the 'pretty' design. By this time, I was really struggling with my flu. I was hot, flustered, and it took forever to come to an arrangement that I was happy about. However, I eventually came up with this:

Pretty and delicate
I think birds and butterflies still tie in well with the travel theme, because they get to see the world in a way that we will never see it. They get to fly and be free! =)

Work in progress

After gluing the napkin pieces, we dabbed our bags with a damp cloth to remove the excess glue, and then we brushed on a 'finishing' glue to set the napkins and to make the bag waterproof. We then finished it off with ironing the bags (using a towel to separate the bag from the direct heat of the iron).

Just when I thought that was the end of it, Tracy and Alison took photos of my finished product and gave me a Polaroid photo of it with a sample of one of the napkins that I had chosen stuck to it. They said that it is a little souvenir to remind me, and to prove to others that the design of my bag came from a napkin.

Me and my finished product!

My bag with the little Polaroid attached

The luck of birds and butterflies

An Adventure where the journey is the reward
It took a little over 4 hours to finish my bag, and I was shocked at how fast time had flown by! I had intended to come in to make a few items, but I ended up only making one! Kev had returned to pick me up at 4pm, but I didn't believe it was 4pm, and I never checked the windows to see him waiting outside! Sorrrrryyy Kev!

I love my bag! I love love love it! I can't stop looking at it, and being super proud that it was designed and made by me! I definitely will be coming back for another workshop another day!

If you would like to find out more about NATA.ArtRoom you can find them on facebook at this link.

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