Friday, June 22, 2007

An Interview With...

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Ngaire Bartlam. Ngaire is an Aussie scrapbook artist whose work has featured in several publications, including the fab Australian magazine ‘Scrapbooking Memories’. She has written two books, Lumpy Bumpy and It's All About You, writes a wonderfully funny and inspirational blog, has taught at retreats in both Australia and New Zealand, and has very kindly agreed to be our first interviewee for our ‘Interview With…’ feature. Here’s what we discovered! IACW: Ngaire, did you have a particularly ‘crafty’ childhood, and what is your earliest crafty memory? * My mum was very crafty - she did any of the crafts you could name that were big in the 70's: tapestry, knitting, crochet, brass rubbing, enamel work, creating pictures with wool, (no I am not kidding), flower arranging and macramé. Consequently, I tried my hand at most of these too. To this day I am the world's WORST knitter, sadly, as I have a peculiar fascination with scarves. My earliest "scrapping" type memory is when I was awarded the "best project book" in my year eight Mothercraft class. LOL I really wish I still had that project book. IACW: How did you discover scrapbooking, and how long have you been scrapping? * I discovered scrapping at a Creative Memories party I hosted at home as a favour for a friend. That was in February 1999. I haven’t stopped since, (although I did quickly get beyond the two triangle thing!) IACW: What crafts do you currently enjoy besides scrapbooking? * Oooh, I would enjoy SO many more if indeed I was: a) not the procrastinator I am; b) not knitting debilitated as I mentioned before; c) independently wealthy. I guess my current fascination is felt, and felting, and making stuff with felt, like little bags that have no real purpose. Did I mention felt? IACW: You have a beautifully eclectic style, and, looking at your layouts, enjoy mixing paper, fabric, metal, every day objects – how would you define your style, and how did it evolve? * Thanks! Eclectic junk gypsy would be my personal description. I do love "stuff" - anything pretty or fabulous or funky that isn’t capable of moving from my grasp is considered for a project. Where did it start? When my dear friend, and next door neighbour, Terese, dared me to use cable ties in a layout. I did, and it all kinda went like Topsy from there. IACW: From where do you draw your inspiration, and do you have any unusual sources of inspiration? * It would be easier to talk about where I didn’t get inspiration from. My mind buzzes from the moment I wake ‘til I go to sleep - and sometimes after that! LOL I adore beautiful home decoration magazines: the colour combos, the textures, the lushness, the photography. My favourite mag is Vogue Living (Aussie edition). I am really into the Bollywood look, again the over-the-top colour combos, the bling. I also love tattoos - the art, and designs. Um, let’s see second hand stores and recycled materials are also great fun to work with. I am also really into advertising, in all media, and also what my fellow artists are creating :) IACW: Have you had any scrapbook/craft disasters, and, if so, are you prepared to share the details with us?!! * Sure!! LOL! I am one of those terrible people who laugh at people tripping over, (SO nasty, and I don’t MEAN IT TO BE, but it just kills me – terrible - so it would be very hypocritical if I wasn’t also prepared to laugh at myself…as you all now can, and feel free to point and laugh in my general direction! I have on separate occasions: * drilled into my wooden desk with my handy dandy hand drill. More than once… * melted various things that were not meant to be melted, e.g. plastic slideholders, my self healing mat, (which apparently is not always self healing), plastic sheets of rub-ons, ink pads, my skin. * any knitting project i have EVER begun has been a complete disaster…I have a serious tension problem… * have picked up the girls from school with paint smeared on my butt and my face, though this was more a disaster for them than for me :) * I do like to try and turn disasters of an artistic sort into a positive...I never restart a layout, but always follow through to the end... IACW: What tools/products/embellishments are you using most at the moment? Is there a line of papers you’re particularly fond of? What’s currently at the top of your ‘wanted’ list? * using most: felt, Fiskars circle punches and scallop scissors, Tarisota kits - I am a designer, and LOVE them - Collections embellishments especially the little houses, birds - I am SO far behind when it comes to trends like birds, but I love them now - and I adore rub-ons... * favourite lines: 7gypsies, Basic Grey, Collections, Prima Marketing flowers etc, Autumn Leaves stamps, and I am looking forward to seeing the new Love, Elsie range. IACW: You have a fantastic blog, oozing with inspiration, and with some great links to other bloggers; how regularly do you blog, and how do you decide what you’re going to write about? * Thank you! You are very kind. I try to write at least twice a week, but some days I will find three or more things I simply must share. LOL I do bookmark a lot of stuff, and I have sweeties who send me things I might like to share too J I write about things that make me laugh, or stop and think, or anger me, or please me, or things that just wow me . I want my blog to be a place where you never know what you might find…but it will always be worth the click :) IACW: Tell us about the books you’ve written – do you enjoy writing and creating for publication? * If you had said to me even 5 years ago that I would be the author of two books – ‘Lumpy Bumpy’ and ‘It's All About You’ - I would have laughed like a mad woman. I still find it hard to believe I did it - twice!! LOL Writing books is very hard work; I found it all-consuming actually. I worked very hard for four months straight on each of them, and found it hard to stop thinking about them while I was writing/creating. I did enjoy it - I love a creative challenge, but it is very hard work. IACW: Who are YOUR craft/scrapbook heroes/heroines? * Oooh, I have so many, many of whom I am also lucky enough to count as friends. In no particular order: Loretta Grayson, Kerrin Quall, Rhonna Farrer, Elsie Flannigan, Maxine Hazebroek, Cathy Zielske, Emily Falconbridge, Celine Navarro, Gigi Kennedy, Jen Hall, Lusi Austin, Michelle Grant, Teesha Moore, Viv Bonder, Zina Wright. I could rabbit on and on. There are SOOOO many talented women in the scrapping world – don’t you agree? (links on Ngaire’s blog to all of these fabulous artists!) IACW: On average, how much time do you spend scrapping/crafting in a typical week? * About half as much time as I spend procrastinating about what i could be creating…LOL…I guess about 15 hours?? IACW: Are you working on a particular project right now? Can you share any details with us?! * I am just about to start working on July projects for Tarisota Collections and a limited edition kit as well. I am also creating classes for a local store here in Brisbane, (a layout and a mini album in a little felt bag), as well as travelling around Queensland in the next few months to teach at several retreats. I also have a pet project of sorts as an ongoing thing, with the new blog created to encourage women to see the beauty in themselves, and to embrace that beauty, with a long-term goal to encourage the next generation of women, our daughters, to embrace the beauty in themselves. I would LOVE to see some contributions from your side of the world!!
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IACW: And now for a bit of fluff!! What’s your favourite perfume? * My current favourite is Insolence by Guerlain. IACW: Who is your favourite artist? Have you ever worked a particular artist’s style into YOUR work? * Too hard to pick – really - too hard. But yes, I do pinch ideas from everywhere!!!! IACW: What music do you enjoy listening to? What was the last concert you went to? * LOVE music. OK, let’s see. Kylie, Bollywood-style music, Kiss, world music, Mika, Missy Higgins, anything bad from the 1980's, disco, motown, David Bowie, KD Lang, Amy Winehouse, Pink, Justin Timberlake, Blink 182, Andy Gibb, Gwen Stefani, Dido, Scissor Sisters - and Robbie Williams, who was the last in concert date I had :) IACW: What was the last book you read? * I am re-reading Harry Potter six in preparation for HP7 - the final frontier! (Snape is good!!!!!!) IACW: What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Who’s your big screen heart-throb?! *Bond - Casino Royale - LOVED it, and LOVED the opening credits. Big screen heart-throb? I do love a bit of Brad, and George, but my fave would have to be John Hannah, his accent? YUMMY! IACW: You’re out to dinner at a restaurant where nothing is off the menu; what would be your dishes of choice (starter, main, dessert), and what would you be drinking? * OOOOOOOOH – LOL - my dream came true!! Starter: Oysters - natural and Kilpatrick - 2 or 3 dozen – mmmmmmmmmmmm J Main: SO hard, but it comes down to either the BBQ'd fresh-caught Barramundi I had as a kid, with salads, fresh, beautiful salads of every kind, OR the perfect pork roast with all the roast veggies you could name - I adore veggies, all sorts. But seriously, I LOVE food, so I could just go on and on here. Dessert: I am, funnily enough, NOT a big dessert girl, so I would go with a fabulous cheese and fruit platter. To drink - fine champagne. I am NOT a wine snob, and I will drink almost any wine LOL but I HAVE to say that I think I could almost replace water with a good champagne. It really is nectar of the gods!! IACW: Tell us a joke!! * Me knitting. LOL No really. OK, here we go… What's brown and smells funny? Clown poo!! (I should also add, I told my daughter this joke, and she then shared it with her grade three class for show and share. Did NOT go over well - Mother of the Year, here I come... :) IACW: Describe yourself in three words… * Older, Wiser, Happier.
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Huge thanks to Ngai for taking the time and trouble to answer our questions, and for providing such an entertaining read! Do come and see us over the weekend when we will be announcing another FAB giveaway :) Jo xx

8 comments:

Alexandra McNicol said...

The links to her books dont work.

Have checked out her blog - fantastic stuff!

Cath said...

What a fabulous interview Jo!!!

Anonymous said...

oh oh oh oh - great interview and i think Ngaire is my new favourite person....

greyparrot said...

brilliant stuff :D

Trish said...

Jo, that is a fabby interview hunny :D xxx

tracy said...

Fab interview nice to hear what drives and inspires people

Irene said...

great interview and thanks for the link to Ngaire's blog. She has some beautiful work there.

ngaire Bartlam said...

Thankyou so much sweeties .. for the kindness and the interview.. come say HI at my blog wont you! :))

Peace.
Ngaire
x