So this thing happened over the weekend. This baby had been a source of stress and worry lately, and Ottie, bless his unfathomable patience, stuck through it with me when I became prone to sleep deprivation and subsequent short tempers – or was it the other way round? Frankly, most days leading up to the event had been one long stretch of painful consciousness. 😂🐼
The Fabric Mural Launch Party was the culmination of four monthly sessions of Embroidery Party, which were free embroidery workshops at Ang Mo Kio Public Library led by artist Izziyana Suhaimi from October 2015 to January 2016. After the sessions ended, Izzi took the task of stitching together participants’ embroidered artworks into one community co-creation Fabric Mural. This Fabric Mural was finally installed on level 2 of the library a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been a fan of Izzi’s textile art since graduation, and was pleased to be able to engage her for this project; she’s expecting very very soon, so she wasn’t able to make the launch – it’s a big day for everyone either way!
Poster I made. Here’s an Instagram version.
Ave the library’s manager giving an introductory talk to the audience, most of which I was very pleased to note consisted of Embroidery Party participants. Very grateful to her for taking the time out of her exam leave for this! She’s the best.
I’d like to thank Ittibaa Glazing Enterprise for the very nice job they did with the framing. Deen gave me so many options to choose from within my budget (I was so tempted to to get the gold gilded one), and he and his colleagues were very patient with a problem we encountered when they delivered the framed mural the first time – the previous artwork it was to replace was firmly stuck onto the wall. They promptly assessed the situation, determined the nature of the stuck artwork (eight screws through the framed piece into the wall), and gamely came back a second time on another date to uninstall the stubborn piece at no extra cost, even though uninstallation was a bit of a hassle. Everything was done very professionally – I was even impressed by them using some handheld device to measure the integrity of the wall before they mounted this piece. Look at that, learning something new everyday.
Also, can I just say that KG Catering was a balm to my paranoid, jittery soul. They arrived earlier than I requested, got everything set up fuss-free, and came back to tear down at the appointed time I’d set, leaving the room completely clean – they even helped to dispose of an empty cardboard box which contained bottled water for kids who weren’t able to consume the tea and coffee I’d ordered (oops). They were also very receptive to my feedback about the food. The slight hiccup we encountered was that they didn’t bring any tables with them (even though I asked about it when I first called for a quote), but it worked out in my favour because we had eight extra tables left which would have just taken up space in the room anyway.
Here’s Ottie my man-of-the-hour taking pictures from the stairs. It was his first time shooting without my direction so some pictures were pretty experimental – it was fun looking at them. He was also really good at getting my awesome volunteers to warm up to me – I’m always awkward and all-business.
Floral Cosmos Colouring Booth
The colouring booth was one of my favourites to prepare for, if only for the fact that it provided me a chance to fill up a page of my sketchbook with flowers. Ang Mo Kio Public Library’s Tomato Alien is floating about the cosmos among flora found at the park opposite the library – Lotuses and dragonflies, Frangipani, Bougainvillaea, and unidentifiable palm fronds. If you’re confused as to why tomatoes, here is an etymology on Wikipedia.
Am a little miffed that the only scan I managed to obtain of my initial sketch in red pencil was so low in quality. So many details were eventually omitted after a comment about how the dragonfly wings would be too complicated to colour in. I guess I’ve always been prone to losing myself in the details – it reminds me of that one time I started drawing under the influence of a certain substance I shall not name here as an experiment in LA, and all I could manage was a very rendered face before my paranoia got the better of me.
Felt Flowers Bookmark Art Booth
It was a stroke of pure luck that this very library had recently come into an abundance of felt cloth, thanks to one of the librarians SY’s affinity with creating felt creatures for decorations and programmes. The staff room also hosted a treasure trove of craft supplies, which were promptly pilfered for this event. This booth required the least amount of effort to prepare on my end, but was surprisingly the most popular – perhaps it was the varied colourful options it offered – participants had a box of colourful paper bases to choose from, in addition to the fresh pieces of felt which my awesome volunteers had cut up in preparation.
This template took so little time to create; I think I did this while catching up on an episode of my favourite Chinese TV show. 😂
Origami Lotus Pond Art Booth
Diagrams for the Lotus flower and leaf were grabbed from Chinese Origami: Paper Folding for Year-Round Celebrations.
I was very annoyed by how I couldn’t find instructions for the origami dragonfly I learnt how to make in Japanese class – neither in library books nor online – those tutorials which I found were either too complicated or did not look like an acceptable dragonfly. As a result, I found myself creating diagrams from scratch one night and many late night snacks later. Luckily, my work was halved by relying on the common bird base for steps 1 through 11. Unluckily, Ottie bore the brunt of my frustration during that particularly stressful period.
My volunteers in charge of the origami booth were extremely tickled and impressed with this dad – he easily interpreted the instructions and taught so many children who needed help, even though he himself was a participant. My ninth unofficial volunteer, perhaps?
Photo by Ottie.
Here’s one Ottie took of me while I assisted a participant who almost got it with her dragonfly. A lot of them followed the bird base that they knew how to make and ended up puffing up the body or folding the tail at a too-high angle – all methods involving the crane, but which should be omitted when making a dragonfly.
Oh yea, and there was a last-minute Flatlay booth, thanks to the Ang Mo Kio Public Library librarians! The exhibition which was supposed to take up the foyer on the first floor ended up being too tall, so it was moved up to the second floor a day before the event. This freed up the level 1 space, and it turned out that one of the librarians’ permanent exhibits next to it was due for a change, so Mel cleared up the space which I turned into a book display and flatlay booth. It was surprising how not many people know what ‘flatlay‘ is. Even my two teenage volunteers didn’t until I showed them pictures. “Oh it’s those Tumblr pictures,” one of them commented in enlightenment. XD
Mocopops and squad came to visit!!! Squad goals.