I am a mum of two and Primary School teacher whose aim is to never be home during the midday movie. I believe that I am only ever a car trip away from an adventure.
Published July 28th 2013
Craft, coffee and cupcakes
What do you get when you cross a vibrant, passionate and talented artist with a tea house, a room of kids and a well stocked art cupboard? Artea, that's what you get!
This innovative establishment is new to Albert Park only being operational since April this year. The focus of this crafty haven is to provide an artistic outlet for anyone and everyone regardless of age, in a child and adult friendly environment. They want you to get crafty and creative without worrying about the mess or buying tonnes of art supplies, most of which no one knows how to use properly anyway.
There is definately a lovely English Tearoom feel
The place is full of brilliant crafty projects, suitable for all ages and skill levels and they offer an amazing number of opportunities to try new things and work with different techniques. We can't all be highly imaginative and artistic so why not let an expert lead your children through mediums they may otherwise never dabble in.
Kids can choose an activity from the many examples provided
You see Helen Pollard, the brains and energy behind this high level craft cafe/studio is an accomplished artist in her own right, having cemented herself in the art world via an active career, which has included public projects installations (presently she's working on one for the Docklands in between shop hours) and exhibitions. She has won recognition in Australia and overseas and is keen to share her enthusiasm and knowledge with the community and help everyone unleash their inner artist, even those who don't believe they have one!
However, Artea is not just a room full of stuff with a "free to do whatever you wish" attitude. For $15 you get 30 minutes of creative time or $25 for an hour. Helen and staff guide children and adults through a well designed and structured project aimed at their strengths, interests and curiosities. A 3 year old might want to make a lion mask, an 8 year old a dream catcher and an adult may mosaic a tile or work on jewellery design. These are certainly not activities one sets up at home on the kitchen bench.
When we visited Artea, my daughter was hard at work creating a mood board and playing fashion designer, using copies of Vogue, scraps of fabric, buttons and sequins.This wouldn't be something she would normally do, but her imagination was quickly sparked and she was energised by doing something different and using a new set of skills and thinking processes. She was super proud and I enjoyed seeing a new side to her. Two other tots bought in calico bears they wished to paint and dress.
Activities are age and skill appropriate
The more you look around the studio the stronger the desire is to get your hands dirty. Your calling might be painting cutting gluing, mosaicing or sculpting, the list is endless. If you feel a project brewing or have always wanted to give something a go but are unsure of where to start, give Helen a call. She will organise it so when you visit everything will be ready to get you moving.
It's not only the art that's high end here either, you see everything is first class from the fragrant Blossom Tea, the full flavoured Pascucci coffee, to the organic Mister Nice Guy Cupcakes, which are so delicious and come in vegan friendly and gluten free varieties too. To top it off, the kids will be so engrossed in what they are doing, you are likely to get to drink your latte hot! And maybe even finish a conversation with a friend. How lovely does that sound? And at the end of it all, the mess stays behind, you head for home and your budding little artist beams with pride as they carry their masterpiece ready to present to those they pass on the street.
Delicious cakes, cookies and cupcakes to keep your energy levels high.
However, if creative time is not enough why not join in one of their weekly art classes and play with a variety of tools and explore a range of different topics. These are aimed at introducing kids to new ways of creative thinking whilst consolidating, updating and practising new skills. On any given week one might be painting like Monet, sculpting birds in clay, delving into classical art practices or designing fashion pieces fit for the cover of any glossy magazine.
Art classes are available all week round.
Mum and bub classes are run on Fridays and are a lovely way to engage with your child whilst communicating and meeting new parents. No need to vacuum up glitter and crumbs afterwards, someone does it instead of you. There are after school options too and school holiday classes fill up quickly.
Artea also throw a great party that kids will be talking about long after the paint on their hands has dried. For $30 a head, mothers groups, hens parties, baby showers or birthday parties can be set up to your choice of theme and include delicious nibbles and a creative task for all to work on. This could include decorating a onesie for a newborn or detailing a silk scarf with a bride to be. Kids might like the sound of a crafty high tea or enjoy designing and painting their own skateboards. Thank you bags (lolly bags without the lollies) can be added at an extra cost as can a professionally decorated cake.
Art parties are designed to suit the occasion.
We spent a fabulous morning at Artea and enjoyed the attention, the treats, the art project and even a DIY kit to tackle at home. This place really owns the label of craft cafe and takes it to another level. The standard here in all respects is high but without losing the kid and family friendly appeal. So if you prefer relishing in art and creativity without fussing over spilt paint or runaway beads then head towards the pink flamingos on Mills Street and enjoy this one of a kind art cafe/studio.
Pink flamingos welcome you to Artea
I'm thinking of trying my hand at some resin jewellery, maybe a Mexican dream catcher or just maybe I might have another cupcake and leave the hard work to the kids!