Thursday, April 23, 2009

Hello Gypsy!

Curious to know what it's really like to be one of the gypsies?  
Ever wondered where we get our ideas, how we work, what inspires us, what our studios look like? 

Yeah we know, we wonder the same things too sometimes.  So we've decided to give you a glimpse of gypsy life through a sneak peak tour of our studios and workspaces throughout the rest of this year.  

We'll also answer some our most frequently asked questions... yes, including what we like to munch on while we are putting our favorite projects together.

First up, Lead Designer and Gypsy guru, Debbie Crouse.  

A bit about this gypsy:  
She's been one of the gypsies from the beginning.  In fact, she was there before our first line of product was ever released!  She leads up the design team and is responsible for our incredible booth at CHA.  Her attention to detail and creativity make the 7gypsies booth one of the most inspiring places to visit.  She also travels throughout the world teaching fellow gypsies in her fabulous workshops.  And she's also known for her clever sayings and knack for finding "good junk" that have inspired a few 7gypsies products!  Wonder how she does it all?  

Take a peak in her studio and see where all this gypsy magic takes place...

Walking into this gypsy workshop, you feel as though you have entered your favorite antique shop filled with hundreds of little bits to look at all cleverly displayed and just waiting to be discovered.  We love this detailed display above presented on an old metal desk given to Debbie by a friend.  You'll also notice this gypsy's love of the color red throughout her workspace.

Debbie's forte is in the details as evidenced in her work so it's no surprise that her studio is the same way!  You could literally spend hours pouring over all of the clever displays, storage containers, and other oddities that make this such an over the top atelier.

It's not unusual to find ephemera and signs salvaged from previous 7gypsies booths
and displays that now have a permanent home amongst Debbie's findings.

Details from many of the little displays showcase the juxtaposition of old and new that Debbie has mastered.  You'll find this same combination in many of her projects... the uncanny ability to pull vintage and brand spankin' new together in a way that leaves you wondering just how she does it. 

As a member of the caravan a gypsy is called upon to do many different tasks, she might set up camp one day and handstictch bits of fabric to patch a tent the next.  This gypsy girl is no exception.  She's busy shipping product to our artists to play with, coordinating classes for our certified instructors, designing new displays for the booth,  and of course creating some of the most unique projects you've ever seen... just to name a few.  

With this workload, a functional studio is a must have!  

Check out how she lays it all out...

Above is Debbie's work table.  She often prefers standing while she's creating but has a funky vintage stool to sit on too.  In addition to her worktable, she has a desk with her computer, printer and "office" style products surrounding it.

This smart gypsy uses wall to wall shelving to accommodate the unbelievable volume of product that she houses.  She still has products from our very first release!!  And even organizes her stash of 7gypsies papers by collection.

We love the way she incorporates vintage and new, mixes and matches her many different types of storage containers and adds darling decorative details in between for a functional, organized but still fun feel.

She loves collecting vintage suitcases and has an eye for unique shapes and well preserved interiors.  Check out just a few of them on the top shelf of the photo above.

There are so many things we love on the shelves above... from the neatly organized cardstock- organized by color, to the spools of antique twines, string and ribbons.  Oh and the complete collection of vintage 7gypsies walnut ink washes in dropper bottles.  Who knew that stuff still existed??

How cool is this?  This is a detail of one of her most memorable findings... a RED antique suitcase (remember it's her fave) with a small metal plate fastened to the top that reads... gypsy.  It's these kind of meaningful finds that inspires Debbie to search out thrift, antique, flea market, and good "junk" stores everywhere she travels.  And she waits for something to "speak to her" before she splurges.  

Most of her storage bins, baskets & metal trays (and she's got a ton of 'em!) are vintage finds collected over many years.  She can't seem to buy enough flash cards, vocab cards, bingo cards, buttons, vintage trims, ric rac & ribbon.  Vintage seam binding is one of her weaknesses and she's got more than one basket filled to the brim just like the one below.  We also love the canvas bin that doubles as a wastebasket pictured above.  

A few fun facts about Debbie 
(and the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions)

Favorite color: Red
Favorite music to listen to while working: None (she prefers quiet so she can totally focus)
Favorite Adhesive: Big UHU glue stick
Favorite gaffers tape: Measurement
All time favorite 7gypsies product: Life Creme paper
Favorite current 7gypsies product: Ephemera packs, Vintage, Gypsy & Journal Transparencies, ATC & Photo Display
Favorite munchies while working: Hershey's chocolate almond kisses
Favorite drink to wash 'em down: Diet Coke
PJ's allowed in studio?:  Yes but not too often
Average time that she leaves her studio for the night:  Midnight-2 am (depending on how busy)
Working style:  She always envisions what her project will look like before she begins.  She carefully selects the right products and lays things out before she commits to cutting, stamping or gluing.
Publications she's been featured in:  Too many to name... she was lead designer for the darling Designing with Fabric book and contributed to almost all of the original "Designing with" series.

Thanks Debbie for sharing your antique shop meets 7gypsies hall of fame workshop!  


BishopsMommie said...

thats some goodness right there in them shelves.. i am sooooooo jealous ..great space thanks for showing!!

iowapapergirl said...

Ooo. I would love to look in her stash to see if she has some things I miss-like the tissue papers. I, too, love Life paper but I prefer the white and I have a weakness for seam binding. So glad you had a new post! I've been craving some Gypsy news. How about some new products? Pretty please? I don't think I can wait until summer CHA.

JPScraps said...

I'd love a room like that! It's fantastic.

Rita said...

Thank you for letting me into the most inspiring rooms of your gypsies. It was a real treat. It would be fantastic to be able to create in a room such as they have. Thanks! ;D

Renee said...

Thanks for a peak into that gypsy studio...what a great place!!!

Jo said...

Thanks for sharing your space with us. It looks like a wonderful place to create!

Sandrine Deleuze said...

WOW I'd like to be a little mouse to visit her studio !! So much wonfderful treasures in there !!

Anonymous said...

i am consistantly blown away at the 7 Gypsies booth with this womans creativity. one word - amazing!

Michelle*G said...

Wow...just wow! What a fabulous collection of very inspiring just to look at! Thanks for the peek!

Anonymous said...

Cool workspace. I especially like the Cincinnati Gypsy suitcase and the tin drawers. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite things to do is "peak" inside other people's studios. Thanks for a look at an awesomely inspiring room!

Melissa Miller

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the peek into your world. It's lovely and inspiring!

Jeannie said...

Thanks for the peek! What a great space and wonderful ideas for organization! It's put me in the mood to re-organize my goodies!

Robin said...

I love love love Debbie's studio. I have been inspired to purge and organize my craft area:)

Ginger Dougherty said...

I would love to hang out and scrap in a studio like that...all those gypsy goodies. Thanks so much for the peak...

Lynn said...

This is awesome! Loved seeing inside this awesome studio! What a great creative space! When are you coming to Canada to teach, particularily Calgary??????Like maybe the Scrapyard???

ScrappyKat said...

Debbie you are awesome!! We love, love, love, the gypsies and are so thankful that you continue to inspire us with your talent! We will be looking for more great stuff from you. Thanks for sharing with all of us, may we spur others on in the same manner!

Mabel said...

Simply stunning!!! love love love it!!! thanks for sharing this amazing stuff, cool vintage!!

Donna said...

What a great space, and I love so many of those vintage finds!

Donna said...

What a great space, and I love so many of those vintage finds! It inspires me to go out and find some funky organizing supplies

Rachel Carlson said...

*sigh* - simply lovely. i feel like we were separated at birth really debbie! i have a vintage hanger collection, who knew! and i love metal, wire, baskets, etc. i find most at my local antique and/or thrift store. thanks for the inspiration, your space is AMAZING!

ceflathrop said...

Oh, how I wish I had a craft space like that to work in! And all of those goodies!

FruMaansen said...

OMG! What an oganizing talent! I could used a class organizing my workspace!

Dedra Long said...

What a fabulous glimpse!
LOVE every little detail!