Tuesday, September 6, 2011

from the studio of: ann mabee

book board village
by ann mabee

We were tickled when 7gypsies artist Ann Mabee agreed to share her inspiration behind the amazing village she recently created using the new Off the Wall and Global papers!  
Here's what she had to say:

This past June as the gypsies were preparing for CHA summer, we artists were asked to come up with some inspirational projects using the products from the new release.  We were asked to come up with projects that went beyond what we’d done in the past and ones that were unique and diverse.  They were looking for several home decor ideas or things that weren’t the typical scrapbook or papercrafting projects.  Lots of suggestions were given and one struck a chord in me as soon as I saw it.  The suggestion was a global village.  A couple of years ago I made a house for another 7gypsies trade show release, but it was larger and had to be made to collapse for ease in transporting to the shows!  And on that one, the roof came off and housed an album about my oldest granddaughter.  So I knew I could build the structures.

I have always admired and been inspired by Julie Van Oosten’s work and I often go to her online gallery to just admire her many creations.  I have always loved her little houses and house projects.  So my first idea was to do something with the new Global papers in a village type setting.  But when I saw the Off the Wall papers, my mind spun in a whole new direction.  As a kid, I LOVED black Converse high top tennis shoes.  And even now three of my granddaughters live in their own black Converse high top tennis shoes!  They are timeless to me.  I knew I had to use that paper on the front of a house.  So that was the first one I created.  It’s an asymetrical building, so I could accommodate the shoes.  And when I saw the zippers, I knew that had to be incorporated, as well.  They just went together in my mind.  The rest of the buildings just took off from there.  Each and every one of them has a personal meaning for me and you can add your own personal touch to make your village truly your own.  Of course there are seven buildings in the set...just had to be one for each of the gypsies!  Once I got started, it was easy to find just the perfect 7gypsies embellishment to add just the right touch to make each house unique, but cohesive.  When I sent my village in to gypsy headquarters, I joked with my sister gypsy, Debbie, that I should have earned an engineering degree or something for all it took to design and construct seven buildings!!

I was tickled when I watched the 7gypsies webinar that was shown to retailers just prior to CHA summer this year.  There were several comments from store owners asking if the village was going to be a new kit!  I never thought I would build another village, but when my local scrapbook store saw the project and learned that I was the one who made it, they asked me to teach a class there.  Crazily, I agreed!  So I’ve recreated the village using all Off the Wall Papers in preparation for a class in the near future.  Now the hard work comes....cutting the bookboard and kitting the class.   The fun part is putting it all together, so I hope that the class participants will get to miss the hard work and just have the pleasure to creating their own little village to sit on a shelf or a table in their own homes.  I am planning on using mine and changing the decor around the village to coincide with the seasons/holidays.

I have a blog that I am constantly behind on updating, but it’s more of a personal journal than one that I use to showcase things I’ve created.  I think that’s because I don’t think what I do is all that great for people to fuss over or for me to toot my own horn about.  I do what I do because I enjoy it and because it gives me a creative outlet to express myself and to relieve stress.  My greatest joys in life are my recently retired husband, my three children and their spouses, my 10 (soon to be 11) grandkids and my siblings.  And when any of the grandkids ask to come over to make a craft project or to create a scrapbook of an event in their life, I am thrilled beyond measure to accommodate their request.  It’s mostly my granddaughters who want to be creative, but I’ve made books about my grandsons and they are sheepishly happy as can be to see themselves on paper and highlighted in an album or a book!

You can see more of Ann Mabee's work by clicking HERE.  For more information about her class you can email Ann by clicking HERE.

We'll be posting a DIY tutorial for how to assemble your own bookboard house on Thursday so make sure you stop by and check it out!


KAT said...

The houses are adorable and I loved, loved, loved that link to all the Gypsy goodness!!!

Emily said...

Stunning.... love these!!!

genagirl said...

I made my own little village using the $1 birdhouses from Joanns. I just cut off the bird perch and papered over the hole. They look awesome too!

heidig said...

This little village is adorable! I've admired Ann's work for some time now. She creates beautiful things with 7Gypsies products.

Ann said...

Thanks, heidig!

suzieq23 said...

where do we purchase the templates for the houses? have a great love for houses in my art and would love to plan my own little village. thank you