Friday, January 29, 2010

What we did with 600lbs of junk

Did you think we had abandoned you? It has been so long since we left for fact one week ago today we were just starting to set the booth.  I can't believe it has only been a week!  We had a great time even though the schedule is grueling.  We love meeting new people and seeing old friends we met at Gypsy Caravan, Creative Escape and the Memories Wholesale Events.  We are working out some dates for teaching in Arizona, Texas, Fresno (hello girls!), and LA.  We also will be back in Australia in May!
I though I would show you some photos from the booth before and after we set up.  I love a good before and after, don't you?
Friday, Jan 22 10:40am 
Deb arrives at the booth carrying what looks to be about 200lbs of junk from her house to decorate the booth with (I have the other 400lbs in my car).
Our hero's, Jorge and Hector that have the booth almost completely set up by 11:30am (and help us carry the 400lbs of junk from my car).  I can tell you from past experience that if your booth is not set up on time, it will cause a domino effect like no other.  Jorge and Hector know just what to do...we never even have to say a word.  We really could not do our job without them.
One of 4 large booth crates that the booth comes in. 
Friday, Jan 22 1:30 pm
Now the suitcases are open and we start unloading the props and samples.
That's Janelle working on one of the walls. Notice she is wearing her slippers! Although she could wear a potato sack and look fabulousBTW, did you see Project Runway last week?  They made some amazing garments out of potato sacks!  It's a great group this season.
This is Debbie's make and take area with the metal frame for the canopy.  That big gold frame will have all our ephemera collaged on foam core that I brought in may car.  I didn't have the samples of the new ephemera (which is FABULOUS) till the night before I left.  The UPS shipment got stuck in LA due to bad weather so Deb and I ended up putting it together in the hotel room.
don't you just want this frame?
Friday, Jan 22 4:30pm
This is the other side of the wall...the tables are coming out of the crate.  I brought my green chair from my kitchen to have at the catalogue desk and the little table in the front is for the stationery wall.  The bottom is my bedside table and the top my husband made for the show.  I covered with paper from an old book (I'll show you how I made it in another post).

Stationery wall before
Saturday, Jan 23 12:20pm
Notice our hanging globe?  I ordered a large vinyl number 7 from Household Words on Etsy. 

Avignon after
Venice wall
Our big gypsy chandelier hangs above the paper wall
Janelle made this display of ways to use paper tape from an enormous old ledger book.
The huge line to Deb's make and take...some people waited an hour to get to the table! 
Wed, Jan 27 5:30pm
The man at the Southwest counter wouldn't let Deb on the plane till she took 12lbs of junk out of one suitcase.  Now you might say, why didn't she move it to the other suitcase or the carry on?  but the zippers were already bulging on both bags. Deb had planned ahead and had a 7gypsies tote bag with her, so he stood there and watched as she unloaded the 12lbs into the tote.  She would have given him a tip if he had only made her remove 5lbs, but no such luck.  The FULL 12lbs had to come out of the bag and be hand carried (you know, this is nothing new to us).
Hope you liked the to unpack the 400lbs of junk I brought home :(

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Behind the Scenes - 7gypsies style

As promised, we are getting you up to date on what we have been doing to getting ready for CHA.

Saying that we have been busy is an understatement.  It seems the prep for this show has been plagued with so many complications and craziness.   But, short of a national disaster we will make it.  Just to show you what I'm talking about, just yesterday Paula found herself working for hours without electricity, at one point she was working as fast as she can by candlelight.  Her husband snapped this picture for us.....

Yep, that is Paula in all her funny, go Paula go!

Paula gave you a brief history of our booth, that we have used for four shows now.  It was created and drawn by Steven Smylie (7g originator with Donna Smylie)  and built by Jorge and Hector in our distribution facility in LA.  As we said Paula, Janelle and I picked out the wallpaper on a conference call.  That was crazy, we loved what we picked yet were nervous about how everything would look together.  When we got the first section of the booth wallpapered, several people in the factory walked by and told us how good it looked.  As several of the other sections went up that were different designs I could see puzzled looks and I knew they were thinking, “what the heck are they doing?”, all the different patterns and colors.   When we put the coffee stained burlap up with patches (my personal favorite), that was the best!  I’m not sure others were sold on the idea at first but when we got it all together it was a hit.

Getting ready for the shows takes A LOT of prep and requires a lot of lists.  I get teased a lot about my lists, but I love a good working list and that’s how it all gets done.  Once we have decided what product will be displayed in the booth I work on getting it all to fit into the booth sections.  Then we decide where each section will be in the booth.   Here are a few of those lists, the booth layout, etc.  Yeah, organized chaos! 

After that, we work on what finished projects we want to show and what products to feature.  This is where we get the 7g Creative Team involved.  Each artist gets several assignments and the emails fly back and forth making sure they have all the product they need to finish their assignments.  Getting all the product in each artist’s box and getting it shipped is always a happy time for me....big check on my list!

Paula and I meet at our factory in LA, two to three weeks before the show to set the booth.  We actually put the product on the walls leaving spaces for projects etc.  

Did I mention that it is cold in the factory?  Well, cold when we prep in January and hot when we prep in June.  Here is Paula, she had gloves on but had to take them off to text her husband.  Notice the crates in the background, that is where the walls of each section slide into for transporting and storage.

A good part of three days is spent working as fast as we can in making sure we have all the details covered. There are so many things to think about, I am scribbling notes on anything available while we are working.  When I get home I create an even BIGGER list of all the things to do, etc.  

I wanted  to show you a few of the product boards for The Avignon Collection.  Paula and I went to Kansas City to teach in the fall and while we were there we brainstormed and sketched some ideas for how we were going to display this fun new line.  

We had the idea to put the product on boards that had canvas attached with upholstery tacks.  Here is how it started....

and developed....

into these fun product boards....

Here are a few other bits of the booth we have been working on.  Come to the booth and see what we are doing with this....

and this...

.....and this.

I think Paula and I have made more tags this show that ever...tags, tags and more tags!

So, back to work.....still lots of things to do!  Hope to see a lot of you there and if not we will send pictures.  Wish us luck, we are gonna need it!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Fold Out Portfolio

We are in the thick of things getting ready for CHA but we wanted to give you at least one more tutorial on ways to use a portfolio.

Fold Out Portfolio
This is a tutorial to make a fold out inclusion for a medium portfolio.
You will need 3 pieces of 12 x 12 cardstock.  
I am using three colors but you can choose any number of colors from one to five. 

Cut each sheet so you are left with two pieces of 5 1/2 x 12" and one 1 x 12" scrap piece.  I stacked mine up and cut all at the same time.

The inclusion has 5 pages so pick 5 of the 5 1/12 x 12" pieces you just cut and put in order of how you want the colors to flow.  If you are using all the same color then no worries, it won't matter.
You will need to cut each piece to a specific measurement so the inclusion will fold up properly.  I have listed the color next to the measurement I used for purposes of this tutorial. 
1. 5 1/2 x 7"- orange
2. 5 1/5 x 7 1/2"- green
3. 5 1/2 x 8"- blue (I only used 1 of my blue pieces that I cut)
4. 5 1/2 x 7"- orange
5. 5 1/2 x 6 1/2"- green

Place cardstock on table in number sequence, 1-5, starting at the left (just like the layout above). It is most imperative that you number the pages at this point.  I have probably made 10 of these inclusions and I still need to number.  I only use a Ticonderoga pencil (because the mark can easily be removed) to mark the page number.  For this tutorial I have marked each page with a piece of cardstock so you can see the number well.

Once all your pages are cut and in order on the table you can start to hinge the pages together.
You will need 4 pieces of gaffer tape 5 ½” long.  I am using gaffer tape because it is actually made from fabric so it will last a long time, being folded and opened so many times. This pattern gaffer tape is from the Venice collection and it comes in a 3 pack.

Run gaffer strip between pages 1 and 2 and pages 4 and 5 to make hinges. Leave 1/8” between papers to allow for fold.  DO NOT HINGE PAGE 3 YET.  
Follow this pattern
(this is side 1)

So we have our inclusion hinged between 1 and 2 and 3 and 4, right?  Now we need to add hinges to the center section three.  Here is the tricky part.  YOU MUST KEEP THE BOOK IN NUMBER ORDER during this next step.
Put pages on the table (just like the picture under the words "follow this pattern")
Keep page 3 on the table (never move page 3)
Flip hinged pages 1 and 2 over (picture 1) so that the gaffer tape is on the bottom and page 1 is still in first position.
picture 1

picture 2

Repeat step for page 3 and 4 so that your pages look like this:
(this is side 2)

Now, adhere gaffer between pages 2 and 3 and pages 3 and 4.  Your inclusion should now be completed hinged together.  MAKE SURE PAGES ARE STILL IN ORDER.  If you are out of order just pull up the gaffer tape and get them in the right order.

Now lets fold it up to make sure we did it right.  With side 1 showing, start to fold up.  Number 3 (the blue page) will stay stationary on the table.  Now fold up each side (looks like a skateboard ramp so far).

 Now lay the right side down.
and then the left side.

Now we can add our own style by choosing some paper to cover up the backside of the gaffer. I am choosing some NEW 7g paper that is coming out this next week at CHA.  It called Avignon.
More sneek peeks starting Monday!
back side of the 6 papers

I cut 4 paper strips (2 for the front and 2 for the back) 3 x 5 1/2" (these strips can be any width as long as they are 5 1/2" tall to fit the page).  With zig-zag fully extended in front of you, glue papers down over the page breaks.

 Side 1

Side 2

Use punch to create a finger tab at each end of zig-zag.  (I used 1 ½” punch)

 To fold up:  With page 3 flat on the table, fold in from the right, then from the left to make zig-zag.

Once you are finished covering the portfolio with paper you can add the inclusion with Super Tape.

Gosh, I which I had more time to complete the portfolio but I have to get back to the CHA work that seems never ending right now!
-paula :)