April 13, 2011

featuring studio spaces: patty gasparino of the junquerie

It's time for Featuring Studio Spaces! Each week we will feature an artist and his or her creative space. We'll gather lots of juicy tidbits ranging from inspiration to design and functionality.


This week we're talking with a vivacious and truly unique soul, Patty Gasparino, whose seasonal studio has me drooling and wanting to paint everything in sight. Patty is the author of My Life Under the Bus and as you'll soon see, she's just as talented in the decorating department as she is with jewelry. Enjoy the interview and be sure to visit Patty afterward.


Tell us a little about the work you do in the studio.


I've got a little bit of the craft ADD - I'll try anything. I love paper, glue, stamps, painting, sewing and home decorating projects - but mostly I make jewelry.


Did you have a specific inspiration when organizing your space?


When I opened the door this year it was a mess in here. I wanted something light , bright and cheerful. I wanted a place that would motivate me to work on my crankiest days!

What works especially well for you.

I recently switched all my beads over to plastic divider boxes. I wish I had done it sooner they happened to fit in an old bookshelf I put on it's side and now everything is at my fingertips on the table! I used to have all my beads in shoe style boxes in bags or hanging on a peg board - UGH - they were all over the place!


I had been fearful that one of the boys ( or I) would tip an entire box and all it's contents on the floor but this hasn't happened. I've stored them all by color range. All I have to do is think of a color and *Poof* there it is!


I have also gone out of my way to label EVERYTHING I don't have to guess which box is what if I move something. It's a small thing but stops a lot of confusion and time wasting looking thru unlabeled boxes.


What is your biggest issue with storage/organization/design?


I am usually on a pretty tight budget and have to work with what I already have or get for free or cheap. My best friends are a can of spray paint, paper and glue. You can make anything better with a little paint. None of the furniture in my room is the same style but the color links them all together and I don't think anyone notices.


I really didn't like the two bead board cabinets I had gotten very cheaply last year and almost got rid of them. They were too high and I wanted 1 large bookshelf/storage area but didn't find anything the right size or shape in my non existent budget. I ended up pulling the legs off of them and my husband sawed one side off each cabinet . A few new storage boxes...and now I love them!



Level of importance: design aesthetic or functionality?


I'm a Virgo, so everything has to be practical. Up to now I was happy if everything was neat and functional. The last 2 years I've been tired of putting myself last on the list and have gotten to the point that I want something that is pretty AND functional. I think I've earned it!


I'm big on upcycling - especially furniture - half the furniture in my room is from my mother in law - she's the bomb sending things up to me! The large work table was my husbands Thanksgiving table for 20+ years and now I craft on it!


My desk is an old marble table that was too small so I took a door my husband was throwing out and filled in the doorknob hole and added paint. The cabinet behind my desk was our old kitchen island I added 3 bookcases and painted everything to match.


It makes me happy to be able to reuse things and not waste them. It's also sweet to imagine my husband and his family sitting at the same table 20 years ago!


Is there something that you're constantly having to work on overcoming and what have you done to rectify this situation ?

For me the biggest issue is the lack of heat in this room. It literally gets below zero in the winter and I run in to get supplies.... and run out. When we bought the house it was listed as a "sunroom" and wasn't constructed for year round use here in the Northeast. Hopefully in a few years we will be able to re-insulate and reconfigure the space for full time use as an office.


I also have issues with having carpet. It's not my favorite substrate but I am stuck with it for now. Finding a dropped bead is a nightmare - I use some of the boys old puzzle trays that have a lip so the beads can't roll away. I use my soldering iron in the kitchen because it has a tile floor and I don't have to worry about burning anything.

Do you use/prefer/need artificial light or natural light?

For me it's natural light all the way which is one of the thing's I LOVE about this space. The wall of windows and 2 doors fills this space with light! The kids are drawn to the sunlight in here like crazy. They come in and lie on the floor with their pets and books and bask in the sunlight!

Show me interesting tidbits about your studio.


I store quick thoughts in small trays in a paper organizer - when I'm stuck or have time I can go back and pull a tray and instantly have something to do.


I love small toys and goody bags - I have them scattered around my space. They make me smile and feel young again.


You will also find blue birds everywhere!


How has your space evolved over time?


I really had no space before we moved into this house! We lived in a very tiny 800 square foot ranch! When we saw this house and the space we looked past it's old decor and dated look. This room really had no use so I took it! It was old 70's paneling, vertical blinds and no light! Originally I just had a table and a computer in here.


How has having your own space affected your work?


Truly I am just happy to have a space - any space! I love having my own space - in a house with 5 boys ( including my husband) - it is sometimes hard to carve out my own niche. I feel spoiled when I can go into my room and close the door.


Since it's off the kitchen I am close if anyone needs me but I have a space where I can close the door and don't have to worry about a project getting ruined.


Thank you Patty!
I'm madly in love with your unique shabby chic space and beautiful jewelry!
Be sure to visit Patty's blog and Etsy shop.


Interested in having your studio featured in Featuring Studio Spaces?
Just click the little contact button at the top and we'll set it up!


Psst! Did you visit me on Tuesday? No? You may want to click here.


  1. I am so jealous! Your space is beautiful. I am totally driving down to visit you in the summer and we can craft together, or go bead shopping! Beautiful!

  2. Your space is gorgeous! I love how you re-purpose all the furniture. What a great place to work!

  3. OMG SHANNON!!! Come - the boys will totally entertain the little one that would be a blast!!!

    Thank You so much EB Bead and Metal Works for the compliments!

    Lori you are the bomb - thanks so much for all your hard work : )

    XOXO, Patty

  4. Great space. I love seeing that others can be super organized. It gives me hope that one day I will get and feel organized too!

  5. ::sighing in longing:: Patty, your space is so lovely and so functional - it's really the best of both worlds! I'm right with you on the upcycling from family - those memories need to be preserved!

    Lori, another smashing job! Your awesome features with all these way cool workspaces is very inspirational and thought-provoking! Thank you so much for featuring Patty...isn't she just lovely and ultra-fun?

  6. What a beautiful and BIG space for a studio! I think painting everything the same color really unites it all too. Great idea! Your jewelry is very pretty too!. Good feature!!!

  7. What a pretty and functional space you have made for yourself, Patty. It looks fantastic. You look super organised with all those boxes and I love the quick idea- pull-out tray idea. Much better than a note to self that gets lost amongst the clutter. I am glad you have a feminine space amongst all that testosterone! Well done. Great article.

  8. OOOOhh love, love, love....so beautiful and I imagine great to create in : )

  9. Thank You so much Ladies! It would be really funny if all those boxes were really full of chocolate hoards and Nutella!!! hahhahaha

  10. It is so organized, functional and has so much light coming in - I love it:) What a fabulous place to sit and work each day.

  11. What a beautiful and very organised work space!! Im so impressed its just lovely!!

  12. Your space looks awesome Patty!!!!

    I love how you used and reused all kinds of "throw aways"...great upcycling project. Tying them all together with white paint works beautifully.

    Love your little birds scattered everywhere!!!

    And snacks hiding out in your beautiful jar...hmmm...might just have to steal that idea!! ;-)

  13. Beautiful space! I am loving all the little details

  14. I wish my space was half as organized and/or beautifully decorated as Patty's is. I would probably have no problem with inspiration then. I think this space has really inspired me to think about what my space COULD be. Thank you for that!

  15. LOVE this space! And it even comes with chocolate! Perfect!

  16. Absolutely stunning! Very well done! This is a post worthy of magazines, ladies! I am happy to be a new Studio Waterstone reader!

  17. Thank you Erin! And welcome. Patty did all the hard work. :)

  18. A beautiful space with so much natural light! I love my new studio, but it's in the basement, so no windows :(

  19. That was great!
    I usualy don't like very long posts but I enjoyed looking all over this lovely workspace.

  20. Your space looks pretty, funtional, and inviting to work in, a great studio.

  21. It's an amazing space! It has a lovely, artistic feel and yet is so functional and pretty! I love it! I know that the carpet is a challenge. My room is much smaller - we do have a vinyl floor which looks like stone tile and I love it.

  22. Thanks so much for all the lovely comments! You guys are Awesome!!! Many Thanks to Lori for featuring me. : ) You all made my day!!! XO, Patty

  23. oh my word, this is a gorgeous space! wow!

  24. Lori, what a fantastic interview...taken from such a different perspective. And Patty, my goodness you are one amazing lady!!! Ever since I found out you had 4 boys too, I knew you were my role model. Somehow you get it all done and then some. Your studio is like a haven - the colors are soft and relaxing. Everything is organized and at your finger tips. You have an incredible amount of energy too...you tackled all of this and made it in to the dream studio.

  25. What an amazing space -- so pretty and sweet! How could you not be inspired in there. AWESOME feature!

  26. I absolutely LOVE Patty's studio! The color scheme, the functionality, the pretty-ness of it all, as well as the location so close to the kitchen.....pea green with envy!!!!

  27. Patty has such a wonderful space - and I love how it's all down to her hard work and all the fantastic personal touches she's put in. I wish I could hire her to be my personal interior designer!


I love reading each one of your comments. Thanks for your visit and have a wonderful day.

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