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Studio Tour Featuring Karen Grunberg

We have a little scrapbook crush on our design team member Karen Grunberg.  It’s simple really; she can work the white space like nobody else!  (although she is quickly becoming a fabulous mixed media artist as well!)

And….she also totally covets and adores alphabets as much as we do.  The minute we saw her work we knew she would be a great addition to our team!  So finally….we get to take a peek into her studio space to see where she “creates” all of those amazing layouts and mini albums.

about karen’s space:

My scrap space is part of our living room and kitchen. It’s the room where I work, the kids play, we eat, and where we entertain guests. So most of my scrap stuff is hidden away nicely so that it doesn’t look like a huge mess when we have visitors over.

Almost everything I own is stored in two Expedit shelves from IKEA. One’s a 5×5 and the other is a 2×4. Here’s the big one:

The black baskets are also from IKEA and they store my embellishments which are sorted by color. The two little baskets have fabric in them and I store my albums on top of the shelf. My albums are sorted by person and year. For example, the black ones are of my older son David, the brown ones are of my younger son Nathaniel, etc.

The drawers sort my tools, beads, and small vintage items. Most of them are filled to the brim. Here’s the one with Distress Inks and Copic Markers:

I store my paper in a metal container I got from Costco a while ago. My papers are also sorted by color. On top of the drawers are some current long-term projects I am working on and my moleskine notebooks.

To the right, is my desk. While it’s crazy messy during a project, I tend to clean it between layouts. Since I stitch on all my layouts, my sewing machine is always on my desk, plugged in, and ready to go. Next to it are two baskets I use for the stamping in my daily art journaling. The bright yellow basket next to those is my “favorites” basket and more on that later. The little drawers next to that store my bobbins and some inspiration items like a bird’s nest. Next to that is two containers with my journaling stamp with ink and thread. And then it’s lots of pens, water, and my adhesives. Everything on my desk is items I use on every single layout (or mixed media project.)

My favorites basket is something I came up with last year. It stores all the items I bought because I wanted to use but have forgotten about. Now I put them in this basket and next time I want to add “one more thing” to my page, I look in my favorites basket first.

The basket also stores a smaller container with smaller items so they don’t get lost.

To the right of my desk is the second Expedit. This one has my alphas, fabric, stamps, and more thread, etc. On top of this one are the albums I am currently adding to and the basket on top holds the layouts I just finished. Once I complete them, they sit in the basket until I photograph them and then they go in one of the albums below. Once the album is full, I put it on top of the big Expedit and put a new one here. This shelf also has some current projects and inspirational pieces.

Since I use punches on every layout, I moved all my punches to the drawers next to my desk so they would be easily accessible. I know that looks like a lot of punches (and it is) but I use several punches on each page. This was another lesson I learned last year. Have the items you use most on your desk or very easily accessible.

And finally, I wanted you to know that while I cleaned it up for the photos, my desk is usually way way messier than this and I didn’t want you to think real life looks anything like these shots. So here’s a photo I took while I was in the middle of making my weekly art journal page.

Nothing wrong with a mess. It means I’m creating.

Thank you for letting me share my space with you. It’s not much but I do love it and it works for me. During the day, I love scrapping while my kids play in the same room with me and, at night, I love scrapping while I watch TV so having it in the big room we all live in works well for me.

more about karen

What is the one word that describes your scrapbook style and why?

I don’t know that there’s a word that you can use to describe my style. If I had to use one word, I would pick “meaningful.” I know that “clean” is probably what most others would pick but, for me, the most important part of the layout is the story and a lot of the design choices I make are related to that priority. For example, I tend to favor long titles because it’s a great way to summarize the main point of my journaling and I figure that even if you only read my title, you’d still know why I made this page. I also favor multiple, series photos. This, too, is my way of enhancing the story by demonstrating it using sequential photos to give you the feeling of motion. You can almost see the story playing out on my page. And, most obviously, I hand-journal on every page.

What inspires you to get creative?

My kids. Watching them, taking pictures of them and living life with them. They are the source of most of my stories and pages.

What is your favorite Pink Paislee product right now?

This question is not fair!! I really love every Pink Paislee product I have. If I have to pick one, as an alphabet-lover, I will have to say all the alphas in all the lines.

What is something you consider a guilty pleasure?

My coffee. I drink this weird mix that most people would probably hate but I love it.

What is playing on your ipod?

Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Jewel and Glee.

What is the one thing no one would know about you?

I am introverted. I talk a lot so people tend to assume I am extroverted.

Name one thing that is on your “bucket list” for the future?

Going to Antarctica. It’s going to happen some day!


Want to learn more about Karen?  Want to see more of her gorgeous creations?  Click HERE to stop by her blog!


5 Responses to "Studio Tour Featuring Karen Grunberg"

  • Lisa O
    June 19, 2011 - 3:36 am

    Karen, the last photo is my very favorite!

  • Maridette
    June 20, 2011 - 12:37 pm

    Hi there,

    love the space. Just wondering where Karen got her drawers for the expedite. Those would be very useful in my space!



  • dawn
    June 21, 2011 - 3:51 am

    I’m so excited to see your space finally Karen. WOW to all those punches, I’m still adding to my collection. It was fun and inspiring to see how you organize and seeing your space. A messy desk is the best kind, lots of projects and creativity going on is a good thing. Enjoyed reading the Q/A part too, thanks for sharing with us.