ginny branch stellingwhat's in your toolbox

what’s in your toolbox: chelsea fuss of {frolic!}

by Ginny

Today I am beyond thrilled to share my interview with Chelsea Fuss. Chelsea is a stylist extraordinaire, magic maker and the creative genius behind the wildly popular blog, {frolic!}. {frolic!} was one of the first blogs I fell in love with when I was finding my way through the blogosphere. Her floral arrangements are so unpretentiously lovely, and her tablescapes always delight. One of my favorite places to peep her work is on Project Wedding and Once Wed where Chelsea designs an array of DIY projects for the clever bride, covering everything from flowers to wedding cakes to fashion accessories. I count Chelsea as one of my top inspirations, and I’m sure you will, too!

1. Design*Sponge: What is in your toolbox?

Chelsea Fuss: For every shoot, I bring a basket full of tools. It always includes: double-stick tape, flower clippers, scissors, hammer, nails, screwdriver, a hand-held steamer, wire, twine, fishing line, tacks, a can of air, garbage bags and drop cloths. I also bring white foam-core boards. I cover these with fabric for backdrops or use them to bounce light onto the subject. When I am shooting DIY stories myself, I often use a tripod, since I am often working alone and need to capture each step in the process. My laptop comes everywhere with me. It houses inspiration boards, spreadsheets of props, and visual references that I’ll need on set.

Photo credit: Nicole Hill Gerulat

2. Design*Sponge: Fill in the blank, “When I am in my studio, I feel _____________.”

CLICK HERE for more of Chelsea’s toolbox!

3. Design*Sponge: What are on the top shelves of your inspiration library right now? This can be anything (blogs, books, magazines, vintage catalogues/manuals, etc.).

Chelsea Fuss: Books: Perfect EnglishTrade Secrets by Madderlake, Garden Dreams, Flowers for the Table by Ariella Chezar and vintage garden books. Magazines: out of prints like Victoria, Domino and Blueprint. Blogs (limiting to three current favorites. I read too many to list them all): Honey Kennedy, Tokketok, Belle Fleur De Lis.

4. Design*Sponge: How do you keep yourself organized? Time management is often one of the biggest obstacles for creative minds. Do you have an agenda book, and do you make to-do lists?

Chelsea Fuss: Post-its. A book of lists. Lists on my laptop. It’s all about lists!

Photo credit: Lisa Warninger

5. Design*Sponge: If you could have one superhero (or magical) power, what would it be and why?

Photo credit: John Valls

Chelsea Fuss: I would like to fly. It would make errands so much easier and faster!

6. Design*Sponge: What is the best advice you have ever received, and what is the one piece of advice you would offer to a young stylist/blogger?

Photo credit: Lisa Warninger

Chelsea Fuss: Be yourself and don’t spend too much time focusing on what other people are doing. Focus on your strengths and be excited about the traits and qualities of your personality and work that make you different from the rest of the crowd.

7. Design*Sponge: In addition to being a stylist, blogger and floral designer to name a few, what would you like to conquer next?

Photo credit: Lisa Warninger

Chelsea Fuss: In the immediate future, I am going to be focusing a lot of time on prop styling for food photography. I am really excited about this. I come from a family of cooks and a city of foodies, so it’s an area I am very passionate about. My big project right now is a cookbook I am styling. Down the road, I’d love to do a flower book, and I am also very interested in having a small farm.

8. Design*Sponge: Where do you like to shop for inspiration?

Photo credit: Lisa Warninger

Chelsea Fuss: I love galleries. I recently stumbled upon a Russian Impressionist gallery in Park City, Utah, that just blew me away. Here in Portland, I am a big fan of Bernadette Breu, a warehouse filled to the brim with antiquities and oddities. Farmers’ markets are also a big source of inspiration. I actually shop a lot at simple stores like Fred Meyer, Michael’s and grocery stores. I love using accessible, simple items in my projects, and I think it’s a fun challenge for myself to see what I can find in these places.

Photo credit: Nicole Hill Gerulat

9. Design*Sponge: If you could peek inside the studio/toolbox of any designer/artist/craftsperson, whose would it be and why?

Chelsea Fuss: Beatrix Potter! She’s such a hero of mine. Both her work and the way she lived her life.

10. Design*Sponge: If you could make a master mix-tape of music that is inspiring you at the moment, what would it include?

Chelsea Fuss: I love the Swedish band Acid House Kings. Their music is light + happy.

*All photos are taken by Chelsea, unless credited otherwise!

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