The Inspiring Spaces of Pick Up Sticks – Sabrina’s House

Sabrina and Bruce, dressed for a night on the town at a benefit in downtown Albuquerque. You’ll more frequently find Sabrina in Austin Powers pajamas and Bruce in a wife beater and cargo shorts, but here they look especially nice in their black tie attire. Sorta like trained monkeys, Sabrina says.

At Pick Up Sticks, we know that the process of creating is equally as important (or possibly more so) than what gets created.  Having a space that inspires you, that envelopes you with light and sound and creativity, that frees you to do whatever it is that you do best, having a space that expresses you and therefore feeds your soul. . .well, that’s what makes it easy to get up in the morning and be the piece of the puzzle that IS Pick Up Sticks.

We decided it would be great fun to run a series of the Homes of Pick Up Sticks.  Everyone at Pick Up Sticks is an important part of the creative process, whether they’re designing the collage art or giving retailers advice on orders or helping customers come up with display and promotion ideas.  Pick Up Sticks is a team effort. Seeing how everyone on that team feathers their own nests just might inspire you to surround yourself with your own brand of inspiration.

Annie the poodle in the master bedroom. Vintage western movie cards, soft and worn bedspread, New Mexico sunshine coming through an east window, and an Art by Erin print. It’s a great place to wake up. . .

We start this series with Sabrina, the creative force behind almost all of the charm images at Pick Up Sticks.  Sabrina has always lived in homes that are eclectically furnished and decorated.  Walking through Sabrina’s house is frequently a bit of sensory overload – there are so many intriguing gatherings of artwork, kitsch, texture and color to admire.  There really aren’t words to describe how incredibly fun and inviting her house is.  These photos will have to do.

Sabrina’s house isn’t Sabrina’s place without the poodles.  Here’s Joan, the queen mother of all poodles, wandering through the kitchen, waiting for Bruce to show up and drop something delectable on the floor.  I’ve frequently sat at that bar, waiting for Bruce to drop something delectable on my plate.  Cooking and entertaining are two of the things Bruce and Sabrina do best. . .

Here’s detail from the kitchen.  Mucho booze, because as Sabrina says, they like to do a lot of entertaining, two friends at a time.  Also on display is a vintage neon beer sign, an antique elephant marketing sign (printed on linen), and the piece de resistance, the yard sale poodle collection.  Rules are simple for the yard sale collection – never, never, never spend more than $10, and the poodle has to be the prefect mix of tacky, funky and beautiful at the same time.

Every artist should have an inspiration room, and so, of course Sabrina has one (obviously Annie feels inspired sleeping there).  With its hand-painted mural, Frida Kahlo doll, vintage watchmaker’s desk, and lots of antique and industrial pieces available to be physically handled and played with, this room gives Sabrina a break from the cerebral task of designing online.  It’s the place where she decides what shape a charm should take, or how a compass might look on a piece, or how a trinket might match another vintage piece.  Looks like fun, doesn’t it?

Here’s where the real nutcutting occurs – Sabrina’s graphic design space.  Joan and Alice love this room, since its where their girl hangs out every day.  Every piece of furniture in this room is especially soft and snuggly, since everybody has to be comfortable to get work done.  Of course, Sabrina is forced to sit in that desk chair while the poodles lay nearby and sigh or snore their inspiration.

And at the end of the day, its the living room where the poodles congregate, leaving little room on the sofa for Sabrina and Bruce.  I’ve been there and seen it – there’s frequently three standard poodles, their two masters (that’s a very loose term) and me, all on the couch watching a little True Blood on a Sunday night.

Sabrina’s house is filled with New Mexico light, kitsch, color and poodle love.  It’s no wonder Pick Up Sticks’ designs are so whimsical and appealing.

Next week:  Glena’s house.  You’re gonna totally want to live in this place.  Amazingly enough, there’s a poodle there as well.  Plus the closet of all closets – you won’t want to miss that post.

We’d love to see where you live and how you inspire yourself.  Send a photo to and we just might put the place where you create on our Facebook page!

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