I’m off to the CHA Winter Show (the Craft & Hobby Association)

I’m really looking forward to attending CHA, the trade show for the Craft and Hobby Association for a few days and as well as the warm weather in Anaheim, CA.  I always love attending this show to see new products, take the educational seminars, and for the exciting atmosphere of the show.

CHA Craft and Hobby Association

I’m excited about the seminar The New Dynamics of Art Licensing that I along with Brenda Pinnick and Karen Embry will be teaching while we are in Anaheim. We have been really focused in putting the seminar together with some great information.  (You can click on the NDAL button in the sidebar to see more on what is being offered.)

At CHA, I will be working for Gutermann, so you can find me in their booth most of the time.  I’ve always loved the beautiful Gutermann threads and am delighted to be working with them.  So if  you are attending CHA, please stop by and say “hi”.

Gutermann threads

The Designer Showcase  is having a change in the format this year, focusing more on what the designers can do for a company.  I’ve always exhibited in the Designer Showcase and had been giving a lot of thought to my showcase this year. Then it just all finally  came together in a mental snap so all I had to do was gather up things I wanted to use and do a little printing. This year, it will also be open to everyone, except for non-CHA members.

I will be involved in something else at CHA that is really fun, but I can’t talk about it yet. But I can mark it off my bucket list. So you will have to check back to find out what this is – it will be videoed and out there for the world to see.  I just have to make sure I don’t mess up, but it will be among friends.  Speaking of friends, that’s another reason I love to attend CHA – to catch up with friends, network, and gab a little.

Check back and stay tuned – I may come back with a little gossip, or not (probably not). But I will have lots of photos of new products, great displays, splashes of fun and splashes of color.


Atlanta Gift Market was buzzing!

I just returned from a few days at the Atlanta Gift Market and was thrilled with how exciting, upbeat and busy market was. Market was really busy all 4 days that I was there and I consider it a good sign for the gift industry.

Its always fabulous to walk market and see all the new products (many of which are designed by my artist friends). And its always fun to meet up with these friends. I can’t take pictures of the product displayed throughout market but its fun to take pictures of friends.

Robin Davis and Phyllis Dobbs at Atlanta Gift Market

I went to several artist’s signings, where they were autographing some of their products. Robin Davis adorable new line Blessings with Wings is with Carson.

Lori Siebert and Phyllis Dobbs at Atlanta Gift Market

Lori Siebert was autographing her new products with Carson as well. I have to tell you that Lori was wearing the most fabulous and colorful boots (much like her art). I did try to take a picture of them but it turned out really blurry but take my word, they were great.

Bob and Greg Giordano at signing in Atlanta

The fabulous Giordano brothers, Greg on the left and Bob on the right were both autographing some of their many flags at the Custom Decor showroom. I’m doing a pretty wimpy job of holding the flag.

Artists meeting up in the License and Design at Atlanta Gift Market

My agent, Jewel Branding and Licensing, was exhibiting in the License and Design section that is held at the January markets. On Thursday, after the License and Design was set up, several of us met for an impromptu photo op – Robin Pickens, Brenda Pinnick, myself, Shelly Comiskey, Karen Embry and Sue Zipkin.

Artist meet up at the Westin at Atlanta Gift Market

And for a period to get together and talk a bit, there was an artists gathering at the Westin on Friday afternoon.  You may see several of your favorite artists here – Teri Conrad, Paula Joerling, Joyce Shelton, BJ Lantz, Gina Wilder, Jane Maday, Sharon Himes, Robin Davis, Beth Yarbrough, Beth Logan, Audrey Jeanne Roberts, Karen Embry, and on the front row, Cherish Flieder, Janet Wecker Frisch, Shelly Comiskey, myself, Sue Zipkin, and Robin Pickens. Getting us all together for this photo was like herding cats and several got away. (Thanks to Shelly for this photo as mine didn’t turn out!)

Large red and white football helment

As I was walking through Building 3 of the market, I saw this giant red and white helmet. I’m assuming it was due (or  I’m attributing it) to Alabama’s win of the BSC bowl last week. There was definitely a lot of Alabama items showing throughout the showrooms.

I’m back in full work mode, but will be leaving next week for Anaheim for the Craft and Hobby show (CHA). Check back as I can show lots of product from this show.


Hi Resolution – New Years Studio Meet and Greet!

Welcome to my studio! I am joining with 11 other artists on a hop through our studios. We are showing you where we spend the majority of our time, creating new art, designs, and other creative endeavors. I invite you to check out each of the fabulous studios of the other artists by clicking on the links below or the forward button.

New Years Artist Studio Visit

The artists participating in this hop are:

Aaron Christensen

Barbara Johansen-Newman

Beth Logan

Brenda Pinnick

J. Wecker-Frisch

Karen Embry

Paula Joerling

Phyllis Dobbs

Samantha Walker

Sharon Himes

Shelly Comiskey

Sue Zipkin

My studio is a work in progress and if I ever finish it, I will probably be starting over within a few weeks! I work best with everything completely organized (not that I stay organized) and have created distinct areas in my studio for the way I work. I keep striving for the perfect work flow to fit me and the various techniques that I use. After a recent big upheaval and reorganization of my studio, I think I have found the best arrangement for me, although I’m 100% sure I will continue to tweak it.

I am both and artist and designer.  My art is licensed for various products such as fabrics, garden flags, kitchen textiles and more. I also design quilt and sewing patterns and have a new quilt book debuting in April. In addition I work with textiles and mixed media.  So with working in all 3 of these mediums, I have have tons of “stuff” that I use.  So all of my supplies need to be where I can find them easily in addition to being close at hand.

Pyllis Dobbs Studio Drawing and Painting Table

My drawing/painting table and supplies are located next to a set triple windows so I can catch the natural light. Sometimes it’s hard to keep my focus inside.  I have 2 plastic storage units with drawers to hold paints and painting supplies. They tuck neatly under the left edge of my table when not in use and are easy to pull out when I need them. I’ve been repainting a lot of my studio furnishings and have painted the filing cabinet and the multi-drawer cabinet turquoise. Both are great for holding additional supplies. The cabinet with the small drawers has 30 drawers and is my favorite for storage.

Studio View

My studio is on the 2nd floor of my home but the view from my windows is like looking from a 5th floor window or a treehouse. Our backyard drops at a steep slant to a bubbly creek at the bottom.  Although I like the winter view, my favorite is the spring and summer with all the green. The fall is also beautiful with the golds, oranges and reds as the leaves turn. Like I said, sometimes its hard to keep my focus inside, especially when there is a woodpecker knocking away.

Studio cutting table

My fabric cutting table is set up in front of bookshelves filled with all my craft, needlework and quilting books. I love books as well as magazines (stacks of which are at one end of the cutting table). I use an antique chair that was my grandmothers to hold a large roll of batting behind the table making the batting easy to pull out as I need it. My cutting rulers are stored under the table and another plastic drawer unit and a low book shelf unit tucked under the table hold all my cutting tools and supplies.

Studio sewing area

My sewing area is set up in one end of my studio with an antique pub table painted white and a low white table. I store fabrics in an antique triple armoire that I bought at an auction years ago. To keep all my threads, fibers, buttons and all things related to sewing handy, I use two plastic drawer units stacked together as well as a white bookcase loaded with smaller draw units. I save all sizes of jars to hold buttons, pins, and anything else that needs a home.

Studio crafting and work area

This table is my play space. I craft, draw, play with textiles, ribbons and beads, and create mixed media here. For a before and after makeover of the chair, visit my chair makeover post. You can’t see them all but I have lots of storage boxes filled with the supplies I use in this area. You can see a black ribbon storage rack on the wall and part of my 8 ft. cork idea board.  You may wonder what I do with all those red folders on the cabinet behind the table.

Red folders for organization

I travel a lot with my business and accumulate a lot of paper for each trip – hotel and airline reservations, badge and show information, and classes plus a multitude of other papers related to a trip. I used to have a horrible time keeping up with the papers for each trip, having to rush around at the last minute searching through stacks of  papers or files. So I came up with the “Red Folder Method of Keeping Travel Records Straight”. I taped red folders on the front of this cabinet and annotate each folder with a post it note for the trip. Then I put all my papers for that trip in the folder as I receive them. I keep the trips in order and move the information up after a trip. It works for me and has been a big help with my travel organization.

Computer area in the Phyllis Dobbs' studio

This area is the brain of my studio – the computers where I put it all together digitally. A shelf unit holds the printers and scanners close for easy access and so I don’t have to reach too far. All my papers for printing are stacked on a shelf unit under my desk. The desks with the computers plus the crafting work desk above form a large U shape area that works fabulously for me.

Phyllis Dobbs Studio Cat

And, what studio is complete without a studio cat (or dog). I adopted Kitty Kat when he was about 6 months old and since he answered to Kitty, I kept that as his name. I should have named him Lucky because he lives a life of relaxation and luxury and thinks he’s boss of the house. He loved my old CRT monitors in the top picture, but didn’t like it much when I went to flat screens. He loves helping me put together things, such as this Ikea drawer unit – maybe its the supervising part he loves. But resting in a chair close by while I work is his favorite activity. I think he’s wishing for a hammock.

Thanks for visiting and please hop forward to visit the other artists studios!

New Years Blog Hop Forward


New Seminar Location in Atlanta for New Dynamics of Art Licensing

We’ve been so happy with the response that we’ve received for our exciting new seminar The New Dynamics of Art Licensing (see my prior post)!  And, because we’ve also have had several creative’s asking if were were having it at other locations, we’ve decided to offer this seminar during the Atlanta Gift Market on January 12, 2012 (Thursday afternoon 2:30- 4:30 pm, the location to be announced later but close to the gift market).


New Dynamics of Art Licensing Logo

The New Dynamics of Art Licensing is being presented by Karen Embry, Brenda Pinnick and myself, 3 artists with over 50 combine experience with art and design licensing.

For more information on all the topics we will be discussing, please download The New Dynamics of Art Licensing brochure.  We are also having a portfolio review/consult in Atlanta.

We hope you will join us and get the up-to-date information on how to license your art, designs and products.


Business Seminar – The New Dynamics of Art Licenisng

If you are planing to take the next important step to expand your creative endeavors into licensing of your art, design or products, then this seminar is not to be missed! “The New Dynamics of Art Licensing” seminar will deliver  straight forward, honest advise, insight and tips for succeeding in licensing. The playing field for licensing has changed drastically over the past few years and this seminar will give you the information you need to overcome these challenges that will save you time and money.

New Dynamics of Art Licensing SeminarThe New Dynamics of Art Licensing“, presented by Brenda Pinnick, Karen Embry and myself, encompassess the extensive knowledge from over 50 cumulative years of experience in art licensing, product design and licensing and exhibiting in major trade shows. The wealth of information that we will share will prove invaluable for your career.

In addition, we will be offering an optional “add-on” for a consult, a review of your portfolio and a look at our own portfolios that we show our clients, tailored to YOUR needs.

WHEN – Saturday, January 28, 6:30 – 8:30, portfolio review/consult scheduled individually.

WHERE – Anaheim, CA,  Annabella Hotel, Azalea Room (next to the Hilton)

Seats are limited, so book early!  We want to see you there.  For more information and details of all that we will be covering in this information packed seminar, follow the link – The New Dynamics of Art Licensing.

Invest in your business! And if you have any questions, please contact me.


Interview by BluPenny for Sketchbook Story

One of the best things about traveling to trade shows and events is meeting people who I’ve talked with via social media and forums.  At the Surtex show last year, I met Cindy Ann Ganaden in person. She is a fellow artist and author of the BluPenny blog. She publishes a Sketchbook Story series in which she interviews artists on their inspiration, how they use it to create sketches and finalize into art.  The art is then licensed for various products.BluPenny Blog
Cindy Ann just interviewed me and posted the interview for the Sketchbook Story in which I show my inspiration and results. I used my cat for inspiration to create an art collection which was then turned into a fabric collection for Quilting Treasures. Everyone has different techniques and ways they use to create their art.  I hope you will check out mine.

The apron shown in the interview can be downloaded – free half apron pattern.

I’m off to Houston for Quilt Market.  Please check back as I will post pictures of Market next week.


Atlanta Gift Market – New Products and A Cool Perspective!

Its been a whirlwind the past two weeks, attending two trade shows literally back to back.  Attending the Atlanta Gift Market is always a treat with so many new products and fabulous colors capturing my attention as well as meeting up with friends. The market was abuzz with buyers making their selections from the new products.  I saw a lot of retro, but it was an equal mix with contemporary and whimsy.  I thought the color turquoise was dominant throughout market, while a friend thought pink stood out. (Me – I’m still with turquoise!)

Speaking of new products, I found one of my products, Our Henhouse garden flag, debuting in Evergreen’s showroom. (The picture is a little grainy and the flag colors are way off due to the lighting, so I am showing another picture of the flag so you can see the correct colors.)

Our Henhouse Rooster Garden Flag designed by Phyllis Dobbs for Evergreen Enterprises

Rooster garden flag Evergreen Enterprises by Phyllis Dobbs

I met up with several artist friends one afternoon for drinks and talking.  By the time that our conversation toned down and we remembered to take a picture, several had already left.

Artists gathering at Atlanta Gift Market

Shown left to right are Karen Embry, Cherish Flielder, Sharon Himes, Jane Maday, myself, Brenda Pinnick and Stella Violano. Please visit their blogs to see their fabulous art and a possible sneak peak of new products featuring their art.

Strangely, although it was the middle of the summer, the weather turned cool during market with cool evening breezes.  Not so, with the next show, CHA (Craft and Hobby), which was in Chicago during the middle of a heat wave.  Please check back as I saw many fun products that I was allowed to take pictures of.

Stay cool!


Surtex and the National Stationery Show

Its always exciting to attend the Surtex and the National Stationery Shows, both held concurrently in New York at the Javits Center last week. While the weather was gloomy, none of this gloom penetrated the shows which were hot and hip, filled with vibrant colors and and wondeful art. I attended as my agency, Jewel Branding and Licensing was exhibting in the Surtex show for art licensing. Surtex has grown this year in the number of exhibitors, which is a great sign. Many booths were so spectacular, stopping people in their tracks! And exhibitors I spoke with were excited about the number and quantity of contacts they spoke with.

My photos didn’t turn out too well.  I must have had my camera setting set on “grainy” so most of my pictures are awful so I don’t have many to share. Many of us attended the Surtex opening night party which was held in Battery Park. Fortunately, the rain stopped and although it remained cloudy and damp, it didn’t dampen the spirit of the partiers. Enjoying the party are, beginning at the left, Corrina Bucholz, Robin Pickens, myself,  and Erin Serpa and Ilene Guy of Simon & Kabuki. Amy Medhurst was behind the camera.

Surtex Anniversary Party

Robin Pickens and Phyllis Dobbs at SurtexI enjoyed spending time chatting with friend and artist Robin Pickens in the Jewel booth.

The National Stationery show was filled with wonderful stationery products, from cards to all types of stationery accessories.  A Paper Runway exhibit in the stationery show was spectacular with the dresses make of paper.  The exhibit and contest were sponsored by NYC’s LIM College.  Other dresses were from DCWV Scrapbook Papers. Here are a couple of the dresses.

2 dresses from Paper Runway

Now, to get busy with work!


New York City – Always Interesting, Always Fun!

I arrived in NY to very gloomy skies but fortunately, it did not rain THAT day.  I flew in for Surtex (Surface and Textile Design Show) and had only a few hours on my first day for my play time so I was especially glad that it didn’t rain. So as soon as I checked in my hotel and left my luggage, I took off to some of my favorite places (most rhyme with shopping).

I saw an article in a magazine recently about an art show on Park Avenue that consisted of rose sculptures in the grassy areas between lanes.  I put seeing the exhibit at the top of my to-do list.  The exhibit started further up Park Avenue than I anticipated so I only walked a few blocks of it, since I had already walked a bunch getting there. It was pretty special to see – giant roses at each cross street intersection.  It was especially colorful with the cloudiness, although I know it would have enjoyed it equally with sunshine! The details were great and each sculpture also had a bug of some kind on it which added both realism and whimsy.

Rose sculpture in NYCrose sculpture on Park AvenuePark Avenue Rose Sculpture

One of the many things I love about NY is all the restaurant choices.  I met friends for dinner after my play time.  With a combination of greats –  friends, friends and  wine, it was a wonderful evening. I highly recommend this restuarant – “44 & X”, located on 8th Avenue in the Hell’s Kitchen area.  The food was delicious!

Well, back to unpacking and more pictures to follow with information about Surtex.

Bye for now,


Getting Ready for St. Patrick’s Day

I have been working on a St. Patrick’s Day design for celebration of St. Patrick (also the birthday of one of my nephews). These are now on products in my Zazzle store.  Everything is customizable.

My store is loaded with various products that you can use to proclaim St. Patrick’s day, including a mousepad, tote bags, invitations, aprons, stickers, iPad and iPhone covers, men’s ties and much more. I even have some items for little Leprechauns.

For those of you aren’t Irish, you can be “Irish for a Day”.

Here’s wishing you the “Luck of the Irish”!

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