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

Phyllis

Organization Tips for Sewing and Craft Rooms and Repurposing Thrift Finds!

I love comments you readers post to my blog or email me. Today, I want to feature one of my readers, Dee Fox of Cedar City, UT who had a prior business of helping people organize their homes. She posted a comment on my recent blog post on spray painting my filing cabinets for my studio redecorating.  I emailed her and she mentioned that she loved finding unique thrift items to refinish for her sewing room and  how she had it organized. I asked if she would mind sharing some of her finds and tips with you.

Dee lucked up when she found two filing cabinets in a thrift store for $7 each. What a find!! She immediately spray painted them and added another salvage of an old lid from a fish tank.  The result – a new desk. (Tip from Dee, light a vanilla candle to lesson the temporary smell of spray paint. I just love the smell of vanilla!)  I also love the rack with blue holders for markers and the button jars that she placed on the desk. Dee also keeps a dish of cat food handy for her cats, Fancy and Coco Bear.

Dee Fox painted filing cabinets

Dee found this small cabinet in her father-in-law’s garage and spray painted it blue. His loss, her gain! Its the perfect size for storing her fat quarters.

Old cabinet used to store fat quarters

She found this old cabinet for $40 at a yard sale.  Again, Dee painted it using a cheery red and uses it to store more sewing supplies.

Red storage cabinet for sewing supplies

Dee’s favorite organizing tip for craft or sewing areas is to group like things together. She keeps everything she needs at arm’s reach for her sewing area as well as her cutting table and other areas. Keeping scissors, rotary cutters, rulers and other needed items close by prevents needless interruptions for trips to locate them as well as prevents time lost while searching for them.  A great example of keeping like things together is Dee’s stablizer holder that she sewed to hang close by.

Stabilizer holder made by Dee Fox

You can see from this photo that Dee is well organized and well stocked with her sewing supplies. I doubt she has to stop in the middle of a project and run to the store. You can also see that she makes great use of plastic containers and carts, which are ideal for storing craft and sewing supplies.

Dee Fox's organized sewing room

Dee also recommends that you make your space happy!  Doing so will make you want to spend more time in it.  I love this happy and decorative setting below where she uses little pots to hold fat quarters and a colorful lamp made with terra cotta pots.

Pots to hold fat quarters and lamp made with flower pots

When starting a project, Dee gathers everything for that project and keeps them togehter in a clear container.  She says the way she stays on track is to make lists for everything she needs to do.  She got away from making lists temporarily then realized she was not getting anything done. Being able to mark things off of a list also gives you a feeling of accomplishment.  Another tip is to always straighten your studio or work space at the end of the day so you don’t have to face a mess the next day.

Dee also shows that you don’t have to spend a fortune to have a great craft or sewing space or room. Repurposing old furniture or belongings, found or thrift store items is inexpensive as well as giving them a new life and giving you some unique items.

I love repainting things and am delighted at seeing Dee’s repainted treasures. Paint is inexpensive yet gives you such dynamic results and a quick makeover as well as create a mood. So keep your eyes peeled and imagine what something would look like with a make-over.

Thanks, Dee, for allowing me to feature your amazing and very well organized studio!  I love seeing studios and yours is a real treat!

Phyllis

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