Baby Door Signs by Sheppard Girls

We were so happy when Lisa Sheppard, owner of Sheppard Girls, wrote us about becoming a Polka Dot Mom. She has a great line of polka dot products that I know all of you will LOVE! (And her daughter's name is Sally like me...she must be a cool mom, right?!)
Lisa is a city girl living in the suburbs with her husband and two little girls who are 8 and 4. She writes, "We have really great neighbors, but we live in utterly charmless 1980s house so I pretend is the cozy cottage of my dreams. I spend most of my time gardening, doing art projects and eating. My favorite things are magazines, craft blogs, flea markets, glitter, coffee and fabric."
Sheppard Girls makes products for babies, girls, and sometimes their moms. Her business name comes from her childhood: "When my sister and I used to walk to the bus stop, one of the neighbor girls used to sing 'here come the Sheppard girls, here come the Sheppard girls'. I used to stamp "sheppard girls" on the back of each door sign letter by letter, until it finally occurred to me that I could order a custom stamp!"
Lisa started out making hand-painted baby door signs as gifts for her friends when they started having babies. Her baby bibs are based on the pattern her grandma used to make bibs for Lisa and her sister. She makes everything from her studio, which is an ever-expanding corder of her family room with a sewing machine that sits on their coffee table. Lisa is a stay at home mom with lots of energy and fun ideas, looking for an excuse to buy all the amazing fabric available right now (we can relate!).
We picked Lisa's door signs for her feature and were pleased as punch to learn that they were her very first product line and this is the first time they have been featured! They are her best seller at local shops and shows. Lisa says, "I love the door signs because making them is a fun break from all the machine sewing I do, and some of them like "It's naptime buckaroo" crack me up!" Each sign measures 3.25" x 9.5" and is hand-painted, decorated with fabric and trimmed with sweet polka dot ribbon and seam binding. Custom designs and personalization are available too.
You can read more on Lisa's sheppard girls blog too!

Polka Dot Magnets

Welcome Victoria, a crafty mom in business from Knoxville, Tennessee where she lives with her husband and daughter. She began designing and painting her creations almost five years ago for her daughter who wanted something cute, but not too frilly and flowery. Today through her shop, Victoria P. Zurcher Designs, she spends her time drawing adorable characters, painting original works and printing hip paper stationery. We agree that she has succeeded in creating a cool collection of "girl" stuff without the "girly" part. You will be hooked on her attention to detail and love for bold colors and clean designs.

I must admit, it was not easy deciding which of Victoria's polka dot products to share with you. There are so many! We do love her square polka dot magnets by Victoria over at Victoria P Zurcher Designs. My refridgerator needs a "magnet makeover" and her fresh polka dot designs will do just the trick! This is an inexpensive gift that any mom will love. She will think of you every time she opens the fridge (and for me, that's a lot).

Your set will include four magnets that each measure 2" x 2" square and are protected with a scratch-resistant cover.

Don't forget to decorate your fridge for Christmas too! Check out these holiday polka dot magnets inside her Etsy shop too!

12 Days of Christmas at Lilybella

One of our early Polka Dot Moms is back with a great Christmas sale for our readers. Allison has created a huge 12 Days of Christmas sale inside her boutique, Lilybella.

Through December 2nd, she will have a brand new sale every day. You can drop by Lilybella and see the daily sale posted on her home page. Click on the category "Sale of the Day" in her catalog to purchase the daily special. You can shop one day or all 12 days.

Some of our favorites at Lilybella include her polka dot personalized coffee mugs (today's sale item!) and her new polka dot oil cloth tote bags.

The coolest part about this sale is you can shop every day and take advantage of these great prices, then Allison will combine your shipping into one payment and ship everything to you at the end of the sale.

Click to visit Allison at Lilybella Boutique. Once you see her products, you'll know why she's a Polka Dot Mom too!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here are a few of our favorite Thanksgiving-themed handmade gifts by moms on Etsy:

Little birdie and polka dot "feathers" button ponytail holders by Kid Charming.

Happy Turkey Day cards by Made with Care - the polka dot border is sewn to the card. How unique!

A fall-inspired orange polka dot pumpkin pin cushion by Veronica Claire. That reminds me...I can't wait to eat my slice of pumpkin pie today!

Happy Thanksgiving, Moms!

Enjoy your dinner...and let someone else do the dishes.

Green Grocery Market Bags

Our newest and "green-est" Polka Dot Mom is Rebecca, owner of BananaSaurus Rex on Etsy. She's out to save the planet and reduce our use of plastic bags with her line of vintage-fabric MamaGoToMarket cloth grocery bags.

Rebecca is a semi-retired graphic designer who loves to sew. She lives in Northern California with her husband and two boys, ages 4 and 2. She says she feels so lucky to stay home with them full-time.

Rebecca works in her dining room creating new things out of "old junk" like vintage tablecloths with a stain, hankies with a small hole or shirts with a frayed collar. She loves to wash and cut these vintage fabrics up to give them new life as her grocery Market bags and more.

She is happiest when she finds vintage polka dot fabrics peeking out from a pile of garage-sale linens. She writes, "Polka dots are so versatile. They can be modern or old-fashioned, whimsical or sophisticated and they seem to go with everything!"

Everything inside Bananasaurus Rex is handmade and one-of-a-kind. Her MamaGoToMarket bags are truly a great find. Each bag has a totally genius accordion-fold base that allows it to sit flat for loading and unloading. They measure 14" tall and 15" wide and an amazing 9" deep and hold a little less than paper, way more than plastic. Rebecca's grocery bags are built for endurance, but they are so cute they won’t embarrass you at the library, the beach or the gym.

Rebecca says, "Like Mama herself, our MamaGoToMarket Bags are strong and flexible and look great even when carrying a heavy load." (Moms, you'll be admired by all of your friends for being so GREEN and earth-friendly too!)

Bulk discounts available a few for your neighbors too. For Christmas, you can pack an easy meal or some pantry staples in this pretty and useful bag and give to your elderly friends.

Mention "Polka Dot Mom" at check-out and receive an automatic refund on your shipping charges once payment is complete. And she'll even send you one of her popular Lavendar Sachets (a $6.50 value for our readers only). Love that!

We have no idea where her company name came from or what it means, but we love her designs and her commitment to helping moms look great at the grocery store while saving the planet!

Thanks, Rebecca! Stop by her shop and buy your Earth-friendly fabric grocery bags today.

New Look for Polka Dot Mom

What do you think of our new Polka Dot Mom logo?

As you know, Polka Dot Mom loves to feature crafty moms in business. We will continue to do this and more! As we were writing your articles each week, we found ourselves writing about your life, your kids, your experiences AND your boutique business. We also found that our Polka Dot Moms have become our friends along the way.

So our new tagline is, "Crafts. Kids. Business. Friends."

Crafts - Being a Polka Dot Mom is all about being crafty and creating unique, handmade products using polka dot fabrics, ribbons and designs. We'll share about the latest polka dot tools for our crafts and even where to find the best deals for our inventory.

Kids - We all have 'em. Some days they are the sweetest little angels, make us laugh and even help us get work done. Some days they don't take naps or have runny noses, tummy aches or mommy-aches. We love them, they need us and we need them. Here we will share the joys of being a mom...and the challenges!

Business - Whether brand new or seasoned, we are moms who own small boutique businesses. We'll talk about marketing, advertising, start-ups and making your sales grow.

Friends - Every mom we've worked with is a fun and friendly woman first and foremost. We keep our focus on the positive, higher things that will improve the lives of our kids, husbands, families and our businesses. Of course, we'll laugh along the way about our mistakes, successes and the crazy things that life always brings.

You can now subscribe to Polka Dot Mom on our new FeedBurner RSS feed to find out when there is something new here on our blog.

Our logo is by Amy of PattyCake Designs - another mompreneur!

Thanks for making Polka Dot Mom a great place for moms to hang out, promote each other and help fellow moms take the leap into starting their own crafty business!

Christmas Ribbon Notepads

This adorable personalized Christmas Ribbon Note Pad is handmade by sisters-in-law Tori and Courtney Tait of Good Thoughts Paper Co. of California.
Tori is a crafty mom with two little girls, Taylor and London, and Courtney has one daughter, Kelsey. Their families spend a lot of time together on housboat trips and camping adventures. Their girls love being around each other too.
As a little girl, Tori always had to have ribbon in her hair and her own girls are the same way. What is cuter than a little girl's pony tail tied up with a big polka dot ribbon?
Tori and Courtney say, "Now that we are all grown up and can't really pull off the pony tail and ribbon look, we can have our cute bows tied on a personalized notepad sitting on our desks!"
"Our business began after one of our girls received a similar item as a gift. We fell in love with the idea and thought "we could do this better!" We immediately began making our Ribbon Bow Pads and giving them as gifts. They were a hit! Everyone who saw them wanted us to make one for really that is how our company began. We started selling a craft fairs and word of mouth.
The sisters now have a web site running to reach even more guests and tell them about their top-selling Ribbon Bow Pad. Every note pad is a combination of fun paper and trendy ribbons (every single sheet is personalized). The pads are perforated so that the bow never moves and are then glue bound for extra strength. All of their products make really unique gifts for all ages.
Courtney and Tori believe that people really enjoy receiving a handwritten letter or card. There just isn't too much of that personal touch anymore. What a better way to drop someone a note than on a fun piece of paper or in an adorable note card? We really feel more "Good Thoughts" should be spread around. We encourage everyone to write it down and send it out; in a sense to pass along your Good Thoughts!
For Polka Dot Mom readers only: Enter coupon code "POLKADOT" at checkout through November 30th to receive 10% off your first online order. Thanks to the Tait sisters for that one!
Sending "Good Thoughts" to all of you hard-working crafty moms out there,
P.S - Now go order your Christmas polka dot ribbon note pad! Perfect shopping list or to make your refriderator look really cute (magnet Bow Pads now available online).

Polka Dot Christmas Gift Cards

Want to make Christmas gift-wrapping really EASY this year? Kori from Sunny Day Tags has the solution: Polka Dot Christmas Gift Enclosure Cards (now on sale)!

Kori is a stay at home mom to 2 beautiful little girls in Indiana. She loves to make things. Her grandmother is a tole painter and seamstress and can make just about anything, even at age 85. Kori would spend weeks in the summer with her grandmother sewing, painting, and making boxes and beads.

Kori's 3.5" x 2" gift enclosure cards can say whatever you want! You can choose up to four lines of text and the design possibilities are endless. Custom orders are welcome at Sunny Day Tags and include a free e-mail proof. Each set includes twenty-five cards printed on 110-lb. cardstock hand-cut by Kori (no perforated edges).

Your polka dot Christmas Gift Tags will arrive wrapped in a clear plastic bag tied with ribbon.

Visit Kori's shop today to see her current sales and specials too!

Unique Creations by Ta Da Designs

Shhh...Beth is painting!

Our Polka Dot Mom this week is Beth , owner of Ta Da! Designs and mother of two from Louisiana.

She writes, "My husband, Jason, is a pretty neat guy. He's a Wildlife Biologist who's passionate about the endangered Black Bear of Louisiana. He's a GREAT cook and does most of the cooking. He's currently teaching me about the wide world of Nascar. I have two kiddos. Zeb is four and is passionate about dinosaurs. He's very spirited and has lots of interesting things to say. Evie is 8 months old and is trying to walk and is getting into everything as I speak! She is a very mild mannered baby and always has a smile for you."

Beth is from one of those crafty and creative families. Her mother is a quilter and an excellent seamstress. Her grandmother does a lot of cross-stitching and recently retired from craft shows. Her grandfather is an artist, as well her late uncles. Her cousin, Ashlee, makes the cutest bows, jewelry, & candles.

She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design from Oklahoma State University and then worked in residential and commercial design. She even trained with Martin Alan Hirsch in specialty faux finishes in Kentucky. When Beth began staying home for her kids, she freelanced as a design consultant and always painted on the side. When she started doing more painting than consulting, her business was born! The name "Ta Da! Designs" evolved because every time she finished a painting project, she would run to her husband and say, "Ta-da! What do you think?"

Beth has a unique line of painted items in her Etsy shop and website. We love her new line of Christmas gifts with painted letters on glass like "Beleive", "Joy" and "Family".

To our readers, she writes, "I am always dreaming and creating decorative products for the home and can't seem to stop. Painting is my passion and I will paint on anything and everything. In fact, I'm often heard saying, "Don't be scared, it's just paint!"
Visit Beth today inside Ta Da! Designs and order something special for your home for the holidays. And I say, "Don't be scared, it's beautifully handmade!"