Spring Pick - Boutique Bags



'Tis the season to brighten up our wardrobes and spend some of our hard-earned money on ourselves, Moms! Spring is the time for Easter outfits, new hair bows and new shoes for the kids. I think I deserve a new outfit, new shoes and a new spring tote bag too!

I've been meaning to make myself a new handbag for months. Literally. Then I remembered Sew Gracious! The owner, Pam, is a talented seamstress and selects the most beautiful designer fabrics for her unique bags like Amy Butler fabrics. I definitely need a spring tote because who wants to carry their heavy leather bag to Easter Sunday anyway? Look great this spring and be the envy of all of your friends with a tote from Sew Gracious. You will feel like a new woman when you step out with this on your arm!

The owner, Pam, has listed a gorgeous spring collection of handbags inside her boutique, Sew Gracious. You simply must visit her website, blog and Etsy shop (newest designs listed here first).




Pam writes, "I am a WAHM, living in Alabama with my wonderful family. I have been sewing literally since age 4. My grandmother cut fabric into squares and taught me
how to sew them together by hand. That progressed to all sorts of
needlework through the years. I learned how to sew on my mother's ancient Singer sewing machine at about age 12 and made a lot of clothing for myself when I was in my early 20s. Eventually I owned a cross stitch shop in the late 80s/early 90s (as you can see...a needle & thread have been a constant in my life). When I became I mom, I learned how to smock and got back into machine sewing again. I started making bags about 7 or 8 years ago." And we are so glad she did!

Fun facts by Pam of Sew Gracious:

  • I love American Idol
  • I like to sing...no, not to be on Idol; just sing
  • My favorite vacation spot is the beach
  • I love to buy fabric ! (no surprise there)
  • My favorite thing to do besides sewing, is to spend time with my family
  • My favorite Wii game is the cow race on Wii Play
  • I've really gotten into blogging and try to update my blog several times a
    week in hopes of building my readership (http://sew-gracious.blogspot.com/)

Inside Pam's Etsy shop, you'll find handmade accessories for your boutique bag too, like tissue holders and wallets. Click to see her entire selection of boutique handbags (it is so hard to choose just one)!

Don't forget Mother's Day is May 11th too...an early present for yourself is ALWAYS a good idea.

Here's to spring (and your new handbag)!

Mother Daughter Spring Jackets



Meet Lisa the designer, seamstress and owner of Robins Egg Pink on Etsy!

We love this Afternoon Tee Jacket made with designer aqua fabric with tiny spring buds that remind us of polka dots in bloom....

Her shop has grown this year and become THE place for handmade boutique jackets for women and little girls.

Lisa is married with a 2-year-old son named Giovanni. She lives in Beverly Hills, Michigan (suburb of Detroit). Her 10 favorite things in no particular order are:
  1. Pumpkin bagels and coffee in the morning
  2. British Vogue
  3. Finding unique treasures on a shopping trip
  4. Boy's wing-tip shoes
  5. Anything pink!
  6. The house in "Something's Gotta Give"
  7. Her son's chubby feet
  8. Pink Ranucoulous
  9. Vintage Mercedes-Benz
  10. Riding 2-seater bikes along the ocean

She founded her company, Robin's Egg Pink last year after the birth of her son. She soon realized there wasn't a lot of unique clothes for children, especially boys. Lisa writes, "How many t-shirts with dinosaurs and khaki pants can you buy?"

Lisa's son can be found wearing pieces from her collection in the park - surrounded by moms who love them. She works as a Senior Art Director in the advertising field and has always wanted to open her own boutique of things she loves. She says she couldn't be happier with the success of Robin's Egg Pink.



Lisa's unique mother and daughter Afternoon Tea Jackets are one of her top sellers. Perfect for sitting prettily for a portrait as well as a trip to the market or a day at the park. This is an everyday wardrobe staple that instantly creates charm and style...even when paired with jeans and a white tee!

We love this handmade jacket for spring events, baby showers, Easter Sunday or as a Mother's Day gift.

Visit Lisa inside Robin's Egg Pink on Etsy to see more jackets available in the most beautiful spring fabrics. Check out her winter sale too for bargains!

We will post more of our favorite spring-time and Easter picks handmade by moms in the coming days. It is snowing tonight in Tennessee (I cannot complain, I used to live in Metro Detroit near Lisa where it is REALLY cold), but I am dreaming of spring!

Polka Dot Zipper Wristlets

Meet Mackenzie, mom of two from West Chester, Pennsylvania and owner of SimpleSweetcakes.com and SimpleSweetcakes.Etsy.com. We are so happy to feature her as today's Polka Dot Mom.
Mackenzie is a former elementary school teacher (me too!) who now stays home with her two children (me too!). She loves Martha Stewart and loves to craft, cook, sew, decorate, photograph - she loves it all. After purchasing a boutique handbag that she just had to have, Mackenzie wanted more. She began sewing her own handbags and Simple Sweetcakes was born!
The business name comes from her love "simple" classics in fashion like pearls and a little black dress combined with her love of "sweets", particularly chocolate. Mackenzie's motto is to "Live Simply and Sweetly!"
About Her Zipper Wristlets:
Mackenzie's shops are filled with oodles of wristlets made with fabrics of every color and pattern. Most feature polka dot ribbons or polka dot fabric interiors. We love her design because this wristlet helps moms get organized!
Each wristlet fits your essentials like lip gloss, make-up, coins, cell phone, cash, ID, credit cards and camera, then securely zips closed to throw in the diaper bag. Simple Sweetcakes wristlets are treated with Scotchguard - we love that.
Does your handbag or diaper bag need a spring cleaning intervention? Simple Sweetcakes's zipper wristlets can help you get organized and are only $12.00 each. Visit Mackenzie today and design-your-own polka dot wristlet (she has tons of fabric selections and welcomes custom orders too).
"Live Simply and Sweetly!" - SimpleSweetcakes.com

Make a Polka Dot Apron



Grab those polka dot fabrics that are just WAITING for you on the shelf and make a fresh spring apron. I'm thinking of using Michael Miller's Aqua Eiffel Tower fabric paired with Robert Kaufman's black and white polka dots fabric. Which fabrics will you choose?

Find yards of polka dot fabric on Etsy (many of these shops are owned by crafty moms - just check their profile).


The fresh and vintage stack of polka dot fabrics pictured above is from Down Shadow Lane, run by two moms who really love fabric. They have an amazing selection of designer fabrics!


Now for the apron tutorial. This one is from a very crafty and successful mom in business, jcaroline creative! Here is the link to her top-notch free apron pattern. Her How-To section is filled to the brim with cool crafts you can make with her products too.


I need to make my apron for an Apron Swap. This is a first for me! (I sure hope my swap-buddy likes polka dots). If I like the design, I may make a few more to add to upcoming bridal shower gift baskets. Or, you can buy this adorable orange dots apron from the Spring Chick moms:




Do you have a favorite apron pattern or apron shop? We'd love to hear more.

Happy sewing!

Crafty Mom Advertising



Hooray! Cheers! Super News!

We have listened to your requests and are pleased to announce that mom-friendly advertising is now available on Polka Dot Mom.

Our crafty moms business blog has more than 3,000 readers per month (and growing!). We are busy moms who love to read, share, grow our businesses and buy handmade too. If you would like our readers to visit your shop with one easy click on your cute button image, sign up as an advertiser on Polka Dot Mom. Did I mention that spots are only $10.00 per month??

Our main goal is to promote your crafty small business, so we have kept the advertising cost LOW for you.

To sign-up today and secure your spot, please send us an e-mail with "Mom Advertising" in the subject line. Please include:
  • A link to your business for approval (not all applications will be accepted)
  • The URL for your ad link
  • Your ad image button - size specifications: 150 x 150 pixels
  • Your PayPal e-mail address (upon approval, we will send you an invoice for $10.00)

Now our Polka Dot Mom readers can find your business quickly, and start shopping with you immediately. Advertiser buttons will be located at the top right of every page below the header. Send questions or your "I'm in!" message to me at polkadotmom (at) gmail.com.

To your business!

Polka Dot Paper Made By Moms

Meet Martha from South Carolina, owner of The Lily Pad! Her shop is unique and filled with beautiful designs. With the click of a button, you can create your own stationery characters with different hairstyles, clothing and accessories. Perfect for the best friend, teacher or little child who has everything! Martha's store is lovely to browse...so many southern preppy designs, I love them all. She will send you a free proof before you stationery is printed too. Like notepads to keep you organized? Martha's have cute quotes like, "Things to Do Before I Say, I Do!" and even cute Babysitter Lists.
Visit The Lily Pad today and tell Martha we sent you!




Introducing Polly Wolly Paperworks, a new stationery business owned by two sisters, LeAnn and Sabrina!

From Tennessee, these sisters have created and hand-drawn all of their stationery designs. You can customize your order and create labels, gift enclosure cards and note cards with any design (and change the colors or fonts too)!
Polly Wolly Paperworks has personalized Recipe Cards that I think would make a great addition to any bridal shower gift basket. You can match her kitchen colors or the shower theme with all of the options available. Sabrina and LeAnn will take good care of you...have fun shopping!
I love to find new polka dot stationery sources, so thank you to Martha, LeAnn and Sabrina for sending their links to Polka Dot Mom.
Both shops have invitations, announcements and bag tags when you want to give something personalized and custom-made just for them. When you give polka dots, everyone smiles!

Crafty Business Taxes



This is me. Not really ME in the photo, but this is how I feel about filing my taxes. I could not be more stressed about this! I've been searching online for some help. I have calls in to a few of my favorite accountants and tax attorneys who are more than willing to help me, but I feel like I should be a little more knowledgable before I dive into a conversation or discussion with them about my small business taxes. So, I've gathered some resources from some great blogs, Etsy and the IRS and of course, I want to share them with you, my crafty mom friends.



Please post your tax tips and advice for fellow crafty moms in business too. We are good at crafting, but maybe not so good at number-crunching! Happy reading and calculating...when all else fails, give all the papers and forms to your husband or your father (or father-in-law). Kidding!

My Version of Valentine Lollipops




Here is my version of Martha's Valentine Lollipops. Pictured here on my daughter's Valentine's Day initial tee from my shop.

Materials:
  • Patterned scrapbook paper in pinks, reds, ginghams, dots from your own collection
  • Scissors
  • Hole Punch
  • Clear Tape
  • Pink Tootsie Roll Pops
  • Ribbon
  • List of your child's classmates or friends (Mary, Tucker, Ella, Connor, etc.)

Steps:

  1. Make a pattern heart from cardstock or poster (approximately 4" tall and 3" wide)
  2. Count the number of valentines you are making with your child
  3. Multiply this number by three (3 hearts per lollipop "stem")
  4. Turn your scrapbook paper over and trace your pattern heart as many times as needed on the back of your paper
  5. Cut out your hearts and have your child decorate or you can write their names on their now (example - "To: Ella" "Love, Mia")
  6. Wrap clear tape around the base wrapper of each lollipop to keep the edges down when you are sliding your heart petals up the sticks
  7. Hole punch your hearts toward the middle/bottom of the heart (I punched 3 times, close together in a triangle to make a hole large enough for the stick to slide into, but not too big so that your heart slides back down the stick)
  8. Slide three hearts up the lollipop stick, rotate the hearts to make a flower
  9. Tie with a ribbon bow and your done!

Your teachers and your fellow mommy-friends will be so impressed with you!

Valentine Lollipops Craft for Kids




Martha Stewart's Heart-and-Lollipop Flowers


With just a little TLC, colorful hearts flourish as the petals of a new flower variety --one with a lollipop center and stem.


1. Use card stock to make a half-heart template about 3 inches high and 1 1/4 inches wide. Fold a 12-by-3 1/2-inch piece of construction paper in half vertically, and trace four half-hearts along the fold.
2. Cut out hearts; unfold.
3. Stack hearts; punch a hole 1/4 inch up from bottom. Position petals to form a flower, making sure holes line up. Secure by applying glue around holes; let dry. Write name on a petal. Insert lollipop.




Click to see MORE Martha Stewart Valentine Crafts for Kids (lots of great ideas).



I made my own version this morning and will post the photos later today. Hint: My Valentine lollipops use polka dot scrapbooking paper and giant pink Tootsie Roll pops from Target!

Happy Valentine's Day, Moms and Kids!

Polka Dot Picture Frames



I just love these hand-painted big polka dot picture frames by Heather of Camille Love Designs. She has a HUGE selection of samples, paint colors and designs for these unique frames - and each one can be personalized for FREE. Her picture frames would make the perfect addition inside any:
  • New Baby Gift Basket
  • Easter Basket
  • 1st Birthday Gift Set
  • Graduation Gift Set for College
  • Kid's Bedroom
  • Nursery
  • Or Polka Dot Craft Room!
Heather's company, Camille Love Designs, is named after her daughter and her daughter's best friend (both named Camille). She says, "They are the sweetest girls and my inspiration to create fun things for kid's rooms."

"My daughter, Camille, is 4 1/2 and is the sweetest angel girl you would ever meet. She is so pretty and smart. My son, Kyle, is 22 months and I like to call him my little tornado. I cannot take my eyes off of him for even a moment - he is so sweet, but so full of energy."

"I love to paint and create new items for my business. It is really like my meditation and relaxation at the end of the day. I started by making letters for my kids rooms, then I made letters for some friends and family, then I thought I should sell my creations. My business has really boomed over the last year and it has been exciting to watch it grow."



Heather can customize her current designs to match your room decor or favorite colors. She will paint anything wooden - name letters, wall plaques, trash cans, growth charts, picture frames, tissue holders, wall hooks, etc. You name it, she can paint it.



You simply must see her complete line of polka dot picture frames inside Camille Love Designs. Remember, personalization, new designs and customization are always free.
Heather has a special coupon for our readers too: Save 10% off your order when you enter the code "polkadot10" at checkout.
Have fun decorating your rooms with polka dots and remember to GIVE polka dots too. Heather can help you with this!