Felt Flower Hair Clippie Giveaway

Kim, the owner of Hair Sprinkles, wants your little girls to have the CUTEST hair bows on the block. She is giving away TWO FREE FELT CLIPPIES (yes, two!) to a fabulous Polka Dot Mom reader this week.

I'm a bit partial to the "Sally the Snail" clippie shown above for some reason, but Kim has a shop FULL of adorable felt hair clip designs.

Kim is a Houston, Texas gal - married with three kids and a growing business. She started making hair accessories when her first daughter was born and admits she made something to match every outfit! She says, "Now I have two girly girls to make hair accessories for and I love it. My husband would say I am addicted." Addictions can be good, right?!

All of Kim's "hair sprinkles" are made with layers of wool blend felt and measure approximately 1.5" diameter. Each is attached to an alligator clip OR an infant snap clip (your choice). All clips are lined with coordinating polka dot or solid ribbon and no-slip grips are a free option too. Her felt clippies are boutique-quality and made with great care to last and stay beautiful for years to come.

Another favorite:

To enter this contest, simply leave a comment below with your favorite clippie's name ("The Ava", "The Sophia", "The Samantha",...) and make sure your e-mail address can be found in your profile or please leave your e-mail address in your comment. Find your favorite clip's name here: http://hairsprinkes.etsy.com/.

Contest ends Tuesday, February 3rd. Be sure to click "Add this shop to my favorites" while you are there!

Monday Moms - Find Your Happy Place

With all of this stressful CPSIA news, I am on information-overload and need some good news!

These fabulous crafty moms in business are my "happy place". I hope you will take a moment this week to visit them, breathe deeply and find happiness in their great products and excellent customer service. This is what small businesses are all about.

Click on over to visit these Polka Dot Moms and find your happy place - be inspired and rejuvenated. Full feature articles coming soon, but here is a sneak peek:

While I was browsing around the sites that these moms have sent me, I opened one e-mail link to find the most blatant copies of my work. I would show you, but my lawyer is now working on this too. Deep breaths, deep breaths, back to my happy place....

I'm going to my sewing machine - today's happy place!

What You Can Do Today - CPSIA

Call Senator Henry Waxman today to call an immediate meeting of the Committee on Energy and Commerce to push back the CPSIA law's February 10th deadline for lead-testing compliance until all new "exemptions and interpretations" have been ruled upon.

Read why in a GREAT article inside the Heart Keeper Common Room.

I did! Call (202) 225-3976 to reach Mr. Waxman's office directly.

Here are some talking points you can use (credits here):

  • "I am an American small business owner requesting Mr. Waxman to call an urgent meeting of the Committee of Energy and Commerce to push back the Feb. 10th deadline on the CPSIA law until all "interpretations and exemptions" for compliance have been ruled upon."
  • "...even if the CPSC devotes full staff attention and moves at the most expeditious speed, it will be unable to issue the necessary guidance prior to Feb. 10 without violating Federal rulemaking requirements."
  • "By simply delaying the imposition of pending CPSC action to work our way through this problem we can save many jobs and ensure that toys are safe."
  • The Committee must conduct a hearing. Only Waxman can call such a Committee meeting. Only Congress can act in a meaningful way to fix the problems with this bill.
  • We don't want mere interpretations and exceptions, either. We want the Feb. 10th deadline pushed back so companies aren't trying to 'comply' when allt he interpretations and exceptions haven't even been made yet so they don't know HOW to comply with WHAT. ONLY his committee can meet and change the law.
Call now!

CPSIA Sale on Polka Dots

Guess what I've been doing this morning? Shopping the CPSIA Sales on Etsy!

One of the first shops that caught my attention was Kissing Kumquats. Owned by three sisters with nine kids between them, this store is filled with polka dot monogram scrabble pendants and the cutest boutique skirts for girls! Scrabble pendants are on sale - 3 for $18.00 (BOGO) and all skirts are only $12.00. Get going - sale good through 2/9/09.

You remember Robin's Egg Pink (she's a Polka Dot Mom):

Lisa's gorgeous afternoon tea jackets for girls are on sale! Perfect for Easter, Lisa is clearing out her children's inventory due to the CPSIA law. There are only a few items left!

This is in my shopping cart too:

Made by Kim of Hair Sprinkles, she is moving out her inventory of felt flower hair clippies too.

A mom of three in Houston, Kim's designs are super-cute and I know my toddler will love wearing these!

Her felt flower clips are 25% off (refund after payment).

I am sad to see these moms closing their shops or removing all of their handmade children's items from their inventory. I hope the CPSIA law will be amended in time!

See everything inside the Etsy CPSIA sale.

Still supporting moms in business!

Mom's Daily Task Organizer - Works for Me!

I make lots of lists, but:
  • I have too many notepads.
  • I have too many scraps of paper.
  • I have an empty daily planner.
I admit it!

Over the Christmas holiday, I was scouring the January magazines with headlines like, "Get Organized!" for ideas, list pads, etc. to help me conquer my list issues.

I didn't find the PERFECT list organizer, but gathered a bunch of ideas into one that is working for me.

It's a single sheet of copy paper divided into four sections to help me organize all the tasks jumping in and out of my head throughout the day:
  1. To Call
  2. To E-Mail
  3. To Write
  4. To Do
To keep my lists and papers under control, I have made a bunch of copies of this "task organizer", punched them with a 3-hole punch and tucked them away in a binder. In the front of the binder is ONE legal notepad for phone messages.

This is the first system I've been able to keep up with for longer than a day.

It is not perfect, but I wanted to share it with you. If you have created your own system for organizing your life, I would love to hear/see it!

Print your own Polka Dot Mom List Sheets and tell me what you think.

Day On...

In honor of Martin Luther King Day, we are reminded to think of this day as a day on...not a day off. Read more about the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Of Service.

Along the same lines, Jana wrote her views on MomLogic today.

Busy? Try 15 Things to Do on MLK Day (and every day).

CPSIA on Forbes.com

Many of you are writing with questions about the upcoming (looming) CPSIA deadline.

There is a very informative and well-written article on Forbes.com this week entitled "Scrap The Consumer Product Safety Act" by Walter Olsen.

Craftsbury Kids has a full page of CPSIA information and links for you.

Compliance with the new law will be enforced by your state's Attorney General.

I'll keep researching and updating you as I am able.

To keep things light, there are some new listings on Etsy this week for baby bibs that cost thousands and thousands of dollars (in compliance with the CPSIA lead-testing requirements, of course).

And how could we join together as a team to fight this law without a CPSIA cheerleader?

What Would Your Kids Draw?

"Life Lesson #45893:
Always check your child's homework - before it gets to school!"

I received this in my inbox this morning and had to share. After nap, I think I'll have my girls draw what they want to be when they grow up. Just to be sure!

"Note sent to the teacher the next day:

"Sorry, Ms. James. That's NOT me pole-dancing on stage in a strip joint! I work at Home Depot and that's me selling a shovel. (signed) Mrs. Smith"

I wonder how my girls will draw my job - sitting behind a sewing machine, typing on the computer, or cutting fabric and tulle all day long? Or maybe just asking them to please use good manners, share, wipe your hands and clean up your toys. That's my job too!

Happy Monday, Moms!

New Favorite Fabric Shop

I was searching for some new pink polka dot fabric on Etsy (best search tool ever) and stumbled upon Lanie Jane Fabric, my new favorite fabric store!

Jane the owner is a working mom of four and lives in Utah. She carries the best fabrics. All of my favorite lines all in one place. Find fabrics from designers Patty Young, Paula Prass, Tanya Whelan, Sandi Henderson and more! She also has a website and popular blog.

See that beautiful stack of fabrics above? You can win this gorgeous collection of Andalucia fabrics by Patty Young on Lanie Jane's blog this week. Enter by Wednesday, January 21st.

Another reason I love Lanie Jane? Take a peek at her fabric/work studio and that amazing polka dot skirt on her cutting table - genious!

She has a bunch of great fabrics on sale in her Etsy shop too.

I hope you love this new find - head on over and post a comment on her blog to win the Andalucia fabric bundle and pendant (along with the other 118 of us).

See you at http://laniejane.typepad.com/ and http://laniejane.etsy.com/!

What Do I Do With All These Christmas Cards?

Yes, I still have my basket of Christmas cards to put away. I never know what to do with them all!

Some fabulous crafty moms have shared their ideas with me and I am passing on to you for the sake of all beautiful Christmas cards and photo cards everywhere.

Jesse from the Jesse B Collection writes, "I collect/display all the Christmas cards that we receive at the holidays. Then, in January, I keep the photo ones, but take all the others and use my paper cutter to cut the front of the cards (not the written part) into rectangles and squares. Then, I punch holes in the corner and pack them away in a ziplock bag for special gift tags for next year, so I’m ahead of the gift-wrap game.I do this with other cards we receive too. I just hate throwing out pretty cards, but I don’t want to keep them either. This way, I re-use them. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle." Thanks, Jesse! (She forgot to mention that she designs the most FABULOUS handbags and clutches.)

Ashley from Me Oh My! Paper Boutique posted a very thoughtful and prayerful idea on her blog, Sugar and Spice Mommy. She has quite a pile of Christmas Cards and has created a prayer binder, clipped the cards to her weekly calendar and placed a frame on their kitchen table. Each week she will put 1-2 Christmas cards in the frame and her family will pray for them that week. How amazing is this idea?! Read exactly how Ashley planned this out on her blog. (Don't forget to visit her adorable paper stationery shop too!)

The photo above is from Living Locurto. She has posted a Mr. Linky for bloggers to write about what they do with all their Christmas cards. This is a great blog - be sure to add to your favorites.

See, you CAN save your Christmas cards without your family thinking you are totally nuts. I just gave you at least TWO fabulous reasons to save those cards. Which one will you try?

Happy Tuesday!

ADDED: You can also donate your cards to St. Jude's Ranch now through Feb. 28th (thanks for the reminder from SoBella Creations and Michelle's Sweet Mady's Paper Blog).

My Craft Studio is Clean

This is the "heart" of my studio - my cutting counter, ribbon roller, shipping center, design table and fabric folding area all-in-one!

I'll post a photo of my Pottery Barn-esque work table tomorrow, built by my husband!

To create your own crafty wall like this, you'll need:
  • Two white bookcases (ours are from Home Depot)
  • One countertop (ours is from Lowes)
  • Three kitchen drawer bases (found on Craig's List)
  • Matching hardware (love the $1 bin)
  • Huge Olfa cutting mat (ours if from JoAnn's)
  • Giant peg board to size - John added wood framing to the back to bring it out from the wall (Martha always paints her peg board - hubby said I was nuts)
  • Baskets mostly from HomeGoods
  • My ribbon spools hanger is created from some racking from a going-out-of-business sale at Hancock Fabrics ($1), plus a thick dowel rod and some ribbons. A curtain rod does the trick too!

I hope this gives you some ideas for your space - everyone has such different spaces to work with. Mine is a bundle from every store you can think of, but it works for me!

(It is only clean because we had a few appointments this week to show our house - don't you just love having your home on the market?)

Back to making a mess - I have fabric and tulle to cut!

Happy Monday, Moms!

Your CPSIA Vote Counts on Change.org

We are one month away from the February 10th deadline for all businesses who create products intended for children under 12 years of age to comply with the CPSIA guidelines for product safety (including documented lead-testing). Please vote on Change.org to save small businesses.

Polka Dot Mom has joined the list of businesses who endorse this change and you can add your business link to the roll call too!

I have contacted all of my suppliers and they have assured me they will have their lead-testing documents and safety certificates ready for the deadline. I read there is a $100,000 fine for businesses not complying with the new safety standards. Maybe Congress can at least put a moratorium on the fine until this crazy CPSIA law is amended. Or we will all be out of business!

Read more about this law to keep yourself informed:

We all know how important small businesses are to our economy. Learn how to send e-mails to your state lawmakers in our previous post.

Keep crafting - we'll get through this!

Boutique Polka Dot Clothing

How cute is this boutique outfit? Perfect for Valentine's Day, school, birthday parties and everyday fun!

Handmade by crafty mom Desiree - owner of Sew Adorable Creations. She sews a lot of outfits for her neices since her boys don't want to wear pink peasant shirts and polka dot pants!

Desiree writes, "I'm a stay at home mom. I have 2 boys, Hayden who just turned 9 and Chase who is 4. I've been sewing for about 3 years now and I just love it." She lives in Austin, Texas with her family, but is an Arizona girl at heart!

Her shop is filled boutique baby bibs and little girls' clothing.

You can make your own boutique polka dot pants with a little help from Lil Peas & Carrots. Based in Indiana and owned by a crafty mom of four, she has created patterns for dresses, tops, skirts and pants just for you! Not in the mood to sew? She also sells her beautiful clothing in her boutique at http://babypeasandcarrots.etsy.com.

Both of her shops are having big sales like buy two patterns get one free OR buy any two items and receive free shipping.

Now your girls will be all dressed up for winter. Or spring. Or summer. Or whenever you get around to sewing (or ordering) them an adorable new boutique outfit made by these two crafty moms in business.

My girls love their boutique outfits - they wash and wear so much better than the Target and Kohl's "play clothes".

And we all love to support fellow moms - that makes it even better!

Have a super day!

Organize Your Desk with Style

My desk is a mess! Blame it on the year-end business paperwork, the holiday rush or just my lack of desire to sort, file and shred for 8 hours straight...I need some motivation. I'm thinking some cute new desk accessories will do just the trick. Thankfully, some crafty moms I know have created some great products to help us be efficient and organized in style.

The damask Monogram Desk Cup pictured above is made by Crystal of Tiny Tulip Embroidery. She also stocks coordinating monogram pens, cell phone holders and checkbook covers to help organize your life. Based in Florida, Crystal's entire store is filled with the CUTEST polka dot vinyl sticker gifts I've seen around. You'll love her low prices - and she is a super person to work with. Check out her full selection at http://www.tinytulip.com/.

What are these adorable round cards, you ask? I know! I found them inside one of my favorite shops, Candice N Katie's Art, along with some adorable flower push pins (check those out later).

Her newest product line are these Round Calling Cards - in so many cute designs!

I thought having my own adorable personal calling cards would help me feel "organized" and ready to face the new year with these round beauties in my wallet! You'll have to take a second to read her profile to understand the phenomenal woman and mother behind her Charleston, South Carolina-based business.

This funtional brown polka dot pin board is custom-made by Ghiland - a clean and beautiful shop owned by a stay-at-home-mom in Portland, Oregon.

Each of her custom office pin boards measure 12" x 12" square and are made with Japanese blend fabric (linen/cotton), homasote-fiberboard and wool felt backing. Includes a sawtooth hanger and three push pins.

She makes designs in polka dot, solid and gingham fabrics to coordinate with your office perfectly! See more at http://ghiland.etsy.com/.

One last little indulgent treat - a black suede File Organizer by Decorative Instincts. This alphabetized document file folder has a beautiful polka dot ribbon embellishment. This will entice even me to organize all those papers on my desk!

Here are some articles I found about organizing your desk:

Happy Organizing!

Why I Can Never Visit a PB Sale

I love Pottery Barn. And Pottery Barn Kids. And Teen. And Bath.

Everything there is so cute, clean, well-made, hard-to-resist...you know what I mean. And I really love a good sale.

Even though we are moms who love handmade, every now and again is it okay to "drool" over these adorable things? I hope so....

Here are a few reasons why I shouldn't be allowed to even visit their websites or the outlet stores (so dangerous!):

Warning: Do not click on links above if you are trying to get some work done. Browsing may cause an entire hour to virtually disappear. Just happened to me!

Happy 2009!