Daydreaming is Good for Your Craft Business



An iron? What?

This is where I seem to do my best thinking. Or when I'm sewing tutus. And apparently this quiet time is really good for me and my business. It gets the creative juices flowing and that is always a good thing in the competitive handmade business market.

Just yesterday a good friend sent me a frantic chat that a new business has completely copied her products, photo layouts and business model. She was sick to her stomach over it and I completely understand. I guess some crafters haven't taken the time to daydream and get their own creative juices flowing so that their designs are uniquely their own.

That is why I am a big fan of daydreaming. Just ask all of my school teachers from kindergarten through college.

Read the full article, "Dream a Little Dream..." on the Slow Leadership blog.

The next time you find yourself staring off into space and think you are "wasting time", forget that thought - you are working to build your business, one daydream at a time.

P.S. - I have heard from some really awesome moms in business and can't wait to share their shops with you in the next few days!

Memorial Day and "Taps"



I caught the Bugles Across America segment on Fox News Sunday yesterday and I have not stopped thinking about it. Read about this great organization here:

http://www.buglesacrossamerica.org/

Learn something new today (I did!):

Read the history of Memorial Day from the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Discover the origin of "Taps" from the Memorial Day Foundation.






Image courtesy The Memorial Day Foundation.

Patriotic Hair Bows - Happy Memorial Day!



Do you have big Memorial Day plans? The public schools let out here on Wednesday and our city is a ghost town! We went out to a restaurant and grocery shopping last night and I have never seen places (or the roads) so empty at 6:00 p.m.! Lots of traveling going on this time of year!

To inspire you to get ready for July 4th, I've picked a few of my favorite patriotic red, white and blue hair bows handmade by Carol at Little Bow Peep Tails.

Memorial Day really snuck up on me and I'm just hoping I can find our flags and maybe a patriotic tee shirt from last year (or I can always make one). I will be prepared for July 4th though, thanks to Carol!

My favorite summer shoes by Oka B:



My 5-year-old daughter loves her ponytail ribbon streamers:



Happy Memorial Day!

Gettin' Ready for the Pool



Our neighborhood pool is opening this weekend. Nevermind that I am totally freaked out about wearing a bathing suit in front of my neighbors, I am excited for my girls to be able to swim all the time this summer. Maybe my own personal bathing suit PHOBIA will keep me from opening the pantry in-between meals. I sure hope so!

Back on track - I need to get my act together and pack my girls' pool bag. I think this waterproof polka dot wet bag by Paisley Baby is exactly what I need!

Handmade by a mother-daughter team, Paisley Baby was founded in 2002. She writes, "Paisley Baby is a combination of my love of fabric shopping and my mom’s 50 years of sewing experience. Together we design and create unique baby accessories and funky fabric handbags. Pretty fabric and quality craftsmanship make us smile. We hope they make you smile too!"

Their 100% cotton wet bags are lined with waterproof fabric and close with a drawstring. Use one at the beach, the pool or for toting gym clothes. These bags are perfect for carrying wet and soiled items while keeping the inside of your suitcase, diaper bag, purse or swim bag dry and clean.

This large waterproof polka dot cosmetic bag for mommy's own pool essentials is on sale too:



See you over at http://paisleybaby.etsy.com/!

What is your must-have "taking the kids to the pool" item?

Yes, you are in the right place

Hi, Moms! Polka Dot Mom looks a little different, huh?

I wanted you to know that yes, you are in the right place, this is www.polkadotmom.com.

As a crafty mom yourself, you know that girls like us like new things, new papers, new fabrics, new paints...anything new!

I was trying to do all of the blog design myself...finding cute backgrounds (or making your own) is just a lot of work if that is not your main focus (or gift from God).

But with the help of Google, I found some really cute free blog backgrounds so I thought, why not support even MORE cool moms in business by promoting their designs here on Polka Dot Mom? Perfect!

The current pink polka dot template is by www.shabbyblogs.com and this is my new favorite place to hang out. Head on over and leave her a comment if you like her style too!

Since I really do like change, you'll see new blog designs popping up here on a pretty regular basis as time allows. I can't think about that right now because I REALLY like this one...and being happy is what it is all about, right?

Do you have a favorite spot for cute blog designs, templates, buttons or backgrounds? Please share with our readers - click on "comments" below.

Like the adorable new post titles font? Look here for the free tutorial from KevinandAmanda.com for how to code your own blogger post font.

Happy Saturday, Moms!

Paint-Your-Own Polka Dot Rug

Check out this hand-painted polka dot vinyl rug that Toni made! She is the owner of Design Dazzle and a very crafty gal herself (you simply must pop over to her site and blog for fabulous DIY projects and decorating photos).

Her complete tutorial covers supplies, techniques, tips & tricks to make your own polka dot mat.

Toni loves fabulous, brilliant design especially relating to kids - so what better way to enjoy this passion, than to find others to share it with! The best part about my website and blog is all the people I meet along the way. Creating gives me a joy-filled life. I love my family, a good party, designing something fun and seeing a kids room that says "wow"!

She is looking for a few creative moms with photos of their own kid's rooms designs - read more inside the Design Dazzle Casting Call.

Thanks for this great "polka dot project", Toni!

Some variations for your own polka dot vinyl rug:

  • Make a Twister game board
  • Use primary colors for the "art area" or playroom mat
  • What about a pink and green polka dot mat to decorate a birthday party?
  • Stencil your child's initial inside a few circles
  • Use this at the entrance to your craft show booth to bring in the crowds!

How will you use your painted polka dot mat? Happy painting!

On My Business Blog "Bookshelf"



I have found a few great business blogs this month that I have subscribed to and really enjoy reading (when I have a spare moment). See what you think...let me know if you already read these business blogs, or if you have other favorites to share.

Reading business blogs and articles is a great way to keep current and fresh and to stay on top of the everyday changes needed to make your business a success.

On my virtual bookshelf this month:

(P.S. - Love cookies? Enter for a chance to win one dozen handmade favor cookies here.)

Looking for a Few Crafty Moms



So you may have sent me an e-mail at some point this year and you are wondering, "Mmm...I wonder when Sally is going to feature my business on Polka Dot Mom?"

Well, all of those lovely e-mails have gone POOF! by way of the dreaded blue screen error message on my work computer.

I am now up and running on a new computer and would be ever so thankful if you could please resend your request to be featured here to polkadotmom@gmail.com.

Thank you!

P.S. - Now I use http://www.mozy.com/ to back-up my files. Enter code "UPLINE" to save 20%.



Flowers for You, Moms!






Happy Mother's Day! Flowers from me and Martha.

If your kiddos want to make something sweet for you, tell Dad there are some free coloring pages here.

Enjoy your day!

Proverbs 31:10-12 "A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies."
Proverbs 31:28 "Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her."

She Wants Something Cute for Her Business



I like to shop. I like to shop for my business. Here are a few places where I like to blow all my profits. Uh, mmm...where I like to "invest" my profits. :)

I think a gift certificate (hint, hint, honey!) to any one of these shops would be a fabulous Mother's Day gift. Where do you like to shop for your cute business essentials?

First, my buddy Teresa over at Mimi & Reese introduced me to the fabulous graphic design talents of McPrincess Maree. Go visit her shop, you will love it (see photo above for more proof).

Next, I love to shop at Sweet Papery. I have given several gift certificates to moms in business that I work with every day. She will create a CUTE rubber stamp for you too. I use my stamps (yes, I have more than one) every single day on every single packing slip and shipping label. Love them! She sends coupons out to her mailing list too - be sure to join!





Last but not least, I just started working with Sugarelli on some new business cards and hang tags. Stephanie is wonderful to work with and you will not believe her prices. Seriously, head on over to see her at Sugarelli. Order five times and receive 10% off EVERY single future order. I'm on order number one, but I'll get there. :)

So moms, if you receive CASH for Mother's Day or a husband who says, "Buy yourself something nice", now you know where to go. Something cute and a great investment at the same time!

To your business -

Have a super weekend, Moms!

She Wants Something Thoughtful



Create something thoughtful (get inspired here):

Purchase something thoughtful:


  • Beautiful paintings by The Old Post Road
  • Make a donation to her favorite charity in her name
  • A one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry made by Savvy Girl & Company
  • Give a magazine subscription - the gift that gives all year long...
  • Moms love gift cards too!

What are your favorite thoughtful gifts to give on Mother's Day?

She Wants Something Personalized



What does Mom want for Mother's Day? She wants something personalized with HER name (love you kids, but mommy wants something with her name on it this time).

Crystal from Tiny Tulip Monograms sent us this cute personalized monogram galvanized bucket gift idea and we love it. Perfect for storing bath essentials, headbands, crafts, flowers and more!

See Crystal's Gift Ideas for Mom Under $15 inside the Tiny Tulip and order today.



This is a fun black damask and light pink monogram key chain fob from my shop, Polka Dot Market. Only $10.50 with your choice of monogram initial in the Curlz font. Here's a little secret: Enter code "IMAVIP" at check-out for free shipping on this wonderful Mother's Day gift idea.

Especially if you lose your keys in the bottom of your purse - this will save you so much time! Fits around your wrist too - over 5" long. See all of the monogram key chains and fabric options at Polka Dot Market.






Amanda from Queen Bee Designs by Amanda has got mom covered with beautiful hand-stamped, personalized sterling silver jewelry for Mother's Day.

It always starts with your ideas and a quick e-mail to Amanda to begin your custom creation. Each of her pieces are truly a work of art!

For Mother's Day, personalized with your name, your childrens' names or special dates, scriptures or quotes. Amanda does it all...and she is super sweet.

See tons of her most recent work inside the Queen Bee Designs by Amanda gift shop.

(Crafty moms in business - there is still time to send your Mother's Day gift ideas to us for this week's features! Send your "classified documents" and reveal the secret of what Mom REALLY wants for Mother's Day to polkadotmom@gmail.com.)

CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS: Mother's Day Secrets Revealed (What She Really Wants)




My husband has asked me about ten times now, "So, what do you want for Mother's Day?"

My mind usually goes blank or goes to some far off place of peace and quiet...so what in the world should I tell him? What do I want for Mother's Day?

A few things come to mind:
  • I want to be alone
  • I want new clothes
  • I want new shoes
  • I want new jewelry
  • I want a clean office
  • I don't want to clean bathrooms
  • I want our house to sell (so I don't have to clean bathrooms)
  • I want to spend a day with my family
  • I want to sleep in...really late (like college-Saturdays late)

My poor husband! See how my train of thought works? I am all over the place!

So in true Polka Dot Mom fashion, I am going back to basics and featuring a TON of awesome moms in business who make the coolest gifts that any mom would love to receive on Mother's Day. Are you with me?

Send your Mother's Day specials to polkadotmom@gmail.com today so I can add your shop to the list.

These CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS of what we really want for Mother's Day will be revealed in posts every day this week.

Send your "What Mom Really Wants" gift idea today!