Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Molly's Baby Shower

A few weeks ago my friends threw a baby shower for one of my best friends from college. This was just when I was getting ready to launch my shop, so I offered to make the decorations. As my friend Maria who was throwing the shower told me about the games that they were playing and other party details, I just kept getting carried away! Molly and Rick don't know if they're having a boy or girl, so we tried to keep it gender neutral, but we personalized it for little baby Olson on the way:

A sign for the door to lead guests to the right townhome:


Game cards for the "Name That Baby Song"

And a copy of the cd used for the game to go home with each guest!

I just loved these papers, so I decided to make a similar one to sell in my shop...plus I thought my 9 month old, Beckett, had to make his debut on my blog, too!

You can get this banner for your own baby shower here!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Airplanes and Imposters

I have been working on this banner for a couple weeks now, trying to accomplish 2 goals. The goals were 1) to have the banner match the airplane theme for Ethan's first birthday while 2) making it something that Ethan's parents could use for his birthday in coming years.

Ethan's mom had purchased these cute invitations and favor tags from b | e creative stationery:

Bridgett Edwards, the designer of b | e was so kind that after I contacted her to see if I could post her invitation, she also sent me the actual airplane graphic that she used on Ethan's invites so I could replace the one I had found for his banner.

So keeping in mind that she wanted the banner to match this decor but still have it work in future years, I kept to blues, aquas, browns, and greens for the banner, but added the airplane graphic and made his name look like it was trailing the airplane just like on his invitations.

Next year they can just remove the airplane graphic by untying the ribbon and sliding those circles off and it will be ready to go! She also plans on having me make a "2nd" to replace "1st" next year, which is easy for me to do on any banner, just ask!

I'm not sure you noticed in the title...but a note about the "imposters" part of this blog. There is a copy cat that Ethan's mom pointed out to me... in the grand scheme of things not a big deal, but just make sure you're typing in my name correctly on etsy to make sure you're getting the original designs and quality of Polkadots & Pirates partyware!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Featured on "On The Dot Creations" Daily Inspirations

Sometimes I check my etsy shop in the section where it says "Who Hearts This Seller."  Its fun to see how many people have me listed as a favorite, but even more than that it is a fun way to discover other sellers with similar taste to mine.  Today I saw that a shop called On The Dot Creations had marked me as a favorite, so I decided to check it out.  Julie, the shop owner, creates unique wallpaper for your computer screen...that in and of itself was cool.  Then I saw that she had a blog...and man was I in heaven!  Every day Julie picks 5 etsy polka dot items and lists them as "Daily Inspirations".  They usually have a theme, yesterdays was music, and I browsed quite a few of them.  You know me and polka dots!  I could have looked for hours.

Anyway, I decided to email Julie and tell her how I had found her site and how much I loved the blog.  I recieved this response:

"Oh...my...word, Jess!  You're not going to believe this: I just found your shop yesterday and was planning to feature one of your shop items on my blog today.  It's my birthday today and I was looking for birthday items to feature.  I'm hearing the "Twilight Zone" theme song in my head right now! : )"

So here it is, her birthday daily inspirations:

So all you polka dot fans, go check her out!  Thanks for featuring me, Julie, and happy birthday!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A party...complete with a cherry on top!

This week a customer wanted partyware for a cherry themed 1st birthday party for her daughter, Sophia.  She already had invitations that she sent for me to match: 

Sophia's mom is a professional photographer...can you tell?  She made these herself.  Check out those eyelashes!  ANYWAY, back to partyware...she needed cupcake toppers, favors, and napkin rings.  Here's how they turned out:

The cupcake toppers...

...the favors...

...and the napkin rings. (She will have red and white polka dot napkins-how cute!)

It has been a busy week.  I also got a repeat order from my first customer, who needed some favor tags and wanted me to come up with some magnets for a metal bucket that she wanted to put drinks in at her party.  I said, "Can do!"

I am currently working on 7 other projects, so check back soon!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Not just for parties...

Banners aren't just for parties!  After Erin from The Vintage Pearl posted a list of gifts for her new baby Eden on her blog, a customer requested name banners for her daughters' rooms. Here is baby Eden's banner:

The mom who ordered the banners was a new Etsyer (oh no...her husband may hate me!) and after setting up an account, she purchased a design fee from my shop and we got to work.  She wanted the banners to say her daughters' first and middle names in a shabby chic kind of look in pinks, greens, and creams.  After a few shopping trips, paper changes, and font tweaking, we had just what she was looking for!  Here is how they turned out:

A little more sophisticated for 6 year old Ella Caroline...

...and a little more youthful for 18 month old Lillie Isabelle.

I think they'll look a little cuter on Ella's pink walls and Lillie's cream walls than my blue ones!

If you'd like your own name banner in these papers, they are available here in my shop.  I can also help you design your very own custom banner to match your child's room from babies to teens in whatever color scheme or look you're going for.  Contact me if you have questions!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

My first sales!

After a bit over a week and 4 sales later, I am loving this!  As I expected, custom items are going to be the main seller in my shop, especially until I get some more collections established.  THE POLKADOT COLLECTION is giving people ideas of what is possible...but the possibilities are really endless.  

My first Etsy customer had already purchased a banner with a vintage feel and asked if I could modify the party hats and crown to fit with her theme and colors.  My answer: ABSOLUTELY!  After her and I discussed a few options, she picked her favorite paper and I bought that and some other coordinating papers in the colors she wanted and got to work.  This is how they turned out:

After seeing the pictures I sent her of the initial hats and crown, she loved them so much she ordered 5 more hats, 13 cupcake toppers, a sign, and confetti to match!  
Remember that if you can dream it, I'll try to do it!   

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Big Debut

The day has finally arrived! After a little over a month of getting things in order, the late nights are hopefully going to start paying off! As of today, July 1st, Polkadots & Pirates is now open on Etsy.

Here is a peek from my shop...

... the complete POLKADOT COLLECTION.

I have new collections in the works and am also working on a bunch of custom work for people and one of a kind banners, too, so make sure to check back often for new items.

Thanks to all of you who have had encouraging words as I get started. Special thanks to my husband and sister for listening to every idea or question I've had...to Darcie Braaten Photography for the awesome pics and the fun day taking them...to Tracie for your beautiful and delicious cakes and cupcakes (and your kitchen table!) for picture day...to Erin from The Vintage Pearl for helping me with my blog setup...and to the mailman and UPS man for bringing me all those packages of ribbon and paper and making my neighbors think I was on a shopping spree! (A neighbor yesterday actually asked what I was buying and said I get more UPS than anyone she knows...spy much?? LOL!)

Now I'll just wait for that first sale...and maybe go to bed early in the meantime!