Friday, July 31, 2009 Giveaway!

Looking for stylish customized notes? Be sure and check back Monday because I'll be doing a great giveaway from!

Friday Foto: Baby Toes

Succulents are one of my favorite plants of all time and the name of this particular one, "Baby Toes" makes me want to give a reminder to kiss your little one's toes today!
Happy Friday and weekend everyone. We'll see you Monday!

Succulent in vintage silver bowl available here.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Can We Have This in Adult Size Please?

On our recent post of online vintage shop "Frecklewonder" a few of you readers out there emailed me asking about those cute little boots.

Well, I happened to see these Frog Galoshes. Yes, these come in big girl sizes (if you dare) and best thing about them is they're only $29.95.

Shop: Food Face

Designing Mom Erika tipped me off on these great plates...
When I was a kid, I remember I didn't necessarily "play" with my food so much as just toss it right off the plate and onto the floor. If that sounds familiar, these Food Face Plates might help to encourage the food to stick around longer!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Our Projects: Coloring Book

by Designing Mom Tori

Coloring Book Part One: Animals

I'm really excited to be able to introduce a new Designing Moms collaboration: free down-loadable coloring book pages! Several of the designing moms have contributed a page (and sometimes more than one) for this fun project that your kids (and you) are sure to enjoy. Simply click on the page you want to color and a high resolution image will pop up. Drag it to your desk top, print, and color with your kids and their friends! Please note that these designs are only meant for personal use and may not be used for any other reason unless written permission is given by the artist.

I love these animal pages by Kira, Erika, and Lori. I especially love how each of their own individual style comes out in their work.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Creative Life: Trendy Peas

Thanks to Designing Mom Tori, we have a great ongoing list of children's art on the blog that we love contributing to. So I was more than delighted to hear from Patricia Cancado, co-creator of Trendy Peas, about her modern (and affordable!) stationery and wall art for nurseries and kid's rooms. Read on about Patricia's "day-in-a-life" and click here to go to their website!

How do you balance life as a mom and working on Trendy Peas? I am able to focus on what I am doing in any given moment. When I am working on Trendy Peas, I am focused on the tasks at hand, but when I am with my family I can quickly turn my focus to my kids. I do my best to just be a mom when I am with my kids. This way, there are no distractions, I am always focused on what I am doing at the moment and I can accomplish much more. My family always gets the most of mom and I can get the most of them too when I don’t have to worry about any deadlines, new designs and collections. I know I will have enough time to accomplish my business goals tomorrow with minimum distractions.

What are some the rewards to starting your own business?
It is a wonderful feeling to design my own ideas and create products that I love and that I am proud about, and most important products that are welcomed by a specific target market. It is rewarding to know that at the end of the day I have done what I like to do best and what I feel I was made to do, design. I can accomplish this with my business and have fun as well. I can also say that starting my own business has allowed me to spend more time with my kids. And that is the best gift of all.

What about the challenges?
It is always difficult to start any kind of business in any market with any economy. With an online shop, the hardest job is to drive traffic to the site. It can be very challenging to reach a specific target market. I am lucky to run both my businesses, Trendy Peas and CCK Studio, with the help, leadership, and support of my sister Raquel. She is not only a great business partner; but she is also a dear friend. She has always been a great supporter of my design and creative ideas. I know that no matter the challenge we will be able to face it together.

What is a typical day in the life for you?
I usually try to get most of my work done in the morning. During this time, I balance the work that I do with Trendy Peas, with the work that I do as a graphic designer with my second business CCK Studio. I keep everything organized so things can flow easily. I try to maximize my hours by focusing on small goals, so I can get a lot done. Then in the afternoon I am free to enjoy my time with my kids, Isabela who is 2 and half years old and my seven-month old son Marcus. They inspire my work daily. In fact, they are the reason I started Trendy Peas. I just love to watch them playing. I like to see which colors, shapes, and textures they like best. I like to be surprised with what they discover and how they interact with each other, their toys and nature. Whenever I don’t finish something that needed to be done that day, I always have the evenings, when they are asleep. But I usually try to avoid the evening work so that I can relax a little and spend time with my husband Alex. It is nice to be more than parents once in a while.

Any advice for creative moms out there who want to start their own business?

The best advice that I can give to creative moms who want to start their business is to find a balance between your work and your family. It isn’t easy to find that balance. But the days that you do, you will be able to be more creative, create better products and at the end accomplish all your goals. Remember that the goal is not only to be happy in business but also be able to dedicate a lot of time to your family.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Giveaway: Toywrangler Winners

Thanks again to everyone for participating in the Toywrangler giveaway! Hope these wranglers make good accomplices in putting a stop to the "pick-it-up" game.

The winners for a Toywrangler set and a choice of baby/kid tee are:

Congrats! Please email me at with your email and address.
More fun giveaways soon, so stay tuned!

Our Projects: Coloring Book

I am SUPER excited to share with you a "Designing Moms" project that Tori put together for everyone: A down-loadable coloring book! Tori is a natural at envisioning and putting together creative projects (did I also mention that she is joy to work with?). It came as no surprise when she suggested for the Designing Moms to contribute their work for a coloring book. This is just a sneak peek, but check back later in the week when I post up the first series of "animal" pages for your little one to color away on.

Make: Family Sketchbook

by Designing Mom Rubyellen

We have this family sketchbook sitting on the coffee table of our family room. It is ready for when anyone feels ready to do a little drawing, coloring, doodling, scribbling. Though, it's more like scribbling for the babes and doodling for me and Ben. It is a wonderful way to encourage creativity and keep track of your everyone's drawings. The family sketchbook will be sure to capture lots of memories and fun!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday Foto: Photo Booth Friends

Designing Mom Tori:
"My friend, Kate, and I thought it would be cute to take our kids to a
photo booth while we were supposed to be running errands together and surprise the dads with the pictures. Our husbands have been best friends for the last fifteen years (they talk on the phone more than Kate and I do with our girlfriends!) so it's really special that we can live close enough for our kids to grow up knowing each other. Our little photo booth excursion was so much fun to do and the guys really loved the surprise as well - they each have a copy on their desk at work."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Reminder: Toywrangler Giveaway

Just a reminder that the deadline to enter for a Toywrangler and kid Tee Set ends tomorrow!
Click here to enter.

Shop: Baby Clothes

by Designing Mom Aya

Babies grow so fast, VERY fast. And they don’t (yet) care much about their appearance or garments. Naturally, I tend to believe the best kind of baby clothing is a hand-me-down that fits. However, I do find that those tiny articles of clothing are perfect gift items that people want to give and I, as a new mother, also find myself starting lists of my favorite baby clothing companies. Here are some people who make fabulously sophisticated little outfits that are big on design and often easy on environment (and on our wallets).

above: Petunia Pickle Bottom
Their set of three onesies are my very favorite outfit on my little boy. The onesies look as good and crisp as they were in the first place after a several washes.

above: Kate Quinn Organics
My mother, the little one’s grandma, bought a stylish brown jacket and turquoise pants for his two-month birthday. The outfit is so chic that made me wish they made those for grown-ups.

above: Baby Soy
Very simple yet modern and good looking clothing. Its quality is superb. We got a receiving blanket and an onesie as a gift and we seriously considered getting another set because we always got disappointed when they were in the laundry.

above: Lucky Jade
Perhaps babies don’t need cashmere outfits, but if they do, this is the place to get them. I bought a lovely pink newborn gown for my niece and my sister put her in it for all the photo taking occasions.

above: Dwell for Target
This line unites good design with affordability. My little boy received a onesie and a hoodie and they are very handsome and surprisingly well made. I am now a big fan of Target.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Creative Life: Susan Najarian

Today's "A Creative Life" is Susan Najarian who wrote to me about her intricate work in miniature encaustic paintings. Susan is also offering 10% off any of her 5"x5" Encaustic Paintings. Just mention "Designing Moms" and click here to see her collection!

Tell us a little bit about your work

I use photography as the ground, the photos are digitally manipulated and the images are then transferred to a wood frame covered in encaustic wax. Layers of wax suspend the photograph, altering the appearance to produce the ethereal, sometimes romantic feeling. The intertwined imagery appears to float, as if in a dream.

Encaustic is from the ancient Greek word that means to heat. It is the oldest form of painting. The medium consists of beeswax melted with a small amount of resin to impart hardness. This mixture becomes paint when pigment is added to the molten wax. I use the hot wax like paint and fuse layers of wax to a stable surface using a blowtorch or heat gun. Because it cools, (dries), so quickly, it is a fantastic medium for an impatient artist. In my online shop, I offer a variety of 5x5 inch paintings, which provide an affordable way to obtain an original work of art. These paintings are fantastic grouped together or can be displayed individually as in a sweet addition to a little ones room.

How do your surroundings influence your artwork?

I live on Bainbridge Island in WA; a quaint, beautiful, forested island in the Puget Sound and a short ferry ride from Seattle. I am constantly inspired by the nature that surrounds me and I incorporate many of these images in my artwork. I’m blessed to be married to a supportive and wonderful man and have three creative and beautiful children. We also have a cat and 10 pets that make our breakfast! (chickens).

What is a day-in-your-life like?

A typical day for me is getting up at 6:00. I have a cup of coffee and check my email. My three children ages 15, 11 and 8, go to three different schools that start and end at different times. (So it feels like grand-central here in the morning between the lunch and breakfast making and getting them ready and to the school bus on time.) If I’m lucky after my littlest one has left, I take a run through the forest or along the waterfront. When I get home I work on my art and do other business related work. The kids start getting home around 3:00 and then we begin the carpool to sports, piano lessons, dance, and other activities. When schedules permit, we all get together for an evening meal then it’s homework time and off to bed for a read aloud chapter in a book. After my younger kids are in bed, I do a little more work and in bed around 11:00. I am so grateful for this hectic yet perfect life.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

In the News...

Design Sponge featured Designing Mom Lori's floors in their recent Before/After series. I couldn't believe how beautiful the finished effect was...just GLORIOUS!

And Lori is celebrating her 4 year "blogiversary" by doing a giveaway of some of her awesome Fin + Roe products. Click here to enter!

Our Lists: Alphabet Animals

Here's one for our list of children's art! Chris Gregori wrote me about his whimsical illustrations. As an illustrator, he wanted to create something special for his niece which resulted in these fun alphabet animals. A print version is available through his Etsy shop here.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Giveaway: Toywrangler

I have a great giveaway today! This is for all of you moms out there who have little ones who love to play the "pick it up, drop it down, pick it up" game with you all day. When I saw this, I thought only a mom could come up with something so ingenuis like this! Kristy of Luvloo is giving away a Toywrangler set along with one of her kid tees (choice of dino or argyle bunnies) to 4 lucky readers.

All you have to do is respond in the comments window about why a Toywrangler might come in handy in your household. The giveaway is open to all Designing Moms and readers and will close on Friday so comment away--Goodluck!

What exactly is a Toywrangler?

Kristy: Toywrangler is what the products are called but the business name is Luvloo. That is how my
son Owen pronounced "Love You" when he first learned to talk-- and are both the same site.

Four years ago when my son Owen was Nine months old- we spent almost every meal retrieving toys from the floor, under our table & even other patron's tables. I grew so tired of playing pick-up in the restaurant, while shopping or even out for walks, that I came up with the Toywrangler and the Mini Toywrangler. I could attach and interchange my son's toys, bottles and pacifier without even reaching to the floor. I was excited to go out to eat and see that the ToyWrangler™ actually solved our problem. We wanted a product that was #1 Safe, #2 Easy for the child to retrieve toys, pacis, bottles/cups by themselves and #3 A product that was machine washable. Four years later I am still amazed and excited that my own children have become my sources of inspiration for the Toywrangler as well as shirts and other unique ideas.

What have been the rewards of starting your own business?

Being able to be with my children and getting inspiration from them. I also get excited every time I receive feedback from people using my product and thanking me for creating them.

What about the challenges?
I went into this with no real sense of how to run a business. I have a degree in Visual Communication with an advertising and marketing background. You can say I had the passion, the desire and the creativeness yet no idea what profit margins should be or what P&L were. I just jumped in head first and followed my heart. You can not be afraid to fail or you will never succeed. It is the risk I was willing to take. It has not been easy at all but you really have to trust your instincts and ask a lot of questions. This past year has been challenging because safety standards have hit small businesses like myself hard. However I was lucky enough to have already followed the ASTM standards and I already tested and used BPA FREE plastics.

Any advice to moms who want to start their own businesses?

Do not be afraid to email or call people that are already successful. I remember early in the process I emailed
the sisters behind Fresh Baby and they actually called me back and gave me all kinds of information. Everyone needs to buy Tamara Monosoff's The Mom Inventors Handbook this book is jammed packed full of priceless info. Even if you are not a mom this is the book to get if you have an idea. I also must mention Laine Caspi from Parent's of Invention. I was able to call her and learn all kinds of info about the industry and manufacturing. Do not be afraid to call and email potential customers or people that can help sell your idea.

My family and their support and the fact that to this day I can still get excited about my Toywranglers
and still think they are a good useful idea.

A Typical Day in My Life:

My day typically revolves around my boys Owen 5, Ari 3 and my husband Eric. They are my main priorities and the reason I do what I do. It has been hard to balance both but I am learning that I cannot do it alone. A few months back I hired a PR girl I never thought I could afford but she is well worth it. I just started working with a distribution company and I hope they can get me into some of the bigger stores and handle all of the orders eventually. I am lucky enough that I still work part time doing design work for an oil company so I can still be with my children daily. I am also lucky enough that my parents come to my home and take care of the boys so that I can get work done. I am on the computer a lot at night after the kids go to bed. You just have to find time when you can.
I really believe you get out of it what you put into it.

Shop: Fortune Cookie Booties

These are the cutest little baby booties I've seen in a while... The "Fortune Cookie Baby Booties" by Sushi Booties are made of fleece and the "fortune" can be customized with your message to the new mommy.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Foto: Oscar

Thought I'd kick start your weekend with these adorable photos of Designing Mom Kate's son, Oscar. Judging from his "first kiss" photo, this little guy is going to be one little heart breaker when he grows up!

Happy Friday and weekend everyone. We'll see you Monday!
Related Posts with Thumbnails