Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Getting to Know Your Local Businesses: Panic in Polkadots

It's time to get to know your local businesses, so I introduce Katie McKinnon from Panic in Polkadots. I met Katie at a local craft fair in Oakland. I fell in love with her owl stuffies and was intrigued by how she upcycled everyday items into works of art!   Here is what she had to say about her craft:
Who are you and what is your business about? My name is Katie McKinnon, and I create things. My shop is Panic in Polkadots and my most popular items are my stuffed animal friends, ice cream cones, robots, and cupcakes! I create everything in my home studio, by hand and by sewing machine, using my own patterns. I strive to use fabric scraps and reclaimed fabrics wherever possible, as well as buttons and bottlecaps, playing cards and ribbon!
What inspired you to go into your business? I have always been about creating things, and I would give a lot of my creations away as gifts to friends and family. One day, a friend encouraged me to start selling my items, and my Etsy store was born. Pretty soon, I was getting all kinds of custom orders! My passion is to create things that are truly unique, that come from the heart, and that are fairly affordable. Everyone should be able to enjoy handmade Panic in Polkadots!
What are some random facts about you? I collect umbrellas of many kinds: whether it's the real deal, in earring form, in paintings, in tattoos that I have, and even in my nickname "Umbrella!" I have an orange fuzz cat named Lucy, she is a redhead who gets in trouble a lot! I work at an ice cream shop, and have worked in various ice cream shops ever since I was 16! I love analog photography, and I still shoot with my many film cameras to this day! My birthday is 5 days before Christmas, and I have never had a surprise birthday party!
What's your favorite local place? I will have to say Alameda Theatre and Cineplex.  They are always showing films for the Classic Film Series and if you get the 8 pack of tickets, they are like 5 bucks each!  The Historic Theatre is beautiful and makes you feel like you have stepped back in time.  If only the popcorn were more timely priced!

Thanks Katie!  You can find out more about her at: , and , and

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

DIY: Handmade with LOVE

I made this about two years ago.  It currently hangs in our hallway.  And it's quick and easy, and would make a great Valentines or Mother's Day Present!

How to instructions:
1) I found cardboard letters at JoAnn Fabrics,
2) I painted them black
3) I Mogpogged (sp?) old pictures to the letters!

Today as I walked by, I took a minute to admire the people that hang on this LOVE...  family, friends, people who have past, and many "firsts"... (wedding pictures and the births of our girls).  It gave me  a warm fuzzy.  I should stop to look at it more often!  What handmade item gives you LOVE?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

A Time to Slow Down

It's June...and we all are running around like a chicken with their head cut off!  Graduations, parties, and the summer are right around the corner.  And there's the stuff to finish.  I got to help my daughter finish her end of the year project, and get her registered for summer camp by Tuesday.  Then I need to finish writing a report for work by Wednesday (or was it Friday?  Please let it be Friday!!)... and Oh... I've got 5 soap shows coming up, did I make and wrap enough?   It's like 'we' (the collective we) have been running a marathon and we are one mile away from the finish line.

Yesterday, I got a reminder to slow down.  I burned my arm on a hot pot while I was pouring rebatched soap into a mold.  It didn't seem like a big deal at the time.  I just put cold water on it and rushed to the next thing I had to do.  But now, a day later, it hurts, it's peeling, and turning black and blue.  I can't rest my arm on anything or lift my youngest daughter up to snuggle with, as the pain in unbearable.

Rushing around oftentimes leads to mistakes, accidents, and takes us away from the very things that are the most important to us.  I was reminded to ask myself, "Is it really important to do all these activities?  Can't I say no to some, and yes to others?  Why am I doing this activity?  Am I happy?' 

And so, I give gratitude to my burn.  It reminded me to slow down.  It has FORCED me to stop.  And as a reward, I am completely present...  I'm enjoying watching my kids ride their bikes. I'm actually 'listening' during a conversation with my husband (don't tell him that though!)  

But I'll be honest, I have started a list of To-Do's for tomorrow.  I'm only human!!!

What remind's you to slow down?
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