Shop: Frecklewonder

by Cat on July 2, 2009

by Designing Mom Lotta

Jenny Mitchell of Frecklewonder, a wonderful creative mama herself, is close to launching her baby and kids vintage market called SMALL SIZES. Through her popular online shop Jenny offers seasonal and themed vintage markets throughout the year and this month it is filled with finds for little ones. The market includes baby/kid’s clothing, with a handful of great vintage children’s books, shoes, and handmade things. Please check her blog or the shop for updates. When the market go live things tend to fly out the door fast!


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Shop: Flashcards

by Cat on June 2, 2009

In a Flash
by Designing Mom Lotta

These whimsical flash cards by Libby Ryan can do much more than practice the abcs. You can use them to teach your child animals, objects and colors, or play a memory game. The front of each card has an animal or object and the back has a corresponding pattern inspired by front design. The 26 cards covers the alphabet from A-Z. The ink and watercolor illustrations are printed on post-consumer recycled paper with matte laminate for durability. The cards come with a custom hand sewn organic cotton pouch.


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A Creative Life: Tyler Stallings

by Cat on June 1, 2009

Designing Mom Lotta is coming in as a “mini” guest blogger for this week with two posts and you’ll delight in her inspirational interview with children’s clothing designer Tyler Stallings as well as her favorite picks for little ones.

by Designing Mom Lotta

I first discovered Tyler Stallings through her blog and was immediately attracted to her thoughtful writing, beautiful images, and the talented artists she featured. When she launched her children’s clothing line Periwinklebloom, I was equally smitten, even though my boys are way to old for her beautiful garments.

Tyler’s clothes are made with care and consideration, both for the child who will wear it and the environment we live in. She exclusively uses natural, organic, or reclaimed materials. The sizes are generous and adjustable to ensure long ware, and the impeccable quality and craftsmanship means that these garments will be ready to be handed down long after your child has outgrown them.

How did Periwinkle bloom come to be and what is your background?

Periwinklebloom was born about a year after my daughter. I had worked as a graphic designer, an educator and art history-lover for many years. I studied ‘visual communications’ at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and art history in graduate school in St. Louis. I have always had a passion for textiles but my understanding of form, texture and palette is really rooted in graphic design. My small labor of love seemed to develop out of the need/wish to merge these roles with motherhood. I wanted to continue designing with parenting in mind and a new appreciation of how design might contribute to something worth handing down.

How do you balance motherhood, family life, creativity, and running a business?

Ha! Not always so gracefully I’m afraid. I’m one of those people who are most productive when things feel close to panic. That said, I have tried to listen to my own mother’s advice of tackling only one thing at a time and keeping things in perspective. I do try to carve out time for each part of my life rather than multitask. I’m a list-maker. The days I’m home with my daughter I really try to be fully present. This sounds good, right?! I tend to work most evenings and maintain my mantra of ‘small and slow business’. I also teach in the art department at a local university. I am constantly learning from my students (and daughter). The reciprocity really feeds the balance. And I covet our weekends, very dedicated to play. When all else fails, I laugh…or lose it.

Did having your daughter make you more aware of environmental issues and how is that affecting the way you work and create?

Absolutely. I considered myself fairly aware before, coming from a family who recycled before we realized it had a name and ate so healthily nobody wanted to have slumber parties at my house. I grew up on hand-me-downs and often buy my daughter’s clothes at resale shops. I became most aware of environmental issues as they relate to what we put on and in our bodies when I became pregnant. My inquiries then grew as my family has. And my professional life has become an extension of that. I began my business paying careful attention to all my practices; where and how organic cotton is grown and certified, who I collaborate with for creating and sewing, confirming fair wages, reclaiming vintage fabric when possible, designing a generous fit and timeless form for the longevity of my garments, and using eco-minded solvents and inks for my letterpress correspondence (still getting off the ground). Generally I became more aware of our family footprint both in terms of environment and the ideals we leave behind.

Do you have any advice to other artistic mom’s, who are trying to launch a creative business?

I suppose everyone should dig deep and recognize how they are wired, question what they’d like their business to do for themselves and others. Be resourceful, do your homework, ask questions, practice patience and flexibility, set small goals. I belong to a women’s business group, five of us in various creative fields who provide invaluable support to each other. The exchange is perfectly nurturing and professionally fruitful. I consider them dear friends and I highly recommend connecting with other women. Oh, and if you’re like most creatives I know, hire an accountant.

For more information about the clothes featured here visit Periwinklebloom and for more about Tyler Stallings visit her blog.

Photography © Greg Rannells


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Our Lists: Spring Fling Bunnies

by Cat on April 7, 2009

By Designing Mom Lotta

Birds are tweeting and buds are bursting, spring is on its way. To celebrate the season we found this selection of sweet, happy, and cuddly spring bunnies. These softies are appropriate for children of all ages, as well as adults… They are hand crafted by artists, many of them moms themselves, from all over the world.

Starting with the French Mini Labo Rabbit Dolls (above) from Rose and Radish.

Latte organic floppy bunny from Yarn Miracle. Pumpkin, natural wool bunny toy from Palomino Morgan.

Lola Rabbit by Esthex from Twig. Fierce Bunny by Sonja Ahlers from Enfant Terrible.

Bunny Boy by Kata Golda from Fawn & Forest. Hare Softie by Bookhou.


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Designing Moms: Meet Lotta

by Cat on March 16, 2009

I first came across Lotta’s beautiful textile work when I was on the hunt for pillows that were not only natural in their prints, but natural in texture and fabric. Her placement and restraint in expressing nature is spot-on. I am so happy to introduce this Designing Mom to all of you!

Name: Lotta

Family: I am a textile artist and graphic designer who live, work, and play in beautiful Charlottesville, Virginia. I am married and have two fantastic boys ages 13 and 16. We also have two dogs and a 19-year old cat. Life with two teenagers means different demands and challenges than when they were younger, but it is equally rewarding. I love watching my boys grow up, slowly becoming accomplished young men.

What I do: I hand print linen and other natural fabrics, by using real leaves as printing plates, and my collection includes tea towels, table linens, bags, sachets, pillows, and note cards. I am also creating one-of-a-kind wall pieces and art quilts. I founded my design studio Inleaf six years ago and my work is now available in specialty stores around the country as well as on my own website.

Inspiration: Nature, my garden, the sea, anything outdoors. I am a Swedish native, and my heritage has always been a source of inspiration. I love the simplicity, clean lines, and use of natural materials that embodies Scandinavian design.

A typical day in my life: I wake up early and most days I go running with a group of girl friends. Then I rush around fixing breakfasts, packing lunches, getting everyone off to school. I spend the first part of my workday catching up on emails and other office tasks, before embarking on my projects. I relish working in my studio. It is a bright and happy place, stacked with all the fabrics, notions, and materials I need, but also brimming with books, photographs, and art made by friends and my children. I dye fabrics, print, or sew, and if orders are due they get packed up and shipped out in the afternoon. My youngest son arrives home from school at 3, and the rest of the day quickly fills up by driving to and from soccer practices or music lessons, dinner preparations, laundry, or whatever else is lined up in our busy lives.

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