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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Eve

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Well, as I write this it is already Christmas Eve (12:17 am, actually), so I thought I would give everyone an update on things.
1. Sophie's dentist appointment went very well and she is doing great!
2. Everything that was promised to be shipped for Christmas was shipped, however, at least 2 of the packages that I mailed Express last week didn't make it their scheduled destinations on time, which leaves me worried about all the packages that were mailed Priority. So I will just apologize in advance to anyone that doesn't receive their Hero On My Arm bag in time for Christmas. I will be thinking hard over the holiday of someway to make it up to you (and hopefully everything will arrive this morning and all will be well, and my worrying will all have been for nothing....I hope!!!)
3. That being said, I am going to go ahead and "close" unofficially for the Christmas holiday as of this morning and through January 7th. I'll sign back in on that Monday, and answer any emails and process any new orders starting on the 7th.
4. I just got finished with our three day set up at the Clear Creek PX here at Ft. Hood, and I have to say that while I am exhausted, I had SO much fun. I always enjoy getting out and actually meeting and talking with our customers. So thank you to everyone for being so nice, and I can't wait to make this next batch of Hero On My Arm bags for everyone here at Ft. Hood. If they'll let us set up again just for the weekend, we'll be back again in January or February, but I have to check on that still.
5. I have already gotten quite a few emails about one particular bag that we had on display at the PX, so I am going to update my website with it ASAP, so that everyone can order their own.
6. And lastly, Merry Christmas to everyone, I hope you have a wonderful holiday surrounded by family and friends.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

New Things

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This diaper bag turned out just great, with the front pockets on the flap, not sure why we haven't even done this style before! (Well, we have- the Sophie Diaper Bag- but that was with ACU fabric, not an actual uniform). I'll be adding this as an extra style on the site after Christmas- it does require the pants as well as a shirt to make.
And I hate to even post this one, because I am just horrible at taking pictures and this one is no exception, but I've had lots of requests for a picture of the ACU wallet, so here it is. (Soon to be replaced with a better picture, I promise). The wallets have a snap to close, a place for cash, a zipper pocket for change and misc. stuff and 4 CC/ID slots.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


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Okay, I am back from our trip! Here are some updates for you:
1. If you have ordered a purse and told us that you needed it for Christmas, it will be shipped by December 20th, I PROMISE.
2. That being said, I should also let everyone know that Sophie has a dentist appointment on the 20th that will require sedation- so I will NOT be working that day. That means my phone will be off (sorry, kiddos come first)!
3. We will be at the Clear Creek PX on Ft. Hood (in the front, right outside the flower shop) December 21 and 22 from 9 am to 8 pm, and December 23 from 9 am to 5 pm. We will have some purses, burp cloths, tees, and shopping cart covers. We will also be taking orders! Its not too late to give (or get) a Hero On My Arm Handbag for Christmas- you can purchase from us there and we'll give you a special holiday order form that you can give as a gift that will allow the recipient to customize their own bag.
4. And lastly, some random pictures for you all, since I'm terrible at this blogging thing, and tend to let them pile up without posting them, sorry...

A USMC diaper bag:

So cute, medium bag with picture pocket:

A puppy carrying purse (special order):

And the kid's backpack:

More pics soon- Tues and Thursday will be BIG shipping days.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Communication problems here in L.A.

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The L.A. being Lower Alabama. Oh, my goodness, this place is like a black hole for electronic devices and signals. The GPS doesn't work here. The navigation system in the car doesn't work here. My iphone doesn't work here. The Wi-Fi doesn't work here. So if anybody is trying to call me, I'll return your call when we return to civilization. (I am still checking email at least once a day though).

Sunday, December 2, 2007

A Working Vacation???

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We are leaving in the morning for what I have been calling a "vacation", but really it will be all work and no play. We have to meet with our builder, go land shopping, tour possible schools for the girls, and find a new gym for Sydney, among other things. I am taking two huge bins full of uniforms to work on as well. For now, we are still accepting orders for Christmas, and I hope to be able to do so up until December 15th. Even if you are local (the Ft. Hood area), if you'd like to place an order for Christmas, please go ahead and do so through the website and mail us your uniform. Our mailing address is:
Polka dot Door Boutique
PO BOX 2934
Harker Heights, Texas 76548
We will be at the Clear Creek PX December 21st - 23rd, so if you need to pick up your completed bag instead of having it mailed back to you, you can pick it up then and I'll refund your return shipping charges.
For everyone not local, place your orders and get your uniforms in the mail ASAP!

Meet Kelley!

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Kelley is the newest member of our Hero On My Arm team. She is an Army spouse, mother of two, and her husband is an Army Chaplain here at Ft. Hood. In addition to being an excellent seamstress, Kelley is also a high school Algebra teacher and is currently working on her Masters degree in Education.
Kelley is a BIG reason we are still accepting orders for Christmas- she is a great lady and we are so happy to have her working with us!!!
She can be reached at kelley@polkadotdoorboutique.com

Sunday, November 25, 2007

They Keep Getting Smaller...

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...And cuter too! We just finished this bag and mailed it off today. It was a medium size bag, but we had a request to make it slightly smaller, so instead of 10 X 15, this is 10 X 13. I love this bag!

The Following People...

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...paid for bags at the FHOWC Bazaar but have not gotten their uniforms to us yet:
S. Gerber
E. Williams (2 bags)
S. Corrigan
J. Pullig
I have emailed all but one of these ladies, but haven't heard back from anyone. I know that it was a holiday and everything, but if you need your bags for Christmas we will need your uniforms ASAP.
Thanks so much!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Good Press

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Here is the article that was in the Killeen Daily Herald on Saturday:
It also ran in the Ft. Hood Herald today (Wednesday). I have to say a HUGE thank you to Laura, for writing such a great article about our company. It feels like more than two years of hard work are finally starting to pay off- I could not be happier! Thank you Fort Hood, you are the BEST!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Working out the kinks...

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We were lucky enough to be featured in the Saturday Killeen Daily Herald, and I am so thankful for the exposure! Just in the last day, I have gotten so many emails, it has been great- however I am not used to so many local requests and orders. I just wanted to ask all of those at Ft. Hood interested in a bag to be patient with me as I figure out the best way to handle local orders. In the past, I'd say 98% of my business was done through the mail- so many people asking to drop off uniforms and pick up orders is new for me. So if you can, the easiest way to get your uniform to me is just to drop it in the mail (parcel post will still get to me the next day and will only cost a few dollars), but if you need to drop it off in person, just email me- I'm happy to work something out. Same goes for completed bags- its easiest for me to mail them back to you, but if you'd prefer to pick them up instead (especially for those orders that will be ready just before Christmas), just let me know, and we can figure something out. Again, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for their patience and understanding as I get the logistics all worked out.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

More Updates to the website

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I added some new categories to the website:
Hero Quilts: http://polkadotdoorboutique.com/catalog.php?category=22

And some new purses to the Handbags Section:

And some new accessories, too. You can now order matching wallets and checkbook covers (and I promise to have pictures up soon!).

And last, but not least, you should be able to customize your order now when you check out- no more order forms to email- YEAH!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

We Are Growing!!!

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Business is great and the Polka dot Door is expanding! We are looking for a few great people to join our team. If you are a seamstress interested in working as an independent contractor in the Killeen/Ft. Hood area or the Dothan/Ft. Rucker area or you are a military spouse (anywhere in the world) interested in becoming a sales representative, please give us a shout:

The FHOWC Holiday Bazaar in Killeen...

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...was so much fun. I enjoyed being able to talk with so many of our customers- it was great. We were SO busy I only managed to take ONE picture!!

By the end of the day Sunday we only had 3 purses left, so I have listed them on eBay. They are ready to ship and can be personalized, too.


Happy Halloween

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Just thought I would share the girls in their Halloween costumes. Sydney was, of coarse, Cinderella:
And Sophie was a ladybug:

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A New Size?

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Up until now, Hero On My Arm handbags came in two basic sizes. The most popular was the large tote- 12 inches deep, 16 inches long and 5 inches wide. The small tote is 12 inches deep, 10 inches long and 5 inches wide. I just recently had a request for a large bag, but made "as small as possible" and this is what we ended up with:

It's 10 inches deep, 15 inches long and 4 inches wide. I guess I will call it "Medium". I really fell in love with this size, I am hoping everyone else will too. I will probably update my website and eBay in a few weeks with this other bag size, but of coarse, its available now.

Tied With a Bow

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All Hero On My Arm Handbags are mailed out wrapped in tissue and ribbon, and are sent USPS Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation. And of coarse, we ship to APO/FPO addresses, too.

Fabric/Uniform Combinations

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Last week I finished up 2 bags with fabric/uniform combinations that I had not done before, the first was Air Force BDU with Michael Miller's Daisy Dream (#6 on my list of available print fabrics): And the second was Marine MARPAT with Michael Miller's Patti Paisley in Pistachio (#20 on my list)
I think they both turned out F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S!!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Seeking Opinions, Comments, Suggestions

Its already time to start thinking about the new year. I can hardly believe it! There are a few things that I know will be different next year:
*I will add some new lining fabric choices, and delete some of the less popular ones
*There will be quite a few new products added
*I will most likely take March and April off (when we move)
*Prices will NOT go up
*We'll be adding a photo gallery for spouses to show off with their Hero On My Arm handbags
Well, that's all I can think of for now, but I would love to hear from all you wonderful military spouses- what would you like to see in 2008??
I'm especially interested in hearing about purse styles you'd like to see, fabrics you love, fabrics you hate, how you feel about the website, if you'd be interested in having local Hero On My Arm reps at your post, gosh, really, just everything that you have to say- I'm all ears.
If you are reading this and have a comment, please add it to the blog, or email me directly seneca@polkadotdoorboutique.com I really, really, really want to hear from you!
Oh, and if you already have a Hero On My Arm Handbag, I would LOVE it if you would send me a picture of you with your bag, so we can get that photo gallery rolling!
AND, to motivate you all to send in your comments and pictures, there is, of coarse, a PRIZE involoved. Everyone that posts a commentsuggestion on the blog, sends me an email comment, or submits a picture from now until December 31st will be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift certificate for the website. Each comment/suggestion earns you an entry (so you can have an many chances to win as things you can think of to say!). I'll draw and announce the winner the first week of January.

New Options, and (Hopefully) Simpler Ordering

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For the second night in a row, I am up past midnight updating my website, but if it makes things easier to place orders, well, its worth it to me! Here's what I did:
*Put up some new pictures on the homepage (that's www.HeroOnMyArm.com)
*Delected some of the selections when placing a bag order (like choosing one strap or two, small bag or large, etc)- since when you order you get an order form emailed to you where you have to choose all that stuff all over again anyways :)
*Added some new pictures to the product pages (I updated the Photo Gallery yesterday)
*And last but not least (actually the most important one of all), I added some new bag options under the Hero On My Arm Accessories (http://polkadotdoorboutique.com/catalog.php?category=20) They are on page 2 and 3.
Hope you like all the changes!

Monday, October 15, 2007

A Sneak Peak

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I am VERY excited about some new items we will be adding to the website soon. Above is a little sneak peak of one of them, can you guess???
AND, for all you Ft. Hood wives, you'll get a chance to see the new stuff in person at the
Ft. Hood Officers' Wives' Club Holiday Bazaar
November 10-11, 2007
Killeen Civic and Conference Center
3601 S. WS Young Drive
Saturday 9-6pm
Sunday 12-5pm
We will have a booth set up there and will be taking orders for Christmas- Hope to see you there!

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures

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It had been a few months since I added any new pictures to the photo gallery, so I am staying up late adding some new ones:


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I know that I am not the only military spouse making purses from uniforms, but I do strive to separate Hero On My Arm bags from the rest. I try to make my purses look stylish and fashionable, not just craft-y and homemade. I thought seeing a Hero On My Arm bag next to Gucci's Positano Tote might illustrate that point.

Why Didn't I Think of That?

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Sometimes customers have the best ideas- someone asked me to include the pen pocket from the sleeve of the ACUs on the inside of their bag- now why didn't I think of that!
I think its the perfect addition for the inside side of the bag. So from now on, unless you request something different, I'll be adding this extra pocket to all the ACU bags. I'm not actually sewing down the separations for the pens (but I can if you ask), so its the perfect size for lip gloss, a small cell phone, keys, etc.

A Typical Day

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It has been BUSY, BUSY, BUSY! Not that I'm complaining!!! I just want to let everyone know that I am working hard at getting turn around times down. They peaked at about 5 weeks in September (I promise I will write an update soon about everything that happened), but I have them back to 3 weeks as of right now.

My Favorite Email in a LONG time...

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I recently made a purse for a Navy wife, and after she recieved it, she was kind enough to send me an email and let me know how much she liked it:

"I wanted to say thank you for making the purse I’ll be proud of. My Louis Vuitton will be put away for a bit"

Maybe because my mom had a Louis Vuitton (her precious "Lou-eee") that she just absolutely treasured, but I felt like this was just a HUGE compliment for me!

Sydney's Daddy Doll

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I could not believe that my husband actually agreed to pose for a photograph so that we could have him turned into a doll before he left for Iraq, but he did! The end result is the above "Daddy Doll". Sydney absolutely LOVES this doll and she sleeps with it every night. The website for the company is http://www.daddydolls.com/ (We're not affiliated with this company in any way, we just love our doll!)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Thanks Mary!

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A happy customer was kind enough to mention us on her blog:

I can't thank you enough for the promotion- you are the best, Mary!!!

A HUGE Thanks to all the "Computer" People...

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...that helped me in one way or another to get my website and eBay store/listings redesigned:

1. Larissa from Dreamy Web Studios, who did an AMAZING illustration for our new logo. I am so in love with it, and she was so easy to work with- I recommend her to anyone that needs any graphics created. Her website is http://www.dreamywebstudio.com/

2. Nia from Pixel Diva Designs, who designed my very first website, and then moved my site over to Merchant Moms, where it lives now. She is my all time favorite web designer (and hopefully she doesn't mind that I changed all the colors on my website to match my new logo!) and you can find her on eBay: http://members.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewUserPage&userid=pixeldiva

3. Robyn from Absolutely Charming Designs and More. She provided me with a new template for my Hero On My Arm hangbags on eBay, so they would have a separate look from my other Polkadot Door Boutique auctions. This was actually a premade template, but it was just what I was looking for. You can find her on eBay: http://members.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewUserPage&userid=dallasrobyn

In the News (Sort of)

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It has been a while, but Hero On My Arm bags got a mention on the Designing Minds Blog, you can see it here: