Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Time to Unite

Time to Unite

As parents and concerned citizens I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been confronted with the question of lead poisoning. But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys? The answer? They're banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we've seen in decades. I'd like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.

Do you know about the CPSIA? No? Then I ask you to take a few minutes to find out about it.

The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too.

How will these new laws affect you? Well, here are a few examples:

To the Parents of Young Students:
Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren't originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12.

To the Avid Reader:
Due to the new law, all children's books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there's always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all.
Article from the American Library Association

To the Lover of All Things Handmade:
Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it's passed testing. It won't even be the one-of-a-kind blanket you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So that gorgeous hand-knit hat you bought your child this past winter won’t be available next winter.

To the Environmentalist:
Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can't sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued for selling it. You can't even give them away. If you are caught, it is still a violation.

To the Second-Hand Shopper:
Due to the new law, you will now need to spend $20 for that brand new pair of jeans for your 2-year old, rather than shop at the Goodwill for second hand. Many resale shops are eliminating children's items all together to avoid future lawsuits.

To the Entrepreneur:
Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you'll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.

To the Antique Toy Collector:
Due to the new law, you'd better start buying now because it's all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren't certified as safe.”

To the American Economy:
Already struggling under an economy that hasn’t been this weak in decades, the American economy will be hit harder with the inevitable loss of jobs and revenues from suppliers, small businesses and consumers. The required testing is far too costly and restrictive for small businesses or individuals to undertake.

To the Worldwide Economy:
Due to this new law, many foreign manufacturers have already pulled out of the US market. You can imagine the impact of this on their businesses.

If you think this is exaggerating, here is a recent article from Forbes

And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law

Did you know? If this upsets or alarms you, please react.

Download Etsy's CPSIA Action Kit here:

Please take a moment to sign this petition for Component Testing. This is a fair and cost effective way for children's products to meet product safety requirements.

Written by Winklepots and chichiboulie .
Graphic by joeyandaleethea .
Please visit their beautiful Etsy shops.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Enjoying creating things for adults ...

I've always had a mix of things in my shop. Something for all ages. But lately (and yes, it totally because of the CPSIA) I've been enjoying creating strictly for the teen & adult crowd.

Here is a new Slip Covered Snap Clip - just listed on Etsy. It's from my new Tweed Collection. Look for more tweedy accessories coming soon.

And how about Black Velvet and Vintage Gold Felt? This hot number is a take on my Tuxedo Stripe Slip Cover ... but made on a skinny black patent headband. Not listed yet, but you can sneak a peek ... look for it soon!

And this Needle Felted Topiary Gadget Cozy will probably be listed later this evening. I sold one last year, but decided to make another. Sweet enough to hold your favorite gadget, biz cards or some cash. Handmade with love...cross my heart!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Some great deals on my Valentine's Day items ....

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. So sorry I haven't kept up with my blog this past week. We had lots of appointments and things going on ... which means not a lot of studio time for me. Just wanted to let everyone know that tonight at 9pm EST/NY time ... I''ll have a few Valentine's Day items (at some great prices!) over at Hyena Cart. You have to sign up to buy ... just like Etsy. And you cannot purchase until 9pm...once they are gone ... they are gone at that price.

These two sweet Valentine Gift Tins are just $23 for a set of 5 clips. Perfect for sisters to share or for that one special little girl in your life. (Normally these clips sell for $7 each - that's a $12 savings!)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

Like so many others across the world-
Watching the Inauguration today.
Filled with emotions
Proud to be American.

Here's some sweet Americana finds found on the Front Page of Etsy earlier today (picked by Admin). Sweet indeed!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Homemade breadcrumbs ... yum!

Today Friday Food Find is a little bit about reducing waste and a little bit about healthy choices. As mentioned earlier, we have limited the amount of preservatives in our diet. One thing we are careful about buying is bread. So many breads have preservatives to help maintain their shelf life. But there are many brands out there that are preservative free and readily available. Two of our favorites that we can easily find locally are Alvarado St and Rudi's Bakery. This bread is bit on the expensive side, so I really like to get my money's worth. One way I do that is to save the ends that are generally thrown away as "the undesirables". I keep them in the freezer or refrigerator and periodically throw them into the food processor or blender (if using the blender -be sure to just blend a little bit at a time & tear up the pieces a bit). I preheat my oven to about 350. I lay out the breadcrumbs on a cookie sheet, add some Italian seasoning, salt and pepper - sometimes some garlic and toss the tray into the oven for a few minutes (15 minutes) until lightly browned and toasty.
These homemade breadcrumbs are so easy to make and will seriously make your recipes which call for breadcrumbs that much better. I have made eggplant rollitini, chicken cordon bleu, meatballs and breaded chicken cutlets and the taste is so much better than any store bought breadcrumbs. Even if you are not worried about the preservatives in your bread, it's a great way to use up the ends of any brand of bread rather than throwing them out. Of course if your one to feed the ends to the birds, please apologize to your backyard feathered friends in advance for me.

Also, wanted to share this excellent article regarding the wide spread implications of the CPSIA.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Last Day to Vote to Save Handmade

Reminder ... this is the last day to vote to save handmade! Votes are still needed, as we've slipped to 6th place. It just takes a second to register. Make your voice heard! Make a change!

And here's a treasury I made on Etsy: {Steel} her heart which went Front Page on Tuesday night at 11pm (EST).

Pretty Steely Greys from these amazing Etsy artists:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tidbits ...

I'm all over the place today ... busy, busy, busy. I just have a few little things to share.

Trying to get some decent photos of some spring projects for a coop ad in Somerset Life mag. It's so darn cloudy today. Usually a cloudy day is perfect for photos ... but today is super gloomy and nothing seems to look good regardless of how much I try to tweek things in my photo editing software. Enough of the camera for today. I'll have try again tomorrow.

E came home with the sweetest tiniest little love note. She wrote it in school on the corner of a piece of paper. It has a heart with a drawing of she & I inside it. It says I Love You Mom & Miss You. Be still my heart ... I always ask the kids if they missed me when they come home from school and I usually get the mumbly little answers of "yeah". But her little note proves she does....I feel like I'll never have to ask her again. (But of course I will). The little man on the other hand .... I can only imagine what goes on in his little mind all day. I think it's best those thoughts of his, stay right there in his little head.

AND most importantly.... there's just a bit over 2 days left in the 2nd round of voting at Save Handmade is down to 5th place ... keep it moving back up on these last few days of voting. It just takes a second to register your name. Please help make a CHANGE.

Again, this is the 2ND Round of Voting. If you voted previously, please vote again:

Thank You!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Make the best of it.

It's been such a cold winter. Makes me miss California and wonder why we ever left? I see the Bay Area is expecting 75 degree weather this week. So while I turn on my space heater (no sense trying to have the whole house heated to keep up with the colder temperatures while I am in my studio) and make another cup of tea to toast my fingers ... I'm grateful we decided to take the plunge this year and purchase season passes for a nearby Ski Resort. We've paid for the kids to have 7 full days of Ski School and I must say they are doing great! The best part is they really enjoy it and look forward to it.

So here are my two little snow bunnies, making the best of it. Ha- Ha ... Big Bad Winter ... who has the last laugh now?

Friday, January 9, 2009

What's in a diet?

While I'm thinking about resolutions ... a big one for me every Jan is usually watching what I eat after the gluttony of Thanksgiving and Christmas. But this year is a little different...I don't drink soda, I recently gave up coffee, and I'm down to just one little caffeine cup a' tea per day ... and last summer I experienced something with my son that made me really look at the daily foods that I was buying and putting into my body and my children's bodies. I've, as best as I can, removed artificial dyes/coloring, artificial flavors and preservatives from our diet. Most of these synthetic substances are products derived from petroleum. Sounds delish doesn't it? Many of the packaged foods you buy at the super market shelf for your kids (ice cream, cookies, popular chocolate bars, etc) have a synthetic vanilla extract flavor called vanillin which is derived from the waste products of paper mills. Um, yuck! Even the oils and shortening you use may be loaded with preservatives and petroleum.

So each Friday, when possible, I'd love to share a healthy food tip or food find with you. Today's Friday Food Find is geared toward Valentine's Day. (I'm sharing it with you now, that way if you are interested, you can order online and have it arrive in time for the holiday.)

If you're looking for some healthier sweet treats made from real, natural food for Valentine's Day checkout these two stores:

Natural Candy Store

They even break things down depending on your dietary needs: ie if you have peanut or other allergies, are vegan, looking for organic or Fair Trade products. Sweet!

The Squirrel's Nest

They list the ingredients in each of the products right there on the website. There are lots of natural chocolate confections for Valentine's Day. And if you're inclined to make your own sweet treats ... they have food coloring options that are natural...or pick up some sprinkles (without the artificial dyes) for your next batch of homemade cupcakes. Yum!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Resolution that is easy to keep...

So it's a New Year and everyone is talking resolutions. If you're not one to participate, you probably can't escape at least the idea of making a resolution. My inbox has been loaded with emails on the subject: everything from organizing to eating healthy to making & maintaining a budget.

How about a different kind of resolution? One that is easy to keep?

These sweet little felt envelopes are sewn and adorned with little felt hearts and buttons. There are five, one for each day of the week (school or work week). You just write a little note to your loved one and tuck it into their lunch box or briefcase to remind them how much you love them and that you're always thinking of them even while you are apart. Add a chocolate kiss or other treat for a special gift. How is that for an easy resolution to keep?

Or if you're crafty, simply make your own. :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Hello ... and Happy New Year!

So sorry I've been away so long. But once Thanksgiving hits, the holiday season is in full swing with wholesale orders and retail orders ... and my "no work on the weekend" rule, goes straight out the window. I literally packaged up my last order on Sunday, December 21 ... and then it was mayhem trying to finish my own holiday shopping, clean my home for company, cook, wrap presents, make cookies and decorate for the holidays. I enjoyed every minute of it though, because for two whole weeks, I actually closed my shop on Etsy and my website. That's the first time I've done that since last Oct 2007 when I first opened. Let's just say it was a much needed break. I hope all of you enjoyed your December as much as I did mine.

Now that I'm back ... and I don't want this to sound like a glass-half-full story, but I was hoping my first blog post of the New Year would be to celebrate the launching of some fun new products and looking forward to getting my Valentine accessories in my shop, but I'm sure by now most of you have heard about the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). I'm all for improvements and laws that will help safe guard our children (I'm a mom too) against the dangerous substances that have been found in our children's products in the recent years. But this law as it stands now, is confusing and worrisome on so many levels. Please visit these two sites for well stated and easy to understand summaries about the effects this law, as it stands now, will have on so many of our beloved handmade children's businesses: by Jennifer Taggart

The Buy Handmade site has a link to where you can go in and vote to have this law amended and help save handmade children's businesses. Please vote, it just takes a second to register!

What does this mean for Pretty in Posies? The simple answer is, I don't know. It's just too early to tell ... but as it stands now, the CPSIA requires me to have the basic lead testing on all my products (yes, each and every type and style - that's a lot of testing which I cannot afford to do) by Feb. 10th 2009. This law affects all children's products (children's products are anything for children under the age of 12).

I'm still going to put up a few Valentine accessories ... so look for them soon!

Wholesale vendors, please contact me before placing any orders. Thank you!


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