Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Busy Busy as a Bee

This is my new favorite print and why I LOVE Alexander Henry!
I've got new fabrics coming too!!!

AND. . .a new purse. You'll recognize the fabric, thus the reason I ordered more. . .I LOVE IT. I found it in a bin at the craft/fabric store and now I love this fabric manufacturer.

Isn't it sweet? I have just enough left for another purse like this or possibly a wallet which a friend requested that I make for her. I found a few patterns online so we'll see what I can do - either way I'll have more of this print next week! Fun stuff!

Monday, January 26, 2009

New Item!

Business Card Holders! :) In a rather cool print by Alexander Henry.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Productive Day

So I'm working on products and today my focus is coffee/tea cup holders. They're cute, you can insert a photo to personalize them. I think it's a nice touch. Not sure about anything else to pretty them up. I have one sewn and almost done, another pinned and another in pieces. I planned to make 4 but miscounted somewhere in my haste. Once I finish one I'll decide how many more to make. I need to order bags for them yet. UPDATE - I ordered bags! Not too expensive and they'll be delivered TOMORROW! The place is only a few hours away so they'll ship out today. Sweet. They were on sale so basically shipping was free. AND the bags will fit these AND the business card holders...good thing since they come in a box of 1000!!! OH MY.

I DID finalize a label too!

I like it and I'm ordering them today. I also wanted to get a smaller ribbon label with just AM on it but we'll see. One thing at a time.

Much done today and it's only a little after 4pm. I love days like this....oh and that'll get to it eventually.

Break's over ~ Now Back to Work!

So after a hiatus and thought period I finally have my sewing table setup and full of 'stuff'. I love it. I could sit for hours upon end creating. Thankfully I have a 3 year old who is fine with that. . .as well as a hubby who doesn't mind either. lol I AM getting laundry done and WILL take breaks to sweep/clean the house today.

I have my 'schedule' of production so we'll see how well that goes. I started all ready so I'm a few weeks ahead of schedule - not too shabby.

The recent uproar with the CPSIA changed a few product ideas but a recent letter from the Committee on Energy and Commerce may help us 'little people'. We shall see. Fingers and needles crossed. :)

For now....a laundry break.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

There is hope for the 'little' people!

THE letter that may help save the 'little' people. Click to read it. . .

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Today's Craft ~ Tomorrow's Contraband

As a crafter/artisan I'm worried about the future. I make purses, quilts, pillowcase dresses and other such little odds and ends. Come next month my quilts and any other items I create for those under the age of 12 will be considered contraband. WHAT? Yes, indeed. Come February new requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act will be enforced. Beginning February 10, 2009, children’s products cannot be sold if they contain more than 600 parts per million (ppm) total lead. Certain children’s products manufactured on or after February 10, 2009 cannot be sold if they contain more than 0.1% of certain specific phthalates or if they fail to meet new mandatory standards for toys.

Okay, you'd think that as a stay-at-home mom the little things I make would be safe. My sewing machine doesn't inject the crafts with lead as I sew the seams. There are no harmful chemicals in the thread I use.

The new law requires that domestic manufacturers and importers certify that children’s products made after February 10 meet all the new safety standards and the lead ban. Sellers of used children’s products, such as thrift stores and consignment stores, are not required to certify that those products meet the new lead limits, phthalates standard or new toy standards.

The new safety law does not require resellers to test children’s products in inventory for compliance with the lead limit before they are sold. However, resellers cannot sell children’s products that exceed the lead limit and therefore should avoid products that are likely to have lead content, unless they have testing or other information to indicate the products being sold have less than the new limit. Those resellers that do sell products in violation of the new limits could face civil and/or criminal penalties. It makes sense then, if you knowingly sell something toxic you'll be fined. No problem BUT.. .

What if you sell something unknowingly? Products made for children are tested. . .what if someone makes a pair of gloves for an adult. The yard need not be tested BUT if the adult wants a pair for their child then the yard DOES need to be tested. What if the parent puts their gloves on the child? Then there's apparently no problem. Huh? Yes, it's situations like that going through my mind causing migraines.

Inadvertently, this law was written too broadly and affects not only imported children's toys, but also handmade items, electronics and CDs, clothing, and accessories, as well as children's books and school textbooks that are made in the USA.

As the law currently stands, the libraries and schools would need to test all current inventory of books in the library and all textbooks. How much would that cost? Probably enough to cause the libraries to close off their children's sections. How sad is that?

As for the handmade items, crafters and small business owners would be required to test their finished products, even though the products have been made with already tested and safe materials. Is this possible? For many - no. If you make one of a kind creations EACH ONE would have to be tested. Who can afford that? The cost of the testing would make it no longer feasible to even sell an item, as so few are made, many being one-of-a-kind items. I would no longer be able to legally sell my handmade products for children. My pillowcase dresses would become hazardous materials!

Thankfully, the CPSC has exempted resale and thrift shops from having to test their inventory for lead. However, the exemption is still ambiguous and still puts the resale shops liable if they even unknowingly sell an item that does not fall within the safe lead limit. Other retailers, though, would have to pull all of their current children's inventory as of February 10th if the item has not been previously tested, certified, and labeled. What if I give my sister-in-law or a friend some of my son's old clothing? Nope, can't do that . . . we'll have to start an underground black market for children's items.

It's a frightening thing. I can understand doing the most to protect our future/our children BUT sometimes laws and regulations do not make much sense. This one, while it means well, is going to cause more harm that good. Many crafters on Etsy and Ebay will go out of business. Smaller children's boutiques will close. No more selling children's items (for children under 12 years of age) at garage sales!

I may have a table at a show next month and have the opportunity to sell my items at a shop in New Hope! Now, much for children's items. The best part is that MANY people don't even know this is happening! If you're on a craft site it's all over the forums but the general public has no idea. Will there be a rash of arrests this summer when police do drive-by's at garage sales looking for illegal items?

If you're interested in knowing more about this check out the CPSC website.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Happy New Year

So the holidays are over and it's back to work. I'm looking forward to it. I'm going to try new things and see what I can do. One is to see about selling my items at a shop in New Hope. March won't come soon enough. Currently my sewing area is still occupied by the Christmas Tree. I've asked Hubby to bring the boxes down from the attic but since he hasn't...the stuff is still up...or all sitting in the front room. Here's to 2009!