Good Things Happen!

Wake-up! It's Spring!Pascal and I just returned from our morning walk. We are still having beautiful spring-like weather. It’s really becoming convincing, even though I know better~  I’ve never known the end of January, beginning of Febuary, to be spring; not this early- at least not in northern Ca. It’s really making me anxious to go out and work in the garden!

I forgot to announce in my last blog, some good news! If you’ve been to my etsy shop or my website you may have already noticed~  I’ve decided because of the depressed state of the economy, that the $25.00 reduction in the price of each dress for my sale that began in December ’08 and  ran through the end of January, ’09 will remain indefinitely. The current prices reflect what will now be considered the regular price, rather than returning to the pre-Dec.sale amount.

The other wonderful news is that the CPSIA law that was supposed to become effective Feb. 10 has been given a one-year “stay” so that it can be further reviewed and necessary changes made before being put into effect. I am very hopeful that the focus will be on the source of the problem, lead in the paint of imported toys from China,  and possibly,  in some metals used in children’s jewelry. There is an excellent article in today’s  Etsy Storque giving all of the details of the ruling.

And finally, I mentioned in an earlier post, that I have discovered so many wonderful shops at Etsy that I would like to share with you, and I want to feature some of these shops and their items from time to time. So~ being the beautiful “spring” day that it is, NOW seems like a great time to get started!

In honor of the CPSIA law being granted a “stay,” and because those of us involved in handmade products for children want the very best and safest items for children, it seems fitting that I start by featuring some of the wonderful unique, one-of-a-kind products for children that are now available for you to buy because of the “stay” granted.

The first shop from Etsy that I’d like to feature is my friend’s,  NeedfulThingsofSalem shop. This shop has a wonderful variety of one-of-a-kind items ranging from hand-knit, and hand-crocheted, to sewn items, quilts, stuffed animals and many other fun items. I would particularly like to feature some of the beautiful  creations for babies in this shop.

One of my favorites is the beautiful crocheted baby blanket in white with baby-blue trim around its border. This would make a beautiful gift for a newborn baby and would be perfect for either a girl or boy. There is a cute pair of matching hand-crocheted booties that would make a lovely “pairing” with the blanket.

Another of my favorites for babies in the shop, also happens to be a blanket.  This blanket is totally different from the one I just mentioned,  and reflects the amazing and diverse skills of this artisan.  A hand-appliqued, Teddy Bears and Hearts, baby quilt, is created in beautiful, soft, pastel colors with a deeper blue border. To complete the baby’s room, there is a matching, hand-quilted wall hanging. Can’t you just picture these two in a baby’s room?

Among the other wonderful baby items that are my favorite, the following two, either individually, or as a set,  would make wonderful baby gifts. The first is an adorable, cuddly, stuffed, white bunny, just right for hugging! Either by themselves, or combined with the bunny, these delicate white booties made from Irish lace, would make a beautiful gift for a baby girl.

There are so many wonderful items to be found there, and a wide and reasonable price range;  treat  yourself to a fun shopping experience. Go explore the many handmade “treasures” of NeedfulThingsofSalem~  Enjoy!

The Sunny Side of the Street

Forty-two degrees out and windy!**Please can I have a drink Pascal and I choose the sunny side of the street to begin our walk this morning. At first it felt freezing, (I was glad I had put Pascal’s coat on.) But as soon  as we got a good pace going it felt wonderfully exhilarating!!

As I have mentioned before, I like to clear my mind when I walk and let the new ideas flood in. As this issue of the CPSIA law that I have spent so much time worrying about, was departing, and since we were “on the sunny side of the street,” I thought I’d leave the link to one last encouraging piece of information that I picked up in the etsy forums last night. It’s just a short paragraph, but it suddenly put things into perspective for me and I now know which direction I want to take- Take a look! It is very good information to have for those of you who, like me, are struggling with decisions!

I mentioned in an earlier post, that I now have an etsy shop as well as my website, where I sell my dresses. I have found, within the etsy site, some of the most wonderful shops of handmade items from all over the world. I plan to soon periodically feature some of these outstanding shops and their products. This will be happening shortly, so check-in and see. I think you’ll enjoy what you see!

Finally, I mentioned that I’m working on a new dress and I talked about it a bit in my post called, “1/20/09 -A Lamb Named Peace.” I mentioned that it is a size 3 and will have a lamb on it. “Peace” is happy to now be standing in her field of smocking, watching hillsides, grasses and flowers, blossom up around her. I’ve given her a little bird in a tree for company while she waits for me to complete her scene. I thought you might like a glimpse of “Peace” and to see what a work in progress looks like. Once I am finished, you will have an idea of how it looked in transformation. Have a great Sunday!

A Lamb Named Peace; New work in progress

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CPSIA…. Think About the Children

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I love children too! I have two grandchildren of my own who I love dearly and want them to have the very best, illness- free lives, possible. I would be devastated if they were to get lead poisoning. I don’t think you could find anyone involved in the business of “handmade” who doesn’t want to see children protected from everything that could be hazardous to their lives. I don’t want children to get lead poisoning either. It must be stopped. But enforcing this law is not the way.

As the law now stands, it has the potential to create an infinite amount of hazardous avenues in our children’s lives. Think about it.  Thousands and thousands of shop owners and creators of handmade items for children will have to go out of business once this law is enacted because the vast majority of us cannot afford the exorbitant fees required to get each of our items individually tested. The children whose medical expenses, food, shelter, clothing, and other expenses necessary for a child’s support, are currently being met with income from their parent’s small business, will suddenly be left “out in the cold, “deprived of all   necessities.Income for the majority of small business owners, currently is used, at the very least, to supplement living expenses.For many, income from their “handmade” business is the sole source of support for the family.

Think of the thousands and thousands of children whose parents are suddenly going to find themselves jobless~ In today’s economy, their unemployment is not likely to change soon. How will these children be fed, clothed, have roofs over their heads, medicine, and all of the other things children need?

This well-intentioned law is going to backfire with disastrous results for our children! It HAS to be prevented from happening Feb.l0! In an effort to support the fight against this law, I phoned Congressman Dan Lungren’s office yesterday after reading on etsy that his aide was looking for stories about the impact the CPSIA is going to have on the lives of small business owners. I spoke to Alexandra who wanted our stories to give to Congressman Lungren so he can help  fight  this law when Congress meets.

Alexandra made the very good point that the this law was written in reaction to the lead found in children’s toys that were being imported from China. That is the problem that needs to be addressed. Restrictions need to be put perhaps, on children’s items imported from China, as opposed to every item a child under 12 might come into contact with. As she so well said, the CPSIA law is the equivalent of someone getting badly injured or killed in a car accident, and the government, in an effort to ban future car accidents, says that  all driving will be banned.

Please think about the impact this law is really going to have on children. Is this really what you think is the best way to solve the problem of lead in toys imported from China?  If you don’t want to witness the effects this law will have, not only on small business owners, but on our children then please help in our fight to prevent this laws enforcement. Write letters. Spread the word to everyone you know.

Do you know,  as of today, most people haven’t even heard of this law– yet it was passed a year ago—yet it’s scheduled to be enforced in a little over TWO weeks!!

Think of the children…………….

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CPSIA Update

Change.org has been conducting polls to see what the top issues are that Americans are concerned about. The issues that come out in the top 10 are going to be presented to President Obama. The CPSIA came out in the top 10!!! That is such encouraging news to me. If you’d like to read about it, here is a link to the article.

After reading about that I went over to Etsy’s forums to see if anyone had reported it yet and they hadn’t, so I posted the good news. While I was there I read another post that gave a link to a wonderful Forbes magazine article about the CPSIA law and the horrible repercussions it will have if it is put into effect the way that it is currently written. It is the most informative, well-written article that I’ve read on the subject and I’d like to include a link to it as well for anyone who’s interested in reading it. It is also a great idea to pass the link on to everyone you know as MOST people aren’t even aware of this impending law-

I am so happy and encouraged that my shop and the shops of others who sell handmade children’s items won’t be forced to close!

CPSIA

I have recently found a wonderful online site that is a world-wide collection of shops exclusively for all things handmade. It’s called Etsy.com. I’ve opened a shop and listed some of my dresses for sale. There are so many wonderful shops to see there I’m continually amazed at the fantastic items people are making. It’s not limited to children’s clothes, it has everything from original paintings and pottery, to stationary and scrapbooking supplies, knit and crocheted items, toys, and many, many more top quality items.

Etsy also has very interesting and informative forums for discussions that I have been reading and participating in. It is through these forums that I first learned about a new law that, if not stopped now, is scheduled to be implemented on Feb.10, 2009. Maybe you’ve heard about it, but for everyone who hasn’t, it’s called the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) and if it’s implemented as it is currently written, it will put an end to every business that sells handmade items for children under the age of 12. I am extremely concerned about this law, and feel most strongly that it be stopped from being enacted in it’s current writing, as it will put me and every other seller/maker of children’s products out of business. That means that not only will I not be permitted to make and sell my hand smocked dresses to you, but you will not have the opportunity to buy anything handmade, including toys, for children under 12 years old.

Many people involved in Etsy have been working very hard to fight this law, but we need a lot of help; YOUR help! The more letters that can be written to congressmen and state’s representatives, the more they will recognize the need to change the way this law is currently written. Some of the sellers at Etsy put together an excellent brochure that explains the CPSIA law, what it covers and who it effects and what you can do to help  prevent it from becoming a reality. This same brochure is being given to the reps and congressmen to help them understand the far-reaching and negative impact this law will have on everyone. This is a a link to the brochure

I hope you will find the time to read this small brochure and do what you can by writing letters to help protect everyone from being  “bulldozed” by this terribly unfair and flawed law. Thank-you!