Thursday, January 29, 2009

apologies

There are several posts in formulation stage. And lots of pics to go with them. Lots of working in the spice shop lately leaves little time for posting. I have been sewing up some nice felted sweater things. I made an adorable little Wendy Bird yesterday from the pattern at Lollychops.com (I'll insert the hotlink when I have time to come back and edit) using a felted black wool skirt and creamy white mohair yarn for thread. I also made myself a nice wool hat from one of the green felted sweaters I photoed before. Time for me to skedaddle off to work. Have a lovely day!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I am participating in Anne's Handmade Toy Swap over at Bird and Little Bird. I joined completely on impulse. As if I don't have enough swapping and sewing and embroidering to do in the next 2 weeks. Ah well, no big deal. I am certain I can make everything I need to by February 10, which is the deadline for the Handmade Toy Swap as well as for the Pet Lovers' Swap I am also participating in via Craftster.

Today's project (until I have to go to work) is stitching up the remaining bags for that Ongoing Wishlist Swap I wrote about a while back. I'm also going to stick some sweet little embroidered details on a couple of them. Hopefully I get my camera back soon so that I can post pics of the finished bags. I wanted to write up a tutorial on bag-making, but I have to get all of these in the post on Wednesday when I'm off work.

There has already been a little bit of posting over in Celebrating Handmade: The Swap. You should go check them out. There is a super sweet looking Jammie Dodger play food cookie. And you'll get to see the word splodged used in a sentence if you read the captions!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

home improvement, sort of

There hasn't been a whole heck of a lot of crafting going on around here lately, hence not much posting. The has been, however, a lot of cleaning and reorganizing going on. Most of my life has been in small plastic totes for the last decade courtesy of 1. the house fire 2. moving to MO for college and 3. storing things at my parents' until I had a place of my own.

Last week I went through a large tote full of items from my junior and senior years of high school. At this time I was living with a couple of friends and their families so that I could graduate from the school system I had attend my entire academic life so far. I have a picture of the resultant explosion of sorting, disposing, replacing, and freecycling. I do not have my camera right now. C took it with him when we attended a dinner party for a friend and I forgot to bring it home because I had not brought it. Thus my camera is still at said friend's apartment.

The pic of the fabric and sewing machine a while back was about making curtains. They are not yet finished. The fabric has been laundered and air dried. I now need to press it, hem the bottom and attach tabs to the top for the curtain rod. I don't want to do this until I can take pictures for a tutorial, but it is darned cold here (1 degree F above 0 this morning!) and those sure would stop some drafts from cold windows.

We purchased shelving last night at about 10. Wal-Mart near us is 24 hours. It is kind of ghetto, but it's open when we are available to do things (really late in the evening). They all have a galvanized steel frame with fiberboard/OSB shelf inserts and are made in the USA. The 2 large ones are assembled with a hammer and are rated for 900 lbs; the small with a screwdriver and for 300 lbs. These are no wimpy shelving units! At the very least I know I can put all of the cookware and ceramic pieces I want on them and they will not collapse or fall off the wall like the shelf that came with the kitchen when we moved in.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Save Handmade From the CPSIA

If not stopped, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act will be eliminating handmade toys and small businesses near you starting next month. If anyone under 13 were to use a handmade item it would have to go through very expensive testing as CPSIA now reads. It is not just toys that would be impacted; it is all items that could conceivable be used by children. I am all about making sure the items we use in our day to day lives are safe and that businesses are held accountable for their products, but this is decidedly not what we need.

I've tried writing about this woeful legislation in my own words, but they seem to end up too cluttered and ramble-y lately. So instead of a wall of hard to follow text from me, here is a much easier to read block quote from Early Bird Special by
The internet is all abuzz about the new consumer safety testing, also known as CPSIA - Consumer Product Safety Inspection Act, set to go in to effect February 10, 2009.

For those of you who aren't aware of this issue, in a nutshell the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) is enforcing new mandatory testing for ALL items made for kids ages 12 and under.

Why is this happening? Due to unfortunate happenings in toy safety this past year and in 2007. (Remember hearing about all the toy recalls due to dangerously high amounts of lead?) Make no mistake, I am all about keeping our children safe, especially my own, and holding companies accountable for importing toxic toys.

Unfortunately, there is no distinction between big, small or even one person operations. The new legislation applies to all.

All finished products will require unit testing, regardless if natural materials were used, or if you have documentation stating that a button or other hardware used on your item are lead-free.

This is a serious threat to myself as well as thousands, if not millions of other crafters, artisans and small businesses that make items for kids, or items that could be deemed suitable for anyone aged 12 and under.

At first I thought this new testing only applied to toy makers, but sadly, that is not the case. Items affected by the upcoming CPSIA include: toys, footwear, carpets, clothing, bedding, luggage, lamps, toys, books, magazines, baseball cards, consumer electronics, school supplies, office supplies, jewelry, housewares, sports equipment and so on.

What I've read from others online, unit testing is VERY expensive, therefore making it close to impossible for small businesses to take on this new requirement.

CPSIA will have a strict guilty until proven innocent policy, as well as hefty fines for violators. Any product made for kids ages 12 and under without the newly required certification would be deemed hazardous, whether the item poses an actual threat or not.

So on February 10, 2009, any unsold merchandise (in big box stores, the corner boutique, your fabric stash, Good Will donations, etc.) will be deemed “hazardous goods” and illegal to sell unless 3rd party testing proves otherwise.

1) Email or call the CPSIA - the office of the CPSC 888-531-9070.
http://www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/newleg.aspx
Comments on Component Parts Testing accepted through January 30, 2009.
mailto: Sec102ComponentPartsTesting@cpsc.gov.

2) Email or snail mail your representatives.
http://capwiz.com/americanapparel/issues/alert/?alertid=12274476

3) Call your representatives. For their contact information just enter your zip code.
http://capwiz.com/americanapparel/dbq/officials/

4) Make your voice heard by voting on this issue. The top 3 in each category will be presented to President-elect Obama.
http://www.change.org/ideas/view/save_handmade_toys_from_the_cpsia

5) Sign the petition.
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/economicimpactsofCPSIA/index.html

6) Cool Mom Picks: Save Handmade. Informative overview.

7) Spread the word! Write about this on your blog. Tell others about this issue and encourage them to do the same.

There is a ton of information out there on this issue, and I encourage you all to spread the word and help save handmade!

xoxo,
Amy
And so I encourage anyone reading this to please take action on this in any way you can. I have been working my way down the list above and will do all of them by tomorrow afternoon. As for today, I need to be at the spice shop in about 30 minutes.

Friday, January 2, 2009

What I'm up to

This morning was dish washing and bird cage cleaning time. C helped out with the vacuuming and cage bottom emptying. Now I'm all showered up and clean myself and ready to get going on some sewing.

Can you guess what I'm up to today?
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