Wednesday, January 28, 2009

International CPSIA Blog-In: Awareness & Action!

Chances are you will read the following post more than a few times in blog land today.

Please do take a few minutes to read through this post. I and so many others truly appreciate your time. While this new law applies to families living in the US it does effect international sellers like myself who make products for children and sell them in the States.

It concerns the CPSIA or the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect in the U.S. on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. To show how real this is, Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying close attention to it. Although I believe that this law came about to truly protect our children based on the massive number of toy recalls last year myself and many others don't think they have thought it out well enough. It is too broad a band-aid and needs to be investigated more.

But how will these new laws affect you? 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, children's books will be pulled from library and school shelves. There is no exemption for them. Here is an article from the American Library Association.

To the Lover of All Things Handmade:
Due to the new law, that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it's passed testing. But then 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 crocheted hat you bought your child this past winter won’t be available to you next winter.

To the Environmentalist:
Due to the new law, we're due to find items in non-compliance dumped into already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the big box stores as well. They can't sell it and they can't even give them away. If they are caught, it is a violation.

To the Second-Hand Shopper:
Due to the new law, you will now need to spend the money 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 Like Me:
Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue making and/or selling them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. In a time when unemployment is reaching record highs, this doesn't bode well for the economy.

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.” Read about this in an article from The Wall Street Journal.

If you think this is exaggerating, here is a recent article from Forbes .
And for those of you prepared for an intellectual workout, The CPSIA

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hmmm - What have I done lately

I just realized it's been awhile since my last post. I've been steadily working on hats and have completed some pretty cute ones. Right now besides working on a steady stream of orders I'm also working on some hats to send to photographers. Here are a few pictures of some of the hats I've completed recently.
These are really sweet. And I love the soft colors. I will eventually make these in larger sizes as well. These are just itty bitty, perfect for a shower gift! I've already listed these in my Etsy shop.

And something that I've been trying to figure out for awhile but finally put some time into it. Here's a typical visor beanie and the flower is detachable! So you can move it around, change it up and even where just the flower in your hair if that's what you'd like:)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Not too keen on these ones

Here is a picture of the last pair of socks I completed. I thought I would love them. I love the yarn, I love the stripes, I love the colour! Unfortunately I tried a different sock pattern which I'm not too keen on. They're just more slouchy then I'd like them to be. Perfectly fine socks, but not my favorite fit.

I still have to pick out which sock yarn to use for my next pair.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Flapper Hats Ready to Ship Out

I have just put the finishing touches on these 3 hats and will be heading to the post office momentarily. I love the bright colours. The grape and apple green look amazing together.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Mine, All Mine

I rarely make anything for myself, until I started making socks. But I needed a hat. It's funny that a girl who makes and sells hats didn't even own one. Yeah, lots of ribbing about that. So I finally made myself an earflap hat out of cotton. It's a bit different from the ones I make for kids. I did this one with 2 strands of cotton so it's still double thick, but instead of using a single crochet stitch I made it using a half-double crochet stitch.

It's very comfy. I've worn it almost all day. I don't look too happy in this picture. lol That wasn't the intent. I must have been concentrating too hard to take a decent picture:)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Socks, Flapper, Brim Beanie

I didn't have time to take a picture of these until now. My girl has been bugging me for handmade socks. I started making socks this past summer. For me. Just for me. No one else. Every time she saw me knitting socks she'd ask when she was getting a pair. In August while on vacation she came with me to a gorgeous yarn store. And there I had her pick out some sock yarn that I would make her a pair of socks with. I'm also suppose to make myself a pair of socks with the same yarn.

Great. Not a problem...but it was 6ply yarn. And although the ladies at the store told me to just cast on xx (48 stitches maybe?) instead of the usual socks are way to new to me to be messing with a pattern like that. I finally found a pattern for kids socks using 6ply yarn at a local yarn store and made these socks in time for Christmas. They were a gift so I didn't check them before making the 2nd. Sure enough they were too small. So I had to cut the toe off, pick up the stitches and made them longer.

The good news is she loves them. I still need to find a pattern to make adult socks from the same yarn.
I have also just finished and shipped a custom order for the following flapper and brim beanie. I'm working on finishing up two more brim beanies that will be delivered tonight if all goes well.

Friday, January 2, 2009

A Newbie's Needle Felting Creations

I finally got to try my hand at needle felting. How cool is that! Take roving, stab it with a needle and voila! Here are the two things I made.
A frog - incase it's not obvious:) Poor frogger was man handled (well boy handled really) before I managed to get his picture taken, so he's a bit worse off then he started, but you get the idea. I received a kit to make him over the holidays.

And this is my gnome. But he's not finished yet. Still a work in progress.

Handmade for Breast Cancer Fundraising

With the holidays over and the new year beginning I'm able to focus again on other things happening in my life. The walk that I am participating in to raise funds for breast cancer is this year! June 2009. Only 6 months left to go. To date I have raised $1185 through various venues. In order to participate in the 60km walk I still need to raise an additional $815.

I've been fortunate to have some incredible artisans help me on my journey. Many I have already mentioned in various blog posts. Today I'd like to mention two more.

Tellie from Sixth and Elm has offered this beautiful wooden box that will be wood burned with the script from the love letters of Abelard and Heloise in french and stained a light antique pink colour! How great is this to keep your treasures in. She will be donating the proceeds of this box to The Weekend To End Breast Cancer.
Sharon from Adornyou has made this Breast Cancer Awareness Bracelet. And she is also offering the proceeds of this bracelet to The Weekend To End Breast Cancer.
Thank you so much to Sixth and Elm and Adornyou for your generosity and support!