Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Please Help Save Them....

Here is just a tiny sampling of some of the items available on etsy that will be affected by the new CPSIA Law. Read more about it here and please help spread the word. SAVE HANDMADE!

CPSIA Blog In - Save Handmade!

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.” Read more about it here.

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.


I did not author the post above. The products I sell aren't affected by this new law. However, many of my friends in the etsy and handmade community are affected. This new law would wipe them out of business due to the testing demands and costs associated with the testing. This new law will affect the items that you as a consumer will be able to purchase for your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and other little loved ones. Please, write to your legislators today and help us SAVE HANDMADE!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Busy, busy, busy!

2009 is proving to be a busy year for the Human household with big changes all around!

First off, we're moving! We've been living in a 900 square foot home for almost three years now, and we're just busting out of it. We initially moved to this town to keep ourselves at a distance from everyone else. We just wanted time to ourselves without the drama that comes from living in the same town for 90% of your life. Well, we're SO over that now! I work in my hometown and my entire family lives there, so I'm ready to move home! We found a house that's in my old neighborhood and we're so excited! Not looking forward to the whims of Mother Nature in northwest Indiana in March, but we'll manage...

My husband took a new job as a Chemical Operator this week - and we're now working for the same company. It's been a slight adjustment, but we work in completely different areas (he in production, me in inventory control), and don't really see each other during the day. After his initial training is complete, he'll be working mostly nights and weekends which will be a huge adjustment for both of us. We'll get through - we're both just very happy that he was able to find a job at all - he'd been unemployed since his stroke in October, after his former boss decided that his health posed too much of a "liability" (code speak for bullsh*t, if you ask me, but I digress..).

Anyhoo, school is once again in full swing for me. I'm wrapping up a business communication course and will begin a health and wellness course after a week-long break. I'm really happy to be making progress with my degree. I'm really proud of myself, and I've even managed to maintain my 4.0 GPA (yep, I just gave props to MYSELF!). While I'm terrible at procrastinating with my school work, I've found that I tend to find grace under pressure. This class has been extremely demanding, but I love all of the new things I'm learning.

Work keeps me busy during the day and I have a few trips scheduled for late winter/early spring. I'm a bit nervous about flying when there's snow and ice on the ground, but I'll just prepare myself when the time comes with a little bit of mommy's secret helper (read: something to knock me out for the flight!).

The little man in our household is great. He'll be ten in about six weeks which just kills me. Where does the time go? He's doing great in school and is looking forward to starting another season of city league basketball again next weekend. He's got a bad case of cabin fever with the rest of us and is anxious for warmer weather to arrive!

I haven't had much of a chance to get creative lately - at least not for commercial purposes. I did spend some time with my sister and nieces earlier in the week, creating a jewelry piece for each of them. My sister and I created a beautiful amethyst necklace and matching earrings for her, and each of the nieces made bracelets with their own plastic beads. It was a lot of fun to share my craft and the girls really seemed to enjoy themselves!

Winter has been hitting the Midwest pretty hard this year. I couldn't even tell you what our total snow accumulation for this winter has been, but trust me - it's A LOT! I'm ready for the once-pure-white-now-turned-to-gray-slushy-stuff to be gone. It's messy and slick and I'm just plain tired of bundling up to go outside!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

An Investment of Hope

Today marks a new beginning, one filled with a sense of hope for the future. In just minutes, the inaugural ceremony to swear in President Obama will be begin. In the crowd, over one million supporters will celebrate a new milestone for this country. Best wishes, Mr. President. I pray you will find the guidance and strength you require to be the leader we so desperately need.

P.S. It's an especially proud day for those of us in the Chicago area today. Not only will the Illinois Senator be sworn in as President, but he will be sworn in by my own hometown's hero, Chief Justice John Roberts. Way to show we're not all just cornfed hillbillies, guys! ;)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Featured etsyBlogger: Rose Works Jewelry!

Ruthie of Rose Works Jewelry is January's featured etsyBlogger. Ruthie is the owner of two etsy shops - Rose Works Jewelry and Kindred Spirit Treasures. She is the creator of amazings pieces of jewelry, including these handwoven treasures:

Please be sure to check out Ruthie's blog and etsy shops today. She is true supporter of the blog and etsy community and takes the time to feature tips and other artists regularly. Thanks for all that you do, Ruthie!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Blog Carnival: Our first Valentine's Day...

I know I'm working a little in advance here, but we've all been inundated with big, red heart-shaped boxes of candy at the stores since December 26th anyways, so I thought today would be a good day to relive my first Valentine's Day with my hubby as part of etsy Blogger's blog carnival for January 30th.

Our first Valentine's Day together came about a month before our first anniversary of dating. By then, we'd lived together for nearly 10 months (yeah, we moved fast, I know!). We didn't have a lot of money, so we opted to make our own cards to celebrate the occasion. My husband is a talented artist (and I wish he would sketch more often!) and he presented me with this beautiful card, complete with a dreamy colored drawing on the front and a very sweet, handwritten note on the inside. Mine? Well, let's just say that I'm NOT a talented artist. Sure, I can do computer graphics all day long - but drawing is not a talent that I was blessed with. My card had a drawing of the two of us - stick figures to be exact. I tried to make up for my lack of skills by writing an extremely heartfelt note on the inside, but once I saw his card, I was mortified by my own...

Those cards are snugged into our the mirror on our bedroom dresser to this day - a constant reminder of his talent, my lack thereof, and our enduring love :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

O Spring, Spring, Wherefore Art Thou, Spring?

This weather... absolutely insane. I awoke this morning to another 10 inches of snow on my car and quickly made the decision that I would be working from home today. Schools were cancelled for today at 6:00 last night! The snow has stopped for the moment, but now all the news anchors can talk about (besides the Spiderman saves Obama comic book) are the arctic temperatures heading our way. Evidently, it's already 20 degrees warmer in Antartica right now (what the hell?!) and we're supposed to get wind chill temps of -35! So yeah, I'm pretty much done with all this winter crap, and insanely jealous of my friends who were smart enough to move to Arizona (Suck it, Love ya, Robin!)

On a personal note, maybe 2009 really won't suck as bad as 2008 did! My husband just accepted a new job that he starts next week and we've made the decision to move back to my hometown, which puts me closer to my family and work (and into a real house, with a real yard!!!)! I'll be packing over the next six weeks and hoping for unseasonably warm temps during the first week of March for our move!

For all of you suffering through the winter with me, think Spring - maybe if we all do it enough, we can will the weather to change!


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Treasury Feature!

Special thanks to Rhonda from In A Lather for featuring my Spring Fling bracelet in her very first etsy treasury! If you get a chance, please visit the treasury and show it some love. Hurry, it expires on Sunday, January 11th! Rhonda makes yummy artisan soaps and bath products, so be sure to check out her shop while you're there!

Thanks again, Rhonda!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Another Great Giveaway From Sunshine & Lemonade

Kat at Sunshine and Lemonade is wrapping up her Weekend Winners with her best yet - a sort of "greatest hits" giveaway package, including items from each of her Weekend Winner giveaways. Please stop by and check it out here! It's easy to participate - all you have to do is leave some bloggy love in the form of a comment!

All of these great giveaways lately has me pondering - so stay tuned!