Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Help Save Handmade

I'm not against the CPSIA. I don't think it was a BAD idea to have testing requirements for lead and phthalates in toys and children's items. I have two children of my own and do care about their safety. With the many toy recalls lately this was a solution to a very real problem we are dealing with today.

I don't remember hearing of any of these affected toys being manufactured in the United States. If I remember correctly, these toys were cheaply made and imported from other countries.

This new law affects me as a consumer AND as a seller of children's products. Many others like me, who chose to be home to raise their families rather than placing their children in daycare, who sell items on Etsy and similar websites, consignment shops, bazaars and boutiques, rely on the sales of their HANDMADE goods to pay for groceries, gas, lessons, etc. The COST of the testing to comply with the law is outrageous and unaffordable to the seller and buyer alike.

I would love to know that items in the marketplace intended for the use of children ages 12 and under are safe. I'm sure we have these items made in other countries to save money... but at what cost? Why can't we make these items in the United States? Is it too expensive? Wouldn't you pay just a little more to KNOW that what you are buying is made safely by fellow Americans, under inspection and in compliance with our own laws?

I am hoping for an AMENDMENT to this law. And as somebody who MAKES handmade items, couldn't it be possible for me to walk into a retail store that sells the supplies and materials I use and know that before those items ever made it to their shelves that they were tested and are in compliance with the appropriate testing requirements? Can we not test base products at the manufacturer's level and have certification upon request from the manufacturer? When I take these items home to re-assemble them into my finished product to sell at an affordable price, I would then know and could prove that what I am selling is a child-safe handmade item. As a result of that sale my family will be fed and I won't have to find a job that will just cover the cost of daycare so that I can earn an additional "workplace" income to buy groceries for my family.

Please consider joining in the fight to SAVE HANDMADE.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Meet Grace

This is Grace. She is an example of custom orders I make.

The Valentine's monkey now has a friend to sit with! (She's no longer alone with the Red Heel boys...)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Overflowing with Creative Energy

If only I could have all the hours in the day I need to do all the things I need to do. (I'm sure I'm speaking for all of us here!)

On a much needed outing this this week I found some GREAT socks which became the center of my latest focus: Valentine's Sock Monkeys!
Later to be: Fourth of July Sock Monkeys and Christmas Sock Monkeys. The socks are red, but have the look of "heather" found in red heel socks. Although they don't sport the white and red heels, they are my second favorite style of socks in the Sock Drawers. So far I have ONE monkey made up. Soon, she'll have others of her kind to talk to, but for now she's stuck sitting patiently with the Red Heel boys!
Having a two and four year old in the house (boys!) means only that anything interesting laying around the house is sure to come into their posession. This does not exclude sewing supplies! Last fall I found a great tin which I now keep smaller tins of needles, buttons, thread, and scissors in. The pincushion I had was of a larger sewing box and the boys were CONSTANTLY playing with the pins and removing them and losing them in the carpet! My quick solution was to roll up a nearby piece of felt, tied with a ribbon and yarn, then dropped into the tin. It worked... mostly. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted an actual, small pincushion for my pins and needles! I have a giant crock full of fabric scraps. I consulted the pile. The courderoy (from a pair of pants I had) always speaks out to me... it's always so comforting. And there was this pink wool sweater I recovered from a thrift store... I loved the color and texture of it so much it's been used for SEVERAL projects and it paired up nicely with the brown courderoy. This with a few cute buttons was the start of my latest obsession! I had to make more!
Obviously they had to be Sock Monkey related. I now have them listed in my Etsy shop for purchase.