Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Save Handmade From The CPSIA!


Please do your part to help!

Write, call or email your Senators, Congressmen/women,

the media and the CPSIA.

Don't give up and don't stop fighting! My small business

means EVERYTHING to me!

I will not go down without a fight! has a great resource guide to help

Please support component testing!

Thanks to the Copper Cauldron for this info!

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.”

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 for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law you know? If this upsets or alarms you, please react.

This is not be be taken lightly. It affects everyone not just me.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

CPSIA Outlawed Items

I have a home-based business that is in jeopardy. I design, produce and sell personalised stationery on ebay and my own website. I do everything from general correspondence note cards to thank yous to birthday invitations, party favors, address labels, etc. I offer these services for children and adults. The majority of my business is children.

On February 10th I will no longer be able to sell any products intended for children 12 and under. A law goes into effect from The Consumer Protection Agency and Congress stating that any "product" for children 12 and under must be tested for lead, even if that "product" is made from materials that do not have lead in them.

Now I'm all for children's products being safe. That's why I've always supported the handmade industry instead of plastic toys form China. But this new law has handmade companies shutting their doors because of the high testing costs and fines for non-compliance ($100.000.00 per item). The law is so broad and so unspecific that it borders on the ridiculous! Even resale/thrift shops are being hit by this. They are allowed to sell without testing but if something they sell has lead in it then they are in trouble. But they can't test because it costs too much. Many places in my area are refusing to take children's clothing now.

"Products" referred to by the CPSIA are books, textbooks, bikes, backpacks, cloth baby diapers, dolls, wooden toys and puzzles, baby slings, clothing, hats, jewelry, shoes, stationery, invitations,
party favors, plush toys, barrettes and clippies, baby bibs and much, much more. Basically anything a child would come in contact with is included.

No one wants to break the law, I certainly don't. I'm a decent law abiding citizen and I'm trying desperately to be in compliance with my products. All my suppliers tell me there is no lead in their ink/toner and paper, but since I have to test anyway (prove I'm innocent) I'm trying, but until that time I'll be removing all my younger children's items from my stores.

I heard that one-of-a-kind items are exempt. So I'll still be offering the custom design services I always have unless I hear different.

Below are some of my items that will be outlawed on Feb. 10th.

Children's Birthday Party Invitations

Children's Fold Over Note Cards-Used for Party Thank You's & Correspondence

Fill-in Flat Cards & Regular Flat Cards for Thank You's & Correspondence

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

How Carmelita Helps Me Work

On cold days she hides out in my hoodie while I work. It's the only way I have 2 hands free.

Sometimes she lays on the daybed with a chew bone on her belly. It's a ploy for attention and I usually fall for it cuz it's so otter-like.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Messy Studio

I envy and drool over lovely studios I see on Flickr. Soon I hope to post pretty, lovely pictures of my own studio. But that's not what you're going to see here today.

Behold the mess that is my studio!
(please be kind)

Several people have recently shown their office/studios and said how messy they were. Well I think I have them beat. Craziness reigns here! LOL! Oh everything's piled everywhere! Help! My cork squares keep falling off the wall!

I'm standing on the daybed shooting down so you can see what a mess my desk is. The desk is an old door on an old table base. My cutting station is to the right and is usually the cleanest spot in my studio.

My lovely shelves I recently put up. My stuffed Chihuahua collection is sitting there now and my wooden drawing man.

I have 2 file cabinets with storage and shipping boxes packed inbetween. My trusty laser printer shares space with piles of things. My poor one armed office chair. The right arm broke then fell off. Need to duck tape it on. Isn't that so sad! LOL!

My photo printer sits between the laser printer and my monitor. Usually there are things piled on it, oh yeah just like in this picture.

My main storage shelves. It really hard to get to things on the far right side.

My new shelves I just put up to get stuff off the floor. I have 2 more to hang still. The white boxes hold different size envelopes and ribbons etc for my packaging.
I need to organize!!!!!!


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