Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Here is a post from a fellow Etsy Seller regarding the CPSIA laws, and has requested that as many bloggers as possible post on their blog. So, here it is:

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

And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Yipee!!Lemonade Award!!

Sharon at Magnolia Blossom Art
has nominated me for the Lemonade Award.

Thank you very much, Sharon. I really appreciate it. You are too kind. The Lemonade Award is awarded to sites that show a positive attitude and gratitude. And I am grateful to be considered a part of that group.

Here are the rules for the award:
1.Put the logo on your blog or post
2.Nominate at least 10 blogs that show great Gratitude and/or Attitude.
3.Be sure to list and link your nominees within your post.
4.Let them know they have received this award by leaving a comment on their blog.
5.Nominate your favorites and link to your post.
My Choices for the Award:


I chose these for their great attitudes and because many of them offer so much help and assistance to others like me who are trying to be successful with our internet businesses. They have been successful and are sharing their knowledge with us and that, friends, is Gratitude.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Shameless Plug For Us Little Guys In A Tough Economy

In this current time of economic uncertainty where so many people are losing their jobs due to layoffs and the closings of entire companies and the possibility of rising gas prices ,we are all cutting back on certain luxury items, only purchasing what we need, not what we want or would like to have.
We have seen so many corporate bailouts with probably more to come. It can be pretty frustrating and depressing that is for sure. However, it came to me this morning that, not inspite of the economy, but because of it, that we should still take the time to be good to ourselves and to others. Yes, we need to make sacrifices, and sacrifice is good, good for the character and good for the soul. Still, from time to time, we still need to do something good just to make us feel a little better. I am not talking hedonistic excess, no way! But every so often we need to treat ourselves to that little piece of chocolate or that dinner out. There is still the friend or neighbor who could use a little pick me up, whether you offer to run errands for them, bring over a dinner, or stop by for a visit.

So, here comes my shameless plug. In spite of tough times and probably tougher times ahead, we still need to occasionally treat ourselves to something special or buy that birthday or mother's day gift, or get that invite to the baby or bridal shower. When these things come up, can I make a suggestion? Why don't you check out your local craftsman or artisan? Their work is quality and made with love, not assembled in a sweat shop overseas or by a robot. You will also find that these items of good quality are priced a lot lower, though not always, than what you might find at the big box stores. Either way you will either save money or spend it on something that will last, not fall apart right after the warranty expires.

In this year ahead, help out the little guy, and I mean myself too! and check out some of your local art and craft shows, who knows what deals you may find, and spend your money on a quality gift item for yourself, family member or friend. Check out the online venues of handcrafted goodies like Etsy or Artfire. Do a Google search, there are plenty more out there too. Also, check out your local bead store. Besides supplies, they also sell beautiful, one of a kind pieces of jewelry.

Please forgive my shameless plug. I am not advocating unrestrained spending. I'm just saying that when those things come up in the coming year, when you know you need to get a little something for someone, don't forget us little guys.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Classes, classes, classes!

I have been busy this week taking classes. All jewelry related of course, none involving polymer clay though,sorry. This past Saturday, during a Bead show in Clearwater, Florida, I took a Kumi-himo class taught by Audrey Parramore. Audrey is very talented and an exceptional and patient teacher. Here is a picture of a bracelet I made a couple of days after her class.
I have also begun to take some wire wrapping classes near my home. I will have more to say along with photos at a later date.
Lastly, but not least, I took a riveting class at a local bead store in Tampa. Holly is an excellent teacher and also has a shop on Etsy. Here is a photo of what I have done so far.

I really love copper and enjoyed the riveting. Now I know what it is! I also got to experience using Liver of Sulfur for the first time. Not very pleasant, but it gives a great aged patina on your metalwork. Thanks to all these fine ladies who have been so kind to share their skills and knowledge with me.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year, New Stuff

I sure hope everyone has had a happy and blessed Christmas,Hannukah,Holiday and New Year. And I wish for all of us a safe,joyfilled and prosperous 2009.
I can't believe that it has been a month since I have posted. That's really terrible. But I must say, December and the entire season of Advent was very different for me this year than previous years, and it was probably best that I stayed quiet for awhile.
But I have been busy! I came up with a new polymer clay technique. I took some Ecru and Pearl Premo clay and fully mixed them. Then I added permanent inks directly from the stamp pad in dark green, brown, some rust and a couple other colors, then remixed the clay to incorporate the inks, but not fully mix them in. The result was a kind of stone-like marble effect. I shaped the clay into flat, round lentil shapes, baked to cure them, then sanded with wet/dry sandpaper in 400, 600 and 800 grit (I really need to get 1000 grit and higher!). Then I buffed them to a nice matte sheen with my Dremel and buffing wheel. These little buffers come with their own mandrel so you don't need to screw it on. You can find them here .
One of the necklaces that I made using one of my new polymer clay stones is pictured at the beginning of today's post. Here's another one:

I've also been busy making jewelry with resin beads, beautiful lamp work and glass beads. Here are some of my most recent:

To see more visit my Etsy store
or my new Artfire studio, yes, on Artfire they are called studios, not shops or stores. I will write a little about Artfire on my next post. I just started selling there in the middle of December. Actually, I haven't sold anything there yet, but I'm getting the word out.
Also, I really need to tell you about some wire techniques I have learned. The second to last picture shows it. It is called Ancient Egyptian Spiral and it is so cool. Once you get the hang of it it is not too bad, but it does take a while to complete. I made this one using copper wire and a lovely lamp work bead from SFD Lampwork Design. They do really beautiful work, please check them out. Have a Happy New Year! Until next time, and I promise not to wait a month!