Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Please Read

For those of you who love handmade this is a great article written by an etsy seller. Please read.

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
Did you know? If this upsets or alarms you, please react.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Gung Hay Fat Choy

Wishing everyone a Happy Chinese New Year. We were able to celebrate with two different groups of adoptive families on Saturday and Sunday. The girls had a great time and I loved seeing the new little ones who have joined their forever families in the last year. I pray that the process speeds up for all of the families that are waiting for their children.

Monday I went to Jetty's class to do a presentation on China and the Chinese New Year. I was torn about the presentation and thought maybe I didn't want to make Jetty stand out more than her classmates. When I mentioned it to my ever-so-wise husband he told me a story about being in middle school and one of his classmates was Native American. He said they all thought she was a little weird and one day she wore her native dress and performed a dance for the class. After that performance he said that he thought she was really cool. (Keep in mind he is telling me from the perspective of being a kid.)

I am so glad I went to her class. Jetty was so proud and she should be proud of where she was born. I did a presentation last year for her preschool class and I am not sure why I was even hesitant but it won't happen again. There was an incident last week when I went to have lunch with Jetty at her school and I guess that made me want to protect her and that is not always the best answer.

Last week I was waiting in lunch line with her and the little boy behind her said " she has Chinese eyes." I knelt down and explained "yes, she does. We all have different shaped eyes." Thinking that was the end I turned back around to see Jetty staring behind me and then put her head down. I turned around to see the same little boy then pulling his eyes back at a slant and making a funny face. My heart dropped. I am sure this little boy wasn't intentionally being mean but maybe he was. I knelt back down and said that it wasn't appropriate and explained we all have different shaped eyes and different colored skin. How different was good, etc... He did it one more time and a teacher came over and took over as I moved on with Jetty.

I don't look at our girls as different but the reality is they are a minority. Even in a school as diverse as the one Jetty attends she is really a minority. Her class is made up of many Hispanics and African Americans. Even the little boy I spoke about is African American. That night I realized Jetty is 1 of 2 Asians in a school of 450. All I can think about is how you want to teach them to handle that type of situation when you are not there. I don't know how many times he might have been doing that to Jetty and I happened to be there that lunch.

Hopefully the presentation helped to educate. I started off asking who was born outside of Florida and then explained that Jetty was born in China. As an adoptive parent of different ethnicity you hope you are saying the right things.

That night we read one of our favorite books Big Words for Little People by Jamie Lee Curtis. There is a great line "different is never something to hate" (The illustrations also show a diverse family). She looked at me and said "we are a little different and I think we are perfect." I told her that I thought so too and gave her a big cuddle.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Doug brought the girls to the Bike Shop the other day while I was in the studio. The girls are very comfortable there and make themselves at home. When they arrived home Doug showed me the picture on the camera of Jetty holding on to this bike. He then proceeded to tell me the bike was $18,000. "What, are you kidding me and you let her touch it?" I am nervous enough when they are pushing baby strollers around the shop and I know some of the bikes are $5,000. I am so glad I wasn't with them that day in the shop. For that kind of money it should fly or at least guarantee that you win every race.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pretty Little Pots

These are some of the little pots the girls made for Christmas gifts. I ended up keeping these for myself because I love the way the colors all looked together. It is a simple clay technique to teach kids and they are so proud of the outcome. Air-dry clay would work fine and then could be painted with acrylic paint. If you have any access to a kiln the glazes really make the pots beautiful.
Pinch Pot directions:
1. Make the clay into a ball ( about 1/2 dollar size for little hands)
2. Stick your thumb into the middle of the ball (visualize little Black Horner with his plum)
3. While keeping the thumb in the clay, start to thin out the sides by pushing the outside of the ball with your four fingers.
4. Continue around the entire ball to make the sides even.
5. Gently pat the bottom of the pot on the table to flatten out a bottom.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Birthday

Our little baby turned 3 on Friday. Ella is quick to correct me and tell me she is not a baby anymore. My usual response is "You will always be my baby" and give her a kiss on the cheek. She usually then flashes her sweet smile and giggles. She still does seem like a baby to me but I do notice how much she has grown and how her face is changing. She makes the funniest expressions now which I am never able to get on film. Happy Birthday our little Monkey!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The winner is...

It is so cold this morning it is hard for me to get motivated to do anything. I know 41 doesn't sound that cold but when you live in Florida it seems even colder. I am trying to get motivated to ride my bike but I don't see it happening and I don't know how well Ella will tolerate the cold in the bike trailer.

I am happy to announce that the winner of the necklace is Momma Mary. Please stop back again because I plan on having a give-away once a month. I will post the next give-away the first week in February. It might be a handmade kids item or a purse. I hope everyone is staying warm.

Friday, January 9, 2009


I enjoyed the give-away so much last month I thought I would start hosting a monthly give-away. This month will be for a handmade earthenware necklace. The winner gets to pick which necklace they prefer. Both are handmade by me out of earthenware clay and hand-carved stamps. After the bisque firing they are stained with an underglaze and then multiple coats of translucent glaze is applied. The turquoise cross is 18" and the pendant is about 1" with a red glass accent bead. The OM symbol pendant is 2" in diameter and 18" cord.

Just leave a comment to enter. If you have a blog and post a link I will count that as 10 entries. If you don't have a blog please leave contact info in your comment. I will leave the comments open until *Wedenesday at midnight* so check back next week.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. Doug is working and I took the girls to a hot air balloon festival. What a neat experience but I am now exhausted. Accomplishing all the stuff I was suppose to do on the computer tonight will not happen. This will challenge me to work on my New Years resolution of letting stuff go. I can update my shop and answer e-mails later. Right now Murphy is giving me her puppy dog eyes and needing some attention so I am letting go of my to-do list for the night.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

It's Here

The new Stampington Publication is out in the bookstores. Anyone who admires softies should definitely add it to your collection. By the way...there are some cute little birds on page 123 and 128. In all seriousness I am so flattered to be included with such a amazing group of artists.
I will be posting a give-away on Friday. I can't decide if it should be a necklace, another bird, another softie or a purse. Any suggestions??

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Little Bit of Nothing

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. We are just enjoying doing a little bit of nothing. Ignoring the to-do list and just spending time with each other. Jetty goes back to school on Monday and I miss her already. I like our spontaneous days of not setting the alarm and just waking, cuddling and playing together. Our house is begging for a little cleaning to be done and the Christmas tree to come down. Tomorrow will be a day of hiking and a canoe trip and Monday will be a day of cleaning, organizing and refreshing the to-do list. I hope to get the studio organized this week and I plan on posting another give-away this week.
I want to Thank everyone for their nice comments about Hudson. Murphy is getting lots of love from us and is enjoying cuddling on the couch with me after the girls go to sleep. We even bought her an extra bed for our room so she can sleep next to our bed. So much for the bedroom being pet free. The girls still talk about Hudson everyday. The other day Jetty pretended to call Heaven on her play phone and said to us that God said Hudson was doing good and he was throwing the ball for him. Kids are so much more resilient then we think.