Tuesday, November 11, 2008

How Will the Consumer Product Safety Act 2008 Affect You, the Crafter?

On November 12, 2008 the Mandatory third party testing will go into effect. This act created new product safety requirements that apply to ALL manufacturers, retailers,importers and private labelers who currently or intend on doing business in the United States. These regulations apply to you regardless of form of venue. This means even the crafters.

This will require anyone manufacturing items for children to have a third party test for lead and flammability. It must be a certified accredited laboratory.

One must include certification upon sending a product.

We all want our children safe. This act is for your children, my children and if we want to have grandchildren!

At the same time it is going to effect the smaller businesses such as those on Etsy and other people that make and sell handmade items for children and babies. The testing could cost more than some may make in a year on their product! I hate to think of not seeing the beautiful and creative dolls and stuffed animals that people make and sell, not to mention the adorable baby clothes and those nice little diapers that replace the disposables and keep them out of the landfills.

The act mentioned also bans pthalates. I have no idea what it is exactly but that it is in paints and shampoo and soap products. I have no idea if this will or will not effect the many handmade soap makers.

I wondered, if someone purchases fabric from a company that is certified and they send certification to you and you make a product from this are you then required to obtain additional certification or is the manufacturer of the fabrics good enough.

There are a lot of things to be considered here and I would like to know your opinions about it.

If you handmake any of these products how do you plan to meet this standard? How will it affect your current business and will you be able to continue your business?

For more info on the Consumer Protection Act 2008

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Just having fun!

I love working with wood! I guess this started when I was young and watching my Dad in his wood shop carving things with his lathe. The smell of the freshly sawed wood always brought me into his shop to see what he was making. I was never allowed to work with the lathe as I was just too young.

Now I have my husbands dremel held hostage in my hands!!!! Oh, I love taking the bark off a fallen branch to see what beautiful wood lies beneath!

Today I found a branch, I have no clue what kind of wood it is. I know it has a thin bark and beautiful white soft wood beneath.

I visualize a little gnome home! So, tonight I started stripping the sides and the roof line. I hope I can get a chimmney out of it...not sure what the heck I am doing! I am just gonna go with the flow. Looks like a duck to me! Tonight I have a piece of wood I squared up the base, got the outline for the roof. We'll see where the gnome home goes from here!

Stay tuned to see what happens with it! Hopefully I will be able to make some lil gnome a home when all is said and done!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Talk about Going Green!!!!

Every year I get greeting cards for my birthday, mother's day, Yule etc. I have a collection of them cause I feel guilty about throwing something away that someone has spent hard earned money on. So, I have a huge pile of cards from many years past.

I found a fantastic site today!!!! Gracegraphics.etsy.com has plantable paper and cards!!!! These are made with a paper that is implanted with various wildflower seeds or tree seeds that the person receiving the card can then plant the card and have beautiful wildflowers pop up next spring! What a wonderful way to keep giving and keep us card pack rats from hoarding the cards cause we feel guilty about disposing of them!

I was blown away with the idea that I can send a card this year and it produces lovely live flowers or trees next year to help mother earth, not to mention make my yard look colorful!

I asked Kala of Gracegraphics.etsy.com about planting the cards.

Kala: My papers are wildflower seeded. I suggest waiting until the spring to plant. They can be started in a pot but do much better if planted directly in the garden. It is IMPORTANT that they are well tended until they grow their first set of true leaves (as with all seeds you grow). They need to be kept evenly moist, allowing them to dry out when they are trying to sprout is the best way to kill them off. Other than that . . you tend to them like any other garden plant. The wildflowers are mostly self sowing annuals, as is with most wildflowers, they are not perennials but reseed themselves generously for years.

Seeds included are: Annual Gaillardia, Baby Blue Eyes, Baby’s Breath, Corn Flower, Catchfly, Chinese Houses, White Yarrow, Blue Eyed Grass and Evening Primrose. Our die cut cards contain plains coreopsis, Bird's Eye, Clarkia, Poppy, & Snap Dragon

My paper starts off as 13 x 19 sheets, I keep most of it cut down to 9 x 6 for my cards.

I do have some larger sheets on the shelf.

The full size sheets are $7.00 each, the 9 x 6 are $1.85 each. It runs well through an ink jet print but not through lasers or phasers (they are too hot and will kill the seeds). They also run well through printing presses, I have not tried them with gocco or letterpress systems (but am dying to try).

I want to purchase paper from GraceGraphics.etsy.com just to plant it and see what pops up! For those of you that make cards for resale you definitely need to check it out! Finally a card that keeps on giving!!!