There's been a definite lull in the action today so I'm going to post something from yesterday.
Oh friends. I'm so ashamed. I ventured out tonight with the intent to find insul-bright somewhere in the Minneapolis metro area. I ended up at a big-box-chain fabric store. Mind you I had already tried several stores including 3 independently owned, under 2000 sf. shops. I tried Crafty Planet, Cia's, and my favorite Mom & Pop shop and I have way too may ants in my pants to order online. I ended up at....well, let's just call it Store H.
We're all for strengthening the safety standards of mass-produced toys, clothes, and accessories made in China, and banning toxins like phthalates and lead. But this year, congress passed the ill-conceived Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act, a law which goes into effect in two months and will absolutely decimate the small toy manufacturers, independent artisans, and crafters who have already earned the public trust.
With this act going into effect February 10 2009 so many people we love will be affected: Moms who sew beautiful handmade waldorf dolls out of home, artists who have spent decades hand-carving trucks and cars out of natural woods, that guy at the craft show who sold you the cute handmade puzzle--even larger US companies who employ local workers and have not once had any sort of safety issue will no longer be able to sell their goods. Not without investing tens of thousands of dollars into third-party testing and labeling, just to prove that toys that never had a single toxic chemical in them still don't have a single toxic chemical in them.
How to Get Involved -- it only takes 5 minutes of your time!
-Find your congress person and senators and write a letter like the sample here.Particularly if they serve on the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection or theHouse Committee on Small Business.
-Send an email directly to the CPSC or contact chairperson Nancy Nord at 301-504-7923
-Vote for amending the law on Change.org, digg style: We are currently one of 90 finalists, and if it makes the top ten proposals, it will be presented to President Obama in January!
-Place the Save Handmade! button on your blog or website to help spread the word to everyone you know who cares about protecting the little guy and preserving beautiful items made with love for our children.
Although we've barely reached above-zero temperatures this week, I am very thankful for the sunny days that have put a noticeable dent in my cabin fever. As you may well know, my studio is heated by a small wood stove. Now, you would think that I would tightly bundle up once a week and bring in an adequate supply of chunks & kindling. No. Instead, I choose to fetch the wood as I need it...once every 2 hours. Nothing says 'good morning' like a brisk trip outside in your pajamas pants and winter boots.
Also today, I got a surprise from my favorite sister-in-law, Gretchen. She dropped of a proto-type for a cat bed/house. Gretch took up the project and came up with a very much appreciated Cat-Cocoon (*Beta version).
I broke free from my sewing machine today to crank out a few things I've been mulling for quite awhile. This 'Walk in the Park' coaster series is made up of five 4" x 4" coaster and when arranged, form a complete map of Central Park.
How hard can a zippered pouch possibly be to make? That's what I thought until I started thinking through the process yesterday. Luckily, I found my fellow Minneapolis-ite Anna, over at twelve22.org has posted well-photographed and easy to pick up instructions on her blog. Find them here. Thank you!
I've been working fairly non-stop the last 30 hours (minus a few for sleep and snacks) on data entry for a new website for my favorite Mom and Pop fabric store. As a matter of full disclosure I should probably tell you that it's my favorite Mom and Pop because it belongs to my ACTUAL Mom and Pop. It is an endless (but not thankless) task of entering in item numbers, sizes, images, etc. to all our favorite fabrics. So far I'm through the A's and B's, which are big ones considering Benartex falls in there. I will have reached a point of substantial completion after I get through Moda.