Monday, June 21, 2010

Successful Weekend! (and Brief Soapbox)

So, the second birthday party of M'Lou went off well despite all the last minute things that always have to get done (such as buying a big fan since it was insta-sweat hot this weekend).

Here are a couple of pics of her party.
Here M'Lou is enjoying some time in the kiddie pool.

We had a friend make cake balls for her birthday cake.  SUPER yummy!

This is her spiffy new set of wheels.  We're good as long as there are no turns ... our legs aren't long enough to reach the pedals if we have to turn :)

I'll also be putting together my version of the chalk oilcloth tutorial this week.  Here's a sneak peek:

They were a huge hit with the toddler crowd so I thought I'd share what I learned in the process.  I'm thinking about adding them to my Etsy store, but now I have to do research to find out if it would be CPSIA compliant.   Arrrggghhhh!!!  Why is this legislation making every idea I have for kids so difficult?!?!?

On that note, I'll mention that this week is the Handmade Toy Alliance's (HTA's) blog week.  I'm going to climb on my soapbox for just a sec to talk about this.  I promise the rest of the week I'll just feature HTA member businesses :)

The HTA is an alliance of independent toy and children's crafters/manufacturers that have joined together to support each other primarily in response to the CPSIA regulation passed in 2008.  I know I've mentioned CPSIA in a couple of past posts.  If you're not in the industry you're probably not even aware of what this is, so here's a quick summary.

In 2008, Congress passed the CPSIA to regulate the children’s product industry, but this law has had unintended consequences.  It requires ALL children’s products to be tested at a third party testing lab.  AND the way the law reads, that's anything that might be used by a child - try to wrap your head around that one!  The CPSC has made some minor "clarifications" so that not EVERYTHING has to be tested, i.e. plain cotton fabric is now exempt from lead testing ... um ... hello?!? thought it would be obvious that plain cotton wouldn't have lead, but guess not.

Okay, you ask, so what is the big deal?  Don't you think we should protect our children?

Yes! I wholeheartedly agree that we should protect our children! However, the testing that is currently required (and constantly changing) is expensive, not to mention the fact that the testing often requires the destruction of several pieces for a result. For someone like me where I literally hand cut the fabric, sew the pieces on my home machines and then hand stitch on all the faces of my monsters, having them then destroyed (beyond the physical cost) is painful!!

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