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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Treasury Saturday

This week started out slow for treasuries but quickly picked up some pace in the last day! I hope you enjoy them this week (I've been featured in NINE! and I put together THREE!)

Have fun looking!


VickiDianeDesigns Artists of EtsyBABY exposed has been a huge hit! It's been at number 1 of hotness on the main treasury since a few hours after it was created! (I'm pictured with my daughters in the second row, second column) Vicki Diane does an amazing job promoting her 'exposed' treasuries and also a wonderful job at exposing important issues and teams on etsy! Thank you so much!






"Sunglasses Needed" put together by warmnfuzzies and she chose to feature my mother-in-law's Triangle Fun Pillowcase! (third row, second column)



















The "Elegance of Teal" treasury was put together by ThreadedExpresssions and featured my Swirly Wheat Wristlet - Take 2 (fourth row, third column).

















OriginalsbyLauren put 'Warm and Inviting' together and decided to chose my mother-in-law's Rosy Sunrise Quilted Wall Hanging (third row, first column).















My very first quilted ACEO "Seaweed Fish" (second row, first column) was featured in the treasury Quilts on Parade by kimbuktu.










Autumn Branch Wristlet (fourth row, second column) was featured in this gorgeous 'I'm A Bag Lover' Treasury by AudreysCountryCraft.

















This fun 'Bags by Quiltsy' Treasury put together by lmkquilts features my Striped Flower Garden Wristlet - Take 2 (third row, first column).


















Stormy Rainbow Quilt (fourth row, third column) was featured by lmkquilts in 'Bits and Pieces'.



















Looking Forward to Spring was put together by SewUpScale and features by Rainforest Flannel Quilt (third row, third column).




















AND now for some treasuries that I put together this past week! I think I've typically gone the less serious route this week!


PENGUINS for SALE has already made it to the first page of hotness in treasury west...people seem to really think it's cute!

















I NEED A DRINK! featured fun things having to do with wine, martini's, and shot glasses.












I'm Singing the BLUES also did really well on the hotness pages this week. I chose to feature people from all of my different teams...quiltsy, wist, baby and of course a few wonderful ACEO's!






Friday, January 30, 2009

YEAH!

mattEtsy Admin matt says:Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voted unanimously(2-0) to issue a one year stay of enforcement for certain testing and certification requirements for manufacturers and importers of regulated products, including products intended for children 12 years old and younger. These requirements are part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which added certification and testing requirements for all products subject to CPSC standards or bans.
Significant to makers of children’s products, the vote by the Commission provides limited relief from the testing and certification requirements which go into effect on February 10, 2009 for new total lead content limits (600 ppm), phthalates limits for certain products (1000 ppm), and mandatory toy standards, among other things. Manufacturers and importers – large and small – of children’s products will not need to test or certify to these new requirements, but will need to meet the lead and phthalates limits, mandatory toy standards and other requirements.The decision by the Commission gives the staff more time to finalize four proposed rules which could relieve certain materials and products from lead testing and to issue more guidance on when testing is required and how it is to be conducted.The stay will remain in effect until February 10, 2010, at which time a Commission vote will be taken to terminate the stay.
http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6022029 http://www.cpsc.gov/library/foia/foia09/brief/stayenforce.pdf
To unsubscribe from these announcements, login to the forum and uncheck "Receive forum announcements and important notifications by email." in your profile.
You can view the full announcement by following this link:
http://shopetsybaby.com/etsybabyforum/index.php?topic=642.0

Meet Kiki from AlltheNumbers

AlltheNumbers is an amazing store that makes amazing baby items. She is a member of two of the same teams as me: Quiltsy and etsyBABY. I have featured many of her items in my treasuries and now I want to introduce her to you. AlltheNumbers will also be affected by this new law but not until August...she was able to get her hands on an XRF gun for a reasonable price and was able to check for lead in her items.

Tell me a little bit about your background in arts and crafts.
I have always loved making things. I learned to stitch before I could read, using yarn, needle, and the Styrofoam trays that food comes in. I would sit on the counter while my mother made dinner. Growing up I made many of my own clothes, often upcyled from other articles left over from older siblings or my dad. My favorite was a miniskirt made out of neckties. For a while I thought I wanted to make furniture, and I went to the North bennet Street School in Boston for a summer. (You can go there to become a master in making furniture, pianos, or violins.) I took woodworking but it was much harder than I anticipated! I decided I like softer mediums better.

What were the first type of crafts you made?
I made lots of clothes for my cabbage patch dolls as a girl, and sometimes clothes for my barbies as well. I was also more into visual arts as a girl - painting and collage. I went through a phase where I tried to make my own batiks as well. I would not recommend it. I got wax everywhere and ruined my iron!
Is this your only business or do you do other things as well?
This is my full time job. health problems prevent me from working full time outside the home but I have found that I can contribute nicely with my shop!

Do you still dream about making other things? If so, what?
Most of my creative energy goes into thinking up new designs for my quilts. I have one in mind that's more of a landscape with land and sea, a lighthouse and a few sailboats. I am also working on one with matryoshka dolls. Now to just stop everything else so I have time to make it a reality!

How did you hear about Etsy?
Through a friend that I am forever grateful to!!


Any words of advice to others?
Hmm. Taking good pictures is so important. I am still working on this, but items that have crisp clean shots consistently sell more for me. Join a team - it's great for support and for marketing help. *shout out to my quiltsy sisters!* I know renewing does not work as well as it used to but it still helps me tremendously. I renew one item 5 or 6 times a day. What else.... I could not live without my to-do lists. It is the only way I remember everything I have to accomplish. Oh! And give your mail carrier a nice Christmas gift! Mine picks up packages for me on a weekly basis and I try to stay in her good graces. :)

I also want to hear about places you've been featured and how those have helped your business!
I have been featured on a few blogs, which is always fun, but I have gotten the most response from being featured on Daily Candy - a daily email that is sent out to subscribers. I sold 8 dresses and 1 quilt that day! I also get lots of hits from a baby quilt contest I entered on the site http://makebabystuff.com/. (I know because of google analytics - very useful!)
I hope you all take a few minutes to check out Allthenumbers beautiful shop!
Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Favorite Part about Making a Quilt....

I'm going to start mixing things up a bit now. I'll continue to publish interviews with people affected by the CPSIA Law, but I'm going to add some other fun things back into this blog as well.



Today, I'm going to share with you the responses I got from a fun little thread I started on etsy. Feel free to add your own comments in the 'comment' section!



My Favorite Part about Making a Quilt is:



- when I have all of my blocks made and I lay them all out on the floor (design wall) and see how wonderful all the fabrics actually do look together. Plus, I know that I am almost done with the quilt and all that needs to be done is to sew the blocks together... -KimsCraftyApple



- I think free-motion quilting the quilt. it is fun to see how the quilting transforms the piece before my eyes. [My] least favorite is easy (not that you asked) I HATE TO BASTE!!!! - JenSport


- when it comes out of the wash and is done. LOL My least favorite part is basting too! -warmnfuzzies

- picking out the fabrics, but I also love hand sewing the binding on! - sewsillydesigns

- picking out the fabrics, but I also love hand sewing the binding on (because it's the last step)! - dollcloset

- when it's drying, but I do love laying the pieces for the top on the floor! - Quiltfinger

- I've never quilted, but it's one of those "it's almost too huge to contemplate but damn, I'd love to try" creations. - hypho

- appreciating in awe, all of the beautiful work you quilters do! - Serenities [THANKS!]

- definitely the designing! I design as I go usually and it's so much fun. - MoranArtandQuilts

- long arm quilting. My Freedom and I are dancing all over that Quilt and then I stand back and admire the outcome. - QuiltLover

- I'm a very "scrappy" quilter, so every block turns out a bit different. So my favorite part is the surprise of each blocks look! - Bonbonsandmore

- picking out the colors and designing the quilt. - AuntieTam

- the designing. - ForQuiltsSake

- picking the fabrics to go into a new creation. I love fabric and I can never seem to have enough.LOL I usually pick fabrics first and then decide on a design that I think will show them off the best. - QuiltingFrenzy

- I love quilting because its like a puzzle. You take a large piece of fabric, cut it into smaller pieces and sew it all back together again. Its very satisfying. - Jacistuff

- seeing the design in my mind come together in my hands and sewing machine. - Bygail

- I actually like all parts of the process, there honestly isn't a part I don't like. - kimbuktu

- Watching the pieces come together makes me happy. - kimonomomo

- Picking out the fabrics is #1, whether in the store, on line, or just going through my stash to see what's next. - KristinsQuilts

- I love putting the binding on, hanging the quilt on the quilt rack and enjoy looking at it. - QuiltingGranny

- The quilting is my favorite part, though I do enjoy the designing as well. Basting is also what I like the least, but I enjoy each aspect as it evolves! - Serenstitches

- I love to see it take shape on the design wall. It always is exciting to see it develop. And giving it away or having it go to someone who appreciates all the time and work and love that went into it. I feel like a piece of myself goes to live with each quilt. - UniquelyNancy

- drawing the design, picking out the fabrics and putting it all together, I love all the steps involved in quilting especially free motion quilting....except for the dreaded basting....I use water soluble thread but basting is still my least favorite part. - LashonneAbelDesigns

- sewing on the binding by hand. I love to have the quilt wrapped around my feet and legs, and I know it is almost done! If it's a quilt I am keeping or giving to a family member, I like to sleep under it one night, sort of like a Christening. Ya, weird, I know...but then I think it's a quilt. (I don't sleep under the ones I'm selling!) - NeedleLove2

- Even though I mainly do simple rag quilts - I love putting fabric together. I love playing with color. My least favorite part of the rag process is when I shake them out after they have been washed. There is lint everywhere. I shake them off on my backyard deck. Lint everywhere.The absolute best part though has to be when I have sold one at a show to a little kid and the look on their precious face as they embrace their new blankie. Nothing better than that look. - 2CraftyChix

- I'm working on my first quilt. i think my favorite part so far was picking out the fabrics. Laying them out to see how i should arrange the squares was fun too. I think I have to frog part of it though because I messed up a part of it...so it won't be done for some time. -glyphic

- It's a toss up. I love to design a quilt but then I LOVE to long arm. All I do is free motion and it's so fun to draw with thread! - DragonflyStitches

- When I hear from my 4year old son "oh that's for me??? I love your quilt and I want to put on my bed!!" :) - withhugsandstitches

- So many! Designing, picking out what I am using in my art quilts and doing the handwork on it.... - DebiDesigns

- I enjoy most all steps in the process, but I REALLY love to sling paint at white fabric, scrunch, salt, or otherwise manipulate it and watch what happens as it dries :) After that, seeing what comes from putting things all together is lots of fun, too. I pretty much never plan things too much... - AndrusGardenQuilts

- piecing, my least favorite is basting the layers together. I also enjoy hand quilting. - OriginalsbyLauren

- the planning- picking out the fabrics, etc...and I love to piece it- to see it come together.my least favorite part is the basting- many a quilt has sat, off to the side waiting to be basted and quilted because some new fabric has me excited to start a new quilt! -LagunaLane

I hope you enjoyed hearing every one's 'favorites' and please feel free to comment with a favorite of your own!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009

BLOG IN - SAVE HANDMADE!

Please read this article to learn about the TRUTH and REALITY of the CPSIA's new law!

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
http://www.wo.ala.org/districtdispatch/?p=1322

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.”
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123189645948879745.html

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
http://www.forbes.com/2009/01/16/cpsia-safety-toys-oped-cx_wo_0116olson.html

And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law
http://www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/cpsia.html

Did you know? If this upsets or alarms you, please react.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009

An Interview with Nancy from TuTuCuteandMoore

Do you really not want to be able to buy your child/granddaughter/niece/friend an adorable handmade tutu from TUTUCUTEANDMOORE? SAVE HANDMADE!
Tell me a little bit about your background in arts and crafts.
I grew up watching my mother sew and run a small business with her creations. She taught me patience, as well as giving me the freedom to make messes and jam her sewing machine hundreds of times! I received a degree in Family & Consumer Science, formerly home economics, so I've always enjoyed creating and teaching the arts to my former students.


When did you first start creating things?
When I was old enough to thread a needle!


What were the first things you created? and how did your creativity progress from there?
Clothing, curtains, pillows, recovering furniture, Barbie Doll clothes, then I was off to children/baby creations. I started Tutu Cute & Moore in 2001, when I was approached by a children's boutique to create a line of tutus for her new shop, which I'm still selling to.

Is this your only business or do you do other things as well?
I retired, after 35 years of teaching Family & Consumer Science to high school and middle school students. I was ready to retire from teaching, but not ready to retire from life, so I've continued with my sales to retail children's boutiques, opened my Etsy shop and I'm now teaching a YogaStretch class, which is wonderful.

Do you still dream about making other things? If so, what? I don't spend time dreaming, as I'm making exactly what I love to make...beautiful flower filled tutus, sweet tooth fairy pillows, fun birthday party hats and personalized onesies and more! Also, I'm adding a new line of personalized handpainted birthday placemats, as well as, a party animal line. How could you not enjoy doing this?

How did you hear about Etsy?
A friend had opened a shop and thought I would also be interested.

Any words of advice to others?
It's been said many times before, but, do what you love and everything seems to fall into place.

How will the new law by CPSIA affect you and your shop? My motto is: things turn out best for those who make the best of how things turn out. I'm an eternal optimist, so I'll deal with what ever happens. However, it would be an incredible loss to our country if handmade shops were closed!
Monday, January 26, 2009

An Interview with Hilda from WarmandFuzzyBaby UPDATED 2/22/10

Time to meet Hilda from WarmandFuzzyBaby...yet another adorable shop about to basically be closed down if something doesn't change...

Tell me a little bit about your background in arts and crafts.
I am a stay at home mom. I was a critical care nurse who started selling on Etsy after rediscovering crocheting. I`ve seen my mom crocheting my whole life and took an interest in it since I was a little girl. She also taught me how to sew yo yo`s at the age of four which has also become a lifelong joy. Sewing that is.
When did you first start creating things?
I started at the age of four.
What were the first things you created? and how did your creativity progress from there?
I started making yo yo`s using inexpensive fabric and a yarn needle. I found it amazing. Crocheting was a way of amusing myself until the past two years. I have also started to make crochet patterns like crazy!
Is this your only business or do you do other things as well?
This is my only business. other than being a stay at home mom!
Do you still dream about making other things? If so, what?
I love making many many things Like: hairbows, sewing, ATC`s ACEO`S, card making, tags, the list is endless and I would need 42 hours a day just on Etsy if I wanted to sell any of it.
How did you hear about Etsy?
A friend found it looking for a pattern.
Any words of advice to others?
Never give up on your dreams. Never stop creating and being supportive because that will be your artistic legacy. It is a powerful lesson to teach your children.
How will the new law by CPSIA affect you and your shop?
I will not be able to sell any of my handmade items since they were geared to kids under 12. I will have to sell only patterns leaving me short.

Unfortunately Hilda has found that she needs to put her family first and has decided to close her shop. Updated 2/22/10
Sunday, January 25, 2009

An Interview with ME! (KimsCraftyApple)

For the past week or so I've been doing interviews with shops that are going to be affected by the CPSIA Law starting on February 10th, 2009. Turns out...my shop is also going to be affected so I thought I would do an interview with myself so you can see what will be missing from my shop in a few short weeks...
Please be forewarned...I tend to ramble :)

Tell me a little bit about your background in arts and crafts. When did you first start creating things? What were the first things you created? and how did your creativity progress from there?
I have been creating things for as long as I can remember. My Grandma Landwehr still tells the story of the quilt I made my brother for his birthday when my parents were house hunting in Wisconsin. I took my mom's rag bin and hand stitched it together...it even included one of those furry toilet seat covers! Once I started school I LOVED art! I was lucky enough to be chosen in second grade to help paint a mural on a wall across from the library in the elementary school. I continued to take as many art classes that were available to me...I even got to make Ukrainian Eggs in third grade!
My middle school art teacher (THANKS Mrs. Pemberton!) told my dad that he should buy me whatever supplies I asked for because I would put them to good use...and he did. My dad has been very supportive and encouraging in all that I try to create...if it weren't for him I don't think I would be where I am today.
My High School offered some great art programs as well and when I could fit it into my schedule I took them...including Jewelry and Jewelry I.
I was only able to take one art class in college because for some reason art classes do not count toward a degree in Engineering and Madison (I honestly think that is ridiculous). I took a 2D-Design class that was pretty neat. I also was able to take a pottery class at a shop in Willy Street in Madison when I was doing my coop one semester.
Other than the classes I've taken I have just always been creating things. In college, when a strap on a girls tank top would rip off they would have me sew it up, or if we were at a party, sometimes we would just create a halter top! A good friend of mine was always having me make necklaces and things for his girlfriends :) It was fun being the one that could help people out and fix things.
When I met my boyfriend's (now husband) family, I discovered that his mom was also very crafty. I remember walking into her house for the first time, looking around and thinking, "This woman is going to like me." And she does! They let me sell my jewelry in there road side apple store and it has grown from there. Once she saw that her son and I were serious she offered to teach me to quilt (the easier way at least). We would go over every Tuesday night and I would sew on her machine and she would make us an amazing dinner. The following Christmas, my parents got me my own machine...one of the best gifts ever!
My mother-in-law also dyes fabric 100% cotton fabric with fiber reactive Procion dyes for quilters. This means that the color that you are seeing is the color that it is going to stay…it will not wash out. I fell in love with this after my first lesson...it was just so fun to start out with a boring piece of white fabric and making it so unique and gorgeous! I thought...hey, this would be fun to do with onesies! And things have just grown from there. I actually will be running a hand-dying workshop shop this June (more details to come soon on http://www.quiltsbybarb.com/)
Is this your only business or do you do other things as well?
For about 9 months of the year I stay home and raise my adorable baby girls (15 mo apart). The other 3 months of the year I help run an apple store. My family and I own and operate an orchard in Wisconsin (http://www.lapaceksorchard.com/ and http://www.lapaceksorchard.blogspot.com/). I do sell my crafts and art at the apple store (surprisingly well), at craft sales, and a few shops in downtown Poynette, WI.
Do you still dream about making other things? If so, what?
ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS! My mind is always seeing something and trying to figure out how to make something amazing with it. My husband can tell when I haven't been in my workroom for awhile because I'm cranky and he'll say, "Just go downstairs and make something!" I also have to keep a sketch book by my bed because I'm always having new ideas while I'm sleeping.
How did you hear about Etsy?
On Martha Steward right after I had my second daughter. I opened my store five days after she was born (yes, I'm a little crazy).
Any words of advice to others?
Remember that you have to spend time promoting and talking to others. Unless your product is absolutely amazing or you get extremely lucky it's not going to sell itself. Be patient and it will happen (at least I hope so :))
How will the new law by CPSIA affect you and your shop?
I sell a variety of things in my shop but the most items that I have are my hand-dyed onesies and outfits. I will technically no longer be able to sell these on February 10th.
Saturday, January 24, 2009

TREASURY Saturday!

Yup! It's Saturday again and even though I'm featuring etsy artists' that will be affected by this CPSIA Law, I'm still going to show off the treasuries that I either made or my items made it into!
ENJOY!

This beautiful treasury was put together by sewciopath and was called "Danger to Society." It was to emphasize that this CPSIA Law is ridiculous and does someone really think these are 'dangerous'? She chose to use my Rainforest Flannel Quilt (bottom row, middle column)









"Winter Have you Burnt Out?" was put together by eclectibles
She featured my Swirling Oranges wristlet (shown on the first column, second row).









"Spark of Color" was put together by UniquelyNancy. I was really excited to see that she chose to use my Blossom Beautiful ACEO! It's the first time an ACEO of mine has been featured in a treasury.











'Quiltsy Baby' was put together by Dragonflystitches. She featured my mother-in-law's Rainforest Pillowcase (third column, third row).










This beautiful "Pieced Warmth" treasury was put together by lmkquilts. My Mystery World quilt is featured in the first row, second column.











'Spring is coming' was put together by Jacistuff and my Sunrise Curtain quilt is featured (second row, second column).








These next two treasuries are one's that I put together...

I called this one "Red Hot etsyBABY" and featured many artists that are going to be affected by the CPSIA Law.











This one I called "Cherry....Blossoms". I found some amazing cherry blossom items and featured them here.
If anyone wants any details on how to find any of these items and their creators...please just ask!

I hope you enjoyed this weeks Treasury Feature!

An Interview with Renee of TadpoleCreations

I'm sticking to the same theme...another store, Tadpole Creations to be affected by the CPSIA Law....

Tell me a little bit about your background in arts and crafts.


A child of the seventies, the daughter of a ceramist and woodworker turned into successful interior designers. Fast forward 30 years, I am the mother of 3 growing kids, a former elementary art teacher turned decorative painter. I specialize in painting art and murals for children’s rooms. Since I was a small child, I have always sewn for pleasure. Tadpolecreations was begun to satisfy my need to paint with fabric.





When did you first start creating things?


My parents have tape deck recording of myself as a two year old asking Santa for a sewing machine. My mother would let my older sister and I work with clay in her studio. My high school graduation gift was a sewing machine.

What were the first things you created? and how did your creativity progress from there?I have always had a gift for creating big messes. Still do to this day. I look at every past creative experience in my life as teaching me something about how to approach future challenges. Even my biggest challenges have provided invaluable gems of wisdom to learn from.

Is this your only business or do you do other things as well?I have 2 other online stores that I sell my custom hand painted wall hangings for babies and children http://hotchpotch.etsy.com/ and http://stores.ebay.com/Art-for-Baby-and-Kids. My original art is also sold via a select number of online boutiques.





Do you still dream about making other things? If so, what?

Oh yes, but one of the wonderful things about selling custom work is that the design challenges I take on satisfy the artistic desire to create. I am happy to attempt to balance the challenges of running a full time business with the daily household needs of raising a family.
How did you hear about Etsy?

A fellow seller suggested I try selling my items on Etsy. It was best advice I have ever received!


Any words of advice to others?

Provide a range of low, mid, and higher cost products.If a product is too time consuming to create, no matter how fabulous it is. Either charge what it is worth, change how you make it so it is more profitable, or stop selling it. Protect your copyrights and trademarks vigorously. I am married to an intellectual property attorney. Provide excellent customer service. Take good photo’s.
How will the new law by CPSIA affect you and your shop?

That largely depends upon whether exemptions will be granted. As the law stands now, I may no longer be able to sell clothing and items for babies and children. I will still be able to sell my art with certain limitations and restrictions.
Friday, January 23, 2009

Ban on BOOKS for kids under 12 AND BAN kids under 12 from our LIBRARIES!?!?!?

This is INSANE!

from http://www.wo.ala.org/districtdispatch/?p=1573

January 22nd, 2009 Category: Government Information

WASHINGTON, D.C. –

The American Library Association (ALA) today expressed dissatisfaction with a public meeting held by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to discuss the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) and whether the law, which requires children’s products to undergo stringent testing for lead, should apply to ordinary, paper-based children’s books.

Under the current opinion issued by the General Counsel of the CPSC, the law would apply to books for children under the age of 12; therefore, public, school, academic and museum libraries would be required to either remove all their children’s books or ban all children under 12 from visiting the facilities as of February 10.

During the meeting, members of a panel including representatives of the American Association of Publishers (AAP) as well as major book publishers and ink manufacturers, addressed questions raised by the CPSC rulemaking committee regarding the testing procedures and methodologies currently exercised in the production of an ordinary book.

The panel presented a collection of data reinforcing their position that ordinary books pose no inherent threat. This information can be viewed here. Though the CPSC acknowledged that the current deadlines are unrealistic and potentially damaging, the General Counsel gave no clear indication as to when an official ruling would be made and could offer no definite direction to libraries at this point.

“It is completely irresponsible and unacceptable for the CPSC to continue to leave this matter unresolved with the February 10th deadline drawing closer each day,” ALA President Jim Rettig said.

“It is apparent that the CPSC does not fully understand the ramifications this law will have for libraries – and for children – if libraries are not granted an exemption. At this point, we are advising libraries not to take drastic action, such as removing or destroying books, as we continue to hope this matter will be rectified and that the attention will be paid to the products that pose a true threat to children. However, we find it disappointing and shameful that a government agency would continue to leave this matter unsettled when clearly the outcome would virtually shut down our nation’s school and public libraries.”

Great Blog Resources for the New CPSIA Law:

From BuggaLove:

The Cost of Compliance with CPSIA:
http://buggalove.blogspot.com/2009/01/cost-of-compliance-with-cpsia.html
The Cost of Compliance with CPSIA Volume 2:
http://buggalove.blogspot.com/2009/01/cost-of-compliance-with-cpsia-volume-2.html

The blog 'What Shoes I Wear' just posted a summary of what happened at an etsy meeting this afternoon about the CPSIA laws coming into effect. I strongly recommend you reading it and looking at her links!

http://whatshoesiwear.blogspot.com/2009/01/my-notes-on-meeting-with-etsy-admin.html

An Interview with AmyRoseDesigns

And yet another interview with another super cute shop that will be affected by the CPSIA law...I'm pleased to introduce you to AmyRoseDesigns:

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Tell me a little bit about your background in arts and crafts.

I don’t have any formal training in the arts, but as far back as I can remember I’ve always been creative. I took every art class I could get my hands on in Junior and Senior High School, including architectural drafting! If I thought it was cool… I wanted to learn how to do it. My biggest teacher was my mother. As a child, I had watched my mother paint, bake, sew, cross stitch, and garden, to name a few of her talents. In fact all of my family’s childhood birthday cakes were always made by my mother, but they looked store made. She had sewn a lot of my clothing when I was a child. So, she was and still is my inspiration to always try something new and do it well.

When did you first start creating things?

From birth! Well, okay from the age of five. If there was something to be made or done, I did it. I was very imaginative as a child. I used to play with my brother, Michael, and his Hot Wheels cars when I was young. I didn’t just play with his car’s, I designed a whole town with houses, shopping malls, parks, fire stations, all with driveways and bushes, to make it realistic. I wanted to drive my cars in a “hip” looking neighborhood! My brother and I did backyard shows for the neighborhood kids and charged admission. I wrote the skits and put together the costumes. So, I could definitely say I was creative from a very young age.

What were the first things you created? and how did your creativity progress from there?

The first thing that I consider creating, by hand, is a pink, crocheted, “Tube” top for my Barbie doll. My Grandmother had taught me to crochet. I come from a line of creative women. She was creative until she was in her 70’s. She had a stroke that disabled her from continuing. But, yeah, a pink tube top was my first creation!

Is this your only business or do you do other things as well?

For now, Etsy is my only business. I did Ebay, but it didn’t really fill the niche for me like Etsy does. Etsy is on a whole different level. Prior to Etsy I was a private school teacher for 18 years. I started taking classes towards my teaching certificate in High School. Teaching was tiring, but the personal connection with the children was priceless. The connection and seeing their faces in wonderment when they learned something new is what drove me to be a teacher.



Do you still dream about making other things? If so, what?

YES! The feeling of getting what you see or design yourself to completion is such a rush. I feel so empowered and proud of myself. I really want to attempt a full crib set. The quilt, bumper pads… ALL of it! It looks like it would be a big task, so I have to be ready to do it.

How did you hear about Etsy?

My niece, Melissa, turned me onto Etsy. I think she found the site through a search engine.

Any words of advice for others?

Whatever you create do it to the best of your abilities. Don’t sell anything you wouldn’t want to own yourself! Be fair with your pricing, shipping and give good customer service. If you say you’ll have done by Tuesday have it done by Monday!

How will the new law by CPSIA affect you and your shop?

A very big question! My goal is to stay open. I have a plan to alter my goods in another direction, so I can continue to do what I love until they amend this stupid law.
Thursday, January 22, 2009

An Interview with PammyDawn




Another interview with a great shop, PammyDawn, that will be affected by the CPSIA Law...




Tell me a little bit about your background in arts and crafts.
Creating has always been a source of satisfaction for me. My mother and grandmother were crafters, and I grew up sewing, sketching, painting, and generally making fabulous messes! I originally intended to study graphic design, but after two years in the program, I changed directions, and ended up with a degree in Art History. Currently, I teach 2nd grade part time, and spend my days off with my two-year-old daughter, and during the spare snippets of time I craft.

When did you first start creating things?
Oh, I don’t even remember. It seems like I’ve been creating something or another since I was old enough to hold a pencil.

What were the first things you created? and how did your creativity progress from there?When I was younger, I sewed a lot. I made my own prom dresses, and in college I worked in the theater department, sewing costumes for theater productions. After I got married, I didn’t make much time for sewing, but I became interested in stained glass. I have a little stained glass studio in my garage that has a layer of dust on it (unfortunately). I let it go dormant when I was pregnant because of the lead involved, and I keep meaning to work on it again.... perhaps when my children’s line goes belly-up after February 10th (compliance date for the CPSIA) I’ll go back out there. But back to the topic: after I became pregnant with my daughter, I went into a crafting frenzy making things for her room. And after she was born with a full head of hair, I starting looking at hair clips in boutiques. I thought, I can make those! I started out with little bow clips, and got rather bored, creativity-wise. I started sketching little animals and things to make into clips, and things just sort of progressed from there. I get really excited when someone requests a custom item because I get to sketch a new idea and bring it to fruition.
Is this your only business or do you do other things as well?
I teach 2nd grade part-time, and this is my creative outlet. It’s a bonus really that my need to craft can also bring in a little extra spending money for our family!
Do you still dream about making other things? If so, what?
Yes, I envision new things all the time, but the problem is finding the time to plan and implement. Plus, the trick is coming up with something in which the market isn’t already flooded!
How did you hear about Etsy?
My cousin started selling scrapbooking things on Etsy, and I just happened to check them out from her blog. I fell in love with the site, and decided to start my own shop last March.
Any words of advice to others?
Research! Check out other things that are doing well. And I don’t mean copy others, I mean look at the REASON things are thriving. How are others marketing? How are the items presented? I’m still working on making my own shop the presentation that I’d like it to be, but it is a work in progress!
How will the new law by CPSIA affect you and your shop?
The CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act), as it is currently written, will definitely change the direction of my crafting business. My main focus has been creative and unique hair clips for children, which under the CPSIA, would be required to undergo costly lead/phthalates tests. I cannot possibly afford to comply, so my plan is to remove the option of hair clips, and only make pins/brooches for women. I’m saddened by this because the majority of my clients have come to me for hair clips, so I’m expecting a huge dip in sales.I’m hopeful that the CPSC will clarify the law, and perhaps make exemptions for micro-businesses, like mine. Even amending to allow for component testing, while still costly, may allow me to continue.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009

One More Interview Today - Meet GoldtoneDesigns!

I'm doing two interviews today because I'm pretty sure I won't be able to post one tomorrow and I want to keep the momentum going...another wonderful shop we're endanger of losing...GoldtoneDesigns...

Tell me a little bit about your background in arts and crafts.
I was not interested in crafts, I'm sorry to say, until I saw a quilt in the local boutique and thought, "Hey! I can make that!" LOL (I have a tendency to start big!) I didn't know how to use a sewing machine at that time. Yep, I failed Home Economics in H.S.!!!

When did you first start creating things?
In 2001.

What were the first things you created? and how did your creativity progress from there?
Our newborn daughter was the inspiration to design a feeding pillow. The store bought pillows were too hard and I really wanted my baby girl to feel like she was laying on a cloud. The infant neck pillow was designed out of necessity to support our daughters neck from falling to one side, in the car seat.




Is this your only business or do you do other things as well?
Yes, this is my only business besides being a full time stay at home mom.

Do you still dream about making other things? If so, what?
►I dream of making a unique product line of luxurious toys and quilts for baby and children.

How did you hear about Etsy?
I read about Etsy in June of 2007 in TIME magazine.

Any words of advice to others?
Do not give up your dream of turning your love for handmade into a successful business.

How will the new law by CPSIA affect you and your shop?
I believe in a short amount of time, this will be amended. But in the meantime, I will continue to design products for baby & children

An Interview with BabyCheeks and The Trendy Tot

Yet another interview with a wonderful shop endanger of closing because of the new law....BABYCHEEKS and The Trendy Tot...

Tell me a little bit about your background in arts and crafts.

I come from a long line of crafty and artistic people. My mom is a successful interior designer, my sister is an art director at a big ad agency and my grandmother was an amazing seamstress. Like them, I’ve never met a craft that I didn’t like. While I guess you could say I’m a “late bloomer” when it comes to sewing, I’ve always enjoyed and loved all things artistic and crafty, from painting and graphic design to woodworking and sculpting.

When did you first start creating things?

I started sewing not long after my daughter was born. I wanted to dress her in the fun and trendy things that I saw in the high end boutiques, but since I was no longer working full time, the income to buy all those things just wasn’t there anymore. So I said to myself, “how hard can these things be to make?” Famous last words! I bought a book on how to sew, a sewing machine, some designer fabric and a pattern and the rest is history. My husband thought I was crazy, but my mom knew it was “in the blood” and she was right.

What were the first things you created? and how did your creativity progress from there?

Actually, one of the very first things I ever sewed (after I learned how to thread the machine) was a pinafore dress and a pair of those Robeez-like baby shoes, complete with leather soles for my daughter. People at my daughter’s daycare saw the dresses I made and asked if I would make them for their kids. Dresses evolved into other, easier-to-make baby products like burp clothes, bibs, binky clips and blankets. Before I knew it, a business was born and I had two shops on etsy!

Is this your only business or do you do other things as well?

I have two on-line shops: babycheeks which focuses on fun and fashionable accessories for baby including bibs, burp clothes, binky clips, changing pads and blankies, and The Trendy Tot which focuses on fun, modern dresses and apparel for toddlers and preschoolers. In addition to the two shops, I am a self-employed, part time consumer products marketing consultant and I help my husband with his law practice. I also have two children that keep me very busy—my five year-old and chief creative consultant for the Trendy Tot boy’s line and my mischievous 19-month daughter and primary baby model.
Do you still dream about making other things? If so, what?
Everyday! Since I’ve dropped down to working part time I’ve been going through a “crafty renaissance” of sorts. For so long I have ignored the artistic side of me and focused on my career in business and marketing. Now I feel like I can’t do enough crafty projects! It’s like a faucet that I can’t seem to turn off. Years of pent-up artistic energy exploding all over the place. I want to take a knitting class and learn how to knit. I’m fascinated with felting and all things felt and embroidery. Since I am a self-taught seamstress, I would like to take a sewing class to learn some tricks and techniques from the pros. Finally, I’m dying to resurrect my woodworking skills. I really want to make my daughter a doll house that looks like our house.
How did you hear about Etsy?
I found etsy in December of 2007 when I was looking for a soft, first baby doll for my little girl. I found BitofWhimsy through a search engine, saw her dolls and HAD to have one!
Any words of advice to others?
Since my background is in consumer products marketing, most of my advice centers around marketing:(1) Know Your Target Audience – This is a big one! Decide who your target consumer is and learn all about them. Everything starts here! You can’t design a product or advertise until you know who your target is and what their lifestyle, dreams and shopping habits are. For me, my target audience is gift givers and trendy moms looking for fashion-forward, unique baby items without paying trendy, brick-and-mortar baby boutique prices. That means only a small fraction of my consumers are on etsy, the rest of them have to be lead there.(2) Promotions and Coupons – Promotions and coupons are good, but they are only effective if people know about them. Advertise your promotions where you know your target audience will be. Make sure you have clear instructions on how to use them, state all exclusions (like shipping and taxes) and most importantly, have an expiration date.
How will the new law by CPSIA affect you and your shop?
Like many others, I will most likely go out of business if something isn’t done. Would you want to by a $2500 bib? Me neither, but that is what I would have to charge to cover the costs for lead and phthalate testing. In the meantime, I try to stay positive that this law will change and do everything I can to make that possible. I’m not going down without a fight!
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