Tuesday, January 27, 2009


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

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.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ten Thousand Dollar Toys

There is a video game called "De Blob" - my son loves it, the premise of the game is that this imaginary world gets invaded by the evil "Inkies" who come down & steal all the colors. They suck up each color up in little "ink-bots" & the city is drab & gray. Until the hero of the game, the Blob - who conveniently enough is a blob of PAINT, comes to reclaim & repaint the city. He smashes the ink-bots, absorbs their color & off he goes to re-color the city & its inhabitants. Now, I am not here to promote this delightful game, but as I watched my son play this, I was horribly reminded of the Consumer Product Safety Commission - they are the INKIES!!! They have descended upon us/me with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act to suck out all the colorful, fun & handmade toys from our world.

I want to introduce you to my new "Spring Line" of play food that will debut on Feb 10th if the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act is unchanged. This is a CPSIA-compliant set of fruit - made of course with UN-dyed, UN-treated organic cotton. Doesn't it look like FUN? Kids can just imagine the beautiful colors while they play Chef, Tea Party & Dress up. Order yours today!
Another seller on etsy.com, thetangledwoods fabulous item "ball of wool" is one of my new favorites!
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=19984444 .
These two toys are examples of the future of handmade toys available on etsy & at your nearest boutique.

Or if your blood is a little richer, you can purchase my Ham Sandwich Lunch set which has been unchanged, but due to exorbitant testing fees to make toys CPSIA-compliant, costs a mere $10,080. Yes you read it right that IS the cost for this Lunch Set. The new CPSIA law that will go into effect Feb. 10, 2009 will require that each store selling products for children under the age of 12 test each product in our shops for lead.

Each component will cost $70 and this Lunch Set has 24 components - 14 colors of felt, 8 colors of thread, poly fill stuffing & foam - each needing to be tested making the charge $1680. Add in the additional $350 per component for phthalates testing and that adds another $8400 making this Lunch Set that originally cost $35 to the grand total of $10080.00!!! Maybe Bill Gates can afford this toy?

So, my question is, where is our "Blob?" Who is going to come & color our world back to the beautiful fun place it used to be? If something is not done soon, if our voices are not heard this will be the future of our children's playtime as brilliantly illustrated by MiniMonster: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=sr_list_1&listing_id=20057955

I hope for all our sakes that this law can be changed.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Feasting International

Inspired by a special request, I am pleased to introduce a new item to my shop straight from the BugBites kitchens - Greek Pita & Hummus Sandwiches!

These have long been a favorite of mine & I am surprised it has taken me this long to think of making this food in felt. This pocket sandwich comes with all the traditional fillings - Hummus (or Falafel if you really want traditional), Lettuce, Tomato & Cucumber slices - all of which fit neatly inside the Pita Bread pocket. Enjoy!