Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Second Day of Christmas

The second day of Christmas brings in the two turtledoves. Did you know that for hundreds of years, Jewish families used turtledoves as offerings to God? Yup, it is in the bible as one of the acceptable animals for sacrifice, given by those that had little to no money or possessions.




But that isn't all. When Jesus was forty days old, Mary and Joseph took Him to the temple in Jerusalem. What do you suppose they brought with them? You guessed it, two turtledoves. The turtledoves were to be sacrificed as was required by the law.




Lu 2:22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;
Lu 2:24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The First Day of Christmas

The popular Christmas song begins with a single gift, a partridge in a pear tree. The first gift sent to earth from God was Jesus Christ (John 3:16). This is interesting because the partridge was known for its willingness to fight to the death in order to defend its young. This valiant bird, because of its willingness to die for its young, became an early Christian symbol of Christ. And the pear tree represents the cross.

A partridge will die for her children, if need be. Isn't it awesome to know that God was willing to do the same for His children?

Jesus said that He is the good shepherd and that He lays down His life for His sheep (John 10:14-15).

In order to keep a proper perspective on Christmas, it is important to understand the magnitude of God's gift to all mankind. Praise be to God for His willingness to die for His sheep!

Friday, December 12, 2008

CPSC & CPSIA new law guidelines

The CPSC & CPSIA new law guidelines effect most of us - sign or start a PETITION NOW.
All of us should support each other and stand united to get exclusions or amendments or extensions for compliance referencing USA handmade products and small batch items to this new law by writing to our public officials. Even if none of your items are made directly for children ... Can you imagine an ETSY, FireArt, 1000 Markets, a local craft show or eBay without any children's items in it?

This is effectively THE WORLD'S LARGEST CHILDREN'S PRODUCT RECALL ever imagined. But without the option of returning the items for refund or replacement.

THIS NEW CPSIA WILL EFFECT ALL OF US that sell ANY products that can be consider for children. Not just toys and jewelry, but CLOTHING, ROOM DECOR, SCHOOL SUPPLIES, EDUCATIONAL AIDS, ART WORK, ART SUPPLIES, PILLOWS, HAIR BOWS so on & etc. if it is made for someone 12 & under to use it will be subject to the certified testing. Even HAND-ME-DOWNS as resales or vintage items will be subject to the testing. To read the whole "brief", 67 pages long, requires some basic law education but you can get the gist of it in the CPSIA's FAQ section http://www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/faq/faq.html#educational

This new law is blindsiding us by giving very little notice to comply to it, if we're even able to provide the proofs the the CPSC wants. It's been so under the radar the ETSY doesn't have a STORQUE article on it yet. Niether has eBay or most of the other online seller's outlets even mention the new law. I think there waiting for after the holidays to tells us that lots of the items we bought are now effectively illegal and that we should of never given them to our children in the first place. There should be some type of grandfathering clause included that parents shouldn't have to shell out more good money if they feel their child is in danger just because the government said the product is not longer safe.

This will put quite a few of us out of business. Even larger companies are having problems complying with the deadline or the batch material testing requirements. Here a set of excerpts from a recent CPSIA hearing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUlY6zOMPqQ, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlMh7MJiodY&feature=related, & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bk0Vr0yDrXc&feature=related.

Don't just believe that the legislation will change on it's own, do something to let your voice be heard. Write a congressperson, tell ETSY what you feel about this law, blog about it, just get your voice heard by CPSIA that the law is impractical and bias towards small & cottage industries. People for a Greener Earth should also take up this issue since it will put an end to reusing durable children's products outside of the immediate hand me down process, sending tons of good resalable items to landfills.

Many items that were legal this holiday season will be banned come Feb. 10, 2009 regardless of if the child's product was a handheld video game by a super multinational corporation, a made in the USA pair of jeans from a local mom & pop retailer, or one of the fantastic wooden toys available at ETSY shops because it failed testing & needs to be reworked or wasn't tested yet. This means it would even be illegal and punishable by fines and jail time to resell or reuse, outside your own home, those items in anything that that would be for a child unless they were previously tested. So no one, even a consumer looking to green up the Earth a little, could list a child's items as vintage piece at ETSY or a sell it as used on eBay or at a garage sale without it having the the testing done.

Generals threads for any one :
http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=5938698
http://www.ipetitions.com/
http://forums.ebay.com/db1/thread.jspa?messageID=511163411&forumID=124&x#511163411

for toy makers :
http://www.handmadetoyalliance.org/
http://grecowoodcrafting.wordpress.com/

for children's clothing, doll clothes, hair bows, and accessory makers :
http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=5935443
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/economicimpactsofCPSIA/

If you know of any more threads and sites that address the issue PLEASE post them here. To be informed is to be forewarned. Especially if this means you will have to close shop and retool your business towards something that doesn't deal with any children's products.

Do You Support the Work at home community?

This is very important. In August Congress voted to pass HR4040, also known as the Consumer Products Safety Information Act (CPSIA). The intent of the law is to protect our children from products contaminated with lead, phthalates, or not passing flammability standards. The problem with this law is for lead, it is *retroactive*. Retailers and Manufacturers have until February 10th to comply with the law and remove any products from their shelves not in compliance. This includes existing inventory. This includes used products. Anything intended for children. Read: clothing, diapers, bedding, toys, strollers, cribs, car seats, high chairs, and so on. To comply with the law, products have to undergo expensive testing. The testing per product can be anywhere from $500 up to thousands of dollars. A piece of clothing that is size newborn and an identical piece of clothing that is size 3 months are considered TWO DIFFERENT products and must be tested separately. The costs of this are astronomical. It will be difficult for most businesses to comply, and *impossible* for small manufacturers to comply. For example, I own a small diaper business, www.pamperedcheeks.com, and I make custom cloth diapers. I make hundreds of different variations, but the way the law is written it will be illegal to sell without doing the testing. It is useless--I CAN NOT test every product variation. So far NOTHING is being done to stop this law. There are small activist groups, and a petition or two out there, but the news media is NOT talking about it. It's incredibly frustrating. I'm not copying this letter from some other board, I'm typing it out as I think of it, and I'm sure I'm not being eloquent or concise or even clear. I am, however, trying to be accurate.

According to the law, ANY children's product not tested, properly certified, and labeled, regardless of when it was made, will be "banned hazardous material" as of February 10th and it is a FELONY to sell such products. Even on ebay, garage sales, goodwill, etc. Period.

This law has already passed congress. It was signed by President Bush. It is a done deal. We can't stop the law from being passed. Don't say "this law won't stand." It will unless it is amended. It already IS standing.

Here are some links and resources. Please, please, please contact your congressman.
http://www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/cpsia.html (see the law for yourself)

http://nationalbankruptcyday.com/ (a helpful blog--also has links to contact your representative)

http://fashion-incubator.com/phpbb/viewforum.php?f=32 (a forum for people who feel this may affect them or have questions...particularly clothing manufacturers)

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/handmadetoys/ (handmade toys petition)
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/economicimpactsofCPSIA/ (apparel petition)

There are some videos http://stephsoundoff.blogspot.com of the manager of the large educational company called Learning Resources (visit the site, I know you've heard of them: http://www.learningresources.com/) appearing before a CPSC council on this topic. The videos outline the gravity of this law and the far-reaching impacts it will have.

Sociable

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