Friday, January 30, 2009

someone pinch me... please?

So if you've been hiding under a rock this afternoon you may not have heard the news. The CPSC has granted a one year stay of testing and certification requirements for certain products under the CPSIA. Yup. It's true.

Now, the CPSIA will still require that all products sold be under the required lead and phthalate limits but what they will not require, at least for the next year, is pricey, redundant testing to prove that these limits have been met. So, if I know that my supplier has tested my ribbon and it meets said safety standards then I do not have to retest and do not have acquire certified proof.

At zuzu girl handmade, we still plan on continuing with a portion of our XRF component testing that we initiated yesterday (what timing!) on the few parts that could potentially contain lead. But the scope of our testing is greatly decreased and for that we are more than thankful. Tearfully thankful.

Kudos to all those who worked so hard to make this happen...

Links for those that want to


Etsy Storque

Etsy Forum

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

goofing off...

Because I have nothing else to do, I was goofing off yesterday and designed & assembled this barrette holder complete with four new barrettes for our little Zuzu. (now all she needs is more hair) Don't you love how the sweet ribbon barrettes bring you back to the early '80's? Now I only wish I could locate picture of my friend Laura & I sporting our handmade designs. Damn were we cute.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

just say the cpsia.

Please join me and bloggers across the world as we bombard cyberspace today with hopes to reach and educate as many people as possible on the impact that the CPSIA will have on everyone. I did not write the remainder of this post. I give complete credit to Chichiboulie and this Etsy thread.

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

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.”

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.

petit appetit

Do you have one of those friends that you hide the processed goldfish crackers from? You know, one of those fabulous moms that serves their kids only organic, home cooked, unprocessed foods. No exceptions. And the kids eat it. All. Happily? Well, I do. And I adore her even still!

Meet Lisa Barnes. Owner of Petit Appetit, children's chef extraordinaire, and author of two novels, the second of which becomes available March 3rd on (among other places). This edition focuses on party foods for kids of all ages. If you entertain, or have kids, or entertain kids...check it out. Lisa has fed me well far too many times to not recommend her!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

a treasury of fun...and talent!

Please feel free to comment live through Wednesday morning by linking HERE.

Friday, January 23, 2009

one heart

PLEASE NOTE: this contest closed Wednesday 2/11 at midnight. I have announced the winner HERE.

Wow. What a find. This will be my first year participating in the "one world-one heart" blog event sponsored by Lisa "oceandreamer" Swifka. Not familiar with this event? Neither was I until I stumbled upon it on tilt creations blog. These are Lisa's words that best describe the mission...

The whole idea behind doing this and trying to get as many as possible to join in, was and is to meet new and wonderful people. Bloggers come from all walks of life, all socioeconomic backgrounds, all areas of the world, female, male......some are artists exclusively, some dabble, some are professionals in various areas, some are stay at home parents, some are teachers, some are very young and some are up in years. The common denominator in blogging is that we all have stories to it through visual means or life stories or the day-to-day or art work or handwork of varying kinds or poetry and journaling. We can be inspired or inspire others by finding a blog and taking the time to read/see someones story. Often times a spark happens....this palpable spark of recognition through kindred understanding and shared passions in life. It is in those times when we take a moment to comment and comment again.......when those comments are reciprocated a discovery is made that we share commonolaties which connect us sight unseen. Sometimes we may live on separate continents or at either end of the same country or even discover you hail from the same general area. By paying attention, by connecting with others, we are creating a circle of amazing individuals who can literally enhance our lives and we can enhance theirs.

Sounds fun, doesn't it? I've only been to about a dozen of the 475 blogs already participating but I can't wait to check them all out this weekend!

In honor of the one world-one heart mission, zuzu girl handmade will be giving away a custom dream catcher similar to one of the images shown below, but best suited to the winner's decor. You are not required to jump through any hoops to win. You do not have to visit the other 475 blogs (but it certainly can't hurt!). All you have to do is leave a comment on this post by midnight, February 11th, US Pacific Time and make sure that I am able to find you through your comment profile. I will contact the winner on February 12th.

Happy Blogging!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

indie spotting

Checkout this cute little web page called indie spotting that I found on twitter today. It's a great little showcase of handmade finds submitted by various contributors. I sent in a picture of zuzu's fairy princess rosebud halo and it's up now! Indie Spotting is just a small part of a web site called My Shopping Connection that serves a sole purpose of helping online shoppers find cool stuff. Kinda like your own personal shopper. But not so personal. Anyway, it's worth a peek. Definitely some cute finds.

these are a few of our favorite things...

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Meet Bean.

Now, everyone that knows me understands that I have a soft side for Boston Terriers but OH MY GOODNESS. Checkout the amazing handmade sweaters and accessories from Beantown Handmade on this gorgeous pup. I have never seen anything like these in any pet store I've been in. Truly remarkable works of art fitting for even this little *American Gentleman*.

And this post wouldn't be complete if I didn't pay tribute to our little girl, may she rest in peace. We miss you & love you dearly Bella Bean!

the skinny on road10

Tonight I stumbled upon a new EtsyMom in the team's forum. Her store is called Road10 and she sells "Wonderfully aged goodies for collecting and creating!" I have to say, I don't know all that much about vintage but her shop is simply darling. The product is whimsical and photographed in such a way that the entire assortment merchandises so well together. But don't trust me, take a look and see for yourself!

I got a particular chuckle out of the listing shown above. It's for a Vintage McCall's Child's Dress and Jacket Pattern. Circa 1966. Can you see the small print on the very bottom of the cover? It says, "NOT SUITABLE FOR CHUBBY GIRLS". Truly. Look closely. It really says that.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

turtle park tots

I'd like to introduce you to Turtle Park Tots. I'm honestly not sure where I first encountered Turtle Park but I suspect it was in an Etsy forum. See Turtle Park is not only a talented artist but she is also active in the Etsy community, on Twitter, as a Blogger and in the fight against the CPSIA (need I provide a link to that one?).

But more importantly, and the reason that I chose to feature her products tonight, is that she is kind. Admittedly, I don't really know her at all but there are some things you can just tell about a person and this I know. So click on one of her links and send her some love. These are some of my favorites from her darling shop...

Sleep Baby Star Paisley Chenille Baby Blanket $38.00:

Eat Baby Funky Dot Baby/Toddler Bib $12.00:

Sage Kleo Change-Me-Anywhere(tm) Diaper Keeper $14.00:

Clean Baby Coral Morning Glory Wash Cloth/Reusable Wipe Set (organic terry cloth) $14.00:


Zuzu strikes again.
But why is it that she always sets her mind on my favorite designs? Coincidence? I think not. I like to think she just has super taste!

She's hit me up twice this week. First a delicate pink rose ribbon wand and then this lively dream catcher. How could I possibly say no to "is that for my room?" and, "that will help make my bad dreams go away" after a night like last night? It was hanging over her bed (as shown) before the glue even had time to dry.

Now let's see if it works on that damn *mean witch*. Wish us luck!

Friday, January 16, 2009

forbes takes a stance

Someone twittered this article tonight and I felt compelled to pass it on. It's titled "Scrap the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act" and supplies readers with a fairly straight-forward and comprehensive background of the asinine legislation. I'm hoping that it gets some people from outside the children's retail industry thinking about the affects this law will have on them. Just don't read it right before bed like I did. It's not pretty.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

circus act

Have you seen this interview with Julie Vallese, former Chairperson of the US CPSC? I have no idea why they let her give an interview on her last day in office but it's just plain embarrassing for everyone involved. I mean, I get that she didn't draft the law but really, you think she could be a little more articulate when speaking about it. And how dare she take a jab at "mommy bloggers" for calling out all of the flaws in this broad piece of legislation that clearly even she doesn't take seriously. Truly, it makes you want to laugh, cry, gasp and scream when you hear her say that the CPSC "does not believe that lead test kids are accurate" but "they can look at" the product was her response to how consignment shop owners should screen their products to gain " a level of confidence that they are meeting the law". WTF?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

running wild

Posted a newly designed ribbon wand in the shop today. Wrap the ribbon around the wand then let your little ballerina twirl to her heart's delight while the ribbon comes unfurled. Your child will love running and spinning with more than four foot of delicate ribbon floating behind her.

I made a pink one too but it was quickly snatched up by ms. zuzu herself. I suppose that's a good sign! More colors coming soon...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

victims of the cpsia

You can view this treasury live until 9pm, Thursday, January 15th here.

Monday, January 12, 2009

the bummas way

Never heard of Bummas? Neither had I until I connected with the owner of Created By Mom (dot com), an online boutique created by a mom, marketing gifts made by moms to other moms. Wow, that's a mouthful. But a sensible one!

Bummas are a savvy, and stylish response to diaper rash. Made right here in California, Bummas marketing message is, "After the wipe and before the dipe, use a soft kiss of cloth to dry bums off. Keep diaper rash at bay, the Bummas way."

The premise behind the product is a multi-faceted approach to diapering. Use them to cover baby boy's privates so you don't get caught off guard, use them to dry off baby's bum after using a conventional wipe or go green by wetting them and using them in place of a wet wipe.

Sold in a pack of ten wipes, and a variety of colors, these cotton wipes are far more useful than they even admit! With two kids nearly out of diapers, I plan on storing some with the night time diapers, stocking a few with the bath supplies, packing a few in my handbag, and keeping few in the car. Not only are they soft on bums but I imagine they are going to prove very handy on little fingers, toes & noses too!

Packaged in a darling brown wrap which includes both the history of the company & cleverly written directions for use, a pack of Bummas retails for $21.00 and makes a perfect gift for a new mom.

Support moms & locally made products. You can find Bummas on their website or where I did, on Created by Mom (dot com).

Friday, January 9, 2009

repeal the CPSIA

Please follow this link and sign a petition to repeal the CPSIA.

This is a copy of the petition. Please read it. Sign it. Tweet it. Blog it. And share it with everyone you know. Now.

Petition to the US Congress and the Consumer Safety Product Commission:

Who should read this
1.If you manufacture any product for use by a child 12 years or younger, or
2. Buy products for children 12 years or younger.

The passage of the CPSIA affects you. The CPSIA touches nearly every industry and consumer in the United States. This includes book manufacturers, public libraries, schools, educational material manufacturers, clothing manufacturers, resale & thrift stores, bicycle manufacturers, shoe manufacturers, parents, grandparents, children, etc.

The need of the recent passage of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008 is unnecessary. In recent years the CPSC has overseen many recalls but has failed to enforce existing legislation, rules and regulations. Additionally, the CPSC has had sufficient power to enact new safety rules since the agency was created in the 1970's. The CPSC is charged with serving the public interest by developing safety standards, issuing recalls, and banning certain products. If new lead regulation were needed, the agency should have acted quickly to enforce existing regulations or create new ones. As a direct consequence for what only can be described as inaction, Congress was misguided in creating a new law to address these lapses -much to the detriment of the American public.

The CPSC has passed various regulations over the years regarding flammability and sleepwear, painted metal, drawstrings, and children's jewelry. The CPSC can even repeal previous rulings such as in the case of Tris in pajamas. These actions were taken with little direction or intervention from Congress, proving the agency can act when sufficiently motivated or managed. The CPSIA must be repealed before more damage is done; consumers, industry and science must be involved in crafting needed rules rather than the special interest groups who were instrumental in writing the CPSIA law.

In these troubling economic times, we urge Congress to save our businesses, our economy and even children by repealing the CPSIA today!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

in my pants...

Quite a hysterical little game going on over at momdot (dot com). But I'm not going to give it have to go look for yourself. Now.

let's eat cake!

Thanks to Thoughtfully Simple for the fine words you are about to read & to Hostess Tori for sharing this opportunity with me via Twitter today.

zuzu girl handmade is glad to be Blogging it forward!

Let’s Eat Cake, an amazing fundraiser hosted by the equally amazing Melissa Margarita-DiStefano, is coming up quick: Tuesday, February 17th at the Plaza Paramount Hotel! Let’s Eat Cake is a cake decorating competition with all proceeds going to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Learn more about the fundraiser right here.

In an effort to make sure we get the word out to everyone (and raise money), we are starting this chain-blog (Ok, not sure if that is correct terminology. But it’s like a chain letter so let’s just go with it, shall we?)

Here’s what we need you to do…Repost this post (or create your own new version) on your blog and ask others to post it on their blogs. Melissa will donate one dollar to the fundraiser for EVERY BLOG that posts on Let’s Eat Cake this week! With the power of the blogosphere, that can QUICKLY add up! Let’s make Melissa Pay! Once you have reposted it, leave a comment letting us know that you posted it along with the url to the blog. It’s for a great cause and it will be fun to see how far it will go! So lets do it… Lets blog it forward and raise money for a great cause!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

simply charming

You might want to stop on by My Charmed Life some time in the near future and check out the CPSIA Awareness Series that she's running. Sarah is doing an awesome job of showcasing handmade shops and their products threatened by the CPSIA. And yeah, she was kind enough to include zuzu girl handmade in the series. Sarah is the artist behind the Etsy shop Just Add Charm. Visit her blog and her shop...and support more than ever!

electric boogaloo

Oh, I so needed this after a day in the Etsy forums. You need it me. What is it? It's electric boogaloo of course. And what is, electric boogaloo you may ask? (well, you should ask)

In her own words, electric boogaloo is, "the creative wanderings of a wife mother artist writer nerd". Sound familiar?

What really got me is Tiffany's post today about the CPSIA. It's called "Human sacrifice! dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria." In it she rants about the top ten uses for children's products banned from the CPSIA....and they are most definitely not what you would expect. You can read it here. Really, do it. Read it there.

everything's coming up posies...

Meet Little Pink Posies, one of my new, all time favorite Etsy shops. How ridiculously cute are these little posy girls? (the name "posy girls" is trademarked by the way so don't even THINK about it..I simply don't know how to put that ever important TM symbol on the end of the word).

Little Pink Posies, like zuzu girl handmade, is threatened by the CPSIA but her shop is open for business today and cuter than ever. Please pay her a visit and share some love if you are so inclined. Seriously, it won't be hard...this here is true talent. These are some of my personal favs...

posy girl playset with matching personalized purse ($60.00):

posy girl handpainted wooden doll playset ($22.50):

custom painted personalized doll pendant ($15.00):

wool felt bitty blossom hair clips ($8.75):

Monday, January 5, 2009

fighting a good fight

I was "introduced" to Rick Woldenberg during my incessant search today for new information on the CPSIA. Rick is the Chairman of an Illinois based company called Learning Resources and, in my humble opinion, an expert on the subject of the CPSC and their new "improvement act". He started a new blog on Friday to address the latest issues and solicit feedback. I plan to stalk Rick to gather more information over the next few weeks and, in case you're interested, I'm providing some of the ways you can stalk him too...

read Rick's blog
follow Rick on twitter
watch Rick on you tube

Sunday, January 4, 2009

our new look

As you may have noticed, we have a new introductory section to this blog. I'm doing what I can to showcase some of the awesome Etsy talent that is at risk due to the overzealous consumer product safety improvement act that goes into affect February 10. Obviously, there are a number of organizations rallying in opposition to this act and the optimist in me has faith that the commission will see how outrageous the requirements are in their current form. But, until that time, and if you know me you will understand, I simply cannot remain quiet.

I will, however, stop bitching about the problem and instead I will start posting images from fellow etsians that want to display their work here. I am honored that they have agreed to let me share it with you and I hope to make a bold statement. It is a travesty that these safe, handcrafted products may no longer be available due to the blatant indiscretions of a few greedy corporations.

So please drop by the shops we've pictured above and send some love their way if you're so inclined.

In addition, here are a few links about the cpsia that I've found extremely helpful in case you feel like reading up as well...
cool mom picks
etsy storque
handmade toy alliance

Saturday, January 3, 2009

cpsia endangered list

Please take a minute to visit this flickr group to see a growing number of children's products endangered by the cpsia. Please add your photos... spread the word... and look for more endangered items here over the next few days...

Friday, January 2, 2009

who woulda thunk?

When Gage was about one we encountered this toy at a friends house and he was immediately hooked. I didn't wait more than a few days before running to Toys R Us to get one for our house. It's called the Busy Ball Popper and it's one of those random Playschool, probably made in China, toys that blend in with all the other noisy colorful plastic toys in Toys R Us. But I have to say, this one is different. My children cannot get enough of it!

This is actually not the same model that I purchased for Gage four years ago. See, our dog loved the game as much as he did and all the balls had small teeth marks in them thus inhibiting their ability to fly out of the top so easily. I purchased a replacement when Zuzu was born. It's been hidden in the back of her closet, sans batteries, until she discovered it yesterday and promptly provided me with 4D batteries that she acquired from the kitchen drawer (don't ask me how she knew to do this but I'm not going to dwell on how freaky that was).

Needless to say, this one gets my stamp of approval. Two kids, lots of friends & a dog have all rated it and agree. Playschool recommends it for ages 9-24 months. I certainly wouldn't gift it to a child over 18 months but it will last far beyond 24. Heck, Gage still plays with it at 5.

happy new year!

Still a little sleepy around here. Finally got around to making a new wand last night after assembling 8 tutus for my ballet costume order the day prior. I'm enjoying getting back to work but hesitant to get too excited as the CPSIA is still looming...and less than six weeks away.

I'm still toying with the idea of combining my two blogs to make my life & yours easier. Thinking of going to wordpress so that I can organize by tab but intimidated by starting all over and don't want to go through all the effort if zuzu girl handmade doesn't have a future. So terribly sad.

In the meantime, please feel free to visit me at "and the beat goes on..." if you're getting bored here. We'd love to have you!