Thursday, January 29, 2009


Our snow had been melting, but this week we got another storm, so it's white everywhere again, and it's inspired me to do a treasury of snowflakes.

as always, each photo links to the listing

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Urging Component Testing

If you go here, you can fill in the blanks to urge our legislators to amend the law to require component testing rather than finished-product testing. I personally feel that this is a logical solution.
Here is what I wrote:

As a small-business owner at , I am doing my best to contact original manufacturers and ensure that the compents of my products have been tested. Many of these companies say that they are not making their material for children, so it's not their problem, and they are not testing. I beg to differ--a product such as elastic could be used in clothing for a person of any age! Testing is much easier at the earliest stages--if the elastic is safe, then it is safe for everyone. If it is not safe, then does anyone over 12 really want to be using it anyway?!

Adopting component level testing and certification would significantly strengthen the consumer product safety system and lead to cost effective compliance, especially for small businesses. I use the same few fabrics and supplies to make a variety of items--if I can know that all my supplies are safe, then I can know that all of my cloth diapers are safe--even if I make different sizes or styles of diapers.
Do you realize that, as the law now stands, I can make two diapers out of the SAME PIECE of fabric, but if one is a size large and one is a size small then they are considered different products and subject to separate testing? That is illogical to the extreme. That is why I urge you to amend the law for component testing rather than final-product testing.

Component level testing and certification leads to a more sustainable product safety regime. With component testing, Safety can be engineered into children’s products from the beginning. The safest products are those designed with safe components and not those where safety is verified as an afterthought.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tuesday Tip: It's in the Tag

What's this tag thing anyway? I see there's space for 14 of them, but 14? How am I supposed to come up with 14 keywords about my item?

The default search option on etsy is to search "Item titles and tags," so that means that any word that appears in the title is already being searched, so you don't need to repeat it in your tags. But what should you put in your tags?

  • Additional words that describe your item: red, blue, squares, hearts, monkeys, strips
  • Words that describe who the item is for: baby, mother, boy, gender neutral
  • Words that describe purposes for the item: baby shower, bridal, wedding, stocking stuffer
  • Words that describe characteristics of the item: eco friendly, upcycled
  • Words that describe categories your item fits into: shabby chic, romantic, rustic
  • Team tags
I especially recommend using team tags, because many team members like to buy from and/or feature their teammates in treasuries, so if you use the team tag they will be able to find you! Most teams have a standard tag--if you are not sure what yours is, ask! Etsy has asked that teams use the word 'team' in their tag to make it clear that it is a team tag. As examples, here are the tags for some of my teams: 'mdc team' and 'etsybloggers team' and 'teamecoetsy'

Do your best to fill up all 14 tags, because every tag you use increases your chances of being found in a search! If you don't know what tags to use, try the critiques forum!

By the way, do not use a tag that does not apply specifically to your item. You can be flagged for doing so, and frankly it's just rude because then your non-applicable listing will turn up in other searches and annoy people who are looking for something else. For example, I am a member of the etsyclothdiapers team, but I do not use the diaper team tag for my non-diapering items--it just isn't appropriate.

Monday, January 26, 2009

CPSIA certificates of compliance

So, beginning February 10th, I can continue to sell my products if I can show CPSIA compliance for each of my components (materials--fabric, snaps, etc). As of August I will have to have finished-item testing as well, and I cannot possibly do that, however I have high hopes that the law will be changed by then.
Here are a couple of helpful sources for other people looking for information about their supplies:

In the meantime, I am using this post as a place to post information about which materials I have certificates for, as well as the dates/test ID numbers. I can email you a copy of the actual certificate if you would like to see it.

I will continue to update this post as I acquire the certificates!
Please note that I am working on getting information for all my materials, but those items marked in red are the only ones that I actually use for children's products. I will not be listing diapers with anything for which I don't have testing info. I will continue to use untested materials on menstrual pads, nursing pads, wetbags, knit hats, and other adult-use items.

Fabrite 1ml PUL
(nursing pads, most diapers and pads)
Test Date: December 11, 2008
Test ID: 081211-1 thru 081211-5

Fabrite 2ml PUL (wetbags, pads, and some diapers)
Test Date: December 11, 2008
Test ID: 081211-11 thru 081211-15

KAM resin snaps (pads and diapers)
Test Date: October 10, 2008
Test ID: SHAO 032340
Tester: TESTEX Zurich

Touchtape (aka velcro) (diapers)

Stretchrite Elastic (inside diapers)
Rhode Island Textile Company
PO Box 999
Pawtucket, RI 02862
Toll Free: (800) 556-6488

FOE (fold-over-elastic) (wetbags)
manufacturer verifies it's lead-free

A&E Maxi-Lock thread (all products)
certificate of compliance from
John Eapan sent the certificate (VP of Environmental, Health and Safety)

JoAnn Fabrics Cotton Flannel (pads, nursing pads, and fitted diapers)
all children's section fabrics have been tested--Bob Isman (personal email)
(this means juvenile prints are safe, as are many flannels...I'm continuing to look into this to make sure that my fabrics are within this group) More details available on their website

JoAnn Fabrics Polyester Fleece (nursing pads and pantyliners)
Apparently, each store has MSDS sheets for each fabric on file...How helpful these MSDS sheets will be I don't know, but I think they will say whether the fabric contains lead or not. I guess you have to go in in person and ask to see them
If you have your receipts look at the number next to the fabric. If it starts with a 4000, then you can call and get a sheet emailed or faxed to you. The number to call is: 1-800-451-8346
Polartec brand fleece IS that might be an alternative...

Cotton Velour (diapers and pads)

Suedecloth (diapers and pads)
lead-free according to manufacturer

Microfleece (diapers and pads)

PowderDry (diapers--particularly nighttime ones)

Undyed Hemp Fleece (diapers)

Undyed Cotton Sherpa (diapers)

Undyed Bamboo Velour (diapers and pads)

Hand-Dyed Bamboo Velour (pads only)

Knit Picks Wool Yarn (knitted items)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Enter my One World One Heart Giveaway!

It's posted on my other blog--comments here will not count, so you have to go over there.

Here's what I'm giving!
A pink hearts cloth menstrual pad!
Pink because it's my favorite color
Something earth-friendly for the 'one world' part
And hearts for the 'one heart' part

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I got blogged!

Fellow EtsyBlogger Panoptica linked me this weekend in her blogosphere review (how cool is she?!)
Click the screenshot below to see her original post!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Green Dragon

this is a close-up of the screen print that appears on the t-shirt that I got my husband for Christmas!

My husband's birthday is today (yes, we have a lot of January birthdays around here!) so I thought I'd do a treasury for him... you may recall that our sons are Wolf and Bear...well, they decided that daddy needed something too, so he became Daddy Dragon... His favorite color is green, so today's treasury is full of green dragons!
as always in my treasuries, sellers have given permission to use their photos, and each photo links to the item listing

OOAK (one-of-a-kind) carved jade necklace
"Water Dragon" by WhatNots

(This particular listing is for a pattern to make your own little green dragon...CUTE!
If the dragon itself were for sale it would be endangered by CPSIA)

this fridge magnet has my Hubby's name all over it...he loves cheese!

That's got to be one of the best coat racks I've ever seen

Even a cloth diaper (from a fellow member of the EtsyClothDiapers team!)
This item is endangered by CPSIA

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tuesday Tip: Google Analytics for your Etsy Shop

Yes, that's right, you can now utilize google analytics for your etsy shop! You can see what routes people are taking in to your shop (ie, how they are finding you), and which items they spend the most time looking at. Neato!
I could write out the process of getting set up (it's pretty simple, especially if you already have google analytics set up), but somebody else already posted the directions, so I decided I'd just direct you to him instead. ☺
That same blogger (TimothyAdamDesigns) also has a great little article about how to use google analytics to discover what times of day you are getting the most traffic, so that you can make listings/relistings and do your promoting at the time of day that will be most beneficial for you!

If you don't want to watch his video, here's the short version:
Assuming you have google analytics already set up, add your etsy url as a new site. Then it will give you a little alpha-numeric code. Copy that code...
Go to your 'my etsy' page, and look on the left-side menu near the bottom. It now has the option of 'web analytics.' Just open that link, and paste your google analytics code into the provided space.
Voila, you're ready to go!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Goodies for ME!

Remember the OBV pads I posted the other day? Well, I made them for a trade...and now you can see what I'm getting out of it: two fabulously awesome embroidered diapers! (well, actually one diaper and one cover) I'm so excited for them.
Thanks Sherry!

"Ai-pane" & "Hey-cock-er"

That's how my 2year old son pronounces the names of the toys I got him for his birthday.
I found these darling wooden toys at Banished on etsy. (His name is because his wife banished him to the garage when he kept taking up her kitchen table to make the toys!) He started by making these things for his own five children (so they've had real-world testing!), and now he makes them for others. Both are plain wood, and polished with a mild, food-safe, mineral oil.

These are safe and wonderful toys, but both of these items are endangered by CPSIA. If you want to be able to get items like this for your children, contact your legislators--this battle is far from over!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


If you're a regular visitor here, then you have probably noticed some changes happening in the last few days. That's right, I've had a bloggy makeover! I hired Emily at PolkaDotPixels to create a new look for me.

She made me new banners/avatars for BOTH of my shops (go see them here and here!), and then created a blog layout that combined them. When she emailed me the images, she also sent a text document with wonderful, detailed, easy-to-follow directions for how to install all the blog features.
Not only are her prices very reasonable, but she cheerfully edited and re-edited and made tiny changes until I was completely satisfied. I all my new graphics! And if you're ever in the market for some design work, I highly recommend PolkaDotPixels!

Friday, January 16, 2009


Your organic bamboo velour pads are ready!Sherry asked if I could make her some cloth menstrual pads out of scraps of her beautifully hand-dyed OBV. She wanted fleece backing rather than PUL, and I used the smaller pieces of OBV (rather than my usual flannel) to make the pockets.Bamboo is exquisitely soft, and these dyes are so pretty! (She even sent me some extra scraps, so be watching for some more of these at LilBees soon!)
I hope you love them Sherry!

Born Again Purses

This Friday I'm featuring another seller that I met over the holidays in etsy chat: BornAgainPurses. Being the treehugger that I am, I love that these ladies take old wool sweaters, felt them, and turn them into purses, bags, cup-cozies, and mittens! They do their best to use every scrap of the sweater, and have some really cute things listed!
Check them out!

Buy Handmade

I've been blogged!

I was featured today on Green Earth Journey, a blog that features eco-friendly artists! Go check out my interview! ☺

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Brother Bear

After showing off all those neat wolf listings a few weeks ago, I figured I should come back and show the bear stuff for my other son. ☺ (He'll be 2 years old tomorrow!)

all items shown with permission from the creators
all photos link to the item listing

(I love my Bear!)

(bear paw charms from BellaRylie)

(hand-carved wooden toys...CPSIA would make them a thing of the past)

(A whole new take on 'bear feet'!)
(both these booties and shoes will be banned by CPSIA)
Moks by Scandeez (she's got so many cute ones!)

(hey, was somebody peeking at my little bear? cuz he does this...)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Finally some legal action

A class action suit is being filed over CPSIA by those who make handmade childrens items. To join the suit, or just to get more information, go here.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Another plea

to save handmade

(I was not involved with the creation of this little book, but I think it's nicely done, and want to help it get out to the masses!)

Friday, January 9, 2009

January Featured EtsyBlogger: RoseWorksJewelry

This month I have the pleasure of featuring Ruthie of RoseWorksJewelry. I'm extra excited to feature her because she featured me on her treasury blog way back when I was a brand new EtsyBlogger. So I kinda feel like she was my first EB friend. ☺ Her treasury blog was also my inspiration to start posting regular treasuries of my own! She also keeps a regular blog, of course, and the shop... She recently opened a brand new shop too: Kindred Spirit Treasures.
Ruthie lives and creates in western Washington--which is where I grew up. Once a Washingtonian, always a Washingtonian, you know? So even though I'm now in Alaska, we're sortof like neighbors. See, toldya I was excited to feature her!
The best way I know to show a sampling of someones stuff is to post their etsy mini, so here are Ruthie's:

Buy Handmade

Buy Handmade

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Treasury of Sisters

I have a sister who is 18 months younger than I am. Throughout childhood and most of our teen years we shared a bedroom. We were even roommates for a semester at college!
Today is her birthday, so I thought I'd share a treasury of sisterhood...

(photos link to listings)

This could have been us--
although my hair was curly, and she was never bald... ☺

scrabble pendant from HappyHaven

because I do

artwork by EmilyBalivet
artwork from KarenKayArtworks

and I am glad that WE are sisters K!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

CPSIA's flaws blow the mind!

I've got some more CPSIA links for you.
Here are a few consequences that I think the government forgot to consider...

(links courtesy of NationalBankruptcyDay)

Incidentally, if you didn't do it yet, here is a place where you can go to contact all your legislators at once. Yup, just write your message, then fill in your address, and the system will automatically find your congresspeople and send the email to them.
The form puts some default text at the beginning and end of your letter, but you can put whatever you want in the middle portion... here is what I wrote:
As your constituent (and someone who voted for you), I am writing with the hope that you will take this matter seriously, and work to edit this bill. As a mother I appreciate the concern for our children's safety, but this bill is badly written and MUST be changed. For economic and ecological reasons, I like to buy second-hand goods--CPSIA will end that. I like to support work-at-home-moms and small businesses--CPSIA will end that too.
I work part time from home as a seamstress, making childrens blankets, clothing, and cloth diapers which I sell on I will be put out of business by this legislation, because there is no way I can afford this testing. The legislation NEEDS to include exclusions for small businesses, and for second-hand goods.

I agree with the need to protect our consumers, and to make sure they know exactly what they are getting. I would be more than willing to attach tags to each of my items which read "As a small business, [this company] is excluded from CPSIA testing requirements. These items have not been tested for lead content or phthalates." My customers can then make an informed choice--are they willing to take a risk on me or do they prefer to stick with the big companies who can afford to prove that their items are safe. I suspect that millions of people--like myself--will be more than willing to continue to buy handmade and second-hand goods.

Monday, January 5, 2009

EtsyBlogger Carnivals

So, every month the EtsyBloggers team has two carnivals--each member (eg: me) participates in one of them. So once a month my link gets published out there somewhere, and it (hypothetically) brings me traffic. In my first few months as a member of EB I didn't visit many other blogger's links, but what goes around comes around, so I figure if i want to invite the karma (and the traffic) then I should get out there!
I'm proud to announce that for this carnival, I visited every single post, and commented on at least 1/3 of them. ☺ I don't know how well I'll keep it up in future months, but I intend to at least try!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Wishing You a PEACEful New Year

(as always, each photo links to the listing)

What better way to begin a new year than with a declaration of peace?!

in Sanskrit
(yes, it's soap!)
and the universal symbol

My hope and prayer for 2009 is that more of us will seek to spread peace within the microcosm of our daily lives, and to promote it wherever we touch the larger world.

May Peace Prevail on Earth!

All we are saying is give peace a chance!
~John Lennon

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