January 29, 2009

Save Handmade - Blog In!!

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 HERE

Save Handmade! BuyHandmade.org
Did you know? If this upsets or alarms you, please react.

January 28, 2009

Giveaways, giveaways, giveaways....

It seems no matter where in blog land you look at the moment you'll find some sort of giveaway... it's 'bloggy giveaway carnival' time!!!

Here are just some of the giveaways I have come across and entered so far..... as soon as I hit post on this I'll be back out on the hunt!!

From I Luv U Tutu Much blog one lucky reader will receive this beautiful purple (my favorite colour) tutu skirt adorned with hot pink polka dot satin ribbon made by I Luv U Tutu Much Boutique! This Tutu skirt will fit a size 2year old to a small 14 teen.

The deadline to enter is February 5, 2009 and ends at 12:00pm PST.

From the fabulous New England Quilter you have the chance to win this Tied Quilted Crib Rail Guard that was handmade Amy herself and is on sale in her etsy shop. It is perfect for your teething little one or if you just want to add stimulating colors to your nursery. This guard is made with fleece, batting, ties, and love. The guard measures approximately 51 inches long and 10 inches wide, ideal for a crib with 8 perimeter around the rail or less.

You have until Saturday night, January 31st to enter.

And if you head over to Whimsical Creations blog and enter Melanie's giveaway you could be in the running to win TWO of her polymer clay creations!!
One of these adorable Love Fairies

and one of her stunning Cherry Blossom Ornaments

To enter you need to go to Mel's shop, Whimsical Creations, then head back to HERE and leave a comment to let her know what your favorite item is. This giveaway ends on Sunday, January 31st.

Oh and just a reminder that you have two days left to enter the giveaway at The Mom Buzz and be in the running to win the Mosaic Spirals, Giggleberry Creations fabric banner (entries close January 29th)

Be quick and goodluck for all the current giveaways!!!

January 27, 2009

Weekly Featured Artist -Tracey of Ginger Kitty Designs

Thank you to Tracey of the gorgeous etsy shop Ginger Kitty Designs for being this weeks Featured Artist. I 'met' Tracey through my etsy street team Fabulous Artistic Moms and have fallen in love with many of the items in her shop.... in particular her great wine charm sets that I have got my eye on..... Tracey also hand-makes and sells earrings, bookmarks, necklaces and bracelets - head to her shop and have a look around!!

Tell us all about yourself and your craft?
My name is Tracey Barker, I am 40 years old and a proud mother of 2 beautiful boys. I work in finance during the day and I design my jewelry at night.
I design necklaces, bracelets, earrings, bookmarks and wine charms. I handcraft all of the items in my store and I can customized most of the pieces to suit the buyer (different bead colors, charms or findings, etc.)

How long have you been creating your craft?
I am fairly new to designing and to Etsy! I started designing jewelry as a way to thank loved ones and little gifts for my boys teachers - in a handmade way. I was told that they loved my creations and that they would love to buy more - so I recently opened my Etsy store.

What is one of the biggest lesson you have learnt about your craft & selling it?
Well, two lessons actually.
~ What I like is not always what others like. I have tried hard to "step out of my comfort zone" and make pieces that others will really enjoy.
~ Patience - We live in a "fast food" society and we all tend to want instant gratification. Unfortunately, when starting a new business, it is not always instant. I have learned to pace myself and have faith that my store will do well.

Which of your items did you have the most fun creating & why?
For my store, I really enjoying creating the bookmarks with all different charms. I have always been an avid reader and love bookmarks!
On a personal level, I enjoyed making my mother a special bracelet. She was diagnosed with breast cancer around the holidays this year and it meant alot to me to be able to make her a special bracelet, just from me to her.

Is there a basic 'household' item you use when creating that seems to work just as good if not better than the actual 'tool'? Well, it is not really a household item but my children's hands! Sometimes I need an extra set of hands when finishing off a piece and I ask them to "hold this here, put that there" - they love being part of it.

What is your favourite candy bar & why?
My favorite candy bar is an 100 Grand Bar. Crunchy, chocolatey and gooey...yum - what's not to love?

If money, responsibilities, and time were no issues where in the great wide world would you go & why?
Anywhere tropical! My family loves the outdoors, swimming, beaches, shell collecting, etc. So I would love to go anywhere tropical and enjoy the warm weather! (As I am writing this it is snowing again here in Rhode Island!)

January 22, 2009

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie - Oi, Oi, Oi!!!

This weekend is Australia Day Long Weekend so that means a hot weekend at the beach or around a barbeque with family and friends and NO WORK on Monday - Woo hoo!!

So my family and I are packing the car and heading North to my parents place for the weekend - along with my two sisters and brother and their families. We actually are having our family Christmas this weekend as my brother is a fireman and my dad is a paramedic and neither of them had the 'real' Christmas off so more presents and stuffing ourselves with too much food is ahead!!

In the spirit of Australia Day I thought I'd post about the great Aussie finds I have come across in the past few weeks and months through my Etsy shop and blog.

First is a great Aussie Street Team on Etsy - Kookie Kids.

A team of dedicated shops of quality, unique children's products & artwork from Australia only for kids only. We are a newish team but are growing strongly and would love any new members who are interested. Just contact tidabellamonkey about membership. The team also has a great blog - Kookie - that showcases all the great things the team has to offer and what each of us are up to.

Next is a great blog I'm a follower of - Handmade Kids, Unearthing funky handmade finds for kids.

This blog was started by an Aussie mum who says "For quite some time I have had an avid interest in items that someone has put the time, effort and skill into making. Being a mother I love finding items for my children that are different and I believe that handmade offers a wonderful world of undiscovered talent. Handmade Kids is your place to find beautiful, original items for kids right here in Australia. All items featured on Handmade Kids are created by artists, crafters and independent owned businesses, there is nothing mass produced here. Let us help you to find those fabulously unique items for your kids."

Next are two great website I have recently come across for Aussie sellers of handmade goods to list their goods.
The first is Made it

Madeit is an online community where you can buy, sell and talk independent. Buy unique independent goods or sell your own. You can visit the directory for Australian independent designers or talk independent in the community forum.
The second website is Kidspot

Kidspot is not only has the 'Market - buy and sell' section but also tones of information for parents and a forum for chatting all things that come with parenting. Here are 5 reasons why Kidspot is a great place to visit, shop and sell at -
1) NO Auction - just an honest price
2) Easy to use with familiar categories
3) Created specifically for parents to buy & sell
4) With targeted listings - it's all about the kids!
5) Oh and.......It is completely FREE to list your items on Kidspot!!!

My last Aussie point out is to the MANY MANY MANY Australian sellers on Etsy..... if you head to Etsy and type Australia in to that magic and wonderful little search bar (where I spend too much time - LOL) you will see at least 300 pages of listings - approx 6918 listings!!!! Surely in all these there is something that will grab you and have you supporting an Aussie seller in no time at all!!!

Happy blog reading, web hopping and shopping and Happy Australia Day!!!

January 20, 2009

On your marks... Get set... SEW!!!!

I have been in a sewing frenzy over the past few days..... and have come out the other end with all kinds of flag sets and cushion covers!!

These four are my newest flags listed at Giggleberry Creations on Etsy:

1. Colorful Checks 2. Primary Polka Dots 3. Jolly Jungle 4. Strawberry Patch

I then came across some fabric I've been meaning to use for such a long time... firemen are always someone's favorite and get snapped up fast - number 1 and 3 in this photo set are already sold!

1. SOLD 2. I Want To Be A Fireman When I Grow Up Flags & Cushion Cover (these are listed separate but can be purchased together at a 'combination price' if desired just contact me through Etsy) 3. SOLD 4. Emergency (Michael Miller)

Next are special orders from my Aunty who has asked anyone who is crafty, arty or just wants to help to go through their stash of supplies and make ten of one thing to then be donated to her. She will then sell all the handmade items and all proceeds go to the charity her church has chosen to support for 2009.
I had no idea how much fabric I had just hanging around and was only too keen to help. The selling of these items won't happen until March but I figured while I was on a roll behind my sewing machine and before bubby arrives I'd get onto it! As you can see I have finished 6 sets... the final 4 just need their ribbon and I'll be all done!!!

January 19, 2009

Weekly Featured Artist - Marianne of Crochet by Momma J

What a collection this weeks Featured Artist has on offer in her shop Crochet by Momma J!! There are Afghans, Hangers, Sachets, Appliques, Diaper Bags/Clutches, Baby Booties, Baby Blankets, Bath Items and Hats/Scarves - surely you'd be able to find something amongst all these gorgeous handmade goodies that you or someone you know can't live without??

Tell us all about yourself and your craft?
My name is Marianne Jackson, and I live in Georgia (USA) with my husband of 15 years and 3 beautiful daughters (ages 3, 7 and 13). My craft is crocheting.

How long have you been creating your craft?
I began crocheting when I was pregnant with my now 7 year old. A co-worker of mine taught me during lunch breaks and I just fell in love with it!

What is one of the biggest lesson you have learnt about your craft & selling it?
The biggest lesson I have learned (am learning) is patience. Selling is not easy (haven't had one in a LONG time), but I am being patient and just trying to get myself out there for people to see.

Which of your items did you have the most fun creating & why?
I think the first blanket I designed was the most exciting. I had always done things from patterns, and I had so much fun creating my own and seeing that it actually looked good.

Is there a basic 'household' item you use when creating that seems to work just as good if not better than the actual 'tool'?
Nope - I stick with the tools of the trade.

What is your favourite candy bar & why?
Gotta be Snickers - I mean chocolate, caramel, nuts - who could ask for more?

If money, responsibilities, and time were no issues where in the great wide world would you go & why?
Greece. I have always wanted to take a cruise to Greece - ever since I was a child.

January 17, 2009

An award and another Giveaway - What a day!!

I've woken this morning to a blog award from a fellow FAM (Fabulous Artistic Mom's) team member Momma J who has a gorgeous etsy shop HERE and sent the blog award from her sweet blog HERE
After reading the meaning behind this award I was touched that she picked me as one of the recipients - Thanks Momma J!!!

Proximidade is described as follows:
'This blog invests and believes in PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes for self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers!'

This blog award should be sent to your favorite eight bloggers and they, in turn should forward to eight of their favorites. You should include the text for Proximidade (above) in your announcement blog.

And so I award the following eight blog pages for their Proximidade attributes:

Kookie - Designers and Artists of Australia Unite
Art for Autism - Artists and Artisans affected by Autism everyday
Buttons by Lou Lou
Vanilla Pixie
Project Mommyhood
SoBella Creations
Bedknobs N Broomsticks
Precious Angel Originals

Oh and as I promised.... I'm keeping you in the loop of my first ever few Giveaways!! You may already know about the one over at Mammalicious Finds that ends on January 23rd and is open to USA and Australian residents but did you also know there is a second Giggleberry Giveaway being hosted by The Mom Buzz.....
Head over to this great blog to enter by the 29th of January and be in the running - Good luck!!

January 16, 2009

New finds & a giveaway!!

I just LOVE the wonderful world of blogging - you never know where you'll end up (even if you wind up killing way too much time looking around LOL)

On one of my everyday blog reads, Polka Dot Mom, I learnt about a stunning fabric shop on Etsy, Lanie Jane Fabric! There are so many gorgeous fabrics listed there that are too hard to pass on like Sandi Henderson, Erin McMorris & Michael Miller there is even a packed full SALE section!!

Now as I mentioned in the title this is a new find and a GIVEAWAY so here are the details.... Lanie Jane is hosting their very own giveaway in which you can win the above sweet little Andalucia pendant and a Fat Quarter Bundle. All you need to do is wander through Lanie Jane Fabric website and pick your favorite print from the Andalucia line then return to her blog post before next Wednesday the 21st and leave a comment telling where your from and your pick - Easy right?? Good Luck!!

My 100th post!!!

I can't believe it.... after I hit 'publish' for my last entry I noticed it was my 99th post meaning I was just about to hit the 100 mark without even noticing - life must be busy!!

So I had to sit and think... what would I write about for my milestone post?? would it be deep and meaningful?? would it have anything to do with handmade items?? or if it would even matter at all what I chose to write about for my 100th blog post?? which is when I had my light bulb moment......
I would share with you all a bunch of silly facts with 100 in them somewhere - so sit back, get comfy, relax and enjoy these facts that will probably do nothing at all but give you an excuse to stop whatever it was you were thinking about or doing while you read through them....

* On average, 100 people choke to death on ballpoint pens every year.
* There are 100 million internet users in China. Some of the sites they can't access are BBC news, Amnesty International and Dalailama.com.
* If the entire population of earth was reduced to exactly 100 people,50% of the world's currency would be held by 6 people.
* A car traveling 100 mph would take more than 29 million years to reach the nearest star.
* If you add up the numbers 1-100 consecutively (1+2+3+4+5 etc) the total is 5050.
* About 10 out of a 100 parrots learn to talk.
* A cup of coffee contains about 100 - 150 milligrams of caffeine.
* An avalanche can make snow travel up to the speed of 100 miles per hour.
* When you sneeze, air and particles travel through the nostrils at speeds over100 mph. During this time, all bodily functions stop, including your heart, contributing to the impossibility of keeping one's eyes open during a sneeze.
* Larry Lewis ran the 100-yard dash in 17.8 seconds in 1969, thereby setting a new world's record for runners in the 100-years-or-older class. He was 101.
* Back in the mid to late ’80s, an IBM compatible computer wasn’t considered 100% compatible unless it could run Microsoft’s Flight Simulator.
* The first one-hundred digits of pie are: 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939
* Cats have over 100 vocal sounds, dogs only have 10
* A "jiffy" is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.
* What do 100% of all lottery winners do? Gain weight.
* If you counted at the rate of 100 numbers a minute and kept counting for eight hours a day, five days a week, it would take a little over 4 weeks to count to one million and just over 80 years to reach one billion.

Now aren't you glad you popped into this blog and saw all these?? LOL!! Do you know any useless facts like these with 100 in them somewhere that you can share??? leave me a comment and I be sure to read them all as you have sat through mine.... Have a great day and be sure to pop back for my 101st post....

January 15, 2009

Terrific Treasuries!!

Thanks so much to Vanilla Pixie for including Giggleberry's flag set A Spot Of Brightness in her super fun and bright treasury!!!

Click HERE to go straight to the treasury and don't forget to click on all the items and maybe leave a comment if you get a chance - Thanks!!

January 14, 2009

Fabulous & Fun Features!!

What a fabulous way to start off the new year!!!

Giggleberry Creations has been featured in a few places - with my first ever giveaways!!!

At the moment you can head to Little Window Shoppe to see the highlight Giggleberry Creations has there - Thanks Emily

And at Mammlicious Finds I have been chosen as the very first Mamma Of The Month. It was so much fun being interviewed about being a WAHM - what a great way to get to know fellow mamma's and how they manage family life and their businesses!!

Attached to this interview is Giggleberry Creations FIRST EVER GIVEAWAY!!! click HERE to be part of the fun and in the running to win a 10 flag banner - Jolly Jungle

I'll be sure to let you all know as soon as Giggleberry Creations has other giveaways and where to go to be in the running...... Stay Tuned!