Saturday, January 31, 2009

eye spy...a small object

Ah, a small object -- my house is full of mini-things! I love miniature everything...although miniature is my all-time favorite. The only tough part of this eye spy was....what to choose? But Emily was rummaging through a box of my Re-Ment yesterday while I was cleaning and I spotted one of my favorite sets of all time:

small panda pans

I loved the whole animal kitchen ware series, and the panda pans were my favorite set -- so much so, that I needed a real-life version. And here, for scale, are the mini-pandas with the real one:

panda pans...real and mini

I love small things!

This week's eye spy theme brought to you by the Crafty Librarian!

Friday, January 30, 2009

CSPIA: time for cautious optimism?

The CPSC has just issued a one-year stay on testing requirements for the CPSIA. This means, people can keep selling! However, they are still liable if they do sell anything that doesn't meet the limits:

Manufacturers and importers -- large and small -- of children’s products will not need to test or certify to these new requirements, but will need to meet the lead and phthalates limits, mandatory toy standards and other requirements.

The good: etsy can live on! I can finish off those baby blankets and try to sell them (except, I think, for the one with metallic fibers....). The insanely expensive testing is suspended for a year -- and during this year, perhaps Congress can modify this law to make it work.

The bad: this could make the movement to fix this lose steam, if people think everything is fine, and we'll all be back where we are now next year. And, no-one is completely off the hook, even in handcrafts:

Handmade garment makers are cautioned to know whether the zippers, buttons and other fasteners they are using contain lead. Likewise, handmade toy manufacturers need to know whether their products, if using plastic or soft flexible vinyl, contain phthalates.

It looks like anything painted still does have to be tested, along with a handful of other things. I'm pretty sure that was required already, however, so won't change anything.

A good and cautious analysis is up at ZRecommends.


colorkitten is up! thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

CPSIA blogging day

Today is CPSIA blogging day -- but I'm not going to say much because Evan is busy posting a whole load of information I gathered back in December. Why is he posting about it? Because we realized weeks ago that come February 10th practically every comic shop retailer is going to be a felon. What are comic shops full of? Toys. Comics. Things that look they they are for kids (even if they are not). And comics, along with toys and everything else on the planet, are regulated by the CPSIA rules in less than two weeks. ALL ILLEGAL, GANG! Back issues? Definitely illegal. Everything I've worked on, from Supergirl, to manga, to my own stuff and collaborations with Evan? Hazardous material. I'm glad we sold off virtually all of our inventory in the last two years at various conventions, because we can't even sell it ourselves. Anyway, I gathered a ton of links and he is writing it all up now. If you are so inclined, check in at his blog shortly.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

eye spy...something beginning with J

And it's a Jar.

J is for Jar

Freshly filled with homemade tomato/pasta/pizza/all purpose sauce. This is a very simple sauce we switched to a couple years ago, and we use it all the time. It's based on a recipe by Mario Batali for....some parenting magazine that went of print -- I'm thinking Child? Or maybe Today's Parent? Not sure. Anyway, it's super-easy, and one batch fills that (32 ounce) jar twice (half goes in the jar, half into the freezer to refill the jar when it empties). All you do is:

heat 1/4 cup olive oil over low-med heat. Add 1/2 large onion, finely chopped, then 3-5 cloves of garlic, also finely chopped. Soften for about 10 min. Add 2 carrots, peeled and grated, and 1 tablespoon thyme (dried). Cook another 10 minutes, and add 2 28 ounce cans of crushed tomatoes. Simmer for half an hour or until you remember that it's on the stove.

Add more or less of anything, and chop/grate as finely or coarsely as you like. I've always made it pretty smooth because Emily was tiny when I started making it. And she still hates big pieces of onion, but will eat the onions in ths without complaint. The tomatoes you use are important; I use a store brand organic, and when it was off the shelves for a few months I tried several brands (organic and non) and none of them worked as well for me. Hopefully my brand will never disappear again!

This week's eye spy theme brought to you by Lauren of Lauren Williams Handmade!

Monday, January 19, 2009

eye spy...a taste of summer

All I have really been spying in the last week is gloom, snow, and the effects of a household all suffering from stomach flu. But, this weekend, a ray of sunshine landed in the mailbox:

eye spy a taste of summer

our first seed packets have arrived! Emily cannot wait and wants to start them now. I'm with her!

This week's eye spy theme brought to you by Anastasia of drawing and dreaming!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

polar bear pullover!

Here's another successful bit of December sewing -- the "perfect" winter dress for Emily. I worked the pattern out myself based on features of all her favorite dresses, and here's what it's got that she loves: very short cap sleeves, which qualifies it as short/no sleeves (although I can get her to wear a long-sleeved tee underneath); a comfy elasticized neck that just pops on and off (based on a Japanese tunic that she loves and is rapidly growing out of); a snug fit in the torso; and a bit of swing to the skirt. And of course, a really cute fabric!

polar bear pullover

When I first saw this Hilco "Knut" sweater knit (that's sweatshirt fleece to us North Americans) I knew I had to make something out of it for her, it is just so cute. And she loves polar bears, and she has even seen video of Knut himself (although she likes Flocke better). So I grabbed a yard of the pink and thought about it for a bit...and this was what I came up with. Here's a closer look at the neckline and cap sleeve.

polar bear pullover - detail

The fabric is so soft and warm, I feel a little better about the fact that she won't wear a jacket. And she loves it so much, the 2nd one (same print, but in blue) is already cut out. I'll be trying it in a jersey when it warms up as well and see if it works as a warm-weather pattern too!

I am supposed to be doing my Eye Spy today, but the topic was "something I want to try in 2009" and my answer is....nothing! (taking "try" to mean try out or attempt for the first time, not "hope to finish", because I've got plenty of that). 2009 is going to be the year of tying up loose ends and focusing on my favorite things to do. So, no plans to try any new crafts or activities in the next 12 months! Maybe in 2010....

Hilco "knut" fabric in pink from Buntefabrics.

Monday, January 5, 2009

popping in with some sewing!

Just popping my head up long enough to say happy new year! and to show off a little sewing I couldn't blog about before, as it was one of evan's xmas presents! This is not a good photo (I was being sneaky) but here is my first Föhr!

first fohr

Now Evan has a farbenmix garment, too!! I made this one up from some orangy-red cotton ribknit I'd bought on sale, plus orange bits and an applique cut from an Aquabats shirt that didn't fir any of us. The fit is near-perfect -- I will lengthen the sleeves on the next one a tiny bit, but this one fits fine. The pattern went together so quickly; I was able to put this together while Evan was home! (Well, if he'd been hanging out downstairs with us I couldn't have gotten away with it). We all approve!! And more Föhrs are definitely in the offing.

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