Friday, January 30, 2009

CPSIA Boogie

Here's the latest...
We've been given a temporary Stay of Execution! Enforcement of the law will be put off for 1 year, at which point they'll be reconsidering the Stay. It will give them a chance to get things pinned down and clarified. So I am not allowed to dust my children's items with lead powder, but since I know my items are effectively lead-free I don't have to worry about the testing and certification documents for at least a year! Yay!

Official Declaration:

CPSC Grants One Year Stay of Testing and Certification Requirements for Certain Products

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voted unanimously (2-0) to issue a one year stay of enforcement for certain testing and certification requirements for manufacturers and importers of regulated products, including products intended for children 12 years old and younger. These requirements are part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which added certification and testing requirements for all products subject to CPSC standards or bans.

Significant to makers of children’s products, the vote by the Commission provides limited relief from the testing and certification requirements which go into effect on February 10, 2009 for new total lead content limits (600 ppm), phthalates limits for certain products (1000 ppm), and mandatory toy standards, among other things. 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 decision by the Commission gives the staff more time to finalize four proposed rules which could relieve certain materials and products from lead testing and to issue more guidance on when testing is required and how it is to be conducted.

The stay will remain in effect until February 10, 2010, at which time a Commission vote will be taken to terminate the stay.

The stay does not apply to:

  • Four requirements for third-party testing and certification of certain children’s products subject to:
  • Certification requirements applicable to ATV’s manufactured after April 13, 2009.
  • Pre-CPSIA testing and certification requirements, including for: automatic residential garage door openers, bike helmets, candles with metal core wicks, lawnmowers, lighters, mattresses, and swimming pool slides; and
  • Pool drain cover requirements of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act.

The stay of enforcement provides some temporary, limited relief to the crafters, children’s garment manufacturers and toy makers who had been subject to the testing and certification required under the CPSIA. These businesses will not need to issue certificates based on testing of their products until additional decisions are issued by the Commission. However, all businesses, including, but not limited to, handmade toy and apparel makers, crafters and home-based small businesses, must still be sure that their products conform to all safety standards and similar requirements, including the lead and phthalates provisions of the CPSIA.

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.

The stay of enforcement on testing and certification does not address thrift and second hand stores and small retailers because they are not required to test and certify products under the CPSIA. The products they sell, including those in inventory on February 10, 2009, must not contain more than 600 ppm lead in any accessible part. The Commission is aware that it is difficult to know whether a product meets the lead standard without testing and has issued guidance for these companies that can be found on our web site.

The Commission trusts that State Attorneys General will respect the Commission's judgment that it is necessary to stay certain testing and certification requirements and will focus their own enforcement efforts on other provisions of the law, e.g. the sale of recalled products.

Perhaps we all became obnoxious enough to make them rethink things! Yay for obnoxiousness! :P

It's a giveaway! Lucky you ;)

The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me! My choice. For you. This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!

2. What I create will be just for you.

3. It'll be done this year. {might be a little while}

4. You have no clue what it's going to be. It may be a story. It may be poetry or a song. I may bake you something and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!

5. I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.

**The catch? Oh, the catch is that you must repost this on your blog and offer the same to the first 5 people who do the same on your blog. The first 5 people to do so and leave a comment telling me they did win a FAB-U-LOUS homemade gift by me!

I'm gonna need an address to send you your spleniferific item. If you don't want to leave it in the "comment" section (and I don't blame ya for that) send me an email at with name and address if you're one of the first five.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Progress!!! Finally!!!

I *think* I just finished setting up a shopping cart on ! It has taken months, but I finally got it done. I still have some tweaking to do to make sure I have the shipping set up right on all the buttons (I think I left it off on a few -- act now and you may be free shipping, lol), but the prices and images seem to all be correct now. I even made up a button of my own -- since you all know I can't settle for the easy way to do anything, LOL.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Monkey Mama

You knew there were going to be more sock monkeys. It's inevitable :)

Here's my latest pair. The monkey baby again has embroidered eyes so she is baby-safe. Monkey Mama is not baby safe -- she has button eyes and magnets inside her hands so she can hug that sweet baby. I discovered that the ceramic disc magnets just aren't strong enough for a good hold. If she is posed sitting still her hands will stay put, but not with any resistance on them. I'm going to get some stronger magnets and try again on the huggy monkeys.

Monkeys sold separately.
Mama Monkey: $10.00, $14.50 shipped
Baby Monkey: $10.50, $15.00 shipped

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Valentines trinkets

Do you want to give the coolest valentines ever? Here are the valentine's themed bottle caps I have made. I plan to make bottle cap clippies for all the girls in Daisy's 1st grade class.

Three metallic valentine images:

Flower and heart images:
(the dark blotch on the heart image is not intentional and will not appear on any finished caps)

As-is, Retail $.1.00 WS $.75
pendant, Retail $1.50 WS $1.12
keychain, Retail $3.50 WS $2.62
magnet back, Retail $1.50 WS $1.12
earrings (pair), Retail $5.00 WS $3.75
pin back, Retail $1.50 WS $1.12

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monkey Babies

Announcing the newest member of the Sock Monkey family! This monkey is made from a pair of toddler-sized socks. I'm excited to try making a family set: Mama, Papa, and the three little girls :) Of course I can make boy monkeys too, we just don't have boy monkeys in our family!

Sock monkeys, large: $10.00 Wholesale (5+) $7.50
Sock monkeys, small: $9.00 Wholesale (5+) $6.75
for embroidered eyes (to remove choking risk of button eyes) add $1.50

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bottlecap Bonanza!

I found a great pack of High School Musical stickers at the store the other day. They worked perfectly with my punch even! So I made a whole batch of High School Musical bottle caps. In fact, it's amazing what you can do on a treadmill.

It took me a little longer than usual and I didn't do as fast a walk as usual, but I glazed all of these while doing my evening exercise the other night! I made up for the speed by pumping up the incline. Trust me, my heart rate went plenty high, LOL.

Uses for bottle caps:
mount on a bow or on a pony-o to put in hair
add a jump ring to make necklace pendant
add to key chain (such as the BYU keychain in previous post)
add magnets to the back and use on the fridge, filing cabinet, locker, magnet board, etc.
add earring wires to create unique earrings
add a filler and a pin back to pin to a jacket, purse, backpack, scarf, etc.

As-is, Retail $.1.00 WS $.75
pendant, Retail $1.50 WS $1.12
keychain, Retail $3.50 WS $2.62
magnet back, Retail $1.50 WS $1.12
earrings (pair), Retail $5.00 WS $3.75
pin back, Retail $1.50 WS $1.12

Wholesale minimum: 10

BYU bottlecap keychain. You know it isn't from a beer bottle ;)

Perhaps the most "notoriously sober" college campuses just needed a bottle cap keychain. So I made it. I managed to find a scrapbook paper which had the BYU Cougar mascot on it (meaning that this keychain abides by all copyright laws). I now have a couple of little plastic boxes full of BYU Cougar paper punch-outs! One of these days I'll make them up on bottle caps and sell them so I can actually get something more done. I'm needing supply money these days, so I guess some income is called for :P

Retail price: $3.50
Wholesale (minimum 10) $2.62

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A return to cuteness

Okie Dokie, I'm getting back on track finally:

One of my nephews celebrated his 1st birthday two days ago.
For the record: since I keep mentioning nieces and nephews: on my husband's side of the family there are 19 grandchildren presently. On my side of the family there are 26-28 (one passed away as an infant and one is expected in August). So if you take out my kids they have a total of 39 cousins to play with! But I digress...

So, birthday party on Saturday: My husband's sister and her husband have recently opened Saratoga Tool Rental and Fire and Ice Dance Studio in Saratoga Springs, UT. The party was held there and everyone had a great time.

Since I have only daughters, I was momentarily stumped on what to do for a little boy's birthday. Besides that, since we're still on the first paycheck after Christmas, I didn't have any money to spend :") So, after some consideration and consulting other crafters for their ideas, I decided to stick with what I first thought of: An "Eye Spy Bag".

This isn't just any Eye Spy Bag: it's Eye Spy: Family Edition. I made the bag of white cotton (two layers for strength) and use iron on transfer paper to put a picture of the extended family on the back, and a cropped picture of "Bubber's" family on the front above the viewing window. Inside I used short grain rice as a filler and included 19 bottle caps, each with a picture of one of the grandchildren on that side of the famly, and 1 more with a picture of the two favorite aunts. The bottlecaps are all glazed and finished.

Hopefully the bag will be a fun thing to play with even as he grows up. In the mean time, his sister seemed to enjoy trying to find herself. (She's 3 years old). Happy Birthday "Bubbers!"

Sorry the pictures are not the greatest.
I quickly took them in the car on the way to the party just before I wrapped it up >g<

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Okay, I know I'm getting B-O-R-I-N-G... but one more thing

This is what you get for reading the blog of an opinionated woman :)

Here's a Press Release I finally discovered today (thanks to another concerned crafter) that has to do with the certification requirements. Now, I might be reading this optimistically, but I think this might be good. See what you think:


CPSC Clarifies Certification Requirements
Agency Staff to Focus on Compliance with Safety Rules

WASHINGTON, D. C. – On Monday, November 10, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a final rule (pdf) by unanimous vote, addressing the conformity certification required for consumer products subject to safety rules under CPSC jurisdiction.

The Commission addressed three major issues: 1) who should supply the certificate; 2) how the certificate can be filed; and 3) CPSC enforcement of general certification.

First, the certification process will now be streamlined, by limiting the number of parties who must issue conformity certifications unless a preexisting Commission product standard requires otherwise. The Commission determined that for imported products, only the importer needs to issue the conformity certificate.

Foreign manufacturers and private labelers of imported products do not need to issue certificates, and they do not need to be listed as parties on certificates. For products manufactured in the United States, only the domestic manufacturer needs to issue the certificate. Private labelers do not need to issue certificates, and do not need to be listed as parties on certificates.

Second, the rule confirms that electronic means can be used to meet the certification requirement in the Consumer Product Safety Improvements Act of 2008 (CPSIA) and that conformity certifications can accompany the product and be furnished to distributors and retailers by a variety of electronic means. Electronic certificates can also be posted on a website for inspection or included with other electronic documents accompanying shipments through Customs, so long as the certificates can be produced immediately for inspection.

Finally, the agency intends to focus its enforcement efforts on a product’s compliance with our safety requirements. While the Commission recognizes that every company is expected to make its best efforts to comply promptly with the new certificate requirements, the agency intends initially to focus more on compliance with the safety rules underlying the certificate, rather than on the certificate or form of the certificate itself. For addition information and a copy of the rule, go to

My Interpretation:
As a "private labeler" I am not personally responsible for testing my materials. Manufacturers and importers are responsible for testing to make sure lead and other metals fall within the new standards. (Sound like a rant you've read anywhere nearby?) They are responsible for providing certification that their items have been tested and are within standards.
The hiccup -- I cannot necessarily continue using my current suppliers. Ribbon, alligator style hair clips, etc. are not automatically required to be tested unless the item itself qualifies as a children's item. I will still have to make sure that my suppliers have conformity certificates and that my final products will be safe for children. I'm okay with that. I have been doing a lot of research (obviously -- otherwise I wouldn't bore y'all so much) and have started finding suppliers that are already preparing for the full implementation of this law. My costs will probably go up, but I will be able to stand by my product as being safe and legal as far as I understand the law.

I think I'm done boring you now. I PROMISE that my next post will be cute, fun, and full of pictures :) Stay tuned!

My Lead Research

Okay, I am sure none of you really care to see all this, but after doing all the research I want to share anyway. So either just pretend to pay attention or move on to the next post ;)

I decided to do a little research on the incidence of lead poisoning in the US, and where the offending items are coming from. I take my information from the Center for Disease Control, or "CDC" ( I looked through all items recalled due to higher-than-allowable levels of lead since January of 1977 ( From 1977 through the end of 2004 I count 60 items which were recalled due to high lead levels. From 2005 through the end of 2008 there have been 213 additional entries. Many entries prior to 2005 do not include the place of manufacture, but all entries since then do. Here is a list of all the countries that have created toys found to have higher than allowed levels of lead:

China (by FAR the largest contributor -- perhaps just due to volume, though)
Hong Kong
South Korea
Mexico (only one or two since 2005, but several prior)
The following each had just one incidence prior to 2005:
Sri Lanka
and yes... one toy batch was recalled that was made in the USA in the year 1992.
Each recall report includes whether there have been any known as a result of the defect. Through all 263 entries there were 4 known incidents, I *think* I recall that they were exclusively from metals (such as jewelry / key chains) that were sucked on or swallowed. There was one fatality. The recall list covers more years than I've even been alive!
Considering the numbers, (found here: in the year 2006, the most recent year there is data for, 1.21% of all children who were tested for lead tested positive. That's .001% of the childhood population below 72 months (6 years). Of those children, only 17% of those tested with high enough levels (>or= 20ug/dL) to be considered lead poisoning. That is .0002% of the childhood population below 6 years old.
Compare this to this chart: which reports childhood cancer. In the age group of children up to 9 years old (that is how they break down the age groups) the percentage is the very same: .0002%. As many children suffer from lead poisoning as suffer from cancer.
The big difference is that lead poisoning is environmental. Of children who suffer from lead poisoning a vast majority (couldn't find any solid numbers) is caused by lead paint. Lead paint was done away with in 1978, but old homes build prior to the ban still have the problems. Until the walls have been stripped to the timbers and re-sheetrocked / finished there is still a risk of lead poisoning from the paint. As the old paint flakes and deteriorates the lead remains as it ever was -- and sits around in the form of lead laden dust. Children under 6 are the most likely to have trouble with this since their bodies are still developing so quickly and they are more likely to be in close proximity to the floor (read: lead dust) and more likely to put their fingers in their mouths. The lead does need to be ingested in order to get into the blood stream. Paint (since everything but the lead will break down over time) is the biggest threat for lead poisoning.
Rates of lead poisoning are more likely to show up in impoverished families since they are more likely to live in old homes where lead abounds in the paint -- and in pipes. Most lead pipes or lead welded pipes are long gone, but in very poor areas that isn't necessarily true.
In the year 1997 the incidence of positive lead ratings per the population under 6 was .005% and has steadily declined over the years. In 2006 it was down to .001%. Lead paint on walls and yes, occasionall on toys and clothing, seems to be the biggest factor.
This is one more good reference:
It gives a lot of info on exposure, risk, and prevention of lead poisoning. This bit seems particularly significant:

"The major source of lead exposure among U.S. children is lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust found in deteriorating buildings. Lead-based paints were banned for use in housing in 1978. However, approximately 24 million housing units in the United States have deteriorated leaded paint and elevated levels of lead-contaminated house dust. More than 4 million of these dwellings are homes to one or more young children."Other sources of lead poisoning are related to:

  • hobbies (making stained-glass windows)
  • work (recycling or making automobile batteries)
  • drinking water (lead pipes, solder, brass fixtures, valves can all leach lead)
  • home health remedies (azarcon and greta, which are used for upset stomach or indigestion; pay-loo-ah, which is used for rash or fever)."

And here is a parting shot from the CDC:
"What is CDC’s approach?
CDC recommends designing, implementing, and evaluating primary prevention strategies that prevent childhood exposure to lead. The essential elements of primary prevention for childhood lead poisoning are as follows:
  • The first is to focus on lead paint in housing as the most important source of lead for young children.

    The system to identify high-risk housing and to make these units lead safe is in place. After 10 years of widespread blood lead testing and data collection by CDC-supported state and local partners, the specific addresses of housing units where children have been repeatedly poisoned are known to local officials. Systematic reduction of lead sources, particularly in old, poorly maintained housing combined with periodic maintenance monitoring will prevent children from being exposed to lead in these units in the future. Good evidence exits that those communities with the largest percent of children with very high blood lead levels, are also the communities that have the largest percent of children whose blood lead levels are lower but still well above the national average. This evidence also indicates the importance of primary prevention and the need to target those communities where the risk for exposure to lead is highest. Primary prevention in these communities would be expected to benefit all children who live in the highest risk communities.
  • The second is to restrict or eliminate nonessential uses of lead particularly in toys, eating and drinking utensils, cosmetics and traditional medicines whether manufactured in the United States or imported.

    In some areas of the United States as many as 35% of children identified with elevated lead levels are reported to have been exposed to items decorated with or made of lead. In most cases, the hazardous product is only identified after a child is lead poisoned. CDC, the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies are working to better identify hazardous products before they are in use."

So, do with this information what you will. Sorry this is so long, but I wanted to make sure I was basing my information on reliable sources. I feel like I'm back in school, LOL. I've just spent the last two hours researching lead and writing this informative blurb complete with references :P I don't think you need to worry much about your crafts tainting your children. If, for example, you buy bottle caps or other items pre-painted you may want to be cautious, also your clips - if you're afraid they will be put in mouths. Ribbon is very unlikely to contain lead unless it has been printed and the ink in the print process contains lead. Buying US made products may reduce the risk of tainted products versus buying imported products, particularly from the far east.
There will be a decision made sometime tomorrow, I believe (1/5/2009) about whether some items will be exempt from the testing because they cannot possibly contain lead. This is items such as sapphires, untreated wood, and natural fibers like cotton. I don't remember what else was on that "possibles" list but there should be decisions made sometime tomorrow, so we'll see.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

National Bankruptcy Day

Nope, it's not a Joke or even one of my super catchy titles ;) That is the name that has been attached to February 10, 2009.
Here is the actual law (section 101 is the one I am referencing)
Here are some FAQ's from the Toy Industry Association.

All children's items will be affected by this new law. I'm talking everything from diapers to books including clothing and yes, hair accessories. Blankets, wood cars, bottles... absolutely everything. This is for children under 12 and a simple "not intended for children under 12" will not suffice. Any product that would be reasonably considered to be used by children under 12 must fit the standards.

The CPSIA requires ALL children's items to be tested by the final creator of the item for lead. I don't manufacture ribbon or clips, hot glue or thread. I don't even manufacture my own bottlecaps :P However, since I assemble these items into something that could reasonably considered children's items, I am the one who has to handle the lead testing. Not just any testing will do. Labs have to be certified by the US Government to do this testing. (As an aside: the lead alarms that lead up to this law were entirely foreign based, yet at least half of the labs approved to do this testing are foreign. Does that make anyone else giggle?)

Every individual batch has to be tested (every roll of ribbon, pack of hot glue sticks, spool of thread... etc. is a separate batch) and the estimated cost is around $2,000 to $4,000 per test. Also, the labs are not interested in testing for small businesses. So, if I wanted to up my thread cost from $1.50 to $2,001.50 I would probably still have a hard time getting it in for testing. Not to mention the fact that the thread will be destroyed in the testing process.... Do you see a problem here?

Basically, the cost will be a minor annoyance for huge companies. For anyone smaller than the mega toy, clothing, etc. companies that churn out millions of products, this is a death knell.

Here is another write up on the CPSIA on You can vote for up to 10 items on this site. The top 10 issues will be brought to the Obama administration on January 16th for his consideration. Currently the CPSIA is in position #8.

As it stands, the future is bleak in the boutique, handmade, specialty or custom items world. We will let the huge corporations (who created the problem) take over the industry completely while the stay at home or work at home mothers (to mention a portion of the people affected by this law) all lose their employ and either have to enter the already saturated workforce, leaving their children at home or in daycare, or apply for assistance from the government.

I have done extensive research on lead poisoning: where does it come from? is it common? how could this affect my children? etc. I may post my lead "essay" as another post if anyone is interested. Just comment and ask for it and I'll post it. I was certainly surprised by some of my findings. Let me put it this way: I didn't feel any greater need for this law after my research.

My Opinion: (yes, people are allowed to disagree with my opinion, that's why I call it "My Opinion".) Require all goods imported or manufactured in the USA to stay within lead limitations. One case of lead poisoning was in a child mouthing a cheap imported decorative keyring which contained excessive lead. A keyring, from what I understand, would not be considered a children's item, and would not be subject to this law at all! Meaning that this law would not have saved that child. Why not just plain limit the lead used in manufacturing? Period. Children are most susceptible to lead, and more likely to ingest it, but that doesn't mean it's good for adults! If lead is not allowed in products manufactured in the USA and any products being imported into the USA are required to include a certificate stating that the products have been tested and do not contain lead in excess of the standards, don't you think that would do the trick? It may increase costs slightly, but these manufacturers are already producing huge batches at once so the cost difference would be minimal. (Consider this: testing one batch that will produce 1 million products. If the test costs $4,000 that still leaves the cost increase per products at 4 tenths of a cent.) Test those batches so that if you buy ribbon, yarn, bottlecaps, fabric... anything in the USA you have the comfort of knowing it is safe. Isn't that supposed to be the point anyway?