Saturday, January 31, 2009

The coolest idea for kids

via KidsHaus:

It is a custom stamp! Why go to the printer when you can make it yourself! Thank you KidsHaus! This would be great for homemade Valentine's Day cards...

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Consumer Product Safety Act Update

via KidsHaus:

January 28, 2009
Bloggers Unite: CPSIA

The topic of the CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act) is something I've been intending to write about for quite some time but it has reached the point of imminent importance. Bloggers are uniting today to spread the news so that, if you're compelled, you can help delay, amend or repeal the law. Click on Matt at Etsy's "Action Kit" to view compiled information and links of who to contact to voice your opinion, most importantly the contact information for the Committee on Energy and Commerce that is the congressional committee that sponsored the CPSIA.

Also, here is an eloquently written description of the ramifications, via, that will occur by February 10:

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.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Spoonful of Dirt

Relieved to find out that (some) dirt is good for your child...

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Friday, January 23, 2009

Cool Tricks!

via the DWR blog:

But I think that I will wait until spring to do this with my daughter because today is -25 c!

Film Canister Rocket

You’ll need:
• An empty 35mm plastic film canister and lid (it’s rumored that the semitransparent canisters work best)
• One Alka-Seltzer tablet
• Water
• Safety goggles

How to create your rocket:
1. Put on your goggles.
2. Put one half of the antacid tablet in the canister.
3. Add a teaspoon of water to the canister.
4. Quickly put on the cap and snap it tightly.
5. Quickly put it cap-side-down and step back.

In a few seconds, the film canister will launch into the air. In the event of a misfire, wait at least 30 seconds before approaching the canister. Launching the rocket outdoors is recommended.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Crazy quilt for Sunnybrook

I finished my crazy quilt for Sunnybrook Cancer Centre...Pam brought the squares to our S'n'B a few months ago and we have been working on sewing them together into blankets. The squares were knit by people visiting friends and family in the cancer clinic and they needed help to put them together. I am amazed by how well the random squares fit together to make something so beautiful! I just sort of grabbed a square and the only rule that I had was not to place two of the same squares next to each other. Hope that you enjoy it...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009