Sunday, December 21, 2008


If you know me, you thought this post would never come (or not come for a VERY long time), but we have a puppy--and we are all in love!

She is a Lhasa Apso puppy that we got at the Humane Society yesterday. She is a puppy mill rescue who is 3 months old and just about as sweet as can be. She only weighs 3 1/2 pounds (maybe 3 now after we had her shaved to get rid of all the knots and matting she had).

When we picked her up, they were calling her "Tinsel," but the kids wanted to pick their own name for her. Unfortunately, it seems a 4 and 5 year old can't agree on a dog name. While calling Aunt Erin to tell her about our new pup, she suggested "Oreo," since she's black and white--JACKPOT! BOTH of the kids agreed immediately to have that be her new name!

Training a new puppy is really never fun, but to be honest, it is going better than we thought it would. We actually got 5 hours of straight sleep last night followed by about 3 more (after The King took her out, of course). We've decided to work really hard at the beginning to train her, so that she will be a great dog for the rest of her life.....right?

Bottom line: she's adorable, loving, cuddly, and the kids think she's the best Christmas present EVER!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Have you heard about the wonderful legislation passed to ensure our kids toys are lead and phthalate free? Did you know that the law ended up being worded in such a way that, unless amendments are made, it will be illegal for me to sell my hand-made clothing come February 10? I truly didn't believe it, at first--and to be honest, I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around it. I'm still researching, but what I've found so far seems to imply that in an effort to protect our children (which I am ALL for), a law was passed that will impact not only me, but THOUSANDS of other small businesses.

I've copied this from the Etsy site, because it gives a very general idea of what I'm looking at--and writing just isn't one of my "things." If you are interested in more information, leave a comment and I'll be happy to share with you.

The following is an open letter regarding the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). This Act, which will go into effect on February 10th, 2009, puts forth much more stringent safety measures for products intended for children under the age of 12.

Under the very important auspices of child safety, the Act may have grave unintended consequences: fewer choices for families who are looking for handcrafted alternatives. Many Etsy artists and craftspeople have expressed fears that they won't be able stay in business due to the burdensome cost of testing and certification pursuant to the proposed legislation.

As a venue for handcrafted and vintage items from small entrepreneurs, Etsy has invited the Ombudsman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to join us in a webchat in our Virtual Lab. Etsy would very much appreciate the opportunity to provide a forum for discussing the concerns of artisans who make toys and children's products as well as their customers who support handmade products.

We urge members of the Etsy community and anyone concerned with both child safety and conscientious consumption to contact their governmental representatives; ask them to consider how the Act will impact independent craftspeople.

The office of the CPSC ombudsman: 888-531-9070.
Visit the Handmade Toy Alliance for information about writing your representatives.

Over 200,000 artists, crafters and vintage collectors sell their items on Many of these artisans make toys and other items for children. Made with love, care, the human touch and—often—all-natural materials, these items bring the consumer marketplace back to a personal level where customers can chat with toy makers and even create custom items for specific needs. Etsy members are part of a larger movement that seeks to creatively provide people across the globe with alternatives to mass-produced goods.

Many Etsy sellers are work-at-home-moms and dads. Among them are crafters with the skill and heart to preserve traditions of toy-making or to innovate their own methods of making children's items with a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) hands-on philosophy. You can meet an Etsy toy maker and seller by watching this five minute video portrait (all of our videos are published under open Creative Commons, so please feel free to repost). Amber Dusick, aka and Los Angeles-based toy-maker/work-at-home-mama, is an artist who would be impacted by this proposed legislation if it is enacted. Amber uses sustainably harvested woods, non-toxic paints and beeswax along with her wood-burning tool to create simple, natural wooden toys. Her imagery is reminiscent of a child's crayon drawing come to life in wood.

Amber, like other Etsy toy makers and sellers, is fearful that as a sole proprietor she will not be able to afford the stricter regulations of the Act; the cost of testing and certification is likely beyond her means. She told Etsy, “I'd be more than happy to have each of my toys tested, if it wasn't so cost prohibitive. It is the COST involved in testing that will shut us down, it isn't that anyone refuses to have their work tested."

The Small Business Administration defines "small business" as under 500 employees. Most of our Etsy members are either sole proprietors or maybe a family or studio of friends working together. Many craftspeople on Etsy have told us that they could be put out of business if forced to comply with the proposed legislation. This is the painful irony bound up in the CPSIA.

Etsy wanted to reach out with this open letter to see what can be done to ensure that small businesses and micro enterprises are being taken into account with this legislation. Our members would like to better understand how the CPSIA took into account these smaller businesses operating with fewer resources for testing and compliance. We believe Etsy artisans are pro-testing and pro-safety; the problem is the prohibitive certification costs relative to their small businesses' incomes. Our community is concerned that this legislature disregards small businesses in its attempts to regulate large corporate entities.

The U.S. House and Senate passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (the CPSIA), and on August 14, 2008, President Bush signed the Act into law. Further information on the Act is available at the CPSC website at and helpful FAQs are located

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Letter to a Dog

About18 months ago, we went to visit some of my husband's relatives. They have a little white dog named Holli, and my son fell in love. He talks about her all the time, and (of course) thinks we need a dog, too.

This week, my husband took a business trip that allowed him to visit his family and he sent a couple of pictures of Holli back to us. This rekindled my son's "obsession" with Holli, and he decided to send her a letter (yes, to the dog). He sat and wrote the letter and drew the picture with absolutely NO help--even put it in the envelope so I could address it and put on a stamp.

Last night, I saw the envelope sitting with a pencil right beside it at "my spot" at the kitchen table--presumable so I wouldn't forget to do what I said I'd do. I hadn't looked at what he'd done, but when I took it out, I was so glad I had my new scanner--this was something I wanted to keep!

Here's the letter:
(Dear Holli, How much fun are you having with my dad? Aunt Alice, write a letter.)

Here's the picture of him with Holli on a leash:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


We have purchased ticket for all four of us to go see this:

This will be the first time for the kids to see it and they are actually pretty excited!

I just purchase tickets for just me and The King to go see these guys:

Talk about excitement!! We pretty much play their music non-stop this time of year. Chances are you've heard them before, but if you aren't sure, click on this link to hear one of my all-time favorite songs:

Monday, December 8, 2008


It's been requested of me to post some of the following photos (mostly by family members), so here you go:

First, in the King's last race, the professional photographer caught this picture of him:

Second, here is my entire family: parents, brother, sister-in-law, nieces, nephews, husband, children and me. We try to get a decent picture every year at Thanksgiving!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Loves Me!

I just listed this Valentine's Day set, and you can find it HERE!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sample Set Listings!

I just listed FIVE of my Christmas sample sets and they all have FREE shipping!! Check them out HERE.

We've been having holiday fun with family at our house for Thanksgiving followed by whirlwind days of getting all the Christmas decorations up! I'll have some pictures to post in the next day or so.