January 30, 2009

Guest Book

As promised, here is a look at the guest book I made to match the most recent set of wedding announcements I worked on. It's a simple book, but it works, my bride and groom don't like fru-fru.

I chose sage as the inlay because it is one of the bride's colors. We're also getting a branch-like pen to go with the book. (Click images to view larger.)

January 28, 2009

International Blog In

Today is International Blog In day for those of us who want to get the word out about the CPSIA. It is something that has me upset and a lot of people worried.

What is the CPSIA?
In short, after a spate of imported children's products were found to contain lead, the United States Congress quickly drafted and passed the CPSIA, or the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act in August 2008. This law is slated to go into implementation on February 10, 2009.

Among other things, the CPSIA bans lead and phthalates in childrens products (ages 12 and under) mandates third party testing and certification (of EACH product part) and requires that each item be permanently labeled with a date and batch number.

Now, under the very important auspices of child safety, the CPSIA may have grave, unintended consequences.

What's the big deal?
1. It will become unlawful to make or sell anything intended for use by children 12 or under without a program to test goods for lead. Even if no items of their kind have EVER posed a lead risk. Even if the materials were sourced from the most conscientious supplier (one who already tests for lead and phthalates) and even if they're items toddlers will never put in their mouth such as dartboards or bicycle tires.

2. Testing is so costly thousands of small businesses will be forced to close. For example, I use five different materials to make my dolls. Each part will cost around $300 to test. That means one doll will cost me $1,500+ to produce. And when I need to buy more materials, I will have to test again—even if it comes from the exact same roll of fabric I used before. Can you afford a $1,500 doll?

3. The law is so poorly written it doesn't carefully define which items are to be tested. Anything a 12 year old or under might use? So . . . towels, light switches, books, quilts, chairs . . .?
And the disclaimer, "not for children under 12", doesn't hold legal ground.

So what's going to happen February 10th?

Will the shelves in the stores be empty? Will the children's sections be taped off?
I know a lot of handmade items and small shops will quietly disappear. And it will become illegal to custom create anything that a child 12 and under might use.

So we are calling for an amendment to the CPSIA. Please tell everyone about it. Blog about it. Email the information. Get the word out. And send a letter to those who can make a difference, the news, congress etc.

How do I get started?
Etsy has provided and action kit, full of detailed information, pre-written letters for your congressmen, and links.

Click here to download the Action Kit provided by Etsy. (After clicking, scroll down a bit for the PDF kit.)

January 22, 2009

Want of The Week

I used to think chandeliers were old fashioned and ugly—what was wrong with me!? Isn't this pretty? Now I want one, or two, or three. . . . Click here to visit Great Chandeliers. (Some are even under $100!)

January 20, 2009


I'm about to make a guest book to match the wedding announcements I just finished. It's been a couple of years since I bound a book so I went digging through my boxes to remind myself how to get started. Here are a couple of fun examples I found from my bookbinding class.

Made from Japanese paper (found at Kate's Paperie in New York) the journal below is bound using a coptic stitch.

Somehow I messed it up a little and I actually doubled the loops. The correct stitch is the one on the far right. See how the two on the left are a little thicker? Although incorrect, I think I like them better.
Inside front cover.
Below are some papers I dug out of my stash from Kate's. So pretty. How can I cut them up?
Below was my final project the bookbinding class. Our teacher told us we had to learn a new binding technique on our own and somehow incorporate a box into our project. (She'd taught us how to make simple boxes.)

I made an album using a Japanese Stab stitch. The book comes encased in a green box of my own design. It turned out great for never having made anything like it before.

January 19, 2009

I am officially excited . . .

I've been trying to find (PVA) book binding glue and discovered that Paper Source carries it! And then I discovered we actually live CLOSE to a Paper Source. As I have never been, I am officially excited to go visit this evening. *sigh* I have a weakness for paper. . . . Here are some of my faves from their online store.

January 15, 2009

Want of the Week

For sale at Somethings Hiding in Here—these mustaches are my faves. I'd throw a "masquerade" party . . . only, using mustaches and beards! I even think the girls would get a kick out of it.

January 9, 2009


I saw this little video many months ago (which of course made me lust after this book) and over the holiday I was lucky enough to find it at half off! It's an ABC3D pop-up book by Marion Batalle. Click here to view the video—but be warned, you may end up wanting one too.

January 8, 2009

Pretty Good Start

I'm sitting here, my desk cluttered, my mind just the same . . . trying to pick up where I left off before the holiday vacation and I simply don't want to be back. So, I am putting off doing the paperwork that is a "must" and instead will start off the new year sharing with you a couple little goodies.

Over the Christmas break we girls (my mother, sisters, and I) went to Sacramento and happened upon an antique shop where we discovered these large beauties.

The colors and style remind me of Marie Antoinette—a movie worth seeing for colors and costumes alone. In person, the lamps are completely striking, breath-taking, and tall, . . . I wished to myself "If only I had a room for these—but they demand presence, something my meager apartment does NOT have." Marked down from $800 each to $300, I thought they were a great deal. Alas, I had to leave them behind.

Ikea sells itty-bitty silverware perfect for your kids playhouse—and perfect for an adult "mini" party too. My sister bought a set for my mother and we promptly put on a pretty little party using all the tiny antique dishware she has been collecting over the years.

Among other foods, we served mini: bagels, ciche, tarts, and pigs in a blanket. Each setting had its own creamer full of milk to refresh personal cups when empty. All adults attended. All adults loved it.

Lastly we threw an un-birthday party for my neice—and I was promptly asked to make a party hat. Panick sat in as I stared at the pile of colored paper thrust in front of me . . . "can I make something creative on the spot?" Scissors flying and tape sticking I began. The result was a purple hat with a wonderful, bouncy explosion from the top. Moral of the story: don't be afraid, let it be handmade!