Sunday, December 28, 2008

Now That It's Over

Well Christmas came and went. I had a lot of fun, got some great gifts, and took tons of pictures. I got a Paula Dean pots and pans set, Tomb Raider video game, a personalized cookie jar, and a neat wallet photo album from my mom. I really like it. You can add up to like a thousand photos and some music.

Yesterday my mom came over and we hit up the craft stores. I am already getting ready to make some Valentine's Day stuff to sell because if that law goes through this will be my last holiday to make children's items to sell. I picked up a new scrapbook because the one I had previously purchased didn't have the expandable spine, a frame for Madi's photo with Santa, and some yarn to use for my dolls hair.

Oh yeah, I am making a new kind of doll. It's called a primitive folk art doll. I love them, they are so darn cute. They are kind of a pain because the arms and legs are so skinny and my fingers are too fat to fit in there so I had to use tweezers, but I liked the finished product. I gave the first one to my mom for Christmas. I took it up there and acted like, "Hey, this is my new doll. What do you think?" and she said that she loved it then asked all sheepishly, "Is it mine?" So cute. Of course it's yours mom! She always gets the prototype of my new items.

Here she is:

Well, I better get off here and get some stuff done. I plan on making lasagna tonight and I think I might do it in the crock pot. I'll let you know how it turns out.

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Last Minute Christmas Gifts

Well Christmas is almost here. 5 days to go and they are going fast. I know some people, just like me, might have some last minute gifts to prepare. Well, I have gathered some great ideas that you can easily throw together and have ready for Christmas.

1: Cookie Care Packages. These days you don't even need to be a good cook. You can get the premade cookie dough at the grocery store, some frosting, sprinkles,a Christmas tin, and viola...a homemade gift from the heart that anyone would love.

2: Library Card. You could go to the local library and give the gift of books. When I was growing up I loved the library but it has lost some of it's charm in this world of technology. I can't think of a better time to revive it.

3: Photo Slide show DVD. You can make this with almost any photo editing software. I did one for my mother-in-law and she really liked it. All you need is some photos, a blank DVD, and the you have a great gift that grandparents love.

Anyway, these are some great last minute gift ideas but you can also check out Family for more great ideas. As you can see, I love that site and their magazine.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


A Proposal From the handmadetoyalliance. org:

In 2007, large toy manufacturers who outsource their production to China and other developing countries violated the public's trust. They were selling toys with dangerously high lead content, toys with unsafe small parts, toys with improperly secured and easily swallowed small magnets, and toys made from chemicals that made kids sick. Almost every problem toy in 2007 was made in China.

The United States Congress rightly recognized that the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) lacked the authority and staffing to prevent dangerous toys from being imported into the US. So, they passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in August, 2008. Among other things, the CPSIA bans lead and phthalates in toys, mandates third-party testing and certification for all toys and requires toy makers to permanently label each toy with a date and batch number.

All of these changes will be fairly easy for large, multinational toy manufacturers to comply with. Large manufacturers who make thousands of units of each toy have very little incremental cost to pay for testing and update their molds to include batch labels.

For small American, Canadian, and European toymakers, however, the costs of mandatory testing, to the tune of up to $4,000 per toy, will likely drive them out of business. And the handful of larger toy makers who still employ workers in the United States face increased costs to comply with the CPSIA, even though American-made toys had nothing to do with the toy safety problems of 2007. Toy makers won't be the only ones impacted by the CPSIA, the thousands of US businesses who offer clothing, jewelry and other gifts for children, in essence, the entire children's industry will be as well.

The CPSIA simply forgot to exclude the class of toys that have earned and kept the public's trust. The result, unless the law is modified, is that handmade toys will no longer be legal in the US.

Thriving small businesses are crucial to the financial health of our nation.
Let's amend the CPSIA so that all businesses large and small are able to comply and survive!

***Click the bottom widget to get the vote out. If you enjoy ANY handmade children's items then I ask that you please repost this. We keep our individuality and help out the little guy when we purchase handmade. If this law comes into effect there will be no more handmade children's items available because the little guy will not be able to afford the testing costs. Thank you. Hope everyone had a nice weekend.***

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Handmade Dolls

All day today has been devoted to getting this doll finished for my mom. I worked last night until 3:00 a.m. this morning and just finished. She was kind of a pain because the crushed velvet wasn't really cooperating but I like the end result.
I guess I should go into detail about my dolls. Well, my mom loves them. She used to spent some serious money on dolls like this one, they are called muslin dolls, and after checking one out I thought to myself: "I can do that."
My first doll was a Valentine's Day one for mom last year. Here she is...
Anyway, when I gave her to my mom, she just loved her. Up to this date I have made five for her. Valentine's Day, Easter, 4th of July, Halloween, and now Christmas. I read on this one site that you should sign and date your dolls on the back because you never know where they might end up in a hundred years. Maybe one day my great-granddaughter will display these. Hmmm...that's a neat thought.
Ok, so to do this type of doll you have to have moderate sewing ability. I made my own pattern and these dolls are about 80% free hand. Just use your imagination and go wild. Clothes for the doll are kind of a pain but with trial and error, trust me, they will get better. You will need about a 1/2 yard muslin fabric, bag of Fiberfill, doll hair (you can find this at any craft store), permanent marker (if you are making this doll for a child you CAN NOT use markers or paint), makeup brush and blush, and any 2 fabrics of your choice for the clothes. If you have any questions about how to make this doll let me know.
Well, here are some more pics of my doll that I did today. I forgot to mention that I also name my dolls, makes me feel better about writing my name on their butt if their name is on there too. This one's name is Christmas Eve. Ahh, I love it.
I hope everyone has a great Saturday afternoon.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Homemade Gifts

So, I thought I would do a couple of posts about homemade Christmas gifts. Moms and Grandmas love these kinds of gifts and it makes them even better when children help out.

For instance, last year for Christmas my sisters and I got together and made a Christmas memory quilt for my mom. We each picked out 2 holiday fabrics. Then we had each of the kids design their own quilt block. They used everything from finger paints to buttons. When they were all done I sewed them all together to create a beautiful memory quilt. When my mom opened her gift she started to cry, she loved it so much. I know that it is something she will always treasure.

Anyway my project today was found here.

This site has 34 homemade gift ideas but I have to say that I loved this one the most.

*** Teacup candles! You’ll need craft-store wicks, wax (or old candles) that can be melted down, old teacups, and maybe a fragrance or two. Pretty single teacups (with or without saucers) can often be found at thrift stores for less than a dollar. Melt the wax in a double boiler, add fragrance if desired, then support the wick standing in the teacup while carefully filling the cup with wax. As the wax cools, it will contract and form a well. You can add more melted wax of the same color or add a second shade. These are fairly easy to make, but beware cups with obvious cracking; the hot wax may cause them to shatter.***

So cute. I think I will pass this idea onto my sister, the candle maker of the family. Presently, I am working on my mom's present but I will be sure to show a pic of it before I give it to her. Fortunately for me she doesn't read my blog so I can share it with you.

I hope everyone has a great weekend.