Haven’t posted in a while! Quick update!

I know there are some that still check this sad lil’ ole blog of mine, so this is for you. I’m nearly done with my semester! I am mentally hanging on by a string, hoping I can get my classes finished with the grades I set out to get. Hopefully it will happen – only one more week! Then I have a bit of a break, and on to summer semester! Luckily that is only one class – so a breather even though the pace will be faster. Hopefully, though, I will be able to get some sewing done and be more productive in that respect. I have one gal patiently waiting until my head isn’t buried in a book so that I can get her shorties done in time for summer (you’re a doll Francesca!). I tell ya, as a very very part time WAHM, it’s so incredibly nice to have understanding customers who realize we still have lives on top of our WAHMing (whether WAHMing is our career or our hobby). Ok, well, enough break for me – back to finish up a Powerpoint assignment, fun fun!

April 24, 2009. Tags: . Just Because. 1 comment.

Yay!!! We have a reprieve!

Just saw this press release on one of my boards I am on (The Merchant Ship congo member board) – I don’t visit many other boards right now due to my school schedule (too swamped) – but I like to keep up with the gals I work with and was so happy to see this from the CPSC! A one year stay on the laws until the CPSC can make head or tails of how this will affect small business, etc.

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09115.html

January 31, 2009. Just Because. Leave a comment.

I’m so crafty! Bread!

Why are you posting about BREAD, you may be asking? Well, I believe that cooking and baking can be an artform all by itself. To create the perfect loaf of bread, or the moistest cake, can take a lot of trial and error and perseverance. I am on a mission to save my family some money. Funds are tight for everyone across the nation, my family is no exception. My husband is out of work awaiting a Workers Compensation claim finalization (fingers crossed and praying for re-training!!!), and I am going to school almost full time (3/4 is enough for me with 8 kids to boot), so money HAS to stretch right now. Sob sob, right? Another sad story, blah blah blah. Well while I might be a half-empty type of person some of the time, the majority of the time I try to view the world through my rose-colored glasses and see a positive spin to whatever trial lay before me. What does that mean? It means I get to have fun baking!!! I have been trying and trying to make the *perfect* bread for us at home. I think it would be cheaper and healthier all around, if I can finally master this. Have you ever really read the ingredients in a store bought loaf of bread? There’s all kinds of additives (i.e. crap), and I have yet to find a loaf that does not contain high fructose corn syrup – which we are attempting to reduce in our diet due to my son’s ADHD (and it has helped!) and to improve our health overall. I have tried several different bread recipes, and while they each have their own positive characteristics, I am still looking. I want that perfect loaf, with a soft tender crust and a nice soft, yet solid center, that can hold a hefty piece of ham (or turkey, yum!) in a nice sandwich. The half-loaf pictured below is made using the Artisinal bread (Click here for article). I used a very large bread tin, and as you can see the bread is pretty big! I put the 18 oz. jar of peanut butter next to it to show how big it is!! The inside of this bread is very yummy and soft. The crust is quite crunchy but still tastes good. My six year old daughter, Rachel, actually asked to take a slice slathered in butter, to school for her mid-day snack! Can’t say that I blame her!!

Homemade bread!!

Homemade bread!!

Another thing I have tried is baking pita bread! I have some gyro meat in my freezer I am dying to use/eat, and don’t want to have to buy pita bread….which really wouldn’t be hard to find given the area I live in – Pasco County, FL has a very high Greek population. Ever been to Tarpon Springs?? Oh they have some incredible Greek food there! YUM. Anyway, back to my topic! Here is my attempt at baking my own pita bread. Please overlook my oven that requires a good scrubbing. Just one of those things that fall through the cracks of my life, kwim?

Pita bread balls on their second rise

Pita bread balls on their second rise


Pita baking in the oven

Pita baking in the oven


Pita bread!

Pita bread!

January 23, 2009. Tags: , , , . Just Because. Leave a comment.

Dyed interlock wool!

I’d like to say this is my first attempt, but it’s not. It’s my first *successful* attempt though! The other attempt I am going to try to overdye it. I have it saved for one of my children who needs night time pants for those “oops” moments that unfortunately still occur.

Anywho, this is for a mama that was willing to put up with my novice dyeing skills, so I’m hoping she’ll be pleased with it. I have to sew them up today and get them ready for her. I personally love the color, it’s very vibrant. No, there aren’t splotchy portions that I have seen, the metal strainer is actually reflecting on the wool.

Dyed wool interlock

Dyed wool interlock

December 20, 2008. Tags: , . Just Because, What's new. Leave a comment.

Join our grassroots effort to save home based businesses!!

One of my fellow WAHM’s on a forum I am a member, has begun this group with hopes we will get many members and supporters to make sure our cause is brought to the attention of the lawmakers. Please join us is making sure the lawmakers of the land are made aware of our situation and the importance of our businesses!!

The Alliance of Children’s Home Based Businesses

December 14, 2008. Tags: , , , , , , . Just Because. Leave a comment.

Thoughts and concerns regarding the CPSIA going into effect 2-10-09

For those consumers that are unaware – change is coming to the children’s product business – and it’s not necessarily going to be a good thing. The CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) oversees the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act that will be enforced beginning February 10, 2009 for products intended for children ages 12 and under. How does this affect me, and many other WAHM/D’s and others within the cottage industry? Well, unless changes are made to the laws, and exemptions added, many of us will essentially be out of business. To sell anything after February 10, 2009 that does not have a compliance certificate stating that is is lead free, phalate free and non-flammable, it will simply be illegal to sell items without compliance certificates. The financial fines are pretty steep as well. For those of you that love recycled wool products, at this point in time under the current law, you will no longer be able to obtain them because the testing process is cost-prohibitive to many of us. This also affects cloth diapers. Clothing. Toys. Many items that children use are directly affected. They are claiming testing will cost anywhere from $150-4,000 per unit (i.e. item) depending upon the end product. Since recycled wool is different for each piece, it will be nearly impossible to do the testing required (which for wool would be lead testing, as it is already cleared for flammability). If they come up with a way to afford testing within the home with some sort of home testing kit, then perhaps this will save the many small businesses and give us the ability to survive. Otherwise, the end is nigh.

This also affects you as the consumer. If the many small businesses, both in home and those who have actual physical store front or factory locations, cannot afford to test their end product – there will be a reduction in products available for purchase. The larger companies that can afford the testing will have to raise their prices to compensate for the testing costs. The loss of income from the businesses forced to close will put even further burden on our suffering economy. While I agree that some testing needs to be done, especially in the case of imported toys and children’s items, it is unfair of the CSPC to lump everyone within the same pot and call for the same rules for everyone, regardless of size and product. They need to come up with some solution so that we all can survive this while still being able to comply with the laws.

I am asking you to please review the links I will be including. There are many many more links you can find by simply “googling” but these are what pertain to my business at hand – mostly children’s apparel. Contact your Congressman/women, contact your Senator. Ask them to review the laws and to please stand in for not only the businesses but for the buyer as well! What people don’t fully understand is that this also affects resale of children’s items, as currently worded within the CPSIA. You will not legally be able to buy or sell used children’s items without having them appropriately tested. Goodbye to resale shops. Goodbye to selling or buying on Craigslist or Ebay. Completely forget about selling on Etsy. They have already made it known that after 2/10/09 that Etsy will pull any listing for children’s items without the proper documented compliance certificate. Please, will you help us out and let your voices be heard? Join us making this work for everyone’s sake.

www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/cpsia-what-must-be-tested
www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/cpsia-requirementswww.fashion-incubator.com/archive/national-bankruptcy-day
www.fashion-incubator.com/phpbb/viewforum.php?f=32
Find your Senator
www.House.com

December 13, 2008. Tags: , , , . 1, Just Because. 4 comments.

Back on board! Woohoo!

Whew, back on board and getting some things accomplished! Brieanne, as you know, you are pretty much DONE! I’m working on the next two gals as I type….well not as I type, but tonight! I hope to get the rest wrapped up this week. Thanks so much for your patience. It is much appreciated!

My trip north was a great one visiting my grandmother. The poor gal had a shocker though, as we introduced her to her last (from me anyway) great grandchild.  We hadn’t told her about the pregnancy, and then birth, because she was very incoherent and “out of it” for over a year. She had fallen twice, and hit her head causing a closed head injury. There was a time, actually, that they did not believe she would make it. I’m glad she did, so that I could see her again (I was very pregnant when she was seriously ill) and so that she could meet my youngest.  It was a wonderful, super packed week of visiting!  The fall foliage was so beautiful, I wanted to scoop up the leaves and bring them back to Florida! I miss fall and all the smells, it was so nice!

October 25, 2008. Just Because. Leave a comment.

Quick reminder!

Just wanted to send a quick reminder that I am out of town at the moment. For those who I contacted prior to leaving – I won’t be able to do any work until I return home, as stated in my note to you individually.  I will be dedicating a ton of my time to getting your items completed when I return. I apologize for the inconvenience this trip imposes on your order, but is is a necessary trip to visit my elderly grandmother.

On a different note! This weather in Michigan is beautiful and I miss the fall season! I’m sure residents here would love the Florida weather at the moment, but let me tell you that it gets old!! 9 months or MORE of humidity and high heat drags you down after a while, so this cooler weather is a wonderful reprieve!!

October 17, 2008. Tags: . Just Because. Leave a comment.

Embroidery file added to photo album!

I added a few of my embroidery options to a file in my photo album (listed under Embroidery Options over in the links on the right)  – when I return from my visit up north I will continue to add photos as time permits. I have quite a number of them!!

October 12, 2008. Tags: . Just Because. Leave a comment.

Tea anyone? Felt teacup and saucer!

I’ve been steadily working on this little wee set, as a tension breaker from my other sewing projects. I always need something to fiddle with and do, even if watching a movie or t.v. show, so this filled that need to a T! I saw a similar tea set in a book at JoAnne Fabrics, for children’s toys. Being the cheapo that I am….and my family can attest to this (!!!) I figured I could make a go of this by myself, so here’s the first step! I am still working on the details for the teapot….not sure if I want it a simply cylinder, or do I want to make a fancier globe shaped pot? Do I want the lid to be removeable so little ladies and their guests can play a little more realistically? Hmmm…guess we’ll see! I want to make some felt silverware as well, so that’s probably next on my craft block. These were fun to make though. Lily and Sammy already want to play with them and there’s only one set!! I even got a “That’s really cool” out of my husband!! wow, amazing!

Felt tea set

Felt tea set

Felt tea cup and saucer

Felt tea cup and saucer

Felt tea cup and saucer

Felt tea cup and saucer

September 21, 2008. Tags: . Just Because, Sewing. Leave a comment.

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