Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Amy


For 17 years Amy was my best friend. She was kind and caring and always there for me when I needed someone to talk to, whether it was about stress I was having about my kids or their dad was being a pain in the butt or whatever. We always had a good time together when we went out to family dinners or the mall or whatever we did. Even though she had a lot of medical issues and problems of her own she never let that get in the way of her love for us.

Today would have been her birthday. She died a year ago this past May.

I miss you my friend.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Just had to post this......

I was intending to do a post about what's been going on here at home lately, but for now I think it's really important to make a standalone post for this:

http://youniquelychic.blogspot.com/2009/10/must-watch-for-everyone.html

I tried to embed the video but it's taking too long....definitely a must-watch for everyone concerned about the state of the US health care system. I've found it on a couple different blogs and I think it needs to be passed around as much as possible.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Great news!


You may remember this post I made a few months ago...we had the final court hearing this morning, my ex is dropping the case! Hopefully this will be the end of it, but to be honest I wouldn't be surprised if my ex's friends find some other way to use him to harass me. For now I'm happy though, and my daughter is too. :-)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

This is what I get for not signing into my store page often enough.....

http://www.etsy.com/view_transaction.php?transaction_id=17807637

I had a sale.....THREE WEEKS AGO!?! I've been so wrapped up with personal stuff that's been going on I haven't checked my Etsy site for ages. I'll have to drop the buyer an email to make sure they still want it, I guess. I'll have to renew some items too, my store page is empty at this point.

Fellow Etsy bloggers, has this happened to you?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Daniel Radcliffe!

Hey, you're not a teenager any more! Quit growing, would you?? You're making me old!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2zOoo5nK-Q

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My thoughts about Michael Jackson

What a tragedy for the music world. We have lost a great talent. And there are reports today that his children were actually fathered by his dermatologist--my first thought was, so what?? By all accounts MJ was a devoted and loving father, and it takes more than blood ties to be a parent. The fact that he's not their biological father (and apparently never officially adopted them either) could lead to the courts putting them in foster care. This I think would be a HUGE mistake. The entire Jackson family has suffered a great loss with Michael's death, they don't need the trauma of the children being taken away from the only family they've ever known.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

















Lt. John "Jack" Kipling, 18 years old, killed in the Battle of Loos in France in WWI, 1915

'My Boy Jack'

1914-18



"HAVE you news of my boy Jack? "
Not this tide.
"When d'you think that he'll come back?"
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

"Has any one else had word of him?"
Not this tide.
For what is sunk will hardly swim,
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

"Oh, dear, what comfort can I find?"
None this tide,
Nor any tide,
Except he did not shame his kind---
Not even with that wind blowing, and that tide.

Then hold your head up all the more,
This tide,
And every tide;
Because he was the son you bore,
And gave to that wind blowing and that tide.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cP0GBLk5MjE

There's a line from the film My Boy Jack from Jack Kipling's mother Carrie, after his parents found out what happened to him. I'm not sure if I have it quoted exactly right, I didn't find any video of it online and haven't watched the DVD recently:

"He was 18 years and one day old. He died alone in the rain, I can't see any glory in that!"

No glory, Carrie. There is no glory in war, only death and destruction. Memorial Day is about more than parades and barbecues, it's a day set aside to honor those brave souls like your son, who risk or even sacrifice their lives so the rest of us may live in a free world. I post this in honor of those brave men and women who have taken that risk or made that sacrifice. May they never be forgotten.

(In case you're interested the DVD of My Boy Jack should still be available on www.shoppbs.org.)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Trying out new template

I decided that pea-soup green background didn't really look all that good so I thought I'd try something new. What do you think?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Back from vacation and then everything went nuts

OK so I came back from my vacation after having a great time with my daughter in the Caribbean (pictures and details in an upcoming post) and what do I find in the mail when I get home? A summons to court! My ex is (unsuccessfully) trying to get custody of our daughter, in hopes of using her Social Security Disability income to pay off his debts (he hasn't been working since November and from what I hear is about to get evicted from his apartment). Now this is the same guy whose psycho nutcase girlfriend has been filing false abuse claims against me for the last 10 years, actually she just did it again a couple of months ago. After our most recent court date last week the court actually filed an abuse and neglect report against him, from what it looks like his best friend is a pervert who may have actually molested my daughter. :-( The social worker from the Department of Children and Families who interviewed her told me there may be enough evidence to have him criminally charged, and I agreed to have the case turned over to the District Attorney's office for review.

My ex actually used to be a nice guy, not the sharpest knife in the drawer but not mean or anything like that--ever since he started hanging around with the local town loonies he's changed, it's like he's a puppet and they're pulling the strings. It's cruel what they've made him put his kids through, and the rest of his family and mine as well. There are a lot of people whose trust he's betrayed or he's otherwise hurt somehow, and it will take a long time, if ever, to heal those relationships. Hopefully all this legal stuff going on will make him realize that he needs to get away from these people who are trying to destroy his life and are ruining his relationships with everyone who's supposed to care about him. In a way I'm mad at him for doing all this but on the other hand I feel like he's as much a victim here as the rest of us, the real perpetrators are his girlfriend and their other friend. With friends like that who needs enemies, huh?

I haven't been doing any crocheting for my Etsy shop lately either, just too distracted with this other stuff going on I guess. I'm starting to feel like I'm not sure if I should bother continuing with it, I've only had a couple sales from it the entire time it's been open. Maybe I need to rethink what I want to sell, recently I got the book Drawing for Dummies and I'm working on the exercises in that, maybe if I can get good enough I'll add an Art section to my shop. I've been thinking for a while about trying beading and pottery too, but haven't found any local classes to join yet. We've only been back from our vacation about three weeks and I already want to go away again! Need to get away from the stress, you know? Maybe the kids and I can go away for a weekend after they get out of school or something, I'm not sure what we'll do yet.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Getting used to this new EntreCard thing

EntreCard has implemented a system of paid advertising in addition to the usual EC ads. There are some people on EC who have been complaining about it, for myself I think it will take some getting used to but it will be OK in the end. EC needed to find some way to monetize itself so it could grow and improve for its users. I do feel a little odd about it at the moment, I have 21 paid ads waiting to show on my widget vs 8 EC ads. I think I'm going to wait for new EC ads to add to the list before I approve any more paid ads. There needs to be some balance between the two, you know?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Wow.....

I haven't posted for nearly a month! Personal stuff getting in the way of getting much of anything else done, mostly...let's just say it involves my ex (and a friend of his), our teenage daughter, the police and the need for a restraining order. :-( DD and I are going on a trip the day after Easter for a couple weeks, hopefully getting away for a while will help alleviate the stress of the last few months. Then maybe I can get back to work on my Etsy shop, lately I just haven't had the energy or the creative spark to do much crocheting. I've been thinking for a while now about trying some type of fine art--drawing, painting, something like that. I actually got some art materials to bring along on the trip (it's a Caribbean cruise!), hopefully I'll be able to relax a bit and get some of my creativity back.

I'll be taking loads of pictures, will post them when we get back. Oh, and I'm leaving my Etsy shop open--any sales during our absence will be shipped after our return on the 23rd of April. I was hoping to have the first item for my Spring Treasures line up in time for Easter but it looks like it's not meant to be--the blanket I'm working on isn't quite done and there seems to be an unending list of things to do to get ready for the trip. I guess I can always finish it on the trip and list it when we get back.

I've got a few recent Etsy purchases to post about, and some awards that have been waiting for ages for me to acknowledge. I'll try to get the posts for those done in the next couple days. I tried to upload a video and yet again it didn't work! I wonder what's up....anyway here's a YouTube link to what I was trying to upload:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMWi7CLoZ2Q&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fstrawberryanarchy.blogspot.com%2F&feature=player_embedded

(I hope the link works! The video is a bit silly but I thought it was cute.)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Please contact your Congressional Representatives to support CPSIA amendments!

I posted this on Etsy recently, this is a letter I sent to my Congressmen asking them to support passage of the bills that are in committee amending CPSIA. If anyone would like to use it or repost it to your own blog you're more than welcome to do so:

(This is the version I sent to my HR rep, you can use it for your senators by replacing HR 968 with S 374 and House Energy and Commerce Committee with Committee for Commerce, Science, and Transportation.)

Please support the passage of HR 968, the bill that is currently being reviewed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. This bill must not die in committee! If HR 968 is not passed the entire US children's product industry will be in danger of collapsing. Effects are already being felt, I have seen many stories of libraries and bookstores removing children's books printed before 1985 from their shelves (in some cases destroying them!), and just today I saw an article that manufacturers of motorcycles and ATVs are no longer being allowed to sell bikes or ATVs marketed to kids, or even parts to repair them. Because of lead content--it's ridiculous, what child that is old enough to ride a motorcycle is going to LICK it??? That's the only way any lead content would harm a child. The ATV industry has estimated their losses in the BILLIONS of dollars. And that doesn't even touch the second hand stores and small business crafters, many of the latter got into business because they WANT to make safe alternatives to mass produced toys and other children's products but CPSIA left as-is will put them out of business. Not because they don't want to test, but because they CAN'T AFFORD IT.

Please help us keep safe affordable children's products available to the families that need them. Regulation is good but it needs to be sensible, and CPSIA is NOT.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.....


I was at McDonald's today with my mother for lunch and realized that probably 90% of what goes into their trash on a daily basis is recyclable. I mean, paper cups for drinks, paper wrappers and cardboard boxes for food items, plastic utensils and straws....it's kinda crazy if you think about it! Same thing with other fast food restaurants, coffee shops, etc (hence the pic of the Dunkin Donuts cup). I remember years ago at DD if you came in as an eat-in customer they'd give you your coffee or whatever in a regular porcelain cup or hard plastic (or even glass) glass--my sister used to work there, in fact, and brought a few of said cups home once, they had the DD logo on them and everything. Now you get paper or styrofoam no matter if you're eating in or taking out! Is this really better for them economically? Now they sell reusable cups for people to get their coffee in, would it be that hard or more expensive to offer them for one-time use of eat-in customers? "For here or to go?" is a standard question at these places when employees are taking orders, it shouldn't be too much trouble for them to pick between different types of cups depending on the answer given. Am I making sense here? At least maybe they should have recycling bins available so the recyclable stuff can be easily separated from the "real trash". IMO most people are used to recycling at home so it should be fairly simple to switch from what these establishments do now to a recycling system. It would go a long long way toward lessening the amount of stuff that ends up in landfills every year, reducing raw materials usage and cleaning up the environment in the process. And if they wanted to get REALLY environmentally friendly they could compost the food waste and either use the compost in their landscaping plans or offer it to the local community for residential use. What do you think?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Getting back to work

I haven't posted anything Etsy related for a while, thought I'd show off a couple things I've recently been working on. This one with the blue and yellow stripes is for a new line I'm calling "Dan's Delights". Why? Blue and yellow are Dan Radcliffe's favorite colors. :-) It's ready to go, I just have to write up the description and get it listed. I'll probably be doing some blue and yellow flower pins like the ones I already have in my shop, not sure what else yet.



This one is for a new line I'm calling Spring Treasures, the pink and green go really well together! I think it would make a great gift for baby's first Easter. It should be done in the next couple days, I've figured out these blankets take me about 16 hours from start to finish.



It's nice to be getting back to work, the stay from CPSIA means we can breathe a sigh of relief for now, but let's make sure the reform bills that are in committee in Congress (there are similar bills in both the House and Senate) don't get stuck and die there! February 2010 will be here before we know it.

(Hey, I finally figured out how to space the pictures out in the post so they're not all at the top! Cool!)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Harry Potter stunt man injured in accident on set

David Holmes (on left in picture), Daniel Radcliffe's stunt double in the Harry Potter films, was recently injured in an accident on the set of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. As of this writing it has been reported that he is in the hospital recovering from a back injury. Best wishes for a speedy recovery David! (Sorry for the watermark but it's the only pic I could find of him. There's some video of him on the special features of the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire DVD as well.)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/celebritynews/4420403/Harry-Potter-stuntman-David-Holmes-vows-to-return-to-work.html

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Computer issues and great CPSIA news

OK my laptop's been acting stupid the last few days and hasn't been letting me online long enough to do all my Entrecard drops. Today it finally seems to be back to normal, I just wanted to say thanks to all the EC bloggers who continued to drop here even though I couldn't reciprocate.

Great news in the fight to fix CPSIA! The CPSC has announced a one year stay of enforcement, meaning the law still goes into effect but they won't prosecute anyone just for not testing. That's how I understand it anyway. The fight isn't over, please continue to contact your Congressional representatives to have this law permanently changed! Senator Jim Demint will be introducing a bill this week to make permanent changes, it pretty much covers everything we want done. Please ask your congress people to vote to pass this amendment!

I have also heard that many "consumer protection" groups are calling for the firing of CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Nord, PLEASE let your representatives know that this is NOT the right idea! I have actually gone onto www.whitehouse.gov and emailed President Obama that she deserves a REWARD for all the crap she's had to put up with through all this! IMO she deserves a raise and a vacation after all the stress and hassle this stupid law has dumped in her lap. I don't have her contact info handy but I think it would be great if we all sent her a quick note letting her know how much we appreciate her great work.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Update for some info in my previous post

Just saw this on the Etsy forum, it reverses some of the info in my previous post. Keep up the fight! It seems art dolls, collectibles, and antiques are not covered by CPSIA but there is still a lot of work to be done to fix the law.

http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6018734

Bloggers Unite! CPSIA Blog In

(I'm really late posting this compared to others who are participating, but I wanted to do my bit to help.)

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 http://www.wo.ala.org/districtdispatch/?p=1322

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.” http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123189645948879745.html

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
http://www.forbes.com/2009/01/16/cpsia-safety-toys-oped-cx_wo_0116olson.html

And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law
http://www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/cpsia.html

Did you know? If this upsets or alarms you, please react.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I've seen quite a few blogs posting about the inauguration of Barack Obama, but none with video from the Inaugural Address. I found this on YouTube (I hope this works, otherwise I'll have to try uploading it again):
video

Friday, January 16, 2009

A great idea to help save handmade children's products

I found this thread on Etsy, the OP there had a great idea. What if all small businesses/handcrafters/etc got together and sent something they made to President-elect Obama after he's sworn in? Maybe if a ton of handcrafted items hits Washington DC all at once the Powers That Be will finally sit up and take notice. The OP of the Etsy thread picked January 26th as the date she was going to be mailing something to the White House, I've decided I'm going to do it as well. Join us! If you make & sell children's items or have a business that sells other people's handcrafts, send something in on January 26th. The more of us do this the greater impact it will have. Here's the Etsy thread if you'd like to check it out:

http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=5999472

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Is the US headed for a depression?

I found this video on www.getmoneyenergy.com while I was doing my Entrecard drops, this guy has a very interesting take on the way the US economy is going right now:

http://www.getmoneyenergy.com/2009/01/peter-morici-says-were-headed-into-a-depression/

(Sorry it's just a link to the other blog, I tried posting the video itself but it didn't work.)

One of the points he makes, which I totally agree with, is the US has to normalize our trade agreement with China. China's economy is growing by leaps and bounds from the pockets of the American consumer and it's got to stop. I'm not saying "destroy China, they're evil", not by a long shot. China has a great history of wonderful art and culture. But let them grow or fail on their own merits, not on our backs. The US needs to bring our manufacturing back to our own shores so that our people can have good jobs that pay a decent wage. Let's not forget that the Chinese factories pay their workers pennies a day for the same work someone could do here and actually make a decent living. Slave labor. I think I'd better end here before I go into an incoherent rant, but hopefully you understand what I'm saying.

Even if the governments don't change anything, we as consumers can. I remember not so long ago there were commercials running on TV encouraging people to look for "Made In USA" on the products they picked up when they were shopping. We can all still do that, it may take a bit longer to find what we need but in the end it will be worth it if it helps our economy grow. Isn't it better to support our economy, even if it costs a bit more, rather than encouraging offshore companies that condone safety and human rights violations just to save a couple bucks on an inferior-quality product?

SUPPORT AMERICA. BUY HANDMADE. LOOK FOR "MADE IN USA" ON THE PRODUCTS YOU BUY.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Change.org voting isn't over yet!

The petition on Change.org to fix the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act made it to #1 in it's category in the first round! That's awesome! Second round voting starts Monday, January 5th, they're zeroing out the voting totals when round 2 starts. The top 3 ideas in each category will now be going up against the top 3 of all the other categories, let's get the CPSIA petition into the overall top 10 so it will be presented to President-Elect Obama on Inauguration Day. Vote it up using the widget on the right of your screen! We can do it, save safe domestically made children's products!

Out with the old, in with the new


A new year is upon us! Let's all make it the best year we can!