Saturday, January 31, 2009

New Craft Marketplace

ArtFire - Buy Handmade - Sell Handmade
My mom introduced me to a new craft marketplace, similar to Etsy but with better listing prices FREE for a basic account. You can also sign up for an advanced account for $7 a month which is still really good. I'm not sure how popular the site is yet, but it looks like it's picking up and doing great advertising. I signed up for a free account where I am able to add 10 products at a time. Check it out for yourself.

Register on

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

CSPIA Awareness

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

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.”

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

And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law

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

Monday, January 26, 2009

Save handmade!

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A little Latin Flare

I worked up a new banner for my etsy shop Longoria Girls. Since I may no longer be able to sell baby/ kids dresses that I sew I'm working on some new projects that I really like. Most of them are influenced by my Hispanic heritage. So I made a new banner to reflect my new products. What do you think?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Wall of Senoritas

A few post back I mentioned that I had found some really cute little frames in the dollar section at Target. I finally got around to using them yesterday. I LOVE vintage art work, like pin ups, and I also love Mexican art work, so I decided to print out some pictures of Mexican calendar girls and give them a personal touch. At first I was going to decorate the frames and leave the images alone, but I love solid black frames. I don't know why, I just do. I decided to pull out my glitter paint and add a little umph to the pictures. I glittered some details on them, flowers, dresses, ect. I also received my mini cards that I ordered on etsy, added some backgrounds and framed them. I hung them all up over my drawing table, I still have room for more :) I'm very pleased with how they came out. Maybe they will give me some inspriation for future projects.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dream Hope Change

I've been incredibly busy working on some new projects using diamond glaze, teaching classes, and catching up on orders I haven't had a chance to post anything. I'm hoping to put together a screen printing tute for next week. Until then let me share some Etsy goodies with you.

Inspired by inauguration day yesterday, here are some Etsy Obama goodies so you can share a part of history.

Inauguration Ball Finger Puppets
made by mullishmuse
These are great for teaching your child about the new president. This morning my son and I discussed what the president does and how you get to be president. He would have loved to have these puppets during the discussion.


made by onelifejewelry
I think this pendent sums up how we all feel right now. At least the way I feel right now. Full of hope, praying for change, daring to dream of a better life for all of us.

I encourage everyone to take a moment and think about what you will do to bring change for the better to our world.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Diamond Glaze Project

It took me a few tries to get it right, but I finally made a photo pendent of my boys. The pendent is huge, but I love it. I printed the photo on card stock, sealed it with Microglaze on both sides, glued it on to the pendent with craft glue making sure the edges were sealed also. Then I waited for around 4 hours until I was sure the glue was dry. I put another coat of Microglaze on the photo, then poured on the Diamond Glaze carefully not to get any bubbles. I've let it dry all night, and probaly will let it dry for another day or so before I wear it. Now I need to bead a necklace or find on that I can slip this pendent onto.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Unfinshed Frames= NEW PROJECT

This morning while getting groceries at Target I did my usual stroll through the dollar area. I wasn't really looking for anything, just wondering if maybe there were still a few $1 calenders left. I found a small cork bulletin board white a teal frame that matches my office area, for $2.50 I couldn't walk away from it. It's kinda small, I might have to buy 1 or 2 more and stack them, it might look really cool that way. I also found a couple of packs of square frames, 3 per pack, unfinished wood. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with them until a few minutes ago when I found the cards above. I'm going to paint the frames and hand these cards in my office. They match my Mexican folk art theme. I also found some photo key chains that I plan to make into mini altered art key chains, just think religious images, glitter, paint :) I can't wait to get started.

Tomorrow is open house at your local Joann's store, make sure you head over and check out the demos for the classes that are available. I will not be demoing at my store, I will be teaching a teen sewing class. Hopefully I will get more sign ups for future classes. I really enjoy teaching!

Check out for cool artwork like the cards I bought today.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Screenprinting Class

I'm teaching a simple diy screenprinting class tonight. I have a terrible sinus headache and a ton of work to do. I have yet to change out of my sweats today. I don't know how I'm going to get dressed and to class, but I will be there. I love teaching craft classes. I hope to put up a tutorial for screenprinting later, once I get my work done. I also added some cool gadgets to my google front page, like a to do list. Now I can keep up with my projects and not have to be searching for a scribble pad all day :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Do you like to make stuff?

I LOVE to make things. I found this on another blog and I love it so much I had to share. What will you be inspired to make?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sewing Supply Carrier

Here are a few pictures of the sewing supply carrier I made. I wanted something notebook sized that I could put up on my bookshelf and pull out when I need to head out to class. I think it came out rather nice. I also made a matching pin cushion using the Heater Baily pattern found on her blog :

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I'm Exhausted

I finally finished and shipped a huge order yesterday, then stayed up late sewing. I'm teaching sewing classes at the local craft store and I needed a storage/ carrier for my supplies. Something small enough to store and take back and forth. I came up with my own design/ pattern. I'll be posting photos later. My first sewing class went well, I had 3 students, I was only expecting 1 :) The kids were really great and their pillowcase came out great. They were so proud. I remember taking craft classes when I was little. Every summer my mom would sign us up for whatever classes we wanted to take at the local craft coop. My favorite was always tshirt painting. Who would have guessed that it would be my career so many years later.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

More Shrink Paper Fun

I've been playing with Shrink paper the past few days. These are what I came up with, photo charms :) I still haven't gotten it perfect, but they are getting better. I've made a few for myself and other family members. I need to go to the store and get some more to play with I have a ton of ideas to work on. I better get back to work.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I love Shrink Paper

I've been playing with shrink paper all week. It is so much fun now that I know how to use it. I've gone through a few packs, burnt a few designs, but I figured it out finally. I can't wait to unveil the stuff that I'm making. I just need to find some time to take pictures.

Other big news, I'm going to be teaching kids sewing classes at the local Joann's and I finally got sign ups for my screen printing class. Whoohoo!

Monday, January 5, 2009

What happens now???

I've been putting off writing this mainly in hopes that some solid information would show up and save my business. Many of you who buy handmade have already heard of the new CSPA & CSPIA laws that go into effect next month. For those who haven't to sum it up the new laws require ALL items made for children 12 and under to be tested for lead. Sounds good right, no more toxic toys from other countries. BUT to me it means I will no longer ba able to produce baby and toddler clothing. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against the testing. What I am against is the extremes that we have to go through, and the pricing per test (any where between $500- $1000 each test). Some items require more than one test. I've been keeping up with most of the updates, however I'm still very confussed as to what will happen. I've read now that one of a kind items will not require testing, which helps some small businesses not mine though. I hand print, sew clothing and make tutus, they are not one of a kind. I create a design and make each item, but since I make mulitple of the item I am not exempt from this law. The onesies I print on will already be tested before I buy them, as is the ink, fabric, thread, elastic and everything else that goes into making my products. So why should I have to test again, is there some kind of chemical reaction that will happen once I put the ink on the fabric. I'm not a chemist but I'm pretty sure the answer is no. Excuse me if I'm starting to ramble. I'm growing impatient trying to figure out what will happen to my business as well as the other million small businesses that will be effected. I've worked so hard for the past two years to pick up all the clients I now have and can't imagine all this hard work going to waste.

I hope that those of you who support small business will do your part and sign the petition:

Also write to congress and ask them to reconsider, rewrite the law to help save us small business owners.
From today until Feb. 10 I will feature companies that will be effected with this law. All these items will no longer be legal to sell or buy after Feb. 10 if nothing is done.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

It's been a long holiday...

to say the least. I've been extremely busy traveling back to my hometown for Christmas, then another long trip home for New Years. We for the most part had a great time. Sadly I worked on a large order the entire time our family was visiting. They were a great help with the kids, I would have been able to finish it so fast with out them here. I finished the order yesterday and today I painted a mural for a family member. It was her Christmas present, she has yet to see it but I hope she likes it. I spent all day on it, I didn't even realize how fast the time went by. It was so quiet I just stood there and painted uninterrupted for 6 hours (it took 2 coats). I really need to work like that more often. Hopefully I'll get to paint my son's room this summer. I have an idea for an awesome comic book style sky line. What could be better for a super hero right? I hope every had a great holiday season. I'm hoping to get back to my everyday starting tomorrow, so check back.