Flower Girl Dress by Whimsy Wendy

Flower Girl Dress by Whimsy Wendy
dropping petals... one by one.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

To China... Or Not To China

I was on my way home today, after a morning of dropping off various invoices and picking up the dry cleaning, and made my last stop at B J Beck's Toy Store in Cedarburg. It was busy! Shoppers, lots of delivery boxes.....and..... a reporter and camera man from Channel 6 news. They were there to interview Jane Beck regarding toy shopping patterns and habits and what has changed since the "China scare".

Well doesn't fate have a way of playing its hand. Two minutes later, I am being interviewed as both a toy shopper as well as a small goods manufacturer. We'll see if it makes it on the news tonight, but it really brings up a good point. Where are our children's things being made? What quality standards are they following? I want to know that my girls' toys are safe and sturdy and reliable.... Just like my clients want to know my products are clean, safe and reliable.

A few weeks ago, I had a interested client contact me, asking where my fabric was manufactured. (I am assuming they wanted to make sure it was safely manufactured stateside).

I did a little research with my supplier and sure enough, my tulle is 100% Made in the U.S.A.. Additionally my supplier writes,

"It is 100% Nylon, which the federal government recognizes as being inherently flame retardant. Caution your customers to ONLY purchase Nylon tulle! Polyester tulle is sometimes treated to make it flame retardant, BUT the chemical used may be a carcinogen, and potentially more harmful than the flame itself.

Our factory has been manufacturing tulle since 1926. We are the largest TULLE maker in the USA. That is why we can STOCK 65 colors of tulle and 42 colors of iridescent tulle: we have the distribution that can absorb the yardage needed to sustain such a huge inventory."

I really do feel much better about supplying a product that is made under strict guidelines and monitored closely and so glad I double checked; especially because I make these things for little children.

Any thoughts? The temporary and easy solution... buy handmade.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Headache Day

I can't shake this migrain coming on. Uuuuuggggghhhh! Ouch - the one thing I did get accomplished today was this adorable custom tutu ordered by an aunt for her neice. It turned out beautifully. I added an extra layer of ribbon to enhance the light pink and white tulle.

Doesn't it make you smile?

Saturday, November 3, 2007

I Love My Eye Candy

Sometimes, creatively, I get in a rut. To compensate for those gray days, I have a rather large collection of cut, torn, taped and stapled loose sheets ripped from various books, magazines, internet sites and newspapers. It's not pretty and according to my husband is a bit of an eye sore.

I think it is beautiful. It's inspiration in all sorts of words and shapes and colors. It is filled with pictures of various crafts I'd like to tackle, decorated rooms to copy, furniture whose shape turns me on, exotic locations I'd like to visit. The first hundred pages or so, were neatly placed in a series of blank-page books. The next five hundred or so and jumbled into a somewhat hunter-orange plastic folder that gets my heart beating when I find it under my yards of stacked fabric.
Why am I bringing this collection of "eye candy" up? Well, taking a quick break from tutus and crowns and wands, I found a number of ripped out pages that talk about making things from recycled products. It reminded me that last year, in a creative spending spree, I hit a number of local thrift stores and bought all of the 100% wool sweaters I could find. I washed them at home in my sewing machine on extra hot, twice. Then I dried them to a crisp in my dryer. Ta-da! Instant wool felt.

Remembering my stash, I pulled them out today and whipped up a pair of nifty, warm and darling wool mittens for my littlest imp. She loved them and I think the woolen red pom-poms really added a cute dimension.