Thursday, December 18, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
|TBW Statement Opposing the Consumer Product Safety Commission Improvement Act|
| There is little more important than keeping children safe. However, The Babywearer is gravely concerned about the impact of the pending Consumer Product Safety Commission Improvement Act. We believe that if this Act is enforced, there will be serious economic consequences on the child/baby product industry, and specifically to manufacturers of babycarriers.|
The Act would require ALL manufacturers - including small business owners who sew their products by hand and artisans who sell to help support their art - to submit each piece of their product for cost-prohibitive government-approved testing. Each component - buttons, threads, fabrics, padding, etc. would need to be tested independently for lead content. The cost and extent of this lead testing would be impossible for any small business to afford.
Thousands of small businesses will be forced to close. Consumers will have fewer products to choose from. In the babycarrier world, the only products that will remain will be ones those that are manufactured en masse - and are widely considered inferior to those made in smaller quantities.
The date that CPSIA is set to be enforced has already earned a nickname by many experts: "National Bankruptcy Day."
Please write to your Senators and Congressperson and express your concern about the CPSIA.
About the bill:
Read more about what's being dubbed National Bankruptcy Day here:
Imagine Christmas morning without Selecta, Haba, Sarah's Silks, Etsy toys, or American toys from small, creative mom-and-pop natural toy companies. It reminds one of the Grinch who stole Christmas—and unfortunately, it is days away from coming to pass. That's why we desperately need your help to contact your representatives in Congress and share your concerns.
Parents everywhere have been deeply concerned and up in arms about the unsafe state of toys in the USA. We've been happy to see laws formed to ensure more safety for children everywhere. It's been disappointing to find out that the law is not retroactive—but now, there is even more disappointment at hand. The new testing protocols will ironically hurt and undermine the one group that has been a toy safety advocate for children all along: safe, principled, small and independent toymakers and sellers.
The new toy safety law, if not amended, will require every toymaker (including the ones we love so much on Etsy) to test each toy at a cost of $500 to $1500 per toy. European toy companies will also have to retest their toys, at the same expense, with a company that tests to American standards. This sounds fair, until you consider that Europe has an established, exceptionally thorough and successful testing system in place, and the tests would be redundant.
Increased toy safety is absolutely the right direction for our country; however, a poorly nuanced law like this one, as it stands, will devastate the very best parts of the toy industry and leave only companies like Mattel and Fisher Price standing. Please write and/or call your representative to share your concern.
Here's an example: Holztiger is a beloved German toy company that produces wooden animals and figures, painted with clean, non-toxic paints. If they were to meet this new law's testing requirements, instead of only having to test a vat of paint, which could be applied to 300 different animals, they have to test each animal or figure individually. A small company like Holztiger would have to spend $150,000 to $450,000 to test 300 toys. And this would need to be done on a regular basis—at least annually, but possibly with each production run.
Sarah's Silks is a beloved and popular source for playsilks, canopies, and more. They produce their silks in a Chinese village within a program that allows mothers to be work-at-home-moms. Sarah's Silks also runs a Waldorf school in China with the proceeds from its business. They would need to test each color silk four times, given the four components of the playsilk.
Yesterday, Selecta, a German natural toy company, announced that they will no longer sell their toys in the USA. "This is just the beginning of the disappearance of natural toys in the USA," said Rob Wilson of Challenge and Fun, an online natural toy store.
Says Adam Frost of TheWoodenWagon.com, "We are very selective in the manufacturers we work with. In our discussions with these workshops, we've been told by many that they are satisfied that their toys and stuffed animals meet or exceed all safety standards, and that they would not be able to bear the expense of testing. (The same of course is true for small American manufacturers who produce their goods in this country.) This would in effect cut off the supply of all those toys that have been held up as exemplars of good craftsmanship, the imaginative and natural toys to which many parents have turned since the lead scares began to happen a year or more ago."
Thursday, December 11, 2008
A SCHOOLBOY was so captivated when he heard an Irish folk story that he re-told it to win a national storytelling competition for children and a prize of a trip to New York.
Tomos Turtle aged nine, from Abersoch, was one of six finalists from all over the UK and Ireland in the competition to celebrate the National Year of Reading.
He first heard the story of Michael and the Fairies when his parents Margot and Martin took him and his sister Mali to a storytelling evening in Harlech.
And in true storytelling tradition he then stood up and related the magical tale in front of a panel of authors, storytellers and around 60 guests at independent children’s publisher Barefoot Books’ UK head office in Bath.
Now Tomos will jet to New York with his family to tell the tale on Barefoot Books’ Storytellers Throne in famous toy store FAO Schwarz.
His efforts have also won £1,000 worth of Barefoot books to be shared between the Ysgol Sarn Bach Primary School where he is a pupil and his former primary in Abersoch.
Tomos’ mum Margot said her son’s prize was a tribute to the teaching at small schools in Wales – so often under closure threats.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Books For Africa
Barefoot Books is delighted to partner with non-profit Books For Africa, dedicated to bringing books to needy children in schools across Africa. The books we have selected to send all have African themes, and will make a huge difference in the lives of children across the African continent.
For a few dollars, you can put a Barefoot Book in the hands of an African child. We hope you will be a part of this wonderful partnership.
About the Organization
The mission of Books For Africa is to end the book famine in Africa. Since 1988, Books For Africa has shipped more than 20 million books to 42 African countries and put books int0 the hands of those who need them the most: children who are hungry to read, hungry to learn, hungry to explore the world in ways that only books make possible.
-Tom Warth, Founder of Books For Africa
We are delighted today to introduce you to our new partners at Books For Africa! Since 1988, Books For Africa has shipped more than 20 million books to once-empty library shelves, to classrooms in rural schools, and into the hands of children across the African continent.
With Barefoot's focus on spreading literacy, art and cultural understanding to the children of our world, we wanted to do what we could to supplement the amazing work of Books For Africa. To launch our partnership, we've donated a carton of our books that are now en route to Liberia. What's better, we've developed an easy but effective way for you to help too! For our friends in the United States, we've created a collection of books that you can donate to Books For Africa for just a few dollars per book. By adding any of the books on this page to your order, you are covering the cost of shipping a beautiful, culturally-relevant book straight to Africa and into the hands of a child who may have never held a book before.
While we cannot offer the same capability to our friends in the United Kingdom and Europe, we encourage those of you across the pond to make monetary donations, no matter how small, to Books For Africa to help offset the hefty cost of shipping their parcels of books to the African continent. Wherever you're located, we hope you'll join us in supporting this wonderful cause!
We'll be posting more on this amazing organization and details about our partnership in the coming months. For now, here are some beautiful photos provided by Books For Africa, along with quotes from their supporters and people who have benefited from their work. For more background, be sure to check out this inspiring video about the mission of Books For Africa.
-Kofi Annan, former U.N. Secretary-General
-Patrick Plonski, Executive Director of Books for Africa
-Dr. Morgan Chawawa, Director of Academic Studies at BA ISAGO University College in Botswana
-Motseoa Monyatsuoa, Lesotho
-Teguia Cherif, Algeria
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Here is my latest creation. This cute pumpkin hat is a gift for a great fellow blogger with a baby on the way. I used a simple double crochet stitch and super soft merino yarn from Malabrigo. To allow the yarn and shape to be the focus of this cute hat, a simple stitch is the best way to go.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Check out these amazing quilts that she is giving away on her blog.
Old Red Barn Co. is one of my favorite blogs. Dana has a great selection of streaming music that I just dig. I love to read about all the amazing quilts being created, Dana's family, and her life.
Thank you Dana for sharing with the rest of us!!!
Friday, November 7, 2008
On Monday night, at the Obama rally in Manassas, Virginia, I stood by the press railing watching the most poignant scene I'd witnessed during the whole campaign. There were two small children, both on their father's backs. At the beginning, they were about 10 feet from each other, staring anxiously at the stage. One was black, the other white. The little white kid had an Obama sign, the little black kid didn't. They took stock of each other. Soon, the little white kid leaned all the way over to try and give his sign to his new friend. The fathers, noticing, moved closer to each other. And the kids held the sign together. I had forgotten my camera, and was begging others to take pictures. April Winchell, however, succeeded:
Get our brand new Yoga Planet free with a $50 order from Barefoot Books.
"Yoga Planet is a great way to get kids (and adults) moving, laughing and most importantly thinking about the world around them" —Tobey and Jennifer Maguire
Here is my son pretending to be a tree.
Theo learned this pose from My Daddy is Pretzel. The picture below is from the book and shows how to do the pose. It is a fantastic introduction to yoga!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Elizabeth Ross, Director of The Kasiisi Project
One of the joys of "Living Barefoot" is seeing the books we produce positively affecting the lives of children around the world. Nothing is quite as inspiring as meeting like-minded organizations who are putting our core values into action, and few stories fit this example so brilliantly as the work of The Kasiisi Project.
The Kasiisi Project is a Boston-based non-profit organization whose focus is funding classroom buildings and scholarships, encouraging literacy, and working to give rural schoolchildren in western Uganda a chance for a successful future. Barefoot’s own Sales & Marketing Director, Melisa Schulman, recently learned of this wonderful organization and their growing cultural exchange with Weston Public Schools in Massachusetts. After hearing that many of the books donated to Ugandan children from the west are so culturally irrelevant as to prove useless, Melisa thought, “Barefoot can help!”
Read the full post @
We tip our hats to the Kasiisi Project, both for their inspirational work and the opportunity for us to see our own work brightening the lives of children all the way across the world. To learn how you can help, visit their web site at www.kasiisiproject.org.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
For the first time in my adult life I am proud to be an American! Last night was probably one of the five most memorable events in my life. It is right up their with my first date with my husband, our wedding, and the birth of my two children. Why, you ask? Because I watched the dawning of a new age, the first step of the country I love becoming a country to truly be proud of!
Last night I sat on my couch with my mom and two cuties watching on my laptop MSNBC (we are going without tv) the election coverage. My husband was at work watching the coverage with his co-workers. Theo my 7 year old son who has been doing his part to campaign for Obama for the last year was dancing around singing "Yes We Can." (You should hear some of the park conversations he has had about the state of the country. That boy is too funny sometimes.) Well, here we are at the point of no return the states are being called....no way Pennsylvania, could it be real. Obama/Biden won Pennsylvania!!! Until that point I hadn't realized how worried I really was, that horrible knot in my stomach finally loosened. Once we won Pennsylvania I knew we Won!
Obama campaigned with a message of change and hope and that is exactly what I feel. As a country we are poised for change and I am so hopeful for the coming years. We as citizens, as people, as friends, and as families have an obligation to make change happen, to strive for greatness and reach our goals of environmental stability, equality, the economy, healthcare for all, and peace. I say to you, "Yes We Can!"
As overjoyed I am with the victory in the presidential election, I am embarrassed and sadden that in this day and age that Ballot Measure California Proposition 8: Ban on Gay Marriage won. This is the first time in our history as a Country that we have taken away a right. We have come so far and yet it is not far enough. So to take a quote from our President Elect's running mate and our Vice President Elect Joe Biden, "When you get knocked down, Get up!" Proposition 8 has knock us down and as a State I say "Get Up!" We need to fight for the rights of everyone to have the ability to marry.
Thank you to all of those who voted and worked on so hard to make this happen for all of us. I thank you for the promise of hope for myself, my family and most of all for my children. President Elect Obama and Vice President Elect Biden I am here and ready for change I promise to be one of the many proud Americans to work hard and do my part as a citizen for these United States. Just Ask! :)
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Persons with albinism in Tanzania face several major challenges:
1. The horror of a rapidly growing industry in the sale of albino body parts.
This unimaginable evil is driven by the belief (in some areas of the country) that the body parts of people with albinism have magical powers capable of bringing riches if used in potions produced by local witchdoctors. In the last year official reports indicate that 26 persons with albinism have been brutally murdered and their body parts hacked off and sold to witchdoctors. Though the official count is 28 leaders in the albino community believe the number to be over 60. Some recent reports indicate that body parts are also being exported outside Tanzania. In one instance a Tanzanian trader was caught with the head of an albino baby on his way to The Democratic Republic of Congo. He told police a businessman was going to pay him for the head by its weight.
Under the Same Sun is collecting signatures to ensure that those that engage in the sale of albino body parts are prosecuted and education is available to the communities to stop this horrific practice.
Under The Same Sun intends to invest significantly in resources within Tanzania to improve the life of persons with albinism by:
- Providing resources to the Tanzanian Albino Society
- Researching the possibility of establishing a resource center for persons with albinism where they might receive education and medical support
- Planning an outreach mission to Tanzania in October 2008 to meet with government, educational, and other leaders to highlight these macabre killings and create political pressure to have those involved stopped
Under The Same Sun Fund
Suite 400 - 15225, 104 Ave.
Surrey, BC Canada V3R 6Y8
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
We love Barefoot Books. Their children’s titles are beautifully illustrated, unique and educational. Even more, we love giving away their children’s books to our wonderful readers! If you want a chance to win THREE of their eco children’s books, then you’re in luck because we are giving away…
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
It's a rare storybook that blows you away with the beauty of its art. Rarer still are such books where the stories are captivating as well. Arthur of Albion, a new book of King Arthur stories, is one of those. It's the sort of book you might buy for your kids—say, as a way of getting them interested in the Arthur stories—and then find yourself sitting on the couch reading it and staring at the art after your kids are in bed.
The stories in the book will be familiar to anyone who knows the Arthur legends: The story of the Questing Beast, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the quest for the Grail, etc. But each story is written in a simple, yet richly detailed, style, with the occasional old-style wording (e.g., "he knew not"), and you will find yourself drawn in by them even if you know the plot by heart. Some of the stories are written with morals, but none too heavy-handed, and all true to previous versions. The stories are separated by short two-page spreads on subjects related to the following story, providing quick glimpses into the characters and settings. The book is very faithful to the history of Arthurian legend, written as it is by John Matthews, a noted expert on the subject (he was even the historical advisor for the 2003 movie King Arthur).
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Gabbie choose a package of wooden beads and string. We are planning a necklace and bracelet set. We also grabed a couple Matchbook Garden seed packets. We are intending to add them to our porch garden...I will let you all know how it goes.
It has been a long time since I have done any needle felting. With Halloween quickly approaching I just had to get some roving to make pumpkins.
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