Friday, January 16, 2009

Forward Fashion at the Underpass, Long Beach

Some of my favorite people in the world joined me for a shoot in Long Beach.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Help Save Handmade Toys in the USA! (and kid's clothing, educational products, and used/vintage items geared to kids!)

photo from endangered whimsy a gallery of handmade products endangered by the CPSIA

In August of last year, Congress passed H.R. 4040 Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) (PL 110-787), recognizing that so many products geared to children were being made with high levels of lead, unsafe small parts, and toys made with chemicals that made kids sick, in China and other developing countries, which specifically addressed major corporate culprits, such as Hasbro and Mattel. Now, all manufacturers of products geared to children 12 and under must have every component of their designs tested for lead and pthalates, beginning February 10th, 2009.

This targets both the major corporation and the mom selling handmade felt toys on Etsy. But it also targets any product geared to children, from books and clothing (even bibs), to scientific and educational products, even cloth diapers. And it also affects the thrift and consignment stores, which means that any children's product that is in inventory and not tested as of February 10th must be destroyed, even if the product is made with paper, cotton, wool or wood.

In today's economy, where corporate downsizing and bankruptcies force families to find alternative methods to provide basic necessities for their children by shopping thrift and consignment stores and small business owners and independent designers are already struggling to keep their products in the market, this is a disaster of epic proportions, both economically and ecologically. While the spirit of the law is a necessity, the law needs to be amended to prevent unnecessary testing and expense to the small business owner.

Rick Woldenburg has called February 10th, National Bankruptcy Day for a very good reason.

The L.A. Times printed a very concise article on Sunday regarding this issue. You can find it here.

One small business owner, Pamela Kramer, of Happy Panda Baby, a clothing line geared to the non-standard-sized baby, detailed her attempts to evaluate the price of testing of her baby clothing line. The results are staggering! Her blog post is here. She has decided that she will have to discontinue her bib and gown line, as the price of testing is too costly for her to maintain.

Pamela is just one of the countless people who will be negatively impacted by the enforcement of this law. Read more stories at the forum at Fashion Incubator.

The Mom Crowd has a great post highlighting the issues, to share with friends and family.

What can you do?

The Handmade Toy Alliance has prepared a contact form and letter you can send to your congressional representatives. Find out more information here.

Visit Hello Craft for a helpful action list.

An online letter and petition link, can be found here, which will automatically generate a letter to your congressional representatives.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Fingerprints: Animal Collective Listening Party

I just got on the Fingerprints mailing list, and received an email for the new Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion listening party and raffle to buy the limited edition vinyl at Fingerprints tonight and since we never go out, I thought it might be a fun, free night for Mr. Mod and I. Ice Cream Man was there, handing out delicious icy treats and Fingerprints was passing out pizza, while we listened to the album, which I enjoyed, but Mr. Mod said was too Pet Sounds. (Mr. Mod doesn't really listen to music made after 1978.) I tried to get tickets for the Thorns of Life show on 1/23, but Fingerprints is sold out. Rats!! I've loved Blake (or is that Dr. Schwarzenbach?) and Jawbreaker since 1990 (wow, am I that old?!?) and a longtime reader of Aaron Elliot's Cometbus, so I was really looking forward to seeing this new project. I guess I'll just have to be satisfied with this:

Shucks, this makes me feel like a kid again.

Fingerprints, I had a really nice time tonight. oh, hi Eric.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The State of Art Project (TSOAP) benefit

The State of Art Project(TSOAP) is a great nonprofit, providing video production and film editing instruction to kids in Long Beach! Our friend, Mark Ukleja, started this project in 2006 and is moving forward into 2009, with the support of Schooled in Song, who is hosting this benefit, for TSOAP and Write Now Poetry Society.

With poet Derrick Brown, and the band Free Moral Agents, helmed by the unstoppable Ikey Owens, this will be a truly memorable event at the new public arts space, Goods Gallery, at 200 Long Beach Blvd., in Long Beach. Come out on Saturday, 1/24, from 4-10pm!

We Love Long Beach, Press Telegram article, 1/5

"I want to give people an excuse ... to get to know each other," said Scott Jones of his Long Beach get-togethers. With sister Robin, left, and firefighters helping, 500 came to a summer barbecue..."

read more here!

for more info on We Love Long Beach, check out their website. We Love Long Beach's next Dinner Party is at Smooths on Pine, 1/29. Find out more info on their Facebook Group.

The We Love Long Beach Book Club meets monthly at various locations in Long Beach. Keep up to date on meetup. Next book club is 1/20 at C&C Internet Cafe, on 500 Pine Ave, J100 (right on the corner), featuring Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, by Hunter S. Thompson. Ivan and I have a copy of the 70's biopic, Where the Buffalo Roam, that he got for a dollar. We love Bill Murray, but the movie is pretty awful, just in case you were wondering if you should watch it or not.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Holiday Recap 2008!

Here's to a wonderful 2009! While I prepare to store our Christmas decorations for another year, I decided to take a few photos, to remember the season by.