Monday, January 19, 2009

New Blog!

The blog is moving! Follow my adventures in knitting, dyeing, and soon farming at the new Turtle Cove Farm Blog. Set your bookmarks - I want to see you there :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

CPSIA Updates

The word is getting out! Save Small Business From the CPSIA is number three on the page. Voting closes at 5:00 pm EST, Thursday, January 15, 2009. If you haven't registered and voted yet, do so now! (You could vote to stop NAIS while you're there, but that's a whole 'nother can of worms!)

The CPSC has voted tentatively to exempt children's items made of natural materials such as wool, silk, cotton, and wood. This is a big step forward for us, but not far enough. I'd get pretty tired of beige toys pretty quick!

The CPSC also released a memo exempting thrift stores and resellers from lead testing, although the memo states that if the thrift stores know that items contain lead they could be held accountable. I'm not sure if this means I still get to take the monsters to Goodwill every weekend or not.

The most important thing to remember is this is going into law. Any changes the CPSC votes today will not go into effect until after February 10, 2009. Keep talking to your legislators about saving small business from CPSIA, and keep buying handmade toys for your children while you still can.

More links:

WAHM Solutions
Save Handmade
Handmade Toy Alliance

If we're loud enough, the changes will be made!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Save Handmade Toys From CPSIA

If you only read one blog post from the House at Two Palms, let this one be it. Something is about to happen, my friends, that will adversely affect crafters, parents, grandparents, and anyone who loves the idea of handcrafted toys for children.

Reeling from the backlash of lead tainted imported toys and thousands of recalls, our legislators passed H.R. 4040, the CPSIA. The Consumer Product Safety Act was written to protect children from lead- and phthalate- tainted toys; however, as written, CPSIA will ruin any small business that makes handcrafted toys for children.

No one seriously believes that a hand knit teddy bear is tainted with lead or phthalates. Yet, after February 10, 2009, sellers of these beautiful toys will have to pay hundreds of dollars to have each toy tested by independent laboratories. That’s hundreds of dollars for each toy. Would you be willing to spend $300.00 for that hand knit teddy bear for little Suzie?

If the CPSIA is not changed, thousands of crafters will be out of business. Those crafters will have no money to spend at their local stores. Even if you do not make or buy handmade toys, the loss of that business revenue will affect you. In this crippled economy, we cannot afford to lose any more small businesses.

So what can we do? H.R. 4040 has already been passed into law. It is too late to stop it. However, if we raise our voices loud enough, we can get it amended to exclude handcrafted toys. is the website for the Obama Transition Team. They want to hear what issues are important to you. Go to the login page and register with; find “Save Handmade Toys From CPSIA” in the ideas section and vote for it. The top ten ideas will be presented to the president after the inauguration.

But don’t stop there! Contact your Representatives, Senators, and the Leaders of the House and Senate and demand that the CPSIA be amended to save handmade toys. Call, write, and email them, daily if necessary.

We all want to protect children, but this is not the way to do it. I myself have often turned to handcrafted toys as an alternative to the risks of imported toys. If the CPSIA goes into effect as it is now, we will no longer have that option. Together we can change it! Together we can save handmade toys from the CPSIA.

For more information, I have compiled links to a few web articles:

HR 4040 (full language of the bill)
An overview from Speaker Nancy Pelosi
A great article from Business is Personal
Etsy’s open letter to the CPSC

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Excuse me while my head explodes

Phew! Are you ready for Thanksgiving? I'm not! :P

My mind has kind of stalled with the thought of all that cooking and cleaning. This year, for the first time evah, we are having real, live, grown-up people over for Thanksgiving dinner. It'll be awesome, but it's also scary. *waves* Hi, Gail! Hi, Annie! You guys know I'm a slob, right? You've seen my house and my monsters, right? You know my family's slobbish ways are not going to change, right? Right? Right?!?

*crickets chirp*

Sorry about that. The blog's supposed to be this and that and farm dreams and shop updates, not the web published version of my mental breakdown...

So, shop news. I am pleased to announce that Turtle Cove Farm yarns, soaps, and sundries are naw available at Yarny Goodness. Pam's shop is a perfect place to browse Indie fiber artists. She carries everything from yarn to project bags, and I am extremely honored to be a part of it!

I am gobsmacked at the popularity of Bronze Age. If you thought you had missed it, think again! I will do my best to keep this color in stock until everyone's feet are warmed by the shiny, bronze-y loveliness.

Who knew?

I've also been working madly on Turtle Cove Farm's submission to the Phat Fiber box. Have you heard of this yet? It's an amazing box filled to the brim with samples of yarn, roving, stitch markers, patterns... It's like a mini yarn shop in a box. What a fabulous idea!

In the meantime, my spur of the moment sale is still on at Turtle Cove Farm. Free shipping on all yarn orders, including international orders! Hurry! The sale ends this Sunday (11/30/08).

Last but not least, what's the weather like today?

Williston, ND: Clear, 45°F 16°F

CCAFS, FL: Mostly cloudy, 72°F 45°F

Hey look, Ma! Your high temp is our low temp... Heh, I think I'm getting punchy from cleaning fumes. Time for a nap!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bubba's Colorblind

First a little back-story:

We live in a very heterogeneous area. Our neighbors are black, white, Hispanic, Asian, sun worshippers, and creatures of the night. I've tried to raise the monsters to see skin color the same way they see height: some people are tall and some are short; some people are brown and some are pink. That's just the way god made 'em.

Keep in mind as you read this that the boys and I are rather fair, while Mister Man, with his outdoor hobbies and absent-minded use of sun block, tans quite dark.

We were shopping this weekend and Mister Man got separated from the rest of us. The boys and I wondered around for a while, looking at this and that, and then started quartering the store looking for their dad. Across the way, I saw a man with the same general build as my husband, but as we got closer, I realized it wasn't him.

"Well," I said to the boys, "that man is big and has a shaved head, but that's not Dad."

"No, Mom," said Bubba, rolling his eyes. "That man's white."

"What?!?" I said.

"Dad's black."

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Last Nightshot

I grew up dreaming of space, and the fact that I now live within a few miles of the shuttle launch pad fills me with glee. Friday night, my family and I watched the last night launch of the Space Shuttle.

We always watch the launches from the beach at the end of our street. When they start the engines, the sky is set on fire.

We hear a muted rumble as the shuttle slowly climbs above the rooftops.

Remembering the Challenger and Columbia disasters, everyone waits with breathless anticipation as the shuttle exits the atmosphere. When it is just a brighter star in the sky, the crowd starts cheering.

Soon the moon outshines even the shuttle's engines and everyone heads home, proud to be a small part, however vicariously, of man's exploration of the stars.

Weather Update

Williston, ND: Mostly Sunny, 40°F 23°F

CCAFS, FL: Clear, 67°F 45°F

Friday, November 14, 2008

Oooh Shiny!

Shiny squishy goodness

The latest colorway for Turtle Feet Sock Yarn: Bronze Age. I just wasn't sure about this color combination until I skeined it up. Now it's one of my favorites.


Starting tonight at 7:00 p.m. EST, basic shipping for all yarn at Turtle Cove Farm will be free! Yes, that includes international shipping! Check back tonight for all the details.

Weather Update

Williston, ND: Chance of Snow Showers, 36°F 18°F

CCAFS, FL: Chance of Showers, 85°F 72°F