Saturday, February 7, 2009

Super Saturday

Howdy everyone. Today was absolutely gorgeous. After all the frigid, snowy, weather today's temp was oh so welcome. I got just a whiff of spring. Won't be long now.

I did get the gargoyle sent off to Kalamazoo. He should arrive there on Monday. I received a package today. I had ordered a couple of things from Flirtbuttons and they arrived. She had put my goodies in a pretty pink organza bag drawn closed with a pink satin ribbon. It was so sweet. I then thought about doing something like that with my things but a gargoyle in a pink pouch somehow just seems wrong. If I put a dragon in one I would have to tear the corner so it would seem that he had tried to get out. Attention to the little details, I think, is important. I know that Flirtbuttons probably does this with every order but still I felt special.

I found out what a "bounce rate" is. The number of visitors who ring the bell and run. They view one page and then move on. I started to be upset that my bounce rate was runing 48% when it occured to me that not every person who happened upon my shop would want a critter. I don't know why they wouldn't want a critter but there it is.

I have learned not to second guess the buying public. When I try I only get upset and unhappy.
I do not understand their reasoning. If your items are priced to low they won't buy (it's been proven. I even have stories about it but I'll save those for another itme). But if they are too high...same thing. Where is the middle ground? My friend and sister of the heart, Kathy, has her jewelry on ArtFire . She likes making jewelry and is very good at it. She wants folk of all types to have beautiful things. The tres petite, the not so petite, us fat girls, and the guys too, people with $$ and those without. So she custom makes much of her inventory to accomodate the differences in people. Her prices are not at all competitive for the quality of the work and materials. They are low. I insist that she at least make back her material costs and maybe a bit for her design sense and time. The market is flooded with jewlery makers right now and how does one make oneself stand out from the rest?

In a more community service minded note, CPSIA issued a statement today clearing up some of the murky points of the new lead free ruling. I'll copy some of it here:

...WASHINGTON, D.C. - Starting on February 10, 2009, consumer products intended for children 12 and under cannot have more than 600 parts per million of lead in any accessible part. This new safety requirement is a key component of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) aimed at further reducing children's exposure to lead.

In an effort to provide clear and reasonable guidance to those impacted by this important law, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is announcing its enforcement policy on the lead limits
established by the CPSIA.

Manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers should also be aware that CPSC will:

*Not impose penalties against anyone for making, importing, distributing, or selling

**a children's product to the extent that it is made of certain natural materials, such as wood, cotton, wool, or certain metals and alloys which the Commission has recognized rarely, if ever, contain lead;

**an ordinary children's book printed after 1985; or

**dyed or undyed textiles (not including leather, vinyl or PVC) and non-metallic thread and trim used in children's apparel and other fabric products, such as baby blankets.

(The Commission generally will not prosecute someone for making, selling or distributing items in these categories even if it turns out that such an item actually contains more than 600 ppm lead.)
Sellers will not be immune from prosecution if CPSC's Office of Compliance finds that someone had actual knowledge that one of these children's products contained more than 600 ppm lead or continued to
make, import, distribute or sell such a product after being put on notice. Agency staff will seek recalls of violative children's products or other corrective actions, where appropriate.

*Issue an interim final rule effective February 10, 2009, which establishes alternative lead limits for certain electronic devices, in order to prevent unnecessary removal of certain children's products from
store shelves.

*Accept a manufacturer's determination that a lead-containing part on their product is inaccessible to a child and not subject to the new lead limits, if it is consistent with the Commission's proposed guidance or
is based on a reasonable reading of the inaccessibility requirement. Paint and other coatings or electroplating are not considered barriers that make a component inaccessible.

This enforcement policy will remain in effect until superseded by action of the Commission.

CPSC still expects companies to meet their reporting obligation under federal law and immediately tell the Commission if they learn of a children's product that exceeds the new lead limits starting on February
10, 2009. Companies also should know that the CPSIA generally prohibits the export for sale of children's products that exceed the new lead limits.

As announced on January 30, 2009, the Commission approved a one year stay of enforcement for certain testing and certification requirements for manufacturers and importers. Significant to makers of children's
products, the 'stay' provides limited relief from the testing and certification for total lead content limits, phthalates limits for certain products and mandatory toy standards. Manufacturers and importers - large and small - of children's products will not need to test or certify to these new requirements, but will still need to meet the lead and phthalates limits, mandatory toy standards and other requirements. Certification based on testing by an accredited laboratory is still required for painted children's products and soon will be
required for children's metal jewelry, as well as certain other products for non-lead issues.

Thanks for staying with me to the end. It did run a bit long tonight.

Joy and Happiness Always

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