Sunday, March 29, 2009

blog #264 >> Where did all the books go?

I wish I were a more articulate person.
Unfortunately, I'm simply what I am, so I'll do what I can.

First of all, I'd like to say, I never thought they'd do it. I never thought they'd actually do it. I knew they were trying to, I signed a thing online against it. But not until today did I realize that they actually did indeed do it.

What happened today to bring me to this realization? Well, I broke my Goodwill ban. I had told myself I wouldn't shop at the Goodwill anymore. Whenever I go there I end up buying a lot of things I don't need. And I really like things. You know strange discarded things. Old 60's lamps, tea cups, little unusual things you'd never see anywhere else. Treasures to me, but junk to anyone else. Junk is a strange thing. Some people see junk and that's all, yesterday's forgotten lunch box or some useless old Jello mold. But for other people, things hold memories. These are usually hopelessly sentimental people. When these people see the old forgotten lunch box it reminds them of things that were long forgotten in their own minds and that otherwise would have remained lost. For them finding these things is like finding an old friend and keeping these things are like keeping memories. My house is full of this stuff. However, I realize I don't need any more things and when Goodwill raised their prices before Christmas, that was the end for me. Anyhow today I broke that ban and headed off to the Goodwill with the neighbors to drop off some things. (Their things not mine.) And of course just so long as you're there you might as well go inside.

So the hunt for things begins! Start with clothes, too expensive for second hand... moving on. Oooh housewares, always good stuff in housewares. Frames, frames are nice. And of course books for last. I get myself into the most trouble with books. My New Year's resolution was not to buy anymore books! But instead to use the library. The library is wonderful, I love the online system. However I'm the type of person who will read the same book, over and over and over again, until the library needs to beg for it back. Funny, I won't cry during a movie, but no matter how a book ends, I'll cry every time. Even after I've read it two dozen times. I guess I've just got a soft spot in my heart for books. Anyhow off to the book section.

What do I see when I get there... AH! Where are they! Alice in Wonderland, Black Beauty, Treasure Island, Little Women, The Hardy Boys, Curious George, Peter Rabbit, Heidi, Peter Pan, The Boxcar Children, Pokey the Little Puppy, The Little Engine that Could, and the Little Golden Books, all gone! There are like five empty book cases in the children's section. Yeah there are a few left over in the corner, but where are they?

Where did they go?
I don't know.
But I do know who did it and why, so there's no need to ask anyone.
5 little letters make up the acronym without making a word:
There's the who.
Lead paint and Phthalates
That's the why.

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), was passed by Congress last summer after the panic over lead paint on toys from China. But it's not just applying restrictions on toys from China, it's applying them to everything ever made throughout history for children under age 12. Actually that's little sarcastic. There is a short list of exemptees including gold, pearls, untreated wood and yarn among other things which obviously couldn't possibly include lead... (which is really a relief because I give kids precious gems and gold to play with all the time.) This new law requires testing for every children's item sold from Walmart, to eBay, to your garage sale in your own back yard, to be tested for lead. This testing isn't easy or cheap. And it destroys the item you're testing, so if you've only got one, there's really no sense in testing for Phthalates.

Which leads to my next question... What the heck is a "phthal-whateverit'scalled?" "Phthalates are particularly nasty substances added to plastics to increase their flexibility." Which I had to quote because I didn't know either.

So where are all the books? Books aren't plastic. I'm confused.
Since children's books are included in the CPSIA act they of course must either be tested or pulled off of second hand shelves. In 1985 it became illegal to use lead pigments in books, therefore all books printed after that date are consider safe to resell. But all books printed before that date must be tested before selling (which is impossible because it destroys them!)

It's so sad that all those books can no longer be sold. Unlike adult books children's books have some of our finest illustrations. I have quite a collection on my book shelf, mostly unknown artists with unknown talent, but I enjoy every page. I suppose you could possibly sell them as collectibles yes, but the law says it applies even if "the products are to be commonly understood as intended for children’s use, even if not labeled as such" so basically there are no exceptions based on technicalities.

Also, it should be noted somewhere in this rant that, " one seems to have been able to produce a single instance in which an American child has been made ill by the lead in old book illustrations." How many books would you have to eat I wonder before you got sick? Let's think about this. Why are kids eating books? Do these children have parents? Do these children have enough to eat? Shouldn't we be worrying about why children would be eating books, instead of taking the books away from them? If the hunger problem in America has gotten that bad, taking away the books isn't going to help. I guess they're suppose to eat healthy things like gold and wood instead. What's wrong with people!!!

Who works at the CPSIA? Apparently, no one with sense or kids. We could solve this problem in two minutes. Stickers! Actually this was my sister's idea and here's what she has to say: (Just have a sticker on them that says something like "this item has not been tested for lead or philosewhateverit'scalled". Or "this toy/book is not intended for children under age 12". I'd probably think twice about buying some crap toy from the Dollar Store and it would save homemade and used toys from all the testing requirements. Plus, parents could decide for themselves who to trust. Problem solved.) Yes! Stickers only make sure you test them for lead first! We can't have a sticker on a product warning about lead that has lead in it! Geez!

Has it really come to this? I never thought it would. I thought it would be repealed long ago. What about the libraries? They seem to be fighting it now, but what happens later when they can't? What will happen to all those books? And I thought Fahrenheit 451 was just fiction. Quick everyone start memorizing books! I'm ready to start a black market for pre-1985 children's books.

Who's with me?


Good less sarcastic sources that I've quoted.
CPSC CPSIA retailer's guide
City Journal - The New Book Banning
(You should especially read this article it's the best one I've seen!)
Save Handmade!

....alright, I feel better now. I can sleep.

blog #263 >> My Heros of Jello

...or Jelly as they would say.
But still Bompas & Parr have some of the most amazing Jello molds I've ever seen!
I wonder if they're hiring? I must learn their ways!
See here.
Glow in the dark Jelly. I wish I could buy that mix in the store.
See here.

I'm also very impressed with their 2-D banquet. See here.

I can't wait to see what they come up with next!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

blog #262 >> Squirrelly!

Here's the little squirrel I made Mary for her birthday.
I was almost afraid he wouldn't dry in time.

Monday, March 23, 2009

blog #261 >> Bright Skirt

I've fished it!
Fabric Depot's anniversary sale this weekend was wonderful.
Everything was 30% off and I got right to sewing with my fabric.
Unfortunately, I ran out. I only got a yard and a half. I'd forgotten that it takes at least two yards if I give it pockets. And I really wanted to add pockets. So I went back and fell in love with this dotted pattern and got that for an accent. It seemed like a really good idea at the time... but now I think it's a little too... um.... colorful. It must have been a sunny day when I picked out the fabric. And I did buy it for a spring skirt. Oh, well. Next sunny day I bet I'll fall in love with it again.

Friday, March 20, 2009

blog #260 >> LOST in Literature

Holy Smoke Monster!
This link combines two of my favorite things:
LOST and Literature
See Sawyer's Reading List on Lostpedia Here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sunday, March 15, 2009

blog #258 >> Estate Sale

Here are my finds from an estate sale I went to this weekend.
My parents got the mug for me. They have such great taste.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

blog #257 >> Sewing New Pajamas

Here they are, the new pajamas I sewed up today.
I finally used that cheap flannel I bought at Jo-Anns on Black Friday. I had wished the last ones I made were a little baggier, so I let these ones out. I hope I didn't over do it. I can never tell until I wear them to bed. And while I had the sewing machine out, I patched my old favorite pajamas with a pocket.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

blog #256 >> How to Pin a Hat Pin

How to use a hat pin:

First of all, ask yourself...

Do I need a hat pin?

Does my hat fall off my head without one?

Do I have enough hair to pin it to?

Will I need an impromptu sword?

If you answered "no." to one or all of these questions, then this post is probably not for you. However if you answered "yes." then you've come to the right place.

You see hat pins aren't for everyone. And you can't wear one with just any hat or any hair style.
You're going to need:

a: hair (Lots of it, piled on top of your head, like the Gibson Girl.)

b: a hat (It could be the type of hat that's easily confused for a two pound, double layer, birthday cake, or a tiny pill box hat that would blow away with the slightest breath of wind. The trick is to use a hat that's not going to stay on your head no matter what. Baseball caps, stocking hats and construction hats don't need hat pins)

c: a hat pin (Hat pins come in all different lengths and styles. If you have a little 40's hat, pick out a little pin, if you have a giant Victorian hat, use the shish kebab length hat pin.)

If you don't have enough hair to pin your hat to. And your hat stays on your head reasonably well. And you have your heart set on using a hat pin, the best thing you can do is pin the hat pin into your hat before you put it on and just have it there for looks. But if you've got big hair continue below.

1: Stick the pin into the hat just above the hat band, towards the front, on the right side of your hat if you're right handed, left if left handed, or in a decorative spot if the hat has one. Push it in about three quarters of an inch.

2: Put the hat on your head.

3: Carefully, push pin through hair, sideways, towards the back, and out the other side. If you're using a short pin you should catch about an inch and a half of hat. If you're using a long pin catch about three inches. And if you're using a really long pin about five inches.
Do not push pin straight into your head!

And there you have it. Your hat is now pinned perfectly onto your head.


Photos from Shorpy and Plan 59.

blog #255 >> Driving in Oregon - 1952

This blog post is dedicated to driving in Oregon in 1952.
(And my dad.)

1952, was a great year for driving in Oregon. Nothing specific happened that I know of. But you could drive through the Mitchel Point Tunnel on The Columbia River Hwy after visiting Multnomah Falls and The Vista House. (The tunnel was blasted in 1966 to make room for I-84.) Or you could take a scenic drive on Hwy 101 along the entire Oregon Coast. (Or if you wanted to leave the state of Oregon you could get your kicks on Route 66.) In 1952 driving was still considered a skill and people took great pride in their driving abilities. It would have been considered quite a compliment to be called a "good driver" especially if you were a woman. Sunday drivers were not at all uncommon and neither was "joy riding." And with gas at 25¢ a gallon, you could afford to drive around with no particular place to go.

My Grandparents and their... 1948 Plymouth? (Dad would know.)

Seaside, Ore. (Note: Car on beach in lower right corner. You can still drive your cars on certain Oregon Beaches including Sunset Beach... I think... Dad would know.)

The lovely Timberline Lodge off Hwy 26.

Coast line north from Sea Lion Caves, Oregon Coast Hwy.

An official 1951-1952 Oregon Driver's Manual to help keep you safe on the roads in 1952.

Sticking your hand out the window means signaling, not waving.

Watch out for the little kiddies!

Traffic signs in 1952. (Note: There are no SPEED signs.)

Here are some important rules of the road to remember: Use caution when passing horses, don't shoot a gun across a road. Your bike needs lights. No, that's not a new law. It's been around since 1952. And of course the ever important, "Children Must Ride Inside Vehicles," not on the running boards, not on the hood. It doesn't matter if they're in a car seat or not, just make sure you didn't tie them to the roof.

And finally, The Traffic Cop. Beware... and respect The Traffic Cop. And you better hope he's in a good mood if you happen to pass him. He probably will be, there's not as much road rage in 1952, but there are no radar guns either and the speed limit is "The Basic Rule." So if he "thinks" you're driving too fast. You are. And that's all there is to it. So remember "The Basic Rule"* and everything you learned in this handy little guide to driving, and before you know it you'll be floating along the road with the windows down and the wind in your hair.

Enjoy driving!

* #35 The Basic Rule
"This is the foundation of the Oregon speed law. In effect it simply states that you must keep your car under control by driving speeds which will make it possible for you to stop or reduce speed safely whenever necessary to avoid colliding with other persons or vehicles."

Monday, March 9, 2009

blog #254 >> More Jello

The gods of Jello making must have been watching over this one, because by all account, it should never had made it out of the pan. It was doomed from the beginning. Maybe the mold is cursed. Last time I used this mold it didn't turn out either. Oh well, by some divine chance, it turned out alright. Here is my tasty pineapple-lemon Jello mold. I think I just waited way too long to add the fruit, but at least it didn't float to the top.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

blog #253 >>I'm alive!

After being sick for over a month I'm finally feeling better! And with it I'm getting back into a regular schedule. Before I was sick I had finally starting to keep up with blogging and Etsy, but when I got pneumonia I didn't do anything except sleep and watch Gilligan's Island. In fact I watched nearly every episode ever made. It's one of the only things I own on DVD. And it's the type of show where if you sleep through half an episode, you'll still know what's going on. In fact I even developed a plot guide to Gilligan's Island.
I decided there are three main plot themes

Plot A:
Since Gilligan's Island is uncharted and less than 3 hours away from Hawaii, apparently it's quite a hot spot for people who want to escape civilization, rare butterfly hunters, migratory ducks, robots, movie producers, head hunters, evil twins, and lost Japanese sailors who don't know that the World War II isn't over yet. You never know who's going to drop by or be discovered on (or discover) Gilligan's Island. This plot usually ends with the intruder being sent off with cheering or escaping secretly by night, leaving the castaways stranded, but hopeful for rescue, and relieved that their annoying visitor is gone. Later the castaways will receive word over their transistor radio that the visitor to their island has reached civilization, and in most cases, has amnesia and no memory of Gilligan's Island, or no way of charting where it is.

Plot B:
Gilligan messes something up. Let's face it Gilligan is a klutz... and always hungry. This plot starts with Gilligan breaking something or eating all of the professor's glue or eating his luminescent paint, or shellac, or shark repellent or whatever tasty thing the professor is cooking up that day. Then all the other castaways say that they wish Gilligan never existed, or some silly thing like that, and Gilligan over hearing, runs away to the other side of the island. There he spends the night in a cave and has a dream about a fairy tale or old western scene or something of that sort with everyone on the island in it. Then the other castaways realize they miss Gilligan, bring him lots of blankets and bananas, and convince him to come back.

Plot C:
If Gilligan goes fishing, it's guaranteed, he's liable to catch anything but a fish. It's simply amazing what will wash into the lagoon. It could be an old rubber raft, a pint of ice cream, a treasure chest, a telephone cable, an old box of magic tricks, a box of radio active seeds, or moldable plastic, you just never know what might wash up after a storm. This plot usually ends with the castaways trying to use the (fill in the blank) somehow to escape, only to be foiled by Gilligan. From here it can turn into Plot B.

...So yes, I've watched an absurd amount of Gilligan's Island. But after all, I'm afraid the professor has stolen my heart.

In other news, I found the apartment of my dreams. I tried my best to get into it, but it wasn't meant to be. I should have told them I'd take it sight unseen. It was even in my price range and the rent would only be about $20 more than what I'm spending now. It was so lovely! I tried to get on a waiting list, but the land lord never emailed me back... sigh...

I also made a trip up to Estacada this weekend and stopped by Mike's and my favorite bookstore. All of their hardbacks are $2, all kids books and soft covers are $1, and all magazines are free. I got these Betty Crocker cookbooks, Campbell's Soup cookbook, and luster ware teapot all for $9.

Unfortunately, I'm not feeling back to normal yet. I pulled a rib muscle when I was coughing and it's still really bothering me. It's definitely going to be on my top ten most painful moments list. Since I haven't had any kids there's not a lot to put on there. The time I had a tooth filled without novocaine and the time I broke my foot would be two other notable mentions. Although when I broke my foot it was asleep, so this was actually more painful. I could even hear it when it ripped and WOW!... I knew it wasn't good. So in my attempt to keep everything in place and I've been wearing my corset. At first I just wore it at night to keep myself from rolling over strangely and re-pulling it in my sleep. But I think it helps so much, I'm wearing it all the time now. I originally made it for a costume, but I'm glad it's getting some use. Although it seems really strange to be wearing one, it does help my posture and I'm not keeping it very tight. I wasn't sure about posting that picture, it's reminiscent of wearing ones underwear outside ones clothes, but why not. I wear that sweater at least once a week after all. And I am very proud of my sewing on the corset.

Well, I guess that's enough to get myself caught up.
I'm glad to be feeling better and hopefully I can keep the posts coming.