For Christmas, Brandon's SIL gave us a gift certificate to redeem at Kiva. Kiva is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world (quoted from the site).
Yesterday, I was able to send two small loans to women working in Peru. The best part of Kiva (I believe) is that once the loans are repaid, I can re-loan the money to somebody else! I may choose Africa next time. If you are looking for a way to help people in other countries better their lives, give this a try. The loans provide men and women with the chance to improve their individual situations and helps their businesses grow --therefore, providing their families with better education, food, and clothing. Go check it out!
For Christmas this year, the siblings and I had artist Melissa Wolf do a pencil drawing of our parents. She takes photos and turns them into a great piece of art. My only regret is not taking a picture of the drawing she made to show all of you! You'll just have to take my word for it that it was great.
If you are looking for a great unique gift for someone special (Valentine's Day? Birthdays?), go to her website and email her. She was very pleasant to work with (very accommodating!) and was patient with me (even making changes here and there to assure I was happy with the final product).
Thank you, Melissa!
If you haven't heard of this, yet, then you probably don't read many blogs. And that's okay. Because you're hearing about it now.
Did you know that as of February 10th, 2008, it will be illegal to make/sell/buy handmade toys or clothes for your kids?
If you want to sew a blanket or onesie for your child or another child? ILLEGAL.
If you want to buy a cute handmade toy at a craft fair? ILLEGAL.
Darling handmade toys, clothes, baby gifts, hair accessories on etsy? ILLEGAL.
Congress has passed some badly thought-through legislation in their attempt to protect children from lead and other toxins. Though well intended, this legislation is, at it's best, terribly overreaching and completely confusing to small companies who manufacture any type of children's products from toys, to clothing, to books (including handmade) and want to be in compliance with the law. At it's worst, the new legislation is completely devastating to countless small businesses and handcrafters all over the world who will never be able to afford the amount and type of testing this law requires. [*The reason the crafters won’t be able to sell their goods - they will likely be unable to pay the (appx) $4,000 PER ITEM to have it tested.]
Originally, the act was to make MASS PRODUCED toys safer. Sure, we all want that. It's called the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act."The CPSIA simply forgot to exclude the class of children's goods that have earned and kept the public's trust: Toys, clothes, and accessories made in the US, Canada, and Europe. The result, unless the law is modified, is that handmade children's products will no longer be legal in the US."
If you haven't heard:
I'M GOING TO LONDON ON MONDAY!!
Brandon left this morning; I'll join in him two days. I have a lot to do between now and then. So, good-bye for now, dear reader! Depending on my schedule, I'm going to try and blog about the trip as it's happening, but I also don't want to set myself up for failure. So, if you don't hear from me for about 10 days? I'm okay. If you hear from me in 3 days? Hooray for all of you!
In the meantime, be good. That is all.