Treasures, Treasuries, and Thoughts

I swore I would never do a blog! So much for swearing. I didn't think that I would have much to say or share. I was wrong! I have been so blessed with a wonderful family, loyal friends, sharing colleagues, and the support from so many that I will never run out of topics to write about.

I have opened an on-line store at a place called Etsy (rhymes with Betsy). The items on the left are available for purchase there. These will change from week to week to show you my latest creations. The link to the store is in the upper left corner of this page.

I also have items for sale listed on Art Fire. The link to my Art Fire Studio is

I hope you will visit this blog, my Flickr page ( and my Etsy and/or Art Fire stores often. (

So come along on my Trail of Treasures! It will be a Spirit Journey for me and I invite you to join me on the trip.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bloggers Unite CPSIA Project

Wednesday January 28 is the date selected for all individuals who blog and are concerned about the impact of the new CPSIA laws to add a blog on the topic. I have blogged, written letters, and made phone calls previously.

I don't usually use "boiler plate" in my blogs but this was provided by the organizers and says it all. I saw no reason to re-invent the wheel.

As parents and concerned citizens I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been confronted with the question of lead poisoning. But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys? The answer? They're banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we've seen in decades. I'd like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.

Do you know about the CPSIA? No? Then I ask you to take a few minutes to find out about it.

The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too.

How will these new laws affect you? Well, here are a few examples:

To the Parents of Young Students:
Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren't originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12.

To the Avid Reader:
Due to the new law, all children's books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there's always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all.
Article from the American Library Association

To the Lover of All Things Handmade:
Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it's passed testing. It won't even be the one-of-a-kind blanket you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So that gorgeous hand-knit hat you bought your child this past winter won’t be available next winter.

To the Environmentalist:
Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can't sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued for selling it. You can't even give them away. If you are caught, it is still a violation.

To the Second-Hand Shopper:
Due to the new law, you will now need to spend $20 for that brand new pair of jeans for your 2-year old, rather than shop at the Goodwill for second hand. Many resale shops are eliminating children's items all together to avoid future lawsuits.

To the Entrepreneur:
Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you'll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.

To the Antique Toy Collector:
Due to the new law, you'd better start buying now because it's all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren't certified as safe.”

To the American Economy:
Already struggling under an economy that hasn’t been this weak in decades, the American economy will be hit harder with the inevitable loss of jobs and revenues from suppliers, small businesses and consumers. The required testing is far too costly and restrictive for small businesses or individuals to undertake.

To the Worldwide Economy:Due to this new law, many foreign manufacturers have already pulled out of the US market. You can imagine the impact of this on their businesses.

If you think this is exaggerating, here is a recent article from Forbes

And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law

As a Native American, I believe one's culture should be preserved, protected, and perpetuated through both our arts and our crafts. Shame on our Congress and Senators! By passing CPSIA, they have shown no knowledge or respect for either!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sun Card For Me

One of my Bbest Etsy friends posted this to her blog. I took the test and my card turned out to be the Sun Card. Perhaps my desire for sunshine influenced the test since we haven't seen much of it around Omaha lately! As to whether or not it applies to me, I'll let those who know me decide.

You are The Sun

Happiness, Content, Joy.

The meanings for the Sun are fairly simple and consistent.

Young, healthy, new, fresh. The brain is working, things that were muddled come clear, everything falls into place, and everything seems to go your way.

The Sun is ruled by the Sun, of course. This is the light that comes after the long dark night, Apollo to the Moon's Diana. A positive card, it promises you your day in the sun. Glory, gain, triumph, pleasure, truth, success. As the moon symbolized inspiration from the unconscious, from dreams, this card symbolizes discoveries made fully consciousness and wide awake. You have an understanding and enjoyment of science and math, beautifully constructed music, carefully reasoned philosophy. It is a card of intellect, clarity of mind, and feelings of youthful energy.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Navidad....An Endangered Specie

This morning I found that my "Navidad", a Native American Folk Art Doll, was featured on Etsy in Night Sky Jewelry's wonderful Green Me Up Scottie Treasury.

I was excited! I was delighted! Navidad (you can see her smiling there in the second row) has a spotlight for what could be her final days. It saddens me to know that come February, 2009 her life could well come to end when CPSIA goes into effect.

Thank you Sharon for giving Navidad what could well be her final curtain call.

Navidad has many sisters. They are made entirely by hand by Wolf Clan Seneca and Mohawk doll artist, Peggy MacKenzie. There are no buttons or moving parts that could create choking issues. They are merely fabric, polyester fiberfill, ribbon, non-toxic paint and are filled with Peggy's love and tribal history.

Peggy's dolls have been sold by us on the Pow Wow trail and on Etsy to the delight of our customers. They are historic, sweet and could in no way compromise the health and well being of anyone. But we can not afford to the testing required by CPSIA. So Navidad and her sisters may well be at the end of their run.

Doll making is a part of all cultures. These crafts should be preserved, protected, and perpetuated rather than being endangered by a government who is blind to the value of the arts and crafts to a country and its culture. Shame on you Congressman and Senators if you allow Navidad and her sisters to become endangered species!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Front Page At Art Fire

Art Fire is a new selling venue that I am learning to use. This morning, I'm on the front page. Those heart earrings in the middle of the third row are mine.

Now on Etsy, my other selling venue, when you make the Front Page it is considered to be very special. On Art Fire, newly listed items are featured on the front page. Since mine were new, there they are!

I have been selling on Etsy for one year this month. It is time to set new goals and try new things. My only fear at this point is over-extending my computer time. This would encroach on my beading time and I can't let that happen. So, here I to try a new venue!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

100 Etsy Sales

I have always been one who believes in goal setting. In 2007, Darcy Horn, a fellow beadweaver and Etsy seller had a bracelet pattern that I wanted. She said it was for sale in her shop on Etsy. Etsy.....I said....what in the world is Etsy? She explained, gave me her site and I joined Etsy to purchase her pattern.

From time to time during the following months, I purchased more and more items on Etsy. In December of 2007, I decided that maybe I could sell some of my pieces if I started to list them. In January of 2008, I listed my first items and set a goal of selling 100 items in 1 year and having 100 items in my store. Today that goal was been achieved! 101 items are in the store and my 100th sale has been realized.

When I awoke this morning, I found that the earrings pictured above had been sold to a wonderful repeat customer. In the interest of protecting her privacy, I will not share her name. She has been a loyal customer during the year and I am so appreciative of her continued interest in my work. She knows who she is! Mvto and Wa-do (Thank you in Creek and Cherokee) my friend.

Now off to set some goals for 2009!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Help Save Our Native Arts and Crafts

As of February 10, 2009 new laws go into effect that will drastically impact my work and that of many others in the arts and crafts industry. In fact, it will destroy us. This law requires expensive testing and certification of all items for the use of those under 12 years old. As you know, we make and sell many items at Pow Wows and on-line that are intended for this age group.

Native children purchase our children's jewelry and toys. Their relatives purchase our bead work for the regalia of their young people. In other sections of this blog, I have posted photos of young girls proudly wearing my barrettes, earrings, etc.

Our land was taken. Our streams and the air we breathe were polluted. We were forced to lands we did not choose. Now, they want to take our ability to protect, perpetuate and promote our culture through our crafts as well. Please vote by clicking above, add the widget from the site if you choose, write your government officials, notify your friends. PLEASE HELP SAVE OUR ARTS AND CRAFTS!