Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cat's Eye Beads...a NO NO for Children's Jewelry!

***Please note this information is based on our own personal testing by an accredited third-party laboratory approved and recommended by the Consumer Product Safety Commission website***

I've searched high and low on information regarding the lead content in cat's eye beads...and to no avail.

For the most part, I gathered information that they posed no harm, that the lead content was exempt and non-hazardous. Regardless, we wanted Fairy Tale Jewels to be in compliance with the CPSC, so we went ahead and contacted our supplier. We actually spoke with the owner and were assured that certificates were on hand and that although cat's eye beads did in fact contain lead, it was such a small amount, it would account for much of anything.

Since cat's eye beads were not on the acceptable components list approved by the CPSC, we knew we had to go ahead and have them tested. No big deal (so we thought)....I mean, we had already spoken with the owner of our supplier who had assured us that they were in compliance. They even had certificates that showed they were in compliance.

Our initial thought was, "Awesome! We can go ahead and send off our our samples, get our certificates and carry on!" We sent of three samples of 6mm cat's eye beads in hot pink, carribean blue and tanzanite. Two weeks later we received the reports and were shocked to see they tested over the 300 ppm.....they tested close to or over 600 ppms! Way over the ppms the supplier had told us!

So, it goes to show, you cannot go off of a supplier's word as to which components are acceptable. Regardless, you are responsible for holding certificates of such components if they are not listed on the acceptable components list provided by the CPSC.

Yes, suppliers may provide you with certificates showing their supplies meet the CPSC standards, but that does NOT eliminate you from having the components tested with your business name. You must hold third-party testing certificates REGARDLESS!

Want to be safe? Any items that are not .925 sterling silver, gemstones or freshwater pearls....have them TESTED!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Just Had to Share...Seriously, is this a JOKE!

I know I haven't posted in FOREVA! But, just had to share the post below....ARE YOU KIDDING ME????? Seriously! I think I'm about to vomit! Read on..........this is true!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

CPSIA - CPSC, An Award-Winning Agency!
Ever have a bad day and solve the problem by giving yourself an award? World's Greatest Dad, perhaps? Saintly Toy Company? Legally Compliant But Still Crazy After All These Years?Well, I know an agency that must have had a bad day. The plaque pictured here is found in the CPSC's lobby. This well-considered award was granted by the CPSC to itself. It is the well-known Achievement of Commission Excellence Award, granted by the CPSC to itself whenever it accomplishes something truly above-and-beyond-the-call-of-duty. In this case, it honored the "GC CPSIA Team" for "Exemplary Work in Expertly Interpreting and Implementing the Complex Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008". This award was issued in June 2009 - even before it expertly issued the tracking labels guidance or failed to implement the new phthalates testing standard. And let's not forget Ruthenium!No word yet on where we can send our notes of congratulations. I certainly hope Congress got a nice plaque, too.Job well done, guys. As Mr. Bush used to say, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
Posted by Rick Woldenberg, Chairman - Learning Resources Inc.

Friday, February 20, 2009

FJTA Still Pushing For Crystal Exemption

Thank goodness for the Federal Jewelry Trade Association (FJTA). Without this association, children's jewelry designers would be S.O.L.!

As of February 19th, the Commission has yet to respond to the FJTAs petition for crystal exemption in children's jewelry. But have no fear, the law firm for the FJTA is all over it. Here's the latest, word for word, on the inquiry submitted to the CPSC on February 17th:

"...we urge the Commission to immediately docket the Crystal Petition and to issue a statement of enforcement discretion regarding children's products using crystal in a manner that adheres to the provisions of California Health & Safety Code 25214.1.4 governing exclusions for crystal. Once docketed, under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), the Commission could issue an immediate temporary final rule to exclude crystal from the total lead limits until the rulemaking was completed. Immediate action will not result in harm to children who wear or handle crystal or glass rhinestones in jewelry and apparel. Without prompt action companies are being forced to accept returns of unsafe product for destruction, or to compensate customers for unsold products featuring crystals and rhinestones."

Looks like we will probably see the CPSIA revised to read much like the Lead in Jewelry Law as written in the State of California. At least let's hope so anyway! To check out California's current Lead in Jewelry Law, click the link below:

Thursday, February 12, 2009

FJTA Petitions CPSIA to Allow Crystals in Children's Jewelry

Today, the CPSIA posted a petition from the Federal Jewelry Trade Association to ask that crystals and glass beads be excluded from the current "banned components" list in children's jewelry.

The proposed regulations reads as follows:

"The Commission should issue a temporary final rule amending Part 1500 by adding a new provision as follows:

Exemptions from total lead limits under Section 101 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act for glass and crystal beads and rhinestones and glass and crystal decorative articles and objects.

(a) The following class of materials used in children's products is excluded from the prohibitions of Section 101(a) of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act:

(1)glass and crystal beads or rhinestones less than 1 gram in children's products primarily designed or intended for children age six (6) and younger;
(2) glass and crystal beads or rhinestones in children's products primarily designed or intended for children 7-12; and
(3) all decorative uses of glass and crystal such as picture frames, lamp and figurines in children's products.

To read the entire proposal, click the link below:

Let's keep our fingers crossed that they vote on this soon!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

How the CPSIA Affects Children's Jewelry Designers

As most children's designers and retailers know, the Consumer Product Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) took affect today. I've been researching this for the past couple of months and right when I feel that I've got a grasp on things, new information develops and/or guidelines change. Then, it's back to "square one". I've also had many children's jewelry designers contact me regarding this issue. I myself have contacted those in my line of business to seek advice and collaborate on how to comply with this new law.
Most of the information posted on the web is one's intepretation of this poorly and vaguley written law. It's EXTREMELY difficult to find a solution when there are so many shades of gray. The bottom line is you either "sink or swim" and I've put too much into Fairy Tale Jewels to just close up shop. The following is MY interpretation of the law. Please feel free to comment if you have another opinion or additional information to share :0)

If you are a children's jewelry designer, we are one of the hardest ones hit with this new law. The stay recently placed on the CPSIA does NOT apply to us. Nope, starting TODAY, manufacturers and sellers of children's jewelry (including crafters) have to have an accredited laboratory test their jewelry and certify that it's within the allowable limits.

Now, there are a few exceptions. If your products are designed with the following, you DO NOT have to test (for now anyway):

  • Precious gemstones: diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald
  • Semi-precious gemstones, "provided that the mineral or material is not based on lead or lead compounds and is not associated in nature with any mineral that is based on lead or lead compounds (unacceptable stones include aragonite, bayldonite, boleite, cerussite, crocoite, linarite, mimetite, phosgenite, vanadinite & wulfenite)
  • Natural or cultured pearls (pearls that are dyed MUST be tested)
  • .925 sterling silver beads, charms, components

So, if you have a bracelet designed with anything other than what is listed above, then in needs to be tested. If you have a bracelet designed with all sterling silver components and colorful cat's eye has to be tested. Yes, cat's eye beads do contain lead. It's a different form of lead (it's encased), but nonetheless, it is lead. Swarovski crystals...big no, no. Ok, you can use one 6mm round, it's equal to 300 ppms...woohoo! Or, a couple of 4mm bicones, whoopie!

My plan is to use cubic zirconia instead of Swarovski crystals. Much, much more expensive (like 5x's the cost of Swarovski), but there's not really any other options available. I thought about Czech glass crystals, but they even have traces of lead in them. Maybe not enough to add up, but they do contain lead.

The CPSIA has said that they will have definite answers as to which components are acceptable by August '09. So for now, it's CZs for me, freshwater pearls and sterling silver. So much for being inspired by color!

If you would like to read more about the CPSIA, please checkout the link below:

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Gorgeous First Communion Keepsakes

With First Communion season just around the corner, we wanted to share some great gift ideas with you for both boys and girls!

If you're looking for gorgeous keepsakes to help commemorate a First Communion or Baptism, we have the perfect gift!

Our engraved necklaces make wonderful keepsakes and can be treasured and worn for a lifetime.

You can have our keepsake necklaces engraved on the front and backside. Personalize it with a name or initials and engrave a special message or date on the back.

Choose from a round or heart-shaped pendant. We also offer round or square pendants for the little man in your life! offers hundreds of necklaces and bracelets to gift for any occasion.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Diagnosed with Bell's Palsy

I really felt that I needed to post about this subject because after being diagnosed, there was not a lot of info posted by individuals who had dealt with this trauma.

In short, Bell's Palsy is a facial paralysis brought on by damage to the 7th cranial nerve. Generally, this type of paralysis is triggered by some sort of viral infection. It can also be caused by stress (me, stress?), but there is no exact cause.

So two weeks prior to being diagnosed, I woke up one morning and my right ear felt a little "full" and a little itchy. So, the first thing I did was grab a Q-Tip and I cleaned my ear out. I always do this after I shower anyway because I cannot stand to have water in my ears. After I cleaned my ear out, it still felt like I had water in it or still felt like it was "full". You know, that feeling you get when you're in an it needs to pop, but won't.

So after two days of this feeling, I decided to schedule an appointment with my general practioner. When I went in, he said everything looked fine. There was no wax build up, no ear infection. So, he gave me a nasal prescription spray and Alegra, thinking it might be allergy related. Well, 4 days later, no change. So I called my Dr. again and he referred me to an Ear/Nose/Throat Specialist.

***Side Note: I have NEVER in my life had any type of ear problems. Maybe ONE ear infection when I was four, but aside from that...nothing! And, I've always been healthy!***

***Also please note that if you have any awkward feeling or loss of hearing in your ear(s), seek medical attention immediately, as generally medical professionals will NOT be able to bring back any hearing loss after 72 hours of the onset of hearing loss....scary lesson learned here!***

Ok, so back to the story here! So, I went to the ENT (Ear/Nose/Throat) Specialist and had a hearing test done. Yes, my right ear was far below what the norm was in every range....way below in fact. Definite hearing loss...was temporarily diagnosed with SHL (sudden hearing loss). I was then told by the ENT that I should come back in a month to have another hearing test done. This is when my instincts kicked in...what? Come back in a month to find out why, although in my 33 years in existence that I've NEVER IN MY LIFE HAVE HAD A PROBLEM WITH MY EARS AND NOW I FEEL 50% DEAF, I should come back in 30 days with no diagnosis??? Um, no thank you! So, I set up an appointment with another specialist.

Thank God that I did make another appointment. The night before, I told Jason that my face felt a little weird. He thought I was just being a little looney. Oh, and not to mention, my tastebuds had faded two days earlier. I really didn't think much about that though...I just figured I had one too many glasses of vino ;)

Again, God was on my side. The morning I woke up to go to the second specialist, I had lost the ability to blink my right eye and move the right side of my mouth. Yes, it felt like I had just gone to the dentist and had my mouth wouldn't move for anything!

I freaked out! Having NEVER heard of Bell's Palsy, I had no idea what was going on...I literally felt for the first time in my life that I may be dying. It just felt like my facial functions were fading little by little.

I remember the morning of my Dr.'s appointment writing out a list for Jason of what Macy liked and didn't like for her lunch, when she needed to take her bath, what she liked to wear to school, what Mylie and Chance liked for lunch, what entertained them during the this point, I didn't really know what was going on. Was I going to go to the specialist and find out I was dying within the next 24 hours, did I have a brain tumor? Seriously, it was that crazy and eye opening.

So, when I went to the speicalist, I had to do a few facial movement tests and more hearing test. This is when I was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy. I did research this before, so I kind of (hopefully) knew already what was going on.

Again, thank God the morning of the paralysis, I had already set up my second specialist appointment. I think this saved me a lot of recovery time!

For the next three weeks, I slept when I could, made sure I took the prescribed medications of Presidone (steroids), a diuretic, postassium and zantax...and massaged my facial muscles....even thought my Dr. said that really doesn't do any good...I beg to differ. Within four weeks, I was 100% recovered. I give credit to being able to diagnose this within the first 12 hours of the onset of Bell's Palsy.

I also feel (although the Dr.'s said no) that the hearing loss was an onset to the Bell's Palsy. Never having any hearing issues EVER in my life and two weeks before the onset of the Bell's Palsy, I lost hearing? I also failed to mention that not only did my hearing feel "full", but the kids screaming and pan clanking (when putting the dishes away) also made me cringe! And also, I did have sever neck and shoulder pains...I even had Jason buy me a heating pad...and I'm never that big of a baby!!!

If you feel that you may have Bell's Palsy, it could be hereditary, or from a viral infection. The more I look for answers, I did have a real bad upper respiratory infection two months before Bell's this could be the reason (no, I don't smoke). My grandmother also informed me that my Great-Grandmother also had an onset of Bell's Palsy back in the day...which also supports the fact that it can also be hereditary.

The best advice I can give to those of you who are reading this and are suffering from Bell's Palsy is to make sure you keep your eye moist with an eye moisting solution. I think this is the worst part of the whole onset is having to maintain your eye!

If you have any questions about this paralysis or need any pointers, please feel free to email me...whether this post is 1 day old or 500, I'm I know this ia a scary and difficult thing to experience :)

I'm Back!

Ok, so maintaining this blog is a bit harder than I had ever imagined! Since my last post in August, life has handed me much more than I could have ever imagined. Since August I have had a sudden loss of hearing in my right ear, survived a hurricane and have been diagnosed and have recovered from a sudden onset of Bell's Palsy; amongst the midst of running my business, having Macy start the First Grade and of course the ups and downs of marital bliss ;)

So, believe me, in the next few days I will have a number of posts that will highlight the crazy trials and tribulations that I've experienced over the past couple of months that I've been MIA. Stay won't want to miss this!