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No Elf On This Shelf

I will always cherish these days of childhood–the constant cuddles, the waking 3x at night, the pure joy at the sight of snow, the scream crying because car seat, the absence of a Facebook profile so they don’t see what shenanigans the elf on the shelf is up to at the cool moms’ houses.

As if there weren’t enough mandatory activities with parenting–diaper changing, making a lunch no one eats every day, being up 3x a night, here struts that damn elf with that ridiculous grin on his face.

NO!

Also the whole Big Brother is watching you element?

NO!

Also I have to be clever for 24 days? I give me 3 nights before forgetting for a week while my 4yo silently worries each night that Pudding Sparklepants forgot about her.

NO!

Also just no.

Who’s with me? Who loves their elf? I want to know. I have one more year before these kids start talking and my oldest asks me where her elf is. And you know when she asks, my hardline will evaporate. ūüėā

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Seller’s Remorse

Someone recently asked me why I don’t sell Eric Carle items in my Etsy shop. He is kind of a rock star in our town. And¬†Eric Carle fever is present in our home too!

I mean, we love Eric Carle in this house. We have a family membership to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, and use it. We read all of the¬†Eric Carle books we can. We even have a particular favorite, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?,¬† in both picture book and board book form. The picture book is currently being held together with massive amounts of tape and I’m not sure that the goldfish¬†and teacher will recover from many more toddler kisses and page-turns. She loves that book hard!

"Peacock, peacock, what do you hear?"
“Peacock, peacock, what do you hear?”

I want to share our love of Eric Carle with everyone. Really, I do!

I want to make Very Hungry Caterpillar bibs — how cute, right? Your baby is eating a strawberry and the caterpillar is eating a strawberry!

I’d love to whip up a¬†few Brown Bear¬†matching games — match blue horse to blue horse or purple cat to purple square.

Try my hand at creating costumes that correspond with those in Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?

But, alas, I can’t!¬†To do so would be¬†a trademark violation.

I bought some super cute Eric Carle fabric, ready to make some fab things for the shop, when I read the selvedge: For Personal Use Only. Whaaaaat?

My first thought was, “But this is personal! This couldn’t be more personal. I love this body of work and want to share it…personally!”

My second thought was, “But so many others on Etsy are doing it. Maybe there is an Etsy loophole?” No such luck.

My third thought was to talk with people who would encourage me to break the law. My husband, Mr. Morally Moralson, and sister, a trademark litigation lawyer, did not do that. In hindsight, they were the wrong people to talk to.

I’m tempted to violate trademark law every week when a new idea pops into my head much like a tiny caterpillar popping out of a tiny egg on a large leaf. But I can’t. Because I get it. Eric Carle is an artist and he created these works and gorgeous illustrations (and is still creating, BTW). He should reap the rewards of that effort, genius, and creativity, not me.

So that is the long, and somewhat heartbreaking (for me) tale of why I can’t sell all-things-Eric-Carle and other trademarked goods on my Etsy shop, even though I really, really want to!

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Searching For Insects

On Friday I was commissioned to make a reversible toddler bib with insects and/or arachnids on it. I AM SO EXCITED! My super-fun job parameters:

1. This bib is for a girl. Yes it is.

2. PUL side to be pink, purple, or light blue.¬†This request took many insect fabrics out of the running, not to mention some fabric and craft shops. This was the most fun parameter–helped me weed out so much insect fabric.

3. Cotton side cannot have spiders depicted with 6 legs. You guys, there are a lot of 6-legged spiders hanging out on fabric out there. I thought I had found the perfect insect/arachnid fabric (above), but a 6-legged spider clings to that blade of grass.¬†I’ve never noticed before, but this is a serious problem!

6 legs! Whaaa?
6 legs! Whaaa?

4. I get to surprise the buyer!¬†Squee!! The buyer has a 1-year-old. No one with a 1-year-old has time to comb through insect fabric. You know what I did when my kid was 1? Me neither. It was 6 months ago and my memory does not extend back so far. But I was not sweating over fabric choices…or sleeping.

I already found and ordered two great fabrics featuring insects for this project!¬†It is going to feel like eternity when the fabrics arrive and I have to wait to run them through the washer and dryer.¬†I already know which fabric I’m going to use for this bib, but I learned from this job, that one MUST have insect fabric in her collection! And now you know too!