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I Have Pod News!

I have news! After a long day of fabric washing, ironing and drying the in stock pods are ready to go. They come in traditional cotton like the beige one with lightly padded straps and in wrap conversion with wrap straps like the blue one.

Both are for sale at £70 plus P&P each, until the shop is up and running orders will have to be made by contacting me directly. There’s a sample choice of fabrics in my album here for the time being, turn around time is approximately 1-2 weeks and just to kick things off the first person to order gets theirs for £60 all in.

I am sooo looking forward to all the beautiful pods I’m going to send out to the world.

paisley navy woodland snott
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I might have made an Onbu/Pod hybrid.

I love those “what if?” days.

What if you could have an onbu that fit from tiny to school? Wouldn’t that be something? So I’ve tried to figure out how to keep that deep seat, and the simplicity of the onbu rings. I have no idea if I’ve managed it with this prototype but I’ve sent it off to the original pod testers at Stockport Sling Library for their opinion. The lovely Emily has just sent me this review:

“Oddbu Feedback

I really liked the look of the Oddbu – it was summery but not too “snazzy” and didn’t look overly complicated to use. It was well made and the structure and stitching looked reassuringly sturdy. I was unsure at first glance how to tie it, but after a little guidance from Ellie, I had J in it quite happily (he is a very willing demo child of 18 months). On my first try I was concerned that the rings were pressing into the sides of my boobs a bit, but this proved easy to remedy by adjusting how the wrap straps come through the rings. 

Later in the day I popped J in whilst I nipped from the car to a shop. I must explain, my personal babywearing nemesis is ruck straps; they just do not agree with my back at all. After a short walk I was feeling that familiar pull on my shoulders that quickly begins to feel uncomfortable. At home later I spent a bit of time trying a few different ways to tie it (J was considerably patient with me for a Friday afternoon, I must say). I found that i liked to be able to spread the leg passes over his bum for the extra support, but what I really needed was to be able to tie the straps Tibetan, to solve my shoulder issue. After some experimenting, I decided that the most comfortable carry was how Ellie had originally shown me, but with spread straps and rather than the regular finish of knotted waist, I managed to squeeze a really-not-recommended knotless finish in the tails (see pics). Hoorah! This was really quite comfortable!

So. I really liked the design and it was certainly possible to get it nice and comfortable. I did note that I had to make my peace with not being able to achieve a completely symmetrical finish at the front, due to how you need to navigate the cross straps round the rings (does that make sense??), but I liked the final look once I had spread the passes over my front. My main suggestion would be to say that if I was personally ordering an Oddbu from you, I would request a little extra length on the straps to allow me to tie it Tibetan. Probably roughly an extra foot on each strap, I would say. Overall, was very impressed with it though. Thank you for letting me try it!”
And this beautiful picture:
odbu

 

 

 

 

I’m really looking forward to more feedback. Thank you lovely Stockporters <3

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CE marking toy slings

Toy slings, for role play. All children want to mimic the things they see their parents do and it looks so cute!

A lot of us are suckers for pretty things and at this time of year the search for doll slings is pretty pressing. There are a lot of manufacturers and work at home mams (WAHM’s is a phrase you see a lot) happy to run up a doll sling for someone but the perception generally is that CE testing is expensive and complicated and it doesn’t apply to them. 

It does apply to them. It applies to anyone manufacturing a toy for sale. The directive defines a toy “as a product designed or intended, whether or not exclusively, for use in play by children under 14 years of age.” (source here) which a toy sling definitely is. I believe people are free to make their own choices about what they buy but I also believe these should be informed choices so I thought I’d explain as far as I could what CE testing was for toy slings and why it exists.

What about us as customers? As a customer this is what you should know before deciding whether to buy an untested toy or a tested toy: CE marked soft toys must contain no hazardous materials. Some fabrics are processed using heavy metals, among other things. Heavy metals can be ingested or even absorbed through the skin and might be harmful to you or your little one . CE marked soft toys must contain minimal or safe levels of hazardous materials. Non marked soft toys may or may not use fabrics that don’t conform, even if you do decide to buy a non tested soft toy it might be a good idea to check with the seller for your own peace of mind.

Soft toys that carry the CE mark also have to have been tested for choking hazards so should have no small parts that are easily removed and small enough to fit in a childs mouth. Again your seller may have checked this themselves even if they don’t CE mark, it’s probably a good idea to check with them before they buy.

Lastly, all materials used in a CE marked soft toy must be tested for flammability, the toy itself must have been shown to burn slowly or even self extinguish. If the toy burns too quickly it will not pass CE testing and cannot carry the CE mark.

Ok, it wasn’t quite lastly but it’s an important point for sellers and buyers both. Insurance: What if, god forbid, something goes wrong? No one wants that, no one at all, it’s a horrible thought but someone has to think about it. An untested soft toy, if something went wrong, some kind of poisoning, choking, strangulation or burn a seller of untested soft toys almost certainly will not be covered under their liability insurance. 

What about me as a Seller? 

CE testing sounds like a long and scary process and it sounds expensive but it really need not be any of those things. You can even buy for a small sum a step by step checklist with everything set out in little tick boxes. It even comes with email and phone support. There are facebook groups to talk you through it and help you find your way. I’m happy to also point people in the right direction so please get in touch if you make doll slings and want support through CE testing, I’m not an expert and I did find it mindboggling at first but by writing this I’m hoping to save other WAHM’s the trouble of finding this all out.  It’s good for your business, it’s good for the industry and it’s good for your customers.
Yes, it might push your prices up a little and that’s something a business person is conscious of but how much would a fine of up to £5000 pounds and up to 6 months imprisonment put your prices up?

Some useful sites for information:

CE Support group (facebook)

CE Support page (facebook)

Government Website

CE Self Certification pack

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Busy me!

It’s been a busy few weeks. I’m just plain astonished at how fantastic my customers are. I’m going to try to condense it down into a few photos. There were doll slings and beautiful things, 2 oschas, a fantastic rainbow mash up, a stack of lenny lamb and the odd slingmeet or two. What do you think? IMG_2168 IMG_2121 IMG_2119 IMG_2126 IMG_2136

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Yesterday I made

pod07

 

on the left is a big wodge of wrap fabric freshly dyed. On the right is a very soft but very boring Lenny Lamb chestnut wrap that is now a much prettier wrap conversion. It’s for sale but not till I’ve had a professional give me some photography lessons, I’m an awful photographer.

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What have I made today…

Well first I made 2.5 metres of double width wrap fabric black in my washing machine….

dying is always exciting

While that was going on I made this little doll pod:

pretty little things..

By which time the postman had been and delivered 5.4metres of very soft and beautiful but very plain wrap. Cut and ready for picking up in the morning:

all the lenny lambs

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What is a Pod?

I’ve been a sling addict for about 2 and a half years and I only discovered the wonder of a pod when I bought a stunning Simply Mei Tai pod preloved. It was a revelation in sling form, rock solid, super versatile and very very pretty.  There began a love story…

Pod is short for Podaegi (handy to know if you’re googling). It’s usually roughly rectangular in shape with two long straps at the top. Those straps are used to secure the sling and also to adjust the height and the width of the carrier as you tie it. They have the versatility of a woven wrap but with the ease of use of a mei tai and one size actually really does fit everyone.

As a sling librarian and consultant I play with lots of slings and lots of parents. In situations where people just want to buy one carrier that will see them through or where they have an older child and a baby on the way or where someone is learning to back carry in a wrap a pod is fantastic! Ok, so no sling is the perfect sling for everybody but this sling  is just so simple and so underutilised. I’m going to leave the many uses and the joys of podding to my testers for now.