Posts filed under ‘The Business of Crafting’

What is CERF?

CERF stands for Craft Emergency Relief Fund. It is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization which is dedicated to providing immediate support to professional craftspeople facing career-threatening emergencies such as fire, theft, illness and natural disaster. CERF was created in 1985 and is the only organization of its kind in the United States.

CERF’s programs include: Interest free loans with flexible pay back dates; booth fee waivers at craft shows; discounts on materials and equipment from craft suppliers; assistance with marketing and promotion; special loan funds available for certain guilds, state-wide craft and media-based organizations; and special loan funds for craftspeople facing particular emergencies such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, homelessness, natural disasters and heart ailments.

CERF is a small fund. Loans are modest and range from $200 to $2,000. Additional funds are available to those who are members of various organizations such as The Glass Art Society, The Society of American Silversmiths, etc. Funds to support CERF come from craftspeople, craft show producers, craft organizations, store and gallery owners, suppliers, collectors, foundations and from the National Endowment for the Arts. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

You can make your donations to CERF by writing to: Craft Emergency Relief Fund, P.O. Box 838, Montepelier, VT 05601-0838. Voice mail 802-229-2306, fax 802-223-6484, or going to their website at



January 30, 2008 at 5:04 pm 1 comment

Proposition 65 and Swarovski Crystal

Those of you using Swarovski crystal in your work may find this very interesting. Thanks to Mary Lou Spang of Spangles for telling me about this.

In November 1986, California voters overwhelmingly approved an initiative to address growing concerns about exposures to toxic chemicals. That initiative became The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, better known by its original name, Proposition 65. Believe it or not, California’s Prop 65, as it is known, may affect you.

As you know, Swarovski crystal is lead crystal, and as lead is a known hazardous chemical, retailers of Swarovski crystal jewelry in California must comply with Prop 65 by prominently placing signs which read as follows:

“Attention California residents. Proposition 65 WARNING: Consuming foods or beverages that have been kept or served in leaded crystal products or handling products made of leaded crystal will expose you to lead, a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.”

If you are outside of California but sell your jewelry via website, eBay auction or mail order, any Swarovski crystal jewelry sent to California residents must include this information, along with a note that the item may be returned for a full refund within 30 days. This information must be provided on paper no smaller than a business card.


January 23, 2008 at 5:25 pm Leave a comment

Quote of the Day

“One of the leading product categories in crafting is beads. Beads are the base product to many craft techniques and a powerful embellishment for almost any craft project. Name a craft, and you’ll find artists, designers, and crafters have found a way to incorporate beads into the mix. The man focus of beads is usually jewelrymaking, but from needlearts to scrapbooking to painting, beads of all sizes, colors, mediums, and shapes can add the final touch to the perfect project.”

CraftTrends Magazine, January 2007

January 22, 2008 at 6:38 pm Leave a comment


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