Sunday, November 24, 2013

Another step forward, happy dance!



SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced the approval of the state’s new flammability standards for upholstered furniture, the culmination of the administration’s year-long effort to modernize the standards and reduce Californians’ exposure to harmful flame retardant chemicals.

“Today, California is curbing toxic chemicals found in everything from high chairs to sofas,” said Governor Brown. “These new standards will keep the furniture in our homes fire-safe and limit unnecessary exposure to toxic flame retardants.”

Last year, Governor Brown directed state agencies to revise California’s nearly 40-year-old flammability standards for upholstered furniture sold in the state to reflect modern manufacturing methods that can reduce the use of harmful chemicals.

Numerous studies have found links between exposure to chemicals used as flame retardants in upholstered furniture and cancer and fertility issues. These chemicals also disproportionately impact children. One study found toddlers can have up to three times the level of flame retardants in their bodies as their parents.

The new standards will protect Californians from the most common ignition sources of fires, namely smoldering sources such as cigarettes, space heaters and extension cords. It also more effectively addresses upholstery cover fabric, requires the use of barrier materials with smolder-prone materials and tests the interactions of all the materials that go into a piece of upholstered furniture.

The previous standards included an open-flame test for filling materials, such as foam, which were treated with flame retardants. The new standards eliminate an open flame test for filling materials. A number of manufacturers have already stated that under the new standards, they will no longer have to use flame retardants, and will either meet the requirements through the use of more smolder-resistant cover fabrics or smolder-resistant barriers beneath the cover fabrics.

“The previous standards focused predominantly on filling materials, where fires don’t actually start,” said Tonya Blood, Chief of the Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation, which led the effort to develop the new standards. “The new standards were developed to address where the fire begins, which is the cover fabric, and to focus on the interactions of the cover fabric and filling materials.”

Beginning January 1, 2014, manufacturers may begin manufacturing to the new standards. They will have a year to complete the transition and must come into full mandatory compliance on January 1, 2015. The standards, crafted based on a comprehensive review, statewide workshops and public comment, can be read in full here.
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Friday, November 22, 2013


Make it Fun
Make it Memorable
Make it with Shared Responsibilities
Make it with Mementos
Make it with an Intention
Make it with a Plan

No one wants to lose something they value.  We worry whether we are doing enough to protect it and if it can be sustained.  As family units are changing, the incorporation of new ideas and adjustments are a non-ending concern.  Balancing who is where and at what time grandchildren and children can be shared  among the extended families and non-extended families, becomes an exercise in an acceptance of reality. Family traditions have changed, the core family is no longer the primary treasure chest for the most precious of memory making.
As family units grow and become apart of a new age, adjusting is the only solution to make yourself happy.
That could incorporate a complete shift of who you start to entertain, beginning a new tradition of your own design, by choice and not obligation.  If it is not working with family don't force it, don't wait around and always be ready to receive when or if a turn comes around.  We all have lessons at different times, trust that all is good and in divine order.  As mothers' it is very strange to experience the first time our children are not breaking bread with us during a Holiday.  But, College, jobs and life get in the way of those most cherished times of  the year.

Apart from Holiday entertaining, any celebration is always a perfect time to create new memories.  Celebrations do not compete with the major family gatherings at the Holidays and can be a new creative tradition all alone.

A dinner before the Christmas Parade
A desert after baseball season
Wine and cheese before a concert

Naomi, my dear friends daughter, creates her own Birthday Celebration every year. She stays at a beautiful Hotel, in LA, pampers herself during the day and invites guests for the evening, up on the rooftop or bar. It is so much fun. Fun for the guests and fun for the Birthday Girl. As adults, we do not get to celebrate our friends that have come into our life, often enough, this is a perfect time.  This idea could be reserved for the week before with friends, if you spend your date of birth with family.

Entertaining takes planning.  You can be prepared for spur of the moment dinners or spontaneous invites after the movies.  It is easier when there is preparation already in place.  So find a go to meal that is interesting and easy.  Always have the ingredients on hand for that particular meal.  It could be as easy as having olives, cheese, salami, carrots and celery for starters.  Preparing homemade spaghetti sauce and freezing, spaghetti noodles, french bread and garlic butter.  This meal can be a no fail winner using grass fed beef and gluten free noodles, cuts down on the caloric and sugar table.

Here is to making your own memories happy ones!

7 Natural Laws of the Universe in my World of Design.

    Some say knowledge is power, I say, "applied knowledge is power".  What good is it to be a "storage unit" until it can be of use in some way, mentally and physically.  Oh, but wait.....  storing is ok,  there is a function,  The Law of Rhythm states everything has a natural cycle.  So....a holding tank, aka "storage unit", will run its course as well, and I know my real storage units, mentally and physically have run their course! :)
I am so excited to start producing and sharing my long awaited projects and years of study,  as they apply to interior environments.

It feels a little like Christmas since this summer, as I have been unpacking and working on my long list of projects to complete. I am also thrilled to say, I have finally felt a shift in my desire to stop licking my wounds and get the bandage on - or let it air dry!!! Healing again, healed again, done. Bring on the dessert of life, and I like peppermint ice cream with hot fudge... A lot.  (In that silly voice of Mr. Funny).
                                                         THE LAW OF RHYTHM

 I am going to start with each law as one short blog-bit of information. You will appreciate my skipping the technical research, physics, medical research and downright "geekieness" of it all. I am fascinated by the dynamics of how our world works and how we function within our world, our reality as we create it.

 Your reality is not mine, but we all are in it together... (Notice how one upbeat person can change the dynamics of an entire group)!  Guess what it is much deeper than that.  I have navigated many of life's mine fields.  The wisdom from experiencing various obstacles in life has given me the continued  interest to search for many pathways to wellness and living well via our environment, my passion. Oh, that is another law... for extended discussion another day.

Regarding the Law of Rhythm, night follows day, tides go in and out, our body has a natural rhythm and life regenerates itself.  Thankfully, nothing stays the same, when we have bad times, the wise words that come to mind are.... "THIS TOO SHALL PASS".

 Relating this phrase to your home environment, what comes to your mind?   Here are some pivotal questions to ask yourself to create your best rhythm at home, in relationship, in community and beyond.

* What drains you when you look around?

*What energizes you?

* Is there something within that space that is keeping you from being your best?

* What do you want to see come forward, to manifest?

* Is it time to get your home organized?

*Is it time to take a hard look at your soiled carpets, food stained sofa?  Or get a new or refreshed space?

*Is it time to create new habits in your home?  Like obtaining a furniture piece to put items away at the "door dump", when things get dropped at the entry or items needing to be returned, etc.. the results are amazing when a bite of the elephant is taken.  A BITE, I said... keep a rhythm going.  To prevent feeling overwhelmed, make time each day to first plan then execute.  Oh... and then reward.

* Do you need to have better proportion in your furnishings in relationship to your space and body type?

*Are you dealing with allergies?  The culprit my not only be outside influences.

* Do you have a personal place, your own cocoon, that is all you, weather you are the man of the house or woman.

I could go on, and on, and on......

  If you are overwhelmed by the thought of this, we need to talk!  You know how to get in touch with me (Facebook message, or, 661-742-6022).  

Cleaning, clearing and creating an environment in which you can enjoy your best personal rhythm will support your well-being, productivity, and attitude.

Here is to the Law of Rhythm!