No Picture
Good Relationship

How to Help a Friend Who Has Lost a Family Member Without Making Things Worse

Sooner or later you will need advice for helping a friend who has lost a family member- and when the time comes, this book is one of the best on the topic. The title sums it up well:
Don’t Ask for the Dead Man’s Golf Clubs – What to Do and Say (and What Not to) When a Friend Loses a Loved One.
This book by Lynn Kelly is written in short sections formed from interviews with those who have personal experiences with loss. I bought it when my friend’s father was dying of cancer, and my own father had been diagnosed with lymphoma. (And, no I didn’t ask for his golf clubs.) It was a great help.
Lynn Kelly covers what really eased the pain for people who had lost a loved one. It also covers very clearly what others said and did which brought more hurt to them. However, isn’t it better to know what not to say? Sometimes when friends experience a tragedy we say little or nothing, or even pull away, maybe telling ourselves that they need time alone to grieve. We may fear that we will say or do the wrong thing. This book helps solve these problems. You’ll know what helped others and read samples of what it is better not to say. You won’t leave your friend feeling abandoned.
One point that is covered well is that promises should be kept. The person may really depend on your taking their kids to an event now and then, if you said that you would, and the kids may really look forward to it. But sometimes promises like that are forgotten by the one who made them, disappointing the young person. It is not always 100% convenient to keep a promise but in this case it is much more important than usual.
Sometimes we think that the person who suffered a loss would prefer not to have the name of their loved one come up in conversations and random memories. Yet family members have not forgotten their loved one and never will. They generally don’t mind hearing good memories which include their loved one, and feel better knowing that someone else remembers them as well.
Some loses are within the range of events that we expect to happen sooner or later in life- such as the loss of an elderly parent. At those times we still need the encouragement and support of friends. However if a family member is lost “before their time” the remaining members need the support and care of friends even more — though friends might be more uncertain of what to say and do. This book covers these topics well.…

No Picture
Family Happiness

Custom Plush Toys – Making Them Realistic by Embroidery or Screen Printing

There have been some cases of unsafe materials like plastics being used on custom plush toys. There are even more cases of other toys being recalled because they contain harmful chemicals like lead. It’s usually the baby toys that are under the microscope because kids under the age of 3 are the most vulnerable. This is why a lot of manufacturers avoid targeting babies for their stuffed toys. Even if they’re using plastics that don’t contain harmful chemicals, they’re also affected by the bad publicity.
Should you do the same and avoid targeting kids aged 3 and below? Why should you? It’s a very profitable market for plush toys. Kids love these toys, but I understand your concern. If their parents won’t buy it for them because of fear of plastics, how can you profit from them?
Fortunately, there are alternatives to plastic for your plush idea. It’s true that using plastics can increase the value of your toy because it gives them a more detailed look. But don’t fret. The alternatives can give your stuffed toys the detailed look that can entertain kids of all ages.
Two good alternatives are using the process of embroidery or screen printing. It can help you give the eyes, nose and mouth a detailed look to give your custom toys a more realistic look. It’s a good alternative because it can give almost the same effect that plastic has on the eyes, nose and mouth of your plush dolls. It’s also much safer for kids aged 3 and below so their parents will love your toy for it. Aside from using embroidery or screen printing for the eyes, nose and mouth, you can also use them for paw pads and for any markings or logos that you want to put on your custom dolls. This is especially helpful if you’re making stuffed animals.
So which process is better? It depends on what you want to accomplish. Embroidery helps give your plush toys a richer effect. So it’s not necessarily very realistic but the effects are rich to the eyes. On the other hand, screen printing can give finer details to your toy.
But you do have to be aware that not all materials are fit for embroidery or screen printing. Hairy custom plush toys can prevent the embroidered or screen printed material from giving the rich and detailed effect. You’ll often see little hairs of fur sticking out of the material. But it can still be done. Ask your manufacturer how to remedy this situation.
There’s no doubt that when it comes to providing detail, plastic is still the king. But you want your plush toys to be safe and the alternatives are actually good. So you won’t really be sacrificing the quality for safety. It doesn’t hurt to play safe in this business. With the right ideas, materials and manufacturer, you can provide safe custom stuffed toys that will lead to your success.…