Thursday, December 6, 2012

Some recent finishes and a WIP

I've had loads of stitching time lately, and have been stitching just for fun instead of model stitching. It helps immensely with keeping my spirits up. :)

A couple of weeks back, I finished this lovely lady, Lavender and Lace Angel of Winter. It was stitched as a housewarming gift for a dear friend of mine and as soon as I can afford to frame her I'll be giving it to her. She's stitched on Silkweaver's 40ct Poltergeist Linen, using Sullivan's floss, Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid and Wisper threads and SJ Designs Petite Beads. Very happy with how she turned out. May have to stitch her (and the other three in the set) for myself someday!

Before I post my next finish, just a note on the Sullivan's floss. It's not as soft as DMC or Anchor, nor does it have the sheen they do, however, it is quite nice to stitch with. The coverage is much better than DMC and it doesn't tangle, shred or knot up any more than Anchor or DMC do. Thumbs up.

And second, a note about beading on 40ct. Well, using size 15/0 (petite) seed beads if they're spaced out they fit very easily. If there is a densely stitched area of beading, you may have to do a little bit of fudging - skip a bead here and there - to make them fit.  I've had the same issue with size 11/0 beads on 32ct so it's not more difficult than that. If you can find matching colours in Delica size 15/0 (labeled as DBS instead of DB) they fit better than standard round size 15/0 beads, but the colour selection is very limited in comparison.

Okay, on to my second recent finish, Mirabilia's Sleeping Beauty. This one is stitched with DMC on 40ct Silkweaver Karma Linen, the beads are Toho size 15/0. I did change the colour of one of the beads, Iris - they seemed too red-violet. So I changed them to one that was more blue-violet. They look very blue in the picture, but they're much more purple IRL!

And a WIP - I'm much further than this now, working on the last two colours in her skirt. This is Mirabilia's Fairy Moon in my own colour scheme. The fabric is Sassy's 40ct Nightfall linen (approx DMC is 158 and darker, the picture shows it much lighter than it is) and I wanted the colours to really stand out, and I just felt the colour scheme was a little drab on this fabric. Plus, I wanted to avoid ANOTHER white dress. After all my changes, her dress is still white, but with purple shading instead of brown. Very happy with how she's coming along, and if my beads ever get here, I'll proably be done her in the next week or two. I'm a little concerned with the beading on this one, often after dying fabric shrinks a bit - well this one definitely did. It's no longer 40ct, but 46ct (yes I'm getting 23 stitches per inch). Shouldn't be a problem in most places as they're fairly scattered, but the moon may give me some hassles - if it does, I think I'll just sub it for Petite Treasure Braid or blending filament. ;)

If anyone wants my conversion, it's here.

As for my next project, I'm torn. I've worked up a conversion for Mirabilia's Stargazer, though I need to order beads for her. Lauren from Sassy's Fabrics is dying me up a custom colour for it that matches up perfectly and will be on it's way to me soon, though probably not before I finish this one. She's also doing up a lovely sky blue for Mirabilia's Cinderella, which I do have all the beads for - unless I change more colours on the fly which is a possibility. Several other Mirabilias, Lavender and Laces, Passione Ricamos and Joan Elliotts are calling me so who knows. Plus several of my WIPs have been calling too. And I just got another (to add to my 40 or so) HAED design which is just yummy and I might have to start - I think I have fabric for it. And as soon as I get my Christmas stash money, I have fabric on order for 3 other HAED pieces which I'd actually like to start AND finish in the next couple years. AND a couple of Ink Circles are calling me too if I can ever settle on colours for them. ARGH! So much to stitch, so little time. ;)

Monday, December 3, 2012

To pin or not to pin...

Pinterest... all the rage on the internet and the bane of my existence lately. So much infringing going on and many aren't aware that what they're pinning isn't legal.

Pinterest in itself is copyright violation if you think about it. If you didn't take the picture and didn't ask permission to pin it from the person who did create it, then realistically speaking, in black and white terms of copyright law, it is an infringement of copyright. People don't mind some things being pinned, especially when credit and links are given, but some things are just blatantly illlegal.

Sure there is an upside to sites like Pinterest - they are free advertising to a designer such as myself. So then why is it "the bane of my existence"? One person unknowingly pins an illegal posting of a chart. 10 more people repin it from there. And then ten more people repin from each of those, and so on, and so on. Many of those people probably don't know that it was an illegal copy, it was listed in so and so's Pinterest board as a freebie. Well, yesterday I spent 7 hours wading through Pinterest infringements, most of which had been pinned as "freebies", and most of which were never free. And I didn't even scratch the surface. Just because someone uploaded it for free to a photo hosting site or a blog doesn't make it a freebie!!!

So how do you know what you should and shouldn't pin? I see a lot of people commenting that it's hard to know what's legitimate and what isn't. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Is it a photograph of a model or a chart cover? Is credit given to the designer? Go right ahead. Best if it links back to our website or blog, but most will tell you it's also okay if it links to a legitimate shop that sells the design too. Also best if it's not followed by the caption, "does anyone have this they can email to me?".

Is it a photograph of another stitcher's work or finishing ideas? Probably good etiquette to ask their permission before pinning their pictures, or at least make sure they get the credit for their ideas by linking back to their site.

In terms of free designs, it gets a little foggier.

Each designer has their own terms of how a free design is released to the world.

If a designer posted it on their website for download, then it is always best to give the link to people who want the design rather than simply forwarding the design itself around to people - this includes pinning it on pinterest. If the pin links to the original posting on the designer's website, most will agree that it is okay - the idea behind most free designs is to increase traffic to a designer's website after all. If it links to anywhere else, you should err on the side of caution before pinning it and ASK the designer first. If that's too much hassle, best not to pin it.

If a designer created a free design expressly for distribution through shops, as a gift to newsletter subscribers, or to discussion group members, then it is ILLEGAL to distribute the design and upload it to the internet even though you got it free. The point being that it was meant to get people to subscribe to that newsletter, join that discussion group or buy from a shop. Copyright on a free design is the same as on a paid design - the only person who has the right to determine how that chart is distributed is the designer. If you don't see it available for free on the designer's site there is a reason for it - don't pin it or ask the designer before you do.

And of course the obvious - designs that were never intended to be "free" - these should NEVER be pinned. If you see them pinned, best to notify the designer so they can have them removed. 

So how do you know what's what? Some good ways to tell what's legal and what's not.

Does it look as though it's been scanned or photocopied? Then it's probably not legal. Scanning a chart - even a free one - is never legal except to make a working copy for your own use. The ONLY exception to this is if the design states on it that YOU may distribute the chart - not many do.

Where did you find it? If you found it anywhere other than the designer's site, here are some things to look out for:

Is the site in a foreign language, but the designer is not foreign, for example, the design itself is in English but the site you found it on is in Russian? This is a good indication that it's not legal. If a designer sees you pinning one of their designs from a site like this, even a free design, they're likely to ask Pinterest remove it.

Did it come from someone's photo album on a site like picasa, photobucket, or facebook? Another good indication that it's not legal - unless you know for a fact that it is the designer's page. Pinning a design - even a free one - from a site like this without permission from the designer is not okay.

If in doubt, ASK. We're not monsters. We don't mind answering questions about this stuff. Sometimes you may be met with exasperation, but it's not you we're exasperated with - it's the hours and hours of wading through pinterest that we have to look forward to from that link you sent us. But PLEASE do send them because we may not have found it on our own. 

While pinning stuff may seem innocuous, it really isn't. Think of it this way - you may not have meant any harm, and most of the people who visit your pinterest page and repin your stuff probably don't mean any harm either, but there are always those who will follow that link you posted to that illegal page and with a few clicks, find all those hundreds and thousands of other illegal charts posted there - and then of course spread those illegal charts and links around to all their friends. Those people simply don't care if it's legal or not. And now because of that one seemingly innocuous link you posted and dozens of people repinned, dozens more people are now downloading masses of illegal charts and you're responsible for that. Sucks, but it's true. And in a most cases, it only takes a few seconds to check first, especially knowing what I've posted above.

Pinterest - it is YOUR responsibility to know that what you are pinning isn't breaking the law - so please use it responsibly!