Wednesday, 26 February 2014

shop re-fit day 2

We have one slat wall panel in place

The others are lined up ready to go up.  We will be able to get 4 panels altogether along this wall so that we can display different themes on each one.


Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Shop refit

Total muddle again!!!! - we have started our mini refit.

First of all we (well the goat really  ;-)  ) are going to open out the back corridor.

That dresser is going to move - and the big mirror has now gone into my bedroom at the flat.  Then the pretty stat wall panels are going to be all down the wall instead.  Without the big dresser in the way the corridor should open up quite nicely - and I have tiny little slatwall hooks which don't take up any space - so we can have a whole wall of goodies.

The goat is going to be doing it after we are closed - so  there won't be any noise and mess disturbance - just piles of stock in boxes moving around to keep out of his way.


Monday, 24 February 2014

day off

Monday is kitten's day off

trust me - I am going to need it!


Saturday, 22 February 2014


This is a bit of a rant to support all of  those who folk out there who are drawing their own digi images - the big stress is that the digi images that they are selling  should be their own design - not copied from other working artists

"Thou Shalt Not Steal"

We all know how easy it is to be an artist, right? You just find something you like, copy it as best you can (maybe change a couple of details) and there you go. Um no.  WAIT!! Stop right there. Copying even parts of an image is copyright theft.

So . . . yet ANOTHER so called artist is ripping off Saturated Canary illustrator/owner Krista Smith, whose original work you can see in her shop.  ANOTHER "wanna-be" who fancies herself an artist has tried to jump into the business of selling art without taking care of two very important prerequisites FIRST:

1. Understanding copyright law

2. Knowing how to draw her own ORIGINAL work

  This time it’s a woman named Francesca Lopez. Stamp Out has been communicating with her and her husband for several days, wanting to get this taken care of quickly and civilly by explaining why it is illegal -- a federal crime in fact -- to copy another artist’s work. We have attempted to educate both Lopez's on the facts, by showing them these side by side samples which should be instant proof for anyone one with eyes that Francesca is COPYING, and by directing them to some of the important info on copyright law and "substantial similarity" you can find by simply searching.

We also encouraged them to talk to some IP lawyers THEMSELVES so they could be informed by a neutral third party, since they refuse to listen to us. Instead the absurdly irrelevant clippings they have posted on Francesca's blog about copyright indicate they don't have even the simplest understanding of how original artwork is protected by the law. (Scroll down past the Bible quotes.)

Here’s another example of a highly questionable drawing that is very like a well known Precious Moments illustration.  It this one, it appears the angel's head has been put on the bed boy's body -- then the bed flipped and small details changed. 

From "The illustrated Story of Copyright" by Edward Samuels, copyright 2000:

"The issue in these cases is whether the second work is “substantially similar” to the first. It doesn’t have to be an exact duplicate to be an infringement, but it does have to take enough of the copyrighted work that it can be said that the second work was not “independently created.” Drawing the line between noninfringement and infringement, between independent creation and substantial similarity, can be frustratingly difficult. The courts have pretty well refused to adopt a simple numerical test to resolve this issue, instead relying upon general statements of policy, and sensitivity to the facts of particular cases. What is clear, however, is that taking even a small portion of a copyrighted work can constitute copyright infringement."

(Search "Striking Similarity" or Substantial Similarity" to find more information about this online)

And another taking legs, feet and theme and pose directly from a Magnolia image.  While it is PERFECTLY FINE to draw using the same theme (ideas are not copyrightable), and poses may be really similar just by coincidence, this particular image is obviously NOT coincidence as the legs, pants and feet are nearly traced they are so exact.

Of course, besides this being illegal, it’s also immoral. Besides theft, it’s cheating and lies -- things that good people try to avoid.  Obviously, communication has failed with this pair. They have closed or disallowed all private talk with them -- so here we go. Wall of Shame.

Please BEWARE of “Cute as a Button/Buttin” owners Francesca and Art Lopez in all their iffy endeavors. (They are particularly marketing toward Christians as you can see.)  

Any questions about about this aspect of copyright, please ask in the comments and I can bring your concerns to the group or please join the facebook group discussion.


For those unaware, the Stamp Out Stamp Theft Facebook group is a closed group. Anyone can request to join and you can do so HERE.   The group is over 600 strong and is "dedicated to crafters and artists that are serious about combating the intellectual property rights violations that are so rampant in our field. (Mo Manning)" The group makes sure any possible infringements discussed are backed up with screenshots, links, or side by side images!  This group confronts those who not only copy the work of other artists and claim it as their own, but also deals with "pinners" on Pinterest and Facebook sites that illegally "share" digital images.
Stamp Out
  The artists are very disgusted and sad. It is a wonder to me that they continue to produce such beautiful images for us!  I don't know that I would want to continue if day after day I saw my hard work pinned and shared and copied all over the internet!  I am sure that is not what they had in mind when they sat down at the drawing table!
   Sadly a Wall of Shame was created as an outgrowth ofStamp Out Stamp Theft to expose those who after being shown side by side evidence of the copyrighted images against their images, and after being respectfully asked to remove the images in violation, continue to sell and/or misrepresent these images as their own original ideas and illustrations. 
Thank you for stopping by my blog
and reading this important information.


Friday, 21 February 2014

The Stitches Show award dinner

We ended up at the award ceremony on Sunday night - don't ask me how - a very nice young man just took us along.

There was a lovely spread of 'nibbles' on the tables - and them they brought out some hot nibbles (gorgeous hot mini egg and bacon quiches - oh yummie) - and glasses of wine.

Them it turned out that the 'nice young man' was one of the 'Singing Waiters' and they went round the tables serenading someone on the table.  Yes - muppet here stood up and had a dance when they did me!  I think they did me on purpose - I was already singing along before they arrived at us.

The challenge of this year is to work out how to get onto the list to be voted for - it's always the same faces - and I hadn't even heard of any of the craft shops that won the North East.


Thursday, 20 February 2014

Queen Beads - the I-can

Another new company we have 'collected' is Queen Beads

They are a well established bead shop in Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, and they are now producing their own kits.

It is very different - not just shove a bead on a bit of string type thing - something to tax you a bit more.

Really, really pretty projects and styles - and you can use the instructions to make more.

they also do a really pretty angel hanger (you probably can't see the pretty angel beals - you will jusr have to believe me).


Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Fat Cat Cross stitch

I was in bed just after 8pm last night - and light out about half past!  Lovely 12 hours in bed!!!

Today I am going to tell you about a new cross stitch company that we will be dealing with.  Fat Cat is a darling little company - very bright, modern designs - smaller projects- a bit more of a challenge than the Mouseloft kits, but not too big that you think you will never finish it!  Very much fits in with the kitten ethos of the smaller hands on projects and getting you crafting. 

You have been asking for little kits to start kids off - these guys have 8 count binca - very simple block colours - kits

I just picked up one of each design to see what you like.

When they get better at it - we move up to 11 count aida and a few more colours in the kit.

the we move up to more 'meaty' kits - still full of colour - and just whole stitches - but more detailed designs.

When you are ready to tackle something bigger - there are some wonderful samplers - bird houses - patchwork look - sea side themes

I started out as a stitcher many years ago - and I can't wait to get my hands on them.


Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Jolly trip out

Guess where we have been

Give you a clue

we have been tot he big trade show at the NEC in Birmingham

We got you more than just ribbons - so much went on.  I will have to show you a bit every day so that I can remember it all - loads of stasch and catalogues - spent loads of pennies - did a workshop - went to the awards show - got serenaded by 'The Singing Waiters' - and loads more.

I will get my camera sorted out and show you something every day


Monday, 10 February 2014

Kitten's day off

Monday is kitten's day off

I went shopping and brought home 2 marrow bones for the guys.  William won't eat his until it is cooked - so Henry is tucking in and Wills has to wait for this evening for his treat - what are we like!!!!


Friday, 7 February 2014

Wedding Favour Fever

Like the title ;-) - suits us about now - I am on the 3rd order of the year already.  I am really trying to get well organised at the very beginning - I don't want the next few months to run away with me and get all behind and in a panic.  My son  and I have a system going - I cut them to size - he scores them - I cut all the notches etc for the flaps - he punches the holes for the ribbon handles - I shape and fold then - then I put them to one side and glue all the bottoms as each order comes through.  Brides seem to be decorating and finishing them themselves at the moment - so I haven't been asked to add the ribbons.
 as well as my normal little tote bags - I have a couple of new styles
 a 'wrap' that can be embossed or left plain to put a choccie bar treat in
 and a super heart shaped bag that you can put biscuits or a small bag of sweeties in.

I bought 500 sheets of white colour and 300 sheets of natural colour - that's a bit scary


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Kitten's kitchen

I have finished my kitchen - it has taken me about 4 months.  I had a serious push through last week to get on with it s I was getting more than a bit fed up with the pots and brushes hanging about ;-).  So every morning before work I did a bit and every evening I did an hour or so.

Michelle is going to go mad when she see the mess I have got my nails in tomorrow - but - hay I really love it.

I still have to paper the ceiling because upstairs had a flood and it has run around all the plasterboard cracks.  I tried to paint it - but it won't cover it so I will just do a tiny strip every morning.

so - before

before - 

 after -

and the end wall


Monday, 3 February 2014

the kitten and the goat - the story!!

Gosh blog chappies - there is so much going on at the moment in good ol' "Diagon Alley" at the moment - all in all it's a bit of a pig's breakfast ;-)

Where to start really!  Sue in the cafe has given back her lease and is going to run The George and Dragon - who are going to pick up a late licence and fill in the nightclub spot now that The Loft has closed (rumors have a very experienced person going for that lease - but no firm news on that just yet),  so we all helped out sue with her clear out.

Then I had a few problems with someone picking on me - 54 and being bullied - would you believe it!!!!!  You all know how fragile my health is while I recover from my big flare up and shingles at Christmas - so I was more than a bit shaken.  Both my guys came to my rescue and sorted it for me.

I have been pottering on getting the new range of cushions organised and sorting out the agate and semi-precious gem beads that are arriving in to the shop from the dealers in China - they are just soooo pretty - need to photo and list them onto the website (time - all I need is more time).

Issy (my knitting partner) is getting involved with the fell sheep fleece spinners and their Herdy brand knitting wool  - she is using the wool to knit tea cosies - mug hugs - cafetiere cosies etc for the Farriers Coffee Shop and cafe.

There is progress on the big renovation of the whole alley - we think it will be starting at the beginning of March with a new roof for all and all the roof windows replaced.  As you know - we have our own shop 'makeover' planned and the builders said that I would not have to move out over the working period - but that may change - we are trying to nail down the exact plans.

I have my ticket for the big 'Stitches' trade show at the Birmingham NEC in 2 weeks time - and a growing shopping list!!!!  I am taking Izzy (and leaving her to play in the wool section  ;-)  ) this year - - - there is a lot of planning going into this one and I will have loads of new ranges and a couple of new suppliers to surprise you with after I have been.  We are REALLY getting excited about our trip and have booked into the Hilton so we have 2 whole days at the show.  Sounds very grand - but I did get a discount by using Top Cash Back - and it's right next to the NEC so I don't have to stress about finding the hotel.

I will try to keep up with postings - but the world seems to be overtaking me at the moment.  Please could I have 2 more hours in a day - and an extra Thursday in every week- - then I might be able to keep up.