Friday, 29 June 2012

Worse than copying

I'm seething right now.

I recently found out that a new Etsy seller, whose shop now appears to have closed down, has copied on of my designs (the Whale pillow) and made it into a digital download claiming it as her own design, all rights reserved (!), and stating customers are free to use it as they wish but asking them not to reproduce, copy or sell her design!!!!!

Here is my pillow.  This is a very big seller for me both on Etsy and wholesale.  It's been featured on many blogs and has been pinned on Pinterest many times.  

I took a long time to come up with this design.  

I love whales and dolphins and wanted to create a summery pillow but with a difference.

One day I noticed the wording on a salt packet next to our cooker which we had bought in France about 6 months before.

I love typography and particularly love cushions made from old feed sacks so had the idea of incorporating wording onto my pillow and came up with the Whale pillow above.  Obviously nothing like the salt packet which was purely my inspiration.

Now this Etsy seller is passing my work off as her own stating:
 "These images can be used for Tea Towels, Pillows, T-shit, Tote Bags, Lamp Shades, Cards, Stationary, Scrapbooking, Feedsacks, Coasters, Notebooks; the possibilities are endless."

She then goes on to state:
 "TERMS OF USE: You are free to use these images for use in commercial, craft, and personal use. Purchase of digital collage sheets does not transfer copyright. All rights reserved to Whit & Whimsy Studio. Please do not re-distribute, sell or give away the images in whole or part, either printed or digitally."

I can't believe the bloody nerve of this woman to blatantly copy someone else's design and pass it off as her own.  I am also outraged that she feels that she thinks she has the right to give permission to all and sundry to feel free to use my design as they like, in particular for commercial use.

This is where the issue of copyright comes in.
Under US and UK Law designs do not have to be registered to be copyright protected.
Copyright exists from the moment a design is created and lasts for 70 years after the death of it's creator.
The owner of a copyright has the exclusive right to authorise others to reproduce or prepare derivatives based on their work and to distribute copies of their work.

Although designs don't have to be registered this design actually is registered with the UKCS (the United Kingdom Copyright Service) and the copyright protection covers pretty much every country.

I have e-mailed the seller, to ask her politely to stop passing this design off as her own, but haven't had a response.  Her shop, Curious Crowe appears to have closed down however, she refers to another Etsy shop in her 'terms of use' above so have e-mailed her via that shop too but no response there either.

I've now written to her again to state that I simply want her to assure me that she will stop selling this design and any derivative of it and will contact anyone who bought it to advise them that they cannot  use this image commercially.  Sadly, if she doesn't respond then it's in the hands of my solicitor.

I've contacted Etsy's legal team and they need me to send a notice of infringement and will then deal with the matter.  I have my inspiration salt packet, my original drawings (including the abandoned ones), proof of the date of my first sale of this item and my UKCS registration so if I go down this route it's going to cost this 'thief' a lot more than an assurance that she will stop selling my design!

It's such a shame that things like this go on that turn an otherwise happy and easy going person into an infuriated bitch!  Rest assured, she won't get away with it.

Going back through her sales I can see that she has copied a few of my other pillow designs and probably those of many other people which may well be why her shop has closed/been closed down.


I bought this design from Silhouette Studio but there was a border and some detail which I removed to make it more of my style.




She's even used a similar font to mine.

Also in this design I believe that it is grammatically incorrect to use the word poulet without le in front of it however, when designing this range of animal pillows I decided to make them all as single words as I felt they looked better by keeping the design simple.  I wonder what inspired this seller to do the same thing?!  MOI?


I appreciate with trends and fashions we're all jumping on the same bandwagon by making things from burlap, sheet music or old dictionary pages.  That over the next year or two Ombre will be creeping into all our houses and all our tastes will overlap.  We will all be inspired by others and will want homes like they have.  

Many people share tutorials on things they've made (myself included) and I have no problem with people copying something I've made for personal use.  

I think though, to blatantly steal someone elses work, pass it off as your own, and to profit from it is unscrupulous and desipicable.  Not to mention lazy.  This woman is nothing but a freeloader.
Plain and simple.
Rant over!

.. and breathe..


Saturday, 23 June 2012

Paint chip birthday card

I adore banners and garlands and Emily from Jones Design Company recently showed us how she made some great banners using the paint chip cards you get from DIY stores.

I particularly loved this one with the little ribbon snipped bottom and my favourite shades of sea green.

I was totally inspired by this so went off to my local DIY superstore and became a criminal as I crept out, whistling nonchalantly with a pile of paint colour chip cards.

I began thinking about making a version of this but didn't really know where to put it and then I had a lightbulb moment!  Lily is going to a birthday party tomorrow so I thought I could make a birthday card with a paint chip banner on it.

I started out with a paint colour chip card and chose the three colour shades I liked the most.
I cut strips 1.5cm across and three paint colours long and then snipped a little triangle at the bottom.  I used re-positionable tape to hold them in place and stitched across the top.  The centre seam across the top of the card was in the perfect position for me to use it as a guide for the stitching. 

 I then used one of my rubber stamp sets and stamped Happy Birthday Abi and 11 across the card. 

 It is so cute and really personal.  

Lily's best friend in the whole world has a birthday party next weekend so I think she's going to be getting a card with Best Friends Forever on it!

For more inspiration on using paint colour card chips as banners check out this post on 


and French Country Cottages Feathered Nest Friday

Friday, 22 June 2012

My kind of herb

I like to have herbs on my kitchen windowsill in the 'summer'.
I use the word summer loosely as you can see how wet it is here.
I usually have rosemary in the house as that's my favourite herb - we use it a lot with roast chicken or saute potatoes and the smell is just gorgeous.

When I went shopping on the weekend I came across 'chocolate mint'.  
I never use mint as it's typically used with lamb I don't like lamb.
I never thought of chopping up mint to use in cream with chocolate desserts (as the label suggested).
What a great idea!

I put it in a lovely zinc bucket I recently bought with has a blackboard section already on it.
I know it's pretentious but 'menthe chocolat' looks so much more appealing than 'chocolate mint'.
I haven't used it yet but am looking forward to.

On the opposite side of the window sill is one of my purchases from my trip to New York in February.
A gorgeous Pure and Good soap bottle from Anthropologie.

Have a lovely weekend.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Summer Mantle

I have a couple of white hydrangea bushes in my garden and these have started flowering so for the next couple of months I will save a ton of money by not having to buy flowers for the house.

White hydrangeas are so summery and I put a few in one of my vintage French Ideale canning jars and love how they look against the greeny shade of the jar.  This ended up dictating the colour scheme for my mantle piece this summer. 

I added a gorgeous vintage fan I bought from Etsy last summer - I bought this mainly for it's gorgeous aqua shade but also for it's size as it's quite small.

This fan shows just the right amout of aging - a little rust on the cage and a few areas where the paint is rusted on the base - gorgeous!

For the rest of the mantle I 'shopped my bathroom'.
Everything else normally lives there including a few glass jars with sand we have collected from beaches since my children were really small.  We rarely have beach holidays but when we do we always grab a handful of sand and write down where and when it came from.

A water bottle which I love and holds part of my sea glass collection.

A wooden bird and starfish (also from my bathroom) and a large hurricane lamp with sand and a big candle finish the look.

Hopefully this mantle will posess some magic powers and bring us some sun as right now the patio in my back garden actually looks like a swimming pool.

I' sharing my summer mantle over at the Lettered Cottage's Summer Fun Link Party.

Hope the sun is shining where you are


Friday, 8 June 2012

Beachy art

Ever since I saw this bedroom in a magazine (I think Country Living) I've loved the idea of having a wall of seascapes and beach scenes.  These ones are vintage paint by numbers paintings all featuring the sea, collected over time by the home owner.  I think they look amazing.  They give the room a real beach house/holiday feel.  

We have a lot of art in our home.  We have several pieces by Artists living and working in Wales and we both tend to be drawn to dark and atmospheric pieces.  We have mainly landscapes but I have a couple of seascapes including this one below by Andrea Kelland.  It's called Amroth Storm - Amroth is a beach in West Wales where we often go in the summer.

My husband bought me this print of an etching by David Carpanini for my 40th birthday.  It's called Flight of the Navigator and is one of several paintings and prints we have in our lounge.  We only have a couple of originals. Most are limited edition prints signed by the artists.

As you can see we have very 'moody' taste in art.  I'm not sure why I'm drawn to such stormy looking pieces but most of our artwork is similar in style.  

I've never really been drawn to 'happy' art - until now.

A while ago I came across an amazing artist on Etsy, called Kim VanDerHoek, whose work is much more 'sunny' than I would normally go fot but really speaks to me.  Her work is more in keeping with the beachy scenes above the bed in the first picture and I'm dying to get some of her work.  

'Hammock Not Included'

'Sea Breeze' 

And my favourite 'Afternoon Bluffs'

I just need to find some wall space as houses in the UK are pretty small and we already have most walls covered.  I'm determined to find somewhere for them though.

If you want to check out Kim's work you can do so here :
Kim VanDerHoek on Etsy
and her website

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

It's all in the detail

When it comes to my own Etsy shop I take great care to wrap every purchase in white tissue paper tied with French linen twine which I stock up on every time I go to France.  I include a hand written note to each person with a little paper ephemera gift (usually a small pile of confetti/table scatter birds cut from vintage sheet music but occasionally something else if I'm out of sheet music).  I feel that when my parcel arrives people already know what they've ordered, but it's nice to open it up like it's a little gift.  

I but many things from Etsy but some things come just in a box or a bag so I love it when other sellers take the time to wrap their items with love and attention to detail.

I recently bought something from Andrea from Faded Plains and she is clearly someone who puts a huge amount of thought into her packaging.  In fact, my package arrived before I left for work but when I pulled it out of the bag it came in I left it sitting there so I could really enjoy opening it when I got home later.  

My package came wrapped in old print, and tied up with string with lovely little bits tucked underneath - a cute doily, a maths flash card, a little Italian flash card and a little card with 'S' for Sam on it.  

All of these bits have found a place in my craft room.  The little S card is right next to my wooden S.

The little Italian flash card fits perfectly under my lovely flower picture which was a gift from Kat

And the little maths card is under my blackboard just in case I need to practise my sums!

Thank you Andrea - I love my new work apron but also love the little extras you sent too.