this is a long post, and one I didn’t feel like writing today because I am not in the best mood to be at the same time objective and polite about it, but since it’s kind of ruining the happy hermitting I was having, here it is.
I have to let it out. I have to vent about it. I hope you understand I’m not trying to be rude: just honest and upfront, and crystal clear on a matter I have discussed many times before, apparently with no success. that’s why I am so very angry about it today and it’s going to get quite bitchy. you have been warned.
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- compliments: the greatest tribute one could pay to my stitching.
I do love them and they fill my heart immensely. I compliment myself with everyone about anything when I see gorgeous work and ideas into action. I admire them greatly and think it’s wonderful we have a handy way to appreciate other people’s work through the internet and various social media.
I never took any compliment I received for granted, and they have always put a huge smile on my face. I thank you all so very much for reading my blog and looking at my updates on various media, I met such wonderful people and made such good friends through the online needlework world, I could never give up on it. it did burn me on several occasions lately, and that’s why you might want to stick to the end of this post to read the hard resolution I just made.
- read and ask before you do: it’s great, kind, it brings us together, and it saves us all a whole lot of frustration.
whenever I see something (a thread, a fabric, a technique, an idea, a modification, etc.) I always try and track it down to its source. usually it’s all already written down right there, you just need to know where to look and take the time to read & investigate it.
if it’s a technique: a book or tutorial or post is usually already mentioned, what I do is I follow said links and should the need arise, perhaps contact the writer to ask for tips.
if it’s a project that I would like to add to my wishlist but there’s not an explanation, name & designer mentioned, I ask the person directly, it might be an original he/she is designing, it might be a mash up of several designs, it might be all sorts of things. everything creativity sparkles is allowed but I perfectly understand if someone doesn’t want their original work replicated and since I am in the position of not knowing what he/she’s working on I always like to ask before I upset someone.
if I see a thread I like and nothing about it is mentioned, again, I ask, but never in a million years I would dream of replicating an exact colour choice someone picked for a personal project without asking.
I put myself in their shoes: I do come up with colour choices for what I stitch, it takes time and care, and money and sweat, and trials and errors, I am fine with it. I like it.
but to see someone recreate an exact copy of my project using the same colours in the same way or looking up the closest colour to my choice to make a clone? and not ask if it’s ok with me? no. I don’t like it.
I used to be fine with it but I changed my mind over time because of several events that occurred, including seeing my colour choices being used & sold by designers. I am stitching for my own pleasure and nobody should profit from it, not me, not anyone else. I don’t like it and I said it many times before on several occasions.
if I used a thread you like a lot, great, buy it. it’s there, it’s a great thread, I’m over the moon I made you come across something you might like as much as I do.
I’m not calling dibs on any thread brand or combination. what I am saying is: you like the way I used something? you like my idea? respect it. ask me. don’t sell it. don’t copy it to the T. use it to fuel YOUR OWN creativity into something else, there are millions of projects, do you really feel the need to recreate one that is a clone to mine? why don’t you make it YOUR OWN? it’ll be so much more rewarding, you just have to try it. perhaps with time you’ll find out you think the same way I do about what you came up with all by yourself.
same goes for a fabric, a modification, an idea. let me explain myself a bit better:
I have always modified to a certain degree what I stitch, sometimes intensely, sometimes I just put French knots instead of cross stitches. what can I say? I like French knots. shoot me.
am I alright in seeing that other people had the same idea I had? sure! that is great and a lot of times needleworkers’ minds happen to think alike, it’s fantastic when it happens!
do I hunt for ideas online for a piece I’m working on? I have browsed WIP updates for fabric choices, it’s good to know what happens to a Chatelaine if you start it on black fabric BEFORE actually starting it.
have I looked for Speciality Stitches and modifications for my WIPs? no. those are moments and lightbulbs that light up on their own while I’m stitching. I am very jealous of the things I conjure up in those moments and I always said I preferred them to remain my own to anyone who asked.
again, there are several reasons for this, today the “I came up with this” issue is bothering me so much I’m focusing on it alone, but there are many other technical aspects involved in this, and they cannot be solved.
I don’t design. I don’t sell what I do. I just alter a few bits here and there and make the project I’m working my own. and that’s what it is: MY OWN PROJECT. I don’t like seeing a clone of it, I really don’t. it’s my own personal opinion on the matter and I reckon it should be respected.
there are many other ideas out there from people who don’t mind, look for those and leave mine to me. I’ll say it again, I’m not trying to be rude. I really am not. the thing is it happened: after I asked several times not to, and never posted HQ close ups that might induce people into thinking I wanted them to grab what I did, it did happen.
I found online the handwriting I charted all my myself, for my own personal use, taken and stitched bit after bit in someone else’s project.
people kindly asked me to use it, and I was very flattered but said no: it’s my handwriting. it belongs to me. it’s personal. it’s a part of me that says with me.
people kindly asked me to buy it, and I was very flattered but said no: it’s my handwriting. it belongs to me. it’s personal. it’s a part of me that says with me. if I’ll ever venture into designing I will decide whether to use it and sell it or not, but for the time being it’s mine and nobody should use photographs to re-chart it, it’s obviously without my consent and I am not happy with it. at all.
there is a degree and (not so fine) line between inspiration and cloning. I like the first, not the second. let me see if I can be more clear about this.
I came up with stitching my February’s month for Once Upon A Time according to Disney’s The Princess and the Frog. I stitched a kawaii Tiana and Ray. I watched the film, put it on hold, drew all I needed by hand onto graph paper, and turned it into a pattern. I stitched it and while I was doing it I altered it to make it look better. I never charted alterations and changes made in the stitching phase: I don’t need to. it’s on my project now, I don’t plan on using it again. it’s there and it’s done. I would have thrown the graph paper away if it wasn’t the exact same working copy I am using for my OUAT: it’s on my actual copy of the chart. I couldn’t share it in any way, shape or form even if I wanted to.
then I searched for a stitch that looked like a star to make Evangeline. did I call dibs on that? never. I even mentioned & linked where I learnt it from!
do I put dibs on stitching a Ray or a Tiana? no, but THAT SPECIFIC Ray and THAT SPECIFIC Tiana is mine and I’m not sharing the pattern I made for them.
same goes for the Cheshire Cat in my Story Time Sampler, it took me days to get that one the way I wanted – I said it. it was a long process, I loved it, it’s on my piece, I want it there alone. I am not calling dibs on all modified Cheshire Cats on every STS: I am calling dibs on the way I stitched mine. did I see someone have a better idea than I had? sure! how about a vanishing Cheshire Cat? isn’t that even more genius? of course! did I frog mine to make mine look like that? NO! I like mine as it is because it’s mine. you see what I mean?
I know I might be coming across as a rude, bitchy stitcher but I am sorry, certain events happened and made me the way I am today. I had all sorts of things happen to what I do: I politely asked for credit, to have my name mentioned when something came from me, to have my own handwriting staying mine.. it all happened anyways. and this is why a kind, friendly stitcher that was always happy to help others turned into a big ball of anger. do you understand why I’m having a hard time not coming across as madly angry? it’s because I am now.
another example: A long time ago in the top banner for my Story Time Sampler. I don’t know of anyone who did that before I did, and I’m not calling dibs on it either. it’s a classic opening for all stories, anyone could have thought of using it. same goes for the end beneath: I added that because I needed a small banner to fix the monster slug I came across and so successfully fixed thanks to the suggestions of other stitchers here in my blog. did I plan on adding it anyways? yes. was I planning on doing the same for my Once Upon A Time instead of a name/date? yes. is other people rightfully free to do the same? OF COURSE!
this feels like spelling, it’s almost frustrating. I am not calling dibs on anything of the sort. I am calling dibs ON MY OWN HANDWRITING. am I being clear enough now?
stitch whatever you like on your banners, I even said it before: it’s a great idea if you ask me; if you like it, it’s also very easy to achieve, but USE YOUR OWN HANDWRITING. or the font that pattern came with. or the other 3486314657304034903 fonts out there!
why taking my own handwriting when I asked you not to? is that so hard to figure out I wasn’t going to be happy-go-lightly about it?
- personal stuff: if I say the words “my own“ I usually mean I want something to stay my own.
the colour palettes I come up with, the modifications, the stuff I chart for myself: I want them on my projects. am I that kind of snooty, arrogant, annoying stitcher to you? fine. I genuinely don’t care at this point. I am sorry my opinions on my own stuff don’t match with yours but that’s how it is.
I took the classes, I learnt the techniques from designers, I am not going to give them away for free now. since all I learnt is not super secret (they come with charts and everything, no big genius here; I didn’t crack the ENIGMA code: I made alterations to my needlework projects, folks!) I always quote and link to the source. do you want to learn that technique? be my guest, actually, be the designer/teacher’s guest. you’re going to have a great time with it and you’ll feel so happy when you succeed. I truly couldn’t be happier for you!
will I teach you the technique? no. I don’t have the skills, the experience, the knowledge, the time, the technical equipment to teach anything. I like to do my thing and if other people like it, wonderful! but I am not putting out stuff so that people can take it and use, for profit or not.
first of all once its out there you ever know if it’ll end up in the hands of someone who wants to profit from it (again, I’m speaking from experience so toss all the paranoia talk where it goes); secondly I don’t like to see clones of my projects. when years ago I used to give out thread choices and lists of modifications for stuff like Mary’s Sampler, it was for the sole purpose of documenting what I did on them: you have to remember this is MY OWN PRIVATE BLOG, and up until a few months ago I had only very close friends reading it and looking at what I do. never once before I saw something I had worked on taken by any of them. not even a designer that liked an idea/colour palette I had come up with actually used it. she told me she liked it even more than the original she designed, but she never changed it accordingly.
I don’t like my projects being stitched in the same way I did: I did show & tell friends I trusted what I was going to do on what I was working on, but that’s it. I never meant for my own creative drops to fall on anyone else’s WIP.
- improper use of pictures.
I stopped uploading good shots of my WIPs some time ago. it makes it harder for infringers to use them to re-chart stuff they really ought to buy. apparently I wasn’t careful enough because if my own handwriting is on someone’s STS now, and I never shared it with anyone, or allowed anyone to take it and re-chart it from pictures.. well, let me be even more crystal clear on the topic: it is wrong to take something like this. I will not follow this up as I don’t have the time and means to do it, and honestly I reckon it’d be a gigantic waste of time I don0t have anyways, but one thing remains: it is wrong. and it caused a consequential choice that I found very hard to take, but apparently it is time to.
- no more.
no more needlework updates on social media. no more IG and FB reports and updates. no more close up shots and montages. anything past an overall look at my progress from which nobody will be able to tell a thing apart from a Where’s Waldo “oh she stitched on that area there!”
I know it’s drastic, I know it’s something some of you will find extreme and mad. again, I don’t give one single fuck what you think about me. I have been crossed, I have a potty mouth, I am acting accordingly.
I did say it. I did write it. my blog address is on EVERY picture I post: it was very easy to go back to it, read a few posts and either contact me or get the feeling that with me it was better to ask before improperly using a picture and re-chart something from it.
it happened with someone that contacted me on social media several times before, she knew how to find me and she should have known it was better to ask first.
I am not going to name names, I did write personally and privately to this person and she didn’t answer me back. was it intended or not? I don’t know. and to be honest: now it’s out there. it happened, I don’t have the time and patience to see if anyone that saw it and liked it decided to take it as well.
you understand why this bothers me so much? there’s no way to stop it. once someone she knows sees it and wants it too, they’re going to have it even more easily: she can share the chart that she made using my picture, and anyone stitch it. it’s already out there. why nobody bothered to see if it was indeed a font from a book or MY OWN HANDWRITING? why didn’t they think of asking before liking and stitching?
it might be just a one-time-thing, she might read my message, read this post, understand, apologise and change it. but it might not. and even so, it is out there now. I don’t have any power on this anymore.
wait, did I hear a oh but if you didn’t want anyone to use what you did to your chart you shouldn’t have posted pictures online. once it’s out there, it’s free for the world to use and see!
let me stop you right there.
it is online ON MY OWN PERSONAL PROFILE/BLOG FOR PEOPLE WHO FOLLOW ME TO SEE IT, LIKE IT OR NOT LIKE IT. IT IS NOT OUT THERE FOR PEOPLE TO GRAB IT AND DO WHATEVER THEY WANT WITH IT.
again, something very similar happened already with a designer: I don’t want the stuff I come up with to be sold. I don’t want it anywhere else but on my pieces. I make it for my own pleasure. if I share a shot about it I do it to stay connected with other people working on the same project, this is proper use of content on social media. to stay connected and have merry stitch a longs!
I have seen a zillion of projects and updates on stuff I liked, stuff I wished I had thought of stitching in the same way, threads I wish I had known about because they would have been perfect for that one thing I worked on last year. did I go and change my projects to mimic someone else’s? NO.
and even when I recently used someone else’s modifications, I happened to change them back to something that was mine because they looked out of place. it’s their style, not mine. I love it, it was a great idea, but it looked out of place next to my own because it wasn’t mine. you see what I mean? making a project your own is a personal experience and a journey through who you are, what you like and how you like to do it.
if someone is not happy to share the results of that journey, it’s their right not to have it taken; and they don’t have to hide under a rock to prevent it.
as a matter of fact there’ll still be shots of stuff I’m stitching. all I’m working on per-chart, the stuff I have that came as a kit, patterns I am stitching using the called for materials, etc. they are all going to stay.
however there won’t be pretty pictures & close ups of my Frosted Pumpkins projects, current or future. I am sorry but I see no other way to avoid this very unfortunate mess from happening ever again.
I am sorry I came out very angry and frustrated. it’s because I am very angry and frustrated. I do appreciate so much every single one that liked and asked and understood, and waited. I really didn’t mean to address this now or in this way, but I simply cannot go back to my stitching without venting about this first.
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enjoy the hermitting, see you on Monday with a pretty dense update.
I happen to have gorgeous friends that made my fucking day with a bunch of insanely perfect gifts – and I have 3 finishes. one of which you won’t see.
have a good one,