I'd like you to meet my friends here...they really ARE the voices in my head!







Sunday, April 22, 2012

Wrapping Up In Cozy


So far, Spring has been warm...Summerlike at times and dry. Then, yesterday afternoon, the rains came. Today is damp, raw and overcast. Downright dreary. After running errands, I settled into the afternoon. A sauce simmers on the kitchen stove for dinner, the light shining through to the living room is more of a glow. Warm and cheery.


As dreary as it is outside, inside is so much different. Armed with a cup of peppermint tea to keep the dampness at bay, I pulled out yesterday's shopping booty. Oh how colorful! And who quickly snuggled in, but a wee mousel!


A young friend had asked recently if I believed in fairies...Oh yes, I have always believed and held them close to heart. I have tiny clay sculptures of gnomes and even of a mermaid....done long ago. I was just a lass, about the age of my young friend. 


I love my little Spring garden of violets and Lilies of the Valley. There are solar lights and lanterns about, perfect to dance under the moonlight. Every so often....if we are very, very lucky, we will find a fairy ring of mushrooms in the yard. Oh yes, I still do believe and keep a place for them to stay.


 I am making my new friend, a wee fairy mousel...but before I really begin with fabrics that I am not sure of, my little mousel here will help me along. It seems also that there is also another wee mousel that has seen the fabrics and has a request for a dress and tiara. I think those mousels are ganging up on me.....

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Moving Forward


Well, it has been longer than I wished since I last posted...simply because I needed time. Time to deal with the changes in the wind and figuring out the path of my own Journey.  While finding that my images were used as some one's work at a show was disheartening to say the least, the next bump in the road was potentially career altering.....for many more than just I. Let me explain a bit.  Some have heard and others have not....and this NEEDS to be heard and passed along. This is nothing that one gets over... this is something that will be passed forward for a long time while we educate ourselves and all of you. 


As a pattern maker, I realize that patterns are often shared with a friend...traced out perhaps between two friends or mother and daughter.. yeah, you get the drift. Note that I said ..."traced out". We expect that and this isn't what we are talking about. In much of the pattern world, Epatterns have been offered. Instant gratification! You can print the paid pattern off and start right away! ....I refused to go that route. I know how easy it is to forward to our friends, like e-chain mail, one can forward it to several, who will forward it and so on. While many think it is innocent enough (someone paid for it once, right?), it's not. We make our living one pattern sale to a time. I thought that by not offering E patterns, it would help. Um...no. There are people that will convert your patterns without permission (this is illegal) and the pass along game is on. Like all serious pattern makers, we depend on the money to make a living. Yes, we feed and cloth our children, put gas in the car, and shop in our local town for needfuls. Pattern sharing has effected many of us as we keep records of our sales. The more that we get together and talk, the more we are seeing the effects in our records. Enter this pattern sharing on a bigger scale, where one may receive not one or two...but hundreds over a few years. While a few have come forward (and we appreciate that) we as pattern makers have had lots to deal with on how to best move forward. Trying to duck under the mudslinging and get down to the matter at hand, has been slow. All emotional dynamics beside, as small business women, we know that if is happening to us, it is happening to ALL. Yes, ALL patterns, epatterns or not. Painting patterns, cross stitching...anything that you may pay for directions  and make is most likely out there and shared. 


The best way for us to move forward is by trying to make changes in the patterns, so you will know that you haven't bought a copy. In doing this and giving you information, we will try to slow the sharing. We need to let YOU know what you can do to help us. This is something that will take all of us working together...the end result will be more pattern makers putting out new patterns for you. We need your support and your good faith.


What can you do? 


* Buy directly from the designer or reputable Brick and Mortar/ Online Shops. If you aren't sure, ask the designer. We get questions every day from our customers and we love it! If you want to see our patterns in your favorite shop, let them know also.


* Be careful with online purchases! Many times, you will see patterns for sale on Ebay or Etsy. Make sure they are coming from the designer themselves. A big clue to a dishonest seller is their cover up of the designers name or no mention of it in the description. Others that do name the designer, may say that it is out of print. Contact the designer, most of the time it's NOT out of print...it's a scam to get you to put in higher bids and take your money. Many of these sellers are copying our patterns and you are receiving  a copy not to mention putting money into their dishonest pockets. Some of you have smacked your heads after receiving the pattern that you paid 30.00 for and found it at the designer's site for 9.00. If you suspect that you have received a copy of a pattern, let us know. We are working to get these people off of these selling sites, but we do need your help.


* Finally, if you are receiving patterns from people or are encouraged to send someone your pattern from someone that is group sharing ~ let us know. Yes, it is illegal. 


Many of us Pattern Makers are now forming groups, this way we can look into better technology or ways that we can make our patterns better for you. Some have and will stop offering E patterns, and although I know there are some frowns over this, please do understand why we feel that we cannot. We ask for your support and sharing of this information and many of us will continue to get the word out....you will probably see many posts in the months ahead and some posts that seem to be rehashing...but this is important and will need to be addressed on occasion.


I speak for many pattern makers in thanking our customers and for their support over the years. I know that many have been asking for new patterns and I hope that with every one's support, pattern sales will once again raise up to keep us in business. Remember, it is your purchases that are keeping our small business alive and running in the US. 


I personally will be offering new pattern releases. I am working on making them less likely to be shared in groups or copied for someone else's financial gain. As they roll out I will give you a peek, so that you know what to look for.


**** On a side note, many of you ask what is the best way to let go of patterns that you no longer want or need. My best advice is to pass it along the most positive way you can. I always ask that you not do it online...I sell my patterns online, and also it helps me to find those that are dishonest. My feelings are; if you feel you need to resell it, sell it at a garage sale. To pass it along the best way...pass it to the Church Bazaar, the Library book sale, Senior Center, 4H or even Girl Scouts. Pay it forward :0) You may inspire someone's creativity and helping sales of supplies needed in your community.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Thoughts

It has been quite a week, and I admit that my faith in people has been shaken. I was upset that someone would take my designs...most likely tracing them from the screen monitor. Then to sell them as their own designs at a show... shock and betrayal. I stood up for myself and the designs....I had too, but that done, my head spins with thoughts.


I decided to take the post down ~ lesson learned for those that find that sort of thing okay and justifiable.  This blog is me...who I am and all that I love.  I did what I needed, but to keep it up is not who I am and what I am about. I don't wish to have people afraid to create and not show their joy, thinking that they may have copied someone along the way. I want them to create...to let their creating be another voice for them.


I look at my pattern company and smile...I do not think of myself as a great designer. Most are rather simply done. With the patterns, the simplicity works well in encouraging others to create. I put it out there for others to make extra money and the ability to work from their homes. I've gone to Senior Centers, Women's Clubs, Girl Scouts and 4H Clubs, encouraging and always with a free pattern to hand out. Whatever level that you think yourself to be... Create. Enjoy.


Some will ask me if they can use the pattern differently because they love rug hooking and such....I say go for it. Some will see  the character a little differently and ask if they may put themselves into it....I say with great glee, YES. I always ask them to share... I love the creativity of others.  All I ever ask is that they give credit design if they put it online...give someone else the chance to make the design and create. Treat the designs and protect them as they were yours...for in a way, they are.The monies for the pattern are how I continue to pay for the supplies and have some pin money for myself. 
So now I move forward. I have found a liking to the new way I am doing the mice. I can grow with them and challenge myself. Yesterday, Tim took me into the city of Albany and the chance to find different fabrics in which to make these wee mousels. I also have sculpting in process and sketches to put forward that will become patterns. There is always more than one project going on. That's who I am, just a woman with a gift and the abilitiy to share the best way that I can.


And so I move forward, a little wiser, probably a little more cautious, but my message ever stronger. Be who you are, create and take great joy in it. As you create more and more, your style will emerge. You may start out with patterns, but if you truly love it and want to grow or challenge yourself, you will see your own voice. Trust in yourself.


A special thank you to Robin...I know I had to stand up for my work and designs. I didn't like the madness born of it. Thank you for showing me differently and reminding me that the anger is not who I am and what I'm about.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Busting Out In Spring

Somewhere about the middle of February, I get the itch for the bright greens of Spring along with all of the other colors. I'm usually tired of white all over...this year it was brown. Maybe that explains the colors in the dresses of the wee Mousels.  Our week of amazing temperatures brought on the buds of green and the burst of yellow Forsythia. It's beautiful out, even though we are back into our normal range of temperatures. The early April chill has slowed some of the blossoming, but we are still ahead of usual. The lawn needs mowing and this country girl just got excited to see a dandelion ready to burst forth in yellow. I do miss the first fields of spring, covered in them.


My little friend above is Rosebud. She is my first rat and she's just loves color.




This weekend, we ventured down the road for what was the first show of the season. I'm new to this area, so I will have to try a bunch of them, until I land where my work fits best. It is a process of meet and greet and love connections made. As much as I loved the area and how we were spoiled by the Rexford Volunteers....I'm afraid I didn't fit too well. Generally we scout shows out, but I saw this one on a drive and thought ...why not? I'm a little wiser now to ask, what is your Crafter/Vendor ratio. This one has become about 80% vendors.....so not so good for me. Luckily, I did a big push in making Mousers as I knew I would have uploads the evening of the show. All of the Mousels were happy to do a photo shoot and before I was all uploaded, they were being adopted.
It doesn't get much better than that! They will be leaving in the next few days...and the Wee Doll House will be a bit quiet...



The Quiet will be welcome, at least for a day or so as I complete the next rite of Spring....TAXES!