Friday, 24 July 2009

moving right along...

Enough of all that stuff in the previous posts. Thank you for your comments and points of view - I do really value all the feedback I get here.

We were out last weekend and given it was sunny and unseasonally warm, Minnie had an ice cream. What am I saying - Minnie would eat ice cream in any weather. She had to go to the loo and asked her Daddy to hold the ice cream while I took her. (Some of you may know that Steve (Daddy) is on a gluten free diet)).
Minnie: Hold this (ice cream) Daddy but don't have any.

Daddy: I promise I won't.

Minnie: Really don't have any. It's FULL of gluten.

Oh, they are so clever, those little people.

Have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

the word

Yes, I was a little worked up yesterday. I was cross and surprised by all this 'word' fuss. And although I should not talk about the situation regarding the 'word', I will fill you in, the best I can.

Like hundreds of other sellers on a well known website for handmade goods, I described my babies all in one bodysuits by a typically American term. This well known website for handmade goods also used this word. They had a category titled and dedicated to this word and used it as a tag for listings. So we all used this word. I always preferred 'bodysuit' but some people in other parts of the world were a little confused with this term so used the 'word'. I am sure you can work out what this 'word' is.

So fast forward to yesterday when I find that some of my on-line store listings have been removed by the administrators of the website for handmade goods. I am faced with a message about a 'complaint.' At this point I just want to say how I am careful in how I name, show and sell my clothes and accessories. I am mindful of intellectual property and am often surprised when I see things for sale that are clearly from the pattern belonging to another crafter. I have even 'discovered' applique designs that were, for all intense and purposes, identical to mine - so much so that my best friend thought it was mine. I digress...

Then I get the letters (as emails). A very large legal firm representing a very large company (US based company producing babies all in one bodysuits) point out that they in fact own that 'word.' Apparently it is their invention. And we can't use the 'word' or there will be trouble. It turns out that the 'word', that was commonly used, was under copyright. All forms of the word (singular and plural) are not permitted to be used by parties that do not have express permission to use this 'word'. The 'word' has become a generic term for bodysuits, and although has been commonly used throughout the world, is in fact not to be used unless it is in reference to the 'real' one.

I am sure I will get another email if this gets back to them but, I am a little disappointed in the website selling handmade. As you know, we pay to list our items on there and they take a percentage of our takings. I understand that this website is quite a cash cow. I am not sure if they have been as supportive as they can be. Perhaps if they, given they are based in the US and therefore bound by US laws regarding copyright, had checked if the 'word' was free to use, none of these nasty letters, removed items and frustration would have been necessary.

And yes, perhaps I would have researched the 'word' too. But really...

Although I understand the importance of copyright, intellectual property and ownership, I just wonder if all the millions and millions of dollars a year spent by this company ensuring the purity of this 'word' is worth it. Imagine how many children at risk in the US could be clothed by this company with the money they saved by ending this legal pursuit? How many babies in the developing world could have something to wear with this money? How many of their staff in the weaving mills and factories could be payed a few extra dollars an hour with the savings?

Ed: I have now removed the 'word' from here...

Wednesday, 22 July 2009


just a non controversial picture (I hope)

Apparently there are places where you are not allowed to use a certain 'word.' And no, its not a rude or disrespectful word. Its a fairly inane, harmless little word. If you use this word, as hundreds of other people do, you may get a letter from a big legal firm, via another party, advising you to no longer use this word. You may also get an email telling you not to discuss this issue regarding the use of the 'word.'

Who thought sewing could get so nasty? Who thought it would involve warnings and lawyers and banned words?

I certainly didn't.

Now, where is that first year law text book I have floating around...

Ed: I should clarify. It's not the sewing world that got nasty here - its the corporate world invading our little sewing/crafty world...

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

visiting with a 14 year old...

I have spent the last few days cleaning, sorting, tidying and purging the enormous piles of stuff in my sewing room. I have folded seemingly endless piles of fabric, now neatly displayed. I have picked up stray buttons and returned them to the giant button jars. And I have sorted though all my designs and patterns and found, new neat homes for them all.

And I tided out draws and boxes and containers. In my Grandmother's old sewing box, I found some pretty blue note paper, stamps and airmail labels. As a child I had been a keen letter writer with pen pals in Finland, India and the USA. Folded within these papers was a letter I wrote to a prospective pen pal in the US, a letter which was never posted. In my 14 year old handwriting, hinting at my adult penmanship to come, there I was introducing myself to 'Sherry of Washington State.' I had written that I liked 'shopping, travelling, writting letters, reading and listening to music.' I seems that little has changed in 21 1/2 years.

Reading that letter, I felt like I had gone back in time. I would have been sitting in my bedroom with the very Laura Ashley wallpaper, on my old brass bed, scrawling that letter on my good paper. Carefully choosing my words to this girl. Like you do when you start seeing someone for the first time. Those carefully chosen first words can make all the difference.

So of course I was intrigued by this letter that was never sent. And by this person that I had wanted to be pen pals with. And given I like a little research, I looked up their name on the internet. And I found someone with the same name, albeit now hyphenated, on a social networking site. She was not far from my would be pen pals childhood home town. I wrote, explained the little story, and heard back almost straightway. It was her, that girl from the US that I almost became pen friends with.

I wonder if Sherry from Washington State would have written back when we were 14? Who knows. But she did write back now we are almost 36.

You know what they say, about the world and how small it is. Its true, it really is.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

(almost) wordless catch up

Just a little of what has been going on in, around, and out of the Blue House...
Bushwalking with the gang

Visiting this amazing place (thankfully without that sponge character...)

A little sewing

Watching this little puppy grow into a great big puppy
Loving Minnie's wonderful photos
And wishing I had more time to lay in bed and look out at this

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

This is Susie and Joan

This is Joan as a little girl. Joan was my grandmother. Joan grew up on a big farm and lived in a grand old house. My mother grew up in the same house. Joan spent a lot of time with the cows and the sheep and perhaps not enough time studying. When Joan was a grown up, she still lived in the country but I think she dreamed of being a film star as she never was one for cooking or doing the household chores. I don't recall her ever cooking us any cakes or biscuits. I never saw her knit but my mum told me she did embroider something once. We didn't get our craftyness from Joan. She was never a typical grandmother but she was a lot of fun.

This is Susie. Susie is my aunt and my godmother. Susie is my mother’s little sister. They grew up together on the big farm in the grand old farmhouse. Now Susie lives in a grand new house that she built (well my Uncle did most of the building) but she did all the shopping for things to fill the house. We love Susie because she always gets her words mixed up and says the funniest things.

Joan and Susie are in the shop. I feel a bit strange selling off the family...
And thank you all for your sweet words about Shirley. x