Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Settling down

Last month was by far the busiest month I have ever had for Heart Felt Design.  It was nuts. Even with the shop closed down for a week I had over 40 orders come through not including a few from facebook and a large order I was finishing for Mondo Media. For the first time ever I felt a bit overwhelmed, I fell behind, and actually had a small panic moment at one point.   I am finally able to breathe and sleep a little easier, as I just sent out my very last June order! 

We have one more long month before school begins for the littles and I am planning to enjoy every minute of it.  I have decided not to homeschool this year and am sending the kids to the next best thing for us, a local charter school.  Some of them seem really excited but my oldest is begging to stay home. I will miss having them at home with me but the thought of having another month like the last one on top of homeschooling kind of stresses me out.  We will see how it goes.  Until then I am going to soak up as many snuggles, laughs, hugs and kisses along with the inevitable stickiness that comes with having small children.   

I know I am not alone in the struggle to balance work with family.  I am very thankful that my job is one that I can set down and walk away from when my kids need me, which, with four kids, seems to happen every other minute.   Even though the last month was crazy busy I was still able to join the kids in a bit of fun and sun.  Here's a little glimpse into our crazy life.

The kids swam every single day.  My wonderful husband got the kids a new pool this year.  The last one we had was about a foot deep.  My 12 year old was embarrassed to get in the thing.  Thankfully it got a tear in it and needed to be replaced. 

My daughter Hannah has lived in her swimsuit all summer.  She is in the pool from 10-5 with small breaks for lunch and some sun bathing.  I have used bottles upon bottles of sunscreen on this girl.

 Sammy on the other hand doesn't like to be in the pool with the other kids.  It makes him nervous.  He would rather watch from the side lines inhaling otter pops by the dozen. 
 One of the benefits of being so busy last month was that I was actually able to buy decent fireworks this year. This is Sammy trying out his very first sparkler.  He did fairly well.  

 Of course we still went to see our local fireworks display.  It was crazy loud but fun.

With a five year old girl around there is always a lot of pretend play going on at our house.  We have sooooooo many boy costumes but Sammy always ends up in a dress. lol

We love movies at our house.  I probably let them watch way too many, but they are good for my sanity, and it's so nice to see them all snuggling together and getting along. :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Today's post is a really hard one for me to write.  I have been struggling with the feeling that I need to say something about this issue for a long time and it's finally gotten to a point where I just have to do it. There can be a really fine line between finding inspiration in someone else's work and copying it and claiming it as your own. I have found an amazing online artist community on both Etsy and Facebook that is filled with wonderful artists who are full of integrity and original ideas. Then there are the ones who are not so original or honest, though those are, thankfully, few and far between. I usually ignore these people. However, there is one who keeps popping up all over the place. I get messages from other people at least once a week about this person and their tendency to "glean" ideas off of other artists. Just to put it out there, this is the artist in question's view on copying, in her own words.

"These people don't understand what "copying" means. If you take the exact fabric, shape, colours, and copy every single detail, then that's copying. There are no original ideas out there. Someone's borrowed something from someone, and you have to realize that they are probably jealous. Just keep doing what you're doing, and you'll be fine. CHIN UP!"

"Oh, and if your design is 10% different than this person's design, you're safe. That's the rule in the art world. Take something, change a minimum of 10%, and you're good to go."

10%, huh? Aside from being an unethical practice, this theory doesn't hold up in court, either. See the following articles on artist copyrights and 'fair use':

Myths about copyright
top 10 myths about copyright

You can decide for yourself but, as far as I'm concerned, and I know several other artists who strongly agree, she is a copycat.

She copies artists over and over again and we, the artist community, point it out to each other, privately, but very rarely say something out loud. This is a topic that we need to be more public about.  I am not going to name names today, because I'm rather positive that my pictures will speak for themselves.  If you still don't recognize this 'artist's work and would like to know who to watch out for and hopefully unlike and block on Facebook, please message me privately and I will give you the person's name.
Remember--in her mind, all you have to do is change a design by 10% They may not be exact, but you can tell exactly where the "inspiration" came from.
The worst part is that she claims the designs as her very own and often blogs and remarks about how awesome she is and how her business is so wonderful.
It surprises me that she won't even wait a while after she gets "inspired". She just jumps right at it and makes a similar item of her own.
For example, I came out with my little cupcake monster with a unique cute nose and the copycat even commented on a couple of my monster photos that I posted. Then, the VERY NEXT DAY, she came out with her "new" monsters with the same noses, saying, "I also love the furry noses, and I think they are a fantastic addition, something I thought of later on. I'm so glad I did it."  
Seriously? If she had said something about liking my monster noses and wanting to try something similar on hers, I might not have been as angry.

Here is one more photo of an item that was just copied today (7/10/12).
There are more.  I could sit here for hours and put together photo collages, but I'm not wasting any more time on this person.

Do you think I am being harsh or unreasonable? Many of the artists who are being copied are earning their living from the time that they invest in their craft. They work hard, thinking of new, fun ideas, only to wake up the next morning to see this person posting their items on Facebook, claiming them as her own. Where do you stand on this topic?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Pay it Forward Handmade style

 Inspired by my lovely, crafty friend over at olga wassupbrothers, I am participating in a little craft swap with a twist and I'm inviting you all to join me. I cant wait to see what olga makes for me. Her creations are completely adorable and so is she.  Her owls are amazing. 

The idea is that the first three people commenting on this post will receive an item entirely handmade by me.  Those three people will then

 * do a similar blogpost and make something special for their first three commenters  

*and will send me something handmade in return as well  

Im So excited to see who joins in the fun! To be fair to all participants please only join if you fully intend to participate.  The first three people who comment with their email address (so I can contact you) will be entered. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Music Monday and drowning in fur

I know I have shared my love for this band before but really I just cant stop listening to them!  They have this magical ability to calm and bring out creativity in me.  Their Album is only available at their shows and on iTunes at the moment.  Give them a listen.  


Also I got a rather large shipment of fur in the mail last week.  Over 20 yard of it actually.  I have no clue where I'm going to put it all.  I laid it out on my dining room table today to take some pictures. 

So many fun colors!

My kids keep asking me to make them blankets out of them.