Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

We've got a lot to be thankful for this year. Our furnace kicked the bucket last week. Thankfully, we were able to find a (fairly) affordable option and are enjoying the warmth from our new furnace. Never had a new furnace, always inherited a very old one.

The boys (our two dogs) are still with us and at 14 and 15 years old, are keeping us on our toes as we care for them round the clock. Sans the ability to turn back the clock, I couldn't think of a better use of time. Ms. Kitty is doing well and loving every moment she has to snuggle with her boys.

We've had a very wet summer and fall. Thanks to the chance we were given to dig out the "waterway" that runs through out property, our yard has not been flooded as it has in years past. It feels good to see something turn out right!

Our "traditional" vegetarian Thanksgiving will be vegan this year, as 2009 was the year we went 1000% vegan. Never felt better. We are preparing our menu now. I am looking forward to a few days of relaxation and fun with the husband and furry kids. We always try to cram in so much in a short period, but there are so many games to play, lights to put up, and dreams to hatch.

Yep, it has been a year of hard work and transitions, but at the end of the day, when the guys are running in their sleep, the cat is napping at their feet, and we are warm, dry, and loved, the world seems kinda perfect. Just don't turn on the news, the radio, the internet, or answer the phone. :)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I do hope you take stock of your life and gain a little perspective. We have a lot to be thankful for this year.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

ETSY Apps - Help and Fun For Your Etsy Shop

Are you aware that there are a number of applications you can use to highlight, improve, and link to your Etsy store(s)?

The Etsy Developer Community has a number of great applications you might find useful. Including:

Heartomatic - Makes your item and store "hearts" easily viewable and they also have a search feature that tells you if you've been featured in an Etsy gift guide or on the coveted front page.

etsyhacks has a list of amazing features, including Where Am I?, a tool that shows where your shop appears in an Etsy search. Some other neat tools include: copy listing (create a listing based on a current one), RSS Feedback (create an RSS feed of your Etsy feedback), and Shop CSV (download current listings to upload them into a spreadsheet). There are more tools listed, so check them out.

Yammi Handmade is a fun site that offers a lot of info. for the handmade maven. Not only can you be listed in the handmade shop directory, but they provide links to your blog, Etsy and Artfire shops, Twitter, MySpcae, and Facebook accounts, and more. My favorite tools are the gadgets/widgets you can plug into your blog that feature your item hearts, items sold, and items listed.

Here are a few other sites that will help you make the most out of your Etsy store:

Easy Etsy - They've created a great list of the tutorials and tools that Etsy experts use to help promote and improve their stores.

Etsy Wiki - Sometimes the information you need about how to best use Etsy can be difficult to locate. Not so with the Wiki.

Got any helpful sites you'd like to share?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Documentary: It Was A Wonderful Life

I love documentaries. Many nights I can be found watching a documentary about any number of subjects and topics. Documentaries open up your world and your mind, who couldn't love them?

I just finished the 1993 documentary, It Was A Wonderful Life, a moving film about the "hidden homeless" population that highlights the lives of six witty, intelligent, talented, and homeless women.

While it may be from 1993, the film is no less relevant today. Not unlike our current economic situation, the recession of 1992 - 93 left many Americans without a job or home. As the women featured in the film attempt to find jobs and safe housing, my thoughts went to our local homeless who are fighting city boards as they take up residence in tents, parking garages, and their cars. Sadly, not much has changed in the struggle to be safe and warm when one is homeless.

The women in this film have so much to offer society. They are articulate, artistic, intelligent, funny, and inventive. They are not the stereotypical images of homelessness. These women are "every woman," and if you passed them on the street, would never guess they are homeless. It couldn't be made any clearer that anyone can become homeless when dealt a losing hand of circumstances that can arise from divorce, lack of health care coverage, and unemployment.

The daily struggles faced by these women are no easy tasks. Do you know where you would go if you were alone and needed a shower? How could you afford to keep your clothes clean? How would you keep your dignity intact when the world tells you that you don't matter?

After watching this film I guarantee you'll never again complain about going to the basement to do laundry. You'll think twice about being "too tired" to cook dinner. Maybe you'll remember to extend a smile to the woman you know is homeless in your town. The one who lives in the only sanctuary she knows, her car.

Jodie Foster narrates the film with an original musical score by Melissa Etheridge.
Director: Michèle Ohayon
82 mins. in length

Friday, October 9, 2009

Crafting a Confident Woman

Glamour magazine has done an amazing job of bringing the topic of body-confidence for women to the forefront of conversation with their latest "beautiful bodies" spread in their November issue.Glamour promises to continue featuring "a wide range of body types" and celebrating the diversity of size, shape, and race.

Check out this screen shot of the online photo and article. Check out the link below to discover more about the models in the photo. Their stories are very interesting.I love this photo. Real women. Real issues. Real beauty. Kudos to you, Glamour!

Supermodels Who Aren't Superthin: Meet the Women Who Proudly Bared it All Health & Fitness:

Shared via AddThis

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fall Flutterings

Late this summer we noticed a plant pop up below the apple tree. It grew in a straight line and produced lovely yellow flowers that resembled the squash in the garden. Had we planted anything here? Nope. We had laid out a pumpkin last winter for the birds and raccoons to have their way with.

Apparently a few seeds took:

Our robins appear to have left us for the season. Oh, one or two will always stay behind just to taste the first cold snap. Friendships and nest mates are expanding as winter comes near.

The grey skies don't lie...fall is here.

And finally, the butterflies are floating among us as we go about day attempting to prepare for the colder weather ahead. It isn't hard to get transfixed as we stop on our way to gather more insulation, make needed repairs on the doors, and make a warm spot for the feral cats who will make their way to us soon.


How does fall look from where you are?

photos © wingsandfences

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fall Is In The Air

The black walnut tree is naked.
Always the first to run nude into fall.
The other trees are just beginning to welcome fall as they display their yellow and red heads.
I'll post some pics. soon, until then, my quilled fall tree will have to do. :)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Crafty Listings at Bonanzle

Check out my listings @ Bonanzle... I list a lot of vintage cross stitch pattern books and leaflets

Friday, September 25, 2009

Crafty Copyright Awareness

AKA: It's Hard to Be a Crafter!

So, you are standing in the packed aisle of your favorite craft shop, and your hands begin to grab for all the tools and trinkets you need to restock your craft pantry. The packages of your favorite items list the contents, maybe colors and sizes, and their creation location, but did you ever notice what is missing? For crafters who want to sell their handmade items, the most important missing link is the copyright and/or "Angel Policy" for the use of the item.

Unless you've already done your research prior to your shopping trip, you best trot home and check out what the manufacturer states is an "approved use" of the item. You've got to do the footwork yourself because they fail to provide the information on the packaging (prior to your purchase) so that you can be an informed shopper.

For example, did you know that the extremely popular Cricut by Provo Craft carries the following "Angel Policy?" (red font color is my doing)

1. All Provo Craft products that incorporate, provide or utilize copyrighted material are copyrighted by Provo Craft and Novelty, Inc. and are protected under United States and international copyright laws, which means that they cannot be copied without the written permission of Provo Craft.
2. Any craftwork to be sold must not incorporate third-party copyrighted material. The craftwork must contain only Provo Craft products that are sold under the Provo Craft trademark. 
3. The individual may sell or distribute personal craftwork at local community fundraisers, seasonal boutiques or bazaars, or other temporary craft events.  Personal craftwork incorporating Provo Craft copyrighted material cannot be sold at a fixed retail location such as a store or mall kiosk, left in a store on consignment, or sold to other parties for subsequent resale, or sold via the Internet.
4. The use of the copyrighted material to be sold with a product, to enhance a product or to design a product on a regional or national level or for any mass production is expressly prohibited hereunder and requires a written licensing agreement with Provo Craft. (The definition of mass produced is more than fifty copies reproduced within a thirty day period of any one design or more than 200 copies per year of any one design. Multi-person assembly-line work counts as mass production.)
5. Quantities for sale of personal craftwork shall be limited by the production limits set forth herein.
6. The limited license granted herein is not a license of the Provo Craft name or any trademarks, trade names, trade dress or logos of Provo Craft and cannot be used without the express written permission of Provo Craft.  In addition, the Provo Craft name or any trademarks, trade names, trade dress or logos of Provo Craft may not be used at any location where personal craftwork items are sold, nor may they be used in any manner to solicit sales of such items nor in a manner that states, infers, or implies an affiliation with Provo Craft.
7. You may not use Provo Craft and Novelty, Inc. copyrighted material for the purpose of creating logos, trademarks, trade names, trade dress or trademarks (e.g., company trademarks, product trademarks, product packaging, etc.).
8. Wherever possible, each item using or incorporating Provo Craft’s copyrighted material must be marked with “Includes Copyrighted Material of Provo Craft and Novelty, Inc.” in a reasonable size and location that gives reasonable notice.
9. Copyrighted material of Provo Craft may not be altered in any manner, including but not limited to, masking or overlaying portions in the overall design.  Any other alteration will be considered an infringement of copyright.  In addition, Provo Craft expressly reserves all moral rights in any copyrighted material. 
10. Provo Craft shall, without limitation, have the right to terminate the limited license granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.  In the event that Provo Craft elects to terminate this license for any individual, Provo Craft shall notify such individual in writing of such termination.  Upon notice such individual shall immediately terminate the copying, sale and/or distribution of any of Provo Craft’s copyrighted material or products or things that incorporate any of Provo Craft’s copyrighted material.
11. Persons creating personal craftwork items for sale are responsible for complying with any state and local business and tax regulations or any other laws or regulations governing the sale of goods.
12. Persons subject to this license  assume all liability for suitability of their work and for any CLAIM OR cause of action arising as a result of the sale, offer for sale and/or distribution of their work and agree to indemnify and hold harmless Provo Craft and Novelty, Inc. and its artists from disputes arising from the sale, offering for sale and/or distribution of their work.
13. Provo Craft and Novelty, Inc. is a Utah corporation.  The laws of the State of Utah govern this license.  The state and federal courts of Utah will have exclusive jurisdiction over any proceeding arising from this policy.  Any person that operates under this limited license expressly agrees to be subject to personal jurisdiction in the courts of the State of Utah.  Any failure by Provo Craft to enforce any of its rights will not constitute a waiver of such rights.

This "Angel Policy" contains some very interesting information that I have noted with the color red. The statement makes clear that a crafter cannot sell their (Provo Craft) copyrighted images on materials that are offered for sale online or in a fixed location like a local boutique. Yep, that means you cannot take their cut out images, paste them on a card, and sell the card online.

Also, they expect you to give credit to them on your completed item. So, the cards you are selling at the approved craft fair should include the following statement, “Includes Copyrighted Material of Provo Craft and Novelty, Inc.”

And better yet, don't think about using any third-party copyright material alongside the Provo Craft materials. They won't share the space with other stamps, papers, or stickers belonging to another trademark. 

Look, all companies have the right to state how their products can and cannot be used. I do take offense that companies who are creating tools and supplies for crafters are not making these copyright restrictions and "Angel Policies" a part of their own packaging. Let the buyer know prior to their purchase what you do and do not expect of them. Many crafters do not have a clue that such policies exist. Realistically, most people assume, hey, this is an item created for the specific purpose of being used for subsequent creations. Most don't stop and think that the manufacturer of the item would even dream of attempting to limit the creative process or the ability for the crafter to then make a profit on the item. 

So, crafters beware, there are limits and limitations to most things in life, including the items you use to live a creative life. Always check with the manufacturer (via their web site, phone, snail mail, etc...) to discover what their policies in order to avoid any headaches and claims of copyright infringement. 

For more information on Angel Policies, check out these links:
List of Rubber Stamping Companies with Angel Policies
Angel Policies of Various Companies by Paperlicious

Credit for post image

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Crafty Birds

For the love of the craft.

I hope that I'll begin to meet some fellow crafters from Etsy, Shop Handmade, Art Fire, and Made It Myself (to list a few). Looking forward to sharing some great sites, tuts, and projects that will offer inspiration and fun to other crafters.

Buy Handmade


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