Friday 23 August 2019

Stealing Designs - My thoughts

This week I have been trying to focus on my etsy shop and making it much more appealing and hopefully I will get some more sales from it. (That is the hope) and in all the talking and research I've been doing, one thing that was made known to me, but that I didn't think about before, was to make the pictures in my listing harder to steal. Not that you can't just take the pictures anyway, but to actually make them look less defined so that it isn't easy just to steal them. I honestly haven't noticed anyone stitching my designs and saying they created them or seen them around but... it could always happen and I need to do my part to make it more difficult and honestly if I do say so myself the listings look so much prettier now!

What do you think of my new listing photos? They are much more streamlined and they all look fancy together :D

But it did make me think... and think hard about what is acceptable. Years ago when I first started blogging I was lamenting at one point that I want to buy Ink Circle's baroque but I didn't have the money at the time. When later that week I got an email in my inbox with the pattern PDF. I was entirely grateful at the time but then something triggered in my head. (This person also sent through some other files I had been saying were on my wishlist.) But I remembered that Ink Circle didn't have PDF files... you could only buy her patterns in paper form. This made me concerned and I emailed this person and said don't email me again this is stealing and proceeded to delete all the emails. (I have no more record of these files but I kinda wish I had said something to the designers at the time but I only have my story now and no records and this was about 6 years ago now.) I knew even then that as much as I wanted to have all the patterns in the world they were much more special when I EARNT the patterns the right way. Could be why I was ecstatic when a couple of months later I eventually bought Ink Circles Baroque and it was so awesome to plan out when and how I would stitch it. This project is about 1/3 done at the moment and I will have to focus on it at some point soon, now I've reminded myself about it!

What constitutes stealing?

I often end up in conversations with people on facebook about what actually constitutes stealing. With PDFs so easy to pass around when do you call it? When you can find images just on the web can you make cross stitch patterns from any design without talking to the original artist even if it is for personal use? I know where I sit in this argument. If you didn't design the art work you can't use it until you find out who did and ask them if you can use it. If you didn't buy a PDF pattern you need to buy it for yourself. If you bought a physical copy and you are selling, you need to hand that copy in it's original form and destroy all other forms over to someone else. To me it seems simple but what do you think? I don't understand why it becomes such a large question point and so many people don't understand.

Honestly the only grey area I have is forms of fan art. Where the legalities of whether you can sell something that is fan art are dependent on the actually creator of the original art. My understanding is that pokemon loves it and I know disney hates it.

In searching for more information about stealing patterns I stumbled onto this blog post.
It really explains it well. And I think I will go out of my way to show the original pattern picture more often. I don't have that many projects that I stitch from a non PDF form and I'm not sure if I'd go as far as to use the order number in my photos but I will go out of my way to label the designer and link to where you can legally buy the pattern. We can all do something to make it harder for people to steal by supporting the original artists and making it known where to legally buy the patterns.

What is your opinion? Do you think this is important? What lengths do we as consumers have to go to, to help support the designers and look after them so they are here tomorrow?

Happy Stitching,

Saturday 17 August 2019

Accountant or Magician - Cross Stitch Pattern

It's celebration time! I have a finish and a new pattern - Accountant or Magician. It feels like at the moment time has just disappeared but I have been finding the time to work on this somehow... actually spending lectures working on this so I could power through and finish it.

 A close up ... I love the details that I put in this :D The hands were really hard to work out first to draw and then they were hard to design. But it really worked out.

I will finish this I think with a quilted border and as a hanger that I can display at work. I'd love to have some of my art hanging up there and I've been working at this desk long enough. It would be pretty awesome to display it.

It also started off as a pretty cool drawing :D
So I hope you enjoy Accountant or Magician a cross stitch about the miracles that we are often asked to perform.

I am going to try and write up a tutorial for how I finish it as a hanger as that may help some people.I will hopefully get that finished this week. Everything gets changed around though as work and uni are getting interesting.

Happy Stitching,

Monday 12 August 2019

New Instagram Account

I now have two instagram accounts! 

This is big news for me as I have just been posting in the same instagram account @naughtscrossstitches since 2014. I would post mostly craft stuff and then the random fitness or life post. But as my fitness journey has gotten so much more important and it was taking up about half of the posts and the tags just weren't quite turning into follows because someone interested in fitness posts tends not to like craft posts. At least not always... I may be more of an odd one out. Actually crafters will follow the fitness posts but fitness people won't necessarily follow the craft posts...


Can you guys comment below an answer to this? Would you follow both Fitness and Craft accounts? Or would you prefer one or the other?

Anyway, off the tangent, you can find my fitness and general life account at @naughtslife_fitness here I will share my journey getting fit and strong and general life fun.

The other reason is I have a large amount of patterns about to be published and I want to have a place more devoted to crafts and where I can really push those patterns without being annoying to my other followers. A crafter will happily see minute progress in a project while a non crafter will start to wonder why it's taking so long! I will update you guys here about my latest patterns too. I have an accountant one that is SO cute, I may be biased, and I'm almost finished the test stitch for it! You can see it below... I think you will love it too!

So there is a lot more coming and I hope you're still interested in hearing both the fitness and craft news :D

Happy Stitching,

Friday 9 August 2019

Some Eco Crochet - Cotton Pads

With all the trends at the moment pushing us to be more eco friendly I really like the idea of more and more reusable items in my home. On top of that I have been getting into looking after my skin better and trying to cleanse, tone and moisturise most days. I'm not perfect but I'm a lot better than I used to be.

So I have included a quick little pattern that I have worked out as a cute little circle and figured if you want to make these too you can use this pattern.


Bendigo Woollen Mill 8ply Cotton in Two Colours
3.5mm Crochet Hook

TR - Treble stitch (double in the US)
DB - Double Stitch (Single in the US) 
CH - Chain stitch
Join - slip stitch to join

Instructions in UK terms:
Colour A
Start with a magic circle and ch2 into the circle.

Row 1: Crochet 12 TRs into the magic circle. Join into the top of the first TR. The chains do not count as a stitch. (12 stitches)

Row 2: Ch2, 2TR in every stitch, join (24 stitches)

Row 3: Ch2,*2TR in the first stitch, 1TR in the next stitch* repeat between * * until the end, join and finish off the thread (36 stitches)

Change to Colour B

Row 4: Ch1, *2DB in the first stitch, DB in the next 2 stitches* repeat * * to the end join and finish off thread. (48 stitches)

And here we have a finished circle.

I have already made about 10 of these little circles, and a whole pile of different ones before I settled on this pattern as making the best size and the cutest look.

I figure these are better than throwing out a whole pile of pads and much more eco friendly and much more friendly for my wallet in the long term. Particularly since these balls from Bendigo Woollen Mills are 200gms. I bought these 4 balls AGES ago. They are almost done soon....

I hope you like these little patterns and they give you an idea of what you can make around the house.

Happy Stitching,

Tuesday 6 August 2019

Cross Stitch Backsides - My Opinion

Disclaimer: So I'm finally approaching this very very controversial topic and need to be clear that all backsides shown in the post below are posted with permission and are 100% kid friendly :D Just saying!

Now we have the silly out of the way lets get to the important discussion. Why and Why not?
There is debate after debate after debate on the cross stitch forums and groups around the internet about the backside of your cross stitch and how neat and tidy it should be. While it is always a matter of personal preference what you do and how neat you make it I want to talk about the whys. Because every beginner gets told that they need to do it one way or another but rarely does anyone explain WHY!

1. To avoid bumps when framing

The number one reason (only because I had to put something at number one) why you should keep a neat back on your cross stitch and particularly a flat back by avoiding knots and tangles is when you are framing and stretching your fabric over a flat piece of card. Any bumps behind the fabric are noticeable and will cause it to look a bit bumpy when framed.

Then we have pieces like this... so full of confetti that you can't help but make them a little messy but you do all you can to make it generally smooth.

2. So you can't see the backside from the front of your piece

We all know that person who leaves nothing to the imagination? Well in this case it's when you skip over stitches and leave these long trails of thread behind that are highly visible (particularly when done in black) Or you carry dark colours UNDER light colours and you get this highly contrasting colour showing through. It doesn't look nice, and it muddys the look. But if you watch for this then it doesn't matter.

The red as you can see in this piece is BEHIND the light colour. So thankfully doesn't stick out.

3. So that your piece is almost reversible. 

I know there are some great stitchers out there that can cross stitch so that it looks almost 100% reversible... I'm not one of those BUT I'm talking about when you choose to stitch on something like a jacket or table cloth where the back side is not covered. (scandalous I know!) and in this case you will want to make sure your stitching is neat on both sides because both are visible. Makes sense.

I just do the smart thing for me and choose not to stitch on something that I can't cover the back up with something or frame it so that you can't access the back. As you can see here while I am not 100% reversible when I try I do get it neat.

4. If you are putting your piece into a show

Now if your piece is not reversible but you are putting it into a show you do want to be aware of points 1 and 2 as they are important and visible reminders that all is not as it seems with your piece and can lose you marks.

I know it's been a while since this... 2012 but I did ask a lot of people about what makes a good piece for a show and points 1 and 2 are what they mention... also full coverage and very neat stitches but those ones aren't the point of this post.

5. Because you are proud of your work and want to learn how to do the correct techniques. 

This one is a contentious reason because the debate comes up well what makes it correct? But to be proud of your stitching, making it lay flat on the front and keeping a generally neat backside are not bad reasons. They are in a lot of ways the real reason we do any of this. If you want to have a piece you are proud of. That you can sit there and go hey look at this, you want to be happy with it. If everytime you stare at it you notice the thread that is peeking through that you carried a bit too far behind the white, are you going to enjoy it? There is NOTHING wrong with mistakes but it really is a matter of what you yourself are comfortable with and what you are most proud of.

Final Say

As with anything it is truly a matter of personal preference but if you know the reasons why you will often make different choices.

Also know that I will sometimes leave knots in the back of my stitching, if I realise too late or if I know I'm finishing it as a pillow how flat the piece is doesn't matter. I will carry threads, often waaayy too far particularly on my HAEDs because the coverage on that piece doesn't let the threads show through and it makes the counting and whole stitching process more enjoyable. But on a piece where I know the coverage is a little dicey I try to be aware of it and not carry the threads as far.I try to find a happy medium myself between anal about every little thing being perfect and just enjoying the process. Just so you know that all the pieces in this post are mine, they are sometimes super neat, sometimes halfway inbetween and in the case of the HAEDs they are quite messy but I am proud of all of them!

Only you can make a decision about what you are going to do and what you are able to do with your stitching, and only you can decide whether a choice is worth it. The only thing I'm trying to do here is give you the reasons WHY. Honestly if you are happy with your work then who am I to judge? Too many people on the internet are judgy but are they worth interacting with?

How do you feel about the backsides of your work? Do you have any more reasons to add to this list?

Happy Stitching,

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