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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Full Set Of DMC

Thanks to ebay I have finally managed to get a full set of DMC embroidery floss. I have at least one skein of each color. My floss is arranged by number, with that bunch of skeins waiting to be put on bobbins. YAY!

I have also managed to give my sister-in-law Stephanie almost a complete set of DMC floss for her stitching. She is about 15 to 20 skeins short. Hopefully I can complete her set in the next couple of months.

I have one more order from ebay coming in and this will be 201 colors of Anchor embroidery floss. I figure that will give me a decent start to that brand of floss and make it possible for me to stitch the designs that I like which are charted for Anchor. I'm not very good at conversions so I figure having some Anchor floss won't hurt.

Because I won an auction I wasn't expecting to win, we ended up with a bunch of duplicates as well, which replaced my backup floss which I have packaged up to send to a friend of mine.

So now I have plenty of floss, lets see if I can actually start stitching again to use the floss. LOL

Monday, August 23, 2010


I haven't been doing much stitching. My daughter Sam came home for a 2 week visit. She went home again yesterday. I already miss her! It was so nice to have her in the house again. I have to say that there are many difficult times for a parent, but having my child move out has been very hard. I am very proud of her though, she handles things better than I did at 22 years old!

While she was here she started a blackwork piece for her boyfriend's mother's birthday. It didn't get done in time, and she left it here, so I will work on it then send it to her to finish. I wanted to stitch part of it as well because I really like her boyfriend's mother. Sam had a rough time counting the blackwork piece, but this is her first piece. She picked a fairly small design that has no name of it's own. It it contained in the softcover book "Beginner's Guide To Blackwork" by Lesley Wilkins. This is a great book that explains blackwork very well and has gorgeous examples of the technique. The one Sam chose is on pages 18 and 19, a small sampler with a pretty border and floral motifs in the center. Sam had put in the 2 straight line outlines and started the knot-work border down the left side. When I picked it up on Wednesday (early morning, like 3AM) to add to the piece, I found a miscount and had to pull the entire section and start it over. So I didn't make much progress, but I did make a little as I did both sides of the knot-work border (easiest way to work it was to split it in half, come down one side, then go back up the other using Holbein stitch to fill in the extras).

Anyway here is a picture of the whole piece so far:

Small Blackwork Sampler by Lesley Wilkins
Stitched by Sam C and Missy H.

Here is a closeup of the knot-work border:

I do love doing blackwork, it looks so wonderful when it is done!

So far this year seems to be my start new stuff without finishing much year. LOL Oh well, I will try to finish stuff soon!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

My Prize From Cyndy, Stash Enhancement, and Magazine Review

This is kind of a long post but I have lots of updates! No new stitching pics though, sorry about that! I have a couple other things going on but I'll put those in another post as this one is already long enough LOL

On July 31st I won a giveaway on Cindy's Blog ( Cindy's Cross Stitching Ornaments and Projects ). I was so excited to be chosen as a winner! I was expecting a few stitching goodies as that was the stated prize for the giveaway but Cyndy's generosity went way beyond just a few stitching goodies. The box arrived yesterday afternoon. It felt like Christmas! I was so excited and when I opened the box I was completely floored! So many wonderful stitching goodies, trims, ribbons, patterns and just WOW!

In the box was a ziploc bag full of ribbons, ric rac in lots of different colors, a packet of Madeira metallic floss (dark blue), a keychain to put stitching in and a tiny little tuck pillow for making an ornament (it is so cute!); ohhhh so very wonderful! One of the ribbons has beautiful little roses on it, the other is a very pretty blue. Now I have lots of stuff to try my hand at finishing stitching into items other than little pillows such as maybe a flat fold or pinkeep. The ribbon and ric-rac will be excellent trims for those items!

Stitching Goodies from Cyndy's giveaway!
As if this wasn't more than enough, Cyndy spoiled me even more! Included with all the wonderful finishing items was a large stack of magazines, charts, and a kit! There is a 2009 calendar full of Margaret Sherry designs. A UK Cross Stitch Crazy magazine, an older Just Cross Stitch (US) magazine, a few Cross Quick magazines including the premier issue, a bunch of Cross Stitch and Country Crafts magazines, Cross Stitch and Needlework magazine and a magazine I have not seen before called Stitch and Craft. I am enjoying reading each one (I started with Cross Stitch Crazy UK mag). I love magazines and have quite a collection. They are a great resource for patterns. There is a Prarie Schooler Santa chart, and a Stoney Creek booklet of celebration type samplers (weddings, anniversaries and such). The kit is a Needle Treasures kit of an adorable mother and baby giraffe. Here is a pic of all these goodies as well!

Charts and magazines from Cyndy's Giveaway!

Cyndy thank you so much! You have spoiled me with all these wonderful stitching goodies, thank you so much! I was not expecting so many different items and I am truly grateful for your generosity. Thank you very much I love it all and I am sure I will put these items to good use!

Thank you thank you thank you!

I've been working on increasing my magazine stash and helping my sister-in-law build a stash of patterns through magazines as well. I won a few auctions on ebay for lots of magazines (one was 15, one was 30 and one was 40+). These lots pretty much doubled my stash of magazines. lol I am slowly going through them all. I love reading stitching magazines, specially the older ones. I find it very interesting to see how patterns have changed over the years, and reading the interviews with older designers that are new to me. I now have magazines from the mid-eighties, as well as 90's and early 2000's. Some I already had so those duplicates I gave to Stephanie (DSIL) right away. The others I am currently sorting and reading, then I will let DSIL take her picks. As I have gone through them I've come across a couple that are a third copy. Since Stephanie and I both have a copy of those issues (legal copy, actual magazine not a photocopy) I have decided that when the sorting is done I will post a giveaway for those extra magazines and some additional stitching goodies! So keep an eye out for the giveaway announcement and rules. 

Speaking of magazines, I got a subscription to Stitch Magazine from The Embroiderer's Guild in the UK. I ordered it because Jane Greenoff's (The Cross Stitch Guild) The Embroideress sampler is being published in the magazine over 3 issues and I really wanted the chart. Since I also enjoy stitching magazines and have enjoyed my subscriptions to other UK magazines (Cross Stitch Gold, Cross Stitch Collection etc.) I wanted to see what this magazine was like. So rather than just order the 3 individual issues, I got a subscription. I am very impressed with this magazine! It is full of gorgeous pictures of many different types of stitching and needleart. It has great articles and projects for trying different embroidery techniques and articles about different artists. In the current issue (Aug/Sep. 2010) there is an article that includes blackwork (which I love) and getting shading with blackwork. There is an absolutely fantastic full page picture of a blackwork tiger that was designed and stitched by Sarah Homfray. If you scroll down on this page you can see a small image of the sketch Ms. Homfray used to design her blackwork tiger. The completed embroidery is as beautiful as the sketch and the shading is gorgeous. A very impressive piece! I wish the chart was included because the piece is truly outstanding and I would love to stitch it for my DD Sam as she loves tigers! If you are looking for a magazine that includes information and articles on many different forms of needlearts, as well as how to's and charts for various beautiful projects, then you may want to give this magazine a try! Here is a picture of the current issue. On the front is a beautiful biscornu that is canvas work embroidery rather than cross stitch. It is quite beautiful!

Again, thank you very much Cyndy for the wonderful giveaway prizes! I love them all!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

An Honest Look At The Size Of Copyright Problem

For the last 3 days, I have been making a list so I can do some math as an example of the scope of the copyright infringement problem. This is in response to the opinions I have been told (via email etc.) that this is blown out of proportion, exaggerated, or in some manner made-up to hide a loss of interest in the needlework industry as a whole. 

I went through the 2009 posts for the site located at to give a clearer picture of just how large copyright infringement has become and to show that it is not being exaggerated as some would like to believe it is.

I made a list (available as a word document upon email request) of every entry from Feb 7, 2009 to Dec 30, 2009, that counted the number of charts, or magazine pages full of charts posted on those dates.  I would continue for 2010 but this has already taken me enough time (3 days) and I think it makes my point quite nicely the way it is.

On the pages where entire pages of magazines, leaflets etc were posted I counted the pages rather than the individual motifs found on each page when those pages had more than 4 motifs to the page. Otherwise I counted individual charts. I noted the copyright holders if I recognized them, or the copyright statement was part of the scan (as it is on many of the scans posted)

Here are some facts about that site:

This site has 213 followers as of 10:14AM (Central US Time) Aug. 4, 2010.

The site counter shows over 900,000 hits.

It links to 36 other blogs on its front page, left-side column.  Of those 36 links: 20 have copyrighted cross stitch charts posted for free download within the first two pages of their blog. 2 have knitting and crocheting patterns, including full copies of magazines (copyrighted) available for download (not counted in those 20) and 1 needs to be logged into before it can be read (also not counted in those 20).

So 20 out of 36, that is over 50% of her links are also stealing copyrighted charts. So right there you have 21 blogs (counting the original) and 21 separate people providing cross stitch charts for illegal download. The 50 people that MyMark Designs used as a figure isn’t looking so “made-up” now.

The site owner links to a second blog (on the right side of blog, not in list of 36 links) that she runs which also lists copyrighted charts for download. So this one person has 2 blogs providing stolen copyrighted charts.

Of the 5 commenter’s whose blogs I loaded, 4 also provide copyrighted charts for free download. Most comments are “Anonymous”. So that brings us up to 25 separate people providing charts, all associated with this first site in one way or another.

Total charts on offer during that time: 2242

Following copyright Holders that I recognized: DMC, Anchor, Rico Designs, Beatrix Potter, Disney, EMS (31 of her animal baby charts are on this blog), Brittercup Designs, Leisure Arts, Cross Stitch Card Shop (UK Magazine), Cross Stitch Crazy (UK Magazine), a Russian Magazine and a Spanish Magazine, Hello Kitty, Garfield (paws, Inc), Vervaco, Lanarte, and others.

Now let’s do some math. For the sake of argument, and to allow for errors I will use the following numbers for my math:

Instead of all 213 followers, I will assume that only half (213 divide by 2 = 106.5) or 106 people downloaded charts.

Also to allow for not every chart appealing to every stitcher, I will use only half of the available charts for the year 2009. 2242 divide by 2 = 1121

I will use an average of $5.00 (USD) per chart because magazines cost about that much, most of the charts I recognized were at least 10.00 (or more) each so we’ll use a slightly smaller number to allow for variations.
106 people downloaded 1121 charts each: total downloaded 118,826 charts downloaded in 1 year

118,826 times $5.00 each equals $594,130 dollars lost to the needlework industry if they were only downloaded by those 106 people and only downloaded once in the entire year.

This is just 1 site, using half of the followers and half of the charts available for the year 2009. My guess is that the actual figures lost (if they could be accurately calculated) would be a lot higher because I doubt that only half the followers downloaded these charts and I doubt only half of them were downloaded. I am quite sure many people who are not listed as followers also downloaded charts without making their presence known via following or commenting. Since those pages are all still visible, and the charts are still available, people are still downloading them even though they were posted a year ago. Due to these unknowns there really is no way of figuring out the exact amount of money lost, but even the conservative estimate I have created is far too much money.

Since 1 person with just one site can cost this much to the needlework industry, it is not exaggerated that 50 people can cause over 800,000 dollars to be lost on a single $7.00 chart.

Remember this one person also links to a second blog she offers additional charts on, plus 20 more people’s blogs that also offer charts. That’s 20 more people off this single site, plus the 5 commenter I loaded making a total of 25 additional blogs and people with stolen charts. If you follow the links on all 25 of those sites, you’ll find even more people providing even more copyrighted charts.

As you can see this is not being exaggerated, made up, or in any other manner lied about in order to cover up a loss of interest in the needlework industry. This is an actual, major problem that costs the needlework industry a lot of money per year.

I wish that I could just turn away and justify it to myself as being exaggerated, made up, or a lie to cover-up a loss of interest in the needlework industry, but I can’t because I have seen it for myself. What I have given here truly is a SMALL sample of the sites that are available out there.

There are sites out there that offer charts and magazines literally within a few hours of them first being published. Those sites have thousands of charts and magazines available for download with thousands of users downloading daily. Some of those sites even require the users to PAY for the privilege of uploading and downloading pirated charts and NONE of that money goes to the needlework industry, it goes to the site owner who provides the space for the pirated charts to be accessed.

Copyright infringement is a major problem and the figures I have provided here, based solely on 1 site, are not exaggerated. In fact, the numbers are conservative and in actuality are probably much higher.

You can continue to believe that the problem is not this large if you wish, but you can no longer believe that the problem does not exist at all. It does.

Now for something to smile about, a WIP update:

Quaker Welcome © The Stitcherhood
28ct Jobelen

This is where I am at on Quaker Welcome and I think it is coming along very well!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Another Loss to Needlework and Stitchers

Many people believe that designers aren't affected very much by piracy of their charts. This is not true. In my last post I did some math with very basic numbers to show a few different things, one that cross stitch charts are reasonably priced and do not reflect the hours put into producing them, and two to show how much money is actually lost through theft of the charts.

Well a designer, Monique of My Mark designs, posted a blog entry where she did the math surrounding actual piracy of just one of her charts. I feel it is quite an eye opener if people actually read it. Her figures show a loss of over 800,000 dollars in a single year for the needlework industry. This loss takes into consideration 50 people providing a single chart which is normally priced at $7.00 and uses the actual number of downloads from a single person in one year (2,470). It is utterly amazing! I would say that $800,000 dollars is a MASSIVE loss to the needlework industry!

See for yourself how seriously stealing cross stitch charts does affect the needlework industry.Go here and read it:

Sadly another designer is closing her doors as a direct result of internet piracy crippling sales for her business. As of October 31, 2010 Lavender Wings will close and the charts will no longer be available for purchase. Ms. Hinckley makes it very clear on the first page of her website that internet piracy is the reason for closing her company. Her charts are beautiful and due to piracy the needlework industry is losing yet another wonderful designer. You can read her words here: 

Out of curiosity I started following the links that these thieves put in their emails to pirate groups. Each link leads to a blog or posting board that contains even more links. All of these links lead to yet another web site, posting board, email group, or blog that "shares" stolen charts for free. Thousands of people are doing this every day. The money lost has to be somewhere in the millions per year! These same people profess to love needlework yet they happily continue to steal charts and cripple the industry they say they love. To me, that is not love.

I have also noticed that not many people respond to posts about copyright infringement (either on blogs or facebook or emails). I hope that this does not mean that the majority of people do not care, but I suppose it could mean that. Heck, it could mean many different things. But if more people spoke out against copyright infringement, if more people notified designers when they find a site that steals charts, and if more people refused to share copies of charts then we could put a major dent in the number of thefts occurring every day. We can't keep waiting for "someone else" to work against piracy. It only takes a moment to fire off an email about a web site or email group that is sharing charts. That one moment could be the one that keeps a favorite designer from closing their doors and quitting.

This web page answers many of the common misconceptions about copyright of needlework and other craft patterns.

If we continue to turn a blind eye to piracy, and continue to think "someone else" will handle it, then we will continue to lose designers and the hobby we love so much will suffer.