Just Saying

Are you participating in the Good Reads 2016 challenge?  I am.  And already I’m ahead of schedule.  Woohoo!  That’s good ‘cuz who knows what the year will bring to interrupt my love for reading.  Although so far, nothing has ever been able to do that!

I just finished a little book written by Austin Kleon entitled Steal Like An Artist.  It’s subtitled:  10 Things Nobody Told you About Being Creative.  I enjoyed it so much that I read several parts out loud to Jeff.  (He just loves when I do that!)  Especially the parts about having multiple projects going at one time.  Kleon calls this “Practicing Productive Procrastination.”  PERFECT!  I have this down.  I’m an expert in this and can teach others a thing or to about PPP.  Chances are good you’re an expert at this, too!

What I liked best about this book wasn’t even in this book.  It was Kleon’s promotional blurb about another book he’s written about self-promotion for those who don’t.  (If you’re interested, it’s called Show Your Work .)  Here’s what I liked:

Use your network instead of wasting time networking.

Share something new everyday (but don’t turn into human spam).

Be open, generous, brave—an artist others will steal from.

—Austin Kleon

I really like the bit about becoming “human spam.”  I have been deleting my subscriptions to blogs where the author has become that yucky (?)meat.  This especially includes blogs where so much advertising and self promotion makes the page time out!  Two bakers whose names I won’t mention (okay, one is something about Grandbaby Cakes) have almost no new content on their blogs.  Just information about book sales and book tours, yada, yada, yada.  Unsubcribed!  Same thing with White Threads (Vetty Creations on FB).  She occasionally has something useful, but if the content isn’t about her latest book, it’s a query about a topic that you can be sure is related to research for her next book!  Bye, bye!  I’ve even taken breaks from Mary Corbett at times when she’s promoting a new kit or doing an infomercial for some nice but not necessary product.

While I’m constantly considering whether particular newsletters represent human spam or not, I can tell you that there are certain bloggers who I will NEVER unsubscribe from.  I will not extol their virtues here.  Suffice it to say they are artists who I steal from to support my own creative engine.  If I’m just scanning my emails, I save theirs for later so I can savor every thought and picture.  They are the ones I dote on.  If these blogs aren’t on your list they should be:

I know I’m leaving someone out, but can’t think who right now.  When I think of it or more I’ll just post a sticky note and you’ll know what it’s about!  Which blogs or newsletters will never be cancelled by you?  That you think everyone would just love?  That isn’t human spam?  (By the way, I also have knitting, quilting, lace making and cooking blogs to live by as well.  I can list them if you want?  Would love to know about your other must read blogs, too!)

Oh, and I’ve been “working,” too.  I’ve started developing the schema and collecting ideas for images for the Confessions of a Pagan Nun sampler I want to make.  The author, Kate Horsley, gave me permission to use my favorite line from her book!  This is the line:

Use words to please, to instruct, to soothe; then stop speaking.—Kate Horsley

And, of course, stitching and knitting.  (The links are not showing up with the pics, let me know if you want to know where to find these free patterns.)  Started to tangle, too.  Take a look and maybe drop a line my way!

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Theft of Copyrighted and/or Confidential Internet Materials on the Rise!

http://www.copyrightauthority.com for more info on copyright!

http://www.copyrightauthority.com for more info on copyright!

Do you have a copyright statement on your blog or website?  Something like this:

“Copyright Notice:

Copyright © Julie J. Castle 2012 – 2013 Please contact author for permission to use material from The Shop Sampler, including pinning images.”

According to the article I received from The Blog Herald today, more and more people are reading these statements and saying, “So what?!”

 According to this article, close to 6 million requests were sent to Google to have information removed immediately from search results.  This represents an increase of over 1.3 million in the same time period compared to data from last year.

Amanda DiSilvestro writes: 

“What This Means to Online Marketers

This spike in requests is significant because it proves that copyrighted or confidential information is being used improperly. This means that online marketers need to be on high alert about when their company is mentioned online. “

Amanda DiSilvestro suggests some safeguards, too:

“This means that online marketers need to be on high alert about when their company is mentioned online. You can do this by setting up virus tool such as McAfee and Copyscape, and even creating a Google Alert for your company name to screen for any potential duplicated content.”

What’s your take on this?  Does it concern you?  How do you protect your creative property rights?  Does your concern keep you from sharing your art online or otherwise?  I would really love to hear what you think and I’m sure others would, too!

A Tisket, A Tasket, A Satin Stitch Easter Basket

I had so many ideas for what I’d do with Satin Stitch, the 13th stitch in Sharon Boggon’s Take A Stitch Tuesday challenge.  First I was going to do some musical notation for the song “Here Comes Peter Cottontail,” but found it was copyrighted.  Then I was going to make a band of bunny ears in various states of awareness.  But that seemed kind of boring.

I also thought about not stitching at all because I have so many projects that have Satin Stitch in them.  But, this is not just about learning the stitch, it’s about challenging one’s self.  And truth be told, I hate Satin Stitch.  I’m always worried about coverage and pulling too tight.  I want it to be perfect.  I like using it in needlepoint on canvas or congress cloth because I use a laying tool.  For some reason using a laying tool seems kind of heavy-handed on linen.

Satin Stitch Easter Basket with Eggs
Satin Stitched Easter Basket

So, I challenged myself.  I tried to do a design that was 100% Satin Stitch.  I almost did it.  But then the handle and rim of baskets are often different in texture than the basket (or so I rationalized.)

I used DMC 3858 (2 ply) for the basket.  I wasn’t happy with the coverage so I increased it to 4 ply for the rim and handle.  The eggs were done in four different Caron Waterlilies.  The two furthest back I’m not sure which Waterlilies—leftover threads from other projects done long, long ago.  The one on the right front is 013 Peach Sherbet.  The one to the left of that is Tropic Seas.  The directions for Waterlilies says to use 1 ply for 22 count linen.  Since the Sampler is done on 32 count linen, I used 2 ply for the first egg I stitched, the one in the very back.  I didn’t like the coverage, so I used 4 ply on the egg in the front right.  That seemed kind of puffy, so I used 3 ply on the remaining eggs.  I think that was the best coverage.

What do you think?  What would you do to improve this little design and my Satin Stitch?  Please do leave a comment as I think I need to do more work on this, but am not sure what exactly is needed.  Help!

Pinterest: Shining Some Light on Possibly Shady Practice

I was planning on doing another post regarding Pinterest given what I have found out in the past few days.  But this comment from Kim Salazar of String Or Nothing has moved me to action.  She says:  “I have a love hate relationship with aggregators of all types, including Pinterest. I am not happy when pattern scraping Pinterest collectors repost the graphs I offer up on my site, for exactly the reasons you mention. It’s just a visual rehash of the same parasitic problem that About.com posed – reuse of the target’s intellectual property without recompense or permission. Thanks for surfacing the problem again.”

When I have pinned things on my Boards I have given serious thought to creative property rights.  But Time Thief (my favorite Blogging Tipster) pointed out in a recent post that there is another issue with Pinterest.  Have you ever wondered how such sites make money?  It has been the topic of discussion for savvy bloggers.  The shady practices of Pinterest have even got the New York Times talking.

I am removing my Pinterest links from my blogs.  And as soon as I book mark the sites on my Boards, I’ll be terminating my relationship with Pinterest.  I don’t do business with companies lacking in integrity.