Saturday, September 06, 2003

Enjoying the Colours Around Me...

Just a quick little blog for today after a wonderful time at friends. Sitting on their back stoop husking golden yellow corn under a deep blue fall sky... with that wonderful warm glow of sunshine on my back made me so aware of taking time to really look at the colours in the world around me. I wouldn't put those elements into a cross stitch design... and yet, just being aware of the colours and taking a few moments to really enjoy them and the simplicity of the task at hand (I like getting as many of those pesky corn silk strands off the corn before I cook them) somehow recharged a creative battery. Artists do see the world with slightly different eyes. My friends caught me staring at the fall sky and looked up to see what had entranced me. "Just the colours..." I replied and watched them shake their heads. It didn't matter. I felt more alive for that moment.

You know you are a stitcher when you think of colour in terms of floss numbers. I drive my graphic designer friends crazy because I think in floss rather than PANTONE numbers now.

Stop and peek at the colours around you this week!

Jen at Dragon Dreams

Friday, September 05, 2003

Do They Understand It Is Stealing?

There is a brief moment of silence in my cave this morning, which is gloomier than usual due to the lingering rain clouds from yesterday's sogginess, so I thought I would "blog" before heading out. Nick and I were up at Staples recently to pick up yet another batch of charts to make up into chartpacks. As I stood in line to pay for them, I noticed two women at the self serve photocopy machine making copies of some cross stitch charts. I could just catch snipets of their conversation over the din of the back to school shoppers, but they seemed to be discussing the clarity of the copies and complaining about the cost. Now at 6'5" in my bare feet, I have never been very good at being "demure"... so I just said to N ick in a slightly raised voice "Well, I just have to hope that they are making working copies of stuff that they own instead of to share!"

Once of the women glanced up and I got ready to say something polite. "You see, I am a cross stitch designer and though I didn't design the charts you are copying to avoid buying an original, I probably know the designer who created that beautiful pattern you are longing to stitch... If that isn't a copy for you to mark up as you stitch it, then you are cheating someone out of payment for something they created."
I am sure I would have been eloquent... I know that I would have been nice, just like the speaches I was rehearsing in my head...but that is when the nice person at the copy centre finished totalling my copy job and ink cartridges, announcing the total again so that I would finish writing my cheque.

When I looked up, the two ladies were gone. Nick spotted them in the first general line-up, but they scurried to a lane farther away as we hefted our boxes of copies to take home to bag up that evening (I justified alot of the shows I watched this summer like Amazing Race or American Juniors because Nick and I were bagging up patterns night after night as soon as the girls went to bed!). I had been h oping that they were just making copies because they didn't know any better...

I understand the frustration from a stitcher's point of view... but if her friend had a pattern she wanted to stitch, why not wait until one was finished and then use the original and make your own working copy? That each of these ladies made their own copies leads me to assume they borrowed the pattern from a third person. So maybe now some designer I know lost 2 sales of that pattern.

I looked down at the box hol ding several hundred dollars worth of photo copies onto the highest quality paper they had, the ink cartridges that I needed to print more chartpack covers and the hours of bagging we were going to spend that night. Was someone in a city far away going t o slap these on a self-serve copier for her friends? Would one of them be scanned in and shared electronically?

Perhaps those women will think twice next time... and perhaps not. It seems like such a small thing... It doesn't really hurt the desi gner to lose a sale or two... I'm just sharing with a friend....

I sure hope someone, somewhere isn't thinking that as they copy one of my patterns!!

Jennifer at Dragon Dreamse

Thursday, September 04, 2003

A Dragon goes Blogging!!

A rumbling comes from deep in the cave (also known as a home office) as the Dragon reads over her e-mail digests...

"At last!" she exclaims "Here is a way to let stitchers and other Dragon Dreams fans know that I AM alive without updating the whole website!"

You see... when your business begins to grow... or when your distributors suddenly place orders at the same time... or when you do a silly thing and challenge stitchers to show off their creativity in a contest that floods your e-mail several times each day... or when you have to go hunting to shut down yet another site that is trying to share your designs illegally... you suddenly discover that there is far less time to do the designing and stitching that made you start y our own company in the first place... unless you give up what sleep you still manage to cram into each day.

While I try to keep our on-line newsletter ( updated once a month (and NO... September's update is NOT don e yet!) this is a far more immediate way to share the musings and mutterings that so many people seem to enjoy most about the newsletter. (I still don't quite understand why?)

Blogging is a really neat twist on ways to use the Internet, especially if you like having the last... err... the ONLY word (I can just see the look on Nick's face now!)

So welcome to a tiny spot in the universe where THIS dragon will share her rumblings and musings about stitching, about copyright abuse, about fantasy, about bein g creative for a living and a whole lot more.

May your threads seldom tangle and your life's tapestry be full of colour!

Jennifer Aikman-Smith of Dragon Dreams