Friday, July 09, 2004

Celebrating 15 Years... and Mourning Theft...

I came back to Mom’s today after 2 marvelous days away with my husband, taking a small break from being a designer and small home based business person to discover that the Legends of the Dragons pattern had been posted to a Yahoo group illegally. What saddened me the most was the horrible backlash against those who spoke out to post about this type of illegal activity.

The scanning and sharing of patterns illegally over the past two years has been one of the most controversial and damaging things that this industry has faced. Too many pattern sharers promote the idea that designers are multimillionaires that are
too busy or too wealthy to care that their patterns are being "enjoyed" by others harmlessly in yahoo groups.

Legends of the Dragons was the first collaboration that Teresa Wentzler, Karen Weaver and I created to try to add some excitement to the industry and to work together since we all admired each other's work. Over 400 collective hours went into the design, production, stitching, framing, proofreading and creation of that piece between the 3 of us. We paid for the entire press run of that pattern up front, with our own money. Unfortunately, that pattern has been especially sought after among illegal groups, including those who use Russian or chinese sites to trade patterns. When fans ask us if we will do another collaboration, we smile and say not yet... but all 3 of us have decided not to bother risking our work being stolen from us yet again.

There will always be a campaign to portray designers as wealthy enough to afford such theft by those who are sharing patterns illegally. This is no less a theft that someone who creates “fake” copies for sale at a flea market or on E-bay. There are no shades of grey to make one worse than the other.

I wish I could have spent less of my day defending what is rightfully mine.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Joy Multiplied...Plus A Chance To Sneak Away!

What fun to hug my sister again in person and to share in her and Yoshi’s happiness!! How amazing to watch my kids parade around in Yukatas (summer
weight kimonos) that came all the way from Tokyo!! What a joy to welcome Yoshi into our family again! We looked back at pictures of my Mom and John’s wedding 17 years ago when he was last here and marvelled at how little and how much we had all changed. Back then, despite their love, the distance between their cultures seemed too vast to bridge... now I listen to Laurie teaching my kids how to count to 10 in Japanese and smile, knowing that my family has just gotten bigger more diverse!

Tomorrow we all head into Montreal to see my grandfather and meet my cousin’s bride and daughter from the West Coast. My grandfather will have 3 of his 4 great granddaughters under one roof! My girls will understand the fun of having a second cousin even if she is only 1 and everyone will be able to wish Laurie and Yoshi congratulations in person!!

Best of all, for Nick and I, comes the chance to sneak off and be just a couple for 2 nights in Montreal as an early 15th wedding anniversary present! As much fun as it has been to do all the family games, crafts and fun things with our girls over the past week, it is also going to be nice to show Nick parts of the city where I grew up and discover how much things have changed!

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Family ties...

In just a few hours, my sister Laurie and her new husband Yoshi will be here for a visit!! They landed safely in Montreal last night and stayed with friends, but will head down once they’ve had brunch with some school chums this morning. I know that my girls are excited to meet “Uncle Yoshi” and see Aunty Laurie again... but I have a hunch that MY excitement level is greater.

I have been SO lucky to have a wonderful brother and sister that I truly like as friends and not just because they are my siblings. The hardest part is that we have all settled in different parts of the world, not just far corners of the same country, so I don’t get to see them in person as often as I would like.

The highlight of this summer for me is definitely going to be spending time with each one of them in person and to stock up on hugs so that the physical touch part will last through the phone calls and e-mails until the next time I can see them in person!

Oooooooh! I just can’t wait!!!