Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Warning to creative makers and sellers

Warning - scammers at work!

I was going to post today about different types of 'rights' which might be relevant to the crafter, but I think that what I have just come across on the official IPO website is far more important.

Misleading mock invoicing – letters which look 'official'. Even received by the IPO itself! 

BEWARE of such attempted scams and don't respond to them.

The forms you might need to register a design, file a patent application or register a trademark, and the official fees you might need to pay, are all clearly linked on

You do not need to do anything or pay anything to anyone to hold copyright OR design right on an original work of your own. Whatever anyone might try to tell you.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Confusion on the Web

Crafting and Copyright in the UK

Part 1.

There's a lot of confusion out there in the crafting world as regards 'rights' - copyright, design right, trademark, patents ... in other words, all sorts of intellectual property rights.

Some of the information found on forums and the like is downright wrong, most is misleading and much is confusing. 

It is important to be aware that copyright law depends - it depends very largely on what country you are in, whether you are the copyright holder or not.   

What I write here is relevant to you if you are in the UK and the UK only.

If you are in Britain, whatever you read on an American (or Australian, or New Zealand, or even Ruritanian)  forum or blog about copyright or intellectual property rights might not - probably does not - apply to you - and vice versa, regardless of where the copyright work being discussed was first published.

First of all, and let's get this very clear, the word is 'copyright' not 'copywrite'. It's about rights - not about 'writing'. Well, it is about writing - and drawing, painting, composing ... about the rights which are held over such works.

Secondly, contrary to many statements I have read on t'internet, you don't need to actually do anything to obtain copyright on your own original, creative work - it's automatic. Anyone who tells you that you can register your copyright with them for only £X is doing nothing more than taking £X from you under false pretences - which is commonly known, in my neck of the woods at least, as 'theft'.

The international law covering copyright is known as the Berne Convention (its full title is actually 'The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works'and it dates from 1886. The UK signed it in 1887 (but didn't implement parts of it for some years); the US not until 1989! Almost all countries in the world (165 or so of them at last count) are signatories to the Convention.

Tomorrow - the differences between copyright, design right, trademark, patent and branding.

Any questions so far?

Please note that I am not a lawyer, nor do I pretend to be one on the internet. I am simply well-educated, with plenty of time, the ability to sift the chaff from the corn and I can access resources of all sorts.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Bias binding - and cat cravats!

I forgot to mention that all the bindings on the aprons I've recently sewn have been made on my bias-binding-making machine.

I'd been lusting after one for a while, and when I saw one at a vastly reduced price, I snapped it up. I know it's had mixed reviews, but I find it to be excellent - I can make metre after metre of perfectly-ironed tape, both bias and on-grain, with minimal input from me.

Here are just a few of the pretty tapes I've made - and used! - recently.
Bias tapes in profusion
Of course, I have lots of scraps with all this bias-making - when I cut the bias strips from a square, there are always a couple of neat triangles left over. They seemed to about right for a doll-sized scarf, or - wait for it! - a cat cravat!

I'm sure you're aware of, and perhaps have seen, dog bandanas. Well, here you have a cravat-wearing cat! She seems to like wearing her cravat - it fastens with a single press-stud so would easily come undone if it got caught on anything, but I try to avoid letting her out while she's wearing it, at least during the day - apart from anything else, it would label me publicly as a mad cat lady!

A cat in a cravat.


Friday, 1 February 2013

Calmer weather,and what to do with a room

The wind's dropped at last. The Christmas tree which I'm saving for stakes and pea sticks has been blown to the middle of the back lawn and two plastic cloches are now half under the garden shed but most of the overwintering pot plants and the spring bulbs are still upright and in one piece, and all others are recoverable.

I spent a considerable amount of time sewing over the last couple of days, and now have four aprons almost finished, and I'm happy with the fabric combinations I've used. They won't get done until after the weekend, though - gardening duties call tomorrow, with the fine weather forecast, and there will be visitors on Sunday, so tidying up and cooking will be the order of Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

I've had to put away my sewing - I really must set up my main machine, at least, in my bedroom or sort out the tiny boxroom I currently use for junk and seasonal stuff, and use that as a proper 'sewing room', or at least as a sewing storage room.

It's a funny little room, a bit of 'spare space' left over when the cottage was enlarged and the floor-plan entirely changed.  Although it still has the remnants of its original window-ledge discernible on the original back wall, it's too small for even a small single bed, and has no natural light. Why it was not linked to my bedroom, with which it shares a wall,  I really don't know. It would be an ideal size   to serve as an American-style 'walk-in closet' or an English-style dressing room, but is on the wrong side of the house to be an en-suite bathroom, at least by the plumbing technology easily available at the time the cottage was enlarged.

The previous resident here used it as a home office; I am really not sure about using it as a sewing room as it has no natural light, but it could be an excellent area for fittings, sewing accessories,  fabric storage and a 'hardware' section, if I decide to get more into corsetry ... I have a couple of friends who are going to be willing guineapigs so we'll see!