On learning…

…that sometimes the sky looks like the sea.

moon or water?

…that putting blog posting near the bottom of the priority list means it’s almost a month since I last posted!

…that you can’t just grab things off the internet, even when you’re attempting to promote someone else. (#1-details below)

…that taking classes always leads to new energy and excitement. (#2-details below)

…that sometimes it’s too difficult to address challenging issues with friends. (#3-details below)

…that selling things is hard. (#4-details below)

#1-A few months ago I got a not-so-pleasant letter from a firm letting me know, in no uncertain terms, that I had used an image from the net without explicit permission from the owner. And a hefty fine was required, as well as removing the image post-haste. So I obviously can’t show it to you here. It was a photo of a model on the runway in a Mondrian dress. Obviously from decades ago. I just didn’t think anyone would care. And I posted the image on my blog in 2015. I negotiated a lower-but-still-hefty fee, removed the image, and moved on.

Only to receive a similar letter in May about another image I’d used in 2010. The kicker for me on this one was that it was a cartoon, drawn by a woman I know, and I was promoting her work and the syndicate she works for. Still, I admittedly did not have permission to post the image. Again, I was able to negotiate a high-but-reduced fee. Now I spent a few hours going through every image on my blog, back to the beginning (2008), and removing any images that were not of photos I had taken myself. So if you go back through old blog posts, chances are you’ll see blank spots where an image used to be. I only hope I got them all. 🙁

#2-I’ve taken 2 classes recently at the Weaving Center. Let’s take them one at a time. In Dyer’s Choice I worked with the instructor to dye 21 small pieces of fabric in carefully measured, varying amounts of dye to create a color wheel. Pure red to pure yellow to pure blue and back to pure red. The purpose of this exercise is to identify what the blending of colors in these proportions will get you when you use them. (You’d think I’d have taken photos of these, wouldn’t you? But no.)

I swore when I left the class that I wouldn’t do this experiment at home. You see, the company that makes the dye chemicals (ProChem in this case), has more than one each of pure red, pure yellow, and pure blue. And I have several of their pure colors in my basement. But I was sure I was done with this exercise. Until I got home, that is.

The next day I set myself up in my basement and dyed another set of 21 pieces using 3 different dyes. Here’s a photo of the process. (Still no images of the results.) Note: I scavenged the containers from people’s open recycle bins to be able to do this. 🙂

dyeing fabric for a color wheel

The following day I did a third batch of 21, using another 3 pure dyes.

The question is…will I ever use these swatches? Only time will tell. Because I also have a bunch of secondary and tertiary colors that the company mixed up, so it makes sense to use those, right? But I did learn stuff in the process anyway, so I’m calling it time well spent.

The other class was on making paper from 100% recycled materials, both paper and fabric. This photo does not do the papers justice; they are much cooler IRL.

my recycled paper

I loved it and have a specific idea for using such things, so now I’m looking to borrow a mold & deckle from someone; I don’t believe this is something I need to own, as I’ll likely spend a day doing it and then be done with the process.

#3-You know about my woven hugs. Before I show you the ones I wove for May, I have to show you what I did for a trial. I wanted to do an ombre dip dye, so used a cotton jersey tunic. It’s still very wet in this image, but I was happy with the results.

dip-dyed tunic

Needless to say, what was easy with a lightweight tunic was much more challenging with a medium-weight shawl. I will likely never do this again, and if I do, I hope I remember NOT to do it in my basement. What a mess! Anyway, here are the three May hugs.
3 May hugs

The Thistle one went to a friend of mine, who will pass it on to a good friend of hers, whose husband is struggling with dementia. The other two await their new homes. As does one from April.

I feared I would be overwhelmed with requests through the local aging support group, but I’ve not had one yet.

I have other friends who have 2 friends with dementia, but they haven’t yet approached their families with the offer of one of my hugs, feeling the subject is too difficult. Ok, I can understand.

I recently sent information about my hugs out to 5 other Guilds. I’ll wait a while, and then will consider expanding my target audience beyond people with dementia and their loved ones. We’ll see what happens. But please, spread the word. I want to give these away.

#4-I’ve firmly decided that I will not do those weekend-long art/craft shows anymore. It simply takes too much out of me. So it’s time to sell my tent. Which is a professional tent, not a $100 pop-up. I initially listed it for 2/3 of what I paid but only 1/3 the price of new. I’ve had a few inquiries but nothing serious. I’ve now reduced my asking price by 10%, and will keep reducing it. I’m also trying to figure out where else to list it. I’ve used a few Facebook pages, Facebook Marketplace, and a professional art/craft site. I haven’t used Craigslist or Etsy as I don’t see a single thing like it on there anywhere, so clearly people don’t look there for it. Here are a few pix – I have more. And plenty of goodies go with it beyond just the basic 10×10 canopy.

First is an image of my booth, last time I used the canopy, in 2019.
my booth, last time I used the canopy, 2019

Here’s one of just the canopy, with the 3 awnings, set up in my yard just to get some shots to sell it, a few weeks ago.
Empty canopy with 3 awnings up

Know anyone breaking into the art/craft fair circuit? Have them get in touch with me.

8 comments to On learning…

  • Judy Tutuska

    YAY!!!! A sold tent is good news! Congrats!

  • Cindie K

    Peg, me again. Told my husband about your images posted issue. He said there are trolls out there that cruise the internet for a living doing that. It often happens to big companies, including where he’s worked, where they either tell the troll to go pound sand and sue if they’d like or they pay them a nominal amount not to deal with it even though they’ve violated nothing. Pretty scary stuff.

  • Judy Tutuska

    Now that’s a very newsy post peg. I’m both surprised and sad about your having to deal with (and pay for) issues relating to posting what seemed like a positive use of an image. I’m especially sorry to hear about the second one, as I know the cartoonist would have been mortified to hear that her friend had an issue relating to her image.
    Handmade papers are so cool. The little bit I dabbled in it eons ago was fun.
    I bet your ombre tunic will turn out great and will look nice on you.
    I’m surprised that your incredible tent and accessories haven’t created lots of interest. I’m wondering if you are able to reach out to the organizers of some of the events you used to show at (or any others you know of) and see if they’d be willing / able to somehow let current applicants / vendors know of your sale offer… seems like there might be a good market for it there. Or, maybe if you have contacts that are still doing shows, if you might let them know about your sale, either for their own possible interest or to spread the word at shows.
    Love the photo of your last booth! It was always fun working with you at the shows!
    Good luck!

    • Peg Cherre

      Thanks, Judy. I am very pleased with the tunic. FYI it wasn’t my dear friend cartoonist, it was one of her friends that I’d met many times, continue to follow her daily strip, and have communicated with periodically over the years. She’s brilliant.
      After posting the tent in various places and hearing crickets for a few weeks, I sold it! YAY!! Will be meeting the buyer, who gave me a substantial deposit, on his way back home to NJ from his vacation later this month.

  • Cindie K

    Oh dear Peg, so sorry for what you went through with images on your blog. Wondering if it was the same company contacting you about those images, very strange that you were contacted twice with unrelated images. So, it led me down the rabbit hole checking out images on my own blog – very few photos that I had not taken myself and those small number were royalty free/free clipart but I removed them anyhow. What this then led to was looking at all the photos of ‘treasures’ I bought at conferences and how the majority of the fabric from a few Sew Expo’s is still sitting in my cabinet. Yikes, I better not buy more fabric anytime soon. I also noticed I used to be much more productive – sheesh.

    Love your ombre tunic!

    • Peg Cherre

      Thanks, Cindie. It was the same company that contacted me about the two images. Clearly contracting with various organizations. Like you, I used to be much more productive, and can’t figure out how to use up my stash – there’s too much of it. I am pleased with myself that I recently declined an offer to give me FREE rayon chenille coned yarn. No thanks! I have too much already!

  • Charlene Schurch

    Good luck selling your tent, and so sorry for your difficulties with the images from the internet.
    Hope things go more smoothly for you from now.

    • Peg Cherre

      Thanks, Charlene. Live and learn, right? For me, it’s often too soon old, too late smart.

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