Thursday, 24 September 2009

Great Days and Grumbles

It's a lovely day and we're taking off for a National Trust outing. Going to Uppark, near Petersfield to celebrate Clive's birthday, followed by dinner this evening with Fiona, Phil and Sophie. The other gang, daughter Claire and the four kids are all laid low with various lurgy so Claire is going to push Clive's pressie through the letter box in case we catch it. I had a panic call from Claire yesterday, 'My car's broken down and I can't get to the school to pick Leo up - he's poorly'. Then there was a pause and she added, 'Take a bucket!'

Thanks for the comments:

Yes, Nancy - the classes are free for anyone who buys the book, wherever they get it. I've got carried away again and my three sessions are already turning to four. I've moved from beads to books and danglies. Exciting. Here's a pic.


Viv - welcome to the blogging world. As you know, I have always loved your work so following your blog will be a rare treat. I tried to leave a comment but it wouldn't let me so I'll try again later.

So glad you liked the Jae's book, Gilby -it's so great. Very flattering to be chosen as the publisher of such a high-calibre artist. I'm getting lots of excited emails about it. I like this publishing lark.

Thanks, Aussie Jo for getting cross on my behalf over Beryl's Metal, Paper, Stitch book. I am surprised that it got through the ISBN checks. I can't imagine that they did it on purpose though, as it's quite likely that people will think they have already got it. It is very difficult naming books and I always run prospective titles through Amazon, although that doesn't count the ones that are just about to launch. We must also take account of co-incidence when two similar books arrive. Books from mainsteam publishers take up to a year from the date they are handed in, so if it's a topical subject, a self-published book can leap in first, even if written later.

Coincidence can also happen in stitch. When I was doing my C&G I invented a new technique involving smocking and gold kid (well, it was innovative then). I based it on fungal studies and worked really hard on it. Blow me if an almost identical piece didn't appear in a new book just before the assessment.

So I always believe the best of folk when things like this happen. However there are some things that really do annoy me:

  • I try to be a generous tutor and never hold back information. I'm also very laid back about people teaching techniques I've written about or shown them. Once they're out there that's common knowledge. But sometimes tutors take an entire workshop, even copy handouts word for word and teach it themselves. I once had an entire summer school copied! Annoying.

  • The other rant I have is the number of people who give their friends the password for Workshop on the Web. We know from the logs that this happens and one day we will follow it up. It only costs a small amount to register but it costs us a lot of money to get really good tutors, solid web hosting and admin. For me it's not just about making money, but I would like to earn a little bit for all that work. We even had someone once who emailed her friend to say 'Thanks for sending this issue's password'. She hit the wrong button and sent it to us! Whoops!

Rant over - but I'd be interested to hear your stories of conincidence and rip offs.

Off for the outing.


JP said...

hope Clive had a nice day - we are having a lovely Autumn aren't we ? - I totally understand your frustrations - you are always generous with sharing your work and your ideas - I always enjoy seeing your WIP on this blog

Amanda Sheridan said...

Hi Maggie
I was going to welcome Liz to the world of blogging but I guess she hasn't figured out how to let visitors leave a comment yet. I'd be happy to give her some pointers and so am hoping she'll read this and get in touch. Hope you don't mind me using your blog in this way!
Am excited to have reserved a place on your course in Italy next May! Am doing the Jan Beaney/Jean Littlejohn course there in October so will give you lowdown on the venue when I get back.
Have a lovely day out!

Amanda Sheridan said...

Doh! I meant Viv not Liz! Senior moment ....

Doreen G said...

Don't get me started Maggie--I had someone ask me about something on a recent WOW and could I copy her a set of my notes because she wanted to make it.
Well for starters I don't print off my notes anymore since I got my laptop--they are all stored on that.
secondly I told her if she wanted the notes she could subscribe the same as I did.
Haven't heard from her since.
The other thing that bugs me is I pay to go and do a workshop and then others want me to show them what I learned--go pay for your own workshop is my answer.
Like I said-don't get me started.

Heather said...

Happy Birthday to Clive and hope the trip and dinner are super. I do sympathize with your rants and to give away the WOW password is unforgiveable. Some people have no shame. I'm looking forward to the online classes even though I think I've over-stimulated myself with new books and products just now! Do hope your daughter and her family soon recover from their bug.

Beverley said...

During C&G P1, we had to stitch a picture just in one stitch. I had one of those coffee table picturesque photo books, so choose a cornfield with poppies as my source. Before my pic could be seen at end of year exhibition, out came an embroidery book with obviously the same picture in it - only saving grace was this one was machine and mine hand.... but it looked like I had copied the idea whereas reality we both must have used the same design source. Recently I emailed a friend to say... I did tell you last week about this idea, because its appeared in X mag out today!! I'm trying to work out if these coincidences make me on trend, ahead of the game, psychic or what? Rec'd Jae's book, looks great, saving it for weekend when I'm alone to indulge.

Anonymous said...

I can agree with you being a generous tutor/speaker. I attended the talk that you gave at the Newbury Guild recently. It was a great talk as always and you even managed to slip in a couple of techniques to try which were not part of the talk.

Ruth said...

I sympathize with your grumbles. It's appalling that people don't see that they are stealing when they do things like give away passwords to paid sites, or use others ideas either for teaching or their work. I own a fine craft gallery and really hate that everyone now has cameras on their cell phone. Now they want to take photos of all the work they want to copy and get angry with me if I ask them not to take photos. I love WOW and it is so reasonably priced. Wondered if you responded to that e-mail with "since you really seem to like WOW, perhaps you'd like to subscribe?".

Diana said...

I don't have any stories of coincidences or rip-offs (not that I can recall, anyway), but I'm sorry to hear of recent experiences, Maggie, and sympathise with your viewpoint. All I can say is that we - and the rest of the right-thinking world - know that there is only one Maggie Grey!

Sharne Gregory said...

Thank you for sending me Jae's book so quickly, I cant wait to have a little bit of spare time to read it.

Fibrenell said...

Totally sympathise with you Maggie. I can't believe the nerve of some people, especially when you are so generous with your knowledge. I once found a piece of mine on a blog being passed off as her own, even down to how "she made it' and 'what inspired her'!
I hope it doesn't stop you producing such wonderful work and producing WOW.
Many thanks

Aussie Jo said...

I think it's very important to respect an artist's right to their intellectual property. My children have always been most annoyed when they come home from school saying someone keeps copying them (I tell them that it is a compliment) but I don't think that applies in a professional sense when it is your income.
When people ask about WOW I email the link to the website so they can subscribe themselves. (I did have to re-download the articles when my harddrive died!!)

Wabbit said...

I can't believe it has been so long since I've visited.

I have a coincidence story. I once designed a coat I wanted to make, back in my weaving days. I had it sketched out and took it to my local weaving shop, looking for the right yarn, hoping for one I would not have to dye myself that would work at about 8 ends per inch. I already had the decorative handspun yarn I wanted to couch onto the yoke for the decorative element, also sketched out. She didn't have anything suitable but called me 3 weeks later to come see the new Interweave Collection of Outerwear. There on the cover was my coat, in the colors I wanted, complete with the couched decoration and sett at 8 epi. Yes, it happens!

I try to see it as an indication that you are on the cutting edge and take it as a compliment. One of my friends here says that if you write the handout in your own words, and change three things that copying is okay. I don't think copying is ever okay. Look at it, put it aside, and then do your own take on it is what I think we should all do!

And yay to Doreen for putting it so well. To be blunt (I'm very good at that!), giving your password to anyone is STEALING and it just should NOT be done. I can never believe the number of perfectly nice people who seem to think it's okay to do that.


I only recently discovered and joined WOW (yes, a paid up subscriber!) but I can understand how annoying it is to find people using the site without paying. It's also very unfair to all the subscribers that do pay!

Sonja said...

Couldn't the logs for people sharing passwords be over-stated though? I get a password, but I may end up looking at WOW on potentially 3 different computers - home, work, and studio. (just trying to be positive)

Occasionally I share an article with my mom that I think she'd like so I hope that's not over-stepping the bounds of my subscription since if I had a print magazine I'd lend it to her when I'm finished with it.

Sorry to hear about yours and others experiences.

Anne B said...

Interesting speaker on Radio 2 yesterday afternoon regarding copywrite / performing rights, etc. He was amazed that so few artists bother to register their work for copywrite when it's quite simple. Although it can take years to get a patent approved, you are covered from the time of application. Wish I had had chance to take down his name!!!!!

Digitalgran said...

Belated Happy birthday Clive. Seems only yesterday when we wished you happy birthday last time!
I am so cross on your behalf Maggie, fancy sending you the email by mistake. I hope you tore her off a strip? I am wearing a new hat :)I hope to see you at Ally Pally.