Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Henson Robinson Zoo and a Free Vintage Santa Image

Hi Everyone

Are you ready for Christmas? I'm not! I really envy the individuals who are so organized that by this time they have all their presents purchased, wrapped and under the tree. Maybe one of these years I'll be that person. lol Probably only in my dreams, but that's ok, I'm still going to hope that one of these days I'll reach that lofty goal. lol

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from our local zoo - The Henson Robinson Zoo. They were getting ready to put on their yearly fund raiser that they call Holiday Lights. They decorate the zoo with Christmas lights and scenes and hold special after dark hours.  Anyway, they wanted to know if I would like to provide some  PeggyLovesVintage items for the gift shop and help with the fund raiser. I felt pretty honored that they would even ask me to participate and I was more than happy to try and help the zoo out, so of course I said yes.

I've never displayed my items in an actual store setting, so I had a ton of things that I had to do to get ready for it. So after about 2 weeks of work, my display was ready. So what do think?

I printed off lots of the collage sheets, created some cards and made lots and lots of hang tags.  I pondered for a while on how to document what was on the individual CD's and finally settled on creating individual inserts that would contain a description and a few sample images. And of course, things like price tags and package covers had to be made for the physical store setting. It was quite the challenge but I'm pretty happy with the outcome. Now, I'm just hoping that my items sell so that I can say that I helped the zoo.

Here's a couple of the cards that I created for the zoo. I had planned on using the older post card style images for my Christmas cards and had made a couple of test cards. I really liked the way they turned out, so I decided I would make some up for the zoo. The three images are from Christmas Volume 13. You can find more information about this volume by clicking here. I kept them pretty simple, using just black and white card stock and Stickles to give a sparkle to the snow.

Please forgive me, but now I'm stepping up on my soapbox. A couple of posts back, I mentioned that a scrapbook paper supplier was using my images, without my permission, in their Dear Santa line. At that time I didn't share the company's name because I was hoping that they would be a stand up company and would stop using them. I contacted the company via email on October 14, 2012 and, when I didn't hear anything, again on October 24, 2012. Both times I explained my concerns and requested that they stop reselling my images. On October 15-16, 2012, Designs by Reminisce LLC removed the Santa sheet from the Dear Santa line on the web site but left the Snowman sheet as well as all the other items connected to the product line.

Well, the company, turned my email over to their attorney, Mr. Willey,  who sent me a letter dated October 29, 2012 telling me that they weren't using my images, that I had no claim to the images,  that they had been purchased in a legal manner and to stop contacting them. Here's the summary quote from his letter.

"Please cease your communication with my client on this issue unless and until you are able to prove: 1) my client used your images, and 2)  you actually have rights to copyright."

On Novemeber 6, 2012, I sent Mr. Willey a response letter. I told him that Designs by Reminisce LLC owned by a Mr.Matt Gibson was indeed using my images for the Dear Santa line. I provided him with Mr. Matt Gibson's ebay user id, with the date that he purchased both my Santa CD and Snowman CD, with the PayPal transaction id with which Mr. Gibson paid for the CD's, and with the mailing address where the CD's were shipped. I also provided him with information on when the CD's were originally published and offered for sale,  per current copyright laws, at publication, copyright protection is automatically applied to an item.  This information was sent via register mail, so I know Mr. Willey recieved the letter on November 8, 2012. As of today, December 12, 2012, Mr. Willey has not responded nor have I heard from Mr. Gibson.,

Therefore, I feel compelled to tell my story to all of my blog friends. I have heard, although I have not been able to verify it, that Designs by Reminisce LLC may already be involved in a copyright infringement case with another individual. This information came from two different stores in totally different states. So I'm assuming that there is some credence to the information. Have you heard anything about this?  Whether it is true or not, I cannot say, but it definitely makes me wonder about all the other items that the company produces.

I know that I will never purchase anything from Designs by Reminisce LLC either in-store or on-line at . How about you?

Ok, I'm stepping off my soapbox now. I have an awesome image to share with you this week. I love this Santa in his Model T. Make sure you click on him before you save it.

Have a great week, plumb full of smiles and successful Christmas shopping!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Angels Are Everywhere and a Free Vintage Christmas Image

Hi Everyone

Are you having a great week? I sure hope so! Can you believe it's Thanksgiving week. Where on earth did October and November go? It sure seemed like it sped right through!

The first thing I'd like to do is thank everyone for all the sweet and supportive comments left on my last post. They sure lifted my spirits. The last year has really been a challenge but I see blue skies ahead!

In October, our area has tons of craft fairs and I try and attend as many as possible. My goal for these trips is to try and find some cute ideas to use for making Christmas presents. I'm primarily looking for ideas that won't cost a ton of money, are easy to make and make cute homemade gifts. I've never been disappointed in this quest, I always find something that I can recreate and this year was no different.

My find was a sweet little towel angel.

Now, maybe you've seen one or have made them before but the idea was a new one for me. So I looked it over for a few minutes, figured it all out and I had my plan in place. So here's how I made my angel towel.

Supplies needed:
One kitchen towel set
3 cotton balls
2 zip ties - 6" in length(mine were 8" and way to long)
3 rubber bands

From the towel set you will need the dish cloth, the towel and an oblong pot holder that has rounded corners. Make sure you check the pot holders before you purchase. I ran across several sets with oblong pot holders but they had square corners on them. I didn't really want pointy wings, so I choose the sets with the rounded corners.

My plan was to have the solid side of the pot holder showing for the wings, but the tag was really obnoxious so I cut it off.

The pot holder hanger also functions as the hanger for the angel. Now fan fold the pot holder along the longest edge. Once folded, use rubber bands on both ends to hold the folds in place.

Place the zip tie in the middle of the pot holder. Make sure you place it so that it goes between the hanger and the holder.

Now pull the zip tie tight. Do it slowly and adjust it as needed to keep it in the center of the pot holder. Watch the little square connector as you tighten it. The connector should stay in the middle of the side of the pot holder that you want to show. This will keep the connector hidden when you have your angel all put together.

Trim the zip tie close to the connector, remove the rubber bands and spread out the fan and it should look like this.

Now lay the dish cloth out and try and get it as flat as possible. I turned in the edges of the cloth because I wanted the ends to look a little neater.

Tightly roll up the dish cloth, straightening up the edges as needed.

After it is all rolled up, use rubber bands on both ends to hold it together. Place your rubber bands about an inch or more from the ends. This will make it easier to tie on the ribbon. Wow, it's been about a whole 3 minutes and two pieces of the angel are done!

Now open up the towel and fold it in half.

Squish the 3 cotton balls together to try and form one big ball and place it at the top and center between your folded towel.

Now this is probably the trickiest part of the whole thing. I wanted my angel to have a nice A line dress so I started with a triangle fold like this.

Once this initial fold was done, I gathered it all together by squeezing closely under the cotton balls. Then it was pretty much fuss a litle, tighten up and squish the cotton balls and fuss some more. The whole time it was straightening folds and mushing and squishing cotton balls until it looked nice and round and neat. Once I was satisfied that it looked good, I used a rubber band to temporarily hold everthing in place, so that I could lay it down flat and just give it one more double check before I made it permanent.

The front looks pretty good.

The back doesn't look too bad! So it's ready for the next step

To attach the wings, slide the second zip tie underneath the first zip tie on the wings. Now be carefull here, with taking pictures and all, I forgot that I wanted the solid brown side to be the showing side and I placed my second zip tie on the patterned side vs the solid side.

Place the dish cloth roll over the head of the doll. Make sure the cloth is centered and that the "arms" are of equal length on both sides. I used a rubber band to temporarily hold the cloth on the head. Place the rubber band at about the center face area so that it doesn't interfer with the placement of the second zip tie.

Now lay the angel, face up on top of the wings making sure that the second zip tie is between the wings and the angel and that the wing hanger is located at the top of the head.

Tighten up the zip tie, making sure that it stays right under the head and that the connector piece winds up hidden between the angel body and the wings. Pull it slowly and get it as tight as you can so your angel head doesn't flop around.

Trim the end of the zip tie as close to the connector as possible and remove the rubber bands from the head.

Now tie some ribbon around the end of her arms to hold the roll and then remove the rubber bands.

Isn't that just the cutest towel angel? I think it took about 15 minutes from start to finish and most of that time was folding and squishing on her head. lol

Add a few more or a lot of embellies and you have an awesome little homemade gift for that special person. Once they tire of the angel, they can take it apart and have some useful kitchen items. That's what I call repurposing! lol

Two down and how many more do I have to make? YIKES! I better get busy! lol

Staying with the angel theme, here's a really sweet angel image for you. This card is circa 1946 through 1949. Isn't it sweet? Make sure you click on it before you save it.

Have a great week, plumb full of smiles!


Monday, November 5, 2012

Lend Me Your Ear and Free Vintage Three Kings Christmas Image

Hi Everybody!

Anything interesting going on in your world? Sorry it's been so long since I posted, but it has been super intersting and super busy around here. There has been several major events that have occurred in the last couple months. These events have pretty much eaten up all of my spare time.

First and probably least important, I turned the BIG 60 on my last birthday! I'm now classified as a senior! When I reflect on this piece of information, I have a hard time realizing that I've reached this milestone. I think I can't be that old, can I?

On rainy days, do my joints ache? Of course they do? Do I feel full of wisdom from all the experiences that I've had through my life? Hardly! Am I ready to sit in my rocker in the corner of the room and watch the world go by from my window? Of course not! I sure don't feel like I'm that OLD, but then again what should a 60 year old feel like?

Second, my state is in a terrible financial position, like many others out there. Our govenor is of course trying to bring down deficits. One of the things he has decided to do is close one of the few Developmentally Disabled Facilities located within our state.

I have a brother that has been living at this facility. Now we have to find him a new home. He has been institutionalized since he was two and has always had to live in areas other than our town. Primarily because there wasn't a facility in town that could provide him with the care that he needed.

Now, various Service Agencies are scrambling to provide the needed support for all the residents that are being forced to move. The good news is that one agency is opening up a facility in our town and I've been lucky enough to secure him a housing spot. It will be so nice to be able to finally bring him home and have him close to his family.

Third, it has come to my attention that a well known Scrapbooking company has acquired copies of my images and has created several scrapbook pages using my images. This company sells their sheets over the Internet as well as selling them in scrapbook and hobby stores.This makes me soangry!

Upon questioning them about this, the answer goes something like this.... Well they're in the Public Domain and you don't have the rights or you can't re-copyright something that is in the Public Domain. Well that's somewhat true but I'm not protecting the original image, I'm protecting the modifications I've made to the original image. If they can take my files and remove all the restorations and modifications that I've made and return it to the original state, then all the power to them. Do it, then use the image. If not keep your hands off.

And then they add something like... These are just simple scans of existing images. Well folks, I hate to bust your bubbles, but my images are NOT just simple scans of an already existing image. I devote a lot of time, energy and money to my images and my collection. It can take hours and hours to complete the editing on just one card and for these arragont people to classify that as minimal or simple just irrates me to death. If it's so simple why don't they do exactly what I do, purchase the vintage card, scan it and perform their own editing. Then they don't have to worry about stealing someone else' work.

They have no idea (or don't care) that it can take months for me to get enough images ready to publish just one CD. And they are arrogant enough to not even inquire as to whether or not they can use the image. They'd rather steal it and hope you don't discover that fact.

I'm not ready to share the name of the company yet because I'm hoping that we can reach an equiptable agreement. But I will tell you that the company base is in Iowa.

Piracy is a big issue, so please, please, give it a serious thought when you see an image that you really love and want to copy it for your blog or craft item and you think, Well what does that hurt? I'm just a little guy. Well, maybe that image was created by just another little guy and he may have spent a lot of time creating it. I'd be willing to bet that the little guy would greatly appreciate you asking first. He might say no, but that's his prerogative and he might surprise you and give you a big YES!

Fourth, if you've been following my blog for a while, you might remember that a year ago August, we lost a very important and a central member of our family. My dear father-in-law was one of the strongest, sweetest, kindest men (next to my daddy of course) that I've ever known. Was he perfect? Heck no, but he was always there for us during the good and bad times and we were always there for him and Mom during their good and bad times.

Dad was the sole caretaker for Mom who is suffering from dementia/Alzheimers. Of course when Dad was diagnosed with his terminal cancer, his main concern was Mom and who would take care of her. Dad and Mom decided who they wanted to help make their decisions and care for them. They completed the appropriate legal paperwork. This should have been sufficient for the family to handle everything.

But my husband's half-sister was hurt and offended that she wasn't selected as the primary caretaker for this responsibility. So instead of working it out in the family, she snuck around and filed a Guardianship case with the Courts. She completed this activity even before Dad passed. And she was so cowardly in her actions that she didn't even advise him of it prior to him being served with the notice from the court. Now if you're not aware, Guardianship is the last thing that should ever be forced upon any individual. All rights to any decision making is taken totally away from the individual. A jail inmate has more rights than a person who has been assigned a guardian.

This hurt Dad tremendously. In our opinion, the extra stress resulted in Dad passing sooner than he should have. Instead of being there when he needed her, she did everything in her power to make him miserable and to increase the tensions within the family. She lied to the courts, she lied to family and friends, she lied to doctors and lawyers and I truely believe she would have went to almost any extent to try and get what she wanted.

When the whole family should have pulled together to support Dad and make his last days full of suuport, love and encourgement, she was conspiring to make Dad as miserable as possible.

Over the year and a half, the rift has expanded to such a depth that it will probably never be healed. We have lost any and all respect that we had for her. And truthfully, it would make us extrememly happy if we never had to see her face or hear or voice again.

But as far as the guardianship case, it is finally resolved. And do you want to know what persuaded her to end it? You won't believe the answer... the scheduling of her deposition. She was terribly afraid of being put under oath. She was willing to give in and agree to almost anything to get out of having to do the deposition.

The resolution is 98% of what Dad and Mom wanted, not what step daughter wanted. We are thrilled that it is over and we know that Dad is finally resting easy. Now, we can focus on getting Mom some relief from all the misdeeds that were completed against her. This means more legal work for us, but hopefully it will result in a much more comfortable life for Mom.

Whew that was a lot! Thank you for bearing with, providing me with an ear to bend and sticking it out to the end. All in all it's been a pretty awesome time and I am thrilled that most everything has turned out on a positive note.

Maybe I'll brighten your day with this gorgeous Three Kings image. I don't often share religious images and I thought you might like it. Make sure you click on the image before you save it.

Have a great week, plumb full of smiles!


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Baby's 1st Year, Halloween and a Free Vintage Image

Hi Everyone!

Well, here it is the last official weekend of the summer. The kiddies are all back in school, the busyness of summer is winding down. It's been so hot and dry here, that I'm kind of looking forward to the fall weather. How about you?

Last post, I told you all about the Baby Shower for our dear sweet Candie. I had a blast playing a role in the creativeness of the shower. I must say that it really put babies on my mind. This week I watched a Barbara Walters show, I think it was called "Extreme Parenting". She told a story about a 59 year old woman who had the baby urge so bad that she did In Vitro and wound up giving birth to twins - after she turned 60! Oh My Gosh! That could be me! I can't image starting all over! I wish her the best of luck, but I'm so glad that it's her and not me. lol I decided I'd satisfy my baby urge in a much easier and different way.

I'm always getting new scrapbooks and I have so many cards that I've scanned that are just waiting for me to straighten them out and clean them up. So I decided I'd browse through them and look for some new baby images to share with everyone. So that's what I did. Whew! that's so much easier then having new twins. lol

Anyway, I complied some cards for Baby's First Year. The collection includes Baby's 1st Birthday, 1st Easter and 1st Christmas. At the moment, the collection is listed in my Art Fire store as single images.

Aren't those just the cutest? If you wish to see more - take a look by clicking HERE .

And coming soon to Art Fire will be some new Halloween images - hopefully they'll be listed sometime this week. But for now here's a sneak peek.

And just one more image for you. This one is a freebie... I thought she was such a cute kitten that I just had to share. lol Now make sure you click on her before you save her.

Have a great week, plumb full of smiles!


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Candi's Baby Shower - A Memory Book, Diaper Cake and Fun!

How's everybody doing? Fine I hope! It's been super busy around here. Seems like I'm always saying that, but it's true! lol I have a long post and lots of pictures to share so I'm going to jump right into it.

My daughter (Tara), my granddaughter (Jordan) and I have been extremely busy getting ready for a baby shower for one of Tara's BFFs. These two have known each other and hung around together since they were about 11 years old, quite a long time. So Candi is like a member of our family and Tara was very honored to host a baby shower for her. Of course Tara's first call was to momma..... "Can you help?" and of course I jumped in with a loud YES! So we set on our journey and started planning.

Candi wanted it to be primarily for family and really close friends and it was to be a boy/girl party. I must admit, I know that's the thing now, but I'm old school so it was a new experience for me. We planned a cookout with plenty of food, cupcakes for dessert and present opening as the main events for the party. Candi's step-mom wanted to have some shower games so she took charge of those events. So with everything scoped out, we got our creative juices flowing and here's what we came up with.

I love creating memory books. They seem to be so much easier for me to put together than a card. Seems odd to me but it takes me forever to design a card and then I'm always a little disappointed because it never looks as good as what it did in my imagination. lol But I keep trying. Anyway, I've created several memory books and I always enjoy the process. This time though I decided I'd try and make it into a real book, so I started off with some research on how I could bind it all together. And to my surprise, I quickly found a fantastic tutorial on this subject. It was clear and easy follow and only used supplies that I currently had on hand. Woohoo! I didn't have to purchase anything! I was very pleased with the results. But more about that later.

Once I verified that I could make my own book, I started creating the individual pages that I would include. I wanted to create something that would allow Candi to show off the special holiday pictures of the baby in a fun way. So I wanted each page to revolve around a picture. I used images from my Vintage Greeting Card collection as temporary place holders in the picture frames. These will be replaced by actual pictures of the baby as the year goes on. I also planned on including a little journal tag behind each image.

I used 12x12 pastel card stock and cut each one in half which gave me two sheets of 6x12 which I folded in half. This gave me two pages of 6x6 paper. I planned on only decorating the inside of the folded sheet and left the outside of the sheets blank. Now, all I had to do was decorate it and here's the results.

The Mommy and Me page was the last page that I created and I had pretty much used up all the good pastel color sheets, so I'm not too fond of the colors used. But didn't want to run to the store... lol

Now all I had to do was bind them all together. Remember back a ways I told you I left the outside of the 6x6 sheets blank. I knew I was going to use different colors of the pastel card stock so I didn't really want to decorate a page that was say half blue and half green so my intention was to attach the outside sheets together. I was a little worried about the thickness of the decorated pages. So as I had them all stacked together and was analyzing them I decided I would only attach the front edges of the back sides of the sheet to each other. That way the back side or folded edge was a little freer to move. Hopefully that makes sense. So I used lots of sticky tape on about half of outside sheet (non-folded edge) on one of the undecorated sides and carefully attached it to next page in the book. This worked like a charm. Each page was now doubly thick and sturdy but the folded edge was free. I didn't remember to take pictures during this process so if this doesn't make any sense just let me know and I'll recreate what I did and snap a few pics to help you out.

Now, it was time to make my book cover. Like I said earlier, I found this fantastic tutorial that walked me through the process. You can check it out by clicking here. It was really easy to do and I was very pleased with the outcome.

A couple of things to be aware of... I was too slow with attaching the binding to the back of the pages so my hot glue cooled enough that I had to add more. So I think the next time, I will only do about half of the length at a time and then attach it to the binding vs. the whole length. Also, I used a cotton based material as my cover so by the time I had the whole thing covered in glue, it was seeping through to the table, so be sure and do this process on something that won't be harmed by some white glue. lol And one other word of caution, I was a little disappointed in how the cotton fabric looked after it was attached. There was some dark and light splotches all over it. My guess is that this is caused by the amount of glue that was used and the fact that it wasn't evenly spread across the fabric. The decorations that I put on the outside of the book masked this problem a little bit, but I think I might try a different type of fabric the next time. All in all, for a first time project I was very pleased with the results.

Here's Candi and Rudy checking out their memory book.

Tara decided she wanted to create a diaper cake for Candi. So once again, an Internet search yielded all the information we needed to complete our design. We checked out several sites and combined different techniques together but you can click here to view a tutorial on creating your own diaper cake. Tara gathered together the supplies, 2 bags of newborn Pampers, some ribbon, some rubber bands and plenty of little things for decoration. Then Tara, Jordan and I got busy and created our "cake". My primary job was rolling diapers and creating the bow both of which look pretty good (teehee). It was simple to do and it only took us about 2 hours. Here's Jordan with our finished project.

The last thing we had to do was bake and decorate cup cakes. We created some little cup cake toppers using guess what? - Why Vintage Baby Images of course! I set up some little 3" round images and we used a scallop die cut. We then used the same scallop die cut out some pretty card stock for the back. Jordan glued them all together - her first time using hot glue. I only heard a couple ouches.. lol .

And our finished cup cakes.....

For games, Candi's step mom had the guys create babies using play dough then Candi and Rudy had to judge which one was the best. This was a really cute idea and I was surprised at how creative the guys were. I didn't get any pictures of their babies, but everyone really enjoyed this game. She had a play "How much toliet paper does it take to go around Candi's belly". It was really fun watching the guys try and figure this out. Some were really nice and some not so nice. lol

So that's it folks, everyone had a great time and I can't wait for the baby to arrive!

Have a great week, plumb full of smiles!