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Real Talk: DIY is not Duplicate It Yourself!

Hello friends! I think that today I’ll go light on the blogging because I’m ready for the weekend and feel more like relaxing vs. writing! But first, I thought I’d kick off my Real Talk column, which also was called Talk It Out, and well regardless of the column name it will be called Real Talk going forward and the column will appear once weekly on any given day — it really depends on the community and what issues you email me that you’d like to talk about here. I have always supported the online community but this afternoon I was shown that support in return in a business matter — and it made me think how it feels to be on the receiving end — when I felt helpless and someone came in to help. It was wonderful and that is one of many reasons why I’ve decided to get the Real Talk column up and running again on a weekly basis.

Heather Vallentyne Photography

The purpose of this column is for all of us to share our personal opinions on the chosen topic to offer advice, ideas, constructive feedback and anything else that we can do collectively to show support and friendship. Truth is, we all need each other — we are part of a circle. So to celebrate this spirit of independence but also interdependence, Real Talk is back!

Today my guest is Erika Firm who is the president and designer of Delphine fine stationery and design. Erika wants to talk about unethical requests that would lead to possible violation of copyright (copying hurts real people out there), requests that many of us experience regularly as small business owners — especially designers. Here is what Erika has to say on the topic, I hope you’ll chime in because together our voices can possibly get others thinking… and the intended goal here is to educate and offer support and even a possible solution or several.

Erika — take it away!

“Lately I’ve noticed more and more clients asking me to copy other people’s work (they see an invitation in a magazine and want me to duplicate it one to one, and I won’t). It’s my policy to refuse, and to explain copyright infringement. Friends and colleagues of mine in the wedding industry (not just other stationers) have also told me that they’re experiencing an increase in these sorts of unethical inquiries. I think part of the reason I’m seeing more of these unethical requests is that my business has grown and the studio gets more inquiries overall than ever before, so the number of “icky” inquiries is also growing. But perhaps it also has to do with the proliferation of DIY (which, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely do love and support), and the proliferation of things like “inspiration boards” on blogs (which I also love, and post myself on my own blog). The DIY movement and things like inspiration boards are meant to foster creativity.”

“Because of my personal experiences (and thanks to many similar stories heard from friends and colleagues) I feel like there exists a disconnect between the artist/blogger/designer’s intent (to inspire) and some people’s inference that this inspirational content is free to simply be copied.”

“Perhaps some people feel like their homemade invitation (or cake or dress or bouquet or centerpiece or curtains or pillow…) that looks exactly like the original couldn’t possibly change anything in the world or hurt someone else. While I think that the vast majority of bloggers understand the difference between inspiration and copying, and act professionally and ethically, I’m not sure that many are doing an excellent job of pointing out the difference—and the real effect that copying has on the people behind the businesses that supply creative content and products—to readers. The simple fact is that when somebody decides to “duplicate it yourself” (instead of getting inspired to “do it yourself”) it hurts a real person.

What do you think we as a creative community can do to address this issue? I feel the frustration rising. I know there are hundreds and hundreds of examples of how copying has affected someone’s business, and there are lots of ways of addressing the issue after it’s already happened. How do we spread the word that there is a huge difference between being inspired by something and copying? Any ideas on how to do this?

- Erika Firm

(Images: Delphine product shot styled by Erica Firm, taken by Heather Vallentyne)

Posted in real talk on March 12, 2010

Budget Decorating Checklist

Here’s my budget decorating checklist on Real Simple.

Posted in uncategorized on March 12, 2010

Bungalow From Denmark

I’ve been wanting to share Bungalow with you for months now because I see them in decorating magazines often over here but I kept forgetting to write about them… but no more! You deserve to know about this beautiful Danish decor company if you don’t already because they specialize in a wide range of products that feature mostly Indian hand-blocked prints – like bedding for adults and children, tea towels, cosmetic bags, clothing for kids, and more only with a twist — a touch of clean, modern Danish style. They have something for everyone!

Bungalow

Bungalow

Bungalow

Bungalow

If you have time, please take a moment to look at their inspirational slideshow that captures the true spirit and magic of India and some of the beautiful people who live there.

Here is their store and web shop locator. (images: bungalow)

Posted in Decorating Tips, textiles on March 11, 2010

Moonbasket: Lighting + More!

Oh, oh, oh! This is hot. Moonbasket in South Africa has some mind blowing crochet designs on their website like crochet pendant lamps, cuff bracelets, stools, and votive candles made out of cotton string and jute twine. Cape Town designer and artist Dani Le Roy launched Moonbasket and works alongside business partner Laura Summs to design and make pendants and other home accessories out of mostly natural materials. Stunning!

Moonbasket

So tactile, and very grandma’s house gets a mega modern makeover! And you know what I learned about crochet today that I never once thought about? This.

Crochet is one of the few crafts that cannot be replicated by machine. The unique quality of each handmade item produced becomes the most essential part of its luxury.”

Is that not the coolest factoid ever? I think yes. I mean, it’s like crochet is untouchable, it’s the ultimate handmade product. I really like the simple, modern styles of Moonbasket. What do you think?

(images: moonbasket)

Posted in lighting on March 11, 2010

Books:

Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

eCourses:

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