Tuesday, January 31, 2006

What a week!

My week actually started on the weekend with my 8yo complaining of her neck hurting. She was unable to move her head much, and the pain was enough to make her cry, when she has a pretty good threshold for pain at her age! A chiropractor's visit on Monday confirmed she had locked up the back of her neck. After adjustment, exercises and ice, her neck is almost back to normal. At least...pain free!!
At her dental appointment today, I found out that when she brushes her teeth, she is not spending as much time on the back teeth. Permanent teeth have cavities, which is scary (didn't need the dentist to tell me that!). So, we are cutting wayyyy back on fruit snacks, and having fresh fruit instead.
Now, that upset my 10yo, who seems to be like her father. Why eat fresh when you can have something loaded with chemicals and preservatives?? She'll get over it...soon I hope! And this is from the one who wanted to become vegetarian.

While I waited in the dentist office...what did I do??? I CROCHETED. And chatted a bit with one woman who had come in to wait for her husband. My 10yo sat about 3 seats away from me. Guess if she'd have waited to write her speech for school (subject: How Parents can be Embarrassing), she would have had more ammo...I mean...material.
I did read her speech, which she refused ANY help for, and was impressed with her writing. What a sense of humour. And, best of all, no particulars as to just how embarrassing we can be: nothing like breaking wind when she has company over...or making her try a bra on over her clothes in the middle of a department store (my mother did that...now THAT was embarrassing! but at least it was OVER the shirt!!). I'm sure if I sit and think hard enough (one of these days, I may just try the thinking thing), I can come up with a really good way to embarrass her.

Maybe at her grade 8 graduation in a few years....

Friday, January 27, 2006

eBay ramblings

Or maybe rants?? I thought I was alone thinking eBay did not do enough to prevent copyright infringement. Some time ago I reported a woman who was selling print-outs of free online patterns, and photocopies of patterns from magazines (yes, they were copies, not real pages), and I *think* ebay warned her. The patterns disappeared, then a few months later, she was back again. I complained again, nothing happened. So...I decided to send an email to someone who might be able to kick eBay in the keister and get some action. DRG network. THAT seemed to have done something, because since then, although the woman IS infringing on copyright by selling graphs of Disney pictures (without their permission), I haven't seen any photocopies.

Today, I visited my favourite writer's site: http://www.jkrowling.com. BIG Harry Potter fan! I was getting teased by my husband because I would watch the Harry Potter movies over and over and over (and did I say 'over'??) again. Sometimes, I wasn't paying full attention, they were background, inspiration, when I was designing. Anyway, I stray. Apparently, some sellers on eBay were selling items autographed by JK. Uh...that is...items she hadn't even touched, let alone signed. And from the sounds of it, eBay wasn't too willing to uphold their policies of copyright infringement and FRAUD.

Why not?? Have you seen the eBay fees??? It costs 10 cents more to list an item starting at $1.00 (only up to 9.99...then it's higher), than it does to list an item under a dollar. So...if the item sells for that ninety-nine cents, let's see how much the seller gets: subtract 25 cents for listing, that's down to 74...less 5.25 percent of the selling price...that's down to 69 cents...minus paypal fees (if you use paypal) which would be 33 cents...

SO, you get a whopping 36 cents out of the 99 cents.

And if you start the item at $1.25, you pay an extra 10 cents insertion fee. Over $10? SIXTY CENTS. Because it's more difficult and time consuming for the ebay program to list them. Please, note the heavy sarcasm.

The fees, and the unwillingness to uphold their own policies, has really turned me off ebay. That, and the fact that I can list something for $1.75 that someone else sells (with 5 or 6 bidders) for almost $10, but no one bids on mine, lol!!

So, besides being wary of eBay, you must be wary of sellers abusing the system that eBay allows them to abuse. If you're looking at a single crochet pattern, if it's not stated whether it's a photocopy, a page ripped from a magazine (HUH???? but people actually will buy it!), or the seller's own design, ASK them. And if you don't get a satisfactory answer, don't get ripped off. Avoid the seller. If the auction says 'photocopy of a vintage pattern', it's probably not. I just saw one seller listing a so-called vintage/public domain pattern, photocopies (10 of each pattern available), that are found free on the internet via the copyright owner.

And for pete's sake, if you do get ripped off and receive a copy when you thought it was the original pattern, PLEASE leave negative feedback, so others are warned. And don't be bribed by the seller to take it back.

Remember, just because it's free on the internet, does not mean there's no copyright.

If you've read this, thank you for reading and apologies for ranting. I PROMISE next post will be more upbeat. Guess you have to let the bad out before you can proceed with the good.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Valentine Bear

It's not too often that I make up a 'repeat' of a pattern I've designed. But I was rather happy with my teddy bear, and felt the urge to 'jazz' him up a bit. I followed the same pattern (available on my site on my salepage: http://www.crochetsal.com/salepage.html) , but used a larger hook and one strand of worsted weight with one strand of eyelash held together. I had a couple of plastic animal noses on hand that, quite by accident, wound up being the perfect size.

The finished bear at right, the original at left:

The Valentine Teddy Bear I have listed at http://www.craftmall.com. She is $15.99 US for the finished bear, and includes shipping. I will also take orders for other colours.

As for the arm warmers my daughter sooooo wanted me to make? They were finished Sunday, and have yet to see the light of day. Um...have yet to see the light of the camera flash now that I think about it!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Shirtless Sleeves

So many things, so little time. Don't we all feel that way? And then, my 10 yo decides she wants some 'fingerless arm warmers'. Loooooong fingerless gloves that reach past her elbows. She talked me into working on them. (Can we say 'sucker'?? But sometimes it's hard to refuse!)
So yesterday, I did start. As I crocheted, I wrote the instructions down. My daughter noticed this and commented. Wondered why I was writing down after I had crocheted that round. That's just the way I work.
I kept trying the piece on, trying it on, trying it on. She didn't complain. Which is good. For her. Or she might not have gotten them when they're done! I got to the shaping of the finger holes, and she asked me if I knew how to do it. "No" I answered calmly, not even pausing in my crochet. She looked a bit concerned. I laughed. Possibly a bit maniacally.
I finished the first one, just have to sew a couple small seams together and weave in ends. Ugh. My favourite past-time. NOT. I looked at her and said, "You know, they do have sleeveless shirts. How about we call these 'Shirtless sleeves'? " And the name will stick.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

January blahs

I used to love the winter, and all the snow we used to get. Playing outside, building snowmen and snow castles. Making snow angels and playing fox and goose. I still love the winter, and the snow! but have to admit that now that I pay bills, it is rather nice to see mild temps in January! Today we're due to hit 50!!!
I've been working on de-cluttering bit by bit. Assembled some squares from one group into a comfortghan to go out soon. Assembled some squares from my private stash to start a second comfortghan. Then on to more fun stuff.
Like the Valentine's Day air freshener doll. And a towel that I have in mind. And a purse (one of these days...saw the handles I want at the hardware store!)
I've been playing with the idea of selling some patterns on Lulu.com. Free to list, so it may be worth a shot. I have to pay for my yarn addiction (and the time I don't work outside the home!) somehow.

I have to say, I was utterly stunned when my 10yo came home yesterday. Some girls around 6 or 7 had asked my daughter's boy friend to 'strip', and even offered him a skipping rope if he would kiss my daughter. Which he didn't, thank goodness! Then the girls proceeded to tell my daughter she should get naked and go to bed with the boy. At SIX and SEVEN?? Yes, my 10 yo knows about that 'stuff', but she certainly knows better than to talk about that subject, especially at school. Heck, even my 8yo. Then I got to thinking: maybe these girls parents don't tell them anything. I suppose it's highly possible that they've heard something like that on tv, or even at school from older kids, and because they haven't learned anything from their parents, that they assume it's all right to talk that way??
Is it possible that parents, thinking they are protecting their child, are dooming them to a life of detention/suspensions and hanging around the wrong crowd? I am not suggesting a lengthy, graphic discussion about the 'S' word. Just enough to get them by, and to satisfy questions they may have. And believe me, if they don't find the answers at home, they'll certainly find them at school...just maybe not the right ones.