Last week was a bugger. There is no dressing up this fact. We endured a number of sleepless nights thanks to those intent on making a fast buck from our artwork on certain well known seller platforms. Aside from the blatant rip-offs, we had one seller in Israel, who just waded in there with a screenshot of our advert – complete with our name and copyright symbol emblazoned across the image, and advertised it for twice the price!
|An original advert. Or is it?|
I’ve lost count of the number of forms we have submitted, the number of emails sent, to little avail. The lack of support for those experiencing copyright infringement is staggering. I’ve become an overnight expert on the subject and have quoted bite sized, easily digested snippets of key legal points to faceless customer services departments. I’ve reported item numbers, included links for comparisons, reiterated over and over again that a design does not have to be copied in its entirety to breach someone’s copyright, only to wake up to the same standard email requesting yet further clarification, that we’ve submitted the wrong form, or, my personal favourite, one stating that “You cannot copyright an idea.”
|Image, not subject to copyright|
I have been forced to explain that a sticker for example, is not simply an idea, but a tangible product and that original graphics and phrases are covered by a copyright the moment they are written or created.
|Kinky Melon HQ|
So, finding ourselves swimming against a tide of copyright issues, a day out with these lovely people, Vicky and Jon aka Kinky Melon’s Retro Boutique, was just what we needed. We headed to Walsall Art Gallery, taking in the Turner Exhibition and getting ever-so-gently reprimanded for touching a piece resembling a bin bag full of rubbish. Lunch was half a bottle of rose wine and a delicious vegan curry (I appear to have developed a dairy intolerance in my old age. After all the ice cream and chocolate I’ve consumed in my lifetime, I would expect my body to have embraced it and my blood to be half cream). Happy and sleepy (me), we walked back to our car, bathed in autumn sunshine.
I don’t know about you, but I wish autumn – the most vibrant season of the year for a nano second – would stick around for longer. I’m talking about the magically short window of time when trees telepathically agree a plan to shed 90% of their leaves in 2 days. I’m talking about clear blue skies, weather reporters referring to “unseasonably warm temperatures”, brightly coloured, odd shaped pumpkins (3 of which are sitting on our garden steps, waiting to go under the knife, including a white "Ghost Pumpkin"), windfall fruit and the associated pies, crumbles and experimental cider, Halloween, the first hint of wood smoke in the air, fireworks and gripping TV dramas. I wish these autumn days would stick around until, say, 21st May, at which point an extended period of unbroken sunshine will commence, cartoon blue birds will appear and someone will ensure that I am never more than a metre away from a mojito.
Leaving aside yesterday’s blip, courtesy of Storm Ophelia and a daytime sky straight out of Star Wars, one downside to the elevated temperature is having to try on steampunk costumes.
|Photo courtesy of Shropshire Star: Ironbridge covered in scaffolding|
Today, after another sparring session with Ebay, I went through the seemingly disparate steampunk elements I’ve acquired so far and decided that they can all be worn together after all. So, top to toe, this is what I’m going with at Chepstow Steampunk Winter Festival:-
The Top Hat.
Who doesn’t have a vintage top hat in their wardrobe? Mine just needs some temporary embellishments.
On loan from Kinky Melon, it is 80s, but don’t tell the hardcore steampunk brigade. I don’t care – it’s cropped, velvet, has crazy shoulders and looks the part.
This Ralph Lauren Sport blouse was a steal at £4.50 from a charity shop in the village. The ruffles were hard to resist and are a key element of the steampunk look. It was the first item I bought.
With steampunk dresses often commanding prices upwards of £70, I snapped up this £25 number from a vintage store in Ironbridge.
Black and white vertical stripy tights for a fiver - Beetlejuice meets vintage circus.
Still undecided between red velvet and brown granny.
A Pair of Lace Gloves.
|Gloves from Hat-Trix|
Another £5 bargain from Etsy, which saves me the stress of digging out my cobweb covered sewing machine, shredding a piece of lace, swearing at said machine and crying hysterically, before going online and order a £5 paid from Etsy.
Now all I have to do is steampunk up everyone else in this house.