Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Needlework News Snips – November, 2016


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Howdy-ho and a vigorous good morning from a chilly Kansas!

Inspiration, instruction, information, and all kinds of tasty needlework tidbits – that’s what I’m serving up today.

I’m also going to share some juicy gossip with you at the end of the article, and ask for your help.

So, grab a cup (or two) of your favorite steamy morning beverage and let’s sit down and have a chat!

(You might grab a sweater, too. It is really cold here this morning!)

Needlework News Snips - November, 2016

Yep. It’s a hot chocolate morning!

Fun Designs for Whimsical Hand Embroidery

And speaking of hot chocolate, let’s start with something totally whimsical.

This discovery came about when I was searching online for a coloring book page to print for my niece. I asked her what she wanted to color, and she said, “Hot Chocolate!” This may or may not have had something to do with the fact that she was drinking hot chocolate at the time and couldn’t think of anything else…

While I was searching, I came across a website called Whimsie Doodles, which is a “digital stamp” website. A digital stamp is really just an image that you print to color and use for card-making and the like.

For some, the images might be a little cutesy and sugary, but I think they’re whimsical and fun, and I really like their collection of Holiday images. It was the penguins and “snow stuck” that especially caught my eye.

I could see using these for hand-embroidered Christmas stockings, little ornaments, and more! Many of the designs are simple enough that they would work for appliqué, or a mix of appliqué and embroidery. The images must be purchased, but once you have them, you can enlarge and reduce them to suit whatever project you like. The drawings are clean line drawings, so they’d trace easily for designs to hand embroider.

Just a thought, if you’re looking for something cute and simple for Christmas stitching.

Crewel Work Company Overhaul – with Videos!

In case you haven’t seen it yet, the Crewel Work Company has overhauled their website, and it’s gorgeous! It’s easy to get around on, easy to read, and it’s got a terrific section of how-to videos for crewel embroidery.

The shop pages are wonderful – with zoomable, clear images – and you can even switch your currency if you’re shopping from outside the UK.

Nice job all around!

A (free!) Little Book of Embroidery Basics

The Embroiderers’ Guild of America has put out a very nice little freebie called A Little Book of Embroidery Basics (PDF link).

You can download the PDF and print the booklet – it prints at 5.5″ x 8.5″.

Thistle Threads Sale!

Thistle Threads is making room for future inventory, so Tricia is having a sale of some really beautiful threads and other needlework goodies. If you like historical embroidery, silk, ribbon, and other interesting needlework bits and bobs, stop by her shop and see what’s on offer! Looks like stuff is going pretty fast!

If you’re looking for real metal threads for goldwork, Tricia also carries some pretty spectacular ones, here.

A Free Embroidery Project – Christmas Chalk Art

Over on Flamingo Toes, Beverly posted a cute Christmas chalk art project for hand embroidery, with the pattern and all the instructions. Perfectly suitable for beginners, it’s a fun project!

Kathy’s Opus Anglicanum & Travels

I’ve followed Kathy Andrews’s blog The Unbroken Thread since it first began. Kathy, an American, lives in Germany but she’s a pretty avid traveller. She’s back and forth between Germany and the UK a lot – mostly on needlework-related jaunts. And she writes about them! I love traveling with her vicariously!

Lately, she’s been writing about her latest UK travels, to participate in an Opus Anglicanum workshop and visit the V&A exhibition of the same that’s going on now. Here’s her first installment.

I’m looking forward to the next one!

Sit-On Hoop Stands for Aussies

For those of you who live in Australia and are looking for sit-on embroidery hoop stands in all different sizes, Yvette Stanton is now carrying them here at Vetty Creations. (To see what these are all about, you can read my “Hoop on a Stick” review here.)

I often get emails from Australians asking about sources for good linen. Yvette also carries some really nice linen that’s suitable for the whitework she does – she does a lot! – and also for just about any kind of surface embroidery. It’s the Weddigen linen (925 and 22) on this page. The 925 is comparable to the “Alba Maxima” linen that I’m always talking about. It’s good stuff!

Stitching Inspiration

If you need an inspirational fix today – or you just want to revel in some gorgeous embroidery – you should pop by Catherine Laurençon’s blog and see the recent photos she’s posted of her students’ needle painting.

Pretty amazing stuff! I especially like these pieces by Sophie and this piece by Isabelle.

The blog is in French. You can always drop it in Google Translate if you need to. Mostly, I just go for the pictures!

Schwalm Whitework Tutorials

Whitework lovers will be happy to know that Luzine Happel has done it again! She has a new book available on borders and tendrils, and she’s also offering this free sampler to folks who have purchased her new book. All the needful information is in that article.

If you take time to browse through her blog, you’ll also find plenty of wonderful tutorials for all kinds of Schwalm and whitework-related stitching, like this tutorial for tendrils and this tutorial for forks (or off-shoots of a line).

And, better yet, this thorough tutorial for making a linen candy dish with a lovely needle lace edge. What a great idea for a hostess gift, a good friend’s birthday, something special for mom…!

A Miniature that will Knock your Socks Off!

Ok, whether you are into miniatures or not – as in, to-scale miniatures, or miniature needlepoint on fine silk gauze – you just have to see this Tree of Life carpet by Natalia Frank.

It is stunning…and intricate…and colorful…and wow! Talk about a challenge!

She sells the pattern, too – and a kit, but it’s sold out – and she’s broken the design down into various configurations, too, for those who might want to just stitch a bookmark (or a tiny runner for a dollhouse). Really exquisite design!

A Bit of Gossip & How You Can Help

Well, since it’s about me, it’s not really gossip!

I’ve been spending a lot of time over the past many days, working to have a YouTube channel shut down for violation of copyright.

Now, YouTube is one of those social-network-oriented situations where you pretty much expect to share your videos with everyone.

When you publish a video to YouTube under the standard user license, it can be shared via other sites and means, by other people. It can be emailed, embedded on other web pages, shared through social media and so forth. And that’s really the whole point of using YouTube as a blogger. My how-to videos on YouTube are all branded to needlenthread.com, and I use YouTube to direct people to my website for more information, just like any blogger who makes video tutorials does.

Recently, A YouTube user has taken my instructional videos (and other people’s), cropped out all my branding, and re-released the videos on their own YouTube channel with that channel’s branding. There is no evidence at all that I am the owner of the videos, unless you know my voice and recognize my work.

The remastered videos, of course, are peppered with ads, so the perpetrator is making an income on them. The person is also using the YouTube channel to drive traffic to a download site for “thousands of embroidery designs” for $79 – requiring unsuspecting folk to turn over payment information. Dangerous, to say the least, when dealing with this type of nefarious fraudster!

So, how can you help?

If you are on Facebook or other social media networks, and you come across videos that recognizably feature another person’s artwork, videos, recordings, or photos without crediting the original owner, please don’t like or share the video. By liking and sharing videos that feature, in essence, the stolen work of another, it encourages the violators to keep doing what they’re doing, while encouraging others (who see them getting away with it) to do the same. It can also lead innocent people to sites that are fraudulent.

A great big thank you to Sarah Homfray and hubby for alerting me to the problem in the first place!

My Cup Runneth Empty

Well, that was a long chat, wasn’t it?

Hope your weekend’s a glorious one! See you next week!


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(18) Comments

  1. That makes me mad! I know how hard good videos are to make as I had to make some for my guild. Mine were not very good and I put them on Vimeo. Now I am glad I did. Praying for you!

  2. About the Youtube videos, is there anything else we can do to help – for example, emailing Youtube to protest, or leaving a comment at the pirated site, informing others of the fraud?

    1. Hi, Jana – Thanks for asking! YouTube has a very specific process for registering copyright infringement, and they won’t act on anything that’s not filed according to their requirements. There’s no recourse to them outside of filling out the forms. As far as leaving a comment, because of the way social networking works, any traffic at all and any comments at all (even if they are negative), only increase that channel’s presence and “findability” on the network and through search engines, driving more traffic to them. That’s why I won’t include a link or direct people to that channel. Curious views would just increase their traffic and rankings. The best thing is just to be careful of what you share or like or react with on social networks – if it looks like a cheesy remix with an intro that doesn’t fit the rest of the video, there’s a good chance it’s stolen content. Thanks again for asking!

  3. It’s chilly here in Shropshire, UK, too! Now you’ve made me want some hot chocolate myself.

    I hope you succeed in getting the rip-off videos removed from YouTube. I’ll let you know if I spot any, Mary. I know how much effort goes into producing clear instructional material. I hope this doesn’t put you off making more of your excellent videos.

  4. Wow. Glad to hear that you were able to get YouTubeto work with you. I spent a fair amount of time editing for an engineering firm, so I’ sensitive to copyright issues.

    I’ll bet that YT’s policy is like Etsy’s and they won’t do anything unless the complaint is filed by the true owner. I discovered this when I accidentally bought a French copy of Carolyn Pierce’s Embroidered Patchwork Bear from an Etsy vendor who, apparently, does nothing but buy foreign patterns, scan them, the sell the PDF copies. I contacted Country Bumpkin and they got that one taken down, but the vendor is still there, deceiving and theiving.

    So, yes, by all means, if you see something out there in any form or on any site that doesn’t look right, contact the owner of the materials and see if the posting is legitimate or not.

  5. Mary, we so share your pain with the YouTube fraud although for us it’s Amazon Sellers and other websites stealing our designs, our photos and even our descriptions (it’s so blatant they don’t even make an effort to change the wording). They then have them ready-made somewhere cheap and at very low quality (which as you know is just not us!). Our amazing followers alert us to these people and we try to get them shut down but there is very little we can do in the end other than rely on our strong and close-knit community of embroiderers (you guys!) to know when something is legitimately ours and when it’s not. Honestly, where would we be without the unwaivering support of you all.

    We will certainly do everything we can to help you with this because it’s an absolute disgrace. Ripping off an Gucci handbag is one thing, but stealing from small businesses and individuals who are trying hard to make a positive difference in a niche industry is quite another. SO glad you like our new website, yours is equally fabulous. More vids to come soon. Phillipa & Laura xxx

  6. Dear Mary,
    I was in a state of nirvana until I got to the outrageous thievery part. It is so disgusting and disappointing to have one’s hard work literally stolen in broad day light so to speak. After a deep breath, I realized that there is enough interest in embroidery to make it worth for someone to steal!
    So, keep the good work, we will increase our vigilance.

  7. Thanks for the information about the Opus embroidery at the V &A several months ago. I was able to be in London for a day, and got to see it. Wonderful! I will look forward to more about it from Kathy. Even though I do little needlework, I get so much information from your articles. Thank you.

  8. Mary…I just spent some time floating through Kathy Andrew’s blog “The Unbroken Thread” and, wow, did I have fun! I signed up for her blog and I definitely will follow her posts. What a treasure she is for the embroidery world! Thanks for sharing!

    And, boo hoo that someone has been “stealing” your YouTube videos! That is so disappointing that someone would take your fine work…and then infiltrate it with ads to make money off of your creativity! This thief needs to have Internet privileges immediately…and forever…taken away! Don’t you think so?

  9. That is awful about the you tube mess. I never realised you tube wasn’t monitored or screened. I hope it is resolved quickly. And thank you for the heads-up about the new Schwalm white work book. Her instructions on her website are very clear.
    ~ Sally-Ann – commenting from my phone for the first time on the new website look. Easy peasy.

  10. Well. That sucks putrid porcupine. I’m sorry this happened to you. Good luck getting the ftaudster shut down.
    Also, thank you so much for your website. You’re so generous to the embroidery community as a whole, and to beginners in particular, that it’s extra rotten someone did this to you.
    Hoping your health continues to improve.

  11. Hello Mary,

    Today’s newsletter was great. I spent the entire morning reading, visiting and admiring such beautiful hand embroidery work.

    Thank you so much for providing us with all the pictures, links etc. On a cold saturday
    morning nothing gets better.

    Have a great day.


  12. Mary
    Thanks as always for all the super information!

    I can sympathize re the copyright issue!
    I had graphics stolen, rebranded and then I was accused of copyright infringement by the perpetrator and my file sharing account [which I pay for] suspended until I removed my own graphics 🙁
    The cost of fighting it was prohibitive…and I have better things to do 🙂

    I hope you are on the mend healthwise.

  13. I am so very sorry to hear about your work being stolen by the you-tube thief. I can’t tell you how many times I have called people out on Facebook for posting photos they’ve lifted without crediting the original artist. Sometimes they just shrug it off and say – I found it on the web – as if that makes it alright. I also get hot under the collar about Pinterest when people don’t have a useful link to the original location of the photo they pinned.

    We all have to speak up for decency, ethics and fair play. Can you send a cease-and-desist legalese letter and threaten them harshly?


  14. Well, my gosh, Mary, I’ve just caught up on the posts. I was thinking yesterday, “hmmm, I haven’t seen Mary for a bit”. So this morning I made the time to go and see what’s going on. Well, I’ll be darned (like a sock), for some reason I am not receiving you posts now. Not in my email, not in my “junk”… Wonder what on earth happened on the 12th of this month! So, I have reinstated my request to receive them and hopefully that will be that.

    As to the youtube thing… “very angry face” here. I know artists that have had this happen also, and you have to be careful posting reference photos, same reason. Constant thieving. Some things about this world we live in are wonderful… like being able to “chat” with Mary Corbet, or watch a chateau in France being brought back to life (yes, it is soooo much fun to watch this unfold- Château de Gudanes). To be able to learn about things all over the world, to learn how to stitch, to enjoy artwork and tapestries. But there just has to always be a downside. 🙁 I guess it is the price we pay. So I will pray that you can get this thing taken care of quickly Mary, and just get on with the wonderful things of life. God bless, and I am soooo happy I just had a “glitch” and it wasn’t something happening on your end that was causing me not to get my “chats”. 😀

  15. Re: your videos

    That’s just outright thievery.

    I’m really ticked off about that, and really sorry it’s happened to you, Mary. You put so much work into your videos! Hopefully, Karma will step in.

  16. Stealing others work for profit is disgusting and shameful! Shame on them! I recently heard of an an artist who designs pins (Susie Ghahremani boygirlparty.com) who had her designs stolen by Zara and Francescas. I just can’t believe how greedy and deceptive people can be. I sincerely hope youtube shuts down the site that is stealing your work!!!

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