Last week I decided to enjoy a leisurely breakfast while perusing the latest issue of my favorite needlepoint magazine, NEEDLEPOINT NOW. Imagine my surprise when I turned a page and found one of my old freebie designs staring up at me in an ad, available in a kit!
Here's the design I'm talking about, and I'm sure you may recognize it because it was also on the cover of the May 2010 ANG Needle Pointers magazine, and you might actually have stitched it up yourself at one time:
I did a double take -- how had this happened without me knowing about it?? And stranger still, why did my design, called "This Heart's For You" have a different designer's name attached to it? Someone named Pat Mazu.... Stranger and stranger!
Breakfast forgotten, I got on the computer first to try and locate designer Pat Mazu, who turns out to live in Indiana. Much later that morning, I finally got to talk to Pat and here's what I found out: she had NO IDEA how her name had gotten attached to my design. She have never seen it before, and was as stumped as I was as to how the her name had gotten involved in the ad. Hmmmm, more detective work was needed! Pat agreed to call the magazine and I agreed to call the store that posted the ad, and we would meet again later to discuss our findings....
After many phone calls to and fro, here's what we were able to find out: first, every bit of content in NEEDLEPOINT NOW is sent back to their contributors and advertisers to proofread and authorize before it is published, so they do everything that's possible to make sure their information is correct; second, at the time the ad was placed, the store owner was in the midst of moving her store AND undergoing emergency surgery, so, needless to say, she was a tad overwhelmed and a few things may have gotten overlooked; thirdly, the store owner assured me that my design was NOT being copied and included in their thread kits (which would be a copyright infringement) and when stitchers inquired about the design, they were told to visit my website and print out the pattern from my "free patterns" page.
So, by the end of this long and unexpected day, I had learned a few new and valuable things that I would like to share with you, dear stitcher....
FIRST OF ALL: I met another designer named Pat Mazu, who was extremely nice, very professional and wonderful to talk to. Please know that she is completely innocent and blameless in this ad mix-up. She was as eager as I was to get to the bottom of this mystery, and when all is said and done, not only did we solve the mystery together, but I feel as if I've made a new friend in Pat!
SECONDLY: I was very glad and relieved to know that the error in the ad was not deliberate, but rather a plain ol' unintentional mistake. And you know... that happens now and again, to all of us at one time or other, since no human on earth is perfect.
And THIRDLY: I would ask all you stitchers out there, when you are visiting your local stitchery stores to double-check that "freebie" patterns are indeed distributed free to you stitchers. Those free charts are my gift to you and you alone, and while I give my permission for them to be taught in free guild meetings, they are not intended to be resold in any way, shape or form.
And LASTLY: it's always good to pause and remember that the relationship that exists between stitchery store, teacher, designer, stitcher and let's add stitchery magazine here too, is a very close and special one. Not one of us by ourselves can exist without all the others. When you think about it, we're all part of one big stitching family. And while we may never meet each other face to face, we all share a common bond and love (and dare I say it, OBSESSION?) for stitching. So at the end of the day, what I say is: LONG MAY WE ALL PROSPER!!!