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Things that make smoke come out of my ears

Does this image look familiar to you? It does to me too. It’s been reproduced, legally, by two major needlework companies, Candamar and JCA for needlework kits, and by Scene Weaver for a pillow and a throw. Pretty cool. I worked long and hard on this one. My cousins even thought it was a painting of me as a child, because I used to look quite a lot like this (minus the wings). So, imagine how I felt this morning, while I was looking up handpainted needlepoint kits, and I came across my border and my fairy wings mechanically reproduced and tacked on via Photoshop, or a similar program, to someone else’s painting. Not happy at all, I assure you.

I won’t point this person out, for now, as I have already asked her to cease and desist, and remove her kit from the Internet. She is not only selling it on Etsy, where I also have a shop, but on at least one other site as well. Please understand, my images are copyrighted. I make that pretty clear by pasting “Ruffing’s Copyrighted Image” right over the images, but I will say it again if I must. There is no better way to really make an artist flip his or her lid than to steal. Believe me, it is infuriating. I am trying to contain myself here. Artwork is very personal, and your instinct to protect it is similar to how you might feel if someone attacked your child. Don’t do it. It is illegal, and it is stupid. Surely, if you are going to make art, you have an idea of your own.

Not only do I have a strong desire to protect my work, but I am also legally bound, by contract, to protect my copyrights. When I sign a licensing deal, I agree to help the company who licenses my work make sure no one rips them off either. That means this person is stealing from the companies I licensed this image to as well. I’m hopeful that she will cooperate.

Update: The artist has agreed to remove her image, and change her design. She says she got my border from a vectored graphics assortment CD, but cannot locate it. She believes it may be a CD that came in the back of a book, possibly from Borders. I assume the entire image was stolen for this CD, although she says she remembers the border being shown separately and alone on the CD. The wings, the iris, and some tree leaves from within the circle are borrowed in her image as well, indicating she had to have had the entire image to work from. If anyone has any knowledge of this CD, or has seen my “The Fairy and the Dove” reproduced anywhere other than by the companies listed above, (or, of course, by my own family at Ruffing’s) please email me. I appreciate it very much.

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