Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Mona Lisa for sale

Mona Lisa arrived in the mail yesterday. This is another fabric print I set up in Photoshop and had supplied by Spoonflower.  The 3 different colourways are now for sale in my Spoonflower shop, bought either by the metre or yard.

Spoonflower Boho Banjo fabric prints





I had it printed in the natural colours of the original Da Vinci painting and in a blue and monochrome versions. The blue will be used to combine with denim upcycled garments.






Below is a picture of an upcycle skirt made about a month ago, featuring a large decorative Frida Kahlo image on the left side. I bought this fabric from Spoonflower too but its a design by somebody else. The reminder of the skirt is patched from several used poly/cotton doona covers. So I intend to cut up my Mona Lisa prints into the various size patches to use in a similar way on future makes. The patches vary in size hugely from about 5cm x 3cm to the biggest at 31cm x 45cm.





I won't be able to play around using them until next week as I'm preparing to teach a workshop at the Tamworth Art Gallery this coming Sunday, Sept 22nd, from 11am - 2pm.

Darning and Reclaiming clothes workshop


It is free and everybody is welcome to come along and enjoy learning some simple skills to darn and patch clothes to greatly increase the long term wearability of them.



the left leg of the jeans are patched, the right leg is darned and darned/patched.






Monday, 16 September 2019

Distant Places

This is the "Distant Places" coat finished yesterday.

front of the Distant Places coat
It's made from 100%  upcycled and vintage fabrics. Most of it is from an embroidered doona (quilt cover) I bought for $4. The middle section has the embroidered areas of the original cover and I used the plain red poly/cotton fabric of the back side of the cover to fully line the coat.

front of Distant Places after the first day


back of Distant Places, showing the stenciling just after being applied

I had a beautiful 1950s silk charmeuse scarf in perfect condition that I cut up to add the sections of paisley print. Initially I felt quite reluctant to cut it, as it was so perfect in itself, but talked myself into it because it was unlikely to ever get much wear unless upcycled into a garment like this.

The striped and spotted sections - upper right front, lower left front, right side back, principally - were a heavy cotton weave from a cushion cover. The spots and stripes had been opposite sides.



back of the coat after adding the mauve stenciled triangles

at the sewing machine


Recently I had decided to try to spend less hours making each garment. Its difficult to get even $10 an hour for the labour hours put into each garment. Selling work that gets a reasonable price paid is always a conundrum for us ordinary artists to weigh up. Few of us ever reach the pinnacles of success and recognition where we can ask prices that equal anything like the average legal hourly rates of pay.

I had it in my head that I wouldn't spend more than 12 hours on this coat, in the hope I could price the finished piece around $200 - $250. But, as ever, I struggle to relegate anything I'm working on to become a "product". After 12 hours work and only being half way through I just had to abandon myself to the process knowing it would have to take as long as it was going to take.

I was very honoured to be included in the latest issue of Studio La Primitive ezine this month. Here is the link to it. My article is on pages 46-65.

Studio La Primitive arts ezine, September 2019



left side of Distant Places



back of Distant Places


a close up of the collar showing the reverse side

I'm very grateful to my husband who urges me constantly to worry less about selling work and just to luxuriate in the pleasure of having the freedom to allow myself to make the art while he can support me financially. Hopefully that future time when I have to go back to scrubbing toilets and changing beds is still a long way off. Somebody has to do it to support the less abled so I suppose it might as well be me.



Tuesday, 10 September 2019

I am whanau, like it or not


A lot of people may have hoped I’ve moved on from blogging about kimonos and chinamen so I’m going to disappoint….

Reading Ijeoma Oluos “So you Want to Talk About Race” 6 weeks ago I was intrigued to find, due to the geographic region where I’m born, she described me as an Asian. I’ve been turning it over for weeks with bemusement, not sure how it fits.

I was born in Asia. My ancestors emigrated to New Zealand at least 120 years ago. I’ve never been to England or Scotland where they came from before pre 19thC.

I’ve decided it’s true. I am an Asian.

I’m not English. I’m not Scottish. I’d be kicked out of those countries if I went there without a Passport and travel documents.

I am Asian.
….but to most of the rest of the world I’m white and wouldn’t be recognised as Asian. I was born 4th generation in New Zealand but to others my first identity will always be “white” and by technical inheritance – racist.



patches sewed to the skirt top are images reproduced from vintage Japanese postcards that I had printed by Spoonflower


A Fuck You to American Racism

I was born in New Zealand and lived there until I was 26 when I went to live in Australia. 
Today New Zealand is a country of less than 5 million people and is a proudly multiracial country.

British colonists took over the islands by overwhelming mass immigration and aggressive force from the 1790s. By the time my various European ancestors arrived a 100 years later the military and settler hostilities with the indigenous Maori were largely over. The Treaty of Waitangi had been signed between Maori leaders and Queen Victoria in 1840. In modern day New Zealand that treaty is still legally upheld and has formed a strong foundation for the empowerment of the Maori by upholding their rights in perpetuity to large tracts of tribal land, control over rivers, coastlands and beaches. In NZ Whanau is strong and "white" descended NZers are welcome to become iwi. 

Americans have an ethnocentric view that their particular version of racism is the same everywhere in the world. American BIPOC campaigners seem to arrogantly disregard that outside their borders there might be different experiences between indigenous and colonisers. Racism is a many headed hydra that presented different fangs in every culture. The American type of racism is particularly vicious because of its entanglement with slavery over hundreds of years. American slavery started in 1619.

In the country of my birth and dual citizenship a much softer version of racism was perpetrated. There was no slavery, no reservation lands that the Maori were forced to live on, no miscegenation laws, no segregated education systems, no lynch mobs or versions of the KKK. 
How many Americans have ever met a Maori, visited New Zealand or know where Waitangi is? On one of my American trips I went to Gettysburg because Lincoln and the American civil war is fascinating.  I read numerous books about American history and racism. My 2 favourites are – “The Hemingses of Monticello” and “White Fragility”. Are currently reading “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America” by Ibram X Kendi.

But the infuriating thing about American racism, like so much ubiquitous American culture, is that the concept has permeated everywhere internationally and has become the stereotype lens that many people interpret what racism is. Americans will always assume if I talk about racism that I’m talking about their version of it. Such an insular country that they cannot conceive of vastly different histories elsewhere. Black American social commentator Aja Barber said she moved to England to live because she felt safer there, so that implies she acknowledges there are less virulent versions of racism in different nations of the world.

How many Americans have ever been to New Zealand where I was born? I am proud to come from a nation which is highly integrated with its native Maori people. My experience is that the American assumption that all racism is just the same as what they created is wrong. I may be a racist by technical inheritance but I love the Maori people and numerous of my close family relatives are Maori identifying people.

It seems I’m a racist, inherited from my white ancestors 3 generations back - but I’m a Kiwi kind, not an American racist.


My problem with Chinamen

I’ve been amazed how many people took offence at my use of the word “slitty” to insult the Chinese people who are appropriating photos of my work to sell their fraudulent products. In truth I find Asian features very attractive and the characteristic slanted eyes are especially beautiful.




It was rude and offensive and intended to be so. But it didn’t spring from racism. It got attention and censure because it’s the kind of thing that racists say. It came from childish outrage at my powerlessness to stop their criminal fraud. I said it because I knew the workers of ChicV that read my blog and check in regularly to see what they can appropriate would find it offensive. The truth is, they hate me too. They are apparently quite comfortable doing a job that requires them to raid and steal images of other peoples work to use as false representations of the products they sell.

Racism is a system that upholds and perpetuates the belief that an identifiable group of people is superior to another group that is discerned to be inferior. It becomes a cultural, social and political set of ideas that is supported in law, rights and regulation favouring the superior group over the inferior.

I am anti-racist. I don’t believe I’m superior to any other race of people on Earth. I especially admire the indigenous Asian people of the Pacific – the Maori, indigenous Australians, the Japanese.

I am deeply fearful of Chinese racism and their imperialistic objectives to control the Pacific. While I acknowledge the awful crimes my English ancestors committed through colonialism I don't think The Peoples Republic of China will treat the native populations of the Pacific in any more of an enlightened way than the English did 250 years ago if they were to achieve power in this region.

Racist behaviours and beliefs aren't owned just by people of "white" ancestry.

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

some art for a change

Necklace of cloth beads. The focal pendant is a patch cut from one of the images on my cloth "Nippon postcard fabric". The cloth is printed with numerous images from vintage 20th century tourist postcards.

Spoonflower - "Nippon postcard fabric"


the 1 yard repeat of Nippon postcard yields over 100 patches

the focal pendant is a patch from the Nippon postcard fabric



the whole necklace has several cloth beads



I've been using individual patches cut from the same cloth sewed to many of the clothes I've made lately. On the dress in the picture below the small patch on the left pocket is from Nippon postcard. The large patch on the bottom right of this dress is another I've designed that is also for sale in my Spoonflower shop. That one is called "Faded Japan".




This is one of the upcycled dresses I've made to sell at Newcastle Craftfully Market on Sept 14/15. The bodice is a knit singlet, the centre is a section from a pillowcase, the skirt is made from a cotton doona cover. 100% upcycled fabrics except for the patches.

And another necklace of cloth beads made by me shown with it.

Monday, 26 August 2019

The reverse Ourosbouros Syndrome


Every time I’m on social media for the last 6 weeks I’ve been confronted with seeing photographs of my own art to wear garments scrolling past advertised for sale in the latest ChicV popup online shop. As I’ve been recounting here my complaints to Paypal, Shopify and Facebook have led me into labyrinthine processes that take hours and hours and after a week or 2 yield no results.

Pinterest had become the last corner of the internet I’ve been able to go to for a respite from seeing the incessant advertising…..until tonight.

Ughhhh, this is the sight I was confronted with onscreen…



My jacket is 50% off in the Baezshop! Now only US$24!!!





Unlike the copyright complaint processes of the other internet entities the Pinterest process was extremely quick and efficient. The form gets filled out….but won’t submit. This inscrutable message is emblazoned across the screen.



Request failed...invalid parameters

Then I spent several more hours trying to work out how to send a message that gets read and responded to by a human being. Result being 2 auto generated replies urging me to submit a copyright complaint.

The reverse Ourosbouros Syndrome. In ancient mythology the ourosbouros symbol is a snake eating its tail and supposed to signify eternity and the cycle of birth and death. But I'm changing the parts around and giving it a new interpretation today. Reverse Ourosbouros is when you have your head up your arse and are going around and around in circles going nowhere. 





I still have this jacket in the picture. The versions they describe as "yellow, red and purple" are simply colour shifts done in Photoshop. Below is a picture of my original blue jacket with a Sydney Morning Herald newspaper from July 29th 2019 displayed beside it. ChicV use the photo I published of it in a blog post in October 2018 in their shop pretending it is the product they sell, along with pictures of another 7 garments they are appropriating.





So this is the world today. 

If anybody has bought any of my faked garments from these crooks, or knows of anybody who did, if they contact me I am more than happy to do anything I can to help them claim a refund from Paypal, Shopify or Facebook on the basis that ChicV was using fraudulent pictures in it's advertising.




Saturday, 24 August 2019

getting what you pay for


A comment made by a reader on my last blog


I understand your outage, however most people cannot pay top dollar prices. They do their best to get what they want as cheaply as possible. It is unfair to the designer, but most people don't have the extra money to pay for designer clothes. We do our best to get by on what little we have. I rarely can get new clothes, and when I do I get the best I can get with as little money as I can. I have bills to pay. My partner and I are both ill. She more than me. We have 5 pets that are rescues...so we do what we can. I am sorry for your losses. Blessings darlin.


My response....

(I have interspersed this with pictures of clothes I've made in the last couple of weeks that I plan to take to the Craftfully Market in Newcastle on Sept 15/15th....for a little light relief)

Hi XXXX, thanks for your comment, I am sorry to hear of your struggles with your partner. It is very hard to get by with living with dignity in poverty. 

You are slightly missing the real point about what makes me angry. 

I do understand poverty really well. I don’t make a living income from my work, at best my “wage” averages about $100 a week. That is less than what I’d be entitled to if I claimed a social security benefit for being unemployed. It is enough to pay the rent on my studio. My husband supports me financially. He is 73 and still works part time as a teacher to support both of us. If he wasn’t prepared to do that I would have to get a job. I’m not eligible to claim an aged pension in Australia until I’m 67. The main kinds of work I’ve done in the past has been domestic house cleaning and working in aged care homes caring for the elderly. If I had to get a job that is the only kind of work I would be considered capable of doing as I don’t have any other qualifications or work experience, other than working a brothel. And I'm way past that for sure. All I want to do after 10pm most evenings is sleep with my husband in our bed.

Dress upcycled from doona covers, Aus$60

Regrettably I’d probably find it difficult to get even that of kind of work now because I have bad arthritis affecting my hands (fingers of my right hand are too stiff and swollen to touch the palm when I make a fist) wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees and hips. I broke my ankle in a workplace about 7 years ago and it took 6 months for the ankle to mend and when I went back to work the physiotherapist told my employers that I shouldn’t do any work that required squatting, walking up or down more than 6 stairs or lifting more than 8 kilos. With those restrictions I’m not going to be a highly sought after employee. 


skirt upcycled from denim jeans and vintage patchwork quilt.
Added details of stenciling and running stitch. Aus$80

I am also Aspergers, which means within a day or 2 in any workplace I’ll be driving people crazy with my pedantic-ness and they will be ganging up on me and working out how to get me ejected because I don’t join factions or make friends. I am a total pain in the arse who always ends up the workplace scapegoat.

I am not technically a “designer” in the fashion industry definition nor do I have a clothing business. I work alone, by myself and make everything either totally from scratch or reconstruct garments from second hand clothes. There is no manufacturing, no outworkers. Every garment I make is cut, sewed, printed and constructed entirely by myself. There is only ever one single garment made at a time and it is never replicated….never, never ever. That is why I can truly, honestly and justifiably describe everything I make as “art to wear”.


skirt upcycled from sheets. Large patch on left side featuring Frida Kahlo
is an artisan designer textile printed on linen I bought from Spoonflower. Aus$65 (the patch cost $18)


I have enormous sympathy for women with limited funds who want to have beautiful clothes to wear. As a single Mum living on a benefit in my early 20s it was that desire that motivated me to borrow my mothers sewing machine and teach myself to sew. The clothes I designed and made back in the 1980s were very artistic too. Even way back then I was stenciling by hand and tie dyeing fabric. In 1984 I studied at a NZ Technical Institute to get a certificate in Patternmaking and Sample Machining. That skill came in useful 5 years ago when I started making PDF sewing patterns to sell. Unfortunately, though I have 22 patterns in the catalogue the patterns don’t sell very well. Perhaps I’m just too niche eclectic, the patterns are bad or I’m a terrible marketer? Anyway, after working at the sewing patterns pretty much full time for 4 years and never having had it succeed as a money making enterprise my interests wandered back to textile art and most of my time this last year has been spent making art to wear unique clothes.


dress upcycled from sheets and vintage textile remnant. Frida Kahlo patch
is new fabric from fabric I bought from artisan fabric designer on Spoonflower. Aus$70


I’m not sure what qualifies as “expensive” in designer clothes. I’ve never bought or owned anything made by a designer. Quite frankly, for 45 years I’ve always been a hugely enthusiastic thrift shopper. A quick calculation of the clothes I personally own breaks down like this….70% second hand used clothes from charity shops, 25% self made, 5% new clothes. The last time I bought a new brassiere 3 years ago it cost $60. I was so appalled at the price I considered it a worthwhile investment to buy about $200 worth of supplies to make my own bras into the future.

I feel kind of pained to hear the clothes I make described as “expensive”. It is part of my approach to ethical making that I want to make clothes that are beautiful and unique. I want the people who buy and wear them to love that they have something that has had time and imagination invested in it to make it something special. Hopefully it will be something they take great pleasure to wear and that makes them feel proud to own it. I hope it is not the kind of garment they would donate to a charity shop after 6 wears, a year of ownership or if they think it is has become “unfashionable”. Though many of the clothes are upcycled from used I know enough about textiles to choose and use only fabric that is sturdy enough to have the potential for many more decades of wear. As a skilled machinist I make clothes well using techniques that make the item durable for the long term.


skirt upcycled from pillowcases. Skirt is from kantha bedspread I bought mailorder
from artisan makers in India. Aus$50

I abhor the concept of “fashion”. I don’t spend time watching what other people are making or feel concerned to try to copy the current “look” or fad. That is for turkeys. I price my clothes based on loosely trying to make $10 an hour from my labour. That is a much lower rate of pay that what a clothing machinist would earn working in an Australian factory or as an outworker.

It also pains me that after 30 years of mass manufactured fast fashion flooding the first world some people are still not getting it that they have been living in a cloud cuckoo land of delusion. Clothes have been cheap and disposable because the first world was riding on the back of the labour exploitation of third world workers. The fabrics were manufactured in 3rd world countries for unrealistically low cost because no one was counting the cost to the environment – the water, the electricity, the chemical pollution….

Globalisation and social justice means that 3rd world labour isn’t always going to be content to work for slave labour rates. They are beginning to catch up and rightfully demanding fair compensation for their work.

Now all that is coming home to roost and we are paying the piper…big time.


skirt upcycled from pillowcases, doona covers and remnants of curtain fabrics.
Large patch lower left is reproduction from renaissance art, purchased from Spoonflower. Aus $60


ChicV isn’t offering beautiful clothes at affordable prices to poor women from big hearted generosity.  
ChicV has appropriated photographs of my work (and many, many other designers) without my knowledge or permission from my blog and other places (Shopify, Etsy, etc) and put those pictures in their shops, pretending it is the product they make. They show that picture to the customer purporting that is what they are selling – indicating that the customer will receive what is in the picture.

IT IS A TOTAL LIE AND FRAUD.

The customer does not receive what is in the picture. It would be impossible. There is only one of that garment that was made and photographed by me. ChicV has never seen the real thing, let alone designed and made it.

What the customer receives is a nasty poorly made fake. It has a photographic reproduction of the surface of my genuine garment. Unlike the item it is faking, it is not patched, appliqued, stitched and stenciled.

It is a shitty, sad poor rag made in a factory. Buyers who receive it who aren’t outraged at being scammed will probably feel ashamed to own such a travesty of a thing and throw it in a bin or donate it to charity.

It is not a garment one person spent 10-20-30 hours labouring over by hand using imagination, skill and passion. ChicV peddle fakery that is the distillation of the crap fashion that is part of the wastefulness of resources that is contributing to the wrecking of our precious environment.

...btw, I have 2 rescue dogs and a rescue rooster.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Smash ChicV


Blog readers….I’m so grateful to the many of you who’ve reached out lately to send messages of support for my current situation with the criminal enterprise ChicV. And thanks to the many who repost my blogs so others are getting warned not to get taken in by the scammers. It is working because every day I get more and more messages from people who came across the negative feedback and send thanks that they didn’t purchase the hideous fakes made by ChicV.

I remain deeply distressed at the ongoing fraud ripping off innocent customers of their money. Numerous scenarios of how ChicV could be stopped come and go through my head. Its obvious they base the ongoing success of their criminal enterprise on the cynical knowledge of how difficult it is to stop an international fraud. ChicV is registered in China and operate their mass manufacturing industries there. I am an artisan living in Australia. The internet businesses which facilitate ChicV to stay in business are in the USA. Facebook (Instagram) and Shopify are the platforms ChicV utilise for their online shops. Paypal facilitates payments from customers to ChicV.

my art to wear coat "Coat for the Recalcitrant Bohemian Princess"
NOT THE PRODUCT OF MODARIE.COM


I don’t want to approach this by stopping the faking of just my own 8 designs.

Get my own stuff taken down, sigh with relief, wash my hands of it and walk away….leaving dozens of other small artisan makers still being exploited, now and into the future. I want ChicV, as the serpent that sprouts all the nasty hydra heads that come and go as popup shops, to be truncated.

There are 3 potential ways to stop it = 1) ask ChicV to stop  2) ask Facebook and Shopify to stop hosting a criminal activity  3) ask Paypal to stop facilitating exchange of money for goods that are sold on fraudulent representations.

Option 1 is definitely not going to work.
Options 2 and 3 have potential.

But I need help. I can’t do this by myself. After having this issue derail my life for a month I’ve been able to consider all the huge ramifications it involves…

International politics. International ecommerce law. Copyright law. Representing numerous international complainants. Tens of thousands of defrauded customers. The corrupt policies of businesses like Facebook and Paypal which continue to facilitate criminal activity….

In truth I think dealing with ChicV would be a full time job for a team of highly educated legal professionals.

Please help by asking anybody you know, who you might think has the capacity to drive this, or organisation, politician, lawyer, rights advocate, whatever, whomever if they could take this on.

Please repost on Facebook so that if there is somebody out there who might feel equipped to take this on can get started…..

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Can't fool all the people all the time



People who follow me on Instagram at #pearlredmoonart will have noticed I haven’t been posting much lately. That’s because I feel nauseated every time I start scrolling through my feed to see Chinese mass manufacturing businesses using photographs of clothes I’ve made in their online shops. It makes me anxious and upset. Depressed.



the 2 garments of the right are photos of art to wear clothes made by me.
They are NOT THE PRODUCT OF TUSANCAT


Jacket on the left was made by me.
NOT THE PRODUCT TUSANCAT IS SELLING!!!


Another level of distress has been the enormous amount of my precious time I’ve devoted in the last few weeks to trying to bring this to the attention of Paypal, Shopify and Facebook….all to learn that a single individual artisan like me, and all the many others, are so easy to sideline and ignore. The processes we are invited to engage in are a travesty and move with the alacrity of a zombie.

I’ve been writing this blog for almost 10 years and long term readers know without doubt that I am a real person talking about my real life, showing and discussing my textile art and other political issues that interest me.

My overarching concern for most of the decade writing this blog has been about the climate emergency. The life I live has been consciously chosen and constructed to create the most minimal  footprint I can on the ecology of my immediate environment and the larger world.

I don’t manufacture clothing at any scale. Working at my most efficient I might be able to make 2 simple dresses in a working day of 8 hours. My real output is probably more like 3-5 garments a week. In my making I’m using at least 80% recycled used clothes and discarded items that would have gone to landfill. 

When I make a piece of clothing I try to invest in it time, imagination and processes that value add to the item of clothing so that whoever buys it regards it as art to wear. Everything I make is intended to be something special, handmade and unique that the buyer will wear for years, perhaps a lifetime, and not treat as a piece of “fast fashion” or disposable clothing. I don’t make trash clothing and abhor the fast fashion model of business. 

It is unethical and destructive on almost every basis I can think of.

 Heres a list of just a few issues that comes to mind

1)      They steal the creative production of others to enrich a small cabal of business owners
2)      They exploit their workers by under paying and over working them
3)      They create poorly made rubbish fast fashion that customers may only wear briefly then dispose of probably within a few months
4)      They pollute their own local environment though the careless use of resources, like electricity, fuel to send their garbage all over the world, enormous waste of water to manufacture the synthetic fabrics they use and to get them printed…

new dress I made a few days ago

Over the years I have frequently waved my flag as an ethical maker. This is part of why I feel compelled to do everything I can to try to stop Chinese company ChicV in continuing it’s fraudulent activities. If I walked away from this it would be condoning that they can continue scamming purchasers with impunity and wrecking our precious Earth. In the way ChicV have appropriated my work they have instantly subverted every activity I’ve done in a decade to try to live as low polluting as I can. They have taken my creative production, unique art to wear clothes I’ve sometimes spent 40 hours making, and pretended that that item is a picture of their product. They tell potential customers looking at the products for sale in their shops that that is what they are buying. It is a complete and utter fraud.

I am virtually powerless to have any interaction with ChicV that would be taken seriously by them. This is part political, because The Peoples Republic of China doesn’t recognise international copyright laws. They can give me the finger.

So action needs to be taken probably in the USA. Paypal, Shopify and Facebook need to be held to account for facilitating the advertising and mailorder payments of this criminal enterprise. My recent experience with trying to communicate with them and having gotten engaged in the processes they present is that it is a travesty designed to obsfuscate and cause the complainer to throw their hands up in frustration and walk away.

Running a successful campaign to get change is going to need a team of people that can focus. A plan needs to be made. Politicians need to be lobbied and gotten on board. Lawyers with knowledge of international ecommerce and copyright laws are needed to advise. Journalists in the news media and influencers on social media need to advocate loud and far.

Angry people are mobilising in Facebook groups and various forums. We need to get together to formulate a plan of action to get the attention needed.

ChicV and other international fraudsters operating this type of business model must be stopped.

Please discuss….

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

up for grabs

In the midst of all the angst and ranting and raving over the copyright violations of the Chinese mass manufacturing fraud clothing business ChicV.... there was a parcel of fabric delivered to my post box this morning that bought a glimmer of joy back into my life, momentarily.

On the right side panel of this blog there is a link to my Spoonflower fabric shop which sells fabric I've designed. It is the 4th one down.

One of the fabrics in that shop is this

Green dress, red roses




So if you were fancying to buy this jacket made by me, circled in the picture above featured in the online shop of fraudsters Modarie.com, but want as close to the real thing as possible - not the hideous crappy fake the Chinese will substitute - this is what to do.

*  Buy 1.8 metres or 2 yards of the fabric print "Green dress, red roses" from my Spoonflower shop. For the jacket I made I used cotton sateen. But you could use the cheapest cotton fabric or even velvet or silk for a really luxurious version.

*  Buy my PDF sewing pattern the "Marama Coat". This is the pattern I used. I made a version without the pockets on the left front. The very same coat picture stolen by Modarie.com is one of the sample garments shown in the promotional images for the coat pattern.

Marama Coat


Sales of fabric from my Spoonflower shop are miniscule. I maintain it so that every now and then I can get some fabric printed with images I make in Photoshop. There is a trickle of sales sufficient that after a year or 2 enough commission $$$ accumulates to buy perhaps 5-6 metres of my own designs or from other designers there.

Three weeks ago I designed these 2 prints and they arrived in the mail today!

Faded Japan

Nippon postcard fabric 

I can't say I'm excited to show what I've been planning to make, because I'm most definitely not. The idea of publishing any more pictures of my art on this blog fills me with dread from now on. It has become a lolly shop for smash and grab thieves.

Going into the future I'm going to have to publish very low resolution pictures of my work with big copyright claims written over them. This may or may not protect me from having photos appropriated. Very clever people with no ethics who have run out of grandmothers to sell and are hungry for easy money can still find ways to rob you.






Saturday, 10 August 2019

Stop scammers ChicV







I am sitting here for the 4th day in a row making yet another complaint about copyright infringement. I am coming to the conclusion that platforms like Paypal and Shopify are in cahoots with the chinese robbers. They do everything they can to stall claims and lead you up the wrong garden paths. The longer they delay having to shut down these online scams the more money they make....so really, why care? Why shoot the golden goose laying the golden eggs?

After filling out everything that was required in their form for making a claim for copyright infringement to Shopify they got back to me saying it isn't enough and do it again. How about changing your form to accurately reflect what is really needed? This is just a delaying and deflecting tactic. I am re-filing my claims in great detail again and planning to sue them $1000 a day per photograph for every day they facilitate these crooks to sell their fakes.

So, another day collecting screenshots, images and URLs from Modarie.com and I discover this 8th garment of mine being stolen by them that has appeared in the last 24 hours. The pictures they have appropriated are the ones I took when staying at my sister in laws home 8 weeks ago, where I sewed this. This is her french doors in the background. 3 weeks later this very same coat, which I call "Coat for the Recalcitrant Bohemian Princess" was the centrepiece of my exhibition at Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre, where thousands saw it over the period it was displayed for 6 weeks. This coat was most assuredly not purchased from Modarie.com and put on display in the Gallery with me fraudulently claiming it was my textile art.

There is a whole multitude of these scam online shops, possibly 100s that are infesting social media. They all sell the same products, or a mix that gets changed around every few weeks. 
They are all fronts for a single manufacturing business based in China. 

I know the name of that business now, it is registered in China as

ChicV

Here is Facebook group dedicated to collecting complaints to get their fraud stopped

Stop ChicV

The duplication of popup shop names is a strategy to keep ahead of the complaints that shut down various shops as the complaints accumulate. For example, say Tusancat and Barbring have been operating for 3 months and as the first mailorders arrive and purchasers find they've been fleeced, some of them get mad enough to complain and want their money back. Their packages arrive without invoices, contact information or return addresses so they have to go back to whoever processed their payment to try to communicate with the fraud companies. That might be Paypal or their credit card company. Some complain to FB or Instagram trying to do the right thing to get these fraud businesses shut down. Facebook and Instagram do nothing, their defence always is that they just provide a technical platform for publishing.

However, the complaints mount up, choking their systems and eventually FB and Insta decide to stop hosting the fraud websites because cranky people are screaming and bad mouthing them in public....buuuut, in the meantime, Cocochic and Beautyshop and Lalagirl open up and start selling on social media, selling exactly the same products....and so the cycle goes on and on...

The only way we can pressure social media platforms to do the right thing and stop facilitating the fraudsters is to use our collective strength! Repost this on social media, make complaints, enter negative feedback  - SCAM ALERT!!! - when you see advertisements for these fraud shops come up on your Instagram and Facebook. Being horrible, pesky screaming bitches is the best way to get them to listen. Calm, sensible filing of reports will be disregarded. Every day I devote to trying to shut down this criminal enterprise I lose about $30 in average income. Every day the criminals keep their online fronts selling their fakes they are profitting about US$500,000 off the customers they defraud.

More actions you can take -  
Go here to Google and leave comment https://support.google.com/google-ads/thread/8715211?hl=en#

Keep reporting the fraud shops coming up on your Insta feed. Right hand corner where the 3 dots are, click then report as scam. When FB writes back that they have reviewed your report they either say they took the site down or they say they didn't find anything wrong but they will hide it from your page, give them feedback that not seeing it isn't the problem its because you're outraged they are facilitating a criminal enterprise and explain what is happening. 


Friday, 9 August 2019

organised crime








 The screenshots above are from Modarie.com

The photographs of the garments circled have been appropriated from my blog, without my knowledge or permission. One of the pictures shows a top I made in 2013.

EVERY ITEM IN THIS ONLINE SHOP - AND THERE ARE OVER 900!!! - HAS BEEN STOLEN FROM ITS ORIGINAL MAKER.

Not one of these pictures shows what the buyers really receive. Modarie has never designed or made a single item of clothing on any of the pages of this online shop. They have never seen or handled any of the clothes shown there in real life because every picture was taken without knowledge or permission from the original makers.

The big clothing companies like Magnolia Pearl and Tina Givens have already succeeded in getting their pictures pulled down from these Chinese websites. I wouldn't be surprised if they have full time legal depts dealing with stopping people making fake copies of their clothes. So now it's small artisans and individual designers like myself who are spending days and days of our precious time filing copyright infringement notices and trying to negotiate the labyrinthine documentary evidence we are asked to provide.

We have all heard horror stories of people who had their identity stolen on the internet then spend years having to prove they are themselves...? I'm now in the position of trying to "prove" that I made these clothes and photographed them. The mass manufacturing model of clothes production is so ubiquitous in the contemporary world that the people I make complaints to don't seem to be able to get their heads around that I MAKE ONLY ONE THING. There is no production line, I don't manufacture at any level. Ipso facto, if there is a photograph of that garment on my blog, then I have taken it because there is only one single version of that thing that exists in the whole world that was made by me.

I must be vastly more stupid than I ever realised, because it seems logical to me that if I give the people who process the copyright complaints a link to my blog post from 2018, 2017 or 2013 where there is exactly same the photo that is now in the Modarie shop (and show them many more photos of the same garment taken from different angles and also the back of it - the back of the garments are never shown by Modarie because if I didn't publish a picture they have no idea what that looks like) they still don't think this is sufficient evidence to "prove" that I am the copyright owner. It's utterly bamboozling to me why it isn't the obligation of Modarie to provide an example of their fake. Even blind Freddy with frontal lobes removed will immediately realise that isn't a picture of what they sell.

This business model isn't a casual advent. They have spent months, possibly years, appropriating  pictures and designs from numerous international websites. Factories and workers had to be organised for manufacturing at scale. They had to create patterns for every individual stolen design - all graded into numerous sizes. They had to employ IT specialists who have been able to fake photographic reproductions of the surfaces of the clothes they stole. Business names were created to set up online shops and people are employed to maintain them with pictures of the appropriated creative production stolen from other people. People have jobs to process the mail orders and there are others to package and send out their fakes. The hapless and innocent people who buy those fakes are getting a shitty reproduction resembling nothing like what is being shown. 

This "business model" is a carefully crafted organisation, possibly employing hundreds of people, that is based on consciously seeking out and stealing images that don't belong to them. Modarie, Barbring, Cocochic, Tusancat and the myriad other cover names they use are defrauding buyers of tens of thousands of dollars and polluting our world with their nasty crap, all for their own enrichment. It is quite simply organised crime.

It makes me furious. 







Tuesday, 6 August 2019

even the birds poop on me

I was sitting outside in the weak sunshine a few minutes ago preparing pictures to post on Instagram. It is the spot where I put out sunflower seed for the parrots every day and they were waiting impatiently in the branches of the tree above me. One of them got their message across very effectively when it pooped on the top of my head. I shall go buy a lottery ticket today, my ever optimistic husband assures me it is good luck.

Most of my readers know I can be a provocateur about various issues, so the experience of being pooped on is something I'm familiar with, usually on a metaphorical level.

He's another metaphorical story to reflect on. A womans partner is a violent man who beats her up. She calls him a "psychopathic bastard". Her friends are shocked and shun her on the basis of her appallingly heartless sneer at people with mental illness and because describing her partner as a bastard is untrue. His parents were legally married.

Well, for the interest of my dwindling followers (the non racists having flounced off to protect themselves from any contagion I might be spreading) here is a picture of the latest of my art clothes that has been stolen and reproduced by the chinese. It is the 6th garment to be stolen. It is nearly 2 weeks since I showed the Freda jacket and I'm waiting to see how long it takes before that is being reproduced too....

I am a bit bemused that the picture they are showing in the social media promotion is actually the back of the original garment, but they seem to have decided to make it the front. I wonder what the back is like? If anybody buys this please let me know. The lady who bought the original art to wear jacket lives in Sydney and recently came to one of my workshops at Muswellbrook Art Gallery. I wonder how she feels about her beautiful garment being mass produced and sold all over the world? I suppose it is a compliment to her superb taste that she bought the original for a mere Aus$225. Kind of like owning the original Van Gogh when the rest of the world can only buy cheapskate crap reproductions.




Somehow I still keep making stuff despite spending a lot of time ducking and weaving to avoid the poop bombs I invite to be flung at me because of my tendency to say nasty and unacceptable things about the names and physical characteristics of the people who are robbing my art.

Deciding to make a blog post this morning I was going to show my latest work in progress. The pictures were taken an hour ago but sometimes the internet is slow at putting them in my Photos folder and they haven't arrived there yet. I'll do that later today when the pictures can be accessed and talk about how in trying to protect myself from being faked I'm consciously working on changing the textile art I create.