Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Big Fat Succulent Lies

UPDATE: Living Art has updated her site and has 'removed' the gallery containing the images listed below. The images currently being used are usable under the creative commons... but they still aren't her work. It's been almost a week now. Just make some awesome stuff, take your own pictures. Geesh.


Warning: this is a long one.

First things first.

I don't sell succulents, arrangements, terrariums, or even know anyone who does. I'm not a jealous overseas distributor. I'm not a jilted ex, a far-away psychopath, professional pain in the ass, or any other lie about to be fabricated about me used to explain this post.

Let's begin...

A facebook page, Living Art (aka Living Art by Sarah / was attempting to sell these paper dreamcatchers for a 'friend'

Dreamcatcher by Miranda Edney for Graphic 45

Beautiful, no? The problem is that these were made by Miranda Edney for Graphic 45 and Miranda is, in no way, shape, or form, her friend. When confronted, Living Art denied they belong to Miranda and stated that the maker was 'not a social media type'. Due to overwhelming pressure she removed the photo. It is worth noting that Living Art maintains these exist in her garage... Miranda still owns at least one of them.

A very quick search revealed that every image posted by Living Art prior to January 31st did not belong to her and were not representative of her work. Being the helpful sort, I posted the links to the original images on a handful of photos. The links were removed by Living Art.

Apparently, by this time, the original makers were requesting that she cease using their images.

Again, she simply deleted the comment and continued to use the image to solicit sales. This item remains for sale on her website. The REAL creator of this piece is etsy seller PaperDame.

I then shared the images, directing people to the originating sources, which seemed to get her attention, and a messy exchange ensued. She called everyone 'idiots' and claimed the images were given to her by customers to recreate, that she never said they were hers. Funny, because she's still using every one on her website, with prices, using them as a fraudulent means to solicit sales. (See end of this post for links)

She maintained that the dreamcatchers where made by her friend who had a shop being opened by Sir Richard Branson of Virgin! I'm not exactly sure how poor Sir Branson got dragged into this... but whatever. She said that she directed people to Miranda's site. Miranda confirmed this was not true and provided screen shots of Living Arts stating outright that they were not Miranda's work.

She said that she provided links to the original sources. She did not. She removed any links directing people to the origins of the photographs.

She said she knew her rights! I would be facing a hefty legal battle! I told her that a visit to a lawyer would be enlightening and still encourage her to do so that she might be made aware of copyright and intellectual property laws.

Somewhere in this mess two points of note happened. This article was circulated. It appears that this person has a history of serious fraudulent online activity. She also began post that she had/has brain cancer. Gods forbid she does have cancer, it's no excuse for fraud and in extremely bad taste to play on peoples sympathy for sales. If she doesn't... well I think it's a clear illustration of her character.

Living Art is now using her own photographs on her facebook page, but still distributing others work as her own via private message and her web page. When questioned about the missing photographs she said that they were removed "after constant heckling by other terrarium companies". 

If I have nothing to gain from this, and wasn't personally slighted, what's the deal?

As an artist this ticks me off. It's not a good idea to copy other peoples work. It is NEVER ok to use someone else's images to sell those copies. Any artist with integrity will not copy the work of another. They might offer an inspired alternative, but they definitely won't post the inspiration image as their own.

This person has made sales from these photographs. Those sales should have gone to the rightful designers and growers. She has had ample time to remove the images but has chosen not to.

She continues to use images from etsy sellers, bloggers, manufacturers, private individuals, personal wedding images, professional photographers, legitimate gardening centres and floral artists, Better Homes and Gardens, well known authors and experts.

She is being promoted by other businesses who are very likely unaware that this is NOT her work. It is possible that this wedding planner is unknowingly setting a bride up for disappointment.

I made it clear that if the photographs were removed, if she just stopped, no one would care about the issue anymore. She continues to unabashedly lie and is unrepentant. That's too bad. She is the coordinator of her own undoing.

If you're still on the fence about this, find the gall a little unbelievable? here's a list of the original sources for every one of the gallery images on her website.

Gallery photo 6 

Gallery photo 7
Taken from SucculantWonderland
See link:

Gallery photo 10 

Gallery photo 11 

Gallery photo 14 

Gallery photo 26
Taken from:

Gallery photo 27
Taken from:
See link:

Gallery photo 28
Taken from:
Credited to Sue Matyszak

Gallery photo 29
Taken from:

Gallery photo 31
Taken from:

Gallery photo 32
Taken from:
See link:

Taken from:

P.S. Pinterest is not an image free for all. Copyright and intellectual property laws still apply! I like pinterest and don't mind that my images are distributed when it's used properly. "Properly" means that the originating link and credit remains intact. That's kind of the point of pinterest, to be an easy way for people to find the original source of awesome stuff. Many artists and makers want their art shared... please give them their due credit.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

One Little Thing - Fruitful

This week we're thinking about the word "Fruitful".

You can take this literally and include lush imagery of figs, grapes and pomegranates, or you can think upon the other meaning of that word: "producing good results; beneficial; profitable"

Remember, there are no wrong interpretations!

Enjoy your creative time

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Mixed Media Houses

I bought a sheet of masonite for a project and while drawing up the cut lines for my husband (seriously, it's best if I stay away from sharp power tools) I decided to mark out some house shapes. The original project was immediately pushed aside while I rummaged through my stash to create these...

At around 12" tall they are quite large compared to most of my work. They have a nice chunkiness to them. They make me happy to look at them :) Here's a better look at each with some notes on the supplies used.

"Sing like a thrush as loud as you can, one more song for her" Nichola Battilana

The lovely dotty paper at the top is from G45's Times Nouveau - Deluxe Collector's Edition. The striped portion is Botanical Tea > Field of Flowers. There's a crushed bottle cap, little white buttons, cloak clasp, resin frame and Thin Fleur Dresden. The image is from this Tintypes Collage Sheet. Finally, the red square behind the quote is cut from an old hardcover book.

"Drink your tea, daintily like a lady!" Mixed Media House - Nichola Battilana

The background of this piece is a beautiful iridescent paper that I can't seem to find the name of. (I'm a stinker!) The bottom scalloped edge is a section of an old necklace. The butterfly in the top arch is one of those old Red Rose tea figurines. The round bobble at the top is an antique french lottery number. The arches are these bezels from Spellbinders. The image here is from Karen's Whimsy an amazing resource for collage images. The little tea charms can be found HERE and HERE

"across the world and backward in time" Mixed Media House - Nichola Battilana
Finally my little time traveller. He is from my personal collection of old photographs. The background is  Star-Crossed Constellation Scrapbook Paper* with some added glitter :) The goggles, wings and propeller on this piece are Junkyard Findings - Steampunk Air. The gears are actually cut from a texture sheet from Gina's Designs but they don't seem to be available any longer. At the tippy top you'll also see a 25mm Round Antique Bronze Setting*. I've coloured all of my metal bits just a little to match the paint on the chipboard gears.

And that's it! I had a lot of fun making these and now that they're out of my system I can get down the project that got pushed out of the way... unless something exciting distracts me... which is likely...

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

ABC Primer Tags for Graphic 45

I was asked to create something inspired by something on pinterest. Now, these don’t look anything like the original inspiration, but sometimes it’s just a small element, technique or idea that inspires or can be a jumping off point. In this case, the dimension that little bottom fold from the original Pinterest inspiration. I’ve folded the bottom edge of my tags to give depth and interest. The fold sort of adds a horizon point to build upon and creates tags that are extra chunky and sturdy.
Graphic 45 ABC Primer Tag - Nichola Battilana

Graphic 45 ABC Primer Tag - Nichola Battilana

Graphic 45 ABC Primer Tag - Nichola Battilana

Graphic 45 ABC Primer Tag - Nichola Battilana
Supply List:
Graphic 45 ABC Primer Tag - Nichola Battilana
Be sure to check out the Graphic 45 blog too for more taggy goodness by the amazing and sweet as pie Romy Veul AND there's a giveaway a-happenin' too :)

Monday, January 26, 2015

G45 ATC Blocks

There are a number of fresh and bright ideas brewing in my noggin' but they aren't quite ready yet. In the meantime I've been puttering away with scissors and glue, trying to keep the mojo going. One of my go-to projects to do while waiting for my big ideas to percolate is ATC and ATC blocks - so that is what I made...

G45 ATC Blocks - Nichola Battilana

I've used a different Graphic 45 collection for each one. For this one I've used ABC Primer Deluxe Collector's Edition

G45 ATC Block w/ ABC Primer - Nichola Battilana

This one is Typography (one of my very favourite G45 collections)

G45 ATC Block w/ Typography - Nichola Battilana

And the new Home Sweet Home which is fast becoming a favourite also and reminds me that summer is on the way.

G45 ATC Block w/ Home Sweet Home - Nichola Battilana

Lastly... I need to clear out a bunch of stuff to make room for the new ideas I'm working on. Keep your eyes peeled for a big fat sale in the next week or so.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

One Little Thing - Quote

This week's prompt is "Quote"

Some people are filled with magic words. Van Gogh spouted many lovely (and sometimes tragic) phrases "Great things are done by a series of small things brought together." Others are filled with lovely nonsense, like my childhood friends mother who would often say "Pink, pink, pink like a roosters dink!" while plucking chickens in her kitchen. It's funny the things that stick with us.

Wise words can inspire.

Phrases can stick with us forever.

Silly rhymes are ingrained and repeated for years.

Self made mantras can keep us going.

Feel free to interpret this theme any way you want! There is no wrong way to complete this challenge. The only 'requirement' is that you spend at least a few minutes focused on the theme, and create one small thing this week.

Good luck!

**You DON'T have to make something big or elaborate. This challenge is about removing the excuse "I don't have time" and dedicating few minutes to being creative. It's also about giving value to, and recognizing, creativity and inspiration in all it's forms. A poem, photograph, idea list, ATC, doodle, inchie, sketch, card, painting, inspiration board, altered something-or-other... ANYTHING you create from scratch with the theme in mind is a success. **

Saturday, January 24, 2015

My One Little Thing "Stash Bustin'"

This piece has been sitting in my craft room for eons. I see it all the time and keep meaning to gussy it up... but life always gets in the way. So this weeks challenge, to utilize your stash, was a perfect opportunity to finally do something with this hunk-o-wood just for me.

A bit of glitter, some paint and starry tinsel and ta-da....

Cute as buttons!

This weeks lesson? Often, little 'just for fun' projects get pushed out of the way. Every once in a while remember to do one of those 'back burner' projects. Check your stash and do that thing you've been putting off for a year. Those fun frivolous projects are important! They get your hands dirty and you'll feel great about checking something off of your never-ending, ever-growing 'to-do' list.