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Copyright & Trademark & Free Ideas

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

I believe ideas and concepts to be ethereal (without ownership) until they are brought into their physical forms. Their physical forms can take on a multitude of shapes. The same ideas sit in our collective consciousness and it is only the way each individual manifests it that he/she should hold any rights to.

I've gotten dinged for making baby shirts that say "You're Old", "Caution, I Bite" and the latest ding is for my "Turnip The Beet" design.

The woman who has made the "Lettuce Turnip The Beets" sold so many of these shirts that she decided to pursue a copyright (does not protect phrases no matter how clever and witty) and also a trademark (by using this phrase on all her branding.) I understand her desire to hang onto this money making phrase. I also understand her anger at a major kids clothing manufacturer (Gymboree) who directly knocked off her idea.

Here is her design:

Here is Gymboree's take on the shirt:
Personally, I don't find it very attractive.

After I had produced my shirt, I noticed a bumper sticker that said "Lettuce Turnip The Beets" and I thought, wow that is even more clever than mine and then I saw the phrase "Peas Turnip The Beets" somewhere else and I thought that was darn cute too. I felt like I was riding the popular vegetable wave that had taken hold of Portlandia with all its varieties of kale, love of beets and gosh darn it don't we know how to cook up some collards now.

The owner of the trademark for LTUTB came after me with cease and desist via Amazon and I was flummoxed until I did some deep Internet sleuthing. I am assuming she feels that I am infringing on her trademark that she has gone through so much effort to put into place and protect.

So, I am considering changing my phrase to say something other than Turnip The Beet. I'm thinking "Squash The Beet" might be too negative. "Olive The Beet" is a twee contender. My Beet Box with a box 'o beets on the front seems very hip...or how about my favorite?...."This Shirt Is Beet."

*I went ahead and made a 'This Shirt Is Beet' today because this morning my daughter begged me to please not buy her any clothing unless she was with me. I want to give her this shirt.

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Friday, October 30, 2015

I get why Lego's refuses to sell their blocks to Ai Weiwei. It's because in America, as a corporation you are not allowed to make any moves that may negatively impact your sales and I am sure supporting an artist and political dissident who brings attention to Freedom of Speech and Human Rights does not lie in their manifesto right? Except when I look at their company slogans over the years it seems that they need to append their slogans with "....as long as it has nothing to do with Politics."
I Can Build What I Want
Just Imagine
Make Your World Possible

No, no, I get it. Childhood is supposed to be free from power struggles and filled with building Ninjago kits.

It is an interesting event and one I do not intend to let pass without bringing my son's attention to Lego's refusal to sell in bulk to him. I am also excited to show him the donations pouring in from around the globe via social media #legosforweiwei and also to show him the wonderful things you can build outside of a Lego kit.

I made this special shirt here for fun. You can buy it on my site because I am only beholden to myself and so I can be political. Sort of like Donald Trump. ha ha

PS I am reminded that Dissident is a good word if social policy is wack, which it is.

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No Sleep Till Brooklyn Adult shirts

Thursday, October 29, 2015

After many a request I've finally turned this design into an adult shirt. It's for all those new parents who are transitioning from being free and easy and watching all the girlies shaking to begging your baby to sleep while the front of your shirt (this shirt) is covered in baby poop and expressed baby milk.

This wonderful gift set prepares the new mom or dad to be by letting them feel sort of cool at home. It comes with a matching gift bag and a hand stamped gift tag. Get it at my website. Made in Portland Oregon with a lotta sympathy and love for the new dad and/or mom and/or dad and/or mom.


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Knitmare on Elmstreet

Friday, October 16, 2015

I completely forgot that I had turned this amazing fabric into a Peasant Dress. It's an exceptional piece and one of a kind because they don't print this fabric anymore and I don't sew out this dress any longer. It's on sale, it's the perfect toddler Halloween Dress and if you buy it, you get 15% off your entire cart by using gift code DAYOFTHEDEAD.
Don't lose out on this one of a kind dress featuring skeletons, dogs eating yarn and a confused boy.

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Day of the Dead Shirts

Thursday, October 15, 2015

I don't know why I like this Day of the Dead design so much. It's quite simple and the orange pops out on really well on all colors. I like it best on the black toddler shirt or the red baby one piece. Here is a picture of the design on an old Alternative Apparel shirt that they used to sell when they had a kids line. It was called the burnout shirt and is was so fantastic because it was incredibly soft. I sure do wish they hadn't dropped their kids line.

Another day of the dead shirt design that I really like is the Day of the Dead Biker. A shirt made for the real bike enthusiast.


Kids & Guns

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

My friend took my son shopping for a birthday present and he wanted a $60 Nerf gun that looked like an Uzi. She refocused his attention on a Lego set but to me it's always seemed odd to see a giant plastic Uzi in the hands of children. I get playing cowboys and Indians, I get rubber band guns and pointing your fingers like a pistol, I even get plastic pistols but when it comes to shooting off an Uzi...isn't that weird or are we that inured to blasting something full of holes.
Anyway, she suggested that hands were meant for doing other things. So, today's shirt is one of our favorites....the idea came from Mary Brady and I drew it out.
Hands Are For High Fiving (and fist bumping)
Today, a customer stopped by to pick an exchange of this shirt up. It was printed on a black and white raglan. Of course, it slipped my mind because I've got a list a mile long and a mind like a sieve but....yeah, it looks great on the raglan.

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Thin White Rope Shirt

Thursday, October 01, 2015

My boyfriend dragged me to see Slim Twig last week at Bunk Bar. There was no one there. Actually that's not true, the band members and bartenders were there and a smattering of folks.
They came on and I was blown away in the first five minutes. If you get the opportunity of seeing these guys, you should go. There were two guitarists and a bass player and a female drummer!! All excellent musicians, but you know, I just loved that bassist. 
Anyway, today's shirt is our Thin White Rope shirt because they had the same setup. Two raging guitarists and a fabulous bass player and although the drummer wasn't female, he did have long hair. 
The drawing on this shirt is by Roger Kunkle's youngest son. It's a shirt of pure awesomeness. You can get it here. For adults, just click into the adult section.

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