Saturday, January 22, 2011

Friendly Scrap... Not so friendly

Today I've calmed down a good deal so I think I can write this without dropping numerous F Bombs. *lol*

Normally I don't browse the freebie sites since I get more than enough freebie kits each month from the various blogs I follow. Believe me... I have more kits than I could ever possibly use in this lifetime. But... since the 20 or so unfinished projects on my computer aren't enough for me, I decided to create a scrapbook style recipe book for my daughter. So off to the freebie sites I went looking for food themed kits. Think of it as divine intervention or karma come to bite someone in the butt... but on the front page of one of those sites was a kit that stood out to me because I instantly recognized the heart charm they had as a main element of their kit. I recognized it because it hangs on a cork board over my desk. I see it every day. I know it well since I photographed it and extracted it for my Two Hearts, One Love kit and had also used it recently in my Love Letters kit. I told myself to calm down... surely it wasn't "my" heart. So I went to their site, Friendly Scraps, downloaded the kit, My Angel, opened the heart in PSP and compared it to mine. Besides making it larger, which totally compromised the quality, and doing a poor job of recoloring it, they hadn't done a thing to it. They didn't even bother to rotate it or add something to it to disguise the fact they were using another designer's personal use item in their kit. On top of that, I realized of the 19 elements in their kit, 4 of them came from my Love Letters kit and of her 6 papers at least one is from my kit. Plus get this... I posted Love Letters on the 17th and they posted their kit on the 19th. Really? I mean if I was stealing other designer's elements and papers I would at least wait a few months before I repackaged them and passed them off as my own work.

At this point I was so mad. I went back to their "friendly" site and started looking at all of their kits. Apparently they have been a big fan of mine for awhile now! I found a frame from Vintage Grace she had used in 2 of her kits and Vintage Grace came out in February of last year. I only scrolled through 3 pages of her blog and could not believe the amount of my personal use items she was using in her kits. I was beyond mad at that point and simply had to stop looking. She spits out 2 or 3 kits a day and there are numerous comments from her "fans" wondering how she does it. She has her comments on approval (of course) and she never approved any of mine for some reason, so let me tell you here how she does it... When you simply steal elements and papers from other designers and repackage them... it doesn't take long to produce a kit! However, when you come up with a concept, photograph and extract items so that you have unique items in your kits, acquire free use stock photos to extract, alter and design elements with CU products, and put all that together... it takes awhile.

Believe me... at this point I was so far beyond mad. I was livid. Then I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt and ask for an explanation as to how so many of my personal use items came to be in her kits. Well surprise, surprise... she couldn't even respond to my email even though she had time to post a few more kits today.

Just in case anyone thinks I might be mistaken... let me show you a couple of examples.

You can click on the images to see them larger. Obviously these are elements I photographed and extracted for my kits. My TOU clearly state "Personal Use Only". Of course I doubt she even reads the TOU. She obviously doesn't even read the entries when she gets the kits or she would know that all of my kits contain unique elements I photograph myself. Seriously... steal some random CU stuff from kits and no one would probably even notice. But start stealing designer's unique items... someone will notice. I am so sick of crap like this. This is worse than those people who load the kits to their own sites and repost them. I am so irritated by all this I am about ready to give up on designing. Who needs this frustration from something that is suppose to be a fun hobby?

I think other designers should be aware of this woman, check out her site, and see if she is stealing any of your items as well. There were quite a few things in her kits I know I've seen before, I just can't place them. You know if she is so blatantly stealing from me, she is stealing from other designers as well. I think scrapbookers should be aware as well. I know I would hate to post a layout to one of my galleries crediting this woman's kit without knowing she had stolen the majority, if not all, of the elements and papers from other designers.

I don't know what you do about someone like this. Is there anything we can do? Probably not... so I'm just going to drive her nuts leaving comments on all of her entries she will have to not approve until she removes every single kit from her site that has my items in it. Childish... perhaps. But maybe someone needs to get it through this woman's head you don't just go out and steal other people's work. Obviously Friendly Scrap is not so friendly.

I know... she should rename it Stolen Scraps!


  1. Wow! Some people really have a lot of nerve. So sorry this has happened to you. I hope you don't let this person come between you and your designing. I love your designs. I've never visited the other site and don't plan to now.

  2. Sky, aside from wasting your time sending her messages LOL, contact all the scrap listing sites like Maria at Craft Crave, Scrap Depot, Luiza at Creative Busy Hands, etc...letting them know of her thievery. Second, check out those comments on her site and whenever possible, where the commenter name is highlighted, right click their name to go to their profile and write them about it too. Third, go to Digi Shop Talk and let everyone there know as well. Spread the word every where you go in digi land so the entire community is fully aware of her. I know Maria will cut her off and so will Luiza at CBH, as will other scrap listing sites.
    Also, if possible, get people to download your freebies from your store(s). They have to sign up to get your stuff. This entitles your store(s) to cut her off too. Tweet it too, if your tweet. Bite her a good one, babe, and don't let one A hole stop you from doing what you love.
    Oh, I almost forgot...Lori, from Lori's Freebie List, passed away and the site is no longer actively kept up.

  3. bah! Somethings NEVER change, I swear. Sorry this happyed to you girly...

  4. Wow, this saddens my eveytime I see it happen..
    I really hope you dont let this stop you from doing what you so obviously love...

    The other suggestion is contact the her blog host, and also where she is storing the downloads and report her to them as well..
    It may take a little while for them to check it, but they do pull their accounts if they have enough proof..
    Good luck, and this came through on my newsfeed on facebook, so I shall now share it a little further..

  5. I had this happen to me, too. I tried to get the place where this person was storing the downloads to address the issue and the red tape was incredible (i.e. who owns the original, who owns the copy right, etc.)(This person took my work, put it in a kit, and was offering it on her blog as part of a challenge. I posted comments but she blocked them so no one knew she was pirating.) Even though I sent digital proof, they wanted me to fill out all sorts of forms, etc. It wasn't worth it in the end. I just find it extremely sad that someone has to steal a digital product to claim as their own. Sad, sad, sad. The one person who stole one of my products was a designer working on the same site as me. Now that takes some real guts!

  6. I'm so sorry this piracy happened to you. :(

  7. OMG I feel so sorry for you .Thats just horrid I`ll make sure I never go there I don`t need a freebie from a person who is sooo dishonest.I love your work and thank you for letting us know.I`m sure when others read this they will feel the same way.Please keep making your kits you are too talented to let a snit like that stop you.Good luck with whatever you decide and I`ll pass the word out to my groups and friends.Thank you for all you do God Bless

  8. I am so sorry to hear this! I wonder how someone like this can live with themselves? Thanks for the warning so we can stay away from this site. Hugs!

  9. I'm so sorry this happened to you. I know this probably won't take the hurt away, but looking at your element next to her version of your element, I have to say that yours is sooo much better. I don't like what she did to your heart and frame.
    I guess we will always have this thing happen. People who aren't creative want to appear creative so steal from others. Truth always wins out though in the long run though. Hugs!

  10. OMG, I had no idea. I just happened along your blog from a link in one of my scrapping groups and saw this post. I am a HUGE fan of Friendly Scraps - and now I know why! She's taking all the lovely things from OTHER scraps and making her "own" kits! I am so sorry this has happened to you. I follow her in Google Reader and she's marked off the list now. I should also tell you there are a few other sites out there besides hers that have very similar "kits" that are uploaded on a daily basis. They may be run by the same woman as I have seen several of the kits from her site on these other sites. They are as follows:

    Super Freebies Blog -
    Far Far Hill Blog -

    Please let me know via email if you see any of your work on these other two sites as well. If you do, they are off the Google Reader as well and I'll be sure to let all of my scrapping groups know that these three sites are pirating personal use items and using them in their kits. You can email me at vapls at msn dot com or at tbkdesigns at gmail dot com.

  11. Thank you for posting this. As a tagger and not a scrapkit maker i was not aware of this. I too like many others have been a huge fan of Friendly Scraps and Far Far Hill. They have been deleted from my bookmarks.

  12. Wow it's hard to believe someone could do that, what an ugly person!!!....sorry for what she did to you!

    ....thank you for sharing the truth and your wonderful work!!!

    Love A.R

  13. oh hun,
    you have a right to be very angry & upset about this outrageous theft of your creations, but please don't let it keep you from designing

    I enjoy your designs & would miss your work if you quit

    I am a scrapbook designer & extractions are very difficult to do well & take a lot of time - I envy your skill & it is terrible that she is stealing yours - there are enough freebie cu extractions out there, theft is inexcusable

    I will probably investigate to see if any scrappy luv designs are in her kits - a complaint can be raised with whatever service provides her blog & with whatever service she stores her downloads on & with luck they may shut her down

  14. I'm so sorry this has happened to you. :( I've been browsing your site and can see that you really put a lot of time and effort into making your kits. It makes me so mad that this woman is stealing others' hard work and claiming it as her own! Thank you for posting about this - now I know not to download anything from Friendly Scraps! I really hope everything works out for you hun.

    Hugs, Laura

  15. I'm sorry this has happened to you, she sounds like she is really jealous of you and your AWESOME designs. I've never been to that place and thanks to you I never will. I hope you don't stop designing because of scum like that.

  16. OMG, how terrible! I'm a tagger and I download and use loads of freebies. I've seen elements in kits used by lots of people and I always thought that they all got it from somewhere, and that is was all "legally" done. Reading this, I now know that I was wrong, at least in most cases.
    I wish you all the best in hunting down this thief because this is not the way to do it. Just because it's free and found online, doesn't mean she can steal it <.<

    Keep up your awesome work :)

  17. One of these jerks pops up every so often--I applaud the professional way you've responded & I fully intend to let everyone know about this---have already posted a link to this post at The North Wing & will be posting on my blog, too--I think every designer who sees this should join in & post the info on their blog--let's have her be famous for what she deserves notice for--for being a THIEF!!

  18. Thank you Sarah for posting this in our forum,
    the more people know about this the better.

    Sky I am so sorry this has happened to you,
    I will be posting this on my blog too.
    I would do as above and let everyone know that you can.
    Look at it this way hunni, you have talent...she has none!....She clearly is a huge fan of your work to the point she steals it knowing it is some of the best.

  19. A thief is a thief!! whether they rob a bank or pirate your kits. I'm sorry that she has done this to you and hope you can get it resolved somehow and show her for the thief she is. I received the info from a group I belong to and will definitely keep her site as a piracy site and will not download any of her (your) kits from there.

  20. I would do as another person suggested and notify all the scrap stores about her as well especially if she trys to sell kits with your work.

  21. OMG! I was right! When i discovered their site, full of disney characters, and others, i found that cool and i followed them. But then I found suspect they post 4 kits per day. Nobody can get this rate if we make the hardware. So I stopped following them.
    Thank you for reinforcing in my opinion. And I'm really sorry for you.

  22. Hello, so sorry to read this happens to you.
    Love your free kits, going to download them.
    I saw (not so)friendly scraps on digifree craftcave, but I haven't downloaded from there because I didn't like them enough. So even so she is stealing, it's not done nicely. You are by far much better!! Still that said; it's not done. Please keep up the good work. A forever fan

  23. Thankyou for posting about this. I was following that site but started to get suspicious with the sheer quantity of stuff put up, and started googling. I'm no longer following. I'm sorry she did this to you.

    I love your kits! I'm so glad I found your site!

  24. I agree that you have every right to be upset with people stealing your designs. I'd be livid too if this happened to me. But like Mary said, PLEASE don't stop designing!! I love your work too & I check your blog frequently. I would really miss your beautiful kits & I use them all the time. I especially love your Vintage Grace kit. I wasn't even planning on scrapping any of my Grandmother's old photographs, but then I saw this gorgeous kit & I knew I just HAD to! Friendly Scraps has also been removed from my bookmarks too & I ardently refuse to visit their blogs or ever download any of their kits ever again. What's interesting is that I was just thinking the other day, "gee, I wonder how this person has so much time to post about all of these different kits every day". Well, it's probably because it takes a lot less time to transform & re-color other designers pages & elements than it does to actually create a kit from scratch! I am SO VERY SORRY this happened to you Sky! I really appreciate your hard work on such beautiful kits & I really hope that you'll continue to share your talents with us!!

  25. Oh this is awful I used her scraps in a tutorial I wrote in good faith. But I have taken it down and deleted all links to her and also the scrap files.

    So sorry this happened to you. I have people using my tuts in groups although I only ask that they mail me and they will get permission. But they don't - it's so disappointing.

  26. Can't believe that someone would be so blatantly underhanded and dishonest. She'll get her just rewards! Sorry this had to happen to you, but I hope you continue to create your beautiful kits for us to enjoy.