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!