I call this meeting to order…

To say that I’m frustrated by recent events on the internet is putting it mildly.  I am sick to death of people stealing images and thinking nothing of it, let alone finding out that they are being used for nefarious activities to dupe people.  Just last night on Twitter I came across a post with someone wanting help in stopping someone who was stealing this woman’s drawings and then posting them (and ones they’d stolen from other people) on Instagram, claiming they were hers!  Are people really this desperate for attention?  I just shake my head at some of the stuff I’m seeing at the moment.

After I posted my last blog entry, I sat and stewed.  It’s been a rough couple of months on social media, and I’m not even talking about all of the stuff going on with the pandemic and the election.  I ended up having my Twitter account suspended, the issues here at WordPress with how they are changing things, all the image theft issues and then last week, the absolute unthinkable happened.  One of my Twitter friends died unexpectedly.  She was only 30 years old.  We connected over a mutual love of American Girl 5 years ago when their website was having one of it’s usual freak outs.  She was a remarkably funny and sweet person, I read about her trials of planning a wedding, dealing with issues over stupidity with coworkers and such and their ignorance over image theft, and we shared an obsession with “Legally Blonde”.   When her husband shared that she had passed away, I was stunned.  It didn’t seem right or fair or any of that.  How someone so young and full of life could have their life suddenly cut short was just more than I felt like dealing with right now on top of everything else.  She frequently read (although didn’t comment) the blog and would text me with various AG related things.  Just days before she passed away I had tagged her in a post about the announcement regarding Legally Blonde 3 coming out in the spring.  I am just so saddened by this turn of events and to be honest, still kind of numb.

I decided I just needed an entire day away from the internet after I posted my anger about image theft.  I spent my day in my doll room which was in dire need of straightening up and dusting.  Even Mimi’s bedroom needed a thorough dusting.  It was good therapy and it looks a whole lot better now.  While I was doing that, I texted my good friend Xyra about my frustration.  She’s always a good person to vent to and bounce ideas off of.  I did have an idea I wanted to run past her and in the process of the conversation, something she said along with my reply to her gave me several ideas of ways to maybe combat this image theft issue.  And as I cleaned, I came across an entire stack (literally!) of stuff I wanted to do reviews on.  I got mad.  Then I was sad.  And then I thought “dammit, I enjoy blogging, I enjoy interacting with my regular readers and there has to be a way to do this.”  I thought some more and came up with several ideas of how things might be able to continue here.  We’re going to give it a shot.

So…first things first.  There will be no more American Girl product “reviews” as such.  After thinking about some of the issues I had come across with image theft on the internet, I realized that the one thing they had in common was popularity.  American Girl products tend to sell well on the secondary market, making them a target for unscrupulous sellers.  I remember incidents several years ago where Ebay “sellers” weren’t actually in possession of the items they were selling, they were using stolen credit card numbers to have items drop shipped to buyers and pocketing the profits.  I think products from other companies are less likely to be targeted, so those reviews may not need to change.  It’s going to be an experimental process.  Fingers crossed.  I will still use my AG stuff in posts and may disguise them as reviews, but the images will be so busy, it’s highly doubtful anyone would want to steal them.  Plus if they have one or more of my custom dolls in them, it would make them easily identifiable.

Second–blog move.  At the moment I have a domain name reserved at another site.  Current plan is to remain here at this site, BUT should WordPress decide to abandon their “Classic” style for writing blog posts, I’m outta here.  Their new “Block” format is poorly thought out and incredibly difficult to use.  It appears to be designed more for businesses than for casual “fun” bloggers like myself.  Back when I started this blog, my goal was initially 5 years or until I ran out of storage space, and then decide from there.  I’m using that same sort of thinking now, only it’s until I run out of storage space or they decide to change to that horrible format.  At which point I will just move operations over to the other site and share the new address here.  I’m going to work on it over the next few weeks in hopes that if that happens, it will be an easy transition.

Third–I decided to start something else to go in conjunction with the blog.  At this point it’s truly experimental, but I think it could be kind of fun.  What is it you ask?  I’ve started a Facebook group for Say Hello To My Little Friends!  I have decided to keep it private though so I can have complete control over membership, etc.  If you are on Facebook and you would like to be a member of that group, please send me an e-mail at   ROSIESFLO@      YAHOO.COM.   (There are no spaces after the @, I deliberately put that there to keep bots from grabbing it and spamming me relentlessly.)  When you e-mail me, put “Facebook group” in the subject line and in the message, tell me you’d like to be a member of the group along with what your Facebook name is.  If you don’t follow the instructions, you will not get a reply from me.  If you do follow the instructions, you will get an e-mail back with a link to the Facebook group.

After being angry this week, I went in and looked at my stats here.  I have a bunch of followers who have absolutely NOTHING to do with dolls, and I suspect they are probably either dishonest people or just some of those people who follow just for the numbers.  I’m going to go through my entire followers list here and delete those people.  If by chance you are genuinely a regular reader and you accidentally get deleted, just follow again.  I don’t want to get rid of actual readers, but this is the only way to possibly weed out some of these “trouble makers”.  I also looked at my stats for hits on various days.  While I like to think that my blog is interesting, let’s be honest–it has a very limited group of people it appeals to and the majority of those are in the US.  I can see one or two hits from assorted foreign countries–but when you get 8 hits in one day from Ghana, you start to question just how many of these hits on the blog are from legitimate accounts and how many of them are from bots, either looking for pages to spam or ones to steal data from.  UGH!  I have changed some of the settings here so that you can no longer comment on any posts after they are 30 days old.  I did this to put an end to a lot of the spam comments I was getting and so far it has worked.  I noticed that almost all of the ones I was receiving were on old posts, and this seems to have put an end to that.  Nobody, I mean NOBODY needs to see spam from porn bots.  Gross, disgusting and I really don’t want that on here in any way, shape or form!!!!

So, that’s where we are at.  Moving forward with some changes that I hope work to combat the issues that I’ve been having but with enough flexibility that we can easily adapt to anything that might come along.

Also–I have a couple of photos to share on here that are related to prior posts.  I had a couple of questions in regards to some product reviews I had done and I just hadn’t had a chance to get to those.

Back in June I wrote a review of the Wellie Wishers Merry Stocking Set.  “LeoLion” asked for a photo of Joss (aka Wendy here on the blog) holding these items.  Here you go!  I hope this gives you a better idea of the size on these items.

When I did the post about Joss’s surf van, Heather asked to see photos of the back of the van with more than just one passenger.  Finally I got around to doing these as well!

Side by side with two dolls on the bench seat isn’t crowded at all.  I wish you could have seen me trying to take this pic, I opened the doors on each side of the front and had an arm going in both sides with the camera in my left hand, operating the shutter with my right, hugging the van windshield.  Thank heavens for long arms!!!!

And a shot of their feet so you can see it really isn’t bad at all.

I then added a third doll to the passenger seat with it spun around:

This does take a bit of manipulation and turns into a bit of a game of footsie.  I hope this answers your questions Heather!

If by chance anyone does run across any of my photos anywhere else on the internet, please contact me immediately.  I WILL take legal action against anyone who steals my photographs.  I do not take image theft lightly.  And if I see photos from any of the blogs I follow, I will do the same.  We all have to look out for each other.

I think we are all caught up now on business.  I look forward to seeing some of you over on the Facebook group, I know not everyone has Facebook and like I said, it’s a bit of an experiment at this point.  Otherwise, hoping to getting back to posting here, I have a bunch of photos I did last night and another set I want to do in the next day or so.  Fingers crossed we won’t have any issues, but if there are, I will keep everyone informed.

Meeting adjourned!

Taking a break.

This morning I fully intended on taking some pics for some new posts.  I just can’t do it.  And here’s why.

Image theft.  It’s out of control on the internet.  I’ve had it.  And until things improve, I no longer feel comfortable posting any images on the internet for public viewing.

Last night I found out about someone I know who had calendars that they did for a charity stolen.  Yep, you read that right.  This person worked hard all year to do a calendar to raise money for a charity she supports, only to have the calendars stolen.  This isn’t the first incident she’s had either.  Earlier this year, someone stole her images off her social media accounts and tried to sell merchandise on Amazon using them.  Pretty damned gutsy.  She had a horrible time getting Amazon to remove them and the only reason it happened is because she happened to have an attorney friend who threatened them, as well as a bunch of friends from her fandom who threatened to quit doing business with them as well.  But it took WEEKS to get them to pull and I suspect under normal circumstances, it could takes months or longer.

Hot on the heels of reading about her problem with the calendars, what pops up into my Facebook feed but yet another fake ad from a company trying to sell sweaters, using stolen photos.  Same company I reported before too.  Same stolen images from a reputable company that I have purchased stuff from.  This is ridiculous.

I just can’t do this anymore.  Right about now I feel like throwing all of my photography equipment into the trash. I feel like all of us in this business/field are fighting a losing battle.  And companies like Amazon, Ebay, Facebook and the rest are all just sitting back, raking in the cash on this dishonest behavior.  It’s not right, it’s not fair, and I’ve had enough.

So this blog is on a break.  Maybe temporary, maybe permanent.  I’m hoping I can figure out a way to continue without putting myself and my brand at risk, but at this point, I don’t have the time or the energy to deal with it anymore.  Thank you all for your support through all of this.

 

Doll Sized Finds: Timing is EVERYTHING!

So, I recently went to my local Gabes to check out the bargains and I found a couple of really cool things!  Gabes is sort of like TJMaxx in that it’s closeouts, etc, so you never know exactly what you might find there.  

I was really excited when I came across this cool mini lantern…

And then a World’s Smallest Care Bear!  

I was super excited to find both of these items–the lantern will be great for future camping themed posts and the Care Bear is so perfect given the recent release of Courtney!

Here’s the lantern out of the package.  The carabiner clip was included, I’m guessing the idea was so you could clip it to your clothes or something. 

And this little thing puts out some serious light!!!!  Check it out!

The little Care Bear is so adorable, I love the little details on it.

Christine couldn’t wait to mess around with both things–I think the scale on both is perfect, I’d love to see how this mini Care Bear compares in size to the one from Courtney’s collection.

Two very cool little finds and each one was only $2.99!  It was definitely a good day to stop by and see what they had. 

Have you found anything fun lately???