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April 21 2008

News from the Etsy Labs: New Spring Classes

At the Etsy Labs, we are continually adding new classes to the schedule. After a short hiatus due to restructuring of the Labs, we are back! All classes are held at the Etsy Labs in Brooklyn. Check out our newest classes for April, MayJune, and July below!


Design Your Own Totebag (Beginning Sewing)

If you've been wanting to learn to sew, this introductory class is for you! You will learn how to operate a sewing machine and design and complete your own tote bag. Taught by hodgepodgefarm. Learn more about the class and sign up here.

Learn to Make a Sundress (Intermediate Sewing)

In this class you will learn how to make a dress while learning some of the finer points of sewing: seam finishing, darts, inserting invisible zippers, bias-tape necklines and embellishing with trims. Taught by hodgepodgefarm. Learn more about the class and sign up here.

Beginning Jewelry 

Learn the basics to jewelry making with Daniellexo (aka PreciousPups). This class will cover a range of basics needed to get started creating great designs in metal. Learn more about the class and sign up here.

Bookbinding: Simple Sewn Book Structures

Learn how to make simple sewn books and wow your friends with julieincharge (aka yoursecretadmiral)! This workshop that will center around the creation of Japanese stab-bound books, pamphlet stitched books, and other simple sewn books. Learn more about the class and sign up here.

Bookbinding: The Coptic Stitch 

In this workshop, students will create a hard-covered Coptic-bound book with julieincharge (aka yoursecretadmiral). The Coptic stitch dates back to the 4th century and is characterized by its chains of stitching along an exposed spine.  Learn more about the class and sign up here.

Gocco 101

This workshop will cover all the basics of printing with a Riso Print Gocco PG-5. The printing process with this machine is like a cross between screen-printing, block-printing, and stamping. Taught by julieincharge (aka yoursecretadmiral). Learn more about the class and sign up here.


Paper Puppet Possee


 As a member of the posse you'll learn about what tools and techniques to use in making basic paper puppets. Techniques and hot skills include: basic design, rigging a marionette, using weights, and making different types of joints. Taught by crankbunny. Learn more about the class and sign up here.



Keep an eye on the Storque Events calendar for future updates from the Etsy Labs. We'll keep you posted when we announce our next craft night, which will be sometime soon!

Want to learn more about the Labs? Check out our FAQs. Want to receive email updates? Join our Etsy Labs mailing list.

About Us: Michelle aka HeyMichelle

Etsy has had quite a growth spurt in the past year, and we have the awkward pictures to prove it. We'll be posting a series of About Us pieces to help you get to know the Etsy admin (and since many of us work remotely, for the admin to get to know each other!). You've seen the admin badge, and maybe you're a bit curious about the person behind it! For more on Etsy's mission and about the company, please see our About page (the link is in the little blue footer of every Etsy page).


MP4 | Youtube | Blip.tv | Subscribe in iTunes

Michelle aka HeyMichelle is one of the most unique people I've ever met! (I feel like a broken record here, but really, Etsy admin are so unique!)  She's a California transplant flowering into a beautiful Brooklynite with a great combo of NYC grit and Cali zaniness.  She brings a die-hard passion to the job of admin-ing. She is a student of Etsy ways — a keen observer who will often notice a problem and figure out how to fix it. She's also a driving force at the Etsy Labs. When our waffle maker broke, she stepped up to make pancakes.

Michelle loves fashion, and is a true innovator in the ways of "making it work." She went to school for fashion and started off at Etsy as a seller handmaking underwear and bloomers.  If there is one person who can carry just about anything off, it's Michelle!

Michelle Fun Facts:

  • Michelle once ordered a huge flaming bowl of liquor at a restaurant while out to dinner with Danielle.
  • She is in love with her little Bun (also known as Tiny), her pet bunny that she adopted from Kelly's roommate. She is doing a superswanky Alchemy request for a bunny garden which will only further fuel her bunny's appetite for veggies in a luxurious setting.
  • She's a really excellent softball player.
  • In one of her more impassioned Shop Critiques, she had an almost divine vision of why sellers should never shoot their items outdoors, unless they have particular reasons too.
  • She is good at giving hilarious and inappropriate gifts, i.e. baby wipes, says Danielle.
  • She is banned from making coffee at Etsy Labs because it turns out "more like Hippy Juice than coffee," says Rob.
  • Michelle refers to each of us co-workers as "Dude" or "Friend."
  • She does a great Monty Burns impression.
  • She is a ruthless Scrabble and poker player.
Michelle, now that it's summer, will you still wear Rob's huge wool hat?  Will Rob finally snatch it back?

Michelle could totally still rock this style!

Tiny baby Michelle!

You can see some of Michelle's posts here. See all posts in this About Us series.

Focusing Our Priorities: Your Top Three Ideas

We're taking a bunch of steps here at Etsy to make sure we're in tune with what you, our members, would like us to change or add to the site.

Last Tuesday, we posted a forum thread in the Ideas Section of the forums asking for your top three ideas as both buyers and sellers on Etsy.  We were so happy to follow this thread over the past week and watch it grow to a 60+ page thread with over 600 posts.  As each new post came in, we documented and tallied your ideas. We are pleased to share the results with you.

Overall Top Three Buyer Ideas: 

  1. Favorites (organizing, searching, privacy, gift registry, etc.)
  2. Advanced Search
  3. Seamless checkout process

Overall Top Three Seller Ideas: 

  1. Seller statistics
  2. Ability to move listings within shop (without renewing)
  3. Vacation mode

Here are the full lists:

We greatly appreciate your feedback, ideas, and the time you took to voice them in the thread.  From here, we'll use your input (from both the ideas forum and community inbox) to help us prioritize development. You can expect some more forum posts from us as we gather more details about specific features.

Etsy Cooperative Advertising Program: Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion, August/September Issue

Here comes the next installment of the Cooperative Advertising ProgramMary Engelbreit's Home Companion

In case you're not familiar with this program, here are the important details:

  • Etsy will purchase ad space in various magazines, subsidize the cost, and design the ads.
  • Etsy Sellers are able to purchase spots in the ad at the discounted rate.
  • You will get to display your shop name, an image of one item, its price, and its category.  
  • The limit is one spot per seller, per advertisement.
This ad will be in the August/September issue of Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion magazine. 
  • 30 spots will be available to sellers at a price of $75 each.
  • Spots will go on sale on Monday, April 28, 2008 at 1:00pm (ET). 
  • Spots are purchased in the same manner as a Showcase.
  • If you successfully buy a cooperative ad spot through Showcase, your item photo and information must be sent to adam@etsy.com no later than 3:00pm (ET) on Monday, May 5, 2008.

About Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion

  • Paid Circulation is 353,859
  • Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion is published 6 times annually.
  • The theme of the August/September issue will be Easy Living, and it goes on sale July 8, 2008.

Mary Engelbreit’s Home Companion inspires its readers to unleash their “artistic spirit” to attain personal style and meaning in their lives. The magazine focuses on art and artists, home design and decoration, creative do-it-yourself projects and artistic travel destinations.

The Mary Engelbreit brand has been built on the principle of living an artful life. This artist-turned-lifestyle-maven believes your home should be a personal reflection of whom you are and what you value most, that design and decorating doesn’t come from a textbook, but from the heart. Mary Engelbreit’s Home Companion provides readers with a mix of art and whimsy, a lifestyle that follows inspiration rather than fashion trends, to bring comfort and enjoyment to her loyal fans.

A few facts about Home Companion readers:

  • Median household income is $87,000.
  • 99% are women.
  • 86% took action as a result of reading Home Companion.
  • 90% purchased handmade objects of art.
  • 71% do home decorating.
  • 97% say interest in creative arts will continue to influence their lifestyle.

Upcoming Ads: To Be Announced. Check back soon!


1. What is the Cooperative Advertising Program?

  • By purchasing a spot in a Cooperative Advertising Program, Etsy sellers can show off their items in an Etsy-branded magazine advertisement, reach new buyers, and help boost their sales and shop awareness. Print ads in popular magazines are often priced out of reach of small entrepreneurs. Etsy is able to purchase larger ads for more impact, and let sellers buy into the ads.

2. How does it work?

  • Etsy reduces costs to sellers by subsidizing the ads.  We pay half of the cost.  The cost to you is the remaining amount, divided by the number of spots for sale.
  • Sellers get to display one image of an item from their shop, its price, its main category and their shop name. The appearance of the ad is similar to our homepage.  See the original article for an example.

 3. How do I purchase a spot?

  • 1: Go to the Showcase Gateway.
  • 2: Choose "Cooperative Ads - Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion Showcase." There will only be one date to choose from.
  • 3: Hit the "Purchase" button.  The fee will be added to your normal Etsy bill. 

*Note: The items that appear in the Showcase section of "Your Etsy" will not affect this purchase.  The item photo that you send in via email to adam@etsy.com will be what appears in the ad.  There is not an online Showcase associated with this purchase!

4. What do I do next?

        You'll receive a conversation from Adam with details, and we will need the following from you:

  1. Your shop name.
  2. The price of the item.
  3. The main category that the item is listed under.
  4. A high-resolution photograph of your item.  This means 300 dpi, at 1.25" x 1" (L x H) size. Otherwise known as a horizontal rectangle.
  • If you need help with photo issues, please ask, and Adam will send you detailed instructions.  If you already have a photo that you like, great!  If not, check out some of our photography tips.
  • We will need your image by 3:00pm (ET) on Monday, May 5, 2008 to give us time to lay out the ad and meet our deadline with Home Companion.

5. How many spots can I reserve?

  • You can purchase one spot per advertisement.

6. Can I cancel a spot after I've made a reservation? Is the fee refunded?

  • We will only cancel and refund spots under very special circumstances. Deciding you are no longer interested in your spot does not count.  If you feel like you really have a valid case please email adam@etsy.com.

7. How do I know if the current Cooperative Ad is right for me?

  • Do some research!  We'll provide helpful info for each ad as it becomes available (see above). And, it may be helpful to visit your local bookstore or newsstand to see if they carry the magazine.  Remember, there will be more of these Cooperative Advertising opportunities available in the future, including Craft, Venus, and Bust.  If you don't feel like  Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion is perfect for you, there will be other opportunities...

Tech Updates: Changes in the Item Renewal Process

Dear sellers:

I am always surprised to see an item listing set to expire in 2050 (we have some items expiring in 2100!). Wow! I am not sure what I’ll be doing next year, let alone 42 years from now. We expect that Etsy will be around for a long time, and we are concerned that buyers will be frustrated and disappointed if — 10 years from now — a number of shops with active listings have been abandoned or forgotten about by the seller. In an effort to keep the shops on Etsy updated and limit the opportunity for a store to be sitting idle with active listings for years and years, we are changing our renewal policy, as mentioned in a recent Town Hall meeting.  

Currently, when you renew an item, 4 months are added to the end of your existing listing.

Example:  An item listed on April 9, 2008 will expire on August 9, 2008. If you renew today, April 18, 2008, your listing would expire December 9, 2008. Renew again, another four months are added and the item will expire April 9, 2009, and so on.
As part of our ongoing initiative to upgrade the site’s ease of use and improve everyone's experience, we want to avoid this problem and have made the following change: if you renew an item, four months will be added to the item listing from the date of renewal.
Example:  An item listed on April 9, 2008 will expire on August 9, 2008. If you renew today, April 18, 2008, the listing will expire on August 18, 2008.

Current listings with expiration dates beyond four months from today will not be affected. This will only impact listings renewed from today forward. You can read more about this and other upcoming changes in Rob’s summary of our recent Town Hall meeting. 

We know that many people use renewing to promote and help gain exposure for their items. Search results and categories are both currently sorted to show the most recently listed items first. I have written about experimenting with pricing and promotion in the past. There are other ways to promote yourself on the site such as buying a Showcase spot, which many sellers find successful. We are also working on new promotional opportunities for sellers. At the end of the day, it is really about learning what works for you.

We want to do all we can to keep Etsy a vibrant and fun place to buy and sell handmade goods. If you have any ideas, add your suggestions to Rob’s recent forum thread. We want to hear from you.

If you are unsure about the Showcase, get a general introduction from Matt's article 13.5 Questions about the Showcase, and for deeper thoughts on figuring out if Showcase is right for you, see my Showcase Deconstructed article.

Etsy Finds: Auntie MaryMary

I just found out this week that my sister is pregnant!  This will be the very first baby in our family and we couldn't be more excited! So what do I do upon hearing the news that I'll soon be an aunt, you ask?  I go on an Etsy mission to shower the baby with gifts and be deemed winner of the "coolest aunt" contest! (My sister has two other sisters-in-law, so I am determined to be the favorite aunt...can you blame me?)

While perusing for the best eco-friendly gifts I could find, I stumbled across this totally environmentally friendly baby gift set from shescrafty: it's the total package!  This beautiful suitcase gift set is full of knitted baby goodies that are handmade with naturally organic merino yarn, which is good for baby and the environment!

I figure with Etsy up my sleeves, there's no way the other aunts can win against me! Muuuaaahaha! (Evil coolest aunt laugh.)


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Virtual Labs Schedule For April 20th to April 25th

If you haven't attended a Virtual Labs workshop discussion, you're missing out!  They're a great place to learn some new tricks, meet and chat! Are you new to Etsy? Don't miss out on our new Newbie chat! 

The following schedule starts Monday, April 20th to Friday, April 25th, 2008 (all Eastern Daylight Time).    The schedule posted in the Virtual Labs is magically in *your* time.  So if you are confused just click here to see what's coming up in your real time. 

The admin office hours are in place to help you get to know admin and to have your questions answered.  Feel free to pop by to chat with admin about their area of expertise on Etsy!


On-the-fly shop critiques with EtsyLabs Ladies — 4pm in the Shop Setup Room


Newbie Chat with Danielle and Julie — 5:15pm in the Treehouse.  

Office Hours: Mary (Etsy Community Advocate) — 7pm in the Treehouse


Wednesday Workshop: Eco Friendly Tips for Your Shop — 3pm in the Treehouse

Shop Critiques with Michelle — 9pm in the Shop Setup Room


Office Hours: Sara (Etsy Teams Admin)  — 11am in the Teams Room.

Weekly Teams Meeting with Sara and Danielle — 12pm in the Teams Room

Office Hours: Vanessa and Alison, Tara and Bre (Storque Admin). Come and talk about Pet-related stuff; give us feedback and how to get involved  —  4pm in the Storque Room

Office Hours: RobWhite (Forum Admin) — 8pm in the Red Room.


Office Hours: Matt (Communicator) —  11am in the Lounge. 

Community Chatt with Matt —  12pm in the Treehouse

On-The-Fly Critiques with the EtsyLabs ladies — 4pm in the Treehouse

Learn more about the Virtual Labs here

Apply to hold your own meetings or online workshops in the Virtual Labs here! Or send me a convo.
You can also check out the Events Calendar in the Storque!

Etsy Finds: Chain Chain Chain

I was reading about Tom Binns last weekend and was really into his intense multi-strand chain pieces. Then I went looking to see what Etsy had to offer, but actually got sidetracked by the chain maille artists and all the metalsmiths hand-forging their own chain jewelry. There is really so much great work out there. Take a look!

If you assemble riotous concoctions of chains and baubles, and I didn't find you, drop me a line in the commenst below because I am still looking!

Midnight Blue Fringe Necklace

Loose chainmaille weave necklace in a bright, striking blue. By redpanda, $35.

Redpanda went on vacation after I wrote this Find! Please check out this and other great items in her shop  when she gets back.

View Shop 

Tabbed Necklace - Resin and Sterling

Gemmafactrix has a warehouse somewhere in her 'hood where she, I believe, carts home bucketfuls of interesting electronic parts and bits of rubber and metal doodads, and then sits down to transform it all into rad jewelry. Like these phenolic resin components that are now---poof---a cool necklace. $62.

View item | View Shop | Add to Etsy Favorites


Scarlet Accent

Two different goldfill chains, one oxidised sterling, one textured sterling, and three other sterling chain, all mixed together in this pretty bracelet. By realisationcreations, $55.

View item | View Shop | Add to Etsy Favorites


linked leaf necklace

Beautiful steel necklace designed by meganauman, $200.

View item | View Shop | Add to Etsy Favorites


A Coppery Twist

"This piece blends Flower Petal Maille, also known as Mobius Knots with Japanese 12-2 Weave, seamlessly meshing into a gorgeous weave of copper." And it's stunning. By DantesSpirit, $35.

View item | View Shop | Add to Etsy Favorites



Simple, modern, large link chain bracelet. By industria, $57.

View item | View Shop | Add to Etsy Favorites

Tangle Necklace

This is sort of exactly the necklace I was looking for when I set out to find these Finds. Lots and lots and lots and lots of strands. By automaticsweetheart, $75.

View item | View Shop | Add to Etsy Favorites

Chain Maille Sampler

For those hesitant to spend money on a chain maille piece you can't touch first, cMaille smartly offers this sampler set — and your $30 can go towards your next purchase!

View item | View Shop | Add to Etsy Favorites

The Foil

I love this necklace and I can't really explain why. It just speaks to my little ole conflicted gemini heart. By Cance, $22.

View item | View Shop | Add to Etsy Favorites

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April 20 2008

Etsy Finds: Recycled Kitchen Scrubbies

Some parts of cooking are glamorous, and some simply are not.  Sometimes my knifework is like amateur hour surgery, with juice of fresh fruit and vegetables going everywhere as I butcher the meaning of the term "coarse chop."  Nice knives can help make the scene a little more palatable (gadgeteers love tools, too) and local, organic ingredients are now thankfully very much in vogue.  But what about the downtrodden process of cleaning? 

I was raised on endless rolls of paper towels, but really started to feel guilty as I grew into being a little more eco-conscious, and didn't want to submit to the irresponsible use of sponge bacteria traps.  There's got to be something better out there, right?  More coarse than a washcloth but safer than a sponge?

RightBrainThinker says yes.  Not only can I clean work surfaces, but I can scrub vegetables, dishes, and (don't try this at home) maybe the cat (c'mere, kitty!).  Not only that, but I can have as many as I want.  Washer-dryer safe and available in large quantites, these scrubbies recycle t-shirts to green up and provide a thoughtful aspect to the part of kitchen action that we want to think the least about.

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Check out other recycled kitchen and cleaning items in the gallery below.

April 19 2008

Etsy Finds: Recycled Circuit Board Key Chain

Hey all you lovers out there in the webbed world of intergalactic communication, this is Jakob aka vonmilan. I am new to Etsy and this is my first Storque article, so go easy on me.

My Etsy name is vonmilan and I am the new receptionist/office-manager/office-geologist. I found this super cool recycled keychain by DebbyAremDesigns that looks like something between the cyborg-future and the Dark-Ages-past, kind of like what those kids in "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" carry around — records attached to their Gandolf-staffs. But check it out for yourself! 

Here's my About Us photo (video and the rest coming soon):

Need a daily fix of Etsy Finds? Sign up for the Etsy Finds e-mail! Conveniently delivered to your inbox on the daily!  


April 18 2008

Etsy How-to: Make a Miniature Moustache

This week, Christine (aka iheartmoustaches) breaks it on down and shows us how to use #6 plastic to create miniature moustaches! (Christine has made a bunch of these in the past, as she is a lover of the moustache in all its various forms.) #6 plastic is not recycleable in New York and so this is a great way to upcycle those strawberry containers and Chinese take out containers and keep them out of the landfill. This project is awesome for people who need a moustache on the go.

 MP4 | Youtube | Blip.tv | Subscribe in iTunes

She's also open sourcing two of her moustache designs.  You can download "The Professor" and "The Lady's Man" in this pdf

We did some measuring and the moustaches started out 6 inches wide and ended up 2 1/4 inches wide.  That means it shrunk to almost 1/3 its original size! 

Music by Barry London 

If you haven't subscribed to our Youtube channel, go check it out and subscribe! 

For more how-tos and instructional good stuff, check out Howcast.com! We post videos there, and there's much more to discover!

Earth Tones: Shopping Green

Dear shoppers: this edition of the Earth Tones series reflects on what you can do to be a smarter green shopper, on Etsy and elsewhere. Take it to heart!

Everything you buy has an effect on the environment. It’s your job to make sure that the footprint you leave on the Earth is as minimal as possible. It’s my hope with this article to raise awareness and educate the Etsy community on better, smarter ways to shop.

Eco-friendly products are more accessible and affordable then ever before. However, it’s not just about recycling after you buy: it’s about buying smart and thinking before you make that purchase in the first place. This is a highly underrated concept. The object is not to fill the recycle bin as much as possible, but to minimize what we buy to prevent us from having to recycle in the first place. The quicker we can understand this concept, the better off we'll be.

In order to become a more educated, green savvy shopper, there are a few things you need to know, like how your item is packaged, what materials are used, if it’s recyclable, and how long will it last. With simple tips and smart planning, anyone can do their part to help conserve our resources.

Here are a couple questions to ask yourself before you hand over the cash…

- Do you really need this product?
- Is this product going to get its full use?
- How is the product manufactured?
- What will you do with the product when you’re finished?

To elaborate on the questions above, I’ve outlined a few things below to keep in mind on your next shopping trip.

- Buy in bulk as much as possible. Non-perishable goods such as canned vegetables, toilet paper, cleaning supplies and detergent are all things you can buy in the largest available quantity. This will not only save wasted packaging, but will also save you some cash and the recourses used to create the product.

- Don’t use those plastic produce bags the grocery store offers. There are so many alternatives to reusable bags that it just doesn’t make sense to waste the plastic.

[Ready for Market Tote with 3 Reusable Shopping Bags by kootsac, at right] 

kootsac and remarket make a great produce bag to take along with you to the market. You can also use them for whole dry foods such as nuts, dried fruits and candies that are becoming more popular at your local grocer.

While you’re at it, say no to paper and plastic. Buy a tote bag and take it along with you next time you shop. I’m particularly fond of this plastic blows tote from jpharris or these cute little wristlets made from recycled t-shirt arms by zJayne. I’m most fond of the color selection that niccocjm has to offer on her eco-friendly shopping bags. What fun to carry around! Buy one of each color to match your outfit.

- Buy used. Carolyn from Cowgirlrosie says it best: "Our throwaway society is creating garbage we may never fully get rid of and using recourses we will never be able to duplicate."

By purchasing used, you are not only preserving the landfills, but also saving those valuable resources that would otherwise be used if you bought something new from the store.  I have this fabulous table lamp I purchased for $2 at my local Goodwill and I’m damn proud of it.  You are saving that product from being dumped in our already overcrowded landfills and giving new life to something old.

Etsy has a substantial vintage category where you can find all sorts of lovelies found by your very own Etsy friends. Seller thatsswell has some gorgeous vintage pyrex bowls in her shop right now, seen at left.

- Buy recycled packaging.
Look for items that are made from materials that can be easily recycled, as not all packaging can be recycled everywhere: some towns only accept glass or certain plastics. It’s important to know what your town recycles before you buy. Earth911 is a great site to go visit to find out the recycling rules in your area.

- Stop buying paper towels. With all the crocheted dishcloths and tea towels our Etsy peers have to offer, how can you resist? Families waste $260 a year on paper towels and napkins. That’s huge! I’ve grown found of EcoKate’s crocheted dish cloths, and boxwoodgood’s hemp napkins.

Jayne Pierce from zJayne says, "More and more we are seeing smart, fun, creative, artsy creations for everything! Handmade items extending the life of a product makes a difference a little at a time." Thanks for those words of wisdom, Jayne.

We live in such a throw a way society that it’s more important now than ever to be a couscous buyer. Do the planet a favor and think before you buy.

Further Resources:

Projectfelt is shop of all things colorful and felted. Her passion for design, form and color are what makes her business successful. Born and raised in a small town in Pennsylvania, she loves to take nature walks and gather tree droppings to stuff in her little felted bowls. Her passion for the environment carries over to her blog at Projectfelt.blogspot.com, where she talks about eco-friendly topics and also features Etsy sellers weekly. 

Etsy Finds: Mamas

Have you seen the story of the tiger mom in the zoo who lost her own cubs and began surrogating baby piglets? While the origins of this story may remain in question, it's an amazing site to behold. It got me thinking about just how wonderful animals are... and with Mother's Day less than a month away, why not give the moms of the animal world their due?

Today's Finds guest curated by Christina aka MissBatch.

Koalas 8.5 x 11 Print

Simple lines and bold color make this moma and baby koala by OrangeWillow a striking pair. By OrangeWillow, $15.

View item | View Shop | Add to Etsy Favorites

Sock monkey mommy and baby

What's better than one sock monkey? Two sock monkeys! The set comes complete with printed copies of the listing photos ready to frame for the nursery. By bobeyah, $82.

View item | View Shop | Add to Etsy Favorites


Bunny Mum-Original Painting

This bunny mum looks like she's had a long day. Why not let your own mum (or mom) know you understand with this original painting by Bluedogrose? $42.

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Crochet Pattern - Baby Turtle and her Mommy

Nuzzling turtles? Too cute for words! Crochet pattern by anapaulaoli. Can't crochet? Maybe it's time to cuddle up to your own mom — or a friendly surrogate — for a lesson? $4.25.

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Sirja the Mommy Owl with Owlet Miniature Figurine

Lovingly hand sculpted with painted details, owl and owlet become one. By ihana, $30.

View item | View Shop | Add to Etsy Favorites


Panda Mom and Baby - fused glass pendant

A panda piggieback is captured with incredible attention to detail — in glass! By ArtoftheMoment $39.95.

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New Mama - 4 Blank Notecards

Sorry to repeat a species, but there's lots of bunny love on Etsy and I just can't get enough! By amberalexander, $10.

View item | View Shop | Add to Etsy Favorites

lemon drop mama and baby elephant set

Available in lots of color combos, soft fabric elephants by maidenlove even offer a pinch of lavender to encourage baby's sweet dreams. $40.

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Mama Roblin with detachable baby

With it's pouch and detachable baby, this is the kind of toy I would have LOVED as a kid, and still do! By perfectchildren, $68.

View item | View Shop | Add to Etsy Favorites

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April 17 2008

Kelly Turns Your Grandma into a Knitting Machine

When I first heard about knitting machines, I was skeptical.  Then I heard about a model that could connect to a computer and I had to have one.

Kelly breaks it on down here, giving you an intro into the world of machine knitting.  This was filmed at NYCResistor, a hacker space here in Brooklyn. I love the close up shots of Kelly casting on and off!


 The machine looks incredibly confusing when you first open it up, but Kelly makes it look easy. She even fixes a problem on the fly in this video. 

In this video: Kelly Farrell, Eric Skiff (behind the camera / CC-BY music), Raphael Abrams ("this machine is my grandma!"), George Shammas, and Bre's knitting machine. - Link

Etsy Press Club: March 2008

Take 2. The latest edition of the Etsy Press Club has arrived. These are all of the clipping that I received in the month of March. Huzzah to all the newly famous Etsians! As always, if you get mentioned in the press, please send an email with your shop name and links to pressclub@etsy.com to be included in our roll call. And heeeeere we go...


Computer Arts - artyfakt

Button! Button!
- AllAboutTheButtons

Chicago Tribune - pickalapoopa

Idaho Statesman - Idaho Etsy Street Team

Tennessee Living - DesignsbyBaerreis

944 - rachelmira

Chicago, Best Life, Bride's, Readymade - paperstories

The Brooklyn Paper
- metalandthread

LMNOP - mylittledear

Craft & Design - guerillaembroidery

The Detroit News - talkingsquid

St. Petersburg Times - Florida Etsy Street Team

The Daytona Beach News Journal - LoveLeeSoaps, sdcreations

Woman's World
- Jeanetiks

Intelligencer Journal - maggiefrenchfolkart

The Philadelphia Inquirer JaneTexCat, MissBunnyFace

The Washington City Paper
- shoofly, CircaCeramics, margauxlange, meganauman,  

Venus Zine - shoofly


vintageindie - polkadotsquare, inky56, Atomicveggiecom, nijoli

lilyandtulip - polkadotsquare

decor8 - paperstories, blair, JMNPOTTERY, syko, jacquelineknits, breadandbuttershop, ErinTyner, annarubyking, rosiemusic, ReLoveProjects, irisschwarz, simplijessi, lbegley, papersparrow, gypsyandtwink

purplepinkandorange - haleystudio, Bubbledog

ctatattler - ChristineRenee

polkadotmom - polkadotsquare

whatsonsouthwest - Romeria

apartmenttherapySF - LASdesigns

nerve - jessicapouindstone olive

mouemagazine, kinichiriver, wordworkshop - jessemosher

design*sponge - paperstories, groundwork

marthastewart - paperstories

dailycandy - paperstories, shoofly

onemillionpeacesigns - VioletsNewVintage

plushyou, craftzine - PillowMonsters

yorkpress - sugarcane

design-milk - janicej

girlfriendology, girlfriendologytoo - capitolagirl

perfectbound - shopgoodgrace, sunshinecitylassie, allencompanyinc, colorada, HomeMadeOriginals

joannagoddard, samanthahahn, armasdesign, howaboutorangeshopgoodgrace

sarazucker - cubistliterature, timberps, toybreaker, wildewear, shannonlynnette, recycledglamour, rivkasmomparaphernalia, brooklynrehab, mammalia, arebycdesign, greenbelts, shopgoodgrace, glittersniffer, vintageitville, synchronicity313, deadbirdfinds, wonting

apartmenttherapyNY - insaneity

CuteOverload - girlsavage

omiru - jessicajane

diything, craftzine - yaelfran

inhabitat - UglyKitty

geeksugar - rarebeasts

chicagoist - bakeanddestroy

thechicksguide - makristababy, muchachak, stilettoheights, juliespace, zombieromance, armatodesign, repaper, junkprints, boringsidney, jewellace, JunglesofBrooklyn, mezzo, MissKarina

babygadget - jacksprat

jewelryandbeading - creationsbylonni

fatchic - Phonyart


realsimple - michelemaule, jenniferdavis, donnacompton, lushbella, wrenandchickadee, haru, Elfrida, SusyJack 

bostonist - amyjjewelry, EtceteraMedia, transaction

southendopenmarket - stonesoupjewelry

jacksonville - dlkdesigns


Fortune Hunters - bijouxbead

House Hunters - Slowshirts

Check out previous editions of the Etsy Press Club here! Send your press mentions to press@etsy.com to be included in the next edition.

All About Etsy FAQ Series: Meet the Etsy Content Team

In this installment of the All About Etsy FAQ Series, we'll introduce the precious few in charge of investigating flagged items on Etsy: the Content Team.

Have you ever wondered what happens when an item is flagged on Etsy? Where do these reports go? Who reads them? What happens next?!

A special task force is in place to investigate these matters, and we are called the Etsy Shop Content Team. This branch of community support is made up of Tim aka dillinger (see his About Us piece), Caleb aka calebwalt (see his About Us piece), and Amber aka adubois (About Us piece coming soon!). As well as helping users to comply with Etsy guidelines, we field questions about listing policies and work to shape the boundaries of what can be sold on Etsy. Our mission is to educate the community and preserve the integrity of the site.

Here is some information about when and how to contact the Etsy Content Team...

Reporting shops in violation of Etsy Policy:
If you come across a listing you feel breaks one of Etsy's rules, you can click 'Report this item to Etsy' on the lower right hand side of the page. You can also report a shop or listing by sending an email to flagged@etsy.com. Please note that you don't need to expect an email back from us: the Content Team does not respond to emails received in the flagged inbox. Further, once an item or shop is reported, the investigation process is confidential. We take care of it from here on out!

As the flagged emails come in, there are generally four actions we may take:

    1. The report is dismissed - This happens when the listing is clearly not in violation of Etsy policy, and there are no other apparent problems with the shop. If the user is flagged again, we will look into the shop to make sure everything is still in order.

    2. An inquiry is sent to the reported user - Sometimes it is unclear whether or not a violation is occuring. In these cases, we send a questionnaire to the seller to get more information about the shop or listing. After the seller returns the Inquiry, we either dismiss the case, we ask the user to make changes in the shop, or we make an immediate change.

    3. A change request is sent to the reported user - If a shop features items that clearly break one or more of Etsy's rules, we ask the User to edit or remove the problem listings. 

    4. An immediate change is made by the Content Team - In extreme cases, we may remove a listing or deactivate an account right away. This happens when there are listings in the shop that strongly oppose Etsy's mission, all items featured in the shop violate Etsy policies, or the shop is being used only as advertisement space.

If you receive an inquiry, be sure to get the requested information back to us! If your shop is within Etsy's guidelines, you have nothing to worry about. If it turns out that there is a violation occuring, the Content Team will let you know what changes need to be made in order to comply.

If you receive a change request, please make the needed changes or write back if you feel this is a mistake. We will work to understand your situation and consider any additional information you can offer.

Please note: if the Content Team makes two attempts to contact a user but does not hear back, some account privileges may be suspended. Once communication is received, we can restore these privileges and works towards resolving any problems. These matters are handled on a case by case basis. 

For questions about what can be listed and shop guidelines:
You should read the Selling Policy in Etsy's Help section of the site. Here's the link to info about what you can and can't sell on Etsy.

If you are still concerned or have questions about your own shop, send an email to content@etsy.com. Tim, Caleb or Amber will get back to you. We'd love to hear from you and help you out!

Thanks for taking the time to learn more about the Etsy Content Team! You can read more about the work Etsy Admin do to run the business in our All about Etsy FAQ Series.

News From the Craft + Style Blogosphere: April 17, 2008

This eco-friendly edition of News from the Craft + Style Blogosphere coincides with the Storque's Earth Tones series. There are a lot of amazing things being produced from recycled and upcycled materials, and they're pretty stylish to boot. Enjoy!

Modish loves Etsy seller Bombus' wares, and so do we! She utilizes old maps, comics and other ephemera to make beautiful objects and stationery. I'm glad to see that bloggers are loving eco-friendly stuff! Check out the Bombus lovin' here

Craft Zine found these beautiful bags made from recycled wool blankets — such an amazing idea, and a surprisingly comfy chic result. I'd want one made from one of those old horse blankets.

Wow. Design*Sponge recently pointed out an amazing interview with Nicholas Jones on The Design Files. Jones takes old books and creates the most delicate, innovative sculptural artworks — they really have to be seen to be believed. Check it out at The Design Files.

Design aesthetic, meet tires. These amazing tubs, made from recycled tires, would be a great display piece, as well as a conversation starter. Tires are so gosh darn versatile! (Via Apartment Therapy New York)

SuperCute (the blog) is pretty — well — super cute! Run by Etsians lorigami, glueandglitter and lizerati, this post is all about recycling fashion magazines that are gathering dust and repurposing them as bubble mailers for your Etsy products. Pretty smart! Check it out. 

That's it for this week! Check out past News From the Craft + Style Blogosphere for more bloggy goodness, and leave your favorite eco style blogs in the comments! Make sure to check out our continuing Earth Tones series for more Earth friendly content! 

Fresh Shops: Verne

While browsing Pounce Undiscovered the other day, I came upon the sweetest little purse from Verne. It was an unusual slightly trapezoidal shape, with a classy row of matching buttons as an accent. One click later, I learned that this little purse was even more remarkable: it was made from a salvaged men's suit coat. (Which fits in perfectly with our on-going Earth Tones theme, as well as our Fresh Shops series!)

Verne opened shop on Etsy just a few short weeks ago with a line of purses and coordinating messenger bags constructed from repurposed menswear. I snagged a few moments from the busy proprietor to ask some questions about what makes him tick.

Tell us a little about the person behind Verne.
It's just me. I'm Verné. I'm located in Canton, Ohio (the home of the Hoover vacuum cleaner - oooh!). I work with my spouse with several small businesses and help her school our kids. I left the corporate world after 12 years of wondering why I couldn't be happy with a 9-5 job. I've come to realize that my time is more important to me than working to buy stuff. In 2006, we sold our house and rid ourselves of most of our possessions and traveled up and down the eastern U.S. for a year selling ladies fashions on the art show circuit and spending time with our two kids (who were toddlers at the time).

By the way, the accented 'e' comes from my sister. She thinks it sounds more European that way.

What inspires you as a creative person? When/how did the suit coat bags come about?
I'm always getting sewing requests from my spouse (and sisters and kids ...). She wanted a classy bag. Since it's almost impossible to pick up good garment fabrics where I live, I thought a suit coat would make a great donor. We were both really happy with the result.

ABOVE: Verné includes the original labels from the suit coats in the messenger bags he creates.

I find efficiency and re-use an exciting challenge (I'm a little odd that way). I really enjoy making things that just couldn't be mass-produced. Since each suit coat is constructed differently, I have to take extra time to adjust my pattern. Etsy is a great place to buy and sell these types of items. It's one of the increasingly rare places where people appreciate and are willing to pay for the work that goes into making a quality item.

How did you hear about Etsy? What do you think of it so far?
My spouse introduced me to Etsy. She would keep emailing me items to "ooh" and "aah" over. I have to be careful as I find myself pouring over item after item — I use up so much time that way.

I find the multiple ways of viewing all the listings fascinating — especially viewing by color.

Take a moment to check out Verne's classy upcycled creations — and be sure to read his hilarious tongue-in-cheek descriptions that give these bags an extra shot of personality. Find out about more newbie sellers through our Fresh Shops Featured Column.

Earth Tones: Selling Green

Dear sellers: this Earth Tones post introduces the many opportunties you have to "sell green." We want to hear more of your  ideas  in the comments below!

If we approach our business the same way we make our art, what would it look like? When making an item we apply our learned expertise, inspiration, skill and our love into the creative process: why not implement those practices in designing our own business? As Etsy sellers we create our own business plans based on our personal values, goals, and plans for the future. This idea has lead team members on the Trashion and EcoEtsy Teams to institute green businesses.

[Recycled Circuit Board Clipboard by DebbyAremDesigns]

Creating a green business from the ground up can be an exhilarating and daunting process — especially a wee e-business operated out of your living room. So, what do you need to build a green e-business?  Like the first step in every work of art, you need inspiration plus materials.  Then you need to apply your social and environmental ethics to those materials. Craft using sustainable materials and reuse and upcycle wherever possible. Design for reutilization, such as recycling or composting.  Price your product so that you earn a living wage.

In product presentation and packaging, minimizing excess and reusing is key. A clever way LostandFoundObjects2 approaches this is by using recycled cardboard for her business cards, jewelry holders, and tags. RePlayGround added another upcycling twist by using credit cards as her jewelry holders,  as seen below.

Once you've made a great product in eco-chic packaging, it’s time to get it to the customer. Whenever possible, sell locally and meet your buyer to do your exchange. When shipping, reuse boxes and envelopes. If you can't use your own recycled materials, consider using Cradle to Cradle certified packaging like the USPS priority mail envelopes and shipping boxes. Include directions on how to recycle the packaging you use. 

All you need to ship from home is a scale, a printer and a PayPal account. According to anniessweatshop, "Some bonus features of shipping from home is that it makes the accounting easier since it's all in PayPal.  Plus, it's more efficient since the postal carrier comes to my house everyday anyways."

Design a label or stamp to affix to packages that announces your eco practices. For example, Annie likes to include, "Annie's Sweatshop reuses packaging creatively" on her packages. Remember something as simple as swapping plastic for gummed tape can make a profound difference.

Get noticed! E-marketing is a great way to stay green. Promote on blogs (especially local ones), Facebook, Flickr, Ning social networks, and the Etsy Forums. Encourage communications by email and Etsy convo. Read messages onscreen to determine whether it's necessary to print them. Approach promotional materials with the same creativity and conscience you use for your product!
Next step: greenify your workspace by being more energy efficient. Remember, most studio upgrades can be tax deductable! A simple starting place is switching to electricity supplied by renewable energy sources. Also, remember to power down: power strips and smart strips assist in keeping down phantom energy use. Use rechargeable batteries, compact florescent bulbs (CFLs) and LED lighting. Recycle electronics you’re not using. Consider a green computer.

Educate yourself. This article is just a primer to get your toes wet. Wander through the resources listed here, and find your own flow. Share your ideas in the comments below!

Be a resource.
Find a way to give back your inspiration, skill, or finacial support. EcoEtsy is a community of Etsy sellers developing sustainable businesses. Trillium Artisans is an incredible resource for crafters in the Portland, Oregon area. "This is a really exciting time" said Trashion and EcoEtsy team members EyePopArt and Amanda. "Our nonprofit has been working since 1999 on helping low-income crafters build green businesses. We're thrilled to see how Etsy can make a dramatic difference in our artisans' lives. Right now our focus is on assisting artisans in developing internet and technical skills so they can make more money selling online — which means we're working on our collective Etsy shop AND working with our members on building their own shops, blogs, and websites."

"I feel very strongly about using 'green' business to give back," said JesseDanger. "The jewelry I sell is made from 100% recycled silver.  Although I'm using recycled material, I am fully aware that precious metals like silver, gold and platinum are finite materials." (See an example of her work at right.)

Jesse donates 5% of her profits to Earthworks, a nonprofit organization that regulates mining worldwide. Jesse acknowledges that the jewelry “industry has a lot of dark and dirty secrets." This is a way that she can “actively do (her) part to move things in a better direction.”

We have the power to change the world though what we make, how we sell it, and how we choose to conduct business. The tides are changing. Let’s make green selling a part of our sustainable life.

Further Resources:
Cradle to Cradle Community Forum
Find sustainable power for your area
Info on Renewable Devices
Recycle your Electronic Devices
US resources for Recycling EIAE.org
Find out information on the lifecycle of electronics at ECyclingTools.com
Green Computer Resources 
Green Computer

Drew Raine is a maker. She is currently making hoods from upcycled wool which she sells in her Etsy shop fairytalefibers.  Her sense of connectedness, eco ethics, and social responsibility are rooted in her family. Drew is a proud member of the Etsy Trashion Street Team. She contributes to their team blog and co-curates their team shop, etsytrashion. When she is not busy making hats, tending her Etsy shop or talking up the Trashion team, she is playing with her family in Portland, Oregon. She has crocheted for coffee in the past, and will most likely do so again.

Etsy Finds: Greetings That Grow

I've become a bit obsessed with indoor gardening lately, so I was so excited when I came across these very eco-friendly cards made by retrowhale.  They are all made from biodegradable materials, and the paper itself contains seeds which your friends and family can plant in a pot indoors or add to their outdoor garden.  They come in a variety of greetings and seedlings: choose from basil, chive or wildflower seeds.  It's a great way to celebrate Earth Day, and send a message that keeps on giving.  Your friends and family will think of you everytime they add a little chive to a baked potato or smell the flowers in their garden.  Now that's love!

Retrowhale is also a member of the Etsy for Animals team, and 10% of the proceeds go to charities that help save animals.  Check out her profile for more info.

Need a daily fix of Etsy Finds? Sign up for the Etsy Finds e-mail! Conveniently delivered to your inbox on the daily! 

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