Monday, November 28, 2011

True Confessions - Things I never knew before I came to Etsy

(Warning - this might be tl;dr for most people but at least scroll to the end to see the picture - it's hilarious.)

In case it isn't already obvious, I'm not the crafty type. I love to design and crochet things but that's about it. There are so many things that I've seen on Etsy that I never knew or heard of before but you can't swing a cat around there without offending dozens of people so I'll confess/laugh here.

- I have never seen a hot glue gun, never mind used one. Everything that I glue falls apart in the rain.

- I've worked with yarn all of my life and I have no idea what felting is or how it's done. I think that it has something to do with needles and a phenomenal amount of patience. I always thought that felt came in little sheets from the craft store.

- I can't even pronounce the name of those cutesy little crocheted animals. I think it's something like amigurami. Don't ask me why they can't just call them little crocheted whatevers.

- Adults wear tutus and not just on Halloween. Seriously? I thought that I lived in the weirdest place on earth but grownups don't dress like aging ballerinas.

- People wear cowls that come all the way up to their eyeballs. I have no idea of how they breathe that way. I feel like I'm choking in turtlenecks.

- Fingerless gloves are phenomenally popular. I don't text and my fingers are always freezing. I wish someone would make the fingers without the gloves part.

- There is something called a hipster that is native to Brooklyn. They wear painfully tight jeans, Buddy Holly glasses, spout pseudo-intellectual nonsense about literature and philosophy that they've never read but glanced at on Wikipedia and like owls, mustaches and little woodland creatures. I refuse to believe that there is any definition of hip that includes stuffed animals on bicycles and fake mustaches. . They like a color called greige which is what happens when you mix up white, grey and beige and toss it all over everything. I think that Pottery Barn invented it. These kids are seriously lacking in imagination when it comes to designing a subculture. There is also a heretical sect called the Loud Spandex Tribe that lives deep in the jungles of Brooklyn. Their core belief is that if they make you look at their tights every day you’ll eventually buy them so that you can burn them and never have to see them again. I'm guessing that the schism had something to do with using one color too many.

- People will pay for someone else to put sticks in a jar for them. Pet rocks, move over.

- In Etsy jargon, cupcake means nauseating suck-up who will never, ever state an opinion that is not already approved by the powers that be. Another confession - I never ate a single cupcake during the whole fancy cupcake phase. I avoid bakeries like the plague. Also, an incredible number of people call a sale a sell. Yay - I got a sell today! WTF?

- They have some pretty funny acronyms over there. My favorite is BNA, which stands for Be Nice, Asshole. It happens when someone starts a thread asking why we all can't just get along while simultaneously insulting everyone with their OP.

- Forums comprised of over 90% women are way more vicious than the ones that are mostly comprised of men. It's just amazing to see someone with a lovely delicate bridal shop spewing venom in every direction and calling other people's stuff hideous crap.

- It's a bit dangerous to be a yarn snob over there. Some things are best kept to yourself. There is also a seriously scary knitting mafia who will hunt you down and kill you (or at least snitch on you) if you dare to call crochet a knit. Never mind that the entire fashion industry does it - on Etsy it's a technique only and the rest of the dictionary definitions are verboten. I'm pretty sure that you have to earn your cupcake status to be considered for membership but that might be a coincidence.

- It turns out that something can be both unique and trendy at the same time and you can shop locally while simultaneously supporting the global economy. Who knew?

Yesterday I saw this wonderful painting by the artist ArtdeJoie on Etsy that sums this all up perfectly. Every time that I look at it I see another funny detail. She does beautiful work so go check out her whole shop if you can. If you click on the photo below it will take you to the full size version. I'm going to buy the print instead because I'd have to sell a lot of sweaters to afford a real painting by someone other than my nieces and nephews.

Etsy Hipster Satire by ArtdeJoie

Please come see my handmade designer plus size sweaters, sweater coats, capes and shrugs at


  1. This is seriously the most hilarious piece I have ever read!!

    I've got some more, I'll post them tomorrow :)

  2. btw, felting can be done 2 ways, with a felting needle (little barb tool) and lots of stabbing, or with a washing machine

    and I never heard of a hipster either

  3. Oh, then I learned how to felt the first time that I put a Shetland wool sweater in the washer and dryer. I guess that you don't have to make the animals so tiny after all because they're going to shrink anyway. A little barbed tool and lots of stabbing might be fun if I was in a really bad mood though. I bet someone already makes arigurami voodoo doll kits.

  4. cute post ;) totally funny how etsy is a subculture within a subculture in a way, hey?

  5. Hi :) Thanks - I'm trying to redirect my smartass comments here instead of being snarky in the forums. I have to laugh about some of this stuff somewhere.

    It sure is it's own little subculture. I'm not sure why I was surprised but for some reason I thought that we would all (myself definitely included) be a bit better behaved when customers are around. I can't imagine what some of them must have thought about the relevancy wars. It's funny in hindsight but that was some crazy stuff. I think that the highlight for me was to read long,long rages all written in blank verse. (It looked like arbitrary line breaks to me but what do I know.) There is such a thing as taking artistic temperament too far but I guess we all do it sometimes.

    I bet that there are a ton of little subcultures on the teams.

  6. This post is like Regretsy for the non-cupcake crowd. LOL!

    LOVE the satire painting. But it's missing a few things ... have you seen pics of the Etsy offices? Truly scary!

  7. Wow - those offices are scary, not to mention ugly. The only thing that I saw before this was that stupid stuffed phone booth that they have instead of a customer support number. Every time that I hear the word hipster I picture Alan Ginsberg jumping out of his grave to strangle an owl or fox. I think that they should make it a law that you have to be able to recite "Howl" from memory before you get to use that word. Every time someone equates them with hippies I want to scream because we were a lot of laughable things but at least we had some imagination and read most of what we talked about.

    And hi :)