Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Show us your WTF craft space

I'll show you mine if you show me yours...

This was a contest, but we've decided to keep it around as a fixture of WTF Etsy. Just for the sheer liberation you get from coming out of the crafting closet and making public your supply obsession, send me your pictures and a link to your Etsy shop (if you have an Etsy), and I'll post them to this page. You can attach the photos in an Etsy convo to WTF Supplies or email me at WTFetsy@gmail.com.

The results are in:
With 7% of the vote, Aunt Pamela gets off the hook easily with only a mild case of insanity
At 27%, SOiNTOiT has passed the obsessive benchmark and is moving dangerously close to maniacal
But at a staggering 67% of the vote, StoneTreasures is going to need a young priest and an old priest

I was fortunate enough to get a couple extra pictures from StoneTreasures after her initial submission.


The whole premise of my Etsy supply store, WTF Supplies, is that I'm a crafter out of control. As soon as I opened the shop, I started getting daily convos from other Etsians about how they are similarly insane and obsessive-compulsive when it comes to purchasing everything ever marketed in the range of your craft.

So, are you the messy kind of obsessive with a craft space that would rival a Dr. Phil special about hoarders, or are you the neat kind with alphabetized, neatly organized wares? Does your craft space look like a holy shrine at a Unitarian Universalist church, or are you crafting in a dark basement corner that would make your buyers want to have your items blessed before they put them to use?

Whether it's a bedroom niche, a whole room, a ritzy studio, a basement, or you have your items spread out over several areas, send in your pictures. I'll post them here and on June 14 we'll vote on which craft space most deserves the WTF!? stamp.

How to Enter: Just send your images and your Etsy username to WTFetsy@gmail.com or attach them in a convo to WTFSupplies on Etsy. Send up to three images of your craft space.

The prize for this one is a lovely necklace donated by one of WTF's featured sellers, McGino, to commemorate the opening of her new Etsy store, Justharry. McGino will send this necklace to your address. No purchase necessary. :-)

Below, just for reference, is McGino's craft space:

And, for our first entry, Aunt Pamela's space is relatively organized and only marginally excessive, but does exhibit signs of mild crafter's insanity. Well done, Aunt Pamela. The dog in the background adds a few extra coolness points.


This entry had me laughing so hard that I almost cried. If anyone is as bad as I am, Stonetreasures on Etsy is close! This is an admirable level of crazy that I deeply respect. I think I may have even saw StoneTreasures on this show where two British old nannies...

Wow, this is quite the stash. I badly want to go through those baskets. You, my new friend and crafting counterpart, were quickly approaching a level 5 WTF Craftaholic status at this point. It was only after a little friendly email dissertation that I discovered the icing on the cake. You can't say that she's disorganized or messy, because everything is in baggies or baskets or boxes or containers. Look at the stack of bead containers on her desk! She has a system, but I would hate to have to fill out her tax information!

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that StoneTreasures asked me to *not* give her a prize if she wins because she is working on necklace number 2860. Having made more than 2,000 necklaces does influence your WTF Rating, but knowing that you are on number 2860 qualifies you for the first certifiable WTF Award Winner!


So, based on the inspiration I gleaned from Stonetreasure, I found the guts to show a portion of my own stash. This represents a small corner of one room. Add a second room and a walk-in closet, and that would represent my stash. Also, I have a couple snaps of my desk. It was clean the morning before I took the pictures. I don't know why, but I have to get out hundreds of beads and findings to make a pair of earrings. It takes so long to start and stop. Why do I do this?


I ran into a cool retired teacher on Etsy's forums, who not only lives in WTF-worthy chaos, but also creates WTF chaotic art. Her desk does reveal her love of color, her obsession with supplies, and a compulsive desire to overstimulate her creative side. Her name is Pam and her shop is SOiNTOiT. She has prints, collage paintings, cards, linocuts, acrylics, etc. that remind me, in a strange-but-pleasant way of Harlem (oh, to go back there...)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

WTF Images for your Blog or Website

Large WTF Rating Survivor Badge
To put this image on your website, copy the code below and paste it onto your page's HTML editor

Small WTF Rating Survivor Badge
To put this image on your website, copy the code below and paste it onto your page's HTML editor

WTF Stamp Rating of 5
To put this image on your website, copy the code below and paste it onto your page's HTML editor

WTF Stamp Rating of 4
To put this image on your website, copy the code below and paste it onto your page's HTML editor

WTF Stamp Rating of 3
To put this image on your website, copy the code below and paste it onto your page's HTML editor

WTF Stamp Rating of 2
To put this image on your website, copy the code below and paste it onto your page's HTML editor

WTF Stamp Rating of 1
To put this image on your website, copy the code below and paste it onto your page's HTML editor

I <3 WTFetsy.com
To stroke my ego and put this image on your website, copy the code below and paste it onto your page's HTML editor

WTF Seal of Insanity
If you obsessively craft, buy supplies, hoard, or surf Etsy, then you qualify as WTF Insane, and if you can laugh at your issues (or if you need a token of shame to somehow absolve yourself for your eccentric craft gluttony), then here is your seal.
To put this image on your website, copy the code below and paste it onto your page's HTML editor

If you have an idea for an image/badge you would like, let me know.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The WTFiest Gift I've Ever Received

Today, I got a bus pass in my mailbox, which made no sense to me since I obviously have cars sitting in my driveway. I dropped it trying to rush inside without indulging the escape artist that is my cat when I noticed there was a note on the back. It said, "Parcel by your back door." Getting packages is my selfish little addiction, and I'd go so far as to skip eating to order something online. So, I rushed down the basement stairs and opened the back door. There was a big box, and I knew that I hadn't ordered anything other than jewelry supplies and beads.

To tell this story, I have to mention that I've been doing critiques on the Etsy forums, and I've gotten an in-depth look at some of the coolest shopkeepers on Etsy. They have been good sports (or masochists) while I brutalized their shops. A common thread was that many were teachers. There was one very special shop that had this amazing carveboard art. It really struck me because it reminded me of the richness of Harlem. That's the beauty about a piece of art. It's like a story about a personality, and without words it has a theme and without words it conveys an emotion. Without a plot, the colors, lines, harmony or discord, the textures, the order and chaos, it has it's own conflict and plot. I loved the art on SOiNTOiT's page. It reflected someone who-- to be cliche-- was so full of life. The vibrant contrasts and bold statements were the work of someone who was bawdy [ I say that with reverence ;-) ], not afraid to take risks, embraces love, and celebrates what is positive in life.

Someone like me might seem like a morose pessimist, but seeing a shop like this makes me feel good about myself because at least I can see something so life-affirming, creative, prolific, and effervescent and smile. The items in Pamela's shop, a cacophony of media resonant of the free-spirited, ADHD overachiever, remind me of one of the greatest experiences of my life... visiting NYC. The simplicity of statements like "be mine" or a cut-out of the alphabet can be so profound when they're genuine. It reminded me of the cultural revolution of the late 80s/early 90s when a big faction of society stopped just tolerating diversity and really started to celebrate and embrace and advocate for it. Harlem had that effect on me: the street vendors, the subway musicians, the elaborate graffiti murals, the Kosher hotdog stands, and the "melting pot" culture that is completely missing in a place like where I was born and raised.

I wasn't shocked at all to see that SOiNTOiT was a music teacher. I'd be willing to bet she was one of those rare teachers who really inspired and made a difference in the lives of her students... one of those crazy, eccentric, WTF-type teachers. The same kind I aspire to be. Seeing that she was Orff certified even further cemented my impression of her, that she is one of those transformational (as opposed to traditional) lofty idealist educators who take learning beyond the books and embrace this paradigm that learning takes place when the needs and learning style of the "whole child" is addressed.

AYE, suck it up now readers. Don't think this glimmer of humanity is going to be typical!

So... onto my package. I open it up, and being the stoic that I am... I felt my eyes sting. It was certainly one of those epiphanous moments in life like when the Grinch who stole Christmas looked down at Who-ville and realized that Christmas wasn't about the gifts but about the relationships and all that junk... [ disclaimer: yes, I realize that my childhood analogies and deference via vagaries makes me very transparent ]. I almost didn't know what was happening to me. I received a personalized piece of art from SOiNTOiT (see picture >> ), and I LOVE it. This is sheer conjecture, but I believe the reason she has the "i" lowercase in her username is a symbolic expression of unselfishness in that that she doesn't want to elevate the "I."

Have you ever just been rendered speechless and simply stunned by someone's kindness? Pamela made this amazing piece of art specifically for me with no intention of getting something in return. So, possessed by Pamela's giving spirit, I would like to issue a challenge to everyone. Join me in the WTF PIF (Pay It Forward) campaign. Instead of paying someone back, do a favor for someone and tell them that all you want is for them to do something WTF-rendering-kind for someone else, and instead of allowing them to pay you back, tell them to "Pay it Forward." BUT... it can't just be any act of kindness... it must be WTF-worthy. Make sure you include a little hand-written note about what PIF means, otherwise the "cycle of kindness" stops. Of course you are a creative person, but here are some ideas:

1. Take your best (or one of your best) craft items and put a note inside it explaining the "Pay it Forward" principal. Wrap it with your prettiest paper, tie a ribbon around it, and stick it in your purse. Go somewhere tonight or tomorrow and give it to a complete stranger.

2. Buy some ice-cold bottled water/drinks and give them to the first person you see on the street (walker, jogger, construction worker) who looks like he/she is burning up.

3. Go to a local deli, buy a drink, and leave a tip for your waiter/waitress for five times the cost of your drink. Eat ramen noodles for dinner. ;-)

These are just a few ideas. If Pamela's kindness has inspired you to commit a WTF PIF act, please email me your story at WTFetsy@gmail.com [ pictures would be nice, even if it's a picture of yourself ] so I can feature it on this blog.

Below are some sample PIF cards if you wanted to print some. Click the images for full-size. They are standard business-card size. Let me know if you want a photoshop (.psd) version, and I'll email it to you.