- Kitsch (/ˈkɪtʃ/; loanword from German) is a low-brow style of mass-produced art or design using popular or cultural icons. Also referred to as “tacky“, the term “kitsch” is generally reserved for unsubstantial or gaudy works or decoration, or works that are calculated to have popular appeal.
Of course I do not expect everyone to agree with, like or even tolerate ‘my personal art aesthetic’. But calling a simple craft project that reused an otherwise ‘intended for disposal’ item, and turning into a ‘marketable decorative item’ :
Horrendous; mutilated; Macabre craft project; Post apocalyptic mutilation and destruction of literature; something that looks like a skinned dog or corpse; that has lessened their faith in humanity . . . .
Is a bit over dramatic, don’t you think? And I’ll respond to that commenter by asking this: “What have YOU done to save such old books and get people to RE-BUY them??”
AND that being said, the books themselves (other than the ones that were cut down) are still entirely ‘readable’! Not MY fault that no one wants to read outdated text books, card game instructional books and old romance novels anymore. At least I have saved them from the landfill, and no criticism can demean my pride in that fact.
But I guess some people really DO still judge a book by it’s cover; or lack thereof!
Firstly I want to thank all of you for your comments and your understanding and encouragement. It is MOST appreciated. I’ll admit that I did delete a few comments that ‘poo-poo’d’ me for my reaction. It’s MY blog and I don’t have to post what I don’t like. Which is NOT to say that I will ONLY post comments that support me. I’m all for voicing differing opinions, but when the attack gets personal I do not have to let them use MY blog as their platform.
To those of you whose comments I deleted, I did so because I don’t want this to turn into a battle. The understanding comments FAR outweigh the non-supportive ones anyhow. And those non-supportive comments obviously came from people who have not read my blog for very long. I am EXTREMELY generous in sharing my talents, tricks and ‘gift’. THAT is why it’s so bothersome to me when someone so blatantly asks for MORE; as if I don’t already give enough?!?! . I just don’t like that “GIMME! GIMMEE MORE!!!” sense of entitlement.
And I did not publicly shame anyone. I SAVED her from public shame by deleting her comment with her name on it. I posted her comment completely anonymously. She chose to respond and put her name to the comment.
Maybe answering those few questions COULD have been done in a few minutes.
QUESTION: I am curious and I know it really isn’t any of my business, but are you making money at it now, or still building a business?
ANSWER: No and No.
QUESTION: : Mostly, how much fun are you having?
QUESTION: It looks like you really enjoy “curating” your shop. Do you spend a lot of time promoting it?
QUESTION: There is so much I hope you will share. Do you read about decorating?
QUESTION: What does your home look like?
ANSWER: shabby junky chic
QUESTION: Are there areas you consider branching into?
Do you HONESTLY think that that would have been the end of it?? The comment that was the RED FLAG to me was ”there is so much I hope you will share”. She’d be asking why or why NOT and for MORE details regarding ALL of my answers. I’m sorry if it sounds snooty or unfriendly or stingy . . but I do not have time to share ‘one on one’ like that just to satisfy one persons curiosity. Besides, if she REALLY read my blog, she’d already have the answers to most of those questions.
I don’t talk about my permanent disability very much, but the fact of the matter is that with only 50% of my spine being functional, it takes me twice as long to get half as much done. (that’s 4x harder than a ‘normal’ person) That isn’t a complaint. It’s simply the reality that I live with every day, and it does limit how much I can do for myself and for others.
Please don’t feel the need to comment further on this. I just wanted to respond to the couple of ‘haters’ that commented/
As for the question one of them asked, “WHY would I be upset that someone asked me for advice on decorating their bathroom?” If you didn’t read the original post and don’t know the WHOLE story, you have no business commenting on it.
Like I said, I get ‘odd comments / requests’ similar to that ALL the time. Every so often my patience with such lack of common courtesy boils over and I need to vent. I understand that YOUR (all my readers) perspective is limited to just the ones I share, so I completely understand your encouraging me to take it as a compliment and let the rest go. I’m working on doing just that. And maybe I SHOULDN’T share these things publicly on my blog. But sometimes I really DO need the perspective of others to help me keep MY perspective.
If I gave my personal time to EVERYONE who writes and asks for it, I’d no longer have time to write my blog!
My dearest blog readers,
Please pardon this post and all the annoying superfluous pictures of equipment and piles of wood. etsy has ‘requested’ that I provide them with PROOF that “I” hand make the signs that I sell in my etsy shop. I sent them links to the several posts in my blog where I show and tell how I make my signs, but that was not good enough for etsy. Nope. I am required to take CURRENT step by step pictures; and those pictures MUST include a piece of paper with the date on it.
***EDITED TO ADD: Oh my word!! I just ‘double checked’ the incredibly ANAL list of etsy’s requirements to prove all this, and I see that I overlooked that I was supposed to also put my etsy username on that dated piece of paper that I had to show in every picture! (so that they can be SURE that it really was me who took the pictures) Hopefully posting it here on my blog will satisfactorily fulfil that requirement. Afterall I DO continually promote my etsy shop here in my blog. ***
I really couldn’t think of an easier way to ‘show and explain’ to etsy my sign making process from start to finnish other than posting it here in my blog. I wonder HOW other etsy sellers do it when they are questioned about their hand mades??? Far too many photos and details to be able to just attach pictures to an email!!
HERE YOU GO ETSY! THIS IS HOW I DO WHAT I DO AND WHAT I DO IT WITH:
And still MORE wood. The wood I use is ‘reclaimed’ (stuff that other people were going to throw away!) So I get as much as I can, whenever it’s available. When I get into ‘sign production mode’, I can easily use up two big stacks of wood in a weeks time.
I probalby have 50 or 60 stencils in my current sign making repertoire. I keep them in file folderds of 2-4 stencils each; grouping similar themes together for easy identification. This is the file that contains the “Paris” stencil used to make the specific sign you inquired about. I also have other PARIS stencils in different fonts.
I carefully remove the stencil, then remove the blue painters tape that held it in place; and take the used stencil to the kitchen and put it in a pan of soapy water to soak for a bit before I wash off the paint residue (which never actaully comes ALL the way off, as you can see in the picture of the stencil). During this time the stenciled on paint dries. (sorry again, no picture of the paint drying!)
After the stenciled on lettering dries, I use a very fine paint brush to touch up any details that need it. Let that dry, then I apply a coat of matte varnsih and let it dry. (no picture of varnish drying either!) And yes I DO buy my varnish by the gallon too.
(undated stock photo) After I apply the varnish I put the paint brush I used to apply the varnish in a jar of water to soak. Then I use a hammer to attach a ‘nailless sawtooth hanger’ to the back of the sign.
Then the next day I’ll paint them all with the black basecoat, and leave them out to dry.
Then the next day I’ll paint them all with the topcoat color, and leave them out to dry.
Then the next day, I’ll hand sand and distress that same batch.
Sorry ! I forgot my ‘date card’ on this picture! Having a lot of boards prepped and ready to stencil really streamlines the whole process for me, and cuts down on the actual amount of time I ultimately spend on each sign. Predominately set up and clean up time.
And by having a multitude of boards ‘prepped and ready to paint’ when I get a request for a custom color of a certain sign; I am able to go ahead and make a whole BATCH of that particular sign, in several colors; and stock up my etsy shop.
It doesn’t take any more TIME and effort to clean a stencil that was used to make six signs that it does to clean it after making just one sign; so why not MAKE MORE and WASTE LESS TIME ON CLEAN UP. Same goes for paint brushes.
So, etsy, does THAT clear up any suspicions you may have had that I am not hand crafting my signs myself??
It sure would be nice if etsy would give sellers ‘some kind of recognition’ for having gone through this tedious process of proving they hand make their items. Perhaps even a simple notation of some kind that this particular item has been individually vetted by etsy would be nice.
4.26.13 **Edited AGAIN to add:
So, now that etsy has seen waht they need to see, I can explain why all this REALLY ‘gets my goat’! And it’s not that I minded having to PROVE that my items are hand made by me. What is so annoying is the sales of ILLEGAL licensed designs is absolutely rampant on etsy, and they DO NOTHING about it.
The ONLY time they will question a seller of such items is IF the holder of the license of that design (Disney, Sports Teams, Barbie, Hello Kitty, spongeBob . . .there are THOUSANDS of them) complains. Because that is ‘all the law requires.
BUT, if one person, ANY one person, contacts to etsy and says “I don’t think that person hand-made that item.” A full-blown investigation is launched. And they require you to show every single step in the process and every single tool and piece of equipment used. (as you can tell from my post!) It’s a LOT of work, let me tell you.
And ALL it would take for them to validate someone selling licensed designs is to have them show their ‘credentials’. And it HIGHLY unlikely that ANY of those sellers actually DO have permission. It costs a LOT of money to ‘buy’ that permission. If they could afford to legally acquire permission to sell a licensed design, they wouldn’t NEED to sell on etsy!
It’s the ‘turning a blind eye’ to illegally sold items on etsy that really annoys me about this whole situation! It’s perfectly okay to sell ILLEGAL products, but don’t you dare sell a hand-made item that bares any resemblance to something that is manufactured!
Stepping off my soapbox !
This is what I took to Stars to sell:
And this is what was left of it the last time I went it. Not only did someone empty the jar and help themselves to the bigger spools that they wanted. They actually dumped the rest of them on the floor and put the empty jar back on the shelf?!?!?
One thoughtless person sure can ruin your whole week!
Anxious to get back in to my booth later this week to see how much has sold, now that I’ve got everything at 40% off in order to scale back down to the one space.
Thank you all very much for your comments. Even the ones from those of you who DO think any capitalized words means that one is shouting. The consensus is that most normal people understand that I am just EMPHASIZING a word or making a point. Which IS my point exactly when I do capitalize words.
One comment was sent to me via email; and it sums things up nicely, so I’d like to share it:
Loved your capitalization blog. Seriously how old are we twelve? We are not yelling for goodness sake, no one will ever feel threatened by a few capital letters, or be belittled by fonts, type size or any colors you might choose to use. In the very off-chance they are offended by the big bad letters, maybe they should just speak to people face to face that way if there is yelling to be done they won’t be confused if its meant or just a typo. Thanks for soapboxing its just so SILLY
Those of you who seem stuck in the fifth grade mentality that ANY capitalized word is meant to be shouting AT YOU, need to just grow up! It’s really not ‘all about you’. Seriously, if I corrected the grammar of everything I read; blogs, convos, emails, reader comments . . .I wouldn’t have time left to even write this blog. And trust me, poor grammar grates against me like fingernails on a chalkboard! I correct people on TV (while I watch) all the time. SHOUTING (yes, this time really shouting!) the proper way to say what they spewed out.
When my son was just learning to talk, I really emphasized ’proper English’. Yes, I would stop whatever I was doing if he was speaking to me, and when he was done with his story I would explain to him the proper English way to say what he just said. I didn’t need to do it very often, after all he LEARNED what he HEARD, and at that age he mostly heard me.
The improper use of tenses usually came from him hearing another kid say it that way; as in “I seen a dog in our yard.” I would say to him, “Actually the proper way to say that is, ‘I SAW a dog in our yard.” OH, if you only KNEW how much that very mis-use of grammar gets my hackles up!!! And yet I see it quite regularly, in other blogs and on internet discussion forums. And no, I do NOT correct those people. It’s none of MY business how they were taught to speak. I honestly don’t understand how people who speak like that (and they DO believe it’s the right way to use the word!) ever made it through high school?!?!? Still, it’s not MY BUSINESS to point out their mistake NOR correct them.
But seriously, if I had the power to change one thing about how people talk or write, it would be to eliminate the improper use of the tenses of verbs.
I live a fairly secluded life these days; don’t get out in the world much anymore. Grocery and thrift shopping, stocking my booth at Stars and the post office is about IT for me. And I honestly don’t KNOW if I am ‘losing touch with society’ when I get these off the wall comments regarding my work and communication. So, when I get a complaint about my blog; like the spelling this or this more recent one from the ‘capitalization Police’; I seriously wonder if I really AM doing something wrong or offensive?!?!? I very much appreciate everyone’s input and perspective when it comes to such things. Sometimes I honestly wonder if I am just LOSING IT?!?!
There will always be SOMEONE who will delight in picking apart anything anyone else says or does. THOSE people are not worth worrying about. I guess what I really want to say is just, Thank you all for your input AND support! And for letting me know that I am NOT the crazy one in this equation! But I hope you will care enough to let me know if I ever DO overstep a line. I ‘just start to wonder a bit’ when I get comments like those, more than once!
Thanks for keeping me grounded in reality. I appreciate your support.
Stepping OFF my soapbox now; hopefully for a good long while!
For those of you whom have never met me in person, I’m pretty ‘animated’ when I speak. In person when I want to emphasize something I am saying I can use voice inflections, facial expressions and physical posturing. In writing, I feel compelled to emphasize the same words and phrases that I would if I were speaking; and the way I happen to do that MOST of the time, is to use capital letters.
While here in my blog, I have several other options for emphasizing words, italics, bold, underline and even different colors! And I admit that I don’t use those features as often as I should. Probably because I’m just not a very good typist, and those things take extra time! But, also it’s a bit distracting and interrupts the flow of writing to pause to hit the bold button, then to click it again to stop. It’s just EASIER to capitalize and occasional word that I want to emphasize; or put it in parenthesis.
Back when instant messaging came into the world, all of a sudden we needed ‘etiquette rules ‘for such; and it was decided that when you type using all capital letters that you are YELLING. Okay, that’s reasonable. But now all of a sudden, SOME people who have deemed themselves the internet etiquette police, have decided that if you use ANY capital letters that you are yelling?!?!? And more than once I have been accused of yelling when I capitalized a word here and there.
WTH?!?!? Case in point. I got a convo from a potential customer on etsy. (A convo is etsy’s internal email system and it’s VERY rudimentary. Not fancy options, just your basic keyboard functions. ) She was inquiring about buying 2 separate items that she wanted to buy together, and SHE thought that they should fit into a large flat rate shipping box and be able to ship for $15.00; AND even mentioned that the PO would pick it up at my doorstep. (I KNOW they offer that service to MOST postal customers, but NOT to us who live down a 1/2 mile gravel road!)
IN my reply to her I covered all my bases, as I’ve become accustomed to doing in such instances BECAUSE if I don’t, I’ll end up with a bunch more annoying convos with more questions in the aftermath. Both items (actually 8 items in 2 groups of four) would NOT have fit into such a box, AND left enough room for adequate packing materials to prevent breakage in transit; which I explained to her.
I went on to explain that IF I forced them into too small of a box with not enough packing material, even IF I insured it; that the PO has the right to inspect the shipping boxes and packing materials used and COULD determine that the breakage was MY fault for insufficient packing. In which case I’d be out all that money. And I’m not willing to take that chance.
And even WITH as careful as I always package my items for shipping, that I’ve had three things get broken in transit in less than a year. So I just don’t push my luck with things like this.
I further explained that I always only charge exactly what it costs me to ship; whether on single or combined orders, and will always refund any shipping overages paid of $1.00 or more. And I wrote all this, just as I ALWAYS write; capitalizing a word here or there that I wanted to emphasize.
Here is her reply to me:
I’m sure some etsy shoppers don’t understand, but I sold & shipped on ebay for years & never had a fragile item break.
By the way, you do realize that using all CAPS is the equivalent of shouting at the other person?
So, after being talked down to & shouted at, never mind.
It doesn’t REALLY bother me. I actually feel like I dodged a bullet by NOT getting her as a customer! She obviously does not have much of a grasp on reality. SHE’S never had a fragile item break, she tells me. So does that mean that NO ONE has ever had an item get broken in shipping?!?!? I totally don’t understand her reason for THAT remark. Does it mean she is willing to risk minimal packaging to get cheaper shipping and she won’t care if it happens to break????
Anyhow, back on track to the etiquette question. Do YOU feel like I am shouting when I emphasize words with capital letters in my blog, as I’m quite inclined to do on a regular basis? Or do you ‘get’ that I am just typing like I talk, putting more emphasis on certain words?
OR did I miss a recent memo regarding internet etiquette, and ANY use of capital letters is considered shouting???
P.S. I feel like I am spending an inordinate amount of time on my soap box lately?!?!? Is it just a coincidence, or am I just getting OLD & CRANKY?!?
I am not a ‘haggler’. And NO disrespect to those of you who are. If you are brave enough to haggle for lower prices, more power to ya! I remember a few years back, about the time that everyone was finally coming to the grim realization that THIS recession was going to get worse before it got better; and all the TV news shows were “Telling you how to haggle for lower prices, even in big box stores”!
At that particular time, we had our own retail store, and we had a LOT of ‘customer rewards programs’. I gave a discount on their entire purchase for their birthday; and actually allowed them to use that discount ANY once a year. (for those who had birthdays at ‘bad’ times of the year to shop for themselves; like Christmastime!)
Being that I, personally do not care to haggle FOR a lower price; neither do I like to be haggled with! And our REGULAR customers at out store never did haggle. Didn’t NEED to because they were getting good deals quite regularly. So it really ‘got my goat’ when a first time shopper would come in and ask me to lower a price for them! AND I always politely declined; explaining our incentive programs.
So, what brought on this post at THIS time? etsy. Hagglers on etsy to be more specific. AND the ‘thing’ they usually want to haggle ON, is the cost of shipping?!?!? I have really pissed a lot of etsy shoppers off with my snide replies to their ‘haggling on shipping’ comments/requests. (not that it really bothers me to have pissed them off! Now we’re EVEN because their inquiry pissed ME off too!)
I ‘get’ that the BIG companies can offer ‘free’ of even ‘$5.00 shipping on everything’. But us little guys don’t have that luxury. The big guys:
A) Get volume discounts from shippers like FedEx and UPS.
B) Have ‘room’ in their product cost to absorb some of the cost of shipping.
Even the busiest seller does not have these luxuries.
I charge my etsy customer only, and EXACTLY what it costs me to ship their package. And when they send me a convo (etsy’s internal email system) and ask me WHY shipping is so much on a particular item; I’m inclined to reply, “Because that item wights 2 pounds and that is how much the P.O. charges to mail a 2# package! I have no control over shipping costs!”
Now I could SEE them complaining IF, when their package arrived and had $2.00 in postage ON it, and they were charged MORE than that. Now that is a legitimate complaint. AND is one of the reasons I don’t buy my postage on-line and print my shipping labels with postage. I want the customer to SEE that I only charged them exact shipping!
These are the ones that REALLY get me. ”I really like the set of three primitive game boards you have and I really want to buy them. But I’m really having a hard time with the shipping cost. It’s over $50.00 with the shipping and that is more than I wanted to spend. Can you give me a lower shipping cost?”
When they write that, THIS is what I ‘hear’ (and WISH I had the nerve to reply to them!) . . . “I want to buy an item from your shop but my budget is tight. I’ve never bought from you ever before and probably never will again, but I would like for you to take $5.00 out of your own pocket to help pay for the shipping on this item that I want to buy, to make it fit my budget better.”
Because I really don’t THINK they realize that this is what they are asking me to do! the cost of shipping is NOT a negotiable thing!
There is a feature on etsy where they can ‘combine shipping costs’ if they buy more than one item from your shop. The seller sets the shipping cost on the listing (hopefully based upon actual costs!) and then lists a lower price to ‘ship with another item’. For example: This item will cost $12.10 to ship, and fits in a medium sized box. If you ADD another to the box it will only cost a % more to ship, and not double the shipping for double the items. (In most cases)
So by itself it may cost $12.10 to ship, but with another item I only need to charge maybe $5.00 MORE to include it. so some etsy shopper gets the BRILLIANT IDEA to convo me and ask if I will give her the ‘with another item’ shipping cost. I reply, “Sure! If you buy another item I automatically do that!” hehe. I KNOW that is not what her real question was. But it was either that, or my aforementioned snarky reply; which I SWEAR I am going to get annoyed to really reply with one of these days!
I KNOW shipping is expensive! So is GAS to drive to the store. So are groceries! If you can’t afford the shipping, you can’t afford to buy the item. Please do not ask me to take money out of my pocket to pay for shipping YOUR item though.
And even though I am not a HAGGLER, I am very frugal and a bargain hunter. I do my homework and watch for sales and clip coupons and re-use what I can. I shop at thrift stores and garage sales (and NO, I don’t even haggle at garage sales!!) I guess the difference between a frugal person and a haggler is the the frugal person WORKS for their saving. The haggler just asks, and expects things to be given to them; as if they are ENTITLED.
Thank you ALL for your kind and SUPPORTIVE words. I hope it didn’t SEEM like I was ‘fishing for compliments’; because I WASN’T! But the only thing worse than not being able to accept constructive criticism, is to not GRACIOUSLY accept a compliment. It truly did my heart GOOD to know that my blog does indeed inspire and cheer my readers. That IS the reason I take the time to write this blog. PLEASE KNOW that I appreciate and respect ALL OF YOU, as well in return.
After reading all your comments, especially noting the one from an Aussie who spells some words differently than us Yankees; and the school teacher, who by nature and habit would notice ANY spelling or grammar errors: I’ve concluded that the ‘cranky commenter’ must be of a different culture or country than the U.S. And just does not understand how we tend to ‘make up’ our own ‘blog dialect’ sometimes.
I KNOW that ‘vintagey’ is not a REAL word. But it BEST describes things sometimes. Fallish, beachy and upcycled also are not REAL words, but I like them and I will continue to use them; obviously much to the chagrin of SOME people. ( not even the word BLOG, until recently, was included as a REAL word in my BLOG spell-check for goodness sake!) But THOSE people are not the ones I write this blog for. It is for YOU, my regular readers, and the kindred spirits who happen upon my blog while searching for ideas and inspiration.
And given that we are ‘friends’, I do hope that IF you see typing errors that truly bother you and that you feel I ought to correct; I do hope that you would feel comfortable pointing them out to me; and in a manner that I can actually FIND them TO correct them! I would be grateful, and not offended in the least.
And I would NOT be doing so to appease said ‘cranky commenter’ , rather on general principle. Because we should all, always be willing to ‘better ourselves’ whenever the opportunity presents itself. We’ll never know if the ‘cranky commenter’ read your comments or this post, because she has been BANNED from commenting on my blog. There are enough ‘real problems’ for all of us to deal with in this life. She can look down on us from her high horse and judge us as much as she wants. Sadly, she is missing out on some of the BEST parts of life by doing so however.
Happy OCTOBER everyone!! I can’t believe it’s October already. We are STILL having sunny warm weather here the the PNW!! (Pacific North West) Usually by now we are waterlogged!