Saturday, April 28, 2012

Results of #8
77% of the voters were correct again!  Although this cute pair-of-jeans iPod case could be handmade, it's not.  I found it at

The wonderful, watermelon print phone and accessory case is indeed the handmade item. This post is up a week late because I was hoping that the link I had to this item and shop on Etsy would again begin to work.  As of last Saturday, Karen Lain's shop on Etsy no longer exists.  It's as if she simply vanished.  Her shop there, Aunt Karen's Creations, was full of all kinds of colorful and wonderful clutches, cases, totes and hats.  Karen was on Etsy when I first found them over two years ago.  She was an active, helpful, delightful artisan with a wonderful sense of humor.  She gave me lots of help when I was just starting out.

I checked her blog to see if there was some indication of what happened.  Her most recent post (March 12, 2012), contains wonderfully written directions on how to navigate Etsy and find things in your account now that they've changed everything.  This lady was a gung-ho promoter of the site.

This is what I think happened.  Of late, Etsy has been closing shops with no notice for violation of their terms of use with little or no explanation of what terms the victim had violated.  With their cryptic email comes a questionnaire which the recipient must complete to have Etsy consider reinstatement.  There are no guarantees.  I haven't seen one, but from what I hear, the document is lengthy and invasive.  I know four people who've been put through this in the last 4-6 weeks or so, and I don't know that many people!

Etsy is to be given credit for starting small and growing into the huge site they are now.  But in the process, they've certainly lost their focus on 'handmade.'  It's laughable what gets sold on Etsy these days as handmade ...  perhaps it was handmade ...  in Taiwan!  It's obvious that the driving force behind the site is the almighty dollar.  Even that's okay, but not when it's the only focus.  The resellers there are now Etsy's bread and butter, and Etsy admin is going out of their way to protect them at the expense of the handmade artisans who supported them in the beginning.

I've tried to contact Karen and have received no response.  But know this...  Karen, if you're out there somewhere, and have become one of these victims, we would be ecstatic to have you join us at HandmadeArtists.  Your sense of community, your willingness to reach out and help a confused fellow artisan, and your wonderful creations would be a perfect fit within our 'family.'  You'd be free to chat and not have to worry about suddenly having the rug yanked from under you.  I know it would be a whole new learning curve for you, but we would be happy to help you.  In short, we'd love to have you!


  1. That little watermelon print case is adorable! Hope everything is ok with Karen.

  2. Hi crafters and sewers,

    I am very sorry to tell you this but I discovered today May 02 that Aunt Karens Creations, Karen Lain passed away on April 13, 2012. I have been very upset and sad since I found out. I used to have great conversations with her in the Virtual Labs on Etsy, and you are right, she always wanted to help people the best she could. She was a wonderful person and
    I am pleased that I was able to get to know her online. I loved her items too.

    I used to go to her shop once a week to see how her sales were going and then one day, about a month ago, I could not find her. I thought maybe that she had transferred to another site.

    I found this obituary online:

    I will sign the guestbook in the next few days when I am not so upset.

    My sympathy goes out to all that knew her and admired her items.

    Kind regards,