The Etsy Blog

News From the Craft + Style Blogosphere: 12/8/2011 handmade and vintage goods


“I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.” — Zhuangzi

This week’s edition of News From the Craft + Style Blogosphere has playful paintings, reminiscing on lives in decline, portraits of female artists, dog spittle and the elaborate origin story of bananas.


I get lost in the colors, patterns and depths of Fauvist painter Raoul Dufy. Check out AM on the Present Tense for more of his playful work.

Experimental art form or the discards of a ravenous forest animal? Not quite. Most pet owners will immediately recognize these disemboweled plush cadavers as the handiwork of a bored dog. Why is it always the eyes that have to go first? [Via Feature Shoot]


Smithsonian Institution

Brenda Putnam, American sculptor, 1890-1975.

Smithsonian Institution

Lucile Blanch, American painter, 1895-1981.

Smithsonian Institution

Theresa Bernstein, American painter and printmaker, ca. 1890-2002.

Smithsonian Institution

Betti Richard, American sculptor, born 1916, in her studio.

“All my life I knew I was loved and protected but it did not prepare me for life and what was ahead of me. The tragedies, the disappointments, the challenges and how to live with them were difficult.

“At 85, I think about life differently. I can look at my past life like watching an old silent film. I can’t change anything but I can remember and wonder and think about what if I was more prepared, stronger, wiser, more experienced. Then something inside of me says ‘forget it, try to enjoy the rest of your life.’

“That is what I am trying to do. I don’t want to waste precious days still ahead of me.”

— Regina Titus

New York Times columnist David Brooks recently reached out to readers over 70 to contribute to a new project: The Life Report. Encouraged to share their life stories, failures, wisdom, joys, and reflections that could only be garnered with time, this collection of narratives is eye-opening and deeply moving, as the excerpt above from 85-year-old Regina Titus attests. Read more at The New York Times.

[Photos of female artists via Smithsonian Institution.]

We at Etsy try to be mindful of where our food originates. One fruit bowl staple that continues to perplex ethical eaters is the banana. The complex systems put in place to harvest and transport this tropical mainstay has been the subject of many a documentary — such as this silent promotional short, produced in 1935, which “zooms in on the banana industry, from virgin jungle being converted into banana plantations to the fifteen-month growth cycle between root planting and banana bunch to the shipment of the fruit into the American markets.”

Today’s banana industry is no less complicated. In fact, the dizzying methods of shipment, ripening and refrigeration are studied in a long-form piece on Edible Geography. Check it out. [Via Brain Pickings]

Do you know of a forward-thinking art, style or design blog? Post it in the comments! And make sure to check out past installments of News From the Craft + Style Blogosphere!

Alison is Editor in Chief of the Etsy Blog. When she's not trawling Etsy for pottery, folk art, and vintage oddities, she enjoys historical nonfiction and cat videos.

  • Slowshirts

    Slowshirts says:

    So many of those stuffed animals around here. The dogs are ruthless!

    3 years ago

  • jammerjewelry

    jammerjewelry says:

    Wonderfully interesting article, thanks for sharing.

    3 years ago

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush says:

    ..forget it, try to enjoy the rest of your life.. Ms. Titus knew her stuff ;) Great round up!

    3 years ago

  • volkerwandering

    volkerwandering says:

    Stunning, unique, inspiring, and memorable! One of my favorite compilations of art so far!

    3 years ago

  • artywear

    artywear says:

    I cut the eyes and noses out of stuffed animals before giving them to the dogs. Not as much fun for them, but I discovered they were eating them and throwing them back up. I don't want a vet bill for intestinal blockage.

    3 years ago

  • scarletbegonia11

    scarletbegonia11 says:

    Love the butterfly quote :-)

    3 years ago

  • Grafxquest

    Grafxquest says:

    LOl what on earth is that white fluffy thing!

    3 years ago

  • lovelygifts
  • IvyVining

    IvyVining says:

    There's just something so disturbing about dismembered and gutted stuffed toys. Love it.

    3 years ago

  • floridascarf

    floridascarf says:

    I absolutely LOVE those shots of stuffed animals. They would maek awesome adornments for some pretty interesting scarves. The Regina Titus quote is magnificent. Bananas. Sarah G.

    3 years ago

  • quirkyshop

    quirkyshop says:


    3 years ago

  • TheMillineryShop
  • YourlittleCupcake

    YourlittleCupcake says:

    I wasn't going to take a look at this one but glad that I did. Interesting about the bananas. I just recently moved from Hawaii where I lived for 4 years. I already miss being able to go out my back door and pick fresh bananas off the trees.

    3 years ago

  • VelvetTeacup

    VelvetTeacup says:

    This is quite a different take on "crafting" - the dogs know best! Well done.

    3 years ago

  • truthbeautyandlove27

    truthbeautyandlove27 says:

    I loved that all the photos of artist were woman, woman who lived in a time where it was more difficult to pursue your passion. I'd like to take a moment to thank those woman for paving the way for me to pursue what makes me passionate anyway I like!

    3 years ago

  • RivalryTime

    RivalryTime says:

    Cool....and sometimes disturbing :)

    3 years ago

  • aymujer

    aymujer says:

    The female artist images took my breath away. Especially the last one. Amazing. Nothing beats some good, ol' fashioned portraiture. Thank you!

    3 years ago

  • RossLab

    RossLab says:

    I think I am a butterfly!

    3 years ago

  • NancyCreations

    NancyCreations says:

    Oh yes a butterfly for certain, in the winter I want to always go somewhere warm . Just as carefree as a butterfly would indeed be wonderful.

    3 years ago

  • craftandrelease

    craftandrelease says:

    interestingly enough, both of our dogs each have only one stuffed animal and the "babies" have been in service for a couple years! now, I don't tell you how long soccer balls last in our yard.

    3 years ago

  • emwi

    emwi says:

    Love the Dufy paintings. I recently saw an exhibition at the High Museum in Atlanta that has some later Fauvist work which was extended to paper cut pieces to mimic Fauvist painting forms. Very interesting. Also, poor mutilated animals! (I did a similar project my first year of art school...) Great post! Love all your art posts.

    3 years ago

  • theroyal

    theroyal says:

    forever i love news form the craft and style blogosphere.. the history of the banana industry gives such a lesson on globalization and international trade be it free or fair.. thanks

    3 years ago

  • metallearte2

    metallearte2 says:

    I work with butterflies at the San Antonio Zoo.TX. Trust me - they have their own personalities depending on their country of origin. The ones from China are the most docile whereas the ones from South America are stubborn. I will pick them up off the path so as not to be stepped on - no, they go right back to the spot. However, early in the morning - before the bipeds(children) arrive - it is memerizing and so peacefull.

    3 years ago

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 says:

    Such variety today. All very interesting. Please tell me the banana video was silent or this cold I have has truly made me deaf. Great afternoon escapism. Thanks.

    3 years ago

  • bhangtiez

    bhangtiez says:

    So cool! Thanks for sharing!

    3 years ago

  • silversamba

    silversamba says:

    Absolutely love the Raoul Dufy work! Thanks for posting :) Alana

    3 years ago

  • Iammie

    Iammie says:

    Those paintings are beautiful!

    3 years ago

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage says:

    Very interesting!

    3 years ago

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery says:

    Great finds, I love the photographs of the female artists. Interesting quote too, I wonder what the world will be like when I'm 85!

    3 years ago

  • NicoAndMooMoo

    NicoAndMooMoo says:

    Regina Titus's words are so insightful; a lesson for each one of us! How many times have I felt "not enough" for something or just clumsy and naive? However, lately I have decided to make instead of think, to dare instead of fear. I might not always succeed, but at least I am doing something unique and always new with my days.

    3 years ago

  • BlueRoseRetro

    BlueRoseRetro says:

    My dog Ginger has that same headless squirrel!

    3 years ago

  • ThePolkadotMagpie

    ThePolkadotMagpie says:

    Love the vintage photos. There was something very unsettling about the headless animals.

    3 years ago

  • yogiodie

    yogiodie says:

    I did not know bananas have calcium in them. Interesting video. LOVE BANANAS

    3 years ago

  • BigBadBuddha

    BigBadBuddha says:

    Understanding the history and process of thing bring deeper meaning to it

    3 years ago

  • imorhunova

    imorhunova says:

    interesting photos, have a lot of depth...

    3 years ago

  • Lvsimplyboutique

    Lvsimplyboutique says:

    awsome I found some great stuff... Come see my shop

    3 years ago