Tuesday, June 30, 2009

No death left un-pimped

Am I alone in not feeling the need to rush out and buy a chimp or a pair of shades and a red leather jacket to pay my respects to the recently deceased Michael Jackson? Bea Arthur's death also passed in this household with a general sense of "Bless her, I used to love the Golden Girls, she seemed a nice woman" rather than a need to rush over to Etsy and find myself a gift guide to all those raglan sleeved cat suits she was so fond of. I am really at a loss as to why Etsy seem to follow the herd in confusing "paying tribute" with " blatant marketing".

Call me old fashioned.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Ilona's Snail House!

I have been maintaining the ADO 4 Elements Challenge blog event list of participants while Nicole is away and we have so many incredible doll artists taking part! If you haven't entered there's still time, simply read about it on the Ado Blog ( http://artdollsonly.blogspot.com/ ) and send us an email.

Although all the participants are fantastic I just had to share this with you. The latest Doll Artist to join is Ilona Vlasenko from Helsinki and she has this snail/house creation on her blog. Take a look at all the photos on the blog, you can actually go inside the Snail shell, it has furniture and crockery, everything!!!! I want to move in! Go to: http://ilonessa.livejournal.com/13948.html#cutid1

I may not be able to understand a word of it but I'm SO following her blog from now on! ;o)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Artistic dilemma - opinions needed

I'm on the horns of an artistic dilemma ... and in these jeans, THAT's painfull! The subject of copying has been coming up a lot lately, and I've been pretty forward in sharing my views on the subject. As creative beings we would have to live in some kind of hermit cave not to be influenced by the work of others BUT we should never COPY.

Having said that I do believe in synchronicity, especially as we all have the internet, the world is a smaller place and what influences the work of an artist in Estonia may be simultaneously influencing me. I went for a wander through some of my favourite shops on Etsy last night and stopped at Bonheur (see link down the side). Let's get this straight I LOVE this shop, not only is her work beautiful but she styles and photographs it so well too. When I clicked the favourite button just before Christmas, she had mainly jewellery in her shop. Last night I saw lots of artwork and bags, absolutely lovely stuff but at the same time my blood ran cold because 2 of her images are so similar to things I have been working on over the last few weeks!!! I just never manage to work on drawings and images for myself anymore, and when I finally do.... arrrrggghhhhh!

The Marie Antoinette style lady with piled up hair festooned with jewellery, butterflies and flowers is quite a generic image I guess and we could both have been influenced by many things from old paintings to fashion magazines, besides, my image isn't too similar to hers. But the Crow wearing a necklace (he's so sweet by the way) is just too spookily similar to an image of a Magpie wearing a strand of pearls and a tiny crown that I've been working on. He even has lacey patterns in his black feathers, just like Bonheur"s image!!! FREAKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I won't show them to you (mine) as they are still huge unfinished many layered photoshop files and beside I don't want to be accused of copying. I did not copy, I haven't seen any of this new work before, haven't been into her shop since before Christmas, I swear.

So how did these images get into my head over here in Wales and over to Bonheur in Estonia without me copying her? The weirdest part in all this is that I was intending them for a series of shopper bags I'm making!!! Bonheur"s images are on bags too, although a little different to the ones I'm planning. And let's not forget that she got there way before me! It just goes to show that we are all Magpies picking through the vast input of imagery the internet provides us with and picking out similarly shiny little gems.

The big question now is what do I do? Do I abandon all this work or do I rework it until there isn't too much similarity. I don't want to be accused of copying and would be mortified if the positions were reversed. What would you do? I think I might even ask Bonheur for her opinion!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Spooky Blog Activity

OMG!!! I just had to sign back in to get to my blog and it took me back to the post with the fox painting... that was on the 21st... did I just time travel???? Did I just experience a blogspot wormhole or something?

And, where is everyone?

Sculpted Mermaids

Wow, look at these beauties! The 2 mermaids below are the work of Doll Artist Vania Cruz-Perez, she says: "I love mermaids! The concept of magical creatures that are half human and half fish just fascinates me. The reason that I like to create mermaid dolls would be my love of the fantasy world and all things related. Greek mythology plays a big role on my work alongside with European folklore. With each mermaid I create I try to imagine a story along as I sculpt, this gives me the jump start and before you know it….wala!! A mermaid is born out of clay.
You can find her at: http://fantasywhispersblog-ooak.blogspot.com/

Monday, June 22, 2009

My 2 latest doll, Fire & Water...

You can see work in progress pics of my 2 latest dolls on the ADO blog along with fantastic work from Denise Lynne, Sprite and Esther Verschoor. We are all participating in the 4 elements challenge, so why not hop on over, check out all the wonderful dolls on the blog and then ENTER the challenge yourself? The challenge is open to anyone who fancies making an art doll wether you are a member of not, wether you've made a doll before or not. You just don't know until you try! :o)

Little Robot

Again, nothing to do with meramids, but I just bought a paper theatre from Little Robot and have totally fallen in love with this shop. Check it out: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=90259

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Have you been Greenwashed?

Ok, nothing to do with mermaids but I found this interesting. Have you been Greenwashed? I'm sure we all are on a regular basis, it's almost unavoidable in this consumer society. Green washing is a term coined to cover the rampant practice of making a product seem environmentally friendly when in fact it isn't. Manufacturers have cottoned on to the fact that eco is trendy and because obsfucation is way cheaper than actually cleaning up their acts... they Greenwash their product and try to fool us into thinking they "care".

I've taken this from an article on cosmeticsdesign-europe.com By Guy Montague-Jones, 16/4/09:

"The consulting firm found that the availability of so-called green products has shot up but warned that these products are rarely as good for the planet as their labels suggest.

TerraChoice said that as many as 98 percent of the products surveyed committed at least one sin of greenwashing.

The company subdivided the concept of greenwashing into seven specific sins adding “The sin of worshipping false labels” to the original list of six sins identified last year.

TerraChoice vice president Scott Case said: “Some marketers are exploiting consumers' demand for third-party certification by creating false labels or false suggestions of third-party endorsement.”

The seven sins of greenwashing identified by TerraChoice from common to least common are:

The Sin of the Hidden Trade-Off occurs when one environmental issue is emphasized at the expense of potentially more serious concerns.
The Sin of No Proof happens when environmental assertions are not backed up by evidence or third-party certification.
The Sin of Vagueness occurs when a marketing claim is so lacking in specifics as to be meaningless.
The (new) Sin of Worshiping False Labels is when marketers create a false suggestion or certification-like image to mislead consumers into thinking that a product has been through a legitimate green certification process.
The Sin of Irrelevance arises when an environmental issue unrelated to the product is emphasized such as claiming a product is 'CFC-free' when CFCs are banned by law.
The Sin of Lesser of Two Evils occurs when an environmental claim makes consumers feel 'green' about a product category that is itself lacking in environmental benefits.
The Sin of Fibbing is when environmental claims are outright false."

Hhhhmmmmmmm, yep, I think I've been Greenwashed too!

Scrap mermaid

I found this on etsy, I love the way the big piece of scrap metal has been given new life as a mermaid sculpture. You will find it at
Karen Howard Folk Art : http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5379815

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Ha ha, so you thought it was safe to dip your toes in the water again, that the Mermaids and Pirates had left the tepid waters of my stagnant blog...WRONG! Here we have the colourful and cheery work of Chrissy Butler... makes me smile:

She says: "hmmm what draws me to the mermaid theme...
I have explored a narrative of impossible love between man and mermaid within my paintings. Through this exploration I wanted to capture feelings such as surrender and trust....This led me to experiement with new media such as soft sculpture and draw in subjects such as transformation and longing which has materialised into art dolls."
You can see more at http://thewonderfulplace.blogspot.com/

Friday, June 19, 2009

Etsy Front Page Rant-o-rama

OK, let's get this straight, I may be wholly wrong in thinking this front page from RIGHT NOW was chosen by the Etsy Admin but I can't see the usual "chosen by..." credit, so I'm ASSUMING. Here we have a whole front page of random items chosen from the theme "Vampire Romance", so there's going to be more than a few listings from my fellow Etsy Dark Side Street Team members right? As far as I can see there's only one: Idlehands (congats, Honey!).

There are also 2 Vampire art dolls, so maybe 1 at least will be by a fellow member of ADO or EGADS street team's that I belong to? You always feel proud, when you see a fellow team member get a well deserved mention but sorry, no, neither doll is by an Etsian I recognise.

I know that Dark and Bloody themes are not the soul preserve of the Dark Siders, I know Art Dolls aren't exclusive to us (and, drat, I don't have a Vampire Art Doll listed right now, despite them being a staple of Freaky Little Things) but it seems almost willful the way we rarely feature in Etsy's collections, even when the theme is DARK.... I remember the Gothic Steampunk gift guides never featured more than a (bloody steam-driven) handfull of Dark Siders.


PS: I woke up grouchy this morning, hope it's not showing!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My 10 blog awards go to, in no particular order, as they say:

Gail Lackey Ghosties
Etsy's Dark Side Street Team
Carpe Noctem
Bone Head Studios
Kit's Glass Etchings Super ...
LoopyBoopy Art
Tattoo Tales
Static White's Stitchery

After the whole "let's play spooky tag" disaster I'm really scared to tell any of them frankly, so wish me luck!

Circles of Twitter Hell

I don't know if Dante Alligheri ever twittered, but having "deleted" my account after a frustrating first day, I just decide to give it another go and encountered a previously uncharted circle of hell. I am now stuck in that loop where I can't create a new account because they still have all my old account details (yup, delete seems to mean something different in Twitter land), so it's refusing BOTH my email addresses, and frankly I don't want to call it anything other than Freakylilthings (I hate the "lil" abbreviation but it will have to do). It won't let me because it says a twitter account already exists for that name and gives me a link to a page that says "this account does not exist".

So I told it I wanted to re-activate my account, but the email that they send you to reactivate it requires you to sign in, and it rejects my password! All attempts to get a new password just lead me round and round in this, "that account is already taken/that account does not exist" loop.... Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh.

PS: should you eventually see the follow me on Twitter badge reappear on this blog, approach with caution, it may contain swearing!

Blog Award, Hurrah!!!

Wow, thanks to MarZel of "The Play of light and Shadow" for this fab award! I am officially chuffed to mintballs, as they say... it may possibly be just MY MOTHER who says that, but you get the gist. This is the very first award for my blog and I feel it is my right to do one of those big gushy "Oscar" speeches where I thank everyone I've ever met and cry a lot... but that would just be a typical Wednesday, n'est pas?

...Oh Hell, the band is starting to strike up and they are trying to usher me off the stage, so I'd better just say that this award is to be shared with anyone whose blog you just love. Whether it's their art, their interests, the things they share, you just simply love to visit their blog!

This is what you do:1~Accept the award then post it on your blog with the name and link of the person's blog who shared this award with you. (MarZel's link is down the side as I don't know how to do clickable text!) 2~Explain the award.3~Then share the award with at least 10 blogs that make you SCREAM! Please tell what makes their blog so special to you. Be sure to let them know they have received the award. Also you can share this award again if you run across more bloggers that make you SCREAM!

Will post my list of awardees later :o)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

ADO (Art Dolls Only), is about to host it's first "Blog Event" and we want YOU to make an art doll with us!

The theme is the elements, and we challenge you to make an art doll using one, two, three, or all four of the elements as your inspiration. Any artist is welcome to participate, including non members.

Here is your chance to explore the wonderful world of art dolls - first time doll maker, old hat, or have not created in while, all are welcome to join in on the fun!

You can sign up at the ADO blog (address below) from the 19th of June to the 16th of July.

On Friday, July the 17th participants will post their art doll to their *blog*. Saturday, July the 18th and Sunday, July the 19th the fun begins of seeing all the art dolls that have been created! All participants will be listed in the ADO sidebar for easy visiting.

Details will be posted on the 19th on how to sign up.


* Haven't got a blog, don't worry, you can send photos of your doll to me and I will post it here or you can contact Deanna at http://www.blueherondolls.blogspot.com/ to host your pics... just get making!

Monday, June 15, 2009

No vintage nudie men?

hhmmm, continuing my exhausting search for vintage images to play "altered art" with and I have made a startling discovery... MEN were not invented until the 1950's! Previous to that they were outnumbered by women and small children with kittens at a ratio of something like 500 to 1 - and HE had enormous mutton chop whiskers.

This is undoubtedly down to the fact that once cameras were invented men realised that they could take naked pics of ladies and never bothered to take pictures of themselves or each other. Given that most fashion photographers (OK, this may be one of those "sweeping generalisations" I'm so fond of...but) are gay men, surely somewhere there has to be a vast stash of (at the very least) coy nudie Victorian men showing their ankles and twiddling their moustaches suggestively for the camera? Or is that just my furtive imagination again? C'mon guys, I feel a bit let down! :o)

Spookbot Pirates Ahoy!

I think we have already established my love of Spookbot dolls, but she has now listed some of her famous Pirate Girls so I thought I'd mention her again. Aren't they fab!?! I included the other 2 just because, well, they are fab too... I wish I had a few pennies to spare right now, then they would all be mine!!! cue maniacal laughter...Go to:

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Mermaids Nest

Here's another lovely Mermaid Art Doll by Cynthia of Fairies Nest, you see there's more than just fairies in there! Cynthia makes the most beautiful wings and even the mermaids get them, take a look at her blog at:http://thefairiesnest.blogspot.com/

Friday, June 12, 2009

Congrats, ACEO winner!

Congratulations to Kimber Fenili, the second person to spot the ship on my website. I'll be sending you the 2 mermaid ACEOs, that's both prizes gone now and the ship, The Deadly Nightshade, captained by the infamous pirate Nathaniel Nightshade (who you will be meeting shortly!) is still sailing about on my blog. You will find it in the section called...drum roll to build up the tension... The Deadly Nightshades! I will be posting lots of Pirate facts there over the next few weeks and there will be a chance to win a piece of original art in late July. But I'll tell you more about that closer to the time :o)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tip of the day

This blog aims to be informative on all walks of life and in that spirit I would just like to share todays life experience with you all: Don't suddenly decide to re-shape your box hedges with a blunt pair of antique garden clippers whilst wearing your best dress and wedge heels... just don't... you may end up falling off the steps into a partly full wheelbarrow, like I did, and then lie there ruminating on what part the hot afternoon sun and wine consumption played in your current predicament.

Later, when the pain deadening effects of the wine wear off you have blunt-manual-hedge-clipper induced shaky arm syndrome and serious doubts about your topiary skills. That's all I'm saying.

More mermaids...

Michelle of Munzone Designs has several mermaid patterns available to buy online, go check them out at http://www.mmunzonedesigns.com/page3.html and get creating!


Congratulations to Caroline Jones for spotting the ship on my website, you win the Mermaid Kit! Just let me know the address and I will post it out tomorrow. Still 2 mermaid ACEOs up for grabs for whoever else can find it :o)

Find the ship!

I'll give the Newsletter Subscribers until Saturday morning to find the ship at www.freakylittlethings.com, if it isn't claimed by a subscriber by then I will throw the competition open to everyone. You win the simple mermaid doll pattern, full instructions and everything you need to make her,I posted a picture of her a few entries back. :o)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Treasury honour for Alice!

Wow, I've gone all postie-manic tonight, but I've just found out that Alice Noir and her Bunny co-hort have been featured in an Etsy treasury along with so many BEAUTIFUL dolls. Go look, ADO rocks!!!!


Drusilla on Ebay

Thought I might try and mix things up a bit and so I've taken Drusilla and her little Hex Doll friend out of the etsy shop for a 5 day stint on Ebay if anyone's interested. You can find the auction on the link in the column to the left "where to find my work"

Sea Beezles!!!

I just LOVE these little creatures, they are called Sea Beezles and were created by mad genius Cheryl at Praterposte, see her bog at: www.praterposte.blogspot.com. Take a look at the Skelly mermaid in her last post for instance, inspired lunacy!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

spooky night

Wow, it's a spooky old night, the sea is very calm and the moon's reflecting on the water... that's all I'm saying :o)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Mermaid Doll Kit

Here is my prototype for the Mermaid Doll Kit. The kit contains a pattern and virtually everything you need to make a replica of this doll. I have altered the pattern a little since making up the prototype, widening the body between the shoulders. I also give you more bits of netting and beads than I've used on this prototype so you can embellish the doll some more! You have the option of just statically attaching the arms or button jointing them so they can move. I give you full instructions of how to do that if it's not a technique you've tried before.

I've gone over the instructions again to make sure they are simple and easy to follow. Of course you can change or add anything you like. I also provide a guide for you to trace the face out but you can draw/paint any face you want on the doll. So good luck to all the Newsletter Subscribers again, and keep your eyes peeled for that ship! First one to spot it gets the kit, second one to spot it gets 2 mermaid altered art ACEOs. :o)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Pirate Skull beads, aaaarrrgggh

How cute are these? Pirate Skull beads made by hand from porcelain by Joan Miller Porcelain in Fleetwood PA (I'm pretending like I know where that is... Pensylvania?... wasn't Icabod Crane from Pensylvania?). Anyway, I love them and quite a few other things in this shop too!

Cat Fish of Florida!

Kaeriefaerie's magical world is filled with the most exotic mermaids, fairies and kitty dolls but I have to say the Cat Fish are my favourites! This is what Kaeriefaerie has to say about them: "Cat Fish swim in abundance here in Central Florida. The grass lakes and ponds are filled with colorful cats, mewing and grooming themselves on lily pads. They chase little fish and hiss at the alligators!"
Florida Legends and Tails

Apologies, the ship hasn't docked yet!

Apologies to all the Newsletter Subscribers who are playing the ship spotting game, I caused a whole load of confusion by featuring a Pirate Ship on my blog header! Sorry, what a dummy. I've removed the offending vessel, I will post a photo of a doll I've made from the Mermaid Making Kit that you can win on this blog TOMORROW MORNING and the ship, the Deadly Nightshade, will appear on my WEBSITE sometime after that and before Thursday. There's a clue of where to spot it in the Ship's name.

Hope that clears up all the confusion, but there's still everything to play for and I will send 2 mermaid altered art ACEO's to the second person to spot the ship. This giveaway is only open to those who received the Newsletter update on May 29/30th, sorry, but good luck ship spotters and take the day off, me hearties! :o)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Newsletter Giveaway

If you are taking part in the Newsletter Giveaway, please note that the ship you are looking for has to be sailing about on my website www.freakylittlethings.com... the ship on my blog header above doesn't count, sorry! Keep looking as the giveaway has been extended into next week as I have had so much to do work wise this week that I haven't finished putting together the mermaid kit! Keep your eyes on the horizon! :o)

Panzy the Cupcake Pirate

Here's some more Pirate treasure I found in on Etsy, available in Poseiz shop at :

I did a big search and save operation on Monday evening, looking for pirate/mermaid items on Etsy to share with you as the weeks go by, hopefully it's an encouraging sign that over half of them have sold before I could even post about them here!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Mermaid ACEO

I've put my saucy mer-ladies on ACEOs in the etsy shop. Really enjoying messing around with these in photoshop but have to say I think producing original illustrations is probably as quick in the end as you have the image in your head from the start, whereas these sort of evolve. Having fun though!


As you can see, when I haven't been slaving over design work today, I've been tinkering with my Mermaid themed blog background! Hhhhmmm, still not that happy but it will do for now, most of the elements are from itkupilli's shop with a bit of messing from me and some fishy extra photos that I had!

Still got some freelance to finish this evening so, sorry, yet again haven't photographed the Mermaid Kit doll for the Website Newsletter Giveaway... I PROMISE it will be on here tomorrow and keep your eyes peeled for that ship (NOT the one on the blog header though!). :o)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tiny mermaids everywhere

Over the next few weeks I will be featuring the work of my fellow Art Doll creators, all on the subject of Mermaids (although a pirate or 2 would be nice, arrrggh) and here is todays pick from the ever colourful Twentypoundtabby. These mermaid ornaments are tiny and designed to hang as decorations, how sweet! Check out her blog and loads more fab creations at http://twentypoundtabby.blogspot.com/

PS: the mermaid kit doll for the Newsletter competition will be posted tomorrow, got back too late to take a decent photo!

Dream Star Mermaid

Here's another art doll mermaid, it's amazing to see how one subject inspires so many different approaches. This is a commission doll by Robyn L Coburn, a variation on her Dream Star dolls. Her work is always so colourful and amazingly embellished. Take a look at all her other creations at http://iggyjingles.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Fist look at the Freaky Mermaids

Here's my first work in progress pic of one of my current batch of Mermaids. She's the largest doll and has an articulated 3 part tail under the lycra tail "skirt". If I get enough time I might make another with the articulated parts on display and paint the scales on. Check back tomorrow as I should be able to show you the Newsletter Competition doll that you can make with the kit... Keep your eyes on the Freaky Little Things horizon, the wind is in the sails and the ship is on it's way!

Sad news

On the subject of vintage art collections, surely many of you must be familiar with Enchanted Mercantile? I have just belatedly learned that Petra Wilkinson (Ms. Delaise) owner of Enchanted Mercantile, passed away on October 25, 2008. Such sad news, it made me think how odd it is that we feel we know total strangers from the other side of the world and yet their lives can pass without us noticing because in reality we are just brief "virtual" aquaintances.

I bought just one CD from her a few years back, a collection of vintage Soap Wrappers, and it sits on the shelf next to my desk along with all my design reference books. It is a reminder of how elegant and innocent packaging used to be, and my brief dealings with Ms Delaise were pleasant and friendly, something I hope is not also consigned to a long gone world.

Condolences to any who knew Petra Wilkinson, so sorry for your loss

altered art rip off merchant... beware

Still no answer from the seller, while I don't want to publicly name and shame someone who may still turn around and send me a useable version of the 2 collage sheets I bought, or refund my money, I am happy to email the seller concerned's shop name to anyone who regularly buys collage/altered art images from etsy sellers.

This has really upset me, I hate conflict but hate being ripped off even more!

Monday, June 1, 2009

First bad experience on ETSY

Sadly, I guess it had to happen... I love the way Etsy is so pleasant, people on Etsy are nice and honest or so it has always seemed to me. Such a pleasant backwater of civility compared to that OTHER site that begins in e and ends in y (usually "WHY oh Why did I come back on here and put myself through this again?" ).

Last night I decided to dip my toes in the tepid waters of "Altered Art" and buy some collage sheets for the very first lime. My first port of call was Itkupilli's etsy shop and I was very pleased with what she sent me! So emboldened I ventured forth and bought some more mermaid related vintage images from a few other sellers and was duly impressed. That is until late last night when I recieved the 2 A4 sheets emailed by one seller that left me flaberghasted.

The sheet is saved at 300 dpi but the originals must have been considerably smaller or lower resolution images as the whole sheet is blurred and many of the images are simply unusable. I would hazard a guess that this is a series of screen grabs that have been blown up for resale. Screen grabs are only 72 dpi and therefore, not print quality. Unless the original screen grab is physically large and you want to reduce the size of the image, no amount of saving them at a higher resolution will help add detail that simply isn't there.

The seller says that the images in her Etsy shop are deliberately blurred for copyright reasons ( OK, which makes sense if you have already altered the source material - I personally don't consider putting a bunch of copyright free images together on one sheet to be something you can lay copyright claim to, but that's another argument altogether!) so thought she must have sent me the image she uses for her listings by mistake. Sent her a friendly email pointing out the error and requested the non-blurry version that I had assumed I'd paid for. She sent me a friendly message back and returned the same blurry images suggesting that they wouldn't be blurry if I zoomed in on them or printed them out. They are significantly blurry both on screen or in print. A refund is due surely?

I work with Photoshop day in and day out and know that it's a simple mistake, you flatten your layered Photoshop file and reduce it to 72 dpi to save it "AS" a Jpeg or whatever... except you get carried away and save it INSTEAD of the layered version! I've done it myself and only realised next time I went to open the file, cue horror movie screaming and amateur dramatics. If it's work for a client I have to start all over again and apologise for the delay. I haven't heard form the seller since I said I would like a full refund (may be a time zone thing, I realise) but have sadly since taken a look at her feedback record and belatedly read all the other negative/neutral feedback comments that mention blurry images and no refunds. I have never even thought to check an Etsy sellers feedback because I thought it was a nicer place than you-know-where.

So what do I do now? If she doesn't offer me the refund (it's only $6.50 but why should I pay for something that is unusable?) I think I should contact Etsy as leaving her bad feedback will leave me open to a tit for tat negative rating and I've done nothing wrong. Any advice?