Etsy Writing Critique #22

My coworkers are beginning to break out their red knit sweaters, so I know it must be almost “that” time of year.

So in that spirit, for this week’s writing critique let’s have a look at a sweet pair of holiday ornaments crafted by Harriet, at That Is So Cute.

While the name of her shop is certainly well reflected in these little hand-felted gifts, I think Harriet could do a better job selling them through her description. It seems to lack focus and repeat information, without really tugging at the heartstrings (or my wallet).

Let’s take a look:


Love birds? How about a pair of felted birdhouses?

I have knitted up a pair of red wool birdhouse ornaments. One roof is a winter white while the other roof is red and “thatched” with a white fun fur. They were machine felted and air dried. Once dried, I needle felted the hole and added the twig perch. They are stuffed with fiberfill.

One of these sweet birdhouses has a thatched roof (made with cream fun fur).

They are finished with coordinating ribbon that says “I Love You” to hang from.

The last picture is before they were felted!

They are about 4″ tall and about 2.5″ wide at the widest.


The first thing that jumped out at me reading this description was the “lede” (what we in the newspaper biz call the opening line). Harriet begins with two questions that left me feeling a little… eh. Maybe it’s a reporting background, but I shy away from questions in writing in general. Unless it’s a well-laid query or used as a clever rhetorical tool, the question mark can leave readers…well, wondering.

Seeing as the birdhouses are small and adorable, and they’re obviously meant as a holiday gift, I think I would open with something a little sweet and a little corny. Shoppers are probably already thinking “Awwww” when they see the ornaments, so I would push that feeling.

Harriet could also use to read through this description a second time and spot the repeat information. We can already see the “thatching” in the pictures, so there’s no need for us to read about it twice.

I’m also going to rearrange her wording just a little bit throughout. Some of her lines contain perfectly good information, but make for an awkward read. In particular, I’m concerned about “They are finished with coordinating ribbon that says “I Love You” to hang from.” I’m not the type to slap anyone on the knuckles for ending a sentence in a proposition (sometimes it just sounds right), but in this case there is an easier, more readable way to say it.

Here we go:


Winter can be a tough time for little birdies!

Take a moment to remember your feathered friends this season by celebrating with these adorable, hand-felted wool ornaments.

One sports a winter-white roof, while the other is “thatched” with a creamy fun fur. Both were hand-knit before being machine felted, air dried and stuffed with fiberfill.

I finished them off by needle felting the doorway and adding a little twig perch!

Both hang from sweet “I love you” ribbons. They measure about 4″ tall and about 2.5″ at the widest.

The last picture was taken before the knit pieces were felted.


Good luck and many happy sales to Harriet!


Interested in a critique focusing on language and writing? You’ve come to the right place! You must leave a comment on THIS blog post to be considered for next week! (Even if you have volunteered on a previous week!)

Also check out the Writing Critique archives! (There has been some technical trouble loading more recent critiques, but all the older ones are there!!)



The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

20 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Once again, Amy to the rescue! Now who do I know that needs some cute felted birdhouses?

  2. Yup… another A+

    Your rearrangement has made all the difference in the world….now everyone will be fighting over them!! I hope Harriet has the materials to make lots more of these little cuties!!!

    Mary of Brush It On

  3. Great critique again! I’d love to be considered for a future critique-

  4. Nicely done! I know my descriptions could certainly use some help…I’d love to be considered!

  5. These ornaments are adorable. The re-write makes them irresistible.

  6. I love reading your critiques. You really have a way of bringing them home. I wish I could get you to redo every single description in my shop! lol.

  7. Wonderful blog. It’s so great that you help people as well as feature shops. I’d love to be considered for either. Just convo me or email me if you’d be interested. Thanks, Lisa

  8. Right on target! Our shop definitely could use a little bit of polish in the description area.

  9. you did a great job rewriting the description. the birdhouses were cute before, but with the new write up, they are down right adorable and desirable!

  10. Oh my word! You make ME want to buy my own ornaments! This explains why I work mainly in numbers (and yarn) and not in words. I’d stay and write more but I must run off to my shop and edit this listing!

    Many many thanks!!


  11. Interesting, I love what your doing with the critiques!

    and I’d love if you’d critique mine. I always have trouble when I’m listing a new item, I try now just to keep it simple but I’m not sure it’s okay enough.
    keep up the awesome blogging! 🙂

  12. Awwww these are cute!

    I would love to be considered in your next critique. Im just scared about how bad my grammer might be.

  13. I am so bad in English writing, my spelling is so bad. I really could use your help.
    I love your blog too.
    Thank you. Dulce

  14. oh what a wonderful idea for a post,

    its really amazing what someone can pick up! and your feedback is helpful to everyone not just the original shop you are commenting on..

    I would love to have a description of mine picked on! we really do need an editor for our shops .

    😀 x

  15. Right on target. You have a talent with words! I can’t wait to read more of your reviews.


  16. Another great re-write — thanks

  17. Wow, great tips – makes me want to go back to my shop & re-vamp my descriptions a little! Thanks for the info.

  18. love those bird houses! best wishes to you.

  19. hello great site reminds me of the etsy forum critique section.

  20. Wow, you really did SELL those ornaments. They are gorgeous. You did a great job on the re-write too. I like many others have the problem of not knowing what to write. I try to ask myself what would I want to know about the item. But I still don’t sell very much.

    Again great job.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: