Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Results of Team Theme Challenge: YOU'RE A STAR

The star this week was definitely Tangentine's copper cuff. The elegant star constellation led the way for most votes. Moonandlion's Star of the Parade tagged behind in second place.

Who will be the star next week? What will the Etsy Expats come up with next? Stay tuned for the results of next week's challenge "WE COULD ALL USE SOME!".

Friday, 24 September 2010

What Was the Farthest Distance Your Parcel Had to Travel?

I'm about to ship off to Taiwan from Germany and it got me thinking how far beautiful things must travel sometimes to get to their owner. We live in a small world these days, but some distances are still impressive.
To what remotest place have you sent something you sold and from where?

Expat Recipes: Sticky Date Pudding

by AnacDesigns

2 cups of chopped dates
1/4 cup of water
1 cup of packed brown sugar (granulated will do too!)
60 g of butter

Boil all of the above at medium heat stirring often for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it cool down for 10 minutes.

[You can prepare the cake pan in the meantime]

Mix in the following one by one:
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1-2 eggs
2 cups of flour

Place the mixture in a buttered and lined 22 cm round cake pan and bake for 30-40 minutes. in a pre-heated oven at moderate heat (180°C). Pierce cake with skewer, if it comes out clean it is ready!

It will be easier to take the cake out of the cake pan if you let it cool down a bit. [You can make the toffee sauce in the meantime]

Toffee sauce for topping:

Combine 60g of butter with 60 g of brown sugar over medium heat in a pan until boiling. Reduce heat and stir often until smooth. This will take about 2 minutes.

(If you use granulated brown sugar it will take longer with the toffee sauce and you have to be extra careful not to burn it)

Be careful not to burn yourselves!

Spread over warm cake.

Serve with custard or vanilla ice cream.


Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Members Featured Elsewhere : LKAdesign

LKAdesign, an Etsy Expats team member has been featured on this blog, with international appeal. The blog is run by Tania Cavenecia Torres, who is an artist of Peruvian heritage, living in Northern California.

Results of Team Theme Challenge: YOU MAY KISS THE BRIDE

In honour of our beloved nicolehill's wedding, last week the team faced a theme challenge "You May Kiss the Bride".  All the results fit nicely in an Etsy treasury. After several torn votes this week's winner was uniquenique with its unique (nomen est omen!) and incredibly beautiful crocheted bracelet.

We look forward to next week's challenge : YOU'RE A STAR! All entries to be submitted at the social site by next Monday, 27 September 7 P.M. C.E.T.

Ready, steady, list!

Monday, 13 September 2010

Results of the CUP OF TEA Team Theme Challenge

The first challenge was a success. Our treasury made as high as the third spot on the front page!

Fibrous 's lovely pin cushion has received most votes, followed by thehopetree 's gorgeous vintage teapot.

The next team theme challenge is YOU MAY KISS THE BRIDE, in honour of nicolehill's upcoming wedding. Submit your entries on the social site by Monday, 20 September 2010, noon C.E.T.

What's the oddest place you've sold your products?

In the forums at the end of last week, Nique was telling us about a bracelet she finished at the hairdresser - she ended up trading it for part payment on a cut and colour!

Ana added that she had once finished one cotton necklace in a plane and ended up selling a few things to the flight attendants and getting a custom order to fix a necklace too - which inspired us to ask:

"What's the oddest place you've sold your products?"

Answers on a postcard, or in the comments, please! ;-)

Friday, 10 September 2010

Expat Recipes: Maultaschen

by waterlilyjewels

Maultaschen are a Swabian (Baden-Württemberg, Germany) specialty food, consisting of an outer layer of pasta dough with a filling traditionally made of minced meat, smoked meat, spinach, bread crumbs and onions and flavored with various herbs and spices (e.g. parsley and nutmeg). Similar in appearance to Italian ravioli, Maultaschen are usually larger, however, each Maultasche being about 8-12 cm (3-5 inches) across.

Maultaschen are traditionally eaten either geröstet (cut into slices and fried in a pan with onions and scrambled eggs) or in der Brühe (simmered in vegetable broth), or geschmälzt (dressed with butter and onions), usually with potato salad.

Pasta Dough:
3 eggs
pinch of salt
for each egg, half an eggshell of water
360-400g wheat flour (1½ to 1¾ cups)
Mix eggs with salt and water. Sift flour into a bowl and make a well in the middle. Break the eggs into it and blend all the ingredients together. Take out of the bowl and then knead the dough on a board until air pockets can be seen when the dough is cut. You can knead by hand or with a mixer.

Depending on the flour, if the dough is too thick add a little water or an egg white. The dough shouldn't be too soft. Form a ball and place on a board. Cover with a cloth and leave to rest. Now you can prepare the filling.

400g fresh spinach (1¾ cups)
salted water
20g diced bacon (about 3 strips)
20g butter (4 tsp)
1 small onion, finely chopped
3-4 stale rolls, crusts removed
150g ham or cold meat, diced (5 oz)
250g ground meat (pork and/or beef) (9 oz)
2-3 eggs
a pinch of salt, pepper and nutmeg
boiling saltwater or meat broth

Clean the spinach well, wash and blanch it briefly in boiling saltwater. Rinse with cold water, let it drain and chop coarsley. Braise the bacon in butter for a couple of minutes, add the chopped onion and spinach and braise for a couple more minutes. Soak the stale rolls in water until soft. Squeeze out the excess water and chop the rolls into pieces.

In a large bowl mix the above prepared ingredients with ham and ground meat. Add the eggs and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

On a floured surface roll out the noodle dough into rectangular sheets (about twice as wide as you want your Maultaschen to be). Use a tablespoon of filling at equally spaced 3 inch intervals all down the middle of one side of the sheet of dough. Fold the plain half of the sheet of dough over to cover the filling and press firmly on the spaces around the pockets of filling. Use a pastry wheel or cookie cutter to cut into 3 inch squares.

Put them into boiling saltwater or meat broth and let simmer (not boil) for 10-15 minutes depending on the size.

You can serve these hot in a bowl with a little of the cooking broth with chopped parsley, or topped with melted butter and sauteed onions. My favorite way to eat them is geröstet... cool the maultaschen, then slice into strips about 2 cm (3/4 inches) wide. Slice two small onions into rings and quarter rings, then melt butter in a pan and saute onions until soft. Add a little more butter and place maultaschen slice into pan with onions. Sautee until heated through, then add 1 beaten egg mixed with milk to the pan (I like to season my egg with onion powder, salt, pepper, and a small spoonful of Thai red curry paste). Stir mixture until egg is cooked but still soft, about 1.5 to 2 minutes. Serve!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

My Most Surreal Moment

by JustOneLook

[Note: We've had a few minor technical problems, so please forgive the late publication of this lovely and moving blog entry from Linda.]

'll try to keep this lighthearted. I thought this would be a good date to write this... September 5th., to share with my new friends (tribe that is)!

I have lived away from England for many years and 'adjusted' to not being around for special events; weddings, births, birthdays, etc., although I have managed to fly 'home' for both my nieces' weddings but when my elderly mother was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery , it was really hard.

Should I go now?-will she be too sedated to know I'm there, should I wait until she's home from the hospital ? or will she think I don't want to be there, will she make it through?....dilemma, dilemma! Finally I went over when she came out, to help my sister.

The next few years were tough, with a young family to care for in America and my mother in and out of hospital in England as though she was checking into a hotel for the weekend! She insisted on living on her own and when she didn't feel well she'd call the doctor and she'd be right back in the hospital. I never knew if it was serious or not.

The last time she was hospitalized I was booked to fly over for my niece's wedding and Mum was unable to attend...she was in fact far worse than I had realized. Leaving her in a hospital bed to come back to my husband and children was by far the hardest thing I have ever done and it tore me apart. I knew it was the last time I would see her.

Weeks passed and the expected news came late one night on September 5th. My sister called to say that Mum had 'checked out of the hospital' for good this time. (Not being flippant,...just trying to keep this lighthearted)!

I immediately said 'Oh no it's .........(my niece's) birthday' and my sister said 'No it's not it's .......(my nephew's) birthday'. (They have back to back birthdays 5th & 6th). We had this back and forth conversation for a minute or so then I realized!! While I was standing in my kitchen in South Florida on 5th September, my sister was calling me from England and telling me our mum had died on 6th September...the next day for me!! THE most surreal feeling ever. I still get goosebumps when I think of it. Some people don't 'get' it. I think you ladies will.

It's been 10years since my mother passed away and I will buy some chrysanthemums (for my mum) haha as I usually do and I will try to keep them alive, as I usually don't! Perhaps they are annuals?!

Thanks for being here to listen,


Monday, 6 September 2010

Team Theme Challenge : CUP OF TEA

Our first team theme challenge is up!

The theme is CUP OF TEA

Create a themed item by Monday 13/09/2010 noon (C.E.T = Central European Time = 6 hours ahead of New York time).

Post the link to your finished item in your Etsy shop to the forum on our Social site.

All the entries will be featured on our blog.

Berlin via Brussels

by anakit

I don’t usually condone my fellow expats in Brussels complaining about everything Belgian. Sure the weather is unstable, but hey so it is in London, yet even movie stars choose to live there. The traffic in Brussels is ruthless, nobody obeys any rules, but then again, sometimes you get to turn your four blinkers on in the middle of the street and hold up traffic for 15 minutes, because everyone is already used to it. The check-out ladies at the super-market are slow, though not as slow as the post office ladies, still, you never feel rushed while you carefully stack your eggs and broccoli in your bag. And the services! Never mind the reluctance of shops to make any business with you, God forbid something goes wrong with your Internet subscription – though it inevitably will – and God forbid you need to deal with any sort of administration!

You can be sure that at some point one or all of the above complaints will come up at any lunch or dinner table in the European Quarter. I always feel you have to take the bad with the beer, the chocolate and excellent train connections to European capitals. But maybe it’s because I’ve been there for so long I have stopped noticing.

That is until I came to Germany. Luck, life, fate wanted it that I come spend two whole months in its grand capital. I have to admit, though not unfamiliar with this country and its culture, I did not expect much, except perhaps greasy food and lots of casual fashion. But I started living here and although I felt like the only person wearing pastels and sandals in August, I soon started enjoying the SERVICE. Oh the German efficiency! That alone is worth moving here. My jewelry supplies are delivered regularly, even on Saturdays (a blasphemy in Belgium) and the postwoman climbed up six flights of stairs to my apartment to deliver the package. Of course I met her half-way, worried she would have left with my package if I didn’t hurry enough, not unlike her Brussels counterparts. Silly me. Even out of breath she delivered the package with a smile.

Berlin is a city that takes charge. When you already think you’ve seen what there is to see, it leads you down a side street where huge painted cows are plastered onto a wall of an apartment building. It discloses a small shopping street after you have given up on ever finding shoes again. You take the wrong public transport and end up at the place where the Wall began to fall. When you ride the tram you’ve taken many times before you suddenly realize there is a planetarium nearby.

Idyll in Kreuzberg

Deserted Graphitti Boat on the Spree
Kreuzberg, Berlin
This city is a temptress, at first it plays it cool then slowly pulls you in, until you no longer remember you don’t really live here.

Recommended for Etsy lovers: Sunday fleamarket at the Mauerpark on Bernauer Strasse. It's more than just a flea market, it's a way to spend your Sunday. People flock there from all over the city, set up stands, perform in the adjacent park or just sit back and sip on their beer. Even if you're not interested in thrifting through piles of old dishes or handmade items, there's plenty more. You can enjoy music and lunch within the market itself or just hang back on one of the benches along the remnants of the Berlin Wall and feel the relaxed atmosphere.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Etsy Expats badge

The lovely and talented Erica from Bliss Graphics, who designed our banner, has very kindly made us a team badge that members can use on their blogs, websites, or anywhere else they feel like. You should be able to save it by right clicking on the picture below:


Any problems, just give us a shout by emailing us at etsyexpats@gmail.com.

Thursday, 2 September 2010


Contact -  JustOneLook  


Weekly thread - thehopetree

Twitter – 

Blog –  JustOneLook

FB pageuniquenique

Pinterest  - JustOneLook

All team members can make treasuries with the tag etsyexpatteam and send blog posts to etsyexpats@gmail.com

Team email for all queries: etsyexpats@gmail.com









Addy's Vintage




anakit “Born and raised on the sunny side of the Alps in Slovenia, I now live and work in Belgium. Though I love my day job as an interpreter, it is the type of work that leaves nothing behind. A lover of jewelry I have built a nice vintage collection. When one of my favourite ones broke I decided to fix it myself. Then I discovered I can make my own jewelry. Soon I had too much for myself and my friends. I looked and found Etsy.”


artophile "I studied Tapestry and Stained Glass at the Edinburgh College of Art and then left for a summer trip round Europe that ended up lasting 5 years. Most of that time was spent in Spain where I learned enough about sailing to land a 6 month job in the US as a cook on a private yacht. That 6 months lasted a year (are you beginning to notice a theme here?) and ended with me meeting and marrying my husband and becoming a land-lubber! We moved from Florida when our youngest was born and moved to the mountains of West Virginia. I have a stained glass studio in my basement, home-school my daughters and at times, yearn for Scotland. I started my Etsy shop in March 2010 and am thrilled to be a part of EtsyExpats, where I know my occasional feelings of alienation will be completely understood!"




Blissgraphics “I'm a Texan living in Spain with my hubby and two doggies. We moved here about 8 years ago when my husband got a job with a symphony orchestra. I am also a classical musician (I play the oboe) but my Etsy shop is my passion! I do graphic design including banners, logos, business cards, brochures, etc.”









DearOhDeer "I grew up on a dairy farm in New Zealand. It was pretty great, I had a pony and chickens and lots of trees to climb. But there is only so much ponies and trees to climb can entertain a young person, so after 21 years I moved to London, thinking the streets were paved with gold and wonderous things awaited me here. Unlike most Kiwis I chose to live amongst the 'Poms' and get well involved, I now drop my T's when I am talking. I've been here 6 years and London is my home, but New Zealand is my home too, its hard. I've always been creative and tend to find a way to make something from any bits and bobs I can find. After making a pile of ponies out of socks one day to add to my stack of paintings in the corner, a friend suggested I open an Etsy store to sell my odd arts and crafts to appreciative people, and Dear oh Deer was born! The things I make seem to go through phases, I started with sock ponies and paintings, and have moved on to make feathered accessories and jewellery. In the future I will be adding more Photography prints to my store, as Photography is my first true love. I love being an expat, bringing something a bit different to my group of English friends, being the token person who talks funny. I love the idea of a team of us all far from home making things and having a kind of support network for homesickness!"



EmilyAliceBall "I'm a Brit who now lives in Seoul, South Korea. I did an exchange here while studying Metalcraft and Jewellery design and I ended up coming back here to live and teach :) I have been here for over 3 years now and it doesn't look like I'm leaving anytime soon! I'm a silversmith at heart and love, love, love playing with metal, I make jewellery to sell on Etsy, please check out my shop and see what you think."





Fairyspit "I am an American expat living in New Zealand and find that the beauty of my surroundings has only made my work better. I am a doll and fiber artist, specializing in needle felted fantasy creatures."

Fibrous "I'm in Edinburgh right now, from California originally. I've been in the UK for over 3 years now, and I'm slowly forgetting what things are called in the US :) I sell cute magnets, toys, and jewelry. All made of wool."


FlowersForRealJewelr "I'm a 64 year old,ICU nurse, now living in Oregon with a husband and 21 year old kid (not quite ready to grow up). I lived in (1)Germany, as a translator in 1965;(2) Mexico, in 1969 to start a medical clinic in a poor border village; (3)Peru, with my first husband who was Peruvian, (4)Greece,('80) as a nurse and substitute school teacher; and(5) Saudi from 82 to 85 as an inservice instructor and critical care nurse. My favorite craft is pressed flowers in resin jewelry; also Lacypants, custom panties for all sizes. Also scuba diving and knitting. I miss, here in Oregon, talking to people who know there's more to the world than the west coast of the USA. I'm looking forward to being active in this team."




handmadeinisrael "I am originally from England but have been living in Israel for quite a number of years now. I'm married to a fellow Brit - though we met over here in Israel - and I am Mum to two very active, fun-loving boys. For as long as I can remember I have been busy with my hands, crafting and making things. As a youngster I knew that I wanted to be an artist for a career. There was never a question in my mind of anything else. I have a BA (Hons) in Graphic Design from Liverpool John Moores University and before kids came along I worked as a graphic designer and art director and often made cards to send to family and friends. When my last 'office job' came to an end in 1998 my husband looked at some of my cards and suggested that other people might buy them. I approached a local store who immediately took them on. From that day on my days have been spent cutting and sticking!"


JustOneLook "I was born and raised in the SW of England where I lived until I met my husband, many moons ago while travelling around Greece and Turkey. I came to the States for a visit (he's American), we got married and two grown children later we are still living in the U. S. of A. in South Florida. 
I started sewing during my teen years, making myself 'unique' clothing. Although I have continued sewing over the years, its only recently I have started selling my clothing items. Having a daughter to sew for was a wonderful outlet for my sewing passion; now getting involved on etsy is helping me to get back to where it all started... making clothing, crafts, whatever I choose.  Being part of etsyexpats feels exciting and I'm looking forward to sharing so many wonderful tales and experiences with you all."


KarensLoom "Born and bred on the NE coast of England in Yorkshire, I lived in London for about four years before meeting my husband, an Argentine lawyer and coming to Buenos Aires to live where I have lived for many years now. I am an English teacher but my hobby which is wool and knitting and weaving gradually took over my life and two years ago I decided to give up the classroom and dedicate my time to ever growing knitting and weaving business. I participate each year in craft fairs at different embassies, schools and clubs and in one I met an Argentine girl who told me about Etsy... and here I am."






LKAdesign "My name's Lorna, I'm originally from near Edinburgh and I've been living in Greece for a year. My husband-to-be is Greek so we may be here for a while! I'm teaching English during the day and becoming obsessed with Etsy, but still trying to get my shop to take off. I sell modern mosaics and other home decor with a twist."









moonandlion "I'm from Argentina but have been living in Spain for many years. I'm a singer and fiction writer, and have been making collage all my life, also involved in mail art for quite a few years. I collect vintage objects and ephemera, and would now love to share some of my findings and art with you here on Etsy. The community of artists/handcrafters is what I cherish more of any of these projects. It's the people you meet in the way, in the end, what makes it all worthwhile."




nicolehill "I'm a British jewellery artist and writer (unpublished, but if you happen to know an agent, I'm looking...) currently living on the south coast of France. I moved here because of my partner's job. I'm soon to go back to the UK for a bit for work, but intend to commute between the two countries. Part-time expat? I can live with that... I'm also responsible for the blog here for the team, so do get in touch if you'd like to contribute articles - we're always looking!"





realfaery “I am from Hungary and in the last 15 years I lived in many countries as a social worker: in India, the Philippines, New Zealand and England. I have recently returned to Hungary after my two months campervan tour of Europe and have started to think where to go next year, after the Xmas Etsy rush. I have a Nomad Felt Shop making accessories, cloths and pictures. I ran the shop even when I volunteered in India last winter and when I was travelling in my campervan.”








svitrolica "I was born in Alaska, and raised in Texas. I have also lived in Switzerland, The Netherlands and India. I have a passion for languages and different cultures, and have travelled extensively throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Since 2002, I have been living a frightening quiet life in the Ardèche region of southernish France."


Tangentine "I am a South African living in Germany with my dear hubby. We suffer from a severe case of wanderlust and this is the fourth country we’ve lived in. We’ve also lived in London in the United Kingdom and Dublin, Ireland. We also like to travel a lot. Preferably to places with high biodiversity and low population density. I like to think I have a sense of adventure but it always fails me when I have to try new food. I'm a cuisine coward. My interest in the world around me finds an outlet in making jewellery. I have to create. Otherwise I get grumpy."

thehopetree “Life in South Africa was going along, I was an artist and selling to galleries when a French man on a not so white horse picked me up and dragged me off to France. I have lived on the French Riviera, England and now settled in my husbands home town of Strasbourg. This is not typical France but a mix of Germany too. I am a mother to a beautiful solid little 2yr old chap who mixes French and English in all his words. Etsy is my saving grace here in this new culture as it is helping me slowly adjust to this new world in which I feel so so foreign. Finding vintage treasures for my Etsy shop helps me breathe!”





underanewlight"I am from Peru and currently living in Canada with my husband and one-year-old baby girl. A few years ago, I moved to China to study and, this is where I met my husband. We love culture and languages, that’s why we went so far to meet up. I’ve immigrated to Canada since then. Right now, I feel that I don’t belong to any country and I’m always thinking about where will be our next stop.

On a more personal note, I love jokes and enjoy very much laughing... I love people with a smile in their face. I can be sitting and listening and laughing at the same time!! I’m a multitasker :) I don’t like very much to cook (and my husband complains about it:), but when I’m in the right mood, I can cook something delicious. I love music and dance because they make me feel free. My academic background is in sciences, but I love to create. It makes me feel like I’m developing the other part of me that I had been hiding for a long time. :D"

uniquenique "I am originally from South Africa, moved to the US in 2001 just after September 11th started in Tucson Arizona and have now been in Tampa Florida for the last year. I have started my shop with my jewelry but I also make fabric handbags, stained glass pieces and fused glass small plates, candle holders etc. I also do mosaic work with stained glass."




waterlilyjewels "I was born in Nottingham, England, but was raised in the U.S. from the time I was a small baby. I lived in Ohio for most of my life (barring a one-year stay in Miami), until I met my boyfriend on, of all places, an NHL hockey website. 4 years after we first met, I moved here to Germany to be with him, in October of 2009. I am still getting accustomed to living here... the language is by far the most difficult thing! For anyone who is thinking of moving to another country where they speak a language you do not, I strongly recommend taking language courses before you move!"