Friday, 28 January 2011

Treasury game - Memories

We finished our first Etsy Expat Treasury game yesterday.

Linda, whom we all know in her two guises, JustOneLook and SewFineFashions, came up with the idea. The theme was 'Memories'.

After much contemplation and gnashing of teeth, Linda, finally made her decision on the winner. *Drum roll*

Jo, from Russel Jewelry Designs won with this treasury:

Jo took up the torch in selecting the theme for this coming week - open until Friday 5th of February 2011.

Note: Because we're all in different time zones - we won't be too hard and fast on the closing time - but Jo will post in the thread we've opened for it to remind you when she's choosing.

This week's theme: 
It is a music title theme. Choose a music title you like or means something to you.

Here is a list of great titles to get you started.
Please post your treasury links in this forum thread.

Congrats again Jo! Well done on an excellent idea Linda.

Post by: Jacqueline Fouche (Tangentine)

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Meet the expats: UniqueNique

UniqueNique is one of those people that exudes compassion, even if you've only met her online. She's always close by with a word of encouragement or a little joke to cheer up the day.  

Monique is our resident glass artist. If it contains silica, you can put it in a kiln and want to get something pretty out - she's your girl. She generally makes jewelry but also dabble in other crafts - like her pretty dragonfly and butterfly stained glass ornaments.

Her jewelry style range from - girly and sweet, bold and interesting to intricate and delicate - all beautiful.

She was kind enough to answer some questions for me.

Why did you move?
We came, we saw and maybe conquered, the ultimate move from one continent to another (or at least our little part of it) because my husband was transferred here.

He had a choice of Switzerland or Tucson Arizona – at the end of the day we decided Tucson as he had visited the US often and loved it here. The funny thing was that although I have travelled a lot the US was one of the places I hadn’t yet visited, but I am always up for an adventure.

Everyone we knew in South Africa said wonderful at least you won’t have to learn a new language, they speak English there as well. After being here a week I wrote back to my friends and family and said “about learning a new language, that is exactly what I am doing, I am not sure that they speak English here.” The poor salespeople I had to deal with when I first got here had no idea what I was asking for most of the time.

To this day my children correct me when I don’t speak American English, which they, of course, speak perfectly.

Biggest challenge being an expat?
My greatest challenge as an expat has been dealing with not having my family within driving distance and knowing that they are not getting the chance to see what amazing people my children are growing into. I in turn miss out on seeing theirs.

This also seems to encompass the problem of not really feeling at home in your adopted country but yet when you go “home” you don’t feel like you belong there either, you are continually caught between two worlds, like having a foot in each country but no place to put your butt. It is hard to be in a strange country without any kind of support group beyond your husband and children, but it does have a tendency to make or break your family unit.

Biggest joy being an expat?
My greatest joy is the fact that not having a work permit when I first got here gave me permission to allow my creative side a chance, something that I had been putting on the back burner for many years while growing a business in South Africa.

Finally! I could create without being sneaky or feeling guilty about wasting time. I could allow my brain the opportunity to play and experiment – now that my monster is out I never want to have to put it back in its box. This has also brought some amazing new friends into my life they have offered unending support and understanding of the trials of living an expat life and also the common trials of living life in general. This has been a lifesaver for me in more ways than one as with our recent move to Florida we are once again in the midst of trying to find our feet.

The thing about being an expat is that you learn to adapt and be flexible and definitely to think on your feet. There is something new every day and without the challenges you could never truly enjoy the rewards.

Are you an expat, going-to-be-expat or once-were-an-expat and sell on Etsy? Come and join our little group.  We understand what it's like to buy supplies and get funny looks from sales people.

Next week I'm featuring another world traveller and she also makes jewellery.

Post by: Jacqueline Fouche (Tangentine)

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Meet the expats: moonandlion

moonandlion comes across as cheerful bundle of energy and is one of our Etsy Expat paper masters. She makes interesting, enchanting prints and sketches.

Her work is interesting and unique. She freely admits that she finds it difficult to label her work and I have the same problem – so I'll let you make up your own mind.

Why did you move?
When I first started traveling, I didn't know I was going to move. I did leave Buenos Aires and planned to move to Patagonia, but that didn't last long.

Then I just knew I wanted to travel, like in year-long. My partner at the time felt the same, and we headed to the Basque Country because he got a job as a cook there, in a lovely posh restaurant. After the whole winter there, we could not endure the climate anymore.

The Basque Country is absolutely amazing, its people are friendly and the landscape is a dream in green, but all that green comes from 300 days of rain a year. So we headed South to visit a friend in Palma. We found work quite fast, and after the summer we just loved the pace of the island. It's like a small town floating in the sea. Living by the sea was a big plus. And then we re-formed our band in Palma, so another reason to stay.

Biggest challenge being an expat?
The friends and family you leave at the other side of the sea.

Biggest joy being an expat?
The new friends! The borrowed new families. The endless adventure of being somewhere which is not quite back home, but definitely home now.

Post by: Jacqueline Fouche (Tangentine)