Thursday, 26 May 2011

Meet the Expat: Julie

We’re always happy when the lovely Julie pops into our Expat thread on the Etsy forums. Her chats always manage to cheer me up and I find her comments about her belly dancing classes intriguing. She was kind enough to answer some questions and give us a looksie into her life.

Hello my name is Julie. I have 3 etsy shops - Dorsbien for vintage, Frenchfabrics for my handmade and HeadsUpHigh for my new supplies and feathers.

I have always made things - I started sewing and crocheting age 8 at school. My mum taught me how to use the sewing machine and as a teenager I made all my 'special' outfits for the disco.

I didn't go down the art route at school - I chose science. I'm glad of that now because my style is definately my own. I worked with the Camphill Communities for 3 years and learned pottery and basket weaving. I ran the pottery for 2 years with no previous knowledge. I can still remember the noise of broken pottery as we opened the gas kiln for the first time (far too hot - no instruction book or anything!) After that it got much better.

We moved to France from Scotland in 2005 after 10 years of wanting to be there. Finally our circumstances changed and we moved. It is one of the best things we have done. We are well integrated into the local community - both children bi-lingual now, I teach bellydance locally to a wonderful group of English and French ladies. We now do public performances.

Biggest challenge being an expat - the French Bureacracy - it is unreal!

Biggest joy - has to be the weather, peace, tranquility, fresh air, slower lifestyle, bi-lingual children and Vide-greniers!! Through selling on etsy I can stay at home and look after my children - no aunts or grannies here.

I like big old wooden doors with black nails, I like lace and linens, I love rainbow colours. I like being able to go out and see the stars at night, crickets singing. Oh and we have animals - couldn't do that before. We have hens and chicks, sheep and lambs and over the years have had geese, ducks, goats and quail. All have gone to new homes as an exchange for hens usually. Our hens lay blue eggs. Last is the mediaeval festivals held here every year - our nearest is at Chinon and is the first week of August, fantastic.

Vices - I don't drink (shame with all that wine), I don't smoke, no drugs, my vices are chocolate and VERY LOUD MUSIC, which I can play here because we have no close neighbours.

I really like the etsyexpat team because we are all unique in our sisterhood / brotherhood. I think it is a very important part of the etsy lifestyle and work.

Thanks for the glimpse into your life Julie!

Are you a soon-to-be, been-there-done-that or currently an expat? If you sell on Etsy come and join our team.

Post by: Jacqueline Fouche (Tangentine)

Friday, 13 May 2011

Meet the expats: Tangentine

I've been writing posts for the Expat blog the past couple of months to introduce you to the team members and their shops.

This week, I wanted to introduce myself. I'm not usually a vain person, but I would like to talk about living as an expat before moving back home, to South Africa, next week. I think it will be interesting to see how my viewpoint changes after I settle down. I have, after all, lived as a nomad for 9 years.

My name is Jacqueline and I make jewellery that I sell in my Etsy shop Tangentine.

I started making jewellery when I was 16 because I thought I was an unique little snowflake and did not want to wear the same things as everyone else.

After I left school I decided to do a degree in Multimedia – as I've always liked the balance between the technical (computer science) and art (web design). Turns out I'm a really good planner so I spent most of my professional career planning and implementing websites for other people. A job I really love.

There was one need that my day job did not fulfill. The tactile element, being able to point at something and say, 'Hey, I made that!' I took up jewellery making again in 2004. In February 2010 I decided to take it seriously and start selling.

My jewellery are influenced by my interests and roughly falls into 3 styles - ancient history inspired, related to science and the natural world.

Why did you move? 
Throughout history there were always people who wondered what they could find over that hill! river/ sea. There's a certain sense of adventure related to the unknown and the need to explore those places.

I'm pretty much that person. I want to see it with my own eyes and experience how other people live and see the world.

While I'm talking about experiences, I thought I'd include one of the many stupid things I do. I like to think it's because the first time I saw proper snow, but I have to be honest. I do a lot of silly things just because I can. This was a lot of fun and we also got the shot.

Biggest challenge being an expat?
Paperwork and missing my family.

Learning German's been a big one too (even though my language skills are still really poor).

Biggest joy being an expat?
Exploring. We've lived in Dublin, Ireland for 2 and a half years, 5 in London, UK and the past 2 years we've been in Darmstadt which is close to Frankfurt in Germany. Each country has things that I really love and will miss dearly.

Travel. I don't think we'd be able to travel to as many places as we have if we stayed in South Africa. My favourite places were Rome, Tunisia, Istanbul, Crete, the Amazon and Thailand.

We arrived in Dublin with 2 backpacks and a duffel bag. After 9 years in Europe we have 12 boxes, mostly books and some clothes, computers and a few bits of furniture. We've lived the nomad life and we're low on possessions but so rich in experience and friends.

Europe I'll miss being reminded of your history - so apparent in every town and building. South Africa, I'm looking forward to your diversity and biiiiggg skies.

Find me online:

Are you a soon-to-be, been-there-done-that or currently an expat? If you sell on Etsy come and join our team.

Post by: Jacqueline Fouche (Tangentine)