September 1, 2014

Sydney Etsy meet up....

Last week I went along to the Sydney 'Etsy' meet-up hosted by Aussie Etsy Admins, Courtney and Jennie  - it was a school night, I was buggered after work and my new long train commute
but I managed to get my mum to look after the boys until Andrew got home -  I'm so glad I did go as I got to meet some new Etsians and had a really enjoyable evening!
The catch up was held at the 'The Wild Rover' in Surry Hills, daggy me walked straight past it...well I wasn't expecting a private door of what was an old shirt-making factory ( from when the Rag Trade was booming in Surry Hills).
I wish I had taken more photos but the bar was moody and dark (not sleazy and dark...phew!) but here are some lovely products from some creative and passionate Sydney Etsians that hung out the other night!
(L-R) * Black Arrow candles *  Chase Fate AntiPastel *  Zest&Lime *  Me and Tex * MissWrightDesigns *

August 27, 2014

Outfit for a Rainy day (or week...)

Today it rained...and rained some more.
The weather channel is predicting rain all week.
wet, gray, dreary (ho-hum)

Getting ready for a rainy day is always a challenge when all you want to do is crawl back into bed under the covers...Zzzz that was me this morning.

Warm layers always work well. Today I wore black jeans to work...I usually leave those for a casual day but I just needed the extra warmth and coverage. Opaques or leggings are perfect add a warm coat, a thick scarf and boots ( rain splatters on bare legs feel just ughhhh!)
...and the most important accessory on a rainy day is a strong and sturdy umbrella (so hard too find a good one!)

Images from Top
Kayture / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 /

August 26, 2014

Etsy Design Awards

Some great news for Australian Etsy Sellers!
Australian sellers with active Etsy shops are invited to enter the 'Etsy Design Awards'.
Not only will  you be featured in the December issue of 'Inside Out' magazine
but you can win a trip to Etsy’s headquarters in Brooklyn, New York!!!
Now thats a cool prize, non?!
The Etsy Design Awards have been created to recognise creative excellence and there's lots of that in the Australian Etsy community that's for sure!
Check out all the details here 

August 25, 2014

Coconut Buttermilk Cake

I've been a little obsessed with coconut lately - If you open my pantry you'll find coconut oil, coconut water, coconut milk...coconut flakes (in the fridge)...and shredded coconut - Yum!

My mum always make a super sweet, drenched-in-syrup, coconut cake.  Its one of my dad's favourite cakes so she makes it often but these days I prefer a coconut cake that is dense but still moist...almost like a sweet bread.
I found this recipe by Martha Stewart and it turned amazing - toasting the shredded coconut first that takes it to another (delicious) level!

1.5 cups shredded coconut toasted (slowly so it wont burn)
2 cups SR flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder pinch salt
125g butter
1 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup butter milk
Cream the butter, sugar and then add the vanilla extract.  Add your eggs one at a time and beat well.   Fold in the sifted flour, salt and baking powder alternating with the buttermilk.
Lastly, fold in the shredded coconut.
Bake until golden in a preheated Moderate oven for about an hour.  Cool in the cake pan.
Serve warm and Enjoy!

August 22, 2014

Etsy Stories: My Sweet Prints

I first met Janette from 'My Sweet Prints' a few years ago at a Sydney blogger catch-up.  I've always followed her blog and work online - lately we've been Instagram buddies too!
When I gave my son Neo a little bedroom makeover which you can see here  and here,  I bought one of Janette's customised 'A World to Discover' print - we love it!
Janette's amazing art prints adorn many walls in many homes.
Her work is bold, bright and can be customised -  a perfect inexpensive way to update any room or workspace!

Hi Janette!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself 
I'm an early 30's Mum of two boys from Sydney. I'm a Graphic Designer by trade and I worked in Magazine Advertising before having babies.
My passions and interests are interiors, homes, architecture, design, craft and art, kind of anything creative.

When did you discover Etsy? 
I discovered Etsy back in 2009 it wasn't as gigantic as it is these days but it was such a unique website - being able to have your own little shop with already established traffic was just amazing to me.

What inspired you to start selling on Etsy ?
I was on maternity leave with my first son and I knew I didn't want to go back into the magazine world with deadlines, travelling into the city each day etc.
So I thought I would do my own thing, logos, business cards, any sort of freelance Graphic Design - but I don't actually enjoy that sort of design work!
I'd made a few prints for friends and everyone said I should sell them, so when I discovered Etsy I thought I might as well give it a go. My son was six months old and so I gave myself six months to try and get 'My Sweet Prints' earning a certain target amount per week - to see if it would actually be a viable work option. And it happened! I was lucky to have been picked up by quite a few journalists and stylists and the exposure just built it up to a thriving little business!

Can you describe your creative process?
It varies but it might just be a thought, an idea or a saying which I could picture turning into a print. But basically I just think about what I would want on my boy's walls or on our walls at home. Anything that is sweet, sentimental, feel-good, makes you smile, is kind of the
'My Sweet Prints' ethos.
I have a folder on my computer with lots of designs that have never made the cut over the years.

When you initially launched your Etsy shop, did you ever think that you'd be able to make a living selling your beautiful prints?
I hoped and dreamed and I worked really hard to make it work but no, when I initially hit the 'Create an Account' button on Etsy it was just a 'Let's just see how this goes' type of thing. I had not business plan, hadn't even really worked out packaging, labeling or accounting.

Why does the Etsy marketplace work for you?
It gives me flexibility, if we decide to go away on a short weekend away I can just put the shop on Holiday Mode. It also gets so much traffic from all around the world that you don't have to be constantly driving traffic to your shop, the traffic comes to you!
I get most of my overseas orders through etsy.

How has the freedom of having your own Etsy Shop impacted your lifestyle?
It has totally impacted it!
I can be around for my boys, if one of them is sick I don't have to call up a boss and apologize... I can just work around appointments and outings etc.
On the flipside when it's really busy it means I'm working most nights, and it can be hard to switch off but the positives totally out weigh the negatives.

Thanks so much Janette - it was great chatting about Etsy with you!

If you are a creative or know someone who would be a great Etsy Seller than its so easy to open an Etsy shop - Etsy are offering 20 free listings for any new shop!  Head on over to the
Etsy Promotions page and use my special code AnastasiaEDA to get started!

August 19, 2014

Etsy Stories: the Fox and the Spoon

This week I'm shining the spotlight on Etsy and I have blog interviews lined up with two creative Sydney-based Etsy shop owners.
Etsy is a vibrant community.  I myself, am thrilled to be part of the fun and it sure has helped me to express and nurture my creativity.  I'm also a keen Etsy buyer and it's always my first stop when Im looking for gifts and unique items.
There are so many wonderful items on Etsy!

First off we have Maria from the beautifully curated shop 'The fox and the spoon' which sells rustic vintage decor, kitchenalia and props for events, styling and the home.
Hi Maria!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I grew up in the seaside town of Kiama. It was very small when I was little. The main shopping centre was closed on Sundays and you couldn’t buy bread on the weekends – that sort of thing; but it was a very beautiful place to grow up and I was free to go and play outside all day.
My family owned a small Motel there so I learnt about customer service from a very young age. That’s what I enjoy now most about my shop, talking with my lovely customers and just making sure they have a positive experience through my shop and of course, Etsy.

When did you discover Etsy? 
Early 2010. I hadn’t heard of Etsy before but a girlfriend mentioned it to me as a place to start selling my vintage wares. I remember I couldn’t believe my eyes. Everything was so beautiful and there were so many shops! I still love getting lost in Etsy!

What inspired you to start selling on Etsy ?
I’ve always loved old things – collecting them, displaying them, using them and of course giving them away as gifts. When I decided not to return to work after our 2nd child was born luckily a very good friend told me we should open an Etsy shop together .
Even though she never joined me because of her work commitments she has been such a huge part of my experience on Etsy and our conversations about our vintage finds (and baking!) continually inspire me.

What is the meaning behind your Shop name? 
Her surname is Fox which is such a cool name but my surname is not as exciting. We were in her kitchen trying to think of something that would go with, “the fox” and her husband says, “and the spoon!” I love to cook so it just seemed to fit.

When you initially launched your Etsy shop, did you ever think that you'd be able to make a living selling your beautiful vintage finds?
I had not had an online shop before and I was worried that my photos or my descriptions would not be good enough for selling them to someone who can’t reach out and touch the item.
I don’t know what I was so worried about - people who love vintage are lovely! I thank all of my customers, people who add me or one of my pieces to their favourites or people like yourself who include me in their blogs, magazines, websites and treasuries.
All of these lovely people give me the spirit to keep pursuing this beautiful dream.

Why does the Etsy marketplace work for you? 
I think people visit Etsy for a visual feast. They like to come here for ideas, inspiration and to find that individual piece. You may have someone looking for inspiration for their wedding. They can visit Etsy and see donuts sitting in birch holders or vintage chalkboards used as menus or even personalised laser-cut cake toppers. No matter what you trade on Etsy, we all seem to fit together into this cohesive circle of individual retailers which is a thrill to be part of.

How has the freedom of having your own Etsy Shop impacted your lifestyle? 
When I returned to work when our first child was 9 months old I felt nothing but guilt.
When I was due to return after our 2nd child was born I knew I couldn’t go through leaving another child at daycare all day. Running my shop has given me something to really strive for and make my own but being there for my children has been priceless.
I can work during the day while they are at School and then pick them up in the afternoons and meet friends at the park or take them to an after school activity or even help out in reading groups . I think we are all so much happier now that we have time for each other and Etsy has allowed me that freedom.

Thanks so much Maria!
To see Maria's stunning shop and current listings head on over to 'The Fox and the Spoon'  

If you are a creative maker, a creator or like Maria, have a passion for unique Vintage, then the Etsy Marketplace might be perfect for you!
Its so easy to open an Etsy shop and right now Etsy are offering 20 free listings for any new shop
head on over to the Etsy Promotions page and use my special code AnastasiaEDA to get started!

August 15, 2014

my Etsy picks of the Week

Happy Friday!
I'm home today.  There is no place I'd rather be, the sun is shining outside, I have all the windows open and the cool breeze is just wonderful.  Lots of laundry has been done, and I'm planning to bake a cake real soon...its one of those days where I can potter about and not feel rushed.
Here are my Etsy picks of the week - Stellar quality...
I'm really loving these beautiful intense, vivid blue finds...
Grouped together, blue has a deep mystical feel...Celestial wonder...

Top image
Nicole Bentley for
Marie Claire Australia
* Blue Agate Coasters by VagabondQueen *
Aqua Aura quartz Crystals by iLoveLotus  * Save the date double sided Card by HooplaLove * Golden Blue paper bowl  by Djaliforyou *
Goldstone sterling silver ring by noblegnome *
Planet necklace by