Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Please join us in welcoming Andrea and Julia of AJRUSTICCREATIONS our featured members!AJRUSTICCREATIONS

Tell us about yourself.       

We are 2 English sisters that have married and are living in Greece for the last 20 years.  We live in Halkidiki Greece the paradise of Greece as they say, with golden beaches and green forest a stone throw away from our homes.

When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?

9th November 2013
Due to the Greek Crisis we took our fate into our own hands and put our hobby into a business and started our rustic creations.

Tell us a bit about your products.           

All our items are handmade in our home workshop, wedding decoration and accessories, home ware, table ware and seasonal items mostly from burlap – hessian.


What inspires your work?           

Our hobby was creating useful and economical products for the everyday housewives or brides to be etc.

What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?         

We would love to grow and be able to please all our customers so they may become regular buyers and to have a good name within Etsy for our products and service.

What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?

We try to be economical, unique, elegant although keeping the rustic theme.
Always willing to help the customer to have the item they dreamed of.AJRUSTICCREATIONS2

Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?

My spare room and basement has been turned into the cutting room and creative workshop.

Where can people find out more about you and your business?

We have a Facebook page, twitter account, instagram account, tumblr account, Linkedin account, Wanelo account and of course on

What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known beforehand?

Our items are handmade with love and care and so they are unique and personal.AJRUSTICCREATIONS3

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

That practice makes perfect  and we have learned from mistakes and to take adivce from other Estians.

When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?        

We have dogs so walking them is a hobby, swimming in our crystal blue seas and of course spending time with our families enjoying their company.

What is your favorite quote?        

Elegant and unique.
Enhance your special occasion.


If you would like to be featured, please go to the CIJ Etsy Forum and fill out the questionnaire. Please note you must be a member of the CIJ Etsy team to be featured.

#CIJCookieExchange – Traditional Greek Melomakarona

Contributor post by Megha of byTheArtBug

Let’s make traditional Greek Melomakarona with Andrea Koutsonikola from AJRUSTICCREATIONSA1As with most holidays in Greece, Greek Christmas also revolves around food! Traditional Greek melomakarona! Melomakarona are my absolute favourite Greek Christmas treat. And how couldn’t they be! Greek melomakarona are incredibly soft, moist and flavoursome, soaked in a delicious honey syrup and infused with fragrant butter. For an authentic last touch sprinkle the melomakarona with chopped walnuts and just a pinch of cinnamon and clove. Once put in the oven, the intense aromas of the sweet spices permeates the house and brings back childhood memories. Just heaven!

Try out this traditional sweet delight and let the smell of freshly baked cookies, orange and cinnamon remind you it’s Christmas! Enjoy!
For the Melomakarona

1 1/2 cup oil (1 cup olive oil and 1/2 a cup sesame oil)
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/4 of a cup cognac
1/2 cup beer (blonde pale lager such as bottled Heineken or Mythos)
2 tsps orange zest
1/4 of a cup orange juice
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1kg all-purpose flour (8 cups/ 35 ounces)

For the syrup

650g honey (23 ounces)
420g sugar (15 ounces)
500g water (17.6 ounces)
1 cinnamon stick (optional)

To garnish

some chopped walnuts
powdered cinnamon (optional)
powdered clove (optional)


To prepare this melomakarona recipe, start by making the dough first. In a mixing bowl add the oil, butter and sugar and mix with an electric mixer at low-medium speed for about 10 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved. (It is very important that the butter is at room temperature.)

In a large bowl, add the flour and the baking powder and blend with a spoon to combine.
Add the mixed oil, butter and sugar (from step 1) in the bowl with the flour and pour in the cognac, beer and orange zest. In a cup add the orange juice and baking soda and blend, until dissolved. Be careful when doing so, because the baking soda will start to foam out of the cup; so blend in a cup placed over the bowl with the rest of the ingredients, so that the foam will end up in the bowl. Pour in the bowl with the rest of the ingredients and start kneading your dough. Knead the dough for the melomakarona using your hands, until the ingredients combine and the dough is smooth and soft. Be careful not to overwork the dough. Leave the dough to rest for half an hour.
Preheat the oven to 200C. Layer the bottom of 2 baking trays with parchment paper and start shaping the melomakarona. Pinch a portion of dough about the size of a walnut (or bigger, if you prefer) and shape with your palms into a smooth oblong shape, like a small egg. Place on the baking tray, push lightly the top with a fork and make some holes on top (not all the way down). Continue with the rest of the dough.
Place the baking trays with the melomakrona in the oven and turn immediately the heat down to 180C. Bake for approx. 20-25 minutes, until the melomakarona are lightly browned and cooked through.
A little bit before turning the melomakarona out of the oven, prepare the syrup. Pour in a pot the sugar, honey and water and bring to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved (do not stir the syrup).
When the melomakarona come out of the oven, float them in the hot syrup, flipping them with a fork to absorb the syrup. Remove the cookies using a slotted spoon, place on a platter and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.A2

Store the melomakarona at room temperature in an airtight container. They will last for all your Christmas Holidays!A3 (480x640)


New Year Burlap Wine Bags From AJRUSTICCREATIONS

New Year Burlap Wine Bags From AJRUSTICCREATIONS