New Team Members: October 2018

Contributor post by Mairi from mairidesign

Please join us in welcoming the new Etsy Christmas In July team members who recently joined! Take a moment to check out their shops, and share on social media using the hashtag #EtsyCIJ! Thank you!

Gytautė from Baggagehouse says

Creating leather bags has been my hobby for almost 5 years but, only one year ago, I decided to open the shop and offer my bags to a wider audience. Travelling is my other hobby, so my brand name is very closely related to it. Most of my bags were created by thinking about how would they fit for travelling, other ones by thinking about how to make life more convenient or stylish. If possible, I like to create adjustable items that could be worn in a few different ways and be practical. I am very grateful for your accepting me to your team.

Brown Leather Belt Bag

lilibet design from lilibetdesign says

My specialty is vintage Christmas ornaments and decor! I’ve come to love it over the years and my area of focus is German and Scandinavian. This Swedish piece isn’t necessarily Christmas, but these little Swedish figures look great with Christmas decor.

Vintage Swedish Pine Cone Ornament

Gabrielle BARBIER from frenchjewelryvintage says

I create unique handmade model jewelry at home on my dining table. I started with pearl necklaces, then I wanted to do special things according to my feelings and I’m constantly moving in my head, so my creations follow my ideas. I love to make big breastplates, a unique model of a design that will never be redone identically but in the spirit. I am passionate about Greek or Roman mythology as well as ancient Egypt. When I go into the Native American phase I make crazy jewelry that can take almost a month but I love!

I love the mysterious steampunk, romantic gothic, Victorian, retro and vintage universes as I incorporate vintage supplies into my creations whenever I can. I love fairies, unicorns, the Renaissance, cities and everything that inspires me.

I have a tricolor Collie dog who sleeps with us in my arms and I hope to have a baby kitten again next year. I love nature, lace and everything that makes you dream. I registered in Christmas in July several years ago but I was afraid to start, that’s done and thank you for accepting me.

I present you a jewel that I love and that asked a lot of time of me to realize.


Native American Necklace

My Etsy shop is DianeDCrochet. You can find crocheted items like Afghans, hats, scarves, bags and shawls.
As we are heading into the winter months (at least in my neck of the woods), scarves and hats will be needed to help keep us warm. Shawls are great to wear in cool evenings.

My crocheted bags are good for the Farmer’s Market, the beach, the pool, or storage. If you are taking a winter vacation to someplace warm, the bags are packable and don’t take up a lot of space in your luggage.

I also do crafts fairs in November and early December.


Crochet Triangle Shawl

I’m Anrusa, a digital artist, photographer and designer based in France. My store is FairyMagicChest and is inspired by fairy tales, adventures and also in old and charming times. I love my work because I think it makes people happy , mostly children, and this is so beautiful!

In the store, you can find digital backgrounds and overlays to create art from your own photographs, especially for children. These final creations can become magical prints, you can get from them fine wall art, greeting cards or just photographs to save as a treasures for a lifetime.

I am also introducing photographs that I take from charming places in Paris and other places from France.

I love all my items, but I chose this one because is about Christmas, like the team’s name!


Christmas Digital Background

My shop is Joanna’s Scented Soaps, where you can find handmade Soap Art!
This means
– One-of-A-Kind Soap Cake as home décor,
– Soaps gift set ties with a jewelry, a charm for Good Luck, a Christmas decorative ornament, a glass decorative, a scarf, a keyring – a gift for everyone, any occasion on every budget!
– Seasonal items for holidays and all occasions – especially for Festive Table Decoration.

This holiday season, I propose that you to decorate and style up your dining table with something different – a small gift box to show your guests you care, to surprise them and say “We’re glad you were here!.

Each very beautifully packed box contains a luxury scented soap, organza cloth, ribbons matching the soap’s color, and a small festive decorative.


Luxury Decorative Soap

I am a lover of the jewels of the theater, it is with my art that I create sacred ornaments, such as votive hearts, relics, crosses.

I like to immerse myself in the distant past, imagining the jewels of those times that we read in history books. My true love is the painting and restoration of old furniture, but not having much space at home, I found another way to occupy my hands with tools, which is silverware in jewelry.

I create the past of jewels from nothing, with elements that I find in flea markets.

And, living in Italy, there is a world yet to be discovered of old things with stories to tell.

I have such a great passion for markets and stuff from the past, that my house has become a museum, so, along with my pets and my husband, we are looking for a bigger house, maybe near the sea, which is another element that makes me feel good.

I like to represent, in each creation, an emblem of myself: there’s so much of me in the past.

I am very grateful for your accepting me into your team. Here is one of my most recent articles.


Sacred Heart necklace with Byzantine cross

I’m Bianca and I live in the countryside, the beautiful “Westerwald” in Germany. I studied architecture and design and absolutely love design “with humor”. So I try to create playful and humorous products which are able to raise a smile.
In the beginning, I started making gifts for my family and friends. In 2009, I decided to try to share my work with more people and thus the brand “blanc” was born. Since then, I sell, under this name, cute bookmarks, magnets, key chains and other things for a beautiful home.

Thank you so much for accepting me into your team!

Here’s one of my bookmarks.


Elephant Bookmark

#CIJCookieExchange – Snowflakes

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Let’s Make Snowflakes – Recipe from Barbara of MermaidsHatbox

1. What is your recipe?

Recipe from Barbara – Germany

250 g Butter room temperature
100 g Powdered Sugar
2 Vanilla beans
1 Pinch of Salt
100 g Flour
250 g Cornstarch

Mix all dry ingredience and scrape out the pulp of the vanilla beans, add the soft butter and mix it up to a dough.
Place it into the refridgerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 160° Celsius.
Roll the dough into balls of about 2 cm in diameter and place the balls on a baking sheet.
Press the rolls down with a fork and
bake 16 minutes.
These biscuits should not turn brown. Let cool them down.
Place powdered sugar in a sieve and sprinkle over the cookies.

2. What is it about this cookie that you love?

This cookies are really like snowflakes, they melted in your mouth. And they are easy and quick to make!

3. Please share a story or memory to go along with the cookie.

From the sixth to the tenth grade, I attended a girls school.

This school was still run by nuns at that time and we got besides the normal lessons also household lessons. We had to clean the kitchen, iron the nuns’ handkerchiefs to a perfect square and had regular baking and cooking classes.

That was the most fun for me back then. Our teacher’s name was ‘Sister Magdalena’, but her nickname since student generations was’ Schnüff’ -‘Sniff ‘. Not without reason, because she smelled all our mistakes immediately and that were many. Especially when something started to burn, when something disappeared from the pantry, when salt was mixed instead of sugar, when the amount of biscuit had shrunk because the burnt were secretly hidden, or because we could not wait to taste it. She came immediately behind it. So we were always a little bit scared of her, even though she always scolded a little with us, and then it was forgotten again.

We always wondered how she came after our misdeeds, but today I would say it was her experience with us students.

I still have all the recipes we had to write down neatly one of them are the Snowflakes.

4. What are your social media sites?

Pinterest: FrauMitHut

Facebook: MermaidsHatbox

Instagram: MermaidsHatbox

Twitter: OllerHut


#CIJCookieExchange – Roasted Almonds – Bavarian Style

Contributor post by Megha of byTheArtBug

Let’s make Roasted Almonds – Bavarian Style with Barbara from MermaidsHatbox

1. What is your recipe?

Roasted Almonds – Bavarian Style


1 1/2 cup Almonds – not peeled, this gives the typical brown color
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar

Boil water with sugar, vanilla sugar and cinnamon in a saucepan. 2Then add the almonds and stir until the sugar is dry. Don’t give up, because you must stir 15 or 20 minutes.3

Now reduce the temperature to the half. The sugar begins to melt and wrap the almonds.4

Some like it more, others less crunchy. I quite like having it if the crust is a little tender. Everyone must decide how you like it.5

Now pour the almonds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Possibly separate the almonds with a fork.1

2. What is it about this cookie that you love?
My whole life I love roasted almonds . When I go to the fairs and markets I only need roasted almonds to be happy and satisfied.
But since I know, how homemade almonds taste, I only eat this.6

3. How did you learn to make this cookie?
Many years ago I was on the road and heard a radio show, where the moderators cook roasted almonds in the radio station. They swarmed about the smell and the good taste.
It was magical!!! I would never get to be the idea of making homemade roasted almonds .
Fortunately the recipe was available on the radio stations webpage. When I was at home, first I copy this recipe and in the next weeks before Christmas we make many portions of roasted almonds. Everyone who taste the almonds were excited.

4. Please share a story or memory to go along with the cookie.
Now every year at Christmas time we make many portions of roasted almonds. The smell of candied sugar and cinnamon is everywhere in the house. We fill cellophane bags with these almonds to give away for friends, teachers, and customers.
For Christmas celebrations in school, clubs and private, we made big bowls full of almonds and I get back the bowls they are empty.

5. What are your social media sites?

Knitted Scarf With Buttons From MermaidsHatbox

Knitted Scarf With Buttons From MermaidsHatbox

#CIJRoadTrip – Germany: Berne

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Let’s travel to Germany – Berne with Barbara from MermaidsHatbox

1. What city do you live in? What makes it special?

My hometown is Berne and is a part of Lower Saxony. Berne is a very little Town near Bremen and Oldenburg. I live with my family a little bit outside near the river Weser. At night I can hear the ferry and this is a homeland sound for me. The ferry connect our region with the City of Bremen. The landscape around Berne is called “Wesermarsch” and characterized by meadows and pastures. The landscape is very flat It called: you can see on Friday, who’s coming to lunch on Sunday! In Berne we have also a Stork Station where injured storks be maintained healthy. There are now so many storks, that everywhere to find them on the meadows. Normally, the storks fly to Africa during the winter months, but now the winter doesn’t get so cold and they find their feed here, most of them spend the winter in the Stork Station.

Weser mit Wesermarsch - Germany

Weser mit Wesermarsch – Germany

Weser - Germany

Weser – Germany

Bremerhaven - Germany

Bremerhaven – Germany

2. What are several places everyone visiting your country should see?

Germany has many different landscapes.
The oceans Baltic Sea and the North Sea with the Frisian Islands and the very special Wadden Sea in the North.

Frisian Iland Borkum - Germany

Frisian Iland Borkum – Germany

Borkum - Germany

Borkum – Germany

Borkum - Germany

Borkum – Germany

The mountains (Alpen) in the south and between many highlands, forest areas, rivers, some with wine growing areas. Many nice old Towns with a great tradition.
If you come to Germany spend a few days on the Frisian Islands and the Wadden Sea National Park.
Go to the Harz a Highland in the middeleast region of Germany and visit historical towns like Goslar, Einbeck, Hameln.Goslar

In Bayern you find many cute cityies like Bamberg and don’t forget to spend time on Rhine and Mosel and visit places like Koblenz, and Bingen to taste the wine by the winemaker.

Bamberg - Germany

Bamberg – Germany

Bamberg - Germany

Bamberg – Germany

3.  How have the customs, traditions, geography, nature etc. inspired the items you create?

Now here in Northern Germany we have many stormy days with cold winds from the sea. I began to sew accessories for myself, then for family and friends. Now I sell my items at the market.

4. What are you doing this fall to drive your business in your community? Are you doing a festival or show? How do you reach out to your community?

In September my market season begins. Right now I do markets every other weekend. Near Christmas it will be every weekend. I work for the autumn / winter season the whole year.
Most shows are on very nice and historical places and buildings. For example: Burg Blomendahl in Bremén oder ” Gut Varrel” in Stuhr.

Burg Blomendahl Bremen

Burg Blomendahl Bremen

Gut Varrel Stuhr

Gut Varrel Stuhr

Scheunenviertel Harpstedt

Scheunenviertel Harpstedt

Womens Boiled Wool Handmade Hat From MermaidsHatbox

Womens Boiled Wool Handmade Hat From MermaidsHatbox

Girls Crochet Floral Hat From MermaidsHatbox

Girls Crochet Floral Hat From MermaidsHatbox

5. What are your social media sites?



Celebrating Christmas With A German Tradition

Our lovely Teammate Carola is a native from Germany.  Her family moved to California more than 12 years ago. Today, she will share with us her family tradition for this special holiday season. Please sit back and enjoy her story!

Blue December Snowmen Holiday Card from CarolaBartz

Blue December Snowmen Holiday Card from CarolaBartz

“In Germany we celebrate the time of Advent. Most families have an advent wreath, and each Advent Sunday one more candle gets lit until there are four candles on the 4th of Advent.


We also use much of our Christmas decoration during Advent. The little choir singers and the other advent decoration [are] a very traditional decoration. They are made in the Eastern part of Germany , they are all handmade.



The little black choir singers (Kurrendesänger) have been in my family since the early 60’s. We received them when the East was the GDR, and as you can see from the little cracks they were very loved. The cinnamon stars are a traditional and popular Christmas cookie in Germany ; my daughter and I still bake them every Christmas.


[In Germany,] our “big day” is not Christmas Day (and we even have two of them!) but Christmas Eve – Heilig Abend (Holy Eve) as it is called. It usually starts out hectic, often with the last big shopping, because all of the stores and supermarkets will be closed for the following two days. But around 2:00pm the shops (including the grocery stores) close and by 3:00pm at the latest a magical silence covers the entire country like a beautiful veil.

The ideal December 24th brings snow in the afternoon and turns the world into a winter wonderland by the time the first church bells start to ring. On Christmas Eve all the bells are ringing, from the smallest, highest pitch to the biggest one with the deepest, loudest sound.

It’s a concert of bells that resounds through the silence, calling for mass. Christmas services start in the later afternoon, the first ones mainly for smaller children, showing nativity plays and involving the kids. Later in the evening follow the more “grown-up” services with meaningful sermons and the old German Christmas carols sung by the congregation. Everybody knows these songs and since the churches are always packed on Christmas Eve it is a strong and joyful singing.

After church it’s back home – and waiting for Christkind (Christ Child). Yes – it often is not Santa coming through the chimney (there are not that many houses with a fireplace anyway) but Christkind.

Santa Ornament with Vintage Inspired Image from CarolaBartz

Santa Ornament with Vintage Inspired Image from CarolaBartz

When I was a child I always envisioned Christkind with golden curly hair and a flowing white dress, an angelic smile on its face. It would place the presents in “die gute Stube” (“the good room” = living room) and magically disappear, unseen by anyone. The children are called in and they stand in awe looking at the Christmas tree – that was brought in and decorated only the day before (or even in the morning) and very often carries real candles on its branches. I have always loved the real candles, it smells differently and the whole atmosphere is – yes, magical. After singing a few Christmas carols everybody opens their presents accompanied by Christmas music on the radio.

And if you’re still awake or missed the afternoon/evening service you can go to midnight mass – always my favorite Christmas service. A huge tree is lit (some with real candles – we live dangerously in Germany!), the atmosphere is festive and peaceful. ”

It is our “Silent Night, Holy Night”.

Christmas Card Set of 7 - Bethlehem from CarolaBartz

Christmas Card Set of 7 – Bethlehem from CarolaBartz

Many thanks to Carola from Carola Bartz for sharing her family’s Christmas tradition with us! It’s always fun to learn how our favorite holiday is celebrated in other parts of the world. Such a delightful tradition and a story to share with the little ones as well.

Please send some love to our fellow teammie and visit Carola’s shop at :