Monthly Archives: April 2012

Starzyia Studio Music: my top 10 Female Artists


Lana Del Rey, Katie Herzig, Julia Stone (With Angus), Gin Wigmore

Some of my enduring favourites, music is a very large part of my creative process, both for my writing and as I work in my Starzyia studio and office. I can be heard singing all the live long day, luckily I work alone so no one can complain (unless my cat learns how to talk).

Liz Durrett

I lost my heart to Liz Durrett when I first heard one of the most bewitching, enchanting songs (and musical compositions) I have ever heard, it certainly has a lot of power over me, The Sea A Dream. My other top 5 songs by Liz include: We Build Bridges; In The Eaves; Lull; Not Running.

My favourite album by Liz is Outside Our Gates

My favourite lyric from Liz is “I live alone, at night, its all I can do, I dream alone right next to you” (You Live Alone)


I found Luluc through itunes ping (one of those occasions where it actually recommended something similar to music in my collection) and then I enjoyed her video for Little Suitcase. My other top 5 songs by Luluc are: I Found You; One Day Soon: Abigail & The Whale; A Whisper.

My favourite album by Luluc is Dear Hamlyn

My favourite lyric is “If I were to travel to some new place, could I walk away from feelings I can’t face?” (Little Suitcase)

Julia Stone

I started to listen to Julia Stone after enjoying Angus & Julia Stone’s cover of  Big Jet Plane, she has a lovely quirky playfulness, but also maudlin and sinister undertones that I find compelling, especially in Winter On The Weekend. I also rate these songs in my top five: My Baby; Lights Inside The Dream; Where Does The Love Go; Big Jet Plane.

My favourite album is The Memory Machine.

Best lyric: “He’s a dog, but he’s dressed up like a sheep, got bones all through the backyard but he likes to drink tea” (Winter on The Weekend)

Lanie Lane

Although I heard and loved Bang Bang, I didn’t explore the world of Lanie Lane until I, quite providentially, heard What Trouble Is, in one of those charming but essential life moments. Of course it remains my favourite, but here are my other top 5 songs: What Do I Do; Bang Bang; Hearbeat; Oh Well That’s What You Get Falling In Love With a Cowboy.

My favourite album is To The Horses.

My favourite lyric is “I’d like to say I treated him well, but I broke my heart by nearly breaking his” (What Trouble Is)

Washington, aka Megan Washington

I love the album I Believe You Liar, but its very difficult to nail down my top five Washington songs… since it changes daily, sometimes hourly. My top 5 (I think): I Believe You Liar; Skeleton Key; The Belly of The Whale; Lover/Soldier; Public Pool.

Best album is as mentioned above.

Best lyric “And I will be your wishing bone, your wishing bone for you to break, if you let me be the one, be the one wish you make” (Skeleton Key)

Cat Power

Cat Power came into my life at least 3 years ago, when I found The Greatest on the ilike site. Since then I have fully enjoyed her individual artistry and she is one person who has gotten me to embrace covers with her skilful ‘covers’ of traditional folk songs and rock ballads including David Bowie’s ‘Wild is the Wind’ (I never thought I’d like anyone but Bowie doing that!). My top 5 songs (I’d love to break my format and list more): Where Is My Love; Sea of Love; I Found A Reason; The Greatest; Wild is The Wind.

My fave album is Covers

My fave lyric “once I wanted to be the greatest, no wind or waterfall could stop me” (The Greatest)

let music plant the seeds of inspiration

Mindy Gledhill

Mindy represents my softer, lighter side, my love for quirky but beautiful songs – nothing morbid, maudlin, or macabre here, just pure sunshine and positivity. My top 5 songs are: Anchor; All About Your Heart; Love One Another; Hourglass; Little Soldier.

My favourite album is of course, Anchor.

Best lyric “there are those who think that I’m strange, they would box me up and tell me to change but you hold me close and softly say that you wouldn’t have me any other way” (Anchor)

Katie Herzig

I am completely, utterly, additcted to the song Forevermore as performed by Katie Herzig. From there I explored the complete library of gorgeous music by Katie, and my top 5 songs are: Forevermore; How The West Was Won; I Hurt Too; Wish You Well; Hey Na Na.

My favourite album is Apple Tree

My favourite lyric “I don’t know how happiness gets hidden in the wilderness” (How The West Was Won)

Gin Wigmore

I really am not sure how I crossed musical paths with Gin but it did start with the song Time Will Tell/Chains and from there the love blossomed. The rest of my top 5 songs: Dying Day; Over The Rainbow; Hallelujah; Under My Skin.

Best album is Holy Smoke

My favourite lyric “I need my father to be a part of who you are” (Time Will Tell/Chains)

Lana Del Rey

Plain and simple, Lana is in my top ten based simply on the power of Video Games… it is one of my all time most obsessed with songs. My other favourites by Lana: Summertime Sadness; Born To Die; Carmen; Lucky Ones.

My favourite album is Born To Die

My favourite lyric is “swinging in the backyard, pull up in your fast car, whistling my name” (Video Games)

If you stuck with me through that list, thanks, and I’d love to know your fave artists and songs



Most Beautiful Monday: Autumn!


haunted walk

I have had a little fun locally with my camera as we finally begin to experience a little autumn weather, though it was still quite warm over Easter.

I edited these images on pic monkey (so much fun if you haven’t tried it, especially if you don’t have your own editing software or apps) and used sepia and textured ‘smudge’ effects to transform my original photograph which had too much bright white and sunlight coming in from the left hand side.

epic journey

I thought I’d see if I could have a little fun with my pencil sharpener (yes it is a pencil sharpener!) it didn’t look like much of a photograph with the original colours, but running it through dusk, sepia, intrepid, and texture settings gave it a gritty vintage feel.

I still have a lot to look forward to, since we only have a very few coloured leaves as yet, not enough to create an impressive display.

a single tallow leaf

So for now, my autumn begins with a single Chinese Tallow leaf on my mulched garden. Hoping to see a carpet of colourful leaves as soon as possible please Mother Nature!

Starzyia on Etsy, My Anniversary!


a selection of handmade jewelry from my etsy store across time

A special tribute to the people who have helped me along the way….

The first person I have to thank is Jace Yong, a beautiful and generous online friend I met via blog. Jace was the first person I ‘knew’ who had their own etsy store, and when I started I decided the most useful question I could ask, as the first few days passed without a sale, was how long she waited before she got her first sale. I thought I needed to put my expectations into perspective and learn what might be regarded as normal. Not only did I get an answer that helped relax my anxieties, but it turned out that before long had passed Jace became my first customer, buying two sets of gift tags (in those days I did offer a lot of cards, gift boxes, and tags). Jace also told me how useful being part of the Malaysian based etsy team had been for her and gave me the direct link to apply to become a member of DUST the Down Under Street Team, the very strong and wonderful Australian etsy team that has been an incredible source of support, information, and inspiration as well as friendship.

The DUST community has been incredible, any time I need advice the team chat and forum has been my first port of call. Through DUST I have had advice on resizing my early product photographs, improving my photography, my first crash course in SEO (thanks Ny), and a miriad of other business and promotional related questions the answers to which have helped keep the roof over my head.

Orange Lake tensha bead earrings by Raintree Atelier

The next big thank you goes to Gwen from Raintree Atelier. I ‘met’ Gwen after featuring some of her beautifully handmade earrings on the blog I had at that time,  I even said that she makes the kind of jewelry I wish I made. Back then, I was making whatever I possibly could using my very limited range of local suppliers… the jewelry that resulted from those efforts in no way resembled my own personal style, which is a lot more like Gwen’s beautiful and graceful creations. I was a little bit in awe… I wanted to transition from my very over the top, bold, and out of control designs to a more elegant and timeless look. I needed not only to alter my designs and learn additional skills, but I desperately needed to expand my list of suppliers and improve my photography so that I could present my jewelry as nicely as the wares on display in my favourite etsy stores. Gwen tried her very best to give me photo advice but it was not until I got my current camera that I was able to really utilise her tips, but I remembered everything she had recommended, and when the time was right, I think I achieved it. Cheers to a wonderful role model and friend!

button necklace by hundreds of buttons on etsy

My next thank you goes to a wonderful Australian etsian and DUST member Liz, from Hundreds of Buttons she probably does not remember this, but she was the first person to feature one of my creations in a treasury list. I was thrilled! That first year in business I think I sold 3 items (I was not producing the kind of jewelry I do now, and I was not working to promote the store or maximise my reach) so it was a very encouraging milestone to be included in my first treasury. Thank you Liz, you actually gave me hope in a bleak time and I have never forgotten!

my star button tshirt, the item Liz picked for treasury

Actually, as I said, I sold 3 items that first year, and this shirt is still available, haha! I think most people who liked it figured they’d just make one themselves! But if you’re interested…. let me know.

My anniversary thanks would not be complete without acknowledging my two greatest customers who between them have collected quite a few pieces of my work, Diane and Joanne, I love you two very much and I have always found your support and encouragement comes along right when I need it most. One of the most remarkable things to me is that you both bought jewelry from me in my early days when my pictures were blurry, washed out, or otherwise unprofessional, it warms my heart that you could see beyond the photograph to the merits of the jewelry itself and that you supported me when you could easily have shopped elsewhere. Now I am excited not only to create my jewelry but to arrange the photo shoots for all my products and to know that as I have grown, I have had my loyal friends and customers come along with me on my journey. Thank you!

On my 3 year journey, I have met so many people I cannot possibly thank all here by name, but I promise you that I remember the kind words, the encouragement, the generosity, the lovely customers, the people who have featured or promoted me (especially Samara from Maddabling; Jess from Full Spiral; and Zenobia Southcombe). I know who it is that buys my work, and I also know who supports me tirelessly by sharing my work and my page, clicking, liking, linking, commenting and inspiring me… everyone who is there when I need them, and who has helped me make it to April 13th 2012, my 3rd Etsy Anniversary, thank you.  You mean the world to me.

By the way, I have a 20% off coupon code running in my etsy store until Sunday night, the coupon code is ANNIVERSARY

Found on Folksy, beautiful handmade finds


apple bookend or doorstop

I love this apple bookend, beautifully handmade by Bobbin&Bumble on folksy, creator notes it could also work as a doorstop.

teal heart shaped bag

Heart shaped shoulderbag for festival or market, handmade by heartybags on folksy

coffee table or kids play table

This is beautiful, it could work in your living room, child’s bedroom, or a playroom, I love it, and if you love it too, check it out in Emily Rose store on folksy.

floppy sun hat

Vintage 1970’s fabric, floppy sun hat by Moaning Minnie Designs on folksy

vintage newspaper hook & rail organiser

Versatile and attractive storage/organiser made using vintage newspaper by Tatty Betty on folksy

I hope you enjoyed my first folksy featurees!