Monthly Archives: March 2013

The Time is Now – I learned that the hard way!

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every seed knows its time

every seed knows its time

Life can be so demanding, its not always easy to take a moment to do something for ourselves, and many of us wish we could do more for our families and friends and can’t even entertain the thought of doing whatever it is we fantasize about doing with this mythical ‘spare time’ that might arrive sometime on the horizon but is yet nowhere in sight. Unfortunately, and I’ve learned this the hard way, the universe doesn’t hand out spare time just because we deserve it and have had a rough trot and need to slow down and relax for our own health and happiness. The time is now. The time is now, because we are not guaranteed a later. Sad but true. And even if we are unreasonably certain that we “aren’t going anywhere yet” we can’t be reasonably certain that our problems, demands, and stressors will be going away anytime soon either. I was in that trap.

When I came back to my hometown and shortly after joined facebook – I had the chance to reconnect with many old friends. I dearly needed this contact with my long lost friends because, well, all my current friends were not living in my hometown – so I was going to a place where initially I would have limited social contact outside of my immediate family. And I worked from home (so no built in work mates to meet and greet after hours) zero social life was my lot in life. Especially since, and get this – I was single (so no partner to go to work and come home with a load of mates to introduce me to and be absorbed by defacto into a social circle) – and looking after my two senior citizen parents through some very rough years of code blues, fractured hips, heart valve replacements, and cancer. I had the chance to reconnect and I postponed. I said to my friends, it will be easier for me to make dates with you ‘when this is over’.

When what? When THIS is OVER. When my father was no longer awaiting a much needed heart valve replacement (number two for him) and that sucked up a year of my life. Then mum needed surgery. Then when I was ready to hand over some of the cooking and cleaning duties to her, she gets Ross River Virus… oh the joy! Then I started my etsy business…. and no wonder I did not do well that first year, I was not disciplined about learning how to run a small business, take better photographs of my work, do my own successful online marketing, build a social network and following, improve my designs, and improve my product photography (I’ve said that twice because it was so important!). I sold 3 items on etsy that first year. Because I thought, that I could be more disciplined and dedicated after THIS is OVER. When 9 weeks of commuting to another city to see my father in traction and then later recovering from a code blue, and then after that a hip replacement and rehabilitation. When that ‘settled down’ I would go out for coffee, get my hair done, and make that overdue appointment at the dentist. After the 9 weeks passed and Dad was home, and I was starting to have to do ever so slightly less in the cooking and cleaning department, my mum confessed that she had a problem she had to see the doctor about and hadn’t mentioned it until the very same set of circumstances was OVER. Mum had noticed blood in her – um, stools? (funny word for it… sorry I’ve tried this with a number of equally horrid terms) and then we found out that she had CANCER. So you know, after that, I would go to the movies, get my hair done, and maybe finish writing my novel.

And guess what Mum was completely treated successfully for the cancer through surgery alone. Yay! But then has needed a lot of follow up, has developed IBS and food sensitivities, and has also had her thyroid removed, is awaiting surgey on her eyelids, will  need surgery for cataract and oh yes, now I remember, Dad has two hernias in his left groin that will need to be surgically corrected too. Since I have not been to the movies since the release of The Pursuit of Happyness, and I went an entire year without getting my hair cut not once, but two years in a row, I am not postponing my personal needs any more. I will go out to coffee now, because there is no end in sight. I have been getting my hair done every two months this past year, and I might even break the cinema drought and go see a flick. Because I was arrogant to think that the demands on my time would dry up and that I’d be gifted with a period of free and easy living.

The sun doesn’t ask the seed if it feels like growing now, the sun shines, the seed either responds or it does not. It doesn’t get a rain check.

And if you can relate to this in any way, I hope you’ll tell me, so I know I’m not alone!

 

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Featured Handmade Seller: Julia from Heartfelt Design Studio

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Julia from Heart Felt Design Studio

Julia from Heart Felt Design Studio

I’m very delighted to introduce you to Julia, or perhaps you already know her as the wonderful personality and creative artist who creates by hand the most amazing nuno felt scarves and garments offered by Heartfelt Design Studio. Julia is this month’s featured handmade seller and interviewee. I’m extra proud to share with you that Julia is a fellow Western Australian designer and don’t tell my Mum, but I’m secretly stalking Julia’s newest creations so I can spoil mum with something divine for Mother’s Day or her birthday this year.

I’ll let Julia introduce herself now:

Hi my name is Julia and I LOVE nuno felt.
If any of you haven’t heard of this before it is a relatively new Aussie invention based on the antique art of felting. In 1994 Polly Stirling and her partner devised a softer lighter form of felting more suitable for the climate of the Southern Hemisphere. In nuno felting wool and silk fibres are combined with any open weave fabric. My preference is silk. During the felting process the fabrics and fibres meld together to form a new and unique material. To me it’s a bit like witnessing the emergence of a butterfly and always puts a smile on my face and in my heart. I get great delight in designing and making my products which I sell from my home based business Heartfelt Design Studio and online through my etsy shop.
a look at Julia's studio

a look at Julia’s studio

Where did your creative journey begin?
A defining moment was when at age 6 I received my first pair of glasses. What an amazing experience! Colour and definition when previously there was just a bland haze.
My poor mum tells me that I told her she looked a lot prettier before I got my glasses ; )
That along with my introduction to dance at 8, my love of musical theatre and an burning desire to experience life to the fullest has lead me on an amazing journey filled with challenges and beauty.
I have had fantastic role models in my parents and grandparents who taught me from an early age to never be afraid to have a go at new and often daunting experiences and I feel even more importantly to remember that every mistake is actually a learning experience.
What kind of things excite and inspire you?
I have many inspirations and things that excite me. People who overcome adversity; art, music and dance but most of all my amazing family. I also conduct beginner classes in felting and get great delight and inspiration from the children and adults that I teach. Their joy and wonder is so contagious!
red crinkle scarf

red crinkle scarf

What is the most difficult creative challenge you’ve faced, and how did you overcome it? (or are you currently tackling it?)
What I really struggle with is the time, effort and confidence needed in promoting my product . I sometimes wish I had a fairy godmother to take over this role.
Felting has an incredible amount of variables in the process and I used to get disappointed when the end result was not quite what I had envisaged but now I am learning to enjoy felting’s “little surprises” and know some things are just meant to be.
feather and felt creation

feather and felt creation

 What dreams do you have for the future of your creative business?
I would love swathe more glorious ladies in my scarves and wraps. To have the opportunity to display them at their optimum. Although I love my little online shop there are limits to the story that can be told by a photograph. I always use the highest quality Australian superfine merino wool and silk in my designs and really wish that I could portray the feel and lightness better.
inspiration: ocean reef

inspiration: ocean reef

where would you like people to view your work or interact with you?

My home based shop is in Greenwood Perth Western Australia and I can be contacted through my facebook page. www.facebook.com/HeartfeltDesignStudio
and my online shop address is www.etsy.com/shop/juliaheartfelt

Julia, thank you so much for being part of the Starzyia blog, you are a wonderful member of the handmade community and a treasure, I wish you every happiness and a wonderful creative journey into the future.
to my readers: thank you for taking time to get to know Julia and give her your support, you’re awesome!

Handmade & Symbolic for Easter

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I thought I’d help out with some inspiration and handmade shopping opportunities to help you fill your Easter basket, decorate you home, and perhaps invite your guests or reach out to far away friends and family this year. I have NEVER featured an Easter special before so I hope this will be the beginning of a great tradition. I have to keep in mind that half of you are viewing this and preparing for a Spring Easter, and half of you, like me, will be holding Easter celebrations in Autumnal weather, so I hope I can create a nice balance.

BlingBunny by Hickety Pickety Cottage

Bling Bunny by Hickety Pickety Cottage

An Australian handmade and beautifully chic, elegant softie bunny with plenty of sparkling bling (not suitable for young children/toddlers) you can find this in the HicketyPicketyCottage on madeit

Easter Wall Hanging by one pear on madeit

Easter Wall Hanging by one pear on madeit

Gorgeous wall hanging of carrots to tempt the Easter Bunny, Australian handmade by one pear on madeit

easter basket pdf pattern by BirdsongPatterns

easter basket pdf pattern by BirdsongPatterns

Make your own gorgeous Easter baskets with this pdf pattern by BirdsongPatterns on etsy

bunny tea party card by Mulberry Muse

bunny tea party card by Mulberry Muse

Beautiful, elegant, bunny tea party card created by Mulberry Muse on madeit

Easter Onesie by NinisHandmades

Easter Onesie by NinisHandmades

Easter Onesie handmade by NinisHandmades on etsy – you can choose your colour and size.

bunny clock by SheLovesRibbons

bunny clock by SheLovesRibbons

Beautiful floral bunny clock handmade by SheLovesRibbons in my home state capital of Perth WA, yay!

chiyogami decoupage eggs by PrettyKiku

chiyogami decoupage eggs by PrettyKiku

Gorgeous tiny wren eggs decoupaged with chiyogami paper by PrettyKiku on etsy

raspberry white tea cookies by ButterBlossoms

raspberry white tea cookies by ButterBlossoms

Beautiful mini break from too much chocolate – try refreshing, melt in your mouth raspberry and white tea cookies by ButterBlossoms on etsy

duckling easter play dress by WildThings - Funky Little Dresses

duckling easter play dress by WildThings – Funky Little Dresses

This fun duckling dress is great for Easter and is handmade by WildThings on folksy

PomPom Bunny by ME

PomPom Bunny by ME

I’d like to specify that this beautiful, pompom bunny is made by ME on madeit (Not made by me, Starzyia, get it! Ah, just follow the link!)

Easter Bunny wreath by EverBloomingOriginal

Easter Bunny wreath by EverBloomingOriginal

An Easter Bunny wreath to decorate and greet your guests, handmade by EverBloomingOriginal on etsy

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Enjoy!