Monthly Archives: April 2013

Starzyia handmade Mother’s Day specials, save 15%

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Starzyia etsy store Mother's Day

Starzyia etsy store Mother’s Day

Although I’ve been a bit busy, I haven’t forgotten Mother’s Day and here I am with a few examples of what you can find for mother or grandmother in my etsy and madeit stores, with 15% off until the day after Mother’s Day. Plus I really recommend my etsy store gift certificates if you are worried about delivery in time for the special day – my gift certificates land in your email inbox in under 24 hours, and are available as $20, $30 and $50 value.

To save 15% in the Starzyia etsy store, use the coupon code MOTHERLOVE15 at checkout.

If you are on my Starzyia mailing list you would have received a 20% discount code, so I highly recommend signing up for the next one! I only ever contact you once a month, that’s my promise to you.

Starzyia madeit store Mother's Day

Starzyia madeit store Mother’s Day

To save 15% off in the Starzyia madeit store, just fill your basket with items you love, the storewide sale is all set up, and you can see the original and sale price of each item.

I hope everyone is planning something special for this beautiful day, being together, or telling someone how you feel is still the best way of celebrating or commemorating.

 

 

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Featured Seller: David Wright from Bare Hands Personalised Jewellery

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It’s time to meet another very talented and fascinating member of the handmade community, this time I’m introducing you to David Wright of Bare Hands Personalised Jewellery, so I hope you enjoy this feature and show David and his wife some wonderful support.
David of Bare Hands Personalised Jewellery

David of Bare Hands Personalised Jewellery

I’ll let David introduce himself in his own words:
Hello, we are Bare Hands Personalised Jewellery from the northern suburbs of Perth and are a  husband (mostly) and wife (sometimes), fairly new,  small business,  making items of jewellery from Fine Silver (99.9 %), mostly personalised – which can mean names stamping / messages, finger foot and hand prints  but more recently exploring more non-personalised ways to be creative with the silver making process. Yes you may think it odd for a male to be messing about in a studio getting in touch with his creative and some might say ( and have ) feminine side – but hey ho – its good for the soul! I also am a professional tiler and work 7 shifts a fortnight with guys with autism. In my spare time (what’s that ?) I spend time with my two lovely boys and enjoying playing saxophone.
Where did your creative journey begin?
I got the idea of taking this particular path from my sister in the UK who runs a similar, quite successful company ‘Lucy Locketts’ and originally thought of setting up a franchise of that, over here in WA. After thinking about it and googling for a teacher or course, we found someone very local offering the exact thing we were looking for, did it and never looked back – which was just as well remembering back to  some of the first items that we made! We’re also exploring the possibility of glass beading and have booked a course – silver and glass can look great together.
a sample of David's wares

a sample of David’s wares

What inspires and excites you?
Hmm I’m a true believer that there is a greater intelligence at work constantly, and if we allow ourselves to trust in it, then inspiration and  creativity can flow freely without the need for too much thought – I certainly know this to be true with music. I like to let the customer provide inspiration for their own piece as obviously every customised item is different – its certainly exiting when it comes together and you get good feedback from the customer.
handprint jewellery

handprint jewellery

hand stamped jewellery

hand stamped jewellery

 

What is the biggest creative challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it (or are you currently tackling it?)

Pricing is a constant challenge, a battle of getting a balance between affordable and competitive yet making it worthwhile, please tell me I’m not alone here! (No David, not alone, I can hear the sighs of empathy rolling in from readers across the globe) Sometimes I just think ‘sod it’, its worth $X and I’m not selling it for any less. When people see a price sometimes, the natural reaction is ‘HOW MUCH!?’ but any small business owner would be able to give you a list as long as their arm about hidden expenses / time and not to mention for us , the price of silver. Sometimes I feel like explaining the whole process that goes into, for example, our miniaturised hand and footprints, stamped onto silver. I’m sure some people think we have a little elf that we summon whenever needed, to give us a quick dance and place his hand and feet into the silver for us.  At a market once, I was explaining that we not only offered fingerprint jewellery but hand and footprints too and pointed to a pendant I had made with our sons prints on, to which she replied in all seriousness  ‘Nah, their hands aren’t that small’

personalised fingerprint jewellery

personalised fingerprint jewellery

 

What dreams do you have for the future of your creative business?
I’d love for what we offer to grow to the point where our products become somewhat of a ‘brand name’  even if it’s just locally – just like people talk about other brands to us when sharing our excitement in what we’re doing. I think the key might be to be unique, remain true to yourself, have faith and anything is possible – you just have to create it. My sister and I remember a quote that goes something like ‘some people look at a rock and see a rock .. others see a cathedral’
personalised jewellery is a great way to show your love

personalised jewellery is a great way to show your love

How to connect with Bare Hands Personalised Jewellery and David:
Although I’ve only been on Etsy a few months, it looks like a great medium for being amongst like minded sellers and we also have a facebook page www.facebook.com/barehandspersonalisedjewellery – which has a back catalogue of items we have made in the past.  One awkward aspect of making everything to order is that you never have anything for display purposes as it goes out as soon as you’ve made it. You may notice the same names cropping up on some of our items – names of very patient family members who see pictures of something that they’d love to be wearing, but never actually receive!
I’d like to thank you David for being willing to be featured and sharing the beginnings of a very exciting journey into handmade, and wish you every happiness for the future.

The Top 10 Things that have contributed to my insanity

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The Maniac's Portrait

portrait of a maniacal woman aka, me

You can either: pay no attention to the self-indulgent ramblings of a self-confessed mad woman, or you can go right ahead and find out what brought me to this point. Curious?

1. The insane way that my father had of handling my insane need to have a pet dog: There has never been a child more hysterically desperate for a pet dog than me. The closest I got was a bright blue tinsel haired stuffed toy with googly eyes, that I used to mess around with in the car and try to make the people in the other cars think was a real, living, dog. When we went out as a family, if I saw a dog, I was a crying, begging, somewhat delusional freak who made a massive fuss about how “the dog has no family! it’s starving! it has nowhere to go! we have to SAVE IT!!!!”. In reality the dog would have a collar on and its owners would be like 50 feet away – and probably casting worried looks my way and saying things like “quick Marge put the dog in the car and let’s get out of here!”. Interestingly, and I only put this together recently, My dad used to always, and I mean always hum or whistle the exact same song for years, and years without relief. The song was: How Much Is That Doggie In The Window? Say what? Was he an evil genius? Because that is torture my friend! So Dad, thanks for always feeding my feverish desire for a dog without ever providing one. Great job!

2. Rhett Halse and Beethoven’s 5th: In the fifth grade, I went to school with a boy (quite obviously) named Rhett. My only memory of Rhett is that for the duration of that year, he sat near me, and incessantly hummed Beethoven’s 5th, but not all of it, just the part he knew. The part that everyone knows. Da-Da-Da-Dahhhhh, Da-Da-Da-Dahhhhh! This he did, over and over. Not just in the comedically strategic places that modern television producer’s would insert it for effect: like the announcement of extra homework, or someone being sent to the principal’s office, he just did it all the time. At first I just sort of had this need to hum the next part, so maybe he could move on. Then I started to get a little bit gaga. Then by the end of the year the desperation to finish the symphony was making my head explode. So Rhett, you are indelibly linked with Beethoven’s 5th and that way, shall never be forgotten.

3. My highschool principal Mr Patterson: Going to school every day during Mr Patterson’s tenure was like being stalked in the corridors of the Death Star by the horrifying sound of Darth Vader’s deep breathing. I found it especially intimidating to have him stand behind me in class, lean down and speak into my ear “can you tell me what you’re doing?” (at the moment I’m pissing myself was not the appropriate answer) and when it was in maths class, I most certainly could not tell him, since I honestly did not know. He also exercised amazing mind control over the student body. School assemblies were no longer a simple file in, take a seat, kind of affair. There was a tremendous amount of training involved so that we, as a collective, responded to his commands “prepare to sit” (tortuous pause) “sit” and “prepare to rise” (tortuous pause) “rise”. Mr Patterson also thought of himself as an innovative kind of principal, as evidenced by his compulsory class named Thinking Lessons. I always wondered if the board of education took that as a declaration that in all our other classes we did no thinking of any kind.

4. The loss of a major food group and consumer innocence for all time: Having survived highschool (perhaps aided by the replacement of Mr Patterson as a principal) I went on to university where I lived from measly pay check to pay check and dwelt only in the realm of shared housing. One day I was enjoying a humble lunch of instant noodles when my housemate, Michael, came home and declared himself “starving” while eying the steaming bowl of leftovers I had on the counter. Since Michael often cooked dinner for me (real dinner with actual vegetables and nutritional content) I offered him the extra bowl. However, Michael was very particular and always read every single label in the entire grocery store before ever buying anything. Ever. So I continued eating my delicious noodles and he started to silently read the empty noodle packet. “What’s RNA?” he asked. “What?” I asked, while spitting my mouthful of noodles back into my bowl, I did not like where this was going. “What’s RNA?” he repeated while I sprang into action, snatching the packet out of his well-mannered little hand. “F*ck me there’s RNA in my noodles!” I screamed at him. He looked on helplessly (obviously his long days of label reading hadn’t taught him everything) so I explained that RNA works hand in hand with DNA and is a genetic type thing that I don’t want to be eating. Gross! I was on that day robbed of one of the five major food groups the student can afford to eat: tinned beans, instant noodles, potato chips, complimentary nuts in bars, and fish sticks (which I already did not eat, being vegetarian at the time), and am now also a paranoid reader of labels.

nuts, yes I am

nuts? yes, thank you, I am

5. The British Royal Family: Let me be clear, these people drive me positively wild but not with delight! I think that it is completely humiliating in this day and age that people still buy into the concept of royalty. Do you know that by my birth as an Australian I am automatically one of their subjects and worse than this a commoner? And they don’t mean common, as in, there are a few of them, and millions of us… they mean inferior common. They mean that and prove that daily by the myriad of ridiculous rules of how we are allowed to communicate with and approach them. How precious can you get? Do you realize it was a major scandal when a senior member of the British media, an icon, and respected journalist, announced the death of the Queen Mother while not wearing a neck tie! For God’s sake!

6. People saying “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”: Yes, where am I losing you? People invented guns, that is what makes me so suspicious of guns. People didn’t invent guns to go shoot clay pigeons. They invented guns to kill and maim more quickly and efficiently. They wanted to get better at warfare. They later found other things that guns might help out with – humanely destroying injured animals and such. But they didn’t invent guns for that reason. They invented them to kill humans. Yes they did.

7. A cockroach ran up the inside of my trouser leg on a crowded inner city bus: and all I wanted to do was rip those trousers off, scream and shout and shake them all about. I have never gotten over the horror.

8. The suspicion that the internet was invented by nerds as the greatest act of revenge in the world, ever: Think about it. Nerds invented the internet. Nerds got rich off it. Regular folks have never been more frustrated with their computers ever before; the usage of the internet has robbed companies of time and productivity that may never be able to be accurately measured; pornography has never been more easy to access; the internet allows us to spend vast amounts of money more rapidly than any other method including gambling because that is now also a major part of the online lifestyle; and we go crazy when the internet goes down, even for a few minutes, and when anything goes wrong, who do we call, the nerds – so they have never been more needed in their lives.

9. The perpetual neediness of facebook: The fact that every time I select ‘log out’ of facebook, the panic box comes up and says ‘you are not logged in, log in to continue’. Chill out facebook! don’t be such a Needy Nelly.

10. The suspicion that Where’s Wally and Freddy Krueger are the same person: I have a side by side picture, but I don’t want to get sued. But they both wear stripey jumpers, hats, and pants and I wouldn’t go to sleep now if I were you, Bahahaha!!!!!