Monthly Archives: November 2013

my handmade hero: BHO Bags and Purses

my Dad's custom christmas gift

custom brush roll created by BHO bags and purses

Amazing things can happen when you put out feelers into the handmade world. As a creator of handmade and someone who spends a lot of time supporting handmade artists and creators, I have of course been giving handmade gifts for a long time, but the only times I’ve ever given handmade to my Dad was when I created it myself. Honestly, it is hard to give for my Dad who at 81 isn’t terribly interested in shopping and doesn’t think he needs anything. But this year I put out a request to my handmade community on madeit asking for help to find a handmade gift for Dad – specifying that he does not wear jewellery (not even a wedding ring), is an artist, doesn’t have hanging space on his walls or shelves as he has too many of his own works to display, doesn’t need any kind of gadget or tech accessory, and is not a metrosexual guy. Within minutes, Rebecca of BHO bags and purses had replied offering to create a custom designed, personalised, leather brush roll and I was thrilled!

I was already very familiar with Rebecca’s work, as she is a fellow Western Australian designer and makes beautiful leather bags, purses, and wallets and here she was offering to create something a bit different from her norm but eager and willing. I can also say that it was so easy to work with Rebecca and once I measured out Dad’s brush sizes (in a top secret mission) and provided some simple information I was able to choose from Rebecca’s design options and was provided progress pictures along the way. A totally delightful and easy experience.

So this is what my father, artist Arthur Raston, and member of the Water Colour Society of Western Australia will be receiving for Christmas in 21013 – a thing of beauty isn’t it!

I can’t help but share a few of BHO’s other offerings because, well, they are spectacular and will make beautiful, long lasting gifts for the folks on your gift list.



Thank you so much Rebecca, you are my handmade hero (heroine!) your generosity in your time and your loving handmade work really touches my heart and I hope Dad will proudly brag about his handmade brush roll – we will be sure to recommend BHO always.





finding the right Starzyia jewelry for your gift recipient has never been easier

Earth Mother gift guide

for the Earth Mother archetype

In preparation for holiday shoppers, I created a little catalogue for my business Starzyia, to help handmade shoppers find the right jewelry to suit their gift recipients, I hope you find it helpful and inspiring! Everything is handmade and will be lovingly wrapped and sent around the world from my home in Australia. My holiday shipping deadlines for 2013 (for pre Christmas delivery) are 1st December for orders outside of Australia, and December 17th for Australian domestic orders. You can find my jewelry in store at etsy and madeit

The Earth Mother featured items are all available in my etsy store, except Tree of Life With White Duck (madeit) and Running Hare Brooch with Epidote (madeit)

The Woodland Wanderer collection is created to enchant the woodland enthusiast in your life – she loves to stroll through the woods, loves the wild birds and animals, and the designs are available in the Starzyia etsy store

romantic cottage chic gift guide

for the romantic cottage dweller

This collection is handmade especially for the romantic cottage dweller – she lives in, or would love to live in a shabby chic cottage with a floral garden – these designs are available in the Starzyia etsy and madeit stores, with new designs added as often as possible.

romantic fench inspired jewelry

romantic French pendants by Starzyia

Does her heart skip a little beat for anything French? Well I have some beautiful, unique, French inspired jewelry so you can tell her how you feel in French! I have French jewelry sections in both my etsy and madeit stores.

beach jewelry gift guide

jewelry for beach lovers

If she is a real free spirited beach lover, then how about some nautical jewelry to treasure always? The jewelry featured above is from my etsy store, and as it will soon be Summer in Australia, I’m bound to add a few more interesting designs to celebrate!

I am thinking about designing my first range of beatnik jewelry, and I have lots of other styles already available in store, I honestly have something for every woman in your world, if she is your friend, your sister, your mother, your girlfriend, your wife, your daughter, your grandmother, your boss, your teacher, your co-worker, she is someone who matters to me too as I have all these wonderful people in my life and they inspire me to create every piece.