My Favourite Handmade… a look at the goodies that landed in my shopping cart

Standard
night light bySAGEdesign

little girl night light bySAGEdesign

I’ve been fortunate enough to have acquired some very fine handmade items in recent weeks, and so I thought I’d share a look at some of my absolute favourites.

You might remember I featured Kylie Findlay the artist responsible for the gorgeous offerings at bySAGEdesign here on the blog in May and you can see above the nightlight I bought featuring her beautiful design of a little girl at play. Each side of the nightlight has its own special scene, and the lid easily lifts off to operate the light which takes three batteries making it safe and highly portable – I like that I can place the light on any shelf or position in my home and there are no electrical cords in sight. More of Kylie’s work can be seen (or purchased) here: www.bysagedesign.com

another view of my nightlight bySAGEdesign

another view of my nightlight bySAGEdesign

'dream' inspiration decor by Studio Astratta

‘dream’ inspiration decor by Studio Astratta

At the start of this year I began a very slow process of making over my studio/office space which recently received an exciting boost thanks to Belinda Davison of Studio Astratta who held a giveaway of her inspirational word decor ‘dream’ for her newsletter subscribers – quite fortunately I was the excited winner. As soon as I knew I had won I knew where the word had to be placed – right above my whiteboard, where you can see I already had the section marked ‘Dreams’ which is a short list of goals I want to achieve with my business Starzyia this year. You can see Belinda’s gorgeous work in her madeit store and I recommend visiting her facebook page and signing up for the newsletter (maybe you will win one of her future giveaways!) I will also be featuring Belinda here on the blog in August.

eyewear purse handmade by Eleven Roosters

eyewear purse handmade by Eleven Roosters

For my Mum’s birthday – last week on July 4th – I chose a really beautiful eyewear purse designed and handmade in Australia by Tanja of Eleven Roosters. Mum is absolutely loving it and I will definitely be returning to the Eleven Roosters store on madeit to purchase one for me (when I’m good first and save a bit of money for Fizzy’s vet fund)

Mum's eyewear purse on our illustrated copy of The Secret Garden

Mum’s eyewear purse on our illustrated copy of The Secret Garden

And last but definitely not least, I finally got to try some of my etsy friend, Kaz’s handmade soap when she had her Super Soapy Sale on facebook. Kaz, who operates New Earth Soaps makes heavenly scented all natural soaps that take care of you body and soul. LOVE my soaps!!!!

some of my soaps created by New Earth Soaps

some of my soaps created by New Earth Soaps

Since I’m now needing to ‘take a rest’ from shopping for myself (and my family) I am keeping busy pinning fabulous handmade finds on pinterest. I pin personally here and on behalf of DUST (Down Under Street Team on etsy) here and I’d love to see you there.

Don’t forget you can let me know what kind of handmade things you’d like to see featured here on the Starzyia blog, I might even create a special gift guide just for you!

featured handmade seller: Holly from Zuri

Standard

Another special day for me, I always enjoy introducing the wonderful creative souls who bless this world with their handmade goodies, and today I’d love you to meet Holly of Zuri, here she is in her own words…

Holly is the creative talent responsible for Zuri

Holly is the creative talent responsible for Zuri

Introduction:

Hi I’m Holly, creator behind the accessory and jewellery atelier, Zuri. I was born in Oxford in 1981, yet my folk’s emigrated from the UK to Australia in November 1981 so I’m Aussie bred! I’m now long married to an Australian Air Force man and we have 2 children, our 6 year old son and a 3 year old devil, ahem daughter! We move on average every 5 years and are now in Canberra where ‘husband’ studies full time Electrical Engineering. Our first winter here is…interesting! It’s a very beautiful place and we are so excited to be living here!

handmade by Zuri

handmade by Zuri

Where did your creative journey begin?

I’ve always been artistically inclined which I inherited from my mum and discarded mathematics as early as I could to fill my school days with art and drama. (The irony that I am now married to a mathematical genius!)

Once my daughter was born in 2009, my eyes were opened to the wonderful world of little girl’s accessories and I discovered quite quickly I could create my designs to suit my own tastes, which are very particular! I started with button hair ties with unusual fabrics, untypical of children’s fabric. I also made accessories for friends and received so many compliments that I decided to ‘found’ my little business in March 2012.

I’m highly inspired by beautiful, gifted photography. I like to think I also have a fairly good eye for it! I find inspiration in all things natural, especially isolated West Australian beaches :sigh:  how I love the ocean. I’m a big outdoors person, exploring, 4WDriving, camping and picnic bbq’s. Our family loves cooking delicious food and we all hold great importance in fitness.

Individually, I really enjoy eclectic fabric designs, Moroccan, Metallic’s, Mohave, Aztec, all things ‘peacock’, neon’s and particular patterns suitable for the buttons I use to make hair ties. I then lead onto button earrings as my fabric collection ideally appealed to a higher demographic. Rings, necklaces then clay as it’s so fun to use, the outcome is stunning and there are endless designs to create out if it.

button hair tie by Zuri

button hair tie by Zuri

What has been your biggest obstacle in your creative life?

Because of our transient lifestyle I’d found it hard to adjust from job to job and decided it best to stay-at-home and raise our children, focusing on attempting to keep them settled in anticipation of moving or times when my husband is away. In our recent move from West to East, my business was put on hold for 5 months whilst we camped across the country and then lived in a hotel till our new home was ready. I was slow to start up but I’m in full swing now! I’m always eager to make new designs out of new mediums so the future for Zuri is always exciting! Sometimes I have so many ideas my wallet cannot possibly fund them all, I’m certain we all feel this way at some point in our lives! My newest challenge comes in the form of a bread and butter job, my first in 7 years! I vow to always find time to create and inspire!

jewellery by Zuri

jewellery by Zuri

What dreams to you have for the future of your creative business?

I’m edging towards 18 months with Zuri and my next big goal is to do a market but I confess I’m procrastinating! My goal is to get one under my belt by Christmas! We shall see J

You can support Holly and Zuri here:

www.facebook.com/ZuriAtelier

www.madeit.com.au/Zuri

Thanks so much Holly for adding your gorgeous work and insights into your creative life to the Starzyia blog, and thanks to my readers who are still visiting previous featured seller posts and getting to know the wonderful guests and their work.

one more beautiful pic from Zuri!

one more beautiful pic from Zuri!

Repurposed Video Cassette Covers

Standard
repurposed video cassette cases by Starzyia

repurposed video cassette cases by Starzyia

This weekend I looked into upcycling or repurposing my cupboard full of VHS video tapes. Once I found a purpose for the actual cassettes, I had a mountain of cases… I ended up being more excited by the cases than the video tapes, first I made a special keepsake box for myself (pictured here) then I thought about how great the idea is for a little girl to hide her diary, or for someone to keep their photographs, love letters, or other treasured items inside. Then I outdid myself… I thought about the times that I get a bulk order for my jewellery from a lovely customer, and that these require larger packaging than my normal oversized letter in padded mailer and that I am often looking for a box to keep the order safe in transit – no more paying at the post office for a plain brown box – I will be treating customers with large orders to a decorated video case which they can keep and use any way they like!

If you are not already familiar with my work, my handmade jewellery is packed full of meaning, and make wonderful gifts with soul. I like to share the meaning and purpose of every piece, when you know what a symbol means, or that the stones are healing, or the colours effect your mood and energy, or feel uplifted by a quote or piece of altered art that I create then I know that you are on the path to understanding why you love the jewellery you have chosen and how it enriches your life.

You can visit my stores any time, Starzyia etsy and Starzyia madeit

a completed case

a completed case

wishing you a happy and creative weekend, Starry

Featured Handmade Seller: Sally Dixon, Razzle Dazzle

Standard

For the first time I am featuring a second handmade maven in one month – meet the wonderful creative soul I could not overlook because, well, her creations are so amazingly adorable! Here is Sally Dixon in her own words…

Introduction:

Hello, my name is Sally and I’m currently living in Hope Valley, not far from the Adelaide Hills in South Australia. My business is called Razzle Dazzle Creations.

Small, fiddly, intricate creations made with a touch of Razzle Dazzle – that’s what I love to make! I design and make critters and novelty items such as brooches, finger puppets, play food and more. Felt is my usual medium.

made with a touch of razzle dazzle

made with a touch of razzle dazzle

Where did your creative journey begin?

I create because creativity is built into my nature. I can’t stop! My journey began in my childhood. I went through many creative phases: cake baking, fimo modelling, and sewing. At home I was provided with encouragement and freedom to experiment and invent. I remember designing and sewing tiny felt teddy bears as a 12 year old. I ended up with an army of them, each unique in colour and outfit.

matchbox critters by razzle dazzle

matchbox critters by razzle dazzle

What kind of things inspire and excite you?

What inspires me?

Magazines and books filled with cute creations.

The internet, particularly Pinterest. It’s filled with tutorials and pretty pictures.

Listening to the success stories of other handmade business owners.

What excites me?

Meandering through craft store aisles filled with rows and rows of buttons, beads, ribbons, pretty papers, fabric and more!

Trying out a new design which began as a unique idea in my head.

Finding an email in my inbox with an order for a product. Never tire of it!

felt cats and critters by razzle dazzle

felt cats and critters by razzle dazzle

What is the biggest challenge you have had in your creative life, and how did you overcome it (or are you currently tackling it)

A big challenge to overcome is confidence. Self doubt can easily set in. I sometimes find myself thinking: Are my creations good enough to sell? Will my customer be pleased when the item arrives in the post and they see it in person? And a new one: Will my items sell in the gift shop? The key is to hold onto the encouragement you receive. Listen to the positive words about your creations, and just keep at it. The more you create, the better you get. And allow yourself to enjoy the process.

pouch key rings by razzle dazzle

pouch key rings by razzle dazzle

What dreams do you have for the future of your creative business?

Razzle Dazzle Creations began as a hobby, but it’s slowly growing. I hope to do two creative pursuits full time in the future: write books, and continue my business. I’d like to make a proper living from both pursuits. In terms of my business, I’d like to have my creations available in more stores. I’m working on that at the moment. My products are currently available in two stores, but this needs to grow! I’d like it to become more consistent online as well. At the moment it fluctuates from periods of no sales to periods of many sales! I’m also thinking of writing a craft book…we’ll see how that goes!
Support Sally & Razzle Dazzle:

Madeit: www.madeit.com.au/razzledazzle

Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/RazzleDazzlebySally

Facebook: www.facebook.com/RazzleDazzlebySally

Blog: http://razzledazzle7.wordpress.com/

mousy and ted in bed! by razzle dazzle

mousy and ted in bed! by razzle dazzle

Thanks so much Sally, for adding your beautiful work to the blog and sharing an insight into your creative life. Wishing you every happiness as you continue on your journey and good luck with the writing too, it’s a wonderful pursuit.

Feel Good – new Starzyia jewelry designs that are positively joyful

Standard
feel good pendant range from Starzyia madeit store

feel good pendant range from Starzyia madeit store

I’ve been busy designing and creating a range of feel good pendants that combine inspirational quotes with altered art and they’ve already launched in my madeit store, Starzyia, and are currently on sale to coincide with paid advertising (sale ends Monday)
I’ve created these because it is more important than ever to me to know that my customers are feeling wonderful and thinking positively or are giving gifts to others that will make them feel that way too. We can all use a gentle reminder of how special we are and what the world has in store for us that is amazing and worth persevering for.

Pictured above are:

Keep Faith “keep your faith in all beautiful things”, pink edition (I have created the design in several other colours coming soon)

Be Yourself “be yourself, that’s when the magic happens”, purple edition (more colours to come in future)

The Wisdom of Tea “tea is steeped in wisdom”

A Thing of Beauty “a thing of beauty is a joy forever”

Japanese Proverb Pendant “fall down seven times, stand up eight”

jewelry for your true love by Starzyia

jewelry for your true love by Starzyia

And for your true love, there are some new romantic pendants that will make beautiful and original gifts.

Pictured above:

She Walks in Beauty “she walks in beauty like the night of cloudless climes and starry skies and all that’s best of dark and bright meets in her” available in the Starzyia madeit store

He Fancies Her, ooak vintage upcycled French-English dictionary, fancy, affection, he fancies her, one only available in the Starzyia etsy store

My True Love “my true love hath my heart and I have his”, pink, available in the Starzyia madeit store

It’s In His Kiss, song lyric pendant in French and English, one available each in my etsy and madeit stores

******************

So hopefully this will be spreading more positive energy, enjoyment, and inspiration from my heart to yours.

Coming Soon: I will be writing more about grief healing, connecting with your loved ones who have passed, and how I think calling cards and signs from your late loved ones work.

Thanks for you support, Starry

featured handmade seller interview, Michelle Yates, The China Hutch, madeit

Standard

This month has taken an interesting turn, I was looking for someone who really wanted to be featured seller for June (I usually send out invitations to specific people with stores that I ogle) I knew that if I put out a cattle call, I would get someone who was ready and willing – what I didn’t expect was that I would have so many diverse and amazing applicants, and I have decided to try to feature two people every month at least until August. If you missed the cattle call, it probably means you don’t follow me on facebook – so if you want to have access to these chances, you might want to join me there on my Starzyia page.

Without further ado, here is my number one choice for featured seller…

you shall have a fishie, The China Hutch

you shall have a fishie, The China Hutch

Introduction:

My name is Michelle Yates and my online shop is called The China Hutch, I live in Melbourne Australia and I paint porcelain and bone china. I use on glaze paints on the porcelain which I then fire in a kiln at 820C a number of times to achieve a depth of colour.

Where did your creative journey begin?

I learnt the technique of painting on porcelain over 25 years ago here in Melbourne at a school where I attended classes one day a week, on one of my days off from my real job as a Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Children’s Hospital. I learnt in the classical style of the day and have since developed my own styles.

hand painted plate, The China Hutch

hand painted plate, The China Hutch

What kind of things excite and inspire you?

So many things inspire and excite me, a picture in a book, a cartoon, a card, something from my childhood, an animal – eg. Our little Schnauzer, an image on the computer.

hand painted wedgewood plate

hand painted Wedgwood plate

What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your creative life?

We lived in Holland for nearly 7 years in the 1990’s and I could not work on an intensive care unit as my dutch was not good enough, so painting became my occupation and I gradually built up a large business painting porcelain.

Now I am trying to build up another business in Australia – on line, as I have retired from nursing, it is hard to re-establish myself and at times I get disheartened and wonder why I try, then someone will buy a piece of my work and I am inspired once more to keep going. I say my paintings are an ‘Antiques of the future’!

hand painted royal doulton cake stand

hand painted royal doulton cake stand

poppy & butterfly painted wedgwood

poppy & butterfly painted Wedgwood

I hope you have enjoyed meeting Michelle and seeing her amazing work, if you’d like to show her some support here are the links to her store and facebook page:

madeit store

facebook

New seasonal offerings from Starzyia – winter & summer jewelry for you

Standard

I’ve been busy creating and photographing stock for the change of season, working extra hard because I want to provide summer jewelry for the northern hemisphere and winter jewelry here at home. My inspirations this year are sunshine and spice for summer, and a walk in the woods for winter.

new for summer, Starzyia etsy

new for summer, Starzyia etsy

new for winter, Starzyia, etsy

new for winter, Starzyia, etsy

All stock featured here is available in my etsy store Starzyia

River Mist, Winter 2013

River Mist, Winter 2013

I’ve been having fun walking the dog early in the morning already this winter, I especially love the looks on people’s faces when they are rugged up head to toe and I’m in shorts and tank top (with snow boots being all I need to keep my whole body warm) and being universally asked “aren’t you cold?”. Nope. Siberian blood in my veins. Much prefer the Australian winter to the Australian summer! Anyway whether it be turning summer or winter for you, I hope you make the best of the season, find lots of beauty all around you, and maybe if you’re in the mood create some beauty too.

 

featured handmade seller interview: Kylie Findlay from bySAGEdesign

Standard
Hi, time for me to introduce another wonderful handmade artisan – this time its someone I have been online store ogling for a couple of years so I’m extra excited – Kylie from SAGEdesign a talented designer and creator based in Australia. I find Kylie’s work is beautifully detailed, yet at the same time captures simple pleasurable moments to create and keep happiness with you always.
bird lights by bySAGEdesign

bird lights by bySAGEdesign

Introduction:
My name is Kylie Findlay and I design and make decorative homewares products for bySAGEdesign.
Where did your creative journey begin?
When I was born I think! I have always enjoyed being creative in varying degrees – as a child, in school and as an adult. There have been significant points in the journey though and going to uni to study Visual Art a few years ago was one of them as it became the starting point for bySAGEdesign.
girl on a swing

girl on a swing

What kind of things excite and inspire you?
I get very excited by other people’s artwork.
I am also inspired by life and memory… people and our connections with each other and other living things. Interaction, emotion, expression, love, hope and human refection in nature.
I am drawn to simple design and things that look pretty. I am one of those people that judges a book by the cover and chooses a bottle of wine because I like the label!
earring tree bySAGEdesign

earring tree bySAGEdesign

What is the most difficult creative challenge you’ve faced, and how did you overcome it? (or are you currently tackling it?)
I think being creative and making artwork is all about overcoming challenges. So there are constant challenges! One challenge I am faced with in my business is limited time. It takes time to create work… time to experiment, to reflect, to absorb… it is hard for me in business to allow myself this kind of time without feeling frustrated that I am wasting time. I am constantly reminding myself that this is a necessary part of my creative process.
little boy nightlight

little boy nightlight

What dreams do you have for the future of your creative business?
Wow… what dreams don’t I have ha ha!? I have lots! I guess the basic one is to continue to create, grow and evolve, be inspired and hopefully also to inspire others.
Find more about bySAGEdesign here…. and Kylie has generously offered 15% off coupon code: STARRY (valid until the end of July 2013)
Thank you Kylie, it has been a pleasure “meeting” you after being a fan of your work for so long, I wish you every happiness and success on your creative journey!
ornament bySAGEdesign

ornament bySAGEdesign

Happy Mother’s Day weekend

Standard
the wisdom of Mothers

the wisdom of Mothers

I know its a day early, so I’m calling this Mother’s Day weekend – hey, let’s just spread the love a bit further! I’d like to wish all my supporters who are mothers a happy day, and the mothers of all my supporters a happy day too. This year a record number of mothers will be receiving Starzyia jewelry (yay!) and a record number of them are fellow Australians (which is very encouraging to me) thank you everyone!

speaking words of wisdom while eating macarons

speaking words of wisdom while eating macarons

I’ll be offering my mum a lovely afternoon tea, a heartfelt chat, and bless her she’ll want me to paint her nails for her (I think she only gets them done once a year on Mother’s Day so its kind of a tradition) and maybe an old movie. Then we send the pleb out to get dinner (that’s Dad for the uninitiated)

Happy Mother’s day to all families everywhere, and special wishes to those who are missing their angel Mum’s.

 

Starzyia handmade Mother’s Day specials, save 15%

Standard
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.