Tag Archives: Madeit

featured handmade seller: Belinda from Studio Astratta

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This always puts me in a good mood: introducing an amazingly talented and dedicated handmade small business artisan, and Belinda from Studio Astratta has created work that puts me in a good mood every day – she created the wooden decor word ‘dream’ I showed you in a previous post, that brightens up my studio. I also have the mini easel artwork “all you need is love” that Belinda is featuring in today’s blog post, you should get one, honestly!

Belinda, Studio Astratta

Belinda, Studio Astratta

Introduction:

Hi, I’m Belinda, creator behind the home decor label Studio Astratta.

I’m a Sydney girl but followed my heart to Brisbane a few years ago, where I live with my wonderful boyfriend in a beautiful bayside suburb.

Studio Astratta is all about unique and inspirational handmade home decor and gifts, including abstract paintings (‘astratta’ means ‘abstract’ in Italian), mini canvases featuring inspiring quotes, wooden words and ampersands, pen holders and ceramic coasters.


Where did your creative journey begin?

For as long as I can remember, I have loved creating (and selling) beautiful things. As a child I would make things (think mice made from seashells etc) and sit out the front of my house with a little table, selling my creations to neighbours and anyone passing by!

In high school it was all about drawing. I even created a family of elf characters! I still have the drawings.

I began creating more seriously a few years after finishing high school, when I taught myself how to make jewellery. I spent a few years designing, creating and selling jewellery before deciding that it wasn’t for me.

I moved from Sydney to Brisbane in late 2010 and began abstract painting in an attempt to fill the empty walls of my new home. After receiving lots of positive feedback from friends and family, I decided to sell my paintings and in early 2012 Studio Astratta was born. My attention has since turned to paper craft and Studio Astratta has evolved from abstract paintings to a range of home decor pieces.

inspirational mini easel artwork

inspirational mini easel artwork


What kind of things inspire and excite you?

I have always been inspired by quotes and words. I surround myself with them – stamped onto jewellery, printed on cushions, inked onto china, scrawled on scraps of paper… Many of my products also focus on inspirational quotes and words, so my studio is full of them!

I also draw inspiration from magazines, Pantone colour forecasts and on trend patterns like chevron and Aztec prints.

As for what excites me – every sale I make and every time my work is featured somewhere! It’s also exciting when I come up with a new idea for a product or find the exact supplies I have been looking for.

love, wooden home decor

love, wooden home decor


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

I find photography one of the hardest things about selling my creations online. It’s so important to have the best photos possible. I recently rephotographed all the products in my store based on tips and advice from fellow madeit sellers. There is still definitely room for improvement but I’m much happier with my new photos and have received great feedback.

Some of the most important things I’ve learned are to avoid using distracting props, to include ‘in use’ photos, and to edit the brightness and contrast to make the photo POP! I use picmonkey.com and Microsoft Picture Manager for photo editing.

ceramic coaster sets

ceramic coaster sets


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

My ultimate dream is to be able to work on Studio Astratta full time. Other than that, I hope to continually exceed my sales goals and possibly sell my work through carefully selected shops and markets, in addition to my madeit store.

wooden ampersand

wooden ampersand

You can support Belinda and Studio Astratta here:

www.madeit.com.au/StudioAstratta

www.facebook.com/StudioAstratta

www.pinterest.com/StudioAstratta

www.studioastratta.blogspot.com.au

Thanks Belinda, and I wish you every happiness as you live and create for Studio Astratta.

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Madeit Launch Party – lots of exciting savings on Australian handmade items

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save 20% storewide, Starzyia, during party week!

save 20% storewide, Starzyia, during party week!

As you may already know, I enjoy selling my handmade jewellery on the madeit website, the premier online market for Australian handmade creations. A short time ago the website was given a massive overhaul, introducing many wonderful features to improve your shopping experience and the site looks divine! Now that the difficulties of launching the upgrade are behind us, the madeit community are celebrating with the Launch Party Week with many sellers offering amazing deals from percentages off (10%, 15%, 20%, 30%) and some with free shipping, plus every purchase made during party week gives the buyer an entry into the draw to win $100 Madeit Money (redeem in any madeit store!)

I’m excited to be offering the 20% off coupon, the code you need to use is: MadeitParty20

You are welcome to use the code in my store until party week ends July 19th 2013,

And I really encourage you to search facebook or twitter for the hashtag #madeitparty to see the offers from all participating stores.

You can also use my newsletter tab here on the Starzyia blog to join my mailing list in time for this month’s awesome mailing list giveaway Christmas in July, drawn July 25th. I’ll be showing off the prize pack very soon, it has the theme Victorian Rose Garden/Victorian Fairytales – I can hardly wait to find out who will win!

 

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

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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

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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!

Featured Handmade Seller: Sally Dixon, Razzle Dazzle

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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.

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

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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

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!

What’s New at Starry Girl by Starzyia, 2012

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starzyia on etsy

My etsy store is the flag ship of my business and offers the widest range of my work, and has to balance offering items for both the northern and southern hemisphere seasons. In this store you can also select gift certificates that are sent to your inbox in under 24 hours, these look lovely printed out or can be forwarded to the recipient’s email address.

starzyia on madeit

My madeit store is usually stocked with items that reflect the current season in Australia, though most jewelry is created to look good year round for a lifetime.

Thanks for your interest and support, I have been enjoying shipping my parcels to buyers around the world, and I also appreciate the help of my loyal followers who share, click, like, forward, praise, and otherwise spread the word about what I have been doing. You are the reason I will be enjoying my third anniversary in April 2012.

Overcoming the Creative ‘Snooze Button’

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Tree of Life Necklace, flowering rose quartz

 

I’m waking up from having my creative life put on hold, something like hitting the snooze button in the mornings if you ask me. First I was caring for my parents, Mum is recovering extremely well from having her thyroid removed and none of the many nodules they removed were cancerous. Second, my new Kindle 3G arrived exactly a week ago, and I have been avidly reading with it. Thirdly, supplies I ordered in July have still not arrived, because the US customs service is something like 56 000 parcels behind schedule… I say something like, because in the time since that bulletin came out, it could possibly have gotten worse!

However, earlier this week I received a question about making a celtic design as a custom order, and here is something I came up with (by the way, this one is actually available as the buyer wanted a necklace)…

Celtic Knot Earrings, 925 silver

I have also been playing with dragonflies, as you can see

Spring Dragonflies

And this afternoon I made the Tree of Life necklace seen at the top of the post… not a bad awakening given the limitations of what I have on hand. I feel like I am returning to my normal activities and I even dared order some more supplies from the US and hopefully they will arrive before Christmas, lol.

What have you been up to?

My Creative Week

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Sophistication Autumn Jasper Earrings

I feel like I have had a super charged creative week. The sales are beginning to roll in after the summertime lull (thank goodness!). I’ve created some new designs, which are being added to the stores today. Also, I’ve discovered that I only need to do a little tinkering to my manuscript before I send it to my ‘reader’ in six days (my ‘reader’ is the first person who reads my finished project.

On Monday, I began to receive some strong reminders that I have let developing my handmade business intrude on the time I spend writing… and that I really need (and desire) to focus on the writing. I got that little nervous anticipation I get when I think about a piece of work that I haven’t picked up or worked on for weeks (maybe months!)… I sat with the twinging anxiety and increased heart rate for two days.

Then On Wednesday, I opened Pandora’s box, which contained completed chapters, the ‘plan’ (which is basically a list of chapter titles, with checks next to the chapters I have actually written), and pages of notes, odd sentences or paragraphs I’ve had to jot down in the middle of my daily life so as not to forget them. I was surprised to find I really only had to write a final chapter. I did not remember being so close to finishing. It was an exhilarating moment, I can tell you.

The next day I let my ‘reader’ know how close I was to finishing and made arrangements to give them the manuscript Thursday next week!

I’m nearly peeing my pants!  Everything seems so exciting and like it’s aligning nicely (British understatement). So excuse me, but I have to say YIPPEEEEE!

Ruby Tuesday Earrings

You can find my handmade jewelry at madeit and etsy and I will let you know more about my writing when the time is right.