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
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.
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.
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.
It’s giveaway time, I am thrilled to have crossed the 200 barrier – with both my number of etsy sales, and my number of facebook supporters, yay! I love everyone who has gotten me to this humble but exciting milestone and want to reward you, and also welcome new supporters, with this free giveaway run via punchtab on facebook.
The prize is the pendant and earring set pictured here, with the quote “keep your faith in all beautiful things”, 30x40mm silver plated pendant, with silver plated ball and chain necklace, and co-ordinating earrings made with czech glass pearls, swarovski crystal, and 925 sterling silver earwires. I will also ship the prize for free internationally.
The competition is open now on facebook and closes 3rd November 2013.
NOTE: “This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to Starzyia.wordpress and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used for administering and communicating with you about Starzyia.wordpress and the Starzyia.wordpress promotion you are participating in.”
1. ELIGIBILITY: Starzyia giveaway on facebook welcomes entrants from around the world, and one lucky winner will have their prize sent via airmail. All employees of Starzyia.wordpress. (“Sponsor”), all associated agencies and each of their sales representatives, distributors, or agents (all of the foregoing, together with Sponsor, collectively referred to as “Sweepstakes Entities”), and their immediate family members (spouse, parent, child, sibling and their respective spouses) and those living in the same household of each (whether related or not), are ineligible to participate in the Sweepstakes. All applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Entry in the Sweepstakes constitutes your full and unconditional acceptance of these Official Rules. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE WILL NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.
2. SWEEPSTAKES PERIOD: The Sweepstakes entry period begins at Oct. 25, 2013, 6 a.m. and ends at Nov. 4, 2013, 6 a.m. (the “Sweepstakes Period”). Winners will be selected from entries properly submitted and timely received during the Sweepstakes Period.
3. SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY INSTRUCTIONS: During the Sweepstakes Period, you may submit an entry form online. Limit One (1) Online Entry per person, per e-mail address, and per household during the Sweepstakes Period via Online Entry, regardless of whether a person has more than one address or more than one person uses the same address.
4. PUBLICITY: As a condition of entry into the Sweepstakes, except where prohibited by law, each entrant and each winner by accepting a prize grants to Sponsor and its affiliates, legal representatives, assigns and licensees, all right, title and interest in to publicize, broadcast, display and/or otherwise use the Sweepstakes entrant’s name, city, state, and biographical material (collectively, “Licensed Rights”) in any media now or hereafter known throughout the world in perpetuity for advertising and publicity purposes, without additional review, compensation, permission or approval of the winner. Where necessary, the Prize winner will be required to execute and return an Affidavit of Eligibility/Liability and Publicity Release within twenty four (24) hours of attempted notification or the winner may be disqualified and an alternate winner selected. Prize winner must be available for promotional display and presentation between Nov. 4, 2013, 6 a.m. to Nov. 5, 2013, 6 a.m. or will forfeit prize to next winning entrant.
5. SELECTION OF SWEEPSTAKES WINNERS/ODDS: The potential Prize winners will be selected in a random drawing to be held after Nov. 4, 2013, 6 a.m.. Winners will be selected from entries received during the Sweepstakes Period. Odds of winning will depend on the number of eligible entries received during the Sweepstakes Period. The potential winners will be notified via email to the email address submitted with the potential winner’s entry within twenty four (24) hours after the drawing. The drawing will be conducted by Sponsor, the judge of the Sweepstakes, whose decisions on all matters relating to the Sweepstakes shall be final and binding. In the event that a potential winner is disqualified for any reason, Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, award the applicable prize to an alternate winner selected at random. Any return of prize notification or prize email as undeliverable will result in forfeiture of any prize and an alternate winner may, at Sponsor’s discretion, be randomly selected.
6. PRIZES: Inspirational Quote Pendant & Earring Set by Starzyia. Prize will be delivered after Nov. 4, 2013, 6 a.m.. The Prize will be delivered to the winning entrant’s address or at the sole option and discretion of the contest sponsor to a recipient designated by the contest winner. Prizes are not transferable and are not redeemable for cash. All taxes and other charges are responsibility of the winner. No substitutions allowed. All expenses not specifically mentioned herein are not included as part of any Prize package, and are solely the winner’s responsibility.
7. GENERAL RULES: By entering or participating in the Sweepstakes, participants agree to be bound by these Official Rules, and by the decisions of Sponsor, which are final and binding in all respects. Sweepstakes Entities are not responsible for: (1) any incorrect or inaccurate information or technical failures of any kind, (2) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Sweepstakes; or (3) any other computer, network, technical, human or other error, problem or malfunction that may occur in connection with the administration of the Sweepstakes, the processing of entries, or the selection or notification of winners. Further, if, for any reason, the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned for reasons outside the control of the Sponsor which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, may corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes (or portion thereof), Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes (or portion thereof). Sponsor also reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify the Entry of any individual found to be (a) tampering or attempting to tamper with the entry process or the operation of the Sweepstakes or any website operated by the Sweepstakes Entities; (b) using any robotic, macro, automatic, programmed or like entry methods, which will void all such entries; (c) violating these Official Rules or the terms of service, conditions of use, and/or general rules of any Sponsor property or service; or (d) acting in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any other person. Sweepstakes Entities are not responsible for claims, injuries, losses or damages of any kind resulting, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from the awarding, delivery, acceptance, use, misuse, possession, loss or misdirection of the prize; participation in this Sweepstakes or in any activity or travel related thereto or from any interaction with, or downloading of, computer Sweepstakes information.
8. PARTICIPANT OBLIGATIONS: By participating in the Sweepstakes, you agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsor. By accepting the prize, the winner agrees to release and hold Starzyia.wordpress and affiliates harmless from and against any and all losses, damages, rights, claims, actions and liabilities of any kind in connection with the Sweepstakes or receipt or redemption of the prize. The winner assumes all liability for any injury, death, or damage caused, or allegedly caused, by participating in the Sweepstakes or use or redemption of the prize.
10. SPONSOR: Starzyia
Here is my original product photography post from back in 2011 https://starzyia.wordpress.com/2011/07/30/creating-artistic-product-photographs-for-online-selling/ I still stand by my advice of analyzing photographs that grab your attention online, and of exploring your home, don’t rely on your memory alone at this point, really look through your belongings with a new pair of eyes and make a list of everything that can potentially be used in a photo shoot. Then you need to think about each individual product you want to photograph, remember this isn’t going to be a K-mart pamphlet this should be somewhat artful and emotional – your best photographs are ones that show your product in the best light and that includes evoking feeling, you know how you want your customer feel when using your product, so let’s try and create that feeling in them right here and now just by looking at the photograph.
I thought I’d show you some of my thought process for my photography, not because I am under the illusion that I’m the best in the world at photography (of course not!) but it is much easier for me to use my photographs and share what I was trying to achieve, you can be your own judge of the photographs and the statement they make.
With the running hare brooch, my original thought was that it is symbolic jewelry, a wild animal, with leaves and natural epidote beads so I thought: woodland, nature, freedom, and of course… grass! So I went and snipped some of the long grass we have in the backyard and attempted to artfully arrange it on the neutral silver grey fabric I use in many of my photo shoots. The first photograph is usually my lead photograph, it is like an eye, and draws your eye to the brooch and I can tell you it is very effective on my shop pages even though other jewellery on my page is brightly coloured. But I always include the second photograph with the grass opened, this is much freer, and gives the hare room to run, which hopefully is joyful and liberating to the soul.
What do you think, do you like the association of the grass, do you like the feeling that the hare is running and possibly leaping over the leaf and bead, clearing all obstacles in its way?
Can you brainstorm a similar process using different props for your own unique product – what do you associate with each of your creations? How can you depict that?
With these pendants, one using chiyogami paper, the other a popular altered art image of a kokeshi doll, I decided to use a small doll prop that I had, with this kind of thing you do need to be careful about whether the prop enhances the product, or steals affection away from the product – the last thing you want is someone contacting you to ask where they can buy the doll from, while ignoring your hard work creating your product! You can probably tell I have been much more successful with the first image, with the chiyogami paper pendant, and the second photograph is also over exposed and not flattering shot of the actual pendant art. In both photographs though, it has been the right decision to have the pendant in front of the doll.
In the first image, I like the simplicity, there is a simple expanse of my regularly featured light silver grey fabric, with just two sources of colour – the pendant and the doll. In the second photograph, although I had to reshoot, I liked the cascade of scarf fringing like cherry blossom.
This also shows you how it is worth having the right prop for your product – although I collect matryoshka dolls, I definitely wouldn’t team the Japanese pendants with them, like goes with like in the mind of the customer. The doll definitely indicates the world region and style of the jewellery and has a cuteness to it that grabs a customer who may be looking at an entire page (or pages) of search results – not always looking just at a page of your own products – you want to stand out from the other product images from the competition.
You’ve probably also been advised to show how your customers would hold or touch your product, since an online shopper cannot physically do this for themselves. I started photographing my jewellery in my hand to try and achieve this and also help show the size of each piece visually.
In the first photograph, I have the item flat on my hand, with my fingers stretched out and away from me, like I’m offering the piece to someone.
In the next photograph, I had started to show how it looks to hold the item in your own hand like you had just received it, or love it so much you just had to stop and look at it again and again.
In the last photograph I had started to think that holding it with my fingers curled around it made it look more treasured, held safe and fast in your hand like you are hugging it.
Do the three different photographs of me holding my jewellery make you feel differently? Can you see what I mean about the moods created just by the way you hold something in your hand?
So you can see how much I am continuing to grow, since all these photographs were taken this year, I went from focusing on props used, to composition of the shots, to even including body language in my photographs, and you can imagine what an impact all three elements would have for other types of products especially in fashion photography, children’s toys, and home decor – really you can spend the rest of your life growing the way you think about and execute your product photography and I hope you will do that and find it increasingly enjoyable rather than a stressful and difficult feat to achieve. I know so many people who have transitioned from a negative mindset about the demands of photographing their work to now enjoying it almost as much as they do creating their product to begin with.
How do you feel about your product photography? Is the way you feel about it different now than before you read this post?
On July 7th I celebrated my Fizz-aversary which in normal speak is my one year anniversary with my adopted dog Fizzy. I have seen my beautiful boy transform from 7 month old who had had the rug pulled out from under him (family opened the gate, drove away, moved house without him) to 19 or 20 month old who is positively joyful and knows his place in the world and that we will always be there for him. He is taller and stronger, his black spots a little darker, has lost his puppy hair and is glossy and silky. Everywhere we go he is praised, and I am proud to tell people I got him from K9 Rescue Group, the best dog rescue group in the state.
In one year we have learned so much about each other. I know he was never abused because he is not afraid of anyone being ever so friendly and eager to meet all people. I know whoever had him raised him right (up until the point they dumped him – and I don’t condone that!) but they must have known what they were doing because he was a saint in our home, house-trained, not a digger, and though young and a heavy chewer he never chewed anything but his own toys or rawhide bones, shoes and socks are safe with him, as are all my business supplies and boxes around the house. He doesn’t nuisance bark, though I am pleased to say he now thinks its worth alerting us to certain events going on around us, but stops barking as soon as he knows we are aware of and handling the situation. He didn’t know ‘stay’ and he had no idea how to play fetch or do anything except chew or tug, and now I can trust him with the gate open and he will sit and stay while I drag the bins back into the yard and get the mail. I have taught him everything myself, thankfully I didn’t need to pay a trainer because he is smart and willing to learn. I am now teaching him to pick up his discarded toys and put them in his space. I say “get your toy” he picks it up, I point to his bed and say “clean up” and he goes over and I say “drop” and he drops the toy there.
And if you read my Diary of a First Time Dog Owner way back when Fizzy and I were getting to know each other, I can proudly tell you it is now safe to come to dinner at my house and you won’t get a dog hair in your dinner, thank God.
We have had sickness together, and those moments when you wish cleaning horse manure out of their coat was someone else’s job, and our first very wonderful Christmas where he was spoiled rotten with a stocking full of toys. I am looking forward to a long and happy life together with my pride and joy.
I’m also hoping that as I grow my mailing list I will have enough readers to begin featuring reader’s pet photos and mini profile of their pet in the monthly newsletter. You can sign up to the newsletter using the tab here on the blog (under the banner image) and tomorrow I will be showing off the Christmas in July prize pack one lucky mailing list member will receive.
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!
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.
wishing you a happy and creative weekend, Starry
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!
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.
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.
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
Gorgeous wall hanging of carrots to tempt the Easter Bunny, Australian handmade by one pear on madeit
Make your own gorgeous Easter baskets with this pdf pattern by BirdsongPatterns on etsy
Beautiful, elegant, bunny tea party card created by Mulberry Muse on madeit
Easter Onesie handmade by NinisHandmades on etsy – you can choose your colour and size.
Beautiful floral bunny clock handmade by SheLovesRibbons in my home state capital of Perth WA, yay!
Gorgeous tiny wren eggs decoupaged with chiyogami paper by PrettyKiku on etsy
Beautiful mini break from too much chocolate – try refreshing, melt in your mouth raspberry and white tea cookies by ButterBlossoms on etsy
This fun duckling dress is great for Easter and is handmade by WildThings on folksy
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!)
An Easter Bunny wreath to decorate and greet your guests, handmade by EverBloomingOriginal on etsy
Not long ago my father asked me to come out to his studio and photograph his latest completed painting, and I was happy to come and help out, and very excited when I saw that his painting included some native flowers I had only just photographed independently. I hadn’t seen his work in progress and he hadn’t seen my photos. In case you are wondering his painting includes bottle brush, banksia and eucalyptus macrocarpa (my photographs are solely of the mottlecah aka eucalyptus marcrocarpa) Here is a look at the art of Arthur Raston, and my photographs together…