Tag Archives: western australian handmade

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.






Featured Handmade Seller: Julia from Heartfelt Design Studio

Julia from Heart Felt Design Studio

Julia from Heart Felt Design Studio

I’m very delighted to introduce you to Julia, or perhaps you already know her as the wonderful personality and creative artist who creates by hand the most amazing nuno felt scarves and garments offered by Heartfelt Design Studio. Julia is this month’s featured handmade seller and interviewee. I’m extra proud to share with you that Julia is a fellow Western Australian designer and don’t tell my Mum, but I’m secretly stalking Julia’s newest creations so I can spoil mum with something divine for Mother’s Day or her birthday this year.

I’ll let Julia introduce herself now:

Hi my name is Julia and I LOVE nuno felt.
If any of you haven’t heard of this before it is a relatively new Aussie invention based on the antique art of felting. In 1994 Polly Stirling and her partner devised a softer lighter form of felting more suitable for the climate of the Southern Hemisphere. In nuno felting wool and silk fibres are combined with any open weave fabric. My preference is silk. During the felting process the fabrics and fibres meld together to form a new and unique material. To me it’s a bit like witnessing the emergence of a butterfly and always puts a smile on my face and in my heart. I get great delight in designing and making my products which I sell from my home based business Heartfelt Design Studio and online through my etsy shop.
a look at Julia's studio

a look at Julia’s studio

Where did your creative journey begin?
A defining moment was when at age 6 I received my first pair of glasses. What an amazing experience! Colour and definition when previously there was just a bland haze.
My poor mum tells me that I told her she looked a lot prettier before I got my glasses ; )
That along with my introduction to dance at 8, my love of musical theatre and an burning desire to experience life to the fullest has lead me on an amazing journey filled with challenges and beauty.
I have had fantastic role models in my parents and grandparents who taught me from an early age to never be afraid to have a go at new and often daunting experiences and I feel even more importantly to remember that every mistake is actually a learning experience.
What kind of things excite and inspire you?
I have many inspirations and things that excite me. People who overcome adversity; art, music and dance but most of all my amazing family. I also conduct beginner classes in felting and get great delight and inspiration from the children and adults that I teach. Their joy and wonder is so contagious!
red crinkle scarf

red crinkle scarf

What is the most difficult creative challenge you’ve faced, and how did you overcome it? (or are you currently tackling it?)
What I really struggle with is the time, effort and confidence needed in promoting my product . I sometimes wish I had a fairy godmother to take over this role.
Felting has an incredible amount of variables in the process and I used to get disappointed when the end result was not quite what I had envisaged but now I am learning to enjoy felting’s “little surprises” and know some things are just meant to be.
feather and felt creation

feather and felt creation

 What dreams do you have for the future of your creative business?
I would love swathe more glorious ladies in my scarves and wraps. To have the opportunity to display them at their optimum. Although I love my little online shop there are limits to the story that can be told by a photograph. I always use the highest quality Australian superfine merino wool and silk in my designs and really wish that I could portray the feel and lightness better.
inspiration: ocean reef

inspiration: ocean reef

where would you like people to view your work or interact with you?

My home based shop is in Greenwood Perth Western Australia and I can be contacted through my facebook page. www.facebook.com/HeartfeltDesignStudio
and my online shop address is www.etsy.com/shop/juliaheartfelt

Julia, thank you so much for being part of the Starzyia blog, you are a wonderful member of the handmade community and a treasure, I wish you every happiness and a wonderful creative journey into the future.
to my readers: thank you for taking time to get to know Julia and give her your support, you’re awesome!