Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's New Leaves

I have had some lovely glass leaves in my collection for a while, not sure quite how I would use them, but I got to thinking last night about the New Year and how many of us will be trying to turn a new leaf.

The earrings above have three different sizes of leaf, though spread out flat here, when hanging, the leaves often fit into each other, the trilogy of leaves in this way reminds me of harmony.
The leaves also remind me of my love for nature, my desire to live as 'green' as possible (environment wise), and how the youth and health of my inner child is renewed as often as the trees who lose their leaves, create new shoots, and then flourish again.

This pair is great for symbolising love in our life, how we must remember to renew our self love, to work on the loving relationships we have, and allow our heart to rise again and again.

These two pairs of earrings are both available in my Etsy store, I am hoping someone will love them for all that they represent.
So from my heart to yours, happy New Year, and I hope you find ways of reminding yourself of all that is good and kind that you need to share with yourself and with those around you, and be kind to this Earth.

Monday, December 21, 2009

My Top 10 Stocking Stuffers, 2009

Its less than a week to Christmas but you still have time to pick up or create some great stocking stuffers. Here are my fave stuffers for '09.

For any age, male or female who have a desk..... I like the little desktop calendars, one date per page, pick your theme - cartoons, comedy, inspirational, word of the day.... just no more Bush-isms please, that is so passe now.

iTunes, Bigpond, or other music gift cards, c'mon who doesn't download music? and this way you are supporting legal downloads and cutting out the risk of catching a virus or malicious add ons from share files.

I always give my mum a set of christmas cards (in the old days store bought, now usually handmade) okay, she has to wait a year to use them, but they are a nice little holiday themed extra. If you have kids getting them to make a set will add sentimental value to the gift grandparents especially use them with pride. The cards shown above are so easy, I got some scrapbook paper, cut out a tree out of the paper (used that for another project) and used the cutaway for these cards, with rub on greetings and glitter stickers to finish.

This year I really like thongs (the flip flop kind) for stocking stuffers, as they are more trendy now then when I was growing up and I want to celebrate that! You can get so many great patterns and designs now. If you are living in the northern hemisphere, why not subsitute this stuffer with scarves, mittens, or woollen hats.

Carrying on with the summer theme, I love beach towels, there is a design for every personality and you're always looking for another clean, dry one, so a must have if you ask me!

Ornate photo frames are a favourite with me because they are so beautiful, and help cherish precious memories. Plus frames are especially handy when those holiday photos are printed.

I love bookmarks, I am a bit of a nut, I admit, I have quite the collection, and before I start reading each book, I select a different bookmark from the last, based on colour or subject matter, or vintage of book.... yes like I said nuts! But this is an easy gift for you to make or even help your kids to make. I simply select some patterned paper or printed cardboard, add any stickers or embellishments I want to use (rub on transfers are the best, the purple bookmark says 'enjoy life's moments'), then you laminate the bookmark. After it has cooled, I trim any excess edges, and punch a hole in the top of the bookmark. Then I like to string some beads on some strong thread or tiger tail and loop it through the hole. My favourite bookmark made recently (and shown below) features a vintage button that sparkles violet and green.

Essential oils have made my list this year, a little bottle of pure oil is a great gift for the girls (or a new age guy) it can be used in baths, diluted in massage, or to mix a unique perfume.

Its not christmas without candy canes, so at least one has to go into every stocking!

And, since I have gardeners to shop for, I always look out for packets of seeds, pretty gardening gloves, or gardeners hand cleaner (gorgeous products that really help get rid of the dirt, soften rough skin, and soothe skin breaks).

Perenniel Favourites I didn't put these in my top ten because I used them last year, but they are always a good fall back:

I love Darrell Lea mini bottles of boiled lollies, they are so elegant and cheery

Dusk melts, brilliant air fresheners and a source of aromatherapy. I can't use chemical air fresheners as they inflame my nose, so these are a big hit for me.

Soft toys for the kids.... christmas bears, elves, reindeer, or their favourite type of animal.... you will find something wonderful and I have never heard a kid say they have too many toys (their mother on the other hand.....)

Stationery sets - pretty notepaper, or cards, and envelopes packaged nicely, these are so classic.

Water Balloons, for the backyard summer games.... you might just have to come up with a truce or barleeze safety word for adults who don't want to get wet.

Christmas Greeting

Finally, I would like to wish you all a very merry christmas, I hope you will have a joyous and beautiful holiday season, and see the New Year in with health and happiness. See you soon xxxx Starry

oh and one holiday quote that pertains to giving "It is not what we give but what we share, for the gift without the giver is bare".

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Symbolic Holiday Gifts

Here is a new instalment in my symbolic gift series, themed on Christmas and Hanukah, so its not too late to find something meaningful, from the heart, and economic.

Reindeer represent wealth and good fortune, so a good gift for promoting prosperity. They also are a real heart warmer, I don't know too many people who don't feel affection towards Santa's trusty reindeer. You might find reindeer soft toys, card icons, tree decorations, or ornaments.

Holly prickly old holly is most closely associated with Easter as it reminds us of Christ's crown of thorns, but in European folklore, holly was planted to ward off bad spirits from the home, and in gardens was said to deter lightning strikes. I would give holly to cleanse the home and promote love.

Ivy represents eternal life and therefore resurrection, a fitting decoration for celebrating the birth of Christ. I have also previously mentioned that ivy promotes marital fidelity and harmony.

Mistletoe represents our Heavenly Father's love for us which endures even when we give no love or obedience in return - in this symbolism we are likened to the parasitic mistletoe. As well as for its religious symbolism, mistletoe may be given from parent to child.

Myrrh a precious gift brought to Jesus at the time of His birth, it is very healing so it might represent our ultimate healing and redemption, or could have been given to prepare Jesus for his own trials in life.

Frankincense is the finest incense, the white smoke that is produced while it is burnt represents both our prayers, and the souls of the righteous ascending to heaven. Frankincense is still today burned in church services and rituals. This gift represents Christ's loving sacrifice.

Candy Canes represents the shape of shepherd crooks and has thus been chosen as a christmas symbol because of our Lord, the Good Shepherd. It is said the red stripes represent His sacrifice and the white His virtue.

Acorns okay, they might not have a link to christmas, but in the northern hemisphere they are a great winter treat when toasted and I think they would make a great gift for women, they are a Celtic symbol of life, stregth, fertility, and immorality.

Bells represent joy and freedom, they call us to church, are used to express messages, and it wouldn't be a decent sleigh ride without them! Silver bells would be my first choice for christmas, thanks to the beautiful carol of that name. Gold and bronze bells look more like the bells used in churches and town halls.

Candles are symbolic of light - the light of life, wisdom, spiritual enlightenment, and inspiration. Candles are also central to the celebration of Hanukah, on each night of this Feast of Lights, another candle is lit on the menorah.

Menorah a seven branched candlelabrum, for Chanukah or Hanukah it is an eight branched candlestick to commemorate the reclaimation of the temple after it had been desecrated, there was not enough oil to keep the perpetual flame burning for more than a day, yet it was lit and continued to burn for 8 days until new oil was prepared ready for use, this is regarded as a miracle. I would give a menorah for faith, hope, virtue, liberty, and in association with the symbolism of light and candles.

Angels in religion, represent God, as his messenger bringing hope, guidance, and protection. What better gift than an angel for a christmas tree, or a small glass or crystal angel, even an angel pin seen frequently in card and gift stores.

Don't forget to share the meaning of your gift, and as for finding these symbolic gifts at this time of year they are everywhere. I would buy wreathes made up of the plants featured here, bells, charm bracelets, crystal or glass ornaments, tree decorations, candles, essential oils, frankincense, religious icons.... the possibilities are endless so start seeking these treasures!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

My Favourite Etsy Shops

I want very much to share with you my very favourite Etsy shops and sellers, hence this post. These are all tried and tested by me, and represent the very best in quality, value and originality in my humble opinion.

The dress above is a vintage Malaysian piece that I fell in love with at first sight, and thankfully I have come away with a great summer dress and a new friendship..... may I introduce Vintage Dove. Please visit or while browsing etsy enter the seller name in the search box. Vintage Dove is a wonderful store for the fashionista and offers the highest quality of clothing, shoes, and accessories all with condition reports and everything you need to know before purchasing, including very thorough sizing information. Vintage Doves prices are terrific, but at the moment there is a 20% cashback via paypal refund on the total of your order.

Focus on the beret people! It is handmade by Celeste from Elephunks Trunk or once again, type the seller name into search while shopping on etsy. I LOVE that Celeste upcycles sarongs into berets and hats. The store also features coin purses and headbands. My beret is pink brocade on black, and is very soft and shiny, I totally love it, and the quality of the handwork is fantastic. The value for money is again excellent, and with such fast and friendly service I will certainly be buying again in the future.

This is an origami bookmark made by fellow blogger and etsian Jacey. Jace's blog can be accessed via my blogroll on this page, and her shop is filled with gorgeous beaded bookmarks, phone and bag charms, origami bookmarks, and ATCs... all are gorgeous, made with the utmost attention to detail, and are simply so gorgeous and great value that we should all be stuffing stockings with them. I am very lucky to have made friends with Jacey via blog and she is a wonderful etsy friend and business buddy, you won't go wrong ordering from Jace.

Oooh lovely right? This is a gorgeous Christmas charm bracelet made by Gwen of Raintree Atelier you can also see the stunning Girl With Parasol earrings below. IT is no secret Raintree Atelier is my favourite for jewelry I wish I made. This shop is stocked with beautiful, vintage inspired jewelry using the best of materials including semi precious stones, crystals, and even 14K gold findings. I just purchased a pair of earrings made with the most delicate gold chain and Japanese tensha beads. Gwen is offering free shipping until December 15th, so it is not too late to get immaculately crafted and elegant jewelry.

One last shop, where I got my favourite tea cosy, featured previously in a blog post. This shop has the best value tea cosies handmade and they truly keep the pot hot!
And.... I am having a sale for my facebook fans, if you are not a fan of my business page there already, just click on the box on the right of this page, this sale features new stock at sale prices. If you are local, and can pick up your goodies, you pay Australian dollars and avoid shipping fees. If you are not local, never fear, I can add your favourites to etsy reserved just for you, and for these sale items I will cap my shipping for you whole order to $5 international and $3.50 for domestic.
Now please, go and explore the big wide Etsy world..... it is fantastic!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My Favourite Companion Books

The weather is turning hot, and I have just put my back out.... my summer reading festival is about to begin early! I am not even going to wait until I can go to Perth to fill a box with new books, I am starting by reading some of my absolute favourite books, and this time I will read them in pairs, as every good book deserves a companion. The joy of reading books in pairs for me is that you get flow - one book leads to another, you don't leap from reading a book about mutant space creatures and then start reading a classic Jane Austen. You can compare and contrast, you can see things you might have missed considering on first reading it, and you have the joy of exploring both books to your best advantage.

I thought I would share my planned companion reading as it might inspire you, and also if you are looking for a gift for a book lover, it could be a good guide to select the companion book of a book you know they have loved.

So hear they are..... not necessarily in the order I will read them.

The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. Perfect companions because they both explore the use and misuse of privilige and wealth, and are from the beginning evidently modern tragedies where you are waiting for the decline and decline of the pivotal characters. The sadness of beauty and talent wasted, of family expectations and disappointments and the struggle to find meaningful identity are what capture and hold my attention.

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory and The Queen of Subtleties by Suzannah Dunn. Together these books perfectly capture the essence of Anne Boleyn, the historic figure I most resemble in character. I love her, even for all her flaws and as she turns her greatest triumph into disaster for herself and her closest connections, you see she had an innoncence that was belied by her temper and that it was her endless desire and that temper that ultimately played into the hands of her enemies and brought her to the scaffold.

Wild Lavender by Belinda Alexandra and The Bronze Horseman by Paulina Simmons, set in the same period of time, illustrating the hardships of war even for those who do not fight in it, these books show the Paris of WWII and beseiged Leningrad. Both have wonderful heroines with love stories that will have you begging the authors to stop torturing you and let the lovers be together and happy.

All The Names by Jose Saramago and The Book of Shadows by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. One is set in Spain, the other Portugal, although I cannot say for sure why I instinctively feel these books are companions, perhaps I will be able to say after I have read the two again, this time one after the other.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. Perhaps I see the characters of Jane Eyre and Fanny Price as companions because they were both raised by their extended family in unhappy circumstances and at the mercy of the good will of their keepers, while clearly being the moral superior of the other characters around them. Both books are teriffic examples of English literature and I could wish to have discovered Jane Eyre at a younger age instead of being forced to read Dickens Hard Times for school.

Empress Orchid by Anchee Min and Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. Though one is set in China, and the other Japan, the heroines are united in their rise from obscurity and poverty to great privilige while documenting the end of historic eras - one as the last Empress of China (though this is historic fiction Empress Orchid was a real person), and the other as one of the last great Geishas before the fall out of WWII nearly destroyed that heritage.

Atonement by Ian McEwan and The Camomile Lawn by Mary Wesley. Both of these show the changed fates of a close knit family circle during WWII triggered by events that precede the declaration of war.

The Deep End of the Ocean by Jaqueline Mitchard and My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult, perfect companions because they explore painful family issues and choices where there are no clear right and wrong options and no easy way to resolve the crises to everyone's best interest.

Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs and The Book of Joe by Jonothan Tropper. Perfect companions for me because as a writer I relate to their struggle to use their own experiences without incurring the wrath of others, and to bravely face their personal history. Tropper's book is fiction and Burroughs is extraordinarily an autobiographical account of his journey from child to man.

so there we go, that is the journey I will be taking this summer, frolicking amongst my favourite characters and adventures, thinking about and digesting the deeper meaning of each, and as I pick up each one, giving it a welcome back hug, as I am now quite 'homesick' for these favourite books.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Starry's Angels.... easy project

hello, please meet my new crew, Starry's Angels, my first christmas decorating project for this year. I am always looking for very easy to make decorations as I believe young families on a budget should make their own personal decorations and gifts, and build their own personal traditions.

So my Starry Angels are made of three different types of patterned paper, at $1.40 per sheet (and each sheet has left overs, saved for other ideas), cut into stars using a stencil. I made 2 large and 4 small-medium sized stars.

The angels are from a set of six stickers bought for $2.50 at Cost Plus, they have lovely wings which change colour as you move them in the light. They had very poor sticky patches on the back (too small, and some of them detach as you remove the sticker of the sheet), so I applied my own double sided tape. You might also use fabric glue or stainless adhesive if you have any on hand.

Finally, my angels hang from shiny pink ribbon, which can be inserted between the decoration and its backing (I did make some backing stars for two of my decorations which were made of single sided patterned paper, the rest had printed designs on the other side). If you are not making a backing piece, you can glue the ribbon ends on and then cover with a sticker or button to make your decorations look a bit smarter.
If you can't find the same stickers as me, go out and look for something that appeals to you, the sticker is the centre piece, find this first, then find papers that will coordinate.
Oh by the way I didn't mention the cost of ribbon as mine is reclaimed remnants from other projects, but if you need to you can get a reel for under $2.
Don't forget these can make decorations for your home, and also gift sets for grandparents etc in a nice box or baggy.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Symbolic Giving second in series

Bear with me my oldest readers, this is the second in my series of symbolic gift posts and if you were with me at big blog you will find this familiar, but I want to go right through from my first to my last and new symbolic posts too.

I love the concept of symbolic giving, because it is so meaningful, and usually can be achieved simply, and economically (though your budget is up to you) a simple bloom in a box can be perfect, especially when you include a note or message explaining the meaning.

So without further ado, here are the next set of symbolic gifts:

Dragonfly the lovely dragonfly is symbolic of strength, peace, and prosperity, and nearly always is associated with eternal life and the celebration of life as a spiritual journey. The dragonfly has a fascinating life and is associated with both air and water so is a good gift for people born under air or water signs.

Butterflies are also symbolic of life metamorphosis, transformation, and hope. A good remembrance of how death is only our gateway to immortality, a transformation to a new way of living or existing. Butterflies are joyous because they represent resurrection and have such a happy, busy way of life.

Fireflies are linked with inspiration and creativity. A great gift for students, artists, and scientists in need of direction and energy as well as confidence to pursue dreams and ideas.

Ladybirds are love symbols and bring good luck. I have always loved ladybirds but more so since I played Mary in a nativity play and on the night, a ladybird was on the face of the baby Jesus doll, and I was filled with awe and wonder as to how it came to be there - we were deep indoors on a premisis without a garden, where did this little lady journey from? Since then I have had a ladybird charm put on my bracelet. I think ladybirds are perfect for a gift between two female friends.

Bees represent virtue and honesty (as the worker bees lead a sexless life!) and they evoke images of selfless toil and industrious labour. Bees are good for promoting happiness.

Rainbows are symbolic of a bridge between heaven and earth, also of God's mercy towards man (a sign from God after the flood of Noah's time). Rainbows are great for love and acceptance, and for hope. Even a rainbow coloured silk scarf or garment would serve this symbolism.

The sun represents masculine energy and also glory. A sun symbol would be a great gift for a man, and a spectacular gift between father and child in either direction.

The moon is the symbol of the soul (from astrology) and is a feminine symbol. I think the moon is particularly healing for women, so consider it for a health promoting gift for that special someone.

Flowers in general are representative of life and beauty. For special meaning seek both the colour and the flower type symbolism and settle on the perfect gift.

Camellias represent China, especially the southwest where the flowers are revered. As someone with access to a large quantity of perfect camellia blooms (my mother is just the best with this plant!) I would box a single bloom, or present it in a small dish floating in water. A plant would of course last longer but requires work. For my mother's 70th birthday I arranged camellias on her cake. Camellias are linked also with serenity, and modesty.

Amaryllis means success in battle or in overcoming a trial, good for people who are enduring an ordeal, also for students facing exams.

Sunflowers represent affection, admiration, adoration, and are very positive with a warm energy. I think these are perfect for golden haired girls.

Tulips are associated with opportunity and advancement, and of course Holland. I would recommend tulips for women trying to carve out a successful career, or for courage and confidence in any recipient.

The daisy is symbolic of purity, virtue, and innocence. They suggest faith and steadfast virtue. Day's Eye daisy never looks upon the darkness but holds over til the rise of the sun, a perfect example for us to never despair, and to turn from temptation.

Hyacinths mean reincarnation and are good for memorial gardens and for the grieving.

Apple Blossom the first branch of apple blossom should be cut and laid inside the window sill if there has been illness in the household. Apple blossom is pure, and beautiful as well as refreshing.

The Willow tree is associated with healing, visions, and dreams, and is the natural origin of aspirin (salicylic acid). I would give willow to those who need to stop mourning and begin living again.

Pomegranates are a symbol of abundance, fertility, and marriage. They possess a very strong feminine energy.

Bamboo in Chinese culture denotes perfect virtue, especially in men. I would plant bamboo or keep a 'lucky bamboo' plant if I were getting married.

on a personal note, one of my creations was selected for A Merry Christmas! Etsy Treasury, this page expires on the US date of Tuesday 10th, to view my work in the page visit

thank you!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Green Giving

Its time for me to sing the praises of green giving again, and this post is part craft economics and part environmental good sense.

First of all most people love to present their gifts as nicely as possible, and some gifts even requrire a certain amount of packaging, the trick is to turn thrift and green living into beautiful gift trimmings.

The photo at top of this post shows a large maxbox that has been turned into a giftbox rather than thrown into recycling.... if I didn't keep my used boxes (whether match, chocolate, or other) I would be running around looking for a store bought one. Store bought gift boxes can be nice, but they are a green nightmare, they have likely been transported vast distances which is a green no-no, they are mass produced so aren't great energy and pollution wise, not forgetting the health and wellbeing of the employees which may be not better than a sweat shop..... and often imported items are doused in chemicals before their journey (Yes you should wash your new clothes, linens, and anything else that you can).

This box has been covered with a simple piece of coloured paper using green friendly paste, and then an offcut of saved ribbon and an iron on transfer star applied around the middle.

Inside my gift box are a pair of earrings I recently made up using vintage lucite sea horses, I like to find and collect vintage pieces as they make the jewelry rarer, and I think it is better than letting the pieces go to waste, and means I am not endorsing more mass produced beads and findings. When I do buy new beads I often purchase from a lovely lady who has her own family business of a small glass studio, a very satisfying experience as I know the circumstances surrounding the production meet my green standards.

I have preached in very early posts, the value of keeping every piece of trim and ribbon that comes your way.... I will rescue any amount of offcut ribbon even wrinkled and creased stock as it is a simple matter of giving them a light iron and they are as new again. I have even taken ribbon with stain on it and covered with embellishments.... I often use embellishments anyway so at least the ribbon isn't going to waste. Above are some of the saved ribbons that fill my ribbon box.

I admit, I love cut flowers, but I detest florist shops.... so much waste, so many flowers imported from great distances because they are out of season or don't suit the climate.... If I can't get to the flower markets I will usually pick fresh flowers from my garden, yes they will die in time, but it helps stimulate new flower production out in the garden. But it is true that one of my favourite green gift tips is to give a stunning photograph of flowers that can be mounted or framed and lasts forever.
It is easy to achieve a lovely close up of flowers - they don't move except in high winds - the camera is point and shoot, I have a macro lens of 1cm which I admit puts me at advantage but I have always managed to get good shots even before my current camera. You can look at my flower pictures via my flickr link on the right of this blog page, and while in flickr why not get even more inspiration from the flickr group 'flower book' these are extremely high quality often professional photographs.
Any way I hope you are finding out, or remembering, how fun it can be to give green friendly gifts, and they are above all gifts from the heart.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Spring Racing Fashion - don't forget earrings!

When I watch the spring racing fashion on the fields (as I do anually because it INTERUPTS the horseracing!) I see people name drop dress designers and milliners, but no one ever refers to their earrings!

Some girls aren't even wearing earrings at all!

I don't understand this as you can get a unique handmade pair of earrings for far less than a unique hat.... or the two can be used to perfectly compliment each other.

Here are some of the spring fashion pieces I have created.....

Enchanted Garden Earrings above, a variation on the chandelier earring featuring bejeweled flowers and raspberry and lemonade drop beads.

My Lovelies (lord help me I was stuck for a name!), these feature my hot tip for fashion colours especially racing fashion - champagne! Champagne for everyone! I also really love the top bead which is amethyst and gold foiled glass.

Love Leaves..... these silver leaf charms and glass flowers are great for spring and summer.

But please, don't stop here, pop over to Etsy, not just to my store (though you are always welcome!) go to and look up jewelry, shoes, hats, fascinators, headbands, hair clips and silk scarves..... you will find yourself in paradise!

My fave at the moment is Raintree Atelier (try typing the seller name in the search box) for jewelry I wish I'd made!
see you soon, Starry

Friday, October 23, 2009

From My Closet: T shirt Follow Up

Here is my promised tshirt follow up, this time featuring some favourites from my own closet, all affordable fashion gift options (really, truly, I am a real cheap chic girl).... So the shirt above is one I picked up at Kmart for under $10, it is a sleeveless black vest type shirt, and I embellished it with two button flowers. There is good news and more good news: 1st, this is an easy project for you or your kids to make, simply use tailors chalk to draw the outline and then fill it in with buttons. 2nd, I am now taking orders for custom shirts like this and others in my Etsy store, so tell me the type of tshirt, the colour, and the motif you want..... and I will get your gift underway. I recommend hearts, stars, flowers, smiley faces and other icons that are easily identified by the eye. Cost depends on where I source the shirt, and then the amount of time and buttons used, and shipping.

This is a favourite summer shirt though I only bought it at the start of this year in Susanne Grae's new year clearance sale..... I love the cut of the shirt and the embellishment, and the lovely sleeves (pity can't see in this pic!). Definitely worth heading to SG's every season and checking the racks, I never pay more than $20 for any single item, often a good deal less, and fashion clearances are fantastic opportunities to score a lovely gift for someone.

Knit or Go Home shirt, variation on the Jolly Roger, was originally designed by the wardrobe lady for Lorelai (Lauren Graham) in the Gilmore Girls tv show..... now can be purchased from as can many other Gilmore Girl merchandise. I am waiting to wear this to the annual craft fair, but it gets worn a lot and gets a lot of second and even third looks. The shirt comes in a number of different colours, and shirt styles so price varies, and there is shipping, but sometimes its worth a bit more money if you can afford it and want something near and dear to the recipients heart. Definitely as I have said before, a company I would vouch for, they are excellent.

Now this one will be hard to track down as I have had it since 2000 or 2001, it was purchased in a surf shop in Fremantle, it was under $20 and I have included it A) as a favourite and B) as an example of unusual pieces you cand find and snap up if you apply yourself.

And finally, here I go again..... trusty old Kmart for this long sleeve boat neck top shirt, that came out a few years ago when patterns over striped fabrics were the rage..... I am still wearing at times, a favourite never goes out of style in my eyes.

And yes, my clothes do last a long time..... because I probably have too many so they each don't get worn as frequently and take over 10 years to wear out..... I am my own best vintage fashion supplier haha!

Just So You Know..... my friend Jade and I have started another blog called Just So You Know.... where we (hopefully) comedically diss, complain, and critique the things we observe in our daily lives, the title of the blog comes from the way we frequently start our sentences...... ie 'just so you know, yada yada yada'. I am having a problem finding how to load Jade's profile to that blog without altering my profile for these two other blogs I have...... grrrr can anyone help?

and just so you know..... I am going to be here a lot more now, and during this long time away from blogging I have come up with a rough plan for what I'd like to feature on the blog. I was thinking along these lines:

Tuesday: tutorial day (how to, projects, advice etc on various themes)
Thursday: inspirations (find what you are looking for, by finding out what you are looking for, with help by seeing what I have been buying, what I have been making, and what I already own)
Sunday: soul day.... giving.... the larger picture.
I hope this sounds good to you, I really appreciate your understanding and patience with my long absence not just from my blog but yours too, thanks everyone, xxx Starry

Monday, October 19, 2009

Christmas Stock 2009

Long time no blog, I know! My 77 year old father fell and broke his hip, and nearly died while in hospital, but here I am managing to get a small Christmas stock together for my Etsy shoppers. I know the last post I did was on tshirts, and I promised to follow up on that and on symbolic giving, I will..... promise!

The tags above are from a set called Ruby Red Christmas Tags, set of ten, navy blue front with cream backing for easy use (to write on) this set is united by use of ruby red foiled paper and ribbon, as well as gems, and features snowflakes, christmas trees, and birds.

Above: sample of a free set of tags.

Every jewelry item purchased from my Etsy store is accompanied by a free set of Christmas gift tags, the tags are automatically added to your order and are selected randomly from my available stock. So just sit back and the tags will come to you!
Below: sample of a free set of tags.

This set (above) is for sale in my Etsy store and is listed as 'Bold & Beautiful Tags'. A set of 8 hanging tags decorated with either pink champagne gems or felt and plywood icons in tree or star designs.

And here is my model gift using a tag from my Ruby Red set.
There are only two sets of cards for sale in my store this year, but every order over $35 comes with a free pair of luxury cards handmade by me.
Lots of new jewelry in store and waiting to be put in store, so keep visiting me here, at Etsy, flickr, and my facebook business page for more opportunities to find that very special item you want for yourself or a loved one.
I will post the follow up tshirt post this week, and visit your blogs soon!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Guide to T-shirt Shopping

Another themed post, today's is another influenced by my own passion - t shirts, I love em! Of course I love them so much that one post will not suffice, so today's is specifically for novelty tshirts, and where to get the best service. I will do another post on beautiful cheap chic shirts I bought locally just to inspire you for Christmas (yes it may be time to start tucking some cheap but fantastic treats away for those you love) you can get fantastic fashion thrills for under $10, $20, and $30 though of course the cheaper the find, the bigger the thrill for the buyer.

The hot pink number above cost me $20 at the Burswood Dome for Hopman Cup 2009, it is a Walter Says branded tshirt designed by Rose Dowland. I love it because of the intricate flourishes and the cheeky quote 'stuff being princess, I want to be queen!'. It is comfortable, well sized, has not shrunk, the colour has remained bright, has easy care instructions, and is a good cut, some tshirts are just like wearing a sack!

This tshirt is the first item I ever bought online, purchased very early this year, from It is of Kramer from Seinfeld dressed as his alias Dr Van Nostrand (inside joke). My Tee Spot have a massive range of merchandise for tv shows, cartoons, political, music, celebrity.... really easy to search for what you want, you can suggest things they do not carry (suggest a shirt), but the prices are US dollars. I totally trust this company, their shipping is very fast, their communication over orders and progress of orders is fantastic, I am just sorry the tshirt is wrinkled in this pic it hasn't been out of the drawer for winter. Oh one last thing, it is pre shrunk, has no seams, yes so comfy no side seams! and the care instructions are good.

This tshirt was also purchased from My Tee Spot (see above) this one is of Christopher Walken and says "I got a fever" its a Saturday Night Live in joke. I love to wear this to the doctor surgery, but that is my sense of humour. Again I highly recommend this company.

And for those who don't like to shop online, I got this Tweety Bird shirt at Kmart this year, under $20, love the metallic silver slogan "little bit sassy". This has been really comfortable, is a great fit, the fabric is nice and soft, and the design has withstood being folded without flaking so far (love it when a shirt can hack that!).
My online favourite though has got to be and for Australians, add an au to the end of the address and you will find you can browse in Australian dollars for peace of mind and knowing exactly how much you are spending (I like that peace of mind). Cafe Press have a lot of television merchandise, I have gotten Gilmore Girls merchandise from there earlier this year (remember my Reading Is Sexy tshirt, and baseball jacket 'Major League Gilmore Fan') and am now awaiting my jolly roger restyle for knitting needles saying 'Knit of Go Home'. I am also awaiting a peacock shirt, really I have played around for hours searching different themes and key words and I have to say they have got the best range of shirt designs, and you can custom order your own design. The service is quick and reliable, very thorough communication over your order's progress, and I trust them.
In recent weeks on facebook I have been tempted by fb ads for Threadless Tshirts and also Boy Girl Party, and have had a look, they have great shirts, but I have no purchasing experience with either of them. Boy Girl Party also have wonderful journals, tote bags, and cards with their beautiful designs featured.
Today I checked out and really loved the woman's aqua eye shirt, $50. It was my first visit to their store but it won't be my last! have a great range of peace themed tshirts, as well as other peace art (posters, postcards, etc) though I have no experience buying from them yet. was my last stop for the day, and I am in LOVE! Their shirts start at $12.95 and there is no minimum order. I have ordered the Vintage Aviator Tee Shirt, the starting price for the shirt was over $30, and it came on a distressed shirt, I hate the frayed distressed shirts with exposed seams, so I elected to change the type of shirt it came on, mine is a tank top, looks really great and now cost only $25 and I got to choose a different base colour. I can't wait for it to arrive, the shipping was very cheap, the information provided over sizing is very good, I got a discount via email because I recommended the shop to two of my email friends, and I enjoyed using the site.
So tshirt devotees, get shopping, and also, leave a comment telling me of your fave online tshirt business so I can torture myself/indulge myself some more!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Win My Handmade Creations... for free!

I am so pleased to announce that my work is being profiled this week on Aussie Handmade Giveaway Blog, and you can win both the butterfly earrings pictured above, and the boxed card set, below.

All you need to do is go to and use the live link to my etsy store and return to the giveaway site to leave a comment confirming your favourite creation in my store.
You can also receive additional entries if you tweet, blog, or facebook to promote the contest, see Aussie Handmade Giveaway Blog for the details.
Don't forget that there is a new profile and contest on this site each week, keep in mind you could win a lovely treat for yourself or a Christmas present for someone special in your life.
Good luck everyone, I can't wait to see who wins!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Symbolic Gifts

Following on from my post about thoughtful giving, I thought I'd revive a popular series of posts from my days on bigblog. Symbolic gifts are a great and often budget friendly way of sharing meaningful giving. As with most gifts it is the presentation that can make or break a gift, so if you want to give something as humble as a single blossom, pop it into a beautiful gift box. Don't forget to share the meaning of the gift so that it can be fully appreciated by the recipient.

Hydrangeas according to folklore, planted by the back door promote happy and obedient children.

Almond Blossom symbolises hope. I would give a single blossom in beautiful gift box, or cut branches of blossom and place in a large vase.

Shamrock is good for representing Ireland and the Irish. I would look for charms, or fabric prints if I could not get a shamrock leaf.

Bay Leaves symbolise love that surpasses death, love beyond the grave, so a good gift for the grieving.

Dianthus the flowers denote affection.

Ivy is linked to marriage and fidelity, if you can't give leaves or the plant itself, I would look for stationery with an ivy motif, or an engraved bangle or ring.

Pink Carnation is for love between friends.

The colour purple is the colour of spirituality, but is also good for gifts that are meant to indulge the recipient, as it is the colour of luxury, so ideal for a satin robe, pillow, or rug.

Blue is a soothing, serene colour that represents trust.

Green is for creation and healing, and is sometimes used to represent wisdom.

Orange and red are energy colours and red is a fortunate colour in Chinese culture.

Opals represent completion, are symbolic of Australia, and are the birth stone for October.

the Mandala or 'endless knot' represents harmony, find it in association with other buddhist items.

Irises and Lilies because of Greek mythology, represent resurrection, and power over death, also transformation.

Jade in oriental culture is referred to as the 'stone of heaven'.

I hope you enjoyed these I have plenty more posts on symbolic gifts to come, each featuring colours, blossoms, animals, stones, and other symbols that may appeal as gift ideas.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Giving, Its the Thought That Counts

(Close up of a Token of Appreciation, see previous post, it is round, this is just a close up of the centre details)
I bet you can't number the times you have heard 'its the thought that counts', and you know its true, but it can have a hollow ring when it comes accompanied by a meaningless gift. What I am saying is, 'its the thought that counts' is usually an excuse for a lousy gift, where little or no thought has been given at all.
For instance, you might feel disappointed to be given a pair of socks at Christmas, but for me, I love cute colourful socks, and have a draw full, but there is always room for more, and I would be happy to receive another set..... for me the gift would be full of thought, for you perhaps not.
A gift that is full of thought is the most wonderful gift, a gift can show you truly know and love a person and all their quirks and the little things that bring them joy, without costing you a fortune.
If you don't have money to buy lavish gifts, buy or make gifts that are bursting with love and thoughtfulness.
I'd like to give you some examples from gifts I have either given or received just to get your inspiration rolling.
First one that I gave. A friend had to sell her holiday house because she fell on hard times. We had shared some great times there, as she had with other friends and family. I collected nine used matchboxes and glued them into a boxed set of draws, three on the bottom, three on top, and three again on top, covered the outside with lovely paper and then filled each individual draw with something collected on holiday at the house. Some pure white beach sand in one, some tiny but perfect shells in another, a dried and pressed beach primrose in another, a small downy feather found on the porch after the birds had nested there..... you get the idea. It may be a small gift, but one that can easily be kept in her home, and treasured as much as the memories it would help preserve.
Now one that I received. My friend made a little ribbon bound story book for my birthday, the cover had "17th October a Starry is Born" and purple star on it. Inside, each page had an illustration and the story was actually collected status quotes from different sites I use, eg my space, facebook... and the book then created an overall reflection of my personality and adventures. For instance "Starry fell into the freesias and now smells like fruit tingles", "Starry is back from the dentist with a clean, shiny smile", "Starry is dancing with herself", "Starry is full of chocolate", "Starry said 'boo' to a duck", "Starry spilt 1000 seed beads", the story ends with my favourite one "Starry is alive with happiness".
Anyway my point is we should stop using 'its the thought that counts' as an excuse to buy thoughtless gifts when with a little imagination we can give the most meaningful and usually economic gifts that stand out in the recipients memory all their life. Or at least make them feel loved and appreciated in that moment.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Tokens of Appreciation Update

Just an update on Tokens of Appreciation Make the World Go Round..... tokens are now in Australia, New Zealand, England, Russia, The United States, Germany, Malaysia, Indonesia, and possibly more that I do not know about yet!

I received another new token this week from my cousin, thank you very much Doris!

For readers who are not aware of what I am talking about, I launched a mission earlier this year to spread love and appreciation, through handcrafted tokens they are round, with a diameter of 10cm, decorated on one side, and on the reverse are marked Tokens of Appreciation Make The World Go Round, they can then be written on to give the recipient a personal message of appreciation.

I would like as many people as possible to express appreciation but also to experience the joy of being appreciated.

I launched the mission by sending personal tokens to my friends and loved ones with a set of either 10 or 20 premade tokens for them to distribute to their special ones.

You are welcome to make your own tokens if you keep to the size of 10cm circles and mark them on the back with the name of the mission.

I wish you every joy that this mission has brought me, xxxx Starry

Friday, July 24, 2009

Gifts for Tea Lovers

Hi, its been a while since I've feautred a themed gift post so here is one of my personal favourites, gifts for tea lovers. Those who know me realise I don't get very far in life without my cup of tea, and can't pass a shop window or store display that consists of anything tea related. You can get wonderful tea gifts in local stores and online, both old and new, so here are my favourite tea things, and the online stores I stalk!

The picture above is a cute little trinket holder my Mum got for me, I love my little teddy teapot! This is just the sort of little thing you can pick up almost anywhere for under $10, often well under that price.

This photo has two of my favourite items, my mini tea service for one, the teapot sits inside the cup and in the background is my favourite tea cosy, bought from britgal designs on etsy ( she has just the best prices of all the online sellers I have seen, and her work is beautiful, speedily delivered, and keeps my tea hot for around an hour!

I have had this miniature tea cup and saucer since I was a preschooler, my Nanna gave it to me, and as she drank her tea I would drink water out of mine, this is one of my most precious possessions, it is well worth considering getting a china tea cup or pot for the little girl in your life, it will become an heirloom no matter how little it costs you, and if you are worried about it breaking, just get a cheap used one, like the teapot below, Mum brought it home for me after her club auction she got it for $2 and I love it!

Don't forget real tea fanatics would love photos, or vintage postcards of anything tea related, I took this photo in one shot earlier this year and it makes a lovely card. I'm sure you could take a photograph that would also frame nicely.
My favourite online tea gift suppliers are and rose and teacups (I have lost the exact address but found them by
googling teapot teacup charms, and yes, they have gorgeous tea charms for bracelets and jewelry)
Don't forget and search for tea, teapots, tea cups, you will have a ball!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Celebrating My New Camera!

I got my new camera with macro lens today, so now I will be able to sell the creations I wasn't able to photograph before.

First we have these beautiful glass frog charm earings, with tiny flower button in centre.

Above are my favourite glass charm creations, these amber dragon earrings that spiral around and have a ruby glass flower hanging above their head.

Silver leaf earrings with glass flower and leaf charms