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!