Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Books: My Summer Reading, and Best Books 2010

I started this year's summer reading with Stephen King's "Full Dark, No Stars"... I hadn't read any King for a long, long time, and this offering is made of four novellas (I love King's short stories and novellas the best!). These are a true set, they go together to span the whole expanse of human's doing what they do - plot revenge, harbour resentments, and keep dark secrets - but with a lightness... I would tell King there are stars, because in each story I laughed out loud more than once, and that gives relief as a reader, and breeds empathy towards the characters.

Reminds me of: King at his best! Read if you enjoy the short stories more than the horror novels.

NEXT STOP, since I was in the mall waiting a looonnnggg time for my family, I walked into the book store and picked up Stephen King's "The Stand", a large novel, an old man who came and sat next to me joked I would be alright for entertainment if I had to sit there all day. I said 'I better not be sitting here all day!'. The fall out of catastrophic epidemic (you might say 'plague', though it is in this case a variant of influenza that does the damage) and the resurection of society in the aftermath were compelling for me, and I got through this fairly quickly for its size.

Reminds me of: nothing I've ever read.

Next Stop: Justin Cronin "The Passage" I had picked this up prior to reading Full Dark... and it flowed on really well after reading The Stand, I like to flow from one book to another. Another catastrophic health crisis and again, the restructuring of human civilisation in the aftermath. The nature of the soul, the very essence of humanity is explored, and if you love the supernatural there is something here for you too.

Reminds me of: The Stand, also, The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Next I picked up Emma Donoghue "Room" the back jacket says "Jack is five, and excited about his birthday. He lives with his Ma in Room, which has a locked door and a skylight, and measures eleven feet by eleven feet....". Just from this, I was fascinated, I wondered if this was a prison where mothers have their children, or a Flowers in The Attic type situation, or is Ma a whack job like Bad Boy Bubby? I devoured this book, which is both joyful and sad and is told magically through the eyes of a child.

Reminds me of: Hide And Seek by Clare Sambrook

Currently Reading: Greg French "Menagerie of False Truths" gets better as I go along, fascinating portrait of the various manifestations of autism, but has some gross stuff about insects and trout fish and what they eat!

Reminds me of: Running With Scissors, Augusten Burroughs

My Favourite Books Read for the First time in 2010
1. Good To A Fault, Marina Endicott
2. Plain Truth, Jodi Picoult
3. Room, Emma Donoghue

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Best of Christmas' Past

Here we are (minus Mum, who took the photograph), Christmas, 1981. This is the cubby house my dad built for my christmas gift. It had a foundation with paved verandah, locking door, and real glass windows, even carpet, and thanks to mum it even had drapes! After months of hard work, we had the grand opening on Christmas Day. Pictured are my brother Don and his wife Cathy, peeking out the window; my brother Ken and his wife Cheryl on the front verandah on the left; and myself and Dad on the verandah on the right.... also note the glass of Coke I'm holding.... in my childhood we only had soft drinks on SPECIAL occasions so that was also very exciting! I also have special memories of the building of the cubby house, and my job was general hand... on one weekend a sudden bolt of thunder made me jump.... scattering the tin of nails I was holding everywhere. After the weather cleared, Dad sent me out to pick up every last nail I could find... waste not want not!

Christmas 1983, here my Dad and I are with mum's sister Jean and my grandmother... I just realized though that again, Mum is not in the picture, there is one that dad took with her in it but I have it framed. This was my first Christmas with my Nanna, we drove the long way across the Nullabor desert to get to Adelaide in time for a real family celebration. I can tell you that trip was long, hot, and many a cup of ice cubes was consumed en route. Being with Nanna for Christmas was truly magical.... definitely one of the best times in my life.
Unfortunately this year on Christmas Day, my cat Roman (pictured here a few years younger than he is now), was quite distressed before lunch and given his age and the increasing problems he has we were forced to discuss his future. At 17 years old, Roman is losing his sight a little, is getting a little hard of hearing, and thin and very stiff in the back legs... all of this is to be expected, but we are continually trying to prevent bowel obstructions which are painful and distressing. He can no longer take a general anaesthetic and we can't watch him struggle with what is an essential daily function, we give him tablets with senna in them to help, but he is also losing control of the nerves needed to do a bowel movement so it will only get harder for him. I had been hoping not to have to make this choice, I had a romantic idea of him dying happily asleep in the back yard as he is wont to do, but when the holidays are over we will have to say goodbye. It is a pity that the vet clinic does not have a special room for this, where you can sit as a family on a couch with your pet on your lap as he goes to sleep but alas, I know it will be on the exam table in a bland room where we only recently just had him re vaccinated. My biggest worry is that I will be crying before we begin, I don't want Roman to think I am unhappy or stressed as he picks up on these things. I have a few days to spend as much time with him as possible and prepare myself. I remember a Christmas a few years ago when the vet saved him on christmas day, so we are lucky to have had an extension on his life from then. Actually we have saved him a few times over this 17 years together and I know I'm very lucky to have enjoyed a long life with him. So I will remain as positive as possible.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Announcing: the Starzyia Birthday Club

I'm accepting new members now for the Starry Girl by Starzyia Facebook Birthday Club. Members receive a 15% discount in both my etsy and madeit shops during the month of their birthday.

To join, all you need to do is become a facebook fan of my business, and post a comment under the Birthday Club discussion telling me the month of your birthday. The code for claiming your discount is mentioned in the discussion, you can come back and refresh your memory any time.

You don't need to tell me your age, just your birth month will do!

Find my facebook page via the box on the right hand side of this blog, click the like button if you aren't already a fan, and then open the discussion tab, and post your comment telling me your birthday month.... as easy as that!

Hopefully I will be wishing many of you a happy birthday in 2011, when the club discounts begin in January!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Most Beautiful Monday

The holidays really provide a sensory feast... there are the decorations, the gift wraps, cards, music, and the aromas of delicious foods. Everywhere I look in my home I can see something that just gives me that happy kick, 'oh yeah, its Christmas!'.

The house is quiet, and the roads are wet, I am soothed by the sounds of cars 'swishing' down the road, a totally different sound to the traffic on a dry day... the tyres, they just skim along the surface making this light, delicate sound 'ssshhhhh', I am quite entranced by it.

The scent of cinnamon fills the air from my lovely cup of steaming chai latte.

I think I might be in heaven.

Friday, December 17, 2010

I've Been Featured as Dusty Diva of the Week!

I'm so very lucky to be sharing my creative journey with some amazing, wonderful people, one of these is Samara a generous and talented etsy member from the far south of my state, Western Australia. As well as working full time and putting her heart and soul into her own creations, Samara regularly features a fellow Australian creator in her blog segment Dusty Divas. Its my humble honour to be featured this week, and I would love for you to come and read about the evolution of my business Starry Girl by Starzyia, and fully explore the blog for all the other exciting posts and please, check out this beautiful, talented lady's creations....

Monday, December 13, 2010

Most Beautiful Monday

Okay, so I've been a bit busy, I have let my Journal of the Senses slip... its a book I write in, in appreciation for anything I've noticed using my senses, I find its a great form of gratitude, and regularly writing in it has raised my awareness of the present moment as I live each day. I have still thought about these experiences, but I haven't actually written them down, or shared them as I sometimes used to in my blog. So I thought I'd try and do this each Monday and call it Most Beautiful Monday.

The most beautiful thing I heard today was a horse whinnying quite happily in a distant paddock, this gave me such a surge of joy, which I guess I should explain! We have lived in a semi rural area for such a long time, for years there was paddock after paddock with agisted horses coming and going. Sadly in recent years the big development companies have bought out the small holdings and constructed 'lifestyle' villages. Saint Ives took over the riverfront, and the smaller companies built along the entrance roads to what I must now call our 'suburb'. I heard one whinny in the morning, and one again in the afternoon and it was medicine for the soul.

The most beautiful thing I saw today was the moonflowers that opened overnight, this is the flower at the top of the post, but its a picture I took late last summer. Each flower only opens for one night, and we have them growing a long way along the back fence as the season progresses we can have too many to count all open at once, truly over 100 of them in one night!

I really hope I can stick to doing these posts regularly, practice makes perfect, right?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

What I'm Buying this Christmas

My personal favourites for gifts this year include any of the owl or matryoshka doll wheat heat packs handmade by Australian madeit seller choochiebubble! On my visit to the store today I can see the matryoshka dolls have sold out for now, but there are plenty of colourful owls, and a pig, left to choose from. I am sure in the future the popular dolls will also return! These are very reasonably priced at the $27 mark and with domestic (Australian only shipping) of $9.90 will come in under budget if you are shopping for gifts under $50.

I pounced on these poetry tealight holders already (in transit to my door as we speak) but there are so many great gift ideas in store for the bibliophile in your life. I found the price and the shipping costs from the UK were very reasonable for something fragile which is sent in a triple walled box.

Here we have my favourite stocking stuffer for 2010, the matryoshka doll tweezers available in a number of great colour patterns, I bought for $3.95 with free Australian domestic shipping. I bought mine from Bondi Top Sellers online ebay store
As for myself, any book or matryoshka doll themed items will be met with great excitement as I collect them.
As online store shipping deadlines start to loom, consider sending your online gifts directly to the recipient, its one way of helping them on their way a bit faster.
My store deadline for international orders has passed, but Australian domestic orders can be taken up until Dec 14th for Christmas delivery

Saturday, December 4, 2010

New Satin Cord Necklaces

I've had a lovely time today photographing these necklaces made a little while ago, they have now been added to my etsy store.
The top image shows a vintage peacock cabochon threaded on an electric blue satin cord, adjustable up to 18 inches. I have two of these, just one listed at the moment.

This sweet painted shell button showing a bird on a branch is another favourite of mine, I have two necklaces like this, one in my etsy store, one in my madeit store

Here you can see a button, which I have pimped out by gluing the rose pendant on top and adding a bail for threading onto the light purple satin cord. Again, I have two like this, one is currently in my etsy store.
All of these would make excellent gifts, but my shipping deadline for overseas delivery has passed, for Australian residents I can take orders up until December 14th.
My etsy address is

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Acceptance Is Not Always Appropriate

Having written about my journey to accept my friends, it may be time to mention that acceptance is not always the best thing, its sad to say that in our lifetime we will probably all have at least one toxic relationship. In my case, you could say I decided not to accept my friend's behaviour any longer, or maybe what I had to accept was that I needed to be brave and part ways.

Its been perhaps four or more years since I parted with my friend, and although I was at the end of my rope when I severed the friendship, I still to this day feel concern for my friend, I wonder how she is, and where she is, but at bottom of my heart I know I don't want to get sucked back in. I can't "just" ring her, or write to her, I don't even want to meet her on the street. I feel guilty about this, but I also know that it is essential for me to avoid her. It still gnaws away at me though.

If you are wondering whether you have the strength to live with this kind of guilt, let me point out, the occasional gnawing guilt has been less stressful for me than the friendship was. It gets more stressful during the time that you are trying to end the friendship, but as time passes you heal and feel relief.

My friend in question was my next door neighbour. We met in January 2000, I had come home from hospital after what you might refer to as a 'breakdown' which I attribute to burn out from my job and the fact that I have bipolar disorder. I was nagged into meeting this woman, let's call her Carrie, by her husband and her mother because she was at home in a rocky emotional state and they thought we could be companions. Not a good match, not a good idea, but I found it difficult to say 'no' when the invitations and suggestions were so frequent. It turned out that although we grew to care for each other very much, it was unhealthy, I suspect she was competing with me to be the most 'unwell'. She also wanted someone who would not judge her, with my psychology degree and counselling experience I seemed like the perfect non-judgemental friend, but I realize I was just wearing my judgement on the inside. At first I believed I was just being respectful, but over a few years I discovered I was just too timid to tell her what I really thought.

Carrie was in denial about the effect her suicide would have on her two very young boys. She found it easy to say they would be better off. Carrie thought that because I have had suicidal times in my life that I understood and accepted her ideas about this.

I also found Carrie to be racist, which is completely unacceptable to me, but most of the time when she would make a remark or share a "joke" I was so shocked I went silent.

I didn't approve of her wastefulness of water either, we are in a crisis here, and she'd hose her driveway down and send gallons of water down the drain without a care in the world, and I would just follow her around like a little dog wagging its tail.

Carrie was also extremely dishonest, rude, disrespectful, and bullying, and again, I'd take it.

Perhaps worst of all, she would try to pimp me to her sex addict husband, and allowed him to sexually harass me in front of her and her kids.

She never made any effort to look after me as a friend, or listen, and frequently used me as a buffer to shelter her from her mother. The mother who originally hoped I'd be a friend for Carrie ended up saying the most horrible things including accusations that I was having sex with her son in law... all of which Carrie was more than happy to pass along to me so that she'd have an ally against her mother. For school events, and family parties, Carrie would beg me to attend claiming the boys wanted me to, but when I would turn up, the boys didn't give a hoot, largely ignored me, what I was really there for was to prevent a scene between mother and daughter.

I spent years fuming, crying, and stressed to my eyeballs before I finally snapped. I was fortunate that Carrie and her husband had divorced and she had moved out of the house (though I'm not too thrilled to still live next door to my harasser) so that I could stop visiting, calling, and responding to texts.

When I knew beyond a doubt that I wanted to end contact with Carrie, I was stressed... how do you end a friendship? I know how to dump a guy, but how do you dump a girl? I never did have that conversation with her, I didn't want to tell her my reasons and be argued with and 'never complain, never explain' did come to mind. So she is out there somewhere, still not aware of her behaviour or how it effects others.... but its my sanity I have to worry about, not hers.

I have healed tremendously in these past years, I don't think I could have while still maintaining that 'friendship', and I know in future I will not allow a toxic relationship to go so far, to take so much of a hold in my life. Nip it in the bud... either by speaking up and giving the person the chance to change, or end it sooner, that is my advice to anyone.

Monday, November 29, 2010


"You have accepted all your gifts", it was a simple statement that appeared on my computer screen after accepting some facebook game gift requests. It gave me an Aha moment, or as Oprah would say, a lightbulb moment.

I was raised believing that if you have a gift your duty is to share it, and by gifts I mean talents. If God gave you a gift it was your duty to develop it, and if you had any inspiration at all, you share that too. The same for religious understanding, if you have it, then much is expected from you. The greater your gift the more you should make of it. The greater your faith, the greater grasp you have on religion, the more you need to live up to it.

You cannot do this without first accepting your gift.

It has been in recent years that I have started to accept other gifts too, these are not talents but blessings.

The more I have accepted, the less I have had to tolerate. Many people probably do not realize that acceptance beats tolerance hands down. To put it simply, acceptance is loving the grace that is, tolerance suggests 'putting up with' something, not loving it for its own sake.

Ten years ago, I went to stay with a friend I love dearly... but when I got there, absolutely no provisions had been made for my accomodation. The spare mattress was MIA, the linens had to be washed and dried at the laundromat after dark, and during the time that I stayed all our plans for outings and activities had to be postponed for hours at a time as my friend dawdled, dithered, and procrastinated. We were even late to a very expensive outing to the ballet that I had paid for, for her birthday, we had to stand outside waiting to be allowed in at the end of the first act! I was supposed to stay two nights, but my friend wasn't ready to drive me to the train station in time for the last train home from the city to my town. I ended up having to stay another night... under these conditions I was frustrated, I felt like my life had been highjacked, and I just wanted to go home where I was IN CONTROL.

It was an eye opening experience, as I learned to accept my friend, of course, I wasn't accepting immediately, but as time passed I realized this was my friend's lifestyle. My friend was not the same person as myself though we have many things in common. I realized the root of the problem was my expectations.... when reality did not meet my expectations I was disappointed and disillusioned, and okay at times a little angry.

The next time however that I went to stay, I walked in expecting only that I had to be flexible, that my visit was an adventure, and that it was even okay to stay home and talk all day while we did chores, and that it was time together that mattered not how the time was spent.

The following year, my mother and I flew interstate to visit my Aunty Jean. Aunty is vision and hearing impaired and lives alone, she does not drive, so we braved the cab line at the airport and arrived at Aunty Jean's house at dusk. We arrived to a quick hug, and I was greeted with the unpleasant comment about myself 'You've got fat!', this from the woman who had only put on weight as long as I've been alive. I was unhappy to hear it, but realized Aunty was only shocked, she hadn't seen me in more than ten years and I had always been very thin until I became unwell and struck with an illness no one could diagnose (I have since recovered but it was a terrible 12 months). Based on my experience staying with my friend, I wasn't stressed to find that beds had not been made for my mother and I, nor towels laid out, and that before it got any darker one of us would have to climb a ladder and change a lightbulb in what was to be our room. Mum, however, reacted just as graciously as I had the first time staying with my friend, which is to say she was pissed! I tried to explain to mum, that Aunty does not have the same confidence and practice with guests, but could not add that in Aunty's experience she cannot please Mum and that not being able to predict what Mum would want she deferred making decisions so that we could choose for ourselves how to make the old caving in mattess that was my grandmothers more comfortable, and which type of emergency mattress I would like to put on the floor for myself.

Over the past ten years my ability to accept my friends and other people has grown in leaps and bounds, but it has been the last two or maybe three years that I have had a new and very special person come into my life, a fellow blogger, Chez, at Indigo Dreaming (visit her via my blog roll on right of page) and that the final pieces of the acceptance puzzle have fallen into place.

From the day I met Chez, she has been battling with recurrence of breast cancer, and as time passes more and more medical issues are added to her already very full plate. In spite of living on opposite sides of this very vast nation, and having a considerable age difference (which I have to say I really don't notice) and some different life experiences - I have not become a mother yet, neither have I been married - we just understand each other, we get on wonderfully and my life is incredibly enriched by the friendship.

Every now and then I get to thinking that one day, my friend just won't be able to fight any more, and I admit, one night last week I went to bed thinking how easy it would be for me to get stuck in the spiritual quagmire of asking God (in an accusatory voice) why He allowed me to meet and love this woman if only to watch her die (albeit at a distance).

The answer seems very clear to me, that had we met earlier, it would not be the friendship we enjoy today, in fact I was only ready for this friendship the year that we met, and earlier than that I don't think we could have made the connection that we have made. I would have been too young, too unhappy (in fact depression and anxiety made a very heavy toll on my life in my early twenties) here is someone who cherishes life and is working on getting the most she can out of it, and up until a few years ago I was someone who in spite of all the wisdom and faith inherent in my soul, was often suicidal and resentful of life. I think had we crossed paths, neither of us would have looked back, or reached out, we wouldn't give any thought to friendship, I don't think she could have recognised me, and I certainly wasn't able to be the friend I am now.

Knowing this, I am grateful that we 'met' and I accept the gift of our friendship. I accept that some of the things we dream of - actually meeting and spending time together, witnessing each other publish our life stories, living near each other - may never happen. I hope for them to happen, but I accept they may not.

Not only this but I have had the revelation, though I think I've known it subconsciously all along, that I completely accept Cheryl's journey. I won't give up on her, but I won't be pulling on her begging her to stay. In short, I won't be asking her to suffer more. I will allow her to take her journey wherever it may lead, and I accept her every feeling, her every choice, and know that they are her own. I accept that I have a separate journey that is mine and that she feels the same for me and will allow me to take my journey. I accept that we have a shared journey and that is our friendship. In short, I have accepted all my gifts.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fabulous Finds Friday, Sterling Silver

I was very excited when my silver teaspoon bracelet arrived this week, mine is the actual one pictured above but there is an amazing range of patterns and silverware vintages in the etsy store Village Boutique. As a tea fantatic, I've been dreaming of a teaspoon bracelet for a few years but all my favourite online tea gift stores were too expensive. Not only that, but they don't give any details of the name of the pattern or its vintage... these are the most fascinating pieces of information, the witholding of this information always makes me assume the spoons are not vintage at all, and I am very attached to the idea of my bracelet having a true history.

My bracelet is the Tuxedo pattern discontinued in 1890! I can see some small signs of a long life in some places on the bracelet which is in amazing condition and every detail of it makes me so joyful. I wonder who owned the spoons originally, and whether we have anything in common besides the spoons?

I received the most excellent customer service from this etsy seller who made sure I bought a bracelet that would fit my wrist, I know that you will get the same care and attention if you visit her store

Here we have one of my favourite pieces by my etsy boot camp buddy Keona at Noah's Ark Creations. Keona makes the most beautiful and inspiring hand stamped silver jewelry and will custom stamp for you. The necklace pictured here is available, it has the three tags 'hope' 'and' 'faith' with lavender beads... yep lavender again, always sure to make my hit list! I also recommend getting your children or grandchildren's names custom stamped with or without birthstones to match... come and explore the possibilities
I'm totally loving silver and white topaz for jewelry this holiday seaon.
Stay tuned for my anual Top 10 Stocking Stuffer post.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Introducing My Handmade Postage Stamp Jewelry

I had to launch with a Christmas stamp, this one is from the UK, I love the tranquil winter setting... the snow... the forest... the second deer in the background. Deer are a traditional symbol of prosperity.

All jewelry featured here today are glazed into brass jewelry settings with a glass cover and a ball and chain necklace of up to 24 inches. I cut mine to at least 20 inches.

I love the teal, beige, and charcoal artwork on this vintage Mocambique stamp (Mozambique) a part of the postmark is visible in the upper right hand section but does not obscure the image of the butterfly.

A little brighter and cheerier is this stamp featuring roses.

This piece is not a stamp, its a miniature of a Mucha art piece and was a special request by my friend who has purchased it.
I'm looking forward to offering more stamp and altered art pieces (and practicing my photography... at the moment I find I get the shadow from the setting cup around the edges, also often the light reflections)
These pieces are now available in my new store section Altered Art Jewelry at

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Big Day Shopping With My Mum

Here is a photo of my mum and I hugging before our day of shopping together, and yes, we still hugged when it was over! We took the train to Perth and walked around the main shopping areas and had a great time.

Mum only embarrassed me once, we were in Kiki-K accessories and she told the shop assistant that she was looking for something 'cheap and nasty'. I thought an aneurism burst in my brain, but the guy laughed and said "we don't really 'do' cheap and nasty". I still cannot believe she said that! After we walked out of the store, I explained a few things to mum.

I said even if you walk into a store by mistake, and it turns out to be Versace and you are way out of your league, you never let on, you act act as if you belong. In a million years I would never tell someone I can't afford what is in their store. Even if they know. They can never be too sure. You don't confirm their suspicions!

Then I said, even when you are buying something 'cheap and nasty' its not really cheap and nasty, cheap yes, but if you're buying it, its not likely to be nasty, its a bargain, it has redeeming features, it has something that makes you think its worth it!

But we had a great laugh about it, even when I said "I'll kill you, I'm never going shopping with you again" I was laughing my ass off.

We had lunch, and then we tackled my shopping wish list... books. An armload of books to be exact. I wanted a large stack for summer reading. I struggled to navigate the store with the number of books I was holding, cue: shoulder pain! cue: back pain! Bless my 70year plus mother for helping me to carry some of my shopping, she's an angel when it comes to things like that. She always makes sure I have my sling and my pills before we leave the house and that I don't carry too much and if there is only one seat on a train, she knows whether to sit on it or offer it to me... no words, she can see by my face if I'm okay or not!

YUCKY BIT WARNING.... on the train on the way home, I said "OH GOD" and mum asks 'what?'.... oh, just a grown woman picking her nose and eating it in public! Do these people forget where they are? I guess if you eat that kind of thing it doesn't much matter where you are.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hummingbird Earrings, Handmade Symbolic Jewelry

"At night I dream of the hummingbird; feel the beating of its wings; and if you only had one choice, my dear; would you fly or would you sing?" (Tom McRae)

I love the hummingbird so much that I'm really surprised to say this is my first creation featuring this beautiful, symbolic bird. If you have seen these before, they are the same pair, I only make one of each design, but they badly needed to be rephotographed!

The hummingbird is symbolic of joy and flirtation, and is a great choice of charm to recapture your youthful energy. I'd recommend this as a choice of charm or symbol for someone who needs healing, and wants to reconnect with their inner child. A great way to bring more of the joy of living to your daily outlook.

Green is also a very healing colour, and is youthful, I always refer to green as the 'colour of new ideas', combined with the hummingbird it may be more like the colour of enthusiasm for new experiences.

Green also resonates with self acceptance, I would use this for colour therapy where one needs to be more generous and gentle with self thoughts i.e. to combat harsh self judgment.

My store is filled with individually designed symbolic and healing creations

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fabulous Finds Friday

A few handmade etsy finds I've been crushing on lately....

Top image is a cotton knit, so its a great fashion choice for vegans. Ruffled Cotton Scarf with Rose Scarf Pin handcrafted by beadedwire on etsy

Although I have recently been banned from sitting on my sofa (phsyiotherapists list of rules for my back) I love beautiful cushions for my lounge, bed, and my dressing room day bed where I sit and read in the day. Long time readers might realise that purple is my fave colour! This creation is the lovely Indah Aubergine Decorative Cushion Cover by snuggleupcushions on etsy.

While I'm on this purple bender, here is a beautiful necklace by fellow Australian etsian and DUST member dspdavey, this necklace was selected for the front page of etsy! Eggplant Beauty Necklace
MMMmmmm time to change into my very relaxing purple pjs and relax, yes it is only turning 4pm but I'm tired, in pain, and just want to signal to myself that the day's work is done and its going to be a lot more comfortable from here on!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Its Here... 20% OFF JEWELRY all November! Starry Girl by Starzyia

Its here! My Early Bird Christmas Sale.... save 20% off jewelry in both my etsy and madeit stores, for the entire month of November. As I wish to encourage early christmas shopping when I am less busy and the post office lines are shorter, no offer I make in December will beat this.

Most of this is newly listed stock and you can grab it at sale price! Please note that I only create one of each design.

Etsy shoppers: the listing prices have been cut by 20% on all stock marked ON SALE so you only need to pay the discounted price and shipping, no code word needed, and no waiting for me to send a discount refund. All items in my jewelry and earrings store sections are included in this sale.

Madeit shoppers: the prices have not been pre reduced, you will save 20% on the listing price of ALL items in store. Either pay with paypal and I will send your discount amount back as a paypal refund ASAP, or if you are an Australian resident and select to pay by cheque or money order I will send you a message asking you to pay the discounted price and shipping NOT the full price! Once again no code word needed!

I am happy to combine shipping if you order from both stores, the shipping will be recalculated and the excess refunded or discounted.

The far top image shows Diva Butterfly Earrings in my etsy store, these have a great vintage feel, but are a fresh handmade creation with plenty of sparkling bling.
The next image shows All Things Nice, lavender and violet beaded earrings, in the Madeit store

Sweet Love Birds Roosting, the pink, Madeit store variation (I have a red pair in etsy)
you can keep track of my additions and notifications by following me on twitter, see button on right of page.
Happy shopping to you! I am thrilled to have bought my father's christmas gift this week, he is by far my hardest to buy for, a big relief to have found something great for him SSHHHH I can't say what it is!
Who is your most difficult person to shop for?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Here Comes the Holiday Stock...

True Heart Earrings... find your true holiday heart... forget the 'to do' list, don't stress, just for the momen, remember your childhood enthusiasm for the season.

Lolita Red Belle, already sold in my madeit store, shout out to my very loyal buyer, Kasey, who scooped them up!

Dreamy Snowflake Earrings, gorgeous swarovski crystal with an AB finish, they display dazzling show of colour, and will soon be added to etsy this weekend.

I love red and silver for the holidays, the colour red is linked with prosperity, good fortune, and is a great energy colour for love and celebration.

Celebration Earrings, dazzling iridescent display of colour like confetti or fireworks, great party or holiday earrings.
Why am I releasing my holiday jewelry already? Because I am preparing for a month long Early Bird Special... I want to encourage holiday purchases when I and the post office are less busy, you get the best choice of what you want (considering I only make one of any design!)... so for the month of November I am reducing listing prices by 20% and to make it fair, no offer I make in December will beat this!
My stores are
please visit any time!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Introducing Keona of Noah's Ark Creations

I'd really like to take this time to introduce you to my etsy holiday boot camp buddy, Keona, of Noah's Ark Creations. When I saw a forum post from Keona asking how she could get a buddy, I felt compelled to check out her store and as soon as I did, I knew I had found her, my perfect boot camp buddy. I'm so lucky, I couldn't ask for a better buddy and I believe we will be friends long into the future.

But who is Keona, and what is it that I love about her beautiful creations? Keona is mom to a beautiful boy, Noah, but Keona has also suffered the loss of two children before birth and instead of walling herself off from others, has chosen to bravely share her love and inspiration with other women. I find her to be a warm and positive person who cares for others and who expresses this through friendships with other moms and by creating the most comforting, uplifting and meaningful jewelry.

The top image, is the Remembrance Necklace and Bracelet Set, a beautiful, unique and symbolic handmade offering from her etsy store. Keona has beautifully described the way elephants in the wild surround a mother who has lost her baby and stay with her, supporting her as long as she needs. This set offers you the chance to be surrounded by elephants, with four charms each on the necklace and bracelet.

The image above is "Because of You, I Am Strong", another etsy shop star for Keona. There is a stamped disc reading 'because of you i am strong', a smaller disc with baby footprints, and the necklace is finished for you when you select the birthstone you wish Keona to add to remember your precious baby.

You will also find other inspirational designs, and can custom order a message of your own, and Keona will take great care in creating a special order just for you.

Keona's business, Noah's Ark Creations can be found

and you can become a facebook fan when you visit her blog.

Thank you Keona for enriching my etsy journey.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Its my birthday weekend, and to celebrate I'm sharing a 15% discount with my friends and readers, you can save 15% off the listing prices of all earrings and jewelry in either of my online stores, for 48 Hours (ends Monday 18th Oct at 10.30am)

Just enter the code 'bestwishes' at checkout message to seller, or paypal instructions to merchant, and I will issue a paypal refund for the amount of your discount ASAP.

My store addresses are and

The top image today shows my Grace Abiding earrings, from my madeit store, these feature the natural gemstone autumn jasper, and were recently selected by the website Cuteable!
The second image shows my newest etsy listing, Lead, Kindly Light necklace, entwined chain and ribbon, with large filigree heart, lantern charm, and glass pearls. Homeis where the heart is, and the lantern is symbolic of faith, vigilance, and safe homecoming. The necklace is named after an old hymn and a scanned image of the vintage hymn book page is included with the listing.
I'd really love to share my birthday happiness with you!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My New Business Cards, designed by wingsdove

I just received my new business card design from etsy seller wingsdove aka Mary Walilko these were made to co-ordinate with the banner and avatar she created for me earlier this year.

I love working with Mary, she works quickly and carefully and not only am I always happy with the final creation, but the entire experience is so satisfying. When I approached her for the first time to get my banner and avatar, Mary amazed me with a questionnaire which really got me thinking about my business, in truth it was the first time I seriously thought about who my ideal customer was beyond simply anyone who enjoyed what I created. My mind was expanded by this edifying set of questions, in truth, not only did my shop get a makeover to be more professional, but I myself was made over and the two things combined have made a big difference for me.

Mary also has a blog here and a very active facebook fanpage which you can join via her blog.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Birds, Butterflies, Cats, Christmas and More!

I've been gathering sets of stamps again for my etsy shop, these are scanned images of Hungarian bird stamps which would make beautiful digital art, altered art, and jewelry for those inclined.

The lucky buyers of my stamp sets will have unlimited use of their stamps simply by scanning them before use!
I have Christmas stamps, birds, butterflies, cats, flowers... and can easily gather a set for you on another theme upon request. I am really loving sailing ships at the moment they are great for cards and gifts for men, and have a beautiful timeless feel. I have rainbow after rainbow of British Queen head stamps, in a size small enough for charm bracelet settings or earrings.
If you buy stamps from me and send a picture of your finished project I'd be happy to feature it here in my blog.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Symbolic Gift Guide: Choosing a Charm or Totem

Charms are all the rage again, and while the European style bracelets are all incredibly popular, you can also get your charms made up as necklaces and earrings... the trick is to find the most meaningful charms for your personality. Choosing a charm is like choosing a personal totem. I thought I'd run through the magic of some charms you might choose and what they say about you.

TEAPOTS my top image is pair of teapot earrings from my madeit store, the teapot is the source point for inspiration and wisdom. Through the ages many great ideas have had their origin or their salvation from a quiet moment's retreat from the pressures of the day. The great zen minds have all had their say on the value of serenity and ritual attached to drinking tea.

PARASOLS the parasol is a protective and loving symbol, traditionally the guardian of a woman's beauty and virtue.

CAROUSEL a symbol of the circle of life, this is a youthful, inspirational and uplifting choice of charm, good for healing your inner child.

FERRIS WHEEL another symbol of the circle of life, but the view from the top of the wheel reminds us of the value of perspective and wisdom gained from our life journey. A good choice for someone who has a positive attitude to ageing and values the life they have lived.

ROLLER SKATES are a fun and happy charm, linked to children a good charm for the young, but perhaps also a loving grandparent who wishes to remember and appreciate their own childhood.

ICE SKATES are more elegant and graceful than the roller skate and suits a classically beautiful woman. The ice skates gives us the ability to glide across frozen water, suggesting our triumph over the trials and obstacles of life.

BICYLES represent independence, joy, innoncence, and health.

SCISSORS are a great charm for women, people who sew or craft, and the charm represents diligence, industry, and are sharp denoting mental clarity. Good for the memory and those who don't like to be idle.

KEYS represent safety and opprtunity - perhaps the key to a new idea. Keys are also traditional for coming of age gifts at the 21st birthday.

LANTERNS represent faith, vigilance, and inspiration. The sight of a lit lantern upon a late night homecoming is most welcoming, probably the reason why lanterns evoke a subconscious feeling of wellbeing.

HUMMINGBIRDS (pictured above stock from my etsy store) mean hope and joy and help restore the energy you may have left behind in your youth, I'd choose this charm to feel happier, stronger, and more healed.

SWANS are symbolic of purity, innocence, and are considered very lucky.

BLUEBIRDS are for happiness, contentment, and valuing the small treasures in your life (observing the daily causes for gratitude) therefore not missing the bigger picture in life.

WOODPECKER is linked to psychic ability and enhances communication, a great charm for helping you bring out your hidden talents.

PELICANS a hopeful and triumphant choice after all its a peli-CAN not a peli-CAN'T! Very cheery and clever birds, a good totem for a survivor.

OWLS are symbolic of wisdom and mysticism. Night creatures are a great choice of charm because they can guard us while we sleep.

DEER and REINDEER are both a symbol of prosperity. The deer is linked to eternal youth probably because of their amazing athleticism and joyful leaping. Lighten your heart and show affection with this choice of charm.

CAMELS the ship of the desert, this animal proves the saying 'where there's a will there's a way'.

FOX this creature has keen senses, and an ingenious ability to escape trouble. In Japan the fox denotes longevity and protection.

LIONS denote personal honour and nobility, a heroic choice of charm and is also linked to royalty.

SNAKES this is the wisest animal in Chinese astrology. The iconic image of a snake eating itself is symbolic of eternal life. Choosing a snake makes a distinctive statement and will add power to a collection of charms that embraces a lot of the softer, more adorable animals and birds.

LIGHTHOUSE the image above is stock from my madeit store. The lighthouse is a great charm for protection, safe journey, inspiration, and homecoming.

There are many more (possibly unlimited) charms I could have mentioned here, if you are interested you might check my blog archive for other symbolic gift posts, and watch out for my future posts.

I have many more pieces of jewelry featuring a wide range of charms and symbolic meanings in both my stores and

I collect charms from new and vintage sources around the world to continue to provide meaningful and unique creations and have many stored waiting to become a beautiful creation. It is possible for me to create a meaningful item for you for any occasion.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Regret Not Me, my new Portable Memorial Jewelry

Its been a year of losses for many around me and I have found myself making jewelry as a kind of portable memorial for those who grieve, and also as a symbol that there is hope for the future even in the darkest of times.

The top image is of my Regret Not Me earrings just added to etsy, these were inspired by the Thomas Hardy poem of that name, in this poem, Hardy speaks of slumbering peacefully beneath a tree. These earrings are black as the pain of grief, but the etched bead is like a nut or seed for new life and the leaf is also symbolic of the life cycle. Although I could only use an excerpt of the poem in my listing, here is the poem in its entirity, from my beloved book "Poems of Thomas Hardy, selected and introduced by Claire Tomalin" (Penguin Classics 2006)
Regret Not Me:
Regret not me
Beneath the sunny tree
I lie uncaring, slumbering peacefully.
Swift as the light
I flew my faery flight
Ecstatically I moved, and feared no night.
I did not know
That heydays fade and go
But deemed that what was would be always so.
I skipped at morn
Between the yellowing corn
Thinking it good and glorious to be born.
I ran at eves
Among the piled up sheaves
Dreaming, "I grieve not, therefore nothing grieves".
Now soon will come
The apple, pear and plum
And hinds will sing, and autumn insects hum.
Again you will fare
To cider-makings rare
and junketings; but I shall not be there.
Yet gaily sing
Until the pewter ring
Those songs we sang when we went gipsying.
And lightly dance
Some triple-timed romance
In coupled figures, and forget mischance.
And mourn not me
Beneath the yellowing tree
For I shall mind not, slumbering peacefully.
(Thomas Hardy)

I also have these czech cross earrings in black and gold, this pair on a chain, a second pair hangs simply from their earwires, in brass findings.

My heart goes out to all who have lost near and dear ones, may you find some hope and comfort in your lives.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My Prison Photo

Today I got a call to action from Amnesty International, asking me to upload my photo on behalf of Burmese conscience prisoners, these are the people imprisoned in Burma (Myanmar) for making comments 'against the government'. As the nation prepares for an election, we remember that the results of the last election were ignored and the winning canditate imprisoned in her own home. This respected woman, who has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, remains a prisoner, and over 2000 citizens are in Burmese prisons for their beliefs alone.

If you could please use this link you can have fun, give your friends and family a laugh at your 'prison pic', help promote awareness and hopefully achieve positive change for the people of Burma.

Amnesty International operates secure sites, and respects your privacy, your identity and email will not be used in the promotion, only a first name and a nation are displayed with your pic in the campaign. I have always enjoyed security and peace of mind while supporting the Charity.