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?