Thursday, 19 January 2017

Snail Mail

It is not often that I complain, almost never publicly. You won't see me ramble on FaceBook or here on the blog. Today I won't complain either but I do want to lay my egg and share something with you.

As an online seller you have to deal with lots of things. You have to make pretty items, than you have to take good pictures to show those items accurately and in detail and be the eyes for the customer.
You have to explain each and every aspect of the item and also of your services like packaging, shipping, policies etc etc.

I enjoy these things, yes it is hard sometimes to do all these things, you have to do many kinds of jobs while your customers hardly know or acknowledge how much work you put in to it all. With handmade each and every item has your time and love in it and you take everything very personally.

The reason why I am saying all this? I love my work, mum and I feel blessed to do the work we love and we are grateful for each and every sale we make. After 10 years each sale is still a thrill, but there is always a but :)

Christmas is our busiest time, like most online sellers December is the month to make your year and have some extra cash. We had a busy Christmas, we offer registered shipping and express shipping, time frames are explained in each listing and lots of people choose express shipping. However even more did not. And here the problems started. Emails and Etsy convo's start to pour in the closer we got to Christmas. During Christmas everything got quiet but after Christmas things got worse.
You have to understand that on a good normal Sunny day shipping takes 15 days to the US, we live 500 miles from Istanbul so by the time our package goes from our postoffice to the main office of Istanbul about 3-4 days have already passed. After that it leaves Turkey and arrives in NY where millions of packages arrive and are sorted, some are checked at customs, this of course all takes time, but when all goes well it is 15 days.

During Christmas the millions of packages get many millions more and this is where USPS always gets stuck, even with extra workers they just can not manage, and this year was worse than ever.
Right now we still have 42 packages undelivered, all from December. We have emails, convo's, Etsy cases, Paypal cases, the whole stressful package, and we are of course feeling pretty down about it. With 1-2 packages worse case you can refund the buyer, but with this many that is impossible.
The worst part has been a few people who are practically yelling at you and treat you like sh*t, and are blaming you for slow shipping.
I try to explain; Christmas, bad weather, we are at the other side of the globe, simply the fact that it is out of our hands and that we offer express shipping to avoid such things. Also pointing out that we ship the packages within 2 business days of purchase. One buyer has sent 11 horrible emails, opened cases and still keeps saying that we provide horrible service every possible way, like we are the owners of USPS and enjoy keeping mail away from our customers.

So yes this is the part that sucks of our work; delays in shipment and the pissed off customers that come with those delays. Luckily most are understanding and patient, but a few do manage to make you feel horrible. I just wish we could beam things right over like in StarTrek, that would make the world a smaller and maybe better place? :)

If you are one of the waiting customers, thank you for your patience and understanding :)
If you are a seller living the same nightmare I would love to hear your stories :). If you are a seller who found the formula to keep all customers happy please share it :)

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Newly Listed: Brown Fairy tale Dress

Brown Fairy tale Dress, Forest Farm Dress, Trees, Mountains, Cottage, Vintage Gobelin Tapestry Fabric Clothing by StarsWear
Redhead Girl Print, Nature Fine Art Photography, Portrait, Green Dark Forest, Mysterious Woods, Red Lips by YinNature
Green and brown pine cone photo, woodland nature photography, fine art print by NewLeafPics
Deer Antler Photography, Rustic, Textured, Softened, Green Brown, Woodland, Wildlife, Animal, Forest, Autumn by PaperMeadows

Monday, 16 January 2017

From Trash to Treasure

I love these trash transformations, they are a challenge and super satisfying.
As you might already have guessed, this piece's treasures are the legs.

So I started by sawing off the legs, the top was beyond redemption.

I sanded them, filled some holes and painted them several layers and varnished them for protection.

We have been having these vintage brass hoops, remains of vintage lamps (we use the crystals for our driftwood clouds and urchin ornaments).
I used two of them to make it a cute little round table, attaching them was a challenge, but eventually I managed.

The only thing I bought for this project was a metal plate and some stencils, I painted it in the same teal as the legs and then applied a thick gold paint. This one above became a total failure. It was my first stencil attempt and the first time I used this tick paint, it was a total mess. I washed and scrubbed it off and started over with a different stencil and applied the paint a little thinner, which worked out.

One of the hoops had holes all over, my mum said 'my OCD won't allow those holes to stay like that', her words, not mine :) Anyway it did come out prettier, I sewed beadcaps with beads to it and now there are no holes, OCD at ease :)

The top had holes too, I thought about hanging something small, mum wanted tassels, her choice was better, and I made 26 handmade tassels, a tedious job but they did get pretty.

And the results! For some reason this table took the longest of all furniture projects, yes even the chairs are faster. I think I started somewhere in October, and it finished in January, figuring things out and making them reality doesn't always goes as planned or fast.

The top stencil was small, so I applied another row of flowers which I had to do 1 per day as the paint dries very slowly, you see that is 5 days already :D

The yarn we had at home, the exact same shade, in combination with the filigree and the stencils on top it has something oriental, like from a far away exotic country.

The top is not attached to the legs, so you can bring in the tea or coffee and put it straight on the table without needing a tray.

It is available at StarHomeStudio, among other one of a kind furniture pieces.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Newly Listed: Bohemian Wool Coat

Bohemian Wool Coat, Woodland Mori Girl Coat, Leaves, branches and flowers, Magical Clothing, Green Coat by StarsWear
Umbrella Photograph, Orange Whimsical, Dreamy, Home Decor, Shabby Cottage Decor, Fine Art Photograph by DreamyPhoto
Felted cloche hat, retro style hat, unique hat with nasturtium flower, green wool hat, stylish winter by FilcAlki
Landscape Photography, Autumn, Church Steeple, Rustic, Woodland, New England, Steeple of the Trees by cloven

Monday, 9 January 2017

The Ultimate Make over

It is always super fun to show how our chairs go through a make over. This one was super ugly, for one the fabric is a nightmare, but it was also n bad shape.

After pulling off the ugly torn fabric, and removing the old foam, we had to reinforce the chair, especially at the feet. Also new elastic bands for the seats and of course sanding off the yucky brown paint and giving it some color were the first few steps.

Mum had a beautiful huge embroidered linen vintage piece on the ready for several months, it was just waiting for the perfect chair for it. We score these chairs locally at second hand shops, thrift shops for the home etc, it is always a thrill to find a hidden beauty.

The embroidery is colorful and gorgeous so we avoided using too many other fabrics to let the beautiful embroideries speak.

We did add some fun by adding crochet flowers are the front :)

Also as the embroidery is vintage it had a few imperfections, even after dry cleaning, so we covered those with flowers too.

And this was the sneak peek ı showed yesterday, love those little flowers :) The feet also got varnished to protect the paint.

Just when we finished the chair and were talking about how awesome it would be to have a little ottoman with the chair, covered with the last left over pieces of embroidery we scored an old wooden spool, perfect!

It got the same color feet. And not a single inch of embroidery nor pink fabric was left, we used it all, and the duo is so cheerful that it gives me a smile every time I see it :)

The crochet flowers makes it look like they are really blooming.

Even the back is pretty, so it can stand in the middle of a room :)

The embroidery must have taken so many hours, it would have been nice if the original maker could have seen the chair!

This one of a kind duo is available in the decor shop, among other special furniture and decor pieces.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Newly Listed; Art Deco Green Sea Urchin Necklace

Art Deco Green Sea Urchin Necklace Sterling Silver Necklace One of a kind by StaroftheEast
NYC Skyline, Modern New York Photography, Chrysler Building Wall Art, Home Decor by EyePoetryphotography
Nature Photography Bird Nest Wall Art Winter Branch Bird Nest Photograph by KalstekPhotography
Old Stone Church Photograph Ireland, medieval ancient stone building, travel photography ruins by FirstLightPhoto

Monday, 2 January 2017

New Year Projects

With a New Year beginning we are finishing last year's unfinished projects and starting new projects. We hope to do what we do for many more years :)
Here is a sneak peek of a new chair we are making, actually I finished the last finishing touches today but could not take the end pictures today. Look at those cute little crocheted flowers around its feet, isn't it adorable :D
I will show the entire chair soon.

I will show this little 'project'. These leather key fobs are super cool, unisex and very handy too. I made one myself to try it and adjusted it to make it user friendly. It is available in 3 colors and 3 sizes for different amount of keys :) Available at StarDelights.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Happy New Year!

With the end of the year almost here it always makes you think of the past 12 months and what lies ahead. 2016 has been for many a horrible year. England and America are going in to a strange political era, and the world seems a mess. We have had it worse, yes much worse, but with the internet we are aware of every single thing that happens in the world making us sometimes scared and in despair. We should be too civilized to go to war, but unfortunately we are not (yet?).
May 2017 be the end of wars and terror, like we hope every year.
I hope 2017 will be a year of surprising good things, and the end of many bad, we can all make our surroundings a bit better by being kind to others and good to our planet, each person counts and we are stronger together.
See you next year :)!

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Newly Listed: Bohemian Seashell Felt Bag

Bohemian Seashell Felt Bag, Knitted Seafoam Felted Wool Bag, Gypsy Style Dream catcher, Blue, White, Teal and Green by StarBags
Seagull Collage, Fine Art Photography, Wall Photo Print, Blue Sky Clouds, Water Ocean Bird, Nautical by ArtistWithTheCamera
Sea print, large clouds ocean photography, sea landscape, water art, blue wall art, vertical large poster by RivuletPhotography
Beach Glass Photo, Beach Glass, Sea Glass, Fine Art Photography Prints, Starfish Sand Dollar Blue White Decor by BLintonPhotography

Monday, 26 December 2016

9 Natural or Recycled Planters ideas

When you look at Pinterest it seems that you can make a planter of almost everything, here are a few of my favorites :)
I love old clocks, and love this clock planter, although I would only do this to a clock if it is all rusted and broken.

Love these shoe planters, seems a bit odd but I saw various shoe planters on Pinterest and I actually saw it once in real life and liked it a lot. Nice way to let the shoe rot with nature instead of a landfill.

Love this coffee pot terrarium. I think we have two of these kind of pots, you know how it goes; the coffee machine stops working but you don't have the heart to throw away the pot as it is perfectly fine :)

Love these tea cup planters, very cute and great way to use the single odd and widowed cups with a new purpose.

This planter is more a piece of art than a planter, entirely made out of recycled materials, love this cutie from IronMaidArt.

These stone planters are from our shop and just listed yesterday, entirely natural stone with natural holes created by the waves.

It is sad that sometimes tree need to be cut down, but it makes it a little less sad when the remains are used, especially when it is green.

Love these cute tin planters. Here in Turkey you have large tins for oil, that is olive oil and such for food. After the tins are empty a lot of people use them as planters and the plans seem to love the tin as they always grow fantastically in them, and they make for very colorful planters.

These gold sprayed bottle bottoms look very cool. Did you know that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish left in the sea? Also did you know that a plastic bottle takes 450 years to decompose? Crazy, right? They really should be refilled again and again, it is crazy that they are used just once. It is a horrible thought and good to keep in mind before buying plastic. Here is a video about that, in a beautiful artistic way to grab people's attention, here is video 1/3, please watch all 3 of them, they are intriguing and educational: