Saturday, 10 October 2015

Newly Listed: Sterling Silver Beach Pebble Necklace

Sterling Silver Beach Pebble Necklace with Pearl Sea Treasures by StaroftheEast
Morning, Summer seascape coast ocean beach salt sunrise clouds birds photography by ChickensintheTrees
Watching the Tide Roll In, Seagull Gull Bird Nautical Beach Fine Art Print Photography by FlashForward
Ocean Coast Photography Fine Art Oregon Haystack Rock Mountains Pacific Northwest Landscape by WildWildernessPhotos

Thursday, 8 October 2015

October Revamps

I wanted an excuse to post my pretty 'October' picture on the blog, I shared it on instagram but thought it would be fun to share it here too :)
As for the revamps, there are a few projects that I hope to be done this month, already the first week is gone so 3 weeks left to finish!

First project is pretty big and in the planning for a while, only problem is cash and time but before winter starts I really want this to be finished. We have two sheds in the garden, in one we have our washing machine, dryer and warm water boiler. As our bathroom is a little too small for all these, which by the way also needs a little revamp but I think that one will be for November. The second has all the garden tools. Both their doors are completely rotten, and have to change. Prices of new doors are surprisingly high and I have been asking at several places to find a good deal.
Also the path going to the shed gets flooded with rain and after the sprinklers have worked so I am planning to make a stone path so that we can keep our feet dry while doing the laundry.

The second revamp project is another furniture piece. This one is taking much longer than anticipated. First of all it was in a worse state than our previous projects, secondly the carvings makes it hard to sand. It also needed some reinforcements on the frame and it had a lot of staples from it previous 3 upholstery jobs which I have cleaned up. I did discover today that two of our previous furniture projects got featured on the blog BetterAfter which is full with before / after projects, fun to look at and the author, Lindsey, has a fun sense of humor so it is nice to read too.

Right now I am actually busy with make overs of our doggie pack. They all were trimmed a few months ago but got all very hairy again and need a clean up before the weather cools down. Some are not very fond of the trimming sessions, and the thorough baths after wards. Toffie here loves the undivided attention and enjoyed it very much. They all do love the results as they each leave enough hair to fill a pillow. p.s. I was wearing shorts, and am not naked in this picture lol :)

Monday, 5 October 2015

Newly Listed: Leather Bling Bracelet

Leather Bling Bracelet - Crystal Rhinestone Jewelry Leather and Metal by StarDelights
THE NATURE COLLECTION, macro photography, pampas, plume, feather, bokeh, rustic by EmulsionProjekt
Winter Rain Drops Fine Art Macro Floral Photography Print, Flower Bud Photo, Nature Wall Decor by KLCPhotography
Art Print Etching, February Visit, Doves Fly In, solar plate etching on handmade paper by 88editions

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Newly Listed: Sputnik Sea Urchin Brooch

Sputnik Sea Urchin Brooch Pin Jellyfish Twisted Wire Shawl Pin by StaroftheEast
Tree photography, tree photo, Trees, nature, home decor, nature photography by EdgingtonFineArt
dreamy nature fog photography, beach photo, coastal art, wall decor, nature by joystclaire
Mustard Yellow and Green Bird Print, rustic nature photography, shabby chic wall art by Raceytay

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Experimenting Glass Bottle Cutting

In our house no one drinks any alcoholic beverages so we never have any glass bottles in the house. We do however find some bottles on the beach, unfortunately they never have a note inside :)
These two bottles were both very cool and we took them home, the green one is the biggest wine bottle I have ever seen and the other one is a water bottle with a beautiful shape.

I've had this mini tutorial on my laptop for ages, and wanted to try it out for a while, yesterday I decided to go for it and luckily thought about taking pictures so I can show you my results :)

I put the nail polish remover in a glass jar, we always have nail polish remover in our home, not for its original purpose but for removing glued objects. If you want to remove something that has been glued, soaking it in this will do the trick and it will clean all glue residue off without harming the objects and without the need of force.

On the picture I could not really see what 'yarn' it was talking about, I decided on a natural hemp in the hope it would burn nicely.

It did not really burn though, I turned the bottle around several times in hope that it would be hot enough.

I then tried to put it in my huge bowl of water, but the bowl was too small so I eventually ran it under the tap and it broke off but with difficulty.

Resulting a not very pretty edge, I will sand it all off but it was not the result I was hoping for, the whole bowl incident cause for a delay of the quick cooling off.

For the second bottle I decided to use a thinner piece of hemp, in hope that it would burn easier.

It did exactly the same though but it got hotter easier, I think an easier burning yarn would have made it all easier but I do not have anymore bottles for now so maybe next time.

The cut however became pretty smooth, this time I did not loose any time with trying to stick the bottle in a bowl but went immediately to the tap and it cut off without any help or force.

I sanded the green bottle and had an instant vase, the black residue of the burning went off very easily. The white bottle will need some more work and I am planning on covering it with shells or something to loose the font on it.

I discovered this video this morning, this guy has done several experiments and shows the best way. I wish I had searched on Pinterest yesterday before starting, but it was a fun experiment so no harm done. And there are several much clearer tutorials too on Pinterest, I do not know why I did not check as I am on Pinterest every day :)

Monday, 28 September 2015

Reviving Creative Juices

It has been 5 years since I last painted a painting. Lack of time is of course a good excuse, but what really stopped me is lack of space. All my walls are full of paintings and then I have some who never seen a wall and are just waiting to be seen.

As all my walls are full I fall asleep every night with them in sight, which always makes me itch to start painting again.

I am now slowly reorganizing my little house and am going to make the time and space to start painting again as I enjoyed it so much, and we all can use some extra joy in our life's.

Apologies for the crooked hanging paintings, I will be changing the composition of the paintings soon and will hang them all straight!

I will slowly un-dust my brushes and paints and get going, starting is half the work, I need to make that jump!

As for making space I decided to sell a few of my paintings, with some I am not ready to part (yet), and for now there are only two in the shop but I will be listing more the coming days, so check out the paintings section in our decor shop if you are interested.

I started with some vibrant geometric ones, some portraits will follow soon!

Saturday, 26 September 2015

A Sad Goodbye

Our dear sweet Elsie passed away yesterday. It was not a surprise, she had been ill for almost a year and we have been preparing ourselves mentally for months but still it is a hard blow to the heart.
Elsie was like no other dog we have ever had, she had the attitude of a Royalty even though she was small and thin she was the Queen of the house. Incredibly smart and very moving her being very proud but she also hated to be alone (meaning without my mother).

Elsie and my mother were inseparable from the first day we found her in 2005. Elsie was incredibly thin, dehydrated, full of ticks and had a bad healed rib (most likely of someone who kicked her). The night we found her was also the night that I had to fly to Holland so her first 2 weeks I was not there, and when I came home the two had bonded like they knew each other for years.
Elsie never forgot her bad times, and never liked being held on a lap, she always wanted to be stroked with all feet on the ground to have control over the situation. But she would always follow my mother to each room she would enter and kept her eyes always open to watch, unlike our other dogs who usual always sleep.
Her entire behaviors and character made her a true one of a kind and she will be missed so very very much, I don't think my mum's broken heart will ever heal entirely without her.

The last few months she lost a lot of weight and lost most of her hair too, we tried every medicine available all over the world but unfortunately nothing was enough. Her always watchful eyes looked at us while she passed away, and they never closed, just like when she was alive she wanted to keep her eyes open...
She is now in the mountains next to Daisy who was her best friend.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Evil Eye; Believes and Uses

If you have ever been in Turkey, you might have noticed the Evil Eye, here called 'Nazar'. The name sounds a bit wiccan and mystic, and if you are not very familiar with Turkish culture you might think that only superstitious people believe in it.

But until now I have yet to meet someone who does not take 'Nazar' seriously around here, so much so that even we act accordingly as I have witnessed some interesting things even if though I am far from superstitious or religious for that matter.

Evil eye is something that ‘happens’ almost outside the will of the beholder, for instance when somebody praises you, or something that you have on, without meaning it, or with envy in their heart or jealousy, causing you to loose the item or the quality you are being praised for. You also can bring the evil eye upon yourself, by bragging or simply being overconfident, for instance, saying ‘I’m never ill’, you might start sneezing a few hours later.

If you ever visit Turkey you might not see them right away but if you look for them you'll see an Evil Eye in every shop and vehicle you enter, and you won't see a house without at least one. We too have a big Evil Eye hanging from the rear view mirror of our car :)

New born babies are especially susceptible for the evil eye, so that they are kept in traditional house holdings with a fine cloth loosely draped over their faces for their first forty days. After that they seem to develop some sort of immunity. Evil eye is brought upon a baby not only by malicious looks, but by any look from an unclean woman, that being a woman having her period or not having washed herself properly.
So, no visits to new born when having your ‘curse’, and when you want to praise your friends baby, you say: ‘Thank God, what an ugly, ugly baby’, that to demonstrate that your intentions are good and you wish no harm.

The concept and its significance vary widely among different cultures, primarily in West Asia. The idea appears several times in translations of the Old Testament. It was a widely extended belief among many Mediterranean and Asian tribes and cultures. Charms and decorations with eye-like symbols known as nazars, which are used to repel the evil eye are a common sight across Turkey, Greece, Albania, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Southern Italy (Naples), the Levant, and Afghanistan and have become a popular choice of souvenir with tourists. Known as nazar (Turkish: nazar boncuğu or nazarlık), this talisman is most frequently seen in Turkey.

We have made some evil eye pieces in the past, actually funny enough our very first sale on Etsy was an evil eye necklace :)

Well a person can always use some extra luck and protection, you can find the evil eye jewelry pieces in our StarDelights shop and the Home decor and keychains in our StarHomeStudio shop.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Newly Listed: Dancing Lace Skirt

Dancing Lace Skirt Vintage Hand knotted Lace skirt Preloved fabric Clothing by StarsWear
Nature Photograph Unique Wall Art Home Decor Photography Dreamy Soft Macro Art by ABitofWhimsyPics
Bird photograph, Seagulls in flight over ocean water, Nautical Fine art nature photography by EyePoetryPhotography
Landscape Photography, lighthouse decor, beach wall art, wheat, nautical, Chicago, wall art print by TraceyCapone

Monday, 21 September 2015

A little Bird Watching; Eurasian Hoopoe

Yesterday we had another beautiful visitor in our garden. Because of the doggies we do not often get birds to visit us, but this one saw that they were all sleeping lazily and used the opportunity to check our gardens for worms. Yesterday we had our first rain after 4 months, so this might be the reason for its appearance. After some thorough Google-ing we discovered that this is the Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa Epops).

The Eurasian Hoopoe is actually a pretty rare and very unique bird. It doesn't look like any other bird you're never going to confuse this species with anything else: the Eurasian hoopoe has a distinctive crest of feathers on its head that, in combination with its long, thin and slightly decurved beak and orange plumage and black-and-white wings and tail, makes it unique. It's taxonomically unique too: it's the only extant species in its family, Upupidae (although the Madagascar subspecies is sometimes elevated to full species status). It's controversial, but this bird is either placed into the Coraciiformes clade (kingfishers, bee-eaters, rollers, and woodhoopoes) or it's placed into Upupiformes, along with eight other species, one of which is extinct. (info via: The Guardian).

Through my search I also discovered that the diversity of birds in Turkey cannot be matched by any European country. Over 460 species, including 330 breeding birds can be seen. Turkey holds the stronghold of the world population of 20 species, such as the near-endemic Krueper’s Nuthatch, Armenian Gull, White-throated Robin, Finsch’s Wheatear and Crimson-winged Finch. Globally Threatened Species regularly occur and can be observed easily, such as Marbled Teal, Dalmatian Pelican, Lesser Kestrel, Greater Spotted Eagle and Sociable Plover. (info via: birdwatchturkey)

Hoopoe on Bamboo by Zhao Mengfu, c. 1254–1322 (Shanghai Museum)

As my images are not very great, you can see much better and professional taken pictures here, and in this video below you can see him enjoying eating some worms. The muscles of the head allow the hoopoe's bill to be opened when it is inserted into the ground.