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.

Friday 18 September 2015

Our Creative Space...

For years we have collected all kind of oddities from the beach. While our focus is on sea urchins we have accumulated a lot of other things like a nice amount of crab claws and bodies.

And starfishes. Both of these finds are fragile, so we never really used much of them.
We tried to cast them in resin but somehow resin never really worked out for us.

For ages we thought of electroforming and investigated the materials and method, we bought some tutorials about them and finally made the investment. As the electronics came for the US and the chemicals from the UK it took a while to get them.

The pieces first needed to be coated in several layers of lacquer and then in graphite paint which is an electric conductive paint.

And then each piece was electroformed one by one connecting both the anode and the piece to electricity, copper goes off the anode and attaches itself to the piece.

Even though you see that it gets a layer of copper pretty quickly, a nice solid layer can take a while, these all took around 30 hours each to make them suitable to wear.

After that they got patina'ed with liver of sulver for a nice dark finish. I high lighted the texture with a metal brush, as it was entirely black at first.
And here finally after months of preps, the first electroformed pieces, we will also make silver ones soon!

I will be slowly listing them today in our StaroftheEast shop, and we'll continue to experiment with more beach found oddities :)

Tuesday 15 September 2015

Newly Listed: Woodland Bird Bag

Woodland Bird Bag Vintage Embroidery, Cross Stitch, Linen, Leather, Kiss-lock by StarBags
Mystic Moon, Dramatic nighttime photography cloud photo mysterious art by DuniStudioDesign
Dark Blue and White Butterfly - Original Signed Fine Art Photograph by PortraitsbyAleks
Botanical photo autumn white leaves abstract woodland dark - Maidenhead fern by gbrosseau

Monday 14 September 2015

From Shabby to Chic Vol.2

Another sad little stool got loads of tender loving care to become a beauty.
I love seeing its previous state to appreciate how rewarding this is to do, after many hours of sanding, layers of varnish, sanding again and painting it, I really need a reminder to how it was to appreciate more how it has become :)

Actually preparing the piece takes much more time and effort than upholstering it.

As we already had the same kind of stool transformed we wanted this one to be entirely different than the previous one.

I wanted it nicely round like a big fat mushroom :) which turned out to be a challenge but eventually worked out. With the flowers and butterfly its like it would fit perfectly in a scene of Alice in Wonderland.

The embroidery is a vintage piece of punch needle embroidery, on its own it is pretty kitsch but now it is hip (if I may say so), it is so nice two give two old pieces a new life together.

The little Ottoman is available in our decor shop, among other revamped furniture pieces.

Sunday 13 September 2015

Newly Listed: Brown Lace Tank Top

Brown Lace Tank Top with Vintage Handmade Lace, Bohemian Top Size Small Medium by StarsWear
Retro vintage goddess photomontage digital art print beige cream black wall art by VoogsArt
Antique Lock Photograph - Secret Door - print, rustic home decor, skeleton key, cream and coffee by ErinBPhoto
Dandelion Art Macro Dandelion Photography Dandelion Seeds Pale Blue Grey Wall Art Print by AmyTylerPhotography

Saturday 12 September 2015

Newly Listed: Maze of Secrets Necklace

Maze of Secrets Necklace Verdigris Copper Handwoven Infinity Jewelry with Agate, Coral, Kuchi, Leather by StaroftheEast
Abandoned Book Pages Fine Art Photography, Dark Decay, Urban Photograph, Forgotten by JillianAudreyDesigns
Rustic Farmhouse Photo Decor, Still Life Fine Art Photograph, Cottage Chic Decor, Verdigris by MelanieAlexandra
Old Country Fence Photograph, Misty Morning Country Life Print. A Simple Life, Morning by BeneathNorthernSkies

Wednesday 9 September 2015

Newly Listed: Pumpkin Sea Urchin Decor

Pumpkin Sea Urchin Decor Halloween Thanksgiving Decor Pumpkin Harvest Fall Home Ornaments by StarHomeStudio
Aruba Starfish beach photography sand ocean photography photo Original fine art prints by myvintagegardens
Orange Crush Photo - Vintage Pop Cooler - Vintage Photography by PhotographybyTess
Autumn photography leaves Fall maple leaf orange red rust printable art by sunshineartdesign

Tuesday 8 September 2015

Newly Listed: Dancing Girls Skirt

Dancing Girls Skirt Fairy tale Vintage Clothing Woodland Gobelin Tapestry Fabric Clothing by StarsWear
Bird photography - Vintage Inspired and Dreamy - Baby Nursery - Fine Art Photograph by DreamyPhoto
Sparrow Bird Photography, mint green & brown photo print, vintage chic home decor, wall art by MaleahTorney
Canadian Rockies Photography Print Fine Art Mountain Snow Forest Landscape Photography Print by WildWildernessPhotos

Monday 7 September 2015

Hag Stones And Other Magic

A few weeks ago we turned in to a road we never had gone in to before, in hope to find a, for us, new beach. On our way we came across a hidden ruin in the middle of a little village, which in turn was pretty much in the middle of nowhere.

The roads were very rough but magical, below trees, struggling to not let the car strand in a ditch.

But eventually ended up on a beautiful beach, although the water was warm the waves are so strong that it is hard to swim in it, and even harder to get out as the waves keeps pushing you, causing for much of giggles :)

But beside sea urchins we found some rare finds, things we have not found on other beaches. That is the beauty of exploring new beaches, each is holding different treasures. It is really amazing how we find specific shells on one beach and close by we find totally different things. On this one we found 6 and 7 legged starfishes, unlike our usual 5 legged ones, in general they look very different than the ones we usually find.

And this huge sand dollar, the biggest we found until now, the stone I pictured these finds on is also a find from this location and as I hoped while carrying it to the car, turns out to be great as picture background.

And we found a bunch of naturally drilled stones. These stones are called hag stones and are in many cultures believed to bring luck and protection. In the old days they were hanged above windows and doors to keep evil spirits, witchcraft and enemies out. Still many believe in it and in some places fishermen also have one hanging in their boat.

It is also believed that when looking through the hole you can see pixies and faeries :) One other fun fact; if you look to your enemy through the hole you can curse him/ her, so enemies beware I have hag stones and am not afraid to use them! :)

I've made a few pieces with hag stones, driftwood and ceramic beads, to hang in your home. Not only are they great for protection, they also give a wonderful beach vibe :)

I will make more of them but for now these two are listed in our decor shop, in case you can use some extra protection or you need to curse someone, always handy to have this on stand-by :)