Saturday 27 February 2016

Newly Listed: Real Mule Skull

Mule Skull Real Skull, Natural Found Taxidermy Curiosities Collection Teeth Animal Anatomy by StarHomeStudio
The Nature Collection, macro photography, pampas, plume, feather, delicate, dramatic, rustic by EmulsionProjekt
Oregon Landscape Photography, Cannon Beach Wall Art, Ocean Coastal, Fine Art Photography by EyePoetryPhotography
Winter Rain Drops Fine Art Macro Floral Photography Print, Flower Bud Photo, Nature Wall Decor by KLCPhotography

Thursday 25 February 2016

Sea Urchin Facts

I thought it would be fun to investigate more about sea urchins and share my findings with you. I tried to find out how many species of sea urchins are out there and different sources give different amount, I think the exact amount is not known as still new sorts are discovered, but it must be between the 700 and 900 types of sea urchins! (Source of Sea urchin Anatomy image: Abiogenisis)

Their anatomy is very unique. They don't have any brains but do react to touch and light. Their mouth is under the body (the part which has a large hole when you find them on the beach) and their anus is on top (the little hole). Their teeth, called Aristotles Lanterns are intriguing little things, their teeth sharpen themselves and renew every so often.

When we find sea urchins on the beach (we never collect living ones from the sea) they are often cleaned up by the sun and the waves. But we very often find them with their spines too which is a painful thing to clean, but when they have still their spines it often means that they haven't been on the beach for long and they still have their teeth inside. We carefully take them out and offer them in our supply shop as they are loved materials for sailors valentines art works as you can see below.

Sailor's Valentines are little framed art pieces made entirely out of sea treasures, usually very small treasures are used making them look like fine mosaic pieces. There are collectors of them, Antique ones are rare and not many people make them today. (Source of Sailor's Valentines image: Valentinesmansion).

The sea urchin above is the Heterocentrotus species Slate pencil sea urchin, image from ryanphotographic. We sometimes have necklaces of their spines in our shop.

Here is a necklace made with a Slate pencil Urchin Spine, available in our shop,

This striking striped spined sea urchin is the Echinothrix diadema Sea urchin (image from ryanphotographic).

They make striking earrings, available in our shop.

The sea urchin's name comes from hedgehog as urchin is the old name for hedgehog so they are hedgehogs of the sea.

I will be digging up more sea urchin facts for more blogposts but for now, here are 10 fun facts about sea urchins:

Monday 22 February 2016

A Journey from Ugly to Pretty

The title and this picture might be a weird combo but no this bug, although pretty in a creepy way, did not turn in to a butterfly :)

I am also not talking about a road trip...

But about the sad ugly remains of this table, which has clearly gone through a lot. A battle where it lost two legs...

And a kid with anger management issues, gave the result of this sad thing. But the remaining two pretty legs made me see potential.

I started by sawing and attaching the missing wood piece, and sanding the dark brown paint and the kid's 'art' away.

I primed it with white paint to make everything equal in color, working with a table that has only two legs was a bit challenging.

I then painted it a sea green/ blue.

And the top got a vintage road map, like the previous table I had fixed a few weeks ago.

I cut the map in shape and applied many layers of varnish making the top smooth and waterproof.

Then came the most exciting and challenging part, attaching the legs. I was sure to use driftwood legs and wanted them to be very natural, straight driftwood pieces would have looked like ugly replacements. I made sure to use a level tool so that the table was straight even though the legs weren't.

And after a few weeks of work here is the result *patting myself on the back*.

I used a map with the exact color of the paint. A road map of west Turkey.

The driftwood seems to be growing out of the table, I love how natural it turned out!

Working with discarded materials is extremely satisfying, giving life with stuff that is tagged as 'trash' putting some work in it to make it unique and beautiful. If everyone would re-use as much as possible landfills would be much less filled, don't you think :)?
The table is available at StarHomeStudio where you can also see more pictures and all its measurements.

Saturday 20 February 2016

Newly Listed: Vintage Nautical Sea Map

Vintage Nautical Sea Map Pull Down Map Turkish Coast and Greek Islands 1981 Sea Sailing Map Geography by StarHomeStudio
On the sea - Art print by majalin
Minimalist Bird photo, Seagull, Beach decor. Pastel peach, turquoise , aqua, summer photography by NancyFalsoPhotos
Ocean Photograph, Sea Photography, Beach Photo, Gray Lake House Decor, Coastal Wall Art, Water Picture by PureNaturePhotos

Thursday 18 February 2016

Old Baby Traditions

For the past few months I have been listing vintage and antique items in our home decor shop, StarHomeStudio. A few of those items are antique cradles from Turkey. These baby beds are for most culture extremely weird and exotic.

This one is entirely made out of wood and even have hand carved rings, most likely to distract the child with.

You might have thought where and how babies sleep in these, as it has hardly and depth, and when you add a mattress it has no depth at all and a baby would fall off. These cribs were used with a swaddled baby which would then be bound to the bed, making movement impossible.

This custom is not how I personally would raise a baby, swaddling is loved by many but binding them to a bed is pretty claustrophobic (we wrote years ago a funny blogpost about swaddling in case you are interested). I have not seen this custom done here anymore but I sometimes I see an adult with the back of the head flat, I've only seen this with men I suppose as woman usually have long hair you can not see it. The flat back head happens when the person as a baby was swaddled and bound to the bed for a too long period of time, lying in the same position when the bones are still soft makes the skull flat on the back, sounds pretty horrible doesn't it?

The cradles however are gorgeous and come in many shapes and motives. Mostly done in wood this iron wrought one is rare.

The handles on top are to rock the crib but you can also carry the bed including the baby.

These cradles are still used in some Eastern countries also in East Turkey, in the same way these old ones were used.

It is believed that as the baby can not move it stays calm and sleeps better, I think that the fact that in these regions women often have 8 or more children that the cradles makes it easier for the mothers to do their house chores without having to worry about the baby.

This picture was recently taken in a camp with Kurdish refugees. The beads are against the evil eye, you can also see fabric which is used to cover the crib when the child sleeps, often protection for again the evil eye but also against mosquitoes.

We even have a doll version one, this one is tiny and completely crooked and rusty, I think it needs some tender loving care :) The other 3 cribs are available in the Vintage section of our shop. These would be beautiful to showcase special dolls.

The first illustration is from this blogpost about baby sleeping believes and rituals, the second illustration is from here and the photograph from DailyMail.

Here a video of someone who still makes these cribs today in Turkey, according to the video he is the last person in Turkey who still makes them, but I doubt that :).

Wednesday 17 February 2016

Newly Listed: Full Moon Jewelry Rack

Full Moon Jewelry Storage Organizer Rack, Towel Holder, Coat Rack Driftwood, Metal Astronomy Home Decor by StarHomeStudio
Astronomy Photography - Wall Art Home Decor Print of the Milky Way Galaxy - Lake and Stars in a Photograph by DaveGordonPhotos
Gravity - Photography, fine art print, diorama art by ClemensWirth
Moon Land Backdrop - astronomy, blue earth, star sky, galaxy - Printed Fabric Photography Background by BackdropDesign

Monday 15 February 2016

Flying Carpets

We have been busy with making a whole bunch of new pretties for the shops. And the past 10 days or so a lot of them had something in common which was the use of old tapestries and Kilims. We started with this coat which we made with a tapestry which was entirely hand embroidered!

The thought of cross stitching such a large piece makes me crazy, it clearly was done before internet or tv :) Unfortunately in time some of the embroidery got damaged so by the time we scored it, it was not usable for it normal purpose.

We found the perfect pattern with not too many parts which was necessary as small pieces wouldn't have worked with the material. We cut out the entire pattern and puzzled a whole while till we got all pieces with mirrored embroidery and all damaged parts were not used. The tapestry turned out perfect for it as we were only left with the tiniest piece of it and with this gorgeous coat which is available at our clothing shop StarsWear.

Many many years ago (about 30 to be more precise) my mother bought a whole bunch of Kilims in Turkey, this was of course way before we moved here and when we were still living (or maybe not me as this might have been before I was born) in Holland.
We are now slowly having them professionally cleaned and the ones in good state are once cleaned listed in our Vintage section of the Home decor shop.

Unfortunately some of them turned out to be damaged, making them useless as floor coverage but of course not rubbish. Throwing away hand woven pieces of kilim was not an option.

Even though this one had a big fat whole right in the middle, making it impossible to get a decent sized piece out of it.

But I remembered an old pouf in the attic which I brought down.

After sanding, varnishing and painting it in a soft pink...

It got some extra foam to make it higher so that the motives of the kilim would fit perfectly.

Tadaaa  pieces of Kilim + old forgotten pouf and this came out of it, pretty cool don't you think?

The brass feet got all cleaned up and shiny and it got a pompom trim for some quirkiness. The unexpected choice of pink paint is as you can see a matching color with the pink of the kilim and a little unexpected. The newly made pouf is now available here.

We had a few little pieces left after the pouf...

Which after many hours turned in to a pretty awesome bag!

We used a doctor bag frame, upcycled leather and two pieces Kilim.

It has an old feeling but still a cool newness, I love re-using 'useless' stuff it is so satisfying! Can you believe that we still have some pieces left? Those will most likely turn in to smaller purses :)
For now this one is available in our bag shop, StarBags.