Thursday 31 March 2016

Summer Vibes, Beach Treasures

On Sunday we almost always go to the beach. It is our break and treasure hunt day. This Sunday I took a whole bunch of jewelry to the beach to take some pictures.

I have been wanting to take these kind of pictures for a while and am glad that I finally made a start.
It was quite a challenge as it was in a very different way than I usually do.

Instead of in the shade I was in full sunshine, I could hardly see what I was doing and was not entirely sure if the colors would come out alright.

Also there was a cold wind so I actually was in my coat lying on my stomach getting in all kind of different positions crawling in the sand to get it all right :)

But I will do it again as I liked how they turned out, a perfect Summer / Beach vibes and we can all use that.

All jewelry pieces are available at Star of the East.

Monday 28 March 2016

Vanity Chair Gets a Boho Flair

I think the 80's was the worse fashion era ever, like horrible colors, weird baggy shapes and even hair and make up was bad. This vanity chair had the misfortune to be dressed (and made) in the 80's, I have seen worse clothing on people from that time but still this is bad :)

The shape and size however is adorable, it is almost like a pouf but with a back.
All the horrible fabric was removed, the body was reinforced, foam was renewed and now it was time for dressing her up.

You know how most women try a gazillion things went they go somewhere, making a huge pile of clothing on their bed in the progress? Well we always make a huge pile of fabrics and embroideries while we search for the best combo's for these furniture pieces.
For the 'dress' part we used a vintage handwoven, hand embroidered pleated skirt, the pleats needed to be opened and then resewn in the correct length to fit entirely around the body of the chair.

For the back we created Faux Chenille. This is a technique which starts with layering fabric pieces on top of each other, as long as the first layer is one large piece the other layers can be small pieces of fabric.
Those layers are then secured with safety pins or pin needles.

Then you sew diagonal lines with about 5/8'' (1.5 cm) between each line until your entire layers of fabrics are sewn together becoming a firm fabric.

Then in between each sewn line all layers are cut with scissors, except for the first layer which will hold everything together.

Once cut this is first thrown in to the washing machine and then in the dryer. You'll see why in a bit.

Like the blooming arm chair we wanted some crocheted flowers again for extra texture and quirkiness. This time they were dyed in greens and blues to match the fabric of the seat.

Now it is time to put all pieces together :)

The faux chenille becomes fluffy after washing and drying, the more the fabric frays the more fun the result becomes. While the green looks like grass, the flowers look very happy among the green.

I could staple most flowers to the chair as it was wood on the sides and back, with nails for staple guns. Only a few needed to be sewn as they came on the foam part.

This chair is now so fun and happy, vintage materials from different times mashed together with some crazy :)

The chair is now available in our StarHomeStudio shop among other one of a kind furniture pieces :)

Saturday 26 March 2016

Happy Easter!

Wishing everyone who celebrates a happy, peaceful and healthy Easter!
May you have plenty of delicious food on the table and your loved ones by your side!

Thursday 24 March 2016

Sea Urchin Facts Vol.2

Some more fun facts about sea urchins, you can see my first post here. (image: staroftheeast on instagram)

Regular sea urchins have a five-fold symmetry which you can see most clearly in the pink ones, they are born as bilateral symmetric but develop five-fold symmetry as they mature.
However sand dollars are also sea urchins and they are called irregular sea urchins as they are often oval and radial symmetric.

The bodies of adult sand dollars, display radial symmetry. The petal-like pattern in sand dollars consists of five paired rows of pores. The pores are perforations in the endoskeleton through which podia for gas exchange project from the body. The mouth of the sand dollar is located on the bottom of its body at the center of the petal-like pattern.

(image: staroftheeast on instagram)

Unlike other urchins, the bodies of sand dollars also display secondary front-to-back bilateral symmetry. The anus of sand dollars is located at the back rather than at the top as in most urchins, with many more bilateral features appearing in some species. These result from the adaptation of sand dollars, in the course of their evolution, from creatures that originally lived their lives on top of the seabed to creatures that burrow beneath it. (source: wikipedia)

Sea urchins are omnivorous animals and therefore eat both plant and animal matter. The sea urchin mainly feeds on algae on the coral and rocks, along with decomposing matter such as dead fish, mussels, sponges ans barnacles.

Sea urchins' tube feet arise from the five ambulacral grooves. Tube feet are moved by a water vascular system, which works through hydraulic pressure, allowing the sea urchin to pump water into and out of the tube feet, enabling it to move. (image source: wikipedia)

The Phyllacanthus imperialis sea urchin, more commonly known as the Sputnik urchin have thick spines which leave a very different texture once they die and have no spines left. Around the big spines are tiny spines for more protection. (image source: galleryofinvertebrates)
We find them very seldom on our beaches here, but when we do we use them for some special jewelry:

Sterling silver Sea urchin earrings available here.

Brass and Enamel Sputnik sea urchin cuff available here.

Here you can see a sea urchin in action, it is pretty amazing!

Monday 21 March 2016

Blooming Armchair

I might shout a little during this blogpost, blame it on my excitement :)
This was our most satisfying furniture project till this date. A lot of people fix furniture and usually they all end up much better than they were. We also fix the furniture pieces but we also challenge ourselves to make them unique and unseen, something we also strive for with our jewelry, clothing, bags or shortly whatever we make.

Our first idea was to make the same style chair we made before and sold recently. But pretty soon mum came with another embroidery pieces, a very large cross stitch embroidery done on linen with crocheted lace. I was a little disappointed as I had something totally different in mind, but went a long with the idea, eventually it turned out wonderful.

At first we needed to figure out what we would use where, this is always a discussion that can take hours or even days, and plans keep changing along the way. Once we were sure it was time to cut the embroidery, always scary as such a gorgeous piece can not be found again and the fear of ruining it makes you extremely cautious. Of course the feet of the chair needed to be sanded, painted and varnished too, small things that you hardly see can take many hours.

After cutting, most pieces needed fabric sewn on the sides, as the embroidery was limited we needed the extra fabric to be able to staple it on the wood. Also all fabrics needed to be serged for a long lasting piece. As we wanted to use the lace trim the embroidery needed also fabric below so that the lace could stay as it was. Some lace needed to be removed. All in all it was about 1 week of puzzling, cutting, sewing and serging.

Mum dyed a whole bunch of vintage crocheted flowers in the colors of the embroidery.

And then the time came to put all pieces together!
Normally at the front of the arms are fabric covered wood pieces nailed on top to cover the staples. I had prepared those pieces with plain linen and the plan was to hand sew a few flowers on it. But we found it extremely plain and boring and it did not feel right. The idea to directly attach the flowers on the front with upholstery head nails crossed our minds and then we became all giggly and excited as that idea made the whole chair become really special.

See for yourself :)

 Aaaa this make me so happy and cheerful :)

Of course no-symmetry was the mission, it is funny how asymmetry is harder to make than symmetry.

The embroidered flowers on the chair seem to come to life and bloom out of the arms!

It also has cute bugs :) There were a few stains that did not go off with dry cleaning, mum covered those up with embroidery. Non of the embroidery was left, we used it all, only some of the lace was left. The piece of embroidery that was left we decided to use for a cushion which fills up your lower back or could also be used for a couch or other chair to fit with this armchair.

After attaching the flowers on the arms we still had a few flowers left which I nailed to the sides as those were a little 'boring' :)

The back side is an asymmetric patchwork with the 3 types of fabric used for the chair. This chair would look amazing in the middle of a room as all sides are beautiful you won't need to hide its back to a wall. Apologies if I was bragging too much but I am so happy how this turned out!
The chair is available at StarHomeStudio where you can also see more pictures and read more info.

Sunday 20 March 2016

Newly Listed: Waterfall Capelet

Waterfall Capelet Cowl Shawl Teal Blue Knitted Capelet with Floral Brooch Luxurious Accessory by StarsWear
Boat Photograph, Rowboat Picture, Modern Nautical Artwork, Wall Decor Art, Ocean Photo by PureNaturePhotos
Flower Photography, nature print floral wall art botanical photo modern - Photograph by CarolynCochrane
Blue Agave Art, Wall Art, Cactus Photography, Fine Art Photography, Nature Home Decor by EricZippeImagemaker

Thursday 17 March 2016

Touched by the Sea

Don't you just love beach pottery? Pieces of china end up in the sea, and are tumbled by the waves for months or even years, making the edges soft and the pieces unique. A beautiful mixture of men made material with touches of nature.

I love to use them in jewelry and when someone asked if we could make a cuff like this sold one again, I started right away, puzzling with the pottery pieces and vintage materials.

The combination of all these pieces with history makes each piece one of a kind.

At this cuff I added blue coral pieces (shaved to fit in the cabochon spaces) for an additional beach vibe in blue shades.

This cuff has a lot of beautiful details and only had a few glass cabochons left, all were removed and replaced with irregular pearls and a natural shaped beach pottery in the center.

These cuffs are at least 70 years old and made completely by hand with very primitive tools, yet with gorgeous results. They are nowadays hard to find luckily we bought a bunch years ago. Planning to make necklaces in this style too!