Posted in france, mini trips, pia's photos October 31st, 2008 by piablog

It was a misty drive back through the French countryside… The fog was thick and heavy, revealing some rather eerie tree creatures along the way. I was able to capture a few with my camera from behind the safety of the car window – they were so spooky, I did not dare open my window to get a closer look, just in case one of them stretched their ghostly branches toward me and snapped me out of my warm comfy seat.. to get a really good feel for this ghoulish ride, click here to open a new window for the soundtrack to this post, then come back here to scroll through the images below… happy halloween my dear readers…

last weekend’s sojourn…
Posted in france, pia's photos October 31st, 2008 by piablog

…as you know I snuck away to France last weekend. It is the same place in fact, that I took you to when I first started this blog at Christmas time last year, do you recall? (Click here to see it back then in it’s wintry glory.) This time it was of course Autumn in this special place in the east of France, and all the leaves on the trees were turning magnificent shades of gold, orange and red. On my way there I saw a billboard by the forest that said…

Plongez au coeur du poéme vert…

Which means “Let your heart dive into a poem of green”. How beautiful. It was the perfect way to describe how I felt about this wonderful place (had this billboard read my mind?)…

I found myself writing my own little simple poem…

I love these Autumn trees
with their paper-thin golden leaves
that flutter in the breeze…

I asked French Boy the names of the trees in the forest as we drove to our destination, and he rattled off the following names: Le Chêne (oak), Le Hêtre (beech), Charme, Acacia, Charmille, Bouleau (white birch) and Peuplier. It all sounds so much more magical en français

There are many things I love in this area, but I especially love the farm houses – each one has it’s own vegetable garden, and often it’s own cattle, sheep, or horses…

It was a brief stay, but just enough time to go for an afternoon stroll, eat and drink the local victuals, go market scouring, and collect a trunk-full of wine and cheese to bring home. Next week I will show you my brocante finds from the trip, and this weekend we are hosting a wine and cheese night to share our Jura specialities with friends. But before I sign off here for the week, I have one more post for you from the trip…

(PS I love this song with this post)

(PPS But now I also love this song with it too. And here it is live.)

my autumn gift is on it’s way…
Posted in hunter gatherer October 30th, 2008 by piablog

Here is my box of goodies for Sofia’s Autumn Swap! The person I am sending it to is a secret – neither you, nor her will know until she receives the package. I do hope she likes it. I had fun getting to know her through her blog, and I tried to create my parcel with her likes in mind, as well as my likes, with a little taste of my home town of Amsterdam. Do you want to know what she will receive?

Well Sofia’s idea is that we are to include 4 things – comfort food for the soul, a comfort drink, comfort food, and a comfort surprise. So mine are as follows…

1.comfort food for the soul… A little book of postcards of love story book covers from the 20’s and 30’s, called Bandit Love, published by The Little Bookroom (my favourite publisher, you’ll soon learn why!)

2.comfort drink… my favourite tea (it’s the package that is wrapped up). I enjoy this every day with a little spoon of honey and a dash of soy milk. I hope my swapee will enjoy it too, I think she likes tea :-)

3.comfort food… How could I send off a package without chocolate, right?! So I went for a little walk yesterday to a Chocolatier and Tearoom that caught my eye months ago and I’ve been wanting to go in ever since. It is called Pompadour and is in the antique quarter of the city, on the very quaint Kerkstraat (Church Street). I thought this would be the perfect place to find my swapee something a little special and boy, did I ever! I selected a few chocolates for her, they are in the little chocolate brown box.

4.comfort surprise… This is a soap from the very awesome soap boutique called La Savonnerie here in Amsterdam.

And also some butterfly tags from Royal Buffet which I totally adore, and I think the colours are perfectly autumnal.


And that’s it! Oh and a postcard I bought at de hortus gardens when I was there, I love that card. Do you think she will like this package? I am about to head to the post office now to send it on it’s way. Bon voyage little package, please arrive safe and sound across the seas!


PS would you like a peek at some of the other gifts being sent for the swap? Check out Josephine’s from Red Thread based in San Fransisco here, and Kate’s beautiful package from Love You Big in my other hometown of Sydney, here. Oooh I wish I was receiving these goodies!

let’s get etsy-ified!
Posted in etsy favourites, handmade October 29th, 2008 by piablog

We love Makool here in the (blog)house (remember this knock-out number I featured a few weeks ago?). I couldn’t help but feature this saucy number here too. Gorgeous.

This is the sweetest little thing in the world is it not? My little cotton self would like to potter around this cotton potting shed, stylishly crafted with vintage and recycled cotton, by Cotton Bird Designs.


And this bag screams out two things – my name for one, and “ingenuity” for two. It’s from Olive Brown and is made from strips of clear plastic shopping bags, which were hand cut then knotted to create “yarn”, and then knit in both garter stitch and stockinette stitch. Wow… c’est la classe! (which is a favourite quote of French Boy’s)


This week’s etsy finds have totally captured my imagination: I want to dress up in a little lace, mess about in a cotton garden, collecting cotton vegetables with a little hand-knitted sack… who’s with me?

a bit of blogging fun…
Posted in personal October 29th, 2008 by piablog

I am in the midst of putting together my autumn swap parcel for my swapee (or swapette?)… just a few extra touches and it should be ready to send off tomorrow, just in time. As the above image suggests, it may include a feather or two (I just love a feather or two, don’t you?). I will be sure to take a photo of it as requested before I put it in the mail.


images by photographer Sam McAdam, via Daily Imprint

And another bit of fun is this interview of me on Sydney journalist Natalie Walton’s gorgeous blog Daily Imprint! Natalie has a fab feature called burst of inspiration where she interviews artists, shop owners, and bloggers, and this time, she asked me. It is a real treat to be a part of her burst of inspiration feature. So please go and check it out , say hi, and read through her archives, she’s got lots of goodies! Thank you Natalie!

Now, I must get back to work. Believe it or not I am STILL organising props here on the boat.


PS You know I don’t post photos of myself on my blog, but if you are a little curious as to what I look like, you will find a pic of me as part of Natalie’s interview. Yes I’m a little camera shy, in case you haven’t already noticed.

PPS photos of my weekend trip coming up soon! And I MUST gather some etsy favourites for the week too! How time does fly when you’re having fun.