my first origami crane…
Posted in pia's photos, stylists own June 30th, 2009 by piablog


Yesterday I said I would show you my first origami crane, and here it is! When I say my first I mean my first ‘pretty’ one, there are of course a table full of not so perfect ones. Now that I know how to make them, I’m a little addicted. It’s rather meditative, and I find it’s a really nice way to take a little moment in the day to unwind. It’s certainly a day enhancing activity, that is for sure.

I made my origami crane from this photo featured in Paris: Made By Hand, which I printed onto recycled paper…


the book signing…
Posted in paris: made by hand June 29th, 2009 by piablog

Well what a lot of fun that was! I really didn’t know what to expect as this was my first ever book signing. Of course I was a little nervous and wondered if anyone would really want me to sign a book…


But the moment I arrived there were a few eager people waiting for me! There appeared to even be a little race to be the first book signed! I was chuffed. I took out my new pen and off I went, signing away. The weather was nice and warm, and even though it was a little overcast it was so lovely sitting outside in the square, chatting away, meeting new people.

And I was really surprised to meet some fans of the blog. As you may know, most of my blog readership is in America and Australia, so it was super special to meet some blog friends here in Amsterdam.


Among the surprises was meeting Kristina which many of you may know well as being the food editor of Design*Sponge’s In The Kitchen With series featured every Friday. I had no idea she was planning to come and it was such a pleasure to meet her in person! I also got a special surprise visit from fellow blogger Tara from Paris Parfait! In case you don’t already know, Tara’s blog is full of fabulous Paris finds and is a must if you are traveling soon to Paris, or just love everything about The City Of Lights.


And the day was made extra great by friends popping by to say hello and wish me well – thank you guys!! You all made me feel super special.

A big thank you to The American Book Center for inviting me as a guest to their fab event this year. And an extra big thank you to French Boy and my dear friend Zoë who both accompanied me the whole day and kept me refreshed and happy. Zoë also took all the photos featured here (merci merci!)


I met heaps of great people, and by the end of the day the bookstore had to order more books as there were only a couple of copies left. Of course the day was not just about me – my booksigning was part of an annual event called Urban Culture, organised by The American Book Center. Last year it was all about customize sneakers, but this year, with the handmade movement coming up at a steady pace, they decided to include some last minute guests like me, and also the ABC treehouse’s Idle Hands who are these fab bunch of knitters who get together every Wednesday night here in Amsterdam and knit! The group had a table in the middle of the square and were knitting up a storm. Every now and then I would see one of them head to a tree, or a pole, or a random street bench and tie their finished piece to it, street art style. I loved it! And I got a chance to have a chat with some of them too, I’m tempted to join up the moment I have a little more time up my sleeve as they were a really nice bunch of people. Idle Hands also have some really cool projects coming up in the following months so I’ll be sure to let you know all about them when the time comes.

Also on the day were a group called Umbrellart who were very busy creating art on umbrellas, and I also met Julia from Maoma Designer Toys who had her sewing machine out and was creating all sorts of cool things. I must say, I was a bit envious of her with her machine, sewing up treats right in the middle of Amsterdam on a beautiful day!


And last but not least I had the pleasure of being accompanied on my table by Natalia who came by especially for the day to teach passers-by a little origami. Natalia and I got on like a house on fire, I was so glad to get to know her, and she taught me how to make an origami crane! I might show you my handy work in the next post.

So that was that. A very successful day after all with heaps of laughter, a little sunshine, a handful of new friends, and lots of book signing! I’m a little dizzy with all the attention though and need a lie down now.



PS The bookstore window that I helped put together the other day looks a little worse for wear I’ve since noticed as books had to be taken from the window and signed as store copies ran low! It is a rather small space to get in and out of (I have a few contortionist aches and pains from my time spend in there last week to prove it!), so hanging items became entangled, some were broken and others missing. But not to worry, I will be doing another window in another European city soon! And this time its just for my book so I can be a little more bold. Oh sometimes I think I have too much fun.

thank you for the mention: Vogue Living…
Posted in paris: made by hand June 29th, 2009 by piablog


Paris: Made By Hand has had many wonderful reviews and mentions in the press all around the world since it’s release last month and I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to show + tell here in the (blog)house and say thank you. So, I am going to try to include a few in coming weeks and I’m starting with Vogue Living who featured the book on their travel page in this month’s issue. I receive a copy of it last week and was thrilled to read the story on Lyn Gardener’s Daylesford hideaway, and there is also a great spread on Caroline Quartermaine’s London apartment and atelier. I also got a kick out of reading editor David Clark’s letter whose last words are “It’s time to celebrate the artisan”.

Ain’t. that. right.

Thanks Vogue Living!


PS I can’t wait to tell you about the booksigning on Saturday! It was a great success and I’m still a little giddy from all the attention. My full report soon!

from russia, with love…
Posted in paris: made by hand June 26th, 2009 by piablog

Today this beautiful email appeared in my inbox, with this fab image…


It is from reader Anya who wrote:

“Dear Pia,

I am writing to you from Russia and would like to thank you for your wonderful book! … The book is lovely and I can’t stop looking at it although I finished reading it several days ago. I open it every day before going to bed and your pictures make me think about beautiful and kind things. I am dreaming to take it with me and use some of your tips when I am in Paris next time.”

Thank you so much Anya!! It was such a treat to read your email – a beautiful way to end the working week.

Have a wonderful weekend mes amis. I will be at the spui as you know, from 1-6pm tomorrow.

Wish me luck for my first ever booksigning!!


on the coffee table now…
Posted in library June 26th, 2009 by piablog


…is this book.