my last post for 2009 (I have something wonderful to reveal)…
Posted in my heart wanders, personal, pia's photos December 15th, 2009 by pia

pjb_collage3click here to see the original post for this image.

Well mes amis, this is it, 2009 has rolled on by. I cannot believe it is December and that the end of the year is near. I am about to hop on a plane to the other side of the world, to “my other life” down under and so I will bid you farewell for the year, here, today, as I have decided to take a little time off. I will only be taking a couple of weeks holiday as I have lots of work to do in 2010, but two weeks is two weeks and I am very much looking forward to it. I have had an extraordinarily busy year and my body, mind and spirit are in need of some serious rest and recreation.  I will begin posting intermittently at the beginning of the new year while I am in Sydney.  I’ll be there for a couple of months this time ’round. I’m so excited to be heading to sunshine, sea and sand.

pjb_bay5click here to see the original post for this image.

But this is not the only “something wonderful” I have to tell you. Cast your mind back to well, around the beginning of this here blog, two years ago. In January of 2007 I announced an idea I’d been forming for an art project that involved you. I asked you to send in photos of your wandering hearts. Do you remember? Well the idea took off, and went completely out of control – I received so many images that I lost all ability to keep up to date. All the while I was consumed with the task of writing my very first book Paris: Made by Hand, and then my second to be published this coming April  – Amsterdam: Made By Hand, as well as keeping up my freelance styling work here in Europe. But it got crazier – in between all that I was asked if I would write another book. A book about my own personal journey of how I got here: the journey of  following my wandering heart. Today is the first time I’ve been able to tell you this “something wonderful” that I’ve known for a while now, I was just waiting to catch my breath.


And although at this early stage I cannot reveal much, I wanted to let you know about it since you have all been such a wonderful part of this journey – dear friends who have been encouraging me every step of the way, lifting me up, holding my hand, and guiding me gently.

So, what will this book be about? Well, here is a little description…

“This is a beautiful, lavishly photographed, illustrated and designed book by Pia Jane Bijkerk. It is a travel memoir, a love story, a story about searching for home and making homes in new places, a photographic love letter to the charms and delights of Paris, France, Amsterdam and Italy, and a story of finding inspiration in the everyday.”

I am very pleased to announce that My Heart Wanders will be published by Murdoch Books and will be released in 2011.


While I am writing and shooting it over the coming months, I thought it might be a lovely idea to open up the initial blog project again, and post images that you sent in as there were so many that I was not able to post and now that the book has evolved into a more personal journey that marks the beginning of it all, I will be able to share the first fabulous group of images sent in from around the globe.  So starting in 2010 I will re-open the artist studio as a place for wandering hearts. I will post an image every day or so that was sent in during the initial project, and then you will be welcome to send in more images throughout the year.

I also want to take this opportunity as my last post for the year to say thank you: for everything. Your kindness, your encouragement and constant presence this year here in the (blog)house has been overwhelming. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that this blog would be the catapult for so much wonder in my life. You are without doubt, the best readers a blogging girl could ever have.

Have a fabulous festive season. See you in the New Year!!


holiday gift ideas: for the little’uns…
Posted in christmas ideas, handmade December 10th, 2009 by pia


So here we are, the last holiday gift guide. I have chosen gifts that are pretty much gender neutral, bar the odd gorgeous dress and hair clips (like below!). I remember as a kid, I was always as fascinated with the boys toys as I was with girly things. So I’m thinking, I’m possibly not alone, right? Well, here are some ideas for the little’uns in your life. First up I fell in love with the little guy you see above the moment I laid eyes on him. He is made by my favourite dress US$70.00 custom orders only. location: Vancouver, BC, ships internationally.


clockwise from top left: handmade whale by tiny warbler US$35 location: vancouver, BC ships internationally; candy cane striped non slip hair clips by everyday clippies US$4.00 location: michigan; wooden rattles (love the polka dots!) from little sappling toys US$38.00 location: Boise, ID; fabric number book US$48.00 from pilo sale location: toronto.


I think this little lass is the perfect model for this dress, isn’t she gorgeous? So is the dress of course. US$54.00 Made from a rose wool blend by mette location: vancouver (again! I see a theme). Also love this linen number with little ruffles, also by mette . US$50.00.


Yoyos!! They are the coolest aren’t they? Love this one from something’s hiding here US$10.00 location: philadelphia; wooden toy tool box, yes yes please!! US$60.00 from wood toy shop location: Portland, Oregan.


Oh just look at these tiny cashmere sippers. US$48.00 made by woolybaby location: Philadelphia; and then there are the lambswool tweed ones, too too cute. US$30.00


Shadow puppets!! Because I KNOW you love them as much as I do.  There is a great range available from  orange moon toys – diy kits are US$20.00, sets are US$30 location: wisconsin, ships internationally.


trucks! But not just any trucks, these ones are made in Europe by sprig,  with reclaimed wood and recycled plastic $15.00 each available online at wild dill location: california. And for some more serious playtime…


clockwise from top left: vintage flower press – but I don’t want you to buy it because I want it for myself. It’s just US$5.50 from ismoyo location: new york; wooden sewing machine – awesome. US$65.00 from wood clinic location: Vancouver Island; felt numbers from michima US$14.00 location: New Jersey; teepees! from gracey bean baby US$130.00 location: US; gluten free lavender scented play clay US$4.50 location: seattle; spanish felt letters (there is also norwegian/danish and german available) from michima US $40.00 location: New Jersey (ships internationally).


So that’s it! That’s my kids holiday gift guide collection for 2009. I do hope you find some things in there for your own kiddies. If you are hungry for even more cool eco-friendly ideas for kids, check out my guide for last year and click on the shop links.

Spain. Cadaques – part four (a photo story).
Posted in guest quarters December 10th, 2009 by pia

all text and photography below by cath conroy

I was born near the ocean in Australia on the “gold coast”. Then we moved to the country in central queensland (almost the outback). It was very dry, flat and very very hot. Then when I was a teenager I moved to a small city.
Recently I’ve started to examine the impact on how the places we’ve lived shape who we are. I never realized until I moved to a foreign country how much an impact my physical surroundings have had on me. I think I’ve been pretty blessed to have experienced a myriad of experiences in different landscapes.
However all throughout my life I’ve always had a strong connection to the sea. Whenever I’m stressed, down, tired or just plain down and out its the first thing I visualize in my mind and the place I find myself yearning to escape to. Strange these connections we have – some may put it down to the comfort and memory of childhood but I think its more than that. I only lived for a very short time near the beach but its so deeply ingrained in my soul. I often wonder if other people feel like this? As I’ve started to delve more into the places I’ve lived I’ve realized I feel lucky to have such a strong love and respect for warmth, heat, sand, ocean, bush, trees, grass. Its part of being Australian I suppose with all that space and nature (I’m sure Canadians could relate to me here and uncannily a place I really want to visit).
I’ve written alot lately so this time – for my final part of my travels in Spain – I thought I’d leave you with a photo story of Cadaques. We only spent the day here but it was such a beautiful and memorable day.












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holiday gift ideas: for him…
Posted in christmas ideas, handmade December 9th, 2009 by pia


Well aren’t you all wonderful! Thank you for all your encouragement – a little pep talk goes a long way. I think if I told you what I have on my plate for the coming week, you would freak out and wonder why oh why I cram everything in – you’ll find out everything soon enough.  Anyway without further delay, here is the 2009 holiday gift guide pour lui. Clockwise from top left image:

1. box & flea bandannas! A stack of these would make a great gift for a guy. They are 100% cotton, US$36.00 available here. location: NY

2. iphone, wallet, cell, ipod, whatever else you can think of –multifunctional carrier, made with grey felt and leather. Love it! From kazzki US$29.00 location: sydney, australia

3. charcoal linen journal handmade/bound by paperiaarre US$38.00 location: turku, Finland

4. chalk chalk‘s chalk bicycle prints and originals are too cool for school. Prints are US$20.00 and originals are $125.00 location: LA



Clockwise from top left image:

1. miniature cabinet of curiosities no. 15 (what a fab idea) from miniature rhinos US$15.00 location: Brooklyn, NY

2. vintage perpetual calender for his desk. yes yes. US$35.00 from lucky little dot’s shop. location: NY

3. super soft cotton plaid scarf by cipolla US$29.00 location: toronto

4. vintage 50’s style shirt from lolly crisp vintage US$34.00 location: philadelphia

5. heavy duty blanket by swiss fizz US$20.00 location: zug, switzerland

6. gorgeous handmade crib board by enumero. If your man doesn’t know how to play crib, or you, then it’s time to learn! it’s a great alternative to watching tv every night. US$78.00 location: lafayette (free shipping in the US)

7. a full deck of miniature vintage playing cards – how cute. From estate of mind US$2.50 location: NY. Any cool vintage deck of cards would make a great gift.

8. pair of antique indian bowling clubs from vintage embellishment US$105.00 location: california I also found these ones which are cool too.

9. for the man who like numbers (I’m thinking of financial types)(or mathematicians)(or me, I would like this too)(and I’m not a bloke)…an abacus! US $60.00 from the orientalist. location: singapore


Here are a couple of gender neutral gifts which I think are always handy to have for impromptu guests. I was going to include it in yesterday’s holiday gift guide for gals but well, you want the truth? It didn’t fit my colour scheme for the post. Today, it does. Left: travel organizer from solo handmade US$25.00 location: Utrecht, The Netherlands. Right: tweed camera cozy, custom made by thistle down and finch US$28.00 location: ontario.


Now for the outdoorsy-sophisticated-takes his girl out for a picnic type of dude:


Clockwise top left:

1. wild deer antique pewter and silver cufflinks by make it.  US$32.00 location: the UK

2. mid-century traveling bartender set from adVintagous US$62.00 location: Florida.

3. vintage panama shirt (size: small) from lolly crisp vintage US$50.00 location: philadelphia

4. dunkerton’s organic cider. £2.55each from natural collection location: UK I love cider, and I was thinking what a great gift it would be to have a year supply sent to you – say, one 12-pack (or more if you love it love it) a month? And then I got thinking, what about the same for beer? Or wine? And then I got thinking, how cool would it be to have one of your local wineries/breweries/sellers send a mixed box of the stuff each month? Anyway, just a thought.

5. woven picnic basket from finding fabulous US$28.00 location: chicago.


Left:  swedish firesteel fire lighter, £14.95 from natural collection location: UK and right: hemp & cotton socks  (unisex)£8.95 from natural collection location: UK


To continue on the outdoorsy theme, but for the guy in your life who loves the idea of the outdoors but well, lets just say he’s the more leisurely type:


Left: succulents in tiny glass containers from monkeys always look US$14.00 each location: san diego california and right: hammock from oak and rope US135.00 location: florida.


How was that? I hope there are some ideas in there for the man in your life.  Remember,  if you love a bit of DIY, you could try making something inspired by what you see above, with materials you have on hand. Also, lots of these items are gender neutral, or at least I think they are because I dig all of them! And last but not least, be sure to check out each store link as there are so many goodies that I could pick from each, but I just select one or two for this post.

Happy gifting! Gifts for the kids will be up next (later this afternoon)…