deep into the rainforest…
Posted in australia, nature, pia's photos, soundscapes February 26th, 2010 by pia


Standing in the depth of the forest is one of the most magnificent “I’m alive” moments to be had. Being amidst the trees, the birds, the insects, the soil, the air… it always sends a tingle up my spine. My racing mind stops. And my heart fills with light, and life. It is so real yet so magical.

Would you like to take a moment with me today, and stand right in the middle of the rainforest? We can stand in one place and look around to see what we might see, and hear what we might hear. We can pretend we live in a treehouse, high up in the branches.

Please click on the play button to listen while you scroll through the photos below to be whisked away to the depths of the rainforest with me. Enjoy…

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Have a wonderful weekend mes amis.


+ soundscape and photographs taken on a walk through Lamginton National Park in Queensland, Australia, January 2010.

+click here for more soundscapes.

brisbane: a city for sore eyes…
Posted in australia, pia's photos February 25th, 2010 by pia


Believe it or not, my very first trip to Brisbane was just last month. But before you say, “how is that possible, aren’t you Australian?!” The answer is of course yes, but living abroad for many years of my life means that I haven’t actually explored alot of my own homeland. When I was a teenager living in Italy at the time,  people were always a little astounded that I hadn’t been to Uluru, or the Great Barrier Reef, or Darwin, or well, Brisbane. I always said to myself “when I move back, I’m going to travel across Australia!”. When I did move back life took over  – school, university, my shop, cafe and now here I am, living across the other side of the world again. And still without visiting Uluru. But I can now add Brisbane to the list of places I have been to in my home country. Although I was there for less than 24 hours, I got to see a good amount of the city with many thanks to my dear friend and  fab tour guide, Zoë.

PJB_brisbaneriver1brisbane on the river – seen through the reflection of the bow of the citycat

So, here is a little photo essay of the trip we took along the river on the city cat to the powerhouse, in New Farm. Traveling on the river was the best way to be introduced to the city – we got to see all the different bridges, the old, refurbished buildings, and got a good idea of where each area is located…





We hopped off at the powerhouse (which I had  a ball exploring) and had drinks outside on the top deck, while watching the sun set over the city…


above and below: view from inside the powerhouse…



PJB_brisbaneriver6my view after a couple of champagnes! no, I did purposely take off the auto focus for this shot, I promise.

Heading back on the city cat at night was lovely. Seeing the bridges all lit up was rather fantastical, albeit a little kitsch but still, lots of fun…


The next day we had brunch at the Lock ‘n’ Load on Boundary Street, West End. The food was great! As was the setting. Then we wandered up and down Boundary Street where there are heaps of great independent boutiques and bookstores.


I was utterly surprised at how gorgeous this city actually is.  Most Brisbanites I’ve met around the world talk their city down and to be honest, that’s probably why I never made the effort to visit earlier. But it’s beautiful – an urban scape nestled around a huge, winding river lined with old native bushland. I think most Australian’s take the expanse of nature for granted. I must say  I did growing up, and it wasn’t until I lived abroad that I realised no matter how “urbanised” we think our backyards are, nature always rules and that is really, really special…


come with me to a place where paper boats fly…
Posted in artists, australia, creative ventures, handmade, pia's photos February 23rd, 2010 by pia



…between stars afloat in the night sky…

Now, I’m no poet so I’ll stop right there, but this lovely friend of mine is. Not only is she a poet, but an artist of the truest kind who surrounds herself with beautiful handmade creations, works in progress, and lots of interesting curiosities.

Are you ready to come and visit her corner of the world with me? She lives quite far away so I hope you’re up for a little adventure. Take my hand. All set? Okay, let’s go…





Welcome to the home studio of Kylie Johnson, creator of paper boat press. Kylie lives in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, in one of the most picturesque quiet corners of a city I’ve ever seen. Surrounded by huge native eucalyptus, wattle, ferns and palm trees, Kylie works on her clay creations, illustrations, and poetry in her studio which is an outdoor room overlooking the trees and a gorgeous old church.  I visited her a couple of months ago for the first time and already, I am missing being in her presence and her calm, inspiring space – which is why I wanted you to come with me today…



I could spend hours looking at Kylie’s creations – picking each piece up, turning it in my hands, and imagining a world that exists outside the one I know. Her book of poetry ‘count me the stars’ is filled with beautiful words, phrases, fragments of memories and dreams. I like to open it at a random page and digest the content while I continue with my thoughts.

Fancy a cup of tea and some homemade muffins out on the balcony? Kylie has just pulled a batch from the oven, they smell utterly delicious. Tea is on the table…






Kylie has lots of wonderful things happening this year – including the release of her second book of poetry published by murdoch books called ‘a once courageous heart’. I can’t wait to read it…

IMG_5213-2photograph courtesy of kylie johnson

It’s time to go. I know, I don’t want to leave either. But now that we have this post permanently in the (blog)house, we can come back again and again. Thank you for having us dear Kylie, I wish you all the best for the year ahead and I can’t wait to see you again, wherever that may be…



The launch for Kylie’s book is next Friday, March 5th and if you live in or near brisbane, please go along and cheer her on for me. The rsvp date is this friday, february 26. Details are below…


I am going to linger in queensland for the rest of the week here in the (blog)house as I have lots I want to show you from my trip there last month. I hope you’ll join me…


PS oh and I nearly forgot! Here is a little peek inside her living room, I love it. But I got so distracted with her studio and creations that I forgot to show you…


tomorrow I’m taking you with me to see a friend…
Posted in artists, pia's photos February 22nd, 2010 by pia


…so make sure you get plenty of sleep tonight as you’ll need all the rest you can get before we head off on this very special journey. See you bright and early in the morning!


inspiration overload: haven workroom…
Posted in artists, creative ventures, handmade, interiors February 19th, 2010 by pia

cassandra2Cassandra’s  beautiful old home in New Zealand, as photographed by Matthew Williams.

Perhaps you are like me and are guilty of collecting fabrics upon fabrics which you want to make into a quilt but never find the time? Well, yesterday while I was reading Cassandra Ellis’ (from Haven Workroom beautiful blog, I was thrilled to find out that she is now taking orders for quilts made with your own personal collection of fabrics! It’s a wonderful idea, and Cassandra’s style and designs are stunning, she is one of the rare people I would give my pile of precious fabrics to without hesitation.

Read her original post about how she serendipitously came upon the idea here, and click here to find out about pricing (follow the link to ‘our goods’, ‘quilts’, then  ‘download pricelist’).


For those of you who are new to Cassandra’s work, let me introduce her to you. Back in 2002, Cassandra started a business called Haven Workroom in NZ. Then it was a gorgeous little store selling high-quality hand-made homewares (which sounds like my little indigo, but no doubt much, much nicer!). A little while ago, Cassandra packed her bags and moved to London and re-created Haven Workroom into an atelier making bespoke contemporary quilts as well as restoring and up-cycling vintage furniture. Cassandra’s aim is to keep artisan skills alive and relevant. Her quilts are contemporary and one-of-a-kind, made from vintage silks and cottons combining Indian, English, Asian and Eastern European textiles.

Take a look at her quilts right here.

The photos you see above and below are from Cassandra’s home back in New Zealand. I love her eclectic yet cohesive collection of homewares displayed throughout each space. It’s a home filled with soul…



Beautiful, non? Oui! But you know I was going to say that.

I don’t know about you but for me, this week’s posts about talented female artisans and their work spaces has been truly inspiring – first  it was Tracey Deep, then Harriet Goodall and now Cassandra Ellis of Haven Workroom. Be sure to check out all the links attached to each post as there is more inspiration to be had than what I have shown here.

Have a great weekend mes amis. See you on Monday!


PS I am over the jetlag and flu now – yay! Thanks for all your well wishes.