tomorrow night’s book launch + latest country style issue…
Posted in my heart wanders, recent work April 28th, 2011 by pia

wow, it’s really happening: Today My Heart Wanders is being delivered to bookstores across the country. And the official book launch here in Sydney is tomorrow night at Ariel Books in Paddington. Have you rsvp’d? If you plan to come, please make sure you email or call Ariel (02 9332 4581) to let them know as I’ve had word that they will be checking names at the door. Party on, people! This is going to be fun. (PS don’t sit at home and watch the royal wedding, come and hang out with us instead! It will be the place to be).

In more exciting news, the latest country style magazine is out on newsstand shelves today and features a very special article I wrote about Australian artist Greg Hyde (do you remember my post about him on the lovely bloesem some years ago?), and how a visit to his mud brick home five years back inspired me to listen to my heart which lead me to move to Paris, then Amsterdam, and then to write about the journey which is, My Heart Wanders. It seems magical when you look back and realise how certain events and occurrences lead you to where you are today, non? Back then, if someone had said to me that I would end up living on a houseboat in Amsterdam, with a French man, and be asked to write a book about it, I would have said “you’ve lost your marbles”.

I will tell you more about the article and the shoot next week, but for now, I hope you can locate a copy of the magazine to read it at your leisure. Victoria Carey, the editor of Country Style, will be coming along to the book launch tomorrow night to say a few words.

Meanwhile, I have to get on with the preparations for magnolia square for Saturday! Above is a sneak peek at what I’m making. And in my usual style, I’ve left the whole ‘what to wear’ to the last minute, and am dashing out the door to go and find myself a vintage dress.

Hope to see you tomorrow night at Ariel!


PS musicians wanted! I’d LOVE some acoustic & instrumental music at the launch tomorrow night, but all efforts to locate a band free for the night have failed. If you and a friend play the guitar or violin, or the likes, and would be happy to play some lovely sweet music while people mingle tomorrow night, I’d be forever grateful.

PPS I took these photos with my iphone, using with tilt shift and the new brannan filter.


random: unearthing treasures
Posted in pia's photos, stylists own April 25th, 2011 by pia

what: faraway treasures. where: in my new home. why: they’re pretty

I’ve only a few more boxes to unpack. phew.


PS if you like, you can click on the image above to see a bigger version with captions.

a little gathering at empire vintage…
Posted in my heart wanders, stores April 25th, 2011 by pia

The other day I had one of my whimsical, spur-of-the-moment ideas (for past examples, see here, and here): it occurred to me that a few people in Melbourne may not be able to stop by to say hi & buy a signed copy of the book while I’m styling away at magnolia square on Saturday, April 30th as they will be working during the day. It also occurred to me that after such an event, I will most likely feel like an apéritif, while I wind down and chat with new & old friends.  So I thought it might be a good idea to have a little casual gathering in the late afternoon. I’m delighted to let you know that gathering will be at the very gorgeous empire vintage in albert park, from 4:30pm. There is only room for a few people though – like, ten, tops – so if you are one of those people who will not be able to come along to magnolia square earlier, but still want to meet up & get your hands on a copy of my heart wanders – all the while perusing Lyn’s amazing boutique & sipping something sparkly – then just send me an email.

When: 4:30pm, Saturday, April 30, 2011
Where: Empire Vintage, 63 Cardigan Place, Albert Park
What: apéritif & mingling


If you’d like a little peek inside Lyn’s shop, check out photographer Jillian Leiboff’s beautiful post featuring photos from her recent visit.


all about props…
Posted in homewares, stylists, sydney April 22nd, 2011 by pia

My first ever job as a stylist was assisting on a david jones catalogue, some 7 or so years back now. I was nervous, to say the very least. I had no idea about styling, or photo shoots, or anything of the sort. I remember walking into the windowless studio – a concrete room filled with hi-tech camera paraphernalia and trestle tables full of props – daunted by the bright lights and the fact that everyone in the room knew exactly what they were doing. That is when I met Jenni Booth, the stylist I was to be assisting. Jenni took me under her wing from that first moment, teaching me the ropes of styling for the many months that followed. Her generosity and genuineness never faded, and we soon became great friends.  I’ve always said that if it wasn’t for assisting Jenni, I would never have wanted to pursue a career in styling.

playing with props at Jenni’s place

A few years back, during a skype conversation while I was living in Amsterdam, Jenni let me in on an idea that she’d been nurturing for some time. We were rattling on about the frustration of never having enough time in a day as a stylist – so often we are allocated a minimal amount of hours to prep for a shoot, and those precious hours are spent rushing around from store to store, with most of it wasted in travel and trawling the internet for props. Even if we find something on the internet worth pursuing, we still have to get out there and pick the item up. During our conversation, Jenni asked me, “What if you could hire your props online, with clear photos and prices of each item. Would you use that service?” I answered, “absolutely! That would be awesome.” In the months that followed, Jenni got to work on creating just that – an online hiring store that would be super easy to navigate, with loads of great props, clear photos, and next day delivery.

Today, I’m super excited to be the first online to tell you about my dear friend Jenni’s new venture,  Prop Hire Online

What makes Prop Hire Online truly unique is that it is an ONLINE ONLY store. It has been created to make the life of a stylist, art director, photographer – really anyone in the industry who requires props  – a lot easier and much more productive. It’s open 24hrs a day, so you can hire when it suits you. There are beautiful clear photographs of all items to show you exactly what you are hiring. It works just like an online shopping cart where items for hire can be added and tallied as you browse. Then, the items are delivered the next day to your studio or location and will be collected when the hire period is finished.

all sorts of props – from baskets, books, and backdrops…

Jenni has also included something rather exclusive to the range of items available stylist supplies and kits. So if you have run out of masking tape or need a whole new kit, she can add this to your order and deliver it too. With this launch there are over 500 items available to hire for every kind of shoot, be it interiors, still life, food or fashion. New products will be added as they are gathered and a regular newsletter will keep you up to date with the latest arrivals.

One of the other things I love about it is that you can type anything you like in the search button – be it, say, the colour ‘red’ – and you get a selection of all the red props…

Isn’t that cool? Since shoots are often theme-based, you can narrow down your search this way. Let’s try, ‘green’…

I love it. There are so many gorgeous items. Looks at some of the crates…

and vintage bottles…

Last year while I was visiting from Amsterdam, Jenni and I were in a fabulous antique store in a little country town, and found this divine vintage French champagne bottle to add to the Prop Hire Online collection…

It’s one of my favourite items in stock, and I can’t wait to hire it for an upcoming shoot.

So if you’re based in Sydney or around, and are a stylist, photographer, art director, or just love photographing beautiful props for your blog, OR if you want a stylist’s kit of your own, then this is the store for you. Congratulations Jenni, after all the hard work and persistence, you’ve done it! And it’s more than fabulous. I am a very proud friend.


-photo credits: first 3 images by me, fab product images by Alan Richardson.
click here to visit Prop Hire Online.


artist nicola hensel’s home in country style…
Posted in artists, australia, interiors April 19th, 2011 by pia

There is a fabulous article in the april issue of australian country style magazine about artists Nicola Hensel and John Turier’s weatherboard cottage. Have you seen it? I’m enamoured…

This is a home with heart, filled with treasures found, foraged, and made by hand. Incredible art line the walls, vintage rugs are strewn across the floors, and an old piano is played everyday. Nicola’s niece once said that the house was like a giant cubby. I think that’s rather wonderful…

The full story is delightful, if you can get a copy of the april issue, you’ll love it. You can also see more photos and read a bit more about Nicola and John online right here. The photographs are by Sharyn Cairns, who I recently had the pleasure of working with, more about that amazing experience in a post to come.

I’m inspired.


+photography by sharyn cairns, and styling: geraldine munoz for country style magazine.

+for more information about Nicola Hensel’s art, visit the Jan Murphy gallery here.

+to see some of John Turier’s sculptures, click here.