juggling work and baby…
Posted in personal, recent work January 25th, 2013 by pia

PJB_stylingonshootjan2013portrait photograph by my awesome assistant, Julia Gordon

On Monday I was on a shoot for Country Style magazine, creating tabletop shots with my assistant Julia, and photographer Craig Wall for my upcoming magazine columns. It was a full day shoot – the first full day, 10 hour long shoot I have been on since being pregnant with Laly. It was the first time I’d been away from her for more than 5 hours. In the morning, in the hours before I left, my heart began to hurt. While driving to the studio in Alexandria with a car chock-a-block full of props, I told myself to ‘just get over it’. But the ache remained for the day although I did have fun playing with props and making things with Julia.

We finished shooting at 6pm, I think I’ve never packed my car so quickly. I gave Julia the fastest thanks-for-everything hug and backed out of the loading dock as fast as legally possible. I got home just in time to be able to give Laly her last feed of the day. We sat quietly in her room, curtains drawn, and just gazed into each others eyes as she fed.

It’s been a rough week since then. I know she’s picking up on my stress to meet story deadlines and book deadlines. I strive to find the balance.


PS Thank you so much for your ongoing support with raising funds to help self-publish Little Treasures: Made by Hand. We’ve had some technical issues with pozible while they upgraded their website, and we are so thankful for your patience in pledging and signing in.  If you have any queries AT ALL, do not hesitate to contact me by email (click here), and either myself or Fran will get back to you pronto.

PPS It’s my 35th birthday tomorrow. I have nothing planned, should I? Ideas?

update: the next “made by hand” book in the making…
Posted in little treasures: made by hand January 20th, 2013 by pia


Today I’ve been handwriting some quotes and French words for Little Treasures: Made by Hand in my diary, using pen, ink, and pencil. I’m about to scan them and insert them into some of the pages of the book. We are in the final stages of design, with text edits almost finished. I’ve written an update on the campaign page, click here to read all the details.

It’s been a fabulous start to the campaign so far, in just a week we are 18% closer to reaching the target. There is still a long way to go though.

Is there anything in particular you’d like to know about the book? Anything you’d like me to share? If so, comment on this post and I’ll answer your queries as they come in.



Little Treasures: Made by Hand video…
Posted in little treasures: made by hand January 16th, 2013 by pia

Little Treasures: Made by Hand from pia jane bijkerk

I’m pretty rapt to say there is now a sweet video introducing Little Treasures: Made by Hand, created by Ben Wylson from big sky in the UK – I can’t thank Ben enough for taking the time to put this together. Fran and I sent him a piece of my music, some photos, and a very rough script (my, it’s been a while since I went to film school!) and he worked his magic! I love it, thank you so much Ben.

Thank you everyone who has already supported and shared the news about Little Treasures, I was not expecting to get such great feedback so soon, you guys are awesome!



a new year brings new beginnings…
Posted in books, little treasures: made by hand January 14th, 2013 by pia

LTMBH_mamanandlaly_IMG_1264 copy

I’m sitting at my desk, with mess and books and pens and paper all around me.  Glancing over at my pin board I see the four ultrasound photos I was given some 15 months ago of our little baby who is today, 11 months old. I remember when I first saw those photos, it just didn’t seem possible that one day I would meet this little being growing inside me. Who was she? I was so eager to get to know her, to hold her and kiss her. I really had no idea how much my life would transform once she was born. No idea. These past 20 months I have experienced an incredible succession of extreme emotional highs and extreme lows, but there is one consistent truth underneath it all that remains and grows stronger by the day: love.


The  moment we announced the birth of  Laly 11 months ago, parcels began to arrive on our doorstep, each filled with the most beautiful gifts made by hand from around the world. From France came knitted cardigans, booties and toys, and from friends here in Australia came tiny felted slippers and the sweetest crocheted dresses and blankets. I was overwhelmed with gratitude and love for these sweet gift-givers who, with their generosity,  helped get me through each challenging day as a new mum.

But how to find the time to say thank you?  All I managed was a simple email, and it just didn’t seem enough.

Then, one night, in the early, dark hours of morning while feeding Laly, I had an idea. It shone in my mind’s eye as clear and bright as a shining star:

Imagine if I could create a book, photographing and cataloguing each unique object, writing a little about each person who made and sent the gift, sharing links to their websites so others could also buy their beautiful creations or find out more about them. It would be a collection of little treasures, connecting creative souls around the globe. I thought, Yes, this would be the most wonderful way to say thank you…

So I started to make notes and lists in a journal which I carried with me everywhere, a habit from making each of my past books.  Any spare moment I had, I thought about what it would look like. But the reality was evident – if I didn’t have time to write or send a proper thank you card, how was I going to find the time to make a book?

LTMBH_internals_diaryentry_1{note cards and diary pages from my journal}

Let’s be truthful, you all know time management is not one of my strongest character traits. And now, becoming a new mum, I suddenly realised my time was no longer my time.

That’s when serendipity stepped in. Around 6 months ago I had the pleasure of meeting Fran. With Laly in my arms, we got talking over chai, I told her all my grandiose plans, and before I knew it, Fran agreed to be my manager and help me make. stuff. happen…


With Fran’s incredible dedication and amazing efforts of managing my work life so that I could concentrate on being a mum and being creative over the past few months, I’m so so thrilled to announce that the book has gone from being just a vision in my mind, to something very real…

LTMBH_PJB_bookpages{here are pages back from the designer, ready for me to check & make final changes}

Oh I’m so excited!! It is looking so beautiful. Would you like to know the title?

Little Treasures: Made by Hand.

It will be the third in the “Made by Hand” series. And there are even more exciting things to tell you. This special, limited edition book will be in both English AND French. The French title is : Petits Trésors: faits à la main

PJB_LTMBH_onlinecover500_1the cover! Little Treasures: Made by Hand

I’m so excited to say that we are in the final stages of production, and that the book is ready to be printed!  One of the thoughts that transpired on that night was that I wanted to self-publish this book to have it ready for Mother’s Day 2013. In order to do that I have created my very own little publishing label – par cœur press –  (‘by heart’) and I have a wonderful team working with me including the fabulous designer Vivien Valk and editor Amanda Cromer who both worked with me on My Heart Wanders.

And what’s more? The book will be printed right here in Australia by Arena Printing who specialise in environmentally responsible printing using vegetable-based inks and environmentally-friendly paper stocks.

To be able to pay for the production costs of printing, editing and design, I am about to launch a crowd-funding campaign through Pozible.  As Little Treasures, Petits Trésors is so personal, I really wanted to be able to offer it directly to you guys, as well as independent booksellers & retailers via this campaign, so here’s hoping I can reach the target!

The campaign has JUST GONE LIVE and will end on Laly’s birthday on Thursday, February 14. Check out the page for a sneak peek look at some of the pages, and for all the information. Not only is the book available to order through the campaign right now, but there are some amazing packages created exclusively to help raise funds.

LTMBH_internals_threadopenerhere is a chapter opener from the book.

Far out! Putting myself out there in the hope that you guys might jump on board and help support this project is really really scary. Remember my first ever blog post 6 years ago? That’s how I feel right now: My heart is racing.

If you live in Europe and are interested in purchases any of the packages other than the book on its own, the shipping is only available within Australia, NZ, USA, & UK  however if you really want one of the other packages, just get in touch and we’ll get you a personalised freight cost.

Okay, I’ll leave you to peruse the site now, and I’ll get on with jumping around the house like a jittery jack rabbit.

Thank you dear friends! I’ll be updating you on the progress of the book and the campaign every few days. I hope you’ll help spread the word any way you can, and if you would like a copy of the book, head straight to the Little Treasures/Petits Trésors project page and click away! Merci merci…

with love.

twenty thirteen here we come…
Posted in personal January 8th, 2013 by pia


Happy new year mes amis. It’s a scorcher here in Sydney today, I’m sitting in our office/studio/storage space in the house which has a skylight – normally I love the skylight, today, not so much: The room feels like a sauna. Apparently it is 43 degrees out there. Laly is having an afternoon nap (yay!), so I thought I’d take this opportunity to write a little post to say hello! and welcome in the new year. I hope you’re all well and enjoyed the festive season. Did you get a chance to make a wreath? Mine is looking rather brown in this hot weather.

I have lots to share with you in the coming weeks. I have an incredible project which I have been keeping secret for a long time as I wasn’t sure if I could finish it. With the help of some wonderful people, I’ve actually managed to complete it over the past 6 months and I cannot wait to reveal it in one week’s time. Oh, I’m so excited. I’m so excited!

{This photo was taken on New Years Day. We hung out with my cousin’s family and Laly got lots of kisses and cuddles from her cousins Issabella – pictured, and Sahraa.}