the last post on this blog…
Posted in (blog)house news April 24th, 2016 by pia

MHW_dedicationpage_IMG_0588

I’ve been writing on this blog for nine years, can you believe it? With only one makeover about 7 or so years ago. And in a few days, it will be no longer as my new website is almost ready. We have just a few more things to do and I’m hoping that by mid-week it will be able to go live. So although all the posts on this blog will be transferred to the new site and I’ll be continuing to write in the new space, technically this post will be the very last one on this blog, as you see it now. It’s the end of an era. A part of me that is ready to shed, shift and transform. I’m ready to open the door.

So for the next few days, I hope you can take a moment or two to peruse this old blog, read back on some of the archived posts from when I lived on the houseboat, rode my bike around Amsterdam, shared beautiful work by beautiful people, made soundscapes in Paris, travelled to some beautiful places in France, became pregnant, shared my music… there are many memories, and I’m incredibly thankful to those of you who have joined me along the way and shared the ride.

There will be lots of new inspiration in the new space, and a few special items I’m so looking forward to sharing. If you’d like to make sure you are one of the first to view it, please subscribe via email. I hope to see you in a few days, in my new space. Au revoir (blog)house, you’ve been wonderful…

Pia xx

stripped-back storytelling…
Posted in (blog)house news, personal March 26th, 2016 by pia

Yesterday on…can I admit this without internally cringing –  facebook –  I shared a video shared by a friend shared by someone else titled “3 reasons why you should share your work” featuring author Austin Kleon. I’m not a fan of the word ‘should’. And I hadn’t heard of the host or author Austin, but I took the 4 minutes to watch the video and was instantly reminded of how those very 3 reasons Austin gifted were at the very heart of how and why I started my blog 9 years ago, and hence became a published author. Without realising it at the time, I started my blog because I had ideas and stories and experiences I felt a calling to share. I also had a very deep longing to connect with other souls like me, and a hidden away dream to become an author. And now I understand it was that deep part of me that found blogging and got me started. To be fairy-like about it, the Universe answered my call.  Because after all, it was this very blog that launched my published creative writing career. But in recent years, I lost my way. Before I continue, here is what I wrote on facebook:

“As I’ve been rebuilding my website over the past few months, reshaping it and bringing it into alignment with who I am now, I’ve also been looking at how I want to progress from this new space. Looking back at how I started blogging, what I loved the most about the experience was the rawness, openness and connectivity that developed and I want to find that again, perhaps it will require carving out a new pathway in the face of how much the format has changed in the last decade. This video below is exactly what happened with my blog when I first started, these 3 reasons to ‘show your work’ naturally developed and it’s how I became a published author. This is so helpful to those who want to do the same. And I’m taking note for my own creative journey ahead as I’ve definitely gone off track since those early days…”

To elaborate, it was during the manuscript writing of My Heart Wanders, I remember back then in 2010, I felt a struggle and need to separate the content – writing and revealing intimate stories of my life and journey became reserved for the book, and in the process of that need to seperate, I lost the fluidity and rawness and ‘stripped-back storytelling’ I was known for and what I loved about my blog. My posts became more refined, less raw. And 6 years on, I feel the calling again to connect and share getting louder and louder. To just ‘put myself out there’. Perhaps it all came unhinged in the over planning, and the what ifs. In the past 6 years my life has changed so dramatically and even though I haven’t been blogging in depth about it, writing has been one of my best healers, though keeping everything locked away in my diaries feels somehow, not the place for it. I think I felt it was a safer place there. I was scared to share as what I’ve felt has been so raw, so real, there are no pretty pictures that go with them.

But I need to forget about formats and pretty pictures and books now and get back to what I loved about writing on my blog in the first place. The openness. The connection. Yes this can be a vulnerable place to be, but my vulnerability is what I was taught to spend my lifetime suppressing , and it’s what I have now understood I need to nurture.

The lovely editor Amanda Carmen Cromer of My Heart Wanders wrote in reply to my post on facebook:

“Stripped-back storytelling gets me every time. Like the first draft of My Heart Wanders. X”

Her comment got me thinking and inspired me to write this blog post. Then came another comment from Heather Sanders, it was as if she was reading my mind:

“I am sure you know how many you inspire, your book MHW sits in my front room and I turn to it often. I find it not just beautiful but somehow comforting. However, it is in your more unrefined – if that is the right word… posts, blogs, that now speak to me even more. The polished works of all artists whilst beautiful and inspiring separate us somehow. The sharing of more vulnerable, less edited words and pictures connect with people on a different level. They make us believe that the impossible may indeed be possible. They awaken the writer, the artist the dreamer in all of us. For that I thank you.”

So while I build my new website, I am figuring out how I want to proceed with blogging. For a long time I’ve been focussing on the idea of sending out a newsletter, thinking it would be more intimate but in recent days I’ve gone off that idea, as I realised it was yet another form of controlling and fitting into a format, and yet another piece to write. Instead I’m going to stick with blogging in it’s straight forward, simple format. I want to be able to share what I’ve read, what I’m creating, what I’ve learned, what Laly’s reading, what’s happening with her, the things we do together… I want to make it loose, light and carefree again. I also want to make it interactive again – I miss replying to comments and my new website will have the feature for me to reply directly  to comments. Perhaps I need to give myself a time limit per post, so that there isn’t enough time to refine and self-edit other than grammatical errors. And perhaps I’ll start it with this very post! Yes, this very post: I got up at 6:15am with Laly, I told her I’d be writing on the computer in the office and that she needed to play on her own like she does if I’m still sleeping. She was great for about an hour and has been wanting my attention for the past 15 minutes but I’ve managed to write this post. Can I post it without images. Can I? Oh that seems like a stretch. But if I don’t post it now it won’t get posted. Okay, here goes! Breakfast time for us. Thank you for reading and thank you for connecting.

 

With Love,

 

Pia x

 

PS maybe I’ll add a few images later if I can’t bare the nakedness of the post :)

 

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Pia is taking a break
Posted in (blog)house news March 11th, 2013 by frenchboy

PJB_LTMBH_laly1

Romain here, marking my first post in the (blog)house. I would like to let you know why Pia has been slower than usual to respond to your emails.

Pia works 150% on every project but Little Treasures: Made by Hand has proven to be closer to 1000% due the self published nature of the work, and also the self imposed deadline (don’t try this at home boys and girls). On top of that she is an amazing mother to our little Laly who is growing up fast, and in the past few weeks there have been unforeseen family events. That is a lot on someone’s plate.

So Pia, against her determination, has been forced  to take a break now but she will resume her activities at a slower pace in a few weeks time.

A word about her latest book, Little Treasures: Made by Hand: It is hot off the press and is making its way to distributors and ultimately stores around Australia.

For those of you who have kindly pre-ordered your copies on Pozible, your signed copy of the book will arrive at your home some time in April.

Thank you for your understanding.

Romain

 

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I am here, but not “here”…
Posted in (blog)house news, blog favourites July 24th, 2012 by pia

In case you’re wondering, I am still posting regularly out here in the blogosphere, but not here in the lovely (blog)house. Instead, I’ve been busy ‘setting up house’ over at the new Country Style blog, posting about all sorts of decorating/interiors/travel stuff. I will be back in the (blog)house with more regular posts soon, but for now I’ve discovered one blog and one baby is plenty to keep me on my toes. Here is a list of some of my recent posts at Country Style, I hope you enjoy…

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A little piece about the beautiful wool work of Little Dandelion

photo by Sharyn Cairns, styling by Glen Proebstel
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Leslie’s (aka Swarm) latest collection of bags are gorgeous

photos by Leslie for Swarm

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Arphi Antiques revisited

photo by me for Amsterdam: Made by Hand

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Loving Cloth Fabric

photos courtesy of Cloth Fabric

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Dreaming of French country homes

photos by me

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Decorating with hydrangeas

photo by me for My Heart Wanders

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xx

 

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and the winners are…
Posted in (blog)house news, pia's photos, street cred June 3rd, 2011 by pia

wow, getting a hundred comments was like pulling teeth! But we made it in the end and created a great wave of enthusiasm across various social networks as well as had fun doing so all the while and that’s what matters. I can’t thank you all enough for making the effort to spread the word about giving credit, I do hope it’s a topic of conversation that keeps spreading to help make the online community we have going here a more rewarding and inspiring place to be. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading all your comments and blog posts in reaction to the new “giving credit” prints.

Choosing winners has been rather more difficult than I expected as there have been so many thoughtful comments. Among them I loved Natalie’s honesty in her comment,

“I have to admit I’m not the best at giving credit where credit is deserved… the part about finding it on weheartit really hit home. I will for sure go that extra step and give the original person credit”

along with Tricia’s fab frankness,

“Not only is it common courtesy, it’s the right thing to do. Stand up and be proud of things you find interesting and beautiful instead of feeling jealous and insecure – promote your fellow artists work and it will come back to you.”

I loved this remark from sweet Hayley:

“The internet is an intricate WEB of information, not a one way flowing river, and really, giving credit is just good karma!”

while Michelle said,

“I would feel almost as if part of my identity were stolen”.

Dear Tara wrote,

“too many people seem to mistakenly have the idea that anything online is free” which I whole-heartedly agree, and mommycammille said,

“If something is good enough to capture your attention, then you owe the creator credit” – indeed.

Another one that resonated with me was this from Kim:

“…for me personally it can be so frustrating to come across an image and want to know more – who made it, where it came from, the story behind it – but not have even a link or a name as a jumping off point!”

And this one from Dara:

“It is hard enough to create works of art without having to worry that your creativity and talent will get taken from you. There is nothing easier than adding a little “photo by” at the bottom of a photograph or image. If nothing else, it gives the artist a little jolt of appreciation and if there’s one thing we could all appreciate more in this world, it is artists.”

See the difficulties in picking two clear winners? But I finally chose two. Please join me in giving thanks and congratulations to Rebecca and Debbie for their lovely comments…

…………………………………
These are stunning!! I love the deep sea colour.
Reading this flow chart has made me realise that I need to work harder at giving appropriate credit when I use other peoples images. The old saying ‘do to others as you would like done to you’ comes to mind, and I’d love to be properly recognised for the work that I’ve done & others should be too.
Also, I feel that if we recognise people properly for their effort, they will continue creating & inspiring (which can only lead to more good things!).
Thanks for creating such an inspiring blog xx

Rebecca
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As a teacher librarian I am always driving home the message of plagiarism to my students as they have no concept of intellectual property. I would love one of these posters to have in the classroom to teach a whole new generation to respect and credit the intellectual property and the creativity of others! Wonderful idea!
Debbie
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Thank you everyone for your support, encouragement and continued enthusiasm for this topic. Remember, for those of us who blog, we were all blog novices at some point and no doubt posted images with ‘sources unknown’ in the early days. But we’ve learnt, and this print is a culmination of what we’ve learnt and what we feel is important to pass on to others who are new to the online world, or who have not quite worked out the importance of crediting thus far. This is a starting point, a place to create awareness and support of one another.

May online artists prosper!

all photos taken on my iphone using instragram

While on the topic of crediting, I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you to my dear friend Kylie who, when I hollered from her living room a few weeks ago, “I’m hopeless at picking colour words  – have you any ideas for words that are more creative than ‘green, pink, yellow and grey?” and she answered boldly and confidently, “yes! how about ‘deep sea, fuchsia, butterscotch and storm cloud’!” Brilliant I thought, and hence the names of the print colours were born. Kylie and her incredibly generous creative community in Brisbane will be the topic of my next post, so stay tuned.

xx