the ever-evolving wreath just evolved for twenty twelve…
Posted in christmas ideas, handmade December 13th, 2012 by pia


For those who have been reading my blog since the beginning (it’s been 5 years this month!), you might recall my early attempts at the ever-evolving wreath back in Amsterdam, using materials I had on hand. Now in Sydney, I started a new wreath this time last year, using an embroidery hoop as a base and adding cut branches and found foliage from my backyard. This is what it looked like in 2011…


Then I let it wither and age, and fell in love with it even more…


It has been resting on top of the piano for most of the year, although I did use it as a prop for a very special shoot a few months back (to be revealed in the next post). For the holiday season this year I have added hydrangeas and seed pods from the back garden, and this is what it looks like now, for 2012…


Do you like it? I’m really happy with it. I’m not sure how well it will age, the hydrangeas may just shrink and brown, but we’ll see, I’ll keep you posted.


PS and I managed to sneak a little blossom behind her ear when she wasn’t looking…


holiday inspiration: gift guides by shelf / life…
Posted in christmas ideas, stores, sydney December 7th, 2012 by pia

shelf / life, photography by daniel shipp, styling by kam huckins

There is a beautiful store here in Sydney called Shelf / Life, tucked away in the creative enclave of Surry Hills. It’s one of my favourite shops. Owner Jess has incredible taste, but she also takes great care to handpick items that are kind to the Earth. I asked Jess if she would consider creating a holiday gift guide for you, my readers. She has come up with a fabulous guide, separated into three categories: “homebody”, “pamper” and “entertainer”. Most of the items are available online in her store or directly from the artisan themselves. Thank you dear Jess!


Hello, I’m Jess, owner of Surry Hills store, shelf / life, and today Pia has been kind enough to let me share my festive gift guide with you. The weeks leading up to Christmas are my favourite time in the shop. The weather is warming up, people are happy to be out and about, and every day we receive a new and exciting parcel in the mail filled with fresh products for our shelves. It’s a vibrant and happy time of year and, although busy, it’s really rewarding to see customers excited about giving our products as gifts.

Born from a desire to showcase works from my favourite designers and increase conscious consumerism, shelf / life was established in late 2009 and continues today with an ever-evolving range of home wares, stationery and gifts handpicked for their considered design. The little gift guide below features some of my favourite products from shelf / life as well as my top picks from a few other independent designers that I admire. I hope you enjoy it!

(Click here to read more…)

just when I thought sending holiday cards was a thing of the past…
Posted in christmas ideas, handmade, pia's photos January 20th, 2012 by pia

Here is a quick still life of a few of the gorgeous cards I received last month – some made by hand, others printed photographs and illustrations on beautiful card stock. Thank you lovely friends.

I hope everyone has had a peaceful, ‘time to reflect’ start to 2012. I’ve been nesting as you can imagine, and am happy to say our house now – finally – feels like home. It took a while but it’s ready – and I’m ready – to greet this new little person in our lives.

Happy holidays everyone! Here’s to 2012 being a year of hope, action, and positive change for all and each individual.


PS my friend Jenni rented out the movie “babies” for us yesterday, something she’s been telling me about for months but I hadn’t yet got around to finding. We watched it last night and it’s truly fabulous, I was especially drawn to the Namibian family, and french boy loved the mongolian nomadic way of life (impressed that they had a satellite dish and mobile phone). An inspiring film, I hope you take the time to watch it if you haven’t seen it already.

made by hand in amsterdam…
Posted in amsterdam: made by hand, christmas ideas, handmade November 18th, 2010 by pia

The other day I was visiting Hilde at Atelier Tempel (page 153 in Amsterdam: Made by Hand) and saw these little egg cosies she had just made which I thought were utterly gorgeous. On top of each one there is a bird with the corresponding egg on the front. What a brilliant gift for the holiday season. Although they are not on Hilde’s website yet, you can email or call her to purchase them – her contact details are here.

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.