our corner store…
Posted in australia, country style, creative ventures November 7th, 2012 by pia

There is a beautiful new store in Bangalow, in northern NSW called Our Corner Store. Inspired by the traditional corner store it has a little bit of everything and values good old fashion service. Owners Aneka and Miranda have a beauitful aesthetic, each item is carefully selected to fit into a natural, organic style.  “We are passionate about the home and celebration, and sell goods that make living simply better and more beautiful – wire storage and hooks, brass hardware, hemp rugs, jute baskets, canvas camping accessories and stationery.”

I interviewed Aneka and Miranda about their new venture for Country Style, you can read the full interview here. Thank you Aneka and Miranda for sharing your gorgeous space with us! And a big thank you to Natalie McComas for the stunning photographs, and Annique Rousseau for the beautiful styling.

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dandelion: “bullying is for people with no imagination”…
Posted in apps, books, creative ventures June 29th, 2012 by pia

I’ve become increasingly interested in kickstarters these past months. I love the concept of being able to fund independent projects, to be directly involved in the making of something unique & wonderful. The other day I received an email about a fabulous concept for kids – an iPad app that explores the topic of bullying through the highly creative story of a young character named Benjamin Brewster. Dandelion tells the tale of Benjamin’s journey against the odds to defeat bullies. Through illustration and beautifully written text, the aim is to encourage dialogue between parents and children, inspiring the reader to interact with the pages of the book and help Benjamin’s wish to come true…

World, meet Benjamin Brewster…

“With all my might, you’ll all take flight… If I could but wish for better things, you’d all disperse and grow your wings…”, Benjamin Brewster, Dandelion.

Each scene in the app is pencil drawn, digitally painted, spliced and then animated. Benjamin himself has been drawn as a “blank canvas”, allowing each reader to be able to place themselves in his shoes. Click here to see a sweet little behind-the-scenes video of Benjamin’s magical world coming to life.

I love the idea of defeating bullying with “a little imagination”.  I’m passionate about both communication and imagination being key elements in the way we can better live our lives.  Not to mention the clever use of the technologies available today, allowing us to combine old crafts with new.

While the app is well under way to being produced and available soon, there is a special kickstarter project currently in progress to enable you to pledge your support for Dandelion and in return to receive any number of limited edition items like colour signed prints, wall decals, and signed hard-cover books. These extras are uniquely available for the duration of the kickstarter project. The deadline is July 23rd, which means there are only 24 days to go…

Thank you Luke for taking the time to email me about this fantastic project, and for giving me the opportunity to share it right here in the (blog)house.

xx

For more info on Dandelion, click here.
To pledge your much appreciated support, please click here.
And please feel free to reblog or share this post with your own social network, obviously the more support, the better.

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amy merrick’s fairy tale flowers…
Posted in artists, creative ventures, nature, stylists December 9th, 2011 by pia

all images featured in this post are courtesy of Amy Merrick.

I wanted to write this post in time for Thanksgiving since that is when I first met sweet Amy last year. Shall we pretend I did  actually manage to write this in time for the occasion? okay yes, well then this is what I wanted to say:

“This time last year, I received an email from Brooklyn-dweller Amy Merrick, informing me of her upcoming trip to Amsterdam and how she’d like to meet up if I had the time. I’d admired Amy’s work, blog, and ‘living in’ posts (where she puts together a collection of homewares and furniture inspired by the sets of favourite movies) on design*sponge for some time, and was rapt to know that I’d have the opportunity to meet her in person. Amy was traveling with her dear sister Micha and they happened to be in Amsterdam on Thanksgiving day. So I decided to surprise them and book a table at the only place in the city that serves a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner – lovefood. Perhaps it was going to be more of a treat for French Boy and I as the last time I’d had a real Thanksgiving meal was 15 years prior when I lived in Pennsylvania, while French Boy had never had a Thanksgiving feast. French Boy, my dear friend Heidi and myself rode our bikes to the restaurant on the prinsengracht to meet the girls. It was a gorgeous, crisp Amsterdam evening, and we rode side by side, chatting and catching up on the week’s happenings.

In we all went, took our seats, and didn’t stop chatting for the whole evening, dining on turkey, homemade cranberry sauce and all the Thanksgiving trimmings that could fit on the table. It was such a memorable evening, I was captivated by Amy’s stories of recent travels and life in New York, and hearing about Micha and Amy’s childhood memories and ambitions. I’m so thankful for that evening, it meant a lot to me to enjoy that special meal with such beautiful people.

In the conversation, Amy mentioned her transition into a solo career in floral design.  She had ideas to start a website and work from her Brooklyn apartment. In August of this year, I was delighted to find out she’d done just that, and has created such a delightful online showcase of her work as a prop stylist and floral designer, take a look at some of her work in the following images…

Stunning, non?  Take a moment to read her post on how it all came about, and how she was inspired by her visit to Amsterdam. And while you’re visiting her blog, an apple a day, take a moment to read her most recent post about her visit to Florida with Micha, which tells of how their parents met (it’s the ultimate “Most Romantic Meeting Story of All Time”)…

Amy is not only a beautiful genuine soul, but incredibly talented as you can see. I’m excited to continue to follow her journey to see what she creates in the years to come, and how her creations will evolve over time.

“Happy Thanksgiving mes amis.”

So that is my very belated thanksgiving post featuring dear Amy. I figure, better to give thanks late than never, right?

xx

………………………………………….

+All images courtesy of Amy Merrick.
+To peruse Amy’s new website, click here.
+To read her blog “An Apple a Day”, click here.
+And to view her awesome ‘living in’ posts on design*sponge, click here.

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in sydney now: GREENHOUSE by Joost…
Posted in creative ventures, food, pia's photos, sydney March 9th, 2011 by pia

“I have designed the restaurant in reverse. I’ve started at the end and worked back. My dream has always been to build a restaurant that creates no waste and now I believe I can achieve it!” – Joost Bakker

Last Friday, Romain & I had the pleasure of enjoying breakfast + a catch up with my dear friend Jenni at Joost Bakker’s GREENHOUSE. I’ve been a fan of Joost’s work since learning about him a few years back, and was so excited to hear via gourmet traveller that his latest venture was right here in Sydney. Over the years, Joost has been commissioned to design furniture, spaces, and vertical gardens in his signature style that brings together nature and industry. His focus on sustainability in all his projects is what drew me to his work, and it was such a treat to finally experience one of his creations in the flesh…

For me, stepping inside GREENHOUSE was like stepping into the heart of Amsterdam – from the use of space, colour, decor, and inventiveness  – there is a wonderful air of the unconstrained, which is the very characteristic that I love most about Amsterdam.

While enjoying a doughnut and cuppa, I was fortunate to meet Georgina, one of the talented designers on the team. She spoke about the design and  creation of the restaurant, and how they’d love to find a permanent place for it in Sydney (yes, please!). Thanks to the lovely Georgina, I also got a chance to meet Joost on the rooftop garden + bar…

The GREENHOUSE philosophy is about “lifestyle and the many choices that can be made; from material choices to fashion, food and ultimately waste.” This is evident through the space – everything has been made from recycled materials, including the bathroom doors and jar covered lights…

GREENHOUSE is only open for another couple of weeks, so if you live in Sydney, I highly recommend you go and check it out while you can. Sitting on Campbells Cove, just opposite the Opera House on the other side of the quay, it’s well worth it just to drink in the view on the rooftop terrace, surrounded by strawberries and herbs of all varieties…

Congrats to Joost and his incredible team, here’s hoping for a permanent GREENHOUSE in Sydney!

xx

…………………………

photos by Pia Jane Bijkerk & Jenni Booth.

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Anthology: living with substance & style…
Posted in creative ventures, interiors, pia's photos February 18th, 2011 by pia

Anthology, issue no. 2, “where the Past Meets the Present”

Conversation, with Leslie Oschmann from Swarm

…Conversation, page 2…

A few months ago I had the good fortune of being asked to photograph my dear friend Leslie’s home in Amsterdam for the newest issue of Anthology. For those who don’t know, Anthology is the new kid on the block in the shelter and lifestyle print magazine world. The first issue launched at the end of last year with a whopping online ovation, and a great marketing campaign announcing that ‘print is not dead’…

the cover for the first issue of Anthology, “The Slow Life”

The other day, I received a copy each of the first two issues and I’m rapt to report that this magazine deserves all the applause it has received since its inception.  Founded by Meg Mateo Ilasco (author of the wonderful Craft, Inc & Crafting a Meaningful Home books) and the ever-lovely Anh-Minh Le, Anthology cleverly fills the gap that has been so needed in this market – a lifestyle mag about real people in real homes, sharing their lives and inspiration in an open,  pared back, intelligent, and untainted-by-heavy-advertising way. The layouts are beautiful, crisp and simple, the paper quality and texture is lovely, the “shopkeeper’s picks” are thoughtful & unique, and the home stories are modern, content-rich & refreshing. There are some really interesting ‘in every issue’ pieces, like the ‘making the magazine’ spread which, in issue no. 2 features illustrations depicting quirky behind the scenes tidbits  (story locations, sightings during the production, ‘drinks consumed on set’).  Also in issue no. 2, “Where the Past meets the Present”, there is a knock out visual travelogue by Jen Siska who uses both high and low-fi cameras to showcase Palm Springs. The results are stunning…

a sneak peek at jen siska’s palm springs visual travelogue

A big congratulations to Meg and Anh-Minh for creating a beautiful publication. It’s an honour to be a contributor, here’s cheers to print being alive and kicking!

xx

PS yes that was my first exclamation mark in weeks. (!!)
PPS preview both issues online right here. You can order Anthology online, and for a worldwide stockists list, click here.

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