coming up for air…
Posted in little treasures: made by hand, personal August 26th, 2013 by pia

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Has it been almost three months since I last spent some time here in the (blog)house?

To think that a year or so ago I started dreaming and thinking obsessively about the possibility of creating a book of little handmade treasures. In the dark hours while feeding Laly, the idea bloomed in my mind, and now, after a lot of work and wonderful support from you, my latest book, Little Treasures: Made by Hand is complete.

Through all the making and doing, I’ve wondered to myself whether it was completely outrageous to have launched such a huge project so soon after giving birth, and in so many ways it was. I forgot that making a book in itself is a birth: I think I figured that because I’d made three before, that this ‘little one’ would be a walk in the park. But each book holds a large part of my creative being and so each has come with its own steep learning curve. The self-publishing aspect of this one, combined with my new life as a mum, certainly took hold of me like none of the others have.

With that said, I can say without hesitation that I am delighted to have this special little bound treasure in my body of work, an everlasting keepsake of Laly’s first moments of life shared in the form of a visual story of incredible handmade pieces given to her by creative souls around the world.

And the beautiful truth that there is no way this book could have been born without your support.  Not just from those of you who pledged but also those who have ceaselessly cheered me on from the sidelines, helping me get to the finish line.

The project is now finalised as we have finished the mailout of all the books and packages from the crowd-funding campaign.  That means that if you ordered a book or package back in February from the campaign then you should have received it no matter where you are in the world. If you haven’t then please email us at [email protected] and we will resolve it for you as soon as possible.

I’m also really excited to announce that the book is now available for sale in my online book boutique and we can post worldwide!

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Also we are now at the stage where we can take wholesale orders around the world so if you would like to stock Little Treasures: Made by Hand in your own boutique then please email [email protected] with your order request and location and we can send you more information.

Thank you for your belief and encouragement of this midnight dream of mine.  I don’t know how I made it through the past year but I was comforted during many an early morning hour with the knowledge that so many of you were cheering me on from afar.

I’m incredibly happy to be able to spend some more time here in the (blog)house. I’ve missed you.

xx

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Posted in personal April 1st, 2013 by pia

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Hi guys. Sometimes – actually, every time -  it’s hard to write a blog post after a long break. So much has happened between posts that I don’t know where to start, or what to share. But then after a while of sitting here looking at the blank box, I realise the best place to start is in this moment.

In this moment, I am sitting in my little home office/studio/dumping ground, at the desk, writing this blog post. Laly is having her midday nap (what a wonderful difference it is to be down to one long day nap!), and Romain and I are working on getting the last remaining shipping invoices to the book buyers from the campaign, and then I hope to be able to start getting some of the packages together throughout the rest of this week, so that we can start sending them off around the world next week.

As I’ve been collecting the shipping and adding the details in the spreadsheet, I’ve been receiving lovely little notes within the invoice payments, with inspiring and encouraging comments. It warms my heart so much, and encourages me to keep going.  I’m very thankful for the support, I would not be able to keep creating if it wasn’t for those of you who voice your cheer.

Laly is growing so much. Among so many skills she is mastering, she has just started to walk, and I’ve noticed how much she is uplifted by positive remarks and reassurance. Her face lights up when we say “Bravo!”, and “Well done!”, and if she stumbles through trying her new skill, it will be one of those remarks that encourages her to try again.

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Last night after Laly went to bed, I reflected on the words that she is hearing the most throughout every day. Other than “Maman” and “Papa”, I realised the words we are repeating the most every day are “cuddle”, “câlins” (french for cuddle), “snuggle”, “beautiful”, “love”, “bonjour”, “bravo”, “kisses”, “bisous” (french for kisses) and of course “Laly”. It got me thinking about how lovely that is, how much that must make a difference to someone’s life.

I had intentions to write a post about Laly’s first birthday, but as you may have gathered from Romain’s previous post, things happened. My health took a turn for the worse, and I’ve spent the last month building it back up. I’m not quite recovered, I understand now that getting Little Treasures to the insane deadline that we had created for it was detrimental, and not just for me but for my new little family. If I am not well I cannot look after my baby and that is incredibly scary. And I’ve understood that in the future, if I want to continue doing projects, that they will have to be spread out and take much, much longer, with as many helping hands as possible. It’s just not possible for me to do what I do and be a Mum at the same time.

I got very down for a while wondering why other new mums could work on their projects, write regular, extensive blog posts complete with photographs (knowing how long it takes me to compile such posts), earn money, and cook a meal. Seriously? I mean, seriously? I just don’t get how. Friends assured me that these mums have help from their parents, in laws and siblings, and that on top of that they must have nannies, cleaners, and possibly butlers. They reassured me that the difficult circumstances I have going on in my life at the moment are taking their toll on my health. But I just kept seeing that it was all a reflection of me being incapable. I’ve been taught to cope with whatever comes my way, no matter what.

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So not only has my little Laly been doing a lot of growing these past days, so have I. I don’t think I’ll ever write about all that has been going on lately here on the blog, I know there is still much for me to go through in the coming months and years and you know when you’re in the thick of something, it’s hard to stand back and take an observing eye to share it with the world. I notice that when I try to explain to people what has been happening, it is just a bunch of words, words that sound hollow for something so deep. But I sense that one day I may feel ready to write about it.

In this moment,  I thank you for being here, and for your understanding and for your love.

À bientôt, mes amis.

xx

PS I took these photos on Saturday, at Laly’s first easter egg hunt, a very special day created by my talented friend Tracey.

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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.

xx

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?

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Posted in personal January 8th, 2013 by pia

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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.}

 

 

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Posted in personal, pia's photos, the sydney cottage October 29th, 2012 by pia

Once upon a time, but not so long ago, Monday was my ‘washing day’. I’d do a week’s worth of washing in one day, about three loads (whites, colours, dark) – maybe with an extra load for woolens every now and then.

These days, every day is washing day, with more loads than I can count. Sometimes I might skip a day if I’m out and about. That’s never a good thing for the days that follow.

Having baby clothes amongst the laundry is delightful though, there is no denying it.

 

xx

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