zine love: the french issue by lee tran lam…
Posted in france, paris, pia's photos June 23rd, 2010 by pia

The world of zines is quite new to me. Sure, I’d heard the term floating around the blogosphere but I never really began grasping the concept until I read about the MCA zine fair via Ebony and Lee Tran Lam, two über creative Sydney-siders (although Ebony has just moved to Tokyo, I can’t wait for her Tokyo blog posts!) who never fail to produce beautiful zines. A few months ago, Lee Tran asked if I would mind contributing to her latest zine and the other day, I received her zine masterpiece. It happened to be a lovely sunny day so I made myself a cup of tea and took her zine out on the front deck of the boat, quietly reading each page…

I’m hear to tell you it is an absolute treat – a piece of art in itself. There are fabulous intimate interviews from French folk and French enthusiasts interspersed by Lee Tran’s personal French experiences as well as clever quotes & beautiful images, illustrations and sticky notes. The amount of work that Lee Tran has put in to producing these handmade zines is evident with each turn of each page. So absorbed I was by the details and conversations that by the time I got to my interview I had completely forgotten about my contribution. What an honour it feels to be a part of it…

Lee Tran sold out of her zines at the recent MCA zine fair but has been busy making another batch for those interested so I highly recommend you get your hands on a copy now before she sells out again. They are only AUS$10 each with shipping (so probably about AUS$15 in total to ship overseas) and you can buy them directly from Lee Tran by emailing her here.

Thank you Lee Tran for thinking of me for this special issue, I’m absolutely wrapped to be featured and I wish you all the best with your upcoming creative endeavours. Also, I can’t wait for our next breakfast date!

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Aurélie Mathigot’s home in Paris: Marie Claire Maison, Avril 2010…
Posted in artists, handmade, music, paris March 12th, 2010 by pia

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Before I skip on out of the (blog)house I just had to let you know that Parisian artist Aurélie Mathigot’s beautiful fait main home is featured in this month’s issue of marie claire maison, photographed by Eric Flogny. It’s a gorgeous spread, full of Spring colour and inspiration.  Above is a little snippet of the 8 page article, I hope you can locate yourself a copy of the issue because it truly is a lovely story. I had the pleasure of photographing a number of Aurélie‘s pieces for Paris: Made by Hand while in Astier de Villate and The Collection – her little crocheted eclairs and cupcakes were among my favourites. Here is more of a glimpse of Aurélie‘s beautiful work via her website…

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I also wanted to let you know that the new Angus & Julia Stone album called down the way is available on itunes in Australia now. I bought the album this morning and listened to it while on my morning walk along the amstel

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Click here to listen to and the boys, a track I keep coming back to over again.

And one last thing – Paris: Made by Hand has been featured on the Vogue Italy trend blog, how cool is that?! Click here to have a read and be sure to ‘vogue it’. Merci beaucoup Nirit Sumeruk – or I mean grazie mille –  for writing the piece – you rock.

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Okay, one last post coming up!

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“Thank you for a great day out in Paris!‏”
Posted in paris, paris: made by hand October 29th, 2009 by pia

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The other day I received an email that totally made my day. It was from a (blog)house reader named Natalie who is a freelance graphic designer specialising in book design. Originally from Auckland but now residing in Sydney, Natalie had recently spent a little time in Paris with her partner, and used Paris: Made By Hand as one of her travel guide companions.

Natalie wrote such a beautiful email describing the moments when she first received the book (which her partner ordered for her and had sent up from Melbourne, how sweet!) and the trip itself a few months later. She wrote:

“…we had both been to Paris before so we were freed from having to visit all the tourist spots. Instead we wandered … and had a really wonderful day seeking out some of the ateliers that you recommended. My partner even came with me, and he had as much fun as I did, (luckily he took care of the road maps, and metro stops and I could just wander and soak in the atmosphere … it was perfect!) I think in the end we made it to about 5. Which in the scheme of all the fantastic looking places in the book wasn’t many. But each we went to was just perfect. And all the shop owners were lovely.”

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How beautiful is that?  I asked Natalie if she’d mind sharing with us all some  pics of her time in Paris, and she obliged! Here they are, above and below with some captions…

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“I saw these little pottery heads in a window in St Germain and thought they had the sweetest expressions. Unfortunately I didn’t write down who the artist of them was.” I don’t know the artist either, anyone? They are rather gorgeous.

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InsideLePetit

…inside Le Petit Atelier de Paris.

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“One of the other ateliers from your book we visited which was a wonderful experience was Alexia Hollinger with her gorgeous vintage fabric bags. Alexia herself was away for the day, and her mother was looking after the shop. It was her first day, and she was very eager and so warm and welcoming. Her English was not so good, and our French even worse, but together we had a lovely conversation”. Pictured above in Alexia’s atelier/boutique.

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LesPapilles

“We went to Les Papilles for dinner, I highly recommend a visit. A wine bar with a menu that is only one option! but beautiful, like having a rustic home cooked meal in a warm bustling café. ”

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TheSeine

Sunset over the Seine.

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Thank you dear Natalie, I am thrilled that you enjoyed the book and were able to visit some of the featured boutique ateliers. I hope you will get as much pleasure out of my next Made by Hand book. Yes, you read right, there is another in the making…

xx

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inspiration overload encore: manon gignoux’s paris studio…
Posted in artists, handmade, interiors, paris September 29th, 2009 by pia

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This is a gorgeous article from World of Interiors that I have had on my moodboard for well over a year now, I’ve been meaning to show you for that long! Aren’t I lazy (don’t answer that). Oh yes I remember why I didn’t show you earlier – it’s because I was hoping to shoot Manon’s studio as part of Paris: Made By Hand! But after a chat with Manon we found out that her atelier is not open to the public, and that is very important for the Made By Hand concept. So then I tried to find Manon’s work in Paris so that I could at least include her pieces, but to no avail. Her work was nowhere to be found in Paris at the time. I was very sad as I adore her creations and philosophy, and wanted to photograph her space and her work. I hope one day I have the opportunity to do so, but in the meantime let’s take a look at these beautiful photographs by Eric Morin for World of Interiors

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Manon creates fabric sculptures, dressed household objects, clothes and accessories.  Every single piece is unique and exquisite…

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She uses uniforms from early 20th century workmen and women, and her textile collection is, well, c’est à mourir (to-die-for)…

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Manon’s studio is part of a residents for artists. Her kitchen is full of lovely old crockery, all on display, and the back wall is covered in peony wallpaper which she found at a brocante

PJB_manon'skitchen

And then, as if Eric Morin (sorry I cannot find any website for his work) did not already whet our appetite for  inspiration, I just found this incredible story of images by Japanese photographer Makiko Takehara (again, no online portfolio)who recently photographed Manon and her Paris studio for Japanese fashion magazine so-en. Take a deep breath and hold it tight, because what you are about to see will indeed, take your breath away…

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Are you still with me? My heart did ten double backflips when I first saw these images, with thanks to mady dooijes of abundance – a textile designer herself who authors a beautiful blog filled with inspiration. From there I went on a rather erratic wander – running to a number of dead ends in search of the original shots and more information. Alas, here are the images, but no more information than I have already offered. Manon and her work remains a beautiful mystery, one that you may cross if you are in the right place, at the right time.  Let’s hope for this moment…

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To see more of Manon Gignoux’s work, please click here.

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a mid-week musical interlude (sans photo)…
Posted in music, paris, soundscapes August 19th, 2009 by pia

I don’t know about you, but my week has been rather chaotic. Not so much on the outside, but on the inside. My head is full of stuff. It is filled with to-do lists, demands, commitments, negotiations to be made, responsibilities weighing heavy, and emotions riding high. On the outside I may be cool, calm and collected but on the inside, it’s a wild and crazy ride. Rarely does my exterior expose what is going on behind the scenes. But every now and then it will bubble up, and reveal itself to those I am closest to by either snapping a sharp remark, or dismissing their needs. As much as I want to eradicate this behaviour, I am told it is called “human nature”.

What I have learnt though, over the years, is that beautiful sound and music is a wonderful, gentle technique of subjugation. It calms the soul, breathes life into the deepest, darkest commotions of the mind, and warms the heart. When you take the time to listen – just listen – then a sense of renewal is found.

I had no intention of writing all of the above as an introduction to this soundscape but somehow, it happened. And I see it is not without purpose, because what I am about to share with you is a continual, flowing moment of musical interlude that does just that: breathes life and love into a place where commotion is writhe. A moment that almost everyone who visits this special place will experience at some point. It’s a moment when one goes below the cool, calm and magnificent exterior and experiences life under the skin, below the surface, and deep in the veins of this celebrated city. The sound echoes through this labyrinthine nerve center, and penetrates through to its darkest corners.

I speak of the metro Chatelet in Paris. And today, I take you with me as I walk from one of the cavernous tunnels passing by a 12-piece orchestra that plays in this underground mecca, up the stairs and back out to the grandness above. This metro of Paris is very much like one’s mid-week mind. And this music is the strong and gentle breath it needs.

Please press the play button below and enjoy…

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