My Heart Wanders: photographs from the book & design discussions…
Posted in amsterdam, book design, my heart wanders, pia's photos August 21st, 2012 by pia

So here is the first post in the series “My Heart Wanders: photographs from the book & design discussions”, as mentioned in my last post to celebrate the opening of my online bookshop.

This particular photograph is one of my favourites. It is the chapter opener for Chapter One, Reflection: Leaving Home. For each chapter opener, I wanted to create an image that visually described the story that follows. Each image represents how I was feeling at that point in my life, and what I was doing in my life.

To create this image, I had the idea to create some sort of reflection in a shop glass window. I spent days looking for the perfect window – something with pretty reflections, but also one that I could access from inside with the camera and tripod. As I was living in Amsterdam at the time, I rode my bike around and gazed a thoughtful eye around at all the windows. I lay in bed at night, flicking through all the shop windows catalogued in my mind’s eye each day, and wondered  which would be best. Then it dawned on me – one of my favourite windows and window displays in Amsterdam had always been that of Hilde Tempelman, whose beautiful work and atelier I featured in Amsterdam: Made by Hand. It was perfect! So I called Hilde and asked if she would mind if I come play in her window one morning and as lovely as always, she said “Ja, come on down!”.

So with my little antique rattan suitcase full of props, camera bag slung over my shoulder and tripod attached at the rear of my bicycle, I headed down to Hilde’s studio shop.

I picked a corner of the window and set up my camera and tripod inside the shop. I decorated the window with various props, set my camera on a timer and dashed outside to place myself in frame. It was a bit tricky but after a number of takes, I started to get the right feel and look I was after.

It was a lot of fun to photograph this chapter opener using Hilde’s gorgeous creations as inspiration and props, and it was just as much fun developing the image further in postproduction. I wanted to create a sense of flight so I overlayed the original image with a wing illustration I made using a photograph of bird wings I took some months earlier, making them transparent and then adding a warm colour tone and splashes of ink.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this first look at some of the design elements of My Heart Wanders. The next post will look at how I created the numbers for each chapter opener and what they represent.

+to purchase My Heart Wanders, click here.

my latest flower wall…
Posted in interiors, nature, pia's photos, sydney July 31st, 2012 by pia

A while ago I mentioned in this post about our houseboat in Amsterdam that I’d show you my new flower wall installation. Well, here it is. It’s been established for a while now, and evolves with newly deceased blooms, ferns, and whatever catches my eye when I wander…

It’s also become a bit of a sweet memories collection from friends – the peonies are from Kylie who sent a lovely bunch when I was ill last year, the gum nut branches and ferns are from dear Tracey Deep,  and in the first photo at the very top right you can see a bloom made from paper by Natalie.  Although these photos were taken for a shoot many months ago, the wall hasn’t changed much since then, but the books have been moved to a less precarious ‘baby safe’ place. Here’s another corner of my new home…

There are some great flower walls being created out there, I particularly love this one from rubi-jones , found on instagram. Have you tried creating one in your home? If so I’d love to see.

xx

 

some photos from my every days…
Posted in nature, pia's photos, sydney July 6th, 2012 by pia

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…rainy winter days mean I can wear my rain boots and splash in puddles…

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…my little ray of sunshine…

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…an abandoned book found on the sidewalk…

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…a little corner of my home…

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…our shadow, between weather…

Have a bon weekend mes amis!

xx

my first Mother’s Day…
Posted in personal, pia's photos May 20th, 2012 by pia

So last weekend was my first Mother’s Day as a mother. Romain had planned to head to curl curl beach for a picnic as it was the very beach he and I sat on the day before Laly was born, both of us waiting (im)patiently for her late arrival. We thought it would be a nice idea to take her back to the place where perhaps, the crashing waves woke her from her cozy womb slumber and brought her into the world. However, it happened to be a very windy autumn day and although we persisted and spread out our blanket on the cold sand, Laly wasn’t impressed. It seems she is not a fan of windy cold beach weather (who knew!). We lasted about 20 minutes, scoffing down our cafe quiches and heading back to the warmth of the car. We ditched the idea of finding another spot for our picnic and decided to go and surprise my Mum for Mother’s Day instead. Mum was rapt.

Laly is already 3 months old. Time seems to have flown by, although I remember feeling quite the opposite in those first 6 weeks. Everyone kept saying it would get easier and I honestly thought they were all lying, but now I know they were not. I feel like a pro now, understanding the different communicative cries of my baby girl and instinctively responding. It’s a good feeling.

Experiencing my first Mother’s Day as a mother made it all the more real.

So, after visiting my mum and dad, we drove back home, continued with the evening ritual of bath, feed, and bed, then even though we were both exhausted, Romain and I had a romantic dinner at the dining table. It had been months since the table had been cleared for dining. Romain cooked one of my favourite French meals – tartiflette – and we shared a mini bottle of Moët & Chandon which a lovely friend had given me a couple months ago in celebration of Laly’s arrival. It was my first glass of champagne in a year and it. was. divine.

We toasted to our new lives together as parents, and reminisced about the fun times we’d shared with friends in Amsterdam on our houseboat, at this very table.

xx

PS composing blog posts is really hard with a busy bubba. I am amazed at how other bloggers appear to have seamlessly transitioned from blogger to mother-blogger. How?  If I manage to put on a load of washing, feed  & dress myself, and get out the door for a walk that is quite the accomplishment – anything outside of all that is a miracle.

exciting news: My Heart Wanders coming to the USA this month…
Posted in my heart wanders, pia's photos April 2nd, 2012 by pia

I’ve been so looking forward to sharing this news: My Heart Wanders will (finally!) (and officially!) be hitting US shores this coming month, and will be distributed by the lovely IPG books. For those of you who have been waiting so patiently to be able to buy the book locally, the wait is over…

If you own a shop in the United States and would like to sell My Heart Wanders in your store, please contact IPG books directly, for order placement you can call (800) 888 4741.

Above are a few sneak peeks at some of the visual spreads you’ll find inside the book. And here is a bit more info about what you’ll discover between the pages…

This book also tells the story of how Romain and I met, it’s a romantic tale that is even more poignant now that our baby girl is in the world. It’s a book that I hope one day she will cherish too…

For more info, you can check it out here and here, and if you would like to see some of the window displays I created in Sydney last year in celebration of the release of the book, please click here.
Exciting times!

xx

PS 7 week update: I love being a mum.