Kaspia’s Caravan…

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What a beginning to 2015, for all of us… much energy moving around, can you feel it? Old energy moving out, new energy moving in, big changes in the air. I have many thoughts on it that I’d love to share with you and I’d love to hear your thoughts, to see how we are shifting and changing as a collective. I haven’t been blogging much this past year, as many of you know who follow my instragram, there are a number of personal reasons for that. But I miss being here. I miss this space, I miss you.  And this year I have some ideas on how I can be here some more, with your help. Because I’ve come to see this is a special place, a creative passage I need in my life – a place in the past where I’ve been able to thrive, to create freely, to move forward. And it feels really important to keep it going, keep it alive and fresh, for all of us. It’s not something I take for granted, and I’m very grateful for it, for you, both silent and spoken readers – we share something together, something we can’t really see, or pinpoint. But it’s there, it’s present and strong and it needs to grow…

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Today though, I wanted to share with you a creative endeavour of a dear friend of mine. Her name is Kaspia, and for years she has been dreaming of opening her very own pop-up shop, filled with incredible treasures she has collected from her exotic travels around the globe over the years. Kaspia has an incredible, unique style. I’ve long admired her sense of colour, wonder and energy, and I’ve been so excited for her, to see her dream become a reality and be shared with the world. You guys know how I feel about taking risks and following your heart!  Kaspia opened her pop up shop last month in the heart of Sydney in Potts Point, in the stunning artist’s space known as The Yellow House

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There are rugs, cushions, quilts and throws from the most remote parts of the world. There are necklaces, bags, boxes and bracelets, tables, day beds, lamps and baskets from Mexico, the Far East, the Himalayas and beyond.

The collection is out of this world and I urge you to go and visit before it closes on February 1st, 2015, that’s only two weeks away.

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A big warm, all encompassing hug to Kaspia for making her dream come true and sharing it with all of us… If you’d like to learn more about her wild and wonderful life, read her interview on Daily Imprint, and for more information about the pieces in her store, you can read her blog, there is lots to learn about the collection, where each piece came from and how they are made.

To celebrate I’ve put a few copies of My Heart Wanders and Little Treasures: Made by Hand in her store as a package for $65 (instead of the normal retail price of $85) so that means you basically get Little Treasures: Made by Hand for just $5 when you buy both books together. I know that’s crazy, but I want to! It’s only for this two weeks, so I hope it will encourage you to get down to Kaspia’s shop pronto. Someone commented the other day that they received My Heart Wanders as a graduation gift from a relative and I thought that was a wonderful idea.

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Looking forward to hanging out here in my blog house this year, in between working on my next book. Here’s to the new year, to celebrating our connections, and to being who we are meant to be, with our hearts open…

Pia xx

all photographs by Pia Jane Bijkerk

little treasures: bookstores & boutiques…
Posted in little treasures: made by hand, stores September 26th, 2014 by pia

PJB_littletreasures_PBP_nestLittle Treasures: Made by Hand is now available for purchase at Paper Boat Press

I’m so pleased to let you know that there are now a number of beautiful stockists around the country who are selling Little Treasures: Made by Hand. I’m very grateful to these independent bookstores and boutiques for supporting my latest creation, I hope you can help me to support them in return by visiting them because they really are magical places. All these stockists mentioned in this post are in Australia, but I am still hopeful that some stores around the world will become stockists.

Riverbend Bookstore, Bulimba
Rosetta Books, Maleny
Paper Boat Press, Ashgrove
Cathy Penton Atelier, Highfields

New South Wales:
Better Read than Dead, Newtown
Hill of Content, Balmain
Oscar and Friends, Double Bay
Oscar and Friends, Surry Hills
Little Paper Lane, Mona Vale
Bookocino, Avalon
The Design Hunter, Waverley
Megalong Books, Leura

Hill of Content, Melbourne
The Avenue Bookstore, Albert Park, Melbourne
Readings, Hawthorn

South Australia:
Council of Objects, Adelaide, SA




If you’d like to become a stockist or international distributor of Little Treasures: Made by Hand, please email my sales assistant Penny with your inquiry and she will get back to you with the details.

Thank you again to all of you for your continued support and sales, without it I know I would not be able to continue creating.

Love & gratitude,

Pia xx


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…)

ingenious architecture: aesop new york, by tacklebox…
Posted in interiors, stores January 31st, 2012 by pia

Do you remember some time ago now, I wrote about an architecture & design firm called tacklebox? It is an innovative company based in New York, founded by my friend & architect Jeremy Barbour. If you recall, he designed the saipua showroom in Brooklyn, NY, creating a fabulous space made from recycled silver barn wood (read my post and view the gorgeous photos of the space here).

Last year, Jeremy came out to Australia for a special secretive research mission for melbourne-based skin care range aesop, and over a lovely lunch in Paddington, here in Sydney, he revealed to me a little about what he was up to and what he wanted to create. I was captivated, and could not wait to see the project unfold and revealed to the public. A few months ago, the spaces in New York were opened: one in grand central station, another on Elizabeth St in the Nolita, and the other in Greenwich Village, University Place. Take a look…

Aesop Nolita, Elizabeth St, New York, photos by Gianluca Fellini.


Aesop Grand Central Kiosk, in Grand Central station, photos by Juliana Sohn.


Aesop University Place, Greenwich Village, photos by Juliana Sohn. (particularly loving the store’s sink which was salvaged from Bethlehem Steel’s 140-year-old plant in Pennsylvania).


The concept was to use the New York Times newsprint as a material within the foundations. The aesop Grand Central Kiosk for example, is constructed of 1,800 reclaimed newspapers from the New York Times. The aesop range sit on a tiered mass of stacked and bound newsprint while loosely hanging papers form a canopy above. For the Nolita store, 2800 New York Times newspapers were hand-torn into 400,000 strips which were then stacked to create “a soft, felt-like surface held within a continuous oak wrapper”.

“Just as oak is commonly used to store and age wine and spirits, so too will the newspaper age, turning a light tan, thus marking the passing of time. In this way, the history of Aesop North America will be recorded within the very walls of this first store.”

The newsprint, stacked and pressed, ready to be used.

As you know, I’ve been loving the use of recycled paper as a material lately, perhaps it has something to do with the onslaught of technology, and the growing, ill feeling of living within a paperless society. Preserving and maintaining the use of paper in our world seems imperative, and I love how imaginative people are toward its many uses these days.

Congratulations Jeremy on completing yet another stunning set of spaces using recycled material and furnishings – you’re an inspiration to us all, I can’t wait to see what you create next! And a big thank you for sharing your projects here in the (blog)house.

wandering window displays in sydney…
Posted in my heart wanders, nature, recent work, stores May 24th, 2011 by pia

gathering my supplies for the window displays

It’s been a lot of fun gathering leaves and tree branches from parks and the side of the road, then installing all this found nature into shop windows. It’s incredibly satisfying, especially when I see people stop on the street and take a look – taking a moment out of their busy day to see something a little unusual, hopefully capturing their hearts and imaginations.

The first window in Sydney I installed was at the bustling Better Read Than Dead on King St, Newtown. This was one of my favourites to install, I think because I had the chance to incorporate some of Tracey Deep‘s incredible floral sculptures…

Tracey let me choose a number of pieces in her studio. I settled on these marvelous sphere sculptures, and some delightful dried banksia branches. I thought they might just work perfectly hanging from the ceiling next to my old chair, to create a kind of dream-like forest scene – a place to sit quietly and read a chapter or two from your favourite book. I used the packing paper flowers as well, and cut out some of my butterfly illustrations…

The cushion is something I’d made years ago with some left over sample fabric from Signature Prints. The backdrop comprises of linen strips that I’d used in the houseboat for curtains, and the leaves I found at Callan Park…

The next window I created was at sweet Oscar & Friends in Surry Hills. This window had quite different dimensions – it was tall and skinny, with only a small ledge for sitting props. So for this window I decided to focus on the glass itself and print then trace an entire passage from within the book…

Once I put the text up on the window to trace, I loved its roughness and was tempted to leave the strips of printed text as is…

Above is my little work station while creating the window.

It started to get dark rather quickly and I needed the outside light to be able to trace the text, so I had to stop taking photos of it and focus.  It was labour intensive, but once I finished and stripped the paper off, I loved the results. Then I wondered, what to do with the rest of the window? And how to draw the eye to the text? Well, I just happened to have found a huge eucalyptus branch the day before which had fallen from a tree in a car park. So I installed that up against the side of the window – I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was an ideal fit. Then to create an autumn tree effect, I attached branches of dried leaves along with some ribbon from the top of the window…

While I was searching for which passage of text to use a few days prior to installing the display, I opened the book and unexpectedly, it flopped open to one of the beginning pages that talks about how my trip to Paris came about. In it I mention that I was having an after-shoot drink with an art director friend – that after-shoot drink just happened to be around the corner from Oscar & Friends, at a neighbouring bar. So now here I was just around the corner but 4 years on, making a window display about the book that I wrote based on the journey I took that stemmed from that very conversation. I find that amazing. Anyway, back to the window display: It was pitch black outside by the time I finished the window, but I took a photo regardless of the lack of light…

And then before I headed off to Brisbane the next day, I took a quick detour back to Oscar & Friends to take a photo of it in the daylight…

The beauty of doing window displays is that they are so much about being there, in the moment – you have to be there to really see it, as windows are not easy to photograph with reflections and all. There are always lots of textures and layers which is what makes them wonderful, 3d forms of art.

Next up was the fabulous Shearers in Leichhardt… hello Norton St…

This time Ashlea and Romain were there to help (merci beaucoup mes amis!), so we got the window installed in next to no time. I love that all the props I’ve used in all these windows have been found, salvaged or handmade. For this window, I found a lovely branch the day before while driving through the residential streets of Bondi Beach. We attached it with fishing line, and then attached the paper flowers and scattered the leaves around the base, along with copies of the book…

Thank you Shearers, Oscar & Friends, and Better Read Than Dead for your continued support, and for letting me play in your beautiful windows. And a big hug and thank you to Tracey Deep for lending me some of her floral sculptures.

Last weekend Stef from Newspaper Taxi and I created a window display in her gorgeous store in Newtown (and had a party to celebrate it!), here is a sneak peek of the display…

…but more about that soon. For now, be sure to check out the window at Newspaper Taxi –  there is something you can add to it too (I’ll let Stef tell you about it when you go and visit).

This Saturday will be the very last window display event in Sydney to celebrate the launch of the book.  It will be at Little Paper Lane in Mona Vale. It’s exciting to wrap this month of events up on the Northern Beaches – my old stomping ground. On Thursday night I’ll be talking at Mona Vale Library – the very place I used to go to almost every afternoon after high school. And then Saturday we’ll have a party at Little Paper Lane– I’m so looking forward to being surrounded by family and locals, new friends and old – I hope you can come along! Check out the details right here. I wonder what I’ll create in Jayde’s window? I think since it’s my last, I’m going to go all out – Mona Vale, here I come!

a jumble of words, a jumble of thoughts and ideas…

PS a few people have asked what I use to write on the windows – I’m using posca pens in white, in different sizes, and I bought them at modern times on king st, newtown.You just need a bit of water and a rag to wipe them off glass. I find the pens are much easier to use than paint and a paint brush. Have fun!