the solace of my bedroom, as captured by Helene Athanasiadis…
Posted in interiors, photographers, the sydney cottage January 4th, 2016 by pia

HELENE_ATHANASIADIS_PIAJANEBIJKERK_SOLACE_2015_2 welcome to my home. please come in, no need to take your shoes off…

Happy New Year mes amis.  How do you feel about the year to come? There has been so much change in the world, and I sense there will be much more to come yet. But change is transformation, and I can feel our world is in dire need of it. In my creative life,  I feel ready to come out of my healing cocoon. I learned so much in 2015, and wrote and wrote and wrote all the while.  So there is a book or two or three there, and in time all those words and photographs and experiences will take shape. If there is one thing I have in abundance it’s ideas and in the past year the well has not dried up – it’s now overflowing.  It’s always been my dream to be able to realise and share not necessarily every single idea, but at least a steady flow of them.  Ideas not only need creative thinking but also time and money, and these two requirements have never been in abundance in my life, and I’ve finally accepted that these need attention too. So finding a way to get the balance I need to pull myself into alignment with what I’m called to do in this life is now my priority… without compromising my ethics which, for those of you who have come to know me quite well, is as resolute as ever, if not more nowadays.  And although I still feel a little at sea about what the direction will look like and where it will take me from here on in after taking the last year off from all creative commitments, I am trusting the process and I’m trusting the deepest depths of my self.

As I set sail on this year’s vessel, my first port of call with french boy (as the only other member of the crew so far – this is a small boat!) is the creation of a revitalised online space: one that houses all my creative endeavours under one roof and is once again interactive and free flowing.  Since my focus has been elsewhere over the past few years my online space has been neglected. It’s become outdated, haphazard and disorganized, and it needs some attention & love. So in coming weeks I’ll take you to this new space when the walls have been built and the paint has dried.

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As promised in an earlier post, here now I share with you some beautiful photographs by Helene Athanasiadis of my very personal offline space – my bedroom. This room has been my retreat over the past few years. It’s the place I have spent the most time – mothering, resting, grieving, healing, learning, and writing…

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As part of her photographic project and book Solace, Helene has captured what this space means to me and it feels special to have this documented and shared in such a beautiful way.

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Although this house has been falling apart around us over the past year, seeing these photographs has made me appreciate the space for what it has been and what it still is for me today. As my own projects unfurl, I’ll be sharing with you more of my home and how it’s evolved over the years.

2327265_origsurrounded by talented souls: my favourite dutch bag made by leslie oschmann, and some beautiful organic cotton garments by mady doijes

Thank you again, Helene.

With love,

Pia

sweet mini art exhibition…
Posted in child's play, the sydney cottage August 9th, 2014 by pia

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Laly LOVES craft, and as you can imagine, I’m pretty thrilled about that. This week, she got into art & craft in a big way, so I was inspired to hold a mini art exhibition of her work in our hallway with a surprise ‘opening’ on Monday evening in time for her guest(Papa)’s arrival. By the end of the week the exhibition had grown from displaying various craft techniques she’d experimented with, to painted found objects and favourite pieces of textile.  It was such a beautiful process which I’d love to share with you. Here is how it happened…

On Monday, Laly told me she wanted to use glue and scissors, so I set up a craft table on the front porch so we could get some winter sunshine while we cut and pasted. We gathered leaves from the street pathway and I gave her washi tape (beautiful cloud washi tape from paper boat press) to stick her chosen leaves onto the walls. By the afternoon she had amassed quite a portfolio of work, which is when I got the idea for an exhibition. We put on some ‘art gallery’ music (putumayo felt appropriate), and Laly taped each artwork up herself very carefully, understanding that the tape needed to be half on the paper, half on the wall to be able to stick.

The next day, she wanted to paint, and it was high time I refilled her paint pots so she patiently waited for me to do that and then spent an hour or more painting found rocks, shells and sticks. I was in awe of what she made…

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At two and half years of age. I couldn’t create such wild magic if I tried (I did try actually, but mine were pretty unimaginative). Below, she is proudly standing among her work, choosing to accessorise with her sunglasses (!)…

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On four pieces of small, black paper, she painted on glue and sprinkled different coloured glitter which we decided together to call the series “stars in the night sky”.

The works below are all about texture. The one on the left with the cotton balls is her ‘feeling’ painting, and to the right, her ‘ripped paper flowers’ work (the one in the foreground is mine, I couldn’t help but try out the technique myself!)…

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We added a beautiful sari curtain (given to us by our sweet friend Kaspia) at the end of the hall to give the exhibition a sense of intimacy…

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…And then outside on the front door I made a sign that read “Laly’s first art exhibition. For Papa, prepare to be dazzled!”. And dazzled he was.

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A great activity for a cold wintry week, even if it meant skipping the week’s cleaning chores to fit in the time to oversee and curate the exhibition. The dust balls and bits of leaves and ripped paper across the floor throughout the house just add to the ambiance of the art show, right…Well,  it was worth the mess. And in case you missed the video on Instagram I made of her painting, click here for your viewing pleasure. It’s called “I’m quite finished with that”.

xx

 

bird by bird…

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Yes that does happen to be the title of one of my favourite books by Anne Lamott, recommended to me by sweet Kylie some years ago while I was writing My Heart Wanders. It helped tremendously as I had spent many days sitting looking at a blank screen, wondering how to start the mammoth task of writing a memoir of that time of my life.

But I digress! Do you recall this bird mobile I made for Laly’s room, which I featured in Little Treasures: Made by Hand? It’s on pages 208-211, with reference to Spool sewing who released the pattern some years ago. I made the birds using the pattern then attached them to some twigs with ribbon, and embellished the mobile with vines and dried fern fronds. It hung above Laly’s cot for many months, but once she began to be able to stand – and reach up to the birds – I took the mobile down. The birds were added to her toy basket until a few months ago when I found an abandoned birdcage. I gave it a good clean and then Laly and I painted it in an array of her favourite colours. I let her paint it in her way (mixing colours together, with big dollops of dripping paint). We added a couple of twigs inside the cage et voilà, the birds have come out again to play…

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I’m thrilled to have found a way for the birds to be played with again, relevant to Laly’s new skills: She’s right into inventing her own games and role play. To decorate the cage we went out to forage for some vines and ferns. Of course I had plans for her to be part of the photoshoot for this blog post, but she didn’t want to and I’m doing well now to let her make her own decisions when it comes to play. So while she was out with her Papa I took the opportunity to play with the birds and cage in my own way…

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Happy weekend mes amis!

xx

PS new music on the way, I hope you’re enjoying my growing collection so far. Thanks for your downloads and encouraging comments thus far, so appreciated.

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Posted in interiors, sydney, the sydney cottage December 27th, 2013 by pia

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happy end of year mes amis.

xx

(“today I am still finding home” title quote from My Heart Wanders)

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Posted in child's play, the sydney cottage November 1st, 2013 by pia

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So this post has been a long time coming! I took these photographs at the beginning of the year, with the intention to reveal them at the time of the Little Treasures: Made by Hand book campaign. I suppose this is a great demonstration of slow. blogging. which is a movement I’m all for, along with the handmade movement, not to mention my personal endeavor to launch the curb-consumerism movement.

Would you like a peek into my little girl’s room?

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I’ve just posted on the Country Style blog about how I came to decorate Laly’s room, and if you read the mag, you’ll know my latest article (issue November 2013) is all about decorating a child’s room and how I like the idea of making room for their own creativity.

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So as much as this room is decorated in these images, it’s all removable and has already begun to evolve as Laly gets into making her own art and collecting her own treasures…

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I took the above photo outside on the porch, looking through the window. It’s the only way to show you how everything sits in her room – it’s not a large room, but it’s very comfortable and functional, with a bit of magic and whimsy thrown in…

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Beautiful toys handmade and vintage. Dash (the bandit penguin) and Stella (pink dotty moonsheep) I bought from Udder, a favourite online children’s boutique.

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You’ll recognise heaps of the handmade items and craft projects in Little Treasures: Made by Hand, so if you’re interested in making some of the things you see in these photos, or finding out where the items came from, then grab yourself a copy of the book (which, in case you’re wondering, was printed and bound right here in Australia using soy based inks and recycled paper). Here are some of my favourite  instagram shots taken in Laly’s room over the past 6 months or so…

PJB_lalysroom_lalyfeb2013a stunning collection of New York review books given to Laly by my first and treasured publisher Angela from The Little Bookroom. I can’t wait to read these books to Laly.

 

PJB_laly20monthsold_2103Laly just learnt to turn her lamp on and off on the same day she learnt to say “light”. She also loves accessorizing with random headbands she finds in my closet.

PJB_startingartwall2013starting her art wall

Thank you for all your comments on my last post. Over the years I haven’t regretted opening up here, thanks to you guys. I want to reply to each and every comment as there are so many conversations to be had, but I know it’s not possible.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into Laly’s room. If you’d like to know more about the items featured, head over to the Country Style blog.

xx

 

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