Kaspia’s Caravan pop up in Surry Hills…
Posted in creative ventures, homewares, interiors, stores, stylists, sydney November 18th, 2015 by pia

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My beautiful friend Kaspia has opened her pop up store Kaspia’s Caravan this year at the old Garden Life shop in Surry Hills. Having dressed it up in the most glorious of colours, motifs and jewels, it’s the perfect location for her incredible collection of wares from around the world, take a look…

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…Laly, where are you?…

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I wrote about Kaspia’s Caravan earlier this year, click here to read my post with more info about Kaspia, and here to visit her website.

The shop is open 7 days a week – Monday to Saturday from 10-5pm, and Sunday’s from 11-4pm. Kaspia’s there herself from Wednesday to Saturday if you want to pop in to see her and say hi.

It will be open for 3 months, until the end of January, with new treasures arriving weekly.

357 Cleveland St, Surry Hills.

Congratulations Kaspia on creating another amazing place for people to get lost and found in, a true treasure trove.

With Love,

Pia xx

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Little Treasure contributions abound…
Posted in australia, books, charities, little treasures: made by hand November 3rd, 2015 by pia

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Last month I sold the bulk of the last remaining copies of Little Treasures: Made by Hand through an online flash sale. I’m very grateful to every one who bought copies, shared the news, and sent me beautiful emails about the book throughout the past weeks. For those who don’t follow me on instagram or other social media and haven’t already read my appreciation, as I press publish on this blog post I send a big THANK YOU wave of love across the globe to every beautiful soul who supported the book, shared the book and bought the book and packages to make it happen back in 2013 and since. Being on the wild seas of self-publishing and crowd-funding was an incredible adventure, and it continued to be a stormy ride for the 2 years that followed as I discovered my limitations as a human – what I was willing, and not willing, to do. I know a lot of the murkiness had to do with the intensely challenging times in my personal life, and as I am a person who feels much, accepting that I feel that has been part of the challenge.  However I’m so thankful for the experiences on this particular part of my creative life journey, not just for the huge lessons but mostly for the amazing connections.

Today though I have to say that what is lifting me and strengthening my heart wings right now is the knowledge that I have been able to donate hundreds of Little Treasure books to some amazing not-for-profit foundations around the country.  It’s now become one of the most exciting parts of this book’s journey for me – as exciting as it was when the book was first published. It feels like a wonderful way to see out this book’s life.

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I’d like to take this opportunity to let you know where the books have gone and what their purpose and contribution will be within the community. Please click on each link to learn more about the organisations as they are all very special:

Grace Centre for Newborn Care – The Children’s Hospital at Westmead…
The Grace Centre for Newborn care is an  intensive care unit for new born babies at The Children’s Hospital, looking after some of the sickest babies in NSW.

50 Little Treasures: Made by Hand books were delivered to be included in the Christmas hampers given to the parents of each little one in care, with many thanks to Peta Cappello for coordinating.

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Kiss Goodbye to MS – MS Research Australia…
Kiss Goodbye to MS is an initiative of MS Research Australia, and calls on people with multiple sclerosis (MS), their friends, family and colleagues to raise funds for vital research into the cause and cure of MS. MS is the most common acquired neurological disease and affects around 23,000 Australian, of which 3 out of 4 are women. Kiss Goodbye to MS is on facebook, this is a great way to be updated on their events.

48 Little Treasures: Made by Hand books were donated to raise funds, give as gifts and as lucky door prizes for upcoming events. Many thanks to Emma Giunti for reaching out and coordinating the collection and delivery of the books.

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Sarah’s Place – Pregnant Alternatives…
Sarah’s Place is an independent, not for profit organisation that offers a service to women seeking advice on matters to do with an unplanned pregnancy, headed by a team of specialists in Pre AND Post Decision support and consultation.

100 Little Treasures: Made by Hand books were donated to their recent fund-raising event, with many thanks to Linda Smyth for coordinating.

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Sandhills Community Garden – Newcastle
Run by local volunteers, Sandhills is a self-sustaining community garden, supplying residents and visitors with herbs and vegetables without the use of pesticides or artificial fertilisers. The recent addition of a sensory garden provides visitors – including the visually impaired -with an opportunity to experience the aromas of a wide variety of scented plants and herbs. The concept of these gardens has been designed to encourage the community to ‘pop in’ take what you need and leave the rest for other locals.

48 Little Treasures: Made by Hand books were donated to use as part of the garden activities, developing outdoor craft activities using the contents of the book. The books will then be given to participants. With many thanks to Jen Robinson for reaching out, and coordinating the distribution of the books.

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There are a few copies left available to purchase through my online bookstore along with my other titles,  and I have a few remaining boxes of books reserved for charities so if you have any more wonderful suggestions for an organisation that can benefit from the donation of the books please let me know. Organisations that help new mothers or babies would be great, and if you or someone else can be in charge of liaising with the organisation that would be appreciated.

Unless there is any big news, this will be my last post about the book. I’ll update news about further donations on facebook and add them to the book blog page (when I renovate the blog in coming months).

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Little Treasures: Made by Hand – thank you for all you’ve taught me, I’ll never forget you!!

With love,

Pia xx

ONE & ONLY SALE: Little Treasures: Made by Hand
Posted in books, child's play, DIY September 18th, 2015 by pia

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Some of you may have already seen on my instagram feed that I launched a flash sale for Little Treasures: Made by Hand on Tuesday. Thank you for the sales so far!

Here is a recap of my post:

It’s time for me creatively to be out with the old to make room for the new so I’ve decided to have a flash sale for the remaining stock of Little Treasures: Made by Hand at less that wholesale.

Just $10 per copy.

This one-off sale will end this coming Tuesday, September 22. If you’d like to buy books for your shop or to have on hand for the new mothers-to-be in your life this is the time to buy them. If you’d like to order more than one copy then please feel free to email me with your address and quantity and I can send you an invoice including shipping. Otherwise you are welcome to come and pick up your order here in Sydney. 

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As I mentioned on instagram (@piajanebijkerk) I’d like to offer the remaining boxes of books to charities. I’ve had a couple of wonderful suggestions so far like Westmead Hospital and the MS Research Centre which I’ll be offering boxes to, however I have lots of boxes of books (24 in each box) so I’ll need some more suggestions or an organisation that can take all of the remaining books. An organisation that helps new mothers or babies would be great. And if you or someone else can be in charge of liaising with the organisation that would be preferred.

Thank you all. It’s heartbreaking to sell the books off like this,  but I know I need to do it to make room for new possibilities.

Click here to make your purchase.  Or email me here.

With love,

Pia xx

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fiji love…
Posted in mini trips, nature, pia's photos August 13th, 2015 by pia

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White sand, sunbleached coral, palm trees, coconuts, and jungle… for six days, this was our everyday…

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Last week we decided to take a spontaneous and much needed break away to Fiji. Neither of us had ever been, and it was Laly’s first overseas travel – what a wonderful first place to mark with a stamp in her passport…

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We stayed on the Coral Coast, which is the southern part of the main island of viti levu (take a look at this gorgeous illustrated map of Fiji by Kate Evans). At this time of year it was quite windy on the south coast with the seasonal trade winds, and some days there was rainfall, but the temperature was perfect for dresses and sandals.

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Although resort life isn’t at all a representation of life in Fiji, I thoroughly enjoyed getting a glimpse at some of the Fijian traditions that were incorporated into daily activities, including singing, story time, weaving, dance, food and language.

Not far from the resort, the guests were invited to take a village tour of Malevu, guided by the chief who showed us some of the medicinal plants they have growing which included noni and the yaqona (kava root) plant. Along with describing some of the benefits of each plant, the chief gave us a brief history of the village and traditions. Below is the village kitchen…

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At the end of the tour we were invited into the village meeting house for a kava ceremony where we each drank kava from a coconut bowl, and then danced to traditional songs.

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It was such a lovely winter break, I felt my whole body and spirit finally relax. I look forward to visiting Fiji again and having the energy to explore some of the islands and surrounding waters.

xx

Insight:

Since we had limited internet access, I took a break from email and social media and I cannot tell you how much better I feel for it. I have more clarity of thought, and I feel my sense of freedom and creativity coming back.  I have kept it up since we’ve been back, and I’d like to maintain a better balance that works for me – to bring blogging back as my first port stop, and then letting people know about the blog post via social media. At this stage I have decided not to engage in conversation as much on social media, and would instead like to encourage communication and community through this space, where I can write freely and share images without space limitations, as well as include links to other artists and blogs and websites as these are aspects of sharing online that I have missed. Let’s see how it goes…

 

how to create your own edible garden…
Posted in australia, creative ventures, food, nature June 24th, 2015 by pia

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Earlier this year on a drizzly and rather misty Saturday morning in February, I drove down to the very beautiful Glenbernie Orchard in Darkes Forest, in the Northern Illawarra of New South Wales. I had signed up to talented baker Tara Mills of Mill Lane’s workshop on “how to create your own edible garden”, encouraged by my dear friend Jenni who was also attending and lives in the area (I’ll be showcasing Jenni’s gorgeous home here in the (blog)house very soon, in the meantime you can have a little sneak peek here).

I love turning off the highway upon entering the Royal National Park, like other times I’ve traveled in that direction, I wind down all the windows in the car and take deep belly breaths to absorb the gorgeous air. On this occassion, I was playing the latest album of Tenzin Cheogyal called Heart Strings, and so by the time I arrived at Glenbernie, I was well and truly at ease and ready to enjoy the full day workshop ahead. It’s an incredibly rare treat to have an entire Saturday to myself, and to spend it with like-minded people learning all about permaculture and enjoying a glorious home made lunch by Tara made it very special…

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These seasonal workshops, hosted by Tara, take place in a large shed on the Glenbernie Orchard property, looking out over the apple orchard. It is taught by Narelle Happ, horticulturalist and garden designer, who has over ten years experience in permaculture, and is filled with knowledge which she passionately shares throughout the day. She’s a great teacher, very patient and willing to share everything she knows about creating beautiful edible gardens.

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Throughout the day Tara served a delicious array of dishes for morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. At lunchtime we sampled the orchards own apple cider, as well as indulged in a glass of sparkling wine, which relaxed us into the afternoon. In the morning we talked about the principles and ethics of permaculture, designing our individual gardens, and creating health soil, while in the afternoon we learnt about specific seasonal and perennial plants, propogation, and seed saving and raising. Narelle incorporated a lot of hands on activity, so we were able to learn through experience which I have always found the best way to soak in information, especially for those of us who are visual learners.

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At the end of the day we each came home with an armful of gardening goodies including our propogated plants, seeds, companion guides, notes, a wooden handled trowel, and some of Tara’s delicious recipes.

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It was a wonderful experience, and to be able to come home to my own garden and see it afresh, implementing Narelle’s advice and teachings over time spent in my own little borrowed patch of earth. I have more confidence now with things I wasn’t sure about like my compost system and soil, as well as the needs of certain vegetables. And I’m inspired to keep trying, keep planting and experimenting, and then to cook as Tara does, with pickings straight from the garden.

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Thank you everyone who attended that day for the wonderful conversations and a big thank you to Tara, Narelle and Jo who owns the farm, for having me along. I am keen to get back down there for Tara’s baking workshop now, called “the art of making French breads” ah oui!

xx

 

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all photographs by Pia Jane Bijkerk

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