sweet treasures #7+8+9…
Posted in film, france October 7th, 2010 by pia

movie still from les choristes

These past couple of months I’ve been in retreat again, while working toward another deadline for the production of the book – this basically means no weekends or nights out but lots of wonderful “nights in”.  So, it’s now become part of the routine that every few days or so french boy finds us a french movie to watch at home.  Since I know lots of you like the same things as me, I thought you’d appreciate knowing my 3 favourites from the collection thus far. They really are ‘sweet treasures’, in every way.  And I won’t tell you what they are about because I didn’t know until I watched them  – instead, just an image from each film. That, plus while writing this post I asked french boy to email me the french names of the movies, and with that he included his very brief description of each in English to jog my memory – they made me laugh, so I’ve included them here for you too. Enjoy…

sweet treasure #7:

Les enfants du marais. (the swamp story)

sweet treasure #8:

Les choristes (the choir story)

sweet treasure #9:

Une hirondelle a fait le printemps (the girl from Paris gone farmer)


PS Michel Serrault & Gérard Jugnot have since become two of my favourite french actors.

inspiration abounds: “the stories from the ground” shadow puppetry…
Posted in artists, film December 4th, 2009 by pia



Every now and then I stumble upon something magical that makes my heart soar – high up in the sky, diving and weaving through the clouds. This morning I came across the work of the stories from the ground shadow puppetry, and I am enraptured, take a look…



The stories from the ground shadow puppetry are a collective of talented people who specialise in ‘Micro-theatre’ shadow performances. In 2008 they performed two seasons of ‘The Baron in the trees‘ –  a shadow adaption of Italo Calvino’s classic novel. And this year, they made the music clip for Lior’s new song “I’ll forget you”, featuring Sia. It’s a beautiful song, and the puppetry is breathtaking…

Here is a behind the scenes documentary of how they made the film. I love that they show how they made Lior’s character – from bits of cardboard, steel wool for his hair, tape, and bicycle spokes…

Incredibly inspiring, non? It got me thinking about this upcoming holiday season (and yes, I will be posting my holiday gift guide and decorating ideas first thing on monday so be ready) As a kid, one of my all-time favourite things about Christmas day was our ‘performance’  – my cousin Simone and I would spend months in advance planning our Christmas day show. It included piano solos and duets, lip syncing stage shows, spectacular freak shows (which usually involved my brother and Simone’s brother, trying to do some circus act to shock our audience – being our grandparents and parents – but instead would have them laughing uncontrollably ), and detailed choreographed dances by Simone and I, to such songs as “locomotive” by Kylie Minogue. Simone and I would turn the living room into a lively theater, ushering our audience into their designated seats and handing out hand drawn programs.   They were fun fun times.

What does this have to do with the above wonders? Well, I’m thinking, for the children (and the children at heart, that being us) how wonderful it would be to create a puppet show for your family day this year! You can use things from around the house – like steel wool for hair, and cardboard, and old bicycle spokes – to make a wonderful puppet show. To get that lovely paper drop-look the stories from the ground have used, what about baking paper? I have a baking paper that I buy from my organic/fair trade supermarket and because it’s made from recycled paper,  it has that lovely tea-dyed look to it, it would be perfect. Your children could choose one of their favourite songs to be the musical backdrop. What do you think? I think it would be a living-room-box-office hit!


love letters in 1818…
Posted in film, handmade November 15th, 2009 by pia



…so romantic. and no, I still have not seen the movie. I promise I will. For now, there are hours of procrastination to be found on the production site of bright star, right here. x

a beautiful song you can download for free…
Posted in film, music June 15th, 2009 by piablog


Have you heard of an australian band called middle east? i had not, until this morning when I read on one of my friend’s facebook status that this very talented band from townsville in queensland, have made their song blood available for free download through itunes. The song is featured in the teaser of a new film which had its world premiere recently at tribeca called accidents happen. It’s directed by andrew lancaster and stars geena davis.

The song is gorgeous, to say the very least. I’ve been listening to it over and over again today, and I highly recommend you download it right now as tomorrow (june 16) is the last day you can get it for free!

Click here to listen to the song on middle east’s my space site, then go straight to your itunes account to download it.

And a very big congratulations to andrew for his first feature – the cinematography looks stunning, geena is awesome, and I can’t wait to see this film!

a video channel just for us…
Posted in artists, film February 11th, 2009 by piablog

The one bonus about being sick with this nasty flu for the last few weeks is that I’ve had more time to explore the big wide web world. And I’ve made many a cool discovery that I am keen to show + tell right here in the (blog)house over coming weeks.

One of the coolest things I have discovered that I simply must share with you, is a rather special something I found on Australian Edge. This special something is called InFrame TV which is a video channel for the arts, design & culture lovers of the world (yay that’s us!!). It is a documentary based vodcast produced in Melbourne, Australia that profiles “original and arresting Australian and international talent working in arts, design and culture.” The InFrame aim is to provide unprecedented access to the thoughts, insights, and inspirations of people who create.

In their current line up of artists you will find Shaun Tan – the multi-award winning artist and author who has created such books as The Red Tree and Tales from Outer Suburbia; Patrick Blanc – French botanist and inventor of le mur vegetal (vegetal wall/vertical garden); and the very intriguing Julia Deville – jeweler and taxidermist. The videos are beautifully put together – excellent footage, excellent editing – simply put they are perfect productions of some of our favourite designers and artists.

To give you a little sample of their vodcast collection I’ve picked out one about vintage collector Lyn Gardner – most lovers of vintage homewares will already know Lyn as an iconic collector of all things pretty. I met Lyn years (and years!) ago when i had just opened my store in Sydney. My partner and I flew down to Melbourne for a weekend for inspiration (yes, it’s very very common to find inspiration at every corner in Melbourne ) and we came across Lyn in her gorgeous little store then called Empire 111 in Albert Park. Being such an open and chatty gal, the 3 of us chatted for quite a while, she was full of advice and guidance, and I remember walking out of her tiny, chock-a-block filled boutique, with arms full of goodies and a mind full of ideas and inspiration…

10 years later she has created quite a name for herself and her gorgeous sense of style flourishes. This InFrame TV vodcast is a fabulous introduction to Lyn for those who don’t already know of her, and for those who do, it’s a great look into her life and how she finds the things she does.

So now is the time to make yourself a cup of tea. With thanks to InFrame TV, please enjoy the following 4 minutes of inspiration…

Click here for more InFrame TV.