my better half + the ultimate houseboat for the musically inclined…
Posted in music, personal July 22nd, 2010 by pia

Some of you may have noticed that a few months ago I added a little sparkly widget at the bottom of my (blog)house sidebar, with the words “guitar” “tone”  “overload”.  And then some of you may have then thought, “wtf?” because you would know that my blog has nothing to do with guitars, or tones… although there is plenty of overload to be had.

Well, now I have a moment to tell you all about it! At the beginning of this year, my partner Romain – who you’ve all come to know here as french boy – launched his very own blog. It’s called, obviously,  guitar tone overload and it focuses on his “endless quest for The Guitar Tone” using effects, amps, and all sorts of other guitar equipment (that I have no idea about but he knows lots about). Last year when he first told me he wanted to start a blog, I asked him, “if you start a blog, what are your expectations?” and he said , “as a musician,  I’ve taken so much information from the internet over the last 15 years that now I’d like to give back”.  I thought that was pretty much the perfect answer…

this is a corner of our houseboat, filled with guitars and guitar stuff.

So at the end of February he launched his blog in both English and French. I love that he focuses on boutique equipment (that being, pedals and such that are made in small factories or by hand) and that he explores the guitar tones of various famous guitarists  – so far he’s featured Robert Smith from The Cure, Jeff Beck, Joe Satriani and just last week, John Butler. He not only writes about what each guitarist uses, but he also makes demo videos to show his readers how to get ‘the tone’ with certain equipment. It’s pretty clever stuff.

While researching for guitar tone overload the other day, Romain came across a video of legendary guitarist David Gilmour’s houseboat/music studio located on the Thames.  It is the most awesome floating musical space, and I just wanted to share it here, for those of you out there who love the idea of houseboat living, and those who love making music like we do. It is a clip from the BBC series three men in a boat, check it out…

Can you imagine? So very cool. For us, this would be the ultimate houseboat. Our little houseboat doesn’t have nearly as much music gear as David Gilmour’s, but it still manages to rock out when the mood strikes.

Anyway, I just wanted to say a big congratulations to french boy for getting out there in the blogosphere and creating such a great space for guitarists. Please pass on his blog to your guitarist friends. Merci!


point quiet…
Posted in amsterdam, music April 22nd, 2010 by pia

I admit, I’ve been keeping this band secret for a while now because well, sometimes I like to just keep some of the things that inspire me all to myself for a little bit before I share it with the world. You know? Anyway, when I first heard them play live last year it was at the invitation of my dear friend Simone who is the violinist in the band, and it was at the Lloyd Hotel. It was just a casual, mid-week gig, sitting around in a small corner of the restaurant which made it so wonderfully intimate – I was instantly captivated by their music: a little dark, a little folk, a lot melancholic and utterly enchanting.

They have just launched their first album under the new band name Point Quiet (previously known as White Sands). Before I bought the album last week, I had been playing their song anchors and birds over and over again – it’s repetitive actions like this that tell me I need to take it the next level. So I bought the album at their last gig and now, I can listen to the whole album on my ipod while I walk along the Amstel – completely day enhancing, to say the least.

They have a gig coming up at Theater Bellevue, on the Leidsekade this coming Monday, April 26 at 8:30pm, with another couple of local bands, tickets are €13 (click here for more info although it’s all in Dutch) – I think it’s going to be a lovely evening and I’m aiming to pull myself away from the writing desk to be there, I’d love to see you there too.


+listen to some of their songs here.
+buy their album here (in the netherlands and belgium) and here on itunes (US and rest of the world).
+ come to the gig on monday.

+There are lots of songs I am particularly fond of on the album (including long may you hide, venom minds, and the hidden track) but just to give you an idea of how beautiful their music is, please take a listen to anchors and birds while you read the lyrics.


PS Their cover album reminds me of this photographer’s work that I just posted on facebook. Volcanoes, smoke, horses… synchronicity at it’s finest.

Aurélie Mathigot’s home in Paris: Marie Claire Maison, Avril 2010…
Posted in artists, handmade, music, paris March 12th, 2010 by pia


Before I skip on out of the (blog)house I just had to let you know that Parisian artist Aurélie Mathigot’s beautiful fait main home is featured in this month’s issue of marie claire maison, photographed by Eric Flogny. It’s a gorgeous spread, full of Spring colour and inspiration.  Above is a little snippet of the 8 page article, I hope you can locate yourself a copy of the issue because it truly is a lovely story. I had the pleasure of photographing a number of Aurélie‘s pieces for Paris: Made by Hand while in Astier de Villate and The Collection – her little crocheted eclairs and cupcakes were among my favourites. Here is more of a glimpse of Aurélie‘s beautiful work via her website…



I also wanted to let you know that the new Angus & Julia Stone album called down the way is available on itunes in Australia now. I bought the album this morning and listened to it while on my morning walk along the amstel


Click here to listen to and the boys, a track I keep coming back to over again.

And one last thing – Paris: Made by Hand has been featured on the Vogue Italy trend blog, how cool is that?! Click here to have a read and be sure to ‘vogue it’. Merci beaucoup Nirit Sumeruk – or I mean grazie mille –  for writing the piece – you rock.


Okay, one last post coming up!

pia’s polaroids: a place I find myself often…
Posted in music, pia's photos, the houseboat September 10th, 2009 by pia


…it soothes, it inspires, it speaks the feelings inside me that have no words. This is a something I have never taken for granted, and when I hear myself play I sometimes wonder where the music comes from, and how do I play? Sometimes I have no idea how my fingers seem to find the right notes at the right time. Music is pure magic, non?

3 things that inspire me this week…
Posted in amsterdam, etsy favourites, music August 26th, 2009 by pia

1. I’m loving this version of ‘going up the country‘ (originally by the ’70’s blues band Canned Heat) by Kitty, Daisy and Lewis – 3 young siblings from England. It totally gets me jivin’, check it out…


2. This sweet little vintage tin from etsy shop monkeys always look



3. And you. You inspire me, but not just this week, all the time.


It is a beautiful day here in Amsterdam. The air is lovely, I went for a nice ride this morning and I feel so much more rejevunated than I did yesterday. So much so, that in between my work I have decided to blog my little heart out today, as there is much I want to share with you. So! today there will be a few posts coming your way, thanks in advance for stoppin’ by to say hi.


PS Last weekend I went on a fabulous boat ride around Amsterdam with some friends! My dear (blog)house guest was one of those friends. Zoë took loads of great pics and wrote a wonderful post about it this week, it’s in the guest quarters right now, please click here to read Zoë’s post. (yes that is me in the cowboy hat. I love that hat!)