the photos: brisbane book launch…
Posted in australia, handmade, my heart wanders June 15th, 2011 by pia

goodie bags at the door – inside each was a special gift, made by hand by Kylie

I can’t believe this spectacular event in Brisbane was over a month ago. I’ve been wanting to share these photos with you for all that time. They were taken by the very talented Natalie McComas who is a Brisbane-based photographer. Natalie wandered around for the whole afternoon snapping gorgeous moments like you see above and below…

stunning flower arrangements made by my sweet friend Zoë

This book launch was the creation of the flourishing creative community in Brisbane, organised by my dear friend Kylie from paper boat press. How it came about is a wonderful story of its own: When I moved to Sydney in February, Kylie called to ask, “So what have you got planned to celebrate the release of My Heart Wanders?” In a rather deflated tone I said, “I haven’t thought of a thing. I’m so exhausted from the move and completion of the book itself, I can’t seem to find the energy to…” at which point she declared, “no need to do a thing! I have decided I am going to host a very special book party for you, it can be whatever you want.” To hear her enthusiasm and boundless support was enough to get me giddy with anticipation, and over the following months we chatted about what kind of a celebration it could be. An afternoon tea at the neighbouring secreted oasis (also known as st. francis theological college in milton) was what we conjured up, and before I knew it she had the support and enthusiasm of the creative community in Brisbane, all buying tickets to join in the celebration, and donating crafted goodness for lucky door prizes. When the day arrived it was truly magical, I could not have dreamed up anything like it…

On arrival, guests lined up to give their names and have raffle tickets issued, and then strolled along the patio to mingle. I was rapt to see they were quick to get hold of their copies of the book and flick through as they sipped tea and chatted with new friends…

Guests took their copies off to enjoy quiet moments reading the book…

…and when it came time to start signing, they lined up and waited patiently as I chatted with each guest.

The atmosphere was quite something, and I put it all down to the guests, the helpers, the venue, and Kylie – the amazing host herself –  who made me feel so relaxed, even when it came time to stand up in front of everyone and say a few words…

…and draw the winners of the amazing lucky door prizes. There were three large collections of handmade goodies to give away, all donated by some of Brisbane’s most creative and generous crafters – please click on all their links below to see what beautiful treasures they make and sell…

michelle at nook
nicole from hot toffee
alarna from little jane street
sarah from red felt flower
kia hing-fay
erin from blossom creations
toni from giddy girl design
kim from udessi
tiel from tsk tsk
sharon muir
louise from loose.leaf paper
liana kabel
kristina from old yarns
alischa from bespoke press
selene from heikehaus
jennifer orland

What beautiful smiles. To make the day so special took many many hands. In the kitchen were Kylie’s friends Maria and Jan, making cups of teas and bringing out sandwiches and cakes for everyone. Kylie’s dear friend Sarah made the cutest butterfly cakes, and my sweet pal and fellow ex-Amsterdam dweller Zoë spent the morning creating spectacular posies for the tables, bringing over the supplies and food, as well as greeting all the guests. Kylie’s mum brought along some stunning bouquets from her garden…

…and Kylie’s sister Tiffany graciously manned the book table for the afternoon. Kylie’s brother and Dad helped out on the day too – setting up all the chairs and tables, and putting up signs in the street to direct guests to parking places. Sweet Kristina from old yarns made all the garlands especially for the event – she had collected pages from old french books, maps, and soft blue card that matched the colours of my book cover, cutting them into pretty circles and flower motifs and sewing them together to make long garlands which were strung between the stone pillars.

At the end of the day, a handful of Kylie’s friends stayed back to clean, pack and collect. It was truly amazing to see such a community of support,  a shining example of what community spirit is all about. I cannot thank each of these contributors enough, I’m still mesmerized by their generosity. If this event was a microcosm of the city’s community at large, then I can now see how and why Brisbane recovered so swiftly from the floods earlier in the year – the city truly looks amazing right now, no doubt it’s with thanks to the people who live there.

Among the beautiful Brisbane bloggers who came along for the event was A-M from the house that A-M built – I’ve been following her blog for a few years now, inspired by her two beautiful boys who always write her the most incredible letters (I posted one here some years back). It was a treat to meet the lovely and talented fashion designer Mady from an abundance of and her friend dayle of green bean food.  There was also Tracey from Quiet Paws, Ana from coleccionando estrellas, and Cate from A White Carousel. I also met new blogger Hayley from stylimerence who interviewed me on the day, you can read her beautiful post about the event right here.  I was elated to meet the delightful and eminent author Kate Morton who also came along – I’ve been a fan of her novels (as you may recall this post in the (blog)house library) for some time now so it was a rather special moment to meet her in person.

Thank you again Natalie for all the fab photos, and to everyone who came along, you really made it a celebration I will always remember – it’s moments like these that make me feel like all the intense hard work was worth it.


PS Also while I’m here in the (blog)house, I’d like to let you know that homelife (which is the website for publications such as inside out and country style) are giving members a chance to win one of ten signed copies of My Heart Wanders. The competition ends on June 22, to find out more,  just click here.

PPS There is more going on in the (blog)house, did you know? Yep, it’s a busy household! Marjorie’s been cooking up a succulent (cue french accent) seasonal menu in the (blog)kitchen, while Christine is saying her goodbyes in the guest quarters – thank you so much Christine for sharing the delights of New England with us all.  There will be a new guest arriving any minute now… I’ll give you only one hint: New York, New York.

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  1. Luisa Brimble says

    ooooohhhhh this is too pretty Pia.

    June 15th, 2011 | #

  2. Sarah says

    Hi Pia, this post is so beautiful!!! I just ordered your book, and cannot wait til it arrives! Your life must seem a little like a “dream” at the moment…. I love everything you do, and your “window displays” inspired a display I’ve just done at a Store I work at- Suede Vintage in Thirroul NSW!
    Thanks for all your inspiring goodness

    June 15th, 2011 | #

  3. Allison Taylor says

    Lovely photos 🙂

    June 15th, 2011 | #

  4. Oliver @ Sabi Style says

    It is wonderful to hear what a huge success it was. Though with the super talented Ms Johnson involved it is no surprise!

    I was gutted when I realised I was going to be away.

    I hope that Bris-vegas will see more visits from you!

    June 15th, 2011 | #

  5. Lili Emilia says

    What a wonderful celebration and place! Looks like a lovely day:)

    June 15th, 2011 | #

  6. Lisette says

    How beautiful! The venue, the decorations, the flowers, the smiles… congratulations to those who made it happen, and to you on the success of the launches, celebrating the parties in your honour, and the delight of meeting one of your favourite authors!

    June 15th, 2011 | #

  7. Anthea says

    Oh that is all too beautiful !!!

    June 15th, 2011 | #

  8. olga says

    ooh this looks incredible!!

    June 15th, 2011 | #

  9. Nat@ dear little house says

    Looks absolutely amazing. I’m sure you must be really enjoying this whole experience.

    June 15th, 2011 | #

  10. Will says

    Just gorgeous, Pia. Love the posy of blooms and the garlands are fun, too. Glad the event was a huge success!

    June 15th, 2011 | #

  11. Olithée says

    Sweet pics, very nice. Congrats

    June 15th, 2011 | #

  12. Mandy says

    What beautiful pics … you look so beautiful Pia, what a lovely day !!!

    June 15th, 2011 | #

  13. Jenni Booth says

    Well Done Pia, you did it!! You look beautiful, love the skirt!! xx Jen

    June 15th, 2011 | #

  14. An says

    Success Pia! So happy for you!!! xo

    June 15th, 2011 | #

  15. Coleccionando estrellas says

    It was such a beautiful sunny afternoon, everything was perfect (and delicious!). Very happy of having met you and Kylie,
    you are lovely. I didn´t have any idea that Kate Morton was at the venue. I used to read her books back in Spain! What a shame, knowing her would have been the top of the cake!

    June 15th, 2011 | #

  16. Ana says

    Perfection! I wish I could have been there!

    June 15th, 2011 | #

  17. linda says

    Hi Pia, it looks amazing, I wish I could have been there. And indeed, you look beautiful!

    June 15th, 2011 | #

  18. Olga Duron says

    Congratulations on your success! What a gorgeous day!

    June 15th, 2011 | #

  19. danasparkle says

    A wonderful way to celebrate a wonderful book…

    June 16th, 2011 | #

  20. Christine C. says

    Oh Pia, what a gorgeous celebration, down to every last detail… and you look simply radiant!

    Thank you so much for letting me linger awhile in the {blog} house. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit!

    June 16th, 2011 | #

  21. Zoe says

    Oh, it’s lovely to see Natalie’s gorgeous photos, they reflect perfectly what a wonderful afternoon it was. It was fabulous to see the community of creators and friends and generous helpers come together and have a great time doing it. It was an honour to be able to contribute and be a part of it. We here in Bris-vegas would definitely love to have you back again anytime! 🙂

    June 16th, 2011 | #

  22. Debbie Northway says

    How exciting!

    June 16th, 2011 | #

  23. nell says

    oooo.. that’s awesome!! keep inspiring *hugs*

    June 16th, 2011 | #

  24. Kylie says

    I had a lovely time, Pia!

    Your book has been a great inspiration to me as I’ve embarked on a big job change in my life. 🙂

    June 16th, 2011 | #

  25. Christien - ZIZO label says

    hi pia,it’s been a while since I read your blog… and now the launch of your new book. Wauw it looks really nice and inspiring! Good luck!
    The best regards from a Dutchie, Christien

    June 16th, 2011 | #

  26. Ege Denne says

    Made me want to travel to this place and see it for myself 🙂

    June 16th, 2011 | #

  27. lisa daria says

    These photos tell the whole story, such a gifted photographer to be able to capture much more than just a picture.

    June 17th, 2011 | #

  28. Rohan says

    Well done…..the book sure looks amazing!

    June 17th, 2011 | #

  29. Ann Marie says

    It’s perfect, Pia! Wish I could have been there!

    June 17th, 2011 | #

  30. Victoria says

    Just wonderful! I am so glad to see how you soar! Good luck with everything! Greetings from NYC!
    Victoria of Art House Design

    June 17th, 2011 | #

  31. Isabelle says

    Hi Pia from Greece! J just received your book and it’s a work or art, really inspiring. I’m a big fan of yours and I follow your blog every week… keep doing beautiful things!

    June 17th, 2011 | #

  32. cathy says

    Wow!!! I just found you recently ….It is all so beautiful. I have ordered your book and can’t wait to see it. I hope it is ok to add you to my blog list… Thank you for your inspiration…Take care C xx

    June 18th, 2011 | #

  33. hila says

    I actually did a double-take on some of these photos as the place where you had this book launch looks so much like my university building here in Perth – I guess Australian buildings have lingering similarities 🙂 It looks just divine, I only wish I could have been there.

    June 19th, 2011 | #

  34. Tracey says

    It was a magical day for sure Pia, and your book is a delight for the mind and the eyes.

    PS. Thanks for the blog shout-out … much appreciated! xx

    June 19th, 2011 | #

  35. my wandering heart, enhances the everyday · A White Carousel says

    […] bit more Pia magic ~ she has captured her My Heart Wanders brisbane book launch on her on her blog.  I posted about this beautiful day […]

    June 19th, 2011 | #

  36. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures says

    What a GORGEOUS event!!! You looked radiant. I’m so happy for you and your book. XO

    June 19th, 2011 | #

  37. Laura says

    Hi! I write from Italy, I’ve just had your latest book and I’m enchanted..I really adore every little detail through your eyes!!
    This event’s wonderful,hope you don’t mind if I share some pics of it (linked back,of courde!!),on my little blog!
    Hugs from Rome.

    June 20th, 2011 | #

  38. LatteLisa says

    How did I miss this gorgeous post … everyone is so beautiful and happy. Is it your book that brings it out in people? 😉

    June 22nd, 2011 | #

  39. Clare says

    It was such a lovely afternoon in the most beautiful setting, and it was really great to meet you. I enjoyed finding out more about your adventures in My Heart Wanders (which I read cover to cover in an evening as I couldn’t put it down) and was very inspired by the beautiful photography. Thanks! x

    June 24th, 2011 | #

  40. A-M says

    It was the most perfect afternoon in every sense…. and your book…. pride of place on my coffee table. A-M xx

    June 24th, 2011 | #

  41. g. says

    you look absolutely gorgeous, pia! many congrats again on the book! xo.

    June 24th, 2011 | #

  42. Angela says

    Looks like a really beautiful party. Congratulations on the book, I’ve just finished reading it and it’s just stunning!

    June 25th, 2011 | #

  43. FrankieandNicole says

    Congratulations Pia! I have been following you and your success ever since I stumbled across your site a few months ago – you are SUCH an inspiring and beautiful young lady – keep up the amazing work xx

    June 26th, 2011 | #

  44. duermeveland says

    what a wonderful meeting… each detail seems to be perfect.

    June 27th, 2011 | #

  45. looseleaf.paper » book launch photos says

    […] was a little while ago now… when we were lucky enough to attend Pia’s book launch which was hosted by the fabulous Kylie at paper boat press so here are some photos by the talented […]

    June 29th, 2011 | #

  46. surfingfree says

    Soooo pretty! Did everyone have to be gorgeous before they were allowed in!??!? Nice to see happy sunny photos from Brisbane … my old home town.

    June 29th, 2011 | #

  47. classiq says

    Congratulations on your book! It all looks so wonderful, what an amazing event! 🙂 Ada

    June 29th, 2011 | #

  48. Tina says

    How can I get a copy of this book here in the states??????

    July 1st, 2011 | #

  49. Sweet Freak says

    What a lovely event befitting your book – bravo!

    July 4th, 2011 | #

  50. my heart wanders | Natalie McComas says

    […] couple of weekends ago I had the priviledge of photographing for Pia Jane Bjerk (photographer and stylist) and her  My Heart Wanders book launch held at the old St Francis […]

    July 13th, 2011 | #

  51. Calico Child says

    What a truly wonderful day you must have had, I so miss living in Brisbane What amazing people to be involved a true gift to have such lovely people around :))) Wished I could have been there it looked magical 🙂

    August 31st, 2011 | #

  52. Jo Dyer says

    Hi Pia,

    I’ve just discovered your gorgeous book after reading your interview in Peppermint.

    I’ve made a post about it here:

    Thanks so much for sharing your heartfelt journey.
    I look forward to following your future endeavours in blog land.

    x Jo

    September 12th, 2011 | #

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