My Heart Wanders: breathers…
Posted in book design, my heart wanders September 23rd, 2012 by pia

It’s been a dazzling, and dare I say balmy weekend here in Sydney. Summer is definitely on the way and I’ve been scrambling through my closet to find some cotton skirts and dresses. And shoes – it appears my swollen pregnant feet last year broke most of them. I heard a good quote the other day in reference to becoming a parent: “each hour has now become 5 minutes”. That is exactly how it feels for me, and then somehow, suddenly, night falls, and I crawl into bed at some unreasonably early hour of the evening. Do you remember the beginning of My Heart Wanders where I describe the jungle path? I’ve since realised that was no jungle path because THIS is the jungle path. This is the rockiest terrain I’ve ever traversed. It’s also the most breathtakingly beautiful terrain I’ve ever laid eyes on.

Anyway, parenthood, it’s a blog post/topic/category unto its own and one I’m not quite ready to write about. Instead let’s talk books! And the design of…

So, I think this will be the last design related post I’ll write for  My Heart Wanders. For this last post about the book design, I flicked through my copy to see what I’d be inspired to write about… there are the sweet page embellishments – tea stains, pressed flowers, water stains and the surprise at the end of the book (that I still would like to keep as a surprise so we can’t talk about that)… and then my eyes rested on these pages you see above and below…

I call these photographs “breathers”. It’s something I incorporate in my client work too: When I photograph something, I like to create a story of images with “breathers” throughout – stop points, images for the eyes and mind to rest, reflect and breathe. These two images I placed at the beginning of the book (just before the prologue) and at the end (just before the epilogue). I took these photographs on a wall of the houseboat.  And serendipitously –  as so often happened while making this book – the light reflections from the water outside the boat windows shifted across my subject. Can you see what I mean? Here they are again…

I could not have wished for something more subtle and beautiful. For me this represented how my story, my journey, was but a moment in time – some time, somewhere. How even though for me it was such an intimate and incredibly intense time in my life, it was a moment in time already passed. And it felt wonderful to have captured it. Bound it. Shared it.

I drew a little sitting butterfly and some leaves with pencil and added these to the photographs. It seemed the thing to do.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this behind-the-scenes look at some of the pages created for My Heart Wanders. Perhaps we can do this again some time?

Enjoy your week ahead mes amis. I’ll be back in the (blog)house very soon.


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  1. katiecrackernuts says

    I’m just embarking on grand-parenthood. It’s a wonder and a strange place all at the same time. Parenthood is both very public and very, very private. You may never be able to fully give it voice here but you will, in the place and way it needs to be voiced.

    September 23rd, 2012 | #

  2. Bec says

    Oh yes. I’m 15 months into this parenthood business. and it is tough. but amazing. but very very tough!

    September 23rd, 2012 | #

  3. The Beauty Philosopher says

    I’m seven months into parenthood and it is every bit as intense and strange and jolting and magical as it promised to be. Beautiful book too’

    September 23rd, 2012 | #

  4. jayne says


    September 23rd, 2012 | #

  5. Inge says

    Wonderfully written. And such beautiful breathers. I always love those pages in a well designed book.

    September 23rd, 2012 | #

  6. mel @ loved handmade says

    I do love your ‘breathers’ they’re lovely pages, and very soothing. You’re right, parenthood is certainly a category all of its own, its the hardest, most challenging job we will ever undertake, but at the same time absolutely the most beautiful..x

    September 24th, 2012 | #

  7. cathy says

    Just had to share that my beautiful daughter is getting married in just over 2 months now (she is 19) and I wanted to get her a few things that were extremely special before she moved into her new life with her husband and on top of the list was my heart wanders….I am going to take her to Byron Bay and Bangalow for a couple of days before the big day and give it to her there..Such a beautiful inspiration 🙂

    September 24th, 2012 | #

  8. Angy Braine says

    I was just showing your book and blog to a friend yesterday and she said and I quote: “Oh so Dreamy and Oh so Authentic” … glad to hear that on this rollercoaster ride that is parenthood you are finding a way to balance your creative thoughts with those of nappies, feeds and cuddles. PS – the ride does slow down soon, then it speeds up again… few times you may want to throw up or get off or scream but it’s still the best ride ever 😉

    September 27th, 2012 | #

  9. Ruth says

    The light reflections in the photo are gorgeous! Isn’t it amazing how it was just the thing to make those photos perfect, and perfectly fitting with your story. I have had your book for about a year now and I was just looking through it again yesterday, discovering many new and beautiful details. I am also two and half years into parenthood, it is a crazy journey, that is for sure! All the best to you and your little girl!

    September 28th, 2012 | #

  10. Helen says

    your work is beautiful

    September 28th, 2012 | #

  11. pia says

    Thanks so much Ruth. Parenthood is a crazy journey! It’s so intense, in all possible ways.

    September 30th, 2012 | #

  12. pia says

    thank you, such a beautiful comment and quote, wow! Loved your description of the parenthood rollercoaster ride x

    September 30th, 2012 | #

  13. pia says

    wow Cathy, thank you! Enjoy the wedding, and the lead up to the big day – what a treat to go to Bangalow or Byron!!

    September 30th, 2012 | #

  14. pia says

    indeed Mel, I’ve never been more challenged than I am these days. Thank you x

    September 30th, 2012 | #

  15. pia says

    thank you Inge!

    September 30th, 2012 | #

  16. pia says

    aah we are in the same carriage on the rollercoaster! Laly is 7 1/2 months now – jolting and magical, beautifully put. x

    September 30th, 2012 | #

  17. pia says

    yessssssss, so much!

    September 30th, 2012 | #

  18. pia says

    I can’t believe you’re into the grand-parenthood stage already ms crackernuts, that seemed so fast! Thank you, yes maybe a follow on from my heart wanders in years to come, it certainly feels like it needs to be among quiet, reflective, intimate pages of a bound book rather than in the very ‘open to all’ blogland we love. xx

    September 30th, 2012 | #

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