Kaspia’s Caravan…

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What a beginning to 2015, for all of us… much energy moving around, can you feel it? Old energy moving out, new energy moving in, big changes in the air. I have many thoughts on it that I’d love to share with you and I’d love to hear your thoughts, to see how we are shifting and changing as a collective. I haven’t been blogging much this past year, as many of you know who follow my instragram, there are a number of personal reasons for that. But I miss being here. I miss this space, I miss you.  And this year I have some ideas on how I can be here some more, with your help. Because I’ve come to see this is a special place, a creative passage I need in my life – a place in the past where I’ve been able to thrive, to create freely, to move forward. And it feels really important to keep it going, keep it alive and fresh, for all of us. It’s not something I take for granted, and I’m very grateful for it, for you, both silent and spoken readers – we share something together, something we can’t really see, or pinpoint. But it’s there, it’s present and strong and it needs to grow…

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Today though, I wanted to share with you a creative endeavour of a dear friend of mine. Her name is Kaspia, and for years she has been dreaming of opening her very own pop-up shop, filled with incredible treasures she has collected from her exotic travels around the globe over the years. Kaspia has an incredible, unique style. I’ve long admired her sense of colour, wonder and energy, and I’ve been so excited for her, to see her dream become a reality and be shared with the world. You guys know how I feel about taking risks and following your heart!  Kaspia opened her pop up shop last month in the heart of Sydney in Potts Point, in the stunning artist’s space known as The Yellow House

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There are rugs, cushions, quilts and throws from the most remote parts of the world. There are necklaces, bags, boxes and bracelets, tables, day beds, lamps and baskets from Mexico, the Far East, the Himalayas and beyond.

The collection is out of this world and I urge you to go and visit before it closes on February 1st, 2015, that’s only two weeks away.

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A big warm, all encompassing hug to Kaspia for making her dream come true and sharing it with all of us… If you’d like to learn more about her wild and wonderful life, read her interview on Daily Imprint, and for more information about the pieces in her store, you can read her blog, there is lots to learn about the collection, where each piece came from and how they are made.

To celebrate I’ve put a few copies of My Heart Wanders and Little Treasures: Made by Hand in her store as a package for $65 (instead of the normal retail price of $85) so that means you basically get Little Treasures: Made by Hand for just $5 when you buy both books together. I know that’s crazy, but I want to! It’s only for this two weeks, so I hope it will encourage you to get down to Kaspia’s shop pronto. Someone commented the other day that they received My Heart Wanders as a graduation gift from a relative and I thought that was a wonderful idea.

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Looking forward to hanging out here in my blog house this year, in between working on my next book. Here’s to the new year, to celebrating our connections, and to being who we are meant to be, with our hearts open…

Pia xx

all photographs by Pia Jane Bijkerk

All this, yes.
Posted in music, my heart wanders, pia's music July 4th, 2014 by pia



Like a paper boat on a windy sea,
battered and bruised from the to-ing and fro-ing.
Drenched in drops of tears that fall like rain…
I’ve lost sight of the shore.

All this, yes.

But now that I am surrounded by all that is unfamiliar,
I’m more aware, more awake, than ever before.
And with wide, clear eyes I soon find myself
In a world of wonder I never dared dream about.
It’s in this world that wandering hearts come lost,
To be found.

Poem excerpt from My Heart Wanders.
Music, voice, words and photograph by Pia Jane Bijkerk.

Download. Share. Enjoy.

With Love and Gratitude,

Pia x

bird by bird…


Yes that does happen to be the title of one of my favourite books by Anne Lamott, recommended to me by sweet Kylie some years ago while I was writing My Heart Wanders. It helped tremendously as I had spent many days sitting looking at a blank screen, wondering how to start the mammoth task of writing a memoir of that time of my life.

But I digress! Do you recall this bird mobile I made for Laly’s room, which I featured in Little Treasures: Made by Hand? It’s on pages 208-211, with reference to Spool sewing who released the pattern some years ago. I made the birds using the pattern then attached them to some twigs with ribbon, and embellished the mobile with vines and dried fern fronds. It hung above Laly’s cot for many months, but once she began to be able to stand – and reach up to the birds – I took the mobile down. The birds were added to her toy basket until a few months ago when I found an abandoned birdcage. I gave it a good clean and then Laly and I painted it in an array of her favourite colours. I let her paint it in her way (mixing colours together, with big dollops of dripping paint). We added a couple of twigs inside the cage et voilà, the birds have come out again to play…



I’m thrilled to have found a way for the birds to be played with again, relevant to Laly’s new skills: She’s right into inventing her own games and role play. To decorate the cage we went out to forage for some vines and ferns. Of course I had plans for her to be part of the photoshoot for this blog post, but she didn’t want to and I’m doing well now to let her make her own decisions when it comes to play. So while she was out with her Papa I took the opportunity to play with the birds and cage in my own way…


Happy weekend mes amis!


PS new music on the way, I hope you’re enjoying my growing collection so far. Thanks for your downloads and encouraging comments thus far, so appreciated.


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.


My Heart Wanders: chapter openers…
Posted in behind the scenes, book design, my heart wanders September 3rd, 2012 by pia

Making the chapter openers was by far one of the most fun parts of making the book. Those of you who have followed the My Heart Wander blog project from the beginning may recall I made whimsical chalkboard numbers using flower petals to mark the countdown toward the photo submission deadline. This became one of the strongest elements of the book from the very start as it was one of the ideas that my publisher loved and was keen for me to recreate as chapter openers.

My “studio” to create these pages was the kitchen floor of the houseboat as it had the most light in the space with its 7 windows looking out over the canal. But it was also the rockiest part of the boat as it was higher than the main living space so I had to pick my days of shooting to be the calmest, and sunniest of all (not easy in a windy, cloudy city!). I set up the tripod and chalkboard and gathered my props on a section of the floor (so you have an idea, the floor was about 3 meters x 1 meter). My props being chalk and lots of flower petals in various states of decay…

so much fun to play with dried petals

For each number I drew a chalk outline on a small square chalkboard, then arranged the flower petals until I was happy with the composition. I would purposely create chalky smudge marks to give the numbers some texture, and was quite loose with each arrangement, stopping when I saw something I liked. Each number was photographed at least half a dozen times with various changes so that I had a few to choose from for the final page.

three in progress…

Sometimes I would get distracted and doodle on the chalkboard, thinking it might look good for something in the book, then I’d step back and realize it was crap, rub it off and get back to work…

playing with petals and chalk

Then once each number was photographed I played around with fonts and chalk scribbles to add the chapter opener text…

When I had something I liked  I’d send it to head designer Vivien at Murdoch Books in Sydney to get her feedback and thoughts on it, we’d play around some more then she would bring it to life by adding her magic touch…

the finished page for chapter 6 of My Heart Wanders

After the chapter numbers were all photographed, I then created images especially for each chapter opening double page spread (DPS). As I mentioned in the previous post, each photograph visually described the story that followed, representing how I was feeling at that point in my life, and what I was doing in my life. Here below you can see the final DPS for Chapter 6…

Tea for me is all about renewing the soul, so creating an afternoon tea setting on my dining room table seemed only fitting for this particular chapter.


There is one design feature about the chapter openers that I haven’t mentioned, but maybe some of you have already spotted it while reading My Heart Wanders – did you notice the colour way of each chalk & petal number through out the book? Each number graduates in colour, starting from the gentle muted tone of the dried hydrangea petals, moving through to soft pink peonies and dahlia petals, deepening to a richer hue of rose, then purple, then moving onto yellow tones for chapter 6 (the ‘realisation’), and fading off to white for the remaining chapters. This was something very deliberate that I wanted to create, to flow with not only the seasons that the story takes place (starting in autumn in Sydney, moving into Spring when I moved to Paris, then summer, then white for winter in Amsterdam), but also my state of mind at the time of each chapter’s focus. I won’t say much more about it for those who haven’t yet read the book, but perhaps now for those who have, there might be a deeper connection to the story, represented by not just images but the colour and tones within each chapter.


As you can see, every element, every stage of the making of this book is very much made by hand. From creating each photograph, to making the chalkboard letters, photographing wings and petals and branches to cut and paste onto images. Is there a particular design feature of the book you’d like to learn about?