forming new paths...

...still one of my favourite photographs, crumpled poppies. 

...still one of my favourite photographs, crumpled poppies. 

I know, I've done it again. Because I've been happily absorbed in organising and hosting my first workshop. And I've been writing quotes for photographic work. And thoroughly enjoying consulting. And taking time out for myself everyday. That's plenty, I've realised. Plenty. And each time that I sat down to write and share images from the trip here, I became stuck and disinterested. I had assumed that I would write a chronological order of events in Europe, but that's where I became blocked. Something rather significant is changing in me, or opening, I think, rather than changing - like there is space again for a part of me that has always been there. My love of finding new paths, stepping off well-beaten paths, and creating jungle paths that are full of wonder and surprise is emerging. Perhaps my method of journalling is changing - opening up -  in this way as well. I find myself not wanting to do things in order. Not wanting to conform. Because I look around and I see order, prettiness and neatness, and the more I see it the less I desire it for myself, the more I crave the haphazardness, the layering, the mystery and newness. Sometimes I get down on myself, that I haven't become 'that blogger' over the years that everyone follows, that I haven't formed into a mummy blog or design blog, food or lifestyle blog. That I haven't stuck to a formula of writing or sharing photos of everything I'm doing everyday. Sometimes I get down about it, but was that ever me anyway? Am I sad about the loss of self or loss of an illusion of self? Yes, the latter, it is loud and clear. 

So perhaps today I'll lose more readers because I'm not doing this cleverly and people want clever and predictable. Am I going to be okay with it? Probably not. But I'm aware it's part of the process, and I will need to learn to accept it. 

I'm honest, vulnerable and raw, I've always been that, and I always will be. I don't need to feel ashamed for it anymore. 

Oh, the freedom in that acceptance. The wonder in the unknown. Whatever will I write next...

Traveling heart...

I say I'll post regularly, and then I don't, what's with that? It's frustrating me that I haven't been able to find my rhythm here still. I feel it has a lot to do with Instagram - for those who used to enjoy reading my regular posts here in my journal, I still do post regularly, mostly everyday, but on Instagram instead. So as much as I'd love you to join me over there I also understand there are those of you who are not on Instagram and don't want to be. So I'm going to start to repost significant insta posts directly on to this page, my Everyday Alchemy journal, in between my longer journal posts here. By 'significant' I mean an image with a story, with a deeper meaning that provokes discussion and thought. Because this is still my favourite form of online communication, and I've been denying myself the pleasure of sitting and writing to you here, as I would write a letter, and I think it would help to keep the flow of the space if I gently weave the two spaces together.

...this is where French Boy was born and grew up! So incredibly charming. 

...this is where French Boy was born and grew up! So incredibly charming. 

Amsterdam still holds my heart.

Amsterdam still holds my heart.

So in big news, I wanted to let you know that we just got back from three weeks in one of the best kept secret regions of France where French Boy grew up, as well as spending some time in Paris and our old home town Amsterdam. Its not really big news, it's huge. On so many levels. This was our first trip back to Europe since Romain and I moved to Sydney five years ago. During the entire length of that five years, Romain became an Australian citizen, we became parents, and I nursed my Mum to her final hours of life. Simply put, we have grown significantly since we last saw everyone back in France and Holland. I wondered how they would see us now, and how we would feel being there. And we are three now, so how would they react to our child, our heart, which runs wild and free? 

...our girl, growing up before our eyes.

...our girl, growing up before our eyes.

It was an incredible adventure, and one I am so eager to share with you. I learnt so much about new places that sparked hundreds of ideas, and I learnt about myself, about us as a family, and our future. So I'm going to write a series of posts with many photographs from our travels, and divulge as much as I can - from both the outer and inner journeying, I hope you'll enjoy them. 

xx

PS if you have any questions along the way, anything that you'd like to know about the trip or traveling as a family, anything at all, please don't hesitate to ask in a comment and I'll reply! 

workshop news: the alchemy of assemblage...

I'm thrilled to make official here the announcement of my first workshop for the season: The Alchemy of Assemblage, to be held at the incredible Elements I Love rambling warehouse in Sydney, just a stones throw from where I live. Owner Brooke and I have been planning this for months and it's wonderful to see it come together. In a flooded market of workshops, I wanted to create and offer something really special and unique, that incorporates many elements that you can take with you to use in your everyday creativity. More than an event, I aim to propel you forward in your creative life, in one of the most beautiful settings in the city. Every time I walk into Elements I Love I am transported to Europe to a gorgeous antique boutique, a place I want to linger for hours. Brooke and her husband Tim have created such a special place over the past 10 years, it's an honour to be invited to host a creative workshop here..

...behind a series of linen curtains and closed doors lies the restoration workspace, the alchemist's lair. 

...behind a series of linen curtains and closed doors lies the restoration workspace, the alchemist's lair. 

The idea of the workshop came from thinking about the art of layering and collage. In my travel memoir My Heart Wanders, I designed each double page spread to be a work of art in itself so that you can not only read the book from cover to cover but flip it open anytime to be transported to that moment through a rich layering of visuals and words. For this workshop, we will be exploring the technique of assemblage by creating a collage on wood - while enjoying champagne and nibbles, you’ll acquire the knowledge to create your own piece of personal art using a collection of elements you love.  It will be like bringing to life a page from My Heart Wanders but from your very own experiences and elements...

Through the process of creating your own assemblage board, I'll guide you on how to recognise and follow your intuition, allowing your creative spirit to flow freely - a technique you’ll be able to practice and strengthen over time. I'll be talking about creative flow, and how to manage and move through self-doubt in your style and art, the "I'm not good enough" self talk that so many of us have. 

Using your own small found objects as well as a selection of collected materials, I'm looking forward to helping you to discover how to approach a creative project by guiding you through making your own beautiful and evocative collage. To accompany the items you bring with you (think: old postcard, photograph, ticket stubs, buttons, wrapping, fabric - anything that evokes a particular moment for you: a place or loved one) there’ll be a selection of materials that I'll be sharing with you to add to your board including cloth, paper, tacks, string, feathers, shells, and ink: all collected over time and amongst my own personal stash. Along with learning how to finish your board professionally with sanding and beeswax with expert help from the team at Elements I Love , you’ll gain the necessary know-how to make more assemblages at home to adorn walls or give as gifts.

There is only one workshop date available for this (Saturday, August 27, 2016)  and limited numbers so that I can make the time to personally chat with everyone during the workshop, so please don't hesitate to book before the word spreads over the coming week.  For more details about the workshop, please click here

I hope to see you there!

With Love, Pia 

PS Completely off topic but... I'm addicted to Outlander. I just had to tell you. I can barely think of anything else at the moment.  I only just discovered it the other day and am still in season 1 so don't tell me a thing if you're already ahead and if you're not, I cannot recommend it enough - it's the perfect story to escape into this winter season. Yes, I'm planning to immerse myself even further by reading the books. X