a new year brings new beginnings...

LTMBH_mamanandlaly_IMG_1264 copy I'm sitting at my desk, with mess and books and pens and paper all around me.  Glancing over at my pin board I see the four ultrasound photos I was given some 15 months ago of our little baby who is today, 11 months old. I remember when I first saw those photos, it just didn't seem possible that one day I would meet this little being growing inside me. Who was she? I was so eager to get to know her, to hold her and kiss her. I really had no idea how much my life would transform once she was born. No idea. These past 20 months I have experienced an incredible succession of extreme emotional highs and extreme lows, but there is one consistent truth underneath it all that remains and grows stronger by the day: love.


The  moment we announced the birth of  Laly 11 months ago, parcels began to arrive on our doorstep, each filled with the most beautiful gifts made by hand from around the world. From France came knitted cardigans, booties and toys, and from friends here in Australia came tiny felted slippers and the sweetest crocheted dresses and blankets. I was overwhelmed with gratitude and love for these sweet gift-givers who, with their generosity,  helped get me through each challenging day as a new mum.

But how to find the time to say thank you?  All I managed was a simple email, and it just didn’t seem enough.

Then, one night, in the early, dark hours of morning while feeding Laly, I had an idea. It shone in my mind's eye as clear and bright as a shining star:

Imagine if I could create a book, photographing and cataloguing each unique object, writing a little about each person who made and sent the gift, sharing links to their websites so others could also buy their beautiful creations or find out more about them. It would be a collection of little treasures, connecting creative souls around the globe. I thought, Yes, this would be the most wonderful way to say thank you...

So I started to make notes and lists in a journal which I carried with me everywhere, a habit from making each of my past books.  Any spare moment I had, I thought about what it would look like. But the reality was evident - if I didn't have time to write or send a proper thank you card, how was I going to find the time to make a book?

LTMBH_internals_diaryentry_1{note cards and diary pages from my journal}

Let's be truthful, you all know time management is not one of my strongest character traits. And now, becoming a new mum, I suddenly realised my time was no longer my time.

That's when serendipity stepped in. Around 6 months ago I had the pleasure of meeting Fran. With Laly in my arms, we got talking over chai, I told her all my grandiose plans, and before I knew it, Fran agreed to be my manager and help me make. stuff. happen...


With Fran's incredible dedication and amazing efforts of managing my work life so that I could concentrate on being a mum and being creative over the past few months, I'm so so thrilled to announce that the book has gone from being just a vision in my mind, to something very real...

LTMBH_PJB_bookpages{here are pages back from the designer, ready for me to check & make final changes}

Oh I'm so excited!! It is looking so beautiful. Would you like to know the title?

Little Treasures: Made by Hand.

It will be the third in the "Made by Hand" series. And there are even more exciting things to tell you. This special, limited edition book will be in both English AND French. The French title is : Petits Trésors: faits à la main...

PJB_LTMBH_onlinecover500_1the cover! Little Treasures: Made by Hand

I'm so excited to say that we are in the final stages of production, and that the book is ready to be printed!  One of the thoughts that transpired on that night was that I wanted to self-publish this book to have it ready for Mother's Day 2013. In order to do that I have created my very own little publishing label – par cœur press -  ('by heart') and I have a wonderful team working with me including the fabulous designer Vivien Valk and editor Amanda Cromer who both worked with me on My Heart Wanders.

And what's more? The book will be printed right here in Australia by Arena Printing who specialise in environmentally responsible printing using vegetable-based inks and environmentally-friendly paper stocks.

To be able to pay for the production costs of printing, editing and design, I am about to launch a crowd-funding campaign through Pozible.  As Little Treasures, Petits Trésors is so personal, I really wanted to be able to offer it directly to you guys, as well as independent booksellers & retailers via this campaign, so here's hoping I can reach the target!

The campaign has JUST GONE LIVE and will end on Laly's birthday on Thursday, February 14. Check out the page for a sneak peek look at some of the pages, and for all the information. Not only is the book available to order through the campaign right now, but there are some amazing packages created exclusively to help raise funds.

LTMBH_internals_threadopenerhere is a chapter opener from the book.

Far out! Putting myself out there in the hope that you guys might jump on board and help support this project is really really scary. Remember my first ever blog post 6 years ago? That's how I feel right now: My heart is racing.

If you live in Europe and are interested in purchases any of the packages other than the book on its own, the shipping is only available within Australia, NZ, USA, & UK  however if you really want one of the other packages, just get in touch and we'll get you a personalised freight cost.

Okay, I'll leave you to peruse the site now, and I'll get on with jumping around the house like a jittery jack rabbit.

Thank you dear friends! I'll be updating you on the progress of the book and the campaign every few days. I hope you'll help spread the word any way you can, and if you would like a copy of the book, head straight to the Little Treasures/Petits Trésors project page and click away! Merci merci...

with love.