nature

A Deck for Wonder-Walking by Amy T. Won

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My friend across the pacific and fellow artist + heart wanderer Amy Won has just launched her long-awaited kickstarter campaign offering her 2nd edition deck of 32 wonder-walking cards, and I had to share this with you because I know so many of you will love this as much as I do…

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"This is an invitation to the human experience: A call to open our eyes and see more, feel more deeply, and observe closer.”

I absolutely love the way Amy sees the world around her. I have been enamoured with her enchanting watercolours and creative outpourings for years, and I’m so excited for her to be creating this collection and sharing it far & wide. Amy has featured my piano composition titled “All this, yes” from my Spirit & Flight album as her background music to her launch video which is so beautiful, I am honoured. Check out her video here.

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Amy has poured her heart and soul into this project, she has an incredible eye for detail and an understanding of what we seek to experience in our everyday…

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Only days into her campaign Amy has reached more than halfway to her goal, and it’s easy to see why when you peruse her page, there is so much to enjoy. I’d love to see her reach beyond her goal to enable her to offer her stretch goals, one of which is a printed version of her beautiful Journal of Wonder-Walking, currently available as an ebook.

I’ve learnt over the years that most people have no concept of how much of our individual time and energy goes into projects like these. I once had someone comment on my first foray into crowdfunding when I self-published Little Treasures: Made by Hand that they were disappointed that once I had reached my crowdfunding goal I was still promoting it and encouraging sales. Rarely having received comments like that in the past, I was dumbstruck and felt guilty for a long time, as if I’d done something terribly wrong by believing in my work and wanting to share and expand it. I began a journey to understanding that most people don’t know how much work, skill and personal funds go into these creations, and that most artists who take the brave steps towards something like crowdfunding or self-publishing, will never receive enough money to pay for their own time because of the current value system of the world, but are incredibly grateful for whatever they receive to pay for the hard costs like printing, framing, and any services they need to outsource. Because I’ve lived this all my life, I couldn’t comprehend that others who have not lived this, did not know this. So hook, line and sinker, this commenter got me! I finally snapped out of it, but learnt a valuable lesson: I gained a knowing from my core that I will always give my all in what I do, and I am allowed to receive money for it too! And so it’s with absolutely pleasure that I encourage and share the work of other artists and creators whose work I adore and know how beneficial it is to our everyday expansion. I know that by investing in work like Amy’s, we are building the world we want to live in…

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“In a world of vicarious living, we can choose instead to discover life for ourselves… I believe that a reconnection begins with a walk and a wonder.”

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A big congratulations to Amy for bringing this beautiful work into the world, and I wish with all my heart that you reach your goal so that people around the world can experience their surroundings in a new way. Click on the button below to learn more…

And to visit Amy’s wonder-filled instagram, please click here.

I’m also delighted to let you know that Amy & I are in the midst of collaborating on something amazing together! Which, once we both get through our current projects, we will announce. I’m incredibly thrilled to be working with her and can’t wait to share our news. xx

Festive Season Reimagined by Pia Jane Bijkerk

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I’m delighted to let you know that my new publication, Festive Season Reimagined is at the printers and will be ready for shipping from October 29!

For those who don’t already know the journey of this book, I wrote the beginnings of it in 2016 and released it as an ebook which was titled The Everyday Alchemy Festive Guide. It was in response to my deep yearning to move through this time of year in a very different way. I was tired of feeling drained by the frenzy of the season, with all the rushing around, consuming, and the general expending of so much valuable energy. This year I decided to embark on creating my own printed version as I had a lot more content to add to it since I'd learnt from another 2 years of experiencing the festive season in this new way. Would you like to see some of the inside pages? Here is a sneak peek…

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Here is some insight into the contents…

“In this beautiful 80 page handbook, author + artist Pia Jane Bijkerk has created a visually inspiring & intuitively formed anthology of ideas for those among us looking to connect deeper as the year completes its cycle, no matter where we live in the world.”

I created this book for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and essentially, for the child within. It will open up a path of discovery in finding  fresh ways  of experiencing the festive season with great joy  and a sense of renewal, without stimulating  over-consumption and stress. Nature has always been the foundation of all that I create, and you will notice this among the pages. This is one of my favourite new images for the book…

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As with all books I create, this one is highly illustrated, combining my photography, stories and sharing ideas of my own as well as those from creative souls around me. I’m releasing a small eco-conscious print run which I am printing locally.

It will retail for $30 AUD, but I am making the first 50 available now for pre-order at a special price of $25. The book will have a soft launch at my next speaking event at the Turn Out fete at the Locomotive Workshop in Everleigh, Sydney on October 27, where I’ll be speaking about the power and importance of intuition in our lives. I’ll be signing books at the event, so for those who have pre-ordered, you can let me know you’ll be at the event and I’ll have your copy available. For those who are not able to come along to the event, you can still pre-order with shipping, and I’ll send it off to you on November 1. It is also available for independent retailers, just send me an email if you’d like to purchase them at wholesale.

And for Patreon members, all receive a 10% discount code they can use across my website for the duration of their patronage. For those not yet a member, you can find out more here.

Thank you to all who have supported me in this project over the last couple of years, through purchasing my original ebook, sharing my work with your own social media networks, and becoming part of my patreon collective to enable me to keep creating freely and wholeheartedly.

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I’ll spread the news on social media over the next 2 weeks - lifting my hiatus while I release this into the world. I’d love your help in letting people know about it, so if you would share it on your social media and friends, I’d be so grateful. This is a book I have produced independently, which means I rely completely on us as individuals to share it, purchase it, and support it any way we can. I would love to be able to continue making these types of work and in the future I’d love to grow the collection to include work by others.

Okay that’s it from me for now. Let me know if you have any questions!

With Love,

Pia xx



Sacred Geometry for Happinez Magazine...

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Here is my latest work for Happinez Magazine, featured in their Zomer (Summer) edition, just out now. The assignment was to create 8 photographs of sacred geometry, with a handmade, organic and natural touch. It was actually very challenging, but so much fun. Researching the meaning behind each symbol was interesting, and coming up with unique ways to show these symbols had my mind in a twist. I went with the flow of the twist, and it all eventually unravelled, creating these photographs over about 4 days in the studio...

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The idea was to start with the simple shapes like square, circle and triangle, and then progressing to the more complex symbols like the dodecahedron, octahedron, tetrahedron, icosahedron. Everything from this shoot I made from materials I had already in my home (like the collection of marbles from my childhood) and studio, as well as fallen flowers and branches from the neighbourhood...

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These perspex cubes were part of my old stylist's kit - I'd had them made about ten years ago. I love the play of nature with them here, the soil and roots and sand make the shot. 

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This gorgeous Japanese handmade dodecahedron was given to Laly by my dear friend Kylie on one of her trips to Japan a few years ago. When I have a commissioned shoot like this, I walk through my house looking for inspiration, and when I saw this on Laly's shelf I knew it had to be in this shoot, and it made me smile to know that it was given by Kylie, so special. The bougainvillea grows in abundance at the entrance of my studio building, and combined with this fabric from Major & Tom, this became my favourite photograph of the collection. 

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And then came the biggest challenge of all: the mother of all symbols, the icosahedron. This was the only symbol I didn't have a plan for, and left it completely up to my intuition to figure it out. Which was apt - the icosahedron symbolises water, which is as we know all about movement, flow and change. It's also connected to emotions, and can be used to enhance the creative process. The process for creating this was beautiful - I played with different materials, and then before I knew it I was being guided to paint some bamboo skewer sticks with streaks of white, then I cut them into sets of equal lengths and laid them ever so carefully onto this stunning backdrop - a lightly waxed indigo dyed piece of fabric given to me as a gift from one of my mentor clients, Bernadette. I love that these beautiful handmade gifts that I've lovingly received over the years have become a part of my work, it shows the power of the collective and how we can enrich each other's creativity (remember this little velvet box?).  Through this process, I didn't know what the outcome was going to be - I didn't see the end result and then work toward it, instead I allow each step to happen with absolutely no knowledge of what is about to transpire. I understand some people become frozen with fear if they don't have a concrete plan for everything, but I get excited. To me it shows there is so much room for possibility, and my intuition is free to play. I placed eucalyptus buds at each point. The second shot here I just love - I messed up the pieces to show the transience, which for me is just as beautiful - to create beauty, and then let it go. 

I made some video footage of the behind the scenes which I'll put together and share on my Patreon page for those who are interested in the behind the scenes. 

xx

 

 

Aboriginal Shibori Workshop...

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One Sunday last October I attended a wonderful workshop at the artist run exhibition space, Barometer in Paddington. The Memories of Country Aboriginal Shibori workshop was hosted by Eva Nargoodah and her daughter Ivy who are from Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia, as well as Kirsten Smith from Memories of Country and Alison Muir from Muir and Muir

I've never done a dye workshop before, and I wanted to do one that involved using Australian Native plants and foliage. Sitting with Eva and Ivy, learning about how they have incorporated this knowledge (which, beautifully, was passed to them from Kirsten) of dyeing into their everyday creative process and expanded it to create their own unique dye pots using bush medicine, was very special.

 Here's one of my little bundles, ready to go into the dye pot.

Here's one of my little bundles, ready to go into the dye pot.

 A few of the workshop attendees beautiful bundles gathered on the pavement outside the gallery, awaiting the dye pot.

A few of the workshop attendees beautiful bundles gathered on the pavement outside the gallery, awaiting the dye pot.

I made two silk scarves at the workshop, one using freshwater Mangrove Bark and the other using Eucalyptus, along with wrapping them around pieces of rusty iron, steel wool and fresh leaves to create patterns. After letting the cloth bundles sit in the dye pot for a while, we all took them home in small plastic bags and left them to sit in a dark area for another week, before rinsing them out and drying them on the line. They are the most beautiful pieces of silky cloth, I love them and hang them in our room when I'm not wearing them as head scarves...

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"Country holds layers of memory – we memorialise our chosen countries using their indigenous dyes and patterns on cloth to reconnect and raise awareness of the history beneath. In remembering we also uncover earlier selves and collective memories from our ancestoral histories." Memories of Country. 

Here are some more photographs from the incredible scarves that Eva, Ivy, Kirsten and Alison made, which were available to purchase during the exhibition...

For more information, you can read this article from dyehaus about the dyes, and you can follow Kirsten's creative bush adventures on instagram or facebook. I also met Abi Rae at the workshop, and have loved observing her make & sell her incredible creations via instagram, you can follow her here @leafandcloth. Also check out Global Sisters for beautifully made pieces, enabling women all over the world to become financially independent.  

xx

International Women's Day...

 self-portrait, capturing joy... "dance like no one is watching" March 2016  .................................................................

self-portrait, capturing joy... "dance like no one is watching" March 2016

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In the imbalance of our still-standing patriarchal society, there has been the need to mark one day of the year as International Women's Day. Is it just me who finds this absurd? Because obviously, every day is #internationalwomensday. I've seen posts on social media to celebrate "the strong women", and calls for women to "be bold". Because we live in a society with a skewed perspective, being bold & strong is what is seen to be 'best'. But here is what I've learnt: As a young girl, I was taught by example that the only way I could be heard was to be loud - a characteristic I did not possess - to talk over the top of the dominant men in my life (& there were many!). But when the fire in me sparked, triggered by a topic I was passionate about & needed to be heard, I was told to shhhh, shut up, be quiet, and "who do you think you are!". This I know is not unfamiliar to many, and has been acceptable behaviour in the past. But now, we are in transition. The female energy is bursting forth and it's pretty incredible to be alive right now, to be witness & part of it. And here's the crux of it: Women don't need to be 'bold' to exist. We don't need to be loud. We can be soft, we can be quiet, we can be gentle, or whatever the fuck we feel like being in the moment. We are enough, just as we are right now. 
Right now. And always. 


I've not told this story before, but when I was birthing Laly, I had the most wonderful knowing - all the bullshit I'd been fed over the years about being 'lesser' because I was female was stripped bare as I felt the eternal flow of birthing, of being female - there is nothing stronger or bolder in life than to be female: We ARE it. 


And to restore balance the call is to recognise & celebrate the feminine energy in you - no matter if you're male or female. To recognise & celebrate the feminine energy in nature and life. This is a special time of change in the world, and all of us are a part of it. We are opening. 

 

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Posted on instagram on Saturday, March 11, 2017. Here are some comments from the post:

 

jesse.made.itYes, yes & beyond yes! My perspective of these particular times has been exactly this...an opening...a time for healing...an emerging of what needs to come forth. It's been hard to explain to others, so it makes me feel at ease to read your thoughts. I feel confident as an American we will learn our most important lessons during these most challenging times. Where we are is exactly where we need to be. And, the female energy will rise because of it! ✨✨✨

 

anthesisbotanicalsYes, yes and yes!! As a female, and the mother of a male, I want {with ALL MY HEART!} to celebrate the feminine and masculine that shines through me, those I love, those I find hard to love and those I share the planet with. If I can achieve this I know I am evolving, expanding and growing. This energy that waxes and wanes is most certainly not of one gender only. Our genitals and genes are just exterior markers on maps that illustrate worlds we have yet to explore. Our energy is first and foremost HUMAN! Thank you @piajanebijkerk - Thank you!! Here's to the feminine AND masculine within us all. Here's to faith, love and tolerance. They have ALWAYS been the victors - no matter what the war. 💛💛💛

 

nylaadamsPreach, sister. Your words helped me connect with why my gut/heart finds this day absurd too. For me, it trivializes the all-pervasive feminine power that flows through ALL. I get that this day may foster discussion for some... but when women unapologetically own the power of the feminine every day, there is no need for a 24 hour reminder. Without intending to, the day is actually trivializing and demeaning. And who are we reminding of the "value" of women with this day?? Certainly not other women. There's no international men's day for a reason. When we no longer identify as a group who needs this "type" of recognition, we will finally realize that, as you say, we ARE it.

The Everyday Alchemy Seasonal Guide, Festive Edition is here!

This time last year I wrote a post on Instagram about how I'd been working toward reinventing this time of year for our family - creating what we want without family pressure, social or religious conformity, hype, consumerism, drama or stress.

I wrote, "Rather than focus on Christmas, it will be about reflection and slowing down toward the end of the year (rather than speeding up), with attention to journey (rather than destination), giving (rather than taking, including care to self), and a time to strengthen connection to earth." I ended the post opening to others if they were interested to know more about what this time of year will be like in our home, and that if there was interest I'd write a longer journal post about it. I got quite a lot of interest as it turned out ! And many people stated how much they resonated with this idea of reinventing this time of year.

Here were some of the comments:

"After a really stressful and exhausting trip to Toys R Us, you have inspired me." Melinda. 

"Please write more - love this and am wanting to move toward more of this..." Johanna

"I know what you mean, Pia. I lost my Mum this year, and am attempting to create some new traditions around Christmas, to help with my sense of loss". Jan

So, in my usual fashion, my heart heard all, took hold and over the past year I've been creating  a very special ebook that transforms this time of year from stressful to nurturing, all the while retaining the enchantment and wonder that we all love...

The ebook is 40 pages and highly illustrated - each page is full colour. Written in the style of My Heart Wanders, it is peppered with personal stories and transformative ideas that can be integrated into your current festive season traditions to bring the deeper meaning and nurturing that so many of us crave at this time of year.

There is so much within the pages, it's a guide that will open itself up to you in layers, over time, like My Heart Wanders, it can become a reference, something to come back to over time to unearth new layers as you grow and learn on your own personal journey...

 This is the image of my  festive table garland  I posted on this day, December 6, in 2015, on Instagram that sparked so much interest. Within the  The Everyday Alchemy Festive Guide , I've added my illustrated butterflies. Butterflies have been fluttering around me for the past few months... a sign of my own transformation. 

This is the image of my festive table garland I posted on this day, December 6, in 2015, on Instagram that sparked so much interest. Within the The Everyday Alchemy Festive Guide, I've added my illustrated butterflies. Butterflies have been fluttering around me for the past few months... a sign of my own transformation. 

To see more and purchase your copy of The Everyday Alchemy Festive Guide, please click here. It will be one of the best gifts you can give yourself at this time of year! And if you'd like to purchase a copy for a friend, you can add their email address in the order details, and it will be sent straight to their inbox.  

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to send me an email or comment below. 

With Love, 

Pia xx

What is Everyday Alchemy?

It's been a week or so since my new website went live and it's been wonderful to receive daily feedback and appreciation, thank you! For those who have had a chance to wander and leaf through the pages, you may have noticed I've changed the name of my journal. It used to be called 'enhance the everyday'. But a few years ago as I began journeying deeper, I realised this concept wasn't resonating with me so much anymore. I realised my interest was no longer so much on the beauty but on the making. And that's when the term Everyday Alchemy came to mind. So what is it? This is the description I came up with...

Everyday Alchemy is the process of transforming an everyday object, story or experience into something extraordinary with seemingly little effort, as if magically. 

I feel like this aptly describes the 'making' component of living as a creative being. Because for me it's not just about the end result, it's not about the beauty or the 'happy', it's about the alchemy. And that's what I've always been most interested in. Not only do I love making but I love learning about how things are made, connecting with other creative beings, talking about our creative processes, and sharing the processes with others. 

I'm excited to finally share this new phase of my creative journey with you. It's something I've been working on quietly for a few years and it's a beautiful feeling to be able to open up and let it evolve and grow into the world. There are a number of everyday alchemy projects in the works, including a highly-illustrated hard cover book. While I work on that rather large project I'll be creating and sharing little ebooks and seasonal guides, and sharing ideas and fellow everyday alchemists here in my journal. My first ebook in the 'little everyday alchemists' series is called Jewel of the Sea and is out now... 

Jewel Of The Sea is a simple & beautiful story about a mother and her child playing by the seaside.  It was inspired by one of my recent trips with Laly to one of our favourite beaches. These little everyday alchemist ebooks are created for readers of all ages. They are designed to encourage the exploration of living life guided by intuition. I'm looking forward to sharing more about the creation of the book and series in my next post. Have a lovely weekend! xx

PS for those who have been asking me to make an album of my piano compositions, I finally did it! It's here for your listening pleasure. There are a few more piano pieces that have been added to the playlist which I'll reveal more about in coming weeks.