intuition

When you're entire mailing list of 10 years has been wiped, what do you do?

You realise how determined you are to share your creativity with the world, so you dust yourself off and start a new one. Nothing and no one can bring this girl down.

If you’d like to hear the full story and subscribe to receive my heart-written letters, you can do so right here:

I take my time to write these emails to connect you to your heart: That part of you that speaks in whispers and needs more than ever right now to be heard & valued. I have so much coming up this year that I’m eager to share via this special connection. I’ll also post here in my journal, but the emails are more intimate and special, it’s where the magic begins - you get a glimpse of it here on the journal, but it gets activated through the emails.

A massive thank you to those who have resubscribed or subscribed if you weren’t on my mailing list already since I temporarily lifted my social media hiatus to put the call out this week. You are part of this new start! The beautiful messages of support coming through have made me more invigorated than ever to write and send my first email tomorrow with the new moon. I have learnt so much about myself over the past 24 hours that has made it worth it - yes, you read right, worth it.

With Love,

Pia xx

When I was nineteen...

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When I was 19, I thought of myself as a worldly feminist. It was 1997. I was halfway through my university degree in Sydney, and already by that age I had travelled the world and lived in more countries than most people visit in a lifetime. Between the ages of 13-15 I lived in a village in northern Italy and was appalled by the sexism that ran rampant in the culture…why did that old man just pinch my bum? Why is it ok that those boys are whistling at me as I eat ice cream with my parents? And why does that newsreader on TV have her body squeezed into that tiny dress and her breasts pushed up to her chin? When she speaks, why is she trying to seduce her viewers? What I saw and experienced felt very strange to me. I struggled to integrate. And it was this reaction that defined me as a feminist.

As I grew into this label, it made me feel different to the other girls around me, like I must be less naïve, less vulnerable than them. After all, I was worldly, and I was apparently a feminist because I believed women deserved the same rights as men. It made me feel strong.

On top of being worldly and a feminist, I was also experiencing deep love with another human, my boyfriend. And although we had our ups & downs as young lovers do, fumbling our way along the paths that others had paved for us to walk, I knew what it was to be in love, and this made me feel not just worldly, but also, mature. So here I was at age 19: a worldly, mature feminist. In the cocoon of this understanding of myself, I felt safe.

Then something happened that shattered my world…

……………………………………………..

This is an extract from a very personal piece I wrote on Monday, August 12 & Tuesday, August 13, which, as it turned out, was the beginning of the full moon phase. I have never had the words to express what happened at this time in my life, and in the early hours of Monday morning, I had a beautiful dream. During the dream, the words formed. Although the nature of the event is traumatic, I followed my intuition and took the time on Tuesday to write it all out. It is incredibly personal, and after writing it I realised my website is not the place to publish it. I may, in time, consider publishing this piece in a publication as I know it is powerful and needs to be read by as many young women as possible, in the hope they may understand how to listen to their intuition. For now, it is available to read in full in my patreon collective. And I’ve also made it available on my new password protected journal, for those who are on my mailing list.

“Does your family have secrets? Or maybe you have a secret from your own life experience that you have never shared with anyone? Today Pia and Shona talk about the undeniable link between secrets and shame and how this can stop us from being truly ourselves and also from becoming the strong, powerful women we were meant to be.”

Secrets & Shame is the latest podcast episode on It’s All Up From Here! Click here to listen xx

Amy's Wonder-Walking world in the palm of my hands...

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In October I wrote about Amy T. Won’s kickstarter campaign to produce her beautiful wonder-walking card deck. It was very successful and Amy was able to get the cards made and all the orders have been sent out - I received mine this week and wow, I knew they’d be amazing but not this amazing!!

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Amy’s attention to detail is incredible, so I knew the quality of the cards and her watercolours would be nothing short of stunning but I wasn’t prepared for the level she would take it - the box in itself is a work of art, with exquisite gold foiling in all the right places. Amy’s concept with the cards is to connect us to nature (and in doing so, our intuition) in new ways. The idea is to pick a card from the deck before you head out for a walk, and the card, along with Amy’s notes, will trigger new ways of exploring and seeing your surroundings.

Nature needs to be at the centre of all our attentions these days and I am all for enabling pathways for people to make connections any way they can. This deck for me, is an incredibly creative way to ignite that all important connection…

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In my patreon collective, I do an ancestral card reading for each new moon, and now I will be adding Amy’s card reading as well to enrich the connection. The idea of these readings is to connect each member to their intuition, to make more intuitive choices in their work and home life throughout the month. I am thinking about adding individual readings for each member too, so I’ll be talking about that over there soon. Serendipitously, this was the very first card I pulled in the deck while I was in my studio…

HOME.

HOME.

I’ll be sharing the meaning of this on Patreon later this week.

Thank you Amy for sharing your beautiful world with us in these wondrous ways. X

Panoramic Bushscape: bookbinding & watercolour workshop...

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Last Sunday I spent the most wonderful day at Eramboo Art Studios, learning all about bookbinding and watercolour techniques with photographer & book maker Sam Mackie, and watercolour artist Ingrid Bowen. I knew Sam from years ago when she ran my favourite cafe on the Northern Beaches, The Cook’s Larder in Avalon. And Ingrid I’d met online and admired her work, but had never met in person until Sunday. They are both incredibly talented women who are so generous with sharing their knowledge and time, it was such a treat to spend the day with them, learning new skills and meeting new people…

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Sam had set out all the materials we needed to create one of her stunning accordion books, using beautiful watercolour paper, explaining all the varying qualities of different styles of books along the way, what to use them for and why she uses various materials. We also learnt how to make the different cover pockets. Sam has an incredible eye for detail and is so generous in sharing her passion & knowledge gained over her years of making books. I can’t wait to try making another book with Sam’s instructions, I have a few ideas to try out.

After a delicious lunch and chat, we all eagerly observed Ingrid paint in her signature style - using the bush as her inspiration, she creates watercolour scenes often using only two colours. Ingrid shared her tools, techniques, watercolours and inks, and encouraged us to play with these techniques to see what would come about. Like me, Ingrid works intuitively - her tools and techniques are uncomplicated, her style is completely her own. It was so much fun to sit and paint using her tools and techniques to see what would transpire. Both Sam & Ingrid’s aim was for us to paint directly into our newly created books, and I think most of us did manage to do so - I loved walking around the room to see how unique each person’s book was, what a treasure. I didn’t finish my book as I wanted to come up with a specific idea for it, and I knew it would take a little time to evolve. I have the idea now, and am looking forward to finishing the book, it will be a gift to my daughter and I’ll show you when it’s finished.

Here is where we hung out for the day at Eramboo, nestled in the bush. As soon as I got out of my car and took a breath, I reconnected with the land of my youth…

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For more information you can head to their websites, I’m sure they’ll be sharing new workshop dates soon, it was a hit and I know it will be popular! So check out: Ingrid Bowen, Sam Mackie & Eramboo Artist’s Environment. I would also recommend joining the newsletters so you don’t miss out on upcoming workshops and events. Thank you both for such an inspiring, nurturing and soul-nourishing day! xx

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School Holidays...

I love seeing the aftermath of painting as much as I love the process and final creation.

I love seeing the aftermath of painting as much as I love the process and final creation.

I seem to recall a few months ago I said somewhere on the socials that if there was enough interest, I’d post about what we get up to during the school holidays, and I do recall there being quite some interest but then life got busy and here we are at the end of another school holiday! So here I am, better late than never, offering a brief recap of some of the activities we enjoy during the holidays, to spark you if you’re feeling like you need some ideas…

Firstly, I thought I’d share what my intentions are during the school holidays. As you know, I am passionate about arts, music and nature education for kids, and the public school system here in Australia (and I’m guessing everywhere else in the world judging by the state of affairs and the current interests of the nations!) does not cut it. The kids spend a lot of time and focus on reading and maths and although I too feel those subjects are important, to me they come second to arts & music. In that art is the beginning of reading and writing, and music is the beginning of maths - which is guided by our intuition, so imagine if we learnt the skills of reading and maths through art & music! All the kids who struggle due to thinking expansively rather than linearly would benefit and those who are linear thinkers experience a new perspective. I feel everyone’s life skills would be much improved! I have much to say on this topic and will save it for another time.

So during the school holidays I focus this time on art, music and nature. While I do my best to not book in any work during this time so that I spend most of it with Laly, sometimes it doesn’t happen that way - this school holidays I had a week long shoot (of a two week break! with Easter in between!) but since I used my backyard as the set, and as the producer & photographer I create the shooting schedule, I made the shoot times short to fit in while Laly was occupied elsewhere. She also assisted me during the times she was around and she was fantastic, being my hand model and assistant set builder - this will be her first paid job at the ripe age of 7, and what a wonderful introduction to the working world, knowing you can make money from doing something fun that inspires thousands of people. I’ll share more about this particular shoot when the photographs are published in a couple of months.

A couple of afternoons spent like this, working on her bedroom painting, read on for more details…

A couple of afternoons spent like this, working on her bedroom painting, read on for more details…

This school holidays, I invited Laly to make her own bedroom painting. I bought a large artist’s board, and talked about where this painting would hang in her room, that is would be something she would wake up to every morning so she could think about painting something that would spark joy for her. Not surprisingly, she immediately chose to paint a rainbow! So away we went with this idea. For me it’s a lot to do with the process and not just the final piece so I use these ideas as a way to show her what’s involved in making art. First we needed to prime the board and then paint the background colour. She chose blue. But instead of just using the paints straight from the tubes, I suggested she make her own colours - to make her own blue. I helped her with this. The next day once the background was dry, it was time to paint the rainbow. I let her know that the rainbow doesn’t have to be the colours you see in other pictures, they can be whatever colours you like - in fact, it can be a rainbow of colours that you love, what colours do you love? I said colours out loud that weren’t the normal colours (ie turquoise, acqua, rose, indigo, etc) and she lit up with ones that she loved, so her intuition was well ignited. Then we set out creating the colours. It’s not as easy as it seems it would be, which is why I love this experience because it gives them an understanding of what’s really involved in art making. Once she decided she was finished I offered her some special gold paint to finish it with. And then I encouraged her to sign her name at the bottom. Her art work now resides in her bedroom and I also get to see it every morning, sparking my joy. I will add, it’s also a great experience as a parent to go through this, as you really need to let go of your control and let them make their own intuitive decisions here - this was by no means what I thought she’d paint, but I didn’t interfere. It takes practice.

…….

I’ve noticed we’ve created a few traditions and rituals over school holidays now, here they are…

  1. She loves being active, she has bundles of energy which when she was younger I found rather exhausting but now she is older this energy can be directed into things she loves doing…oh how I remember the hundreds of hours spent at all the local parks and how frustrated she was when she couldn’t reach the monkey bars or climb onto the roofed play equipment! Now she climbs up there and takes a book to read, as if she’s in a treehouse. So during the holidays, she has been enrolling in the wonderful Active Arts, run by beautiful Elena from Dance Domain in St. Peters. Active Arts runs for 4 days, 9-3pm, and the kids get to try everything from rock climbing, trapeze, dance, drama, martial arts, and clay making with local clay artist Agatha who I’ve done a few mother & daughter workshops with as well, and have absolutely loved it, Agatha is a wonderful teacher.

  2. MCA school holiday workshops - this is something we’ve been doing for two years and it’s the most wonderful experience. Laly and I make it a date, we set off from my studio in Balmain and walk to the ferry, and take it under the harbour bridge into Circular Quay, then walk the five minutes to the MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art). We love watching the buskers along the way and Laly brings some of her money from her donate jar to pop into musicians hats she likes (there’s some music appreciation right there!). We head up to the kids area to buy the tickets and then find out what we get to do! As an adult I find it a fabulous way to experience the art in the galleries, from the perspective of a child who is encouraged to interact with the work and find ways of connecting with it. The kids (and adults!) then get to make things in the atelier space which is always the most fun, this holiday it was about making sound with art, using all sorts of found materials and objects. Laly made three, she was very inspired by this project! After that we head up to the restaurant for lunch which is always a treat, the menu is fantastic. Laly and I have been invited to be part of the kids committee this year which means we help the creators of the workshops design them and figure out ways to connect kids to art. Which means more dates to the MCA for us two! Happy days.

At the MCA this school holidays, playing on a handmade ping pong machine. So.Much.Joy.

At the MCA this school holidays, playing on a handmade ping pong machine. So.Much.Joy.

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…from a kids workshop at the MCA in January. The idea was to think of a place that is special and create a textural collaged ‘map’. Laly chose her Mamy’s (her grandmother in France) garden and got busy picking out fabric swatches that made her think of playing with Mamy in her garden. Heart-melt.

…from a kids workshop at the MCA in January. The idea was to think of a place that is special and create a textural collaged ‘map’. Laly chose her Mamy’s (her grandmother in France) garden and got busy picking out fabric swatches that made her think of playing with Mamy in her garden. Heart-melt.

…from a past kids workshop at the MCA making posters with their own messages. This was Laly’s message to the world: LOVE YOURSELF.

…from a past kids workshop at the MCA making posters with their own messages. This was Laly’s message to the world: LOVE YOURSELF.

3. Beach days or nature walks. I try to get a few of these in if we are not planning a holiday away, then I make sure we do a few local day trips.

And plenty of playdates with friends, where there is always some magic potion making happening in the backyard…

…Laly and her friend made this wonderful array of mud treats yesterday!

…Laly and her friend made this wonderful array of mud treats yesterday!

And a number of nothing days in between! I’m not a big planner as I like days to flow naturally/intuitively especially when school is so scheduled, however, I found this particular break busier than usual which happened because I had the shoot as well as my regular mentoring connections.

Also, during this school holiday I’ve also set a great screen time intention that incorporates art & music, I think it might be of interest to some of you, let me know if you’d like more information and I’ll write it up a separate post. Today was the first day I implemented it and it worked so well.

Oh and I nearly forgot, Tiny Doors! This was one of the highlights of our last school holidays, Laly and I had an absolute ball treasure hunting these all around the Northern Beaches. I’m not sure if it’s still on but here is the link, and you can start at Manly Library to get a map and go from there (call the library first to check the maps are still available and that the doors are still around) - we’ve almost found every door, there are only a few we haven’t been on the search for yet. I highly recommend it. And I hope every council picks up this idea and runs with it!

So, school holidays: art, music, and nature. I feel these ideas can be adapted to wherever you live, as there are always art galleries, nature and music venues around. I tend not to do the expected school holiday activities as, if I’m honest, I find them boring, exhausting and some things are torturous - like kids concerts and some kids movies (the exception being Moana, I will happily see that at the cinema a dozen times!). My idea is to make it joyful for both of us, so it’s not just about her but us together, to find experiences that ignite us both, as these will create ideas and memories for her forever. Let me know what you get up to and please do share your ideas here so others can find out, or link to any posts you’ve written about too for others to find you.

Vivent les petites artistes! xx

The Sweetest Gift...

“Quietly while you were asleep, the moon and I were talking…” beginning lyrics to  The Sweetest Gift composed & sung by Sade .

“Quietly while you were asleep, the moon and I were talking…” beginning lyrics to The Sweetest Gift composed & sung by Sade.

As an Everyday Alchemist, it would come as no surprise to you that over the past year I've been experimenting on myself. Well not just myself - to be more specific, I've been experimenting with the moon too, observing and playing with my connection to it. And what I've discovered has the power to change everything. It already has for me. I am in the midst of putting together something so incredibly grand, I can barely contain my excitement, but these things take time -  because rather than just come up with a theory, I need to know it actually works. I also know that the moon is currently on trend (which makes me laugh just writing it! That something which has existed for all of time as we know it could be suddenly popular) - there are a number of books popping up about it, especially around abundance because that’s another trend ... and you know how I feel about doing anything 'on trend'! But I also won't dismiss something just for the sake of rebelling, instead I will seek out the resistance. What is important for me to continue this everyday alchemy is that in the process, I make sure that what I've come up with works for the whole - for each of us, for humanity, for Earth.

The first step of this is what led you to reading this right now - my new email. We have become so disconnected from the moon, which is our original time maker along with the sun, that we don't even know what phase it's in. Especially for those of us who live in the city, or are always busy doing (pointing a loving finger towards myself here too, with a busy 7 year old at my heels!). So with this email, I'll be sending it at the beginning of each new moon phase, just so we know at a glance what phase it's in. There will not be any information about the meaning or symbolism behind the phase, or anything along these lines. This is just simply to connect us to the moon, to get to know it a little more intimately, and in time I’ll let you know why.

Along with the moon phase illustration, I'll be adding a quote that resonates with me at that time. And this will not be a throwaway quote with no context - it will be from something I have read, from someone who I value, and there will be a deeper intuitive connection as to why I have chosen that particular remark at that particular time, so there will always be a link for you to discover more if it resonates with you and you find yourself yearning to hear, read or learn more. I will not comment on it, I will simply leave it up to you. I hope you’ve enjoyed this first one as much as I have had listening to the entire interview (I have listened a number of times, there is not one remark that does not resonate with my entire being, it’s a powerful interview that I hope you get as much out of as I have).

With each email, sometimes this will be all there is  - my moon phase illustration and a quote. Other times, there will be images and links below to work I have just produced (like you would have seen below the quote and is what led you here). As with all that I do, I like to create things that ignite one of our five senses at a time - sight, taste, touch, smell and sound. At the moment I am all about the sound: my wonderful collaborative podcast with Shona Smith as well as my monthly downloadable piano compositions on Patreon, & sight: my photography feature stories published in magazines, in my new books, and around the world via my personal clients. Some of these also involve taste and touch and smell too, if you choose to cook or craft something from what I've shared through my visual storytelling. And the reason I am so inspired to ignite our senses is because I know these senses are the ways to our hearts, to connecting us to our intuition and learning to trust and use it everyday. This will always come through my work, and is accessed directly each week with my mentoring clients as well as each month on Patreon.

Please share this post with your friends and family and encourage them to subscribe to the email - there will always be much to connect to, and it will be an opening for many beautiful conversations between those you love.

Thank you to every single one of you who are here right now, reading these words - you've made such a powerful impact on encouraging me to share my everyday alchemy, I value your presence so much and it’s my hope that this gratitude flows back to you through my work.  

With love, 

Pia

New Work: The Confetti Effect for Happinez...

The confetti is actually over 50 years old - it was in a box in my grandmother’s home many years ago and I’ve kept them all this while. They are made from tiny shapes of paper and I just love them. For the diary shot above, I combined them with petals and pods found outside my studio entrance. The beautiful ribbon is from  Tinctifolia . Little glimpses of joy are never far away.

The confetti is actually over 50 years old - it was in a box in my grandmother’s home many years ago and I’ve kept them all this while. They are made from tiny shapes of paper and I just love them. For the diary shot above, I combined them with petals and pods found outside my studio entrance. The beautiful ribbon is from Tinctifolia. Little glimpses of joy are never far away.

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Here is my latest work for Happinez Magazine, featured in their Intuition edition, out now in The Netherlands. The assignment was to create 6-8 photographs inspired by the book and talks by Ingrid Fetell Lee. Ingrid’s concept with The Aesthetics of Joy is devoted to a simple, powerful idea: that our greatest source of joy is the world around us. The art director wanted me to come up with simple ways to showcase this, through little things in our everyday lives - be it a new page in your diary, light & shadow play, or nature. My assignment was to translate this feeling to a colour range that fitted with their moodboard for the issue. I also needed to give the concept a bit more depth, meaning and spirituality. To say I enjoyed creating this series is an understatement - it was pure joy…

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I foraged most of these flowers from the beautiful nature reserve down by the water near my studio.

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Moon cookies! I made these using all natural ingredients with only a little coconut sugar. If you’d like the recipe let me know and I’ll write it up in a seperate post.

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Citrus and pomegranate seeds are bursting with joy! This shot came together beautifully,

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The sparklers were quite smoky and I was worried the studio fire alarm would go off!! It was a tricky shot but I love the effect. And the shadow and light play I created on the studio porch, using the sun as my muse.

xx