child's play

Laly sings Liferaft, written by Sydnee Carter...

The other day on instagram I posted a snippet of the lullaby Laly sung to me the other night. I asked her if I could record it on my phone to share with you and she said yes. So I took a video of it in the dark, and Romain extracted the sound so I could share it with you here. 

This is a song I've been singing to her for the past few months. Every year or so I learn a few new songs to sing to her at night. I rarely sing traditional lullabies, instead I've chosen songs that I absolutely love - songs that have beautiful messages she can carry with her throughout her life. When I was pregnant with her 6 years ago, I learnt the words to these songs and sung them to her when I was relaxing in the bath, the heaviness of my body relieved in the gentle water; and kept singing them to her at night all these years. At bedtime, she chooses one or two songs for me to sing, but lately she's been wanting to sing them herself. 

The song list that has remained  strong for the past 5 years has been as follows...

Birds by Emiliana Torrini
Sunny Road by Emiliana Torrini
The Sweetest Gift by Sade (which we call "The Moon Song")
Dreaming My Dreams by The Cranberries (which we call "The Dream Song")
Angel Standing By by Jewel (which we call "The Angel Song")

And in between those I've made up a few of my own that she chooses ("Silver Star", for example, and a song called "Slaapa Slu" which my Mum used to sing), as well as some French ones (including "Dodo, l'enfant Do"). 

This one is a new one we've added called Liferaft, by young Australian singer & songwriter Sydnee Carter. I hope you enjoy Laly's version (lyrics below)...

Pick me up,
hold me in.
I am broken,
I'm nothing.
I am weak,
not strong like you
still need your hand
to make it through.
Oh darling, can't you see?
You're the lock
and I'm the key
and in the dark
when I am blind
you'ld be the like {we sing: You'll be the light}
I will find. 
And for you I would be
the life raft in the sea.
And for you i would be
the life raft in the sea.

Pick you up,
hold you in.
If you're broken,
let i begin. {we sing: Then I'll begin)
You're not weak,
you are strong.
Just take my hand,
and hear my song
you'ld be the like {we sing: You'll be the light}
I will find. 
And for you I would be
the life raft in the sea.
And for you i would be
the life raft in the sea.

xx

PS and here is Sydney Carter singing it herself, so beautiful. 

 

Happi.Kidz photo feature...

...clear quartz crystal mobile made by me; beautiful chunks of tangerine quartz sourced from  Mineralism  in Glebe.

...clear quartz crystal mobile made by me; beautiful chunks of tangerine quartz sourced from Mineralism in Glebe.

In June this year I was commissioned to create another story for Happinez magazine, this time for their children's edition called Happi Kidz. The brief was to create eight images to show the benefits of various crystals for children. I came up with a few ideas, drew up a storyboard, ran it by Albertine via email - the image editor for the magazine - and then got to work bringing my ideas to life. The magazine was published last month, and it's a delight to know that my hero shot of gorgeous first time model Freya, was chosen for the cover...

...garnet necklace made by me, using  Tinctifolia  hand-dyed silk ribbon.

...garnet necklace made by me, using Tinctifolia hand-dyed silk ribbon.

PiaJaneBijkerk_happikids_tigerseye_2017.jpg

My dear friend Kaspia assisted me on the day, offering not only her talents as a stylist but also props from her incredible collection, including clothes & textiles from far away lands. Freya, who is half Norwegian and half Australia was my gorgeous model for the day - it was her first time modelling and she was amazing. Freya is Kaspia's niece, and along with her lovely mum Ragna, and Kaspia's eldest daughter Paloma, we had a great day on set in my home...

...aquamarine talking stick made by me; pouch for the jade fish made by Zoë from  Tinctifolia .

...aquamarine talking stick made by me; pouch for the jade fish made by Zoë from Tinctifolia.

...stunning lapis lazuli sourced from  Mineralism , Glebe.

...stunning lapis lazuli sourced from Mineralism, Glebe.

Here are a couple of the behind the scene shots for you as I know many of you love to see how I work...

PiaJaneBijkerk_behindthescenes_happikidz_2017_1.jpg

The dining table was removed to make room for the set, the light in this part of the house is beautiful. 

PiaJaneBijkerk_behindthescenes_happikidz_2017_2.jpg

The magazine is out now in Holland. I'll post some more behind the scenes shots on instagram in coming days. Thank you to Kaspia, Ragna, Freya and Paloma for your wonderful assistance and for helping to make the day so pleasurable. If you'd like to see my past work with Happinez, please click here

xx

Credits:

Producer, Photographer & Stylist: Pia Jane Bijkerk
Photographer & Stylist's Assistant: Kaspia
Props from Major & Tom, Mineralism, Kaspia's Caravan, Tinctifolia
Model: Freya Gilmour


 

How to be reflective at such a busy time?

Left: our home at dusk, after dinner and little one is asleep. Sparkling wine I poured myself at dinner time has now gone flat and slightly warm. Right: the sky after a huge rather frightening electrifying storm, the clouds parted and the light that came through was breathtaking.    ...................................................................................................

Left: our home at dusk, after dinner and little one is asleep. Sparkling wine I poured myself at dinner time has now gone flat and slightly warm. Right: the sky after a huge rather frightening electrifying storm, the clouds parted and the light that came through was breathtaking. 

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In my new Festive Guide, I wrote how I've learnt about the importance in December to spend time reflecting on our personal journey over the past twelve months...

"This is the time of year to reconnect with ourselves to inspire peace, joy and a sense of renewal. It’s a time we are most open to the universe, instinctively connecting to earth and cosmos. It’s a grounding time, a time of becoming more aligned with ourselves through this openness and connection, creating conscious internal wisdom." The Everyday Alchemy Seasonal Guide, Festive Edition, page 15. 

Meanwhile the activity all around us and media screams: "buy buy buy, be busy busy busy, do do do, don't stop, don't stop, don't stop!" 

So how can we reflect at such a busy time, without adding to the busy-ness? 

In the ebook I share a number of beautifully creative ways to open to reflection, and this week I had another wonderful idea that came to mind and which I've implemented in our home, and I want to share it with you today.

It started with the simple act of writing a list of events that have happened over the course of the year. I usually do this in my journal, but this time I wrote the list on our chalkboard so we could all read it. And as I looked at the list, I realised there was much more to add - not just events, but new skills that we've each developed this year, and life lessons...

Left: enjoying fresh organic cherries now in season! Right: the original list of big events to reflect upon.   ...................................................................................................

Left: enjoying fresh organic cherries now in season! Right: the original list of big events to reflect upon. 

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So I thought what would be great is to have a big sheet of paper that we can all write on over the month of December, to create a kind of map of what we've each encountered over the year as individuals and also as a family. Each of us can add to it whenever we think of something that was significant to us, and for Laly she can also add to it with drawings. At a glance, when we are sitting on the couch or going about our daily activities at home, we can reflect on the year's events, giving the space needed to let these moments be honoured and valued...

And it's not just about the 'good' stuff, or the happy/pretty stuff. Because there are life lessons and goodness (=value), in all. So for us, I've included the pneumonia I had in January, which was a huge deal for us, me being in bed for weeks on end, bringing up so much again about not having any extended family help at challenging times, but showing our resilience and connectedness as a couple; Laly having her tonsils and adenoids out, another huge event for us, after years of health issues and trying almost every single alternative method on the planet to reduce the size of her tonsils without operating. In the end it's exactly what she needed, it couldn't be avoided and again, as a family just the three of us, we did it, she recovered and is thriving. 

And our trip to France and Amsterdam! An adventure we have worked hard to make happen for five years, each year faced with new obstacles. But not this year. This year, it all came together. Laly met her French family for the first time, and I got to spend time with my friends in Amsterdam who I had been longing to connect with and hug again for all those years. 

What I realised is that with each event, there come achievements, new skills, and life lessons to also honour. So on the paper, there is room for these too. 

Perhaps you'd like to create something similar in your home. The above prompts will help for significant milestones in your journey to come to mind. If something comes to mind but you don't think it's significant, still write it down, as it might be revealed later why that is significant and has come up to the surface from your sub-conscious. And most importantly, not to get stuck on what the paper looks like! Let it be messy, it doesn't have to be a work of art (I'm writing that as a message to myself as well, letting go of the way things look and focussing on how they feel). 

I'd love to know how you're going with your reflections, if this is a new-to-you tradition at this time of year that you are introducing, inspired by the Festive Guide, or if you're allowing more of it in. 

Also to keep in mind, it's not about focussing on what we haven't achieved this year that we thought we would, but what we have achieved. Because there is value in all of it, even if we can't yet feel it's value, it's there, and taking the time to reflect will deliver that valuable gift to you and open you to the new opportunities that await you in the new year. 

Happy reflection time, mes amis

xx

 

 

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.