The Ultimate in Fantasy FairyTale House Design... (found on Google Images)
The Ultimate in Fantasy FairyTale House Design... (found on Google Images)
Ivan Bilibin (1876-1942) was an illustrator, set and costume designer and artist in Russia. His style is reminicent of arts and crafts as well as art nouveau.
"The forests and mountains of Old Russia were predominant players in images that often provided as many distractions as focal points. He seemed anxious to incorporate traditional designs and motifs, often as framing devices for illustrations that didn't require them. Yet his solid depiction of the terrain and costumes made his work recognizable and appealing, despite his youthful miscues. And, most importantly, his ability to bring a sense of reality to a world of ghosts and glowing skulls reinforced the notion that these stories might really have happened and certainly heightened their appeal."
Can you imagine this serving your breakfast? (found here)
As a child I had a small wooden bear that rode on a tricycle. He came from a family of toymakers who lived in the village of Bogorodskoe. This name is now given to the toys themselves, in rememberance of centuries of toymaking. It is facinating to learn that each family tended to specialize in making a certain type of toy. "For instance, K.Boblovkin carved bird figurines while Y. Boblovkin carved figurines of various animals. P.Chushkin carved human dolls and M.Pronin carved carriages driven by teams of three horses... In the Soviet period the most popular Bogorodskoe toys were the so-called "motion" toys (operated by balances and counterbalances, springs strings, etc.) and decorative figurines. New toy motifs and images taken from classical Russian literature, fairly tales and everyday life were added to the traditional ones. Starting from 1960s the majority of toys involved an image of the bear who is the principal character in many Russian legends fairy tales, and folk songs. In ancient Russian mythology bear was regarded as a special beast which was the closest in character to humans." Today the bear is a national emblem of Russia.
When I saw this wonderful Chandelier (above) on Elizabeth's Blog my heart skipped a beat. I love the simplicity of how she has added just a few tiny little dolls for whimsy. Simplicity you say? I may as well show you our Chandelier. When we bought our house our dining room had a genuine 'wagon wheel' light fixture over the dining room table. Believe me, it was the first to go! But what to put in instead? My budget was $100.00. I found this wonderful old Italian Chandelier in an antique shop for $80.00. It felt lacking though. For our first Christmas (this was 1995) I decided to hang my collection of glass vegetable ornaments on the bottom. I loved the look so they stayed up all year. The next year I added a few more veggies, some fruit and and a bird. Well its now 12 years since this collection started and now look at my Chandelier! Looking at Elizabeths, mine feels a bit over done! The flock of birds is at least 35 now... A few have had to fly out to my studio for lack of space. It is a real conversation piece, no one who walks into our house can miss it! What do you think? Should I leave everything as is, take some away or let them all go?
Just look what arrived at my doorstep, minutes ago, from dearest Constance! What a wonderful surprise! A real beachcombers treasure box, filled with delights... Bird cages and ribbons, a tiny summer hat and flower bouquets, beautiful oriental geisha charms and button, and 3 wonderful miniature glass cloches just waiting for a fairies garden - Sweet Constance you take my breath away - and make me feel so much better today... THANK YOU!!!!
It was winter 1986, when I was finishing up my textile design degree at U.C. Davis. We were young, full of energy and had high hopes of future success! One of my girlfriends, Tara, had just designed a complete Spring/Summer line of hand-painted clothing, and was ready to take them to market. She asked me if I would like to be her model. I was flattered and said "yes, of course!" A week later, at 8:00 in the morning on a Sunday, Tara, Myself, and another classmate (who was a photographer) met at the local grade-school, where Tara found a wonderful 'Blue' wall for me to pose against. It was about 35 degrees, COLD, and FOGGY! (See how bundled up Tara is in the top photo!) I WAS FREEZING!!! We Turned our portable music on high, drank lots of coffee, ran around in circles, and laughed a lot! Tara took 5 rolls of film, of which these are my favorites. Yes she did sell her line, although it was her first and last, and No I never modeled again, this was also to be my first and last! But what a memory...
Just look at the nobility and regal stance of this charming bear by Kim of Calamity Kim! I couldn't resist sharing him with all of you too! I think he is just marvelous, and I can't wait till Lovely Marie comes to join him... Be sure and check Kim's BLOG out too, she is multi-talented, her "Little Prince" being another prime example! Thanks again Kim for letting me share your bear!!!
The amazing and talented Debbie Schramer has just announced that she will be offering Fairy Furniture Art Classes for Children! Doesn't this make you want to be a child again? If you live in Southern California and feel tempted to be a kid again - don't hesitate to give Debbie a call, she is sure to bring enchantment where ever she goes!
Yesterday was to be my first Spring class at Castle in The Air, but unfortunately I had to cancel it. All three of us have been home sick with the flu this week, and I just didn't have the energy. If you were signed up, don't worry I will reschedule and contact you next week. Rabbits have a way of multiplying quickly - and their energy is infectious! Hopefully these little guys will soon find a way home too!
Caroyln Ryder Cooley is a spinner of sad music and lyrical fairytales. "As an installation and performance artist, I invent haunted dream worlds that echo political and cultural phenomena of past and present. Video, sound and site-specific lighting create an atmosphere of dis-reality. Rescued materials are transformed into props and garments which reveal incomplete evidence of pasts." I love how her fairytale visions in locations, costumes, music and fantasy invite us into her imagined worlds... Breathtaking!
Working at the Castle has given me a great appreciation for fine inks, dip-pens and calligraphy. Although I do not own an inkwell, it is something I fantasize about owning someday. I love how many antique inkwells are figural in style and quite whimsical - although almost always out of my price range... Which of these from Ruby Lane would you chose???
Fantasy Vintage Butterflies Print from Ruby Lane.
Studies from the Russian Ballet including Léon Bakst's lovely blue Costume for Chiarina in Carnaval!
Russian Born Elena Flerova is a master of romantic painting. Using no models for humans, animals or nature, she paints from her imagination. Her work includes religious themes as well as subjects realistically depicted with elements of romanticism and fantasy. "When I paint, the architecture, the costumes, the scenery–they’re not important to me. It is the feeling I’m creating that is the soul of the painting," And what feelings she evokes!!! I adore her opulent and baroque flowers, fairies, children and landscapes... ENJOY!
These amazing paper mushrooms and undersea life are by Vincent Floderer of France. He is the current darling of the Origami world, delighting everyone with his twisted and turned - litterly crumpled creations that look edible and very very life like!!!
Gwen Oulman Brennan of Larutan Studio in Saint Louis has a beautifully refined eye in all that she touches... "Natural element of organic forms play off of the elegant minimalism of her studio. River stones collected from around the country adorn both the jewelry and her displays as castings of branches and pieces of lava rock hang delicately from chains." Doesn't this just make you want to step into her world? "When sorting laundry her husband knows to check his wife’s pockets, never sure what he will find. He carefully places her found treasures in a wooden box in the laundry room. Her interest in merging disparate materials has lead to a recent series of landscapes painted on concrete imbedded in beeswax, photographs on silk, river stone jewelry, and even octopus tentacles lost-cast in bronze and silver." A collector of life, her work speaks volumes in its simplicity and delicate attention to details... Lovely