27 November 2011

Cirque de Noël

Amazing Cirque de Noël clown by Wendy Addison
The maestro and I took a much needed break and wandered up to Port Costa, to visit the Theatre of Dreams, the studio of artist Wendy Addison.
The shop decked out for the holidays

You may have seen Wendy's beautiful creations before: constructed of ephemera, antique bits, letterpress tags, imagination,  and lots of German glass glitter.  Normally open only "by chance or by appointment"   the shop is transformed during the holidays and open for visitors for a few weekends.
a rare and elusive social butterfly
glittered numbers
The original Theatre of Dreams, built by Wendy in 1994- part dollhouse, part dreamscape

Port Costa is a "census-designated place" - population 190 - the cherished remnants of a 19th century railroad ferry town on the banks of the Carquinez Strait, just north of San Francisco Bay: funky, foggy, romantic, and at times a bit rough.  I used to go there with a long-lost love for dimly-lit dinners at the Bull Valley Inn, or drink with friends at the Warehouse Café.    Tree-lined streets and nostalgia form the backdrop for the creative scene here. 

Wendy's work is curious and steeped in Victoriana,  with just enough of the eerie and mysterious to be really interesting.   Peek in the shop windows around Halloween to see how glitter can be macabre.   You can see more of her imaginative creations at her website.
a black glitter raven peers out over an antique gilt mirror
dancing circus faerie tree toppers
painted Santo figure dressed in antique lace

Cirque de Noël
 annual holiday open house at  
Theatre of Dreams
Fridays and Saturdays   December 2  &  3, 2011
and  December 9 & 10, 2011
#11 Canyon Lake Dr.
Port Costa, California
(510) 787-2164


all photos in this post by Lynne Rutter
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17 November 2011

The Doors of Saint-Germain-des-Prés

 a beautiful entry with faux bois doors
Last month I spent two fabulous weeks in Paris, staying in a very cool apartment in the chic Saint-Germain district.   One day I wandered around just looking at the wonderful doors.  You do that, too, right?
Paris is a city of limestone, and the entry doors to these limestone facades are the only opportunity for color, so they often get special attention. Even a plain door is given a glossy, gorgeous treatment. Nearly half the doors are oak, although usually if you see an oak door, it's actually a faux finish imitating oak. Some of the painted oak is so realistic I had to look for  signs of wear or peeling paint to be able to tell the difference.
This charcoal grey is really popular right now.
Blues, greens, and greys predominate in this neighborhood. Red appears to have fallen out of favor, perhaps because it fades so quickly.  It seems every color you can think of looks great with limestone. Although there was one safety orange painted door of an art gallery that I really didn't like. I did not take a picture of it.  
bright blue on the Quai Voltaire
limestone, black, and gold - a classic Beaux-Arts tradition
a beautiful verdigris look
With rare exception the doors are never polychromed.  All woodwork in an entry or the paneling surrounding it is treated the same.   I am not sure if this is by convention or law.
The gorgeous celadon paneling of the Ladurée shop. Madame was posing for my camera in front of the shop and at the last moment she turned to her good side and struck this casual pose. Brava.
an unusual burl treatment
detail of faux burl door, a bit worn

More of this collection are posted in my flickr set "Doors of Paris".


all images in this post by Lynne Rutter, October 2011. 
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05 November 2011

Postcard from Paris

Interior of the Sainte-Chapelle, Paris
Just back from two wonderful weeks in Paris and environs, and having to hit the ground running.
Will be back with more soon!

Sainte-Chapelle brilliant with some recently restored windows in late afternoon sun.
photo by Lynne Rutter October 2011
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