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
click on images to view larger


  1. What a wonderful find. It is great to see how other folk take an idea and work with it to create something like this.

    I have to admit, I first clicked on the link because of the clown. How scary, that they should infiltrate Christmas too. I don't know what it is about them but they really spook me.

  2. I would love to investigate this shop! Your pictures are just wonderful. I will add her to my list for future visits!

  3. What a Curiosity Shop! I can imagine that this is a spot for much inspiration, so visual and tactile!

  4. ah, Bella, exactly! the clowns, they never seem quite right, do they? inspiring! yes-- i am inspired to gather up all my broken jewelry, and other odd bits collected over the years, and DO something with them!

  5. thesesa next time you are here let me know!

  6. Alright, this just underlines why I NEED to go out to the West coast and just stand and drool at all of the fabulous shops to visit. I could get lost in Wendy's studio for hours!

  7. It's always a treat to see photos of Wendys shop............THANKS!!!


  8. I remember stumbling upon Port Costa and was half sure I'd entered the Twilight Zone.

  9. What a charming delight !
    Sparkling seasonal inspiration ...


  10. There is something fabulous about the slouchy fairy behind the white curtain. Just the right side of creepy and has inspired an idea for next years Christmas decor.


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