Monday, August 14, 2017

Food for the Soul...or Cakes for the Gods?

As I've already established earlier, when it comes to decorating desserts, the sky is the limit - from  Galaxy sweets ...

to Geode Crystal cakes ...

to Rubick's Cube cakes ...

Enchanted Revelries has tried to search out and show you exquisite creations by the world's most talented pastry chefs.

Atelier Soo is no exception.The Seoul-based pastry chef delicately sculpts edible floral bouquets that look truly too pretty to eat (an over-used phrase, in my opinion, as I'm always ready to eat them on a moment's notice! However, an apt phrase in this instance!). With beautiful petals and exquisite arrangements, all of her creations look so much like flower bouquets, you could barely even tell they're actually buttercream cakes. True, I have seen some wondrous creations with fondant - but never such sumptuous delicacies from buttercream!
Truly, cakes for the gods! We mortals surely are blessed to even gaze at such divine masterpieces!

Now, go make something beautiful!
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)(¸.•´

(¸.•´♥ Tristan ♥

Monday, August 7, 2017

Smile at the Paper and Strike a Pose ...

Korean artist Lee Ji-hee has recreated a selection of vintage cameras out of bright, colorful paper in some seriously advanced paper work.
The paper versions are much funkier and bright than their original counterparts, giving the Seoul, South Korea-based artist’s work a unique style. There are plenty of cameras to see, too. She’s recreated many, from the 1952 Leica IIIf Red Dial to the 1938 Super Kodak Six-20.
You can get an insight into how the cameras are made in this behind the scenes film. Looking closer at each camera, the attention to detail is amazing.

Now, go make something beautiful!
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)(¸.•´

(¸.•´♥ Tristan ♥

And I love this paper construction by Canadian artist, Janice Freeman.
Not only does this look just like a real camera to me, the back is actually a
storage compartment for a handmade photo/memory album! 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Meet the Woman Behind New York’s 1800s School For Crooks

Fredericka “Marm” Mandelbaum, better known as the “Queen of Fences” was a homely Prussian immigrant running a dry goods store with her husband and four children. She was also one of the biggest crime bosses the city of New York had ever seen.
 Marm came to New York in 1827, a poor immigrant peddling bits of silk and other wares on the street with her husband. It’s unclear exactly when she began reselling stolen goods, but when the Panic of 1857 hit and things got desperate for a lot of families, Marm’s family began to succeed. Hungry children and adults alike took up thievery to stay alive and there was an abundance of merchandise for Marm to market.
Fredericka "Marm" Mendelbaum
People would say what they liked about her, but they could not argue that she was not incredibly good at what she did. Mandelbaum was a household name and yet she escaped prosecution countless times.
 She knew better than to ever get her hands dirty– she had people to do that for her. She was the brains and the brawn behind her operation. Newspapers described her husband as a “non-entity” and she would take her children with her to keep watch while she appraised goods.
'The Ghetto' Rivington Street, New York City
As her wealth and connections in the city grew and her operation became larger, Marm purchased a building at Clinton and Rivington Streets claiming that it was for a dry goods business. She hired two lawyers Big Bill Howe and Little Abe Hummell that she kept on year round with a salary of $5,000 a year to come to her aid when the police got wind of any bad behaviour. Marm wasn’t just prominent in New York’s underground, some would say she was the center of it.
Mendelbaum's New York
With friends on all sides of the aisle, she was well known at the Eighth Ward Thieves’ Exchange, a New York black market. She often networked at her synagogue, local beer and oyster halls, and had politicians eating out of the palm of her hand. Many officials who recognised her influence would make it a point to stop by her dry goods store to say hello hoping that her favour could win them the Jewish vote.
A dinner party with 'Marm's' Inner Circle
She had judges and police alike in her pocket and often walked away clean handed even after being brought in. Newspapers described her as the woman who “first put crime in America on a syndicated basis.” But like any good crime boss, she never forgot to give back to her community.
 Mendelbaum's New York children
The “Old Mother” took a number of young pupils under her wing to train them in the art of crookery.  During this period many impoverished families encouraged their young children to wander the streets pickpocketing strangers as a way to sustain themselves. Marm took advantage of this and would readily buy from young thieves as well as more established crooks.
Sophie Lyons (famous for eventually spending decades trying to reform criminals) was Marm’s best protégé. She was sent to Sing Sing maximum security prison three times before she turned 20. As Marm became more and more established, the number of people under her employment grew and diversified. She employed engravers to hide the evidence on stolen jewellery and taxi drivers that might be needed for a quick escape. She was so good at her job she became famous for buying stolen goods at one-fifth their value before reselling them and was known to assess the value of a thief’s winnings with only a quick glance. She was so powerful that many of the goods looted in the Chicago Fire of 1871 passed through her on their way to new homes.
Fredericka “Marm” Mandelbaum illustrated far right in a political cartoon
The public took notice of her and she was often the subject of anti-Semitic comments and hatred. Her notoriety was not always fueled by racism, but nevertheless, her fame became a constant source of anxiety and paranoia for the crime boss.

Marm was constantly at odds with rivals and terribly suspicious of being double crossed. To ensure loyalty, she was rumored to have gone so far as to open an academy for young criminals known as The Grand Street School.

In it she employed professional criminals to teach lessons on pick pocketing, safe cracking, burglary, confidence and blackmail to young minds. Students at the top of their classes could be hired by the head honcho herself and taken into the business. While Marm certainly used these children for her own personal gain, she may have given many of them a chance at success that they would have otherwise never known. Marm was a kind of mother to these children, having once said “I am Ma because I give them what a mother cannot sometimes give—money and horses and diamonds.”   Unfortunately the school only lasted a few years before Marm shut it down. She may have been powerful, but when the school supposedly accepted the son of a prominent police chief, even she knew she had gone too far and she dismantled the whole operation.

Before the FBI, there was the Pinkerton Detective Agency 
Marm was eventually taken down when the New York City district attorney called in the Pinkerton
Detective Agency to do what the city’s own police could not. Marm began doing business with an undercover agent and soon many of her warehouses were raided and her pillaged goods uncovered.
 She was arrested with her son Julius and confidant Herman Stoude and forced to plead her innocence. 

She soon jumped bailed and escaped to Canada where she would live out the remainder of her days giving to charity and working in her hat shop. She allegedly returned to the city once to watch the funeral procession of her daughter before disappearing back into the unknown. Rumors abounded about what had happened to her, and many people believed that she had returned to peddle goods as Madame Fuchs because she could not stay away from the city she loved so dearly.
New York Night Scene, 1871
When Marm eventually died in 1894, her casket was brought back to New York for burial, but it did not put the rumors to bed. Was her coffin filled with rocks and the real Marm Mandelbaum back up to her old tricks? Not even her death convinced people that her life of crime had come to an end, and with a woman as clever as Marm Mandelbaum, who could really be sure?

Since pickpocketing is not for you, now go make something beautiful!
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)(¸.•´
(¸.•´♥ Tristan ♥
 It's summer - take a dip and cool off!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

General Electric Celebrates "Beverly's Pink Saturday Blog Hop"

Now, go make something beautiful!

¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)(¸.•´
(¸.•´♥ Tristan ♥
To go to the next blog on Beverly's Pink Saturday hop, visit

Mini Marie Antoinette Theatre by Donna O'Brien

Friday, July 14, 2017

Christmas in July Sale!

July 14 - 17

Enchanted Revelries (Online Shop Only)
Use Coupon Code: JULYXMAS40
Click Link~

and after you check out the terrific sale at Enchanted Revelries, go make something beautiful!

¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)(¸.•´

(¸.•´♥ Tristan ♥
Serene Nature's Gallery Handmade Photo/Memory Album by Enchanted Revelries

Saturday, June 24, 2017

It's Hot and Humid - Want to Go Dancing Underwater?

The Rotting Underwater Ballroom of a Victorian Bernie Madoff

Beneath the lake of a once lavish Victorian estate built by a flamboyant mining tycoon, a secret awaits…
At murky water’s edge, a stone structure being overtaken by greenery hides a locked door.
If you happen to have the right key, it will lead you down a spiral staircase and underneath the lake until you’re standing right at the center below a statue of Neptune which appears to walk on the water’s surface…

The strange and damp tunnel 40 feet below the surface leads to a long-forgotten architectural marvel, the sodden remains of one man’s elaborate Victorian fantasy come true– before it all came to a very abrupt and scandalous end…
We’re standing inside the abandoned underwater leisure room built by mining magnate Whitaker Wright who made his fortune in America before returning to England. The circular domed room, about 20 feet in diameter, was one of his last lavish projects installed at his ostentatious Surrey estate, which also boasted a theatre, observatory, velodrome, private hospital and stables to accommodate more than 50 horses. On the apex of the dome, stands the statue of Neptune, through which historians say a pipe led up to the surface for expelling excess cigar smoke. A smoking room, a billiards room, a ballroom– there are varying opinions on what exactly Wright used the room for, but whatever its official purpose, it would no doubt have been very useful for impressing guests.
These illustrations unearthed by local historian, Hugh Thurrall-Clarke from a British periodical magazine of the 1920s, show what the lake would look like drained of water, exposing the tunnel leading from one side of the lake to the other.

The domed room is depicted as a smoking lounge, with mosaic flooring and a deep-buttoned seating bench that curves with the room.

Today, the room is bathed in yellow light during the day from the build-up of algae on the glass and metal dome. In its heydey, Wright brought in trainee divers to clean the outside of the glass. It’s the belief of some historians that the tunnel leading to the dome might be the very same tunnel from London’s Bakerloo line stations. Whitaker himself was involved in the financing of the Bakerloo line and it’s highly possible that these were bits of tunnelling from the construction of Bakerloo that were excess to requirements at the time. Notice the similarities in shape…

Despite the clues left behind of an extravagant show piece, this secret aquarium hasn’t entertained for many decades, and the scent of Whitaker’s exotic brand of cigars hasn’t lingered here since 1908 when he took his own life to avoid his doomed fate.

A Victorian “Bernie Madoff”, Wright was convicted of fraud and faced a seven-year imprisonment after a career of fooling trusting investors to back non-existent mining projects while he poured their money into his estates and follies (like underwater ballrooms). Immediately after he was sentenced, he committed suicide by swallowing cyanide in a court anteroom. A revolver was also found in his pocked, presumably as a backup in case the cyanide failed. In spite of his career as a swindler, there was a great outburst of grief at his funeral at his estate, where he is buried.
After his death, Wright’s estate was auctioned off and sold to Lord Pirrie, notable for his role in the building of the Titanic. As for the underwater ballroom, it’s unknown whether Pirrie made use of it, but some locals of the area claim that in the 1930s, their ancestors would sneak into the park and down into the dome with candles and a wind up gramophone to hold clandestine dances there at night.
 Even damp and deserted, you can almost imagine it as it was once intended; impressively lit, expensively furnished with the echoes of laughter and dancing feet while fish pressed their noses against the glass to see what was going on. 

Witley Park is now a private family home, not open to the public. In 1952 a tragic fire destroyed the 32-bedroom mansion built by Wright and the gutted remains were demolished. In later years, a new modern home was built elsewhere on the property.
The landscaped park still remains however, along with the lakes, run-down boat houses and the hidden ballroom. Permission is very rarely granted to see it, although determined visitors occasionally tend to find their way in anyway.

What will be the fate of this strange secret of underground Britain? What could it be used for today? I’m certain there won’t be a shortage of imaginative ideas out there …

Now - go make something beautiful! and dream of waltzing in an underwater glass ballroom! 

                                                                    ¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)(¸.•´

(¸.•´♥ Tristan ♥
 Jon's latest book, "Hit After Hit" is a heckuva story - a murder mystery that is
part Godfather, part American political family empires, part film noir - and part Joan Rivers. The paperback just came out - watch the next few days for announcement about e-book releases!