Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wanna Hang Out and Chat and Shop and See Some Fun Stuff?

Doing nothing but hanging out and laughing and eating and drinking ice cream sodas was fun for awhile.

But, it's almost the middle of the month, and frankly, we're feeling the onslaught of a mild case of cabin fever...and perhaps a bit of an ice cream headache.

So what do you say? Let's take a little tour around some of the fun things on sale this month!

I'm a fan of these birdcage hanging fixtures ... I think I'd have to use frosted bulbs because I am definitely not a fan of bare light bulbs. But the cages are wonderful and I love the idea. They are available from Ballard Designs.

It should come as no surprise that these needlepoint pillows are favorites of mine! With two of the most iconic images of my beloved Paris, they would be most welcome in my home! These are also from Ballard Designs, and can be found here.

I guess the circus themes I've been working with have altered my taste a little. I am very fond of this waste basket, and think it would be fun to have in the studio. If you feel you must have a circus waste basket yourself, you can get one at Jaye's sale at One Kings Lane. While there, be sure to check out the black and white harlequin/fleur de lis waste basket, too. It's pretty terrific!Now, I realize that this is not everybody's cup of tea ... I'm not even sure it's mine. But this Francois Lalanne piece is the most amazing and dramatic bed I've seen in quite some time! I found it at at Maison 21:Decorative But Not Serious. He finds fabulous interior design items!

Look at this miniature work of wonderment! It's a 1913 Marionette Theatre I found at one of my new favorite blogs, Theatre du Boheme. She finds and shares and makes and creates some of the most wonderful things!
Check out her blog and find more of her treasures, such as ...
I found this charming Marie Antoinette Valentine while browsing Photo Bucket. I don't know anything about the artist, other than her i.d. is ErikaMySpace2008. Such a lovely use of vintage papers and crepe paper and ribbons. I can see this being made by a young boy's mother so he can give it to his secret crush on Valentine's Day!

Are you ready? Let's take a fun little foray into the world of mystical and wondrous creatures ... but first ... remember ...

I'm not going to write much about these exquisite works by Betsy Youngquist. After oohing and aahing at these, head for her website Sculptural Mosaics and see more of her work in different series.

If you have never seen the 1934 Josef von Sternberg classic, "The Scarlet Empress," starring the ethereal beauty, Marlene Dietrich, at the height of her allure and power, it's an absolute must!

The story is basic history: Young Princess Sophia of Germany is taken to Russia to marry the half-wit Grand Duke Peter, son of the Empress. The domineering Empress hopes to improve the royal blood line. Sophia doesn't like her husband, but she likes Russia, and is very fond of Russian soldiers. She dutifully produces a son -- of questionable fatherhood, but no one seems to mind that. After the old empress dies, Sophia engineers a coup d'etat with the aid of the military, does away with Peter, and becomes Catherine the Great.

The film plays a little loose with the facts, and takes a few liberties with issues that nobody knows the facts about, but for a film from the 1930's, it does stick fairly close to the actual history.

But that's not the reason to see it. You want to see it for the magnificent sets - the dazzling sumptuous costumes - and von Sternberg's eye which creates a visual feast in every frame. Many of the shots seemed to be the precursor of Cocteau's La Belle et la Bête ("Beauty and the Beast").
Two gnarled statues of grotesque beasts make love in the garden, a perverse cuckoo clock exposes female bodily organs, a skeletal figure shot through with arrows twists its face in a silent wail towards heaven. This is the decor of "The Scarlet Empress."

Von Sternberg himself called it "a relentless exercise in pure style" and he wasn't kidding. It marks the apex of Sternberg's worship of Marlene Dietrich (worship is hardly too strong a word; it might not be strong enough). His justly famous expressionistic lighting, brilliantly shot by Bert Glennon, dazzles the eye throughout. During the wedding ceremony, for instance, the whole scene is lit by what must be 10,000 candles and is shot through a variety of diffusion materials; in one shot Dietrich's face can hardly be more than a foot from the camera lens but there is a candle between them, and fabric as well, making her face waver and melt into the sensuous texture.

I hope you'll find a copy and revel in the sumptuous displays of exquisite decadence. And, if you've seen it before, watch it again, and find something marvelous you hadn't noticed before!
Another film we saw was a most harrowing and terrifying piece, which shows just how much evil can lurk within the most unassuming and seemingly innocent souls.

2007's "An American Crime," directed by Tommy O'Haver and starring Catherine Keener (Oscar winner for "Capote") and Ellen Page (Oscar nominated for "Juno"), is based on the true horror story of the torture and murder of a young girl in suburban Indiana during the 1960's.

In 1965, Betty Likens (Romy Rosemont) and her husband Lester (Nick Searcy) decided it was best to leave their two daughters with a neighbor while they went off with a traveling carnival. So Sylvia Likens (Ellen Page) and her sister Jennie Fae (Hayley McFarland) settled in with the Baniszewski clan. And what a clan it was. Mother Gertrude (Catherine Keener) already had five of her own in tow, and now she added two more. What happened then, well documented in the record, is now played out for us with horrifying realism.
When Mother Gertrude is unable to handle the fact that her eldest is getting out of control and following in her footsteps, she selects one of the girls she is caring for to scapegoat. In other words, Silvia will bear the scars and marks that she can't place on her own children. She shifts the blame from her and her children to Sylvia. Sylvia soon becomes the target of all the neighborhood children, believing that they are "teaching her" to be good. The adults in the neighborhood hear the screams coming from the house as she is burned with cigarettes and branded with a hot wire, and turn the other way.

As difficult to observe - and realizing that all the facts of the case were taken directly from court transcripts - the horrors this innocent child endures, in real life the tortures were far worse, and the violence has been toned down by the writers and directors. That's so hard to imagine.

Gertrude accuses Sylvia of telling more lies about her daughter, then forces Sylvia to put a Coke bottle up her vagina in front of the family. Gertrude then orders Sylvia to the basement. When Sylvia refuses, both Stephanie's boyfriend and Johnny throw her down the stairs. Jenny asks how long Sylvia will be in the basement, to which Gertrude replies "until she learns her lesson." Gertrude makes everyone swear that Sylvia was sent to juvenile hall. Johnny begins to bring neighborhood children into the basement so that they can torture Sylvia. When they hesitate, Johnny assures them that it is all right because his mother said that they could. The children visit regularly to beat Sylvia and burn her with cigarettes.

For me, that was one of the most horrifying aspects ... how readily and easily these average neighborhood children could turn into the stuff of campfire horror stories and Stephen King novels.

It is a hard film to watch. For those not exposed to this stain on America, it can be very traumatic. Be forewarned. It's an important piece of film making - but it's also a film that will haunt you.

Oh, I need to get out of the mood writing all that put me in! For some of the most intricate and fascinating jewelry art, head over to Tjep. His work is in the permanent collection of both the Netherlands royal family and most of the major museums in the world.

... Yes, those are diamonds on the tips! ...

... taking steampunk to a whole new level ...This cross was reviewed and described so elequently by Louise Schouwenberg of Frame Magazine: "The absolute climax of the jewellery display was a design by Frank Tjepkema. From a distance, his piece resembled an opulently decorated cross. A closer look revealed paper-thin layers of gold-plated steel perforated to proclaim the symbolism of modern religion. Banal logos like those of Coca Cola and Gucci tell the story that jewellery - a metaphor for the Milan furniture fair itself - has always told: the world of capital loves to wrap itself in the illusion of timeless beauty."

... every possible way of saying "I love you" ...
... commissioned by Jijenkorf - the most famous department store in the Netherlands ...

I guess it's time to flip the music and get to the studio. I'm busy making a plethora of paper whimseys for all the Valentine swaps I said 'yes' to ... what was I thinking?!
Thank you for spending some time with me today ... I hope you enjoyed your visit and that you'll return.

My sincere wish is that you were inspired and are now going to run off and go make something beautiful!
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´♥ Tristan

Ah! I see I have crossed the 300 followers mark - and the 200 post mark - and the 40,000 hit mark! It's time for a special giveaway! I'm going to put my thinking cap on and announce it later this week!


Kaerie Faerie said...

It is so cold here in FL, thanks for sharing this wonderful post, I'm having a cup of tea and thinking about shopping, like usual you make my day!
your fairy friend

Malisa said...

So many photos of absolutely gorgeous things on your blog today! I am in love with the mosaic creatures! Then in the middle of that beauty, you wrote about the film based on that horrific true story! How dreadful! My stomach is in knots just thinking about that poor girl. Don' think I could handle watching the film! You must be busy, busy, busy making pretties! So go create...

Tamerie Shriver said...

What a post! I think it could be titled "a Magical Mystery Tour" and not be far off the mark.

Hope your Cabin Fever breaks soon and your ice cream headache has gone!


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

I definitely want the bird bed!!! It would sooooooo fit in here! the Peep-Meisters would be duly jealous...and that's okay! ;)
Great post, per normal!!!


Rebecca said...



Yes, I say! Needed something EXCITING for the ho-hum, gotta get OUT of my HOUSE (again) kind of day.

Love the post. Love the pics. Love the inspiration.

Decided to stay home and work.



Baroness Bijoutery said...

Can't wait to see what your Thinking Cap comes up with..know it will be good..
And it was a longtime ago that you entered one of my giveaways and so you are entered in this one...Remember no one argues with a "Baroness",,,


Bill said...

Hi Tristan,
What a fascinating post, filled with fantastic images and great ideas! I've never seen "The Scarlet Empress," but that bold, naughty Catherine AND Ms. Dietrich were intriguing ladies, weren't they?

Hope the rest of your week goes well.


JoAnn Salyers said...

oh I loved the tiny theatre, went to the site, its lovely, I dream of small things, wish I could just crawl right inside. Thanks for finding it. You are one of my fav sites to visit when I need some cheering up in midst of my work lol. I can see you put a lot of work into your site. Now if I could just do that....

Sara said...

The lamps are awesome. I would like those in my house. As well as the mosaic dog...he was interesting...

Will have to check out that story about that girl in Indiana...It's amazing what people can do to other people...

Theatre Du Boheme said...

Tristan, you are so kind for giving me a shout out. I don't know if I deserve it? But thank you!!

I love alot of the same things you posted here. lol I guess we think alot alike?

I'm totally loving the circus garbage can. lol That is too cute. But I could defintely see it sittng next to my desk.

I can't wait to see all of the things you're working on.They're going to be great!! You are an awesome artist!!

Hugs my friend!!

Ps. I have a theatre I'm working on and as soon as I get the kinks worked out, I'm going to post it. It's mechanical, so it's taking a bit longer than expected.

studioJudith said...

Another wondrous romp through the
World of Tristan!

Though I always look forward to your film reviews, I won't be rushing out to find American Crime. Real life is terrifying enough ... . so I'll look forward to renewing my fan club membership to Marlene & Eric. They were a stunning team. Drama on a GIANT scale.

Hug, as always -


The Joy of Nesting said...

Greetings Kiddo!!!

Have you had enough of the prisine snow and frigid temp, in your lovely home state????? We are still waiting for winter to hit here. And wouldn't you know, I bought a couple of the cutest light cotton sweaters to wear this winter. But darn it's even to warm to wear them. :(

Thanks for the little middle of the week road trip through your magical pixie dust world!!! I'm off to explore the sites you found for us!!

Pattie ;)
Mazatlan Mx.

g said...

You have so much wonderful stuff! I stopped at the Youngquist, because it really blew my mind. How amazing!!

I'll read the rest of the post later.

A Thousand Clapping Hands said...

I can't believe I've never seen 'The Scarlet Empress.' I'll look for it next time I go out. Right up my alley. It's been like a Wonderland over here today. Thanks for bringing all these inspiring things to us, Tristan.

I left you a very brief message that you can look at on the comments next time you stop by.


Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Oh much fun and icandy and incredible insight!!! You discovered Keke at Théâtre du Bohème!!! Isn't she awesome? Did you get a chance to visit Trouvais yet? Please do!!! Hang in there my friend, we will be out of this winter soon and when it does, you are gonna bust and bring us something beautiful!! Anita

mo.stoneskin said...

My only criticism of those birdcage fixtures is that a bird might take up residence there and then singe its feathers, set off the fire alarm and result in an unnecessary fire-service call-out, wasting tax-payers' money and upsetting the bird.

But other than that, they're beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tristan - Those are some amazing creatures you have in this post. I've always loved that duck? bed too. It reminds me of the giant duck on Long Island..

If you are interested in that Creative Collage book you can PayPal me $4 to (my paypal address) and I'll get it right out to you.

Thanks or your recent comments and support.. Happy New Year to you


friedaquilter said...

Somehow the juxtaposition of all the beautiful things in this post with the horrific story of that poor girl (how did it end??) makes it seems even worse. Good and evil are sometimes so close together and it made me think about it even more.
But of course I loved all the glorious jewellery with a vengeance and the fact that it was Dutch was an added bonus!

Anonymous said...

What a great post!! Just love the art.... However.... the beaded animals are just too wierd!! They look like a nightmare from my youth!!
The rendition of Catherine the Great would be worth watching.... I just started watching "The Tudors" on Showtime on Demand!! I never saw them before.... Yep, some liberty with facts but a fabulous story!! However, I never thought of King Henry VIII as a hottie!! Somehow I thought of him as a flabby old goat!! LOL!!LOL!!
Had good appt. with Dr. today. Just posted on my blog....

peggy gatto said...

Saw American crime, amazing that it is actually based on a true story. I thought the acting was incredible.
betsy's creations are to die for, thank you!
I would adore to have that "big bird" bed!!!!!
The designer must be involved in altered art and I know has a sense of humor!!!!
I am rambling cause you posted so much to comment on and I know I will forget something!!!
The jewelry from the netherlands leaves me with my mouth open and no words!!!!!!!!!
So much to take in, I am exhausted!!!
No surprise you have your loyal followers!

Monica said...

Every time I had a reponse to something, another thing came along. So now I have nothing to say.

Wonderful trip, occassionally distrurbing.

GREAT blog.

Deborah said...

Hey Tristan, What amazing art by Tjepkema? Those beaded creatures are also fascinating. Sorry I don't think I could watch that film. My capacity for observing cruelty to others is limited and frankly there is too much of it that I cannot avoid seeing no matter how hard I try to. Thanks for all the wonderful links and inspiration as always.

Sue said...

So here is the deal. I have some extra pounds to lose - you MUST post more Tristan because everytime I read one of your entries, I feel like I've just gorged myself. I don't need to diet - just read your bloggings daily!

Betsy Youngquist's work is amazing - off to check her site and also a couple of other links you posted. LOVE the bird bed!


Lisa Oceandreamer said...

I absolutely do not know where you find the things you do...but I am always amazed, thrilled and intrigues! Those mosaic sculptures are out of this world. Love the bird cage lamps but not a bare bulb gal. As for the movie about the tortured child....just reading your synopsis I am tortured inside...I could never watch this film. Anything to do with harming children makes me insane!
Can't wait to see your Valentine's Day work.

Jennifer Swan Hopkins said...

Hello Tristan,
I've been MIA for a bit as we have moved house this last month. Back at it now tho, so I came to you for my dose of amazement and inspiration. I always end up leaving this magical realm reluctantly, but with such admiration for what you offer us all, and I always take away ideas.

Thank you for creating such posting masterpieces for us all to wander about in - the world you create is a wonderland.

Fondly, and with great expectations for us all in 2010!


Sugar and Spice Art Confections said...

Tristan~ OMG! I cannot believe that HORRIFYING story happened in Indiana, my home state. I had never heard of it before truly terrifying and despicable.
I love that bird bed, even if it is a bit creepy.
Have a wonderful and creative week!

cactus petunia said...

When I saw the birdcage lamps and the bed, I knew you would love this site:
Villa Catoga
Check it out!

Salone Di Petros said...

Tristan- Hi so nice to meet you! Thank you for your visit to my site. You have a lovely site- Your quilts are spectacular!!! The colors are gorgeous, I love your theaters too, pretty neat stuff- I'll have to visit Theatre du boheme those tiarras are beautiful Thank You for sharing Your pictures, best wishes, Sincerely Jonny

sPaRkLiNg sCrApBoOkS said...

Wow, it is really great to meet you. I think I may have seen you on my friend Anita's blog too (Castles Crowns and Cottages!) I'm so glad you stopped by and said hello. I can't believe you have exchanged over a thousand ATC's!!! That is amazing!!! Those little things are addicting! Have a great weekend! xOxO deb

sPaRkLiNg sCrApBoOkS said...

oh my goodness, I have seen your pieces on etsy before! Your Marie items are beautiful! Small world!!!! take care, deb

zizzybob said...

Oooo, Oooo, Oooo, pick me, pick me.

Frippery said...

Wow, Such gorgeous photos. The mosaics are amazing. I will have to check out the Marlene Dietrich film too. Thanks for sharing once again. Can't wait to see your swaps.

The Josie Baggley Company said...

oh good gawd that bed is bloody WONDERFUL isn't it?! I would like my HOUSE (dream-house)built to that design actually! The mosaic sculpture pieces are fab !-the bear especially but I like the fish too-but that BED -WOW!!