Monday, June 5, 2017

Visit Atelier Longhi with Me and Be Transported!

Atelier Longhi is named after Venetian painter Pietro Longhi, a 1700s’ artist especially renowned for his paintings of daily life, with constant references to the world of theater.

Tailor Francesco Briggi opened the Atelier in 1994 following his passion for history and costumes, and started creating precious, historical unique clothes and accessories. His pieces are inspired by works by Longhi as well as by other illustrious “muses” like Michelangelo, Raphael, William Hogarth, Francois Boucher and other great artists of the past, which Brigi loves and has studied for years.

The Atelier is an official partner of the Venice Carnivale and an absolute point of reference for many of the companies having to do with historical re-enactments, such as Calcio Storico Fiorentino,

the Venice Historical Regatta,

the Noale Palio and the Festival of the Duke in Urbino.

There are also a number of museums, cinema and theater production companies, costume designers and collectors from the whole world who count on the Venetian workshop and its precision, leading to perfect reproductions that stem from careful analysis of historical paintings and original documents.

, go make something beautiful!
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)(¸.•´
(¸.•´♥ Tristan ♥
With thanks to "Italian Ways".

Friday, May 12, 2017

Forest Folks in Out-of-this-World Display

Is there nothing Zim & Zou can't magic out of paper? Give them a piece of paper and a pair of scissors and something enchanting and wondrous is sure to be handed back to you!

For their latest project, the French artists - Lucie Thomas and Thibault Zimmerman - were commissioned to create an epic window display for the opening of a new Hermés store in Dubai. Sticking to their trademark style, they took inspiration from nature and traditional folklore to create an imaginative and fictional forest wonderland.
Entitled Forest Folks, the window displays include features such as botanical life, neon tall mushrooms and enchanting little homes that look like little spaceships. "Nature is surrounding us and never ceases to evolve since its beginning," explains Lucie. "It defines the world we live in. Nature is linked to every living being, and every living being is linked to it. In this project, spectators have a sneak peek of the curious characters living inside this environment.
"This microscopic point of view, where plants and other vegetation reign as masters, is like a kind of picture, a flash, a precise instant in nature's unrestrained run. Life is everywhere, flowers are growing...mysterious people are evolving, building, and living right in the heart of nature, revealing a fragment of their daily life."

Be sure to click photos to get a larger image and see all the magical details!

I just hope those two on the ledge make it safely down!

I hope you're inspired ... now go make something beautiful!

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

Special thanks to Zim and Zou, Creative Boom, and Katy Cowan

Friday, April 28, 2017

Inside a Real Miss Havisham Mansion

It’s quite an exciting moment when you find that mysterious, abandoned house you’ve been stalking on the internet over the years– never quite certain whether it even really, truly exists– finally appearing on a realtor’s listing, announcing its officially going up for sale. The Howey mansion in Florida is a bit of local legend, built by the 1920s citrus tycoon William Howey who once hired the entire New York Civic Opera Company to entertain 15,000 guests, who arrived in a parade of 4,000 automobiles at the mansion’s gates in 1927. For nearly two decades, the 20-room Mediterranean Revival style mansion has sat empty, deteriorating in central Florida just outside the town that Howey founded and named after himself.

Before we begin our tour, I thought it might be appropriate to set the mood with an excerpt from Charles Dicken’s magnificent novel Great Expectations, describing Pip’s entrance into the mysterious and decaying home of Miss Havisham…
“We came to Miss Havisham’s house, which was of old brick, and dismal, and had a great many iron bars to it. Some of the windows had been walled up; of those that remained, all the lower were rustily barred… we went across the courtyard. It was paved and clean, but grass was growing in every crevice… We went into the house by a side door, the great front entrance had two chains across it outside,—and the first thing I noticed was, that the passages were all dark, and that she had left a candle burning there… we went through more passages and up a staircase, and still it was all dark, and only the candle lighted us…. In an arm-chair, with an elbow resting on the table and her head leaning on that hand, sat the strangest lady I have ever seen, or shall ever see… I began to understand that everything in the room had stopped, like the watch and the clock, a long time ago.”
William John Howey was the developer of the largest citrus empire in the world at the time. He started buying land in New Haven. Florida as early as 1914 and by 1920, had amassed 60,000 acres.

He bought the land for $8 to $10 per acre and sold at $800 to $2000 per acre. He offered a no-risk guarantee to prospective buyers promising that he would buy back the land for the original cost plus interest if their citrus trees did not turn a profit within a set amount of time.

Buyers flocked to the area and Howey built accommodation, hotels and housing for his new investors, growing a thriving community he called “the town of Howey”, which later officially became Howey-in-the-Hills in 1925. He even served as Mayor until 1936.

Howey is buried in the mausoleum that can be found at the back of the house. He died young of a heart attack in 1938 at the age of 62, but his wife went on to live at the house for another 43 years until her death in 1981. The town’s most treasured house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, but sold soon after to a couple, Mr. and Mrs. Zona, who purchased the home for $400,000.

The fate of the house would turn when the mistress of the house was widowed in 2000. To pay for her husband’s failing health, Marvel Zona had taken out a reverse mortgage to pay her a fixed income for life. As her own health began to fail, she hoped to leave the property to the town as a museum, but county officials deemed it not eligible for state historic preservation grant funds due to the fact that it was privately owned.

In 2005, an ageing Mrs. Zona was approached by some real estate schemers who convinced her to take a bad loan. Within two years, the Howey mansion went into foreclosure and Mrs. Zona was living in a nursing home.

As the house fell into serious disrepair, the scheming parties who had the house tied up wouldn’t settle for less than $2 million (which didn’t include the estimated 1 million dollar renovation bill needed to bring the mansion into the 21st century).

Police were constantly called to the property over reports of trespassers– mostly curious locals and history buffs hoping to get a glimpse inside of the legendary Howey Mansion.
The house, now owned by the bank, was opened up in 2010 for an estate sale where locals could purchase one of Howey’s 1930s chandeliers for about $20, among other treasures. The Howey Mansion still remains a time capsule however, even with a vintage intercom system still installed and most of the home’s original historic features.

Some claim the property is haunted, but that hasn’t stopped a flurry of interested buyers coming forward since the dilapidated gem hit the market. After being stuck in financial limbo for the past couple of years, the Howey Mansion is now officially for sale with an asking price of $480,000. Let’s not forget about the million dollar renovation expenses, but could it be worth cutting a few corners on the gardening bills? You’ve gotta love that haunting Miss Havisham look of the wild, overgrown grass and the vines crawling over nearly every surface of the house. Actually, I wouldn’t change a thing.

If you'd enjoy living in this historic mansion, you can find the real estate listing here ... and be sure to invite me to the housewarming! And if you can’t afford a real-life Miss Havisham mansion, stay tuned for next week, you might settle for a miniature one that that we're going to tour some treasures from!
Special thanks to "Abandoned in Florida," Messy Nessa, and

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

(¸.•´♥ Tristan ♥ 
Jon's latest book just arrived! It will be available in bookstores June1!