Sunday, October 31, 2010


I loooooooooooooove Halloween.
I always have.
Almost as much as Christmas.
I don't think I'll ever grow out of it.

I wonder who thought "Hey, lets carve a face into a vegetable and then light it up!"? 
But to whoever did, you are pretty cool.
I have very fond memories of carving pumpkins as a child.

Put a whole punch of them together and it looks pretty incredible.
It kind of reminds me of the catacombs I saw in Rome.

But instead of human skulls, they are pumpkins.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

DAY OF THE DEAD (Día de los Muertos)

Day of the Dead (SpanishDía de los Muertos) is a holiday celebrated by many in Mexico and by some Mexican Americans living in the United States and Canada. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration occurs on November 2 in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. Due to occurring shortly after Halloween, the Day of the Dead is sometimes thought to be a similar holiday, although the two actually have little in common. The Day of the Dead is a time of celebration, where partying and eating is common.

For Halloween this year I am being a 
Day of the Dead Skeleton or a "Calavera Catrina"
La Calavera Catrina ('The Elegant Skull') is a 1913 zinc etching by Mexican printmaker José Guadalupe Posada. The image has since become a staple of Mexican imagery, and often is incorporated into artistic manifestations of the Day of the Dead in November, such as altars and calavera costumes. The etching was part of his series of calaveras, which were humorous images of contemporary figures depicted as skeletons, which often were accompanied by a poem. The word catrina is the feminine form of the word catrín, which means "elegant". The figure, depicted in an ornate hat fashionable at the time, is intended to show that the rich and fashionable, despite their pretensions to importance, are just as susceptible to death as anyone else.

See more at Big Picture

Day of the Dead is an interesting tradition that honours dead loved ones by making alters for them often containing  favorite foods and beverages as well as photos and memorabilia of the departed.  The idea is to encourage visits from their souls so that they may directly hear their families'/friends' prayer to them.  The tone of the day is that of celebration not mourning and people often visit and decorate grave sights as well.  
The specifics of how to celebrate Day of the Dead differ from place to place in Mexico but the idea is the same and that is to celebrate the lives of those who have been loved and lost.
Sugar Skulls
Grave sight Alters
Photos by Becket Logan

All the different elements of the Day of the Dead celebrations; the sugar skulls, the marigolds, the skeletons, the bright colours...
All if this together makes for a surprisingly stunning aesthetic!
Its a beautiful combination of whimsy and CREEPY.... but in a good way...
a really good way :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

I want to live in a tree.

I don't know what it is about tree houses that we all love.  Is it because they remind us of our childhood?  Is it because the idea of living atop the trees is of fairytales?  Or is it because its always so impressive to think of a sturdy, structured building amongst the wild unpredictable branches of mother nature?  Either way, these tree houses which were built, to inhabit, as works of art, and some just because, are amazing! And of course... I want to live in them.

This is the image that I came across that inspired me to write about TreeHouses. 

It is by Architect Robert Harvey Oshatz
Wilkinson Residence, Portland , Oregon 
Designed 1997, Completed 2004

Located on a flag lot, a steep sloping grade provided the opportunity to bring the main level of the house into the tree canopy to evoke the feeling of being in a tree house.   A lover of music, the client wanted a house that not only became part of the natural landscape but also addressed the flow of music. This house evades the mechanics of the camera; it is difficult to capture the way the interior space flows seamlessly through to the exterior. One must actually stroll through the house to grasp its complexities and its connection to the exterior. One example is a natural wood ceiling, floating on curved laminated wood beams, passing through a generous glass wall which wraps around the main living room.

Then there's Alnwick Treehouse, UK

This massive structure is a main feature of the refurbished Alnwick Gardens and was opened to the public in early 2005. Alnwick Gardens can be reached from the A1 approximately 50 miles north of Newcastle. The house consists of a large restaurant with an open fire, meeting space and smaller outbuildings, all above the ground. Due to the size of the building, the use of tree support was not practical - instead it is held up with a combination of a huge network of wooden braces, concrete foundations and two concrete towers hidden within the design. There is an expansive deck area and rope bridge loop behind the house, all of which can be accessed by wheelchair.

The build

Alnwick Treehouse was designed, and the build managed, by Napper Architects of Newcastle in 2004. Concept drawings were initially produced by The Treehouse Company (then Peartree Treehouses) and the build itself was carried out by Sir Robert McAlpine.

The walkway joins opposite ends of the treehouse together via two suspension
bridges and one long wooden span which is partially covered.

There's an amazing restaurant in New Zealand called:
 This place is clearly AMAZING a night.

A different approach to the idea of a Tree House

Here's a more traditional but very high one 
Branching out: A spiral staircase leads to a tree house in Rambouillet Forest, France

This ostentatious tree house comes with a house for the adults and the children.

Both house are are connected by a rope bridge, so if you need some peace and quiet you could always burn the bridge!

"Takasugi-an" means 
“a tea house [built] too high.”

and last but NOT's a STEAMPUNK tree house!

There are sooooo many more out there! I never realized how popular building different types of tree houses are until I looked it up! You should too....
Just google it man!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Towards the end of 2008, WITW / Design Studio did the creative direction for the trailer park on the roof of the new Grand Daddy hotel on Long Str.

As the first of its kind in the world,7 vintage Airstream trailers were hoisted onto the roof of a Long Str. landmark The Grand Daddy Hotel (formerly The Metropole), we then invited local artists and designers to design and decorate the interior of one of these trailers.
The concepts ranged from ‘The ballad of John and Yoko’ ( a trailer inspired by the famous ‘bed-in’ staged by John Lennon and Yoko Ono) to ‘For the Love of Lace’.
The artists involved were:
Tamsin Relly
Chloe Townsend
Cara Rosa
Carla Soudien
Sarah Pratt
Tracy Lynch
& Joe Stead
Brigitte Dewberry
Susan Woodley
and Liam Mooney
The park is open for drinks most afternoons, so if you’re in the area go check it out!

Among the coooooolest are the 

"Dorothy" Trailer

The "Love of Lace" Trailer

The "Pleasantville" Trailer

The "Goldilocks and 3 Bears" Trailer

The "Earthcote moontides Airstream"

Here are some of the pictures of outside these magnificent trailer...

I think I might be in love with this whole idea.  
Whoever thought of this is a G.E.N.I.U.S. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sound of Music.

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad


Butterflies are a great way to integrate whimsy into fashion, art...anything really!  I had a butterfly/forest theme for our wedding this past August and it turned out great! (I'll feature a few pics in a later post ;)

In December of 2008 Dior "Homme" had an installation in their Paris store by a young Italian artist named Andrea Mastrovito.

"The project was commissioned by Dior Homme artistic director Kris Van Assche, inspired by his whimsical Fall/Winter '08 collection, which featured butterflies on everything from blazers to t-shirts, and even butterfly-shaped bow ties. Nine thousand black decoupage replicas serpentine across the ceiling and walls of the white boutique, like Hitchcock's birds only less menacing, and much prettier. They'll be around for a month before flying away in the new year."
-Wallpaper Magazine

As the butterflies alight on the walls of my studio, they lead into an exploration of formal, painterly issues. Often, they want to gather into a certain shape, or fly off on a particular tangent, and I let them. They function both as marks in these abstract, three-dimensional “paintings,” and as actors in curious narratives. Some pieces develop a quirky, magic-realist quality, as if a strange child has trained the insects to perform some ritual dance we are not usually privy to. Finally, the butterflies operate symbolically, and I try to develop a conceptual unity between materials, process, and imagery: metamorphosing littered beer cans into flocks of butterflies mirrors the act of transformation and rebirth that butterflies symbolize across all cultures.

Butterflies seem impossible. How can these ridiculously delicate creatures, apparently blown about by the merest breath of wind, actually fly many thousands of miles to migrate? How is it that an innate, intergenerational GPS guides them year after year to the same tree? Are we more like them than we suspect, or could we be?

--Paul Villinski

Pictures courtesy of whorange

I'm also loving these Butterfly Centrepieces

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