I have a dear friend named Trish Bright who owns an amazing venue in Astoria, Oregon called The Bankers Suite. If you recall, a few years ago I created three vintage circus theaters she commissioned me to make for display in the “over the top” decorated ballroom where she held weddings and private events. See those images here. Since then she has switched gears and the ballroom is now Marie Antoinette’s Cupcake Parlor. She serves delicious, flavorful cupcakes and gourmet coffee by Stumptown to lucky Astoria residents and tourists. Trish wanted another piece to celebrate the grand opening and put the final touch on the parlor decor. She once again contacted me to construct another theater in the Marie Antoinettesque theme. This time she wanted the actual Banker’s Suite, a historical building on the Astoria Registry, replicated in miniature and made into
Marie Antoinette’s Cupcake Parlor
She wanted to use it as advertisement and it had to be BIG to get everyone’s attention. Five feet tall to be exact and three feet wide.
This piece is bigger than any I have created to date and required construction skills I had never used before. For instance the base is made of wood and MDF board that is extremely heavy but sturdy. I also used a 5” decorative molding for the bottom that added so much texture and depth.
I don’t want to take all the credit for this piece, to be honest I had to recruit my husband Tim to help me in the actual cutting and construction of the base and sides. He happily pitched in and made some changes to the design that made it more stable and aesthetically pleasing. He also was my sounding board as I thought through the actual construction of the piece, thanks Hun!
I wanted to make the piece dimensional so there is an inside and outside to the piece. Outside you can see people walking along the front of the building…
Pausing at the front door
Stopping to peek in at the cupcakes
And checking out what’s on the menu.
Just standing outside.
Inside you can see the parlor has three different rooms.
The two story entry with it’s silver glittered chandelier.
And shimmering Midori wallpaper.
There is an actual cupcake counter where we see a very beautiful girl serving up yummy confections, above her is shelving filled with more cupcakes and candies. These were all hand constructed out of paper, paper Mache and trim. In fact, I made the counter out of actual embellished silver metal that I cut and sanded down.
Above the counter a framed image of Marie herself, cupcake in hand!
The last room is the actual seating area where we find another lovely lady sitting at the table, perhaps waiting for a gentlemen suitor while enjoying a cupcake.
Don’t they look good!
I created this three dimensional portrait of Marie with the iconic ship tucked into her blonde hair. If you look closely you can see that her hair is made of actual Kashmir roving that is twisted and turned to resemble an up do. The ship is a glittered ship made of paper and silver bouillon wire and trimmed in Dresden.
Another framed image of Marie. The amount of Dresden trim I used on this project was amazing!
This project really tested me. It was a bit daunting at times, just because of the sheer size and the amount of paper, trim, images and construction materials needed. I didn’t know how it would all work together in the end but I trusted it would.
I used an lots of different paper, more than I have ever used. Some I used in big ways…
And others in small ways.
I used some old techniques.
Like the ribbon awning over the front door.
And some new techniques, like the three dimensional Marie…
And large scale wood construction.
Thank you Trish for giving me the opportunity to take on such a creative endeavor. I have to admit I was a bit sad to pack it into your RV and watch it drive down the road. I kinda wanted to keep it for myself. Thanks also to my husband Tim, he always lends a helping hand and reels me in when I stray too far from my personal style encouraging me to go with my gut!
He is also my photographer! So if you are ever in Astoria Oregon stop by
Marie Antoinette’s Cupcake Parlor
and pick up a cupcake and a cup of coffee and let me know what you think of the theater!