Goodbye Yellow Brick Road


A road winding to the top of a North Carolina mountain is the entrance to Oz, a 1970s theme park that closed less than 10 years after it opened. Back when it started, the Land of Oz would attract up to 20,000 visitors a day, but now the Yellow Brick Road is missing some bricks, and the Wicked Witch’s castle is empty.

Grover Robbins developed the Beech Mountain theme park as a way of attracting families to the  resort town. Robbins never lived to see his masterpiece, dying at the age of 50 of bone cancer only six months before  the park was complete. The park opened on June 15, 1970 with Debbie Reynolds making an appearance, along with her daughter, Carrie Fisher. In its  first summer 400,000 visitors came to the Land of Oz.


The Yellow Brick Road wound its way through the park, leading tourists to a replica Emerald City (destroyed in a fire), Dorothy’s house, the castle of the Wicked Witch and the Munchkin village all accurately recreated on over 450 acres.


After a decline in amusement park visitors in the 1970s and a lack of modernization and updates in the park itself, the Land of Oz closed in 1980. The park was left to vandals and decay, but there was enough interest in its restoration that it was eventually restored as a private garden in the Eagle Mountain community built at that property near the top of Beech Mountain.

The park does open to the public one week-end a year in the beginning of October.

Paper Anatomy by Lisa Nilsson


American artist Lisa Nilsson creates anatomical cross sections of the human body using rolled strips of paper, a technique known as quilling or paper filigree. Quilling is a time consuming process in which paper is wound tightly into small rolls of different colors and then positioned to become works of art.  Nilsson is able to choose exactly the right material to imitate the organic structures making each piece appear as real cross-sections of humans and animals.Quilled-Paper-Anatomy-1

The construction is done with  Japanese paper and the gilded edges of old books. Quilling was first practiced by Renaissance nuns and monks who made artistic use of the gilded edges of worn out bibles, and later by 18th century ladies who made artistic use of lots of free time.QUILLL

Fairy Tale Palm Paintings


Based on the fairy tales of famous writers like Hans Christian Andersen, Russian artist Svetlana Kolosova paints works of art on the palm of her hand.


Svetlana Kolosova has always has always appreciated the arts, but taking care of her children and running a household  left her little time to concentrate on her passion. Without the time to work on detailed oil paintings, she replaced oil paint for watercolors and inspired by the stories she had read to her children, she started painting fairy tale-inspired artworks on the most convenient canvas she could think of – her left palm. Except through photography these images are short lived. As of yet no original palm paintings have been sold.


Brian Dettmer, The Book Surgeon


One of Dettmers favorite pieces is “New Books of Knowledge” (above). He had been working on single books and began to experiment with combining multiple books around 2007. This was one of his first projects that combined a complete set of encyclopedias into one single piece.


The artist is best known for his intricate transformations of old books, especially large encyclopedias and dictionaries. After reviewing the contents, working with knives and tweezers he excavates, delicately, page by page, down into the book. He selectively cuts away and exposes sections of each page’s text and pictures to create a three-dimensional sculpture that gives a new interpretation of each book.


Traveling Bookcases

Portable libraries have quite a lengthy history, with aristocrats. Very popular in England and France during the 18th and early 19th century, they often saw use on the European Grand Tour, and were also fairly commonplace among military and naval officers (frequently very well educated, at least in England.)
book lv

One of the most elegant is this Louis Vuitton’s combination steamer trunk and portable library.

book huanghuali02

This is a  huanghuali wood traveling bookcase dates from the early 1600s. The stain really brings out the wood grain, and it look like the doors were cut from the same board. The metal work is also very simple, but together they make a very elegant package. Inside it contains two small drawers and a single shelf.


Lighthouses were often time located in remote areas and as such had no access to city services such as libraries. One of the items the tender supplied was a library box on each visit as pictured to the left. Library boxes were filled with books and switched from station to station to supply different reading materials to the families.

Hobbit House

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. And in Chester County, Pennsylvania, there lived a lucky man who built his own hobbit house. He hired architect Peter Archer to build the 600-square-foot guest building near his home as a storage and display repository for his J.R.R. Tolkien memorabilia. Yes, this guy has an awesome hobbit house in his 16-acre yard just to store his Tolkien collection. The house was built using stones from a collapsed 18th-century wall running through the property, with additional features custom-built to match Tolkien’s drawings.
The 54-inch diameter Spanish cedar door – naturally with a knob right in the center just as Tolkien described – opens with a single hand-forged iron hinge. Several craftsmen said they couldn’t hang the 150-pound door on one hinge but a Maryland blacksmith “succeeded on the first try,” Archer said. A Delaware cabinet-maker built the mahogany windows, including the large arched “butterfly window” – its Art Nouveau-ish flourishes inspired by Tolkien’s own drawings. The roof is covered with clay tiles handmade in France. Inside the small dwelling are curved arches and rafters of Douglas fir. The rustic structure cleverly hides its thoroughly modern heating, cooling, electrical and security systems.

Written Portraits

Each year The Collective Promotion of Dutch Literature organises the Book Week to promote Dutch literature. And every year a specific genre is being profiled. This year the (auto) biography is featured. This is translated in the theme ‘Geschreven Portretten’, which translates in ‘Written Portraits’. Van Wanten Etcetera created the campaign, which show the different faces behind the (auto) biographies. Anne Frank, Vincent van Gogh, Louis van Gaal and Kader Abdolah (writer of the biographic Book Week give away). Souverein made the artwork and did an amazing job creating realistic images. Even the structure of the original book pages was used for the text inside the portraits to get right structure for each portrait.
Concept: Markus Ravenhorst, Maarten Reynen

Artwork: Souverein

Gollum Catches Lunch at Wellington Airport

The muck and pool is nice and cool, so juicy sweet! Our only wish, to catch a fish, so juicy sweet! Well, yes. Exactly. We all know how Gollum liked his lunch, wriggly and raw, but how would you like to be reminded of the fact while you are having yours?

Very much so. This amazing – and huge – sculpture has just been installed at New Zealand’s Wellington Airport. It has been designed by Weta Workshop which designed props and effects for The Hobbit trilogy of movies coming our way very soon. It also gave them the opportunity to not so gently remind people that the country was used as the stunning stand-in for Middle-earth in the movies.

First image credit by Brendon Doran, as are several others from the Flickr Photostream he shares with Keryn. Please visit their website,