Once upon a time, I was browsing through the internet (what else is new) looking for new places to explore in Millbrook, NY. I found a location that immediately caught my attention, “Wings Castle.” The photos looked like my dream home that was built to life (considering that I am a princess in my own head )! As I was looking at all the photos, I had a flash back to this actual castle. I’ve BEEN here before! The photo I found of the moat at Wings Castle brought me back, I remember going to watch a Shakespeare play with a friend here when I was younger. I believe her dad assisted with lighting but I may be wrong. Being a makeup artist that works with tons of designers & photographers, I thought this location would be a golden opportunity to have a shoot. The next day, I was working at the salon when I overheard my boss’s cousin talking to her about her job giving tours at a castle. No way?! Please tell me you are discussing Wings Castle. Yep! She was. I told her to text me the dates she would be working that week. That Sunday, she told me to come on by so me, my boyfriend, his sister and nephew went to take the tour.
This unique “tourist attraction” is not just a castle for Shakespeare plays but the RESIDENCE of the owners and builders Peter & Toni Ann Wing. Peter Wing built ( & is still building) this castle aka his home. Genius. Every nook and cranny of this place had a unique touch of art, down to the tiniest detail. Peter Wing hand placed every stone on the property. The entire castle is made from recycled material. Peter fashioned this incredible medieval castle from modern junk, rubble and garbage that most people would throw out. As you walk up to the castle, no doubt that you will start to believe that you have been transported back in time into a fairy tale in your most unimaginable dreams. After our tour, I asked to meet Mrs. Wing so I could discuss with her my idea of a photo shoot at the castle. She was lovely, showing us more of her home which isn’t open to the public on the tours. To my surprise she said yes for the photo shoot, but instead of any form of payment she asked if I could do her a favor, and “house sit” the castle the following Friday day & night because she & Mr. Wing had an engagement to attend. I know your probably thinking uhh this sounds like a beginning of a scary film, but OBVIOUSLY I was going to take this opportunity… as long as my boyfriend could come as well to protect me incase the scary knight in shining armor in the hallway decided to come alive. 🙂
Back to my dream home! Before Mr. & Mrs. Wing left, Mrs. Wing left me directions with how to welcome guests. They were waiting on guests to arrive to the towers. I didn’t mention previously that this place is also a bed & breakfast. You can stay over night in either “The tower room” or “The dungeon”. Both rooms are so legit! I will definitely make a point to stay here next autumn, when the leaves are changing colors. My boyfriend said he would prefer to stay in the Dungeon Room. It’s very cozy with a double bed. There’s a tiny fridge & coffee maker.. I should add that in this room there is no television or phone (not sure how I feel about that) but it definitely adds character to ” a castle “. After they left, we IMMEDIATELY started our exploration! First off, I want to begin to say HOW INCREDIBLE the view is! Truly breathtaking. You can see about 45 miles out east & west from the highest point of the property. You can see Mt. Beacon which I have hiked numerous times & also see the Catskill mountains. We explored all around outside, there was tons of art. It amazes me how this man masterfully created this “home” with a unique blend of past with present! There is tons of sculpture, stained glass placed into the stone walls, outdoor staircases that are tiny and winding, towers overlooking the castle, moat and view, passage ways through it all. Literally something out of a fairy tale. We wandered all over outside, taking photos and admiring everything. Andrew thought it would be funny to hide and jump out and scare me at certain points… Not funny! We ran back inside to change into our bathing suits and go swimming in the moat. Water was cold but refreshing. I’m usually not much of a swimmer but I was like a little fish in water. There was even a huge frog in the pool, usually I’d scream and get out but again, it just added character to the moat. I was convinced the frog was my prince charming waiting to be kissed. Hah just kidding. There’s a part of the pool .. ehem .. I mean the moat, that goes under the house, like a tiny tunnel which was also neat to swim in. I wish we took more photos swimming but I didn’t want to risk getting my phone wet.
Going back inside, the kitchen is filled with old antiques including their pet parrot, Trudy. I say old antique because Trudy is now 100 years old. Trudy wasn’t too friendly , she was barking at my boyfriend. LOL ! The living room is American Pickers DREAM! So many carvings, collections, art, history, there is not an empty spot from the floor to the ceiling. You could tour this house over and over and still discover something new to admire. There is a stone walkway inside leading to the bathroom which is beautiful! The sink is actually an old bird bath refurbished into a sink. There is beautiful stained glass, a spiral stone staircase, and the bathtub is a huge copper round tub, the water comes out of the mouth of a figure sculpted on the wall. It’s gorgeous arched brickwork is simple amazing.. I still can’t get over how they built such a magical place with their very own hands..
Then the guests arrived. Please don’t be serial killers! LOL The guests were young, very nice, decked out in Burberry outfits. We gave them a quick run around of the castle and lead them to their rooms. We asked them what the occasion was & they were attendees of one of the Johnson & Johnson daughter’s wedding the following day at a local farm. You fancy huh! After exploring & observing the castle it was time to relax. Andrew relaxed watching television on the couch which was a piece brought over from London, as I meditated on the stone wall outside which overlooked the incredible view of mountains, watching the sun set. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt so relaxed or content than I did in that moment. Everything was so peaceful, the nice breeze as the sun went down, the birds chasing each other chirping, the sound of crickets and frogs, a cute cat lounging around… It was perfect.
The whole place is a creative wonder. Now, when I castle sat it was back in the summer, but TODAY was the photoshoot. It was absolutely incredible !! I obviously did all the makeup for the shoot, and my good friend Alyse Camara did all the hair. The shoot was for a calendar that is inspired by the movie Sucker Punch. I haven’t actually seen the movie myself, but I’ll probably rent it tonight because I’m curious.
I worked with a fabulous photographer GianCarlo Fernandez, and an amazing group of girls who I instantly clicked with. As soon as they entered to get hair & makeup I could feel their positive energy. They were so fun, nice, upbeat and pretty. The whole day was filled with laughs and joking. I know I’m not a model (I’m not a size 000 and 6 feet tall) but I filled in as one of the Sucker Punch girls. Each Sucker Punch character has their own different style and attitude. The photos looked awesome, I can’t wait to see all the finished work. For now I’ll post the photos I took on my iPhone.
Rocket was played by Dana. Dana had such great energy. I’m pretty sure she was laughing the whole time since she walked thru the door. She works on the set of NBC’s show Smash with Katharine McPhee.
Sweet Pea was played by Anna. She should be a victoria secret model. lol She’s a polish model/actress that grew up in Germany and is still new to NYC. She’s already worked with actors including Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey.
Johanny played Amber. Johanny, also a beauty, was so incredibly sweet! She is also an actress/model in NYC area. You can check her out at http://johannymota.com
Kristen played Baby doll. I’ve been friends with Kristen & her sisters for over a year now. The whole family is talented. Kristen is living in Manhattan writing films. Her films were featured in festivals in LA.
Dr. Vera Gorski was played by my close friend Chelsea Harris, owner of Salon 52 in Poughkeepsie
& I played Blondie!
Looking at all the photos, you’d think we looked warm but it was 27 degrees outside. We were frozen and I still don’t think I can feel my toes. Regardless of the weather I had so much fun doing makeup and participating in this shoot. I met a group of awesome people and look forward to working with them again! I will post the professional photos as soon as I get them. The makeup was fun! I’ll also have to do another post on all the products I used to create all our characters.
Wings castle is truly a work of art and so magical. I would love to attend another play here. We really fell in love with the castle & even though we did the Wings a favor, I felt honored to have them let us stay at their home, free to wander and explore. Peter Wing is creative, fascinating man. I 100% recommend this tour during the warmer months. I believe it’s a small fee of $12 for adults and $8 for children. You won’t regret it! Tell them Alex sent you, maybe they’ll show you more thats not part of the tour!