The Butterfly Charmer

The Butterfly Charmer by Cindy Adelle Richard

Agatha did not discover her love for the cello until she reached her twenties. She had always been extremely active as a young child and participated in lots of sports; the thought of slowing down to play an instrument never crossed her mind. In college, Agatha’s music theory class took a field trip to a museum, and as part of the experience, the students got to try out lots of different instruments. For some reason, the cello just clicked with Agatha. She had no idea how to play it yet, but it just felt right resting against her body. With the support of her music theory professor, Monsieur Lamb, Agatha found a good cello instructor and started taking lessons in the afternoons after classes.

One day when Agatha and her cello instructor, Mr. Kim, were practicing, they decided to go outside to play because it was too warm inside. By this time, Agatha was quite proficient and could play lovely songs on the cello. As she played, butterflies started to swirl around her – first one, then two, and by the time she finished, there were about 20. Mr. Kim had never seen anything like it. The next day, they came back to the field to play, and the same thing happened. Out of curiosity, Mr. Kim played his cello to see if the butterflies would gravitate toward him, but they just fluttered away. From then on, he referred to Agatha as the butterfly charmer. Whenever she performed outside, day or night, butterflies appeared and fluttered lazily about enchanting everyone present. Agatha loved this spectacle because she had always been fascinated by butterflies. It always made her happy to see that the butterflies enjoyed her music, and she kept them in mind when she started to compose music.

To bring Agatha and her butterflies home with you, visit Etsy

The Jazz Age Style Alphabet

I completed a project that I feel pretty good about called the Jazz Age Style Alphabet. I completed an original watercolor painting and used a calligraphy letter for each one. I thought I might feel pressure or get bored with it, but I liked how much structure it provided in terms of selecting images to focus on for my work. An added bonus for this project was that I learned some things I did not know about some of the people, places, or objects I chose. If you are looking for a great project related to a theme you love, I highly recommend doing an alphabet project and challenging yourself to find unique content. I posted the entire alphabet below – I hope you enjoy it!

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A Modern Gentleman: Dandy Wellington

This blog post is all about the fabulous Dandy Wellington:

Dandy Wellington photographed by Rose Callahan on May 19, 2015 in NYC

I first became aware of Mr. Wellington when I read his profile in the book DANDY PORTRAITS. The book contained the most glorious photographs of sartorially conscious men I have ever seen.

Dandy Wellington photographed by Rose Callahan in NYC on Aug 30, 2012

Mr. Wellington was/is one of my favorites because he puts so much thought and imagination into his clothing choices. He literally dresses like this everyday, and looks absolutely flawless every single time. When he wears great clothes, he owns it by strutting with the best of them and minding his manners as any true gentleman would.

Dandy Wellington by Robin Soko

For him, it is all about a love for elegance and timeless beauty. He seems incredibly charming and prone to put a smile on anyone’s face, especially those of the female persuasion. He also seems like a load of fun – the type of person who wants to make sure that everyone is having a great time.

Dandy Wellington Tumblr

Dandy Wellington studied musical theater at NYU and was born and bred in Harlem, New York. Apart from his clothing, jazz is Wellington’s other great passion. He has a band that specializes in swing and jazz from various decades, and they play in the big band style reminiscent of music that people once heard streaming out of vintage radios. I also love that he has a female bass player (being a female drummer, I am always happy to see females playing nontraditional instruments).

The Dandy Wellington Band

From the videos I have watched of Dandy in action, he is a true blue performer and loves being on the stage.

Dandy Wellington Mulpix

I follow Dandy Wellington on Instagram, and I always make a special point to looks at his pictures and read about his adventures. You can also find him at and you can watch him in action on

Dandy Wellington Seaport Swing

Jazz Age Lawn Party 2016

Hello Jazz Lovers,

I keep saying that I am going to plan ahead so I can make it to this extravaganza each year, but alas, I have not made it yet. At least I can devour these delectable pictures and live vicariously through those who were able to attend. I hope you enjoy these as well.

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Jazzy Finds Winter 2016

Hello Jazz Lovers,

It has been awhile since I posted a Jazzy Finds post, and I certainly have some exciting finds to share with you!

Photo courtesy of the BBC

Photo courtesy of the BBC

There is an updated version of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None which came out in the United Kingdom in 2015. The U.S. version of the DVD will be released this month and I will be one of the first in line to purchase it. For the uninitiated, this is once of Christie’s best stories – ten strangers are lured to an island for different reasons but they soon learn that they have been brought there to pay the price for their misdeeds. The shocking message as to why they are there is delivered by a chilling recording on a Victrola, and then the mayhem begins. I will not tell you anymore than this, but I hope I have peaked your curiosity. Click here for an article by The Guardian and Click here to purchase the U.S. DVD

TORONTO, CANADA - OCTOBER 23:  Ethan Hawke photographed as the jazz muscian Chet Baker for his role in the movie BORN TO BE BLUE which is currently in production.  (Photo by Charlie Gray/Contour by Getty Images)

TORONTO, CANADA – OCTOBER 23: Ethan Hawke photographed as the jazz muscian Chet Baker for his role in the movie BORN TO BE BLUE which is currently in production. (Photo by Charlie Gray/Contour by Getty Images)

Ethan Hawke will play the legendary jazz musician, Chet Baker, in an upcoming film called Born to Be Blue. It is already out in limited release, but it will take a while to make it to local theaters. I have liked all of Ethan Hawke’s films to date, so I have high hopes for this one as well. In a recent interview, Hawke said that he was supposed to play Baker in another film several years ago, but that project didn’t pan out. Click for More Info and Trailer

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

I had the pleasure of seeing and hearing The Harlem Quartet during a live performance at Rockport Music. Their music combines jazz and classical elements in a unique way – the one track that I have listened to more times than I can count is Take the A Train. If you have never heard this group, I would recommend starting with the CD of the same name. Their music is soulful and lively, and they are committed to bringing classical music to all types of communities all over the world. Click to visit website

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Rizzoli Books has published a new book about Duke Ellington that I can’t wait to get my hands on. I am excited about this one because it includes anecdotes and pictures provided by his granddaughter, Mercedes Ellington. It is always a pleasure to hear from family members who really knew the people behind the music.  I mentioned Take the A Train in my previous entry; I believe the Duke Ellington and his orchestra were the first ones to perform this song.  Check out the book here

I have shared some of my favorite options for your listening pleasure. I am curious, what great jazz musicians or songs have you heard lately? I am always eager to expand my playlist.


Jazz Age Lawn Party 2015

Hello Jazz Lovers,

Last year, I posted pictures from the Jazz Age Lawn Party that happened in New York (Governor’s Island) in the hopes that I would remember to attend this year. But alas, I missed it again. This time, I am putting it in my calendar a year ahead of time so I will be ready next year. In the meantime, here are some of the inspiring photos I found after scouring the web to see what the attendees of this year’s party were up to:

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Jazzy Finds: Spring 2015

I survived the winter in New England…barely. I have not felt like doing much of anything except staying in the house, eating, and watching a disturbing amount of cooking shows (meals I will never attempt to make myself because I hate cooking). Well, I did read and write poetry, so I guess you could say I was somewhat productive. As always, I found some great people and places to share with you.

#1 = Wellspring House

Wellspring House

This lovely carriage is called Wellspring House, and it is located in Amherst, MA. I was fortunate to stay here for a week to work on my writing project. This six room house is owned by a retired English professor who wanted to provide an affordable place for artists to get away from their busy lives and work. In addition to having a cozy room with a large wooden desk to work, guests are able to utilize the kitchen, library, and meditation room. I enjoyed conversing with the other house guests when we happened to cross paths in the kitchen. I also explored the little town, which included a hardware store which also serves as a sort of convenience store (they serve ice cream and other things you might expect to find at a gas station) and a charming, one room library which was only open three days a week during very odd hours. My time at Wellspring was productive and relaxing – I highly recommend treating yourself to a retreat such as this if you get the opportunity. Although, you should make sure it looks like the picture above instead of like this…

Wellspring House in Winter


…which is exactly how it looked while I was there. I forgot to mention that we were also able to use the fireplace, and I sidled up to it with a book as often as possible. Check it out here  Continue reading

Jazzy Finds: Fall 2014

The fall is my favorite time of year, especially in New England – apple cider and apple cider donuts, apple picking, fall festivals, and of course, leaf peeping to view the vibrant array of colors on display. Besides my traditional fall favorites, I found some other things to love this fall that I would like to share with you. Let’s dig in.

Museum of Fine Arts Boston – Hollywood Exhibit = I could have spent weeks in this room just staring at these gowns and reminiscing over the film clips playing on the wall.  This exhibit will be up until March; it is worth seeing if you are in the area.

MFA Hollywood

MFA Hollywood

photo 2 (1) photo 3

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Jazz Age Lawn Party – The Crane Estate

I attended a Jazz Age Lawn Party at the Crane Estate in Ipswich, MA, and it was the bees knees! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist)  As you can see, I dressed up for the occasion and so did everyone else.  I truly felt like I was experiencing a lovely afternoon in the 1920s because everyone was dressed to impress, live jazz was playing, and people were dancing the Charleston and Lindy Hop.  You can see the grand old estate in the background.  The lawn extends along a grand alley all the way to the ocean.  I will be posting more pictures of the inside of the Crane Estate from a house tour I attended, but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy these pictures.  I wish you all could have been there!


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Jazzy Finds: Summer 2014

I decided to compile all of my great finds for the month for your perusing pleasure!  I included the pictures and the links (please let me know what you think if you check any of these out):



Salmagundi, a better name would probably be “hat nirvana”, is a wonderful little shop in Jamaica Plain with a BIG selection of hats (about 12,000).  I spent a few pleasant hours in the shop – the shopkeepers were friendly and attentive, they served champagne, and their mission was simple: to find me the best hat to suit my tastes, face, and lifestyle.  I ended up choosing a straw cloche with a black and white gingham hat band; I have worn it twice, and received no less than 20 compliments on each of the occasions I have sported it.  Mission accomplished!

The Hot Sardines (from their website)

The Hot Sardines

I had the pleasure of hearing The Hot Sardines perform with The Boston Pops Orchestra, and I have been an avid fan ever since.  Not only do they play jazzy, New Orleans style music from the 20s, 30s, and 40s, but they also have their very own tap dancer to complement their music.  I purchased one of their CDs at the performance, but I am sure I will purchase more – they are available on their website.

Photo Courtesy of Emily's Vintage Visions

Photo Courtesy of Emily’s Vintage Visions

The Roaring Twenties Lawn Party at Castle Hill

This lawn party will take place on August 3rd at Castle Hill in Ipswich, MA, and I can’t wait to go!  There will be music, dancing, food, vintage vendors, and antique cars – this event is going to be beyond fun.  Did I mention how excited I am?

Photo from Bohemians: A Graphic History

Photo from Bohemians: A Graphic History

Bohemians: A Graphic History

I purchased this book as soon as I saw it – who knew you could make a graphic novel about influential artists from the past?  I am about halfway through the book and I am impressed by what I have read and seen so far: stories about Walt Whitman, Oscar Wilde, and Josephine Baker among others.  My favorite excerpt has been about Oscar Wilde on a tour circuit; it seems that he helped to lay the ground work for author readings as we know them today with his discussions about the ideas presented in his books.  Maria Popova did a wonderful job of summarizing the content of this graphic novel, so please check out the link for more information.