Will moves so fast that anyone watching from the shore would only see a blur when he glides by in his trusty canoe. He canoes early in the morning before others get on the lake so he can go as fast as he chooses to go. He is not interested in competitions; he just enjoys being out on the lake slicing his canoe through the water as dawn breaks just beyond the pine trees. While he is moving, he does not think about anything – he just enjoys the quiet, calming sounds of nature.
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!
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
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…
…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 http://www.wellspringhouse.net Continue reading
The second season of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries was just as fabulous as the first season. Phryne Fisher wore the most spectacular clothes while going under cover as a fan dancer, keeping a séance under control, investigating the murder of a famed race car driver, helping an Aboriginal prize-fighter to clear his name, keeping her friends safe at a creepy chalet during a snow storm, and much more. You will not be sorry if you take the time to watch Phyrne in action. I am thrilled that this show is being renewed for a third season after a public uproar by the fans (they tried to cancel it, but Miss Fisher’s fan base was having none of it). Until you get around to watching this series, feast your eyes on these fantastic pictures:
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 http://hotsardines.com
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.
The Roaring Twenties Lawn Party at Castle Hill http://tinyurl.com/km36v5j
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?
Bohemians: A Graphic History http://tinyurl.com/pru5x3g
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.
I just spent some time pouring over pictures of this year’s Jazz Age Lawn Party at Governor’s Island in New York, and I have to say, I really hate that I missed this one! Besides the lovely suits and dresses donned by participants, there were vintage vendors, picnicking on the lawns, and entertainment in the form of dancers and big bands. Basically, it seemed like Gatsby nirvana! There are some other opportunities to get in on these type of fun events if you missed this party – there are two twenties themed events coming to the North Shore of Massachusetts on July 27th:
Roaring Twenties Lawn Party (Ipswich, MA)
Concours d’Elegance (Beverly, MA)
In the meantime, I am posting lots of pictures to keep you occupied until the real events happen. Enjoy! Continue reading
I spent my birthday in Newport, Rhode Island, touring five of the opulent mansions. I am glad that I chose not to visit all of them in one day because it would have been far too overwhelming. I stayed overnight at a charming bed and breakfast in the neighborhood and took my time getting out and about the second day. While I enjoyed all of the mansion tours, there is one mansion that has captured my heart and that I return to every time I visit Newport – Rosecliff. I love Rosecliff for many reasons, but its elegance and simplicity are chief among them. I decided to write this post to share some of my favorite tidbits about this mansion. Continue reading
I recently finished reading “I Am Dandy”, a singular and exquisite chronicle of modern-day men who dress as gentlemen and live exactly as they choose regardless of the prevailing “norms” of their culture. One of the men interviewed in the book, Mr. Victor Allen Crawford III, summed up the concept beautifully:
“Contrary to conventional wisdom, the dandy is not merely a preening, vacant popinjay; for in truth, he is a preening, thoughtful popinjay. Dandyism pertains to more than the wearing of clothes: it is a way of being, a philosophy. The dandy’s attire is but an outer expression of his inner refinement – the delicate glass that holds a finely crafted wine. The dandy is the focus of his own artistry; his dress, manner, speech, and mind are his palette. Because of his strong desire to become what Oscar Wilde dubbed “a living work of art,” the dandy is a creature often compelled to seek communion with the exquisite, the inanimate, and the serene.”
In addition to thoughtful interviews with fascinating men, there are tons of immaculate photographs by Rose Callahan. Rose also runs a blog called The Dandy Portraits which I subscribe to and I always look forward to her features. The author of this work, Nathaniel “Natty” Adams is the first picture featured below. Enjoy these pictures and make sure to check out the book and Rose’s blog.
I have been drooling over videos and pictures from the Jazz Age Lawn Parties held on Governor’s Island in New York for years. I must attend one of these parties (I am officially adding it to my bucket list)! I hope you enjoy these videos featuring dances called the “Shag” and the “Charleston”:
I attended an antique car show on July 28, 2013, at Endicott College. I fell in love with a few of the cars, but the one that truly captured my heart was a red, black, and cream-colored model from the 1920s. I am horrible at remembering the makes and models of cars – I just know I like it when I see it! One day I would love to own one of these beauties; it would be wonderful to take a leisurely Sunday drive along the coast in one these cars. In addition to the car show, I attended a fashion show and took a tour of the Misselwood Mansion. I thought I would share a few of my pictures to inspire you to take advantage of antique car shows happening in your area. Check out the website for more details and photos http://endicott.edu/concours.aspx