Go with the flow

Hairhopper, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and ink.Did I mention that I have figured out how to make a really decent vegetable stock? Probably not. But I did!

You know how the vegetable stock at the store is kind of weak—not really very flavorful and loaded with salt? That was my impression of what the starting point was. But, thanks to the bounty of root vegetables, the frozen chopped leeks and organic (read majorly flavorful) celery—filling a large roasting pan to the top. I did a big roast last weekend, and then after around 3 hours at 300˚ with lovely crispy brownness—in it went into the big stock pot with water to cover and cook down for another 2 hrs at a simmer. I emptied out all the bits and ends of parsley, of wilted red peppers and the scroungy bottom of the vegetable bin and dumped that all in the pot too (that might be the secret). And voila! Brown deliciousness. Plus, all the soup detrius goes right into the compost bin, so nothing goes in the garbage. Yay and double yay.

Talk about fascinating, I went to Sweet Land CSA yesterday to collect my share. Of course everything was gorgeous—-and there was the centerpiece for many of us, the KALE. Funny thing though was the kale was in a pile of snow in the totes they keep all the produce in. As I was digging through the snow to garner some to take home, my neighbor was happily anticipating how sweet the kale is this time of the year and that to her thinking the snow is what does the trick. Who would have guessed?

In the spirit of new things (Kale being the newest obsession), I have started the Tofu initiative. I like tofu, when I have it out. I like tofu when others make it…but there somehow was fear involved with my giving it a try. No more! This winter launches the tofu initiative, where yours truly will buy tofu, read recipes, and then cook with it…pushing it on the poor souls (read the boys) who then will be forced to eat it and provide feedback. I have been quizzing everyone on how they cook with tofu and yesterday was the first foray.  First off, there is the pressing. Tofu is predominantly water. So, in order to really have a go at something that can compete with meat on a plate, the tofu needs to stand up and not a be a wiggly form. So, one cuts slices (not too thin, not too fat), puts it between towels, and puts weights on it to drain it (much like eggplant). Then I marinated it (ginger, garlic, soy sauce and a teensy bit of sesame oil in the blender to immulsify) for a day. Then onto a greased cookie sheet for around an hour at 300˚ and it was ready to go. I served it with fresh sauteed spinach (from Sweetland)—and you know, it was good. Worth doing again good. And so it begins.

As you can see, the hair obsessed hairhoppers continue. This approach is really fast—and the less I think about them, the nicer and less uptight they are. I like the way this one has Klimt hair, where it flattens out at the top and takes a life of its own, really not related to the head in any way. I am trying to stay discipilined and not get in and over noodle it with shading etc. I like the purity. I am also trying to remember all that Mentor Murray (Tinkelman) would say about women’s noses, and mouths…and I think it is working.  I am also being entertained with seeing how much of the page I can fill with hair…and head and stuff. There is  a ton more here. Again, who knows if it has any other reason than entertainment, but at least that is being provided.

I am getting some traction on a project that frankly, I was dreading (fearing) doing. This dread and stupidity is in my head as I got rolling on it yesterday afternoon and have been enjoying the work, the process and the design. Today I have some spot illustrations I will need to do for part of this project, so it will sing. Enough of putting things off…they get worse when you postpone as my head takes over. Stupid me.

I see my farmers today to see where they want to take their image/symbol. Should be interesting to see what works/doesnt. I have a few more farmers circling…so I will need to get this finished up.

An inch of snow is promised today. Rob is one of the ringmasters at 2300˚ tonight at the Corning Museum of Glass. Ann Gant will be drawing with fire which should be amazing. Alex is practicing at school (prince in training). He is suffering a bit at getting his lines, getting his songs, and the general start up of learning all t his stuff. He fumed a bit a me yesterday (which was good) as he needed to get it off his chest. I am always intrigued to see what ticks him off, and how he deals with it. He is so solid and centered…and young, that the pressure of many things and wanting to be perfect right out of the gate is the prime sweet spot. It can only get easier as he goes.

keeping up--or at least trying to.

New list. New Week. Gotta get going. Lots of pick ups and deliveries. Lots of trips to the post office. New graphics for 2300 degrees at the Museum. Just found this amazing YouTube video of the 2300˚ event which, I must admit, was created at my kitchen table with my hubbie and me just jawboning about "what if"...and all the postcards you see on this film were designed and executed by me. There have been close to 10 years of 2300˚ events with one better than the next--increasing attendance, attention and ability for the Museum of Glass. Plus, they have managed to crash through the age barrier getting the younger executives to engage...and plan their social life around the third Thursday of the month starting at the Museum. There are far more images...one for each and every event (one even got into 3x3's annual show)--so seeing this all jelled is quite amusing, and amazing. But as you know, ideas are cheap--(and plentiful) it is the action, activity and effort that takes jawboning and ideas and makes it real. If it weren't for the amazing team at the museum, it might have stayed an idea. It is their taste, energy, humor and insistence in the event getting better and better which has driven this success. I feel a bit like a proud parent!


Have been crushed by work. Its that time when everyone understands the year is about to end...and they need to get all the work they have shelved for most of the year...done. And we get it...and would love a bit more time to do the quality we want...but hey. It gets done. We all survive. Just with a little less sleep.

Will need to take a day or so off the Memento Mori drawings to work on some Tikis for the Museum of Glass. They are doing a 2300˚ event featuring the famous King Kukulele, and the musical feature will be Fisherman's Vibraphonic Tiki Orchestra--to everyone's delight. The tiki that the Museum is looking for should stem from the Easter Island heads versus the textury fun tikis that inspire folks like Shag etc. There was a cool show in London, the London Luau earlier this year featuring tikis that was a cool starting place. Room to move...and post Momento MOri, there is def a body of work in these guys too. There is a Saint Patrick's day illustration in the mix too. Maybe a little illustrative typography a la Tim Biskup woven with shamrocks and stuff. No leprechauns. A feminine illustration for the LPGA and 2300˚ using golf balls and a Motown musical reference (thats a head buster...I may go fluffy with that). So, I will be posting some of the sketches for your reading and looking pleasure.

Speaking of illustration, check out this month's Thanksgiving Mad Magazine. Our pal Richard Williams truly outdoes himself with the traditional Rockwell image of grandma and grandpa at the table with the turkey...only problem is that their guests are Nichol Richie, Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan and Brittney Spears all embracing their signature sins (drink, children, nudity, etc). Now that I know Richard, his work sparkles with his wit and technique...the job he did was glowing and beautiful. So run to your newsstand. Mr. Williams awaits on the face of MAD.

House of Health has been fun. There is this new breed of Russian Lady. They are the waterwalkers. These ladies gather in one lane of the lap swimming pool. There may be as many as three ladies together. They are neat and tidy and have these lovely, sparkling water shoes on their feet and they chat and walk up and down the lane for twenty minutes or so. Up and back, back and forth. Some of these ladies have a tough time walking and moving outside of the aquatic environment. In the water they are graceful and happy. It takes the passion and intensity of the superswimmers down--as they are there, having a nice chat, keeping a dry hairdo--but moving and getting a bit more flexible in the wonderful medium of the water in the pool. the superswimmers have a passion and intensity that I love watching as these are folks that do not kid around. There are wonderful tattoos on the superswimmers from flora to a lovely bouquet of keys on one individual. There are goggles and caps...the nicest cap which is a pearly, white/silver from another planet. I am thinking there is a series of pictures of swimmers with caps and goggles...tight crop --portraits to really define it...of all sorts of people. Maybe call the body of work, "Bathing Beauties". Nice creamy mats. Cool palette using a bunch of semi off, acid-y colors.

Need to get plans squared away before Tgiving. We are off the join the clan don the Burg. Primantis in order. Tom promises something rootsy on the Northside. The cousins will convene. We will deliver 80% of the Christmas presents too. Rolling Rocks and Iron City awaits. Yikes!

Enough of this rambling. Need to do some file correction and a little research on CD sleeve production.