Brooklyn Bridge from my window.

Saturday we got going with Gloria to get to NYC to visit Alex during parents weekend. We are not big parents weekend type parents—as I do not play well in groups…and eating potato salad and small talk with people other than my child is not top of my list when it is wrapped into a five hour drive. So, our idea of parents weekend is that we grab our kid and go do something fun and a bit spoiling as we are parents, and that is what we can do. So, in the spirit of spoiling Alex, we got going around nine…to get Gloria to a friend of her’s house in the city to visit, allowing us to get to Hempstead in time to have dinner with Alex.  We dropped Gloria off in NYC and then Rob decided we needed to eat something as it was late afternoon, and we hadnt eaten since Ithaca.

Radegast Hall and Biergarten, Williamsburg, NYIn the tricky way he has, he took me to Radegast Hall and Biergarten. Turns out, it was packed as it was one of the three full blast Octoberfests this amazing place was celebrating. Radegast Hall comprises of three different rooms: an open classic Biergarten with long shared tables and benches; a smaller, more cozy dark room, and an enormous bar—also dark that abbuts the Biergarten. This place was jamming, with oompa music and beer flowing. They had two grills going with an offering of all sorts of sausages (Venison and Kielbasa were what we picked) which came with a very delicious mild sauerkraut and the whole mess was plopped onto a bed of fries. There were people on top of people—some with funny beer drinking hats, a few in liederhosen and my favorite was the Williamsburg Hipster take on liederhosen—the same outfit made out of cutoffs and denim. Hilarious! Brilliant!

We had a nice schnellembus and then booked out of there to visit Mast Brothers chocolate (next door) and the Brooklyn Art Library (I have a sketchbook there). Mast Brothers is sublime—and warm and wafty. You are hit by the rich chocolate perfume as you enter the big retail and manufacturing floor—enveloped the scent and what it promises. Mast Brothers makes handmade chocolate bars (they make it in front of you), wrapped in beautiful papers and sealed with a tipped on label—very bookbindery—very eriudite but approachable. Mast Brothers had a strong use of small and wall blackboards in their display, teaching illustrations of what they do, and how they do it, nice tips on how to use the chocolate, and of course samples on big boards that they chopped up for us to try from nibs to a salted chocolate. They had wonderful big baking bars, to little packages 3 or 5 bars which made the per piece price quite concievable. Mast Brothers have a real grasp on their brand dna, and really stay true to it.

The same with Radegast….it is so good there that one might not believe that this place has not been here since german beer was created.  The look is so old and ancient with lots of old seeming wall graphics, signage all int german (truly a fake job) and the way it is staffed and organized it is pure, beliveable theatre…not Disney entertainment, but the read deal. You are in Germany only it is right across the East River.

Birthday Cake made from used sweaters, Williamsburg, NYWe looked at the stores nearby and I was stunned by the originality, fun, and sheer arty energy that was happening in this neighborhood. There was a great and smart childrens store that had three crazy cakes (one to the left) made out of recycled sweaters (a new upcycled product) along with a plethora of cute character illustrations, handmade kids stuf, fun fun fun. There were folks just selling antiques and curated “stuff”. There are mini factories/showrooms for furniture and housewares—all approachable, all handmade and all at a very nice level of craft and finish.  Lets just say it, i fell in love with Williamsburg—and hope there will be many visits in the future.

After that little foray, we got into the car and zipped (via a new way that talkin’Tina (our name for the Garmin girl) took us that was pretty and not odd and scary that sometimes we go (with lots of winding through neighborhoods and by the Belmont Racetrack.

We found Alex just absolutely amazing and agreed to pick him up after the free Snoop Dog concert to bring him into the city for a day of as he put it “hanging out and drinking coffee with you guys”. So Rob and I went to the Hicksville LI Ikea to look at lighting fixures (a favorite), sofas and light bulbs (Rob’s passion). It was fun to find IKEA and get the lay of the land out there relative to Alex and his perceptions of where he is, and what is there…plus, we burned time in a very productive way. I think we are close to picking a door style for a new kitchen we will be putting into the Camp House. Simple but nice (wood doors too). Around 8:30 pm, we gathered Alex (after seeing his room, meeting friends and seeing him in his new environment), and drove back to the city to have a late dinner and sleep. Long and full day.

Sunday was the coffee and talking.  We toured the food vendors by the Seaport with our favorite, Joe Mozze--offering up a range of cheese and deliciousness. There was a man shucking oysters and prepping raw sea urchins with a tub of shiny black eels at his feet ready to take home. Across the street was the amazing, New Amsterdam Market—a farmers market under the overpass—with such an amazing selection of food, bread, things to eat, handmade bicycles, teeshirts. High high quality. They have a series of events that I need to relate to my farmers and producers as the exposure is so enormous. The programming around having certain events or foodtypes featured is something we can take advantage of at our market—to supplement the movie nights and other things that we use to bolster the attendance/sales at the market.The New Amsterdam Market hasan inspired set up (simple white signs with black lettering) with a big chalkboard underneath for the vendors to do with what they will).We went over to the Meatpacking District to see what was on sale at the Vitra Design sale this year. Nothing that made us crazy with delight, but as it started to rain, we ran for cover in the Standard Hotel and had a snack at the Standard Plaza, the most casual of their eateries. It was so nice just being able to talk with Alex, to really check in on how his new life was going (beyond expectations from our viewpoint), how he is navigating being independent, his new friends, new observations and his new structured life. I am beyond delighted. We drove him back to Hempstead with lots of talk and laughing—and he noted that he was referring to his school as his home, and that maybe he has decided that he was going to stay for a while. Oh, I miss my boy…but in the same vein, I am so proud he is at it, working hard, settling in, making friends and building community. He is a treasure that I am so lucky to have in my heart.

blingy thingiesMonday was my birthday! Rob gave me the best present! It was spending the day with me. We went to see a few findings shops I wanted to see for the gemeralds I have been making. I thought that coming to the source in NYC might rock compared to my shopping online and using those resources I have uncovered. How wrong was I? Good knowledge—but I can do it cheaper with more choices on line—without the hassle and attitude (which is fun, sometimes) that NYC layers on. But, I had to do this just to learn this. I was overwhelmed instead by the zillions of bead stores for little ladies to make little things. And of course, the blingy of the blingiest….from cellphone (amazing decoden stuff) and ipad cases to complete shops of wedding crowns and tiaras. Love that stuff, but just didnt have the patience to go deep yesterday. Instead we took in a perfect NY day in Bryant Park—watching people play ping pong and chess; adoring the reading room al fresco; amazed at the succoh that was set up to celebrate the harvest; and inspired by the classes that were taught at the library (the most sublime was a course in writing your college essay). All easy…all attainable..and all transferrable to our little Ulysses Philomathic. Hmmmm.

Rob and I toured this amazing Japanese store, Kinokuniya opposite Bryant Park—with books and gifts, Manga and Japanese office supplies…and then had lunch at the restaurant there….admiring the scene. Fun. We did some more shopping (getting him a really cute blazer) and saw the new Benneton Pop up shop in Soho. Drinks at Bread and dinner around the corner. It was such fun. I will be back in the saddle tomorrow a.m. but wanted to say hi before doing something neighborhoody here. We leave around 3. Maybe I can knock out a pair of fingerless gloves on the way home? 


Alex Cassetti, August, 2012, on the back porch, Q. Cassetti.As I have mentioned before, the new parents are not handed a care and feeding manual when  leaving the hospital to prepare them for the new life ahead. However, many parents despite the lack of information, learn how to parent, learn how to raise/ praise/ reward/ and grow these little beings they have been blessed to foster. I was one of those people who were surprised into parenthood. The time with these remarkable people sped us through almost two decades…so that time before kids is my B.C/ A.D. And just as quickly, the time changes…as they need to go on, and bridge into their own lives with our support and coaching, but not as core players.

Alex is gone and now is situated at Hofstra, being enlightened by the diversity of people, the joy of a new community of like souls, and the freedom of choice, freedom of time, and self focus. He was just a wee bit tentative, but as we were saying our goodbyes, he turned to both of us and said ” I think I am already homesick. You know, I had it really good in Trumansburg.” Just when I thought he took it all for granted, just as he was getting ready to plunge into the unknown, he had the grace and inspiration to gift us with that wonderful sentiment. Not only did he appreciate living in this charming little town, but we loved having him here with us. It has been a remarkable two years allowing us time with him as our only child with Kitty at Hampshire.

We became a new team watching sports with Alex and loving every minute. We took him out to see bands we thought he would like. We had weekly bro-fests with his friends—with food, video games and gossip. We had boy sleepovers and cast parties. We had sausage fests and cross country events. We had sports banquets and musical performances. We had Prince Dauntless and Ike Skidmore. We were treated to Alex’s back seat comedy impressions and hilarious serenades from musical theatre. We froze squirrels for Elly. We went on double dates with Alex and Elly—movies, dinners, pizza. We drove all over. We shopped and planned and talked. We were there for each other. You can guess it, I miss him.

After leaving him to start this new chapter, it took me the better part of three days of being silent to process this change. Not only did Alex have a new world, so did Rob and I. We had a nice life before kids, 12 years of just us doing what we wanted to do together. We traveled. We lived in different places. We had friends (albeit nothing like the life we have now). But this amazing two decade slide from Q and Rob as couple, to Q and Rob as parents, has changed us as the team that we are. We too, have changed and continue to evolve.

It makes me nuts that having your children leave is called having an “empty nest” as the grown birds never return. I was musing on that during the last lake float that I had—and it dawned on me that Rob and I were bookends for our family. We are on the left and right, with just the right amount of space between us to accomodate two delightful books that need a bit of help to stand up. The bookends squeeze the books just to allow them to be vertical— keeping the binding and the paper in the best possible way. When the books are borrowed or are no longer between the bookends, they keep that same space, waiting for it’s  purpose to come back…to support, to accomodate those publications. That is where Rob and I are. We are the bookends, holding the space for Kitty and Alex…and we should learn to scootch together for the time they aren’t here, so we can support each other and relearn our new role as US, versus as the parent role that we have assumed.

The High School is back in session. Everyone has moved forward a grade…and my boy has moved forward too. Its going to be a wild ride for him from now until Christmas—and the work will be hard. I know he can do it. I have to watch from the sidelines and cheer—even if he cannot hear me.


Soon to be for Sale at Qtoo on Etsy.The gang have gone to the Big Splash event in Stewart Park and I am blissfully washing towels, charging my iPad, making coleslaw and thinking about the iconic aspects of roses. It was similar yesterday—and I revelled in not having deadlines, plans or schedules. It was just nice being….reading, and at the end of the day floating…until the Bros came over and I made a nice but pretty informal and quick dinner to entertain them.

I am making these cameos (see to the left) and shooting pictures on my windowsill with a point and shoot and then using the photoshop skills (once in a while this sort of thing is nice to really have chops in)—to create images to post to Etsy for the soon to be Qtoo Shop. There will be jewelry and tattoos, cards, and sticker sets, and of course, tattoos. The more I think about Q designed/ illustrated tattoos (particularly the big ones) I think there is a cool niche that could happen not only as one offs, but for wedding parties, anniversaries, etc. And, the darker the better though seed package art might make some cute tats as well.  Both Alex and Rob are not enthused about this, but it is keeping my mind off of where my head is these days with the travel and changes about to happen.

I must be a bit depressed, I think, from the change in the near future. No more kids full time. You have them, raise them and put them first in all you do from cash spends to time spends— and then, they are gone. I am sounding selfish, I know—but when “THEY” give you the baby to take home from the hospital, “They” do not give you a book on how to nurture and raise this person, what to watch out for, how to behave, how to react, how to plan, how to care. “They” do not give you a roadmap of the key “decision diamonds” (corporate speak, impressed?) on this persons path from zero to eighteen. And as we adults stumbled, and fumbled, our little ones raised themselves with breakfast, lunch and family dinners, with little vacations and time at the lake, with the picking and loving of pets, music, art and books on tape to become the fledglings that are leaving our nest…and with that my fear the bumpy road ahead. Why is it that I hesitate in trusting this person who I trust implicitly? Why is it that  I fear for their personal fumbles? Why is it that I worry about the unknown? What can I do to help my fledgling get out of the nest and point his head into the wind to soar? I worry at this change—and am at the same time puzzling over all the new time I will have to be selfish with. More time for pictures. More time to date my boyfriend husband. More time to get myself together. It could be a wild marvel and opportunity and I should try to focus on that than the fear and trepidation I have for my kids. Number One is flying. Number Two is ready….He just needs to jump…and I need to let him (and applaud!). I need to treasure the time I have with them together in the next few weeks and then try to let go. I think I can do this…. I know they can. Deep breath.

Fast and Furious.

Street art, NYC, Q . Cassetti, 2012Last Thursday, Rob and Alex roared down to NYC after a ribbon cutting to pick up Kitty and her possessions after being ousted from Alumni House at FIT. She peacefully stayed in the downstairs sewing room,  I joined them Friday evening after riding the lovely Cornell Campus to Campus bus leaving Ithaca at 6 and promptly getting into NYC in less than 4.5 hours. No stops…quick as can be. I sketched out possible tattoos I want to sell ( “Until death do us part”, and Lucky 13) on Etsy. It was fun…and a really nice break for me. Rob, Kitty and Alex waited up for me, and we had a late dinner at the River Cafe, NYC.

Rob and Kitty had the weekend on Governors Island with GlassLab. So, Alex and I had two days to ourselves. So, he and I walked up Bowery to the New Museum to see two very thought provoking shows(Ghost in the Machine  and Pictures from the Moon: Artists Holograms 1969-2008)that we both really enjoyed seeing and seeing together. The Ghost s how spoke more to me with imagery from paintings from the 20s, to interpretations of literature, music and embroidery, to how people interact with technology to interface with nature (stratosphere suits, cars, bikes, airplanes, diving bells, sailboats, submarines, spacesuits, rockets etc). Lots of kooks and kookery….but challenging none the less. Alex looked at things I blew by…and thanks to him, I really saw the show through his eyes and his total appreciation of the sublimely abstract. Sol Lewitt is a favorite of his. Wall graphics, tattoos and renaissance art top my list…but you know that. I like a lot of stuff. The New Museum is an amazing space with a great shop with very edgy things, a good selection of books and just enough to pick through. Then it was off to a this and that lunch at the Fiat Cafe (which Alex proclaimed as “perfect”). We ordered an antipasto, some fresh mozz, and a few bruschetta. Alex was in heaven.

We did a tea tasting at David’s Tea, a canadian chain that approaches tea the way gourmet food is sold with tastings, smelling, and customer education. Alex and I had Note: Babyfood type jars, clear with black screen printingfun chatting with the Tea Barista—enjoying his candor and wit. Smart people work for Davids.We bought some green tea that seemed palatable and not like a concoction of grass clippings. We did a walkthrough at Dean and Deluca with my taking pictures of things to bring home to my local foodies. Cupcakes and cookies are the rage…with less focus on fresh produce and more on meat/cheese/ bread and condiments. The funniest thing we saw was a granola called “Hippie Chow”. What a hoot. Low key packaging that is standing on humor to get the buyer to reach for the first package. Then hopefully, they “get em”.

Lots of clear glass or plastic packaging with single color (black or white) screenprinting on the front. The Yogurt to the right is an example of what we saw a lot of (including an heirloom tomatoe sauce, McClure Pickles etc). Lots of food with minimal/kraft paper packaging. Just to keep it in the front of our local food nation packaging. Nothing feels custom (even though much of it is)—but a clean humility is kind of the aesthetic that is presented by the hopelessly hip. There is a celebration of basics too( flour, salt, sugar)—that seems to be new.

Then, we shopped for shoes and nipped into exclusive mens stores for fun and to see what was cool. We got some Birkenstocks for Alex on sale as his were hand me downs from Rob and the bottoms were peeling off them. And then we got back to the hotel to meet the other two and see a little Olympics with my guy.

Untitled Restaurant at The Whitney with Kusama sculpture above the space, Q. Cassetti, 2012Sunday was Metropass day with mother and son. I showed him the difference in express and local trains. I pointed out the crosstown buses and how it works. We changed lines from the green to the yellow to the red…piecing together a ride to get from one point to another…helping Alex to realize that this is a skill he will have when he visits NYC from Hofstra. It was good to give him that time and point up. I worry about my kids…and Alex is alway reticent to get “out there” and try new things. Hopefully, the subway will not be one of those scary things he will not try.

Sunday was also another Q and Alex museum experience: The Whitney with see the  Yayoi Kusama show. Alex and I waited in line for well over an hour to just get tickets and then scored 2 of the free tickets to see the special installation of Fireflies on the Water. It was interesting as the Kusama show was another styles company sponsored art event (with crossover installations at the Museum and at the Louis Vuitton shop) mirroring the show we saw at the Temporary Contemporary Gallery in LA, the monumental show of the work, product, videos of Takashi Murakami.  Kusama is a product of her time—with self sponsored art events in Washington Square—very much in the Yoko Ono mode…with Murakami not riding on top of this style piece but integrating with it…and embracing it in his art.  but, it was a big show…and fun to see the work with Alexander.

We also saw a bit of the Whitney collection including a wonderful Walton Ford Turkey, and the Alexander Calder circus. Alex was a great companion—and seemed to take a lot in. From the Whitney to Aldo to get a pair of “real shoes”—something that spans birkenstocks and boat shoes…but isnt too dressy. So we got some dark blue “bucks” which he was delighted with. He must have tried on a dozen pairs of shoes to get to this decision…but we made a choice, and he was and still is charmed. Then, more subway time…to get to Peck Slip for the five o’clock looksee of the Olympics and to wait to meet up with Kitty and Alex.

Garmento, Q. Cassetti, 2012We met them at the Stone Street Tavern, a big beergarden in lower Manhatten.  The area the Stone Street Tavern occupies is shared with a half dozen restaurants and spans a small, wide alley that teams with people eating and drinking under huge umbrellas and european picnic tables. It is so curious the way beergardens have popped up all over NYC and Brooklyn—and how finally, New Yorkers are taking advantage of the big sidewalks and the culture around hanging out, out of doors. This is the kinder and gentler New York that we didnt live in…and welcome the change.

Monday, Kitty, Alex and I shopped for fabrics and trims in the Garment District in the morning. We saw beads and baubles, gold boullion, and embroidery, buttons, and bag trimmings, clasps and zippers, spandex and sparkles, sequins and feathers, mens suiting, and fishnet. We bought yards of spandex printed like a newspaper, a few yards of a lovely printed material with a Mary Blair style border, and a spectacular ombre that is a gradient from mustard to liliac and then back to mustard….with cream as part of the blend. More subway riding…back to the hotel to meet with Rob as we had Hempstead on the schedule to get Alex to his first Hofstra Orientation. And so we did.

We discovered that instead of Hofstra being on the edge of an edgy neighborhood, it turns out that Hofstra is on the edge of a gorgeous perfectly named area, Garden City. We found the Mineola train station and the Hempstead bus station—thanks to Rob knowing that we needed to center Alex in the neighborhood. We found his adorable dorm on campus, and got him registered for the early morning start with new classmates. We discovered a phenomenal restaurant in Garden City, Waterzooi, a belgian restaurant known for mussels, beer and waffles…Boy howdy, we are definintely going back there! It is a soup and shellfish thing…that we all basically took baths in. Alex was on time the next morning—with Hofstra cutting things off at exactly 8:45 a.m. to prevent the helicopter parents from  hanging on. Once again, I am always thrilled and happy with the way Hofstra does business along with the really nice and smart people we always meet.

It was chop chop on Tuesday after the drop off. We got in the minivan to get to the Governors Island Ferry to get over to pick up a half dozen totes filled with GlassLab product, sketches and models.  We got back on the ferry and high tailed it home.

We are home…for now. Alex is on the noon bus to Ithaca from Hempstead…and he figured it out! I have Farmers Market meeting this p.m. and then the home team for dinner….or at least, that is what I hope.


Farmers’ Market Mercantile on Main Street, Q. Cassetti, 2012Grassroots came and went. It was a few hot days and a few moderate days with nice music, an opportunity to visit with Kitty and Alex and friends, and the chance to see some of the sidebar activities which I now think improves the Grassroots experience (at least for me). I met a lovely person new to the community who knew me from my blog and work (which was a bit undoing as she had the pulse on the here and now of what was going on with my life). We saw all sorts of old Trumansburg friends, and made friends with folks we knew but really had a chance to talk and engage on a different level. The Horseflies were amazing as was Jenny Stearns (with Leah and Amelia being part of the Fire Choir). We loved Mary Lorson’s set in the Cabaret Hall…and the pick up music in the new beer garden (for this year). The Stringbusters arrived on their own and played an unscheduled gig to all of our delight. Plus, it was really nice just hanging out with my boyfriend…and taking it all in. I am so blessed with such a great companion and hubby.

I am immersing myself in folk art. Gotta get going on some images, and need a trigger, a push to get it going. I have been sidetracked by the cameos and plan on getting them to Etsy soon to move it from a crazy obsession to a cash factor. They are beautiful and by combining different charms, they begin to tell little stories that I am enchanted by. Stupid, I know, but none the less charmed.

I am looking at Alexander Girard and books from the Girard collection of the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe and hoping that this will force my hand to move and ideas to flow. We will see. If not, the funny tattoos I am doing for a few bands will have to be the trigger to do more work…even if it is a body of tattoos just to get really good at it. They have been fun as I can use all the cool tools I love in illustrator, and work with making the type really sing. Who knows, I could be on the train…and not realize I have left the station. Plus, there are more 1 hour portraits to do. The newest Lincoln is at the top of the page here>> Next one, Susan B. Anthony.

Another flurry begins tomorrow. Just to confirm, no one ever said this was going to be the most relaxing summer on the books. Matter of fact, it is right up there with the nuttiest.

Alex and Rob leave tomorrow p.m. to pick up Kitty to evacuate (“check out”) of her dorm in Manhattan. The FIT folks were inflexible (but maybe that is okay as Kitty didn’t get clarity on when she needed to be gone. The last thought she had was well into August, so we planned accordingly). Kitty will be sitting in the lobby with her stuff until the boys can come and get her after the ribbon cutting Rob is participating in at the Museum tomorrow a.m.

I will follow end of day on Friday on the sublime and fabulous Cornell bus (Campus to Campus), getting into NYC at 10:30 p.m. We will have the weekend in NYC with Kitty and Rob working on Governors Island with GlassLab. Alex and I are free so we may do a little “be in the city” tutorial with map reading, location identification, and subway/bus riding. I offered up a few options and surprisingly, this was the one that struck Alex as fun…or maybe not fun, but the right thing to do given his new status as Hofstra student. Then Monday, get Alex out to Hempstead to have a 3 day orientation at Hofstra.

We will bring Kitty home—and have Alex take the coach back from Long Island to Ithaca for the first time. He is not liking that idea very much…but hey, we cannot be a prince forever.  Time to grow some wings….who knows, he might like it. There are direct buses from Hempstead to Ithaca…so it cannot be that bad..unlike the chutes and ladders Kitty needs to climb in order to get home to Central NY.

We will all be together again next Thursday/Friday…and maybe we can have a few weeks of being together, enjoying each other’s company, the lake, the cloud bowl, our pets, our ideas and thoughts. This time will be a treasure…bliss. Looking forward to it.


Alex Cassetti, June 21, 2012, Graduate, Charles O. Dickerson HS, Q. Cassetti, 2012Simply madness. I have been at it so much that I havent had a chance to say hello. I am so sorry for being such a deliquent, but these things happen as I am sure you know. Running and running. Work and filling in the gaps with driving, going to the grocery store, and trying to keep up with all the extras that are out there.

There have been family health issues (large scale under our roof) and of course layered on it was a visit from Kitty, and a graduation for our boy, Alex. Graduation was great. Alex was so happy, just plain bursting with it—and the relief and joy in the recieving of his diploma was palpable. It is a real smile you see in this perfect picture of a graduate. He was delighted to have accomplished this, delighted to be with his friends and family, and delighted to move on. So, the moving on has started and we have pencilled in his Orientation, his  tests and prework, his doctor’s paperwork, moving the transcripts etc. We are moving the show from Trumansburg to Hempstead, LI.

The tenor guitar is ordered and should be here by the end of the week. He is tickled pink with the idea that I got him the guitar versus the watch he kept telling us he needed to recieve (somehow that is all wrapped up in his “old fashioned boy” thing he has in this mind). The “old fashioned boy” was a thing he did as a kid, where he would wear antique newspaper boy hats, type on a manual typewriter, carry a pad around his neck to keep notes on, and want to wear vests and ties. He has this idea that being  the “old fashioned boy” (his term) was somehow befitting breeding and intelligence. Same thing with the watch. He told us that if we gave him a watch for graduation, he could wear it when he got married and then he could say that he got it from his parents at his HS.graduation. I say phooey on that stuff. Get a tenor guitar, learn to play it and tune it a zillion ways and be happy. Then you can play your guitar at your wedding and say “This is what I got for my HS graduation, and look at what I can do!” . And my old fashioned boy grins, smiles and prods me for when it will deliver. I expect a song!

Kitty and Kira, June 21, 2012, Q. Cassetti.Kitty was talking a mile a minute about everything that she has processed for the past three weeks. Lets put it this way, FIT has been amazing money well spent. She is revelling in sewing, and puzzled and inspired by the draping course she is taking. She gets it…and is pushing herself to try new things, go beyond what is being assigned in class. She is delighted by slopes, grades of muslin, all the measurements and dimensions one needs to add or subtract, the import of a puffed sleeve….and so on. She is puzzled by “real girls”, what they do for fun, the need to curl their hair, zebra patterns and high heel decorations, hot pink and nail decals. She is puzzled by the club scene, by the inability for people to see the world as she does—and the pronounced focus she has on gender identities and roles that Hampshire so happily celebrates. It is a bit unnerving for her, but as part of a balanced education, she is getting a whole lot of something from the polar extreme of the Pioneer Valley.

I have to go. I have some driving to do to get Alex and Elly to a graduation party. Then its Farmers Market (#3) and we have people to see, photos to take, Kimchi and mustard to buy. Then, hopefully, it will be a glorious time in the later evening lakeside with the fat bumblebees, magenta sweetpeas, and a blazing sunset. Tomorrow, my friends.

Black with a touch of color

Find Alex in the Black and touch of color, Choral Concert, June 2012, Q. CassettiI am feeling quite myself after the weekend of just being a lunk, sleeping, doing a bit of cooking and reading. Totally veg. Last week hit hard with our friend Paul leaving us, and lots of stressful action around 2 Camp Street. But today after all of that, I am feeling a bit snappier, happier and able to put the left foot in front of the right to keep onward. The giant pitcher of unsweetened sun tea is helping too…with the 90˚, high humidity day we are being treated to.

The apples are sad this season, but to make up for our longings, the strawberries are bursting out the gate…and they are being picked as fast as can be at the You Picks…and more keeps coming on. Great promises for raspberries. I got a bag full of basil at the CSA (SweetLand) and have a tub of pesto that sandwiches and all other sorts of things are eaten with. Alex is in heaven. Basil is my absolute favorite (fields upon fields on it in my heaven along with rosemary and lavender).Sugar Snap peas are up too, and ready to pick. Yay! Hurray….the early summer fun begins.

I bought a dozen pink poppies and a half dozen white poppies along with a variagated and a red coral bells. Also bought a hanging plant that is chock full of little yellow cherry tomatoes. What fun!

Update: Princess Kitty in NYC. Well, she is getting hit with it and lovingit….from the totally girly girl roommate, to the work work and hard work that FIT is throwing her way…and she is bouncing along quite well thank you. She is writing a blog on Tumblr, and though she is a bit racy in her talk, I am loving her spirit, her observations, all that she is learning and going all between her ears from Tea shops to sexuality.I love being 20 with her again. The Girl in the Newspaper Dress>>  Proud mama. Yes, I am.

Last day of High School for Alex tomorrow. He has “had it” as have we. Time to turn the page. No big moment of nostalgia right now. I am sure come mid September, it will be another thing. I just see how his sister is getting jazzed up, and want the same for him. Rumor has it that he and Rob will be taking rowing/shells and taking sailing lessons this summer. So, more for him to try (he finally said yes…I have been bugging him for years…finally). Did I mention tap shoes for his part in OKLAHOMA? And I am sure I didnt mention his Drama award at Senior night. We did not see that one coming! We are all thrilled and surprised at that honor!

The picture above commemorates our last High School Choral Concert…with Alex protesting the requirement to wear black with a touch of color. He opted for colorless glasses and all black. They sang a beautiful piece by one of Alex’s favorites, Eric Whitacre who is becoming something for me too.

I am a bit obsessed with findings and cabochons these days. What? Yes, I am making fake jewelry to see either on the web or at the Farmers Market when we have a swap meet/flea market. This stuff is hilarious…and as soon as I have finished goods, I will post. It is very Memento Mori meets Goth, meets Pirate…all rolled up into one fun ball of gorgeousness. I do not know if my adult friends will approve, but my younger pals are all over it. I am poised with tube of glue, findings and a packaging concept in front of me. Nothing can get in my way. Watch out….!

Farewell teacher and friend.

Floral Tribute, Q. Cassetti, 2012, Adobe Illustrator CS5And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.
Abraham Lincoln

Radio silence. A whole week of radio silence…and I apologize.

I have been trying to sort our where the chaos has come from and why I cannot find the glimmers of interest in all the wonderful things out there. Its been like a stall with loads of work but no zing to connect with you and my world. I guess it is because of a text Alex Cassetti got.

Last Friday afternoon, Alex got a text from a friend saying that his dad had died of a heart attack. Alex came home stunned, silent, shocked. He was wooden and worried. Alex told me about this important man’s passing..and we both shook our heads and wiped our eyes in amazement and shock. We worried about the family and most particularly my Alex’s friend Alec.  What to do? How to respond? Give the family space or dole out hugs. Alex opted for hugs. He also suggested that he should pay a visit and take some candy (which he did after we went to the store and filled a huge shopping bag with corn syrup in every shape and unnatural color imaginable). How could he show he cared about this wonderful man

This man, Paul Bartishevich (1956-2012) was a vital member of the school community, particularly sports where we got to know him. He was an inspiration to me to be a better parent, to love each other,to build community whether it was a larger community or just cooking breakfast for a team his child was in. 

Paul taught me to be a coach and advocate for everyone—impressing on what is good, what is valid, what is right while quietly pointing up what could use some work in a friendly, collaborative way. He had amazing energy, a force to be reckoned with—blended with a sharp wit and intelligence, humor and laughter. It was always a party to be with Paul as he was such mensch— bringing you into his circle with stories of his family, his wife, his extended family from events to the traditional games of football (referred to as BartBall) on Thanksgiving. Paul exuded enthusiasm, and happiness—living in the moment and making me want to be swept into the current he was making in this little pool we call home.

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this loss to Alec and his family. The vortex of silence….the sudden whoosh and then life changes. The why now? the why? and the hole that will be in the fabric of his wonderful family he loved so much. And so many more holes left in different groups who had anticipated their moment in the Paul sunshine.  

But, his light still shines in all of us. You can palpably feel it. And in his children, you can see that flame, the energy and spirit of this man. Hopefully, I learned from Paul, to reach out, spread the love, and live in the moment we are granted every day. And know, that time is to be cherished. It slips away and is gone….sometimes before you even know it.

Blessings on Paul and the gifts he so generously shared. He will be missed but will live on through the carefully planted seeds he gave to each of us.

Farewell teacher and friend.

IthacaJournal.com’s Obituary>>

Whaddah day.

Barley Rondel, Q. Cassetti, 2012, Adobe Illustrator CS5The world was at the Rongo last night to hear the amazing Stringbusters and to welcome our favorite, Billy Eli with Eric Aceto and group. Many of the Tburg Royals were there…so there was lots to talk about with fascinating people who had things to say. Lets just say, I am having a love affair with our little Village, and every social event, every interaction just sweetens the love more and more. I had to leave a bit earlier than Mr. Cassetti as I had to be ready to rock this morning at the Community Yard Sale at the Farmers Market. Thanks to amazing Suse Thomas Wolfanger, she was there to help—getting money and spreading the love she does so naturally. We had an amazing day, a great turnout. As I noted on Facebook, fresh from the Market: “

Such fun at the Trumansburg Farmers’ Market! Bought a few amazing things (Pendleton shirts, Woolrich shirts) a pashmina scarf, a fluffy chiffon scarf with pansies on it, and a scarf with a 1953 calendar on it (amazingly interesting palette. Had a divine Kimchi hotdog from Trevor and Shelly MacDonald along with sampling their amazing Sauerkraut balls and a half sour pickle. Amazing! Sharon Tregaskis from TreeGate Farm was selling beautiful seedlings. Meg Meixner from Wolftree Farms was selling organic chickens and eggs. Margaret Shepard from Sage Hen Farm was selling garlic, leeks and greens. There were mushroom logs and perennials along with a great assortment of treasures. I am sunburned and energized. What potential we have in our amazing village! Pictures to come.”

This event was great because it allowed us to see how we needed to be “on” for our first day (we need keys to the electrical box, we need signage, a lot of direction getting people situated, a bit of process, a way for folks to hang banners etc.). It also prompts me to suggest that we should think about the flea market idea…and that maybe a Sunday event might be fun during the summer (once a month?). Do you think that could hold up? After seeing the crowd we got, I think there is something here…and could provide a fun activity for all. If we promote it, it can happen. I def. feel we need to do this sale again next year.
We need to get Alex to a boat for his senior dinner dance tonight. It will be a perfect evening for this party…which will be great for our boy. Rob and I will burn time in Watkins to take them home around midnight. Rob is off tomorrow to pick up Kitty and attend a meeting in Albany. Alex is going to be acting with Running to Places from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. I plan on making flower pictures just for myself (!) for Mothers Day!
I bought a pair of very cute black espadrilles as my mothers day present to me!
Onward to more springtime fun!


On to the next

Prom goers, 2012On to the week. Prom, as usual was great. The kids were excited and glamorous—with all of us drab stringers, happily snapping pictures and wishing them well. From our report, it was the best prom ever…loving the dining out, loving the limo ride, loving the picture taking. The girls were beautiful with Kyra in purple and Elly in gold. Kyra had a wonderful hair design with feathers. Elly posed with her hawk who thankfully wasnt grumpy—just confused with who this glittering creature was that came to get him.

Alex and Sevi were gentlemen (with a little reminding)… and all was good. We went to the Rongo to hear Long John and the Tights and mix it up with our friends from around here…old time music afficiandos who turn out for LJ and Tights. A quiet weekend for all of us. Just some shopping, some groceries and a nice chance to just be in the moment.

This week promises all sorts of things from work and project completion to Farmers Market needle moving. There is hope to do a project with the Farmers Market and the community build this summer at Grassroots, so I need to honcho this…or get some help with someone else honchoing it…Perhaps a glorious, eccentric Market Manager office with a bulletin board, a place to hold a Gott cooler for water, a clock, a brochure rack, and a place to sell our bags and do the food stamp/chit exchange. I want it to be really fun and perhaps be a campanile with awnings? a two storied lemonade stand? I want weathervanes and whirlie gigs. You get the idea. Now, I just need to muscle the people to make it happen. Time is awasting.

Had a good chat with Kitty. She is in the throes of final projects— and she is busy signing up for classes for next semester, and putting her plans in place for the summer. She will be with us mid May until the end. And then she has May> August in NYC to study sewing, draping and pattern design at FIT with her weekends working for the Governor’s Island installation of the Hot Glass Show with the Museum of Glass. This will be really electric for her…and then she starts mid August for a few weeks to help catalog costumes at Smith College with her wonderful teacher. All in all, reinforcing her path of costume design…and I think it will be a remarkable time of learning and growing.

As you know, Alex is to be Ike Skidmore in Oklahoma along with piano lessons and working for me doing social networking and brochure distribution for the Farmers Market. It is going to be a fast slide from the end of school to the beginning of college.  And, as I have not mentioned it, Alex has chosen Hofstra as his college. He got into every school he applied to…and with the knowledge of his learning issues combined with his desire to delve into music composition as soon as possible, Hofstra will give him that along with access to the city, access to prime internships, and a supportive learning environment. I think it will be great.

On to the paying work.


Just finished up ordering a collection of things for our friends at Redbyrd. Postcards, business cards, custom glasses. I discovered a cool resource for affordable, digitally output bumperstickers and banners: Stickersbanners.com. I think I will order a few things from these guys before I start raving as I do about my new favorite resources online.

Its exciting to have these Redbyrd pieces coming…along with a new label for a new product that these two cool people dreamed up…and they like that too! Yikes. Too much fun.

The Distillery is getting close. Cool on that too.

Alex found out that he was cast as Ike Ketchum, cowboy, in Oklahoma last night. There is a bounce in his step and a happiness that I hadn’t anticipated. I love the idea of my boy in pearlie snaps, chaps and a gigantic cowboy hat. He regaled me about his Handel piece he is singing at school to build his chops…pulling out the sheet music and singing along with the notes to point out the range and craziness of this Baroque piece. My little baroque cowboy.Maybe he could learn to yodel too!

I am going a bit crazy about Dutch flower paintings again. I would like to try to do a very bold, graphic approach—using the layouts, the blocking and suggested palettes as a place to start. I plan on tacking this on to the farmers market vegetable imagery. You will see what will happen as it will be posted as we go.

Rob is home tonight. It will be great to have him back.

Tattoo You

Tattoo You, Q. Cassetti, 2012, black and whiteNew tattoo. I am having two done…one of this lovely swallow (pretty big, 2”x2”) and a heart one that is about the size of a business card. Psyched. One more in the works, a bee… 1.5” x 1.5” that can be applied as a singleton or as a group. Next stop is a coaster or two to make sets, and maybe sell them. What with the raft of weddings and parties for all these wonderful women I know, coasters and tattoos will be nice adds to the offerings. Maybe a button too?

I have been cruising on a design/illustration time. I have been really hunkering down on a few projects and enjoying the focus and flow of the work. Plus, it is all for people who will like this work (or so I feel it in my bones). I have a bit more to do in the next few days…and then it will be a wrap.

Tonight is DJAQ’s Dance Jam. We are expecting around 60. Alex says the only offering should be water, however, thanks to Nick (a friend) we will need to have snacks—so I plan on getting to the store to buy out the chips and nibbles. Rob will be working on paperwork, so I will do the same with Farmers Market fun.

This blog is going to take on a few more links, tweaks and changes. Keep your eyes open.


Spring evening

Hairhopper, Q. Cassetti, 2012, pen and inkIt’s been a while. Sorry for my radio silence. But, I am back and ready to chat it up with all of my lovelies. Its after five and I am gazing at a lavender sky that is migrating to pink, gold and salmon. It feels like a lovely almost spring evening with the treat of the mild weather and and light after five. Its a quiet night here at Two Camp with Robbie doing the late night shift at the Museum and Prince Alex Cassetti, singing and dancing his way through “Once Upon a Mattress” as his momma’s little glittering star. I am back from a very invigorating Farmers Market Meeting…where we got into the small points—and got some real work done.

We are back from the trip to Landmark College and Hampshire. Landmark, to be quite blunt, was a disappointment. We all really wanted to have Landmark really rise to our expectations, but were all so saddened to discover that Landmark might be a bit like sending Alex to Siberia with no one as a friend, and no ability to be engaged as a musician and all round people person. We had an interview. Alex had an interview and then we were convinced to have another tour. Our charge to our amiable tourguide, to show us students…lots of students. We saw students…maybe 25 or 30 of them— none of them who were engaged, edgy or excited about anything. We were all trying to piece together a life for Alex with studies at Landmark, jazz studies at the Vermont Jazz Center (in Brattleboro) and a job off campus at the Putney Coop. Unfortunately, even with all this embellishment—we still couldnt see how it all could work to Alex’s benefit.

It would be education without friends, without passion. So, the next day, we focused on passion with help to make the passion ignite. Alex interviewed happily at Hampshire— thrilled at the custom tailored interview where he could gab on about music theory and the like with a lovely third year student. We took the afternoon to see Smith College’s art, music and drama department facilities (thrilling)—and spend time projecting out what that picture could be. What kind of help do they provide the students with learning differences. We hung out with Kitty and her Mod mates…and got some ground level insights into LD, into special help, into personal advocacy and got some interesting stories and great names of people to call, questions to ask. We are going to get moving on Kurtzweil 3000 so that Alex is familiar with this tool. We are going to maybe do a bridge program at Landmark to get him familiar with tools without having the semester committment. We will put his name in the hat for other schools. We are going to drive from the position of passion with skills being secondary…and lean on the things that make our boy happy and challenged. This is the richer slice…and richer rewards for him. Mildly put, its been quite a few days to get to this simple conclusion. All of us are feeling as if we were drawn through a keyhole backwards. Yikes.

Pursue passion. That is a reason to draw breath and live a full life, passion and engagement. We all can get something to pursue for money, a job, a life…but those moments at the dark, velvety late hour of the night when we wake should have a channel where passions can be stirred and anticipated versus focusing on the commonplace of checkbooks and taxes, musts and shoulds versus brilliance and beautiful. Life for Alex needs to unfold and challenge versus lockdown and to some degree, punish. We are all poised to make that chapter happen in the energetic, positive way he deserves. The path is not clear, but we are on it…and now we join together to see how it evolves.

Lovely Fall Back

Here I am at the ultimate chic Maguire VW to have my car get a check up and lo and behold, there is this lovely computer room, free snacks, teevee, nice chairs, windows and not a cigarette butt in site. How remarkable. I am so impressed, I want to have my car serviced weekly. Maguire really is impressive.  No greasy vinyl chairs tucked between the humming soda machine and a stand ash tray with the battering ram sounds coming from the garage and the endless chat of the owner of the shop on the phone. Now its the car spa…blonde wood, free iced cream and teevee. Glorious.  And the folks are really really nice too. And, with the time I thought I would be dawdling, I can dawdle a bit with you.

I seem to be able to get through my lists these days—taking on more new stuff and being able to get through it without having to do nine or ten iterations on something really simple (like a two color mouse pad that was the recent project of note). We are getting the lineup of a lot of people who want to make their year-end bonuses by finally figuring out they need to get things done that they hadn’t thought about until now, and they need them figured out, designed and produced by December 1 so as to print and distribute by January 1. Screamers. And many of these folks are not our focus customers, so its a bit disconcerting as I really want to say no to quite a few of them as I do not want to have to work Thanksgiving and the day after on someone else’s lack of planning. Urg. Enough of my complaining.

Alex posted some music to the web yesterday—mashups that he created with some audio scrap and work of a rapper online. He is smiling and happy as he is getting some great response (including the rapper who saw a post on YouTube—and was psyched by the work). I need to get Reason, a software package for him for the holiday (along with their software that really allows you to untangle the layers of sound and pluck out snippets to work with. It is great to see him delight and have motivation around something he is getting recognition for. He is talking about how easy these mashups are and how he is done with it. So, both Rob and I are pushing for a body of work so he has an hour of original work to play with the incentive being an exclusive DJAQ (his DJ name) party/event. There is some interest in that…and if its so easy, 75 new mashups should be in the works. If John Thompson told me I would not be an illustrator until I did 500 illustrations, I would say the same around audio mashups. Then we can move on…But recognition for his work and the sheer joy in having others enjoy our work is something I want him to have more of. We all can relate to that (particularly those of us who blog and post our work). I hope there is more of this in the future.

I must admit, I love fall back as much as spring forward. I love the velvety darkness in the evening and being in our snuggly house with the woodstove fired up in the evening with tea and company. It is such marvelous sleeping weather, I am feeling much sunnier and revv’d up. Now, the sixty degree weather and chrome yellow leaves on the trees cannot hurt things either. But we have had a glorious fall—perfection—that to have it extend a bit further into November is something I do not take for granted.

Rob is working late tonight. Leah, Alex and I are going to pick up our two pig shares (1/2 pig each) to our delight. I think there might be some bacon for dinner. Yes!

And then more mailing list correction, amendments and changes.

Keyhole backwards.

Vecdtor doodle, Q. Cassetti, 2011If you were to describe the perfect autumn day, you would describe today. Cloudless sky. Perfectly brilliant, “lets take a portrait” sun, with the leaves all on the verge of color…many of them still lush and green, but the horse chestnuts are yellow as the maples begin their progression towards crimson. We were up and going before the sun came up—so we had the show of pinks and cream on the farm horizons as we sped towards Rochester for an 8 a.m. appointment. Today was the final leg of getting some clarity on how  A. learns and we got an interesting summation which explains a lot of what we have been seeing both in his work, and the way he takes in information. It has been so worth it—but surprisingly emotionally draining for all of us. If the boys feel anything like I do, we have all been dragged through the keyhole backwards….and are just trying to get our heads, our hearts and our understanding all in line. The come away is that our A. is an amazing young man who has been fighting the good fight without the benefit of my understanding and protection. That is going to change right now. I am not a really happy bunny about all that is past and will coach others to not do what I do…but to get on it and not to trust any institution to do anything beyond the status quo. When I write those checks in September to the school—it doesn’t feel real sweet. Status quo is the best we can do for our kids….its about getting through and not necessarily about either enjoying learning or even learning to learn. Just getting through. However, moving forward, we have things to do, things to change, things to try.

We had a very interesting time talking with the Rotarians about their exchange program last night. Alex interviewed and we should find out if he makes the cut in a day or so. From that, more interviews…and then we will see. I hope something like this could happen for him. If not, we will dive into other programs that do similar things. It is an involved program that seems to really cover all the bases. We should have some idea of where we are going mid November or so. We also have the college applications to do…so busy…YIKES>

I have Rob to myself this p.m. Alex is off to play practice. Then tomorrow night, Rob has town government, and I have Alex. We all  have each other on Friday. Saturday through Monday, Alex goes with his class on a trip to Cedar Point, Ohio to ride the huge number of roller coasters. They even have one in the dark! Lucky boy.

Steve Brodner sent a lulu of a great sketch exploration on politico, Art Pope. Check it out>> I love the display of reference, the sketch process, how youtube can give you expressions that a still might not…and then the final piece. Sweet process…totallly a pro. He rocks.

The big fat pen continues to move.


09.24.2011, Baldwinsville, New York: TBXC Varsity (left to right) Ben Maracle, Alex Cassetti, Cal Randle, Tyler Sutherland, Alex Kenny, Steven Dunn, Kevin VanDeldenWe went up to Baldwinsville yesterday for the annual Bee Ville XC meet. Always a favorite for the team but also as a parent as the course is so beautiful and the anniversary quality that this meet evokes. We have been going to BeeVille since Alex was in seventh grade with the little modified runners, so this being his senior year, we have been able to compare from year to year to measure his growth as an athlete, as an individual and as our boy. How wonderful and bittersweet. Tyler Sutherland was, to use Alex’s phrase “killing it”—bringing home a very good time and finish being the first of the group of varsity runners. The shorter guys in the middle of the shot were the lead dogs in this race. Double excellent as they are sophomores and juniors—so the team has some terrific horsepower for a couple more seasons!  They all seemed to have a jolly time with good results and great comraderie amongst themselves. So, the season is on, the season of brotherly love and friendship, hard races but good times. Sweetness on the edge of frost. The dualities are remarkable.

I guess I was wiped out. We got home and I decided to take a nap as I was winking out on the drive home. And so I did. I napped and then read a junky book. It got darker and darker until it was time to get out of my nest to see if there was another place to plop down. And so I did. Alex came home from a movie date. Rob went to a funeral and was back late…and then it was time to sleep again. I am still wiped out. I am gauging it my my impatience for stuff that normally doesnt drive me crazy, but I can push to the side of my perifery and disengage. I am all loose ends and frazzled. So, instead of attending Porch Fest all day, I think I will catch up with some email, do a bit of reading and maybe close my eyes again. I am just feeling so strung out. I need to get myself back to the point where I do not have to leave the room to prevent a rude outburst on my part or some sort of physical nastiness.

I just finished the book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot and enjoyed it immensely despite the sadness of the story and the end result to the family of Mrs. Lacks. I was stunned to read about scientific experiments performed on the poor in recent history—mad scientists gone wild that rivelled some of the antics of the German scientists during WWII. We should be teaching this stuff to our kids…that this sort of inconvievable behavior and treatment of others happened right here in our happy little big island…and not just “over there”. Additionally, it pointed up the import of HIPAA and the rights and privacies we are guaranteed with our medical information and data. However, how are our personal cells and tissue material tracked. Do we have the right to that material and how it is used? or once blood is drawn, or a specimen taken, or birth is given—all of those byproducts we no longer have a right to? Though we are much further ahead than the mid-fifties—there are miles to go to better understand our rights to our own cells and the information they hold about us. One of the big take aways from the HeLa cell book was the gift Mrs Lacks gave (unknown to her, her family) to better mankind— through the truly immortal HeLa cells—was an singular one. Why her family was never notified, were treated badly and stupidly by doctors (all horrible communicators and frankly thoughtless people), and were unable to be treated or helped medically as they could not even afford health insurance while big Pharma made money (millions) due to the work they had done with their mother’s cell. This is just wrong all around.

I loved The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks so much, that I am now on a path for more of that sort of reading. I have The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee. This book started as a blog or diary of a young doctor and his fellowship focusing on oncology. From that pretext, Dr. Mukherjee begins to simply tell the story of cancer to laymen. I have just started but am engaged and intrigued by the elegant way the writer is peeling away the complexity of the ideas—and making them pristine and memorable. He presents cancer as a character—the hero and villain—a character of great stealth, dimension and scope. I am looking foward to diving into this.

I am beginning to get more than stupid right now. I hear the siren song of my pillow.

Joyful Journey

From the British Museum, Q. Cassetti, 2009Raining and cold here. Loving it. Its that lovely rain that makes your skin feel fabulous….light and misty. The plants love it too. More great grass growing mist.

I have a happy elephant for you today…gleefully carrying his riders bedecked in bells, tassels and decorations. I think he is a good reason to get out of bed and think good thoughts today. If only we all could bring such happiness to our journey everyday. May this fellow inspire and encourage us all!

Today is “John Hancock” day at the  High School. John Hancock refers to one’s signature (as in Yearbook)— so the day is celebrated with Yearbooks, special lunches, music and fun. This is the day long funday before the tests begin. Oy. The end is near. I am hoping Alex can get some focus and hit his stride in the next week or so. Never compare. Each child is different and the puzzle I find, is getting into each child’s motivations and strengths to push and shove to get the best, get the happiness for each person. This is the true work…beyond potty training but part of the process with these gifts we are presented with. I know Alex struggles with me too, but recently we have had some very nice, very soft and meaningful times together. I would love to have more of that. He is such a sweet and tender person.

I am revelling in my Behance Prosite. I do not think its a stand alone, but is a nice extra to all the other visual networking out there, and is easy to link to all the other network “fingers” I have out there (Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Blog, portfolio). The smooth thing is that the projects that I post to Behance then streams over to the Prosite, where they are organized along with other pages you can post, links etc.that takes the work out further, looking more like a portfolio. Plus, with the easy to use tools, its a snap to put up with customizable features (posting headers, adding spaces and rules) along with the ease of posting visual work makes the $99. a year an easy choice to make. Take a look if you are website free…as this is a simple and inexpensive way to get a web presence that is immediately linked not only to a big audience through Behance but also  to your personal online communities.

Meeting starting in 12 minutes. Need to get my act in gear.

Spring Bouquet

Weekend flowers, Q. Cassetti, 2011Nice weekend. We started the time with  our inaugural fun at Sweet Land CSA’s first pick up. It was so fun, so much more than I expected…from the lovely food you could pick from to the amazing farmers with wit, wisdom and insight…to the offerings from luscious yellow beets, to leeks, to mint and basil along with all you can pick batchlor buttons and 2 pink peonies. There were tons of different greens, mint, oregano and basil by the long stalk. I have seen the summer and I am delighted. Today made pesto, mint lemon syrup, a leek and carrot soup, sauteed kale and prepped the lettuce for salad tomorrow. I will post pictures to inspire you of the CSA barn, with friendly chalk board instructions, clean blue totes holding all he produce offerings, from the limited selections to the “have at it”. There is an egg share (which we are doing) as well as Stefan Senders Wide Awake Bakery share too.

There were all sorts of my favorite Tburgers there with children milling about or in the sandbox/playground. It is the best. I am so psyched.

Friday night and Saturday night Kitty danced. We had friends of Kitty and Alex at the lake—with all sorts of hanging out. Fun and very restful. I read a trashy book and “chilled” with Alex and Kitty. Saturday afternoon after dropping Alex and friend off to practice music, Kitty and I went to Trader K’s to have her try on evening dresses for a formal event. It was tons of fun with Kitty finally picking a bubblegum pink, barbie number complete with a boned corset style bodice. She looks remarkable (pictures to come). Lotsa laughs along with visiting Petrune for glamour and inspiration.

Alex is off singing tonight with the Community Chorus. We had some pretty enlightening conversation about music, jazz, his enjoyment of the singing lessons he is taking, chord progression and the things he is discovering and loving. He is an adorable guy that I cherish spending time with. I am so lucky. His insights and solid grasp on those things he loves never ceases to inspire and please me.

Need to log off. Drawing ahead.

Racing Bunny in Technicolor, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and ink, colored in Adobe Photoshop CS5Beautiful spring morning. I just got back from the Shure Save—getting basics and the requisite case of “sports drink” that I was informed we needed to provide tomorrow for the day long tennis tournament that Boy Wonder will be participating in. What a nice respite from school work and testing for Alex.

Alex will be going to an amusement park as a Physics field trip in the next few weeks which I think combines fun with teaching. Good for Mr. Flood (Alex’s Physics Teacher) for being so clever. This sort of demonstrating the concepts day is the teaching that will really stick with our student. See it, experience it, remember it.

Today is more to do…with banking, phone calls, some little webbie things to be designed, amending a brochure (I am sure) and a list of lots of little things. I have a field trip this afternoon with a client to do a look see at the market.

The tuxedo came (without the shirt) and it fits and looks great. Alex keeps trying to shove the pants way way down below his hips—so we will need to amend this. I will need to hem the pants in the next few days (and then we will take them to a real live tailor post fact to have them really hemmed and cuffed (?). Perhaps a double breasted vest Morning Coat-itisso as to emulate the Windsor Family. Look at the boys in their soft colored double breasted vest. And Charles’ lovely blue vest with something else (white) peaking underneath before the blue shirt happens. I guess I am a sucker for a morning coats Need to research this. Not that Alex gives two hoots, but somehow I am bitten with this one. Beyond that, the sheer Englishness of doing it so right, so bespoke. Those of us in the colonies do not have this proper dna encoded in our makeup. Prom pictures will be coming…if you get my gist. Orange vests, white suits and glossy satin orange ties….and so on. Oh my, look at this, a combo of my favorites: a camo tux. Nuf Said.

Gotta go.

There's the Sun!

Bunny Matchup, 2011, Q. Cassetti, pen and inkMore tedious drawings of bunnies manipulated in photoshop. I am coloring this one as I like the rope heart and the challenge of pastels. I need to better understand this lighter palette and thus the coloring. Black to grey or tan, no white…less harsh.

The Yearbooks are done! Hangar is back with changes…so that gets fit in by end of day today. I have a brochure that is a field guide to glass patterns and some illustration for the big client (a continuous line illo which can be hard to do, but entertaining in the puzzle like aspect. There are lots of random thises and thats, alterations of the food illustration and others. Need to start setting up appointments for Kitty and Alex this summer…check ups and dentals.

Nice chat with Kitty last evening. She has her birthday to look forward to—with contradancing as the cupcake with candles for her. I put her little somthingsomthins in the mail…which should make the day a bit brighter. Her first birthday away from us. Another first.

But, she is worrying her classes, full on angst and sadness around what she didnt get out of an art class…full of anger and misunderstanding that this emotion is actually part of the learning. Learning comes in all ways…and she seems to have learned a lot about what she doesnt like. We will have a lot of talking to do over the summer.

Alex and I figured out the tuxedo dilemma. We measured him according to the directions we found on the web, consulted all the sizing on the site and then printed the buy button.  Its a simple tuxedo with notched lapels, and plain (not pleated) pants. Alex gravitated to the style along with picking out a cotton pique, wing collared shirt. No cummerbund. Black silk bow tie. He will be perfect (at least to his mother’s satisfaction and his…I hope). We should have it by Monday.