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….!

weekend antics

Asparaganza 2012, Good Life Farm, Interlaken NYFarmer Melissa, Asparaganza, Good Life Farm, 2012It was a perfect weekend capped off by great music at Felicias (Rockwood Ferry) and a gentle spring evening party, Asparaganza, at Good Life Farm. Asparaganza was at Good Life with a brilliant cloudless blue sky, happy people, delicious things to try and buy along with music, games, tours of the farm and new friends and old. RedByrd Orchard Cider had it inaugural tasting (and indeed we tasted it!) along with Crooked Carrot, The Piggery, Cayuga Creamery (asparagas ice cream, ginger ice cream as a bow to Good Life’s prides), and Red Newt Bistro. There were farmstands and Toivo playing their happy music which was a perfect fit to a glorious afternoon. It was so wonderful to see these local producers, Melissa and Garrett and their friends in the context of the haven their farm is….with the geese and big draft horses in the background. Mike from Double E (Mushroom CSA) was making mushroom logs for folks to take home to grow their own mushrooms, there were games…and tons of balls and fun things for the teensy people who gamboled amongst all the larger ones. The energy of this event was so positive, so encouraging, so reflective of this emerging community that I just wanted to hug each and every producer for the gifts that they give us generously. We never really see the whole picture, just the perfect radish, apple, blade of grain or sunflower and not the work, love, and prayers that go into creating this amazing thing.  Maybe this little valentine will help communicate that.

New website for the Trumansburg Farmers Market! Took me about 4 hours to do…and I have a bit more to do (authoring some content) but at least we are up and running so the rackcards now point to something real. Here is the site>

I got plugged into some phenomenal new web based tools this weekend that I am so excited about I could sing at the top of my lungs. First one is IFTTT (if this [] then that[]). I know. It doesnt make much sense. What IFTTT does is link the social media venues you may be using, to leverage your messaging to the other outlets you support. Once creates or uses already created recipes to make your content work harder for you. An example is “If This” Facebook entry “then that” sent to Twitter. If an image is dropped into Dropbox, send the same image to Flickr….and so on…mixing feeds,Flickr, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, DropBox etc. It is amazing one stop shop where usually I have had to go into the mechanisms/the account information to try to network the content from one place to the other. Now it is so much easier and not so technical. Give it a try, its free.

The second geeky delight is Evernote. Evernote is a way to collect information, images, links, notes etc. to push folks to be more productive and less paper driven. Your Evernote is sync’ed between your computer, phone and IPad…so you can have your files ready and at hand whenever you want them as long as you can get a connection. You can share ‘notebooks” with people you invite…or you can keep them private or even not shared as long as its on your desktop. You can tag your entries, sort them a bunch of different ways…Worth seeing. Their customer support and videos are great (reminds me of Squarespace, a company that has that nailed). Plus, there is a community of users out there who are actively involved in moving Evernote ahead with cool plug-ins, ebooks, and forums. It is free to try, and if you choose to do the upgrade, its not going to break the bank. I am so in love with the productivity aspect of Evernote, I am worried that I could waste time being organized…but if it helps to get the work done…no worries.

Thanks to the prod of Evernote, I am knocking things off my list…and adding new. More to talk about later. 

Advent Day Twelve, 2011

Advent Day Twelve, Q. Cassetti 2011, pen and inkJust back from taking Jacob back to the amazing, truly amazing CCFL (Community College of the Finger Lakes). Finger Lakes is in Canandaigua—and is in construction —with new, great big buildings—a new performance space and a series of apartment buildings for the students. From talking with Jacob, they seem to be missing a bit with the social piece for the students. The classes and the level of instruction Jacob is getting sounds amazing. He is studying music, private jazz guitar classes, a writing/music class, a comedy analysis class, and bio and chemistry.  He is looking forward to moving to Genesseo. I am glad to have put my eyes on CCFL as its an impressive facility. I wonder if they have illustration? Any reason to drive on scenic route 20, to take in the fields, the farms, the livestock and the stacked piles of cabbages is worth considering. I just adore Rt. 20.  A treat.

We had Jacob for the weekend with a big friend night Friday (musicians) and big friend night Saturday (3 Alex(c)s, 1 Jacob and 1 Joseph) with food for many, breakfast for a crowd and endless dishes. We hung out with the youngers, did some cooking and prepping. Alex had the ACT on Saturday…brutal might be the right word to capture how it was. Food and sleep helped that a bit.

Jacob joins us this Friday as part of the here, not here and back here winter break. Kitty will be here Monday/Tuesday next week. Her play is done, and I am sure she is busy wrapping up the semester, her projects and work. It really moves too quickly this time of year.

Both boys are out this evening with practices and meetings so I can catch up with work, with wrapping, with addressing. Tons to do and the time closes in.

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.


08.03.2011, Concert in Canadaigua, Q. CassettiWild day and wilder evening. We left pretty promptly in a rain storm (imagine!) to go to Canadaigua via Geneva to pick Mr. Alexander up. He was in fine form and it was great to see him. As we pulled out of his host’s driveway, the sky seemed to clear up and as we moved closer and closer to our venue, the sky brightened, the sun shone and the most amazing clouds over our lovely Central New York fields emerged. More English clouds than those of Maxfield Parrish, which Kitty and I gasp and rave over. Beautiful nonetheless. Very linear and shapey.

We were directed through these fields and country roads to a big parking lot complete with a zillion attendants, security folks etc. The real deal…to easily park and access the CMAC (Constellation Music) venue. It is an open air pavillion with huge screens so everyone can see the acts, nice legroom and tons of little service tents from food to beer/ wine (you need a wristband…clever them to buy them…so the ID is done once and for all). Bathrooms were easy and accessible. It gave us a gander at the Community College of the Finger Lakes which is a little gem and worthy of considering. Really, really nice. Rob and I were by far, the oldest people in the venue…with fashion highlights being the universal white hotpants, flipflops, bandeau top with a shredded or modified teeshirt on top. Boys were pretty Bro-ie (both in manner and in looks). The place reeked of pot…and no one had any, I mean ANY problem lighting up etc. The teeshirts were lyrical (see above, the Front of the said shirt simply said “wake up drunk”. Poetic. Right? However, after the rappers amused us with their dancing with their pants hanging way off their hips with their boxers more than peeking out—the crotch fondling and the hand gesturing, and the evocative lyrics inspiring one to meet “Hoes”, acquire and consume weed, and of course roll it. There were all sorts of things one does with the Hoes (complete with buy a teeshirt that says Hoe on it)..No mystery here. Not really family values.

However, after that stuff was done and the the fans gone, the real fun began. I love Gregg Gillis, the pride of Pittsburgh and did not disappoint. Kitty and Alex and team were crowding the stage….and then Gillis started tailoring a bespoke musical presentation, sewing little patches of music together, fusing them, stitching and tuning—matching thread with thread so the final suit, the final musical event was seamless…and a single fabric…not the layers and pieces that composed these witty pieces. The crowd loved it, as did I. There was the requisite balloon drop, confetti, and then the lively use of a leaf blower with spools of toilet paper to spew white ribbons into the air. Gillis engaged, entertained, enthused, inspired. And I am…inspired that is.

NY Times on Gregg Gillis: “The 373-Hit Wonder”

Download Greg Gillis/ Girl Talk “All Day” gratis from Illegal Art>>

More later.


Greenman 8, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and inkIts been a quiet weekend rolling into a very busy and productive week. We had some folks for dinner (Alex and Jacob’s friends and our friend, Bruce). We did a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I slept, read terribly trashy books and chilled. I am surprised how tired I had been, so I got a little spring in my step along with some general laundry doing and little cooking. I had the hope of blueberry picking and maybe raspberries too, but the pillow beckoned and other planes of fun filled with steam punkery won.

Love the Steam Punk thing. Love the fusion of old technology with advanced biology. The fusion of the world of Dinotopia (James Gurney) along with that of Charles Dickens and all the fingers and threads that draw them together. Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve is a wonderful example of this sort of book. The next, Leviathan, by Scott Westerfeldl, pits the Darwinists against the Klinks (those mechanically driven) and fuse it with the socio-political environment of Europe prior to World War 1. Trashy. Yes. Brain absorbing. Yes. A mental vacation. Absolutely.

Kitty worked.  Alex chilled until Sunday when he went over to Geneva to stay and visit with a dear friend and his family (who he adores).

Tonight, I need to leave ON TIME as we are going to the Finger Lakes Community College’s outdoor concert space (CMAC) to see Wiz Khalifa and Girl Talk. I love Greg Gillis, Pittsburgher and Girl Talk( from the CMAC website):

Celebrating 10-plus years of sample-obsessed production and relentless touring, Gregg Gillis returns with All Day, his fifth album as Girl Talk, and his most epic, densely layered, and meticulously composed musical statement to date. Continuing the saga from the previously acclaimed albums, Night Ripper and Feed The Animals, Gillis lays down a more diverse range of samples to unfold a larger dynamic between slower transitions and extreme cut-ups. With the grand intent of creating the most insane and complex “pop collage” album ever heard, large catalogs of both blatantly appropriated melodies and blasts of unrecognizable fragments were assembled for the ultimate Girl Talk record (clocking in at 71 minutes and 372 samples). 

Since the release of Feed The Animals, things have flourished for Girl Talk. He’s played almost 300 shows and hardly taken a full week off from hitting the road. He’s playing even larger venues and making even more of a spectacle—he’s employed a small crew of toilet paper launching stage hands, who also propel confetti, balloons, and inflate oddly chosen props into the audience. For the New Year’s Eve show to ring in 2010, a team was hired to build a life-size house, with attention to fine details, on the stage at Chicago’s Congress Theatre. Described as the craziest house party ever, Girl Talk continues to please live audiences as the mass of sweaty bodies at his shows continually grows. Touring highlights from the last couple of years include the Vancouver Olympics, large festivals such as Coachella, Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, V-Fest, Sasquatch, Rothbury, Monolith, Planeta Terra, and trips to Australia, Japan, South America, Europe, and Mexico. 

Earlier this year, Girl Talk finally took a break from touring, festival dates, and college shows, in order to create an album that is being released immediately after its completion. While posting the album as a free download on the Illegal Art label’s site allows All Day to reach his fanbase quickly and with minimal cost, Gillis spent more time on this album than any previous release and considers it the most fully realized and evolved manifestation of the Girl Talk aesthetic

More later.

Common Threads

The Green Man 2, Q. Cassetti, 2011 pen and inkGrassroots was a different event for me this year. Grassroots was a highly social few days mixed in with a little dancing, a lot of listening, and laughter. normally it has been long days of non-stop listening, hot and furious amongst the hoards of the great unwashed ( true in both counts). There is some charm to that, but oddly, I have discovered that I am not a shirtless “bro” looking for as much cold, cheap, beer (for you bro aficionados , read “natties”). I am not looking for a hookup on the dance floor or to spend the weekend ” in the bushes”(as a mom mentioned that her child spent the festival there). I leave that to my son Alex to fulfill that role.

Grassroots was this year about community and about the musical DNA that Trumansburg and Ithaca have ingrained in it’s culture. We live in a small area where live music on a very high level can be heard nightly for free or a nominal charge. These are professional musicians with conservatory training, and some self taught but in the tradition of the area, decided early that music was central to their being…and started street performing in their teens. Some make their livings being musicians, while many others have day jobs in libraries, schools, moving companies, food concerns bringing that right brain viewpoint to the everyday as well. This is the thread of music, from the people and their ethos to the actual art performed.

I am honored to have gotten to know some of the most vibrant musical brains in the area, and am charged up by their focus and commitment to music as the spine of their lives, the spur to live and continue to grow that I am questing for as are others of our tribe. It is so curious to quiz people about their backgrounds, their training, their lives as musicians and performers. It has made me better understand the artistic “thing” that moves us all forward— the quest for inspiration, the strength of solo work and for some, collaboration; the timing and sequence, the need to get the work out and seek insight and and reception. Regardless of the channel of the arts— whether it be visual or auditory— these are some common threads we share.

GrassRoots 2011: Day One

Happiness Parade 2010, Q. CassettiHOTTEST this week. It was 81 getting my feet on the floor this morning and was shooting to 85 before getting to my desk. The predictions are right.  101 in the  last hour (for my drop off of the team).But, it is a beautiful, clear sky so despite the heat, at least its pretty. I am one wilted leaf.

Erich and Nigel are out for the next few days, so I am manning the fort in front of a rather impressively named fan, the Cyclone (not).

Today is Christmas in Trumansburg. It is Grassroots Day One! Jacob was up early to help his brother take tickets and give folks their wristbands. Kitty and Rob took some time off. Alex was  getting prepped—cups, bandanas, money, the right shoes. Thankfully it isnt going to rain with the heat. Another thing not to have to drag to the fairgrounds is good. The Sheriffs were in place with their lights flashing first thing in the morning along with closing Rabbit Run entirely.

The wall of beer is no longer…but chunked into little stacks that one can easily scale. Shur Save always made this mountain of beer by the meat cases to do a little suggestive selling to the Grassroots audience, but now that they have become so fabulous with new meat cases, there wasn’t any thinking around the annual spectacle of the Wall of Beer. Sadness. However, there is hope the Kinney Pharmacy or the Byrne Dairy will pick up the Wall of Beer gauntlet and continue this tradition.

However, it all looks good with more parking than ever thanks to our school doing parking as a fundraiser along with the local stores.

GrassRoots Virginia Key-Miami is going to happen this February. I helped the team create a poster and handbill last week, which thanks to Bargain Basement Printing we should have tomorrow. No rush fees…and all within 7 business days. Rob is thinking out some strategies around raising some money and building awareness. I posed the need for a Kickstarter project to get a little eary capital before going for advertising etc. etc.

I need to go find my dreamcatcher.


Nosmo King, Q. Cassetti, 2010 (a No Smoking sign from Grassroots)Hot summer day. We were up and going to get Kitty to her job and Alex to practice with his friends. Jacob and I did a little shopping. Rob hungout and then went to the Fairgrounds in anticipation of the big week ahead in prep for GrassRoots, our little holiday here in Trumansburg. The bright yellow dance tent was erected yesterday with many of the ancillary tents and structures arriving today. The volunteers are gathering. Gimme Coffee is looking more like a clubhouse than just a coffeehouse and the buzz begins. I have threatened to do a photoshoot of all the walls of beer that will be erected by Tuesday. The Walls of Beer are an architectural feature that happen here…and are to be admired as they dwindle over the course of the weekend along with every ice cube in the county.

My stuff came for the Art Barn. I ordered two big pix (a skull and a big mouth of hell illo from my moment with the rapture) along with a portrait of Jeb Puryear that hopefully they will let me show. I sent to the ever fabulous and very impressive, Picture Salon, who never, ever disappoint!  Big is Better re my work. Big is bold and on our red walls here at the Headquarters, the black and white JUMPS. I am having ideas about physically painting these big black and whites? What do you think? Could be cool if I use a sheer acrylic so I do not need to worry about perfection with the painting….and let the big bold black lines do the work. Just a thought. Need to get a new topic to work with. Thinking of surfacing the wild Pennsylvania German book of folk medicine. Just thinking.

Got a lot done and out yesterday from the big client work to a teeshirt finalized for Wide Awake to getting our Luckystone holiday card out to the printer. I am feeling a bit proud as I think I have licked the file issues with my cheap cheap printer ( and am no  longer spending hours resaving files to have them spit back out at me. Great! Brilliant red envelopes winging their way here. Holiday will be stuffed and labelled by Labor Day so we can roll into the Fall without that extra detail hanging over us. You know what happens…come November when one should feel like doing this stuff, the big crush happens with our clients and so, the pressure is on in the world of work and other…making things not cool. Doing this stuff early creates a very smug me, but someone that is a bit more pleasant to be around in November/December.

Big trip to the store today. I have bags of chicken marinating and a mess of things for our two boys to eat (jeez louise, they can eat!). Next Tuesday and Wednesday, in addition to the tribe that is working here (Erich, Nigel, me, Mandy, Tucker, Kitty , Alex and Jacob) we will have Jacobs band and roadies here as they are recording an album. So plan on lunch for 20. No kidding. I can hear the culinary vacuum cleaner running. Whirrrrrrrr. All things that can be eaten will be sucked down—everything else, we will  need to tie down! ….But I delight in it…and the interesting brains that are attached to the masticating jaws.

I am listening to the jump up and praise tune, “The Great I AM” by Donnie McClurkin. Love it. AMEN.

Making a Joyful Noise

Rockin’ Steady #3 2011, Q. Cassetti









Rockin Steady: Tribe Stocking Reidy performed last night at the Rongo, part of the pre GrassRoots music scene. It/they were wonderful with daughters, sons, aunts and uncles, all singing and playing fullheartedly. And those of us who were not part of the tribe enjoyed their songs and renditions. Kitty had Hampshire friends that were a delight and fun to get to know. We mixed it up a bit…and then sat outside at the end and tried to take pictures in the dark (to some success).

Waiting on the porch, Q. Cassetti 2011Shady and I did a tour of the house and backyard and were greeted by dragonflies, bees in the thick monarda and the damned deer.  I took a picture of this nice stationery dragonfly on the steps, giving me a chance to push things a bit to see if I could capture him. I love the new point and shoots. What amazing tools.

Our new team member this summer is Tucker. Tucker is a football player and very funny. He chased a pair of baby deer yesterday trying to tackle them.  We had $50 bucks riding on it…and I bet, by the end of the summer, Tucker will win his bet…

I am beginning to move some ink around on my sketchbook pages. Need to get in a new groove. I am feeling a bit betwixt and between with lots of big idea work coming over the desk that the magic moment to ink and think has not arrived. I am eyeballing some czech illustration. Also, am thinking graphic…flat and shapy. Who knows. I will need to think about advertising in the 3x3 Annual Directory. What to run? One page or two? Does it make sense (I seem to think so)…and how to take advantage of this advertising. Plus, the fall is within reach, are there images I need to work on for the up and coming shows? or will the advent and rapture work be a shot? the bunny rabbits?

Clear skies. No humidity. Summer perfection today.

On the Fringes

Fringe Tree in Bloom, Q. Cassetti, 2011Another beautiful spring summer day. Today we prep for Rob travelling, Alex for a concert and Kitty for Kitty. I am talking to you before getting whisked off to be number one companion. We have shoes to buy, laundry to do, and a community chorus concert at the Presbyterian Church at 7:30 p.m.

I have a feeling we may have a lot of music in the house this summer with Alex getting all charged up about playing jazz from a very positive music session with a very calm, smart and together friend yesterday. He came home ON FIRE.

LOVED seeing that.

As you can see, the allium is going to seed. Our fragrant Fringe Tree (which is always a second from dying…as the older part of the tree is open and the woodpeckers have started in on it) is renewed, with a new tree springing from the base. Our neighbors all have glorious herbacious peonies. We have none. Guess why! The damned DEER. Target practice starts today. I am having a hard time deciding which weapon we will be practicing with…but lethal is the watchword. The Deerisaurus hate monarda…and that plant is flourishing. Guess that is my choice. All else they eat despite the “deer proof” designation. Stupid us.

We saw the MacGillicuddies who were great with Farmer Thor vocalizing to tunes such as “80 Dead Chickens”, and I think, “Kill the Possum”. Thor was very cute and having fun, spreading the energy to all of us. Rumor has it that the rub board player was his brother who had the same beamishness…loving being up front with the happy crowd. High energy. Lots of dancers. The bar was pleasantly crowded. A good night was had by all (even me!). I actually met some new people (fun!) and had a nice exchange. Did I say I love Trumansburg enough today?

I am busy drawing away, smudging ink all over pages to some success…not a ton. But as you know, I am warming up. Not everything can rock the house as much as I try.


Moving Forward

Double Bunny, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and inkWow. The Mothers Day for Peace event at the Rongo was amazing. Heather Hallagan transformed the space with cherry boughs and flowers, a big table of baked goods for sale and lots of touches that took the event to another level.The music lineup and performances were outstanding…with each group hitting the mark incredibly. The music alone was worth going…but then there was the tribe! Wonderful group of people were there with lots to talk about, learn, encourage and cheer on. I met the wonderful Greg Kops principal of Mouselink Media , who from a pretty quick sketch of a web page created the great Greg and his partners are moving into a new space so as to be able to do more, teach, expand their thinking around the internet, social media etc. Greg is a total inspiration and force to be reckoned with in our little town. I cannot wait to see what’s next. There were a slew of others I had a chance to really talk with and catch up. It was great.

I caught up (kinda sorta) Saturday! and feel like a rock has rolled off my back. There is more ahead, but it all feels significantly more manageable. Amazing. As an aside, I rediscovered my wonderful rotring sketch pen…and cleaned it up…and now I am back pushing luscious puddles of black ink around into shapes. How meditative and delightful. ( has a good price)

Hopefully, the tuxedo delivers today. What with the crush of tests Alex has had (SAT and today an AP) this is something he is happily anxious about. I am so into men’s formal clothing that I have been focused (what with the royal wedding) on the royals and their dress. I was delighted to see Prince Charles in a cut away with a boutonniere being a single hellebore (Lenten Rose). No crass big rosebud…but a lovely outdoor flower…no hybrid…just perfect. So, I was tromping around the backyard with Shady Grove this morning looking for the two hellebore I put in last year (and there they were) so that my stylish boy can have a boutonniere like the Duke of Windsor. I think the plants might need a bit of manure as they seem a tad scrawny….but they survived the winter (just like another bane, the GARLIC MUSTARD—which I was ripping out by the handfuls). If only the damned deer ate garlic mustard…..hmmmmm.

Onward! The week awaits!


New Week

Fruit of the Field, Q. Cassetti, 2011, vector, Adobe Illustrator CS5Got the big pub work last evening—to be on the Art Directors desk first thing this morning. I took the image through the paces re composition and crop and looked at color or black and white. I hope its okay….and if its not, I will certainly find out (soon!). Plugging away on all the other stuff on our roster. Tons. Phone calls to make, people to talk to, projects to complete. If I just keep chipping, chipping….maybe I will at least keep the pile from growing too high.

We went off to Felicia’s last night to hear Amy and Ward Puryear in Double E. The music was great! and there were people dancing, chatting and drinking the delectibles that the Felicia Tribe dreams up and delivers. Nice crowd—particularly for a Sunday night. Then off to hear a swing band at Maxis with Alex and Rob. So, despite there was work yesterday, we had a little outing to at least suggest we were weekending.

The phone is about to ring with a scheduled call…so I need to go.

Wintery Mix

Mardi Gras Mix, Q. Cassetti, 2011, Pitt Pen, Ultra Sharpie on MoleskineMardi Gras is tomorrow. Our friends Peter and Peggy are in Lafayette listening and playing with some of the best Louisiana can offer along with participitating in la vrai Mardi Gras, Cajun style. Lots of activity with music, asking door to door for things to add to the stew, and of course, the annual pole shinny for chickens and the like. And, and, and there are costumes and great hilarity. So, to honor Peter and Peggy’s sojourn, I have a few Mardi Gras pix (today and tomorrow). Tried adding to color to this…and yup, flat tire. Need to try with the tones like last week…

Have been listening to our new radio station 90.1 that has been talking a lot about cajun music—and music of the various New Orleans Social Clubs…the Prince of Wales Social and Pleasure Club, in particular.(another link to photos>>)I need to understand how these clubs work. They feel much like the social clubs in Phillie (Mummers!) and to some degree, the contrada clubs in Siena where it is  neighborhood, intergenerational thing…that goes way beyond their events, but to a lifestyle that is engrained in the local fabric. I need to read up…there is something wonderful here.

You probably dont know that I am huge Mummer fan…the whole insanity of their stut, the concept of hundreds of men dressed in feathers and glitter playing BANJOS in unison. I mean, doesnt get much better than that. We went to see them at an indoors extravaganza when we were living in Philadelphia (this is why I am married to the most wonderful and patient man!) and it was wild. The sheer din of the wockawocka of the banjos…and the out there traditions these clubs espoused. We need some of this here in the Burg. Hmmm.

We got the snow. About ten inches…and we got the snow day. I clocked down a bunch of work…Alex hung out, and was forced out of the house with a shovel to help. Rob was busy.

I think we may go out for dinner! 

Grey Wednesday

Phone call central here. Had a good meeting with the Yearbookers today. We planned the Senior picture this a.m.—going out to the bleachers with the students sitting in the bleachers to see how we are going to set up the shot. We have 15 minutes to do it. I am going to pray for sunshine. We are working on the pretext that we will be working in InDesign and Photoshop to produce a publication at Lulu. But, after trolling the web, I found a cool option to this. Take the ease/ simplicity of layout from the big Yearbook companies and marry it to the speed, price and options of on design printing (Lulu) and it is manifested at Entourage Yearbooks. I ordered a sample and we will see what we can do. We can do custom custom custom…but the minute I don’t want to give up my morning slot pre work, they will need a sustainable resource and approach that doesnt need the coaching and training by a professional designer/ print pro. This idea of sustainable is important… and taking the designer out of the equation…is important too. So…I think I will be looking at some of the tutorials etc. prior to our plunging in. Plus, they dovetail with Josten and Lifetouch perfectly…Less work for me. Maybe more fun for the class. I am feeling very good about this.

We are making plans for the first. LCD Soundsystem and the Sleigh Bells are playing at Hamilton College (and we have snagged 2 tickets)—so we are driving to Utica with Alex and a friend and leaving them for the concert (with Rob and me hanging somewhere else).—and then picking them up. Alex is absolutely thrilled that Rob could work out getting tickets and for once, we are okay. We will spend the night in Utica (as we have to go to Tully, NY early the next morning for a Cross Country Meet and will take Alex and friend down for this gig). For once, we are doing okay as parents. It’s rare…but sometimes we hit. Sounds like another not too relaxing weekend. Over the 16th we are back in Amherst for a parents weekend with Kitty. Rob is gone the next weekend. A weekend in November we are off to Chicago for the SOFA show (maybe taking Alex too).  I am seeing deepdish pizza and brats with the boy.So lots of getting out and about. Bizzy.

Am working on an image derived from the week in the Adirondacks. The more wonderful the picture will inspire other images of dancing bears, pinecones, and cottages. Bring on the canoes, fires, and fish.

Have a wall of calls from now on. Just wanted to say hi.


Snippets from Grassroots: 07.23.2010, Q. Cassetti, 2010It was wet in the air and hot, and still. Nothing moved except the papers to curl into themselves. None of the puddles dried up. And even in the tents, my glasses fogged up. It was a humidifier all day combined with the amazing Preston Frank and thousands of steaming topless bodies, the sights and heightened smells added to the flavor of Grassroots. Heat was also in the music. So, worth it all the way.

Preston Frank in a big tent with a very appreciative audience was a shot in the arm. Hypercharged Zydeco. We danced a bit until my face was streaming and we needed water. It was great hearing Preston do some of my favorite Boozoo Chavis songs…albeit he did not sing my favorite, “You will look like a Monkey when you get old” (a loving tune about his WIFE).

After that, we heard Mountainheart, an amazing string band that segued into rock and roll covers and back out again, seamlessly. The crowd was electric—so as you can see from the top picture, the band had a throughly good time as well. They have tremendous presence and worked very much as an organic group, one instrument, with all the various musicians handing off to the other either instrumentally or vocally. They also loved the audience, and the audience loved them right back.

We hung out with some old friends and then heard the end of the Sim Redmond Band at the Grandstand. G oodness, the level of production is really up, with the lighting and stage dressing at a far higher, far less shaggy approach that  it was a tremendous show with Sim and group as tight and good as ever.

On the way out, we stopped at the dance tent and were delighted with Jsan and the Analog Sons. High energy, driving reggae, great show, great horns and an amazing keyboardist who we see pop up locally.

We got home around midnight. Alex around 3 a.m. and Kitty spent the night. Another day starts. We will swim the vast Cayuga and feed the cats before going back for more music. The buttons are selling at the Art Barn. I have found my price point. Ideas are hatching as we speak.

Friday: Grassroots week

Zydeco Trail Riders, Main Street, Trumansburg, Q. Cassetti, 2010To the left are the Zydeco Trail Riders. They wanted their picture snapped after their fun performance Wednesday night at the Rongo. So obliged. To see more of the Trail Rider photos>> There is a workable one in there. They were very cute and chatty (as you can see) with Sally laughing and making the boys laugh along with her. They were great, high spirited and fun. Wednesday night was fun with dining and dancing with Kitty and Laura shaking their wild thing like the Drama Club regulars they are.. Rob and Bruce saw Keith Frank on the Commons and the All American Hell Drivers late at Barangus.

Friday at Grassroots (an edited collection of images from yesterday’s fun at Flickr)>>

Grassroots opened to a bluesky wonderful day. I went to the festival around two with Rob and Alex and was presented to our tent, chairs and little encampment surrounded by lots of people I already knew. I wandered over to the Art Barn to take my little things to sell (buttons, stickers, tattoos). I made up two little cigar boxes with nice labels on them for the stuff and put the buttons (as groups) on ribbons.

Then, Rob and I wandered over to see what was happening in the dance tent to find Mac Benford and crew playing stellar old time music. Mac is sort of the gran ddaddy  to the local old time music scene and he and they were def. on their game. Peter was there (designating that this was the place to be) complete with his brand new antique electric tricycle complete with cooler and a yellow fringed awning, prominently visual and the making, for me, of what Grassroots is. Small Town, Community, and the Church of Whats Happening Now. The cloggers were there along with our wonderful Professor Margery, Zydeco dancer to the stars. We wandered over to the new Cabaret Hall to hear Pat Burke, and then back to the  Mac and company.

Top: The Grady Girls, Bottom left, Harley Campbell and Mac Benford, Bottom right top: art barn sign, bottom right bottom, Eric AcetoI volunteered to work at the Art Barn as they needed extra coverage and am happy I did. The people loved the work and it was interesting to take money for my stuff and hear what they said about why that button or sticker. Instant feedback. I am seriously thinking of seeing if I can do a tent and do a “Hodge Podge Lodge” or “Q Brand” for the event. I think it would go…shirts etc. This is different than the Art Trail and for the same investment of time and effort, along with an understanding of what the local market wants to pay for stuff, seems doable. I want to sell penny candy too. There is too much easy stuff out there to do.  It is fascinating because there is a ton of interest in how I do my work along with a different respect for the work being printed on canvas versus framed with glass and mats. Seems more real/more accessible I think. My brain is whirring.

I was enchanted with the Grady Girls, sisters and cousins playing traditional Irish reels, jigs and waltzes along with family members from parents and aunts to little step dancing girls leaping and kicking to their hearts delight. The Girls are lovely in fresh cotton sundresses and the requisite cowboy boots, tight in their music and openly loving being part of this whirl they create. Rob is hopeful to get them for the Saint Patrick’s Day 2300˚—which would be terrific.

Djug Django was sublime with the poetic Eric Aceto leading the music with his violin sound bringing pathos and sweetness to a really amazing group of musicians. I have to say, each of the performances from Hip Hop (GunPoets), to Irish (Grady Girls), to Old Time (Mac Benford) to County/Rockabilly Swing (Kelley and the Cowboys)—everything we heard was top shelf excellent. The smaller groups put the “Big Name” (Merle Haggard) to shame in their ernest professionalism and high quality performances. What an honor to have these artists come to our little Tburg….(and many hail from here!).

It promises thunder today. I do not know how I feel about that and the mud. Time will tell.


Two new banners at the Hangar Theatre, Q. Cassetti, 2010Last night we attended the comedy, “The 39 Steps” at the Hangar Theatre…their opening night in the newly rennovated space. Imagine my surprise and delight  when we pulled up to the Hangar to find 3 of the 6 large scale banners hung on the building! Yes, I know I did the work, but to see them bigger than life and better than anticipated (how often does that happen?) Man, to gloat a bit, this vector stuff really works big like a dream. I need to get back to working this style a bit more…cause the huge piece matches up nicely with the tiny reproduction on the cover of the program. The theatre looks great and real. We are so lucky to have such generous citizens donate to make this a theatre facility to match the talent and shows being presented. Wendy Dann, the director of  “The 39 Steps” took us all on a very imaginative journey with four very skilled, comedic actors creating environments out of parts leading us  to places outlandish or predictable.  We were in trains, planes, automobiles and rollercoasters. There were no end of windows and doors that were cued beautifully…(Alex’s observation) to interesting and odd locations. It was a fun confection, the play, the place, the rich evening rolling in front of us after this fun experience. I highly recommend it. I need better pix of the banners…but hey, here are the point and shoots.

Saturday a.m. at SaudersGloria and I got up early and went to Sauders for granola makings, fresh strawberries and the like. I bought bacon ends, free range eggs, and something called “Amish Wedding” Cherry juice. We got strawberries which were glorious and the shape that say, “I am not from California or Florida” in an entirely different coloration and red. I got some chicken, some cheese, and containers to pack more granola in as there seems to be a new demand for the stuff. I snapped some shots to show you that no…this is not holllywood Amish stuff, but the real Mennonite scene.  We left at 8, got back by 10 with a 40 -45 drive each way. It was great driving north on RT. 414 through Romulus which we call the Amish Mainstreet. Farmstands galore, with tons of big draft horses grazing or even better, harnessed and working— truly defining 12 horsepower. Its not quite that time, but with twenty bucks and a big cooler, I can easily fill the box with produce for a week from these farmstands. Soon…but now its asparagus, fresh peas and the new strawberries. Cherries are a week away…particularly the sour cherries which I will pick with Kitty and Alex and Peter Hoover sometime during the first week of July.

We just got back from Americana Winery for lunch with Gloria, Rob’s sister who is visiting. The food was glorious and we sat outside and pretended we were on vacation…talking and having fun. The only damper to our lunch was that another table brought their feisty Shepherd mix who decided to try to get into a fight with the two winery chocolate labs. Amazingly enough, the Shepherd’s family sat placidly there while the lab was threatened very loudly by their pooch. Certainly made lunch a lot less pleasant with that sort of floor show. Note to self: keep the dog in the car or at home…and let everyone have a nice time.

More pictures in the works. I am working on a Lubok (Russian Folk Art) inspired bee picture. When Jim R. saw it.. we decided to fuse this approach with the new Cayuga Blue Notes band he is in. Love it. Should be fun.

Gotta go.


Kitty Dancing by Emily Pratt, 2010The picture to the left sums up spring here in Tburg. There are plays and dances accompanied by parties and gatherings, music and food. The flowers are on the grow with the peony's red stems pushing up and exploding. The tree peonies have ripe big buds that will be the hargingers for the herbaceous ones.

We went to the Rongo to hear Toivo last night. Toivo was wonderful and the crowd was filled with all sorts of interesting and interested people that I loved catching up with. More talk on local food, local grain and local cuilinary opportunities.  Turns out that Peter Hoover has a hundred apple trees and leases bee hives for pollination and ten pounds of honey. He told me about how is managing these frosty evenings with electric fans pointed at the trees, keeping the air moving so that the buds do not freeze. He voiced some concern around the frosts and the cherry harvest this July as there may not be the quantities. He told us about his time in Venezuela engaged in the music and culture and his return trip a few years ago. It was great having a chance to visit with a local treasure.

I was told another sad piece of news. It recently surfaced that there is a hundred year law that has been put back into action that there cannot be chickens in the Village of Trumansburg. I thought that might be a fun thing to do as we have friends and family that have chickens and they have been selling me on the idea of trying it. I figured we could hide them in the back forty...but now....I wonder what they would think of llamas?

Then we went to the Pourhouse for dinner to hear the Grady Girls playing wonderful, lively irish music with friends and family of the girls dancing and beaming over their music and performance. Very happy and happy making. More wonderful people to talk to and catch up with. Its fun to have a crowd here because wherever we go, we bring the party with us and are able to introduce our friends to the wider world.

A less taxing alternative to slow dancing, Emily Pratt, 2010 (note: Alex C. is wearing the red shoes)Tonight is the first night of the HS play, "Snoopy!". Alex is very concerned about the vestiges of eye makeup so is always peering into a mirror or a dark piece of glass to see whether it is gone or not. Both Kitty and Alex were all dressed up (honoring the first day of the play) this morning with a bounce in their step and I hope a song in their heart. We will have performances today, tomorrow and Saturday. Friday night I am the mom in charge for a gathering at the Woodland Road House for after the play. And Saturday is the cast party here chez Camp which I have concluded will be baked potatoes for everyone along with drinks and maybe yogurt and granola in little cups. Simple, healthy and hot carbos for energetic people. Need to make my Sauders list immediately.

Got a zillion small things done yesterday. The iPhone art has morphed to gen2 iPad cover instead. Andy Howell, the art director cropped the illustration (which looks pretty cool) and I will re-jigger the final for him this a.m. I am hopeful that this might get noticed and sold. And, I love the idea of wrapping an iPad which is a bigger canvas for my work. Two things for the Museum iPad sketchyesterday.

Designed another series of buttons for the iPhone/Blackberry for an app. my healthcare client is doing. As an aside, if you need to do something like this or even sketch this sort of thing, I found this wonderful, wonderful template online along with this step by step article on development (complete with GUI templates in photoshop and illustrator for design) These tools made generating a series of icons a snap--as there were a series of back and forths that could have been less simple if I had not had this tool in layers to click new images into new layers and save. Easy> therefore, higher fun factor.  So, I am kind of cranked up about this. Pretty exciting. Stefan has a good idea for an app that maybe we will need to figure out when we have a spare moment after I get his work done.---

I want to send out for more postcards and a sticker for Hodge Podge Lodge for our granola bags today. i am going to use Printograph as their prices (and quality) is excellent--and if I keep going there, I will be eligible for their brokers' pricing which I can then use for my clients. That would be very sweet.