Roasted for Flavor

Lubok Hive Study, Q. Cassetti, 2010, pen and inkPrinted posters for the Zydeco Trail Riders/Rongo, so look out for them. The Trail Riders will be playing on the 21st at the Rongo…and I have a pal in the band so it was a fun illustration project. There is another one brewing for the Cayuga Blue Notes too.

Today, I have turned to butter. Absolutely a big puddle due to the heat and still air.  It is cloying…There is promise of a break on Friday. We need it. The hot air being moved around yesterday was not helpful…but about 4 yesterday, my brain just plain shut down. Tonight, the lake, the cold lake is where I am going to float and float and float until that puddliness becomes a cold core again. After looking at…today promises to be 92 and tomorrow 94…so the hot ride is not over yet. I am pushing water with Nigel and Kitty and Alex.  Need to brew some tea…somehow coffee doesnt seem to appeal.

 Yesterday’s picture and today’s unfinished picture were constructed from this weekend’s sketching/inspired by the Lubki high patterning of landscapes. It’s one decorative chunk abbutting another decorative chunk. Odd perspectives, if any…This image wants text…and perhaps a text window cut into the foliage.

More branding talk today. Its been interesting listening/ and engaging in a high level branding series of presentations and discussion. It is not customercentric…This big agency is always referencing their fees, out of contract etc. even prior to talking about an idea…Its not about solving the design and image problem…its not about making a great representation for a great company but its about fees and fee structures within a stuffed meeting with too many members of the consulting team that adds up to big fees for education and training of their team. I certainly could not get away with this sort of mischief. I guess these guys get away with it once…and once and once….I value the client/designer relationship for the longterm so that my education is amortized on a longterm basis. Should be interesting.

Tuesday: Looking towards the weekend

Sweetness Alight, Q. Cassetti, 2010, pen and inkTuesday started early. I got double thumped by the cats around four a.m.—impatient for cookies and attention.We then had to get rolling early to get Kitty and a friend to Corning with Rob for the day—to see the Rockwell Museum of Western Art, The Corning Museum of Glass and the fun on Market Street. Alex has a new job (self elected) at the Rongovian Embassy to the US on Main Street here is sunny Trumansburg. Dishwashing. He called me to say he was washing a pile of dishes and will be working until 6 p.m. Hard work, hard lessons…but all good because I am not jamming it at him. He has brought it on through his own motivation. I am thrilled.

Alex and I are going to learn how to smoke meat this summer. We bought a smoker from Josh Ozersky (now and food writer for TIME) and tried it once. But Alex is anxious to perfect his bro-meister skills…which may incorporate barbeque and smoking to the mix of bro skills. The Urban Dictionary defines a “bro” as:

“An alpha male idiot. This is the derogatory sense of the word (common usage in the western US): white, 16-25 years old, inarticulate, belligerent, talks about nothing but chicks and beer, drives a jacked up truck that’s plastered with stickers, has rich dad that owns a dealership or construction business and constantly tells this to chicks at parties, is into extreme sports that might be fun to do but are uncool to claim (wakeboarding, dirt biking, lacrosse), identifies excessively with brand names, spends a female amount of money on clothes and obsesses over his appearance to a degree that is not socially acceptable for a heterosexual male.”

The MFA program at Hartford is beginning to ramp up. You can see the work of the incoming students here>> I am also collecting the Texas contact period illustrations from the current students (classes of 2010, 2011) and this is where we are>> Take a look. Pretty exciting.

We have three screenwriters in the back room meeting. I am friends with one of the guys who was looking for a place to have a 3-4 hour meeting (not at the coffee shop) so I said “come here” as we have chairs and tables and coffee too. So we have people busy chatting about interesting things that we get snippets as we go in for tea.

Work to do.

Monday startup

Sweet Maiden, Q. Cassetti, 2010, pen and inkYesterday was quiet. I was wiped out. I guess it all added up with the passage of visitors, kid parties, and visiting family. I just needed to shut down. I knew it when the uber petty was forefront in my head and I kept cycling on the trite. So, I slept the afternoon away. And the trite went away, and in that vast vacuum, ideas of bees, of Kama (the indian cupid) and  the world as a hive filled that space. I dive into my Lubok book on a regular basis now…enjoying the odd russian tales melding Russian Orthodoxy  with folklore, legends and myths. Human headed birds, bear armies, midgets and dwarves, and strife between husband and wife. Of course there are heaven and hell infusions as well. Dreamy.

This hazy state is a nice one from last year this time with the frantic rush to the thesis finale, multiple guests in tow and flat out from June 1 to  September 1. The summer stretches ahead of us in a long green ribbon with work and play interrupted by swimming , music and the daily vacationing we have here on the plateau and on the lake. Bliss.

I just finished another bee book: Letters from the Hive: An Intimate History of Bees, Honey, and Humankind, a wonderful journey through the history of gathering, growing and living with bees with chapters on food, medicine, religious rites, mythology and science by an entomologist . This is a wonderful second to Holley Bishop’s Robbing the Bees: A Biography of Honey—The Sweet Liquid Gold that Seduced the World. Wonderful summer reading. Sweet in its depth, in it’s topic and gives more meaning to the bees buzzing in your large trumpet vines and roses. These books put nature squarely in your lap and makes the lovely agricultural lands that surround you more poignant and the cities more approachable (tales of a beekeeper, Jean Paucton at the Paris Opera who has kept five hives on the roof for a decade and sells his honey through very exclusive concerns such as the opera gift shop and Fauchon in his home town). I think another bee book is in the lineup. Just need to choose.

More later.

Feathered fun

Images of KamadevaKnocking em down. Alex is done with his exams. Kitty has a little summer bug. Mr. Percival B. White has settled in…with lots of lolling about, sleeping in odd places, cuddling with shoes. Nigel is done this week— he has a little trip planned. Rob is Manager on Duty tonight…so he will be running late.

More pictures of Kamadeva. Love the parrot made up of green sari’ed ladies…or the little cart pulled by a pair of birds.

From Indian Divinity:


Kamadeva, the god of love, is very fair and handsome and the best looking among the gods. He carries a bow made of sugarcane and strung with a line of humming bees. He shoots with his bow the five flower-tipped shafts of desire. RATI (passion)his wife and his friend VASANTA (spring), who selects for him the shaft to be used on the current victim accompanies him. Kamadeva’s vehicle is the parrot.
Lovely, lovely exotica.
Now for a channel change. Jim Reidy told me about this fabulous, free presentation site that one can create truly cool presentations in a distinct, non linear way.—defines itself as a “zoomable interface”. Not only is it cool as a way to go beyond the stupidity of Powerpoint—but as an artist/illustrator/ designer… thinking of this medium as a way to tell a story is very cool. Need to fiddle with it a bit…but the ability to zoom in /out can add focus, and draw the viewer in to a story. Take a look.
One more exclamation on the local level. We have a bulk foods store moving into the former Artisan Cafe space “Good to Go”! I found out about this on 
Facebook as they are vetting their logotype to the group at large…So, another new retailer in our little hamlet.
More later.



Love God

KamadevaDoing a little cerebral multi tasking while looking at my lovelly Lubok book, reading a book on Devi (Hindu Gods) and having (as usual) bees on the brain. The Lubok illustration just vibrates with strong power albeit naively distorting things and living very much in the land of the flat and patterned. I am working on another Lubok bee picture, picking up elements (some typographic frames and detail) as I chip away at it. The Devi book is chock full of tiny stories of different iterations of Vishnu  other gods. Of course, there is Ganesha (the elephant headed guy) and the horrifying and compelling Kali (goddess of blood and death) and now, there is Kama (Kama Deva). He is the god of pleasure— and is shown riding a parrot (!!), shooting a bow with a sugar cane bow…Kama is known by these attributes as well as bees…! Wikipedia says:

Kāmadeva is represented as a young and handsome winged man who wields a bow and arrows. His bow is made of sugarcane with a string of honeybees, and his arrows are decorated with five kinds of fragrant flowers. The five flowers are Ashoka tree flowers, white and blue lotus flowers, Mallika tree(Jasmine) andMango tree flowers.

So, there has to be a picture or two of him…as there are all things good…Parrots, bees and bows and arrows. An indian cupid albeit he is a bit more about divine love, heavenly love, and the desire for that. So, russian folk art will meet hindu gods…Yay!

Rob got home yesterday afternoon. He had a great time and seems like he learned a great deal during his journey about work, design, and perceptions of the GlassLab. We are glad to have him home.

I am clocking down the work. Tomorrow, I am really seeing the pile reduce and quiet before the craziness that often comes with summer. Its great to have it settle down.

The Yearbook team met today which evolved into a planning session for the first half of next year’s class, what we are doing, how we assign the teams, what the jobs are and how we will keep the project on target and responsible for the production of the book. I am optimistic. I bought a few of the “Day in the Life” books from Alibris—which I took over to them as an inspiration for the type of photography we will do. We have 100 pictures a week as a mandate (and the students will edit 10 out, and submit them to the yearbook team for review every three classes). Here is a link to this years book to show you what we printed with Lulu>>. There is more interest at the Middle School and other small schools around here about “how we did it”. I  predict we will be talking to others in the next few months.

First day of Summer, 2010

Summer Bounty, Q. Cassetti, 2010Not much to say. It was redding up last night and a load of laundry this morning. Shady went out with me to check on the efficacy of the Irish Spring treatment on our apple trees (its working) this morning. She managed to get herself tangled up in velcro weed and ended up covered in thorny, green pods which wasnt the end. She found a delicious patch of something that she started rolling in…ending up sticky, and appropriately stinky. Then, she shared the wealth with me. Cut to the chase, a bath before nine….for Ms. Shady Grove along with a lot of brushing.

Kitty is finishing her adirondack chair this morning. Hopefully we can engage her in class selections and take her picture for Hampshire. Long and drawn out.

I discovered my illustration work was being posted, “blogged” and “reblogged” on There are posts by people talking about reusing my artwork ( I know, I know, that this is wrong…but how do you stop it). I am fine if they want to use it, its more the sheer courtesy, yes manners, of asking before taking. But, I am showing my old age and fussy upbringing in even saying this. Erich is always reminding me that things have changed despite the laws, and that once things are  posted, they are public and out of my control. Tumblr is microblogging, in a sense like twitter, but a way to share ideas, images, photographs etc. How would you address this…? Yes, its like Twitter and Facebook but feels somewhat more random for me. Here is what I found on Tumblr re: me, me and did I say, me? 

Starting a new sweet picture in the Lubok spirit….same topic, new style (or changed style)… More later. These take a bit longer.

Sunday Berries

In Search of the Sweet, Q. Cassetti, 2010, pen and inkAlex and I had a quiet evening—chatting and hanging out. It was really nice to spend one on one time with this thoughtful person. He has lots of good insights and ideas. He has a great intuitive pulse on people and I trust his observations as they are founded in a balance of good values and clear thought.

The picture to the left is a bow to Lukok, the Russian folk art style I have mentioned in the past. I loved the playing card inspired face and the bizarre interpretation of the horse and his eyes… I was thinking of crusaders and the things they took with them or even found during their trips and decided that a skep filled with honey would be a grand thing. The torch in the riders hand is a primitive smoker that the beekeepers need to  quiet the bees before they break into the hive.  I cannot resist doing more of these goofy horses…they are so funny and rock. .Thus this image. It looks pretty woodcutty. I don’t know if we need color? Jim Reidy saw this and this is the basis for the Cayuga Blue Notes image. Fun, Right?

Alex and I and Haley all went to Silver Queen Farm (Stillwell Rd, Trumansburg) to pick strawberries. It worked out that Alex and Haley picked strawberries and peas while I gathered a bucket of raspberries, which I have mascerating in a bit of sugar right now. The plan is to break these berries out into separate containers for cakes etc. later. The delicacy of “soft fruit” was apparent to me while I cruised down the lanes of trimmed and shapely raspberry hedges. I was noting how clean and non weedy the whole operation is…but musing that if I was a snake, I would be in those toasty bushes making my nest in the quiet, fragrant, hot darkness. Creeping myself out, I shook the idea. Then as Alex and Haley came to shake me from my meditation, I was going for a dark space and a twinkle of a serpentine head with a long (2”) forked tongue appeared…and I squeeked. They were there…so it wasnt a creepy thing…it was a real part of the story!

Two double batches of granola out of the oven. A full one going in for Kitty’s teacher who is “hooked” to the stuff, and the other to fill the cache we have here that is dwindling. Need to go  finish that project and wrap some graduation presents. No rest for the wicked.

Before the storm

Under the golden light, Q. Cassetti, 2010, mixed mediaLots of kids and activity here yesterday. Alex got a golf game in despite the rain. Kitty worked at the makeup company, Silk Naturals helping to put together a series of mini kits. It seems to be quiet work, but it makes Kitty happy.

The grass is thick and lush…and LONG. Another day of promising rain, first thing this morning. Poor Chet, the lawnmower man, will have to put bigger tires to raise his mower up to clear this long, long grass. We took Shady out last night and I threw pinecones (Shady’s passion) into the brush and she, poor driven thing, went “to ground” to find the cone, coming out of the greenery wrapped in “velcro weed” and absolutely covered with seeds. She was patient and very sweet letting me comb her to get the green prickles out of her long dark hair. I am thinking that maybe she gets another haircut today.

This picture is another in the works. I think I like the components better than the overall…and may chop it up and see if I can make a pattern block or two from this. The triangular tulip could make a nice repeat as well as the yellow posies. I have mounted a few patterns to Spoonflower, but the catch before the patterns go live, I think I have to order a swatch to proof it. So, that’s where the money is. I am going to make some pillows out of a bee fabric or two…and I have these cool tibetian charms (golden bees) that I would like to sew around the edges…Could be really nice.

I have been going a bit crazy with the charms and bee stuff. They are really cheap on ebay from Asia…and want to package them up for sale on Etsy. The bees are dear, and the religious ones…well…are religious (which for me is **!!).

I finished up the teeshirt for the Pourhouse…They seem pleased. More stuff for the big client…There is a down and back to Corning in late afternoon for Kitty’s teeth. Big day.

Midweek shuffle.

In the Garden, Q. Cassetti, 2010, pen and ink.Seems like rain right now. Humid and cool, which I love…but dark. I wrangled the trash and recycling to the curb this morning with Shady sitting placidly admiring my efforts. But, its all there…and now all I have to do is wait with baited breath for the rumbling truck and friendly people come to fetch it. Fingers crossed (as every week) that maybe, just maybe, they will take our organized load.

Yearbook meeting was good yesterday. We will meet next week with a planner and the first half schedule in front of us to be able to do more accurate lesson planning. I told them about Rick Smolen’s “Day in the Life” series…which made me feel quite ancient as it wasn’t exactly yesterday…and how we will use that idea to spring into the conversation and focus on telling stories with pictures. I went on Alibris and bought used copies of these books (a few less than $7.00 a piece). I have other ideas around this…that has some energy around it. It was interesting to hear that other principals in the area were told about our project and there seems to be some interest around doing a Lulu Yearbook too. I think there might be a little money around creating templates for these yearbooks to make it easier for the schools to do this. My guess is the big Yearbook companies have not had the wind let out of their sails re: on demand printing…as they had these small schools in their palm…without the product/or offering changing much…except for the price hitting everyone’s pocket. I like the idea that we can change this a bit..and make this publication available to everyone at a fair price.

Kitty signed up for her Orientation project. Hampshire offers all sorts of cool things to do during orientation as a way of self selecting groups. There are things from paper mache and bookbinding, to white water kayaking and canoeing, to poetry, to “pranking”, to building structures in nature (Kitty picked). Today, we need to launch into looking and picking courses…There is not much time. But, that’s done. Alex has a regents test, breakfast with friends at the Falls, and a round of golf after the test. Sounds pretty dreamy. Another summer of a course membership for Alex (really inexpensive)…so I am delighted he is going to press it into action.

Gloria comes in today (Red eye to NYC, NYC to Syracuse and the new add, the Syracuse airport to airport shuttle to Ithaca). So there is a lot of excitement around that.

Bright morning

Between nectar and the sun, Q. Cassetti, 2010, pen and inkSummer beckons. We are on the verge of that slow time. A week or so longer of scheduled tests, time with friends, and finally graduation. Kitty has a few things to do…and then there is outside work to begin with Nigel. I have a mountain to attack of work, planning and getting my act in gear for the summer and finally prep for next fall. Lots of little things that add up that perhaps I can chip away in the next few days to reduce the pile.

I did something wild yesterday. I ordered some new software. I ordered Manga Studio, a software program that focuses on inking, drawing, tones, bubbles that are the tools for manga and comic drawings. I also have the only book, a “dummies’ guide to this software. I hope there is a link to a pdf guide too.This tone component and the brushes are what intrigues me that painter doesn’t provide. Nor does illustrator…where there are work arounds, but not the tool for that sort of thing. If it doesn’t work out, ah well…but it may give me some alternative approaches to the current and future work. We’ll see.

The bees evolve. I am thinking about the isolated queens and how she spends her life. I am thinking about how historical houses accomodated bee hives into the exterior walls of their houses, or nested into the walls surrounding the compound. Bee keeping was predominantly was women’s work—knit into the cooking, care of the family, gardens and house and home keeping. The queen is the center of her hive—focused on her job of creating the future of her community through her continual egg laying. She is tended by nurses and attendants who create the honeycombs, who tend to the larvae and who develop and feed the future queen(s).

I have a yearbook recap and discussion today. I woke up this morning with the process and thinking figured out. It is about story telling through pictures using examples (the Rick Smolen books, Elliot Erwitt, some of the Black Star photographers, Annie Leibowitz ) of how others do this. The yearbook is all about photo journalism…creating dynamic content that can go into a very simple shell, format that will allow good images cropped well….and that is the purpose. Everyone knows about picture taking. Everyone cannot take a good picture because they haven’t thought about it.

On to the work.

Its coming down.

Bees all around, Q. Cassetti, 2010, mixed mediaYesterday, Kitty had studying with friends and shop time. Alex relaxed.

I worked in an unplanned way on these patterns which was derivative of a 2.25” x 12” inked pattern tile the other day. I thought it looked good as a limited palette (see first post on Saturday) and then evolved the color…and then pulled the illustration elements out of the mix to make other patterns. This is a fun break for now. I seem to go to patterns when I am in a lull…and then it gets me recalibrated back into the thinking of the current body of work or pointed at a new one. I find it interesting that this is the process.

I was looking at Virginia Lee Burton’s art project, the Folly Cove Designers’ work. You can still buy this work through the Sarah-Elizabeth Shop .  Burton, the author illustrator of the recognized children’s book, Mike Milligan and His Steam Shovel taught classes in Cape Ann MA.  From these classes and students, the Folly Cove Designers evolved (from the Sarah Elizabeth Shop background page)

The Folly Cove Designers was a group taught design by Virginia Lee Burton Demetrios. They used what they learned to design, and then carve, linoleum blocks to print on fabrics for place mats, runners, hangings, tablecloths, skirts, and yardgoods for practical uses. They started in 1938, over the years including more than forty artists in their guild-like association. No works were signed, everyone putting the group first. When their teacher died in 1968, the remaining designers decided to disband. The sample books, long yard-good hangings, and related material which remained in their retail outlet (the Barn) were given to the Cape Ann Historical Museum in Gloucester, where they can be seen to this day.

From Spiritus The Folly Cove Designers grew out of a design course taught by Virginia Lee Burton Demetrios. She lived in Folly Cove, the most northerly part of Lanesville, Gloucester, Massachusetts. She was able to express the local consensus that the world was a beautiful place, and the elements of beauty surround us in nature.

Her block printing thesis grew out of the home industries/arts and crafts movements of the past. The artist/designer of products for home use is separated from the product by machine age technology (and now globalization). Fine art for home use is within our own power. To this end her design course taught an ability to see the design in nature, a set of good design rules (dark and light, sizing, repetition, reflection, etc.), and the craftsmanship of carving the linoleum, and then printing fabric for home use.


On completion of the course the graduate was permitted to submit a design to the jury(selected Designers rotated this responsibility starting in 1943) of the Folly Cove Designers. If it was accepted as displaying the design qualities as taught in the course, then they could carve the design in linoleum and print it for sale as a Folly Cove Design.

The design course started in 1938. In 1940 they had their first public exhibition-in the Demetrios studio. The following year they decided to go public, they called themselves the Folly Cove Designers. Every year they had an opening to present the new designs, and everyone enjoyed the coffee and nisu (Finnish coffee bread). They established a relationship to wholesale their work to the America House of New York which had been established in 1940 by the American Craftsman Cooperative Council. In 1944 they hired Dorothy Norton as an executive secretary to run the business end of the successful young enterprise. In 1945, Lord and Taylor bought non-exclusive rights to five designs which pushed the reputation of the group, and began some national publicity and diverse commissions for their work.


The Home Industries shop in Rockport, Massachusetts, owned by the Tolfords, sold the Designer’s work to the public starting in 1943. It wasn’t until 1948 that the Designers opened “The Barn” in Folly Cove as their own summer retail outlet. In the late 1950’s they extended the season to ten months. Virginia Lee Burton Demetrios died in 1969. The following year the group disbanded, ending a period of unique creativity and cooperation. Some Designers were with the group for only a season and others continued with the group for decades. In 1970 the sample books, display hangings and other artifacts from the Folly Cove Designer’s Barn were given to the Cape Ann Historical Association in Gloucester, Massachusetts who are now the primary source for information about the Folly Cove Designers.

I am going to try to figure out how to post these to when I have a chance to understand the technical specs etc/

It is raining like theres no tomorrow…but in the way things are here, we will have a cloudless beautiful afternoon here on the plateau. Need to get going on paying work. What a dawdler I am.




Looking for sunshine

Zydeco Trail Riders at the Rongo, Q. Cassetti, 2010Its going to be overcast, rainy and cool today. Perfect for the peonies that haven’t been devoured by the varmints. 

Plugging away on the big pile of work…which gets sidetracked due to mini quick turnarounds which explode into bigger time consuming things to do. Would like to have a moment to learn more about the Universal Friend from Penn Yan, but that might have to wait until the weekend.

Need to order paper and get some printing done for the Hangar and for the Trail Riders. The poster to the left is the colorized/type applied poster for July. Need to finish a teeshirt for a friend as well…and am just close enough. I thrilled to the pen illustration being brought into photoshop/res’ed up to high. Creating a workpath and saving it out as a path for illustrator….and then bringing it into illustrator as a magnificent vector file. The best.

Tonight is an awards event for Kitty. Need to move a bunch of appointments around…as school/work and driving to Corning is not jiving…Hampshire sent Kitty her summer reading along with a bunch of stuff that needs to be done re health insurance, payment etc. Ooch.It isnt a frightening pile of details…but none the less…needs to be scaled soon.

More later>

Morning thoughts

Hive in My Heart, Q. Cassetti, 2010, mixed mediaLast night we had a rocking thunderstorm. I am happy for it as everything was beginning to dry up…the thick thatches of grass,  my little apple trees, the monster monarda that has taken over a part of the yard (thrilled about that). In that vein, I treated myself to a few more tree peonies to plant this fall—as this plant is so much of a thrill when they flower in an outrageous way, a better than Disney explosion and then settle down and become a pretty leafy bush for the other 51 weeks of the year. Our herbaceous peonies are starting to open…and the deer have not devoured them unlike half the hosta I have. Urg.

I have recolored some of the bee work and found that a bit of image editing (in this case adding, in yesterdays case, subracting) have helped the pictures. I am on the Zydeco piece and am redrawing it (having rediscovered my love for the Pitt Pen…particularly the jumbo one). Am musing about a style I was beginning to work with during the week of Ted and Betsy Lewin at Hartford and may do a small body of work using this to gain a bit more confidence and familiarity before coming back to the bees.  I used it once on a job for a client…and they loved it…so an alternative (can you do a portrait, an animal, a type combo, a this a that ) might be nice to have. I find that these sidebar explorations are deriving somewhat from the discipline instilled in me from high school and college training with Arnold Bank, a mentor and extraordinary teacher and calligrapher. He  taught visual people to think, but to develop their hand skills and eye with those skills through a prescribed series of requirements when one was learning a particular “hand” or hand lettering style. In order to master these hands. one had to do a small, medium and large flat piece working in text, headline and caption sizes using the plain letters and some embellished. Additionally, one had to do a small book (hand lettering at least four pages of text). I find that sort of slop over…(can I do a portrait? can I do an animal? Can I do something with type) that same approach to forge confidence in that particular “hand” or style of illustration. The more I tune what I do within the context of a body of work (at least 6 pieces), I can move to the next project or idea. This training from Hartford for the final thesis was such a valuable experience.

Ithaca Festival is today as is the Senior Dessert (no dinner so I am Providing) Dance. Alex is going with one of Kittys friends. Kitty is taking an old friend, Thea.  And another couple makes up our party. Must go.

IF: [honey] trail

Lemniscatic Dance, Q. Cassetti, 2010, multimediaIn the Early Spring, the bees go out to find new sources of nectar. They come back to the hive and tell their peers about this through a series of actions sometimes referred to as a Lemniscatic Dance, a dance that is ingrained in the bee…that literallly triangulates the sun, the point of the treasure/nectar and the hive…pointing the way for her peers.

Work in progress

Making honey from past mistakes, work in progress, Q. Cassetti, 2010Last night, as I was sleeping,
I dreamt a marvelous error;
That I had a beehive here inside my heart.
And the golden bees were making white combs
And sweet honey from my past mistakes.

-Antonio Machado

<<Illustration is a work in progress...not completed. I just wanted to see it/ share with you albeit incomplete.

I havent writting in a while as I have had a backlog of work to do...and finally, just finally I have crashed through all of that and I can sit back for a second before launching into the new pile of paying work and personal projects.

The Yearbook has gone to press. I love it when I can learn new things about software, design tricks to make more silk purses out of sows ears, and the figuring it out and surprising oneself when you use the tools and DO Figure it out. It turned out to be 135 pages of images out the ears (all submitted to me as RGB files that needed to be converted). I raided my own picture archive as well as hopping from facebook page to facebook page asking my new HS friends If I could use their images of prom, hanging out etc.and they all to a one were lovely and approved my request. This little exercise really pointed up how good cropping can make a photograph (even a bad one) and how the energy behind a school happens with photography, but not with the yearbook staff. This integration of resources (excited photographers, new media, photoshop and the Lulu book company) is where the real zing happens. And, with a bit of trepidation from former experiences, I was expecting to spend a ton of time futzing with the pdfs to make them right. Lulu got in front of that since my last big publishing, and created an add to InDesign and Acrobat with all their presets easy to access for the final pdf. So that was a snap. And despite my files being huge and having to learn how to use their recommended ftp all went without a hitch. And...I saved the color pdf 3 times and saved one out entirely as a decolored pdf for the black and white (figured that one out) as well as enlarged the book for the softbound black and white (all within Adobe Acrobat in the advanced features!). I ordered 155 color hardbound books, 55 hardbound  black and white books and 35 black and white softbound books. And if we want to order more, no problem. I placed the order around 3 on Thursday and by 3 on Friday, the softbound black and white was finished and shipping. Where is the problem here? !

Kitty and Alex are on the Delaware River on a paddling trip. The weather has been like summer so I hope even if they take a splash, it will remain a fun trip for them. Rob and I had a fun night visiting at the Pourhouse. Bruce comes in today for two weeks. We are having some fun folks over to talk about their projects and ideas. Tomorrow we have Preston Frank and Zydeco dancing in the afternoon. Maybe some cooking. The bone processing has reached another level. Maybe make soup to take a chunk out of inventory.

Need to go. Projects to do, people to see.



Queen ensconced, Q. Cassetti, 2010, pen and inkRobbing the Bees by Holley Bailey introduces the concept of Bees as munitions which is very exciting and thought provoking.  Apparently, in the times of Charlemagne and forward--the soldiers had small vessels (clay, straw etc) filled with colonies of bees. These babies were launched and you can imagine the results. Skeps were catapulted ...swarms of pissed off, stinging insects projected at one's enemy. Simple, and yet so perfect. She does go on to talk about bees (the nice and friendly Italian ones) as only stinging unless provoked (being catapulted might do just that) and that being stung to death or even dying of a bee sting (even with those who need an epipen) is an insignificant number even lower than being struck by lightening. However, with the progression of the Africanized bees, "the killer bee"  (an invasive and very surly breed), they will sting unprovoked as well as swarms will move in to kill.

Bailey also suggests that the bee is very circumspect about the people they live near. It is said that a man who is cheating on his wife, needs to sneak around the beehive as the bees do not cotton well to adultery, uncleanliness or otherwise unseemly behavior. Poor Tiger Woods on the golf course...imagine the bees. And what about Jesse James' antics. No wonder the bees are fleeing...swarming and sensitive.

The turkey vultures are sweeping our sky. They are back in force. The peepers are loud and reminding us that they are there. Shady confronted a rather odd and scary milk snake (dun colored on one side and then when they rise up, they shake their tails, and bend their head in a true serpentine line...with the color expressed as white with dark spot--totally different to the quiet camouflage that they hide in the leaves with). We are looking for spots to dig a take care of the deep wetness in our back forty...which is fun to anticipate. And of course, there is lots of talk of garden follies. If I were the Queen of the World, I would have some delightful Paul Manship sculptures sprinkled about. Most particularly, Paul Manship's Bears (Adore).

Making some good progress with work. Designing and amending like crazy. Seem to be hitting a bunch of base hits, but if I just keep hitting consistently, I will get there. Baked some more bagels and some granola last night on the brand new stove. How elegant to have such a miraculous power tool. What a lucky girl I am.