What a week

Summer in Ithaca, Q. Cassetti, 2013, Adobe Illustrator Cs5Things have been a bit wild around here. My father-in-law was rushed to the hospital last Friday with a significant nosebleed. He was in the hospital for a few days—and then the process of interviews, deliveries, questionnaires, phone calls and the beginning of the “new normal” began. Hospice has begun. He has moved downstairs as his movement/mobility is challenged. He is not in pain, though breathing  is challenging. He has limited time awake and conscious with most of the time asleep. We are all trying very hard to wrap our heads around this change…and it is stressing us all out in different ways. Everyday is different—and all of our independance is challenged as Mary and Gloria need time to tend to their lives as well. This week with Rob is going to be tough as he is seriously busy and travelling, so I feel I will fill that gap as well as I can. I have set up a Caring Bridge site (a wonderful service that is private and allows a family to talk about  a family member who is sick/ailing/challenged etc to a wide community of friends—essentially making the same “phone call” over and over again…and keeping all the friends and wellwishers up to date with the status quo. I have taken this on….and I hope its been helpful for Ron and Mary’s friends. To learn more about Caring Bridge (www.caringbridge.org)

Rob has been busy moving furniture, making beds out of sofas, moving trip hazards, supporting the change next door in a broad physical way. He also has been very kind and open with his dad and mom…spending time with them and sweetening the sadness that we all have. Lightening the moment with stories and popcorn. He is such a wonderful guy.

We got an impressive amount of snow on Friday. Its been grey until today which has given us a blazing blue and white day to relish the snow bouncecard effect on the light, and the lovely blue shadows we have here on our plateau.

I am rounding the corner on a lot of projects from the candle packaging for “Bee of Life” (using one of my bee goddesses as the image and I created a hive texture and my bees as a complement and background for the paper labels) to Sagamore’s Benefit event package graphics. My big client is bending and changing, and we are bending and changing with them. I am working on box graphics and some vintage related publications for Forge Cellars, updates on the packaging and new ideas for Redbyrd Orchard Cider. The Piggery seems well on their way with new programming and promotion (their BaconFest was a huge success) with Valentines Day seatings filling up, and plans for a St. Patricks Day Sausage Fest on the horizon. Good Life Farm is ramping up for Asparaganza this spring, so we have had a meeting about that…and putting plans in place to support this event. The Farmers Market has sent out applications for vendors (I think I may be a day vendor for a few of the markets just to sell my little thises and thats along with cards)….but we will see.

Creatively, I am a bit shot. I wish I had the zing going on that the Advent work had, but given the changeability of the moment, I am just happy to make little creature doodles in my notebook and focus on the work at hand (teasing out a content review of a website for one) to make psychic room for the extra stuff. I have also decided to spend time learning new things, so I am trying to do a few Lynda.com tutorials during the day to keep my head in the game…and learn something that can make me more productive etc. Plus, I love my digital tools….and the more I learn, the more fun it gets.

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.

a beautiful Monday in June

Lake blooming Peony, Q . Cassetti, 2011Kitty and Rob blew out of here early for a meeting in Utica and a “quick swing” to Croghan Island Mills to pick up a pair of doors we have had made for the back breezeway. Croghan Mills is a water powered mill that does beautiful millwork albeit not the closest…its an enterprise worthy of supporting.North Country Public Radio did a story on this mill>>

We had a busy day yesterday with lawnmowing and trumpet vine/tree pruning at the lake. My single peony of the season uneaten by the deer was there, waxy and lovely…bidding me to take its likeness. The lake was beautiful and balmy.  The trees are all filling out. The tulip poplar blossoms are there all cream and orange…such a striking and primordial flower. It was great just doing chores in such a blissful surround.

Then off to buy shoes for Rob as he is getting ready for a trip to NYC for work and then off for a longer engagement. His shoes were shot, so we had great results at Fontanas!  He is ready to start counting the underwear and socks, lining up the teeshirts and getting his phone charger.

Alex’s Concert at the Presbyterian Church with the Community Chorus along with the Swamp College Brass Quartet was very nice and nicely crowded. The voice lessons are paying off. Alex is finally opening his mouth and doing a bit more projection. He is coming on strong with all of his music enterprises and interest. It is wonderful to see him opening up and the happiness that surround it.

Our Sweet Land CSA starts this Friday! How exciting!