Did you or do you love jawbreakers? I used to. I would walk to and from school and was given a little allowance for making my bed and trying to be nice, and so once a week I would go to the Reynolds Street Market and buy a treat on the way home from school. The Reynolds Street Market was half way home on the longer but more neighborhoody walk home. It was one of those small, dark, neighborhood grocers that popped up next to a beauty salon or a dress shop in the middle of a residential area, offering the full range of food from bunny bread to milk, canned goods, and a butcher case. These grocers all worked on cash at the register and or handwritten bills which allowed a family to charge to their account. Very exotic to my thinking.

Reynolds Street also had a wonderful assortment of candy, penny candy, and promotional candy that whimsically appealed to me (and surprisingly, though I dont like to eat it, to me today for the sheer glory of its decorative quality, its design and packaging, for its humor and promised fun). Whoever was picking out the candy knew their audience--and had us in their thrall with candy cigarettes and pink gum cigars, lollipops and licorice, caramel bulllseyes with a chalky sugar center and turkish taffy which was advertised on teevee --encouraging kids to "smack it" before eating it.  How indulgent to have a little change and a load of choices all chocked with sugar, color and artificial flavor. One week it would be fireballs, another would be wax bottles with really gross and artificial syrupy brilliant liquid. Some weeks (around Halloween generally) wax teeth, wax lips and even wax fingernails. At one point, I was crazy into these packs of collectible cards with buttons that had Mad Magazine style illustrations of popular culture things or prepackaged food with a twist. I thought these buttons and cards were the hottest thing...and I, by having them, also was the hottest thing. Did I mention, no one else knew how cool I was? No...because I never shared this with anyone until today, with you.

Now, when it came to jawbreakers, Reynolds Street Market had the small ones in the mode of Fireballs (hot cinnamon jawbreakers), but they also had my favorite, the giant Jawbreaker. This baby was a bit less than 2" in diameter, like a golf ball--and one would hold it and lick it until it got big enough to fit in your mouth. The cool thing beyond it just being a big hunk of sugar was that it was layered in color, so as you ate it...or salivated on it or whatever, the temptation was great to pull it out of your mouth and observe the glory of the color change. Plus, if you are the talent I am, you would either drop it, roll it on your sweater, or gum it up in some way that it would be covered in dirt, hair or sweater wool before popping it back in your mouth. Oh, so lovely.

Now why all this talk about candy? Am I nostalgic for a time gone by? No. Another thing entirely. I subscribe to this wonderful email alert which is the Visual Thesaurus.

The Visual Thesaurus is a remarkable site which introduces new words (never can have enough words, right?) and displays them in a very interesting, visual, diagramatic way... which is inspiring to me from a design standpoint, but also is an interesting place to brainstorm ideas and words  (when I am helping someone name a product or service). Love this tool. Great timewaster. However, today was a glorious jawbreaker of a word:


Take that! Glorious Autochthonous (ah talk then oos). As the Visual Thesaurus neatly describes:

"No Place Like Home Word of the Day:

The adjective native serves many different purposes. Today's adjective autochthonous provides an opportunity to give one meaning of native a rest so you can employ a fifty dollar word in its place. Autochthonous is used to characterize rocks or organisms (including people) that are found in the place where they originated."

Don't you love it. LOVE autochthonous. And, Dictionary.com had a sensational quote that captured it...that somehow prompts me to love folkloric art even more.

Screen Shot 2013-05-07 at 10.06.05 AM.png

"Folk Art grew from below. It was a spontaneous, autochthonous expression of the people, shaped by themselves, pretty much without the benefit of High Culture, to suit their own needs. Mass Culture is imposed from above. It is fabricated by technicians hired by businessmen; its audiences are passive consumers, their participation limited to the choice between buying and not buying.... Folk Art was the people's own institution, their private little garden walled off from the great formal park of their masters' High Culture. But Mass Culture breaks down the wall, integrating the masses into a debased form of High Culture and thus becoming an instrument of political domination. "

Dwight MacDonald (1906–1982), U.S. journalist, critic. "A Theory of Mass Culture," Mass Culture: The Popular Arts in America, eds. B. Rosenberg and D.M. White, Free Press (1959).

So there you have it. Whimsy. Candy and a brand new word that means local....native, vernacular. So you can have your local candy and sound smart saying it....Well, you know what I mean.

Off to the salt mines. Lets see if we have something to talk about tomorrow. I hope so.



Christmas: Sugar Coated Advent 2012: Day Twenty Five, Christmas Peace

Christmas: Sugar Coated Advent 2012: Day Twenty Five, Christmas Peace, Q. Cassetti, Trumansburg, NYPeace be with you and yours on this day that reminds us that each new day is a new birth, a new opportunity to grow, change, give and love each other. Have a lovely and warm Christmas with those you hold dear.

Advent is done. Christmas is here. However, if you want to review the images created for this years Advent Calendar, they are all compiled here (and a few more I didnt post)… its right here

Sugar Coated Advent 2012: Day Twenty Three

Christmas Eve: Sugar Coated Advent 2012: Day Twenty Three, Wrappin’ Mr. Giftie, Q. Cassetti, Trumansburg, NYLove to all my friends and family here and abroad on this Christmas Eve 2012. The day looks to be promising, filled with light, people gathering, and the space for all of us to assess all that we have to be thankful for—in the past, present and hope for the future. May you soak in the day—with those you love.

Sunday Special: Sugar Coated Advent 2012: Bonus: A Little Happy Time

I know its off topic, and I know it really isnt part of the proper advent calendar, but it was created only last week, so I will post this as a bonus on a beautiful Sunday before a week of celebration and joy.
Sunday Special: Sugar Coated Advent 2012: Bonus: A little happy time, Q. Cassetti, Trumansburg, NY

Sugar Coated Advent 2012: Day Twenty Three: Kawaii Snow Globe

Sugar Coated Advent 2012: Day Twenty Three, Kawaii Snow Globe, Q. Cassetti, Trumansburg, NYWe got some snow yesterday. So, it is feeling a bit more like winter. Kitty made a ton of earrings out of the dollhouse treasures—and sold $70. worth to friends during the course of the day. Alex visited with friends and helped Rob get the tree. I wrapped presents while waiting for my computer to boot up from the numerous crashes while making tomorrow’s picture for the next to final Advent Calendar project. I love what is going on with this picture and my mind is whirring about what is next. So, this body of work drove technique inspired by content, and now the content is evolving for the next collection of images inspired by the new techniques.  The Catherine Wheel of insipiration keeps proving itself to me.

A person saw my food brooches at Sundrees and contacted me to create a holiday feast without the pins to give to his wife for a holiday gift. I have a bunch of small pine tables and whomped up platters of cookies, veggies, a turkey, tea in cups with lemon, bread in a bread basket, a pie and more…so cute…I think I have another product to sell for Valentines Day? I need to get the valentine printed…and create a few to sell. Maybe this little deer would like to be part of a Kawaii valentine? Or the head of antoher stratosphere suit. Why didnt I see that yesterday? Jeez. Not much time to reflect on what is being thrown out the door.

Sugar Coated Advent 2012: Day Twenty: Punch in the Box

Sugar Coated Advent 2012: Day Twenty: Punch in the Box, Q. Cassetti, Trumansburg, NYAlright, I couldn’t resist. There were two Jack in the Boxes done for Jennifer Houghtaling….the happy and cute one posted earlier, and the Punch in the Box (as in Punch and Judy) that I had to do (if anything, to see if I could make a monster brush, which I could)… and so, I need to post that right now as a counterpoint to cute. Punch does not have his club, but as you all know, he uses his head as a battering ram on his poor scapegoat of a wife, Judy. I hope Judy gets a break over the holiday….

Sugar Coated Advent 2012: Day Eighteen: Special Delivery: Parachute Santa

Sugar Coated Advent 2012: Day Eighteen: Special Delivery: Parachute Santa, Q. Cassetti, Trumansburg, NYKitty and Alex are coming home today, so I figured someone jolly dropping in might be a fun point/counterpoint to our expectations! This little dude is again inspired by that wigged out show we saw at the new Museum and my fascination with stratosphere, diving and space suits (particularly the early ones)…articulated in stripes and candycanes. How I have gotten from Gingerbread houses to Stratosphere suits is a little beyond me, but in the context of 6-8 images make a thesis project, by the end of this process, there would be plenty to pick for one slash two thesis (in different flavors). I was watching a few YouTube videos on some techiques I am working into my digital mis en place and am fascinated to see where this is going.  I was delighted with an illustration I did last week when I had to do a reduction illo of a tractor and put type on it—using drawing to better integrate the type with the image. New tools= more control and confidence in really rocking with it…And it was significantly faster too.Such a fabulous surprise!

Its another grey and rainy day with dark clouds, heavy droplets and the suggestion of snow or something slushy later today. I have dethawed a pork roast from the half pig we bought and am slow cooking it for the soon-to-be arrivals along with a mess of tomatoes I froze after cooking and foodmilling this summer. I have a box of chopped basil to make fresh pesto for Alex (who is pining for big eating). Now, what to cook for Christmas dinner. Hmmm.

Later. More advent stuff (am contemplating another bonus image today!).

Sugar Coated Advent 2012: Day Seventeen: Christmas Treat

Sugar Coated Advent 2012: Day Seventeen: Christmas Treat, Q. Cassetti, Trumansburg, NY Another week…and I have yet to burn out on these holiday images. More coming…some odd, some obvious. I am intrigued by using a few new tools including 3 D to get me into another space. Same type of stuff, just more trippy which is really fun.

You can see, I have a new brush or two (LACE!) and some new little gingerbread folk to add to the pile of configuration. I put it to the Facebook crew following this progression as to what to do next and some fun ones surfaced: a jack in the box (maybe or maybe not married with Mr. Punch, the acceptable wife beater of historic fame), a fruit cake(!),  a candy wreath? I have quite a few more (angels, Santa Lucia, a Krampus in this mode, Mr. Gifty and then some) so I do not think boredom will factor into this project, yet. What this rolls into (a more yokai exploration of things Japanese and really try to be uber cute?) Dunno. No reason to worry about it as I have miles to go before I sleep.

The pins and cards are moving at Sundrees and at Petrune. Petrune placed another order (rings and brooches…no more pendants)…and I am trying to figure out the transition of the holiday stuff to the Valentines Day merch. Believe it or not, we have it. And, I will need to print out singleton valentines for sale too. Plus, I have the Q Company card that needs to be designed and printed. I am thinking postcards as the holiday cards (going in the mail today) are pricey as they are square/3 panel deals that I had printed at a discount printer on line (2 up) and then we diecut/scored them on my new little diecutter/the Accucut. Such a cute trick.

Another thing I am pursuing is having some linen teatowels printed with my illos on them…? or even some linen napkins. I found a cool resource (US, no less) that I am going to pursue soon. They not only offer custom printing but also sewing(!).

Rob is off to a meeting in Albany. Kitty and Alex are home tomorrow. The week is encrusted with meetings and projects, christmas wrapping and grocery shopping…and then the small blissful times I have to potter on the ‘puter.