Go with the flow

Hairhopper, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and ink.Did I mention that I have figured out how to make a really decent vegetable stock? Probably not. But I did!

You know how the vegetable stock at the store is kind of weak—not really very flavorful and loaded with salt? That was my impression of what the starting point was. But, thanks to the bounty of root vegetables, the frozen chopped leeks and organic (read majorly flavorful) celery—filling a large roasting pan to the top. I did a big roast last weekend, and then after around 3 hours at 300˚ with lovely crispy brownness—in it went into the big stock pot with water to cover and cook down for another 2 hrs at a simmer. I emptied out all the bits and ends of parsley, of wilted red peppers and the scroungy bottom of the vegetable bin and dumped that all in the pot too (that might be the secret). And voila! Brown deliciousness. Plus, all the soup detrius goes right into the compost bin, so nothing goes in the garbage. Yay and double yay.

Talk about fascinating, I went to Sweet Land CSA yesterday to collect my share. Of course everything was gorgeous—-and there was the centerpiece for many of us, the KALE. Funny thing though was the kale was in a pile of snow in the totes they keep all the produce in. As I was digging through the snow to garner some to take home, my neighbor was happily anticipating how sweet the kale is this time of the year and that to her thinking the snow is what does the trick. Who would have guessed?

In the spirit of new things (Kale being the newest obsession), I have started the Tofu initiative. I like tofu, when I have it out. I like tofu when others make it…but there somehow was fear involved with my giving it a try. No more! This winter launches the tofu initiative, where yours truly will buy tofu, read recipes, and then cook with it…pushing it on the poor souls (read the boys) who then will be forced to eat it and provide feedback. I have been quizzing everyone on how they cook with tofu and yesterday was the first foray.  First off, there is the pressing. Tofu is predominantly water. So, in order to really have a go at something that can compete with meat on a plate, the tofu needs to stand up and not a be a wiggly form. So, one cuts slices (not too thin, not too fat), puts it between towels, and puts weights on it to drain it (much like eggplant). Then I marinated it (ginger, garlic, soy sauce and a teensy bit of sesame oil in the blender to immulsify) for a day. Then onto a greased cookie sheet for around an hour at 300˚ and it was ready to go. I served it with fresh sauteed spinach (from Sweetland)—and you know, it was good. Worth doing again good. And so it begins.

As you can see, the hair obsessed hairhoppers continue. This approach is really fast—and the less I think about them, the nicer and less uptight they are. I like the way this one has Klimt hair, where it flattens out at the top and takes a life of its own, really not related to the head in any way. I am trying to stay discipilined and not get in and over noodle it with shading etc. I like the purity. I am also trying to remember all that Mentor Murray (Tinkelman) would say about women’s noses, and mouths…and I think it is working.  I am also being entertained with seeing how much of the page I can fill with hair…and head and stuff. There is  a ton more here. Again, who knows if it has any other reason than entertainment, but at least that is being provided.

I am getting some traction on a project that frankly, I was dreading (fearing) doing. This dread and stupidity is in my head as I got rolling on it yesterday afternoon and have been enjoying the work, the process and the design. Today I have some spot illustrations I will need to do for part of this project, so it will sing. Enough of putting things off…they get worse when you postpone as my head takes over. Stupid me.

I see my farmers today to see where they want to take their image/symbol. Should be interesting to see what works/doesnt. I have a few more farmers circling…so I will need to get this finished up.

An inch of snow is promised today. Rob is one of the ringmasters at 2300˚ tonight at the Corning Museum of Glass. Ann Gant will be drawing with fire which should be amazing. Alex is practicing at school (prince in training). He is suffering a bit at getting his lines, getting his songs, and the general start up of learning all t his stuff. He fumed a bit a me yesterday (which was good) as he needed to get it off his chest. I am always intrigued to see what ticks him off, and how he deals with it. He is so solid and centered…and young, that the pressure of many things and wanting to be perfect right out of the gate is the prime sweet spot. It can only get easier as he goes.

Detail galore

Walled City, Q. Cassetti, 2012,pen and inkYesterday was a day of brewing vegetables. Alex went off to ski—and I started chopping. All sorts of bits and stuff from the vegetable drawer from the ends of parsley to peelings of parsnips to a small frozen bag of cherry tomatoes from the summer went into the pot after roasting with carrots, turnips, celery root, ends of leeks, scallions having frozen in the drawer and onions. It smelled great roasting…and then into the pot with tons of water to let it infuse into a lovely and majorly tasty vegetable stock. I did it! The key is in the roasting—per the boneyard, and not overdoing it with water in the infusion. Keep it less…so the broth takes on all the flavor in a more concentrated way. Fabulous.

Also in the spirit of emptying the fridge, I made a double of carrot soup (frozen already),  cooked and peeled 3 gigantic beets (ready for a salad) and a double of the wonderful King Arthur Baking Cookbook’s make now/later pizza crust for dinner. I have a double of split pea soup in the slow cooker…so we are set for soup and soup this week for lunches.

Am reading a very evocative and visual book referred to by one reviewer as a “pop culture cocktail” which it definitively is:

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World: A Novel (Vintage International) by Haruki Murakami.

I cannot even begin to describe the dreaminess, odd juxtapostions and images that Murakami introduces into this gift which transports me to this alternative space during those quiet moments when I can revv up the IPad to dive in. If you can handle science fiction/ alternative fiction ( I have friends who cannot go there) but if you can…I highly recommend this book and author. It is so exciting to have  new author I can whip through this season. Dreamy.

Okay: Resource idea of the day: Skazkodrom.com

Skazkodrom – is your one stop workshop for unique custom made plush toys. We sew customized soft toys based on your photos, images or prototypes.

For those of you scribblers who have a character or two in your pen, this is an opportunity for you. This is a Russian prototyping company that will take your sketch and develop a stuffed character toy for you to show possible  clients, to show in licensing presentations, or to honor someone for a special birthday. Think about being 7 years old and having your drawing of a favorite pet or invisible friend that you have drawn, turned into something you can hug. What we would have done 20 yrs. ago for this type of prototyping when I was at Estee Lauder. No end to fun. Its not free, but its concievable pricewise ($250.) and takes the better part of 2 weeks to sew.

Gotta get hopping.

Advent Day Five


Scherinschnitte 8, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and ink“Advent is concerned with that very connection between memory and hope which is so necessary to man. Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God who became a child. This is a healing memory; it brings hope. The purpose of the Church’s year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope.…

It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope.”

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Seek That Which Is Above,1986


New week on the horizon

scherenschnitte1. Q. Cassetti, pen and ink, 2011Old week coming to a close. Since we spoke last, I have cooked up a storm, visited with people, shopped in Corning and in Waterloo, searched for shoes, and tried to sleep in between. We have had visitors from both sides of the family and lots of wonderful time with our dear girl and darling boy.

So the cooking started late Wednesday afternoon in prep for Kitty’s arrival. It was dinner and a few little things. She arrived around ten at the bus station—so Rob and I went to get her. She came home and ate a phenomenal amount of food…talking and chatting, laughing and opinionizing. Delightful. But it got late and we all had to put our heads down. Alex had friends over, so they listened to music and watched movies (which they always do).

Thursday, it was up and early. We had a dinner to put on the table, “wheels up” by 4. Everything was defrosted. The brined breasts washed, the salad compiled, the maple walnut layer cake iced and decorated. Table was set. Placecards made and placed. All went without a hitch. New refinements to this year’s even were: 1) preheat the premade gravy in advance. Use the hand/emersion blender to froth up before serving. You can add a bit more parsley at that time to freshen things up; 2) Second type of cranberry. I make the raw orange/cranberry/bit of sugar in the food processer so its chunky kind. This year I mulled some cider (about 3 c. cider, 1 seeded orange cut in  half (put 4 cloves in each half (skin side), squeeze the juice into the cider, 2 cinnamon sticks…and boil.) then, I put 2 bags of fresh cranberries into the cider (you can sweeten/ I didnt) and let them pop… What with the pectin in the fruit, it makes a lovely change and alternative to the raw stuff); and 3) prior to the early gravy making with the early stock making (turkey legs and wings from t he cheap parts section of the turkey aisle at the store)—make a TON as you do use it). Stock is key to Thanksgiving. I should have put a number at each placesetting to force people to change partners at dessert…and need to remember this for the next festa. Only downside to the party was that a family member was out of line with his behavior which soured the event for me. Better planning in the future to manage this behavior is needed. Nice thing is that this misbehavior is consistent. It was silly me to expect better. Next time.

I fully engaged the boneyard moments after the Thanksgiving festivities were winding down. The full carcass of the 19 lb. organic, natural, loved turkey, and Mr. Purdue’s fresh natural breast were boiled away after roasting to yield me three enormous containers of stock for the next Turkey fest after the 25th of December. Plans are in place to have a family party of kids and their friends for more of the same…We will see.

Eddys and Cassettis, November 25, 2011Friday, my brother Tom, his wife, Jenny and three wonderful kids came to visit on the way home to Boston. It was great to see them, albeit a bit short as we were just beginning to get warmed up.  They arrived in an enormous truck, something Hagrid from Harry Potter might have driven, the “Raptor” with my nephew who has grown to way over 6’ tall and the girls lovely and chatty. I loved seeing them. What a treat. So we had pizza and gabbed and laughed. I said wicked things to prompt them to join in, but they were so well bred, they snickered but didnt take the bait the way team Cassetti always does. The day was gorgeous…vernal with green grass, bright orange sunlight and a blue sky. It was November in SoCal, not Central New York. But we will take these blessings as they come…hoarding them as jewels. Rob and I did a quick strategic strike at the Black Friday Corning Museum of Glass sale. It was remarkable by 3 p.m. how much merchandise had been cleared out of the museum and the big auditorium with the big ticket items. I bought some drinking glasses, some glass jewelry and a few presents to add to mypile….for a great price. The big things they had were a huge selection of Waterford drinking glasses, example of Iittala Toikka Birdstumblers, wine and water glasses, a huge selection of Riedel glasses, and a huge selection of the Iittala Toikka Birds at very good prices. Everything was 20% off across the board with deeper savings throughout the boutiques. It was amazing…and hopefully it will all bode well for the Museum of Glass financially. High class stuff for good prices is hard to beat and next weekend is the fabulous Studio Sale which I recommend anyone in the area to make a visit for. Well worth the trip. We will not be here, so listen…and you will hear my teeth gnashing from down south! Go and hit the dollar table…the interesting experimental drinking glasses will make your morning orange juice something to celebrate or at least, notice. Latticino spun plates and bowls, some lovely cast glass….and so on. Too fun. All one offs.

We bought new dancing shoes for Kitty and a plaid shirt for Alex at TJMaxx to their delight. Kitty was giddy with her new shoes…for contradancing and the costume shop (her new reference points). Alex, as usual, was “hitting it” and working on the new look for Fall Winter Alexstyle. We are going to take some pix for fun and put in an application for Ford Models for  A. He wants to do it, and I can take the shots…why not? The worst thing would be that nothing would happen. No change from today, right? And in the tradition of our house, you should try and try and try. You never know.

Today, we went to the Waterloo outlets to get pants for Rob. This week is Art Basel Miami and Design Miami. Rob will be speaking at Musecon on Tuesday and doing some business/ meetings this week until  A. and I show up on Thursday and Friday to take in some art and happenings. So we needed to get some things so that Rob could look like the grown up he is. Costuming is complete. Now for the packing for him (Florida and Manhattan, from swimwear to formal wear…sounds almost Miss America-sh). He has lots of work in front of him, but if things happen postively, 2012 will be far more interesting (and diverse/complicated).

The sky is paynes gray grading to cream to light pink to paynes grey again. We have had some spectacular sunrises and sunsets in the past few SoCal days. It would be great for things to quiet down a bit so I can put some ink down and then settle in for an hour or so of Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert Massie (who I have loved from his other biographies, particularly that of Nicholas and Alexandra). But just time with my pens would be lovely.

I hope you gave thanks with friends and family…surrounded by the people that get you revved up and going. I love this holiday of gratitude. We should have more of them. The count the blessings holidays. I am thankful we just have the one we have…but a monthly one would be great too. There will be lots to talk about in the next week. Stay tuned!

More finish.

Finished, I think, Q. Cassetti, 2011, Adobe Illustrator CS5So, First portrait is done. Need to chip away at the publication for now…and then back at the other portrait. The process was pretty fun yesterday—and as you can see, the work tighened up and was a bit more designed from the show and tell last night with the client.  The image came together pretty quickly (considering other images I have done)—so the quickies earlier this summer had some value in getting my “eye in”. Then, it gets married to some type.

It was announced that Steuben Glass, a former client of mine, is closing it’s doors, it’s factory—and letting it’s employees go.

Ben Dobbin, an AP Reporter says:

Luxury crystal maker Steuben closes NY factory

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — The Ohio owner of Steuben Glass, the company still making luxury lead crystal by hand in the United States, said Wednesday that it plans to end production after 108 years.

Schottenstein Stores Corp. of Columbus, Ohio, which bought the business from longtime owner Corning Inc. in 2008, said declining sales in the choppy economy have been eroding Steuben Glass’ profitability.

Steuben’s sole factory, which employs 60 people making everything from wine glasses to art objects in the small city of Corning in western New York, is set to close Nov. 29.

When the factory opened in 1903, founder and designer Frederick Carder’s richly hued creations turned him into a giant of the glass arts scene alongside Louis Comfort Tiffany and Rene Lalique.

The Steuben Glass store in New York City will remain open until its inventory sells, while the shop at the Corning Museum of Glass will close in November, Schottenstein spokesman Ron Sykes said.

Before its sale to Schottenstein, the crystal maker had been unprofitable for a decade. It had lost $30 million over the previous five years, and its sales had shrunk to $25 million a year, company officials at Corning said.

Steuben Glass artwork can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Its wine glasses start at $75 apiece. For more of this article>>

The Elmira Star Gazette reports.

Crystal Biscuit, Steuben GlassHow sad this all is. Steuben Glass has been part of my history and that of my husband and his family. This American Tradition of giving and receiving the finest crystal in the world we share the love of with our friends who are designers, craftsmen and top managment of this concern with threads of knowledge and design reaching down to the former generations of designers and craftsmen. This remarkable company provided gifts of state and gifts to friends for 108 years presenting bowls for Buckingham Palace to candlesticks for the dining room table from grandmother, to mother to daughter. This is a company we all talked about, stretched to understand, reached to grow, and lean into to showcase the best of the best. (the example to the right is an example of where they have gone….a personalized glass dog biscuit…from the pinnacle that created and produced many magical pieces from James Houston (to name one), creating and producing Sydney Waugh’s Gazelle Bowl (1935) in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (see the bowl)

Steuben was the pride of the Corning valley. It embraced families of glassmakers, copper wheel engravers, design cutters, glass cleaners, glass craftsmen, gaffers, gatherers, and teams. Everyone had even a small piece in the requisite knick knack cabinet, a “dust collector” (as I called them)—with company gifts, personal gifts, momentos given and displayed. It is a sad day for the valley…and a sad day for the company. I have many happy memories of the company with the grey linen box.

Today is my dear son’s birthday. Happy Day to Alex. Speaking as someone who was at the original Birthday, he is as adorable as the small Alexander Commander who arrived on the scene on time, as predicted—sweet and burrowing into our hearts. We will have dinner out at a splashy restaurant tonight. I bought him a used electric guitar which is his present from me. Gotta go.


Fall on the Horizon

GreenMan in Nature, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and inkWe have had guitars and drums early in the morning today that I had to squelch as my poor clients cannot operate with the crash bang noise in our background while we attempt to communicate with them. Then darn it, but Time Warner pulls the plug—so while I am midstream with a client on a topic…and there is silence with all the lights on the phone…on. So, I phoned on my cell and apologized for this tech wiggle. Must be in the air. But thankfully, Baka has the Tower of Power….so maybe that will be good/great by the end of the week. There is hope.

Its wool undershirt weather. It is chilly to say the least. Sweaters are in order and the green in the trees have changed to olive. Fall is on the horizon just as the big sculptural clouds we have on the horizon each night. I think it should be a pleasant weekend for our CMU guests though swimming might not be in the cards. I have got to get some things made and readied for the dinner on Saturday. Feels like we will have around 20 (plus or minus)—so I need to get the right amount of nice chicken out of the freeze to marinate in Cornell Chicken sauce. Two blueberry cakes. A salad, Rick’s Corn, and maybe some tabouli with feta. I have got to figure out what we are offering for breakfast (sounds like bagels with…cheese, cream cheese, freezer jam, and maybe some salmon?). I see a trip to Ithaca in the offing.

All the summer workers are migrating back to school. Lunch is no longer a competitive activity.

I have pubs to do. Portraits to do. Work to do. I was saddened that the two dual portraits (of a farmer and cow, boy and chicken) will not be used in packaging. That project was deep sixed. And that was really hard work (only 3 colors of grey and black to give a complete grey range that is believable). Tough going.

I am working on the Sagamore hour. I woke up this morning with a better grip on what I am going to do…show how good planning and great resources can create a leadership image for pennies using the farming work I have done for Wide Awake and Farmer Ground. I think I will talk about image programs and templates (designed well and easliy implementable by the client). I will give them my virtual rolladex (a backslash on my site) for all my great resources (to do soon). I am feeling like there is traction here. I love waking up with solutions left on my mental table, all figured out cleanly and focused. What a miracle our little chemical machine of a brain is….presenting us with gifts when we least expect it. I am so lucky!

Recycled soup awaits.

IF: [Nature is my] Influence

Greenman, Q .Cassetti, 2011, pen and ink, manipulated in Adobe Photoshp CS5“I trust in Nature for the stable laws
Of beauty and utility. Spring shall plant
And Autumn garner to the end of time.
I trust in God,—the right shall be the right
And other than the wrong, while he endures.
I trust in my own soul, that can perceive
The outward and the inward,—Nature’s good
And God’s.”

Robert Browning

Illustrator/ Photoshop /Ink

New Process happening…and I am liking it.

Allow me to torture you by sharing what I am doing…as I believe in full disclosure, no secrets…and if there is anything I can share to make your work go further, better, faster…I am more than happy to collaborate.

First, I am doing ink drawings (keeping the “hand” in the work). Scanning them in at high resolution (600-1000 dpi). I retouch them/clean the drawings up in Photoshop (brush/eraser/paths) to make them a bit less wiggly and “I drew this messy thing in my sketchbook”. Nice and clean. Then, I res that image up to be at least 70 MB (in “Image Size”). I make a workpath and export to paths. Photoshop is done (for now). I open the path in Illustrator and clean that up (pathfinder and paths) and then I start working into the new vector “inked” illustration.  More real drawing…feels less mechanical and moves surprisingly a bit faster. Simple. Plain. Done.

I get drawn forms and feeling, but lay in the detail with vectors. Faster, truer and really nice. I am delighted.

I am slugging away on a fun project and feel like finally, just finally, I am getting some traction.

Today, I am hoeing out my stuff…wheat from chaff. Keep versus Sals. Exciting? Right? I have a book on tape to keep me amused. Kitty is working. Alex is hanging. And, best thing of all, Rob is home (our Father’s Day present). So, a bit of spring cleaning and coffee. A bit of picture making…and then our wonderful boy is back. Hurray!

Tuesday progress

Blue Lubok Cat, Q. Cassetti, 2010, sharpies and prismacolorsSetting stuff up. Knocking em down. Got the holiday lists taken care of. The holiday cards are selling(!) on Etsy so much so that I am a thinking about valentines and how do I do a few more for February on GotPrint. Its too late for holiday cards (so hopefully we will clear out our inventory). Next year we wil be offering laborador cards and laborador holiday cards along with that of cats. I think a buffalo card might be great too…? But, this is very interesting and I will be buying promotional space on Etsy to take it further.

Have posted more of my moleskine images on My Moleskine and gotten some nice commentary from folks (particularly Russians who like my Lubki inspired work!). Evgenia suggested my Lubok Cat reminded her of Koschey Bessmertny. Koschey the Deathless is the male counterpoint of Baba Yaga in Russian tales. Wikipedia says:

 “Koschei cannot be killed by conventional means targeting his body. Hissoul is hidden separate from his body inside a needle, which is in an egg, which is in a duck, which is in a hare, which is in an iron chest (sometimes the chest is crystal and/or gold), which is buried under a green oak tree, which is on the island of Buyan, in the ocean. As long as his soul is safe, he cannot die. If the chest is dug up and opened, the hare will bolt away. If it is killed, the duck will emerge and try to fly off. Anyone possessing the egg has Koschei in their power. He begins to weaken, becomes sick and immediately loses the use of his magic. If the egg is tossed about, he likewise is flung around against his will. If the egg or needle is broken (in some tales this must be done by specifically breaking it against Koschei’s forehead), Koschei will die.”

There are more images from sketchbook project #2 for this month here>>. There are new Lubki inspired cats, demons, maw, and a winged woman/bird (Sirin) inspired by my Lubok book. I am still prisma and sharpie gal…but am feeling a bit constrained by the small size…but maybe “its good for me”.

Rumor has it that the new operation on Main Street in the old Pourhouse space is opening this week? No rumor on this one, Good to Go is open—our new small grocery and prepared foods store. Very exciting.

I love the templates on MSK for folks to customize their content and construction of their moleskine books from calendar formats to flow your calendar into, to address books to even cool pockets to build into the book. They are on MyMoleskine and can be a good resource if you are a Moleskinner.

We are putting family projects behind us (with the back porch in the finalizing stages), dead wood being cut and turned into firewood for the winter, and plans are being made for the next steps. I am going to run a few errands this p.m which is very exciting as it gets me away from my desk for a minute or two.

Dark already!

From the Sketchbook 11/2010, Q. Cassetti, prismcolor and sharpieSent a bunch of ideas to Edible Finger Lakes for their Winter Issue. I sent them a bee, a home sweet home and a valentine for them to pick from. If there isnt anything that will float their boat, there there is more to pick from.

I spent an hour or so with Joe Sepi at Pioneer Printing in Lodi. Heaven. Joe knows what I like and was pulling out all these wonderful european papers (Gmund and James Cropper) as well as funky bone industrial paper that they do hangtags for the local parks…but could make an amazing postcard etc. He walked me through the foil stamp and finish book pointing out woodgrain, sparkly snowball patterns, holographic, metallics and flats. He showed me this great foil that acts on a rub off card…which makes another opportunity to offer my clients. I asked about press kit folders— and Joe wandered over to his shelf of magic samples handing me Hmmmmm one more interesting shape after the next. Over- stimulation without caffeine or sugar. He didn’t blink or flinch when I brought up my valentine up…and perhaps chipboard and matte silver foil… didn’t make him shake or guffaw. And the papers from woodgrains, to a silky suede, to almost a japanese-y thin, laid finish feeling almost antique…were lovely. There were uncoated papers with matte and gloss stripes (!) in rich chocolate browns or heavenly pebbled tarnished silver finishes. Joe suggested I share a sheet with him if I design his business card to highlight his company…! What opportunities. Cornell Cards await. My holiday envelopes and my valentine with the tattoo (I need to design). I was reeling until the phone rang.

My client has us creating an eyewash coffee break slide show for a presentation next week before a session on Communication. The trick is finding the right music. I had Erich looking for it and Alex too. I went to iTunes and gathered up a ton of techno, remixes and digital stuff. Its a taste decision…ouch…I generally miss…not tasteless but cannot often climb into my client’s head exactly. So, we will see. I am moving as fast as I can to find images that speak to information, communication, passage, connection and the devices along with “digital” style images. I shouldnt lose sleep over this one…it is only for a coffee break…and a 2 minute loop…but its not my strong suit.

Current status of my sketchbook is up (from 10/28 to date)>> And did a bunch of new links on the Hartford MFA Illustration Squint Blog (some of my stuff in Behance spurred by a classmate’s pleasure in being selected) here> and here>. I posted the same stuff to the Hartford MFA Facebook Page too. I got some new folks logged into the Squint site so that they can add their respective class stuff versus all of it on my shoulders. I am doing 2009, 2008 and 2007 news…with help from the classes ahead. I hope this works out. I posted some of my sketchbook work to the Moleskine, “my Moleskine”  site>>. Nice thing about the Moleskine page is it makes it easy to twitter these illustrations along with posting to the bookmarks networking site, delicio.us page.

I am lubok crazed again. Guess I will need to draw it out of my system. Magical Cats, Flying Cats, cranky cats.

Gotta go. Dinner awaits.


Star magic.

Sketchbook Project 10/20/2010. Q. Cassetto. sharpie and prismaLive from the sketchbook project. I have a few more pages and then I have the cover to fiddle with…and then zip zap in the mail. I stopped by Michaels to see if they had a marigold pen (or even something in the marigold zone) to no result. But oh my. The scrapbooking stuff is amazing. Glitter pens, paint pens, stick on this and thats, papers, cricket cutters, edge trimmers and punches. More crap than anyone needs. Matter of fact, to do a sketchbook as a scrapbook from the craft store would be fun…with all the junque, jewels, ribbons and pins…with puffy paint etc. Wowza. And sheer discipline kept my hands off these things. Who needs it. I should use up all the other sharpies before I do more…. There’s the new thinking. Use up the whole package. Nothing other than that…no adds…and when the color runs out…you keep to what is left….hmmm.

I am going to stick with the small sized book for now. I like the quick page drawings. Not really as refined as before, but I am working out ideas quicker…and then it is ready for a final versus the sketch being the final as many of the ink work goes…. We’ll see. The ink is flowing again, and I am going “automatic writing” mode to see what engages.

Need to get the rest of the SOI work in the mail. Deadline 11/15. Met with the Vet School today. Good meeting. We talked about cat’s faces: happy faces, sad faces, what the right face is…isnt. Cuddly wuddly, or attitudinal. Dogs are so much easier to gauge as the cats have owners who are so invested in what they love about their cats etc. The holiday card for the dog is good. Cat is not good— not happiness—too grumpy. Reason to go at it again.

I got a ticket for a padiddle on Friday night going to get baking powder (I mean, how often does one run out of baking powder)…and got pulled over for one headlight working. This is the same headlight I had checked a week ago. So, back again today…and the guys wiggled the lights, and said there were no issues. Right. But we are doing a less quick fix…and getting the parts to replace the wiggliness. Got the doctor to sign off on the car…and the paperwork back to the Ulysses Town Court Officer….so I am not going to jail, at least this week.

Don’t you love Kitty’s video? I LOVE it. It is so her. It is so gentle and kind…a valentine that dances like she does. I am so proud. I have to admit it…but she is doing so well. I hope its all moving forward on all fronts…as she can go rogue and surprise us (like when she forgot to go to Latin for a half semester. Oy.

Alex and I had fun going to the store yesterday to get basics and halloween candy. Bags and bundles later…we were loaded up. He wanted to eat hamburgers…so I took him out to Five Guys for a mid day burger buster. I made a beef stew (really really quick…less than 20 minutes cooking) in the pressure cooker. I need to figure out how to make it more flavorful as the slow cooking really gives it depth. I added red wine and leeks, onions, and a whole bunch of parsley, 4 chopped portobello mushrooms and a package of white cap mushrooms….and it is still pretty quiet. Maybe garlic? More savories. A tad of tomato paste? Hmm. Rob worked until late yesterday…so the weekend was pretty scant in the family time department.

Maybe more time tonight with dinner.