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> www.tburgfarmersmarket.com

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. 

Game changer

Fatline Experiment, Q. Cassetti, 2011What a day yesterday was! Exhausting and quite startling.Lots of information delivered that is going to take some time to process, fully grasp and be able to act on it. It was amazingly stressful (second time) but after a nights sleep, it seems more tangible. We have lots of new work to do…for the betterment and improvement of the quality of learning for our boy.

It is good to be back to the nine to five (the eight to eight…but who is counting) with Shady and the Cats, and potential to make meatballs after work tonight. 

I have a bunch of project refinements for today. Have some printing to do for the Library project. There are a ton of little hangie things…that I would like to get resolved.  Fat line work continues….we will see.

It is the world’s loss that Steve Jobs (1955-2011) has left us….richer for his insight, ideas, imagination and drive to make personal computing personal, entertaining more personal, and our lives, more interconnected through his tools that he has left us. How many people can single handedly change the culture in so few years as Steve Jobs, providing leadership and money to take the risks, to take on the culture bred in the industrial age, and transform it to the information age? How many leaders embrace design as a way of doing business versus the flourish or cherry on top the way Jobs has with Apple and Pixar— moving creative people to be equal to that of the business boys, and money folks. Steve Jobs “got it” and through modelling this risky, “why not”, brash behavior, changed our world for the better. It is rare when an individual can be cited for this truly paradigm shift. Steve Jobs was one who we can point to—and say that he was someone who really made a difference. He made the world a brighter, bigger community—linking us all, changing our way of doing things…connecting us electronically. He shrank distances and grouped people. He changed what communications mean…and how we communicate. He established the new global village.

Heaven is richer with him amongst the angels. Wireless….! RIP.


Bandstand at the Trumansburg Farmer’s Market, Q; Cassetti, 2011 (08/17/2011)I have had enough. Enough! I have spent the better part of a week, nursing a computer along—redoing work lost etc. and I have had it. I am going to call a technician, regardless of the price and speedy please, to come to my studio and make right all this crap that is going on. I hate not having my tools work, and as I am a digital princess, it is particularly bad when the tool in question is the center of my working universe. Remember the real life scenes of Mary yesterday? They were reinacted in full my your truly yesterday.

Trying to put some perspective on it though, when we have these rough patches, it makes the smooth all so much sweeter. I need to hold that thought and try to keep my patience.

With the computer antics yesterday, I did manage to do quite a bit with the other stuff—the business stuff (mailing and paying, banking and calling and so on) which was quite rewarding.Next added task, refinance our morgage. I am just ready to get back to business.

Oh, and the carrot soup—every last drop devoured. I think I have an idea what teen and college aged boys like to consume. Soup. Today, bean with kielbasi. Cost of pot of soup—around $4.00. Feeds around ten happily. Sounds like a plan. They are whipping through the freezer jam (two jars consumed yesterday). Peach is adored, but the sweet cherry, blueberry, nectarine and lemon is eaten even faster. Even on nasty white bread. So the inspiration to make a peach ginger freezer jam looms on this evening’s roster. Maybe mix some nectarines in to give it a bit of a bite?

I attended the Farmer’s Market last night, a beautiful end of summer evening—and it felt like the best of our little Tburg. Toivo, a Finnish/ Tex Mex band was playing in the bandstand with people dancing, children chasing, people shopping and eating all in rapture over being at the Market, with their friends, savoring the summer evening. Groups of people were chatting like a cocktail party, others were learning about fracking while others sampled natural bug spray or tested the fresh bread for sale. I am so happy that I can be a help here as where is happening now is so lovely and so in tuned with our little town that we can only shine it up, promote it more and think a bit about how to keep it going. Last evening was a glowing pearl on the necklace of summer events.

I put a Facebook page up to begin to extend our communications reach with the Farmer’s Market. We needed one, plus, this is one of the vehicles we  are going to use to get the word out about the Market Manager position (volunteer with a stipend) that is coming up. Its a cool job for someone who likes local food, is interested in community, family, people, music. There is some training as well as some broader course work provided looking at Farmer’s Markets, how they are structured, etc. If you are interested, or know someone, submit a statement of interest to the Board (the FB page will tell you how and when) and we will contact you when the interviews will happen. Could be a great way to be involved in your community and get to know something about local producers, the growing interest in local Farmer’s Markets, and a facet of Trumansburg’s little community. Think about it.

Green Man fever continues. One done yesterday with acorns. Another in the sketchbook with acorns (Kitty approves). More to post to bore you to death.

Kitty has a friend visiting tonight from New Jersey. We have Alex Jacob and maybe Eli. So combined with work, a pickup at the Regional, lunch for 10, and the general day to day—I should pop my gummi vitamin (just discovered them and LOVE them) and get rolling.

A domani.


Fat Tuesday

Mardi Gras Memento, Q. Cassetti, 2011. Pitt pen, ultra sharpie pen on moleskine We had a magical dinner at Hazelnut Kitchen last night…me and the boys. Alex was courtly and funny, amusing us with his insights and observations which are rational, succinct and quite wise for someone so young. I am so proud of him, his view of the world, and the world that continues to unveil one more interesting thing after the next for him. And our dinners were delicious, beautifully presented and imaginatively put together. They are doing wonderful things there.

Mardi Gras is today. They are eating pancakes in Pittsburgh and boudin in Lafayette LA. Revelry with feathers and music, high jinx and frivolity. The last of the king cake will be consumed because tomorrow, the period of remorse and sadness begins.

Need to get into that spirit.

What to give up for lent? Hmmm… I have a few ideas. Humor? Trying to be nice? I think I will give up being a grown up! Yeah….that feels right.

Interesting how change evokes change. With the snow, I opened a dropbox.com account. Dropbox is cool…as it is a sync’ed file that you can access via the web, via your computer, cellphone and ipad. You are given 2 GB of space for free…and can pay for more…so its not pricey to back up to dropbox to have your files available immediately, anywhere you want…plus, you can set up folders for clients etc. etc. I may even get one just for my personal work…so the work and the play can be separate. Hmmm. Works like a charm. Installs easily. Syncs with the iPad, powerbooks and desktop beautifully. Simply explained and a snap to engage.

Need to get rolling on an illustration. Awaiting the  Hangar materials (a bit late)…as there is a ton to do.

Later baby.

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. Prezi.com—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.



In the cozy forest

Inspired by papercutting, Q. Cassetti, 2010, pen and inkWe got a load of snow for the last two days. My clients did not. So,being remote only meant that the work kept coming and my employee was home also being remote...but it was less good on my end as he wasn't right here. However, buckets of work done later. Two kids still happy to be home with no reason Not to watch the Olympics and more bread raising on my radiator. I counted well over a dozen deer in the side yard nibbling away at the green stuff burdened by all the wet snow. They were wading through the snow with the little ones close by (snow well over top of them).

I posted a bunch of new SHOES to Zazzle/Artsprojekt. The big news there is that you can customize Keds High Tops and low tops (mens) so the cool factor goes up. I wish they had cooler rubber choices--but I do think some of my work looks pretty "fresh" (not my words, Alex's). It would be great if I could sell a few of these....who knows?

Speaking of cool, on demand fabric... Here is Spoonflower. They have a grid to design to, along with the general on-demand fabulousness such as no minimum order, ecofriendly textile printing, all sorts of fabric choices, weekly fabric design contests, and  $5. swatches to see your work before you get the stuff done. Talk about opportunities for comping or for just getting your illustration out, on a chair and on antiques...and selling through one offs. Am so psyched about this. Need to download this grid to see what I can do with this. Here are the specs>> Race you! There might be something here...really.

I found this other interesting thing that looks like it could be fun to try. Its called "Artisteer", not the best name but they are promoting themselves as a way to create Blogger Templates easily (Blogger is the place I started in this wild journey of blogging and a place I recommend anyone to start...not much to go wrong, easy to manipulate, the "Why not? What if" factor is high). 

Here's another one: Widgetbox. Widgetbox allows you to make personal widgets for your blog/website that is about slides, videos, youtube, Vimeo, twitter, blogfeeds...and assign images etc. Its free for to start...and they have a pro feature if you want more. Seems interesting and worth looking into.

Thats it for the geekdom now. Am surfacing all sorts of interesting things to keep from focusing on death and taxes...though what with my new found understanding of Biga, it all seems to have a different place.

It continues to snow. As I look at these little happy forest scenes, I thought that maybe I should morph to some little houses, candy houses that is in the forest and see if Hansel and Gretel could emerge out of this mix. Rob thinks I should do a series called Grimm: name of the story....and bring my less than happy point of view to some less than happy children's tales. Hansel and Gretel could fit? No?

We were invited to an outdoor (in the snow) cookout at a friend's blacksmith shop...I hope the snow stops...but it seems unlikely....Kitty is charged about it. Alex is sour and sardonic...but I love him nonetheless.Can't hold his being a teenager against him, can we? After all, we were teenagers too.

another find

Have you ever had the problem sending a web address to someone and its huge and gets all bolluxed up, broken, unfunctional? If so: go to Tiny URL>> Its a freebie...and highly functional. The Twitterers dig it and alway reference tinyurls as part of their shorty messages. Give it a spin.

Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos.com on Twitter

So first of all, what is Twitter? The best analogy I can think of is that it's like CB radio, but for text messaging. You basically answer the question "What are you doing right now?" at different times throughout the day, and the messages that you send have to be short -- 140 characters or less. So some examples of what you might say are:

Having drinks at the Horseshoe Bar with my co-workers.
zappos 2 minutes ago

Eating sushi.
zappos 1 minute ago

About to fly to New York from Vegas.
zappos less than a minute ago

You send an SMS text message to Twitter with your note, and your message will be automatically broadcast (like CB radio) to whoever is choosing to follow you (your friends). If people don't care what you're doing, they won't follow you, so don't worry about sending out trivial messages.

At first, it will seem really weird and unnatural for you to do this, but just trust me on this one. You will find that it's actually a really good way to stay in touch with all your friends and know what's going on in their lives.
Tony really explains what Twitter is...and how to go about doing it. Check it out here>>

making a list

All ancillary, move aside. Its Christmas insanity today along with prep for my trip and then a healthy dose of redo work (rescaling the holiday card for a client for the Chairman's exclusive 250 piece order) and a RFQ (Request for Quotation) on a big, wiggly photography project that we need to get funds for, but no one has wrapped their head around it. We will need to get this RFQ out tomorrow so as to have numbers early (Mon) next week so as to be able to roll that into a big budget request by Wednesday. Didn't I say it was the end of the year? So, no House of Health as I need the time for laundry,dishes, writing schedules, getting money and working. No rest for the wicked.

Did I mention how much I love Facebook? I joined Facebook for the same reasons I joined MySpace (and promptly quit MySpace)--to see how it works, to see the tone and feel to better understand and monitor my kids, the world they are living in, the attitudes and talk amongst the friends etc. And, because of that, I love Facebook as much as they do, have a better appreciation of what and how they are communicating and catching up with people I had lost touch with. I am jealous of my kids as the friends they have now, will continue to be friends with the ability to always catch up, snippets of chat, the hi howyadoin' being something easy and fun with community sites like Facebook, cellphones and the computer, email and gmail and snail mail. And to be honest, there is a lot of stupid talk amongst that set, but hey...at least they are talking, writing and reading (which is all good). Now, why do I love Facebook?

Well, I can do all the same things my kids can do--meet new people (or people you kind of met, and now you have a friendly jokey relationship), look at people's pictures etc, and actually use the chat function to talk live with pals like I did with the illustrious, illustrator and all round nice guy, Don Kilpatrick, Syracuse MA Illustration alumni (a class ahead of me). Don, as usual, was full of bounce and wasn't going to get a chance to see his piece in the KNOW show that Mark Murphy was sponsoring at Art Basel Miami in one of the satellite shows. (Note: if we get there, take a snap for Don). He is working very hard with teaching in Michigan but says the climate of the Big Three (Car companies) not doing well really makes the environment quite tough, quite tough indeed that the tenor and tone is hard at this time.

Well, the tribe is here. David Burke and John Whiting are opening up the door from the old historic kitchen into the current (1940) kitchen which was formerly the servant's dining room. We are opening the area to make way for a new kitchen which right now has the lovely hot cricket, the tiny woodstove that packs a punch that will help both rooms stay warm/warmer. There are projects to do, stains to touch, suitcases to empty, letters to write. More later.

Beautiful Central Pennsylvania

Another glorious drive down to Danville, PA. Gorgeous with all sorts of hills, valleys, fields and farms. I saw this great sign coming down the last time and promised myself that the next time, I would capture it. I love the cow/type interface along with the pretty fearless text treatment with the overlap etc. There was some planning with this design, but I think the secondary copy grew in the development, thus the outlining in yellow as a way to give the letters some prominence against the big Bs.

It was great having a bit of think time in the car with this green landscape. Thought randomly about things to do, lists to make, ideas for pictures, and the near and dear. I got to Danville a bit early and stopped at the Weis market to use the bathroom and then do a little looksee at what was offered. Good Pennsylvania Dutch stuff? They did have the funny flat noodle, chicken pot pie in the deli. Selzer's lunch meats. No special bread but pink pickled eggs in the salad bar. No beer, of course, it's PA and they have beer distributors and state stores. Then, as I knew where I was going, I drove to a new part of the campus I was visiting and checked out which building, and where the parking might be. Then, I drove around the periphery of the campus finding myself downtown via the back routes, often with these very narrow lanes connecting the main roads. It was fun figuring it out. Had a good meeting. Hopefully this will work out. It all felt very right.

After the meeting, I took another drive downtown to see what the shopping district, I guess, the historic district was all about. There are blocks of high victorian buildings, some dressed stone, some perfect brick with high chroma detail and paint all about a block from the beautiful Susquehanna River. I discovered this amazing building/school called St. Cyrils which my new pal told me about as it is a school (St. Cyril Academy), retreat center and retirement home for the Sisters of St. Cyril>>. The amazing architecture that St. Cyril's has--with an enormous tall campanile, tower out of stone--very deco and impressive that can be a locator point in town. It rises above the landscape as a beacon for this small town.

I checked into the hotel and found there was a local, hand-drawn map on the desk. I asked about Bloomsburg which was apparently 10 minutes away. So, as I had a little time on my hands, I took a drive over on route 11 to see the college and it's small town which was charming and had a little town square with high Victorian architecture, a big fountain and a the requisite Civil War monument (complete with a tall obelisk and figures with flags). It was very Disneyland in it's americana and it's perfection. One thing I can say about these small towns is that there is such a neat and tidiness even in the working class neighborhood that bespeaks the honesty and work ethic that is so predominant here.

I came back and futzed with my computer to find out that the sticky track pad was being caused by the battery --which was bulging out of it's container. I was panicking (as of course, it was going to be ruined prior to Hartford...OMG OMG OMG)--noticed the battery, popped the battery out and restarted the computer. Just like new. Wow. It's so nice to be able to figure the obvious stuff out.

Going to work on my thumbnails later this p.m. and go to bed early to get up at 5 to return to the plateau by 9. Later>>

sweet wireless companions

You know, this wireless thing is something great. It probably will kill us all as cell phones will give you brain cancer and I am sure sleeping with the windows open gives you pneunomia...but it will be great getting there. I am so thrilled and happy that I can live through this generation of people who started with jars of rubber cement and waxers--when fax machines were huge pieces of equipment that you wrapped the image around a glass cylinder and quickly snapped the door shut and spent the better part of 45 minutes sending a black and white piece of art or a typed paper to the typesetter. To now have computers--many and different, to have ipods and cellphones and all manners of communications from voice to IM to pdfs to all podcasts--and never have to cut apart words and wax them together with typos, or ink to perfection (never these hands) a perfect circle, or cut that orange frisket to make layers for the printer...when it is all clean and neat in the computer. So now there is more time for the real work of thinking ,designing, writing, blogging and playing scrabulous(against the robot that always wins).

I am moved to this mini declaration of digital love in the acquisition of a tiny scanner that is big enough to fit into a backpack for Hartford (and all of $135 from the only department store I support, Amazon) and the most fabulous of all---Apple's Time Capsule. Apple says:

Backing up is something we all know we should do, but often don’t. And while disaster is a great motivator, now it doesn’t have to be. Because with Time Capsule, the nagging need to back up has been replaced by automatic, constant protection. And even better, it all happens wirelessly, saving everything important, including your sanity.

Built for Time Machine.
Time Capsule includes a wireless 500GB or 1TB hard drive1 designed to work with Time Machine in Mac OS X Leopard. Just set Time Capsule as the designated backup drive for Time Machine, and that’s it. Depending on how much data you have, your initial backup with Time Capsule could take overnight or longer. After it completes, only changed files are backed up — automatically, wirelessly, and in the background. So you never have to worry about backing up again.

Backup for everyone.
Have multiple Macs in your house? Time Capsule can back up and store files for each Leopard-based Mac on your wireless network. No longer do you have to attach an external drive to each Mac every time you want to back up. Time Capsule spares you the work.

Room for it all.
Time Capsule is your one place for backing up everything. Its massive 500GB or 1TB server-grade hard drive gives you all the capacity and safety you need. So whether you have 250 songs or 250,000 songs to back up, room is the last thing you’ll run out of. And considering all that storage and protection come packaged in a high-speed Wi-Fi base station starting at $299, data isn’t the only thing you’re saving.

A digital librarian saving ourselves from ourselves. Sweetness personified. I cannot wait to plug it in!
Have to sleep for excitement. More tomorrow!