Tree Peonies from the Luckystone Lodge, Q. Cassetti, 2010Its hotter than blazes today, yesterday. A bit of breeze this morning with the weatherman predicting thunderstorms and hail moving the 90˚ temperatures to 60˚ by evening. A perfect evening for the Senior Campout that Alexander Q. will be attending. Planning is everything. I guess it will be a bonding experience for all of them!

My husband the saint had a long dayof it yesterday braving the highways, bridges and tunnels, hot weather, and lots of carrying to get our princess safe in her airconditioned (a surprise) tower at FIT. He came home, ate a bit and then early to bed with the fans whirring. I had a mini date with Alex. We saw the Avengers to both of our fist pumping delight. I love this stuff. So does he. I loved the treatment of the characters particularly the humanizing and recalibration of the Hulk, a creature I never really understood but thanks to the Josh Weeden redux, he is becoming one of my favorites. We all have our Hulk moments…and now I can fullly embrace it.

After some weed destruction at the Luckystone (and picking these lovelies in the picture), I came home to do email (a lot of Farmers Market stuff), and settle in to work further on this big RFP I have been requested to fill out to be considered a certified vendor for a big institution. This RFP is a lot of work and is forcing me to get my act in gear, refresh my resume, refresh my web presence etc. etc. The stuff is all there, I just need to renew, refresh and parse. Additionally, this process has pushed me to review my thinking on the business, and things I need to do to keep us relevant. So, despite my grumpiness, I am pleased with the push.

Gurus Unleashed, a web aggregator of information, tutorials and the like on Adobe Creative Suite products just linked to a Vector Tuts tutorial showing the new tracing features in Adobe Illustrator CS6. Fascinating for those of us who are followers of the great Vector, and live and breathe new opportunities to smooth our our work. The silhouette feature (particularly for our retouching work) is a beauty. Take a look at this tutorial: here>

Need to get rolling. I have a 9:30 call about the nesting dolls.

Advent Day Seventeen

Advent Day Seventeen, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and inkFirst things first! SNOW!

Our Community Chorus did themselves proud regaling us with song, Christmas carols and solos—all beautiful and energized by the passionate singers who presented the concert. We all loved it. And dead center was our singing boy who loved being smack in the middle and surrounded by good singers who want to work as hard as he does to make music. He told me this morning that if he goes to Landmark, he intends on joining the Brattleboro community chorus to keep doing this with others. This is a gift to me…though it is not about me, but having my boy sing, be part of a community and be motivated to engage this way delights me to no end. And all of this not pushed or shoved by his parents, but all on his own. Terrific.

I am thrilled with having a portrait of the artist Erwin Eisch to create for the Corning Museum of Glass’ ongoing shows about the masters of studio glass. I had a first blush with him yesterday (about two hours in) with many more hours to build this thing. I used to work directly from a non-tweaked file…and I find that coming back to the original image and editing with my own eyes and hands is working so much better. The technique of pushing the reference prior to doing the editing takes too much out…and I would rather be the one to do it. I will post as I go on (and then I will show you the vectors to better explain the work). I forget how fun these things are. I should do a few of writers/people of note as Ithaca College used my Poe illustration to promote their summer studies program (I also designed the brochure) and I need more scrap for them to pick from….Reason enough, right?

More on illustration: I plan on a small body of work after Christmas derived from the amazing book Chime by Franny Billingsley. It is a tremendous book—and much of it matches with this pen and ink approach. There is a pair of twins, a wicked stepmother, a lion boy, and many otherworldly characters. And then, what next? Maybe illustrative logotypes for my young farmer friends. That sounds right.

I smell like celeriac. I just peeled a pile of them and am going to steam them and freeze them for a puree (with potato) for Christmas. I am stunned by this celery root as it has never entered my life until now…and its soft celery taste, not the full bore of celery stalks, can hide in all kinds of things…dimensionalizing the food). It makes a great add to soup and my guess stuffing (chopped fine and sauted). New CSA veggie to explore will be fennel. That is a bit more tough, but I am up to it.

Alex requested the seven fishes for Christmas (though the italians do it on Christmas eve). As I am not italian, it may be the three and a half fishes for Christmas with a broiled salmon (with a parsley herbal chop), a crabmeat casserole, something shrimp and a half of something else (half might mean appetizer). I am loving the CSA spinach…so some of that…and a salad. Who knows. I think a chocolate dessert and a lemon dessert. Need to get cracking.

Jacob is here! Must go and see what sort of things that are going on in the back room. I hope no trouble!


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