Back to Fraktur

Drawing (Variety of Birds),Decorator: Anonymous [School of Johann Adam Eyer (active c. 1790-1820)] Free Library of PhiladelphiaI had a great meeting with a new company, Topography about their image/identity. Greg Kops and Danielle Klock are actively engaged in critical thinking around communications (the broad field from print, to digital media through to products and services). They come at this information in a new way, a distinctly focused on results and data along with the linguistics, and perceptions of their clients through the lense of the web. It was fascinating to hear them talk about the things that they know and practice—and particularly, they will be helping me to better understand my engagement in digital media and communications, and how best to harness and understand the power of what I am doing. Right now, its shooting in a barrel for me. Best to know at least what is in the barrel and whether it is, what I think it is. I am now more seriously engaged in gathering data from Google Analytics…and trying to push all of my tweets and blog writings to as many places as I can aggregate this information. This should be an interesting process getting to know Greg and Danielle for their company as well as the eQ. (or is it IQ?).

Reward of Merit (Belohnung),Decorator: Anonymous Decorator: ca. 1820 - ca. 1840 , Free Library of PhiladelphiaI am back at the font of inspiration, The Free Libaray of Philadelphia’s Fraktur Collection (note image posted) for a project I am working on. I keep coming back to the birds, the leaves and the iconography that these inspired people used. I love the beautiful palette of soft color combined with the lyrical line and child like story telling that is used. They are symmetry crazed like me. Hmm. There are some ideas brewing goaded on by the remarkable Fraktur artist, and itinerant calligrapher, school teacher David Kulp (1777-1834) or the rich and pure hymnal illlustrations from the Ephrata Community.

I am struggling with stripping the detail out of my imagery…but keeping something to make it less like big graphic shapes (which I have done a bunch with)…So I have changed sketchbook size (smaller) to work closer to  the sketch size which forces me to strip out detail as there just isnt space for all of the tiger teeth etc. I just need to keep at it.

I hope Kitty will work with me today. I have a mailing she can help with. Alex is busy with tests and a tryout for Jazz chorus for next year. Tomorrow is our pick up at the great CSA. Maybe Saturday will be a strawberry picking fest to freeze a bunch for now and later. We are loving the frozen raspberries from last summer. The strawberries will be a gift too. Totally worth the effort now.

No rest for the wicked

These dollies need new eyes, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and ink, digitalNeed to fire up the computer to get going on the yearbook scanning and more of the needlepoint, stitchery style patience of noodling in words of text, and improvements. I am making slow work of it, but it is progressing. A few hours this morning and all day tomorrow will help.

Rob is off with the fire company to see a volunteered house burned for the experience. What fun! We have the pleasure of the annual fire company dinner tonight where I must be Madam Commissioner….trying to hide under the tablecloths. I welcome the event and the opportunity to mingle with the pride of Trumansburg. I admire these people so much. They take on so much with life, emergencies and some, jobs as well.

These silly beestung ladies are for the Mother’s Day for Peace poster. Though I like their stunned look, I dont think it communicates a friendly event…and will probably alter the eyes for a better expression. I had a lot fo fun with this easter-y palette of gold and purple, blue and green which seems to be poking up out of the winter leavings. A crocus palette.

More later. Just wanted to say hi.

Advent Calendar Day 12

Angels of Light, Q. Cassetti, 2010, sharpies, from the Second Advent Calendar ProjectHoliday fun. Rob worked on decorating yesterday (I did a little but mainly cooked and fretted). Rob was far more productive. The whole staircase has fresh swags and lights, we have two wreathes trimmed a bit more, the chandeliers are trimmed and decorated (nutty)….(I used red Mardi gras beads which surprisingly looks good despite the garishness). So, we are working against Friday being the big concert here chez Camp….with Kitty and Mandy under the roof too.

Today its work work work and get the financing on the car squared away. Its that time of the year to account for one’s accomplishments and time, so Erich and I are reviewing all the file folders we have and personally, I am seeing where all the time went. Wow. busy.

As I keep working on this advent calendar project, old nuggets seem to surface with some odd ones right out the blue. So, with this frantic drawing project, I have found two subjects I want to settle down with in January and work out. The first one you know about, the Green Man. The second, truly just slammed me in the head, was a fantasy interpretation (based on Fraktur, on colonial illustration, on the Lubok style and of course, dear dear Edward Hicks)…but a series of fantasy pictures (and stories) around Mr. William Penn. Penn was essentially, the landlord for Britain with this state filled with heathens and savages (I am sure that was the British thinking)…and Penn, the Quaker, had to manage and secure this little kingdom…which he did.  My perception of that ideal kingdom is where the imagery could go…an American Garden of Eden would be great…along the lines of Hicks’ depiction of this perfect native world.

I almost laughed out loud when I really focused on Penn in one of the many Hicks’ illustrations of Penn making Treaties with the Native Americans, to find out that he was not portrayed as a heroic, handsome man, but a lumpy, real man who honestly tried to do his best to create harmony in the New World.


Advent Day 6: Full Swing Holiday

Lacy Angel v.1, Q. Cassetti, 2010, sharpie from the second advent projectThe Studio sale was great. I picked up a bunch of drinking glasses and goblets on the dollar table and then went to the high priced, cooler stuff. I got a few lattecino patterned vases, a bracelet, and a few cool little bowls (for me). So, there is cool stuff to give to local friends, and a few great things for us. It was nice to see a bunch of old Corning friends and to see the Museum bursting with their holiday open house.

Then, it was off to Sams Club (I thought they might have swags and wreaths which they did). It has been years since I have been in a warehouse club, and it was great…particularly as Rob didn’t let me go full bore into the thises and thats. We got the swags and wreaths (making the wonderbus particularly fabulously deliciously scented), some new sharpie brand pens (ultra thin), some printable postcards and some cheese for pasta. I also got a huge box of oatmeal for granola making. Thinking of granola, I think that might be my version of the Christmas cookie this year. It looks good in the container; I have the wintery stickers; and folks tend to love it…and its a tad bit healthier than cookies. I think I will be doing some dog biscuits though. Really fun and the poochitas love them.

Collection of Holiday headwear from the web.A note: Going to Corning is a bit like going to another universe. People just do things a bit differently than we do here on our plateau. The general populace’s sense of public humor, their favorite restaurants and stores, what they do in their spare time, what they value is a bit different and to me, interesting. Where is she going with this one? Well, I was horrified and at the same time amused by the passigiata of people at the Studio sale (particularly) casually strolling about with their holiday Santa Hats. First it was a middle aged mom type with fuzzy boots on and a big, pink, fluffy santa hat with a big embroidered patch in the front saying “Princess”. After her was a little girl wearing the same pink hat with a crown sewn into the fluffy white band. It was also branded as “Princess”. Then a rather sloppy man, calmly sported a Vikings Santa hat (purple and white and big graphics just like the Eagles one above). Another nonchalant man had the traditional Santa hat with Mickey Mouse ears (a holiday classic). While we were prepping to exit Sams, I looked across to the car facing us in the lot, and there was a skinny, runty guy with his gold and black Steelers hat!. I think there is a market there. How about some really deviant ones? Like Masonic Santa Hats with an all seeing eye on the top? Krampus Santa hats? Or Santa hats with cool words like “Stupid” or the novel word, “Dank”? Need to work on that. Big money potential. Very funny to me.

There were holiday sweaters galore. Everyone had something with holly or candycanes printed on them from belts to shirts. It all was very “festive” and it frightened me to death. Need to do some more scary illustrations.

Onward to more Advent calendar images. I am vascillating between all sorts of things..and am getting charged up for a new body of work inspired by my friend Peter suggesting I work on a green man image. I am loving what I am learning. Could be the bees for the winter for me. I knew something would pop up if I just kept at it…yay.

Last Monday of Eleven Month

Swan Heart from Sketchbook 3, Q. Cassetti, 2010, sharpiesPiles of work…yikes. I am pleased I got the little done yesterday (thank you Rob) with the NYFA application and the scans as they were just hanging there wanting to  be done. I also had a really nice time with a little drawing in the evening complete with peppermint tea. It was just nice.

In hindsight, it was interesting to complete the NYFA application because it was all about funding artists to continue to build their voice and vision—so everything is pointed to showing that. I am pleased that I made a list and created a flow to the imagery to show how the styles and imagery flow (which, interestingly they do) prior to uploading them all. The images will be shown really large—in two groups of 4…so a progression from the SOI Willowhead (from Memento Mori) to Forever Love (from the Valentines) to The Fraktur Angel heart, to Valentine “Sweetheart” (bees),  to Bee Mine Valentine, to Bee Goddess, To Bee Twins, to in Search of the Sweet (Lubki illos). It looked good and consistent. The drawing group is assessed with Book Arts and Printmaking. My work fits right in there. Additionally, they have a folk art subset they judge mid year, next year which I plan on applying for. This foundation work is appealing because it has a fiscal piece to drive the work versus trying to sell it.

What is this with Wikileaks? What is going on with this world?

Another just as important, I called The Regional to see if they had another delicious turkey for Thanksgiving. The home team is wild for it.

More later.

Quiet last day

Thistle Heart from Notebook 2, Q. Cassetti, 2010, sharpies, prismacolorThe cooking is done. We took Kitty to the bus station early this morning and were sad to see her go. It is doubly sad as the poor thing had a fever, didn’t sleep well and in general, seemed off her game. That is the trouble of having the pressure taken off…you relax and then, of course, you get sick. It was so good to see her reveling in her work, her studies and her new friends. Her attitude is so positive and can do, it is remarkable what a new group of friends, their influences and inspiration can do for her. She was never really central to a “group” and now she has one, embraces them and is motivated by these smart kids. We packed up a ton of food for their thanksgiving on campus…and she had it all neatly packed in her wheelie suitcase. She will be back in a few weeks (to our delight) to sleep, eat and giggle with us. We all cannot wait (and the pets mean it too).

Rob and I took a little trip over to GreenStar for a quick provisioning. They have inexpensive B grade maple syrup (yay) along with nice green olive oil (also in bulk). So we loaded up on basics and came back to Camp Street to have lunch with our old college friend, John and his son, Nate, going back to college. It was great to see them and spend a little time talking about thises and thats. It was fresh air. John was interesting about all the books he is reading, his interest in shooting and the out of doors, along with the general life and living patter. Nate filled in the cracks. What a team! Alex was gone with friends.

Then, I gave myself permission and completed the NYFA grant application. Put everything up on the web, posted the images and notes, wrote the 700 word bio, proofread it all and hit the submit button. I wonder if I will even hear if I am rejected? The site was really clear except for any info on when they will announce. All I can do is hope. It would be cool.

Now, I am finalizing the scanning from the sketchbook work that is in the hopper since 11/18. I have a ton. I have been vascillating on whether to stay in the small sketchbook format or grow it. Then, I thought I could do both sizes at once…and now, I am on the fence. I am beginning to get charged up for Advent Calendar 2010. Little Russian Nesting Figures are on the list. Maybe a few Krampus (in plural, are they Krampi?)—and some little critters (lions and lambs and the like). Maybe some folk PA German inspired stuff too. I love how cuddly and dreamy this little collection makes me. Its a mental cup of camomile tea.

Another interesting illustration note. You all know how much I love and admire the blog of Leif Peng, “Today’s Inspiration’? Well, if that wasnt wonderful enough, I was googling Lorraine Fox to find that Peng has created another blog, “Female Illustrators of the Mid 20th Century”>>. Wow. And the work out there of Lorraine Fox is so wonderful and inspiring….>>>

Now I really  must go.

Tuesday is Friday

Winged Cat from Sketchbook Two, Q. Cassetti, 2010, sharpiesWhadda day. Got the illos to Picture Salon as the Society of Illustration, Illustration 53 paperwork came today. Gotta get the Nutcrackers finished and ready to hang by December 20—so there isn’t a ton of time. So, sending out for the both of these illustrations to be output and stretched on stretcher bars gets me getting that off the plate. Should upload the files this p.m. and get the paperwork done sooner versus later.

I am also thinking of applying for a NYFA Artist Fellowship (due 11/30) for kicks. They have a nice drawing/book arts section that maybe an exploration of imagery as it relates to imagery derived from 1700’s folk art ( Russian, PA Germans, etc). The grants aren’t huge, and the deal is to write a paper and deliver a presentation (which I could do at the library(?) or maybe even at the Museum Conference at Sagamore (as an afterdinner mint?).  The grant seems very straightforward to write…along with 8 pieces of work to be submitted as well. There are 100 fellowships offered. And you know my thinking on this sort of thing…you cannot win if you do not enter. Thus, the thought. I do have extra work (all of it hitting the email box this afternoon with cheery notes saying “Happy Thanksgiving” here is the 200 pound pile of paper you need to bake into our little publication.

Another positive thing was this cool art director from NYC who was interested in the digital portrait style for some packaging. Turns out, he likes all my work and generated a presentation using my work as scrap with three different approaches. So, yogurt and milk packaging might be in my future! The presentation was being given this p.m. so we will see what happens. Neat, eh?

Tomorrow we are off to get Kitty from Amherst. The office is open. Alex has school, poor devil (along with a physics test, urg). So we leave early (at 6…zip over…get the princess…and zip back with cuddly dogs, cups of tea and happy chatter). I forecast a sleeping girl…

Wednesday night all of Thanksgiving gets thawed out. The gravy, pie, cakes, stuffing stuff, bread and stuff…all ready to roll. I got the massive turkey from the Regional today…all nice and polite in a clean brown box. The Regional also had pecans, wild rice and dried cranberries at a great price at their little broken case store by the door. The Turkey is in a crate with a few bags of ice…no need to defrost…and I really need to figure out how long it will take to cook…The container says 7 hours! Yikes! Next step, holiday decorating for the 17th. 

It is all moving too fast!


Pattern, Alexander GirardThis is Alexander Girard. Love this pattern. Feels Matisse-y, but cut papery, and also the sixties/ pop/ Herman Miller rules the universe as well. Love the way the counters work with the forms, where the pattern of one is overlaid on the other and vice versa. The palette is not totally corporate crayon box, but the greyed out greens, blues and warm greys really make it along with the ballet pink which sort of quiets the magenta down. Hot and brights against greyed and quiet. Really works in a nice way. I need to learn about this. And, it is not blocked out in squares, but more free range/ organic grid versus the crap I have been doing that is all gridded out. Forget that. Need to work on this…maybe in the tradition of CF Payne, just see what they are doing by beginning to copy this to really understand what is going on.

I got up early this morning to take Alexander to his running practice. We all had an early night of it at the Luckystone after a late dinner thanks to you know who not getting her stuff in gear. Albeit, I made a really great tomato tart (from M Stewarts little pocket cooking magazine) and we had corn from the stand which was extrordinary. The produce, as an aside has been amazing this summer. Plump, sweet and robust. And with this thinking, I took myself to SilverQueen (you pick) after dropping A. off in the middle of the Hector National Forest to pick something (I was hoping peaches). Instead, I picked raspberries. Yellow gold ones and red ones. They were as big as wild strawberries…and in the cool morning with the bumblebees working diligently at their tasks, the quiet drone of the work and getting lost in my thoughts really was quite meditative and wonderful along with picking a big bucket of berries to mascerate and freeze for colder times. What a gift. And what a time to think and collect my thoughts. There is so much going on, it was good to let the ideas mascerate themselves, and see what could bubble up that was interesting and actionable from not focusing but randomly letting the ideas float and flitter like the buzzing bees.

Was back on the Fraktur and Conrad Beissel reading last night. Was re-reading about the identification of David Kulp, the Brown Leaf Artist, a known (and newly identified Fratktur artist and itinerant schoolteacher and scribe). I adore Kulp as I love his use of color, his calligraphic vines and florals, his confident use of the brush/pen, and his naive angels and figures that charm me to no end. Kulp was finally identified by a book he penned that was found in the bottom of some ordinary German texts. This book Kulp wrote/illustrated has his teaching book, his tools to illustrate concepts to his students, along with tables, notes, lists all in his handwriting which matched the script of the Brown Leaf Artist. The Mennonite Heritage Center speaks about this type of teacher/scrivener this way:

Bookplate (Bücherzeichen) for Barbara Meyer, David Kulp, 1805, Philadelphia Free LibraryThe colonial schoolmaster, Christopher Dock, introduced to the Eastern Pennsylvania Mennonite community a folk art form known today as fraktur.  Earlier known as fraktur schriften (literally broken, or fractured writing), this was a type of decorated or illuminated religious writing which has origins in the monasteries of medieval Europe.  Dock taught at the meetinghouse schools of the Skippack and Salford Mennonites during the 18th century. 

Other schoolmasters who followed Christopher Dock and continued the fraktur tradition in Mennonite schools in Montgomery County include Huppert and Christian Cassel, Henrich Brachtheiser, Andreas Kolb, Jacob Gottschall, Jacob Hummel, Isaac Z. Hunsicker, Martin & Samuel Gottschall, and Henry G. Johnson.  Bucks County schoolmasters whose work has been identified include Johannes Meyer, John Adam Eyer, Samuel Meyer, David Kulp, Rudolph Landes, Jacob Oberholtzer, and Jacob Gross.

The use of fraktur schriften played a significant role in the educational process.  A writing example, called a vorschrift, was used to teach the students to write the alphabet and numbers, and to learn hymns and scriptures.  The texts on the vorschriften encouraged and admonished the children to fear God, lead pious and obedient lives.

The schoolmaster also drew colorful birds and exquisite flowers on small slips of paper, which he gave to industrious children. He decorated bookplates for handmade hymn-tune notebooks.  Later, in the first half of the nineteenth century, schoolmasters created many delicate bookplates for printed hymnals, Testaments and other devotional books.

Fraktur writing flourished in this community from approximately 1750 to 1845.  The reluctant acceptance by the German-speaking Townships of the state sponsored public school system in the 1840s brought the decline of fraktur writing in the schools.  These vibrant treasures were cherished by the children, safeguarded in family Bibles, and passed from one generation to the next.

Isn’t it remarkable that futher I get away from Fraktur and Folk art, the closer I am to getting back to it again? I marvel at the work of Alexander Girard and David Kulp. Same sensibility, same vision just different eras, different times. Am I throwback too? or a continuation of the same song, just a different place and time. Or, is this somehow a creative wormhole? Love that idea. A creative wormhole where something that happens in one place can be happening in another place in another time.

The Internet Encylopedia of Science tells us (dumbed down for artists!):

A hypothetical “tunnel” connecting two different points in spacetime in such a way that a trip through the wormhole could take much less time than a journey between the same starting and ending points in normal space. The ends of a wormhole could, in theory, be intra-universe (i.e. both exist in the same universe) or inter-universe (exist in different universes, and thus serve as a connecting passage between the two).

Must go. Hometeam is here.

Midweek shuffle.

In the Garden, Q. Cassetti, 2010, pen and ink.Seems like rain right now. Humid and cool, which I love…but dark. I wrangled the trash and recycling to the curb this morning with Shady sitting placidly admiring my efforts. But, its all there…and now all I have to do is wait with baited breath for the rumbling truck and friendly people come to fetch it. Fingers crossed (as every week) that maybe, just maybe, they will take our organized load.

Yearbook meeting was good yesterday. We will meet next week with a planner and the first half schedule in front of us to be able to do more accurate lesson planning. I told them about Rick Smolen’s “Day in the Life” series…which made me feel quite ancient as it wasn’t exactly yesterday…and how we will use that idea to spring into the conversation and focus on telling stories with pictures. I went on Alibris and bought used copies of these books (a few less than $7.00 a piece). I have other ideas around this…that has some energy around it. It was interesting to hear that other principals in the area were told about our project and there seems to be some interest around doing a Lulu Yearbook too. I think there might be a little money around creating templates for these yearbooks to make it easier for the schools to do this. My guess is the big Yearbook companies have not had the wind let out of their sails re: on demand printing…as they had these small schools in their palm…without the product/or offering changing much…except for the price hitting everyone’s pocket. I like the idea that we can change this a bit..and make this publication available to everyone at a fair price.

Kitty signed up for her Orientation project. Hampshire offers all sorts of cool things to do during orientation as a way of self selecting groups. There are things from paper mache and bookbinding, to white water kayaking and canoeing, to poetry, to “pranking”, to building structures in nature (Kitty picked). Today, we need to launch into looking and picking courses…There is not much time. But, that’s done. Alex has a regents test, breakfast with friends at the Falls, and a round of golf after the test. Sounds pretty dreamy. Another summer of a course membership for Alex (really inexpensive)…so I am delighted he is going to press it into action.

Gloria comes in today (Red eye to NYC, NYC to Syracuse and the new add, the Syracuse airport to airport shuttle to Ithaca). So there is a lot of excitement around that.

Bright morning

Between nectar and the sun, Q. Cassetti, 2010, pen and inkSummer beckons. We are on the verge of that slow time. A week or so longer of scheduled tests, time with friends, and finally graduation. Kitty has a few things to do…and then there is outside work to begin with Nigel. I have a mountain to attack of work, planning and getting my act in gear for the summer and finally prep for next fall. Lots of little things that add up that perhaps I can chip away in the next few days to reduce the pile.

I did something wild yesterday. I ordered some new software. I ordered Manga Studio, a software program that focuses on inking, drawing, tones, bubbles that are the tools for manga and comic drawings. I also have the only book, a “dummies’ guide to this software. I hope there is a link to a pdf guide too.This tone component and the brushes are what intrigues me that painter doesn’t provide. Nor does illustrator…where there are work arounds, but not the tool for that sort of thing. If it doesn’t work out, ah well…but it may give me some alternative approaches to the current and future work. We’ll see.

The bees evolve. I am thinking about the isolated queens and how she spends her life. I am thinking about how historical houses accomodated bee hives into the exterior walls of their houses, or nested into the walls surrounding the compound. Bee keeping was predominantly was women’s work—knit into the cooking, care of the family, gardens and house and home keeping. The queen is the center of her hive—focused on her job of creating the future of her community through her continual egg laying. She is tended by nurses and attendants who create the honeycombs, who tend to the larvae and who develop and feed the future queen(s).

I have a yearbook recap and discussion today. I woke up this morning with the process and thinking figured out. It is about story telling through pictures using examples (the Rick Smolen books, Elliot Erwitt, some of the Black Star photographers, Annie Leibowitz ) of how others do this. The yearbook is all about photo journalism…creating dynamic content that can go into a very simple shell, format that will allow good images cropped well….and that is the purpose. Everyone knows about picture taking. Everyone cannot take a good picture because they haven’t thought about it.

On to the work.

A Lightning Bolt from the Sky

Work in Progress, Q. Cassetti, 2010The poster to the left is work in progress for Tburg’s Zydeco Trail Riders show at the Rongo prior to Grassroots. Still working with it and am thinking about color and junking it up a bit more. I don’t know if color will help and I will see.

A lightning bolt from the sky happened yesterday. I heard my email ping…and checked a letter from a person who found my Fraktur inspired work. She is a curator for the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center in Pennsburg,PA and liked my work (Wunderfisch!) and was interested in my possibly having a show at their Museum. We have had, since then, a wonderful conversation about our respective passions about these people, their beliefs, the imagery—We may be looking at a show in 2012 (so I can expand the body of work…maybe work a bit with the images I want to do from The Long Lost Friend. My new friend clued me into an individual in the 1800s from Penn Yan, the Public Universal Friend, Jemima Wilkinson>> From Yates says:

Jemima Wilkinson, the first American-born woman to found a religious movement, was born in Rhode Island in about 1765, of Quaker parents. In 1776 she fell ill of a fever. She awoke from a coma and told those standing by that Jemima had died and a spirit from heaven now inhabited her body. She never again used her birth name and until her death in 1819 was always referred to as the Public Universal Friend. 

Her teachings were influenced both by the somewhat mystical version of Quakerism current at the time, by the Shaker movement founded a few years earlier by Mother Anne Lee, and by the New Light Methodists, whose meetings she had attended. She wore androgynous clothing, rode horseback, let her hair hang loose on her shoulders and wore a man’s broad-brimmed hat; and she preached in public, a tremendous novelty for a woman in the 1770s. She preached all over southern New England and beginning in 1782, in the Philadelphia area. Sometime about the middle 1780s she determined to remove her followers from the persecution and distractions attendant on living among people not of her faith.            

ooooh weeeeee~! Bring it on!

TED Happiness

"George Washington" So-called 'fraktur' drawing. Done by Pennsylvania German artists in a style reminiscent of medieval illuminated manuscript art. The name, "fraktur", actually means "fractured writing" and is a reference to the pointedness of Gothic German script. The painter who created this portrait of Washington is not known by name; art historians refer to him as the "Washington-Sussel Artist" because his work was first studied by a collector of that name. Ink,watercolor on paper, H 20, W 16 cm Independence National Historical Park, INDE 2678Spring morning with a cold start.

Some of my poor daffodils are lying on the ground frozen in place, though the grape hyacinths and frittilaria seem to flourish in the frosty bite. I socked the two hellebore I just bought right next to the one that was a legacy plant. The new hellebore are a blue green on one side, and  a ruby/ivory color on the other. I was surprised at the depth and heartiness of the roots on these plants and am excited already for next spring and these beauties' debut Chez Camp.

Our little birthday celebration was very nice. All the food was consumed and the menu turned out to be paced so easily, that we actually had time to relax a bit prior to showtime. It seemed everyone had a nice time and hung out after the dinner to continue the various conversations that were in place from geneology, local food, real estate, education, learning approaches.  Now, we can get on the business of work and living until Friday's after school play event and Saturday's cast party that I am on for.

Did I talk and point you all to one of my new favorite inspirations? Probably not. As we have been watching TV (we just got one and we watch it tout en famille these days) and can get a link to YouTube, we have been watching various presentations that are made at the TED conference. Are you familiar with TED? Here's what TED says about TED;

TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with the annual TED Conference in Long Beach, California, and the TEDGlobal conference in Oxford UK, TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Program, the new TEDx community program, this year's TEDIndia Conference and the annual TED Prize.

The annual conferences in Long Beach and Oxford bring together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).

These are riveting, brief and thoughtful presentations that can really jar your thinking and perceptions. I have learned so much from these talks which we have right in our living room.  I encourage you to go and seek TED out. Anyway, the TED talks are on the TED site but also on YouTube.  My most recent, "Oh my Goodness" moment was with Temple Grandin's talk, "The world needs all kinds of minds"

What was startling and inspiring was Grandin talking about visual learners which I truly am. No wonder math never worked for me. Grandin is remarkable in her straight-forward, Mid-Western, matter of factness---talking about different learners, different people, the odd ones that are often in a group--explaining their oddity (and the wonderfulness of different people's approach to learning and information). Her speech is now something I deliver to all my friends and particularly to those that will hear in in my involvement with the Committee for Special Education (CPSE) at school. I wish I could tell you the story of one of my experiences but it's inappropriate to go there. However, it has helped me to get beyond the stigmas of autism, and all the other isms as everyone learns...and may learn differently from the methodology that is in place for the "norm" at school. And who is to say that the "norm" is right. I am thankful that my crash and burn in algebra was replaced with art history and mythology as this is a place that fueled my fire and was additive for my life. I thank goodness that Chemistry wasn't pushed down my throat, but extra English and Latin.

The day begins. My phone is ringing.

Rush Around the Clock

Cutwork (Trees and Birds),ca. 1825, Anonymous, From the collection of Free Library of PhiladelphiaToday I need to tie up loose ends for two rush jobs. One goes to a printer (with files for the varnish plates etc--which, in 30 years of work, I have never, ever had to do....maybe verbal direction or a tissue, but never cutting the plates....I may resist). The other we need to output for an uber rush presentation which will be a handcut job for the first one, and subsequently, a small pile of Lulu books.

Pricing this quicky on Lulu made me think about doing another little handout book with the Fraktur work (maybe the silhouette work folded in as its derivative of Scherenschnitte, or Fraktur derivative cut paper work ("cutwork"). I pulled up a series of rectangular shapes based on the pages for Lulu, and one of the A sizes fit the best. They can bind 32 pps and more as a perfect bound piece. So....theres a thought.

Am prepping for my bus trip tomorrow afternoon. Getting things charged, projects tied up, underwear washed, lists for the kids (outdoor camping trip gear), and more. Should be a fast time, but a little oasis on the bus should be fun. It will be nice to see Jackie Decker (who has a lovely new website of her extrordinary work. Ron Cala, Martha Rich, and Alan Witschonke will be on my panel. There are four groups of five people to judge the work. I am a big fan of Ron's from Facebook and have always been an admirer of Martha Rich's work. Alan Witschonke is someone new whose work from the googling is a real inspiration. A quick adventure I might say!

Good news. Kitty was accepted into Hampshire College with a small grant of money to help. We will be going to Amherst in early March for a sleepover for her. I think we have the college she wants to go to. Now, should she accept immediately or wait until March? No one ever said this was simple, did they?