Phantom from Friends with You, Miami, FLI went downstairs this morning and found that some furry friend had stolen the turkey breast (cooked and frozen from Thanksgiving) and taken it somewhere. I found the wrappers but the carcass is no where to be seen. Turkey Burgler. You never know where the meat will end up. She hides things like little bags of dried milk behind pillows in the living room or odd groceries in the spare bedrooms. One Christmas she snuggled up with a stick of butter in her black watch plaid fleece dog bed (complete and never even nibbled). No, the bird was not in the standard places. No wonder Shady was so blissfully happy and a tad thirsty this morning when she greeted me. She has more bounce in her step than the double pork roast fest she had earlier in her life with us. She has been slinking around in her guilt…but its pretty funny despite it all. The cats are oblivious but they could be party to these antics once Shady does the big deed of the grab. We will all need to keep our eyes peeled for the bones. I guess we are not having leftovers for dinner.

The inflatable above is part of an adorable installation by Friends With You. Friends With You had a sweet little space covered in polka dots on a white ground, with a big white inflatable, snowman type creature. Alex noticed someone coming out of a hidden door which we went through to see more art, things to buy, and the corporate offices of the Miami Friends With You (complete with their terrific collections of toys and collectables). Check out their work and ideas. They are a bright team with a lot of good ideas and even better methodologies to bring attention to their work, fuse art with commerce and license. Smart and sweet.

Detail Decorated Mini Coopers, Art Miami, Q. Cassetti, 12/03/2011Miami seems to be a great incubator for the fusion of art and advertising. Remember the slew of decorated Mini Coopers in front of Art Miami? What about the decorated trucks promoting Coconut Water (big deal down there) and handing out samples to all that strolled by? There were the girls in pink wigs and matching clothes promoting having your hair blown out “a catwalk quality blowout” with pink buttons and a funny tagline. There were trucks filled with real coconuts to promote some other coconut flavored products. Where art melds with commerce is where interesting things happen. We are not talking the zone Warhol lives in…where art imitates brand…it is more that the brand becomes art. Curious.

getting going

School One Act plays were great. I was very much the proud mama with our Kitty being the ham she is able to be with great confidence and aplomb. It was a very fun evening with people laughing in the right spots--and no perceived forgotten lines. Matt P. took the audience with him with his very funny roles of a mourner in a funeral and as Medea's husband (complete in toga, black socks and shoes, plastic breastplate and helmet with a plume). Alex looked tall and elegant in his suit as one of the mourners at the funeral (in the funeral play).

I decided that I would lean on to teach InDesign to the class at the High School. We watched 5 video clips (I learned quite a bit) and was happily surprised that the students seemed to glom onto these lessons. Onward. Feeling brave, I came home to InDesign and taught myself how to port Microsoft Xcel spreadsheets into an InDesign file to dress it up and make it look more designed. Surprisingly, not hard--but not a sure bet the first time out. But, I did it and more tool in the toolbox. Next step, can I format the type etc. in InDesign so when I import the file, it will be immediately formatted within the type frame? Wouldn't that be total slickness? I think so.

Illustration wise I am betwixt and between. I have entered the Society of Illustrators Show in NYC, the same in LA (did I mention I am now a member?). Communications Arts I need to check the deadlines as this is a good one too. The new Creative Quarterly should be out soon--so a bunch of my stuff should be there too. I will post the link to the page of the pieces that did not get into the printed piece. I have 3 out of the 5 Hangar Theater posters done....need to get the other two : 39 Steps and The Piano Lesson done. One is typographic, the other illustration (a double portrait, I think). Got Bethnal Green done (you saw it this week) . I am also doing a bunch of little odds and ends for others who have things out there. All gratis of course. But in the cracks, I am working on an illustration of a lady riding a rooster (a partner to the little man riding the horse in the Fraktur work). I was thinking about the imagery and type that these Pennsylvania Germans use and putting the hat on of that wonderful artist , whose name escapes me, who creates these full sized vignettes of colonial people beautifully dressed in colonial garb made out of african kente cloth. He takes one idea and just twists it a bit to make it evolve to a new, fresh message. I like the idea of these little colonial people doing ordinary things...but evolving to less ordinary and more modern or whimiscal things. I like the idea of taking the birth and death, marriage and house blessings and twisting it with modern phrases and words. I like the idea of keeping a simple palette and taking the imagery to another place. Must mull on that.

I am fascinated by being fifty. It seems that many of my friends and acquaintances are all changing their thinking to change their lives to do what they really want to do, to pursue their bliss, to take all that they know and love and spend time doing it. Its interesting as so many are opting for more creativity in their lives for a bit less in the paycheck. These are folks with jobs, often good paying jobs with benefits and vacations and perks....but somehow crossing fifty with many of their obligations of family winding down with kids going to college or even kids having kids, that the measure of their lives, how they spend their time, and the second career or chapter seems to be something open to them. The prospect of the new vista with more time is charging people to regard themselves, their community and their role in that community with new energy and focus. It is an interesting thing to have these boomers focus their trained brains on a new place. Life should be richer for all of us. It's pretty exciting to be on the front end of many of their thoughts, thinking and plans. I view myself as blessed.

Rob is home at one. I have to order my new favorite thing for cast parties --italian subs, hold the dressing. These babies are scarfed down in short order--and all I have to do is pick them up. Another key to these treats working, -- they are cut into little 3" its enough, but low High School waste factors. We have more play today along with a cast party. I am opening up boxes of things I have ordered for Christmas and starting to wrap. But you were the first folks on my list as I have been remiss in our chats.

tomorrow, then...if not sooner!


Okay. So we have Rob, who is going to the SOFA show in Chicago today, tomorrow and back Saturday. Company plane going to Chicago/commercial back. Takes the pain down to a low level. He should have fun. SOFA is at the Navy Pier in Chicago and defines itself as the annual international Sculpture Objects and Functional Art Expositions (in NYC and Chicago). Its fun and I am sure totally inspiring. Rob always comes back charged up.

We have Alex running all day at big regional meet at the Chenago County Golf Course. He has food to take, drinks to drink and clean running gear (always a last minute event). He is back in time to go to the last rehearsal prior to our Friday and Saturday performances. So, a busy day with lots of friends and teammates to his delight. Alex loves his people.

Kitty is motivated beyond what we have ever seen these days. She has dropped math (not loving calculus and not a must to graduate) and has gotten herself enrolled in a year study of astronomy and another class, production design which includes time in the woodshop. I couldnt be happier with her taking charge and doing this with great confidence and pleasure. She is also ready for the play and says that she and her fellow actor in the one act " DMV" have people in stitches. She plays the touchy DMV functionary--with lots of funny lines. She too, loves her people and looks forward to her debut tomorrow.

I keep getting thrown off course with trying to wrap things up. Little firebombs of "I need it in an hour " "I need an entire presentation by tomorrow" is getting in the way of completing a 60 pp book and wrapping up a 16 pp calendar that also have deadlines. We are pedal to the metal here...literally from 8 til 7 and the weekend beckons for work too. It puts me in a dilemma as being employed and working/ getting paid and adding value to my customers is important. I understand I need to bend and go with the flow, but when is enough too much? When is it appropriate to squeak? Or can I as I am perceived as a virtual member of the team, something that is, an enviable position (or at least to my thinking))? I also did some dumb stuff by taking on some gratis pieces that I want to commit more time to...and the time is just not there. Dumb me, dummy!

I am sure I will get through this moment, its just I have got to think about what it is I am doing, keep tight lists, and not stray.

Gotta Go.

Mid week review. Need to order a bunch of stuff...assess Christmas and what we are doing. Need to order a car service for pick up/deliver for a meeting I am going to next week in the big metro city nearby. Need to get sub makings for Alex as he has a big Cross Country Day tomorrow. Probably will receive my half a pig today (meat, that is) and need to scrunch up everything in the freeze to make it fit. That's pretty much the domestic front.

Kitty is starring in one of the one act plays and a member of the cast of another. Alex is a walk on as a funeral director in another of the plays. Friday night and Saturday night in our own elementary school theatre as the High School is under rennovation for now. So, if you are local, plan a bit of local theatre in your schedules.

Just got handed another blaster project. Frame up a product personality (times three?) for a product with a name that doesnt fit with the industry...complete with slides, descriptors, palettes and fonts. My head is spinning.

The poster above is getting close. A bit more...and then off to England for them!