Perfect Sunday.

Kitty at Felicia’s, Q. Cassetti, 2011Kitty is one of my good models. As is Alex, when he is amenable. However, the light at Felicia’s Atomic Lounge was perfection on Friday evening, and Kitty obliged. I hope this is the basi of another Kitty portrait as it has the range of tone and expression that makes for good work. At least, that is my hope.

Kitty, our dancing princess arrived safely at her destination to be picked up by two of her dear friends to be whisked away to eat dinner and attend a dance at Greenfield. Tonight is the big Dawn Dance which I hope will be all she wishes and she twirls and spins to her hearts delight all night. She has the bus ride home to sleep!

Gloria has flown away, back to Los Angeles to horse and friends, work and beautiful locale. However,, Central New York is pretty matchless today. Though thunder and rain have been promised, we have a bit of an overcast day despite the sun and humidity that beats down. The purple, white and lavender wild phlox has popped, dotting our stands of big, verdant, perfect early summer ferns which right now, billow and grow. We have a piliated woodpecker that is letting us see his grandeur as he wails away at our trees. We can hear an owl and other more tropical sounds such that it prompts me to get some recordings of birds so I too, can be like a real Tburger and be able to identify the birds according to sound.

I have chicken marinating in my own version of Cornell marinade ready to grill tonight. Rob has a bit of work, being Manager on Duty tonight as Memorial Day is the opener for the summer of fun at the Museum of Glass. So, Alex and I will be laking it….and as I have a yummy new book to dive into. Its a bit grisly, but somehow summer and real crime is just so enticing. Certainly not cocktail party talk with the adults and “nice people” but more for those of us who revel in reality t.v. and tales of John Wayne Gacy.

The Murder Room: The Heirs of Sherlock Holmes Gather to Solve the World’s Most Perplexing Cold Cases

So thats it for now. The sketchbook is beckoning.


Bunny Buzz, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and inkBuilding an ark is an opportunity here. The lake is full and cresting over many people’s docks. And the rain continues. It is cold and damp…right to the bone with the humidity being so high. 

The weekend has lapped into the week. Yearbook gets released today. I created a cute little brownie inspired by Palmer Cox’s brownie…but making it a bit more woodcutty…and colored. Also worked on an illustration for the upcoming Mt.Washington and Pairpoint show at the Corning Museum of Glass. Interestingly, it is a supergraphic illustration that is going on a 72” x 72” panel…vector/cut vinyl.

The food project is almost complete. We are getting the big pubs moving though I got three new things yesterday. So it just keeps coming. The nice thing was last night for the first time since before Christmas, we had a simple dinner and watched a bit of t.v. which was such an amazing thing. I cannot wait for our lives to settle down a bit to have more quiet time as a group. It was great.

I am working on bunnies as I am just plain stale. The addage, “All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy.” works for me. I am hoping that something will arise and be interesting…but now its just a movement of pen…and a chance to make pictures of sweet, fuzzy creatures.

This weekend is the Mothers Day for Peace gig at the Rongo on Sunday along with everyone on Main Street doing chicken barbeques on Saturday and Sunday. Alex has the SATs on Saturday.

Friday, we need to go see which old car owner will take Alex and his date to the prom (!). A local antique car group volunteered to take couples to the prom! How great is that? We are ordering a tuxedo from an online resource, (the name will not surprise you): You can rent online at for signifcantly less than the scary Mens Wearhouse. However, we are buying as it is an investment. Alex and I have our eye(s) on something simple and elegant with a pique shirt (wing collar he nominated). The corsage is ordered with the specificity of something that smells nice like either a gardenia or freesia….their call. We may do a nice dinner for 12 before the event. It is all coming up so fast! Tick tock.

Off to the post office and bank.

Honor the Radish

Honor the Radish, Q. Cassetti,2011, vector, Adobe Illustrator CS5Yesterday was publications incorporated. Today is publications incorporated. I finished up a big pub yesterday and amended the mini annual report that I cranked on Sunday. Today I have a brochure to layout based on an idea from the client…but no copy yet. They want it printed by May 1….so its a speed job too.

Erich and I are going on the road for a day—to get trained on a new branding initiative which should be fun, fast and informative.  Rob will be back from the Museum gathering in Buffalo which from the short chat I had with him yesterday, seems like it was fun.

I am vectorizing and pretending I am a Provensen. I really need to crack open one of the Provensen books so I can be a stepchild or great niece once removed. Love the cookbooks they did…and Animal Fair. Or I can be the stepniece of Mary Blair? These veggies are fun. I am thinking of eggplants and tomatoes, peas and basil leaves. They become so homey and comfy—and can be relatively abbreviated  as we all know what they are. I created a “corn brush” and probably make another one with tapering kernels from the top to the bottom so I can brush a corn cob for fun. CS5 has all sorts of nice adds with the width adjuster to rules/lines, the add/subtract feature and all the wonderful ways to select, create libraries and color.

OMG: I was just looking out the window. It’s snowing.

I give up.

2011 Pantone Color of the Year: Honeysuckle

Yes folks. The Pantone color of the Year is Honeysuckle! I totally missed turquoise from last year. At least I have time to get with the program this year!

From the Pantone site:

“While the 2010 color of the year, PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise, served as an escape for many, Honeysuckle emboldens us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor. A dynamic reddish pink, Honeysuckle is encouraging and uplifting. It elevates our psyche beyond escape, instilling the confidence, courage and spirit to meet the exhaustive challenges that have become part of everyday life. 

“In times of stress, we need something to lift our spirits. Honeysuckle is a captivating, stimulating color that gets the adrenaline going – perfect to ward off the blues,” explains Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “Honeysuckle derives its positive qualities from a powerful bond to its mother color red, the most physical, viscerally alive hue in the spectrum.” 

Eiseman continues, “The intensity of this festive reddish pink allures and engages. In fact, this color, not the sweet fragrance of the flower blossoms for which it was named, is what attracts hummingbirds to nectar. Honeysuckle may also bring a wave of nostalgia for its associated delicious scent reminiscent of the carefree days of spring and summer.” 

Honeysuckle is guaranteed to produce a healthy glow when worn by both men and women. It’s a striking, eye-catching hue that works well for day and night in women’s apparel, accessories and cosmetics, and in men’s ties, shirts and sportswear. Add a lively flair to interior spaces with Honeysuckle patterned pillows, bedspreads, small appliances and tabletop accessories. Looking for an inexpensive way to perk up your home? Paint a wall in Honeysuckle for a dynamic burst of energy in the family room, kitchen or hallway. “

Pantone goes on to tell us that you can get paint, wedding apparel and yes, a Pantone Visa Card (I mean, why not!). All of this points, for me, that the end of the world is coming. I mean, a Pantone Visa Card? I guess we don’t have enough to do beyond work and the antics of Snookie and the Situation so shopping with our pink card (maybe only buying honeysuckle, energized products?) is there to fill the time!

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 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.

Advent Calendar Day 19: Progress on all fronts

Holiday makers, Q. Cassetti, 2010, sharpies, moleskine, from the Second Advent Calendar ProjectNot much of an entry yesterday. My apologies. It was just enough to begin to get the house back to living. Wonderful David is here getting all the salt off the wooden floors which we both were shaking our heads over, but better salty floors than people falling down. It was an amazing event on Friday. We had a zillion (more like 350 people) come here to sing, gather and eat the piles of cookies that crowded our dining room table. The house looked great and really showcased Rob’s and my skill at display. Way back when, before I got a full time job in New York City, I styled the Steuben Glass showroom for Christmas (I made gingerbread houses and glued them together with hot melt. We rented fireplaces and an enormous “groaning board” that we filled with glass and fruit and cookies etc. The whole thing almost prepared us for this styling except, we hired a doorman (before the doorman thing became what everyone did) and a jazz pianist who played on an enormous baby grand (black, rented from Steinway) to set the tone for our un-named theme (but the theme we made decisions against) ” Holiday open house”. Well, it was a Holiday Open House here, for real with every shape and size, old and young coming to gather, to sing to commune.

I held court in the kitchen as I tended to the hot crockpots (and keeping them full) of mulled cider. I had a lovely group of friends and we chatted the night away until “the public” left and then it was our event. I pulled out jars of french olives and cheese (from the regional). Stefan brought the fruits of his first bake which we pressed on everyone. And, there were new and old friends with everyone laughing and having a great time. I must admit, public parties that you see who shows up is really great. We should model the Pourhouse gig on this one.

Another thought is to do this when I open the gallery. Yes, I am opening a gallery here in the Camp House to showcase my work and the cards etc. I have for sale. I may buy things to go with this work and make it available (like the felt balls etc). This is where we are going. We may have shows, we may use the space for community things, for parties etc. Rob is 200 percent behind this…and as I engage in the idea, I am warming too. More on that soon.

Yesterday, we picked up and went to Ithaca to pick out tile and a tub for the next rennovation project, the new bathroom off Kitty’s room. There were decisions made—and it was fun to be the four of us all over again. We had a great lunch at Taste of Thai Express with everyone (but me ) having something duck. As there were some “fatty bits” we gathered them up and I, the mom, was supposed to carry them out of the restaurant in a lettuce leaf for Shady Grove. Well, I had an envelope in my pocketbook, so we stuffed the bits and the lettuce in the envelope and marked it Special Delivery for Shady….and took it out neatly, sealed to see what she did. Oh, she was so polite (in front of us…but lets remember her gently pulling out every piece of plastic wrap from the cookies out of the trash and leaving them on the floor for us to discover her sweet iindulgence). But, as soon as I nicked a bit of the envelope open, she was all over it. Manners indeed!

Today, I made granola, the gravy for Saturday and found the recipe for the peanutbutter dog biscuits I plan on making for friends’ dogs. We do not need the cookies, but the dogs do! I wrapped a few more presents and am planning the week of work, wrapping and cooking without rush. Much like the choral event, if much of the work is done in advance, I can enjoy it so much more and not feel bludgeoned on the day of the event. I loved how it all worked out on Thanksgiving…so a bit a bit a bit.

Kitty stamped all the holiday cards. Done. All packages in the mail. Done. Phew.

Tonight we are TJ Maxxing to buy a nutcracker for our collection. Alex actually asked if we could do that. He is a boy that loves tradition….and so, we will oblige.

I start a new moleskine with this Advent Calendar Project on Day 19—with several more days to go… and then on to the next. As I mentioned, “pretty and creepy” delighted me but I am puzzling about what is it about these images that are creepy? can you or someone out there in readership land tell me how they interpret it. I will not be insulted. I genuinely want to understand this….to either play it up or see where it can go…Creepy is what makes it distinct. There is a lot of pretty. Edward Gorey was creepy. Tattoo artists are creepy…is this where I am? Can we put some language around this?

Look at what the pros are doing

Images drawn on an iPad by David HockneyIf I were Alex Cassetti, I would exclaim that David Hockney is “fresh as hell”. This is an unafraid artist who paints about everything that touches him from his lifestyle with pictures of men in swimming pools in Los Angeles to his new and exciting pop in the iPad art world. I love it that Hockney has been drawing on his iPhone and has newly adapted the pad (down to having coats made with big interior pockets to hold the pad). He has exuberantly leapt on the technology, making new pictures that have merit on their own, and not trying to be anything than what they are. He creates images daily and emails them out to his friends just because…and this resonates with me. So, inspiriation is there. Just get going. Keep drawing regardless of the medium. It will look like you because, silly, it is you.

“Who would have thought that the telephone would bring back drawing?”  David Hockney

“I realized when I was doing the sunrises last year that it was partly because the iPhone was beside my bed when I woke up,” “But if I’d only had a pencil and paper there I probably wouldn’t have chosen to make pictures of the dawn.”  David Hockney

And so today begins. Recycled soup (bean as the base…tomatoes added as well as some chicken) ready for the back porch crew. I made two cornbread loaves last night while I joined the world watching the amazing and to me, frankly pretty scary/horrifying venture in Chile to get the miners out. That tube, the rescue contraption called “Phoenix 2”, 26” x 6’ being lowered into the ground essentially with a jerry rigged rope tow, with either a miner or a rescuer squeezed in, coffin style with air and (I hope some medication) to make an uncertain journey (180 feet of it encased in a metal tube as the ground was uncertain towards the top of the shaft). The chanting of Chee Lay by those above and below as if it was a game, interestingly, instead of buoying my spirits, made me chew my lip even harder. Then the elegant Florencio, the first miner up, was instead of having a bit of privacy watched as his dear little son (with a chilean mylar balloon shoved into his hand by some media spinner) break into heart wrenching tears when his papa surfaced. And the media circus surrounded this poor soul who needed a beer and a chance to put his head down, hold his family’s hands and say a big prayer that he was out of that subterreanean prison and his comrades would make it too. There was nothing about this enterprise that spoke of any of this being a “sure bet”— but the quiet confidence of those surrounding the entrance to this shaft was reassuring even to this nail biter. I hope that today brings more confidence, more rescues and closer to this amazing story of these men below the ground.

Sure make the small stuff seem pretty silly, doesnt it?


Head down.

Coming Soon: Farmer Ground Flour MixesComps in the hands of the master who will be showing them this week at a food show. Farmer Ground is coming out with some great organic mixes: Buttermilk Pancakes, Buckwheat Pancakes, Cornbread and Muffin Mix, Bran Muffin Mix, Ginger-bread Cake and Cookie Mix. These are packaged in nice, neat canisters that keep the flour and ingredients fresher. Fresh, organic and delicious.

Speaking of fresh, organic and delicious… freerange, happy bird for the holidays—I ordered my turkey for Thanksgiving today from The Regional Access. So, I have put the money down and have pencilled in the pick up prior to that special Thursday in November. Now what to cook beyond this. And, who is sitting at my table too? I would love to have a big group. Its so much more lively and fun. Plus, as its Kitty home from college, it would be fun to have people she loves and adores too to enrich the time. And extras? Do you think that something with Farmer Ground Cornmeal or Grits might peek into the mix? Can I do something with leeks and polenta with a little elegant cheese? Hmmm.

Speaking of food…I used a Martha Stewart Food recipe as a starting point to riff on using beets, potatoes, tarragon and onions (roasted) and then cooked cooked cooked into a pink soup. It was good. Pretty good…and a little something hefty needs to be added. But we all politely ate it for lunch. More successful was the beet salad that everyone is chowing on and going back for seconds. So from all white lunches to today, all pink all day!

Had a terrific chat and am highly motivated by talking with the local letterpress printer. His prices are good and he loves the same things I do (crappy paper or really elegant all cotton cream paper, we love letterpress and foil stamping and the works). We are going to work on a postcard printed on a kraft paper stock (black and grey on kraft)…and his price is great. So, need to get the valentines prepped as well as a “family” holiday card for friends and wider family group. Need to roll on that….

Cranked a ton of design work today too. Got new numbers on possibly refinancing our house. Going rate these days is 3.5% and we could lower our payment and by refinancing, also save a ton of money over the life of the loan. I hate applying for these things, but at least we can get our hands on the paperwork quickly…So need to talk to R about pursuing it or not.

One more

from 07/25/2010Phew. Its over. Grassroots was wonderful this year with music and friends, and new friends, and music, and dance and delicious food, and big ideas to keep this small head whirring. But too much of a good thing is too much.

I walked over yesterday a bit after noon to find that the clouds and drizzle had cleared and we were to have a perfect blue sky afternoon. Heard the Chokers. Perfect show. A lot of nice new twists to the music, and happier band members made for good music and happy karma for those of us who know a few. We heard Hee Haw Nightmare, didnt love, but the crowd did. Toivo, as Rob said “went electric” with children running in circles and people waltzing and dancing happily in the afternoon. Preston and Keith Frank played the Dance Tent for the Tea Dance segment with the crowd happily dancing and not totally overwhelmed by the heat (like Friday when many of us wanted to lie down and faint from the humidity).

We got home on the early side after just enough and I surfaced that I wanted a scooter, a vespa to be specific. Rob surprisingly perked up about that (and Indian one please as the design was frozen mid seventies with the ferring and design I love). Now the question is which color and could I get vinyl cut to put bumble bees all over it?

I also am going to make a piece of art starting with the new weathervane on our new Tburg bandstand as reference. I think something solid and one color might be a nice thing to have to output on canvas and donate to the events I donate things to, and to create some tees (from my new cheap resource) to give to the men and women who built the bandstand as a thank you for their hard work, determination and wit to make something so outstanding for our little town. We are so so lucky to have such a committed group of people give and give and give to us, to Grassroots, to the general wonder and quality of life I hope none of us take this spirit of giving for granted. My belief in everyone giving a little bit (an hour a week at least) to your closest in community will yield in the Catherine Wheel tradition of bringing back energy to not only yourself but others is constantly proven in this small place of perfection we call home. And the wheel keeps turning and turning and turning.

The puzzle, challenge and amazing opportunity is thinking about the possibilities of what’s next?

Must go now to pick up my stuff at the art barn. Sold buttons and postcards with low expections. Lets see if I am happily delighted?

Link to Sunday’s pix on Flickr>>

Pictures to the left include (at top): Charlotte Senders, actress extrodinaire and cool Tburger, (next row left to right) Peter H., Meryl Young, Rob Cassetti, (Third Row down) The Chicken Chokers performing, (Fourth Row Down) Timmie Dietrich talking to me, (Bottom photo) camping in the center of the racetrack.

24 hours and counting

Lubok Shout, Q. Cassetti,2010 pen and ink, digital, Grassroots eve. Tburg’s alternative Christmas! The music is ramping up. The tents are being pitched. The crowd at Gimme! Coffee has some new faces. Rabbit Run is filling up with the future campers patiently waiting in line to get in. Rob is mustering the teen forces to work more. They limply complain but follow. New friends await.  For Rob, the thrill of working with an onsite sawyer—creating slabs of wood to spec. It was like heaven to get what you want, when you want it, accurately. Old technology is wonderful.

And Rob performed magic at the end of the workday by buying the ultimate deal ($9. for a box of 30 iced cream sandwiches at the Byrne) and tossing them to the workers, moms, kids. The candy man! He was thrilled to delight the crowd in such a simple way.

So the riches abound. The Tburg Farmers Market has music, then the Rongo with the Zydeco Trail Riders. After that, Preston Frank down on the Commons. And then, the All American Helldrivers at Barangus to close out the night. Ramped and amped.

I will be shooting pictures all weekend. That is my fun project.

The rooster is a new approach with illustrator brushes and big thick markers. QUUUUIIICCCK. Will be doing some more animals just to learn this approach. Maybe a chinese zodiac? Lots of animals there.

Rob visited wonderful Joe Seppi, owner of Pioneer Printing in Interlaken, and a lead type, letterpress afficianado. I am so taken with Joe’s work (and prices) that I am seriously thinking of doing a single letterpress holiday card. Elegant and many of my illustrations will work for that type of thing. Same for Valentine. I bought a stack of Cranes cards with matching envelopes that he could imprint the address/and the card. Come to think of it, if I do that, I could have them set up type for the message and change it out and offer it to my friend with just a slug change. Could be soooo easy. There’s a thought.

Doing a little more validation searching for my big client. Interesting 4 hour meeting yesterday. I managed to chop up our content and detail it with sketches to drag the monster consulting firm to better understanding the thinking we need to see. This consultant is treating this work topically not fully understanding or searching for the scope of the work and making uneducated dictates ie ” you may not use red”. Huh? Why not? Maybe we need to find the right red? Right?

Whoa. I am sounding like a fogey.

Jewels from the Orchards

Cherries at Ball Diamond Road, Q. Cassetti,2010The universal cry that came from the group this morning was that we all live in an extraordinary and beautiful place. Kitty and Alex and I piled into the Wonderbus with Shady this morning to pick sour cherries with our friend Peter and Peggy (and Meryl) on Ball Diamond Road. Little did I understand the marvels and wonders of this experience.I am hooked.

First off, it promised rain at 6 a.m. when we left. I was a bit worried as Peter picks whether it rains or not…and I was not psyched about that. But as we pulled into the orchard, the sky miraculously cleared…swept down the lake by the breezes, and the cool humid air surrounded us as we joined the few to start the picking. There were gigantic dark red/black cherries (sweet) clustered in trees, and the beautiful cream and pink Queen Anne cherries (sweet) surrounding the patch of our trees we picked.

Peter and Meryl  had a for real picking basket, which is truly the key for true productivity. The basket is hung around your neck and fastened at the hips. There is a canvas flap across the bottom that hooks up and over the bottom of the basket so it can dump the fruit easily into a container without any spillage. We had metal bowls and postitioned ourselves around, “using the gravity” as Alex proclaimed to help us fill them. We really hit it right as the crop was robust and you could stand under the tree on the underside and pick and pick all the low fruit (I am short, so finally this is something I can do). Kitty got up into Kitty up a Tree, Q. Cassetti, 2010the trees (shes a climber) and positioned her bowl close to the trunk of the tree, casting down handfuls of fruit for collection—our silver bowls brimming with brilliant red fruit.  Shady guarded us (read, lay in the grass and wagged her tail at anyone that came by) and will filled many bowls and delivered them to Peter who was sorting them. Peter has all sorts of culinary projects to divide the pulp, the pits and the skins between so nary an ounce is wasted. It is always fun to see what Peter comes up with every year and to be involved on the absolute front end is an annual occurrence that I hope will become a tradition.

It was lovely with the birds, the wind, and the view down to Seneca Lake with the early morning evolving and warming. By 8 a.m. we had made a big dent on what Peter wanted to accomplish and by 8 a.m. we were not the only people picking. The Mennonites arrived promptly at 8, bringing all the right tools from ladders to all sorts of buckets and pails to take their collection of sweet and sour cherries home. There was far more interest by more parties in the sweet (which left the garnet jewels, the sours, to us). It is the fruitier’s  first day of fishing season—this first day of cherry picking. It is truly remarkable that these trees bearing white flowers only around six weeks ago had fruit for us to take home before the first of July.

Work awaits, but I had to breathe a bit of this your way….happy first day of summer…try some cherry picking yourself!

Food Challenge

Who did the challenge?Last night Alex, Kitty and I went to the Glenwood Pines. We had a little wait as the place was rocking—Friday night around seven. There was a lot of energy around going to the Pines (I offered up other places with the Pines being the hands down “must”).  So we waited and admired the games, the bobble headed characters crowded above the bar and chit chatted about the big (and contraversial) things doing at school. While we were chatting, Kitty mentioned a friend that did the Pinesburger Challenge. As an aside, Alex has been itching to do some of the local food challenges  around to entertain the college guys. Pinesburger Challenge is a classic for the Tburg set. It has always been no no no with Mom and Dad. But hey…I was in charge so I piped up, suggesting that Alex do the challenge. He was delighted. Its pretty simple—eat 4 pinesburgers in less than an hour. No leaving the table, to sharing. All the meat, the bread, the cheese. The salad stuff can be taken off if you want. The hot burgers were delivered and Alex, competitive Alex consumed 3 of the burgers in 12 minutes. The last one was much more leisurely (finished all in all in less than 20 minutes). He was very happy with the whole thing, the tee shirt, the picture…! Kitty and I admired. We watched the Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassius, which was a lovely movie. Wonderfully made both as a story and as a visual thing. Light night.

I went to the store this morning and browned up a bunch of stuff to make a “big pot of sauce” as the backlog I had in the freezer is all GONE. I bought some other things to eat for this week with the kids and me…and was nosing around and found that the butcher had put some nice steak on sale this week. He was wonderful (as it was just a big piece) and cut and wrapped the whole thing (for a congratulatory dinner for K)…thanking me so nicely for shopping at the store. Old fashioned courtesy and friendliness. I love this small town stuff. Reminds me of the small grocery store my parents took us to growing up. Joe Katz and his wife ran the store. We all loved the Katzes—it had its own dark distinct smell…and had temptations at the check out (real penny candy). We actually had a “tab” there. Joe would cut anything (including meat you cooked at home and wanted sliced nicely for a party etc). It was service capital S…that the big stores cannot provide. We have that here. Lucky us.

It’s yard sale day here in Tburg. Everyone seems to have a table in their front yard with piles of stuff they do not want. Even the new farmers market has people selling their stuff. There is an opportunity here…I need to think about this.

Little White Hermione Camp was at the door first thing this morning. She was full of friendliness and very hungry. I think she and Mr. Cranky have worked out their issues…(Rob exclaimed that their tiffs looked like cartoons of cat fights with a round tumble with legs and tails and hair). Time is a remarkable cure for almost anything.

Fraktur Bees, Q. Cassetti, 2010, mixed mediaKitty went off to work on her Kubb set in the school shop this morning. This afternoon its finalizing her last biology lab. Tomorrow it’s finishing a paper. I am back on to being a picture maker. Yesterday it was a pattern maker. I may make a few more and post them to Spoonflower. The inspiration for this is to step up the colorations, saving from simple (like this) to richer and richer, and deeper. There is something in this that reminds me of the later pattern work of Virginia Lee Burton and Follly Cove Designers (there is a new documentary on her>>. What is fun with this process is limited palette, working in ink (thin stripes) and then working into the ink with vectors. I love it that I am doing fake William Morris stuff. Not his palette, but in that realm. I have a few bee pix in the head as well as a few Public Universal Friends and of course, new Frakturs. Plenty to keep the ink flowing.

My new tree peonies came. I discovered one that I thought those stinking deer had killed somehow had regenerated. I plan on moving it as the ones that are bigger are absolutely flourishing. When the plants are not eaten down to bits, they really love it here. They just need to hide from the varmints.

Rob is probably in Basel right now. Long day of travel. We miss him.

EOD Monday

Yukako and Rebecca's corsages from Vine Garden Florists, Q. Cassetti, 2010Phew. A moment to myself. Sorry I have not been chatty recently, but I have been busy making memories like the memory fairy that I am. Friday was work and then down and back to Horseheads to pick up the complete James Bond outfit from Mens Warehouse (talk about an operation) to Saturday with shuttling for hair, corsages and then the finishing and prepping the pre prom dinner for eight (the foreign exchange students, their dates (one being Kitty) and another couple.

Alex was all figured out by his prom date, so we cut strawberries and got him tied and buttoned, and of course, photographed for the big event. Vine Garden Florists did a wonderful job with the flowers down to how they were distributed-- in a glorious grid that allowed Kitty and me to oogle and awe over who got what and what color was the dress>? After the beauty parlour buzzing with proms and weddings (complete with Champagne set up for the members of the party) our heads were awhirl with glamour and glitz and fabulousity that put our meager little party to shame. But wait, we didnt know about the cars.

Alex went off to a show stopping picnic by a waterfall...and a wonderful time. Kitty had the foreign exchange students and their dates (she was a date) and two more for dinner provided by the staff (read Mr. and Mrs. Cassetti, we know how to serve). We had a ton of pictures that I bossed them into giving me..., we had food and fun, multiple desserts and then the Rotary sent a member's antique cars over to take the tribe to the prom. Lets just  say that was the cherry on the top of the sundae. Everyone came home safe and sound with Alex winning a door prize. A computer? No. A clock radio? No. A gift certificate? No..... A paperback Bible! If one were to read anything into it...what could one surmise? I have many answers to this that I will not bore you with...but its all pretty funny.

Sunday, I  had my hour interview with Jackie Merwin on the Bohemian Potluck Show on WVBR (93.5 fM) about my engagement in the local music scene. I made a bunch of prompt cards (thank goodness) and  after Shady Grove activated the alarm system in the minivan waiting for me...she was then allowed to sit on my feet which settled both of us down and from what the boss said, I did a good job. So...onward. First radio interview, done. Bring on the next. I was amazed at how easy it was...and how I didnt ummm and ahhh my time away. After that, we celebrated Rob's Bday by splitting a sandwich at Shortstop and then driving down to Horseheads to return the James Bond costume (and not ringing up extra charges) and home to pick up the sleepy teens to go to dinner to cheer on Rob for another year! We went over to StoneCat and had a great time seeing friends in crowd and having a moment to talk with the amazing Scott Signori who we all are tremendous fans of not just his cooking but his total adorability and spirit-- which is another affirmation we are living in heaven on earth.

More tomorrow. My bee book awaits.


Kitty Dancing by Emily Pratt, 2010The picture to the left sums up spring here in Tburg. There are plays and dances accompanied by parties and gatherings, music and food. The flowers are on the grow with the peony's red stems pushing up and exploding. The tree peonies have ripe big buds that will be the hargingers for the herbaceous ones.

We went to the Rongo to hear Toivo last night. Toivo was wonderful and the crowd was filled with all sorts of interesting and interested people that I loved catching up with. More talk on local food, local grain and local cuilinary opportunities.  Turns out that Peter Hoover has a hundred apple trees and leases bee hives for pollination and ten pounds of honey. He told me about how is managing these frosty evenings with electric fans pointed at the trees, keeping the air moving so that the buds do not freeze. He voiced some concern around the frosts and the cherry harvest this July as there may not be the quantities. He told us about his time in Venezuela engaged in the music and culture and his return trip a few years ago. It was great having a chance to visit with a local treasure.

I was told another sad piece of news. It recently surfaced that there is a hundred year law that has been put back into action that there cannot be chickens in the Village of Trumansburg. I thought that might be a fun thing to do as we have friends and family that have chickens and they have been selling me on the idea of trying it. I figured we could hide them in the back forty...but now....I wonder what they would think of llamas?

Then we went to the Pourhouse for dinner to hear the Grady Girls playing wonderful, lively irish music with friends and family of the girls dancing and beaming over their music and performance. Very happy and happy making. More wonderful people to talk to and catch up with. Its fun to have a crowd here because wherever we go, we bring the party with us and are able to introduce our friends to the wider world.

A less taxing alternative to slow dancing, Emily Pratt, 2010 (note: Alex C. is wearing the red shoes)Tonight is the first night of the HS play, "Snoopy!". Alex is very concerned about the vestiges of eye makeup so is always peering into a mirror or a dark piece of glass to see whether it is gone or not. Both Kitty and Alex were all dressed up (honoring the first day of the play) this morning with a bounce in their step and I hope a song in their heart. We will have performances today, tomorrow and Saturday. Friday night I am the mom in charge for a gathering at the Woodland Road House for after the play. And Saturday is the cast party here chez Camp which I have concluded will be baked potatoes for everyone along with drinks and maybe yogurt and granola in little cups. Simple, healthy and hot carbos for energetic people. Need to make my Sauders list immediately.

Got a zillion small things done yesterday. The iPhone art has morphed to gen2 iPad cover instead. Andy Howell, the art director cropped the illustration (which looks pretty cool) and I will re-jigger the final for him this a.m. I am hopeful that this might get noticed and sold. And, I love the idea of wrapping an iPad which is a bigger canvas for my work. Two things for the Museum iPad sketchyesterday.

Designed another series of buttons for the iPhone/Blackberry for an app. my healthcare client is doing. As an aside, if you need to do something like this or even sketch this sort of thing, I found this wonderful, wonderful template online along with this step by step article on development (complete with GUI templates in photoshop and illustrator for design) These tools made generating a series of icons a snap--as there were a series of back and forths that could have been less simple if I had not had this tool in layers to click new images into new layers and save. Easy> therefore, higher fun factor.  So, I am kind of cranked up about this. Pretty exciting. Stefan has a good idea for an app that maybe we will need to figure out when we have a spare moment after I get his work done.---

I want to send out for more postcards and a sticker for Hodge Podge Lodge for our granola bags today. i am going to use Printograph as their prices (and quality) is excellent--and if I keep going there, I will be eligible for their brokers' pricing which I can then use for my clients. That would be very sweet.


Day half gone.

Colored.Perfect spring day. No coats could happen. I am looking at all the dead leaves and flora debris on the beds and thinking if I get the steam up, it would be great to rake the beds sometime this weekend. Granola making on the horizon along with granola bars. Would be cool if we could take the buying of granola bars out of our loop of things to buy..but make. So, a trip to Green Star is in order.

We lose a houseguest today. Its been fun having him, but he needs to move on, and we need a bit more space. So, we hope he comes back soon as its great fun for all of us and his views on cars, music, movies and the like amuse and amaze us all (including AQC).

We went to the Pourhouse last night to see El Caminos (The Sound of Hector TSOH) and on the way stopped at an informal gathering at the amazingly wonderfully new and improved Rongovian Embassy which has lost none of its charm but a lot of its dirt. There is a new stage, new floor cleaning, paint and new organization. There was the  Tom and his wife, the new happy owners with lots of little ones running about.  The adorable Rongovian classics were there in force so we had a wonderful time mixing it up with the Otts, Peter and Peggy, Jim and Becky, Walt and Jaimie. Another good thing happening here in the most perfect village in the world, Trumansburg NY.

Must go. The day awaits and I feel a bit like there is not much to say. I have posted a new Bee Goddess colored...and I am intrigued by where the color and approach (with illustrator) is taking me. More later, my friends.

Wiggle in the Snow

Silhouettes on the brain. Have been struck senseless by the funny papercuttings of Hans Christian Andersen and they sheer brutal wit. Plus there is the charmingly romantic work that Rob Ryan has with people wanting to do nothing more than spend time together and live. His messages and illustrations are about living in a state of comfortable being, not necessarily doing anything other than having the company of one's beloved, forever and ever. I have, as you know, been loving antique silhouettes and chinese/ and folkloric papercutting forever, so I am going to make some drawn papercuttings just to pretend I am part of the clan. This image is the first one. Another one is penciled in ( Verithin photo blue) and I am in a silhoutte induced haze...staring into space with black and white figures dancing in my mind. This is a fun diversion? No?

We had a good time last night at the Pourhouse with some funny good music. Mandy and her friend Lainie along with Dave and our whole gang gathered and laughed. Everyone came back to chez Camp to pick at the bread pudding I made the other day (leftover bread mistakes) and chat.

I am planning a dinner to celebrate Mary's birthday on Sunday.  There is the tribe (8) with Mary and Ron, two friends of theirs and a small family of friends (3).to plan for.  A group...! I am pulling out a huge pork roast, going to cut up some potatoes for roasted potatoes, salad, another veggie and a big chocolate layer cake (recipe on the Giradelli cocoa powder box). I may make a foccacia (a la Martha Stewart to round out the mix. Many of our tribe want to do something, so I have indicated that they can make a card or plan something to make Mary the centerpiece of the party. The plan for Sunday is to cook and prep while today we are taking a full Wonderbus up to Seneca Falls to go to Sauders, a big Mennonite grocery store I have been dying to go to.  We have Sauder's pros in the group, so we will have a tourguide to the wonderfulness.

Kitty got into Goucher College yesterday. So we have options with Arcadia, Goucher, Hartwick and Fredonia. There are the favorites outstanding. So, onward.

Gotta go as the day is getting away from me. There are lists to be made and people to be roused. It is warm for winter today with the icicles crashing down and the dogs leaping onto snowbanks for the daily wiggle in the cold. All in all--a perfect day.


Cold out. A real winter. Its s two quilt night for us. The inn is all filled up. So, all bathrooms and kitchen are pressed to produce.

We are having a birthday cake tonight for a friend of ours and the elder Cassettis. I made a carrot cake (new recipe from  The Joy of Cooking with a modified recipe for the icing which really rocked (1 block cream cheese, 1.5 sticks of butter and 1.5 lb of confectionery sugar with a dose of vanilla....and beat it until it yelps). I think I may pull some xmas cookies out of the freezeer for an added caloric boost and to get rid of them. I am mapping the food plan for the home team this week. Staying in front of the bread, milk, eggs consumption might take a bit more planning than usual.

This week we have Kitty and Alex's teeth reviewed. I have financial aid forms to complete in addition to the day to day. I need to get my entries together for 3x3 as well as Print Regional. That's another add to the week. You know, I ned to think about Alex Cassetti's summer plans as well as passports for summer travel (possible).

Great excitement areound here. Trumansburg has been granted a big sum of money to build a  structure for our Farmers Maket. From the memo to the Trumansburg  Farmer's Market supporters:

"We've planned a Trumansburg Farmers Market meeting for January 13th, at 7pm in the village hall. NYS Ag and Markets has awarded the village  $25,000 to build pavilion structures in the village park. This is a matching grant that will be matched with mostly with volunteer labor and additional funds that need to be raised.

The pavilion committee has formed two sub-committees - the design build committee and the fund raiser committee - all three groups have been working hard on their various projects and feel that it's time to share ideas with the market vendors and supporters.  At the Jan. 13th meeting, pavilion models and drawings will be available for you to see and express any opinions or ideas that you may have. The designers will be there to present.

Also the fund raiser committee is having a fund raiser on March 13th, 4pm - 8pm at the American Legion on Rt. 96, just north of the, music, live and silent auctions, etc....we need an additional $12,000 to raise the roofs!!

So. We need to get ready for this one. I think I will send art and volunteer some graphics. Maybe even something as outrageous as a checque. Isn't this exciting? It sure is!

There are some name change/identity issues on the table for the big customer. And of course, there are the farm logotypes and getting thte Hangar work approved. Will be meeitng with the museum to resolve the continual adds to the format of the calenar. Perhaps instead of amending the layout and grids so much, maybe we just need to revise the format to accomodate the rnew requirements (totally understandable as publications change and evolve with its changing content and editiorial expectations.Need to get cards to another.

More later>>

Wednesday morning

I am moving the columns around as my Blackberry Tester (Rob) said that the Blackberry was not happy with the content on the right. Thus the shift of the content to the left. We will see how that goes. If you have any input, please let me know.

Am still working on the Hangar pieces. Seems so slow. But at least its left foot/right foot and we are making some progress.

We got a bunch of pieces in from the Mexico and India markets for my client and the work is very hodge podge we are gearing up to redesign the work to more accurately say, "now this, is what is acceptable". It's often a problem, when put in an oversight role, to know how critical and pointed one gets with other people's work. But, with the broad horizon of "does this suit the entire company?", "does this represent the company appropriately?", or "does this say Fortune 100?" --then the gloves can come off. Only big problem comes from most of this graphic work is done by inhouse designers in these countries--so combined with a defined skill set and vision, and our lack of market understanding and cultural context, communications can suffer. So we redo entire programs just to show that simplicity is possible, encourage a cleaner, less junked up piece (deleting bad color fields, tacky fonts, cheesy stock art, and the omnipresent proliferation of the tagline of the day. And so it goes.

Ordered my two prints for Picture Salon yesterday. Love how simple the process is, and how nice the work looks on canvas--without glass or acrylic deadening the color. Plus, easier to ship etc. I should have them in two weeks.

Going a bit deeper yesterday in the land of folk art around religious themes, I learned that this Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains) area of Germany that bounds the Czech Republic is responsible for more than Christmas Pyramids, Smokers, Nutcrackers, Angels, and Easter bunnies in wood. There is another decoration that exclusively comes from this area called Schwibbogen. Schwibbogen are decorative candle holders that were originally made in black metal and have grown to being made of wood depicting historical or religious themes. Since WW2, they have grown in popularity--and now incorporate all sorts of imagery from landscpes, skylines even to advertising. Interestingly, the first ones incorporated the Erzgebirge angel and miner (Bergmann) which the candlestick holder also depict in wooden figurines. Seems like a miner and an angel are in the mix for later this week or so. Am looking at these metal shapes of trees and loving them.

Wikipedia takes this one step further>>

"The most famous design was created by Paula Jordan in 1937 for a show in Schwarzenberg. It depicted the 3 main sources of income of the people in the region in the 18th and 19th century. Thus the Schwibbogen showed apart from some traditional symbols; 2 miners, 1 wood carver, a bobbin lace maker, a Christmas Tree, 2 miner's hammers, 2 crossed swords, and an angel. It holds 7 candles. Contrary to popular belief the candle holder was always associated with Christmas. The light symbolizes the longing of the miners who didn't see the daylight in winter for weeks sometimes due to their long working hours below the surface. Over time the designs changed. Especially in the last few decades after the World War II the Schwibbogen has reached not only a new popularity, but has changed a lot in its looks. Now it is typically made out of wood which depicts historical or religious scenes. But there are even landscapes, skylines, advertisements ... there is almost no limit to the possibilities. What remains is the link to Christmas traditions. Especially in the Ore Mountains the windows of the houses in villages and towns feature a lit candle arc - usually with the traditional designs or at least local scenes. The town of Seiffen is particularly noted for its production of Schwibbogen in its craft shops, usually wooden arcs now."

Long John and the Tights play at the Pourhouse tonight. I think we will take a break and go to listen to them. Should be fun. Snow is falling and the work continues.

Stepping lightly

Plans are afoot to go into town. They have shoveled /plowed the streets so the journey may not be so bad.Winter is really here with enoguht snow (and some to spare) for skiing and other cold fun.

Alex has Lady Gaga on the other computer, so we are getting our energy up to face the cold dry cold. Now, we are tuned into Biggie (who I have discovered I like).

We have Green Star on our list as well as hair cuts for the boys. Maybe a quick tour of Target?

Neti Pots, bulk olive oil, bulk dish soap, the fab new Farmer Ground Flour (local, and from what my friend Stefan says, it takes bread to another place), King Arthur Bread Flour and yeast is on the list for Green Star, ourl ocal Co-op. If you havent gathered whats been going on, Bread, succinctly sums it up. For the past few days, I have been using up leftovers as pizza and foccacia with the help of our new Christmas bread stone and my bread machine--and it works! Combined with the little place next to the woodstove to aid in the rising, well, its a habit I am getting used to doing...and the leftorvers are consumed. So, I am working it. Only downside was with the lovely little rolls had set out by the woodstove to rise were just too tempting for Shady Grove. Before you could say "hot buns", she had scarfed down all but 8 raw dough balls! Thankfully, I had more dough in the kitchen.. Shady was very remorseful (and bloated to my thinking). Lesson Learned.

Kitty and I love the bulk department particularly the rich dark green olive oil they stock as well as the soaps which we noticed the last time we were there. Should be fun.

We are laying low as the teeth still hurt. Quiet and rest is the best thing for all of us.

More later

Tuesday before Christmas

I was perusing my visitors and discovered someone visited my site from the Looky Blog. I noted the author pointed up a link I had to a wonderful Finnish illustrator, Sanna Annukka. Looky's author has a site that is chock full of beautiful, gaphic illustrators that prompts this graphic design/illustrator to scratch her head and think that maybe a foray down this channel for a while might be amusing and fun. Looky's auther pointed up another inspired Finn, Sanna Paananen, whose's whok is whos work is shown above. Love the clean color, the inspired/retro shapes and the sheer design of this illustraton. The blog Grain Edit, has a page on Paananen>>. And, Paananen is represented by a truly inspired rep, Pekka>>. Sanna Mander's work at Pekka is also a kick in the pants. Love it.

So, wheels turning--I need to direct my thinking to fixing a fashion designers image, the logotype for an artisan bakery and finishing up the Hangar work. What with these exciting Finns, I might not be able to do anything today but cruise the internet and pretend I am one of them. My Tribe!

Lunch at the Heights today with the home team. Maybe Erich will figure out how to do more with this Squarespace page (Link Within)as well as moving more copy on to the top of the page. I am going to post live graphic work as well as the live illustration work to depict the work in progress. I think that will be a good exercise for myself.