Mr. Chicken, Watkins Glen NY 10.08.2011, Q. CassettiWhy Mr. Chicken? Well, because. Love the sign, love the decor of chicken do-dads, the funny primative quality of the seating, the outdoor venue and their offering of “a tub of chicken” which is this chopped tiny bird, thrown into a food service paper shell with a piece of waxed paper. Of course, it comes with some very doughy, very white rolls (4) with little wrapped rectangles of salted butter (that we leave at the counter). We had lunch at Mr. Chicken en route to Corning—which was satisfying and funny.  I think Rob sees more in Mr. Chicken than I do, but their tee shirts could win me over to being a more vocal supporter. And then, their neon in a little house shape is pretty good. The actual chicken, hmmm? Not totally mmmm.

Maybe a bit of Yelpifying on Mr. Chicken? I am sorry,but are you familiar with Yelp? I love Yelp! Yelp is a website that you can leave reviews of local restaurants, businesses and services, post pictures and kind of keep track of your own loves and likes. I particularly love using Yelp when I am in a different town and need to find lunch or a hotel or whatever in the area—and the locator device on my IPad connects with Yelp, and there right in front of me is what to expect in the neighborhood. We have never been disappointed by the finds we have gotten on Yelp (from the real deal mexican we found in Amherst/Hadley, to the bar/restaurant/gallery/music venue we found in Providence. We yelped in Baldwinsville NY in the expectation of a starving son…and found a heavenly pizza by the slice place that fit the bill. So, if you are not a yelper, join in! If you don’t want to write, then just use it to make the day more fun…

From the Chicken Collection at Mr. Chicken, Watkins Glen, NY, Q. CassettiRob is riding the recalcitrant mower—which after a few tries with breakfast in between decided to start. Or maybe it was after I made the proclamation that I was tired of all these broken machines and that more money spent fixing them might be better spent on something more worthy…and real (vs. the toys we have). I bet it was that. “Junk heap or start?”…you can hear the mower thinking….”Start!”. The lake grass is amazingly long and lush. A green rug which is a gorgeous foil for the changing leaves. Amazing for early October.

The cats are sitting on the dining room table watching for critters and butterflies. Shady is parked underfoot so I am guaranteed to trip or fall on her if I do not watch out.

The day is glorious. I hope my littles are having fun: Alex on the rollie coasters (that’s what we call them in the other Burgh, PBurgh), Kitty in Greenwich Village. Amazing my babies are on their own—hanging with their friends, making their lives as fun as can be. Alex will be back tomorrow. Kitty goes back to the Shire on Tuesday. A bit shocking for someone used to having so much pivot on my activity. Takes the pressure off a bit. But lets me think and act a bit more freely. Should be an interesting time. It also is interesting to view Columbus Day weekend as a vital time to take off. Never reallly thought of it as a programmable time, but after running into two adorable Tburgers at Two Goats in the parking lot—and hearing about their Columbus Day tour of camping, visiting, seeing…literally driving all over NYState in a few days, I was stunned and inspired. And there was the tiny “Scamp”trailer for sale on 414. Q. and Robbie v.2. (or is it v.3?).

I have a new group of people I am going to be working with. Hip Hip Hipsters! These guys on top of ART, and Artbooks and art catalogs and sell them to libraries (either in the mode of pick out so many books for us monthly and send them to us, or on an order by order basis). They have a tough company name, and an out dated logotype, and havent done much promotion ever. I am going to help them. Maybe in exchange for esoterica to drive my art. Could be cool. My head is spinning on this one…as it really isnt about books, its about art. I am doing a bit of doodling with their mark…and the simple stuff just to get out of the gate, but the trick here is to change the thinking a bit of how yes, they sell books and service…but it is all driven out of an understanding and love of art. How to rachet up that thinking and the fun factor on a shoestring budget? Good challenge. Interesting people. Cool business.

I have decided that the time spent on the Hangar Theatre posters and graphics will be given to local farmers and producers to help them establish a look and brand locally. Works for me. There is a cidery in the mix (biodynamic organic apples that will sell cider and also a you pick apple orchard) along with a lovely farm in Mecklenburg. I figure I can do 3-4 of these in the time I spent on the posters and move the needle for a bunch more people, and get a happy factor along with it. Need to schedule the meetings. Everyone is raring to go.

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.

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?

To Make, To Create

To Make/ To Create, Q. Cassetti, from the second sketchbook project , 2010, sharpies.Little birds worked into the corners and odd shapes inspired by my friends the Fraktur painters, the meditators and visual poets from the 1700s in Pennsylvania. Seems almost from the same headspace as the Book of Kells birds… Fun. I just think if I keep moving the pen, a new body of work will evolve and happen. And, this stuff, this personal, unconscious  work stems from another place for me…and it is not unworthy. You just never know. That is part of the magic of this illustration gig. You never know if the stuff is legit or not…It is just plain important to keep it coming.

I am creeping up on the end of the second sketchbook (more cats, wings, winged cats and a few valentines). I am going to continue with these speedy sharpie pix..and roll into the holidays with a small green book in hand. Looking forward to more Krampus and Christmas pix. As they are small books, the pix will be smaller and quicker. Who knows…maybe a few santies? frosties?

I am happily listening to some great gospel music. Love it. Just makes you want to jump up and say “Hallelujah!”. If only the dour Presbyterians could shake their booty to celebrate the life and living we all have, the church might be a place we all would want to attend —if anything, just for the music. “Calling on the Name of the Lord!”. I stopped listening to gospel for a while, and its nice to be back…Don’t know why I stopped…but now I am stomping and singing along like a crazy lady with earphones on.

Speaking of singing! We are hosting the annual holiday presentation and sing along of the  Trumansburg Community Chorus at the Camp House on December 17th at 7:00. My pal Alice asked, and we agreed. So, the piano is getting tuned, the cookies placed on platters and we will need to roll into the decoration on Thanksgiving weekend (nutcrackers galore) so we can have a music filled house on that Friday night. It is free, and open to all. So join us to hear and participate in some wonderful music. Need to think about electric candles and the like. Silver Ornaments and swagging for the banister on the stairs… Could be very pretty and happy. Kitty will be here. So will Gloria. Along with all sorts of tremendous people from Trumansburg who want to raise their voices together in harmony!  So how festive is that?

We are having some of the dead trees in the swampy area of the house cut down and stacked as firewood (at least the little ones). The bigger dead walnut trees will be cut by a sawyer and turned into boards for  projects or for flooring. These dead trees have been killed as the water has moved from an area south of us that was farmland and now is new houses in a development (or as development as anything in Tburg is)…and the water (according to Ford’s Third Law “Water is smarter than you are”), being smart, moved to our backyard. Killed some of the walnuts, but has shown us where we will dig a pond…a deep pond…for fish! The slow removal of all this wood is painting the future, which will be wonderful.

Just made two carrot layers for cake (Thanksgiving) to freeze. Also, just finished all the saute and chopping work for the stuffing (also to freeze). I have bread, a pie, and the gravy all done. I am feeling very savvy and smart… I just hope its not ill founded (my fear is that nothing defrosts and we have to eat oatmeal)…Nightmare.



Here and now.

Lots of work hitting the desk. Redos of a client’s international work with very immediate turn-around (my stomach is still churning) along with long discussions of design and imagery that could affect so many future instances that its important we are talking and better understand what is important. And its fast and furious.

The two books for Cornell’s Vet School I am powering through—looking for images, lots of retouching and editing. I did a few layouts for one and need to make the second one more real. I am working a lot in Century Schoolbook (need to reconsider the drawing I am using) and really loving the way it looks. Marries well with the wood inspired type (Knockout, Acropolis for instance). We will be printing on uncoated paper for both pubs using (like the year before) UV inks which do not fade but give you much brighter and bolder ink coverage on the sheet.

Running parallel with this work, Farmer Ground Flour is coming alive. I posted a page via Squarespace which is really working between my pal and me…editing, designing, refining all in tandem. Once again, Squarespace pulls through easily. It has given me something to tinker with in the slivers of time (not a lot into this) to get a site up and posted as Farmer Ground and Cayuga Pure Organics will be in an article in The New York Times Magazine (10/17). We need to have some presence before it hits.

Additionally, there are some terrific new products using Farmer Ground which are being shown next week that we need to get labels resolved for comps that they need. As we keep talking, the need for a rack card, or output is surfacing. This logo is in the works but I really want to rework it this weekend as it needs to be tweaked. The uber cool thing (speaking as a vector geek) was that the wheat are brushes that created these strokes that were then rotated off a central spine. Still looks friendly and handmade but just a bit clunky to this designer. The messaging and image of the flour will flow into the messaging and image for the Bakery we are working on and is derivative of the messaging and the image of the grain and grain farmer. So it feels like there is a lot to think about, but as we begin to parse this information, it suggests or overlaps other aspect of this grain related community which is really cool. I am enjoying trying to put these pieces together.

I have been really going, so having that peaceful moment to think about pictures hasn’t happened in a few weeks. I would really like to get back to it. For now, a double order of granola and a tray of cookies need to happen on top of what is going to be presented for dinner.

Morning Mist: Sagamore Day Four

Lake View, Q. Cassetti, 2010Another day in the Adirondacks. Someone thinking about where we need to be and what and when we need to eat, talk, perform. Bliss. It really is a landlocked cruise boat experience where all you need to do is either go with the flow or do what you want to do. Its crazy, but just over the few days we have been here, you can literally see the trees changing color in the landscape as the evenings are cool/cold and the mornings just a bit warmer to give us mist rising over the lakes, these mirrored lakes that dot the horizon around here.

The words and ideas of James Fennimore Cooper seem to pop up even here. Not just Cooperstown, but points north with Sagamore and Uncas being characters in his books. I guess the Leatherstocking nomenclature and reach is part of this culture here—east and north of Cooperstown and Otesaga…but I hadn’t linked the two. Niagara Region, the burned out zone all have names and brands. The Finger Lakes with the lakes and waterfalls really do not capture any sort of romance or nod to anything beyond natural history…something with some toothiness that we could work with (I am thinking this with regard to Farmer Ground Flour and Stefan’s bakery). Where is our history with the plumb line county maps, the Greek named towns with the Greek Revival Buildings? Where is our history beyond that of fossils, salt mines, and deep cold lakes with the avian flyover? Where are our icons like the Adirondacks of pine trees and cones, snowshoes, loons, baskets, quilts, fishing gear, chairs, birch trees and the like? I am looking and cannot find a link. What is the key? How do we capture it? Time will tell. Often just letting it simmer, something will pop out.

Today is work on the Feline and Baker and then a trip to the Adirondack Museum for a talk by John Buchinger, Associate Director of Education at New York State Historical association and Program Development Consultant—on the cycle of community/individual that Rob has told me about so many times. We are applying this good thinking to localvore food…and I am anxious to hear it from the conceiver of this big idea.

More later.

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!

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!

USA Cassetti

Poster for Bunch show featuring the Star of Bethnal Green Star artworkWell. Its the kick off to a beautiful weekend. Changes in the household. Mandy and Sonata coming back for the summer. Bruce on board. Alex listening to live music on the commons and swimming in the creek with his friends. Kitty and I bopping about shopping and looking and laughing.We took in the grocery store, Countryside Produce in Interlaken and Funky Finds in Tburg. Funky Finds is our new and curated second hand store owned and curated by Jill who we met a few years back while she was waitressing at Simply Red. She has a real handle on what people like so racks of pearly snap shirts, cowboy boots, used jeans, cute sundresses, and other household things are there in good order. I got a pair of very snappy boots the other day. Kitty bought rainbow suspenders. Today it was a snap shirt for Alex, a vase, an odd 70s type apothocary jar, and a vase ($1.50 that I bought to give to someone with flowers in it).

Rob and Bruce took in GlassFest in  Corning last night with music and lights and neon installations in the Park which Rob related were spectacular. They got home late and then inspired, winged it over to the Rongo to hear Warren Bunn's band, Thudknuckle play.  So it was very social for many yesterday and today. I was totally beat from the week ( a trip to Sauders early yesterday morning combined with the "oops we forgot it was June next week--need to get this work done" thing that happens always before a holiday. It was blood pouring out of my ears with the sheer volume of stuff that needed to get done. So sleep was the greatest gift I could be given.

I was talking to Peter Flynn the other day about the actors, technical people, directors, shop people ... everyone who comes to Ithaca for a month or so during the summer. They get a place to stay, but frankly, its pretty cold soup as there is nothing that says "hey...this is fun". Given the Ithaca Journal has really stopped any arts/culture reporting ...and the radio is more Public Radio stuff...(the ladies at the booksale and not the hipster)...That I said off the cuff to Peter, that I would get a list...not promising much, more more would be better than nothing. I mean, how can they learn about the farmers markets, the great restaurants, the fabulous used culture, fashion and dancing, the gathering places of our town? So, bright and fresh this morning, I thought that maybe I could use my network to write this thing and posted a note on my Facebook page:

Today is the beginning of a little questionnaire I am conducting on behalf of my friends at the Hangar Theatre. To set the stage:

We have all sorts of artists, designers, actors, technicians and creative folks coming soon to bring us the Summer Season at the Hangar.

I would like to construct an insiders guide to the Summer in Ithaca (which we all know is pretty fabulous) from shopping to things to do, from localvore groceries to high end dining, from dancing under the moonlight to cool morning dips in the lake. These artists are bringing us such happiness in their performances, I ...figured lets give them local happiness in their spare time.

I would like to construct an insiders guide to the Summer in Ithaca (which we all know is pretty fabulous) from shopping to things to do, from localvore groceries to high end dining, from dancing under the moonlight to cool morning dips in the lake. These artists are bringing us such happiness in their performances, I ...figured lets give them local happiness in their spare time.

So each day of this week, I am going to ask a question and would love it if you could give me five places (if there are five) and a simple one liner or even phrase that sums up why you recommend this. I will post all of this stuff to a Insiders Guide to Summer in Ithaca its there for all of us too!
Here is the first question. Remember: up to five entries with short descriptors):
I love buying groceries, food, wine, things to eat at these places.

And then I decided I would merge it all on a Facebook standalone Page " An Insiders Guide to Summer in Ithaca" Please Join us... I find it all very exciting in a way dumb way. Someone has already complained about the format without putting any comments or entries...but IWe  will morph this thing into a web page so its more soon as I can do it.

We are lakeside. The day is cool and glorious. My yellow tree peony has 8 fat buds with one having burst! Time to straighten up a bit. The weekend unfolds



Queen Contained, Q. Cassetti, 2010, pen and inkLots of active people here. Bruce is here. Gloria is here from California. Two kids in "Snoopy!". The general doings around the campus...and more ideas and thoughts than one could imagine. Lots of real estate talk. Lots of "what am I doing with my life and how do I want to live" talk. The cats keep complaining about the lack of food and the deprivations they suffer. Shady Grove is right on point about her opinions of squirrels and pine cones...and how they are interrelated in many shades of oddity. So, I am trying to keep up with the melee.

I have the Hangar brochure on the boards as well as the Mothers Day poster for the Rongo. Rumor has it that I have been invited to talk with Jackie Merwin on May 16th on her Bohemian Potluck radio interview. We will talk about my design and illustration as it relates to the local music scene. You know, as I thought about it, I have touched at least 5 CDs without really realizing that there is a small body of work there. Imagine! So, we will see. And if it does happen, I will put it out there for all of you.

Another "out of the blue" came into my email box yesterday--a request to use my "Sweetheart" valentine (got into AI), toned with red for a Speck, iPhone case. Sweet? If there are wholesale orders--I could get 8% of gross. If it is over the page, I get the standard markups. Might be fun to get some to sell directly (ie. Wholesale). We will see. These things get so exciting and render zero to nothing in fiscal return. We have also just started posting work to Etsy....>> and will have more in the next few days. There are holiday cards, postcards, even my tattoos. I am going to get some bee postcards printed as the ones from the "Home Sweet Home" series came out so nicely with Printograph.

Other news includes a publication that was a surprise yesterday from the Cornell Veterinary School on the practice and training of vets in shelter medicine. Shelter Medicine is fascinating as it addresses dogs/cats as a herd so keeping the herd healthy and viable translates to adoptable pets which then make happy families (the last part is my putting a bow on top...but hey, its to raise money so a bit of schmatz is what is needed here). I am looking forward to this.  Queen Schmatz, thats, me.

Plans are afoot to make granola and sell it at the Tburg Farmers Market this season under the "Hodge Podge Lodge" brand. Its is so easy and the kids need to raise some money so I am working on a label and coffee bags to have a nice presentation...and we will go for it. I'm excited. Who knows if the kinder are.

Gotta go. I have been wild in bone management--making more chicken stock (almost obsessively) than we can consume. But, everytime I go to the store, I somehow hit the bone jackpot (at $.29 a pound) and feel the need to load up on backs and wingtips to roast and boil to make soup for lunch. And dang, the soup is really really good these days. Guess a winter locked in the house with a mountain of bird carcasses has really added up to something beyond a grim mortuary pile.

Vitamin D Day

A House You Can Eat, Q . Cassetti, 2010, pen and inkWhoa. Dreary. Right? Need to pop those Ds to keep the happy factor going.... What a weekend. Friday night was Pourhouse with the Yardvarks. Last night it was rocking with the Zydeco Trail Riders. They were very good with many in the room jumping up to dance with each other. Quite fun, quite convivial.

Today we stay home and celebrate Saint Patricks Day with the crew (all 6 of us) and the neighbors and their friends. So, 10 for dinner. We are boiling up slabs of corned beef with a Pizza Rustica for those that cannot fathom or stand the corned beef. I bought a cabbage and a bag of potatoes that are going into the pot after the meat stews. I have been blowing the fuse of the electric range (my Fridgidaire circa 1942, complete with the frightening Thermonizer (which, to the uninitiated is an integrated aluminum stock pot taking up the 4th burner on the top)--with great scary pops and lights. I am a bit frayed from that so I am writing you and planning my next attack. Additionally, I busted (sounds like I stripped the gears) of my Kitchen Aid mixer making bread, so I ordered a new powertool, a Viking 7 quart, 1000 watt machine. The bread baking continues as does making granola. Next trick is the granola bar as we spend a fortune on them and they seem to be predominantly corn syrup.

These gingerbread houses are running their course for now. I need to take them further with pix of the kids, the witch, the mom etc. but I am done with it. I have exhausted my sketchbook, so I am changing channels and going back to a smaller book with watercolor paper just for a break. The bees are on the horizon for the next few weeks. Then, per the 3x3 entries, I need to rap out a bunch of portraits as I am missing doing them and they get me a bunch of traction (or at least they have been). The key learning with the gingerbread houses is that in Adobe illustrator, (I was drawing the images in ink, scanning them and then reversing them in photoshop--and then bringing the image into illustrator to color them (new approach for me)-- I am using the multiply function to get the color in...laying on layers and layers of color. But the new thing is the sensational blob brush (shift+ B) as a drawing tool and also, that the eraser (shift+e) can be used to erase spots out of established objects or shapes. Small stuff, but very cool as a pair of tools go. Feeling charged with my new tricks.

Gotta make this short as there is amendment with the Hangar Theatre posters that needs to happen this p.m.Then on to finalizing the dinner.