Coming home

Halloween Masks: Casper (the not so friendly, ghost), Q. Cassetti, 2011, Adobe illustratorFriday!

Its been quite a week. Tonight we have Alex’s performance. Rumors over Facebook have been positive about his skills and performance, so I am excited to see what he can do! I will also being doing double duty by shooting the drama for the yearbook. Better charge up the batteries!

Rob is home today to futz with slide presentations and the thises and thats he cannot address given his wild work weeks. We are plotting out our weekends in a strategic way between now and Christmas as each open weekend is another opportunity to see a school or travel in some other way. Dizzying.

Big J arrived last night (the big  HORSE) and was delighted by his travels and surprised by the new freedom he has  in a big pasture with a stream he can drink out of, grass he can nibble and other horses to watch and learn from. This is a horse from the desert who lived in a small pen at a public stable (nice but confining) and relyed on being ridden to get his exercise. He has come to a very beautiful farm with other horses…and if I had four legs and a mane, I would be dumbstruck. The only glitch to the whole thing is the electric fence which he is quickly learning about. Hard lessons…ow! From Gloria’s description, perhaps Justin, albeit a California horse, might have come home too. At least, that’s my whimsical way of looking at it.

Speaking of coming home, I was delighted to talk to Jacob’s dad yesterday. There is some desire that Jacob join us after Christmas to spend the time until he goes back to college with us. I posed that to the home team and the response was immediate and beyond enthusiastic. So, we are going to swell our ranks for the new year and have tons of extra friends and musicians dropping in to gather and hang out. Should make for a jolly holiday!

As you can see, the masks continue. I am still learning….and thinking about them, their iconography, the techniques and some of the stylistic tricks. Gotta pack that all in my small brain and then turn whirr on to see what comes out the other side. Should be interesting.

Just signed a pile of posters for the Ulysses Philomathic Library dinner for tomorrow night. They are selling signed prints of the Bicentennial Owl for $10. A nice way to raise a little money.

Gotta go.

Getting in the groove.

Halloween Mask: Bunny, Q. Cassetti, 2011, Adobe IllustratorStill stinky here. The black one wafts around with a little cloud of diesel inspired scent…and we always know where she is. Its a bit tedious— and its only been a day. From what I have read, the oily skunkiness can last as long as 2 years. I am bored now…imagine two years from now. Maybe we will be lucky enough that she will not be sprayed again (or at least for two years so it can wear out).

Alex’s first show was today. Unfortunately, I had a phone call that I had to make so as not to make the elementary and middle school performance. Poor dude, he is worn out and done with all of this. Next week, no play and no XC…so its from pressure to other pressures and work. It just keeps going and going. I am looking forward to his work as the wind (he is the wind in a fable…and it seems he is feeling it).

Justin, the big California Horse (Cap C, Cap H, Cap HORSE), arrives via the night train tonight (anytime after 5) to the cold weather. Gloria told me that his long coat was a problem in LA and she was constantly worrying about his electrolytes and water consumption. This big warhorse will grow a nice long coat and hopefully be able to handle the snow and cold. There is a lot of excitement around his arrival. Its been a long journey for him. A nice dry stall that is not moving will be a relief.

Ben Cooper 1980 (catalog page)

Busy with the masks as you can see. Between this bunny and the cat, the idea of developing my own character designs seem feasable. I am learning a bit about this styling, how things are handled for cute, how things are handled for scary, how things are handled for funny/cute. I am curious about the illustrators/artists who created these mask characters. Need to do some research and see what I can dig up. I was reading another internet clip, and they were referring to these halloween costumes as folk art. Hmmm. What do you think?

Check out these cool box graphics from the Ben Cooper Boxes. I love the benday dot…and the line treatment. Does this look like graphic design work? or illustration? Which side of the desk will this sit on? Neato Coolville>> I just ran into a bunch of vintage Kiss masks…Whoa. Kiss…and some of them have yucky frizzy hair attached to the vacformed face.


Halloween Mask: Cute Cat, Q. Cassetti, 2011, Adobe Illustrator, CS5KItty and Kaitlin and Ari just left this noon with the sun bright in the sky, clutching the gigantic nutella jar I had as a backup to the one they had day one of school. They were thrilled to bits as they had already (among 8 of these students) eaten the first of the 11 lb. containers of this chocolate/ hazelnut spread. Onward! To more school, to heated living and studying spaces, to the next stretch before Thanksgiving. It was lovely to visit with them—and I hope they get back to the Shire safely.

Kitty was given two vintage Marimekko dresses which looked fabulous on her (and she knows it). One of them will have a new life on the contradance circuit (Kitty is not fond of the india print skirt ethos but wants something with plenty of fabric that will swirl and spin. The other in a lovely black and white print with a high waistline and 3/4 length sleeves she was wearing looking the peak of chic. She was positively delighted. Three generations of Cassetti ladies have worn these…with the happy dancing princess the current owner.

Shady Grove had a skunk encounter last night getting sprayed in her face…and missing most all else. So around 9 p.m. we cranked up a combination of Hydrogen Peroxide, baking soda and dish soap and then finished her in a bath. Kitty was upfront and center with this (bless her) with me providing wing support on left, Rob on right. Shady was a good girl and was very patient with us down to getting into the bath and lying as still as can be as we lathered her up with Lemon Dawn. She still has that Eau de Skunk stink…but she isnt dominant with it. Gloria and I went to the local farm store, Agway  this a.m. to get stuff for Gloria’s horse, Justin and a new collar for Shady (florescent orange hunting collar for now). Loved spending a bit of time at Agway checking out all the lovely esoterica having to do with farming and animals, the different products, harnesses, ropes, boots, and the complete Carhartt collection.

Things are settling down here. Plans are falling into place happily. I am busy drawing these masks…and thinking a bit further out for the masks I need to design myself once I have the mask chops down. Interesting. Rob thinks we should screen print and vacform them and sell them as one off art pieces…? Your thoughts about that? I am more interested in making the pix….and not product that is an outgrowth. I am busy learning and thinking about these masks—so I am on a new channel.

More later.


No more princesses and vampires, for this year.

Halloween Mask: Witch, Q. Cassetti, 2011 Adobe Illustrator CS5Halloween was cold outside. Down coat cold. No boots on the fairy princesses. Kitty and gang carved some gorgeous pumpkins and put 50 lumieres down the walk. We handed out a ton of candy and it was all done by 8:30 p.m. It was another clear and dry evening at least.

Kitty is wonderful. It has been nice to have a little visit with her. She is beginning to focus, to reach out, to make connections, to take more risks, to go out on the edge, to go beyond her fear. She took a hat making course which she LOOOVED. They were presented original straw hat forms, and some tools with access to ribbons and bows which Kitty transformed into a “Jane Austen bonnet”.  The teacher was an original that she cottoned to…marvelling in how creative and interesting millinary really is. Maybe more work there. Could be a fun thing. Her Rennaissance Art History Class at Mt. Holyoke she loves too. She is throughly enjoying being part of the drama community, the costumes, the shop, the people. She is a dancing girl—and a girl that goes to parties (that girl wasnt here last year). So, I couldnt be happier in her open attitude, happiness, and change. We love her friends too.

Alex is heads down with the drama production. He is so solid…and great. I hope it will be a great success. There are all sorts of XC events this weekend (along with dishes to pass)

I baked a few of the apples I got this weekend from Kingtown Apples (a half bushel (mixed) for $8). Down they went for lunch. Everyone was very happy. I had totally forgotten how easy and pleasing baked apples are. Even the most simple style, sugar and cinnamon are a treat. Low in fat…and tasty/warm.

I have done something interesting that maybe you might want to try too. There is a cool feature/offering from Google called “Google Alerts”. You can set up topics you want to be alerted to what is new…and I have put Fraktur, Trumansburg, Ben Cooper and Q. Cassetti as my alerts. From that, I get an email that tells me about what is new. I found out that my bee work was cited in Dappled Additionally, my work was shown on a cool urban farming blog, Brooklyn, again, another grouping of bee images.

As you can see, I am happy with my masks. More to come. They are so odd…and oddly engaging.