Summertime

Cut paper owl,  Q. Cassetti, 2013, Trumansburg, NY

Cut paper owl,  Q. Cassetti, 2013, Trumansburg, NY

It really feels like summer. I am here in my princess tower...a hardwired princess tower, listening to the birds, and feeling the breeze on my feet from the window anticipating the need to blow warm air around with my turbo fan which currently is tucked in my closet.

Spring has been such a gift this year with the long cool, wet coming on....allowing all of our trees to develop, flower and grow. With this natural prosperity comes a thick coating of bright green pollen that lays on the porches, windowsills, and any surface (even a car sitting for an hour or so) this is shocking in its abundance.

As you can see, I am cutting paper these days. For real paper...not the digital kind with real live scissors and then scanning them in to digitize them. I am making a little collection of thises and thats...and as they are all cut from full sized, half sized or quarter sized pieces of paper, they are all in the same zone building blocks sized. I am getting the paper from this great teacher store called Hygloss who have a thinnish, origami weight matte black paper that really does the trick. I am just feeling so creatively out of it, at least this gets me making stuff that I can use now/ later. With these big black shapes, I can strip textures/color etc. into them and I have translated them all to vectors, so they are scalable as well. I just feel like a creative flat tire these days. The whole Jack is a dull boy thing. Lots of projects sailing through the office...very much beach volleyball with a lob to our side and then back, and back again....all in one day. Not much breathing...lots of moving.

Alex is in NYC taking photography courses. His new work is quite good...and though I am a proud momma--you can see for yourself. He is truly taking in the city and enjoying every minute of it. So exciting to see this little flower begin to bloom. Kitty is with us--working on trying to corral ideas, impressions and direction for her Division 3 project next year. I am coaxing her along though I think Rob is probably a better coach for her at this point in her development. I tend to shut things down too quickly. My harshness works with Alex...matter of fact, he actually likes my directness and was humored last weekend when I sat in the car with him and critiqued the Sunoco logo at the gas station. He was stunned that I thought that way. We also had an amusing conversation about symbols and what things mean in imagery. It was cracking open a door he didnt even know existed...and was surprised by the results. I can work with Alex on ideas and thinking and with Kitty on process, editing and expanding beyond the ordinary. What a few months of talk we will have.

I sold 5 dozen brooches last week (sushi and banana splits) at wholesale to a family friend. This is the way to really do the business with pins versus the onesies twosies. The bill actually looked like something. Funny though I thought the pins would really rock, it turns out that my cards are far and away the more profitable and more requested around here. Maybe I should climb out of the creative hole and just design some cards. Simple, elegant, commercial cards. That seems doable? Right?

Later.

moment, just a moment

Barn Owl, Q. Cassetti, 2013, Adobe Illustrator, CS5

Barn Owl, Q. Cassetti, 2013, Adobe Illustrator, CS5

It has been solid...and I have a minute to say hi. The past few weeks have been solid work with kids packed in (Spring Vacation for each), a funeral with out of towners, food planning and serving and more work. The work has been mammoth with both Rob and me working nights (seriously) and weekends with a window of a morning or an afternoon unprescribed/ unscheduled. It was quite a moment that we had to be able to get Rob a haircut last weekend. Monumental...a haircut, right?

It is still grey and rainy. My farmer friends are delighted in the mucky cold. Nothing is too hot, too fast so our lovely cherries and apples are going to have a slow birth this year to promise us buckets, bushels and barrels of fruit.  It was great to pick up our spring greens from Good Life Farm yesterday to watch sweet Melissa doing funny pet trick with her white goosy turkey, strutting about all rigid and shaking, clucking and chortling. This pet turkey is named, Bonecrusher...and to see the Bone being wrestled to the ground by bouncy Melissa was very cute and funny. She held him tight so that our friend Eric could touch Bonecrusher's (from Roald Dahl's BFG) wattles.

Rob is home. I have to go. Tomorrow, I will catch up more with you. He is working and so am I...but I will make a little time for us.

Laboring Days

Owl Study, Q. Cassetti, 2011Last day before we load up the wonderbus and take Kitty back to the Pioneer Valley and happiness amongst her friends, her soon to be new friends, contradancing and new studies and focus.

Its all ramping up for the schoolyear here. Yearbook has been scheduled. Alex’s classes are good. Rob has been remarkable, coaching Alex to be a better and more focused writing. This writing process has been quite remarkable to watch. Cross Country is in full bore with breakfast for 30 for next Saturday. I think I will make yogurt and granola and fruit sundaes with bagels and juice.  Sounds like granola batching this week. Then the next due date is my Sagamore presentation that I need to get charged about. We are having a group here this Wednesday for a project we are calling the Tripych.

Essentially, the Triptych project is going to be a topic we as a group will pick (the group is comprised of writers, visual artists, musicians)…and brainstorm. The next time we meet, we will all have 3 “takes” on the topic using the same media or different, same channel or mixing writing and drawing or writing and photography, photography and drawing….you get the idea. This is a group of great people who have a high quality level, and thinkers. Should be fun doing the work and getting to know the group. If we all agree, we will post a “carnival”(according to Amelia) which is that each of us post a list of links of all the respective participants.

I am chugging away on a publications project that is a stopper in the works. I figured if I would free up the space, things will flow more smoothly….next week—the short week. So onward from dawdling with you.

Hootie

Green Man 19, Q. Cassetti 2011, pen and inkKitty got the pleasure of travelling to NYC with Rob today. They will have 2 days and an overnight which is very exciting for both of them. She was all decked in her new look complete with her new “vintage” Dooney and Burke black and brown bag, her new oxfords and black pants, and stripes to complement the whole thing.

I got Alex to his running this a.m. and then back for Jacob. I managed to send the cooked down tomatoes through the food mill and am allowing it to set up and settle before I put it in plastic bags for the freeze. The chicken for Saturday is thawing so I can marinate in advance. Tonight blueberry cakes to be baked. Tomorrow a.m.—flower picking and great bowls of cherry tomatoes for a salad to be made for the crew. I need to buy corn from Rick up the hill as well as cantaloupe and other melons.  Thank goodness for the bounty of the wonderful produce we have right now. Makes the entertaining so much more pleasant.

So the prep begins. Alex and I are going to buy nuts and chips, dips and dots, cream cheese and butter, vinegar and dishwashing powder.  Bagels will need to be purchased closer to Sunday. I can do a mess of cutting and prepping in advance.

It was a big light show last night waking me up before the thunderboomers rolled down the lake. Weather.com projected the storm to hit Sheldrake at exactly 3:24 a.m. and dang, it did. A bit torrential at times, but leaving us with a damp day. It’s a bit drizzly, so poor Alex may be running in the rain. He was so thoughtful about running in the rain, talking about how he settles into getting used to it and finding pleasure as you warm up in the cool rain. I love how Alex thinks—in a poetic, kind and very centered way. He and I had a nice chat together—and I must admit, I am looking forward to being a pair again with Kitty going back to school. I like us together when he doesn’t have to compete with the high jinx we gals get up to.

Today, I need to wrap up a few sketch projects, do a bit of image research and send some emails. The little Greek Owl to the left is some of the reference I am going to for my little Philomathic owl poster. I have always loved these little guys—their vacant look and all the tremendous detail in the wings and head. Yesterday’s image was the beginning of this little process—so you should see a few of these images before I settle on one. At least 8 of em just to get the look nailed…and giving me the lovely time of drawing with ink on my gorgeous new watercolor book.

I need to get going on making my virtual roladex to share at Sagamore and some writing (I was asked to help write as the requestor likes my “voice”). I cannot imagine anyone liking this shrill voice…but surprisingly, I am getting a handle on what I want to say—so it might not be as hard as I thought initially.

Shaking

Greek Owl, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and ink on watercolor moleskine notebookI got up early to get Alex to his preseason training at the Falls overlook this morning. There I was at 8 a.m. with a beautiful morning in front of me and a hour to do anything in the whole wide world I wanted to do. So, it dawned on me that I could go pick more roma tomatoes at Sweetland CSA and cook them down today/ tomorrow. Additionally, tomorrow is my in-laws’ 55th wedding anniversary, so I could get some zinnias to put in a Corning Studio Glass vase. And so, I did just that and was home before nine bells.  A bunch of gorgeous pink and pink/purple zinnias went into a Bill Gutenrath inspired clear vase with a cobalt lip wrap and a striped ribbon to sparkle up the mix. I washed the tomatoes and they are cooking down as we speak. I will need to remember my foley foodmill tomorrow to get the sauce to sauce—and separate all the skins and seeds for compost. What a wonderful, beautiful thing to do before work.

My thinking on the CSA has changed from just a pick up thing to my surrogate backyard for the you pick stuff when I want to pick it (in the morning when its cool and I am feeling in fine feather). I love being out with the bees, surrounded by color and nature, fruit and flowers. Being among the tomato vines this morning was a quiet whisper of the summer. A memorable time and a celebration of this robust time of the year. I think a winter share will be in order for soup and sides. Bring on the celeriac and leeks!

I am SOOOO happy. Baka Micro took the Tower of Power away and called yesterday with solutions—not problems! And, they have thinking and planning around protecting my data and really maximizing my computer with components that are part of the system that I havent put into action (mirroring program for one). So, I am getting my computer back, fixed and ready to roll along with new systems in place and someone at my back that I have never had as the princess of Luckystone—and it is something quite affirming and amazing to finally have.

Around lunch yesterday, I was at my desk when I was wondering why a big truck was outside my window I couldnt see…the windows shook, and shook. I looked out the window to see that it wasnt the weather. The trees were quiet. And then, to find out that indeed, it was the earthquake that was felt on the east coast. I wasnt afraid…it was just something I couldn’t figure out. Thanks to Twitter, I had it figured out in seconds.

Part of the summer tribe departs today. Sad….though we hadn’t planned on the tribe of men we had here since mid July, it has been energetic and active with lots of music, talk and opinions which was fun. Plus, as a person who likes to cook, a pleasure to deliver to a happy audience.

Onward.