On the Fringes

Fringe Tree in Bloom, Q. Cassetti, 2011Another beautiful spring summer day. Today we prep for Rob travelling, Alex for a concert and Kitty for Kitty. I am talking to you before getting whisked off to be number one companion. We have shoes to buy, laundry to do, and a community chorus concert at the Presbyterian Church at 7:30 p.m.

I have a feeling we may have a lot of music in the house this summer with Alex getting all charged up about playing jazz from a very positive music session with a very calm, smart and together friend yesterday. He came home ON FIRE.

LOVED seeing that.

As you can see, the allium is going to seed. Our fragrant Fringe Tree (which is always a second from dying…as the older part of the tree is open and the woodpeckers have started in on it) is renewed, with a new tree springing from the base. Our neighbors all have glorious herbacious peonies. We have none. Guess why! The damned DEER. Target practice starts today. I am having a hard time deciding which weapon we will be practicing with…but lethal is the watchword. The Deerisaurus hate monarda…and that plant is flourishing. Guess that is my choice. All else they eat despite the “deer proof” designation. Stupid us.

We saw the MacGillicuddies who were great with Farmer Thor vocalizing to tunes such as “80 Dead Chickens”, and I think, “Kill the Possum”. Thor was very cute and having fun, spreading the energy to all of us. Rumor has it that the rub board player was his brother who had the same beamishness…loving being up front with the happy crowd. High energy. Lots of dancers. The bar was pleasantly crowded. A good night was had by all (even me!). I actually met some new people (fun!) and had a nice exchange. Did I say I love Trumansburg enough today?

I am busy drawing away, smudging ink all over pages to some success…not a ton. But as you know, I am warming up. Not everything can rock the house as much as I try.


Moving Forward

Double Bunny, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and inkWow. The Mothers Day for Peace event at the Rongo was amazing. Heather Hallagan transformed the space with cherry boughs and flowers, a big table of baked goods for sale and lots of touches that took the event to another level.The music lineup and performances were outstanding…with each group hitting the mark incredibly. The music alone was worth going…but then there was the tribe! Wonderful group of people were there with lots to talk about, learn, encourage and cheer on. I met the wonderful Greg Kops principal of Mouselink Media , who from a pretty quick sketch of a web page created the great MamasforPeace.com. Greg and his partners are moving into a new space so as to be able to do more, teach, expand their thinking around the internet, social media etc. Greg is a total inspiration and force to be reckoned with in our little town. I cannot wait to see what’s next. There were a slew of others I had a chance to really talk with and catch up. It was great.

I caught up (kinda sorta) Saturday! and feel like a rock has rolled off my back. There is more ahead, but it all feels significantly more manageable. Amazing. As an aside, I rediscovered my wonderful rotring sketch pen…and cleaned it up…and now I am back pushing luscious puddles of black ink around into shapes. How meditative and delightful. (Jerrysartarma.com has a good price)

Hopefully, the tuxedo delivers today. What with the crush of tests Alex has had (SAT and today an AP) this is something he is happily anxious about. I am so into men’s formal clothing that I have been focused (what with the royal wedding) on the royals and their dress. I was delighted to see Prince Charles in a cut away with a boutonniere being a single hellebore (Lenten Rose). No crass big rosebud…but a lovely outdoor flower…no hybrid…just perfect. So, I was tromping around the backyard with Shady Grove this morning looking for the two hellebore I put in last year (and there they were) so that my stylish boy can have a boutonniere like the Duke of Windsor. I think the plants might need a bit of manure as they seem a tad scrawny….but they survived the winter (just like another bane, the GARLIC MUSTARD—which I was ripping out by the handfuls). If only the damned deer ate garlic mustard…..hmmmmm.

Onward! The week awaits!


Pennsylvania Pizza

Peter at Keystone Cider, Q. Cassetti, 2010It was running from pillar to post this weekend. No time for blogs, naps in the car from one place to the next. Friday found us meeting up with some family members from Rob’s family—a treat, a sparkling gem. Things have been hard for them, but time has not visibly aged them…but the wisdom, kindness and joy peek out from the words and ideas and we are sad with them and embrace them in their joy. It was wonderful. We left them to have dinner with Ron and Mary to go have dinner at the Pourhouse—meeting up with people we do not have a chance to chat with…to much happiness and laughter. Then, we dropped into the Rongo for the driving, happy music of Billy Eli and Eric Aceto. Lots of energy, nice crowd dancing and mixing…and not too loud to talk. We had a chance to catch up with Todd on news around town and things that interest him. Local food being a lead. We had to get home as apples awaited the next day.

We got up early and met Peter and the apple crew at the Little Camp House on Searsburg Road. Peter believes in free apples —so he collects, like a mushroom hunter, old apple trees, and where they are. He calls the owners and asks if he can pick up the excess which they grant him. It was a brilliant day—just warm enough, clear blue skies and if I were the determiner of the “colors” we were on the shoulder of the peak colors. So dazzling yellows, gold, orange, purple and red.  So, there are bags and bags of apples ( coal bags) (85 we finally had), of old and new varieties, quince, and other yummies that are piled into trucks after the picking and sorting on Saturday Morning to go to Keystone Cider in Sayre, PA. I raved about it last year and could rave again this year about the belts and chutes and ladders, the hoppers and the tractor drive. I could rave about the filters and goldenPennsylvania Pizza, Q. Cassetti, 2010 juice being forced out of layers and layers of apple which, when its scraped off the filter is lovingly referred to as” Pennsylvania Pizza”—a dried mash of apples, core, and fiber that the ciderists feed to chickens (or so the young boy who I befriended, told me). Smaller group this year ( I am thinking maybe because it was a rough weather day last year)—but all of us knew the drill…so it went smoothly. We had a nice dinner with the same group hosted by Peter and Peggy—with delicious dinner, of course cider and all sorts of ideas, thoughts and sharing going on. We are so grateful to be included in this wonderful progression from fruit to table—and all the exotics, the ingredients, the community and network that spin and overlap with this group I find amazing. Amazing to understand. Amazing to find that I am in some of those circles that keep overlapping. Amazing to find out how many communities are out there…each as interesting as the next…all locally driven and inclusive. So different from living in a big city or corporate town…as these communities just spin like catherine wheels, overlapping mandalas…that grow and morph. I think living in this small environment makes these groups so much more apparent. Curiouser and curiouser.

Amy, Q. Cassetti, 2010Sunday was up and at em with Rob meeting with a really wonderful new friend to talk architecture, stones, masonry, projects, “who do you know”, “what do you know”, “how do you do it”. High energy, high ideas. Ponds and hot tubs, stones and quarries, steps and projects. While all that was going on, I made beet soup, beet salad and a huge beef (not beet) stew for later during the day. It was processing a ton of stuff in the fridge, so there is more room in the top of the refrigerator and tons more to eat. Thankfully, a bit of cooking keeps my Alex happy…and as its been so wild, it makes me happy to know that we have something for the boy to eat (at least for today).

Then I went off to Amy Brill’s Open House.What a shot in the arm! OMG. It was color, fiber, energy, gorgeous display, Amy “doing her thing” and showing us all the things her clothes do when you turn things upsidedown and backwards…the nineteen things to do with her sweaters. I, of course, couldnt resist and found things I have always lusted after in black and or charcoal (my faves)…along with some beautiful shawls and scarves for the holidays. It was great watching a pair of friends taking picture of each other and sending them to “mom” to approve or direct. Their use of the phone was sublime and quite effective as they managed to pick out sweaters and shawls for all of the daughters for the holidays this year. Amy spun magic and energy dressed in this adorable dress with great legs and cute shoes…constantly fluffing and trying on new scarves and accessories to let us see how great they look. Friends offered up that this was their second time to the sale….with full arms and happy hearts. I hope that this was successful enough for Amy to do it again. I know there are ladies I didnt have the sense to call (as not everyone is a Facebooker) who would faint at all the glory of Amy’s clothes, her accessories, and fibers. The riot of color, buttons,, and details invites a welcome step into Amy’s happy world and vision. And, I want to be in that world with Amy…spinning in joy in the fashion stories she tells us. What an absolute treat.

The small group spent the evening at the lake. Late dinner. Late sleeping and now we are back in the cogs of the machine. More later.


Sketch v.1 Zydeco Poster, Q. Cassetti, 2010Zydeco derives from Les Haricots Verts (green beans/snap beans). I am working on a poster for the Zydeco Trail Riders event at the Rongo for the week of Grassroots. So, I am making a poster using beans, their swirly vines and heart shaped leaves, a pair of dancing boots ( one wears cowboy boots on the actual Zydeco Trail Rides)… and make it a love button by using a heart shape to hold the whole thing. Yes, there might be a bee or two. The reference is the BooZoo…who put out a CD called Zydeco Trail Ride…and BooZoo really personifies Zydeco as does Buckwheat Zydeco with his rhinestone embellished huge accordian. This is the prelim sketch. I am redrawing this to fit the format better…and take advantage of using my friends the vectors to do some of the woodcutty heavy lifting. I like what humor the beans have…and want to continue that. The  Scroll holds the word Zydeco. And the feet in the boots need to be longer…

I am chipping away at putting the Insiders information on a tab here on the Rongovian Academy of Fine Arts. You will see Inside Ithaca on the top right. Its been work to move the copy from the liveliness of  the interchange of  Facebook to a more staid, but more usable webpage. We will see. This is looking a bit like a project. Like the zoneball I am, I indiscriminately  what I thought was the Ithaca page and wiped out a bunch on the rest of the site. Dope. Dopey. It has pointed up new nice tools that Squarespace has made to bring social networking easy to flow to a blog etc. Cool.

Work continues apace. Lots of projects that are tangled webs of “we don’t know what we want and don’t have any ideas of what we are doing” and I tentatively step into this twisted route to try and figure it out by finding out all the things that are “wrong”. Its wild.

Kitty signed up for her dorm room today (substance free) with a lot of questions and promises to keep the environment substance free. She is committed to this…and it will give her a safe haven if all the students honor the code. Alex is running track even now (almost 8 p.m.). Rob is off at a meeting about the new bandstand to be built at the Tburg Farmers Market during Grassroots. Dinner will be late.

The rainy day has blossomed into blue sky perfection on the plateau.

Maudlin Monday

Have been futzing with pictures of Marie Antoinette and the hairdos current in her court. It is all about rats and about comb overs with bit pieces of padding underneath...with feathers, jaunty hats, flowers, and endless strings of pearls or jewels to hold the whole look together. So, I have been messing around in my sketchbook about this...with the lady shown above as the best of the bad selections. It is interesting that the drawn image is quick, and then I take it into the CS suite and add highlights, clean up a bit etc. Interesting approach. Lots of need to work it out beyond the limited stuff you see above.

We had a nice visit at Bakers Acres--buying all sorts of annuals (lobelia, hot pink geraniums, nicotiana, pansies) and perennials (monardia--13 plants). It was a very happy day there as we had not patronized the Acres for a while as our work on the house and house projects held us back as it was and still remains left foot right foot. With the Carriage House and the drive way all in an almost finished mode, it becomes easier to concieve of frills such as plants and the color and scent they give us.

We heard Eilen Jewell at the Rongo the other night. R. went inside...it was lovely outside, cool and comfortable. So, I hung outside with my friends and caught up with all sorts of people, meeting new people saying hi to older friends. It was very nice and collegial, very Tburg with the luscious music spilling out onto the street. With their sets being finished, Eilen and her band made themselves comfortable on the street, sitting on the walls of the Children's Garden confirming the grassroots efforts folks are making around making Main STreet nice. It was wonderful talking about the world with musicians, people who see their world through their ears...(not eyes like me)--and when you focus in on that, how is it that they stud their stories, language and sound with music references.

Swept a bunch off the desk today. All of CE Jones. Done. Also, a business card for the Chokers (48hr print)--mini postcard size. They loved it last week (the yumbo sized card...they all want them!). More later.

Jay Hart

We walked into the State of the ArtGallery yesterday to be surprised and wowwed by Jay Hart's magnificent maps. And to our pleasure, Jay was on call that day at the gallery. I really don't feel that I can do his work justice by rambling on in my random manner about his work. Go see it for yourself>> Here is a little of what Jay says about himself:

I want to introduce people to the broadscale beauty of large swaths of earth, with perspectives that are fresh and penetrating. In doing so I also want to simplify our view of that big world, so that we can feel at home in a broader sense, becoming inherently less anthropocentric, and approaching each other with a high level of respect for our diversity.

As we trace the paths of our daily lives, we become used to thinking of the spaces around us as linear, routine, even dull. On trips to faraway places, we measure distance in travel time, too often ignoring what we have actually driven through or flown over. We think we know the world we live in - we have a glut of digital information about it - but most of us perceive it only within a confined personal range.

Jay translates that "glut of digital information" down to sheer elegance and a new way of looking at who we are and where we are. New context setting that shifts one outside into the abstract and then back to reality. His huge output is glorious in it's size, detail and 20/40 sharpness. His respect for this work eliminates glass and to a large degree any frame...allowing the work to speak for itself. Magic.

As an aside, his links and other information makes visiting his site an afternoon of discovery. It's rainy today...visit another place with Jay., and did I mention, he is a Trumansburger? I guess we might honor him with the honorific of First Cartographer and Master of Topology to the Court of Rongovia? The Director of the Academy is delighted to know that Jay is in the neighborhood.
Jay Hart
A Brief Thaw (details)

print size: 71 in x 40 in, 181 cm x 102 cm
print resolution: 360 dpi
file size: 977MB, 12866 x 24042
number of images: 2

center location: N 68.9, W 133.7
approximate scale: 1 to 200,000
ground cell: 14.25 m, long side: 343 km

Citation for the Rongovian Academy of Fine Arts

Please review>>
The Academy Director responded to this note by announcing our annual celebration which will include Rongovian Folk Music featuring the the Tombulkentian Bouzouki quintet. Our students are busy creating poignant tableaux vivants to be throughout our spacious grounds, commemorating the dynastic families significant to the cultural growth of Rongovia. Regional food and mead will be served along with demonstrations of lace making, pin knitting, dried apple head making, tatting for infant wear, whittling and customary Rongovian-style meat dressing in the Academy's art abattoir. We welcome your attendance and attention for our festival.