First Workday: 2011

When Cats Fly, Q. Cassetti, 2010, sharpies from the second sketchbook project, Long day yesterday. In the car most of it… We got Kitty tricked out with food and drugstore stuff with productive trips to Target and Whole Foods. Wow. If only we had one here in Itown (Whole Foods that is). Sure is the Museum of the Organic Lifestyle. Pricey but inspired buying, inspired display, and a complete grasp of what their customer is looking for. I was intrigued by the packaging we saw in the babyfood aisle—foil packets and these flat packages with sealable spouts (which really makes trash to go in the landfill…so environmentally, maybe not the message they are trying to get across. Yes, there is less, but it doesnt reduce to zero).

Kitty and Alex schlepped the whole contents of the back of the wonderbus to her room (skiis and more) and got her settled. We took back far less than we delivered so that the May pickup will be a crunch. Kitty seemed so happy to be back in her new digs, new friends, new opportunities, new things to share and try. Rob and I were comparing our first semester of freshman year to that of Kitty’s and yes, thank you, she is doing just fine. We forget how time is the big ingredient for change.

Rob had to work on a presentation in the lobby of the Holiday Inn Express until 1:30 when we picked him up to take Kitty back and say good bye. And then, we were off with sandwiches from Whole Foods and my lovely teabags from Harneys. I have been driving Rob crazy by carrying a shortie steel thermos with me when I travel. However, this trip, he saw how good it was. Everytime we stop for a bio break, I get hot water from the venue of choice (free) and then plop an elegant Harney teabag into it…and we have tea to sip between stops. For those of us coughing, sneezing and throaty, it has been a lifesaver. And, if you dont know about Harney Tea, you should>> I recommend the Hot Cinnamon Spice (reg and decaf), their bulk Earl Grey Supreme, the Holiday Tea (drank a box of the sachets in less than a week with Kitty) which are the basics around here. And the perfume of these teas are rich and amazing which goes right into the flavor of the tea. It makes the Liptons/Red Rose stuff seem like sawdust. More expensive but a transcendent experience.

First workday of the new year. Need to make it count.

Advent Day 6: Full Swing Holiday

Lacy Angel v.1, Q. Cassetti, 2010, sharpie from the second advent projectThe Studio sale was great. I picked up a bunch of drinking glasses and goblets on the dollar table and then went to the high priced, cooler stuff. I got a few lattecino patterned vases, a bracelet, and a few cool little bowls (for me). So, there is cool stuff to give to local friends, and a few great things for us. It was nice to see a bunch of old Corning friends and to see the Museum bursting with their holiday open house.

Then, it was off to Sams Club (I thought they might have swags and wreaths which they did). It has been years since I have been in a warehouse club, and it was great…particularly as Rob didn’t let me go full bore into the thises and thats. We got the swags and wreaths (making the wonderbus particularly fabulously deliciously scented), some new sharpie brand pens (ultra thin), some printable postcards and some cheese for pasta. I also got a huge box of oatmeal for granola making. Thinking of granola, I think that might be my version of the Christmas cookie this year. It looks good in the container; I have the wintery stickers; and folks tend to love it…and its a tad bit healthier than cookies. I think I will be doing some dog biscuits though. Really fun and the poochitas love them.

Collection of Holiday headwear from the web.A note: Going to Corning is a bit like going to another universe. People just do things a bit differently than we do here on our plateau. The general populace’s sense of public humor, their favorite restaurants and stores, what they do in their spare time, what they value is a bit different and to me, interesting. Where is she going with this one? Well, I was horrified and at the same time amused by the passigiata of people at the Studio sale (particularly) casually strolling about with their holiday Santa Hats. First it was a middle aged mom type with fuzzy boots on and a big, pink, fluffy santa hat with a big embroidered patch in the front saying “Princess”. After her was a little girl wearing the same pink hat with a crown sewn into the fluffy white band. It was also branded as “Princess”. Then a rather sloppy man, calmly sported a Vikings Santa hat (purple and white and big graphics just like the Eagles one above). Another nonchalant man had the traditional Santa hat with Mickey Mouse ears (a holiday classic). While we were prepping to exit Sams, I looked across to the car facing us in the lot, and there was a skinny, runty guy with his gold and black Steelers hat!. I think there is a market there. How about some really deviant ones? Like Masonic Santa Hats with an all seeing eye on the top? Krampus Santa hats? Or Santa hats with cool words like “Stupid” or the novel word, “Dank”? Need to work on that. Big money potential. Very funny to me.

There were holiday sweaters galore. Everyone had something with holly or candycanes printed on them from belts to shirts. It all was very “festive” and it frightened me to death. Need to do some more scary illustrations.

Onward to more Advent calendar images. I am vascillating between all sorts of things..and am getting charged up for a new body of work inspired by my friend Peter suggesting I work on a green man image. I am loving what I am learning. Could be the bees for the winter for me. I knew something would pop up if I just kept at it…yay.

Last Monday of Eleven Month

Swan Heart from Sketchbook 3, Q. Cassetti, 2010, sharpiesPiles of work…yikes. I am pleased I got the little done yesterday (thank you Rob) with the NYFA application and the scans as they were just hanging there wanting to  be done. I also had a really nice time with a little drawing in the evening complete with peppermint tea. It was just nice.

In hindsight, it was interesting to complete the NYFA application because it was all about funding artists to continue to build their voice and vision—so everything is pointed to showing that. I am pleased that I made a list and created a flow to the imagery to show how the styles and imagery flow (which, interestingly they do) prior to uploading them all. The images will be shown really large—in two groups of 4…so a progression from the SOI Willowhead (from Memento Mori) to Forever Love (from the Valentines) to The Fraktur Angel heart, to Valentine “Sweetheart” (bees),  to Bee Mine Valentine, to Bee Goddess, To Bee Twins, to in Search of the Sweet (Lubki illos). It looked good and consistent. The drawing group is assessed with Book Arts and Printmaking. My work fits right in there. Additionally, they have a folk art subset they judge mid year, next year which I plan on applying for. This foundation work is appealing because it has a fiscal piece to drive the work versus trying to sell it.

What is this with Wikileaks? What is going on with this world?

Another just as important, I called The Regional to see if they had another delicious turkey for Thanksgiving. The home team is wild for it.

More later.

Tuesday is Friday

Winged Cat from Sketchbook Two, Q. Cassetti, 2010, sharpiesWhadda day. Got the illos to Picture Salon as the Society of Illustration, Illustration 53 paperwork came today. Gotta get the Nutcrackers finished and ready to hang by December 20—so there isn’t a ton of time. So, sending out for the both of these illustrations to be output and stretched on stretcher bars gets me getting that off the plate. Should upload the files this p.m. and get the paperwork done sooner versus later.

I am also thinking of applying for a NYFA Artist Fellowship (due 11/30) for kicks. They have a nice drawing/book arts section that maybe an exploration of imagery as it relates to imagery derived from 1700’s folk art ( Russian, PA Germans, etc). The grants aren’t huge, and the deal is to write a paper and deliver a presentation (which I could do at the library(?) or maybe even at the Museum Conference at Sagamore (as an afterdinner mint?).  The grant seems very straightforward to write…along with 8 pieces of work to be submitted as well. There are 100 fellowships offered. And you know my thinking on this sort of thing…you cannot win if you do not enter. Thus, the thought. I do have extra work (all of it hitting the email box this afternoon with cheery notes saying “Happy Thanksgiving” here is the 200 pound pile of paper you need to bake into our little publication.

Another positive thing was this cool art director from NYC who was interested in the digital portrait style for some packaging. Turns out, he likes all my work and generated a presentation using my work as scrap with three different approaches. So, yogurt and milk packaging might be in my future! The presentation was being given this p.m. so we will see what happens. Neat, eh?

Tomorrow we are off to get Kitty from Amherst. The office is open. Alex has school, poor devil (along with a physics test, urg). So we leave early (at 6…zip over…get the princess…and zip back with cuddly dogs, cups of tea and happy chatter). I forecast a sleeping girl…

Wednesday night all of Thanksgiving gets thawed out. The gravy, pie, cakes, stuffing stuff, bread and stuff…all ready to roll. I got the massive turkey from the Regional today…all nice and polite in a clean brown box. The Regional also had pecans, wild rice and dried cranberries at a great price at their little broken case store by the door. The Turkey is in a crate with a few bags of ice…no need to defrost…and I really need to figure out how long it will take to cook…The container says 7 hours! Yikes! Next step, holiday decorating for the 17th. 

It is all moving too fast!

Before the Sunrises

Purple nooodle, Sketchbook2 project, Q. Cassetti, 2010, sharpies.Got some wrapping done. Not all finished but groupings are boxed and all they need are tags. Those that need to be fleshed out, are still on shelves. However, I am not feeling lost or disheartened about all of this…so I am feeling like goals could be met.

Now, for Holiday Decorating. I am going to need swags. Big question with that is to be a big girl and buy the real deal, or go for fauxpine, and have it around for later and not to worry about shedding etc? Other question, should I buy a few little lit trees for the front porch and that would be that? They would be sweet. I am also thinking luminaria for the Chorus event might be sweet too. Hmm. The shelf of nutcrackers need to come out. Big visual strokes. Not the usual “how bitty is bitty” thinking. And silver ornaments? How many zillion do I have. More zillions might be good. First, though, the Thanksgiving events need to happen. That is this week….

Finished Sketchbook 2 yesterday. Need to scan in and see what evolves. Had a nice hour last night making lines and loving my pen and paper. The last few images were valentines (only halfsies) so I cannot wait to see what happens when I flip them. I could cheat with a mirror, but the real fun is doing it in photoshop and seeing if what I hope/think will happen, does. Or, even better, a happy surprise! I am grooving on Sirin wings…and am putting them on all sorts of stuff. You will see as soon as they are scanned.

Rob is off to Albany early this a.m. for an interesting meeting. I have yearbook before 9…and then a quick drive to deliver cards to my pals at Cornell. There are the following things on the boards: work for the big client, Brochure and logotype for the Museum, Calendar to come for the Museum, a brochure for IC., and the two annuals for divisions of the Vet School. I need to nip at my printers as things are  not moving fast enough for me on the cards that are printing etc. I am using a small press that bumped my work for a job that their client screwed up and they needed to go of press for the second time. I am not thrilled about that. I have personal cards being printed and plan on sending out a business card and rack card for the Bakery as that need is there and the prices are good.

Alex has three days of school. Bruce is off on his holiday today. So, activity abounds and its not quite 6:30 in the morning.

Rob found my work here:  Crazy Chinese channels/ sites. I wish I could see what they like about the stuff. I find it fascinating. This Anina group literally lifted the entire bulk of work form  Chinese Padmag. Hmm. I also need to look into the address (web) that someone just plunked on one of my pieces. What does this mean?

The Eleventh

Creo from Sketchbook 2 2010, Q. Cassetti, sharpies11.11. One One, One One. The boys have the day off. I just finished my little slide show where I slid around in color shape biology, connection, wires, energy and found a nice soundrack to go with it. I  have paced it and put the music on it and shipped it out via (all of 90 MB all in) to my client this a.m. Phew. They liked the preview last night…so I think we are pretty good.

Nine for lunch today. We have three carpenters, an electrician, Erich and me, Rob, Alex and Bruce. I was slacking off and hadnt wrapped my head around the culinary expectation (read soup), so pasta with pesto was the throw down. We may have as many tomorrow, so soup will start tonight. I have taken last weekend’s turkey stock and pulled off (and frozen) the turkey fat. The stock is still melting so I can separate from the solids. My thinking is to make Thanksgiving gravy in advance (can you imagine?) and freeze it as the gravy is always the last thing…always the killer as the whole dinner (or feast as Bruce calls it) comes together. If I get the parts of the feast done early that can be heated up with the turkey (while its cooking), I might be able to be gracious versus the chief cook and food hurler.

The main gang is finishing up the back walkthrough/porch redo. I dont know if its a restoration (we do not have drawings) or a redesign or what. The original porch (that we got) on the back of the house was two iterations of add ons (which we can tell by the painted witness marks on the bricks within the courtyard. The floorboards have told us where the original floor began and ended where our current footprint of the porch is. No clear idea about the pilasters or how the roof was finished, so we are guessing (with our checquebook factored in too). So, we will see. The finish woodwork and lights are being plugged in today, so we will see what will happen. Next step, doors with windows in them to force light back into the back of the house. It will make a tremendous difference. I am thankful that today is a Southern California day (in January)…cool, bright and brilliant. So, the construction team is delighted to be granted this weather to move the work forward.

Why is it on holidays I want to go to the bank? I am so clueless.

More later. Prep for a meeting needs to happen.


Midweek fun

Lubok Cat from Sketchbook 2 2010, Q. Cassetti, sharpies.Making a slide show and decided during the image search to just start “riffing” like an illustrator and put things together that go together that communicate speed, internet, movement, connection, biology, micro biology, data, words….and its beginning to flow a bit better. The minute I stopped focusing on this and actually thinking versus feeling, this show starting moving and happening. Its just hard to let your brain go limp and go with the gut…but when it does, Wow. Am up to 80 slides and counting. I am at least feeling like I am not swimming in cement. So I have a flow, color, images, shapes. The next question is sound…Alex recommended LCD Soundsystem’s Beat Connection. I have a few alternatives (including the old Art of Noise Daft Album).

Nice meeting with the cuties in Yearbook. I am always surprised to see who is going to do something interesting, say something engaging or have an original idea. Our foreign exchange student from the Czech Republic is a sleeper as his mom is a  book designer and he already knows how to thumbnail a publication. Imagine!

Tomorrow, the boys have off. Rob may look for another dishwasher (ours cleans but everything is chalky and cakey when done…leaving the plates etc all kind of gross). Alex needs to do some planning around SATs and his tutorials. There is Christmas for me to finalize. And beds to make…and all that domestic stuff that is piling up. I feel so inadequate. So a little time this weekend to tape and tuck, box and bag, list and respond would be great. I am missing help on the house side of things along with my backstop here in the office. I need to do something as I am getting into a tailspin on all that is falling behind….

I need to get half of Thanksgiving in the freezer soon. This weekend, I think I will do some baking and buying. I am not going to be super proud but will rely on some frozen veggies and pre-prepping in advance…so Thursday doesn’t become horrific.

Tomorrow is the last day of the Pourhouse here in Tburg. As you know, we are great supporters and are so sad that this valuable institution will close but management needs to get her life at home in order (and as a mom, it’s really a non-returnable serve). The Pourhouse has provided us numerous wonderful evenings as the town center to meet friends, make new friends and connections, hear some wonderful music and be able to walk to and from home. How great is that? We will see the Pourhouse Team after the physical place has gone, but the conviviality of the moment will be gone…a sparkling moment in time and an inspiration to us all. A gift of community, a place for us to share, connect and meet up. The generosity of the owner and all that she has given us cannot be fully appreciated…the gift of time, people and a place where magic happens.