A day of presents

After Ambrosius Bosschaert, Q. Cassetti, 2012, Adobe Illustrator CS5There was a fresh young squirrel neatly left at my doorstep this morning. Dead, but not disturbed in any way. A beautiful little thing with his amazing paws with lovely pink pads and soft coloration. What to do with him? Toss him in the compost as usual…but somehow that didn’t seem right. In the spirit of a friend who told me the “waste not want not” tale of his own, I decided differently. This friend was really unhappy with a rather robust groundhog who had burrowed his way under the fence to attack my friend’s garden. Fresh vegetables were the prize.  My friend was not going to allow that sort of tresspassing—so he pulled out his beebee gun and shot the culprit dead. This same friend feels that if you take a life, you should take energy from it…and so proceeded to skin and dress the groundhog, place him neatly in a roasting pan, and put the whole thing in the refrigerator for his lady friend to roast for dinner. He said it was tasty.

So, in that same spirit, I was thinking that maybe Elly’s hawk, Tucker, might think that this offering might be a mighty tasty snack. Poor Tucker is stuck in his hawk house during the spring and summer as he could be tempted to fly away—and so is constrained when he goes out and hunting is off the table until it gets colder. The taste of wild meat might be just the thing compared to the little bits of gizzards Elly produces for him. Our little offering went into a freezer bag and he is nestled among the bags of frozen kale and boxes of chicken stock for just that purpose. No roasting pan here. Just the real deal for a real raptor.

Another gift is that today is  Rob’s birthday. He is a present everyday to those of us who are proud to be his family. I hope there are lots of nice things in his day to celebrate how much he means to us. Happy Birthday dear boy.

Really nice illustration news! Nancy Stahl, a teacher at Hartford and a Vector Queen, just was admitted to the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame for 2012 along with R.O. Blechman, John Collier, Ludwig Bemelmans (Madeline books), Edward Gorey and John Sloan. Talk about an amazing lineup…and it is so wonderful Nancy has been recognized for her beautiful illustration and work with the US Postal Service. Her illustration work is sublime—elegant and simple. She is the bar for all of us vector princesses as she keeps churning out inspiring work to all of our delight.

Would love to stay and muse with you. But, time is ticking. Today is CSA day and I have to get Kitty squared away with residence documentation etc. gotta go.

April showers may bring May flowers

Parrot Tulip wreath, Q. Cassetti, 2012 Adobe Illustrator.Making my lists. Checking them twice. Getting them whittled down, down, down. am feeling like we are getting a little traction—moving this forward versus feeling victimized by the lack of focus on much of this work. Am wrapping things up today/tomorrow with new work coming through the door. The snarls are being shaken out.

Pro Bono-ville has a few quick websites to put up on Squarespace (Farmers Market). Am hitting stride for this week. I am liking InDesign this week…and enjoying how smooth working with text is. And the crossover between InDesign and Illustrator is totally beautiful.

As you can see. more illustration findings….parrot tulips galore. I am going to dig on the web for some alternative images to draw…more parrot tulips, more bulbs (frittillaria, muscari, daffodils, narrcissus). I am getting a few canvases ready for Picture Salon to output and stretch. Two monkeys that like to drink, and 3 floral patterned biggies (36” square)—all to be hung at the Stonecat Cafe. They are also interested in a series of paper prints framed for the restaurant (a former fruit stand). More for this evening as things are going to start a bit later with Rob having a meeting and Alex out winning tennis tourneys. This work is quite a surprise for me as it is very appealing, very applicable and very pretty. I did not set out to do this but to better understand Dutch Flower pictures, their compositions and the general feel. This process of making pictures always is a surprise and shock. Its a new body of work every 2-3 months. From fruit now to flowers.

Happy Crack

Tulip Wreath, Q. Cassetti, 2012, Adobe Illustrator CS5Its online this and online that. All my little customers have these odd needs of small run print that span the needs from bumperstickers to labels, banners to quartercards…and my goal is to make them look and feel as legit as any well funded startup. I am buying laser output, small volume bumperstickers from StickersBanners.com. I am buying stemless wineglasses with a logo laser etched on the bowl for $.95 a piece from Discount Mugs.com.(got samples and they are really nice…so nice i am thinking of having a mess done with my illustration and see what kind of cash I can get for them).  I am buying quartercards and mini postcards (as a business card) from 48hourprint.com (and just got them in less than a week from the release of the files to printed cards in my hand…including shipping). I just got rackcards and posters for the Farmers Market from bargain basement printing.com. And a new “can do” vendor who was helpful (on the phone no less)…and their name says it all: BannersontheCheap.com. My head spins from all the little thises and thats that are in process of arriving…and more to order and wrangle. But it does mean that we are making progress while discovering some cool new companies that can help me help my customers.

Mary Ellen Salmon will be distributing the rack cards (she is running a little rack card distribution business that is affordable..and she is but a block away)! So, my hope is plug all my folks into that program too. Now, all we need is some better weather for our farmers…enough of the freezing. 

I was talking with some of the folks at our Farmers Market potluck last night…to find out that the recent freezes have all but wiped out 95% of the apples and soft fruit (peaches, apricots, cherries) in this area. It is like a death for these farmers who count on the weather to behave for their living—and here we are on the front end of the growing season knowing that certain crops just will not be there in the late summer/fall. My friends Mr. and Mrs. Waid were full of happiness—beekeepers that they are—saying things were fine for them and their hives were happy. I would love to go see what the Waid operation is just out of curiousity and of course, to see the lovely hives of bees. There is some pleasure for all of us at these potlucks and i hope that we can continue this feeling of community through the summer as we all seem to enjoy this…and much can evolve from our relationships.

Yes, I am a little dutch girl. I am working on some pictures that are derivative of Dutch flower paintings…and am trying very hard to keep the flowers dead simple…graphic and blocked that will give the impression of the painting, but still feeling bolder, more modern. With these vector files, I am building a great symbol library of objects which I think of like colorforms or to a jeweler a wealth of findings— objects that can be changed, recolored, reconfigured but reused…in a variety of applications.
These wreaths are just a hint at what they can do. What with the promise of expanded patterning in Adobe Illustrator CS6, I am psyched about the opportunities. I am just cranking out these wreaths in different colors etc. while building the pictures which take longer and are not the candy crack that this instoillo stuff is doing for me. Mindless and so sugary….and when folks see the stuff (even ALEX) they rave. I am worried that my inner happy is peeking out…what happened to the Princess of Doom? I hope she is still inside. However, with this happycrack stuff there  IS something here—and as it is flowing…I am going with it.