Spring slash Early Summer burst through the veil of March —confusing the trees, the green lily shoots, and pump peony blossoms, and me. I have been weather obsessed—reading tons of stuff online, the digital Farmers Almanac trying to make sense of this insame weather and what to expect…with really no answers but those of Rob which essentially was to go with the flow. That would be the right and easy thing, but I fight it. I like the change in weather…the frosty winters, the frozen springs, the gradual warming and then the delight in the blast of heat. This is all upsidedown and backwards. As someone who likes what she likes, she doesnt cotton well to these changes. However, my Rosemary plant from Atkins Farm in Amherst is digging the change as well as my rootbound orchid.
As a bow to early spring, I cleaned the science projects out of the fridge yesterday—and configured a bunch of things into a kale/couscous/vegetable stock soup, a double batch of biscotti (chocolate chip/almonds and toffee brittle), and cooked a brisket. Now we have stuff to eat, and space to store it. Wow. Productivity.
Sparkly Kitty is home to our delight. She is relishing sleeping in her own bed, eating soup and cookies, and just being in her home. We are doing the same. Kitty delights in everything…and we love her so much. Alex is being very funny…and so its great to be all four of us together in the car, at table together.
I have been heads down getting a ton of work out the door from a new Calendar for the Museum, to covers and branding for the big customer.
Lots of small local projects: There is a new local calendar (http://www.tburgevents.com): “Tburg Events was created by Trumansburg residents Peter McCracken, Flannery Hysjulien and Sarah Koski. Christopher Wofford brought our team together. I created their masthead and a printed postcard to be dropped off at various locations to update folks on this new service. The Great Local Foods Network benefit has a poster/website/ postcard and now rack card to promote the event and the background of this new organization (http://www.greatlocalfoodsnetwork.com). I am using scrap from my files for all of this work which is inspiring me to keep going as there is a place for all of this stuff (particularly as I am the art director/creative director) so I can plug and play as I go. My farmers and I keep at our projects as well as the local beverage producers….so more to come as they come to fruition. And then there is the Farmers Market—which I am very excited about and need to wrap my head around what it is that we are doing this season and getting the manpower behind doing it. Maybe a few emails today.
I am learning sooo much new with Adobe Illustrator these days. I have always used the pen tool…but never really engaged in learning all the cool stuff having to do with paths that are integral with the program and I delight in this new knowledge. The work is speeding up a bit…and I am happier with the results than you can imagine. I also have purchased two new plug ins for Illustrator recommended by the amazing Von Glitschka (aka the Vonster)—Inkscribe and Vector Scribe from Astute Graphics. These plug ins do not really make Illustrator any more inuititive, but allows the work to go more smoothly, more accurately and does some of the knitpicky stuff that just takes time and patience. I was watching a few tutorials yesterday, and plan on a few more today to get rolling with this. It will help with the illustration work, the graphic work and the logotypes which demand more precision/accuracy and smoothness.
So, all in all, things are good. Prince Dauntless will tread the boards this Thursday through Saturday with our having our last, yes last, Cast Party on Saturday. Kitty is home. Rob has a relatively “normal” week. And I have the standard plate of things to do, but with a lot of learning and trying. So, apart from this extrordinary and yet odd weather, things are as close to perfect as possible.
Its been a ginger weekend. Ginger and lemon. Ginger and carrot. Ginger and vinegar (3 different ones). I made a lemon ginger marmalade, a ginger and carrot pickle and a pickled ginger (gari). I have plans for a straight up ginger marmalade, a grapefruit/orange and ginger marmalade, and a cranberry/pear/ ginger chutney. Ginger beer is in the works too. I just need to free up a bit of fridge space to try this out. Alex and I were at the local asian grocery store and purchased an interesting asian honey ginger (for tea). Its a big clear jar filled with thick amber honey with big hunks of peeled ginger in it along with some sugar. I bought it inspired by reading about ginger in Wikipedia:
I have discovered by working with this interesting rhyzome that there is a distinct grain to it…and that the way to cut it is to go with the grain…and surprisingly, a potato peel is a great way to shave/prepare the herb. Additionally, the gari recipe had me boiling water and essentially pulling from the fruit a bitterness or spice prior to preparation. Another recipe had me salting the fruit—and rinsing it off prior to final preparation. Thinner the fruit the better. And…not to forget that the ginger is the big flavor that doesnt need the standard mis en place that I usually go to.
This is the new path, this discovery of ginger…which hopefullly will help new friends begin to understand the lovely plants they grow and perhaps how to develop added value yummies to help pay their bills and move their farms forward. I can act as a creative director not only as a designer illustrator/ but also as a cook and foodie.
As you can see, there is a new beginning for this near spring, that of Farmers Market imagery. I did a small body of work on this last year which morphed into a series of rabbit illustrations. My head is in a different place what with the farmers market, the new Local Foods Network and with best of all, my new farmers. So, I am looking at this same topic in a new and more emotional way. The image above has popped up. New for me…and yet so part of what I do. I am excited by where this could go.