This time of year I start some of my garden plants from seed with a grow light. In the first years of my garden I would go out and just buy the plants from the nursery. Over time, my wife Deborah taught me how to sow and start seeds from scratch. Then came the step of saving the seed from last year for the next season, at this point I started to appreciate the vast world of heirloom plants. Reading the heirloom plant catalogs I couldn't help but notice some funny names for tomatos like: Missouri Pink Love Apple, Henderson's Crimson Cushion, Orange Oxheart, Riesentraube, Zebra...the list is very long. Then I came across the history of the Mortgage Lifter Tomato and I couldn't resist the idea of turning this legacy into this years spring promotion:
The story of the Mortgage Lifter Tomato has been around since the 1940s. Charlie owned a radiator repair business that he had purposefully opened on a mountain
where trucks climbing the steep grade would overheat. In his spare time, with no plant breeding experience, Radiator Charlie created a huge tomato by cross-
breeding 4 of the largest-fruited tomatoes he could find. Every year he cross-pollinated plants using a baby's ear
syringe, selecting and saving seeds to replant the next
spring. Eventually Charlie was satisfied he had created the largest, tastiest tomato he could. He sold plants for $1.00 each and claims that tomato sales paid off his $6,000 mortgage on his house in 6 years. Each spring, gardeners drove as far as 200 miles to
buy Charlie's seedling tomatoes.
I didn't have the foresight to collect seeds for a large mailing. Somehow faith dealt me a lucky card and I hooked up with Ken & Doug from the Hudson Valley Seed Library. I proposed the idea of a shared Limited Edition Stimulus Pack, and they said "We love it". I printed 150 8x11.5 seeds and cut, scored and hand glued 150, 6x4 seed envelopes and inserted a glassine sleeves with the "Mortgage Lifter" seed.Ken had all the seeds sleeves sealed with a special planting instruction sticker.In addition, I did hand write all the addresses and off they went to a selected bunch of art directors and editors of garden, finance and realtor magazines.
I had a gas creating this collaborative stimulus package.
Here is look into some sketchy seed packages of my private stash of collected seeds.
I've saved seeds from a single plum sized yellow tomato with a frosted velvet skin that somebody brought
to David Goldin's 4th of July party. I plan to cross bread that one with the mortgage lifter and
call it "Velvet Madoff" the possibilities are endless...
Please take a moment and read and sign this partition against a horrific bill that will screw up organic farming (bill HR 875)backed and sponsored by no other than genetic engineering corporation Monsanto.
I can't find the link editor bar in Drawger 2.0, so you have to copy and paste for now.
The SX70 Polaroid camera has always been one of my favorite cameras, back in the early eighties, it would burn a hole in my graphic design student wallet. Back then David Hockney out spend and out did us all with his incredible photographic collages. With the advancement of digital cameras Polaroid stopped manufacturing the Time-Zero film in 2006, however if you feel like taking your SX70 to town, you still can by following these instructions. A few days ago I got an e-mail from my painter friend Garance telling me I won a "Poladroid" camera. It turns out it's a free software that lets you drop and drag your photos and coverts them into a polaroid images, you can even fiddle with the preferences and add scratches and finger prints. Now go and get busy.
I finally found a way to recyle my old sourcebook pages...
I arrived in Manhattan around 2:30 by bus, then made way over for a quick walk trough Grand Central Station in the hopes of spotting some early birds with sketch books (sorry Don). It wasn't too difficult to find my way up to the Roosevelt Hotel, the Ballroom and then my designated table. After depositing my heavy back pack underneath the tablecloth covered table, I spotted Ross McDonald in the bookstore section. We talked shop and fence post mending. I then spotted Von Gitschka, Felix Sockwell, and Peter Cusack. Soon the place started filling up with more arriving artist, carting portfolios and tons of promotion material. Edel had a nice table right at the entrance where his assistant handed out fresh pens and ice for his overworked signature hand. In the meantime, Zina arrived with Barry schlepping all the tote bags. After introducing myself to my table neighbor, Heekyung Hur from Korea, I started setting up my table. Upon opening my backpack, I immediately realized my laptop was gone! My heart sunk into my pants, "S@$%^&!" I quickly called me wife: "Yes, your laptop is here," she said. That wonderful news relaxed me completely, nothing could go wrong now. By this time, Nancy and Alan had set up their tables and there where just a few minutes left to talk to my fellow artists before the crowd arrived. My table was located next to two very talented Aussi girls from Melbourne, Beck Wheeler and Andrea Innocent. The place started to fill up and for 3 hours my fellow neighbor artist went to work the crowd. I got to talk to a wide variety of art directors ranging from book publishing, design/advertising to editorial, some coming from as far as Germany and Canada. In between mini breaks, I briefly chatted with the talented John Hendrix, Bri Hermanson, Kim Rosen, Pamela Henderson, Andrea Offermann, Cory Sandulis and Matt Hebermehl, all located in my quadrant of the room. Somehow, I managed to shake hands with Istvan Banyai and give Isabel Devereux a hug, and....BAM, time was up and Road show came to an end. Looking over my table arrangement map, I missed talking to so many fellow artists. Overall, the show was well attended and a great success. Mark Helflin and his crew deserve a big THANK YOU. While packing up, Dave Barmundo, with a quick touch of the iPhone and Google, managed to find a Cuban restaurant where a tired crowd could settle for dinner. On the way out, I spotted the guy who was supposed to stop signing Posters at six o'clock. Yep, you guessed it right.... Edel was still working. Over mojitos and aarroz con amarone, I got to talk to wonderful Jean Tuttle, Alan Witschonke, Peggy Goodman, Theresa Logan, Jack Tom and Melanie Reim. Time flew again, by now it was 11 o'clock and I had to do a mad dash to catch the last bus going back home to the Catskills.
I had the iBook printed up a few months ago, it has completely replaced my epson print portfolio.
I laughed, I cried, the suspense, the drama and the haunting beauty....
I noticed the title "Helvetica" while cherry picking trough the Netflix documentary film list. The movie commemorates the 50 year anniversary of the timeless type face. The director Gary Hustwit mixes clever pan shots of the type face in use with interesting interviews of prominent designers like Erik Spiekerman, Herman Zapf, Neville Brody, Stefan Sagmeister, Lars Müller, David Carson, Massimo Vinelli, Paula Scher to name a few. Since it's inception in 1957 by Max Miedinger and Edi Hoffman for Haas Schriftgiesserei in Switzerland the type face took off and has become the worlds most visible font. Not without controversy, the purists among the designers who used solely "Helvetica" and the proponents of the type face make this documentary a very interesting movie to watch.
Leafs, Sticks and Frost. Homage to Andy Goldsworthy
Red Oak, Maple, Sassafras and Tulip Leafs
This year I had started all my plants from seeds for the first time. I didn't think I would derive so much joy and inspiration out my garden from spring until now. The first frost had set in just a couple of days ago and I find myself working outside. Every day I spend about an hour or so closing out the garden or splitting fire wood. This year, I stared noticing how the frost incased and burst the stems on my Marigolds, how fast the leafs desaturated once they lay on the ground. The Frost had set the wheels of change into motion, mother nature was getting ready for the big white blanket. The signs are everywhere. More so I ask myself: "Since when are You interested in how the Marigolds die, or frost lingers along with the fall shadows ?" I was able to trace my steps back to last winter when my wife rented the movie "Rivers and Tides" about the artist Andy Goldsworthy and his work. It's lasting impression had caught up with me and came to full circle.
Renting the full version at Netflix is the way to go. Here is the YouTube snipped.