October 8, 2014

Robot Costumes: Good Heads on Their Shoulders.

We are making certain progress over here. And while I LOVE our cardboard constructions–I really do–I cannot wait to have a can of shiny silver spray paint in my hands and making these suckers all metallic and shiny. SHINY! 

It never ceases to amaze me that Dave can go from dream, to design, to plan, to construction drawings, to built forms and that it all works. And beautifully. The Craunlets are super engaged, and it's great to see them designing and having input alongside him. I cannot wait until we get to their front control panels. The Craunlets each picked out several kinds of reflective and hologram sticker sheets that they plan to draw their designs onto with paint pens.

Plans were sketched out onto cardboard, carefully cut, and the folds were scored. Next up, cardboard rivets. Yahoo!

Isabella's robot body segment, shoulders and arms. 

Nathaniel's Robot body segment, shoulders and arms.

So far, construction is coming along nicely, all the fittings have been successful, and it appears these might just be our most mobile costumes in terms of Craunlet walking and vision capabilities. So that's good!

Initial head forms with screen mesh windows. Love the charming pile-up of robot pieces. Our dining room is quite the work zone already.

And because we don't already have enough work cut out for us here, the Craunlets are currently designing their trick-or-treat pails. Think robotic accessories, also made out of cardboard, to carry around to collect their treats. Isabella is still deliberating between a few things, but Nathaniel knew right away what he wanted, and sketched it out:

Nathaniel's BOOM BOX, in which he would also like to be blasting out 80s tunes. Because, obviously.

October 5, 2014

2014 Craunlet Costumes: Robots.

Likely our latest start yet, our 2014 Halloween Costumes are officially underway. After discussions over the last several days, the Craunlets have decided to be robots. Taking design notes as they talked the idea over the other evening at dinner, Dave came up with these initial sketches on his phone. Nate is on the left; Isabella on the right.

Excited to see their ideas taking shape, it was decided. Next, the Craunlets began their own design sketches with paper and pencil.

Dave completed some scaled design drawings incorporating cardboard, flexible foil venting, and metal screen mesh [necessities, after our online research] as well as the body shapes that the Craunlets requested. Next, he turned over the robotic design details to to the Craunlets. Seeing them draw their ideas out over his scale sketches might be my favorite part of these costumes yet. So sweetly considered, and translated from their concept drawings.

So now we have a working plan, and we're beginning to amass our supplies.

That's a lot of shiny silver there. We've got just over two weeks to get both robots finished for Trunk-or-Treat at the Craunlet's school [Hopefully these really are as simple as Dave assures me that they are]! It's going to be a cardboard crafty couple weeks over here!

September 30, 2014

365 Days, Week XXXIX.

So much play this week and so little work. I taught my Artist Book Course at CIA on Monday, and enjoyed a studio day on Wednesday, but otherwise the week was a wash for productivity in the work sense. This priority of play rolled out over all of the weekdays, and spilled into the weekend as well. Friday afternoon we enjoyed the Print Fair, and a delicious dinner with a friend at Providence. Isabella spent the night on her first sleepover with her best friend. Then we woke up and celebrated Grandpa's birthday again with brunch. Sunday we walked a stretch of the Metroparks, and then we took in an Indian's game with colleagues from Dave's firm. 

It was such a life-filling range of fun and relaxation this week, a most restorative stretch of days. Week thirty-nine of 2014:


We planted our finished tiny succulent pots at last for today's afternoon craft. 

Because she still fits in my lap. And sometimes, every once and a while, she still needs her momma to hold on to her and let her know that everything is going to be all right.


Parent consultation with the orthodontist this morning, nice to extend the morning a little bit with the husband.


Working away at this year's Abecedarium Book, prints and stencils on the drying rack in the studio.


Date day with the husband, exploring the Cleveland Museum of Art gardens around the lagoon.


With the Craunlets off school today, we enjoyed a quiet morning together in our pjs, where we read and played until after noon. Best kind of days.


Celebrating Grandpa's birthday at the Dulins, with the classic Dulin birthday cake covered in ganache. Love how reliable this is. The man, the celebration, the family, and the cake. We are so blessed in this life.


Dave's firm sponsored a family day at the final Indian's game. Perfect day, and the tribe ended on a win. Much cheering!

September 24, 2014

365 Days, Week XXXVIII.

It was a week of chilly temperatures with lots of sunshine as we inched into Autumn. There was a markedly slower pace to this week, and a lot of good cheer around our dining room table. We celebrated two birthdays with two different cakes. We hung our rainbow birthday bunting in the foyer, and celebrated with a school friend during the week and with Grandpa over the weekend, and very much enjoyed hosting these surprise mini-parties.

There seemed to be enough time for work and play, rest and celebration. I was stopped in my tracks by the misty morning light that descends upon our street. I worked in the studio on my next book, and I purchased and potted some succulents all the while dreaming of a shed with a green roof for the back yard. 

Week thirty-eight of 2014:


A student's project for Artist Book Now, and the random three precepts that I pulled. Shrug.


This light. So brightly hopeful and quiet, washing our city street this morning.

Mountain covers for a triangle accordion mock book. 


Tray of succulents, a roof "tile" for someday. In the interim, a lot of little starters for some indoor and outdoor plantings.


Picture day in her new dress, a result of a painful-at-times 4-hour shopping effort. She twirls when she puts it on.

My boys. Both so dang handsome.


School shopping fail: that belt we accidentally ordered from China finally got here 4 weeks later.

And then it was obviously turquoise and not light blue as listed, described and pictured. Le sigh, absolute fail.


Our favorite first baby books for a sweet afternoon shower for expecting friends.


This melts my heart. This growing up girl and her daddy.

September 19, 2014

Peeling Back Layers.

Eyes closed and decisive. Quick, like pulling off a bandaid.

Some of the stickers needed to go from wear and fading, and others simply needed to be peeled off for the sake of change. For moving on and forward. It's a freeing thing to shake off my administrative capacities, to weigh out yes and no more carefully, and to return to a more full-time making and writing. What I was made for. 

In so many surprising ways, the transition has been met with some wholly unexpected pushback, but nothing that isn't growing me forward in relationships, perspective, and in creating my work. Confirming and making certain that it was a personal necessity for moving out in faith to the place where my heart is happy.

September 18, 2014

365 Days, Week XXXVII.

We have hit a stride at last. The increased studio time has been a most royal treat, and I am making great progress in a new body of work. Ten of my Mountains & Molehills prints will be included in the Cleveland Fine Print Fair at the Zygote Press booth, which will take place next week/weekend in the Atrium of the Cleveland Museum of Art. 

Three days a week, we bring a friend of Isabella's home with us, and it is proving to be perfectly timed with the adjustments to Middle School and Nathaniel's acceleration into 3rd grade. I love how the girls can study and work together, and the conversations I am privy to as they chat away about their days. It's also been a great reinvigoration to our afternoon craft sessions, so we have been busy creating new projects each week.

This week cooled off considerably, and Autumn seems to be charging in at record speed. We enjoyed a lovely hike in the woods, and collected several wild blooms for our flower press. Week thirty-seven of 2014 was rich with life and laughter, and the balance of work and play:


The quiet end of a long, long day. View from my favorite spot on the counter.


Cappuccino, with no sugar. Baby steps. Teeny tiny ones.

Backpacks, lunches, a flute and a music stand. Love our colorful afternoons on the playground with friends.


Mega giant green gummy sculpture; the sugar-addicted culture we live in.


Love the lush colors and textures of Fall plantings.


Happy planter at a new coffee spot; a delightful writing spot. 
A few more Mountains & Molehills prints, and a little more fringe. Always more fringe it seems.


Cold and wet Saturday ended with quiet sewing projects in the living room. 


Findings on our hike this morning. The buckeye – named after it's resemblance to a male deer's eye, did you know this?!

September 16, 2014

365 Days, Week XXXVI.

September feels like a clean slate. We welcomed her with arms wide open, taking a morning swim at the hotel we overnighted in after the family reunion in Columbus. There's something so exhilarating about a Monday holiday, and the way it redefines the morning.

This week held lots of time in the print shop, and I moved many prints into the done column. We are hitting a rhythm for our after school homework and crafting sessions, and enjoying the crazy Summer temperatures that have descended on Cleveland with lots of extra time on the playground.

Full of life and new hope, week thirty-six of 2014:


Hotel key on the plastic faux wicker poolside table. 


Morning at Lucky's cafe, coffee and writing. Nice to usher in the day in quiet.


Postcard connections project, off to Alaska they go. Already excited for a response from Homer.

The school carpool line is a pretty serious business.


Laying out some bright as yellow pale ink. Full workday in the print shop.


Finishing up these Mountain + Molehill prints, just in time for the Cleveland International Print Fair.


Trying new flavors of kefir water this week, concord grape and apple cider.


Hard-working weeders, clearing up this overgrown garden patch.

Up and at it, and still clearing miles and miles of paint–so much surface area out there.


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