October 31, 2014

Cardboard Robot Costumes.

All wound up, and ready to dance. The Craunlets suited up in their corrugated robot costumes, and we trekked over to a nearby power supply station to take a handful of photographs. Nathaniel busted out his boom box [also his trick-or-treating candy collector] and the Craunlets broke out their best robotic moves to some eighties electronica. OH BOY. The cuteness, I could barely take it.

Craunlets in their full corrugated robot costumes with their custom candy collectors.

They were so unbelievable, that a few people even pulled their cars over to watch, and to also compliment the costumes. Here are some outtakes from their jam session:

Isabella in her cardboard robot costume practicing her best robotic dance moves.

Nathaniel in his cardboard robot costume getting ready to power up.

Craunlets in their full cardboard robot costumes with their custom candy collectors.

The details of their costumes this year just absolutely slay me. They were so thorough in developing their ideas and designs for exactly what they wanted for each of their robots. 

Isabella's robot costume head and glittery heart antennas.

Nathaniel's robot costume head and side view of his fabulous slinky mohawk.

I completely dig the metallic retro aesthetic of the costumes and the clunky cardboard forms, so I couldn't resist post-processing a slew of them in black and white. Though I love their sparkly holographic color additions in person, I also quite enjoy the graphic grittiness and reflective quality of these images.

Cardboard robots busting their dance moves together.

Craunlets in their cardboard robot costumes, getting warmed up for a quick dance party and photo session.

Danger, HIGH VOLTAGE robots!

Detail of the back wind-up key on Nathaniel's cardboard robot costume.

Cardboard robot costume dance session.

Isabella's robot wave.

For insights into the design and construction process of our corrugated robot costumes, feel free to peak in here and here, and the links within those posts.

Happy and safe Halloween!

Jack Skellington + Sally Costumes.

We unearthed last year's Halloween costumes from the attic last weekend, and decided to give them a final spin while they still just-barely fit for a fun photo session on a perfectly weathered Fall afternoon. Last year's costumes were inspired from Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas; Nathaniel was Jack Skellington the Pumpkin King, and Isabella was Sally the Rag doll.

Our destination was a small cemetery in our neighborhood.

Jack Skellington + Sally peer around the edge of a mausoleum.

Jack Skellington and Sally in front of a charming family mausoleum.

The Autumn sun lit up the gold foliage, and provided lots of bright rays and lens flares to work into the photos. It was an absolutely magical afternoon.

Jack Skellington up close, with a glimpse of Nathaniel's face through his sliver of a smile.

Sally up close, with a peak at Isabella's face through her open smile.

Sally and Jack Skellington take a seat at a huge family marker.
Jack Skellington looking pensive.

Sally the rag doll enjoying the sun.

It felt great to have the opportunity to give them one final wear, and to capture a better photographic record of them while they still fit the Craunlets.

Jack Skellington and Sally striking a final pose.

Sally's super long tresses of floppy-floppy and flowing deep red felt hair.

October 30, 2014

Robot Costumes: Done, and WON!

The cardboard robot costumes are completed at last! It was a busy couple weeks of constructing, so here is a photo-full update of the last stretch. We left you last at the cardboard construction phase.

After days of drawing and cutting and folding, it was finally time to make everything sparkle with silver. All of the costume pieces came outdoors for the spray-painting, and I exhausted 1 can of gray primer and 2 cans of metallic silver spray paint to get an almost-mirror finish on the corrugated.

All of the costume pieces got a double coat of metallic silver paint.

Even our favorite plastic box rivets got a shiny coat of silver.

Our McGroovy's plastic box rivets also got a double coat of silver paint.

Next, we began the planning and construction of all of the robot panel details at full scale.

Nathaniel discusses the various design elements of his front control panel as Dave revises the plans.

Isabella's front panel in progress.

All of these little panel pieces were planned at three different heights, and each one was assigned a paint color or a holographic paper treatment. The details always seem to be the most time consuming aspect, so it was terrific to have all hands on deck this year.

Isabella traced over the toner-transfer with a pink paint pen on a holographic silver sticker sheet.

Isabella's antenna pieces get glitter-painted and silver-lined.

Nathaniel's panel pieces and mohawk parts get painted and wait for final construction.

At last, all of the details came together and we had a pretty fantastic pair of cardboard robot costumes ready for the Craunlet's Annual Trunk-or-Treat festivities at their school. We even had a few days to spare. Insert the heavens rejoicing! 

All of the robot costume pieces are constructed at last!

We added wind-up keys to the backs of the costumes as a latch to close the doors where the two panels overlap.

Detail of Nathaniel's Slinky mohawk antenna.

With the bulk of the costuming behind us, we took a quick breath, and then got straight to work on the custom candy collectors. Nathaniel's boom box was first, complete with a working iPod and small set of battery-operated speakers hidden in a compartment beneath the handle. 

Nathaniel's Boombox candy collector.

Isabella decided on a heart purse for her candy collector, and insisted that it have a special effect as well. We decided on lighting, and embedded two small flashlights to shine on the pink holographic paper. At dusk, this was an absolutely fabulous feature.

Isabella's glowing purse candy collector.

Here's an above shot to better understand how we fashioned the front panel and the lighting:

Above shot to reveal front panel and lighting construction.

Here are the Craunlets all suited up, and ready for some Trunk-Or-Treat fun:

Craunlets are all suited up, and ready for some trick-or-treating fun.

Here they are at Trunk-or-Treat, moments before the costume contest parade began.

To their great excitement, the Craunlets again secured a WIN!

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!


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