March 30, 2009

moving forward

I am home, and thinking. And running rampant through my to-do list. My thots are crowded with images and ideas. I am percolating, and will share a review of the trip when the fog dissipates. 

I got this rock yesterday. 
And with it, both an image of a red line that it needed, and these accompanying words:

to move forward, you have to [remember, and] let go.

March 24, 2009

Leaving on a jet plane

Ready to go. Down to every last nerdy little detail. Except for those bags that aren't exactly going to pack themselves. 

Can you tell how excited I am to get away for a few days? And it's not even really a pleasure trip. I'm attending the Southern Graphics Council Conference. Basically a lot of printmaking + academia talk with friends and colleagues. In Chicago. For several long days in a row. Dreamy, really. And a tax write off too. 

March 23, 2009

For the Love of Spring

Team Craun has a serious case of Spring fever here, and we couldn't wait to get growing. As a result, the deep window sill in the dining room is now an indoor greenhouse. Easter, and Earth Day will not take us by surprise this year. The Craunlet's baskets are already overbrimming with a lush bed of real grass, and are due for their first trim. I think the bushel baskets could also use some  kind of color wash, to liven them up a bit, and am looking into various painting/staining options. Any advice welcome. 

We also seed-started some sunflowers indoors using handmade recycled newspaper pots, and they are already sprouting. Majestic large sunflowers will march down the length of our backyard, just in front of the fence. If they grow well this year, our bigger plan is to grow a sunflower house for next summer. 

For Easter, the Craunlets are getting their own small sets of gardening tools, and we plan to embark on planting a fairy garden. Bella is dreaming + talking about this incessantly. We have resolved that every fairy garden does indeed need a prince, and we have mitigated Bella's fears of Nate tromping all over her precious plants, despite her hesitance to include her younger brother. 

Next on the Spring/Easter preparations list: small plants seeded in egg shells [pictured above]. With which we intend to find good homes for in the fairy garden, as eggs are biodegradable.  So far, we have half a dozen preserved egg shells from this weeks baking. After we hit a dozen we will dye them, and get them planted.  And then onto to our Cascarones.

Hope you are all having just as much fun celebrating the beginnings of Spring in your respective gardens. Team Craun simply couldn't wait a moment longer for all the green.

March 21, 2009

Two at the Zoo

Craunlet curiosity + wonder = great way to start the day. 

Being a bit chilly today, we ventured out in layer and jacket. The animals didn't seem to mind the temps, so we tried not to let it bother us either. 

March 18, 2009

A most magical gift

The loveliest of presents arrived today by post; handmade, and full of heart, from a dear friend. 

Simple delightful presents that sing of Spring, and officially began our very eager countdown to Easter.

The Craunlets had a blast figuring these out and enjoying the aftermath. 

What a lovely surprise this afternoon held. 

A most magical gift, bringing much laughter and pure joy.

March 16, 2009

The smell of the sun

Because it just can't be delayed any longer. 
The crocuses are in full bloom, all of our new planting from last year has begun to bud. The greens of our daffodils, hyacinth + tulips are inches above the ground peeking out of their soggy beds. And we are celebrating by skipping down our slate sidewalk in our jackets with wild abandon. Winter must finally release its grip, Spring is gaining momentum...and we will wait no longer.  Catch some of our Spring enthusiasm from the warm temperatures ,the intoxicating smell of the sun, that we were graced with last week and are further demanding for this week, here.

March 12, 2009

This Place called the Heartland

A former student of mine at the Institute is making these lovely characters inspired from her grandparents and elders in her community. Hsin-Rou Lee, [Sharon] is an illustration major, originally from Taiwan. Her characters live in this created place called the Heartland. A created a place where the roles and spiritual gifts contributions of the individual have eternal significance. A place where the parts add up to a whole, and one character compliments the other. A place where spiritual legacy is a priority. Since the origins of this project, I have not been able to get this Heartland off of my mind. 

I have shared many a conversations with Sharon, professional and personal, and am so provoked by her transparency and gentleness. Her amazing illustrations, her convictions, and her work ethic.

We were talking the other afternoon about my ten-second-snuggle with Bella. Our nightly ritual. Where we intentionally slow and reflect on the day of correction, and training, and frustration down to purposeful praise and encouragement. I glean all the growth moments and the good from the day, and we remember them together. And I build her up, speaking into her spirit about who she was designed to be, and who she is becoming.

Following the ten-second-snuggle, Dave reads her a story and tucks her into bed, and then I come up with a good night kiss. And it is then that I remind her one last time who she is. Isabella, consecrated one; set apart for her God. So she may rest completely assured knowing that the was made exactly and perfectly for this family, for her God, and for this lifetime. And that mischievous smile I see all day long, transforms into one that is more knowing and confident, and connected to a much deeper place.

I shared this all with Sharon the other afternoon, this joyful burden of raising the next generation, that she understands and appreciates from the other side of the equation, resulting surely from the legacy of her parents and grandparents, and the larger community of spiritual elders. And it was so encouraging, because that could be Bella in 20 years. 

[The above illustration is Hsin-Rou Lee's Heartland, and a print we intend to frame for Nathaniel's room]

March 11, 2009

Day[s] Off

How ironic that the scheduled one-day internet loss coincided with my full day off last week. On Wednesday, preparing myself for Thursday, I convinced myself that it would be a good full day electronic media fast. Unfortunately, our provider hit some snafus and left us in isolation for days. No phone line. No internet. I was relatively calm on Friday, getting frustrated by Saturday, irritated on Sunday night, and fuming ridiculous by Monday. I am super happy that we are now saving $30 a month from all the switching of our services...but the wait was excruciating.

The silver lining to this bramble is all that we got done without the internet.

Our household project list hadn't seen so much attention in weeks, months even.  In my craziness on Friday, I decided to buy a hutch from a resale shop. The whole family adventured out to pick it up on Saturday, and cram the monstrosity into the car.  And Dave and I whittled away the long evening hours scheming how we might resolve this burdenous hunk of furniture in the dining room.  Here is our proposed solution. Thank God photoshop doesn't require the internet. 

By Sunday, nearly berserk, I emptied out my entire closet and chest of drawers for a major cleaning + reorganization. I found many a treasures long forgotten. And that longing for a new wardrobe has been placated for a while by a few Spring tops and a couple lovely pairs of sandals + flip flops unearthed from the mess. 

The look on bella's face as we load the hutch, best capitulates our internet free half-week. 

Internet, we should go without you more often. 

March 7, 2009

Life without

the internet has been grueling. disconnected and lost. What started on Thursday, and what we understood to only require a 24-hour internet fast, now will likely last through this week. I am appalled and embarrassed at how helpless I am finding myself without connection. Frustrations aside, the digital isolation has led to a lot more real time at home and outside.

Upon the very first indication of Spring, we found ourselves outdoors for hours, exploring the freshly thawed bit of earth our front yard holds, and basking in both the fresh air and the freedom.

So, it will be a lonely digital-free week, which is somewhat daunting. Wanted to let you all know that things will be rather quiet on this front, unless I steal away and borrow someone else's internet, like this morning. Perhaps this week we will remember what life looked like before we were so distracted by our computer!

March 4, 2009

checked out

Team Craun's current reads from the library make me giggle. As the titles are so befitting:

Quack Shack
Snow Bow
Pig Wig
Snake Cake
Stop Pop
Wet Pet

March 2, 2009

Art Nest

We were busy this weekend with all sorts of projects that we were hoping to rule off the Team Craun to-do list. One project in particular, a framing + art installation project for above our bed. 

A friend of mine, Tom, refers to his house as his little Art Nest. When Dave + I lived in Chagrin Falls, we inherited this amazing modular couch/seating set. It had six pieces total that could be recombined to make a myriad of couch, love seat, single chairs, and ottoman formations. A particular favorite arrangement of ours, we referred to as the nest. We put the two corner pieces together at the back end of the arrangement, and the single backed units right up to them. Next to those, the open ottoman and a single back...creating a bed-like unit that one must crawl into. The open side of the arrangement was usually two feet from the fire place, and the closed side a few feet from the wall of windows that overlooked the wooded ravine. Sometimes we would set this thing up on a Thursday or Friday...and find ourselves sore from still sleeping in the nest, opposed to our actual bed, on Monday morning.

These are the days that I refer to as Pre-Craunlet. The season that shines the brightest in both Dave and my collective memories; the freedom of grad school, of young marriage, of this amazing house + property in Chagrin Falls that we were blessed to inhabit entirely free of rent. It was a bit of a wonderland. And lasted close to three glorious years. We nested there, and both built + secured the foundation of our lives together.

An architect mentor of David's designed and built the home, and offered us the "proposal" of our lifetime to inhabit it, and to relish in + savor this intimate season of beginnings...on so many fronts. This mentor would frame a beautiful page from a magazine, and hang it next to a watercolor painting he made in his time in the service, and that would be in good company with his photographs and his acquired art collection. He appreciated beauty + design in nearly any avenue he encountered. Living that way is intoxicating. And he modeled it brilliantly. Effortlessly.

Being both a maker and a collector-saver-stasher, this resonates to the core of my being. Dave and I have every single note, card, letter, photo and piece of art we have exchanged and shared in our decade together. I have longed to have an arrangement of some of our favorites, framed + hanging up in our bedroom.  And the result makes my spirit sing. And to think that this is just the beginning, is intoxicating.

March 1, 2009

Parties and Play

Birthday season comes to a close for Team Craun.  After a hectic, but festive, three months we are finding ourselves up to our ears in toys and fun times. 

Concluding all of our celebrations, Team Craun is collectively catching their breathes, cleaning house + cuddling. A weekend of chatter at its best.

Finally taking a break from parties and play, we have updated our picture pages. Click here to see how we spent our February--mostly indoors.


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