October 29, 2011

The Work Finished, and the Fun Beginning.

The costumes were completed, and fit perfectly to the Craunlets just in time for Trunk-or-Treating at Isabella's school last night. This morning we headed out to the Metroparks in costume for a fun little photo session. Next on slate for the weekend, much family and friend time, and way too much candy.

Nathaniel in his full Great White Shark costume:
 
Isabella in her full Monarch Butterfly costume:
 

October 28, 2011

Closing In.

Almost there. Only a few more details remain, including the final fit-out on the Craunlets. And the end of Costume Construction 2011 is finally within sight. I wish I could say the same for our living room floor.

October 27, 2011

So Many Little Pieces.

It's magical how millions of bits-n-pieces of paper all piled up with gel medium can look so lush. And take so long.
It is most certainly going to be a very late night here.

Wings + Fins, In Progress.

The costumes are taking shape, albeit slowly, and looking already fantastic. Dave's three-dimensional skill with paperboard is astounding. He's crafted and cut out the butterfly wings. He's finished the body which will wrap around Isabella's and close shut with a strip of ingenious latch cuts that Dave constructed [down the center front strip].
The wire + foam core antennae are finished and all fuzzied up with chenille stem, which we attached to the body for stability [as opposed to our originally planned head band].
 Also in progress are the side fins for the shark.
On slate for today, much much decoupage! I've already begun the silver side fins...and they are looking lovely. Next, to sketch out the wing patterning, and break out the oranges and blacks for the butterfly.

October 25, 2011

Costumes, In Plan.

At last, we have the master plan for our Craunlet Halloween costumes; Nathaniel will be a shark, and Isabella a monarch butterfly. 

These decisions were made many moons ago, and we even zeroed in on the materials and construction details a couple weeks ago. As for actually beginning work, that waited until last night with Dave's gorgeous pencil work, and these lovely plans:
Team Craun is looking at a few late nights ahead, with many sheets of foam core, much tissue  + crepe paper and copious amounts of liquid acrylic medium.

A Week[end].

Our weekend was full of face-stretched smiles and playful abandon. It was a  family embrace of Autumn at a local farm, with lots of laughter, good friends and much apple munching.

See more of our merriment, on our updated picture pages here.

October 24, 2011

Because I have Always Wanted to Try This.

Sometimes the heart wants silly things. And on occasion, it sure feels good to entertain it's desires, even at the risk of a public display of silliness, like walking on sticks.
Amazingly, I'm pretty good on stilts. Who'd of thought?

October 21, 2011

CSA, Week Nineteen.

Community Supported Agriculture. Local, In-season Food. Fresh.
It's almost over. I say that with a bittersweet sigh. Next week is number 20, the full run of the CSA season. It's been a mostly enjoyable fresh + local eating challenge, marked with only a handful of times when we found ourselves too busy to slow down and be inventive with meals, and actually grumbling with a burden of burgeoning produce storage threatening to overtake us.

We signed up for the full season with City Fresh in early June, and to ensure our faithful commitment, we elected to pay our weekly family share fully in advance. I'm glad we did; we enjoyed the fruits of a complete seasonal and local harvest, one that we might of bailed on had we been presented with a weekly choice and financial burden. It was a lovely expansion of our recipe repertoire, and offered the Craunlets many new and surprising food experiences. I would have never imagined that cabbage would become Bella's favorite vegetable, or how they would  both devour Cauliflower Au Gratin, and beg for second helpings. Our food conversations were enriched, our preferences to squash varieties refined, and our time around the dinner table became one of exploration and adventure. For these things, and all the healthy habits that were encouraged and further honed by this experience, I am thankful. I pray our family meals are always  filled with this much pleasure and variety, that the table is often graced with new foods, and always full-to-the-brim with lively conversation and much gratitude.

Week Nineteen Round Up:

1 bunch oregano
3 white radishes
3 purple beets
1 head garlic
1 lb sweet potatoes
1 red bell pepper
1 eggplant
1 bag mixed lettuces
1 bunch dinosaur + red russian kale
1 head cauliflower
1 sweet dumpling acorn squash
6 red apples
1 head broccoli
1 leek
1 pumpkin

In an effort to clear out our produce drawer yesterday morning, I whipped up a feisty delicious BORSCHT!! that bubbled away most of the afternoon fairly unattended [you won't find that advice in the recipe below] as is my preferred soup-making method. BORSCHT!! for dinner was a heavenly end to a busy and cool day. And all afternoon, and into the evening, I really enjoyed randomly shouting out BORSCHT!!

1lb. stewing beef, diced into small cubes
12 oz. beef consomme
1 C. water
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 C. yellow onion, minced
6 small/medium purple beets, peeled + grated
several small new potatoes, peeled + diced
3 carrots, peeled and cut into small matchsticks
1/2 C. leeks, minced
2 C. cabbage, shredded
1 tsp. garlic
2 T. flour
2 T. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. dill weed

In a large pot, simmer meat in consomme and water 45 minutes or until tender. Stir in salt, onion, beets, potato, carrot + leeks. Cover and simmer 30 minutes until all vegetables are tender. Stir in cabbage, cook an additional 5-7 minutes. Combine flour + lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth, slowly add to soup. Stir until mixture thickens. Served piping hot.

We enjoyed ours scooped lavishly over wide egg noodles.

October 20, 2011

Finnegan Dasher Swims No More.

Goldfish death is surprisingly slow and saddening; it was a long week here of pretty much waiting  daily for him to float. Sweet Finn came down with what we think was fin rot, [never google sick goldfish, by the way] which is so terribly apropos to his namesake that it's heart-wrenching. Those glorious fins he had, our little fantail. 

So Clementine Bubbler again swims alone in her big tank:
Aside from several curious questions that the Craunlets had about Finnegan's death, they are mostly eager to replace him, getting Clementine another companion.

Encouraging me after I expressed my concerns about Finn's lack of progress in getting better, Nate remarked casually:

It's OK Mom, Dad and I were already looking at the other Finnegans when we were at the pet store buying his medicine.

I guess it will be OK. And soon, we will have a Finnegan Dasher, Jr.

October 19, 2011

Most Awful and Best Days.

She's clutching my hand in the morning, her face allover red from crying. This is my most awful day! she works out in between shortened breaths. All this weight and drama the result of getting dressed. The white sweater, or the pale blue one. The sky falling. And we are tripping over all the little pieces littering the ground.
And in that very afternoon, the little Miss is again holding my hand tight, and she is marching out into the parking lot with a beaming glorious smile. She announces boldly; this is my best day! The now blue sky is careening overhead dotted sweetly and perfectly with white clouds we haven't seen in days. 
My mind is crowded with loss and disappointment, and the brevity of life. And she reminds me how a day can turn on a dime. How we can decide to change our perspective, even if we cannot change our circumstances.  These only moments that we are afforded, each of them precious and rare–never repeated–they can either be our most awful or our best days.

October 14, 2011

Beautiful Normal.

A lovely little paper escape, with a striped patio surround. Nate's frenetic ability to envision the planar construction potential of printer paper is astounding.

The Wieght of This World.

Because quiet seems so far away. 

We lost a dear colleague at Zygote this week. A generous heart, and a huge smile. The enormous hole he leaves in our shop; I cannot even begin to articulate. Younger than me; and the weight of this world became too heavy. And it is done. Forever. The sting is so sharp.

And this week has been abnormally busy for me. A lot of teaching, and meeting, planning, and creating, deadlines, lectures, and errands and the normal clutter of life all piled up. And the nagging crave for quiet persisting. For a few moments alone. Something post-Craunlets that is incredibly rare, like a precious gem. And I love their constancy, their joyful and relentless inquisitive chatter. The necessary precious all-the-time reminder of what's eternally important in life. The essence. But there's the occasional want to stop time–for just a moment–to catch my breath; to process the realities life presents us with. To put all the pain and loss into perspective, to rebuild and keep moving forward slowly, rejoining the pulls of life. To both appreciate and celebrate the new graces that each day affords. Our only today.

A good friend of ours has started blogging at Aaron himself, and the other day he shared this video. It's lovely and spot on, and beautifully articulate about how incredible it is to enjoy being alone.



Even if it seems a rare occasion right now–as this season affords me–alone is a sweet salve to the spirit, and it's irreplaceably restorative. 

I am ever-ready for this weekend.

CSA, Week Eighteen.

Community Supported Agriculture. Local, In-season Food. Fresh.
This week has been a want of time. A constant craving for the slowing down that Autumn is supposed to afford. Time to cook. Time to savor. Time to enjoy. And yet busy just keeps marching on. Next week there is a grand clearing in our schedules, a carving out, and creating of space. Something I am hungrier for than food.

Week Eighteen Round Up:

1 red bell pepper
1 bunch kale
1 cubanelle pepper
1 bunch radishes
1 lb sweet potatoes
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 bunch cilantro
1 head cauliflower
1 head broccoli
1 bulb garlic
1 heirloom tomato
1 head cabbage
1 bag swiss chard
1 bunch purple beets
1 yellow onion
1 buttercup squash
1 zucchinni
4 red apples

It's a bountiful week for our eighteenth family share of produce from City Fresh. Only two weeks left in the season's schedule, and it's another bittersweet ending. Oh, the sweet dualities of this season.

October 13, 2011

Hold On.

I finished up a sweet little abecedary this week, just in time for the fourth Annual Abecedaria Exhibition, jog your memory of prior submissions here: third, second, first.
This newest one is titled hold on, and it's an alphabet book that enumerates the dualities of both hope and despair in the act of holding on. It's a small book, easy to hold in the hands with an exposed sewn binding. The alphabetically ordered folios quietly list out single words that relate poetically or physically to holding on.
A loud resolution of strength and not giving up.
Well timed with the season in which I find myself.
Happy and hopeful, but laced with a measure of uncertainty and loss.
Local Peeps, the book is on display at the Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory & Educational Foundation as part of the Abecedaria Project Exhibition. There's even a free and fabulous Opening Reception on Saturday [October the 15th] from 7-9 pm. Click here for more information.

October 11, 2011

Beautiful Normal.

 Craunlets taking turns being buried beneath a blanket of gold.

Sunny Days and Tall Ladders.

This weekend was a whirlwind of sunshiny gorgeous weather and steeply leaning ladders. We tackled the first color coat on the front fa├žade, planning in the two-tone gray base that will be separated by future horizontal trim. 
We also reached way up, and leaned far out to tackle the priming and first color coat of the rake. The what?! The part of the roof that extends out over the gable. The now golden yellow mountain peak that cloaks the height of our gable all the way up to the tippity-pointy-top some thirty feet from the ground. Such a heralding of hope.
We took a quick break to unearth our Strawberry garden gnome from our now overgrown and entirely unattended patch, deciding that he could keep an eye on us, watch over the painting progress and bring us a measure of good cheer. 
It was a bright and productive weekend both, and one that afforded a few friends and even some celebration. A robust work-and-play few days that also provided an exhausted start to the week.

October 7, 2011

Ready to Week[end].

It's a warm weekend on slate for us, and we intend to take a lot of ground in our painting efforts on the outside of our house. 
Local peeps, swing on over to help or stop by to cheer us on.

We scored the fabulous bucking bronco coin bank [pictured above] at our most recent Street Fair. Every time Nate inserts a coin, the horse whinnies and gallops–It's a hoot and a half! And now the little guy finally has his own bank; total score!

CSA, Week Seventeen.

Community Supported Agriculture. Local, In-season Food. Fresh.
This week features a pumpkin! a couple gorgeous varieties of squash, and many hearty root vegetables; we are certainly welcoming in the Autumn harvest with wide arms. It is week seventeen of our fresh + local food adventure via City Fresh.

Week Seventeen Round Up:

1 lb sweet potatoes
1 bulb garlic
1 bunch pink radishes
1 bunch mint
1 red bell pepper
1 lb. creamer potatoes
1 cubanelle pepper
1 bag cooking greens
1 head cauliflower
1 bunch carrots
2 leeks
1 pumpkin
1 head broccoli
4 apples
1 swan white acorn squash
1 sweet dumpling squash

The carrots will likely be curried into a savory soup later in the week, and we hope to pack the squash full of brown sugar, butter + pumpkin seeds and enjoy them roasted on the grill. Autumn is such a delicious season!

October 6, 2011

Mistaken Compliment.

Yesterday afternoon, as I was walking towards my car parked out on our street, a neighborhood passerby said what I thought was: I like your Scion.

I politely said thanks.

It was when she went on to further say that she has been trying to convince her husband to quit painting too, that I realized I might have mistakenly heard the first compliment. [And how did she know I've been trying to convince my husband to quit painting??] When she added, I was so glad when I saw that you guys decided to side, and she pointed at the front of our house, that I was certain. Certain that I had mistaken her first compliment, and even more certain that our work ethic teeters on insane.

She likes our SIDING.

Our days, and weeks, and months of hard work on the front  [and sides] of our house. The stripping, and sanding, the filling and bondo work, the miles of silicone, the priming and cutting in of window trim. That grand [and still going] overture of time and love, that fully restored original wood lap of our 1880 home. That she likes, but she mistakes it for new siding.

I'm not sure if I want to dance in the streets, or just cry.

October 5, 2011

First Observation.

Nate has made his first written field observation in the notebook within his explorer bag. It is so sweet.
I love how it's both matter-of-fact, and yet deeply poetic:

Leaves stay on the ground
and blow away.

October 4, 2011

Meet Finnegan Dasher.

Well, here we have it. Clementine Bubbler got some spacious new digs this weekend, and a new friend. We welcome to the Team, Mr. Finnegan Dasher:
The Craunlets are beyond excited to have two fish, and I catch them often with their faces and fingers pressed against the glass watching their pets race and play in their new aquarium. Finn is a quick and spunky little fantail–constantly swimming in and around all the new plants and darting through the tunnel–instigating increased adventure with Clementine.
So far, their friendship has formed without a hitch. It was likely good timing to introduce a friend with a new and larger space, and one with certainly more interest.

October 1, 2011

This Big and Small World.

One of the most contagious things that I have gratefully contracted from the Craunlets, is their insatiable wonder of the created world. I remember vividly the first afternoons I spent outside with Bella, as she fingered single blades of grass in sheer amazement and intrigue. I felt that very moment that she understood so well that this world was made for her, for all of us. Made for our enjoyment and appreciation. All of it, orchestrated beautifully and wonderfully, spreading out in front of us daily. The grand performances of life.

I don't think I ever fully savored the changing colors of Autumn, the bounty of buckeyes that befall our sidewalks, the tiny bird's eggs and found nests before I was forced to slow my pace, and stop in sheer amazement as a caterpillar crossed our path. Or as earthworms inched slowly towards a forming puddle in a rainstorm. Watched daily and eagerly as our tulips rise, and bloom in succession. The constant slow movements of life and beauty.
Most of our walks, bike rides, and trips to the playground bring home pockets-full of treasure for the nature bowl. Fueling this passion to explore and collect, the fabulous Auntie A whipped up the most delightful nature explorer bag for Nate [project idea and tutorial from Chez Beper Babe, here]. She even made two charming and perfectly coordinating field notebooks.
I gathered together a variety of containers and exploration accessories for the inside contents of the bag, and then splurged on a little red wooden Audubon bird whistle. 
 
Nate was practicing his bird calls yesterday afternoon by the screen door. Whistling, waiting. Then whistling again. And then he came bolting to my side in amazement:

I called them! I called them mom, and they called me back!

The pleasure of this world through their eyes is so infectious.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...