December 28, 2011

On Sewing, and First Stitches.

I'm about to admit something terrible: Isabella has been on-and-off asking to learn how to sew for nearly a year. GASP! I know, what a sweet request. How could I not jump immediately on her interest, and the opportunity to sit by her side and teach her to stitch? Well, selfishness, I suppose. Partnered with a personal lack of patience and confident skill in that department, specifically.

Making the matter more tragic, I actually come from a family of quite talented seamstresses, and quilters; fanatics for needlework, knitting, and crochet. It's a shame really. I love sewing, I appreciate the handmade, and cherish all of my [several] family-made quilts, and potholders, and kitchen towels, dish rags, and washcloths, and bedding sets, slippers, scarves and curtains, even...
Belle's first piece has me absolutely beside myself. Boy, she was ready to learn! She focused all of her energies and summoned up an hour's worth of patience to create the most darling tiny pillow. She carefully measured and cut. She chalked out a small path for her first ever running stitch. Then she quickly went to learn the whip stitch, and danced it out neatly around the three open edges of her pillow. Ever gently, she stuffed it softly full, and closed it up.

Quietly on the couch in the warmth of the afternoon, threaded needle, steady stitching, her legs crossed and her tongue part way out in intense concentration. I looked at her with incredible undoing. The mental picture of my mother in this same position in so many of my memories. So comfortably. Just sewing like she always has. Even on her first attempt.
Thank you to Grandma Dubs, who let Bella sit at the machine with her nearly a year ago. Her first inclination and desire to learn. Thank you to Auntie A for the most charming book + sewing supply kit, complete with gorgeous awesome fabric that has Bella piqued and potentially hooked on cloth and thread. And to Grandma C for the super fantastic pint-sized sewing machine. For all the miles of thread to come, I am grateful to each of you for getting us started. 

How lucky is the Little Miss [as well as myself ] to have such a sewing-supportive family.

December 27, 2011

December 26, 2011

Team Craun Christmas.

It was a flurry of much getting ready and sharing Christmas Cheer.
The Craunlets getting quite excited on each approaching day.
It was a couple afternoons of wrapping presents.
 And finally nestling them under the tree at dark.

It's ultimate arrival at dawn; presents opened in a flash.
Savored and celebrated with all-day-pajama-play.
Catch the play-by-play action here, on our updated picture pages.

December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas.

Christmas weekend is here at last.
May your holiday be joy-filled and rich with family and friends. Merry Christmas from Cleveland!

December 23, 2011


Enjoying the quiet, and finding fragments of past preschool pages...

Wishing the Fish a Merry Christmas.

As Clementine Bubbler and Finnegan Dasher approach their first Christmas, we decided to lavish them with a few presents. First, a little tank maid service:

She remains yet to be named, but I am quite anxious to stop calling her the sucker fish soon–it just doesn't seem nice at all. We also rolled out a fantastic blue backdrop to brighten up the view from the tank, and sprung for a few small plants to cheer things up a bit. I'm loving the bright red one pictured here.

With fresh water, a full plant + stone rearrangement, and a housekeeper, our two finned friends seem very merry indeed.

December 22, 2011

Making Merry.

The magic. That bright twinkle in their believing eyes.
And the grand anticipation of the certain coming of Christmas. 

H A P P Y.

Happy Birthday to my awesomely handsome husband. May this coming year be richly blessed, and marked with much joy and increased laughter.
I love this photo immensely. It's your confident intensity; your silent questioning. I have it printed out and leaning against my desktop monitor, so I see it when I am slipping down that rabbit hole of the Internets, and contemplating rash decisions...and silently–exactly as you give me this look in real time–you softly question both necessity and practicality. You coax me away from the edge of a self-created cliff, and speak reason into all the circumstances. 

You focus my frenetic tendencies, and urge me to understand myself. To slow down. You help me carve quiet out of crazy. You distill me. With and because of you, I am happy.

Happy Birthday Dave!

December 12, 2011

On Celebrating like a Superhero.

We built a cardboard Gotham City of sorts, and even hand-printed up miles of raster dot sky with interspersed comic clouds.
Our little Clark Kent waited for his friends to arrive.
So we could enjoy the tower of cupcakes, the Superman Jell-o parfaits, and even some Kryptonite candy sticks.
We broke out the party superballs, and the kryptonite glow stick necklaces, and shared them with our friends.
And we partied like Superheroes celebrating Nate, and the sheer excitement of turning FIVE.

December 11, 2011

Ready to Party.

The babe is turning five, and we are all excited to celebrate!

December 10, 2011

Still Super[hero] Here.

Birthday Party installation is well underway. I'll be happiest when the sky is hanging, but Nate's enthusiastic response to the first completed panels the other afternoon, was absolutely priceless:

Stun-faced, he exclaimed: Oh my Word! That's a lot of Dots!

December 7, 2011

For the Superhero.

Team Craun is up to it's eyeballs in Superhero Party planning for the Nate. I cannot believe we are less than a week away from the babe turning FIVE. How has the time flown by so quickly?! What better way to celebrate than with a cape, and an entire city for that matter...
Once again, the Dave has his cardboard work cut out for him, as you can see his 2- and 3-dimensional corrugated construction plans in the perspective drawing above.  Don't you just LOVE the Bella + Nate scale figures?! I could die from the attention to detail. And mind you, this is version three–the "pared-back" one. In the elevation view below, you can see the buildings continue from left of the central open space [above] and wrap around the corner to spill into the dining room where they transition back into 2-dimensions against the wall much as they do behind the living room seating. 
Needless to say, the family has been all birthday work and talk all of the spare moments in this week, and we are ever excited to celebrate Nathaniel's big birthday. We submitted his Kindergarten application this week also, and we so very much look forward to all of the big events that the fifth year boasts.
For you Nate, I would print the SKY. Yards upon yards of raster-dot sky, in fact. But I digress, and I certainly need to get back to printing–if we are ever to finish.

December 5, 2011

Greener Grass.

On a bit of a whim, I picked up some flat moss the other day, and decided to green up our large potted plant in the living room. I saw the idea here first, and absolutely loved the look. And darn it, I  thought, why not just bring that greener grass over onto this side of the fence, or window rather.
I love how it caps the craggy soil and blankets the brown earth with soft piles of tiny green loops and curls.


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