April 8, 2015

Stepping Out, and Believing in Balance.

We had a bit of a bicycle boot camp over Spring Break. Resolved to leave our training wheels forever in the dust, the Craunlets together navigated the act of finding balance. It was a wild ride to say at the very least. The days were at times competitive, then compassionate at others. There were many ups and downs, but no major injuries sustained. And alas, we now have two confidently biking Craunlets.

Concurrently to helping and encouraging the Craunlets in their efforts, I was working on developing a new print and learning how to fold a bird in origami as part of the new piece. 

Holding the back of their seats to steady their balance on their bikes, and pushing the Craunlets off to experience the increased ease of balance with speed, I remembered a recurring dream that I have been having of flying. It's an oddly comforting dream. I am low on the horizon, and then I catch wind beneath me, and I soar. I feel so alive, and free, and am almost always taking flight over water, seemingly reinforcing the abandoned need of the ground. It's odd, but I never consciously realized that I have had this recurring dream until this last weekend.

It seems learning to ride a bike is a lot like learning how to fly. Taking risks often open us up to vulnerability and injury, but if we keep showing up and stepping out–dusting ourselves off when we fall–we can find our balance and excel. I love how the lessons that I am trying to teach the Craunlets on one level, are so transferable to a lifetime of learning and trusting.

February 18, 2015

The Big Ten.

Well good grief, this girl turns ten today.

This crazy passionate, deep thinker is ten today. Ten years of rocking our world for the better every single day. She's a quietly serious introvert with a lot of walls, yet has the sweetest heart and is the truest friend when you are lucky enough to be let in. she's wise beyond her years, and makes the best observations and witty contributions to our conversations.

Per usual, I begged her for a fun day-before-your-birthday photo session. There's something so important to me about capturing that very precipice, the accumulation of a full year, and the wild anticipation of the next. A sort of annual marker.

We celebrated her birthday quietly with family over the weekend, with a fabulously frozen cake on a very frigid day. The birthday girl requested a Strawberry Angel Food Ice Dream Cake. 

It's an orange-infused angel food cake, torted into three layers. Strawberry ice cream is slathered in between the rings of cake, and fresh whipped cream frosts the outside. All is frozen, then sliced and served with mint-infused macerated fresh strawberries. Beautiful, like Isabella.

Happy birthday, Isabella! I am proud to be your mama.

January 30, 2015

My Hands are Tired from all the Clapping.

These two Craunlets of ours make my heart swell. 

Isabella's first band concert was last night; she's quite the beautiful and budding flautist.

Nathaniel earned the Honor Roll again for 2nd quarter, and proudly accepted his certificate this morning.

I tell ya, it just undoes me as these two little people continue to excel in what they put their time and minds to. It is such a great joy to be in the audience and clapping. So proud of these two, and excited to continue to cheer them on as the grow into the people they were created to be.

January 12, 2015

365 Days.

Last year I resolved to participate in a photo-a-day challenge. Every single day of 2014 I captured a picture. I thought optimistically, that this would be a fairly simple task. I take a lot of photos. 

What did I learn? Some days I don't want to take photographs. And lots of days, the Craunlets would like it if I took a few less photos too. 

I learned that I drink a lot of coffee. Delicious and beautiful cups of coffee at local coffee shops. I'm spoiled.

I saw also through my archived year of photos, that I go on a lot of dates with my husband. Sometimes it feels like we don't, but with our monthly day dates that we started this year, coupled with our fairly frequent evenings out -- the Mr. and I have a pretty regular date life. I like that, and I deeply love that man. And as it turns out, we drink a good amount of coffee together also. And beers.

Many engaging sub-threads developed which could easily become photographic typologies in and of themselves. There was the Nathaniel who reads all the time series, also a weekly teaching/printshop chronicle began to evolve, as well as regular documentation of my studio practice in progression. Those last two are serving as subtle nudges to keep up with my art website and blog this year. Really, I'm committed.

What did I love about this challenge? I began to look for and see light differently. I saw beauty in many small details, textures and colors in my daily life. Sometimes I didn't know exactly what it was that captured my attention for the daily shot -- but it was somehow beautiful, like this street shot I took one random fall afternoon while waiting to pick up the Craunlets from school:

I love that I finished. I am so proud that I stuck to it, even once the luster of the new project wore off, and the year continued. Day by day, I captured a shot again and again and again. And I am also glad that it is finished. It's a bigger than I would have anticipated relief to not be daily concentrating on whether or not I have captured a photograph. 

Now all that is looming, is to finally post-process the high resolution photo files, and then I'd also like to put together a small photobook and get it printed. It's a motivator to design and print a book. Baby steps. 2015 is a moving it forward year.

January 4, 2015

NEW YEAR | 2015

Today is the very last day of our Christmas vacation. It's a new year, and we are all pretty stoked, and ready for some new adventures. 2014 was a good year for us, and as we celebrated in our holiday cards, a year of many firsts. 

We forged a lot of new a paths together, and I look forward to the wide road ahead in 2015, to keep on keeping on, and to move further into all of the things that we got started last year. To move deeper into what we are made to do. 

Per usual, we worked late into the last few hours available to get our holiday cards completed and sent out just in the nick of time. To add to the craziness this year, we decided an impromptu do-it-yourself photo-booth picture session was in order. This was 4 days before Christmas, when we found ourselves setting up the camera on a tripod, and explaining to the Craunlets exactly what a photo-booth even was.

After explaining the rapid pose-changes and the squished into a small space attributes of the photo-booth, we decided to let the Craunlets warm up to the idea while we adjusted the camera, getting the focal length and lighting all set. The outtakes completely slay me; the Craunlets completely nailed it:

We enjoyed a week-and-a-half off together, each of us on vacation, and had such a blast extending and slowing the holidays. We puzzled, stayed long in our pjs, read our new books, took in many movies, visited and hosted friends, slept in, and absolutely feasted like kings and queens. We made so much merry.

Happy New Year from Team Craun!

January 2, 2015

365 Days, Week LII and a few more days. The End.

It is over and done. One full year, and an image [or many] captured EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. And it is finished. At last. And we are on to new adventures in 2015.

Week fifty-two and a handful of leftover days to close out the year.


Always working up until the very last minute. Fun holiday cards this year, all collated and ready for post.

Birthday tiramisu for Dave. The yummiest.


Little Miss busting out an apron for Dave's Christmas present. 

This child. Oh my goodness. How we all need this so much.


Quick ride on Inky while we pick up a last minute Christmas gift.

Quick ride on Inky while we pick up a last minute Christmas gift.


Christmas morning tradition. Craunlets finding their stockings.


Most beautiful Advent season, all candles burning.


Quick daytrip to Pittsburgh, Ikea, Team Folk and some quick beers at Bocktown.


Ready to pack up Christmas.


Gonna do this. Getting fit in 2015. 


Movie night with these two. Savoring this Christmas break and all of it's slow pleasures.


Home studio closets are getting a full reno; so excited to make this space work harder in 2015.

December 28, 2014

365 Days, Week LI.

Week fifty-one. Here we are getting so close to a full year; there are just mere days left to this year-long photo-a-day challenge. Nathaniel's birthday was celebrated, and we were moments from enjoying Christmas during this week. We were very much anticipating a two week winter break with the Craunlets and having the husband home for a long week of that as well. 


Snap circuits; a really great impulse birthday buy for the boy. Hands down, the most engaging toy right now.


Confidently day drinking, on a lunch date with myself at one of my favorite local spots.


Christmas Boy. 


Lunch date with two of my favorite print ladies, and a little White Winter Ale to celebrate.


Why yes, that's a Peach Bellini in December. Christmas shopping does that.


Cheese board for Campbell Christmas: beautiful, local, delicious.


All of the Advent candles are lit except for the Christ candle that waits for Christmas day.


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