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I’ve heard from many of our readers after the Ultimatum post who’ve shared how they too have many projects they’ve started and never finished, or who have boxes of crafting supplies collecting dust in basements and closets.  It’s good to know we’re all in this together.  I have big plans to create a sub-blog to which I hope all of you out there who have projects and MIGHT get to them can post what they are and your progress in finishing (or starting, or attempting to finish).  It will be a kind of creativity support group for those of us who have either terrible craft-buying habits, or who have terrible laziness…  I have both, sadly, and much progress to make on both fronts.  I’ll try to get to the sub-blogging this week and will share it’s place and info on how to post soon.

And so now that I’ve posted my creativity ultimatum, it’s time to get cracking with this intervention and share with you what I did this week. I’m pretty proud of myself actually.  It’s easier than I thought to put in a little effort towards my projects.  Sometimes I can even do my projects whilst watching TV, which is great.  Because, I’m sorry I must admit, I have a terrible TERRIBLE TV addiction.  It won’t be fixed unless I move off the grid (someday!) or unless someone steals our TV.  (NOTE: don’t steal our TV.  I will find you).

Anyhoo back to the projects:

I finally finished a mini mitten, and then got inspired and knitted three more!!

minimitten2

I also did a few more lines of knitting on my blanket which was good.  I also added some info to our blog on a cool knitting site I found, and learned a new knitting method which I used on two of the mitts above.  Fun fun!

Hmmm… and we also made SOAP!

lavvan2

YAAAAY!  Soap making has commenced!  Mark and I melted up about 20-30 pounds of new soap (lemongrass verbena, lavender vanilla, gardenia, chamomile honey) and put them right up on Etsy.  More to come there.  Very excited about that.  Mark is a very good soap maker and I’m glad to have him around to encourage and support me, not just in soap, but in life, generally :-).

Week one (or is it two now? Oh well… let’s call it one) went pretty well, I’d say.  Feeling good!  Let’s keep it up!

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Anna has been on fire with the blog posts lately. Time for me to catch up and add to the conversation. I’ve been meaning to blog about a new favorite place near our house, and our trip this morning reminded me to get on it!

As something of an amateur chef, I have enjoyed the variety of places to shop around Boston. Within 15 minutes of our house are probably 10-12 grocery stores, including several of the “usual suspects” for the Northeast suburbs (Trader Joe’s, Whole Paycheck). These places have their spot in a grocery rotation, but we are lucky to live where we do in Belmont because my favorite grocery find, Russo’s, is just 10 minutes away in Watertown.

Over the past month, an early morning Saturday or Sunday trip to Russo’s has become one of the highlights of our week. And we’re not the only ones who love it. Russo’s is nearly always packed by 9 a.m. on Saturday AND Sunday. Why, you ask? How about this?

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And this?

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The place has an incredible variety of produce for just about every sort of cuisine you can think of. The Asian and Italian sections are especially strong:

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They buy local stuff in season (today I picked out a basket of apples, maybe 7 lbs. worth, for $.79 cents a pound):

mark apples

They also have a fantastic bakery and deli counter. The only problem with those is the crowds. As I mentioned earlier, it’s almost incredible how full the place is by 9 a.m. on the weekends. Getting a cart around the small store requires real concentration. But the mix of shoppers is great and the deals even better.

I’m hoping to post more “Best of Boston” places in the near future. But in the meantime, anyone have any spots like this to share?

I’m continuing work on my unfinished mittens (I actually started over so I could really do it right.  I was kind of just making it up as I was going).  And so I’m following directions now (for once!) on this training mitten pattern, and came to the direction “Increase 1 after the 6 and 18 stitch.”  WHA?  Yeah.  I don’t know how to do that.  Well, NOW I do!  Thanks to happening on to:

http://www.knittinghelp.com/

They have amazingly clear how-to videos for everything from casting on, adding stitches, subtracting stitches and learning different knitting styles.  For instance, my Mum taught me the Throw/American Method which is what I’ve done for years and been just fine with.  But there are other methods too, like the German Method/Left-Handed Knitting or Combined Knitting, or BACKWARDS Knitting!  German Method is actually easier than I thought, and I just followed the videos and WOW!  I know a new method of knitting.  YAY!

This is all well and good because I just purchased this beautiful sweater pattern on Etsy!

oatmeal pullover by janerichmond

OH MY!  It’s so cute but I’m sure I wouldn’t know all the directions.  SO glad I found this website because I know it will help me along the way.  Yipppeeeeee!

Happy Knitting!

I feel bad for not writing.  I feel bad for not painting.  I feel bad for not finishing my projects.  I have so many ideas bottled up inside my brain but I get home and I’m so tired.  So. Tired.  I can’t even think.  I just want to do something mindless. Like watch TV.  Or play Farkle.  Once, I played 35 games of Farkle.  In a row.  On Friday night I watched six hours of TV after work.  SIX HOURS.  O me. O Life!  I feel like it’s passing me by, O me, O life.

I spend hours on Etsy seeing so much fun stuff and getting so much inspiration.  Like this:

And this:

And this:

I’m stuck.  Unmotivated.  Bored?  (I hope not!) Tired? (Likely.)

Let me show you everything I’ve started and can’t get myself to finish:

1. A painting of Mark… I started this so long ago (winter 08). Dreadful. It’s acrylic on canvas.

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2.  I started this one last winter… March I think?  And it’s just doodles in acrylic on canvas.

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3.  This is a knitted blanket (or 1/3 of one).  I’ve been knitting this damn thing since winter 2006. TWO THOUSAND SIX!!!! I have so much yarn collected for this that I could knit sweaters for Jon, Kate, and all Eight.  Plus the Branjelina Clan.

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4.  I started this mitten last week.  Hah!  Yeah.  Wishful thinking.

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5.  In this box are the piecings for a quilt and my sewing machine.

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6.  I worked on this cross-stitch all last winter but see that bottom corner? Not done.  I started it for my cousin Betsy for her wedding.  She got married in June 2003.

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7.  This is a mini tote bag for Sammy Pants.  I started it last fall (2008) so she would have something to carry her lunch in for school.

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Such silliness!  Such waste!  Of space, of money, of time never spent.  I can’t even believe it!  I have boxes and boxes of stuff like this.  Great ideas!  Wishful thinkings!  Hopeful pursuits!  Most never finished, and some never even begun.

And yet the problem is that deep inside I feel like I want to just paint and paint until I run out of media.  Or sew and sew until my machine breaks.  Or knit and knit until my fingers bleed.  If I could I would spend all day creating.  I have hours before I sleep to spend time doing this. But I just. can’t. get. there.  WHY!?!?!  I get so frustrated with myself. And I’m so disappointed.

And so… today I begin.  Well, tomorrow.  But this blog is the real beginning.  I will do ONE THING every week that is creative, and NOT for school.  And I will post my progress here, on le-petit-elephant.com.  And if I don’t do it, I want you, readers, all 23 of you out there, to email me. Annoyingly. Until I post.  And if, by my birthday, March 14 2010, I have not posted at least 3/4 of the weeks, I will put all of my art supplies up for donation.  Even my two easels.  Because it is a WASTE to have such lovely supplies and not use them.   And a waste of ideas.  And a waste of time to not be spending time doing what I really enjoy doing.  I’m serious.  This is ridiculous.

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