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First things first, have you noticed it’s snowing here at LPE? Boy do I love me some snow. On the blog that is. Ok in real life too. Just minus the biting cold. I’m not ready. It’s sooooo cold! Boo.

Ok, the annual whining about the winter weather is complete. On to the real purpose of this post.

Hip Hip Hoooooooraaaaay! The co-knitted blanket is finally complete.

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My first project in the One Project a Week create-a-thon is done. I know. It’s been like twelve weeks. Ok ok. Fifteen weeks. And I should have fifteen different projects to show for my toils. But no, it’s just the one. But I’m glad to have finished. Thanks to Lesa/Mummy for tag-teaming this lovely beast of a blanket. And thanks also to the easy-to-follow pattern in More Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson (Mount Holyoke ’89!!) and and the beautiful and inspirational work and guidance shown on her Purl Bee blog. Mum, I hope that one day soon you and I can make a pilgrimage to Purl Soho to reward ourselves for our efforts. 🙂

So what’s next, you ask?

We’ll, I’m also here to announce that I won’t be selecting another project out of the jar until January. Given that it’s now the holiday season and I have lots of creative and crafty projects on my to-do list in preparation for Christmas gifting, I’m gifting myself a break with the idea that starting back up on the One Project a Week project would make a great New Years Resolution!

This is a good plan, methinks. Ok. Good. Good good good.

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It’s been so long since I’ve posted that I almost feel like I’m starting a new blog. I thought about it actually, because of what I’m about to introduce to you, but starting a new blog is messy and too much work, so here we go.

One Project a Week.

This idea isn’t new. It’s not even new to me, come to think of it. Shoot. (See An ultimatum; Read: Total Fail). But oh well and anyhoo…

My college friend Anne and her partner Jessica and their sweet little summer blog of old, Jar of Fun, were the inspiration here. They sat down together in the hot hot heat of a Texas summer and wrote down all sorts of stuff to do. From big things like going camping, to small things like coloring in coloring books, they had a great list of fun things to do to beat the heat and fill out the long days of summer. Then they cut up the list and put the individual To-Dos in a jar. (I’m pretty sure it was almost) every day that summer they chose one item out of the jar and did it. And then they blogged about it. What fun! I enjoyed reading about all of their daily big and small adventures, and filed away in my mind the ‘daily jar of fun’ idea, hoping someday I’d return to do it myself.

Well, Someday is today. Because last week, whilst on vacation (I was feeling inspired I guess, and clear of mind), I vowed to Mark that I would do more projects when we got back. I would do more art. More sewing. More baking. More painting. I’ve been horribly bad about flexing my creative muscles this past year (not to mention flexing my other muscles too… must do more running/hiking/biking… filing that away too. Hrm…) I have many many many many many unfinished projects that I’ve told myself I’d get done, you know, someday. And I figured why not merge Jar of Fun with Get Shit Done and do One Project a Week.

I’ve just finished writing down as many items of unfinished business I can think of from the started projects in my office, and a few new things too, since I have things sketched out in my brain that I haven’t even begun in real life.

Here they are:

jar

The rules are:

  1. Pick one To-Do out of the jar every Sunday evening
  2. Work on project during the forthcoming week; make as much progress as possible
  3. Chart progress on L.P.E.
  4. If project isn’t finished by Sunday evening, put the To-Do back into the jar so you can work on it again another week
  5. If project IS finished, smile and shout ‘HOORAY!’
  6. Shake jar and pick a new To-Do
  7. Feel Happy (hopefully) and perpetually inspired
  8. Repeat

Sound good?

Alright, followers. Time to make bets on how long it takes for me to fail. NO! Wait. No. Just kidding.

I will not fail!

OK. Here we go.

First pick is….

Mom and Anna’s co-knitted blanket.

See you in a few days!

I haven’t written in ages! I’m terrible. I’m the worst ever. I say this every time, too. But really I think this must be the longest time without a post. Three months? Bennett! Bad! BAD!

Last time I wrote it was almost Christmas. Now it’s almost Easter… well, almost. We’ve seen a whole season come and go and not a post on anything. Not a one about being tired of snow (And lots of snow did we have – holy cow! Something like 39 inches?) or exploring new places (the Art & Architecture Tour at the Boston Public Library is a hidden gem). No news on our Year of Bread baking challenge (Did you know we haven’t bought bread in THREE MONTHS!? We’ve baked every bit of bread we’ve eaten this winter!) All this including the sad fact that we’ve had zero giveaways, and NO pictures of Gordon. Sad face.

And I wish I could write more today but I have to-dos and projects I’ve been putting off and MUST get to them. I know, I know. You may say, “Isn’t this a project you’ve been putting off?” and yes, it most certainly is and I feel terribly about it. Not just because I’ve been neglecting the blog and my readers, but in the spirit of full disclosure, I’ve been putting it (and my other to-dos and projects) off because I’ve been a lazy bear. Very lazy. Winter got me bad and I’ve just been a bum. Watched too much TV, and really, it’s all been filth. I am no better for it. Shame on me. Shame on me and the time I’ve wasted.

But don’t you worry. It’s spring! The sun is out longer and fills me with all kinds of happiness and spirit and inspiration. I’ll be back and better than ever very soon, with lots of newsy posts chock full of happy happiness, food making, artsy fartsy goodness, and all other things LPE.

So until then, I leave you with two things:

1. A picture of Gordon – because that’s why you drop by LPE, right? To see Gordon’s sweet cheeks, and NOT because every time I write a new post and hit PUBLISH a little link pops up on Facebook and Twitter and that urge to click on a link comes over you and you click without thinking.

NO, you come here of your own volition, I know it.

And 2:

A giveaway!!! I will send a snail mail grab bag—colorful pens, lovely papers, envelopes, blank note cards, stickers, etc.—to the fifth new person to subscribe to LPE. Just hit “L.P.E. to Y.O.U.” on the left hand side ← over there and enter your email address. When we post, which is hopefully, and fingers CROSSED, oftener than not, you’ll get a little PING! Note: You can unsubscribe at any time (but I hope you don’t!) by clicking “manage” under L.P.E. to Y.O.U. Believe me, knowing I have subscribers who are expecting things of me will keep me motivated, so this is a win-win in many ways.

Wahey! We’re (nearly) back!

Is this a mess, or just part of the creative process?

Discuss…

Today is National Elephant Appreciation Day.  Is it REALLY?  Google it. Yes. It is (thanks Mom for the link! – if NPR says it’s such a day, then it must be true) and we’re celebrating here at L.P.E.

Apparently some guy was so especially enamored with the giant beasts that he began collecting all sorts of elephant things:  shirts, figurines, pens, hats, costumes, etc.  And then one particular day (September 22, I suppose) in 1996, he decided, “Well, hey.  I like elephants so much, I am going to declare it National Elephant Appreciation Day.” And so he did.  I’m not making this up. Perhaps paraphrasing the story a bit, but seriously.  The story is true!

And so, in honor our very own Le Petit Éléphant and to celebrate his very special day, we’ve dressed him up and given him some sass and are giving a print of him away to a lucky reader.

Doesn’t he look spiffy?

To win Mr. L.P.E. all dressed up in his green swirly suit, write us an Elephant Haiku in the comments.  We’ll choose a winner, who will receive the above print (on beautiful aquarelle 14olb watercolor paper, printed and marked in hues and tints of green watercolor marker).  Once we’ve chosen a winner, we’ll (well, I will) write your Haiku underneath here:

in similarly spiffy caligraphic fontiness, and send it straight to you.

Quite an easy way to win a prize, don’t you think?

Happy National Elephant Day, everyone!

I’ve been bad.  Very very bad.  Not a very good blogger lately. And I have no excuses to give.  Well.  I do, but they’re not very good ones and I wouldn’t expect you to accept them.

So tonight I’m back on the blog wagon.  I hope to be diligent.  One blog, AT LEAST, per week.  But definitely one.  I want to share more recipes (one coming tonight on make-your-own-granola).  I want to share more how-tos.  I want to do less ranting and more chit-chatting.  More exploring.  More sharing.  AND I want to do some give-aways.  I just feel like giving stuff away.  Not random crap I have around the house, but good stuff.  Like homemade stuff.  Last week I gave away 5 “Mount Holyoke – Smart Women Know It” stickers via twitter (follow me at @annapbennett) to the first five tweeps who wanted them.  And it was AWESOME.  Five lovely Mount Holyoke women emailed and I sent them little notes with their winnings.  It was so fun and such a simple way to connect with my fellow MoHo women.  I got a little tweet back today from one of the lucky ladies, a current student, who said she received hers in her Blanchard Box today.  Made me smile real wide.  So yes.  More giveaways. Like.  Snap. Let’s do a giveaway RIGHT NOW!

I will send 5 lovely homemade up-cycled hand-folded envelopes like these:

to one lucky reader who answers this question – What’s your favorite color and why?   I hope there will be more than one commenter, so I’ll do a drawing for the prize and will announce the winner here on LPE tomorrow night.

More giveaways, just like that.

Ok.  Off to make Mark some dinner.  Warm soup and grilled cheese.  It’s chilly outside (I know, I biked home in a t-shirt and shorts–dumb!–and my knuckles and knees are just now thawing out).

Talk soon.

Ok people,

I know we can do better than this.  Is there no one who wants to add to the story?  Or does it end with our friend Charlie walking down the hill to feed his dozen sheep? (thanks Mark!).  As glad as I am that Mark humored me by playing the game, I was hoping this would start a great thread.  If I can only get my husband to read the blog that we both (mostly) own, well then maybe I should just give it up.

But hmm… maybe this story DOES end with Charlie feeding his sheep.

Perhaps, then, we should begin anew. Yes?

Play? Play with me?

Anyone?

Again, the premise– I’ve started us off with a few sentences.  You read the story and add to it with a few words, sentences, paragraphs,  thoughts, whatever you have time/interest for (oooh–perhaps an illustration? You can email it to me and I will post it).  I will pull all comments up to the main blog body.

Let us begin:

The wind was hot, not at all refreshing.   She sat on the bench with her head towards the sky, watching two crows bounce on the cable line.  Moments passed, and then she was brought to sharp attention by a loud noise somewhere behind her.  The sound of the loud crash rang in her ears. She turned to see what it was, and to her surprise, saw a large man carrying an unreasonable number of cymbals in large bags.  One had fallen to the ground, and he was wrestling with his fat white cat on a leash while trying to collect his dropped cymbals.  Being a percussionist herself, she was immediately drawn to the varying sizes and weights of the cymbals.  She had always preferred the large, marching band staples which effortlessly created a sense of excitement.  She wondered whether she might filch a set while the large man was focused on his cat.  Then suddenly, in the distance, she began to hear the emergency alarms.  It was time.  The war had begun.

The sudden sounding of alarms frightened the fat cat, who managed to escape as his flustered owner dropped the rest of his cymbals to the ground, causing further emotional scarring to the cat who already suffered from anxiety.  The large man stared at the mess of his cymbals on the ground as he watched the cat run away, red leash trailing.  Should he collect his cymbals, or run after the cat?  He couldn’t run very quickly.  What if he couldn’t catch the cat? Who would feed it its Xanax?

Shrugging, he left the cymbals and went after the cat who dashed down the pathway into the thick of the park. “New cymbals will have to wait,” thought the girl as she reluctantly got up from the quiet of her bench to aid the man in his cat saving quest. The sounds of the sirens continued to swirl around the scene, the mix of heat and fumes rising up from cars and trucks stuck in a mass on the street as emergency squads forced their way through the traffic.  The man weaved his way way through the trees and bushes where he thought he had seen the cat go, the woman following quietly behind him.  He was unsteady on his feet, panting and out of shape. As he made his way up a hill, the sound of the sirens from the street continued to grow in number and volume.  “What the heck is going on over there?” the man wondered for a second, before stopping short at the top of the hill. He was absolutely stunned that he saw…

I’m bored. I’m waiting for images to upload into the yearbook.  Amongst other things, I make the yearbook for HLS.  Fun!  Silly.  High school all over again.  ANYHOW.  Whilst waiting, let’s play a game.  I’ll start us off with a character in a few sentences.  Everyone who wants to play should read the last comment made and add to the story line with a few sentences, paragraphs, words, thoughts, whatever you have time/interest for.  I will pull all comments up to the main blog body… maybe not explaining correctly but hopefully people will play along and you’ll get the idea.

Let us begin:

(APBR) Charlie Goode was a charming old soul who lived on the top of a hill.  He liked striped socks and crumpets and eating boxes of Snowcaps.  Every day he would walk down the hill to… (MWR)…feed his dozen sheep. As a boy, Charlie had always dreamed of owning a sheep farm. When he had the chance to buy the property at the top of the hill a few years earlier, he jumped at it, knowing the fields below and the meandering stream that encircled the land would be perfect for a flock. What Charlie wanted more than anything was to…

Well, yeah.  It’s been a few weeks (or maybe months?) since I last posted about the creativity intervention.  You remember – I totally promised that I’d post on my creative endeavors once per week until my birthday (yikes! quickly approaching!) and that if I didn’t follow through on said promise, I’d have to give up my small fortune’s worth of artsy supplies and spend the rest of my life in sadness.  So… as you might have noticed, on the blogging front, I haven’t been keeping up with my creativity posting promise.  Boo to me.  But.  BUT… I have been working on a few projects and have been super busy on a BIG project that I’ll tell you more about in a minute.

First, I’ve been knitting some booties for my cousins who are expecting their Baby Maddie ANY DAY NOW, and have been trying to figure out a really easy (ppht! NOT!) difficult baby bootie pattern.

Every bootie comes out differently and really wonky, and the directions just don’t make any sense, so I might just try making my own pattern.  Soon to Be Baby Maddie may just be Toddler Maddie by the time she gets these things.

And I am knitting socks for my mum… uh… yah.

Not an easy task.  I apologize to my mum in advance if they come out funny and unwearable.  She may just have to use them as an iPod case or washcloth or something.  I did a few independent design projects here and there… and just started my new class at the SMFA in color theory.  Totally excited to start painting again.

But the big thing I’ve been busy with the last month and a half was a HUGE project, of which I’m enormously proud and am eager to share with you.  I just finished applying to graduate school for an MFA in graphic design/visual studies.  I applied to five schools, all over everywhere, in graphic design, visual design, visual studies and craft.  I don’t have a top choice–they’re all top choices, and I’d be thrilled to be accepted into any of the programs.  Going through all of my work and deciding which pieces were relevant/good/interesting/representative was not an easy task.  And talking about myself, clarifying my goals and vision, sharing my history and my inspirations and influences was kind of… weird.  But good at the same time.  Cleansing?  Clarifying?  Heartening?  Fulfilling? All of those things, and mostly deeply personal.  I’m really excited.  !!!!  And nervous.  And I can’t wait to hear back.  And even if I don’t get in, going through the process was already, two days out, so worth the work.  My portfolio is here:

So yes.  I have done some creative work since I last wrote.  And now that my applications are in I can fill my evenings and weekends with more paint, more knitting, more soap making, more art making and, AND, luckily for you (and me, because now I won’t have to give up my art supplies!) more BLOGGING!  And I can’t wait to share it with you all here.  It’s been weeks since I’ve shared–now what creative things have YOU been working on?

All of them.

Thanks to Mark for steering me to this site for House Industries, a type foundry and creator of too many cool things to name.  But mostly, I’m coveting their fonts, like:

I wish they sold gift cards for fonts.  I would buy them all and type type type away.  Fonts fonts fonts.  I like like fonts. Do de do de do.

My faves are Go Long, Didot, Frutiger, Haetttenschwieler, and Futura.  And Garamond isn’t too bad either, as serif fonts go.

What are your favorite fonts?  If you  say comic sans I will have to un-friend you.

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