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Huh?

Yeah, you got me. I have no idea what a “petite lap elephant” is either, but considering this is the #1 search term that links to the blog, such a thing exists. The other question of WHY a person wants or needs a petite lap elephant is also beyond me. Who the heck knows.

I am intrigued, though, and would love to hear your ideas. And since we haven’t had a giveaway in such a long while, I think it might be fun and prudent to have one RIGHT NOW. Well, ok—this isn’t your regular giveaway. Perhaps giveaway is a misnomer. I suppose it’s more of a give-and-get.

Because, you see, I want to hear from you. So I will award TWO Le Petit Éléphant soaps to the reader(s) who can, in my opinion, best (“best” to be defined as “the cutest, funniest, and most creative”) elucidate the elusive “petite lap elephant”. No standard definition will do, however. I challenge you to dig deep, think hard, and be creative. Write a haiku. Draw a picture (mail it to us here). Or pen a tall tale or a lengthy narrative. We’ll name the winner(s) in a future post, and send said winner(s) some Le Petit Éléphant happiness.

So tell us: What IS a Petite Lap Elephant?

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Today, I think, was the true start of summer. For starters it was the most glorious day. Full sun and a slight breeze, blue skies. It was warm and not too humid. We Bostonians and Cantabrigians have made it through the annual epic commencement season (Harvard exercises were Wednesday and Thursday) and so the city and Harvard Square, abuzz for the past few weeks with pomp and circumstance, are now saying “¡adios!” to the student crowds and welcoming, well, sort of, the throngs of tourists.

Walking through The Square today were crowds of people—mostly tourists but some lingering students and families—girls in sun dresses, boys in shorts, a snaking line outside the froyo spot, every Starbucks order “iced”, and generally a sense of freedom and excitement. Freedom from books and classes and excitement for what lay ahead. I couldn’t help but hum “Schoooooool’s. Out. For. The summer!” Too bad we’ll work through summer. But even at the office today we didn’t get mail, which, for a finance office, means a small moment of peace and quiet.

Tonight we spent some time tending the garden, pulling a few weeds, aerating the strawberries and planting a few more peppers. Then Mark lit up the grill and made us our first summer feast: burgers, brats, potatoes, and salad. Sooooo yummy.

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And since it was such a nice evening, we brought our food and cold drinks out front to the stoop. With plates on our knees we dined al fresco

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Our entertainment was, as on every night, a little league baseball game. Tonight we cheered on the Rockies v. Red Sox. Mark provided color commentary and I root-root-rooted for the big hits. There was some impressive pitching and fielding, and nice hits sent batters around the bases.

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At one point the game was interrupted by a baby running through the outfield, but security (his mom) intervened and the game went on. The cricketers waited in the outfield with their bats and wickets for the game to end and, and when it had finished and the baseballers cleared the field, they set up the pitch for a late match before the sun dipped below the hills and the twilight turned too dark. There are no lights on this field (and that is probably a good thing).

We love our little community here in Coolidge Square, Watertown. So much going on—people out and about, families of all shapes and sizes and nationalities. Dogs of every kind. Guys of every age and background playing pickup games of B-Ball. A little park with swings, Armenian markets, a diner, and a local pizzeria/fishfry/soft serve joint, all visible or a stone’s throw from our stoop. The view from where we sit—our cheap seats—is pretty great. Can’t wait for more nights like this. I’ll never want summer to end.

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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!

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.

Like these:

and these:

Yes. We’re headed to Kauai. For a week.  Likely no blogging from there, unless, well.  Ok probably definitely no blogging from there.

But don’t worry.  Sadly we do have to come back, and we’ll bring pictures.

In the meantime, really does NO ONE want free soap? I know I’m shamelessly pushing LPE, but we do want to give some away!  So if you’re at all interested, don’t forget to check out the previous post.

See you when we’re back from the other side of the world!

I *heart* Etsy.  If you haven’t already noticed.  So many lovely things to look at, be inspired from, and sometimes spend my dollars on.

They have this wonderful feature of member-curated shopping galleries, from which the Etsy team often pulls their front page items.  It is ever-changing and only allows you to create a list when there are fewer than 333 lists available.  And I’ve been waiting WEEKS for the treasury to open up to new finders so that I could share my loves and favorites in a Treasury list.  I look at the treasury, count down the lists, trying to find the one that will open the door, and wait.  Never successfully.  Until, finally, today, at 4:03pm, the list hit 332 and opened up for me to add my finds.

Here’s my Treasury List, Want… circles, colors, a little bit of lovely.

Do peek in and check it out.

It features Korinne’s baubles at RazzleDazzleBeads:

A comfy quilt from stitchindye:

And a sweet little bird:

And, as an added incentive to peruse the Treasury…

Go to my treasury and pick your favorite item.  Write a little note here at LPE blog  about why it’s your favorite.  After Spring Break (and after the list expires) I will draw a name from those who post, and send to that person one free soap of their choosing (check out Le Petit Éléphant on Etsy for scents).

Yay! I love giveaways.  Don’t you?

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!!

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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!

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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!

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.

If you come back often, you’ll notice we’re tinkering around a bit with a few of the design elements of the blog.  Trying out new styles, widgets and other fun things.

We appreciate your patience as we find something that we like… we’ll let you know when the tinkering is over.  When it’s all said and done, we hope you like it too!

🙂

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