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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?

this original Robbi Behr illustration.

So I bid as high as I could without Mark getting mad at me for spending my dollars on more things that can’t fit on the walls of our current home. We already have two lovely prints –one, mind you, was purchased by Mr. Mark and NOT me!– a few paintings, too many photographs, and all kinds of artworks in storage waiting for a home on the larger walls of a future chez Robertson.

Fingers crossed I will be the winner!  I love the little house.  On top of the big hill.  Would that all things align themselves so that Mark and Gordo and I could live in a little house atop a big hill looking over a cool blue river and be at peace with the world.  We would eat pizzas and chocolates and play games and sing songs and write blogs. And to save ourselves from a “treacherous fall” on our way down to collect our weekly supply of pizzas and chocolates, we would bushwhack a little path that winds its way in a spiral down the hill.

Anyhoo, not only do I happen to like this particular piece, but I also thoroughly enjoy winning.  So alas if I do not win, I will have to wait and bid again on one of Robbi’s cute animals, which we readers of Idiots’Books have been promised in the next auction.

Here’s a bit of Olympic trivia for you–

Olympic Charter, Rule # 6 states: “Only those sports which are practiced on snow or ice are considered as winter sports.”

Did you know that? I didn’t.  I mean, I assumed most of the sports of the Winter Olympics were in some way affiliated with snow or ice, but I never actually thought about it that way.  I saw that rule and had to think long and hard–are there any sports in the Winter Olympics that didn’t involve snow or ice?  I couldn’t come up with one.  Glad to have this chart to peruse–thanks to the New York Times columnist Ben Schott–which tells me all the sports, from then and now and other fun facts and figures:

Notable:

  • The first Olympics had an event called “Military Patrol” which, thanks to a little bit of Googling and Wikipedia referencing, was more of a demonstration event and after 36 years became what we know as the Biathlon.
  • The games at the highest altitude were the 8th Olympic Games in Squaw Valley, CA in 1960, at 1880 feet.
  • The United States won the most medals –12– of all the 17 teams  when they  hosted the third Olympics in Lake Placid, NY in 1932.
  • The first Winter Olympic Games in Chamonix, France hosted 258 athletes competing in 9 disciplines — The 21st Olympiad in Vancouver, Canada will host over 2500 athletes competing in 15 disciplines.

The New York Times has a great page devoted to the 2010 Winter Olympics here, with stories on different sports, athletes, gear, and all kinds of interactive media including an event tracker and videos of the downhill course at Whistler.

FYI coverage of the the Opening Ceremonies begins tonight at 7:30pm EST on NBC.

The Winter Olympics in Vancouver are coming. Soon. Very Soon. FRIDAY, in fact. This Friday.

I, for one, CAN’T WAIT!  I love love love love watching winter sports, and especially winter Olympic competitions.  I’m thinking/hoping that this will be the first of many posts about the 2010 Winter Olympics, and I hope that our readers will write in about their favorite events, predictions for winners, and other thoughts and comments.  My personal favorites are too numerous to count, but figure skating, downhill skiing, and luge are right there at the top.

As a budding designer, I am always intrigued about the logos, icons, colors, and forms used to represent the Olympics, their host city, and their events. This year is no different.  This is the 2010 Vancouver logo:

and apparently somewhere in Olympic Village someone has carved and installed a large stone version.  The sportswear donned at the opening ceremonies is always either a fashion do or don’t, and this year I hear that USA is sporting lame-o popped Polos and funny white pants.  This year’s individual logos for each of the events are spectacular.  The colors blue and green swirl around an illustration of a figure doing the sport represented.  Here is an example of the skeleton  (to download your own versions and to check out other Olympic fun–schedules, medal counts, event recaps–check out the Official Vancouver Olympics Website.

The New York Times put out a great story on the history of the design of the torch which is worth a read–the article has an interactive time line where you hover over an Olympic year and the torch pops up with all kinds of interesting facts and info.

I had heard that this year’s Olympic medals were created from recycled materials, which I think is very hip and with it.  And when I was perusing a new favorite news site vbs.tv, I happened upon this video on how they were designed by a local firm (sorry I can’t embed the video for some reason… but at least it will also get you over to check out vbs.tv).  Each medal is different, none like any other, an individual piece of art that the winning Olympians will wear around their necks.

And don’t forget the Olympic mascots–they’re so cute!!

What’s your favorite part about the Olympics?  What are you most looking forward to watching?

The National Weather Service is predicting that a “SIGNIFICANT WINTER STORM WILL IMPACT THE REGION WEDNESDAY AND WEDNESDAY NIGHT WITH HEAVY SNOW AND STRONG WINDS…” note use of capital letters for emphasis.  It could very well be a snow day here tomorrow.  I’m hoping for it, but I’m thinking the big snow won’t start until tomorrow afternoon, by which time I’ll have already been at work wishing I was curled up with the dog and some cocoa watching recorded episodes of American Idol Hollywood Week.  I’ll finish my work day and then have to wait for a bus that won’t show because the snow is impacting the overhead lines, or if and when it does show up is packed with masses of people trying to exit the city.  We’ll then trudge through several inches of snow to home only to be met by a dog who has been inside all day long and desperately needs a walk.  Fun Fun!  I’m not complaining, really, in fact I wish for MORE snow because I really want a snow day.  I just don’t want to come home from a long day’s work in a snow mess.  So yes, more snow please!  I’ll take all that DC has had and more! Bring it on!  I heart snow days!

If… IF… it is a snow day, either tomorrow or Thursday (both unlikely, but a girl can dream!) here are the top 10 things I would do:

1. Sleep in
2. Stay in my sweats all day
3. Make a big pot of coffee and eat a giant bowl of Malt-O-Meal, extra lumpy and two brown sugars
4. Knit and/or paint and/or make Valentines
5. Watch tivo’d episodes of Chuck, American Idol, and Biggest Loser
6. Finish this terrible book I’m reading called The Anglo Files.  Funny, but super whiny and borderline offensive towards all things Britain
7. Bake Mark these cookies, or these cookies
8. Give Gordon a bone and watch him hide it
9. Force Mark to play a board game with me, preferably Boggle or Life
10. Make a pot of soup

How would you spend a snow day?  Or, if you live in DC or anywhere in the Mid-Atlantic, how have you spent your snow days?

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?


Loyal friends and readers Jeff & Katie got engaged recently on a special New Year’s Eve Blue Moon evening, and they’ve started a lovely wedding blog at bluemoon wedding.

They have lots of neat tips and ideas on creating a special, one-of-a-kind wedding, and are sharing their plans and thoughts with their readers.  They’re also offering up their blog to advertising in order to make a few extra $$ to help subsidize the cost of their nuptials.  What a great idea!

Do you sell on Etsy?  Or have a small business venture?  Do you have good skills that might be helpful to the frugal bride and groom?  Consider checking them out and sharing in their sharing.

Congrats Jeff & Katie! Our best to you in the wedding planning and beyond!

It’s become somewhat of a ritual that in the first days of the new year I purchase a new planner.  In college I liked the spiral kind I could get from the bookstore that I would cover in clippings of outdoor magazine pictures and clear tape.  After I graduated I turned to the Moleskine, partly because I liked the feel of it and partly because, well frankly I thought it made me look smart or sophisticated… it is, after all, the Legendary Notebook.

Today I purchased my 2010 Moleskine Daily Planner:

There is something deeply satisfying about chucking the old year into the recycling bin and starting all fresh and clean, saying goodbye to all the mistakes, the missed opportunities, the things that just didn’t get done last year and having happy optimism about all the new ideas, new tasks, new goals that await in the minutes, days, and weeks to come.  And the smell is nice too.  Fresh pages of paper waiting for my lists and doodles.  Birthday reminders; plans for dinners and meetings; sticky notes and taped-in sketches.  Having this new year of planning doesn’t necessarily make me want to set goals (as I find I often don’t keep to them…) but just the thought of a clean slate of endless opportunities for new and exciting choices, lists, and events to come is exhilarating and uplifting and makes me want to start off the year with some gusto!

I should be doing my homework for my last illustrator class tomorrow… I have two projects to finish.  A trace of HRH the Queen of England catching a train in Paris, and a map.  Fun stuff. Probably a day or two’s worth of work, due tomorrow night.

But instead, I invite you to look at my cookies.  I made these yesterday.  Baked them I should say, because Mark also helped decorate them.  He was very good at icing the man-shaped cookies with ties and sweaters and buttons.  And creating shiny stars.

The recipe comes from our lovely family friend Tammie A. and it’s top secret.  I’m pretty sure I’m the only one besides her that knows what goes in them because she gave me the top-secret recipe and I’m pretty sure that she wouldn’t give it to anyone else.  And thus I’m pretty sure that I’m not sharing it here.  The thing is, though… I don’t make them nearly as good as she does.  There’s just something about Tammie’s cookies that I can’t put my finger on but they’re soooooooooooooo good.  And the ones I made are merely mediocre compared to hers, but I’m honored just the same to have the recipe–even if I can’t quite re-create them.  I guess that’s good though.  Part of the reason I think I like them so much is because they do only come out perfectly from her oven. If I could have Tammie A. cookies ANYTIME I wanted them, they probably wouldn’t be as perfectly wonderful, right?

Well here they are… pretty ok I guess.  Almost the same, but not quite:


snowflakes and stars


trees


men with sweaters and ties


blue snowflakes


more snowlfakes and men with buttons


YUM!

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