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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!

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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!

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.

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?

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!

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.

DSC03063

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

DSC03065

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.

DSC03066

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

DSC03074

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

DSC03076

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.

DSC03077

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.

DSC03078

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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