PiBoIdMo 2012 – I did it!

Picture Book Idea Month 2012 – 30 picture book ideas in 30 days – whew! It was a lot of fun. I almost didn’t do it. Time is short and the “one more thing” gloomy bug started to creep in. Shooed that little naysayer away and signed up. I am so glad I did.
It never fails, ideas come popping in like unannounced company. Backs of envelopes, trimmed paper, post its, receipts and the like were commandeered to stand in until I made it to wherever the notebook was hiding.
I just kept entering without keeping track. I counted the last week to see if I made it. Thirty-six, really? Recount, yep, thirty-six! Funny thing, those little scraps keep appearing.
Perhaps next year, they’ll go straight to the notebook. Nah, probably not! I think my ideas like to free range a bit.



Catching Bliss

Have you ever noticed that children left to their own devices will gravitate toward an activity to capture bliss?
No one has to tell them to use a crayon to draw upon the walls or that when paper tears it makes a cool sound. They are fully capable of finding these pleasures all on their own.

Curiosity and discoveries fill their hearts and open the world.

Our youngest was the most prolific scribbler of walls. He loved to draw on paper, but what he relished most was a simple wall canvas.
What must have gone through his mind when I grumbled while cleaning the walls before selling the house?

I hope he knows we saved his paper art. He must, because in his home, his children have an art table at the ready for spontaneous creations.

So today, as we celebrate his birthday, we can only speculate what wonders of bliss his children will reveal to their dad and mom.

Happy Birthday Stephen
With love,

– By Stephen Livingston (age 5 years)


Grandma’s Morning Cup

Grandma's Morning Cup

A child’s art is a moment of bliss that continues to give.

My favorite cup features art from our oldest granddaughter. She drew this little row of flowers when she was four. I need to make an updated cup, she is seven now. Perhaps the new one will include refrigerator masterpieces from her younger sister and brother.

For parents looking for something special for Grandma and Grandpa, consider art from grandchildren. Grandchild art can be featured on an everyday item, like my favorite cup, or simply framed or on the front of a card.

I often receive treasured showpieces from our grandchildren. The gift of art from little hands is a moment of bliss that continues to give.

Repository of Bliss

Local Art Gallery

I was so excited 11 years ago to get our new stainless refrigerator. Until I plopped the first magnet up. Thankfully, one side still allows us to have an open gallery. Hint to refrigerator manufacturers, if you make a magnetic panel on the stainless front, sales to grandmas will increase.

The refrigerator has transformed our world. I am not talking about the obvious benefits of extending the life of fresh foods.
The rich sustenance provided by a refrigerator comes in the form of an art gallery.

I am always fascinated by this local gallery in homes. Grandparents, parents, extended family and friends – they all have one. Oh, yeah people post, pin, like, tweet, blog, and G+, but really their greatest treasures will be found in their personal gallery at home. If you want to know where their heart lies, look at the refrigerator, the obvious repository of the heart of bliss.

A Tip for Sneaking Bliss

A long holiday weekend is upon us. Here is a little tip for sneaking bliss.

The kids were tired, the day was hot and we were all sticking to the car’s seat. The AC was out. Again. One more stop. One more store then we could call it a day and go home.
Unbuckling, we all peeled ourselves off the hot seats and crossed the parking lot, picking up a little gum on our shoes along the way. It appeared that everyone in the store was having the same kind of day. Frowns everywhere. Tired, hot, sweaty, frowns.

“Mom, nobody is smiling,” the worried little voice broke through the grim silence of the grocery shoppers.

Without thinking, I blurted my automated reply, “Smile anyway.”

“Mom!  She smiled back, that lady smiled back. That one there, with her hair up and the sunglasses.”

Everyone in earshot stared. Then… they all smiled.

Our little family game was born. From this day forward it was our tradition, how many smiles could we get when in a store.

It does not sound like much. But try it. Smile. Count how many you get in return. And don’t worry about the ones who do not reciprocate, they need your smiles the most.

Not only will you sneak a little bliss, but you will share a little as well.

Color My Family

Our grandkids love to color. Using predesigned frames, I inserted line drawings of each of their family members, from siblings, to great grand-parents. The smiles make them great. Our smiles, whether shy or bold, are remembered by our grandchildren.
Sneak a little bliss, smile.