I’d like to say you wouldn’t believe the insanity, but you’ve already met me and I am quite sure you would. I have a glorious knack both for getting in over my head AND for accidentally getting into situations that look quite stable which promptly implode. Which I am sure is a complete coincidence.

Lots has happened since I last posted, all of which was quite absorbing and seems quite dull when typed out, so I won’t bore you with it. I’ll just sum it up with “insanity, illness, construction, and good intentions gone awry”—which basically sums up my entire life, but no need to admit that out loud.

The good news is that I finally get to reveal my latest project. Before I do, the only note of real importance since the last post is that our beloved ratling has died. Since so many of you have expressed your appreciation for her adorable self and followed some of her adventures on social media I wanted to let you know. She surprised us all and lived to be an old lady. In case there was any concern we might forget her, since her passing we have been slowly finding all the holes she chewed in our various furniture and stolen hazelnuts hidden in some very unlikely places, so we won’t forget her for a very, very long time.

My favorite photo.

Since February is the month I normally can’t function it seems a fitting time to launch a feel-good project. Today is the official launch of Practical Kindness. I have been advised by experts that I am doing several things wrong with the project, but I decided starting wrong was better than not starting, so here we are.

The very simple sum up is story sharing. Regular little videos of regular people talking about things that other people have done to help them out or let them know they are cared about. A little bit of feel good to offset all the negativity that social media is known for.

Part of the idea is that if we all share things that have made a difference in our lives we will learn from each other and get more ideas of how to help others. Let’s face it–so many people we know are struggling and so often we have no idea how to help. Maybe, just maybe, if we keep sharing those little moments of impact we will sometimes think of an option that we may not have otherwise–and be able to put a little more kindness into the world than was there before.

Maybe not, but the worst case scenario is that we get to know some of our neighbors a little better, and that’s a pretty cool thing, too.

Starting today Practical Kindness starts sharing stories on TiktokFacebook, and Instagram. Feel free to join us and see how it develops. People really can be wonderful when given a chance. Here is our first example:

Simple and sweet.

The stories will be shared on social media, but the website serves as a supportive base to share more ideas and projects as we go. We’ve been working with collaborators to gather lists of ways we can help each other, free and downloadable fliers and graphics for sharing, and teaming up with other story-sharing initiatives (Like the Outcast podcast and Professional Lunch) with the same goal in mind–sharing and learning and helping each other out. But the goal is to keep things simple.

Many thanks go out to Andrea Engebretson of Giraffic Media, who did all the amazing design and web work.

We don’t have it all figured out yet, and knowing us we never completely will, but we are starting and we’d love it if you would join us. Feedback is welcome. We will just keep fixing and improving things as we go, and hopefully get even more awesome. 😉

Despite my tendency to forget how to paint in February, I am hoping to share my latest in my next post. I have a good start and just need a bit of time to focus. I only have a 50% success rate, but this one has me hopeful, so I am recklessly promising here to keep me motivated.

In the meantime, here is a little luck for all of us. 🙂

and some more designs from my new “Sending Love” card line…where the only thing in common with any of the designs is hearts incorporated in some way. I have no idea why I am obsessed with hearts all of a sudden, but there are many more heart card designs in the works, so I am going with it.

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Interested in buying an original piece of art? My work is on display and available for purchase at  Gallery 4 located at 115 Roberts Street, Fargo, ND.

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