the art of wisdom…

November 30, 2012

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the studio and table will be open tomorrow… and there is a place for you.

My dear friend and soulsister Suzanne Vinson will have her annual Holiday Open House tomorrow as part of the LGRA Ginter Park Art Show tomorrow (12/1).

Kindness Changes Everything Stickers (and prints) will be there as well as Be Brave and Kind prints too…along with so many other soulful, wise and pretty things.

I am kinda silly excited about these:

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I hope to stop by after 2pm some time, maybe we’ll see each other there. Here is all the info if you would like to meet Suzanne and take in the art of wisdom:

HOLIDAY OPEN STUDIO & LGRA Ginter Park Art Show

Saturday, December 1st

10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

3421 Hawthorne Avenue

Richmond, VA 23222

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all photos by Suzanne Vinson

 

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Today was the day! Team KindnessGirl met to run Color Me Rad with part of the proceeds going to our friends at the Special Olympics. I originally had grand plans of kindness missions happening while we ran, team pictures*, and messy amazing color- while the other plans were foiled we did get some CRAZY color. SO much so, that I am still trying to get the blue out of my nose after 20 Q-tips…yes, 20!

…and so it occurred to me that while we often ask folks to do kind acts for others- I wondered if it would be rad to leave missions for people/strangers to find and then do on their own. We called this Guerrilla Goodness mission Color Me Kind…

Each little pack had a hand written invitation for the finder to complete one of the following missions:

Leave a FAT tip for a dishwasher at your favorite restaurant. Don’t forget a note of thanks!

Pay for a friend’s next race registration, then tell them to pass it on.

Corral some grocery carts at the store parking lot, then leave a note at the desk for the worker thanking them for all they do. You can also leave a small gift card.

Ding Dong Ditch a bouquet of flowers to your bestie with a kind note, then tell them to pass it on.

We included some Kindness Changes Everything stickers and left them on cars in the parking lot after the race. It was rad…and kind…and fun. Now to see what kindness comes.

All I could think about the entire time I ran was how much my kids would have loved it…so I picked up a few packets of color and some white t-shirts and took the party home.

Pass this mission idea on to anyone in San Diego, Vancouver, Columbus or any of the other upcoming race dates because kindness seems to be the perfect match for this rad run…like so perfect they should get married and have babies together! Thanks Color Me Rad- RVA loves you!

so very sorry to anyone that we missed at the run today…please e-mail me at patience@kindnessgirl.com and I would love to send you one of the little mission packs we gave out today! 

Have you ever been on a road trip with a small child? or children?!! There is a whole science to packing, timing leaving, napping, snacks…and yet even at your best, there will be a moment when you will have to stop because no one can take even one more minute in the car. together.

And this is the moment you need a little travel grace. and joy. and busy little hands and minds.

As we are about to take an an 18 hour car trip ourselves, I was remembering the year my mom made these awesome travel kits for a road trip to Pennsylvania for a family reunion. Every few hours we got to pull a new activity out and I will never forget the Snoopy doll with the changeable outfits- it’s burned in my kid that-was-amazing memory. While we don’t have any 80’s Snoopy figures to hand out we thought there might be a trail of kindness we can leave for harried mothers and bored children that might become part of their trip memories.

Kate over at Mini-eco made these fantastic paper beads that I have loved using for kindness projects over the years. They are super easy to make and so visually gratifying. Head on over there for instructions- they really only require some colored paper, glitter glue and a stick. My kids love making them with me.

We grabbed some clear cello bags, brown paper, string , ribbon and threw in a Kindness Changes Everything sticker (so friends could find us or pass the kindness on) and made these little project packs for kids.

I tied a little square at the end of each beading string to avoid the kid drama of making the entire necklace and then letting go of one side and having the beads go all over the car seat- never to be found again among old french fries and dried up carrot sticks.

I also included 2 strings in some of the packets just in case there was a sibling, because how much would it suck if you found this little gift and then had 2 kids fighting over it?! Kindness trip FAIL!

I wrote a different note or message on each but most said something like this:

This Is For YOU! 

Dear mother traveling a long distance with small children,

may this busy little hands and bring some joy as you travel.

Now it’s your turn to pass on another act of kindness! 

Some started with:

Are your kids going nuts yet? Are YOU? Need something to do right about now? 

If you aren’t sure what to write, here is a download for some labels to attach to your kindness project! They fit on a 3.75 x 6 inch cello bag.

Here is the tag! They fit 3 to a sheet to print:

Other ideas for tiny project kits:

stickers and small squares of paper

tattoos

small games and activity print outs

colored pencils and small homemade books

Leave these little kits at rest stops, changing stations, benches, airports, trains, gas stations….any where a family might discover them. Let your kids do the hiding! Have fun!

May you have smooth, easy, happy car rides, even in the 15th hour and lots of kindness on your travels!

they’re back!

May 15, 2012

photo by Erin Spengeman

Almost everyday I get an e-mail asking about the Kindness Changes Everything stickers my friend and artist Suzanne Vinson created as the beginning of our Soulsisterhood. I am happy to tell you they are back, along with a bunch of new ideas for more art, more soulful living and more kindness in the world. Suzanne and I keep getting together and we’re all, “What if we did this?”, followed by a, “OOOooooo, YEAH! and THIS….” and I leave each talk with a bursting heart and mind. We can’t stop planning and dreaming…and being late for preschool pick-up. It’s so, so sweet…and I am learning so much along the way.

So you can get them here…still the same price ($3 for 5 and we’ll send 5 more for you to pass on) and all funds go into The Soulsister Jar of Kindness to fund more kindness projects.

The jar is almost full… so today we would love to share with you that for our first Kindness event we will be creating a gathering of women for a time of total soul care…for women that are working really hard and have given every last part of themselves, for those that need a space to just be, for women that need a nourishment they don’t even know about, for women that need to receive what they have given…sound like you? We don’t know who or when yet? but we know where and what it will look like…we’ll keep you posted.

Until then, consider this our invitation:

Welcome to the Tribe…a soulsister gathering of care.

AND…on to the new! We also have a 5×5 limited edition print of Kindness Changes Everything  just like the sticker (but bigger) for those that want to keep the kindness a little closer or leave something a little bigger! You can order it here.

AND we wanted to run something by you all! Someone asked us if we would be willing to translate the Kindness Changes Everything into other languages and go global with our sticker love! We thought it was a fantastic idea and started working on it but ran into a few questions…we thought maybe you all could help us.

For all our Spanish speaking/Spanish loving friends (and anyone else that loves to share opinions!):

Does the translation have the same ring and feel?

If we made this into a sticker, would you want to share it? Is there a need/desire?

What is the first word/thought/idea/feeling that came to your mind when you saw it?

Thank you so much for all the sticker love and friendship! We are so excited to see where this next batch ends up and the stories and kindness that will follow!

xo,

Suzanne & Patience

I’ve never sold anything on or through Kindnessgirl, I have protected the site pretty fiercely over the years simply because I always wanted the heart and intent of this life and work to be crystal clear. I’m not a non-profit, I fund all my own kindness projects (although kind friends have put a $10 bill in my hand occasionally, left supplies on my doorstep or stamps for mailing when they know I took on too much) and I work 2-3 part time jobs (outside of my kindness work) to contribute to my family’s needs to live and thrive. And I can’t tell you how, but somehow I have all I need and nothing more, which I love.

Part of me knows on some level, this is not sustainable (4 kids, 3 jobs, speaking gigs, community projects and kindness work) but I don’t exactly know what the next step will look like for me or how money even fits into all of this. So I was a wee bit nervous about attaching money to this sticker project but Suzanne was the perfect partner to take this leap with. We both wanted her art and the message of kindness out into the world, and with just a little start up cash, we knew we could at least put it out to see if  our intuition was on and the universe felt the same…and it felt appropriate that if that were so (via profits), that the kindness travel even further…to more art, more kindness.

So here is what happened and what we learned:

1. You guys LOVE stickers and kindness…we actually sold out before noon the first day but put a rush on another print order that same day! We were so engrossed in putting the packaging together, I accidentally worked us right through lunch…never even realized- it was all just so pretty and my kindness ADHD brain was going a mile a minute.
2. We figured out how to be kind and NOT be vandals- We didn’t plan this but the stickers are scored on the back in 3 lines so you can peel just one off, and leave the sticker sticky on something. Then it can be taken or peeled off easily when someone finds it.
Doesn’t seem like it just fits here at the ATM?!
3. We overestimated how much shipping would cost- we were delighted to discover that the shipping was indeed much cheaper than anticipated so we will be contacting those of you with bigger orders to make that right. So sorry for the learning curve (we adjusted it since).
As for the smaller orders- it may not be time or cost effective to return $1 so in honor of you fellow soulsisters, we will be Ding Dong Ditching flowers to 3-4 women we know that may need a little love and kindness this week with the shipping overflow of funds.
4. SOOooooo we are still deciding what to do with the Soulsister Jar Fund of Kindness but we will let you know ASAP when we do, and it may just involve some kindness back to you all. (all funds will go back into kindness projects, no personal profits will be taken)  We are just so excited so many of you decided to join us in this project! Not sure of the total number in the fund but will report soon!  Thank you…your notes, your names, putting together your packages,  each part made it so fun for us.
5. There are about 10 sticker sets left and then we will close this project out…but don’t worry if you didn’t get some, there will be another collaboration of art and kindness in the future- maybe even soon. (ETA- we just SOLD out!) 
And if you really, really wanted some but just didn’t have the funds right now- I reserved 3 sets for 3 special folks, please e-mail me at patience@kindnessgirl.com and I will send some your way.
6. Don’t forget to upload your pics of whatever you decide to do with your stickers to the Silver Tree Art Facebook page and leave us a comment here telling us what city or place you left them…you never know the power of google and who might try to find us, even without our names/site left on the sticker.  (or you can e-mail the pics to patience@kindnessgirl.com and we’ll make a slide show!)
blissed out from kindness, packaging, being kind vandals and more…
xo,
P & S