“Your mission,” she said, “is to go out in the world and spread a little color, connection, poetry, art or magic.”  Easy enough, right?  Well, a little less easy for an introvert like me – I knew right away what I wanted to make; it was deciding how to get my little kisses out into the world that proved more challenging.

Altogether, I made ~52 Fortune Kiss packages (like the one shown below), containing two little paper fortune cookies with inspirational quotes tucked inside (click here to find out how to make your own).  The little tag attached instructed the recipient to keep a kiss for themselves and share the other with someone else; on back, it said “In honor of Plant a Kiss Day – 4/29/2012.”

I started my mission early last week by taking a basketful of Fortune Kiss packages to my good friend Maura at My Heart’s Fancy to hand out as customers stopped by.  Easy for me, fun for Maura and sure to hit a community that would appreciate them.  As an aside, let me just say that this is THE best paper art store in Oklahoma!  If you ever come through Oklahoma City, you won’t want to miss it.  Maura has her finger firmly on the pulse of the mixed media community and is always adjusting and fine-tuning her inventory to make sure her customers have just what they’re looking for (even when they don’t know they’re looking – it’s a little dangerous that way :D).

The rest sat on my workbench and taunted me unmercifully for the rest of the week!!  I could ding-dong ditch them to my neighbors (hang them on the doorknob, ring the bell and run), I considered decorating trees in the park with them, I even thought about tying them to car antennas in the grocery store parking lot.  It was a dilemma until Maura suggested I give them out at the Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts, which just happened to end on Sunday, and I was sold!  What better place to plant a little bit of artsy love and magic than in a place where people are specifically looking for it?  And what more joyful time to do it than on the last day of the festival?!

Who do you suppose I drafted as my accomplice?  Possibly the only other person in the world who is as intimidated by approaching strangers as I am – my daughter Meg (you know that saying about the apple and the tree?).

But she was a trooper and when we discovered empty chairs just before a performance on the Cafe Stage, we knew we were in business…

We boldly placed our little packages then slipped away (shoot and scoot style) to enjoy the art!  And what a wonderful cross-section we found!!  A few artists that especially caught my eye… Kendra Baird had a series of umbrella paintings that made me think of Miss Amy KR’s yellow umbrella; Joy Richardson’s abstract splashes of color took my breath away, and Jennifer Cavan’s oil pastels were another favorite – there was a weathered sort of quality to them that I just adored.

On our way out, we passed back by the Cafe Stage and found Edgar Cruz (a local favorite of mine for MANY years) playing Bohemian Rhapsody to a packed house – now is that synchronistic or what?  We left a little love and got a whole bunch back in the form of a gorgeous (the playing AND the player 😉 ) guitar performance!!

Plus – all of the Fortune Kiss packages were gone; nary a one trampled on the ground as I had feared and, while a part of me wouldn’t have minded catching a reaction or two, I think half the fun turned out to be just putting them out there and not knowing the outcome.  I like to think the people who found our packages multiplied the gift at least by two (by giving a kiss away) and I’m dreaming about the few who were so inspired they went home to think up some wonderful way to plant a kiss of their own!!

“Kind Art” of this sort (art for no other purpose than to delight) is at the very heart of my journey in life.  I adore the idea of brightening the world in small, anonymous ways and Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s work shines the brightest of lights on that idea.  She reminds me over and over that even the simplest acts of kindness and magic can change the world.  Plant a Kiss Day was created to celebrate that message, along with Amy’s whimsical book, “Plant a Kiss,” which is beautifully illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds.

“In this gentle tale about hope, kindness, and sharing, see how one small act blooms into something grander than anyone ever could have imagined.”

And Plant a Kiss is not just for kids; it has a message of magic and hope we all need to hear, no matter what our age (click here to order a copy).

In the spirit of Amy’s work, I’m absolutely thrilled to be partnering with 15 other inspiring and creative bloggers to plant kisses all over the country.  Each of my cohorts also went into the world this past Sunday, April 29 to plant kisses in their own creative ways and, today, we’re all posting about the experience.

Not only are there some amazing stories to read, there are prizes too!  Just click here to visit the Plant a Kiss home page, where you’ll find links to all of the participating bloggers and be sure to say hello because, for every blog you comment on, your name will be entered in a drawing for prizes that include online writing, photography, or dream-building classes; coaching sessions; and artwork or jewelry.  My prize contribution (shown at top) is two-part… the winner will receive a box of ~40 Fortune Kisses to give away however you like AND one of my Connections Business Card Boxes.

So… that’s it!  Thank you for stopping by and don’t forget to leave me a comment to be entered in the drawing.  If you’ve been out in the world planting kisses, I sure would love to hear about it!  When you’re done here, click on over to read and comment on all of the other wonderful posts to increase your chances to win!

And thank you most kindly for sharing the love with us today – we are all better for it!!