Plant Only Love!

As we head outdoors into the gardens and flower beds with springtime now, let’s also carry this wonderful thought along from the 13th century poet Rumi, below.

In the garden of life, plant only love wherever you may go, and watch it blossom.  Wishing everyone a wonderful and Happy Mother’s Day weekend! — Jim (and Red!)

Quote- Love 25

Quotes of Note– “You Can Fly!”

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.”

― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Quote- Flying

Quote- Positivity- Fly 1


Old-fashioned, Family-friendly Stories and Fun for All Ages and Fitness Levels!
Join us for an Adventure in the beautiful Ozarks Mountain Country!

New Year Resolutions Woodland Style | Sylva Fae

New Year’s Resolutions.  Most people prepare them.  Few seem to stick with them more than a month or so.  Even fewer complete them.  My very talented writer friend Sylva Fae has prepared her New Year’s Resolutions in an extraordinary way.   My money is on her to see them thru, too.

Please visit Sylva’s blog thru the link below to view her delightful take on resolutions for the New Year!

New Year Resolutions Woodland Style | Sylva Fae.

Major Oak-- 1000 Year Old Major Oak Tree in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire. by VJLF on  Flickr

Major Oak– 1000 Year Old Major Oak Tree in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire. by VJLF on Flickr

Steampunk Ripples & Bearpunk Pranks!

The Christmas and Holiday Season is all about giving and sharing. Kindness. Stories of random acts of kindness and their far-reaching effects are in the news every day this time of year. But they are there the rest of the year, too. We just need to look for them. When one does an act of kindness, passes along a smile, compliment, comforting touch or gesture, there is no telling how far the positive effects may reach. It could change someone’s day. It could change a life. It could change the world. It’s all about– ripples.

So I thought it would be appropriate and fun to share a few treasured gifts received from some very good friends this year- the artist Christine Southworth and her daughter, the writer Sylva Fae.  And– ripples.

As modern times and the internet would have it, Christine and Sylva are two wonderful, charming people who I have never had the pleasure to actually meet in person yet, but who have nevertheless inspired and influenced my life over the past year in a very positive way thru their shared artworks and writings. Which makes it all even more incredible. It is a perfect example of creating ripples, and watching a single act multiply and impact others one by one in turn.

Mother Teresa Quote-- Ripples

Mother Teresa Quote– Ripples

Earlier in the year, I wrote a blog post titled “Expand Your Horizons on a Walk Around the Block!” After reading that post, which apparently resonated with her, Christine gifted me back an original drawing, entitled “Milson, the Steampunk Bear.” This drawing has since been the featured image on my blog here, on the right. Needless to say, I was blown away by her talent, kindness and generosity.

"Milson, the Steampunk Bear"- Original Art by Christine Southworth

“Milson, the Steampunk Bear”- Original Art by Christine Southworth

A few months later, having fun, Christine’s daughter Sylva surprised me with a poem inspired by the drawing “Milson, the Steampunk Bear.” I would like to share that poem with you here. Again, I was amazed with such a wonderful and creative gift, totally out of the blue. Other bears mentioned in the poem were inspired by earlier creations of mine, available for review in the Gallery, linked above.


“Hello! I’m Milson the steampunk bear. No other bear can compare.

I’m quirky, fluffy but beware, I have a secret– “Shhh, don’t share!”

When all the grown-ups go to sleep, down the stairs, I do creep.

Through the catflap, quietly sneak, across the step with one big leap.

In sun or rain or snowy weather, I wear my hat with jaunty feather.

Goggles and specs I wear together, with studded boots of shiny leather.

I grab my bike from garden glade, for my nightly escapade.

A steampunk biker renegade, ready for the bear parade.

Meeting at the dead of night, Old Glory bears reunite.

It really is quite a sight, Hats on, pegs up. Hold on tight!

There’s Butterscotch Spike on his brass heart bike.

Horace revs a vintage trike, and Sidecar Elsie’s quite a tyke.

Grumpy Gus on a golden chopper, Old Boone loves his ride in copper.

Gaarrth’s a steamcycle whopper, and Tuffie’s trike is good ‘n’ proper.

All the rest in leather and lace, come and join the bearpunk race.

Engines roar as bears give chase, and Grumpy Gus takes first place.

Taking off at lightning speed, a steampunk cycle is my steed.

I know I can, I will succeed. Head down, ears back, I take the lead.

Engine off, put on the brake. The trophy is mine to take.

We feast on mead and fruity cake, then home before the grown-ups wake.”

—by Sylva Fae

 Earlier this week for my birthday, Christine gifted me with another piece of artwork—“Milson the Steampunk Bear Finishes the ‘Go Anywhere, Do Anything’ Chair.” That’s him, the little bear with the wrench in his hand on the bottom right. I was honored to receive such a gift- again. We have had an ongoing discussion thru the week as to whether “housework” might be included in the “Do Anything” operating manual.

"Milson, the Steampunk Bear Finishes the 'Go Anywhere, Do Anything' Chair"- original artwork by Christine Southworth

“Milson, the Steampunk Bear Finishes the ‘Go Anywhere, Do Anything’ Chair”- original artwork by Christine Southworth

Already inspired and moved to action from the original drawing and poem, this latest piece served to reinforce the message. It has been received, loud and clear, and it seemed time for “Milson the Steampunk Bear” to take form.

This little guy is the first of some new Bearpunk patterns and of what will be a whole new line of work and creations, as “Steampunk Bearpunk Bears and Accessories” will make their way into my store after the first of the year. While a departure from the Traditional, Vintage and Country Primitive stylings I have been making, they will be a fun new complement and addition. And if this first fellow- “Milson, the Steampunk Bear” is any indication, it’s going to be a blast working on them!

And it all started from a Blog post, which moved an artist an ocean away to create a drawing, which inspired a daughter to create a poem, which in turn led to the creation of another artwork, which led me out of my own comfort zone and to the creation of new teddy bear designs and store line. Which hopefully leads to more enjoyment and fun for who knows how many more folks in the coming years. A single ripple reaching distant shores and flowing back. And back. And back. If ever undecided about doing an act of kindness for someone—do it. You never know whose world you may be changing.

Here is a link to visit Sylva’s delightful blog → “Sylvanian Ramblings Blog”

Christine is a frequent contributor of original watercolor paintings and other artworks on Sylva’s blog, just look thru earlier posts for beautiful artwork and delightful posts by Sylva there. You can learn more about Christine in a recent Guest Post on Sylva’s blog here → “Christine Southworth Guest Blog Post”

In other news, Red and I are also hard at work finishing his first short story collection for release in the New Year—“The Adventures of Little Red Bear.” Hopefully more ripples. Busy times here. Making waves!

It’s the Holiday Season. Kindness. Sharing. Join in, have fun and go make some ripples of your own!  It just takes one act or moment of kindness to get the whole progression started.   And sometimes, as in a simple blog post, you don’t really know what ripples you may be setting in motion and what may come back to you in the process.

Sending Ripples Into The World

Sending Ripples Into The World

Thanks as always for reading and following along. Very best wishes from Little Red Bear and I, and the whole gang of critters and story folk here for a very Happy, Healthy and Joyous Holiday Season! — Jim (and Red!)

Milson, the Steampunk Bear-- German Mohair, Glass Eyes, by James Milson, 2014

Milson, the Steampunk Bear– German Mohair, Glass Eyes, by James Milson, 2014


Expand Your Horizons on a Walk Around the Block!

Traveling “out” for adventure to exotic locales and far off places is a wonderful thing, and I highly recommend it. Traveling to new lands, experiences and cultures is unsurpassed in expanding our horizons and awareness.

The Adventure Mouse

The Adventure Mouse

But if limited in travel funds or abilities, one can do all the things this little mouse is looking for right where they are. Adventure is to be found every day if you are looking for it. Just open your mind and the door, and then step outside.  Enjoy the fresh air, listen to the birds and the breeze in rustling leaves on the trees.  Find animal shapes in the clouds.  Be with nature.

Adventures, new experiences and wonderful people filled with positive energy can be found on a walk around the block. Be open to new people and experiences. A good old-fashioned, friendly “Good morning!” or “Hey, how ya doin’?” can open the door to wondrous new people and adventures. Join the “Smile and Compliment” club. Be willing to take the first step in starting up a conversation. You never know where it may lead and what path it may take you down. Greet everyone with hopeful expectation.

Every individual is a world of personal knowledge, experience and education all to themselves, complete with their own history, culture and story, standing right in front of you or across the room. One needs only to be open and listen. And in the process, you may make a new friend. And one can never have too many of those. And you may find yourself beginning your next new journey in life, carried on the winds of exploration!

So go have an adventure. No need to wait. Step outside and do it now. There’s a whole world waiting right outside the door. Take a walk around the block and see what discoveries are to be made right where you are.

Winnie the Pooh on an Adventure with Piglet

Winnie the Pooh on an Adventure with Piglet


The Best Laid Plans of Mice

Happy Monday!  Some folks look forward to Mondays with the same dread and pensive anticipation of a root canal or arrival of the next great plague.  The first Facebook post I saw this morning was another one of those trite “Today if F’ing Monday Again!” images.  That’s sad.    Here’s the deal.  If you really– really– enjoy what you are doing, then each Monday is greeted with the same excitement level as Christmas morning, unwrapping new opportunities and adventures under the tree.  If you’re not really happy about the start of a new week of promise and adventure, then it is time to address that and consider making a change.  It has to do with that whole “life is short” thing.

I was jarringly reminded of this on Friday evening, when one of my children (young adult) was suddenly thrust into a totally unexpected, potentially life threatening and life altering medical emergency.  It has been a very long, stressful, sleepless and anxiety filled weekend.  I am delighted and relieved to report that with the grace of God things are improving and pointing in the right direction now, but with a lot of questions and issues still to be determined.  Cautious optimism and prayers.

New Blog features promised for this week may be delayed a bit while we regroup.  I’m sure you understand.   Life plans can change in a heartbeat.  “The best laid plans of Mice” kind of thing, as Douglas Adams said in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”.  If you have not started reading it yet, you really should.  And remember to always have your trusty towel at hand.  Mine was invaluable over the weekend, to be sure.  Maybe we will have a discussion on the vital importance of towels at some point, but now is not the time.  Now is the time for healing in our family, and getting things back on track.  Reworking plans.

The point is, don’t take anything in your life for granted– your family, loved ones, health, job, work or passions.  We never really know what life has in store, or what the next day, hour, or minute will bring.  So if you are suffering from the “Monday blahs” and miserable what you are doing– fix it.  Life is too short to dread the arrival of every new week, and going thru every day counting down the hours until the next weekend.  Don’t waste today, because we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow.  Be happy, live for today and look forward to every new day as if it were Christmas morning.  Don’t just exist– LIVE!  Don’t take life for granted, passing thru time in a semi-conscious awareness and state.  Enjoy, savor and delight in  every moment, for each one is a gift.  We only need to realize it.  Unwrap each new day with child-like excitement!  Happy Monday, y’all.

1920s 1930s Farm Boy Wearing Straw Hat And Overalls Sitting On Log With Spotted Dog Fishing