MAXINE BILLINGS, Photographer & Author

Fine Art Photography Inspired By Natural Creation & Wholesome Reading For Your Family's Entertainment



Thanks to the generosity of so many people, my win for this week is that I reached my goal to become a VIDA Gold Status Designer by my one-year anniversary as a VIDA designer!!! This means I have sold my first 50 pieces from my Collection!!! WOW!!! I am beyond excited!!!


In VIDA and its designers’ endeavor to bring you beautiful, inspiring apparel and accessories, we also provide literacy programs to our makers which help them to learn to read, write, and do basic math and build a better life for generations to come. VIDA also rewards our customers with VIDA gift cards and awesome, regular sales. And last (but not least), they reward us designers by featuring and showcasing our work on their social media pages and home page and with VIDA gift cards as well.

Thank you again so much to all of you who helped me to reach my goal!!! And as always, this is from my heart ❤ to yours ❤ !!!

Maxine 🙂

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VIDA SCARF (SIGNATURE-MIDNIGHT BUTTERCUPS) 5.jpgIn order to reach VIDA Gold status, I need to sell ten more products from my collection which means I will have sold 50 pieces total!!! I will then be featured on VIDA’s home page and will receive a $100 VIDA gift card. In addition, all customers who purchased my last 25 pieces will receive a $15 VIDA gift card.

Remember: When you purchase from VIDA, not only are you getting an elaborate piece of art to add to your fashion or home design, but you are also contributing to VIDA’s Literacy For Life program which helps our makers learn to read, write, do basic math and also build better lives for generations to come.

As always, this is from my heart ❤ to yours ❤ !

Maxine 🙂

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My two VIDA tote bags arrived yesterday! My “Peppermint Rose” and my favorite little titmouse bird, “Who You Lookin’ At?

Don’t forget that when you shop VIDA, you also help us support our LITERACY FOR LIFE program. We provide literacy programs to the makers of our products. They learn to read, write, and do basic math which helps them to build better lives for generations to come.

To shop my collection, just click on the links in this post. And as always, this is from my heart ❤ to yours ❤ !

Maxine 🙂

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MODEL (VIDA) NANCY (PAULA'S SWANS SHEER WRAP) CROPPED.jpgMeet gorgeous Nancy! She’s modeling her VIDA Sheer Wrap, “Paula’s Swans,” from my VIDA Collection.

Whether out on the town or at the beach, this light and airy piece makes the perfect go-to accessory to style any summer outfit. Wear it with your favorite pair of jeans or slip on over a swimsuit for a chic, standout look. Each piece is uniquely designed and custom-printed.

Click the link above in “Paula’s Swans” to order yours now. To shop my entire collection, click here.

As always, this is from my heart to yours !

Maxine 🙂





Please help me welcome the newest addition to the BOOKS page of my author Web site, Annette Bentley Smith (aka Mrs. Annie)!!! 🙂 ❤

Mrs. Smith is a children’s author whose latest release NYRAH’S BULLY focuses on how to be a friend instead of a bully.

To find her on my BOOKS page, just scroll down to the bottom of the page. Links to some of her sites are also included for your benefit.

Welcome again, Mrs. Annie, and thank you so much for allowing me to include you on my site. Continued best wishes to you!!!

As always, this is from my heart ❤ to yours ❤ !

Maxine 🙂




Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior toward another person that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. It includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. Also, in our age of modern technology, it also includes cyberbullying.

Sadly, children can be the victims of bullies, the ones doing the bullying, or witnesses of this hurtful behavior. I personally know what it’s like to be bullied because as a young child, I was a victim.

A very dear friend of mine, children’s author Annette Bentley Smith, has just recently released her anti-bullying book. Although it is a children’s book, it is also geared toward families, which is so important because children who are victims of this horrific behavior need all the support they can get but especially from their families.


To purchase your Kindle edition and/or paperback copy of Ms. Smith’s new release or any of her other books, please click here to visit her Mrs. Annie’s Books Facebook page.

Also, to read up on bullying and how you can prevent it and respond to it, click here to visit the official site of the Stop Bullying website page.

As always, this is from my heart ❤ to yours <3!

Maxine 🙂



BABY CRAWLINGYou may have seen Domino’s Pizza’s latest television commercial where they say, “Failure is an option.” Initially, I felt that it would be bad for business for them to admit that, but now, I think it’s a great advertisement.  No one wants to be a failure, but let’s face it–we are all imperfect humans who make mistakes from time to time.  (Rom. 3:23; Rom. 5:12)  Even the most brilliant, smart, and well-educated person is not without some failings.

QUESTION: Does a baby walk before it crawls?  Usually not.  But even though I don’t know of any who have, I’m not saying there are some who haven’t–because for all I know, there may very well be some out there (in this day and age, just about anything is possible.)  Maybe they just skipped the crawling stage altogether and went straight to walking in the later months of their lives.  Or perhaps there are other reasons.  I don’t know.

We’re all like babies in a sense, don’t you think, in that we all learn, grow, and mature at our own individual pace?  Everything we know in life, we know because we learned it.  For some people, it seems like they were just born with natural talents and abilities.  It may be that it takes them hardly any effort to accomplish the things they do while another person may have to struggle to succeed in the same, a similar, or a different area.  On the other hand, the one who seems to be weak in certain areas could perform better at some things than the seemingly more talented individual.  Either way, this, in my opinion, is one of the times when failure is an option because how will we ever know what we can accomplish if we do not try?  Is it better to simply say, “I can’t do it,” without even trying?  Or should we at least give it an attempt first?  Then if we fail, we can either choose to keep trying or give up.  Whether or not a person decides to pursue his goals is his own personal decision, but when we don’t put forth the needed effort, we won’t know what we could have done.

Could it be that we’re afraid to be called or considered a failure?  It’s human nature, to a certain extent, to care about how others view us, but I have learned that if I take offense to everything everyone says and does to me in life, I will never be happy.  So, no, everyone may not like everything we attempt to do in our lives, but peace, joy, and satisfaction can come to us when we know that we put our best foot forward and gave it our all–even if it means sometimes, someone taking us by the hands and helping us like a parent does his son or daughter when they start learning to walk.  And if we stick with it, the next thing we know, we’ll be sailing on our own.








As always, this is from my heart to yours,