Favorite Smells

Favorite Smells.

Dew kissed lilacs, hyacinths, and honeysuckle.
Baking bread, popping popcorn,  and sizzling bacon.
Freshly mown grass, bed sheets hung out to dry, and rain.
Babies’ bellies, toes, and shampooed hair.
Strong coffee, brand new books,  and the salty ocean.

Yesterday I took a little time to “art” on a rainy Saturday afternoon.
Drawing and sketching is not my strength at all, but I felt like doing it,
so I sketched a  bottle of my favorite fragrance.

I then splashed on a little water and yellow ochre watercolor paint
as I gear up for World Watercolor Month in July.

Can anyone guess what my favorite fragrance is?

Hope your day is full of favorites.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

#WorldWatercolorMonth

 

Breaking Free

Breaking Free in Blues Abstract 11×14 Arches 140lb Cold Press

Breaking Free.

Three months ago,
when I lost a job I loved
that I thought would be my last,
I was devastated.
I was broken free.

Two months ago,
I started a new job that I now love
and hope will be my last,
and I am so energized.
It is like breaking free.

Over the past few months,
I’ve started exploring new art mediums –
in my “life in between
from watercolor to acrylic to mixed media.
I am breaking free.

This painting,
done over two days this past week
combining these old and new mediums
feels like I am expressing
the elation of breaking free.

And I love it….
The painting….
The joy…
The freedom…
Yes – I’m breaking free!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

This original painting – as well as high quality prints and card sets – is available at our McKinneyX2Designs ETSY Shop!

AND PS  I’m so excited to let you know the Yellow Canary McKinneyX2Designs World Watercolor Month Limited Edition Pouch is NOW AVAILABLE!!!   Here is the link to order yours!  Hope you will help support Dreaming Zebra –  a nonprofit encouraging children to embrace their individuality to express themselves creatively and follow their artistic dreams.  100% of the proceeds for the sale of this Limited Edition Pouch will help provide art and music supplies to underprivileged children throughout the world.

Happy Father’s Day

Father and Daughter and Red Balloon Watercolor 11×14

Happy Father’s Day.

Happy Father’s Day to my Dad.
So glad we have the opportunity to make up for lost time.

Happy Father’s Day to my Hubby.
Sharing parenthood with you has been one of my life’s greatest joys.

Happy Father’s Day to my Son.
Watching you be a dad melts my heart.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 I painted this watercolor to create a card for my Dad for Father’s Day.  I wanted to create a feeling with art that represents a bond that can’t be broken.  The bond between a father and daughter.  A representation of the feeling of being Daddy’s little girl – no matter age or time.  Love you Dad. xoxox

World Watercolor Month 2018 – I’m an Artist Ambassador!

World Watercolor Month 2018 – I’m an Artist Ambassador!

My amazing buddy, Charlie O’Shields at Doodlewash is at it again!  He is hosting the annual World Watercolor Month celebration in July, which he created three years ago to inspire people to paint with watercolor while raising awareness for the importance of art and creativity in the world.

Art has brought me so much joy since I discovered watercolor about three years ago that I want to be a part of sharing it, so Charlie honored me with the privilege of being a World Watercolor Month Art Ambassador.

For the month of July, I will be donating $1 from every watercolor sale (originals, prints, greeting cards) from our McKinneyX2Designs ETSY shop to Dreaming Zebra which helps support children in need around the world by providing art supplies and art education.Research has shown that art education has a tremendous impact on the developmental growth of every child and has proven to help level the learning field across socioeconomic boundaries. Unfortunately, arts education programs are too often the first to be cut when cuts are made, so more and more children each year are missing out on the important benefits of art classes.

The Dreaming Zebra Foundation is unique in that they provide an art recycling program that is free to the public. Reusable art & music supplies that would otherwise be discarded, along with new or unsold materials, are donated by individuals and businesses and matched to recipients who have requested those materials for arts education purposes in communities around the world.

And Charlie chose my Yellow Canary, which I created in honor and memory of a special blogging friend, Terry, as the MX2 watercolor to be put on this year’s limited edition Artist Ambassador zippered pouch souvenier merchandise for World Watercolor Month 2018.  100% of the proceeds from the purchase of these zippered pouches will go to the Dreaming Zebra Foundation!

To learn more about World Watercolor Month, click here.

I’ll be sharing more in July, which is only 17 days away – can you believe it?!  Hope you will join us in the fun!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

#WorldWatercolorMonth

What is the Answer?

Foggy Morning – Mars, PA – June 2018

What is the answer?

What are the questions?

Why is it happening?

What can we do?

The recent suicides of two very famous people last week – Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain  – have brought back a lot of memories for me and have had me thinking a lot.

Those of you who have been around here for a while may recall I lost my brother to suicide a year and a half ago.  He took his life two days after Christmas on December 27, 2016 by stepping in front of a train.  He left a note stating “no Clarence for me.”

There are moments – some clumped together in periods longer than others – that I dwell in the sorrow.

I want to have some magical answer…. some greatly insightful advice.

I don’t want to just talk about it.  I don’t want to just be sad.  I want to declare the solution.  I want to shout out the answer.  I want to rid the world of this grief.

But I can’t find it.

Except to say let’s love one another.

Let’s be there for one another.

Let’s hug.

Let’s listen.

Let’s support each other.

Let’s hold each other up… allow others to lean on us, and allow ourselves to lean on others.

Let’s embrace our humanity.

Let’s accept each other.

Let’s accept ourselves.

Let’s belong to each other and to this world.

We are each here for a purpose.

Let us seek and declare and own that.

You are loved.

Keep on keepin’ on.

Love,
Jodi

A Blue Pineapple for a Baby Girl Nursery

Blue Pineapple Watercolor 11X14

A Blue Pineapple for a Baby Girl Nursery.

I had a commissioned request to do a turquoisey-blue pineapple to go with a pink flamingo for a baby girl’s nursery.

Pink Flamingo Watercolor 11×14

Sweet new mommy-to-be, Sarah, reached out to me through our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy shop and asked if I could do my pineapple in blues and paint her an original pink flamingo – with a couple dabs of gold in each if possible.

I have been having so much fun pouring acrylic abstracts lately, it was a mind-shift to gently and neatly “splash” in watercolor, but it came back like riding a bike, and I truly enjoyed creating these original pieces in 11×14 for a sweet baby girl’s nursery.

I love the fun, creative ways new parents are decorating nurseries now, and this nursery is sure to be adorable.

Wishing you a day that is colored with turquoisey-blue pineapples, bright pink flamingoes, and dabs of gold!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Berry Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

Berry Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing.

Want to really make a statement and add a kick to your next fruit salad?

Mix strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and red raspberries in a bowl.

Add the zest and juice of one ripe lime and drizzle with 2-3 Tbsp of honey.

Stir berry gently, and enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Bloom, Blossom, Grow

Hanging Basket – Mars, PA

Bloom… Blossom… Grow.

Bloom boldy…
Blossom confidently…
Grow unceasingly.

Be the You
You were meant
to be.

Beautiful, blooming,
blossoming
You.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

PS  If you are local to the Pittsburgh area, be sure to check out JJ McKinney Family Farm, where I purchased this gorgeous hanging basket.

Sour Cream Pecan Coffee Cake

Sour Cream Pecan Coffee Cake.

I’ve been meaning to share this recipe for quite some time.  It is my most favorite coffee cake recipe to date.

I can pass on a brownie or a chocolate chip cookie, but put a piece of coffee cake in front of me………. and forget it!  I can’t resist.

This recipe was shared with me from a super sweet guy I used to work with.   His aunt makes it for him every year for his birthday – at his request – and he was always kind enough to bring it to the office to share.

The recipe card Steve copied to share with me is dated March, 1969.  Almost as old as me!

It’s a classic, and it’s definitely a keeper!

The crunchy ribbon of cinnamony pecans that runs through the middle of this buttery, tender cake seals the deal!

Here is the recipe Steve shared with me that I slightly adjusted:

Sour Cream Pecan Coffee Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup salted butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 2 cups + 4 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease and flour 9″ tube pan.

Cream butter and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Fold in vanilla and sour cream.  Fold in baking powder, salt, and flour.

Combine remaining 4 Tbsp sugar, with chopped pecans and cinnamon.

Place half of batter in tube pan.  Sprinkle with nut mixture.  Top with remaining batter.

Bake 50-60 minutes.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi