Spring has Sprung!

Spring has Sprung!

Today is the first full day of Spring, and oh how ready I am to welcome it!

It may still be a little brown and chilly outside, but I put the snowies away and brought out the flowers and bunnies and birds.

I got this sweet tray and floral and bunny from my friend Anne’s Farmhouse Primitives shop at Berry Vine Gifts.

The amazing candle is from Antique Candle Co. in the most luscious fragrance of Country Pear by Cotton Stem.  It is one of the most wonderful smelling candles I have ever had!

These little bunnies are from a recent trip to Hobby Lobby.

And I love this Springy green wreath I also found in Anne’s shop at Berry Vine Gifts.  It replaced the cotton stem wreath I had here for Winter.

And what do you think of this fun little stack of books I made?  I’ve been seeing them on Instagram on a few feeds I follow, and it turns out I had everything needed to make them myself.  In fact, I might be making more to sell at Berry Vine Gifts and through our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy shop.  So many possibilities of quotes and personalized messages can be made.  For my first try, I did my favorite life message, “Cherish the Moments.”

Welcome Spring!

Breathe in the fresh air.

Soak in the warmth of sunshine.

Bloom and blossom like the flowers.

Whistle a happy tune with a spring in your step.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

 

An Enthusiast in Life

Spring Floral Fantasy Watercolor 11×14

An Enthusiast in Life.

I LOVE this quote by Roald Dahl, and it sparked my enthusiasm to paint boldly and brightly and enthusiastically in watercolor recently.

“Listening to my father during those early years, I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. He taught me that if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good. Hot is no good, either. White hot and passionate is the only thing to be.”

Roald Dahl, My Uncle Oswald

I feel a bit out of practice as I’ve been doing other projects lately, but it was fun to splash watercolor again.

My daughter-in-law, Colleen and I are enthusiastically embracing a new project, which I’ll update you on as we go, but we are expanding our McKinneyX2Designs space at the local gift shop where we display our products, Berry Vine Gifts in Bradford Woods.

For today, however, I hope you will consider this quote, and enthusiastically embrace whatever YOU are passionate about!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

 

Charlie’s Irish Blessing


Charlie’s Irish Blessing:  A St. Patrick’s Day Special.

May the road be cleared of snow and ice
so we can go for walks.
May the wind be full 
of wonderful scents to savor and sniff and smell.
May the sun shine warm
upon my fur for taking afternoon naps.
May the rain fall softly everywhere else,
except in my yard when I need to go potty.
And, until we meet again,
may you hold lots of tasty treats
in the palm of your hand to share.

Woofs & Wags,
Charlie

PS  A very happy birthday to my brother, Nick.  May you feel 29 forever (and always remember to bring me treats and scratch my belly)!

Charlie is an adopted dog with brown eyes and a white-tipped tail who brings joy and laughter to his family and friends.  Charlie is a gifted writer, raving food critic, cat, chipmunk, and donut lover, and exceptionally photogenic model.  Some of his best friends are Mike the UPS Man, Cliff the Mailman, and ANYONE who delivers pizza to the house.   If you would like to read more guest posts by Charlie, simply type “Charlie” into the Search box at the top right hand corner of this link: thecreativelifeinbetween.com.   If you would enjoy a companion like Charlie, please consider pet adoption.

St. Patrick’s Day Pretzel Shamrocks

Pretzel Shamrocks for St. Patrick’s Day.

How FUN are these??!!

When I saw this idea on Pinterest, I knew I had to create some of these.

A few simple ingredients and two minutes in the oven make for a winner of a special holiday treat.

I had a bag of Rolos left over from Christmas, and I knew I could pull some green M&M’s out of the jar I keep full most all the time.  I had some pretzel sticks, but didn’t have mini pretzels, so that is all I had to buy.  The ones I picked up at Fresh Thyme were Gluten Free and made from rice flour, so a bit lighter color, but completely delish!

Here is the super simple “recipe.”  Do you have some friends or loved ones you’d like to share them with?

St. Patrick's Day Pretzel Shamrocks

  • Servings: as many as you like
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Mini Pretzels
  • Pretzel Sticks
  • Rolo Chocolate Candies
  • Green M&M Candies

Directions:

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.  Lay pretzels out in the shape of shamrocks on parchment paper lined baking sheet or stone.  Place a Rolo where all three pretzels meet.  Bake for 2 minutes for Rolo to soften.  Remove from oven, and press M&M in center of Rolo.  Cool completely and/or place in freezer to chill.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

There is Always Something to Smile About

There is Always Something to Smile About.

It was REALLY hard getting up for work on Monday!

In our part of the world, we started Daylight Savings Time and lost an hour of sleep Sunday morning when we had to turn the clocks forward.

Since I didn’t have to wake up at any certain time on Sunday, it was not a problem.

But when the alarm went off at 5 am on Monday, I said, “What the whaaaat?!?!

I skipped my morning treadmill routine and went back to sleep until 6 am.

Still didn’t want to get up…. but I did.

The upside to this crazy ritual is that it now stays light later, and Charlie and I were able to walk outside after work.

When Charlie and I go for a walk, we almost always take the same route, so I make it a point to always try to see something new.

It was on our way back that I spied a smiley face painted on this old tree stump that has obviously been there a while.

This was the first time I saw it.

And I smiled.

There is always something to smile about!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Painting Spring

Bold Pink and Peach Spring Tulip 11×14 Original Watercolor

Painting Spring.

It is March,
and the temperatures
are still
below freezing
where I live.

But we are
“Springing” ahead
this weekend
to daylight savings time.

Longer days,
warmer temperatures,
birds singing,
flowers blooming….

But for now,
all I can do is
paint
Spring.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Antique Card Catalog Makeover

Antique Card Catalog Makeover.

If you are anywhere near my generation, you might remember those old card catalog files in the school and public libraries.

They were these massive cabinets with a zillion drawers that numbered and alphabetized and catalogued all of the books in the library.

As I recall, we even had lessons from the librarian on how to use them to find the books we wanted (or needed) to read or use for research BC (before computers)!

Isn’t it hard to imagine a world without computers and smart phones?  Yet – many of us have lived in such a time – and amazingly survived!

My Dad and I were talking recently about “the good ole’ days.”  We refer to them often as “good,” but there are really things that are made so much better today by computers and smartphones and technology.  Unfortunately, every good and upside thing often has bad and downside typically because of abuse and overuse and addiction…..  but then… that could be a whole different topic for another day.

But – oh – back to this glorious card catalog!   Hubby actually found this beaut at a yard sale we were passing this past summer!

I recall we were driving to dinner, when he took a back road to drive by a sale he had noticed signs for, but didn’t mention to me.  We drove by, and I didn’t really notice anything (likely had my nose in my phone – GAW!).  Then Hubby hit the brakes and backed up.  I asked what happened.

He said, “You’ll see!”

We pulled into the driveway of the yard sale, and there it was…  in all of it’s gloriousness in the middle of the yard!   An antique card catalog unit!

Here is what it looked like.

Does it bring back memories?  Can you smell the wood and the little index cards?

We ended up finding out that the yard sale homeowner had just retired as a shop teacher from a school district I attended and graduated from.  When the library was getting rid of these card catalogues, they apparently threw them in the dumpsters!  Thankfully, this guy rescued one and used it for years in his shop classroom storing saw blades and nails and screws and other supplies.    Upon retirement, he decided to sell it, and I became the lucky new owner!

Hubby knew I’d been searching for one, and we thought this was a steal at $100.  It also carries sentimental value being from my school.

It sat in the garage and basement for months before I finally got around to chalk painting it.

But I finally did a few weeks ago, and I love how it turned out.

The drawers were a bit tedious (hence my procastination!), but oh so worth it in the end!

I had no idea where I was going to put it.  Hubby had his mind made up it was going in my art room to store supplies.  A GREAT idea – don’t get me wrong!  It could definitely serve a worthy purpose there, but guests rarely go to that room, and I kinda wanted to show this beauty off.

I tried it in several spots in the living room and dining room, but it really didn’t work.  It is pretty big, and our first floor is pretty full given that our back wall is all glass and fireplace and one other whole wall is built in bookshelves.

So, up to the art room it went.  And it really is right at home there!  I can’t wait to fill it with supplies, but I also couldn’t wait to share.

At the Annie Sloan chalk paint store near me (the Backdoor Furnishings), they had these adorable knobs that I knew would be perfect, and I do love them.

I used Annie Sloan Old Ochre paint and clear wax to do this project (along with lots of sand paper).


I’m looking forward to filling it up and enjoying it in my special place!

And now on to some more projects.  (Hint – one is a beautiful dressing table from 1935 that was a wedding gift to my cousin Rob’s mom that I am going to paint up for my granddaughters’ bedroom at our house.)

What projects are you working on?

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi