Essence of Daffodil in Watercolor

Essence of Daffodil in Watercolor – 11×14

Essence of Daffodil in Watercolor.

The daffodils in my yard are shooting up and on the verge of bursting open.

Spring is such an exciting time!  It seems there is something new to see every day.  Bright yellow daffodils will soon be the star of the show in our front yard leading the way for the forsythia and maple tree buds and leaves and the grass turning green.

Charlie is enjoying napping in the warm sunshine on the deck or in the grass instead of curling up in bed.

The birds are singing and the turkeys are gobbling.

What could be more enchanting and welcoming than the beginning of Spring?

Besides the turning of leaves in Autumn….
or the first snowfall in Winter….
or the first bare feet in the grass in Summer?

In honor of the daffodils, I painted this very loose and dreamy watercolor I call, “Essence of Daffodils.”

If you like it, the original, as well as prints and cards are available in our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy shop, and I’ve added it to our Society6 shop on pillows and other fun decor and accessories.  If you are local, you can find our work at Berry Vine Gifts in BradfordWoods, PA.

Happy Daffodil Days!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

 

 

Brussels Slaw

Brussels Slaw.

Who is a Brussels Sprouts fan?

Yes?  No?  Not sure?  Maybe not?

I was chatting with a friend at work last week that said she doesn’t like Brussels Sprouts, but said she wondered how they would be raw in a coleslaw like salad.  She commented that she likes cabbage in coleslaw, but not cooked cabbage.

It got me thinking…..  I am a Brussels sprout fan…. adore them roasted….  but I, too, wondered how they would be shredded and served raw in a slaw-type salad.

Then the universe poked me with a nudge, when I saw bags of  Shaved Brussels at my local Whole Foods Market!  

I bought a bag for me and a bag for my friend.

Trying to eat healthier these days, I decided on a vinaigrette slaw.  My friend made a creamy version using Marzetti slaw dressing, and she and her family loved it.


Here is the recipe for how I made mine.  Hope you will give it a try!

Brussels Slaw

Ingredients:

  • 1 12oz bag Shaved Brussels Sprouts (or you can slice/shave your own)
  • 1/4 cup finely minced onion
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. Sugar (or sweetener)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix all together and let marinade in refrigerator for at least a half hour before serving.

You can change it up by adding sliced almonds or chopped apples or anything else you like.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Right Before Dawn

Right before dawn from my back window. Mars, PA March, 2019

Right Before Dawn.

The trees stretch their branches
and wiggle their trunks
and spread their roots
right before dawn
as if to say,
“Wake up!
It’s a wonderful new day!”

I sip my coffee
and stretch my arms
and wiggle my toes
and gaze outside
wondering how I earned
this undeserved privilege
to be right here right now.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

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