April Showers

April Showers Red Umbrella Watercolor 11x14

April Showers Red Umbrella Watercolor 11×14

April Showers.

We are expecting April showers today.
That’s okay, because they will be bringing May flowers.

The daffodils and hyacinths and forsythia are already painting a bright and beautiful Spring.

I woke up early yesterday and felt like painting, but didn’t know what to paint.  Scrolling through Pinterest, I found some lovely art done by Antigoni Tziora of Greece.  This artist uses oil, acrylic, and watercolor mediums to create romantic figurative work.  I tried recreating one in just watercolor, and this is what resulted.  I’d like to try more experimenting with this.  It was a fun practice to do.

Wishing you showers of joy, love, peace, and happiness!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

 

Seeing Silly Faces

Seeing Silly Faces.

Sometimes I feel like just splashing paint and seeing what happens.

I recently played with my Brusho Crystal Paint Powders, and this is what happened.

As I looked at the painting, faces just popped out at me, so I took a black micro pen and drew them in.

Sometimes we just need to be silly and have fun while creating.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

My Second Book is Published! Lucas the Lucky Lion

Lucas the Lucky Lion and his Fun Rhyming Friends

My second book is published!  Lucas the Lucky Lion and his Fun Rhyming Friends is now available at Amazon.

Some of you may remember my first children’s book, Klaus the Mouse and other Silly Animal Tales.  I had so much fun creating it, much in part to the encouragement of this fun blogging community.

This second one was created as a follow-up to Klaus the Mouse in a way, as it evolved from friends asking for, and then me creating, characters based on my besties’ grandies similar to the watercolor paintings and rhyming stories in Klaus the Mouse.  It was a labor of love to honor these friends and their special grandchildren.

My first book was dedicated to my first granddaughter.  This one is dedicated to my second.  They are two of the greatest loves of my life!

Thank you Bubby for encouraging me every step of the way to publish this book.  Thank you Jim for that first request of Alex the Alligator and Liz the Lizard that put this whole compilation in motion.  Thank you Jill for sharing your family with mine and supporting me no matter what I do.  Thank you Joyce for your love and creative inspiration and for sharing the best of what family is all about with me.

In this book, you will enjoy reading and rhyming along with Lucas the Lucky Lion, who of course scored the cover spot because of his good luck, all the way through to Mason the fickle, pickle-loving monkey who is sure to tickle your funny bone.

And in this book, I left two blank pages at the end where I hope readers will consider drawing their own character and creating their own rhyme.  And I would love if they will share with me.  My email address is mckinneyjodi@gmail.com.

Thanks to all of you for your ongoing encouragement and support.  You’ve really contributed to making my dreams come true!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

 

 

 

An Art Do-Over

An Art Do-Over.

Don’t you love a good do-over?

The opportunity to do something over?

I had a painting I had hung in our bedroom that I just didn’t love.  It was way overdone and needed a do-over.

It had some great texture on it that I thought might make a lovely rustic looking sign, so I went to work and covered the entire canvas with a gray acrylic paint.

Once that coat dried and the textures shown through, I went over that coat with a parchment color.

My intention was to sand it and stain over it using that texture to pull out a worn character look to it.

I then used stencils to paint the sign using black.  I really should have measured, but I didn’t, and it is a bit wonky, but oh well – makes it more “homemade” looking…..  Right?  Argh!

Once stenciled, I sanded and rubbed some more gray paint on.  Then I used some Annie Sloan dark wax I have for chalk painting to antique it up.

It’s not perfect, put it’s kind of fun.  A lot of our family and friends refer to our home as the McKinney B&B.  We love hosting and having stay-over company, so I hung this in our kitchen.

Now I have a big ole’ empty spot in the bedroom.  YAY! – I get to create or get something new for there now!  What project will be next?!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi