Own – Embrace – Explore

Owning our story can be hard, but not
nearly as difficult as spending our
lives running from it.  Embracing our
vulnerabilities is risky, but not nearly
as dangerous as giving up on love
and belonging and joy – the experiences
that make us the most vulnerable.  Only
when we are brave enough to explore
the darkness will we discover
the infinite power of our light.

Brene Brown, Braving the Wilderness

 

One of my favorite Christmas gifts (heck – every gift is my favorite), but this one really speaks to my heart and was from the heart of someone who really gets me.  It is a quote from a favorite book – Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown.

It is hanging in a place where I will read it every day, and this will be my mantra – to own my story, to embrace my vulnerabilities, and to not be afraid to explore the darkness, so I can discover my authentic light.

Will you make a New Year’s Resolution?  Do you have a mantra or a life verse?  Do you choose One Little Word each year?

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Klaus the Mouse in Alabama

Klaus the Mouse in Alabama.

This past Thanksgiving weekend, I received the sweetest note, along with this adorable picture of 5 year old Eli, from my blogging friend Jenna at The Painted Apron.

Jenna’s note said,

“My grands love reading your book!”

Eli’s favorite is Rooty the Rooster!”

Eli – besides the fact that you are handsome enough to be in movies,
you surely warmed my heart hearing these words and seeing your photo!

And I have to admit….
Rooty is one of my faves too!

Thanks for sharing with me, Jenna, and making my day!

I love hearing about my little book being shared and bringing smiles from Mars to Alabama.

And if you love reading about new recipes, fun decorating tips, and creative art, you will so enjoy Jenna’s blog.  I hope you will check it out and follow along with me.  Tell her “Jodi sent you.”  🙂  She also has a great Society 6 Shop where she sells her artwork in fun, creative ways.

If you would like your own copy of Klaus the Mouse or would like it for holiday gift giving, it is now available at Amazon with two-day shipping for Prime members!  I tested it out and it works – came in two days!

Cock a doodle dooty!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Braving the Wilderness

Braving the Wilderness.

I cannot remember the last time…
(if there was ever at time)….
I read an entire book in one sitting.

But yesterday,
that book arrived on my porch.

It is a book I ordered because it is our next book club read.
I opened it up last evening…
and hours later, I closed it….  finished.

Granted – it is a short read –
under 200 pages.
But…. oh the wisdom in those pages.

I feel like I want to start from the beginning
and read it all again.
And that I just might do.

Have you ever felt a book was written
directly to you?
I have a feeling many others will feel the same as I did.

I very rarely write book reviews
or endorse books on this blog.

But this book…
Brene Brown’s “Braving the Wilderness”
is life changing, and I have to share.

It is a book about being a human being –
a kind and loving person –
during these tumultuous times.

It is about how to be brave and good and authentic-
no matter your faith, race, gender, or political affiliation.
It is about respect for others and one’s self.

It is a quest for true belonging
and self-worth.
It is about being free…

“You are only free when you realize you belong no place-
you belong every place – no place at all.
The price is high.
The reward is great.”

The reward is great,
and I can’t wait to talk about this with those who have read it.

Have you?

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

The Lovey of a Bubby

Bubby and Lukey reading Klaus the Mouse – October 2017

The Lovey of a Bubby.

I have a BF named Pam,
the namesake of a special lamb.

For many years, I’ve called her Bubby –
completely out of lots of lovey.

This month about a year ago,
both of our families began to grow.

Pam offically became that sweet Bubby
and I – the happiest of all grandmummies.

She now shares with Lukey,
ever so cutely

Pam the Lamb,
who loves biscuits and jam,

so he will understand the love a friend
that is so great, and has no end.

 

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

If you would like to order a copy of Klaus the Mouse, my illustrated children’s book of original watercolor animals and silly rhymes, simply click here.

Thanks for sharing this precious photo, Bubby!  Love you! ❤

 

 

 

 

A Grandma’s Love

Grandma Susan reading Klaus the Mouse and other Silly Animal Tales to her grandchildren

A Grandma’s Love.

Grandma Susan (as her grandchildren fondly refer to her) is the kind of Grandma I aspire to be.

In fact…  she’s the kind of human being I aspire to be.

I met Susan through her oldest grandson, who was my youngest son’s “roomer” in college.

To know Susan is to love Susan.  Her joy for life, her positive attitude, her love for her family, her smile, the undeniable glow that radiates from her and touches everyone she encounters….  There is something very special about Susan, and I am so fortunate to call her my friend.

Without my even knowing, Susan purchased a copy of the book I announced authoring and illustrating about a month ago, Klaus the Mouse and other Silly Animal Tales.  When she received it, she gathered her grandchildren – now aged 13-27 (and even the spouses of those that are married now!), for a fun reading.  They happened to be gathering together for a bridal shower for one of her granddaughters, but they all took some time to sit down with Grandma Susan to listen to a few “silly stories.”

Can you believe how sweet this is?

You see, Susan is a retired school librarian and long-time lover of books and reading to children (and especially her grandchildren!).

I guess it really is true that Klaus the Mouse and other Silly Animal Tales is a book for children of all ages, and it’s been so fun hearing stories from folks who have purchased the book.

Susan’s granddaughter, Charrie, told me Adele the Gazelle was her favorite character.

Thank you, Susan, for sharing your love, and for all your beautiful grands who gave permission for us to share.

I’m a new grandma, whose first granddaughter is not even a year old, but I hope I will be as loved and adored as Grandma Susan when my grand(s) are teenagers and married!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

It’s All My Friends!

“It’s All My Friends!”

People author and illustrate and publish books for many reasons I’m sure.

Dreams of fame and fortune…
Checking off a bucket list item…
Creating a legacy…
Fulfilling a life-long dream…
Sharing an important story…

For many – it’s a passion.
Writing is like breathing.
It is something they just have to do.

I love to read.
I admire writers.
I admire artists and illustrators.

I never, however, really aspired to be an author…

Well – maybe it fleetingly crossed my mind from time to time…
Maybe a cookbook…
or an autobiography of sorts.

I definitely never considered I’d be an illustrator.
Heck – until about two years ago, I would have never
even dreamed I would share a stick figure I drew.

But then I discovered the joy of blogging
through the encouragement one of my sweet McHendy “daughters.”

And then I discovered watercolor art
through this wonderful blogging community.

With the encouragement of so many,
I shared my watercolor paintings.

I created some fun little animal characters
with silly rhyming stories to go with them.

One very special friend here at TheCreativeLifeInBetween.com
began sharing my little animal characters and their stories with her grandson.

Three and a half year old Benjamin
became one of my greatest supporters and fans.

Benjamin would ask daily to hear stories from his grandma “Gem’s” computer,
along with those of his favorite books.

He even started asking for special characters,
which is how “Earl the Squirrel” came to be.

So with full permission from “Gem” and his Mom,
I am sharing this joyful photo of Benjamin with his copy of my first-ever
authored and illustrated book, “Klaus the Mouse – and other Silly Animal Tales.”

Per Gem, when Benjamin received his book,
he squealed with delight and laughter,
“My friends!  It’s all my friends!”

Could there be any greater joy…
any greater reason or purpose…
to author and illustrate a book?

The joy in those words…
The twinkle in those eyes…
The delight in that smile…
Those beautiful little hands holding the book.

Thank you Benjamin!
Thank you Ellen (aka “Gem'”)
for fulfilling a dream
I didn’t even know I had.

Because of you…
I visited the dentist yesterday,
and the receptionist said,
“I just saw your book!”

Because of you…
a friend told me he purchased my book for his 4-year old niece’s birthday.

Because of you…
my book is being shipped all the way to Ireland.

Because of you…
so many sweet friends have bought “Klaus the Mouse
for their children and grandchildren.

What a joy it is to share a little piece of me...
A little bit of my art…
A little bit of my writing.

Thank you Benjamin!
I can only imagine the impact you will have on the world in 20 or 30 years!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

If you would like to order a copy of “Klaus the Mouse and other Silly Animal Tales,”
you can do so by clicking here.

Klaus the Mouse and his friends have become a Book!

Klaus the Mouse and his friends have become a Book!

Some of you who have been hanging around here for a while at TheCreativeLifeinBetween may remember Klaus the Mouse, who lived in a teeny tiny house.

You might also recall Hedy the Hedgehog who didn’t like to go to bedy.

Hedy the Hedgehog

Then there’s Chuck the Duck and Pam the Lamb.  There’s an Otter named Potter and Mig the Pig.

Adele the Gazelle has a smell that casts a magic spell, and what a phenomenon is a Fawn named John!

Chippy the Chipmunk, Rooty the Rooster, Hal the Colorful Cow, a Bumble Bee Named Buzz, and Gail the Snail.

They all joined together in this sweet little collection of watercolors and silly rhyming tales.

Thanks to so many of you who encouraged me along the way.  You helped make it happen!

My first published book!  A collection of silly tales for children 3-103.

If you would like to purchase, here is a link:  KLAUS THE MOUSE.

Happy Reading, Happy Sharing, Happy Laughing.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Just Do it Anyway

Elvis the Penguin at the National Aviary, Pittsburgh, PA - September, 2017

Elvis the Penguin at the National Aviary, Pittsburgh, PA – September, 2017

Just Do it Anyway!

It might be scary.
It is probably risky.

What if someone is watching,
and it turns out to be a flop?

What if people laugh?
What if they say, “I told you so.”

There’s a pretty huge chance it won’t work out.
But guess what?  That’s the point!

Be brave!
Just Do it Anyway!

 

This is a mantra I am trying to reiterate to myself.  I am taking on new experiences, new challenges, new risks – with my art, writing, self-development….

It might turn out to be a great big flop, but I’ll never know if I don’t just do it anyway!

Is there something you’ve always wanted to do?  Pick up a paint brush?  Write a book?  Travel to a faraway place?  Learn a new skill?  Begin a new relationship?  Record a song?  Learn to fly?  Heck – maybe it’s even just a new hairdo?

It might not turn out……..

But then it might?

If you don’t just do it anyway, how will you ever know?

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

 

Power and Strength

"Power" in Perylene Scarlet - Watercolor 8x10 140lb Artistico Fabriano Cold Press

“Power” in Perylene Scarlet – Watercolor 8×10 140lb Artistico Fabriano Cold Press

Power and Strength.

“Power isn’t
doing something
terrible
to someone
who is
weaker
than you…
It’s having
the strength
to do something
terrible,
and choosing
not to.”

– Franz to Reiner in The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

When I came upon this statement made by one brother to another in the book I am reading, I knew I wanted to paint something that represented Power and Strength, and this painting was born.  It is done using Daniel Smith Perylene Scarlet as I wanted an intense red.  Then the real drama (I hope) is created with a unique rich color made by Daniel Smith called Piemontite Genuine.  It is a shadowy red violet ground from a scarlet-streaked mineral from the hills of Italy that produces lovely violet-brown granulation with a carmine tone.

The color red is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, and determination as well as passion, desire, and love.

Red is a very emotionally intense color. It enhances human metabolism, increases respiration rate, and raises blood pressure. It has very high visibility, which is why stop signs, stoplights, and fire equipment are usually painted red.  It is a color found in many national flags.

Other colors used:  Daniel Smith Yellow Ochre, and Cerulean Blue.

I hope you feel the power and strength and intensity I wished to express in this painting, and I also hope the quote resonates with you about the true meaning of power.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Let’s Face It

Red Rocks of Sedona, Arizona - July, 2017 - Do you see the face?

Red Rocks of Sedona, Arizona – July, 2017 – Do you see the face?

Let’s Face It…

We must
all face the choice
between
what is
Right
and
what is
Easy.

– Professor Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Do you see the face in the rock?

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

PS  Seems Professor Dumbledore has some pretty profound things to say….  After all these years of my boys telling me I really should read the Harry Potter series, maybe I should……..