Sign, Sign – Everywhere a Sign

enjoy the little things sign

My daughter-in-law, Colleen, has been on a roll making fun signs for our McKinneyX2Designs ETSY shop!

just roll with it sign

We are also feathering the nest preparing for

our nest sign

the joy of our little one’s arrival in a few months.


And who is ready for Fall?  With pumpkins and hayrides…

pumpkins and hayrides sign

and time in the kitchen…

fresh baked pies

fresh milk sign

fresh eggs sign

or end of summer ice cream cone treats…

ice cream

and long, lingering bubble baths.

hot baths

I love all these sweet signs and wanted to share with you.

Always stay humble and kind sign

If you or anyone you know would enjoy any of these in their home or find them a great gift, be sure to check out our shop:  McKinneyX2Designs.

I also have some original watercolor artwork, as well as prints

pink abstract watercolor

and greeting cards.

flamingo cards

Happy Sunday!

Do something you love, and cherish the moments.

Cheers & Hugs,

On this day… three years ago

happy 3rd anniversary watercolor and mixed media card gesso newsprint, tim holtz tea dye ink, perm rose

Mixed Media Card – Newsprint, Gesso, Watercolor, Tea Dye Ink

On this day three years ago, I gained a very special daughter-in-law.

On this day three years ago, I watched my oldest son’s dreams come true when he married the girl I always knew was “the one.”

On this day three years ago, my youngest son gave the most incredible toast to his big brother and new sister I have ever heard in my life.

On this day three years ago, I danced to “What a Wonderful World” with my son…

and my husband brought the house down dancing to Katy Perry’s “Firework” with our McHendy daughter, Jackie.

On this day three years ago, a new family was born – a family that during their third year will take 1 + 1 and = 3.

Happy Anniversary Jake and Colleen!

Love you,
Mom ❤

For this #WorldWatercolorMonth card, I painted a thin coat of white gesso over some newsprint DSP.  Once dry, I painted a watercolor heart in Permanent Rose using my Rekab320s brush and added some splatters.  I then sponged some Tim Holtz Tea Dye Ink around the edges and used a distressing tool to “age” it.  I finished it up with a black die-cut “happy,” a few pearls and some baker’s twine.

Sunny Sunflower


I found some time to splash in puddles this long holiday weekend….  Puddles of paint that is, because the sun was a shinin’ most of the weekend!

I watched a video on painting sunflowers done by Joanne Thomas, who is a queen of loose splashy watercolor.  I’ve really admired her style ever since I started watercolor painting about a year ago, so I decided to give her sunflower a try.

I painted it on a 10 x 14 sheet of Arches 300 lb cold press.  I put it in a matted frame to see what it would look like.  Such a difference it makes when you mat and frame a painting – eh?

Sunny Sunflower Original Watercolor 10 x 14 Arches 300 lb Cold Press

Sunny sunflowers is going in our McKinneyx2Designs Etsy Shop – the original painting, prints and greeting cards.

Sunny Sunflower All

Fluttering my “artist” wings, and enjoying the sunny, sunshiny summertime weather!

Sunny Sunflower Greeting Card Set

Happy Tuesday and short work week for many of us.

Cherish the moments.

Cheers & Hugs,

Tiny Glow Watercolor

tiny glow yellow lily original watercolor

Tiny Glow yellow lily original watercolor – 6″ x 8″ matted to 8×10

My sweet artist blogging friend, Sharon Mann gave me a friendly challenge to paint my recent Tiny Glow Yellow Lily I got for Mother’s Day from my son, Jake.

I’ve been experimenting with some abstract techniques that I used for this painting which I’m showing here in it’s original format above, printed on cards below, and the scanned print lastly.

tiny glow yellow lily photo of cards

Tiny Glow yellow lily watercolor print greeting cards

I painted a random background wash first using Naples Yellow and a bit of New Gamboge.  After it dried, I lightly and loosely drew the lily on top.  I then negatively painted around the lily with Winsor Violet and splashed some more in the background.  Lastly I used some Green Gold to add a bit of shadowing to the flower and for the stems and a touch of Burnt Umber for the little pods.

tiny glow yellow lily print 2

Tiny Glow yellow lily watercolor print

Check out Sharon’s MASTERPIECES here!  She is a REAL artist and her lily truly glows!  I love it!

And the best part is, we’ve agreed to exchange, so she is sending me one of hers, and I am sending her one of mine.

We all have our own styles and levels of ability and experience, but what a joy it is to share here through WordPress with so many wonderful artistic blogger friends.  They have encouraged me and taught me so much in my journey into watercolor this past year.  I am so grateful for them!

Wishing you all moments to cherish and the opportunity to glow today.

Cheers & Hugs,

A Birthday Cake Card for Colleen

birthday cake abstract impressionistic birthday card

Abstract Impressionistic Watercolor Birthday Cake Card

Yesterday was our dear daughter-in-law, Colleen’s birthday, so along with the Sprinkle Cake I made for her, I thought I’d paint an abstract, impressionistic sprinkle birthday cake card in watercolor.

I’m not sure which one I had more fun doing… baking the cake or painting the card.

Hubby noticed my cake was a bit crooked, and it was a bit wonky…  that’s how you know it’s homemade – right?!  Well – I guess it’s an impressionistic cake too!

Not matter what – I enjoyed doing both because they were for a special young lady who I love a lot!

Cheers & Hugs,

Eva’s First Birthday

Eva Birthday 1 Card

Some of you might remember little Eva from some photos I shared several months ago.

Well – time sure does fly, and Eva just turned ONE!

Eva’s Aunt Liz asked if I would make a special card for her sweet little niece’s first birthday.  The request included incorporating an elephant, so Eva’s baby elephant is glammed up a bit with a purple velvet bow and a tiny pearl.

I had so much fun drawing and painting this card for an exceptional little princess.

Wishing you a day and year ahead as special as you little Eva!

Cheers & Hugs,


Bingo has been Called: Our Love Story

Bingo Heart

34th anniversary watercolor heart card

Some couples meet at bars or through friends at parties or in college classes or through on-line dating sites.

I met my hubby at Bingo!

Yep – – – Bingo.

Bingo has been called… hold your cards…. We have a winner!  (Anyone who has ever attended Bingo has heard the “Bingo Caller” state this phrase.)

On Friday, I shared that hubby and I are celebrating our 34th anniversary this weekend.  This is the card I made for him, and I thought I would share the story of how we met.

As many of you know, my Grandma was a very special person in my life.  I lived with her for a while when I was a young girl, I spent long summer vacations at her house growing up, and even as a teenager and old enough to drive, I would visit her and sleep over just to spend time with one of my favorite people on the entire planet.

So one summer evening, 16-year old Jodi went to visit Grandma.

Grandma had a very dear friend and neighbor named Audrey, who we would often visit together.   Sometimes we played cards at her kitchen table and nibbled on snacks.  Other times we sat on her back porch and told stories and jokes while watching fireflies and listening to “oldies” music.

Audrey was a mom and a grandma who had developed Multiple Sclerosis and was wheel-chair bound, but she always had a bright smile and a cheerful disposition.  She had a family who cherished her, and she was such a good friend to Grandma.  Audrey’s husband treated her like a princess – taking over many of the chores Audrey once did, helping her bathe and get dressed, making sure her hair was done just right and assuring she was powdered and perfumed and sparkling with jewelry.

On a weekly basis, Audrey’s husband would lift Audrey into the seat of the family car, load the wheelchair in the trunk, and then pick up Grandma (who never learned to drive), and take the ladies grocery shopping and out to eat at the local diner and run any other weekly errands that needed done.   Sometimes it was Grandma’s only trip out of the house for the week since she was widowed, and Grandpap, her “chauffeur” was gone.

So this particular summer evening, the ladies wanted to go to Bingo.  16-year old Jodi was talked into driving them and playing along, as Audrey’s husband had no interest in playing this “silly” game.

Bingo was held weekly at the local firehall to raise money for the volunteer organization to buy trucks and equipment and pay the bills needed to support the firehouse.  Marty (pre-hubby) was a 20-year old volunteer fireman working the bingo that evening.

Now not many 16 year old girls attended bingo.  Average age was closer to 61.  So when 16-year old Jodi showed up struggling to lift a wheelchair out of the trunk of her lime green Chevy Vega, and Marty was on parking lot duty, well……. fate was about to take a twist….

Seeing the struggling young girl, Marty came to the rescue and lifted the chair and Audrey into the seat and wheeled her into the firehall like a knight in shining armor.  Grandma smiled, and little did I know……………..


Bingo was played.

Rows and rows of cardboard cards were covered with shiny copper pennies or red plastic markers in a room filled with smoke and overflowing ashtrays and the smell of sauerkraut and hot dogs tantalizing the taste buds.

None of us won, but we had fun.  It’s kind of hard to win playing only one card when the “pros” kept shushing us so they could hear the caller and keep track of the 16 cards spread out in front of them.

When it was time to go, Sir Marty, with his shining smile and twinkling eyes as armor, swooped over to us ready to push the wheelchair out through the gravel parking lot, making even more points with Grandma and Audrey.

Once the wheelchair was loaded and Audrey safely placed in her seat, Grandma decided it was time to take action.

“You are a very nice young man,” she told Marty.  “Why don’t you ask my granddaughter out on a date?”

APPALLED and mouth hanging open in horror, I smacked my Grandma with the back of my hand on her arm.  (So sorry Grandma – it was a gut reaction!)  Marty laughed….. nervously…… and used a line he later told me he had been waiting to use on just the right young lady.

“I’ll make you a deal,” he said without a blink or drip of sweat.

“Come back to bingo next week, and if you don’t win, I’ll take you out to dinner,” he swooned with those dreamy blue 20-year old grown-up man eyes looking right into mine.

“We’ll see,” or something like that, was all 16-year old Jodi could stammer in her best effort to be coy.

“By the way,” he continued, “Don’t you work at Murphy’s Mart?”

WHAT???!!!  How did he know this???

You see….  Future hubby had already “noticed” me in the world!

Turns out 20-year old Marty used to work at Murphy’s Mart himself, before he became a professional electrician, so he often stopped in to shop and visit old friends.  Apparently, he had spotted me there and remembered.

I stammered something unintelligibly stupid I’m certain, and we drove off.

A few days later, as I was straightening shoes in the Murphy’s Mart shoe department where I worked part-time after school, I spy Sir Marty in the distrance wandering my way.

YIKES!  I hid!  I went back into the stockroom and only peaked out until he was gone.  (Okay – remember – I was only 16!)

The next week, Grandma and Audrey showed up for Bingo again, but to Marty’s disappointment – no Jodi….  (I actually did have to work that evening, and the ladies talked someone else into taking them.)

But then, when the time came for the Winner-takes-All Jackpot Bingo – the last game of the evening, a young girl showed up – swiftly sweeping into the room and sitting in an empty seat that just happened to be available next to Grandma in the crowded room.  Grandma’s card just happened to be pushed in front of Jodi since she had to excuse herself to the ladies’ room- just in time for Jodi to play one card for one game – and lose………

Grandma came back and called Marty over.

“She didn’t win,” Grandma declared in a challenging voice…..


The following week was a first date.

Three years later was a wedding….

with a reception in the very same firehall where bingo was held and the young loves met.

Marty Grandma and Jodi wedding day

Marty, Grandma, and Jodi – Wedding Day

And 37 years later, I believe Grandma’s spirit is still smiling…

Bingo has been called.  And I hit the Jackpot!

Cheers & Hugs,

And they call it Poppy Love

poppy watercolor original 4.25 x 5.5

Do you ever get an old song stuck in your head triggered by something  totally unrelated?

If you ask my family, they will tell you I can come up with a song for most any word, subject, discussion….

And to their dismay (as I truly have no musical talent!), I often break into random song most any time of day.

So ever since I painted this little poppy flower earlier this week, I’ve been walking around singing, Puppy Love (yep – 1972 Donny Osmond), but substituting “Poppy” for “Puppy.”  (I know – I have issues!)

And while we are on the subject, the 9-year old girl in me remembers Donny Osmond being much more swoon-worthy than the silly kid I see now when I watch the video on YouTube.

Oh well – I guess that is why they call it Puppy Love.

I thought this Poppy would make a beautiful greeting card, so that is just what I did.

poppy watercolor original print cards set of 4 1

And I called it “Poppy Love.”

Cheers & Hugs,

What’s NEW at McKinneyX2Designs?

I’m excited to share some of the new things Colleen and I have been creating for our new Etsy shop!  We are having so much fun with this, and we are pleased to have had over 25 sales already in our first month!Mx2 logTo show our appreciation to our friends here at LifeinBetween, we want to offer a little gift to you.  If you refer someone to our shop who makes a purchase, we would like to thank them AND YOU with a free card of their and your choice. Each of you can choose one of any of the cards offered in our ETSY shop for FREE!  (Simply have your friend let us know when they order that they came here from LifeinBetween and mention your name.)

Have fun perusing the photo gallery of our newest Spring things.

You can visit our shop here:  McKinneyx2Designs on ETSY and follow us on Facebook and Instagram too if you like.

Happy Spring Thinking!

Cheers & Hugs,