Jenna’s Roses in Watercolor

Jenna's Roses in Impressionist Watercolor 8x10 Saunders 140lb Cold Press

Jenna’s Roses in Impressionist Watercolor 8×10 Saunders 140lb Cold Press

Jenna’s Roses in Watercolor.

My super-talented, creative, artistic blogging friend, Jenna at The Painted Apron reached out recently to ask if I was interested in a “crazy idea.”

Jenna asked if I would be interested in both of us doing a floral watercolor from the same photo and sharing them to show how every artist interprets differently and has their own unique style.

I immediately said “Yes!”  Initially honored and excited, then doubtful and nervous, I waited for Jenna to provide the photo.

When Jenna sent this photo of gorgeous roses, I said “Let’s do it!”  Then I thought…. what did I get myself into?!  Roses are so complex and intricate.  And look at all of the detail in this photo.  My first painting was an effort to replicate.  It was ok, but it wasn’t “Jodi.”

I then decided to just create the beauty I felt from the photo, and I came up with my version.  Still not sure I love it, but I like it… and I really, really enjoyed creating it.   I painted it this past weekend during a sunny afternoon on the deck.  It is fun and completely different painting outdoors when the air and sun dries the paint much faster than while inside in the studio.

Here is Jenna’s painting of the rose photo.  Isn’t it beautiful?!   She is a real artist!

Jenna is my blogger “soul sister” in so many ways.  We both enjoy being creative with art and recipes and decorating and entertaining.  Be sure to check out her blog, The Painted Apron.  I’m sure you will enjoy!  Jenna also sells her art at www.society6.com/paintedapron where her art is made into tote bags and mugs and pillows and iPhone skins and many other beautiful things.  Hope you will check it out.

Thanks for the fun challenge, Jenna!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Stop and Smell: A Charlie Guest Post

Oliver and Charlie

Stop and Smell:  A Charlie Guest Post.

When we go on our daily walk, Mom talks about and enjoys a lot of the smells this time of year.  She oogles and googles and swoons about the lilacs and the wild honeysuckle and even freshly mowed grass.

Sometimes Mom breathes in deeply and says, “Oh Charlie, do you smell that…. ‘yadayada’?”

I say, “Whatever…”

I would rather smell my friends.

Yep – I like to stop and smell my friends.

This is my friend, Oliver.  He is one of my buddies, and this is how we greet each other.

Mom groans, “Oh Charlie!”

But Oliver doesn’t seem to mind.

And besides… he does it too.

“Oh Mom!”

I know they say a dog is a (wo)man’s best friend, but sometimes we just don’t see eye to eye!

Or should I say we don’t smell nose to nose?

Woofs & Wags,
Charlie

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, Jager the neighbor dog, 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.

Terry’s Chocolate Orange Double Chocolate Cookies

Terry’s Chocolate Orange Double Chocolate Cookies.

I’ll bet some of you are surprised to see me baking cookies again after the past month of wedding cookie baking.

But those cookies are gone.  And we were invited to a friend’s house last weekend for a little get together, and guess what I was asked to bring???

I had a couple of Terry’s Chocolate Oranges in the pantry that I’ve been waiting to make something yummy and chocolatey with, and so I found a recipe that I modified to include them.

They were yummy!  A double chocolate chewy, fudgy cookie with a hint of orange.

I had to laugh when a friend said he didn’t really like chocolate cookies – while he was eating his fourth one!

Hope you will give these delightful treats a try!

Terry's Chocolate Orange Double Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. (4 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 Dark Chocolate Terry’s Chocolate Oranges, coarsely chopped

Directions:

Cream butter and sugar in electric mixer.  Beat in eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Mix in baking soda and salt.  Slowly mix in cocoa powder and flour until combined.

Gently stir in chopped Terry’s Chocolate Oranges.  Refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Drop by tablespoonful onto baking stone or cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes just until set and beginning to crackle.

Leave on baking stone for 5 minutes after removing from oven to begin cooling.  Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.  

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Even if no one bothers to look…

Sunrise on Forsythe - Mars, PA 5/8/17

Sunrise on Forsythe – Mars, PA – 5/8/17

Even if no one bothers to look…

The sunrise, of course, doesn’t care if we watch it or not.
It will keep on being beautiful,
even if no one bothers to look at it.

Gene Amole

Yesterday morning I was on the road very early
and couldn’t resist driving down one of my favorite roads in our little community.

It was a cold, but sunny morning
with a nip in the air and frost on the grass.

As the warmth of the sun shone,
the steam and fog rose from the ice crystal-kissed earth and cold creeks and ponds.

I drove home slowly on my way back from my early morning run,
sipping my steaming coffee, but drinking in the beginning of a new day.

I wish I took time to notice it more often….
It’s there – just waiting for me to enjoy its beauty.

And with or without me –
that sunrise just keeps on being beautiful!

It made me think a bit too…
About being beautiful.

No – not Hollywood beauty…
not Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition beauty.

But about being a beautiful person –
in my heart and in my thoughts and in my character and in my actions.

And I want to make an effort to be a beautiful person…
even if no one bothers to look.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Gene Amole also wrote a book I just bought on Amazon called “The Last Chapter.”  I look forward to reading it and will share my thoughts.

The Warm Up

Pink Roses Warm Up Watercolor 5x7 Saunders 140 lb cold press

Pink Roses Warm Up Watercolor 5×7 Saunders 140 lb cold press

The Warm Up.

It’s a good thing to warm up…
right?

In life…
when going to bat,
when giving a speech,
when writing,
when painting….

And sometimes…
the little warm up
surprises us
with unexpected joy
and unexpected satisfaction
and pleasure.

This little painting
was a warm up
for painting some roses.

Just a super quick, five-minute
loose test of sorts
that turned out to be something
I found to be quite beautiful.

Much like life…

So many things
we consider to be
the “warm up”
turn out to be
beautiful surprises.

Cherish the moments!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

You may house their bodies, but not their souls…

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow…

-Kahlil Gibran

Next Sunday is Mother’s Day.
Last Saturday my youngest “child” got married.
My greatest honor in life has been being a mother.
But as this wise verse from Kahlil Gibran in The Prophet reminds me,
I may have housed their bodies, but I cannot house their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow.

I am so proud of the men my boys have become.
As I watched the youngest celebrate marriage, and the oldest toast his brother last weekend,
my heart swelled.
Somehow we managed to do a good job.
And I couldn’t have done it without my husband – their father – by my side.

As I look at this photo I took at Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh a few weeks ago of a Momma Duck (made of flowers by the way) and her little ducklings, I was once again reminded of the privilege I was bestowed in life to be a mother.  I am now also blessed with two beautiful “daughters”-in-law and the great privilege of being a “grand”mother.

I am so grateful.

Here’s to all the moms out there!
Cherish the moments.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Be Bold

Pink Rosebuds Watercolor 5x7 140 lb Cold Press Saunders

Pink Rosebuds Watercolor 5×7 140 lb Cold Press Saunders

Be Bold.

Be bold…
in doing what you love,
in doing what feels good,
in doing what makes you happy.

Be bold…
in making your own kind of beauty,
in being your own kind of beauty,
in seeing the beauty in others.

Be Bold!
Be You!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Quick, loose painting done on Saunders 140lb cold press watercolor paper using Daniel Smith Rhodonite Genuine and Sap Green watercolor paint.

Honey Sriracha Lime Salmon

Honey Sriracha Lime Salmon

Honey Sriracha Lime Salmon.

My sweet friend, Janet, visited this past week after coming to town for the wedding, and she made this amazing salmon recipe for us one night.

Hubby is not a salmon fan, but I ADORE it!  Add Sriracha, honey, lime, soy sauce, garlic, and cilantro, and I am in heaven!  So one evening when he had a late meeting, Janet and I feasted on this with some roasted veggies and brown rice.  It was awesome!

You can adjust the amount of heat or sweet to your liking.  We did from the original recipe at Creme de la Crumb.

Here is how we made it!  Let me know if you try and enjoy as much as we did.

Honey Sriracha Lime Salmon

Ingredients:

  • 1 large salmon or 4-6 individual (4-6 oz.) fillets
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup Sriracha Sauce
  • 3 Tbsp low sodium Soy Sauce (I always use low sodium soy sauce – and I am a salt lover!)
  • 2 limes (one juiced and zested, the other sliced thinly)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 Tbsp freshly chopped cilantro

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with foil.  Grease lightly, and lay salmon on top.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place sliced limes under the edges of the salmon.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter, stir in honey, Sriracha, soy sauce, lime juice, and garlic.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Pour 2/3 of the sauce over the salmon – covering completely to avoid dry spots.  Fold the edges of the foil up around the salmon so the sauce doesn’t spill out.

Bake for 15 minutes, then switch to broil and cook another 4-5 minutes.  Do not overcook.

Top salmon with reserved sauce, lime zest and chopped cilantro.

Enjoy!

Also, if you are not a salmon lover, this sauce and method would work great with chicken or pork also!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

PS  Miss you already Jan!  xo

Tug – A Charlie Guest Post

Charlie & Jager Playing Tug – April 2017

Tug.

There is nothing better really…
than a good game of tug in the Spring sunshine.

Especially after a long walk with my best buddy, Jager,
smelling and snacking along the way on all the goodies nature leaves for us.

We allow Mom and Tracy to come along too…
They think we need them so we let them follow behind us with leashes so we don’t lose them or they don’t go running off.

Sometimes we have to tug them along.
They don’t seem to enjoy tug as much as we do….

What’s up with that??!

Woofs & Wags,
Charlie

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, Jager the neighbor dog, 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.