Ben the Brave Little Beetle Bug

Ben the Brave Little Beetle Bug.

Nestled in a rare and exotic Persian rug,
lived Ben, the very bravest little beetle bug.

Many of his friends preferred to stay snug,
but Ben liked to go out and dance the jitterbug.

To get to the club, that was named Jolly Jug,
Ben had to sneak past a tough, ferocious thug.

Doug was the meanest bug north of the wall plug.
He was known to pinch and swing and punch and slug.

Doug lived in a filthy, fur-covered shag rug
beneath slumbering Brutus, the beloved family pug.

Ben would wait patiently each night for a tiny little tug
from his dance partner and best friend – Lucy the lady bug.

He would carefully inspect Doug’s grumpy ole mug
to assure he was sleeping as snug as a bug.

Then he bravely would venture, without even a shrug,
to go dancing with Lucy and give her a hug.

You may not think dancing is such a brave chug,
but consider the diminutive size of a bug

and how far it would ultimately be just to lug
your teensy-weensy body out of that safe and snug rug.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Ben the Beetle Bug is another in a series of paintings and poems I am working on for a new children’s book.  This new book will be kind of special because it will feature characters that are based on the grandchildren of my best friends.  Ben is the first grandson of my bestie, Jill, and the first son of Jackie, my McHendy daughter, who first inspired me to start this blog.

 Ben also brings to mind and heart a dear boy and his grandma (Gem) who are regular visitors here at TheCreativeLifeInBetween.com blog who were huge encouragers for my first book, Klaus the Mouse and other Silly Animal Tales.

Prints and greeting cards of all of these paintings are available in our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy shop as well, where you can also order a customized painting and poem.

A Caterpillar Named Clara

Clara the Caterpillar Watercolor 11×14

A Caterpillar Named Clara.

There once was a colorful caterpillar named Clara.
She had lashes so long, she did not need mascara.

When playing with Grandma – who called her Clara Beara,
she would often play dress up and wear a tiara.

They pretended she was a princess who lived in the Sahara
or perhaps even on the French Riviera.

Her favorite dinner was spaghetti carbonara,
which she smothered in ladles of rich marinara.

Her Daddy loved to cook, so he would prepara,
and he put a bib on her, so she wouldn’t a weara.

But a bath always followed with Mommy washing her haira
and lathering her skin with soothing aloe vera.

So into bed at night went a fresh clean Clara
to dream of spaghetti and princesses and tiaras.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Harper the Happy Hippo

Harper the Happy Hippo.

In a lazy, shallow river just outside of Ethiopia
lived Harper the happy hippo in a heavenly utopia.

The sun was always shining
while Harper was oft reclining.

Flamingos and pelicans and even a rare crane
shared and reveled in the balmy tropical terrain.

Harper loved to sing and play.
She smiled and chuckled and snorted all day.

She started a band
since her voice was in such demand.

She was surely the star of the show,
for who wouldn’t go

to see a purple singing hippo with pink painted toes
smiling and singing to the most beautiful prose.

A zebra was on the drums
while a cheetah’s guitar strings strummed.

Cymbals were clanged and clashed by a lively red-throated gazelle.
She was Harper’s closest girlfriend, and her name was Adele.

There wasn’t a happier hippo across the sea or land
than Harper the happy hippo and her Ethiopian wildlife band.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

PS  Harper the Hippo is the second painting for my dear friend Pam (namesake, by the way, for Klaus’ friend Pam the Lamb).  Harper is the baby sister of Lucas – Pam’s two grandchildren.   If you’d like to learn more about my process or sales of paintings, poems, cards, pillows, and books, visit Sunday’s post here.

Harper the Happy Hippo Pillow

Lucas the Lucky Lion

Lucas the Lucky Lion OriginalWatercolor Painting – 11×14

Lucas the Lucky Lion.

In a faraway land that was known as Zion,
lived Lucas, the exceedingly lucky little lion.

No matter the game – played morning or afternoon,
Lucas the lion was always the most opportune.

He seemed to be blessed
with the very best success.

And never did he possess
even the teeniest bit of stress.

Lucas knew he was king
of kickball and juggling.

This extremely lucky lion was tops at kicking balls and batting.
He even stole the show when dribbling, dunking, and passing.

But the thing that made Lucas the luckiest of all –
the skill that made him so very exceptional…

Was Lucas the Lucky Lion’s quintessential charm.
For there wasn’t a friend or foe he couldn’t charismatically disarm.

************************************************

Lucas the Lion is a special surprise for one of my BFs.  I was looking for recommendations on what to paint after taking a little break for the holidays, and she requested a Lucas the Lion and Harper the Hippo for her two grandchildren, who are fans of Klaus the Mouse.

I thought you might like to see a bit of the process I go through for a painting.

First I draw a pencil sketch.

Once I am happy with a design, I either redraw in pencil on watercolor paper or use a light box to trace the basic outline.

If the pencil markings are too dark, I then use a kneaded putty eraser to lighten up the lines.  If needed, I use some masking fluid to preserve any areas I want to assure stay white.

I then consider colors using my watercolor swatch charts, choose a few brushes I may use, fill my water bucket, and assure paper towels and a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser sponge are handy.

I am then ready to put on my first wash of paint.

After the first wash is dry, I rub off the masking fluid, and I begin adding layers, allowing to dry as necessary until I am happy with the painting.

Once my original is finished, I take the best photo I can of it for printing.  Most all of my paintings are available in our McKinneyX2Design Etsy shop in prints (sizes 11×14, 8×10, and 5×7 – matted or not) and greeting cards, like below.  For those friends who are local, my daughter-in-law (who makes beautiful rustic wood pallet signs) and I also have our art on display and available at Berry Vine Gifts in BradfordWoods, PA.  You can find all of our information here.

  

Look for Harper the Happy Hippo in my next post here at The CreativeLifeInBetween, which is scheduled to post Tuesday.

By the way, if you are interested in a custom watercolor painting of an animal character for a child you love, you can order via our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy shop at this link.  Let me know the child’s name and the animal you would like.  It will be an 11×14 original watercolor painting.  If you would like an original rhyming poem to go with it, that can also be ordered for an additional charge.  It will come printed on an 8.5×11 sturdy cardstock sheet that can also be framed.  Please allow two weeks for any custom orders.

My artwork can also be made into pillows and clocks and coasters and mugs and tote bags and a lot of other fun things – all available at Society6.  Let me know if there is a piece you like that I should add there.

Lucas the Lion Pillow

I hope you are all enjoying the beginning of this new year and settling back into your normal routines after the busy holiday season.  It was good to undecorate from the holidays yesterday and find time to paint again.

Happy Sunday!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Liz the Lizard

Liz the Lizard Watercolor – 11×14

Liz the Lizard.

Have you heard of the lizard whose name is Liz.
Classiest lizard in the desert she is.

With pearls and diamonds and sparkly pink nails
She daydreams often of being in show biz.

She practices rhymes and humorous lines
as if she was preparing for an audition or pop quiz.

Nailing them every time – she surely is a wiz.
She’s a modern-day lizard, so be sure to call her Ms.

Yes indeed, Ms. Liz
that is.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

PS  Liz the Lizard was made especially for a friend’s grandaughter, who loves Klaus the Mouse – my very first published illustrated children’s book.  Granpap asked if I could make an Alex the Alligator and a Liz the Lizard for his two special little grandies.  I hope they all enjoy these two characters as much as I enjoyed creating them.

The Odessa Chronicles: My Art on the Cover of a Book!

The Odessa Chronicles.

What an honor it is to see my original watercolor art on the cover of a book!

A sweet blogging friend, Carolyn Shelton,  challenged me a while back to create a painting of the one of the characters she and and her writing “partner in crime” (and partner in humor and heart and spirit), Colin Chappell created in their ongoing collaborative fictional story that was being shared on Carolyn’s blog.  When I painted Odessa the barn owl as a special gift to Carolyn, she loved it.  So I decided to paint the other characters that lived on Moonbeam Farm as well.

As the story grew, Carolyn and Colin decided to publish their series into a book, and they asked if they could use my art for the cover and inside the book.  I happily agreed, and now Carolyn’s dream has finally come to fruition!

Odessa is a barn owl with an attitude who befriended Jaxon, a magical jackalope.  The two of them met Dewy, a cat who desired a life of luxury, and the three of them moved into an empty farm.

Joshua Jeremiah Jonathan Jacob Jackson Pebblestone bought his dream farm.  His life was going to be spent immersed in the peace and quiet of rural life… until he discovered three lodgers had already moved in!

The Odessa Chronicles is a 290-page collection of adventure stories about the friendship and antics of Odessa, Jaxon, Dewey, and the Man Servant at Moonbean Farm that is fun for children of all ages.


Thank you Carolyn and Colin for allowing me to be a small part of this adventure!

If you would like to purchase a copy of The Odessa Chronicles, you can purchase it here.

I have also written and illustrated a small book of silly rhymes and tales you may be interested in called Klaus the Mouse and other Silly Animal Tales. It is available on Amazon here.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Orange Flowers for Benjamin

Orange Flowers for Benjamin 11×14 Watercolor 140lb Cold Press

Orange Flowers for Benjamin.

Some of you may remember my little friend Benjamin.  He is the sweet little guy, who reads my blog with his “Gem” most every day and was a huge inspiration to me in writing my book, Klaus the Mouse, and other Silly Animal Animal Tales (available on Amazon here).

Well, the other day when I posted my Blue Reflections painting, Benjamin told Gem,  “It is a pretty blue picture, but can my Jodi do orange too?”

Apparently, orange is Benjamin’s favorite color.  So, though I didn’t do the same painting in orange, I did paint some orange flowers I hope my Benjamin will enjoy when he visits here with Gem next week.

Orange is such a happy, cheerful color!

According to Color Wheel Pro:

Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation.

To the human eye, orange is a very hot color, so it gives the sensation of heat. Nevertheless, orange is not as aggressive as red. Orange increases oxygen supply to the brain, produces an invigorating effect, and stimulates mental activity. It is highly accepted among young people. As a citrus color, orange is associated with healthy food and stimulates appetite. Orange is the color of fall and harvest. In heraldry, orange is symbolic of strength and endurance.

Orange has very high visibility, so you can use it to catch attention and highlight the most important elements of your design.

Well…. no wonder my Benjamin loves orange!

Wishing you all an “orange” kinda day!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

This painting and others available at McKinneyx2Designs.

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

 

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! ❤