After the Rain

After the Rain.

After the rain,
we walked at the park.

The grass was greener,
the air was fresh and clean.

The sun warmed,
and the blossoming trees popped

almost as if they were
smiling with the joy they knew I felt.

My heart swelled a wee bit more
like it so often does

in moments spent
with my grandie girls.

Mommy told Grandie Girl 1
about the time she spent playing ball on this field,

and asked her if she thought she
would want to do the same some day.

The sweet, high-pitched voice
in the miniature, but too-fast growing body,

responded so excitedly
and affirmatively

like she most always does,
wanting to be just like mommy.

And I smile at both of them with their muddy shoes
from the stop we made along the walk to float dandelions in the creek.

I steal a glance at Grandie Girl 2,
who is grinning and squealing with delight

as if to affirm her agreement
and wanting to be just like her big sister.

These are the moments…
the sweet precious moments.

After the rain.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

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

A Happy Retirement Candy-Gram


A Happy Retirement Candy-Gram.

A friend of ours recently retired.

Instead of just a card, I thought it would be fun to do a Candy-Gram.

It is fun to pick out a bunch of candy bars and try to make them into a message.

Great fun for special birthdays and holidays.

And the best part is – it’s a card and gift all in one!

Happy Retirement Bob!  We are so happy for you.  Enjoy the candy and enjoy your free time!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Fluff Thumbprint Cookies

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Fluff Thumbprint Cookies.

These cookies!
Ooooooh these cookies!

Imagine…. a peanut butter crinkle cookie loaded with a scoopful of sweet, heavenly, gooey, magical Marshmallow Fluff so that you taste it in every peanut-buttery bite.

When I saw these cookies featured on Cara Wong’s Instagram feed, I knew I had to make them.

Cara is a sweet lady who lives in McKinney, Texas with her comical, coffee-loving husband and best friend Joseph.  She loves to cook and bake almost as much as she loves her MeeMaw and Joseph.

I’ve become addicted to watching Cara’s daily adventures in search of the best coffee, burgers and meatloaf in town and daily experiments in baking and cooking.   The milkshake-sipping and singing visits with MeeMaw, Cara’s beloved grandma who played such an important role in raising Cara (much like my own Grandma) just warm my heart.  MeeMaw now lives in a memory care facility where Cara visits her regularly brightening both of their days almost as much as they do mine when they sing You are My Sunshine or Amazing Grace.

But I digress.

Back to these cookies…  these glorious nuggets of amazing deliciousness….

These may be my new personal favorite ever.

They are just such a unique combination that I cannot imagine anyone not liking.

Cara took MeeMaw’s old-fashioned peanut butter crinkle recipe and decided to try marshmallow filling.  She used Smuckers Marshmallow Topping (which I had never heard of).  I used a jar of Marshmallow Fluff, which I just happened to have on hand (who knows why?), and they turned out absolutely amazing!

Here is the recipe, shared by Cara, which I adjusted only by subbing Marshmallow Fluff for the Marshmallow topping.  I urge you to try these, and I can’t wait to hear what you think.

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Fluff Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup additional granulated sugar for rolling balls in
  • 1 7.5 oz.  jar Marshmallow Fluff

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cream butter, peanut butter, and sugars until light and fluffy.  Scrape bowl.  Add egg and vanilla extract, baking soda and salt.  Mix until well combined.  Add flour, and stir until well combined.

Roll dough into 1″ balls.  Roll balls in granulated sugar to coat.  Place on baking stone or ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  Bake for approximately 9 minutes, until just beginning to brown.  Remove from oven, and use your thumb or a utensil to indent a “crater” for filling.  Allow to cool.

Heat up Marshmallow Fluff 10 seconds at a time just until you can stir.  No more than 20-30 seconds total.  Fill centers with Marshmallow Fluff.

Enjoy!

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

 

 

 

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