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

 

 

 

 

Ella the Elephant

Ella the Elephant.

Even as a baby, Ella was an exceptional elephant.
Her charm and her wisdom were immediately evident.

Not only was she stunning and delightfully elegant,
she was also most exceedingly well-spoken and eloquent.

As Ella grew she organized an annual innovator’s event
where she spoke about the things she was going to invent.

Carrying a book wherever she traveled and went,
Ella could easily recite the most informative content.

She understood the principles of what democracy meant,
and she cared very deeply about the environment.

Ella had a backbone that simply couldn’t be bent.
She clearly was destined to be the President.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Ella the Elephant is another in a series of paintings and poems I am working on for a new children’s book.  This new book will be special because it is going to feature characters that are based on the grandchildren of my best friends.  Ella is the granddaughter of Joyce and daughter of Nikole, and they are three very special ladies in my life, as are their guys.

I have one more special character to create before I begin putting this book together.  The poem for Mason the Monkey is already written, and I can’t wait to paint him.  Mason is Ella’s brother, and I’m looking forward to sharing him with you.

Prints and greeting cards of all of these paintings are available in our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy shop, where you can also order a customized painting and poem of or for someone dear to you.

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 little beetle 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 whose name was 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 most 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

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

 

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