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

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.

A Precocious Pink Pig

Precious Pink Pig Watercolor 8x10 140lb Saunders Cold Press

Precious Pink Pig Watercolor 8×10 140lb Saunders Cold Press

A precocious pink pig
with the name of Mig
was happily dancing a jig.

She took a zag and then a zig,
and all at once bumped into a twig.
To her sweet surprise, it was bearing a fig!

She had never seen such a thingamajig,
but it sure smelled good, and it was big,
So she voraciously gulped it down with vig!

YUM YUM – to be a Pig!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

This is one of a series of fun animal watercolor paintings and rhymes I am pursuing.
See the others:
A Rare Hare with Flare
A Duck Named Chuck
A Fawn at Dawn
Rooty the Rooster        

#WorldWatercolorMonth

Real can’t be ugly…

stuffed bunny watercolor card

How could I have missed this?

It is a classic novel.

It was made into a film, a musical, and a soundtrack.

It is a story that caused my heart to swell,
reminded me of the past,
gave me pause to consider the future.

It made me smile broadly.

It gave me a lump in my throat.

It caught me off guard and caused me to gasp.

Tears welled up, and then magic appeared.

The Velveteen Rabbit, illus. William Nicholson:

How could this be considered a “Children’s Novel” when it teaches such relevant adult life lessons?

“How about this old Bunny?” she asked.
“That?” said the doctor.  “Why, it’s a mass of germs!  Burn it at once.  What?  Nonsense!  Get him a new one.  He mustn’t have that any more!”
And so the little Rabbit was put into a sack with the old picture-books and a lot of rubbish, and carried out to the end of the garden behind the fowl-house.

How often does this happen in real life….
to real people….
whose hearts and souls are young,
but their bodies are aged, broken, weak, and have germs….?

How could I have missed this beautiful story that was never read to me as a child and that I never read to my children?

The Velveteen Rabbit.

Written almost 100 years ago, and I just bought my first copy this week…. via Amazon Prime….   for ages 3 – 7… and I am 52… and I LOVED it!

The life lessons are so deeply profound.
I so encourage you to read this… slowly – and at least twice:

The Gahan Girls: Thank you, Skin Horse. I couldn't have said it better myself.:

Thank you, Skin Horse, for your insightful wisdom.
I will try very hard to remember this every day.

Whether you have children or not, The Velveteen Rabbit is a MUST-READ!  It will be the best 10-15 minutes (depending on how long you linger over the beautiful illustrations) you’ve spent in a long time, and the best $7.49 you will spend this year.

A new, old, profound classic on our bookshelf!

It is waiting to be read to or by anyone who visits our home….   anyone who wants to know what it means to be REAL.

velveteen rabbit

Cheers & Hugs,

Jodi

P.S.  I was so amazed by this story (which I discovered after a friend posted a quote on Facebook), that I had to draw a version of a stuffed bunny (a velveteen rabbit) late one night.  It came freely.   From a Google Search of stuffed bunnies, I saw a photo similar to this one I painted.  It came quickly and easily, and I was delightfully surprised when I saw how it turn out the next morning – when the paint had dried, and my eyes were clear, and it became “Real.”  And “Real can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”