Spring has Sprung!

Spring has Sprung!

Today is the first full day of Spring, and oh how ready I am to welcome it!

It may still be a little brown and chilly outside, but I put the snowies away and brought out the flowers and bunnies and birds.

I got this sweet tray and floral and bunny from my friend Anne’s Farmhouse Primitives shop at Berry Vine Gifts.

The amazing candle is from Antique Candle Co. in the most luscious fragrance of Country Pear by Cotton Stem.  It is one of the most wonderful smelling candles I have ever had!

These little bunnies are from a recent trip to Hobby Lobby.

And I love this Springy green wreath I also found in Anne’s shop at Berry Vine Gifts.  It replaced the cotton stem wreath I had here for Winter.

And what do you think of this fun little stack of books I made?  I’ve been seeing them on Instagram on a few feeds I follow, and it turns out I had everything needed to make them myself.  In fact, I might be making more to sell at Berry Vine Gifts and through our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy shop.  So many possibilities of quotes and personalized messages can be made.  For my first try, I did my favorite life message, “Cherish the Moments.”

Welcome Spring!

Breathe in the fresh air.

Soak in the warmth of sunshine.

Bloom and blossom like the flowers.

Whistle a happy tune with a spring in your step.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

 

An Art Do-Over

An Art Do-Over.

Don’t you love a good do-over?

The opportunity to do something over?

I had a painting I had hung in our bedroom that I just didn’t love.  It was way overdone and needed a do-over.

It had some great texture on it that I thought might make a lovely rustic looking sign, so I went to work and covered the entire canvas with a gray acrylic paint.

Once that coat dried and the textures shown through, I went over that coat with a parchment color.

My intention was to sand it and stain over it using that texture to pull out a worn character look to it.

I then used stencils to paint the sign using black.  I really should have measured, but I didn’t, and it is a bit wonky, but oh well – makes it more “homemade” looking…..  Right?  Argh!

Once stenciled, I sanded and rubbed some more gray paint on.  Then I used some Annie Sloan dark wax I have for chalk painting to antique it up.

It’s not perfect, put it’s kind of fun.  A lot of our family and friends refer to our home as the McKinney B&B.  We love hosting and having stay-over company, so I hung this in our kitchen.

Now I have a big ole’ empty spot in the bedroom.  YAY! – I get to create or get something new for there now!  What project will be next?!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Fireplace Makeover

Fireplace Makeover.

Hubby and I built our current home about 17 years ago.  It is the second home we’ve built, and it is the tenth place I’ve called home.

Growing up, I lived in six different homes.  Since being married, this is our fourth home.

So 17 years is a long time in one home for me.  The longest I’ve ever lived in one actually!

We’ve redone and updated things along the way, but one of the things I haven’t done much with in a long time is our fireplace.  It was in need of a makeover.

Our fireplace is a bit of a focal point in our home.  It is 9 1/2 feet tall and 6 1/2 feet wide.  It is one of the first things you see when you walk in the front door.

We burn fires in our fireplace every night from the first nip of Fall to the first warmth of Spring.  It is a place where friends and family enjoying sitting.   Being raised about 18 inches from the floor, it makes a great warm seat for a few people when a crowd is gathered.

I’ve been following a few home decor instagrammers and loving the clean look of white, so when my oldest DIL recently asked if I wanted to go to Hobby Lobby with her and my grandie girls, besides screaming, “YES YES YES” to a field trip to my favorite store with some of my favorite peeps, I knew just what I wanted to look for – home decor pieces for the fireplace makeover.

I found some pieces I really love – including this little white chipped mirror, artichoke on a pedestal, bird, cotton stems in a clear jar, and metal and wood arched window piece.

I love this new natural cotton wreath, which I placed over the only old thing I left from previous decor – an old chipped metal tile I snagged a while back at another of my favorite field trip shopping destinations – Construction Junction – a warehouse full of used and surplus building materials.  Some fun candlestick holders, another bird and a super cute bird cage that I filled with natural and white spheres in a variety of shapes and sizes finish up the mantel decor.

A serious statement piece now sits on the hearth in this awesome 3 foot tall vase filled with puffy white pussy willow stems.

I had so much fun choosing some new pieces  (especially since there was a 50% off home decor sale), and am really enjoying this cozy new creative space in our home.

As I type this, a warm fire is crackling, the snow outside is fluttering down.  Hubby has his nose in a book and one eye on the television from his cozy chair.  Our bellies are full from a Sunday supper served early – a lemon garlic pork tenderloin, roasted herbed spaghetti squash, and a beet salad.

I’m cherishing the moments – simple and satisfying – from my little space in the world I call home.  And no matter where it is, how it is decorated or what is served, the thing I love best about my home is who I share it with.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Getting Ready

Bunny’s First Woodland Christmas Watercolor – 11×14

Getting Ready.

My DIL and “biz partner,” Colleen, and I have been busy getting ready for an event this coming weekend for McKinneyX2Designs – the Mars Craft Show.

For those of you not from Mars :), it’s really a bigger event than you can imagine, and we are fortunate to be a part of it!

Colleen is been busy making these adorable little trees and festive holiday signs.

While I’ve been busy painting

Dancing Penguin Watercolor 11×14

and printing

and folding

and boxing.

We are excited to share our joy!  The Mars Craft Show features hundreds of local artisans spread out between the Mars Middle School and Mars High School (where you can find us – in the Auxilliary Gym).  A shuttle bus runs all day between the two buildings between 10am and 4pm on Saturday, November 17, 2018.

In addition to this event, we have two special birthdays coming up for a Pap Pap and granddaughter who share the same birthday.  I also have a short overnight business trip this week, so a lot going on.

I’m going to take a few days off from blogging, so if you don’t hear from me, know I am just busy and having fun and will be back soon.

If you like what you see here and are local, we hope you will visit us at the Mars Craft Show or Christmas in the Woods at Berry Vine Gifts this weekend.  If you are not local, please visit our Etsy shop or our website for more information.

Back to getting ready!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

I Spy a Deer

I Spy a Deer.

This past weekend, I pondered a watercolor page I’d done one evening the week prior, where I simply brushed and splashed.

Sometimes that is all I want to do…  just wet a piece of paper, drop in some color, and let the magic happen.  It is a great stress reliever to unwind for me.

Then I carried it around on Saturday – – just having it in within sight in the room with me wherever I was while I went about other things around the house.

Before I could do anything more with it, we had a birthday party to go to, so I just let it simmer in my brain.

On Sunday morning, I couldn’t wait to wake up and paint.  At 6am, I hopped out of bed, poured a cup of coffee, and tip-toed up to my art studio while hubby and Charlie remained in bed.

I knew what I was going to do with it.   In the close-up below, can you see my inspiration?  I had contempleted a bird…..  I considered a lamb…   I almost decided on a giraffe.  Then I saw what I had to paint.  A deer!  A handsome buck was peering at me as clear as day.

Do you see it?  I started with the eye, then the nose, the ears and horns… just adding enough detail to allow the brain to fill in the rest.  It’s a bit inspired by the Jean Haines technique I so adore!

I love how it turned out!

So in addition to adding to our McKinneyX2Designs ETSY shop, I added it to our Society6 page as well, so I could see what it would look like on pillows and iPhone cases and all the other fun ways they convert art into products!

What will you spy in the things you come across today?  Keep your mind open, and you never know what you might find!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Getting Cozy

Getting Cozy.

Getting out the pumpkins.
Getting out the candles.

Getting ready for colorful leaves
Getting ready for crackling fires.

Getting ready for flannels and hoodies.
Getting ready for fleece.

Getting ready for pumpkin lattes.
Getting ready for baked apple everything.

Getting ready for simmering soups.
Getting ready for thick, hearty stews.

Getting ready for Fall.
Getting cozy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Get Cozy

 

Creating a Nursery at Grandma’s House

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I am having so much fun creating a nursery at “Grandma’s house” for our new granddaughter.

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A sweet little haven for her to rest if I ever decide to let her out of my arms when she is at our home!

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I promised I’d show you how I turned bumper pads into a window treatment valance.  Didn’t it turn out great?!

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Almost everything in this room was a passed on from a friend, was given as a gift, is something I made, or something I re-purposed.

Thanks to our friends Sue and Rodney for “gifting” us with this beautiful crib they had outgrown from their two beautiful granddaughters.

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And thanks to our BFFs Jill and Todd who gifted us with this beautiful rocking chair when we learned we were going to become grandparents.  (Hope you don’t mind I painted and distressed it!)

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And thanks to our sweet Joyce and “Oh Rob” for this darling antique child’s art desk with paper roll that will be so fun in coming years!

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And a dear friend, Diane, who sent this sweet little hanging pillow months before our granddaughter arrived, but made me wait until her birth to open (and I really did!).  What truth there is in this message!  What joy!

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I’m looking forward to reading many, many books – over and over and over – in the years to come.

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And playing with the basket of toys generously passed down from a sweet friend and incredible young Mom, Stefanie.

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Sometimes I just walk into this room and smile… thinking of the memories that are going to be created and the love that is already there from the sharing of so many.

I remember the days when this was a little boy’s room with blue marbled walls and baseball trophies.  I reminisce about the two boys who shared a wall between their rooms and secrets I still don’t know about…  Two boys who were best buddies when they were little, didn’t like each other very much when they were teenagers, and are back to being each other’s “bests” as young adults.

Creating a nursery at Grandma’s house…
It is so very much
home sweet home.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Introducing McKinneyX2Designs

Mx2 log

I am so excited to share something my sweet daughter-in-law, Colleen and I have  been up to the past couple of weeks.  We started a little Etsy Shop together, and I could not be more proud of her and her beautiful work, so I wanted to share with all of you wonderful LifeinBetween friends.

Colleen takes reclaimed pallet wood and creates beautiful rustic home decor and signs.

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She takes buttons and burlap and creates sweet little works of art (several have sold already for baby nurseries!  a little blue whale and a toy sailboat!)

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She paints beautiful sayings and adds country charm to each piece she hand makes with love and such attention to quality and detail.

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I’ve added a few of my favorite little watercolors that I’ve turned into prints and made into cards – selling them in singles and boxed sets.

whimsy owl set mx2

From our first sale, we got a Five Star Review:

review

Thank you, Maggie!

So I hope you don’t mind me sharing here and asking if you can help us spread the word.  Will you share with your friends and give us a “favorite” on Etsy,  a “like” and/or “share” on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram too?

And maybe you’ll even find something you like or a gift for someone you love.  Here is a little gallery of some of our products.

I look forward to hearing what you think, and we would appreciate any ideas for products, suggestions for promotion, and general feedback on what you like or don’t like about it.

Thanks for letting me share, and thanks in advance to those of you that are willing to help us out and spread the word and share with your friends.

Cheers & Hugs
Jodi