Above All this Bustle

Above All this Bustle.

It’s early Friday morning,
and I have a day off work.

I woke up early just to soak in
some extra hours.

I could be (should be?)….
– wrapping
– baking
– shopping
– cleaning….

The list could surely go on.

But instead…
I turned on the lights of the tree,
poured a cup of coffee,
sat down and caught myself singing Silver Bells.

Remember to be kind to yourself.
Be good to you and to others.
It’s not about all the bustle.

If you sit quietly….
If you put your heart in the right place…

Above all this bustle – you’ll hear…
Silver Bells.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Dreaming of a Pink Christmas Tree


Pink Watercolor Christmas Tree 11×14

Dreaming of a Pink Christmas Tree.

I woke up wide eyed early Saturday morning with a burning desire to paint a pink Christmas tree…

I had a busy day ahead.  I was assigned to work a few hours at Berry Vine Gifts (the local gift shop where my DIL and I have our McKinneyX2Designs shop) and plans to visit Santa with my grandie girls.  I wanted to get a nice walk in with Charlie too.

But first…. I had to paint.

I had to paint this pink Christmas tree.

I painted it with layers of three pink watercolors – Opera Pink, Rhodonite Genuine, and Permanent Rose.  I started with a little wet in wet after lightly spritzing the paper with water and spritzed a little more after adding the layers.

I then went for a walk.  Stepping away to let it dry and let the watercolor magic happen is sometimes the hardest part, but it is also often so rewarding!

The thing with watercolor painting (that is so different from acrylic or oils) is that what you first paint is not how it will look once dried.  It can be frustrating (for impatient peeps like me), but it is also the fun and fascinating part of the art.

Once the pink watercolor was dry, I splattered some Inka Gold “ornaments” and Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bleed Proof White “snow” on the tree.

I totally envisioned this painting framed in gold, so in between my time at Berry Vine and our visit with Santa, I cruised through Home Goods where I found some beautiful gold frames that I wanted to try with prints of this painting.

Then today, with a full festive heart, I processed some prints and created some greeting cards from my dream of a pink Christmas tree.

I absolutely adore it!

I imagine there will be some who don’t “feel it” or don’t like a pink Christmas tree, but that is the beauty of art.

As I mature in my art journey, I am really seeking to paint what I love and what I feel in my heart rather than painting for what (I think) others will like.  There will always be those that like and dislike…. love or hate….  but that is what makes art so wonderful.

I’ve added this piece – the original – as well as prints and cards – to our McKinneyX2 Etsy shop if you are interested.

May YOUR Christmas dreams come true….
kinda like my little dream of a pink Christmas tree.

Cheers & Hugs,
Josi

 

 

Reflections in December

Reflections in December.

Happy December Friends!

I spent a good part of yesterday putting up our Christmas tree.

I’m being a bit more “minimalist” about decorating this year.  I’ve decided not to put out all the santas or all the snowmen I’ve collected over the years.

Instead… I’m opting for a more white and silver and elegant kinda vibe.

But I did spend hours working on the tree.

I had forgotten I bought a brandie new 9 foot tall beauty last year until we brought it out of the attic, and I realized the box was completely sealed.  What a fun “surprise!”
What a lot of work “fluffing” the branches!

But, unlike past years, I didn’t care how long it took.  No rushing this year.  I put the movie White Christmas on, and I sang along with Bing and Danny and Rosemary and Vera.  And I fluffed and reflected.

I reflected on Decembers and Christmases and trees past.

I smiled remembering cutting down live trees and decorating them with handmade ornaments from my mother-in-law and vintage balls painted with my name and the year on from my childhood when we were so young we were still kids ourselves.   Money was tight but the joy was so joyous!

My eyes teared up remembering hubby lifting our little boys high up in the air so they could take their turn every other year reaching the tippy top of the tree to crown it with the star.

I laughed remembering the magic of Sammy our magical elf, who came every December 1st – long before anyone had ever heard of Elf on a Shelf (oh why didn’t I think to market it!!!).  He is the one “ornament” I put on the tree no matter the “theme” each year.  He’s been coming around for 30 years.

I felt melancholy remembering loved ones who we spent Christmases with who are no longer with us – those who have passed, but live in our hearts forever.

I remembered the emptiness of those first empty nester years.

I reminisced about the first Christmas being reunited with my Dad and the wonderful, loving extended family that came along with him.

I rejoiced in the renewed joy and magic that grandchildren have brought to Christmas.

And I celebrate life.  I am choosing to celebrate the woman I’ve become through the time and experiences I’ve been given.   I am making an effort every day to be the me I am meant to be – not comparing to others – those younger or thinner or smarter or wealthier or more talented or whatever we all compare each other about.  I am telling myself every day that I am enough.  As Dr. Seuss said, “Today you are You, that is truer than true.  There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”  December is also my birthday month (even if it doesn’t come until the very last day of the month!).  And as a very wise friend, who faced and battled cancer years ago once told me when I said I don’t want to celebrate birthdays any more as I get older… “Celebrate!  Each day and year is a gift.    Not everyone gets this opportunity.”

May you find time to reflect on the memories, joys, sorrows, blessings and gifts of your life.  Have a beautiful December!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Nostalgic Santa

Vintage Santa Christmas Watercolor 11×14

Nostalgic Santa.

I am getting soooo in the Christmas spirit!

We have had snow and unseasonably cold temperatures lately; and I have to say, I have been loving it!

Ever since I painted my Vintage Santa Face watercolor,  I have been itching to do another vintage Santa painting.

So I did!  And here he is!

Ho Ho Ho!!

So much fun!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Vintage Santa Face Watercolor

Vintage Santa Face Original 11×14 Watercolor by Jodi McKinney

Vintage Santa Face Watercolor.

Hi Friends –

It’s been a hot minute or two (aka almost a month!) since I’ve posted here on my CreativeLifeInBetween blog.

And I have to admit… I have really been enjoying the blogging break.

I have been enjoying lots of time with family and friends and keeping busy at work.

I’ve cried tears of sorrow and loss with a few friends/family who have lost parents recently.

I’ve cried tears of joy as friends celebrated homecomings and moves.

I’ve cried tears of frustration at myself for making stupid mistakes.

I’ve smiled so hard I thought my cheeks would break seeing first time “school” pictures of my sweet grandie girls.

I’ve celebrated and toasted new beginnings and successes with my adult kiddos.

I’ve laughed so hard with friends, it made all the frustrations of the day disappear.

In other words, I’ve been living every day to the fullest and cherishing the moments.

And this weekend, I found time to play in my art room, and I created this Vintage Santa Face Watercolor Painting that I have to say I am sooooo pleased with it makes me smile!

My DIL, Colleen, and I are ramping up and getting ready for our biggest sale of the year at the Mars Fall Craft Show being held Saturday, November 23rd at the Mars High School and Christmas Open House at Berry Vine Gifts November 15-17.  If you are near, we hope you will come see us.  If not, feel free to check out our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy shop!

We’re also getting ready to celebrate a special birthday for a 3-year old girl and her 61-year old Pap!  (Both who I love more than life itself! <3)

Hope you are all doing well!

Sending Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

PS  I’ve been posting more on Instagram if you hang out there and would like to follow.

 

 

Ho Ho Hello!

Original Santa Watercolor Painting by Jodi McKinney 11×14

Ho Ho Hello!

Popping in with a Ho Ho Hello
and this plump and jolly ole’ elf
Santa watercolor painting.

Hope you all are doing well.

I’ve been busy at work
and busy having fun with my grandie girls and family.

I’ve also been splashing about a bit in my art room
and decided to paint this chubby guy for the holidays!

Because you know…..
Nobody likes a skinny Santa!”

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Cascade Green Pumpkin Watercolor

Cascade Green Pumpkin Original Watercolor by Jodi McKinney – 11×14

Cascade Green Pumpkin Watercolor.

Who said pumpkins have to always be orange???!!!

And…  What watercolor artist doesn’t adore playing with
Daniel Smith’s Cascade Green?!

Mix it up with a little Quinacridone Gold and a bit of Sepia for contrast and Voila!

I love all the shades of green and blue and yellow and brown and black created with the granulation of these pigments in this combination!

It was a fun pumpkin to create!

I’m excited to be one of the artists featured at one of our local town’s Sip and Stroll events this Thursday evening in Zelienople, PA.

I have the great honor of  being invited by my friends at Boutique 16063 – an amazing women’s boutique with the sweetest owner and team that making shopping there so much fun and make you feel like a million bucks when you walk out!

I’ll have some prints of this painting there and some cards (as well as a great selection of some of my other watercolor originals and framed prints as well as copies of the two children’s books I wrote and illustrated, Klaus the Mouse and Lucas the Lucky Lion).

The original of this painting is available through our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy Shop or at Berry Vine Gifts in Bradford Woods, PA.

If you are local, I hope you will sip and stroll by on Thursday, September 19th between 6-9pm!

There will be lots of great beers and wine to choose from, food to eat, artists to explore, and great shoppes open to browse and shop in.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Opening Up- Being True to Me

My everblooming yellow rose bush of friendship from bestie JRH – 08/19

Opening Up.

I need to open up about something.
I have recently been struggling with blogging on a regular basis.

I want to keep this space true to me.
I want to be positive and encouraging and inspiring
(even though we all have bad days – right?).

Many times the things I write about (like my recent post, “Confidence“),
are not only to inspire you, but they are because I need to tell myself.

I’m working on being confident.
I’m working on being fine with just who I am.
But those that know me best,
know I often struggle with that.

I want to be liked – well – really…
I want to be loved (LOL!) by everyone.

I know it is impossible,
but it is something I struggle with….
a people pleaser?
part of my DNA?
identified in personality assessments!
my crutch!

But I’m working on it.

Something about getting older
allows us to be truer to ourselves.
(One of the great perks!)

As a 56 year-old, post-menopausal woman – mother – grandmother…
I am basically invisible to most strangers.

That 20 or 30-something year-old girl that every once in a while
got a whistle or a honk or a drink offer…
or any of those silly things that made me feel validated as a woman…
is ancient history.

And I do kinda like it.
It let’s me be okay with being me.

The me I am in my heart and soul
and mind.

Don’t get me wrong – I still want to look and be my best
(and I wouldn’t mind a drink offer!),
but I know I will never be that “attractive” the world defines for women anymore…
(if I ever was!).

It is fun to wear clothes I wouldn’t have before
and experiment with things I was afraid to be judged on – like art and poetry.

But I digress…
Oh how I digress…  GAH!
Ramble Ramble…
Me being me!

The struggle I want to share with you today is that I am feeling obligated lately to post blog posts at least three times a week on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays like I have been.

When I started blogging almost five and a half years ago in May of 2014,
I blogged every single day.
I kept that up for the better part of five years!
I scheduled posts ahead even when on vacation,
and I obsessively replied to every comment
and followed back most of the bloggers that followed me.

Most of the time I enjoyed it.
I shared things about me.
I shared recipes I loved.
I shared art I created.
I shared photographs I took.
I shared thoughts and words I wrote.

I love(d) the interaction –
and to be honest – the affirmation.

I’ve learned a lot about myself through this process,
and I’ve met some amazing people, many of whom I consider friends.

But the job of blog posting is becoming a bit of a chore….
a bit of an obligation.
And I don’t want to do it that way!

I hate when I have to come up with something for a Tuesday or Sunday or Thursday,
when I feel like I have nothing, and I create something just to have something.

So here is the deal…
I’m not quitting.
I really don’t want to.

But I do want to post just when I want to.

It might be once a week sometimes.
It might be once a month sometimes.
It might be every day some weeks.

If I feel I have relevant material,
and/or if I WANT to post,
I’m going to.

Heck with stats, number of followers,
getting somehow “famous” or recognized or whatever
my original intention might have been.

Going forward, I’m doing this for me…
for the enjoyment I get from it –
not from what I hope to get back.

I hope you will stay with me.
I understand if you won’t.

I want to open myself up to any glorious opportunities
that I may be blessed with that come my way.
I am allowing myself space to grow and expand my horizons.

I will continue to cherish all the moments!
And I will share them when I desire
for those who desire to read about them.

Thanks for listening.
Thanks for being here!
It really does mean so very much to me!

Cheers & Hugs until next time,
Jodi

Reflections of Serenity

Reflections of Serenity 8×10 Watercolor

Reflections of Serenity.

Listening to Simon & Garfunkel
“Bridge Over Troubled Water” on repeat.

Feeling blessed with peace.
Feeling sad for those suffering.

Thinking of a sweet little girl, Eva Love,
in a coma with a traumatic brain injury from a freak fall from a golf cart.

Thinking of a blogging friend who left this world
two years ago Sunday – way too soon.

Realizing how precious life is.

Feeling blessed by a random phone call
from my 2-1/2 year old grandie girl.

Relaxing at home with the man
who saved me so many years ago.

Ramblings from a happy, imperfect, content
girl/woman/wife/mom/grandma/friend/lover of life.

Reflections of Serenity
painted with love.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Written Sunday evening.