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

 

 

 

Right Before Dawn

Right before dawn from my back window. Mars, PA March, 2019

Right Before Dawn.

The trees stretch their branches
and wiggle their trunks
and spread their roots
right before dawn
as if to say,
“Wake up!
It’s a wonderful new day!”

I sip my coffee
and stretch my arms
and wiggle my toes
and gaze outside
wondering how I earned
this undeserved privilege
to be right here right now.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

An Enthusiast in Life

Spring Floral Fantasy Watercolor 11×14

An Enthusiast in Life.

I LOVE this quote by Roald Dahl, and it sparked my enthusiasm to paint boldly and brightly and enthusiastically in watercolor recently.

“Listening to my father during those early years, I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. He taught me that if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good. Hot is no good, either. White hot and passionate is the only thing to be.”

Roald Dahl, My Uncle Oswald

I feel a bit out of practice as I’ve been doing other projects lately, but it was fun to splash watercolor again.

My daughter-in-law, Colleen and I are enthusiastically embracing a new project, which I’ll update you on as we go, but we are expanding our McKinneyX2Designs space at the local gift shop where we display our products, Berry Vine Gifts in Bradford Woods.

For today, however, I hope you will consider this quote, and enthusiastically embrace whatever YOU are passionate about!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi