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

 

 

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

Believe


Believe.

Believe in yourself.
Believe in your purpose.
Don’t be afraid – just believe.

Believe you can do it.
Believe you deserve it.
Don’t be afraid – just believe.

Believe you are strong.
Believe you are brave.
Don’t be afraid – just believe.

And when you believe,
you just may be
the reason someone else believes.

Don’t be afraid – just believe.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

I am so excited my DIL is back to making beautiful signs for our ETSY shop!  This little gem is one of my new faves.  It will be sweet for Christmas, but I “believe” I would like this out year round.  It’s a tiny reminder, which I often need… to not be afraid, and just believe.

Cyber Monday at McKinneyX2Designs

McKinneyX2Designs at Mars Holiday Craft Show 2017

McKinneyX2Designs at Mars Holiday Craft Show 2017

Cyber Monday at McKinneyX2Designs.

It’s Cyber Monday!  The most popular day for online holiday shopping.  Cyber Monday follows Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.  So many shopping terms!

‘Tis the season!

Will you be cyber shopping today?

Well, my daughter-in-law, Colleen and I thought we would get in on the action too by offering a 10% discount on anything available in our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy Shop as our little holiday gift to you!

Use Promo Code “Cyber10” when placing your order to assure the discount!

Will you be cyber shopping today?

Happy Shopping!

McKinneyX2Designs at Mars Holiday Craft Show 2017

McKinneyX2Designs at Mars Holiday Craft Show 2017

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

P.S.  Speaking of Daughters-in-law and specials, my DIL Liz offers FREE 15-minute Nutritionist Phone Consultations to those local to the Mars/Pittsburgh area who are interested in learning about healthy decisions for eating well.  Her areas of expertise include:  digestive health complaints including SIBO, IBS, IBD (Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s), and GERD, Autoimmune conditions, Natural Hormone Balance, and General Health and Weight Management.  Check out Nourish & Flourish for more details.

Sugar Free, No Calorie Candy Canes

Sugar Free, No Calorie Candy Canes.

How stinkin’ cute are these old-fashioned, rustic, sugar-free, no-calorie, cheerful, colorful candy canes – all packaged up to make them even more adorable?!

We’ll have these at our booth today at the Mars Holiday Craft Show!

My DIL, Colleen, made them (and I’m secretly hoping there are some left over so I can buy them to decorate my tree!) 

We’ll have these and lots of fun rustic pallet signs and decor as well as some of my holiday original and print watercolor art framed or not, holiday cards, and copies of Klaus the Mouse!

Yep!  That’s where you will find us today if you are anywhere near Mars, PA!  We’ll be smiling and celebrating with 260 other vendors spread out between the high school and the middle school with shuttle bus service between.

Hope to see you there – in person or in spirit.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Five-Minute Homemade Rustic Artisan Bread

bread-5-minute-rustic-artisan-bread

Five-Minute Homemade Rustic Artisan Bread.

Aren’t these loaves beautiful?!  I recently found this recipe that makes homemade bread so easy!

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You can mix this dough together in five minutes.  Then it just needs to rest for two hours while you go about doing something… anything else.  After that, throw it in the fridge – for up to 14 days!  Whenever you want a fresh loaf of bread, grab a hunk of dough, and bake it.  Super simple, super delicious!

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So… disclaimer… you obviously can’t make it from start to finish in five minutes, but that really is all the longer the dough takes to mix together, and there is no kneading, so it really is a simple way to make warm, fresh, delicious homemade bread quickly and easily with just a few simple staple ingredients!

Five-Minute Homemade Rustic Artisan Bread

  • Servings: 4 1 lb loaves
  • Print

Ingredients:bread-5-minute-rustic-artisan-bread

  • 3 cups lukewarm water (approx. 100 degrees F)
  • 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp coarse salt (I love using Maldon Sea Salt Flakes)
  • 6 1/2 cups flour

Directions:

Pour water in large bowl.  Sprinkle with yeast and salt, and mix until dissolved.  Add flour all at once, and mix until completely incorporated.  That’s it!  Five minutes.  No kneading.

Place a clean kitchen towel over the bowl and let it sit for two hours.

After two hours, cover bowl with saran wrap (but not too tight as it needs a little vent for gases to escape), and throw it in the fridge.

Your dough is ready to use at anytime in the next 14 days.

When you are ready to bake a loaf, preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Grab a hunk of dough with floured hands.  Do not punch it down, and do not knead or overwork it.  Gently shape as desired into a ball, loaf, rolls – whatever you like.  Place on a baking stone. (I bake absolutely EVERYthing on baking stones – cookies, bread, roasted vegetables, meatloaf, french fries – they are all I use in the oven – and the results are awesome!) You can let it rest for 30-40 minutes or bake right away – depending on the density you desire.  Dust top of dough with flour (and salt if desired).  Slash a few cuts in the dough with a serrated knife.

Place an empty metal broiler pan on bottom rack of oven and fill with warm water right before placing dough in oven.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until the crust is a rich brown color and firm to the touch.  Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*original recipe found at Leite’s Culinara

Sign, Sign – Everywhere a Sign

enjoy the little things sign

My daughter-in-law, Colleen, has been on a roll making fun signs for our McKinneyX2Designs ETSY shop!

just roll with it sign

We are also feathering the nest preparing for

our nest sign

the joy of our little one’s arrival in a few months.

joy

And who is ready for Fall?  With pumpkins and hayrides…

pumpkins and hayrides sign

and time in the kitchen…

fresh baked pies

fresh milk sign

fresh eggs sign

or end of summer ice cream cone treats…

ice cream

and long, lingering bubble baths.

hot baths

I love all these sweet signs and wanted to share with you.

Always stay humble and kind sign

If you or anyone you know would enjoy any of these in their home or find them a great gift, be sure to check out our shop:  McKinneyX2Designs.

I also have some original watercolor artwork, as well as prints

pink abstract watercolor

and greeting cards.

flamingo cards

Happy Sunday!

Do something you love, and cherish the moments.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Rustic Barn Weddings

Gable farm Matted

Gable Farm in Watercolor – 10×14

It’s June, and wedding season is in full swing!

Rustic barn weddings have become very popular in our area.  As a matter of fact, our son and daughter-in-law had a barn wedding three years ago next month.   I had fun creating this watercolor version of Gable Farm, which was their wedding site and a place they have now turned into a venue for others to hold their weddings and receptions.

Colleen has been busy stocking our McKinneyx2Designs Etsy Shop with fun rustic wedding signs made from reclaimed pallet wood.  They are super reasonably priced from $10-14.

Wouldn’t these be great little accents for a rustic barn wedding?

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If you or someone you know is looking for rustic wedding signs, hope you will check out our ETSY shop.

We have lots of other great rustic home and nursery decor, as well as some of my watercolor art, prints and greeting cards.

Happy Wedding Season and Happy Weekend!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi