Cozy Cabin Winter Wonderland

Cozy Cabin Winter Wonderland Watercolor 11x14 140lb cold press

Cozy Cabin Winter Wonderland Watercolor 11×14 140lb cold press

Cozy Cabin Winter Wonderland.

I stole away early Saturday morning before the day got too busy and allowed myself some time to paint.

Everything seems to get so busy and stressful this time of year.  Work schedule… holiday shopping and preparations…   All wonderful things, but busy nonetheless.

And it seems my painting is one of the things that takes a back seat in times like this.  Understandably so – but still something I miss.

So I’m trying to allow myself at least once a week to stow away in my art room for an hour to relax and do what I enjoy so much – watercolor painting – something – anything – as long as I can put some paint and water to paper.

This week, I painted this cozy little cabin in the wintry woods…  maybe wishing for the coziness and relaxation that it evokes.

When finished, I thought it would make a lovely Christmas or Holiday Card or even thank you note for holiday gifts, so I’ve added this painting and prints and cards to our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy shop.

We were away this past weekend and awoke Sunday morning to a beautiful blanket of snow.  When we returned home, however…. no snow.

So I’ll just pretend, for a while, that I’m snuggled under a fleece blanket by a fire in this cozy cabin while the snow is falling outside, and then I’ll go about my busy work and holiday schedule – feeling thankful for it all!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

How do you say “Thank You?”

Crooked Creek, Ford City, PA - June, 2017

Crooked Creek, Ford City, PA – June, 2017

How do you say “Thank You”
for sunshine or health…
for clear days or gentle rains…
for happiness, joy or love?

You say it by sharing
what you have.
You say it by making
the world a better place in which to live.

-Thomas D. Willhite

How do YOU say “Thank You?”

I say it by trying to share something small every day
in this tiny little platform that is mine
to give to the world
a little bit of happiness…
a little bit of joy…
a little bit of love.

My “Thank You” might be
a photograph,
or a painting,
or a craft or DIY idea.

It might be a favorite cherished
or newly discovered recipe.
It might be a verse
or a quote or a story.

But it is my “Thank You”
for sunshine and health…
for clear days and gentle rains…
for happiness, joy, and love.

It is my gift.
It is my little life.
It is my creative journey…
at life in between.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*Focus

Baby It’s Cold Outside

Seymour Snowie - Watercolor Holiday Snowman with Cardinal - 4 1/4 x 5 1/2

Seymour Snowie – Watercolor Holiday Snowman with Cardinal – 4 1/4 x 5 1/2

Baby It’s Cold Outside…

I swear everything reminds me of some song.

No matter the discussion, I typically can break out into song about it…

or at least have a song running through my head at the same time.
(If you are anywhere nearby, you will likely hope it only runs through my head as carrying a tune is not one of my stronger talents!)

This time of year,
everything brings to mind a Christmas Carol.

It started snowing yesterday!
And turned C O L D!

I really can’t stay…. but Baby, it’s cold outside….
I’ve got to go away…. but Baby, it’s cold outside….

December snow is the best snow.  It is when most of us actually get excited to see snow – as opposed to March snow – when we are usually soooo over it!

So I was inspired to paint this chilly little guy – Seymour Snowie.

He is a holiday snowman, and he is chatting with his little friend Cameron the Cardinal.  I think they are so GLAD it’s cold outside!  At least Seymour is.

Wishing you cold, snowy fun outside, and warm comfort inside!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

(PS – I thought this might make a cute Holiday Greeting Card or Holiday Thank You Note, so I made these little cuties into cards for our McKinneyX2Designs ETSY shop.  You can check them out here!)

snowy-snowman-holiday-greeting-card

Winter Wonderland:  World Watercolor Group

Thank You!

 

watercolor thank you christmas 2015 1

Happy New Year friends, and thank you for being here with me this past year at lifeinbetween.me!

I had fun with one of my Christmas gifts from hubby – my new art easel – one day this week on my holiday break and spent a little time watercolor painting.

easel art

I thought it was a good time to design a holiday thank you note,

watercolor thank you christmas 2015 2

so I goofed around with a few loose pine tree designs that I can copy and create cards from.

watercolor thank you christmas 2015 3

Wishing you a happy new year filled with many moments to cherish!  Take the time to notice them,

to appreciate them,

to truly cherish them –

for it is these moments

that create a lifetime.

Cheers & Hugs,

Jodi

Thanks ever so much and a Card Giveaway!

PP269 Let us Give Thanks Fall Theme Card

How did it get to be November already?!  (And as hubby reminded me yesterday, only a little over seven weeks until Christmas!)

I do enjoy this time of year with all of the holidays and preparations and family time.

November reminds me to be thankful, and our theme for this week’s Paper Players Challenge seems so fitting:  Let Us Give Thanks – Fall Thank You Cards (PP269).

So on this first day of November, I want to say Thank YOU ever so much my “lifeinbetweener” friends.  I so enjoy sharing this journey with you and appreciate your comments and kind words whether in the form of a like or comment here, on Facebook, Twitter, an email or card, or in person.  Thank you for sharing lifeinbetween.me with your family and friends.  I am always amazed when someones comes up to me and says something like, “My friend told me about your blog, and I read it every day,”  And then I love when they tell me what they like best – whether it’s the recipes or stories or photos or DIY cards or watercolor art or crafts or chuckles with Charlie – all the stuff I love to do “in between.”

I would like to send this card to one of you to use to send to someone you want to thank.  Simply leave a comment –  a simple hello or anything that is on your mind, and I will do a random drawing on Friday to choose someone to send this too.  I may even add another bonus card or two!

PP269 Let us Give Thanks Fall Theme Card flat

For my stamping and papercrafting friends, here is how I made this card:

  • I masked off an oval in the center of a piece of very vanilla card stock and stamped it with the Penny Black Script Letter Background stamp in Memento Black ink.
  • I then randomly stamped on top of the edges with the Inkadinkado Maple Leaf stamp.
  • This was followed by sponging the edges in three layers of color beginning with StampinUp Crushed Curry, Pumpkin Pie, and finally Cajun Craze inks.
  • I cut out two ovals with StampinUp Oval Framelits using #2 and #3 from the smallest – #2 in very vanilla and #3 in black.
  • Same sponging was done on the small oval as the larger piece, and then I stamped the Thanks ever so much Sentiment on using the Paper Smooches Pretty Phrases stamp set.
  • To put it all together, I matted with another piece of black onto a Crushed Curry Base.
  • Embellishments to finish it off included some dark brown candy dots, a bow of linen thread, and a ribbon of burlap.

Be sure to check out the other design inspiration cards by our amazing design team at The Paper Players and play along with us.

Thanks again friends, and be sure to leave a comment for the drawing!  I can’t wait to share this with someone.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Charlie’s Thank You Card

PP267 Leaves thanks

This week’s Paper Players Challenge #267 is a Clean & Simple Leaves Theme.

I needed a thank you card to send to Charlie‘s “Aunt” Tracy who babysat him while we were away at Krautfest last weekend.   (After all, the sweet “Aunt” that she is, she even let him sleep in bed with her – and hog the covers – and woke up at 6am with him on a Sunday morning to go for a walk!)  THANK YOU my dear friend Tracy!

So this was a great reason to turn my CAS leaves Paper Players Design Team inspiration card into a special thank you card.

Charlie Falls Leaves

Charlie in the Fall Leaves

Trying to keep it “clean and simple,” I chose the StampinUp “For All Things” stamp set with oak leaves that stamp in a watercolory kind of effect.  I stamped them in Crushed Curry, Pumpkin Pie, and Cajun Craze Ink colors, and stamped the sentiment in Chocolate Chip Brown Ink.

PP267 Leaves thanks

Charlie and I wrote her a note of thanks inside, where I also stamped some acorns, which should remind her of the acorns Charlie likes to chomp on our walks and that I like to crack and smash when I step on them to hear that awesome crunching sound.

PP267 leaves thanks inside

You see – Tracy has been my walking partner for the past 20 years or so!  We are neighbors with a path through the woods to each other’s homes now and were neighbors before these homes!  Wow – another testament to how time flies!  We have been walking together all this time and neither of us is skinny yet!  LOL!  But we sure do enjoy the company and the “therapy” our walks provide – both physical and mental.

So thanks, Tracy, for your great friendship.

And thanks to all of you for visiting today.

In all things give thanks, for there is so much to be thankful for!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi (& Charlie)

Thank You Berry (Salsa) Much

thank you berry much

Thank you cards might be my favorite cards to make and send.  There is something so heartwarming about putting to art and words your feelings of gratitude and sharing it with the person you are thankful to.

So when one of my co-workers did something especially nice and helpful (which is a regular occurrence from her – lucky me – eh?!), I had this little card I had made a while back when I was practicing water color painting where I had laid out some fruit and mint leaves and tried to create it.  I was goofing around with making it a (not sure of the term?) combination of words and “art.”  (Anybody know the technical name for this or is there even such a thing?)  Need to work on my handwriting, but thought it was fun… or maybe I ruined it??

Nonetheless, I used this, along with a little batch of my Fresh Raspberry Chocolate Chip Cookies as a way to thank my friend and co-worker.  (Thank you Judy!!)

And while we are talking about the wonderful fruits of summer and berries, it brought to mind a favorite recipe I used to make and demonstrate from Pampered Chef years ago when I was a “Pampered Chef Lady” that I thought I’d share with you here today.  Only, I kicked it up a notch by adding fresh red raspberries too!  I’ve got to make this again soon!

Berry Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

Photo courtesy of myreciperoundup.blogspot.com

Ingredients:
2 Medium Granny Smith Apples, chopped
1 Cup Strawberries, hulled and chopped
1 Kiwi, peeled and chopped
1 Cup Red Raspberries
1 Medium Orange, juiced and zested
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp Apple Jelly
4 Large Tortillas
2 Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon

Directions:

Gently mix together first seven ingredients in a bowl.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.  Brush tortillas with water using a pastry brush.  Combine cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle over tortillas.  Cut each tortilla into eight wedges, and place on a baking stone (or cookie sheet).  Bake 5-7 minutes until golden brown and crisp.  Remove to cooling rack, then place in a bowl or basket alongside the salsa, and ENJOY!

Recipe from The Pampered Chef (modified)

Cheers & Hugs & Thank You BERRY Much for Visiting LifeinBetween.me,
Jodi

Mellow Yellow & Puppy Love

yellow flower watercolor card

Here’s a little yellow flower watercolor I recently did with no particular flower in mind – just goofing around really.  Feeling kind of “mellow” when I did it (which I’ve come to think is a good way to feel when water color painting). I think I like how it turned out.

I am using it as a thank you card for a very sweet lady (Hubby’s boss’s wife), who sent home the loveliest gift basket yesterday to welcome our new little guy, Charlie, who you may recall briefly “meeting” in yesterday’s post.

As those of you that know me or have been following for a while know, we lost our dear sweet Mikey almost three months ago…  Not a day has gone by that I haven’t missed him or thought about him.  Mikey was such a special little guy, and our hearts and our house has had a big empty hole in it since he left us.

Hubby has been following posts from petfinder, and animal friends, and all the local shelters for the past month or so in pursuit of a new furry friend to rescue and fill the void in our home.

This past weekend, he showed me a picture of a little guy, who we have come to name Charlie (or Chuck for short), who we drove close to two hours to meet, and who we feel in love with almost instantly.

Charlie got his name from the fact that his nervous tummy had him “up-chucking” three times on the ride home from the animal shelter to Mars.   He is a bit of a nervous Norman – quite likely he was not treated well by his previous owner.

Word is he was dropped off at the shelter with his buddy – another dog – about three weeks ago.  His best bud was adopted a couple days before him, and Charlie (Kota as he was named by the shelter) was deeply depressed.   When we signed the papers and got ready to head home, one of the volunteers told us we rescued him just in time as he was getting so sad.

We have no idea what his history is or what “breed” he is.  The best guess from the “experts” at the shelter is that he is approximately a year old (they determine this by looking at his teeth), and that he is part beagle and part Australian Sheep Dog…  We are guessing he has some retriever or lab in him – probably that and about 52 other varieties!

Charlie is growing more and more content and settled, and he is stealing our hearts quickly.

His first night, he slept in between hubby and me in bed.  Second night, he found his place on the couch in our room and slept peacefully all night.

He loves to chew on some old bones we had in a bucket from Mikey and is an avid fetch and retriever of a knotted rope Mikey didn’t want anything to do with.

I have been spending my hours scratching ears, rubbing tummy, walking the perimeter of our yard (and quickly accumulating steps on my FitBit!), and enjoying lots of doggie kisses in between everything else.

Our first BIG success came when Charlie “rang the bell” that we have hanging on the front door to let us know he “needed” to go outside on his third day at home.  What a fast learner!  I’m such a proud Momma!  🙂

How fortunate I am to be able to work from home and allow our little guy to acclimate to his new surroundings with the comfort of knowing I am here for him and he is safe and at home.

Here is Charlie “posing” in his Camo Bandana that came in his awesome gift basket.  He is 45 pounds of exuberance, nervousness, intelligence, and love.

Charlie in Camo

I guess that’s why they call it “puppy love!”

Cheers & Hugs & Puppy Kisses from Mars,
Jodi

Thanks a Latte! (and a Free Card Giveaway)

PP246 Thanks a Latte Love Perfect Blend

Any coffee lovers out there??  Do you ever sigh after that first sip of joe in the morning like I do?  Does anything taste better?  (with the exception of red wine after dinner?)  I love my coffee pretty bold (like my wine) with a nice splash of Italian Sweet Cream in it.

I created this card for The Paper Players PP246 Sketch Design Challenge.

pp246

The design was inspired by an awesome card I saw done by Paula Sievers at Stamping with Paula. I don’t often use Designer Series Paper, but I loved how Paula framed and layered it and then cut out the coffee cup and embellished the cup holder with chevron.

I have been wanting to use the StampinUp Perfect Blend Stamp Set and thought it would be so fun to put a lipstick mark on the cup like us ladies get so often.  Can you relate?

PP246 Thanks a Latte Love Perfect Blend

I had another stamp set from Fiskers with this sentiment on and the coffee beans that I thought complemented it and went well with the sketch challenge theme.  Some Gorgeous Grunge “coffee splatters” added just the right finishing touch.

I’d love to give this card away to one of you lovely “lifeinbetweeners” out there.  Leave a comment with your favorite coffee brand, flavor, shop, or how you like your morning java to be entered into a random drawing to win this card.  I’ve left the inside blank so you can write your own special thank you message to the person you choose to send it to.  (Winner will be drawn Sunday, 5/31/15.)

PP246 Thanks a Latte Love Perfect Blend 3

Cheers & Happy Friday Hugs,

Jodi

Thank You @ My One Year Blogiversary

PP245 Pleasant Poppies Lots of Thanks

On May 18, 2014, I wrote my very first blog post at LifeinBetween.me.  I imagine many of you weren’t with me then…

I just re-read it – and found a TYPO!  Ugh!  I thought about correcting it, but then…. it is what it is…  (Can you find it?)

PP245 Pleasant Poppies Lots of Thanks 3

I’ve posted every day for the past year, and I can’t believe how much I have enjoyed it.  I can’t believe the wonderful friends who have followed me through this and the wonderful friends I have made along the way.

PP245 Pleasant Poppies Lots of Thanks 2

THANK YOU, my 1,150+ friends at LifeInBetween.me for sharing this journey with me!

To thank YOU, I’d like to give away this card I made in honor of the occasion.

It’s not much, but it is from my HeART.

Here’s the plan….

Add a comment to this post letting me know what you enjoy most about LifeInBetween.Me.

Is it the recipes?  the cards?  the “art”work/crafting?   photography?  poetry/writing?  personal stories…?

PP245 Pleasant Poppies Lots of Thanks 4

To all those that comment, I will randomly draw one name to send this blank card to so that you can use it to send to someone to thank them for a thoughtful gesture.

I will allow a few days for comments and draw a winner on Friday.

I had so much fun making this card on a rainy Sunday morning.  I didn’t know where I was going with it or how it was going to turn out, but it evolved into a card I love.

Not only was I inspired by my desire to thank all of you, but The Paper Players Challenge is for a “girly” thank you card, and the Can You Case It Challenge was for May flowers, so I am entering this card into both of these “challenges.”

pp245   CYCI70-300x217

 

 

 

 

For this card, I used the StampinUp Pleasant Poppies Stamp stamped on Typeset Designer Series Paper with Black Stazon Ink, which I “watercolored” with an aqua paint brush using Tangelo Twist, Real Red, and Old Olive Inks.  The sentiment is from StampinUp’s Lots of Thanks stamp set.  I embellished with some linen thread, an antique button, some olive candy dots and a lace doily.  I also used my favorite Lil’ Inkers Stitched Rectangles Die Cut to create the “stiched” rectangles.

I am a StampinUp Hobby Demonstrator, so if you are interested in learning more about StampinUp or ordering products, feel free to let me know.

PP245 Pleasant Poppies Lots of Thanks

Thank you all for a wonderful year of blogging at lifeinbetween.me.  I look forward to sharing more in the coming year, and I hope you will share your thoughts with me.

Cheers & Hugs,

Jodi