Paper Cut-Out Hearts.
Paper cut-out hearts,
X’s and O’s,
These are the things that truly melt my Valentine heart.
Cheers & Happy Valentine O’s,
Mason the Pickle-Loving Monkey.
Mason was a monkey that many considered fickle.
Instead of eating bananas, Mason loved a sour dill pickle.
He would often pay a nickel,
and sometimes even triple
for that tart, tangy prickle
of a pickle on pumpernickel.
On tasting leaves and seeds, he was truly noncommittal,
for his taste buds and his palate, they simply did not tickle.
He loved the pleasant pucker, and he would often stickle
over anything that was even remotely artificial.
Dilled cucumbers he claimed to be the official
absolute favorite and most nutritional.
Cheers & Hugs,
Mason the Pickle-Loving Monkey is another in a series of paintings and poems I am working on for a new children’s book. This new book will be special because it is going to feature characters that are based on the grandchildren of my best friends. Mason is the grandson of Joyce, son of Nikole, and brother of Ella.
Other fun products, like pillows, canvas prints, tote bags and much more are also available at our Mx2D Society6 Shop.
I will begin putting my book together soon and let you all know about it! If you are interested in my first children’s book of watercolor animals and silly poems, you can find it here: Klaus the Mouse and Other Silly Animal Tales.
Ella the Elephant.
Even as a baby, Ella was an exceptional elephant.
Her charm and her wisdom were immediately evident.
Not only was she stunning and delightfully elegant,
she was also most exceedingly well-spoken and eloquent.
As Ella grew she organized an annual innovator’s event
where she spoke about the things she was going to invent.
Carrying a book wherever she traveled and went,
Ella could easily recite the most informative content.
She understood the principles of what democracy meant,
and she cared very deeply about the environment.
Ella had a backbone that simply couldn’t be bent.
She clearly was destined to be the President.
Cheers & Hugs,
Ella the Elephant is another in a series of paintings and poems I am working on for a new children’s book. This new book will be special because it is going to feature characters that are based on the grandchildren of my best friends. Ella is the granddaughter of Joyce and daughter of Nikole, and they are three very special ladies in my life, as are their guys.
I have one more special character to create before I begin putting this book together. The poem for Mason the Monkey is already written, and I can’t wait to paint him. Mason is Ella’s brother, and I’m looking forward to sharing him with you.
Evie the Egret.
Evie was the cutest egret
you ever will have met.
The way her big blue eyes were set
was in a way you couldn’t forget.
Evie’s fluffy feathers, even when they were wet,
created the most fantastic egret silhouette.
Evie was a part of an all-girl egret quartet
where she was featured playing the alto clarinet.
The other girls, whose names were Annette and Suzette,
played backup to the leader, a brunette named Claudette.
Evie was known to fret
and sometimes get upset
because her name wasn’t Yvette
or maybe even Paulette.
But Evie didn’t long regret
for it was silly to be upset
when you really were the cutest little egret
from the U.S. to Tibet.
Cheers & Hugs,
Evie the Egret is another in a series of paintings and poems I am working on for a new children’s book. This new book will be kind of special because it will feature characters that are based on the grandchildren of my best friends. Evie is the first grandaughter of my bestie, Jill, and the second child of Jackie, my McHendy daughter, who first inspired me to start this blog.
I have two more special surprise characters to create before I begin putting this book together, so look for them in upcoming posts.
Ben the Brave Little Beetle Bug.
Nestled in a rare and exotic Persian rug,
lived Ben, the very bravest little beetle bug.
Many of his friends preferred to stay snug,
but Ben liked to go out and dance the jitterbug.
To get to the club, that was named Jolly Jug,
Ben had to sneak past a tough, ferocious thug.
Doug was the meanest bug north of the wall plug.
He was known to pinch and swing and punch and slug.
Doug lived in a filthy, fur-covered shag rug
beneath slumbering Brutus, the beloved family pug.
Ben would wait patiently each night for a tiny little tug
from his dance partner and best friend – Lucy the lady bug.
He would carefully inspect Doug’s grumpy ole mug
to assure he was sleeping as snug as a bug.
Then he bravely would venture, without even a shrug,
to go dancing with Lucy and give her a hug.
You may not think dancing is such a brave chug,
but consider the diminutive size of a little beetle bug
and how far it would ultimately be just to lug
your teensy-weensy body out of that safe and snug rug.
Cheers & Hugs,
Ben the Beetle Bug is another in a series of paintings and poems I am working on for a new children’s book. This new book will be kind of special because it will feature characters that are based on the grandchildren of my best friends. Ben is the first grandson of my bestie, Jill, and the first son of Jackie, my McHendy daughter, who first inspired me to start this blog.
Ben also brings to mind and heart a dear boy and his grandma (Gem) who are regular visitors here at TheCreativeLifeInBetween.com blog who were huge encouragers for my first book, Klaus the Mouse and other Silly Animal Tales.
A Caterpillar Named Clara.
There once was a colorful caterpillar whose name was Clara.
She had lashes so long, she did not need mascara.
When playing with Grandma – who called her Clara Beara,
she would often play dress up and wear a tiara.
They pretended she was a princess who lived in the Sahara
or perhaps even on the French Riviera.
Her most favorite dinner was spaghetti carbonara,
which she smothered in ladles of rich marinara.
Her Daddy loved to cook, so he would prepara,
and he put a bib on her, so she wouldn’t a weara.
But a bath always followed with Mommy washing her haira
and lathering her skin with soothing aloe vera.
So into bed at night went a fresh clean Clara
to dream of spaghetti and princesses and tiaras.
Cheers & Hugs,
Harper the Happy Hippo.
In a lazy, shallow river just outside of Ethiopia
lived Harper the happy hippo in a heavenly utopia.
The sun was always shining
while Harper was oft reclining.
Flamingos and pelicans and even a rare crane
shared and reveled in the balmy tropical terrain.
Harper loved to sing and play.
She smiled and chuckled and snorted all day.
She started a band
since her voice was in such demand.
She was surely the star of the show,
for who wouldn’t go
to see a purple singing hippo with pink painted toes
smiling and singing to the most beautiful prose.
A zebra was on the drums
while a cheetah’s guitar strings strummed.
Cymbals were clanged and clashed by a lively red-throated gazelle.
She was Harper’s closest girlfriend, and her name was Adele.
There wasn’t a happier hippo across the sea or land
than Harper the happy hippo and her Ethiopian wildlife band.
Cheers & Hugs,
PS Harper the Hippo is the second painting for my dear friend Pam (namesake, by the way, for Klaus’ friend Pam the Lamb). Harper is the baby sister of Lucas – Pam’s two grandchildren. If you’d like to learn more about my process or sales of paintings, poems, cards, pillows, and books, visit Sunday’s post here.
Lucas the Lucky Lion.
In a faraway land that was known as Zion,
lived Lucas, the exceedingly lucky little lion.
No matter the game – played morning or afternoon,
Lucas the lion was always the most opportune.
He seemed to be blessed
with the very best success.
And never did he possess
even the teeniest bit of stress.
Lucas knew he was king
of kickball and juggling.
This extremely lucky lion was tops at kicking balls and batting.
He even stole the show when dribbling, dunking, and passing.
But the thing that made Lucas the luckiest of all –
the skill that made him so very exceptional…
Was Lucas the Lucky Lion’s quintessential charm.
For there wasn’t a friend or foe he couldn’t charismatically disarm.
Lucas the Lion is a special surprise for one of my BFs. I was looking for recommendations on what to paint after taking a little break for the holidays, and she requested a Lucas the Lion and Harper the Hippo for her two grandchildren, who are fans of Klaus the Mouse.
I thought you might like to see a bit of the process I go through for a painting.
First I draw a pencil sketch.
If the pencil markings are too dark, I then use a kneaded putty eraser to lighten up the lines. If needed, I use some masking fluid to preserve any areas I want to assure stay white.
I am then ready to put on my first wash of paint.
After the first wash is dry, I rub off the masking fluid, and I begin adding layers, allowing to dry as necessary until I am happy with the painting.
Once my original is finished, I take the best photo I can of it for printing. Most all of my paintings are available in our McKinneyX2Design Etsy shop in prints (sizes 11×14, 8×10, and 5×7 – matted or not) and greeting cards, like below. For those friends who are local, my daughter-in-law (who makes beautiful rustic wood pallet signs) and I also have our art on display and available at Berry Vine Gifts in BradfordWoods, PA. You can find all of our information here.
Look for Harper the Happy Hippo in my next post here at The CreativeLifeInBetween, which is scheduled to post Tuesday.
By the way, if you are interested in a custom watercolor painting of an animal character for a child you love, you can order via our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy shop at this link. Let me know the child’s name and the animal you would like. It will be an 11×14 original watercolor painting. If you would like an original rhyming poem to go with it, that can also be ordered for an additional charge. It will come printed on an 8.5×11 sturdy cardstock sheet that can also be framed. Please allow two weeks for any custom orders.
My artwork can also be made into pillows and clocks and coasters and mugs and tote bags and a lot of other fun things – all available at Society6. Let me know if there is a piece you like that I should add there.
I hope you are all enjoying the beginning of this new year and settling back into your normal routines after the busy holiday season. It was good to undecorate from the holidays yesterday and find time to paint again.
Cheers & Hugs,
R is for Reflecting.
I was recently commissioned through our McKinneyX2Designs ETSY shop to create a special “R” watercolor for a sweet young lady who wanted one for the center of a family gallery wall she was creating.
She requested the R be in shades of turquoise and blue and entwined with some pink roses.
This painting is 12×16, which she plans to mat and frame to 16×20.
The poignant and provoking thing about it is her last name is Rodgers (the reason for the “R” painting), and that is my birth/family name.
Those who have been following this blog for any length of time may recall me sharing the story of my “reunion” with my “birth” father, which occurred eight years ago, or the story of the loss of my brother two years ago. Two “Rodgers” men in my life. So, for some reason, painting this “R” for a “Rodgers” family caused many reflections as I created it.
We all are who we are as a result of a compilation of our life experiences. I am proud to be a “Rodgers,” and I was honored to create this special “R” for another young lady who shares a connection with me. A connection I didn’t even mention to her. But an experience I am reflecting on as I add it to my collection of events that shapes my life and who I am.
May you find time to Reflect and Reminisce about your life, about the people you love, and about the experiences and events that have shaped your story. May you Remember to be good to yourself and to be kind to others. May this message Reassure you of your worth and your Relevance as a human being.
Rejoice in your Reflections.
Cherish the Moments.
Cheers & Hugs,
Liz the Lizard.
Have you heard of the lizard whose name is Liz.
Classiest lizard in the desert she is.
With pearls and diamonds and sparkly pink nails
She daydreams often of being in show biz.
She practices rhymes and humorous lines
as if she was preparing for an audition or pop quiz.
Nailing them every time – she surely is a wiz.
She’s a modern-day lizard, so be sure to call her Ms.
Yes indeed, Ms. Liz
Cheers & Hugs,
PS Liz the Lizard was made especially for a friend’s grandaughter, who loves Klaus the Mouse – my very first published illustrated children’s book. Granpap asked if I could make an Alex the Alligator and a Liz the Lizard for his two special little grandies. I hope they all enjoy these two characters as much as I enjoyed creating them.