This Past Week

This past week…

I gasped at the beauty of the early morning sunrise.

I cried about a brother who would never celebrate another birthday.

I shared overwhelming joy with a friend who became a grandma for the first time.

I shared deep grief with a friend whose mom is dying.

I celebrated life with the birthday of my longest, dearest friend.

I worried with a friend whose mother-in-law was in the hospital.

I laughed with a friend I chat with every morning on our way to work.

I discussed deep, important topics about relationships and next stages of life with people I love.

I played on the floor with two little girls who know me as Grandma and cheered first potty successes.

I was devastated to learn that friends got news they are going to lose their second child.

My heart was warmed by gratitude and comforted with love for my forever Valentine of 40 years.

This past week.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Lessons from a Squirrel

Early Morning Squirrel on the Back Deck Feeder, Mars, PA – January, 2019

Lessons from a Squirrel.

It pays to be nimble.

You can get what you want if you just stretch
your body and mind a little more than you think you can.

The early bird may get the worm,
but the early squirrel gets the birdseed.

Cheers & Warm Winter Hugs,
Jodi

 

Life Lessons from the Old Porch Swing

Front Porch Swing – January, 2019

Life Lessons from the Old Porch Swing.

It’s not about what you look like on the outside…
even if you are rusty, weathered, and worn.

It is about what you are made of…
and what you do with it.

It is about how you connect.
It is about the purpose you serve.

It is about the joy you create.
It is the comfort you provide.

It is about the support you give.
It is the sacred secrets you protect.

It is about feeling the breeze.
It is embracing the squeaks.

It is about the experiences you create.
It is in the memories you cherish.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

All is Calm

All is Calm – Snowy Winter Watercolor in Blue – 11×14

All is Calm.

We have just begun experiencing frosty mornings
and the flurry and dusting of snowflakes here and there.

It is well past due in our little corner of the world,
and I always look forward to it.

I am dreaming of the beauty of snowy, moonlit winter evenings
curled up with a warm, fuzzy blanket and a crackling fire

When all is calm,
and all is bright.

So I painted this scene in watercolor,
and it takes me to that place and that feeling.

The gift of creating.
The joy of art.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

P.S  This painting, like most all of my paintings, is available in our McKinneyX2Designs ETSY shop as an original or in prints sized 11×14, 8×10, or 5×7 as well as boxed greeting cards.  It will also be going with me to the Mars Craft Show on Saturday, November 17th!

 

 

 

 

Red Lantern in Snowy Woodland

Red Lantern in Snowy Woodland Watercolor 11×14

Red Lantern  in Snowy Woodland Watercolor.

When it is 109 days until Christmas….  (woohoo!)
and  105  days until the first day of Winter….  (while I paint in shorts in air conditioning)
and 72 days until the Mars Fall/Holiday Craft Show…. (the biggest, greatest craft show in our area!)

I can’t help but get a teensy bit excited for snow…
and Christmas…
and holiday decorating.

And I had so much fun painting this wintery scene
while early September temperature hovered in the 90s,
but Autumn sunsets and breezes tantalized and teased.

And I dreamed of the warm glow
and frosty blanketed beauty
of a White Christmas.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

McKinneyX2Designs

MarsFallCraft Show

Christmas in July

Bringing Home the Christmas Tree in My Little Red Wagon – 11×14 Watercolor

Christmas in July.

Today is July 31, 2018, and it is the last day of #WorldWatercolorMonth 2018.

And even though I’m wearing shorts and the air conditioning is on, I’m starting to think about Christmas.

Just a teensy bit.

Christmas is such a fun time to create art.

I chose to use my little girl character created for this painting (inspired by my first granddaughter) to feature in this first Christmas watercolor for 2018.

My oldest daughter-in-law and I are starting to think about what we are going to create for fall and the holidays for our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy shop and Berry Vine Gifts and the big Mars Fall Craft Show this year.

I’m looking forward to seeing what we come up with and sharing it here.

I’m looking forward to another Christmas, but with TWO granddaughters in our family this year!!

I’m looking forward to finding time for art.

I’m grateful to Charlie O at Doodlewash for hosting #WorldWaterColorMonth again this year and for honoring me wth the privilege of being a World Watercolor Month Artist Ambassador.  (Today is your last chance to purchase the souvenier pouch that supports the Dreaming Zebra Foundation in giving art supplies to underprivileged children throughout the world!)

I’m grateful for your visit here today.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

In Search of the Little Things

Daffodils Popping out of the Ground - February 20, 2018 - Mars, PA

Daffodils Popping out of the Ground – February 20, 2018 – Mars, PA

In Search of the Little Things.

Sometimes we need to get down low,

Forsythia Buds on Branches - February 20, 2018 - Mars, PA

Forsythia Buds on Branches – February 20, 2018 – Mars, PA

or look extra closely,

Grape Hyacinths Emerging - February 20, 2018 - Mars, PA

Grape Hyacinths Emerging – February 20, 2018 – Mars, PA

or push some other things out of the way,

Bleeding Hearts Emerging - February 20, 2018 - Mars, PA

Bleeding Hearts Emerging – February 20, 2018 – Mars, PA

or look for tiny changes.

Irises surfacing - February 20, 2018 - Mars, PA

Irises surfacing – February 20, 2018 – Mars, PA

The little things are there…
Little signs of change…
Little hints of what is about to happen.

As I walked around the yard late yesterday afternoon in bare feet on a record-breaking warm day for February in our area (we hit 80 degrees F!), I searched for little things.  I searched for tiny changes. I searched for little hints of Spring.

And they were everywhere!  Daffodils and hyacinths and irises popping through the earth.  Buds developing on forsythia branches.  Intricate formations of future bleeding hearts.

And it made me think…
Again…
On a topic that has not left my mind or my heart…

The mass shooting in Parkland, Florida last week where a 19 year old boy/man killed 17 innocent children at school.

As the days pass, details are being revealed.
Little hints of issues.
Little signs of change.

Didn’t anyone notice?
Wasn’t anyone paying attention?

Why was this troubled young man able to purchase military grade assault weapons?
For that matter – why is any civilian legally able to purchase military grade assault weapons?
That is certainly one important issue I feel needs addressed.

But we must also be diligent.
We must also be watching.
We must be paying attention
to our children.

We must be searching for and noticing the little things…
The little changes, the hints, the signs
happening with our children…

Before it is too late.

It is up to us.

Hugs,
Jodi

That Moment

That Moment.

That moment when a drip of water
crystallizes into ice with a single degree drop in temperature.

That moment when your eyes meet
and you truly see, and you immediately understand completely.

That moment when a song comes on
and memories and long-forgotten feelings flood your heart and soul.

That moment when the ringing phone
brings startling news that suddenly changes everything.

That moment when a single spark
ignites a rip-roaring, intensely scorching, blazing fire.

That moment of quiet wonder amidst the clamor
that reminds us that blissful peace is within reach.

That moment…

just one of the many…

that define our lives.

Cherish that moment.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Snow at Daybreak

Snow at Daybreak – Mars, PA – January 2018

Snow at Daybreak.

I stumble through
the early morning darkness
heading to the kitchen
for that first cup of coffee
to help prop open
my bleary eyes.

On my way,
I flip the switch
that turns on
the flood light
shining out
into the backyard.

What could be
more beautiful
than bright white
fluffy snowflakes
fluttering down
on a cold January morning?

Snow at Daybreak.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi