Megan O'Dea Jenkins

Wishing you smiles and laughter every day.

Giveaway at Cut From A Different Cloth January 31, 2011

Filed under: Buttons,decorating,Gifts — meganodea @ 5:59 pm
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My amazingly creative friend Karla is giving away some gorgeous vintage fabrics and other treats at her new blog Cut From A Different Cloth.  Hurry on over!






Baubles & Bows One Thousand Times Better December 8, 2010

Now, I thought my Baubles & Bows were pretty impressive but check out these GORGEOUS and inexpensive gift toppers I just read about over on Design Sponge. Love this!

Design Sponge: Gift Toppers


Polka Dot Flowers & Purple Butterflies November 20, 2010

How could anyone resist doing a special project for this cute little blond hair-pig-tailed girl?

In addition to that precious little smile, she also has a precious pink and yellow bedroom, a little girl’s dream, right?

So her mom didn’t have to twist my arm to create some cute artwork for these gynormously tall walls!  I sketched out a design using her bedspread and pillows as inspiration.  We are starting on one wall for now but will add another soon, I just couldn’t wait to share the progress!

First step was sketching the art on the walls with white chalk (thanks Rosie for the recommendation!)

If you look very very very close you can see the faint white lines.



And I mixed up a beautiful light fluffy purply violet color.



And started with that cute little butterfly in the corner.



Then the periwinkle colored flower with polka dots in the middle.



Then the bright pink flower!



To finish it off I added some white polka dots and green stems and leaves.  SO CUTE!! And I heard the little one loved it too!


Hope your day is filled with polka dot flowers and purple butterflies!




Who Would Have Thought – a Memory Box For First Communion April 18, 2010

A few months ago my Aunt Jody came to me with a great idea, her little nephew J.T. was about to participate in his First Communion and she wanted to get him something meaningful, fun and something he would keep forever. Now, you may remember me mentioning my Aunt Jody here, she is an artist herself creating beautiful cookies, cakes and other amazing desserts!  She even surprised me with these beautiful cupcakes for my birthday!

And as you can see I was so surprised and appreciative, she is always doing these special things for my sister and myself.

So I wasn’t surprised when she had the excellent idea to give J.T. a memory box to celebrate his first communion and keep those memories for life.  I scoured the internet for ideas – she gave me free range on what it would look like, did I mention Aunt Jody is not only an amazing aunt but the best customer too, FREE RANGE to do WHATEVER I WANT to do!  I knew I wanted something with color even though when you think of first communion you think fluffy white dresses, well, I do anyway!  And I wanted to make it light-hearted with a touch of “kid”.

I created a really simple water color illustration of the chalice and host for the cover of the memory box – I wanted the process to go quick so I dried the paper with a hair dryer allowing me to create the entire piece in one night!  Here’s a little sample of the “kid” part of the box – blue rick rack. I love using rick rack and buttons on these memory boxes.

The one request Aunt Jody did make was that she didn’t want the event information to be the focal point of the piece.  So I had a little fun with it and put it on the inside of the box along with a space for a 4×6 photo.  The photo corners stick to the paper real easy and are a nice detail on the piece.  I found the fun letters at Hobby Lobby and have been using them a lot lately.

The gold paper is such a beautifully rich color, my camera doesn’t do it justice, but I fell in love with it as soon as I opened that paper drawer at Dick Blick!

And another touch of rick rack to cover the seam where the paper joined.

And here it is tied with a beautiful black bow.

The best part of this project was the excitement and delight on Aunt Jody’s face when she saw it for the first time. I’m so happy she was so happy with the end result, I can’t wait to hear what J.T. thinks about it.  What types of gifts did you receive for your First Communion and do you still have them tucked away somewhere special?




Keeping Memories for Baby Girl April 6, 2010

In a previous post I shared the start of a project – a memory box for a baby girl.  This was so fun because my friend Jami is giving this as a gift to a good friend of hers who recently welcomed baby Emri into the world.  Because Emri has such an adorable nursery, Jami thought it would be fun to match the memory box design to the nursery so Mom can display it. Of course I was all for this as well, what artist doesn’t want their creation to be center of attention!

On the left is a photo of the wall mural in baby Emri’s nursery, a whimsical tree with sage green leaves and highlights of pink flowers. On the right is all the components I planned to use in the box, pink buttons, ribbon with a pattern similar to that of the wall mural and various colors and textures of paper.

I’m really pleased with how the different textures, tones, colors and styles came together in this whimsical yet trendy memory box for baby Emri.  The papers, ribbon and letters were found at some of my favorite art supply stores including Hollanders, Hobby Lobby and Dick Blick.  Of course the buttons come from all of my various junk store or antique store adventures in either Omaha, Overton or Weston, MO.

I really like using these letters because they add a child like playfulness  to the memory box.  The photo corners are another new item I’ve been using recently as opposed to building an actual frame out of chipboard and slipping a photo in it.  This is a much more user friendly solution and leaves more room for for fun details like layering different papers and more buttons!

I have a really great HP Desk Jet printer that came with my Mac that I purchased back in 2002!  I can run so many different thickness and textures of paper through this printer, it is an awesome resource and I hope it never ever dies on me!

This is kind of an awkward angle but you can see how I incorporated all of the elements from the front of the memory box on the inside of the box.

As all artists experience, sometimes mistakes can be happy ones!  This strip of green paper with the letters spelling out Emri was a last minute addition because the paper crinkled really awkward when the glue dried and I didn’t like how it looked.  This was a creative solution to fixing that issue as it really enhanced the design of the interior of the memory box, making it more personal and interesting to look at.

I’m so happy that baby Emri will have something so fun and whimsical as a keepsake full of many memories to visit over and over again the rest of her life!  I’m curious, how do you keep the many memories made by your babies?




Special Gift to Keep Wedding Memories March 6, 2010

Filed under: Box Making,Buttons,Gifts,Omaha,Paper Arts — meganodea @ 9:07 pm
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My friend Nikki who lives in Minnesota sent me an envelope full of memories from her sister’s recent wedding. Everything from shower invitations and photos of the couple to bachelorette party keepsakes and the gorgeous wedding invite itself. Having all of these items made this memory box even more special it allowed me to create the entire piece and add elements I normally wouldn’t get to.  This was such a fun project that really took me to another level with my creations. Thanks Nikki!!

I purchased the chipboard for the box, book cloth and papers from my favorite paper store – Hollander’s. The ribbon is from one of Hobby Lobby’s fabulous 50% off sales!! And the buttons are from my favorite junk store – Tiede’s – in Overton, NE.

I really like this style of box – a basic hinged lid box.  It allows to do some fun stuff with clasps or ribbons to securely close the box.

And a fun little surprise when you open the box – a beautiful photo of the happy couple!

Here you can see several bundles of keepsakes secured with a bow and accented with some beautiful but artificial greenery!  Similar to that on their invitation you see on the front of the box.  This is a great little keepsake for Nikki’s sister.  Thanks for a fun project Nikki!

And up next. . . another memory box but this time for a baby girl.  My good friend Jami is giving this to special friends who recently had a baby girl.  On the left is a photo from the nursery that Jami sent me before hand so I’m matching the colors and style.

Can’t wait to share this new creation with you!!




Painting the Night Away February 14, 2010

Filed under: Gifts,Illustration — meganodea @ 8:23 pm
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I’ve been having a ball spending a lot of time in my art room lately, I can’t explain how wonderful it feels to be in that state of mind where you can just get lost in a project for hours. I haven’t been able to get there for a long time so it’s been a real treat.  I received this beautiful easel below at Christmas from my boyfriend Brian, a very very special surprise.  So of course, I wanted the first painting to be for him!

Brian loves music and is a big Eric Clapton fan and one night he shared with me this really cool old photo of Clapton. . .I learned that this guitar was specially designed for Slow Hand to hold a cigarette!

So, with a little artistic license, I created my own interpretation of the black and white photo and surprised Brian with it for Valentine’s Day.  I’m pretty happy with how it turned out and absolutely loved going through the creative process, that’s my favorite part of being an artist, the process.

And as my fellow artists probably experience too, you usually have a favorite part of the creation that you feel turned out really cool for some reason or another.  This is my favorite part, it was a technique I learned in school to create the look of transparency like tape holding the chord to the guitar.  By putting down one stroke of watered down light gray paint and a few touches of highlight and shadow you can almost feel the tape covering up the chord!  Well. . . I can anyway!

I had some difficulty figuring out what some of the things were because the photo I worked from was black and white and very stylized so I tried to just concentrate on the contrast between light and dark and not so much the details (which is hard for a trained scientific illustrator to do!) I also really like how the smoke from the cigarette turned out.

This was such a fun project and best of all I loved surprising Brian with it.  While neither of us will ever be able to play the guitar like Clapton, we can always dream – and enjoy his blues inspired music!  What special gift did you make for your Valentine? I would love to see them!