A Newsletter for You!

KnitArtsPage

I now have a FREE Newsletter to offer you!!

At the end of last week I worked with MailChimp, an awesome newsletter creating site, to send out my first one. It is full of inspiration to keep the fiber flowing in your hands!

I have all sorts of ideas and plans for this little newsletter, so if you are at all interested in Knitterly things, subscribe to receive these monthly email newsletters!

Subscribe Here!

**The plan is to send these monthly, but they might be more often than that. Here are some of the topics these newsetters may include:

Where and When I’m teaching classes!

Links to patterns, yarns, my favorite blogs, etc.

A book recommendation (either a children’s book, pattern book, or book about life in yarn).

Encouragement to Be Creative!

It is all for YOU!! I hope you enjoy!

P.S. I am unsure whether you will be sent the first newsletter or not when you sign up. Let me know if you are able to get it.

Merry Days!

DrawtheHearth

From my heARTh to yours…

PoinsettiaChristmas2

…the MERRIEST of days as you celebrate Emmanuel!

May love, joy and peace brim to overflowing as you experience family and friends in the coming days.

Artful Friends

JenniferShawls

I am blessed with quite a few artful friends with whom I enjoy getting together to draw or paint, knit or crochet. The above sketch is of myself and a friend who is also named Jennifer. We both love multiple expressions of creativity, including knitting. Hence the shawls we both had knitted and wore to the movies to see the awesome Hundred Foot Journey. (That is a must-see movie!)  And although the sketch does not show a likeness to us at all, I liked having a drawn remembrance of a very fun day out and about in our knitwear. (In case you’re curious, Jennifer’s shawl is one-of-a-kind, her own creation! Mine is actually my Origami Shrug, the pattern for which you can find here. I think both of our shawls were knitted out of cottons, perfect for highly air-conditioned movie theaters in summer.)

Debbiedrawing

This drawing is of my friend Debbie with whom I draw on a regular basis. Here she is ensconced in the beautiful surroundings at our Ciener Botanical Gardens, where we like to draw and paint almost weekly. In fact, we were there this morning, my first time back drawing at the Gardens since my surgery. Often, all three of us, Jennifer, Debbie and I are there drawing the lovely flora and fauna. And all three of us enjoy being in the same gallery together here in Kernersville!

I have several other friends with whom I get together to make stuff or just to “talk shop”. As artists, we are always in need of encouraging one another to keep growing and stretching, fighting back fear, trying new things, being the creative people we know we are but need encouragement to be every now and then. Teresa and Stacey are two dears with whom I love getting together for just such encouragement. Though they live a few towns away, they are always in my mind and heart as I continue to walk this path of wife, mother, and artist.

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Next week I will once again be able to enjoy some knitter friends of mine in a knitting group setting! I am so excited about this!! I used to teach each of them years ago and our friendships have endured for five years or so even though I wasn’t teaching knitting. The above sketch from a few years back includes two of the dears (again, likeness is amiss) I will see next week when we begin to get together again to make things out of yarn. I could not be happier!!

If you’re a creative person, it is good to seek out friends with whom to share your love of making things. Whether you love making sketches and drawings, paintings, knitted or crocheted items, pottery, mosaics, poetry, WHATEVER,  you will love having a buddy or two to share in the fun. You learn so much from each other, and you benefit from mutual encouragement to keep on being artful in all you do.

Online creative friends are wonderful too! I so enjoy being here in blogland, sharing what I do and meeting you! I appreciate all of you who visit, whether you comment or not. But especially those who comment…I feel we are kindred spirits, together on this journey of living artfully and creating beauty in our daily lives.

Thank you, to ALL of you, artful friends near and far, virtual and local. Together we will keep the creative fires burning! 🙂

A New View

WhickerBack40

I am a creature of habit. I wake up around the same time each morning. I love my morning routine of walking, journaling, reading, writing. I eat meals at approximately the same times each day. I have favorite sketchbooks I stick with. I shop for groceries at the same places. I drive the same routes to wherever I’m going. Yes, there’s comfort in familiarity. Change, for me, is often unwelcome.

Yet change nearly always brings many benefits. One huge benefit is that I’m forced to see things from a new perspective, or I simply see new things period! Circumstances beyond our control can shift our perspective in really good ways. Both surgeries have done this in my life. Most recently, when I came home from the hospital, I knew I wanted to go for little walks, no matter how short, no matter how bent over and shuffling I was. Just to move my body, get the blood flowing, and be outdoors breathing fresh air and seeing sky, trees, grass, etc. I love to walk.

Even on my walks I tend to take the same route day in and day out. This summer I began taking a different route due to not wanting to tackle hills yet. This led me to walk down into our neighborhood instead of up and out of our neighborhood. Off of one of the cul de sacs is a view I hadn’t seen in a while. Mr. Whicker, as you know, has a farm at the top of our neighborhood. Last year he purchased more land at the back of his property and this is a view from the cul de sac. He leveled the field and planted wheat or hay (whatever it is he feeds his cows). I have loved walking down to gaze on the glowing field over the fence. Vines have grown along the posts and wire fence. I do love having new views…especially for drawing and painting!

So I’m embracing change in my life. I’m enjoying new views, new perspectives, and new work as a creative person. Even my body is having to get used to a new way of working. This too will become familiar one day. But for now, so much is different. Discouragement and fear licks at my heels some days. I’m doing battle with it by knitting, drawing and painting. Yes, they are familiar things to me…but they allow me to absorb and accept the new in a celebratory way. They function as anchors, rooting me to the ground as things change daily.

I hope you are able to experience some change in your own life. Embrace it with a drawing! Celebrate it in paint! Or knit your way through it one stitch at a time.

My Other Blog!

SlowStudyFlowers

I don’t know if you’re aware that I have another blog!

I’ve maintained this one for many years and I’ve been posting there lately some of my drawings and paintings of flowers. If you’re interested, visit me there and consider following Drawn2Life. I’ll be posting here soon as I always have knitterly things to share!

And here’s a link to my overall website where you’ll find so many fun things to check out!

Welcome All!

KnitArtsPage

I’m so glad you’re here! Thank you for visiting!

Embarking on a new adventure can be a bit scary, but I am filled with excitement as I have SOOO many ideas and plans for us here on Knitterly Arts.

Whether you are an avid knitter/crocheter, or a beginner, or just enjoy drawings and thoughts on life…

you’ll find something here to enjoy!

I have slurped over my posts on knitting and crocheting from my Drawn2Life blog.

Go ahead and browse around the pages at the top above the banner, or in the sidebar. Good stuff to read and explore there.

Be sure to click the “follow” button, and/or add this new blog to your Newsblur or Bloglovin’ list.

And if you know of friends you think would enjoy this blog, please share with them!

We will go on some yarn-filled adventures together!

We will draw! and live life! and go slow! and see all the beautiful knitterly connections in our lives!

So glad you’re joining me here!

Tulip Pair!

DancingTulips

The paint is barely dry…and these two fresh off-the-drawing-table tulip paintings are now at Southwinds Gallery here in Kernersville! Be sure to call Angie at Southwinds (993-0818) or drop by the Gallery to see them! Each of them measures 9″x12″. The perfect size for gift giving. Perhaps you have someone you’d like to give a painting to for Easter! Or a hint to your spouse for an Easter gift for you might be just the thing!

CienerTulips14a

These are only a few of the tulips now blooming at our Ciener Botanical Gardens which have just begun to bloom and will be blooming over the next three weeks. When I was there to draw last week, I got to meet the new Executive Director, Mr. John Whisnett (sp?), at the Gardens and he told us how they plant early blooming tulips as well as late blooming tulips so that there’s an abundance for several weeks!  Be sure to visit the gardens for a lovely walk and time to sit and draw, or paint, or knit, or just think.

Paint Elsewhere

SideBirdhouse2

 

Besides a sketchbook, you can paint on canvas…

SideBirdhouse1

…or on wood…

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…or on a birdhouse made of wood…

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…that has been sitting around your house for years…

BirdhouseRePainted

 

 

…but was painted an ugly green all over. I like it much better now. Don’t you?

I am now eyeing a piece of furniture in my house.

It could be the next target for the acrylics.

But I’d have to buy A LOT more paint! 🙂

Books to Inspire!

InspiringBooks

Every now and then I post about a book I’m reading that inspires me. Last year, around this time, it was Mark Hearld’s artwork and book. But it seems lately I’ve had a passel of books that I just love and I’d like to share them with you, in case you might be interested in one or two of them. Most of these I’ve read in the past two months. One of them I’m reading right now. And one I keep re-reading, even though I got the book last year. I’ll give you the titles and authors with a brief reason why it is inspiring to me.

Arne & Carlos’ Knit and Crochet Garden by Arne & Carlos: There were several patterns that interested me, but what I love most is the weaving of yarn works in and around one’s personal life…in this case their garden! I also loved the blend of knitting and crochet–not being a book with just one or the other featured. I am currently knitting two of the mice patterns from this book, one girl and one boy mouse, along with their clothes. You can follow me on Instagram to view the progress on my Mortimer and Millicent!;) It’s impossible to leave this book without wanting to go find a garden to sit in and knit!

Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett (author) and Jon Klaussen (illustrator): This is the one I purchased last year when it won the Caldecott Honor Book Award. I pull it out and read it every few weeks because I love how knitting can change a life, a town, a world. Fabulous illustrations!

Journey by Aaron Becker: Oh my. Words cannot describe the delight I have in this wordless picture book. It speaks volumes to me of how my humble crayon can (and does) take me on wondrous adventures and introduces me to dear friends. Purchased this year as it was a Caldecott Honor Book Award winner.

Paris in Love by Eloisa James (book not pictured): I actually felt like I was with her and her family while they lived for a year in Paris. Laughed my way through the book, and savored the wonderful descriptions of an American woman living in France. This book was on loan to me from a friend and I gave it back to her before I took the above picture.

Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim: I’ve watched this movie (note the VCR version in the photo) many, many times (it may be my all-time favorite!) but have just recently begun to read the book on my Kindle! I love every word of it, the wonderful old-fashioned “voice”, and finding out just how true to the book the film is. Lovely. And FREE on Kindle!!

The Illuminated Life of Maud Lewis/ Capturing Joy/ The Painted House of Maud Lewis: I gave the first book listed here to my mom for her birthday so I didn’t have it for the picture. But I have read all three of them and am so inspired by this artist’s life and work. Though it is a bit painful to read of her debilitating disease and nowhere-near-perfect marriage, it is an amazing account of the human spirit refusing to be squelched by anything! Capturing Joy is a children’s book version of her life and artwork and I plan on sharing it with my students next year!

The Yarn Whisperer by Claire Parkes: Marvelous, wondiferous short essays on life and knitting! Very witty, clever and insightful. This is fast becoming my favorite genre of reading…books about knitting written by knitters.

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi: I started to read this as my youngest daughter Maddie is reading it for her 6th grade english class. She asked me to read it at the same time she was, only a chapter at a time. I. Could. Not. Put. It. Down. Though some of the scenes were ghastly, it is nevertheless an intriguing (if not scathing) commentary on what it means to be civil and civilized. Wow. A Newbery Honor Book.

Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie S. Tolan: A friend and fellow artist (who is a retired Middle School Media Specialist) gave me this book at Christmas because she said it reminded her of the tales I had told her of my family growing up. Such a delightful read!! And oh my…quite close to home!;)

A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd: I’m a follower of the Nerdy Book Club and a lover of Young Adult Fiction. So when this one came across the Nerdy Book Club recommendation post, I got it to read on my Kindle. I found myself purposefully slowing down so I could savor this book for as long as possible!! Every single word was a snicker of magic to me! I relished and delighted in this book from cover to finish. I want to live in Midnight Gulch! Can’t wait for other books by this author, as this was her very first one!!! And I fear that I shall “need” the paper copy of this book: when I fall in love with a book, I really want the physical version to hold, look at, flip pages, etc. That’s the only downside to a Kindle.

So…what have YOU been reading that has inspired you in some way? Do share!! I’d love to create my next reading list based on your recommendations!

Bread

BreadDrawing

A few things:

I am not a cook.

I assemble (and draw) food.

But…

I love bread.

Sourdough, biscuits, rolls, yeast breads, pumpkin/apple/banana breads, etc.

I especially love crusty exterior with soft interior bread.

My love for yummy, hot-out-of-the-oven bread overcomes my dislike of and ineptitude at cooking.

Years ago, I used to make sourdough loaves all the time. Fed the “critter” in my fridge. Gave loaves to friends. Served family this beloved bread.

But it has been years since I’ve made sourdough bread. And I also have a “bread angel” who gifts us with sourdough bread (many many thank you’s!).

I now have a new love.

European Peasant Bread.

Thank you Kay for the recipe! (Even though I’m ashamed to admit that this is how long it has taken me to make the bread you so generously gave me and then wrote out and gave me the recipe!)

I share it here [with my added changes in square brackets due to not having exact items on hand, but it still turned out fantastic!]. (Kay’s notes are in rounded parentheses).

White European Peasant Bread OR 5-Minute Bread (ok…so right here I must tell you that I made a combo white/wheat bread. Amounts included below. Turned out great! But I think it will rise even more when I make it all white bread. AND…5 Minutes? Well. Maybe 5 minutes to stir up the ingredients. But then 5 hours for it to rise. And then 40 minutes for it to cook. So all totaled, mine was 5 hours 45 minutes.:)

6 1/2 cups unbleached flour (5 lb. bag will make 2 recipes) [OK. So. I did not have unbleached flour. I drove to Target to get this item. They do not have anything but bleached flour. I was too impatient to go to numerous places to find this. So home I went and used the Bread Flour and Wheat Flour I had in the pantry. I used 4 1/2 cups of white Bread Flour, and 2 cups of Wheat.]

1 1/2 T of Kosher salt. [I just had regular salt, the kind with the girl with an umbrella on it. Worked fine. However, Randy said he thought the bread tasted a bit salty. I didn’t notice. But I might cut back the amount of salt next time. OR, perhaps the Kosher kind will taste less salty…??? I told you, I’m not a cook. ]

1 1/2 T yeast (rapid rise or regular). [I had rapid rise yeast in packets. I measured this amount out and I used 2 packets plus a bit of a third. Does this come in a jar form? Might be easier.]

3 cups warm water. [Easiest part. Ran warm water from tap. Even I can do that. 🙂 ]

2 cups finely shredded cheddar cheese (optional). [To me, this is not optional…it is soooo delicious!]

*Makes 3 loaves or rounds. [Personally I love it in the round form!! Looks all peasant-like to me!]

*Dough is good for 2 weeks in fridge in an airtight container. [Really? It’ll last 2 weeks? Not in my house! I have baked all three loaves in the span of two days. And it is all gone!]

*Make dough: Throw it all in and stir just until mixed. Don’t over stir [pretty sure I did!]. If using cheese, add it last.

*Put dough in 5 qt. container. [Kay uses 4.7 qt. Sterilite from Walmart. I couldn’t find 4.7 or 5 qt. containers at Target, so I came home with a 6 qt. container. Seemed to work fine.]

*Let rise on counter 2-5 hours til it fills container. Leave lid askew [don’t you love that word?] to allow gases to escape. (If it doesn’t fill container in 5 hours, go ahead and put lid on tight and refrigerate.) [Mine did not fill the 6 qt. container, but I went ahead and baked a third of it anyways.]

*Take out 1/3 of dough with floured hands and floured surface. Don’t knead but work down on all sides [in a kind of arc from center of bread to the edges]. Then turn and do the same all around dough. This is called “cloaking” the bread. [Very cool!]

*Put in a greased and floured pan (round or loaf). (Kay notes that she hasn’t been flouring the stone/pan if it is round/flat; but that she would flour if baked in a loaf pan.)

*If dough has been in fridge, let it sit in pan 1/2 hour. If making it right away, skip this step.

*Bake @ 450 degrees for 40-45 minutes, until thermometer reaches 180-210 degrees. [Mine got to 206 degrees after 40 minutes!:) ]

*As you take dough out of airtight container, cover the remaining dough with plastic wrap.

So. I know it took you longer than 5 minutes to read all that! But it is so worth any time needed to make this bread!! I don’t know that mine turned out exactly the way it should’ve, so I will be attempting to “perfect” it. An excuse to have to make it many, many more times!! My family is glad of that!! I think you will be too!

Awesome quote I found today on this amazing blog!

“To err is human. To loaf is Parisian.” Victor Hugo

Not sure that “loaf” is meaning the bread kind, but it works both ways really well! 🙂