Sketchbook Chat #5: Ordinary Drawings from an Ordinary Life

It is my desire to resume my Sketchbook Chats, so I’m picking up where I left off and offering you the fifth one!

I was out in my backyard drawing the rhododendron bush that is showing off right by our deck. I had planned to video more outside there, but alas, a neighbor began to mow his lawn, so I came indoors to show more sketches, drawings, paintings, all from my sketchbooks over the last several weeks.

I hope you are continuing to draw and sketch your life, finding beauty along the way!


Artfully yours,


Discover Your Life Beautiful…One Drawing At A Time

I can’t believe it! I am so so excited to finally have these 12 lessons to offer to you! Years ago, I wrote a lesson a week on my blog. I called it Draw Your Life Mini Lessons. The response was positive and several asked for the lessons in book form. Though I made a couple of attempts at that, it just didn’t seem like the right container for the lessons. At the beginning of this year, I got the idea to expand the lessons into an ebook and video course. It is now complete and available in my ETSY shop.

The self-guided course is now called Discover Your Life Beautiful, One Drawing At A Time. It is the same 12 Lessons compiled into a 64-page ebook instantly downloaded upon purchase. Each lesson has a password protected video to view which offers more discussion on that Lesson’s topic as well as a look inside my sketchbooks, filled over the last ten years. The course is equal parts inspiration and motivation, tips and techniques, as well as instruction for four different approaches to drawing. As you move through the lessons you will come full circle to Draw Up A Chair and begin again and again.

The course is a comprehensive approach to seeking out and finding beauty in your everyday life. Everything from creative blocks you may experience, to tons of ideas for creating pages in your sketchbook, plus instruction for drawing in such a way that you experience your life more fully.

Of all the creative endeavors I enjoy, this practice of drawing my life is at the center. From this daily habit, I’m enabled to see my life for the beauty that may be out in the open or hidden from view. It takes drawing to uncover it sometimes, and sketching it celebrates the life I’ve been granted.

The overall emphasis in this course is DRAWING AS A PRACTICE, NOT AS A PRODUCT. My desire is that in working through the lessons, you will experience a freedom to drawcument your life without any burden to do so in a certain way or to have a polished product. We find love and beauty in the activity of drawing…not necessarily in the finished sketch.

I offer this course to you for the reasonable price of $45. My hope is that anyone might feel they can begin this life-affirming activity of sketching and drawing their life.

I would love to hear from you as to how it’s going, should you choose to purchase the course and work through the lessons. Whether you are a beginner at sketching or a seasoned artist, you will find something in this course to encourage and inspire you!

Click Here to visit my ETSY shop to purchase.


Artfully yours,


A New Pattern: Roomy Tunic!


I’ve actually had this pattern out in my ETSY shop for a few weeks and just have not taken the time to let you know about it. I’ve been wearing mine and loving how it fits and how comfortable it is. The added cowl is just perfect for the cold weather we’re having.


This is a terrific pattern for beginners! Simple shapes, simple stitches and the embroidery is optional, but it is certainly not difficult! I love the look and feel of tunics, like Patsy’s Perfect Tunic from last year which is a free pattern written for you in the blog post. The Roomy Tunic uses seed stitch as the accent to stockinette and works up beautifully with the Calypso yarn by Tahki Yarns. You can find this yarn locally at Knit One Smock Too in Winston Salem, NC.  Click here to read more details about the pattern you might want to know.


In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m offering this pattern and all others in the shop at HALF PRICE!!! So from now through Monday, you can purchase Roomy Tunic for only $2.50!! Just use the coupon code ILOVEYARN2 to receive the 50% discount.


Dreamy Poncho Revisited


Several years ago I designed this poncho from leftover yarns in my stash. It is one of my favorite things to wear when the temperatures turn cool and is often a conversation starter. Sometime last year I started a second one using all greens and have just recently finished it. While it is still too warm here to wear, it sits on Genevieve (my dress form) waiting for the day to be taken out for a twirl.


It is  truly a dream to knit from beginning to end. I love to play with color and this gave me the opportunity to see what could be done with one color. I had no idea I had so many variations of green yarns! Even the variegated greens offered delightful pops of blues and other colors here and there to add a little spice. You are never bored with this knit! Every color and texture provides a new vista as you work the simple stitches.

I love wearing this both ways:


As a poncho, with points down the front and back. (Please disregard the NON-matching skirt Genevieve is wearing!)


Or as a cape (or wrap). The collar adds just enough drama to the simple construction and finishes it off nicely at the neck.


For this version of the poncho/cape, I changed a few things. The original pattern was written with this in mind, so I didn’t have to make many changes at all to the pattern. I just added the new photos, and a few extra tips to make the knitting it up even simpler. Here’s what I did differently in this version than in the first one:


The original version had only garter and stockinette stitching alternated back and forth or to suit the type of yarn used. This made for very quick knitting, especially since you are using size 11 needles.  But for this version I wanted to add a variety of stitch patterns, especially when I worked with the smoother yarns. So I randomly chose garter, seed, stockinette, basketweave, two-color rib and so on to add interest and texture in the body of the poncho.


The original version had edges knitted in stockinette. This allowed the edges to roll and I do love rolled edges! But for this one, I decided to work the edges in garter stitch so that they would lay flat.


The original version was laced up (one of my favorite features of this design!) using organza ribbon. This version has grosgrain ribbon for the laced up front. You could certainly use buttons or any other closure here, but I really like the added detail and color you can achieve with the laced up look.


From now until the end of September, I’m offering this pattern for $1.00 off its regular price to those who purchase the pattern through my ETSY shop. If I knew how to offer a discount on  Ravelry I would certainly do it. But for those of you who see this offer here on my blog or via Instagram, you can use the code DREAMYKNIT to receive $1.00 off!

And I would LOVE to see a photo of your Dreamy Poncho once you’ve knitted it! I know of a couple of them that are in the making right now and I can’t wait to see their versions. I’ll share them with you when I receive their pic!

For now…may all your Knitterly Dreams come true!

**NEW! Knitterly Cards and Prints!

Hip Hip Hooray!!

My Knitterly Arts ETSY Shop now has more than just patterns!


I’m now offering cards and prints of my original watercolor artwork…drawings and paintings of all things yarn!


Knitting Hands. 5″x5″ Matted Print. $12. Purchase here.


Knitting Color. 5″x 5″ Matted Print. $12. Purchase here.



Set of 6 Cards, 3 each of the above images. $14. Purchase here.

And a couple of Genevieve prints are also now available in my Knitterly Arts Shop…


Drawn2Knit. 5″x7″ Matted Print. $15. Purchase here.


Drawn2Crochet. 5″x7″ Matted Print. $15. Purchase here.

***More Cards & Prints with a Knitterly twist are coming soon!!

*****To celebrate this big day, I’m offering a discount code for 20% off any item in my Knitterly Arts ETSY shop: Just type in CELEBRATE, to receive your discount!

********Thanks to so many of you who are subscribing to my FREE monthly Knitterly Arts Newsletter!! Click here to sign up if you haven’t yet!

A Shop of Their Own


I’ve been moving into a new shop lately! An Etsy Shop that is. Mind you, my previous Etsy shop is still open as well with a new banner also!

I felt like my shop was too jumbled and wasn’t clear as to what I was actually selling. So I’ve divided the items into a new pattern only shop, whose banner you see above, and an artwork shop, (which also has a new banner), for original artwork, cards & prints, and signed copies of my books for sale.

When you visit the Knitterly Arts Shop, you will see that I’ve also trimmed down the amount of patterns I have for sale. This is because I want to concentrate on items for your shoulders: shawls, wraps, ponchos, and even a bag or two eventually. Be sure to keep checking in on this shop for additions as I have many designs I’m working on typing up for you to enjoy.


Where have the other patterns gone? Well…they are slowly being added to my FREE patterns page, so check there too in the near future as I add my cupcake pattern, my owl and bird pattern, etc. I’ll also alert you, here on my Knitterly Arts blog as to when they’ve been added. Soon! Very soon!


I also updated one of my favorite crochet scarf patterns: It has a new name now: Simplicity Scarf, since it uses the same lovely V-stitch as my Simplicity Shawl. I’ve also ADDED a floral pin as an option for folks who like securing a scarf with a pin. But it is still the same low price for the pattern.

***To celebrate the Opening (and RE-opening) of each of these shops, I’m offering a 20% discount on anything in BOTH of the shops!! That’s right, all patterns, original artwork, cards, prints, signed books are all on sale! Your Coupon Code to type in when you check out is: OpeningDay.

This coupon is good from now until Friday, September 19th, 2014.


Artful Friends


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.)


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.


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 Light Touch


Some floral arrangements are bold and dramatic looking, like the one my husband gave me for our anniversary. Others are softer looking, lighter in their values of color. This one was given to me by a dear friend and her family from Harrisonburg, VA. I wanted to capture that light and airy feel of the flowers so I chose a lighter touch when putting in color.



The wonderful thing about being an artist is that you get to decide how you depict your subject. Some artists prefer to paint exactly what they see and stick to the original subject as closely as they can. Others like to merely use the subject as a jumping off point for bolder, richer color, or even abstraction. I often like to do both!  So I created another, very different version of this bouquet I’ll share with you tomorrow. It’s a bit of a process post, so be sure to come back and visit here tomorrow! Can’t wait to show you how it turned out! I think I’m on to something!

For today, may this floral painting lift your spirits and bring a spot of beauty to your life. It has been added to my Etsy Shop, in case you’d like it in your home. 🙂

Knitterly Things

I thought I’d share with you some things that are inspiring me these days. They aren’t in any particular order, though the first one is special to me:


#1. You must check out this brand new blog by a young gal who has a beautiful outlook on life and is so very creative! Click here to go directly to her blog. And for a special treat for you knitters…click here for a tutorial for making your own stitch markers! Fabulous photography here! (Ahem…the writer of this new blog just so happens to be my oldest daughter Catherine! above portrait of her;)


#2. I absolutely love following the Little Woollie blog. I recently tried my hand at Tapestry Crochet, following Julie’s tutorial. It worked out great! Although I think I will use yarns that are not 100% cotton, as I think this might allow the running “hidden” yarn to actually hide in between the stitches better. But she now has an awesome pattern for sale to make a few different washcloths using this method! I love her color combinations too! Oh, and someday I want to make myself a new pincushion like hers!

#3. Ever since I saw the movie, The Way, I’ve wanted to walk the Camino de Compastello, or at least some kind of long walk or hike over several days, perhaps weeks. I enjoyed following Jennifer Lawson’s blog as she and a friend hiked the entire Camino in a month! Wow! And I love her idea of Art Abandonment, where she leaves a little sketch behind in a cafe or somewhere for someone else to find. Pretty cool.

#4. I also enjoy following this English gal on her blog Twisted Yarn! She lives in a brewery (go figure!) with her husband and twin kids and knits and crochets all sorts of things! Her recent endeavor was to knit a mandala, not crochet one. Crocheted mandalas are all the rage now (Sheri, you would LOVE these!), but this gal decided to chart her own two-stranded fair isle version of a mandala…quite impressive if you ask me!

And there you go, Four things for you to enjoy if you have a spare minute or two in between the cookouts and parties on this July 4th!

OH! I almost forgot! I’m offering a 20% DISCOUNT on anything in my Etsy shop for the July 4th weekend! Patterns, cards, whatever you might like to have for a reduced rate! Just use the Discount Code FIREWORKS to receive your discount! This recent review of one of my patterns made me smile!


PRE-ORDER for Letters to an Artist


It’s getting close to the publishing date for Letters to an Artist!! For those of you who have been following on my other blog, I’m excited to announce that the previous 75 Letters have now been compiled into book form and will be available for purchase on or before the 20th of November!! I have it available for PRE-ORDER via my Etsy shoppe, so that when the books arrive, I can send you a signed copy asap!  It is 10.95 through my Etsy shoppe since you are receiving a signed copy! And you can also have me sign it to a particular person, should you wish to give this book as a gift. The book will be 9.95 through Createspace and through Amazon! This will make a lovely Christmas gift for creative folks on your list!

 PRE-ORDER here through Etsy for your signed-by-the-author copy!

**Please note that the interior of this book is black and white! The reason for this was that a 160 page full-color book would’ve been too pricey. So you will not have the individual artwork that was posted with each letter. BUT you will have a black and white line drawing that goes with the front cover color painting of mine! I hope you enjoy the drawings as well as the savings!!

Click here to view/print out a page spread from the book!

***ALSO…I have redone the blog, Letters to an Artist, with a new theme! If you are receiving this notice through an e-reader, you might want to click here to go see how it looks.  You won’t see the 75 Letters that are now in book form, but you WILL have future Letters coming to you on the LetterstoanArtist.wordpress blog! So keep following there, or sign up to follow me on that blog so you can receive the Letters as they are posted!! I do not post them here on Drawn2Life. Let your friends know about the blog and the book; those who you think might benefit from the encouragement.

To read more about the book, click here!


Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy!