Monday, March 10, 2014

A difficult decision

Can I just be honest for a moment?  I haven't wanted to Zentangle for a couple weeks now.  More specifically, I haven't wanted to make a Zendala.

I love the Zendala Dare, so much so that I think about it all the time.   New challenges, new templates, new name it, I think about it.  When it comes to completing the Zendala's however, I'm just not down with it.

As you have probably noticed, there was no Zendala Dare this week.  I tried all week to pull it together but my schedule just would not allow it.  I thought I could get it done yesterday but all I wanted to do is watch bad TV and avoid my homework.   I thought about writing a white lie and saying that my computer had broken or something but my readers deserve better so I abandoned that idea.  

So I had to take a hard look at what my issues were and figure out how to overcome them.  I knew that part of the problem was that I haven't had time for traditional Zentangles.  When I started the Zendala Dare I had a lot of time on my hands.  I did alot of traditional 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 tiles AND lots of Zendala's.  The traditional ones appeal to my organic side and my Zendala's appeal to the control freak in me.  Lately, things are so hectic that I have not been able to feed my creative side with traditional tiles and in turn my Zendala's have become a chore and as a result are not the kind of work I am proudest of.  

The second issue is school.  Oh, what to say about school.  I am in my third semester of nursing school and it is a killer.  Each semester is split into two different rotations.  This first rotation has really taxed me and I hear the second rotation is twice as bad.  More hours, more homework, more testing etc.  There isn't a whole lot of time for anything else and school has to be my priority.  And if nursing school wasn't enough, did I mention that I'm also taking a history class?  And I hate history.  I really, really, hate it.

I decided I needed some time to recharge.  Some time to focus on school, take the down time I need and not have to worry about deadlines.

So how does this affect the Zendala Dare?  Well, I'm going to have to limit my posts.  I will still be posting and giving you a Zendala Dare on a few random Saturdays but I will not be able to do weekly posts until after this semester has ended and I am able to fully commit to the Zendala Dare the way I want to.  So until June 1st, my posts will probably be few and far between, but don't worry there will be a few.  I apologize for having to do this but I really don't have a choice at this point.  I hope you understand and stick with me.  I love the Zendala Dare community we have built and hope to come back in June to make it even bigger and better.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Zendala Dare #93 - Snowflake Surprise

Well, it's been a VERY hectic two weeks but I'm back.  Testing, lectures, a small new business venture, and a weekend get away have kept me very busy.  I tend to think that I handle stress well but these last two weeks have really pushed me to the brink.  I think all is well now and I feel much more relaxed but I'm sure that stress monster is sure to rear it's ugly head again in a few weeks so bear with me!

Last weekend my husband and I ventured an hour away to the town of Sonoma where the hubby's sister and husban live along with my adorable nephew Calvin.  My husband and I have a very close relationship to our other nieces and nephew but due to distance we don't see Calvin as much.  We are trying to rectify that by heading to there house every couple of weeks for an overnight and some very much needed Auntie and Uncle time.  

The weather was beautiful so we decided a trip to Train Town was in order.  Train Town has a built to scale mini train ride along with a few other age appropriate rides.  We took my niece Avery with us so that Calvin would have a companion.  The kids had a great time and so did Auntie Erin and Uncle Ben!

I think she's a natural.

Fast friends

I think his hand on her knee is
beyond adorable

He's pretty excited about something

Somebody loves feeding the llama

After feeding the white llama she said she had
to feed the brown one "Because he had a look
of jealousy in his face".  Umm, ok.

Calvin has no fear of heights

Zendala Dare #93 - Snowflake Surprise

I mentioned above that I was on a weekend getaway.  The hubby and  I have joined a few other families at a cabin in the Sierras for lots of food, fun, games, and shenanigans.  The snow isn't as great as we would have hoped but at least there is SOME snow.  Since it is the first Zendala Dare of the month and I need to give you an added challenge I thought that creating a snowflake might be fun.  I have picked a template that I think lends itself to the challenge.  Now all you have to do is use it to create a Zendala representative of your vision of a snowflake.  

Here's what you have to work with:

My first attempt was a little heavy handed.  It looks more industrial that snowflake but, oh well.

Tangles:  Caviar, linework

My second attempt is closer to what I had in mind.  I'm not sure if it is more reminiscent of a snowflake because it's white or because it's more airy, but either way, I like this one more.

Tangles: Ramy, Betweed, Zinger
The tile above also uses Betweed because that is my "gift" tangle from Carmela.  If you have no idea what I'm talking about you can read about it here.  Just as a side note:  I have noticed that some readers are commenting that they "forgot to use the gift tangle".  The gift tangles were a side challenge for me, not necessarily for my readers.  By all means, if you would like to try out the new tangle I am using that week, go ahead.  New tangles are always a good thing!  I just don't want you to think you are obligated.

Please remember to link up below and have a great week!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

No Zendala Dare this week

Sorry but school is taking up all my time this week named I am unable to post a Dare. See you next week!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Zendala Dare #92

Ahhhhh.  I feel so relaxed writing this post.  Right now I am working a medical standby event on the ambulance at the Green Music Center.  Sonoma county is lucky enough to have a state of the art music facility at Sonoma State University and I am privileged enough to be able to listen to world class music and get paid!  Tonights performance is by the Santa Rosa Symphony.  I wish I could tell you what piece they are performing but I didn't pay attention to the schedule earlier.  All I know is that it's familiar.  Classical music really isn't my thing but I still enjoy listening to it and appreciating all the practice that goes into this type of performance.  It's an interesting process because in the afternoon there is a "rehearsal" that the public can attend and then in the evening there is the final performance.  Before the performance however there is a lecture by the conductor where he explains the piece being performed.  The Santa Rosa Symphony conductor, Bruno Ferrandis does a great job of explaining the composer's intent and why the piece is played the way it is.  Seriously, I'm getting paid for this?  I really am a lucky girl.  

Zendala Dare #92

Sometimes when I look at a template, I see obvious choices for the shapes.  For example, when I look at the ring of star like shapes on the outer edge of this template I automatically think AuraKnot.  Sometimes I give in and go with it.   Other times I refuse to go with the flow and instead try to challenge myself.  These week I decided I was in the mood for a challenge.

Tangles:  Limpitz, Lotus Pods, Mushnik,
Paradox, Courant
First I tackled the star shapes.  I wanted to keep some of the points but make the shape a little more organic so I added the Limpitz and Lotus Pods and then filled with some linework.  Next I added Mushnik on the edge and then suddenly realized that I needed to use a tangle from this blog post!  This weeks tangle is Paradox, given to me by Jean Chaney!  Of course I have used Paradox before, but it was time for a revisit and I am so happy with the result.  Thanks Jean! A little shading and the tile was done.  

Remember to link your creation below.  We all want to see it!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A new tangle and the Diva challenge

I was feeling under the weather today and you are the one who's going to benefit!  There was a million things I could have done but in the end a little tangling, some comfort food, and Sex in the City reruns won out.

First up is the Diva Challenge.  This weeks challenge was to create a Valentines Day inspired tile.  I happened to have a few renaissance tiles with me so I chose to use on of them.  I love how you can use all kinds of colors and still have a cohesive piece. 

Tangle: Heartstrings
I tried to lighten a few areas using a white charcoal pencil and a soapstone but I didn't really get the result I wanted.  It's pretty, just not what I had envisioned.


About two weeks ago I put up the step out for my new tangle Putter.  Soon after one of my readers commented below that it looked a lot like Jane Monk's tangle Connector.  I checked it out and sure enough there were many similarities.

Ya know.  It was bound to happen.  When I create a new tangle I usually use it in a piece and then wait to see if anyone comments that it looks like a similar tangle.  Putter had been on my blog for at least six months and I hadn't heard anything so I decided to post the step out.  Luckily, a reader brought it to my attention that it was very similar.

The truth of the matter is that it is a very rare exception that someone creates a new tangle.  Most tangle's are simply existing patterns that are broken down so that they can be used in the Zentangle method.  Then you add in combos and variations and suddenly you are into Tangos ( a new Zentangle term I was only recently introduced to) and Tangleations.  It's a sticky situation all the way around and lets face it, there is a fine line between being inspired and flat out copying.

So I had to make a decision about what I should do with this tangle.  I looked at Jane's pattern and saw that it involved many types of connectors, something Putter does not use.  I also saw that her's was limited to circles, which Putter is not.  Putter uses fills inside the shapes and Connector does not.  I decided that since Putter was already being circulated out in Zentangle land, the best option was to modify the step out so that it reflected one of my optional tangleations which uses squares, triangles and some hexagons rather than the circles used in Connector.  

Is this the best solution?  I don't know.  What I do know is that when I went to CZT training and Rick Roberts was talking about how we should conduct Zentangle business he said the first rule was "Don't be a jerk!", so that is what I am using as my guiding principle for this little dilemma.  

Jane's tangle is much older than mine and while I do not recall seeing it before there is a definite chance that I came across it at one point and was subconsciously inspired by it.  Jane is an amazing artist and I  consider myself lucky to be able to count her among my CZT family.

Below you will find the revised step out for Putter:

Now I hardly ever use the "D" word but I'm going to use it here so avert your eyes if it is too painful!  This tangle came about while I was doodling while waiting on hold on the phone.  I was truly just making random shapes on a paper and connecting them but then I thought it might work as a nice filler tangle.  I named it Putter because it reminds me of the old Tinker Toys and when I think "tinker" it reminds me of "putter" like when people talk about how men like to tinker and putter out in the garage.  It is very versatile. Change the shapes, change the fill.  There are tons of possibilities for this one. Get the printable PDF for Putter here.   Have fun!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Zendala Dare #91 and a giveaway WINNER!

Happy Winter Weather everyone!  I'm sure by now we are all experiencing some form of winter weather with the severity dependent on where you are.  Here in California's wine country it has been VERY wet for the last 3 days.  We really need the rain but it's a big pain to have to work on the ambulance when the weather is uncooperative.  Luckily, I have more school than work this week so hopefully I can stay nice and dry.

The big event for this week was my birthday.  We don't need to talk about how many of them I have celebrated but this one was pretty low key and still wonderful.   I had school for most of the day but my amazing friends presented me with a chocolate cake with a Salted Caramel frosting and it was delicious!

I followed that with dinner with family and a few friends and then a full 8 hours of sleep (which almost never happens with my schedule)!  It was a great day.

Zendala Dare #91

Here's your template:

Link to Zendala Dare #91 template

When I began working on this template I felt really connected to the leaf shapes on the outside.  It reminded me of a crown of leaves that Caeser Augustus might wear.  It provided alot of inspiration for a new tangle and I immediately wanted something reminiscent of lettuce because I wanted to it to be a riff on Caeser.  Caeser.  Lettuce.  Get it?  I did end up with a lettuce like tangle in eventually, but in the end I chose to use another new creation.   It's  call Lewer because it reminds me of fishing lures.  The whole thing is so Zentangle, you never get what your aiming for!

Tangles:  Lewer, Brix, Pendrills, Dragonair
I want to thank you for all the awesome inspiration you gave me for my birthday.  Reading all the awesome suggestions for "gift tangles" was truly a treat.  Some of you left your suggestions in your posts while others included them in the comments.  I'm going to start with the ones in the Linkey Machine posts and when I am finished with those I will tackle the ones in the comments.  The first "gift tangle" is Dragonair, submitted by Caroona.  Dragonair was actually created by fellow CZT Norma Burnell and was presented at my certification course, CZT 7.  I feel kind of special that I was there when it was "born".  Thanks Caroona for the suggestion.  It was nice to revisit an old favorite.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * 
I know you have all been patiently waiting for the winner
of last week's giveaway so without further ado, the winner is:

Judy Powalski

Judy will have her choice of the book Yoga for the Brain, by
Sandra Steen Bartholomew or the new iPhone app Tangle Library.

* * * * * * * * * 

I hope you all have a fantastic week and remember to stay warm and dry!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Zendala Dare #90 - Happy Birthday

I know you are all eager to get to the Zendala Dare but I have a few pieces of business to address.

First, let me thank you for all your comments on my post about the "fluff" in my blog.  I couldn't believe all the comments and that 100% of them were positive!  Many people commented that it was my blog and I should do what I want.  While that may seem like an obvious statement, sometimes I need to step back to see what's right in front of my face.  I think that perhaps, I was just trying to get my own ego in check and see if anyone else was even interested in what I'm up to and the resounding answer was "YES!"    So thank you, thank you, thank you.  Thanks for your honesty.  Thanks for your comments.  Thanks for your loyalty.  Don't worry, there won't be any changes anytime soon!

My second piece of business are my monthly resolutions.  You can read about my theory of monthly vs. yearly resolutions here.  So here's an update on January's resolutions:  Fail, fail, fail!

1.  Exercise 30 minutes a day - This one lasted 3 days.  On day 3  I overdid it with squats and lunges and was out of commission for 2 days.  2 days turned into 27 days and I haven't exercised since.  

2.  Watch what I eat - Umm, ya.  Whatever.

3.  Take 30 minutes each Sunday to review the upcoming week - This one is harder than you would think, especialy since I am in love with my day planner.  I think its just about getting in the habit of doing it.  A planner isn't any good unless you look at it.  This one was such a epic fail that I almost missed a shift at work and that has NEVER happened in my 15 years working for the company.

So, what am I going to do about this?  Try again.  That is the beauty of a monthly resolution.  You can just start over each month without any guilt.  I'll let you know how February goes!

Zendala Dare #90 - Happy Birthday

It's the first Zendala Dare of the month so there is an extra challenge.  Before we dive in, let's take a look at the template.

Link to Zendala Dare #90 templates

February 3rd is an epic day because it is MY BIRTHDAY!  

This guy (my dad) is partly responsible for getting me here:

Me and my dad

But let's face it, this woman (my mom) did most of the work!

My mom

I'm sure my mother will call on Monday to remind me that I weighed 11 lbs. 4 ounces and that I was not delivered by C-section.  Yes, I know mom.  I am sorry you had to deliver a toddler but it wasn't my fault.  Perhaps you should have controlled the Baskin Robbins chocolate mint ice cream cravings a little better.

My birthday got me to thinking.  I have so many readers who commented last week about how much they appreciate me, I'm sure they would love to get me a birthday present!  What would I like?  Chocolates?  Champagne?  A trip to Hawaii?  Oh, I know!  How about a little inspiration?  So your extra challenge this week is to gift me a bit of inspiration.  I want you to complete the Zendala Dare template and "gift" me one of your favorite tangles.  A tangle fit for the birthday girl.  Just fill out the template making sure that one of your tangles is a favorite of yours,  and make sure to include a note about which tangle you are dying to "give" me.  Starting next week I will use one or more of your "gifted" tangles in my Zendala Dares until all the suggestions are used up.  And just to make it a touch more difficult I am going to use them in the order they are posted on the linkey widget.  I'm sure I will get to revisit some old favorites and try out some new ones that you love.  I can't wait to open my "presents" and get started on next weeks Dare!

It would be a little selfish of me to ask for tangles and then not offer up one to you so I have completed this weeks Zendala Dare using one of my favorite tangles, Skein, by Sandy Steen Bartholomew.  This Zendala was completed using purple and black micron 01's.

Tangles: Skeins, Diva Dance, Caviar

After completing this template I realized that there is no published internet resource for the tangle Skeins.  Well that just won't due.  I must find a way to get it to you but it is only available in Sandy's book Yoga for Your Brain or on her new iPhone/iPad app called Tangle Library.  Yep, I feel a giveaway coming on!  All you need to win is to enter your name into the Rafflecopter widget below and I will pick a winner next week.  One entry per person and the winner will have their choice of the book or I will purchase the app for them.

Don't forget to post your Zendala Dare and link it below.  
Remember to use a tangle you want me to try and include
the name and a link if possible.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

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