Thursday, June 30, 2011

Have Zentangle, will travel

Linda Farmer posted a very useful idea today at for storing and transporting Zentangle tiles.  I thought this would be a good opportunity to show one of the reasons I love Zentangle so much, portability.

As I have said before, I always knew I wanted to draw, I just didn't know what I wanted to draw.  I always envied people I would see in the park or Starbuck's who were sketching people or trees.  I remember thinking how freeing it must be to just take a seat somewhere and be able to create art.  When I first became a paramedic I had an ambulance partner who would spend a good portion of our down time sketching on napkins, granted he only drew naked women, but they were very good renditions of naked women!  I tried many times with his guidance to do some nature sketches in my down time but it just never clicked, plus all the trees and birds looked like, you guessed it,  naked women!  But seriously, when I found Zentangle, it was instant love.  I could suddenly draw, I could take it anywhere, and it was super ambulance friendly.

I tried a few different transport options before stumbling on a post by McCall Miller, CZT.  I promptly went out and bought one of the Case Logic hard drive cases that she recommended and it worked out perfectly.

There is an elastic loop that holds about a dozen tiles and the mesh pocket easily holds 2-3 pens, a pencil and a blending stump.  I keep one in my purse and the other in my work bag so that I am always ready to tangle.  I found mine at Office Depot but you can also find them online at  An added bonus is that the outside is rigid enough to provide a portable work surface while still protecting the contents.  I found a few diskette cases like the one's Linda recommended in my husbands desk and can now use them to keep my finished tiles clean and safe.  Now that you have options to take your tangles on the go  there's no excuse to not be tangling anywhere and everywhere!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Let's celebrate!

As some of you know, I have been  involved in some sort of crafting as far back as I can remember.  I have dabbled in knitting, crochet, needlepoint, quilling, sewing, painting, origami, ornament making, stamping, embossing, and in a tragic misguided tangent, balloon animal making.  When I started beading I knew I had found my love and believed that for the next 11 years.  Then I found Zentangle.  I have only been tangling for a few months but already I am hooked.

I have taught people to bead for many years and have always had a dream to teach to children dealing with difficult circumstances.  For the past 2 years I have been working with the children's hospital near where I live  to teach  beading to the children there but have encountered several hurdles.  Providing age appropriate projects to children of many different ages being the biggest one.  Teaching beading to an age group this diverse presented some challenges that the school and I thought would be to difficult to overcome and I was just about to abandon my hopes of helping these kids when I found Zentangle.  Zentangle knows no age boundaries and is easily taught to people of any age.  I am in the process of completing a portfolio and lesson plan that I will be able to present to the school as soon as I am certified in October.  That is my main reason for starting this blog.  When I do begin to teach, I want the children to be able to go to a place and feel the same sort of community that I do and have someplace to be inspired and learn new techniques.  I want them to be able to follow my links and see all the other artists like myself who "thought they could never draw."  I want them to be proud to share their work and participate in the Diva Challenge if they wish.  I want them to feel a sense of accomplishment.

So this week  I am celebrating the 1 month anniversary of my blog!  I can't believe the support I have received from the blogging community and was amazed to see that I received 587 views in 1 month!  As a great big thank you I would like to do a giveaway.  Any crafter I have ever met has numerous items that they purchased for that "project I will get to someday".  I decided to purge some of my best items and pass them onto my fellow crafters who might use them.

A beautiful set of  brand new Hero Arts stamps in a beautiful botanical print.

I have a very serious addiction to vintage glass buttons.  Now you can share  them with me so I don't feel so guilty!

This is a set of 12 brand new double ended Prismacolor markers.  I received these as a gift with purchase and have no idea how to use them so I figure I will give them to someone who does.

The Moleskine Storyboard journal is perfect for any tangler.  This one is 5  1/2 by 8 1/2 inches and has  4 squares per page and a space to the side of each one where you can jot notes.  I use mine to keep track of my tangles have a quick place for inspiration.

A great selection of Czech glass beads.  These are some of my favorites, but I have way too many!

So how do you win one of these fabulous items?  Simply follow my blog and then leave a comment on this post saying you have done so.  On July 3,  I will pick 5 winners at random to win one these great gifts.  If you already follow this blog just leave me a comment telling me that.  I encourage everyone to participate because postage is on me and I will gladly ship internationally.

Thanks again for all your support and positive encouragement  this first month. 

Oops, I almost forgot about the challenge!

This weeks Diva challenge was to use the new tangle Tripoli.  I won't lie, I hated disliked this challenge. (Hate was just too strong  : 0  ) I have never had much trouble with a tangle, but for me this one is super difficult.  I can't get the right amount of triangles, I can't get them even a little bit uniform, and I can't get it to do what I want.  I gave it a shot with less than stellar results.

Tangles:  Skeins, Tripoli
You can see toward the bottom middle where it started out ok, but then things took a sinister turn and it all went wrong.  As with almost every Zentangle the end product was still pretty good, it's just not what I intended.  I will keep trying to work with it but I don't anticipate Tripoli and I being friends anytime soon.  If anyone has any tips or tricks for me on this one please let me know.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Diva Weekly Challenge #27

This week the Diva decided to change it up a bit since we have been focusing on strings and she wanted to put some focus on tangles.  The challenge was to create a tile using only Dex and Verdigogh.  A two tangle tile, not such a big deal.  A two tangle tile using tangles I have never tried before.....a much bigger deal.

I don't like to practice tangles before I try them on a tile because it seems anti-Zentangle to me.  I figure what happens will happen and if I don't like it I can just get creative at shading!  So I jumped in feet first and just let the pen go:

Tangles: Dex, Verdigogh

I did the Verdigogh portion first and then placed an aura around it because I liked it that way in a tile I had seen that Maria did.  I think on my next attempt I will leave the aura off and see what I get.  This tile also let me discover some things I love about Verdigogh (it's like Hollibaugh on steroids!) and some things I will try not to do again.  As for Dex, it's one of those optical illusion tangles.  I love them but don't usually mix them with the more organic tangles like Verdigogh.  This was good because the challenge forced me out of my box an combine unlikely tile fellows.  I think I will give this one a second, and who knows, maybe a third try and see what develops.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

String Theory III - The Spiral

What a crazy week!  My life kind of felt like a spiral this week so I guess it is only fitting that the Diva challenge was to incorporate a spiral into this weeks Zentangle.  I have worked with spirals before and find them fun and not painfully challenging but in the past I have only used a few different tangles with them so this week I wanted to push myself.

Tangles:  Antidot, Betweed

Initially I really liked this spiral but when I added the other tangles I think the spiral got lost a little.  So I gave it another go:

Tangles:  Shattuck, Krust

This is a departure from my usual style but I like the end result.  This one was a lot more tedious than I bargained for and required some really aggressive shading to make it interesting, but I think it was good to take the creative departure.  Isn't that what Zentangle is all about?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Zendala madness

This is the 25th week of the Diva challenge and this week Genevieve Crabbe, CZT was the guest artist.  Her challenge was to use a mandala template and create a Zendala.  After seeking some help on how to get the template onto the tile (I've never done one of these before) I dove right in.  The first tile came out nice but it seemed a little dark and busy.

Tangles:  Cubine, Tipple, Printemps, Cootie, Betweed,
Weave, Crescent Moon

I took a second crack at it and like the results much better.

Tangles: Pearlz, Space, Skeins, Socc

I had seen some other artists complaining that it was hard to get started and initially I thought that was strange because I thought the added structure of the template would make it easier.  When I tried to get started, however, I felt a little lost.  It seems like there is added pressure trying to make sure the tangles "fit".  That's probably why I chose so many tangles in the first tile, that way if I didn't work I could switch to something else and cut my losses.  On the second tile I forced myself to make more of a commitment and I think it shows.   The edges were the most difficult for me and it wasn't until I finished the second one that I realized I had edged them in a similar manner.   I look forward to finding some more templates and making many more of these.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

This one's for Jenn

I work the night shift and am lucky enough to have an awesome ambulance partner, Jenn, who puts up with my Zentangle madness and lets me keep the lights on in the ambulance at 2 a.m. so I can tangle. Recently I was telling her about one that I had completed while working another shift and a private joke that went along with it.  She keeps asking me to see it.  So Mini, here is the "sidewalk/weed" Zentangle you have been waiting for.  Hope you like it!

Tangles: Antidot

Friday, June 3, 2011

Hearts for Artoo

I have only recently discovered Zentangle so unfortunately, I was unable to participate in the Diva Challenge until week #22.  I thought it would be fun to go back and complete the other challenges as time allows so that I could have a complete "collection".  My initial thought was to start at #1 and work my way forward but when I saw that there was a challenge called Hearts for Artoo I decided I better start there because I know that the little guy is facing some challenges right now and I want to send out as much positive energy as possible to him.  Hope you feel better soon little guy!

Tangles: Buttercup, Crescent Moon, Printemps,
Munchin, Florz

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Strings, strings, and more strings

This weeks Diva Challenge was String Theory 2.  The Zentangle needed to create stripes of some sort.  So far the one's I have seen from other people are spectacular and here is my contribution.

The first one is very linear.  It reminds me alot of the the type of drawing I used to to as a child.  I have never tried Huggins in a single line like this before but I really like the results.

Tangles: Huggins, Worms, Artoo, Crescent Moon

This second tile just totally got away from me.  In the past I would have thrown it away half way through because it wasn't "perfect" but the Zentangle method has taught me not to do that.  The end result is growing on me.  I especially like the freeform "branch" areas at the corners which were and afterthought.

Tangles:  Printemps, Apeel, Pais, Puf, Betweed,

The Bright Owl All rights reserved © 2012

I am a HowJoyful Design by Joy Kelley