Friday, April 27, 2012

Zendala Dare #3

This has been another whirlwind week for the Zendala Dare.  I have come up with so many new templates that the hardest part has been deciding which one to use each week!  I want to again thank everyone for their participation and support.  This dare is a lot of work to set up each week but it is so worth it when I see how much everyone is enjoying it.  As each week passes I am getting more and more efficient so I should have all the kinks worked out by next week.  Now onto this weeks Dare.

Zendala Dare #3

Fill the template with tangles of your choosing.

Link for full page template

Link for standard tile and Zendala tile template

This weeks Zendala Dare was a tough one for me.  Not because of the template or the tangles, but because of the materials.  I have not completed many large ZIA's so I haven't played around with the paper needed to make them.  I have no formal art training and have no idea how to properly use most art supplies.  When I am in an art store I'm more of a "Oooohhhh, ahhhhh, look, pretty, buy" sort of girl.  I had decided to make some larger pieces a few months ago and went to my local art store to buy a few pieces of paper.  I basically picked something by look, feel, and color and thought I was good. 

For the first two weeks of the Zendala Dare I have made both a standard and Zendala tile so I decided this week it might be nice to use the full size template which creates a piece that 7 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches.  I dug out my paper and transferred my image and got to work.  I could tell right away that something was wrong.  The pen did not lay down the ink smoothly and the paper felt "scratchy".  I thought I needed a new pen so I got one and continued.  A little better but not much.  By now I was about a third of the way through and was considering starting over when my husband picked it up and said "Wow, this one's really cool."  Really?  Couldn't you save me from myself and tell me it's not my best work!  So I continued and I finished but the process was not enjoyable.  I like the finished piece but I didn't like the journey I took getting there.  

Tangles:  Splinters, Pystyl, Crescent Moon,
Stumpt, Veezley, Printemps

What I realized is that all that emphasis that Rick and Maria put on using the right materials really does make a difference.  In CZT training Rick and Maria talk about how they spent a whole day at a friends studio playing with pens and papers just to get the right combo.  I never doubted that it was true and have always used the highest quality materials but now I realize that these tiny details are what makes Zentangle so amazing.  Who ever thought that a piece of paper could frustrate someone so much?  Time to invest in some Fabriano Tiepolo paper I guess.  

If you participate in the Zendala Dare please remember to link up below.  I have also created a new page where you can access past Zendala Dare's.

I hope everyone has a fabulous week!


Monday, April 23, 2012

The Diva's Amanda/Earth Day Challenge

This week the Diva decided that she wanted to use the challenge to honor Earth Day which is April 22.  Her son however had other plans and decided the Earth should now be called Amanda.  Hey, when the Earth is having an identity crisis this is no time to mess around.  You can read the story of how this challenge was born here.

The Diva had made a few suggestions about how we could honor Earth Day using shape, organic tangles etc. but I liked her suggestion of using earth tone colors the best.  I have a beautiful set of Prismacolor pencils that I do not use because mostly, I just don't know how.  I figured this would be a good time to test them out.  

I made a new Zendala template because I wanted to mimic the shape of the earth.  The tangles really have no connection to earth day, they just felt right for the spaces.  I like how the color turned out, but I have a lot of trouble getting the pencils to blend.  Maybe they are not supposed to, like I said I have no idea how they are supposed to work. If you have any tips for me, by all means leave a comment below.  I need all the help I can get. All in all, I think it was a good effort and I like the end result.  

Tangles:  Rick's Paradox, Printemps,
Wired, Tearce

If you are looking for more Zendala templates stop by my link up for the Zendala Dare.  I feature a new Zendala template every Friday for you to tangle and share.  It is so much fun!

Thanks so much for stopping by.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Zendala Dare #2

What can I say about the past week except WOW!  When I decided to throw a couple of templates on my blog I never expected to get the response I received.  So many of you chose to take the Dare while others shared words of appreciation and thanks for the templates.  It just reinforced what a wonderful community both Zentangle and blogging can produce.  Zendala Dare #1 is my second most popular post, only to be surpassed by the post for my tangle Socc.  Before I started the Dare I questioned if there would be enough interest and that question has been answered with a resounding YES!  With that said there are a couple items I would like to address  and some questions I would like to answer before jumping into week 2.  But before I do that let's announce the winner of the giveaway!

The winner of the Zendala tile giveaway is......


Email me your address and I will mail off your prize!

Now for the other stuff:
  • Many people asked me if they can still post an entry even though they do not have a blog and the answer is absolutely.  You can post a link for either a Picasa or Flickr account.  Both are free photo sharing sites that are easy to use.  You can Google both and see which you like.  If you need help setting one up send me an email and I'll help where I can.
  • How do I transfer the template on the computer paper onto a tile?  This video is the easiest and most full proof way I know how.
  • Will you be doing a Zendala Dare every week?  That is the plan.  Barring a catastrophe, illness or amazing shoe sale I will post every Friday morning.
  • Will you be doing a slide show?  As it stands right now I have no plans to incorporate a slide show. I have never done one but I imagine they are a lot of work and I don't know if I can fit that in right now.  
  • Nobody has commented on this but I noticed a size discrepancy on the page with the standard and Zendala tiles.  The thick black line is meant to just barely fit around the outside edge of the tile so that you can easy center the image.  When I converted the image from the format I use to a PDF I noticed that it came out a little smaller.  I think I have adjusted the image to be correct this week but if anyone notices differently please let me know.  I am doing everything I can to adjust issues as they come up but this is still a work in progress.
  • A few people asked me if there will be additional challenges like specific tangles and themes and the answer is yes and no.  I struggled a lot with this one before starting the Dare.  Here is my thinking. Challenges like the Zendala Dare are meant to push you to a place you may not have tried so I think requiring specific tangle or colors can be a good thing.  At the same time I sometimes think the template is enough of a challenge and allows us to just relax and tangle rather than force ourselves to do something that may not feel like "us".  So what I will be doing is incorporating both in a ratio of roughly 3 to 1.  For every three basic templates we will have one Dare that requires something specific.  It may not be a perfect 3 to 1 ratio depending on what I come up with but that is what I am shooting for.  I hope this meets every bodies creative needs.
Ok!  Enough with the technicalities, lets get on with the Dare!

Zendala Dare #2

Simply fill in the template using beautiful tangles.

Link to standard tile and Zendala tile template

This week I had something interesting happen while preparing the Zendala Dare.  I completed the Zendala tile template first.

Tangles:  Skeins, Squid, Tipple, Zedbra, Limpitz

I really loved how it came out so a couple days later I decided to try another one on a standard tile.  I was transferring the image to the tile and began to trace the triangles that are formed into a circle.  I became very frustrated because I thought I had picked up the wrong template (I have a lot of templates laying around!) so I threw it in 
the trash and got ready to print another.  Then I realized that it was the right template.  My tangles had transformed my template so much that I didn't even recognize it anymore.  To me this exemplified why the Zendala Dare is important.  A simple string can offer so many variations that it is beneficial that we share it with others.  It is the essence of inspiration.  When I finally pulled it together this is how tile #2 turned out.

Tangles: Veinz, Antidot, Facets
I hope everyone has a fabulous week!


Make sure to enter a link below!

Monday, April 16, 2012

A little time for me

Yesterday I found a fantastic new organizational tool.  It's a giant Post It Note that has a weekly calendar on it.  

My friend Chris is a lover of all things Post-It-Note so I am always on the lookout for new ones that she doesn't have yet.  When I saw these, however, I thought they would be perfect for me.  I'm a big list maker.  I find that tasks become overwhelming if I leave them in my head, but once I get them out on a list they don't seem quite so daunting.  Or so I thought.

Now I know that this week does not look very ambitious but you have to take a few things into account.  1) I work 12 hour shifts so the days marked work are pretty much shot.  2)  That EVOC thing on Saturday is an 8 hour Emergency Vehicles Operation Course that I have to take every 2 years so I can drive the ambulance (even though my partner Jenn never lets me drive), and no it is not nearly as exciting as it sounds.  3) Even though Jenn's bridal shower on Sunday will probably only take about 2 hours, I am making my deadly delicious champagne punch so the rest of that day is pretty much gone as well.  4)  This is just the stuff that I remembered I have to do.  More will creep up throughout the week.  So why am I telling you this?  I'm not looking for a pity party, because this is a totally doable week, but with a week like this things can get lost in the shuffle.  So when I got up this morning, even though I have 12 things on my to do list today, I decided it was important to set aside a little time for me.  What would I do with that time?  Well Zentangle of course.

This weeks Diva Challenge is to explore auras.  An aura, in Zentangle terms, is basically an outline around an existing tangle.  It is a tangle enhancer.  Some other tangle enhancers are sparkles, perfs, and rounding.  Any Certified Zentangle Teacher can show you these techniques.  So while exploring the world of auras, this is what I came up with.

Tangles:  Pystyl, Quipple, Jetties

I wanted to explore some new options with my auras so I used my new tangle Pystyl because I think it looks best with an aura.  I exaggerated this one more than I normally do.  Then I added Quipple because it normally has an aura, and finished off with Jetties which I have never seen done with an aura.  My overall conclusion:  I like auras.  Thanks again Laura for another great challenge.

Don't forget to post an entry to the Zendala Dare and enter my giveaway. I am posting new Zendala templates every week and hosting a linkup for your fabulous creations.  This is the first week so I am also having a Zendala tile giveaway.  Make sure to stop by and enter for your chance to win these amazing new tiles.  

I hope everyone has a fantastic week!


Friday, April 13, 2012

Welcome to the Zendala Dare and a Zendala tile giveaway

Your probably wondering what the Zendala Dare is.  Well, I have been thinking about doing some type of Zentangle link up for some time.  I had come up with a few projects, some themes, and a few other things that I will keep for a surprise on another day but none of these options was really speaking to me.  The one thing I did keep coming back to however were Zendala's, a hybrid of a Zentangle and mandala.   

I first started paying attention to Zendala's when I participated in the Diva's Challenge #25.  It was a guest post by Genevieve Crabe, CZT.  She gave us a relatively simple template and challenged us to fill it with tangles.  I was immediately smitten.  I actually did 2 challenge tiles that week which is a rarity for me. 

This was my first attempt at a Zendala.  I felt like it was a little busy 

My second attempt was more what I was envisioning.
I think it has a better flow.

I was immediately on the hunt for more templates but I soon realized my options were limited.  I did find a few more of them on the Internet but most were very complex or didn't lend themselves to Zentangle.  I focused on other Zentangle endeavors and soon found myself at CZT training in Rhode Island.  There were so many beautiful pieces of work being displayed by my fellow students but the one that really caught my eye was a book of work by my fellow CZT Lesley Scott-Gillilan.  All of the work in her book was beautiful but she had these amazing Zendala's.  I could not imagine how she created these templates.  The intricacy of each one was so beautiful and amazingly detailed that I headed back to look at them again and again.  When I finally introduced myself I asked her about the templates and she told me that it was a technique she had learned from Carole Ohl, CZT.  I talked to Carole and she told me they were Snowflake Mandala's.  She had learned this easy technique from someone else and it eliminated the need for math.  You simply create a paper snowflake, like the ones we made in elementary school, and use that for your template.

My first snowflake mandala.  9 x 9 inches
Carole told me the complete directions were in a new book by Suzanne McNeill, CZT called Zen Mandalas.  When I returned from Rhode Island I ordered the book right away.  Big mistake!  When the book arrived I automatically had the urge to call in sick to work.  This is the kind of book that makes you want to create for days.  It has lots of info, cool techniques, and amazing examples.  There are completed pieces by Carole Ohl, Suzanne McNeill, and Margaret Bremner.  The book is a must have, and no, I do not work for the company!  There are also directions in the book for geometry based Zendala's.  I tried these techniques as well with good result but wanted more.  I craved more complexity in my templates but knew it would involve math.  So I offered up a lunch invite to my little brother AJ, an engineering major, and figured he would tell me how to do it.  I explained my task and he started talking tangents, arcs, radius's, trapezoids and a whole bunch of other things I told him I couldn't remember from high school geometry.  He quickly informed me this was trigonometry not geometry, and that's why I was unfamiliar.  HELLO AJ!  Your sister does not do trigonometry, she became a paramedic because there wasn't a whole lot of math involved (and oh yeah, that thing about helping people)!  I realized that AJ wasn't going to be able to help me so I told him to finish the french dip I was buying him and to please not use any more math terms during lunch.  AJ did mention however that there may be some computer programs that could help me out.  

That brings us to today.  Through a mix of basic geometry, computers, hand drawn shapes and snowflake templates I have been able to create and array of templates and I would like to share them with you.  Each week I will be posting a Zendala template perfect for tangling.  Some weeks we will take it easy and just complete a template, other weeks I may choose to dare you to use a color, specific tangle, or maybe a prompt that could take us in exciting directions.  So let's get started, if you dare!

A few notes about the Zendala Dare:

  • This is not a contest.  This is a place for people to share their work and not worry about being judged.  There are no requirements for entry other than to complete the piece and place your link below if you like.  
  • Each Friday I will post general parameters and a new template for the Zendala Dare.  If for some reason you can't adhere to them, then modify them.  This is more about stepping out of your box than adhering to strict rules.
  • In each Zendala Dare post you will find links to templates for that week.  The templates are in PDF format and are provided in 3 sizes.  One link will have a page with the template for a standard 3 1/2 by 3 1/2 inch Zentangle tile as well as a template for the new 4 5/8 inch round official Zendala tiles from Zentangle. You will notice that on that page there is a thick line around the templates.  This is to make it easy to line up your tile for transfer.  If you are unfamiliar with how to transfer the template to a tile click here to watch a video that shows you an easy way.   There will also be a link with a page that has a template that fits an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper.  
  • Templates are my property and may only be reproduced for personal use.  You may use them to produce finished work you intend to sell or give as gifts.  The unfinished templates however, may not be reproduced for sale.  Only Certified Zentangle Teachers may reproduce my templates in quantity to be used in a class.
  • I am providing a link up below so that we may be inspired by and learn from each others work.  Please only post links that link back to a specific post for this challenge.  Posts that link back to a blog home page will be deleted.    
Ok!  Lets get started.

Zendala Dare #1

We are going to start off easy.  This week I am daring you to jump in.  Nothing to crazy, just fill in the template using your favorite tangles.

Here is this weeks template:

Link for standard tile and round Zendala tile template

Link for full page template

I decided to go all out for the first Zendala Dare and created both a standard Zentangle tile and a round Zendala tile.  I was amazed at how differently they turned out considering they are from the same template.  

Tangles:  Printemps, Pendrills, Apeel, Worms,
Socc, Riverstones, Hollibaugh,

Tangles:  N'Zeppel, Courant, Buttercup, Tipple,
Knightsbridge, Fescu,

Go ahead and share your entry into the Zendala Dare by entering a link below.
You know you want to!

Now for the important stuff.  A giveaway!  To get everyone's Zendala juices flowing I am giving away a set of the new official Zentangle®  Zendala tiles.  

The tiles come with 2 each of 9 different Zendala templates and 3 blank tiles for a total of 21 tiles.  The tiles measure 4 5/8 inches and are the perfect size.  These are so much fun!  You can enter 2 different ways.  Become a follower of my blog and/or submit an entry to the Zendala Dare.  You must leave a comment on this post for each entry. You can only be entered in the giveaway if you leave a comment below letting me know how you participated.   So if you become a follower and enter the Dare please leave 2 comments.  The giveaway will close at midnight, Thursday, April 19, 2012.  I will announce a winner in the post for the Zendala Dare #2.

I would also like to hear your feedback about the Zendala Dare so feel free to leave me a comment letting me know what you think.  This is a work in progress and I would love to hear your suggestions.

If you are interested in learning more about Zentangle® click here.  You can find a Certified Zentangle Teacher in your area by clicking here.
Hope you all have a fantastic week!
Until next Friday.....


Friday, April 6, 2012

Diva Challenge: Huggy Bear

This week the Diva presented us with another installment of her Use My Tangle challenge.  This weeks tangle was Huggy Bear by JJ LaBarber.  Coincidentally, the night before the challenge I had stumbled upon Huggy Bear on Pinterest and had tried it out in my Tangle-a-Day calendar.  Tangles like this are the reason you should never try a tangle just once.  When I did it  the first time, I thought it was neat but I was overzealous in making sure my dots were perfect, my lines were curved just right and was taking way too much time making sure everything lined up just right.  When I tried it again the next day, I let loose a little bit and didn't worry as much about the specifics.  I went a little crazy with the tangleations and soon I was in love with this new tangle.  The fact that I actually did 2 tiles for the challenge should be testament enough.  I almost NEVER do 2 challenge tiles.  It may have just been too much coffee, but I think it really was my new love of Huggy Bear that did it!  Thanks to JJ and the Diva for this awesome challenge!

Tangles:  Huggy Bear, Printemps, Footlites,

Tangles:  Huggy Bear, Onamato, W2, Sanibelle


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