Friday, August 31, 2012

Zendala Dare # 21

I would love to post some big dramatic story about why the Zendala Dare is later than usual this week but I cannot tell a lie.  I was just plain tired!  A lot of people think that because I work on an ambulance I am constantly saving babies, loading car accident victims into helicopters, and assisting ducklings across a busy highway but it is so not like that.  Of course I have days when cool things do happen like Thursday night when Jenn and I happened upon a major rollover accident that had just occurred  with a patient that was pinned underneath the vehicle.  With the help of the fire department we were able to remove him and get him safely to the hospital where it was determined that he did not suffer a single injury!  That was a pretty cool night!  Or so we thought, until Jenn coincidentally ran into him the next evening and took a verbal beating from him because he wanted to know what we did with his shoes!  Yes, this is the life we lead.  So the real reason this post is late is a combination of just enough work on the ambulance to keep me busy but not invigorated, the heat (which I hate and it wears me down every time) and a cumulative lack of sleep over the past week.  So my friends, that is why you are getting a special late Friday edition of the Zendala Dare!  I hope you enjoy.

Zendala Dare # 21

This weeks Zendala is a fun one.  I think you guys will enjoy it.  Some wide open spaces, unusual shapes, and lots of opportunity to try something new!

Zendala Dare # 21 Templates

Here is my contribution:

Tangles:Baton (var.), Chemystery, La Bel

Have a great week and remember to link up below!


I need sleep!

Hi everybody, it's been a loooong day and unfortunately my need for sleep is overriding my ability to post the dare at the usual time.  Check back Friday afternoon and it should be posted.  Sorry for any inconvenience.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Zendala Dare #20

You guy's are AMAZING!  I am always taken aback by how many people participate in the Zendala Dare every week and the beautiful artwork that everyone produces.  This week, I was especially thankful for Zentangle family because I finally got to walk in the American Cancer Societies Relay for Life and see all the people that your donations will help.

I had never participated in a Relay for Life so I wasn't quite sure what to expect.   My co-workers and I decided to participate in the event to bring awareness to what we actually do in the ambulance, which is primarily patient care and transport.  It get's old being called an "ambulance driver" all day, and we thought this would be a good way to educate the community about what we do.

We brought an ambulance to the track to do demos, we set up a bake sale and sold slushies, and walked for 24 hours.  There were probably over 500 people participating and it was great to hang out with my co-workers in a non-work setting.  When the final numbers came in we had raised over $3500!

Many of the groups that participated had some type of fundraising event going on.  We were right across from the Sonoma County Sheriff Department and they were "arresting" people and putting them in a makeshift jail for a $5 donation.  Then you had to remain in jail for five minutes unless someone would pay more money to "bail" you out.  A few of us had to do extra time because our friends and co-workers were actually paying to keep us in!  What kind of friend is that!

My niece Brenna had me arrested.  My offense: not
letting her have a slushie!

Chris got arrested for not being blond anymore.  Our
friend Bryan paid to keep her locked up an extra ten
minutes.  We enjoyed every minute of it!

Brenna had Jenn arrested for not wearing the neon
yellow shorts that she dragged me to Target to buy.

Part of our awesome team!  So honored to work with this
group of people.

Many people had told me about the luminaria ceremony that happened at night.  I admit I was having a hard time grasping what kind of impact some candles in paper bags would have.  I watched throughout the day as the luminaria committee lined up bag after bag after bag.  By the time they lit them up just after sunset, I was speechless.  There were thousands of them, both in honor of the survivors, and in memory of those who had fought but not won the battle.  I walked several laps just looking at the names, pictures, and drawings, just to remember and be thankful.  It was a very powerful experience.

I think the hardest part of the day for me was something I never saw coming.  One of my co-workers came with his 6 year old daughter in the early afternoon.  I was walking a few laps with her, checking out the fundraisers and looking at the luminaries as they were being set up.  She asked what the bags were for and I told her they were for people with cancer.  She expressed that she would like to make a bag for her friends sister.  I naively thought that she really didn't understand the concept and just wanted to color a bag.  I tried to gently explain that they were for people "who had been sick" and in a very no nonsense matter she looked up at me and said "I know what you mean, she had leukemia."  We went to the luminaria tent and decorated a bag with a ballerina, rainbows and hearts.  It was at that moment that it hit me that cancer is so prevalent that even our children are keenly aware of it.  It was an "ah ha" moment to say the least.  

So I want to thank all my readers from the bottom of my heart.  Thank you for listening to me go on and on for the past month about the Relay for Life.  Thank you for the emotional emails you shared with me.  Thank you for all your generous donations.  Most importantly, thank you for helping me raise awareness to combat this horrible disease.  I am truly grateful.  

Please note:  I am working on sending out the last of the templates to those who donated close to the deadline and you should have them by the end of the week.  Next week I will be posting the results of my raffle for those that made the top 5 largest donations, so stay tuned!

Zendala Dare #20

I know I say this all the time but, Zendala Dare #20?  Seriously!  Where has the time gone?

This week I tried to mix it up with something a little different.  It's not a square (because people complain about those) and it's not a circle (because people complain about those too), but I'm not sure what it is.  What I can tell you is that I think it's cool enough that I actually completed two tiles this week!

Here's the template:

Tangles: Bushy, Cruffle, Spaanders, O-H, Slinky

My tendency is to border everything so I decided to compromise on this one and do a dotted border instead of a solid line.  I think it looks cool with Bushy but strange with the other tangles.  I think the combination of a dotted border and a lot of very busy tangles make for a confuse Zendala.  It's kind of cool but not my favorite.

Tangles:  Ramy, Tipple
 Since I thought my first attempt was too busy I went minimal on my second.  I think the combination of Ramy and Tipple makes for a very clean, striking Zendala.  Between the two this is definitely my favorite.  

Remember to link up below.

I hope you all have a fantastic week!


Friday, August 17, 2012


For all of you attempting to open the Zendala Dare #19 templates, I apologize for any issues you may have encountered.  The problem should be fixed now so tangle away!

Zendala Dare #19

Hello to all my Zendala Dare enthusiasts!  So much has been going on this week.  The county fair finally ended, and good riddance to it!  I love greasy fair food but you can only eat so many funnel cakes, tacos, mini donuts, french fries, and cinnamon rolls.  This year while doing safety checks (also known as "walking around the fair looking for good things to eat that won't kill us before the end of our shift, but who cares if they do, let's just eat them anyhow") my partner Matt and I came across my new favorite fair food.  The bacon wrapped corn dog!

Heaven on a stick!

Matt an I agreed that this was by far the best thing we ate at the fair this year.  Hot, crispy, sort of sweet porky goodness on a stick.  My arteries hurt just looking at it.

So how do I plan on reversing the damage from all this fair food?  By walking of course!  As many of you know, I will be participating in the American Cancer Societies Relay for Life this Saturday.  This 24 hour walking event helps to raise money for cancer research and I am so proud to be a participant.  It's less than 36 hours until the start of the event but there is still time to donate.  A donation of any size will get you five limited edition Zendala templates that will never be released anywhere else.  Those that have already received them by donating have given them rave reviews so don't miss out!  Go to my donation page and give what you can.  It supports a great cause and you get a little something in return.  I want to thank everybody who has already donated.  I enjoy reading your stories and am so humbled by your generosity.  Please remember that if you do donate please send me an email to let me know so I have a valid email address to send your templates to.

Before I get to the main event, I'd like to show you what I did with the Diva Challenge this week.  This week's challenge was to use the tangles Mooka and Assunta together.  I have used Assunta in many of my tiles with good result but Mooka is a little more challenging for me.  I know many people love Mooka but I find it difficult to shade and it always looks very plain so this weeks tile was truly a challenge.  

Tangles:  Mooka, Assunta

I tried to give Mooka some definition by adding a little color but I'm not sure it was enough.  This challenge may need a re-visit.

Alright, enough about me, let's get on with the good stuff!

Zendala Dare #19

You may remember when I talked about how much I love creating tangles within specific shapes, mainly circles and squares.  A good example of this in this post where I filled several squares with many versions of the same tangle.  I wanted to create a Zendala template that had the same spirit and this is what I came up with:

And here is how I completed the template:

Tangles:  Ixorus, Bales, Florz, Portholes, Dragonair,
Tipple, Weave

This piece took me longer than expected as it's about 7 x 7 inches.  I resisted the urge to outline each square as I initially planned to do when I created the template.   I may still go back and do another one with an outline, but I wanted to push myself to do something different this time.  With Dragonair around the perimeter this Zendala reminds me of a fancy serving platter that my grandmother may have used.  It has a very ornate feel.  

I hope you all have a wonderful week and please remember
to donate to the Relay for Life if you can.  Enter your link in the 
box below to share your creation's with all the other Zendala
Dare enthusiasts out there.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Zendala Dare #18

This week has been crazy trying to get everything prepped for the Relay for Life that my co-workers and I are participating in.  We are planning to sell baked goods, snack packs, and slushies as fundraisers so there is plenty to do.  That doesn't even include the banners, shirts, posters etc. etc. etc. that need to be taken care of!  Lots to do, lots to do.  There is still time to donate if you would like to receive 5 limited edition Zendala templates.  For more information you can click here.

Zendala Dare #18

Week 18 already!  Where does the time go?  Here's this weeks template:

UPDATE:  Well, I told you guys that I would post my Zendala at a later time and apparently that means right before I post the new one!  So for those of you that are interested, here is my version of Zendala Dare #18

Tangles:  Striping, Zedbra, Printemps, N'Zeppel,
Stonework, Knightsbridge, Paradox, Amaze

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Diva Challenge #83 - UMT Brayd

This week's Diva Challenge is a Use My Tangle Challenge and the lucky pick for the month is Brayd by Michele Beauchamp.  Michelle does some of the most beautiful Zentangle work I have ever seen so I was thrilled to see that we would be using her tangle Brayd.  Brayd is a new one for me.  I see it all the time but for some reason have never tried it.  I really love how this tile came out.  I may have to whip up another one to post.  

Tangles: Brayd, Croon (var.), Stonework, C-Yeah,

Friday, August 3, 2012

Zendala Dare #17 - In honor of....

How is everyone doing this week?  I am having a fabulously busy week.  Here in Santa Rosa, CA we are having the Sonoma County Fair.  This means corn dogs, rodeo's, funnel cakes, carnival rides and lots and lots of ambulance overtime.  This year I am working at the fair more than usual but it's ok because I'm working most of my shifts with two of my favorite girls, Jenn and Andrea.

This week I am also doing my first guest post over at the Diva Weekly Challenge.  It's a post about gaining awareness for the Relay for Life, the event I am participating in on August 18 to raise money for cancer research.  It's a Zendala challenge and I know how you guys love those so hop on over there and check it out.

I would also like to remind you that there is still time to donate to the Relay for Life and receive 5 special edition Zendala templates.  To learn more, read this post.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone who has already donated.  It is so nice to see how many people care about helping me reach my fundraising goal.  Thank you for your generosity and support of this worthy cause.

Zendala Dare #17

It's the first Zendala Dare of the month so it's time for another Dare with a little added challenge.

This month I wanted the added challenge to bring awareness to my efforts to fight cancer.  Everyone has been affected by cancer in some way.  You have either fought it, lost someone to it, or cared for someone who had/has it.  I wanted to draw attention to just how prevalent it is, but I wanted it to be positive.  I don't want to dwell on the negative aspects of this horrible disease.

So with that said, this weeks added challenge is to complete a Zendala template in honor of someone still with us or someone who has lost their battle with cancer.  Use tangles that symbolize them, tangles that make you think of a happy place that the two of you enjoyed, or simply create a Zendala that you think would have or will make them happy.  It's up to you.

Here your template for the week:

PLEASE NOTE:  There is now only one link for the templates.  All three sizes are contained in the same document.  If you don't wish to print both pages you can change the number of pages when you print the document.  

Zendala Dare #17 templates

Tangles:  Boss, Flux, Hollibaugh, Tipple

I created this Zendala in honor of my Grandma Anne.  My grandmother was not always the warmest person but she had many other great qualities, some of which I tried to represent in this tile. The ovals that look like sunflower seeds were meant to be peppermint chews.  Many a time I would sit with my grandmother and watch tv and she would inevitably pull a little pink and white striped bag from Shaw's candy shop out of the top drawer of her dresser.  She would buy these red and white striped peppermints that were somewhere between a hard candy and taffy.  They were always one of my favorites but when Shaw's closed I didn't find them again for years.  A few years back a new company started making them and I think I am now partially responsible for keeping them in business.  

My mouth is watering just looking at them!

I also created some "slices" of pie that I decorated with Hollibaugh.  My grandmother made the best blackberry and apple pies.  She also made pumpkin for my brother John but you won't get me to touch a pumpkin pie with a 10 foot pole!  I finished with Flux because she had a fondness for flowers and Flux has a very floral feel to me.  

Involving Hospice in my grandmothers care was one of the best decisions we made.  We had an amazing group of Hospice nurses helping us with every step and it made the transition so much easier.  I cannot thank them enough for their assistance.  

On February 1, 1999 my grandmother had already been unresponsive for 3 days.  When the Hospice nurse came to the house my mother had half jokingly expressed her concerns that she did not want my grandmother to die on my birthday which is February 3.  The hospice nurse told my mother "She can hear you, you should let her know" so in the loud, assertive tone that they always used with each other my mother leaned over my grandmother and said "Ma, Erin's birthday is in 2 days, you need to make a decision!"  She died 10 minutes later.  I think it may have been the first time my grandmother actually did something my mother asked.  I was holding her when she died.  

My grandmother was probably one of the most influential people in my life when it came to art.  She had a very quiet, methodical way about her when it came to helping.  I would tell her what I was trying to do, she would look at the project, maybe offer a few words of advice, but not much more than that.  Later she would usually come find me to show me a needle, crochet hook or some other item that she had found our purchased to help me out.  She was also a very good cook and would often sit at the end of the long counter in our kitchen watching me cook and offering advice here and there.  It was always a running joke that she would often say of something I had just made "Oh yes, I used to make this all the time."  but my mother said she could never recall any of these things she claimed to have made.  It was always amusing when my mother would hear say it and my mom would just throw her hands in the air and walk out of the room.  

 Even though she was a little "rough", I always had great respect for my grandmother.  She had a difficult childhood being abandoned by her father and being raised by a strict mother and eccentric aunt.  She married young and raised four children.  She became an LVN in her early 40's, worked in convalescent hospitals and then opened and operated a successful elder care facility for many years.  A large part of my work ethic comes from her.  

So the tile above is in honor of my Grandma,
 Anna Lorenzen.

Please make sure to link up below.  I hope you all 
have a fantastic week!


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