Saturday, November 24, 2012

Zendala Dare #33

I'm going to go out on a limb here and take a guess that by now everyone has had their fill of turkey.  I know I have and I still have another Thanksgiving dinner to go to today!  This year I worked on the actual holiday but I can't really complain.  My awesome partner Jenn made an amazing cinnamon roll concoction that she brought to work to start off our day.  Then I spent about 30 minutes watching her scream and yell at a television and the football players that couldn't hear her.  We didn't have very many calls so the day was pretty mellow.  To finish it off we had a turkey dinner at the hospital which was actually pretty good.  My husband spent the day with his family.  He was in charge of desserts which I thought was interesting because I have never seen my husband bake anything in 12 years.  I'm a very good baker so of course the controlling side of me wanted to tell him every little thing he should do but after 3 or 4 minor arguments I decided to give up and leave him to his own devices.  Wouldn't you know it, he makes a really good pumpkin cheesecake all by himself!  It had a few minor imperfections that I told him I could help with in the future and he was receptive, but it makes me think I should just let him do all the cooking from now on.  What do you think hubby?

Yesterday we did Thanksgiving with my family.  My mother made the requisite turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes.  She also made her famous crab salad, my Aunt Wynel's cheese cauliflower, and her specialty, orange bubble ring (no, it has nothing to do with jello).  The orange bubble ring has been on the table for every holiday I can remember.  Maybe I can get her to part with the recipe.  The whole meal was topped off with super generic jellied cranberry sauce.  I know, I know, say what you will but we have tried every recipe for every variation and the hunk of solidified sugared sort of fruity stuff always wins out.  What can I say?

Today my husband and I have been invited to another Thanksgiving hosted by "my other brother" Rahmin and his girlfriend Barbara.  Rahmin ended up being a surrogate brother because his mother is like my second mom.  His mom Sudahlia, has been in my life in some capacity for the last 20 years.   She understands my crazy crafty, arty side of me that most people don't get.  Rahmin and I didn't really interact until we ended up working together about 10 years ago and now we fight like brother and sister and both run to mom when the other one pisses us off, but he know's deep down I love him.   He's probably just inviting me so I will do the dishes!

So of course all of these Thanksgiving feasts have given me time to reflect on what I am thankful for so here goes:

I am thankful for:


  • A wonderful husband who put's up with his crazy wife.
  • An amazing family that supports me no matter what.
  • Beautiful nieces and nephews that keep me on my toes.
  • Great friends who are always there for me.
  • A job.
  • Health insurance.
  • Starting nursing school in January.
  • Zentangle
  • My wonderful readers.

Speaking of all my wonderful readers, I achieved a huge milestone last week and hit 100,000 views on this blog!  You can read about it here and enter my giveaway.


Zendala Dare #33




Tangles:  Knightsbridge, Plugs, Antidot, Tink, Verve,
Bridgen, Meer

Ok, first off I don't like asymmetry and this is a five point mandala so I was already ticked off at myself.  Then I started getting into it and really liked it until I added the Verve.  The Verve looks like eyeballs to me for some reason and I keep feeling like I'm getting a creepy stare from this Zendala!  Overall, the Verve is growing on me, kind of like eating monster tacos from Jack in the Box.  You did and you liked it, but you probably shouldn't have, but you know you'll do it again.  

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, are enjoying a long weekend, and will participate in this weeks Zendala Dare.

Please remember to link up below.

Erin


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Seriously? Did that just happen?....plus something new...and a giveaway!

Last Sunday I followed my usual routine of getting up, coffee, shower and then my requisite check of Facebook, emails, online news and checking my blog stats and then....wait....seriously.....do my eyes deceive me?  I was at 99,978 page views!  I knew the day was coming sometime soon when I would hit 100,000 but I didn't anticipate that my recent giveaway would have ramped up my views so fast.  Needless to say, I was pretty excited.  When I started this blog a little over a year ago I never anticipated having so many faithful and amazing readers but seeing that huge number made me realize "Hey, maybe people do enjoy this little blog" and I already know how much you guys enjoy the Zendala Dare so maybe it shouldn't have been that big of a surprise, but I don't want to get a big head about it!  

I already knew that I wanted to do a giveaway when I hit 100,000 page views and I had made a promise to my readers in this post.  So I eagerly awaited for the counter to take the momentous turn so I could capture a picture but the actual count of 100,000 alluded me.  It must have been a very busy morning in blog land because that sucker jumped from 99,998 to 100,002 without missing a beat.  Oh well.

So let's have a 100,000 view giveaway!  Since this giveaway is all about blog love I figured I should honor some of my favorite blogs.  For this giveaway I chose to focus on my favorite lifestyle blogs and I'm saving my gazillion favorite Zentangle blogs for a special giveaway in the near future.   The rules are easy:  Visit a blog below and leave a comment for 1 entry.  You get 2 entries for each one that you decide to follow.  That's a chance at a total of 15 entries!

So here are some of my favorites:

Girl Defying Gravity

The Rich Life (on a budget)

The Gardener's Cottage

An Urban Cottage

My Beautiful Crazy Life

Now let's get to the good stuff, the prize!  For this prize I have put together a few of my favorite items.


100,000 page view prize package

This prize package includes a large, blank Moleskine journal perfect for notes, sketches or Zentangles.  There is a small lined journal, an assortment of fine stationary, 5 official Zentangle blank Zendala tiles, Micron pens in sizes 01, 08 & Graphic 1.  I have also included a new favorite, Aquabords.  These are thin boards that have been treated so that you can use them for many applications including watercolor, pen & ink and charcoal.  They are perfect for Zentangle so I have included a 4 x 4 inch and a 6 x 6 inch.  

Enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter link below.




Now for something new.  As my faithful readers know, this blog is primarily about Zentangle.  I love posting the Zendala Dare, talking about my Zentangle classes and posting entries to the Diva Challenge but in my blog travels I occasionally stumble across link ups, challenges and other ways to participate that I find interesting.

So this week I am linking up with Breanna at My Beautiful, Crazy Life to participate in the Me, Myself and I Linkey Party.  Here's this month's questions:

1.  What are your top 5 favorite movies to watch during the holidays?

Well, the two front runners would have to be Say Anything and Shawshank Redemption.  They have nothing to do with the holidays but to me they are the perfect movies to watch on a rainy, winter day with a Bailey's and coffee.

As for holiday movies Love Actually is a must see.  It just makes you feel good.  I also have to second my friend Jenn's pick of The Holiday.  Great cast, and yes, Jude Law is hot.  To wrap it up I would throw in the Christmas movie I remember most from my childhood, Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer and the Land of Misfit Toys.  I have probably watched some portion of this movie every year for the last 30 years.  

2.  It's the month of giving thanks, what are you most thankful for?

I am most thankful for my wonderful husband, family and friends.  Even when times get tough, they are always there for me.  I am thankful for a job I love.  I am thankful for my beautiful nieces and nephews who love me unconditionally and always keep me on my toes.  

3.  If there was a quote or verse to best describe your life what would it be?

I try to live my life by two quotes:

"Let's not worry until we have something to worry about"  - My mother. Even though it's sometimes hard to abide by this one, in the end she's usually right.

"If your going through hell, keep going." -Winston Churchill.  My life seems to like to present me with some big challenges the last couple years and just pushing through seems to be a good strategy so far.

4.  Who in your family are you most alike?

I would say that I am a 50/50 split of my mother and father.  Both my parent's taught me to be polite, respectful, driven, and business minded but the similarities end there.  My independence, desire for education, and practicality come from my mother.


My mom and my niece at the zoo.

While my crazy personality, affinity for numbers, and a lot of my creativity comes from my father.  


My father and I.

5.  What is your favorite drink at Starbucks?

Most of the time I'm a Caramel Macchiato kind of girl but during the holidays I love a Peppermint Mocha.  And yes snotty barista, I am now aware that they are available all year long!  



Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers.  I hope you have
a wonderful holiday and take a moment to remember
what you are thankful for.  

Erin


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Zendala Dare #32

It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring.  It's 1:14 in the morning as I write this so that statement is pretty accurate.  We are having our first big rain of the season here in Sonoma County and the husband is snoring right through it!  It's been another busy week here in Dare land but I've been working on some pretty exciting things that I will be sharing with you soon.  One of them might be ready as early as tomorrow so keep checking back. 

 My big outing for this week was the Veteran's Day parade last Sunday.  My brother was a reserve in the Marine Corps so I have great respect for anyone who is willing to dedicate themselves to protecting our country.  I grew up in the small town of Petaluma, and I have to say that they put on a pretty impressive parade so each year I try to go if my schedule allows.  This year my whole family attended.  We had hot chocolate, did a little shopping, and most importantly honored our veterans both past and present.


My brother, the Marine.


My nieces and nephew enjoying the parade


Speaking of cool things that happened this week, I would like to announce the winner my Zentangle 7 giveaway and the lucky person is:


Janet Todd

Congratulations Janet!  Send me an email with your address and I will get your book in the mail.

Zendala Dare #32

This weeks template:



Here's my contribution:

Tangle: Pystyl
When I started this Zendala I had no intention of creating a monodala but as is the case with Zentangle, I didn't end up with I what I had envisioned.  To be perfectly honest, this is way better!

Have a wonderful week and don't forget to link up below.

Erin





Saturday, November 10, 2012

Zendala Dare #31

Hey everyone!  I have so much to tell you this week.  We've got the Dare, a giveaway, some updates, a big surprise,  and a teaser about a tutorial I have in the works.

First, the updates.  I have had a very busy schedule the last couple of weeks and was falling behind on my own tiles for the Zendala Dare.  I was a little embarrassed about it but I'm all caught up now and appreciate your patience.  If you would like to see what I posted for the last two Dare's you can look here and here.

Secondly, I noticed some weirdness on my blog this week.  Every once in a while an old blog post will get some extra hits but it is usually because someone has posted it on Pinterest or mentioned it in a class.  This week I noticed that my post about my tangle Socc was getting a lot of hits and I mean A LOT!  I have to admit that my schedule has been preventing me from keeping up with the Diva Challenge for the past few weeks so when I finally realized that Socc had been chosen for the Use My Tangle challenge I was completely taken aback.  I have been overwhelmed by the positive responses I have received and am so honored to be featured on the Diva's blog.  Thanks Laura!

I was also very excited to get a surprise in the mail this week.  Several months ago Suzanne McNeill, the author of many books about Zentangle, asked if I would like to be in a new book about Zendala's.  Well of course you know my answer!  Yes, Yes, Yes!  The book arrived on my doorstep this week and I don't want to brag (but I'm going to anyhow) but my Zendala's turned out great!  It is such an honor to be included with so many other amazing artists, including some of my fellow CZT 7 graduates!


Want to see more than just the cover?   Well it just so happens that I am giving away a copy of this awesome book.  Simply enter below using Rafflecopter and you will be entered to win.


I also wanted to give you a heads up about a tutorial I will be posting within the next week or two.  I have been working on it for over a month now and I think you guys will really enjoy it so make sure to check back!   Not only is the tutorial pretty cool but you know how much I love giveaways!

Now for the main event:

Zendala Dare #31

When I scroll through my templates each week and decide what I would like to use, this template seems to always catch my eye but for one reason or another I decide against using it.  Well, this week it won out, for good or bad, you decide.




Since I needed to do a tile using Socc for the Diva Challenge I figured why not kill two birds with one stone.  This piece measures 8 inches across and is a mono tangle which was a lot more time intensive than I had bargained for.  What do you think?

Tangle: Socc

Remember to link up below and don't forget to enter the give away!  
Hope you have an amazing week.

Erin

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Zendala Dare #30 - Thanksgiving

Happy November everyone!  It's been another crazy week.  I spent most of it trying to keep myself healthy and then spent all of Wednesday prepping for my family to come over on Halloween night.  Halloween is by far my most favorite holiday, but I have to admit, this year was a bit of a let down.  The weather here was horrible, it was just cold and rainy enough to make trick or treating miserable, plus I couldn't put out any of my decorations.  My husband did manage to carve two pumpkins which is a good thing because without them people may have thought we weren't even home!  On the upside, my nieces and nephew were adorable and my youngest brother AJ showed up in a pretty impressive pirate costume.  He talked in pirate speak for most of the night and at one point I asked my three year old niece if she was cold and she told me in her best pirate voice "Shiver me timbers!"   I don't think she gets that "shivering" and "shiver me timbers" are not the same thing, but it was hilarious none the less.  


Zendala Dare #30

Here we are again at the first Saturday of the month so a little extra challenge is in order.  When I was thinking about what this months challenge should be my thoughts automatically went to Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is all about family, togetherness, reflecting on what we are thankful for and of course.......food.  

Food is the center of the holiday for so many people that I decided it should be the center of this weeks Zendala Dare.   I wanted to center on one part of the meal and the obvious choice would be the turkey, but let's be honest, the turkey is just their so you can have 30 side dishes.  Does anybody really love the turkey?  Every year I sit at my mom's table and we all say "Great turkey mom!", but what we really mean is "Will anyone notice if I have a third helping of stuffing?"  But then I got to thinking, the sides are good but dessert, dessert is where it's really at, and in my house and I'm sure many other's it's all about PIE!  My mom makes great apple pie!  I hear her pumpkin is good too but I leave that nastiness for my brother John.  I have never liked pumpkin pie and probably never will so don't even attempt to get me to try it again.

So yes, this weeks challenge is about pie and it is a combination challenge in two parts.   The first part of the challenge is to fill the template with at least three tangles that start with the letters P, I, and E.  If you need to use more tangles just make sure they start with one of those three letters.  The second part of the challenge is that at least one of those tangles must be one you have never used before.

Here's the template:


Link to Zendala Dare #30 templates

Tangles:  Printemps, Intersection, Echoism,
Pystyl
I really wanted to leave some negative space on this template but it just didn't lend itself to that.  As a result, I think that this one is a little busy.   Finding tangles that started with P, I & E was more difficult than I thought and by the time I used Printemps and Echoism, I forgot that I needed something that started with "I" that I had never used before.  I went with Intersection which I'm not actually in love with.  I think I am not a fan of the union jack look that it evokes.  All in all, I don't love this one but I don't hate it either.  


Remember to post your version of this weeks
dare below! I can't wait to see how you handle
the extra challenge.

Erin

 

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