Saturday, November 2, 2013

Zendala Dare #79 - Thanks Rick and Maria!

 What a crazy week!  Not only was it Halloween, but school was slightly crazy, work was strangely not crazy, and I felt like I had zero control over my schedule.  I did manage to fit in a few activities though.  

I have a great new friend named Jamie who I met in January at nursing school and she has a daughter Ava,  that is only 2 weeks older than my niece Avery.  We decided a lunch date and trip to the pumpkin patch was in order.

It didn't take long for them to become besties!
Enjoying the jumpy pillow

Jamie and Ava petting the bunny

This bunny is a literal chick magnet

She really loved the bunnies

Oh look, she's petting another bunny

We grabbed a quick bite to eat and then it was off to get their nails done.  They both decided to get orange nails with cute little spiders, spider webs and jack-o-lanterns.  They even managed to keep their hands to themselves long enough to not smudge the polish!

While we were waiting for their nails to dry, Jamie decided we should also take them to the movies.   So we were off to see Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2.  It was actually a really good movie and the girls were well behaved.  After that however, Auntie was wiped!  

I spent the rest of dealing with school and work until Thursday, which of course was the best day of the year, HALLOWEEN!  Some of the nieces and nephews came over with their parents and a few friends tagged along as well.  I spent the day cooking chili, decorating, and pretending I hadn't eaten any of the candy.

My adorable nieces dressed as Alice in Wonderland
and Rapunzel.  My nephew was also here but refused
to put his costume on.
 As Avery was leaving she insisted on posing with every decoration.

Here she is with the mummy.  She kept walking around saying
"I'm your mummy!"  She was cracking herself up.

She loves the pumpkin.  It has an actual working carousel
inside with a witch chasing two ghosts.

Last year she hated the giant spider.  This year
they are best friends.
Here she is pretending to be attacked.
She's really cute but a poor actress.
This is Marcus the carcass.  He's my favorite
halloween decoration.  It's just a set of plastic hands
feet with a head that is all attached by a couple wires.  You
just bury the wires in the landscaping wood chips and it looks
like hes coming out of the ground.  It's funny which kids get close
to check him out and which one's hug the edge of the sidewalk just to
stay away.

I was supposed to work on the ambulance on Halloween but in order to get it off I had to make a deal with the devil and work a shift at 4:30 in the morning on Friday.  Uggghhh.  I haven't worked that early since my early days as a paramedic when I had no seniority and no say in what shift I had to work.  I got home around 5:00 pm and was in bed by 8:00.  Hence the late Saturday post with your Zendala Dare.

Zendala Dare #79 - Thanks Rick and Maria!

As has become the tradition, the first Zendala Dare of the month always comes with a little extra challenge.  Since November brings with it Thanksgiving, I thought a Thanksgiving inspired challenge was only appropriate.  I could have picked something literal like a turkey challenge (even though I have no idea how I would even do that) but I decided to go with something that had to do with the spirit of Thanksgiving instead.

I have a lot to be thankful for.  A great husband, wonderful family, amazing friends, health insurance, a roof over my head and a steady job.  But there are so many other things to be thankful for and one of those things is Zentangle.  You always hear Zentangle enthusiasts saying how "thankful they are to have found Zentangle".  It may be hard for outsiders to understand but anyone who does Zentangle knows how enriching it can be.  We all have different reasons why we love it.  For me, it gave me a creative outlet I never thought I could have, the gift of drawing.  You can read my story here, but the gist of it is that once I found Zentangle, I had the freedom to be more creative while also learning a method to be more calm and reduce my stress.  This would never have been possible if Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, the creators of Zentangle, hadn't given this amazing gift to us.

So this weeks challenge is to create a Zendala using the template below that is a tribute to Rick and Maria to say thanks for their contribution.  You may do this in any format you wish.  You might choose to use official tangles, or pick some of Rick and Maria's favorites.  Maybe Zentangle has opened up the world of color to you and you want to create a stunning ZIA with those new watercolors you bought.  Perhaps you decided to only use tangles that spell Rick or Maria?  It's up to you, just make sure it a fitting tribute to the creators of this artform that we all love so much!  I'm sure anything you dream up will be fantastic.

Here's the template:

My first thought was to use my favorite official tangles.  I started with Flux and then proceeded onto Hollibaugh.  The entire time I was working I was thinking ahead (my first error) and trying to decide what I would put in the larger middle sections.  I added a little line work while I was contemplating my next move and then it hit me.  There was a reason I couldn't come up with a good tangle for those sections.  It was because there should be no tangle in that section.  In CZT training Rick talked a lot about the "elegance of limits" and today, after all this time, I think I finally got it.  

For Rick and Maria, thank you:

Tangles: Flux, Hollibaugh


  1. Wow! This is a stunning Zendala. I love the dimension you created by blurring and darkening the edges. Was a great choice to leave the sections untangled. I hope that I can come up with something close to this.

  2. Although I'm not a "trained" Zentangler -- I so appreciate Maria and Rick's efforts to ignite the creativity of others and teach people about Zentangle. I've enjoyed every moment over the past year and a half. Thank you also, Erin, for your commitment to providing the weekly Zendalas that are so enjoyable to tangle.

  3. I was thrilled when I saw your design. The use of white space makes the design dramatic. Lovely.

  4. Thank you Erin, for an other beautiful template. I worked on it with great pleasure. Sitting this afternoon with insence, music and a lot of candles while ouside it was raining and some thunder and lightning, it was pleasant to do the zendala! Yours is beautiful by the way!

  5. You are absolutely correct about the "elegance of limits" here, and that is a great word to describe your zendala--it is elegant. You deserve a big thank you too for the weekly dare and your blog; it is wonderful that you take the time out of your busy life to provide us with The Bright Owl. Thanks you so much.

  6. Indeed, thank you, Erin - your ideas & templates are a horn of plenty!

  7. Lovely Zendala this week Erin and also the sentiments. I have to say, being from the UK, I am in awe of your Halloween inflatables! How tremendous are they.

  8. Thank you Erin for this challenge this week. It is such a blessing to have found zentangle world. The tangle language is just what I needed to go back on track and do the things I love most: create :) It's nice to give back to the ones that started all this by saying thank you to Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas.

  9. Thanks again for providing a new dare. And I think the tribute to the originators of zentangle is a very appropriate way of showing one's appreciation. I also love your Halloween photos and not least, your beautiful version of this template.

  10. Another beautiful template and your design is even more so! Great job! Thank you!

  11. This was a nice idea. I enjoyed doing something as a thank you for all that Rick and Maria have done for so many. I am very appreciative.

  12. Thank you so much, Erin. I appreciate this opportunity to really think about how thankful I am to Rick and Maria for this precious gift of zentangle and to you for the wonderful dimension you have added to it.

    Your zendala is absolutely gorgeous!!!!!!

  13. This was my first zendala dare, so much fun. Thank you, looking forward to more!

  14. Thank you, Erin, for this template, and for the great idea of offering thanks to Rick & Maria. As everyone else has pointed out, we owe them a great debt of gratitude for introducing us to the world of Zentangles. Where would we be without them? And an extra thanks to you, Erin, for all the work you do to come up with the Dares every week. It keeps us all on our toes.



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