Saturday, January 21, 2017


Winter in New England is always weather mystery.  We can have a mild winter or one that ranges from deep coldness to mountains of snow.  One day can be freezing cold; the next day might be 60 degrees.  One of the things I love about living in this area is the fluctuation and variety.  Our weather is creative!

Speaking of creative, I'm having so much fun creating these Lynn Mead-inspired snowflakes!  this one was done on a Renaissance tile.  I love how the shading and highlights make the flake pop.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Let It Snow

In November, I had the great pleasure of attending a retreat for Certified Zentangle Teachers in lovely Ogunquit, Maine.  I learned a variety of inspiring new techniques from fellow CZTs and was taken away by their creativity!  I reconnected with my tangling friends and made new ones at the fabulous Beachmere Inn.  It was a rejuvenating weekend for the body, mind, and soul.

One of my favorite new projects included techniques taught by Lynn Mead, CZT.  We explored the idea of creating open space for tangling or shading inside our tangles, convergent shading, and this stunning snowflake design.  I adored Lynn's classes and was thrilled to be able to experience her clear and inspiring teaching style.  By the way, if you'd like a fantastic tangle book for on the go, check out her Tangle Decks!

Here is the original piece that I created in Lynn's class.  It's shimmery and elegant in person; a photo doesn't do it justice.
I've been playing with different open snowflake designs to prepare for an upcoming winter class I'm teaching.  It's been fun to try these techniques on Opus and black Zendala tiles along with different pens and inks.  I love how the shading/coloring technique really makes the snowflakes pop.

Merry Oopsmas

I was having so much fun celebrating Christmas with my family that I completely forgot to share my cute little tangled tree with you.  Oops!  I hope I won't get coal in my stocking this year.  Since there are no mistakes with Zentangle®, maybe you'll give me a pass on this one.  Teehee.

This little tree was created on one of the fun new 3Z tiles with black, green, and red Microns and some gold and clear sparkle Gelly Rolls.  The tree was inspired by the stunning work of CZT Ann Clapper.

I hope you had a lovely holiday season and that your only tangles were art.  

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Family Tree

My daughter and I were working on a craft project for the holidays.  She wanted to make a tree with fingerprint leaves. I pulled out a tile and drew a quick tree trunk. Next, she added some fingerprint leaves; I filled them in with small tangles.

We love to try different art projects.  No matter what we create, we always have fun exploring new ideas and being creative. It's one of our favorite times together.

I think this is the beginning of a new collaboration!  I see a tangled forest in our future. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Up for the Challenge

With my crazy year, I realized that it's been ages since I've enjoyed a Diva Challenge and figured that I just have to jump back in.  Sometimes I panic when I've been away from something for too long and feel like I have to pick up where I left off.  Fortunately, tangling isn't like reading a book.  I can start in the middle without getting lost in the story.  The characters are tangles, and while new ones might be added to the mix, I can always find comfort in familiar friends.  The plot may thicken, round, highlight, or even get colored in, but it's still of the choose-your-own variety.  I can start on page one, the middle, or the end and still get wrapped up in a good tangle.

I dove in to Diva Challenge 296 using the tangle Moowa by CZT Anya Ipsen.  I had seen beautiful work created with this tangle but hadn't tried it.  I was surprised because I am a huge fan of Mooka, and this looked like a flowing, wave version of the tangle.  

I picked up my 2014 Tangle-A-Day Calendar (yes, you read that date correctly) and started to practice this new-to-me tangle.  I filled a week with different attempts until I felt like I had the flow.  Why 2014?  I have several uncompleted calendars and have decided that that's okay.  In an effort to Untangle My Life, when I want to play or experiment with tangles, I pick up a calendar and use the pages as an art journal.  I add the current date and have come to accept that it's fine that it wasn't completed in chronological order.  Like my book analogy above, it's freeing to be able to start anywhere.  In the past, I would get derailed by life and not be able to keep up with the calendar and found that frustrating.  Now, I'm jumping in and finding a random page to embrace like this one from 2014:

Next I took my tangling to a tile.  I just received my first box of the new 3Z tiles and thought that Moowa looked really cool done in a spiral.  I loved how this tile came out but thought it needed something in the middle.  
I love creating zen gems and thought an onyx would look great in the center to balance out the black Tipple segments.  If only I could figure out how to create onyx.  I create a lot of gems and figured I needed a lot of black colored pencil and some highlights and went to work.  Here was one of my practice gems I created in a sketchbook.  Then it was off to fill the center of my tile!
Here's my final Moowa challenge tile:

Lost... and Found

Life can be a whirlwind. I feel like 2016 has been a crazy blur of boxes, house hunting, moving trucks, unpacking, and other craziness.  Each new adventure gives us an opportunity to succumb to the chaos or to uncover the adventure.  Sometimes we do a bit of both.

My family loves the new house and is slowly settling in.  We had such a fun summer exploring our new yard, visiting farms, going to the beach, playing with friends, and taking fun outings. Fall continued the same way with pumpkin picking and enjoying nature.  My husband kept telling me that we would unpack the house when the weather was cooler and we wouldn't want to be outdoors. His kind words helped me justify our activities and allowed me to let the other unpacking wait.  Sure, we unpacked our daughter's stuff and the things we needed on a daily basis, but both of our offices remained boxed.  While my craft supplies found their way out of the boxes, finding them in my new craft room has been a bit of a scavenger hunt.  Each time I try to find something, I end up tearing my room apart often to no avail.  This is NOT zen.

Here's a peek at my craft-room-to-be after it was painted.  I agonized about the color until I recalled how much I loved the color I had picked for the old house.  Voila!  I chose the same color for my new room.  I think my choice will be pretty popular next year with Pantone's pick of Greenery.  I'm ahead of the trend!

Fortunately, my tiles, pens, and pencils are all at easy reach.  While I might not always be able to find everything, I can always find the important stuff.  I'm thrilled that tangling supplies are small and portable.  I can bring my art anywhere with me so I can stay calm, focused, and creative even if the room around me looks like a cardboard Tetris game.

Sometimes life gets crazy, and I forget about tangling for a while.  I feel the stress creep back in and can tell when it's been too long between tangles.  Then it's time to...

Untangle My Life

The easiest way to do that is to find a tile and pencil, add four dots, and make my border and string.  When life gets out of control, it's time for me to get back to basics.

I have set a healing resolution for myself for 2017.  I am going to embrace my tangling, explore new ideas and classes, and make sure to share my journey with you.  I am embarking on an experiment to see how my immersion in my art will affect the rest of my life.  I'm hoping to watch my house unfold one box at a time as I find more peace and clarity.  I'm excited to see where this adventure will take me.

I'm going to be sharing some of the art that I've worked on this year as well as what I'm working on currently.  I've been looking through my art and realizing how little of it made it to the blog or even to Facebook.  It's show and tell time!

So I might have felt a little lost this year, but each time I allow myself to breathe and to tangle, I manage to find myself.  Now to stick with it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Just what I needed

Where has the time gone?

This has been a big year for my family.  After many months of searching and packing, we moved into a new house.  We're still settling in (I hear this could take years), but we're finally feeling like we are home.  I have a better working office and art studio so I'm hoping to be able to share more with you too!  

Even though I haven't blogged much in a while, I've still been teaching and tangling through the stressful move.  I am so thankful to have the Zentangle® Method in my life especially during times like this.

I had the great pleasure of teaching a relaxing class at the Shrewsbury Public Library right around our move to the new house.  As you can imagine, I was a bit stressed out, and seeing boxes everywhere was not making me feel very relaxed.  I needed to teach this class and to reconnect with my passion to help me see that moving, packing, and unpacking is just like tangling.  I needed to take each task one step at a time.

We spent a relaxing and lovely class together exploring tangles for the first time.  I loved that when presented with the stunning tile mosaic, one participant was impressed by how her tile looked combined with the others.  Tangling is a lovely recipe, and each of us presents an ingredient.  

Another woman considered herself a doodler and thought that she couldn't tangle.  She was thrilled to learn that she could, in fact, create art with the Zentangle Method and incorporate tangles into her previous line art.  I'm thrilled to think of all of the creative exploration she has in her future.

I would like to personally thank this class for helping me find some relaxed focus despite the chaos I felt at home.  I was truly touched and moved that everyone shared this journey with me.