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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Happy birthday, mom!

I haven't posted much in the last week because I was keeping my latest project secret until I could give it to my mom.

My mom loves frogs so I knew I had to try to tangle some frogs for her.  I used a frog stencil, like the elephant I used for Dilip's Ganesha, to create my border.  I couldn't decide how to fill the frog, so I started with the backgrounds.  I wanted something bold because I originally thought I might leave the frogs white.  I had so much fun with the backgrounds that I couldn't leave the frogs blank.  I tangled and tangled away.

It helped that my darling daughter was asleep in the car.  Each of the three tiles (only two posted so far) was created during a separate napping experience.  It was relaxing to hear her deep breathing in the back of the car while we were parked along the river.  Tangled nap times are my favorite!

I love how Braze looks like leaves in the background of this one.

Marasu makes this frog looks like it's getting sucked into a vortex.

Soon I'll post the third frog featuring a new tangle pattern.

After creating my frogs, I couldn't decide whether I should leave them black and white, usually my favorite, or if I should color them.  After Sandy Steen Bartholomew's lesson with Inktense pencils, I couldn't wait to try coloring the frogs.  I had shaded my tiles which I would do after coloring next time.  I scanned my frogs and printed onto some cardstock to test the colored pencils.  Obviously the colors aren't exact on this paper, but here are my test results:

I want to practice with my Inktense pencils on a better paper next time because I loved using them!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Diva challenge 88: IX

Ever since learning the new tangle IX at my CZT training, I've been obsessed with it.  I find it so relaxing to do.  I just keep repeating the auras and can really let all of my concerns just disappear.  It's my go-to tangle when I'm stressed.  I also love using this as a monotangle--one pattern to cover the tile.  

The Diva challenged us to use IX this week.  So I guess this isn't much of a challenge for me, but I'll use it as a tribute to this awesome tangle pattern.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Zentangle Ganesha

Dilip, one of my fellow attendees at the CZT IX workshop in Providence is working on a goal of creating 100 Zentangle Ganesha tiles by December 21, 2012.  He has recruited fellow CZTs in this quest.  On his blog, Dilip explains his lovely reason for wanting to create 100 Ganesha designs.

I wasn't sure how to do something elephant looking, so I opted for an animal stencil that I had.  I made my string to be the elephant profile.  Next, I filled in the background with IX since Dilip and I both learned that new tangle at our CZT training.  It seemed fitting.  :-)

Then I couldn't decide if I should leave the elephant blank like a reverse silhouette or fill with tangles.  I thought that leaving the tusk white was a good compromise.

This was a wonderful challenge for me to try to interpret something new into my Zentangle work.  I also love playing with IX and find it so relaxing.  I can't believe how close my aura lines are getting!

Dilip, thank you for the challenge.  I hope that my piece is worthy of your collection.  Best wishes to you on your artistic endeavor.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Diva challenge 87: pinwheels for peace

This week's Diva challenge was to create a pinwheel for peace in honor of the International Day of Peace (September 21).  We could interpret the challenge in different ways--using a pinwheel-shaped string, using pinwheels in the design, or tangling an actual pinwheel.  The last option sounds like fun and I may try to see if I can create a pinwheel.

In the meantime, I created a tile with a pinwheel-shaped string.  The shapes immediately said Mooka to me, so I did a modified version to fill in the space.  I enjoyed a relaxing lunch hour filling in behind Mooka.

I might not have saved the world or fostered peace between nations, but I enjoyed some quiet time while creating.  Zentangle brings me such joy and allows me to be present in the moment and to let my worries drift from my mind.

Maybe peace can start with one calm mind at a time....

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Falling tangles

It was an honor to spend a recent day with the New England CZTs (NUTZ) for some new tangling techniques.  Suzanne Binnie taught us how to create an elegant watercolor wash background for a beautiful tangled leaf.  Here is my final result:

I can't believe how much I love this project.  I'm not one for using much color in my tangled artwork, so this is a perfect compromise for me.  It was fun to fill the leaf areas between the veins and to see how the symmetry became unsymmetrical due to the variations in the leaf.  I think my favorite part is the top--Purk, Printemps, and Betweed.

I can't wait to try this technique again.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Talking Zentangle

I spent a lovely evening at the open house for the newly remodeled Community Center at North Town Hall in North Chelmsford, MA.  I'll be offering monthly classes here starting in a few weeks.  I'm so happy that this beautiful building has been restored for everyone to enjoy.  What a wonderful community resource!

It was fun to talk with the visitors about Zentangle.  Some people had heard about it, and a few had taken a class. Most were intrigued by my designs and interested in learning more.  It was easy to explain why I use Zentangle art for relaxation while my darling daughter was running around the place.  All of the moms understood completely and liked the idea of doing something creative, relaxing, and quick.  

I am especially thankful to the impromptu babysitter who kept track of my daughter while I was talking about Zentangle.  It isn't too realistic to describe Zentangle as relaxing while chasing a toddler out of the room and up the stairs.  :-)  My helper earned the "Love" Zentangle inspired artwork in the corner of my table as a thank you.  

Several people were interested in my upcoming classes.  I'm looking forward to sharing my love of Zentangle with others!

Here's a picture of my display:

Friday, September 14, 2012

Creating to create

So this week has been less creative than I would have liked.  Instead, I've been spending my time creating materials to help other people create.  I've been working on workshop flyers, business cards, and other marketing tools.  I enjoy this type of work, but I need to tangle before the day is done.  Even if this week's focus hasn't been on my own craft, it's exciting to think that I'll be helping other people begin their artistic journey with Zentangle®.  I also booked a few more classes too.  I can't wait.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Diva challenge: break free

This week the Diva challenged us to "Break Free" from the usual border that we often use on a Zentangle tile.  She encouraged us to go outside the lines of our coloring book and to picture images in the clouds.  I didn't have trouble with this one since I typically ignore my borders.  I had fun with this one.  My dual Paradox in the middle didn't come out quite as cleanly as I would have liked, but I'm pleased with the overall result.  I like the look of my internal border.

Challenges are a fun way to keep your hand in your craft and to push you beyond your usual boundaries.  Give one a try today!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Oops there are no mistakes in Zentangle

While I was working on a Zendala tile, I had planned to alternate sections using two different tangle patterns.  I enjoyed the coloring in of my squares so much that I colored right into two connected sections.  It wasn't how I intended the tile to look, but it ended up being great.  I had planned to use Purk in every other area, but I abandoned that idea immediately and kept coloring--quite happily, I might add.  It reminded me that there are no mistakes in Zentangle®.  This happy accident encouraged me to go with it and to keep having fun coloring despite my original plan.

Zentangle art evolves and isn't all mapped out in the beginning.  Even if I have an idea in mind, it's great to be flexible enough to see what happens.  New shapes, new ideas, new inspiration can change everything!  Hmm, this seems like a good way to approach life, doesn't it.

Here's the tile:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Logo is a No Go

After seeing a tangled logo by Christine Turner Gardner, CZT at Tangle Party, I decided to create a challenge for myself.  I designed a "logo" that I could tangle.  It was fun to do, and I like the end result as Zentangle Inspired Art.

I think I'll still play around with this, but I need to get a better scan first.  I may try cropping it as well.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Diva challenge 85

This week's challenge from I am the Diva was to use the tangle Copada created by Margaret Bremner, CZT.

I love this tangle!  I reminds me of one of my favorite tangles, Cyme, so I had to incorporate them both.

Even better, I enjoyed doing this tangle in my car while my daughter was fast asleep in the back seat.  I tangled to the sound of her deep breathing.  I was so relaxed and focused that I didn't notice her music was still playing on the CD (which is saying something since we've listened to it 800,000,000 times).

Here's my Zentangle tile:

A few days later, I threw Copada into a Zendala tile I was working on, and here's the end result.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Wonderful Crafternoon

I spent a truly wonderful day with a dear friend catching up and crafting.  In the past, our craft days involved scrapbooking and/or card making.  I tended to agonize about my scrapbooking to the point where I'd get very few layouts completed.  I stressed about where to place the photos, what to write, and which embellishments to use.  I enjoyed scrapbooking, but it was draining and often left me frustrated.

Today, I brought my Zentangle® supplies with me and some current projects.  I completed my first Zendala tile and was thrilled with how it came out.

I did the trick that Rick and Maria, the founders of Zentangle®, suggested of holding the tile out in front to get a different perspective.  It looked even cooler!  I can't wait to do more of these.

My friend made some lovely holiday cards with great colors and texture.  I'll add a link to her blog when she puts up some pictures of her finished projects.

While playing with her Stampin' Up supplies, I fell in love with a bird die-cut she had for her BigShot.  She handed me a cut out bird and wing and said I should tangle them for her, so I did.  It was such fun. I played with tangles I learned during my CZT training and explored some other favorites.  The wing has a 3-D effect that added to the design even more.  Here is the finished project:

The day was amazingly creative and delightful.  Instead of stressing about a scrapbook layout and not getting much done, I produced some pieces that I loved.  More importantly, I enjoyed the process and had a relaxing day.

The next time I pick up my scrapbooking supplies, I'm going to try to approach that craft with the same "one stroke at a time" philosophy of the Zentangle® method.  Maybe I won't stress as much with other crafts I love--maybe I'll love them even more.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

To invert or not to invert, that is the question.

After working on a tile featuring IX, to make sure I remembered how to do it from the CZT training, I started to play with my editing software.  I was interested in the inverted color mode with respect to this tile.  I think I'll have to try doing IX in white ink on a black tile to see if it's similar.

I absolutely love this pattern!  I find IX complex but very easy to do.  It's a great one for filling in a tile and getting into a zen mode for me.  I find myself immediately in a relaxed state because I don't have to think too much about it.  I just make sure to count the lines if I really get stuck.  Auras in threes.  I think this will be a go to tangle when I'm stressed about something.