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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

It's Never Too Late

When tangling, do you ever start a tile, think "meh," and then put it back down?

This has happened to me in the past.  I would start a piece and feel unmotivated to finish it for some reason.  Maybe I got hung up on a pattern or didn't like my initial string.  Maybe I just couldn't focus and enjoy the process enough.  Whatever the reason, I think I did the right thing by putting the tile down.

I'm a librarian by day, and I've never believed that we have to finish books we don't like (with the exception of school assignments, I guess).  There are so many wonderful books out there to explore.  Granted, I do try to get through them even if I'm struggling.  I try to find a character or plot that is interesting enough to keep me going, but if I can't find anything redeeming, back to the library it goes.

I have the same philosophy about tangling.  I love learning new patterns, trying challenges, and experimenting with new ways of creating my Zentangle® art.  I'm not at all ashamed to admit that I get frustrated sometimes especially when trying something new.  I try not to beat myself up about it and move on to something else.  If a pattern is causing me to get frustrated, that's the signal for me to put it down until another time.  If I try again and still get frustrated, I don't force the issue.  Instead I pick a pattern that I love or one that comes easily to me.  Challenges have to stay fun for me to stick with them; if I feel like I'm forcing myself in some way, I lose my zen.

For this week's Diva challenge, we were tasked with creating a 2-pencil string.  I had done this ages ago for her second ever challenge back in my earlier tangling days.

I found a tile that I had started in 2010 after I took the challenge the first time (see below).  I had done the 2-pencil string but never tangled the tile.  I remember being frustrated about how the lines came out and feeling unsure about where to go from there.  When I found the tile this time, I immediately wanted to tangle it!  I am in a different place with my art and my approach to tangling.  The other good news is I didn't throw out the tile.  I always try to keep pieces even if I don't like them.  There's always the chance to work on it again in the future or to find something I do like about it when I'm in a better head space.

I saw my 2010 string and knew I wanted to tangle just the inner areas leaving plenty of white space.  Here is my 2013 entry for this week's challenge:

Here is the tile I created back in 2010 in response to this challenge.  I even used some of the same patterns without knowing it!  I love to see how my tangling has evolved over the years!


  1. You are so right. It's not worth getting frustrated when you are tangling. Kind of goes against the whole philosophy. I do usually make myself finish books though, simply so I can forget them. If there is anything interesting at all, I just find myself wondering what happened! The only one I started and just dumped without ever caring a hoot about what happened was Casual Vacancy.

  2. It's great to see how you 'grow' in tangling over a few years.
    Your tiles are great!

  3. I love the Zinger on the ends of your string! I agree with you on books. I sometimes put down a book because I can't get into the style of writing. I figure I'm a slow reader and I'd rather spend what time I have(since so much of my time now is spent tangling)reading something that really draws me in. When I'm tangling I usually (but not always) force myself to finish something I'm not happy with because I know that often by the time I'm done and have shaded it that it will be much better.

  4. I agree, love the zingers on the end, very nicely done!

  5. Really like the flow of the string. It is interesting to see how are tangles have progressed.