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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Working Together

I had the privilege of teaching a staff development workshop for the staff of the Billerica Public Library in 2013.  At the end of the class, I gave each participant a pre-strung piece of paper to tangle.  All of the pieces would form a larger piece of artwork when assembled together.

While visiting for tangle club last month, I saw that the library had completed and framed the mosaic.  It was on display in the main circulation area of the library.  I was thrilled.

Look at what can happen when people work together!  If they can create such beautiful art, they must make a pretty amazing team.  I love that they framed and displayed this piece so they can remember how they created something special together.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sand Dollars and Fireworks

Welcome back to the Diva!  It's wonderful to have Laura back blogging and inspiring us.  I wish her darling Artoo continued success in his recovery.  

The Diva has tasked us with playing with the latest Zentangle® pattern, Arukas.  I like the idea of this tangle but still haven't quite fallen in love with it yet.  I do tend to like patterns with very straight, repetitive lines, like IX, so I figured I would like this one quickly.  It is fun to create, but I think I need to explore it some more.  I haven't quite achieved the star look, but I think that many, like my Bijou tile, look like sand dollars.  
This is one of the first times I used Bronx Cheer to cover something that I deemed less than favorable.  One of the Arukas turned into a nice round shape resembling a sand dollar.  I liked it, but the other one had lines that went off the Bijou tile.  I decided that I liked the rounder look and plunked down some Bronx Cheer.  Ha!  Should I have revealed my secret, or would you have guessed anyway?  

Others remind me of fireworks or bugs or scorpions because at least one of the interior shapes always ends up looking puffy.  It's still cool because I never quite know how it's going to turn out.
I am enjoying filling in my initial spokes or rays to give a little contrast.  I like the look of that in this Bijou frame tile:

Have you been playing with Arukas?  What do you think of it so far?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

All Dolled Up as the Guest Diva

The famous Diva asked a few CZTs to fill in and write guest posts while her darling son Artoo had eye surgery.  Fortunately he is doing well and recovering.  I know how terrified I was when my little one had surgery.  I am sending healing wishes to the whole family!

This week, I had the fortunate pleasure of writing one of the guest posts.  I hope you had fun playing along with my challenge.  You can read all about it at I am the Diva.  It was an honor to help Laura (the Diva) as well as to serve as an inspiration for tanglers around the world.  I am loving each and every piece created.  I am going through the 50 plus responses posted on the Diva's site.  It's so touching to think that my idea has inspired people around the world!

I've been tangling quite a few paper dolls to adorn a Christmas tree at the Andover Historical Society for their annual event.  Each tree is decorated to accompany an inspiration piece from the collection.  My inspiration this year was paper dolls.  I created a paper doll dress template and tangled each using different patterns.  I had a wonderful time completing these and thinking about how the patterns could mimic folds of fabric.

Here is an assortment of my tangled dresses up close as well as the finished tree.

I love the Flux skirt on this one:

 Of course I had to use my pattern YAH in one of the dresses.
 I love the feel of the Printemps-stuffed Hollibaugh in this one:

Here's the finished tree.  I wish that my top hat tree topper idea had worked.  The hat was so large that it overpowered the rest of the tree so I had to scrap it.  Then I wondered if I should have added more color to the tree through balls or ribbons.  I wanted the tree to reflect the beauty and simplicity of the Zentangle® method without being too busy.  I wanted my hand-tangled dresses to speak for themselves.  I hope I made the right choice by keeping it simple.

Here's my Renaissance doll too.  She was a lot of fun to create!

Thanks for tangling with me this week!  If you haven't shared your creation on the Diva's site, I hope you'll share it with me on Facebook, by email, or in a comment here.  I'd love to see your work.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Test Driving Patterns

I recently had a lot of fun teaching a Zendala class to several of my regular tanglers while welcoming a new friend into our group.

I love creating mandala strings from scratch or using the pre-strung Zendala tiles.  I find it fascinating to watch a piece evolve and change shape throughout my practice.

This class was particularly interesting because it encouraged everyone to think differently in a few ways.  Instead of working on a square tile, we played with a round shape.  Rather than using larger sections within a string, we filled in tiny areas.  Then I invited the participants to play with patterns that they already knew in different ways to stretch comfort zones creatively.  

Many of the students were used to the pattern Flux with leaves building upward creating a stem.  To fill our smaller areas and to create some fun interest in contrast to our geometric patterns, I invited everyone to use a randomized version of Flux with the leafy shape strewn about the section without a stem.  This idea posed a little bit of a challenge because it meant tweaking how they had learned the pattern.

The results were fantastic, and this exercise encouraged everyone to think about a pattern in a new way.  Maybe with a little practice, they will feel comfortable playing with this pattern in the traditional and random way and then take it to even new directions that I haven't considered.  

I love how we can take patterns that we know and create regularly and mix them up to see what they can do.

Which patterns do you like to take for a test drive to see how they handle?

The center design featuring Onomato was inspired by Sally Houghton, CZT.  I loved her interpretation on her blog and just had to use it (with her permission).

So Relaxed

I recently taught a large class at the Peabody Institute Library in Danvers.  Despite my cold and raspy voice, I did my best to provide my usual energy and enthusiasm for the Zentangle® method.

At the end of the lesson, a lovely woman told me that she felt "so relaxed."  I love how this method allows people to find a few minutes in the day for themselves to reclaim some peace, sanity, or focus.  Even with a large class and my scratchy voice, the magic of the Zentangle method still showed through.  Wow.

Check out the beautiful tiles they created!