Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Birthday Surprise and Spooky Zen Class

I got the loveliest birthday gift this year. Those of you playing along at home know that I was recently reunited with four birth siblings earlier this year. Unfortunately but fortunately, we found each other through youngest sister, Shelly's obituary but I was thrilled to meet, Doris, Dina and Dan when I was home this summer. We've stayed close by phone and online but I was totally not expecting the gift they sent. It was a box with an 'open this end' message written on it. Inside was a note that said, "Give the dog and cat their presents and open the tissues, then open the next three boxes in order." Sure enough there was a jingle ball for Cooper (which he immediately picked up and disappeared with) and a pull rope for Ben (which he settled down to blissfully chew) and a box of Kleenex.

The next three boxes contained 48 birthday cards; one for every birthday we have spent apart. Dina took ages one through 17. Some cards were homemade and some were age appropriate kid's cards and they each had cool messages about what would have been going on in my life during that age. (You're 13. Did you get your ears pierced? You're 15. Did you pass driver's ed?) Doris took 18-31. Each card was handmade with love and so beautiful.  Dan took 32-48 and hand painted them and added rhymes. He also painted me a wee lighthouse necklace that is adorable.  He made me laugh by saying' Sorry this is late' on almost every card! I laughed and sobbed through opening all of the cards. Thank goodness they included the Kleenex! I still can't believe how lucky I am to have such sweet siblings in my life! The box also included birthday cards for this year from all three including one from beautiful niece, Rebekka.

I received many other gifts and cards from friends and family today. Sometimes I feel so alone, everyone does, but days like today make me I realize that  I am blessed with an embarrassing wealth of love and support in my life. I am truly humbled.

I took Katie Butler's Halloween Zentangle class last night. I was on the bubble all day about whether to drag my lovely snot-filled self out in public but decided at the last minute that I felt OK enough to go. I'm so glad I did. She had us do a spiderweb project with lots of patterns I'd never used before.
I wish the picture had come out better. I took it after dark and got a lot of bounce from the Zenstone shading. Once we got tangling, the time just flew and I got lost in it and forgot all about not feeling well for a bit.Guess I must be on the mend!

Thanks to EVERYONE who made my birthday special! I love you all!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

INKtober 6-13

This week's drawings were supposed to be a departure from my usual drawings, and they were for the most part. I tried to be conscious about not putting that diagonal band in every one. But mostly they came from a nightmarish place of oxygen deprivation and cold medicine

'Michael Likes Flamingos' 
Had a piece of pink card stock. Had recently been to the zoo with friends. Michael was looking for flamingo feathers outside the enclosure. He said he already had two. It had never occurred to me to look for them before. I will now! The game is on!

I kind of like this one, I must have had a moment of clarity.

Oh I wish I could!

Bookmark. Didn't shade it. Too drugged.

What?!? Totally phoned this one in.

Tried to make up for the 'cheater' ones. Wish I had been more conscious of the empty space on the left and right of the diamond-way uneven.

This was my head yesterday before I got the really good drugs-sharp pointed edges in an airless vacuum. 

Hopefully next week's pieces will be a little more thought out  and coherent!

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Nod Fair

I have a cold. My nose is stuffy, my eyes feel ready to burst, my throat is killing me and I don't have much, if any, voice. It's been a week. I am ready to be over this. But all people get colds and I understand that. I, however, do think I should get some special consideration for having to put up with the flak I have to take from my family of 'friends' who delight in making fun of my misery.

Yesterday, I went through Culver's drive though with a friend to get supper. You order at the outside speaker, pull around to the window on the side of the building, they give you your drink and a plastic doohickey with your number on it to put on your window. Then they ask you to pull ahead and in a couple of minutes they bring your food out, match it to the doohickey and trade you for it. It all went swimmingly until I pulled ahead and realized that the guy hadn't given me a plastic doohickey, but I figured they'd sort it out. I was right, pretty soon a lady comes out with our supper. I explain that we don't have the plastic thing, and since it's a local high school tradition to STEAL the little numbers, she hesitates and looks at me funny before begrudgingly  handing us out take away bags.

ME : She thinks I stole the number. (which sounds like 'She tinks I tole her dumber' because of the stupid cold.)
FRIEND: She thinks you sold her dumper?
ME:No! She thinks I stole the number.
FRIEND: Sold her dumpster?
ME: No! The number! The number! You know, Number 1, Number 2, Number 3
FRIEND: *Laughs hysterically* I know, I just like making you repeat it because you just sound so stupid!
ME: Id's nod fuddy.

Today I posted on Facebook that I was miserable and needed a hug.  My darling cousin said that she would give me one but I sounded too gross...Le sigh!

With friends like these....

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

A Perfect Storm! The Diva Challenge

This week's Diva Challenge couldn't have happened at a better time!  It was to create a tile with an LGBT theme for 'National Coming Out Day' next Saturday October 11th. She suggested using rainbow colors or tangles that started with the letters L-G-B-T. Hmmmm...

I was ruminating on how to tackle this yesterday when word came in that The Supreme Court refused to get involved in the same-sex marriage debate, thus legalizing same sex unions in 19 states with more to come!  This is a topic that means a lot to me. I have many LGBT friends and have wished this for them forever! I have been banging my 'You-love-who-you-love-and-family-is-who-you-say-it-is' drum since before I could articulate it! Many of my gay friends have longer lasting and healthier relationships than my hetero friends! Here's to  recognition of that and equality for all!

On top of that, THIS happened!
These came in the mail yesterday! 64 brand new colored pen! Some are shiny! Some are sparkly! Some glow in the dark. O.M.Gosh!

And so...ultimately... THIS happened:

I pulled out all the stops! Rainbow colors and ( from the top left corner) tangles:
 Lanie, Girlande, Barber pole, Tortuga, Loops, Gloven, Bales,  and Tipple

I went a little ...well... a lot overboard and created a sort of monstrosity (just because you HAVE 64 colored pens, doesn't mean you should use them all on one tile) but it certainly conveys my enthusiasm and excitement over this new advancement  in the war against bigotry and hatred so I'm posting it proudly.

Happy Coming Out Day-October 11, 2014!!

Monday, October 06, 2014


There is an challenge afoot called INKtober. The challenge is to create an ink drawing every day for the month of October. No rules or parameters other than that. Then you post it on Facebook with #INKtober and that's it.  I decided to use these as a way to build up my giveaway tiles for RAZ (Random Acts of Zentangle). Here are my entries for the first week (Tuesday October 1-Sunday October 5).

October 1 (This one uses OBAD-my newest tangle pattern )

October 2
Tried white ink on black paper. I like it for lines but not for heavily shaded areas as you can't get complete coverage. I used a Jelly Roll. Maybe I should have used my white Sharpie?

October 3
This one is OK, but I could have done more with the shading. Also, shouldn't have put an aura around it. Should of made the background go right under it. 

October 4
I use NZepple (Pattern in upper left) way to much!

October 5
Different positioning of Obad and use of a variation my tangle EWAU in the lower left corner. 
Hate the entire middle bit. Like the background though. It was one of the tiles I dyed at the Zentangle Symposium this past summer. 

I originally wanted to put each day's doodle into a weekly post just to keep track of them, but seeing them all together like this has been very beneficial to me. For instance, I can see that almost all of my tangles have some kind of design going bottom left to upper right that breaks up the tile. This is completely subconscious on my part. I'd like to think it's an indicator of optimism but in reality, it's just sloppy, lazy and stale and I need to be more creative about the overall design of my tiles. 

I also need broaden my 'stable' of patterns. I tend to use some like Nzepple and Hybrid, very frequently. Again, this is lazy and I need to dig out my resources and 'learn' more patterns and stop playing favorites!

So this first week, in addition to being fun, has been a great learning tool and encourages me to branch out more creatively for the rest of the challenge. Onward to Week Two!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Diva Challenge: Blind String and New Cabinets

I just love Laura Harm's blog. In addition to the challenge she posts every week, she posts the cutest pics of her sons and this week, the pic of Artoo in his little plaid shirt and sun glasses was too much. I could just smooch his whole face! She is blessed to have two adorable little boys.  

This week's challenge was to close your eyes and draw a 'blind string. The first one I attempted was more off the tile than on so this is my second attempt. Mostly on there....not bad. 

I decided to tangle it with new tangles I haven't used before. Some of them are new from the last Zentangle Harmony weekend update and some I had just scribbled in my sketch book. I'm horrible about their names and who created them, but I am eternally grateful to all of you creative souls who come up with such neat things!

It's a kind of different look for my tile. Less cluttered than I usually do. I was all about the decluttering this weekend!

Remember the cabinet I put together when we first moved to the condo? over-floweth!

I'd been waffling about what kind of cabinets to but to fit in that space and had narrowed it down to two.  Finally I decided to just do it!

 I got the cabinets on Thursday night and by Sunday night....ta da! It wasn't easy . There was a LOT of swearing (to the point where animals were all in their hidey-holes, just peeking out from time to time). But I did it! Fits pretty good in that alcove doesn't it?!?!

The middle one is a pantry, the one on the right has my art stuff in it and the left one has linens and kitchen appliances in it. A place for everything and everything in its place!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

New Tangle Pattern: OBAD

I came up with (what I think is) a new tangle pattern. If I've stomped on anyone's toes, please, please let me know. 

The pattern is called OBAD. I wanted to call it Soleil, but it was already taken so I looked up synonyms and found this:

That'll work.

Here is the step out.

And here are some variations. This one lends itself to a ton of variations including positioning.

I've used it here by rotating it so it makes a complete 'sun'.  

I'm working on another tile where they all go in the same direction but the grid is curvy.  Lots of fun. 

So enjoy OBAD and let me know if you were able to use it in your tangles!

Tangle On!