Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Diva's Challenge: KISS

This week's Diva Challenge was right up my alley! During the busy hustle-bustle of the holidays, Laura encouraged us to just Keep It Simple for our tile this week. This was left open to interpretation as to whether you would  do a simple string, or some of the more simple tangles. I decided, no strings, no deciding which pattern would go best where. I would just do a tile of a new tangle I had seen and wanted to try (Cirque by Chris Gerstner). No sting. One Tangle Pattern. Simple.

It is about as far away from an 'official' Zentangle as you can get and it's not much of a looker but it sure was relaxing, just when I needed it most. Apparently I was so relaxed that I fell asleep taking the picture and so it's all crookedy!  I aim to go back in at a later date and fill in the background but for now, it's...well...simple!

Sincere thanks to Laura for another amazing challenge. This one really hit the spot at this time of year. Thanks for the pleasant 30 minutes away from my mind monkeys!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Life Is Never Dull!

I walked in the back door last night and the house was flooded with red flashing lights. I ran outside and there were men on ladders, on my roof and the neighbor's roof. Before I had a stroke, my neighbor yelled that it was a false alarm. Seems two girls out playing in the' hood noticed 'smoke' coming from my neighbor's roof. Being responsible citizens, they called 911 and then ran to his house and told him his house was on fire. He explained that the smoke was steam from the dryer vent and turned off his dryer to show them. By then, four fire trucks had arrived and my neighbor explained what had happened. They thanked the girls for looking out for their neighbors and said that while they were all there, they would run some ladder practice drills. That's about the point where I walked in from the garage and was sure it was the end of times. I don't think that Ben and Cooper's eyeballs have gone back to normal size yet! Mine either. Never a dull moment around here!

After I got myself together a bit, I struck off for Zentangle Snowflake class over at the local craft shop. Katie Butler was the teacher and it was amazing as usual. I loved the whole class, but the discovery of micro glitter and a glue pen rocked my world. Here is my snowflake.

And these are the ones from the rest of the class. It always amazes me that we are all in the same class with the same instructions and every Zentangle comes out differently, no two are the same, just like snowflakes!

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Diva Challenge: Use New Tangle Arukas!

Yesterday was a long, difficult day so I was pleased as punch to sit down with a couple of tiles and work on the Diva's Challenge for this week. Laura is back after a short sabbatical and her tangle this week was to use the newest Zentangle pattern 'Arukas', designed by Molly Hollibaugh. (See below.) A clever person at our Zentangle Artist's Coalition meeting realized that 'Arukas' is 'Sakura' (the name of the pens we use to Zentangle) backwards!

This tangle has lots of possibilities. I made it BIG in the first tile. 

And smaller in the second tile. 

I wish I had doodled at the table like I usually do, but I was hunkered in the fetal position in the corner of my cozy nest with my snugglie woobie due to an excruciating Monday, so my lines are a lot wonkier than I'd like, but I LOVE the new pattern! 

Thanks for another great challenge, Laura, and a great new pattern Molly!

Monday, December 01, 2014

Review of Bijou Zentangle Tiles.

I must admit when I first heard that the good Zentangle folks had put out a new  2" x 2" sized tile, my first thought was, 'Well what would you do with that? That's too small to do anything with!' So listen up, People, because this doesn't happen very often....I WAS WRONG. That's right. I said it. 

I won a tin of tiles and they were kicking around and kicking around. On Saturday, the perfect storm brewed. I hurt my back which slowed me down considerably. Whilst on the coach, snuggling with my bag of frozen corn, I had time to watch a multi-part video AnnDoodles posted to Facebook. I encourage you to go to her blog and look at her work; so much detail! The videos were  time lapsed- showing how she makes her beautiful work. 

I decided to give it a shot, but just a little one and dug out the Bijou tiles. I figured I'd give it at least 2 inches and see how I liked it. ME LIKEY! VERY MUCH! Both the tiles and the technique!

This was my first one, based on Ann Doodles technique.

Closely followed by these three. (I call the top one 'Ragtime and Ruffles'. That's more of a 'traditional  style' Zentangle).

Then yesterday, I pumped out 4 more. If you look carefully, you will see the tile's namesake, Bijou' the snail, in the lower right corner of the lower right tile. 

I was amazed at how much you could fit on a tile. It took me nearly as long to do one of these as it takes me to do a regulation 3.5" by 3.5" tile! You can pack a lot of inky goodness on there! So, I apologize for dissing you, Bijou, before I really got to know you, but I can tell we're going to be best friends for a long time! 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Weekly Challenge #195: "Turning Old into New"

Today's Diva Challenge is by guest blogger, Sandy Hunter. Little Artoo is still on the mend and Laura's pinch hitters are really stepping up to the plate! The theme is 'Turning Old Into New',  taking a tangle pattern you always use and using it in a new way.
I use Sanibel and the flowers (can't remember name) in the grid a lot, but never in a grid- always free form.  Demi (the black and white squares on the left are supposed to be in a grid, so I took them out. Tipple (the bubbles) I use as a filler but not a border and Perk (what I think of as a seed pod) usually has all of it's seed intact instead of flying all over.

This was a thought provoking exercise. I found it very uncomfortable to do which tells me this will be a great thing to investigate further!

Thanks Sandy for the awesome challenge!

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Diva Challege: Seton and INKtober 2014 Wrap Up

Over at The Diva's Place little Artoo is having some surgery, so Laura has put a crack team of guest Zentanglers on the job of putting up the challenge every week for the next month. This week's was by Chris LaTourneau and was to use the tangle 'Seton'.  It's a new one to me but I enjoyed it. I made it into an RAZ  and added it to my stash.
Seton is the pattern with the ring toward the right hand side. 

One of the objectives of INKtober was to  study the evolution of your art over a month and see if you can see progress, patterns or evolution in your work. I decided to put thumbnails of  all of the pieces together to make this a little easier.  Upon review of the lot of them, I have come to the conclusion that I am a schizophrenic with more personalities than Sybil, am on crack, and quite possibly may have been abducted and altered by aliens. 

After the first week I consiously tried to not to use the lower left to upper right arc in each piece. The second week was a wash because I was in a fog of cold medicine. The rest of the weeks have some 'OK' pieces and some 'meh' ones but I can't see any discernible pattern, growth or evolution. 

What I did gain out of  doing a piece every day is that I don't want to HAVE to do a piece every day. Weird, because before I HAD to I WANTED to. Just like anything else, it's not as fun if you HAVE to do it.  

It was a great challenge though and I think by next INKtober, I'll probably be ready to tackle it again. In the meantime, I have a pretty good stash of RAZ to hide out and about!

INKtober 27-30

INKtober 27
This was for a friend who asked me to put this saying on a card for her fridge. It has a lot of pink sparkley on it but but the picture of it is poor.

INKtober 28
I printed off a piece of triangle graph paper and just started filling in the triangles with Paradox during a dept meeting. I took it home that night and shaded it. Then I submitted it the next day as the notes I took during the meeting. Some team meetings are so sciencey that I tend to black out if I try to figure out WTH they are talking about. Doodling keeps me conscious. 

Inktober 29
This week's Diva Challenge was to use only the pattern 'Betweed'. I used my new Helix circle and angle making drafting tool and still managed to make them not round. More practice required!

Today's was a quicky at lunch since I have a party tonight. My last dyed Zen tile. It was mostly pale yellow so it doesn't show up well. It looks really wonky in this photo but it's not as crooked as it looks. It will be an RAZ.  
PS. for those of you playing at home, you can click on this to  biggify it and see the 'sniper' that Brother Dan swears is under the top left leaf in the foliage on the right. 

Just a small RAZ for Oct 31.  Not much time with all of the Halloween festivities! 


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Diva Challenge: Betweed

This week's Diva Challenge 191 is a monotangle.  You can only use the tangle pattern 'Betweed'.

I was kind of rushed since I also had to make deviled eggs for tonight's Halloween Pot Luck so the shading is all wonky.  I used my new Helix Angle and Circle maker tool for the first time and can see lots of potential once I learn to use it correctly. Look at the second circle from the left on the top.  
Helix Angle And Circle Protractor - Plastic - Assorted (HLX36002)

[Who can't make a circle with a plastic tool shaped like an actual circle designed to make actual circles? *Waves hand wildly in the air* Me! Me!]

The tangle was fun to do. I used Betweed quite a lot in my other tangles. But I'm not happy with the overall design since it was so rushed. The deviled eggs came out much better!

Happy Halloween!!!

Monday, October 27, 2014

INKtober 20-26

This is an archive of my entries for INKtober last week:

I've had a rough sketch of this idea sitting around for a while so I finally decided to tackle it. It might lend itself to being a bigger version with some color in the future.  It was drawn as a RAZ to leave for someone to find. 

This one was submitted to the Diva Challenge for breast challenge even though it isn't very Zentangley, it's very pink! I'm digging my new Jelly Roll pens. I see now that I need to fix the tail wings up a bit!

I had seen images similar to these on tattoo sites on line so I combined two of my favorite on a piece of paper I dyed last spring. I like it and think I will try to do a bigger version on a pretty piece on scrap book paper.

Found a 'How to Draw a Cat' tutorial on line and decided to give it a whirl. don't think that this  Zepple variation (the background pattern) works very well on an arced grid. The background was hand dyed. This will be an RAZ.

This was just a little guy done on a scrap of hand-dyed. I made him as an RAZ to leave in the children's section of the library. The little goober-men are from a book on 3 D drawing by Mark Kistler.

This piece is on a 12 x 12 piece of scrapbook paper. The frogs are tribal tattoo patterns. The color didn't really come out in this pic; it's actually more mottled spring green than mint.  It was a b-day gift for a friend .

Fiddled around a bit with Joann Finks 'Zenspiration' book. It's clear that I can't draw a straight line. If I wanted to do this technique for anything but practice, I'll have to use a graph or a ruler, but it was fun to work all the little bits and bobs in! And I like the hand dyed background on the tile. It will be an RAZ .

So that's it for this week. Only 5 more days to go!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Diva Challenge 190:Pink For Ardath

This week's 'Diva Challenge' was to use pink for breast cancer. Laura's (the Diva) grandmother passed last year of bc and I've had several friends who have fought the battle. I'm happy to say that the majority of them won the war but sadly not all. Cancer in ANY form is a horrendous disease. It affects not only the person fighting it but everyone who loves them.  I know this design isn't technically a 'Zentangle' but the first thing that came to mind was a butterfly for hope that one day, hopefully soon, no one will have to ever deal with this horror again!

I also submitted this doodle for my INKtober entry because I didn't have as much time to draw as I thought last night and didn't get a chance to make two designs. I looked out my window at suppertime and the neighborhood was full of smoke. I heard LOTS of sirens so I put on my jacket and sneaks and went to see what was going on.  So did the rest of my neighborhood. I've never seen the sidewalks so crowded. About a block and a half diagonally from my house there was a huge house fire. My neighbors and I watched helplessly as one of our own lost everything in the span of 20 minutes. The house is a total loss but although there were a couple of injuries the four adults in the house got out safely.  The lesson is that we never know when we wake up in the morning, what the day holds. Be present, be careful and cherish every 'good' moment you have-even the ho hum ones, because you never know when everything will go up in smoke, 

Here is the news story:

Monday, October 20, 2014

Inktober 14-19

Here's the stuff I did for last week's INKtober entries.

Most of my stuff is little so I can leave it places for my Random Acts of Zentangle or Art Abandonment groups, but this first one is 12" x 12". I made it in Katie Butler's Halloween Zentangle class over at Lynn's Craft Shop in Madison. Katie is an awesome teacher with lots of fun idea for Zentangle Inspired Art. This was all white ink on black paper and then highlighted with Zen Stone which is a soft mineral stone. Therefore, I got a ton of weird glare when I took this photo. Come of it showed up like up at the top and some didn't show up at all, like at the bottom. I guess that makes it more spooky.  I like to work on 12 x 12 scrapbooking paper because it's so inexpensive and easy to frame. 

I found a couple more little scraps of the paper I dyed last spring.  This quote has been bouncing around in my head for a while and I had wanted to try the border motif which I saw elsewhere on line but I can't remember where. The result was this  little piece to leave somewhere. I like the border design but not the lettering. 

Here's a dragonfly I kind of like, but again it's tiny-in the neighborhood of 4" or so. I like that I got the shading almost right. 

Still thinking about the drop shading and the way light hits things to make shadow, I experimented a little more. This is a regulation sized Zentangle tile. I wish I hadn't added the tacks to the corners and made it more of a 'pillow' than a 'poster'.

More with the shading. I don't know why I can't leave the background black, I always have to add stars. 

This one is my least favorite of the week. The more I fiddled with the shadows the worse it got. Plus the photo is really messed up due to the glare of the excessive amounts of graphite I pushed around. It's not all gray and blurry in real life. 

So I spent another week trying and learning new things. There are only a couple of my famous 'Miss Optimistic America Diagonal Bottom Left To Upper Right' banners kicking around in these. And they aren't obvious so I'm pretty happy about it. Lots more to learn about shading. I'm finding it interesting so I'm guessing my pieces this week may be more 3D-ish . I'm really enjoying this INKtober challenge. It's really  pushing my comfort zone!

In a side note, when I leave Random Acts of Zentangle in public places, I put a note on the back that says what it is and that the person can take it.. yadda yadda. Then I've set up a gmail account just for them so I leave the address and a note that says that if they would like to tell me where they found it, to feel free to contact me. I got my first contact last week! We chatted back and forth a little and she was looking for info on learning Zentangling herself. I lured another one over to the dark side! Mmmmwhahahahah!

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!!