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!!

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!

Sturgeon Bay Speed Racer

I was in Sturgeon Bay over the weekend and went to see the Third Ave Playhouse's matinee of Shooting Star with Doug Mancheski and Amy En...