Monday, May 16, 2016


This week's Diva Challenge (#268) is "A Bit-o-Black," or "ABoB" as I like to call it. We are to incorporate a bit more black into our tangles than we usually do. This suggestion is great for encouraging us to imagine tangles with a "tweaked" look--a makeover of sorts. Like we are adding strategic mascara to our tangles for an increased dramatic effect.

When I think of tangles that utilize a heavier dose of ink, knightsbridge is always the tangle that first comes to mind. I think of several others immediately thereafter, but knightsbridge is always first. Yet I rarely use it. It seems like such a simple pattern; I tend to go for more more complexity when selecting tangles. Yet when I see it in others' work, I always love knightsbridge's crisp contrast and how beautifully it works into and enhances a composition.

I also decided that for this challenge I wanted to use one of my original tangles: kerfuffle. For some time now I've been wanting to create something featuring a tango of kerfuffle and knightsbridge—I thought they'd dance really well together!—so this challenge is what prompted me to action with this concept.

Kerfuffle (combined with knightsbridge), skye (by Margaret Bremner),
and keeko, with perfs and a black stripe inked in.
Like most of the work that I share, this is a traditional 3.5" Zentangle® tile.
This challenge for incorporating more black into our design process also provided me with the perfect incentive to try out Margaret Bremner's new tangle skye. The inked-in negative space of this tangle called out to me, providing all the incentive I needed to spend some time working on the tricky line-work of skye.

Celtic knots appeal to me deeply, and when I was an elementary art teacher, not too long ago, I successfully taught hundreds of fourth-grade kids how to draw simple Celtic knots. Yet I found skye to be rather challenging. It took a good bit of practice to feel like I really understood the stroke strategy and could implement it effectively. It takes concentration and patience, and even then, some luck! My rendition has a few irregularities in it, but they don't bother me.

I enjoyed creating this tile. All the filling in was apparently not so good on my hand; I have had a few painful twinges in grasping things tonight. But I am glad I accepted the challenge, and I'd like to try another!

As for kerfuffle . . . I came up with this tangle about a year ago. I have shared the stepouts in a few places (real-world and virtually through online communities), and am happy to share them here, but that will be another blog entry on another day. :-)

Thank you to everyone who commented on last week's post/tile. Feedback from viewers/readers is what makes sharing my thoughts and art so much more worthwhile and fun!

Monday, May 9, 2016


Hello again!
For the first time in a very long time, I made time to not merely just read the Diva's challenge and contemplate it, but to complete it at the start of the week! Let me tell you, it felt really great!

Have you tried this week's challenge, a DuoTangle challenge featuring pokeroot and drupe, yet? These two tangles are not ones I use often. In fact, I'm not sure I have ever featured drupe on a tile or taught it in a class. Having used it to meet this challenge, I have discovered how much I like it.
So, without much fuss, here it it is.
Weekly Challenge #276: DuoTangle of pokeroot and drupe.
Hence my silly title:
Now that I have shared that, I have so much more to write about! But all in good time. I need to pace myself. I have been wearing myself out this spring with all sorts of things--travel, hosting dinners and parties, keeping up with my teens and getting ready for--gulp!--graduation, and . . . TEACHING! I have had some great opportunities to share Zentangle come my way, and I am so happy to have been able to work some workshops and classes into my schedule. I'll tell you more and share some photos soon.

Happy tangling!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

"Oooh—Shiny!" Week: Thursday

So today I utilized the tip I gave you yesterday, and I tangled on a metallic sheet of paper. This pink paper with a pebbled metallic finish is from a short roll (7.5 inches tall!) of wrapping paper that I bought a long time ago when I was holding a jewelry sale at my home. I love that roll of wrapping paper, and wish I could get the exact same thing in lime green and turquoise or aqua, too.

In order to tangle on something with a bit more substance than just the paper, I cut a posterboard "tile" and adhered the pink paper to it, wrapping the edges to the back.

Before I tangled it, I tested pens on the paper. I was so disappointed with the way it looked tangled in black; I was about to get out a completely different metallic paper to work on (cardstock, actually). But then I grabbed a white paint pen. I liked it, though it looked thin and watery--like pale pink. So I tried my trust Posca Uni white paint pen, and BINGO! Wow. It popped. What a difference! Who knew that white on metallic pink would show up so much better than black? So the lesson here is to audition different colors and pens to see what works best on your surface. (Like you didn't already know that!) I did add some black accents at the end, and they really helped to add some definition. I am wondering if I want to add some black in the thickened part of the lines in the diva dance sections.

Here's my piece for the day:

I started with spuncstrada, one of my newest tangles. I added some zingers,
and then cadet in the lower right. bales in the upper left, and diva dance
in the upper right and lower left. I finished it with some tipple at the edges
of the cadent section. This piece is a 6-inch square.
I was utterly thrilled that I had two comments yesterday! I was beginning to lose my motivation, thinking that no one was stopping by. Thank you, Chrissie and Cheryl!

This week is flying by! I really thought I'd have more time to tangle this week and would be posting several things every day, but at this point, I accept that I might not get to as many ideas and examples as I'd hoped to this week. Oh well! I'm okay with saving some for later.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

"Oooh—Shiny!" Week: Wednesday

I have about 10 minutes to sneak this in...and no tangled pieces from to share.

My suggestion of the day is to find some metallic paper or yardstick (correction: that should read "cardstock"!!!!!) to tangle on. I located some in my stash this evening, but did not get around to tangling on it. You see, I was caught up in an obsessive search for colored pencils.

It's not that I couldn't find any colored pencils, though. I have plenty! It's that a few of my sets have been missing pencils, and every now and then it BUGS me. Today was one of those days that it was driving me crazy, so I spent some time searching for them. And my diligence paid off!!! I found all the ones I was looking for . . . except one. ONE! One blue Intense pencil from my tin is STILL missing. Before tonight there were three missing; why was the third one not with the other two that I located??? I was also missing some pencils from two Prismacolor sets. Guess what. I found them, too!!! But that one elusive Inktense got the best of me tonight, and I just realized how late it is.

I wish I hadn't gotten so caught up in my search tonight. But I am glad I found the pencils that I did find. I hope that in my ongoing quest to set up and organize my dream studio, that one pencil will eventually show up. Deep down, I know that I don't really NEED it. I just hate knowing that it is not where it should be. Why do incomplete sets bother me so much?

P.S. Still laughing that my computer thinks your should tangle on a yardstick.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

"Oooh—Shiny!" Week: Tuesday

I nearly didn't get any tangling in today. Yesterday was a long, busy day, and I think I wore myself out. I was grumpy and tired all day today! That should have been a sign for me to start tangling, but I waited until this evening (rather late!) for reasons I can't quite put my finger on.

I did not work on a tile today. I started with a rim tag (on the left in the photo below). I love rim tags! I especially love the larger rim tags, but the one I had hand was a smaller one. It was black on one side, kraft brown on the other. I only tangled the black one tonight, with a silver Sigma. The pen is too broad to tangle in small spaces with much detail.

Then I moved on to some brown kraft stickers that I bought on clearance last month when my nearby Michael's as getting ready to close its doors. (There is a brand new Michaels now in a different retail area that isn't far, but it's definitely not as convenient a location for me. Phooey.) I used my gold sigma, and started on the scalloped medallion. I began with a loopy tangle, eke, but there wasn't room to really develop it, so I added a spiral in the center. Then thickened the gold at the corner between the loops. Eventually I added some details with a black 005 Micron.

The other sticker is tangled with ving. I haven't decided how to finish it, but my tip for you is to outline your metallic pen strokes if there is not enough contrast for the lines to show up well. Again, I used my 005 Micron.

Finally, I got out a tool I have had for ages: the Inscriblio by EK Success. Have you seen this before? It is a crafter's engraving tool. I haven't used it in a long, long time. The batteries inside had corroded. Ugh! So I gave it to my son to clean up--he's really great with that sort of thing! And got out my . . . wait for it . . . back-up Inscriblio! Yes, I have two. And that one still had working batteries that had NOT corroded! YAY! So I found my metal ATCs that I've had for years, and engraved the metal ATC you see below. I'm not at all sure why I chose mooka. I do know why I employed indyrella at the top, though! Indyrella allowed me to work with the surface, not against it. As you might imagine, engraving is not nearly as easy as drawing with a pen; the metal seems to have a grain, and the tool does not always move in the manner you want it to.  Curves can be especially tricky. I knew this from years ago, the first time I engraved a metal ATC. I looked for that metal ATC from yesteryear, but since it did not turn up for me today, I figured it was time to make a new one.

I took some video of the metal ATC in my hand, turned different ways to catch the light, but I haven't yet figured out how to upload a video from my iPhone into Blogger. I can't seem to access videos, even though I can access photos. 

Well, whew! I got my Tuesday post in before midnight! I hope to get tomorrow's in earlier.

Monday, February 29, 2016

"Oooh—Shiny!" Week: Monday

In keeping with my goal of posting every day this week, my first "Oooh—Shiny!" auxiliary example was completed today at a brand new business: a non-profit coffee house in my community called "The Empty Cup." 

Today was the grand opening of this long-aniticpated venture, brought to you by the Adoption Foundation of TN. In their words, "The Empty Cup is a new kind of coffee shop that will be a gathering space with excellent coffee, local food, a market place, and live music. But it goes beyond that. The goal is to rethink how adoption fundraising is done. The Empty Cup will become a sustainable source for adoption fundraising. As people pour into The Empty Cup, they will pour back out to local families in the form of adoption grants.
Why is it called The Empty Cup? 
As the community pours into The Empty Cup by purchasing coffee, donating time, or visiting the marketplace, the coffeehouse will pour its net profits back out in the form of adoption grants. That’s why the cup stays empty."

This is my kind of place! I first learned of it nearly 2 years ago, so it's taken a while for everything to fall into place, but TODAY was THE DAY! And I was so excited to be there with my two teens at 7am when they opened the doors for their first day of business.

My daughter and I got our coffee drinks (a cappuccino and a caramel latte; my son doesn't do caffeine in the morning . . . he even turned down a hot chocolate when I suggested he order one!) and we had to head out quickly to get to school, so I went back later in the day to enjoy a more relaxed cup of coffee in the cozy, eclectic environment of The Empty Cup. Before I left home for my second visit, though, I started a tile with a rubber stamp, some copper pigment ink, and copper embossing power. Not only did I emboss the image (which has very fine striations; the photo does not show it well), but I also sponged the ink around the edges of the tan Renaissance tile, and dipped it in embossing powder to create a ragged, copper, heat-embossed edging. I rather liked how it turned out! I don't love how the scan turned out . . . it is shiny, not dull, of course.

At home I used a fine-tipped black Permapaque (by Sakura) to tangle inside the star, and I gave it an aura with a Faber-Castell pen in sanguine. The rest of the tangling was completed as I sipped my coffee at the coffeehouse. So relaxing! The bottom right corner looks different not because I forgot to add step 3 of the tangle fassett, but because I rather liked the way that section looked before I competed the final step of the tangle. It's okay that it doesn't match everything else . . . it has a cool look of its own.

The star stamp is an Alesa Baker Design from Impression Obsession (D9436).
The tangles are Zentangle®'s auraknot and fassett by Lynn Mead.

Once I had added the white perfs at the perimeter of the star, I wasn't quite ready to leave, so I took out a Bijou tile and scattered some dots on it with a copper Permapaque pen. The dots didnt look great (old pen?), but I decided to use them any way. They looked better after I outlined them, and I just kept going. There isn't much that is metallic in this one except the rings drawn with my gold Uniball Sigma pen. The gold is a bit brassy, and I don't love it on this tile, I still enjoyed drawing sez with a variety of black and brown pens. I finished it off with tipple.

Whoah! It is dangerously close to midnight. Time to post!

Leave me a message if you have any questions or comments! See you tomorrow!

Fillling in for the Diva...

Hello! If you are visiting here from this week's Diva Challenge, WELCOME!
If you are here for any other reason, WELCOME!

I am so excited to be the guest writer for Laura Harms' "I am the Diva - Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT®)" blog this week! You can read the my official post with the challenge I came up with here. I also challenged myself to post a blog entry here in my own blog every day (!!!) this week, sharing additional examples and ideas.

Let’s see if I am up to the task! Visit often check on my progress. :-) Disclaimer: when I talk about posting every day, please know that I give myself until midnight every day. I am a night owl, and sometimes can’t get my creative energy focused until the day is nearly done.

I will return later today with my thoughts and example(s) for the day...for now I am off to attend the Grand Opening of a very special place. What kind of place has a grand opening at 7am? Tune in later to find out!

Happy Monday!