Monday, June 4, 2018

PUF: the Magic Tangle

Abra-cadabra! I'm back! I think I've mastered this disappearing act. I just need to work on reappearing more often.

Happy June! We are not quite halfway through 2018 yet. The months are slipping by! Travel for various reasons has kept me busy. I've made it to Ohio every month this year so far leading up to June, and I am sure I will be heading up there at least once this month. I do enjoy my trips up I-75! If you stick around (i.e. subscribe to Tanglefish!), you will probably learn many of the reasons why.

But on to the topic of this blog post: puf by Carole Ohl, CTZ™, is a charming tangle. I was excited to see that it is the focus of this week's Diva Challenge (#364). Puf really does seem to be magical in that it transforms from basic bales, a grid-based tangle that tends to turn out rather flat in appearance, to a dimensional and somewhat organic outcome! The original grid gets lost in the lines; it's rather exciting to see it transform! Here's my finished tile:

At the bottom of this post, you can see some pics of the tile in process.

In this next paragraph it might seem at first as though I am veering off topic, but watch how I magically tie it in:

During one of my trips to Ohio this spring (this particular trip was for a FIRST Robotics Competition Regional Tournament with my son's team), I made a little phone call to Bead Stash, a bead store in Kettering, Ohio. I wanted to see if they had any Tangle-a-Day Calendars in stock. Yes, I know it sounds odd to call a bead store to ask about a Zentangle®-inspired calendar, but I knew what I was doing.

Oh JOY! The owner of the store answered the phone, and confirmed that she had one copy left in the store. So I drove about 40 minutes to pick up the calendar and meet the owner—none other than the creator of the Tangle-a-Day Calendar, Carole Ohl herself!!! The same CZT™ who  came up with puf, as well as a bunch of other fabulous tangles such as featherfall, tuftid, floatfest, and inapod. You can see these and other tangles on her Open Seed blog.
What a great store!
I was so happy to meet Carole!!!
See how it all ties together so beautifully?! It was lovely meeting Carole in person, after having been a fan of hers, her tangles, and her wonderful Tangle-a-Day Calendars for several years. It was a short visit, as I had to return to the team at the robotics tournament at the Nutter Center at Wright State University. Those who know me well will not be too surprised that I found a Tim Horton's nearby so I could enjoy a latte pick-me-up on that beautifully rainy afternoon in Ohio. And invest strategically in a little bit of ground coffee to bring back to Tennessee.
I stock up when I can! This keeps me happily
caffeinated at home.
My son and I in the Team 1466 pit. He is the team's "Pit King"
I'm not quite sure why he has my old Ray Bans under his saftey goggles!
And here is my challenge tile in process, so you can see how it began and progressed:

I'll wrap this up with a few photos I took on a walk this evening with Joseph and Pausha. The clouds were glorious, and I thought it was funny the way Pausha appears to be exhaling the sunset in the 2nd photo. Almost like a fire-breathing dragon pointer!

I welcome any comments!
Happy Tangling!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Check it Out, I'm Checking In Again!

Happy New Year!
I am happy to report that despite my silence in 2017 (one post the entire year?!?!?!?!), I am alive and well and looking forward to doing more (and blogging about it) in 2018!

2017 was a fun year, and I actually wrote lots of blog posts about what I did. In my head. Never made it to the keyboard with those blog posts, so they were never published. It was a very busy year!

I miss writing, so spending some time here in my Tanglefish world is on my list of goals for the year. There's really no good reason for my absence, as I am still creating, still teaching occasionally (and hopefully a lot more in the months to come) and still enjoying a wide variety of fun adventures that I'd be happy to share.

My freshest news (because I don't want to start off with stale news, of course) is that I am now a Magnabilities Consultant. I JUST STARTED. Less than week ago. My starter kit from the company arrived just yesterday! And I haven't even opened it yet because I want to plan something special for "The Opening." I hope to have some friends over, to explore the goodies together.

But here's the overview: Magnabilities is a line of jewelry that features circular interchangeable inserts that can be swapped out according to your outfit or your mood. Fun stuff! I am really excited to try to share this line of jewelry with family and friends. I will probably  be blogging a lot more about it, but I want to show how this line of jewelry relates to my passion for Zentangle®. (And my pride in our beloved Pausha.)

And here are some custom inserts that I designed —in just a few, quick minutes!—to go along with some Magnabilities base jewry pieces (a pendant and a bracelet). There are many pieces in the line to choose from, and there are hundreds of insert options, but what REALLY excites me about this line is that you can DESIGN YOUR OWN using your own artwork and/or photos!

These are the two tiles that featured in the custom insert designs. The bottom tile has two custom designs, because I featured two different areas of the same tile.

This is just a quick update to get the ball rolling here at Tanglefish again. I wish you all a magnificent 2018! Namaste! Or, rather, Magnamaste!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Hamadox Fan (Ha)Mail

It's been a while since I shared anything, but I'm back, poised to dive back in again! As you might guess, life kept me busy and distracted last fall and through the holidays. Not distracted from Zentangle®—it's at the forefront of my mind each and every day—but distracted from gathering my thoughts and pen marks and putting them into Tanglefish posts.

Today I am happy to share my response to the latest Diva Challenge, #302: UMT Hamadox by Diana Schreur, CZT™. With Valentine's Day around the corner, I am using this week's challenge to showcase a card idea that I came up months and months ago, but had not yet taken the time to create. So, my first approach to the hamadox challenge was to use it on a card. Before tangling, I embossed the card with a simple fan shape. (I used a ball-end stylus from Fiskars® and a brass stencil from Dreamweaver Stencils, along with a lightbox, to create the base card.) I had bought the stencil a while ago with the plan of using it to create tangled "Fan Mail" with my Zentangle Clubs. This stencil is perfect for that! I'm so glad this challenge inspired me to act on my idea; I see more tangled "Fan Mail" cards in my future!

pink accents added with a Memento dye ink pad in
Rose Bud, a Sculpey™rotating alphabet text stamp,
and a technique I refer to as "zeninkedge" at the
perimeter of the card; the gold accents done with a gold
Sakura Gelly Roll® pen 
Hamadox actually reminds me of the blades of a an electric fan. How appropriate for this project.

Here's what the high school Zentangle Club created in our quick meeting on Monday. Some of them also created a traditional tile with hamadox, so their cards are not as far along. They do beautiful work, and I hope I get to see these cards after they are completed, before the students give them away!

Zentangle Club "Fan Mail" Cards
After I tangled hamadox in the middle of the embossed fan, I realized I might not have followed the steps precisely, so I checked the step-outs again and realized that the first petals of the hamail section, on the outside of the paradox square, were far longer than they needed to be. (If you are wondering why I am referring to different tangles, see below.) Ultimately, I was happy with how it turned out, but I adjusted this when I drew hamadox on a regular tile. It's such a fun and beautiful tangle!

hamadox with auras, a hint of crescent moon,
 and a tier of pearl...set on a patina background
For those who don't know, "UMT" stands for "Use My Tangle" and it is a monthly feature on the Diva Challenge schedule—the first Monday of each month is a UMT week. It's a great way to build up your tangle library and insert a new tangle into your repertoire if you are not familiar with the chosen tangle, or to get reacquainted with it if it's one you already know. It is always a joy to see what tanglers around the world do to incorporate the same tangle into their art; there is always grand variety!

Hamadox is actually a "tango"—a lovely dance between two existing tangles that work exquisitely together. In this case, those two tangles are hamail and paradox (also known as Rick's paradox). Hamail was presented to the world by Swiss CZT Tina Hunziker; you can read about it's origins here.
Paradox is a Zentangle® tangle that looks incredibly complex, yet is extremely simple once you understand how to construct it. It's one of my favorites! A few years ago, Canadian CZT Margaret Bremner shared with the world a fantastic resource for exploring paradox, which I encourage you to check out by clicking this link.

Hamadox also reminds me of another luscious tangle, showgirl, by Vicki Bassett, CZT, and also of biscus,Vicki's more angular tangle of similar construction.

Thank you, Diana Schreur, if you are reading this! For those of you who are, like me, interested in the locations/nationalities of all the tanglers who influence our work, Diana lives in the Netherlands. Her blog is called "Didisch Website" and you can see more of her tangles here. Her blog is full of fabulous tangled art! Check it out!

That is all for now. I hope to get another post up soon, as I have so much more to share with you!

Comments are always cherished.
Happy tangling!

Monday, September 12, 2016


Don't worry  I am not going to get all "political" here! It's not who I am. I just liked the play on words. That IS who I am! I love to play with words as well as lines.

This weeks Diva Challenge, #284, is a monotangle challenge using tripoli. Tripoli is a triangle-based tessellated tangle, introduced on June 26, 2011, in the same Zentangle® newsletter that officially offered the black Zentangle tiles as well as ATC tiles to the world! So, my first Zentangle tile for this challenge is a traditional tile, but I am thinking I should also complete a black tile and an ATC for this challenge. Will I actually get them done? We'll see!

In the meanwhile, here is my first contribution to the Challenge #284, "Monotangle to Tripoli," along with a few snapshots of the tile in progress.

Tripoli explored

Triangles in place.
Composition is mapped out;
details are just beginning.

Details added.

Aura around outer and inner edges
of composition, before shading.
With Labor Day behind us, we are starting to settle into the new "normal" here in the Broady home. It's is strange to have only 3 of us (plus Pausha, the magnificent, speckled wonder-dog!) living here, but Caroline has moved on to bigger, better things. Except that her dorm room isn't bigger or's a tight little dorm room with no AC. Life at college is an adventure, though and dormitory living is a part of that. She did a great job of decorating her room to make it cozy and functional, and the heat of summer will transition into the crisp temperatures of fall, and the frigid air of winter will hit soon enough.

Our son Joseph is now in his junior year, so I only have two more years with him at home. He is a busy guy with plenty of activities and a heavy course load that includes a bunch of AP classes. I don't know how he gets everything done, but he tries to stay practical and efficient and does not complain even when his Dad adds yardwork to his considerable to-do list.

Meanwhile, I am going to be helping with the Zentangle Club at the school, since Caroline is no longer there to run it. I also have a Zentangle Club that meets at a community art studio. We met twice a month during the summer, but we are going to try once a month during the school year. It's great fun! I will be writing more about it in a future post. At home, I am trying to organize some spaces that I have neglected for a while, including my personal studio and my home office. They are such disaster zones. Which means any effort will be an improvement, and progress will inspire additional effort, so I really should take heart and keep at it.

That's it for now, but the week is young; you might actually hear from me again before it's over!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


It's Back-to-School Week for the local public school system. Teachers actually started last week, and the students returned this week.

Having left the school system 3 years ago, I can't help but feel strange at this time of year. I miss the crazy back-to-school frenzy of getting the art room ready, and the anticipation of a brand new academic year. The art teachers in my Facebook circle of friends are posting all sorts of glorious photos of their inspired classrooms, which makes me quite nostalgic, yet I am so relieved that I am free to enjoy the start of my son's and daughter's school year without being totally preoccupied with my classroom preparations and lesson planning.

This year I am especially glad to be free of the public school system's schedule. I got to attend my cousin's wedding in Texas at the very end of July, and host my niece for a sleep-over and Arty Party last week.  My kids are not in school yet; Joseph's school doesn't start until next week, and Caroline doesn't begin classes until the end of August, though I will be driving her to her new home in Cleveland next week for her to settle into her dorm. (!!!!!!!!) I don't even know where to begin writing about that. My first born is leaving the nest . . . I am so proud and so excited for her! I'm sure I'll have more to say later. It's still too overwhelming for me to dwell on it in writing right now.

This week we have my oldest nephew visiting--he is Joseph's age (16) and the two of them are very close despite the fact that they only get to see each other a few times a year.  It's a wonderful and unprecedented experience having him here to hang out with us for a week! I love it! 

This week's Diva Challenge, #279, is a Duotangle Challenge featuring auraknot and meer--two of my favorites! Here's what I came up with on Monday. I've been so busy, it took me a couple of days to make time to finish a post so I could share them!

Hmmm...not the best photo! I will replace it with a scan of the tile when I get a chance...

Here is is pre-shading.

Monday, July 25, 2016


I finally got my Fluhrfle and Fredjen post completed and published! Whew!!! It was a doozy. I started composing it on our kitchen desktop computer, then had to switch to my upstairs office computer. where the scanner is, in order to upload my tile. Then I had to utilize the blogger app on my phone to add all the  photos I wanted...then try editing on the upstairs computer because editing on a phone is no fun! Complucated. But, DONE. Yay! Check it out!

This post will be short and sweet. Challenge #277: "Running 'round in Circles" had us drawing circles for our string. This felt like a perfect time to tangle a Zendala® tile. I took some snapshots with my phone so you could see my process.
Finished Zendala® tile: Rick's paradox, mooka, and tipple.

 I did not want to obsess about drawing perfect circles, so I just quickly put some orbs down
and adjusted them a tiny bit with my pencil. No erasing, just redrawing a few segments. 
Rick's paradox
filling in with black for definition and contrast
my tangle venue
tipple added, pre-shading
I kept my tangling simple, and enjoyed the process out on my deck, in the shady area that overlooks the water feature in our backyard. It was a bit warm, but heavenly! I need to tangle out there more often! The sound of the water flowing is so calming and refreshing.

That is all for today! Have a lovely week!

Fluhrfle and Fredjen

Hello! This post is late, very late. It should have been posted the week of Diva Challenge #275, when Suzanne Fluhr, CZT challenged us to "Give Peace a Chance." I love this challenge! Thank you, Suzanne!

I had never thought all that much about peace and art in partnership with each other until I heard of the Pinwheels for Peace project started by two art educators in 2005. I felt immediate inspiration, and still do. So much potential for an art educators and artists! More ideas than time to pursue them! A few years ago (September 2011, to be specific) I suggested to Laura Harms that she highlight Pinwheels for Peace as one of her weekly Diva Challenges, and she did! Weekly Challenge #40. The next year, she featured it again, with a twist: a string-based challenge that featured a contour drawing that I had drawn for the challenge: Weekly Challenge #87.

So when guest writer Suzanne posted a "Give Peace a Chance" challenge, I was again inspired. The wheels started spinning. How would I approach this beautiful challenge? Wouldn't you know, as I was contemplating how to begin, there was an article in our local paper entitled "The Seeds of Peace." (*See below.) I realized that I wanted my response to the challenge to have a garden-y, botanical feel to it. Especially appropriate because Suzanne is someone who seeks the beauty of flowers and plants, and frequently shares beautiful flower photos. We both have a fascination with hydrangeas, in particular.
3 versions of fluhrfle with auras, and tipple.
Shading hasn't happened yet...
To be honest, I am not one who usually gets excited about tangles that resemble flowers. There's nothing wrong with them. but it is my preference to stay more non-objective with my tangles. Yet I picked up my pen, and before I knew it, I had turned a heart/peace-sign combo into a flower-ish configuration. And I liked it. New tangle? I like to think so. And I'd like to call it fluhrfle in honor of Suzanne. The "fle" at the end comes from "fleur," the French word for "flower. (Fluhrfleur just sounded too awkward.)

This configuration is pretty simple, yet versatile. You can fill the negative spaces however you wish; you can see the options that I explored.

I did not originate the peace sign/heart combo. I first saw at my favorite scrapbook store,
where I purchased this Quickutz limited edition die about 8 or 9 years ago.

Extending beyond the flower configuration, I wondered what would happen if I transfered the idea to a linear format, and started with a zigzag. That is how I came up with fredjen. Odd name, but of couse I'll tell you how I came up with it. The Swedish word for "peace" is "fred." I added "jen" because the configuration reminds me of creeping Jenny (lysimachia nummularia), a trailing perennial that I have growing near our backyard water feature (a very peaceful spot!) and also in the courtyard container garden that Caroline and I established this year. I look out it from my kitchen sink, and it brings me great joy, though the hydrangeas are way past this year's prime, I'm afraid.
This is our courtyard container garden, in the heat of late July.
The hydrangea and celosia have faded...
but the creeping Jenny is thriving!

Sweet Pausha with our pink hydrangea out front. These were bright pink
much longer than I thought they'd be, but they are winding down, too.
Here it was before the inevitable fading if the hydrangeas and celosia. 
Oh, how I loved the brilliant colors
and the variety!
Front hydrangea as they were changing to pink.

Full pink!

For those tanglers who appreciate a multi-tasking tile, this one is also appropriate for last week's challenge, Challenge # 276: "Space Truckin' - Moving Tangles" in which Laura encouraged us to tangle on the go: while we were in motion! I wasn't sure I how I was going to do that last week. I can't tangle when I am behind the wheel . . . and I can't tangle when Caroline is behind the wheel, as she is a new driver, still with her learner's permit. Every excursion is a learning experience for her, and I need to be on the lookout for every teachable moment as well as for the safety of her, of me, and of everyone on the road around her. She's doing great, but that doesn't mean I can tangle when she is behind the wheel!

My handsome husband getting ready to load his new cycle
on the back of my very sexy white minivan.
But husband and I made an unexpected trip to Nashville (about 3 hours away) because he found a motorcycle on Craig's list that matched what he was looking for! So as he drove to check out the potential purchase, I tangled. It was lovely. The motorcycle is now in our garage, so my husband is pretty happy, too. This purchase was not a capricious whim, by the way, and was not completely unexpected. He had sold a bike earlier this month, which freed up space for a new one. He's been checking out ads for months. Motorcycles are one of his passions. He currently has three, and loves working on them and planning events for his adventure riding Meetup group.

*"The Seeds of Peace" was written by Nicole Brodeur of the Seattle Times. It highlights the efforts of landscape architecture professor Daniel Winterbottom and a group of his students from University of Washington to create a healing garden at the VA hospital in Seattle. A beautiful, brilliant concept: healing gardens in places where joy and peace are not typically experienced.

I hope you enjoyed this blog entry. Comments and questions are always welcome!
Happy tangling!