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!

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!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Now or never?! Now.

Hello and Happy New Year! Time to start this blog up again! It's still January for a tiny bit longer (well, maybe 15 minutes!) so I am going to consider it still appropriate to wish you a very happy, healthy, creative, and prosperous new year full of laughter, friendship, comfort, peace, joy, love, fun, meaning, and beauty...and anything else you might want to squeeze into/out of 2016.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. I did. In November we celebrated our first full year in our new home. What a difference it makes to be living in a place that fits us so well! It still feels "new" to us, though we are quite settled in now. In November we also celebrated the sale of our previous home. Woo-hoo! Much of my attention in 2015 was spent getting the old house ready to put on the market, as we wanted to make it the best home we could for potential buyers. New paint, new carpet, a renovated master bath . . . and then there was the attic that we needed to empty. The more we did, the more work we found to do. We finally listed it in late July, but even after that we continued our efforts. This is why I only made time for one blog post in 2015. So much of my time and energy were spent managing the old house, settling into the new one, and entertaining a lot more than we ever did before! To add to that, my eldest is in her final year of high school. Need I say more?

2016 is off to a grand start. I am so excited to have several things lined up already in the Zentangle realm! I will be revealing more over time, but my big announcement for this blog post is that I will be teaching 4 classes at Stamp Escape in Pigeon Forge in April! Two of the classes will be Zentangle Foundations, which is the class that covers the basics; "Zentangle 101" as some teachers refer to it. The other two are longer and more advanced. In one class, we will create ZIA Knots, and in the other we will explore using stamp and scrapbook supplies to enhance Zentangle-inspired art. Click here to learn more about Stamp Escape, and to see my classes, click here.

In the meanwhile, here is a recent shot of some Bijou tiles I have been working on for a swap . . . 

There will be more announcements soon! Stay tuned!