Monday, July 25, 2016

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!


  1. Wow, Amy. I am immensely flattered. I'm pretty sure no one has ever named anything after me before. You incorporated 3 things that are important and meaningful for me, flowers, peace and Zentangle. (If only you could have figured out a way to incorporate a tribute to dogs. ;-) ) Thanks for going back and doing the "Give Peace a Chance" challenge!

    1. I couldn't stop thinking about this challenge!!! I was so excited by it, and it was all together in my head, which filled me with joy that week; I just didn't have a schedule that allowed me to get it all done "on time." But it's ALWAYS a good time to celebrate & pursue peace, so I was okay with my timing. ;-)
      About the dog tribute--you made me laugh! I know--would have been great if that was also a part of the tangle! Believe it or not, I thought about that! LOL That's actually why I had to include a pic with Pausha's smiling face