Tuesday, December 14, 2021

zenbossing - project pack 16 day 3


The Zentangle 12 Days of Christmas projects are back. It looks like it's going to be a fun group of projects!

This is Day 3. I've done it following the directions on the video but then added colored pencils and some gold gel pen. I was excited to try out the technique they called Zenbossing. To do it utilized a stylus tool that I already had in my tool box. 

The gold pen doesn't show up very well in photos but I found if I went close up and tilted the tile, you could see the glint from the gold. I use the Hybrid Dual Metallic pen. It's made by Pentel and pictured below.

I have several stylus tools in my art supplies. They are made with a variety of handles. As you can see, I added a pencil grip to mine. Usually they are added to children's pencils to teach them the proper way to hold a pencil. I find it makes it more comfortable when I'm using pressure on the stylus as the technique needs.

Friday, May 28, 2021

long time no see!


Long time no see! You may have wondered why I haven't posted for so long. Well, I actually have a good excuse. Mid January I was out at night walking my foster puppy and fell on some black ice in my driveway. As I laid there I looked at my wrist I saw my wrist bending in a way it doesn't normally go. Somehow adrenaline kicked in and I was able to hold my arm close to my chest and get back up. I called in some favors from neighbors who kindly got me to the ER and took care of my puppy. In the picture you can see me in treatment as they pulled my broken bone back into position. My daughter took me into her home and fed me and got me my meds.

A week later I had surgery where the Dr put in a plate and screws. After a few weeks in a cast I began physical therapy. It's been a loong road. My fingers were sooo stiff and just wouldn't do what they are supposed to do. I'm gradually seeing progress and hope I get even more back.

How has this affected my tangling? Well, it has definitely affected it. At first I couldn't even hold a pen. I had a zoom class in late Feb that I had already signed up and paid for. So I attended remotely and gave it a go with my left hand. I got something done but frankly I wasn't very happy with it. And halfway through I was so wiped out that I quit. But, at least I tried.

So I kinda put my tangling supplies to the side. I did try using some of my liquid dyes to color some tiles, but no drawing. Finally in April I realized that I could hold a pen again (sort of) so I started again. I started by doing some of the prompts from the Facebook Square One group. The first few were pretty sad. Nowhere near the tangling I can usually do.

But I gradually discovered that I could do better and better by SLOWING DOWN. Now I draw slowly and deliberately, and it's pretty good. I used to be a speedy tangler and that's not happening now. But I think I'm actually getting more in the Zen zone by my new drawing techniques.

Here are a few of the tiles I've done now that I am drawing slowly and deliberately.

Done with the TangleOn group. I definitely saw room for improvement here. Lines uneven, stems too thick, color splotchy, etc.

Done using a template I had done a while before my injury so just needed to color.

SevenFlower in the Square One group. The shapes for the poke leaf just wouldn't flow the way I wanted them.

Bijou tile 


So my advice, Keep up with your physical therapy and tangle even if you aren't thrilled with your first attempts. And SLOW DOWN!


Thursday, December 10, 2020

flutch a tangle from Heidi Kay

Heidi Kay has come up with a new tangle called Flutch and it's especially fun for the holidays. These are a few of the tiles with variations that I've created. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Fan Fragments


Fan Fragments - this design came from a class originally taught by Deb Bowyer. It was then taught virtually by Leslie Goldberg - a member of the Midwest Tanglers United. Our group - affectionately known as MTU is a group of zentangle fans based in the Illinois area. We have a Facebook presence if you are interested in learning more.

Monday, August 17, 2020

empty heart string

The empty heart string is one I've used a number of times in the past. It's one I often use when I want to tuck a tile into a condolence card for a friend. I use it when I want to acknowledge that while a loved one may be gone, they leave all the memories with their family and friends.

The first tile here is one I did for Bunny Wright. She is a CZT that we recently lost. She contributed many tangle patterns to our community so all the tangle patterns shown here are done from her step outs.

The string itself is fairly straightforward. Draw a border with your pencil. Draw a simple heart with your pencil. Then add radiating lines going out from the heart also with pencil. As you draw the tangles with your pen you can follow your lines - or go outside of them - remember they are only guidelines and you don't have to stay within them.

After the tangles are complete you are ready for the shading. Add shading to the heart shape so the heart becomes dimensional. If you are on a colored tile you can use a coordinating colored pencil for the shading and you can add a white chalk pencil to add highlights.

This is one I did a while back on a renaissance tile. As you can see this heart was much bigger. It's your choice which way to go. I also didn't use a border here.

Here, and below, the empty heart string was done on a colored zendala. You can see the radiating lines that come from the heart. Also note the shading with a deep pink colored pencil and highlights with a white chalk pencil.


Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Ecoline markers - light fast?

Ecoline brush markers are a a fairly recent purchase for me. The colors are bright and the markers are juicy. Definitely fun to play with. If you liked my previous post with the stained glass orbs, these are the markers I used for some of them. (I also used my Tombow markers.) In the picture you will see a circular color chart. I did that when I first got them and added water to see what they would look like when thinned with water.

But are they lightfast? If you frame a piece and/or hang it up on your wall, what will happen? So I decided to find out. I took a strip of my good drawing paper and made a color chart with all the colored markers in my set. If you look at each color you will see that I drew a thin line with the marker quickly. Then to the right I drew a thick line, letting the juiciness of the pen fully saturate the strip. I wrote the name and number of the color under the color.

Then I took a black piece of cardstock paper and covered one half of the paper. Approximately 1/3 of the thick line was covered up. Then I put the paper in a southern facing window where it would get direct sunlight. I put it there on June 18th and took it out one month later.

Results? As you can see below, some colors faded badly. The ultramarine violet and blue violet were the worst. That didn't surprise me because pinks and purples are known for fading. What did surprise me was there was also significant fading in the burnt sienna and green colors too. There was lessor fading in several other colors also.

Remember, this was only one month! So I'll put it back in the window and see what keeps happening.

Will I keep using these markers? Yes, because the colors make me happy. If you photograph your work and post it online you will be fine.  But I will not use these for anything that I sell or give to someone that may want to put them on display. 

Thursday, June 18, 2020

stained glass orbs

I took a Zoom class with Inge Frasch in Germany yesterday. Stained glass orbs was such fun! Thanks Inge! Since then I've done 4 more based on the same technique. This was a fun way to use all my colored markers (Tombows) and explore the reticula and fragments from the book from Zentangle. Always good to try something new!

Sunday, June 7, 2020

arukas florz

We have been lucky that so many zentangle artists have been sharing classes during these trying times. I was thankful to spend time with Sonya Yencer on Facebook this morning. She walked us through Floorz and Arukas. These are two tangles I enjoy but don't used all that frequently. Of course, since I'm already familiar with these tangles, I wasn't paying close attention to what Sonya was saying and I jumped ahead. So my tile went off in its own way. I'm happy with what resulted though. It's got quite a few tangleations in it. 

Friday, May 29, 2020

amazing spider

I continue to do a lot of tangling these days. It helps keep me calm. This is a brand new tangle. It's challenging for sure but I love the results! It's called 'Amazing Spider" by Hennie  Brouwer. Thanks Hennie! I added a border of Flux. The border helps to hide the edges where the pattern gets confusing.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Tangled and painted rocks

I can't sew masks and I can't man the volunteer lines at the food banks, but I can paint and I can tangle. So in conjunction with a local real estate agent, I'm painting rocks that are being placed all over my village. They all have some sort of inspirational word or phrase that's usually on the other side of the rock.

We let our neighbors know they were out there on our local Facebook page. They have responded that they are finding them during their walks around the neighborhood during the quarantine. Some are taken home as treasures.  Many of them are finding new homes somewhere else in the village for others to find later.

Stay safe everyone!

Saturday, April 25, 2020

April tiles

Like many of you, I'm somewhat stressed during the quarantine. Every little headache, any scratchy throat, or slight cough has me wondering if I've got 'it'. Thankfully, I'm still healthy. But what to do about the stress?
I'm finding some relief in tangling. The best stress relief is coming from doing the online classes that several teachers are offering from around the world. Even though I usually like to 'think outside of the box' I find that simply following along with a class, doing the same tangles as everyone else, and not having to make any decisions, is the most relaxing for me. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!
The tiles in the picture are from classes with Mindandtangle, Annie Taylor CZT and Neha.Agrawal.

Monday, April 13, 2020

when life gives you lemons .......

When life gives you lemons ...... make lemonade.

That expression is so appropriate right now. Everyone is staying home - and staying SAFE. And that's a very good thing. But like so many of you, I've been going stir crazy. Buuuut, Zentangle to the rescue. There have been a number of CZTs and other artists that have been teaching classes online - both paid and free classes. They are through Facebook, Instagram. and even Zoom.

I am so thankful for these resources. It gives me sanity, it gives me a schedule to look forward to. And the best thing, it's started my creative juices flowing again.

The artwork above has all been done within the past month. I have the names of the artist that tauight the class on the back of most of these pieces - but not all of them. I'm trying to remember them all but I've forgotten a few. If you start with the large piece in the left lower corner, Tracy Weissapfel, - blue zendala ??? - Top brightly colored piece on black, Eni Oken, - Upper right, Annie Taylor CZT,  - piece to the right of the black was done in a ZOOM meeting with the Prairie Tanglers, - Renaissance Zendala was with Romi Boraz Marks, - Daisies were with Trish Pellitier CZT, - and the tiles in the lower right were with Sonya Yencer.

That's just the ones in the picture above. I've done a number of other things too but they are not all finished yet so they are not pictured. Actually, some of the things in the picture are not finished either but I'm still thinking about what to add.

My wishes for all of you - Stay home, stay safe, stay healthy, and let those creative juices flow!

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Spring zendala

It's not quite spring, but my daffodils are starting to come up. It won't be long before they start to bloom. We are starting to see some slightly warmer temperatures too so a spring zendala was in order.

This was done using a PN micron and colored pencils for the color. I used a circle template to get my spacing the way I wanted it. Otherwise, it's all freehand.

Happy Spring!

Saturday, February 8, 2020


When I saw the stepouts for the tangle pattern Trinity I knew I wanted to play with it. I wanted to challenge myself a little so I did it in the round. This zendala began with light pencil lines creating my circles. Then I did a wash of clean water within the lines. I dropped in color from my Ecoline brush markers using a watercolor wet on wet technique. The tangles were done with a blue Micron pen. Shading was done last with colored pencils, See below for a picture before the tangles were added. It was  taken just after I figured out that I needed to divide the section into triangles before I did Trinity.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

playing with Khala

Khala is a new tangle from Anica Gabrovec, CZT. I've seen a number of variations done by others on Facebook. There have been some real beautys! I tried a few little ones but then I started this one.  The colors were done with with my Ecoline brush markers and at first I wasn't very happy. So I added a color wash and dropped in additional color. It was much better! I then did the tangle variation and added a few more tangles for good measure. Finally I added colored pencil in selected areas. Fun.