Thursday, April 17, 2014

Real Life Strings

I recently received the book 'Real Life Strings' by Sindy P, CZT. It's a book that's full of pictures that are perfect for finding strings based on objects and locations we see all around us. I haven't had a chance to play with it as much as I would like but I'm starting to remedy that. 

One of the pictures in the book shows a light fixture as viewed from below. It's the perfect picture for strings for a zendala. I simply put my light box under the page and a round tile and traced the lines easily. Of course you can tangle directly in the book too. So it would be an easy and portable project to work on whenever the mood strikes.

Since this string is all geometric straight lines I challenged myself to use only tangles with straight lines too.

If you are interested in purchasing the book for yourself visit her blog at

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Harper - Banbury - and Jo's card

Harper college last Saturday - This was the second class so we moved on to more advanced tiles and used renaissance (tan) tiles. The skies turned dark and ominous outside but we were in our own little Zentangle world and just 'zenned out'. Wonderful tiles that were done!
Jo Fryer had a nice surprise for me!  She used tangling skills from the first week of class and combined it with her card making skills! How pretty and how happy you made me!

Then on Sunday I hade a foursome at Banbury working on their organic tangles. These are the fronts of greeting cards and they weren't  quite finished when I took this picture.  They are going to be magnificent!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Rixty garden

Rixty is the newest tangle from Rick and Maria. It's a fun little tangle that lends itself to lots of tangleations. Since the calendar says it's officially Spring I'm inspired to think about tangles as organically as possible. So here's my go at this new tangle on a Renaissance tile.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Initial string

The challenge this week is to use our initials as our string. I never liked putting a block S and block J together but when I tried putting the S with a script J it all came together as a string. (see below)

I always enjoy putting my 'coil' into tiles and I'm loving my 'ditto' pattern too. Then I thought, if it's my initials, why not try using all my own tangle patterns. So here it is - all me. From the upper left corner, working around clockwise, Bumps, Plaited, Ditto, Jilli, Coil, and Galileo. The illustrated step outs are in my tangle pattern gallery but if you go back to the original post you'll get even more details.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Easter is almost here so my classes and I have gotten into egg production big time! I follow some basic guidelines to keep my eggs simple and stress free. The eggs are cut from posterboard with a extra large giga punch. The tangles are done with white gelly roll pens and the shading is colored pencil. I try to keep my shading in the same color family as the paper so as not to complicate things. I usually do just one tangle per egg.- There's no reason not to do multiple tangles, I just want to get my eggs done quickly and I find this is a good way to really concentrate on the different tangle patterns.

The three eggs above use 'Quandary', 'Ditto', and 'Adeline'.

This group was done by the class at Banbury in Bartlett last Sunday. One of the gals brought her gold gelly roll pen. I love the way Ditto came out in gold!

This picture - and the closeups below come from the large group at McHenry County College last night. We had a mix of young to not-so-young and new and experienced tanglers. A great job was done by all.

By the way - one lady left her eggs behind on the display table. Please contact me with your address and I'll mail them to you!

Monday, April 7, 2014

String 29 and Harper

String 29 from is the challenge this week. A string can be drawn exactly as you see it or just used as inspiration. I had fun playing with it. It is drawn with;

Sand Swirl  by Karry Heun
Sanibelle  by CZT Tricia Faraone
Snag  by Jem Miller
Shattuck  an official Zentangle® pattern


These are the tiles that were completed by the class at Harper College this weekend. There are some wonderful interpretations of the basic tangles so be sure to click on the pictures to view them full screen! It's a two part class so I'm really excited to see what they come up with next week. Below you will find the second set of tiles they were working on that day

Thursday, April 3, 2014


The Diva challenged us to incorporate the tangle pattern 'quandary' into our tiles this week. Quandary is a tricky tangle. It's not hard to do but I find it challenging to get it to look the way I want it to. It's harder to get the spacing laid out so it looks good. You can find the step-outs for quandry here.

I prefer to use quandary as a background or fill pattern, so I put some 'Mooka' in first and then added my quandary to the background. I also used a Renaissance tan tile so I could play with both my black and brown pens.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

CBS Sunday Morning letters

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will know how much I love Zentangle and how it has enriched my life. Along with other Zentangle fans, we are trying to get the word out to as many people as possible. To that end. we are writing letters to CBS Sunday Morning (the TV show) with the suggestion that they do a story about what Zentangle is and how Zentangle can help and inspire. 

Above is the letter and accompanying artwork for CBS. We are all mailing our envelopes today (no fooling) and encourage everyone to join us. If you have a little time, please join us. All the information is on the Zentangle website, just click here. Zentangle newsletter

Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring String!

The snow plow people came by yesterday to pull out the driveway markers for their plows so I guess it's official. Spring is finally here! I looked at the ground near my front door and I saw my crocuses finally peeking out. So when I saw this string as the challenge from Adele Bruno, I couldn't think of anything else! I know that Zentangle is supposed to be non- representational, but I had to go this way this time.

This is the tile before I added the tangles. It's taken in a different light and before shading was added so I know the color looks very different. But I thought you might enjoy seeing the different stages.

Friday, March 28, 2014


Spirals - That's the challenge from the Diva this week. I always include a basic, classic spiral in my string ideas in my classes so I wanted to come up with something a little different. So I put 'spiral' 'images' as a search term in my computer and came up with all sorts of new ideas. I based this tile off of one of those inspirations. It uses some basic Striping with Sparkles and Japan Diamond.

It's done on one of my hand colored tiles with a blue Micron pen and then shaded with colored pencils.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

HOOT registration begins soon!

HOOT is coming! Hoot is a convention sponsored by the Heart of Ohio Tole Chapter in Columbus Ohio. It will take place August 11-16, 2014. The HOOT convention registration opens April 1st! If you want to get your first choice of classes you will want to download the class selection and get ready to send your choices in. The link to see all this is here.

These pictures are from the three classes that I will be teaching. The Zen Garden (above) is an intermediate level class. The Zentangle Xmas and Tangled Tote are open to all levels. Hope to see you there!

Monday, March 24, 2014

String 24 - and invite for Midwest CZTs

This tile uses string 24 from Tangle It's done in a traditional black pen, pencil shading manner. The tangles used are; 

Warangaie - Sandra Strait, Warble - a Zentangle® tangle, Warped Eggs - Livia Chua, Warts and Wobbles - Cindy Straight, and Worms - Carolyn

I will be busy getting my house ready for a get-together of Midwest CZTs this weekend. I am eagerly looking foward to putting faces to the names of all those people I see on the message boards! The invitations went out a while ago, but if we missed you - If you are a CZT in the Midwest (anywhere close to Illinois) - or if you are visiting in the area, we want you! Please contact me for details

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring Excitement

This winter has been one for the record books. The calendar finally says it's spring. There is still some snow in patches around my house but they are predicting warmer temperatures tomorrow.  So I was inspired to create a zendala with springlike colors.

I did some watercolor washes with my Sakura Koi coloring markers first, then black with my Sakura Microperm pen, then tangles with my colored Microns. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

All Ages in Bartlett

Last weekend I visited the Bartlett Public Library. I was scheduled to do a program for the children's department. They filled all twenty slots and had a waiting list. As it often happens with a free program though, there were a few no shows. It turned out there were a few ladies who had seen the program in a local paper - but the paper didn't mention it was a children's program, so they showed up anyway. I taught the program as I always do - not talking down to the kids and teaching the same way.
As you can see from the tiles pictured above, they all did a wonderful job! There were kids as young as 10 up to high school ages. And as I mentioned, there were 3 adults who joined us. When their tiles were all grouped together I truly could not tell which were done by which age group. Isn't Zentangle wonderful!

Monday, March 17, 2014

St Patrick's Day

Happy St Patrick's Day! 

Here in Chicago they actually dye the Chicago river green. Then the parade begins shortly after. I had hoped to see it in person after seeing it on TV many times . We drove to the city for dinner but by the time we passed by the river it was dark. We could tell the water had a greenish hue to it but that was it. More interesting was our dinner experience. We went to a wonderful restaurant called HB Home Bistro. It is in the bar area where many young adults live. Parking was terrible but once we found a spot and got seated at a table by the window, the fun began. Being in the city on St Patrick's Day weekend is quite entertaining if you enjoy people watching. There was a wide variety of green apparel; green kilts, suits and tutus! And of course the accessories! Green glasses, beads and hats. Fun!

This tile was done on one of my hand colored papers with a green Micron pen and shaded with colored pencils. The two tangles are 'Paradox' and 'Lucky' by Adele Bruno.

This picture came from WGN Dean Richards. The dye used is orange when it first goes in and then a motorboat is driven around to mix the color in. And yes, the dye is eco friendly.