Friday, March 30, 2012

Challenge # 64 - Fortune Teller

The latest challenge from the 'Diva' has us using a string that is reminiscent of the fortune tellers we used to make as kids. I have been informed that now those same fortune tellers are now called 'cootie catchers'. Why? I have no idea.

I decided to use colored pencil and a colored pen to get my strings in. But I wanted to tie it all together with a spiral. The tangle pattern used is one called 'Bumps'. The instructions to Bumps are shown in my tangle pattern gallery. (click on the picture to make it bigger.)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

round and round in brown

Using circles shapes for my strings is one of my favorite ways to get started. Doing it all on brown paper with brown ink and brown shading is fun too!

Monday, March 26, 2012

IPP full day workshop

Click on any picture to enlarge

These are the pictures from the full day workshop that was sponsored by IPP - Illinois Prairie Painters. They are an amazing group of talented ladies and we all had a lot of fun. The morning started with a Basics class where we went over an assortment of tangles and completed them following the zentangle method. In the afternoon we completed two projects that utilized the tangles we learned in the morning - plus a few more. The projects we did included a tote bag (or apron) using a fabric pen. Then we did a necklace piece using Shrinky Dinks. It was a blast to see them shrink in the oven.

The ladies went home with 4 - yes FOUR! completed projects. (In a decorative painting class that is very unusual!) They also had fun shopping with me and cleaned me out of a number of items! Thanks ladies!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tangled Easter Egg Tree

Easter is coming – Easter is coming! It usually arrives before I’m ready. Many years I've been out shopping for the candy only a couple of days before. And many years I've arrived at church Sunday morning with fingertips stained from the egg dye. But sometimes organization strikes. One year I made the cutest  life size Easter bunny out of crepe paper over a tomato cage basket – that was a big hit with the kids!

This year I was inspired early to make an Easter Egg tree. But I decided to do it in a tangled fashion instead. And it actually didn’t take all that long! I used a stand I also use for Xmas ornaments - But I could have used a branch from the yard too.

As I tried to take the pictures the wind kept blowing the eggs! I wanted to have the pictures in front of the flowers - and then moved closer to the house. Finally I had to take them all off and photograph them flat.

I started with several sheets of poster board in an assortment of colors. I tried cardstock too but found I liked the heavier weight of the poster board better. I purchased an oval punch at the craft store. It’s actually an extra giga oval punch and my eggs are 3 ½" at the longest.

Each egg was tangled with a white sakura gel pen. I only used two or three tangles on each egg and found they went much faster that way. I added shading to each egg with a colored pencil. The choice of color was based on the color of the paper.

There were a couple of eggs where I started with white paper and did more complicated tangles and used more colors. While I like the way they came out, I prefer the simplicity of the colored eggs with the white pen. And as an added bonus, the simpler designs were faster to do too.

I'm curious to see what everybody else is doing for Easter and to welcome spring!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Fengles that bloom in the spring

The newest challenge from 'the Diva' is to use the new official tangle 'Fengle'. Fengle is a fun new tangle. Easy to do and with lots of possibilities for tangleations. You can find the instructions for this tangle in the latest zentangle newsletter here.

The other night I was thinking about this tangle and trying to decide how to use it. Spring has really begun here in Illinois. The weather has been fantastic and flowers are starting to bloom everywhere. So, of course I saw the flower possibilities in Fengle.

This was done on purple cardstock with a purple micron pen - shaded with purple colored pencil and highlighted with a white colored pencil. (Leaves were a green pen and pencil.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Color Class at Banbury

click on picture to enlarge

I wanted to show you the tiles that were created at my first ever color class. The class participants had all taken classes with me before and they wanted to go on and learn more and more, so the color class began.

The official name of this class is Zentangle - Tangling techniques - Color. We explored different ways to create a color background, different pens we could use, and all the different ways we could shade them. Of course, we had a number of new tangles to learn too! I even threw 'Plaited' at them. They got it, but some had difficulty, so I think I'm gonna have to make a video showing everybody else how to do it.

Next month I will have another new class; Zentangle - Tangling techniques - Zendalas. Sunday, April 22nd. Zendalas have become a new obsession of mine. They are popping up all over the web too!. The class will teach you several different ways to create a zendala. These will appeal both to the mathematically inclined and mathematically challenged! Then we will learn new tangles to fill it with.

Zentangle has produced a brand new round tile.They come in the cutest tin.  I HAVE THEM! I brought them to my color class and the ladies fell in love. They are currently available for purchase ONLY through a CZT. If you would like to get one through me please contact me. 847 363-5278 or sj60010 @ gmail .com (remove spaces to email).

Click the tab at the top of this post marked 'zentangle classes' for more info on sign-up.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy St Patrick's Day!

I decided to do a little zendala in green for St Patrick's Day. If you are really sharp-eyed you may remember a similar zendala I did for Valentines Day. The string is basically the same. I used a funky heart shape and repeated it 4 times. Easy to do and then the fun was in the tanglin'! Later I'll be off to the kitchen to fix our corned beef and cabbage. I know it's a bit of a cliche - but it's sooo good.

This was done with a green micron pen and shaded with colored pencil.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spiral vs paradox challenge

I wasn't sure how I wanted to approach this challenge but then, in the middle of the night I got it. Then, of course, the next morning I had to rack my brain trying to remember exactly what it was that inspired me.

When I got to my pens, this is what resulted. I love to do paradox. I love how such a simple pattern can look so complex when you put several shapes together. And as I do them I can see that there is a spiral within them. All I had to do was add color to bring them out. And you all know how I love to play with color!

The color here was done with my colored micron pens with a little added colored pencil on the second tile.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Koi Coloring Brush Pens - review

I recently received a set of the new Koi Coloring Brush Pens. I've been trying them out for the past week or so and now it's time to let you know what I think of them. They are a wonderful addition to my zentangle supplies!

The first thing I do when I get a new set of pens is make a little color chart. You can see that on the right next to the pens. I made a mark with the pens at full strength first and then used a brush with some water to fade the color to see what gradations I could get. You can clearly see that while the color of the cap is helpful, they do not really show what the pen can do. The yellow and orange are even brighter. The light orange is really too pale for me - (but would be perfect for flesh tones). The red came out more as a brick red - not as bright as I would have liked. The light blue and light green are wonderful shades! You can see the others on the chart. Overall, a very nice selection of colors in this set.

I also got a blending pen (the white one) - more on that later.

I did a zendala (6" x  6") and tangled it with my micron. I let it dry overnight and started adding colors the next day. They worked perfectly in the white spaces. I had to be very careful in the tangled areas though. If I overworked an area I found the colors tended to pick up some of the black ink. I was not real happy with that and I'm not sure if that was caused by the black ink or the color brush pens. I went back and added different colors to shade those sections later and found that I could hide most of what I didn't like so in the end I was fine.

These zendalas are still works in progress. I wanted to have lots of colors on these so I colored them first and I'll tangle them later. (They will show up on the blog as they are completed.) I did these using a combination of straight coloring with the pens and brushing the colors on with a brush and water. I got wonderful gradations with the water method. 

I also made up a chart for myself blending each color with the other colors in the set. The colors are shown by themselves at the top row and also on the left side.  In each square at the top or on the left - you will see the straight color. The rest of the square shows color that has been softened with water. This experiment - while it took some time to do, really helps me see what the blending possibilities are.

I also got a blending pen to try with the colors. The blending pen worked - but it also occasionally picked up bits of the paper as I blended. That was not the look I wanted. So I went back to my trusty brush and water and palette. That made me much happier. I guess it comes down to which tool you feel more comfortable using. Since I've done a lot of painting, a brush feels very natural to me.

I also went to the Sakura website to get more info on the pens. They have a nice color chart there to help with color selection General info on the pens is here

One other piece of info you should know is that these pens are a dye based ink. As such, they are not archival or waterproof. If you are photographing your work as I am, that's not a problem. If you are concerned about archival properties, you might want to use the Koi watercolors instead for their pigments. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Crocus ZIA

When I saw my crocuses finally appear last week I was inspired to do a colored tile using them. I pulled out my Tombow markers and had some fun. Isn't it nice that spring looks like it's almost here!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

'Golven' - Challenge on an egg shape

The latest Diva challenge is to try out a tangle pattern designed by another zentangle fan. This week the challenge is to use the tangle 'GOLVEN' by Mariet, who gives her instructions here.

I've started doing a number of tiles in the shape of eggs/ovals. Hopefully I'll have enough done so I can have a display for Easter. So this was a great design to put on an egg. After I got GOLVEN done I started looking through my idea book. Golven is the Dutch word for waves so when I came across the tangle for 'Fish Net', I thought it was appropriate. - And then I noticed that Fish Net is also a tangle designed by Mariet. How perfect!

This oval tile measures 3 1/2" at its tallest point. It was cut from poster board so it is very study. The white is Sakura Gelly Roll and the darker blue is colored pencil.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Banbury class 2-4

These are the pictures from the 'Beyond the Basics' class yesterday at Banbury Fair in Bartlett. We did some more complicated tangles on a black tile and everyone came up with their own string.

The second photo shows the tiles that resulted when I asked them to come up with as many tangleations for 'Bales' as they could within 10 minutes. One of the teens came up with 29 tangleations (not all shown here) so she won a prize.

The third picture is a project that one of the students, Kathy Davis, did in a metal embossing class. I love how she combined zentangle techniques with her embossing.

Thanks ladies! I always learn from you too!

I also want to tell you that we have set a date for the Zendala class! It will be held at Banbury on April 22, 2012 from 1-3. Call Banbury to sign up!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Plaited zendala - and new class scheduled

I wanted to show Plaited - my new tangle, in a piece so I started this zendala. Be aware that this is NOT on a 3 1/2" tile - I actually did this on an 8" square. The first picture shows the completed piece while the second one shows it in progress with only the Plaited pattern drawn.

I heard from a couple of you that Plaited is a little complicated to figure out. I've added a few additional written directions to the blog entry I hope that helps. Let me know if it's still confusing.

How did I come up with this design? A friend of mine has a number of quilting stencils that she is letting me borrow. (Thanks Nan!) They are helpful for beginning quilters to create a pattern to quilt on. They come in an assortment of sizes and designs. These stencils also work beautifully in the design of a zendala. This one is a little bigger so I used a sheet of paper that is 8" square. The blank areas in the 2nd picture show the actual design from the quilt stencil. I'll be trying out a number of the stencils during the next few weeks and I'll use them in my Zendala class too!

I also want to announce that a new class - Tangling techniques - zendalas - has been scheduled for April 22 at Banbury in Bartlett, IL - See the tab marked classes for more info.

Cirquital/Munchin Challenge

Munchin is one of those tangles that just doesn't excite me. I usually get bored doing it. But since this was the challenge I knew I had to do it. So how was I going to do it in a way that I would enjoy it. Color, of course! Once I settled on doing these two tangles in a Zendala style and  I pulled out my colored Micron pens, I was happy again. A little shading with my colored pencils, and I think I just may use these tangles more often!