Thursday, December 29, 2011

tangling with a stapler

click on the picture to enlarge

I had a chance yesterday to do something really outside of the box. I did my tangling with a stapler. I looked through my ‘go to’ tangles to find some that would work with the size of the staples. Then I found some black tiles and just went for it. It was fast and fun. And it felt really different.

In full disclosure, I did this because I received a new stapler for me to review. Honestly, I‘m glad I did this though because I found out that stapler technology has changed significantly since the last time I shopped for a stapler. I was sent a    Swingline SmartTouch Stapler  and   Swingline Premium Chisel Point Staples . The stapler is easy for me to hold in my hand and though I used lots of staples in my project I didn’t feel any pain in my hand at all. I never had a staple jam or form a ‘wonky’ shape either.

The only criticism I had was that it took me a little while to figure out how to load the staples into the stapler. There is a button at the opposite end from the business end that when pushed, opened it up easily. But as I was holding it in my hand, I couldn’t see that button. I would appreciate a diagram on the packaging that showed me where to push.

Additional full disclosure – I got the stapler through     Shoplet .com and they asked me to write this review. They have lots of office supplies available.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

easy ornaments again

When I had a little time over the holidays I tried to sneak away to my studio and get back to my tangles. One night I went back to my easy ornaments. (Easy because they use an extra large circle punch to cut the paper and a metallic pen that produces wide lines to tangle with.) After I did the quick tangles I pulled out my colored pencils and kept going. This doesn't photograph as well as I would like but hopefully it will give you some idea of what can be done!

Done on red cardstock with Sakura metallic gelly roll pen. Shaded with two shades of red colored pencil and highlighted with orange and red. - Wish the colors showed up better in the picture!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays everyone. I used the new tangle pattern 'Garl' here. I guess you can see that garland inspired the name. I was so excited when I got to the shading part. It almost looks like a blanket of snow!

I expect to be pretty busy with the family for the next few days so I may not be able to post too much new content - so Happy Holidays!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

tangle pattern 'Garl'

click on picture to enlarge for detail

I came up with this tangle pattern after looking through some Dover books last night. I found a version of this in a book about paisley patterns. It starts with a curving line like many tangle patterns do but it's the petal shapes and comma strokes that  makes it unique. I've done this in a straight line for clarity but it's easy to do this on a curve too. As you can see, there are also many variations that you can come up with for this tangle. The name? well look at the tile that I'll post tomorrow and you'll see it.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Ornaments - easy!

I wanted to do some zentangle ornaments to use as gift tags this year. I needed for them to be quick, inexpensive, and still look festive so I decided on these. I purchased a sheet of red poster-board (99c) and used a large circle punch. While the large punch wasn't cheap ($26 less a 40% off coupon), using the large punch made the prep process go so quickly. I then did tangles using a gold Sakura gelly roll pen. I choose simpler tangles and did them larger than I would normally do on a tile because of the thickness of the line that the gold pen produces. All the ornament/gift tags above were done in one evening. The gold pen doesn't photograph too well but it looks great in person.

These will all be given away so I guess these fill the bill for the Diva's challenge too!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Alphabet Soup

A - G

H - M


Q - U

V - Z

Here is my alphabet soup all together. I picked tangles according to their names. In the first tile I have only tangles that go from A - G. I continued through the alphabet in the same fashion. I tried to also pick tangles that I hadn't used much in the past. I used some official tangles but chose many from individuals. I did my best to try to choose from a variety of people. There are some people that are prolific designers and I wanted to spread my choices around. 

This was a challenge I started purely for myself. It's fun to see that others are trying it too. If anyone else wants to try it, here's how it goes. Start with a string of your choice. Pick tangle patterns in alphabetical order. Only use an 'A' tangle once and then move on 'B', 'C', etc. Fill and shade as usual. Extra points for using tangle patterns that are less used. When you finish one tile start the next tile at the letter of the alphabet that you left off at.   ---if you only want to do one tile; pick a random letter of the alphabet and use that as your starting point to begin your alphabet soup.

If you do this challenge please post a picture and send me a link in the comments.

When you are looking at my tiles above, see if you can get the names by yourself. When you are stumped you can look at the blog archive entries for each day to find the the name of the tangle and the name of the person who first posted it.(look at the column on the right)

Someone asked me where all these tangles came from. Well, I collect tangle patterns. Whenever I see one posted I copy down the steps and add it to my collection. The Zentangle newsletter frequently comes out with new tangles. I have many blogs that I look at. (see my blog list in the right hand column.) I also watch the links that Molossus puts up at her site. I don't know how she finds all the sites she does! Another resource is the Flicker site.  And I also have to give credit to Linda Farmer at Her site is amazing.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Alphabet Soup V - Z

Finally - I got through the whole alphabet! I did it in 5 tiles. Maybe I'll post them as a group tomorrow. This tile uses tangles that start with the letters V through Z. The creators of these tangles are;

Volant - Solveig
Wiltshire 1 - Liz T
Xing - Bette Abdu
Yabbut - Margaret Bremner
Zardoz - Cherokee 410

I've heard from a few of you that are planning to try this challenge too. (Margaret Bremner already completed hers.) Please let me know if you are doing this so we can link back to you.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Alphabet Soup Q - U

Continuing my alphabet soup personal challenge I present my tile with tangles starting with the letter Q thru the letter U. I've tried to use tangles that are either new to me or I seldom use. These tangle patterns came from;

Quatiny - Molossus
Razzor - Melissa Hughes
Socc - Erin Koetz Olson
Thai mix - Moon Attic
Upholstered - Lizzie Mayne

Thursday, December 8, 2011

'Fife' in a ZIA

Click on picture to see detail.

I got my challenge done for the 'Diva' but I decided to go away from the usual tile this time. I found this mug on sale and found that the paper insert was easily removable so - presto chango - now it has a zentangle insert. I liked adding fife to my patterns.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Alphabet Soup N-O-P

The next tile in my alphabet soup personal challenge uses three squares for strings and uses;

ninja star - Margaret Bremner
onion heart - Lizzie Mayne
pina - Carole Ohl

As the holidays and all the related tasks as approaching I hope to get the next tiles done soon. There are parties to go to, parties to prepare for, gifts to buy, and gifts that I have to finish drawing. But we will see!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

ornament time - 'Ogee'

Taking a break from my alphabet soup, I wanted to share this ornament that I did over the weekend. I followed a link from a fellow blogger and unfortunately I don't remember who provided that link. Anyways, I got to

She demonstrated how to make her ornaments with felt but as a dedicated tangler, I had to do mine with the Zentangle method. I used red cardstock and a white Sakura Gelly Roll Pen. Oh, and I used glue rather that sewing the points where the paper meets.  Other than that, I followed her method and measurements! After doing the Diva's 'Biggify' challenge I realized I didn't have to do my tangles so small to still be effective so this project went fairly quickly!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Alphabet Soup H - M

Continuing my alphabet soup project I have had fun discovering more tangles that I haven't used for a while (or haven't used at all until now!).

Hugs and Kisses - Jeanne Kuzel
Iffy - Lizzy Mayne
Japonica - Molossus
Kolum - Lara Williams
Liz - Mafe Movromati
Marbles - Helena - Belatrix 29

Friday, December 2, 2011

Alphabet Soup - A - G

I've decided to issue a personal challenge. It may only be me that completes it but I think it will be fun. I'm calling it Alphabet Soup because I want to try to use tangles starting with every letter in the alphabet.

In this tile I've used; Amaze (official zentangle), Boucle (Molossus), Coil (Sue Jacobs), Dervish (Elaine Benfetto), Emilie (Sandra Bartholmew), Fleuve (Jay Cadian), and Greating (Molossus).

If you want to join me, here's the challenge. Start with a string of your choice. Pick tangle patterns in alphabetical order. Only use an 'A' tangle once and then move on 'B', 'C', etc. Fill and shade as usual. Extra points for using tangle patterns that are less used. When you finish one tile start the new tile at the letter of the alphabet that you left off at.   ---if you only want to do one tile; pick a random letter of the alphabet and use that as your starting point to begin your alphabet soup.

If you do this challenge please post a picture and send me a link in the comments.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Biggify challenge

The newest challenge from 'the Diva' asks us to use our tangle patterns in a different way. Instead of drawing multiple intricate patterns as I normally love to do, we were asked to make our tangle patterns as big as possible on the same size paper as we normally use.

So these tiles are my normal 3 1/2 " squares of paper. The tangles in the top tile are hollibaugh, crescent moon, and eke. The lower tile uses pokeleaf and shattuck. I'm not sure these tiles are totally successful to my eye but they are a good exercise and I'm glad I tried it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Student work - Sunday 11-27

On Sunday I was invited to teach at a home for a group of 8. The home was all decorated for Christmas with music in the background and wonderful goodies on the buffet. The group was already friends so they enjoyed seeing each other again. Once we got started with Zentangles though, they all got quiet! They produced beautiful tiles. They were all commenting as they looked these over, that they were amazed that even though they were all doing the same tangle patterns, they all look so different.

The group of 8 tiles were their first tiles and the group of 6 were their second tiles. (Two of the group had to leave early.)

Thank you Jeanne!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cyber Monday - at Blicks

I usually don't promote specific stores but I'm going to make an exception today. The store that I prefer for art supplies is Blicks! And today they have a special sale going. 

Look at their pens. They carry the Sakura Micron Pigma pens in all sizes and colors. They are on sale through the web site right now too.

They have the sets of the Sakura Gelly Roll pens too. Look at the metallics, moonlight and glaze sets.

lots of other brands of pens, colored pencils, chalks, and more are here too.

Journals are there if you prefer to work in them.

And if you are planning to do a larger Zentangle inspired art piece as a special gift this Holiday season, look at the printmaking papers they sell in large sheets.

Now - a personal request. If you are interested in this sale, please follow the link on this page. Since I don't earn a salary for doing this blog, at least I'll get a small commission if you decide to make a purchase.

Blick Art Materials has TWO exciting Cyber Monday deals!
Customers can save today, November 28th, 2011: 

  • 10% off orders of $100 or more,

  • 15% off orders of $150 or more,

  • plus FREE SHIPPING on orders of $99 or more (some restrictions apply),

  • with promo code CCXA. Offer valid through 11/28/11, 11:59pm CST.
  • 25% off orders $119 or more

  • plus FREE SHIPPING on orders of $150 or more (some restrictions apply),

  • with promo code CCVY. Offer valid through 11/28/11, 11:59pm CST.

    Saturday, November 26, 2011

    Tidbits and tingalings

    Tangleations are fun! Sometimes I don't want to think about what pattern I want to use next so a good exercise is to use one pattern - in this case 'Bales' - and to come up with as many tangleations as possible. Shading, of course, can be different for each tangleation too.

    Thursday, November 24, 2011

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    ∩ │◥███◣ ╱◥███◣
    ╱◥◣ ◥████◣▓∩▓│∩ ║
    │╱◥█◣║∩∩∩ ║◥█▓ ▓█◣
    ││∩│ ▓ ║∩田│║▓ ▓ ▓∩ ║
    •°*”˜˜”*°• From my house to your house •°*”˜˜”*°•
    •°*”˜˜”*°•Happy Thanksgiving to family and friends•°*”˜˜”*°•

    Wednesday, November 23, 2011

    Red Thread Challenge

    "An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break." -Chinese proverb

    The Diva's newest challenge asks us to use a red thread as the string in our tile. As always we are able to interpret it as we want. As I was thinking about thread. I thought about the various quilts we have in our home. Most of them were made by family members. They were either passed down or made specifically for us. I know they were made with love. So for me, the threads in those quilts represents the love and connections we have with our family. 

    This tile was done on a traditional 3 1/2 inch tile - and yes - for the tangles I used a 005 Micron pen. The red pen for the thread is a 05 so that shows up a little better.

    I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving with their family and loved ones.

    Monday, November 21, 2011

    Tri -ovals

    Last week the Diva posted her Tri-Shapes challenge. I had fun with creating that one so I kept playing with my shape stencils. This one uses three different oval shapes. I also kept on looking for more new tangle patterns - or at least use a few that I don't use very often.

    I'm very thankful for my family. We celebrated the christening of our newest grand-baby and the rest of the family came in from out of town too. So this past weekend was, in a way, our own thanksgiving! Getting all three of the girls to smile or even look at the camera at the same time was simply impossible, but I think this picture has charms of its own.

    Thursday, November 17, 2011

    Tri-Shapes challenge

    The latest challenge from the 'Diva' asked us to use three shapes - a circle, square, and triangle, to create our string. I tried a number of ways to place the shapes on my tile and was not inspired at all. Then in the middle of the night I thought "Why do the shapes have to be 'on' the tile?" So first thing in the morning I tried it with the shapes all hanging off the edges. That was much better for me.

    The second half of the challenge was to use patterns we had never used before. There are so many out there it wasn't hard to find a bunch of patterns that were new to me. Pictured here are;
    Rokpool - Neil Burley
    Gewgle - Sandy Steen Bartholomew
    Bofi - Cindy Angiel
    Golven - Mariet Dronten
    Sez - Official zentangle pattern
    Beeline - Official zentangle pattern
    Whirlz - Lori Howe
    Pweeko - Mrs Broady

    Thanks Diva, for another fun challenge!

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    Circle of Friends presentation

    Yesterday I gave a presentation to a group called 'the Circle of Friends'. They wanted a program that would only be one hour and would appeal to a wide variety of interests. We decided to do a simple ornament. I followed the basics that I normally do in a basics class but simplified and condensed things for the time allowed. There were 26 present. I couldn't corral them all for a picture of all of their ornaments so I'm happy to show you these. Some of the gals 'did their own thing' but since there are no rules in Zentangle, we enjoyed those too. They had a great time and surprised themselves with what they accomplished! Well done ladies!!!

    Later that evening my son received an honor that I'm very proud of. He made it into the National Honor Society at his high school. He's a good kid!

    Monday, November 14, 2011

    Banbury class pictures 11-13

    It always amazes me during classes, how everyone can hear the same instructions and come up with tiles that reflect their own individual style. And then when they come up with their own tangleations! WOW! Click on the pictures to make them bigger.

    One totally new idea to me is in the first picture - upper left corner. She was doing 'Keeko' and then morphed it into 'Msst'. I love it!

    Friday, November 11, 2011

    Zentangle World Meditation Project

    Since today is a date that seems to have special significance, all the CZT's from around the world have agreed to start a tile at 11:11 in whatever time zone they are in. At the same time we used the meditative properties of Zentangle to send our energy out into the world.

    To anyone that is not a CZT but just loves to tangle.  - Please join in whenever you can today! If you don't have a blog but would like to see your work posted, feel free to email me a picture and I'll add it here.

    Thursday, November 10, 2011

    The circle of life - in remembrance

    Part of the diva's challenge was simply to remember. Remember laughter and tears, friends and family, fallen heroes or quiet bravery. I did the tile with the poppy that I posted yesterday for the veterans. This tile honors my family. Especially my mother who is now gone. Her love and guidance will always be remembered. I call it the circle of life because I know she is always with us and now is watching over her three great grandchildren who she never met in person.

    The outermost tangle is the one I designed and named after my mother, 'Adeline'. The instructions for 'Adeline' can be found here.
    The three tangles in the middle represent my three granddaughters.
    'Queen's Crown' by Suzanne McNeill is for our girl that loves Disney Princesses.
    'Ogen' by Christina Vandervlist is for the sister that watches everything her older sister does.
    '8 of Diamonds' is for our newest girl who is now 8 weeks old. (Also one of my patterns)

    This was done with a pink Micron Pigma pen and shaded with three shades of colored pencils.

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011

    Lest We Forget

    The latest challenge ties in with Veterans day. In Canada, where the 'Diva' is, they have Remembrance Day. The poppy is the symbol that is handed out on those days. The idea is to remember and honor those that have given their lives for us and those that we remember because they are our heroes.

    To do this tile I found a coloring page for a poppy on the internet and used it for inspiration. The poppy is done with a red Micron Pigma pen and then colored with a red colored pencil. In the background I used a variation of the tangle pattern 'Nipa' and shaded it with pencil to resemble the folds of a flag waving in the breeze.

    Monday, November 7, 2011

    Daylight Savings Time

    Yesterday I got an extra hour of sleep. Hallelujah! Then it was the challenge of going from clock to clock in the house and trying to remember how each clock works to properly set it back. As I saw all the different clock faces I thought, hmmm, there is a pattern here. So this is the tile that resulted.

    Friday, November 4, 2011

    Frost in the air

    I'm a little late posting today. Doing grandma duty with my now 7 week old granddaughter is wonderful, but it's hard to get the rest of your day in order. There will be more pictures of her soon.

    It seems we are waking up to frost on the ground most mornings now. So this quick little zendala seemed appropriate. Stay warm!

    This tile was done with the Pigma pen first and then the color was added with watercolor pencils. I used the pencil dry and then wet it to spread the color out. After that was dry I repeated the steps. Finally I added another darker blue into the corners.

    Wednesday, November 2, 2011

    New classes scheduled

    I've been busy setting up some new classes lately. The next group will be at Banbury Fair but then I've got some more coming up in a wide variety of places. Check the tab for Zentangle classes periodically to see what's coming. This bag is going to be one of the class projects at an Illinois Prairie Painters seminar next March. It will be an all day class so I'm looking forward to lots of fun! As soon as all the details are set I'll post more info so you can sign up if you are interested.

    Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    The Diva is Divine!


    Hopefully everyone who reads this blog is aware of who 'The Diva' is. If not, you should. The Diva is actually Laura Harms, based in Canada. The Diva is a CZT (Certified Zentangle Teacher) who issues new challenges for all Zentangle fanatics. When a challenge is completed you post a link to your artwork on her blog and at the end of the week the Diva compile a slideshow of all the entries. There is no judging, no winners or losers. Just like Zentangle, all entries are appreciated.

    Her challenges are so varied. One week they may be related to how to create your string. Another challenge might have us using certain tangle patterns. This week the challenge relates to the holiday, Halloween. They are a lot of fun and really are a good way to get a tile going if you don't feel inspired on your own. In fact, I recommend to all my students that they go back in her blog to see what the previous challenges were and try to complete a few of them at their own pace. 

    One week I served as the guest challenger. You can go back and see my challenge here.

    This week her blog passed a milestone, 200,000 hits! I'm impressed. So she is having a contest with some pretty impressive prizes. To enter, go to her blog at and follow the prompts.

    By the way, she does all this with two young boys, in between family life and their various health needs. Thanks Laura!

    Monday, October 31, 2011

    things that go bump in the night

    Happy Halloween from the zentangle graveyard. I simply had to do something on a black tile for the date. I used a white pen and a Conte chalk pencil to highlight. Have fun with your little ones tonight!

    Friday, October 28, 2011

    Corn Stalk Maze

    In October the farm stand down the street comes to life with lots of Halloween activities.There is a mini zoo with lots of wild animals and giraffes you can feed. On weekends they have pig races. There is a hay ride and haunted house. And of course they have lots of pumpkins to choose from. In the back they created a corn stalk maze for kids and adults to explore. When I did this tile my husband looked at it and said it was kinda confusing. I was thinking of fall with the colors and eyes in the Paradox, so the confusion of the cornstalk maze seemed an appropriate name for this.

    The feeding station is up on a high platform so you are at eye level with the giraffes.

    We love to take pictures of our kids with pumpkins. It's a family tradition.

    Thursday, October 27, 2011

    Beyond the Basics class pictures 10-22

    At the 'Beyond the Basics' class we go through both new tangles and new techniques. This class was held Oct 22nd at Banbury Fair. The first tiles were done on the Zentangle black tiles using a Sakura white Gelly Roll Pen.This class had a mix of ages - both teens and adults. I honestly can't tell which tiles were done by who. Click on the picture to see it in more detail.

    Another tile we did was one where we explored tangleations. Everyone did the Bales pattern. I then challenged them to come up with as many different tangleations as possible. It was great to put this mosaic together and see all the different variations people came up with!

    Wednesday, October 26, 2011

    Pumpkin fun

    In the spirit of the season I used another of my colored tiles to create a pumpkin tile.I love the way the n'zeppel pattern almost looks like a web behind it.

    Be sure to see what Suzanne McNeil did with Zentangle on her pumpkins!


    These are wonderful pumpkins too. They were created by Alisa Burke. Her tutorial is on her blog at

    Happy Halloween!

    Monday, October 24, 2011

    New tangle 'Punzel'

    Last night a new zentangle newsletter arrived in my inbox. In it is a new tangle 'Punzel' that is a variation on 'Chaining'. So I got to work right away. It's a very addictive tangle. You want to keep going and going. Is it tricky? A little, but once you get the hang of it you'll love it. It's a little like braiding hair.

     You can subscribe to the Zentangle newsletter too!

    This one should hopefully link you to the Diva's site. Instructions are also posted there