Monday, February 28, 2011

CZT certification

I'm finally home after a wonderful week in Boston. I went for the certification class with Rick and Maria and was able to spend a few days with my sister too. The week was exhilarating, tiring, relaxing, (yes, both) and very educational. The other students were inspiring and encouraging. We came from all over the US, Canada and even the Netherlands and Bermuda. We oohed and aaahed over each other's work.

The location of the seminar was an old mansion that was also a convent before becoming the Catholic retreat center it is today. You can see the woodwork that made it a magnificent mansion. Upstairs the rooms have been converted into sleeping quarters.The rooms are not exactly 5 star accommodations but it was so nice to roll out of bed and walk down the stairs for the classes and meals.

In addition, the location made it possible for us to see the home of Rick and Maria, Zentangle central! Their home is amazing! Zentangles are everywhere. There are zentangles drawn on walls and even floors! Tiles are placed wherever they will fit. And upstairs we saw Maria's desk. It's a wonderful area that is filled with light during the day and even at night it seemed almost magical.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Stationary collection

This week I'll be in Massachusetts spending time at Zentangle central. My husband is taking over on the home front. I don't expect to be able to post so I decided to share a collection of stationary I created for my daughter. I left a blank space in the middle so she can add her monogram. She enjoyed getting this set. I know I enjoyed creating it!

I'll resume posting next week with lots of details about my time with Rick and Maria.

Friday, February 18, 2011

red paisley heart

3 1/2" x 3 1/2"

This tile was fun to do. I looked at some paisley prints and figured out how to start these and then it's very easy to freehand these. In fact I've gone to town in creating ATCs so I'll have some with me at the CZT training next week. The ones I've done are in multiple color inks and different colors of papers - plus basic white. This tile is white ink on smooth red cardstock.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Purple shine

3 1/2 x 3 1/2

Back to my purple paper. I really love how I can give things a shine when I get the shading and highlights in.
Here I've done the new tangle Ixorus. Then I did a twist on Nzeppel. 

I did make a boo boo when I did this tile. Tell me in the comments if you can find it.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

tiles using 'Square Dance'

'Square Dance' can add some interesting touches to a tile. As you can see I'm into color again.

The first piece uses a dark green card stock. After I started I realized there was a texture to the paper. That made it a bit more difficult to get the white pen to write smoothly. At the end I used a white chalk pencil around the piece and I'm happy with what the texture did when I smudged the chalk

The second piece has me still playing with valentines and colored pencils.

Let me know how you like 'Square Dance'. If you post pictures please send me the link in your reply!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Square Dance tangle pattern

Click picture to enlarge

'Square Dance' tangle pattern can be used as a string or in a grid pattern. It is based on a calligraphic ornament. I've shown two ways to draw it.

The first way starts with drawing two squares - one inside the other. (I always dot the four corners first.) Loops are drawn at the outside points. Then loops are drawn on the points of the inside square. On the inner square, the loops are bigger and rounder. These loops continue the lines of the inner square until they turn and then they bisect the small loops on the outer square.

The second way of drawing it goes much faster and will be easier once you have done the first method a few times. In this method you draw the outer box and its loops all at one time, without lifting your pen. The inner box will also be drawn in one motion. Take your time though as you want to see that the lines of the squares are even.

I've been having lots of fun creating zentangles with 'Square Dance' - My husband even decided one of them is his favorite! I'll post it tomorrow.

Monday, February 14, 2011


3 1/2" x 3 1/2"

Happy Valentine's Day. Love to my family, friends, and my new Zentangle friends!

This tile started with my purple cardstock and some basic stencil shapes I had. When I had the shapes in I did the curves lines that run throughout the entire piece. Then it was simply a matter of changing patterns that use the curved lines. Shading and highlighting are colored pencil.

Tomorrow I'll share a NEW tangle pattern. I'm still trying to decide on it's name.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Purple Zendela

3 1.2" x 3 1/2"

My first Zendela! (Zentangle + Mandela) I'm still enjoying my purple cardstock. It's fun to add highlights along with the shading. I used a purple Micron Pigma pen and Prisma colored pencil for the shadows and highlights here. It was fun to work in so much detail in such a small space but I sure used my magnifying light.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

tiles using 8 of Diamonds

' Showtime' 3 1/2x 3 1/2
These are two of the tiles I came up with that use the '8 of Diamonds' pattern.

In the first I was thinking Showtime! A stage production with glitz and glamor!

The second was one that I did using the two pencil method. That means, I taped two pencils together and used them to draw my string. The background began with a basic grid pattern and then I went from one grid tangle to another.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

8 of Diamonds tangle pattern

Click on picture to enlarge

This tangle is called 8 of diamonds because simply, that's how you form it. It can be used as a straight or curved string and it turns corners easily. This tangle pattern is based on an calligraphic ornament.

To do this pattern begin with dots spaced evenly. At every other dot place a diamond shape. The diamond shape could have straight sides but I think it looks best with concave sides (curved inwards). At the remaining dots draw small figure 8s. Start connecting the dots at the middle of the diamonds with the dots at the 8s with curved lines. As you make these connections you will notice that you are actually drawing large figure 8s. As you are drawing these you will also be making an 'X' in the middle of the diamond. Finally, draw curved lines that begin with the ends of the X on the diamond.  - This takes much longer to explain than to actually draw!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Purple joy

As in yesterday's post, I'm looking for color in my zentangles. I started this one using purple card stock. It came from a pack that was meant for scrap-bookers. I found a stencil that inspired the 3 flower shapes that I tangled within. Then I had fun finding tangles that seemed full of life. The shading and highlighting were done with colored pencils.

Monday, February 7, 2011

adding color to winter

3 1/2 x 3 1/2
All the snow on the ground is beautiful when it first comes down, but now it is getting tiresome. Yesterday the snowplow came to plow out my driveway AGAIN. We weren't fast enough in getting the newspaper so now our Sunday paper is buried under a mound somewhere. I'm getting depressed.

I need color in my life. I've been inspired by several of the artists on the Flicker photo sharing site so this is my contribution. It's a fairly simple tangle but the coloring let me have some fun. This was done with colored pencil.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Displaying your Zentangles

Zentangles have been accumulating in my house. And they have been popping up in multiple places. So I knew it was time to figure out how to display them. I've already got a number in a binder but I wanted to keep some out to show off.

First I found a photo cube. This one happens to be one I had sitting in my closet. The pictures that were in it were pictures from the 60's. (I was a youngster then - really!) It has one big piece of foam in the middle that holds the photos in place. I was happy to see that it fit my Zentangles nicely. There are now similar photo cubes that are sold at Michaels stores. Sometimes they are on a shelf way up high so get an employee if you can't find them yourself.

At Christmas I received a set of glass drink coasters and a wooden holder for the coasters. I really that it too was the right size for my Zentangles. Actually it is a little wide but that gives me room to put a pen alongside my tiles. The coaster holder has space for LOTS of tiles. I actually didn't have enough to fill it so I keep extra tiles in the back so I can create whenever the mood strikes. A friend reminded me that it is better to store your pens flat. I had forgotten. I will store my pens to the side ONLY if they are flat as pictured.

I went on a search on the internet to find similar items and found quite a selection.  I would first suggest that you do a search around your own home for similar items! Maybe you will find them in a discount or secondhand store too.

I would love to hear any other display ideas you have come up with. Please add your ideas to the comments.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Snowday at our house

3 1/2" x 3 1/2"

It's COLD where I am today. It's in the single digits with wind chills below zero. The kids are home from school for the second day.

I was thinking about doing something snowflake related but ended up with lace instead. It's a good example of showing something by putting something behind it - in this case, the shadows. When I get to the shadows, it's often my favorite part, so you can see I enjoyed myself here!

Stay warm everybody!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Rumble in the Jungle

 5" x 7"
I knew I wanted to do something that would incorporate my new tangle "Adeline" so after I put that in I stopped and looked at it for a while. It told me it was the ruins of a temple in a jungle somewhere. It wanted the fun of a monkey climbing it.After that it was easy to find tangles that seemed to fit.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Adeline tangle

Click on the picture to see more detail.

I like things that look complicated. When I saw this I fell in love with it. I had to figure out how to draw it.This tangle was inspired by a design in a Dover book - Architectural Borders, Scrolls, and Cartouches. This is something you might see carved into stone at a church or mansion from the gilded age.

It starts out with slash marks that keep the spacing even and guides you where to start and stop your double S curves. I like to measure out some penciled guidelines to get me started. I keep the pencil lines light so it erases cleanly later. You can  turn the paper so the S flows more naturally.  The second row of double S curves will fit right in like puzzle pieces. Add your little ornaments next. The last line shows how the curled areas are added and details go on the ornamented areas.
I've shown a completed design on top with line-work and shading. I love how it really comes to life.

Please note - YOU DO NOT HAVE TO USE PENCILED LINES OR A RULER. This is a trickier pattern so you may want to practice this a couple of times in your sketchbook. Once you have the hang of it you will be able to just go for it without using a pencil or ruler.

I named it Adeline in honor of my mom. She is gone now but I know she would have been fascinated with zentangles and loved this new tangle I developed. I think it describes both her strength and her appreciation for the workmanship that went into these hand-carved beautys. Like moms everywhere, she encouraged me to develop my talents and broaden my horizons. Thanks mom.