Thursday, March 31, 2011

'Ace' tangle in work in progress

I'm meeting with an art school next week about teaching zentangle classes. She asked me to bring along a large sized piece that they can use in their window. I got going on it yesterday. In the upper right hand corner you can see I used 'ace' as a filler. I did it randomly with a variety of sizes. It almost looks like a tribal symbol to me now. I'll post another picture when the piece is completed.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ace - tangle pattern

 click picture to enlarge

Ace is a tangle pattern that is fairly simple. As you can see, I got the idea from looking at a tennis ball - and thus the name. It's a simpler pattern that can be used as a filler, a string or even , if done big, as the string for the whole piece. There's some of the yin-yang thing going on here too. If the same pattern has been published elsewhere and I've overlooked it, please let me know.

For the first few practice tangles, use a pencil to draw a circle - or use a penny to trace one. This is easy to do freehand but for your practice it helps to know where you are going.

Start with an easy 'S'.
Bring a curved line down from the end of the 's'. Stop in the bottom of the circle.
Repeat, going upward from the other end of the 's'. Stop at the top of the circle.
Add a small circle at the top and bottom.

As you are working this you will discover that you can go ahead and do the small circles as you do the side curved lines. At this point there will only be 3 steps to do this tangle.

Have fun!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Can you guess what I was watching on TV last night? Zentangle has opened up some many new avenues for me to explore. This is a ZIA - zentangle inspired art. It's far too representative to be a true zentangle, but the size format and concepts such as one stroke at a time, drawing behind, and shading, all helped me to do this.

Monday, March 28, 2011


I was babysitting for my granddaughter all last week. She is a very sweet baby and she took lovely long naps in the morning. It made a perfect time to read my zentangle books and do a couple of tiles. I know this post isn't a zentangle but I wanted to show you my inspiration last week.

Friday, March 25, 2011

balls, balls, balls

I've been playing with baby toys this week so this tile seemed appropriate. It was fun to find as many patterns as I could to add to the balls.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Baby Feet

I don't know if I've seen baby feet on a tile before - or if anyone has named it as a pattern before. Will someone please tell me if they have seen it?

As I watch my granddaughter sleep, I can actually do a little tangling, and of course I'm inspired by her. Her frilly dresses, the ribbons, her silky hair; it's all good.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

tangling while I babysit

Babysitting my granddaughter is such a privilege and while she naps I even have time to tangle! She is such a sweetie, maybe I'll post a picture of her tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Taming the Beast - shadow and shine

Getting artwork to look dimensional is one of my favorite things. I've always been fascinated with Trompe L'oeil. Trompe L'oeil is a French term that means 'to fool the eye'. If you google it will will find some pretty amazing stuff.

Trompe L'oeil is all about getting the shadows and shines in the right places. I know this tile isn't quite there (I can find all sorts of goofs) but it's fun to try.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Zentangle with 'the shakes'

The latest tile I've attempted is Challenge #13: Non-Dominatrix. This is the challenge posted by I am the diva.

In this challenge we were asked to use our non-dominant hand. For me this would be my left. It felt very awkward and took much longer than I thought it would. However, I'm surprised by how much I ended up liking this one.

My mom had Parkinson's before she passed. She had the hand tremors and always was unhappy with her handwriting. I know she would have been fascinated by my zentangles and I know I would have loved to teach her. So I doing this tile I tried to pick patterns that would work well even with the shakes! As I worked I realized that some of the patterns even worked BETTER if my strokes were shaky.

A good challenge! One that I'll keep in my portfolio for future reference.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I woke up this morning and suddenly thought, "I need to have something green on my blog today". I headed to my desk and found some green paper but inspiration wasn't striking until I spotted some paper punches I had. From there this tile just composed itself.

Now this isn't technically a true zentangle - more zentangle inspired art. It uses the technique of auras that you frequently see in zentangle - and the 3 1/2 inch tile size too.

Whatever it is, Have a fun day!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Looby loo tile

It looks like spring might actually be on its way here. The sun is shining and my crocuses are coming up nicely. So a tile using an egg shape seems appropriate. But now that I'm looking at it it seems my thoughts are more with what is going on around the world from me. I pray for the people in Japan.

I put the Looby loo tangle pattern on a curved line here. It went very easily. I hope you will have fun with this pattern!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Looby Loo - new tangle pattern

New tangle pattern today! I named this Loop de Loo after the child's song. But then I discovered that Suzanne McNeil has a similar name in use already,. So, I changed it to Looby Loo!  This is another tangle based on calligraphic ornaments. While this has similarities to the tangles '8 of Diamonds' and 'Square Dance' I think it has enough differences to give it its own name.

-Start with a  skinny figure 8.
-Connect the figure 8s with slight overlaps.
-Add a diamond in the middle of the figure 8 and add loops to each corner. You can also see 'Square Dance' for this step.

You can easily turn corners or work this along a curved string.

I'll post a tile using 'Looby Loo' tomorrow.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Windy Brushes Class

Click to enlarge picture

I gave a zentangle class to the Windy Brushes organization.  Windy Brushes is a decorative painting chapter in the Chicago area. They are a talented group and I was thrilled that so many of them wanted to learn to tangle! As you can see, we had a large turnout at the meeting. Everyone put their own spin on their tile. And afterward several of them told me - They were hooked!

Friday, March 11, 2011

downy feathers

I'm still inspired by blue so I did another tile for the challenge. I started with the same blue paper I used in the tile for my dad, but this time I used watercolors in a wash and spattering to create the background. After creating my pattern with the white gel pen, I used a chalk pencil to add the soft white areas.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

when life gives you lemons ..... tangle!

My basement had a water problem over the weekend. We walked downstairs and the carpet went "squish, squish, squish." And the boxes in the storage room had water lines creeping up the sides. (Luckily most of the storage is in plastic tubs.) Thankfully it's just rainwater so the smell isn't too bad, but we want to clean it up before it starts to get moldy. My husband got to work pulling up the wet carpet. YUCK!

Yesterday I got to work on the wet boxes. I had to unload everything and throw away the boxes and paper that wrapped things up. It was sort of fun discovering things in the boxes that I had forgotten about. It's all stacked on the pool table until I reload them into new plastic tubs.

Pictured here are depression glass snack plates I acquired a few years ago when I did more entertaining. These plates all have indentations in them so that a glass tea cup can sit securely on the plate along with your dessert. I found them in various antique stores at reasonable costs. (I have no idea what they might cost today.)

When I picked one up to rewrap it I started to look carefully at it. And I looked through it at the pattern I could see through it. I became more and more fascinated as I walked around the house with it and my camera. I saw the pile of my son's laundry and his unmade bed, in new light! A bookshelf and the oriental rug looked pretty good too!

I'm not sure what will actually come out of this into my zentangles, but I wanted to share this with you to see if you get  any ideas. Feel free to use any of these images for inspiration.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Blue tile for Dad

On The Diva's Weekly Zentangle Challenge this week we were given the challenge to use 'blue'.  I was thinking of my dad and thinking how he loved trains. Thus the inspiration. Simple but clear. That's what my dad would have liked.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

VIDEO instruction for coil

I've just done my first video. In it you'll see how to do coil step by step. It's on the you tube site as I couldn't get it to load here. Please let me know how you like it.

It was an interesting process making it. During the first  take the pencil dropped. On the second the camera fell off the stand I had it on. When I uttered a four letter word my son said, "I don't think you're gonna use that one mom!" On the last take I realized I was working a little off camera but as the daylight was fading, I had to stop.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Coil used in challenge tile

This tile was created for the weekly challenge posted by Laura Harms, at
I used my tangle 'coil'. When I developed coil I thought of it simply as a string. This challenge made me think of coil in many more ways. In case you are looking for the coil instructions, you can find them here; Let me know when you create with 'coil' - I'd love to see them!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

searching for tangles in Boston

 When the CZT training concluded my sister - who lives in the Boston area - picked me up. It was very nice not to have to worry about airplane schedules and all those problems. On Saturday my sister had a fun treat for me. We went to Boston to see the play "Mary Poppins". It was a matinée performance so there were quite a few young children at the show. The girls were dressed in pretty party dresses. It was so nice to see the audience dressed up!

The show took place at the Boston Opera House. I so wanted to take pictures in the theater itself but the ushers were quite firm in discouraging that. The lobby was fair game though, so this is my sister in the lobby. If you click on the picture to enlarge it you will see tangle pattern ideas in the ceiling, the chandelier, and even the carpet!

OK - I wasn't looking for tangle patterns here - just pure indulgence. We found a restaurant that specializes in desserts. It's called Finale, in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston. We had a wonderful, filling lunch before the play - so after, our sweet tooths were calling. Yeah, yeah, it's not nutritious, but it was sooo good.

Well, that's it for my week in Massachusetts. I'll get back to my own zentangles tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

CZT classroom

The classroom facility at the CZT training worked very well. Even though there were almost 60 students, we all could see exactly what was happening as Rick and Maria used a camcorder and digital projection system. You can see the screen near the ceiling. It was even better than looking over their shoulder as they demonstrated the tangles and techniques. We were lucky to have nice sunny days. There are lots of windows along the wall (not pictured) so there was plenty of light to work in. There is woodwork to admire all around. After looking at the woodwork and other features we were inspired to create new tangles which we then shared with the class.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

name tags at CZT seminar

 photo taken using a mirror
One of the many, interesting things we did at the seminar was our name tags. Maria prepared the tags with her beautiful calligraphy on the front and then instructed us all to tangle the back. When everyone had completed theirs the staff took all the tags and varnished them. As they all lay out on the table we all crowded around and admired how everyone was different. It was funny to see all the cameras come out of the bags. I'd love to publish all the pictures but that wouldn't be fair to the people that created them.