Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! I was born in New York so the new year isn't official to me without the ball drop in Times Square. I've never seen it in person but I always watch for it on TV.

This ZIA (Zentangle Inspired Art) started with a wash of watercolor paint around a circle that I left unpainted. I then lifted out color to get my 'rays' of light. Tangles came next with a few marker highlights on the ball. Tripoli is the tangle that I used on the ball. I purposely skipped a couple of places so there would be more 'sparkle'.

If you are a regular reader of this blog you may notice that this is a piece I did last year. But I do think it's worth a celebratory repeat! I hope you do too!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Snow Day

Snow has finally started to arrive in the Midwest. I was lucky to only get a dusting, but my son in Ohio really got a load of the white stuff. I'm actually hopeful we will get a little more by us soon. 3 or 4 inches only please!

This zendala began with a template from Erin of The Bright Owl. This is Zendala Dare # 33. I used my markers and a watercolor technique first and then a blue Micron pen for the tangles.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas zendala

Merry Christmas to all and Happy Holidays too!

I'm so excited to spend Christmas with family. Church, the carols, the presents, the food and cookies, - well, I love Christmas! This year my youngest granddaughter is a little over 1 year old so I'm looking forward to see her reaction to all the presents.

I started this zendala a little while ago. It's one of the templates from Erin at the Bright Owl. It's Dare #22. When I saw the shapes I immediately thought - Christmas lights! So I used watercolor techniques to do the lights and then a green micron pen to tangle with. A green colored pencil added a little shading.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

I'll be teaching at the HOOT convention next August!

Wheeeee! Christmas came early this year. I got a letter this week telling me that I have been selected to teach two classes at HOOT this year. For those of you that don't know, HOOT is one of the best run decorative painting conventions I've ever attended. It's held in Columbus, Ohio in August every year and I've had the pleasure of attending several as a student. But now I'm teaching. I'm nervous, and excited, and exhilarated!

I'll be putting more information on my blog when the brochures come out in March. But for now, mark your calendars!

I've blogged about my experiences last year at HOOT. If you are curious, the blog entry is at

See you then!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dancing in the Dark

Congratulations to Laura Harms - the 'Diva', on her 100th challenge. On this auspicious occasion she has posted a very special challenge. The Diva Dance has brand new tangles from Maria and Rick (the founders of Zentangle.

These new tangles are lots of fun to work with. I tried the first one with a black tile and then went back to a white one to try another one. I'm sure these new tangles will be showing up in my future work! The instructions for these patterns - and lots of examples - can be found on the Diva challenge page. - The link can be found in the right hand column.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Zendala from Zentangle 7

My computer has been acting up lately. I've been having trouble getting onto the internet on my main computer. (though my smart phone works great.) So today's post will be one I did a little while ago.

This zendala uses several of the new tangles from the Zentangle 7 book - Zendalas. It's fun to pull out these books and challenge myself to use only the new tangles in a piece!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Zendala snowflake challenge

 Every week Erin at  posts a template for a zendala. It's been so much fun seeing what she comes up with. This week however, she challenged us to use the snowflake method to create our own zendala. I first learned about this method when I got the book Zen Mandalas by Suzanne McNeill. The snowflake method is explained in a section on Page 8.

So I've been having fun cutting out snowflakes again. I've folded them in a couple of different ways and added cutting lines. After cutting them I unfolded them and ironed them so they would lay flat.

The template I ended up with is in the upper left of this picture.

In this picture the template is in the lower left.

 Unfortunately the pencil lines don't show up too well in this picture. Try clicking on the picture to enlarge it.

I got out my Tombow Dual Brush markers and used my watercolor technique to add some color. I meant to take this picture with just the color in place but at least I got the picture early in the tangling stage.

Ta Da!

I used a green Sakura Micron Pigma 05 pen for the tangling and a green colored pencil for a little shading.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Here we go Loop de Loo!

Diva challenge # 99 is from Margaret Bremner. It asked us to use a border consisting of loops. What a great idea! You can create your border and string at the same time.

I did this using red card stock and as you can see, I was really getting into the holiday spirit! I used the Sakura gold gelly roll pen and shaded with a deep red pencil. It's always a challenge to photograph metallic pens in artwork but I think I actually succeeded this time.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Windy Brushes Christmas party

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of attending the Christmas party for my local decorative painting chapter, Windy Brushes of Northern Illinois. I've been a member for a long time and it's decorative painting that I credit for teaching me that I can be an artist.

The picture above shows a tree decked with ornaments for our ornament exchange. We each brought one ornament we had hand-painted and placed it on the tree. Later names were drawn and we each left with a hand-painted piece from someone else. I, of course, did one using Zentangle. Can you find it on the tree? I used a gold gelly roll pen on a wooden ornament I had simply painted white first.

It was wonderful seeing so many of my friends!

Each table had different hand-painted centerpieces.

And each table had coordinating favors for every attendee.

This table had a bag full of goodies as it's centerpiece.

And we even had entertainment too! These gals are 'the Legacy Girls'.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Quick ZIA gift tags

These gift tags are quick, quick, quick! And all the family and friends will be so impressed.

Start out with white card stock. -Or use any other heavyweight paper. Cut it out into round or oval shapes. I have a large paper punch that I got at my local craft store so I got this part done in a flash. Place a ruler on an angle and draw lines on either side of the ruler with a Sakura Gold Gelly Roll pen. Now I know rulers are not usually used in zentangle but this is a QUICK project so I don't want you to stress - just get it done! Do a second line just to the side of the one you just did. If you want to make it look more handmade do this second line freehand.

Now do ONE tangle inside the lines. Draw it as big as you want so you can add lots of embellishments (tangleations). As long as you are just doing one tangle I promise it will go quickly. Punch a little hole at the top and tie it to your package with ribbon. Don't be surprised if your guests add them to their tree later!

You can do these on other colors of paper - red, green, or light blue - If the gold doesn't show well, switch to a white gelly roll pen. The only thing I should warn you about is that the gelly roll pens don't dry quite as quickly as the Micron Pigma pens, so be sure to keep your hands off the paper as you are working.

In the photo it looks like they are different colors but I promise you they are all done with the same pen - it's just that metallic gold is hard to photograph. I forgot to take the picture when I had them done so I had to tip all the gift bags on their side so I could get the picture.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Keenes Zendela

Click to enlarge for detail

When I started this Zendala we had a record breaking December day with 70 degrees. Unbelievable! We are back to the 30s today but having a warm day in December was such a treat.

So as I worked on this Zendala on a warm day, it wasn't hard to remember the warmth of summer. Keenes of course reminds me of those little bikinis I was able to rock many, many years ago. The other tangles were chosen because they reminded me of seashells and other seashore diversions.

I also was able to use the newest zendala template from Erin (the bright owl). I think this template is one of my favorites! I colored it using my Tombow markers before I tangled it with an orange Micron pen. A little shading with an orange colored pencil completed it.

Note - My regular computer is acting up so I've had to post this using the camera on my phone and a different laptop. I apologize if the quality of the picture isn't quite as good.

Monday, December 3, 2012

NILAG ornaments

click on pictures to enlarge!

Last Saturday I met a great group called NILAG. That stands for the Northern Illinois Long arm Quilter's guild. They were all eager to learn about zentangle and to see what they could use from zentangle as they do their quilting. Since this was their last meeting before the holiday we decided to do a ZIA (zentangle inspired art) using zentangle principles on an ornament. There were 38 ladies there and many of them did two ornaments so I couldn't get them all in the picture. It was fascinating to see how they took basic tangles and ran with them. I can't wait to see what they do with their quilts!

Friday, November 30, 2012


Dilip Patel has a blog that always has interesting things to see. He has asked for help in doing 100  zenganeshas. These are zentangle inspired art on the theme of Lord Ganesha. The other pieces have been so fascinating that I wanted to try one. 

Once I found the line art on the web I used my markers to add color and a orange Micron to do variations on Cadent behind. A little colored pencil shading and I was done. Fun!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I've got no strings!

This week the Diva challenges us to create without starting with a string. Since I had just been working on organic tangles I thought I'd try that again. I also wanted to try out a number of tangles that I had seen on the internet and added to my files. I had not used several of them in my pieces before now so this was a good chance to try them out. 

This was done on a Strathmore watercolor card using 140 lb watercolor paper. I used an 05 Sakura Micron pen so it would fill in better on the bumpy watercolor paper.

As I was doing this I kept thinking of the song from Pinocchio. Now I've got that song running through my head!

I’ve got no strings
To hold me down
To make me fret
Or make me frown
I had strings
But now I’m free
There are no strings on me
Hi o the merio, that's
the only way to be!
I want the world to know
notin' ever worries me

I’ve got no strings so I have fun
I’m not tied up to anyone
They've got strings but 
you can see there are no strings 
on me!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Alphabet Soup - F

Alphabet Soup again. On this tile, all the tangle patterns have names that start with the letter F. They are;

Featherfall - Carole Ohl
Flez - Lori Howe
Fairy Wings - Cindy Angiel
Fish Net - Mariet Dronten

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Organic tangles - New Class!

Announcing a new class. Organic tangles! This class will incorporate tangles that relate to things found in nature. As we learn these tangles we will then use them to complete a greeting card. Any variety of sentiments can be substituted for the one shown in the photo. 

One of the tangles shown is 'Zinger' - this is the latest tangle shown in the zentangle newsletter. I'll show you some tangleations of Zinger in this class!

The first date scheduled for this class is January 27th, 1 pm at Banbury Fair in Bartlett, IL.630 837-1727 
Details can be found under the tab marked 'zentangle classes'. Please note, this is an intermediate class and students should have already taken a Basics class first.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Alphabet soup - E

Alphabet soup again. On this tile all the tangle patterns have names that begin with the letter E.
They are;

Eyelet & Ribbon - Lori Howe
Euca - Anne Marks
Esses - Chris Le tourneau
Echo - Sue Clark
Eye Test - Lizzie Mayne

Friday, November 16, 2012

Hidden Mickeys

This week the Diva challenged us to come up with a design inspired by  Mickey. That is - Mickey Mouse of Walt Disney fame. It's been a long time since my kids were little and we visited the Disney parks, but I do remember seeing the Hidden Mickeys at various places throughout the parks. That's where the Mickey shape is hidden within something else. Sometimes it's obvious. I have seem shrubs trimmed in the shape of those ears. Sometimes it's really hidden. There is one golf course that has a sand trap shaped like Mickey. It's really only visible from the air.  So for this challenge I decided to use hidden Mickey's as my string. How many Mickeys can you find!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Zendala Dare 31

When I first saw the template for Erin's challenge for her Zendala Dare 31 I thought, no way, those spaces were just too tiny! Look at The Bright Owl for the template  But the more I thought about it the more I knew I just had to accept the challenge. So I got the design onto my blank tile and just stared at it. It took me a couple of days to figure out what I wanted to do with it.

Easiest thing for me to start with, was to color it. I started by just coloring it all a soft yellow. Then I added my orange and red. Now I had something to work with!

OK, now I had to do tangles. But what? My favorite, bread and butter tangle, is Bales. So I looked at the template over and over, how could I get the Bales tangle into the tiny spaces? Finally it hit me. Just do a monotangle! So I got out my red Sakura Micron Pigma pen and off I went.

The simplicity of doing a montangle was so soothing, I was really feeling the zen!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Alphabet Soup - D

Alphabet Soup again. On this tile all the tangle patterns have names that start with the letter D.
They are;

Dragonaire - Norma Burnelle
Diamond Drops - Moon Attic
Dessus-Dessous - Genevieve Grabbe
Dancet - Margaret Bremner
Dervish - Elaine Benefatto

If I've messed up someone's name please let me know. I wrote down these tangle names a while back.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Zentangle for the Holidays class

Yesterday I had an enthusiastic group of tanglers get together at Banbury Fair to work on holiday projects. This give you just a quick glimpse of everything we did. We started off working on cards. Even with the time we spent learning new tangles, these cards were done in one hour!

We then went on to work on ornaments/gift tags. A few more tangles explored and practice with the white pen too. This is just a sample of what we accomplished since several have the reverse side done too. Some gals got 2 or 3 ornaments done too!

The next classes at Banbury are scheduled for after the holidays. Be sure to check the tab marked classes for the dates. We are working on a special class for Valentines day too!

Although I will not have scheduled classes in December, I am still available for private parties. Contact me if you want to have a special day with your friends!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Socc it to me!

Do you remember the show Laugh-In? I remember watching that show with my parents and sometimes laughing so hard we were crying. What a goofy bunch they were. And they had both older comedians that were already established and they gave the start to many new stars. I wasn't so sure that Goldie Hawn was going to be a star since she was known for dancing in a bikini but she sure has aged beautifully. And if you are younger than me - she is the mom of Kate Hudson! Goldie, and others, were often asked to say the phrase 'Sock it to me!' and they never knew if there would be a bucket of water thrown on them.

So, when it came to doing this challenge to use the tangle pattern 'Socc', I wanted to recreate the style and  feel of that show. I found a picture from the show and used that to inspire me for the colors and design of my background. Then I chose tangles that gave me the feel of the graffitti that was painted on Goldie Hawn's body in those bikini shots. Those were painted with color from my markers. Then the tangles were done with a colored Micron. Finally shading was done with a colored pencil.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Alphabet Soup challenge - C

It's been a couple of weeks since I posted a alphabet challenge piece. Don't worry, I haven't forgotten. I just had so many other things to share in the meantime! I now have several letters stacked up on my desk and I'll post them over the few weeks.

In this tile I again used the letter -  'C',  as my string. I then used patterns that start with the letter C that are not official tangle patterns. These are patterns I have not used in my tiles but really wanted to try them out.

Shown here;
Chilgoza - Molossus
Cherry and Leaf - Lee Ann
Casella - Connie - a student of Mariet

Monday, November 5, 2012

Zentangle 7 book review - zendalas

The new book, Zentangle 7, has arrived at my doorstep. This books focuses on zendalas - a new way of looking at the centuries old practice of drawing mandalas.  My artwork got a full page so I'm pretty thrilled! It's a beautiful book too. It features zendalas that were created by 8 different CZTs. It is fascinating to see how we all have such different styles but all are beautiful in their own way. We were asked to incorporate some of the new tangle patterns into our tiles. I had a blast looking at each tile and picking out the new tangle patterns and seeing the variations each artist did on theirs.

There is information in here about creating a zendala from scratch, using pre-strung tiles, using stencils, compass roses, and several coloring techniques. The pictures illustrate the concepts so well! There is so much information packed in here that it is really a worthwhile addition to any zentangle library.

This new book is a continuation of the other zentangle books from Design Originals/Fox Chapel Publishing. It has a similar page count, and similar style to the other books. There are 40 new tangle patterns. And the price is a friendly $8.99.

The picture below is one of my tiles. You can see it on the cover of the book too! I took this picture on a sunny day on my front walk before I sent it off to Suzanne McNeill.

Tangles - Cuddles, Flower Power, and Fingers

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Bunzo is the new tangle pattern that is the star of this tile. It's the newest tangle from Rick and Maria at So, of course, it's the challenge from the Diva to use it! It's a fun tangle and there are lots of ways to use it. And since there are no rules, and no mistakes in zentangle, there are lots of ways to interpret it.

I started to feel a very organic, under the sea type of feeling as I went with Bunzo. I added the pattern Cockles 'N" Mussels, a tangle pattern from Margaret Bremner since it seemed to compliment it. And the colors just felt like I was snorkeling in some exotic location. The colors were all done with colored pencil.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween! It's turned out to be a beautiful fall day here in Illinois. We were lucky to be sparred the weather from Sandy. My heart goes out to those who had damage or are still without power - and that includes my sister in Massachusetts. I was able to visit my sister several weeks ago and we visited in Salem - the home of the Salem witch trials. Now it's a charming town - although I'm told it gets a little crazy there in October!

We bought this cute little witch hat for my granddaughter. It only lasted long enough for me to snap this picture and then it was off. But it inspired me to think of using the shape of the hat for a string. Later that night I started this tile and I finally pulled it back out to finish it for my Halloween post!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Shaky - new tangle from Deena Perlstein CZT

Today's post features a tangle pattern by Deena Perlstein CZT. Deena took classes with me and was so inspired that she went and got her CZT herself. Deena doesn't have a blog yet so I agreed to post it here. Thanks Deena!

This tangle is named Shaky.

Steps for Shaky

The tile on the left has shading while the one on the right is unshaded.

Deena wasn't as happy with this one but I think it's fun so I hope she doesn't mind my posting it.

Deena Perlstein,CZT
Huntley, IL

Friday, October 26, 2012

Stripes - Diva challenge

I saw this idea from another certified zentangle teacher and knew I had to try it myself. Then I realized that it actually fit into the Diva's challenge of 'stripes'. This little tangled pumpkin is made with strips of 1" paper that certainly look like stripes to me! Then I had leftover strips from the first one and cut a few smaller black strips to do a second.

Making the pumpkin is simple enough. The instructions call for a brad to fasten the strips together but since I didn't have any on hand I made a gold pipe cleaner work instead. Basic instructions are found here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Banbury - new class dates posted and pictures

Wow, I've been getting phone calls lately. My spring is starting to fill up with classes. I'll be at libraries, a community college, and park districts. I will post info on those dates as they get closer. I look forward to meeting lots of new people! And if you are thinking about booking a date, call now so you can get your choices!

Two new classes are scheduled at Banbury Fair. These are in addition to the upcoming Zentangle for the Holidays class on November 11th. Seats are filling up so call now!

Basics - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013
Beyond the Basics - Sunday Jan 20 2013

As always, call Banbury to complete your registration. 630 837-1727 - and did you know, Banbury is right across the street from the train station! If you are coming from the city it's a fun day trip!

Below are some pictures from the last class at Banbury. Banbury is ever changing. New merchandise, new layouts, - it's almost like a treasure hunt. Now that Banbury has closed the ice cream section for the winter, we moved the class area in there. Nice big tables to work at!