Thursday, May 31, 2012

crescent moon - tangleation nation

I love tangleations. It's fun to see just how many I can come up with. So I was happy to see that was the Diva's challenge this week. I actually got two tiles done!

The first tile I did was on a spiral - just so I could see how many different tangleations I could do. There are 22 here!

The second really went outside the norm. I cut a large crescent shape out of a black tile and tangled on a white tile behind it. Then I used the white Gelly Roll pen on the black tile. Different, I think.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ellen's challenge

Ellen Wolters has a blog that is part in Dutch and part in English. I enjoy seeing what she is up to. This week she is celebrating her blog's 25,000 view. So for the contest to celebrate that event she is inviting us to create a zentangle utilizing one of her templates. I found one and decided to try it out. When I started it I was feeling it was a little too green - I kept thinking St Patrick's day - so I added the pink colored pen to see where that would go.

Visit Ellen's blog at

Monday, May 28, 2012

zendala dare

I've been watching the zendala dares that are posted on Erin's web site with fascination.  They are lovely but I didn't think I would have the time to work on them. I actually had a productive weekend though, so I was able to jump in on her #7 dare. I found this was a good place to use my 'Coil' tangle. Coil was one of my first tangle patterns and is still one of my favorites. Thanks Erin!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sunday morning suns

This week I've been busy working on a project for an upcoming book. For obvious reasons I can't post pictures on my blog. Not yet anyway! So instead I thought I'd post something that inspires me. On the TV show Sunday Morning on CBS the various segments often end with some sort of picture of a sun. I enjoy the show but I'm not always awake when it starts so I always tape it. That gives me the opportunity to freeze the frame and take a screen shot. Literally! I stand in front of the TV with my camera and 'click'. So some of these pictures aren't the best - some of them have odd reflections - but hopefully you can see what inspires me.

I wish I knew who the artists are so I could give them proper credit. I've hunted through the CBS show website but unfortunately they don't provide that info either. So to these artists, whoever you are,  I say thank you.

 Laurie Kane (Colors, Lines and Tales.) 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pea-Nuckle vs pinochle

The latest challenge is to use the newest official tangle pattern. Pea-Nuckle is the newest tangle from Molly and instructions for it are in the last zentangle newsletter  here. This tangle pattern took a try or two to get right but since it incorporates the letter 'S' I knew it would be right up my alley.

The name Pea-Nuckle sounds so much to me like Pinochle. Pinochle is a card game that my grandfathers loved to play. At family gatherings the women would head to the kitchen to clean up while the men would head to the card table. The picture below was taken back in 1957 at one of those card games. It seems odd today that the men would get fully dressed with their dress shirts and ties for a family dinner. Usually I wasn't encouraged to be with the men. I don't know why I was allowed this time. 

When I think about Pinochle I think about the cards and the yellow haze in the air from the cigars. So that's what influenced this tile. The background is a watercolor wash with various shades of yellows and browns. Pen is a sepia Micron and shading is a colored pencil.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Banbury May 20th and New Class Dates

Another great Beyond the Basics class. I am always amazed how in each class I can teach the same tangles but the students come up with so many different tangleations. In the class a couple of the students got confused drawing W2 - so in true zentagle fashion - they created new patterns.

Attention - new class dates have been arranged at Banbury

Zentangle Basics - July 8th
Zentangle Color - June 24th
Zentangle Zendalas - July 22nd
Zentangle Kids Camp - tote bag - June 20th

Contact Banbury to sign up 630 837 1727  - class size limited

On a personal note - I want to brag about my 18 year old son who is growing up so fast and looking so handsome as he went off to his senior prom. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Sepia and my template collection

 I was having fun with the sepia challenge so I decided to do another one. To start this one I pulled out another one of my templates to create the string.

I know using templates and stencils is not the preferred way to do a traditional zentangle. But ultimately the goal is to find the place that gives you your own zen - and since there are no rules in zentangle, this works for me. I don't always use a template - I like the free flowing ones that I sometimes get by hand too. But if I'm feeling stuck, a template can start my creative juices flowing. Below are a collection of templates that I have found useful. They include the usual ones you find in art supply stores but also scrap-booking supplies and even a medical french catheter scale. (I have no recollection of where I found that one!) Not pictured are a collection of clear plates in various sizes and rolls of tape that I use to get circle shapes from too.

The one rule I have for myself however, is that I never use my templates with a pen. I always use a pencil with a template and then do the pen work by hand. I feel that this give my work a more authentic feel.

 This is a french curve. There are other sizes and shapes also. 

The template on the left is the one I used in the sepia tile above. I just mixed up a variety of the openings until I got something I liked.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wild in sepia

My entry for this Diva sepia challenge is a zendala done on a small 3 1/2 circle.  When I was putting this one together I found a shape on my French curve that I rather liked. So I ran with it. The rest was simple but fun

Monday, May 14, 2012

A tile for mom

Last night, after all the Mother's Day excitement was over, I settled down with my pens. I know how much my mom would have enjoyed my journey into the world of Zentangle. I'm sure she would have gotten into it too. So as I started this tile I decided to add something that reminded me of her. She always told me that ladybugs were lucky. So, a simple string, ladybugs placed at the string's intersections, some of my favorite tangles, a little colored pencil - and a tile my mom would approve of.

Miss you mom.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

It's groovy too baby!

This is my second tile to use the tangle pattern 'groovy'. As I was doing the first tile I started to think of ways I could make it 'groovier'. I knew I wanted a shagadelic background. And I tried to pick out more tangles that gave me the feeling of being back in the sixties. This time I got closer to the way Eden demonstrated to draw 'groovy'.

I also had fun creating the background. I created a couple so the picture below is another one I did at the same time. I did these with my Sakura Koi Coloring Brush Pens. First I scribbled some colors on a sheet of plastic. Then I used a clean brush and got the top of the tile wet with water. Using another wet brush I got some watery color from my plastic palette and flicked the color onto the tile. I repeated this with the other colors. Then I let it dry. After it was dry I needed to iron it to get it to lay flat again, but then I was ready to tangle. The pen is a purple Sakura Micron Pigma pen and the colored pencil is a violet Prismacolor.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


I'm trying out a new tangle pattern here - It's 'Groovy' designed by Eden Hunt. It's another Diva challenge. I haven't quite got it right - I need to close up the spaces between. And while I was working on this I can up with another idea. So when I get that one done and photographed, it will be posted too.  --- Back soon!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Zendala sampler

If you have taken a class with me this will seem familiar. I enjoy doing these simple zendalas and find they are an easy way to get students started with them.

This circle is only 3 1/2 " so I only used 6 sections. I start by picking a center point slightly off center. Light, curved, pencil lines are drawn and then the pen comes out. I used the sepia Sakura micron pen here and shaded with colored pencil.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Hybrid and Stiricles challenge

This week's challenge  from the Diva is to create a DuoTangle using only the two official tangles Hybrid and Strircles. These are wonderful tangle patterns. I love doing Hybrid especially because it's one of those tangles that looks so complicated but it is so simple when you break it down!

I wasn't sure where to start so I started by looking through my collection of string ideas. Just like my collection of tangle patterns, I have a couple of pages in my notebook devoted to just string ideas. These gave me my starting point.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Another zendala for the tote bag project

 click to enlarge for detail

One more zendala done on the Roclon fabric that will be adhered to a tote bag later. The second picture is the quilting stencil that I used for the string. When my friend gave me the stencil I thought there was no way I could use it. It was just too big. But for this project - it was perfect.

I used the Sakura Identi-pen and acrylic paint for the shading.