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!