Tuesday, December 30, 2014

'Wolf Trail' - new tangle pattern

Wolf Trail’ is a tangle that can be used in a variety of ways. It can be done simply or can be expanded to form an intricate pattern. I saw a glimmer of this tangle in a wallpaper pattern I saw on Pinterest and had to deconstruct it and share it with you.  When I showed it to my family my college age son said that he saw wolf’s teeth, and my husband saw a winding road. So ‘Wolf Trail’ was the name chosen.

There are several drawings here – click on any of them to enlarge the picture. 

1-     draw a line of evenly spaced dots
2-     draw C shapes that go from dot to dot – skip a dot between each shape and alternate the C shapes – one up, one down.
3-     Draw an aura over each C shape – start and end at the dots in between.
4-     Draw more auras over each C shape. Begin and end these auras so that they connect with the C shapes that go in the alternating direction.
5-     Add a V onto each C shape. You can call this an ice cream cone – or a wolf’s tooth. Do this for both the up and down facing Cs.
6-     Add large Vs that aura the little Vs. These V’s will form a line that goes through the dot between the little Cs.
7-     Aura these Vs again. These Vs will begin and end at the edges of the little Vs.


Fill in sections a la Knightsbridge, add small lines within the sections, add additional aura lines, use a thicker pen to emphasize certain lines.

Add tipple, play with shading, add bumps and/or tiny triangles, add thick and thin lines

This is a simplified version of ‘Wolf Trail’. Here, the Cs that face up and down, do not skip a dot in between them.

The simplified version of ‘Wolf Trail’ gives the opportunity to ‘hide’ one line behind the other. Instead of drawing through the shapes, ‘Draw behind’ and emphasize with shading. You can choose whether to have the zigzag or the curvy line in the front too.

The simplified version with the zigzag in front reminds me of Golven by Mariet Lustenhower - Her tangle is drawn with a different process that you may want to try out. Look at TanglePatterns.com for her tangle or go to her website here.

And if you want to get more intricate, add more lines by skipping more dots in the first step. I broke the curvy and zigzag out separately so that you could see this more clearly. It doesn't matter which order you do the curvy line or the zigzag line. Once you have the wolf tooth shape in you could go either way.

Keep adding dots between the Cs and it will become one of those patterns that really plays with your eyes. - Almost an optical illusion.

Finally – I thought you might want to see one of my practice sheets as I was working this out for the first time. I used some lined paper and turned it on its side. It made the practicing much easier.

If I have overlooked any tangle patterns that are similar please let me know so I can give them credit too.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014

string 69

Over at 'Tickled to Tangle', the latest challenge is to use string #69 from Tanglepatterns.com. We were asked to use only the newest tangle pattern Arukas. Even though I recently did this tangle for another challenge, I am thoroughly enjoying this tangle so I was happy to do it again.  This string seemed like it had too many small spaces to use this tangle multiple times though, so I found a way to play with the string and just put one tangle in. 

I used one of my hand-colored tiles to start. It had all sorts of blotchy colors but I found that just added more interest for me. I tangled with a white gelly roll pen. Highlights were done with a white charcoal pencil and shading with a blue colored pencil.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

KISS - Akoya

KISS - keep it simple silly!

I really enjoying doing tangle patterns that look difficult but when you break them down they are deceptively simple. So when the Diva challenged us to 'keep it simple' , I decided I wanted to do one of the hard looking - but simple, tangles.

Sandy Hunter had a recent blog post with this tangle that she has named Akoya. This tangle is mostly made up of small orbs. It reminds me of Tipple but her way of doing this gives a lovely twisty effect. She has the step outs on her blog - just click HERE.

I was inspired by the season to see this as a wreath and add a gneiss star inside (with more orbs!). Now I'm off to do some wrapping of presents!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

string 73

This challenge is to use string 73 from Tanglepatterns.com with the tangles Verdigogh and Pauline's pigtails. 

It's been a busy week with all the holiday events. I had to carve out a little time to get this challenge done. Of course I was thinking about the holidays when I was doing this so I visualized two glass ornaments where you could see through to the tree branches behind. Not sure if I achieved this but it was fun.

The verdigogh that I did 'behind' the ornaments were simply done with pencil instead of the pen

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Easy and quick ornaments and gift tags - tutorial

The holidays are coming up quickly now so there isn't much time to start a new project. I've got one that you CAN start now - and they will be done in no time.

These are ornaments made out of poster board. You can find poster board in almost every big box craft store. Feel the sheets and pick the ones that have a heavy weight to them. Sometimes the stores sell poster board that is flimsy so you don't want that. There are different color choices at different chains - Lots of options! One hint - look for a red that is a true red and not a red/orange. 

Get a giga paper punch. You can get round or oval punches. You will also want a small punch for the small holes for the hangers. See the pictures below. If you are at a big box store that takes coupons, be sure to use one! -  if you don't have a store nearby I've posted a link to Amazon over in the right hand column. 

I use white gelly roll pens for my tangles - Both the white and the gold pens work. If I am in the mood I will sometimes add some shading with a colored pencil that coordinates with the color of the poster board. But if you are in a time crunch - just do the tangles.

You can do wonderful ZIAs with a string (Zentangle Inspired Artwork). My suggestion however, is to use these as an opportunity to do a monotangle - that is, just do one tangle on each ornament. Draw two parallel lines set far apart and do the tangle within. (Hint - do the lines at an angle so you don't have to worry about being level.) Make your tangle BIG - Keep it simple, and you will be churning these out like Santa's elves!

You can do both sides but if you leave the back blank you have a perfect gift tag.

These are all monotangles - ditto, tipple, ixorus, cadent, paradox, hibred, cadent, hollibaugh.

These are my giga punches. Round, oval, and the small punch. I punch out a lot of ornaments for my classes so I added a little craft foam to the bottom so my hand wouldn't hurt as I was punching. If you are just doing a few, this isn't needed. 

Happy tangling!

Monday, December 8, 2014


Arukas is the newest tangle from Zentangle.com. I'm really enjoying playing with this tangle and have started to incorporate this into several projects. I've also started to try out different ways to use the basic pattern. Above I started it on a curved line instead of a circle. When I tried it in the area below the curved line I ended up with a Hollibaugh effect. Fun!

In this Zendala I put two small arukas patterns in circles and then one big arukas tangle. 

Using a white gelly roll pen I tangled on blue poster board paper I had cut out with an oval paper punch. It can be an ornament or a gift tag. A blue colored pencil added the shading.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Paper doll zendala

The challenge this week is to be inspired by dolls. At first I didn't know what I was going to do. I even considered skipping it. But I would be so embarrassed to miss a challenge so I knew I had to come up with something. I started to think about all the possibilities. I could tangle a paper doll shape, I could tangle a cloth doll. But I wasn't thrilled with those ideas. I thought about doing a paper doll chain - you know, where the paper is folded and then cut so it looks like they are holding hands. That's when I started doing a search on the web for paper doll chain templates. And that's when I found it! A paper doll chain done in the round. OK - NOW I was cooking! I could adapt the template to fit a zendala. 

The triangle at the lower left is the template I found on the web. It was a little too large for the zendala, and I wanted to play with the shapes, so I sketched a little, got out my scissors and cut out the template in the center. I then taped it to a piece of paper I had folded 4 times and cut out the big shape.

Here it is, unfolded and laid on top of my zendala. It's still a little too big but that's okay, I can work with it.

I smoothed it out and traced it onto my zendala. Then I got out my pen and started the tangling. That was fun! A little shading and wow, I was really happy with the end result. At first glance you really can't tell that there are doll shapes there, but that's half the fun. See the finished piece at the top.

I also tried doing less folds so I only had 4 repeats. I didn't like this quite as much, but since I already have the string on the tile I may just do it anyway when I have a chance.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

string 64

Adele Bruno at Tickled to Tangle challenged us to use string #64 from Tanglepatterns,com. She also asked us to use these tangles; 

Jax by Vera Giesbrecht
Undling  by Susie Achter
Drip Drop by Debbie Perdue, CZT
Ixorus by Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts 

The string this week made me think of majestic mountains so I pulled out one of my hand colored tiles to tangle on. The tile started out with a mottled blue coloring - all I could think of was a pretty blue sky. Blue pen, blue colored pencil for shading and white colored pencil for highlights. Fun!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

turning old into new

The challenge from the Diva, aka Sandy Hunter this week,  is to take a tangle and use it in a way that is different from the way it was originally shown. If the tangle is a freeform or organic pattern we could put it into a grid. And if it was a grid based pattern we could take it out of the grid format. 

I made the decision to use grid patterns and see what I could do with them. In the Zendala above I used seven different grid based patterns on a spiral. Flukes, Emingle, Cubine, Yincut, Dex, Paradox, and Stoic.

And since we got the tree up Thanksgiving morning I used Dex as my ornaments on Verdigogh branches. It's not decorated yet, but at least it is set up. I used my moonlight gelly roll pens from Sakura. I also used a black tile that I had been goofing around with some gold paint on a while back. The gold doesn't show up too well in the photograph, but it's there.

Monday, November 24, 2014

string 70 - Crescent Moon tangleations

Adele Bruno challenged us to use string 70 this week. It's a string that I didn't seem to think wanted to have a lot of tangling within it so I decided to treat it more as a ribbon and use Crescent Moon as a border design. I also decided I wanted to play with Crescent Moon and come up with as many tangleations as I could for it. The other tangle shown inside the ribbon is Cornerz. I did the tangle very simply since I had so much going on with the Crescent Moon.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


This tile uses tangle patterns that start with the letters I-E-M. Cheryl over at her blog has been challenging people to come up with tiles that use only tangles that start with specific letters. I like challenges because if you tell me to 'do anything' I will get lost thinking about what I want to do. Once you give me some parameters it's much easier to settle on something.

The tangles used here are;
I - Ixorus - Zentangle.com
M - Maroko - Helena
E - Eye test - Lizzie Mayne

I used tangle string #67 on TanglePatterns.com - That happens to be one that I contributed to that site. It's a string that uses a triangle, circle and a string.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Embrace the Yuck

The challenge this week is to draw with our non dominant hand - in my case, my left hand. I've tried this challenge before so I put off getting to this challenge this week. I even broke my own rule by looking at some of the other responses to the challenge before mine was done. It was interesting reading the other blogs. Some of them said things like, how much they were surprised by this, how much they learned, and how relaxed this made them. As for me, NOPE! I did not find this relaxing, surprising, or educational. I was frustrated! When I finished it the only sense of accomplishment I felt was, Done!, and out of the way.

I started with a colored tile that was pretty yucky. It had a big water bloom in the middle so I knew it was doubtful anyone would ever buy it. I used a pink Staetler marker with a wider nib. I wanted it to be fairly bold and graphic. I used tangles that had straight - or almost straight lines. It was easier to do the straight lines but hard to get the spacing the way I wanted it. I added shading with colored pencils. Again, it was hard to get the shading in the spaces where I wanted it. Oh well, it's done, I did it. Now onward and upward.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ditto tangleations

Ditto is a tangle pattern I deconstructed after seeing a picture of art deco wallpaper on Pinterest. It has been posted previously but I was playing around with it the other day and had fun coming up with tangleations for it. I show it here in a row that would be perfect for a border but rows can be easily be combined for a fill pattern.

Fill inside the 'fish/comma' shapes or fill around the shapes. Shade within the shapes for a different effect. And notice all the different tangleations. They can all be used as tangleations on other tangle patterns. This picture is shown vertically because I think it's easier to draw the tangle if you go up in a stairstep/zigzag manner. Remember when you are drawing zentangle patterns, ROTATE your tile or paper so that the tangle is comfortable to draw.

I love these last tangleations that play with the basic shape of the 'fish'. And then you can totally go outside of the parallel lines and fill a variety of sections on your tile. It's OK to adapt the number of little 'fish' to fit your section.

I made a video of how to draw Ditto that is posted on You Tube. If the link above doesn't work try clicking  here.

If you want more inspiration on tangleations I highly recommend the book Pattern Play by Cris Letourneau. It's packed full with several new tangle patterns, tangleations for them, and finished examples to ooh and aah over. I put a link to it over in the right hand column so you can jump over to Amazon to order it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Mandala maker tips

I've been showing you Zendalas that I've made with my new toy. I am not employed by the company but I've been having so much fun that I wanted to show you how this thing works. It's called the Ravensburger Mini Mandala Maker. It's a fun way to create your own mandala with a variety of shapes. And the mini mandala maker works perfectly with a standard zendala tile.

It's a stencil where you trace the shape and then rotate the stencil within the larger circle. There are lots of choices of shapes. Pick one, draw in the outline, rotate the stencil and repeat. You can go for 4 repeats, 8 repeats, or 16 repeats.

This is an extreme closeup to show you that there are arrows on both the large and small circles to help you line up your shapes before drawing them in.

As you can see, the Zendala tiles fit perfectly. You may want to roll up a small piece of tape however and stick it to the base so your tile doesn't shift while you are working. The kit comes with several square sheets of plain paper. You will need to get the Zendala tiles from Zentangle or a Certified Zentangle Teacher,(find one here). Or you can cut your own tiles if you have a good quality paper to use.

The kits come with colored pencils and a marker pen that has a long nib. The examples shown here are ones that have been done with the pen and are waiting for me to tangle on them. Often I prefer to draw the strings in pencil however. I had to hunt around for a mechanical pencil with a long lead however, as regular pencils will not fit in some of the smaller areas on the mandala maker.

These are some completed tiles. If you look back in my older posts you will find larger pictures.

There are also mandala makers that Ravensburger sells that can be used on larger sheets of paper. I've put a link to one of these in the right hand column of this blog. Full disclosure - if you purchase through these links, Amazon will pay me 4%. Not much of a paycheck, but anything helps.

Explore the Amazon site - there are several varieties of mandala makers to choose from.

If you have kids that you need to buy holiday gifts for, I highly recommend these. My granddaughter loves crafts and she is having a ball with hers.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Thanks - THX

November - the month of Thanks. For our veterans and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. And later in this month, thanks for all that has been given to us by our God.

This zendala was done with the tangle patterns;

The main tangles were done with a black Micron. I added details with a brown Micron and then added shading with a colored pencil.

To do the guidelines for my string I used my new toy. - Yes, it is a toy. It's a mini mandala maker that makes it so easy to create your own lines for a zendala. The kit comes with a pen and colored pencils, but I use a mechanical pencil to put my string on. I have a link over in the right hand column if you are interested in more about this little gizmo.

There is an in-depth post on this mandala maker that you can see here

Sunday, November 9, 2014

string 65

Adele Bruno over at Tickled to Tangle challenged us to try string 65 this time. When I saw the string chosen for this week and the tangles suggested I really didn't know how it was going to work. They just didn't seem like they would go together. So I ended up going minimalist. I used only two of the tangles Paiz and Tesali, and I embraced the white spaces. It turned out that by doing that I could use more shading - which is one of my favorite parts!

Thursday, November 6, 2014


It's November. It's getting cold so we are insulating all the cracks - We've been in this house almost 30 years, it's amazing that we are still finding new places to add insulation. So for November I am doing this special challenge. This zendala uses only three tangles that start with the letters NOV - N'zeppel - official zentangle tangle, Oslo - Elaine Benfatto, Vigne - Sue Jacobs (me). 

I made this mandala temolate with a new toy I discovered. It literally is a toy - but it works well with the regular Zendala tiles.It's the Mini Mandala Maker by Ravensburger. Amazon sells it for a very reasonable cost. The ad for it is in the column on the right. If you click on it and purchase through it, Amazon will pay me a small amount.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Cris Letourneau has stepped in for the diva this week and challenged us to play with her tangle Seton. I've had the pleasure of visiting with Cris and her daughter. In her home she has a 'Zen Den'. It's so inspiring to be there. I've also got her book Pattern Play. It's a wonderfully inspiring book that really gets your creative juices flowing! 

Seton is based on a window in Cris's church. So I was definitely thinking stained glass as I thought about this challenge. Plus, my husband took me out to dinner at a restaurant that had a ceiling that featured the stained glass that came from the solarium in an old mansion. That's why I ended up doing this in the round.  I knew I had to find a few different tangleations than Cris had in her book!

I tangled with a large nibbed uni-pen.Then I added the colors with my Tombow markers but I used them with watercolor painting methods. I went back to an 01 Micron Pigma pen to add little details to the tangles.

I also wanted to congratulate the students from my class at Banbury on Sunday for their wonderful tiles!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

string 95

This tile is a challenge from Adele Bruno at Tickled to Tangle. It certainly has the shapes of candy corn so it's perfect for this season. I took a few liberties with String 95 for this challenge #64. The string that's pictured on Tanglepatterns.com has the lines from the shapes crossing each other and making additional smaller shapes. I decided to break each shape out separately and tangle them simply. That way I could concentrate on the shading of the shapes to get more of a 3D look. 

The tangles pictured are; 

Charlie by CZT Erin Olson of Zendala Dare
Owlz and
Roxi both by Beth Snoderly
N'Zeppel by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Betweed Halloween

I really did wait to look at other peoples posts. I guess several of us had similar inspiration with the holiday coming up. So anyway, here is my spider web and pumpkin using betweed! Happy Halloween!