Friday, February 28, 2014

Ditto tangle - video instructions!

Ditto is a new tangle pattern that I first introduced a few weeks ago. Since then I've refined a few things. I simplified the steps AND I made a video. The video is up on You Tube. You can find it by going to You Tube and searching for 'Sue Jacobs Ditto' or you can follow this link you tube Ditto video
It's also shown at the bottom of this post.

I redid my instructions because I wanted to stay true to the basics of Zentangle philosophy. That is, no grids or penciled guidelines needed. I also wanted to stress that you can draw it by combining two of the 5 basic shapes that are part of  tangle patterns. Rick and Maria, the founders, show in their book that those shapes are 1) the dot, 2) a straight line, 3) a curved line, 4) a S shaped line, and 5) an orb. Ditto uses the curved line and the S shaped line.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

grid (un)locked

"Curvy Gridlock" - That's the latest challenge from the Diva. She asked us to use grid based tangle patterns but to draw them using curvy, wonky, lines. A fun challenge to be sure! But what tangle to choose? There are so many that I love to do. I couldn't choose. So I started by drawing my curvy grid first. As I was going through my sketchbook that I have my tangles stored in I looked at the back cover. On it I had drawn out the grid (un)locked that Rick and Maria had posted on their blog on June 1st 2013.

So on my curvy grid I practiced as many of the grid patterns that I could fit on my tile.

My tile is one of my hand colored tiles. I used a purple Staedler triplus liner pen and a few shades of colored pencils for the shading. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

string 14

String 14 from is used in this tile. It uses tangles that start with the letter J - Jeewels,  Jelly Roll, Jemz, Jessicup and Jetties.The stepouts for these tangles can all be found through the website too. It was done in response to a challenge from Adele Bruno CZT on her blog  - Head on over to this site later on when she posts the other tiles that people have done using this string.

It was fun finding some tangles I hadn't used before. I also had some fun with the Jems pattern. I started it but soon I realized my squares where the lines crossed wasn't big enough. So I went back and made those shapes bigger. As I was doing it I noticed that I seemed to be creating more gems within the Jems. So I left it and didn't fill it in as it shows in the step out.

Friday, February 21, 2014

a little white space

A little white space huh? Okay, I'll try it again. These are the two tiles that fit the challenge a little more. I've been watching a lot of the Olympics (well, maybe mostly the figure skating), so I wanted to do something with the rings. I lightly penciled in the rings and then tangled everything else. Fun, fun, but maybe a little busy. So I went in the opposite direction on the next tile. Simple, simple tangles, very quick to do. Inspired by the rain outside with the hope that there will be something growing soon when the snow all melts.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

zendala dare 92

I was really excited by the zendala template that is on the Bright Owl this week. It has lovely lines and shapes in its 'relative' simplicity. And I was taken by the star shapes in it. I was inspired by those stars to choose one of my hand colored golden yellow zendala tiles. And after seeing the diva's challenge to leave white space - I knew the stars had to shine. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

McHenry County College pictures

We had a creative group at McHenry County College last night. Take at look at their tiles to see their take on the tangles.

There is space available in the 'Beyond the Basics' class in Bartlett next Sunday. This class will not be on the schedule again for a while so be sure to sign up now! Banbury in Bartlett is a charming location and you will enjoy the ambiance along with the class! Call Banbury at 630 837 1727 to sign up.

Monday, February 17, 2014

String 39

String 39 was the challenge that Adele Bruno at Tickle to Tangle suggested we use this week. I wasn't too inspired by this string when I was studying it. It just was too symetrical. So I decided to use this string on a zendala tile to see what would happen. Once I had that in I decided to really go with symmetry and balance so that's why I choose a  tangle that had a lot of darks, Equerre versus Echoism, that was lighter and airier. The ennies in the middle seemed to balance it out.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Sochi Olympic artwork

You've probably all noticed the artwork around the Olympics right now. I've been so drawn to it I keep pausing my TV so I can get a better look at it. A friend pointed out a website that tells all about it so I wanted to share it with you! It's;

On this site they talk about how the design elements were drawn from different traditions of Russian life. This is so similar to how tangle patterns are frequently found and developed. If you look back in the history of my blog you will see that I was inspired to draw out tangle patterns by elements I saw in Zhostova painting. The Zhostova border, La Bel, Vigne, and Kyiv, all began from Zhostova influences. No one 'owns' a tangle pattern. It's simply that one person has noticed it and drawn it out in a way that we can all learn how to do it. And a name for a pattern is just a way for us to have the same vocabulary when we talk about it.

I hope you are all enjoying the Olympics and staying warm!

Friday, February 14, 2014


Happy Valentines Day!

I've done several tiles and Zendalas with hearts lately so when the Diva challenged us to do another one, I really had to think about what I wanted to do. I hadn't done an actual card though so that's where I started. I wanted to add just a touch of color so I hit upon the idea of cutting a heart shape out of the card front and then tangling a heart on the interior or the card. I am pretty happy with the way the card turned out though so I don't know if that was necessary in the long run.

I had fun looking for tangles that would work with the heart theme. Helen Williams at 'a little lime' has some great tangles. When I was almost done and ready to put my background tangle in I came up with one more idea. I started doing Florz but then I added tiny hearts at the base in the diamonds.

I put this picture in so you can clearly see the cutout and tangling inside.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

class pictures

 I had a lovely group at my home Monday night for a class on the Basics of Zentangle. They all did such a great job! I'm so glad they all made it on such a cold night.
This picture is from my jewelry class at Banbury in Bartlett. If you missed this class be sure to sign up for the class at McHenry County College on March 18th. See the link above marked classes for signup info!

Monday, February 10, 2014

String 39

String 39 over at is very much a Valentine's Day pattern. When Adele from suggested we use it she also asked us to use some of  our favorite tangles. Those are the tangles we like to call our comfort tangles - or our 'mac and cheese' tangles.

One of the first tangles I learned was 'Bales'. It's so simple since it's based on a grid but the addition of the curved lines make it my go to tangle. Of course I love to embellish things so when I saw how Carole Ohl CZT had adapted 'Bales' into 'Puf', I knew it was for me! I use this version of Bales in almost every piece I do it seems. 

And the latest tangle of mine 'Ditto' has been showing up in my work a lot too. The comma/fishie strokes that make up Ditto are comforting to me too. Maybe it's because they are just like the comma strokes that I first learned to do in decorative painting many years ago.

While I was looking through my computer files I came across this picture that was the initial inspiration for the tangle pattern 'Ditto' - I thought you might like to see it here.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Dare 90 Happy Birthday Erin!

Happy Birthday Erin! This week Erin at 'The Bright Owl' asked us to showcase one of our favorite tangles as her birthday gift (and she promises to add them as challenges in new zendalas!)

I found a way to put my newest tangle 'Ditto' in here. Ditto is the tangle surrounding the 'star'. And if you missed my Monday blog post, the step-outs and tangleations are here.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Jailed Johnny

The Diva challenged us to use a new tangle pattern ' Jailed Johnny'. I looked at it, and looked at it, not sure what I wanted to do with it. Instead of seeing apples though, I saw hearts. So at that point, it all came together. I also wanted to play with my new tangle 'Ditto' so I added that too - only on a curved line. Color of course, is my thing, so I did it all in pinks for valentines Day.

We have more snow - again. I went out to shovel the front walk this morning and when I looked out just now, the wind has blown snow back again! Part of my family is down in Florida. It's looking more and more appealing!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Ditto - new tangle pattern

Ditto is a new tangle pattern that was inspired by a picture of Art Deco wallpaper. It's a simple tangle that can be used as a filler or in a linear fashion in borders and such. It goes together in that wonderfully soothing fashion that a good tangle pattern should.

I've drawn it here on an angle but that doesn't mean that's the only way. Click on the pictures to expand them.

1 - Draw lines with a pencil. Leave space between the lines. These lines will be incorporated into the shading later so don't worry about how dark you draw the lines. Next draw zigzag lines within also in pencil. These lines should be done as lightly as possible. (if you have trouble with the zigzag lines - think stair-steps.) Do the same zigzag lines within each set of lines.

 2 - Draw comma shapes along the right side of the vertical lines. (Or you can think of these shapes as fish with a skinny tail.) Then come back and do the next comma/fish along the top of the horizontal lines.

3 - Add more comma/fish shapes in the space you have left, these shapes will get smaller and smaller.

4 - Continue adding comma/fish shapes in the other direction.

5 - Once you have the hang of this you can skip the step where you pencil in the vertical/horizontal lines. Here I've shown drawing the big comma/fish shapes into the zigzag line right away. Then you'll go back and do the smaller shapes.

 6 - Add additional shading along lines and blend out.

At the left I've drawn the pattern super size so you can see the shapes. Note that as I draw them I like to curve the tail slightly in toward the line.

In the tile I've tried out a few tangleations. I'm sure you will come up with more!

I DON"T recommend using a ruler. But I did here because I want you to see what happens to the pattern if your lines are close together - or further apart. The more space you have, the more commas/fishies you can fit in.

This picture shows what happens when your zigzag lines meet up instead following the same patterns. This gives you a more symmetrical look.

Oh, the name. Ditto. Why that? Well, Since it's now February with Valentines day coming soon, I was thinking of how romantic the movie Ghost is. But Patrick Swayze's character can't bring himself to tell his wife that he loves her. When she says "I love you", he simply says "ditto". So since this tangle pattern is filled with commas/ditto marks, I thought it was appropriate.

I did an extensive search through my pattern books and didn't see this one done anywhere but if I've overlooked something similar out there, PLEASE let me know.

I've just posted a video on YouTube on how to draw Ditto. Follow this link

Saturday, February 1, 2014

string 25 - fassett

Fassett is a new tangle pattern from Lynn Mead. It has just been recently posted on so this is my first go round with it. I've used it with String #25 from also. I didn't get crazy with color or a variety of tangleations. I simply wanted to relax and just see where Fassetts would take me. I did however go back to a technique of coloring one half of the tile with Black  (using my IDentipen) and then tangling with a white gelly roll pen. I also played with adjusting the tangle within the string. It was a fun tile to do. Thanks to Adele at for suggesting this challenge.