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 -
M - Maroko - Helena
E - Eye test - Lizzie Mayne

I used tangle string #67 on - 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!