Saturday, February 28, 2015

Harper 2-15

 These are the class photos from the latest class at Harper College in Palatine. They were a great group and did some wonderful work. I have taught this class a few times before and am amazed how every time I learn something new from what they come up with!

These tiles were the ones that we started in class and completed as 'homework'. I love what they came up with on their own!

 Practice with Paradox.

Beginning tiles

Renaissance tiles

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Zendala tool - Free

This Zendala was made with a free (well, almost free) template tool. A while back I told you about a Zendala maker that you can purchase on Amazon (link in the side panel). But this Zendala can be made with something you would normally throw away.

I purchased a package of the Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers in the frozen food section of my grocery store. There are several different options to choose from. Go ahead and cook your food as directed on the package. When you are done, wash out the steamer basket from the package.
Here is what the steamer basket looks like. It's a hard plastic. It's probably not great for the environment but it makes a nice little tool here. Because you see the circular perforations in the middle? Well they fit perfectly over a regular size Zentangle tile. Just lay your tile underneath it and use it like a stencil to pick out the holes you want.

The perforations are almost a rice shape but I'll call them dots here.

Here is what I did for this tile. I stenciled all the holes from the inner circle and skipped the middle circle. On the outer circle I stenciled one dot, then skipped two dots, and so on.  I did this first in pencil but later as I worked on the Zendala I ended up doing them in ink. The nice thing about doing them in pencil though, is that it leaves you options as you work.

I then connected the dots. 1) I connected the dots to each other. 2) I added a curved line to connect the tops of the dots. 3) I drew a curved line that angled from a dot on the inner circle to a dot on the outer circle.

Every time you do this you can choose different perforations and/or you can connect them in different ways. So you can make a variety of  Zendalas with this tool.

From here on out I tangled away as I normally do. The tile above uses Striping, Purk, Meer, Flux, N'Zeppel and Paradox. An aura around the hole thing and pencil shading completed it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Strircles play

There is a Facebook group called Square One, Purely Zentangle. It is beautiful in it's simplicity. Everyone posts ONLY tiles that follow the pure Zentangle format. That is, 3 1/2" square tile, tangles in black ink with pencil shading. Non- representational.

The administrators have been posting different tangle patterns each week and it's fascinating to see the different interpretations. This week we are playing around with Strircles tangle pattern. I wanted to see what would happen if I took a tangle pattern like Ditto and used it instead of circles.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Out my front door

Not zentangle related but I wanted to share the picture I took tonight.  The deer must be getting hungry. They were nibbling on my evergreen bushes.  I was less than 3 feet from the closest one. I was standing inside my house at the front door.

J - K - L

Tangles patterns beginning with the letters J, K, and L are the focus of this tile. It's a fun way to explore tangles that I haven't used much.
Jay - Molossus
Joust - Elaine Benfatto
Kuntsler - Margaret Bremner
Kozy - Marieke van Nimwegen
Longwood - JJ LaBarbera
Lupe - Christina Vandervlist

Friday, February 20, 2015

Trying to think spring! Zendala Dare 97

 It's so cold here in Illinois that I think I'm hallucinating sometimes with wishful thinking for spring. The Zendala Dare Erin posted on her blog had me thinking of citrus fruits. So I picked out a light yellow green blank zendala from my colored tiles and my green Sakura Micron and went to town. A little colored pencil shading with a few different shades of green finished it off.

And while I'm thinking of warmer weather I thought I'd share a video that will make you smile as you will wish you had these fruits in your house. Skip ahead to 5:45 for the best part if you are short on time.

Full disclosure - this is my granddaughter. She is super lucky to be in Florida with her family right now. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Chinese New Year

Happy New Year! That is - the Chinese New Year, the year of the goat. 

When the Diva asked us to try a tile inspired by The Goat my first reaction was HUH??? I am not Chinese and have almost no experience with Chinese culture so I need to do quite a bit of research in the internet. Thankfully, when you type in Chinese New Year and ask for images, there is a plethora of images that come up. There were MANY options to inspire me.

I looked at all the goat pictures but I wanted to stay more to the Zentangle philosophy of non-representational. I saw one picture that used a goat's horn instead of the 0 for the numbers 2015. Bingo! A goats horn, repeated and used as a pattern would be my connection. 

There were many pictures that used the color combination red and yellow so off I went to my stash of colored tiles. I didn't have a red one! So I had to make a new one and I realized why I didn't have one. I had to do many layers of red watercolor paint before it showed up as red instead of pink.

The yellow is done with a Sakura moonlight gelly roll pen. I found the meander line around the edge is used just as much in Chinese design as is is in Greek Key design. 'Bumps' worked well as my fill pattern. The horns are done with the Moonlight gelly roll pen and a gold metallic gelly roll pen. I added a little glitter pen too. Unfortunately the gold doesn't show up quite as well in the picture as it does in person.

Oh, and the glow in the middle was a couple of layers of yellow and orange chalk pencils.

Monday, February 16, 2015

G - H - I

This tile uses tangles that start with the letters  G, H and I.
They are:
Gneiss - official Zentangle
Golven - Mariet
Hi C - Anita Roby Lavery
Huggins - official Zentangle
Istanbul - Elaine Benfatto

Thursday, February 12, 2015


Happy Valentines Day! I hope you all have someone warm to snuggle up to. It's snowy and super cold where I am so I think I'll make a big pot of spaghetti tonight.
The beginning of this tile is in yesterday's post - along with how I picked my colors. Click on older posts to see it and click on the store tab for info on my colored tiles.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Picking pinks

I'm working on my valentangle.  Obviously it's not done yet but I thought it would give me an opportunity to help me explain how I pick the colors to use on my colored tiles.

This zendala tile has already been colored with professional grade watercolor paints. That's a whole different class. I've also lightly penciled in my zendala template lines. If you are looking at this post on a phone you will never see the lines - you may have to enlarge the picture anyway 'cause I always make my pencil lines very faint.

I started with my pens. I have a Sakura Pigma Micron pen in pink and a Staedtler triplus fineliner in pink. I like a thicker line so this Micron is a 05 width.

If I'm not sure which color pen works best I'll lay a clear piece of plastic on top - like a page protector or the plastic window from the envelope of old mail. Then I can draw a few lines to see which works better and gives enough contrast.

Both colors work with my tile so I tried both with my colored pencil options.
I have a complete set of the Prismacolors colored pencils so that's what I used. You could of course use the same technique with other brands.

At first it's just trial and error.  I pull out all the colors that are anywhere near the colors I'm looking for.  I've been surprised in the past so I don't eliminate colors before I have tested them.

This picture is a little misleading - the paper is white here - not gray.

The colors I ended up liking the best are shown below - PC993 Hot pink, PC994 Process Red and PC1008 Parma Violet for an accent.

Once I have the colors I like I try them out by layering them too. It's fun to see how much more depth that achieves.  Using additional colors as accents can add to the tile too.
This picture is misleading - The paper is WHITE! not pink.

In the partially completed zendala you can see all the colors plus a white highlight.

Monday, February 9, 2015


Continuing the challenge to tangle the alphabet, here is my challenge for D-E-F. I enjoy doing a challenge like this because it helps me to revisit tangles that I may not have used lately and/or use tangles of my own! The tangles shown here are;
Dutch Diamonds - Alice Hendron
Ditto - Sue Jacobs (that's me)
Emilie - Sandy Steen Bartholomew
Frog Eyes - Texas Doxie Mama
Fandango - Vicki Bassett
I like to look for tangles that are 'off the grid'. I especially like to find tangles that aren't always on Sometimes I find them in books, Emilie is in Totally Tangled. Ditto is one of mine and can be found here,
I don't remember where Frog Eyes was found - It's one of those tangles I put into my notebook a long time ago. Let me know if you need help with stepouts.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Dare 95

Erin at The Bright Owl is back! She has been busy with her studies and I'm so glad she was able to get back to her blog! Her blog has been posting a wonderful assortment of zendala templates and I've always enjoyed the challenge of finding just the right tangle patterns to use on them. The link to her blog is over in the right hand column.

This template has many small sections. At first I thought they looked like little beehives, but when I saw the tangle pattern Cayke, by Rose Brown, I decided they were multilayered cakes! Then I wanted a pattern that would work in the middle as a circular pattern so I found Stella, by Jane Pharmer. I had to play with Stella a little but I had fun adding all the auras and tangleations. At this point it was looking a little too busy, so I filled in the spaces between solid black. Oh no! That was too much! So Printemps with a white pen came to the rescue. Final shading made everything pop.

Thanks Erin! I hope to see more soon.

Friday, February 6, 2015


The Diva challenge this week features a tangle, Athitzi, that is made up of a series of lines. It reminded me of a pattern I used to doodle way back before I ever heard of Zentangle.  My series of little lines form long lines that snake around going back and forth.  In a way it's similar to the tangle pattern Amaze.
I ended up doing two tiles to play with my old doodle and seeing how it could work with Zentangle.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A - B - C

Abc, it's easy as .....  Starting a challenge to tangle the alphabet.  I'm also trying to use tangles that haven't made it into my tiles recently.
A - Adeline - Sue Jacobs
B - Banderole  - Lizzy Mayne
C - Cayla - Chrissie June

Monday, February 2, 2015

Deerfield Valentines

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of visiting Deerfield Public Library where we created Valentines using Zentangle.  We started out creating traditional Zentangle tiles ( see below) and then used the techniques to create a Valentine with a heart for a string. They did beautiful work and we had fun exploring the new ways of creating tangles when the first attempt sometimes came out differently from what they had planned. NO MISTAKES!