Tuesday, December 25, 2018

last minute ornament

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! We celebrated with the family last night so it's quiet here now. I imagine some of you have finished with the presents and soon you'll finish your feast. At that point someone may ask you about Zentangle and ask you to teach them something! Yes, this works up quickly! I actually did this this morning as I couldn't find the tile I had originally done. It took me more time to do the pictures and the post than the actual drawing!

If you have a few tiles and a couple of pens you can do this!

Start by dividing this up with a pencil and ruler. Divide it in half both ways. (See picture)

Start in the center with a simple petal design. Add elements of your choosing. They can be curves, triangles, - whatever you like. I prefer to keep the same elements on each side as I go but with younger kids just let them go for it.

Continue adding shapes, I added auras to my shapes.

I added a gold border with a gelly roll pen. You could use colored pencils or watercolor paint too.

Fill the areas between the lines with patterns as desired. These spaces aren't very big so simple patterns like Prin temps, Tipple, Striping, etc. work well.

Using a stylus, or just a ball point pen, score the back of the tile along the dividing lines. Then fold. The lines from point to point go one direction - the lines from midpoint are folded in the other direction. (See pictures). I like to use a burnishing tool to make sure my folds are nice and crisp.

Poke a hole in the middle using a needle, scissors, or even a thumbtack. Start to attach sides together using double stick tape, rubber cement, or another glue  Put in an ornament hanger, ribbon or string.  Attach the other sides together.

This was done on a zendala tile. Sorry I don't have a finished picture as I sent the tile like this so it could travel flat. I also sent it with a metallic string as a hanger and a bead that hangs at the base.

Here's another example done on a square tile. I think this illustrates the folds best.

Have fun! Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

String theory and a mosaic

These are 4 tiles done with the same simple string - simply two curved lines. Once I had the lines on the first tile done I lined them up so all 4 tiles were the same. There are several different patterns you can make when you line these tiles up together.

The tangles were done fairly quickly. There are a few challenges I've missed over the last few weeks so I used several of those tangles in these tiles. There are only two tangles on each tile. in the upper left - Ratoon and A-Frame, upper right - Burtz and Onion Drops, lower right - Wigwag and Bran, lower left - Ditto and Floorz

Friday, November 2, 2018

tea splotch

Tea splotch - that's what this is. I was at a meeting where we were doing a variety of backgrounds using a variety of mediums. I had just made myself a cup of tea and when I was about to dispose of my tea bag, I thought, well, why not. So I set the wet bag on a tile and forgot about it. When I got to it later I wasn't sure I liked it but after looking at it for a while I started to see a leaf shape. After that it was easy to do. I forgot to take a before picture until I already had the leaf string in place.

Tangles were done with a brown Micron and then shading with colored pencils. A few highlights with a white chalk pencil and ready to sign it.

Saturday, October 13, 2018


Dingsplatz! What's that? It's something new from Zentangle headquarters. Maria created a video about the technique and shared it with Certified Zentangle Teachers first (one of the perks!). If you've heard about Dingbatz, it's got certain similarities but in a circular fashion. If you want more info, find a local CZT or wait until the video is eventually released to everyone.

My Dingsplatz was done on one of my handcolored tiles. I used a blue Sakura Micron Pigma pen. The shading was done with colored pencils and highlights were added with a white chalk pencil. 

Dingsplatz are fun! I can see doing lots more in my future!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Orbs vs Straight lines

Orbs vs straight lines. Last week the Diva challenged us to do a tile with straight lines only. I didn't get around to completing it last week but when the Diva challenge this week was to use Orbs, I knew I needed to do both. So here are the two tiles I did as a result.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Pink and blue zendala

This is what's been on my work space for the past few days. It started out a simple zendala that I created using my Ravensberger Mini Mandala-Designer. This tool is aimed more at kids but I found it was great fun for creating zendala strings too! After I created the string I added color using my Tombow markers with a watercolor technique, Then I tangled away. Finally I added additional shading with coordinating colored pencils and a few highlights with a white chalk pencil.

Here's the start with the base washes of color.

Monday, September 10, 2018


This zendala is a monotangle of the tangle pattern 'Nzeppel. I've done two versions, the basic pattern is done in the center and the Crazy version is around the edge. Also you can see it shaded differently too. It's a fun tangle whichever way you do it.

Monday, August 20, 2018

8 of Diamonds revisited

On one of the Facebook groups there is a challenge to try out a tangle called 'Fan club' and also 'Fluxecho'. As I played around with those two similar tangles I remembered that my tangle '8 of Diamonds' also starts in the same way. (I came up with that tangle back in February 2011.)  8 of diamonds goes on very differently from the same start so it's not related to these two but it was fun to go back and see what I could do with that tangle today.

I looked at my first stepouts and knew that I could redo them and simplify the process. I hope you like these better.

Then I fooled around with variations. There were so many different ways I could go with it!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

CRA CRA tangle pattern

CRA CRA in the background

CRA CRA on a zendala

CRA CRA is a new tangle pattern that I spotted in the background of an ad on TV. I found myself freezing the TV and getting my sketchpad out so I could deconstruct it. It looks pretty complicated but it wasn't too hard to break down. 

In the step outs above I started with a simple stylized V shape. It's important to keep the V shapes close together and I put two pencil dots in the first step to indicate that. Once you've done it a few times you don't need those dots at all. Repeat the V shapes twice below the first. Next start the V shapes but bring them down to meet the V shape below. Repeat so you have 4 lines. Then shade as desired. Look at the bottom of this post for an alternate way to draw this. 

This tangle pattern has some similarities to other tangle patterns - I would say that Y-not is more or less a cousin to this tangle. You may see other tangles that belong to the same family. Please let me know so I can add them.

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This is an alternate way to draw the tangle that was drawn by Lynn Shelton Mead. THANKS Lynn! Try it out to see what works best for you. Just be sure to eave yourself enough room for the lines in between.

Saturday, August 4, 2018


'Icantoo' is the tangle pattern that was the challenge here. It's a lovely tangle from Hanny Nura. You can find the step outs by going to her blog at https://www.zenjoy.ch/blog-co/stepouts-1/icantoo/

I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it so I flipped through some of my older tiles looking for inspiration. I came across a zendala I had done using a template from 'the bright owl'.  Erin, who writes the bright owl blog, hasn't been active for a while but her blog is still there and you can still look through the older posts for all sorts of inspiration. This template is from Dare 112.

This is how it looked before I did any shading.

I added shading here and thought I was done but the more I looked at it the more I thought it wasn't quite done. So I added small elements of the 'Icantoo' at the corners.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Blue String pull

Finally got a new string pull tangled. Working on colored paper gave me a chance to tangle with a colored pen and add highlights with my white charcoal pencil. I also added a soft white border around the edges with the white charcoal pencil too.

This is the string pull before I added the tangles.

We are lucky to have an active group of Zentangle artists here in the Northern Illinois area. At the last meeting we did string pulls as a group. This picture is all the pulls as the ink was drying.

Monday, July 23, 2018

cindyer - Black and white and color

Cindyer is a new tangle to me. It comes from Yu Ru Chen.  It starts out in the same fashion as the tangle Cadent but then adds a twist. I especially love how there are multiple tangleations you do with the basic tangle. I started with the tile above in simple black and white. But then I was in the mood for COLOR!

I erased all the pencil shading. I know, I know, no erasers. But once you venture into color, well, WHEEEE! I used my Inktense pencils for the color on the circle. Since there are six shapes, it lent itself to do a color wheel. Then I found my colored Micron pens and added some multicolored tangles (printemps) in the center. The inktense pencils came out again for shading.

What do you think? Which version do you like better?

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

new string pull tangle

I finally figured out what I wanted to do on another one of my string pulls! We did the pulls a couple of weeks ago with some CZT friends (Mary Kissel and Lesley Goldberg). I figured out right away that I wanted to tangle the brown parts with a white pen right away so I was happy with that. But I felt there was too much white space in the background so I had to sleep on that for a while. Then I decided to try tangles that fir easily along lines - also sometimes called border tangles. I lightly put in pencil lines to see where I wanted these lines to flow. You can see the lines in the photo below.

Photo has everything before shading.

Photo has just the white tangles and some light pencil lines to see where I might put my border tangles.

note: these photos were taken at different times of the day so the lighting is different in each.

Sting pull before any tangles.

Friday, July 6, 2018

string pull tangles

I recently learned about creating art by doing a string pull. If you've never tried it, it's fun. I tried this with a couple of friends and we had a blast. There are videos that show how it's done but simply: dunk a piece of string in ink, lay it carefully (and artfully) onto a sheet of paper, cover with another sheet of paper, hold down, and pull the string out.

This shows the piece I did in it's before state and below is the after. I took a few liberties with the shape but following the Zentangle method, I used my 'string' as inspiration and went with it.

I used a brown pen for the tangles and though the color looks different in the picture above, I think it's just due to taking the pictures at different times of day.

This isn't the best picture but it shows you a few of the other string pulls we did that day. We experimented with different types of string, different degrees of wetness of the ink, and different inks.

Monday, May 28, 2018

old tile - new shading

This week I was challenged to take an older tile and redo it. As I flipped through a pile of tiles I found many I was happy with and some that were pretty hopeless but were fun to do at the time. Then I came across this one. It wasn't bad. But could I make it better? So here's what I came up with.

The string is the same. It uses fairly basic tangles but as I looked at it it seemed too crowded. So as I did it again I made several of the tangles bigger and eliminated one all together. That helped. Then I looked at the shading. It was OK but I felt it could really be played with and bumped up. What do you think?

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Adding auras

I was at a meeting earlier this week and sometimes I find myself randomly drawing things. I was looking down at my purse and found I needed to deconstruct the pattern it had on it. So I drew it out during the meeting and then when I got home I tried it again and photographed the steps as I did it. As I did it I found adding auras was something that came naturally. More auras and shading made me happy.

The inspiration

The drawing I did during the meeting.

The start. A simple 4 petal shape with 'V' auras.

Pull down double 'C' shapes from all four sides.

Complete the other side of the 'C' shapes, Add half circles.

Connect the outer edge of the half circles in.

Connect the inner edge of the half circles.

Starting the auras. Add detail lines too.

More detail and more auras.

Needed just a little more detail - and another aura.