Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Haunting!

Paper mâché mask (on sale for 99 cents) with two coats of gesso. Tangles: Fracas, Rain, Ennies and N'zeppel. Pens: black Sakura Identi-pen and gray Tsukineko Fabrico marker.



Plan away!

Betsy's Planner
I have had fun this past week although it was a rocky start.  I always love this time of year with school supplies and new calendars and planners. I usually just browse the planners anymore, because I've never found one that would work for me for more than a few weeks. I've also tried to go digital and that doesn't quite work either. I'm a list maker and I just flat out like paper. Then I saw this video by Jennifer McGuire about an awesome planner. Hmmm, maybe I'd try a planner again. Then I checked it out and it was $50! Sure, maybe it would be worth it if it actually worked for me, but guess what? I don't have $50 extra in the budget. Yes, I was bummed at first until I decided to make my own but better! This is my working prototype. I want to make sure that I will use it and I want to make adjustments to make it even better for me.

I decided I wanted the pages to be 8.5" x 11 when the book was opened up, or 5.5" x 8.5" individual pages. That size would make for easy printing once I worked out the calendar template (yes I drew my own calendar, blog and project pages.) The divider pages and cover are just slightly larger. My planner, when closed, measures about 9" x 6.25" including the lamination edge and spiral binding.  I started with Lanaquarelle 140# Rough watercolor paper by Strathmore (it was in a sampler pad I have) about 12"x 9.5". I had a ball drawing, and used these official Zentangle® patterns: Paradox, Jetties, Squid, Diva Dance, Meer, Florz, Hollibaugh, Keeko, Static, and Yincut. Of course I had to add my own tangles Maryhill and Egg and i.

Before shading
After shading
Sure, I didn't have to shade, but who wouldn't want too? Check out the difference shading makes! Next I trimmed it down and cut it in half. I was a little hesitant to laminate it, but knew the cover would need additional protection if I really intended to use it. I was amazed how nice it looks and feels after the lamination. You can actually see and feel the texture thru the laminate. For the dividers I cut up some cool folders I got from the back to school sales. I'm considering drawing my next divider pages and laminating them too. Did I mention, when I'm ready for my next calendar, I can simply pull this one apart and reuse the covers (assuming they hold up well)? I can also rebind anything I want to keep either in a separate book or in my new calendar.

Making the original template of the different sections took a little time and some grid paper, but the printing was the biggest challenge for me.  I was cutting the pages in half remember, and needed to make sure they could be cut down the center not screwing up a column and then printing in the correct direction on the back side. I have quite a few trials that are now scratch paper for my craftroom! I'm always a little nervous when I punch the holes for my books. I really didn't want to mess up my cover handiwork! My Bind-it-All handled the thick paper including the laminate nicely.  And I did my part by slowing down enough to make sure I had the placement just right before punching.  I had some red O wire that I hadn't even opened yet and I thought it went nicely with my drawing.

Planner from the back

My planner looks good from the front and the back. When opened, it lies flat or you can turn the front half completely behind the page you are working on. I have the calendar section, my blog section (to keep track of ideas to completed projects, noting when the photos are taken to whether they've been edited, watermarked, the post written and scheduled etc. ) I have a section for things I want to learn or focus on, class ideas and contact information. This planner has pockets! Pockets for Zentangle tiles, stickers, ATC cards and just stuff. One improvement slated for the next version is to add pockets for Bijou tiles so he can come along too.

Calendar sample

Aside from the drawing, the most fun I've had is coloring the repositionable stickers. That was on Jennifer's original video. Initially I questioned if I really wanted to use my Copics for that and I decided why not? The colors are gorgeous and I can have lots of variety. I'm totally happy with that decision.
Pockets for ATCs

Pocket for tiles

I'm happy that I couldn't afford that new planner.  I think I've got something better and it's certainly personalized.  I've realized that making my own planner and drawing my own template is a lot like Zentangle and it's string. It's just one step at a time and why does my calendar need to be so grid like? I think that string will change as I progress! For now I just need to schedule myself lots of Zentangle and craftroom time. Piece of cake! Hmmm, maybe I should schedule cake too!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Diva #190, Winners, and Egg and i

October is breast cancer awareness month. While working on my Diva challenge #190 in honor of Laura's grandmother, Ardath, I figured out the steps for the lapel ribbon and thought I would share them with you.

This is also the day to post the winners of the TrimARim giveaway. Hope and Donald Wilka are the two lucky winners! I've left a comment for Hope on her blog link and I've e-mailed Donald.  Congratulations!

My husband and I recently returned from a nice vacation up through the Olympic Peninsula, across the Northern Cascades into Glacier National Park, through the Hells Canyon region and back home. On the first leg of our trip, I noticed a street sign "Egg and I Road".  I thought that rather odd and interesting and just couldn't stop thinking about it for several days.   After a little research I realized it was a road named after the book by Betty MacDonald, The Egg and I published in 1945 and later adapted into a movie starring Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert. Apparently the chicken farm where MacDonald lived circa 1930 was on the now named "Egg and I" road.  I concluded that in addition to adding it to my reading list, the road name would make a great tangle! What do you think? It naturally lends itself as a border tangle. But as you can see here, it can also be used along the string or as the string itself. I noticed that it has similarities to Queen's Crown by Suzanne McNeill (I can't link you to it due to the continuing problems with her website) however the Egg and i, in my opinion, differs, goes further while still being simple. Is it a variation? Is it it's own tangle? You be the judge. I hope you enjoy it.

And finally here are two tiles that use a variation of Egg and i, in honor of Ardath and anyone whose life has been affected by breast cancer. This first is on a Zentangle Renaissance® tile. Tangles: Egg and i (variation) and Heartstrings by Helen Williams. Although the hearts are drawn with red Sakura Micron, they resembled Japanese Lanterns to me more than hearts, so I used orange, brown and white pencils to color them. I also used a pink Sakura Pigma Micron.

This second tile is an Apprentice tile from Zentangle and uses the tangles: Egg and i (variation) and Mooka. I used Sakura Microns, Faber-Castell Polychromos, General's white and Derwent graphite.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


Just back from a 2 week vacation. And just in time to post for this week's Diva Challenge. Thanks Tina for a lovely pattern, and thanks Laura for your weekly challenges! Happy Thanksgiving to those reading from Canada! My "tile" is drawn with Sakura Pigma Micron and colored with peerless Watercolors from my travel watercolor book, some graphite shading and a General's white pencil.

Check out Tina's instructions for the tangle here. And check out the rest of her blog too, her artwork is wonderful. Be sure and check out everyone else's take on Yuma here.

This is the instruction card I made for my tangle pattern notebook. If you haven't had a chance to check it out, follow this link.

Fog on the Straight of Juan de Fuca

My entry for The Weekend in Black and White.

Friday, October 17, 2014

ZIA - is this a pattern?

This ZIA (Zentangle® Inspired Art) is done on a 7" x 7" piece of watercolor paper. Tangles include Xircus, Tipple, Tripoli, Printemps, Orlique, Paradox, Yincut, Onamato, Cubine, and Ambler. I love the black and white.

And in case you thought I was going to give the ZIA cards a rest, sorry, I'm still at it. The base layer includes stamping oval swirls by Stamp Francisco with Ranger Distress inks. The Ginko Stamp is by Stampin Up(Images © 1990-2014 Stampin' Up!). I tangled Orlique with blue and purple Sakura Pigma Microns and shaded with Faber-Castell Polychromos Colour Pencils. As this is a 4" square, I decided to go with a 4.25" square card base which can still use an A2 envelope. Since I'm finally all caught up on my card making for the month, maybe I'll give it a rest for a while. We'll see.

Friday, October 10, 2014

More ZIA cards

Two weeks in a row of Zentangle® inspired cards. Stamps for this card are by Kodomo Inc. I used Momento ink to stamp onto Watercolor paper. The tangle is a combination of Opus and Tipple done with a cool gray Copic Multiliner. I went back over the stamped image with Faber-Castell Polychromos Colour pencils to darken and add shading. I also used new toys, Derwent blender and burnisher pencils.

Ginko stamp by Stampin Up(Images © 1990-2014 Stampin' Up!) using Momento ink. The tangle is Finery done with a brown Sakura Pigma Micron. Coloring/shading done with Faber-Castell Polychromos Colour Pencils.

If you haven't already done so, you still have time to get your name in the hat for the give away. For more details, click here.

Friday, October 3, 2014

ZIA, stamping, and cards. Oh my!

Inevitable that my stamping, cards and Zentangle® collide. It's been happening randomly for a while now. This week it seemed a requirement! I hope you enjoy these. They were fun for me.

These two stamped images were stamped on a scrap of hot press watercolor paper. Both stamps are from Paper Parachute.

I stamped the tree image with Momento ink and colored with Copic Markers. (The watercolor paper really soaked up the Copics, probably not the best choice of paper for the coloring, but it was very nice for both the stamping and tangling.) Then I tangled Mooka with a cool gray Copic Multiliner. I think it looks quilted. I went over the tree with a black Sakura Pigma Micron to make it stand out.

This second example is also stamped with Momento ink, tangled with Echoism using a black Sakura Pigma Micron and shaded with Derwent graphite pencil. Both pieces were trimmed and mounted on cardstock (final cards are A2 or 4.25" x 5.5").

And finally, this Hero Arts stamp, Silouette Grass was stamped on cardstock with Big & Juicy foliage ink. I tangled Man-O-Man in brown Sakura Pigma Micron and then added Faber-Castell Polychromos Colour Pencils to darken the stamped image and provide shading. I inked the edge with Ranger Distress inks, trimmed, rounded the corners and mounted on an A2 card.

Did you see the give away info posted last week? If not, check out the details here.