Friday, November 28, 2014

Hey, THANKS for that!

One of the blogs I follow is Sue's Tangle Trips. In this post she provided information about a cool "toy" she was using to string her Zendalas. She even has a link where you can go straight to them in Amazon and she gets a small percentage. I checked them out and couldn't believe how inexpensive they were. I did try to find them locally at a couple stores but was unsuccessful. So, I bought the Ravensburger Classic Mini Mandala Designer by going thru Sue's link. I actually put 3 different ones in my cart but only purchased one (for now). Here are 3 examples of how I used it.

The first (completed above) started out like this. Sorry the string is a little hard to see, but it's in pencil. As Sue mentions in her post, the pencil is a little problematic to use through the small areas of the stencil, however I have a pencil sharpener that does both a standard point and a longer, thinner point. I found that if I used the latter and kept it sharp, it worked in all but the very narrowest stencil points. This Zendala uses the tangles Flux and Maryhill. Because of the points in this Maryhill, I shaded it like I would Static. So I guess you can call it a Staticky Maryhill!

For this second mandala, instead of a string, I used the triangle and circle as part of the tangles Rixty and my own, Egg and i, then filled in the "eggs" with 'Nzeppel.

For the third, I simply pencilled in the petal shape and filled it with Printemps.

Instead of using the Zendalas from, I cut my own circles from heavy watercolor scraps. I would have preferred the Zendalas because they are so nice, but as my supply was running short, the watercolor paper is a great alternative and I can use up my watercolor scraps. I used Spellbinders Grand Nestabilities, Grand Circles set. One is 4.75 inches which is just slightly larger than the official Zendala. The Spellbinder die also embosses a nice edge on the circle. You can see this embossed edge in my photos.  Another plus is that I can also cut a layer slightly larger for a "mat" if I choose. Of course you need a die cutting machine that will accommodate the size of these dies.

So back to my original thought, I have lots of major players to be thankful for in my life. But it's also important to be thankful for those little things that just make each day better too. So, thanks Sue for the tip! This has been great fun and I'm gonna add at least one more Mandala Designer to my next Amazon order as well!  I encourage anyone reading this to go through Sue's link if they want to purchase.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Hangin' with Bijou

Dear Maria and Rick:
I hope you haven't been worrying about Bijou. He showed up at my doorstep a few days ago. We were going to contact you right away, but time just got away from us. We were having so much fun! I think he was visiting the Pacific Northwest in the hopes of some soggy warmer conditions, but alas, we had a cold and windy winter storm blow through. So, after figuring out just what that noise was at my door, "Bij" came in for some tea and we just had fun from there. It's warmed up a bit now and the rain is coming, so my friend is off looking for his cousins. He says he will eventually be headed back to Providence and will contact you along the way. He hopes you've got that new website all figured out and admits it was stressing him out a bit, hence the vacation.
Your grateful student

I hope you enjoy a page from my art journal. Bijou helped! The tangles are BB, Quipple, Mysteria, Squid, Squill and Tipple spillith over :-)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Embracing the Yuck. Or why imperfections are perfectly Zentangle®.

The Diva's challenge this week (#194 by guest blogger Elisa Murphy) was to "Embrace the Yuck" by tangling a tile using your non-dominant hand. I admit I put this off for awhile. Did I really want to put something out there that would, no doubt, be less than amazing? (I can be a bit of a perfectionist.) Then I just decided that I needed this. And to truly embrace it, I needed to go beyond the requirement of simply drawing with my non-dominant hand. So what would it be? How about going to an unfamiliar, public place and tangling? Sure, why not? So off to a place I've been wanting to check out, Latte Da, a lovely little (tho busy) coffeehouse in Vancouver WA.  I ordered my tea (no, I'm not a coffee drinker, tho in hind site, that would have been yuck for me!) and sat at a table and drew. The tea, Tranquility, came and I tangled on, making myself remember to stop and drink from time to time so it wouldn't get cold. I did everything with my non-dominant hand except hold my tea cup! From pencil string, pen strokes, shading, initialling and even signing the piece I used my left hand. As I was drawing, I noticed that I preferred to push my pen stroke away from me, where with my right hand, I usually prefer to pull it toward me. I also was a little disappointed when every so often I actually had a smooth flowing line. I liked the consistency of the wobbly lines better! Well, for this tile at least. I took a few photos and then decided that to truly embrace it, I'd give it away. My friendly waitress was the recipient. I explained the challenge and I did apologize to her that she was the recipient of my "Yuck" tile. She thought it was lovely and you know what, so do I. Imperfections simply are Zentangle. Imperfections are life!
Tangles: Dansk, 'Nzeppel and Ilana.

Friday, November 14, 2014

ZIA card set and THX

Goodbye fall, hello winter. Fall with its yellows, oranges and reds was literally blown away this week with a winter storm. We've experienced power outages from the high winds, freezing temperatures, and now sleet and snow. The colors from these two ZIA cards reminds me of just earlier this week that now seems so very long ago. This versatile stamp set is "sunny hello" by Penny Black and is the same stamp set I used here.  I started with watercolor paper and stamped the images with Tsukineko Tuxedo Black Momento ink and heat set that. I added the tangles Betweed in the stem and Finery to the leaves. The flower petals are just me practicing auras. The tangling was done with a Sakura Pigma Micron in black, Derwent pencil for shading and Ranger Distress inks blended with water for color.

And I'm participating in the Diva Challenge again this week (#193). It's a "TriTangle" in honor of Veterans and Veteran's Day, representing THX for Trio, Huggins and XYP. This was done on a Zentangle® tile, using my usual Sakura Pigma Micron and Derwent pencil but I changed things up a bit by using a cool gray Copic Multiliner on Huggins to help it blend into the background. This is the first time I've tried the gray Multiliner on a tile, but I have been successful in the past with my ZIA cards that combine stamping and Zentangle.

Thanks for dropping by!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Vacation Afterglo

Thought I'd share this Zendala from my vacation. Tangles: Afterglo and Moving Day. I used my Peerless watercolor travel book which was definitely influenced by the fall colors.


This week I worked on a few cards. This one was a little different for me. I needed some inspiration for my grandson's birthday card. I found it in this cute card I found on pinterest. I admit I spend a bit of time "researching" pinterest! But it leads to finding fun blogs like Ruth's. I thought I could make a stamp work instead of punching and I had the perfect stamp, "party animals!" by Penny Black. The number four is also from a Penny Black stamp set, "Who's Counting?" Unfortunately I couldn't find either on their current web site so I'm guessing they are out of production. Penny Black has a great selection, you might find something else you like. Or give your existing stamps a look, you might have something that would work. It requires some strategic stamping and the use of a stamp positioner. The middle section I drew by hand along with the frame and text.


Saturday, November 1, 2014


The Diva's challenge this week (#191) was using Betweed as a monotangle. This first image is an ATC with a partial stamped image from Onyx Xpressions Stamps. I tangled Betweed with a black Sakura micron and added color with Faber Castell Polychromos.

I'm also pretty happy with my pre strung Zentangle® Zendala.

This is my third post this week! These links will take you to my ZIA planner/calendar and Halloween mask.