Friday, January 30, 2015

Sometimes you need to follow the rules! Use the best materials available!

I first checked out Dorian Eng's website, Little Bit of Heart, about a month ago. What took me so long, right? I found the wonderful video for making boxes from Zendalas (those high quality 4 5/8" round tiles by Zentangle®). They are beautiful little boxes and it's a well made, easy to follow video. If you haven't already done so, check it out! I hadn't gotten around to making a box and then my table partner and friend from CZT 14, Charlotte from CharKat's Creative Insanity, showed off her creation on her blog. Ok, now I've got to make that little box! Problem was, I was a little shy on Zendalas. Plus, I was kinda lazy and thought I'd just die cut both the circles AND the template to save time cutting the template out with scissors. I had some heavy watercolor paper, Strathmore cold press, 140 lb, 300 gsm, that is pretty nice to draw on. Sure I saved a little time not cutting a template by hand, but when my box popped open again and again and I made a second, I think that wiped out the time saved! So next I tried 100 lb, 270 gsm smooth Bristol also by Strathmore. This is one of my favorite card making papers, but, if anything it was worse for the box than the watercolor paper. The smooth stiff cardstock popped open even quicker. I tried manipulating the paper more and more and eventually thought I had won the battle, only to wake up the next morning and see them both popped open! Short of cutting the score lines, I decided a nice ribbon would be sufficient.  And they do look very nice. So now, two boxes later, maybe I've finally learned that lesson about using the best materials available!  I will use 2 of the final 3 blank Zendalas I have, for another box. I feel the need to try Enyshou... Oh, and a need for ordering more Zendalas from! Now, of course, I've waited until they were hit by the snowstorm, so my "shortcut" was probably the longest route ever!
Check back next week to see if I was finally successful!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Bijou loves snail mail

I'm having trouble believing it, but no rubber stamps were used in the making of my cards this week! I did use Zentangle® Bijou tiles, Spellbinder dies (nestabilities circles, squares, labels, and Sprightly Sprockets) and Cuttlebug and Sheena Douglass embossing folders.
This is my favorite card of the week. The suminagashi marbled paper (I marbled this previously and it's nice to have stock on hand) adds to the sunny feel. The circle on the back is covering the slits cut for Bijou but is adhered so that you can still change out the square tile. This sunny card was modified from this card by using 5 1/2" x 12" cardstock and folding into thirds. This leaves a 4" x 5 1/2" card vs the standard 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" but still fits nicely into an A2 sized envelope.
The remaining cards use Core'dinations color core cardstock, first die cut then embossed and sanded to reveal the core color of the cardstock. Then I adhered it to an A2 card base. If you missed last week's card using this same technique, check it out here.

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Diva's Bi-ZEN-tennial!

Congrats to The Diva (a/k/a Laura Harms) on her 200 weeks of artistic prompts! I haven't been participating nearly that long... The first challenge I participated in was #158. Check out all of this week's contributions here and be sure to participate so Laura hits #200!
Picking my Mac-n-cheese tangle was hard for me! I find I keep moving from one to another, but there are several that feel very comfortable. The most come from the "official" Zentangle® list. There are a few others as well. I finally settled on Isochor and Zander. I initially figured out both of these on my own and I think that makes them more special to me (not to mention my take may seem more like a variation!)
If you'd like to see my cards for this week, check out this link. Bijou joined me again!

Thanks for all the wonderful comments!

The week in cards

This first card was quick and fun. The beautiful negative image stamp is from JudiKins and I stamped onto white cardstock with Lightning Black Brilliance ink (the shimmer doesn't show up in the photograph).  I added colored pencils, cut to mat and added to a standard A2 card base. It's a beautiful image and just a little color adds so much. I tried finding it on the JudiKins website, but it's not currently listed so I guessing it's out of production (stamp#2683H). **UPDATE** I missed it!  The stamp is available and you can find it at page 64 of their PDF catalog here.  And here is a link to their order form too.
Take a look at your negative space stamps as I'm guessing this technique would be suited for most of them.
We finally had a sunny day, so I couldn't resist taking the photo with the shadows from the sun playing across it.

Next I had some Zentangle® fun with Bijou. He loves the slowness of "snail mail" so it seemed so fitting that he join in! Before I knew it, I had 5 tiles done! I got the idea of layering the tile onto a card from seeing several of you adding a Bijou tile to the center of your standard Zentangle tile. Great idea! Here's my spin. I have a Cuttlebug embossing folder that also cuts (the square cutout) which was a perfect fit for Bijou. I embossed a piece of color core cardstock by Core'dinations which was black with blue for the core, so when I sanded the embossed image, the blue was revealed. I added the embossed and sanded piece to a blue A2 card base. Nice technique, but messy. The tangle is Aquafleur. I cut slits so Bijou can be removed or swapped out for a different tile or photo etc.

I have more Bijoux so I need more cards! At the time of this post I'm still working on more, but so far, this is the only other completed card. It uses a Spellbinder's window die. This one is quite interactive and tricky to photograph. Here are a few different perspectives so hopefully you get the idea. The front of the card has the arched window cutout and the purple window is actually attached to the inside of the card. The shutters can be either inside or pop through the front of the card. Bijou just barely fits in this window, but you can also change out this tile. Tangles 'Nzeppel and Rain (with Maryhill).
Card closed, before adding inlaid top window
Closed card with window
Closed card, shutters open
Card open, shutters open
See you next week. Thanks for your wonderful comments!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Hitched to a new year

This week's Diva challenge #199 is to use HeidiSue's tangle Hitched. Mine is in my art journal using a standard Zentangle® tile that I traced around in pencil. Meer accompanies Hitched in one, and Maryhill in the other. I really enjoyed shading with my new Cretacolor Monolith woodless pencils. They are really smooth.

I also wanted to share my calendar update. I pulled apart my calendar from this post, kept some pages I refer to often, kept the pockets for tiles, ATCs and added Bijou size, reused my cover (it's holding up quite nicely) and added this new divider tab. I replaced the calendar pages to give bullet journaling a go. Since I'm a list person, it seems like a good fit for me. If you're interested in bullet journaling, check out this short video. I re-bound(!) my book using my Bind-it-All and ... Ta da I have a new journal.

Tangles used: Maryhill, Quipple, Rain and Vega. I used my new Cretacolor Aqua Monolith woodless pencils. (Santa was good to me!) They are beautiful, but I'm afraid I need more practice with them.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Mosaics from my first class!

Last Sunday marked a milestone for me, my first Zentangle® class! Here are the tiles drawn by my awesome students. Nice lines, orbs and shading huh? They did fantastic!

Happy New Year to all!