Friday, July 29, 2016

Stringing circles

I was contemplating a new class on stringing Zendalas. The Diva just happened to make this week's challenge "Running 'round in Circles". Just the push I needed.
Hard to make that string on your Zendala? If you're in the Vancouver WA (USA) area and want to learn more, I'll be adding a class page soon. So stay tuned!

Black and brown Sakura Pigma microns on Strathmore toned gray sketch 400 series. Tangles are Rick's Paradox (in a spin!), Shattuck, Punzel/Rixty and Emingle (triangulated). I also used PolyChromos, Fabrico gray marker, Zenstone and Prismacolor white.

And a Zendala tile with a PeelD variation (tangle by Franciose Lip) and 'NZeppel.
I hope you have a wonderful week!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Bijou to the rescue!

Sometimes it's just hard to make that first pen stroke. The ritual of Zentangle® makes it easier, for sure, but sometimes I just feel paralyzed by current events. The continuing violence and racism that rocks the US, the violence around the world, political rhetoric encouraging fear, hatred and devisiveness really weighs me down. Sometimes I even feel a little guilty because I CAN lose myself in my art. It's tempting to not listen to or read the news. To just hole myself away. But then I think, there's got to be something positive I can do. I need to find my voice. I need to pay attention. I also need to feel the bad so I can recognize the good. But with all this going on, it's really hard to take a first step, even with something as routine for me as making a card or drawing a Zentangle tile.

So I was at square one, unable to make a first mark. This time though I didn't have to make that first pen stroke, or rather, it was already done. I noticed some unfinished Bijou tiles. When I originally did the step outs for MoFins, I had started putting them on Bijoux. But then I realized there just wasn't adequate room for me to demonstrate the steps, and I started over with standard size tiles. Of course I didn't throw away the Bijoux. They were just sitting there at the top of my tin waiting for me to notice them. So those first pen strokes were done. It would include MoFins and it had also been predetermined it would be in red and black as thats how each had been started. Once I took that first step, I took another. Once I completed one, I kept going.
Here are the completed tiles. Dragonair, K-Leesi, Hibred, Shattuck, Betweed, Printemps, Tipple, Ahh, Fescu, Striping and Well came out to assist MoFins. My next question was what to do with those little tiles. Then I remembered a square die that I bought thinking...hoping it would work with square tiles. I just hadn't tried it yet. I cut out red, black, gray, white and a silver option (the silver is upcycled from some packaging). The die cuts out the interior square from the frame. It also embosses with a second pass through your machine with a rubber mat. I did add a hand cut "v" in a couple spots to be able to tuck in the bijou tiles. That way they dont have to be adhered and can be removed by the recipient if they like.
Here is the nice selection I die cut and embossed.

I'm sure that the die I'm using is from Crafter's Companion and was in their Create-A-Card Die'sire series.  However as I'm typing this,  I'm unable to find it in their current catalog.  Here is a link to their main site.  I did find an image on-line and I believe it is called Decadence.  I am requesting assistance from Crafter's Companion and if I can link you to the die at a later point I will update the post to do so.**update** Crafter's Companion no longer carries this die. :-(  They did tell me it's available in the UK, HOWEVER,  I noticed that die is 8 inches square where mine is just under  6 inches square.

I ended up cutting a square of contrasting color slightly larger than the die cut square before adding it to a standard A2 hand cut and folded card.
But what to do with all those larger frames? You automatically get both the frame and the interior square when you die cut it. Well it turns out that frame works nicely for a standard size tile! The logical place, to me, to add the slits had a little more play between them and the tile, so I ended up making four cuts to secure a tile. But then, of course, I'd need to draw a regular sized tile to show off that frame for you! So while I didn't have a tile started, I continued with the MoFins theme on a black tile this time using an oblique pen and Dr PH Martin's Bleed Proof White ink. I added highlights with Zenstone and also used a black identipen and gray Fabrico.

And, go figure, the frame also accommodated a Zendala! And again, to show you the frame, I wanted to complete a Zendala. My placement of the four cuts as in the frame above ALMOST worked, but just barely caught the edge of the Zendala. So I tried a little different strategic placement of the cuts, a little more snug this time. I couldn't have gotten any luckier with this die. I'm sure it will get a lot of use.
Tangles are MoFins (couldn't stop now could I?), Maryhill, Cubine, Static, Hurry, Tipple and then there's the Scena that morphed into Enyshou with just a touch of Isochor. The frame is from simple black cardstock but I added metallic rub-on in a pewter color and it looks very much like metal now.

So I still don't know what my voice will be. But I am paying attention. And I know that when I take that first step, more will follow.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Ogee -n- me

Occasionally I use an ogee grid pattern but can't say I'm proficient at them. I've been wanting to practice them and tie together ogee friendly patterns on my journal page.

What is an ogee grid you ask?
  • (From Wikipedia:) An ogee is a curve (often used in moulding) shaped somewhat like an S, consisting of two arcs that curve in opposite senses, so that the ends are parallel.
There's a way to draw the grid using dots, but I can't say I'm fond of it. I prefer to free hand it. If they're a little off, so be it. I couldn't find any listing of ogee type patterns, so I just started looking thru my usual reference areas, my own pattern notebook, and Pinterest. I was interested in anything using the ogee grid (for example Namaste) or ogee friendly (for example warped eggs). If you know of a listing of patterns, or if you want to add a comment with a different ogee pattern than what I've used, feel free. Maybe this post can be that ogee reference.
Patterns shown here with links: Namaste, Fluxogee, Leaflet, Olb, Fichy, Oybay, Unyun, Coaster, Twenty-one, Surf's Up, Wud, Warped Eggs, Batumber, and Maisie. Drawn with black micron with Polychromos for color although you'll also find Zenstone and Stabilo pastel pencil in white.
Have a great week!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Perfect Pearls™ on black

One of the nice things about Joey's challenges is you can give them a try anytime. If you want to link your work to the challenge, there is no time deadline there either. I really liked the look of the tangle Gnarly for last week's challenge #119 and wanted to try it.

I'm also easily distracted! I saw this YouTube video and was reminded how nice the Perfect Pearls™ powders look on black. Here is the result using a nice line stamp called Glass Vases by Hero Arts. I used the same technique as outlined in the video using Strathmore ArtAgain paper, then mounted onto cardstock. The embossing powder acted as a resist, however as I chose a fine lined stamp, I did end up going outside the lines some using the brush provided with the powders. In hind sight, I could've cleaned up those lines by coloring over the areas where I went past the line with a black marker.
So, one distraction down, and a beautiful card to boot, I went back to Gnarly. When you draw it, you thicken the lines much like the results of paint strokes. I decided to try the tangle with a paint brush! Deliberate lines can be drawn with a pen or a brush after all! My first practice attempts were using the same brush I used with the card above, the brush that came with my perfect pearls set. It just didn't work that well for me. I got out a good quality fine watercolor brush and tried again, MUCH better. I used Turquoise and Forever Blue. If I added the second color while the first was still damp, they blended really nicely. And if my strokes didn't turn out so well, I was able to redefine the black line (once everything dried) with my black Identi-Pen. I used similar blues from my Polychromos colored pencils to shade and to add the surfboard stripes. Sometimes distractions can be a good thing!


Friday, July 1, 2016

Gourdgeous parabola

This was a really fun string. And it just seemed fitting to fill it with Paradox.
However, as happens frequently with Zentangle®, the string all but disappeared with the tangling. I'll have to try it again.
And I'm still updating my Zenthology. Of course, now they're offering a printed update to CZTs. But I kind of like having my own versions of the newer tangles. And how else would I have known just how awesome Gourdgeous can look with a shakey hand (notice the bottom tile).
Enjoy your week!