Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Zentangle Ornaments

Could not post these before or it might have ruined the surprise of the gift.  Every year I always have such grand plans to make a lot of ornaments for gifts.  The problem is that I should start in July but that never happens so I end up, late in the year, making a few and rotating who receives them each year.  I found a nice selection of blanks that were suitable for woodburning at Woodcrafters.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Diva Challenge #52 - Give

This challenge, #52 marks one year for the Diva Challenges.  The challenge appropriately enough, for this time of year, is Give. We are to make a Zentangle or ZIA piece to give away.  Perfect timing for me as I had just started working on a ZIA that will be going to a friend in Virginia.

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The photo above is the lid of a scallop box before it's folded - completed ZIA box is below.

The template for the scallop box is available for download from  Mirkwood Designs 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Zentangle Display Options

How do you display your  Zentangles?   So many creative things you can do - mount on mats, frame them with or without mats,  mount on folded cardstock for a tent display - the possibilities are endless.

For a quick no muss option I recently came across two items marketed for different purposes but work great for displaying Zentangles.  They also make a nice way to gift a Zentangle.  Relevant links for the products are at the end of this post.  Disclaimer - not associated with either product just a happy customer.   You can find the most interesting things - ignoring sleep and chasing shiny things around the internet!

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First one up - doesn't look like much from a full on front view - a 4" black square

The surprise is revealed when you look at the backside.  It's a small easel with a hinged support stand for tabletop display or use the small ring for hanging on a wall. 

Mounting the 3.5" Zentangle tile on the 4" easel 
provides a slim black border to frame your work.

The second find - marketed in the photography world - Snapshot Dot.  It's a small 2" flexible silicone disk.  Comes in 5 colors.  While the blue, green and translucent ones worked well for photos and other things, I preferred the black and white ones for displaying Zentangles.

I like the black disk best for Zentangles

The white one comes in a close second -  especially
 for the dense and darker Zentangles I so often make.

Before my order arrived I thought I would like the translucent best - it works well for photos and other things but I found with a Zentangle the way it absorbed and then reflected the light was a bit distracting - it caught my eye first.  Whereas with the black and white I barely noticed they were there.

The Snapshot Dot is simple to use just bend and insert the tile.  The design of the open zig zag channel provides a very gentle support and does not pinch or bend the tile.  I really like these little gizmos - they appeal to the gadget geek in me. I'm already finding  many other uses for them.

Easel Purchase Info

The easels I found at a sublimation printing company called BestBlanks . The item name Spanish Leather Frame Back for 4.5" tile.  The company sells a variety of blanks for sublimation printing.  The easel (Frame Back) is sold as an accessory to mount ceramic tiles for display.  It's a fun site to explore as they sell a variety of blanks that are suitable for Zentangle Inspired Art.  The first two photos in my Gallery 2  are items I used from BestBlanks - a jewelry box with a ceramic tile top and a small desk clock.

Two ways to purchase Snapshot Dots

The Snapshot Dot are the creation of  anklopf designs out of Brooklyn NY -  the photos of the 5 dots and instructions used courtesy of anklopf designs.  I've had the pleasure to exchange several emails with the developer - appreciate his creativity and responsiveness

PhotoJoJo Store - a great site to explore if you are or know a photo enthusiast.  Snapshot Dots are sold in 5 packs for $12 or 2 packs for $20.  Photojojo  only offers the multi-color packs.  If you want to order single color packs you will need to purchase directly from the developer.

anklopf designs  - you may order the 5 packs in single colors - or you may contact the developer for bulk order quantity and pricing.  He also offers the option to go green and place orders for just the Snapshot Dots without the packaging.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Diva Challenge #50 - Biggify

"This week's challenge is to push your comfort zone and biggify your tangles. Don't biggify your canvas, try sticking to the size you generally work on to get the full effect - so if you work on tiles, biggify on a tile. If you work in your journal, biggify in your journal. Put your toe over that line and test the waters." said the Diva

Definitely and interesting challenge as I usually create zentangles on the standard tiles. About the only time I draw large is when I'm teaching a class - drawing on large pad on an easel. Not quite the same.

Onamato and Gneiss appeared on the tile first but it took several attempts and false starts to finally settle on Meer as the final pattern. Shading was an added challenge. Have a couple of other Biggified tiles almost completed - feeling a little stumped on the shading.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

DIVA Challenge #47 - Lest We Forget

The inspiration for this challenge is Nov. 11th - Remembrance Day in Canada and Veteran's Day in the United States.  Laura referenced the symbol of the Poppy to honor those who served and the poem "In Flanders Field", written by Canadian Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae.  The challenge "is simply to remember".  You may read her write-up and view the other entries here.

I usually stay pretty true to Zentangle's non-representational outcome so I'm not entirely sure how this creation came about.  Then again it's not a true to form drawing of a poppy either!  My intent was to meld the idea of remembering those who have served and sacrificed (red poppy) but also to remember that peace (white poppy) is the ultimate goal.

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Diva Challenge #46 - All Hallow's Eve

The challenge posted on Monday - Halloween - was to create a Zentangle tile or Zentangle Inspired piece that is haunting or spooky or goes bump in the night.  Tough time creating the tile not sure it's spooky or haunting but these particular tangles just kept popping in no matter how many tiles I started and rejected.  Eventually it's just easier to give up the resistance and go with the flow.

The second photo - a ZIA -  now this one is spooky. Found some small skull key chains in a local Halloween shop - bought a few to tangle for friends with this one to spare.

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Diva Challenge #45 - Punzel

Punzel is the newest tangle pattern.  It's a little zing that has been added to the tangle Chainging.  It was announced at the recent CZT Seminar in Providence and published in the latest Zentangle Newsletter.  It took some time to get the rhythm of the stroke.  Still need to work on the spacing but for a first effort I'm okay with what appeared.

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Diva Challenge #44 - String Theory v. VI: Tangled on the Inside

This week's Diva Challenge #44 comes from Jo in NZ - "You use one tangle as the 'string' and then fill in all the spaces with other tangles.  A tangle within a tangle...."

String is Carole Ohl's pattern Daggerly
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Other Tangles used - Betweed and Shattuck

Here's another one I did some time ago using Hollibaugh as the string

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Diva Challenge #43 - Sunflower

This week's Diva Challenge was suggested by  Pennyb CZT from Republic of South Africa.  October 12th is Bandana Day - a program of the  Sunflower Fund.   The Sunflower Fund supports the SA Bone Marrow Registry to assist folks with leukemia in finding a matching donor. They raise funds by selling Sunflower bandanas for everyone to wear on Bandana Day.

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Diva Challenge #42 - Hope

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month the Diva Challenge this week is to create a Zentangle or Zentangle Inspired Art piece of our interpretation of Hope.

For strings I used two West African Adinkra symbols that mean Hope. Either the scanner is on the fritz or I'm in need of sleep - for some reason the quality of the scan is a little off - even a quick trip thru picnik didn't seem to help.

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This next one is actually the first one I did but the scan was very poor quality so I was trying a few clean up tools in picnik when I discovered a few new Effects they have added. The Invert effect made it appear that it had been drawn with white pen on black - wish I had as I really liked the way it came out. The original didn't clean up all that well but posting them both just because I like the inverted one.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Diva Challenge #40 - Pinwheels for Peace

The challenge this week is in honor of International Day of Peace on Sept. 21st and Pinwheels for Peace.  Please follow the links to read more.

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Zentangle Diva Challenge 39 Love Is All You Need

This zentangle may be the oddest one I have ever done.  It's not that I don't like it - it actually looks a lot better in person than the scanned image - albeit in it's own quirky and odd way.  The whole process of creating a piece for this challenge was just odd from the start.  When I read the challenge I had an instant picture of a completed piece - this one (mostly what I remember of it).  I definitely prefer the zentangle way of creating as you go so I am not sure where this image came from or why.  Initially I rejected and resisted putting it down on paper.  Unfortunately my attempts to create a challenge piece were getting me nowhere so I decided to create the image just to get it out of my system.  My hope was that I would then be free of it and move on to creating something for the challenge.  No luck there - did create a few pieces but none felt like they had anything to do with love.  In the end I decided to show a little love to this piece and post it anyway.  Still looking to find the message here - maybe it's that love is the universal language and we all might be better off if we spoke more of it?

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Diva Challenge #38 - Better Than a Pair of Ducks - aka Paradox

The challenge this week - a monotangle using Paradox - probably my favorite tangle.  Once you get the hang of it and remember to turn your tile - the possibilities are endless.

What's that quote about life happens while you're making other plans?  That's exactly what happened while working on this challenge.  I had yesterday all planned out - lots of time spent at the studio working on tangles and this challenge, get home to post it (before the last minute!) and then kick back and enjoy a little football.  Oops - not gonna happen - little did I know that when the power went out about an hour before I was going to head home that it would turn into a long but OK evening with no power for me and about 4 million other folks in our region!  Power back on during the night - all is well but they are warning that the system is fragile from a total blackout and power up so it's nice that the temps dropped about 15 degrees from the last few days.

Back to the challenge - first up I decided to break out the pyro pen and woodburn one.  It is burned on a 4" basswood tile. I rather like the way it turned out.  Used a template to draw the initial octagon and then freehand from there.

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This one I used a pentagon as the string and then let the experiment begin.  It's not a typical Paradox in that it does not spiral into the center in the traditional way of drawing it.  Instead I used the Paradox stroke - first by drawing 5 lines all the way around each leg of the shape. Then reversed course and drew 5 lines going in the opposite direction.  Next just repeated the 5 lines and the reversing it until reaching the center and completed it the standard way.  Does that make sense - easier to do than write it out!  Have not decided how I want to shade it so posting as is - for now.

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This last one - an old one -  not really for this challenge - just because I like it and wanted to include it here for future paradox reference.

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Love Paradox - did a few others but will need to scan and post later.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Diva Challenge 37 Kiss My Grids!

The challenge this week - use only grid based patterns.

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Where did August go - or maybe the correct question is where did I go in August.  It's been a wild month.  The highlight was teaching a wonderful  ZIA (zentangled inspired art) Workshop.  Lots more to post about that in a separate entry later.  The not as bright event - I had to relocate my studio.  When I moved in six months ago I did so knowing that I might have to move out now.  It's been a great 6 months being associated with the Shepherdess bead store in Old Town - we both wanted the arrangement to continue but the situation was out of our hands and control.  The scary part is that I was not having any luck finding a suitable new space.  As it got closer to the end of the month and no place to go I decided the best option was to rent a storage unit and just pack it all away until I found a suitable space.

Funny how life works - or maybe it's just another example of the Magic of Zentangle - but the Saturday morning I decided to go in search of the best deal of a storage unit I decided to check craigslist one more time.  There was one new posting that looked intriguing.  I called - the first good sign - they were not put off by the idea of an art studio since the current and the previous tenants were using it as studio space.  Made arrangements to see it that same afternoon. The landlord had made arrangements for the current tenant to have me come by and see it and then let him know if I was interested.  Enlisted a friend to come along in order to have another set of eyes so I didn't miss something in my desperation at wanting to find a place. Thanks Kristy!  We walked in and both knew I'd found a space that would work out very well.   Had a great time talking with the current tenant - she's only moving because she needs a bigger space for her growing business.  Here is part of the magic - she had only given her notice the day before (Friday), the landlord posted it early Saturday morning and I saw the ad within about 30 minutes of it being posted.  I signed the lease on Sunday!  Had a little over a week to to get things packed and arrange for the move.

Everything is in the new place still a bit chaotic getting it all unpacked and set up.  I wasn't sure that I could find a space at a rent I could afford where I could also teach classes. The good news -  it's large enough that I will be able to accommodate small classes of 6 or 7 students.   The other exciting part is that I can use the small second room to work on my wood projects.  Will be fun to finally get the saws and carvers unpacked.  Haven't been able to do that work since I closed the gourd studio over 2 years ago.

For those that have inquired about classes - I will be in touch and will be posting a new schedule soon.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Zentangle Diva Challenge 32

Challenge 32 - Zentangle is for Everyone hosted by Carole Ohl of Open Seed Arts.

The Challenge - Use any string you like with these four tangles: Pais (by Mikee Huber), Zedbra (by Laura Harms and Margaret Bremner), Keenees (by Donna Hornsby), and Baton (by Carole Ohl).

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Read additional details about the challenge and view the other entries here.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Zentangle Challenge 30

Diva Challenge 30 - String Theory v. V Initialize brought to you by guest host  Christina Vandervlist at stART.

The challenge this week - use your first and last initial as the string.  Overlap the initials either script or block letters.  I tried several different layouts but nothing really appealed to me.   As block letters too may small areas hard to get a flow going - as script they just looked plain weird. I had the most trouble with the "W".   Time was running out when I finally stumbled on the combo in the image below - and then the patterns just got a bit out of control and odd.  When I started out I was hoping I might find the answer to my on-going search for a satisfying way to add my initials to my finished pieces  ;( still searching.

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Challenge 29

Diva Challenge 29 - String Theory v. IV Creative Genesis brought to you by guest host  Sue Jacobs.

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 The challenge this week was to attach a weighted object to something that would act as a string - could be string, yarn, thread, ribbon etc. Then place the weight on the tile and let the string fall on the tile creating the string for this challenge.  I have an interesting relationship with strings.  I don't have a problem creating strings, I just don't end up following them all that much.  I select a starting area and the first tangle and it just grows from there.  That first tangle may not even stay within the bounds of that initially selected area.  Sometimes the string will dictate what comes next but more often than not it doesn't.

Right out of the gate this was a challenge.  I could not get the string to drop in anything other than just a clump on the tile.  I changed weights and string material - no success.   I finally removed the weight and just dropped the string - YEA -  I had a string on the tile I could use!

To remain true to the spirit of a string theory challenge I tried very hard to stay within the limits of the string.  I did manage to create tangles in the  three areas of the string and mostly stayed within the lines, but as you can see I could not leave it at that.  Oh well.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tripoli in Detail Tutorial and Diva Challenge 28

The Diva's Challenge this week is to use the newest official tangle Tripoli.

When I first started working with Tripoli I struggled with maintaining consistent size and spacing. Most of the time creating the first circle worked well.  Even the start of the second circle went fairly smoothly.  However without fail when I would get to step 9 (in the illustration below)  things would start to break down. 

First I was trying to draw one large triangle in the remaining spaces of the second circle.  If I kept the spacing between triangles the same I ended up with large out of proportion triangles. If I tried to keep the triangles the same size then the space between was larger, not consistent.  My first attempts at putting 2 triangles in the space did not go well either.

Not sure how or at what point but I had very bright light bulb moment - clarity with no doubt - one of those times where everything clicked into place and changed my whole approach to working the pattern.

The key - I was not seeing triangles I was seeing just the lines.

I decided to post the details of how I draw Tripoli after reading on several blogs that others were having some of the same issues.  Hope you find it helpful.

 click image for larger view or to print

1 - 2 - After drawing the initial triangle, the first leg of the next triangle is drawn parallel to the line of that first triangle. 

3 - In this step the line drawn next, for me, seems to be the easiest way to repeat and maintain a uniform size for the triangles. It also eliminates having to determine the correct angle if the outside edge leg had been drawn second.

4 - 5 Close the triangle and repeat 1 - 4 for the remaining triangles in this first circle.

6 - 8  Again - think lines - start the next triangle as a parallel line to the flat edge of the existing triangle followed by the other 2 legs.  Repeat all the way around the circle.

9  - Solving this step changed my whole perspective - instead of thinking/drawing a triangle the starting point is drawing 2 parallel lines that are an extension of the lines of the triangles in the first circle!

10 - Repeat step 9 to complete the second circle.

One note - Continuing to build out the circles from this point changes the structure slightly so the 2 parallel lines are not always the best option.  In that case just look for the next best option to start with a parallel line and you will be good to go.
Before filling in Tripoli - liking the simplicity of this - has a filigree look to it.

 After adding patterns - it's ok - really need to watch density - I do get carried away sometimes!

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Diva's Challenge 27

Dex and Verdigogh

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Very difficult challenge this week - use only two tangles Dex and Verdigogh.  Straight lines, grids - my kind of tangle.  Verdigogh - have always liked it but have always struggled with it so haven't used it much.  Combining them really taxing!  Lots of discarded tiles littering my desk and this one needs a bit of cleanup - decided to post it because it's the best verdigogh I have ever drawn.  That's the good news and the joy to be found in this challenge - finally learned verdigogh!!!!  Nice to have another tangle to use with confidence.  Thank you, Laura - would not have happened without you.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Diva's Challenge 26

Spiral Out - Keep Going

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 The Diva's challenge this week - use a spiral as the string.  Right from the start I wanted to use paradox in some form.  Can there be a more "spiral" process than the constant tile turning with paradox -  but it just wasn't happening. When I was finally able to let go and just watch to see what would show up, the first tile appeared - not a hint of paradox to be found!  I didn't post it right away as it felt like it needed something in the background - wasn't sure what - just didn't feel complete.

Tonight while prepping for tomorrow's class I was creating several strings to share as examples.   I wasn't looking to tangle any of them. One of the two-pencil strings just happened to be the spiral above.  I'd found my string for paradox without even trying.  Or maybe it found me!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Diva Challenge 25

Zendala Magic
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Something different for the challenge this week. Guest host Genevieve Crabe, at TangleHarmony and a fellow CZT from Class 4, (Hi Genevieve) provided a template for creating a Zendala - nice fusion of Zentangle and Mandala. Lots of wonderful creations to check out on the Diva's site - or maybe it's time you joined in the fun. The new challenge for the week is posted on Monday.

The mosaic pattern in the inner ring is a technique/pattern I often woodburned on gourds. Lots of small cuts with the pen but it was almost a mediation while doing it. So simple but always a big hit at the shows - never took one back home at the end of the day.

Mosaic Gourd

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Diva Challenge 24

String Theory - Stripes

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Nice to be back in the challenge game this week - rather it's a good thing to be back in the blog posting game.  I've done the challenges - have not made the time to get them posted.  Off to take a look and see the other entries.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Diva's Challenge Week 22

A Little Help from My Friends

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The Diva's challenge this week - have someone else draw the string.  On Monday when the Challenge was announced I taught a small private class - 3 students - that afternoon.  At the end of a very fun class I gave them each a tile and asked them to draw a string.  They did a great job as you can see above.  Below are the results.  Thanks Anne, Theresa and Laura for a great class and fun strings.