Thursday, December 12, 2013

Merry Happy

Even though I have not posted many of my Diva Challenges lately today is a good time to post the last Challenge for 2013.  The Diva is taking a well deserved break for the holidays.  Challenge 148 is Merry Happy - create a tile or ZIA for our own holidays.  If my artistic skill went beyond the Zentangle method it would have been fun to create something less abstract but I'll stick with what I know and what I have time for at this time of year. 

Merry Happy Everyone!

 Use your imagination for the glitter highlights

While I have not been tangling with pen in hand I've been busy with my woodburner creating gifts and requests.  Here's some of what I've been up to and best get back to if I plan to get them all finished. Enjoy - and hope all of you have a joyous time celebrating your holidays.

6"  Basswood Candle Plates
3 Styles - Flat top pedestal, scoop rim, and pillar cutout

click on image for larger view

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Where Does the Time Go

It's been mostly fun since my last post - just didn't realize it had been so long - again!

I've been hit and miss with the Diva Challenge but have a few to post and the big event was the 3rd Annual CZT Retreat - Viva Zentangle in early October.  What an amazing event -   you had to be there as I don't have enough words to adequately describe the the energy, fun and enthusiasm created by a gathering of 30 CZT's.  Unfortunately I was having too much fun to take many photos, but I'm guessing the folks on Facebook will have posted some by now.  Bette Abdu and Bette Beauregard did an amazing job organizing the retreat - thank you both for all your hard work.  And thanks to all in attendance - many fun connections were made - hope to meet up with you all again someday.

 click  image for a larger view

Challenge 141 - Duotangle - Fengle and Quandary

I don't use either of these tangles very much - I don't have a very good feel for them.  With Fengle, I love the light airy flow that I see in others work but mine always seem to come out heavy and rather pudgy.  Quandary, maintaining size and alignment - never been my strong suit.  I think with Quandary I'd probably have just as much luck if I tossed actual rice grains on the page and outlined them.  But hey, I'm always up for a challenge - try to post my first but that one - well, it looked like someone stomped on fengle so here's take 2.

Challenge 140 - Pointillism

I enjoy adding stippling to my tangles so I thought this would be a fun challenge and it was.  Since I was curious about the differences between stippling and pointillism, I spent some time with Ms Google to find out.  What I discovered is that this challenge was more about stippling than pointillism and had saved some of the information to include when I posted the image.  However before that happened Linda over on wrote a post on this very topic - much better than I would have done - it's an interesting read so hop on over and read her post Going Dotty - Exploring a Stippled Zentangle she does an excellent job of explaining the differences.

Challenge 136 and 138
Colour Colour Everywhere  &  Fun with Borders

 For the CZT Retreat, everyone was to make 30 ATC's to swap on the first night.  Since this activity was added late in the game we had the option to make copies if we wanted or not.  My head hurt as I started reading the directions for getting a good copy made and cutting them out - decided that felt too complicated for me and making 30 would just take time - so I did.

It went well and I was pleasantly surprised (or maybe a bit shocked) with the way they turned out.  Why shocked? --  I don't really care for the ATC size and shape, I haven't worked a lot with black as I have a love/hate affair with white pens and I rarely work with color.  I did not have the white ATCs so black it would be.  I do like the look of the metallic gel pens on black so pulled those out and just started in. Somewhere along the line I decided having a border provided the structure I needed and I did decide to limit the tangles I used.  One of the suggestions in the retreat info was to use a theme if we were so inclined.  I didn't start with a theme in mind but after completing the first 4 or 5 I realized I'd created a theme anyway.  I was using metallic sparkly pens and enhancing them with the Wink of Stella Brush glitter pens.  If all that sparkle, bright colors and glitter doesn't say Las Vegas I don't know what does!

Challenge 138  Fun with Borders

Challenge 136  Colour Colour Everywhere

I used a few different borders on about half of the ATC, but a favorite of mine is a pattern my brother created - Tierso.  Visit his blog Tangles and More to see more of his work.

Here are two versions for creating Tierso - while his version works well, I find have better spacing by drawing it the opposite way he does.

Tierso by Donald Wilka

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Catching up . . . again!

Lots of tangling just not a lot of posting lately.

Challenge 128 a repeat of the two pencil string technique.  Ugh - started out with so much potential, not sure when it went haywire but it did.  Following in Laura's steps of posting her first attempt - this is mine.  This one is destined for some added work may end up with pieces of it in a collage.  Added the vignette digitally to soften it a bit.

click on image for larger view

Challenge 127 - a duo tangle using the tangles Cirquital and Opus - definitely a challenge as these are two patterns that are not at the top of my list.  Cirqiutal - have not found the flow of this one, at least using it in a circle - just cannot find the spacing that I liked.  I have used the overlapping leaves in other shapes but for this challenge wanted to at least attempt the circle again - need the practice.  Opus is one of those mirrored patterns that most of the time I don't like my results but I've learned to never give up.  I had a lot more comfort using it in this tile. Will have to move it up the list and try to work it into other tiles.  Practice Practice Practice!

Challenge 126 was stencil fun - don't own any craft or design stencils but what's a stencil if not a template or pattern.  Don't remember what site had this template but there it was in my Snagit/Evernote folder just waiting for this challenge.  One of the great things about Zentangle - no matter what idea or image you may have in your head when you start out, the result is always a surprise.  When I started with this design I fully intended to fill in the spaces but when I finished the first part I really liked the simplicity and decided to stop and let it be.   For those of you that have followed this blog you know how strange that is for me - there's not a lot of open space in most of what I create - so have a laugh with me.  Simplicity reigns.

Are you tired of looking at images yet?  Here are a few more.  These are the postcard size (4"x6") that I did for a recent CZT swap - Mindful Postcards.  Any tangle we used had to start with one of the letters in Mindful.  One went to Australia and 3 went to the East coast.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Calling all CZT's

Have you signed up for the 3rd Annual CZT Retreat?

The Retreat is open to all CZT's but I want to give a shout out reminder to any CZT's that live closer to the West coast than the East.  As you know many of the retreats and events are held on that other coast but the 3rd Annual CZT Retreat will be a held little closer to home this year - Las Vegas.

Don't wait until the last minute to send in your registration.  If you drop it in the mail now and it's postmarked by Thursday July 25th you qualify for the Early Bird Discount.

The basic info -

Thursday October 3 to Sunday October 6, 2013
Homewood Suites, Las Vegas NV
Workshops with Beckah Krahula, CZT #6 and Suzanne Wilka, CZT #4 (yes that would be me)
Creative Art Bar - always open. and more…..

Full details are at

Look forward to seeing you there!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Diva Challenge 125 UMT - Birdie Feet

The first challenge of the month is Use My Tangle and this week it's a tangle named Birdie Feet.  Had no idea how I might use this tangle, but I'd recently come across 2 other new patterns that I was itching to try.  I just made my challenge a little broader for me - use all three new to me tangles.  Technically 2 I have never used but the one while it's still a new tangle I did use it on one other project.  It's very detailed so I consider it still new as I need the practice.

click on image for larger view

I came across this tangleation step-out for Fiore posted by Debra Castaldi on her blog Mainely Tangles.  Oh My - my kind of tangle - look at all those lines!!!!!!   Fiore was posted on a few days before - I liked it a lot but before I could try it out I saw the tangleation and had to go their first.  (This is the second attempt pattern.)

Then I saw Fiddler  a new pattern by Lara Williams.  Love the high contrast values of Fiddler.  I drew the upright one first - no practice.  When I was finished it I was wishing I'd been a bit more focused as to spacing.  The second one went much better, but I still felt like I had not been as true to the pattern as I could have been.  Imagine my surprise when I went back to look at Lara's example and it was not as off kilter as I'd imagined.  While I still want to tighten it up a bit I'm pleased and will definitely be using these two patterns more

Birdie Feet used it as fringe around Fiddler - worked Ok but will have to think more about how best to use this one.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Fun ZIA Projects

Just a fly by post - if you're looking for some fun ZIA (Zentangle Inspired Art) projects check out this blog post over on Tangles and More  The mattes are a cool idea. 
For fun and full disclosure he's a fellow CZT and oh yeah he's a pretty good brother.  And someday I hope to be able to draw the organic tangles as well as he does.

Back with this week's challenge entry later.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Is it a Zentangle?

Harrumph!  STOMP!  S.T.O.M.P!   Grumble Grumble Grumble!!!!!!

That, would be my first reaction Monday when reading the details for this week's challenge.   So what do we get  - a curveball or more like a dancing and dipping knuckleball - "can you do a Zentangle without using existing patterns or tanglelations of them?  And what are your experiences while doing so?"

I have a rare Monday morning available to actually do the challenge first thing and the challenge is to create without using known patterns - huh???   Time to follow the advice I often provide in a class - Breathe - Relax - Smile.

While calmer I still had quite the game of pong bouncing around in my head.  So many thoughts from all different directions.  Trying to make sense of it only seemed to bring up more ideas.  No way to get it down in any logical order so what follows is pure Randomonium  - the short version.

Zentangle is the process used to create, not the product one creates, but I'm guessing that's not really the distinction being made with this challenge. 

Patterns - Zentangle patterns vs other patterns.  Are they different - again probably semantics but  patterns are not Zentangle.  Zentangle has provided an easy method of creating patterns that have been around forever.

What defines the patterns we are to not use - just those patterns published by Zentangle or on tangle  or from the Flickr pattern group or from books, or from other's blogs?  I've been collecting patterns from a variety of sources since I started working on gourds and even more since I discovered Zentangle.  I have 1100+ stored on my iPad plus several books - so are all of those patterns off limits for this challenge?

In my case I've been using many of the patterns that would be labeled as Zentangle patterns for years - woodburning them on gourds - patterns like hollibaugh, shattuck, keeko, waves, daggerly, gneiss - just to name a few. So would it be fair game for me,  if for the challenge, I used patterns that I used before I discovered Zentangle or would they be off limits?

 click any image for larger view

So what is it exactly that we are being asked to do?  Create new patterns?  Use patterns or elements of patterns in new and creative ways?   Draw real objects rather than random patterns? Doubt that's the case. 

Being a Gemini I can drive myself nuts debating with myself, so at some point I turned down the volume and focused on how I might approach this challenge.  I thought a lot on how I created the wood burning on gourds.  I started either with an inside shape or outside border and just built each element off of the previous element.  That thought led me to the 5 basic strokes used in Zentangle -

Aaah the plan of action is taking shape. First stop thinking and analyzing make it about the process, find the Zen of the Tangle.

I would build this week's challenge starting with a basic shape - in this case I started with a circle in the center of the tile.  From there I could use one of the 5 pen strokes to add to and create the challenge piece.  No specific pattern was planned but if one showed up so be it.
Since this was a different way of working on a Tangle I've included a few WIP (work in progress) shots to show how it grew.

click any image for larger view

I wasn't really grumpy just perplexed as to what I might do.  Wasn't even sure I would take on this challenge. Glad I did as it turned into a very fun exercise - one I'll definitely keep in the toolbox for Zentangle as well as woodburning.

 It's not shaded - yet - not sure if I will - need to let it breathe a bit and look at it later.  I'm also debating if there needs to be something more in the center.  Any thoughts - suggestions/comments welcome.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Catching Up

Several Challenge photos to post today - have been creating tiles for the challenges - never got around to getting them posted here.

This week's challenge Grid (un)Locked comes from the recent Zentangle Newsletter which presents a different way to think about grids.  The challenge was to use some of the "grid seeds" presented in the newsletter or create your own.  Visit the Diva's blog to read more about the challenge and view the art being created this week.

Challenge 122  Grid (un)Locked

I did two tiles for this challenge.  In this first tile I  used "seeds" from several different sources.  You might say I created one - only because I set out to use Maelstrom but started it out on the wrong plane so ended up doing something quite different.  I like it so may have to use it again!

click images for larger view

 Panzi, Dex, Lace, Betweed, and Oopsy Maelstrom

This second tile was a pattern/structure I saw some time ago.  The first time I saw it I passed and moved on which I generally do when patterns are drawn using graph paper - not a fan.  I really did like the look and the possibilities it presented so when I came across it again and saw alternate directions that did not require the "help" of the graph paper I decided to give it a try.  It's not the easiest one to create - I have a large stack of tiles of my unsuccessful attempts to prove that.  I like the 3-D aspect  so decided to give it another try for this challenge.  The alignment is still a bit off but this is the best one I've created so maybe there's hope after all.  It was fun deciding how to fill it in.


Challenge 121 - Birds On A Wire

This was UMT - Use My Tangle - Birds on a Wire from Mary Kissel.  I had tried this tangle a couple of times but never had a good feel for it. Recently I saw the suggestion on about turning it upside down and drawing a "fancy" 6. That didn't work well for me either but that post was a good reminder to look for different ways to step it out to get it to work.  I find that if I draw the strokes  moving horizontally rather than vertically I have a much easier time and more consistent spacing.  The real challenge for me ended up not being Birds on a Wire but Sindoo - another pattern I just did not get!  A fellow tangler shared a ZIA she is working on and she had a lovely Sindoo section.  Just had to give it another go!

Birds on a Wire, Sindoo

Challenge 120 Bales

I like Bales not sure why I don't use it more often.  Two of my favorite patterns Yew-Dee and Puf are built on Bales.  Even though you lose sight of Bales with those two patterns I decided to include them since without Bales they would not exist.

Bales, Puf, Sindoo

Challenge 119 Ebony "n" Ivory

The challenge was to create a work that had a balance of Black and White.  One way to go was a mix of  Black on White and White on Black.  Since I've yet to find a white pen that is worth the frustration the present I opted to choose tangles that provided their own balance of Black and White.

Beeline, Paradox, Knightsbridge, and Florz

Whew - thanks if you made it this far.  Think I'd rather post more often but we'll see how that goes.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Diva Challenge #118 - UMT Kuke

It's UMT (Use My Tangle) week at the Diva Challenge.  Kuke, created by Katy Abbott after examining a slice of cucumber - step-out and full explanation here.

Meet my nemesis - petal shapes!  Not sure why but my #1 struggle is any pattern with a petal shape in it - Hello Kuke!  But hey, I'm game it is the Diva Challenge after all.  Someday with enough practice, petals and I will be on friendlier terms.  I actually like the look of this pattern - I don't dislike petals - really - I just never get the results I'm going for.   Practice, Practice Practice!

When I was ready to scan this piece I could not decide which orientation I liked best so I'm posting the 2 versions I liked.  Each one speaks to me with a different voice.  Enjoy.

Kuke #118

 Tangles: Kuke, Hibred, Rain, Swaddle

click image for larger view

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Diva Challenge 116 Blind Sighted

Straightforward challenge prompt this week - draw the string with your eyes closed.  It's a nice reminder for me tha itt's nice to mix things up and use a string now and then.  I rarely use strings and when I do I usually push the boundaries and work outside the lines.  Hmmm - why should creating tangles be any different than life in general!?  Did remember to grab a picture of the string shortly after I started working on it.

Blind Sighted

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Diva Challenge #114 Stars v2.0

The last time we had Stars as the challenge prompt was 110 challenges ago for Challenge 4 in January 2010.  I finally stopped working on this one - whenever I thought I was done it always seemed to need more.   The last more I added - the gold and silver gel pens.  Added the gold as the shading just didn't provide enough definition for the Fengle to stand out.  The black was just too stark - I left the center without the dots . . .  for now.

You with the Stars in Your Eyes - Stars v 2.0

Fengle, Afterglo

click an image for larger view

. . . catching up with the last couple of challenges

113 - Hip to be Square

Shattuck, Yew-Dee

Puf, Knightsbridge, Paradox

112 - UMT (Use My Tangle) Tuxedo

Tuxedo w/Auras

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Diva Challenge #111 Mooka Monotangle

Where has the time gone - guess I've been having too much fun.  Though I've completed several of the recent challenges just have not posted them.  At the end of this post is info on the broken Lightbox issuse and an unofficial (maybe official) fix that does seem to correct the problem.

This week's challenge is to do a monotangle using Mooka.  I love seeing how others use this tangle but it's one that has always been a huge challenge for me.  I've watched the video of Maria drawing Mooka - it's a treasure - and studied the step outs in the newsletter but still have not mastered the flow of this one.  I lost count of how many tiles gave their life in my attempts to create something that one might recognize as Mooka.  During my many attempts I stumbled on to drawing two Mookas to create a heart shape.  I had lots of practice while waiting for my car to be serviced.

One of the things that appeared in my sketch pad took on the shape of a pendant.  From there I added smaller versions of mooka within the curves - reminds me of delicate wire work jewelry.  I used Micron Sepia and Brown pens - did the stippling with the Sepia pen trying to create a hammered metal look - unfortunately the scanner does not really produce that effect.  It's going to take a lot more practice to master Mooka but I actually liked several of the practice tiles I did so that's progress!

Mooka Heart Pendant

click images for larger view

Spent a bit more time working with Mooka

 Zendala tile originally done black on white however
 - thought it looked better after inverting the colors.

Here a few of the other recent challenges

107  Quandry

108  UMT Whyz

110  Get Rid of the Box

Lightbox on Blogger is Not Working
(Note: Lightbox is automatically disabled if Dynamic Views is enabled for your blog.  If this case the following info does not apply to your image display options.) 

***** UPDATE April 4, 2013 - It appears Google has corrected this issue. However I'll leave the post as is - just in case ;>)

On another note - while gathering up the photos for the Diva slideshows - I thought all the folks using Blogger had changed their photo settings as the Lightbox image display option was not working - no more overlay with the thumbnails of all the photos.  Clicking on a photo only opened that individual photo and required the back button (no X) to return to the blog post.  I started digging around and discovered that Lightbox was no longer working on my blog as well.

I went to my favorite Blogger help blog to see if there were any posts there and found a possible solution that I've applied to my blog and now Lightbox is back.  There is no word from Google that there is a problem but it seems to be affecting all blogs built on blogger.  The fix I found - while not official does require using the Edit HTML function.   Always use this option at your own risk and only after backing up your blog.

Here is the link to the post on  The Real Blogger Status 

**** BIG BIG DISCLAIMER  - I have no way of knowing if this fix will conflict with other code in your blog - if you proceed you do so at your own risk.  I am only passing along what worked for me and seems to be working for others.  The Real Blogger Status blog seems to imply that the code may have come from an official source but no way to know for sure.  I looked around on the forum that is mentioned and saw the post that is referenced but again no guarantees promised here.****

I'm no HTML or CSS expert but after several failed attempts I did finally get it inserted correctly.  What's not completely clear in the posting is exactly where to paste in the new script.  I finally found the solution in one of the comments posted to the blog.

Once you click on the Edit HTML button and scroll to the bottom of the code - you should see <html>  as the last item of the code.  On my blog it was at the end of the line of other code and not on a separate line  - like this

</b:section-contents><b:section-contents id='footer-1'/><b:section-contents id='footer-2-1'/><b:section-contents id='footer-2-2'/><b:section-contents id='footer-2-3'/></html>

What I needed to do was insert the cursor here  >|</html>  and then hit return a couple of times.   Paste in the script from The Real Blogger Status so that <html> is at the end - doesn't seem to matter if it is on a separate line - then save your template.  It would also be good idea to backup up your template again so you will have a copy of the most recent template of your blog.

I don't do it as often as I should but creating a backup on a regular basis is a good idea - that way you will always have a recent and updated copy in case you ever need to restore your blog.