Monday, September 29, 2014

Blind String: Diva challenge 187

the challenge from Diva Laura Harms   this week is to make a blind string, and fill it with tangles!

It's been fun. I'm still doing it, but have finished two tiles. The first one, I took a pic with my camera before starting the tangles.

The second one, i took the picture of the empty string with my phone...and for some reason it's not letting me email it to myself. So...I have a pic of the string for the first tile, and not for the second tile.

Today I received a shipment of pens from Blick, which is an online art supply. Excellent prices! I bought six micron pens in 01, and six in 03, a blue/black in 05, and a burgundy in 05. I'll add more colors as I go. Green would be good. is my first string:

I was surprised by how scribbly it was!

And this is what I did with it:

The Salt Lake area has an amusement park called Lagoon, and this tile reminds me of it, but twisted, so I call it "Lagoon on Acid" hahahaha! Yeah, that's the kind of mood I'm in.
Patterns: suckees, aquafleur, truffles, ojo, twile, fescu, bales, and my own concert. (the "rays" thing on top of the bales) and made simple lines to fill in the background. 

and, here is my second tile, sorry there is no empty string to offer. It was a  "calmer" string, with broader strokes and less busy-ness.

In this one, i played with my  new burgundy pen. Phicops, stripes, coil, n'zeppel, shattuck (with my own crax) and a little bit of flux. A simple background of aura'ed stripes.Minimalist shading in this one. I used my 005 pen on the n'zeppel and coil, and some pencil on the phicops and shattuck.

And I am playing with another blind string on yellowish card stock and another in my sketchbook.

It's fun finding the patterns to fit all the shapes in the random string shapes.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Leaf String Thing

Okay, I have had so much fun with the leaf challenge from The Diva. There is so much diversity of shapes to choose from, and autumn colors, and of course tangle patterns galore!

During a lovely walk, I selected different types of leaves, and brought them home.

willow, maple, cottonwood, sweet gum, birch

Paper Birch leaves are so elven and delicate

all the yellow leaves

The cottonwood leaf surprised me, because looking at it, there is such a symmetry about it. I ran with the cottonwood shape. I tried out the symmetry theme, but didn't like how it turned out, after two tries. So, I decided to monotangle a series of cottonwood leaves.

 The first one, after a lame attempt at symmetrical, was this stippled leaf. I love how 3D it went with the white highlights.

Part of me wanted to do architectural stuff. The lovely teardrop symmetry of the cottonwood, with a more linear, solid looking "building" tangle sounded great, so I did a leaf in Dex.
 And Florz seemed like a good "building" design. This is in brown, so in real life, it's not as visible, but I shaded with stippling, and then highlighted with an ivory pencil, and one little dot of white gel pen. THAT made me real happy.

This one is a simple swirl pattern with weighted lines. I call it "smoke" and use it as filler in some of my tiles, but packed in tight into this leaf, a few berries added, and then highlighting with white gel pen...not bad. Kinda sparkly.
I hung them on my wall with sticky stuff:

And, I also went with a variety of shapes. Initially I wanted to do everything with paradox as I did the original maple leaf, but when I looked at the string of the sweet gum leaf, it demanded

sweet gum leaves, framed

willow brooch
 This is my favorite, after the first maple leaf. It is a willow sprig, and the pattern is prestwood. I think a jeweler could make an amazing silver brooch directly from this piece. I just love it.

maple leaf, red
This one is smaller than the original maple leaf, and is on a taupe paper, using paradox in the same technique as the original maple leaf.

The original maple leaf. My first entry in the challenge.

And here is the montage, as it is on my wall:

I had another picture, but the glass from the frames picked up everything from the room behind me hahaha. It's nice with the piano in front, though.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

It's All About the Leaves!

Our Diva Challenge this week is a string thing: Leaves!

Evidently Canada starts changing earlier in the year than Utah, because there isn't *much* color in the valley (though the mountainsides are starting to put on their finery)...and there's not many leaves on the ground. BUT walking around during my lunch break yesterday, I did find a couple of leaves. One, a maple.

In fact, wouldn't it be fun to decorate a leaf with tangles all over?

And what I ended up doing...well, I think it turned out amazing,, and I'm gonna do similar, with other autumn colors, and make a little montage for my wall.

This is how it looked after work last night.

 I have another piece that I started on, with a triplet of ash leaves, and a maple leaf traced on the paper. As I did one corner of the maple leaf in paradox, the idea hit me: a whole maple leaf, full of paradox!

So I set aside the first project, and started a new one, tracing the whole maple leaf in pencil, then penciling in triangles. (I will use pen for those triangles, for the other pieces I plan on doing in this set, because the pencil lines tend to glare.)

Weighting all my corners heavily, and rounding the edges made this look pretty cool. Right?

my first piece on colored paper
The stem looked flat though, so I added stippling along the edges, especially around the stem. I thought I might be done, but then decided to just add a little highlight on the edge of the

It's my white woodless color pencil and I LOVE what it does for my leaf!

Highlighting is different from shading, in that it is on the opposite side. so...there's a few places where the highlights are in the place where the shading would be (on the under side) but I realized how it had to be before I got very far with it, and finished the leaf with highlights on the upper edges of each segment.

This entire piece fits perfectly in one of my small frames...I found 20 or so frames at a yard sale, all matching, for .25c a piece...and it will be on my wall before the morning is over. AND! I will be starting another one similar, on a different color, maybe a different leaf shape. Same tangle, same highlighting.  Won't that be so cool!

In fact, I'm going out the door in a sec, to find some more leaves...the nearby park has an arboretum. I bet I can find leaves there.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Diva Challenge185: zen"tango" Phicops and Diva Dance

It's been a fun challenge this week. I've played with our two friends Phicops and Diva Dance a lot! It still feels like I'm thinking entirely inside the box, though.

"Phicops is roundish. Diva dance is fine and small" ... then I see how others have interpreted both patterns and just shake my head. I wonder what it will take to get me to REALLY explore, right brained, creative, no inhibitions.

Anyway, I created a few pieces.

Phicops is so seashelly, and the diva dance made itself into tendrils or seaweed very nicely. when I finished with all the phicops, it still needed something, so I put diva dance in the background, large. I liked that.

it's like the ocean floor, and a current running thru
I call this one "yinyin yangyang"

As I was working on the first piece, thumbprint came to mind. And I decided to make my duo tangle using thumprint as a "string." I used weighting instead of pencil shading. I'm really REALLY loving the technique of weighting my lines.

ferris wheel on the planet Xoid.
For this one I found a string at  and, still feeling really inhibited, I tried to do something different. You can see, at the top in the diva dance, and where the "trunk" begins to broaden near the bottom of the "wheel"...I did phicops inside some really narrow spaces that didn't work, and covered up my mist...oops, no mistakes in zentangle hee hee....and decided to put diva dance there instead.
I still ended up with a round phicops and a finely drawn, wood looking diva dance. 

This reminds  me of a ferris wheel. I think it would be a fun thing to put in a larger ZIA with other funky stuff.

So, yeah. I love the challenge, but I'm not happy with how stuck I am, doing all these patterns "the way they are supposed to be."

One more:

For the first time, I got at least one pattern out of the box: Diva dance as aura!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Diva Challenge #184: ING

There is a new "official" zentangle pattern, called ING, and that is our challenge from the Diva this week.    It's a fun pattern, easy to play with and lots of potential.

On the "official zentangle" website, they tell the story of where the pattern came from. That structure reminds me of something I've seen a few times, myself...the Salt Lake Olympic Torch:

Triangles are everywhere in architecture, because the triangle is the strongest basic structure, so they show up in many places. The Olympic torch is more symmetrical, but there are similarities. I like ING a lot, because the differences in size make it very interesting to look at, even without embellishments.

It was fun playing with ING, and I found it to be really cool, using a technique I've been working with the past week that I borrowed from n'zeppel and a pattern called bublz on one of my favorite blogs "All Things Tangled" (seriously...check it out. Lori is so creative with every pattern she plays with, and she's only discovered zentangle recently)

The technique I'm talking about involves "weighting" the lines, wherever two lines meet. It looks really cool with curlicues, and that is where my focus has been.

I really like the look of it, and went nuts playing.

this is my favorite

So when ING came along, this is how I did it:

I played around with it a little bit, but truly this technique makes everything look so cool! I want to play around with ING, but for now...this is fun to look at.

Friday, September 5, 2014

UMT Diva Challenge 183: X-did

So, this week's challenge from our beloved old married lady Diva
is to use the tangle x-did by Annette Carlo. (see what I did there? Two to the challenge, and one to the 10th Anniversary Edition of the blog!)

I struggled with this, truly. Because it is so linear and has so many sharp corners and not much free form, I was having difficulty being creative. I still think I haven't done it as much justice as many others, but have been playing with it daily for the whole week.

My first piece:

this was actually me just practicing it. I finished three rows, then started weighting the v on each repeat. When I put the circles inside the weighted v's, it began looking like a bird condo, so I put in a bunch of bird on a wire for fun.
The only thing I liked about this was that I let myself "see" something in the pattern as I played with it.

Now, this pattern has oodles of potential. You can change it up any way you want. Do it large, do it small, embellish it, add lines, shading, etc. I know this, and haven't been happy that I remained uninspired.

So I played with it some more. The main feature of this pattern that came out as I played is the trio of diamond shapes that sit, one on top of the other, within each repeat. I played with that over a few themes and came up with this:

I like this one a bit better, because at this point I was playing and letting myself delve into the pattern more thoroughly. I was pleased that it was showing me itself. (Note in the middle tier, the left most repeat, I flubbed it and covered my mistake with white gel. Sorry...right outside the zen quality of zentangle.
This still is so uncreative. Right inside the box, is what. But, the pattern is fun to play with, and I did have fun exploring.

And so, we come to my favorite sample:

when I singled out one repeat of the pattern and stopped and looked at it, there was Argyle Sock staring me right in the face!
It was even moreso, with color.

This pattern, looking so argyle-ish, would be fun to put with last month's UMT Mac Dee. In fact, wouldn't it be interesting to "plaid" some of the more linear and gridlike patterns?