Wednesday, December 17, 2014

diva challenge 198:K.I.S.S.

Keep It Simple, Silly.

The diva hands us the challenge of going back to the beginning, and simplifying.

Zentangle came my way at the beginning of the summer, and the first youtube video demonstration for me was Auraknot. It is a lot easier now that I've had lots of practice...and not just with auraknot, but with pens and paper in generally.

this is my first tangle done on tiepolo paper, the same stuff official Zentangle (R) tiles are made of.

I like the rustic, hand drawn feel of this. Adding Tipple finished it.

one early favorite is Mr E, which I like because it is so striking, and the numerous lines are relaxing. This is an ATC featuring mr E in  a simple string.

My plan is to create a simple tile every day this week as a meditative exercise.

I have loads of images, as I have been following the diva challenges, but not able to post them. And this may be my last post. Depends on if my computer co operates. They found that my mother board is corrupted (?) and the repair is more expensive than a new laptop, but I can use it until it's all used up. This was the first thing i did with it.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Diva Challenge 193, part two

Okay, I played with THX some more and came up with another offering for the Diva Challenge.

This time, Xyp was the star. It reminds me of some kind of bramble, climbing, thorny. I like the colors I chose. I need to play with color more, and learn the delectable shading and blending I've seen on so many pieces. But I think dark blue and tan work together in this piece.

It sure is blurry. Soon I hope to have a scanner, like Dave Hunter's.

Speaking of, we had our second Intermountain Tanglers Gathering last Saturday.

David Hunter, Annie, and Robin
Our Ensemble, in progress.

We were delighted to have two ladies show up, who had gotten word of the Gathering from Marie English CZT here in Salt Lake. There was another gal who tried to find us, but couldn't locate the library where we were. This was SO much fun! Annie has a supremely fine hand, and Robin has only been tangling since October of this year. Her tile is the lower left, and just look at how precise and detailed her work is!
When we get together in December, the ensemble will be complete, and David is going to scan it for us and post on his blog. The  artists are Upper Left: Annie; Upper Right: yours truly; Lower Left, Robin; Lower Right, David Hunter.
I hope this group grows, and I hope we have as much fun every time, as we have had for the two times we've gotten together up to now.

Monday, November 10, 2014

THX to the warriors

This week's Diva Challenge is presented by a guest CZT Holly Atwater.

An adorable post about her experience at the zentangle conference where she met Our Diva, along with great pics! And the challenge is a tritangle using three patterns, that start with

THX (for thanks!)

Playing with it, I found Xyp reminded me of a fence, and Trio was like clouds blowing in the wind...and why not Huggins as a hilly rise?

Big Sky Country

I like this a lot, and Trio is SO much fun! I could go on forever with it...

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Diva Challenge 192 UMT Seton

This is my first blog entry in a few weeks, as my computer is dying on me. I have been practicing, though, and i did play around briefly with Seton, a UMT by Cris Letourneau.

I enjoyed Seton a lot. There's so much creative potential in it, so much scope for embellishments and play.

my first Seton piece. I like the freehand look of it

Here I used Seton in a piece with chimes, flux, flord, and a very simple version of amaze.

Seton here reminds me of drapes we had on the windows in the basement at home, when I was a child. With the "drapes" I thought of windows, so that's where chimes came in. In the end, it reminds me of maybe a sliding deck door out to a patio. I call it Window Treatment.

 That's all I finished with, using Seton. It's been a very busy week, and I've been following the course outlined in One Zentangle a Day and doing some little pieces when I get some free time (which hasn't been much) 

sorry about the quality. Even before my poor computer got sick, I had quality issues for not having a scanner, and used my digital camera and some minor editing. Well, that editing software is gone now, so the quality went downhill. Hopefully soon I'll have the computer back to semi normal, plus I AM going to get a scanner. Dave Hunter is guiding my purchase of that, thank you very much, friend!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

UMT: Yuma diva challenge 189

Well, this is an interesting pattern. Lots of auras, so it's really relaxing. It's sort of three dimensional if you make the lines curved at the edges.

The Diva Challenge this week (accompanied by a hilarious and colorful story about Thanksgiving in Canada) is to use the tangle Yuma, created by Tina-AKUA whose blog is right here

To start, I made a page of yuma, to get the feel of it:

It doesn't show up well, but I used crayola crayons to shade and color this piece. Olive green for the lozenge shapes, and forest green for shading the aura area.

As I played around, it began to remind me of fish in a current, so I made a little tile with that in mind, but didn't like it, and decided not to display it.
So I started a new tile with the fish in current theme...but when I highlighted the ovals, they looked just like hair barrettes, so I finished it with ribbony stuff:

I love what shading does!

this morning, waking up, I thought about how I would finish this tile, and another idea came to mind: a large sample, with the shading to make the oval pop somehow. Make it look really 3D. And this is how that one ended up:

again, shading makes it really work!

My idea had been to make the oval look solid, sort of rounded, in a nest of auras...and as I drew the auras, the idea to try and make the oval look deep came. With a couple of lines curved around the "interior" and some shading, I think it really does look like it is deep, like a hole really.

I have a couple of starts that I need to finish, and I have a blank that I traced so I'll still play around with yuma. Maybe a tile with a string, and use Yuma along with other patterns.

See what kinds of variations come along.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Meeting A Fellow Tangler: David Hunter!

What a fun couple of hours!

I had the privelege of meeting David Hunter (a favorite participant in the Diva Challenge every week. His comments on everyone's posts are so encouraging and heartfelt. I'm pretty sure anyone who might read this will know JUST who I'm talking about, because if you've posted something  for the Diva Challenge, chances are David has commented very warmly and with detail. ) And let me tell you, he is just as warm and genuine in person, as he is in his comments. Two delightful new friends!

So, on Saturday. David and his sweet friendly wife Linda met me at the library for our first Intermountain Tanglers Gathering! We will make it a regular monthly get together, the second Saturday of every month, and I am super excited about it!

This time around, because we are all so excited to meet other tanglers in person, we just admired each other's work (Let me tell you, this guy is a TALENTED portaitist...he has a sketchbook from before he discovered zentangle, with lots of delightful pencil sketches of faces, and some great cartoon stuff. Whimsical and funny. He's GOOD)

we admired each other's work, and talked about what we were doing artistically before zentangle, and looked at various pattern practices we've been working on. It was a couple of hours of delightful conversation...oh! and David showed me his hand scanner "The Magic Wand" ...I've been wanting a scanner, and now I think I know what one I'll be getting. Putting it on my wish list on Amazon, and giving family members the link ha! Hint Hint.

Next time, we may do a Zentangle Tile Ensemble. If we have a set of tiles prestrung, so the strings meet each other, and everyone does a few tiles, when we bring them together, we can match them up and see what we get.

It would also be fun to pick a string, print it up so we each have exactly the same string, and everyone create a tile, and see how our tiles are different, and how they are similar.

I'm excited about this little fledgling group, and I hope we get some other participants over the next several months. A gathering of maybe six or seven would be perfect, In My Opinion!

So, if you read this...IF...and you live in Salt Lake (I know you're out there!)...the second Saturday of every month, 1-3 pm, at the West Jordan Library. Ask for Intermountain Tangler Gathering and we'll see you there!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Diva Challenge 188: LGBT

The Diva Challenge this week is to create a tangle in honor of upcoming "Coming Out Day" which is Oct to me, and I have a gay person in my family!

And therefore, this is a topic near to my heart. Coming out can be VERY difficult for people, and my relative was no exception.She agonized for a long time, glum, troubled, depressed, and anxious. When she did come out, no one was surprised, and she suddenly was carefree, joyous, light, and sweet. Coming out set her free.

My first tangle was rainbow shaped,and I colored it in

I don't like it much. Blue and purple are in the "sky" while the rest of the colors are in the "rainbow."
Patterns used: Leaflet, phicops, flord, fiore, something with a flower in a grid, ditto, and my first use of Bateek.

The second one I decided to use tangles starting with L, G, B, and T.

LaBel, Laced, Girdy, Graancirkel,, Betweed, Bateek, Tropicana, Tripoli.
And, I think my subconscious did this...right there, next to the betweed is a tangle pattern I developed, and I call it Hitched.

Get it? Same sex marriage is in the news big time right now, and I put HITCHED in my LGBT tangle! hahahaha!
Oh, there is also some fescu growing up out of the ends of the Girdy. Also, a variation on Bales that I have been playing starts with the negative space of Bales, and ends up with circles kind of dominating. Anyway, it was another B pattern, but it really looks nothing like Bales at all...oh well.

At any rate, I had fun with this, and I actually do like how it looks.

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?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Stripes Challenge: Diva #182

This week, our Diva has for us a challenge to use stripes.

I filled a tile with striping not too long ago:

I don't know if this is in the spirit of the challenge, since it's a mono tangle AND because I actually made it before the challenge was issued.

But it looks cool enough, I thought I'd share it.
After all, is IS stripe-ed. (did anybody else grow up with the word stripe-ed a two syllable word? "get the stripe-ed umbrella" huh...just now remembering that. And "floweredy" A dress wasn't just flowered, it was floweredy.)

This is what I created in response to the challenge:

I made up my own string, but only two of the shapes stayed at the end: the arc across the background, and the pillar up the middle.
Patterns used are queen's crown, candy stripes, a riff on roel, umble, fandango, xyp, a row of printemps and dots, more queen's crown. The pillar is just striping. Oooh! It would be fun to make that striping look like a loose ribbon wrapped around!

A fun way to explore many tangle patterns :)
There are so many other patterns I want to play with, I'll probably do another stripe-ed tile. Or three.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Water Play

Okay I gave it a try.

I'm going to do it again, because there's a few refinements needed, but I worked up something approximating pool water in the sunlight

this is the finished piece. I think I captured the motion and shapes, while keeping zentangle ™ in mind.

I took pictures of the process, and have a little break down here.

step one: broad squiggles top to bottom
step two: random squiggles over

step three: repeat across

step four: random color squiggles following the black lines

After adding color, I had a couple of decisions to make. Color things in? Color the big spaces in, and leave the little openings between the squiggly lines? How to incorporate official zentangle?
 So I decided to n'zeppel it:
In a few places, I went "behind" some of the squiggles, just to add interest.

When I got a 40% off coupon for any item at Michael's, I bought the highest quality colored pencils I could find. These are woodless colour pencils by Progresso. The color goes on so smooth and rich. Usually I feel like I'm not doing them I need to know more, learn more, about how to maximize them. Meanwhile, I love these pencils. They are extremely fine and creamy smooth.

I colored in the large spaces, between the n'zeppel shapes and the squiggles. I left any spaces within the squiggles empty.

I used several colors, but the turquoise was most pleasing, so it is used the most. Here, all the spaces around the n'zeppeled parts are colored in, and I haven't done anything to the n'zeppeled spaces.
At this point, I was liking it a lot. It has motion and good shapes all through it here. Note: I made the color here rich and solid.
In pool water, there are sparks and quarks of light, moving constantly. I wanted to make the small spaces, inside the various squiggle lines, do that. I decided on two very light, bright colors

I used a bright lime green, and a sea green inside the squiggle lines. Three shades of blue, including turquoise, pacific blue, and true blue. 
True to N'zeppel, I shaded the shapes along the appropriate edges. Also notice, I aura'ed in a few places. In my next trial, I won't do that.

Then I colored in the large shapes with the turquoise and the sea green, lightly.

This is the finished piece. I'm going to do another one, partly because I want to make some refinements but mostly because it's SO MUCH FUN TO COLOR! ha!