Friday, October 30, 2015

It's a Candy Corn String Thing

When I saw the string thing challenge for this week, I never dreamed I would have so much fun with it.

Halloween was all OVER at work today. Costumes and mini candy bars everywhere, and so many cubicles decorated as creepy as can be. Well, that's where I was when I started this challenge, and I'm sure it influenced me.

It is a string filled with candy corn shapes, and the patterns all start with C. I started with Chartz and ended up with these eyeball looking things, so I ran with the eye theme. They're all over the place! The Jack o Lanterns simply had to be part of it.  I also love the goofy, funky Cracked for this. What fun!

A Halloween color scheme...
And at the very end I did a border of confettus. Yup, this was one of the most fun pieces I've ever done. Enjoyed every minute!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Moshier U Challenge

This week SuzyMosh's challenge is to use tangles beginning with U, as well as those of guest artist Elena Hadzijaneva.

For this challenge, I picked up a piece I had already started. 

I went down the left margin with heart rope, made shiny. In the upper right corner, Croscro, and across the top, Ciceron. Then I put some hollibaugh in and a ruffle of Meringue.

And then I set it aside for a few. 

When the Mosh challenge came along, I picked it up again and started putting some relevant patterns in, under the meringue

Hypnotic by Elena is a favorite from my very first days doing zentangle. Undling DOES start with U, but I've used it before...but it just fit with the repeated fine lines of the hypnotic. Then Up and Across behind, repeated the stripe running down from heartrope into meringue. The hypnotic reminded me of bunso which was my VERY first tangle pattern, so I put some there. 

We needed some more U patterns, so I put an arch of Ups and Downs along my Hollibaugh arch

and notice the Join in there, under the Hollibaugh...and when I was halfway through filling that in, I caught it: Join is a repeat of the shape from heartrope!

This turned into a real exploration. Starting with patterns, repeating their shapes or their sparkles, drawing out the feel of each tangle, making new interactions and really running with the elements of patterns.

This is the piece in its entirety. Some of the details I added were perfs and ribbons; the shading in hollibaugh just makes it rise from the page. A few ribbons on the bottom sort of carry the theme of shiny stripes. Another croscro and some wavy ripple thing I invented finished it off. 

The only thing I would change would be to make the bottom left patterns bolder. I used 05 for a lot of this piece, but the fineness of lines for hypnotic and undling sort of need 01 IMO.

What does it remind me of.  It is quite structural, but with lots of motion. Maybe a Medieval city square with a fountain, and some merchants. Some stone, some water, some cloth.


This week the Diva turns over her blog to a guest CZT, Paula Bramante. She shared her love affair with stones, cairns,  and ceremony, and asked us to tangle using the cairn or stones as our inspiration.

A cairn is a stack or pile of stones that marks the way for travelers. They can be found on mountaintops, along trails or at the peak, to mark that people have been there. There are large, tall cairns, that are like permanent structures, and there are people...artists...whose passion is

How cool IS this!

when I first read about this, I tried my hand at building cairns on the bed of the creek, in the park where I like to walk. It was meditative, and creative. It would be fun to really take the time to find the center of gravity in each stone. I love it!

And I love the idea of waymarks, set up for travelers on a path, to help them know they are going the right way. Lovely metaphor. We all need some guidance in our journey thru life.

Ultimately, a piece I had done using ING came to mind.

thinking about stones and such brought this piece to mind. It is the first I drew in my medium large sketchbook and I really liked the corner with ING in it, and that stone wall.

so when I got thinking about this challenge, I thought I'd go with ING. It does look like a tall narrow stack. Sort of balancey.

ING, Dust Bunnies, and River. 

 Anyone who can walk this path is already free of the pull of gravity.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Diva Challenge: The Seasonal Edition

This week, I finished a few more tiles in the "emergent flower" theme. Like the flower is slowly rising up out of the paper and filling up the color with its shapes.

While garden mums ARE autumnal, these tiles have no tangle patterns on them at all, so I decided to do a piece using leafy, seedy, blowy, swirly tangles.

I started in the middle, with Prestwood, and I've been in a "frond" sort of mood, so those were next, on top. In the spaces between my fronds, Fricle! That's an old favorite that I haven't got out in a while.

In the Fall, the ground gets scattered with leaves and other detritus, so I made a drift of Widgets, Podz, PeaFea, and my own Flysh.     A few sparkles, a few single seeds. Then Diva Dance, flowing and blowing, and a line of Flux along the edge. There needed to be some leaves fluttering down, so I did a few single flux leaves there, with Rain Dotty. An aura. Then Umble and some more Fricle. Oh, and up top, some energy swooshes along with those spiraly things.

Then I colored it. And that is my Autumn Inspired ZIA.

A comment about my new mediumish sketchpad.

My favorite sketchpad has been the Canson 5.5x8 spiral bound 100 sheets, 65 lb. Small enough to be portable, with a decent paper and not too expensive. And I have bought them at Michael's up until lately...Michael's seems to have dropped that item completely. And, as a matter of fact, they don't have gray toned sketchbooks either, which I wanted.

Well, I found a sketchbook by Canson, just a noodge bigger at 7x10, and the paper is 98 lb multi media and OH BABAY, do I like this paper! What a difference the heavier weight makes. The size isn't the most convenient, but truly, the paper is luscious. And Canson is committed to sustainable paper making practices, which makes me happy.

Check out their site here.  and click around. I'm actually pretty impressed.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

SuzyMosh and Joey Challenges

A real quick blog post this's been a lovely, busy week, and today will be busy but my day hasn't *quite* launched yet, so I'll get these challenge entries posted.

Suzy' challenge is for P tangles this week, plus the work of Sayantika Ray. I went a little nuts and filled a page in my medium sketchbook with P patterns and two of Sayantika's patterns: Tuck In and Woodlock. Both of them appear more than once in the piece. Woodlock makes a terrific border.

 The string for this one was to trace four tiles on the page, then I chose String # 178 from and put it "in" each "tile". In the lower right corner, this made quite a jumble of string, with lots of little spaces, and that is where I started with Tucked In. That one was the most fun of the patterns I chose, though Pand comes in a close second.

Some P tangles I already knew, such as Purk, Paradox, and Pineapple (by Neil Burley). Others are completely new to me. Paiz ended up sort of being a star in this one, to finish the cornders. Pand, Planateen, Pea-fea, and Podz.

(I REALLY like Podz. In the beginning steps, it reminds me of my own Starsket     that sort of five point foundation.)

At Joey's place, we've gotten to the T's and the monotangle this week is TaDa. What fun, because I first used TaDa in Adele Bruno's "It's a String Thing" Challenge just last week!

For some reason, I can't seem to get the lines between the rows of perls to meet up the way so many samples of TaDa show. But it is a relaxing pattern, and I'm going to play with it some more today.

I did this one first, on a Bijou tile (homemade...can you see the glitches in the edges?) ...and see? The radiating lines don't converge all cool and sort of  "gathery"

This one, on gray, has some of that converging lines effect. It would be fun to do this style on a grid and have a whole pageful with all kinds of swerving and converging lines, like vortices.

and last but not least, this one with a variety of tangleations:

On pink. My favorite is that upper left, where I just focused on the perls.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Combined Challenges: Joey, Diva, and Suzymosh

Some good challenges this week.

SuzyMosh's random chooser chose Z, which we have done so there is also a guest artist, Livia Chua who has several tangles on while the diva has brought us Munchin, a rather dramatic pattern that is fun and relaxing to draw. I hope the diva didn't want a monotangle because...that is NOT what I did.

One tile got it all done.
The Love Train

 Using a brown tile and sepia 01 micron pen, I  started with munchin last night at work during free time, then started again this morning. That's when I decided to go with tangles from the Mosh challengs. I chose Zin for my Z tagnle, and Hearty by Livia Chua.

The Zin is like a railroad trestle, with Hearty the train? and Munchin everywhere...maybe the rhythm of the train over the tracks?

As always, my favorite part is the white highlights. Every tile should be toned, so white highlights can be used.

At Joey's we are up to S in our monotangle challenges: Striping! Very cool and dimensional when it's finished. 

I chose a bijou tile (mostly to save on ink) and String 103  because...Spiral!

I like the way the string holds its shape with this pattern. Adding the gleam makes a big difference.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


When I was playing around one day, creating Mezzanine,  and doing a lot of spirals, I discovered how cool it looks with Tropicana arcs inside a spiral.

I'm still not convinced on the name for this one, but I'm calling it Nugget for now.

 Draw a loose spiral

Aura it (I like to make my aura a little wobbly)

Starting at the open end, create arcs all the way in

Weight lines wherever they connect.

Shade and embellish.

 experimenting with warm and cool. I used black and sepia pen, then tried shading with either 50% French gray which is warm, or 50% cool gray, which

There is something pleasing about the Sepia with cool gray, but all of them turned out neat looking.

This is one of my favorite pieces. I carried on with the warm and cool, using cool gray and slate gray for my cool shading, and french gray for my warm.

I love how my spirally "nuggets" look, and with Lealad behind it, and some light spirals in various grays...I just really like it.


This pattern came to me when I was playing around with Abundies  by Hanny Waldburger.


1. Make a rounded U

2. Round the ends

3. Add a softly pointed arc

4. Add more rounded ends, stacked outward.

5. A rounded bud in the center.

Shading, embellishing, playing.

When it's finished, this looks like a sconce on the wall in a symphony hall or a ballet theater. Something a little bit Art Nouveau, really classy and elegant. So I call it Mezzanine.

I haven't used it often in my work...yet. It makes a tasty little treat, I think.


A few months ago I watched a documentary on Netflix, about the chef who invented that yummy spicy dish Genera Tso's Chicken, famous in Chinese restaurants.

Evidently there is a person who collects Chinese restaurant menus, and one of the menus had this cool circular design on it. It sort of reminded me of the flower of life, with overlapping circles that created the petals in their overlaps.

So this is Tso, a pattern I developed to try and capture that little flower on that menu in that documentary

 Start with a circle.

Place three circles at equal points around the center.

Place three circles overlapping between existing circles.

Draw a line from point to point where the circles overlap.

Shade. Dots?


And here Tso is, in a ZIA.

I was playing with Zenith really, but flowery, viney things started making their appearances. Some Pixioze, some LoLo, some Tso, and Bublz.

Friday, October 9, 2015

It's a String Thing

I have had fun with Pots N Pans before...really early in my tangle habit, actually. It is a funny little piece, very random, no pre-planning whatsoever. I just went where it took me. It has two versions of Pots N Pans, and Beetljz.

Cthuhlu Does the Dishes
And this week, Adele Bruno has given us Pots N Pans to play with again, in a string...that's her thing...the string thing! ha!  It was a fun set of patterns on a fun, angular, linear string: Hollibaugh, 2 n 5, and Pots n Pans, on String 113.

This is what I came up with

I started with the string, which already is halfway Hollibaugh...then 2 n 5 along the hollibaugh boards. With the first set of 2's, I was thinking "eyes!"...but I managed to hold back until I'd finished with the 2n5. But before I put the Pots N Pans, I DID have to get the eyeballs finished. Some of them I embellished more, some less. But really, it wouldn't be the same without the eyes.

Then I stacked the dishes, and added bubbles...see that sample of Bublz by Lori Byerly? Fun!..and some shading.

Looks sort of under watery, I guess?

Thursday, October 8, 2015


What! have we already got to R in Joey's Challenge?

And the monotangle is Rosewood. How lovely!

I chose a tile with deckled edges. The most recent purchase of tiepolo paper resulted in some damaged product, but with enough "good" to make lots of regular tiles and bijou. Well, the paper was already damaged, so I wasn't afraid to experiment. (I called the company when the damaged paper arrived. They very graciously replaced it with properly packaged paper, and I kept the stuff that had got bent.  ) Davinciartistsupply dot com. I will add, the shipping cost as much as the


To make deckled edges, you lay a good solid ruler down on the paper, after measuring, and hold it firmly down, and tear rather than cut. I did about a dozen that way, until I found that with deckled edges, the tiles weren't quite fitting in my little box that I got at JoAnn's. I did use a corner maker, and smoothed some edges, just to make them fit in my little box.

So I have some deckled tiles.

 Shading done in Dahlia purple and Tuscan Red prismacolor pencil, blended with the prisma blending pencil.

Rosewood has potential for real elegance, but I drew it sort of rustic and off balance, which I do like a lot.

Kay Tee and Kollide

This week at SuzyMosh's place, we are challenged to use new "K" tangles. I sure enjoyed this challenge, and chose two really fun tangles.

The first one to catch my eye was KayTee...and that's because my youngest is named Katie! and I have her on my phone as KT. It is a VERY fun tangle, too. Swervy and with enough repetitiveness to make it relaxing, and you end up with something quite elegant to look at, whether you do it formally, sort of lined up and symmetrical, or as a border or dangle. I didn't have to practice this one as  much. It just seemed to come naturally. Lots of fun.

Then Kollide! Oh my goodness, what fun I had with this tangle.                                                                                                                                                                    
So elegant!
 This one has a real steampunk feel to it. 

A single motif, isolated. Yummy little bon-bon!

So, with KayTee and Kollide well practiced, I went ahead. The challenge from The Diva this week is a UMT, TriBee, which was also a wonderful tangle, new to me, and very fun to do. So I started with TriBee along the top, as a garland. 

It was looking sort of formal from the garland, so I decided to run with symmetry. KayTee along the left and right border, and Kollide along the bottom. Then that sweet little bonbon that I practiced, and a couple strands of more gridlike KayTee behind.. A repeat of the border KayTee right down the middle. 

I colored the pearls yellow, and then didn't like it much, so I asked...heh...Katie...what she thought, and she suggested blue in the bon bon, which I followed up with in the center row of KayTee. That was just the ticket, and the blue finished it up real nice. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Try TriBee

Oh my goodness, what a fun pattern the diva has challenged us with this week!

TriBee by Beate Winkler is SO much fun to play with! It has a very leafy look that can be a border or a swag, or fill up a space.

I played with it a bit, and my random doodle play time turned into my entry for the challenge.

I think TriBee will be a fun one to make Christmasy. Can you imagine a wreath made of it? The little clumps of leaves with the dotted line are Dicso, which looks just like poinsettia when you bundle it, so because TriBee was looking like Christmas, I tucked in several posies of Dicso.

Behind everything, I drew a highly simplified flord to ground things. I will be using TriBee and Dicso for Christmas cards this year. Fun!

Now, I also wanted to show off a piece I like a lot. Recently I colored a bunch of tiles with my Derwent water color pencils, and some of them look so flowery, I did them up with varieties of petals and centers

This is my favorite.

I did some more tiles colored in this palette, and plan on making a gift to my sis in law, four tiles similar to that last one, with the petals sort of rising up out of the background.

This is another colored tile I made when hamail was on my mind:

A cool color palette, blue and green. Hamail at the center, and my own concert radiating out. I really like this one, and have it on the wall of my cubicle at work.

And last but not least, some play time after I got Helen Williams' e-book "Three Simple Rules" about relaxing!

 These are in my large sketchbook. An easy pattern to fill up lots of space, and truly relaxing to  draw.
This would be fun in a wreath, too.


Something I thought of today, when I saw on FB a friend who was announcing NaNoWriMo

(National Novel Writing Month)

NaNoWriMo is the idea that you can rattle off a 50,000 word novella in one month (November). I gave it a go several years ago, but got stumped by my inner critic, and didn't finish.

However, with zentangle every day, I've given up the old perfectionism, and have seen my creativity increase dramatically. I'm much more accepting of my own work, and not nearly as worried about making a mistake as I have always been.

I wonder how that will bear, if I go for NaNoWriMo again this year. Will I be able to forge past the inner critic and keep writing even if it isn't perfect? It would be fun to find out, I think.