Zentangle is...

The Zentangle® Method, created by Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts, is an easy to learn, fun and relaxing way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Let's Get Straight to It!

None of this curvy stuff this week, dixit the Diva.  Straight line tangles only, thank you very much.
I drew this one in my lonesome Moleskine. I started with Swarm, which sometimes worked for me! (I think I have to think of it like Tripoli, in terms of keeping the spaces the same distance. I also have to TURN MY TILE.)Next I added what I seem to remember seeing as a squared version of Cadent, which, by the way, was named for "hound's tooth", and kinda sorta looked like this. Phroz, ING, Munchin, W2 with Hibred fill and some other fill that I don't know what to call.  All in all, different for me, so I'm really happy to have done the challenge!
Thanks for your visit! Have a straightforward week ;)

Saturday, September 24, 2016


This week, the Diva was reflective on her practice and encouraged us to focus on the ZEN of Zentangle. I must confess, Zentangle for me, as I am not formally trained in art, is all about the method. When I teach my classes, I focus on the 8 steps of the method while we are making our tiles. So when I am alone, I tend to do the same. I never plan my work for the weekly challenges. What you see here is it! There was no initial sketch. I just try to go with the flow. Sometimes I flow more than others! (I find that the Diva's challenge lend themselves to this particularly well, in that they are the more open-ended of all the challenges I've seen. For me, when there are too many parameters, it's not as relaxing. But I realize that everyone is different, and admire the work that I see others doing.)

This challenge came at just the right time for me, too. In the past few months, much of my tangle time has been focused on creating lesson plans for new classes and teaching them. I'm looking forward to the next few months, when I'll be teaching fewer classes and focusing on drawing. I realize that it's when I'm drawing that I come up with ideas for classes. It always comes back to connecting with that inner creativity through the 8 steps, doesn't it?

Yesterday, while waiting to get supplies for Sunday's Zendala class, I pulled out my neglected little Moleskine and found a page where I had started Skye, in pencil. You may remember how much I struggled with that one!!! This week, I had learned Lollywimple, an easy, relaxing tangle, and Trelina, a more challenging one. I started adding Trelina to the incomplete pencil version of Skye, then had to stop. This morning, I took the time to go back and finish the page. Shading was particularly enjoyable. I'm relaxed and pleased.

May all your tangles be zen-ful. In joy, shade :)

Thanks for stopping by. Have a peaceful week!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Tripoli: Diva Challenge #284

Tripoli is one of my mac n' cheese tangles. It took me a while to "get it", but once I had, I was hooked. I love fitting the triangles together, with equally spaced auras, to make those wonderful hexagons. I love exploring with various sizes of triangles, just to see where Tripoli will go. For this tile, I added color, just to make those "petals" pop.

Can't wait to see everyone's take on Tripoli! I'm thinking my next Tripoli monotangle will be a sampler, showing all the different ways to work it.
Have a wonderful week! And thanks, as always, for your visit!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Diva's Weekly Challenge #282: Spill It!

I always enjoy looking at tiles that have a stain for a string. There's just such a deep sense of optimism, economy and audacity in turning an "oops" into something beautiful. I have only done a few stained tiles, but I am going to try more. This week's Diva challenge was, you guessed it, to use a spill as the basis for our work. I was delighted, because only last week, I made a huge discovery. In our new garden, growing next to and around our butterfly bush, is nothing other than 


Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved this plant and its magenta stems, leaves and berries. You can imagine how enticing it is to a child. Doesn't it look tasty and sweet? And yet it is highly poisonous--roots, stems, leaves, berries and all! Mothers warn their children to stay away, and look for those tell-tale stains on their hands and faces.
Armed with my latex gloves, I went and cut some pokeweed for the stain. I had soooooo much fun squishing the berries and rolling them around on my tile! Once the magical magenta was caught on paper, I started to draw. Of course, nothing else would do but Pokeroot, Pokeleaf and what I shall call Pokeflower, although I think it exists under another name!

Is it just me, or is that a cardinal flying over the Pokeweed?

Do you have pokeweed where you live? Have a great week! Thanks for visiting! 

Joey's Weekly Challenge #128

Villers #2. Joey gave us a "Finish My Tile" challenge this week that had one square of this tangle. I had fun with this one, and felt my creative juices, which have seemed a little dried up of late, starting to rise. I think it's due to the collaborative nature involved here. I was explaining it to my husband, who thought it was "so cool" that you finish someone else's artwork. I agree! 

Watercolor wash with white Signo Sandswirl

White Signo Yew-Dee with white charcoal and zenstone

Thanks, Joey! And thank YOU, reader, for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

August 23: Joey's Weekly Challenge

Just a quick post this week, since we are still between 2 houses during the busy days and pretty wiped out in the evenings. I haven't  made it to madebyjoey in weeks, so I thought I would drop in! I've been working on some black tiles lately, and continued the trend when I saw Joey's tile with Sparkle. (You can see those below.)

Thanks for stopping by! Have a luminous week!

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Diva's Weekly Challenge: Duotangle with Auraknot and Meer

I made it back! It's been another crazy week, but we are all well in spite of the lingering heat and humidity we've had here in North Carolina. This morning I wanted to do some gardening, but after 45 minutes, I had to come inside. When I went back out in the late afternoon, it was still like stepping into a sauna. The humidity has been hovering between 70 and 80 percent for the last few weeks with no break. A few days ago, we had a huge rain. I was in a hardware store when it hit, and thought, "Thank God! This will cool everything off!" When I went outside, it was even hotter than before. Ugh.
This week's challenge was to create a duotangle with Auraknot and Meer. Auraknot is always a bit tricky for me, so I practiced a little before starting. I think my choice of gray and white reflects on the kind of sky we're having this summer. That leaden sky that holds in the heat and feels like it could fall on your head at any moment!!

I used a Fabrico marker for the gray and a Signo for the white. I wasn't really sure how to shade the Auraknot. How do you shade white on gray?
Thanks for your visit! Have a great week! My computer was damaged during our recent move. I hope to get it back soon so I can get back to seeing your blogs. I really miss them!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Catching up: The Diva's Weekly Challenge #277

We are finally settled, more or less, in our new home. Tired, but settled! Last night, I sat down and watched the "Knightstar" video. (I was feeling so out of touch, and rusty! I have had 2 classes in the past week, thankfully, but I have missed that "me" time for drawing.) This was what I did while watching the tutorial. I got confused on my direction in that upper right-hand corner. (It felt just like doing tumbling in PE class again!) But I decided to ink it in, and when I saw the black, I thought "Starry (K)night"!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a starry, shiny week!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Favorite Quotes / Diva's Weekly Challenge #277

Shhh! I shouldn't be here right now. I still have the kitchen and bathroom cabinets to clean and the rest of our clothes to pack. (And who knows what else?) Yesterday, I taught on new class,String Theory, and took the day off from packing. But when I had a peak at the Diva's challenge this morning to use circles, I had to participate!
This is number 3 of my favorite quotes, on 8.5 x 11 card stock.  I started tangling this one about a month ago, before the moving frenzy hit. (It's been sitting out on my Zentable®, where I stop in for a few minutes when I have a chance.) I knew I wanted circles in the string, and ribbons, to convey some movement. This morning, I finished the shading, and thanks to Joey's challenge, added a little "Pearly" at the end.
Now I can pack this one up!

Thanks for stopping by! I'll try to be back next week, post move!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Diva's Weekly Challenge #276

The lovely Laura challenged us to create a tile from something moving. I'm moving, in one week! Yikes! I  decided that even though my supplies are in boxes, (somewhere, I hope!) I had to do this! I don't really have time to ride around on a bus, or have Lar chauffeur me around, but I do have my grandfather's rocking chair to sit in! So, while I was tangling, I was rocking, ever so gently. Since my tiles are packed away (somewhere, I hope!), I used some elephant poop paper that I had in my purse. It doesn't like to be shaded with pencil, so I used some hatching instead. All in all, a very relaxing challenge!

Thank you for all your beautiful comments on peace last week. You speak and draw with such power and strength--"The pen is mightier than the sword." And thanks also for your well wishes for our move.  Your kindness gives me peace.
Thanks for stopping by! Hope to see you next week!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Give Peace a Chance

For the past 11 days, my husband and I have been frantically preparing to move to a new home, after 20 years in this one. I have packed away all of my supplies except for a few basics in an attempt to focus every waking moment on the task at hand. (We move in 2 weeks.)
When I saw this week's challenges, I was truly touched. I imagined a Zentangle prayer shawl going up across the planet, with wishes for peace. I couldn't imagine that I would have a minute to sit down and actually draw, but my thoughts were with our community as pens touched paper and outlined our need for peace.
And then there was a lull in our moving frenzy, so I picked up my own pen and paper. I almost immediately lost Organic, but moved to drawing Mooka, which always soothes me. 
After I finished, I went to post my tile, but encountered some tech difficulties. I decided to wait, or maybe even just let it go.
Then I learned about the massacre in Nice. More violence. More hatred. More innocent victims. Children.
This morning, I had to connect with someone. And here I am. Thank you for the peace that you always offer, through Zentangle, through your stories, through your friendship. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Diva's Weekly Challenge #273: Tangle Remix

The Diva's challenge this week included some of the sweetest and funniest kid pictures ever! Ice cream, mustaches, hats, cupcakes...you really must take a peek if you haven't yet! At the end of her post, you'll see that she asked us to take a previous tile and do a remix. I chose one from a black and Renaissance tile class I took last year. I still struggle with the Renaissance tile and black,brown and white ink idea. My tiles never seem to get the glow and depth, that rich feel that others have. I've made a note to create a Renaissance mosaic in the Mosaic app, so that I can study this. (A task made much easier by the new app for iPads!) I wanted to keep the tangles, Renaissance paper, black and white ink from the old. I replaced the brown ink with pink and made a few changes:

Do you have any tips for working with the Renaissance paper? What are your go-to tangles for using it? Do you use more of a certain color ink?
Thanks for stopping by! Have a fun week!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


Joey challenged us this week with another circle string and the tangle "Gnarly". I had to practice this one quite a bit, until I finally found a way that worked for me. Of course, the phone rang, and when I came back to start my tile, I had forgotten "my way"!! (I sometimes have the attention span of a gnat.) What was I saying? Oh, yes. I did my tile all the same, thinking that it might come back to me. I don't think it ever did. Molygon kept taking over my hand muscles, as I forgot to make bass clefs instead of bananas. All the same, it helped to Zen me out. As if I needed it, after all that delicious Cuban food I had for lunch with my newly retired colleague, who is Cuban, and his wife, who recommended this new place. Well, it's not new, but it was for me and.....

Thanks for a fun challenge, Joey!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Joey and the Diva and my indecision!

Sometimes, I can't decide. For years, as a middle school teacher, I had to make hundreds of decisions of day, most of them involving whether a student could go somewhere--to the front desk, to the library, to their locker, etc., etc.! Am I now suffering from the occupational hazard of snap judgement? Maybe yes. Maybe no!
Friday found me trying to squeeze in Joey's and the Diva's challenge in one tile. Joey gave us another circle string, Maryhill and a ban from using Maryhill in the center circle. The Diva said, "Don't take yourself too seriously! Use a little red."
And thus it went:

Any preferences? Do you suffer from indecision? How do you cope?!?
Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful week!