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.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Diva Challenge #347

While we don't have the arctic temperatures of Diva-land-- -40 Celsius AND Fahrenheit, for those of you who may not have seen her post from Saskatoon--here in Chapel Hill we have twelve inches (30cm) of snow!!

(Since I started substitute teaching on January 2, we have now missed five days for inclement weather. I'm hoping it will thaw out before a class I'm teaching on Sunday on black tiles. I was  planning to do snowflake-y tangles, but I might encounter some resistance! )

I am thoroughly enjoying my return to middle school. As I meet new students, sometimes I think they might like to have a special monogram, so I've been doing some embedded letters as a compassion meditation, similar to the Random Acts of Zentangle. 

These were just for fun.

For the Diva's challenge, we had to use a thing to make our string. I have been trying to convert a tripod into a document camera stand, as shown in a video that Rick posted a few months ago. (See photos below. The old one was great, but bulky, heavy and difficult to transport. The new one will fit in my bag.)  After months of "messing around", I finally decided this needed to happen before I resumed my classes at the library. I needed two more parts: a 1/2-inch washer and a flat head stove bolt. While the former was easy to find, I had to go to 5 hardware stores before I finally found the bolt yesterday. I used the washer and a misfit hex bolt for my string. The tile progressed in starts and fits, a bit like the document camera stand! I was not sure that this was going to make it, but I took advantage of being snowed in and stuck with it like a tongue to a lamp post on a snowy day!!! The stain is cactus pear juice.

The finished tripod/document camera stand

The old document camera stand

Thanks for stopping by and following my journey. Have a pleasant week!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Happy 2018!

Welcome to the new year! I hope that your holidays were happy ones, and that the new year will bless you with good health, happiness and peace.
Amidst all the bustle of the holidays, I've been trying to keep up with the Twelve Days of Zentangle project. Last night, I started Day 11. We will see if I can finish up before going back to work in the morning. (News flash: After two and a half years of retirement, I have taken a 6-week substitute teacher position at the middle school where I taught for 19 years!) I did not purchase the Project Pack kit, but managed to improvise. My heartfelt gratitude goes out to the whole Zentangle crew for these creative projects and the videos to complete them.

The fourth day of Zentangle

The fifth day of Zentangle

The sixth day of Zentangle

The seventh day of Zentangle

The eighth day of Zentangle

The ninth day of Zentangle

The tenth day of Zentangle

Then there were these gifts for my daughter and her husband:

Dorian Eng's Tree Bells

Fidget toy in blue

I gussied up a cheap ($1) planner with "Meshmerize"...

...and enjoyed a peaceful new year's eve with a Renaissance Zendala.

And, finally, this week's (today's!!!) Diva Challenge, a duotangle with Phicops and Huggins.

Thanks for visiting! Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Diva Challenge #344: Happy Holidays!

So many tangling prompts, so little time! This week, Zentangle HQ began their traditional "12 Days of Zentangle" and also released a new tangle. These prompts are wonderful, and tend to involve stepping outside the tile with some new techniques. So far, I've followed along for three of them. (This reminds me that I still haven't done all the black tile prompts from a few weeks ago. Oh, well. We'll get there at some point!)

Day 1: white tile and Micron PN (Mine is blue black.)
I love the new takes on these basic tangles.

Day 2: A black tile, a white tile and some fancy cutting

Day 3: A white Zendala, some brown enthatching and a black Apprentice pen came out to meet "Rumpus", Maria's new tangle. I could draw this one all day!

Between tangling, I've been making felt birds for Christmas ornaments, sending out cards, meeting with folks to set up Zentangle classes in all the Durham library branches and shadowing the academic support teacher at  I'll be subbing for at my old school in January and February.

A little hard to get the colors on the scanner

I just got to the Diva's challenge this morning. This will be a card for a dear friend.

Wishing you all peace and good will

Thanks for stopping by. I missed getting by your blogs last week, but am looking forward to seeing what you've been up to!  May your holidays be bright, your to-do lists short and your tangle time plentiful!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Diva Challenge #344: Afterglo

"And now for something completely different," as Monty Python might say. This week's challenge was to use "Afterglo", by Carole Ohl. This one has been around for a while, it seems. The first time we met, I misunderstood it, and, shied away immediately. When I saw it on Monday, I decided to face my fear, if you can call it that! I jumped in with a "joy" RAZ tile and totally zenned out! I added a few "Ahhhs" at the end, focusing on letting my pen rest on the center point for a bit and then flicking it to get the tapered end that suggests a wispy glow. I really enjoyed this.

On Tuesday, I decided to do another Afterglo, on black. Very relaxing with the bold Signo. I added white Prismacolor, then picked up my Graphic One to add the black lines on top.

On Wednesday, I felt like trying another Afterglo on a tan (repurposed box) tile. I had a senior moment on about the third step, but decided to ink over it. White charcoal and graphite gave a different dimensional look from the previous tiles.

Thursday, I was curious about using a pink Micron on a Zentangle Renaissance tile.  White Prismacolor and graphite added a little depth and glow.

So what's so "completely different"? I usually tangle every day, but I've never taken the challenge and done different responses during the week. I usually do my tile, post it and wait for the next challenge, while finding different ideas for my daily tangle practice.  This was interesting, and definitely helped me to see Afterglo in a different light ;)

How about you? Do you practice your challenge tangle over the week, with different tiles?

Thanks for your visit! Have a radiant week! 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Diva Challenge #343: Dewd!

I must begin this week with a warm "Thank you" for all your wishes for my cat's recovery. He now has 8 teeth, of the original 38, and a hearty appetite, with no toothache to hold him back from his new favorite activity: eating!

Minou and his tree

The Diva asked for "Dewd" this week, and I was happy to oblige! I really enjoy drawing this one, which seems so rhythmical.  My first go was on a bookmark made from a recycled box. Once I had finished, I thought, "White chalk and graphite on a bookmark? Won't they rub off onto the pages?" I grabbed some clear nail polish and dabbed it on. Not sure how that will work, I would love to hear your ideas and experience!

My second go was on a paper I stained with prickly pears that a friend brought me. These were totally new to me. The flavor was quite floral, and I really love the color they left on the paper! I wanted to try drawing on the stain, as you can see, but I immediately aborted as it is still a bit sticky, even after drying for 4 days.

Finally, I wanted to use Dewd as a border. I spotted a Random Act of Zentangle I had prepared with "hope" and added just a bit of border.

And now for some inspiration courtesy of Mother Nature. Last weekend I spotted some gingko trees. These have always been magical to me, with their golden, fan-shaped leaves.

I collected a big handful and brought them home.

Thanks for your visit! Have a great week!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Diva Challenge #342: Paradox and Bunzo

Sometimes, when I (and maybe you, too) read a challenge, I think, "How is that going to work?" This week, using Paradox and Bunzo together was something that I had never done, or even considered. I tentatively drew my band of Paradox, and then added one Bunzo in each corner. The latter, as it is wont to do, started to grow in the Melissa Barlowe style. (Her video is wonderful. She makes these Bunzo worms. I usually make barnacles.) Drawing with a Signo white bold tip helped me not to worry about all the inking in. This was pleasant.

On a purely personal note, I would appreciate any positive thoughts you can spare for our cat, Minou, who is having surgery Monday. I hesitate to ask, but know what a kind and compassionate community you are.

Wishing you peace and gratitude. Thanks for your support.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Diva Challenge #341: Go big (or Go Home)

This week, the Diva asked us to work bigger, with bigger tiles, bigger pens, bigger tangles. I love tangling big (bigly?), so this was lots of fun. I used an Apprentice tile (4.5 inches square) and a Pigma BB, which I think stands for "Bold Brush". This was my first time tangling with it, and it is definitely a different feel, but I was reasonably pleased with the results.

I continued exploring white on black this week. I finished Eni Oken's 3D Tangle: Shading on Black Tiles and began the video series with the new Zentangle Project Pack #01. I managed to get my mitts on the new Gelly rolls. I don't know if it's because they're new pens, but they are delightful! The ink is soooooo smoooooooth and bright. I had previously given up my old white Gelly Roll (and 06) for a bold Signo Uni-Ball, which seemed brighter and smoother. But now, I think the 10 Gelly Roll is the real deal!! I haven't yet used it on a Renaissance or tan tile. I plan to buy a new Signo just to make a fair comparison. I will keep you all posted on my super non-scientific findings. (NB: I use the black Strathmore artist tiles, which I find a lot more receptive to the ink than the Zentangle black tiles.)

Eni Oken practice

Zentangle Project Pack #01. I love the new tangle, Dewd.

With the holidays coming, I felt a need to start some "Random Acts of Zentangle" tiles. I like to leave these here and there. I print, from my computer, a message on the back of a 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of white card stock. "This is a RAZ--Random Act of Zentangle, left here randomly for you to find! Keep it or pass it on. The Zentangle Method is an easy to learn relaxing, fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. See more at zentangle.com." I cut out six 3.5 inch squares with the message on the back of each one. I like to do a little calligraphy with some uplifting words, and then tangle around it.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a mindful week. If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I wish you a joyful and restful holiday filled with gratitude.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Diva Challenge #340: Wibble

Wibble and I first met during Inktober. I found its curves reminiscent of Margaret Bremner's recent "Double Marasu". I loved spiraling in, out, in, out and then connecting all those wonderful spirals with some points.
But this week, when the Diva challenged us to use Wibble, I hit a road block! I didn't know how to take it from a relaxing movement to an element in a tile. There were numerous false starts, which I will spare you. Somehow, I knew I wanted to use thickened lines on the downstrokes to create some contrast and depth. I even drew it in my little art journal with my calligraphy pen, only to smear it with my hand!!! (Who knew that ink took so long to dry?) I decided it was time--Saturday afternoon!--to get this done. (Not a great way to approach tangling!) I had to have my car inspected, so I took a tile and some pens to the garage. A Zentangle tile, with all the great texture and that lovely soft off-white. That was magic for me. S L O W E D me down. Here is my Wibble Dingbat:

With all the hoopla about the new Sakura white Gelly Rolls, I decided to revisit Eni Oken's 3D Tangle: Shading on Black Tiles. I purchased this e-book when it came out, and was quickly overwhelmed. This week, I took my time, and with a bit more experience under my belt, felt that I was finally learning the technique behind these beautiful, glowing black tiles. It is still a very slow process, with many more steps than I'm used to, but I'm having fun! It remains to be seen if I can branch out on my own and still apply the principles successfully. But I'm happy to know that there may be hope to clearing up my "muddy" white on black tiles! I plan to finish her book this week and, if I have time, check out the Zentangle® videos on the new Project Pack, which focuses on white on black and tan. By the way, these videos are free to all, even if you haven't purchased the Project Pack. Thanks, Rick and Maria!

Thanks for stopping by! Hope your week glows!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Diva Challenge #339: Hallow/autumn

"Get into the holiday spirit," says the Diva. Chez Sparrow, we had two "holidays" to celebrate: Halloween and our 20th wedding anniversary the day after. Our Halloween was a bit subdued, as Lar was working in the evening. But it quickly picked up in excitement when I drove to the university to retrieve him. Chapel Hill, our town, is famous for its Halloween celebration. Although it has calmed down considerably from its hay day back in the 90s, when over 80,000 ghosts, gremlins and merrymakers turned Franklin Street into an MTV event, it is still noteworthy. (Even has an article on Wikipedia!) I cautiously ventured out, making sure I knew what streets had been closed off, informing the traffic control folks at the road blocks that I was going to pick up my husband. There were people everywhere in our normally chilled "village". About 35,000.

Found in our pumpkin patch :)

The next morning we left for the Outer Banks, a beautiful string of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina and Virginia. We stayed for 2 nights, and thoroughly enjoyed our visits to the Wright Brothers Memorial, Jockey's Ridge and Manteo. For me, the highlight of any visit to the beach is the sunrise. Here, as the ocean is to the east, we watch the sun rise out of the ocean. This is always such a powerful and inspiring moment.

Thursday's sunrise at Kill Devil Hills

Friday's foggy sunrise

Of course, just walking on the beach is such a delight. To our surprise, we found this fabulous sand sculpture on Wednesday.

On Friday, we discovered another one, in the making. Its creator told us that this was his way of relaxing. (Sound familiar?) He said that when the tide came in, it gradually filled up the spiral and eventually, the water shot up from the center, like a fountain! He said that his favorite part of building these structures was seeing them carried away by the sea.

Volcano construction in progress

In honor of our anniversary, I made this on an Opus tile. (I'm grateful to Ria Matheusen, who inspired the background with her putty knife technique.)

20 things I love about Lar

Thanks for visiting! Have a creative and inspired week!