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.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Diva's Weekly Challenge #304: Waybop

It's been a bit of a rough week here in the Sparrows' nest. Apparently my furious bouts of knitting and tangling last week  caused a lot of inflammation in my right hand and hips.  I was diagnosed with "trigger finger" last Wednesday, and ordered to avoid sitting and, of course, drawing. What's a Zenspar to do?
Today, I tentatively picked up  my pen for the Waybop challenge. Surely after 10 days sans tangles I would be fine. I managed to finish the Waybop line work when the pain made a reappearance.  "Nevertheless, she persisted" would be  appropriate here, but don't tell the doctor!

Thanks for stopping in! Have a lovely, tangle-filled week!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Diva Challenge #303: Happy Valentine's Day!

This week, the Diva challenged us to make a valentine. (This fit in perfectly with my plan to knit a cap and make a card for my beloved Lar.) And I got to use the "Tangles by Type" feature on tanglepatterns.com!  So much fun! As a general rule, I'm not much for the heart-y tangles, but I enjoyed doing this and like the results. 

Lolo, Heartvine, Minline and Puffle

Have a sweet week! Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Diva's Challenge #302: Hamadox

Drawing Hamadox was a treat for me--so relaxing and soothing to turn the tile and then add the rounding at the end. Thanks, Laura, for introducing me to this zen gem!

My daily acts of random number generating have continued this week. Here are a couple that I posted on Mosaic.

String 040, by Sue Jacobs

String 035, by Anne Marks

Thanks for stopping by! Have a relaxing week!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Catching Up!

Three weeks have passed since my last blog post, and it feels good to be back! I won't bore you with my activities since the inauguration of our "so-called" president, but know that my days have been full...

Enough! On to some Zen...

I've started a new (for me) approach to tangling. As you may recall from my last post, I have a new toy, a random number generator. I had numbered all the tanglepatterns tangles, and then done a separate list of official Zentangle patterns. Every morning, I pick 6 numbers. (Hmm. Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket... I digress!!!)  The first is for the string. (These are handily numbered on tangle patterns.com) The next 5 are for official ZT tangles, but I may use fewer than 5. Grab my coffee, and sometimes my glasses--ha!--and off we go. My focus is P R O C E S S, rather than product. I love not having (being able to!) think, but just moving the pen, then shading. Since I'm doing these in a small journal, I usually finish in less than 30 minutes. With a smile on my face.

This morning's act of random tangling. String #63, by Anne Marks, with Xircuss and Quib.

Now for some catching up:

Diva's Weekly Challenge #299: Drawings

Diva's Weekly Challenge #300: Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day

Diva's Weekly Challenge #301: Paradox / Diva Dance Duotangle

And finally, I just want to share my new pencil pouch. This was tons of fun! The pouches are available from zentangle.com. I prepped it with ModPodge and used my Identapen with a gray Fabrico marker for shading.

These were all posted on the Mosaic app. I'm @JenniferSparrowCZT21.
Have a fantastic week!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Happy New Year! Diva Challenge #298

Happy 2017! Please accept my best wishes for health and happiness in this new year, along with many thanks for all the joy you brought me last year.
It seems like months have gone by since my last post. I have been busy with so many different things. Over the past almost 4 weeks--gasp!--I had the joy of reuniting with family and friends for the holidays. There were three particularly special reunions during the week after Christmas: one with my best friend from middle and high school, one with my brother and sister and one with a former 6th grade student who is now 32! Words really can't describe the happiness and wonder I felt with each reunion.  New Year's Eve found me struggling to stay awake by tangling.
These first 13 days of 2017 I have been following in the book "The Kindness Boomerang: How to Save the World (and Yourself) Through 365 Daily Acts". I've been trying to integrate some of the themes into daily Zentangle meditations. (I may do a post on these later.) Oddly enough, the first one was "Senza Paura", without fear, which I saw reflected in our friend Michele's blog.
As you can see, I've been playing with water colors.  When we were hit with 1/2 inch of ice and 6 inches of snow last Saturday, I asked my dear Lar to do an art project with me. He kindly accepted, and we, using Michele's amazing tutorial, did several sheets of water color washes. Then, we cut one of them to 10 inches square, divided it into 9 squares and made a string before cutting the squares apart. So far, we have tangled 4 of the 9. I'll post the ensemble when we finish.
Delighted to be snowbound for 5 days, I bought the new 2017 Tangle Guide and started cataloguing ribbon tangles that work well for the "romanancy" technique. What a rabbit hole! While working on the ribbon collection, I saw that I needed a better way to access my tangles. (I had previously been keeping everything in a sketchbook.) Since space is at a premium, I decided to use Bristol strips cut to roughly 3 x 11 inches.  Pretty straightforward and cheap!
I've also numbered all the patterns in the Tangle Guide so I can use a Random Number Generator to choose tangles.
Yesterday, I was honored to give a Zentangle lesson at the local Memory Café, where folks diagnosed with Alzheimers, as well as their family members, meet up to socialize and relax. Here is their amazing work! Such fun!

Lest I forget, today's Diva tile with "Orbs-La-Dee" and yet another attempt at "romanancy".

Will Jennifer ever learn perspective? Will she be forever prisoner to lines that refuse to be parallel? Stay tuned for next week's episode in the ongoing saga of Romanancy!
Thanks for hanging in there with this long post! I'd love to hear where the past 4 weeks have taken you in your tangling adventure! 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Diva's Challenge #297 and 3Z days of Christmas

This week, the Diva gave us some choices for our challenge. I chose "Give the Gift of Zentangle" and "Keep It Simple, Silly".

 I think I kept it pretty simple  ;) As for the "gift", that's on the flip side.

I did quite a few of these last year and left them around, in the library, at the supermarket, in restaurants. Felt quite elfish, actually! I'll definitely do some more, now that the 12 Days of 3zs are over :(
Here are days 8-12. Talk about a busy elf! But what fun we had! 

Day 8: Pokeleaf

Day 9: Aura-knot

Day 10: Drawings

Day 11: Icanthis

Day 12: Crazy Huggins, aka Huggins Hugging Huggins and a reprise of all 12 days!

The past 2 weeks have made me so appreciative of our Zentangle community, or family. As Maria and Rick "drew" us around this  beautiful virtual table, we shared in the creative madness and fun, and then admired each other's work, either online or via the Mosaic app. Thank you for everything that you bring to this table. I am deeply grateful.
I wish you all a happy Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, Pancha Ganapati and Solstice (and anything else we may celebrate that I've omitted!) and a blessed new year!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Diva's Weekly Challenge #296: Moowa and More!

Zentangle HQ is keeping me as busy as a Christmas elf with The 12 Days of 3Zs challenge! Each day, Maria, Rick and Molly give us a different tangle to use. White tile and black ink are de rigueur. You can post your work on the Mosaic app, or simply post a comment on the blog and enter to win fabulous prizes!
 1st Day of 3Zs: Tripoli

 2nd Day of 3Zs: Tripoli and Diva Dance

 3rd Day of 3Zs: Tripoli, Diva Dance and Shattuck

 4th Day of 3Zs: Tripoli, Diva Dance, Shattuck and Marasu

 5th Day of 3Zs: Tripoli, Diva Dance, Shattuck, Marasu and Tipple

 6th Day of 3Zs: Tripoli, Diva Dance, Shattuck, Marasu, Tipple and Molygon

7th Day of 3Zs: Tripoli, Diva Dance, Shattuck, Marasu, Tipple, Molygon and Knightsbridge on an official 3Z pre-strung tile!

Whew! You get the idea!?! Like the song "The 12 Days of Christmas", we try to include all the tangles from the previous days, although this isn't required, thankfully!

And now for the Moowa! My first attempt was in my sketchbook. I really liked the "hanging and dangling" Moowa, but was unable to reproduce it later :\   My second attempt was on a Bijou tile, which I crammed full and then--eek!--had to shade! 

I've also been playing around with  card stock as I think about gift tags and holiday cards.

Last, but not least, a little visit from Bijou this morning. Rick Roberts inspired this. I recently watched the DVD for the black Apprentice tiles, where he tangles an amazing section of Printemps that was so relaxing to watch.  His lines are so close together that you have the impression that he is creating with black as well as white, as each white line drawn creates a black line of the same thickness.

Thanks for strolling through, or should I say "scrolling through"! Have a joyful week!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Diva's Weekly Challenge #295: Reticula and fragments, take 2!

For this week's Diva challenge, I used a tile I had stained with turmeric several months ago. The circles seemed to call out for more circles--a circular reticula and a circular fragment! I don't know if you can really see the reticula, under the stains, but it has an orb in the center, surrounded by more orbs. For my fragment, an orb with crescent moons. I filled in the spaces around and between the orbs with Tipple. I wasn't really pleased with this until I started to shade. I'm glad I always shade :)

Do you see the line and crescent on the turmeric, in the middle? That is not a mistake, but a lesson!!! I quickly learned that turmeric is happy, and just the right size, to clog up the micron tube tip!!! Do you know if there's a fixative you can apply that seals in those little grains and still lets you ink over?
For relaxation, I always pick up my blue Micron.
Joki, Shattuck, Featherfall, Arukas, Sandswirl, Indy-rella et al

Joki, Hamail, Printemps


And finally, if you get the Zentangle newsletter or have the Mosaic app, you've heard about this year's "12 Days of 3Zs" festivities.  There are prizes for commenting and sharing your work! And I never win anything, so your chances are even better!!!
My 1st Day of 3Z entry:

and my 2nd Day of 3Z entry:

Looking forward to seeing your entries!
Have a festive week!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Diva's Weekly Challenge #294 and a room with a view

What a busy week in this sparrow's nest!
The sheet of packing paper that was serving as a curtain in our bathroom fell down, so I knew it was time to get creative! I decided to cover the glass with clear Contak paper, which looks a bit frosted. Then, I used my Permapaque white pen to draw a Fife curtain and some "vegetation". This was lots of fun!

That took care of too much on view in this room!

A room with a view to love! 

We celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday with our daughter and son-in-law. I started cooking on Monday, so I wouldn't have everything to do on the day of. I enjoyed taking my time and planning, and loved putting together my table "art" with recycled kraft paper, pine cones and needles, gingko leaves that I happened upon the day before and my fake pumpkin. After the meal, we relaxed by doing leaf rubbings on the paper. I'm looking forward to using the gingko leaves later. They last a long time, and keep their golden color.

This week, the Diva asked us to use the principle of reticula and fragments in our tile. If you have the Zentangle Primer, you've seen this. But if not, it could have left you scratching your head. I haven't taught this principle yet in my classes, but if I may just give a nutshell explanation, here goes:
  • Reticula is a fancy word from frame which, like a string, divides the tile. Unlike a string, it creates regular shapes. It can be a grid or a spiral or a sphere made up of other squares or triangles or spheres. In the Primer, Rick and Maria have included 30 reticula.
  • You fill the reticula with fragments. (There are 154 4-sided fragments, 66 3-sided fragments and 45 orb fragments in the Primer.) I think of the fragments as little tiles, or stones, or beads that I use to fill in the frame. The general idea is to repeat a fragment, or rotate it as you repeat it or mirror it, but you could also use different fragments within the same frame.
  • This is the basic concept. The beauty is that it really opens up a new level of creativity as you work with the smaller fragments as opposed to sections of a string or tile. It moves away from a named tangle, created by a named artist, and shows that, in fact, we can all create original patterns! In the Primer, the reticula are labeled, but only R (for "reticula"), a letter A-L (minus I and J)  and a number 1-33. Likewise, the fragments are just labeled with a letter A-L and a number 1-25 to help you find what you might be looking for. 
  • Check out this post from the Zentangle June 6, 2013 newsletter for more information.
For my Diva tile, I used R-E 1 and a variation of fragment G-1.
If you can't imagine what that looks like, and how could you???, here it is:

I used a blueberry stained tile and experimented with tangling on top of and around the stain. Has anyone stained a tile with cranberry? I'm thinking of giving that a go! 'Tis the season and all.

What do think about reticula and fragment theory? Have you tried it?

Thanks for stopping by. Have a beautiful week!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Diva's Weekly Challenge #293 and "zen" some!

This week the Diva asked us to use an oldie but goodie: Keeko. I probably should have done more with it, but, in the end, decided to use it sparingly as the base for a tree, as deconstructed by Helen Bradley.

Here are some other entries from my sketch book this week. (Although my blog policy is transparency, I'll refrain from posting the other 2 entries, which would not contribute anything good to anyone ;) Maybe once I have "worked through" them, you'll get a look. But for now, they have issues that need some resolution!!!)

Thanks to my beloved for supplying this Phil Ochs quote: "In such an  ugly time, the true protest is beauty."

This was inspired by one of Maria's posts on the Mosaic app, where she was "playing" with fractals and Paradox and Betweed. (If you don't have the app, I highly recommend it. I treasure her descriptions of her creative process, which she generously shares with us. Her writing pen creates as much magic as her drawing pen!!!)

My question for you this week: How do you know when a tile is complete? How do you know when to stop? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for visiting. Have a peaceful, harmonious week.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Eaxy?? The Diva's Weekly Challenge #292

This week the Diva challenged us with Nadine Roller's tangle Eaxy. The idea is simple enough: upright X's support horizontal X's, which then support more upright X's, and so on.
I won't show my different attempts at learning the tangle, but I'll just say that my very first go at it was the best. The more I tried (thought?), the worse it was! I tried to put it on gridded paper to help me line things up. Nope. I tried to look for the meta-pattern of big and small boxes. Nope. So finally I decided to put away my paper, take an official tile, close my eyes, breathe and think of everything that I'm grateful for, and place my corner dots. Once I had done that, I remembered a photo my friend Didier shared on Facebook yesterday. He had visited a beautiful park in Lille, France, that had once been a city parking lot. (Here are some pictures of Le Jardin des Géants, but they are nothing compared to Didier's.) I remembered a particular path with interestingly shaped pavers. That became the center space of my Eaxy tile. And the rest fell into place. Another moment of Zen, letting go, and marveling at what happens.

Merci, Didier!
Next time you have a high focus tangle, I hope that you will let go and find your Zen.
Have a peaceful week.