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.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Diva's Weekly Challenge #289: Leafy Goodness and InkTober 18-23

I'm still playing catch up with the weekly challenges! Seems it's all I can do to post on the Monday after the challenge comes out! Challenge 289 was to incorporate autumn leaves into our tile. Normally, this is a personal fave. I love autumn. I love leaves. What's not to like? 
Here in North Carolina, our leaves are not at their peak. It's been quite dry, in spite of Hurricane Matthew that devastated the eastern   counties, many of which are still housing folks in shelters. (The historic town of Princeville opened back up only last week to its residents.) It's also been unseasonably warm, so many of the leaves are still on the leaves with a bit of color, but lots of green. Mother Nature seems at a bit of a loss, sadly. And so was I. I enjoyed searching for leaves this week, during several outdoor ventures. I finally found one yesterday that was a) not shriveled and b) nicely colored. I traced it and just filled it in with line work, then surrounded it with Printemps. Not my favorite, but here it is.

Somehow, I have managed to keep up with InkTober this week.

Day 18: Escape

Day 19: Flight

Day 20: Squeeze

Day 21: Big

Day 22: Little

Day 23: Slow

Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful week!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Diva #288: Gourdgeous and InkTober Days 11-17

Is it November yet????
This InkTober challenge is keeping me on my toes! As you probably noticed, I have a hard time keeping up with the weekly challenges, and now I'm doing a daily challenge??
Let's try to get me caught up with the rest of you!
Here's last week's Diva Challenge #288:  Gourdgeous! I managed to do this in the waiting room today during my husband's eye exam.

And now for this week's InkTober entries:
Day 11: Transport and Day 12: Worry

Day 13: Scared

Day 14: Tree
Day 15: Relax
Oops! Those are the new "grankits!" They were my inspiration ;)

Day 16: Wet
Day 17: Battle (the hardest one yet!!!)
(Black and white, not blue!!)

That's it for this week! Thanks so much for stopping by!  Have a great week!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Diva's Challenge #287: Dreamcatcher and InkTober

Daniel Lamothe's lovely Dreamcatcher tangle was the focus of this week's Diva Challenge. Not wanting to miss (another?) week, I drew this on Sunday evening, during the Clinton-Trump debate. I typically either a) fall asleep b)get really angry while watching debates, so I thought working on the challenge might help! At one point, my Dreamcatcher went awry. (Probably when I heard that whiny "Why do you let her go over and not me?" for the umpteenth time.) I filled the misshapened bits with N'zeppl, and some Inapodish things and kept going. I'm pleased with the results. Of my tile;)

Last week, I discovered InkTober, an annual challenge where artists the world over pick up their pens, draw and post #inktober every day. I've been posting these daily on the Mosaic app. (My handle is JenniferSparrowCZT21.) Thought I'd share the first 10 here. There is a daily prompt just to make it more interesting. I like the open-endedness of them and enjoy drawing based on a word rather than a certain string or tangle. Sort of like a word association game. Of course, please don't show these to my shrink;)

Day 1: Fast

Day 2: Noisy and Day 3: Collect

Day 4: Hungry and Day 5: Sad

Day 6: Hidden

Day 7: Lost

Day 8: Rock

Day 9: Broken

Day 10: Jump

Whew! Long post! Thanks for your patience! Have you ever participated in the InkTober challenge? If not, check it out! If so, let us know! And above all, have fun!

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.