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, December 30, 2015

Door prize

2016 will bring me my first opportunity to teach Zentangle® to friends I have not yet met! Our local library has asked me to offer introductory classes, beginning January 10. Needless to say, I am sooooo excited! I've been practicing this morning, and ended my practice by creating a door prize: a jigsaw puzzle representing our first tile. (I found the blank  4x5.5 inch jigsaw puzzles in the scrapbooking section of ACMoore. At 4 for $1, I couldn't resist!) I used an IdentiPen and a gray Fabrico marker for shading.

Monday, December 28, 2015


I am usually behind the times. I have been seeing the beautiful gems appearing in the Zentangle Inspired Art world in the last month or so. Having watched a few videos on youtube, I tried to draw one, but  found that my dollar store pencils were just so-so: lots of wax, not a lot of color. My generous in-laws heard my plea and gave me a set of Prismacolors for Christmas. I now have the gem bug! They're just so much fun to draw! Here's my latest, done on a Bijou tile:

Thank you, Janet and Larry, for opening up this new world! 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Joey's Weekly Challenge: TREES!

Just for Joey, who has been so generous and gracious with her weekly challenges and kind comments:

Monday, December 14, 2015

Today's RAZ

Oops. I goofed when I posted my links on the Diva's page. (Some things should be done on a computer, not a device.) In my earlier post today, found by scrolling down just a bit, I mentioned Random Acts of Zentangle as one of the many gifts Zentangle offers. Thought I'd post the one I did today, as part of Laura's challenge to give some Zentangle .

And on the back

Diva's Weekly Challenge # 248: The Gift of Zentangle

(I goofed when I posted my links. This is my first challenge response for #248. So sorry for the confusion!)

This week, Laura challenged us to tangle some love in a holiday gift. Zentangle is a gift, after all, in so many ways. Little bits of peace and joy in our day or our week, that we may take and give away, or even leave as a Random Act of Zentangle for strangers to find and enjoy. Zentangle has opened up a new family of friends who share their love and support one another in such kind and generous ways. In this season of giving, I want to thank Rick and Maria, Ellen, Laura, Joey, Adele, Linda, Annemarie, Jean, Michele, Simone, Dilip, Cathy, Shelly, Helen, Sarah, to name but a few. Thank you to all who visit, leave comments, share your own work. Thank you for your life-giving gift!
Plastic ball with fine tip Sharpie oil-based white ink, Frostflower

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Diva's Weekly Challenge: # 247

This week's challenge was to use African Artist, by Tina-Akua Hunziger. It gave me fits! This is happening more and more as I venture out of my comfort zone with new patterns. And, as usual, when I finally finish and get ready to post, I see the example and think, "Oh. That's how it works!" My problem this week was getting the bands around the threads, and then shading / rounding where they meet. I tried to cover/compensate my lack of proficiency by using metallic Gelli roll pens. Maybe if it's shiny they won't notice!!! Then came the white charcoal and the zenstone. (Zenstone, I love how forgiving you are.) African Artist is a beautiful pattern. I hope I will one day master its rhythms and textures.

Thanks for stopping by! I really appreciate and learn from each and every one of your comments.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Joey's Weekly Challenge

Joey has started a new series--Yay! and Thank You!--to follow her amazing Alphabet Monotangle Challenge. For December, she has made a different holiday themed ZIA template for each week. I'm expecting some difficulty with these, since I don't draw! I left this week's Christmas balls white, since I was a bit intimidated by shading spheres. But I still had fun! As you can see, there's no red or green. If you ever visit my home--and you're always welcome!--you will see red and green in almost every room. So I enjoy using lots of white and blue during the holidays.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Diva's Weekly Challenge #246

This week the Diva invited fellow CZT Dilip Patel from India to create the challenge. He invited us to tangle some love for our planet as the Paris climate talks are taking place. Dilip posted some amazing tiles, as well as pictures of his community, where he heads up an afforestation campaign. I had the honor of meeting Dilip at the CZT 21 seminar in July. I was deeply touched by his activism and how he has used Zentangle as a tool for social change. He is truly a gift and an inspiration to our community.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Joey's Weekly Challenge: Z is for Zinger

I love Zinger and try to use it whenever I can. I like to add tendrils, even if they're not a real tangle! This time I used a prestrung Renaissance Zendala. That gave me a nice string to get started. 
Thanks, Joey, for a fun final Alphabet Monotangle Challenge! I can't wait to see what you come up with next!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Diva's Weekly Challenge #244: Hollibaugh

Can I just describe what I had envisioned for this week's challenge? Let me just say there were lots of ribbons, since I only learned yesterday that you can search for types of patterns--organic, grid, ribbon, border, etc.--on tanglepatterns.com! All these months I've been trying to keep a catalogue of types, when I could've been using Linda's ingenious "Search by type". (If you, like me, were unaware of this great tool, it's on the left menu bar. In her post "How to Draw ORGANIC", she elaborates on other tools for picking the right pattern.)

Here's what I actually ended up with!

This was my first attempt at using colored pencils on a Renaissance tile. Many of you do this so beautifully. Thank you for inspiring me. I'll try to improve!
Thanks for stopping by, and thank you, Linda and Erin, for helping me grow. Have a wonderful week, and happy Thanksgiving if you're celebrating it!

Joey's Weekly Challenge: Y is for Yuma

This tangle was a new one for me. I really didn't know how this was going to go, but I had fun and like what came out of just going with the flow! 

Thanks for the Yuma introduction, Joey! Next week, she will have a Z tangle for us. And then..?
Thanks for visiting! Have a great week, and a happy Thanksgiving if you're celebrating!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Tripoli Encore

Maria Thomas recommends spending at least two weeks with a new tangle to really get a feel for it. I think I've spent over two months with Tripoli now! Here's another version, this one curvy:

Monday, November 16, 2015

Joey's Weekly Challenge: X is for XPlode

I'm feeling more flowery than explosive today, so my XPlode may look a bit different from yours! It's basically all there, just curvier! I used Elephant Poop paper (Yes!) and GelliRoll pens. I wasn't sure how to shade it, so I left it alone. Thanks, Joey, as always, for a fun challenge!

Thanks for visiting! Have a great week!

Diva Weekly Challenge #244: Tripoli

Thank you, Laura, for this week's challenge to use Tripoli. It is the pattern I've spent the most time with, partly out of difficulty and partly out of love :) As I drew my tile, I was focused on my breathing, on turning the tile, on keeping my auras even. Whenever I draw it, I think of the Place de l'Etoile in Paris, where the streets come together under the Arc de Triomphe to form "une toile", a star. That always helps me. Today, I also thought about the victims and their families from Friday's massacre. My Tripoli turned into a floating rectangle, which reminded me of "un tapis de prière", a prayer rug.

Thank you for visiting. I wish you peace.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Joey's Weekly Challenge: W2

When I learned W2, it created a bit of turmoil in our class! It was the last tangle of the lesson, and some of us could not find that rhythm of the over / under. So I had some trepidation about using it again when I saw Joey's challenge! I reviewed my notes, practiced so I could find a way that "worked" for me. I thought about how I might teach it to someone. After all, if you really want to learn something, teach it, right? Once I was comfortable, I created a frame that was slightly off and started my squares. As I was drawing, I was appreciating the seat of an old chair that belonged to Lar's great-grandfather, who had shortened the legs on it to have a comfortable seat by the fire after working in the fields.  For me, it has a very ancient, primal feel. The woven seat has almost broken. I find it so lovely that I've refused to redo it. 

And just for fun...

Thanks so much for stopping by! Your comments are valued!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Diva's Weekly Challenge #243: Just a tiny taste

I am truly a minimalist at heart. My motto is: I have what I need and I need what I have. Sometimes, however, I get caught up in more, more, more when I'm tangling. I was so happy to read this week's Diva Challenge. And without saying any more, here it is!

Thanks for visiting! Comments and suggestions are always welcome. Hope you'll stop by again soon!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Zendala Dare #115: THANKS

Today I had an incredibly high energy level. This followed several days of what I now refer to as "oldness"! Achy joints, fatigue, etc.  I imagine that most of us experience those ups and downs, and highs and lows in our lives. I am so thankful for today, and for Erin's zendala dare for this week. In addition to her lovely template, she added another challenge: to use tangles that begin with T-H-A-N-K-S. When I read this on Tuesday, I thought I would probably pass! But this evening, after a day of feeling productive and energetic, I gave it a go. I am glad I did.

Tipple, Hollibaugh, Ambler, NZeppl, Keeko and Scoodle

THANKS to Erin, and to all my fellow Zendalists who inspire me and motivate me! Have a great week!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Manic Monday!

Lar and I are having the downstairs painted. We are holed up in our sitting room near the painters. Our cats are locked upstairs in my office, and very unhappy with all of this. I have lots of time for tangling--woohoo! Here are the fruits of my labor thus far:

Joey challenged us with Verdigogh this week. I always think of rosemary sprigs when I draw this. This week's version pleased me as is--unadorned. 

The Diva had us learning Maria's new tangle, Gourdgeous. I had given this a whirl when it first came out a couple weeks ago. It was hard for me, so I decided I didn't like it! But today, I tried again, and started to feel more comfortable.

So glad to have these to work on while the painters are here! 

Thanks for stopping by! I always appreciate your comments! Have a great week.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Zendala Dare #114 Redux

Earlier this week, I posted my take on Erin's beautiful template #114, which I had managed to hide completely! I wrote that I would try to do it over, even though this is a "busy" week. ("Busy" in quotation marks since I am, after all, retired!)
Today is my anniversary, and I really wanted to make time for a zendala for my wonderful sweet Lar. When we wed 18 years ago today, he offered me his last name: Sparrow.
Please indulge me for using the sparrow stamp in my ZIA zendala. Lar and I found it this week and it seemed perfect for the task.
Happy Anniversary, Lar!

Tidings, Jonqal, Keeko, Mooka

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Adele's inspiration this week was candy corn! Here's my Halloween offering!

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Zendala Dare #114

It's been a busy week here! I loved the template that Erin provided, and actually completed it on Tuesday. My version, on a colored 3.5 x 3.5 tile with brown, sepia and purple Microns, has quite a few things that were unintended. Rain, for example, never got the treatment it deserves! (This was my first time using it. I have admired how many of you use it beautifully in the Zendalas. Bravo! Not an easy feat, for me, at least!)This came out totally different from my usual zendalas. The template is totally hidden, so I thought I would do it again, on Sunday morning. As I'm not sure that can happen, I'm posting this one.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a marvelous week!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Diva's Weekly Challenge #241: Cairns

This week, the Diva's guest blogger,Paula Bramante, had us looking for inspiration in cairns, or ceremonial stone piles. I was a bit nervous about this one, since I am coming to learn that sometimes I tangle, and sometimes I draw. When I draw, it becomes representational, intellectual, left-brain thinking. I don't enjoy it as much as I enjoy tangling, so I try to stay away from it. 

[THE BEST PART OF THIS POST] All the same, I wanted to participate in this challenge, and decided to spend some time with Andy Goldsworthy, a British sculptor, photographer and environmentalist who is considered the father of modern rock balancing. If you've never seen his work, which uses only natural materials--rocks, twigs, snow, leaves, petals, ice--you should check him out here. He has published numerous books, and there is also a documentary, Rivers and Tides. 

For my tile, I decided to use the shape of one of Goldsworthy's slate cones and fill it with BB. When I had finished, it still needed something. Remember the stone mosaics from Paula's post, I filled in with 'NZeppel. 

Are you familiar with Goldsworthy? I'd love to hear from you! Not familiar, but want to know more? Check out this Andy Goldsworthy page. Thanks for stopping by, and have a wonderful week!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Joey's Weekly Challenge: U is for Undu

Daniel Lamothe, the creator of this week's Undu, is such a talented and creative young man. This tangle is simple and elegant--my favorite kind! I first planned to layer inks in black, white and grey, but then realized that would be a bit like Orlique, a Maria Thomas tangle. So I kept it short and simple. Thanks, Daniel, for this mesmerizing tangle. Thanks, Joey, for another wonderful challenge! And thanks to Carolyn Koesters for her curvy String #059!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

It's a String Thing #115

Adele really tested us this week! I confess: I had to trace String #116, with its many crescents! I even erased it a few times before I was satisfied. Swarm and Fandance weren't easy for me. I felt like it all finally started to come together when I shaded it. I can't wait to see what others did! Thanks for stopping by! Have a great week!

Diva's Weekly Challenge #240: Leaf it alone!

This week the Diva challenged us to be inspired by the season wherever we are. Here in North Carolina, it's autumn, my favorite time of the year. After a long, hot summer, full of mosquitoes, I'm delighted to resume my walks in the woods, to admire the trees, wildflowers, birds and whatever else I might stumble upon. (Lately, I have discovered some copperhead snakes, too. Glad not to have stumbled on them, as they are venomous!) This week's walk led me past lots of crazy vines with tendrils and heart-shaped leaves, some Pokeberry plants, and of course, a plethora of leaves! Together, they all inspired this:

Heartleaf, Pendrills, Pokeroot, Sampson, Oke, Zinger

Although I love autumn colors, I've left this one in black and white, so it works for both the  northern and southern hemispheres! Thus, the title "Leaf it alone!"
Thanks for visiting! Enjoy this transitional time of year, wherever you may be.

Zendala Dare #113

I thought this week's Zendala template was so pretty that I couldn't wait for the weekend, so here it is!

Purk, Mooka, Betweed, A-maze, Chainging, Knightsbridge, Linq and Sparkle

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great week!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Joey's Weekly Challenge: T is for Ta-Da

Thank you, Joey, for another monotangle challenge! I've only used Ta-Da once, for last week's It's a String Thing challenge. In this example by its creator, Margaret McKerihan, the pale ink makes it really glow. I tried to capture something similar, and layer ink. (Maybe too much for one tile!?!) Thanks for visiting! Have a great week!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Zendala Dare #112: Layer Up!

I love Erin's Zendala Dare. Not just this week, but EVERY week! It's the last challenge of the week for me, and I usually do it on Sunday while my husband,Larry,is listening to the American Top 40 show on the radio. This week was no exception. When I saw this week's template, I thought of woven Damask ribbons with the pattern appearing in the negative form on the back. I also thought of one of Maria Robert's tiles I saw this week where the lines change from black to white. And yet another where she used white ink on a gray background done with a Fabrico pen. (My white on gray was barely visible, so I added some black to those sections. Can you see the white? It might have been good to go back and add some white on top of the black in the A-maze sections.) Thank you, Erin and Maria, for your inspiration. I couldn't have carried this one off without you!

Tangles used: Betweed, A-maze, Mist, Mooka

Thursday, October 15, 2015

String #114 and WZTV

Thanks, Adele, for another challenge! String #114, Ahh, Ta-Da and Teenos. All three were new to me!

This week's focus for Weekly Zentangle Video was ING. I really enjoyed working with this one, and mixing it in with Mooka.

Thanks for stopping by!

Diva's Weekly Challenge #239: Munchin on Black

Thanks, Laura, for this week's challenge to use Munchin, black on white. (I wholeheartedly concur with Laura about the black tiles. I have found that Strathmore Artagain black artist tiles give me a brighter look than the Zentangle paper, which just doesn't seem to like ink as much as its white counterpart.) I always enjoy the white GelliRoll pens, as they slooooooooooow me down. Munchin is simple and elegant. When I use it, I zen out :)

If you missed it, I highly recommend watching Molly's video, even if you know how to draw Munchin. There's a cool little tip about putting black ink on top of the white.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Joey's Weekly Challenge: S is for Striping

Thank you for an enjoyable challenge this week, Joey! When I first tried Striping, it looked really flat, even with my shading. Then I discovered the Zentangle enhancement of sparkling, which I think I've taken to the extreme in this tile! I used the lovely, curvy String #18, by Sandy Hunter.

I'm trying to pick up some tips on shading in the Facebook group, "Shading Zentangles". (There are some amazing artists sharing their work and following Eni Oken's instructional books and videos. Eni gives her suggestions, and is quite generous with her time.) I think I'll play with this a bit more and see what happens. I welcome, as always, your comments and suggestions!
Thanks for stopping by!

Update: Here's the new version. I used a Fabrico pen to deepen the shading and black pen to break up my exuberant highlights! Thoughts?

I'm stopping with this in the belief that Zentangle is non-representational AND "Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien." (Better is the enemy of good.)
Thanks again for stopping by!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Zendala Dare #111: Halloween!

This one had me spooked, Erin! A lovely template, to fill in with a Halloween theme! Although I don't really "do" Halloween--all that candy scares me!--I LOVE PUMPKINS! When the weather turns cool, I have pumpkin soup almost every day! (Talk about scary, right?) For my Zendala, I kept it simple and organic. Pumpkins (Leafheart tangle), spiderweb (Flutter), Pokeroot and Pokeleaf (because it is that time of year here in NC!) and Efell.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

It's a String Thing #113: Noodles, pots and pans

To commemorate National Noodle Day, Adele gave us a challenge using Pots-n-Pans, 2-n-5 and Hollibaugh to use with string #113. I "noodled" around with this for a few days, then got sick and decided it would go undone. Feeling better today, I gave it a go. When I had finished most of the tile, I started drawing Quipple in the corner to give some dimension. This quickly became bubbles, to go with the spaghetti, pots and pans and dish towel! This tile feels more "drawn" than others, but it still brought me relaxation and enjoyment!
Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your visit and welcome your comments.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Rhonda's Pumpkin

Last week, I enjoyed lunch with my dear friend Rhonda. She's an October baby, so I tangled her a tiger pumpkin.

Happy Birthday, Rhonda! 

Joey's Weekly Challenge: R is for Rosewood

This is the fastest tile I've ever done, unless you consider the time I spent thinking about what to do with Rosewood. I was about to post a comment on Joey's page to say, "Hope you're feeling better. I'm under the weather, and don't think I'm up for this week." I even looked at the  other posts, where tanglers had beautifully realized some of the thoughts that ran through my mind this week. Not wanting to miss a challenge, I took a piece of card stock and a sepia pen. I was planning on making an actual Rosewood frame for a Bijou tile. However, once I got going, I really liked the white space made by my Bijou tile string!
Funny how things work out :)

And here's an example of the "Bijou Tile Frame" I mentioned:

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Diva's Weekly Challenge #238: Tri-Bee (and the Blue Funk)

When I first saw this week's tangle, Tri-Bee, it seemed so easy. That should have been a sign! Probably overthinking it, I was quickly discouraged by my efforts in my sketchbook. I grabbed a blue tile anyway, and jumped in feet first. Blue Micron 01, blue washed tiled. This was going to be great! WRONG! The blue ink was bleeding all over! I tried to remedy to the situation by barely touching the paper, and moving really FAST! (This reminded me of the fiasco last week with the tea and the stencil!) I quickly filled in the string, held it out at arm's length and grabbed a Gelly Roll Moonlight pen in order to have a thicker ink.
This attempt left me feeling blue.

This morning, after a long walk in my favorite park, where I saw a blue (!) heron and several deer, I felt ready to have another go at Tri-Bee.

This feels much more relaxed! Lesson learned: when life puts you in a blue funk, take a walk!
Thank you so much for stopping by! I am truly grateful for your visit!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Avant et après

In my recent career as a French teacher, I loved to play a game I called "Avant et après" to practice different sequences. In the Shading Zentangle group on Facebook, we post pictures of our work before (avant) and after (après) shading. Here are mine, using the tangle "Jalousie". I think I have a lot to learn about shading, but I had a lot of fun!

A new group! WZTV: Weekly Zentangle Video on Facebook

Several of our colleagues have recently mentioned Facebook groups. Yesterday, I joined two: Shading Zentangle and Weekly Zentangle Video. The shading group appealed to me because I have seen several of your tangles just popping off the screens in the last few days. (No, it was not due to the latest upgrade from Apple.) Really deep shading and sparkling highlights transform the tiles. I want to learn how! The WZTV focuses on a single tangle for the week, but you may include others in your work. The submissions are made into a video, thanks to the organizer, Jane Dickinson.
Here's my submission to the WZTV group, using GNEISS as the main tangle. This was my first go at this pattern. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
What groups do you belong to? Where do you find inspiration to grow?

Thursday, October 1, 2015

It's a String Thing #112

Thanks, Adele, for a lovely challenge this week. Using String #112, Minline, Puffle and Kisses, I experienced a zentangle rollercoaster! As I am want to do, I first produced a very minimalist tile with lots of white. I really liked it, until I heard my first grade teacher, Ms. Clodfelter, who was also an artist. "You should never have white space. Use the whole page." So, rule follower that I am, I continued tangling, less and less happy with the results, which looked like a weird Easter bunny :( I was going to start over, but I hated to waste a tile, so I blacked out the Easterbunniness, with the exception of part of the ear, which is now a strand of Puffles floating in the night!