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Friday, December 8, 2017

Tangle for the Season

This week's Diva Challenge #344 ( was to use AfterGlo, the star-like pattern that you can see above. I have been working my way through Project Pack 01, which I highly recommend as lots of fun and a good learning tool. You can find it here. It includes nine different videos that guide you through making wonderful Zentangles that will inspire your own creativity and designs. 

Project Pack 01 emphasizes using the new Sakura white Gelly Roll pens on black tiles. The pens have been re-designed so they are now fabulous. The ink flows beautifully without any skipping. The pack comes with all the supplies you need to follow along with the videos, including 3 different widths of Gelly Roll pens. You don't have to buy the pack to participate, you can just pick up the supplies yourself and follow along. But the pack is nice, because you know you have all the pieces in place. 

The Diva Challenge tangle pattern AfterGlo looked Christmassy to me, so I remembered Merriberries, which was designed my Zentangle mentor Cheryl Wilson, CZT. I added in a few Merriberries, Those are the holly-like shapes with the white berries in the center. Finally peppermint seemed like it could hold its own in a Christmas theme so in went tangle pattern Pepper. 

At that point I felt that things did not look integrated, so I drew randomly sized, small orbs all over the remaining black spaces to tie it all together. I have always loved how a million tiny circles make a beautiful texture that brings all the other elements together. 

Thanks for reading my blog! I welcome your comments.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Project Packs

Today I felt like being guided along in my art work. Some type of project or lesson that tells me what to do next. This is something I turn to on days when opening up to "whatever happens" is hard. Which it just is, sometimes. It's a paradox because I enjoy art work tremendously. I believe in it as a wonder of continuous, lifetime discovery, and I love sharing it with people. Nonetheless. There is a part of me that wants to just get away and not explore the unknown. Let's cook or do some cleaning. Don't arouse any demons that might be lurking in the whatever happens.

This makes me wonder if my childhood had been more fortunate, perhaps that feeling wouldn't be there. Oh well, I got the life I got and I am not complaining. Bad childhood, great life! I will always be grateful to the therapists that helped me sort it out. I've always felt like I paid my dues before I was 10 years old. From then on, things just improved. Slowly, little by little, I came out of the snow storm.

So by now you are gathering that today was a "JUST TELL ME WHAT TO DO!" day. I had gotten the new Zentangle Project Pack 01 in the mail. I didn't order it, and I don't know how it got to me. But there it was, full of the new purportedly fabulously improved Sakura Gelly Roll pens and black tiles of every shape and size. So I tried it out. The projects are a series of videos with step by step instructions you can tangle along with.. ZT Daughters Molly Hollibaugh and Martha Huggins are the excellent guides. You don't need the kit to tangle along, and you don't have to do them with black tiles, they would be very successful with white tiles.  The instructions are in Rick and Maria's Zentangle Newsletter, here

My friend Patty says we should call that tangle pattern up above HollyBales. It's a variation on Bales with diamonds instead of rice shapes. What I love about Bales is how the places where many lines meet, soon begin to glow. Of course, we know a good thing, so we shade those places and make them even more glowing.

I really like HollyBales. We did Bales at the recent Intro to Zentangle class in Reno this week. I love how beautiful the work is from that day. Here's our mosaic, below. Class participants were many good friends and a new friend, too: Christy Tews, Patty Charles, Lynn Newhall, Debby Enos, Gayle Robinson, Kathy Schwerin, and Ron Sutton. Seven tiles, seven different takes on Bales and the other patterns. 

I love that about Zentangle; the patterns are pre-structured, but each person's creativity transforms the simple steps into something unique. And this refers back to the discussion above. Even when people have step by step instructions, the way they follow them is all their own. So it's still whatever happens. It's always whatever happens. Here's to the WHATEVER HAPPENS!!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Diva Challenge 340 - Wibble

This week's Diva Challenge ( was to use tangle pattern Wibble, a tangle pattern designed by Shawna Martin. I did not fall in love with drawing this one, instead I found it hard to wrap my brain around it and didn't feel great about how it looked. I ended up using it as a border and coloring it in with one of my favorite combinations of colors, green and violet, the IRIS colors. I used Copic markers for the first time on a Zentangle tile and discovered that they bleed a bit on the fine Fabiano paper. To make up for the wobbly Wibble, I used two favorite easy peasy patterns in the middle, Sand Swirl and Sanibelle. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Our Local CZT Group

Local CZT Group

I was very fortunate to attend the 28th Certified Zentangle Training (CZT) in Providence, RI, in June. I was extremely happy for the entire four days, sitting in a large room with 108 other fanatics enthusiasts, drawing beautiful Zentangles guided by Rick and Maria and their daughters Molly and Martha. After 10 months exploring Zentangles on my own and with the kind and inspired guidance of my teacher (CZT16 Cheryl Wilson from Grass Valley), I was very excited to find a large, world-wide, supportive and positive Zentangle community.

On Day One, as I entered the very first class of our seminar, I took an empty seat between two friendly looking women. I introduced myself as Mary Helen from Auburn, CA. The woman on my right turned out to live in Placerville, just an hour's drive from me. And the woman on my left lives in Rocklin, a mere 20 minutes away. As far as I was concerned, this was something between an amazing coincidence and a sign from the Angels of Zentangle.

About two months later, remembering how much I enjoyed the larger Zentangle community, I looked these same women up on the CZT Index and contacted them. We ended up forming a group of five local CZTs. (Local in California means within an hour’s drive.) The group includes myself, Cheryl, Lynne, Chris and Alison. All are artists and/or craftswomen par excellence. It's a thrill to be in a group with them. We meet monthly, rotating through one another's homes, with the hostess providing a project for us all to do.

Yesterday four of us met way out in the country at the studio of one of the women. She had attended Rick and Maria's recent Zentangle: Beyond the Basics seminar at the new 1440 Multiveristy, near Santa Cruz. She wanted to share a project that Maria had guided them through. Maria had used a Zendala (round) tile, but otherwise the project was very similar. My result is above.

In advance, our hostess had prepared for each of us two Zentangle tiles, glued together. The Renaissance tile (beige) had cut outs so that you could see the black tile under it. We drew kissing Mooka in the middle between the cut outs, and tangled in white Sakura Gelly Roll pens on the black to make the black and white grid of Knightsbridge. We added some auras, and the embellishment of small circles around the border. We filled in around the Mooka with a brown 01 Micron pen. Only three tangles, but such a lovely result. Here is the mosaic of all our tiles. I feel so privileged and happy to be part of this dynamic and creative group! What an inspiration!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Tint - Diva Challenge 335

This week's challenge on was to use the tangle pattern Tint, which you see as the big blossom in the lower left corner. This tangle pattern was designed by CZT Henrike Bratz. and while poking around her website learning to draw Tint, I discovered another tangle pattern that she created, Crux, the grid pattern in the upper left.

I'm still in love with the patterns used in the Delft project, so i used Hennadrum in the middle and Andante on the right.  And of course, the wonderful blue pens. Shading with Stabilo's CarbOthello pastel pencils. Where did they get that name? Who put carbs together with Othello? Oh well, they are wonderful pencils for shading. The tourtillion spreads them around nicely.

Tomorrow is our local Democratic Party Annual Fundraiser. I have never been that active in local politics, but this year felt strongly I needed to contribute as I feel very concerned for the great experiment in Democracy that is the United States. So I volunteered to be the coordinator and we have 100 people coming. Many wonderful people contributing lots of talent and energy. I am up to my eyeballs in catering, budgets, paper cups, a silent auction, ticket sales, reasonably well known and quite interesting guest speakers. It's all very exciting! 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Tangled Up in Blue

I purchased a kit on Etsy designed by Marguerite Samana, CZT, with step-by-step instructions on how to make an Zendala inspired by the blue and white crockery from Delft. I learned that the Dutch town of Delft produced this beautiful pottery in the 1600's, as an affordable alternative to the Chinese porcelain that had gotten very expensive. Between 1650 and 1750 there were over one hundred entrepreneurs making Delftware. Today there is one left. The demand dropped off in about 1800 and the manufacture of blue pottery moved to England.

The Zendala is above and you can see the borders for four imaginary Delft plates stacked one above the other.

I loved working with the blue Micron pens and using several different blue CarbOthelleo pastel pencils from Stabilo for shading. So I decided to do this week's Diva challenge #332, a square within a square, with the materials I had used for Delft. Tangle patterns here are an outer border of Flux, four corners of Crescent Moon, and inner square border of XYP (pronounced "zip,") and Frunky in the middle. I love doing Zentangles with color.

One more---the bonus project that came with the Delft Kit. Huggins to the max!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Zentangle "Plate"- Challenge #330

This week's Diva challenge was to tangle ribbon patterns into a "Plate Zentangle, so called because when you put four of them together it makes a dinner plate that you might love to have made up for you by Wedgewood or Limoges.  (You can read about the challenge here )

I put them all together so you can see the full effect:

I used Funky in the smallest circle, then Agni, a new tangle for me which i really enjoyed. Then came Rainbow Bridge and the outermost ring is Pach. Pach always reminds me of the paper chains we made in first grade, so I feel fond of it:

We all made plates at CZT28 this past June, 2017, all 110 of us tangling the same patterns in the same positions. Then we put them all together in a big mosaic of plates. I was amazed at how beautiful it all turned out to be. I don't have a picture of that mosaic. If you have it, please post a link! Thanks!