Thursday, October 20, 2016

Fall foilage

It's time for leaf peeping again. Time to hop in the car and head off to the wooded areas where the leaves are turning glorious colors. In my case, that may be simply a trip to a local forest preserve where the colors are equally beautiful.

I did the zendala above on one of my hand colored tiles that was a mottled yellow orange to start. The string is, of course, fall leaves. Tangles were done with a brown micron and shading used colored pencils.

These leaves were done by a group at the Schaumburg Public Library. This class was designed for fans of coloring, and the library provided markers and colored pencils. I taught them a few Zentangle tangles to add to their leaves to create a zentangle inspired artwork. I love all the variations and the variety of colors they used! Click on the image to get it full screen!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Antique Oshun

Trying out two tangles here that I haven't used before.  I've admired them but somehow never put them in tiles before now. Antique comes from Kathy Barringer and Oshun comes from Sandy Steen Bartholomew.

While it's fun to be random, sometimes I want things to be more orderly, symmetrical, and less chaotic. So I found peace for the time I was doing this by simply repeating, repeating, repeating.

Thursday, October 6, 2016


This zendala uses a tangle called Dreamcatcher. It's a simple tangle from Daniel Lamothe that can be found here. Once you have the basic pattern done you have many ways to add any sort of tangles within. I used Bumper and Aviary to fill my Dreamcatcher. Fun and relaxing.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Anne Marks traveling tangles

Traveling tangles again. This one is a collaboration with Anne Marks. She does such beautiful jewels that I was excited (and somewhat nervous too) to work on this one.

Anne did the jewels and the tangles in the upper right corner. Her start is shown below. As I looked at it I felt it was such a happy piece it was a celebration! I was thinking about Mardi Gras - or a similar party. I decided to add streamers using a variety of tangles flowing from Anne's start. Thank you so much Anne!

Traveling tangles is a fun project that began on Facebook. One person begins a tile and then mails it to another tangler who then completes the tile. It's really interesting to see what happens to the tiles you begin and challenging to get a partially completed tile and to work with it.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Traveling tangles with Storm Van de Werken

Traveling tangles is a fun project that began on Facebook. One person begins a tile and then mails it to another tangler who then completes the tile. It's really interesting to see what happens to the tiles you begin and challenging to get a partially completed tile and to work with it.

This tile was begun by Storm Van de Werken. I ended up going with a group of stacked tangles. Fun and relaxing! The picture of the tile as I received it from Storm is below. Thank you Storm!

Sunday, September 25, 2016


Last week the Diva issued her weekly challenge and it was to 'Relax!' With the stress I'm under right now with my husband's illness I thought that this challenge was perfect for me.

I'm lucky that I have a support system of friends. We get together at my house once a week (most of the time) and we work on our crafts while we talk about what is going on in our lives. We started out doing decorative painting together but now we have branched out to beading, quilting, and of course, Zentangle. Since we were together again after a few weeks off, I had the incentive to tangle again.

I decided to start with a large sheet of tan paper. I wanted to have lots of room to play. I first thought I would just start drawing but as I sat down I saw a round, cork, hot pad and used it to lightly draw a small circle in pencil. A Tupperware lid provided the inner circle. One of my comfort tangles - a tangle that just flows from my pen, is the Flux shape. So I went back and forth with it along the circle strings.

As I worked I consciously told myself to relax, to take my time. When I needed to stop, I stopped. When I didn't know what to do next I just set it aside and didn't worry about it. So I didn't get this piece finished till today. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Wonky fife - down the rabbit hole

I haven't posted anything in the last couple of weeks and I suppose it's time to tell you why. My life has been turned upside down. My husband of 42 years is fighting the biggest battle of his life. Lung cancer. He was diagnosed in February. We've done the chemo, we've done immunotherapy, but the cancer has progressed and we are now in the hospice phase. My husband is still strong mentally and is still positive even though we know what we are facing. He has gone from 155 lbs to 115 lbs and my once athletic husband has lost all his muscle mass. And no, he has never been a smoker. 

I am his caregiver and dealing with the cough, pain, nausea, lack of appetite, and myriad medications is a whole new world for me. It feels like we have fallen down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland. We continue to put one foot in front of the other and try to look at each day as a gift. We feel blessed to have a wonderful support system in family and friends. 

I've been having trouble focusing enough to sit down to tangle. I don't know why, I enjoy looking at everyone else's work on Facebook and their blogs. I'm overdue on challenges and swaps. I appreciate everyone's patience with me right now.

Fife is almost a mac and cheese - comfort tangle for me. So when the Square One facebook group suggested it, I finally sat down to tangle again. I knew I had to do it in a wonky style to represent how strange my life is these days.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Ing with colors and woven

Ing is a fun tangle that I don't use very much and I'm not sure why. So I really got to playing with it this week when the Diva challenged us to use it.

In the first tile I decided to get crafty. I used a couple of my colored tiles and did the Ing tangle with a black pen. I did it again on a smaller scale on the pink tile and carefully cut it out. Once more on the smallest piece of the blue tile I did the Munchin tangle which echos how I filled the Ing. Then I glued it all together.

On the second tile I played with a simple Ing  and a woven effect. I liked the way the black popped it out.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Olympic rings

Have you been watching the Olympics too? I love the wide variety of sports that we normally never get to see. Diving, rowing, synchronized swimming, badminton, and even trampoline were fun to watch along with the other bigger sports.

As I was playing with the tangle,  quandary, I noticed the circle shapes that the pattern makes as you work it. I decided to work it a little more carefully and then find the Olympic rings within the tangle. Quandary is a tangle that is usually a little more challenging to me but I'm happy with the way this came out.

I realized too, that I had done a tile using the rings once before - back in 2012 during the last summer Olympics. I thought I'd add the picture here for comparison. I bumped up the shading some since I was less confidant in shading back them. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Tangled Seashells

Tangled Seashells - Summer is almost over so before school starts up again I wanted to do some more tangled shells. After I clean and dry them well I use a Sakura Microperm pen. (I also recommend the Sakura IDentipen.) I use the same tangles I use on my tiles. While the shells above are whole, don't hesitate to pick up broken pieces of shells and decorate those too.

 It's a bit tricky working on the curved surface but so much fun. The little cupped area by the top of the shell makes it difficult to maneuver my pen so I use very simple and forgiving tangles in that area. Tipple is a good example. If you work on the outer area of the shell there are often definite ridges/lines. They can provide a string to start with. Shading on shells is either skipped or done with a stippling technique. I don't bother sealing these shells. The pens are quite permanent by themselves.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Meer Auraknot duotangle

Meer and Auraknot are paired here. I tried to think outside the box to put them together but ended up with a similar tile to Laura's. So I instead went with a Renaissance tile so I could try to make it look a little like a woodcut. Shading is one of my favorite parts of tangling so I really enjoyed this. I used two different shades of brown colored pencils along with my white pencil.

Saturday, August 6, 2016


Abeko - What a sweet tangle pattern from Lynn Mead. For the first time using it I didn't get complicated by adding any other elements. I love how elegant it looks.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Knightstar two ways

Knightstar is the featured tangle this week. It is a fascinating tangle from Daniel Lamothe. You can find video instructions by clicking here.

I wasn't sure about it when I first tried it but quickly got sucked into it. Like many tangles there are several ways to do it - to make tangleations - so I ended up doing two tiles.

Like classic Knightsbridge, I used the checkerboard method to fill it in.

In this version I added additional lines.

This shows an early stage before the details and shading.

Finally, the string that I started with.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Striping or Stripping

Stripping /striping - I had to laugh when I saw that the focus tangle on my Facebook group was Striping but the typo made it Stripping. I couldn't get that picture out of my mind so I decided to play with it. I drew a string that reminded me of curvy unmentionables and stripped off the striping wherever it seemed I could.

I added a number of other tiles that have striping below. These are all older tiles that you may have seen posted on this blog before. Striping is a good way to add strong contrasts to any tile. 

Just a little striping in a small area.

Red and black striping

Striping as a way to add a tangleation to another tangle

Gold striping on a red tile

Purple striping

Thursday, July 28, 2016


Circles - It's an interesting way to start a design. This was the challenge this week and I wasn't sure how I wanted to approach this. I remembered how much fun I had with the stacked challenge a few months ago so I decided to revisit that only with circles. I hunted through the stash of papers I have in my studio and found this assortment of neutral colors. (The black is an official Zendala tile for size reference.) I tried out different ways to put the circles and ended up liking this off center placement.

I wasn't sure which way to go with the tangles so I just started with whatever came to mind.  Then I added some gold paint along with the shading. I think it actually shows up in this picture for a change!