Friday, April 14, 2017

Circle Square

I went crazy with ideas for the circle/square string challenge this week. There are many ways I could have varied the sizes of the shapes but I decided to use only a 2"square and 2" circle. I did 3 tiles with  technique variations. All the backgrounds are done with watercolor paint. I used colored pens for the tangles and colored pencils for the shading on all the tiles. I couldn't decide which one I liked best. Which one is your favorite?\

On the first tile, the background was colored a light violet first. I did the entire square with pink and let it dry. Then I did the entire circle with blue. The tangles are Zenith, Paradox, Cadent and Diva Dance.

On the tile above I started with a tile colored pink. I then cut out the square shape from paper colored purple and the circle used a blue paper. I glued them onto the pink paper and tangled away. Tangles are Bales and Hurry Holli.

I started here with a tile with a lightly mottled pink color. Then I put a circle shape and a square shape on top. With a spray bottle I spayed additional pink paint. I carefully removed the circle and square. When it was fully dry I added the tangles and shading. Tangles are Ditto, Raddox and Tripoli.

These are the tiles before the tangles were added. I photographed this late at night so the color isn't very good. I started adding tangles to the one tile before I remembered to take the picture but hey, that happens!

Monday, April 3, 2017


Frunky is a new tangle pattern that I started playing with last night. Laura Harms started doing a video chat where she demonstrated it and I tangled along with her. Frunky is a tangle developed by  Katharina K√∂nigsbauer-Kolb. It seems to be a combination of Fescue and Shattuck. The step outs can be found by clicking here.  After I followed Laura I found the original step outs online and found that I ended up doing the tangle in a similar way to the way Katharina did hers.

As I was halfway through I realized I wanted to take a picture without all the shading so you can see what shading adds. Well, since I was already half done I figured I would just photograph the tile at that stage. I added a little more shading to refine details that you can see above.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Noom tangle

Noom is a new tangle pattern that was introduced last November. You can find the instructions by clicking here.  It isn't had to do but really gives a neat illusion when completed. I've been playing with it in it's basic form and then adding curves and color.

The first zendala is very simple. I origionally thought of adding all sorts of additional tangles but then stopped and decided I liked it just as it was. On the second tile I wanted to add color so I got out some colored pens and colored pencils and just went nuts. It was fun 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Bales - my Mac n' Cheese

Bales has been my mac n' cheese tangle since the beginning of my Zentangle journey. It's similar to the type of doodle I used to do while waiting on a phone call. I love how Bales starts out simply with a grid and then lends itself to lots of embellishments. I like how it can be symmetrical or not. Some days I love the sense of order while others I fly off into realms of creativity. As you can see in the tile above I mixed both symmetry and some wonkyness and then played with embellishments and tangleations. Fun, fun!

I know there are people who read my blog who may not be familiar with the term mac n' cheese. Macaroni and cheese is considered a comfort food. It's something gives you emotional comfort and is frequently a high fat or sweet dish. It's often associated with something that brings you back to your childhood. So when I refer to Bales as my Mac n' cheese, I mean that it is a comforting and easy tangle for me to do. I am looking forward to seeing what other people feel their Mac n' cheese tangles are.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Zingo Deconstructed

Zingo is a fun little tangle that was charmingly demonstrated recently by two very young tanglers on the Zentangle blog. The Diva asked us all to try it out this week so here are my efforts. 

I started with the colored one below and while it was fun, I thought I could do a lot more with it. So I spent some time thinking about it. Late Thursday night it came to me. DECONSTRUCT IT!

Taking Zingo apart was simple enough. I thought it almost looked like an Indian blanket. So I filled the remaining space with basic Knightsbridge (a checkered pattern).  A little shading really popped it off the page and it was done!

The colored Zingo tile was tangled first in ink. It was colored with Tombow markers. Then the background was done with the same Tombow markers but a watercolor technique was used.

If you want to see the original video where this tangle is demonstrated, this link will take you there.   Indy and Mazy tangle

Thursday, March 9, 2017


Playing with the tangle Amphora this week. A lovely tangle from ZenLilyMoon. If you would like to try it yourself, her step outs can be found here.

It's a lovely tangle that gets more intricate the more you play with it but it isn't hard to do. I started with using it in a straightforward manner - as a border in the tile above. Then I tried playing with it some more. I wondered what would happen it I really let my lines go wonky. So in the tile below I did just that. As a monotangle it's pretty nice all by itself but then I decided to take it a step further and put the tangle Pendrills behind it. A little shading, and the tile morphs into something else.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Marasu and molygon

This tile is a double tangle. It uses only marasu and molygon.  A fun combo that took me a while to get to while I'm busy helping out with my grand babies.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Waybop is one of the newest tangles from Zentangle. You can get the steps in the Zentangle newsletter from Feb 14th. I was lucky enough to learn it at the CZT get together last November. It's a fun tangle with lots of ways to add your own personal flair. Most of the artwork shown in the newsletter shows it as a central element in the design. I decided to try using it as a border. Along with Waybop I used Betweed and a Mooka like shape.

This is the linework from just the Waybop.

Finished line work before shading.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

renaissance valentangle

Valentines day dictated a heart design but I just wasn't feeling the pinks and reds this year. So I decided to try more of a vintage feel to my valentangle. I used a renaissance tile and then brown micron for the tangles in the heart. Shading with colored pencils and highlights with a white chalk pencil. The outer area uses a regular black micron.

Tangles - ditto, opus, and tidings

Monday, February 6, 2017


Hamadox is the monotangle shown here. It is a combination of Paradox and Hamil. The step outs for this tangle are on the webpage of Diana Schrueur and can be found by clicking here. I had never tried this one before but I loved the flowing lines. 

first stage - I drew a circle lightly with a pencil and when I drew the Hamadox I used the circle as a guide. I then added the rounding in the paradox section as Diana suggests.

The rounding has been filled in and then I filled in the outer areas for more drama. The tile was finished with a few details and some shading. (see above.)

Here is the sketchbook page I drew on as I practiced and then tried out a few tangleations.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

'Drawings' tangle

'Drawings' (pronounced dra-wings) was just the challenge I needed to get me drawing again. I've been blessed with so many family and friends that are helping me deal with my husband's death. My kids check in on me often and keep me involved in the grandkid's lives. My sister came out to help me deal with the mountains of paperwork I am dealing with. My friends are helping me to keep on smiling and laughing. And I even have a trash angel who lives next door who brings my trash can back up to the house on garbage day. So I couldn't not think of all the angels in my life as I drew this tangle.

I've been having trouble sleeping at night (but that's nothing new) so late, late one night I got out my sketchbook and just started to practice this tangle. The first few times I drew it I felt it was way too clunky, I didn't really like it. But I kept playing with it, and started to try tangleations, until it grew on me. After that I just pulled out a zendala tile and went for it. I didn't stress out about what to put with it, or even to try to put in a string. A simple monotangle would be my restart.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Getting ready to post again

It's been over a month since I last posted. Last month life was going on as normal (or as normal as it was for me). I was creating art and taking care of my husband with his health issues. We celebrated Thanksgiving with the whole family at our house.

Then life changed. My husband's health went downhill rapidly. The hospice nurses who had been helping me take care of him at home, recommended transferring him to the hospice facility so they could manage his pain better. That was on a Monday. On Wednesday, Dec 14th, he passed away. The family was all around him and as they promised, his pain was managed so the ending was peaceful.

Everything since then has been like Alice going through the looking glass. It's a whole different world. We had a memorial service that I feel properly honored his life. Many friends and associates came and had wonderful things to say about their memories of him. My family and friends have been very supportive of me. It's only been this past weekend that I've finally been alone in my house.

The quiet in my house is soooo quiet. I had gotten accustomed to the constant hum of the oxygen machine for my husband so when that was taken away it seemed strange. I got a humidifier going in my bedroom and the noise that it makes is oddly comforting.

Artistically I've been in a funk. Occasionally I'll doodle on the edge of a piece of paper, but I haven't really been able to focus enough to really get something done. I'm hopeful that will change soon so please bear with me until that time comes.

The piece that is shown above is one that I did a while back. My husband told me it was one of his favorites so I posted it here for him. It's a color stack that uses several different colored tiles that go from 6"x6" down to 2"x2".

I'll  miss you Ed.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Color Escapes colored pencils

I have a new toy to play with. I blindly ordered the brand new Color Escapes premium colored pencils from Crayola.  I know what you are thinking, "Crayola, that's for kids!" Well, these are definitely a step above the usual school supplies. I used them on the tile above so I could really see what they could do. I'm pretty happy with what I got and how the pencils preformed.

Pros and cons; The price point is a lot less that the Prismacolors and Lyra pencils that I love. They are currently available on the website for $22.49 for the 72ct box. The selection of colors is very good (but not perfect). The box they come packaged in can be opened so that all the colors are easy visible but as it's only cardboard I may be moving them out to another container soon. (They sell a wooden box set at $49.)

When I did this tile I started by laying down the lightest color in each section coloring the entire area, I applied the color with a VERY light touch,  I then laid the next lightest color - again - with a very light touch. I moved down the range of colors, adding each darker value in a slightly smaller area than I did the last one. At the end I went back with my lightest color and blended the color all together - it isn't until this point that I applied the color heavily and effectively burnished the area. At the very end I added a few white details with a white gel pen.

How did this process work as opposed to my Prismacolors?  Well, they didn't lay down as nicely and the blending was more challenging. But it wasn't that much harder. I have no idea what the lightfast ratings are for these pencils - there is nothing written on the box or on the pencils.

Did these sharpen well? Yes, I had no problem there - but I'll let you know at a later date what happens when I get further down the pencil. 

This picture shows you the range of colors I was using in my purple sections and my blue sections. Did the color choices give me exactly what I wanted - no. But I could 'make it work'. It helps if you have a little knowledge of color theory when you have to substitute colors. Also in this picture you can see the stencil I used to get my Zendala shape. If you are a quilter you will recognize that it comes from quilting supplies. I used a pencil very lightly to get my basic lines in. I then used my trusty, Micron, brown pen for the lines.

This is what the box looks like. I haven't seen it in the stores yet - I got mine from the web site.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Folded Star

Time to start the ornaments! I can't believe we are into the Holiday season already. It's been rather stressful around my home so I was glad to finally have a chance to sit down to tangle on an ornament. I used the folded star design that fellow CZT Cris Letourneau has on her blog . She provided a star with a grid on it so I could use the reticular concept as I tangled.  I did it on a cream colored sheet of cardstock paper and tangled with a brown Micron pen. I used both a 05 and 01 sized pen. A little colored pencil added some shading.

If you are in the Chicago area, I am teaching a class on Zentangle for the Holidays at the Dupage Art league on Wednesday Dec 7th at 1pm. Call them to sign up. Link here.

As I mentioned, it's been stressful for me lately - both in a good and not so good way. We had the entire family here for Thanksgiving. I LOVE having them all and seeing the beautiful faces of my grandchildren, but it's nice to have the house quiet again now. The not so good parts are - first and foremost, my husband's continuing battle with lung cancer. He is now in the Hospice phase and I am his caregiver. Hospice has been wonderful in helping us out with whatever we need and his pain is under control.

The other stressful parts took place just in the past few days. My oldest son returned home only to discover his home had been robbed while he was with us. the house was trashed and some very sentimental pieces of jewelry were among the things taken. However, that is only STUFF!, because the next day we heard the news of the attack at Ohio State University. My youngest is an engineering student there (An engineering building was the one in the attack). Thankfully he was two blocks away when it all happened. My heart goes out to the families of the students that were hurt.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Tangled rocks

Rhode Island is a beautiful place to be. It has beaches and scenic rocky shores. I'm visiting family and attending a seminar too here. We had a chance to walk on the beach and I had fun looking for just the right rocks for tangling.

These are just a few of the  rocks I've tangled on this trip. They are easy to do and make fun little keepsakes.

I use the Sakura IDentipen. Whether I use the fine tip or broad tip is dependent on the texture of the rock. Add a few highlights with a white chalk pencil and I'm done.