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Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has visited and left a comment.  I have tried to go back and comment on your tangles as well but blogger is giving me the run around and I'm not able to post.  Hopefully this will be resolved soon or I will figure out what is at issue and fix it myself.  Either way, I just wanted to say Thank You and I really appreciate your comments. 

p.s. - If you know why I'm having a problem and how I can possibly fix it, I'd love to know!

Monday, May 30, 2011

I'm the Diva's Challenge Week #24

This week the challenge is to use stripes as a string. I thought that I'd use stripes in two directions.

I worked on my first tile and while I liked it, the tile seemed out of balance, crowded on one side and too empty on the other.  As usual, after I was done, I thought of a better or different way to put the idea forward.
Tile 1

Tile two has more empty space, less patterns on one side and more on the other.  I am quite pleased how it came out.

Tile 2
I'm going to try to tag all the different tangles in my pieces, but I don't always know the names of them. Some are variations of others that I've made up and some are known.  I've tagged the ones I know.  Hopefully, I'll get better at the names.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

My Zentangle Kit has Arrived!

I finally got around to ordering my official zentangle kit.  I had put it off for no real good reason but then I sold one of my pieces and thought I'd celebrate with a kit. I ordered it on Monday or Tuesday and it arrived by Friday. Sweet!  Just in time for the long weekend.

Last night I sat down to really explore the kit and try out what it is like to draw on an "official" tile.  I have been using watercolor paper that I cut into 3.5" squares.  I looked through the booklet that came with it first.  There I found some direction on how to make a few tangles that I have not yet tried out.  The most helpful thing for me though was the section on making strings.  I have always been a little careful in making my strings.  Thinking that they should be simple, I was afraid to make the string too busy.  The examples in the booklet however, showed me that I could be freer with my string.

Armed with this new courage, I drew out my string.  I tried to copy one of the examples in the book but my drawing got a little off track.  No matter, I just went with it.

Next, I got out the die and rolled to see what my first tangle would be.  I must admit that I had never thought of leaving pattern choice to chance.  I always study and think about what pattern I want to go where.  Sometimes, I want to try out a new pattern and that make choosing patterns easy but I find that I can sit there for a while pouring over my books and websites looking for a tangle that I think might look good next to those I've already drawn.  Rolling the die helped to make quick work of what to draw next.  I think that I will need to make a few legends with different tangles for future use.

Then, I was off.  I sat and drew with Dr. Who on in the background to keep me company.  Sometimes I listen to music but I'm a new Dr. Who fan and there was a marathon on the T.V. and well, you know how it is.
My little set up.

I did have to pause and watch the video on how to draw Purk.  The steps aren't laid out in the booklet and I wanted to make sure that I knew what I was supposed to be doing.  I think I may have found a new favorite.  I have seen it in other's work but was unsure on how to draw it.  Purk is quite a lovely tangle and I think it looks really great.

It didn't take long, well it didn't feel that long, until I was done and it was time to shade.  I am slow when it comes to making my tangles.  I must be careful with my lines, it's a thing I have.  Zentangle is more about letting go and being free but really, I have to be happy with the way my lines look or all I can see are the imperfections.  I am, like my tangles, a work in progress.  :)

So, here is my final result.  I like it.  There are a few bits that aren't great but there are a few that really work.  As usual, there will be some things that I take away from this tangle and use in a new piece later on.  I got to use some tangles that I haven't used before, and some that I have used a lot.  The "busy" string gave me more movement through the space.  Movement that hasn't usually been in my tiles before.  Not a lot, but some. Take the pokeroot for example, that flows up through the space to me.  I haven't really thought about movement in my tiles before but you can bet that I will in my next one.

Friday, May 27, 2011

New Pattern: Longwood

This is my new pattern, Longwood.  I saw a drainage grate at Longwood Gardens in PA. 

The grate is a bit more complicated than this but I didn't want it to be too busy.  I realise this is a lot like my pattern Shimono but they came from different places.  Variation or new? What say you?

This is the inspiration:

Latest project

A friend of mine has asked that I put together a set of note cards.  I made one for her wedding shower and she liked it quite a bit.  She thinks that maybe we could sell them in shops.  We'll see if we can find any takers, but the process has been an adventure.  Trying to come up with designs different enough to be interesting yet still cohesive to be a set has been a fun challenge. 

So far I've only had one do over, one mistake requiring a "fix" and thus a new pattern was born, and one that is getting kicked out of the set.

These are what I have so far:

I'm hooked!

I first saw zentangles online.  I began seeing them on Momentile where Kit and Heather began posting their work as their daily photos.  I was taken by the lovely drawings they were making.  The simplicity, clean lines, and patterns pulled me in and I began to think that MAYBE I could try my hand at such things.

So, I added a few sketch books and pens to my wish list hoping that maybe I'd get some for Christmas.  My husband got me the sketch books, I got some pens and I was off!  At first I was just wondering in the dark a bit.  I checked Kit's blog for inspiration, the official Zentangle web site and blog for guidance and set out. 

This is my first tangle.  Well, the first that I will admit to.  At first I felt a bit lost and that I needed some guidance in this process.  So for help, I ended up ordering Totally Tangled by Sandy Steen Bartholomew from Amazon.  The book gave me the basic starting points, how-to for patterns and the confidence I needed to move forward.  While this first tangle doesn't follow the standard for a zentangle, I was happy with it.  I learned how to get started and how to make some tangles.

From there, I was hooked and now I can't stop!  I draw almost every day and often too late into the night.  I'm hooked on the sense of accomplishment the tangles give me.  Knowing that I have tackled a new pattern that I didn't think I could do is empowering.  Completing a new tile gives me something that I can hold in my hand and show others what I have done.  Of course, the feedback from friends, family and the zentangle community is ADDICTING!  Talk about validation! I am a total junky now and I have no regrets.