Challenge #293 - Keeko, you know!

Keeko is one of my go to tangles and I too, always, include it in my Basics class. Fun challenge and I tried to push the envelope a bit with this one, do a little rounding, lot's of shading and movement. Fun time with Keeko, thanks Diva!

Challenge #286 - Straight To It - "Pipe Town"

Pipe Town: W2, Square Tipple, Pipz, Flukes, Cubine,
and a little town
The Diva's Challenge #286 asks us to use only straight lines. I'm not a straight line tangler, curves are my thing, so I did the best I could. I kept my string square, just a couple of boxes and went from there. Began with a loose W2 and let it grow organicly from there. Loose W2 with square tipple background elongated into pipz, a small town grew out of the top, Flukes triangles and Cubine with pipes peeping out all over.

I have some classes coming up in a new space in Saline. Two Twelve Arts was my class home for the last 6 years, it closed this September. Two Twelve was a wonderful space to teach with a great group of people all supporting the arts community in this area. Margie Bovee was the founder and supporter of this wonderful adventure. Margie was a director of the Cowan Slavin Foundation, a 501 C 3 non-profit corporation, which was managed by her father, Albert Slavin. That Massachusetts based foundation funded the Two Twelve Arts Center for the last ten years.The Two Twelve will be missed, a wonderful home and a great group of people.

Now there is a new space that has been offered to the artists of Saline for teaching, community development and lot's of art. Classes offered in the space are advertised through Saline Community Ed, so it's an exciting beginning of something new in Saline. The group that will be administering the space and classes in the new venue is known as Spring Valley Arts. Look for more updates. 

Challenge #282 - Spill It!

Beets, and Blue food coloring enhanced with
some colored pencils - Abeko, Fengle tendrils,
Sanibelle, Some leaves and Tipple, Yum!

Look who appeared...
Mister coffee head sporting some Fescu hair

This week the Diva asks us to spill something on our tile and draw inspiration from that process. Loved this, I'm quite a spiller anyway so I enjoyed being asked to do it on purpose! I chose beets (eat them in my salads everyday), coffee and Almond milk (my daily jolt), some old Sangria in the fridge, old rusty bolts, and some blueberries smashed and mushed around.I also put a few wet, rusty washers and screws on the watercolor paper and let them sit.

The watercolor paper was an Archette (Arches) pad of rough paper. I didn't find it easy to work with. Once I applied my spills, my micron pens did not play well with this paper or the surfaces created by my spills. I had to use my thickest microns and it was hit or miss especially with the coffee/almond milk spill.

I chose the beets and coffee stains for my final tiles. I love the color the wonderful vibrant color the beet stains left and I chose to add some blue food coloring and enhance the tile with some watercolor pencils.

The coffee stain morphed itself into a funny little Fescu-topped creature, I also used soy sauce to enhance certain areas. It has the feel of the fat blueberry boy in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. This must have appeared as a nod to Gene Wilder who died this week. I was also just delighted with the fanciful creatures Margaret Bremmer discovered in her spills exploration this week. Mine is not as sophisticated or beautiful but he was fun to discover, I bet Bijou is a friend of his!

The blueberry pulp colors were beautiful but the mashed up pulp became part of the paper as it dried, so it was a bit challenging to work on. I think I'll be working with my spills and exploring them in the future.

Check out the other wonderful submissions for this week's Diva Spill Challenge.

Blueberry Study in process...
Original spills (Top Left to Bottom Right)
Smashed Blueberries, Beet Juice, Coffee with Almond Milk,
Sangria, and some rusty bolts in the center

Challenge #281 - Tangle ING

ING with Knightsbridge, Zenplosion Folds, Hollibaugh and Fracus
The Diva's challenge this week revisits the tangle ING. This is an official Zentangle pattern that was introduced by Molly Hollybaugh during CZT training 15. This tangle lends itself to lot's of variations, it works well as a straight laced,  structured tangle, but also works as a loosey goosey (my fave), organic tangle.

Check out some of the other submissions for this week's Diva Challenge #281.

Here's a link to my 2014 challenge piece using ING.

Challenge #280 - Rio Olympics

2016 Rio Olympics - Hollibaugh, Mooka, Cubine
Knightsbridge, Floatfest, Printemps, MI2, Tipple,
Crescent Moon, Zinger, Baubles and beads
This week the Diva asked us to use the 2016 Olympics in Rio as our inspiration. I have been watching the Olympics and enjoy a reprieve from all the bad news and crazy politics the US is experiencing.

I chose to focus on the Rio logo as my string and Knightsbridge, checker board pattern throughout to represent the duality of the Olympics. I tried to express the celebratory feel of the Olympics. I added touches of Gold, Silver, and Bronze metallic, of course!

Challenge #279 - Duotangle (almost) with Meer vs Auraknot

The Diva's Challenge this week asked us to do a Duotangle using Meer and Auraknot. Two old favorites that were fun to go revisit. I especially enjoyed checking out the Youtube Auraknot video with Rick and Maria. I tried to push the envelope a bit with my "star" shape, curves add a pleasant addition to Auraknot. Thanks Rick, Maria, and of course the lovely Diva!

Challenge #277 - Running Round in Circles

Orbs / Circles: Tipple, Mooka, MI2, Sanibelle, Crescent Moon tangleations, Stripes

Circles, circles, circles... what a fun challenge. I obviously used no template just my own wonky hand. I really enjoyed this challenge and the look of my pencil orbs/string overlapping my "tile". It has the feel of an architectural drawing / sketch.

Laura ask us to do a string using circles and tangle!! I chose to overlap my circle string and did a larger tile (6x6). Like the Diva, circles are a wonderful relaxing process for me. I don't try to make them perfect I just enjoy each and every orb and revel in the weebles and wobbles my hand creates.

Challenge #266 - UMT - Crux by Henrike Bratz

Crux with some W2, Knightsbridge, Leaves, and Beadz

Challenge #263 - Globular Grid

Fassett, Crescent Moon (Raptors),  Purkisms, Knightsbridge stripes, Auras, and Daizies

Challenge #262 - UMT - Fassett by Lynn Mead

Fassett, Pearlz, Crescent Moon, Purkisms
The Diva's Challenge #262 is a UMT (Use My Tangle) Fassett by Lynn Mead. I've seen this tangle used often but never tried it. It's a great tangle that I will definitely be added to my mac and cheese go to's. Very versatile and the easy to do, has the feel of a structured / grid tangle but lends itself beautifully to the loosey goosey style I prefer.

I decided to go the monotangle route incorporating embellishments of Cresent Moon, lot's of Auras, Rounding, and some Purkisms. I like the balance of the the organic spheres within the architectural feel of Fassett. Fun, fun, fun!

I tried a second version today using Fassett with very different results. I left it ebb and flow and do as it wished... Blooming and growing with a few Mooka thrown in.

Version 2 - Blooming Fassett with Mooka adding the sepia pen
My second is much more delicate, not enough contrast. I used the sepia / brown Sakura 01 with the black micron. I think this would be fun to explore on a Renaissance tile and bump up the contrast.  I want to explore this further.

Thanks Lynn and Laura! Check out the other entries in this week's Diva Challenge.

Challenge #260 - Monotangle: Shattuck, Zendala breakout!

Shattuck breaking out of the box / Zendala
The Diva's Challenge #260 asks us to create a Monotangle using the tangle Shattuck.   A Monotangle is a term the Diva, Laura Harms, coined on her blog for a tile or piece created using only ONE tangle and it's variations.

I chose to go simple and let the little Shattucks curve off the Zendala, breaking free, extending the Shattuck with little Mooka tendrils and a few purk-like embellishments. This piece is not perfect, but I do like the general vibe.

Happy Bunny Day to you.

Challenge #259 - Touch of Irish - Celtic Flower

N'Zeppel, Tipple, Celtic designs, Punzel, Tipple, Leaves, Aura's
and a touch of green
This Diva challenge Laura asks us to bring a touch of Irish to our tile.  Whatever that means to us. I find the Celtic images and designs fascinating so I did a little research and found a great Celtic Flower and chose to use if for inspiration on this challenge.

I used a N'Zeppel, Tipple, Celtic designs, Punzel, Tipple, Leaves, Aura's and a touch of green to nestle this ornate little devil. I think I'm going to try adding some liquid gold leaf at some point, we found out a few weeks ago that metallic doesn't scan well, so, I'll play with that addition later for my own edification.

So Happy St. Pat's Day to you all this week. Check out the Diva's site for other Irish Inspired works.

Challenge #258 - UMT - Rautyflex

A little touch of green for spring
Rautyflex, Folds, Crescent Moon, and Auras
This weeks challenge is a UMT (Use My Tangle) challenge with Rautyflex by Kathrin Bendel CZT from Germany. It's a structured tangle which, for me, takes a lot of concentration. This was a chance for me to use the other side of my brain not let myself go as loosely, goosey as I prefer. But great opportunity to stretch my boundaries.

Not totally successful but always fun to challenge myself. Progress, not perfection?

Check out all the other submissions for this challenge on the Diva's site.
Rautyflex gone awry, Betweed, Flux, Tipple

Challenge #257 - Guest Post - Oooh Shiny!

Tangled tin can lid, Printemps, Crescent Moon,
Hollibaugh with Mooka / Pod tendrils and
lot's of sparkle and shine (I hope)

The Diva's challenge this week has a guest poster filling in, Amy Broady, CZT from Knoxville, Tennessee. She is celebrating Leap Day (a day that  happens only once every 4 years). So, to celebrate she asks us to make our tangle work Shine! Or gleam. Or glint. Add a special touch. She challenges us to include a METALLIC feature in the tangled art for this week.

I chose to embrace the challenge full tilt, go ALL the way. I tangled a tin can lid using my Staedler permanent pens for the black, and Sakura white and metallic gel pens for the embellishments.

Fun times. For this piece I wanted to make my tangled lid become part of my ZIA. I chose Hollibaugh with Pod extensions, Crescent Moon and lot's of Mooka-like tendrils. Add auras and lots of layers and it is complete.!

I find it difficult to represent the metallic quality with a camera, so I added a closeup detail to show the sparkly quality of this piece. It's done on and 8.5 x 11 sheet.
Close up of detail

Challenge #256: - DuoTangle: Boo*Kee and Artoo

Almost a Duotangle... Artoo and Boo*Kee
with lot's of Auras and embellishments

My New Version - 2/24/2016

Original Version - 8/2/2010
Can you see the Toad?
The Diva's Challenge for this week #227: is to create a piece using two tangles: Artoo and Boo*Kee, Laura developed these two tangles for her boys.  The focus for this challenge was to unite these two tangles in one piece. I tried to let the tangles speak to me and keep it fun and "sunny" for the boys. I tried to incorporate the feel of sunlight and spring in this tile; out of the winter doldrums and into spring. It was a fun challenge and I hope all our efforts bring smiles to these two sweet boys. Here's to a quick  recovery, and health, and smiles for those two cutie pies.

Check out all the wonderful solutions for this challenge.

Challenge #255 -
Ghosts of Tangles Past

I didn't get my piece posted for last week's Diva Challenge #255, so here it is.

When I was first exposed to the Zentangle process in 2010, I became obsessed. Everywhere I went I carried my drawing pad and created a new Zentangle piece several times a week. I scanned in one of my first pieces 8/2/2010. I had titled this piece "Thru the Garden" and tried to incorporate all the things I would experience in a garden. I tended to fill every nook and cranny and began each piece with a familiar object or place to inspire me. 

I was using a Kohinoor Rapidograph pen for most of my work. I was fascinated with line quality, textures and the detail tangling brought to my creative process. No shading.

For my redo, I retained the original string. I scanned in the original piece in and looked over all the elements and chose the ones I was going to keep. My work is now more open the tangles and textures more defined, shading is a Major part of my work

I had written a poem for this piece but I couldn't find the Toad until I looked at the scanned image on screen:
Through the garden,
Walking tall,
I see a Toad,
He's following me,
The Koi in the pond,
Greet me. 


Through the Garden 2016 - outline,
without much shading or contrast

Challenge #254 - Valentangle, Beet Juice is Yummy, and colorful too

Valentangle 1 - with Gourdgeous-like Hearts, Flowers, Molygons,
Mooka, Tipple, Spirals, Paradox, and lot's of Rounding, Shading 
and Auras, added the beet juice, and water color pencils

This weeks Diva Challenge #254 is a "Valentangle" challenge, just in time for Valentine's day. Laura asks us to create a a piece with a Valentine's Day Flair. I chose to honor this day with hearts, flowers, and the beautiful blush color that beets bring to this piece.  Someone else in this challenge shared about using leftover beets for her background, this inspired me. Sorry, I didn't bookmark it, but I had to try it. I applied the beet juice (pickled beets are my preference), splattered juice on my paper with a toothbrush. I then blew dry my paper and ironed it to set the color. Ironing/ heating the paper gave a wonderful quality to the surface which was even better for my microns pens and pencils.

My sister is a jeweler and she Anneals metal (heats it) to strengthen and harden the final metal pieces. This same process must work with paper. I used a heavy/toothy velum bond. so I was pleased it accepted being painted and heated so well.

I did use red watercolor pencil to enhance the beet juice coloring but I did use the beet juice as my flow medium with a brush for the watercolor pencils. I also added a little wash of coffee to the center portion this morning.  This is a result of many layers of media and washes.

I taught a wonderful Zendala class this past week and this piece was a result of the snowflake Mandala template creation process. This was the result of my snowflake tracing example which grew and modified as I worked on it this week. I really didn't like the way it was going but I kept at it all week. I added hearts and let the tangles talk to me and tell me what to do next. The result is something that I am happy with but the process was so much fun.

Here are some process pictures.
The original snowflake cutout I created as an example in class which gave me my layout and
string to trace for the Zendala. I let my string guide me, not rule me.

As you can see, changes were made, but that's all part of the process.
Snowflake template overlaid, then  
trace the cutout areas  your string
to your create
Initial development of
the Valentangle / Zendala
Valentangle 2 - String #131
I created a second Valentangle based on It's a String Thing #131, third in the series of heart shaped challenges. I continued my food stain coloration experiments by using spring lettuce to create my green background. I julienned a few leaves, then rubbed them into my paper, then ironed it. I also added touches of beet juice accents but found it turned a brownish color when I ironed it (the iron was set too high). I added watercolor pencil over the applied food coloring.

I used a Mooka / Hollibaugh Heart tangleation and continued my gourdeous-heart enhancements. Some stippling, highlights and shading.

Check out all the other submissions for this weeks Diva Challenge #254.

Challenge #253 - New Tangle: Molygon

Molygon, Tripoli, Mooka, Shattuck with ribbons
and Baublz in the Renaissance Tile fashion
This weeks Diva's Challenge #253 asks us to use the new tangle Molygon. This tangle was introduced last week in the Zentangle newsletter, sign up here.

This tangle is a wonderful addition to Zentangle . It does have so much variety and works well on it's own or nestled in other tangles. It works much like Tripoli with the spacing and ability to grow and morph.

There is a lot going on with my tile for this week's challenge. I really wanted to work on a renaissance color tile version for my attempt this week. I love the qualities sepia pens, white pencil, and white gel pens lend to the Renaissance tile coloration. I think I brought everything AND the kitchen sink to this one. Got a little carried a way with my patterning but I am okay with the final results.

The two striped Mollygon's in the center took on a caterpillar feel to me, so, of course, I added some antenni. Maybe these are Bijou's cousins, no?

I was trying to connect and pull the interior tangles through this piece, connectivity was my goal. I incorporated so much movement that I think it is distracting but it was fun to play with this new addition to the tangle family. I also wanted to work with the reflective quality the Renaissance tile allows with the white highlights

Molygon, Purk beads, Mooka tendrils,
Crescent Moon, Tipple, and Stripings

I did play with Mollygon last week so I'm reposting that version. I took my leads on this black and white version from the variations shown in the current Zentangle newsletter.

Check out all the wonderful solutions for the Diva's challenge this week.

Challenge #252 - String Theory: Tangle within a tangle

Zenplosion Folds String with Hollibaugh, Morse,
and some fun textures
I meant to get this posted last evening but fell asleep. For this week's challenge I chose to use my tangle, Zenplosion Folds, as the string. I wanted to honor my tangle and not let it get lost in the filler tangles. Shading and texture allowed me to do that. Hollibaugh is one of my go to, mac-and-cheese tangles. I find it so versitile. Adding Margaret Bremmer's Morse to the mix added another dimension. I tried to connect, the ribbons but offset them enough to show the different levels. I added some Shattuck, and fun little dalmation dots to draw the eye through the folds. I really enjoyed this challenge, thanks again Diva for making us think/create outside the box.
Mollygon - The newest tangle from Zentangle

I also played with the new tangle pattern from Rick and Maria's Zentangle Newsletter. Mollygon is a fun new tangle that lends itself to so many variations and tangleations.

This new tangle would have been a great string choice for this challenge but I wanted to emulate all the beautiful variations and examples shown by this month's Zentangle Newsletter. It's a keeper Molly!

Anyone can sign up for the newsletter, check it out. Each newsletter is full of all the best and current Zentangle news and so much fun stuff!

Check out all the other great submissions on the Diva's site for this week's challenge.

My original Zenplosion Folds string

Challenge #251 - Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day

Moebius Logo surrounded by Tripoli and Tipple accents
This week's challenge brings attention to Moebius Awareness Day, which is Sunday, January 23. It's a challenge that Laura Harms posts yearly. For those of you have not heard of Moebius Syndrome, Laura describes it as a congenital nerve disorder affecting cranial VI and VII nerves controlling the lateral movement of her son, Artoo's face. Her Challenges and wonderful blog raise awareness of this Syndrome. It has been an honor to share and learn more about their family, and Laura's willingness to share Artoo's progress and growth with us.

The Moebius logo seemed to call for the use of a triangular tangle pattern to accent this symbol. Tripoli seems to let the symbol nestle in beautifully.

Past posts of this challenge:
#151 Moebius Awareness Challenge,   #103 MACD#55 MACD.

Challenge #250 - Bringing it Back to the Old School

Zentangle Original tangles: Printemps, Keeko, Knightsbridge,
Tipple (caviar), Crescent Moon, Poke Leaf and some fun variations

This weeks Diva Challenge #250 is to go back to basics or "Bringing it Back to the Old School". This week challenge is to create a piece on a WHITE 3.5" square tile, with a Black pen and pencil for shading.
  • Take the time to slow down and enjoy the process 
  • Enjoy the feel of the pen on the paper
  • Create a string,
  • Use 4 or 5 tangles you really enjoy
  • Don't worry about the composition or the outcome
  •  Just put your pen to paper and begin and enjoy the process.  after all.  It's ABOUT the process.  Not the product. (Great words Laura!)
That's what I did. Laura is right, we can get so caught up in the newest tangle or techniques, that we get away from the basic process that drew us into the Zentangle community. I am a CZT and love teaching the Zentangle process to others. It also keeps my Zentangle senses honed. Each time I teach a Basics class I get to relive the process and the pure joy of Old School Zentangle Original tangles. It's a wonderful gift.

Simple loop string with
come deviation
I'm teaching a Basics Class on the 26th so having the opportunity to create a sample piece to share with this upcoming class is perfect!

Remember to Relax, Smile, and Breathe! Love it.

Check out all the great tangling presented on the Diva's site.

Challenge #248 - Give the Gift of Zentangle

Christmas Card Design
Zenplosion Folds, some Printemps. a little Betweed star action,
Auras, and Tipples