Monday, 31 January 2011

Relax Breathe Smile

Wheeeee!  Our lovely diva, Laura of , has given us a seventh challenge - to create a tile focused clearly and cleanly on the Zentangle mantra, "Relax - Breathe - Smile".  An interesting challenge, indeed.  "Relax" is something of an alien command to me.  Learning to turn off the external, release burdens, enter the now... NOT something I do well nor easily.  "Breathe" is fine - lots of experience in breath control from dance training, vocal training, performances...  "Smile" - well, it's like a heartbeat for me so no problems there, but that darn "Relax"... well, I tried, although I suspect I'll be revisiting this challenge also.  Possibly repeatedly! *G*  What do you think?
Happy Monday!

Sunday, 30 January 2011


I revisited an earlier challenge from Linda Farmer ( to tangle your name and I like this one better.  I made a fun loopy string with nine openings and added to the challenge by assigning each letter of my name in order, from top to bottom.  Then I used Linda's website ( to hunt down tangles with the correct names to suit:

C - Cracked (oddly suitable, yes? Hehehee)
H - Hopscotch
R - Raindotty
I - Intersection
S - Shattuck
T - Tink (tangleated!)
I - Ixorus
N - Nipa
A - Alpenglow

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Three Little Fishes

You may have noticed, if you've been checking me out from time to time, that my mind works in strange and wondrous (as in "wonder"ous) ways...*G*  I traced a roll of my Fireline beading thread, worked a spiraling string and lo and behold, three little fishes (and a burble!).  While drawing the background was exceptionally time-consuming, it was also really relaxing and I enjoyed it.  It's one of those tangles that, when first seen, is a little blank and apparently uninspiring, but then you add the shading and POW!  It rocks your socks off!  In short, a sneaky tangle! Hehehehee...
Happy Saturday!

Friday, 28 January 2011


I have no idea where this word came from or why it decided to land with a thud upon the picture I'll show you today but art hath no reason... I was idling through my Zentangle journal, wondering if I felt like creating a picture just for today or if I should post something already in existence when the following pic yelled "Floomp!" at me and insisted on being made part of the parade.  And so, in deference of a power much pushier and more confident than I am, I present to you "Floomp":
Happy Friday!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Sinus Tangle Thursday

As always, one shoe drops and the other follows suit.  My daughter is coming along nicely and should be fully fit within a few more days - and thank you all for your well-wishes and kind messages!  Now of course, having expended all my energy in getting through that my poor sinuses felt neglected and had a "sit up and take notice!" hissy fit on me.  I've spent today (all I can afford to be away from the office) cuddled up on the sofa, sipping too much tea and apple juice, channel surfing (man, daytime television is LOUSY) and playing with Ixorus.  You see, there IS a silver lining!  Since I was stuck at home AND stationary, my trusty Zentangle journal kept me company.  I had another look at the directions for drawing Ixorus, checked out some truly WONDERFUL tangles the online community has posted and had another go at it.  I used Ixorus nearly exclusively and had a bit of play with tangleation, too.  In the end it kind of looks as stuffy and swollen as my poor schnozz feels, but also kinda fun... Not a bad way to get through a rough day, at all!  And here's the result:
Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Monday Night In The Emerg

Sorry for the no-post Monday, folks.  My lovely daughter ended up in Emergency in the city where she attends University and I had to dash out there (three snowy hours cross-province!) to check on her.  I ended up staying overnight to be sure she'd be okay (and she will, thank you - one of those "women's issues" some of us face) then race back in time to book the boss' ORs for this week. Phew!!!!  Enough stress.  On the other hand, I reminded myself that a) my daughter WANTED her mommy (yay! - that'll carry me for awhile!), b) she is going to be just fine and c) she does go to school in a particularly lovely area of the country.

As a result, although I plan to use it more and vastly improve on this quickie version, I did pass some of the time between tests playing with Ixorus, as per Laura's Challenge of the Week (  I'm not very pleased with this particular piece, I think you can see how scattered my mind was and how poorly I selected the patterns to tangle - also how dark the overall piece became - but I present for your critique "Monday Night In The Emergency Department".

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Life's a Frill !

I started to say "thrill", then had a second look at the image I am posting today and realized that Life Is A FRILL (*wink*). 

I had a fabulous day today - my buddy owns the best bead shop in the world and I spent the day teaching interesting, fun people to do Viking Knit with fine wire; a day of good company, surrounded by beads and creativity - yahoo!  Another buddy was sweet to note my loss of voice in the morning and managed to restore it in time for the first class.  She then had me over this evening for tea and doctoring (Ruth is not only a gifted artist but a Homeopathic Practitioner as well - check her out at and I think I may actually be able to get to the office in the AM.  Don't I have the best of friends?

We did some Zentangling this evening as well and I'm going to post a drawing I finished last fall.  It's not in my regular Zentangle journal, it's in a little square orange journal Ruth gifted to me last Christmas and I reserve for my "experimentation".  If I'm not sure of a new technique or how something will work, I like to test it out privately and see how it works for me before adding it to a known repertoire or body of work.  I had just begun to loosen up with my Zentangle patterns and shading.  I'm pretty happy with the tactile / textile effect of the patterns and the looping (again! - no giggles, Shelly!) string.  What do you think of the balance?
Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Another Week Gone By

Wow - what a crazy busy week!  Soon to relocate at work (day job) and today was registration where I teach beading.  A bit too much stimulation, all told, but hey - I can take it! *G*

Today I'm going to share a peek at the very first Zentangle done by a friend of mine, Tiena H.  She had heard my friends and I discussing Zentangles and received a gift of art supplies for Christmas with a Zentangle intention.  Whether she realized it or not, I forgot to ask, but she fit the challenge for Orbs!  This is her virgin Zentangle, with the technique figured out totally on her own, and I think it rocks!  Got a few good words for me to pass on to her?
I would also like to thank everyone for their wonderful encouragement and generous comments.  You make my day EVERY day! 

Happy Saturday!

Friday, 21 January 2011

Needed a Bit of Colour Today... I decided to post a piece I did at the end of the Fall.  It's one of the first I've ever employed colour with and I'm STILL not sure how I feel about it.  What do you think of it?  Any helpful suggestions?
Happy Friday!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Here We Go Loopy-Loo....

The lovely and talented Shelly Beauch ( posted a gorgeously loopy Zentangle-inspired art piece her seven-year-old granddaughter named for the old children's song.  It has been running through my head endlessly since I read her post this morning (thanks, Shell! *wry grin*).  I was flipping through my journal, showing some of my artwork to a friend today and noticed that, gee, a lot of my strings are also full of loops, too.  I wonder why some folks just gravitate towards the loopy and luscious, while others are absolute masters of the graphic and geometric?  I don't often see anyone with equal command of both aspects.

Anyhow, here's a very loopy tangle from my journal.  I hope you think it's "cool" loopy and not "dippy" loopy!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Challenging Orbs

Wow, what a great challenge Laura put before us this week!  Using "orbs" as your inspiration, tangle away!  Orbs, circles, spheres... however you call them, they are symbolic of so very, very much.  Many disparate peoples around the globe use them in their cultures to symbolically represent wholeness, completeness, fecundity, femininity, nourishment, community, isolation, congregation; the list goes on endlessly.  I think my tangle ended up reflecting the complexity I found when considering this challenge.  What do you think?

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Totally Tangled Tuesday

Well, today was interesting.  And yes, I do mean, inntttterrrreessstttttinnnnngggg <insert melodramatic actor's drawl here>.  Lots of nonsense at the day job, my poor daughter is suffering with BBBBAAADDDD flu and my class samples are needed before Saturday and I'm still not done two of them.  AAAAAGGGGHHHHH.

Okay, having vented, as a) I haven't had any time to work on this week's challenge (sorry, Laura - it WILL happen!) and b) I'm too swamped to tangle (although I plan on doing a wee bit in my journal to help me slow down at bedtime) I decided to post a fun little tangle I did in December.  I started with a gloriously curvy string and used lots of fun patterns.  I was close to being done when pop!  An eyeball showed up right in the middle!  What do you think of it?
Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Sunday, Sunday....

I love Sunday afternoons!  I got chores done, worked on some metal clay sample pieces, spent a bit of time tangling - suddenly realized I didn't post yesterday (sorry 'bout that!)... Sundays are the best day because they are LOOOOONNNNGGGGGGG.  I don't know how, but Sunday afternoons can easily expand to contain about twice the time of any other afternoon during the week.  Elastic time.  Einstein should've worked on this!

Anyhow, here's a tangle I enjoyed doing.  I used my own fabric swags and was thrilled by the way they turned out in this drawing.  Sometimes things just come together, you know?  I also used a number of fun tangles and variations of others.  The mix-and-match aspect of tangle patterns is seriously seductive - I could spend a lot more time drawing these than I have hours in the day!

Happy Sunday!

Friday, 14 January 2011

Starry Eyed Surprise - Redux

I felt kinda bad about using a star I'd already tangled for this week's challenge, so I had another go at it.  This one is guaranteed fresh and just done today!

I can't say I've ever had any difficulty with needing ideas for artwork, but I'm really enjoying these challenges.  They add a bit of a different spice, as it were, to the work I'd be doing anyway!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, 13 January 2011


The talented Linda Farmer over at has issued a challenge of her own - tangle your name!  You're supposed to use only official Zentangle patterns but I haven't collected any that start with "i" yet, so I'm skating the thin edge, as it were.  However, the tangles I did use I found on her site, will that earn me a pass?  Anyhow, here I am:

C - Cubine
H - Hurry
R - Rain
I - Inapod
S - Sez
T - Tipple
I - Intersection
N - Nzeppel
A - Ahh

What do you think?

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The Evening That Wasn't

Well, I drove out to my friend's (gorgeous!) bead store to teach a class tonight, only to discover my students couldn't get there!  Between weather, babysitters, etc., it just wasn't meant to be...*sigh*.  I was really looking forward to this one.

Possibly it's just as well as I'm beginning to think I'm fighting a stomach bug (the kind that leaves you feeling like your tummy is bruised - funny, I don't recall being kicked by a mule last week....).

Anyhow, I'm off to bed early to fight it off and so I'll upload a pic of a tangle I finished some time ago.  I did this one as a study in different line widths, etc.  It was very intimidating when I started - those heavy lines were something else and how on earth could a tangle stand up to that kind of weight? - but it was surprising fun to do.  Once again, add the shading and bingo!  It came right to life.

Or so I think.  Do you?

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Frabjous day! Calloo, Callay!

Just got home from work and THERE IT WAS, sitting at my place at the dinner table, my information package for the Zentangle Workshop I'm taking in a few short weeks.  Hand-addressed by Maria Thomas in an elegant and flowing hand...
Wheeee!  Let the final planning commence!
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, 10 January 2011

Star Light, Star Bright

Happy Monday!
The third monday challenge is up at and I'm not sure if I'm cheating!   I finished a star tangle just before the New Year and am submitting it as my response to the challenge.  What do you think?  Should I give it another go?  Or is it recent enough to be considered?  Am I cheating? (do NOT want to do that!)...

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Sunday Wind-Down

Well, winding up the weekend here.  I had a lot to work on this weekend; writing and illustrating directions for my next beading class, catching up on house- and home-work, four hours at the office making sure billing deadlines will be met... *sigh*.  My dream job is to be offered a greater-than-just-living wage to do what I want, when I want to do it.  Anyone else wanna sign up for that one?  Better yet, anyone offering one of those?  If so, I'm all yours! *G*

Anyway, here's a new pic for you.  This one is chock-full of grid patterns, leavened with a bit of curlicue...what can I say?  I love my curves, even when working on a geometric pattern!

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Saturday Night's Alright For Dining...

Had a great evening with two good buddies.  We hit a local restaurant with a nice style of bistro north american cuisine with a european flair and spent HOURS over dinner.  Chat ranged from our artwork (all three of us bead, tangle and explore mixed media and fibre arts) to the state of healthcare!  What a great time we had.  I felt a bit revved up still when I got home so had another taste of tangling to slow myself down.  I played with another hand-based piece this time and used a sanguine pen, shaded with Conte crayon.  I like the different feel it gives the piece.  Do you?
Happy Saturday!

Tangled Up In Friday

Ah, the bliss of having reached the end of a long work week... just gotta love those Fridays, eh? (yeah, I'm Canadian all right! *G*).

A friend wanted to have a "play date" and do some Zentangle inspired art, so we had a lovely chat, a cup of delicious tea and a great time discussing our art, Zentangles, patterns, shading, motivations, inspirations, etc.  A really great way to wind down!  And here's the newest page in my little Zentangle journal...

Happy Friday!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

The Challenge of Being Without A Challenge

Since my first two posts dealt with responding to an existing challenge, and catching it up to date (note to self and others - being late as a way of life, why save it for a pregnant day?), I thought I'd show a peek at a more "traditional" Zentangle today.  Even without an overt challenge, a Zentangle has many opportunities to stretch your creative self, from the shape of the square (vary it - why limit yourself to a square with four right angles EVERY time, anyway? or straight sides? can't 'square' simply be a descriptor?) to the string to the tangles to the shading.....

I can't say that I'm executing the Zentangle in a way that's an accurate reflection of the method designed by Maria and Rick Thomas as I haven't had my class yet (February is just a few weeks away - hooray!).  As far as I can tell, however, this one is pretty close to the originators' plan.  It was done before I'd really become comfortable with the art form and wasn't venturing too far out of the box just yet.

I start by free-handing a square, then adding a string.  From that point I fill up the space using whatever tangle patterns seem appropriate.  I try to let the shape of the space or curve of the string dictate the choice of tangle and then allow it to flow from my pen in all its tangled glory.  There's a wonderful sense of peace and timelessness while tangling; it seems to suspend all the pending worries and concerns and allow for a window of serenity in a crazy day.  The pen nib virtually walks itself across the paper, scribing elegance in its wake while I simply allow it to flow. Ahhhhhh....... *smile*

At this point it can be hard to go on as it's often so pretty in its unshaded state, but onward I bravely plunge!  Once again I submit to the flow, allowing the shapes and patterns to dictate their own dimensional appearances as they will, ignoring all learned techniques of directional lighting, turning the tile at will or whim, until - TA DA!  It tells me it's done, demands a signature of me and a chance to rest.  I sit, sipping tea and resting my eyes on happy artwork, in a perfect and peaceful place.
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Day Two and Already Playing Catch-Up!

I was thrilled, shocked and delighted to log in today (love that lunch break!) and see that I already have four followers (thank you!) and umpteen views... how do y'all find me, anyhow?  Since the short period spent responding to Laura Harms' Challenge #3, "Eyes Wide Shut", was such a delicious break in my day yesterday, I decided I might as well take a few minutes to respond to Challenge #1, "Simplicity", and Challenge #2, "Double Strung", and be all nicely up to date!  Collections of things are always a delight and keeping up with each weekly challenge should also be quite inspirational, so voila!  Here are the fruits of today's labours.

First up is my take on Challenge #1, "Simplicity":

I found I really enjoyed this.  I've always worked with diagonally curving flourishes (some atavistic symbol must be calling to me) and I chose to tangle it with only one, repetitive yet free-form element.  Rather than shade the tangle, I also made the choice to simply lay the "shadow" on the "ground" of the illustration.

I like the open airiness of the finished piece and yes, it did please me with what I view as its simplicity.

What do you think?  Did I interpret the challenge well or would you advise something different?  What does simplicity mean to you in your own artwork?  Do you find it a positive or negative descriptor?  Do you respond or back away from it as a challenge?  Do you know why you react the way you do?

Always food for thought.....

Next up is my response to Challenge #2, "Double Strung":

By drawing the string with two pencils, you "double your pleasure, double your fun!" (with apologies to Doublemint gum!).

I used to do this for calligraphy and illustration purposes years ago and had managed to forget just how much fun it can be!  I liked being able to use more patterns and adaptive shading.

Have you tried double stringing yet?  I do recommend it as a wonderfully fun way to shake up your art.

You can check out the challenges on Laura's website at where so many talented artists have shared their work.  It's both inspiring AND challenging - a double-header, Laura; way to go!

Again I apologize for the poor quality of the materials used and the photos.  I hope to improve both shortly.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

New Year, New Challenge, New Blog

Hello, blog-poppers!  Thank you for stopping into my little corner of the blogosphere.  I have been dared to publish a blog by a friend and hopefully this will lead to more friends, who'll lead to more friends, and so on and so know, just like the commercials used to say (I really hope SOMEONE out there remembers those old shampoo commercials....).

I have been called a bottomless font of useless trivia and a relentless optimist.  I have made art in many forms since I have any memory at all.  At present most of my creative energies go to beading, Zentangling and mixed media.

With the start of 2011, I have been challenged to make a resolution to publish at least one aspect of my artwork on a regular basis.  I have chosen to begin by sharing my Zentangle journey and will bring other elements in as the whim takes me. 

At Christmas a year ago a dear friend introduced me to the art of Zentangle (thanks, Ruth!).  I didn't have time to pursue it immediately, but it resonated with me and about six months later (gee, only six months ago?) I began to make a proper research of this art form.  I began with the official site,, and by making a careful study of its pages and following numerous hours online researching the concepts, patterns, CZT sites, etc., began to discover what Zentangle can be for me and my art.  I am attending a workshop in February 2011 after which, if all goes well, I hope to be accredited to teach others this fascinating artform.

In the meantime, to fulfill the challenge posed to create this blog, I have chosen to begin by sharing my own response to a challenge posted by Laura Harms, a CZT from Saskatchewan (hooray for a fellow Canuck!) on her blog, I Am The Diva - CZT at

Her Challenge #3 for Monday January 3, 2011 was to try tangling a string drawn WITH YOUR EYES CLOSED!  I had a chance to check her site only today on my lunch hour and was so intrigued by the idea that I had to give it a go right away.  As a result the design is not on a proper tile and was done with a rather wide (1.0 mm) gel pen shaded in pencil, drawn on a scratch pad.  Despite the most basic of materials, I rather like the result!

What do you think?