The Paradox of Overwhelm

So, by now I think everyone knows I am closing my studio in Temecula. (Yes, I am still teaching, at my house, and the online store is staying.) This is a daunting task. Inventory management is not easy for the most seasoned professional, and trying to guesstimate what people will buy at any given time is just not my thing.

That being said, I have a *lot* of stuff that I had either guessed too high on, or the class didn’t go, or yada yada yada…it goes on and on. I had a near breakdown yesterday as I reviewed the volume of things I still needed to catalog and update in the system, so that I can offer it to you good folks out there. I’ve slashed prices on a few things (t-shirts and Trim-a-rims) and the discount MAR15 will still get you 15% off till the end of the month. I will issue a new discount code in May, to help me clear more.

This has become pretty overwhelming for me. So naturally, I turn to tangling to try to resolve some of those feelings (I also have been meditating daily on top of that.) So I found this week’s Diva Challenge (#357) to do a monotangle of Rick’s Paradox to be quite soothing. Line work. Making lines. Line after line after line.

I decided to use my Big White Bee charcoal paper journal for this, and I traced 2 tiles, not really knowing what was going to come out of it.

Diva #357

I really liked the one we did during the 12 Days of Zentangle, so I decided to revisit that one, with a bit of a twist.

Diva #357-1

And then just a plain line work style in the second “tile.”

Diva #357-2

And part of getting through the overwhelm is eating nourishing food. Since Mike is on a trip, I am trying some different recipes. Zucchini and cheese Tacos? They were actually pretty good.

IMG_7758

But, calming down again got me in the mood to try a ZenButton…I really like this way to use fragments…I am trying a black one next.

IMG_7732

I had another calming day on Saturday, with a small Zentangle 101 class.

20180324 Class

You can book classes directly by emailing me!


And then I got a little more overwhelmed today when I went to get some washi tape out of my box to decorate my Giants Baseball Opening Day page today…

IMG_7764

That, my friends, is what more than 200 rolls of washi tape looks like. I may have to have a swap or something, as I have a few duplicate rolls. (In my defense, most of this was swag from the recent Planners Rock conference I went to.) The case is from Michaels, you can get it here (use a coupon and save!)

So, the game starts in 5 minutes, and that means I have to go!

(PS…I didn’t publish this before the game started. Giants beat the Dodgers 1-0!)

 

SaveSave

Spring…Cleaning!

We’ve been going thru a lot of our clutter lately. I am not sure not this accumulates in the quantity it has, but I can allot a bit of it to all the stuff I brought back from Arizona in January.

Cleaning out my mom’s house was a daunting task. She had accumulated “things.” I’m not going to say hoard, because it wasn’t like that, but I am not sure she had a switch that said…I do not really need to buy that bag or that purse or that pair of shoes. Or subscribe to another Danbury Mint monthly thing…like a collection of Presidential dollar coins. (Which, by the way, are worth $1 each. But if you subscribe, they will send you 13 of them a month for $39 a roll. There’s a racket we all need to get into.)

But, that made me spur into action and roll them all to take them to the bank. (For my friends outside the US, dollar coins have never really caught on here, even though they are in circulation.) And that made me also roll up all the other change I had accumulated in my pickle jar…and voila! I made $671!

IMG_7590

I know what you are thinking…Charlotte, what has this got to do with Zentangle?

Clutter is not only something that accumulates physically.

“Clutter is the physical manifestation of unmade decisions fueled by procrastination”
Christina Scalise, Organize Your Life and More

Mental, emotional, and physical. And it builds up, and keeps us from being our best selves. I struggle to get things done on my super cluttered desk because it does not invite me to be creative. It invites me to see the clutter. The clutter depresses me and makes me not want to work on things I know will make me less depressed.

Just the simple act of organizing and picking up can be so freeing, mentally and physically. Spacious freedom in your mind and in your home. Now, I am not going all Marie Kondo method on you. I’m an artist. I have stuff.

I am becoming more productive as I clear things out, and I think even more creative without all those “things” to weigh me down. So I did a bit of playing this week on a prompt for a journaling group I am in (it was my turn to create the prompt) and whilst I was doing my page, this popped up:

Zigmajig Cupcake

I think I may have come up with a new tangle I am calling Zigmajig,  a cross between Keeko and Jonqal.

And that led me to make a step out for it…and use my initials for a Tangle Your Name from this week’s Diva Challenge (#356). (My name is a bit long to get on a tile, so initials work for me.)

Zigmajig

Neato, eh? Oh, and if you have ever seen this by another name, I’m happy to give it up.


I had a couple of awesome playdate/classes this week. On Monday, Pam and her daughter came and played with me for a few hours. We learned a few things and had a lot of laughs!

IMG_7645

And on Wednesday, I taught the first of 2 sessions for the San Diego Book Arts Guild at the library in Pacific Beach. I had 15 lovely ladies tangling on coasters for a high altitude flyover of Zentangle…just enough to wet their appetite for more! They did an awesome job.

And while I know it’s not spring-like weather in some parts of the country, after my class I walked along the beach for a while, and enjoyed a sunset.

Boy, do I love living in SoCal. (Note that it has been raining all day today. I love rain.)


I’ve also been busy putting the final touches on my mobile store for TangleU this year. I am still working on a super top secret limited edition kit for the event, so that is what the empty space is for…

IMG_7649

Remember, there is still time to use the code MAR15 for 15% off at the online store.

And now, I have to clear the clutter of accounting work, so I can submit my taxes for the year…icky!

Have fun!

SaveSave

Tide in Knots

Yep…tide…not tied. Water. Oceans. Rivers. That is what the tangle Verve speaks to me. Movement of water.

This week’s Diva Challenge (#355) was to use the tangle Verve. I’m working on samples and a handout for a top secret project, but found this to be just the tangle I needed for this body of water.

IMG_7563

At this time…I’m not at liberty to discuss what else is going on. But you are gonna love it, I guarantee!


Oh, and I did mention knots. It is coming up on St. Patrick’s Day this week, so I thought I would give you a quick video on how to draw one of the knots in my Ready or Knot kit. My finished piece looks like this:

IMG_7567

And the video is here:

At this time, there is only one Ready or Knot kit left in stock, and I have not decided if I am going to restock it or not.

In the meantime, hop on over to the store and use code MAR15 for 15% off the rest of this month!

Cheers!

A Steep Learning Curve

Some of the things I do come pretty easy. I can visualize images in 3D, much like the computer imaging that Tony Stark uses in the Iron Man movies. But those things don’t always translate to what ends up on my paper.

Some tangles are like that for me, too.

This week’s Diva Challenge (#354) was one of those tangles. The Use My Tangle of Siri by Simone Menzel, CZT was pretty cool looking in her samples and step outs, but I struggled with it. I imagine I would like it better had I not tried to use color in my initial attempts, but I got some new pencils this week that needed trying out, so I went for it.

Diva #354

I have been playing around with Helen Williams’ String Rose pattern for a few days, so that made a good focal there, and I was able to distract myself from the parts that didn’t please me that much. I also did a little bit of that in my Bullet Journal this week:

IMG_7462


We had an awesome meet up of the SoCal CZT group last Saturday, and I did finally remember to take pictures, although it was of the projects, not of the people (luckily, others did catch us in photos…those are posted in the FaceBook group.)


I did finally finish cleaning out my tool box this week as well. The finishing touches on parts of my home studio (readying for the transition for things to come home from the shop) has been a bit of an undertaking, and a lot of soul searching to downsize from things that have not been of service to me. I have had fun organizing…there is something so magical about seeing my pencil drawer in my tool box look like this:

IMG_7514

Coupled with the knowledge that I may never have to buy another pencil in this lifetime!

I have set up cool little features intended to make me smile when I see them. Like this playful take on an aquarium without water, complete with a few Pokemon.

IMG_7515

What made you smile today?


Don’t forget to use the code MAR15 for 15% off all remaining items in the online store. The less stuff I have to move, the better!

It Gets Better

Really…it does. Breathe deep, eat right, exercise, and do something you love, and it gets better. Everything gets better.

February is the month when both my parents had birthdays. My dad would have been 84, and my mom would have turned 74 over the weekend. This is her first birthday since she passed in December, and I decided to honor it a little (even though we never really got along) with working in her favorite colors for this weeks Diva Challenge (#353) – Zendala Hearts.

Diva #353

I started with a pre-strung Zendala that was rather like a mandala. It had the right shapes for those hearts, and I have a mini set of Polychromos in Valentine colors, so I decided to do a bit of coloring. I think it turned out ok.


I was in an awesome workshop over the weekend with the San Diego Book Arts group and Cherryl Moote. I really flexed my imagination, and did some fun things. I have a few things still to finish up, but here is a little of what I did so far:

Rectangular Flexagon (which got water spilled on it, so this is in the mock up pile now.)

Square Flexagon

And because I had the middle of that one, I made a baby Square Flexagon.

A Kaleido Cycle.

A Gallery Book with my alcohol ink on mineral paper in the windows.

IMG_7405

And since I had a tiny strip left after the Kaleido Cycle, I had to make a mini Gallery Book.

IMG_7406

I still need to finish a few bits and pieces, and make some cases for the Gallery Books. I also got a good start on learning the fold for the Chinese Sewing kit, which I will make after I run by the studio and pick up the paper I want to use. (boy will I be glad when all my art supplies are in one place again!)

If you think these look like fun, you can get Cherryl’s book, Slight of Binding, which has just been reprinted by John Neal Bookseller. I highly recommend it.

And if you need supplies, remember, everything in the store is 10% off in February with the code FEB10 and 15% off in March with the code MAR15. The discounts are limited to stock on hand, and will not apply to anything I have to order.

And I leave you with someone that got miffed when I told him he could not jump on the window ledge, so he decided to take a rest on the quilt I was trying to work on.

IMG_7424 2

SaveSave

17 Hearts

seventeen hearts

hearts not yet seventeen

hearts that influenced seventeens

seventeen families

families missing seventeen hearts

seventeen hearts that will never beat again

IMG_7377

This week’s Diva Challenge (#352) was to use Nested Hearts as a string. I had some strong feelings that are hard to describe while I was doing this, and grabbed a bigger “tile” to work on. Fabriano Medeoevalis is such beautiful paper. Buttery to work on, blends like a champ. Colored with CarbOthello Pastels.

Yes, those are bullet holes. Morbid. Morose. All those things that we don’t like to think about. But we have to. These kids need us.

Better People.jpg


I realized when I went to go write today’s blog post that I have not posted yet in the month of February. Lots going on, and really no excuse for it. I’ve been pretty busy with the things that I need to do to get the shop closed the end of May.

Inventory, clearing out stuff I no longer need. If you frequent my online store, you will find some odd categories here and there, where I am listing some things that fall in that category. There were a few things I’ve tried and taught over the past fews years that really did not bring me joy, and I feel that they spread me a little too thin at times.

This week’s focus category was Alcohol Inks. I have some things listed that I just have too many of, and I don’t see me using that much going forward…so check it out!


And while I didn’t blog or post them, I have done all the Diva Challenges for the month…here is #350 with a Heart String and a Use My Tangle called Rimana by Nadine Roller, CZT:

Diva #350

I got on a bit of a roll with ATC’s that week, too.

I carry these around in my backpack when I travel, with the intention of leaving them various places. I think it brightens up the place.


And Diva Challenge #351 was hearts with an Olympic theme. I thought a modified Zedbra was a great tangle for this.

Diva #351

I have an awful habit of tearing up my desk whilst I am working on some of these…

IMG_7276


I also took another class with my Quilt Guild last week. Becky McDaniel came in to teach us this cool paper piecing Crazy Cushion. Pattern is available on her web site!

Crazy Cushion Start

I hadn’t really done much paper piecing before, and thought it might be too involved or fussy to be fun, but this was definitely a lot easier than I thought. (I am going to make 2, so we have them for the patio wall to sit on.)

IMG_7302.jpg


oh, and remember those coasters from the last blog post?

They are now a really cool book. I call it Seeds…a Blooming Book.

More details on that another time…but I will be teaching it. Be on the lookout!

I gotta get moving now. Going to spend the weekend at a Cherryl Moote workshop learning about books that do tricks!

SaveSave

Flower of Life…Zentangle Style

Hi!

You may have noticed I didn’t post last week. The week completely got away from me…I was so busy setting up our SoCal CZT Round Up (read: cleaning the shop) that I really had no time, and by the time I did, it was already Sunday!

When Diva posted this weeks challenge (#349) for the new tangle from Zentangle HQ called Rumpus, I had already started another piece I am working on for a demo-type class for the San Diego Book Arts Guild. I am using blank coasters to tangle on (with gel pens, not Microns) to use as covers for some yet to be determined book form. The timing is pretty short, so I thought I would use a simple-yet impactful grid tangle. I came up with Fife, one of my favorites, in a rather wonky grid.

While I was working my way through it, I thought…gee…this looks like the Flower of Life pattern I am constantly drawing with my compass. And so I decided to look into it, and wouldn’t you know…Fife is an abbreviation of Flower of Life!

IMG_7074

Fast forward to Rumpus now…and I’ll be darned if it isn’t the same concept. A free form Flower of Life!

IMG_7075

I still have to think about the book form I am going to use, so I’ll post that when I figure it out.


I was at the UCSD campus for a study I was participating in, around the Engineering Department, and saw this amazingly huge rock teddy bear. It made me think about the enormity of things sometimes.

IMG_7051

Tasks have seemed daunting lately. As I clean and sort and file and get things ready for closing the shop, I feel a little overwhelmed.

I felt that way when I was trying to come up with a class schedule for February. For 2.5 years, I have been trying all kinds of days and times and concepts to put classes on the schedule, and if I am lucky I get about 5-6 students a month, spread out over 2-3 scheduled classes. There is simply no way of knowing what times work best for people.

So I decided to try something new. You pick the time that is right for you, what class you want to do, and if I have it available, we are a go! Still working out some details of how to word it on the web site, and how to block off my calendar for when I am out of town, but I think this is going to be much less stressful for all of us.

Individual, private lessons will be slightly more, but bring me a party of 2 or more and I’ll keep my original prices in tact.


And the SoCal CZT Round Up was a huge success. We had a lot of fun tangling, talking, and eating really good snacks! There were 16 of us! (And I was so busy doing stuff I forgot to take pictures!)

We have the next one planned for March 3, from 10-3, still at my place. We will be looking into other locations for future gatherings, so if you are a CZT in the SoCal area, make sure you are in our FaceBook Group to get the updates.


Finally, I did remember to photo the other Never Ending Card I did!

These are just so much fun to make!

Fun time is done (I prefer writing to most of my other icky tasks, like accounting and web site maintenance…)

Make Stuff…You Will Feel Better!