Welcome to 2017

Ok…I know…I did not really need to take a few weeks off from blogging. Not good for business, etc. But sometimes, you have to refocus your intentions and get some things done. Get through the holidays. Spend time with loved ones. Make art.

I set some pretty lofty goals for myself this year. All measurable and attainable, though, so I know I can do it. The first one is to get my blog posts in on Monday. So, I think I did that! (1 down, 51 to go!)

What better way to start off the New Year than with a new Use My Tangle (UMT)  Diva Challenge! Challenge #298 comes to us in the form of the tangle Orbs-la-Dee by Anneke van Dam. It is a nice filler tangle, and has a few cute variations. I decided to use it on a tile where I was testing the Sakura Micron against the Copic Multi-Liner SP. I wanted to see if I could tell the difference, so I divided the tile in half and tangled the same tangle on both halves.

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Honestly, there isn’t a lot of difference. To the naked eye, the Copic looks slightly different when next to the Micron, but if you used just the Copic, that difference wouldn’t matter. I think the deal here is the price points more than anything else. They are both pigment inks, archival, etc. But I think my real love of the Copic is that it is more economical in the long run, not to mention more environmentally friendly. It is refillable, and has replaceable nibs. The refills last longer than a Micron, and the nibs stay juicier a lot longer. So instead of carrying extra pens when I travel, I only need refills. The con side to this is the starter price of the Copic. I sell the Microns for $2.25 US…the Copics are $11 US. But…the refills are the price of a Micron….and last at least twice as long.

And…as luck would have it for you, my readers, I can supply these lovely pens for you! (Leave me a note below.)


So you know that I have not been slacking over the holidays, I shall produce proof!

First up, I participated in the 12 Days of 3Zs Challenge from Zentangle®. Although I got my tiles late and did not finish them in time for the actual contest, I did, in fact, finish them before Christmas! They make a pretty mosaic star:

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And individually:

These tiles are a lot of fun, and take a little less time when  you only have a short time to tangle. And the pre-strung set take the stress out too!


At our December Friendship group meeting, we had a nice gift exchange, and I was the lucky recipient of a handmade latka book, from my friend and fellow CZT Hiroko Hashimoto. She tangled on the covers:

And I realized that I have a huge stack of these really cool journals and books, and I do not use many of them. I have yet to make one pen stroke in the journal I received at CZT training. So, I decided now was the time to start! The paper in this one is really interesting…it has a lot of texture and character. It also pills excessively when shading (hint: use a lint roller prior to spraying fixative.)

I have been trying to do a page or 2 a week. Seems like a good place to try out some new things.


I noodled around with my Scan ‘n Cut 2 some more and came up with these snowflakes:

The paper is an Astrobrights Metallic card stock, and I used Sakura Glaze pens on them. It is a fairly non-porous surface, although they say you can print on them with an ink jet printer. I have tangled on this paper with a regular Gelly Roll pen, but I find the Micron does not show up well.

Also came up with this cute little ornament from 3 Bijou tiles.

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I did an end of the year recap on my FitBit…I walked over 1,300 miles! The chart was interesting. I started playing PokemonGo in July (my FitBit broke in August, so I was without it for 10 days, and I was sick a good part of December.)

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This year, I am setting a goal of 1,500 miles. That is attainable, if it ever stops raining. The rain is a conundrum for me. We need it badly here in California, but it is severely cramping my walking! But…the rain also gives us beautiful rainbows.

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That was the most magnificent one I have ever seen, and it was right from my home studio window.

I am not going to tell you to stay crazy anymore.

I am going to tell you to make art. It will keep the crazy away!

17 thoughts on “Welcome to 2017

  1. I certainly can’t see any difference between the copic & micron pen in your beautiful tile for Orbs-la-dee challenge. The star from the 12 Days of 3Z looks magnificent. Wow! the beautiful full rainbow outside your window. How lucky are you. Thank you for sharing all your lovely creative work.

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  2. Such energy. Combining the challenge and a pen comparison is very interesting. I like the geometric lines against Orbs-la Dee. I have had a couple of Copics leak all over and have never had that with Micron, so will stick with Micron.

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  3. I’ll join you in your 2017 blogging resolution and I’ll raise you — I need to redesign my site. Gah. I also don’t see a big difference in the copic and micron. I’m a little afraid of the copic. I’d be taking it traveling and an “accident” would be a very bad thing —ink all over my limited travel wardrobe and tangling supplies. What fixative do you use? Do you ever laminate? I’ve been doing bookmarks and several gift recipients have mentioned that they think I should laminate them? Any suggestions for a good laminator? I don’t remember being invited to play 20 questions, so I’ll stop here. Happy New Year.

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    1. I’ve never had a Copic leak…and you know how much I travel. You can always put them in a plastic baggie until you are more sure of them. I use Blair Very Low Odor Workable Fixative. It allows me to do additional work after I spray it, so if I missed anything or feel the need to add to it, I can still do that. I can see that laminating bookmarks would be a good thing. I have a Xyron 5″ Creative Station (available at most hobby stores) and it has several different kinds of film you can interchange to use with it. One of those is 2 sided laminate. You can also turn things into stickers (fun stuff) or use in place of glue if, like me, you don’t like dealing with glue on small things (I have a smaller 1.5 inch one for that too.) This is the laminate: https://www.amazon.com/Xyron-Station-Cartridge-Laminate-DL1601-18/dp/B000E1491Q/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&qid=1484074110&sr=8-14&keywords=xyron+creative+station

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  4. You have been busy Char! Thank you for sharing! I love all your 3z Tiles. Thanks for the pen comparison… some of us (me ) are too lazy! Lol! Absolutely love your rainbow! Wonderful inspiration right outside your studio! I have a blogging goal as well…. it’s to actually start one! I would like to share my artwork and get feedback to improve… a blog seems like a good place to begin. 🙂

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  5. You have created so many beautiful pieces of art! I LOVE them all! I like your comparison piece between the Micron and Copic. One of the things I really enjoy is the lovely weight of the Copic in my hand. It has a wonderful balance.

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  6. Lovely tile and wow, I’m so pleased to see the way you compared the micron and copic! I haven’t used the copic but I see it mentioned a lot so maybe I’ll take a look, Thanks for sharing!

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  7. Beautiful Work all of it Char! I like the copics too. That is what I started with when I first started tangling, because it was what I had around. They are also nice because if you want to use the copic colored markers on top you can and the ink doesn’t smear, so in my book another plus. I will say that I do use both types of pens though. Happy New Year!

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