The End…or the Beginning?

Life is a continuous cycle. I’ve learned this in a lot more ways than I ever thought I could. Some things go on and on, and some are only here for a while.

I’ve been doing the Diva Challenge continuously since #161. This is one of the things I feel compelled to continue, as it tends to spark me creatively. So this week (#347) was no different, although it has taken me a little longer than most. With String Theory, we were quested to create a string by tracing objects we found around our space. The part that took me a while was seeing past the “normal” shapes to find something odd that wouldn’t give me just squares and circles. I found a magnifying glass, a purple jade heart from Guatemala (waiting for a new chain,) and my mini metal ruler/compass thingy (part of a set from the Charles Williams Co. that I really dig.)

Diva #347-1

The paper has a bit of purple in the background (I keep tiles by my work station when I watercolor or use ColorBurst and use them to “mop up” what remains on my craft mat, making instant backgrounds.) This was a bit of watercolor paper, so it was nice to tangle on too! I did my shading with a Carbothello chalk pencil (Santa brought me the full set for Christmas this year!)

Diva #347-2


Speaking of beginnings…I am really looking forward to hosting the Southern California Zentangle Teachers on the 27th. I have a really fun project for us, and I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with on this…sneak peek of Peeking Hearts!

Penguin Lust Peeping Heart


I’ve been meditating on my sewing machine this past week, working on a special gift. Sewing and quilting is another one of those things that has been a constant in my life, and I know I can always come back to it when I need it.

Bonnie Hunter First Square

Lots of progress has been made, and I am rather pleased with the cheery nature of this one!


I’ve been working diligently on getting some things wrapped up, framed and priced out, too, for what is in the ending stage.

Creat Love Framed

I am closing the shop May 31. This has been a difficult decision, and not one I took easily. I am a pretty introverted person and I have never been good at being in the mix of things (I thought I could change that, but alas, it just made me more stressed.) Taking this action feels like a huge weight has been lifted from me, and I can breath again!

But, never fear, there is an ongoing thing or two that will remain. I will continue to have the online store, and I will continue to teach classes, both at my home and a variety of other locations. I do love sharing what I know with you all, and will continue to do that, through my blog.

What that means, in the meantime, is a HUGE SALE. I don’t feel like moving everything, so starting now, everything is 10% off. Use the discount code FEB10 in the online store. This is limited to stock on hand, and I am working diligently to make sure that all the inventory is up to date. Even the art on the walls, and most of the furniture is going. (And no, my paper cabinet is not on the auction block…lol.) There are some great deals to be had, keeping in mind I never had anything listed at full price to begin with!


While this may seem like an end, I feel like it just the beginning of a new chapter!

Happy January from Southern California!

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Surviving the Void

Yes…it’s that time of year again. And this year hit me a lot harder, and took me deeper in the void than usual. We had mom’s interment last Friday, and the 9-ish hours drive each way really took a lot out of me. The interment was at the Southern Arizona Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Sierra Vista, and it really is a beautiful place with sweeping panoramic views. I did a lot of cemetery visits this trip, including Tombstone and Black Oak in Elgin. It was interesting reconnecting with family in this manner, and realizing I am the senior family member now.

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I’ve tried really immersing myself in my art during this time. I did a lot of work with the Dot Rods™ and nearly have the video tutorial edited to post (hopefully by next week!)

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I’m really getting into trying lots of different things, and putting the materials I have to work for me. Here is some of the preliminary work that goes into a painting…selecting and prepping the palette.

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And the final products! (This was a Christmas gift for my Sig-O.)

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And that was a lot of fun.


It was also nice to have the Diva back this week after the Christmas break. (I know…I took a break too!) Her challenge this week (#346) was a Duo-Tangle of Phicops and Huggins. I really had not done Phicops before, but I really enjoyed it. and I tried to do a wonky gridded Huggins, as opposed to my usual Crazy Huggins and I think it was successful!

Diva #346

I only have 5 more pages left in my little Cub from Iona Handcrafted Books, so it will be time to move on to a new one soon. (While I have more than a few blank journals at home, I found this one on their website while I was finishing up this post. Drool.)


I also finished (and blocked, and mailed) a knitting project that I started in New Zealand in October.

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Waiting now for some knitting needles that Santa ordered me for Christmas so I can start the next one. I plan on knitting (and stitching) my way through baseball season this year. Nothing like dedicated time to work on these things. I grew up listening to baseball on the radio, so I can look up from my work when something is going on, and not miss a thing!


Sometimes, the simple act of writing things out is a vital part of a healing process. In the case of this blog post, it worked. And while I was writing, the sun came out. Maybe the void won’t swallow me whole now.

Happy New Year from Mike and I.

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Holidays…Happy-ish

The Season has rather snuck up on me this year. I’ve been so busy with the shop and traveling that I hardly noticed that my tree isn’t even decorated yet. And it will be at least another week before that happens, as I am writing this as 30,000 feet on my way to Texas for some quality time with the Small Human, and to witness his father graduating from the University.

I had a great ornament class at the shop over the weekend, and we played with a lot of different ornament forms, from Zentangle Inspired Art to Alcohol Inks. I think these will provide significant input for this week’s Diva Challenge (#345) – Happy Holidays.

Can you believe this Challenge has been going on 7 years now? I joined in about 160ish.

I’m glad I got those done over the weekend, as I am having a bit of a hard time getting into the Season this year, too. Many of you may have read on FaceBook (if you follow me there) that my mother passed away on Tuesday. We had a bit of a tumultuous relationship, and even that had deteriorated over the years. I’m sad she’s gone, but not sure what else to feel.

We haour annual San Diego Tanglers Friendship group Christmas gathering on Monday. We made some cool ornaments that Wendy Gray had prepped for us (and I forgot to take a picture of mine.) We also had a gift exchange, and I made this tile book for it (along with some white pens to tangle in it.

And because I cannot sit still during meetings, I did these whilst in a Veterans Art Initiative briefing in San Diego.

So that is all I have this week. I’ll be leaving those ATC’s around places like I always do, and spending time with the Small Human.

Hoarding in the Afterglo

Yes, I am a hoarder. I can finally admit that over many years of fully participating in the hoarding process. I saved bits and bobs of things to make things out of. I had lots of bright, shiny ideas and never followed through with them, resulting in clutter and disarray to the point where I had no workspace left.

I think once I came to grips with the “why” part of my hoarding (that’s a VERY long story) I was ready to deal with it. And deal I did. With the encouragement of a coach, I organized what I wanted to keep, purged what no longer served a purpose, and made a very positive change. Here are a few before and afters:

I replaced the sewing table tops with larger ones, so there is automatically more room there, but since the move around, and purge, the room seems twice as large! And…on top of that, I have been pretty productive!


Since I am basking in the afterglow of having a nice workspace again, it is only right that this week’s Diva Challenge (#344) is a Use My Tangle (UMT) of Afterglo by Carole Ohl, CZT. I have not done this tangle since my very first month tangling, and I did not have fond memories of it. So trying it again (I am still on the white pen kick in my black Venice Journal) I kept an open mind.

Diva #344

I am really learning a lot about shading with this new paradigm of graphite. I think it works really well. And don’t those look like poinsettia?

I also did this one for the Square One Facebook tangle this week, Hypnotic:

Square One - Hypnotic

I’ve also been playing with my Dot Rods™ now that I have space to work. I made this as a peace offering to a friend that I’ve had a falling out with. Don’t tell her though, as I have not yet given it…lol. (I don’t think she reads my blog anyway.)

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I layer them in. Makes it so fun! (Notice the smallest one has a bend in it. An important reminder that they should not be exposed to heat, as I tried to heat shrink that blue tube onto it and it melted a bend. Better to use medical tape to make grips, I think.)

I am cutting and packaging more Dot Rods™ this afternoon, so they should be back in stock in the Online Store tomorrow. I will be out of town from the 13th to the 19th, so if you have orders you want in time for Christmas, they need to be in by the 11th.


A final note on the hoard clearance before I get my rear in gear to go out and work in the garage…I found this completed quilt top, along with the backing and binding fabric in one of the boxes. Circa 1995, the colors are nice, but they just aren’t me anymore. Waffling on whether to donate it or finish it and gift it.  I did such a nice job piecing it!

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And my new “altar” is my favorite part of the room. The lady in the picture is my Grandmother, Ethel Beatrice Kirkham Pyeatt. She always looked and acted like a movie star. She lived quite the life. And the doll is called Gene Marshall, a 1940’s & 50’s movie star, costumed in her role from Shooting Star (imaginary movie.) I used to have over 50 of these dolls in various costumes (another really long story) and sold most of them. I lost the few I had left (another REALLY long story relating to the hoarding issue) and this is the only one I replaced, because she reminds me so much of my Grandmother. She had still been in her box since I received her in 2015!

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Ok…enough from me for the week. Back to work, lots to do! Make Stuff!

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Dude…DEWD!

That’s right. A tangle named Dewd. I had done Dewd previously in my Venice Journal as part of the Project Pack 1 videos:

Project Pack 1 Dewd

He is a cute little Dewd. Diva chose this for this  week’s Challenge (#343) so I felt compelled to do it again. I started on a Black Tile that I had spray dyed with some sparkly substance.

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Then something went horribly wrong when I got the idea to try Trans-zending on it.  With a Purple Moonlight Gelly Roll. What was I thinking?

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Remember kids, not everything turns out like it did in your head.


On a less terrifying note, I have been working my way through Ornament samples for class on the 9th.  I am setting up stations for each ornament, so you can make as many as you like, and skip the ones that you don’t fancy.

Bijou makes a couple appearances on the list this year.

And again as a bell. (Credit Dorian Eng, CZT for this one.)

And a few cut outs that come out cute (There are more shapes too!)

And another one of Dorian Eng’s Designs.

And a little something I whipped up yesterday!

I’m sure I left our a few, but where would the fun be if I revealed everything? Class is on December 9th…come play with me (and take care of that pesky holiday shopping.)


So last week, I was off to the airport, to go to Guatemala. Sometimes, as we saw with my Dewd tile, things don’t always work out. From the time we left the house to the time we got to the gate, the plane filled up, and I didn’t get a seat (oh, the joys of flying stand-by.) So I drove home.

Strangly enough, I did not actually have a Plan B (very unlike me.) I decided to make the best of the “alone time” to start on my major rework of my home studio space. It was starting to not be much of a work space anymore, but more of a hoarders paradise.

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Panoramas make the room look a little creepy. I am currently over half way done, so I’ll show you a little piece for now, so you can monitor my progress.

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I actually had to wait for the trash to get emptied today, and a load out to the shop, so I can finish loading out what is getting tossed, and what is getting donated. I am pretty pleased so far, and have been concentrating on putting things away when I bring them in here, not just piling them on my workbench. It was starting to look like this all the time:

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I am grateful to have this lovely space, but I have not been taking very good care of it.

And, since I hadn’t planned to cook for Thanksgiving, I treated myself to dinner out. I live across the street from a very large Indian Casino (Pechanga) and I made a reservation to eat this:

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It’s a good thing I had other nice stuff for you to look at!

And, I know I promised this a long time ago, but with all the construction going on in our backyard I wasn’t able to get it done until now. Glass Pens. Coolness.

Still learning to edit videos. Still learning to speak English most days.

Have a great week!

Bunzo! Black is the New White!

OMG! I am MEGA impressed with the new white Gelly Roll pens!

So much so, I can’t seem to put them down. I carried that over into this week’s Diva Challenge (#342) for a DuoTangle of Rick’s Paradox and Bunzo. Now, some of you know that I love Bunzo. It is one of my all time favorite pen killers. I can carry on with it for a very long time. BUT…I have never done it with the white pen because, well, the ability to do fill like that just was not there. Until now.

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WOW, right? I worked through a few of the videos from Project Pack 1 and have been so impressed (coupled with last weeks BIG Bales.) I plan on filling up my Venice black journal with this!

I’m so happy with this, I added it to the December class schedule. So come get your Black Zen on with me on December 2nd. Click here to reserve your spot, and we will work through the Project Pack (and you will get all the supplies!)

I also had some paintings to finish this week for submission for the 6×6 4 Peace exhibition for Artists for World Peace, benefitting Native Eyes, providing eye care for Native Americans.

They will be featured in the pop up gallery and online, and will be sold during the event with the proceeds going to Native Eyes. I am really proud to have participated in this!

Hey, and if you really dig the dots, beside to check in with next week’s blog. I have some big news on that front, and something you really need to have!

I’m going to keep it a little short this week, the December schedule is up and I have to catch a plane (Guatemala for Thanksgiving!) I’ll be back on Friday, so I will be able to fill orders then. 

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Go Big…AND Go Home!

Yes…I made it home from Santa Barbara ok. I really am not enjoying driving at night much, and I did miss an exit, but made it out unscathed. But for all that, I would not have wanted to miss out on the classes I taught there. Zentangle 101 with 5 lovely ladies at WorkZones; we were really productive and I love it when they have this much fun!

We had a fun meet up yesterday with the San Diego Zentangle Friendship group, where I gave a short, hands on lesson on Reticula and Fragments. We drew out a few Fragments on small squares, and tried putting them in different configurations. Hiroko did this one with 8 squares and a couple different Fragments.

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Then we explored different Reticula. Denise K. did this sample:

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I started a much larger Reticula to play with Bales with my New White Gelly Roll Pens, some really cool Metallic Pencils, and a Black journal from Bee Paper…and it was BIG. Which played in nicely with this week’s Diva Challenge (#341.) That baby is about 7″ across!

Diva #341

I do have to report that I LOVE the new Gelly Rolls. And those Metallic Pencils from Pentalic are just a dream on darker and black paper. I’m afraid they don’t show up all that well on white paper, but they are chalkier rather than waxier and blend nicely.

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You can purchase all these items at my online shop!

I’ve really been on fire prepping up for your holiday shopping pleasure, too. I have been re-vamping the online store, making it more shopper friendly, one little bit at a time. It does take a lot of time to edit and add photos, but I am tackling a little bit ever day to make this the best place to find everything you need to make your art practice fun and zen-filled!

 

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