The Best Laid Plans

ok…it is Friday. I meant for this post to be up on Monday. But, the best laid plans often do fail.

And I did plan. I packed everything I needed for the trip, including the art supplies, and even a few extra projects to work on on the plane (I can’t always tangle while flying…bumpy air and all.) I uploaded all the pics I needed into WordPress Media. I had everything in place in order for the plan to be successful, but still I did not succeed.

Be it a matter of motivation, or I was having too good a time in Florida visiting with friends and communing with the local wildlife, I simply did not accomplish what I put down to do in my Bullet Journal.

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When you get derailed like this, what do you do? I made a plan to hit the ground running this morning, and get through the critical tasks. I marked them with asterisks in my list, so I knew what had to happen, and the rest can get done later.

So far, I seem to be on track. I finished and photographed this weeks Diva Challenge (#329) – Fragment D1 presented by Marguerite Samama, CZT. I am really starting to love fragments, but I often cannot get them to do what I want them to in my head. I paired this one with my tangle, Abukas, and it came out looking rather like a faceted stone.

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The tile had been shaving foam marbled, so I stuck with the colors trying to make it a little cohesive.


Speaking of marbling…that will be the special in September (among other techniques.) On September 9th, join me from 10-3 for PaperPlay – Creative Backgrounds for Tangling. We will work through several techniques for creating one of a kind backgrounds on tiles and other paper and learn a few new tangles, too! I will have the schedule up by Sunday and a newsletter out with all the fun things early next week. Be sure to subscribe so you do not miss out!


And in the realm of fun things, there are still a few seats left in Cris Letourneau’s class, Renaissance Express, on September 11th (from 3-7pm.) You are welcome to join us for the monthly gathering of San Diego/Temecula Zentangle Friends from 10:30-1:30 prior to the class, where Cris will be giving a demo of what you are going to learn in the class, and I will teach a cute origami frame for Bijou tiles. But to be in the actual class, you must reserve a seat!

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I have had a lot of people comment on the shading I did on this blue piece from my Summer Time Blues class:

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I will be making a video this week on how I do this blue-glow shading, so be on the lookout!

(and that shape was made with this cool new tool from Spirograph I found called a Cyclex. It has been a lot easier to use than a regular cog and wheel Spirograph, so I plan on experimenting with it some more.) See it here.

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I have also been playing with Holly Atwater’s new tangle, haKrall.

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And I also found out you really need to pay attention when you are trying to space them out…but I still liked the way this turned out. Focus, Charlotte, focus!

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And I was also honored last week when Chris Titus featured Abukas as the tangle of the week for the Square One FaceBook group. I saw a lot of amazing things done with my bitty tangle, and was quite excited to see some of my favorite artists give it a whirl! This, of course, is mine:

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And as if that were not enough, on Monday, while I was in Florida, I found out that one of the pieces I put in to consideration at the Ashton Gallery/Art on 30th was selected for the show! This is my first time, and I was really pleased that it is a piece of Zentangle Inspired Art being accepted in the art world. The reception is this Saturday, so if you are in the area, drop by!

If you are in Southern California, plan a trip to Temecula on October 7th for the Old Town Temecula Outdoor Quilt Show. This is an annual event from Valley of the Mist Quilt Guild and is a sight to behold, as the entirety of Old Town is literally blanketed in beautiful, hand made quilts. This is the 2nd year in a row that I will miss it, but even if you are not in the area, you can bid on the quilts being auctioned online (see the details below.)

2017 QS Flyer final

 

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Aloha…Abukas!

I know…cryptic, eh?

This week’s Diva Challenge (#328) is a Use My Tangle (UMT) by Suzanne Fluhr (CZT and Guest Diva Blogger) for her tangle, Aloha. Suzanne writes a travel blog I really enjoy reading called Boomeresque. Mike and I had the honor of meeting her, and the infamous Mr. Excitement, when they were in San Diego for a cruise earlier this year. We had dinner and did some walking…topping it off with ice cream. What could be more fun?

I dig this tangle. I have done it several times now…

It is fun and bold and graphic. It makes a great border, string, or if you make it big enough, you can even tangle inside it.

So I wanted to do it a little bigger, and on one of my alcohol ink mono prints that reminded me of Hawaii. It is, after all, called Aloha!

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So…you may notice the other tangle I used here. Yes, it is new. AND…it is my VERY FIRST tangle. I call it Abukas, and it is influenced by Lynn Mead’s tangle Abeko and the original Zentangle® tangle Arukas. I rather stumbled on to it while I was working on some smaller Bijou tiles for a project I am working on.

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I thought to myself….self….you should do a step out for this and see how it comes out. So, here it is for all you to try, too! I like how art deco it looks, and I think it has a lot of potential.

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I have had some grand fun playing around with it, and I know a few others have tried it as well.

Speaking of those little Bijou tiles…here are some more of them.

I love doing these little things. It really helps me stretch my creative juices without a lot of sit down time. While I love to tackle larger projects, I think it makes it more fun to break it up into chunks, like we can do with an Opus tile.

I tend to lose my motivation when faced with finishing one of the really big things, like this mandala. It actually sat on my easel for just over a year! Finally took some Inktense Pencils to it, blacked in a bunch for consistency, and attacked it with a gold pen. Yes, that is a pen.

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Imagine the relief when that was finished. (It is 20 inches across!)

I am prepping some wool appliqué to keep me busy during a couple of flights next week, so I had best get back to it.

Have a Wonderful Week! Aloha!

A Fragment of My Life

While I was working on this week’s Diva Challenge (#327) that song kept going thru my head. I get horrible earworms while I am working, and this Elton John song (Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me) would just not stop. So…I went with it. In my take of the Lisbon Fragment by guest blogger Henrike Bratz, CZT, I used my new chop as a string, although you cannot even make it out in the finished bit. Blacking out some of the background (I can’t light no more of your darkness) and tangling on top with a white pen (All my pictures seem to fade to black and white.)

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I was a bit shocked that it looked nothing like the fragment I had in my head.


I did a bit of fun origami, folding some pretty little holders for Bijou tiles.

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I’m not sure why, but I am feeling a bit of an Asian themed September class. I am working on some suminagashi marbling, and I think it may be ready for play time, along with some origami type folding and Asian inspired tangles.


There are still a few seats left for Cris Letourneau’s Renaissance Express class on September 11th (3-7 pm.) It is selling out fast, so if you want in on the fun, make sure to get your reservation in now. Also, if you are coming, let me know if you want copies of her books, as she will need to bring those along (Made in the Shade and Pattern Play.)

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The 3rd Friday Open Studio time will be going on hiatus in August, September, and October. While I try to not be out of town for regularly scheduled events, this was just a confluence of events I didn’t notice until it was too late. Trust me when I say I would rather be here than in Florida in August…lol.

But, I still have seats in both Summer Time Blues classes, so join me!

Summertime BluesI got a new scan of that done today, and boy is it bright!


Continued progress on the bleach mandala…but I am feeling stuck. I know it needs something more, but I just can’t put my finger on it.

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I am thinking something that will disguise the pencil lines that erased but left a line behind in the paper. Next time I will use a soft chalk pencil…I think that will not leave that telltale line behind.


And lastly…my brown thumb is officially over, as my wayward African Violet is now in full bloom!

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I think it was just mocking me.

Off to do some quilting before dinner – make stuff…you will feel better!

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Where Do I Fit In?

This is a question that has plagued me my entire life. In my family, I was rather an outsider. At school (and I went to 9 schools over the course of my K-12 days) I was not popular or athletic or anything really. In the military, first in the Navy I was a woman in a predominately male occupation (avionics,) then again with the Army in advanced tech/electronics. Later in my Army career, I was older than everyone I worked with, usually by about 20 years. Even know, I feel like I do not really fit in with a lot of the people around me, but they kinda tolerate me because I can be fun sometimes.

So this week’s Diva Challenge (#326) with guest blogger Elisa Murphy, CZT, prompted us to use the ultimate “fit in” tangle – N’zepple. Now, unlike last week with Peanuckle, this is one tangle I use a lot. And since I was playing around with some black paper and bleach for another project, I challenged myself to use this as my medium.

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Different papers react to bleach differently. They have different underlying colors. It was very interesting, and I started to see what colors I could coax out of them.

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The N’zepple tile is a 6″x6″ cut of some scrapbook paper. The other 2 are a black Apprentice tile and a regular black Zentangle tile. Here is the finished black tile. I did a little shading with some General’s Chalk Pastel in the closest color I could find, but the light spots were just the concentration of the bleach in those spots.

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I may have gotten a little carried away, as I continued this into my Mandala study on Monday night.

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And I thought…hmmm…what about other colors of paper? I still  have some more work to do on this one, I am going to add some color with colored pencils.

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And I wasn’t the only one that had fun trying this, eh Karen?

And that is all the fun I can stand for today.

Don’t forget to check out the store and upcoming classes.

AND…if you were on the list, the first newsletter went out today. If you aren’t on the list, hop on over via the Home button up there and sign up!

I feel like I fit in a little, even if it is on the fringe!

Facing Your Fears

Ok…so the original title of this post in my head from last weekend was “Big Scary Sewing Machine” (more about that in another post)…but then the Diva Challenge (#325) came out. Add tho this a trip where I ended up having to face a fear of heights whilst driving, and out came this topic.

First up…fear of heights. I have been working over the past several years to desensitize myself to a fear of heights that mostly manifests during freeway driving. You know…those huge stacked freeway interchanges we have in the United States? Well, I drive a fairly large SUV (Toyota FJ Cruiser) and since I am 5’4″, I cannot exactly see over the hood, and it sits up pretty high. So, I have some little anxiety/panic attacks about those interchanges, and will usually add a few minutes onto my routes to avoid them. Thank goodness for Google Maps, as I can see in the satellite views which ones I need to detour.

But, there are places where that just is not possible. Like traveling across bridges. Like the Golden Gate Bridge. One of the most beautiful places I know. And one of my happy places. I have not driven in the Bay Area in about 30 years. Mike does all the driving when we are up there, But today, I had to get myself to the airport and return the rental car so he could drive the Uhaul down. And you know what happened? Nothing. Not even a twinge of panic.

I was so emboldened by this that I took the Express Lanes all the way home from LAX and crossed over the new “big scary” at the State Route 91 – Interstate 15 connector. (The caveat here is that I was driving his car, a lot lower to the ground.) But I did it. No sweaty palms, nothing.

So, you ask, CharKat, what has this to do with the Diva Challenge this week? Jessica Davies, CZT is filling in for Laura again this week, and proposed the tangle Peanuckle. At TangleU 2016, this tangle was presented by Molly Hollibaugh herself, to a collective groan from the audience. It strikes unease in the hearts of many, even CZTs, as it is a particularly high focus tangle.

I can execute this tangle with a degree of technical proficiency, but I have yet to make friends with it enough to make it my own. It is not one I ever do on purpose, and I have yet to teach it. But, I thought I would give it another shot here. I took a 6″ Stonehenge piece with me that I had been playing with Tombow markers and water on, so I used that.

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I am not unhappy with the results, but I think it just fades into the background a bit. I may try it again more front and center, or just continue to hold it at arms length. Maybe I need to desensitize myself to that, too.


The August Schedule is posted! This month’s special – Summer Time Blues – An Opus Undertaking – will, in fact, take place on Saturday the 19th. We will play with shapes as reticula for tangles as strings, with a whole lot of blue pens. FUN! (Seating is limited to 12 for this class…do not miss out!)

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I am also going to be adding a FREE Bullet Journaling Support Group, but in August it may take place during Open Studio time on the 13th.

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And check out Open Studio – EVERY SUNDAY – in August. It is cool inside, and you can bring anything you want to work on. I have been working on a quilt.

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Oh, and not to be remiss in announcing…we have a Guest CZT at the shop in September. On Monday, September 11, Cris Letourneau will be teaching her class Renaissance Express at CharKat’s! I am very excited for this, and the techniques she will be teaching are amazing and fun. Cris has authored 2 books on Zentangle techniques that I refer to often – Made in the Shade and Pattern Play: A Zentangle Creativity Booster (with Sonya Yencer.) This is a limited seating class, so make sure you reserve your space early. (Did I mention that you even get that awesome mat in your class kit?)

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I have a few things to finish tonight, being out of town for a few days really puts you in a tight spot playing catch up. Sometimes it is a puzzle seeing where to fit things in!

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Make Stuff…You Will Feel Better!

Forgiveness

Forgive me tanglers, for I have sinned. It has been 3 weeks since my last blog post.

While I could offer a plethora of excuses (I have been pretty busy) this lapse has been brought to you by another bought of my self-doubt and a feeling of being overwhelmed.

I started to dive into the cause of this recently, so I can better understand it. I know there have been many books written on the subject, but from what I can tell, in me at least, is that I have too many projects. Too many kits. Too many things I started and then did not finish. But why? I am going to write about this more in-depth in the coming weeks, as I stretch my legs into new role. I have recently revamped my web site, and updated the online store (hit that Home button at the top when you are done here to see the fruits of my labor, and sign up for my newsletter.) I am working at being more productive, and I am going to take you all on the journey with me to share with  you what I find.

But for now, to prove I have not been slacking…let me take you through my past couple of weeks. I had to go to Santa Barbara on business. I decided to take the Amtrak up, so as to save driving hassles and perhaps tangle on the train. That turned out to be a no-go as the thing sways the whole time. I did get to read a lot, which was cool. And in my meetings, I finished this piece (mostly coloring, trying out some Polychromos for the first time.)

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I did not do the Diva Challenge #321. I could make a lot of excuses for that, but I just don’t like drawing with my non-dominant hand. I finished the shop model for the Tick-Tock Tangle Clock class from last Saturday instead.

And…if you would love to do this, a kit is available (in limited quantities!) Click on over to the store.

I took a book making class with the awesome Deborah Pace, CZT. We made hardcover books (a first for me) and I think I see a lot more of these in my future. I even set it up in my bag in bag so I could carry it around to work in (although it is still blank inside…) The cover is a piece of wallpaper from a sample book we have a the shop.

Then I jetted off to Austin/San Antonio for a few days to hang with the small human (we went to Schlitterbahn) and to see Iron Maiden.

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I did get Diva #322 done. I love AquaFleur (I think you may see this again later in the post.) I did this in my green Latka journal. The paper is REALLY rough and bumpy.

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I started (or rather continued) an Opus tile for the August 19th class Summertime Blues – an Opus Undertaking. This is going to be grand fun, with a whole class dedicated to blue pens, tangling in tangles, and using shapes for strings.  You will not want to miss this one! I will have it up in the shop to reserve your spot sometime this week.

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I also folded up a cute tile frame set for my Celtic Knot Bijou tiles. This was fun. Try-piggy and Stone Bijou approve.

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I hung out at the shop on the 4th (nothing better to do, really, and I hate crowds…and it is pretty hot here right now.) Whilst demoing techniques to put raised gold on tiles, I popped out this little number for the Diva Challenge #323 – Home. Mixing pointed pen with regular Zentangle is pretty fun!

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I have been using the new Pigma Micron PN (Plastic Nib) quite a bit lately, and I really like them. This is on an Apprentice tile, so it worked well for the pointed pen as well, but the little bit larger nib of the PN suits my tangle style. I have them available in singles (Black and several colors) and sets (6 and 8 pen multi colored) in the shop. And the red and gold? Those are FineTec Pearlescent watercolors, applied to a pointed pen. Next best thing since sliced bread. I have those in the shop as well. The new palettes with an updated gold arrangement, and these awesome 12 color sets, and 6 color iridescent sets.

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The iridescent even look cool on white paper, very subtle. (and shiny, even though that does not photo well.)

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I started this week spending my Open Studio time on Sunday sewing. Would love to have more people join me! Sew, tangle, journal, whatever you like to do. Come hang out.

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AND…not last…and certainly not least. This week’s Diva Challenge (#324) Hearts – with guest blogger Jessica Davies, CZT, from Maryland. The minute I saw this post, I knew it was time to finish that heart-shaped box I started at Tangle Island in 2015. It is VERY challenging to draw on a bumpy, curved, irregular surface, so I chickened out after I started the border around the lid and did not finish it. Until today. And I think I may tangle the bottom part of the box later.

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The San Diego (and SoCal) Zentangle Friendship Group met at the shop today, too, and we played with the FineTec, had a bit of show and share, and visited. We have such a great time. I really enjoy the camaraderie of my fellow CZTs (we occasionally have some of our students in the group as well, but not today.) And dear Denise brought me this cute little piggy note pad! A much better result to what started out as a rather awful Monday!

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And did I mention that my African violet finally bloomed? It has only been 6 years!

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I have a couple journal pages to get caught up on, so I better get to it.

Make stuff…it certainly made me feel better, and I know it will make you feel better, too!

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It Doesn’t Always Work…

Have you ever tried something and it didn’t exactly come out like it did in  your head? I do (sometimes n a pretty regular basis) and it can be really frustrating, whether it is in art or in life.

That’s about how this week’s Diva Challenge (#320) came about for me, to use Margaret Bremner, CZTs tangle Dansk. I had started something in my black Venice Journal whilst experimenting with white ink in my “FrankenPen” set up. It was clogging like crazy, the paper was too bumpy, and it just didn’t work. But it’s my Venice Journal (one of 2 small handmade books I purchased in Venice, hence the name) and I can’t just tear out the page and go to the next one. So it sat on my desk for a week or so, then I thought, I can just tangle around it and it will be ok.

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And now the page is rescued.

BTW…if you would like your own “FrankenPen” to experiment with, you can get it here. I include regular fountain pen ink with it, and it has a twist-type empty refillable cartridge in it as well. I do endorse the use of any non-clogging inks that will work in a fountain pen. Both the Bleed Proof White and Pen White clogged like crazy, so I don’t recommend those, but there are many other lovely colors on the market that work well. This is the last one I tried with Pen White before I basically ruined this nib:

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It was grand fun, and thankfully, the pens are not expensive. I really had an anger management moment with it.

On the nicer side of regular pointed pen tangling, I got these done this week, both before and in our class on Saturday. Feather QuillGold WreathWhite Heart & Flowers on Kraft Card

That last one has Relief Paint for the gold accents. It really does give it just a bit of dimension and is really easy to use. I have a few tubes of it in the shop, in 3 shades of gold, a copper, and a silver. I even tried it on a rock.

And I will have an “Intro to Golden Tangles” pointed pen kit up in the store early next week. I am writing up some pointers to get people going. You are going to LOVE tangling with this method, and the FineTec is so classy looking.

OK…my to-do list for this afternoon is REALLY long. But, on the brighter side of that, the new website and store may be up in the next week or so. Whew!

Make Stuff!