Kia Ora…Welcome In

Kia ora is a Māori language greeting which has entered New Zealand English. It means, literally, have life be well/healthy and is translated as an informal hi at the Māori Language Commission website Kōrero Māori.

I bet you are wondering what this has to do with Zentangle, or anything else for that matter. Well, it officially means I am sitting in Christchurch, New Zealand while I am writing this blog. In this Old Goverment Building turned hotel and private apartments.


Tucked amidst the rubble of a city being reborn after devastating earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. The Central Business District has a vastly different skyline than it did, and it currently resembles some post-apocalyptic nightmare. But, like the mythical Phoenix, it is rising again.


I am fascinated by the art and culture of this place. Their respect of the indigenous peoples here is pretty cool. So it is no wonder that it permeated my Diva Challenge (#336) this week in a Striping monotangle. I think it looks pretty “tribal.” I am usually pretty predictable with this tangle, so I opted for one of the pre-strung tiles I brought with me for a different view, and varied the stripes a bit more than my usual thick ones. So here is the pre-strung tile I used.


And what I turned it into:

I like it. I have also been keeping up with the #InktoberTangles whilst on the road. It has been fun working in my little Iona Cub, knowing that I will have it filled up at the end of the month.

We were in Australia for about a week before we got to Christchurch, and it was a bit hot…the last day. Otherwise, it was a bit cool and overcast. We did manage to get a good shot of the Opera House (which we toured.)

And saw some cool Roos at the Taronga Zoo.

And we hiked the coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee…and saw the birthplace of surfing.

And found tangles at the Night Noodle Market at Hyde Park.

And this wonky building in at the University of Technology Sydney (Business School.)

Oh, and they were kind enough to name a ferry for me…pretty cool!

So, as you can see, I’ve been a bit busy! But before I left, I was noodling around with some new ink and my glass pen for this fun variation of Baton.


Two of my students (and fellow CZTs) finished their Summertime Blues Opus tiles. They are fabulous! This first one is from Wendy Gray, CZT.

And Nancy Loomis, CZT:


Well…I think that is enough for this week, as my WordPress App is acting up and my battery is getting a little low…so I should go find some wine to drink!

See you next week from Australia (again!)

And Sometimes, Your Ink Runs…

Today has been a day of intense sadness. If I wore mascara, it probably would be all over my face…but instead, my ink ran. Picked up the first pen my hand laid on (Zig Cocoiro with Extra Fine Black insert,) and tangled myself calm in my Iona Cub. Then I spritzed it with SpectraFix, and that happened. Not sure why, so I guess I need to look that up.

But…all is not lost. The page actually looks pretty cool (although I have now removed that pen from my travel bag) and I will continue to use that book for my #InktoberTangles this month. I figured I have just enough pages in it to finish the month and keep scattering in some Diva Challenges whilst I travel (more about that later.)

So for Day 2 of #InktoberTangles, I decided to combine the Diva Challenge (#335) – a Use My Tangle (UMT) called Tint from Henrike Bratz, CZT with the tangle Dicso because I thought they looked cool together. They are both stepped out to be either stand alone or border types, so they naturally fit together. So here is my page…bleeding ink and all!

02 Inktober

 

And for Day 1 of #InktoberTangles, it was Bunzo…one of my FAVORITE tangles, and a true pen killer!

01 Inktober

If you would like to participate in #InktoberTangles, here is the prompt. Be sure to use the hashtag, and I would love to shout out to Stephanie Jenner, CZT, for putting this together. I think the list rocks!

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I did get last week’s challenge (#334) done, I just didn’t get a blog up for it. I have been playing with my glass dip pen I purchased last year in Venice, so I thought it would be fun to do the Crazy ‘Nzepple with it.

Diva #334

That one was done with the sepia ink the pen came with. I had been playing around a lot with it that week, both with the sepia and with Calligraphy ink in black. That pen really loves the soft paper, as it has a really smooth, fine tip. no pressure was required, and I really have to slow down a lot to get those lovely lines.

And another shot, without the pretty bottles and pen. The sepia on the left is Sharlarella from Sharla Hicks, CZT and the one on the right is Pixioze from Margaret Bremner, CZT.


I’ve put up a VERY limited class schedule for October. Not that I don’t have anything to teach, but I am headed out on vacation tomorrow night and will not be back until  around the 20th. I will fill any store orders when I return, unless it was something you needed sooner, in which case I am happy to cancel it.

But when I get back…lets do some Pumpkins on the 29th.

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And be sure to reserve your spot to play with Risa Gettler on October 28th as she presents Day at the Bleach. This fun class will take  you on an exploration of bleach on black paper, with beautiful pastel accents…and can be done with or without calligraphy skills.

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I will also be making an appearance in Santa Barbara on November 11th, where I will be teaching a Zentangle 101 class in the morning and Fall Tangles in the afternoon. Sign up as soon as you can, as I have heard this could be a sell out!

Register for any and all classes, and shop online at www.charkatscreativeinsanity.com. Or just click the Home button at the top of this page.


With all the stuff that is going on today, I want to leave you with this:

OTL Week 38 - Summer of Love

And a big hug. Next post will be from Australia!

See ya then, mate!

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Cozy Up to Tangles

Part of what I really love about the practice of Zentangle is the feeling of comfort I experience whilst tangling. Nothing else matters for a while. Nothing hurts…my body or my brain…for that little while. The outside noise shuts off. My inner critic shuts down. For that time, and usually a good while after, I am everything I want and need to be.

And when this week’s guest Divas – Juliette Flessinger and Kellie Fellinge, CZTs asked us to cozy up for a change of seasons, I was READY! Even though I live in Southern California, I love FALL! It means an end to the heat, even though we don’t get the foliage of someplace like New England, it is definitely a change. They gave us a few tangles and I picked Tripoli and a tile I had spray dyed with coffee and a silicone coaster. Tangled in Sepia and Brown Micron, and shaded with Van Dyke Brown Chalk Pastel, I outlined the coffee areas and added the flowers back in. I was really pleased. So here is Diva Challenge #333:

Diva #333

That was relaxing (doing the outlining) and challenging at the same time. I have to concentrate a lot to get the Tripoli to line up.


I was in a 2 day meeting last week, and I tangled quite a bit during it. Keeps me calm and stops me from being disruptive (I like to talk too much sometimes.) So here are a couple tiles I did there.

The Blue Flowers are on one of the tiles in did in my Paper Play class!

And I have been working through some more prompts from an online journaling thing I was following over the summer. I started really late, and I am WAY behind, but have been really enjoying these little dips into techniques and tangles I do not normally use. Here is what I am caught up to now:

I’ve also used this opportunity to use my tangle, Abukas, in as many ways as possible!


We have a fun class coming up on the 30th with Risa Gettler on doing this cool pop up card. Get a head start on your holidays with this multi-purpose card. While the main focus is to use your calligraphy skills, you can use a computer font instead if your skills aren’t where you want them yet.

Pop Up Card


I will be out of the country for a bit in October, so if you need store items, I should be shipping right up to around the 3rd. I’ll be back on the 20th!

There are still a few of the expanded Summer Time Blues Kits, and be sure to check out the video I posted on blue shading on the tan paper!

Tangle Away – and be cozy.

Move on Back Two Squares

You know, I always have songs playing in my head while I work. They may not be playing out loud, but when I saw this week’s Diva Challenge (#332) and the prompt was 2 Squares…you know this started on repeat. A song from Yes – I’ve Seen All Good People. And to also know I had a bit of a trying weekend made this more prevelant. 

Take a straight and stronger course to the corner of your life.

And I learned…always have a Plan B. I had to do some shuffling on a long planned class on Monday when the instructor came down sick, so Plan B it was, and this was one of the results of having something in your pocket to teach at all times. I would like to give a HUGE shout out to Nancy Dawes, CZT of http://www.iteachtangling.com for stepping up and teaching this beauty of a Never Ending Card, adapted for Zentangle by her, to our San Diego Zentangle Friendship Group.


If the video won’t play, you can see it here on YouTube: https://youtu.be/g8Y-JU1Hb7w

And here is a montage of each side.


Not just 2 squares! 8 Bijou, 8 Small Squares, and 8 Border pieces! That was a LOT of fun!

Another side effect of Plan B was the cancellation of the follow on class that I filled in with a Supersized Edition of Summer Time Blues. While several people that were traveling from out of town opted for the offered refund, I had 4 intrepid souls that stayed the course and played with me for the rest of the afternoon!


Look at all that fun they are having! This made my day!

And on Saturday, Karen and Judy came over to play in the paints, and we spent the day making backgrounds to play on. We explored several techniques, including watercolor, shaving foam marbling, and alcohol inks.


I am soaking up the cool breeze in Santa Barbara a the moment. After the heat wave we have had in Temecula, this is a welcome respite. I am going to go get a walk in, as it has been too hot to walk lately!

Have a wonderful week.

Throwing Some Blue Shade

Hey Everyone!

No Diva Challenge this week (she is busy with getting the kids back in school,) but I had something I just did not want you to miss!

I have been promising you a video for some time now with my Blue Glow Shading method, so here it is!

All the items used in the video are available in a kit, in a couple variations, at my online shop http://www.charkatscreativeinsanity.com!

So you can peruse the items a little closer, here are the pieces featured in this video.

I hope you like it!


I have a few pieces to share too! I was working on my Tangle Journal (where I create my step outs and use them in a drawing, and did this one for Jetties:

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And I particularly love the tangle Btl-joos (by Sandy Steen Bartholomew, CZT) and when it came up as the tangle of the week in Square One on FaceBook, I could not resist!

Square One - Btl-joos

I think that is enough to entertain  you this week.

Happy Tangling!

Traveling Around and Kicking Rocks

This year’s vacation is getting close! We are heading out in early October, and I have not been getting the excitement I’ve had in years past. I think part of that is the unknown quality of where I am going (Australia and New Zealand) and that I did the initial planning months ago and really haven’t done much since.

This week’s Diva Challenge (#331) by guest blogger Jane Reiter made me start really thinking of it, in terms of the unique geological make up of all the places you can travel to. She has us tangle patterns similar to the Petoskey Stone in Michigan. Now, I love me some pretty rocks, and these are particularly cool, in their patterns. While they are mostly hexagonal, I took a more free-form approach. I found one of my tiles I had painted in a class, with Twinkling H2O watercolors and alcohol. It was one of those tiles that I wondered if I would ever use, because of the pattern on it. But for this, it seemed to work perfectly (and again, as usual, I forgot to take a picture of it BEFORE I started tangling on it.)

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This one is on hot press watercolor paper. I decided to have a go with the Pentel Hybrid Technica 04, a gel roller pen with some nice pigmented ink. We all know that Microns and other fiber tipped pens are notorious for clogging up whilst tangling over watercolors and other paints, and I have found this to be a great substitute. They come in several nib sizes (03, 04, 05, 06) and the ink is nice and black.


And of course, I have started my “art supply” packing for the trip. Now, I am pretty famous for OVER packing art supplies when we go on vacation. I usually take WAY too much and end up doing nothing. Last year, I even made a scrap book to work on “on the go” so that it would be finished when we got home. (And to confess, I did the first 3 days, and didn’t touch it again. It is still sitting at the shop, wanting attention. It is a beautiful book. It is on my list of project UFOs.)

So this year, I took a harder look. I travel, for whatever amount of time we go, with a small backpack (PacSafe) and a small suitcase (ebags) that fits in even foreign carrier’s overhead bins. I always plan on doing laundry if we are going to be gone longer than a week (and honestly, a charming part of the trip last year was doing laundry in Venice at a laundry mat with American washers.)

And that brings me to the scaled down version of what goes in the backpack. I have an iPad Pro. It is huge, but it keeps me connected (especially to you guys!) while I am out, but has a pretty large footprint. It took me a while to find a backpack that it fit in, without being a huge backpack. Here is the backpack, with all the things that go inside (minus the giant iPad.)

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On the left: I’ve recently started keeping a Bullet Journal instead of a planner, and that is the center of my focus for what I need to successfully plan and record events while we travel.

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And of course, I need to tangle. (Note that I said need. Not want, not should. It helps me sleep and keeps my head on straight.) The purple pen is an Uni Jetstream 4 color with a pencil. Easy access for just jotting notes and not having to dig into…

On the right: my Kipling Nolan Pencil Case. It has plenty of room for all the pens and tangle supplies I also need, as well as a couple zipper pouches inside to hold tiles and smaller things.

 

I can get a LOT in there and it doesn’t take up much room.

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Starting at the top: Mini Travel Stickie Notes from Daiso (the Japanese $1.50 store but you can order online in bulk,) a couple blending stumps, eraser, and extra 2mm leads for my 2B holder (Daiso!) Stuff to tangle on and a couple of my most loved flat templates and a ruler that can also be used as compasses. 2B lead holder (Daiso), White UM153 Gel Pen, Pentel Hybrid Technica 05, Tombow Mono Drawing Pens in 01, 03, and 05, Ooly 6 color Gel Pen (found this one at The Container Store,) Pentel Multi 8-color Color pencil, Factis eraser, and a spray bottle with SpectraFix Fixative. I also have a small card case with ATC blanks, pre-stamped with my information on the back to leave as abandoned art (not shown.)

After I evaluated what was in there, and what I had to tangle on in the bag, I added a few more white and tan tiles, and these (how on earth could I forget a Stardust Glitter Pen and Gold Gelly Roll, much less a white and indigo Chalk Pastel Pencil!?!?) And that also meant I needed to add a sharpener, so I found the smallest one I could (without going shopping.)

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So after repacking, this is what the front and back flap look like:

It is a little fuller, but I think more complete.

I also have need of something different to work on, so I packed a wool appliqué project that I am in the middle of. It is compact, and fits in my cute skellie zipper pouch.

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The needlework kit is an Altoids tin that I did many years ago, with preemie scissors (airline safe.) Those were ginger Altoids. Handy to have if I need to do any repairs on the road, but I also have a small travel sewing kit for that.

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Speaking of scissors, some of the wool things still need to be cut out, and I need sharp scissors, but I don’t want TSA to take them. I purchased these Gingher’s after 9/11, and have been successfully traveling with them since. Rounded ends and short blades keep TSA happy, and sharp enough to shave with keeps me happy.

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So I have plenty to do, and plenty of room for everything! And, it isn’t all that heavy until I put the monster iPad in it.

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So, I hope this little look into my packing schema helps you on your next trip. Pack light and have fun!


While I was puttering around the shop/studio this week, I took some time to play!

I spent some time making a new swatch for the Iridescent FineTec Palette. All three of the specialty FineTech palettes (6 color Pearlescent Gold, 12 color Pearlescent, and this one) are back in stock at the shop now. This looks SO cool on black paper!

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And I was playing around with the idea of simplicity this week, too. It is amazing at how gratifying it can be. I wish I had taken more time to shade it with graphite instead of Fabrico Marker.

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What week would be complete without a little sacred geometry and Spirograph?

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And now, more than ever, it is important to stop and spend quality time with the ones you love! And when the Giants WIN, that quality time is even better!

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Even my plant is happy this week (the continuing saga of the African Violet that took 5 years to bloom.)

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Peace, love, and prayers for receding water in Texas. 

Plating Your Tangles

After the enormity of last weeks post, I feel like I am letting everyone down this week! In my defense, it was only a couple days ago.

This week, the Diva is still on her summer break, so Guest Blogger Jeanette Clawson, CZT tasked us with a plate for our tangles. We did these for a swap at TangleU and I really enjoyed it. And of course, I am still on a kick using my own tangle (Abukas) and simply keep trying to put haKrall in new situation (thank you Holly!) So, here I present a plate of tangles for Diva Challenge #330.


The tile is a shaving foam marbled paper by Annette Carlo CZT. I simply love using these backgrounds to tangle on, so I decided I would share the ones I love the most as my monthly special for September. Be sure to sign up for Paper Play and come play with me! We will be exploring this, as well as some alcohol ink (mono prints and ceramic tiles,) suminagashi (Japanese marbling,) and some different watercolor backgrounds. Oh, and I will also be teaching a few new tangles to use on those!


And the rest of the September schedule is posted now too. There are still a few seats left for Renaissance Express with Cris Letourneau on September 11. Consider coming to spend the day with us!

Have a great week!