Know When to Fold Em’

You got to know when to hold ’em,  know when to fold ’em. Know when to walk away, know when to run. – Kenny Rogers The Gambler

Yes…I just quoted a country song. It seems fitting for what I am doing in life.

The shop was a gamble. I planned, I budgeted, I tried. I had a good time. I cried a bit. It was frustrating at times, trying to get people to come along for the ride.

IMG_4721

My plan after closing the physical location was to keep the Online Store open so I could help people afford supplies for Zentangle® and whatever other art they practiced.

But with the increase in postage rates, and increases in our local in district taxes here in rainy California, I am just not seeing a way to do that.

So…that being said. I am having a HUGE inventory sell down. Starting out at 25% off EVERYTHING in stock. EVERYTHING. Nothing is excluded. If it is in the store, it is on sale.

Use the code

CHARKAT25

Some fine print here: I have done my utmost to make sure the inventory is up to date. There may be items where the counts are off…it happens when you are a one person production. If an item does turn out to be not in stock for this reason, I will refund your money for that item, or if you like, cancel your order.

If you are still reading here, do not be sad for me. When one door closes, another one opens. There are some fun things in the pipeline and I will be letting everyone in on it later!

ThreeZee.jpg

Dia de Tuna

What? Oh, that’s right, you all know it as Dia de Muertos or All Saints Day, but around here, we call it Tuna Day. It’s Mike’s birthday (call sign Tuna…remember Maverick from Top Gun?)

So of course, I started doing cards for the man who has everything. He (at least pretends to) like my art, and often gets a chuckle. So I did this one for him, and my Diva Challenge (#339) for Fall/Halloween.

IMG_6280

I mounted it on a plain black card, and practiced my calligraphy skills to write on it and in it. So now you know why I had to wait until today to post this (didn’t want to ruin the surprise!)

I also finished up (on time!) the Inktober Tangles challenge from Stephanie at www.everythingis-art.com. I am pretty pleased that I caught up in time to have a big finish (much to the detriment of my to-do list for the shop.)

I have 2 other projects I need to catch up on, but I will whittle down the to-do list a bit first! I feel like I am that plate spinner at the circus this week. I’ve been trying to get a video clip filmed on Glass Pens, but the jackhammers and concrete saws in the backyard say otherwise. I think they have finished most of that, so  I should be able to get it done now.


Don’t forget all the cool classes coming up in November!

I will be teaching this awesome Fall Tangles class both in Temecula, AND Santa Barbara.

Fall Tangles

And if you have not yet taken a Zentangle 101 class, you can do both in the same day, as I have that on the schedule for both locations.

And Risa is teaching Pointed Pen Calligraphy on the 18th, just in time for working out your Christmas cards!

And of course, Fun with Alcohol Inks on the afternoon of the 29th.

Alcohol Ink on Toned Tan - Tree

Sign up for these great classes to reserve your space!


Ok…back to tasks, and ticking this one off the list!

Love to you all, Make Stuff!

 

Out of the Blackness…Light

Ok…I’m back. Sorry for not posting last week, but my holiday got the best of me and I was running a bit behind. And now, not only am I playing catch up, but I am still a little brain dead…er…jet lagged. So, here is the whirlwind that is going on now.

This week’s Diva Challenge (#338) was a white on black prompt. Diva already had the new Fine and Bold White Gelly Roll pens, but I just ordered mine yesterday, so I had to make do with just the medium. I did, however, pull out my cool black journal I bought in Venice last year to do it in.

Diva #338

This is a tale of jet lag. I have no idea what this even is, except it was done in the middle of the night when I could not get back to sleep. Zentangle helps. (And the new pens will be in stock in the store by the end of the week!)

I did get last week’s Diva Challenge (#337) of her tangle, Artoo (in honor of her son) done, as I incorporated it into my Fall Tangles class piece!

Fall Tangles

I am very excited to be teaching this, both at my place on November 4th, and in Santa Barbara on November 11th. Class includes all pens, pencils, and paper (that is the awesome Toned Gray Mixed Media from Strathmore.)

You will need previous Zentangle experience to take this class…but never fear! I will be teaching a Zentangle 101 class in each location on the same day! Sign up early to ensure your space!


With this horrible case of jet lag, all I want to do is sit and knit (especially since I am still sleeping at some pretty odd times.) I did knit on the plane most of the way home (mostly because I found this awesome yarn and some pretty new needles in Christchurch.)

Knitting

And wouldn’t you know it, I must have summoned the knit gods by doing this. There was a phone call waiting for me when I got back from a nice lady named Debra who wanted to use the studio to teach Hand Knitting. So won’t you join her on November 1st from 6-9 to learn to use your own hands as knitting needles to create this cool throw?

fullsizeoutput_4384

You will need to bring your own yarn…3-4 skeins of ‘Yarn Bee Eternal Bliss’ chenille chunky yarn. You can get it locally at Hobby Lobby. Pre-register with comments below and I will forward it to Debra.


And talking about classes…The November schedule is up!

In addition to the classes listed above, Fall Tangles and Hand Knitting, we have Risa Gettler in on the 18th to teach Pointed Pen Calligraphy. Just in time for your holiday cards (and what a great way to practice!) this class will put you through the basics of the pointed pen. A materials list will be published, and everything you need will be available for purchase at the shop.

I will be open for Small Business Saturday (November 25,) with some awesome in-store specials for all your holiday needs. If you are on the email list, I’ll be sending out a special code for free shipping on Cyber Monday! (And CZT’s…I have a great deal on tortillions!)

Tortillions

And if you are in the area, consider dropping in for Open Studio on the 17th or 26th for a make and take ornament! I’ll include the first one for your $5 drop in fee, and you can purchase additional ones if you like.

And not to be left out of the awesomeness that is prepping for the holidays…Fun with Alcohol Inks on November 29 in the afternoon. We will explore some great papers, clear glass ornaments, and even some ceramic ornaments. Great for making gifts!

IMG_5792

And I am cooking up something new for December-January time frame, with a great new  (to me) pen/tool I am starting to use more. Here is a sneak peek!

Fluid Pen on Black Gesso


For fans of the book arts, I am happy to share that Cherryl Moote will be teaching a 3-day workshop for the San Diego Book Arts Guild in February. If you are not familiar with Cherryl’s work, you have seen me post a lot of books and things I’ve made in her classes. She is well worth stalking following and presents some awesome stuff that is Zentangle friendly!

Cherryl Moote

For information on this workshop, go to their website here.

 


And a final report on my holiday. We spent the 2nd week in Christchurch, New Zealand. Christchurch was rocked with devastating earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. The second one killed a lot of people (185,) and rendered the landscape of the city into something even the locals no longer recognize. It was like playing “I can’t remember what was there before” for a week.

IMG_6101

This is what remains of Christchurch Cathedral. It is smack dab in the middle of the city, but nature seems to be reclaiming it for its own. There is a huge, very permanent looking fence all the way around it, but there are viewing ports at various locations.

The “snow cone” Chalice in the background, I learned, is all the different plant life native to the area. Each sections leaf structure is different. With the clouds in it, I thought it looked like a cotton candy holder. It is quite lovely.

IMG_6029

IMG_6032

One of the things that struck me was talking to a shop owner on our first day in Christchurch. She had the most awesome attitude…she said

How many times does a city have the chance to completely rebuild itself in the image it wants to have?

We did get to the Antarctic Center. Mike flew the mission to the ice in 2005/6 time frame, so it was great for me to get to learn more about what he was doing down there. I also met a penguin (he is a little blue.)

IMG_6113

And we ventured back to Sydney for a day to fly back. Since we had a whole day to kill, we hit the one place we didn’t get to the week prior, Manly Beach and the North Head Trail. We hiked more than 10 miles that day, but boy were the the views worth it.

IMG_6141

We also met a little dragon along the way. (He posed for this.)

IMG_6157

Lastly, I found this awesome opal to wear as a lasting memory of our time out there.

Yahweh Opal

So I guess I can come out of the darkness now.

Geez it is hot here. Maybe I’ll stay in the dark where it is cooler and draw!

SaveSave

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!

IMG_0322.JPG


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.

img_3309

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.

IMG_5142

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!

SaveSave

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.

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.

Diva #320

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:

IMG_5149

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!

BE(ad) Courageous!

It is time for Diva’s annual Beads of Courage (#319) update. For those of you who do not follow, Beads of Courage is a program where children undergoing medical procedures, especially lengthy ones, are rewarded for their fortitude whilst undergoing things like tests, and blood draws, and all sorts of scary things. It also creates a way for kids to be able to tell their stories in a colorful and fun way, instead of making it always sad. You can read more about the program here.

In past years, I have done tiles involving beads in some way. I did one for my sister-in-law, Marie, who was battling breast cancer at the time. I did one that juxtaposed beauty and duty. And one that celebrated Pride.

I decided this year to go in a different direction. I decided o be courageous myself. I am often reticent to try tangles that “look hard” or seem “complicated. So I thought to myself…”Self, you are a CZT. You are an artist. Why would you think it is hard, when you know Zentangle is easy?” So I saw this pattern, My Swing by Simone Menzel, CZT, on one of the many FaceBook groups I belong to, and thought I should give it a try. And to make it more challenging, to do it small, on a 3Z tile (I had already done the circle bit in the center, for something else I wanted to try, so I used that as my “string.”)

IMG_5135

I think it came out pretty neat, and I felt really good when I was finished with it!


From the UFO (UnFinished Objects) pile, I have a tile that dates back to TangleU 2015 in Santa Fe, from Sharla Hicks’ Mooka Blues class.

TU 2015 Mooka Blues Purk

And I finally started working the page dividers in my Zen Journal (real name of notebook, I swear) that I keep my tangle step outs in.

IMG_5114


There is still time to get in on the fun in Saturday’s Pointed Pen class (Monthly and Seasonal Specials)! I worked up this lovely card that a CZT I know is going to get in the mail soon!

I think the part I like about these best is they are so pretty!

And last weeks quick trip up to San Francisco was fun, cold, and the Giants did not prevail. But, did I mention it was fun?

IMG_5101

Loads of work to do! Make Stuff!