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.

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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

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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!

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It’s Been a While…

Wow. Yes. It has been quite some time.

It has been on my list of things to do for several months now, but I was scared.

Afraid to start again. Afraid of explaining why I left off when I did. Will anyone still be here when I come back?

Let me start out by saying depression does a lot of things to you on the inside, even when it seems like you have your shit together and everything is fine on the outside. It started out as that, when I closed the shop at the end of May. I felt like I had failed. I had thrown in the towel. I quit.

But then I realized it was a learning experience. I had other opportunities open up then, and have been really enjoying some things. But in the back of my mind, I felt guilty. Like I had abandoned what I worked for.

And that is where I figured out what was wrong. It had become work. A slog. It was not fun anymore. I brought me no joy to tangle. I laid down my pens for a few months.

I started knitting… a lot. I bought a lot of yarn. I knitted more. I started playing with yarn dyeing.

Then I started thinking about paper again. I wondered what I had been missing. I dabbled a bit, but nothing serious. I started participating in the Diva Challenge again when she had her Back to Basics (#366) and got busy with those. Slowly at first. I pulled out a handmade journal that my friend Nancy Dawes gave me, and started working in that. I labeled the inside cover “Starting Over – September 2018.”

I decided to participate in the Inktober Tangles 2018…I thought that would give me a goodly amount of practice to get my “zen” back.

And I started to feel like I got my mojo back. So here I am. And here is Diva Challenge #375, Use My Tangle (UMT) Burtz by Fabienne Blumberg, along with a cool new tangle, Ratoon, by Zentangle. I’ll have more on that in a future blog.

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Lots of other things have happened since my last post. I feel like this is kind of a confessional, but in a good way. Forgive me readers, for I have been a sloth.

I went to Dublin and Boston with Mike (he was working)…twice.

I taught at Midsummer Tangle 4 in Buffalo, New York, and got to visit Canada and Niagara Falls.

Went to a couple of concerts (Shinedown/Godsmack and Scorpions) with my favorite guy.

And went on a Rick Steves My Way tour to Italy for a couple weeks.

Oh, and not to leave out, we celebrated a great big birthday for Mike…60! And went to a great wedding in Ohio for my God-daughter, Monica, and her beloved, Cody.

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I think that about covers it for now. You are up to date. I am still overwhelmed and trying to figure out how to get caught up, but in the meantime, the washer just buzzed…so back to that.

I’ll be back soon.

Tide in Knots

Yep…tide…not tied. Water. Oceans. Rivers. That is what the tangle Verve speaks to me. Movement of water.

This week’s Diva Challenge (#355) was to use the tangle Verve. I’m working on samples and a handout for a top secret project, but found this to be just the tangle I needed for this body of water.

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At this time…I’m not at liberty to discuss what else is going on. But you are gonna love it, I guarantee!


Oh, and I did mention knots. It is coming up on St. Patrick’s Day this week, so I thought I would give you a quick video on how to draw one of the knots in my Ready or Knot kit. My finished piece looks like this:

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And the video is here:

At this time, there is only one Ready or Knot kit left in stock, and I have not decided if I am going to restock it or not.

In the meantime, hop on over to the store and use code MAR15 for 15% off the rest of this month!

Cheers!

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!

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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.

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:

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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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