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

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!

Diva # 328

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.

IMG_5329

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.

Abukas

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.

Big Mandala.jpg

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!

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.

IMG_5269

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.

IMG_5265

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.

IMG_5271

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

IMG_5272

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.

IMG_5275

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!

Changes…and Noom

CharKat’s Creative Insanity is about to undergo a drastic reset! I can tell you this will benefit all those of you who wish  you could come take classes with me, but live far away…but that’s all I am going to tease!


IMG_4685

I attended the Path to Profit Creative Business Summit last weekend, and after almost 2 years in, I finally have a clearer view of what I should be doing for YOU! I highly recommend any creative entrepreneur attend this workshop (there is another one coming up in September!) You really will be doing yourself, and your business, a favor. Minette really knows her stuff, and knows how to find the best business you that will make your business shine and be profitable. And…you get to color and play and be around other creative people…even other Certified Zentangle Teachers!

IMG_4690

CZTs From Left to Right: Jean Mackie, Me, Minette Riordan, Ph.D., and Annette Carlo


I may or may not have gotten a little carried away with the tangle Noom this week. Diva Challenge #309 had us using it, and boy did I!

The first example is this lovely Renaissance Tan Zendala that is part of another journal page I am working on. It makes a lovely border, and I honestly was not trying to make my Mooka into an octopus, but it just happened!

Diva #309 OTL Zendala

Then, while I was finishing up my tiles for the TangleU swap, it worked it’s way in again!

Diva #309 TU Swap

I am really enjoying this tangle. It is so simple, but looks so awesome!


I had a few more cool tiles I did for my journal page I am working on, that I wanted to share too. Mono-tangles (just one tangle on the page) can be very striking, and a great way to practice tangles you are not sure about. And Bijou tiles are an excellent way to carry them off. Even an ATC (Artist Trading Card) size can be less intimidating than doing a whole time sometimes.


Lots to do today! Tangle On!

 

Sometimes, You Just Have to Walk Away…

Right before I left on my fabulous vacation back in September, I was wearing my super cool Tangle Me Crazy Lotus Mandala t-shirt.

IMG_1834

I stopped in at my favorite Japanese market (Myrukai) to pick up dinner and a few groceries on my way back from our very fun Tangle By the Bay retreat. One of those grocery items was my favorite radish kimchi. Well…apparently on the trip home, it got a little shook up. And being a fermented food, it was seeping a little from the pressure in the bottle…and when I opened it (over the sink, of course!) it exploded…all over my t-shirt.

Now…I had planned on taking that t-shirt with me to show off to the European CZT’s at our meet up in Cookham, UK. So I pre-treated it, and washed it…still stained…I did it again…still stained…and one more time…still stained. In utter frustration, I doused it liberally with Spray and Wash stain remover and threw it in the laundry room sink. I was very sad.

So nearly 3 weeks passed, and when we unpacked after the trip, I found myself with a mountain of laundry to do (although we did some it at the laundry mat in Venice…how cool is that?) So I see the shirt in the sink, pick it up, and low and behold, the stains are GONE!

I guess the point here is, If you do the right thing, with the passage of time, everything comes out all right. And…if you want a cool t-shirt like mine, click here…you can buy them at my shop!


Ok, enough of my travails. What you are really here for is to see pretty things!

This week’s Diva Challenge (#290) is a duo tangle of Flux and N’zepple. I love both tangles, and decided to use Flux as my container. And I was being fall-ish with the Renaissance Tan tile (or lazy, because that was what was in my bag and I did not feel like walking upstairs to get a white one…lol.)

diva-290

And since I didn’t get a post done last week, here is the Leafy Goodness that is Diva Challenge #289!

diva-289

I am really loving combining quilling with Zentangle. They go together so well. I will be doing a special Christmas quilling design class in December, so be on the look out for that!


We are also up to Gothic Calligraphy at the shop this month, with an ongoing series being taught by Risa Gettler. I was playing around whilst practicing my letters the other day, and playing with Hannah Geddes’ Mandala Template. And this happened.

img_4036

Well…I couldn’t just leave it like that…and I had a clock I had disassembled in the shop that needed a new face. So now it turned into this:

IMG_4041.JPG

So long Sons of Anarchy clock…lol.


I did not realize how busy I have been these past 2 weeks until I started writing my post. I started a purge and organize campaign both here at the home studio and the shop, trying to make things more accessible and easier to find. (that, is a long story all of its own!)

I made it through my entire fabric stash so far, dumped all the fabrics I had been holding onto for costuming and what-not, and organized my quilting stash. Emptied out the little used filing cabinet for the bigger pieces.

img_4042

And folded all the fat quarters into an ArtBin Super Satchel. That felt really GOOD!

And not to be left out, I finally found a container to get all my Gelly Roll Pens in one place.

img_4052

I will contain this mess!


AND…lastly…I have a pineapple guava tree in my backyard that I planted 3 years ago that has never fruited, until this year. I was blessed with an abundance of fruit, more than we could possibly eat before it spoiled, so I found a recipe and made chutney out of it.

img_0242

And you cannot have a great chutney without some curry to go with it!

img_4050

Yum! (and, it was pretty healthy homemade!)


Speaking of healthy, I am walking my fish this week…(Pokemon Go thing…it amuses me.)

img_4054

And now I need to get back to work…Stay Crazy My Friends!

Dream Revelations

Ok…it’s been quite a week. You might recall I blogged last week from Germany, and this weeks Diva Challenge (#287) was completed in Venice, but I’m writing this in my hotel in Cookham, Maidenhead, England. It has been a lovely vacation…Venice was amazing! Complete with gondola ride!

So, one of the things that has to happen when you are on an extended trip, unless you pack pretty heavy, you have to do laundry. So, while I was doing laundry in the lavanderia in Venice, I broke out this pretty little red leather journal I found…


Filled with beautiful black paper! So this weeks Use My Tangle (UMT) is from Daniel Lamothe CZT, and he provided us with a tangle/reticula called Dreamcatcher. I think it is a lovely idea, and decided to keep it a little simple in my new journal. (It is just under 4″, so perfect Zentangle size!) White and Gold Gelly Roll, and White Chalk Pastel pencil.


And I need to get a nap, so I can join in the Festivities at Tangle EU with my European CZT friends! But I will leave you with this…Inside the Doge’s Palace…(it really is not curved, but the panorama did that…cool effect!)

Life is a Trip(oli)

I feel like I have been busier than a one-armed paper hanger these days. Between trying to keep up with shop stuff, the upcoming retreat in SD, Sunday Funday market at Vail Ranch Headquarters, vacation packing/planning, and the usual housework, I am spinning in all directions at once. (Oh, who am I kidding…housework…ha…like I do that. I finally remembered to put clothes in the washer today, and promptly forgot about them.)

Before I get to cool pictures of all the aforementioned activities, I’ll trip right into this week’s Diva Challenge (#284) – a monotangle of Tripoli. I have a stack of tiles that I  colored/dyed that I have wanted to start working through, so I pulled out one that I did with some pretty greens. I think I used one of the dye inks on this one, because when I started working with the white pen, it picked up quite a bit of the green.

diva-284

It kind of reminds me of the felt flocked wallpaper we had in our house when I was in 5th grade. I dig it…lol.

I also finished the origami piece I was working on last week. We had a really fun class on Saturday, and I finished it up on Sunday at in the sweltering heat at the market. (High on Sunday was 88 F, today was 76 F. It is just not fair!)

We have a pretty nice set up with our booth there, it just gets pretty sunny…

img_2908


I played a little bit with the circle drawing I did on my Brother Scan N Cut 2 last week.

img_2901

I decided to finally “test drive” the Chameleon Markers I got for my birthday and color it. I was originally going to test the gradient features you can use with these pens…

img_2902

But, I found them to be really cumbersome to use. It was pretty impossible to get a consistent gradient, so I settled for just coloring without the blender. I do find the caps hard to remove (nothing to hold on to really…) and once you get the cap off, I can see how easy these would be to lose as there is no place to stick them on the pen. All in all, I can’t say that I am impressed for the price, and will more than likely not use them all that much, if at all. (the struggle with the caps is a HUGE deterrent for me.) But, they did make a pretty final product.

img_2904

And…back to work…I think I am going to try to sort this laundry out…and I have to figure out Mail Chimp…and finish my travel journal for the trip…and set up for classes this week and next…and…and….ARGH!

Stay Crazy My Friends!