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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The Paradox of Overwhelm

So, by now I think everyone knows I am closing my studio in Temecula. (Yes, I am still teaching, at my house, and the online store is staying.) This is a daunting task. Inventory management is not easy for the most seasoned professional, and trying to guesstimate what people will buy at any given time is just not my thing.

That being said, I have a *lot* of stuff that I had either guessed too high on, or the class didn’t go, or yada yada yada…it goes on and on. I had a near breakdown yesterday as I reviewed the volume of things I still needed to catalog and update in the system, so that I can offer it to you good folks out there. I’ve slashed prices on a few things (t-shirts and Trim-a-rims) and the discount MAR15 will still get you 15% off till the end of the month. I will issue a new discount code in May, to help me clear more.

This has become pretty overwhelming for me. So naturally, I turn to tangling to try to resolve some of those feelings (I also have been meditating daily on top of that.) So I found this week’s Diva Challenge (#357) to do a monotangle of Rick’s Paradox to be quite soothing. Line work. Making lines. Line after line after line.

I decided to use my Big White Bee charcoal paper journal for this, and I traced 2 tiles, not really knowing what was going to come out of it.

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I really liked the one we did during the 12 Days of Zentangle, so I decided to revisit that one, with a bit of a twist.

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And then just a plain line work style in the second “tile.”

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And part of getting through the overwhelm is eating nourishing food. Since Mike is on a trip, I am trying some different recipes. Zucchini and cheese Tacos? They were actually pretty good.

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But, calming down again got me in the mood to try a ZenButton…I really like this way to use fragments…I am trying a black one next.

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I had another calming day on Saturday, with a small Zentangle 101 class.

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You can book classes directly by emailing me!


And then I got a little more overwhelmed today when I went to get some washi tape out of my box to decorate my Giants Baseball Opening Day page today…

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That, my friends, is what more than 200 rolls of washi tape looks like. I may have to have a swap or something, as I have a few duplicate rolls. (In my defense, most of this was swag from the recent Planners Rock conference I went to.) The case is from Michaels, you can get it here (use a coupon and save!)

So, the game starts in 5 minutes, and that means I have to go!

(PS…I didn’t publish this before the game started. Giants beat the Dodgers 1-0!)

 

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It Gets Better

Really…it does. Breathe deep, eat right, exercise, and do something you love, and it gets better. Everything gets better.

February is the month when both my parents had birthdays. My dad would have been 84, and my mom would have turned 74 over the weekend. This is her first birthday since she passed in December, and I decided to honor it a little (even though we never really got along) with working in her favorite colors for this weeks Diva Challenge (#353) – Zendala Hearts.

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I started with a pre-strung Zendala that was rather like a mandala. It had the right shapes for those hearts, and I have a mini set of Polychromos in Valentine colors, so I decided to do a bit of coloring. I think it turned out ok.


I was in an awesome workshop over the weekend with the San Diego Book Arts group and Cherryl Moote. I really flexed my imagination, and did some fun things. I have a few things still to finish up, but here is a little of what I did so far:

Rectangular Flexagon (which got water spilled on it, so this is in the mock up pile now.)

Square Flexagon

And because I had the middle of that one, I made a baby Square Flexagon.

A Kaleido Cycle.

A Gallery Book with my alcohol ink on mineral paper in the windows.

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And since I had a tiny strip left after the Kaleido Cycle, I had to make a mini Gallery Book.

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I still need to finish a few bits and pieces, and make some cases for the Gallery Books. I also got a good start on learning the fold for the Chinese Sewing kit, which I will make after I run by the studio and pick up the paper I want to use. (boy will I be glad when all my art supplies are in one place again!)

If you think these look like fun, you can get Cherryl’s book, Slight of Binding, which has just been reprinted by John Neal Bookseller. I highly recommend it.

And if you need supplies, remember, everything in the store is 10% off in February with the code FEB10 and 15% off in March with the code MAR15. The discounts are limited to stock on hand, and will not apply to anything I have to order.

And I leave you with someone that got miffed when I told him he could not jump on the window ledge, so he decided to take a rest on the quilt I was trying to work on.

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Hoarding in the Afterglo

Yes, I am a hoarder. I can finally admit that over many years of fully participating in the hoarding process. I saved bits and bobs of things to make things out of. I had lots of bright, shiny ideas and never followed through with them, resulting in clutter and disarray to the point where I had no workspace left.

I think once I came to grips with the “why” part of my hoarding (that’s a VERY long story) I was ready to deal with it. And deal I did. With the encouragement of a coach, I organized what I wanted to keep, purged what no longer served a purpose, and made a very positive change. Here are a few before and afters:

I replaced the sewing table tops with larger ones, so there is automatically more room there, but since the move around, and purge, the room seems twice as large! And…on top of that, I have been pretty productive!


Since I am basking in the afterglow of having a nice workspace again, it is only right that this week’s Diva Challenge (#344) is a Use My Tangle (UMT) of Afterglo by Carole Ohl, CZT. I have not done this tangle since my very first month tangling, and I did not have fond memories of it. So trying it again (I am still on the white pen kick in my black Venice Journal) I kept an open mind.

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I am really learning a lot about shading with this new paradigm of graphite. I think it works really well. And don’t those look like poinsettia?

I also did this one for the Square One Facebook tangle this week, Hypnotic:

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I’ve also been playing with my Dot Rods™ now that I have space to work. I made this as a peace offering to a friend that I’ve had a falling out with. Don’t tell her though, as I have not yet given it…lol. (I don’t think she reads my blog anyway.)

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I layer them in. Makes it so fun! (Notice the smallest one has a bend in it. An important reminder that they should not be exposed to heat, as I tried to heat shrink that blue tube onto it and it melted a bend. Better to use medical tape to make grips, I think.)

I am cutting and packaging more Dot Rods™ this afternoon, so they should be back in stock in the Online Store tomorrow. I will be out of town from the 13th to the 19th, so if you have orders you want in time for Christmas, they need to be in by the 11th.


A final note on the hoard clearance before I get my rear in gear to go out and work in the garage…I found this completed quilt top, along with the backing and binding fabric in one of the boxes. Circa 1995, the colors are nice, but they just aren’t me anymore. Waffling on whether to donate it or finish it and gift it.  I did such a nice job piecing it!

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And my new “altar” is my favorite part of the room. The lady in the picture is my Grandmother, Ethel Beatrice Kirkham Pyeatt. She always looked and acted like a movie star. She lived quite the life. And the doll is called Gene Marshall, a 1940’s & 50’s movie star, costumed in her role from Shooting Star (imaginary movie.) I used to have over 50 of these dolls in various costumes (another really long story) and sold most of them. I lost the few I had left (another REALLY long story relating to the hoarding issue) and this is the only one I replaced, because she reminds me so much of my Grandmother. She had still been in her box since I received her in 2015!

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Ok…enough from me for the week. Back to work, lots to do! Make Stuff!

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Go Big…AND Go Home!

Yes…I made it home from Santa Barbara ok. I really am not enjoying driving at night much, and I did miss an exit, but made it out unscathed. But for all that, I would not have wanted to miss out on the classes I taught there. Zentangle 101 with 5 lovely ladies at WorkZones; we were really productive and I love it when they have this much fun!

We had a fun meet up yesterday with the San Diego Zentangle Friendship group, where I gave a short, hands on lesson on Reticula and Fragments. We drew out a few Fragments on small squares, and tried putting them in different configurations. Hiroko did this one with 8 squares and a couple different Fragments.

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Then we explored different Reticula. Denise K. did this sample:

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I started a much larger Reticula to play with Bales with my New White Gelly Roll Pens, some really cool Metallic Pencils, and a Black journal from Bee Paper…and it was BIG. Which played in nicely with this week’s Diva Challenge (#341.) That baby is about 7″ across!

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I do have to report that I LOVE the new Gelly Rolls. And those Metallic Pencils from Pentalic are just a dream on darker and black paper. I’m afraid they don’t show up all that well on white paper, but they are chalkier rather than waxier and blend nicely.

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You can purchase all these items at my online shop!

I’ve really been on fire prepping up for your holiday shopping pleasure, too. I have been re-vamping the online store, making it more shopper friendly, one little bit at a time. It does take a lot of time to edit and add photos, but I am tackling a little bit ever day to make this the best place to find everything you need to make your art practice fun and zen-filled!

 

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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.

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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.

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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