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.

Diva #375

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.

I’m Not Dead

Wow! I just realized I went an entire month without a post. I guess I have been a bit busy.

I promise I have not been slacking! (But this could be a REALLY long post, with LOTS of pictures.)

Early in April, I went to Cebu, Philippines, for a week, to attend to some family business. (long story, so we won’t go there.) I had a lot of time on my hands, so I started playing with Tomas Padros’ tangle Pickpocket. I really like this tangle.

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So much so that I started on a little blank book that my friend Deborah Pace made…Back and front shown here.

 

I did a small class for the San Diego Book Arts Guild when I got back. Since there were only 3 of us, they talked me into teaching them Pickpocket too! (We also did Fife.)

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Cool part here is that I can only tell which one is mine by the chop…lol.

And the next week, I took a short book making class at Dorland Mountain Arts Colony.

I did manage to get the Diva Challenge #360 (DuoTangle of Shattuck and Tripoli) on the cover of the Japanese Stab Stitch Book. (I’d like to thank my lovely model, Gene Marshall, in her costume from the hit western Shooting Star, for holding all my items to photograph.)

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And then there was our epic 2 week road trip, that took us through SF and a Giants game, the Redwoods, and to Portland to Tangle U.

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On the way back, we stopped to have dinner with friends in Redding, then back to the Bay Area to pick up a car we were having worked on. And it so happened (for the 2nd time that trip) that I got to do to Dharma Trading Company, in person. Most of us know them from their online supply of dyes and things to dye, but their store location also has an epic yarn shop. I did indulge my inner hoarder!

Are you tired yet? I am…but we were not done with our road trip. There was a stop in Santa Barbara, for a little creative coaching in a live event, which I always tangle during. It keeps me focused and also keeps me from interjecting a bit too much (sometimes.) I went back to my little book and did lots of stuff on the pages and inserts.

And then…finally…we came home. Mike went to work the next day, and I started getting busy with organizing and inventory at the shop.

As most of you know, I am closing that location, but I will continue to have quality supplies available for you online, and have a whole lot of really fun classes planned for the coming months. Dying, up cycling, book binding…and of course Zentangle! Classes will be small, and at my house for the most part. Should be a great time!

I did these 2 in my new revision of the Beyond the Basics: Black class this week.

And…yes…I did this week’s Diva Challenge (#362) to celebrate her birth month by using her tangle Somnee. I had one space left on my linen panel from Kim VanZyll’s class at TangleU. (I’ll post more TU finished projects over the coming weeks, as I actually did finish quite a few, including the TangleU chalk piece you already scrolled by.)

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My string for this is Lily Moon Luna’s Caracole. I really had fun with this one. Once again, thanks to my lovely model for holding that up for me.

I really should get going. I still have lots to do!

Have a great week!

 

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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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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