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?

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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

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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!

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Kia Ora…Welcome In

Kia ora is a Māori language greeting which has entered New Zealand English. It means, literally, have life be well/healthy and is translated as an informal hi at the Māori Language Commission website Kōrero Māori.

I bet you are wondering what this has to do with Zentangle, or anything else for that matter. Well, it officially means I am sitting in Christchurch, New Zealand while I am writing this blog. In this Old Goverment Building turned hotel and private apartments.


Tucked amidst the rubble of a city being reborn after devastating earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. The Central Business District has a vastly different skyline than it did, and it currently resembles some post-apocalyptic nightmare. But, like the mythical Phoenix, it is rising again.


I am fascinated by the art and culture of this place. Their respect of the indigenous peoples here is pretty cool. So it is no wonder that it permeated my Diva Challenge (#336) this week in a Striping monotangle. I think it looks pretty “tribal.” I am usually pretty predictable with this tangle, so I opted for one of the pre-strung tiles I brought with me for a different view, and varied the stripes a bit more than my usual thick ones. So here is the pre-strung tile I used.


And what I turned it into:

I like it. I have also been keeping up with the #InktoberTangles whilst on the road. It has been fun working in my little Iona Cub, knowing that I will have it filled up at the end of the month.

We were in Australia for about a week before we got to Christchurch, and it was a bit hot…the last day. Otherwise, it was a bit cool and overcast. We did manage to get a good shot of the Opera House (which we toured.)

And saw some cool Roos at the Taronga Zoo.

And we hiked the coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee…and saw the birthplace of surfing.

And found tangles at the Night Noodle Market at Hyde Park.

And this wonky building in at the University of Technology Sydney (Business School.)

Oh, and they were kind enough to name a ferry for me…pretty cool!

So, as you can see, I’ve been a bit busy! But before I left, I was noodling around with some new ink and my glass pen for this fun variation of Baton.


Two of my students (and fellow CZTs) finished their Summertime Blues Opus tiles. They are fabulous! This first one is from Wendy Gray, CZT.

And Nancy Loomis, CZT:


Well…I think that is enough for this week, as my WordPress App is acting up and my battery is getting a little low…so I should go find some wine to drink!

See you next week from Australia (again!)

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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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.

Move on Back Two Squares

You know, I always have songs playing in my head while I work. They may not be playing out loud, but when I saw this week’s Diva Challenge (#332) and the prompt was 2 Squares…you know this started on repeat. A song from Yes – I’ve Seen All Good People. And to also know I had a bit of a trying weekend made this more prevelant. 

Take a straight and stronger course to the corner of your life.

And I learned…always have a Plan B. I had to do some shuffling on a long planned class on Monday when the instructor came down sick, so Plan B it was, and this was one of the results of having something in your pocket to teach at all times. I would like to give a HUGE shout out to Nancy Dawes, CZT of http://www.iteachtangling.com for stepping up and teaching this beauty of a Never Ending Card, adapted for Zentangle by her, to our San Diego Zentangle Friendship Group.


If the video won’t play, you can see it here on YouTube: https://youtu.be/g8Y-JU1Hb7w

And here is a montage of each side.


Not just 2 squares! 8 Bijou, 8 Small Squares, and 8 Border pieces! That was a LOT of fun!

Another side effect of Plan B was the cancellation of the follow on class that I filled in with a Supersized Edition of Summer Time Blues. While several people that were traveling from out of town opted for the offered refund, I had 4 intrepid souls that stayed the course and played with me for the rest of the afternoon!


Look at all that fun they are having! This made my day!

And on Saturday, Karen and Judy came over to play in the paints, and we spent the day making backgrounds to play on. We explored several techniques, including watercolor, shaving foam marbling, and alcohol inks.


I am soaking up the cool breeze in Santa Barbara a the moment. After the heat wave we have had in Temecula, this is a welcome respite. I am going to go get a walk in, as it has been too hot to walk lately!

Have a wonderful week.

Traveling Around and Kicking Rocks

This year’s vacation is getting close! We are heading out in early October, and I have not been getting the excitement I’ve had in years past. I think part of that is the unknown quality of where I am going (Australia and New Zealand) and that I did the initial planning months ago and really haven’t done much since.

This week’s Diva Challenge (#331) by guest blogger Jane Reiter made me start really thinking of it, in terms of the unique geological make up of all the places you can travel to. She has us tangle patterns similar to the Petoskey Stone in Michigan. Now, I love me some pretty rocks, and these are particularly cool, in their patterns. While they are mostly hexagonal, I took a more free-form approach. I found one of my tiles I had painted in a class, with Twinkling H2O watercolors and alcohol. It was one of those tiles that I wondered if I would ever use, because of the pattern on it. But for this, it seemed to work perfectly (and again, as usual, I forgot to take a picture of it BEFORE I started tangling on it.)

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This one is on hot press watercolor paper. I decided to have a go with the Pentel Hybrid Technica 04, a gel roller pen with some nice pigmented ink. We all know that Microns and other fiber tipped pens are notorious for clogging up whilst tangling over watercolors and other paints, and I have found this to be a great substitute. They come in several nib sizes (03, 04, 05, 06) and the ink is nice and black.


And of course, I have started my “art supply” packing for the trip. Now, I am pretty famous for OVER packing art supplies when we go on vacation. I usually take WAY too much and end up doing nothing. Last year, I even made a scrap book to work on “on the go” so that it would be finished when we got home. (And to confess, I did the first 3 days, and didn’t touch it again. It is still sitting at the shop, wanting attention. It is a beautiful book. It is on my list of project UFOs.)

So this year, I took a harder look. I travel, for whatever amount of time we go, with a small backpack (PacSafe) and a small suitcase (ebags) that fits in even foreign carrier’s overhead bins. I always plan on doing laundry if we are going to be gone longer than a week (and honestly, a charming part of the trip last year was doing laundry in Venice at a laundry mat with American washers.)

And that brings me to the scaled down version of what goes in the backpack. I have an iPad Pro. It is huge, but it keeps me connected (especially to you guys!) while I am out, but has a pretty large footprint. It took me a while to find a backpack that it fit in, without being a huge backpack. Here is the backpack, with all the things that go inside (minus the giant iPad.)

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On the left: I’ve recently started keeping a Bullet Journal instead of a planner, and that is the center of my focus for what I need to successfully plan and record events while we travel.

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And of course, I need to tangle. (Note that I said need. Not want, not should. It helps me sleep and keeps my head on straight.) The purple pen is an Uni Jetstream 4 color with a pencil. Easy access for just jotting notes and not having to dig into…

On the right: my Kipling Nolan Pencil Case. It has plenty of room for all the pens and tangle supplies I also need, as well as a couple zipper pouches inside to hold tiles and smaller things.

 

I can get a LOT in there and it doesn’t take up much room.

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Starting at the top: Mini Travel Stickie Notes from Daiso (the Japanese $1.50 store but you can order online in bulk,) a couple blending stumps, eraser, and extra 2mm leads for my 2B holder (Daiso!) Stuff to tangle on and a couple of my most loved flat templates and a ruler that can also be used as compasses. 2B lead holder (Daiso), White UM153 Gel Pen, Pentel Hybrid Technica 05, Tombow Mono Drawing Pens in 01, 03, and 05, Ooly 6 color Gel Pen (found this one at The Container Store,) Pentel Multi 8-color Color pencil, Factis eraser, and a spray bottle with SpectraFix Fixative. I also have a small card case with ATC blanks, pre-stamped with my information on the back to leave as abandoned art (not shown.)

After I evaluated what was in there, and what I had to tangle on in the bag, I added a few more white and tan tiles, and these (how on earth could I forget a Stardust Glitter Pen and Gold Gelly Roll, much less a white and indigo Chalk Pastel Pencil!?!?) And that also meant I needed to add a sharpener, so I found the smallest one I could (without going shopping.)

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So after repacking, this is what the front and back flap look like:

It is a little fuller, but I think more complete.

I also have need of something different to work on, so I packed a wool appliqué project that I am in the middle of. It is compact, and fits in my cute skellie zipper pouch.

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The needlework kit is an Altoids tin that I did many years ago, with preemie scissors (airline safe.) Those were ginger Altoids. Handy to have if I need to do any repairs on the road, but I also have a small travel sewing kit for that.

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Speaking of scissors, some of the wool things still need to be cut out, and I need sharp scissors, but I don’t want TSA to take them. I purchased these Gingher’s after 9/11, and have been successfully traveling with them since. Rounded ends and short blades keep TSA happy, and sharp enough to shave with keeps me happy.

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So I have plenty to do, and plenty of room for everything! And, it isn’t all that heavy until I put the monster iPad in it.

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So, I hope this little look into my packing schema helps you on your next trip. Pack light and have fun!


While I was puttering around the shop/studio this week, I took some time to play!

I spent some time making a new swatch for the Iridescent FineTec Palette. All three of the specialty FineTech palettes (6 color Pearlescent Gold, 12 color Pearlescent, and this one) are back in stock at the shop now. This looks SO cool on black paper!

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And I was playing around with the idea of simplicity this week, too. It is amazing at how gratifying it can be. I wish I had taken more time to shade it with graphite instead of Fabrico Marker.

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What week would be complete without a little sacred geometry and Spirograph?

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And now, more than ever, it is important to stop and spend quality time with the ones you love! And when the Giants WIN, that quality time is even better!

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Even my plant is happy this week (the continuing saga of the African Violet that took 5 years to bloom.)

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Peace, love, and prayers for receding water in Texas. 

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.

Diva # 329

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:

Square One - Abukas

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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