Spring…Cleaning!

We’ve been going thru a lot of our clutter lately. I am not sure not this accumulates in the quantity it has, but I can allot a bit of it to all the stuff I brought back from Arizona in January.

Cleaning out my mom’s house was a daunting task. She had accumulated “things.” I’m not going to say hoard, because it wasn’t like that, but I am not sure she had a switch that said…I do not really need to buy that bag or that purse or that pair of shoes. Or subscribe to another Danbury Mint monthly thing…like a collection of Presidential dollar coins. (Which, by the way, are worth $1 each. But if you subscribe, they will send you 13 of them a month for $39 a roll. There’s a racket we all need to get into.)

But, that made me spur into action and roll them all to take them to the bank. (For my friends outside the US, dollar coins have never really caught on here, even though they are in circulation.) And that made me also roll up all the other change I had accumulated in my pickle jar…and voila! I made $671!

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I know what you are thinking…Charlotte, what has this got to do with Zentangle?

Clutter is not only something that accumulates physically.

“Clutter is the physical manifestation of unmade decisions fueled by procrastination”
Christina Scalise, Organize Your Life and More

Mental, emotional, and physical. And it builds up, and keeps us from being our best selves. I struggle to get things done on my super cluttered desk because it does not invite me to be creative. It invites me to see the clutter. The clutter depresses me and makes me not want to work on things I know will make me less depressed.

Just the simple act of organizing and picking up can be so freeing, mentally and physically. Spacious freedom in your mind and in your home. Now, I am not going all Marie Kondo method on you. I’m an artist. I have stuff.

I am becoming more productive as I clear things out, and I think even more creative without all those “things” to weigh me down. So I did a bit of playing this week on a prompt for a journaling group I am in (it was my turn to create the prompt) and whilst I was doing my page, this popped up:

Zigmajig Cupcake

I think I may have come up with a new tangle I am calling Zigmajig,  a cross between Keeko and Jonqal.

And that led me to make a step out for it…and use my initials for a Tangle Your Name from this week’s Diva Challenge (#356). (My name is a bit long to get on a tile, so initials work for me.)

Zigmajig

Neato, eh? Oh, and if you have ever seen this by another name, I’m happy to give it up.


I had a couple of awesome playdate/classes this week. On Monday, Pam and her daughter came and played with me for a few hours. We learned a few things and had a lot of laughs!

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And on Wednesday, I taught the first of 2 sessions for the San Diego Book Arts Guild at the library in Pacific Beach. I had 15 lovely ladies tangling on coasters for a high altitude flyover of Zentangle…just enough to wet their appetite for more! They did an awesome job.

And while I know it’s not spring-like weather in some parts of the country, after my class I walked along the beach for a while, and enjoyed a sunset.

Boy, do I love living in SoCal. (Note that it has been raining all day today. I love rain.)


I’ve also been busy putting the final touches on my mobile store for TangleU this year. I am still working on a super top secret limited edition kit for the event, so that is what the empty space is for…

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Remember, there is still time to use the code MAR15 for 15% off at the online store.

And now, I have to clear the clutter of accounting work, so I can submit my taxes for the year…icky!

Have fun!

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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!

Forgiveness

Forgive me tanglers, for I have sinned. It has been 3 weeks since my last blog post.

While I could offer a plethora of excuses (I have been pretty busy) this lapse has been brought to you by another bought of my self-doubt and a feeling of being overwhelmed.

I started to dive into the cause of this recently, so I can better understand it. I know there have been many books written on the subject, but from what I can tell, in me at least, is that I have too many projects. Too many kits. Too many things I started and then did not finish. But why? I am going to write about this more in-depth in the coming weeks, as I stretch my legs into new role. I have recently revamped my web site, and updated the online store (hit that Home button at the top when you are done here to see the fruits of my labor, and sign up for my newsletter.) I am working at being more productive, and I am going to take you all on the journey with me to share with  you what I find.

But for now, to prove I have not been slacking…let me take you through my past couple of weeks. I had to go to Santa Barbara on business. I decided to take the Amtrak up, so as to save driving hassles and perhaps tangle on the train. That turned out to be a no-go as the thing sways the whole time. I did get to read a lot, which was cool. And in my meetings, I finished this piece (mostly coloring, trying out some Polychromos for the first time.)

Celtic Hearts - Polychromos

I did not do the Diva Challenge #321. I could make a lot of excuses for that, but I just don’t like drawing with my non-dominant hand. I finished the shop model for the Tick-Tock Tangle Clock class from last Saturday instead.

And…if you would love to do this, a kit is available (in limited quantities!) Click on over to the store.

I took a book making class with the awesome Deborah Pace, CZT. We made hardcover books (a first for me) and I think I see a lot more of these in my future. I even set it up in my bag in bag so I could carry it around to work in (although it is still blank inside…) The cover is a piece of wallpaper from a sample book we have a the shop.

Then I jetted off to Austin/San Antonio for a few days to hang with the small human (we went to Schlitterbahn) and to see Iron Maiden.

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I did get Diva #322 done. I love AquaFleur (I think you may see this again later in the post.) I did this in my green Latka journal. The paper is REALLY rough and bumpy.

Diva #322

I started (or rather continued) an Opus tile for the August 19th class Summertime Blues – an Opus Undertaking. This is going to be grand fun, with a whole class dedicated to blue pens, tangling in tangles, and using shapes for strings.  You will not want to miss this one! I will have it up in the shop to reserve your spot sometime this week.

Summertime Blues WIP

I also folded up a cute tile frame set for my Celtic Knot Bijou tiles. This was fun. Try-piggy and Stone Bijou approve.

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I hung out at the shop on the 4th (nothing better to do, really, and I hate crowds…and it is pretty hot here right now.) Whilst demoing techniques to put raised gold on tiles, I popped out this little number for the Diva Challenge #323 – Home. Mixing pointed pen with regular Zentangle is pretty fun!

Diva #323

I have been using the new Pigma Micron PN (Plastic Nib) quite a bit lately, and I really like them. This is on an Apprentice tile, so it worked well for the pointed pen as well, but the little bit larger nib of the PN suits my tangle style. I have them available in singles (Black and several colors) and sets (6 and 8 pen multi colored) in the shop. And the red and gold? Those are FineTec Pearlescent watercolors, applied to a pointed pen. Next best thing since sliced bread. I have those in the shop as well. The new palettes with an updated gold arrangement, and these awesome 12 color sets, and 6 color iridescent sets.

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The iridescent even look cool on white paper, very subtle. (and shiny, even though that does not photo well.)

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I started this week spending my Open Studio time on Sunday sewing. Would love to have more people join me! Sew, tangle, journal, whatever you like to do. Come hang out.

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AND…not last…and certainly not least. This week’s Diva Challenge (#324) Hearts – with guest blogger Jessica Davies, CZT, from Maryland. The minute I saw this post, I knew it was time to finish that heart-shaped box I started at Tangle Island in 2015. It is VERY challenging to draw on a bumpy, curved, irregular surface, so I chickened out after I started the border around the lid and did not finish it. Until today. And I think I may tangle the bottom part of the box later.

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The San Diego (and SoCal) Zentangle Friendship Group met at the shop today, too, and we played with the FineTec, had a bit of show and share, and visited. We have such a great time. I really enjoy the camaraderie of my fellow CZTs (we occasionally have some of our students in the group as well, but not today.) And dear Denise brought me this cute little piggy note pad! A much better result to what started out as a rather awful Monday!

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And did I mention that my African violet finally bloomed? It has only been 6 years!

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I have a couple journal pages to get caught up on, so I better get to it.

Make stuff…it certainly made me feel better, and I know it will make you feel better, too!

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Square Pegs in Round Holes

What? I know what you are saying….Char…what happened to the new web site? I can tell you that it is currently under construction, so I will have to blog here for at least the next couple weeks. I probably won’t be making lots of updates to this page, except some final clean ups, but the new site, I am hoping, will be live on May 1. I promise, it will be worth the wait! And a whole NEW shopping experience to boot.

This week’s Diva Challenge (#311) is Circle Square String Theory. Use at least one circle and one square as your string. Cool. So I chose another one of my prided Zendalas, this one a pretty marbled looking one in blue and pink. and traced a Bijou tile, and made a few circles with my trusty Helix Circle Maker (and did the outer ring with it too.) You may have noticed that I am using Celtic knots a lot, as I am further exploring the techniques I teach in Ready or Knot (my Celtic knot kit, available in the store after TangleU.) I also used my Tangle Dice to help me select tangles for the rest of the spaces, as I am getting a bit stuck in a rut of using the same old same old all the time. That was a lot of fun (and another cool thing that will be available in the store after TangleU!)

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I think I made my Arc Flower too small, so it was a bit dicey to shade. But a bun organic looking tangle nonetheless.

Diva #311


We had a lovely weekend workshop with Risa Gettler on Dancing Spanish Letters (formerly titled Visigothic Versals.) I am still in progress with my piece, I need to add the art to it, but here is a preview:

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I have to say I am really enjoying the creativity of this hand above the others I have learned. I am already plotting out text for an artwork I started 2 years ago and shelved for lack of ability to write words on a page.


We also had a fun meeting of the San Diego Zentangle Friendship Group, where we had some lessons on backgrounds grids and tangles. I whipped out one of my watercolor tiles that had a paint blot on it and did the background in Fife. Good Stuff!

Backgrounds with Watercolor

It is smaller than a regular tile, and on watercolor paper. Tangles in Sepia with a sepia Conte Crayon for the border.


ok…back to work for me…have to finish the laundry so I can pack. We are taking off for Florida on Saturday! yay! Next week, I will post from there!

Blank Page Stare…

You know that feeling…blank with page…where do I start? I had that this morning as I am trying to shake the cobwebs and write. This week, I have to steal the moments to do my work/art related projects, as I am being visited by the most adorable 4 year old I know.

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So I am stealing a few moments to share this week’s Diva Challenge (#307). I was treated to a new tangle, Zingo, by Indy and Mazzy (Molly’s Daughters) on a special episode of Kitchen Table Tangles. I followed along on another one of my pretty shaving foam marbled tiles.

Diva #307


Yesterday, we also had a great get together with our Southern California Tangles group. We did a fun exercise of passing the tile, to complete these fun tiles.

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Each person started their string with 5 spaces, did the first tangle, and passed the tile. We had 2 groups of five, and it was great fun.


The Celtic Knot class last weekend was great fun, and everyone found my method really easy to learn. If you are sad because you could not be there, take heart. The kit with full instructions IS available! I will make a link later this week (I need to steal a few more minutes to re-edit some corrections into the instructions!)


And we have an awesome weekend workshop coming up with Risa Gettler on Visigothic Versals. Details are on the Calligraphy Page, but here is a sneak peek”

 

And now I am being summoned to go color with said 4 year old…

Ghosts…

Have you ever felt haunted by your past? I think our past is a part of our journey in life, and shapes us into the people we become. You can either learn from it and grow from it, or let it drag you down. This week, Diva (challenge #255) asked us to revisit a tile/tangle from our past, to see how we have grown. I have only been tangling about 3 years, but I have everything I did in my first year in a book, to show my students MY learning process. While I did have a smallish art background, I like them to see how much I have learned and what practicing has done to my art. For this quest, I went back to my very first tile, pre-class with a CZT, learning out of One Zentangle a Day.

First One May 2013

That first one was done on card stock from my limited scrapbooking stash. I never realized how small I worked until I tried to re-do it! (I think this is a trend I’ve noticed with most of the CZT’s that  have posted…all our early work was tiny, and now it is much bigger!)

So here is the “new” version. See the style I have developed into!

Diva #255

And to bring up another ghost, I didn’t get this finished in time for Diva #252: Using a Tangle as a String. I used a giant Cadent.

Diva #252


 

Pretty things have been made at the shop this week! We had an awesome group for a Zentangle 101 class, and I threw in a little Valentine, too. What prodigies!

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And on Saturday, we made Valentine cards and frames, based on Joanne Fink’s Zendangles. Here are the ones I did:

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And my Valentangle for Diva #254 that I couldn’t post because it was Mike’s present!

Diva #254

And a thank you card for Mike’s mom, who has been bestowing her stash of all her calligraphy and card making supplies. My faux calligraphy skills still need some work!

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I am working on the schedule for March, and it should be fun! I should have it posted by the end of the week.

Found and Tangled Poetry, the Irish Poets Edition in time for St. Patrick’s Day. And some exploration of Celtic Knots and Tangles. (This is just an ATC I did with some ColorBursts…pretty backgrounds!)

Green ColorBurst ATC

Tangle Journals, from January, will make a repeat appearance. This will be an ongoing class, you can join in any time, or whatever you like. First time attendees will need to buy the Journal Kit, returning students can buy refills if they need them. Every other month we will explore a new set of tangles.

And I will add a Sunday afternoon Alcohol Ink class, working on ceramics. They make lovely decorations and gifts. I finished this one today.

Pink Plate


Whew…I didn’t realize I had done so much work this week! (I guess it was really 2 weeks, since I didn’t post anything last week.)

Namas’ cray my friends…stay crazy and make stuff!