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.

Diva #344

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:

Square One - Hypnotic

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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BE(ad) Courageous!

It is time for Diva’s annual Beads of Courage (#319) update. For those of you who do not follow, Beads of Courage is a program where children undergoing medical procedures, especially lengthy ones, are rewarded for their fortitude whilst undergoing things like tests, and blood draws, and all sorts of scary things. It also creates a way for kids to be able to tell their stories in a colorful and fun way, instead of making it always sad. You can read more about the program here.

In past years, I have done tiles involving beads in some way. I did one for my sister-in-law, Marie, who was battling breast cancer at the time. I did one that juxtaposed beauty and duty. And one that celebrated Pride.

I decided this year to go in a different direction. I decided o be courageous myself. I am often reticent to try tangles that “look hard” or seem “complicated. So I thought to myself…”Self, you are a CZT. You are an artist. Why would you think it is hard, when you know Zentangle is easy?” So I saw this pattern, My Swing by Simone Menzel, CZT, on one of the many FaceBook groups I belong to, and thought I should give it a try. And to make it more challenging, to do it small, on a 3Z tile (I had already done the circle bit in the center, for something else I wanted to try, so I used that as my “string.”)

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I think it came out pretty neat, and I felt really good when I was finished with it!


From the UFO (UnFinished Objects) pile, I have a tile that dates back to TangleU 2015 in Santa Fe, from Sharla Hicks’ Mooka Blues class.

TU 2015 Mooka Blues Purk

And I finally started working the page dividers in my Zen Journal (real name of notebook, I swear) that I keep my tangle step outs in.

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There is still time to get in on the fun in Saturday’s Pointed Pen class (Monthly and Seasonal Specials)! I worked up this lovely card that a CZT I know is going to get in the mail soon!

I think the part I like about these best is they are so pretty!

And last weeks quick trip up to San Francisco was fun, cold, and the Giants did not prevail. But, did I mention it was fun?

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Loads of work to do! Make Stuff!

 

My Life In Pictures

Had a great weekend in Riverside at the Norton-March Alumni Association Reunion, but that put me behind this week, so I am still trying to catch up!

Needless to say, I was not nearly as productive as usual, only just squeaked out this week’s Diva Challenge (#317). The assignment was to tangle around a picture (from a magazine) and we all know how well I follow directions! And…I am still on my pointed pen bender, so I just had to be different. I printed out a picture of my great-grandparents, mounted it on a background, and tangled them both with sepia and gold ink (in my trusty pointed pen.)

Diva #317

Lizzie and Billy never looked so good! (I have the original of this picture, along with their marriage certificate, framed. They got married in Custer, South Dakota, in 1899.)

And I did get to finish my “FrankenPen” experiment with the Bleed Proof White in my fountain pen. It is a bit tricky getting the consistency right, and if you leave the pen sit, the ink does dry up. So this is a work in progress to make this a more “portable” art form for me. I think I may be relegated to “normal” colored inks in the pen. But that will work fine, as I just got some exciting new colors to try!

Red Scallop Heart

Still working on the new, improved web site. Bear with me, but in the meantime, you can check out the current class schedule for June here.

Make Stuff!

Different Kind of Stripes

Ok…we all know I am not good at following directions that well. I did 2 versions of this weeks Diva Challenge (#316) whilst practicing some pointed pen tangling. The challenge was to use some form of stripes for a string. The first was a rather free form diagonal striped ATC. Done with a dip pen and some red gouache I already had mixed up. I think for run of the mill tangling, I need to work on this more.DIva #316 - 1

And because I am still working on getting the consistency of Bleed Proof White correct in my “FrankenPen” I did another one. This one, I purely stuck to the more flourish lifework type tangles that work better with a pointed pen, and I am much happier with how it looks. And, you get to see a pen, and the ink comparison!

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I think I finally have this figured out, and will write up an instruction when I am ready to make up a few of these pens for those who do not want to “do it yourself.” I’ve figured out the viscosity issue with using this pen, making it a nice, portable alternative to carrying around a bottle of white ink to dip into. So far, I feel like I won this battle!

And from last weeks Diva Challenge (#315) I could not leave well enough alone, so I went back in and shaded it with some gold Pan Pastels…it is very sparkly in person.

Diva #315-Shaded

And I tried some different ink on different paper:

Pointed Pen on scallop paper

You may ask, CharKat, why are you doing so much pointed pen work?

Simple! I want to teach YOU how, so I need to practice. And guess what? The class is the 10th of June! I am working up a wonderful experience for you, and would love to have you at the shop. But never fear…if you can’t make it to me, I will have the class kit available for you online, and maybe even a little video instruction after the new website goes live!

Also on the upcoming schedule for June, Book Making Basics, where we will make some tools we are going to need for upcoming books, and make our first starter sewn book, like the one you see here:

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Sounds like fun, eh? I will have the schedule up here, on the old site, by Wednesday.

I have been a busy little bee this week. Between working up samples and experimenting with a few new things, I worked in my little Iona book:

And finished a couple pages in my Tangle Journal:

And, as if that wasn’t enough, when I was filing and cleaning up my office, I found a project from TangleU 2016 that I didn’t finish, so I finished this Zero Drawing Technique piece:

Zero Drawing Create Love

Man, it felt good to do all that this week! My brain feels awesome, and my heart is full. Finishing things, and cleaning up, has really been nice. Now I just need to hire a housekeeper for the rest of the house!

And on that note, I am going to put more pen to paper, and raise a glass of Single Malt to remember a friend who left this world 8 years ago.

And make stuff!

Golden Molygons

I have a confession to make. Since TangleU, I have become a bit obsessed with pointed pen tangling. To the point (pun intended) where I have been trying to make it more portable (per a suggestion from Cherryl Moote) by converting a fountain pen. So far, I am still experimenting with this, as I’m not completely happy with how runny the ink seems, so I will be trying different things here until I like it. (Regular fountain pen ink tends to bloop up and if I am not watching it carefully, said bloop ends up on my paper…)

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But, when I switched back to my regular dip pen with gouache, it seemed much better.

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I am finding the Zentangle tiles a bit tricky, as they seem pretty rough and fibrous. Smoother papers work better for this. So that led me to try some Kuretake Gold Sumi Ink I had on black Artist Tile paper that I cut to a Zendala size. And what better way to practice than on this week’s Diva Challenge (#315) for a foray into Molygon. Molygon was featured on Kitchen Table Tangles with Rick & Maria on the Zentangle Mosaic App this week, and after watching the video, I thought I would give it a shot with my golden ink.

Diva #315

I figured to not do any shading on that, but I may go back later and try it with a gold Pan Pastel and see how that works.


I have been VERY  productive busy bee this week. Not only did I get a good portion of my office cleaned up, sorted, and filed, but I finished a few things.

First up, another book from Cherryl Moote’s class at TangleU. The closure is a wooden dolphin that Elaine gave us on the last day as a reminder of the event, so I drilled some holes in him and used some muted turquoise ink to distress him a bit. IMG_4971

I also finished my Visigothic Versals project from the workshop we had with Risa Gettler. I think we may hold it again in the fall, so don’t feel left out.

The World VV Project

It is a pretty big piece, so  you would have to see it in person.

And today, we had a great meet up with the San Diego Tanglers Friendship group at the Bernardo Winery. Nancy Robinson, CZT, gave us a great tutorial on Zen Gems, and I made this turquoise lovely.

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If you would like to see some great examples of how to draw and color these, check out this free download of Tim McCreight’s Practical Jewelry Rendering. Not only does it cover stones like this, but also cut gems, gold, silver, and pearls. And did I mention that it is free?

I did a few more in my journal as well..

And I think I really like the new Dingbatz. So much that I managed to make a giant one on a journal page I was working on in an art journal.

Dingbatz Bridge

And in addition to all that, I drafted a new logo for the web page, but you will have to wait to see that.

Gotta get to making dinner now!

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!