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.

Diva #353

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.

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:

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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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Welcome to 2017

Ok…I know…I did not really need to take a few weeks off from blogging. Not good for business, etc. But sometimes, you have to refocus your intentions and get some things done. Get through the holidays. Spend time with loved ones. Make art.

I set some pretty lofty goals for myself this year. All measurable and attainable, though, so I know I can do it. The first one is to get my blog posts in on Monday. So, I think I did that! (1 down, 51 to go!)

What better way to start off the New Year than with a new Use My Tangle (UMT)  Diva Challenge! Challenge #298 comes to us in the form of the tangle Orbs-la-Dee by Anneke van Dam. It is a nice filler tangle, and has a few cute variations. I decided to use it on a tile where I was testing the Sakura Micron against the Copic Multi-Liner SP. I wanted to see if I could tell the difference, so I divided the tile in half and tangled the same tangle on both halves.

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Honestly, there isn’t a lot of difference. To the naked eye, the Copic looks slightly different when next to the Micron, but if you used just the Copic, that difference wouldn’t matter. I think the deal here is the price points more than anything else. They are both pigment inks, archival, etc. But I think my real love of the Copic is that it is more economical in the long run, not to mention more environmentally friendly. It is refillable, and has replaceable nibs. The refills last longer than a Micron, and the nibs stay juicier a lot longer. So instead of carrying extra pens when I travel, I only need refills. The con side to this is the starter price of the Copic. I sell the Microns for $2.25 US…the Copics are $11 US. But…the refills are the price of a Micron….and last at least twice as long.

And…as luck would have it for you, my readers, I can supply these lovely pens for you! (Leave me a note below.)


So you know that I have not been slacking over the holidays, I shall produce proof!

First up, I participated in the 12 Days of 3Zs Challenge from Zentangle®. Although I got my tiles late and did not finish them in time for the actual contest, I did, in fact, finish them before Christmas! They make a pretty mosaic star:

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And individually:

These tiles are a lot of fun, and take a little less time when  you only have a short time to tangle. And the pre-strung set take the stress out too!


At our December Friendship group meeting, we had a nice gift exchange, and I was the lucky recipient of a handmade latka book, from my friend and fellow CZT Hiroko Hashimoto. She tangled on the covers:

And I realized that I have a huge stack of these really cool journals and books, and I do not use many of them. I have yet to make one pen stroke in the journal I received at CZT training. So, I decided now was the time to start! The paper in this one is really interesting…it has a lot of texture and character. It also pills excessively when shading (hint: use a lint roller prior to spraying fixative.)

I have been trying to do a page or 2 a week. Seems like a good place to try out some new things.


I noodled around with my Scan ‘n Cut 2 some more and came up with these snowflakes:

The paper is an Astrobrights Metallic card stock, and I used Sakura Glaze pens on them. It is a fairly non-porous surface, although they say you can print on them with an ink jet printer. I have tangled on this paper with a regular Gelly Roll pen, but I find the Micron does not show up well.

Also came up with this cute little ornament from 3 Bijou tiles.

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I did an end of the year recap on my FitBit…I walked over 1,300 miles! The chart was interesting. I started playing PokemonGo in July (my FitBit broke in August, so I was without it for 10 days, and I was sick a good part of December.)

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This year, I am setting a goal of 1,500 miles. That is attainable, if it ever stops raining. The rain is a conundrum for me. We need it badly here in California, but it is severely cramping my walking! But…the rain also gives us beautiful rainbows.

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That was the most magnificent one I have ever seen, and it was right from my home studio window.

I am not going to tell you to stay crazy anymore.

I am going to tell you to make art. It will keep the crazy away!