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!

 

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:

Project Pack 1 Dewd

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!

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.)

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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!)

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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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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.

Throwing Some Blue Shade

Hey Everyone!

No Diva Challenge this week (she is busy with getting the kids back in school,) but I had something I just did not want you to miss!

I have been promising you a video for some time now with my Blue Glow Shading method, so here it is!

All the items used in the video are available in a kit, in a couple variations, at my online shop http://www.charkatscreativeinsanity.com!

So you can peruse the items a little closer, here are the pieces featured in this video.

I hope you like it!


I have a few pieces to share too! I was working on my Tangle Journal (where I create my step outs and use them in a drawing, and did this one for Jetties:

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And I particularly love the tangle Btl-joos (by Sandy Steen Bartholomew, CZT) and when it came up as the tangle of the week in Square One on FaceBook, I could not resist!

Square One - Btl-joos

I think that is enough to entertain  you this week.

Happy Tangling!

Changes…and Noom

CharKat’s Creative Insanity is about to undergo a drastic reset! I can tell you this will benefit all those of you who wish  you could come take classes with me, but live far away…but that’s all I am going to tease!


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I attended the Path to Profit Creative Business Summit last weekend, and after almost 2 years in, I finally have a clearer view of what I should be doing for YOU! I highly recommend any creative entrepreneur attend this workshop (there is another one coming up in September!) You really will be doing yourself, and your business, a favor. Minette really knows her stuff, and knows how to find the best business you that will make your business shine and be profitable. And…you get to color and play and be around other creative people…even other Certified Zentangle Teachers!

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CZTs From Left to Right: Jean Mackie, Me, Minette Riordan, Ph.D., and Annette Carlo


I may or may not have gotten a little carried away with the tangle Noom this week. Diva Challenge #309 had us using it, and boy did I!

The first example is this lovely Renaissance Tan Zendala that is part of another journal page I am working on. It makes a lovely border, and I honestly was not trying to make my Mooka into an octopus, but it just happened!

Diva #309 OTL Zendala

Then, while I was finishing up my tiles for the TangleU swap, it worked it’s way in again!

Diva #309 TU Swap

I am really enjoying this tangle. It is so simple, but looks so awesome!


I had a few more cool tiles I did for my journal page I am working on, that I wanted to share too. Mono-tangles (just one tangle on the page) can be very striking, and a great way to practice tangles you are not sure about. And Bijou tiles are an excellent way to carry them off. Even an ATC (Artist Trading Card) size can be less intimidating than doing a whole time sometimes.


Lots to do today! Tangle On!

 

From a Paradox to a Hamadox

Hama – WHAT? Hamadox…a really cool tangle pattern from Diana Schreur, CZT, which is a cross between Rick’s Paradox and Hamail (Tina Hunziker, CZT). It is this weeks’ Use My Tangle (UMT) for the Diva Challenge (#302.)

I actually started this tile during the Super Bowl, from a Zendala drafted with Ann Grasso’s 4-n-1 template (from a class at TangleU 2015.) It goes along the lines of one of my goals to “Finish” things this year. I had been doing the Paradox in the corners, and set it down for the night. Then viola! The next morning, this UMT came out.

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I also have a bit of a “new materials” review for this as well. I tangled with the Derwent Graphik Line Maker pens in Graphite. I like them, very much. It is nice for when you want a grayer black (also comes in Sepia and Black), and good for some great shading. The shading, I did with Stabilo CarbOthello Chalk Pastel Pencils. Very similar to the General’s but the colors seem a bit more vibrant. I am really likely them, and they can also be blended with a water brush (I have not tried this yet.) I will stock both at the shop as soon as my supplier has them available.

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Also tangled and shaded this piece with the same pens/pencils. I should have taken a before picture, but it was a mono print piece that I got when I first started taking classes, before becoming a CZT, from Sharla Hicks.

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We had a great class with Risa Gettler on Medieval Boxed Capitals. Her next technique class will be on February 23rd, on Vining and Diapering. More Medieval stuff! And we will start a study of Uncial this week (Thursday from 5-7.) This will be a project driven class, spaced out over about 6 weeks, with 3 in person meetings, and plenty of contact time via email with Risa.


I have been taking a watercolor journaling class the past few weeks, and I am particularly proud this week, of my first perspective piece. I even used one of my own photos, from Cardiff Castle in Wales.

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And one last piece to share, from my green latka journal. Mostly playing with a loopy string, and trying out a few tangles I hadn’t done before.

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So I have not slacked at all this week! AND, finished 2 old pieces, AND got the blog post done (goal is no later than Tuesday!)

Make Stuff…You will feel better!