Aloha…Abukas!

I know…cryptic, eh?

This week’s Diva Challenge (#328) is a Use My Tangle (UMT) by Suzanne Fluhr (CZT and Guest Diva Blogger) for her tangle, Aloha. Suzanne writes a travel blog I really enjoy reading called Boomeresque. Mike and I had the honor of meeting her, and the infamous Mr. Excitement, when they were in San Diego for a cruise earlier this year. We had dinner and did some walking…topping it off with ice cream. What could be more fun?

I dig this tangle. I have done it several times now…

It is fun and bold and graphic. It makes a great border, string, or if you make it big enough, you can even tangle inside it.

So I wanted to do it a little bigger, and on one of my alcohol ink mono prints that reminded me of Hawaii. It is, after all, called Aloha!

Diva # 328

So…you may notice the other tangle I used here. Yes, it is new. AND…it is my VERY FIRST tangle. I call it Abukas, and it is influenced by Lynn Mead’s tangle Abeko and the original Zentangle® tangle Arukas. I rather stumbled on to it while I was working on some smaller Bijou tiles for a project I am working on.

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I thought to myself….self….you should do a step out for this and see how it comes out. So, here it is for all you to try, too! I like how art deco it looks, and I think it has a lot of potential.

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I have had some grand fun playing around with it, and I know a few others have tried it as well.

Speaking of those little Bijou tiles…here are some more of them.

I love doing these little things. It really helps me stretch my creative juices without a lot of sit down time. While I love to tackle larger projects, I think it makes it more fun to break it up into chunks, like we can do with an Opus tile.

I tend to lose my motivation when faced with finishing one of the really big things, like this mandala. It actually sat on my easel for just over a year! Finally took some Inktense Pencils to it, blacked in a bunch for consistency, and attacked it with a gold pen. Yes, that is a pen.

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Imagine the relief when that was finished. (It is 20 inches across!)

I am prepping some wool appliqué to keep me busy during a couple of flights next week, so I had best get back to it.

Have a Wonderful Week! Aloha!

A Fragment of My Life

While I was working on this week’s Diva Challenge (#327) that song kept going thru my head. I get horrible earworms while I am working, and this Elton John song (Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me) would just not stop. So…I went with it. In my take of the Lisbon Fragment by guest blogger Henrike Bratz, CZT, I used my new chop as a string, although you cannot even make it out in the finished bit. Blacking out some of the background (I can’t light no more of your darkness) and tangling on top with a white pen (All my pictures seem to fade to black and white.)

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I was a bit shocked that it looked nothing like the fragment I had in my head.


I did a bit of fun origami, folding some pretty little holders for Bijou tiles.

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I’m not sure why, but I am feeling a bit of an Asian themed September class. I am working on some suminagashi marbling, and I think it may be ready for play time, along with some origami type folding and Asian inspired tangles.


There are still a few seats left for Cris Letourneau’s Renaissance Express class on September 11th (3-7 pm.) It is selling out fast, so if you want in on the fun, make sure to get your reservation in now. Also, if you are coming, let me know if you want copies of her books, as she will need to bring those along (Made in the Shade and Pattern Play.)

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The 3rd Friday Open Studio time will be going on hiatus in August, September, and October. While I try to not be out of town for regularly scheduled events, this was just a confluence of events I didn’t notice until it was too late. Trust me when I say I would rather be here than in Florida in August…lol.

But, I still have seats in both Summer Time Blues classes, so join me!

Summertime BluesI got a new scan of that done today, and boy is it bright!


Continued progress on the bleach mandala…but I am feeling stuck. I know it needs something more, but I just can’t put my finger on it.

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I am thinking something that will disguise the pencil lines that erased but left a line behind in the paper. Next time I will use a soft chalk pencil…I think that will not leave that telltale line behind.


And lastly…my brown thumb is officially over, as my wayward African Violet is now in full bloom!

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I think it was just mocking me.

Off to do some quilting before dinner – make stuff…you will feel better!

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Where Do I Fit In?

This is a question that has plagued me my entire life. In my family, I was rather an outsider. At school (and I went to 9 schools over the course of my K-12 days) I was not popular or athletic or anything really. In the military, first in the Navy I was a woman in a predominately male occupation (avionics,) then again with the Army in advanced tech/electronics. Later in my Army career, I was older than everyone I worked with, usually by about 20 years. Even know, I feel like I do not really fit in with a lot of the people around me, but they kinda tolerate me because I can be fun sometimes.

So this week’s Diva Challenge (#326) with guest blogger Elisa Murphy, CZT, prompted us to use the ultimate “fit in” tangle – N’zepple. Now, unlike last week with Peanuckle, this is one tangle I use a lot. And since I was playing around with some black paper and bleach for another project, I challenged myself to use this as my medium.

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Different papers react to bleach differently. They have different underlying colors. It was very interesting, and I started to see what colors I could coax out of them.

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The N’zepple tile is a 6″x6″ cut of some scrapbook paper. The other 2 are a black Apprentice tile and a regular black Zentangle tile. Here is the finished black tile. I did a little shading with some General’s Chalk Pastel in the closest color I could find, but the light spots were just the concentration of the bleach in those spots.

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I may have gotten a little carried away, as I continued this into my Mandala study on Monday night.

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And I thought…hmmm…what about other colors of paper? I still  have some more work to do on this one, I am going to add some color with colored pencils.

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And I wasn’t the only one that had fun trying this, eh Karen?

And that is all the fun I can stand for today.

Don’t forget to check out the store and upcoming classes.

AND…if you were on the list, the first newsletter went out today. If you aren’t on the list, hop on over via the Home button up there and sign up!

I feel like I fit in a little, even if it is on the fringe!

Dip-WHAT?

Ok…so I glazed over this the first time I saw one, thinking it was a cute idea, but I like my tiles flat. But then I started thinking about it…when are my tiles ever ALL flat?

This week, Diva challenged us to do a Diptych (#318). In the traditional sense of the word, a diptych is:

a painting, especially an altarpiece, on how hinged wooden panels that may be closed like a book.

an ancient writing tablet consisting of two hinged leaves with waxed inner sides.

(Thank you Google!)

In the Zentangle world, it is a tile, folded in half, with some sort of representation of a hinge connecting the two, with the designs mirrored on each side. If you are on the Mosaic app, there is a video in the Kitchen Table Tangles of it.

It just so happened to coincide with me seeing a really cool ZenGem done in just white on a black tile, so I decided to use a black Zendala so I could try it out. I used only a white Gelly Roll, white Chalk Pencil, black 01 Micron, and some silver relief paint.

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I found it fun, but not sure if I could pull of an exact mirror. I will try that on another tile and report back.

I have been playing around a lot with the relief paint, so I could stock it in the shop.

Speaking of shopping at CharKat’s, it should not be too long now that you will be able to go directly to the products I use on this page to get them for yourself, and support an awesome small business! Plus, you have the added benefit of getting things that I have tried, and know to be effective.


I did one of those silly word quizzes on FaceBook today, where it analyzes the words most often used and it was pretty obvious that I put a lot of work into this website and my art…Screen Shot 2017-05-30 at 21.25.22.png

I kinda like it!


Because the web site is being worked on, I have been burning up a lot of creative energy lately finishing up things at the shop and at home in my “to-to” piles. We all have them, I am sure, but I always feel like mine are mountainous. It can be a little overwhelming to know you haven’t finished something you were really enjoying working on, or you get a block when it comes to working on it. Prime example is this mandala, that has been holding my easel hostage since August:

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The other day, I decided I was tired of it mocking me, and sat down and started coloring it (Derwent Inktense Pencils, blended with water.)

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And then at the end of that day:

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I have most of the outer edge colored now, too. I’ll get back on that this weekend. Then a little inking…a little embellishing…who knows. But at least I’ll get my easel back!


I also finished up the beauty. I am thinking of using it on my Christmas cards this year. Colored with Tombow Brush Markers.

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Some weeks are a lot more productive for me art-wise. This was one of those, I guess. I leave all the final pics on my desktop to use in the blog each week before filing them.

These were from TangleU, using Pan Pastels:

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Some tiles from my “started but not finished” pile. I sometimes start these to show someone a technique or a tangle, and toss them into the pile without completing them. I am trying to get better about it, as I don’t even remember when I started most of these.

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Some more pointed pen practice:

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And there always seem to be rocks laying around…so they get tangled on too! Trying out a lot of things with that pointed pen.

And if that wasn’t enough to make your head spin a bit…This is for my friend Inga, for a screen she is putting together full of tangled pieces. It is actually 6 pieces, I taped them together in the back to start wand do the tangle Waybop to use as a string. I just tangled them without any real concern about matching them up. I think it came out pretty cool!

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Ok…Enough playtime for now. I have to get packed to head up to SF for a Giants game tomorrow. I hope they win!

Make Stuff!

Life is a Trip(oli)

I feel like I have been busier than a one-armed paper hanger these days. Between trying to keep up with shop stuff, the upcoming retreat in SD, Sunday Funday market at Vail Ranch Headquarters, vacation packing/planning, and the usual housework, I am spinning in all directions at once. (Oh, who am I kidding…housework…ha…like I do that. I finally remembered to put clothes in the washer today, and promptly forgot about them.)

Before I get to cool pictures of all the aforementioned activities, I’ll trip right into this week’s Diva Challenge (#284) – a monotangle of Tripoli. I have a stack of tiles that I  colored/dyed that I have wanted to start working through, so I pulled out one that I did with some pretty greens. I think I used one of the dye inks on this one, because when I started working with the white pen, it picked up quite a bit of the green.

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It kind of reminds me of the felt flocked wallpaper we had in our house when I was in 5th grade. I dig it…lol.

I also finished the origami piece I was working on last week. We had a really fun class on Saturday, and I finished it up on Sunday at in the sweltering heat at the market. (High on Sunday was 88 F, today was 76 F. It is just not fair!)

We have a pretty nice set up with our booth there, it just gets pretty sunny…

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I played a little bit with the circle drawing I did on my Brother Scan N Cut 2 last week.

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I decided to finally “test drive” the Chameleon Markers I got for my birthday and color it. I was originally going to test the gradient features you can use with these pens…

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But, I found them to be really cumbersome to use. It was pretty impossible to get a consistent gradient, so I settled for just coloring without the blender. I do find the caps hard to remove (nothing to hold on to really…) and once you get the cap off, I can see how easy these would be to lose as there is no place to stick them on the pen. All in all, I can’t say that I am impressed for the price, and will more than likely not use them all that much, if at all. (the struggle with the caps is a HUGE deterrent for me.) But, they did make a pretty final product.

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And…back to work…I think I am going to try to sort this laundry out…and I have to figure out Mail Chimp…and finish my travel journal for the trip…and set up for classes this week and next…and…and….ARGH!

Stay Crazy My Friends!

 

Blueberry Rorschach

Sounds like a new recipe, eh? They are very tasty, but also such a pretty color on paper! Read the blueberry ink blots…what do you see?

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It was almost too pretty to tangle on. The tile has actually been sitting in my “to be used” pile for quite some time, so when this weeks  Diva Challenge (#282) asked me to spill something, I used this one. Started out with an idea, saw a lot of orbs in it, so I tried a new tangle (Starcrossed,) and an old one (Nipa.) Kept it rather simple to keep the blueberries in place.

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I’m trying really hard to finish some things lately. A lot of my larger pieces suffer after I start them for a class, and some take a lot longer to get into the completed pile. I pulled this one out last night and finished it while I was watching baseball. It is on some really smooth paper that didn’t shade well, so I used my Cool Gray Fabrico Marker for shading.

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I feel pretty good about this one, as it was finished in the same month it was started in!


I’ve been working up some new patterns and ideas for upcoming classes…this week I was focusing on December and ornaments. IMG_2850

Look for this on the schedule! While it looks complicated, this modular origami is one of the easier ones I’ve found, but I made it a little harder by using a heavier weight paper. Silver and black are pretty!


We also have several fun things in the works for September and October. First up in September. Join us for Art & Aromatherapy (Monday September 19, 5:30pm-7:30pm.)

We will share the many healing aspects of essential oils and aromatherapy and explore calming creative art projects including Zentangle, watercolor designs and mandalas.

Bring your moms, bring your daughters, bring your sisters, bring your girlfriends! Self-nurture through creativity! All ages are welcome! Join the fun. We are offering this class for free but will graciously accept love donations for materials ($10-/person suggested).

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On Tuesday, September 20th, join me for Mandala Drafting. I will show you how to use tools and templates to draft the shells of your mandalas to make some spectacular work.

Mandala 1


And not to be left out, in October, we will welcome Risa Gettler to the studio to teach calligraphy.

RISA GETTLER, author, artist, calligrapher and instructor, combines her education and career in graphic design with her lifelong study of Letter Arts. Risa’s art can be seen in The Smithsonian Institute, The Washington National Cathedral, national and international art publications, CD jackets, wine labels, and juried exhibits from Washington State to the Washington, DC. The pursuit of honing her craft has lead Risa to advanced and special focus calligraphy studies at the Accademia Delle Arti Calligrafiche, Cittadella, Italy, St. John’s University via a Scholossberg Scholarship, the Marquis de Sentmenat School of Design, Barcelona, Spain, Princeton University, The Getty and Huntington Library, and the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Risa has been a featured guest on radio and television programs. Teaching began from 1993 to present for the University of Riverside X, Riverside Art Museum, Oceanside Art Museum, calligraphy guilds and international lettering conferences. Her work is featured in the centennial edition of Speedball Textbook. Notable clients include His Holiness Pope Paul, II.

We are currently working on 2 courses. Monday nights, starting October 17th, we have a 4 week study of the Gothic hand. The price will be $80 for the series, plus supplies.

And then on Thursdays, starting October 13th, a six week series of Formal Italic. This series is $120, plus supplies.

I should have a more thorough description of both courses up soon, and all supplies will be available for purchase at the shop, so you don’t have to go run down things you need!


Olivia and I have been having fun out at Vail Headquarters for their Sunday Funday. Art, live music, food, and fun. It is a new event here in Temecula, and takes place every Sunday afternoon from 12-5. The next time we will be there is on September 11th. Be sure to come check it out!

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Ok…I think that is really quite enough for this week!

Stay Crazy My Friends!

The Night of the Dead FitBit

So…not sure if anyone remembers an old US television program from the 1960’s called The Wild Wild West. They did a movie one off of it a few years back with Will Smith, but the original series featured Robert Conrad. He was rather like William Shatner in Star Trek, he always got to make out with the girls, shirtless scenes, and really questionable acting skills. So, what made me think of this was that all of the episodes of The Wild Wild West all started with “The Night of…” for at least the first 2 seasons.

So on Sunday night, I woke up to a strange light in my bedroom. Mike was off being Flyboy, so I was alone…and it was a bit creepy. Then I realized that my FitBit was stuck in update mode…and thusly, died that night. I was sad, because I had become really used to having that. It was my light (literally,) and the one thing that kept me honest about my walks (and justified that playing Pokemon Go was worthwhile for exercise.)

But…it was still under warranty, and they are sending out a new one post-haste.

So the second night of this week is actually a Knight(star). This week’s Diva Challenge (#278) was to use Daniel Lamothe’s tangle Knightstar. Daniel is one of  our newer, and probably youngest, CZTs. He came up with this whilst in math class, and I think its pretty keen. He did a video for it you can see here, and as you can see, I did some step outs, of a sort, for it. Cool stuff!

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Lots of fun things going on at the shop this week. Saturday was a Zentangle 101 class, which was a lot of fun. We had time to explore a “what if” with Crescent Moon, and did that on some ATCs at the end of class.

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Also got a few things finished (but not framed…) This one is a study of Printemps with Sepia Micron on Fawn Stonehenge. Shape was a stencil. (you may see a theme this week…lol)

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Sparkle does not photograph well, but this one has an iridescent background sprayed through a stencil on black paper. Use the Moonlight 06 to draw on top of it.

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And this was hibiscus tea, sprayed through a stencil. Tangled with purple LePen and Metallic Gelly, shaded with purple Chalk Pastels. On Garza Papel and I am not sure why it looks yellowish, but it is very white.

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And I started this one…on a day when I was a little down in the dumps, but it made me happy when I got at least the basic outline done. Designed with Margaret Applin’s Medallion Master Series stencils. Laid out on Stonehenge White 24 x 24 inches.

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So…I think that’s enough to entertain you for this week. I’m off to further lament the death of my FitBit…at least it updated for the day before it died, so have last weeks totals.

Stay Crazy My Friends…Catch Them All.

(Last weeks totals: more than 42 miles walked, and 1 more pound gone)