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!

 

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:

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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.)

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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!

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.

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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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17 Hearts

seventeen hearts

hearts not yet seventeen

hearts that influenced seventeens

seventeen families

families missing seventeen hearts

seventeen hearts that will never beat again

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This week’s Diva Challenge (#352) was to use Nested Hearts as a string. I had some strong feelings that are hard to describe while I was doing this, and grabbed a bigger “tile” to work on. Fabriano Medeoevalis is such beautiful paper. Buttery to work on, blends like a champ. Colored with CarbOthello Pastels.

Yes, those are bullet holes. Morbid. Morose. All those things that we don’t like to think about. But we have to. These kids need us.

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I realized when I went to go write today’s blog post that I have not posted yet in the month of February. Lots going on, and really no excuse for it. I’ve been pretty busy with the things that I need to do to get the shop closed the end of May.

Inventory, clearing out stuff I no longer need. If you frequent my online store, you will find some odd categories here and there, where I am listing some things that fall in that category. There were a few things I’ve tried and taught over the past fews years that really did not bring me joy, and I feel that they spread me a little too thin at times.

This week’s focus category was Alcohol Inks. I have some things listed that I just have too many of, and I don’t see me using that much going forward…so check it out!


And while I didn’t blog or post them, I have done all the Diva Challenges for the month…here is #350 with a Heart String and a Use My Tangle called Rimana by Nadine Roller, CZT:

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I got on a bit of a roll with ATC’s that week, too.

I carry these around in my backpack when I travel, with the intention of leaving them various places. I think it brightens up the place.


And Diva Challenge #351 was hearts with an Olympic theme. I thought a modified Zedbra was a great tangle for this.

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I have an awful habit of tearing up my desk whilst I am working on some of these…

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I also took another class with my Quilt Guild last week. Becky McDaniel came in to teach us this cool paper piecing Crazy Cushion. Pattern is available on her web site!

Crazy Cushion Start

I hadn’t really done much paper piecing before, and thought it might be too involved or fussy to be fun, but this was definitely a lot easier than I thought. (I am going to make 2, so we have them for the patio wall to sit on.)

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oh, and remember those coasters from the last blog post?

They are now a really cool book. I call it Seeds…a Blooming Book.

More details on that another time…but I will be teaching it. Be on the lookout!

I gotta get moving now. Going to spend the weekend at a Cherryl Moote workshop learning about books that do tricks!

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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:

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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!

Dia de Tuna

What? Oh, that’s right, you all know it as Dia de Muertos or All Saints Day, but around here, we call it Tuna Day. It’s Mike’s birthday (call sign Tuna…remember Maverick from Top Gun?)

So of course, I started doing cards for the man who has everything. He (at least pretends to) like my art, and often gets a chuckle. So I did this one for him, and my Diva Challenge (#339) for Fall/Halloween.

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I mounted it on a plain black card, and practiced my calligraphy skills to write on it and in it. So now you know why I had to wait until today to post this (didn’t want to ruin the surprise!)

I also finished up (on time!) the Inktober Tangles challenge from Stephanie at www.everythingis-art.com. I am pretty pleased that I caught up in time to have a big finish (much to the detriment of my to-do list for the shop.)

I have 2 other projects I need to catch up on, but I will whittle down the to-do list a bit first! I feel like I am that plate spinner at the circus this week. I’ve been trying to get a video clip filmed on Glass Pens, but the jackhammers and concrete saws in the backyard say otherwise. I think they have finished most of that, so  I should be able to get it done now.


Don’t forget all the cool classes coming up in November!

I will be teaching this awesome Fall Tangles class both in Temecula, AND Santa Barbara.

Fall Tangles

And if you have not yet taken a Zentangle 101 class, you can do both in the same day, as I have that on the schedule for both locations.

And Risa is teaching Pointed Pen Calligraphy on the 18th, just in time for working out your Christmas cards!

And of course, Fun with Alcohol Inks on the afternoon of the 29th.

Alcohol Ink on Toned Tan - Tree

Sign up for these great classes to reserve your space!


Ok…back to tasks, and ticking this one off the list!

Love to you all, Make Stuff!