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:

Zigmajig Cupcake

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.)

Zigmajig

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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The End…or the Beginning?

Life is a continuous cycle. I’ve learned this in a lot more ways than I ever thought I could. Some things go on and on, and some are only here for a while.

I’ve been doing the Diva Challenge continuously since #161. This is one of the things I feel compelled to continue, as it tends to spark me creatively. So this week (#347) was no different, although it has taken me a little longer than most. With String Theory, we were quested to create a string by tracing objects we found around our space. The part that took me a while was seeing past the “normal” shapes to find something odd that wouldn’t give me just squares and circles. I found a magnifying glass, a purple jade heart from Guatemala (waiting for a new chain,) and my mini metal ruler/compass thingy (part of a set from the Charles Williams Co. that I really dig.)

Diva #347-1

The paper has a bit of purple in the background (I keep tiles by my work station when I watercolor or use ColorBurst and use them to “mop up” what remains on my craft mat, making instant backgrounds.) This was a bit of watercolor paper, so it was nice to tangle on too! I did my shading with a Carbothello chalk pencil (Santa brought me the full set for Christmas this year!)

Diva #347-2


Speaking of beginnings…I am really looking forward to hosting the Southern California Zentangle Teachers on the 27th. I have a really fun project for us, and I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with on this…sneak peek of Peeking Hearts!

Penguin Lust Peeping Heart


I’ve been meditating on my sewing machine this past week, working on a special gift. Sewing and quilting is another one of those things that has been a constant in my life, and I know I can always come back to it when I need it.

Bonnie Hunter First Square

Lots of progress has been made, and I am rather pleased with the cheery nature of this one!


I’ve been working diligently on getting some things wrapped up, framed and priced out, too, for what is in the ending stage.

Creat Love Framed

I am closing the shop May 31. This has been a difficult decision, and not one I took easily. I am a pretty introverted person and I have never been good at being in the mix of things (I thought I could change that, but alas, it just made me more stressed.) Taking this action feels like a huge weight has been lifted from me, and I can breath again!

But, never fear, there is an ongoing thing or two that will remain. I will continue to have the online store, and I will continue to teach classes, both at my home and a variety of other locations. I do love sharing what I know with you all, and will continue to do that, through my blog.

What that means, in the meantime, is a HUGE SALE. I don’t feel like moving everything, so starting now, everything is 10% off. Use the discount code FEB10 in the online store. This is limited to stock on hand, and I am working diligently to make sure that all the inventory is up to date. Even the art on the walls, and most of the furniture is going. (And no, my paper cabinet is not on the auction block…lol.) There are some great deals to be had, keeping in mind I never had anything listed at full price to begin with!


While this may seem like an end, I feel like it just the beginning of a new chapter!

Happy January from Southern California!

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And Sometimes, Your Ink Runs…

Today has been a day of intense sadness. If I wore mascara, it probably would be all over my face…but instead, my ink ran. Picked up the first pen my hand laid on (Zig Cocoiro with Extra Fine Black insert,) and tangled myself calm in my Iona Cub. Then I spritzed it with SpectraFix, and that happened. Not sure why, so I guess I need to look that up.

But…all is not lost. The page actually looks pretty cool (although I have now removed that pen from my travel bag) and I will continue to use that book for my #InktoberTangles this month. I figured I have just enough pages in it to finish the month and keep scattering in some Diva Challenges whilst I travel (more about that later.)

So for Day 2 of #InktoberTangles, I decided to combine the Diva Challenge (#335) – a Use My Tangle (UMT) called Tint from Henrike Bratz, CZT with the tangle Dicso because I thought they looked cool together. They are both stepped out to be either stand alone or border types, so they naturally fit together. So here is my page…bleeding ink and all!

02 Inktober

 

And for Day 1 of #InktoberTangles, it was Bunzo…one of my FAVORITE tangles, and a true pen killer!

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If you would like to participate in #InktoberTangles, here is the prompt. Be sure to use the hashtag, and I would love to shout out to Stephanie Jenner, CZT, for putting this together. I think the list rocks!

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I did get last week’s challenge (#334) done, I just didn’t get a blog up for it. I have been playing with my glass dip pen I purchased last year in Venice, so I thought it would be fun to do the Crazy ‘Nzepple with it.

Diva #334

That one was done with the sepia ink the pen came with. I had been playing around a lot with it that week, both with the sepia and with Calligraphy ink in black. That pen really loves the soft paper, as it has a really smooth, fine tip. no pressure was required, and I really have to slow down a lot to get those lovely lines.

And another shot, without the pretty bottles and pen. The sepia on the left is Sharlarella from Sharla Hicks, CZT and the one on the right is Pixioze from Margaret Bremner, CZT.


I’ve put up a VERY limited class schedule for October. Not that I don’t have anything to teach, but I am headed out on vacation tomorrow night and will not be back until  around the 20th. I will fill any store orders when I return, unless it was something you needed sooner, in which case I am happy to cancel it.

But when I get back…lets do some Pumpkins on the 29th.

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And be sure to reserve your spot to play with Risa Gettler on October 28th as she presents Day at the Bleach. This fun class will take  you on an exploration of bleach on black paper, with beautiful pastel accents…and can be done with or without calligraphy skills.

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I will also be making an appearance in Santa Barbara on November 11th, where I will be teaching a Zentangle 101 class in the morning and Fall Tangles in the afternoon. Sign up as soon as you can, as I have heard this could be a sell out!

Register for any and all classes, and shop online at www.charkatscreativeinsanity.com. Or just click the Home button at the top of this page.


With all the stuff that is going on today, I want to leave you with this:

OTL Week 38 - Summer of Love

And a big hug. Next post will be from Australia!

See ya then, mate!

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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.

Forgiveness

Forgive me tanglers, for I have sinned. It has been 3 weeks since my last blog post.

While I could offer a plethora of excuses (I have been pretty busy) this lapse has been brought to you by another bought of my self-doubt and a feeling of being overwhelmed.

I started to dive into the cause of this recently, so I can better understand it. I know there have been many books written on the subject, but from what I can tell, in me at least, is that I have too many projects. Too many kits. Too many things I started and then did not finish. But why? I am going to write about this more in-depth in the coming weeks, as I stretch my legs into new role. I have recently revamped my web site, and updated the online store (hit that Home button at the top when you are done here to see the fruits of my labor, and sign up for my newsletter.) I am working at being more productive, and I am going to take you all on the journey with me to share with  you what I find.

But for now, to prove I have not been slacking…let me take you through my past couple of weeks. I had to go to Santa Barbara on business. I decided to take the Amtrak up, so as to save driving hassles and perhaps tangle on the train. That turned out to be a no-go as the thing sways the whole time. I did get to read a lot, which was cool. And in my meetings, I finished this piece (mostly coloring, trying out some Polychromos for the first time.)

Celtic Hearts - Polychromos

I did not do the Diva Challenge #321. I could make a lot of excuses for that, but I just don’t like drawing with my non-dominant hand. I finished the shop model for the Tick-Tock Tangle Clock class from last Saturday instead.

And…if you would love to do this, a kit is available (in limited quantities!) Click on over to the store.

I took a book making class with the awesome Deborah Pace, CZT. We made hardcover books (a first for me) and I think I see a lot more of these in my future. I even set it up in my bag in bag so I could carry it around to work in (although it is still blank inside…) The cover is a piece of wallpaper from a sample book we have a the shop.

Then I jetted off to Austin/San Antonio for a few days to hang with the small human (we went to Schlitterbahn) and to see Iron Maiden.

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I did get Diva #322 done. I love AquaFleur (I think you may see this again later in the post.) I did this in my green Latka journal. The paper is REALLY rough and bumpy.

Diva #322

I started (or rather continued) an Opus tile for the August 19th class Summertime Blues – an Opus Undertaking. This is going to be grand fun, with a whole class dedicated to blue pens, tangling in tangles, and using shapes for strings.  You will not want to miss this one! I will have it up in the shop to reserve your spot sometime this week.

Summertime Blues WIP

I also folded up a cute tile frame set for my Celtic Knot Bijou tiles. This was fun. Try-piggy and Stone Bijou approve.

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I hung out at the shop on the 4th (nothing better to do, really, and I hate crowds…and it is pretty hot here right now.) Whilst demoing techniques to put raised gold on tiles, I popped out this little number for the Diva Challenge #323 – Home. Mixing pointed pen with regular Zentangle is pretty fun!

Diva #323

I have been using the new Pigma Micron PN (Plastic Nib) quite a bit lately, and I really like them. This is on an Apprentice tile, so it worked well for the pointed pen as well, but the little bit larger nib of the PN suits my tangle style. I have them available in singles (Black and several colors) and sets (6 and 8 pen multi colored) in the shop. And the red and gold? Those are FineTec Pearlescent watercolors, applied to a pointed pen. Next best thing since sliced bread. I have those in the shop as well. The new palettes with an updated gold arrangement, and these awesome 12 color sets, and 6 color iridescent sets.

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The iridescent even look cool on white paper, very subtle. (and shiny, even though that does not photo well.)

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I started this week spending my Open Studio time on Sunday sewing. Would love to have more people join me! Sew, tangle, journal, whatever you like to do. Come hang out.

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AND…not last…and certainly not least. This week’s Diva Challenge (#324) Hearts – with guest blogger Jessica Davies, CZT, from Maryland. The minute I saw this post, I knew it was time to finish that heart-shaped box I started at Tangle Island in 2015. It is VERY challenging to draw on a bumpy, curved, irregular surface, so I chickened out after I started the border around the lid and did not finish it. Until today. And I think I may tangle the bottom part of the box later.

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The San Diego (and SoCal) Zentangle Friendship Group met at the shop today, too, and we played with the FineTec, had a bit of show and share, and visited. We have such a great time. I really enjoy the camaraderie of my fellow CZTs (we occasionally have some of our students in the group as well, but not today.) And dear Denise brought me this cute little piggy note pad! A much better result to what started out as a rather awful Monday!

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And did I mention that my African violet finally bloomed? It has only been 6 years!

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I have a couple journal pages to get caught up on, so I better get to it.

Make stuff…it certainly made me feel better, and I know it will make you feel better, too!

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It Doesn’t Always Work…

Have you ever tried something and it didn’t exactly come out like it did in  your head? I do (sometimes n a pretty regular basis) and it can be really frustrating, whether it is in art or in life.

That’s about how this week’s Diva Challenge (#320) came about for me, to use Margaret Bremner, CZTs tangle Dansk. I had started something in my black Venice Journal whilst experimenting with white ink in my “FrankenPen” set up. It was clogging like crazy, the paper was too bumpy, and it just didn’t work. But it’s my Venice Journal (one of 2 small handmade books I purchased in Venice, hence the name) and I can’t just tear out the page and go to the next one. So it sat on my desk for a week or so, then I thought, I can just tangle around it and it will be ok.

Diva #320

And now the page is rescued.

BTW…if you would like your own “FrankenPen” to experiment with, you can get it here. I include regular fountain pen ink with it, and it has a twist-type empty refillable cartridge in it as well. I do endorse the use of any non-clogging inks that will work in a fountain pen. Both the Bleed Proof White and Pen White clogged like crazy, so I don’t recommend those, but there are many other lovely colors on the market that work well. This is the last one I tried with Pen White before I basically ruined this nib:

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It was grand fun, and thankfully, the pens are not expensive. I really had an anger management moment with it.

On the nicer side of regular pointed pen tangling, I got these done this week, both before and in our class on Saturday. Feather QuillGold WreathWhite Heart & Flowers on Kraft Card

That last one has Relief Paint for the gold accents. It really does give it just a bit of dimension and is really easy to use. I have a few tubes of it in the shop, in 3 shades of gold, a copper, and a silver. I even tried it on a rock.

And I will have an “Intro to Golden Tangles” pointed pen kit up in the store early next week. I am writing up some pointers to get people going. You are going to LOVE tangling with this method, and the FineTec is so classy looking.

OK…my to-do list for this afternoon is REALLY long. But, on the brighter side of that, the new website and store may be up in the next week or so. Whew!

Make Stuff!

Return to…Normal?

Whew. Whenever I travel, I love where I go and what I do, and by the end of my journey, I am always glad to be home. When I travel for TangleU (Continuing Education-thype event for Certified Zentangle Teachers) there is also a euphoria of spending an amount of time with my tribe and kindred spirits. But there is also a Post Conference-Funk that Cherryl Moore so eloquently wrote about here.

I am going through the post-euphoria phase, trying to finish quite a number of unfinished projects, but also pleasantly surprised with that I accomplished. We had so many great classes this year, it was an amazing learning experience, and really pushed my boundaries into a few things I had a previous fear of…like using a pointed dip pen for about anything, much less tangling. But that turned out to be something I really took to!

That was so much fun! Another one was the Pan Pastels. I purchased them quite some time back, and never really quite “got the hang of” working with them. I have a few more pieces to finish of this, but you get the idea.

TU Pan Pastel Hibiscus Tag

And I would be remiss if I didn’t again evoke the name of Cherryl Moore, because I spent not one, but 2 classes with her. So far, I have finished one of my journals from her Thursday class.

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Leather cover, Arches Text Wove interior. I have one more like that to fold and finish tonite, and then to figure out my finishing for a cute Coptic stitch book with 32 lb bond and a watercolor cover (yes…I will share that when I finish it!)

Nysha Nelson also had a very interesting class, where I actually completed tiles. We looked at different color combinations and shading techniques. It was quite nice to see what differences there were in everyones tiles from the same set of instructions.

Needless to say, I had a great time, and got to share space with some amazing people!

I also got all my Diva Challenges done while I was gone, but didn’t get them posted. So starting with #312 – Coffee, Tea or Me? I spilled out the last drop of wine from my glass and let the tile dry. I tangled it with a purple Pigma Micron PN and shaded with a purple chalk pastel.

Diva #312

And then there was #313 – Earth (Amanda) Day. I have to confess that I took this with me on the trip to work on, and finished it just as that day was announced. The background is Art Graf water soluble pigment/graphite. I used the sepia colored one and water to cover the page, then erased through several different stencils to get the shapes. Tangled with a Pigma Micron PN in sepia and then “colored” with Peerless Watercolors.

Diva #313

It reminds me of the U.S. Forest Servies’ commercials with Woodsy Owl. I think they were in the 1970’s. Woodsy Owl says Give a Hoot…Don’t Pollute!

And finally, this week, #314 – Use My Tangle – Scallamps by Sarah Uram, CZT. I thought this tangle had a lot of potential, so I decided to pair it with some corner Dingbatz that were featured in Kitchen Table Tangles recently.

Diva #314

And I know you want to know about that cute book! That brings me to the 2nd week of my recent trip, after TangleU we headed to Austin, Texas, to spend time with the most adorable G(r)ay Batman on the plant. (He can’t say his “R”s well yet…)

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We did lots of fun things; went to Natural Bridges Wildlife Ranch, where we were nearly eaten by an ostrich poking his head in the car, explored a cave at Natural Bridges Caverns, and spent a lot of time in the pool.

But, I also had a side trip to collect on my birthday present. Most of you know that I am rather obsessed with handmade books, so when I saw a segment on Iona Handcrafted Books that someone shared on FaceBook, I knew that was a place I needed to be. Be sure to check out the video on their website, so you can see why I was jazzed!

It smells so good there. I purchased a photo album gift for someone…and 2 books for myself. The smaller one is a “Cub 25” that they do not have listed on the website. It has bamboo paper, and I am finding that it really likes just about any pen I have put to it. And it has enough tooth to shade well, and enough thickness to tangle (or write) on both sides of the paper. It is tangle sized too…which is a fun, but the thicker pages are a bit of a chore to hold open in the smaller format. (read, I will tangle in this every night till I fill it up!)

The smaller book was to hold me over until my big one was finished and I picked it up on the way to the airport (really close by if you are in Austin.) This one is 7.5 x 7.5 inches, has yummy butterscotch leather, a dark brown lace, and a a vintage rosette/back plate from an old door knob on the front flap that has Celtic knots on it. 100 pages of watercolor paper. I can’t wait to take this on our Australia/New Zealand trip this year!

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I cannot say enough nice things about these books. All their paper is meant to be used on both sides, so no bleed through even with a fountain pen. I am thrilled!


On the note of what is going on with the shop/website. I am taking some time this month to do a complete reset on both. There is a very limited class schedule this month, and I will post a couple of Open Studio times when I get a minute. The website is in process, and I hope to be live with a whole new and very unique shopping experience for the Zentangle® enthusiast. Bear with me…

Make Stuff…You Will Feel Better!