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!

 

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!

 

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.

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!

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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BE(ad) Courageous!

It is time for Diva’s annual Beads of Courage (#319) update. For those of you who do not follow, Beads of Courage is a program where children undergoing medical procedures, especially lengthy ones, are rewarded for their fortitude whilst undergoing things like tests, and blood draws, and all sorts of scary things. It also creates a way for kids to be able to tell their stories in a colorful and fun way, instead of making it always sad. You can read more about the program here.

In past years, I have done tiles involving beads in some way. I did one for my sister-in-law, Marie, who was battling breast cancer at the time. I did one that juxtaposed beauty and duty. And one that celebrated Pride.

I decided this year to go in a different direction. I decided o be courageous myself. I am often reticent to try tangles that “look hard” or seem “complicated. So I thought to myself…”Self, you are a CZT. You are an artist. Why would you think it is hard, when you know Zentangle is easy?” So I saw this pattern, My Swing by Simone Menzel, CZT, on one of the many FaceBook groups I belong to, and thought I should give it a try. And to make it more challenging, to do it small, on a 3Z tile (I had already done the circle bit in the center, for something else I wanted to try, so I used that as my “string.”)

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I think it came out pretty neat, and I felt really good when I was finished with it!


From the UFO (UnFinished Objects) pile, I have a tile that dates back to TangleU 2015 in Santa Fe, from Sharla Hicks’ Mooka Blues class.

TU 2015 Mooka Blues Purk

And I finally started working the page dividers in my Zen Journal (real name of notebook, I swear) that I keep my tangle step outs in.

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There is still time to get in on the fun in Saturday’s Pointed Pen class (Monthly and Seasonal Specials)! I worked up this lovely card that a CZT I know is going to get in the mail soon!

I think the part I like about these best is they are so pretty!

And last weeks quick trip up to San Francisco was fun, cold, and the Giants did not prevail. But, did I mention it was fun?

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Loads of work to do! Make Stuff!

 

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.

Crazy Cadent Molygon

Tripoli Fassetts

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!