Move on Back Two Squares

You know, I always have songs playing in my head while I work. They may not be playing out loud, but when I saw this week’s Diva Challenge (#332) and the prompt was 2 Squares…you know this started on repeat. A song from Yes – I’ve Seen All Good People. And to also know I had a bit of a trying weekend made this more prevelant. 

Take a straight and stronger course to the corner of your life.

And I learned…always have a Plan B. I had to do some shuffling on a long planned class on Monday when the instructor came down sick, so Plan B it was, and this was one of the results of having something in your pocket to teach at all times. I would like to give a HUGE shout out to Nancy Dawes, CZT of http://www.iteachtangling.com for stepping up and teaching this beauty of a Never Ending Card, adapted for Zentangle by her, to our San Diego Zentangle Friendship Group.


If the video won’t play, you can see it here on YouTube: https://youtu.be/g8Y-JU1Hb7w

And here is a montage of each side.


Not just 2 squares! 8 Bijou, 8 Small Squares, and 8 Border pieces! That was a LOT of fun!

Another side effect of Plan B was the cancellation of the follow on class that I filled in with a Supersized Edition of Summer Time Blues. While several people that were traveling from out of town opted for the offered refund, I had 4 intrepid souls that stayed the course and played with me for the rest of the afternoon!


Look at all that fun they are having! This made my day!

And on Saturday, Karen and Judy came over to play in the paints, and we spent the day making backgrounds to play on. We explored several techniques, including watercolor, shaving foam marbling, and alcohol inks.


I am soaking up the cool breeze in Santa Barbara a the moment. After the heat wave we have had in Temecula, this is a welcome respite. I am going to go get a walk in, as it has been too hot to walk lately!

Have a wonderful week.

Take the High Road

Recently, whilst in Venice, I was reminded about how change can effect the things that man makes. Venice is a man made island, and it is slowly sinking under the weight of buildings and an influx of tourists. But in its own right, it is adapting to an environment of charming decay, and they are trying to figure out a solution to the problem. Part of that solution may be to limit the influx of cruise ships that port there and release their populations for a day. That may stay part of the problem, but there are also engineers trying to figure out solutions for the infrastructure. They have “high road walkways” in St. Mark’s Square for when the tide is high and floods the square, as part of a temporary fix as well. In the long run, to keep Venice, it will take a combined effort to make things work so the city/state does not sink.

I think the same thing needs to happen with us in the good old USA now. We need to take the high road, band together, and be part of the solution. Complaining, riots, posting and sharing untruths to social media, and having a tantrum because we did not get what we wanted are part of the problem…not the solution. Let us be better than that. Let us work toward a better world. Do not let us sink.

What brought a lot of this to mind is this weeks’s Diva Challenge (#292) which was a Use My Tangle called Eaxy by Nadine Roller, CZT. It was not the tangle so much, as the medium I chose to complete it in. On my trip to Venice, I purchased several hand made journals, so I selected one of them to work in. It is a lovely red leather with hand made paper, sewn in small signatures.

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I love hand made paper, but it can be a little tricky to work with. This one is a bit soft. I tried some water colors on it for a background.

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And it did not really spread like I would have liked, it just sat there on the page. I had to iron it after it dried…yes, I iron paper. Not particularly pleased with the outcome, but I have a better idea now of how the paper acts.

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Had some fun working up a new sample Christmas ornaments, possibly to share in a class. Cut the shapes from bristol paper with my Brother Scan n Cut 2.

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Just did my basic Zentangle 101 tangles on it (may be a 1st class for a girls scout troop.) After they were finished, I glued 2 pennies inside for weight, and then glued them together and added a hanger. kind of cute.

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The pen in the picture is the Pentel Arts Hybrid Technica. A roller ball pen with nice black ink, in a variety of nib sizes. I find the smaller sizes to work better than the larger ones. The 08 seems to skip a lot. They are not any cheaper than the Microns, but I am thinking they might be better for travel.


I found a new origami video for a 12 pointed star on YouTube that I had to try…it was long, and looked pretty complicated. But, I did have some important points about origami reinforced. Precision in folding is key! This one started out with a regular 8.5 x 11 sheet of copy paper, and you had to turn that into a hexagon. My hexagon using her method turned out a bit wonky…so the first one was a complete bust. I cut a hexagon using my Scan n Cut 2, and that one worked out a lot better.

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My new friend Chloe came to visit the shop with her mom and dad…we had some fun chasing her fog and getting some cuddles.

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And…Election Day was not a total bust for me. We went to Palm Springs to take Mike’s mom out for her 83rd birthday. Lulu California Bistro does up a completely adorable cotton candy in a huge champagne glass for special occasions!

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That is all I have to report this week.

Oh, and Hug a Veteran this Friday…

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Remember…the high road.

 

CharKat Says “Relax!”

(you know that Frankie Goes to Hollywood song is playing in your head now, right?)

This week, I was privy to a discussion amongst Certified Zentangle Teachers (CZTs) as to whether or not we still use this art to unwind and chill, or has it become all work for us? And it did provoke enough thought to make The Diva focus this weeks “challenge” (#285) to really make me think more about it.

Most of what I post to the world, here, on FaceBook, and Instagram, are works of Zentangle Inspired Art (ZIA) that are truly amazing to me. I often reflect back at them and am in awe that I even did that…that it came from my pen. I get so focused at times on shop models and preparing for upcoming classes and creating art that I do lose sight of why I started doing this in the first place. Where do I find my Zen again? I often tell my students, whatever makes it Zen for you is what you need to do, but rarely follow that adage myself.

I started this tile last Saturday at our San Diego retreat Tangle By the Bay. I rarely finish things I do at retreat and classes, but I found this simple white Apprentice tile calling my name to come back. So this morning, with my nice cup of Earl Grey tea, before my morning walk, before the madness of my day (but after the cat woke me up too early because he was hungry) I picked up my pen and finished it.

The tangles were chosen by the roll of a dice. As were their enhancers. I would not have chosen to put them together on a tile, I don’t find it all that aesthetically pleasing, but I felt really calm working on it. The tangles were ones I know…I didn’t have to struggle with them. I rarely use sparkle as an enhancer because I am not particularly good at it. I never make my Printemps that big because they get wonky.

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My rounded Crescent Moon took on a whole new look. Cool, eh? And I was trying out a new pen (Pentel Hybrid Technica 04) that took a bit longer to dry, so I had to be even more patient. Zen Found!


I did actually finish everything I started at the retreat, which is a wonder for me. We learned the 14 Shades of Gray technique, and I did this piece. Again with some fairly simply tangles, but it was fun.

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Calligraphy classes start the 2nd week in October, so if you are in the area, be sure to check it out. Payment is to the teacher (Risa Gettler), so call the shop to sign up (951) 972-3015. Leave a message…I am on vacation starting Wednesday, but Olivia will be in the shop on her regular days while I am gone.

Prices, descriptions, and supply lists are here! (I will have all supplies available at the shop, no need to go hunting around for things!)

Place your supply order at the time of Registration and your supplies will be waiting for you on the first night of class.


Continuing Italic Calligraphy – 6 Weeks. Thursday Evenings 6-8 pm ($120) – Starts Thursday, October 13.

Now is the time of year when we want to use our calligraphy skills.  This 6-week course is for those have taken calligraphy and want to review, refresh, revitalize and expand your command of Italic Calligraphy. We’ll review the letter-forms, proper ruling of paper, gouache and pen preparation, accurate ruling, posture, and breathing. Each student will bring his/her own project to work on consisting of words you love and long to write: It can be a quote, prose, scripture, et al. By working on your project we’ll learn various  lay-outs and designs, word spacing, flourishing and many other elements that comprise a finished piece of calligraphic art. You’ll have my individual attention in each and every class. There will be a presentation of your work on the last class.

 

Supplies:

  • Nibs: For those of you who’ve had calligraphy experience you have your favorite nibs. For those who are relatively new a Speedball C-2 or C-3 is a good nib to start with.  I like Mitchell nibs because they’re flexible.  The letters are more lively and they help you develop a lighter touch.  I recommend you try both and start to learn your preference.
  • Handles: Again, many of you have your favorites. Mine are Koh-I-Noor #127N because of the soft cork grip.
  • Gouache: black recommend Winsor & Newton ‘Lamp Black’
    • gouache container
    • 1/4″ flat boar hair charging brush
    • water dispenser
  • Mechanical pencil (lining Pencil)  and pencil sharpener
  • Ruler & Triangle
  • Paper for practice and final project.

Gothic Calligraphy – 4 Weeks. Monday Evenings 6-8 pm ($80) – Starts Monday, October 17

Participants should bring in a poem, quote, scripture, et al that want to use for their final project. Individual attention on every letter and with their Final Project. Make up classes available.

Class one: Lower case
Class two: Upper case and Drop Shadow techniques
Class three: Batarde Capitals
Class four: Final Project presentations
Supplies:
  • mechanical pencil (lining pencil) and sharpener
  • ruler: Lenex super 20″ (no slip) is what I demonstrate with and recommend
  • Papers: practice and for final project.
  • Pilot Pen 3.8mm (green top)
  • Tombow N-89

 


And now, back to work on my Travel Journal for the trip…oh, and packing!

Next week’s post will be from Germany!
Stay Crazy My Friends!

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!

 

Check…Mate!

This week is full of final detail planning for our upcoming European adventure, but you know I always take time out for my Diva Challenge (#283)! This week was a Use My Tangle (UMT) by CZT Aleesha Sativa, who currently resides in Thailand. Her tangle, Center Square, is a play on Knightsbridge, with lots of coloring! I tried to make it a bit less angular with a wonky grid, and some Printemps. I used of of my pre-dyed tiles, and spiced it up a little with some Shimmer Mist. I wish the sparkles showed up better in the pictures…but…I think  you get the picture.

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Had a fun Tangle Journals session with my regular crowd, and one of the tangles we worked out was Arukas. My student, Angela, did some “what if” exploring with different types of lines. I thought it was pretty neat to see different progressions!

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I also got a bit of sewing done this week. Up-cycled one of Mike’s old shirts into an apron, and learned a practice lesson on making double-fold bias binding. I was thinking this might make a great class for some basic sewing skills!

And not to be left out, I have been noodling around with my new Brother Scan’nCut 2…seems like a lot of potential for some stuff to tangle on! It cuts, it scans, it draws…possibilities are endless!

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And now I have to get back to the vacation planning…more like planning how much beer I can drink at Octoberfest…lol. I am open for any suggestions on places to see or things to do around Munich and Venice. I have some things in mind (And I lived outside of Munich as a child) but I am always open for new ideas!

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.

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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!

Double-ING Up

So…you may have noticed (or not) that I was absent from posting last week. I was spending time with my adorable grandson and his parents. We had all kinds of adventures; the beach, Balboa Park, the pool, and, of course, the Hotel Del Coronado for a fabulous sunset.

And I did actually get last weeks (#280) Diva Challenge completed, I just didn’t get it posted. And now, the Olympics are over. I was pretty underwhelmed by them this year, and watched none of the coverage. I am usually all over that…not sure what my issue was. I used a Renaissance Tan Zendala because I thought, well, Rio and tans and Arukas looked like Carnival to me.

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And we also had a fun class exploring the Tints on Tan technique by Marty Deckel.  And who knew wearing 2 pairs of glasses was better than one!

But…I did this weeks (#281) study of ING to complete the page in my step out Tangle Journal…so I almost feel like I was cheating, because it was nearly complete already. Not sure if you can tell, but there are actually 2 rows of ING there, with the pearls separating them. I like it. ING was the “new” tangle for my CZT Seminar (#14) and I love it’s angular-ness. Very architectural!

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I have finished a few other pieces this week…tried Lynn Mead’s Abeko in my purse journal, along with a Zedbra frame I had already started.

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I am happy to say that I have both the September AND October Schedules up on the site now, so be sure to check out the upcoming classes. I will be on vacation for a little while during that time, but will be working around it!

AND…drum roll…Risa Gettler will be teaching BOTH Italic AND Gothic Calligraphy starting in October at the shop! I’ll be adding those dates to the schedule in the next few days. EXCITING!

Did you know you can order online from me? Check out my Square store linked here…I am in the process of adding more pictures and spiffing up the online shop…everything your tangly heart needs!


And I know you want this, so I will leave you with this beautiful macaroon from E.A.T. Marketplace. I swear they are my one weakness….salted caramel…sparkly gold…

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Stay Crazy My Friends!