Plating Your Tangles

After the enormity of last weeks post, I feel like I am letting everyone down this week! In my defense, it was only a couple days ago.

This week, the Diva is still on her summer break, so Guest Blogger Jeanette Clawson, CZT tasked us with a plate for our tangles. We did these for a swap at TangleU and I really enjoyed it. And of course, I am still on a kick using my own tangle (Abukas) and simply keep trying to put haKrall in new situation (thank you Holly!) So, here I present a plate of tangles for Diva Challenge #330.


The tile is a shaving foam marbled paper by Annette Carlo CZT. I simply love using these backgrounds to tangle on, so I decided I would share the ones I love the most as my monthly special for September. Be sure to sign up for Paper Play and come play with me! We will be exploring this, as well as some alcohol ink (mono prints and ceramic tiles,) suminagashi (Japanese marbling,) and some different watercolor backgrounds. Oh, and I will also be teaching a few new tangles to use on those!


And the rest of the September schedule is posted now too. There are still a few seats left for Renaissance Express with Cris Letourneau on September 11. Consider coming to spend the day with us!

Have a great week!

Welcome to 2017

Ok…I know…I did not really need to take a few weeks off from blogging. Not good for business, etc. But sometimes, you have to refocus your intentions and get some things done. Get through the holidays. Spend time with loved ones. Make art.

I set some pretty lofty goals for myself this year. All measurable and attainable, though, so I know I can do it. The first one is to get my blog posts in on Monday. So, I think I did that! (1 down, 51 to go!)

What better way to start off the New Year than with a new Use My Tangle (UMT)  Diva Challenge! Challenge #298 comes to us in the form of the tangle Orbs-la-Dee by Anneke van Dam. It is a nice filler tangle, and has a few cute variations. I decided to use it on a tile where I was testing the Sakura Micron against the Copic Multi-Liner SP. I wanted to see if I could tell the difference, so I divided the tile in half and tangled the same tangle on both halves.

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Honestly, there isn’t a lot of difference. To the naked eye, the Copic looks slightly different when next to the Micron, but if you used just the Copic, that difference wouldn’t matter. I think the deal here is the price points more than anything else. They are both pigment inks, archival, etc. But I think my real love of the Copic is that it is more economical in the long run, not to mention more environmentally friendly. It is refillable, and has replaceable nibs. The refills last longer than a Micron, and the nibs stay juicier a lot longer. So instead of carrying extra pens when I travel, I only need refills. The con side to this is the starter price of the Copic. I sell the Microns for $2.25 US…the Copics are $11 US. But…the refills are the price of a Micron….and last at least twice as long.

And…as luck would have it for you, my readers, I can supply these lovely pens for you! (Leave me a note below.)


So you know that I have not been slacking over the holidays, I shall produce proof!

First up, I participated in the 12 Days of 3Zs Challenge from Zentangle®. Although I got my tiles late and did not finish them in time for the actual contest, I did, in fact, finish them before Christmas! They make a pretty mosaic star:

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And individually:

These tiles are a lot of fun, and take a little less time when  you only have a short time to tangle. And the pre-strung set take the stress out too!


At our December Friendship group meeting, we had a nice gift exchange, and I was the lucky recipient of a handmade latka book, from my friend and fellow CZT Hiroko Hashimoto. She tangled on the covers:

And I realized that I have a huge stack of these really cool journals and books, and I do not use many of them. I have yet to make one pen stroke in the journal I received at CZT training. So, I decided now was the time to start! The paper in this one is really interesting…it has a lot of texture and character. It also pills excessively when shading (hint: use a lint roller prior to spraying fixative.)

I have been trying to do a page or 2 a week. Seems like a good place to try out some new things.


I noodled around with my Scan ‘n Cut 2 some more and came up with these snowflakes:

The paper is an Astrobrights Metallic card stock, and I used Sakura Glaze pens on them. It is a fairly non-porous surface, although they say you can print on them with an ink jet printer. I have tangled on this paper with a regular Gelly Roll pen, but I find the Micron does not show up well.

Also came up with this cute little ornament from 3 Bijou tiles.

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I did an end of the year recap on my FitBit…I walked over 1,300 miles! The chart was interesting. I started playing PokemonGo in July (my FitBit broke in August, so I was without it for 10 days, and I was sick a good part of December.)

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This year, I am setting a goal of 1,500 miles. That is attainable, if it ever stops raining. The rain is a conundrum for me. We need it badly here in California, but it is severely cramping my walking! But…the rain also gives us beautiful rainbows.

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That was the most magnificent one I have ever seen, and it was right from my home studio window.

I am not going to tell you to stay crazy anymore.

I am going to tell you to make art. It will keep the crazy away!

Sometimes, You Just Have to Walk Away…

Right before I left on my fabulous vacation back in September, I was wearing my super cool Tangle Me Crazy Lotus Mandala t-shirt.

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I stopped in at my favorite Japanese market (Myrukai) to pick up dinner and a few groceries on my way back from our very fun Tangle By the Bay retreat. One of those grocery items was my favorite radish kimchi. Well…apparently on the trip home, it got a little shook up. And being a fermented food, it was seeping a little from the pressure in the bottle…and when I opened it (over the sink, of course!) it exploded…all over my t-shirt.

Now…I had planned on taking that t-shirt with me to show off to the European CZT’s at our meet up in Cookham, UK. So I pre-treated it, and washed it…still stained…I did it again…still stained…and one more time…still stained. In utter frustration, I doused it liberally with Spray and Wash stain remover and threw it in the laundry room sink. I was very sad.

So nearly 3 weeks passed, and when we unpacked after the trip, I found myself with a mountain of laundry to do (although we did some it at the laundry mat in Venice…how cool is that?) So I see the shirt in the sink, pick it up, and low and behold, the stains are GONE!

I guess the point here is, If you do the right thing, with the passage of time, everything comes out all right. And…if you want a cool t-shirt like mine, click here…you can buy them at my shop!


Ok, enough of my travails. What you are really here for is to see pretty things!

This week’s Diva Challenge (#290) is a duo tangle of Flux and N’zepple. I love both tangles, and decided to use Flux as my container. And I was being fall-ish with the Renaissance Tan tile (or lazy, because that was what was in my bag and I did not feel like walking upstairs to get a white one…lol.)

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And since I didn’t get a post done last week, here is the Leafy Goodness that is Diva Challenge #289!

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I am really loving combining quilling with Zentangle. They go together so well. I will be doing a special Christmas quilling design class in December, so be on the look out for that!


We are also up to Gothic Calligraphy at the shop this month, with an ongoing series being taught by Risa Gettler. I was playing around whilst practicing my letters the other day, and playing with Hannah Geddes’ Mandala Template. And this happened.

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Well…I couldn’t just leave it like that…and I had a clock I had disassembled in the shop that needed a new face. So now it turned into this:

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So long Sons of Anarchy clock…lol.


I did not realize how busy I have been these past 2 weeks until I started writing my post. I started a purge and organize campaign both here at the home studio and the shop, trying to make things more accessible and easier to find. (that, is a long story all of its own!)

I made it through my entire fabric stash so far, dumped all the fabrics I had been holding onto for costuming and what-not, and organized my quilting stash. Emptied out the little used filing cabinet for the bigger pieces.

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And folded all the fat quarters into an ArtBin Super Satchel. That felt really GOOD!

And not to be left out, I finally found a container to get all my Gelly Roll Pens in one place.

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I will contain this mess!


AND…lastly…I have a pineapple guava tree in my backyard that I planted 3 years ago that has never fruited, until this year. I was blessed with an abundance of fruit, more than we could possibly eat before it spoiled, so I found a recipe and made chutney out of it.

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And you cannot have a great chutney without some curry to go with it!

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Yum! (and, it was pretty healthy homemade!)


Speaking of healthy, I am walking my fish this week…(Pokemon Go thing…it amuses me.)

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And now I need to get back to work…Stay Crazy My Friends!

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!

 

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)

Walking ’round in Circles

Seems to be a moving kind of theme this past few weeks. I have been a lot more active, and seems like the Diva Challenge (#277) is right there with me. This week’s theme is Running ’round in Circles. But…I am a walker. I loved to run, and missed it a lot when I had to stop because of joint and back issues…but…I still walk. And I can do circles. I found tile in my bin that looked like it had a circle on it for my string (Twinkling H2O background!)

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And I decided to stick with an “orby” type theme…

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It is so sparkly in person…one of these days I’ll figure out how to photo the sparkles.


I also got this one in during yesterdays private lesson. I love working on Kona paper. It has such great tooth for using the General’s Multi Pastels on. The glow is amazing! (5.5″ square)

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Over the weekend, I did a new weekend crafters market at Vail Headquarters. It was super hot, so there weren’t many people out. I will be doing this once a month and then a bit more frequently right before Christmas. Here is our little set up:

And now, I’m off to practice calligraphy, since I have not done that all week.

Stay Crazy & Catch Them All My Friends!

(Last weeks tally:  75,259 Steps, 38.03 miles, 4 pounds gone!)

Give Peace a Chance?

I sit here writing this with a lot of turbulence in my brain today.

I’ve just come off a very awesome week of working at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game Fan Fest as a volunteer. It was a lot of fun helping people get the most out of their visit to beautiful Southern California. The weather was perfect and there were only a few negative folks around. All in all, everyone, including me, had a good time. (Excuse my bright, shiny forehead, but it wasn’t easy taking a selfie at the world’s largest baseball with all the crazy lights they were using.)

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And I carried on having a great start to this week, with a guest Diva (#275), Suzanne Fluhr, CZT. Suzanne is an awesome blogger, and I enjoy reading her travelogs very much, so when she wrote this week’s challenge, she did so with a heavy heart over all the hateful things that have been going on in our beautiful country as of late. Suzanne wanted us to Give Peace a Chance. I love that song…and it played over and over in my head while I was working on this:

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I wish that everyone on the planet would take a minute and step out of their own lives and just be nice to other people. I trust that this can happen. I meditate on it frequently.

The conflict in my brain today comes from my desire for peace, and my desire for safety in my community. In the past couple of years, the homeless population in our town has increased quite a bit. Well intentioned people give them food and money, instead of directing them to the social services that can help them, and now suddenly we have a problem. I’m sad for their plight. I truly feel for them (and its been a bit on the warm side here, so that makes their comfort here a bit uneasy.) I know there are many programs here set up to help them, but as we all learn the hard way, you have to want help to seek it. But what do we do? It is a bit of a conundrum.

Just Trust Peace.


On the shop notes for this week, we have some fun stuff on the schedule. Rock and Tangle is Friday night (the 15th) from 4-9 pm. Regardless of what you are working on, come on down and play! I have all kinds of fun things to try if you are in a slump. Making stuff always makes you happy!

Black and White Summer is shaping up to be a great time too. Saturday, the 23rd, from 10-3, I have an awesome technique to share with you. Bring your basic tangle supplies, I will supply the rest. My good pal Karen did hers ahead of time since she will be out of town, so here is a preview:

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She says it is not done yet, but I think it is shaping up quite nicely! I am working on a small set of my initials, so far I finished K. Hopefully will have the C done soon!

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I should have the August schedule up by the end of the week.

A parting shot from the traveling exhibit from Cooperstown (The Baseball Hall of Fame.) There be Giants there. Say Hey Willie Mays!

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Stay Crazy My Friends.

Bang…Boom…BLAM!

Yep, that’s right…it is Independence Day here in the United States. I also like to call it the day we find out which of our neighborhood kids are not that smart and got illegal fireworks. (Disclaimer…Southern California is VERY dry and we have a really wicked fire season here, where many of the fires are human caused…)

But…all in all, it is a good day to be American. As a veteran, I know what it took to get here, and while I worry about the future of my country, I do celebrate it with the traditional baseball (Giants won, 3-1 over the Rockies,) hot dogs (bacon wrapped and baked, with mole aloi, chopped onions, and dijon,) and tangling (in support of this week’s Diva Challenge #274 entitled My Country Tis of Thee.)

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The scanner never picks up the glitter and sparkle, but I think sometimes less is more. I sprayed the background through a star stencil with my eBrush and Spectrum Noir markers, then tangled with a blue Micron, clear Stardust Gelly Roll, Silver Gelly Roll, and indigo and white chalk pastels. Seems more complicated when I type it out (kinda like those hot dogs…lol.)


Been doing some other finishing this week, and this ultra cute elephant (or elephunk as I call him) emerged.

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I seem to use an awful lot of pens for something so small…lol. He is Brusho paints dabbed through a Dreamweaver stencil. I decided I liked the paint bleeds and didn’t cover them up. I think it makes him look artsy.


I also finally finished this great up-cycle project for a display frame.

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I had 2 frames left from a reframing project, and used a piano hinge to join them, and installed eye screws and picture wire in copper and silver. The clips are quilting clips. I did learn the importance of drilling pilot holes for the eye screws after one of them slipped and left a nasty gash in my left palm. But other than that, I think it came out really CUTE!


I am going to be a bit busy this week, with classes and I volunteered to work the Major League Baseball All-Star FanFest in San Diego. For anyone that knows how much I love baseball, this is going to be a very memorable event for me, and I get to be involved for free! I don’t get to see the game (except on TV) but just being around so much baseball stuff is awesome!

Stay Crazy My Friends!