Thursday, February 19, 2015

Diva Challenge #205 Chinese Year of the Goat, SQ1 Huggins and That's New To Me "W"

Happy Chinese New Year! 

Let me say right now, I knew nothing about this celebration except having seen the beautiful parades on the news every year and knowing they are WAY past 2015 - 4713 to be precise!  The only other thing I knew was that my Vietnamese nail technician gave me a good luck envelope with a $2 bill in it.  So sweet of her, and I learned that the Vietnamese also celebrate this day.

I Googled Chinese New Year and learned a few things.  First, it is a huge family reunion day.  Travelers visiting family represent the largest pilgrimage in the world.  Unlike the western New Year's celebrations that are more about champagne and "grown-up" parties.  Babysitters get premium rates that day, a fact I always appreciated way back when.

Here is what Wikipedia says about the origin of the animal associations:
A Charming New Year
Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal's year would have some of that animal's personality. Those born in sheep years are often artistic, charming, sensitive, and sweet. It is known as the most creative sign in the Chinese zodiac.
and this:
Fireworks and Family Feasts
At Chinese New Year celebrations people wear red clothes, decorate with poems on red paper, and give children "lucky money" in red envelopes. Red symbolizes fire, which according to legend can drive away bad luck. The fireworks that shower the festivities are rooted in a similar ancient custom. Long ago, people in China lit bamboo stalks, believing that the crackling flames would frighten evil spirits.
So, now I know a bit more.  Being a Capricorn, I like this goat thing, so here is my New Year Goat:

For Square One: Purely Zentangle, the weekly focus is Huggins.  Here is what I posted on Facebook for that group:


 Finally, the That's New To Me challenge was the letter "W". I used Wist from Shelly Beauch  and Windfarm from Margaret Bremner.

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Diva Challenge #204: Valentangle and SQ1 Well

I try not to "corrupt my palate" by viewing everyone's entries to the Diva challenge before I do mine, but I have been slow on the uptake this week and thought I would sample a few.  I checked out the Duchess's entry, which was really lovely and innovative.  Her blog mentioned that her kids refer to the February 14 observation as "Singles Awareness Day".  I love that!

You may know that I recently, in my dotage as it were, married the excellent Mr. Joe.  Prior to that, I was single for 33 years after having been married only 7 years, with the last two of those being legally separated.  I'm all for romance and marriage, mind you, but it just never worked out for me during that time. 

All those years I watched others celebrate Valentines Day with their sweethearts, receiving lovely flower arrangements at their offices, sporting new jewelry, enjoying oysters and champagne at divine restaurants, weekend getaways, teary FB tributes to their loves, yada-yada-yada...  I watched HGTV episodes on Shabby Chic decorating with hearts, doilies, roses  and pink depression glass table settings.  I endured grocery aisle magazine displays of pink and red filled covers extolling the romantic delights of the day.

Bah humbug!  I could really have used Singles Awareness Day!

But now, here I am, far from my birthplace,  in the Valley of the Sun with my loving husband.  Add the bonus of his sister and brother-in-law living a couple of miles from us (double date entertaining!!)
and a community of over 55's with every type of activity and entertainment  you could want.  So guess what?  I'm hosting a Valentines Day dinner for six with an elegant menu and pretty red and pink decorations all over the place!  Life really is like that box of chocolates. 

So, Happy Valentines Day and Singles Awareness Day to us all!

Here is my take on the Diva Challenge.  I had this heart laying around (all too true...) so I tangled it.  I don't know what the paper is, but neither pencil worked very well on it, but oh well.  Life is not perfect, but can be good anyway!


For the Square One Focus, the tangle this week was Well.  I wanted to try out a few of the various layouts, which give it a very different look each time, but as in life, once I got finished dressing, there wasn't time.  This is "Well Dressed":

Well Dressed

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Diva's Weekly Challenge #203 and That's New to Me #5 - It's ALL New This Week!

Our Diva has given us the monthly "Use My Tangle" challenge with a tangle Athitzi by Eleanor Holt.  Laura said she likes the UMT challenge because she gets to learn at least one new tangle a month.  I have taken things further by starting to follow Suzy Mosh's weekly challenges to use one or more new-to-you tangles beginning with a particular letter (so far that's the approach - who knows where that one will lead).  Looking back at my work, I was getting pretty good at using my "comfort zone" tangles, but felt I needed a push.

Athitzi is a surprising tangle.  It looks like "so?"  when you look at the steps, but once you start doing it, you get such nice terraced layers with the promise of real enhancement with shading.  I know I will use this one again.  There is little thinking involved and it is so relaxing to draw.

For my New-To-Me "M" tangle, there were several nice ones that caught my eye.  I love Miasma, which I plan to use later this week with Quandary so I can post on the Square One FB page.  Haven't gotten that far yet.  But the one I really liked was Minline by Mei Hua Teng (Damy), whose work I am totally in love with.

In the interest of killing two birds with one stone (metaphorically speaking only - I couldn't do that!), I decided to combine my efforts.  Here is what I got - Athitzi and Minline.

Don't forget to check out all the beautiful entries on the and

Sunday, February 1, 2015

That's New To Me Week #4 - sorry I'm late...

I got a late start on this, but had fun getting to know U!

I used Undling, Umble, Uncorked, and Uni.  My new Strathmore Toned Gray sketch book was calling to me, so new tangles on new paper.

This was more challenging than I anticipated. The texture of the paper is different than official tiles, and the color requires some new thinking.  But here is what I got, and after this sporting event on TV, I will give some thought to "M".