Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Lazy Days of Summer: Diva Challenge #224 - Tipple, Square One Meer, That's New To Me #26 "N", New Tangle "Fichy"

Happy Birthday to Chewie - 7 years old and looking good!  Laura's photos of the backyard party are so great and bring back memories of the fun days of my own childhood.  By the time my girls were ready for parties, pizza and video games were the rage, or rent a hotel pool or some such.  I always loved the hanging out in the back yard and running around getting grass stains on my freshly ironed cotton dress (oops!)  My birthday is in the winter, so parties were mostly indoors, but we still got outside for snowballs, skating or sledding before digging into the cake and ice cream. One of my favorite parties (I may have been about 7) involved each girl (always segregated parties in those days) fashioning a fancy hat out of colored tissue paper and then we paraded up and down the block to show them off.  How we strutted!

I did have to chuckle at the photo of the boys frolicking with the hose to cool off...at 27 degrees Celsius, which translates to about 80 Fahrenheit.  Where I live now, that is almost winter!  The past couple weeks here have been hanging in at about 112F, which equates to 44.44C - I looked it up! Oh well, as my husband says, I never have to shovel that sunshine. 

So, happy summer!  At any temperature!

What better relaxing and effortless tangle for a summer day than Tipple?  Always a go-to to spice up some other tangle, this time we make it shine on its own.  As I read Laura's blog on Monday, I had a cup of my favorite morning beverage in front of me and as I looked down, guess what was there? 

Renaissance tile with gelly roll pens, Derwent Intense pencils and white chalk pencil.


The Square One focus for the week was Meer.  So many people did beautiful ribbons and folds with all kinds of embellishments - pearls, flowers, la-la-la!  I never quite get to that point.  So I just gave it a double wash across the tile and topped it with my new tangle, Fichy (step-out below), and tucked in a few Inapods.  While working on this tile, I had that familiar sense of disappointment that it didn't look like much.  When I started to add the shading, though, it all snapped into place and now I'm pretty well satisfied with this!  I think the lesson there is to go through the Zentangle process - the entire process - and see what you get.  I often surprise myself.

For Suzy Mosh's That's New To Me Week #26, we were to use tangles beginning with "N" that we have not used before and include any tangle by Neil Burley.  He is a prolific tangle-pattern creator, and has published a book of them.  I was able to download a copy.  The price is £3.50 GBPt with the current exchange rate, it is only $5.64, as opposed to about $8.00 when Neil first offered the book.  Well worth adding his beauties to your repertoire of tangles.  I used two of his in my previous work for the Beads of Courage challenge and the "D" TNTM challenge. 

Here, I have used Caren Mlot's Navaho, Beth Snoderly's Nuwave, and Neil Burley's Rokpool.  What I learned from this one - don't be afraid of the dark!  I added black fill and extra shading to get a result I liked.


Last week I tried out Tina Hunziker's lovely new tangle, Discolea.  Thank you, Linda Farmer, for your post about it and especially for pointing us to the tutorial on how to draw the Ogee grid.

I have avoided using patterns of that type because I can never control those wavy lines to make them line up.  But with the newfound skill I learned, here is what I did with Discolea,

I started experimenting with the grid and came up with a similar tangle, but one I think is different enough to warrant a new name.  If you look at the shapes, you will know why I named it Fichy - oh yeah!  There they are!
So, it has been a busy, good week.  Stay cool!
Thank your for stopping by and know that I cherish all your comments.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Diva Challenge #223 - Umble, That's New To Me #25 - "F", Square One - Arukas - and meandering...

This week's Diva Challenge was to use the original tangle Umble in our work.  It looks like an easy one - just U-shaped bands drawn in a Hollibaugh fashion.  What could go wrong?  Well, all I could think of as I was drawing was that this challenge was indeed making me H-umble!  My U's are all lumpy and uneven.  I had to concentrate SO HARD to get the little border lines drawn close to, but not touching, the edges of each curve.  Even now, as I get ready to post this, I can't help but think it looks like a can full of fish bait! 

This exercise made me think of the concept of humility.  This quality is part of both Eastern and Western religious thought, and is actually very tricky.  Here are some quotes I found about humility.  Note the last one in light of the tricky part!
  • Humility is throwing oneself away in complete concentration on something or someone else. - Madeleine L'Engle
  • One cannot be humble and aware of oneself at the same time.  - Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet
  • I think that there is a very close connection between humility and patience. - His Holiness The Dalai Lama
  • It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels. - Saint Augustine
  • All streams flow to the ocean because it is lower than they are. Humility gives the ocean its power. - Lao Tzu
  • Humility, that low, sweet root, from which all heavenly virtues shoot. - Thomas Moore
  • Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less. - C. S. Lewis
  • The proud man can learn humility, but he will be proud of it. - Mignon McLaughlin
I can't help but focus on the two quotes by Madeline L'Engle  and that of The Dalai Lama when thinking about Zentangle. 

The practice of Zentangle requires us to employ patience in our strokes and also patience in knowing what the final tile will be when completed.  That is not always apparent as we work through each tangle. Sometimes it is not apparent until we add shading or a black fill between shapes or some rounding to the meet points of our strokes.  What at first may appear bland and ordinary suddenly snaps into focus and becomes extraordinary.

When we are fully immersed in drawing our tangles, we can indeed, throw ourselves away in complete concentration.  That is one of the foundational elements of Zentangle.  Rick and Maria's story of how the idea of Zentangle came to be involves just such a state of mind. 

The idea of mindfulness also connects with the concept of humility.  When we focus on each moment, in Zentangle, each stroke, we are not comparing our work with that of others.  We do not say, oh, I have just made a masterpiece.  We concentrate on the task of setting down this stroke at this moment.  Then, we focus likewise on the next.  We continue until we have filled our space.  The result is beautiful, but not because we were proud of ourselves for making that stroke.  Even if we achieve a resulting tile that we are exceedingly pleased with, how much more beautiful is it when placed in a mosaic with tiles that others have done?  Some of the most wonderful moments I experienced at CZT training were viewing those end-of-the-session or end-of-the-day displays of the work of 108 tanglers all together on a table.  They lifted my heart!

So, here is my humble contribution to the Diva's challenge:

That's New To Me #25 challenge was to use tangles beginning with "F" that we had not used before.  I used Deb Eichorn's tangle "Farling" and Sandra Strait's tangle "Foh-Glove".  Interestingly, Linda Farmer described Farling as a "masculine" tangle.  Maybe, but not in the hands of a lifelong girly-girl...

Square One: Purely Zentangle focused on Arukas this week.  Having done this tangle a number of times, and having seen the beautiful work of so many tanglers, it was a challenge to know how to use it once again.  This came to me in a dream.  The scanner made it crooked, but I'll accept that today. 

Finally, I tried to do a little Meander Book for my granddaughter's birthday.  Apparently, my instruction-following skills are a little lacking, because the last section was sticking out the wrong way!  Oh well, I cut it off and used the rest.  I punched a hole in the edge and tied it with a bit of twine.   I think this abbreviated version works just fine.  Hope she likes it!


Thank you for stopping by and know that I cherish your comments.


Monday, June 15, 2015

On The Same Wavelength; Diva Challenge #222- COLOR!, and That's New To Me #24

It's interesting to me how thoughts seem to be shared by many people unknowingly.  How the universe connects us together even though we may be unaware of the connection.  (Part of the reason I  like Common Prayer where people all around the world say the same prayers, often at the same time. Maybe they are somehow stronger.)  This week I have been seeing lots of posts online about tangling on a photograph.  Margaret Bremner posted a beautiful piece she tangled on a black and white photo of some architectural columns.  Another blogger is a photographer and has published a collection of photographs specifically for people to tangle on. 

And then...The Diva posts a challenge to use color.  I know there will be tons of gorgeous, glorious, riotous, crazy good colored works to admire this week!  But you know how I am...

The strange part is, I have been hanging on to a selfie photo that my granddaughter posted on Facebook.  She, of the formerly glorious, glowing light brown natural hair color, has seen fit to bleach her locks and color them shades of pink. 

Well, I'm all for self expression, and her mother and aunts all hit the hair color aisle in their early teens, too.  My oldest daughter died hers a Strawberry Shortcake doll hot pink at about this age.  None of us actually remember what this child's mother's natural hair color is, as it has been colored any and every hue since she was 13 or so... hehe! The youngest has taken her brown hair back to her childhood blonde shade (She was so cute - like Cindy Brady!..I digress...)   I, of the color phobia, resisted coloring my hair until I was well into my 50s.  Now, my reddish curls are what everyone notices about me!

My first thought on seeing this photo with the hair going every which way was that it would be fun to tangle.  So, here is my Tangled Pemba Kai... Gosh, that was FUN!  

(DISCLAIMER: actually, I posted this on one of the Square One boards a couple of days ago, but  I really like this so figured double duty was not in infraction of the rules, right? I should do something more, but...you know me and color...)
* * *  

That's New To Me #24 was to use tangles beginning with "R" and include one or more patterns by the artist Lila Popcheff.  Wow, she has about a billion of them on her blog site!  (http://poppiespenpics.blogspot.com/p/poppies-patterns.html)
Hard to choose!  I loved a number of them, but you can only put so many tangles on one little tile...  I chose the R tangles Reye by Penny Raille, Radi8 by Lizzie Mayne and Lila's tangle Zoose.  Interestingly, my first instinct was to strip away some of the details and just use the basic shape.  But once I got the design put together, I found they were just the right thing!  See - TRUST!  Thanks, Bijou!

* * *
For Square One: Purely Zentangle, the focus this week was Flux.  I was still enamored with Genevieve Crabe's tangle Demi, and started playing around in my sketchbook.  Flux is usually so flowing and flowery and organic looking, but that doesn't seem to be my style.  So, here is my response to that focus.

Then I did another tile just because... Everyone seems to be loving Narwal lately - and why not!  With Sand Swirl and Waax.

* * *
In other news, I finished tangling that wooden box - finally!  So, I am moving past the little square tile now.  Yay!  But original Zentangle tiles, I still love you best...
I guess the upshot of this whole post is that we as a Zentangle community encourage us to move forward, expand our creativity, try new things and embrace the imperfect.  Like everyone else out there, I have self-imposed limitations that I am working to be free of.   Each of us tends to stay within our own little garden and never venture out into the world.  I'm so grateful to have found Zentangle (yes, through a woman who is NOT a CZT, but passed along the beginning seed of Zentangle to our creative arts community).  I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to become a CZT and to have an expressive art form that I can work at every day - no big studio or messy table required! 
Thank you for stopping by and for your comments.  I cherish them all!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Diva Challenge #221 - Beads of Courage; That's New To Me #23 - "D" and Genevieve Crabe, and SQ1 - Msst

Our Diva's weekly challenge is to represent Beads of Courage to support the program in which she and her little Artoo are in.  It awards colored beads to kids with serious medical challenges each time they endure a test, a procedure, a treatment or overcome an obstacle.  What a lovely idea with a beautiful memento that grows with time.  Laura is a tireless advocate for her beautiful son and for others who face the unthinkable difficulties that some children must.  Each of us with healthy children and grandchildren must say a prayer of thanks every day and a prayer for blessings on those who are not so fortunate.

When I read this challenge, I was already working on the weekly That's New To Me challenge, and had found this wonderful tangle by Neil Burley called "Decostar".  It takes a bit of time to line everything all up, but is not too difficult to draw.  I thought it looked like an award medal, and decided it should hold Beads of Courage.  I used Prismacolor pencils (gasp, yes I did!) with brown and black Microns and a white gelly roll pen on a Renaissance Zendala tile.  I don't know why the scanner chopped off little bits of the tile, but here it is.  I love the color.  Yep, I do.  I promise to lose that color phobia soon... I just received my "Tints on Tan" kit from Marty Deckel, and am really excited to try that out now!

So, back at the "That's New To Me" corral, I still had to use some new stuff.  I had also found Neil Burley's other related tangle, Decodiamonds.  Being the literal person that I am, I just lined them up as shown in the step-out and bordered them with Genevieve Crabe's Demi (wasn't I good to use a tangle of hers that also started with a "D"?)  I love how that tangle self-shades and is so bold.  I think I'll be using that one again!  When I got the Deco things in place, I first added the interior "panel" and tried some major shading to give it depth.  I didn't like it, so I did the bad thing and erased the shading I had started.  Then I realized they reminded me of folded tuxedo shirts and I added the buttons down the front.  The minimal shading I added is to represent the pin-tucked feel of a crisp white shirt.  Really, whoever invented the whole tuxedo formal wear look for men really understood what makes a man look amazing, I must say.  Uh, Honey...don't you want to dress up for the party?... (hehe)

The Square One: Purely Zentangle focus this week is Msst.  The Phoenix area is having an unusual spring and early summer, to say the least.  May was much cooler (how lovely!) than we usually expect, and June has started out to be cloudier and just strange.  Monsoon season starts June 15, but this year we had the earliest June rain (on the 5th) in history.  Plus, you understand, Monsoon is not about rain, but about wind and dust.  So this is a strange year.  I stylized my Msst and added some mountains and a river wash.  I never used that River Stones tangle, but after I watched a video on how to draw it (the RIGHT way), now I love it!   Normally I don't do such landscape-y things, but this one I like.  After four years living out here, I am finally starting to relate to the surroundings instead of feeling like I am on some other planet.  I still miss peonies and lilies of the valley and loamy black dirt.  Oh well!  I have bougainvillea and olive trees.  And Mountains!

So, thank you for stopping by and for your thoughts and comments.


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Diva Challenge #220 All Boxed Up, That's New To Me #21 and #22, Square One Focus - Rain

This week the Diva posted a "Use My Tangle" challenge for "All Boxed Up", which is one of those interesting tangles that completel changes depending on how you arrange the squares.  What did Rick Roberts call that?  A metadesign, I believe.  Cool!

What a wonderful way to look at life - you start with the basics, but the outcome can completely change just by your choice of how you arrange the pieces.  I see it every day where I live in my community of "peers of a certain age"...  Some people live to the fullest, and are bursting with joy and a sense of fun.  Others, no matter what opportunities, diversions, beautiful surroundings and the fact that they are likely financially privileged, always greet each day with grumbles, frowns, sad tales, and a love of their own misery.  What a life! 

In my case, I had been working on Rain for Square One, and I think my boxes got rained on...but I'll take the result and know the outcome is warped fun!

The Square One tile I did for Rain was a little story tile, as I did an interpretation of sun and shadows and raindrops - a little thunderstorm in 3.5 format!

For That's New To Me, I am, as usual, a week behind - uh-oh!  For Week #21, the theme was "R" and Helen Williams.  I used the tangles Rosewood, a simplified version of Rhipidate and Helen Williams' Steps.  Those steps remind me of the staircase in "The Name of the Rose".  Great movie!

For Week #22, the focus was letter "A" and artist Margaret Bremner.  I must say, Suzy, you do know how to pick the best of the best!  Helen and Margaret are two of my Zentangle Idols.  Hey, we need a new acronym -"ZI"!  Do I get extra credit for making that up?  Haha.

At any rate, I used tangles ABC, Abakus, and Margaret's Zedbra.  I attempted (with mixed success) to use Margaret's technique of swapping light and dark at the string line.   Well...it kinda works!

Thank you for stopping by and for your thoughts and comments.