Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Diva Challenge 236 The Unexpected, TNTM #38 "Z", SQ1 Meringue, New Tangle OYBAY and Wanna do a Throwback?

Welcome Gentle Readers,

The hubby and I have been enjoying our staycation with some nice restaurant visits and no cooking for me in between as we have high-end left overs!  Plus, my "consolation prize" for not going on vacation (really, I'm not being petulant - this was HIS idea - he is the beneficiary...) is a new red VITAMIX BLENDER!!!!   It came with a cookbook of over 300 pages, has all kinds of auto modes including hot soup and frozen desserts (yumyumyum...) and lots of potential good eating!  Not this week, though - I'm not cooking until next week!
Should we start a "Throwback" feature?  I pulled out an old tile (way below), that I did a couple years ago.  I hope my work has improved since then, so I amped it up with some extra shading.  Sorry I didn't take a shot of it before.  It got me to thinking I could host a "Throwback" for my friends out there, where I'd have links to post your images of something you did maybe a year ago or whatever, and that you wanted to either compare with your newer "better" work or whatever.   It could be "improve" an old tile, show your old work and re-do the same tangles now that you are armed with a new skill, take an old tile and add color, enhance an old tile with rounding, adding black to the background,  something like that?   Would you go for that?  I'll try really hard to pick a consistent day to post my blog, and the natural inclination would be Thursday. What do you think ?

So, on to this week in tangling:
DIVA Challenge #236
The Diva has asked us to tangle on something unexpected.  I chose a champagne cork, which I thought would be so easy!  I used brown and black Identipens with white Gelly Roll accents.  The regular Microns didn't work well at all because of the texture of the cork.  Even with the Identipen, it was not as easy as I thought, but I had fun doing this and I like the result!  It now resides in the basket with all the other reminders of our wine enhanced (induced?) good times.

That's New To Me #38 - "Z"
This week I chose the tangles Z-Trik by Yamit Fridman and Zeta by Wayne Harlow.  When I got the design drawn, I just kept seeing jewels (wishful thinking!), so I pulled out the Inktense pencils I used last week and did some more color exploration.  The color works very well now that I know how to use the little water brush - no more flooding the paper!  In looking at it on the screen now, I wonder if I should do something to shade or tangle some facets on the gem stone parts.  Maybe I'll have an update here next week.

Square One: Purely Zentangle - Focus Meringue
I piled up the Meringue and folded in some Pearlz

New Tangle - OYBAY
Back in late 2013 when I was still fairly new to Zentangle, but already loving it, my husband asked me to do a ZIA to put in our wine bar area in the kitchen.  I took a piece of parchment look paper, printed a quote from Benjamin Franklin on it and tangled a wine bottle and glass. I burned the edges and mounted it on a really cool square plate charger from Pier One.   It is a favorite piece in our home.

I created a border using a "roller coaster" line and used a shell type motif on one side and filled in a variety of tangles on the opposite side of the line. I never had a name for it, but I loved it!
Now I have named it and done a stepout to share with my Zentangle friends.  It occurred to me that the shells are like oysters in a shallow pool, so it became Oybay.  Hope you enjoy it!


Just for fun...
Some shading work including a Throwback

I pulled out an old tile from 2013 and in a fit of "throwback" enthusiasm, I decided to add more shading to improve the sort of 3D element.  This may not be the best tile to try this out on, but I think it did make a difference. Sorry I didn't post a photo of it before the changes.  I added the "chop", as I must not have considered the work finished when I did it originally.  I have been thinking of doing a throwback feature in my blog with links for others to share "before and after" on their old work.  Would that work?

Then I finished the shading on Narwal, which is my current obsession.  After I finished this, I saw a tutorial on drawing Narwal by the incomparable Helen Williams.  She is so good!  Now I will need to do even more Narwal, because the method she uses is so much easier than the old one, and the result is really good.  I know, Dear Readers, you may tire of this pattern, but indulge me.  I love it!

So, dear friends, another week,  so many more tangles! 

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


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Common Consciousness, Diva Challenge #235 - Stripe String, TNTM #37 "T" and Sandra Strait, SQ1 Opus and more...

Gentle Readers,  (I just love that old form of introduction - it sets such a nice mood!)

It is always strange to me how when a lot of people are focused on something, their thinking and awareness seems to merge.  It's not exactly a psychic thing.  My husband has that.  He doesn't know things ahead of time, but he has an awareness when something has just happened.  It is spooky and unnerving, and quite real.  But in the Zentangle community, it seems to flourish in a good way.

Several times at the CZT training, we would all be standing around the table looking at the mosaic of all the tiles we had produced at the last session.  Someone would say, "Oh look at that one!  I love it!"  Sure enough, it would be mine.   Then I would immediately say "Oh, this one is my favorite!" and the person would identify themselves as the very artist who produced it.  It was really uncanny.  But it really struck me how we definitely have a connection through our shared passion.

Last week I was sitting at the dentist and started a tile with a "stacked tangle" format, which is basically a striped string.  I don't think I have done one like that before, although I have seen many. So I was startled to see the topic for the Diva Challenge on Monday! This one has my tangle Oybay at the bottom, for which I really need to post the steps.  Watch for that next week.

Then I thought, no cheating, you already had this started, so do another one.  I made diagonal stripes and filled in.  I added gold ink to the stripes, and it shows up pretty well on the screen.  My pearl shading is getting better, and I'm starting to think in terms of 3D a little bit.  I like it!
That's New To Me featured the letter "T" and artist Sandra Strait.  I chose Ta-Da, by the lovely Margaret McKerihan, and Sandra's Planateen.   I have not used Ta-Da before, as I found it intimidating at first.  Now that I have tried it, I will probably use it more.  Maybe I'll even do more than one square!  Ha!  Since I live where everybody's - I mean EVERYBODY's roof looks like Planateen, I decided to color it.  I used Inktense pencils and had fun with this one!

Square One: Purely Zentangle focused on Opus this week, which is another one I rarely use because I just never seemed to get it.  Now that I did this one, Opus may appear more often in my work.  I saw many lovely interpretations on Facebook, which does inspire me.

Beyond that, I just had a little fun with a few tiles just because.  The wobbly Tour is a Bijou tile, Mooka shares space with some leftover Zenith... and I did a deep ocean Narwal.  It's very dark down there!

So, another tangled week!  I will attempt to view and comment on everyone else's work, but I may not make more than a few this week.  My husband and I will be busy taking a "staycation" this week, hitting as many restaurants and fun spots in our local area as we can.  We had a vacation planned to Sonoma County, but the place is, sadly, on fire.  This is the second year we have had to cancel a trip there because of the terrible drought and the resulting fires.  Keep those people in your thoughts and prayers as the brave firefighters battle to keep them safe.  Here in Arizona, we are still grieving over the nineteen firefighters we lost in a similar fire a couple years ago.  We humans are a puny nothing in the face of nature's fury. 

Be safe, count your blessing, and tangle!


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Diva Challenge #234 - CanT, That's New To Me "Y", Square One: Purely Zentangle - Inapod

Ah, school days! 

Our Diva, Laura, reports that she now has both boys in school, one in second grade and the other in kindergarten.  All around the world, mothers take a deep breath on that first day with a mixture of relief and foreboding.  Relief that they will have some blessed quiet time at home, but foreboding for all the parental duties that go along with having a child in the school system - schedules, homework, conferences, supply lists, after school activities, the morning hunt for matching shoes and socks...on and on.  Somehow you never think of these things when you bring home your little newborn bundle of joy!  But watching your children grow and flourish is one of the most satisfying things in life.  No goal you ever reach will compare with seeing your child take that first step, learning to tie his shoe, or sending him off to that first school day.  So to all the parents out there, enjoy every day with them, because one day it will all be just memories, both the best of times and the regrets.  Although I wouldn't want to start again, I do miss that baby powder smell, the glitter Mary Jane shoes with ruffled anklets, the Hello Kitty backpacks, and the sticky hugs and kisses. 

This week our Diva challenge was postponed one day in honor of the Labor (she says Labour) Day holiday.  Thank you to all the courageous workers who fought (some died) for decent and safe working conditions, holiday time off and the five-day work week. Without their struggles, we would be living in a very different world. 

For the weekly challenge, Laura challenges us to use the tangle "CanT", which came out of the Canadian CanTangle event.  I'm so jealous!  Such a group of superstar tanglers, and I know they had fun!

This tangle is so basic, so easy to draw and so versatile, that I really look forward to browsing through all the entries and seeing the multitude of interpretations that everyone produces.  For my tile, I used a Renaissance tile and a very straightforward layout of the pattern.  I do like the way it turned out.  It somehow reminds me of a fancy compact.


That's New To Me #36 focused on tangles beginning with "Y".  I chose Margaret Bremner's Yoga and Yuu by Mai Hua Teng.  I was already working on that when the Diva Challenge was published, but I have to say the Yuu pattern shares similarities with the CanT pattern.  My tile is completely different, though!  When I saw the little fish shapes in Yuu, I was immediately reminded of my pattern Fichy, which I also included in my tile.  The shapes in Yoga also echo the fish shapes somehow, so I thought that would work well with the other tangles.   Additionally, even though I usually shy away from color, I knew from the start that I would be coloring this one.  I used Prismacolor pencils and Tombow markers.  I think it turned out well for someone who doesn't do color!

The Square One focus on Facebook this week was Inapod.  Was there ever a more fun tangle?  It can look elegant, or silly or creepy or organic.  It is always fun to draw and always dramatic looking.  This is what I did with it.

So there you have it!  I am grateful for the challenges that encourage me to step out of my comfort zone, try something new, improve my skills, and have fun sharing the results with other tanglers.

Thank you for visiting today, and know that I appreciate and cherish all your insights and comments.  I encourage you to take a look at the beautiful work submitted by all the wonderful tanglers who participate in these challenges.  I promise you will be impressed and you will learn something new!


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

She's Baa-aa-aack! Diva Challenge #233: Zenith, TNTM #35 "X" and Judy Murphy, and SQ1 Yincut

Welcome back to our Diva Laura Harms!  One of my personal ZH's for her amazing weekly challenge that has so many Tanglers coming back week after week to share their responses to whatever challenge Ms. Harms dreams up for her followers.  From her photos, it appears she and her family had a lovely fun vacation.  Ya gotta love kids in water wings!

I just want to give a little credit to some of the other inspirational and helpful Tanglers, including Suzy Mosh for her weekly "That's New To Me Challenge", Adele Bruno, for "It's a String Thing", Chris Titus for Square One on Facebook, Genevieve Crabe and Linda Farmer for their tangle catalog and website, and excellent superstar Tanglers like Michelle Beauchamp, Lily Moon, Margaret Bremner, Sandy Hsaio, Helen Williams, Cris Letourneau, and many more (sorry to those I forgot to mention, but whom I love just the same) who share their wonderful Zentangle work with all of us through the magic of the internet.  For those of you who are not yet collecting pensions, you may not know the internet was not always around!  Without these connections, I know I would never have found Zentangle at all.  It would be my great loss, to say the least.

That said, I now move on to say that for most of the northern hemisphere, summer is on the wane and things are cooling down, but here in Arizona, it is still just HOT!  We may have seen the last of the 110+ degree days, but that is the best I can say now.  Still, this is better than frozen windshields, digging my car out from a snowbank, heart-stopping temperatures of -25 degrees, and endless dirty slush in the spring. (Chicago, you know who you are!)  I know which evil I choose! So to all the rest of you, enjoy those last warm days and also enjoy my old favorite season, Autumn!  Apples and pumpkins and crispy mornings, cozy sweaters and fond memories of burning leaves (all against municipal code now in most places, sad to say) and that first night the heat kicks on.  Chicago, I miss you for that!

OK, enough chatter.  Down to the business of the week.  It was a pretty fun week in the Zentangle community.  The Diva challenges us to use the newest official tangle, Zenith.  I was privileged to encounter this at CZT 19, the second class to receive this one.  It is one of those that looks like not much until you start playing around with it  Wow, I have seen some great interpretations out there!  Here is my take of the day on it.
For That's New To Me, Suzy Mosh asks us to use tangles starting with the letter "X" and add something from artist Judy Murphy.  A couple of weeks ago, we had letter "J", and I used Judy's Jumu tangle, so nice to revisit her stable of tangle patterns.  I chose Cindy Angiel's Xerexez and Xtracto.  The Xerexez reminds me of a flipped version of the Basque cross design that we encountered on our vacation when we stopped in Boise.  Here is a tattoo that looks VERY much like Cindy's tangle, and a green and red traditional version of the emblem, said to represent the unity of the four Basque regions.

Following that is my entry for the week.  I tried to include Cindy's Xtracto, but got some of the lines curved the wrong way, so it is more like Dragonaire, sorry to say.  Oh well, I still like how it works but the actual Xtracto might have been better.  I also included Xeni by Jacqueline Janssen and Judy Murphy's Wiffles as a background for the design.  Xeni is based on a handwriting form, and once I got going on it, I didn't want to stop!   I had fun on this one!

Finally, the Square One: Purely Zentangle was Yincut.  I really get into the sparkle thing and just went for broke on this one.  But then somehow, one little square went rogue and turned into something else.  Someone online commented that it was a portal to joy!  I love that!

Thank  you all for stopping by this week!   Know that I appreciate and cherish all your comments and insights. 

Until next time,