Thursday, October 29, 2015

Throwback Thursday #5 - Most Fun With a Tangle; Diva Challenge #241 Stones and Ceremony; TNTM #43 "U", SQ1 W2

 Welcome Gentle Readers,

The snowbirds are back in Arizona from their cooler climes, and temperatures have started to moderate.  What a blessed relief after a long season of heat.  Mostly, I just want to wear some of my favorite cool weather clothes which were relegated to storage for about six months!  Yes, I do own clothing with sleeves and legs! 

The trip to San Antonio that my husband and I had really looked forward to never materialized.  Even though late October is supposed to be the ideal time to visit there, dry and sunny most years, our chosen week was beset by the promise of the highest rainfall in one day ever, to be followed by a blast from Hurricane Patricia, the strongest hurricane ever recorded or some such notability. Accommodations on the river walk did not seem like the best place to be.  Oh well, another vacation scuttled by Mother Nature!

This week the Diva Challenge is about Stones and Ceremony.  My book club just finished reading a novel in which a history professor becomes obsessed with the Sorcerer's Stone, to the point at which he is ready to kill for it!  The Apostle Peter's name is associated with a stone.  Stonehenge captures our imagination, and something absolutely, positively certain is "carved in stone".  One could write an entire doctoral thesis about stones, but...I won't...

I took my gray sketchbook out of its lonely hiding place and just drew a pile of stones.  I tangled and shaded them with a marker, and here they are.  I don't know what that one baked potato looking thing is, but I guess it's OK.

Suzy Mosh chose the letter "U", and added artist Elena Hadzijaneva.  I used Unyuns and Elena's Chordin.  That reminds me of those metal extending thingies.  This would be a pretty cool pattern to use in a Steampunk tile if you put bolts in the center instead of the spiral design, wouldn't it?  (Hmmm...file for future reference...)  I really had fun with the shading on this (about two hours worth!), and it really shows up best when you tilt the tile a bit. 
Square One: Purely Zentangle focus this week was W2.  It looks so easy, but I will tell you I messed up twice getting started even though I practiced in my sketchbook first.  From what I read on Facebook, I'm not the only one who stumbled a bit on this.  My entry is plain and simple, but for some beautiful examples of what can be done with W2, check out Chris Titus's page  Each week there is a new focus tangle, and participants are to create a tile using the basic Zentangle materials of white tile, black pen, and graphite pencil.  It's a supportive and amazing group.
This week, I am going to be ultra lazy about this challenge and just post an oldie.  No revision or new version, no sweat, just a lookback.  I thought about some tangles that seemed dubious when I first tried them out.  Yes, I could construct them, but what could I do with them?  Sometimes a tangle is very beautiful, but so complicated that it takes all the fun out of it.  Sometimes they are so simple looking (see W2 above, or consider Knightsbridge or Keeko), that you wonder what can be done with them other than fill in the background behind some other "funner" tangle.
For me, when I first learned Rixty, I had a little trouble drawing it correctly.  I somehow had the shapes tapering up instead of down.  Then I got it right, but just made a big string of it wandering over the paper, and figured, "So?"  Then one day I spotted one of Maria's tiles in which she connected some of the shapes at the top with a curving "stem" portion.  Hello!!  I sat down and drew a tile that has since become a legend on my own home wall of fame.  I call it "Rixty Puzzle".  I keep looking at it and thinking I wonder if I could make it into a pop-up page.  Wouldn't that be excellent?
So here is the challenge:  Post a photo of the most fun you have ever had with a tangle.  That's it!  You may want to tell about how you arrived at your personal "vision", why you initially had reservations about the tangle, but then became seduced by its charms, or whatever.  Or, you don't feel you need to say one darn word because we can all see what fun you had! 
Thank you for stopping by today. Know that I cherish all your thoughts and comments, and would love to see your Throwback. Have a beautiful weekend, slow down, admire, appreciate, relax and have fun.
Namaste, Antonine

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Throwback Thursday #4 First Love; Diva Challenge #240 Autumn; TNTM #42 "P"

Greetings Gentle Readers,

If it never rains in California, then it surely never rains in Arizona, right?  How wrong!  This is our fifth year in the Valley of the Sun, as the Phoenix area is known.  My neighborhood is even one of the least likely to get a downpour in this area.  You wouldn't know it from the nonstop series of rainy days we have had.  What??? We even had hail about the size of chickpeas pounding down for about three or four minutes.  The good news is, aloe plants that were really puny brown looking from the scorching summer heat are now fresh and green and turgid with all the moisture.  The golf course, that was looking a bit peaked is now vibrant.  My Meyer Lemon tree has perked up and the fruit should get nice and juicy for picking in another few weeks.  Yay!  Lemon pie time!

Which brings me to the Diva Challenge this week.  Laura has highlighted the beautiful autumn leaves that are a part of this season in most of the northern hemisphere.  But here in the desert, we don't have trees that color and drop.  Our trees keep their tiny feathery leaves all year, only softening to a dusty green for the driest times and brightening up in spring after the respite of cooler winter temperatures.  So, what to do for autumn?  Well, what we do have in abundance are...GOURDS, PUMPKINS and PEPPERS!  And kale and onions, but those didn't make the cut into my tile this week.  I attempted a sort of "Tints on Tan" take on the subject.  I'm sure I could use some firsthand instruction by Marty Deckel, but here is my offering, such as it is.


For That's New To Me, the focus was on "P" tangles plus something from Sayanitka Ray.  I chose Sayanitka's Pots-n-Pans, Suzanne Fluhr's Phirst and added accents of Points and Curves by Cheryl Rotnem.  I hope it has a sort of marketplace feel, as that's what was in my head, anyway.  Fun!

Square One this week focused on Nymph, which starts out like 'Nzepple, but goes all flowery on you after that.  I did two, and can say this is a relaxing tangle to draw.

Ah, first love...When I was 16, I had the sweetest boyfriend.  He was everything a nice young man should be, and I was so happy! He wasn't at all like the bad boy I had a crush on for a couple of previous years, who never gave me a second look.  I was in heaven.  That love came to an abrupt halt, however, when my very traditional father decided that since my sweetheart was a grade behind me and a year younger, that the relationship was inappropriate.  Gee, if that's all parents have to worry about with their daughter's boyfriends, you'd think they would be grateful! But no, it was over, and I was crushed.  Sniff, sniff...
But my Zentangle first love has not dimmed, really.  Way, way back in August 2012, I was still identifying my tiles by number.  This was the 24th tile I ever produced, and I was totally enthralled by shiny beads. I still use them a lot, but in this tile, they were a bit of a star.
So I decided to go full bore into a shiny bead deal.  I used Akoya, which is the ultimate beaded pattern, and, gasp... I decided to color it!  Well, my colors and beads kind of got messed up when I took a sharp turn, but since that's what happens in my jewelry drawer all the time, I figured it was OK anyway.  I had fun with this one!

So the challenge is this:  Think back to your first Zentangle crush and revisit it now.  This is not a call to get better or fancier.  You may want to pare it down to something Picasso-esque, or make it bigger, smaller, or simply do it again just because you love it.

*** Thank you for stopping by today. Know that I cherish all your thoughts and comments, and would love to see your Throwback work in the Mr. Linky list. Namaste, Antonine

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Throwback Thursday #3 I forgot all about..., Diva Challenge #239 Munchin Play, SQ1 Pokeroot and TNTM #41 "Z"

Gentle Readers,

It has been another busy week (how did I ever find time to WORK?) here in the Valley of the Sun.

In the last week:
Black Tile class on Saturday went very well.  We focused on techniques on black that you don't see every day.  The new Fabrico marker addition opens up so many possibilities.   I'm desperately seeking someone in our local art club to act as secretary.  I know, a grunt job with no glory!  Of course, everyone approached has politely but firmly declined.  Hubby is on a kick to get new wine glasses to enhance our tasting pleasure, so we have been greeting the UPS driver with a smile and a plan for the evening on several days this week.  I like my man's thinking!  Baking my first batches of biscotti of the season, this time with a twist.  I found a recipe using lavender and hazelnuts (I just happened to have both) instead of anise and almonds.  I decided I like my base recipe better than the one I saw in the magazine that purports to test the bejezzus out of everything, so I stuck with my tried and Antonine tested.  I have a recipe secret of my own... Dough is in the fridge waiting to bake later today.  I can't wait to taste them! Dinner with friends this past Sunday at a really nice Scottsdale restaurant (yum!) and dinner tonight with the inlaws who have out of town friends in.  Yum again! After last week's cooking class, all the nice dinners and cookie baking, I dread getting on that scale.  But - life is short - enjoy every minute.  Every BUSY minute.

Temperatures are beginning to moderate...the highest day this week was only 100! By the weekend, highs should only be in the upper 80's.  I just can't wait for that first crisp morning when I can throw the windows and doors open! 

So, on to the reason we meet today.

There are so many great tangles out there that sometimes in the rush to try the next best thing, we forget all about some we really enjoyed in the past.  I pulled out two tiles from a while back - one in December 2012 when I was just getting started, and one a few months later - using the very unique tangle "Fungees".  You can see the stepout plus a cute video featuring creator Leslie Crumpler.

This first tile amazes me because I did it so long ago, and I wonder if I have progressed or regressed.  I really love this one (she modestly exclaims)! 

This second one focuses more on Fungees as the focus, and I like the delicate look of it.

So what to do for a throwback?  I'm not sure I want to change or improve anything on those two tiles.  So, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik...

I decided to take an entirely new approach to this tangle and try my Prismacolor pencils on black, which I may actually have never used on my tiles. I laid down a layer of Zenstone, added my Fabrico shading first and then the ink and pencil.   Perhaps a clumsy first effort, but I do like the result, and I vow to try more!

So the Throwback Thursday challenge is to use a tangle you have forgotten.  Make it better, use it in a new way, whatever you can imagine with a tangle from your past that you revisit.



I have been working with Munchin in my black tile class, and were it not for Molly Hollibaugh's instruction with that tangle, I probably would never have used it.  I will say it is very relaxing to draw and requires very little thinking - just doing.  That's the best part.

Here in my first effort, I decided to get fancy and pretty much destroyed the Zen-ness of the experience because I had to keep changing pens and matching up lines and everything else that is anything but relaxing.  The little gold dots were the most relaxing part, although they don't show up so well in this photo.   However, I like the result and stand by it.

Next, I picked up the Fabrico marker - I can't quit that thing!  In retrospect, I could have gone with a lighter gray from another set I have, but that's OK.  My goal was to show a sort of floating shadow of the pattern.  This one WAS relaxing and fun.



I chose Zazzy by Sue Clark and Reticulated by Livia Chua.  I actually had to abort my first attempt at this because, no matter how hard I tried to love all of God's creatures, I just couldn't warm up to this cold blooded baby. Sorry sweetie.

So, using the same two tangles, I decided to transform the rascal into a border and soften his look. This one I can snuggle up to. Haha!



Let me say I saw some wonderful versions on FB of this tangle.  This one is my one attempt, and although I'm OK with it, that's it.  Just OK.  I had fun with the shading.  Moving on...

So another week come and gone, dear readers.  Thank you for stopping by and know that I cherish all your thoughts and welcome your participation in the Throwback challenge. 

Antonine ***

Monday, October 12, 2015



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!
Much later, in 2015, I finally worked the stepout for this pattern. It is pretty easy to draw, and offers the potential for countless variations and embellishments in "the bay" part.   Hope you like it too!




It's a bit Fichy to me...

I always loved patterns based on the Ogee grid, but found it difficult to make my curvy lines match up at the "touch points".   I saw a new pattern by Tina Hunziker called Discolea, and was inspired to try again.  In the description of the  pattern, Linda Farmer included a tutorial on an alternate method of constructing the grid, and that's all it took for me. 

I started working the grid, and sort of flipped Tina's approach on its side.  Imagine my surprise when the little swimmers came into focus!  So, what else?  It became FICHY! 


Back when I was starting to tangle, I had a friend who took her daughters on a trip to Paris.  I sat home dreaming of such a trip for myself, which may or may not ever happen.  Another friend loves to decorate her home with French accents, which I so admire!  For me, that would be the ultimate cultural and wine-and-dine travel destination.

When I came up with the pattern, I sent it to Linda Farmer for consideration for publication in her excellent website  I wrote:

I was thinking about how experiences and places and DREAMS OF places can affect our art.  One of my dream destinations is Paris.  I looked at photos of the Eiffel Tower, and wondered how to include that in my Zentangles. (yes, I have tried Y-Ful Power, but I’m not so good at that one)  I have been using a number of patterns that utilize the “rice shapes” lately, and got to playing with those.  I started with parallel lines, added rice shapes and half-moon shapes, and surprise, up popped the little towers! It’s very easy for those of us who are fairly new Tanglers.  It can be used as a border or as a fill.  I’d love to see how others would use the pattern.

Linda did publish it with a very nice description, and I was so very honored!  So once again, I will put this forward for your consideration, and would absolutely love to see how all you creative Tanglers would use this pattern.
Happy travels!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Diva Challenge 238 Tri-Bee; SQ1 Jalousie; TNTM 40 "K"; Throwback Thursday #2 Black Tile Revisited

Hello Gentle Readers!

This has been a busy week, in Tangle-land and elsewhere!  I had my very first Zentangle class at Pebble Creek Creative Arts Center on October 3, 2015.  My Introduction to Zentangle was attended by eight wonderful and eager students who were new to Zentangle, but they produced such exceptional work!  I am so proud of them! If any of you are reading this blog, take a bow, ladies!!  This coming Saturday we have a class on black tiles, and some of my new students are attending, along with some more experienced tanglers - including the teacher who introduced me to Zentangle in the first place!  I'm honored!

My husband and I welcomed some dear friends moving from Chicago to our Arizona neighborhood. How cool is that?  Well...not really cool, as it is still pretty warm here, but cool, nonetheless...  We celebrated on folding chairs and a card table in an echoing empty newly constructed home with champagne and potato chips (killer combo - trust me), lobster, shrimp, deviled eggs topped with radiant salmon roe and a thermos full of vichyssoise (made in my brand spankin' new Vitamix, thank you!).  Sweet!

Then I tortured myself again to attend a cooking class at a local French restaurant, Vogue Bistro.  Chef Aurore is so warm and lovely. Over white wine and a decadent appetizer of crab and shrimp wrapped in bacon, topped with a trio of lovely sauces, she showed us how to roast a gigantic Rouge Pumpkin and turn it into the silkiest pumpkin soup ever!  She made another vegetable stock into which she blended roasted vegetables and freshly picked sweet corn.  She prepared crispy skinned trout and scalloped potatoes, and pastry chef Chris showed us his baking tips to make Ciabatta with olive oil and Brioche with a beautiful shiny egg wash.  Mmmmm...and my hubby got to enjoy the leftovers that I couldn't finish.

So, enough of that stuff, and on to Zentangle challenges...

This week the Diva brought us a challenge to use new tangle Tri-Bee.  It is one of those tangles that can grow like barnacles, so you can do pretty much anything with it.  I was still stuck on Jalousie, one of my oldie faves that I kind of forgot about, so I had to include that too.

Square One: Purely Zentangle on Facebook has focused on Jalousie this week.  Unlike the Diva challenge where you can choose not to look at other entries until after you finish yours, Facebook keeps throwing them up in, well, in your face!  I had a hard time finding a new twist, but then I thought of another new tangle I saw this week called 4Fun.  So, just 4Fun, I did a tangelation.

That's New To Me is the letter "K".  I chose Margaret Bremner's Krli-Qs, which was really new to me - I don't think I have even seen it before, but it is so lovely!  I used it as kind of a string and added "stuff" all around.


Throwback Thursday, Week 2

This week I was inspired by the Zentangle blog in which Maria Thomas (our total goddess), got to playing with black tiles in new ways.  I have been frustrated in the past with how the shading with graphite doesn't quite look right since it has a weird sheen on a black tile.  I love my chalk pencil and Zenstone, but those are for highlights.  So I got to work.

I chose an old tile from 2013 that I was pretty pleased with at the time.  I loved the filled in areas and had fun doing that tile.

Now, with some fresh skills, I thought I could do better.  I created a similar tile, but added my best new thing - dewdrops on black!!  You heard me!  I am so proud of myself I could spit!  (Maybe not, but almost!)  I also used the Fabrico marker Maria suggested, but I must confess that I had been playing with that on black and Renaissance tiles a while back myself.  Now, apparently, we all have the "official license" to proceed with that :-).  I also used some new techniques I have been trying out on my own.  I have been doing a fast-slow approach to get the lines fatter, more dense, on the slow parts.  You can see that in the Printemps.  It adds a sort of "self-highlighting".  I also added a few little twinkly things using my pool-and-pull technique where I let the white ink pool onto the paper a bit, then pull the pen back to make a spiky thing.  Actually, I think I got the idea from my nail technician (thanks Vivian!).

So, there you have my Throwback Thursday  "re-do".  What can you find that you used to do differently, maybe not as well as you now know how to do?  I'd love to see your work.  You get to choose what you want to revisit.  Add to an existing tile, color it, do a better version, whatever.  Add your link below the same way you do for the Diva challenge and lots of others.
Thank you Simone and Michelle for your entries last week.  It may take some time for people to visit me and post their work, but I really hope news of this will spread. 

Thank you for stopping by today, and know that I appreciate all your comments and your participation.



Thursday, October 1, 2015

Diva Challenge #237 - Stencil, TNTM #39 "I", SQ1 Zenith (more Zenith - really??) and FIRST EVER THROWBACK THURSDAY

Hello, Gentle Readers!

Right off the bat, I want to plug my new idea (well, I've been mulling it over for a while...) about running Antonine's Throwback Thursday.  I had been looking back on my old tiles and realized how much I have learned over the last three years about Zentangle.  I took an old tile that I had been pretty pleased with at the time, and reworked it to make it "better" with some of  my newfound techniques.  I posted the reworked tile in my blog last week, but then thought, uh-oh, I should have included a "before" image too.  So, this week I am posting a before and after at the bottom of this blog, along with a Mister Linky thingy so you can do the same.  Pick something you did a while back - maybe when you first learned to tangle.  You can rework an old tile, add color to a black and white, add more shading or rounding or completely blacken a section and re-tangle it with white on black.  Maybe  post an old tile with a tangle you maybe didn't execute so perfectly, and then show us your stuff now! For example, I know I am not alone in saying I didn't used to be so good at Mooka, but I'm getting better with practice.   Share your progress with us!


Diva Challenge #237 - Stencil and Tangle

You know me by now, right?  Nothing more to say about this one with Cabernet...


That's New To Me "I"

I used Jennifer Hohensteiner's Ipso and Adele Bruno's Iza, along with a little Narwal-esque thing.


Square One: Purely Zentangle - Zenith

Really?  More Zenith?  OK, so this time I made it into a grid type thing.


Here is a before and after of something I did back in 2013.  I thought at the time that I had shaded and done a decent job, but looking back, I could see room for improvement.  They look a bit different because one is an iPhone photo and the other is scanned, but I still think the second one shows a lot more dimension and is more interesting just by adding more shading. 

What can you re-visit from your tangled past?  I'd love to see what you have and hear what brought you back to it.  Click on the link below and add your image.  If you participate in the Diva Challenges and the Suzy Mosh Challenges, you know how!

So, I'm off to a busy weekend with classes and the arrival of a dear friend who is moving to my neighborhood!!   I'll need to reclaim that corkscrew... Yay!