Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Here, There, and Everywhere

"Let your thoughts meander towards a sea of ideas."   Leo D. Minnigh

Another week, another Diva challenge. This time the challenge was to use Rixty, the newest official tangle. When the tangle first came out, I played around with it a bit, but never actually put it into a tile. So this was my opportunity. Rixty is a fun tangle that can meander around in all directions. I love meandering tangles, but my trouble with them is that I don't know when to stop! I just keep going and going. On this tile I did just that, and then couldn't decide what else to put with it. So I started adding auras, and more auras, and more auras. And this is what I ended up with. Just Rixty and auras, and of course some shading.

Then I decided to add some color to it.

I used stardust gelly roll pens, but of course you can't see the shimmer because you never do unless you see the piece in person. And then I added some soft color in the background with Irojiten colored pencils. The verdict is still out on whether or not I really like it with color. One minute I think yes, and the next I think no. Oh well! I'd love to hear which way you like it better, black and white or color?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Initial Thoughts

"Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere."   Gilbert K. Chesterton

The Diva's challenge this week is to use your initials as the string for a Zentangle. Well, believe it or not, my initials, CM, are hidden in here. I scanned my tile with the string on it, but I had already tangled half of this before I realized that the scan didn't turn out good enough to show here. So, you will just have to take my word that the initials are in there. At least I remembered to scan it before I starting shading and made sure it looked okay before continuing.

Here it is after I added shading.

I used a couple of tangles from my e-book, Step Out in Style. If you missed the post about my book, you can read it here. The round zendala tiles are fun to use for something a little different, even when I'm not creating a true Zendala.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Wild and Wacky

"Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory."   George S Patton

This week I joined a new Facebook group called Wacky Zentangle Weekly Challenges. Not that I don't already have enough (too many) groups that I belong to. But I like the idea of having another challenge to do each week, or choose not to do as I see fit, especially since the Zendala Dare has been put on hold for a while. The challenge for this week is to make a Zentangle with ribbons, stripes and/or bands. Here's my take on the challenge.

Starting with a Hollibaugh string to form my bands, I filled each one with a different tangle. I added shading to the edges of each band in an effort to make them look rounded. I think it worked better on some of the bands than others. Once shaded, I felt like it needed something else but didn't want to add more tangles. Deciding to keep the "less is more" look, I added some color to the background using watercolor pencils. I was very happy with the finished look.

Then I decided to try another one. This time I thought I'd draw ribbons. Recently I purchased Helen Williams' (a little lime) e-book, Flips, folds, ribbon and strings, so I went through it reading her directions and watching her videos on how to draw ribbons. I will never be as good as Helen, but I'm not totally unhappy with what I did.

I think I need some more practice, but I had fun doing it.

Can't wait to see what the wacky challenge is for next week!

Friday, March 21, 2014

You've Got Mail

"Please Mr. Postman look and see, if there's a letter in your bag for me."   William Garrett

This week it was time to start a project that I've had on my horizon for quite a while, but needed to find the time to do. Have you ever seen the decorative magnetic covers people put over their mailboxes? Well we used to have several of those, but when we moved to a house that didn't have the right kind of mailbox for it, I gave all my covers to a friend. Now I'm back in a house with a mailbox that needs some decorating. I looked to see if any of the companies that make the covers had a plain white one that I could decorate (i.e. tangle) myself, but no - I couldn't find any. 

That's when my husband thought of the magnetic vent covers we had from long ago. They're meant to be used to cover heating/air conditioning vents if you don't want the air coming out. Perfect! They are white, and just the right size to pretty much cover the side of my mailbox. The top of the box won't be covered, but with one on each side it will work great.

I decided to try using Sharpie markers. So I tested them on a scrap piece to make sure that they were permanent and water wouldn't affect them. They passed the test and I began my tangling. I got about 2/3 of the way through the first one. Then, to my dismay, I read a post by someone on one of the Facebook groups I belong to, stating that Sharpies will fade in the sun. Oh great! Now what? I decided to take out my Identi-pen and proceeded to go over every line I had drawn and every space I had blackened. It got a little tedious, but I must say I was really happy with how I was able to do that without messing up and veering off the lines. Finally I got through that and went on to complete the rest. After all that extra effort, I sure hope the Identi-pen holds up better than the sharpies! Here is the first side before I did any shading.

The next decision was what to use for shading. First I tried various brands and shades of gray markers, but was not happy with the look of any of them. That's when I decided to try my good old reliable pencil. It worked well to give the shading a natural look and blended easily with my smudger (aka tortillon), but I was a little worried that it would wipe right off the smooth surface, or wash right off in the rain. So I tested by rubbing with some water, and to my surprise it stayed put. I finished up the shading with pencil, and here it is. I hope this photo allows you to see the difference the shading really made.

And here it is as it is meant to be.

I've decided to wait to do another one for the other side until I see how well this holds up to the elements. And to be honest, this probably isn't the best time for me to put my beautiful new mailbox cover out, as there is construction going on across the street and I'm afraid it will get really dirty from the mess. So it may be a while before I know how well it withstands the weather and whether or not I should make one for the other side. I'll be back with the verdict at some point.

Thursday, March 13, 2014


"It's a marvelous night for a Moondance, with the stars up above in your eyes."    Van Morrison

First, I'd like to thank all of you who purchased my new e-book of tangle patterns that was published last week. My first week of sales was wonderful! If you missed it and would like to take a peek inside the book, you can see it here on my last blog post.

This week's diva challenge was to create a duotangle (a Zentangle or Zentangle inspired art with only two tangle patterns) using the tangles crescent moon and diva dance. Since these are two of my favorite tangles, I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to do this one. 

I am planning a class for next month on using the (fairly) new renaissance tiles, so I decided to work on one of these tiles for this challenge as it will give me another example to show my students. I used black micron, brown micron, white charcoal pencil, brown colored pencil, and graphite pencil. I just love the dimension these tiles have when working with the different colors and shading/highlighting. 

But now I'm kicking myself for not taking a picture of my tile before doing the shading and highlighting, because it makes SUCH a HUGE difference. To me, the tile was kind of blah until I added those steps. So all I can show you is the final result.

Notice that I used this as another opportunity to leave white (in this case tan) space in the tile which was a Diva challenge last month, and something I'm not very good at. I love the way the tile pops because of the browns and whites. If you haven't given this a try yet, you really should. And if you live in my area of South Carolina come take the class with me! (And if you don't, it's a great place to visit!)