Friday, July 18, 2014

Come Fly With Me

"If you want success in life, then just learn how to walk like a turtle instead of flying."  
 Vikrant Parsai

Time sure does fly by when you're not paying attention. It's been nearly three months since I attended Tangle U in Maine. While I was there, I bought 3 luggage tags to tangle from Kip Kozlowski. I hadn't done anything with them, but with two airplane trips coming up between now and the end of the summer, I decided I had better pull them out and get moving on them.

They are made from some sort of white plastic material, so I knew my microns would not work on them. I used Microperm pens, also made by Sakura, but meant to be used on non-porous surfaces. They worked perfectly - the 01 for drawing and the 05 for filling. The Sakura Identi-pen would have worked also, but I like the finer line of the Microperms better. 

Here's the first one I made. I found it easier to make the straighter lines than the curved lines because the pen slipped more as I went around in circular motions.

Here is what I decided to do on the front of the tag.

On the next one I decided to do a monotangle (just one pattern), and I chose 'Nzeppel and added the lines to make them look more like flowers. Normally when I do this, the shading really makes the petals of the flowers look like they curve under, but I couldn't figure out what to use for shading and was afraid I would ruin it if I tried. So, no shading. The red I used here was done with the Identi-pen.

And the front.

For my last tag I decided to stick with the monotangle idea and chose Bunzo. I really like the way it looks, but wasn't sure what to do on the front, so for this one I just left the front white with no tangling.

If you'd like to make some of your own luggage tags, you can contact Kip at for info on ordering the tags.

Now I'm all ready for my trips, the first one coming up in less than 2 weeks. I definitely have one of a kind tags to adorn my luggage with. My fingers are crossed that the tags don't get destroyed first time out, as has happened with new suitcases!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Round and Round We Go

" I don't believe in failure. It is not failure if you enjoyed the process."    Oprah Winfrey

I love zendalas!  I've always known that (but sometimes seem to forget)...there's something about the symmetry in creating a round piece of Zentangle art work that really appeals to me. This past week I worked on several zendalas after receiving the mandala stencils I ordered from fellow CZT Genevieve Crabe at Amaryllis Creations. These stencils make the process of designing your own zendalas so easy.

I've done the pre-strung zendala tiles from, but it's so much more gratifying for me to create my own designs. With these stencils you just pencil in the dots and use them as a guide to make symmetrical lines, curves and shapes ... and voila! You have your own unique zendala! Using one stencil (you get 3 in the set), you can design an infinite number of totally different zendalas. No measuring, no need for a compass or protractor. No folding paper and punching holes as in a method I had devised.

Here's the first one I designed, on watercolor paper. This is unshaded because I knew I was going to add color. 

Then I added the color and shading using  Tombow dual brush pens.

I designed my next zendala on a tile that I colored with watercolors before tangling. That whole area tangled in Paradox started out as several different sections, but as I tangled I decided it would look cool to continue the paradox throughout, and I'm glad I did.

The last one I completed was larger, drawn on a 6 inch circle (the first two were each 4 1/2 inch circles). No color added this time.

I love the way all of these zendalas turned out. And I loved the process - after all, isn't that what Zentangle is all about? 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

I'm Getting Married in the Morning

"Find the one who makes your heart smile."  Unknown

My daughter's best friend is getting married later this month. Looking for a gift for her friend, my daughter commissioned me to make some Zentangle art work for her (at the reduced family rate, of course!) Now for a little geography here - I live in SC, my daughter lives in Scotland right now, and her friend lives in MD. So I was to complete the piece and ship it to MD with an arrival date a few weeks before the wedding. I finished it a while ago, but didn't want to post pictures here on the very slim chance that the bride would see this. Now that the package arrived (safe and sound, luckily), and the bride and groom seem to like it, I can safely show you some pictures. 

First is the before shading photo. An illuminated letter Q for their last name.

Next, the shaded version - what a difference a pencil can make!

And last, the matted and framed picture. Believe me, it wasn't easy getting a photo without all kinds of reflections in the glass. It looked nice hanging on my wall...if only my name started with a Q!

And, coincidentally, yesterday when I pulled out the alphabet book I'm working on for my grandchildren, the next letter to do was the Q. So I decided to show you the latest page, since we're talking about the letter Q anyway. I like how the capital letter looks like a mini zendala!

I hope that the bride and groom will enjoy their gift for a long time, and that if I ever finish the alphabet book, my grandchildren will enjoy their gift also. 

Congratulations Becca and Phil!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let Down Your Hair

"I do maintain that if your hair is wrong, your entire life is wrong."
Steven Patrick Morrissey

I love the idea of tangled hair. No, not the kind that hurts when you try to comb it, but the kind where you draw a face with lots of hair and then tangle the hair, as in Zentangle. My problem is that I really can't draw faces. I've tried unsuccessfully, believe me!  

So I found a set of stenciled faces from Jane Davenport. First I stamped the stencil onto my paper with archival black ink. Then I began to pencil in the hair. After many lines drawn, erased, and drawn again, I got to a point where I thought the hair looked pretty decent. Then I went about the business of tangling it.

I'm not sure if I made all the best choices I could have for the patterns I used, but in the end I think this girl is having a pretty good hair day. After scanning the first version, just in case I messed up, I added a touch of color in the eyes and lips.

I have to say, the stencils were the way to go for me! The set came with four faces, which means I have three more styles to try out. Maybe I should have been a hair stylist.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Tangled Up in Color

"True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new."
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I've been immersed in color for the past couple of weeks. Literally, color all over my hands, because I don't remember to always put on my gloves. Playing, testing, experimenting, deciding what to include in my color class scheduled for next month. This week it's all about alcohol inks, which need to be used with glossy cardstock, rather than regular paper. I'm here to show you a bit of how I've been spending most of my time recently.

This first "tile" reminds me of the Rorschach inkblot test (according to Wikipedia - a psychological test in which subjects' perceptions of inkblots are recorded and then analyzed using psychological interpretation) that was popular when I was growing up. Here's the before (before MOST of the tangling) and after. Let me know what you think the inkblot looks like, and I'll analyze your response and get back to you!

I tangled that one using different tangles in the different color/areas formed by the inks. I used the same approach for this next one, although the inks were applied differently so that it doesn't have the same inkblot look.

Those tiles seemed a little busy to me, so in the next one I decided to keep it simple. After all, the coloring is so pretty on these that I wanted to let it shine through some more. And shine they do on this glossy paper, although some of that shine gets lost in the photos.

Next  came a blue/green tile which begged to be filled with an underwater garden.

Again, on the next one, I left open space so as not to cover all the luscious color splotches.

Finally, here is one of my favorite tiles, in shades of blue. I'm ready with all sorts of ideas for my all day color class/workshop. If you plan to be in the Mt. Pleasant, SC area on July 26th, I'd love to have you join in on the fun.