Saturday, September 20, 2014

A Tangler's Paradise

In-spi-ra-tion (noun):  the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

I've been home one week now since my 3-week European vacation ended, and I'm just starting to get over the jet lag. Don't know why it's taking so long. First we went to Scotland to visit my daughter who has been living there for 7 months (she was happy with the "no to independence" vote). Then we went on a cruise around Spain and Portugal. I took close to 3,000 photos, with about 200 of those being pictures of patterns. Spain and Portugal are a pattern hoarder's delight. Wrought iron balconies, tiled floors, walls, and sidewalks, facades of buildings...pattern inspiration abounds. So I thought I'd share some of those photos with you....I promise not to include all 200, but this will still be a long post!

First there were the ones that obviously ripped off existing Zentangle patterns:

An article of clothing made with Bales

A building Diva Dancing

Some more Diva Dance, but can't remember what it was!

Architectural detail over a door imitating Prestwood or Puffle

A door made of 'Nzeppel

A sidewalk of Swarm

A chair on the cruise ship very similar to my pattern Robo from my Step Out in Style e-book

Then...for inspiration I found:

Wrought Iron Balconies

Tiles adorning every surface imaginable

 Sidewalks and streets with patterns galore

Miscellaneous doors, floors, buildings, etc:

 And even some fashions

This one was an unsuspecting subject!

And imagine my surprise when my daughter donned this shirt with tangled birds on it. Granted, it came direct from Target in the U.S., but made itself known to me in Europe.

So...I told you I wouldn't share all 200 of the photos, but you can imagine many more where these came from. Some might call it pattern overload, but I call it a tangler's paradise!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fly Away Home

"Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you."   Nathaniel Hawthorne

I'm back home now after a long vacation in Europe. Did you miss me? More about the vacation in another post soon.

I'm exhausted and still trying to get over jet lag, but thought I would share something since it has been so long. While I was away I fit some tangling time in between all the activities. One of the pieces I worked on was this butterfly template from Ben Kwok. Here's the original black and white shaded version.

As I was working on it I was thinking that I should add color to it once I returned home. So today I pulled it out and did just that. First I erased all the pencil shading (I erasers in Zentangle), because I don't like adding color over shading. I decided to use pan pastels, but very soon after starting, realized it was a bad decision. For one thing, it was hard to get into all the little corners and tight spots with the pan pastel tools. Luckily the pastels are erasable, so when I was finished I went back and erased all the spots where the color had gone out of the design, and believe me, there were lots of spots. Another problem is that the pastels go over the black pen and make it look lighter, not as sharp and clear. At the end I went back with my Micron pen and filled in the black areas again. That helped, but no way did I have the patience to go back over all the lines.

I did not find the coloring part of this project relaxing at all! But if you don't look at it too closely, I guess it looks okay. Still, the black and white is my favorite.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Stringing me Along

"Some of the most creative ideas emerge from a swirl of chaos"    Unknown

So many ideas of what I want to tangle. New things I want to try. Challenges I want to face. Unfortunately...there aren't enough hours in the day to do it all. At least not if I want to get any sleep. And if I don't get any sleep I won't be any good at what I do. So the only solution is to pick and choose.

CZT Adele Bruno puts out a weekly challenge called "It's a String Thing." Because of that picking and choosing that I was just talking about, I have actually only participated in the challenge one time. If you missed it you can see the tile I entered here. Although I did not participate in the challenge from a couple of weeks ago, I did peruse all the tiles sent to Adele, as I usually do each week. There was something about the swirly string, #54, that really called out to me. 

Actually, it wasn't the string that called out to me, but what I saw that everyone had done with the string. So I decided to give it a whirl. Here's what I ended up with.

Some Knightsbridge, Cubine, Moving Day (by CZT Margaret Bremner), and the latest official tangle called Ing (my first time using it). Taking a grid and making it curvy can add such movement to a piece. I hope you like this one as much as I do!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Birds of a Feather Flock Together

"Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best."   Henry Van Dyke

I finally got around to completing my second...and third.... templates shared by Ben Kwok on the Facebook page Ornation Creation. If you missed my first one, the owl, you can see it here. I'm just picking the templates I am most drawn to (no pun intended), in no specific order. 

The second template I tangled was this hummingbird.

And the third one was this peacock. I left it unshaded because I wanted to add color.

Here it is again after adding color with Tombow markers.  Instead of coloring the "coil" frame, I just shaded it with pencil. I love how 3 dimensional it looks.

I can't make up my mind if I like the color or if I should have just shaded with pencil instead. But there's no going back, so colored it is, like it or not.

Three templates completed. Only 59 more to go. But I'll never do them all, and that's okay.

Friday, August 15, 2014

You Take the High Road and I'll Take the Low Road

"Do not judge by appearances; a rich heart may be under a poor coat."   Scottish proverb

The Diva's challenge this week is to use the tangle MacDee (step-outs found here), by Anneke Van Dam. Anneke says that the pattern reminds her of a classic Scottish checkered fabric, so she gave it a Scottish sounding name. I completed this challenge in honor of my daughter, who has been living in Scotland for the last 6 months. As a matter of fact, I will be going there next week to visit her, where I'm sure I will see LOTS of checkered Scottish fabrics!

Since the colors of the Scottish flag are blue and white (I admit that I had to look that up), I chose one of my blue hand-colored tiles to work on. I tangled using a blue Micron pen and a white Uni-ball Signo UM 153 gel pen. A blue Prismacolor pencil was used to add just a touch of shading, along with some very subtle white charcoal pencil highlighting. 

When I first saw the pattern I immediately thought background. I decided to keep it simple and used Arc Flower as the center of focus in order to have a contrast between the very geometric MacDee and the curviness of the flower. This is definitely not one of my favorite tiles, but something a little different.