Thursday, March 9, 2017

Celtic Knot

"When you are at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on."   
 Theodore Roosevelt

Fellow CZT Cherryl Moote recently wrote a blog post on drawing Celtic knots. She included some videos of how to draw different versions. The videos were very helpful and they inspired me to try making one

This is one of my colored zendala tiles that I began with.

Following her video, which you can find here, I drew this knot. I have to admit that I drew it in pencil first so I could tweak it as I went.

Then I added some lines in the knot itself, and tangled Opally along with parts of Beelight and Laria. I added a little bit of blue stardust gelly roll pen (whose sparkle totally gets lost in the picture), and shaded with pastel pencils and graphite.

I'm pretty happy with the way this turned out. Thanks Cherryl!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Introducing my New Tiles!

"Every production of an artist should be the expression of an adventure of his soul."     W. Somerset Maugham

Hooray! The day has finally arrived when I can officially introduce my new tiles to you. You may have noticed over the last couple of months that I have been sharing a lot of my work on colored tiles. I've been developing this new line of tiles for a long time, and I'd hoped to have these ready a while ago, but life kind of got in the way! The tiles are now in my Etsy shop, but let me tell you a little about them. Warning: This will be a long post with lots of pictures.

I love playing with alcohol inks. I'm not very good at creating anything realistic with them, but boy do they make great backgrounds for tangling. I start with alcohol inks on yupo paper, play with them, manipulate them, and let them do their own thing. Beautiful designs emerge for tangling. I scan them and print them on Bristol vellum paper and cut them into 4 inch tiles, as well as Zendala tiles. But then I decided to take it one step further. I began editing the backgrounds in Photoshop and wow! Amazing special effects were created - waves, spirals, pond ripples, geometrics, zig-zags, etc. The possibilities are endless, and addictive too! So, after many, many hours of playing, I have created hundreds of new tiles to add to my Etsy shop. 

So let me share a few more with you now. 


And after...


And after...


And after...

Zendala before... 

Zendala after...

Then I designed some with geometric shapes, but since these were so different than the others I decided to make them a separate group and listing in my shop.





But that's not all! I decided to also make these designs into digital papers for crafters to use in so many different ways: scrapbooking, invitations, origami, and on and on. Here are some samples of the papers...

And just when you thought I was finished... No! I also made these into lined papers for writing and journaling. Some examples here...

NOW I'm finished. That's all I've done....square tiles, zendala tiles, geometric tiles, digital papers, and lined digital papers. If you'd like to check them out in my Etsy shop, go here. (Where you will also find my pre-strung pathway tiles!) You'll be able to see many more of the tile designs in my shop photos, although not nearly all of the designs I have.

If you have tangling friends and family, or other crafty friends and family, or writing friends and family, I would be most grateful if you'd pass my shop information on to them.

And of course, if you decide to try any of these for yourself, I would LOVE to see what you do with them!

Sunday, February 26, 2017


"One sure-fire way to stay creative: force yourself to learn something new."      Harvey MacKay

The Diva's challenge this week is to use the new pattern from Zentangle headquarters, Waybop. When I first saw this tangle, I have to admit that I didn't much like it, so I didn 't bother to try it. After seeing so many people posting their Waybop creations on Facebook, I decided, for the Diva, I would give it a go. 

The first one I did on one of my colored tiles... here's the picture of the tile before rounding the corners. 

I started with Waybop, Henna Drum and some lines. Then, using a gray pen, I added Printemps inside the Waybop. I've recently started using the gray pen as a way to add more subtle designs. The finishing touches were shading with graphite and pastel pencil, and white gel pen for some extra interest.

Waybop wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, so I decided to go ahead and do one more, this time on gray-toned paper from Strathmore. Also included are Pais, Purk, and Hollibaugh.

And of course some shading and white highlights, which always make a drawing on gray paper better, whether or not you like it to begin with.

I like Waybop more than I expected to, but it's not yet high on my list of favorites. Maybe after more practice, maybe not!


Monday, February 20, 2017

Zenbossing Part 2

"Creativity is a drug I cannot live without."   Cecil B. Demille

I recently posted a blog (here) about tangling on an embossed tile. I really loved the way it turned out, and based on the reactions I got from my readers, so did you. So I decided to try another one. 

I picked out another of my colored tiles, this one with several different colors in it. Not surprisingly, I forgot to take a picture before doing the embossing, but you can get the idea of what it looked like from this picture after embossing. The design is somewhat similar to the last one I did with all the swirls, but not the same.

As in my last tile, the first thing I did was outline all the embossing with pen. A few little slips of the pen, but not too bad.

Next I added some tangling.

And then shaded with my dependable pastel pencils.

Here's a closeup to better show the puffiness of the embossing.

I really enjoy this process and wish that I had more embossing folders that would work well with tangling. Most of the designs I have don't have enough space for adding tangles. So I may need to use the same ones again, just with different backgrounds and different patterns. Actually, it would be interesting to see how different I can make them, even though they have the same embossed design. I'll be back to show you if I decide to give it a try.

Saturday, February 11, 2017


"Be the most brilliant color in the box."     Unknown

A quick post to share my tile for the Diva's challenge this week - to use the tangle pattern Hamadox by Diana Schreur. Hamadox, which I was using for the first time, is a combination of Hamail and Paradox, and fun to draw. 

I began with another one of my alcohol inked backgrounds (these tiles are almost ready to be added to my Etsy shop!), but this time a Zendala tile.

I drew my Hamadox, choosing to use 3/4 of the complete pattern that normally goes all the way around in a circular shape. And I added a simple background grid.

Then I shaded using graphite and added a few dots with white gel pen.

And when I finished I realized that I used a tile with the same coloring as my last Diva post. Oh well... I guess I like these colors!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere."    
 Albert Einstein 
I recently completed a tile where I used my Sizzix die cut machine to emboss a border around the outside edge, and then I tangled inside. Here is that tile.

After completing that one I wanted to find other ways to incorporate using my die cut machine (which otherwise sits around collecting dust) in my tangling. So I took one of my colored tiles (which I see now is similar coloring to the one I had done previously!)...

... used an embossing folder to cover the whole tile with this swirly design...

... and then outlined all of the embossing with black pen.

Then I tangled some areas with Printemps and Crescent Moon. I stuck to just two patterns so it wouldn't be too busy, and for the same reason, only tangled some parts. It was hard to know when to stop, but here is when I did...

Then I went back in and added just a little shading around the Printemps with pastel pencil.

I don't think the above pictures allow you to get a good feel for the embossing, so I tried a closeup where I think you can see the puffiness better.

I really enjoyed the whole process and the way it looks in the end. If you have the means to do the embossing, you might want to try this idea yourself.  


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Diva Duo

"Color in a picture is like enthusiasm in life."
Vincent Van Gogh

I haven't participated in the Diva's challenge for a while. But I had to jump in this week after seeing the challenge - to draw a duotangle (uses only two patterns) with Paradox and Diva Dance, two of my favorite tangles. 

Since I'm up to my ears in colored tiles getting ready for the launch of my new tiles on Etsy, I decided to go ahead and use one of those tiles. So here is the tile before I put my pen to it.

 I started with a triangle and filled it with Paradox. Then I decided to have a little Diva Dance line up next to it, and from there it all fell into place... triangle, fill with Paradox, Diva Dance, repeat. 

I added some shading with graphite and I was finished.

I love the colors in this and am so happy with the way it turned out. My end result is not always as nice as my vision of it, but this one didn't disappoint.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Tile Preview

"Boldly dare to be a pop of color in a black and white world."    Unknown

I've been spending tons of time making new colored tiles for tangling. I recently introduced some of the new tiles, and while I'm preparing the rest of them to be ready for my Etsy shop, I'm sharing some of the new ones along the way. These are tiles I created with alcohol inks, and then twisted, swirled, waved, and otherwise played with in Photoshop to create some very cool and unique effects.

This one is a blue and green swirl.

I decided to follow the swirl, using just Cubine, and added shading with green pastel pencil. But instead of just blending it with a tortillion, I dipped the tortillion in mineral spirits first, and then blended. I think that this helps set the pastel pencil so that it doesn't rub off at all. 

I love the waves in this next tile.

I ignored the waves when tangling, so that they form the random coloring behind the tangles (using Static, Sand Swirl, Jobowtie and some orbs.)

Purple and pink pastel pencils were used to shade.

Here's one more tile that I've already shared on Facebook, but in case you haven't seen it there...

Just lots of pretty colors, tangled with Organic and Pokeleaf. And a touch of graphite shading.

It's so much fun tangling on the very varied backgrounds of the tiles. Stay tuned for more samples, including Zendalas.
And I'll be sure to let you know when I actually launch them on Etsy.

And to let you in on a secret, for you paper crafters out there, I am also making these into digital papers for scrapbooking and other crafts, as well as lined writing papers. I'm so excited about this! 


Saturday, January 14, 2017

New Alcohol Ink Zendala Tiles

"Life is a circle. The end of one journey is the beginning of the next."   
 Joseph M. Marshall

I love the black and white format of traditional Zentangle. The contrast of black and white is what really drew me to the Zentangle method in the first place. But, oh what fun color can be!

A few days ago I shared my new alcohol ink colored tiles made to create interesting backgrounds for your tangling. I'm back today to show you what I've done with some of the Zendala tiles. The first one is a pretty blue and white.

I decided to tangle with a blue Micron pen. I used a stencil made by Genevieve Crabe, which has lots of holes through which you mark dots, using them as a guide to create your own Zendala design. You can see these stencils here. My theme was triangles and I tangled them with lots of Munchin and a little bit of Phroz.

Next, of course, was shading. Now if you follow me regularly, you probably know of my love affair with pastel pencils. So you think you know what's coming, but no.... this was not shaded with pastel pencils. I used Prismacolor pencils and blended them with a tortillion dipped in Gamsol odorless mineral spirits. It was the first time I've used this method, and I'm happy to say that it worked really well! In the past, the few times I've used colored pencils, I blended by layering and layering and layering and going over and over and over it with a colorless blender. Maybe some of you like that way of doing things, but I found it to be very long and very tedious and very tiring on my hand. Using the mineral spirits was so much more up my alley, much quicker and much easier on my hand. It may have been my first time using this method, but it won't be the last, as you'll see in my next tile.

I love the way the white parts of the background make this tile appear to be glowing.

Next up was a pinkish-purplish tile.

I wanted to give this one a more organic look and used Flux (one of my go-to tangles recently) and Betweed.

As I said, I again used Prismacolor pencils and mineral spirits for shading this.

I added some sparkle to it by applying a clear Stardust gelly roll pen over the shading in the Flux, but you can't even see a hint of that in the above picture, so I took a closeup at an angle to show you the sparkle.

The last tile I have to share with you for now has shades of yellow, orange, and green.

I used a stencil from Acadia Laser Creations for this one. Since it is more earth-toned, I tangled with a brown Micron. It took me awhile to decide how many patterns to include and which parts of the stencil should be tangled with which pattern. This is what I ended up with, Knightsbridge and Baton.


Then I agonized over what materials to use for color, and after testing several things, I went with Tombow markers to fill in some areas, but no shading on this one.

I am liking this tile more than I expected to as I worked on it. Always a pleasant surprise when that happens.

Remember, if you're thinking about trying out some of these new tiles for you own tangling, you can still get 10% off until the 18th by using the code NEWCOLOR in my Etsy shop.