Saturday, November 10, 2012

Socc It To Me - The Diva's Challenge #94

The Diva's Challenge this week (see link button at right) is another of her "Use My Tangle" challenges and features the pattern "Socc" from one of my fellow CZT7's, Erin Olson. When she showed our CZT class this pattern, I loved how she started with what looked like Carole Ohl's pattern "Puf" but made it completely different. More than just a tanglation, the steps and feel of Socc are very different, but just as satisfying. You can see below that I obsessed just a little bit with this Challenge this week!
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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Tangling Just For Fun

As much as I love doing Zentangle for the various Challenges and Dares and swaps, every now and then I allow myself to just tangle for the joy of tangling.  The other day, as I was looking at some of the tiles posted by other CZT's, I wondered what I could do with using a bullseye as my string. I starting filling in the rings with a combination of new tangle patterns and old favorites, with no real plan or preconcieved ideas.  Where have we heard that before?  When I ran out of ideas, I stopped and picked it up another time.  It was so relaxing, so pleasing, so satisfying to return "home" to the very essence of Rick and Maria's Zentangle artform.
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Friday, October 19, 2012

I Took the Zendala Dare

This week, I decided to take the Zendala Dare.  Erin Koetz Olson, a fellow ZCT7 from California, has been posting a weekly challenge on her blog, The Bright Owl, on which she shows a different Zendala string.  Her string for Dare #25 caught my eye, so this week I decided to try it.  What fun! Thanks, Erin!!
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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Playing Catch Up

Wow!  I'm five Diva Challenges behind!  Where did the end of September go and is it already October??  In my attempt to get caught up, I combined the last two challenges, #89 "Sankegg" and #90 "String Theory v. XIII".  (See the Diva Challenge link button at right)  This was really fun for me, combining an old favorite, Baton, with a brand new pattern, Santegg, from Maria Vennekens and using Linda Farmer's TanglePatterns String 001 to hold it all together.  Sankegg lends itself so well to an Escher-like treatment.  Thanks Maria, Linda, and Laura!
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Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Diva's Challenge #85 - Copado

I decided to just keep it simple with the Diva's Challenge (see link button at right).  This week we had another UMT (Use My Tangle) challenge; it features Margaret Bremner's versatile tangle called Copado.  Lots of possibilities for tanglations, but this one told me to just stop now.  Who am I to argue?
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Monday, September 3, 2012

Diva Challenge #84 - Better Late Than Never!

I missed the Diva's deadline last week, but finished it anyway.  Something about this lazy holiday morning that inspired me to just wander around my "Blindsided String" that was last week's Diva Challenge (see link button at right).  Anyone who has experienced Zentangle knows what I'm talking about.
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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Not the Diva's Challenge

I went to the Diva's Challenge site (see link button at right) earlier this week to find that she was taking what I know was a well-deserved vacation break, so I decided to come up with my own Challenge.  While wandering around in Linda Farmer's Tangle Patterns site, I did a search for Laura Harm's patterns and there I found my Challenge.  Actually, it is a Challenge that Linda Farmer came up with after seeing the Diva's first four Challenges; Linda challenged us to Zentangle our names by using patterns beginning with each letter of our name.  In true Diva fashion, I added a little extra twist by challenging myself to only use patterns I'd never used before.  Below is my name using the following patterns:
Looplopp, Echoism, Slainte, Lotsadots, Eye-wa, and Yincut 
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This turned out to be a very fun Challenge and could be the start of some personalized Christmas presents.  Thanks to Linda for giving me my Challenge fix this week and thanks to the Diva for inspiring it!!
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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Duo Tangle - Diva Challenge #83

So glad I found time to do this week's Diva Challenge (see link button at right) - I had forgotten how free and easy Mooka can be!  The Diva asked us to create a Duo Tangle tile using only the patterns Mooka and Assunta.  While I ended up keeping the two fairly separated, they created a nice flow around the tile.  One nice "surprise" was how the auras in the negative space created a very Puf-like feel to the Assunta - totally by accident.  I love when that happens!
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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Tangled Triptych - Going BIG!

I was recently invited to display some of my tiles and ZIA (Zentangle Inspired Art) pieces as part of Muncie's First Thursday Art Walk next month.  I was thrilled at the prospect, but a little intimidated when the owner asked if I could do some larger pieces.  Other than framing a completed 9-tile Ensemble, the largest piece I've done is a 10" X 10" Zendala.  (Unless you count the 18" x 18" "tiles" on demo pads in class.  Actually, I was trying to figure out how I could make some of those class "tiles" work, but can't get past the look of the newsprint!)  I finally decided that I would try to do larger Ensemble-like tiles.  After finding a frame shape and size that interested me, I set to work on three 11" X 11" Strathmore bristol vellum squares.  I put them together to draw a large string through all three, then focused on each piece separately.  I did put two squares back together if I wanted to tangle over the edges from one square to the next, but for the most part, I just let myself approach each square as if it were my usual tile.  What started out as a real challenge ended up being a really fun project.  The framed size is 36" X 11 1/2".  Please forgive the bad pictures - my scanner bed is only 8 1/2" X 11".
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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Challenge #78 - "Auraknot"

What is it about Rick and Maria's latest tangle pattern, "Auraknot", that has inspired such a burst of of creativity and Tangle-ation?  Part of it may be the fun and inventive way they chose to introduce it to us - by showing lots of examples of it without giving us the steps and then challenging us to figure them out with just a couple of hints.  Part of it may have been the additional challenge of having us come up with the name.  Nope, it is definitely the tangle itself that lends itself to so much investigation, exploration, and (dare I say it?) borderline obsession!  Personally, I can't remember being this fascinated by a new pattern since I discovered Rick's Paradox.  In the interest of space, I'm only going to post one Auraknot ZIA (with just a dash of Betweed) at this time for my entry in this week's Diva Challenge (see the link button at right).  But be warned, you'll be seeing lots of Auraknot in this blog from now on - this one is destined to be a Zentangle classic!
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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Challenge #77 - UMT Fiore di Pietro

I was very moved by Rho Densmore's tangle pattern tribute to her brother-in-law who recently passed away unexpectedly.  She came up with a beautiful pattern called Fiore di Pietro (Peter's Flower).  She shared the steps for this lovely pattern and then invited her fellow CZT's (and others) to use this pattern to create tiles that she wanted to collect as part of a memorial she was compiling as a surprise for her family.  I thought this was such a special gesture and found that this 6" x 6" ZIA pretty much drew itself - I just let it flow.  I'm very happy that The Diva chose this pattern for this week's challenge (see link button at right) so I can share my take on Rho's tangle.  I hope that all this week's participants will think of Rho's family as they honor her brother-in-law.
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Friday, June 15, 2012

Eccentric Circles

Before heading off to Chicago for a fun weekend with some special friends, I'm posting 3 solutions to this week's Diva Challenge #74 (see link button at right), another of her String Theory series. This Challenge really fascinated me - I found myself drawing several strings in different formats on different papers all week long.  Here are the ones I ended up liking the best - interesting that all ended up on 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" inch tiles.

The Diva quotes Wikipedia's definition of eccentric (as opposed to concentric) circles as "an eccentric or elliptical orbit having a different center." For some reason, this strikes me not only as a great Diva Challenge (is there any other kind?) but also as a potential theme for this weekend!
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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Bridgen - two extremes

The Diva's Challenge (see link button at right) this week is another in her series of UMT (Use my Tangle) challenges and features Daved Levitan's tangle pattern, Bridgen.  My first attempt uses my usual approach to this pattern, using it as a border and filling in the spaces with another pattern (in this case, I used Erin Olsen's Socc).  Then, I wanted to see if I could bring Bridgen to the forefront and make it the star of my second tile, not just the border for something else.  Sometimes, simpler is simply better.  Thanks, Daved!
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Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Diva's Challenge - "To the Moon!"

This week, the Diva takes us "to the moon" with Challenge #72 (see link button at right).  She challenges the tanglation nation to do a monotangle using that reliable favorite, Crescent Moon.  While I didn't really go that wild with it, I did have fun playing with the scale and just some subtle shading...and I had never thought of using it as a border pattern before.  Thanks for bringing new life to this old friend, Laura!
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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Challenge #70 - "Color Me Sepia"

Nothing like squeezing the Diva's Challenge in at the very last minute!
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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Zendala + Color = A Fun Challenge!

Not a Diva's Challenge, just a personal challenge.  I tend to be a black and white purist when it comes to my Zentangles but decided to give some color a try with this Zendala.  The shapes of this prestrung tile really said "Paradox" to me and, in true mandala style, I stayed very symmetrical with the pattern and the color.  I started the Paradox on the same side of each shape as I rotated the tile to keeps the twists all going in the same direction.  After drawing all the lines using 005 Micron pens in blue, black, green, and purple, I shaded using dry watercolor pencils that most closely matched the ink colors.  As alway, I found that Paradox and its shading really seem to work better with a very light touch.
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"Paradox" Lost? My Paradox Process

Do you still get "lost" trying to draw Paradox?  Try this exercise:

(1) Draw a simple triangle on a piece of scrap paper with one of the points at the top and 2 points at the bottom.

(2) Starting with the bottom left corner ("On the corner") draw a straight line toward the corner at the right but angle the line so that you end up stopping at the right side just above the corner("Off the corner").

(3) Without picking up your pen ("On the corner"), rotate the tile clockwise so that you draw your next line to the right, again angling so that you stop on the right side just above the corner ("Off the corner").

(4) Without lifting your pen ("On the corner"), again rotate the tile clockwise  and draw your next line until you come to the next side line above the corner ("Off the corner").

(5) Continue to repeat drawing from "On the corner" to "Off the corner", remembering to rotate your tile the same direction and always stopping at the inside line just above the corner, until you have rotated and drawn all the way to the center.

Now try another triangle but lift up your pen before you rotate your tile.  As long as you continue to rotate in the same direction and put your pen back down where you stopped your last line, you won't get lost.

After you master the triangle, try the same approach with a square or rectangle.  Adding more sides to your shapes will make your Paradox even more interesting and complex, but still continue to use the same technique. To this day, I still chant "On the corner" to "Off the corner" in my head whenever I do Paradox.

Disclaimer:  I'm right handed.  For those of you who are lefties, you may want to try reversing the direction if drawing to the right feels awkward. You'll still draw from "On the corner" to "Off the corner,but from right to left and you'll rotate the tile counter clockwise.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

"Feelin' Groovy!" - Challenge #69

In spite of being a little under the weather this week, this week's Diva Challenge (see link button at right) had me feeling groovy.  It was another "Use My Tangle" challenge and Eden from "Cut'n It Up" was this week's feature with her tangle "Groovy."  I really had fun contrasting the pattern with heavy shading against no shading at all - it seems to work both ways.  The big shape in the center cried out for Zedbra and Baton just wanted to snuggle in between.

So, am I the only one who got a craving for shell pasta after playing with Groovy?
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Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Diva's Challenge #67 - Earth (Amanda's) Day

I chose to do this week's Diva Challenge (see link button at right) using a Zendala tile - seemed pretty obvious since the Diva challenged us with the theme of Earth Day.  Be sure to read her story about her son's new name for the Earth - Amanda.  Laura's creativity hasn't fallen far from the tree!
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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Laura's Aura Challenge

The Diva's Challenge (see link button at right) for this week is lots of fun!  We're challenged to explore the idea of auras - lines that outline a shape or tangle.  I used a few old favorite tangles (Crescent Moon, Static, Inapod) that are obviously about auras but always fun, with a few extra orbs and shading to spice things up.
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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Diva's Challenge - String Theory VIII - "Fortuneteller"

In preparation for a "white on black" Zentangle class I have coming up, I decided to use this week's Diva Challenge (see link button at right) to experiment with different patterns on the black tiles. It didn't take me long to know my fortune...I see LOTS more practice for my class in my future!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sometimes you just gotta tangle!

On my break at work this morning, I decided to take a quick peek at this week's Diva Challenge (see button at the right).  It looked like a fun challenge (are they ever not fun?) so I grabbed my purse to pull out my little Zentangle "travel kit."  I reached in and...oh, no!  I forgot to put it in my purse today! I desparately looked around my desk for something to tangle on when my eyes fell on a pad of Post-It notes.  Why not? They're square and almost the right size.  Just a few minutes later, with the help of a fine point rollerball pen, I had my fix; I could return to work relaxed and happy knowing that I had accomplished at least one thing at work this morning.
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Saturday, March 24, 2012

"Fengle" Tangles - Challenge #63

I can always count on the Diva to get my behind in gear to work on and work out a new tangle pattern.  She came through again with this week's Diva Challenge (see link at the right).  Our Challenge is to use "Fengle."  Even though Rick and Maria gave us this new pattern before Christmas, I had not really tried it.  I can see that this opens up all sorts of possibilities for "tangle-ations" and expect to have lots of fun Fengle-ing!

My first try was a 6" x 6" ZIA just to get the hang of it.  I really prefer the second one (which is an "official Zentangle" on the white tile) that just came out in about 15 minutes.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Carole's Coaster - a little late

About a year ago, a group of us gathered at Oakwood Retreat Center in Selma, IN, just outside of Muncie, for the Float Fest Retreat, organized by Carole Ohl with classes taught by Carole and my sister, Peg Farmer.  I knew about Zentangle from Peg (thanks, big sis!), had played around with it a little, but had never had a class or any kind formal introduction to it.  That long weekend really made a change in my life - I met some new friends, learned lots of new tangles, and most of all, finally "got" what Zentangle is about; I was hooked. I had always admired (coveted?) Carole's tangles and techniques and there I was, learning them from her - shading and negative space and combining patterns (and how to start a zendala without math!)  I'm not doing this to embarrass Carole, just to thank her.

As is typical for me, I started this ZIA in February in honor of Carole's birthday with all good intentions of posting it for her on the 20th and...well....I just finished it today. I used one of my favorite Carole tangles, Coaster, with a little Paradox thrown in.  Happy birthday a little late, Carole. You really are an inspiration for so many of us!
See some of Carole's work at

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Diva's Challenge #62 - Spirals vs. Paradox

This week's Diva Challenge (see button to the right) is from the creative mind of guest Challenger, Marizaan van Beek, from South Africa.  Our challenge is to use both spirals and Paradox by using a spiral string filled in with favorite tangle Paradox.  This one has been WAY fun for me!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Diva Challenge #61 UMT (Use My Tangle)

I had such a good time with last week's DuoTangle Challenge that I found myself solving this week's challenge using only 2 tangle patterns again. Mariet's "wavey" pattern called Golven (Dutch for waves) paired beautifully with my latest favorite pattern, Hi-Cs, from Anita Roby-Lavery. Mike says it looks like just one corner of a larger piece - maybe that's because I just finished an ensemble set I've been working on. Whatever the reason, I really enjoyed doing this week's challenge - thanks, Laura, Mariet, and Anita!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Diva's Challenge #60

Wow! Challenge #60 - how time flies....all good intentions....starting over again....blah, blah, blah...
Yes, I've beat myself up about this blog long enough.  Today I'm posting this week's Diva Challenge which uses a favorite pattern, Munchin, and a not-so-favorite, Cirquital.  Thank you, Laura, for always giving me a weekly topic that I can count on!