Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The Cymbal Elements

Beading with a needle and thread has been a love of mine for almost 20 years. I began by taking a few classes at my local bead store. The owner had an amazing supply of Miyuki seed beads and lots of classes, so that's where I began. I still love seed beads, although I also am intrigued with many of the new shapes coming out. What a time to be a beader! When I started out, there were seed beads, Czech glass firepolish, some fancy Czech, and if I could afford it that week, crystals. Now the heat is on for companies to come up with the latest and greatest bead shape.

On the findings end (no pun intended but it works), not much changed.
Until the Cymbals line.

Cymbal™ is a game-changing metal component line designed to fit and integrate with some of today's most popular beads: SuperDuo, Delica, 11/0 and 8/0 round seed beads, Tila, Silky Beads, and Honeycomb. I have mostly used the bead endings and the connectors in my work and I have to say, it has changed the way I end my bead weaving projects. What used to be a struggle as to how to make a secure ending with beads, or thread guards, or buttons, has now become en exciting and beautiful process. There is a Cymbal for just about any ending.

They are new and innovative and those who use them can see how beautifully they work. Hence, at the moment, they are a little hard to get. I'm hoping that will level out once the manufacturer figures out how to keep up. I am putting together some 'Cymbal Bit Kits' that support some of the designs I have come up with. Check your local bead store!

I've done a LOT of experimenting with these babies, so you don't have to. (But I suggest you have fun experimenting as well!) I have immersed myself in this line because I could feel how they would change things, so that is my first line of motivation to stay immersed. I also own a bead store in Dayton, Ohio, so I have a good shot at stocking them. I also have an Etsy store where I sell some supplies that support the tutorials I create. I can't say I know everything about every element, but when I discover a new use for any of them, I will post them here on this blog.

This square stitch design, Cymbals and Bits Bracelet, is a good example of how to use some of them. Even though each element is designed for use with a specific bead, many of them are so much more versatile! This photo will give you an idea...

As I play, I will post specific uses for these wonderful new findings. So stay tuned for more!

Monday, March 25, 2019


Transitions can be awfully scary and sometimes we don't even know why. It's hard to let go of things you love, things you love to do, people you love to be with. Things often seem to change on their own, but most often we've made some sort of choice about it without realizing we've done so.

This blog was primarily a spot for me to share my creative ramblings. The name, Open Seed, reflected for me, the openness of the creative force, and the potential for something to bloom from it. For the most part, this blog had been Zentangle related. I love the Zentangle method of making art. It really did change the way I approached not only art projects of any kind, but life projects. "One stroke at a time" has always reminded me that each moment, even though appearing to stand on its own, is connected to past and future of all the other moments. But past and future don't exist in the moment. SO.... the moment wins as often as I let it! I thank Maria Thomas and Rick Rogers for the gift of this art form, and for their personal examples of how this process can move through all of a life, not just the arty parts.

Over the last seven years, my art life has settled into beadweaving. I still do other things, but I have to accept my spot in the beading world. I like playing with beads and making up jewelry designs to share. I have and Etsy shop where I sell tutorials and kits that I've put together. I own a bead store in Dayton, Ohio. So this blog will change quite a bit from this moment on. Other arts may pop up, because all the people around me inspire me all the time, whether it's taking up crochet, painting, gardening. I am lucky to have so much inspiration in my life. This blog is a way to pass it on.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Bumpadox and the Threads of Inspiration

I posted one of my Tangle-a-Day pieces to Facebook last week.

January 15 contained a triangle with Puf. I had put some Crescent Moon/Diva Dance-like bumps on the auras before I had "puffed" it. Margaret Bremner commented, "Oooo, Paradox with bumps...:D".  And I said to myself, all righty then, let's try it!

Here is the fun that happened next...
It just so happened that while all this was going on, I was in the middle of a CZT gathering at my bead store. As I shared this new discovery, Cris Letourneau looked up from whatever she was doing and cried, "Bumpadox!"

So there you have it. I sometimes takes a village to create a new tangle. And of course, it all goes back to Rick for deconstructing one of our all time favorite tangles, Rick's Paradox.

Here are the step outs. You can do this technique beginning with any shape, but I suggest starting with a simple triangle. Maybe just bump two sides of the triangle on your first go, then once  you get the hang of it, go crazy with it.

I start each line away from the corner and then into the next corner. I found that working with the bumps, it was easier to start with a wider space to a corner than the other way round. Of course, do it which ever way is easier for you. Now, once the sides start to close in, it requires a little more focus to find your line end corner. But no matter, have fun and find your way. Who knows? You may end up with a whole new tangle!

Also, notice the last step is an option I add once in a while. The red lines are how I Puf the bumps. I simply connect any sharp corners formed in the auras around the bumps.

Have fun!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

2018 Calendar featuring Margaret Bremner, CZT!

The 2018 Tangle-a-Day calendar is now on the presses! You are welcome to place your orders at Braughler Books.

I so very happy to announce that Margaret Bremner (CZT) is our featured Zentangle artist for the 2018 Tangle-a-Day Calendar. I've long admired Margaret's work since the day I met her at my first CZT training seminar. Margaret has so much inspiration to share through her art, and we are so lucky to have our pages graced with her beautiful tangling style. I know you will enjoy this year's edition.

For those of you who would like to purchase the calendars in bulk, there is a separate listing on Braughler's website store.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

2017 Tangle-a-Day Calendars are available

We are happy to say that the 2017 Tangle-a-Day Calendars are now available! This year's theme is fragments. I've had so much fun with Zentangle's new Zentangle Primer, Vol. 1, that I had to include samples in the calendar. I hope you all have as much fun as I did.

Click here to purchase a calendar from Braughler Books.
Order quantities of 10 or more, click here.

Have a great 2017!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Fragment Fun

Create a square grid in pencil, then divide each square into four triangles. With pen, draw Poke Root in each triangle, turing your tile randomly to change the direction of each fragment. Let the Poke Root touch the edges of the penciled triangle.

Aura each Poke Root
Puf the corners, close up the outer loose ends, and shade!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Reticula Fun: Triangles

I have always loved quilting because of the way each square, when connected to the next, creates shapes and patterns that the one square alone did not. In Zentangle, the same fun can be had by connecting the same square or triangular design (fragments) in a grid fashion. There are so many combinations! If you have the Zentangle Primer, Vol. 1, check out the chapter about Reticula.

For the art below, I used a square grid and triangled it by drawing diagonal lines from corner to corner on each square. I did the grid loosely in pencil. I like when things are a little off, so I wasn't at all careful about even lines, etc.

The reason I drew the grid in pencil is so that the edges of each fragment will connect to the next one (or not!). This process makes way for new shapes to form between the fragments. I used the fragments illustrated in the wonderful chart in the Zentangle Primer: K-15 and J-15.

I alternated each fragment when drawing them in the grid. 
As I drew each one, I played off the loose end of the drawn fragment next to it...

I then connected any loose ends to each other. Notice how the outside lines connect to other outside loose ends to create complete shapes...

I then added more auras to the unfilled spaces, darkened some middles and shaded...
As you can see, the results are a little wonky and unpredictable... exactly what I love about the Zentangle process. The more I don't care about the outcome, the more fun it is when I find the many surprises the lines have in store!