Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Threading the Red

I'm not prone to use color in a Zentangle®. Something about the black and white satisfies my little soul, so I don't often venture far from that until I am asked to. Or, in this case, challenged to! That is one of the reasons I like Laura Harm's challenges. I like to challenge myself, but it's even more fun for me when someone else lays down the gauntlet. 
   This week the Diva presented guest challenger, Cris Letourneau CZT. Cris presented a challenge to support The Red Thread Promise organization. So here comes the color part: We were to create a traditional black and white tangle tile with a single red "thread" running through it. We were also invited to send our actual tiles to be auctioned to help raise money for the organization. 
   I used red pen for my string, and moved on with the black. The red pen I had was a very bright one, which really shook me up!! Just kind of kidding, although it definitely wasn't the most comfortable color for me to use, I bucked up and had a lot of fun. (As is so often the case when peeking out of the 'box'.)
  Thanks, Cris and Laura, for a fun challenge. And my tiles are headed your way, Cris!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

TriShapes to Monotangle

This week's Diva Challenge is brought to us by Sue Clark, a CZT from Loveland Colorado. Sue's idea is to use three shapes (circle, square, triangle) to create the string. The other element of the challenge was to "tri" tangles that we had never used before. That part was easy, as there are so many tangles popping up, one can hardly keep track. Enter: tanglepatterns.com! I visited this site, went to the beginning (A), and started down the list, adding tangles that I hadn't tried yet. This was fun, as I didn't have to think, just pick in the order they appeared. I love doing this! It gives me a sort of permission to not care so much about what I want the tile to look like, or what I think might go together. Not that those things are bad, but one can often get over-focused on presentation and outcome.
   My string had many sections! So I used many tangles! (Antidots, Arc Flower, Archer, Asian Fans, Basketweave, Bateek, Bilt... with a little 'Nzeppel and Paradox thrown in, just because I love them!) This was a fun process: to just let go and fill each section without the worry of what the outcome would be. I started to feel very busy, and so did my tile. I liked how it felt, but I knew I had to do another tile to balance myself out a little!

During the first tile, I paid attention to which of the tangles I was enjoying most while doing it. Which rhythm suited me at the time? I settled on Archer, a tangle created by Chris Gerstner. I decided to do a monotangle tile: just using one tangle in all the sections created by the string. I used the three shapes again to make the string and filled them with Archer. Even though this tangle appears to be a "border" tangle, I mirrored it and then let it stretch out and attach itself to the Archers in other sections of the tile, connecting the ends of the lines to whatever was around it. Shading was lots of fun, as lots of shapes appeared that I hadn't seen when I just tangling the lines. And where did the string go? Hard telling, but it's in there!

Thanks to Sue and Laura for a fun challenge this week, and Chris Gerstner for a fun tangle. And thanks to tanglepatterns.com and all who contribute to it!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Got Galoo?

Inspired by Maria Thomas' tangled frame ideas, I offered a Zentangle class that featured specific tangles that could be used to create personalized and unique photo enhancements. As I prepared for the class, with my library of trusty tangles in front of me, a new tangle emerged. This one was born in trying to 'clean up' a messy ink blob I had made while trying to do a whole other thing. This may be a tangle that has been done before, although I've looked around and didn't see it. So if any of you have seen it, let me know. I call this Galoo. If you like coloring in spaces, you will most probably have some fun with it!

Here is the detail of one frame corner:

And here are the steps:

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Containing the Fun

I little while back I was inspired by Maria Thomas' repurposing of a canister that they now use as a home for their Micron® pens. To store my pens properly in a horizontal position, I put them in a box I have to rummage through. Not fun, and certainly not very handy. What ended up happening was, I had them laying horizontally all over my desk, and once in a while they ended up back in the box. After seeing the canister idea, I was on the hunt in my own house to find something I could repurpose. No such luck.
   Not long after, I was in Staples and found this square pencil holder that had sections. Laying it on its side (with some kneaded eraser dots to hold it steady on my desk), I can put all the .01 pens in one compartment, all "the others" in another compartment, and a pile of tiles now has a home in the lower compartment! I don't see this contraption online at Staples, so you might have to actually visit the store to see if they have them. I believe they also had a black version.
   Now my desk is still not clutter-free by any means, but now my pens are not part of that clutter, happy in their new little home and standing ready at a moment's notice. Because one never knows when a Zentangle moment may present itself!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pondering on the Poppy

The Diva's challenge this week is about poppies, or rather, what they call us to remember. It seems the past couple months have been full of passings: people leaving this party for some other. I don't have a clue about how it all really works, although my sense is, that possibly, everything that seems to leave still lingers in some way or another. The poppies are a reminder of the energies that linger in our lives, and our connection to them.

   The process of Zentangle also reminds me of these things. As one line ends, another emerges from the pen, connected in some magical, yet natural way to the space around it. Each line flows to where it pleases, and finds its place, relative to those that have come before it. As each tile is finished, it finds its place to stay, maybe in a box, maybe in a letter to a friend. Wherever it ends up, its marks and twists and turns are indelibly real, and the next Zentangle that comes into existence, is quietly built upon the one we put away. One thing just can't help but be part of the next. So thank you everybody:)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Bridging the Love

I am a lucky girl.

Last weekend I was invited to teach some beading classes at Beads'N More in Akron, Ohio, which is over 3 hours away. (One of the shop owners is Estelle Goodnight, who is also a CZT!) So my other half, Daved (also now a CZT!) drove me up the road, and also acted as my 'store manager', as I was able to bring a trunk show of patterns and kits to sell during the classes.  It was a great weekend, with wonderful people, and creative energy flowing all around. It was a special experience to be in a shop that bridged beading AND Zentangle energy. (Thank you, Estelle and Alyson!)

As I was keeping very busy teaching the classes, Daved had lots of time to sit and be still. There were times it appeared that he was doing nothing, and for the most part, that was kind of true. But as I watched him be still, I called to mind something Rick Roberts had said during the recent CZT seminar: To pay attention to what is NOT there: the open space. Very often it is the stillness and not doing, that brings us to see the next step to take.

It wasn't until the second morning that I saw what was happening in Daved's 'open space' of the day before. As I sipped my hotel coffee, and pulled out some blank Zentangle tiles, we began a chat. He described to me a tangle that had come to mind in that open space of the day before. He hadn't put it to paper, and I was seeing that he would leave that up to me:)

What happened was a tangle he calls Bridgen.

There are tangles a bit like this one, but what makes this different is the process of the sequence. For instance, in Tink, the circles are drawn first inside a string section, and then randomly connected. In Bridgen, the string IS the basis of the tangle. All of your marks are made one after the other, connecting right onto the string itself. (This part is fun, as path decision is already made.) Once you have covered your string, then (step 6), make the next circle inside a section next to, or far away from the last circle you made. Then make another "bridge" mark (step 7) to connect them, letting the new line fall under the line that is already there. This will result in a Hollibaugh effect, of items falling behind. Remember, the bridges can be curved or straight. Find your own rhythm: do you like to make a circle then connect? Or do you like to make the lines and cap it with a circle? Are you in a mood to fill up the space or leave some blank and open? I love how the process of a Zentangle can show us these little things about ourselves.

Thank you, Daved and the space. I've been getting joyfully lost/opened up in this one!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Spooky Little Treasures

When my boys were little, Halloween was one of our favorite holidays. Super hero costumes were pretty much the norm, and the front porch was a mini-haunted house that even the teenaged trick-or-treaters thought was cool enough for them. These days I have my (grown men!) kids' Facebook pages to see what they wear on Halloween. And now I live on a dark street a bit up a hill that the little kids just don't make their way to, so it's a quiet evening of tangling for me.
   I love how a life can ebb and flow into new spaces, just like a Zentangle. My Halloweens these days are like an open space to either fill or not fill, with whatever I like. This Monday, the Diva presented a spooky flavored challenge. A webby kind of mood took me over, so that's where I went:

Thanks Laura, and hope you all had a great Hallow's Eve!