Tuesday, May 31, 2011

In the Mood for Magic

The Diva's week 24 challenge is to use only stripes as the string. Stripes being linear and all, I went first to an obvious place in the first tile.

Then some curvy stripes creeped in for tile number 2...

Then came the third tile: When I did the string and began to play, I knew it would end up getting very lost, so I scanned it to record where I came from. I didn't know where I was going yet...

...but soon it became clear that some Puf was in the picture....

And voila... the finished tile. 

The string has done its magic again... you can't see it, but it never fails to bring together whatever we bring to the spaces.

Thank you Laura, and thank you, string.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Zentangle, meet Peyote. Peyote, Zentangle.

I finally have started to get the hang of mixing my two favorite things: Zentangle® and bead weaving. I've been struggling for a couple of months to figure out how to get some of my own tangles onto a piece of jewelry. Not having done much peyote stitch, I felt like I had to learn the hard way how not to make a pattern! I had already invested lots of time and effort into a large cuff, that in my heart, I knew was not cutting it. My tension was very uneven, and the spirals weren't as round as I wanted to see them.
    One day last week, in a Facebook look, I commented on another bead friend's post. Another beader did also..one who happens to be a master at peyote. I've always admired her work: Carol Dean Sharpe (aka Sand Fibers for you Etsy lovers). The subject of Zentangle came up in the comments, and before I knew it, Carol and I were in a conversation, and she had given me the key to unlock the next step on my peyote adventure. (Sounds like a line from a Carlos Castaneda book, yes? Sorry, no.) She led me to a bead program that would help me turn my tangles into playful peyote cuffs.
   I feel like I'm finally getting somewhere. It's been a process of much tearing out and starting over, but that's the good stuff, and where all the learning happens, even if it is the hard way.

Thanks, Carol, for your help AND your inspiration. Thanks, Zentangle and thank you, Facebook!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Week 23: String Theory

I love that each person will use the same string for this week's Diva Challenge. When I teach a beginner Zentangle class, we all start with the same string, and it's always tons of fun to see what happens as each person brings their own beauty and sensibility to each tangle and each tile.
   Taking a cue from Laura's (the diva) process, I didn't have my kit handy, so I opened my tangle library with eyes closed, and picked whatever tangle was in front of me. As I was mid-tile, I heard my email chime and saw that a new tangle had been posted on tanglepatterns.com. It's J.J. LaBarbera's pattern: Arc Flower. I used it in the lower left corner of tile #2. Lots of fun!! I also had a lovely time with Donna Hornsby's Keenees. I love the way those little 'kini bottoms dance around on tile #1. Very cute, Donna! Mine don't have the polka dots; I'm more of a little black keenee kind of girl (mmm hmm...it's been a long time and never again). 
   I went for lots of black on these, and I have to note: using the Sakura graphic 3 pen... be careful not to smudge. I smudged. (A little shading does wonders: tile #3.) 
   Now that I'm looking at these three tiles, I can't really remember where the string actually is, but it's always quietly underneath, pulling everything together. It has its own little way of being there, but not being there all at the same time. That's the magic of the String:)
  Thanks, Laura, J.J., Donna, Zentangle, tanglepatterns.com, and the lovely string itself!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Unbinding the Shackles of Notions

One of the best things about being a Certified Zentangle Teacher is the opportunity to revisit the basics of this art form. I offer a Zentangle® Intro class each month at a local gallery in Dayton, Ohio. Each time I teach this class, I am reminding myself of the elegant groundwork of this simple artform. One wonderful aspect of Zentangle is the unknown outcome. It is designed to "inspire participants to build and expand on each new idea, unhindered and unconstrained by limiting preconceptions."
  This past Friday's class, I knew three of the four students before the class even started. When I think I know people, there are preconceived notions about them that can color what I say and do. So, just as when I begin a new Zentangle tile, I notice my notions, and let them go if I can, and then things become much clearer. When my intuition isn't clouded or hammered by what I think I know, things flow much easier. To prepare for a class, I usually create a sample tile, using the tangles I know I will teach. I wasn't surprised that it somehow got lost between my house and the gallery. Just one more indicator to always start without my notions!
   Here's a photo of what happened in our class... so much rhythm and creative juice! It's always a treat to see how each person interprets the the same string and the same tangles. We used Meer, Crescent Moon, Beelight, and Hollibaugh. Beautiful!!!

Thanks Sara, Mike, Phil, Rosaline, Gallery 510, and Zentangle!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Bead Time

I spent last weekend at "the" bead retreat. Twice a year, a group of 16-24 women drag their bead belongings to Kirkmont Center in Zanesfield, Ohio. We also drag every snack under the sun and our jammies. It's a nice long weekend (Thursday through Sunday) of relaxing, staying up late, munching, beading, staying shoeless and in jammies, and best of all, laughing.
   It's a great time to devote to bead projects, and I had more than a few UFOs (UnFinished Objects) to keep me busy. Even though I didn't finish them all, it was nice to have a time set aside for connecting with them. For me, this community of these beaders is what I enjoy most, so anything I get done is just icing on the cake! (Of course, we had real cake too. And brownies, and chips and cookies.)
   Here are a few things that happened:

Thanks ladies, for a great weekend!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hair comes more change.

Surrender is awesome. It's much more fun to surrender to the changes than to fight them. 

My morning at the hair salon (Affinity Salon) was, once again, an exercise in allowance and surrender. I went there planning to get some of my grey hair turned to black. I've never had black hair ever. But Craig (my stylist/designer/artist) coaxed me over the last two visits to consider it. I decided yes. I was still in "control", as I had pondered my options and chose that as the next step. But, when I got there and we chatted about what to do, he had bigger (and better) plans. At this point, I really did know that my intent was to let him 'have at it', allowing him to do whatever vision was dancing around in his head. It was great fun to watch him paint. I felt like a blank canvas as the artist floated from one strand to another, with careful contemplation and intuition. THAT was fun.

I let it be. I love it. I feel like I might be becoming a Zentangle. I realized as he dried my hair, and I saw the greys and blacks playing together on my head, that my clothes were black and grey, with textured tights covered in large diamond patterns, and black and white polka dotted shoes. My purse is a tangly looking one, too. My reading glasses were also black and white polka dots. hmmm. He told me that if I started wearing a coat made from dalmations (ala Cruella Deville), I might be in big trouble.

I'm posting photos, since last time I talked about the hair, people asked. Mostly the black is in the back and sides (which used to be light grey), with a few streaks in the front bangs. I've also decided to post a photo on the side bar of the blog since I'm headed to Providence in October for the next Zentangle seminar. Now when I meet my online friends, they might know me from my photo instead of my name tag!

Thanks, Craig, for my really fun hair! And thanks, Christina for the best, most relaxing shampoo in Dayton! You guys are really great.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Playing with Change

I like consistency, as it often makes life a little easier when we know what to expect. There is a comfort in knowing that things around us are staying the same. But every day is full of ebbs and flows, and embracing the changes that come upon us is an exciting game.
   This morning I looked at my little blogspace and felt it was time to shake it up. I went exploring in the Blogger design "store" and found what felt like a really fun and flowy and watery pink background. Don't know why, but it just felt right. Makes me wonder what other changes I will see today...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Diva22: A Little Help From My (Best) Friend

I often feel a natural sense of gratitude in connection to Zentangle. I am always glad I found it, and awfully glad I am able to pick up a pen and appreciate what calm and loveliness each stroke brings.

The Diva's challenge this week was to "enlist the help of someone other than yourself who will draw the string on your tile or Zentangle Inspired piece". I enlisted my other half, Daved, and he did two for me. When I placed the two strung tiles in front of me, I was immediately filled with gratitude for this partner who performed this simple task with such love and respect. It's just a little piece of paper, but not. He knows that and I am grateful for that, too. 
  As so many beautiful things are blooming around me, I suppose it was natural to do these two tiles. They sort of burst forth from the pen. They are so similar, yet not. It's almost like one was continued from the other. Hmm...little pieces of art that went from one hand to another. What fun.
  Thank you Daved, Laura, and Peg (for finding Zentangle).


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

21 Oof

Our 21st Diva challenge was to get to know the new Zentangle® pattern, Oof. Yay! a new tangle to play with!

I was surprised that this challenge was my most difficult! I felt really out of synch with my pen this week. I also realized that making the diamond shapes I needed to begin the Oof Tangle, were not in the "things I do well" drawer. For some reason, this tripped me up every time. I'm not a very precise tangler, so lining things up makes me a little nervous. I don't think I ever did settle into a flow with it.
   The Zentangle process asks us to be patient with ourselves, take our time, be deliberate and let things flow. Once again, my exercise was to allow the marks to be where they are, whether they are in step or out of step with the way a tangle's steps go! Lemonade from lemons. And I felt like I had many lemons in these three tiles. Some don't resemble the Oof tangle, some have just a hint of it left, and I'm thinking one, at least, is bare bones Oof.
    Thank you, Laura, and thank you Zentangle!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mama Maria!

M is for 'mama', and I hope you all have a great Mother's Day.

M is also for Maria Thomas, the mama of Zentangle®. Thank you, Maria (and Rick too) for giving life to this art form that nourishes and enhances all of our lives!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Royal Re-do

It's been way too long since my last post! I've been floating between beading and tangling, and cupcake/muffin making. And, of course, there's my graphic business to care for mixed in with all that. There are some days when I'm having so much fun, I don't know what day it is and how much time has flown by. It's been like that the last couple of weeks. Time to get back in the blog saddle for a bit. Especially for the Diva's Challenge: Royal Wedding.

I was a little saturated by the wedding visuals, so I thought it might be hard to revisit something I thought I had already spent so much time with. But just as soon as I think it will be hard, I realize that's the fun of the challenge. On to the Zentangle portion of the Royal Wedding coverage...