Friday, September 23, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Redefining a Day

Thank you, Laura for your lovely challenge this week. One would think after inhabiting this planet for as long as we have, that we wouldn't need reminders of the power of love, but we do.
   Love and fear. It's been said that there are only these two things. The anniversary of 9/11 brings either or both to the fore. As I watched tv, and read the Facebook posts of the day, I was struck by the amount of sadness and loss of 9/11 ten years ago. But also, on Sunday, I was fortunate enough to get a real reminder of what a day can mean: our young friends welcomed their first baby. It occurred to me, the possible cloud that our new little friend, Eva, might carry. Sometimes when a person is born on a day marked by tragedy, that energy can "get on" a person. I'm wondering if we shift our perspective to a love-based one, how that could change the meaning of a day.
   On Sunday, I tangled a gift for little Eva Jolie. When Laura posted our challenge the next day, it felt like I had already participated in the challenge. When I finally got to see and hold little Eva yesterday, everyone in the room talked about the possibility that she could change the meaning of the day for all of us there. That's a start, yes? Can such a sweet and tiny little being pull it off? I have no doubts. She already has. We can be the change we wish to see.

Thank you, Laura and little Eva Jolie!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tangled Toms

I'm in love. I've admired from afar, having only the internet to dance around my desires. I played with the idea of meeting in person, but the planets just hadn't lined up that way yet. One day, a server in a restaurant introduced me to her favorite, which gave me the inspiration to pursue my intuitive hunches. I found a place where I could try my sweeties on for size. The only one that seemed to work was a lovely bicolor, which I secretly really wanted, but didn't think it would be appropriate in all situations. Because I'm a sucker for black and white, and especially stripes, was hoping they would do. Once I slipped into it, there was no longer a question. The love was real and everything about it was perfect: comfortable, cute, unpretentious, straight forward.

  If you've not tried on a pair of TOMS shoes, I suggest you at least find a shoe store and do that. And if you've never hear of TOMS shoes, here is a link to tell you all about it. They have great shoes and a great story. Once I knew what size would fit me (I found them true to size for me, some say get a half size smaller, as they are likely to stretch), I ordered another pair (ok, two pair) from I ordered a basic black, and a natural canvas, to tangle, of course.....

  I used a Micron .03 and a regular graphite pencil (softer lead works best). I tried a .05, but the ink seemed to skip over the canvas instead of actually coloring it. I will probably make some of the areas a little darker, but then again, I'm too anxious to start wearing them, so maybe not. I sprayed it with some Krylon, but will have to hunt down some Scotchgard™ or something similar. Anyone with any suggestions, please chime in! I loved how easy these were to tangle, and I love that they ended up looking like a Zentangle I would do on a tile, with all the line differences and pencil shadows.
    I am in love. Never had a shoe that was more comfortable (Minnetonkas are really nice!), and I know that if I HAVE to wear something else, I will. Otherwise, Toms are now my go-to shoe!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Art is for Everyone

A new little restaurant called Amicis opened in our city (Kettering, Ohio) a couple months ago. One of their commitments is to feature a local artist's work each month. They get fun stuff on their walls, and they also get to help out artists in the area who want to show or sell their work. I offered up Zentangle, and they said, 'cool!'
   I had a few large Zentangle inspired pieces, and lots of actual Zentangle tiles (LOTS of those). Most of my larger items were already framed, but the smaller pieces were not. Framing is expensive, and it's really hard to find nice frames that will fit a Zentangle tile. So I asked my friend and framer, Dave Crowell (Framin' Dave as we like to call him) to help me out. We worked out a deal where he made frames from his short pieces, and I agreed to just buy whatever he made.  I loved the idea of getting a bunch of random frames to play with. And because Dave knows all about what Zentangle is, I trusted that he would give me frames that would work. What fun it was to pick up boxes of these babies and then match them up with my little army of Zentangle tiles! I framed about 40 of the tiles altogether. Not all of them are in the show, but most are.

   As many of you know, I borrowed Laura Harms' Zentangle Challenge one week and asked participants to send me their challenge tiles. I wanted to feature these as part of the show. I thought the best way to show what Zentangle is (in my mind, it is art for everyone!) would be to show the beauty and diversity in lots of different tiles done by lots of different people. You all were amazing!! I received 60 tiles from people all over the world! It was a thrill to get the mail every day- so many beautiful tiles! I had seen many of them already online, and to see them in 'real life' was like I was meeting the person who created it, and feeling them with me. Putting them all together was like the online Zentangle community coming to life right before me. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your beautiful contributions.
      To display this lovely community of tiles, I found a slide-in frame strip that is used for displaying 4x6 photos. They were inexpensive and each 18" strip held 5 tiles very nicely, although I did have to cut them and reposition them to hold the 3.5" tiles.

As for what will happen to the tiles you all sent, we decided that if people wanted to buy one, they could easily take it off the strip, and we will donate the proceeds to the local art non-profit, We Care Arts, who help disabled persons discover and use their potential through learning art skills. Once a tile has been sold, we slip a thank you tile in its place with the donor's name on it.

Thank you all again for helping me illustrate the beauty and fun of Zentangle. As far as I'm concerned, even though the show has only been up since Tuesday, it's already a success because of its spirit and your participation. I feel all of you there, and I am grateful for that. Anything else that comes from it would be icing on an already yummy cake! (I did sell 4 pieces on the night of the reception -- woo hoo!)

Pair o' ducks

I missed last week's Diva challenge. I started a few tiles, but that's as far as it went. Some days and weeks are just like that. Sometimes the challenge is actually getting to do the challenge. It felt a little funny not to get to it. Having it not happen, I became aware of the ritual it has become for me. It's a gift I give myself each week. Even though I can sit and tangle anytime I like, I forget that I don't always have to take command from all the 'shoulds' that live in my head. (I should get this done, that done, etc). It's a good thing to shake things up and move out of the rituals once in a while so I can really feel into which ones really mean something to me.
   This week I made a point to be with my challenge gift. I love Paradox, but don't do it as much as I would think I would, so this was great fun. It's especially cool, since Margaret Bremner posted her very awesome Paradox "pointers" in her blog.  At this time, I haven't been round to see what all the other challenge participants are up to, so looking forward to doing that in the next couple days. It's always an inspiration!
   I am always inspired by Shelly Beauch's lovely spirals, so the first was a spiral filled with Paradox. The second was a very swirly string, with the triangles eked out of the sections. I'm in love right now with the brown Micron, so it had to find its way in there this week.
   Thank you, Laura, Margaret, Shelly, and Rick Roberts, for the gift of Paradox (or Pair of ducks, as the Diva says!)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Back in the Saddle

Hello, to anyone who is still coming to try and read a post on this blog! Sorry to have been away so long. I've missed a Diva Challenge, and everything! (that would be my first miss). It's been a very busy couple of weeks around here. I had the opportunity to show my work in two places during the month of September, so I just said yes, closed my eyes and jumped in! I figured I might just as well do both at once instead of staggering the workload. It was lots of fun, and sometimes overwhelming, but now all the stuff is somewhere else instead of laying around my house!
   My jewelry is featured at Gallery 510 in Dayton, and the Zentangle side of me has work showing at Amicis, a new restaurant in Kettering, OH. The jewelry had been in the works quite a while. I had taken some time off from designing any original beadweaving designs to simply enjoy some peyote stitch projects. What happened turned into designing more stuff with guess what? Peyote stitch. I had taken the pressure off myself, gave myself permission to simply get back to the basics of enjoying beading, ONE BEAD AT A TIME, for no other reason than to just bead! Before I knew it, I ended up with over 20 different peyote pieces. Funny how that all works. It was only natural, then, to put them out in the world all at once. I'd never done what I would call a "collection" before, so it was kind of fun to see this little cohesive group of bracelets all coming out together.

Here are a few photos of the fruits of "Project: Peyote"

Tomorrow I will tell you all about the Zentangle show...