Thursday, December 27, 2012

Calendar time

I've been really wanting to start playing with my new 2013 tangle-a-day calendar, but it's not the new year yet. Know what? I don't care. I'm starting anyway. I did a little more DivaDancing, and then Sandra Strait posted this fun tangle, Kabbidge. I love the name and loved playing with it, especially the shading! Thanks, Sandra, for sharing that.
   If you still need a calendar for your Zentangle practice, click the Calendar ad to the right. We only printed a limited amount, so when they are gone, we can't print anymore. This year's calendar is printed on creamy ivory paper, and I have to say, the pen and pencil feel really nice on the new paper!
   Have a wonderful new year, everyone!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Diva Dance!!!!

Congratulations to Laura Harms (aka the DIVA!)

For the past 100 weeks, Laura has offered a weekly challenge for Zentangle lovers across the globe. Most of you are already familiar with her, I'm sure! And, I'm also sure you all share in the congrats to this tenacious, talented, funny, open and loving woman. Even though I don't get to the challenges every week, I always visit her site to see what tangly fun she presents. Often, the challenge is the only time I actually sit to do a deliberate bit of tangling in the midst of the business of life. I am always grateful, even if I didn't tangle that week. Just knowing she is there with her tangly torch is a comfort and a joy.
Thanks so much, Laura!

I intended to get right on this challenge, as it marked the 100th, and Maria and Rick presented a new tangle (Diva Dance) just to celebrate Laura's tangly mark. It happened that my son got engaged the day before and Monday nite we headed out for a congratulations dinner. I was struck by the little bit of synchonicity that Laura and Brad's engagement anniversary was that day, too.  
    I got to the restaurant first to get a table. As I sat in the bar waiting (with a glass of Whoop Whoop Shiraz just for the celebratory name!), I figured this would be the time to pull a tile from my purse and have some fun. The bar was dark, and all I had was a .08 pen that was on its last drop. I also had my phone to try and see the new tangle steps. I really didn't know what it looked like until I saw it in daylight the next morning. Just goes to show, that it's not what it looks like, but how it feels. I had a LOT of fun with this the first time out.
    Today is Sunday. I'm sitting quietly in the bead store way before opening time. I have tons to do, but I couldn't let the week go by without another go at Diva Dance. I tried all the steps, and as in dancing kind of dancing, I usually veer off the sequence, as I can't remember the steps sometimes. BUT in true Zentangle style, the veering off is part of the fun! The what if's are always part of the process and I love to let them take me wherever they say to go.
  Thank you Laura, Rick and Maria for another moment of the gift of Zentangle.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Stash's first Zentangle® Class

Yesterday was our first official scheduled Zentangle class at our new bead store, Stash.

My tangly day began in the morning. A friend invited me to come to her home where nine women wanted me to talk about Zentangle. It just so happens they were meeting the morning of the first day of our Zentangle class, so later that afternoon a couple of the ladies joined the afternoon class. The class was taught by my friend and fellow CZT, Peg Farmer. Peg is an awesome teacher who also teaches at the University of Dayton's Lifelong Learning Program where her Zentangle classes are always full with a huge waiting list!
   Since we were having the class in my store, and we are officially closed to the public that day, I got to sit and take the class from Peg. It's been a while since I've sat for that long and tangled. What was especially nice was that the tangles were being directed by someone else, which really takes the thinking/choosing aspect out of it. How relaxing!!
   Thank you, Peg, for a wonderful class. Can't wait for next month when we do it again!
   If you are in the Dayton area and would like to attend a Zentangle class at Stash, click here. We also offer private classes for individuals or groups.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Socc on the Florz

Yummy... I love Erin Olsen's Socc!

I love how it bounces and dents and connects and flows. I love to shade it, too. This tangle always takes me back to when I met Erin at Zentangle Seminar #7. It was great fun to meet a fellow beader who was also in love with Zentangle. We enjoyed many conversations in those few days, and it was really fun to hear her story of how Socc came to be. The story itself illustrates the loveliness of 'happy accidents' and reminds me that there are no mistakes.
   My fist tile was one I began in a Zentangle class I taught this week. It was a one-on-one class, so I was able to sit next to my student and do a tile with her rather than use a display board. I often use Florz as one of the first teaching tangles. After class, I realized I could also use my tile to play with the weekly Diva challenge, and ended up with Soccs on the Florz, which I thought was kind of cute. I then did another tile with only the Soccs on the Florz (with a few extra squares in squares to make the dents).
   Thank you, Erin and Laura for another fun challenge.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Letting Bunzo out of the Bag

I had a really fun time with the Diva challenge this week. I hadn't yet had a chance to try the new tangle, Bunzo, created by the Zentangle folks. So this was a treat.
   My string was a sort of "s" although you can't really tell from the tile. I started with Bunzo in one section, then filled another section with another start of it. The remaining sections were large, so I stretched one of the bunzos way far out.
   I love the rhythm of this tangle! Once I got going it started to remind me of Mikee Huber's Pais, which has a similar rhythm. I loved the stripy action, so put a little Baton in the background. In turning the tile round and round to feel out where my signature might land, I couldn't help but feel like I had bunzos coming out of a bag. It is Trick or Treat day, so this seems fitting.
    Thank you, Zentangle for a lovely dance, and thank you, Laura, for keepin' on keepin' on.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Only Forward

This week's Diva challenge seemed simple enough. Use stripes or border-like strings to create a Zentangle. I began the first one in a restaurant, waiting for some people to show up. As I saw them coming, I hurried up to finish the first section of the tile. Hurrying through a Zentangle is just not where it's at. However, moving forward is. So, as unhappy as I was about starting one so haphazardly, I knew I had to simply move forward from that point on. And so I did. Part of me wants to say that it's overworked but another part of me really doesn't care. It was fun to do and re-do and fill in and find places to rework. It was so much fun I had to do another. This time I felt more deliberate with each stroke, so the result was a little less complicated.
   None of that really matters, though, as I felt my exercise was to move forward and that was all. I am grateful that this art form can allow us to move with any exercise we choose.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bead Inspired!

This week's Diva Challenge was inspired by the Beads of Courage project. I couldn't resist this as I am surrounded by beads everyday. I am also surrounded by courage every day. One of the big surprises of opening a bead store, was the influx of stories from customers about how beads have helped them through some difficult times. Beads, like Zentangle, have a soothing quality when you work with them.
   Historically, beads have often been used for 'marking' or counting prayers or intentions. I think that the Beads of Courage idea is a beautiful way to mark events, physically accumulating the intention of courage.
    Thanks, Laura Harms, for presenting this challenge. I had a great time!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Always the reminder

Last week I did a one-on-one Zentangle class with my new beading friend, Lisa. I did my tile alongside her, going through the steps and structure like I always do. I usually teach the same four tangles when I teach and introductory session. One would think that might get tiresome, but I find that every time I do one, a little something new happens. This time, it was the student who brought something new.
   As I was showing her the 'sparkle' technique on Printemps, she had the idea of putting a ribbon-like bar through the sparkle skips. I love what-ifs. And I love that the practice of Zentangle always reminds me that every moment is a new one, plain and simple.
    Thank you, Lisa!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

THE Book of Zentangle: a book to savor

Ok, I know it's old news to most of you, but it's still is and always will be exciting that The Book of Zentangle by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas is finally here. I'm also sure that whatever words I would use to describe this book have already been uttered. It's the perfect reflection of what Zentangle's two creators have given over the years.
   Whenever I do Zentangle art, it is a savored moment. Even if I begin in a "git 'r done" frame of mind, it's not long before I find myself floating to a different place. That place is one of calm and creativity, where the pen flows almost on its own, and I am left to simply savor its movement and its marks. I watch forms and patterns surprisingly emerge without a plan, even though every mark I make is deliberate. I turn the tile round and round, getting a feeling of what's there, of what's lying underneath (the string!) and what, if anything, the tile is asking me to do next... more? stop?
    The more I look at/read The Book of Zentangle, the more I feel the book itself as a Zentangle. I savor  the pages, finding something new I hadn't seen before, listening to what it might be asking me to do or see. This beautiful book is more than a story, it's the feeling of Zentangle as only Rick and Maria could express. This book is a gift to all who already love this art form, and a gift awaiting anyone who still hasn't discovered it.

Thank you, Rick and Maria.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Tangle-a-day calendars are ready to ship!

This year's calendar is printed on cream stock and has a heavier black backing to make it easier to tangle anywhere. The new paper is closer to the color of the official Zentangle® tiles. The paper has been tangler tested to make sure both the tangler (and the Micron) enjoy working with it.

Just like last year, each day has a 2.5" blank square block for tangling. It also includes a full month calendar at the start of each month, just in case you want to actually use it for a calendar! Use it however you like:

  • Practice a different tangle in each box.  
  • Pencil a string through all the boxes (or beyond the boxes). 
  • Use the numbers as a string and tangle inside or outside of them.
  • Practice the same tangle in each box for a whole week (or even a month!).
  • Make notes about your Zentangle process.
  • Use it to play with CZT Laura Harms’ Weekly Challenge (

Take a few minutes each day, or sit with a chunk of time each week to explore the fun and practice of the Zentangle art form. Get a cup of tea, settle in, and give yourself the gift of relaxation and creativity.

To order a quantity of 1-9 calendars, visit the Greyden Press bookstore. For quantities of ten or more calendars (at a discounted price), please email us at:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Moving along...

It was very windy last week and I think I'm still feeling the aftermath. When winds come, it seems to accentuate and remind me that things are always moving around, changing and shifting. This continuing episode of a tangle feels very windy and changeable. As I move along with the next tangle sitting on this one, we shall see what happens.

the winds of change
bring a circle of strange

in a sweet chaotic dance
that suspends me in a moment too long
in the ether unfamiliar

my heart beats faster
as my breath stops short
pleading in its own way
to make the dance stop

but in the moment
before I come back down

i see the portrait of
a world undeniable
all potential realized
all things nothing at all

just the flow
is floating there
and all the beating hearts
are joyously nowhere
dancing as one entity
separation unrealized
reconciliation a non-issue

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


This past weekend I had the awesome treat of tangling with some of my CZT buddies. Lesley Scott-Gillilan and Angie Gamble came from Indiana and joined Peg Farmer and myself for a little beading in the morning, and tangling in the afternoon. Our friend Denise also joined us at the shop for a bit of tangle time.
   I am so grateful for the chance to lay the bead shop details aside for just a little bit (as much as I love it!) and just make black lines on a white paper. Slow and easy... nothing to finish, nothing to produce, just lines on a paper. Sigh. Smile. Relax. What a treat.
   Even though I know that the practice of Zentangle is a relaxing stress reliever and just plain fun, it seems that in the past few months I need some other people to set the experiential stage to remind me of that. So thank you, ladies, for your little nudge that gently pushed me into a lovely afternoon.
   Below is what I started that day. I was headed absolutely nowhere with it (there is a string that didn't show up in the photo) and I still don't have any kind of vision for it. All I know is that I can come back to it any time I like. There are no light sources to recapture, no poses to recreate, just a big space of empty nothing to love and appreciate until some other marks come its way. To be continued...

PS: we are getting the tangle-a-day calendar printed soon... stay tuned.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Shelly Beauch and Brayd

Last week's Diva Challenge featured the tangle, Brayd, by Shelly Beauch (aka Michele Beauchamp CZT). I love Shelly's delicate and joyful way of tangling! Looking at her work instantly brings me to smile:)
  Even though I had the challenge completed last Wednesday, I'm just now getting to the posting part. Better late than not at all...

In my first tile, I had made a string of thick borders that converged in the middle. I filled each border with Brayd, and saw that the 'ends' of each  stroke could connect to the new ones I was making. I ended up with one big weave, which was fun, but the 'braydness' wasn't there anymore. I started the second one with a  more 'Shelly-like' spiral string, but I still couldn't stop myself (and why would I?) from extending the little double lines into spaces all around it.
    Thanks, Shelly, for some joyful tangle time!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Erin's Diva Challenge

Thank goodness for the Diva Challenges. It seems like lately that's the only thing that gets me to STOP EVERYTHING for just a bit and savor the joy of tangling. This week's guest challenge comes from Erin Olson, CZT. Erin and I met at the Zentangle Seminar (7) in Providence, and we had quite a few great conversations about Zentangle AND beading!
   Erin has developed some awesome Zendala templates that she offers on her site. She also has a weekly challenge, using her templates as your guide.
   When I come home from the beadstore, I want to plop onto the couch and watch some mindless drivel about various unreal housewives or better yet, an old black and white movie that lulls me to sleep. Yesterday, after a really long (but fun!) day, it was too early to do that, as I knew if I sat there, it would be hours before I moved. So before I sat down (in front of the tv, of course), I grabbed a drawing tablet and got ready to tangle. My printer wasn't working to print out Erin's template, so I decided to just freehand an organic version onto my paper. There is no way to be exact in this situation, so I let the template on the screen be symmetrical, while mine was off center, uneven and pretty much all over the place. Not a pretty string, but I could get past that.
    I started by opening up my tangle library to an arbitrary spot. (I also decided NOT to turn on the tv!) I landed on Squill, so I thought the center would take that on quite well. I then found the negative spaces around the inside "flower" of the template, and made those shapes (Paradox) instead of concentrating on the obvious shapes. Doing the negative (or opens spaces) shifts my brain into seeing a different way. This process helps me use the shapes as guides to other paths, rather than shapes to simply fill. Once I'm finished, I don't often remember how I got from one place to the next. I think it might be fun to make a video to watch later, as if someone else was creating it. I'm sure I would see lots of things I wasn't aware of the first time it was made.
   Thanks, Diva for always being there, and thanks, Erin for a really fun challenge. Thanks Rick and Maria for this magical artform.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ins and Outs of Mi2

Yesterday I learned that I had another roofer's nail in one of my car tires. This is the second one in 6 months. So, the best laid plans of the day completely turned around, and I was gifted with sitting at the tire center with nothing to do but tangle! What a lucky girl, and I MEAN that! Lately my days have been quite full, and a little tough to set aside some time for tangling. I'm slowly seeing times in my new schedule where I can fit it in, but this opportunity was an added bonus! Plus, the Diva Challenge presented the tangle, Mi2 (created by CZT Mimi Lempart), which I did try a while back and loved, but hadn't played with it since. And, since I'm STILL into the aura play, I couldn't resist adding it to this tangle. And of course, I had to 'puf' it. I was a little disappointed that they had my tire fixed in record time, and I didn't get to sit and finish, but when the day was finished, I continued the first, and did two more before I went to bed. I have to say, I slept really well!! I love this art form.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Competition is tricky business. The world is full of it. Sure, even though we tell our kids that it's not whether we win or lose, it's how we play the game, we still set up score boards and rosters that glorify the winners. It's natural, I guess, but we do have a choice in our own perception. If we like competition, well, then by all means, participate in the game! If we feel that competition is inappropriate in a certain arena, then each person can make that choice to reconcile that in themselves.
     Just yesterday someone asked me who our new bead store's biggest competition was. My answer is, "We don't really have any." Yes, there are other bead stores in the area, and many of the big chains sell beads as well. That doesn't mean that for us there is a competition. We do what we do because we truly love doing it, and feel we have a way to serve the people who love it too. That's it. It doesn't have to be any more than that for us. We are not interested in being a step ahead of anyone else, or being first at the 'finish' line. Just as in the process of Zentangle, each day is a 'stroke', each person is an inspiration! So...

Thanks to Rho Densmore, CZT, for this week's Diva Challenge (#79!) Her message about the process is one that bears repeating. A recent post on the Zentangle blog also talks about the process of Zentangle and the personal gifts it is poised to give each of us. ...

I had a fun time with my tile this week. I was really inspired by Erin Olsen's take on this week's challenge, and I love the Auraknot vibe, so my interlocking circles had me deliciously dizzy with auras. FUN! 

Thanks, Rho, Erin, Laura, Zentangle, and all the beady and tangly peeps who joined in the inspirational fun of the week!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

We Auraknot Crazy

Lately it's taken a lot to get my nose out of the bead bags. Starting the new bead store has been an invigorating, but intense endeavor. I have to admit that when I saw Zentangle's first invitation about the tangle that is now called Auranot, I was really intrigued, but alas, there were beads to count.
   When I saw the video on Laura Harm's blog, I knew I had to stop everything and do it. I was also inspired by the group of new Zentangle Intro students from our class the day before. When I woke up this morning, before I got out of bed, I grabbed some tiles from the nightstand and started to play. It was tons of fun to stay in bed and tangle with all the kitties patiently waiting for breakfast. After three tiles, they finally got to eat.
   Auraknot has now grabbed me completely and I've spent the whole morning playing and wandering my little pen over many tiles. WOW. This is more fun than I thought it would be! It took a little concentration, and at first I wanted to go in so many other places before I really 'got it.' I think that may be because I haven't tangled in a while. Once I started, my right brain was like a kid who had been cooped up in the house, finally gets to play outside, and doesn't know what fun thing to do first, so tries to do it all!! FUn Fun FUN!!! Let's go let's go!!!!
   Once I settled into a quiet, less spastic place, it was truly a calming and lovely time. I could feel myself getting more and more focused on each line as I made it. I could go on all day.
    I found myself adding more 'ribbons' to the outer edges of the stars, some of them curling around on themselves, but carrying their aura just the same.
    What an awesome tangle, Maria!!! Just when you think there can't possibly be anything more, here we go into an ever-blossoming space...
   Thank you, Zentangle. Thank you Laura!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Cadent is Calling!

Hi everyone, I know it's been quite a while since I've posted. We opened our bead store this past weekend, and now I feel like I can have a little breather. Even though there is still lots to do, there is a sense of relief that the doors have actually opened. It was a great weekend of seeing some old friends, but making new ones. The sense of potential always gets me going, so great fun! It's that sense of potential that always draws me back to Zentangle.
    The past month has had its days filled with beady activities and planning, and I haven't even picked up a Micron once. But--- today, it was Monday, and I knew the Diva would most likely be on her game, and yes she was. I was all of a sudden ready to tangle. I'm a little 'rusty' with my pen, and of course I picked one up that was on its last little drop, but still, it was great fun. And to do a classic like Cadent seemed just right for getting back in the swing.
    Looking at my blank tile, I was excited to quietly make my corner dots, my border and then a lively string. I love to monotangle and love busting through the strings. Since it had been so long, I had to remind myself that is was ok to go beyond the string and make up things as I went along. Funny how our 'shoulds' hang on so hard.
   I had a great time, and feel mighty grateful that the Diva and all of you are still playing with the challenge. It's just what I needed to start my 'day off'.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Beadstores and Zentangle...

Hey everyone, I realize it's been 40+ days since my last post. In the past month, Daved and I have made a decision to open a bead store in Dayton. It’s a long and wonderful story of how we ended up as stewards of a new place, but that’s for another day. The store is basically in existence for one reason: to give the Dayton bead/jewelry making/playing community a place to gather, learn, teach, party, relax, hang out, and yep, buy beads. We like our beads!

What does all this have to do with Zentangle

I know without a doubt, that if not for having been involved with Zentangle, it might have seemed impossible for us to take this on. Each day I am aware that no matter what decision needs to be made, it’s possible for it to come from an allowing and open space rather than a constricted “should”. The whole place is being designed one wall at a time, one piece of furniture at a time, one logo at a time (we tried so many!). The space is also being added to by lots of participants who are committed to helping it become something inspirational and meaningful for all who use it. Whether it's new chair covers, or bathroom decorations, or where a table might sit, each of these elements are cared for with an intuitive heart and eye by lots of people, so that each piece and placement connects to what has come before it. I can't tell you how many "visions" I've had for this space. They have all changed, and it looks nothing like I pictured it before we began. This is the thrilling part! Letting it all go so that it can become what it is meant to be. There is a plan somewhere that is not mine. It feels like we are all paying attention to what that might be, without knowing exactly what it is.
    We don’t know when the shop will open. Of course we have a date in mind, but we’ve had other dates in mind that didn’t happen. We are working diligently to move forward, one step at a time, feeling our way to what the next step is.
   So even though it's a bead store, it's so much more than just that. I am grateful for the experience, wherever it came from, and for me, Zentangle has been the cherry on top of that experience. 
   If you want to peek at the process, we are documenting our progress on our new blog. And I promise, that even though I may not have time to do tangly posts here at this time, I am living Zentangle every minute!

Thanks to everyone.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Crossing over

I've had beads on the brain lately, and I guess it shows...
Lampwork has its own special beauty in the bead world, as each bead is its own work of art. My friend Carolyn is a lampworker who has tons of smaller beads, so we thought it would be fun to design a piece of jewelry that could use a bunch of 'loosies'.  These are beads without partners or sets, that have a beauty all their own, but don't always find a place in beadweaving. I have a good selection of different sizes, bought mostly because I couldn't resist their beauty, but couldn't figure out what to do with them. This necklace actually uses about four different lampworkers' beads. Carolyn's appear in the strands, and I wish I could remember who created the larger beads.
    This design is named Village Lampwork Necklace, as it took a village of artists to create it. I feel very lucky to be inspired by the artists who created these beads, and reminds me once again, that inspiration makes the world go round. And it often takes a village for things to come together.
    Thanks to both the bead village, and the Zentangle village! There is nothing more fun than cross pollination!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I never know

This week's Diva challenge is centered on JJ LaBarbera's tangle, Huggy Bear. I thought it would be fun to fill every section of the string with the same tangle. In true Zentangle® fashion, I had no idea what this would end up looking like. I don't ever feel confident starting out with a dotted grid, as I don't ever space them out very evenly. But that's all the more reason to love this art form... I never know what will happen! If I was able to space out the dots evenly, I most probably would be tempted to have more control over the whole thing. As it goes for me, the lack of control is usually way more fun!
   Once I had my basic circles going, other things began to happen, so I just followed the lead of my little voice of intuition. No thinking, just moving. No second guessing, just moving. No judgement, just moving. Always a metaphor for life itself. The fun really is in the process. The outcome might be pleasing, too, but if I had known where I was going before I got there, I would have lost a lot of the joy of the journey. Expectation can be a real buzzkill.
   I had a great time!!! Thanks, JJ and Laura!

“One does not discover new lands 
without consenting to lose sight of the shore 
for a very long time.”
Andre Gide

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Challenge: Fortuneteller (What If?)

This week's Diva Challenge (#64) is to begin with a string of a square pie: the tile is divided into 8 sections, creating 8 triangles to fill with different tangles. I tend to like the curlier strings, so this was a good challenge for me. Laura mentioned that she watched for the opportunities to blur the lines of the string, and I love doing that, so there was a comfort level in that process.
   I had fun doing it, and then had fun looking at it when it was finished. But while on a long phone call, I was looking at it again, and the question came: WHAT IF you made the outside border black? I usually try not to argue with the WHAT IF so while I was still on the phone, I inked in the border. Hmm.
   Sometimes you just have to take the risk. It's a small risk, as there is always another chance with another tile and another WHATIF. It's not about what it looks like, it's about the courage to leap and accept the outcome as part of the fun.
   I am posting both just for funsies, so you can see how it worked or didn't work:)
   Thank you Laura, and thank you little voice inside that is always asking the WHATIF.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Flippin' for Fengle!

Fengle is a dance for the pen!

It's fluid
It's rhythmic
It's beautiful
It's versatile
But what I like most is: It makes me ask "what if I..."

I usually do Fengle along with a string. I begin the first Fengle in the middle of a string section. I stretch the S's out to reach the edge of the section, then finish the basic shape of the Fengle. I then move to another string section and make another one. Most often, by the time I make my second or third Fengle, they are bumping into each other, and flowing behind, so I let that happen. I then start filling in the Fengles, but usually not one at a time. I might do a few stroke on one, then move to another, so by the end of the tile, they are pretty much melted into each other.

   Those 'what ifs' occur often, as there are many little spaces to fill in and discover.

   And the SHADING!!! There is nothing more fun for me tangle-wise, than finding places to shade after the pen has done its dance. Fengle is one of the most fun tangles to shade, as it automatically creates shapes that magically emerge as you go along. Even more shapes emerge once the shading begins! This is when the dance heats up for me. I turn my tile often, looking for the shapes that I don't see yet. Twirling and swirling, just like Fengle itself.
   Thank you, Maria Thomas, for this lovely gift. Thank you, Laura Harms for posting it as a challenge, as I am so inspired by what everyone has done with this tangle this week, and it's only Tuesday!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Zendala LOVE!

The new Zentangle® Zendala prestrung tiles are finally here, and it was worth the wait!!!! Right now they are available through a Certified Zentangle Teacher, but soon will be available at I finally got to sit down and play with this wonderful new product. I've always love using Zentangle to create mandalas. Creating a mandala string can be very daunting. And even though I found a method to help me with that (described on page 10 of Suzanne McNeill's book, Zen Mandalas), I LOVE these prestrung tiles! No thinking, just tangling. Each set has 21 tiles: 3 blanks, and 18 prestrung--2 sets of NINE different strings. The tiles are the same paper used in the official Zentangle tiles... smooth and creamy. I especially love to use the Micron black and brown together.
   If you like the art of Zentangle, you have to give these a try. Doing a Zendala can take you into a deeper level of relaxation. There is something about repeating the same pattern the same amount of times in a circle that is really calming, yet more focused at the same time. It never ceases to amaze me what happens in this process. Time melts away. Lists disappear. Just a sense of being with what is at the end of your fingertips. Pure joy.
   Thank you, Zentangle team, for this amazing gift! I can't wait to teach the next class... coming soon so stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Paradox pressures

This week's Diva Challenge is brought to us by Marizaan van Beek. When I saw her challenge tile, I fell in love with it and couldn't wait to start my own Spiral vs Paradox challenge journey.
   On the first one, I drew a spiral string in pencil. I then made another pencil string, cutting the spiral into a sort of pie. This created squares instead of the usual triangles one usually sees with the Paradox tangle. I then picked up the pen and instead of going over the string, I wondered "what if" I did the tangle sort of open-ended in each square. Usually, the edges of the triangle or square is inked and the Paradox is created inside that. I tried it without inking each square's boundaries. It was VERY disconcerting and had me very confused as I went along. But, my algebra teacher in high school wrote in my yearbook: "If confusion is the beginning of learning, then you should be the teacher, not me." I never did learn algebra properly, but I did come away with a healthy respect for confusion and what you can allow for in that space! Regardless of the result of this tile, I had fun trying it out, and it gave me a real appreciation for the usual inked edges...

The next one was a little easier to follow, as I did use the triangle shape and I did outline the spiral and the triangles inside it. Using the traditional practice of always starting (well, mostly) in the same corner, this had a very different flow...

I hadn't gotten it out of my system yet, plus it was a rainy Monday afternoon and my friend had the idea to go have coffee and tangle. Now that's a way to spend a rainy Monday: a big creamy cup of Irish Mocha and a Paradox spiral. There was too much chit chat to pay attention to where each triangle started on this one, but the end result feels exactly like the lovely afternoon.

   Thank you Laura, Marizaan, Loretta and Zentangle!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Riding the waves

I'm back in the pool of the Diva Challenge this week! I took my calendar to Panera for breakfast on Tuesday, sat by the fireplace and happily tangled Golven, from Mariet. I was tempted to use it in border form, as it works SO nicely for that! But I'm in the middle of a creative explosion over here, so a border it would not be. It appears that Golven wanted to fly off the page, bursting through the string I began with. Borders and boundaries are essential when a creative explosion is happening...  (Did anyone see Modern Family last night?) The dreamers and the realists together create a most beautiful balance. And so it is with Zentangle: The string creates the 'elegance of limits', but always allows for the rush of fluidity. No wonder it's so dang fun.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Letting the days go by...

One of my favorite Talking Heads songs is "Once in a Lifetime." There is something about the song that says a lot to me, although I'm not sure really what it's saying!! And, just watching David Byrne perform makes me realize how much I love this weird world and all its inhabitants. (more fun here)
   What I do know is, it's been a while since I've entered a blog post! As I've been letting the days go by without a post, other things have required energies, and so it goes. Lots of fun stuff, lots of creative juices all around and through. Lots of water flowing underground that hasn't yet seen the light of day, but I can feel it just the same.
   It's all very appropriate that alongside the days going by, is my little Tangle-A-Day calendar that beckons to me to participate. The days visually go by in this little journal, making me very aware of time, and its limitations. As I mark the days with Zentangle, I feel grateful for the chance to do so, and marvel at how fast the days really do go by. Below is my calendar catch up ...

I've also missed posting TWO Diva challenges, although I did do last week's (#60), but didn't get to post it in time. The February 25-27 page below is my response to that challenge. Lots of fun!!! Thank you, Laura!

Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by, water flowing underground
Into the blue again, after the money's gone
Once in a lifetime, water flowing underground.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Paying Attention

"The practice and art of paying attention allows the brain to move into more synchrony, into more balance, into more coherence." ---Dr. Joe Dispenza

The art of Zentangle® naturally includes the art of paying attention. We watch our hands and pen connect to the paper, making our repetitive marks in a deliberate way. As we spend some time doing this, our focus becomes more refined, and our being becomes steeped in the moment itself. Do this every day and see what happens.
    If you you care to hear more of Dr. Dispenza, here is a video, chock full of amazing ideas.

Some days there is nothing like a nice straight line to get my attention. The rhythm of each line and where it wants to step is a fun dance for me, so February 16 was such a dance. The tangle is one of Zentangle's orginals called BB. I chose this for a friend whose birthday it was, and who also shares those same initials. I don't often do BB, but everytime I do it I wonder why I don't do it more often! I love this, especially layered along a string, and using it to fill in the sections of the string as a monotangle. The other two days were just random designs, although I'm sure they are tangles somewhere. I just didn't consciously know what they were. I also love shading as an exercise in attention. It gives me a chance to play with the lines all over again, hunting down the things that are behind and in front, or finding edges of a long forgotten string. Paying attention is fun.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Spillover Love

Last weekend was spent steeped in big love. A beloved family member left the planet, so we all gathered to remember his life and share the connections we had around him. Even though it often looks like people float near to us, and then away from us, the ties of love that bind us were evident in the celebration. It seemed fitting that the next few days would bring us Valentine's day.
    By Monday I had already done my Diva Challenge before I started in on my calendar entry. I had unexpectedly fallen in love with the square logo presented in the challenge, so I just couldn't help but spill that love again onto another space (Feb. 13). When I did the Fengle heart on the 14th, I figured I might as well add some red to celebrate the holiday. I loved the feeling of the red pen (a Pilot extra fine Precise V5) on this paper, so I backed up and did a little red on the 13th. Then I realized I still loved playing with open boxes that floated behind each other, so today's entry was simply that, coloring the open spaces with the red.

The tangles in between were inspired by CZT Cari Raboin's calendar entry for Jan 7-9, (pictured here) that she posted on Facebook. I was so in love with how she changed the size of her tangle, that I had to try a little of that too! I first thought Cari did Tripoli, but then I thought it might be Fife, so.... the one on my Feb. 14th is Tripoli, and the 15th is Fife.

Thanks to a loving family, CZTs Diana Hirsch, Laura Harms, and Cari Raboin, and of course, Zentangle:) I love how love spills over.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Dillydally with Diamonds

To dillydally is, by the Merriam-Webster definition, to "waste time by delaying." Yes, it was a day of delaying some things that maybe should have been tended taxes or cleaning the basement. And it is, after all, a Monday: time to get moving. But it was one of those Mondays that came behind a rather large weekend, so it was a little tough to get back in the saddle.
    I do make a point on Monday mornings to visit the Diva to see what she has waiting for us in the way of a big juicy Zentangle® challenge. This week's treat was offered by a guest challenger,  CZT Diana Hirsch. Diana used her challenge to raise awareness for The Four Diamonds Fund.
    Using the organization's logo as a string, and then using only diamond-esque tangles to fill the string, was a particularly challenging request for me. Most days, making a diamond shape just doesn't fit my natural rhythm. I don't know why it's so different than a square, which gives me no trouble. I approached the challenge with a ho-hum, since I had a preconceived notion of my enjoyment level with drawing diamonds. Thinking back, that sounds a little arrogant to think that I should know beforehand what I will and will not connect to before I even start! Oh well, not a surprise really. I have my story and I'm sticking to it (ahem).
    The first tile I did was pretty simple. I wasn't into it for a very long time. All those straight lines were not doing a thing for my fun level. Wow how arrogant again, to think that the lines of my pen were supposed to entertain me. geez. ok. Moving forward, the magic of this art form once again took over, and I found myself looking at this tile in a more open way. The more lines I made, the more open I felt, and the more that little creative voice spoke to me about putting other little lines here and there, and where to put some shade. Hmm. I should have known this would happen. If I just shut up to myself about what I think I will like, I might just open myself up to something new and miraculous.
    After the first tile, I was anxious to try another. I spent lots of time on this second one. And, by Merriam-Webster's meaning, and maybe some other people's standards of what should be done in a day's time, this dillydallying was getting out of control. I dillydallied and probably even shilly-shallied too! It was great fun.
   Thank you, Diana!! And thank you, Laura. And also thank you to Rick Roberts for his post for the day, that I'm sure had something to do with allowing myself to see beyond my expectations, and move forward into something much more wondrous!

Friday, February 10, 2012

For Glen

As father-in-laws go, Glen was wonderful. As a grandfather, the best kind. These are the ways I knew him. Glen passed on Tuesday and so was on my mind all week. When I looked at my calendar page for the last few days, it felt very joyful to me, although the week was laden with sadness for all of us who will miss Glen. I suppose that what came out onto the pages was the other side of the sadness... a gratitude and joy for the life of a wonderful person. Thanks, Glen.

I spilled my coffee yesterday morning, so there is a bit of extra color a the bottom of the page. It's my wish that we accept and appreciate the unexpected color that each day brings.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Really a Diva

Every Monday morning I visit Laura Harm's blog to see what Zentangle® challenge she offers us for the week. Her commitment of time, love and talent is astonishing, as she has a plateful of stuff in her life that might make most of us forgo the effort it would take to keep up this weekly blog post project. For that we are all very grateful. Which is why it is with so much joy that I say, Congrats, Laura on being voted Top Blog of the Top 100 Teaching Blogs of 2011!!!! You rock the Zentangle, and the Zentangle community by inspiring us every week to participate in the challenge. Whether we post our challenge responses or not, there are hundreds of people who look forward to your Monday morning surprise, each one finding a corner of joy for themselves in the world of Zentangle. Big hugs and kisses to you!
    Speaking of the challenge, below is my offering for this week. I was very happy to see that our challenge was to use Tricia Faraone's Sanibelle! I found this one just a few short weeks ago, and LOVE doing it. It was so much fun I did a monotangle first, simply because I couldn't stop once the rhythm started. I then figured I would stretch out a bit and do something else with another tile, so I did Sanibelle around a loop string, and filled the middle with a Baton variation. The shading on Sanibelle is also super fun...

Thanks, Laura and thank you Tricia for sharing your beautiful and playful tangle with us.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Koolapopper/Footlites Fun

February began with a lot of Koolapopper, Sandra Strait's new tangle. It 'popped' up at the exact time I wanted to begin my daily tangle on the calendar, so I gave it a whirl. The instructions are easy, although I found that I needed to look at the steps each time I did it, as I'm not one to retain the steps when I'm in the groove of drawing the actual lines. It was tons of fun, and I added lines after the basic pattern was put down, sending my brain into all sorts of fun little what ifs, especially when it comes to interconnecting between string sections. I couldn't stop doing this so I did the whole page with this tangle.

I also added one I call Footlites at the bottom. The steps to this one haven't been published, so this seems like as good a time as any.

 Thanks, Sandra for a really fun three days!!!