In With the New Year

I’m not setting any resolutions or goals for 2016 per se. I may over the course of the next week or so settle upon a word or phrase to serve as a mantra. Then again, I may not.

What I do hope will happen is that I will find my creativity once again. All the craziness of the past few years with DH finishing up grad school and our moving from Colorado to Virginia has sucked a lot of energy out of me. Yesterday’s “You’ve got memories to look back on” on Facebook was three solid of years of saying good riddance to the previous year. That’s not good.
2015 did end on a lot of up notes. We sold our house without much drama (aside from getting it emptied from a distance) on December 1st and came out the other end able to erase all the debt from grad school/under-employment, improve the living situation (our first non-futon mattress was delivered a week ago and I’m hopeful will help my body and mind), upgrade our 9-year-old laptops so I can take on more design jobs, and still have a bit of a savings account again. Without paying both a mortgage and rent we will be able to save money each month once again instead of living paycheck to paycheck.

I’ve had very little time and energy to devote to any sort of creativity on a regular basis and I’m hoping to change that going forward. It may not all be Zentangle or even ZIA, but I’m thinking a good bit of ink and maybe some watercolor work. I also want to work on creating art on my iPad so when my body is not wanting to play my creativity still can. If you have any suggestions of apps (I have the Adobe ones, Paper, Procreate and Skribl) or YouTube channels to check out, please let me know! I do know tangling will still play a significant part because I really have to embrace letting things flow and Zentangle is an effective exercise for that.

So, in the spirit of being creative on a more regular basis I made the following last night. In bed. In a dearly lit room. While watching X-Files as DH and I have been scrambling to get caught up to have it all watched before the revival later this month. I have say, living out here has brought a whole new dimension to watching the show!


I created a string in my unused 5×8″ Strathmore Watercolor Art Journal using 2016, then tangled in it using b’tweed, flux, tipple, fescue, mooka, a variation on purk and whatever those fan-like things are called.

I did the drawing in my watercolor art journal I ordered a month or so ago and hadn’t used yet thinking I’d watercolor after, but I’m not so sure if I want to watercolor it now. What do you think? Maybe I should try my hand at digital coloring? My string was inspired by Sue Jacobs and her tile she shared. Can you spot the “2016” in there? I think my tipple kept it a little more distinguishable. I did waffle over whether to so obviously cut the piece in half, but ultimately decided to go for it. I have to say I still hate my mooka though. *sigh*

Happy New Year to anyone still following along! I hope 2016 is everything you wish for and more!


Remember me?  No?  Me neither. 

I know it’s been a really long time since I showed up. I do still exist. I haven’t been tangling much, but I have fallen down a pseudo-tangle rabbit hole. In my quest see the work of others, I came across Jane Monk’s Tangle Stitches for Quilters.  Her lovely book got me to thinking that I might be able to translate my seventh grade home-ec skills into something greater. Armed with several books, a bunch of Craftsy classes and some moderately expensive supplies, I have taught self piecing and quilting. Mind you, I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination. I’m just having a great time. Want to see?  Of course you do!  So…does my crafting still exist if Kristi isn’t here to see it?  It doesn’t feel like it. 

















i’m two weeks late on the last Sunday Smackdown. No excuses. 

Let’s look at a couple pictures to distract us from my transgressions, shall we?  

Here’s the illuminated letter B from the class Sue Clark CZT of Tangled Ink Art taught in April. If you click on that link, you’ll be able to see all the great projects from the class. It was a great class. 

This is a wooden letter purchased at Target, covered in gesso, and tangled with a gold Pen-touch pen. 

I hope these have distracted you from the lack of Smackdown. That ball is in my court and I will hit it back soon, I promise. Note to self:  buy printer ink. 

Restful Memorial Day 

It’s been an incredibly busy weekend, and I’m delighted to have today to recover. My rheumadragon (thank you,  Wren, for the term) has once again woken from an uneasy slumber, so I’ve spent more time resting and playing on my iPad than with my pens and paper.  My son and youngest graduated from high school this weekend. My daughter (away at Karme Choling) turned 30 yesterday. How did time slip away so quickly? 

Anyway, let’s move on to the Zentangle fun, shall we?  


The first one has a Tombow watercolor pen background and the second was from our amazing Gelli Print adventure. I’m pretty proud do it, so it needed to go in here too. Now to haul my ass out of bed, find some pills, and see what I can do today. 


Hopefully I still qualify for my own Smackdown. I’m not sure wh,at I issued except COLOR! And I believe I’ve complied.  


Yikes. That’s only a bijou. Now it’s under a microscope!  I tried to go subtle with the shading. I need to get to bed. We have an Art Adventure/ Experiment tomorrow and maybe a trip to Jerry’s Artorama, to say nothing of lunch. See you tomorrow. Send me a reminder if you think I’ll forget something and I most likely will. 

Today’s Sunday Smackdown Delayed

I’m very sad to report that my last tangling took place Monday night at my knitting group (which is hit or miss on the knitting lately for at least a few of us). On the plus side, I think I finished my Wall book spread which I’ll share once we shake this highly unusual constant cloud cover.

The lack of tangling was worth while though. Almost a month after my parents drove their truck out to help me with hauling stuff out of the garage my sister flew in to be task master extrordinaire. She’s had a few moves in as many years so is well practiced and the state of the house had really drug me down. You know how things always have to get worse before they get better? I was still very much caught in the worse stage in EVERY room. Combine that with no departure date to up the motivation and I just picked a little bit at the lowest hanging fruit.

We made amazing progress, despite rain keeping us from making the most of our pick-up rental!


DH’s studio is now the boxing room
The guest room is the sorting room, with boxes for recycling and shredding as well as empty boxes.
I also have boxes for give aways to various friends and family as well as donations.

Both of these rooms were bursting at the seams when DH left a little over a month ago. I had made pretty good headway on the studio before Amber’s arrival, but she cracked the whip and made me really finish it so I’d feel some accomplishment which was key. We also set the desk up in there with all the tapes (I’m color coding boxes with duct tape), markers, a scissors and box cutter and the shelves have packing materials. It’s very handy!


We reclaimed the dining room table!
We also got the dining room table more or less cleared off. Now I won’t have to eat hurriedly over the sink. It also means I don’t have to tangle in bed if I don’t want to! I’m already anticipating working on my illuminated letter!


With the full size bed instead of the queen I now have a mattress that suits my back much better and quite possibly space enough to return to my yoga practice. Both of those things should help my mental state immensely.
We also dismantled the queen bed and put the guest bed (which DH & FIL built) in the master bedroom. While things were dismantled we did a deep clean too!

If I have the energy, my plan is to attack Cate’s Smackdown this evening. But at the top of my list is an Epsom salt bath and some yoga right before bed!

Tangling in books and today’s Sunday Smackdown

It’s always nice to have an excuse to shop, and your last Smackdown forced me to buy the Skywriting Journal from Amazon, Kristi.  The thought of using a real book with letters that wasn’t intended to be a journal was just more than I could bear. My mother would surely come back and haunt the living shit out of me.  So here is mr submission for this Sunday’s Smackdown:

Yes, my Betweed-Fracas thing does look a lot like a big spider squashed in the middle of a book, thank you very much.  I had fun with this challenge and will definitely keep using this journal. In order. Because we all have our issues and skipping around, using pages out of order will just never happen with me. 

For this Sunday’s Smackdown, I will continue my obsession with color:  make a tile (any color or shape will do) that uses a minimum of three colors in addition to black. Ren color scheme doesn’t count. You must make your own scheme of colors and they must be used in the tangle(s), not as background. Using them to color or shade the tangle is what I’m after here. 

I’ve done a lot of tangling this week. I can’t figure out how to change picture size from my iPad, so these might be large, but I think I figured it out. The two Bijou tiles should be thumbnails now because they’re Bijou.