Routines, Habits and Inktober?

Since the move I’ve been struggling with finding a routine. A ritual time for creativity. A time for exercise. The only thing I’ve started to form a regular routine with is cleaning the apartment. That is working quite well. I haven’t tangled in I don’t know how long. I think in part due to this lack of time set aside specifically to do so and partly because I keep thinking if I’m tangling I should be finishing up the new address postcards (only a partial one to go and I can’t seem to finish it).

I really need to get back to tangling for the sake of putting pen to paper and for meditation rather than for art sake. I miss how December and January worked for me where I randomly put together patterns in a string without any expectations and embracing that I would dislike some of the tiles. I have enough pressure from design work to produce finished, beautiful work.

With that said, have you heard of Inktober? The idea is you pick a frequency — daily aka marathon, every other day aka half-marathon, or weekly aka 5k and you create an ink drawing at that frequency for the month of October. You post to your blog or Instagram or Tumblr or what have you and use the hashtag #inktober to connect with others participating. I think I’m going to do it. Hopefully it will help me carve out some sort of regular practice for drawing, tangling or just plain being creative in some form. I’m not sure what frequency I’m going to chose yet, probably marathon or half marathon. But, in preparation I picked up Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists on sale in Kindle format today so I have some prompts if I get stuck or wish to draw something other than tangles.

Anyone else out there planning to take part in Inktober? Share your URL or Instagram name etc. where you will be posting so we can follow along!


TBT: Summer 1999


Rob-Bob on a mountain top in Rocky Mountain National Park in July 1999.
Here is a pencil sketch I did of my college BFF when he visited me over the 4th of July holiday my first summer in Colorado. Obviously, people are not my drawing forte. Though there are a few redeeming bits in there. I never finished the background, I’m guessing do to the oddities in the jaw line and the forward arm, but I don’t know for certain. I had completely forgotten I ever did this until I was going through things as I packed.

Now, he and I are living in the same city! Who would have guessed?!?

One Zentangle A Day Kindle Book On Sale!

Beckah Krahula’s fantastic One Zentangle A Day: A 6-Week Course in Creative Drawing for Relaxation, Inspiration, and Fun is on sale in Kindle format for only $2.99 today. I’m not sure how long this price will last, but this has by far been my favorite Zentangle book of the many I checked out from the library before I left Colorado (my new library has no Zentangle titles and ILLs are $5 each). I actually added this book to my print library in addition to my Kindle library before moving, despite having gutted my printed craft books by at least 50%! So that is saying something.

If you do not have access to a CZT I really recommend you don’t let this book pass you by as she covers all of the things that sets Zentangle apart from doodling and the way the book is structured helps you learn tangles and the methodology behind the mindfulness in a well thought out manner.

I do think making time to work on the exercises daily is good practice, both for learning and for seeing first-hand the meditative benefits of Zentangle. I did find it required much more time in the beginning to learn the 2-3 new tangles and complete the tile so I often spent two days on each lesson. While each lesson is presented as a day it is easy to break it up to fit your schedule and I’d highly recommend doing so if it will help you develop a regular practice.

Weekly Zentangle Tangle Video Honor

I’m honored to be the thumbnail image for this week’s Weekly Zentangle Video put together by Jane Dickinson of The Mindful Drawer and curator of

I’m still getting settled in while balancing a big work project, but so far so good. At least as long as Comcast is providing the service we are paying them for. I thought for certain being in a brand new building would mean fewer connectivity issues, but I just ended a 24 hour outage, sadly.

A few big things to make me feel more at home occurred this weekend – we enjoyed a homemade breakfast at our dining table (sure, boxes were in the background, but we cooked and ate at a real table), scouted out the closest farmer’s market and got our library cards!

I’ve been very slowly increasing my bubble, venturing farther afield or in different directions from the new home base, including a couple solo Metro excursions. I’m loving the easy access to transit services our new home offers as well as how much stuff is closer to our apartment than a bus stop was from our house in Fort Collins. Brandon is still adjusting a bit so I’m keeping my outings somewhat short for the time being.

I’ve Arrived!

Stacked and tangled postcards announcing our new address. The top one features sunup sundown, cubine, finery, bunzo and vitruvius. The second one I kept simple and just used flux and bublz.

DH and I arrived in Virginia on Saturday afternoon. The moving truck is here and I’m waiting for them to bring things up to the apartment as I type. It has not been a pleasant experience, sadly. Communication was very poor and is really at the root of everything else that has me disappointed.

That said, I’ve started tangling a few postcards with our new address on them. Letterforms seems to call out for stacking. I strung the postcards while a passenger and have been picking away at the tangling of them since we arrived. I think it will be a fun way to share our new address with a few of our friends and family.

With the arrival of stuff I’ll be unpacking when I’m not working so I’ll likely be pretty quiet again for a while.

Keep tangling!

A Time of Lasts (For Now)

Well, after some really frustrating circumstances in the past several weeks which resulted in some not so pretty breakdowns a date for my departure was finally set. By this time next week we (Drew, Brandon and I) should be over half way to Alexandria, VA. The goodbyes and “lasts” have now begun. 

A Sky Writing Journal spread tangled while thinking about the changes that will result from my fast approaching move from Northern Colorado to Northern Virginia. i used falls, msst, bunzo and popcloud.
After 16 years years in Colorado I’ll be leaving the mountains behind. I think it is going to feel odd. That was what was going through my brain while I tangled this spread in the Sky Writing Journal that Cate gave me for my birthday. I think Popcloud could use some shading with colored pencil yet. I tried to highlight it and Falls with white colored pencil and it didn’t work. My experience on my previous spread was that pastel pencil also didn’t want to lay done really and definitely wouldn’t blend sufficiently.

Last night I had the pleasure to attend a last Zentangle class. As usual, Cate brought me to Sue’s house for the evening, but this time Holly Williams of Tangle Your Bliss was teaching. We learned the Tints on Tan technique that Marty Deckel and Jenny Perruzi have shared. It was really fun to add more vibrant colors to the tan tiles. Best of all though was another evening with a few of the great women I’ve connected with (or reconnected with in the case of Cate) over Zentangle! I’m going to miss you guys and only hope to find a few tanglers in NoVa as great as you!

Here are all of our tiles (two are Holly’s):

Holly’s first Tints on Tan class tile mosaic with two of her samples, and tiles by Cate, Sue Clark and myself.

And here is a closer look at my tile. I need some practice, but I’m really excited to explore this more!

My tints on tan tile with printemps, bunzo, tipple, flux, finery and shattuck.