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!

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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 VideoTagle.me.

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.

Diva Challenges 218 & 219

I Am Th Diva CZT Challenge number 2018, white Gelly Roll on black tile featuring tipple with cruffle, hako, henna drum, b’tweed and bannah shaded with zenstone and white charcoal pencil.

This was my first official black tile. I had played just a bit on a black ATC while going through “One Zentangle A Day” but didn’t like the result. I’m much happier with this one and keep looking at some of my favorite patterns and wondering what they might look like inverted. Though I really wish I had a finer tipped white gel pen. I’m very much a fine tip sort of gal. Have been as long as I remember using pens and even back to my pencil days.

I delayed posting this one thinking I’d do another, but didn’t get that far. Instead, I’ve felt more like just drawing step-outs this week.  No pressure to make decisions beyond which pattern to try next. Plus I’m getting to catch up with a bunch of patterns I’ve learned recently in my Doodle Organizer app!

I Am The Diva CZT Challenge 119, the one with all the straight lines. I used hako as the string and then put shattuck, cubine and hibred into it all on a teeny tiny Bijou tile!

And another first for me – a Bijou tile! I just wanted a quick project last night so I finally broke the seal on my Bijou tiles and made this little guy. Having the constraints of all straight lines all the time (or as straight as I can freehand them) was helpful in it being a quick project. What fun the little tiles are! It probably helps that I enjoy working my patterns pretty small a lot of the time.

As usual, to play along or see what other have been up to last week and this week, head to I Am the Diva CZT!

Ready for Sunday Smackdown #5?

As Cate and few of you know, my day job involves working with the suite of Adobe programs so I’ve itched to make zendala templates almost since I put the pen to Zentangle tile. While my last string challenge, the first Sunday Smackdown, was kind of Zendala-like I didn’t quite feel it was a Zendala. This week’s however is definitely a Zendala or mandala if you just want to color it.

There was no real inspiration behind this one. I just started playing with various shapes on my art board in Illustrator and flipped, rotated, duplicated and tweaked path points until I liked what I had.

Here is the Zendala or Mandala template for the 5th Sunday Smackdown. The PDF includes full sheet, and the official Zentangle tile and Zendala size.
Here is the Zendala or Mandala template for the 5th Sunday Smackdown. The PDF includes full sheet, and the official Zentangle tile and Zendala size.

You can download the template file here. In it you will find sizes to fit both the square and round tiles from Zentangle as well as to fit a full sheet of cardstock or paper.

Below you can see what I did with it on the first try.

Zentangle Tile 2015-092, a Smackdown Sunday #5 Zendala on Strathmore Toned Gray tile using the chiaroscuro techniques used on the traditional Renaissance tiles. Patterns include pearl, purk, striping, tippe, b’tweed, paradox and tipple.

I opted to use a 4″ Strathmore Toned Gray artist tile. The round tile template fits on them, though as you can see I can’t center it on the tile without the outline to guide me 🙂 I have really fallen in love with adding in both highlights and shadows and it even makes my mac ‘n cheese patterns semi-challenging since I have to figure out how to do the highlighting.

I will likely give the template another go at some point this week to try move away from my first instinct to paradox and b’tweed everything. No promises to use a white tile though 🙂

I’m looking forward to seeing other people’s interpretations of the string. Be sure to post a link in the comments here if you use the template so we can all see!

Zendala Dare #100 & Other Miscellany

Apparently this past week and certainly the weekend has been all about ZIAs! I think I now am understanding the strict rules and purpose of the Square One: Purely Zentangle Facebook group 🙂

My version of the 100th Zendala Dare template.
Zentangle Tile 2015-086, the 100th Zendala Dare template. This one kind of went rogue as I riffed and there ended up just a bit of b’tweed, paradox and fescue

I had to do this week’s Zendala Dare of course. Who could miss the 100th one?!? I ended up doing a lot of riffing on this one, just letting the pen do what it wanted. As a result there aren’t actually many tangle patterns in it. Though the oblong b’tweed outlined only with graphite kind of makes me think of pine cones. I’ll have to remember that when winter rolls back around!

I can’t wait to go look at what everyone else has done with this great template!

A toned tan zentangle inspired art (ZIA).
Zentangle Tile 2015-085, a toned tan tile featuring free form Weave in two colors, stickers, printemps, black pearls and mysst.

I used Strathmore’s Toned Tan for this one. It isn’t quite as warm of a tan as the Zentangle tiles so I’m not as fond of the sepia on it (the colors of this photo are a little off since it was photographed under a lamp instead of natural light). I do like the finish though. It isn’t quite as absorbent so coloring is easier, but there is plenty of tooth to shade and highlight with graphite and white charcoal. I am still a bit meh about this one. I don’t feel like my Weave was free form enough and as a result it looks sloppily executed instead. Cate things I’m on crack. What say you?

I also ended up putting in Mysst which I just haven’t been happy with using myself yet. I’ve seen examples of other people’s work using it and liked it, but I have yet to like my own stuff using it. I do however love Stickers! What fun!

Coffee filter zendala.
Zentangle 2015-088 zendala in progress on a coffee dyed unbleached coffee filter.

Yesterday was dedicated to finishing my Sunday Smackdown #3. This is a sneak peek of it in progress. I completed all the drawing last evening, but I’m still on the fence whether to add any highlighting and shading. Cate says to post it everywhere and frame it and hang it in our living room once we’re moved. We’ll see. It would suit our furniture in a way… I’ll likely post another shot of what it looks like now on Instagram (fiberfool)  at some point today if you’d like to ring in on whether I should take it further or leave it as is.

Chiaroscuro on gray paper featuring a ribbon with sunup sundown and flying cadents.
Zentangle 2015-087, my first ribbon with flying cadent on Toned Gray Strathmore paper finally done. I think.

I think I’m done with the first toned gray zentangle inspired art piece. There is a good bit of open space in the lower left yet that has me slightly unsettled. I did end up adding Sunup Sundown on the ribbon and did fairly extensive shading. I need practice on ribbon work though. But Sunup Sundown could very easily become a mac & cheese pattern for me. Loved it!

I’ll be back soon sharing my finished Coffee Filter Zendala and the how-to for my response to Sunday Smackdown #3.

Weekend Tangling

In addition to the Zendala Dare, I pulled out string 144 from TanglePatterns.com and made this tile. I modified the string slightly. I also dithered quite a bit on whether to stick to b’tweed, or alternate patterns. Ultimately I’m very pleased with putting a onomato variation in the one section. I think the result looks like an antique brooch, though that hadn’t been my intention. I kind of expected a seashell like thing when I chose the string. Such is the beauty of Zentangle. You never know where you will end up!

Zentangle Tile 2015-064 with b'tweed, onomato (variation), and fleurette in TanglePatterns.com String 144.
Zentangle Tile 2015-064 with b’tweed, onomato (variation), and fleurette in TanglePatterns.com String 144.

Then on Monday between work and knitting group I sat in a café and did the tile below. It was the exercise for Day 31 of One Zentangle A Day. The pattern was Paizel. I clearly need some work on randomizing. Since at this stage in the book more of the instructions are just written and there are no step-outs I felt the instructions were more directed toward the one example which placed it in a long cylindrical space. I knew I wanted to shade to create irregular undulations so I actually tried bending the flux shapes at the dips a bit, but I quick gave that up. At least for now. I just free formed what I did in the dyon-like flower, tossing in some shattuck and tipple into the stripes.

One Zentangle a Day, day 31, featuring paizel with a dyon variant including shattuck and tipple and other meanderings of the ink.
One Zentangle a Day, day 31, featuring paizel with a dyon variant including shattuck and tipple and other meanderings of the ink.

This was definitely not one of my favorite tiles. It is, however, a really good example of a tile serving a greater purpose than the finished product. The coffee shop I settled into that afternoon was really not relaxing. There was a realtor conducting very loud business with an older couple a few tables away that was causing every other table to raise their voices a notch or two. Then a mom was rolling a stroller in random circles of sorts just on the very edge of my peripheral vision. Something about the particular motion she had going and it being where it was in my field of vision was causing my blood pressure to rise with each pass. Maybe because it kept entering and exiting my vision so often, but not in a rhythm so it wasn’t easily ignored? Whatever it was, I was quickly developing sensory overload. I put my own headphones in (despite liking the music they were playing) and turned more towards the wall trying to get the stroller out of my field of vision and started tangling. Eventually I got absorbed into the tile and my blood pressure dropped and I relaxed. It was a life saver. I was really about to lose it.

Sunday Smackdown #1

 

Dee’s ceiling photos from Cordoba, Spain have influenced my tangling this week. Here we have phicops, a yoga variant and b’tweed,

Cate and I have decided to put together challenges for each other to broaden our tangling. We’ll alternate with a string or Zendala template one week and a pattern the next and switch up who issues the challenges.

We have found we tangle quite differently. Cate with flowing ribbons and organics without strings and myself with bold and often geometric patterns with strong strings. We should definitely help push each other out of our comfort zones.

We’d like to invite you to play along. I haven’t looked into whether we can set up an automatic link share here on WordPress.com yet, so please just post a comment with a permalink to your completed zentangle or ZIA here. In the meantime I’ll look into the link up options.

A good friend of mine is touring Spain for three months. She was recently in Cordoba and has been posting photos of the amazing ceilings in the cathedrals and mosques. I couldn’t help but be inspired by the intricate designs. So, this week’s string was inspired by one of those photos.

The string of this tile was inspired by my friend, Dee’, photos of the ceilings in the Cordoba Cathedral. Here I free-handed the string. It features finery, ballenchain, and hibred.

I kept thinking of other ways I could have taken the string, so I fired up Adobe Illustrator to create a template. I so appreciate Erin at The Bright Owl including multiple sizes in her Zendala Dare templates that I followed her lead. With this particular 4-repeat Zendala I did two sizes for the standard tiles – one extending all the way to the edge and one with some white space around it. Then there is one for the round tiles and a 7.5″ nearly full-page version.

The first Sunday Smackdown string, inspired by Dee's photos of the Cordoba Cathedral Ceiling.
The first Sunday Smackdown string, inspired by Dee’s photos of the Cordoba Cathedral Ceiling.

Download the Sunday Smackdown 1 String Template Here

I will be playing with this string at least one more time in the next two weeks before Cate’s string Smackdown, as will she. We’d love to see how you use it as well! Also, please indicate in your comment if we may repost it in a round-up.

Get tangling! 🙂