Keepin’ On Keepin’ On

Tangles on Tuesday in the Tangle a Day Calendar. Feb 4 was Koaxil which I did with a 20 minute time limit, trying to get myself to let go and just do a bit more. Feb 5th was Ah, Love You! with support from Sedgling, Zinger, Pokeleaf, Tipple, Fescue, and Festune. Feb 6th features Ionic with an assist from Popcloud.

  I’m doing half way decent on tangling daily again with the help of Jane Eileen’s Tangles on Tuesday challenge. I seem to skip about one day a week, usually when DH is home. But I just do two in the next day or two. Not having to think too much about what patterns to use seems to be working for me and bringing back the zen element.

Tangles on Tuesday in my Tangle A Day Calendar. Feb 7th is Zenvelopes, 8th, is Salo, and 9th is Bublz which always highlights how not-round my circles are! Doh!

  I have noticed though that since I’m jumping straight into the calendar pages I am a bit more frequently that I would like to admit doing a variant because “there are no mistakes.” I keep missing small little key details in the step-outs or perhaps in some cases overthinking things and messing up when I reorient my paper (something that happened in the last three days, but I haven’t photographed yet).

Tangles on Tuesday in my Tangle A Day Calendar. An close look at Feb 11th’s Heart Box and a bit of the 10th’s Flameta which I embellished further at some point after this pic.

  I’m debating if I should start practicing in a notebook first. But, that would mean I’d need to carve out more time. While I would be nice to have step-outs drawn by myself to put into Doodle Organizer I’m almost certain I wouldn’t be able to keep up. Plus, I’ve been having issues with Doodle Organizer messing up the photo/pattern pairing in the back-ups and restoring between my devices so if I were to continue down that path I’d probably need to start all over.

Some Valentine’s goodies for myself – the T’Gaal pencil sharpener that makes 5 different shaped tips on your pencils, my very first Washi tape and the 20 pack of Staedtler Triplus Fineliners.

 I splurged on myself for Valentines day and ordered some goodies (well, DH ordered the pencil sharpener). While tangential to tangling, these are actually for a new obsession that I’ve stumbled upon recently that dovetails nicely with the zentangle practice. I’ll share more about that in another post in the near future.


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!

Sunday Smackdown #4 & Diva Challenge       

Random "Bloom" for Zentangle 2015-089
My first tile using the Sunday Smackdown pattern of Bloom by Helen Williams, here done with a combo of a random zig-zag and dots with a touch of Neocolor II crayons.

After watching Helen’s video and doing my own step-outs in my sketchbook I jumped right into a random version of Bloom for my first tile for Sunday Smackdown #4. I started with the random zig-zag, but got some inconsistencies in petal number so started adding in random dots. I still couldn’t quite resolve everything so it isn’t quite “right.” But I kind of like it. Especially after I colored it with light washes Neocolor II water-soluble crayons. I finished things off with just a sprinkling of fescue.

Bloom on a spherical grid.
Zentangle 2015-090, my second try at Bloom for Sunday Smackdown #4. Here I did it on a spherical grid and finished it with a couple of finery “leaves.”

From the get go I’ve had the though of the spherical globes of tiny blooms that make up hydrangea and wanted to try to put bloom on a spherical grid. It didn’t come out like I envisioned (I really should learn to let go of setting expectations of how things will look). Further explorations may have merit though.

I also have yet to really like my usage of finery. I’ve tried several different tweaks to it and haven’t hit upon the right combo as of yet. In retrospect I probably should have done this in my sketchbook since everything was kind of experimental. Oh well!

Zentangle 2015-091, Diva Challenge #211 & Sunday Smackdown #4 featuring flux two ways and bloom with some assists from tipple, pokeroot and sanibelle.
Zentangle 2015-091, Diva Challenge #211 & Sunday Smackdown #4 featuring flux two ways and bloom with some assists from tipple, pokeroot and sanibelle.

Then this week’s I am the Diva CZT Challenge was to use the two versions of Flux, Rick and Maria’s shared in this week’s Zentangle e-newsletter, in tangle. Maria’s version is a bit too like Mooka for me to love. I’ve done Rick’s version all along I guess. For this tile  I put Rick’s version on a curvy spine and butted Maria’s against a patch of Bloom. I was nudged by Tanglebucket to use Sanibelle (along with some tipple and pokeroot). I really like how bloom came out when I filled in the spaces and held to my original string for that coloring. I am slightly tempted to go add some light Neocolor washes to this one, but I’m not certain. What do you think?

Be sure to check out all the other interpretations of flux at I am the Diva CZT and please join Cate & I in exploring Bloom and add links to your explorations in the comments. We’d love to have others join us in these Sunday Smackdowns!

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.

I Didn’t Tangle Yesterday!

My first attempt wasnt working, but I’m happy with the second. It’s not quite finished yet.

For the first time since December 28th I didn’t tangle. I was just wrung out. It has been a mentally exhausting week and I passed out after watching an Inspector Lynley mystery with DH.

This morning though I set out to try my idea to take Genevieve’s Zendala template number 7 in a different direction. I think I got kind of lost on my first try. The second attempt though I’m quite happy with. I unexpectedly ended up with butterflies and am trying to decide if I should play that up and add some color? Or add more fescue to reduce the antenna look and stick to black and white and just shade with graphite?

Oddly my first attempt today was another Zentangle first for me. I hadn’t yet abandoned a tile unfinished. I may try rescue it at some point, but I think it needs a few days at least.

OZAD Day 24

Zentangle 2015-050
2015-050, “One Zentangle a Day” Day 24, featuring Striping and Zinger (labeled as Pepper Tangleation), I added some Tat, Sedgling, Ynix, Rain, Mooka, Festune, Sampson and Fescue.

More organic a today. I threw nearly every organic pattern learned so far into this one. Is the organic version of the kitchen sink the compost pile?

I still can’t get Tat down. Despite it breaking up the long continuous stroke, layering it behind things made it worse! Though putting an aura around it like Ynix helps give it a bit more structure. I am starting to like Mooka – finally. So I suppose there is hope for Tat eventually.

Does anyone have tips for Tat specifically or working with organic patterns in general?

Tangling On & Spreading My Wings

Zentangle 2015-048
“One Zentangle A Day” day 22 tile featuring Kathy’s Dilemma and Flux tangleation with some regular Flux, Fescue and N’Zeppel.

The patterns for today’s exercises were a little more to my liking. I had already worked on putting Flux on a curve so this was really good practice.

My very first Zendala Dare (#96)! Here I used a variant on Yoga and Paradox.
My very first Zendala Dare (#96)! Here I used a variant on Yoga and Paradox.

I had carried around the template for last week’s Zendala Dare, #96, at The Bright Owl since Erin posted it. It really resonated with me, but I never got the opportunity to work on it until last night.

I think I’m in love with Zendalas! I’m not surprised. I’ve long been interested in mandalas, even created some digitally with my photographs in the long, long ago before I was even a very good photographer. I’m also thinking that in addition to Zendalas appealing to my preference for order and symmetry in design they are kind of uber-Zentangle practice. You get multiple layers of repetition – the strokes making up the patterns but also the repetition of the patterns around the mandala form.

I scribbled pencil on the back of my print out of the template and then traced the template to transfer pencil markings to the tile. In the process I learned it really doesn’t take that much pressure to transfer 3B lead. If you look closely at the tile you can see a set of lines I chose to ignore — they are indented! I pressed a bit too hard, LOL!