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.

Wall Journal & Sunday Smackdown #9

My Sunday Smackdown #9 zendala on a standard 3.5″ square tile made from Fabriano Uno paper. I used Purlbox and Hurry and I’m not sure what exactly to call the third pattern.

I actually had finished this tile in time for posting for the Sunday Smackdown #9, but then got distracted by more Gelli printing fun at Cate’s 🙂

I kept it pretty simple and clean, using only three patterns, though I’m not quite sure what to call the petal-shaped one as that is really just a technique employed in lot of the patterns. Can anyone help me out on it?

I couldn’t resist an artsy shot of my zendala.

Inspired by my IG feed I took an artsy shot this time around and I really liked it so I thought I’d share the close-up look at it 🙂 It does really show the detail in how I shaded.

The finished “Be Brave and Keep Going” page in my Wall Notebook featuring a lot of tangles!

Then, speaking of procrastination, this has been done for probably a full month I think, but I never took a proper picture of it. The bricks had me employing a bunch of stacking of tangles, though I’m pretty sure it doesn’t quite meet the criteria for the Stack and Tangled FB group. That’s okay though because the same two people have just launch today a Journaled and Tangled group that this will fit in!

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!

Art Therapy Day With Cate

Well, Saturday was a BIG day at my house. Yes, my house that has been a total disaster area since I started packing. Thanks to all the help from my sister during her visit I was able to mostly reclaim my dining table. So, nearly a month after my birthday Cate and I finally got together to make messy art!

Getting ready to dive into Gelli Printing, a form of monoprinting, my dining room table was covered in all manner of acrylic paints and texture making things.

The plan was to monoprint using the Gelli Arts plate that Cate had ordered. Before her arrival I dusted off what art supplies I could get my hands on that would be useful, then she brought her big box o’fun as we called it and the dining room table was nearly buried in fun things!

We decided to do some printing, then have a later lunch at Panera when we hoped they might be a little less busy for a Saturday and then stop into Jerry’s Artarama afterwards for any additional supplies we found we would like for our continued afternoon printing. It was a great plan and we even snuck in cupcakes between lunch and Jerry’s 🙂 One of the additional purchases at Jerry’s was another Gelli plate, LOL! We got the Zendala-sized round plate, though I haven’t yet tried to print direct to one of the Zendala tiles. If you have done so I’d like to hear how it went for you in the comments!

Here, Cate is prepping the 4″ round Gelli Plate for printing.

Taking a break was a fantastic plan because it allowed the morning’s prints to dry so we could layer another print on top which is really where the results start getting fun. Much of the afternoon printing was layering.

We split up the finished pages between us, but not by who pulled the print necessarily. Partly because in some cases we each did a layer or one person directed the other, but also so we can create collaborative finished pieces, even across the miles once I’ve moved. Below are all but two of the sheets I kept.

We divvied up the prints before Cate headed home, each of us taking a couple made by the other so we can have some collaborative finished pieces, even across the miles. That makes me think we should plan on maybe quarterly or something exchanging some backgrounds via mail 🙂

I cut two the other sheets into 10 ATCs each (artist trading cards, 2.5 X 3.5″ baseball card sized pieces). I was very meh about them and in my experience, cutting something up that isn’t interesting as a whole often makes for really interesting small pieces. It also gives me a much smaller canvas to tangle on which is more realistic for my life at the moment.

Here are my Dylusions backgrounds. I love the colors, but some practice may be in order.

In Cate’s box o’fun she also brought her treasure trove of Dylusions Spray Inks. Talk about a messy art adventure! I spread out a large lawn and leaf garbage bag on the floor and had to kennel Brandon to make these sheets. I was kind of rushed to play with them quick before Cate needed to head home, but I can see this being something to explore further in the future. The colors are amazingly vivid. I definitely need some practice though before I’m getting zentangle-friendly backgrounds like Alice!

My first Gelli Print ATC that I tangled on yesterday in a stack of course 🙂 From the lower left is Diva Dance, 4MOM with 1/2 Cruffle, ParasailZ, Bublz, and Hako, all enhanced with some Prismacolor pencils and while charcoal pencil.

After cutting my ATCs yesterday morning I had to jump right in and start to tangle on one while I enjoyed my mid-morning coffee break. I think the biggest challenge with these is going to be the white borders I inevitably end up with because the Gelli plate is not sized for edge-to-edge printing on a sheet of cardstock (which makes sense). I think I embraced that well in this one though, coloring in part of Hako with colored pencils that matched the monoprinting to tie that area in with the rest of the piece. I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that you can get Prismacolor colored pencil to lay in overtop of the printing a bit as well as the white charcoal pencil. I think that really made the Bublz pattern.

This was the first time in quite a while I went into my tangling without much of a plan. I started with ParasailZ in the white arc and then just worked in each direction as I felt moved to do so. That arc made it feel like a perfect place to do more tangled stacking. Since I’m obsessed with stacks I went with it. It was nice to have the “flow” back again. I wish I knew why I had lost it and how to get it back when it disappears.

My second, Gelli print ATC started at Zwei Bruder Brewing while waiting for my friend Simmon to join me for a pint. This one features Wud, XYP, Shattuck, Trimond (no s), and Intwine with a bunch of Tipple for the really skinny stacks and to tie it all together.

Because I’m apparently prone to obsessions, LOL, I started in on another ATC cut from the other print last evening while I waited for my friend, Simmon, to join me for a pint at Zwei Bruder before going to my knit night. I didn’t get too far and finished up the rest this morning. The comb marks on this one also screamed out for stacking to me so I went with it. I think part of the reason stacking appeals to me so much is that I love the ribbon/border tangle patterns and hadn’t really worked out how to put them into a random string. Stacking lets me explore them to my heart’s content. Though I’m unsure as of yet if this is truly stacking or not according to the Facebook group since the copper areas in general are not tangled.

I did learn with this ATC that graphite doesn’t really want to play with the monoprints. So if I’m going to regularly go down this path I think I may want a gray marker or 6. I figure I’ll go with ChartPak as I can easily source them open stock, but they have 6 or more darknesses in both warm and cool tones. Where do I start if I want to only invest in say 3 or 4 max? All cool tones is kind of my inclination from the little bit of watercolor I learned over a decade ago, but would I maybe need warm depending on the color I’m working on top of? And, will ChartPak lay in over the acrylic of the monoprints and will it still blend with the colorless blender? Do any of you have an light you can shed on this topic? I’d be very appreciative!

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.

Eke she Sez…

I’m super talented. I can eat a bowl of oatmeal, drink some earl grey tea, stand up from the table, stretch my arms up over my head and totally screw up my neck and shoulder. Nearly to the point of tears. Fortunately I was already set to work from home so I almost immediately soaked in Epsom salt and arnica. That thankfully dialed things down a couple notches. Nevertheless, I can see the flare of my chronic pain in today’s zentangle tile. I suspect Sez is especially susceptible to less than stellar tangling conditions. 



One Zentangle A Day, day 28 tile featuring Sez and Eke with Shattuck, Tipple and Fasset.


The focus for this tile was the OZAD day 28 patterns Sez and Eke (I did a tangleation of one of the tangleations). I added shattuck to Eke to give it some heft, then the loops just begged for tipple. Then I saw fasset-like bits between the loops.

I can see myself exploring Sez some more. I think I could space the starting dots for a more dynamic look, or at least not do the auras equally on all of them. In an odd bit of synchronicity Sez is the pattern of the week in the Square One: Purely Zentangle Facebook group this week so there is some phenomenal inspiration to be seen there.

Snowy Sunday Shading

Tile 2015-052 in progress.
Tile 2015-052 in the final stages of shading on a snowy Sunday morning in CO.

I started my Zendala Dare #97 tile last night. I finished the shading this morning while I made whole grain pancakes with lemon ricotta and berries for our breakfast and put together a whole grain beer bread dough.

Because we do mass transport and that doesn’t run here in Fort Collins on Sundays we stay home all day. It makes it a great day to do food prep for the week like baking bread. It is especially so this weekend because we got 8-10″ of snow and it is still coming down. Walking or biking anywhere isn’t an option today.

Tile 2015-052 Zendala Dare #97
Tile 2015-052, Zendala Dare #97 with Striping, Black Pearls, Shattuck and Nekton.

 

At first I wasn’t feeling it with the template. But I took a deep breath and jumped in with Striping. I added perfs, then the rope-like border, then the Black Pearls for the small “drops” seemed the right answer. It took a bit for me to figure out what to fill the rest of the background with, but I settled on Shattuck and Nekton. I’m pretty happy with it considering I was hesitating on the template.

Anyone else think they spend more time on shading than drawing? I can’t swear by it because I’m often multi-tasking while shading, but it sure seems as though that step takes me longer.