Saturday, December 27, 2014

Pattern Mixer - a new challenge

Anya Lothrop has started a new set of challenges for us! Once a month she will choose two patterns for you to tangle together. This month the patterns are Mooka and Rixty. I had just bought new sketch books with medium toned papers, one in gray and one in tan so just had to use them for this challenge. I had a great time stealing moments away from the busyness of preparing for the holidays to find an oasis of calm to work on these.

I had to laugh when I finally peeked at Anya's example because I had done almost exactly the same thing she did. I swear I didn't look first! I did this one in ballpoint pen because that is what I had in my purse when I started it. I really like the mid-toned paper because you can add both shadow and highlight.

This one is done mainly in brown and sepia micron pen with colored pencils used for shadow and highlight. Tipple managed to worm his way into this piece as he often does. I had a blast doing these and can't wait to go see what everyone else has done.

Have a safe and happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Simplicity - A Diva's Weekly Challenge

For the final challenge of 2014 The Diva has challenged us to Keep It Simple Silly. In other words, simplify, simplify, simplify. This was also the theme of the very first Diva Challenge. I wasn't playing with this four years ago when that first challenge was set, but I did go and look at it about a month ago. I had an idea which I played around with in my sketchbook. I thought about doing simple continuous line patterns like Echoism and Eke.

Last week I sat down to do the tile and it did not even approach simplicity! It felt disjointed and like there were too many ideas. I got out my Inktense pencils and added some color to give it a little unity and thought it helped but was not fully satisfied with the tile.

Tangles Used: Eke, Echoism, Tat, and Growth
So I was quite pleased to give the challenge another go. This time I used fewer ideas and feel I found the simplicity I was looking for.

Tangles Used: Echoism and Tipple
May you and yours have a simply wonderful holiday season!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Zentangle on Acrylic

Over the weekend I finished up a project that I have been toying with for a while. In her book One Zentangle a Day Beckah Krahula has a project using clayboard and resin to make a layered tangle that is then made into a necklace. I didn't want to invest in all the materials and was going to skip it but then I found these acrylic shapes at Michael's by the Mod Podge company. I figured if you could decoupage on them you could tangle on them!

Materials Used: Podgeable Acrylic Shapes, Identi pen, Sharpies, Elmers Clear Gel Glue, old paint brush, and a bottle cap for a glue pot

The acrylic shapes come 18 to a package with 3 of each size/shape combination. One of the 3 has a loop on top so you can hang your completed piece as an ornament or jewelry. So the basic concept is to tangle on three layers of acrylic and then assemble them with glue.

I first tried tangling on the smallest square and painted the back with silver paint. I put the first layers together with decoupage but found that it didn't dry as clear as I wanted so switched to the Elmers clear gel glue for the rest of the project. I also abandoned painting the backs since I plan on hanging them as ornaments so don't want to have a plain back if I can avoid it.

Attempt #1
The top layer is a flower motif, the middle layer is Fescu, and the bottom layer is a leaf. I felt like the tangles on the three layers overlapped too much but that the method had potential so I continued with my experiments.

Attempt #2

With this piece I had more room to work with and thought I found a better balance of tangles. Tangles top to bottom are Poke Root, Flux, and Nekton.

Attempt #3
Here I decided to add some color. I used Sharpies and found they worked very well. Tangles top to bottom are Vitruvius and Tipple, Flux, Mssst

Attempt #4
On my final pass I tangled on the 3 remaining shapes. On the left I used Arukas. The middle layer has all the arcs and I alternated putting the arms on the top and bottom layer. The middle tangle was less successful. It is Bales and I decided to color the leaf parts green and then on the middle layer I put in red dots. But the registration wasn't so great so I colored the entire layer red which makes it had to see the top layer. The bottom layer is Florz. Next time I think I would glue the two layers together. Then when they were dry tangle on the top of the first layer and the back of the second layer and all will be registered correctly. The piece on the right I am quite happy with. The flower motif with some dots are on the top layer, leafy motif on the middle layer, and Mssst on the bottom layer.

I'm going to hang mine on the tree now. Let me know if you try this. I'd love to see pictures of what you come up with.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Arukas - A Diva's Weekly Challenge

The Diva is back and blogging now that her family has had a chance to recover. Her challenge this week is to use the new official tangle Arukas in your piece. Someone had used this in their piece last week and I had really admired it. I had looked at the step-out but hadn't had a chance to play so this was a timely and fun challenge. I chose to do mine as a monotangle.

Tangle Used: Arukas

Welcome back Diva. You were missed! And thank you to the fellow bloggers who stepped in to fill the void. You all did a fabulous job.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Third and Final Exchange of 2014

Today was a luncheon for my ANG group. Among the many fun activities we had an ornament exchange. And yes, once again, I finished mine very last minute. It would have been done last night but I didn't have the correct glue so I had to wait until Michael's opened this morning and make a trip to the store before I could finish it. It is definitely cute though!

Birds & Berries Thimble Purse by Brenda Gervais

Santa's sleigh was a little delayed so I will get mine on Wednesday. I'm looking forward to it!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Ornament Exchange #2

Last night was the last meeting of the year for my EGA chapter. We have an ornament exchange every year and I always look forward to seeing all the lovely stitched ornaments. I did allow myself a bit more time than the exchange last month but I still finished my ornament the morning of the exchange.

Of course the point of an exchange is that you get something too. So here is the lovely that I received

Well, one more exchange so I guess I better get back to my stitching!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

All Dolled Up - A Diva's Weekly Challenge

This week's challenge by guest blogger Emily Classon was to use dolls as an inspiration for our tangle. Emily's examples are really beautiful but since neither my interior nor exterior child ever really played with dolls I was having trouble finding inspiration. I looked at lots of images of paper dolls but wasn't really feeling it. I had a vague idea of using a simple outline of paper dolls laid out in a circle with their heads touching

so thought I would try to use KrazyDad's kaleidoscope to create it. I never really found a way to get it laid out to create that result but along the way I began to see some very nice zendalas forming

The result of the image above after playing
and then I thought of the pun and that was it. I was hooked. So without further ado I give you this week's zen-doll-a <cumulative groan>

Tangles Used: Nzeppel and Tagh

Monday, November 24, 2014

Nzepple Unchained - a Diva's Weekly Challenge

The guest blogger this week challenged us to either free a favorite pattern from it's grid or to impose a grid on an otherwise ungridded pattern. I choose to let Nzepple free and had so much fun with it. Here is the page from my sketchbook where I was seeing what could be done.

I had to stop myself from just playing at some point and see what it was like to tangle with these freed forms. After I had done the tangling the tile asked for some color please so I got out my brush tipped markers and here is the result.

Tangles Used: variations of Nzepple

This was a really fun challenge and allowed me to be wild and free! For those of you who live in the US have a blessed Thanksgiving. For everyone else, have a fabulous week and I can't wait to see what everyone else has done with this challenge.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Embracing the Yuck - A Diva's Weekly Challenge

This week's guest blogger at Chez Diva challenged us to embrace the yuck and draw our piece entirely with our non-dominant hand. For me that is my left hand. I am one of those people who can manage to do simple things with my left hand, but never, ever drawing! I found myself going back to basics. Slowing down the pace, using a simple string, rotating the tile, nibbling on  chocolate....

Tangles Used: Festune, Kathy's Dilemma, Fescu, Msst
I enjoyed the process and can imagine doing this to break through an "artist's block."

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Ketchup Day and A Diva's Weekly Challenge

No, not National Ketchup Day. That was in June. But it has been a busy couple of weeks since I last posted and want to catch up. So here goes....

First up was an ornament exchange. I had nearly 10 months to stitch this but naturally I left it until the last week. It is done on 32-count (very fine) linen which is also very navy blue and done entirely in Queen Stitch. All of which would have been easier to do eleven years ago when I first took the workshop. Are you sensing a pattern here?

The Queen's Berries by Diane Clements

Next, I wanted to finish my Inktober project. I already knew it was going to be a very busy several weeks because of teaching and kitting for classes so I decided to keep the project manageable and did inchies. Here they are in no particular order:

Inktober 2014

Then there was the above mentioned teaching and kitting plus several family events. And finally, while I wasn't posting I was thinking about the Weekly Challenges and got caught up this week.

Challenge 191 - A Betweed Monotangle

I enjoyed this and thought that the variation I did in the diagonally aligned squares looked a lot like the Queen Stitch.

Tangle Used: Betweed
Challenge 192 - Use My Tangle: Seton by guest blogger Cris Letourneau

I really enjoyed playing with this one and can see all sorts of possibilities. This turned out to be another monotangle with a nod to one of my favorites, Star Map.

Tangle Used: Seton
Challenge 193 - TriTangle: Trio, Huggins, and XYP (THX) by guest blogger Holly Atwater.

I have practiced Trio and XYP in the past but have never used them on a tile. I really enjoyed the result and will definitely use them more in the future.

Tangles Used: Trio, Huggins, and XYP

Well, I think that has me all caught up. I have kitted the last kits for this year and will teach my last class of 2014 tomorrow. Of course, a group contacted me this morning for a class next year, and another group wants me to design them a snowman...until next time!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - A Diva's Weekly Challenge

Like so many others, breast cancer has touched the lives of many women that I know. Some have been cancer free for decades since that first diagnosis and others are no longer with us. The fight continues and this is one we will win. But only if we keep our attention on reaching that goal. In this spirit here is my submission for the Diva's Weekly Challenge.

Tangles Used: Finery, Vitruvius, StarMap

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Giants Win the Pennant!!

OK. I admit it. I'm a baseball fan. Big time! During the Division playoff I did a couple of baseball related tiles. I enjoyed combining a couple of my favorite things so I decided to do another one this week during the League playoff. I finished it last night but didn't have time to post it. But the Giants clinched the series tonight so the time to post is now.

Tangles Used: Nipa, Festune, Echoism, Cadent, 'Nzeppel

It is on to the World Series so I will have to see how else I can tangle these two loves together. It takes two to tangle!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

3:10 to Yuma- a Diva's Weekly Challenge

I'm doing another two-fer here. I combined this week's Diva Challenge with Day 36 of "One Zentangle a Day" and came up with this tile. The challenge was a UMT (Use My Tangle) created by Tina-AKUA, CZT which she calls Yuma. The Day 36 prompt was to use the tangles Zander and Stickers. I enjoyed this challenge very much and also had fun doing the shading with the ArtGraf stick that just came in the mail. (Woo-hoo! Always happy when I get new art supplies!)

Tangles Used: Yuma, Zander, Stickers
The Yuma on this tile makes me think of clouds and wind...perhaps because it was cloudy and unusually windy here yesterday. I think Yuma has lots of tangelation possibilities although I kept quite close to the original here and look forward to playing with it more.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Giant String

Last weekend I started to make a tile for Day #28 in the One Zentangle a Day book that I am working my way through. I started working on it while watching game #1 of the NLDS playoffs between the SF Giants and the Washington Nationals and on a whim decided to use the SF logo as a string for the tile. For those who don't know, a "string" is penciled in to divide the tile into sections before inking in the patterns. The logo has an overlapping S and F, can you see it?

Zentangle San Francisco Giants
Tangles Used: Eke, Sez, and Star Map
The next day I decided to skip a few lessons ahead to Day #40 and use a letter for my string. In this case I used a G from the los Gigantes version of the Giants' uniforms.

Zentangle San Francisco Giants
Tangles Used: Vega and Jetties
Now that they have won their division and are playing for the league championship I will have to come up with a new tile to celebrate! Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

National Coming Out Day - a Diva's Weekly Challenge

Today is National Coming Out Day. This is an event I wasn't aware of until this week's Diva Challenge was set by guest blogger Daniel. I did a little research and found an image that was so simple and clear, a yellow equal sign on a field of blue. I used that image as my string, drew my patterns, and then painted in the color. I would like to thank Daniel for setting this challenge and wish all a peaceful and supportive day of celebration.

Tangles Used: Linq, Gutz, BeadLines, Tipple

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

String Theory - a Diva's Weekly Challenge

Weekly Diva Challenge #187 was to use a "blind" string, that is to draw the string with your eyes closed. As you can see, my string didn't exactly fill the tile. I was thinking of fixing it by turning the tile over and adding more (with my eyes closed of course!) but decided to just use what I had since that is kind of the point of the exercise.

Blind String

I am working my way through One Zentangle a Day by Beckah Krahula and am on Day 26 so decided to make this tile cover that purpose as well. I'm glad I made it a two-fer since it took me at least twice as long to do this than it usually does!

Tangles Used: Poke Leaf, Festune, Flux, Growth, Nipa

Monday, September 29, 2014

Along Came a Spider - Paper Embroidery

Last week I rolled out my newest design for a test run at the Vintage Stitchers chapter of the EGA in Pleasanton, CA. It was great fun showing these avid stitchers how to create the paper embroidery ornaments. Once they got the hang of the crescent stitch used they really went to town. They take less than 2 hours to stitch so most were well on their way before the evening was out. Here is mine:

paper embroidery
Along Came a Spider

I can't wait to see their pumpkin harvest at the next meeting!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Paper Batik

Wednesday I experimented with a paper batik process using a white Sakura glaze pen to doodle on some paper and then adding watercolor after the ink was dry. After they were done I re-wet the backs, placed them between sheets of wax paper, and pressed them under some books to flatten them. I released them this morning and here are the results.

This was my first try on an off -cut of paper

Here is my second experiment on a slightly larger piece of paper

The first piece worked as I had expected it to work but on the second piece I kept thinking my pen wasn't working. As it turns out the second piece of paper was a different quality to the first and soaked up most of the glaze ink resulting in a very subtle batik. Both are interesting and I think it is time to glue them into the studio journal for future reference.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Leaves as a String - a Diva's Weekly Challenge

This week the challenge was to use leaves as a string. I decided to use a pumpkin leaf as my string and to tangle on a pumpkin shaped Spring Board. (I guess I had pumpkins on the brain because I was teaching my pumpkin design last night for the first time.) I had fun filling the different parts of the leaf with various tangles. I am not sure that it actually looks like a leaf in the final analysis but the point was to use a leaf as a string not to make a picture of a leaf so I am reasonably pleased with the outcome.
Zentangle SpringBoard
Tangles Used: Onamato, Huggins, Chillon, Echoism, Yincut, and Amaze

I'm also including the results from week #183 here (that was the X-Did challenge). I didn't have my blog up and running then but I did do the challenge.

Tangles Used: X-Did, Flux, Reef, Onamato
Zentangle SpringBoard
Tangles Used: X-Did, Printemps, Flukes, Eke, Zinger, and Sampson

Tangles Used: X-Did, Estwire, Nekton, and misc. barbed wire tangles

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Waiting to Dance - a Diva's Weekly Challenge

Having two new-to-me tangles this week gave me something to distract me while waiting for a procedure at the doctor's office and then some more while recovering that evening. Needless to say I have pages and pages of ideas in my sketchbook but this was the one that wanted to be on the tile this morning. The challenge was to use Phicops and DivaDance in a duotangle, that is two and only two tangles. I hope you enjoy it!

Tangles used: Phicops and DivaDance

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Our "Just" Deserts

Since this blog is mainly going to be about my designs and design process I thought I would occasionally mention some of the artists that have influenced my art over the years.

I have recently been playing around with repetitive pattern drawing again. Something I haven't done in years but have always enjoyed. This has brought to mind a time in 2007 when I went to the San Jose Museum of Art in San Jose, CA and saw an exhibition of Il Lee's abstract artwork done in ballpoint pen on canvas. This was an aha moment for me. Here was a serious artist creating large pieces "just" by doodling with a pen. His pieces are large and complexly simple and I was entranced. This experience allowed me to view my own doodles in a new light. So often we dismiss our own pieces as "just" doodles or with some other negative term. In reality we are creating art, feeding our own need to create and just possibly creating an aha moment for someone else. So doodle, or noodle, or stitch, or plant, or whatever it is that you do to bring out your creativity and share it with the rest of us!

It's Rain ING - a Diva's Weekly Challenge

This week's Diva Challenge was to use ING, the new tangle from Zentangle®. On the first piece I almost immediately felt as though things had gone terribly wrong but stuck with it and am fairly pleased with the result.

Tangles used: ING, Mooka, and, Tipple
The second piece is a plea for rain here in drought ridden California!

Zentangle SpringBoard
Tangles used: ING and Rain

I really like this new tangle and can see lots of possibilities. I look forward to playing with it some more.