Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Festive Tangling

The Muster Mixer challenge this month was to take two of your favorite patterns and tangle them together into a new pattern. I really love tangles like Gra-Vee and also have a lot of fun with Festune (I think they look like patty pan squash). So I decided to mix them together and came up with two different results.

I also did some last minute Christmas Cards. The middle one didn't scan very well, there are ribbons and such but they don't show.

Have a lovely holiday!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Count Down to the Holidays

This is an incredibly busy week with lots of parties, finals, and the son will be home for three weeks starting this Saturday. The party on Monday was the final ornament exchange that I participated in this year.

I stitched a cute house for this exchange:

Four different views and my holiday message to you.

And I received this lovely ornament:

Stitched by my friend Margaret
I can't wait to get my tree up so I can hang all the new lovelies up in pride of place.

The Diva Challenge this week is the last of this year and is to, "Give the gift of zentangle to someone in your life."

I tangled this on a SpringBoard and gave to a friend this morning:

Tangles Used: Flux and Luv-a
Tangle Used: Gravee

As it says on the house above, "Merry Christmas from our house to yours."

Monday, December 7, 2015

Tea and Memories

This past Wednesday I went to the annual ornament exchange at my Embroiderers' Guild meeting. There was so much exquisite work there. It was very inspiring. The piece I received touched me very much. We exchange names early in the year so that we know who we are stitching for and Barbara heard me tell a story at a program that I taught about a set water colors I had when I was a kid. It was a large set (probably about 96 in the set) and here is what she created for me:

I stitched for Kim who had asked for, "Summer and Flowers." I found this cute scissors case at Luv 2 Stitch in San Mateo and thought it fit the bill perfectly. I slipped a pair of scissors into the case to complete it.

I have been working hard in my drawing class so haven't gotten a lot of tangleing done. So I always look forward to Monday and the Diva Challenge. This week is a first Monday and thus a Use My Tangle challenge. The Diva chose the tangle African Artist by Tina-Akua Hunziker and I loved the look of it so much I started doodling with it in my sketch book right away. Before having finished my morning tea. So in my under-caffeinated state with my first attempt I forgot step 6 and my second attempt I got all the slants in the same direction.

After regrouping, and applying a more appropriate amount of caffeine, I did a couple more pieces. My first attempt above had reminded me of several skeins of floss lying side by side so I did this (leaving out step 6 on purpose this time!)

And then I noticed that it could be done in such a way as to look like a tree. Add an Arukas star to the top and you could use it on a Christmas card!

I never actually made it to working on a tile but I'm sure I will be using this tangle often.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Once There Was a Tree

I had a friend in high school who was fond of reciting The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and it seemed apt for the Diva Challenge this week. The challenge, set by guest blogger Dillip Patel, is to create a tree using a monotangle to help create awareness about planting trees and being good stewards of this marvelous planet we live on,

I think I could get obsessed with this challenge but I chose to do only two.

Tangle Used: Cat-kin

Tangle Used: Pop Cloud

Last week was so busy with classes and Thanksgiving that I never managed to post my Challenge piece. The challenge was to use the tangle Hollibaugh. I couldn't get the idea/pun of holly out of my head so I went with it an created this tangleation (during class, hence the lined paper):

I can't believe November has flown by so quickly. I always look forward to the holidays but they do have a tendency to whiz by. Hopefully we all take a moment to reflect on how we got here and where we plan to head next.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Proper Prior Planning....

It is clear and windy here today with a nip in the air. That must mean it is time to get ready for the big day. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and is carefully prepared for in my home with lists and timelines. I have make ahead versions of several recipes so that I get to enjoy the day with my family and not have to slave away in the kitchen so today was the day to get my first shopping list ready. I'll start shopping on Wednesday and start cooking on Friday.

So today I still have time to enjoy the Diva Challenge. Today's challenge was to use the tangle Tripoli. This is not a tangle I use much. I think because I used to struggle with it. But today we declared a truce and things went pretty well. I decided that the Morning Glories (2) that Helen Williams introduced last week would play well and I wanted to use some sort of color since my art class this semester has been exclusively black and white. At this point even brown feels like lots of color!

Tangles Used: Tripoli and Morning Glories (2)

I also played with the Muster Mixer challenge this weekend. The challenge this month is to combine Nzeppel and Narwal into a tangleation. I confess I found these two tangles hard to combine but I finally did come up with a few different approaches. Here is my sampler:

In closing I would like to say that our prayers and thoughts are with all of those who affected by the terror attacks last week. May peace reign.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Lightning and Thunder and Rain, Oh My!

We are finally getting some rain here in Northern California. My poor, thirsty plants a very happy!

As I hoped, I finished my exchange gift in time for the party (just!) Here are a couple of pictures of the tote bag I made.

Pocket Front
Pocket Back
All done!

Being an exchange of course I received something lovely in return

Scissors Case Front
Scissors Case Back
Sweet Bunny Scissor inside

One down, two to go (exchanges that is). But I may be learning my lesson. The second one is nearly done with three weeks to spare!

The Diva Challenge this week was to intentionally leave a majority of your tile empty. I had been playing with stacks a few weeks back when we did the stone stack challenge
and so I decided to play with that idea today but using Narwal

Tangles Used: Narwal, Flux, and various flourishes
A small rock garden, just right for my patio!

Monday, November 2, 2015

All Souls Day

Wow! Where did October go?! The trick-or-treaters have come and gone and now it is on to holiday preparations. I always look forward to Thanksgiving. All the fun, friends, family, and food without the pressure of gift buying! I do however, still have some exchange projects that need to be finished. I participate in these every year and every year I wonder why I didn't finish up in July and avoid the last minute rush. Next year for!

This week's Diva Challenge was to use the new Zentangle official tangle called Gourdgeous. It took me a few trials to get the hang of it but I think I really like it. I decided to use on of my pumpkin SpringBoards (As Maria says, "How could I not?") I got out my colored pens and found that the only orange ones that would show up on this black paper was the Souffle. But was happy to find that the metallic green worked beautifully. I can't recall ever actually using Sampson on a tile except for the one when I first learned the tangle, but it seemed to fit here. And I'v always thought Festune looked like patty pan squash so here is a nod to the harvest season.

Tangles Used: Gourdgeous, Festune, and Sampson

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Let the Rain Kiss You

There was a fire uphill from us this weekend, No one was hurt and the fire fighters managed to put it out before homes were damaged. But it was quite the sight to see the line of flames as it worked its way down hill and then extinguished in one well aimed dousing with retardant from a fire fighting airplane.

You can just see the line of fire through the tree.

A Cal Fire plane drops fire retardant on a 4-acre grass fire.
Photo by Stoney Meagher

The orange is fire retardant. The helicopter is looking for hot spots.
The drought here has made the hills a tinder box, ready to go up in flames with the smallest of sparks. Thankfully it rained some last night. Hopefully a portent of things to come.

On a less dramatic note I managed to complete my midterm project for one class and portfolio for the other. I teach my final class of the year tonight and then we move on to holiday related projects!

This week's Diva Challenge was set by guest blogger Paula Bramante. The challenge was to use a cairn template by Lisa Rankin as a string or to just use your own vision of stones and ceremony. I chose to use the template and had fun picking out patterns for each stone in the cairn.

Tangles Used: Lazy Eights, Undu, Yuan, Riverstones,
Scroll Feather, Partay, Tipple, Star Map, Linq, Well, and Gravee
A nice metaphor for life, one event building on top of another.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Falling into Fall

This week's Diva Challenge is to be inspired by the season. Living in Northern California we don't get nearly as much autumn color as other parts of the world. It is still quite warm although we have gotten a touch of rain. But the friendly wind blew a few leaves over to me from my next door neighbor's yard and there was some left over tea in the teapot. So I decided to tea-dye my tile using the gift-leaves as a mask. I used tangles that made me think of the season here, DL-Sunray, Drip-Drop, and Pop Cloud and tangled in the leaves. Then I heated what was left of the tea in the microwave to evaporate some of the water and make the tea darker and used that to paint in a background and some shading.

Tangles Used: DL-Sunray, Drip-Drop, and Pop Cloud

Hmmm...using leaf water to paint leaves...kinda meta!

I've been busy with classes and though I've been drawing a lot, portfolios were due last week and next week, I haven't had a chance to tangle much so this was a nice change of pace.

Hoping the wind blows something nice your way!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Sorry To Tangle and Run....

Whew! That was a long week! The usual classes on Tuesday, a stitch-in at my house on Wednesday, teaching on Thursday evening on top of my normal classes, dinner guests on Friday, a party at our home on Saturday, and a workshop on Sunday...<pant, pant, pant>...And then I had to get my portfolio ready for review for today!

This was a nice relaxing Diva Challenge today which was exactly what I needed. I fully intended to do this on a black tile but somehow the black Post-its my friend Sabrina gave me a while back decided they wanted to play with the Munchin tangle. On the second and third ones I used a black Glaze pen by Sakura which is a really fun look.

I'm keeping it short this week so I can catch up on things left undone from last week. May all your tangles be on paper!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Getting an Early Start

Having completed last month's Muster Mixer on the very last day of the month I thought I would get started a bit earlier this month. The challenge is to combine the tangles Facade and Crescent Moon into a tangleation. I usually do a sampler of ideas on a single tile but this month the ideas wanted to be on separate tiles.

In addition to the Muster Mixer there was the Diva Challenge this week. This is a first Monday of the month so that means a UMT (Use My Tangle) Challenge. This month's tangle was a really fun one called Tri-bee by Beate Winkler. I used a tile that I made over the weekend using a new stencil and a spritz of soy sauce (see last week's challenge).

Similar tile before tangleing.

Tangles Used: Tri-Bee and Tipple
Huge warning here: The soy sauce does not play well with the finer versions of Micron, Pitt, and Copic multiliner. They either clog or the ink won't flow. I used a Micron 08 to do the above. It worked well but I had some smearing problems after I was about half way done. Not sure if it was the pen or if my hand was damp from washing dishes. Another good reason not to wash dishes!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Where Did September Go?

Wow! It's hard to believe that September is over already! The weather has been all over the place. Two weeks ago it was over 100-deg F and today there were drops of  water falling out of the sky. I understand that in some parts of the world this is called rain? It's been so long I don't remember!

So, before the month is over here is my September Muster Mixer. The challenge was to combine Fandango and Dragonair into a tangleation. I did my usual sampler because it is hard to pick just one of the results of my doodling.

The Diva Challenge this week was set by guest blogger Charlotte Carpentier. Her proposal was to create your string using a stencil and spraying on a natural dye such as tea or wine. It just so happens that I had an idea simmering about using soy sauce instead of tea to "tea dye" some paper so this was the perfect opportunity to act on it. The idea probably came to me after dripping soy sauce on my shirt at one of our many fine Asian restaurants here in town.

 I swatch tested on a couple of inchies. The paper on the left is what I normally use for my tiles. The one on the right is watercolor paper.You may be able to tell that I used the handles of a pair of scissors as a stencil for this test run.

Having decided that I liked the depth of color on the watercolor paper and not having any stencils, I used some leaf shaped stamps to mask off portions of my tile and spritzed away. Here it is before tangling.

And here it is after tangling.

Tangles Used: Nzeppel, C-Buns, Cayla, and Pendrills

This was a really fun challenge and a nice change of pace from the drawing exercises in the art class I'm taking. That said, if you have ever wanted to learn more about drawing and shading, get a copy of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. After only 4 weeks of class I'm doing things I thought would take years to learn.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Always Expect the Unexpected!

Whew! Another really hot day here in the SF Bay Area. It was 96-deg F (34-deg C) and the smoke in the air from the fires up north are really getting to my eyes. The temperature is perfectly normal for this time of year (still uncomfortable though!). If you ever plan to visit San Francisco, do it in September or October when it is typically warm and clear.

I mentioned last week that I was going to go see the Turner exhibit at the de Young Museum in San Francisco.

Campo Vaccino (Modern Rome), J. M. W. Turner 1839

It was really excellent and I was actually surprised when I got to the end. I had no idea I had been there for 2 hours! After finishing the Turner exhibit I went upstairs to the American Collection. They have quite a few pieces painted during the same period as J. M. Turner and it is remarkable how different the Turners are from the other artists of the period. It is no wonder the critics of the time didn't appreciate him.

When I first got to the museum I decided to by a membership instead of just getting tickets to the one exhibit. I hadn't realized it but I got to buy a student membership because I am taking classes a the local community college. So Thursday I dropped by the Admin Building to pick up my student ID (so I can take advantage of more discounts!) and they also gave me a calendar/organizer. Now, I really don't have a need for such so I had it kind of tucked in the back of my mind that I might use it to tangle in. Enter the Diva Challenge this week to tangle on something unexpected. Because of the size of the pages I decided to use a size 8 micron for most of it. I started tangling Jasmin, but oops! I was so in to the flow of the pattern that I forgot to leave blank rectangles for the alternate direction of the leaf shape. So I just got on with my variation so I could find out what it looks like this way!

Tangles Used: Jasmin variation and Dicso
I turns out pretty nicely actually ;) So tangle on and embrace the unexpected.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Climbing the Stairway to Heaven

I have had this lyric running through my head quite a bit lately. I decided to take a couple of classes at the local community college this semester and there are 204 stair steps between my first class and my second class! There is a shuttle I could take and I admit to using the elevator for the last part when it was 102-deg F last week but I have decided to mostly walk them all and call it my cardio for the day. Thankfully it is significantly cooler this week :)

This week I have/will be busy teaching my Sugar Skeleton design.

I spent all day Friday getting kits ready and then taught on Saturday and will teach again tomorrow. I am taking advantage of the location tomorrow and going to the De Young Museum in San Francisco. There is a Turner exhibit I have been wanting to see and it closes on the 20th so great timing!

The Diva challenged us to use stripes as a string this week. I had an ATC already strung with my current favorite string and decided it was meant to be.

Tangles Used: Tripoli, Planteen, Droplets,
 Luv-a, Yincut, and Hurray

Hopefully we will all be able to tangle a stairway to heaven this week!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Mistakes Show Us What We Need to Learn

This is the fortune that I received at lunch the other day:

Mistakes show us what we need to learn.
It tickled me because of the way it is off center and cut off; just proving the point!

I'd say that what I needed to learn this week is that when the Diva says that she wished she had made the squares bigger for her tangle, maybe I should have considered taking the advice. This one got a little out of control. I think the color helped tame it some but it took a lot of time and thought to make it any kind of balanced. No zen to see here!

Tangle Used: CanT

To balance things a bit, here is a little zen from my journal from a couple of weeks ago when I was working on organic tangles. Lots of fun ;)