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 ;)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Best Laid Plans....

Well, last week did not go at all the way I planned. I caught a virus early in the week and spent much of the rest of the week surfing the couch. Now that I'm vertical again my classes have started for the fall semester at the local community college. I'm taking Web Design and Descriptive Drawing. (I know...what a shock!) So I will just quickly post last week's and this week's Diva Challenge tiles.

Last week Holly Atwater of Ha! designs was the final guest blogger of the summer and she had a lovely audio meditation challenge for us. I really enjoyed doing this one!

Audio Meditation #1 ha! designs

This week the Diva is back and has challenged us to use the new Zentangle original called Zenith. I actually try to keep my pattern dictionary down to a dull roar (ask me how that is working out!) so had passed on the tangle when it first came out. But I have to say that I really enjoyed it and am glad to add it to my (ever growing) collection.

Tangles Used: Zenith and BeadLines

Alright, back to catching up on things that didn't get done last week!