The first word that comes to mind is WOW!  The dares and challenges we’ve been doing lately have been very interesting, and so thought-provoking.  I’m finding that this art form, when done for a particular subject helps me to process emotions in a positive way.   To find out more about this and other zendala dares, grab the link on the right and visit Erin’s blog.

In this week’s Zendala Dare, Erin challenged us to do a Zendala in honor of someone whose life was touched by cancer.  I immediately had two I wanted to do.  I lost my Dad and my younger brother within six months of each other to this horrible disease.  The first one is for my Dad, Fred Lee Herscher,  who succumbed to prostate cancer a few years ago.  The only good thing about Dad’s touch by the disease is that after radiation, the disease stayed in remission for  12 good years, and it didn’t come back until he was almost 85.  So this is for you, Dad.

  This is on a tile, which is approximately 4″ square.  The tangles that are done on grids symbolize Dad’s organization skills.  The arrowheads further speak of the Straight Arrow my Dad always was.  He had great integrity and taught all of us kids that honor and integrity and honesty were attributes we should cultivate all our lives.  The Knightsbridge speaks to the fact that for his family, Dad was always the “Knight in Shining Armor”.  In the center is Flutter Pie by Sandy Bartholomew.   The other tangles used are Tipple, Betweed, and Hollibaugh.  Each one represents one of his “careers”.  He retired twice, each time to enter a new and totally different field.  When he retired from the wholesale toy business, he started a Sheltered Workshop for disadvantaged adults.  He knew first hand that such a business was sorely needed, since his youngest son was born with cerebral palsy and after he turned 21 there was no place for him to go to get meaningful employment.  The workshop called “South King County Activities Center” was so successful that we even got contracts from the mammoth Boeing company to clean airline headphones, and build bookcases.  My brother David worked there until his death two years ago.  Dad served as Executive Director of SCCAC until he retired at age 65.  Then he got his real estate broker’s license, and in partnership with my sister Mary, opened up three Century 21 franchises, a career  which he only left when he died.  Dad always said he would die “with his boots on” and he truly did.

The other person I’d like to honor is my younger brother Fred Lee Herscher III, named for Dad.  Fred was diagnosed with lung cancer two months after Dad’s death, and was gone within 6 months.  This was a real tragedy, because his life was cut short when he was finally getting into his prime.  Freddy was a bit of a rebel, a Viet Nam vet who was horribly scarred emotionally by his time in the army.  It took years and lots of therapy before he finally was able to come to terms with it; and it was something he never discussed or shared with the family.  Until his death, he worked with Dad and Mary in real estate; and was managing broker for one of the offices.   In his honor I did a very unorthodox piece of art.  It is an 8″ x 10″ ZIA, with this week’s full size template in the center.  When I tried to visualize what Freddy would like in a piece of tangled art, I came up with “Steampunk”; funky, retro, busy, and colorful.  So, here it is.

I started with an 8.5″ x 11″ watercolor paper and sponged several colors of distress ink over the whole page.  Then I printed the full size template centered on the page and started to tangle.  I picked tangles I thought would go with a steampunk theme.  Some of them are: Brix by Vicki Murray, Keeko, Cadent, Striping, and  Pepper, which are all official ZTs,  and Struzzle by Jo Newsham.  The rest of them are from Sandra Strait’s Steampunk Series, and include Background #2, Planateen, Klock # One, and parts of Geer #3.  I turned the zendala template into a giant “geer” by beginning with step three of Geer # Three on the outside edge of the template.  I added the candle in the lower right to symbolize the light and love that my brother shed in the lives of those of us who loved him.  I think I’m going to have this framed with a picture of Fred and give it to his daughter, Sarah.

I hope I haven’t bored you with my trip down memory lane, and I can hardly wait to see what each of you did with this thought-provoking dare.  Until next time, Happy Tangling.