Archive for June, 2013

Zendala Dare #63

Saturday is Zendala  Dare day, and I’ve got one done already.  Yay!  So, here it is.  I have to say the zendala I did doesn’t exactly ring my bell; but I may work on another one if I have the time.  Hope you enjoy.



I’m excited to show you a few Zentangle® tiles done by Will Hughes, who just happens to be my nephew.  Will is a third year PhD student and associate instructor in Literature at UC Davis in northern California.  He was in Washington for Thanksgiving last year and attended a class I held the day after Thanksgiving.  In two hours I taught him six tangles and here is the tile he completed.


As you can see, he has a real knack for tangling.

He seemed to really enjoy the Zentangle® process, so for Christmas I gave him some Zentangle supplies and a book and he just took off with it.  While he doesn’t have a lot of time in his busy study and teaching schedule, he says he tangles whenever he gets a chance.   He’s back in Washington for a summer visit and we tangled yesterday.  Here are a few of his tiles.


Actually this tile was done  in California.  I showed him how to draw a zendala using a wine glass as a template, both for the circle and to get six equidistant sections.  He did such a great job on the tangles.

These next two he did yesterday sitting at my kitchen table.


For this one he drew Phicops as a string and then filled each section with a diffeent tangle.  Clever idea.

And here’s my favorite.  I grabbed it before he even had time to sign it.


It’s so symmetrical and he certainly has some artistic genes he didn’t know he had.

I guess I just wanted to give him a venue for showing off his talents, and I wanted another opportunity to mention to my readers that if you don’t try it, you won’t know if you like it!

Until next time, Let’s Tangle!

Laura Harms, our Diva, recently took a short trip with her family to the Calgary area, which as you may know has recently been severely damaged by heavy floods.  She suggested an “Open” Challenge, where there are no guidelines except that we think of  Calgary as we do it.

I watched the video in Laura’s post, plus some pictures and articles on the web.  I wanted to do something positive, focusing on healing and restoration.  The idea I came up with was “rainbows”.  I found a photo online of a starburst of all the rainbow colors and used it as a background for a monotangle of Quiltz, designed by Kym Barlow.   This is a tangle I’ve been wanting to try.  .  The rainbow colors remind me of the dove, olive leaves, and rainbow in the Bible.  Also new beginnings, restoration, and good luck.  The “Quiltz” tangle reminded me of the support and succor given by generous people to disaster victims by donating money, blankets and quilts, clothes, food and other things.

Here is my interpretation, and I hope you enjoy it. It is post card size, 4″ x 6″, and  I added colored pencil in places to emphasize some parts of the tangle.


I hope you’ll leave a comment to let me know you stopped by.  Don’t forget to go to the Diva Challenge site (grab the link on the right) to see all the eye candy this wonderful group of talented artists have left there for your viewing pleasure.  Until next time, Happy Tangling!

This week’s Dare from Erin at The Bright Owl was a lot of fun.  So far, I’ve done two, one in black and white and one in color.

Dare #62

Tanglesl: Phicops, Purk, Mooka

dare 62.2

Tangles: Ixorus variation, Flux, Tipple, Heart vine variation

Hope you’ll leave me some love.  I’m off to leave some love to those of you who also participated.  Until next time, Happy Tangling!

New Tangle Patterns?

I shared these two new (I hope) tangle patterns in a post about the Diva Challenge on grid seeds.  I developed these in response to that challenge.

The first one is based on a parquet floor pattern, and I named it Tequarp, which is an anagram of Parquet.  I have to admit that pattern names are hard for me to remember, because they are so abstract, but in keeping with the zentangle® practice of not having patterns represent anything in particular, I didn’t name it parquet.  If you have seen this pattern before somewhere else, or if it’s a close tangleation of another pattern, please do me the kindness of letting me know.  It WILL NOT hurt my feelings, and I don’t want to steal anybody else’s work.  Thanks in advance.


The next pattern was developed at the same time as Tequarp.  Maria’s post on “Grid Seeds” was very inspiring.  I don’t normally try to come up with original patterns.


I had a lot of trouble naming this one, but finally settled on “Yevaw-X” which spells Wavey backwards.  Again, it anybody knows of a pattern that already exists, please let me know.  I admit it looks a little familiar, but I didn’t see one on Linda Farmer’s web site.  No way could I research all the other places patterns are displayed.

I had fun doing these two, and I hope they will be used by some people.  I’d love to see what you do with them, and if you leave a comment and a link, I’ll definitely go look!.



Wow!  Talk about a CHALLENGE… all capital letters.  This one qualifies.  This week we are honored to have a guest blogger so Laura can take a little vacation. CZT Maria Vennekens, who  attended CZT training with Laura back in 2010 joins us with this challenge: “The challenge for this week is: can you do a Zentangle® without  using existing patterns or tangeleations* of them? And what are your experiences while doing so? ”  And here is what Laura had to say about the challenge: ” This post – it’s a doozy, I’m not going to lie.  I’ll be very interested to see your contributions and your thoughts on the process.  I have my own thoughts that I’ll share later after sitting with this one for a bit.”

As I start this post I haven’t even put pen to paper on an actual zentangle tile yet.  I’m still in the research phase.  Here’s what I’ve done so far.

  1. I’ve looked at dozens and dozens of photos looking for patterns to do.
  2. I’ve done some research on fractals, which oversimplified, is a geometric pattern that is repeated at ever smaller scales to produce irregular shapes and surfaces that cannot be represented by classical geometry. Fractals are used especially in computer modeling of irregular patterns and structures in nature.  A tangle can be a fractal, if it is simple and can be done in just a few steps.
  3. I then went to the web site and refreshed my memory once more on what a Zentangle is and what a Zentangle isn’t.  When Rick and Maria first developed this method they determined that the word “Zentangle” was an adjective, not a noun, and definitely not a verb.  For instance, the zentangle method, a zentangle tile, etc.  A zentangle tile is made of repeating patterns known as “tangles”.   They have recently allowed as how, over time, many people use the word “Zentangle” to describe their finished work, morphing it over into a noun.
  4. Then I started making some sketches of things I saw in nature to see if I could come up with some new tangles without them being a tangleation of a tangle that already existed and has been published.  Not an easy task, let me tell you.

I haven’t even mentioned the “zen” part of zentangle yet or tried to define zentangle.  Rather than try, I’ll direct you to the zentangle website, here to read what Rick and Maria say about it.

So now I’ll sign off and go see if I can meet this week’s challenge.  I already know it won’t be easy, and I’m already two days late in starting, since it’s Wednesday already and I just got home last night from a week’s vacation.  I’m also going to “break one of my rules” and start looking at all the entries already posted.  If I don’t, I’ll never have time to look at them after I’m finished.  Besides, maybe it will spark some creativity, LOL!  See ya later!

Okay, I’m baaaaack!  I have one tile to show you that I believe to be simple, repeatable, and contains no published tangles that I’ve ever seen.


I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of these “tangles” {and I use the word advisedly{ before.The tangle on the lower left and the leafy type images are actually based on photos I saw when I googled “Photos of patterns in nature”.  They could be stepped out and made into tangles.  The rest is just line work I made up as I went along.  I didn’t find this exercise zen-like.  Too much thinking, not enough flow.

I thought I would also introduce two new tangles this week.  I didn’t use them in my tile, because I invented them (I think) last week when we were doing grid seeds.  BTW, if anybody knows that these have already been published and named, please let me know.  I’d sure appreciate it.  Here they are:


The name of this one (Yevaw X) stands for Wavey X spelled backwards.

Here’s the second one:


This one reminded me of parquet floor tiles so the name is an anagram of “parquet”.In summary, a very challenging challenge, but I’m glad I tackled it.  Now I’m off to finish looking at all the eye candy at the Diva Website.  Thanks Diva Laura and Maria for this week’s challenge.  Until next time, happy tangling.


Rick and Maria recently released a blog post and a newsletter,  both of which showcased a technique they named “Grid (un)Locked.  The idea is to take a single square with a drawing in it, and see what it looks like when you string them side by side in a grid.  The Diva has chosen this subject for this week’s challenge.  That was very timely for me because I had already begun to play with this idea in my moleskin journal.  However, I hadn’t found anything original that suited me yet.  I kept playing and this is what I came up with.  It has two unnamed original (I think) squares and a version of the one that Maria numbered I1.


I can’t say I’m really excited about this tile, or my grid work either, but in the spirit of Zentangle® I’ve posted it anyway, and I’ll keep trying to find new grid tangles.  One of the thoughts I want to play with is to take an existing tangle which is NOT drawn in a grid (for instance Paradox or Betweed, and see what it looks like in a grid.

Here’s the pages from my moleskin book where I played with the two squares I developed to use in the tile above.


Later in the day I had time tp play a little more, so here is another one.  I learned a lot about the grids that Maria drew on this one.  For instance, A1 + A2 = A3.  Also, A2 is Cubine before shading.  How cool is that.  I think somebody is going to need to name some of these, huh?  Rick….?  Maria……?


Grids: E4, A3, G3. Also Mooka and some bubbles.

Also, I should mention that I’m leaving early Thursday (June 13,) for a week of fishing with all my children, grandchildren, sister, brother, and two nephews.  There’s about 20 of us who’ve gone every year at the same time for over 40 years.  (Well, some of them haven’t gone 40 years, one of us is only 18 months old, LOL.)  I’m looking forward to it. Both my husband and I have our birthdays while we’re there.   We are going way up in the mountains and there isn’t any cell service, let alone wifi.  So, I’ll be back next Wednesday when I’ll be submitting everything late.  Hope you all have as great a week as I will!  🙂

I will now head on over to the Diva’s website to see what other artists came up with.  Thanks, Laura and Rick and Maria for always challenging us to think outside the box.  Thanks for stopping by, and as always,  your comments are welcome and appreciated.


The first week of the month, Laura Harms, our Diva, challenges us to use a tangle by one of us. It is called UMT or “Use my tangle”.  This week she selected Bird on a Wire by Mary Kissel, CZT.  A link to the step outs can be found at the Diva website.  This is a cute, but simple tangle with lots of possibilities for variation.

Here is what I did with it.


Tanglesl: Bird on a Wire, ‘Nzeppel, Bales, Crescent Moon, and This and That, also by Mary Kissel.

I have to admit that this is not my normal type of ZIA.  I don’t usually draw “cute”. I’m still trying to decide if I even like this ZIA, but it got done so it gets posted.  While I was drawing the tangles at the top, the angles reminded me of the top of a birdhouse, so at first I thought I’d draw a birdhouse, but then the idea of a bird sitting on a wire popped into my head and I decided to go with the flow.  Remember the  line from Forest Gump: “Life is like a box of chocolates.  You never know what you’re gonna get.”?   You could substitute “Zentangle”® for the word “Life” and you wouldn’t be wrong.  That is so much a part of the charm and appeal of making Zentangle tiles or ZIAs.   You may notice that the tangle on the bottom of the bird is also by Mary Kissel.  It is called This and That, and the step outs are in the same blog post as the step outs for Bird on a Wire.  I got a “twofer”, which is always serendipity.

Here’s one more:’


Tanglesl: Hollibaugh, Tipple, Birds on a Wire, and Unnamed (see below)

About the “Unnamed” tangle in the lower right.  I wanted to draw Tadpoles by Suzanne McNeil.  It’s new to me.  After putting in the small circle grid, I started drawing the rest, and immediately saw that I was doing it wrong.  So, in Zentangle fashion I elected to go ahead and turn it into something.  So, I may play with it and step it out and see if I invented a new tangle.  Maria says new tangles are often created when you mess up on an existing tangle.

As always, I thank each of you who stop by and look at my post, and hope you’ll be inclined to leave me a note telling me you were here. Don’t forget to stop by the Diva’s website, here, to see more art, and to learn how to join us each week in the challenges.

Until next time, Happy Tangling.

This week Erin dared us to go back to a previous template with which we were unhappy with the results, and see what we could do to make it fun and enjoy what we did.  It was very easy for me to select which one to do.  Dare #35 – Where is my Template was a dare that frustrated me so badly that I never even submitted an entry.  First of all, I must have been absent in grammar school when we made paper snowflakes.  It took me a while to get any snowflakes at all; but I finally did.  Then when I traced it and drew in lines, I really didn’t like any of my templates.  I think I did four or five of them.  Then, since I didn’t like any of my shapes, I couldn’t decide what tangles to put in it.  Altogether an unsatisfactory experience.  I finally gave up and just skipped that week.

I determined that would not happen to me again.  Soooo, I did about six snowflakes, traced and drew lines on a few of them, and then pondered what tangles to use.  Alas, I was having the same trouble as last time.  I didn’t like the way I turned my snowflakes into templates.  I went back to Erin’s post and reread it, and suddenly I had an “aha” moment.  Erin didn’t like the squareness of the template she chose, so what did she do?  She actually practically ignored some of the lines and drew something in altered spaces  that she did like.

Proceeding with that in mind, I retraced the least objectionable template, this time making the lines as light as I could.  Then I drew my zendala/mandala and filled it.  Here is the result:


Dare #35-Where is my template? Tangles used: Drupe variation, Flux variations, Facets, Msst.

As you can see, both tiles are almost identical.  I drew the black and white one, leaving off the outer border and the shading and photocopied it to add color to.  Then I shaded the first one and added the Msst border.  The second one is colored with Prismacolor pencils.  I love organic, so I was pretty happy with both results.

Here is what I started with as a snowflake template.  On the left is the traced template, and on the right is the template with the lines I drew in.  These lines have been significantly darkened for you to see, but on the one I used, the lines were as light as I could get them.  Mostly, the light lines just helped me to decide where to draw my flowers, lol.


Even though the early part of this assignment was somewhat frustrating, I ended on a very high note.  What I added to my arsenal of skills was the knowledge that if I didn’t like a particular template, I could change it anyway I wanted to.  A true AHA moment.  Actually I have done that often with strings I have drawn, but never tried it with a mandala template.  Who knew?  A couple of other things I learned about making the snowflakes.  Precise folding is critical, so a bone folder is helpful. If your folding is not precise, your cuts won’t be uniform sizes; although you can adjust them with a pencil when you trace.   I also found an alternate way to fold on Martha Stewart’s site, here.  She starts with a square and then folds diagonally, and I found that an easier way to get precision in the folds.

For fun, here’s some snowflakes I made and will save for potential projects, since this is now another favorite way to make mandala templates.l  🙂


Thanks Erin for daring us to leave our comfort zone and explore and try new things!

Thanks to all of you who commented on my last zendala, and I’m glad you’re here again.  Hope you will leave me a note.