Thursday, December 8, 2016


This week the DivaCZT challenges us to use the tangle Moowa designed by Anya Ipsen, a CZT in Hamburg, Germany. I have a number of swaps from the Travelling Tangles Project on Facebook so I decided to use some of those tiles.

I started in black and white with a tile from Simone Menzel in Dresden, Germany. She had done her own tangle MySwing diagonally through the middle. I added Moowa and Phuds in the opposite corners. (Step-outs for MySwing are on Simone's blog here.)
Tangles: Moowa, MySwing, Phuds
Next I used a fun, candy-colored ATC from Sue Olsen in Ohio, USA. Sue did the bands and orbs at the bottom and I did Moowa and more at the top.
Tangles: Crescent Moon, Moowa, unknown.
I still have two tiles given to me by Yvonne Westover in Ontario, Canada. She dyed them using avocado skins. Yes, really! Interestingly, the final color is a delicate orange-pink. The tangling is all mine on this one.
Tangles: Diva Dance, Fern, Moowa, Printemps 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Bookmarks galore! (Part three)

Previously I showed the first third of the 334 bookmarks I made as gifts to the zenAgain attendees and zentangle staff. Here is the next batch.

 The final third is coming soon!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Reticula/Fragment - DivaCZT challenge Part 2

I missed part one of this challenge, but I've been wanting to further investigate the idea of reticulae and fragments, so here goes!

I found this tile in a stack that I wanted to sort and file.
I thought that fragment would be interesting to use, partly because Aquafleur never happens the same way twice and that worked well with the Diva's request to "choose a design that is asymmetrical".

I tried rotating and mirroring that fragment, and ended up with this. I think it's rather cool.
And unfortunately that's all I had time for this week!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Bookmarks galore! (Part two)

Here is the first third of the 334 bookmarks I made as gifts for the zenAgain event. Even this may be overload! I took photos as they were completed, in groups of 32 because that's what fit on the surface I used for the photography.
The rest are coming later!
The first post about these bookmarks, where I show some of the varieties, can be found here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Bookmarks galore! (Part one)

Some years ago Rick and Maria put on a Zentangle event called a 'Master Class'. I wasn't able to go. But I decided that if they ever planned something similar I really had to try to attend. ZenAgain happened this November!

Shortly after the event was announced a crazy scheme occurred to me. I wanted to take something, something personal, a little gift, to each of the attendees and the Zentangle staff.

Bookmarks! I often make bookmarks out of bits of nice leftover paper or artwork that I've decided isn't going anywhere happy. Each one would be a unique piece, an original artwork. I had perhaps a dozen already, and wondered how many I'd need in total. I asked. My jaw dropped. I picked it up and said to myself, "I have time. I can do that!"

Oh, yes. Probably around 300. I got to work.

Among the final collection is a number of monotangle bookmarks including Crusade, Ginili, Knightsbridge, Lamar, Umble, Skye, Schway, and Zenith.

This was a perfect opportunity to slice up some almost finished - or even finished - artwork that was sitting in a drawer wondering how to make itself useful. I had quite a few pieces like that. One was a mandala on 16" mat board. I peeled off most of the backing to make them thin enough. Here it is, reassembled after becoming bookmarks. In most cases I added details to what was already there; everything outside the large ring of small triangles was added after being cut into bookmark strips. There were a few blank beige ones left that I haven't included here.

There are some that are rather unusual. One has funky chess pieces. Several have house parts: windows, roofs, and doors. Several have holographic strips. One has a rainbow ribbon. Some have washi tape. One is iris flowers and one has zentangle tiles in the background. Two have some handwriting. A few are parts of a landscape. Others (not shown) have decorative holes or unevenly trimmed edges.
I took photos in groups as they got laminated and finished. The final tally is 334 bookmarks. In future posts I'll show you all of them.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Niiice! Gneiss, and then some

Tangles: Gneiss, Paizel, Pearlz, plus stripes, a spiral and highlights
GNEISS - and then some

Gneiss is a tangle from Zentangle that looks like a star with aplomb. One of the things I like about it is that the original guideline disappears in the final tangle.

I'm thrilled and privileged to be attending zenAgain, a special event for CZTs (Certified Zentangle Teachers) in Newport, Rhode Island. A similar event happened some years ago and I missed it, so I promised myself that if anything like it happened again I would really try to go. One of the things I shared is some of these variations on Gneiss.

There aren't step-outs online for this tangle so you may need to seek out a nearby CZT to show you how it's done.
Tangles: Beadlines, Gneiss, Pearlz, a spiral and Auras.
Gneiss is often done with eight points. That's easy to do by simply drawing a 'sliced pie'. But you're not limited, of course. Try more points. You can do twelve by drawing two lines in each quarter instead of one.

You can also have more points by adding small ones in between the points of your classic Gneiss. This gives you 16 points. You can see this in the tile at the top, too.

Your lines needn't intersect at (more or less) the center of the star. Try an off-center center.
Put a dot somewhere in your circle and draw all your lines through there. You may want to put little ticks on the circle indicating the 1/8 divisions. Curve most of the lines, and don't forget to curve the lines of the 'V' too, as well as the second set of lines to the center.

I generally think of a 'V' as having sides of the same length, but try slanting it. This will give you uneven star sections. You can decide if you want more white or more black showing.

Instead of straight lines from the perimeter to the center, draw arcs. Two arcs make a sort of 'S'. You'll need to really curve the 'V' you cut out of the ends. Also curve the second set of lines to the center.
Here are two tiles showing possibilities with this pinwheel variation. In both cases I've wrapped the end of the point back into the star, such as you'd do if drawing Phicops (scroll down the post) or Aquafleur.

Instead of doing the 'V's with straight lines try doing 'bracket' lines, such as you'd do if drawing Copada.

Instead of the classic alternating black and white, try different fills. Here's one with white circles instead of solid black.

You can use a tangle with a lot of lines as a fill, but in that case I suggest using either black or white as a background, depending on which is not in the star. See the two tiles under 'A Gneiss Pinwheel' for example. Here are some Bijou tiles with Gneiss variations:

"Starry Night" (c)2015
Tangles: Demi, Flukes, Flux, Gneiss, Pearlz

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Progress, with color

You can see my first post about how some ZIA tiles progressed as I worked on them here.

I had again started four tiles with gray washes. Here they are. You guessed right if you think the top left is likely to be houses! Can you see a shape that looks like a bird in the top right tile?

I had just watched a video demo of some paint pens I have and I wanted to try using them for making washes, so I added color to three of the tiles. Not sure why I didn't do the fourth; I think it looked as if it should be simply black and white.
At this point I'm thinking:
  • Houses: I like the houses but I'm not sure how to develop the background.
  • Bird: The phoenix is kind of cool but too gray. I might tilt it 45 degrees left so it sits diagonally and the bird is going straight up.
  • Tree: The oak tree trunk I like. The border is adapted from Michele Beauchamp's tangle Oke but I'm not happy with it yet. The tree is pretty darn bright but I'm thinking of tangling it in brown.
  • B&W: The grid border doesn't go with the trees and clouds I see in the center. I'm not sure where this will go.
After more work:
At this point I'm thinking:
  • Houses: The background is coming along nicely. The buildings really need shading.
  • Bird: I like where this is going but some of the flames are too gray. I think the bird is too upright but the flames are better this way. I like the white on the bird's tail and wings.
  • Tree: I like the border much better with the orange and yellow wash I added. The blue sky is good too. It's become some sort of hybrid tree with quite a variety of leaf shapes!
  • B&W: Nope. Not inspired by this one. Yet. We'll see.
Aaand... finished:

Finishing, fine-tuning, and what I'm thinking:
  • "Night in the Old Neighborhood" -I added many small details: pen lines, colored pencil, white ink. This will be mounted and painted.
  • "Peace Phoenix" - I prefer it at this angle after all. I whitened the bird and un-grayed some flames using colored pencil. This will be mounted and painted.
  • "Splendiferous" - I love the leaves! And the border. The blue was an excellent idea. This will be mounted and painted.
  • If I were going to give this a title I think it would be "Space Junk". I decided it wasn't going to be anyThing so I went with non-representational and just drew what I felt like. Success is in the trying.