Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Lisbon Fragment

More over at the new blog: the new blog.

Just noticed that some people still have the old address so I thought I'd give you something new to look at :-)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

This Blog has Moved!

Thanks for stopping by. I'm sorry I'm not home. My new blog home is : TangledUpInArt.com. Please update your link and I'll see you at my new digs. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Finally Finished

Here are some I did with templates from the book
This has been a good week for me in terms of finishing up a few creative projects that have been keeping me busy lately.  The first one I want to tell you about is my ebook - Seeing Stars: a Zentangle Constellation. It is my 3-D ornaments class in book form.  You don't even have to know Zentangle since I there are 3 different versions of each: one is ready to color and 2 are already done for you so all you have to do is cut and fold.

But the absolute best part of this book is that each one sold feeds a hungry child. See the details on yesterday's post.

The second big project is my painting of Mendenhall glacier. This thing has gone through many iterations and growing pains. It will never be my favorite piece of art, but it brings back wonderful memories.
If I hadn't done it on a gallery wrap, I think I would have cropped it:

Have a great Paint Party Friday, everyone, and Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sharing Christmas Cheer

At this time of year, people think of giving.  We give gifts to our family, friends, teachers, hairdressers, babysitters, and co-workers. We send money to our alma maters, drop change in bell-ringers’ kettles, buy food for local food banks, and send checks to our favorite charities. I know that money is especially tight at this time of year, but I would like to ask you to please consider opening your pockets and your hearts a tiny bit wider.

I just learned that St. Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children in Port-au-Prince, Haiti has been without electricity for several days because with the rising cost of food, they have had to divert funds in their electricity budget to buy food. If you can spare just $3, it will feed a child for a day. If enough of us give $3, it can make a world of difference.

For more information about the crisis at St. Vincent’s, please see  The Red Thread Promise blog.

If you want to feed a child and get a gift for yourself, I offer you Seeing Stars: a Zentangle Constellation, an e-book I wrote based on a popular workshop I held earlier this month. 

This 29-page book contains 

  • Complete full-color instructions and templates for creating 3-dimensional star ornaments
  • 21 original tangled stars with space to color or add your own tangles
  • These same stars dressed up in bright red and green or gold and silver, as inspiration or to cut and fold
  • A third version of each star intricately tangled and shaded 
  • 25 poetic quotes about stars for dreamers or card-makers
  • A coupon for $4 off an autographed copy of Made in the Shade (good until 1/14/2014).

The book is available as an instant download on my etsy shop.

Every book sold will feed a child for a day.

Please share this post with your friends and co-workers and help send some hope - and food - to these children who need it so much.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Merry Happy

This week’s Diva challenge is to do some Zentangle Inspired Art inspired by whatever end of year holiday you celebrate.  I love this since I’ve been doing workshops on tangled cards, ornaments, and candles.  My favorite and quickest was this little card.
Atc card 1
As my holiday gift to you, I’ve written up a little instruction sheet so you can try it yourself. If you do, please let me know how it goes.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Chicago TARDIS, Part 2, Waxing Philosophical

As I mentioned in part 1, I've been thinking a lot about the name of things. It started when working on the book and trying to sort out exactly when it is appropriate to give a pattern a new name and when more appropriate to call it a tangleation of an existing tangle. There was a discussion about it among CZTs recently about but I don’t think we reached a consensus.
I started thinking about names more philosophically when I heard this quote from Dr. Who:
My name, my real name, that is not the point. The name I chose is, “the Doctor.” The name you choose, it’s like a promise you make.
It made me wonder about naming tangles, but first I present Birdie in her cosplay. Alexa-Donna

Alexa-Donna Femme-10 screwey From upper left: Birdie as Professor River Song. (Don't you love her sketch?) Later that day: Donna Noble. Going from a curly blonde to a straight-haired redhead, to which I said, "Really?? why?" (Am I too old, or just not a big enough fangirl?) Then Femme 10. (I think she looks even better than David Tennant.) And finally at the beginning of the day as the Mach 8 sonic screwdriver, before the painful shoes went on and before 8 hours of not being able to move her head or shoulders.

Below, she is standing with the other winners of the costume competition, looking a bit worse for the wear. She won most creative. As the guy sitting behind me said, "That's fresh!" And then later, "Who dresses up like a screwdriver?"
She is an original thinker. most-creative
First let me say that I am interested in starting a discussion, but not in getting anyone upset. (To which Birdie replied, "I don't think you can have a really good discussion without upsetting some people.") These are just my opinions and I realize there are others out there and I'd really like to hear what you think.
Now for tangle patterns. I present:
Birdie thinks Chillon is just a tangleation of bales. I think Warble is just chillon with auras and shaded differently.
Different tangles? I just see a squared and rounded version of the same one.
Different or the same?
If we named people the way we named tangles, I believe I would have to rename Birdie at least 4 times this weekend!

We need names to identify tangles just like we need names to identify people. But, is it really necessary to name each and every tangleation with a unique name? I'd just as soon have a single name for a tangle and its tangleations. I would call emingle the "a square version of tortuca." For that matter, I'd call chillon the "half-done bales." I think it is easier to not have to remember so many names. Sonya, on the other hand, thinks it is easier to name them all so it is easier to talk about them.

Also, have you ever heard or used the phrase, "just a tangleation"? As if a tangleation is somehow a second-class citizen. Really, imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. Why does it seem more prestigious to come up with a new tangle than it does a new tangleation?

So, what do you think? Please share. Enquiring minds want to know...

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Chicago Tardis, Part 1

Having just returned from Chicago TARDIS and also working on a book about Tangleations, I’ve been thinking a lot about naming things.  For those who don’t know, Chicago TARDIS is a con for fans of Dr. Who, a British sci-fi show that just celebrated its 50th anniversary. Dr. Who travels around in his TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space) and the big mystery is that nobody knows his real name.  We've seen it written (in Gallifreyan), but it is partially obscured, so no one knows exactly what it is.  It looks so cool that I had to buy a T-shirt with it on.
Birdie is a much bigger fan than I am, so I spent some time tangling during the presentations.  I love using Gallifreyan as a string, so I couldn't resist tangling this.
The Name of the Doctor
This was so fun that I think I need to do more. Next time, though, I think I’d like to use a compass to get “circles” instead of “orbs.”  Want to try tangling in Gallifreyan, here is a generator you can use to get a string using whatever phrase you’d like. For instance, here is “Zendala Dare.”  Wouldn’t that be a fun one?
Zendala dare gallifreyen
I also had fun playing with the new Renaissance Tiles from Zentangle.
This is the first time I’ve tried the new Zenstone and I like it.  I don’t think it completely replaces the GellyRoll, but it makes a nice addition. I also like adding gold and silver like on the Dalek.  I don’t like regular graphite shading on the brown ink though.

I do love these tile.  Want to try them out?  I have them in my new Etsy shop.  I also have a sampler kit with the pens you need to try them out.  Here are the first 3 tiles I tried.
Well, I’ve been requested to go watch the Sound of Music and this post is getting long as is, so stay tuned for the rest of the fun from Chicago TARDIS tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Another Week, Another Challenge

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Due to scheduling snafus, Birdie and I were at Chicago TARDIS.  It was really fun and different than our usual family-oriented holiday.  We didn't get home until late last night, so I'm even more behind than usual.  I started this week's Diva Challenge on the plane yesterday, but had a class this morning and unpacking to do and other general catching up *stuff* so I didn't get a chance to finish it until an hour after my bed time.
As you can see, I took liberties with this tangle and it was pretty ugly until I attacked it with my glitter pens.  I like the sparkles but they are hard to see in the photo.

If you haven't tried this tangle yet, click the link above and give it a try.  It is a fun one.

Stop back later this week, especially if you are a Dr. Who fan, for pictures and tangles from the convention, results of the Christmas card class, and some new items in my Etsy store.  Are you excited?  I am! But I'm also beat, so it's off to bed for me.  Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

If at First You Don't Succeed...

Yesterday was a tough day.  John's Aunt Gerri passed away. She was always smiling, always caring, and didn't take herself too seriously. If we ever wanted to feel loved, all we had to do was call Ma tante Germaine. She was always excited to hear from us and showed how much she appreciated our time together.
Aunt Gerri Modeling Birdie's Duct Tape Hat
I tangled for hours and it helped.  I finished the 10 ATCs and then was able to talk about it.  

So, today I decided to try the Diva Challenge again.  This one I like.  Hope you do too.

Have a joyful Thanksgiving.  As always, thanks for visiting and happy tangling.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Well What a Mess!

This week's Diva Challenge is to do a duo-tangle of Well and Pea-nuckle.  Like Laura, I rarely use either of these.  In fact, every time I draw Pea-nuckle, I have to rewatch My video on Pea-nuckle. (Perhaps I shouldn't be admitting that in public...)

Anyhow, my first thought was to do Well as a border and Pea-nuckle in the center.  Since I'm in the middle of an ATC swap, I did it on an black Zentangle ATC card using metallic Gelly Roll Pens. Meh.
I thought it would be fun to try and combine them somehow.

Well, I was wrong.  It was frustrating and confusing and I felt like I was turning my brain inside out. No Zen, just Tangle. You can tell by the results.

In fact, all 3 of them are double-sided because I thought if I turned it over I could do a better job on the back.  Nope. Not even sure I should be posting this slop, but it's been that kind of day.  Couldn't come up with anything better. <sigh>

I can't wait to see what my fellow tanglers do on this challenge.

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Little "Quib" ... a Lot of Fun

There is a new official tangle finally released to the public. It's called Quib and to me it is like a totally organic Hollibaugh.  We CZTs have had the step-outs for months and I've had this little guy done and waiting all summer.  Those who have visited the Zen Den have seen him.

Want to see more?  Check out this week's Diva challenge.

I'll try to post one or two more, but right now it is time to get back to getting prepared for tomorrow morning's Tangled Star Ornaments class.  (There are still a few seats available.  Drop me an email.)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Zentangle Fun with Metallic Gell Pens

This week the Diva’s challenge is to tangle something colorful and buggy, based on this super fun video from Sakura.  I just got this super GellyRoll Metallic collection and hadn’t had time to play with it yet, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity.  (Anything to procrastinate on the book. <sigh>)
Well, these pens are absolutely luscious.  They are a bit thicker than I usually like to write with and the ink color does not match the cap color, but otherwise I have nothing to complain about.  The ink flows beautifully and the colors appear to glow.  I just love them.
So, since I am not a huge “bug” fan, I decided to stick with lady bugs.  After all, you can’t draw a crescent moon without a lady bug!  And I found an adorable lady bug pin who wanted to sit in the center of the flower with his little metallic friends.
AdobePhotoshopExpress_2013_11_12_22:25:11And here are the stars from this morning’s Zentangle for the holidays class.  We had so much fun making them that we decided to do it again next week.
I hope you all have as much fun with your art as I did today.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

More Challenging Than Usual

This week’s Diva challenge is to use Caren Mlot’s beautiful tangle Cruze. She makes this tangle look so easy that I didn’t bother writing down the steps when I went out to tangle. I ended up with some interesting tangleations, but nothing that looked as elegant as the original.  I'd show you those, but they are hiding in shame.

So, I got out my iPhone and checked the steps again. The same thing happened.  I thought I had it, but I still didn’t get it. This time,  the results are closer:


At this point, I resorted to drawing guidelines, something I’ve never had to do before.  I teach and believe that there are no mistakes in Zentangle, just opportunities to go off in an unexpected direction and see what happens.  Some of the most interesting tangleations  are the result of this.  So, usually I am just happy to see what happens, but this tangle is so interesting that I wanted to “get it right.”  I also thought it would be really interesting to do in a circle. This  is probably part of the reason it was confounding me.

I’m still not sure I succeeded 100%, but I really like the overall result.


Despite the frustration, I really appreciated this challenge as I have students who face these same sorts of challenges regularly and I new feel more able to empathize with their need to “get it right.”

I haven’t had this much trouble since I first tried Mooka.  

Did anyone else find this one more challenging than usual?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fengle Frenzy?

This week, Laura, aka "the Diva" challenged us to tangle using only 2 tangles: Quandary and Fengle. Yikes. Not my favorite tangles by any stretch of the imagination. I like both of these tangles when other people do them, I just never like mine very well.

So I started, and I started, and I started. Finally, I got one with the "arms" of the fengle almost even. There wasn't enough room for another arm, so the quandary escaped and began to float away.

My next tile was a little crooked and kind of "blah", so I abandoned that and tried making one bigger to see if I could draw the arms even. This one is better, but not great.
I really wanted to add more tangles, but that's not allowed for the challenge, so I got my pencil out to see if shading would help.  Guess what?  That was all it needed.
It made such a difference on this one that I went back and shaded the second tile.  It looks OK now, too.  

As usual, if I had followed the Zentangle process to completion, including shading, and withholding judgement, it would have made a huge difference in my enjoyment of the time I spent tangling. I hope you learn from my lesson and enjoy the process!  Have a great week.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Book Review, a Challenge, and a Book Question

This week, the Diva challenged us to create a Zentangle using pointillism style. In pointillism, the art is done using only dots.  In a similar way, stippling is a technique for creating depth and texture using only dots.  When I was writing Made in the Shade, I learned a lot about stippling and found it creates an interesting and beautiful effect.  

I had forgotten about this technique until I had time this weekend to delve into my copy of Written by four talented CZTs, this book will inspire you to step out of your comfort zone and try some new techniques. Norma Burnell, whose popular Fairy Tangles, is the artist whose use of stippling in her delicate, organic tangles inspired me to use stippling in this piece destined for my new book.
It also uses her lovely tangle Dragonair and a new one called Pubfleur which you will see more of in my book. Besides Norma's beautiful fairies and flowers, the Art of Zentangle includes four fun and funky projects by Penny Raille. If you want to "lighten up" your art, you'll love these whimsical projects. Lara Williams shows two different ZIA projects and gives advice on creating strings. I've heard students complain about not knowing what to use for a string. Lara provides practical advice on that.

Finally, Margaret Bremner shares her expertise on Zendalas. Her stunning art alone is worth the price of the book!

This is a nicely designed, sturdy book meant with plenty of room to practice right in the book. It is a worthy addition to any tangler's library and a great book to have on vacation. All you need is this book and a pen and you're ready for hours of enjoyment.

One thing about stippling/pointillism is that it can take a lot of time. Since I don't have a lot of that right now, I decided for Laura's challenge, I would use a pen with a much larger nib than I usually use. Bigger points = less time stippling. Despite this shortcut, I like how this one turned out. The background tangle is one that my daughter developed for the new book. She based it on the windows of our church, Seton Parish, so the tangle is called Seton It is similar to several other tangles, but I haven't been able to find out exactly like it.
All of that stippling reminded me of a quilt I made many years ago. That one was stippled by hand using a needle and thread and had a pretty flower center, so I felt like the tile needed something flowery also. That is why I added mooka and flux to what was supposed to be a monotangle.
So, you've had a very small sneak peak of the new book. This book will feature 52 different tangles and show you 6 different ways to do each of them. That's enough for a bit of tangling every day, but also enough time to really get to know each of the 52 tangles. I hope to encourage people to experiment with tangles they know and love and use their own creativity to adapt them to their own style. Right now, we're considering 2 different titles for this book. If you want to see what they are and have a chance of winning a free copy, take this quick (3-question) survey.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Catching Up

Wow, I can't believe it's been 2 weeks since I've posted anything.  I've been pouring all of my energy into writing the book and have had none left to do anything else.

For instance, I went to painting class on Monday and managed to paint: green.
It was kind of fun just to paint with no rhyme nor reason, but I'm not sure I had to go to painting class to do it.

I had 2 very successful Zentangle 101 classes and started a Zendala class. I love getting people excited about Zentangle.  I had one lady share that 30+ years ago, as a freshman in college, she had her "teacher" tell her that he would give her a 'B' in the class if she promised to never take another art class!  I am so grateful that she took the chance to come to one of my Zentangle classes because she is now getting back her confidence in art.  What an honor to be a part of that.  It really makes me angry when I hear stories like that. Clearly, the fault was on the teacher not being able to teach, but it totally destroyed her confidence. Can you tell from this mosaic which is done by the "art failure?"
I think they all show wonderful creativity. 

It has been a stressful couple of days, so I really needed to tangle, just to save my sanity.  The Diva challenge this week was to 8s-parte-dos by Jane Eileen. I admit I've tried this one before and didn't have the focus to do it successfully. I had similar difficulty with this one, but covered up most of the poorly drawn lines with extra patterns.  It reminds me of some of the fancy screens we saw in Istanbul.  

Finally, I wanted to share what I did from art class last week. I was in a mood to do something light and fun.  Nothing makes me smile more than our geese, so I painted them.  They are pure white on the outside, but have the most colorful personality that I just had to paint them to show that.  

Hope you all have a very creative next week.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tippled Knight?

For the past few days, I've been deep in the "icky" part of working on book #2: organizing and research.  I was feeling kind of grumpy even, but thanks to a lucky click, I ended up at this week's Diva challenge.  Yay!  A duo-tangle of Knghtsbridge and Tipple?  I am so there.  I'm going to be featuring both of these in the book, so this is just what the doctor (diva) ordered.
Now that I've had my tangle break, my brain is clear and I am ready to think again.  I can't tell you how much I needed that.
Do you have a cool tangleation of Knightsbridge or Tipple that you think should be featured in the book?  If so, please let me know where it is in a comment below.
Thanks for stopping by.
Keep calm and tangle on -- Cris

Friday, September 20, 2013

One Stroke Plus

Some of you may remember last month when I met Donna Dewberry at the HOOT convention and I painted a pretty tulip with her.

It has been sitting on my kitchen and every time I walked by, it looked lonely.

It isn't any more! I thought it might be fun to combine One Stroke painting with "Anything is possible one stroke at a time" Zentangle. Birdie doesn't think the Zentangle is an improvement, but I must admit that I really, really do. I didn't care for the way the pens (faber Castel Pitt artist pens) worked on the canvas, but I did want to try again.

So, I grabbed a smaller canvas and started out to copy the tulip so l could tangle around it, but the paint had other ideas.

It's not done yet, but I am seriously thinking of just putting in the stem and leaves and signing it. It was fun to just play with colors. My brain felt like it was in a fog and I could barely form a coherent sentence, but I think that helped quiet my inner critic long enough for my to just enjoy the process.

I am hoping that I will still be able to do that now that the meds are kicking in and I'm feeling more myself.

Wishing you joy in creating this week. Happy paint party Friday.

-- Cris

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

More Color

Went to Urgent Care yesterday because I suspected that my 'flu' was really bronchitis.  I was right.  And I am happy to report that the 7 prescriptions (!) are beginning to work.  I still cannot think clearly, but I am able to at least sit up which is an improvement, since I've been mostly lying on the couch since Saturday.

I'm also happy to report that I can still tangle, even with my brain fog.  Here is today's project.  Mostly Zig markers over a watercolor wash.  With accents of Marvy white Reminisce pen, Prismacolor purple marker, Green perm opaque, and chalk.  I was also heavily influenced by a piece of Sonya Yencer's are that is sitting here waiting for our new book.