My interest in Zentangle (R) started when I was looking at adult colouring books and decided I'd rather draw the pictures. My husband bought me a book about Zentangle inspired art for Christmas and my latest interest was born.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Graphite and a tortillion oh my...

Hi tangle friends hope your week is going well! I'm tucked up in bed with a bit of sinus trouble so am getting a head start on my blog post for this week. The wattle flowers are out, and even though they are beautiful, my sinuses don't really like them. I counted about 7 or 8 varieties at least of wattle along the river behind the boys' school.  

Wattle ~ inspiration for the Olympics Diva challenge.
  It's been a bit busy yet again. The church fair is over and my cards at least all sold. The fair was quite different this year and as part of it we had some different culturally diverse food options on offer. Some of the African ladies took over the kitchen and made fried chicken, jollof rice, banana fritters and salad. Oh my goodness Colonel Sanders eat your heart out. The best lunch I've had forever! I also had the best piece of chocolate brownie I think I've ever tasted and for afternoon tea had an authentic chai latte with winter warmer syrup containing saffron and chilli. Yum. This is not supposed to be a food blog lol.

Travelling Tangles 

I've been receiving a steady flow of happy mail over the last few weeks and have been enjoying and challenged by adding my touch to tiles that others have started. Most exciting has been seeing the results of what other people have done to my starts and I thought I'd show you a couple of those this week.

 Firstly the lovely Ria at has written a blogpost featuring her finishes of a couple of starts I sent her and she's done a beautiful job! Please go and check them out, and leave her a comment if you have time.

 The next ones I have to show you are by another Sue from Australia. With this one, I sent her the heart and Sue did the rest.

Gemstone heart
This one I started with the OoF and the strings out to the side. I wasn't altogether happy with it but Sue finished it off beautifully and added all the colour and shading.

OoF plus others.
These tiles are some starts I sent to Lynn from the UK. She does lovely things with colour so I sent her a nice empty molygon design and she lived up to expectation. I also sent one gem in a setting and she added more, matching them beautifully and finishing the rest of the tile. Can you guess which gem is mine?

Gems galore

Made by Joey #128 

Joey's finish my tangle challenge this week really excited me. I was inspired straight away by the tangle I wanted to use and also inspired to try some escaping the tile tangling like Stephanie does at Everything is Art. Go and check out her work, it is just amazing.

 I really got into lots of shading in this tangle. I was using my visual arts diary and I like how the shading turns out better on this smoother paper, though it is harder to control the pen. I also wish I'd known about tortillion back when I was doing high school art, I love working with them. Next time I will try and take a before and after shading shot, it's amazing the difference it makes.

There's a link on the left side margin if you want to see what others have done for this challenge.

Diva Challenge #282

The Diva challenge was to "Spill it!" To use something to create colour on a tile I accidentally on purpose dropped my tea bag on a tile then cut it open and spread tea leaves everywhere. I really like the effect.  

Spill it!
  I badly wanted to try and keep as much tea colour showing as I could so I used an open pattern of molygon and kept colouring small amounts in an attempt to get the balance right. Lesson learned is to sometimes go bolder right at the start, especially when working with colour. I think it would have turned out better if I'd coloured with my rust pen between the rust and black outlines of the molygons which was my original idea. It was certainly a fun challenge, thanks Laura!

There is a link to the diva challenges over on the left too.

 Well that's all for this week. Toby is keeping me company on the bed as I write this, but is suffering from a cold nose lol. Thanks for all those who take time to comment, I LOVE getting comments. You can tell I spend too much time on Facebook when I look for the button to "like" them. Have a good week and happy tangling!

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Nocturnal Muse

I don't know why it is, but just when I've really taken off with this new hobby of tangling, and blogging about tangling, and doing travelling tangles everything else has gone a bit crazy busy as well. I'm hoping that next week will be a bit quieter after we have the church fair out of the way. I've been tangling some cards and some little boxes for the craft stall. I was hoping to get more cards done but you know....sleep gets in the way lol.

Travelling Tangles

I've been continuing my journey with travelling tangles this week. I finished the lovely start I was sent by Ria at TangleDreams. Here's the link to the before photo if you need a reminder, and this is what it looked like when I finished it.

A Sue and Ria collaberation

 Ria did all the lovely blue bits and the left and bottom borders. Apart from Meer going a bit wonky I was pretty happy with it.

I also finished this one from a lady in Queensland. She did the phroz bits except for the star in the middle, and I did the arukas. I had quite a mental block with this one but adding the extra bit of phroz helped to break this. I haven't really liked arukas before but I found a link to a youtube clip by Molly Hollibaugh and that really helped me with it.

My biggest problem is the muse of zentangle inspiration keeps turning up just as I'm about to go to bed which certainly is not helping with my tiredness this week lol. When she arrived for this one it changed my bed time from 9.50pm till 11.10. And then when I do make myself go to bed I'm finishing the drawing in my imagination instead of going to sleep lol. Does anyone else have this same problem?

Phroz and Arukas

Joey and the Diva

I did a two for one tile for this week, partly because I just don't have much free time, but the end result feels a bit contrived. I did use it as an opportunity to practise some shading though. Oh well, it is what it is. Toby is modelling it for you in case you've missed him, but you might be able to tell he's a bit disgusted with the whole idea.

Sparkle and Ing

Well that's it for this week. Next week I hope to share some finishes of starts I've sent off to other people, but I want to get their permission to copy their photos and post them in here first.

Thank you for taking the time to comment. I always read all of them, even if I don't get the time to respond to them all. Happy tangling!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Happy mail and other tangling

I hope everyone's had a lovely week. Mine has been a bit busy again with a lot happening. Last weekend was my oldest's 18th birthday dinner - it was a very quiet affair at his request but he had his best mate there, what more could you want? I spent a good chunk of last weekend baking and icing a birthday cake including experimenting with royal icing I think it's called. Anyway here's a pic of the cake. It turned out sort of how I imagined it, so I suppose that's good lol. Though I do wish I'd noticed that bit of a hole in the icing on the front corner before I threw the rest of the green out.

All the figures are from my son's collection.

Travelling Tangles

Last week I talked about joining the Travelling Tangles Project on Facebook. Well this week I've been excitedly waiting for the postie to arrive to see if I get any "happy mail" and letters have started coming.

Today I received this lovely tile to finish with a card from the lovely lady at Tangle Dreams and am equally excited and terrified of giving it a go! I hope I can do her beautiful start justice.

The very first card I received had an ordinary zentangle tile, one that had been marbled, a bijou tile and an ATC (artist's trading card). So far I have only been game to try the ATC but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I'm still struggling with shading on the genuine zentangle tiles though.

I did the hollibaugh / n'zeppel and my partner did the paradox.

Made by Joey #126

Last week was the end of the circle series and this week Joey started a series on finishing her tangle. This week's was a tile with one triangle of paradox. I don't know about you but I find with paradox that I can't do just one, and before I knew it I had filled up the card. It was another good lesson at getting used to the original tiles. I find I need to hold the pen more upright to get a consistently inked line but that the tiles do seem to help with my control. I was happier with the shading here too.

Diva Challenge #280

The Diva challenged us to produce a tile inspired by the Rio Olympics. I had my first experiment with using my old watercolour pencils on a tile earlier in the week, so decided to use them for this challenge.

There is a lot of symbolism in this tile. I used four tangles, three of which spell "RIO", being Reflections, Infinity and Opus. I don't know what the fourth one is called. The green and gold is for Australia (have to be patriotic during the olympics) and the mystery tangle and the infinity also have a wattle feel about them which is one of Australia's floral emblems. I also thought the mystery tangle and the opus had a bit of a fireworks feel about them which also seems appropriate for an olympics.

There are 5 gold circles for 5 olympic rings, and the infinity is symbolising connections between countries and cultures that are formed (I was thinking of that selfie by the North Korean and Southern Korean athletes while doing this).

If I was doing this again I'd use a bit less infinity, it ended up feeling a bit messy or crowded to me, though adding some more green to some of the streamers helped. Anyway it is what it is.

Anyway, that's all for this week. Thanks for dropping by to look at my work, I do love reading all your comments.

A Toby photo didn't make it in this week, I hope you don't miss him too much lol!

Happy tangling!

Thursday, 11 August 2016

A busy week

There seems to have been a lot going on for me this week in tangle land. I ordered and received my first pack of real Zentangle(R) tiles. They are quite a different surface from the paper I have been using but I feel like I actually have more control because they are more textured. I'm still getting the hang of shading on them though, and I'm not sure if I'm going to like them for zen gems, though I have to try a few more and see.

The next thing that happened was joining the "Travelling Tangles" group after being introduced to the concept by a fellow blogger. I'm yet to receive any of the swaps I've organised but I must say I haven't waited for the postie to arrive so excitedly for years. If you haven't come across this concept before, what it involves is beginning a tangle on a tile and then posting it off to someone else around the world to complete.

This is one of the tiles I've sent off, I think it went to a lady living in the USA from memory. This is an example of what happens when your husband comes home in the middle of you trying to draw a complex tangle. Not wanting to throw out one of my brand new tiles and mindful of the axiom that there is no such thing as a mistake in tangling, I persevered. I called it "Skye interrupted" though I could also have called it when Skye gets knotted lol.

Skye interrupted
I've had a play with some "Knightspeek / Knightstar" stringart type tangles too (from last weeks challenges), mainly with circles. I feel they work best as a setting for something I think, like the zengem in this example, or possible surrounding a different tangle?

Circular Knightspeek / Knightstar
 I think I'll leave the rest of the news for next week if I have space. On to the challenges for this week.

DC#279: "Duotangle Meer v's Auraknot"

Well this one was a challenge. I haven't been so keen on auraknot so have only used it once or twice but quite like meer. I looked up some links on how to do it and quite liked the cyme-like approach to auraknot, so started with that.

This was one of those tangles though where I went one step too far with colouring in some of the auraknot black, then spent ages trying to balance the shading out to make it look better. I used a 3B graphite for the shading but I think I could have done with a softer darker one.

As always, the other challenge was my "helper" (cough, cough). Everyone keeps admiring him so he's snuck into the post again lol.

Cat sandwich

Joey's weekly challenge tangle #125

Joey's challenge was the last of her circle strings and she challenged us to use Oof, a new tangle for me. I enjoyed this one very much, once I had the grid established the rest of the tangle just flowed and was very relaxing. Just goes to show you can't tell from looking at it, until you give it a try.

Anyway, here's the result. Oh I forgot to say earlier, my other new purchase for the week was a rust coloured pigma pen. I'm having fun trying a little bit of colour.

That's all for now, thanks for persisting to the end of what has become a rather long post. As always, I love reading your comments. Happy tangling!

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Some Gra-vee and Knightstar

I've been a slightly obsessed tangler this week, I get itchy fingers when other things get in the way of me sitting down to do some. I've had a fun time with the challenges from Joey and the Diva, both of them have pushed me to try something new or something I'm not quite comfortable with. The Made by Joey challenge was to use Gra-vee (a new one for me) by Laurel Sponseller with another circular string. As soon as I saw the string I thought "Mooka" which is a bit of a challenge because it's a tangle I sometimes struggle with. I'm happy with how it's turned out though. There's also some ennies and cresent moon tangleations using the Gra-vee to replace the tear drops and semicircles.

Taking the photo also turned out to be a bit of a challenge.

Mooka often makes me think of some photos of moss spores I took a few years ago. At the time I named the photo "Alien cocktail party" See what you think:

The Iamthediva challenge for this week was to use a tangle by a challenge participant. This one is called "Knightstar" by Daniel Lamothe. It reminds me of the string art that used to be popular when I was a kid. I also just saw there is a similar tangle called "Knightspeek". This probably looks more like that version I think?

 This tangle needs some more work for me but it certainly produced a different looking result from what I've done before. I was initially going to pair it with paradox, but somehow that didn't happen. Sorry if the photo is a little fuzzy, if I get time later I will try and take another one. I think you could produce some interesting shapes and effects using this tangle. I'm really keen to try the same principle with some different shapes.

As always, I'd love to hear what you think! Keep on tangling.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

One for Jo

One of the nice things about any art or craft is making things for other people. Today's ZIA is for one of my workmates. I've drawn some names for a few of the other girls, and there was just Jo to go. I finally got round to doing one for her last night.  Here it is: This one is a bit different from the other names I've done. I had fun trying out Huggins, a Zentangle (R) original tangle and another new border tangle along the bottom appropriately called Ojo, by Lara Williams CZT. I wasn't sure how to incorporate the tangles around the name but remembered reading somewhere "when in doubt, aura", so decided to start with that.
Molygon, Printemps, Flux, Ojo, Huggins, Ansu + others
  Each name I've done has ended up quite differently. This one was inspired by Ellish from Maria Thomas, one of Zentangle's founders. I had a lot of fun playing with Ellish. I also included some zen gems as Sascha is a lady who just needs colour! I wasn't completely happy with the paper I used though, the gems didn't blend as well as I'd like.
Ellish and gems.
The third one was a gift for a girl moving to another office. If you were really creative you could use tangles starting with that letter to fill each one. I didn't manage that though!
Onomato, Flux, Crescent moon, Ennies, and I'm not sure about the E.
I have my lap to myself tonight, the weather is still quite chilly here by Australian standards and the heater is on. Toby really does only love me for my body heat lol!
Keep on tangling!