Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Adding Value to Lives of Others

One of my dear aunts turned 87 recently and there are 3 more aunts with birthdays coming up soon. I have been lax in sending cards, even though I enjoy receiving them myself. It just seems to be an indication that your having been born made a difference in someone's life. So, I decided to be dedicated, starting now, in sending out cards to those who I want to let know that they made a difference in my life. It is one way of adding value to the lives of others. So, here is my aunt's card. The rose is from Helen Williams at A Little Lime.

Tangles: Pressed Wood, Slalom, Parasail-z, Echoism variation

People often ask me what I do with completed Zentangle tiles? I have to admit, I have a box full of them. Going through them reminds me of tangles I've loved and forgotten and even what was going on in my life when I did them. I guess that way, I add value to my life. But I do participate in Random Acts of Zentangle (RAZ). And that adds value to strangers. You can check out the Facebook group to find out what others are doing with their RAZ's.

Here is one that I left at a popular restaurant. After a quick trip to the restroom, I noticed it in the hand of one of the workers. I hope it added value to her day.

I've also started posting digital cards with birthday greetings to some of my long distance friends.

I recently read that we each have about 250 people that we know personally. If that's the case, we have 250 value adding opportunities. Sometimes it takes a little creativity to find ways to do that. Sometimes we don't know the results. Most of the time it's in the act that we find value for ourselves.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Tangled Tea Set

I keep reading about using oil based pens on nonporous surfaces. The difficulty with these is that they are usually those paint pens that you need to shake and prime to get to work. And, the points are rather broad. I just didn't like them for much of the tangling I wanted to do.

But then... I found Uni Pi:s.  They are double pointed oil based markers that were very easy to use on this child sized tea set. I cured the pieces in my oven after I tangled them and am very pleased. The Uni Pi:s come in 12 colors, all vibrant and consistent in flow. They are going to be my favorites for nonporous surfaces. You can find them at Jet Pens.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Easter

He is Risen! Hallelujah!

Wishing you all the blessings that come with knowing Christ has risen.

Monday, March 31, 2014

CBS Morning Show Tangles

Tomorrow, April 1, 2014, tanglers from around the world are sending out tangled tiles in square envelopes with letters telling what the practice of Zentangle means to them. The recipients? The CBS Sunday Morning show. The idea is to have them do a segment about the art of Zentangle. Here is my contribution:
My tile.
My (not square) envelope front.
My envelope back.
Finally, my letter.
It's been a fun challenge.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Another Community Tangle

I decided to return to my community photos this week and got a bit excited about a new tangle that emerged for me last February from this bell tower at our local university branch campus. Here are the photos.

Here's the tangle on a tile. It seems to have some depth without shading.

Here is the step out:

For now, I am calling it Bell Tower. I'm open to suggestions.

Three hints for creating this tangle: First, think S curve when doing the bell shape. Second, mirroring is good to keep in mind in many tangles. It is simply making a stroke near another as if holding a mirror to the first stroke and drawing what is in the mirror. Keeping that in mind helps with the shaping and placement of the S curves. Also, turning your tile helps with the mirroring in this one. Third, when starting and ending the S curve, trace the line you are starting the stroke on as you begin and the one you are ending on as you finish the stroke. Rick Roberts explains this as thinking of a plane taking off and landing on an airstrip.

I love the challenge that comes in creating variations on a tangle. So, here are a few. I especially like what happens when the straight lines are made curvy.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Integrating Zentngle with Life Part 2

In my introductory Zentangle classes, I always tell how I use tangling as a method of personal relaxation.
I tangle in bed to unwind from the day. I need to do it in bed because it is not uncommon for me to doze off tangling at that time of day.
I tangle on airplanes because flying stresses me out. Tangling helps me relax. I almost forget that I am on an airplane. The time goes by very quickly and tangling often leads to interesting unforced conversation with the person seated next to me.
I tangle in the doctor's waiting room. Sometimes it's a very long wait. Tangling helps keep my blood pressure down.
This week I took my Tangle a Day Calendar along to my doctor's appointment. Below is a combination of night time and waiting room tangling.  By the way, I am 5mg short of being completely free of blood pressure medicine. I can't state it as a fact that tangling is the reason. Healthy lifestyle has a big part in that. But I believe that the doctor's office tangling at least helps with what is called "white coat syndrome" in which blood pressure tends to be higher at the doctor's office.

Tangles Used: Chainlea, Luv-a, Coil, Zinger
The wrapped fibers-like post and leaves on the right are something I've seen in some of Maria Thomas' (co-founder of Zentangle) work. I consider it more of an artistic technique than a tangle.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Integrating Zentangle with Life

Are there Zentangle tiles that, when you view them, bring back memories as to what was happening in your life at the time you created them? I have some. One example is the tile I did in my introductory class. It brings me back to the 90 minute drive, finding dinner beforehand, the gallery where the class was held and the CZT (Certified Zentangle Teacher) presenting the class. So, I am curious as to what aspects of a person's life can be integrated into the Zentangle practice both to bring back memories and enrich life.

Before I go any further, I want to make it clear that the practice of Zentangle is valuable in itself and needs no experimentation to change it or make it better. (Before you start branching out, take a class from a Certified Zentangle Teacher to find out the facts and the process. You can find the listing of CZT's here:CZT's Listing ). But once someone discovers their love for the Zentangle process, then no surface is safe and they may look for other reasons to tangle.

I'm one of those with "so much to do, so little time" and I'm pretty sure that is true of most people. So I'm working on integrating the important things in my life. I'm not talking multitasking, but integrating. In December, I integrated the practice of Zentangle with my meditation time. Many of you joined me as we went through our Advent Journey and created ZIA (Zentangle Inspired Art). I don't want to replace the practice of Zentangle by the integration of tangling into other parts of my life.  The point is that I want to do more tangling and integration is a way of doing that.

This time of year, like a lot of other people, I am focusing on getting back on track with healthy eating and exercising.  I'm finding ways to integrate Zentangle into healthy habits. One of the things I find difficult is to remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Below is my experimental tile. My theory is that if I tangle around a written goal I will better remember it and take steps to get it done. Also, it becomes a satisfying physical reminder of that goal.

Tangles: Rick's Paradox, Maria's Split, Stretched and Wrapped  Hollibaugh (Click the link to see her beautiful tile.) , orbs as fill-ins