Monday, October 29, 2012

My First Zendala Dare

Here is my contribution to this week's Zendala Dare. A Zendala is Zentangle Inspired Art done in mandala style. Every week, Erin at The Bright Owl posts her Zendala Dare. She also posts a template that can be downloaded to get you started. You can find her Zendala Dares, what others have created, and even participate here.

Tangles I used are: Pokeleaf, Tracery, Auraknot, Flux, Rain, Crescent Moon, and Stayned.

Stayned is my new tangle. I'm not so sure Stayned qualifies as a tangle. But below is my step out for it (step by step illustration of how to complete the tangle). I used a variation of it in my Zendala on both sides of the center section. The key is to use quick light strokes in varying lengths. Although the step out shows Stayned done with boxes, I chose to do it without the boxes on the Zendala.

My source for Stayned was the pattern made by the water stains on the wall in the middle right of the photo.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Playing with Color

I taught my fourth class of seniors at our local university branch.One of the things they wanted me to cover was using color. So that was our focus. I spritzed one set with a mixture of metallic rust acrylic paint and water. You can't tell by the picture, but this gave the tile a kind of antique look. The second set, I splashed with liquid watercolor.

First I taught some new tangles while my students did their spitzed tiles with Gelly Roll pens. Then we shaded with colored pencils. We dipped blending stumps into baby oil to blend the colored pencil and improve the shading. They were surprised at how easy it was and enjoyed the effect.

I need to tell the joke on myself about this.  I had bought a kit at a scrapbook store with Mineral Spirits in it to use for colored pencil shading. When I ran out, I couldn't find the mineral spirits anywhere. I had read that you could use baby oil.  I had a bottle of baby oil that was so old that the label fell off when I pulled it "out of storage". I looked at the back of the label where the ingredients were.  Ingredients: Mineral Oil, Fragrance! Anyway, here are those tiles. The purple one was their favorite.

Then I set them loose to play with the tiles I had splashed with liquid watercolor. They didn't quite get finished but liked the challenge of choosing their own tangles and working them into spaces. The results are dramatic, don't you think?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Once a person becomes enthusiastic about the practice of Zentangle®, they notice patterns everywhere. I think this is another benefit of the practice. A "tangler" becomes more aware of their environment and appreciative of the abundance of patterns. Patterns pop up everywhere, like unexpected gifts. All these patterns become challenges to turn into tangles for the next project. And then comes the realization, "So many tangles. So little time."

I spent some time this past summer looking for patterns in my community and other places I visited. I took pictures and mounted them in a journal. Now I have a great many puzzles to turn into tangles.

Here is the picture of a stained glass window in my church and a close up of the portion where I found the pattern for my first tangle, Tracery.

I played with several possibilities for tangles I found in this window. Tracery is one I am excited about. Suzanne of Tinkered Art Studio named it for me. (She's my cousin and the person who introduced me to the practice of Zentangle.) Tracery has so many possibilities. I spent a lot of time puzzling and playing with it. Here it is with some of my variations.

On a string:


 Free form:

 The beginnings of a Zendala:

I hope you will try this tangle and let me know what you come up with.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

I was told to just jump in. So here I am, jumping into the world of blogging. My purpose here is to create a space where people can be encouraged  to address their concerns for living well before they become challenges. My definition of "living well" would be living a balanced life of faith, friends and family, finances, physical health and fitness, mental health, and fun.

My current focus will be on the practice of Zentangle® which I would put under the categories of mental health and fun. I will be sharing more about Zentangle in future posts, but for now, let's just say it's a great way to relax and focus. To learn more, you can go to

I'm doing a series of classes with seniors at our local university branch. To introduce them to the help they can get through prompts and challenges, I decided to use Diva's Challenge #87: "String Theory v. XII: Pinwheels for Peace v.II". She puts out a challenge every Monday and I suggest you visit often to not only challenge yourself, but also check out what others do with the challenge. You can find Challenge #87  here.

Here's what we did:

First, we drew the pinwheel string freehand:

I introduced them to some new tangles to get their pinwheels started.

Then we used spinners with tangles on them from the week before to choose tangles for the remaining spaces. are the results: