Sunday, December 18, 2011

CZT Ensemble Swap, Part I

In the midst of holiday preparations and shopping, I *finally* finished my Ensembles for the CZT Ensemble Swap that my fellow CZT, Jennifer Van Pelt, organized during the CZT seminar in Providence. At first I had not planned to participate because I did not want to held to a deadline during the holiday season, but luckily, Jennifer extended the invitation a second time, and by then I was feeling a little less overwhelmed and more in control.

So inside a month or so, I had 18 tiles to complete because I decided to swap both sets of tiles (one has a more curved design and the other is more angled and straight). After laying them out and thinking about how I wanted to do this, I remembered that the tiles were going to be swapped out anyway so I could work on each tile individually and separately. After labeling each tile on the back, I put them in a baggie with my pens and pulled one out at a time when I had some time to spare.

I think you can definitely see a progression in my style. When I was feeling more "zen," my tiles have a more free-flowing style. Likewise, when I was tense, the tiles have a harder feel to them. There is one tile I worked on right after reading Joanne Fink's Zenspirations (great book, by the way!). And as always, when I was stumped for a pattern, I turned to one of the Zentangle books in my library (thank you Sandy Steen Bartholomew and Suzanne McNeil!) or Peg Farmer's Tangle Patterns website.

This morning, after church, I shaded my tiles. When I first learned about Zentangle, shading terrified me. As many know, I am an artist late in life, and what I knew of shading had to do with light and dark values and perspective. However, you don't have to follow those rules (or even know them) in Zentangle. Using my pencil and shading stump is a way to add color and dimension to my tiles and I enjoy the transformation from black and white to the variations of grayscale.

So tomorrow my tiles go in the mail -- and I am looking forward to receiving new ones in a week or two!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tangled Ornaments!

What can you do with Zentangle? For one, you can make ornaments. I spent a quiet afternoon today decorating ceramic ornaments that I picked up at A.C. Moore. Many of my fellow CZTs have been displaying their ornaments and it looks like so much fun, I had to do the same. I especially liked the ornaments with ribbons of color as strings so I did the same.

I was also very fortunate to attend a Zentangle project class with Wendy Brown in Westford Tuesday evening. We made some Zentangle jewelry pieces that I will post pictures of after I have attached the fastenings. It's so different to work on a smaller scale, but the results are very dramatic.

And I finished my curvy ensemble for the CZT swap I joined. I have one more ensemble to complete before I post them off to the swap, and I'll make sure to get those pictures up before I mail them away and get whole new ensembles back.

But all this tangling meant that, unfortunately, I never got around to doing my piece for the Diva Challenge this week. It's one I was looking forward to because I really love the new tangle pattern, Fife. It's a little like Bales, but uses the principle of drawing behind. I did manage to find a couple of spots for Fife in the ensemble tangles, so it worked out well for me.

So very happy to get so much Zentangle in this week! I think it's one of the reasons I've been feeling less stressed about this holiday season and enjoying it more!

Monday, November 28, 2011

"Biggify" Weekly Challenge #50

This week the Diva's challenge was to "biggify" the patterns in our tiles. Not to work on a larger canvas, but to draw our patterns larger. It was a lot harder for me than it seemed. I thought I chose patterns with some wiggle room for error and tried to keep each one on somewhat the same scale, but I'm not quite sure how well I succeeded. However, it was a real exercise in staying in the moment and being aware of every line and curve I was making.

Friday, November 25, 2011

"Red Thread Challenge" - Weekly Challenge #49

Hi! I hope all my friends and family had a Happy Thanksgiving!. It was a wonderful day.

I finished this challenge Wednesday but with T-day preparations calling my name this is my first chance to post it. Cris Letournea, CZT who blogs at Tangled Up in Art came up with a challenge this week to create a tile with a single red thread through it to bring awareness to The Red Thread Promise, an organization that brings medical care to children in orphanages (you can read about this organization here). She is also collecting the actual tiles to create a poster to be sold and the proceeds with benefit this organization (you can read about that here).

Saturday, November 19, 2011

"Tri-Shapes" Weekly Challenge #48

This challenge really could have taken me out of my comfort zone, but in the end, it became an adventure.  The string in this challenge is 3 basic shapes:  circle, square and rectangle.  We were also challenged to "tri" new patterns which took me on an adventure all through the web as I traveled from blog to blog looking for new patterns.  There are over 100 official Zentangle patterns, and thousands of unofficial ones, plus all the variations!  So much tangling fun in my future!!

In this tile, I used Fife, Flying Geese, DL Labryinth, Eke, Finery, Corn Rows, and Brace.   You'll also see Dragonair as well.  Not a new pattern -- Norma Burnell demonstrated it in Providence at CZT7, but such a cool pattern and definitely one of my favorites!

Also notice my "chop" -- it took a while to come up with it.  Since it's difficult to get right in smaller spaces, my plan over the Thanksgiving holiday is to design a stamp from polymer clay.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My Twirly Board!!

Turning your tile when you are creating a Zentangle is so important!  I knew that I would not be able to hold a workshop and demonstrate how to draw tangles properly if I could not turn my demo pad.  Drawing large scale is so different from the smaller tile -- I'm so glad I tried my Twirly Board out in the privacy of my own home first.

Friday, November 11, 2011

11/11/11 11:11 a.m.

There was a invitation by a CZT to her fellow CZTs to create a Zentangle piece today in unity for Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts, the founders of Zentangle.  Rick lost his mother earlier this week and it was our wish that we would create our Zentangles with intentional thoughts and prayers for them during this time of loss.  Here is my piece:

Monday, November 7, 2011

"Lest We Forget"

With the noreaster that blew through New Hampshire last week, I wasn't doing much tangling, so I took some time today to pull out some tiles and get back to work.  Laura Harms, a CZT in Canada, posts a Weekly Challenge on her blog, I am the Diva, and I thought I would give it a whirl.  Quite fittingly for this Veterans Day week, it is to remember. 
While I worked on this tile, I am remembered far too many people:  my grandparents, aunts and uncles, my cousin David, my friends who left us all too soon, and unfortunately, some of my children's friends.  I miss them all. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

It's Official!

Well, it's official.  After a long journey, I've completed the Zentangle certified teacher training and I'm a CZT (certified Zentangle teacher), eager to share this wonderful process with all of you.

I first discovered Zentangle earlier this year and have been taking workshops and classes ever since.  Finally, I attended  a CZT seminar and become certified .  After four wonderful days in Providence with Rick and Maria, the founders of Zentangle, and 100+ other Zentangle enthusiasts, here I am -- official at last.
Please contact me if you are interested in a workshop in the Nashua, New Hampshire area, need supplies or would like to learn more about Zentangle.