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!