Sunday, February 24, 2013

Challenge #107: exploring Quandary

The past week undoubtedly was one of the heaviest in my life. On Monday there was the funeral of my father-in-law. It was a worthy and subdued ceremony, but so sad....
On Tuesday we received a mourning card, telling us a very dear former neighbor passed away that same Monday. Years ago she helped me to feel at home in my new residence. Altough there was an age cap of almost 20 years, we got on very well together. We moved to a nearby residence about 8 years later, but the next 25 years we always stayed in touch. Therefore I knew she was terminally ill, although I didn't expect it would happen this soon. We buried her last Friday.
And if you are a blog follower of Laura Harms aka the Diva you know she lost her beloved grandmother that Friday. My thoughts and deepest sympathy for her and her family!!

Having all those emotions, drawing a zentangle to contribute to Weekly Challenge #107 had to bring the joy and relaxation it normally does. Well, it partially did, because Quandary is a hard one for me! In Dutch we have a - modern and popular - expression for that: it is not my thing! I totally agree with Linda Farmer who wrote:
"As much care and attention and deliberation as I give it, I still find it difficult to judge proportions well and I struggle getting the groups of rice shapes to come out to my satisfaction – aka perfect. Quandary challenges me the way Tripoli does."
Another - much older and very true- expression however is as follows: the stickler wins!!
And thus I found out that starting with one complete "flower", to indicate the direction of the other "petals", and then expanding with triangles works the best for me. It took about 45 minutes (concentration needs time....) to create this tile:

Tangles: Quandary, 'Nzeppel and Bales + Florz variation

When a specific tangle pattern is the subject of a Challenge I'd like to use the upper or lower case initial of that pattern for my string:

I wanted the "flowers" (bottom right) to be complete, and so it's obvious: a string is just a guideline!

Thanks to:
Rick and Maria from Zentangle® for Quandary, 'Nzeppel and Bales (and many more!)
CZT®'s Linda Farmer and Margaret Bremner for their String suggestions 
CZT® Laura Harms aka the Diva for this challenging Challenge
You!!.... for reading this "crooked English"!!!

Happy Tangling everyone!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day

Today I'd like to share a lot of HEARTS and RED with you:

Tangles: Vermal, Hearty + Aura and Brandee

This fiery Valentine's heart is made in TanglePatterns String 039 by Jo Fletcher. I decided to cut out the heart that I'd tangled and to glue it on a very RED piece of paper in the shape of a Zentangle tile. Then Brandee around it and ready it is!

Before I was able to post this message, my sister-in-law called up to tell the very, very sad news that my father-in-law suddenly passed away this morning (at the same time I was drawing this tile).... So I want to dedicate this Valentine Zentangle to my beloved father-in-law. May he rest in peace.

Thanks to:
Jo Fletcher for String 039
Zentangle® for Vermal (no on-line instructions) 
Livia Chua for Hearty

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Brandee, another new tangle pattern

Last summer, in July, an advertising brochure was on our doormat. It was filled with borders
representing fire.... 

Aha, wouldn't that make a nice tangle pattern? I remember this was the first thing that went through my head. So sorry for the retailer, but I haven't payed much attention to his discounted items. This was really something I immediately wanted to try. After the try-outs I used this funny pattern in a ZIA and on a tile. Ever since that day I have been looking for this pattern to show up in other people's zentangles or ZIA's, but it didn't. And it was only yesterday that I finally found the right name: Brandee!
"Brand!" is Dutch for "Fire!" and because it ends with a "D" I added my usual e's as a kind of sign.
Well, and Brandee sounds like brandy, which burns as well.... No, I don't know by experience :)
This is how to do it:
Step 1 & 2  are all about random S- and reversed S-shapes, which you connect in step 2. It doesn't matter if the connections are a little sloppy.
Step 3 is only coloring. I suggest you use a Pigma Brush. Not only to save the ink from the Micron, but its flexibility helps to create beautiful roundings and will correct the sloppy connections!!

Strictly speaking Brandee isn't a tangle pattern, because it actually does represent something.... But hey, who cares if you can do this with it:

Tangles: Brandee and Fünf  (2012/07/19)
At the right: I copied the tile and turned it 90 degrees to show Brandee when it's drawn on the sides. I hope you'll agree, it looks very nice as well!
A ZIA (dated 2012/07/18!):
Tangles: Brandee, Cheers, Rain and Triangles
Haven't seen this pattern anywhere, am I right?? If I'm wrong, please tell me. Should the name already exist, please do the same!

Thanks to:
CZT® Denise Rudd for Fünf 
CZT® Sue Clark for Cheers
Zentangle® for Rain (steps by Suzanne McNeill)
CZT® Suzanne McNeill for Triangles

Happy Tangling everyone!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Challenge #105 is finally done

When the mail from The Diva, announcing weekly Challenge #105, came in, I was a little worried. We had to deal with Dansk, a tangle pattern by CZT Margaret Bremner. Dansk has been used in several zentangles lately and I love its look. But.... I had not even done my breakfast exercises on this one yet!
Then there were a local and a regional meetings of the board of the women's association of which I'm a member, there were the steps of MacDee I wanted to post, and lots of other things I had to do. Yes, this is a serious case of procrastination!
Today I heard a voice in my head, saying, "Hey, it ís a challenge, you know!" Must have been Laura for sure.
So at last I picked up my pen and a tile, and after some time this surprise was the result:

Tangles: Dansk, Fern, MacDee and Black Pearlz
Absolutely not what I expected, but miracles happen!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

New tangle pattern: MacDee

There is another pattern I've never seen before, that I played with for quite a long time. It appeared on all kind of papers I got in my hands and I really like the look of it: like classic Scottish, checkered fabric. This one deserves a sturdy name that will remind you of kilts, bagpipes, the Highlands and perhaps Nessy....
Because surnames starting with Mc or Mac (a prefix of Gaelic origin meaning son) are very characteristic for Scotland too, I thought the name of this tangle pattern should begin with that. Then suddenly I recognized the initials of my maiden name in Mac (in a different order, but still) and so it was a small step to add "Dee", just as with Orbs-la-Dee.

Even though it's an easy one, this is how to do MacDee:

Step 1: Draw horizontal and vertical lines, leave some space to create large squares. Thicken the lines by tracing them. You might want to cheat by using a Micron with a larger nip, but the irregularity makes it look like a real fabric.
Step 2 & 3: Not to much hand pressure, these should be thin lines!

Haven't seen this pattern anywhere, am I right?? If I'm wrong, please tell me. Should the name already exist, please do the same!

I recommend you to read some very clarifying tutorials about how to use the Sakura Microns and how to deliberately draw your strokes. You'll find them on and on

If you want to know more about Scottish fabric/tartans and surnames, just follow the links.

Happy Tangling everyone!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

FOUR challenges....

Well, one is done, two are about to finish, and I have to start the last one.

The first challenge was The Diva's #104. We had to use TanglePatterns String 003. I managed it just in time! This is what appeared....

Tangles: Rick's Paradox, Rick's Paradox, Rick's Paradox....

Only if you know the string (you'll find it here), you can see it in this zentangle. 

The second challenge was also a string quest. Linda Farmer has posted another string by Barbara Finwall. The string suggestions on are a very useful resource for all of those who are in a string dip!
I found this one extremely defiant. And it was a great opportunity to play with my own first tangle pattern!
So yes, getting that one ready for sharing it with you was the 3th challenge.

I love the patterns, that pop out by coloring the negative spaces in the grid: Florez, Fleurette, Lanie, etc. That's problably why this pattern kept coming back on my scribbling pad almost every day....

Because of all the orbs, one of my favorite songs jumped into my mind and with a wink to The Beatles (read more) I would like to name it: Orbs-la-Dee ("Dee" is the initial of my husband's surname). Hopefully, as soon as you are drawing this pattern, you'll sing "Orbs-la Dee, orbs-la-da, tralalalalalala!" and feel happy!!

May I present you Orbs-la-Dee in String #38:

Tangles: Orbs-la-Dee, Ennies and Droplets

These are the steps:

Step 1-3: Drawing regular spaces might need some practice.... But irregularity gives very nice results too!
Step 5: Turn your tile 180° for drawing the orbs in the same direction!
Step 7-8: Add some shade and blend (use a paper stump, great tool!) for the wonderful 3D-look.

Addition 1
At first, Step 7 said: "add rounding" instead of "add shade". Just a few weeks before Linda Farmer introduced Orbs-la-Dee on (June 7, 2013) I discovered what rounding really is. Thought I had enough time to adjust my post, but then it completely slipped my mind…. It's okay now!

The variations are made by changing the basic lines: 1) about the same as the curvy ones from the step-out; 2) higher and smaller; 3) diamonds.

Have fun with exploring the possibilities!

Addition 2
Do you need more inspiration?
Look here: It's a String Thing #156 - Very Happy Birthday Tiles (August 8, 2016)
on "Tickled To Tangle" from Adele Bruno. She posts a string challenge every Tuesday.
Look here: Weekly Challenge #298 - Use My Tangle (January 9, 2017) on "I am the diva" from Laura Harms. She posts every Monday.

I am extremely proud about all those tanglers, who took the time to play with Orbs-la-Dee. They've created such wonderful tiles and ZIA's! Adele and Laura, thank you very much for picking out my pattern!

Some more of my own hand:

Tangles: 1) Meer and Evoke and 2) MacDee (my next new tangle pattern!)
Haven't seen this patterns anywhere, am I right?? If I'm wrong, please tell me. Should the name(s) already exist, please do the same!

Now there's only one challenge to go: The Diva's Challenge #105, using Dansk by Margaret Bremner. So I'll have to go now, have to do some....

Happy Tangling everyone!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Tinkering (probably part 1)

It's not easy when you always want everything to be perfect.... Takes lots of time, gives irritation, but if things fall into place: "Yes!!!" That's why I am so happy to have mandalas and Zentangle® in my life. It's a relief to have learned how to deal with "mistakes", accept them as being new opportunities.... Saves time, reduces (sorry) irritation and still: "Yes!!!" I must admit the results may be even better.
So after tinkering with my blog for a while I'm satisfied with how it looks right now. I've found out, how to add a link and a tab, and to edit gadgets and older posts, change colors, etc. (smile)

Meanwhile, the e-mail with the link to the slideshow of Callenge #103 from Laura Harms aka The Diva was in the inbox. Amazing as always!!

Laura's son Artoo was born with "Moebius Syndrome, which is a congenital nerve disorder affecting cranial VI and VII nerves controlling the lateral movement of his face." (Laura's words)
The Challenge was to use the Moebius Syndrome Foundation's logo as our string to raise awareness for this disorder. Each year on January 24th it's  Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day. Purple is the colour for MSAD.
This is my contribution:

Featuring: Knase (well, almost), Neuron and Zewm

No wonder a few co-tanglers used the lovely tangle Neuron from Beth Snoderly as their background, too, since it fits so well with the theme. The very handy
Zewm is from Amy Broady.

Next step in tinkering will be adding a new tab....