Who's That Girl?

Welcome, my name is Anneke. Anneke is from Anna Maria. I was born in 1956 in Den Helder, The Netherlands. I've been living in a village near Rotterdam since December 1979, together with my husband Jaap. We have three children: our daughters Adeline and Emilia and our son Ruben.

From my early childhood I knew I wanted to be a teacher. So I did and that's what I still am! I had a job in special education, after that in industrial education. Later I've taught office skills, machine writing and computer skills to unemployed adults. Nowadays I organize workshops in mandala drawing and Zentangle. The name of my tiny "company" is Merry-Go-Round.

I will not bore you with my complete "biography". Too much to tell and not interesting for you. I believe it's much more to the point to tell how I became a "tangler"! Here we go....


From the day I could hold a pencil I have been drawing. From those good old days unfortunately only these drawings have survived a number of removals:

After a visit to the circus, ± 1964
Royal wedding of Princess Beatrix and Prince Claus, 1966

The lack of knowledge of the anatomy of the human body (and animals too!) is hilarious, but it certainly didn't bother me.

On the contrary: as soon as I knew more about anatomy, I gave up drawing people. Perspective was another nagger.... (I can see you nod!) In spite of these, Drawing was one of my exam subjects and later I even attended courses. What I did, was what I called: my decorative style. (I'll see if I can find something of that.)

Mandala time

Only in 2003 I learned about mandalas! How could I ever have missed them? Again I attended a course and there they came, one after another.... Wonderful: no thinking, no plan, no required knowledge of whatever, just a piece of paper, a compass, a protractor, some colorpencils and then.... Merry-Go-Round! Hurray!!

In 2009 I became a member of the Dutch Mandala Association. Every quarter of a year the members receive a beautiful magazine. In one of the editions of 2010 was an article about Zentangle/Zendalas. "Okay, something to remember", I thought.

Zentangle at last!

Which I did in September 2011! At that time I just took part in a painting & drawing club, of which the members were invited to exhibit their work in a care center. Each of them had plenty paintings (no drawings!) to choose from. Except me.... only old stuff or mandalas, but nothing special for this happening.

And that's precisely where Zentangle comes in!! I remembered the article mentioned the short time you need to create a beautiful piece of art.... Aha, our work had to be hand over within a week, so this should work! I did some research on the internet, learned about "penciled borders and strings", watched some YouTube videos (now I know better!) and found some patterns. The big problem was the small "tile"....Between the paintings of my clubmates it would not stand out!

Soooo, I thought I could easily do a A3 sized sheet of paper.... Okay, you are permitted to laugh, go ahead! I do the same, everytime I cast my mind back to that moment of overconfidence. Matter of course it took a little longer than I had expected....

During my short search on the internet (after all I was in a hurry) I saw some patterns, I wanted to use in this large ZIA (got acquainted with this term much later). Cadent, 'Nzeppel, Limpitz, Marasu, Strircles, and more, were properly done by following the step-outs. Being cocky as I am (and, bet you, still in a - even bigger - hurry) I did Huggins and Flux all by myself.... Ahum.... Despite of all the haste I constantly felt the Zen that came over me while drawing!

Well, I finished in time and this is what came out:

"All Joking Aside" (2011/10/08)
It has all the features of a vacuum cleaning, water spraying bagpipe....

As it was totally different from the other contributions, people asked: "Hey, what is this? How did you do that? Can you teach me?" Because of this, but much more because I love to experience the Zen of Zentangle, I'm a dedicated follower since this first "try-out"! Learned as much as possible through the internet from Zentangle®, TanglePatterns.com and many, many other fellow-tanglers of this wonderful, sharing community. My biggest wish is to become a real Certified Zentangle Teacher®.... ever!

Have fun nosing around on this blog, warm greetings!

Anneke aka Merry 


  1. oh my goodness!! this is absolutely gorgeous! wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! - and yes I can see the vacuum cleaner lol :)

  2. hoi Anneke,

    Wat ben je snel en goed aan de slag gegaan zeg. Je maakt mooie werken en - GAAF - dat je anderen in die korte tijd er zeer nieuwsgierig naar hebt laten worden ;). Ik hoop voor jou dat je een keer naar Providence kunt gaan om CZT te worden. Dan hebben we 2 CZT's in Zuid-Holland.

    groetjes uit Gouda, Arja de Lange (CZT-9)

  3. Anneke, you have won one of the tiles on our blog entry [Frame of Mine(d)]. Please email me your address so that I can send it off to you. My email is



    Love your work. maria