BE(ad) Courageous!

It is time for Diva’s annual Beads of Courage (#319) update. For those of you who do not follow, Beads of Courage is a program where children undergoing medical procedures, especially lengthy ones, are rewarded for their fortitude whilst undergoing things like tests, and blood draws, and all sorts of scary things. It also creates a way for kids to be able to tell their stories in a colorful and fun way, instead of making it always sad. You can read more about the program here.

In past years, I have done tiles involving beads in some way. I did one for my sister-in-law, Marie, who was battling breast cancer at the time. I did one that juxtaposed beauty and duty. And one that celebrated Pride.

I decided this year to go in a different direction. I decided o be courageous myself. I am often reticent to try tangles that “look hard” or seem “complicated. So I thought to myself…”Self, you are a CZT. You are an artist. Why would you think it is hard, when you know Zentangle is easy?” So I saw this pattern, My Swing by Simone Menzel, CZT, on one of the many FaceBook groups I belong to, and thought I should give it a try. And to make it more challenging, to do it small, on a 3Z tile (I had already done the circle bit in the center, for something else I wanted to try, so I used that as my “string.”)

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I think it came out pretty neat, and I felt really good when I was finished with it!


From the UFO (UnFinished Objects) pile, I have a tile that dates back to TangleU 2015 in Santa Fe, from Sharla Hicks’ Mooka Blues class.

TU 2015 Mooka Blues Purk

And I finally started working the page dividers in my Zen Journal (real name of notebook, I swear) that I keep my tangle step outs in.

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There is still time to get in on the fun in Saturday’s Pointed Pen class (Monthly and Seasonal Specials)! I worked up this lovely card that a CZT I know is going to get in the mail soon!

I think the part I like about these best is they are so pretty!

And last weeks quick trip up to San Francisco was fun, cold, and the Giants did not prevail. But, did I mention it was fun?

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Loads of work to do! Make Stuff!

 

Courage in the Wake of Adversity

Yes…I know that waxes rather profound as a title. This week has been a rather sad one all over the world, but one thing the tragedy in Orlando has done is bring people together in the face of adversity. I would like to think that, as a world, we can be, stronger together. And that would take some courage for a lot of people, to put aside their prejudices in the name of peace and just downright accept EVERYONE.

Pointing fingers, blaming, and looking for scapegoats accomplishes nothing. But we all know that. I’ve recently read a lot on  the Responsibility Foundation. Their main goal is to Educate, Engage, and Elevate the ideal of Responsibility, especially in today’s young people. Everyone takes accountability for their actions…there is no blame for the things that “happen to you.”  I like this idea, and its ideals. I’ve long thought that people take too little responsibility for what happens in their lives, and constantly look for someone else to blame for their woes.

But these things all take COURAGE. And in the  Army Values, that means to me, Personal Courage.

Personal Courage as defined by the Army, is to face fear, danger or adversity.

It’s not always easy. But then, life isn’t easy either. All we can do is take responsibility and have compassion. These things are free.

I know you don’t come to my blog to read, but you do come  here for my art, and for that I am grateful. I use Zentangle and other art forms to calm my mind when things are in a state of adversity and that is often reflected in my work. So when The Diva sent out this weeks Challenge (#271) to interpret Beads of Courage, I meditated on that for a while.

Beads of Courage is an arts in medicine program that helps kids with chronic or life threatening illness tell the story of their medical journey. Each bead represents something different. A different procedure or appointment, or special circumstance. For example, when seeing a doctor or getting a poke instead of getting a sticker when they leave, they are given a glass bead for each thing. (blue for doctor, black for poke… some other beads are yellow=night in the hospital, pink=respiratory support, magenta=trip to emergent care, teal=tube insertion or removal, rainbow=therapy; physical, speech, occupational, respiratory) and every child’s string is different and unique to their story.

This has been very personal to The Diva, as her ADORABLE little Artoo has Moebius Syndrome, and spends  *lot* of time in hospitals and at doctor visits.

So this week, I combined my meditation for Orlando with Beads of Courage, and came up with this:

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I hope the sun shines on the families affected by this, and any other adversities.


I should have the July Schedule up by the end of the week. I have air-conditioning! Come in to escape the heat and relax. Rock and Tangle this Friday Night!

Stay Crazy My Friends…Make Stuff…You will feel better!

And one final note…To quote Rush, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”

Waiting for Paint to Dry

So this week seems to have a theme with me. It all started Sunday, with the talk at church being about living a balanced life. New Thought has a lot of great philosophy on what that entails and I won’t go into it, but needless to say it got me thinking.

Monday, we had a meeting of our San Diego Tanglers friendship group…where we did a cool project with alcohol inks. They dry on non-porous surfaces almost instantly, but you have to handle them delicately.  The balance here is to find harmony in getting the right effect BEFORE the paint dries. It can be a bit tricky, but it can be done.

Ceramic Tile

(I haven’t sealed this yet, but I wanted to scan it first, in case I ruin it. Tangled with a black Sakura Permapaque (fine point) and a white Sakura Decorese pen. Kinda fun. I am going to do some additional tiles and see how they hold up to different sealers.)


And this weeks Diva Challenge (#221) was on Beads of Courage. This is a great program that works to balance the lives of children in medical care with rewarding bravery in going through their procedures with beads, which they collect to show how brave they have been.

For me, beads are colorful, so of course I needed to add color. I decided to use my Derwent Inktense and Metallics (watercolor pencils) and on paper, those need to dry pretty thoroughly between steps. Again…balance…I want to get the tile done, but I don’t want to smear the pretty colors…patience.

Diva #221

I got to thinking about the balance in my own life, and how courage plays into that balance. For me…there has always been both beauty and duty. Sometimes, they are joined, and sometimes, there is a very thin line separating them. The Army and my dad taught me plenty of duty and obligation, but there are times when I want to just do nothing but create art. Finding the balance where they can be together is divine!


On Square One this week, the focus is Msst.

Square One - Msst

So I’ve decided what I’m gonna do now
So I’m packing my Avreal for the Mssty Mountains
Where the Onamatos go now
Over the Tagh where the Festunes fly


I know I usually don’t wax this philosophically, but there is a lot going on in our lives right now, and most of it is requiring me to be a lot more patient than I usually tend to be. I am looking into opening my own creative space here in Temecula, so doing the due diligence for that seems to be taking up a huge space in my brain.

But…a tangle a day keeps the psychiatrist at bay!

Stay Crazy My Friends!