Sometimes, You Just Have to Walk Away…

Right before I left on my fabulous vacation back in September, I was wearing my super cool Tangle Me Crazy Lotus Mandala t-shirt.


I stopped in at my favorite Japanese market (Myrukai) to pick up dinner and a few groceries on my way back from our very fun Tangle By the Bay retreat. One of those grocery items was my favorite radish kimchi. Well…apparently on the trip home, it got a little shook up. And being a fermented food, it was seeping a little from the pressure in the bottle…and when I opened it (over the sink, of course!) it exploded…all over my t-shirt.

Now…I had planned on taking that t-shirt with me to show off to the European CZT’s at our meet up in Cookham, UK. So I pre-treated it, and washed it…still stained…I did it again…still stained…and one more time…still stained. In utter frustration, I doused it liberally with Spray and Wash stain remover and threw it in the laundry room sink. I was very sad.

So nearly 3 weeks passed, and when we unpacked after the trip, I found myself with a mountain of laundry to do (although we did some it at the laundry mat in Venice…how cool is that?) So I see the shirt in the sink, pick it up, and low and behold, the stains are GONE!

I guess the point here is, If you do the right thing, with the passage of time, everything comes out all right. And…if you want a cool t-shirt like mine, click here…you can buy them at my shop!

Ok, enough of my travails. What you are really here for is to see pretty things!

This week’s Diva Challenge (#290) is a duo tangle of Flux and N’zepple. I love both tangles, and decided to use Flux as my container. And I was being fall-ish with the Renaissance Tan tile (or lazy, because that was what was in my bag and I did not feel like walking upstairs to get a white one…lol.)


And since I didn’t get a post done last week, here is the Leafy Goodness that is Diva Challenge #289!


I am really loving combining quilling with Zentangle. They go together so well. I will be doing a special Christmas quilling design class in December, so be on the look out for that!

We are also up to Gothic Calligraphy at the shop this month, with an ongoing series being taught by Risa Gettler. I was playing around whilst practicing my letters the other day, and playing with Hannah Geddes’ Mandala Template. And this happened.


Well…I couldn’t just leave it like that…and I had a clock I had disassembled in the shop that needed a new face. So now it turned into this:


So long Sons of Anarchy clock…lol.

I did not realize how busy I have been these past 2 weeks until I started writing my post. I started a purge and organize campaign both here at the home studio and the shop, trying to make things more accessible and easier to find. (that, is a long story all of its own!)

I made it through my entire fabric stash so far, dumped all the fabrics I had been holding onto for costuming and what-not, and organized my quilting stash. Emptied out the little used filing cabinet for the bigger pieces.


And folded all the fat quarters into an ArtBin Super Satchel. That felt really GOOD!

And not to be left out, I finally found a container to get all my Gelly Roll Pens in one place.


I will contain this mess!

AND…lastly…I have a pineapple guava tree in my backyard that I planted 3 years ago that has never fruited, until this year. I was blessed with an abundance of fruit, more than we could possibly eat before it spoiled, so I found a recipe and made chutney out of it.


And you cannot have a great chutney without some curry to go with it!


Yum! (and, it was pretty healthy homemade!)

Speaking of healthy, I am walking my fish this week…(Pokemon Go thing…it amuses me.)


And now I need to get back to work…Stay Crazy My Friends!

Posted in Art Classes, Calligraphy, Mandala, Online Store, Philosophy, Travel, Uncategorized, Zentangle | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Home Again, Home Again

So, I started writing this week from 30,000 feet (although I won’t post it until we land!) It’s been a lovely vacation, but I am excited to be going home. 

We have had a grand adventure, made some new friends, reconnected with old ones, and made memories that will last us forever. It makes me thankful for all the people and good things I have in my life. And it turns out, this past weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada, so that was pretty timely! The weather has finally turned a corner here, hopefully for the season, and I can revel in all things Fall (except Pumpkin Spice Latte’s…I hate those…)

In celebration of the Canadian version of my favorite food fest, Diva challenged us to do the tangle Gourdgeous. Now…this is not my favorite tangle (don’t tell anyone) but I have done it a few times. To get myself in the fall festive mood, I sprayed a little walnut ink and orange sparkly ink on my tile and let it dry, then tangled with the Sepia Micron. About the 3rd gourd, I was really starting to like it! I did not shade this one, because of the colored background, but I did use a white pen to make some highlights.

I spent the last weekend of my vacation at Tangle EU with the most lovely European Certified Zentangle Teachers. We had so much fun! I learned a few things, some new ways of doing some things I already thought I knew, and had a grand time! I was super thrilled to reconnect with my fellow CZT 14 alumni Maria Tovar!

And to meet lots of new people!

And…drum roll…I even finished all but 2 of my projects (still working on the Notan and the Opus tile. That might take me another couple days.)

The venue was beautiful, and the food was awesome. I even had traditional English breakfast. 

What a great way to wind up our European adventure, and I really look forward to seeing these great ladies again!

We spend our last afternoon in London, wandering the city as much as we could, walking a total of 9 miles! 

Keep tangling…it will keep you from being too crazy my friends!

Posted in Art Classes, Travel, Zentangle | 7 Comments

Dream Revelations

Ok…it’s been quite a week. You might recall I blogged last week from Germany, and this weeks Diva Challenge (#287) was completed in Venice, but I’m writing this in my hotel in Cookham, Maidenhead, England. It has been a lovely vacation…Venice was amazing! Complete with gondola ride!

So, one of the things that has to happen when you are on an extended trip, unless you pack pretty heavy, you have to do laundry. So, while I was doing laundry in the lavanderia in Venice, I broke out this pretty little red leather journal I found…

Filled with beautiful black paper! So this weeks Use My Tangle (UMT) is from Daniel Lamothe CZT, and he provided us with a tangle/reticula called Dreamcatcher. I think it is a lovely idea, and decided to keep it a little simple in my new journal. (It is just under 4″, so perfect Zentangle size!) White and Gold Gelly Roll, and White Chalk Pastel pencil.

And I need to get a nap, so I can join in the Festivities at Tangle EU with my European CZT friends! But I will leave you with this…Inside the Doge’s Palace…(it really is not curved, but the panorama did that…cool effect!)

Posted in Mandala, Paper, Reticula & Fragments, Uncategorized, Zentangle | 10 Comments

Munchin in München!

Diva said straight lines this week, and I am in Munich, so what better tangle than Munchin! 

Have not done a lot of tangling this week, but have some sketches for some new tangles based on my trips to King Ludwig II’s castles. Hope to have them to show you soon.

So far, it has been a lovely trip. We have been to Salzburg, the Eagles Nest, the salt mines of Berchesgarden, Herrenchiemsee, Munich, and of course, Oktoberfest.

We are off to the Weis’n for more beer…Prost!

Posted in Travel, Uncategorized, Zentangle | 10 Comments

CharKat Says “Relax!”

(you know that Frankie Goes to Hollywood song is playing in your head now, right?)

This week, I was privy to a discussion amongst Certified Zentangle Teachers (CZTs) as to whether or not we still use this art to unwind and chill, or has it become all work for us? And it did provoke enough thought to make The Diva focus this weeks “challenge” (#285) to really make me think more about it.

Most of what I post to the world, here, on FaceBook, and Instagram, are works of Zentangle Inspired Art (ZIA) that are truly amazing to me. I often reflect back at them and am in awe that I even did that…that it came from my pen. I get so focused at times on shop models and preparing for upcoming classes and creating art that I do lose sight of why I started doing this in the first place. Where do I find my Zen again? I often tell my students, whatever makes it Zen for you is what you need to do, but rarely follow that adage myself.

I started this tile last Saturday at our San Diego retreat Tangle By the Bay. I rarely finish things I do at retreat and classes, but I found this simple white Apprentice tile calling my name to come back. So this morning, with my nice cup of Earl Grey tea, before my morning walk, before the madness of my day (but after the cat woke me up too early because he was hungry) I picked up my pen and finished it.

The tangles were chosen by the roll of a dice. As were their enhancers. I would not have chosen to put them together on a tile, I don’t find it all that aesthetically pleasing, but I felt really calm working on it. The tangles were ones I know…I didn’t have to struggle with them. I rarely use sparkle as an enhancer because I am not particularly good at it. I never make my Printemps that big because they get wonky.


My rounded Crescent Moon took on a whole new look. Cool, eh? And I was trying out a new pen (Pentel Hybrid Technica 04) that took a bit longer to dry, so I had to be even more patient. Zen Found!

I did actually finish everything I started at the retreat, which is a wonder for me. We learned the 14 Shades of Gray technique, and I did this piece. Again with some fairly simply tangles, but it was fun.


Calligraphy classes start the 2nd week in October, so if you are in the area, be sure to check it out. Payment is to the teacher (Risa Gettler), so call the shop to sign up (951) 972-3015. Leave a message…I am on vacation starting Wednesday, but Olivia will be in the shop on her regular days while I am gone.

Prices, descriptions, and supply lists are here! (I will have all supplies available at the shop, no need to go hunting around for things!)

Place your supply order at the time of Registration and your supplies will be waiting for you on the first night of class.

Continuing Italic Calligraphy – 6 Weeks. Thursday Evenings 6-8 pm ($120) – Starts Thursday, October 13.

Now is the time of year when we want to use our calligraphy skills.  This 6-week course is for those have taken calligraphy and want to review, refresh, revitalize and expand your command of Italic Calligraphy. We’ll review the letter-forms, proper ruling of paper, gouache and pen preparation, accurate ruling, posture, and breathing. Each student will bring his/her own project to work on consisting of words you love and long to write: It can be a quote, prose, scripture, et al. By working on your project we’ll learn various  lay-outs and designs, word spacing, flourishing and many other elements that comprise a finished piece of calligraphic art. You’ll have my individual attention in each and every class. There will be a presentation of your work on the last class.



  • Nibs: For those of you who’ve had calligraphy experience you have your favorite nibs. For those who are relatively new a Speedball C-2 or C-3 is a good nib to start with.  I like Mitchell nibs because they’re flexible.  The letters are more lively and they help you develop a lighter touch.  I recommend you try both and start to learn your preference.
  • Handles: Again, many of you have your favorites. Mine are Koh-I-Noor #127N because of the soft cork grip.
  • Gouache: black recommend Winsor & Newton ‘Lamp Black’
    • gouache container
    • 1/4″ flat boar hair charging brush
    • water dispenser
  • Mechanical pencil (lining Pencil)  and pencil sharpener
  • Ruler & Triangle
  • Paper for practice and final project.

Gothic Calligraphy – 4 Weeks. Monday Evenings 6-8 pm ($80) – Starts Monday, October 17

Participants should bring in a poem, quote, scripture, et al that want to use for their final project. Individual attention on every letter and with their Final Project. Make up classes available.

Class one: Lower case
Class two: Upper case and Drop Shadow techniques
Class three: Batarde Capitals
Class four: Final Project presentations
  • mechanical pencil (lining pencil) and sharpener
  • ruler: Lenex super 20″ (no slip) is what I demonstrate with and recommend
  • Papers: practice and for final project.
  • Pilot Pen 3.8mm (green top)
  • Tombow N-89


And now, back to work on my Travel Journal for the trip…oh, and packing!

Next week’s post will be from Germany!
Stay Crazy My Friends!
Posted in Art Classes, Philosophy, Reticula & Fragments, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Life is a Trip(oli)

I feel like I have been busier than a one-armed paper hanger these days. Between trying to keep up with shop stuff, the upcoming retreat in SD, Sunday Funday market at Vail Ranch Headquarters, vacation packing/planning, and the usual housework, I am spinning in all directions at once. (Oh, who am I kidding…housework…ha…like I do that. I finally remembered to put clothes in the washer today, and promptly forgot about them.)

Before I get to cool pictures of all the aforementioned activities, I’ll trip right into this week’s Diva Challenge (#284) – a monotangle of Tripoli. I have a stack of tiles that I  colored/dyed that I have wanted to start working through, so I pulled out one that I did with some pretty greens. I think I used one of the dye inks on this one, because when I started working with the white pen, it picked up quite a bit of the green.


It kind of reminds me of the felt flocked wallpaper we had in our house when I was in 5th grade. I dig it…lol.

I also finished the origami piece I was working on last week. We had a really fun class on Saturday, and I finished it up on Sunday at in the sweltering heat at the market. (High on Sunday was 88 F, today was 76 F. It is just not fair!)

We have a pretty nice set up with our booth there, it just gets pretty sunny…


I played a little bit with the circle drawing I did on my Brother Scan N Cut 2 last week.


I decided to finally “test drive” the Chameleon Markers I got for my birthday and color it. I was originally going to test the gradient features you can use with these pens…


But, I found them to be really cumbersome to use. It was pretty impossible to get a consistent gradient, so I settled for just coloring without the blender. I do find the caps hard to remove (nothing to hold on to really…) and once you get the cap off, I can see how easy these would be to lose as there is no place to stick them on the pen. All in all, I can’t say that I am impressed for the price, and will more than likely not use them all that much, if at all. (the struggle with the caps is a HUGE deterrent for me.) But, they did make a pretty final product.


And…back to work…I think I am going to try to sort this laundry out…and I have to figure out Mail Chimp…and finish my travel journal for the trip…and set up for classes this week and next…and…and….ARGH!

Stay Crazy My Friends!


Posted in Art Classes, Mandala, Origami, Uncategorized, Zentangle | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments


This week is full of final detail planning for our upcoming European adventure, but you know I always take time out for my Diva Challenge (#283)! This week was a Use My Tangle (UMT) by CZT Aleesha Sativa, who currently resides in Thailand. Her tangle, Center Square, is a play on Knightsbridge, with lots of coloring! I tried to make it a bit less angular with a wonky grid, and some Printemps. I used of of my pre-dyed tiles, and spiced it up a little with some Shimmer Mist. I wish the sparkles showed up better in the pictures…but…I think  you get the picture.


Had a fun Tangle Journals session with my regular crowd, and one of the tangles we worked out was Arukas. My student, Angela, did some “what if” exploring with different types of lines. I thought it was pretty neat to see different progressions!


I also got a bit of sewing done this week. Up-cycled one of Mike’s old shirts into an apron, and learned a practice lesson on making double-fold bias binding. I was thinking this might make a great class for some basic sewing skills!

And not to be left out, I have been noodling around with my new Brother Scan’nCut 2…seems like a lot of potential for some stuff to tangle on! It cuts, it scans, it draws…possibilities are endless!


And now I have to get back to the vacation planning…more like planning how much beer I can drink at Octoberfest…lol. I am open for any suggestions on places to see or things to do around Munich and Venice. I have some things in mind (And I lived outside of Munich as a child) but I am always open for new ideas!

Stay Crazy My Friends!


Posted in Travel, Uncategorized, Zentangle | Tagged , , | 6 Comments