Maximum Effort

I try to do the Diva Challenge every week. I have been pretty consistent since #168 when I started. I am missing one at this time, but I’ll probably cover it soon to add to my files. I’ve even thought of going back to the beginning and doing those as well.

Use My Tangles (UMTs) are usually the most challenging for me. I tend to be a little selective in the tangles I choose, and sometimes I drag my feet a little when trying something new. And sometimes…I put so little effort into it, I am just disappointed in myself for not trying harder.

This was the case in my first pass this week at Diva #296 – UMT Moowa by Anya Ipsen, CZT. It is not a tangle I would gravitate to, normally, but then again, the Diva CHALLENGES us to push our comfort zones at times, so I gave it a try…with really minimal effort.


Needless to say, I was really disappointed with myself over that. I did not beat myself up, but I know I can do better. So I pulled out my little black journal I purchased in Venice, and gave it another try, with more concentrated effort. I felt the pen on the paper. I made the fill work for me. And I felt a *LOT* better about my finished product.


So, I guess my point in all this is, if you are going to do it, put some effort behind it. Do not just cop out and go through the motions. It will be worth it in the long run.


Posted in Art Classes, Philosophy, Uncategorized, Zentangle | Tagged | 4 Comments

Catch a Falling Star

So yes, this week I jumped on the bandwagon after seeing Cris Letourneau’s neat 3-d star. I used if for my Reticula for this weeks Diva Challenge (#295)  – Part 2 of Reticula and Fragments. I used a triangular fragment, C12, and a little extra line work, and added a little bling and found objects (tried to give it a little weight so it would hang nice.)


Green metallic Gelly Roll on black Artagain paper (and cut out with my Scan n Cut 2!)

I think I will cut a few more of these to toss in the kits for the Ornament class on the 10th. Bonus!

Last week in Hawaii was really nice, but it did rain a lot…warm rain. Stepped out of the airport in LA, and it was COLD!!! and then it rained for a few days…COLD!!!

But, I got some tangling done on the plane; one is for an art challenge group on FB (done with a ball point/gel pen), and I think the tag came from Tangle Europe. I spilled wine on it whilst I was working…gave it character! It is also quite small. Probably the first time I have worked with an 01 entirely in a long time!



Mai Tais were drunk, sunsets were watched, and lots of Pokemon were caught. I loved my little 4 day get away, and I am so grateful that I am able to do these things.

Posted in Art Classes, Origami, Paper, Reticula & Fragments, Travel, Uncategorized, Zentangle | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Well, Sort Of…Mahalo!

So, this blog post finds me on the beautiful (but raining and cloudy) island of Oahu. Most of you know I am blessed with the perfect mate for my travel bug self, and he occasionally invites me along when he goes to work. I came out on Sunday with him, and he flew off to work on Monday. He will return on Wednesday, so we can at least spend the morning of Thanksgiving together. In the meantime, I have been occupying myself with a lot of walking, catching LOTS of Pokémon, and visiting some important historical sites.

And, as always, my Diva Challenge (#294) reflects the location in which it was drawn. This week’s challenge was to use Reticula and Fragments. I honestly have not tried much with them, and did not bring my Zentangle Primer with me, so I went off memory and the materials at hand. I just so happened to have my Zencil set for tiles with me, so I made a “sort of” reticula with circles, and used a variation of Well that made it look like plumeria. I did this on a spray dyed tile, that reminded me of the beautiful colors of my surroundings, and the flowers found here. 

I did not shade it because I was quite pleased with the colors…so that is that!

I would like to wish all my fellow Americans a Thanksgiving filled with family and remembrance of things we need to be grateful for. I know things are a bit in turmoil for us at the moment, but there are still many things in our lives that are good and right, and just plain don’t suck. 


Posted in Philosophy, Reticula & Fragments, Travel, Uncategorized, Veteran, Zentangle | 12 Comments

Take the High Road

Recently, whilst in Venice, I was reminded about how change can effect the things that man makes. Venice is a man made island, and it is slowly sinking under the weight of buildings and an influx of tourists. But in its own right, it is adapting to an environment of charming decay, and they are trying to figure out a solution to the problem. Part of that solution may be to limit the influx of cruise ships that port there and release their populations for a day. That may stay part of the problem, but there are also engineers trying to figure out solutions for the infrastructure. They have “high road walkways” in St. Mark’s Square for when the tide is high and floods the square, as part of a temporary fix as well. In the long run, to keep Venice, it will take a combined effort to make things work so the city/state does not sink.

I think the same thing needs to happen with us in the good old USA now. We need to take the high road, band together, and be part of the solution. Complaining, riots, posting and sharing untruths to social media, and having a tantrum because we did not get what we wanted are part of the problem…not the solution. Let us be better than that. Let us work toward a better world. Do not let us sink.

What brought a lot of this to mind is this weeks’s Diva Challenge (#292) which was a Use My Tangle called Eaxy by Nadine Roller, CZT. It was not the tangle so much, as the medium I chose to complete it in. On my trip to Venice, I purchased several hand made journals, so I selected one of them to work in. It is a lovely red leather with hand made paper, sewn in small signatures.


I love hand made paper, but it can be a little tricky to work with. This one is a bit soft. I tried some water colors on it for a background.


And it did not really spread like I would have liked, it just sat there on the page. I had to iron it after it dried…yes, I iron paper. Not particularly pleased with the outcome, but I have a better idea now of how the paper acts.


Had some fun working up a new sample Christmas ornaments, possibly to share in a class. Cut the shapes from bristol paper with my Brother Scan n Cut 2.


Just did my basic Zentangle 101 tangles on it (may be a 1st class for a girls scout troop.) After they were finished, I glued 2 pennies inside for weight, and then glued them together and added a hanger. kind of cute.


The pen in the picture is the Pentel Arts Hybrid Technica. A roller ball pen with nice black ink, in a variety of nib sizes. I find the smaller sizes to work better than the larger ones. The 08 seems to skip a lot. They are not any cheaper than the Microns, but I am thinking they might be better for travel.

I found a new origami video for a 12 pointed star on YouTube that I had to try…it was long, and looked pretty complicated. But, I did have some important points about origami reinforced. Precision in folding is key! This one started out with a regular 8.5 x 11 sheet of copy paper, and you had to turn that into a hexagon. My hexagon using her method turned out a bit wonky…so the first one was a complete bust. I cut a hexagon using my Scan n Cut 2, and that one worked out a lot better.


My new friend Chloe came to visit the shop with her mom and dad…we had some fun chasing her fog and getting some cuddles.


And…Election Day was not a total bust for me. We went to Palm Springs to take Mike’s mom out for her 83rd birthday. Lulu California Bistro does up a completely adorable cotton candy in a huge champagne glass for special occasions!


That is all I have to report this week.

Oh, and Hug a Veteran this Friday…


Remember…the high road.


Posted in Art Classes, Books, Journals & Scrapbooks, Origami, Paper, Philosophy, Travel, Uncategorized, Veteran, Zentangle | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

A Ghostly Squid

¡Feliz Dio de los Muertos!

I hope everyone enjoyed their Halloween. We refer to it as “Birthday Eve” for the man of the house, and due to a distinct lack of trick or treaters the past few years, we decided to make it Date Night with Dinner and a Movie. We found out that Yard House has all day Happy Hour on Mondays during football season, so we had cheap appetizers and beer, and went to see Inferno, the new Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon movie. It was pretty good…and we got to relive our recent trip to Venice, too. (We have watched the end of Casino Royale a few times since we got back as well!)

Happy memories!

I feel like I was no where near as productive this week as I was last week, so not a lot to share. This week’s Diva Challenge (#291) was a Halloween special…so I broke out my new black journal I bought in Venice and tangled a ghostly looking Squid, al la Btl Joos (by Sandy Bartholomew Steen.) I am still trying to make friends with working on black. I love the look but I just do not feel like the pen works that well for me some days.


Had a lovely make up class for the Summer Tans (Tints on Tan Technique) last week, and the practice pieces came out lovely.


I think all three of us did a spectacular job, and I can’t wait to see the finished larger pieces.

I am still working on my Christmas card, and working on “the purge” at both the shop and the house studios. I keep misplacing things…it creeps me out a little, and I know I have bitten off more than I can more than likely finish in this lifetime unless I really stop goofing off so much!

I think I am going to print this out as a reminder to do more art:


Keeping it short and sweet this week!

Stay Crazy My Friends.

Posted in Art Classes, Books, Journals & Scrapbooks, Uncategorized, Zentangle | Tagged , | 10 Comments

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 , , , | 11 Comments

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