The String’s a Spring!

Wow….when I have a good and creative week, it really does start to roll! Too bad that doesn’t carry over to me getting dressed and leaving the house sometimes….

But, it is spring here in beautiful Southern California, and while its been a bit on the windy side, we are already experiencing warmer than usual temperatures. Our darling Diva tasked us this week with using a Spring for a String (#264) and since I am working back through Helen Williams’ e-books, I thought I would work up some ribbons with that spring. Morning Glories with a little of Helen’s Mooka-Style and a pretty green ribbon to tie it all up with. This is a little bit of what we will be doing in the May Flowers Class on May 21st. That class will feature several of Helen’s tangles on a larger format, including her new Compass Daisies! I simply love her work.

Diva #264

I know what you are thinking…wow….those colors are beautiful! They actually look even better in person. I was experimenting with my new Peerless Watercolors for this, on Fabriano Medioevalis paper in the 4.8-ish inch square.

Peerless Watercolors are saturated sheets that are activated with water. Instead of pigments, they are mineral dyes. There were originally developed to hand tint photographs around the turn of the century (like more than 100 years ago…) and the formula has not changed. The colors are translucent, except for the Spotting Black, Opaque. They come in cards that are about 6 x 2.5 inches, and you can just use a water brush to work with them. They are a little strange to work with in their native form…so there are a variety of ways to make them into neat, lightweight, portable palettes to work from. Jane Davenport has a great video and information on that here. But…me being me, I took my own creative license and made mine a bit different.


To give you perspective, that is a hair tie as a closure. 3″ x 4.5-ish. I have acetate between each page for protection and as a mixing pallet, and only cut a 1/2″ piece for each place. It weighs about an ounce, and is easily held in your non-dominant hand while working in it, so page flipping is no big deal. The pieces of card are stuck in with double sided tape, and when it runs out, I can just pull it off and put in a new one. As you can see, the color of the card is not really representative of what color they are, so a swatch test is necessary. I used some old watercolor paper I have had for probably 20 years (and the puppy had chewed on when I still had a puppy) so the net cost of this was…well…just the paints. I also stuck a few extra pieces of watercolor paper in the back in case I got an urge to try something, and the inner cover liners are also watercolor paper.

Not that I haven’t been busy prepping samples for the May classes, and packing for TangleU next week, but I’ve been on rather a book-making tear. In addition to my Peerless pallet book, I also finished my working notebook/travel journal for TangleU. In an effort to not bore the people that aren’t interested in bookmaking, I will show you the highlights. I’m still trying to figure out how to make another listing for just paper craft-type things, so you don’t have to be subjected to this…

I’m pretty impressed with it, and have started keeping track of my “lessons learned” for each of these types of projects, so I can continue to improve them. This one has 4 sets of pages (for a 4-day retreat) with each set having one watercolor page with a “tile frame” mounted on the back of it (still using up that puppy-chewed paper!), 10 sheets that are lined on one side and blank on the back, trimmed with Washi tape and some stickers, and a double-sided pocket folder that I also decorated. The closure is a button held on with another smaller button through an eyelet, with the same cord braided and beaded to loop around the button. This was mostly made from a WeR Kit I found in my drawer, and I bought one button and 4 sheets of 12×12 scrapbook paper. So again, it cost me nothing but time, really, to make.

AND, on that note, I really need to sleep. Baseball season makes me stay up later than I usually like to keep up with my beloved Giants, so I tend to be a bit more sleep deprived than usual.

Stay Crazy My Friends!

Going Global

Ok…first things first. The May 2016 schedule is up! Journals are the first Saturday, and the Monthly Special is on the 3rd Saturday this month because I will be out of town. But…you won’t want to miss this one…May Flowers featuring the Tangles of Helen Williams. I love her flowery botanical work, and while I am still working up a sample for the class, here is a teaser of one I did previously.

20140303 Ribbon Flowers

Check out the full schedule here – Zentangle Classes & Schedule. The Buy It now button for classes is at the top of the page now. (Thanks Square for changing the online store around…not sure if I like it or not yet!)

You can also find all kinds of cool stuff and supplies in my online store. CharKat’s Creative Insanity – Online Store!

Ok…enough of my blatant advertising and down to the matter at hand.

This week, I got thrown for a loop (almost literally) with the Diva Challenge (#263) when she asked us to use a Globular Grid. I freaked out just a little with all those small spaces. So I grabbed the biggest round tile I found, a “card” from Dick Blick, and my compass, and made bigger spaces. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to try out some of the Fragments from the new Zentangle Primer, Volume 1.

Diva #263

It looks great to me, from a distance, with my glasses off. (Of course, we are all our own worst critics!) A note about working on “cards”…this paper had no tooth and was very difficult to shade. It is about 6”, and I used a bit bigger pen, so that was part of the problem for me, I think. Anyway…learning/teaching moment!

We had a lovely time on Monday at this month’s Zentangle Friendship Group. We pre-scrunched pieces of paper bag to make a type of Kente cloth, using tangles. It was pretty fun. This is 9 x 12, so I did use brush pens (hence the chunky designs) and tried a few different things.

Paper Bag Kente Cloth

A design note: to try this, you need to scrunch and scrunch and scrunch your paper bag. Then, I ironed my with a hot steam iron and let it dry. I imagine its is not a super-permanent paper, and I did not spend a lot of time on it. I am going to try a few other things with some other pieces that I treated with a preservative. I’ll let you know how that turns out!

It’s been a busy week. On Wednesday, I attended a quilting workshop with Ami Simms, and boy was that fun. I should have pics of my quilt posted in a week or 2…woo hoo.

We’ve has some great classes this week at the shop, too! You really should join us.

And on that note, I need to finish getting ready for tonights Zentangle 101 class and Iron Maiden at the Forum tomorrow night!

Stay Crazy My Friends!

More “Fassetts” of My Life

This has been a really nice week for my budding little business venture. I’ve had some new students, and some old friends, and sometimes both together, which is REALLY fun.

This week’s Diva Challenge was a Use My Tangle (UMT) from Lynn Mead, CZT, from Washington State. Her tangle, Fassett, is really quite cool, and you can do so much with it. I taught it in my class this week on Black Tiles (Beyond the Basics: Black Tiles) and we had some fun with it in gold Gelly Roll Metallics.

Diva #262

We had a really fun class last Saturday, with Nancy Dawes and her family visiting from Vancouver Island. Everyone folded and worked on their origami.

Nancy caught me in action!


And she posted her finished ball on her FaceBook page (Crafting Passions.) You can also check out her blog here – She does some awesome things!


I finished the one I started in class too, but only just this morning!

Jump #2

I tend to get a bit…carried away. I like to say I never do anything half-assed…I do it full assed! The scattered gold pebbles in my Tipple are reminiscent of the beach sand by the Hotel Del Coronado, which we visited on Monday with our guests!

Twink Sand

So pretty!

ok…I have a million loads of laundry to finish, journals to work on, quilts to cut bits for…I know…get back to work! Next week, look for journal pics. I am really excited to finally be putting my “stash” to use (thanks for the push into the glue, Nancy!)

Stay Crazy My Friends!