Merely…Auraknot?

Ok…I am spent. But its been a great week so far. It did involve a trip to San Diego, with a Poke-Walk through Balboa Park

And for a little history lesson…those beautiful buildings were put up for the 1915-1916 World’s Fair. I know by European standards, they are practically new, but for California standards, they are quite amazing! They are in use and beautifully maintained, and the park is really beautiful.

And finished off the day with some oysters at Beerfish (that place is amazing, too!)

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But, I digress from what brings you here! This week’s Diva Challenge (#279) was a Duotangle featuring Meer and Auraknot. It did take me a couple of days to get my head wrapped around this, because I could only see it the same way I think everyone else saw it…but you know me, I had to be different. So I grabbed a dyed tile, and my compass (gasp!) and put in the basic flowers shape. I thought I would monochrome it, but it was looking really bland, so I went back in with the black Micron and finished it. Shaded with a chalk pastel.

Diva #279

Not quite as exciting as I had hoped for, but hey, sometimes things don’t work out like you want them to.

I also finished this gem this week…watercolor and Twinkling H2O background using  the plastic wrap technique…I was playing with shading using Prismacolor Premier pencils, and not entirely sure I would do that again…but I do like how it turned out.

Blue Roses

That’s all for now, I need to jump in the shower and go shopping…groceries need to be acquired!

Stay Crazy My Friends…and Catch them all!

(Actual step counts from last week are unavailable, but the FitBit is back and another 2 pounds is gone.)

The Night of the Dead FitBit

So…not sure if anyone remembers an old US television program from the 1960’s called The Wild Wild West. They did a movie one off of it a few years back with Will Smith, but the original series featured Robert Conrad. He was rather like William Shatner in Star Trek, he always got to make out with the girls, shirtless scenes, and really questionable acting skills. So, what made me think of this was that all of the episodes of The Wild Wild West all started with “The Night of…” for at least the first 2 seasons.

So on Sunday night, I woke up to a strange light in my bedroom. Mike was off being Flyboy, so I was alone…and it was a bit creepy. Then I realized that my FitBit was stuck in update mode…and thusly, died that night. I was sad, because I had become really used to having that. It was my light (literally,) and the one thing that kept me honest about my walks (and justified that playing Pokemon Go was worthwhile for exercise.)

But…it was still under warranty, and they are sending out a new one post-haste.

So the second night of this week is actually a Knight(star). This week’s Diva Challenge (#278) was to use Daniel Lamothe’s tangle Knightstar. Daniel is one of  our newer, and probably youngest, CZTs. He came up with this whilst in math class, and I think its pretty keen. He did a video for it you can see here, and as you can see, I did some step outs, of a sort, for it. Cool stuff!

Diva #278


Lots of fun things going on at the shop this week. Saturday was a Zentangle 101 class, which was a lot of fun. We had time to explore a “what if” with Crescent Moon, and did that on some ATCs at the end of class.

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Also got a few things finished (but not framed…) This one is a study of Printemps with Sepia Micron on Fawn Stonehenge. Shape was a stencil. (you may see a theme this week…lol)

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Sparkle does not photograph well, but this one has an iridescent background sprayed through a stencil on black paper. Use the Moonlight 06 to draw on top of it.

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And this was hibiscus tea, sprayed through a stencil. Tangled with purple LePen and Metallic Gelly, shaded with purple Chalk Pastels. On Garza Papel and I am not sure why it looks yellowish, but it is very white.

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And I started this one…on a day when I was a little down in the dumps, but it made me happy when I got at least the basic outline done. Designed with Margaret Applin’s Medallion Master Series stencils. Laid out on Stonehenge White 24 x 24 inches.

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So…I think that’s enough to entertain you for this week. I’m off to further lament the death of my FitBit…at least it updated for the day before it died, so have last weeks totals.

Stay Crazy My Friends…Catch Them All.

(Last weeks totals: more than 42 miles walked, and 1 more pound gone)

Walking ’round in Circles

Seems to be a moving kind of theme this past few weeks. I have been a lot more active, and seems like the Diva Challenge (#277) is right there with me. This week’s theme is Running ’round in Circles. But…I am a walker. I loved to run, and missed it a lot when I had to stop because of joint and back issues…but…I still walk. And I can do circles. I found tile in my bin that looked like it had a circle on it for my string (Twinkling H2O background!)

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And I decided to stick with an “orby” type theme…

Siva #277

It is so sparkly in person…one of these days I’ll figure out how to photo the sparkles.


I also got this one in during yesterdays private lesson. I love working on Kona paper. It has such great tooth for using the General’s Multi Pastels on. The glow is amazing! (5.5″ square)

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Over the weekend, I did a new weekend crafters market at Vail Headquarters. It was super hot, so there weren’t many people out. I will be doing this once a month and then a bit more frequently right before Christmas. Here is our little set up:

And now, I’m off to practice calligraphy, since I have not done that all week.

Stay Crazy & Catch Them All My Friends!

(Last weeks tally:  75,259 Steps, 38.03 miles, 4 pounds gone!)

Give Peace a Chance?

I sit here writing this with a lot of turbulence in my brain today.

I’ve just come off a very awesome week of working at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game Fan Fest as a volunteer. It was a lot of fun helping people get the most out of their visit to beautiful Southern California. The weather was perfect and there were only a few negative folks around. All in all, everyone, including me, had a good time. (Excuse my bright, shiny forehead, but it wasn’t easy taking a selfie at the world’s largest baseball with all the crazy lights they were using.)

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And I carried on having a great start to this week, with a guest Diva (#275), Suzanne Fluhr, CZT. Suzanne is an awesome blogger, and I enjoy reading her travelogs very much, so when she wrote this week’s challenge, she did so with a heavy heart over all the hateful things that have been going on in our beautiful country as of late. Suzanne wanted us to Give Peace a Chance. I love that song…and it played over and over in my head while I was working on this:

Diva #275

I wish that everyone on the planet would take a minute and step out of their own lives and just be nice to other people. I trust that this can happen. I meditate on it frequently.

The conflict in my brain today comes from my desire for peace, and my desire for safety in my community. In the past couple of years, the homeless population in our town has increased quite a bit. Well intentioned people give them food and money, instead of directing them to the social services that can help them, and now suddenly we have a problem. I’m sad for their plight. I truly feel for them (and its been a bit on the warm side here, so that makes their comfort here a bit uneasy.) I know there are many programs here set up to help them, but as we all learn the hard way, you have to want help to seek it. But what do we do? It is a bit of a conundrum.

Just Trust Peace.


On the shop notes for this week, we have some fun stuff on the schedule. Rock and Tangle is Friday night (the 15th) from 4-9 pm. Regardless of what you are working on, come on down and play! I have all kinds of fun things to try if you are in a slump. Making stuff always makes you happy!

Black and White Summer is shaping up to be a great time too. Saturday, the 23rd, from 10-3, I have an awesome technique to share with you. Bring your basic tangle supplies, I will supply the rest. My good pal Karen did hers ahead of time since she will be out of town, so here is a preview:

Karen' - Fish

She says it is not done yet, but I think it is shaping up quite nicely! I am working on a small set of my initials, so far I finished K. Hopefully will have the C done soon!

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I should have the August schedule up by the end of the week.

A parting shot from the traveling exhibit from Cooperstown (The Baseball Hall of Fame.) There be Giants there. Say Hey Willie Mays!

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Stay Crazy My Friends.

Making Old Things New Again

Wow…another whirlwind weekend and right into a busy week! Time flies when you love what you do! I am blessed and grateful on a daily basis to be able to do what my heart tells me to do.

In my early days of Zentangle, I would start a tile and if it did not go the way I wanted it to, I would banish it to a pile of Forgotten Tiles (rather like the Island of Misfit Toys in Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer.) I just could not seem to figure out, at that time, how to make them work, and I would not toss them out because they held some value for me.

So, for this weeks Diva Challenge (#273), I dove into that pile to find one that needed some love and a bit of a “Tangle Remix.” I picked this tile, that I was not happy with the Betweed on, but I had done such a nice job on the gold I did not want to toss it.

Diva #273 - 1

And I used the adage “When in doubt, black it out.”

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And once that was dry (I left it overnight) I went back to work on it, with the gold pen on the black areas, and a little Rick’s Paradox. I thought briefly about putting more, but I t think it really needed a little white space. Diva #273 - 3

See, all better now!


I spent this past weekend up in Big Bear, California at a retreat called Dancing with Petals and Leaves: Mixed Media and Color Play put on by Sharla Hicks, CZT and artist of unbelievable talent. It was an intense weekend (Thursday – Sunday) of color theory, tangling, print making of all sorts, and outstanding food.

By the end of Thursday, we had done color theory and alcohol printing and I made this awesome piece.

Alcohol Ink on Toned Tan - Tree

We did a lot of tangling, using the “What ifs” and exploring different forms…

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And we played with print making on a larger scale, using big tools!

And lots and lots of other fun things…

Oh, and did I mention food? We ate VERY well.

And I will leave you with this…my pile of things that need to be worked on or finished is so much larger now!

Complex String Flower - Blue Gold


And be sure to join me in July for some fun stuff! Stay Crazy My Friends!

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!

Munchin Around

My routine is becoming a bit more…Routine! yay!

I don’t know about any of you, but I am rather lost without my planner. Even though my “to-do” list is a bit overwhelming at times, at least I know what I am supposed to be doing (other than playing Candy Crush!)

This week, the Diva (#239) asked us to play around with the tangle Munchin. I have only done this one once or twice, so I decided to give it a go again. But, alas, I confess, I share the same aversion to black Zentangle tiles that our dear Diva does. I just cannot get them to do my bidding! (I feel rather the similar dislikes for the Renaissance Tan tiles, but mostly because I have really oily skin, and if I touch my face at all, and touch the tile, it stains it!)

But, I too, have a workaround for this, as I love the look of the white pen on black paper. I find the black Stonehenge to be much more cooperative, so I pulled a bookmark out of my cut scraps stash and tangled away.

Diva #239

I’ve been working up a few new items for the shop, based on my love of all things Stonehenge, including this cutie. 5.5″ x 5″, 32 pages (4 of each of the 8 colors I carry) with a chip board cover and wire binding comb. It also has tracing paper between the black pages, so the white pencil doesn’t rub off on the adjoining pages.

Stonehenge Multi 5 Inch

It is also available in Shades of Gray, Tans, and Whites, as well as all one color if you so desire. $20 – $22 each. If you would like one, drop me an email (CharKatTangles@gmail.com).


I am slowly working my way through all my Tangle Island projects, and have completed this cool piece from Barb Round’s class:

Tangle Island - Barb Round Class

And in an effort to not leave too many class projects half finished at the shop, I finished this Gridiculous on Stonehenge Pearl Gray, with tinted charcoal pencil for the accent piece.

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I guess my routine is being pretty productive!

That’s it for now. I am working on a couple new monthly specials (think…Mandala Monday! starting in November.) I’ll  have more on that later this week!

Stay Crazy My Friends!

I Shall Flourish!

Oh, I do love botanicals, and I love to flourish, but I don’t seem as good at it most of the time. My “style” is a bit more heavy and graphic, and I am comfortable with that.

But this week, I went out on a limb and went all flourishy with 3 different tiles for this weeks Diva guest blogger, Sharla Hicks, CZT. For Challenge #231, she tasked us with undulating S’s and C’s. These are the backbone of her beautiful botanical style, which I have always enjoyed trying, and have now adapted to my Zentangle style.

The first one, I did on black Stonehenge, with a white Gelly Roll, chalk pastels, and my trusty glitter pen.

Diva #231 - 1

The second pass, I tried out the Storm Blue Artagain.

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And finally, I wanted to tangle with a fountain pen. This was done in J. Herblin Stormy Gray on Pearl Gray Stonehenge. Using a fountain pen was a lot of fun, and it really made me slow down a lot.

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Lots happening around the shop…we  have a lighted sign now!

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We also had a great class on Flat Kumihimo Braids.

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Keep an eye out for date announcements for Quilts of Valor meet ups at the shop to cut fabric, and maybe even do a little sewing.

Samples are being worked on for the September Patriot Tangles Class (hand colored tiles by me!) and the Spook-tacular October Class. Options for October will be to make this cool cat or a pumpkin…just a preview!

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Off to finish a few things…and watch baseball! (Go Giants!) I can’t wait to go to AT&T Park next week to see them in person!

Stay Crazy My Friends!

Why…Big?

Ok…so I did it again. I tend to go a bit overboard with my visions of grandeur when the Diva Challenge comes out, and this time it came back to bite me. I finally finished this tonite during the Giant’s absolute rout of the Nationals! (if you are not a baseball fan, it’s ok…I still like you!)

Laura is still on vacation, so Erin Olsen, CZT, from thebrightowl.com was our guest blogger for Challenge #230. Erin hosts a weekly challenge on her site called the Zendala Dare, so this week, she dared us Diva-style. The template was cool, and available in 3 sizes, but of course I chose the biggest one.

Diva #230

I decided it really looked like a color wheel, and on Clearprint 16 lb Vellum, it came out pretty cool. I am going to mount this in a double mat so it can have light shining thru it, as it looks pretty cool that way.


And it wasn’t like I didn’t do anything else this week. I finally got to play with my Tints on Tan kit that has been sitting on my workbench for a while now, and have the following efforts to share. The first one is on Renaissance Tan Zentangle Tile (3.5″ sq)

ToT First OneAnd then I decided I needed to go a little bigger, and try some different paper. This one is on Stonehenge Kraft (6″ sq) – which is available in my etsy store (or you can email me at CharKatTangles at gmail.com to get some.)

ToT XL Stonehenge KraftAnd then a seascape…5.75″ x 4″ on Stonehenge Kraft, mounted on a double mat card.

ToT Seascape Card


Been working on the web site all week, fixing the schedule. I have buy it now buttons on the class dates…hopefully that makes it easy! And the course dates are listed with their descriptions, rather than on a different page.

And…back to work. No rest for the crazy!

Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces

This weeks Diva Challenge (#229) is from Guest Blogger Sandy Hunter, CZT, who tasked us with using negative space as a focal point. I decided to pull out my name plate that my friend, Suzanne Wilka, CZT, made for me as part of our “swag bag” for our Day at the Bay get together back in April.

The whole time I was working on this, I was thinking of the first album (CD…whatever…I’m old…) that I ever heard from a band called Seether. It’s title is Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces. I worked a bit bigger than usual this week, so it was challenging to keep that white space in the middle clear! (although, I have to tell you, that I am probably going to color it and gild my name this week…I think it would be pretty.)

Diva #229


Had a great class this week on Black Tiles. Only one student, so we had some fun.

IMG_1480We did her Intro class before the shop opened, but here is what we did then.

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Been playing a little catch up on things, so here is a tile I did for Diva #226 – Simplicity. I had dyed this tile with Distress Ink and Pearl Spray. It was such a pretty color I didn’t want to do too much to it!

Diva #226


Well…another week on the books at CharKat’s Creative Insanity! The etsy Shop is up and running, but its just paper for now. In case you have never tangled on Stonehenge papers, you are in for a real treat…hop on over to check it out…Just click here!

That’s it for now! Be sure to check out the class schedule, I have plenty of space!

Stay Crazy My Friends!