It’s Been a While…

Wow. Yes. It has been quite some time.

It has been on my list of things to do for several months now, but I was scared.

Afraid to start again. Afraid of explaining why I left off when I did. Will anyone still be here when I come back?

Let me start out by saying depression does a lot of things to you on the inside, even when it seems like you have your shit together and everything is fine on the outside. It started out as that, when I closed the shop at the end of May. I felt like I had failed. I had thrown in the towel. I quit.

But then I realized it was a learning experience. I had other opportunities open up then, and have been really enjoying some things. But in the back of my mind, I felt guilty. Like I had abandoned what I worked for.

And that is where I figured out what was wrong. It had become work. A slog. It was not fun anymore. I brought me no joy to tangle. I laid down my pens for a few months.

I started knitting… a lot. I bought a lot of yarn. I knitted more. I started playing with yarn dyeing.

Then I started thinking about paper again. I wondered what I had been missing. I dabbled a bit, but nothing serious. I started participating in the Diva Challenge again when she had her Back to Basics (#366) and got busy with those. Slowly at first. I pulled out a handmade journal that my friend Nancy Dawes gave me, and started working in that. I labeled the inside cover “Starting Over – September 2018.”

I decided to participate in the Inktober Tangles 2018…I thought that would give me a goodly amount of practice to get my “zen” back.

And I started to feel like I got my mojo back. So here I am. And here is Diva Challenge #375, Use My Tangle (UMT) Burtz by Fabienne Blumberg, along with a cool new tangle, Ratoon, by Zentangle. I’ll have more on that in a future blog.

Diva #375

Lots of other things have happened since my last post. I feel like this is kind of a confessional, but in a good way. Forgive me readers, for I have been a sloth.

I went to Dublin and Boston with Mike (he was working)…twice.

I taught at Midsummer Tangle 4 in Buffalo, New York, and got to visit Canada and Niagara Falls.

Went to a couple of concerts (Shinedown/Godsmack and Scorpions) with my favorite guy.

And went on a Rick Steves My Way tour to Italy for a couple weeks.

Oh, and not to leave out, we celebrated a great big birthday for Mike…60! And went to a great wedding in Ohio for my God-daughter, Monica, and her beloved, Cody.

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I think that about covers it for now. You are up to date. I am still overwhelmed and trying to figure out how to get caught up, but in the meantime, the washer just buzzed…so back to that.

I’ll be back soon.

Tangles in a Jar

Amphora – a tall ancient Greek or Roman jar with two handles and a narrow neck.

Or…this weeks Use My Tangle (UMT) by Lily Moon for the Diva Challenge (#306.) It is a pretty cool tangle, with lots of potential. The tile I used was marbled in shaving foam by my friend and fellow CZT, Annette Carlo. It was too pretty to tangle over the marbly parts, so I left part of it original.

Diva #306

Last week’s postcard winner (by rolling the dice) is Michele Wynn. Drop me an email so I can send it out.

Had a play date with Deborah Pace this week…we made these adorable little books for our joint birthdays.

 

And while I can’t tell you why…this happened for a journaling prompt I had this week….

I am putting the finishing touches on the Celtic Knot drafting class for this Saturday. It is not too late to sign up, but space is limited. AND…if you are not in the area to join us, do not fret. I will be making it available as a kit after the class!

Marasu Unfurled

Whew…what a weekend! Missed my usual Monday deadline for posting this week’s blog, but I had a good excuse. Started out going to Palm Springs on Friday, where I had lunch with Cherryl Moote while Flyboy did some work around the house for his mom. Then we went over to Morongo Casino & Resort for an evening with Sammy Hagar & The Circle (Michael Anthony from Van Halen, Jason Bonham, son of legendary drummer John Bonham from Led Zeppelin, and Vic Johnson, guitar player from Sammy’s other band, The Wabos.) We splurged and got the VIP experience, and BOY…did we get an experience!

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Wow! Sammy is turning 70 in October, but he isn’t missing a beat. The show was AMAZING!

Then we doodled off to Phoenix on Saturday, visited my mom at her assisted living place, and spent a lovely evening in downtown Phoenix. If  you re ever in that area, I highly recommend The Arrogant Butcher. Drinks were totally on point, and the food was great, too!

Sunday, after another quick walk around downtown, we headed out to the Goodyear Ballpark to see the Giants play the Reds. It was a beautiful day, and Spring Training remains one of my favorite things to do. You get to be so much closer to the players, and it seems a bit more personal, watching the guys who are trying to make the team.

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We spent Sunday night with friends in Surprise, and headed home Monday, with another stop in Palm Springs to finish some things up at Flyboy’s mom’s house.

While he was working, I started on this week’s Diva Challenge (#305.) I have loaded all my pre-prepped and half finished tiles and whatnot into my art bag, so I always have a few things to choose from when I need to start a project. This time, a watercolor postcard that I had sprayed with hibiscus tea through a stencil seemed like a likely candidate for a Duo Tangle of Marasu and Molygon. While I know that Marasu is a coiled image, I thought I would imagine it unfurled…and in as many different ways as I could think of. I kept the Molygon fillers all the same, so they would stand out a bit. Finished off with a purple metallic Gelly Roll and shaded with Stabilo CarbOthello Chalk Pencil.

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I think it turned out pretty well. I was also thinking…its a postcard! I should send it to someone. So…I will select a random person from the comments on this post to send it off to!

Back to work, wrapping up the finishing touches on the Celtic Knot instructions. Still room in the class if you can make it, and if you can’t, I will have another surprise for you shortly!

Waybop or Knot

I’ve been working on a “secret” project …putting together files and samples to teach Celtic Knot Drafting on March 11. So this week’s Diva Challenge (#304) was right up my alley, as it involves the new tangle from Zentangle® headquarters called Waybop. I’ve used this a few times already, and really like the interwoven quality of the tangle. I decided to carry on with the February heart theme and play with this. I am dipping into the pile I have of pre-dyed/colored tiles. This one was watercolor sprayed with alcohol while it was still wet. The accent tangle is a deconstructed minimalist Cyme.

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And as far as the “secret”…here is a preview –  On another one of my pile of colored tiles.

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Class is on Saturday, March 11. Space is limited, and it is already filling up, so reserve your spot soon! 

I’ve been on a bit of a roll this week, keeping up with both my watercolor class (that ends on March 7th) and my online journaling group (goes all year.) Here is a Zendala I did recently, using one of Jenny Perruzzi’s Zencils for collaging on one of my journal pages.

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And…I finally finished this bracelet I started about 3 years ago.  I’m shocked that the cats didn’t knock it over and spill the beads in that time frame.

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But, alas, I need to get on with my callligraphy practice, and work on the handouts for the Celtic Knots class (yes, there will be handouts!)

Heading out to Palm Springs and Phoenix this weekend. Sammy Hagar at Morongo, visit Mom, and see the Giants play the Reds in a Spring Training game. It’s a rather quick trip, so we won’t be in Arizona long.

Make Stuff…You Will Feel Better!

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:

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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.

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.

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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!

Sorting Stacks

First off, I hope everyone had a

Happy Easter 2016

As typical, mine was quiet, as Mike was at work. I did get a lot done, and the house got cleaned!

This week’s Diva Challenge (#261) was issued by guest blogger Jan Reiter, CZT, who challenged us to Stack Bijou. Now, I have to tell you, I was a little intimidated by this. That seemed like a lot of work! And we know how famous I am lately for not finishing anything. So…I rummaged through all my “pretty paper” collection that isn’t particularly good for tangling on in great quantity, and cut up 6 “stacks” and a Bijou-sized (2×2 inch) tile. And I stared at it for a little while. Then I went to town…and I tangled them from the biggest to the smallest. It went a lot faster than I thought it would, but then I always make things more complicated than they need to be!

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This was a lot of fun. And believe it or not, the Bijou-sized tile and the far outer frame are from the same paper! Since brown was my “theme” I went with a sepia Micron too, so that was nice, and a copper Gelly Roll on the accents.

UPDATE: I realized while I was filing this weeks photos after I posted the blog that this Diva Challenge marked 100 & 101 consecutive challenges!


So you know I haven’t been slacking, I have been busy with shop models for upcoming classes. I know you want to join us this Saturday when Origami meets Zentangle! The project is based on a design from Hans Werner Guth, called “Jump” and tangle inspired by Dorian Eng, CZT.

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To sign up, head on over to the Class Schedule Page!


I have been participating in a Round-Robin tangle with 3 other CZT’s and received my tiles back yesterday (and I’m sending the next batch out today, I promise!) I think they came out really cool, and it was a lot of fun working with everyone on this. We all have really different styles, and that melded together very well.

SoCal Round Robin


And…So you don’t think I missed last week’s Diva Challenge (#260), I did that in my journal in church this week. Yes…I listened to the talk…and yes…this helps me concentrate on it rather than making my grocery list in my head or thinking about what I am cooking for lunch. I love Shattuck, it is such a versatile tangle!

Diva #260


And, for everyone that knows me, no week is complete without a little rock n’ roll! We headed to Las Vegas last week to see Billy Idol at the House of Blues. I was deaf in my right ear for a good while since we were next to the speaker, but what a show, and what great seats! It is hard to believe he is 60! (hubba hubba!)

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Back to packing for TangleU! Here’s a sneak peek at what you will be able to score at CharKat’s after I get back…IMG_0190

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Tangle them…Color them…Embellish them! Wear Your Art!

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Stay Crazy My Friends!

 

 

 

 

 

Heavy Metal!

Of course, most of you know I am a HUGE fan of rock…hard rock…heavy metal!

And I have worked with metals a lot longer than I have been tangling, so to be able to combine tangles with metal was pretty awesome. Guest Diva, Amy Ridge Brody, CZT, said to make it “Ohh Shiny” and that is exactly what I shot for in The Diva’s #257 Challenge.

  
I have lots of metal do-dads leftover from a plethora of projects, and odds and ends…so this was really fun. Silver and blue metallic Gelly Roll, and a Blue Stardust Gelly Roll, with General’s Multi Pastels for shading. 

And since I was a little behind, Diva #256, which was a Duo-Tangle of The Diva’s tangles Boo*Kee and Artoo. I was in a red mood…

  
While I was working on this, I noticed my new page tabs looked like Artoo was looking at me (he is such a cutie.)

  

Have a few other cuties I worked up this week:

  
Also, I will be teaching a ZIA (Zentangle Inspired Art) Easter project at La Rebelde Winery in Lake Elsinore on March 25th. It will be something along this line:

 

La Rebelde is at  530 Crane Street, Lake Elsinore, and the class will be from 6 till they kick us out! $35 per person includes all materials, snacks AND a glass of wine!

The Color Me Crazy T-shirts are at the printers as we speak, so they will be available online and at the shop AFTER TangleU…2 different designs, that you tangle and color yourself! What a great alternative to coloring books, and you can wear your art!

  
Ok…back to work for me. Finishing up the examples for the March Monthly Specials – Found and Tangled (Irish Authors Edition) and Celtic Tangles with ZenGems!

Namas’ cray! Stay crazy my friends.

Happiness is…a Smile

But..what if you can’t smile? What if your facial expression cannot change?

1-2 children in every 1,000,000 children are born with a rare congenital nerve disorder called Moebius Syndrome. While it can result in a spectrum of issues, most notably in those affected are the cranial VI and VII nerves controlling the lateral movement of the face. There is not a lot known about this, and it is pretty rare, but our dear Diva has a son that was born with it. So with that, as we do every January, we recognize Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day on Sunday, January 24th.(#MSAD2016).

Here is my contribution (#251):

Diva #251


In part of my effort to “Finish What I Started” this year, I picked up a piece of watercolor paper that I had used up some sparkly paint water to wash a background, and actually tangled it….the cool part that doesn’t really show up in the scan is that the mica sparkle from the Twinkling H2O paint shows through the pen, and gives a really intense beauty to this piece. I am really rather a harsh critic of my own work, but I really like this one.

Sepia Sparkle Mandala


The February Schedule is up on the Class and Kumi pages. We have been having an awful lot of fun, so you really should consider joining us!

I am working on the sample for the February Valentangle, and will have that up here with the next posting. It is a “sweetheart” of a card!

I am also working up some samples of t-shirt designs that you can tangle and color and make your own…wear your art!


 

I know for those of us who love music and good movies, this has been a rough last 2 weeks. I mourn the loss of several people who have had a huge influence on my life…

David Bowie made it ok for me to be weird and change a lot.

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Alan Rickman showed me that the appearance of darkness does not always mean bad things.

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And my dear Glenn Frey taught me to take it easy.


 

Namas’cray my friends! Make stuff…you will feel better!

 

 

 

Challenging Myself

Well…I am Diva Fabulous this week, as I am the Guest Blogger for the Diva’s Challenge (#237).  My prompt was to use a stencil and some liquidy substance of color to make a string and tangle it.

I have been using this particular technique for a while now, and had quite a few test tiles from things I didn’t think worked particularly well, but I was reticent to toss them in the waste bin. So…I decided to dig out this one, I did with a stencil from The Crafters Workshop and some Walnut Ink. It was a cool, fall color, but I got a little over zealous with the spray, and it bled a bit. (It’s the dark brown spider web looking one in the top of the picture.)

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I also had a bit of a conundrum trying to figure out what color to use to tangle it. I think it was pretty dark, but not dark enough, if that makes any sense. I kept with the spider web theme, and black and brown micron, and a white Gelly. It looked a bit odd to me, and I added some shading, and I think it got better. Its a 6 x 6 inch piece, so I used 05 Micron on the black, and an 01 brown for the lines behind the white.

Diva #237

I have been trying really hard to look at what everyone has done on this challenge, and unless you are on Flickr, you should see some feedback and thanks from me for participating (not a member on Flickr…go figure…)


Trying to get back into somewhat of a routine after a summer of traveling. I’ve had some cool classes with a few lovely people this past week, and have really enjoyed getting back into the swing of things.

We have a fun schedule coming up this next week, with Rock and Tangle on Friday night, where you can preview a few of the Halloween projects we are doing on the 10th. I could not narrow it down to just one project, so it will be a bit of a free for all, with skulls and pumpkins and masks (oh my!) If you plan on coming, and want to tangle a vinyl pumpkin, they are on sale at Michael’s for 50% off (might even be 60% by now!) Pick one up and come on down. Studio time is from 10 am -3 pm, for $25 (plus whatever materials you get from me, probably not more than $10) and I will be there to coach and guide you through which ever project you choose. I’ll be in the shop all week (for the most part) working on samples!


Speaking of this week, it is still the tail end of concert season for us, so we are off to LA on Saturday, and Santa Barbara on Tuesday, to see the Scorpions! I am so excited, as this will be the 3rd and 4th time in 5 years we have seen them, and they rock pretty hard still. They hold a special place in our hearts, as that was our first “concert date”, so they are “our band”.  This is from 2010…

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I think I need to sleep at some point tonight, so I better get on with that!

Stay Crazy My Friends!