The Paradox Principle

Paradox (noun) – a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth; a self-contradictory and false proposition; any person, thing, or situation exhibiting an apparent contradictory nature; an opinion or statement contrary to commonly accepted opinion.

I think it was fitting this week that the Diva Challenge (#301) gave us a duotangle of Rick’s Paradox vs Diva Dance. It is almost like its a statement of what is going on these days. the contrary positions between what we know to be right and what is being presented to us has a lot of us at our wits end. Many of us are just plain sad a lot. But..spirits lift when tangling. I played in my black journal again this week. The paper makes white pen fill a little better (I think it is black charcoal paper…a little less absorbent than tiles.)

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It also occurred to me that it looks like a slice of pizza. Appropriate for my Italian journal, eh?


We wrapped up a 4 week Gothic Calligraphy project last Thursday evening, with a showing of what we worked on. I was pleased with my result, and find it frame worthy. Although I’m not sure where to hang it so as to not offend people. (I have a bit of a wry sense of humor….and I needed this to entertain me so that I would continue the 6-7 times I had to re-do it!)

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Everyone did quite well, as you can see from our pieces!

If you are interested in more calligraphy, won’t you join us on Thursday to learn to paint Medieval Boxed Capitals? Class includes all materials! Call the shop (951-972-3015) and reserve your spot. (Leave a message if I am not there!)

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Ciao! (Vacation planning underway…this year, Rome and Naples area.)

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Moebius in Purple

Wow! Not only was yesterday Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day, but this week coincided the Diva’s 300th Challenge. 100 of something is awesome…200, an amazing feat…but 300! OUTSTANDING! It’s hard to think that I have been participating in this for just a little under half of that time, and I feel like it is such a part of my life. This is something I write in my weekly list of things I MUST do. It is a habit, and a good one at that.

This is my 3rd Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day tile. I feel honored to know more about this rare genetic condition, and would encourage others to read about it more. Laura’s (the Diva) son is just about the most adorable kid I have ever seen. I know his facial expression is a result of his genetic abnormality, but just seeing him makes me smile. So much so, that I had to get these, and I think of him every time I use them!

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So this week, every year, the Diva asks us to use the Moebius symbol in our tile. Their color is purple, which I love anyway, but I used it on a black Zendala this year. I sprayed it with a purple luminescent spray, then did a very little bit of tangling on it. I feel like I rather over did some previous ones, and wanted this to be a bit simpler.

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I seem to have been on a Zendala roll this week. I did this one for a prompt in a group I am in, but I think it is pretty cool.

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And, I had a fun time with some lovely Girl Scouts this week. They earned their Black and White Art badge, and got to learn about Zentangle!

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I am taking a watercolor journaling class with Helen Schafer Garcia at this time, and have to share this. I feel like I am starting to get the hang of drawing again, after a pretty long hiatus. Check her blog for classes in Portland Minneapolis (and even one at the San Diego Botanical Garden! I am going to that one…join me!)

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There are still a few slots left in the February special class “Quill You Be My Valentine.” Be sure to sign up before they are filled! Quilling and tangling! What’s not to love.

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Time to go make art!

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Winging It

I spend a lot of my art time doing things in prep. I have been straightening up the studio, both at home and the shop. I have been diligently keeping up with an online journalling class, calligraphy project class, and a watercolor journaling class. I watch a lot of paint (and ink) dry.

A lot of what I do is pretty experimental for me. I spend a lot of time “winging it.” I try new tangles, especially from Zentangle HQ. Some I take to pretty well…some I put off because they intimidate me. Drawings is one of the ones I took to pretty well. You may remember when I demonstrated it for my Tangle Journal class, it came to life!

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I was happy to see that pop up on this weeks Diva Challenge (#299). But, I have used this quite a bit, in different forms…

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So I wanted to try at least a different color for this one. As luck would have it, I discovered I have an overabundance of Renaissance Tan tiles at home. This could be partially to my aversion to them (I have seriously oily skin and tend to stain them.) But…I decided to “wing it” and grabbed one. I am not entirely unhappy with the result.

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Shaded with black and Van Dyke brown chalk pastels.


I have another “pen test” for you this week. I tangled a tile for the Square One group using a Pentel Hybrid Technica pen this week. I am pleased with the “blackness” and like the overall feel of the pen, but not so much on Zentangle tiles. The tiles are pretty soft, and the ball points on these tend to “dig in” a bit. I do,  however, find them useful for tangling on top of paints that normally clog the Micron tips. They come in several tip sizes (03, 04, 05, & 06.)  I tend to prefer the 04, it flows pretty well. We are using the 06 in my watercolor class. I see from the website they no longer offer the 08, which is good, because it skipped a lot.

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And…last but not least, a “sneak peek” at the February special (February 11th) “Quill You Be My Valentine!”  Some quilling, accented by tangles.

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The February schedule will be up in the next few days. We are adding a special class – Painting Medieval Boxed Capitals with Risa Gettler on the 2nd…perfect little Valentine gifts!

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Aren’t those cool?

Make stuff to keep the crazies away! See ya later!

 

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Welcome to 2017

Ok…I know…I did not really need to take a few weeks off from blogging. Not good for business, etc. But sometimes, you have to refocus your intentions and get some things done. Get through the holidays. Spend time with loved ones. Make art.

I set some pretty lofty goals for myself this year. All measurable and attainable, though, so I know I can do it. The first one is to get my blog posts in on Monday. So, I think I did that! (1 down, 51 to go!)

What better way to start off the New Year than with a new Use My Tangle (UMT)  Diva Challenge! Challenge #298 comes to us in the form of the tangle Orbs-la-Dee by Anneke van Dam. It is a nice filler tangle, and has a few cute variations. I decided to use it on a tile where I was testing the Sakura Micron against the Copic Multi-Liner SP. I wanted to see if I could tell the difference, so I divided the tile in half and tangled the same tangle on both halves.

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Honestly, there isn’t a lot of difference. To the naked eye, the Copic looks slightly different when next to the Micron, but if you used just the Copic, that difference wouldn’t matter. I think the deal here is the price points more than anything else. They are both pigment inks, archival, etc. But I think my real love of the Copic is that it is more economical in the long run, not to mention more environmentally friendly. It is refillable, and has replaceable nibs. The refills last longer than a Micron, and the nibs stay juicier a lot longer. So instead of carrying extra pens when I travel, I only need refills. The con side to this is the starter price of the Copic. I sell the Microns for $2.25 US…the Copics are $11 US. But…the refills are the price of a Micron….and last at least twice as long.

And…as luck would have it for you, my readers, I can supply these lovely pens for you! (Leave me a note below.)


So you know that I have not been slacking over the holidays, I shall produce proof!

First up, I participated in the 12 Days of 3Zs Challenge from Zentangle®. Although I got my tiles late and did not finish them in time for the actual contest, I did, in fact, finish them before Christmas! They make a pretty mosaic star:

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And individually:

These tiles are a lot of fun, and take a little less time when  you only have a short time to tangle. And the pre-strung set take the stress out too!


At our December Friendship group meeting, we had a nice gift exchange, and I was the lucky recipient of a handmade latka book, from my friend and fellow CZT Hiroko Hashimoto. She tangled on the covers:

And I realized that I have a huge stack of these really cool journals and books, and I do not use many of them. I have yet to make one pen stroke in the journal I received at CZT training. So, I decided now was the time to start! The paper in this one is really interesting…it has a lot of texture and character. It also pills excessively when shading (hint: use a lint roller prior to spraying fixative.)

I have been trying to do a page or 2 a week. Seems like a good place to try out some new things.


I noodled around with my Scan ‘n Cut 2 some more and came up with these snowflakes:

The paper is an Astrobrights Metallic card stock, and I used Sakura Glaze pens on them. It is a fairly non-porous surface, although they say you can print on them with an ink jet printer. I have tangled on this paper with a regular Gelly Roll pen, but I find the Micron does not show up well.

Also came up with this cute little ornament from 3 Bijou tiles.

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I did an end of the year recap on my FitBit…I walked over 1,300 miles! The chart was interesting. I started playing PokemonGo in July (my FitBit broke in August, so I was without it for 10 days, and I was sick a good part of December.)

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This year, I am setting a goal of 1,500 miles. That is attainable, if it ever stops raining. The rain is a conundrum for me. We need it badly here in California, but it is severely cramping my walking! But…the rain also gives us beautiful rainbows.

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That was the most magnificent one I have ever seen, and it was right from my home studio window.

I am not going to tell you to stay crazy anymore.

I am going to tell you to make art. It will keep the crazy away!

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Merry!?…Happy?!…Whew!

Needless to say, I am feeling a little behind this holiday season. Evidence points to the fact that while I generally have finished my Christmas shopping (always before Thanksgiving!) and the decorations are up and the house looks mighty festive…the packages are not wrapped, and things have not been mailed. But, in my defense, I was a bit under the weather for about a week, and that set me behind. And, I have been a bit busy at the shop (which is a good thing.)

I started doing the Diva Challenge at #161. Now that we are at #297, that seems like such an age ago. I had already done 2 of the past Christmas Challenges…so I filled in the rest for this weeks Challenge – Holiday Bash. So here, is a recap:

Diva #1 was Simiplicity. What better way to show simple and Christmas than a white ornament tangled in the basic tangles in black. Although it did need a bit of bling with the glitter glue (and that was mostly to hide a weird glue incident when I used the wrong glue to stick the sides together.) I glued 2 pennies in the middle for weight.

Diva #52 was “Give”. I cut out a hole lot of stars based on Cris Letourneau’s Star pattern, to attach to cards and gifts this year. They are super quick to tangle up, especially when I cut and pre-scored them with my Brother Scan n Cut 2.

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Diva #100 was New Tangles and A Diva Dance. While Diva Dance isn’t a new tangle anymore, it surely does make a great tree base in my card with a quilled angel and gothic calligraphy lettering. I am still working on my calligraphy skills…

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Diva #148 was Merry Happy. Celebrate the season in  your own way. I found a cute set of metallic pens at Daiso (Japanese discount stores where everything is $1.50) so I decided to give them a try. 8 colors, but they didn’t really look different on the black paper I tried, but they looked festive in a Squid nonetheless. Hard to tell that is a lot of different colors on the scan, in person it is pretty subtle as well.

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I also realized while I was writing this, that I had not completed Diva #198 “Keep It Simple”. I guess that gives me something to do this week! (Brilliant)


We had some fun classes this past week…starting last Saturday with an Ornament Extravaganza. We did 4 different ornaments and folded the Zendala gift box for later tangling.

A festive Zentangle 101 class with bonus Crescent Moon study at the end:

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And tangled on paper bags in tribal styles on Thursday:

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On Monday, we had our annual San Diego/SoCal Friendship Group Christmas meeting, where Wendy Gray led us in the making of this lovely lotus fold “Squash Book” to hold Zentangle tiles. It was a lot of fun!

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I am working on the January Schedule today, so that should be up by Monday. If you are in the area, be sure to come hang out tonite and art to your hearts content. Open studio from 4-9 ($5 drop in fee). Bring whatever you are working on, and have some festive cheer!

If I don’t post nest week, Merry Christmas, and Happiest of Holidays to you and yours!

Posted in Art Classes, Books, Journals & Scrapbooks, Calligraphy, Holiday, Online Store, Origami, Paper, Uncategorized, Zentangle | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.)

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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!

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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