BE(ad) Courageous!

It is time for Diva’s annual Beads of Courage (#319) update. For those of you who do not follow, Beads of Courage is a program where children undergoing medical procedures, especially lengthy ones, are rewarded for their fortitude whilst undergoing things like tests, and blood draws, and all sorts of scary things. It also creates a way for kids to be able to tell their stories in a colorful and fun way, instead of making it always sad. You can read more about the program here.

In past years, I have done tiles involving beads in some way. I did one for my sister-in-law, Marie, who was battling breast cancer at the time. I did one that juxtaposed beauty and duty. And one that celebrated Pride.

I decided this year to go in a different direction. I decided o be courageous myself. I am often reticent to try tangles that “look hard” or seem “complicated. So I thought to myself…”Self, you are a CZT. You are an artist. Why would you think it is hard, when you know Zentangle is easy?” So I saw this pattern, My Swing by Simone Menzel, CZT, on one of the many FaceBook groups I belong to, and thought I should give it a try. And to make it more challenging, to do it small, on a 3Z tile (I had already done the circle bit in the center, for something else I wanted to try, so I used that as my “string.”)

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I think it came out pretty neat, and I felt really good when I was finished with it!


From the UFO (UnFinished Objects) pile, I have a tile that dates back to TangleU 2015 in Santa Fe, from Sharla Hicks’ Mooka Blues class.

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And I finally started working the page dividers in my Zen Journal (real name of notebook, I swear) that I keep my tangle step outs in.

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There is still time to get in on the fun in Saturday’s Pointed Pen class (Monthly and Seasonal Specials)! I worked up this lovely card that a CZT I know is going to get in the mail soon!

I think the part I like about these best is they are so pretty!

And last weeks quick trip up to San Francisco was fun, cold, and the Giants did not prevail. But, did I mention it was fun?

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Loads of work to do! Make Stuff!

 

Quill You Be My Valentine?

Wow! What a week! And other than Flyboy getting called into work this morning, it is shaping up to be another epic week.

Being a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT) makes you part of a really diverse, really cool family, with one common goal. No matter where you are from or what you do, you instantly have community from that one thing. I had the great fortune to meet up with one of my fellow CZTs this week, turning a FaceBook friend into a real-life encounter. Flyboy and I went down to San Diego to have dinner with Suzanne Fluhr and Mr. Excitement himself! And of course, gelato happened.

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We started another calligraphy class this week, but I had to do one more Boxed letter for Valentine’s Day!

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On Saturday, we started off the day with a lovely Valentine inspired class applying quilling to Zentangle. We explored the basics of quilling, shapes, and building structures. I am pretty certain everyone had fun. There was a lot of laughter going on. And I think some great creativity. I can’t wait to see what they tangle them into!

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Of course, I had to finish one of mine quickly for this week’s Diva Challenge (#303). I’m not saying who gets it…but I am pretty sure you can guess.

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A few students stayed on for a 2nd class on Black Tiles, so I made that a little Valentine as well. So many cool applications on Black Tiles, and everyone is quite unique!

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On Sunday, I took a book making/color pencil on velum class from Helen Schafer Garcia at the San Diego Botanic Garden. While I did get mine fully assembled, I will have to finish my drawings later.

The gardens are beautiful this time of year, with as much rain as we have had, there was no shortage of fun things to draw. I am particularly fond of succulents, for their mandala-like qualities.


Whew! Busy week! Fun Week.

And off to finish that other journal cover for tomorrow’s class.

 

Courage in the Wake of Adversity

Yes…I know that waxes rather profound as a title. This week has been a rather sad one all over the world, but one thing the tragedy in Orlando has done is bring people together in the face of adversity. I would like to think that, as a world, we can be, stronger together. And that would take some courage for a lot of people, to put aside their prejudices in the name of peace and just downright accept EVERYONE.

Pointing fingers, blaming, and looking for scapegoats accomplishes nothing. But we all know that. I’ve recently read a lot on  the Responsibility Foundation. Their main goal is to Educate, Engage, and Elevate the ideal of Responsibility, especially in today’s young people. Everyone takes accountability for their actions…there is no blame for the things that “happen to you.”  I like this idea, and its ideals. I’ve long thought that people take too little responsibility for what happens in their lives, and constantly look for someone else to blame for their woes.

But these things all take COURAGE. And in the  Army Values, that means to me, Personal Courage.

Personal Courage as defined by the Army, is to face fear, danger or adversity.

It’s not always easy. But then, life isn’t easy either. All we can do is take responsibility and have compassion. These things are free.

I know you don’t come to my blog to read, but you do come  here for my art, and for that I am grateful. I use Zentangle and other art forms to calm my mind when things are in a state of adversity and that is often reflected in my work. So when The Diva sent out this weeks Challenge (#271) to interpret Beads of Courage, I meditated on that for a while.

Beads of Courage is an arts in medicine program that helps kids with chronic or life threatening illness tell the story of their medical journey. Each bead represents something different. A different procedure or appointment, or special circumstance. For example, when seeing a doctor or getting a poke instead of getting a sticker when they leave, they are given a glass bead for each thing. (blue for doctor, black for poke… some other beads are yellow=night in the hospital, pink=respiratory support, magenta=trip to emergent care, teal=tube insertion or removal, rainbow=therapy; physical, speech, occupational, respiratory) and every child’s string is different and unique to their story.

This has been very personal to The Diva, as her ADORABLE little Artoo has Moebius Syndrome, and spends  *lot* of time in hospitals and at doctor visits.

So this week, I combined my meditation for Orlando with Beads of Courage, and came up with this:

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I hope the sun shines on the families affected by this, and any other adversities.


I should have the July Schedule up by the end of the week. I have air-conditioning! Come in to escape the heat and relax. Rock and Tangle this Friday Night!

Stay Crazy My Friends…Make Stuff…You will feel better!

And one final note…To quote Rush, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”