Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Eve

Below is a synopsis of the history of New Year's eve  from Garrison Keillor's blog.  It's a popular blog site so you may have already found it in your "inbox". 
In any case I love the history associated with holidays and the different twists and turns they take over the years and through various cultures.  

At the end of the article he tells about what some towns "drop" at midnight tonight which is fun.  Leesburg, FL (here) used to drop a big orange which is perfect as we are citrus country through and through.  I am not sure if they still do it or not.  I think my granddaughter will be in Times Square tonight so we will look for her (hahaha).  

However you celebrate or whatever traditions you have…I hope that the New Year will be a positive one and that you will learn many new things and find new friends and (as you saw from my journal prompt on yesterday's blog) that you will be "alive and aware".   Happy New Year from Artist's Labyrinth and may the paths you take be filled with wonder!  Ginny

Today is New Year's Eve, a day to take stock of the old year and make changes for a new year.
People across the world tonight will be linking arms at the stroke of midnight and singing "we'll take a cup o' kindness yet, for auld lang syne," from the Scottish folk song popularized by Robert Burns (books by this author). In Scotland, New Year's Eve marks the first day of Hogmanay, a name derived from an Old French word for a gift given at the New Year. There's a tradition at Hogmanay known as "first-footing": If the first person to cross your threshold after midnight is a dark-haired man, you will have good luck in the coming year. Other customs vary by region within Scotland, but most involve singing and whiskey.
English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson (books by this author) wrote: "Ring out the old, ring in the new / Ring, happy bells, across the snow / The year is going, let him go / Ring out the false, ring in the true."
Here in the United States, the custom of raising and dropping a giant ball arose out of the time when signals were given to ships at harbor. Starting in 1859, a large ball was dropped at noon every day so sailors could check their ship chronometers.
The Times Square celebration dates back to 1904, when The New York Timesopened its headquarters on Longacre Square. The newspaper convinced the city to rename the area "Times Square," and they hosted a big party, complete with fireworks, on New Year's Eve. Some 200,000 people attended, but the paper's owner, Adolph Ochs, wanted the next celebration to be even splashier. In 1907, the paper's head electrician constructed a giant lighted ball that was lowered from the building's flagpole. The first Times Square Ball was made of wood and iron, weighed 700 pounds, and was lit by a hundred 25-watt bulbs. Now, it's made of Waterford crystal, weighs almost six tons, and is lit by more than 32,000 LED lights. The party in Times Square is attended by up to a million people every year.
Other cities have developed their own ball-dropping traditions. Atlanta, Georgia, drops a giant peach. Eastport, Maine, drops a sardine. Ocean City, Maryland, drops a beach ball, and Mobile, Alabama, drops a 600-pound electric Moon Pie. In Tempe, Arizona, a giant tortilla chip descends into a massive bowl of salsa. Brasstown, North Carolina, drops a Plexiglas pyramid containing a live possum; and Key West, Florida, drops an enormous ruby slipper with a drag queen inside it.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Journal Prompt #1 for 2015

Having fun with a weekly Journal Prompt Challenge for the new year.  This is a very small journal..5 x 8".  So I decided to use a double spread for the first one.  

First Journal Prompt
 Of course we are free in this journal prompting experiment to decide how to respond to the prompts in our own way. How one prepares the background (or not) is optional.  I had seen a recent video of someone who put blue painters tape down and then used water soluble crayons for the color between the lines of torn tape.  I had not used my wc crayons in so long, the box was rusted shut!  (hahaha).

Incidentally, since the paper in this inexpensive journal is not heavy paper, I gessoed the pages first.  I used a palette knife to thinly coat them and let them dry overnight.  There is no way I could have painted on this paper any other way!  And the side benefit is that I could also "lift" paint off in areas that I wanted to.  I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun wc crayons are!  I'd forgotten!  Very nice intense color!

So then when dry, I peeled off the painters tape leaving white stripes and spent a little time lifting off some of the stray paint that had crept under the tape. I just used a paint brush, water, and paper towel.  With the gesso on the paper it wiped right off.

The prompt had us begin to think of a word for our first entry.  One word that we wanted to focus on for 2015 or at least for this journal.  
It was suggested we make a list of possible words first and then choose one.  (mine were Remember, Glorify, Collaborate, Memory, Narrative, Imagine, Enchant, Soul, Playful, Quirky, Eclectic).  

Finally I chose "Attentiveness" (which you will see is just also under the heading of my blog in a quote by Mary Oliver.)  Becoming more attentive then would be my focus and goal in this journal.  And in this 2015!  

The prompt suggested we draw the letters on the page in any creative ways we wished using the letters as "strings" in a Zentangle to define space and not necessarily in order to read it.  Then tangle or design  between the letters.  I would challenge you to even find the original printing!  And I am not through with the tangles yet.  

Finally we were to put the word we chose in larger print somewhere on the page so that it could, in fact, be found and read.  I decided just to type it on the computer so it would stand out.  

And to use found spaces on the page to write about why we picked that word and even list the words we didn't chose.  

I still have some room to write a little more about that.  
The prompt group is being led by Cherryl Moote and she has a Facebook group (now closed) in which the members will post. I do not know if the group posts will be available to non members to look at or not.  I will find out as I think the results will be very fun. I know there are well over 100 people in the group.  I don't plan to post this for a few days since it is really not finished.  

Some of the members consider themselves "journal virgins" and I guess for this kind of journal I am one too…although I have done wc travel journals…and I guess they count too.  

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Birthday card

Happy birthday to my hubby, Greg, tomorrow.
We are in SC spending the holidays with my sister and her family.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, December 19, 2014

Hot glue stencil day

here's one held up in my hand

12" x 8"

Okay so I've done this before…but these are larger and more intricate and complicated.  All done with a glue gun on parchment paper and hand pressed flat between parchment papers (like a sandwich) while still hot so as to keep them nice and flat and not too bumpy.

They are mainly to be used as stencils but can so be used to make prints. With the cost of commercial plastic stencils so high, these free form are very attractive and of course they are personal.   

And for people with short attention spans like me, they are wildly fun as they are almost instantly ready to use!  I have read on other bloggers posts that the favorite glue gun is Aleene's Ultimate Glue Gun (which comes with several removable tips.  But it is a little pricey so I am just using your every-day glue for these.  

I'll try some of these on my Gelli® plate this afternoon and post how they look.  (I can't believe my faithful blog follower, Mary Gayle, is still asking "What's a Gelli Plate?) If there is anyone who doesn't know, google "gelli plate" and find the home website for the company and watch one of their beginner videos.  Deli paper is not the only paper you can use for this.  Any paper will generally do..even card stock.  But deli paper is fun and inexpensive and when glued down it has some neat properties. You can get it at Sam's club cheap (or even order it on Amazon but it's a tad pricer there.)  

We finished up our Christmas shopping this afternoon and now I have some wrapping to do!!!  Tomorrow "should" be warm enough for the pool and I am anxious for a swim!  

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Happy Birthday Card

Mono-print strip collage as a card w/envelope

I cut the mono-print collage into card size and glued it on a greeting card for my granddaughter's birthday coming up.  The envelope has a strip of washi tape on it.  It makes a very pretty and colorful card!!!

Gelli print combs

Comb Mono Print on Gelli Plate
9 x 5.5"

This was fun but I learned a lot I'd do differently next time.  After the paint (acrylic) dried I added highlights with a white charcoal pencil and shading with a blue colored pencil.  Then some zentangles on the edges but next time I'll repaint the edges a lighter color so the tangles show up a little more (I think).  You could also "cut out" the comb swirls and add them to journal pages or cards or collages.  If you did it on deli paper, it would be semi transparent.  This was done on 90# drawing paper.  

The combs were purchased at Michaels years ago (Martha Stewart brand) but you can cut your own out of old credit cards.  Just be careful not to make them too sharp that you will mar the gelli plate surface.  

Paper strip collage

8" x 10"
This is a collage of torn paper strips from gelli prints (on deli paper and other kinds of lightweight paper).  I sometimes use old music paper and book pages to paint on as well.  You can find them for penny's at garage sales.

The substrate is just copy paper because I want to be able to cut this into any shape I want after it dries.  It's glued together with gel medium.  (My favorite collage sticker-together).  

This is my first one but I have seen this done other places so it's not my original idea.  But because everyone's papers are original, they all look original.

I have been looking at some of the "print maker" and "collage artist" blogs in the past couple of days and you get "into it" after awhile.  

I signed up for Traci Batista's free Strathmore class that start in March.
She is somewhat of a "guru" in the printmaking and collage area.  I am also signed up for a CZT Facebook group that is going to do "prompted" journals after the first of the year.  

The above would make a nice "journal" page to work on with other medium such as printing with stamps or it can be cut into shapes.  I think I'd like to have a "cache" of these strip collages on hand.  Great way to use up some of the gelli prints that didn't turn out quite the way I hoped.  

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Well, some tangles are REALLY "far out" and this is one of them.  Besides it being Christmas next week it is also my hubby's birthday on 12/26.  SO because he is a train buff, the Christmas Zentangle train is just for him!  (Yes that's his face in the window!)  

Crazy as it is, this was a lot of fun to do. 
Thanks to metallic Jelly Roll pens!  
Merry Christmas everyone.  

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tangle A Day calendar in the Holiday Mood

I'm sort of squeezing these together now…continuing with the holiday theme and posting them a tad bit ahead as I'll be gone Christmas week.  

I am absolutely going nuts on Christmas week calendar entries because it's not only Christmas but Greg's birthday.
I'll probably post it in a day or so.  I'm afraid I got VERY carried away on that one!!! Hahaha.  

Then soon we are off to SC we to visit my sister and her hubby and our nephew, David, coming in from CA.  Lots of good food, movies, jig saw puzzles, card games, sleeping late, singing around the player piano and just enjoying family!  


Monday, December 15, 2014

Journal Cover

A journal cover I designed this afternoon using a gelli plate, collage, and stamps.  (The back is similar but slightly different colors.)

5.75" x 8.25" the journal has a heavy bendable lightweight cardboard cover stapled on.
Michaels had a sale last week with journals two for the price of one.  Hard to resist.  These are 50 pages and are only $4.  I'm involved in a journal challenge for 2015 and we have been asked to find ourselves a blank journal so we are ready to start.

I decided I'd feel much freer if I did not spend a lot of $ on a journal.  Free to experiment with no big commitment involved.  I have tons of journals that I use for watercolor sketches.  But I think that the kind of journal that I'll be working on will be a different kind of journal than that.  

The size seemed right for me too.  
I'll keep you in the know on how this project proceeds.

K.I.S.S. is Keep It Simple, Silly. Challenge # 198


Waiting for a chance to try a new tangle called Akoya…so simple and yet so delightful.  The challenge is just to do a "simple" tangle during the holiday rush.  

Zentangle Workshop in Orlando Paper

Am hoping for a good turn out for the Jan 10 workshop…my first really "commercial" venture out into the Zentangle world.  Taught lots of private classes or classes open to the public through art leagues.  But this is my first venture into the world of just plain commercial classes (offered through an art store).  And my first Saturday class.  

Meanwhile my "holiday tangle a day" calendar proceeds toward culmination.  Imagine…365 entries almost done.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Tangle A Day

Okay…I hope I didn't already post this one.  
I am REALLY out of order now.  This is last week.

Christmas Tangle a Day

I am sort of jumping around posting my calendar this month.
Sometimes I do a "challenge" tangle and have to post it out of order so now I am going back and trying to pick up a few of the 3-day tangles that I missed posting before.  Actually this is next week's tangles (just to confuse things).  My goal is to try to something a little Christmassy each day up to the 25th.

The tangle-a-day Facebook Group is already trying to think up how we'll do up the last day of the month which is, luckily,  on a semi-blank page…just the one day by itself…leaving us LOTS of room on the page to play!  WHAT to do!  

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Blue Marble photo celebrates its 42nd anniversary

It was on this day in 1972  (December 7) that astronauts on the Apollo 17 spacecraft took a famous photograph of Earth, a photo that came to be known as "The Blue Marble." Photographs of Earth from space were relatively new.
In 1948, the astronomer Fred Hoyle said, "Once a photograph of the Earth, taken from the outside, is available - once the sheer isolation of the Earth becomes plain - a new idea as powerful as any in history will be let loose."
The photograph captured on this day 39 years ago was the first clear image of the Earth, because the sun was at the astronauts' back, and so the planet appears lit up and you can distinctly see blue, white, brown, even green. It became a symbol of the environmental movement of the 1970s, and it's the image that gets put on flags, T-shirts, bumper stickers, and posters.
The crew of Apollo 17 was about 28,000 miles away from Earth when they took the Blue Marble photo. It was the last time that astronauts, not robots, were on a lunar mission - since then, no people have gotten far enough away from Earth to take a photo like it.

Thanks to Garrison Keillor's daily blog for this snippet.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

TV Fun

Channel 98 is our closed TV channel for Hawthorne Park here in Florida.  Periodically I get asked to display my art in the park library and to appear as a guest on the "Art in Park" show with my friend Jane as moderator.

Yesterday we had a lot of fun as I also did a short demo on Gelli plates (mono printing) for everyone (that's what I am doing in the second photo).  Otherwise I get interviewed about my background, media I use and classes I teach.  I also "plug" events happening in our park that have to do with the art program.  We were on for about half an hour or so…very fun.  

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Diva Challenge: Dolls

You have to forgive me for skipping way ahead…but I already did Dec 7,8,9 and then the Diva's challenge this week came out with "dolls" as the challenge.  I couldn't get gingerbread cookies out of my mind.  SO I went ahead an put them in the calendar!  
I used watercolor and colored pens.  

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Christmas Pudding

Monday night there was a delightful orchestra/choral event at our community building in our Florida park.  It is affectionately called "The Christmas Pudding" because of it's yummy mixture of Christmas music delights.  

THAT did it.  Christmas started to come for us!  Such wonderful happy evening!   We went out humming happily. 

 My calendar for the rest of the week is shimmery full of trees because in our hall, each club puts out a tree reflecting something about what that club does.  The art tree is full of little tubes of paint, brushes, and colored pencils.  Photo to follow.  The main hall then is lined with 100 lighted 2' trees.  Absolutely stunning!  

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Holiday tangles for the calendar

Well, believe it or not…here we are…the last month of 2014.
Holiday festivities are looming right up with a happy ring to them…choruses, concerts, church events, caroling, besides the cards, letters, gifts and well…we all know how it goes.

It won't be hard to be festive in the Tangle a Day calendar because every tangle looks Christmassy if you add red and green!  But my goal to find 25 days of Christmas tangles will be fun.  

So here's to a blessed Advent season to everyone.  

Friday, November 28, 2014

Tangling into Advent

I am still pretty comatose from all that turkey.
How about you?  OH MY gosh.
GREAT dinner, Marlene…thank you!!!

Moving along right toward Advent now.

When I started my Tangle A Day last Jan 1…well…it seems like just yesterday.  As I flip back through I kind of wish I had jotted down some little journaling thoughts on some of the weeks.  I think that is what I will do on next year's calendar.
5-10 words telling about that week.  Maybe I'll try it during Advent just to see how I like doing that.

I wish you a blessed Advent season.  

Photoclips and Zentangle


How Fotoclips work

With these small clear plastic clips you are supposed to clip together your photographs but obviously I had another idea in mind.  

I am sure I saw this somewhere else but it took me a year or two to remember to order the clips.  A box of 110 clips is about $13 or $14 on Amazon.  This took about 35 or so clips to make the wall hanging above.  

The examples on the box show all of them being used and then several boxes of them being used and a whole wall is covered.  THAT is pretty impressive!

You can also use them somewhat 3-D and they come with a few "orange" clips and actually work at 90 degree angles.  But that didn't fit my needs here.   

You could easily hang this with nails and picture hangers too, rather than a ribbon, so that that part would be invisible if you wanted to.  I wanted this to be "mobile" so I could pick it up and take it to Zentangle classes if I wanted to.  I think you could mix it up with different sized tiles to make it funky too.  

I think this would make a darling Christmas gift for a tangler or a photographer or a college student.  

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Finishing a painting with hand rubbed wax

I have posted this painting in an earlier stage before.  It's a small watercolor/ink done on clay board with gallery wrap wood finished 1" sides…unusual for a watercolor.  I liked that I could "scratch" out whites if I wished and lift like Yupo.  It is a little easier than Yupo to work on but similar.  Laying a wash is very difficult (note blue shadow at the base…no way could I smooth that out entirely.  Am hoping it will "read" that the floor was uneven since the walls are stone and it obviously out of doors.

The painting was finished by coating it with wax.  
It is a soft paste wax made for finishing paintings called Dorland's Wax Medium. Usually it is for acrylic or oil painting but some artists actually use it on paper with water media as well.

I put the first coat on with my fingers.  I put a second coat on 24 hours after the first using a soft paper towel.  Now I hope to leave it to dry for at least a week.  My hope is that it will dry enough that I can "burnish" it some.  It has a nice soft non glare finish to it, but I would like it more to "glisten".  I think the trick is to let it dry thoroughly now before touching it again.  I am wondering about lambs wool or something very soft for the burnishing.  Ideas?

Meanwhile I am preparing the 7 paintings I'll need to go into the Hawthorne Park Library exhibit for the month of December.  I have one that needs framing but otherwise I think I am set to go.  I'll be interviewed on in-house TV on Dec 5th.  That's always fun!  

Zentangle Challenge: Mixing it up

Okay so this challenge was to take a tangle that was designed to be more "free flowing" and put it into a grid OR take a tangle designed to be a "grid" tangle and make it free-flowing.

Does that make sense?

So I took out Wheelz (more free flowing) and designed it into a grid pattern.  Then I took out Warble (a grid) and tried it as a more free flowing tangle.  

I think the graphics are self explanatory.  
Where they are labeled is the original design.  
You didn't have to do both but once you get started on this challenge you then HAVE to try to see what would happen the other way.  I think for me, it's much easier to take a grid and let it flow than the other way around.  

Thanks Sandy Hunter for this interesting challenge as I would not have thought of this!!!  Fun.  

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Zentangle calendar through Nov 24

No color on these for awhile as I am away from the studio desk and working on a lap desk in a chair.  But that's okay.
Keystone turned out to be kind of a funky tangle.  (In the stripe.)  I can also see that when I get my new glasses I am going to enjoy them!  

November Tangle a Day is almost up to date...

Well, this set of calendar tangles was done on pain pills.  I am not sure about how it looks, but the only part I see is that some of the "fill" didn't get exactly all filled in.  But I was working on a lap desk in a lazy boy chair.  The first 3 tangles are new to me but were fun.  Warble is not new to me but I did see that Helen Williams posted something very similar and called it "Sails" so now I am not sure which name is correct.  But that is not so important.  It's a lovely tangle.

The knee surgery recovery is going pretty well.  I am still dosing with pain pills as needed so that I can do the simple exercises required at this point and zipping (zipping being relative of course) around using a walker for support just as a little steadying device.  

I was able to take off bandages and shower today.  And that is always a nice thing after surgery…makes you feel human again!  Nothing like clean hair and a little lipstick again!  My hubby is an attentive nurse and is keeping me hydrated, and making me nice food and bringing me the newspaper and my meds or whatever.  I am getting used to being pampered.  
Stitches come out Monday.  Thanks to all my blogger friends who have sent prayers and well wishes.  It means so much.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Square One: Assunta


This is the challenge for the Square One Facebook Zentangle group.  Black, white, gray and 3.5" only.  I decided on a mono-tangle this week.

I am back from the hospital and working on my tangles on a lap desk in a big old lazy boy chair with a big ice bag on my knee.  

I am on pain pills so am wondering if my tangles will reflect my sort of dippy view of life right now.  :-)

The surgery went well and was successful but like all surgery requires now some healing time.  This apparently requires "patience".  Something that does not come easily to me.  It is going slowly but I think it's going to be a good deal at the end!  

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Keeping Busy

I think most of us tangle some bookmarks at one time or another…saving scraps of tinted or painted paper that are just too fun to throw away.  They can be dropped into birthday cards or with a Kindness Sticker on the back can be left places for people to find.  Some folks give them away at Zentangle classes as little door prizes.  You get the idea.

Doing a few of these was fun at the Art Gallery last Tuesday afternoon.  In between guests and while visiting with Carrie (another artist sitting the show).  

Okay…so now this morning I am off to have my knee surgery.  No coffee this morning!  ARRRGH.  Haha.  What a whiner!
I am happy the surgery is at 9:30 am so I don't have to wait to long to have it over and done.  We have to be at the hospital at 7:30 am so we are about ready to take off.  Wish me luck.  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Honorable Mention

I was pleased to find out this past week that I got an honorable mention at the Fall Leesburg Art Association Show.  This was an 11 x 14 wc and ink on canvas that I did en plein air last spring.  Title: Pete's Model Sailboat

I was careful to say "model" in the title so people wouldn't think that I was way off base on proportion in the painting!  Hahaha.  This is a painting of Serenity Lake (pond) that is beside our home here in FL.  But it is our neighbor's view…he is an extravagant and delightful gardener and so we get the benefit of having an even  prettier view and he does all the work!  :-)

I "sat" the gallery yesterday afternoon so I took the photo at that time.  

We are having our "cold" front now in central FL so no more gloating about weather.  I woke up to 40 degrees this morning and the heat on in the house!  Whew. Just north of us we know they had a hard freeze…hopefully not for too long as that is tough on citrus!  High of only 60 predicted today but back to 80 by Monday so not to worry.  

Meanwhile..where are my gloves?  (We are such wimps down here in FL).  Locals wear ski masks when it gets to 40!  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Staining Your Tiles

Tangling on hand-stained tiles.  
Normally, I have NO trouble tangling on transparent wc stained tiles.  For some odd reason I struggled with these two.  I could not get my brown pen to flow evenly on the painted surface.  It could be the pen's problem, not mine.   I'll have to try another pen.  

Or I remember that I was using some white Gouache just before I worked on these two tiles.  And it just could be that I "contaminated" the transparent paint.  It's VERY easy to do if you don't wash the brush well enough.  I think that this could easily be the problem.  So I need to re-stain a few tiles and try again.  I've been encouraging students to stain their tiles doing Renaissance ones because you get intriguing and interesting colors that way.  Not just "tan".  

I like to use combinations of New Gamboge, Indian Yellow, Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna, Quin Gold, and any number of yellows.  Keep things as transparent as possible.  

I do like the way these turned out. 
The second tangle is really just a variation on the tangle Chainging that Cherryl Moote put online recently.  It is a concentration tangle but very lovely.  In the top one I used black pearl as "drippings" from the top…again a creative idea shared by another CZT.   

Monday, November 17, 2014

Home Made Washi Tape on a Rainy Day

Step One: take the paper tape and lay it out in rows very close together on
a slick surface (I use a clear acrylic sheet).  This cotton tape is "gentle" paper tape in first aid
section at the Dollar Store or Walgreens.  Comes 20 yards to a package. Maybe $3?
Then using just cheap craft acrylic paint (WalMart  or Michaels .75 cent a bottle) I just paint the tape with a thin coating.  You can use any acrylic paint watered a bit.  Dry an hour.  

The fun part:  using stencils and stamps of all kinds, make all kinds of prints on the paper tape.
I use make sponges for the stencils, dipped in acrylic paint.  Sometimes I print with black ink but usually not much of that.  I use hand made stamps, edges of old credit cards, bottle lids, Q tips etc etc.
Very fun and relaxing.  Obviously i just make the marks all over from one tape to another. Dry and hour or two.  Be sure everything is very dry. Don't use a hair dryer.  

Now, using a large "shake size" drinking straws I carefully begin to wind up the Washi tape 
on itself as I pull up about 2" at a time.  The tape is low tac so it will stick to itself but will also
unwind later quite well.  You need to work slowly so you don't tear the tape.  You can see the residue left on the plastic from between the tapes and a little that came through the tape.  

The designs are so interesting as you pull them up…you are never quite sure what you
are going to get!  The residue on the plastic wipes up with regular alcohol and a paper towel.  So you can do it all over again some day!!!  

We had a VERY rainy day here in central Florida today.  We got 1.3" of rain from noon to 5 pm!  Whew.  A great day to snuggle into the studio and make more "washi" tape.  

The tape comes in handy for lots of things…I use it as borders on envelopes and cards, in collages, as a colorful binding in Zentangle Friendship "books" and I even use it to mark things like taping my colored pens so I can find them amidst my black ones.  I was amazed at the all the places I find to use it.  But this supply will probably last me most of the winter.  

You can find videos on how to do this on line by goggling "home made washi tape".  Hope it will inspire you!  

Tangling With Your Non Dominate Hand: the Diva Challenge this week

Rain, Merryweather

Tangling with your non-dominant hand.
Now THAT is a humbling experience.  The guest challenger on the Diva's blog this week asked us to just buck up and try it.  I think this challenge has come around before and I have passed.  I KNOW that my left hand is really weak and the idea that I'd be brave enough to actually POST what happened was just not a very comfortable thought.

But this time I got brave.  

This was REALLY hard.  I couldn't even get the DOTS in the corners with a pencil!  ARRRGH.  

First off it took 2-3 times as long.
I thought maybe I'd get better as I went along but what happened was my hand got tired and started cramping up and actually got worse!  I tried a little shading but basically had to give that up and picked Rain because it didn't need shading.  

My husband has ET (Essential Tremor) and has had for almost his life.  In 2011 he had DBS surgery to help with his right hand.  But he still struggles with small muscle tasks.  I am suddenly VERY aware of what he must go through just to sign his name on his credit card bill.  Also someone who has broken an arm or has had a stroke or a tremor.    

Well, I challenge you all to try this.  You don't have to post it.  Just try it.  Very enlightening.  I picked tinted paper so you maybe would notice it as much. (hahahaha).  

Calendars inch toward the holidays….

This 3 day spread turned out a tad bit busy.
But I found some interesting "knot-like" tangles and decided to give them a try and before you know it I was off and away.

I am amazed looking at the "few" number of days left to Thanksgiving now. Like 10!  That really is the "starting gun" for the holidays officially.  (Stores have been off and running since way before Halloween, of course).  

Our park's decoration group is in full swing now and Venetian Gardens, the Leesburg FL public park, is always an extravaganza of light and corresponding music.  So they are well into that decorating already.  Most of the local towns have their Christmas banners up on the light poles.  I mean you HAVE to start early!  Up in Wisconsin the snow at our cabin at two feet deep and I hear they are ice fishing because the temp is 6 above zero and the lakes are all frozen already!
THAT part I can skip just fine.  

No matter how many Christmas holidays I spend in FL (which I really enjoy) the lights on the palm trees, Santa on the beach, and shopping in your shorts and tees just seems wrong.  Hahaha.  Cards and Christmas letters, wrapping paper, poinsettias and carols…it's all just around the corner again.  I barely have my ceramic pumpkin wrapped up and put away!!!  Hahaha.  Till then I need to get past my knee surgery this week and then…football and Thanksgiving…all about family and pecan pie.  That's fun too.  

Sunday, November 16, 2014

What Would Happen If...

Hurry and Mak-Rah-Mee

I liked this tile…it was the "challenge" for the Square One Facebook group this week.  Well, just the tangle "Hurry".  You could add anything else you wanted to.  

The top tile was my submission to them because they only accept "black, white, and gray".  No color.  But to me the tile begged a little color.  Unusual for me as I am a classic tangler.  But what do you think…isn't just a little more interesting with a touch of blue?  So after submission I added the blue.  

The string for this tile was a "Z".  So if you stand the tile on it's left side you will see the Z line appear.  But as in all Zentangle, when you start saying "what would happen if", then things go awry.  What would happen if I turned it on it's side?  What would happen if the border disappeared on one side?  And so on.  Then at the very end…What would happen if I added some blue (ultramarine blue from Qor).  
Qor is the new watercolor from Golden Paints.

Gorgeous sunny day here in central FL…the cold front devastating the midwest has not pushed down here (yet).  

We will have a big drop on Tuesday when it gets here but still…not that bad.  Our 80s will suddenly drop to 60 for a high on that day. (We will have a VERY cold night that night and might even see 35!)  But start right back up again on Wednesday.  But it will start back slowly with a few days of highs around 71.  That's pretty cool for us for Nov.  

But I can hardly complain.  We watched the snow conditions in Madison, WI at the their football game yesterday!  And at our little cabin in Lac du Flambeau, WI it will be 6 degrees tonight!!!  Pretty nippy for pre-Thanksgiving weather!!!  

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Watercolor on clayboard

I am having a little fun playing with watercolor and ink on clay board.  As you can see, just a small one.  Working on it is a cross between hot pressed wc paper and Yupo.  In addition you can scratch out whites if you wish!  But layering and glazing is difficult.  

The subject is one of our favorite little outdoor restaurants in Mount Dora:  The Garden Gate.  This little gardening bench is out by the umbrellas on the sunny patio.  Very charming.

My idea is when this is to finish it off with rubbed wax.
This will be a totally new idea for me.  I am not sure yet if I'll seal this with a clear acrylic spray first.  I have seen it done but have not tried it myself.  Paintings have a soft patina.