Friday, January 31, 2014

Rainy Day fun

Hand made stamps.   

The blue was a mono print on deli paper and then with turquoise paint I printed the circles on top.  

These are hand made Washi Tapes.  Made with handmade stamps.

I have always been fascinated by print making.
How it will fit into my artistic life, I am not sure...probably more useful to me in journaling.

But as I thought about making stamps of my own I found lots of support for that online and in books.
I had never heard of Washi Tapes until I started browsing the world of YouTube instruction. 

The tape is paper tape (3M product) found in the dollar store in the first aid section.  I followed the online instructions for laying it out on a non-stick surface (like a plastic placemat) and then just had fun painting them with inexpensive craft acrylics.  When the base coat tried I used my stamps and thinned acrylics to stamp lots of designs and I used my stencils and also stencils on designs.  

When they are dry you can roll them on a thick drinking straw and save them.  They don't really have a lot of stick em on the back so they can be re-positioned as you want.  You just cut them off and stick them anywhere you want some color and design.  Total nonsense.  

Most of the handmade stamps are made from pony tail rubber holders, rubber bands, and paper clips.  The little rolling pin was a dowel that my friend, Cynthia's husband, made and on it is self stick foam you get out in designs and get at Walmart or dollar stores.  The little pink thing at the bottom of the first photo is a pencil eraser which mades a great little circle stamp.  

Rainy day fun.  It poured almost all day!  
It's not looking good now for tomorrow's outdoor art fair in Mt. Dora.  250,000 people normally attend that.  What a shame.  

Zentangle Ensemble completed

1: W2, Jalousie, Panthe, Inapod, 2: Aquafleur, Zinger, Baton, Paradox, Onamato, IX, Bilt, Twile
3: Anne (Snugz), Cadent, Ripples, Hurry  4: Onamato, Tipple, Wheelz, Cruze, Oakling, Knightsbridge, Paradox

Finally got my 4-square ensemble finished on a rainy Friday afternoon.  We are all bringing ours to the meeting on Monday.  I am pretty sure there are at least 4 of us completing the project.  

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Aquafleur for day 29

28: Fassett and Crescent Moon, 29: Aquafleur

I work ahead on my Zentangle a Day calendar when I know wild days are coming up!  This post and the one just below it both have Aquafleur on it.  (This one with a little gold pen flourish.)  I really like how it wrapped up the #29!  I think Aquafleur has SO many possibilities.  GREAT tangle. 

Making Lemonade out of Lemons

Cubine, Wheelz, Tipple, Hurry, Aquafleur

It's always fun to have a house guest that wants to learn about Zentangle.  It's great to pass on an addiction. :-)

Kris and I did Cubine, Wheelz, Tipple, and Hurry together but left the bottom left corner blank when we ran out of time.  

So seeing as the Diva Challenge is Aquafleur this week I put that in the corner and then extended Hurry to wrap around it.  Adding lines after you have finished is not a good idea, of course, because you see the start/finish marks.  But the idea is to make lemonade out of lemons, right?  So I took a couple extra arms of the Aquafleur and began to wrap them under the woven parts of Hurry to cover that area. Now I like that WAY better than the original.  

That's usually how it works, right.

Zentangle calendar

Puzzled, Tri-Lines, Gewgle, Jessicup. Striping, Cadent, Kunstler

I know I am a day behind...should be posting 28 but I'll get at it later today.  I have had company for the last 4 days!

I tried a continuous string this time going through all 3 days but then I tangled only one day at a time.  It was fun and I only had to come up with one or two new tangles every day.  Kinda nice.

We'll be 80 in central Florida today but then a HUGE drop tomorrow.  Must be one of those arctic vortexes  again up north?  Then a quick catch up and in mid-80s by next weekend again.  This is excellent since the huge Mt. Dora Art festival takes place next weekend and they expect 250,000 people.  I kid you not.  Hopefully that is over the two days and not all on one day!  Hahaha.  They do shuttle buses in for parking, of course.  

Thinking about taking a local calligraphy one day workshop in March.  Have a good week!  

Friday, January 24, 2014

Zentangle Calendar 22-24

22:Brabs, Shing, 23: Aquafleur, Zinger, Ragz, 24: Spoon flowers, Footlites

What's an Ensemble?

Here's a 4 tile ensemble that is being done as a challenge by my "Zentangle Reunion" group here at Hawthorne Park in FL.  You can buy pre-strung ensembles from but you can also just make your own.  I decided on 4 rather than 9 as we are a small group and it's our first try at this.  

My handout has a black line drawing of the string that you have to trace on to your tiles yourself with a pencil.  Number the backs 1-4 and put your name and your tangle names on the back and bring back to the group to be re-assembled...but this time with 4 different tiles not your own.  Voila.  A whole new ensemble!  I encourage folks to take a photo of their own ensemble before they turn it in at the group meeting for shuffling.  

Our deadline is Feb 3 so I have to keep tangling.  You'll see I tried Maria's new Aquafleur tangle in #2. It's so beautiful and the possibilities are limitless which makes it a terrific tangle!  

Big Bad Wax

"False Door" an encaustic and multi media by Carey Corea at the Mt. Dora Center for the Arts

Lunch at the Garden Gate in Mt. Dora

Part of our "artsy fartsy" day yesterday was to visit the Big Bad Wax encaustic exhibit at the Mt. Dora Center for the Arts (FL).  I picked my favorite to show above but that one did not win best of show.  But then it was judged by someone else of course! was a great exhibit and lots of interesting thoughts and ideas.  All very abstract, of course, but very well done.  The art was from all over the U.S. (not just local).  

We also had lunch at the Garden Gate and my lunch was almost a piece of art work itself...Chicken salad (under a gorgeous edible flower), pineapple, apples, and other fruits and mini muffins.  Wow.  And a pot of delicious tea.  

Modernist Museum in Mt. Dora, FL

Showcased in the exhibition is Wendell Castle's largest and most famous work to date: A New Environment, an installation of stack-laminated pieces spanning two stories.

Of course I didn't get to meet Wendell Castle but here he is pictured by his most famous recent work in Mt. Dora.  It's an amazing little museum and so well appointed with individual listening devices and a short movie.  Just amazing.  $7 for seniors and well worth a visit if you are in this area!!!  

3 other friends and I visited this museum on Thursday.  We had a wonderful time and spent hours there enjoying furniture as art and art as functional.  

Incidentally, the installation behind Mr. Castle is a staircase to a "pod" where a person could climb inside and find an quiet secret spot for reading or napping.  We weren't allowed to climb in, of course, but I could imagine it.  Lamps, tables, and amazing amazing clocks.  There is a second artist featured as well (Wharton).  Both are amazing.  

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Stamp and Print Workshop January 21st

These are the 3 stamps I made today.  See more of my description below.

Resource book.  You can get this used for about $2.00 on Amazon.  Traci Bunkers in the author.

Cynthia is demonstrating how to use the tools.

Cynthia Vose:  printer, stamper, book maker, and multi media specialist

We had a great workshop this morning in the art room.  Cynthia had a "bag of goodies" for each of us.   And SO much fun.  Be sure to check out that resource book I show above if you are all interested in hand made stamps.  Most of Traci's are made of buttons and paper clips and found objects galore. (not just carved ones.)  Example: she takes an old foam roller and puts rubber bands around it and uses it as a print maker. And I ALMOST threw an old sponger roller away.  OH NO!    

The class wanted to know how to carve stamps as well and so we got a demo from our fearless leader. Cynthia likes to use Blick's Easy Cut Carving block which is thick and easy to carve (on both sides).  It is somewhat flexible but she warns you need to be careful because they can break if bent too much.  She urges you to use double sided tape to tape it to a block of wood for stamping.  

She also carves using Speedball's Speedy Carve blocks (they come in pink) and Speedball's Speedy cut Easy which is blue.  You can see I tried the blue.

The roller tool was hand-made by Cynthia's husband cutting up thick dowel and putting nails and cork handles on each end. It works like a brayer.  You use  easy stick foam cut into shapes on it and then run it over paper.  I borrowed someone's crazy edge scissors and a hole punch for mine.  These will peel off and you can add different ones.

My prints were using Zentangle designs...Brabs and Jalousie.  Most people did flowers, butterflies, and geometric designs. But you know me!  :-)  Cynthia had to throw us out at noon.     

Zentangle calendar

19: Thumpprint, Banderole, 20: Voga, Snugz, Villars#1, Adente, 21: Dandi

The days are a whirling by down here in FL.  
This weekend we will be hosting friends from Wisconsin for a few days.  Considering their weather I can certainly see why they are headed this way!  

Lots of art here...I'll post more about my stamp making workshop that I took this morning.  So fun.
Meanwhile my Zentangle calendar continues...Day 19 was a wash of blue/violet in watercolor before I started. With some gold pen for highlights.  And I glued a 2.5" square black tile on for today's tangle.  

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Zentangle Calendar Jan 16, 17, 18

18: Contain'd, Stella

Posting my calendar a day sure does REMIND you that each and every day is a "masterpiece" and you gotta love 'em, one by one.  Or in threes as above.

Have a good one!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Challenge for Zentangle this week


Challenge for this week...pick an important word for the week/year. about a word for your life?

Hot Glue Stenciling

Mono print on copy paper with acrylic paint using hot glue stencils.

adding hot glue stencil prints to note cards (note first print and two ghost prints)

Using hot glue stencils is totally fun and easy when you have the right tools.  A hot glue gun and some parchment paper, a gelli plate, acrylic paint and a brayer.  (I used some strings on this one too.)

If you want to know how to do this (and I suppose not everyone does...hahaha) but IF you do, here is the video from Jane Davies.  Click here. She has wonderful online videos of all kinds of collage techniques and a DVD for sale too.  

Basically you just put the hot glue on the parchment paper in a design of your choice and let it cool slightly, then with another piece of parchment you press the hot glue stencils flat and when cool you peel them off.  Voila.  They re-use many many times!  

I am sure the cards could be embellished with bit of glitter or gold paint.  And another tri-color palette would be fun as well.  

If I used larger paper it would make wonderful wrapping paper!  You could easily do this on plain paper gift bags!  Wouldn't that be cool?  On envelopes of all sizes.  On the tops of stationery.  Let me know if you think of other places. 

Zentangle Calendar for Jan 17

Shattuck, Sp-eye-ryl, Wheelz

Iridescent green ink, gold uni-ball ink pen, and black Micron 01.  The Sp-eye-ryl is a "version" of the original tangle.  

Chilly Friday in central FL...but will get to 66 and sunny so no big complaints.  Not pool weather, however...ARGHHH.  

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Busy Busy Busy

Printemps,  Exes, Tipple, Ornamato, Rollercoaster

Gelli Plate prints

Most of the Gelli plate prints are 8.5 x 11.  (Someone asked the size of my plate...I guess it's 8 x 10.)

The prints are just on copy paper (although I have used Deli paper and too and this is thanks to friend Cynthia.   I now have a plethora of that!)  Oh yum.  I find that the third print-over on the paper is the best.  And with each layer you need to mask and reveal the one underneath. The gold acrylic paint is fantastic.  Love it.  

Also discovering the clean-up process with this acrylic print-making is somewhat time consuming and tedious but you HAVE to do it or your roller will disintegrate and your stampers will get clogged up.
AND the gelli plate itself needs to be wiped off, dried and returned to it's little plastic suitcase.  

Throw away stuff for print making is the easiest-- like bubble wrap or combs that just wipe off.  I also made some of my own stamps with hot glue on freezer paper.  Also fun foam stamps work REALLY well on this.  I hope to make some more of those in Cynthia's media class on the 21st.  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Calendar Zentangle 13, 14, 15

13: Feschu, Floatfest, Paradox, Spaghetti & Meatballs, 14: W-2, Rain, 15: Hollibaugh, Rain

Color on this one (day 14) is Uni-ball gold pen, and Turquoise Sakura Metallic.  Both are nice and glittery.  I have come to think adding color on one of the 3 days is probably enough.  

I extended the rain tangle from 14 to 15 in an effort to makes a little rhythm happen on the page.  But, like the Wizard of Oz, decided to slip back into black and white for interest.  And then I decided NOT to tangle the numbers of day 15, just to shade them. 

Hollibaugh has a lot of dark in it which is a nice contrast to day 14.  Spaghetti and Meatballs is one of Margaret's tangles, I think.  I find it amusing.  The name W-2 stands for Warp and Weft which are weaving terms.  For once a tangle name makes good sense!  

I know I am a day ahead but Wednesdays are crazy days for me.  I tutor in the Leesburg Schools in the am, get grocieries on the way home. Then we have church study group in the afternoon.  We have pizza with church friends in the evening so it is often 8 or 9 pm before we get home.  Ya get the picture?  

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Zentangle Calendar for January 12

12: Boo-Kee, Walp, Jalousie (the color is Sakura Metallic purple ink)

When I add color to a Zentangle I like to to be subtle. Just a touch here or there.  I am sure, with doing 365 of these, that I may get more into some color as the months go along, just for variety.  

My time, as you can see, gets stretched with doing other art projects (like my Gelli mono prints) and with Downton Abby's second program of the season coming on in 15 minutes,  I have to quit early tonight. 

70 and sunny in central Florida today.  Looks like a pretty nice week...almost 80 tomorrow but then another roller coaster down with a high of 55 on Thursday.  Typical January weather in this part of Florida.   

Gelli Plate mono print cards

It takes awhile to get the hang of how little paint it actually takes to coat the gelli plate to get a good print.  I have taken to masking off places...especially now that I am trying out note cards.  Michaels had their card stock on sale half price this week and so I bought 50 cards and envelopes.  

I do the masking with pieces of wax paper.  
If you google Gelli Plate you will find about 50 or so videos of all kinds of tutorials...some better than others on how to do a whole lot of things.  The card idea is actually my idea but I am sure that people have collaged cards and printed on cards galore...I just haven't hit on that yet.  One gal mono prints her mailing envelopes before she sends them out to folks.  That is cool.  

I have discovered that the inexpensive craft acrylic paint actually works better on this (69 cents each).  You get a wide variety of colors and the consistency is has to stay wet long enough for you to emboss the paint in various ways.  I guess you can add "retarder" to your acrylics to keep them fluid longer but that seems an unnecessary expense!  

Now I am trying to find a good cheap source for deli paper.  I want at least 8.5 x 11 size and I'd rather not get it folded.  If anyone has a source.  Let me know.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Gelli Mono Prints.

These are Gelli mono prints done on card stock (6.5 x 10").  My first attempts.  There is a little more to it than I thought BUT there are a million youtube videos out there to teach you how to do this.  So I have a lot of support.  Fun and messy!  More soon.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Calendar Tangles

9: Verve, Jetties, Crescent Moon  10: Telis, Shard, Coil, Scraper. 11: Ciceron

I taught a Zentangle 102 (Reunion) class today...I think we had about 14 people there.  Great group...lots of sharing. We talked about Organization, Support, Challenges, Resources, and then I taught 4 or 5 tangles and Sheila taught one too.  People shared ZIAs and there were some wonderful projects!!!  We think we'll meet again in March.  Some people are going to try joining in a 4 square ensemble.  

I am a day ahead on my calendar because I have a busy Saturday.  And I have not even had my new Gelli mono print plate out yet!  Blah.  

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Challenge # 149

Diva's challenge: 2014 (Wheelz)

A Tad Off Kilter

Stax, Panthe, Inapod, Flutter Pie

I do not what gets into me some a tad off-kilter I think.  Sigh...much procrastination...with things I need to get done.  Sigh.  This is a "procrastination" tangle.  Hahaha.  

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Wheelz, Yew-Dee/Well

You sure do notice the days "flying by" when you do a calendar book!  

Wheelz is a neat fairly new tangle just out on Linda Farmer's blog site.  I do think it's been around on the CZT circuit because I have seen it before.  It's really quite nice.  Here it is combined with a "re-mix" called Yew-Dee/Well.  Fast becoming a favorite and shared by Carole Ohl.  

I am also the proud owner of a new Gelli (gel-printing plate).  And last night was up into the wee hours looking at how-to videos.  WHAT fun.  Messy, but fun.  I can tell I am going to need a new brayer...mine is so small.  I'll post some more about this in the coming days...just to wet your appetite.  

We are experiencing Florida record setting cold today...I awoke to 35 degrees. But sunny and clear.  Whew.  But it should only last two days and we'll be back in the 70s by Thursday and 80s for the weekend.  Crazy.
Sure hope the midwest warms up a bit too so folks can at least get out and the enjoy the winter sports!

I used to take my kindergarten kids out about 30 minutes BEFORE regular recess after a heavy new snowfall. The playground was pristine! 
Being in a new snowfall with 15 five year olds is so much fun.  We would "step in each other's footprints" so as not to mar the snow too much and go out into the middle of the large playground and make a big fox and goose chase game.  Such laughter and falling into the snow and screaming with delight.  Snow angels would follow and looking for animal footprints.  If it was still snowing I brought out squares of black velvet and magnifying glasses to catch and look at snowflakes.  Then the big kids would come out and build slides and forts.  But all this had to be in 15-20 above zero or warmer weather, of course.  

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Getting A Day Ahead

Zentangle A Day Calendar: One day ahead....
Knowing I'll be gone all day tomorrow, I went ahead and tangled Jan 6 with a very simple pattern.  Figured better to get ahead than lag behind.  

We've had a glorious reprieve here in Central FL and the predicted rain for today has shifted off and it is 80 and sunny.  Wow.  Does THAT feel good again.

It will be somewhat short-lived as we will get another chill down come Tuesday with temps  dropping Tuesday night close to freezing...but another roller coaster ride back up to 80 by Saturday!  Kind of hard to know what to put on each morning!  

I am totally sympathetic to all of you in sub-zero weather right is so frigid in the midwest and New England that it's downright scary!  When the real temps are like -30 that is polar bear weather not human weather.  I hope everyone can stay safe and warm in this next round of weather!  

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Limitless possibilities

Carol Ohl's Zentangle A Day Calendar with fill in's for tangles each day.
For one thing...ya NEVER forget what day it is doing this tangle project!!!

My friend, Mary, wrote that she thought this was an "ambitious" goal to tangle the calendar every day.  

Well, "remembering" to tangle every day is the only hard part.  The actual drawing part is just fun and simple and creative and a nice "warm up" for the day.  I pointed out to her that with 400+ tangles to chose from and triple or quadruple that number if you consider "re-mixes" and creative changes to them all...there is no end to possibilities.  

Well, happiness is not having to GO anywhere on Saturday.  Yippee...I hardly know where to start.  Guess I should get my baking done first as I am hosting coffee hour at church tomorrow.  Then...the possibilities are limitless.  Lucky me.  I am paying attention.

Friday, January 3, 2014

"The flaky layers of pastry that make up the years of a person's life."

Ink Sketches in 8.5 x 12 multi media Sketchbook

I poured myself a cup of International Coffee this afternoon and picked up Danny Gregory's An Illustrated Life.  Nothing like going through that to wet my appetite for sketching and drawing again.

I did the little sketch on the left in our yard about 3 weeks ago while we had our dacquaires out on the swing one afternoon and watched the birds at the funny little "tin can bird feeder" that Greg has put up on a pole (squirrel proof).  Both of these sketches are "mostly" continuous line ink sketches.

The one on the right I did this afternoon curled up on the Florida room on an exceptionally chilly central FL day (48 degrees) but sunny most of the day.  And I sketched Greg's new telescope (that Santa brought him).  Over on the right side (out of view) it says "beginning 2014 by looking at the stars".  

A note from Danny, "I just draw the things around me that count.  It may be my toothbrush, my dogs asleep in the sunshine or the corner Korean deli.  Mundane stuff that I used to pass blithely by every day until I stopped to notice what my life was made up of, the blessings I need to count to give myself meaning."  

..."you feel the accumulation of time, the flaky layers of pastry that make up the years of a person's life, enriched by living in the moment instead of doing sudoku, contemplating the world as it passes..."


A poem by Mary Oliver...

I see or hear
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle

in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for —
to look, to listen,

to lose myself
inside this soft world —
to instruct myself
over and over

in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant —
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help

but grow wise
with such teachings
as these —
the untrimmable light

of the world,
the ocean's shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?
"Mindful" by Mary Oliver from Why I Wake Early. © Beacon Press, 2005. Reprinted with permission. 

You will note that I have a quote from Mary up under the title of my's been there since the first day I put my blog up...I truly believe that life is pretty much about "paying attention".  Or, as in this case, being "mindful".  Or "prayers made out of grass"? As she says "it is what we were born for".  

Artist friend, Durinda, and I have been talking about our "word" for the new year.  I picked "attention".  Not because it was a new word for me...but a reminder.  It's so easy to get off track and forget and start taking things for granted and then missing it all.  

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Calendar A Day

Jan 1: Gommi, Borbz..Jan 2: Cruze, Knightsbridge

This is my first year to try Zentangle a Day Calendar by Carol Ohl.  Click here for more info.

It's about 5" x 8" and at the beginning of each month she gives a short tutorial some a few fascinating tangles.  And also she adds some beautiful full page ZIAs to enjoy.  Her work is splendid and inspiring.

I leave the calendar on my studio table and it's such a delight to see it there each morning.  

January 2 in central Florida has dawned VERY rainy and coolish.  Even a little thunder!!! We very much need this rain, however, so it is really hard to complain.  I always feel sorry for the folks at Disney and Universal on days like this however.  We are about an hour from them and can assume that the weather is the same!  

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Zendala: reluctantly stepping into a new format

4.5" Zendala

I thought I'd start the New Year with something "new" to me.  Zendala is a Zentangle in the round.  This one came pre-printed from as a challenge from Jo-Ellen Matthews who is coordinating the Retreat to Paradise in April.  

Being an art rebel by nature (hahaha) I pretty much ignored the teensy little shapes printed on it and combined them into larger shapes that more fit what I like to do.  All the tangle patterns are repeated somewhere on the tile but I did not attempt to make the Zendala balance in any way other than that.  

I know Margaret Bremner is going to teach more about Zendalas at the retreat in April so I am open to her ideas.  I decided to leave the center blank in a more "wreath-like" Zendala...I thought it was so busy that the eye needed a rest somewhere.  It is quite possible that more repetitive Zendalas are more restful to the eye.  But there is something in my personality that resists too much repetition.  

I enjoyed doing this and I know that it's quite easy to make your own Zendalas.  And I also know that the circular shapes have a historical significance (see mandalas).  So this is an area that I will explore as time goes on.