Saturday, January 31, 2015

Valentines in the making

I know it's 14 days away…but all mine have to be mailed and I have 12 grandkids!  Two of the valentines are made of hand painted washi tape and the others are all made of Gelli plate print papers torn and glued together.  It's would be pretty hard to tell the difference.  I'll glue the valentines in place and then do some tangling on the card too.

If you only count 11 it's because one grandson is in the state of  Washington in Americorps and he got jellybeans in stead!  You have to join Americorps to get jellybeans.  :-)  

Looking ahead to February….

Sutygal has a ton of possibilities.  I like to end a month with a tangle that says…"hey…possibility lies ahead, girl!"  

One thing that lies ahead is cataract surgery for me.  Not something I would have chosen BUT I will be so happy to have clear vision ahead.  (Dates March 18 and April 1).  The Feb month is full for the surgeons so I have to wait a bit.  You will surely all understand with the detail work I like to do that seeing clearly is all important.  

Gorgeous sunshine in central FL today…cool, but not too bad with the sunshine and tomorrow up to 75.  Which with the FL sun feels like 80.  Nice.  Maybe a trip to the pool!!!

Hope everything enjoys the Super Bowl…our Packer did not make it so it's not going to be all that exciting for us personally.  But I enjoy the commercials!  Hahaha.  And we enjoy our friends company.  So it'll be a pleasant evening.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Diva challenge and calendar

Arcodos reminds me a little of fishnet…so I ended up shading it like that tangle.  Chebucto and Copada are the Diva's challenge for this week.  

Chilly still in central FL…days warm up to almost 70 with sunshine but then our nights are down to almost 40.  BRRR.  I guess it's good sleeping weather!  I could use an 80 degree day about now!  

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Journal Prompt #5

5 x 8" journal page with Gelli print deli paper for background.

Prompt #5 is for us to consider our critics (inner and outer) and see if we can meet them face to face and let them go.  We are mostly thinking of art critics but not necessarily…any critic.  The little folded envelop in the left corner is hard to see because it blends in so well.  It has it own little "closure" that flips up to keep the top flap down.  So I have some writing to do to finish the prompt…both on the page and something for IN the envelopes.  

Incidentally, the cat with the attitude is from my friend, Mary's Christmas card.  I just adored him and told Mary I'd be using him somewhere soon.  I had to re-paint his vest to go with the page.
Just wanted you to know I didn't draw him.  Just sharing him.
Thanks Mary!  

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Zentangle Calendar

I am sure not getting ahead of myself this year, like I used to.
Barely keeping up would be more like it!

Windy cool but sunny day in central FL…we are probably having the tail end of the huge front that is sweeping the north east.  The photos are amazing.  So 64 and a little wind is not going to cause much whining on my part this time.

Stay safe up there guys.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Feb 21 beginner Zentangle class

January 26 Orlando Sentinel newspaper

Here we go again!  
The Orlando paper was nice enough to publicize this again for me.
Thanks to Debbie Manis who does a What To Do in Lake County section of the paper.  Pass the word around if you live near Leesburg, FL!  

Windy coolish day in central FL…but sun is shining and it's headed in the right direction so we'll be in 70s by the weekend.

Zendalas continued….

12 x 12 Framed Zendala by Linda Craig

17" diameter on WC paper

The first Zendala (in the frame) is by one of my Zendala class students, Linda Craig,  who went ahead an finished her "snowflake" piece on her own and sent me a photo!  I think it's just gorgeous and am hoping she will show it in the local art show!

In that lesson I had students cut their own snowflake and then design a Zendala from it by tracing it and rearranging it themselves.  I think she got it!  Wow.  Don't you love the jewelry like additions on the outside edges?  It has a ethereal and fragile look about it.  It's amazing how much "personality" Zendalas have.  

The second Zendala (unfinished) is my demo on how to create a Zendala fairly free hand.  I took Helen Williams recent Sunflower Zendala she just posted and used it as a starting point. 

I used a compass to make the center and outside circles and then just divided it up with a ruler into sections.  I found that as the circle of petals widened I changed the patterns from ABAB to AAABAAAB and then on the outside edge to ABCD,ABCD. 

I am teaching my students to mark the patterns that way (or with numbers) in pencil so they can feel comfortable getting that "zen" feeling as they go around and not worrying about misplacing a pattern which is disappointing.  I tend to work mostly in black, white and gray but I have done one in colored metallic pens that was fun too.  Color adds another layer of concentration.  

Saturday, January 24, 2015


Pre-strung Zendala #4

This is a pre-strung Zendala purchased from
It comes blank with just the faintest of lines in pale gray that you can use as "strings" to guide you.  
It is about the size of a standard CD or DVD.
Beautiful paper of course. I think there are 9 different designs.

I started this one with my Zendala class last Tuesday.
I pretty much ignored the pre-strung center to do my "own thing" there.  Demonstrating that every pre-strung can be done dozens of ways.  This one is black, white and gray.  

The class also worked on larger Zendalas from their own cut-out snowflakes (which I already posted).  One of the gals has finished hers!  These are quite a bit larger.  

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Journal Prompt #4

Light molding paste for swirls colored with pan pastels.
Window is actually cut out.  Metallic pens for tangles.

When the paper door is open:  Hand painted washi tape, watercolor, colored pencils, graphite and ink
This journal page got a little…."crafty" for me.  But it was okay and fun to do.  I enjoyed putting together a variety of media and experimenting with having something "open" on the page.  I liked using a "see-through" element which I would do again although it might be fun to have the see-through actually look through to another page.  You would really have to "plan ahead" on that one! I had already journaled on the back of this page so I couldn't do that.  

The prompt (see below) actually included sharing a recipe for a comfort food somewhere on it.  And this is my grandkid's favorite dessert at the summer cabin.  I love it as it is a make-ahead.  

Our prompt this week mostly had to do with picking which of the many facets of journaling seems "the most scary" to you.  Is it color, is it collage, is in composition, is it the writing, the script, etc?  I think actually beginning to write my own thoughts and words on a page is intimidating to me.  I consider myself a "writer of sorts" so really making words is fine.  But pulling together a thought that is cohesive and being brave enough to actually write on the page somehow eludes me.  

The prompt writer herself is sharing her process on Facebook and she notes that the words themselves don't even have to be readable.  I mean that is one way to do it.  She is just using "script" and then glazing over it with colors and gesso.  The script shows but it's not really readable…it's more an art form when she gets done. 

My next journal is going to be a bigger size page…I can see that now.  I had decided on "not too much commitment" to this project and I thought smaller would work better.  But it's actually more challenging.  I mean what you see is only 5" x 8".  

On another note I spent a happy hour in Michael's arts and crafts yesterday spending my Christmas gift card from one of my daughters.  OH what fun.
I'll share more of what I picked another time.  AND I discovered an app on my iPad that pulls up the 40% off coupon so the gal at the checkout just reaches over and scans my iPad.  How cool is THAT.  Saved me $5!  

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My first Zendala Class

Pre-strung Zendala tile #4

On Tuesday morning I had 8 students in my Zendala class.  
I told them all they were "guinea pigs" as it was my first Zendala class.  I decided on two methods.  One we used a pre strung from for a small one and we used the snowflake method to create our own stencil for a larger one.

I learned a lot about sequencing the class, timing different parts and using demos.  

I find (and still find) the demo for Zendala using a chart board challenging.  (I don't have a document camera).  My hubby suggested a good idea when I talked it through with him later.

Draw each section (in #4 they are almost all triangles) putting one shape per page ( or maybe two).  Don't try to replicate the actual pattern as it is too confusing and time consuming.  Just identify the shape you are working on and do one at a time.  

Second, have student's number the strings (or use letters) with a pencil lightly so they can see how the symmetry will work out and not get confused by alternating patterns.  Such as A-B, A-B and the like so they know how to continue on successfully.  It's SO easy to get lost in the pattern and put the wrong one in.  

I think it's good not to use too many colors for the first ones.

Teach the snowflake cutting slowly.  Many of us have forgotten how to fold them.  Don't assume they know how. 

My friend Cynthia made 4 folding snowflake patterns and put the numbers on them for me.  I will keep those to use next time.  (Thanks Cynthia) and she sent me a cool website for that too
which not only shows the folding but some great patterns to trace onto the flake before cutting.  

Then I went ahead to show them how you can re-do the traced stencil and use that same pattern over and over again multiple times from one snowflake!  

I brought two new tangles to teach.  
I think I should bring at least 4.  
One of the tangles was Aquafleur which everyone liked!  
And I reviewed Paradox.
It was new for a few people.  
All in all it was fun.  

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Zentangle Calendar through Jan 21

Helen Williams' new tangle ZagV is a lot of fun.  I rarely use Pendril but Carole Ohle suggests it for January and I always like to try what she suggests!  I also loved the way she did Jettie which is also in 19 in a similar way.  

Had a great day with teaching Zendala…
I'll post more about that tomorrow I want to go and listen to the President's speech.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Slipping Bejou into the picture!

I wanted to try this before I forgot!  This is a Bejou Tile "inserted" into the middle of a regular 3.5" tile.  Bejou was done on a marbled background.  I am not sure I would do that background design again…even though I like the marbled background I think the whole thing got too busy.  But I like the idea of cutting slits and putting Bejou in.

Sunday, January 18, 2015


The idea of playing with "borders" is one that came up on Tangle 
a Day Facebook group recently.  It's nice to put some borders together for remind you of all the many many ways tangles make great ones!  Antique is a new one.  When I took one of the tiny pieces out of that tangle to use in the number 6 above it turned out looking for all the world like a frog.  

Now need to get ready for my Zendala workshop coming up on Tuesday here at Hawthorne Park.  Hoping to post some of those soon.  

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Snowflake stenciling

5 x 8 journal page 
Prompt #3
There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique." Martha Graham.

The prompt for our journal page this week had many parts to it, starting with how to fold and cut a snowflake.  It included lots of idea about how to use the snowflake but the main idea was that they are unique and so are we.  

The snowflake idea was further personalized in that we had to try to incorporate our initials into the cutting of the flake. Whoa!  My initials are "V" and "S".  Thus the "V"s around the outside edges.  The cut s did not show up so well so I drew them in later with a jellyroll pen.

I painted my page with black acrylic paint. While that dried, I pressed the snowflake with an iron and then I sprayed the page with White Linen Dylusions spray ink using the snowflake for a stencil.  Then I put some subtle tangles in the flake image and printed on the words.  

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Zentangle Calendar up to Jan 12

Barely keeping up these days!  Whew.

Auraknot will always be a "mac n cheese" tangle for me.
Gave it a two day spread this time!

And a friendly follower of my blog sent me the name of the mystery tangle to the left: Seton.  THANK YOU.

Have a good Sunday.
Go Packers!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Life is largely a matter of expectation.

Journal Prompt #2 - 5 x 8

"Life is largely a matter of expectation."

When the prompts are posted in my Facebook journalling group they are 3 pages long!  So it's sort of hard to summarize what the prompt for this was.
Suffice to say we were asked to find a quote that touched us and somewhat followed the theme of the word we had chosen the week before (my word was "attentiveness".

Then we were to find and paint or construct an interesting background (mine was watercolor on white gesso with plastic wrap crinkled up on it and left to dry.).  We were to find some interesting "letters" to insert in any way we chose and then to put a border on in some fashion (I chose around the whole page but that was by choice.)

I also chose to soften the edges of the page with a mix of white gouache.  The coupon is just a small "hint" that follows the idea of the quote. 

I used "Fandangle" for my Zentangle® border
The journal took about 3-4 sittings…layering paint and adding words and then tangling.  I'll spray it with clear acrylic when I am sure it's done because some elements on it are water soluble.  

Folks on the Facebook journal prompt page are now being asked to sign up to create the prompts themselves beginning in February and running through 2015.  My sign up was not until next November!  I should be an old pro by then.  

I am actually keeping two journals.  One for the prompts which come every Wed.  One for my own prompts…as I feel I need to capture things on my own and want to keep them separate from the other journal.     

Zentangle Calendar for January 10 2015

I am going to have to post the name of this tangle later as I have totally forgotten it.  I put the step outs down and forgot to attach the name!!!  If anyone remembers could you comment the name?  

Had a great group of 11 students in my beginner Zentangle class this morning out at DK's art supply.
Very fun day. Thanks Eileen, Jack, Ester, Teddi, Mary Carol, Margaret, Robyn, Sarah, Mary Ann, Sandy and Mary.  (THREE Mary's…amazing.)

I forgot to take photos of the group (again) as I get totally "into" the class and hate to stop momentum.
It was my first time in that classroom and I found it comfortable, well-lit, and quiet…all necessary for Zentangle.  

I got booked to teach another beginner class in February and a Part II class in March at DKs.  (see dates on sidebar).  

Sunny day here in FL and my new iridescent pan pastels arrived in the mail.  Oh yummy. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

We do not remember days…..

5 x 8" journal page

This is the inside cover for a second journal (a non-challenge journal) called "Make a Wish".  I am not sure it will have a real "theme" to it yet but it started out with my real emotional reservations about 2015.
If you remember my "sweater unraveling" story (see a former post).  

This is actually a "front cover" of the journal just inside the real cover…I like the quote "We don't remember days…we remember moments."  It sort of fits with the "time" theme.  I found out a lot of interesting art things on this page like "white out" makes interesting marks BUT it's not really very good for writing words.  

And I had a chance to try out Dylusions Ink Spray.  This one is "black marble" which I used to spray over a stencil. I love that. The stencil was laid on a collage of interesting hand painted paper and some bits of a print of a painting by my wonderful oil painter friend Durinda (from GA) who sent me a 2014 calendar and I am now using bits and pieces of her paintings in collages.  The flowers were from her painting of Monet's garden. It seemed like such a wonderful moment from her.  Wonderful moments would be a GREAT theme, wouldn't it?  

Also bits of my hand-painted Washi tape but I wish I hadn't used that.  I will have to find a way to soften the edges on that.  

Then spent the rest of the day installing a new HP printer as my old 7 year old one had the gall to quit on me.  Just like a new computer, these new printers are sure full of gadgets and stuff.  Little computer screens on them and buttons to push and etc.  But I am happy the scanner and copier seem to be working that that's important.  It was on sale and Office Depot was willing to take back the unopened printer ink for the old printer and put the $ toward the new one!  A good deal all around!  

Tomorrow will be spend getting reading for my Saturday class at DK Art Supply store on Saturday. I haven't done a beginner class for a few months and I need to get up to speed again!  

The bitter weather is sliding away from FL now and we are headed for warmer days again.  78 by Monday which is more normal for us.  Stay warm up there in the northland everyone.  

Zentangle "Tile Hugger" booklets are TOO CUTE!

These adorable Zentangle "holders" are just THE most delightful little booklets.  AND they are for sale.  
The gorgeous handmade booklets are approximately 4.5" square covered in beautiful handmade papers. They have a grommeted elastic strap that holds them closed.  They hold 10 classic 3.5" Zentangle tiles in hand-folded envelope pages.  (You could also put Bejou in them too, of course.)

The books make adorable gifts or thank you hostess gifts.  They fit in your purse or bag and make terrific display for your CZT teaching too.  

The books are made by Lauryn Eldon from MA and she charges $15 for them with $3 shipping and handling.  
You can contact Lauryn by emailing her at with the subject: "Zentangle booklet".  She'll give you the information about which colors are available, where and how to send checks or money orders and you can give her the shipping information, etc.
Right now she is taking on US orders and only in the 48 states.  

Lauryn shared one of her books with me because she enjoys my blog and wanted me to have one and I just totally fell in love with it!  I call mine a "Tile Hugger" but that is just MY name for it.  I think she said she has about 6 left for sale but will make more as orders come in and you can then suggest the color theme you like best.  Enjoy!

Diva Challenge: Hitched

Yesterday a group of Tangle A Day friends dropped by and we did some of "tangles" together.  I taught them Zander which is an old favorite. We played with In a Pod and Ciceron and we had fun with a little Printemps snuck in there.  I also found Orbs-la-Dee (thanks to Ann finding the name for me) and played a little with it.  Later I added some "sparkle" to Ciceron by darkening some of the rings.  I liked that effect.  

After the group left I added some Spoon Flowers and Onion Drops and Yuma to fill in places.  Wow…I am all done up through tomorrow!  

(I had already put "Hitched" in for the Diva Challenge before they came!).  

We are having a bit of the cold north slip down to us in Central Florida this morning.  BRRRR.  It is only 38 here this morning…and windy so there must be a wind chill.  Wind chill is not something Floridians talk about!  We will be back up close to 80 for a high by Monday but it'll be a chilly week as it gradually begins to edge it way back to normal.  I know there is no sense whining to northern friends as I can SEE what their temps are this morning!  OMGosh.

Stay warm guys.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Don't Look Back...

So here starts 2015…one, two and three already!
And now "4". So fast.  

I am trying to learn to say "Welcome 2015" for that is the very best choice to make!  
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening at once." (Woody Allen)

Have you been to the Grand Canyon?  
Have you stood at the edge of it and looked out and down?
Gorgeous. But it makes you just catch your breath at the breadth and depth, at the color, and luminosity, at the way the sky and air and land meet up to make something so amazing there are barely words.

Every year we get should be like that…maybe even MORE so as we get older because like putting the pieces in a jig saw puzzle you get closer to seeing "the big picture".  

But 2015 makes me "catch my breath" too.  It rolls down in front of me and disappears into the soft fog of surprise.  No choice but to step forward now and as dear Sharon says (see # 3 above)…"Don't look back, you are not going that way."  

So "let's hold hands while we cross the street" and together we'll make this the best and most amazing and most fascinating and most interesting and most beautiful year yet.  

My journal "prompt" word for the challenge the first week was "attentiveness".  So that shall be the central theme beginning this week.     

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Ephemera: Make a Wish

Cover: Collage, gelli print papers, stenciling, stamping, graphite rubbings

Gelli print papers collages, ink jet transfer, old calendars, inks and stabilo pencil, washi tape,  ink stamps

Collectible memorabilia is the standard definition of ephemera.  It's a a term used by journalists and those who work with decorated or illuminated pages to indicated bits and pieces they have saved to use.  

The little title of this journal "Make a Wish" is a bit of ephemera from my grandson Mike's birthday card 3 years ago when he was 5 years old.  Something so special about those first years of print making.  

I love his direction to his grandma that I am to "make a wish" for my birthday (probably when I blow out the candles?"  I like the idea of the topic for my 2nd journal.  

It has become apparent to me that having a prompt for my Face book group journal project once a week is not going to "cut it for me"  What about in between those prompts?  What about life in between?  :-)  

I have absolutely fallen in love with Gwen Diehn's book The Complete Decorated Journal.  It is not just a how-to book or dozens of idea of how to make marks or stamps or papers but rather a way of looking at life by immortalizing it with words and images so that you are more in the present.  
I would have been hard pressed two weeks ago to give you that meaning for a journal.  

Let me say that I've been chatting with hubby about this new awareness and now he asks me, "What did you journal about today?" so often I finally put a cover on the 2nd journal I bought and did a first page in it today.  

I told artist friend, Cynthia, that I was "having a difficult time letting go of 2014" and moving into the new year.  My analogy was that it felt like someone was knitting me a new sweater using the yarn from the sweater I was still wearing and the arms were getting shorter as the new sweater got knit but I wouldn't take off the old one.  

This image of "father time" I found online is the only one I  found that didn't show him as the grim reaper!  Good Lord.  
Ghoulish images that I didn't want.  (note he is wearing my unraveling sweater.)  I am analyzing all the reasons why I don't want to leave and jump into the new year.  But, of course, there is NO choice.  And I felt better after doing the page, by the way.   

I think the journal images will help we work my way into it gently.  Anyway…this is a new journal for my own thoughts.  The other journal is the "prompted" journal from the Facebook group and she just gives one prompt a week.  

Note: I am making a chart of "mark making" available to me..kinds of inks, pencils, crayons, etc. that I own.  Which are archival and which not.  Sumi ink is not archival but India ink is.  Stuff like that.  It helps to know this when you decide to coat a page with acrylic gel medium!  

Friday, January 2, 2015

End Papers…illuminated pages in my book

I didn't have a lot of time in the studio yesterday but I did come across some scrapbook papers that I had tangled a long time ago.  And I decided to cut them to fit on the inside cover of the little "Illuminated Pages" book that I am making with the group on Facebook this month.

The prompts for the content come once a week and so before I put this little "booklet" away for a few days, I thought I'd decorate the end paper.  One paper glued in the front.  One glued on the inside of the back of the book.  (5 x 8)

I used YES glue and then I painted the blue inside front page with Sparkling H2os watercolor paint that has some "glistening qualities" and dropped sea salt onto the page before it dried to get some nice texture.  Then I stamped my name and the year in.  And yes, up top, I do have my own "chop" that one of my daughters got for me on a trip to Asia.