Thursday, 24 December 2015

Joey's Christmas Surprise

A present, what better surprise could Joey give us for Christmas. Here is my tangled present presented to you alongside my Christmas Candle. I will be here on Monday to see what Joey has lined up, it is just taking me a little longer to put it on the blog with all the festivities and prep that is going on at the moment.

I wish Joey and all my Zentangle friends a very Merry Christmas and hope you all have a wonderful time :-)

Monday, 21 December 2015

Z = Zander and Zinger

This series of alphabet strings, which we have been doing over at Cheryl's place, convieniently end at Christmas with Z. The New Year will bring some different challenges and I look forward to seeing what is planned.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

The Diva's Zentangle Gifts

Hello everyone. First of all I want to thank everyone for their good wishes last week when my partner ended up in hospital. I found tangling on my knee in hospital much more comforting after I had got over the initial shock and things settled down into a routine around visiting. Thankfully all is well now and at the weekend everything returned to normal. Sorry I didn't get round everyone's blog but the hospital didn't run to public wi-fi!

Last week I posted about my half wall tree which I had temporarily decorated with Zentangle Christmas Deco's. This is my tree now it is decorated properly. We have decided not to bother with the floor standing one this year.
The Diva has challenged us to give a gift of Zentangle. This is a bookmark I made for my friend Finola. I used Chillon and Quipple.

The Diva will return in January, so I will take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas  and I hope you all have a great holiday season. See you in the New Year.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Joey's Second Christmas String

Today we have a little forest of Christmas Trees to tangle for Joey's Challenge. We also have several tangles to choose from. It seems I have got used to doing Monotangles for Joey because I chose to do the whole thing in Tipple. Of course I had to use colour, black and white Christmas Trees just didn't seem right in a monotangle. I drew a tile in my sketch book to use this week.

Also I am just scrapping in with my Y entry for Tackle It Tuesday, the link for which you can find at the side. Sorry it is stuck on the end of a previous post like this, but I didn't want to miss the entry as I have managed to do every other letter of the alphabet.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Joey's Christmas Strings

Woohoo, Joey's Challenge is up, I have been excited to see what it would be and could hardly wait. I woke at 6am Irish time and it wasn't up, but then it appeared at breakfast time (again Irish time).

Christmas Strings, what a good idea and just what I need for Christmas Cards. I have also got my wall half tree up, but it still has to be decorated with baubles so at the moment it has become my Zentangle Tree. More about that later today in my Diva Challenge Blog (sorry Joey if I had known what you had planned I could have posted it here, but it is already written. I will link it later) P.S. [linked here]
How clever it is that Joey can make up several challenges at once and then automate it so it publishes them on the appropriate date. I would think that it probably means Joey has a bit of a challenge too,  because over time I expect she forgets quite which challenge it is this week and when she sees it she can join in with the tile she has drawn.
Here is a close up of my challenge tile:-

A Tangled Tree

Have you seen the lovely Bijouisms and little holiday ornaments coming from the Zentangle® Mothership? Bijou is sending out the instructions each day to accompany the twelve days of Christmas. You can find them on the Zentangle Blog.

The first day was a lovely little sparkly box ornament made out of Bijou tiles and Duck Tape. Day 2 was a trinket for the tree made from tiny framed Bijou tiles hung on ribbons. It was at this point that I realised perhaps something was going to appear each day.

Day 3 brought another way to hang a Zentangle/Bijou tile. This was when I started to catch on and started to have a go myself. This was my take on Day 3 :-
Day 4 was a lovely little What-Knot making use of both Zendala and Bijou tiles. At last I have found a use for the Vermal tangle pattern and used it with the letters that make up Merry and Xmas. Here is the result:-
Which I used on this:-
Adele Bruno has done a post with a step out for a Christmas Ornament and this is my attempt at it:-
Also on the Christmas ornament theme I drew some petals to put around the neck of baubles on the tree like this:-
This is before it was attached:-
Here is a picture of my Tangled Tree so far:-
So on to the Diva's Challenge to use African Artist tangle pattern. I can't seem to make friends with this tangle. I never seem to quite work out the proper place to draw the connecting lines in step 2. My entry this week is a little basic, but I have my excuses ready - I tangled it on my knee!

Fortunately I prepared the Christmassy portion of this post yesterday because all of a sudden I was thrust into the whirlwind of my partner's emergency admission to hospital. I am not going to bore you with the story of long worrying hours in A & E, but I thought "well this is the time to try tangling in hospital waiting rooms like I have heard of in other people's blogs". I have to take my hat off to you all because I don't know how you do it! I had my mini tangling kit in my bag, (pen, pencil, tiles and a little board to rest the tile on). I tangled away on my knee, but I couldn't produce anything as satisfactory as I do at home. It looks like I will be hanging around the hospital quite a lot for a couple of days, so perhaps more practice at tangling on my knee will make perfect.

Anyway I must go so I will leave you with my Diva's tile. See you all soon.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Xmas red is a-coming :-)

Well it is December, and the string is X, so of course I had to do a Xmas Rec Monotangle for the Tackle It Tuesday Challenge. I think Xmas Red is the only tangle I can say I used to doodle before I heard about Zentangle®. I suppose I have tried drawing this tangle every Christmas since I was a little girl (and that is quite a few years now!)

Monday, 30 November 2015


I've had a very busy week. I signed up for Julie Gibbons 5 days of Mandala Magic which happened last week. Each day videos and excercises to do with mandalas opened up. I had hoped it would help me with Zendalas. If I knew more about Mandalas and their symbols perhaps I would be better able to chose tangle patterns to make Zendalas with. It didn't quite work out like that but I did learn an awful lot about Mandalas and I was able to use tangle patterns in some of the excercises we were set. Here is a concentric circle Mandala that I made:-
You will notice I put a gemstone in the centre of the Mandala. That is the other thing I was busy with last week. The Zentangle groups on Facebook have gone gem mad (not, I am glad to say, my beloved Purely Zentangle Facebook group;-). I am still practicing gems, using these instructions. As I didn't have a white pen I just left a white kidney shaped gap at the top of the dark area and that seemed to work, but next day I went in search of a white pen and that really made a difference.

Glassy gems are another string to my bow, but I think we have to be careful about when and where they are used. I know there are some tangle patterns such as Pookroot and verdigogh which look pretty real in some artists hands, but by and large ZIA's are abstract drawings so I don't suddenly want large jewellery springing up in the middle of them. I think it is really amazing how you can create things that look like glass or gems out of just paint or crayons, but I prefer it when it is used as an embellishment just like we sometimes use dewdrops. Here I have put three zen gems in the gaps at the centre and corners of this Hamadox, but it is the tangle which is the focus of the tile.
Having said I think ZIA's are largely abstract drawings this week's Diva Challenge is to pick a tangle and draw trees with it. Now last week I branched out with Hollibaugh challenge and made trees out of the Hollibaugh tangle, so this week I have used the tangle pattern Twiggy which is designed to look like a tree, but I added small green zen gems on each branch to represent an apple tree.

W and Zinger

I am just sneaking in my entry for the Tangle It Tuesday Challenge before it is due to finish this week. Sorry to be so late. W is the string and I decided to literally do just that, use it as the string. I used the tangles Wist and Warble. Come and join us, tackling it on Tuesdays, the string will be X which should be a very easy one to do.
Gosh, the last of the Alphabet Monotangle Challenges, I can't believe it! I discovered Zentangle® and all the challenges just as Joey started with A for Arukas. Joey's tile was fabulous in blue and yellow, I loved it as it looked like a star and it made me want to try it out. This is the tile I drew for it, the first I had ever done in colour and I can remember being very impressed that I could actually draw it :-)
Anyway here we are at Z. Zinger seems such a fun tangle to have for the last one and I got a bit carried away. Zinger is a simple tangle, the sort that suits black tiles so I broke out my new white pen and started to draw. I find it sort of instinctive to start in a corner with Zinger and draw it in a Mooka-ish manner. I liked it but I thought it was just like everyone draws it and Joey's challenge needed something more:-
So next I decided to try and hang them from a central hanger. This one looks nice and bouncy, but I still thought I could be a little more original.
Finally I reverted to a traditional white tile, drew a small orb, surrounded it by a larger orb and then popped the little zinger 'hats' strategically around the large orb. Finally, as I signed it I popped a little zinger hat on my initials.
Now to look forward to what Joey has planned for us next week, I am so excited I don't know if I can wait lol!

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Mandala, the last day

Today is the last day of my exploration of Mandalas. Julie Gibbons has done an excellent five day course which she kindly opened up for free. Today was about the Flower of Life, and there were some excellent instructions about how to construct one.

As Julie recommended I did a practice run on spare paper first :-
Then I did a proper drawing in my sketch book. I seem to have a thing for blue, and I also couldn't bring myself to fill the middles in with colour,. The Geometric form looked so great on its own and I didn't want to detract from that. I took several photos as I went along as I was enjoying it so much:-

Friday, 27 November 2015

Day Four

Today is Day 4 of Julie Gibbons Five Day Mandala Course which I have been studying. It is amazing how you can never have heard of something before and once you do you hear about it again more than once. I had never heard of a Hamsa before so today's lesson was very interesting. The Hamsa is a protection symbol, especially with an eye on it, with just slightly different meanings depending on whether it is hand up or hand down, but either way it is still good.

I found this much more difficult to draw than the mandalas. Julie showed us a very easy way to draw the Hamsa outline so that was no problem, it was the decorating that I found tricky.  I drew an eye symbol without trouble, but found the fingers very narrow to find anything which would fit - I am no artist lol. I did enjoy it once I got to colouring it in.
Edit:- I suddenly realised I should have drawn it in a mandala so I quickly added one. I had to glue the Hamsa into a larger book in order to make a circle big enough for the hand.

There was a free day yesterday due to Thanksgiving in the USA, (I hope everyone had a good time). I passed the time by watching some of the videos again and drew two more Mandalas. One is the lotus mandala style and one is the concentric circle style, both of which are below.

Thursday, 26 November 2015


Diane and Carolein's Challenge this week is H N W. I wanted to do Nipa, then it struck me that Huggins and W2 would both fit the challenge and yet we're very similar tangles. I decided I would put each one in the Nipa orbs. First I drew it on a blue watercolour washed background,
then I drew it on a pink watercolour washed background. I couldn't decide which one I liked the best so I decided to post both and let you judge (sorry about the green tinge on the photo)

Wednesday, 25 November 2015


I'm doing a virtual workshop this week, the subject of which is  Mandalas. I have never done a virtual workshop before and am really enjoying it. It is lovely being able to pick the time and the place to do it. It is very interesting discovering some of the meanings behind Mandalas and also to find it includes such simple things as drawing a circle round and round and round. I was interested to hear Julie had been on a Mandala course at the Samye Ling Tibetan Centre as I visited it myself recently. It is literally just up the road from the village where my sister lives. It is an amazing place and such an unexpected sight to come across on a little road in the Scottish countryside.

Of course we went on to more complicated things and the first Mandala we were tasked with drawing was a Lotus Mandala. Again it was very simple to draw, but it looks so intricate. Julie explained very clearly how to construct them in the video. I drew it as instructed and coloured it in with coloured pencils over the top of coloured markers. I didn't quite like the finish, the colour didn't seem quite right (as in the first photo) so I added an extra circle around the outside edge and was much more pleased with it. (Second photo)

On the third day we were tasked with drawing a concentric circle Mandala then fill it in. I used a lavender coloured marker, my favourite colour, then took a photo as instructed. (first photo) I coloured it a little, but didn't feel the need to colour it as much as the one in the demonstration. (Second photo)

Monday, 23 November 2015


Swedish Noir TV shows are quite big over here at the moment. I don't know how it took off but all of a sudden everyone seemed to be talking about them. We are super excited because a big favourite - The Bridge - has started. For those who may not know it is a crime drama where the deaths occur close to a bridge which connects both Sweden and Denmark and so needs the police forces of both countries to work together. The main detective, Saga, has Asperger's Syndrome and it is interesting to see how she copes with her job and life. I find myself comparing Saga to Sheldon from The Big Bang  Theory. The Bridge is not a comedy, and they are completely different types of programmes, but I think both Sheldon and Saga must play that part of their characters well as they do seem to me to resemble each other. Has anyone else out there noticed this?

The Diva has asked us to go back to basics and use Hollibaugh this week. I love Hollibaugh, the way it twists and turns, and you can do so much with it. Tangle the spaces, leave the space clear, turn it into something else etc. The first thing I wanted to do today was use Hollibaugh to make trees and so I created this tile.

When it was finished I decided the branches and roots hadn't crossed enough to really qualify for her challenge and so I made a more traditional Hollibaugh, but on a renaissance tile. I usually draw a very narrow border around my tile in order to give me as much tangling room as possible, but this time I did a very broad border and was quite pleased with the result.


I have just drawn three tiles with a Yuma Monotangle for Joey's Monotangle Challenge and I wasn't at all pleased with them. I thought I wasn't going to get along with Yuma. I decided to give it s final go. As I have just started a Mandela video workshop this week it prompted me to think of drawing a circle in the middle of my tile. Inside the circle I did the original version of Yuma and outside the circle I did the seed variation of Yuma. This did the trick and I was quite pleased with the result.

I discovered Joey's Monotangle Challenge just as she started the alphabet challenges with A (of course she started with A, silly me :-) I can't believe it will be Z next week. I wonder what Joey has in store for us after next week. I am excitedly looking forward to finding out. Thank you very much Joey for all the time you take to run this challenge.

Sunday, 22 November 2015


Just a quick post as I have just discovered the latest Tangle Me Three Challenge and it is almost due to change to next week.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Tackle It Tuesday and B E X

I enjoy Tackle It Tuesday. As it says on the box each challenge is posted on a Tuesday, and currently it uses a letter as the string then at least one tangle beginning with that letter. This week we have reached V and my tile is below. I used Vortex, Viaduct and both versions of Vache.

We would love it if you joined in, I know Cheryl would be encouraged if more joined. She was ill for a while and had to stop running it, but it has been back without a break for some months now. You will find the challenge here, the Mr Linky for it is in a slightly different place. You will find the Mr Linky at the top of the right hand side bar. If you are using a mobile phone or mobile blogger app you may not be able to see it and might have to go onto your computer, but it is there on the top RHS *nodding knowingly* :-) I look forward to seeing you at Cheryl's Place.

BEX are the letters for Diane and Carolien's  Challenge. This week I have actually done a standard tile as I was in the hospital waiting room for my post-op eye check-up. I just made a curly string of my own and set forth, so it had to be tangles that I could remember. It made a nice change to just get on with it. Usually for a challenge I spend quite a lot of time looking different tangles up and deciding what to do where. The ones that I could remember off the top of my head, beginning with the chosen letters, were Bunzo, Beelight, Echoisn and Xplode

Monday, 16 November 2015


Xplode! My first thought was what on earth am I going to do with that, but as other people have said before me, that is what these challenges are all about and Joey's challenge often stretches me which is why I like it.

I decided it was the sort of tangle which might look good drawn on a black tile. As I looked at the step out I saw there was also an aura version and so I started by dividing the tile into two aura-ed flags connected in the corner by a short pole. I then drew the original Xplode in each of the flags.

Tripoli and Paris

I suppose there has been one topic which has dominated all conversations the world over today, - Paris. Such a terrible, terrible thing, why do people have to resort to killing people just to get their own way?

Ina Sonnenmoser was thinking about the events yesterday, whilst she was tangling, and ended up inventing a new tangle pattern called Paris, in rememberance of those who died. Many of you may have already seen it around, but for those of you who haven't you can find the step-out and examples here:- Paris

The Diva's challenge this week is Tripoli, I love this tangle and use it a lot, there are so many ways of drawing it. Today I have drawn an almost Monotangle ZIA for this. I call it an 'almost Monotangle' because the tangle, Paris, is a similar triangle shape to Tripoli and so, in rememberance of all those who died in that normally romantic city, I used Paris in just one section of this wreath  (on the lower left) . For the majority of the ZIA I used a different variation of Tripoli in each section. There are still more variations I left out. It is also great drawn with a touch of colour, but I stayed with the original black and white this time.


Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Zendala Dare #116

The Zendala Dare this week has some lovely egg shaped spaces. Erin has filled them with faces, but I am not that clever, even if there are some tangle patterns to help you. I used hypnotic alternating with a sort of evoke and put Diva Dance right in the centre.

I was amazed how soon it was completed. I tangled straight onto the computer print-out and was surprised how nice it feels. The ink just flows and it seems to soak it up. I suppose when you think about it I shouldn't be surprised, after all the paper is designed to go through a printer and take ink nicely.


Honestly they talk about global warming but I really think our planet has reached that certain age. You know what I mean, hot flushes and unusual feelings. Yesterday afternoon reached 17C, I mean really, it is November! It can snow here in November! The highest temp we had in mid summer this year was 18C. Now I agree, 18C is cool for summer here, although we live right beside the sea where it it always slightly cooler than elsewhere, but you see what I mean - down in Summer, then teashirt weather when we should be getting out our scarves and mittens for the winter :-(

Diane and Carolein's Challenge this week is UK & H. I am afraid I stuck with just one beginning with U, there are not many U tangles that I like drawing so Up and Down is the one I chose today. For K I chose Keenes and Knase (which I put into the K bijou tile). I got more carried away with H. I used Hepmee, Hypnotic, Henna Drum and Hamail.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Up and Across & Uncorked

This week's string for Tackle it Tuesday is U. Not many tangle patterns begin with U, and of those there are not a lot I like so I determined to use two that I wouldn't normally choose.

I decided to go with a Black Tile this week and did a grid of Up and Across and put Uncorked in the bend of the U.