Monday, 29 June 2015

Summer 2

Summer is well and truly in, and is filtering it's way into more of this week's challenges. Kristinne is off to celebrate her anniversary so I hope it is a warm night for her. In spite of the celebrations she has posted her second challenge which is 'Let it B'  The focus, of course, is the letter B - three to five tangles beginning with B. I chose Beads, Bunzo, BB's, and Betweed.

The Diva is also taking time off, for the children and the summer. Once again she has thoughtfully left us with a challenge and plans for next few weeks. I look forward to seeing what is planned. In the meantime the challenge this week is a Monotangle of Tipple. The sun and it's rays have seeped into my tile (even if it is drawn in black lol)


I am so excited, I have ordered my Zentangle® Kit from  I have read good comments about it, that it is helpful even after people have been tangling for a year or more so I thought I would order it now, whilst I am still a Newbie and hopefully will learn a lot from it. The only trouble is, I am excited but I will have to wait patiently as it will take time to travel across the pond to me here in Ireland. I looked at the priority postage, but it was going to cost as much as the kit itself which would be stupid, so I will just have to practise the Zentangle® Method in order to remain calm until it arrives;-)

Today I am doing Joey's Tangle Challenge #67 which is a Monotangle of Dugwud. The summer weather has arrived here at last and my pen just seemed to know it. Using the alternative version of Dugwud It immediately created large summery flowers in each corner of the tile, so I went mad and broke out my Derwent Coloursoft coloured pencils to complete the summery look.  I was going to say that I hope you are all having good summer weather too, but this Zentangle community is so international I suppose some of you will be heading into winter now.     


Sunday, 28 June 2015

My Favourite Zentangle Letter

Today is the start of my Zentangle week. It begins with SuzieMosh's Tangle Me Three Challenge alongside her That's New To Me Challenge.

I have really enjoyed tangling today, and I have finished the tiles for both of them already! This is for the 'Tangle Me Three Challenge' which is featuring the Axlexa tangle pattern. I decided to use a blue pen as the central variation reminds me very much of an ink blot lol. Do you remember ink blots? Strange to think youngsters these days won't know what they are!

N is the letter for the 'That's New To Me Challenge' with an artist focus on Neil Burley. I think N is my favourite Zentangle Letter as I love nearly all the tangle patterns in that category. I chose just three, N'zepple, Narwal (how can you resist Narwal ;-) and New To Me - Noodles by Neil Burley.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

It's Not Tuesday

Yes, I know it is Saturday, and this challenge is called Tackle It Tuesday, but I have only just found out about it so I went ahead anyway. From her Blog I believe Cheryl had to stop running this challenge for a while, but now she is hoping to get it up and running again.

For this, the first of a new alphabet run, the letter has to be used as the string and she is beginning with the letter A. In addition you need to use one or more tangles beginning with the same letter. I choose to use Arnia, Ahh, Antidots, Axlexia and Anglefish.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Focus on the Zentangle® Method

I have discovered Audio Zentangle® Meditations which is run on Ha!designs Blog. I have very much enjoyed participating in this as it really focuses on the Zentangle Method. Don't get me wrong, the challenges are great, I enjoy them and they make me try tangle patterns I might have thought were too difficult and that stretches me, but I spend a lot of time choosing the patterns and deciding what to do, thinking about how to make it different etc. I do get a sense of achievement, and love to view all the ZIA's, but I am trying to run before I can walk and I wouldn't really describe it as a relaxing meditative experience.

I am only about four weeks into this Zentangle® journey and I need to remember to practise the basics. As I mentioned before I have no Zentangle meetings I can attend so this Audio Zentangle Meditation is a great teaching tool for me and was very calm and relaxing. You begin with no visual clues as to which tangle pattern you will be drawing. Holly explains exactly what equipment you need, a little breathing technique, and then explains each step of the featured tangle and follows along with you. This Bijou tile is my result, I cropped the picture with the ruler in as it is hard to get a sense of scale with Bijou tiles but they are so cute in Real Life.

It's A String Thing is another challenge that I think leans more towards the basic Zentangle® Method.  Each week Adele chooses a string and a few tangle patterns which you then draw in any design you like. The fact that it has the string and patterns chosen for you tends to make me concentrate on the basic full tile experience and afterwards it is interesting to see which bits Adele picks out to comment on.

This week we used String 090 by Carole Koesters.
The Star of the Show was tangle pattern Mel Mel invented by Adele herself (how clever, will I ever get that good?) and tangle patterns Cruffle by Sandy Hunter & Curl by Lu-Marie Laker.

Mel Mel was so good to draw, it just flows and is light and airy. I took one look at Cruffle and thought 'Oh no, I will never be able to do that', but in fact after studying the Step-out I tried it and really enjoyed drawing it. The one that looks easy was the hardest for me, Curl. I could get the different strokes ok, but putting it together on a tile just didn't work for me.

So here is my tile for It's a String Thing #98

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Kristinne's New Challenge

 Whilst I was busy following links and reading the blogs to the wonderful artwork entered this week I came across an invitation to participate in a new challenge, Kristinne is hosting it on her blog Love to Tangle, Need to Zen. That is fantastic, at the moment I have a spare day in my Zentangle® Challenge Schedule.

For this week's challenge we have to chose between 3 & 5 tangle patterns beginning with A. I chose Antidots, Ahh, Anglefish, Aquafleur and Axlexa. It all came out looking like a under the sea theme, even the Axlexa reminded me of Amoeba floating about.

Also today I have finished the tile for Diane Clancy's Weekly Challenge.. I chose Joy, Oakly, Onsmato, W2 and Warped Eggs. I wasn't too happy with the Warped Eggs, I think I should have done a larger format of it in order to appreciate the shaping in the design.

P.S. Blogger has mended the blog list now for those of you who were having the same problem as me a few days ago.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Dying to Break Out

There are some wonderful artist's out there. I have become addicted to clicking on the links to see how others have interpreted the challenges.

(Huge apologies to people who are not on Blogger and require an email to comment, I have a thing about giving out my email as little as possible, all sorts of extra sites start sending you rubbish. )

Anyway to get back to the subject in hand, the detail in some of the tiles is amazing, really artistic. I think that is the difference between true artists and someone like me. The true artists have vision. I am still at the stage of following step-outs faithfully. At least looking at all the other wonderful entries has now made me start to think "what else can I put in there, how can I change it", but then my mind goes blank or else I realise the thing I have thought of is like one I have seen recently. For this reason I avoid looking at entries until I have drawn my own tile, so as not to be influenced by them.

There IS an artist inside me somewhere - I'm dying for it to break out.

This (rather plain) tile is for SuzieMosh's New To Me Challenge. F is the subject this week and I chose Fengle (wonderful Fengle, who can resist it?) Florz, Ferdy and two new to me - Floatfest, and Finery.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Over a 1000 visits.

This blog is only two weeks old and already it has had over a thousand views. I can't believe so many have bothered to look, although I must admit I enjoy seeing how other people have interpreted the various challenges, and it is addictive. This community is awesome, thank you to all of you who have visited and for all the nice comments. I love to hear from you. Once again I must give a big thank you to all the people who run these challenges and enable us to put links to our creative efforts,

I have just completed my tile for Joey's Challenge #66. Cornerz is quite a fun tangle pattern to create, but I thought quite hard to make interesting as a Monotangle. I was going to colour in alternate squares as a background but then I thought it would look like Knightsbridge and it wouldn't be a Monotangle any more. I look forward to seeing what you have come up with, I am sure there will be some inventive ideas and I will think 'Doh, why didn't I think of that!'.

Trouble Adding To Blog Lists

I have been having trouble adding to the blog list on the right hand side bar. I kept clicking the 'Add to List' button, but nothing seemed to happen. I tried several times, but then gave up. I thought maybe it was because I was using my iPad as opposed to using my desktop computer although I have managed to add to it before. Occasionally some things don't work on the iPad, not much, but enough to make me try on the computer. I got the desktop computer all started up and still had no luck :-( Then I started looking for reasons, and what to do on the forums, only to discover that loads of people are having the same problem and Blogger has expedited it to the top of their 'to do' list. Honestly! The trouble is I always think it is my fault, or that it is my computers fault, then I start messing with settings etc, which isn't good, and all the time the fault is at the other end !

Anyway whilst I am waiting I have calmed myself with Zentangle®. My latest tile is for The Diva Challenge #223 - for which we have to do something with Umble. I struggle with Umble, I have trouble keeping all the lines neat and true.

Oh, and don't forget SuzyMosh has started two challenges this week. The usual one is 'That's New to Me' but now there is also 'Tangle Me Three for which I did a self portrait ZIA in the post below.

This is my Diva Challenge Tile:-

Sunday, 21 June 2015


SuzyMosh is running a second challenge and the first one begins today. The Tangle Me Three Challenge is when she names a tangle pattern and you have to create a Monotangle which includes the original and two variations of it.

The first tangle pattern up is Cadent. Have you seen how many variations of Cadent there are? It is incredible, how do you know when a variation becomes a new tangle pattern? There are some that look so different it is hard to tell they actually are Cadent.

I didn't like my first attempt at a tile, it made me dizzy looking at it, then I thought "well Suzy said a Monotangle but she didn't say it couldn't be a self portrait". I am probably breaking the rules, but if so please forgive me.

So here it is, my self portrait using circle Cadent, the Beads Cadent and square lined Cadent:-

Thursday, 18 June 2015


This tile is for the 'It's a String Thing Challenge'. As you can see from it's title it has a string chosen for you along with around four tangle patterns. It has a slightly different format in that you email a photo of the tile to Adele who is a CZT and she adds them to her site at the end of the week with a comment. I like the comments, they are never negative, but they do give me a slight clue as to which portions of my tile were better, because presumably those portions are the bits that are mentioned. Then I can look at the other areas and see what I could have done instead. This helps me to improve as I currently have no access to a CZT. Unlike you lucky people across The Pond, there is only one CZT in Ireland and is currently unavailable. I have got my eye out in case, I believe he does do a workshop occasionally, but until then I am learning as much as I can from people like Adele who kindly give so much of their knowledge on the Internet.

I also learn a lot from looking at all the other entries to the Challenges. Seeing how others have interpreted the challenge gives me ideas for next time and what to practice. I have learnt a little about shading for example, although I am still often unsure exactly which areas I should be applying it to.

This is entry for It's a String Thing #97

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

One Day's Break

A whole day has gone by without me posting about a challenge. I must be slacking ! Is this me trying to spread out the challenges as I meant to? Actually no, it is just a time difference thing between countries, the next challenge was posted whilst I was in bed asleep. It is one way of slowing me down I suppose lol

I have kept this tile simple, open and airy. It is for Diane & Caroline's Challenge #11, in which we use tangles beginning with F - M & T. I am still learning to draw tangle patterns carefully, and how they fit together so I chose Fengle, Flux, Fescu, Mooka and that good old standby, Tipple. See - I am already starting to think of something as a good old standby, so I must be progressing.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Madly Creating Tangles

I am so hooked ! I love tangling, and I love these challenges. Last week I said I would spread them out across the week and savour them. Who was I trying to kid ! This is my fourth tile today and my second entry for Joey's Alphabet Monotangle Challenge. Are you allowed to put in two entries? I don't know, but if I am contravening the rules I hope Joey will forgive me. I had a sudden inspiration - I could try putting Bunzo into two corners of the tile and join them with a Bunzo Bridge. Try saying Bunzo Bridge quickly lol!

Here is my second entry today:-


Bunzo is the tangle requested this week for Joey's Alphabet Monotangle Challenge. I loved drawing this tangle pattern, but it has so many twists and turns of it's own that I couldn't think how to add something fresh to it. Instead I have used a Bijou tile and my coloured pens. I am looking forward to seeing what twists others have created.

Diva Challenge (all the twos) #222

Colour, colour, colour. The Diva this week is asking for colour and she ends her post with the words Happy Pride Week. That meant only one thing to me, my tangle had to imitate a Gay Pride Rainbow flag ! It is very applicable as here in Ireland we have just had a referendum regarding Gay Marriage and it was a landslide YES vote. The government these days often has trouble getting people to turn out and vote about political issues, but Gay Marriage was something that obviously mattered to people as the turnout was over 90% ! It wasn't just young people that voted yes either, older country folks were voting Yes too! It was a wonderful day and it is great to see times have changed. Happy Pride Week to you all from me too.

Diva Challange #222 entry:-

Before and After

In this week's 'That's New To Me' Challenge SuzyMosh asked us to use tangle patterns beginning with the letter R and also an Artist Focus of Lily Popcheff. All the patterns I chose were new to me, which are not difficult to find for me at this stage of my Zentangle development :-)

Lily Popcheff has drawn some very intricate tangle patterns of her own invention. I chose two with which I felt I might be able to tackle - Caroline and Zoose.

The rest of the patterns begin with R, - Rain, River and Raindotty. I wasn't too happy with the way my Raindotty came out, I couldn't seem to achieve the ripples as in Jane Monk's Step Out. It just looked like the dots I sometimes use as a background filler, so I decided to colour in the ripple circles to try and emphasise them.

Below is the before and after, see what you think - any advice about it in the comments would be gratefully received.

The coloured version is the tile I am entering in the Challenge.


Friday, 12 June 2015

You won't believe it!

Guess what, - I've found another challenge!!! This one is Bright Owl's Zendala Dare, and I have arrived just in time for her 100th Challange :-) She provides three sizes of template and it is up to us to choose which size we want and the tangle patterns.

I chose the medium template, the smaller one look too intricate for beginner me. Bright Owl had been celebrating her brother's birthday near Sr Patrick's Day and said 'Go Irish'. As I am living in Ireland I decided to colour my Zendala in the colours of the Irish Tricolor Flag - Green, white and Orange. Btw did you know Ireland's National Colour is Blue - St. Patrick's Blue? Yep, a lot of people don't know that, including some Irish people. It is why the President's Inauguration Chair was upholstered in Blue.

I have got rather over-excited finding, and drawing for, all these challenges this week. Next week I shall try and space them out a bit more. In the meantime, once I had finished my Zendala, I decided to Challange myself to draw a tile using one tangle pattern from each of the challenges I have entered this week. 

Here is my Zendala:-

And here is my weeks tile:-

Thursday, 11 June 2015

The Last of This Week's Challenges

Well that is all of this week's challenges finished. There are probably more out there that I haven't come across yet, but this is all I know at the moment. To think I started this blog with one challenge in mind and now it is full of tangles. I am really hooked, I love putting them online and sharing experiences. They are all so different. A big thank you to all the people who host the Challenges and go to the trouble of thinking up new ones each week.

I am glad I invented one rule for myself, and that is not to look at the other tangled responses until I have finished. I don't want to be influenced by what I have seen when I am deciding what to do. I learn a lot from looking afterwards though, arrangements I had never thought of and how to put together different tangle patterns.

Another big surprise was the lovely comments and welcomes I got from everyone. Thank you so much everyone, it really makes this fun.

This last tangle of the week is for Diane & Carolien's Weekly Zentangle Challenge. this week the tangle pattern had to be a number, a C and a R . I chose tangle patterns 2n5 chainlette and rixty.

A String Challenge

This time I have found a string challenge 'It's A String Thing' I love that the string is chosen for you, I always have trouble deciding where it should go. There were four tangle patterns beginning with N offered for you to use with the string. Tangles patterns beginning with N were to be used in honour of the string author CZT Nancy Newlin.

I struggled with this one, all four patterns were very busy ones and I wouldn't have chosen to put them together myself. I mostly hid one behind the top of the string - Nvelope - although it did say we needn't use all of them.

My favourite pattern was Neuron, so it got used the most.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

An Alphabet Monotangle Challange

I am really motoring now! This time a Monotangle is requested by MadebyJoey . Each week is a tangle from a different letter of the alphabet. This week it is the tangle pattern Arukas. I really enjoyed doing this one, when I first saw it I thought it was going to be way beyond me, but it turned out to be a lot easier than I thought. Yes, you really have to keep track of where you are, but it is quite repetitious and therefore relaxing.

I found a Monotangle tile to be a different experience. Quite refreshing as you don't have to wonder how it is going to look alongside other tangles. I decided it needed colour though and used my line painter pens. I forgot that between the camera and the computer colours never look as they do in real life. The pink is pretty much correct (well on my iPad), but the blue/green is not as dark in RL. I used the Derwent Graphik #10 Billy for that.

Here we are:-

More Challanges

I have discovered there is more than one Challange. I think it is a great idea as it makes me try new tangle patterns. When you have favourite ones it is very hard to resist using them all the time.

SusyMosh does a 'That's New To Me' Challange. This week it is the letter D with an Artist Focus on Genevieve Crabe. I chose to use patterns which all began with D, including all three variations of Diva Dance and as I am new to Zentangle it was easy to find ones I had never used before. In fact I haven't used any of these before. I used Genevieve Crabe's Dessus Dessous which I enjoyed doing the most.

At first I didn't like the finished tile and wasn't going to enter it in the competition, but I went and did some gardening and when I came back I thought 'Oh, it is not too bad' so here it is:-

Creating this Blog

I created this blog principally to be able to post my entry for The Diva's Challenge of the week. Then I thought that all my life I have been involved in other creative hobbies which on the surface seem normal, but I always manage to find a slightly crazy angle to them which excites me and I go mad creating for them. The title of my blog was born - Creative Madness :-)

Under that title I will be able to post pictures about whatever I am currently working on. I enjoy the usual crafty/needlework activities like knitting etc. but I tend to stumble upon the more unknown aspects of them. Sadly I have never had any drawing or painting ability, but I love all types of needlework. I do a lot of knitting for example and a couple of years ago I came across Yarn Bombing, which just appealed to my sense of humour. These are two that I made last year:-

The spade is knitted with a yellow handle to represent the sun, the shaft is blue and white to represent the sky/clouds, and of course the bottom represents flowers in a garden and the earth.

Green Fingers
The blog owners name that you see below - The Yorkshire Tortoise - comes from Letterboxing. It is a hobby that I have been involved in since the 1980's. There is a craft side to letterboxing that can be quite popular, carving stamps and/or making visitors books. I enjoy carving the stamps needed to put into the boxes, but I also found a crazy angle which is taking a Boxing Buddy on the walks with me. My current Boxing Buddy is a bright red dragon called Fireball.

Boxing Buddy Fireball stamping into a mini visitors book.
 Some stamps I have carved:-

 About a fortnight ago, whilst surfing the web looking for coloured drawing techniques, I came across my latest passion, the Zentangle® method of drawing. That was it, I was hooked. I read everything I could find about it, especially their Website. That brings me full circle to the initial reason I created this blog The Diva's Challange. 

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

My First Diva Challenge!

#221 - Beads of Courage.

This is my first entry for The Diva Challenge. I kept it simple because I only came across this art form a fortnight ago. There are some amazing tangles out there :-) I am not happy with the bottom blocked area, the tangle pattern might have looked better drawn vertically. I might try it again, but then 'no mistakes', I expect I can live with it :-)