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.

Monday, 9 November 2015


I afraid I am rather like The Diva this week in that I don't have much news (Oi, who was that who said "Thank goodness" ! ) Monday seems to have come around rather quickly and I have arrived here unprepared, sorry.

The Diva's Challenge of "Just a tiny taste" is a perfect fit for me. I am just beginning to think of Christmas and I like to decorate envelopes to go with the cards I intend to make. The envelopes just need a tiny taste of what might be inside in order to leave room for the address and stamp. I did three today for the challenge


Joey has chosen W2 this week and says this is the first tangle pattern she learnt. I think that is quite clever as it can be a confusing pattern to learn. The woven result is very satisfying though, and I would think a new person would certainly feel a sense of achievement when they were finished.

For the Monotangle challenge I have drawn a shaky W2 which I shaded and in the centre a free form W2 which I left unshaded. It is interesting to see the difference one on top of the other.

Friday, 6 November 2015

M and Kathy Barringer

M is this week's That's New to Me with an artist focus of Kathy Barringer. What fun this was. I got out my sketch book and found Miline which I hadn't drawn before. I think it will be one that sticks with me. I also had not used MI2 before so that warranted a bijou tile to itself too. Bijou tiles, I do love them, here I was able to fit in four of them. All the tangle patterns begin with M apart from Undo which is Katthy Barringer's pattern, Marasu was a lot of fun, winding it around itself and in and out of the top tile.

Beginning at the top tile I used:- Msst, Mysterie, Mambo, Mel Mel, Marasu, Undo, Minline, MI2 and Marasu again at the bottom surrounded by a little Mooka.

Tivoli, Tidings, and Tipple

T is the letter of the week over at Cheryl's Place. Do come and join us over there, it is great fun having the letter as a string. Most letters divide the tile very nicely and make great strings. I have used Tivoli, Tidings and Tipple.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015


This week I have continued the Cresent Moon craze for Daine and Carolein's SFT Challenge. I really enjoyed finding tangles beginning with the correct letters.

I used Tripoli, Fracas, Femgle, Fireworks, Sand and Tagh.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015


I came across this tangle pattern a while ago and loved it. Hepmee seems very appropriate for this time of year too. For the Tangle Me Three Challenge I drew it on the right hand side, then put it into a grid on the left hand side. On the top I drew black beads and left it with no web. I quite liked the top version, looks like a Sputnik and is almost a new tangle,

Monday, 2 November 2015


It is amazing being able to see properly. We went for a walk to the end of the street today and I was able to see the islands which are just offshore for the first time in a long time. Fortunately my near sight wasn't affected so I have been able to tangle, but this week I do still have to take it a bit easy otherwise my eyes get tired, particularly looking at the computer. I am really looking forward to visiting all your blogs and getting back to some sort of normality..

As I said it hasn't stopped me tangling for long. I have had a bit of a thing for crescent moons lately. The first one I did wasn't so good, the beaded zander I used to outline the points were a bit too thick and clumpy.
The next one I liked much better, it was the first time I had used Hamadox in conjunction with other tangles.
Then came a really fun one, purely by accident. The Ixorus looked like a night cap, Tri-Bee turned out like a beard, and a rogue swirl from the freeform Huggins was just in the right position for a nose. With all that appearing I put an antidot in the space to look like the eye of the man in the moon.
I decided I ought to try one in a different colour to orange, so blue was the feature on this one.
Well orange goes with the new tangle pattern The Diva has asked us to try today. I had s feeling Gourdgeous might be the one she would choose as it has only recently been released from the mother ship. I am not sure I shall use it much. It is not abstract enough for me. As soon as you get something that looks like a real life object I struggle to get it to look right, I just don't have the artistic flair.

Nevertheless I had a try for the challenge and used Gourdgeous with Gumleaves, Pokeleaf and Tipple.

Edit:- After visiting your blogs I was embarrassed and determined to try harder. I thought maybe I had learned a few things, especially about the stem area. I practised it in my sketch book, then tried it in a string surrounded by other tangles. It didn't really 'click' with me but finally I thought I could improve on my first one and redid it in Halloween pumpkin colours.

Here is the original photo.
Gourdgeous in a string.
Pumpkin colours again, a slight improvement.


This tile says Halloween is over and Christmas is a-coming. Honestly, it is only the 2nd of November and already the shops have carols playing and I have seen Christmas adverts on the TV! 

Verdigogh, Joey's Challenge this week, has never come easily to me so green needles with red berries just helps it along, even if it does scream Christmas. The needles never seem to fall in the right place for me. It does help once you put the berries on, that seems to bring it together a bit, but I look forward to the day when I can draw it in a more refined way like some of the gorgeous ones I have seen on other people's blogs.