Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Creative Treat

Oh, the joy of spending an afternoon in the company of fellow artists - creative minds extraordinaire, bouncing around ideas, telling stories of artistic beginnings, business ventures past and present, sharing an appreciation of each other's work and a love for all things creative.  That is exactly what I did last weekend and all at the behest of the most gracious hostess, Joanne Fink...pinch me!

Friends and fellow CZTs Sindy P (Real Life Strings) and Dorian Eng (A Little Bit of Heart) joined Joanne (Zenspirations) and her friend and owner of Pink Ink Stamp Company, Peggy Jo Ackley.
Here is a picture of our gathering ~
Peggy Jo Ackley, Adele Bruno, Sindy P, Joanne Fink, Dorian Eng

It was wonderful to get the opportunity to meet Peggy.  Among her many ventures, Peggy authored and illustrated over 200 Bitty Bear books for the American Girl Doll Company.  She also designed the fabric for the doll clothing and accessories.

My own girls played with the Bitty Baby dolls over the years, so just before I left my house, I dipped into the bin of all things Bitty Baby and Bitty Bear (still in our game room) and selected a book to bring along.  Peggy graciously signed it to my girls, two of whom have girls of their own now.

Peggy showed us the display boards for her beautiful new stamps, card making ideas, and her technique for embossing stamped images with a stylus.  Her colored pencil work is phenomenal.

Peggy Jo Ackley 

Our minds raced with ideas on how Zentangle® could be incorporated with her stamps.  Joanne made copies of Peggy's Wacky Cake stamped image.  I tangled mine ~

Joanne colored one with Koi Coloring Brush Pens (Sakura) in her beautiful signature style.
Here is our little collage ~

Clockwise from top left - Peggy Jo Ackley, Joanne Fink, Peggy Jo Ackley, Adele Bruno
Do visit Peggy's Pink Ink Stamp Company website (click here).  It is chock full of wonderful things.
While the company does not sell directly to the public, her beautiful stamps can be purchased through many craft and hobby stores throughout the world and several online.

To top off our day, we celebrated Sindy's birthday (with real cake :) ~

Happy Birthday Sindy P, CZT!

I felt as if I went on a creative retreat for the few hours we spent together on a Sunday afternoon - a Funday as Dorian coined it.  Thank you for coming along.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

Adele Bruno, CZT

What could be better than love and chocolate together?
A little touch of CZT Sharon Coforio's sweet pattern Luv-a!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

"It's a String Thing" #77

It's Tuesday and it is your good news day!

By the time the tiles from this challenge are posted it will be February.  The first month of the New Year is coming to a close.  Valentine's Day is right around the corner.

For the next two challenges we will learn and use a total of eight heart inspired tangles.
That's a lot of love to spread!

This week we begin with TanglePatterns String 077 by Barbara Finwall ~

Copyrighted image used with permission from

The tangles include ~

Heartrope by Bunny Wright
Heartstrings by Helen Williams  (Click here to view my past post about Heartstrings)
Heartvine by Lori Howe
Luv-a by CZT Sharon Coforio

Step outs for the patterns can be found by clicking their names above, or by visiting TanglePatterns.
Use as many or as few as you'd like.

Simply pencil the string line onto your tile and tangle away!

Here are the (Not so) Official Guidelines: 
* Challenges are posted on Tuesdays.
*Use the string posted for the week and patterns that begin or contain the letter(s) indicated
* Submit a photo of your tile saved as jpg or scan your tile (300 dpi or higher) and save as a jpg
*Email your jpg file as an attachment to -
*Entries are to be submitted by Saturday evenings.
*Photos and 'Best of Show' are posted on Mondays.

Send in your photos - you will encourage and inspire fellow Zentangle® enthusiasts all over the world.

PLEASE NOTE: It is not necessary for you to have a blog or website to participate.

If you do have a blog or website, I will add a link upon request.  
Please include the site specific URL. 

I look forward to your emails.

"It's a String Thing" #76 Tiles

Now, this was a challenge.  We used a straight lined string, two free form and one grid based pattern and I must say it yielded spectacular results.
May I add too, that Sue Agnew coined a new Zentangle® term.  It is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face, so do read on...

The first tile arrived from Terri Young who wrote ~
I had loads of fun with String Challenge #76 using Trumpits, Oolo and Fjord. These challenges are really pushing me out of my comfort zone by using tangles I wouldn't normally try. Tangle on, my friend, Tangle On!
Tangled Tidbits -
*sparkled tangleations of Fjord
*Fjord in a grid and free of a grid
*Fjord in one, two, three, and four 'petal' versions - a tangle study in itself!

Carmela said ~
Thanks for this challenge I like the contrast between the straight lines of the string and the round curves from the patterns.
I tried to make several variations of Fjord and Oolo.
It was pretty en zen to make this challenge. My blog 
Tangled Tidbits -
*wonderful aura and shading
*a bold dark Fjord against a lighter lined one
*can't you just feel the 'zen' Carmela mentioned :)

Heidi said ~
The string resembled skyscrapers so I went with the dimensional look by using the same tangles for the 3 sides of each building. The trumpits were swirled around the surrounding spaces. It was fun using tanglelations for the "monotangle" buildings.
Tangled Tidbits -
*terrific tangleations of Fjord and Oolo 
*Trumpits on straight and sharply angled lines
*a wonderful sense of depth

Juul wrote, "Sooo much fun with this tile!"  Fun and fancy abound, for sure!

Tangled Tidbits - 
*bold black spaces that showcase the tangles
*string lines adorned with Oolo and Trumpits - each beautifully enhanced and aura-ed
*a very clever combination of Oolo and Trumpits

Joya said ~
It was difficult to me to tangle with these organic patterns in such a straight String. I was not really satisfied with the result, so I added some Trumpits on the outside of the fame and shaded much more as I usually would do. It's not my favourite one, but I like Fjord and will use it again I think :-)

Tangle Tidbits - 
*single Fjords atop the string line blocks
*delicate Oolos
*Trumpits is a wonderful border pattern after all!

Vicky Brison wrote, "I like this string it looks like sky scrapers ...which of course brought out the idea of Graffiti!"  Now, that is a wonderful connection to make.

Tangled Tidbits - 
*Oolo bending over the edge of the string line
*Trumpits tangled with patterns
*a fabulously looped Fjord

Cathy Cusson said ~
While they may be in my notebook, I haven't tried any of these tangles. So this was a brand new "adventure" for me. I decided I really like all three - but I think perhaps fjord is my favorite...  
Tangled Tidbits - 
*a very delicate Oolo
*Fjord featuring bold black negative spaces and two toned shading

CZT Kath Gregitis said, "I wasn't sure I'd send this one, but then I looked at it again later. It is a little "minimalist" for me."  Kath brings up a good tip.  In addition to holding the tile at arms length from time to time, it may also help to take a break and look at your tile a while later.

Tangled Tidbits - 
*Oolo with an added square
*string lines of Trumpits

Claudia aka Beewatch from Switzerland returns!  She wrote ~
It’s been a while since I participated in one of your challenges. It`s always quite a challenge to get strings and the asked patterns into something harmonic.
Sometimes it’s easier and sometimes not. This time it was somehow very difficult to get this erratic string together with the delicate patterns. But I’m quite happy what I produced.
So thank you very much for your challenging tasks.
PS. You can see the tile on my blog 

Tangled Tidbits -
*Trumpits flowing from atop the string block, spilling down over the sides and dangling Fjords from its ends
*gradations in shading
*dainty dots on Trumpits

Beverly said.""I couldn't decide I like blk/wht and wht/blk and Pa. weather is so bad plenty of time for Zentangle."

I'm afraid the Pennsylvania weather is getting worse as I type.  Stay warm up there and keep tangling!
Tangled Tidbits -
* open and airy tangles
*Oolo loops along the string lines

Susan Theron wrote, "I've enjoyed practicing the patterns and it took a long time deciding where I want to use them..."

Tangled Tidbits - 
*Oolo with darkened loops
*shading around Oolo
*wonderful contrast of black and white with Fjord

HeidiSue said -
Here is my entry for this week. It was interesting, fitting those particular patterns into that particular string! In the end, i think the tile looks like an abandoned city, becoming overgrown with plant life.
Oh! I also love oolo. It is a new favorite!
I posted on my blog
Tangled Tidbits - 
*dotted Trumpits 
*glimpses of Oolo peeking through

A very warm welcome to Ann Kobberholm from Denmark.  She wrote ~
This is my first submission to your challenge. So be gentle!
All three tangles we're new to me. But that's exactly why I like these challenges - I get to learn new tangles.
I really like the swirlyness of trumpits and the flowery character of Oolo.
Thanks for keeping me inspired!
My blog...
Ann's blog post that features this tile also includes an apple pie recipe - yum!

Tangled Tidbits - 
*delicate tangles
*wonderful white space and a shaded border
*Oolo Trumpits - a fabulous idea!

Magdalene Lee said ~
Thanks for this week's challenge. When I sat down to work on this, my shoulder was aching and my lines turned out all wonky, so I decided to thicken some of them. I ended up having fun playing around with line weights... I have put it up on my blog.
Tangled Tidbits - 
*the grid for Fjord carries through two sections of the string up and onto a third.
*the Fjord squares appear to bend over the string line
*perfs and Trumpits in Fjord

Janice L Johnson sent in this pretty tile ~

Tangled Tidbits - 
*dotted aura of Trumpits
*the alternating black and white of Oolo in Fjord
*weighted lines of Oolo

Dr. Neha Sanwalka said ~
This was a tough one. The tangles looked like a garden to me which can be tangled in a curvaceous string and so I found the string 84 to be very very difficult to tangle in. I tried tangling 3-4 times but not completely satisfied with the outcome. But as they say in Zentangle, that nothing is wrong, I am sharing 2 of the complete tiles I did with you & my blog .
Though difficult it was not impossible as Dr. Neha reminds us with her lovely work ~

Tangled Tidbits ~
*multiple variations of Fjord
*delicate vines of Trumpits and loops of Oolo

Natasja Rijsbergen (the Netherlands) wrote, "I loved this week string and tangles. It made me happy to tangle this. I'm satisfied with the outcome of my zentangle."
And what a very happy outcome it is ~
Tangled Tidbits -
*swirls of Trumpits
*two dramatic versions of Fjord
*Oolo with dark loops and pretty aura

Felicity Strohfelt said ~
Here we go Oompah-pah, Rattatetat, Blarr-blarr! Seventy-six trombones marching along. String 76. A formidable challenge at that. As you see the trombone melody stuck in my head too. Here is my hopefully melodious take on the String thing 76. Trumpits abound, great tangle. Fjord brought a stable look and Oolo was so easy to fragmentise and use as elements, some exaggerated and some peeping shyly. I enjoyed the result with this intriguing tile hope you think so too. All the best. (alles wat mooi is) Afrikaans translation!!
Oh!  I can hear the music all the way across the sea :) and yes, the tile is fabulous!

Tangled Tidbits - 
*trails of Trumpits
*Oolo - as Felicity noted - in exaggerated and subtle forms
*a pleasing balance of light and dark

Suzanne Moshier wrote ~
String 084 is a rather odd string with perspective from rising squares. I really like Trumpit[s]..looks like a great accent pattern. It would also make a great kite tail. I'll have to try Fjord on a larger drawing to really get the feel of it.
My blog
Tangled Tidbits - 
*Suzy's wonderful description of the string containing 'rising squares'
*Trumpits along the string lines

From Ingrid Coventon ~
A lot of thinking in advance - which is not very zentangle - I know, but I had not the faintest idea how to draw this tile. And I learned my lesson again: stop thinking and just start! And then to my own surprise: amazingly fast this tile arose. A light-hearted and playful tile in which the stringline disappeared completely. (The fear of fear is always greater than the fear itself).
Oh how I love zentangle; it is such a mild way of self-awereness.
Ingrid makes a marvelous observation about the method of Zentangle - such a marvelous metaphor for life...
Tangled Tidbits ~
*wispy Trupits that flower Oolo
*a grid free Fjord in alternating black and white

K Bish 's note describes the fun she had with this challenge ~
Enclosed please find my newest Tangle,"Spring Forward".
I had a lot of fun with this challenge. I guess I'm a little wistful for Spring. There is just too much snow on the ground here in MI. TRUMPITS is a very pretty little tangle. After reading the description of FJORD, I understood it better, it is a very bold and graphic design. OLOO, I just had fun with, my brain for a little carried away!
Tangled Tidbits - 
*Trumpits with curls
*little critters peeking from her patterns :)

Michele Wynne said ~
Boy! This string really vexed me with it's linear confines. I'm always trying to break out of the box and once again I was truly challenged. I did enjoy these patterns, none of which I've used before.
Tangled Tidbits -
*gorgeous detail in all three tangles
*Trumpits cascading over Fjord
*shading that adds great dimension

Heike, with "Regards from Germany", said ~
here's my contribution to your challenge for this week.
After a busy week it was fun for ​​me to draw this tile, especially because two of the patterns - Oolo and Fjord - were new to me.
Tangled Tidbits - 
*swirls of Trumpits
*alternating versions of Oolo
*three sides and variations of Fjord

Sue Agnew wins the day for the most clever of notes.  She entertainingly writes ~
I took a LOT of liberties with the tangles, and the string, this week. Perhaps better to call it ZIA than Zentangle ... or better yet, ZIGO (Zentangle-inspired goofing off).
I've had a fun week singing not only "76 Trombones" but ALL the songs from Music Man. That, plus the string being a series of planes, made me want to do a marching band (only 6 trombones, sorry, you'll have to imagine 70 more). I used one element from Trumpits and a couple of very teeny elements from Oolo, the shape I used to make the people and the shape I used to make the snare drums (yes those are snare drums, even though they look like toilets).
Thank you for the hearty laugh, Sue.  I needed that today - as I am sure many readers appreciate your lightheartedness as well!

We just may have to coin a new term in Zentangle - ZIGO - giving all of the credit to you, Sue. 
Thank you for the wonderful marching band (one of my favorite things).

Tangled Tidbits - 
*imagination, imagination, imagination!
*elements of Trumpits and Oolo marching along the string line

Ilse Lukken wrote ~
That was quite a challenge to me... I found it hard to combine these patterns in this string, so I'm very curious to see what other people did!
You can find my tile on my blog as well.
Tangled Tidbits -
*repeating patterns in different sections of the string
*bold black and white Fjord
*wonderful white space

Christina Luis said these challenges are getting her out of her "comfort zone." ~

Tangled Tidbits - 
*shading along the base lines of Trumpits
*a fabulous twist on Fjord

Traci wrote ~
Another that took me waaaaaaaay out of my comfort zone! Thank you for that!! None of these were tangles that I have used before and the string actually caused a bit of panic. LOL But it finished itself once I was in the Zen Zone.

Tangled Tidbits -
*one sided Trumpits along the string line
*gorgeous contrasts

Sharyn Penna sent her pretty tile.  It looks like Fjord should be very happy to have met her ~

Tangled Tidbits - 
*striking versions of Fjord
*wonderful shading
*grids of Trumpits

Portia Hyde said that she, "enjoyed all three tangles."  And I see they enjoyed her company as well...

Tangled Tidbits - 
*superb shading
*Fjord filled with other tangles
*large and small Oolo

From Lily Moon - and also here on her blog  (be sure to visit it!)~

Tangled Tidbits - 
*striped and sparkled Fjord
*aura and perfs in Fjord
*intertwined Trumpits

And now, the tile for honors this week was sent in by
Lori Byerly!

Lori wrote ~

I don't know why, but this challenge seemed a bit different than most (perhaps the string was more angular, less swirly). At any rate, It was a fun challenge with a couple of new-to-me tangle patterns. Thanks for all your hard work.
You can see my tile here also

Tangled Tidbits -
*simple and elegant tangles
*details in shading
*differing line weight in Fjord

Congratulations Lori!  I will send a little something in the mail to commemorate the day.

Many thanks to everyone who sent in a tile for the rest of us to learn from and be inspired by, and admire.
Thank you to the creative minds behind the string and tangles used this week -

TanglePatterns String 084 by Didier Girvy
Trumpits by Theresa Glover
Oolo by CZT Amelie Liao
Fjord by CZT Diana von Kaenel 

Stop back Tuesday afternoon for "It's a String Thing" #77!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tips for Tangling Bales (continued)

In last Thursday's post on Bales I mentioned that my tangleations were simple and didn't include shading.  That prompted some requests on how I might shade the tangles, so Bales is back this week (rah! rah!) - this time with a bit of shading.

I used a grey Fabrico marker (instead of my preferred pencil) in the scanned image below.
The shaded areas show up a bit better ~

A few notes about shading tangles ~

* there is no 'wrong way' to shade a pattern - the way you shade it is the 'right way' :)

* the traditional methods for shading used in drawing can be a guide, but are not hard and fast rules in tangling  (i.e. a light source coming from one direction, casting a shadow in the opposite)

* shading illustrated for a tangle is merely a suggestion - use your own creative license

* start light as you shade - you can always add more as you go along

* photograph your tile before and after shading to better appreciate the definition and depth shading provides

* most of all, have fun

Here are the two charts side-by-side for easier comparison ~


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

The impossible 
is often 
the untried.
~ Jim Goodwin

This quote immediately reminded me of the Zentangle® mantra ~

Zentangle Keepsake box available @
Try tangling today - I am very certain that a world of possibilities will open up for you.  ENJOY!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

"It's a String Thing" #76

It's Tuesday, your good news day!

We begin this week's challenge with a string line that contains straight lines and sharp angles - TanglePatterns String 084 by Didier Gervy.

Copyrighted image used with permission from

This is week #76 and the song "Seventy-Six Trombones" from the musical play The Music Man by Meredith Wilson keep running through my head.

I searched tangle names for anything remotely like 'trombone' and found Trumpits - close enough!
Then I scanned Linda Farmer's more recent posts and found two other tangles for us to have fun with.
Here they are:

Trumpits by Theresa Glover
Oolo by CZT Amelie Liao
Fjord by CZT Diana von Kaenel

Read through Linda's write ups - especially about Oolo.  At first glance the pattern looks like a border tangle, but it is a wonderful filler too.

The tangle step outs can be found by clicking their names above.

Simply pencil the string line onto your tile and tangle away!

Here are the (Not so) Official Guidelines: 
* Challenges are posted on Tuesdays.
*Use the string posted for the week and patterns that begin or contain the letter(s) indicated
* Submit a photo of your tile saved as jpg or scan your tile (300 dpi or higher) and save as a jpg
*Email your jpg file as an attachment to -
*Entries are to be submitted by Saturday evenings.
*Photos and 'Best of Show' are posted on Mondays.

Send in your photos - you will encourage and inspire fellow Zentangle® enthusiasts all over the world.

PLEASE NOTE: It is not necessary for you to have a blog or website to participate.
If you do have a blog or website, I will add a link upon request.  
Please include the site specific URL. 

I look forward to your emails.