Sunday, December 22, 2013

Late, but not forgotten.

Well laid plans and all that... this dare was done quite earlier in the week than this post might indicate. I wan't completely pleased with it and hoped to have another go at it but it did not pan out. Too many cookies for neighbors and holiday parties at kids schools to attend to (although the back side of a survey about the program I helped out with at the middle school might surprise the coordinators of the event!). So here it is...

Better late than never! See you next week!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Happy, Merry, Joyous Holiday... almost!

Oh, the happiest part of this time of year is that I am not currently in classes and have little teaching responsibility other than normal house and family stuff... it is heavenly! I have not actually been using all that time to the greatest benefit, but I am still getting used to HAVING it in the first place, and not having a long list of imposed tasks and deadlines to occupy my time. Ahhh, I hardly know what to do!

Participate in challenges, of course! Laura will be taking a break over the holidays so I will just have to go back and do some of the large backlog that I missed to keep myself busy. I have much to make up in challenges and in practice. I have been looking through old books trying to find the nifty Christmas tree I did last year that I wanted to use as a card this year and perusing all the older drawings as I looked for it... boy, I was much better then that I am now! But as for now, I did another holiday themed piece this week to take advantage of the last Diva Challenge for 2013...

I was thinking ornaments since we were doing the tree finally this week. I liked it in black and white, but it seemed like it needed something. Once the color was added it looked a little... 'coloring book' but maybe it is just the red-blue-green scheme. Unfortunately the sparkle gelly roll pens I used to highlight certain parts do not show up well in the scan because that does make it seem a little more elegant. 

this was before color
Well, I will be seeing you - have a great holiday season!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A new challenge

So here it is another week and another challenge - this time using the tangle Boo*Kee. I was finishing up my semester this week but did not have a lot of class work to do in the evenings - just very intense days after which I needed some veg time - perfect for drawing.

I used it mostly as a border and I like the possibility of a little 3-D effect on the version across the top. I also tried to make it a little bigger and 'form fitting' with 'meh' results. The thing I do like in this piece is the Mooka-inspired tendrils coming out of the Antidots. That cropped up in some of my class notes at some point and I like the new way to use Mooka. 

I had a couple of others in the drawing book, one was from a challenge a few weeks (months?) ago and the other was just an exercise in color over the Thanksgiving break. I thought I would scan them in for my files and share them here because I can. Have a great week!
Sea Creature

Rainbow Kustler

Friday, November 22, 2013

WOW! Look at me, posting a challenge! Looks like I am still alive after all.

It has been a LONG time since I've posted - turns out I am a crazy person and took a bunch of graduate credit hours along with student teaching in an accelerated physics class and, you know, having a family of three kids doing all sorts of activities not to mention just keeping up with their homework and house stuff... I have had a few things on my plate other than sewing and tangling.
I should be finished with the student teaching gig - which took up three days a week - and I ended up spending way more time than strictly required with them, but gosh, I have kinda gotten attached to those not-so-snotty teenagers. I can't imagine just saying - Later! and not showing up for the rest of the semester! Besides, I am still learning some teaching tricks from my most excellent collaborative teacher. Besides, it is WAY more fun to hang out there than it is to tackle my own school work which keeps me away from home for three hours, three nights a week... plus homework.
Ugh, no wonder I have had little time to meet challenge deadlines. I have done a few, but I am never done before Sunday night and am rarely satisfied with the results since I don't get to practice much. I have done some in class, but I have only 5 people in all of my classes, and whereas they all will, and have, vouched for my attentiveness to the lecturer even when I am drawing, I still feel awkward tangling away and not making eye contact with the professor.
So, imagine my surprise when I pulled up The Diva tonight for some eye-candy and found that the challenge this week was the new tangle Quib... which I just happened to try out this week while I was procrastinating, er, I mean taking a break from my studies. AND its done! (wow, lots of procrastination this week... I won't bore you with the details of the work I was avoiding!) Here it is!

Just to prove I have occasionally pulled out the ol' pen in class here is a page from one of my notebooks, worked on over many classes here and there and wherever I found myself not having to take actual notes ...

Maybe I will get to do a little more once the semester is over... but then there is always next semesters classes. Have a great weekend!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Repetition, grid style!

Squeezing another one in at the last moment! I had the chance to work on this week's challenge while the kids played in the pool in the evening and I had run out of the homework type things I had brought to do. It was kind of fun. I had to make up my own because I was never near the computer to look up the suggestions Maria had made in the original Zentangle blog post about it. A few are other grid-based tangles that sprang to mind so you may see some familiar's in there. I think my favorite is the archway pattern at the bottom. I also drew them out individually on the right so they can be seen in the simplest form. That is about all I've done besides homework and kids activities this week. We (hubby and I) managed a baseball practice, two games, two cross country practices (one thanks to a neighbor), a gymnastics lesson, one trip to the water park truncated by a thunderstorm and a couple of evening swims in the neighborhood pool on top of a 40+ work week and 4 days of 4 hour classes with accompanying homework. Sometimes it helps to write it all out or it doesn't seem like we accomplish much each week despite running around like headless chickens!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Birds on a Wire and Nebulae on a shirt.

This week's Diva Challenge is to use a tangle that is a "border pattern". I have played with it before but I find it difficult to try intentionally to use a border pattern. It seems like it takes a certain type of string to host one successfully. So for this I just used it over and over again. I like it quite well this way. I think I would omit the 'ball' attached to the scroll the next time, but overall I like it as a fill pattern.

finished shirt
In other creative pursuits... I read an interesting blog post about painting space-scapes on black T-shirts and just had to try it out with the kids this weekend. Other than them not having enough patience to stick with the layers and layers of paint required to achieve the kind of look we were shooting for we had a good time. My fingernails are now caked with purple, black, red, yellow and blue acrylic paint that won't seem to scrub off... but I can always claim that it is interstellar space dust, right? If I can keep them from wearing them for one more day I can add the glow in the dark paint to really make them shine!

same shirt, just bleached
canvas tote now sporting a lovely nebula

same tote just bleached
my daughter's shirt front, just bleached

my daughter's new spiral armed galaxy shirt

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Bales and bales of Bales.

I have just gotten my toes in to test the waters of the new challenge so far this week but I can already tell I am going to have a great time browsing all the great, creative tangleations of Bales that were entered for this week's challenge over at The Diva. I worked out a bunch of testers and included some of my favorites in the official entry.

So, I found it interesting that if you begin with a triangular grid you get something that looks a lot like the Flower of Life version of Fife, until I went back to the description of Fife where it draws the same parallel. I will simply claim that great minds think alike! I like the harlequin look of the half-filled version and the checkerboard feel of the diagonal fill. The spirals of the Tortuca-version almost buries the original look of the Bales bones. All in all a pretty interesting experiment. 

In the interest of, you know, full disclosure, the one below is the sketch version where I was working some of my ideas out. I thought it was interesting that if you fill the space in Bales with a square spiral or continue to echo the curved lines to fill in the space you end up with what pretty well amounts to Puff and Socc.

I will be trying to fully enjoy my last week before my summer classes begin next week. Baseball practice and Gymnastics lessons will begin and hopefully will ease us back into having to be somewhere on a schedule before the full blown madness begins of mom being in class 4 days a week starts. I don't think the classes I will be in will be conducive to tangling in my notes much. Only time will tell. Have a great week.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Black and White Challenge

Wow, this week's Diva Challenge was to use equal parts black and white in a piece. I will admit to having snuck a look at many before I ever embarked upon my own interpretation. I really loved the positive/negative ones I saw, but that is not the way I went with it. I just kept seeing all those tangles that rae nearly equal parts black and white like Bunzo to name the first that popped into my head. So I went that direction with it. I ended up using one that is not necessarily half and half normally, a version of Diva Dance, but I liked the way it came out. Given the black/white nature of the challenge I chose not to shade at all.

Then I thought I should finish up the second entry for last week's Zendalla challenge. It was finished except for shading., so I finished that up and will include it here. It is VERY different than the first entry, even though they use the same zendalla template. That is why I love doing more than one, to see how they differ when they 'grow up'.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A problem of scale.

I hit the Zendalla Dare this weekend and printed out both the large and small templates because I 'saw' immediately what I wanted to put in part of the larger one. Then I ended up doing the smaller one first because I 'saw' what to put in a different part of that one. Why, you might ask, would both things not go in the same Zendalla? Well, it is a matter of scale. One pattern needed the larger areas of the large version, while the other needed the slightly smaller space available in the smaller version. So there I was, struggling with finding things for the other sections of both sizes! I did manage to finish the smaller one. The larger still sits unfinished. I will update this post, or do another, if I manage to come up with just the right thing, or decide to cast fate to the wind and roll the dice!
NOTE - I finished the second and published it in my next post here. The second is very different than the first, go check it out.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Kuke... and other yummy tangles.

This week's Diva Challenge is to use Kuke, a tangle inspired by lovely, crisp and tasty cucumbers. I love cucumbers and a whole lot of other yummy veggies... but I am not a huge fan of this tangle. Not sure why, I enjoy it in other people's work but it just never seems to look right in mine. I have a similarly hard time with a few other circle-based tangles that are fine in other's work, but look awkward in mine. So, I chose to not do it in "circles".

And I also blended a little Fescue and Allium into it as well. Can anyone tell me the name of the sine wave tangle I used in the two areas on either side of the fescue-kuke? I love that one and can not recall where I saw it or what it is called. I can see maybe using Kuke again sometime so I am glad I tried it, but it will likely not ever be a huge favorite. I will be honest and tell you that I did one other piece that I did not have time to scan but I didn't really like it much. I used small circles and the pattern definitely looks better larger in my opinion. The smaller scale really makes it just look busy in my other example. Hope everyone has a good week. We are headed into summer here and I have a few more weeks off before my summer classes begin. I intend to enjoy every minute.

Before I go I will share two other pieces I worked on these last two weeks...

This one just came out of wanting to use Phicops again and explore the Frickle and Fern like tangle that was inspired by the tea box the other week. I also love leaving sections blank, which I hadn't done in a while.

This one came out of trying to decide what tangles to introduce during my 15 minute spot on Zentangle during an end-of-semester cultural celebration for a class a couple of weeks ago. I ended up using Socc and Betweed and Kunstler.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Which 'Schway' do I go?

This week's challenge over at The Diva is all about the new official Zentangle pattern Schway. Its name reminds me a lot of the 'valley speak' craze of the early 80's in which cool dudes and 'valley girls' would respond to everything with... "Way?" or "Way!" or "Totally!" depending on which fit the circumstance. Of course, as a scientist, the square sine wave that makes up the foundation is exciting (OK, so it doesn't take much for me to be excited anymore ... I did grow up in the 80's after all). I was afraid that it wouldn't be very fluid, but I managed to get some curvy lines out of it in the second piece, although, ironically I like the first one better. Which would be your choice?

In other Zentangle news this week... I get to share the Zentangle method in a class in which we are having an end-of-semester cultural celebration. I sort of jokingly told the organizer that I could not do a music or dance or poetry performance (which is the bulk of the program)... all I could do would be teach people to do the patterns I do in my notes during class. He was unexpectedly enthusiastic about that prospect. I hope the rest of the class is too, and I hope I do a good job of representing the method in 15 minutes! Have a great week.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Snowflakes in May

No, it did not snow here in Georgia on May first. However, I have relatives in Colorado that sent photos of (cold) hummingbirds in the yard eating from feeders covered in snow, so it did snow some where on May 1st, including in my drawing book!  I saw Erin's Zendalla dare the other day and knew I had to save this template because it was so nice and curvy and symmetrical  (a huge draw for me!). And I knew instantly what it was screaming for in the way of tangles (Auraknot) so I just had to do it. Fortunately, between class last night with a lot of group presentations that I did not have to take notes for and getting a little maintenance done on the car while I waited this morning I had plenty of time to work. It is not as symmetrical and perfect as I would like... there are a couple of errors in there, but it all blends and looks, well, like a snowflake.

The one to the right was my first scan of this piece... I don't know if this ever happens to you, but sometimes I look at a scan of a piece and see something that needs adding or changing that I didn't see before. Its like stepping across the room from a large painting or a quilt to get a better perspective. As soon as I saw this I knew I needed to beef up the straight lines. I only added them in the first place because there was a dent in the paper there from tracing the original template and there was no getting around that, but the thickening of the inside ends of the lines really makes a difference I think.

Now I have to do another one with all the other ideas I have for this template!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Inspiration from a Tea Box

I had fun with this week's Diva Challenge to use a blind string. I grabbed my book, scribbled two quick strings, snapped a photo of them with the IPad (a really blurry kind of dark photo-sorry) and headed out the door to my daughter's gymnastics lesson. Before I left I made a mug of tea and the box the tea came in has some very Mehndi-like patterns decorating it and I was inspired! The designs pictured above are from the box. OK, mine aren't nearly as beautiful as those, but the inspiration is there. I added some more images at the bottom of the post so I could keep track of what inspired me. There are definitely more patterns there I want to explore.
Here is the original string...
and the large one below is the finished piece. 

The next one has a lot more straight lines and was not nearly as big as I thought it would be when I was drawing it. It was kind of a challenge. I had to break out of 'straight' eventually and added the curvy elements to soften things up a bit. Again, the string... and then the finished piece. Have a great week! Who knows, with almost all my classes over I might have time to do the Zendalla Dare too!

This is another inspiring image that I found  while looking around for more this evening. The photo on the left is from HERE. And below is the rest of the box. I like the leaves and the rest of the pattern, but really love the tendrily bits on the outside edges.

and the inside of the box is covered in this yummy pattern. and not only is the box so nice to look at, the tea is pretty good too!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Better Late than Never...

Good Saturday! I noticed that Erin over at The Bright Owl has not yet posted the new Zendalla Dare for the week and thought I would take the opportunity to get my entry for last week's in before she does. I had some printer issues this week and was not able to print out the size that I usually use so I was not going to do it at all but I sat looking at the half of the sheet that did print the other night and had an idea. So, right there on that print out I tangled in the shapes and kind of like it... it looks sunny and warm, a harbinger of the coming summer heat.
I think it also suffices for my entry into the Earth Day Challenge since what would life be on this planet without the sun? Non-existent! The sun is the basis of all life on Earth, so why not a tribute to our star on Earth day? We love our star!

Then, while I was scanning I thought I would throw a few others in there that haven't been posted because they were too late for the challenge or I just did them this week! First there is the "frames" challenge from The Diva a few weeks ago...

and then this one that was just a trial of a new-ish tangle - I really like this one and was tempted to add color, but I think I will try it on a different version since this one had pencil shading already and the lead sometimes just ends up smearing and making it look dirty.

That is all for now... I am supposed to be answering questions for my last final - its a take home essay test so there will be lots of typing for me this afternoon! So why am I posting challenges?  Well... I'm cleaning off the desk so I have a clear space to work... yeah ,thats it. I guess it works for the mind too... I'm cleaning off my mental desk so I can think about addressing diversity in the classroom! See ya!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Stars in my Eyes this week.

I managed to eke out a couple of responses to the Diva Challenge this week. I wasn't really "feeling it" with the star theme; although I absolutely love some of the other submissions for the week. Mine are not thrilling to me, but they are there and they are done so I thought I would post, however last minute it is.

 The paradox example that every star begs for

and the 5 pointed stars with Betweed, another obvious star choice, as well as a few smaller 'Floret' stars.
I was not creative enough to come up with any different ideas. I have started to work smaller in the interest of time, which seems to always be at a premium here lately. I subdivided my large sketchbook paper into 6 sections and have almost filled up the page in a couple of weeks. Here are the rest of the residents of that page. One to go, and it already has a frame, I just can't decide what to put in it... I might have to break out the dice and let chance decide.
I had to try the new-ish "widgets" tangle... that one is so much fun! They look like little eyeballs with big eye lashes to me!

I am not sure how this Cadent grew hair...

and I was watching an interesting show one evening about the 20's and 30's and prohibition on PBS and was inspired to do something sort of Deco-ish. Nothing better for that than Betweed and BowTies with a few white Black Pearlz thrown in. I really like this one, I think it is my favorite from the last few weeks.I should be off to figure out what is what with the printer and why it stopped printing in the middle of my 8 page project. I need that print out to work on the next project that is to be based on that one and is due next week... along with the in-class final and that other project in that other class that we have to work on and that website project that is almost done still needs some editing and to have a calculation redone to verify and, and, and... you know, you remember the last two weeks of the semester... death by a thousand cuts.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Mood alteration with pen and ink.

I had a particularly rough month in March. Too much to do, too many commitments all coming to a head at the same time, not enough sleep. My head began to feel very scattered. I was sure I was missing vital details... stuff that would come sneaking up behind me in a few weeks to bite me (and I may have, only time will tell). It sort of felt like that dream everyone seems to have at one point or another... you show up for a college class feeling prepared and slowly realize that you have missed most of the semester and today is the final exam... only I wasn't asleep, I felt like that all the time. I was not a particularly nice person during this time; short temper, bad attitude, unable to see past my own 'stuff' to do much of anything for anyone else. My 'public face' suffered some, but my family took the brunt, as always. I am grateful that my kids are fairly independent and can do for themselves a bit, according to their age.

Now that it is April and some of my commitments from last month are over I have a little time to breathe again. I am still catching up with things piled up from last month, but I feel like I am starting to come out of it. Part of that has meant taking some time to do more than scribble doodles in my notebooks during class. I thought that would be enough to get me by for a while - I know from experience that I go a little nuts when I don't do anything creative; but it turns out that sitting down with 'real' paper and a 'real' pen (although most of my black ones seem to be used up) is the 'real deal'. Since posting to the Diva Challenge last week I have felt a little better. Taking that time made a difference. This week's challenge using Tuxedo was not as tempting as the Mooka challenge. There is something irresistible to me about Mooka but I was not drawn immediately to Tuxedo... but I sat down last night after folding 4 loads of laundry (chores first!) and did a couple of things with it anyway. They turned out better than I expected and made clear that Tuxedo is a very flexible tangle. I hope my mental state continues to improve, whether because of taking the time to tangle (T5) or just catching up on my work. I will give credit to creativity, if only to have an excuse to do it more.

Along with Kunstler, Paradox and Antidots, Tuxedo shows up twice here...
can you spot the substitution of straight lines for curved ones?

This one is round because I got tired of the square. This one aspires to
imitate Inapod a bit and I tried out MrE for the first time as well.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Needed a Little Spring

I needed a little Zen and a little spring and along came the Mooka Challenge this week over at The Diva. Practically to order!

So, so busy around here lately! No time for 'real' tangling or sewing... haven't even been doodling much in my notebooks. I have really missed it so this was a welcome excuse (although I will have to make it up and read all that stuff I should have read this afternoon at some point!). Have a great week.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Posting again!

Look at me, posting two weeks in a row! I am actually just taking a break from reading complex geology journal articles about ancient supervolcanos that I need for a class project... did I just say that? A class project about volcanos... at my age. That is crazy! I am crazy! This class is actually fulfilling an earth science requirement in my course of study but is way more fun and interesting than a simple earth sciences class would be. I get to make a website!

Anyway, the new tangle from Rick and Maria called Quandry caught my eye last week and I had to try it out. To make it sweeter it was the topic of the Diva Challenge this week as well. To really top it off I loved Erin's Zendalla template this week so I had to do that too. That Zendalla dare is often so tempting but requires the additional steps of printing out the templates and tracing them onto my page so they often get missed. So I have a quandry about Quandry... I can not seem to manage the nice even pattern of 'rice grains' that I desire without a little more structure than is strictly 'allowed' by the official directions... so I have a confession. I begin with a grid of offset rows of dots and use them to guide the drawing of triangles of grains. I want to try it out and actually make those dots part of the design as a variation... I think it wold look great with RED dots, but I haven't had a chance to do it that way yet.

This first piece is Quandry used in the Zendalla template.
I have a little Sparkle in there and the Quandry in the middle and the one I used on the outside is actually one I came up with from a piece of fabric. I call it Hillndale, you can scroll down a bit in this post for the step outs. I don't often use color but I thought this one needed a little glow to it, hence the added orange/yellow. 

This is my second entry for Quandry. I am not sure I am done with it... but I wanted to get it in and I do like it like this. I was trying for it to convey that this neat little stack of grains was falling apart a little on the right side and ending up in a little pile there at the bottom. 

This is the step-out for Hillndale, inspired by the a print in the MODA Modern Workshop line of fabric. The the last thing I have included is what I am doing most of these days. I don't have too much of a chance to even take notes in one class and in another I am too busy writing things to doodle much. However, there is often plenty of time in another because most of what we do is discuss, not cover new things. This page was done during student presentations about their own cultural background. It has been interesting listening with plenty of time to draw as I reflect.

Until the next post... have a great week.