Thursday, May 31, 2012

Link to tangle pattern Zipper Teeth

Suzanne McNeil has posted the steps to her tangle pattern Zipper Teeth.

Link: Art Trader magazine is available for free download

The January Issue of Art Trader magazine is available for free download.

Link to tangle pattern Daisy Chain & Treasure Dragon

Kyra Sanders has posted the steps to her tangle patterns Daisy Chain and Treasure Dragon.

Review of the Stillman & Birn Delta Series Sketchbook-Day 3

This week I'm doing an overview of the Stillman & Birn Delta Series sketchbook 7x7 in.  You can find my previous review pages on Day 1 and Day 2.

This is actually the back page of a Bleedthrumande (see Day 2 if you aren't sure what that is).  The front will be shown tomorrow with other pages that use a Faux metal technique.  I used a Micron Pigma .08 and outlined the blotches of color that bled through from the Copic Markers used on front of the page, then just rambled on at random.  Microns work beautifully on this paper--no feathering and the lines are crisp and clear.  The paper texture is rough, so you need to apply either a heavy hand (bad for Microns) or layer to get complete coverage in the darker areas.

I used my Lyra Rembrandt colored pencils for this page.  Here the roughness of the paper really works well,   allowing for several layers of color.

This was one of my 'saves'-.  While I was taping some cardboard to another page, I dropped my tape.  I use Miracle tape so it adheres quite well, and I tore quite a chunk of the fibers up at the top left corner getting it loose.  Feeling it was already a booboo page, I decided to try stamping on it, knowing the texture was probably too rough.  It wasn't as bad as I thought, but this isn't the paper to use for clear and crisp stamped images.

As it turned out, once I added color to the torn fibers, it was almost as though they healed!  I can't even feel them anymore.  I was amazed.

I chose to use Pitt Big Brush pens.  These are pigment ink pens that I find excellent for covering details I don't want seen.  I blended several colors, and then used Sakura Metallic Gellyrolls and Pentel White Sunburst to add my tangle patterns.

Tomorrow I'll show you some pages I made integrating a faux metal look.  Plus there will be a new tangle pattern!

Day 1,Day 2Day 4

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Link to tangle pattern Mayo-Hiero

Tammi Rapp has posted steps to her tangle pattern Mayo-Hiero.

Link: Exploring the elegance of Zentangle in a larger format

 CZT® Michele Beauchamp answers questions about the process she follows when drawing zentangles.

Link: Best of British Giveaway with Leslierahye

Sixteen days of giveaways from British crafting companies-craft flowers, ribbons, flexmarkers and lots of stamp sets.  I'm supplying the link to Day 1, but the giveaway is on Day 13, so don't delay.  The whole shebang ends on 6/3/12 so you still have time to go back and enter for each day's prize!

Link to Tangle Jar Giveaway

CZT Sandy Hunter is giving away a tangle jar. Cool way to choose your tangle patterns! 

The winner of my 500/1001 Giveaway is...


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Entry #211Tami C.

Tami, I've sent you an email.  Please respond directly to that email with your mailing information, and I'll get your prize package headed your way.

I want to thank everyone who entered.

How did Rafflecopter work for you?  It was a raging success from my point of view.  I got more entries with less work than ever.  I'd like to use it going forward, but not if people encountered difficulties.  Let me know what you think.

New Tangle Pattern and Review of the Stillman & Birn Delta Series Sketchbook-Day 2

 Yesterday I began my review of the Stillman & Birn Delta Series sketchbook.  For the specs, and to see how this sketchbook performed with neopastels, please check out Day 1.

Today I am showing you a bleedthrumanade.  Many of you already know, but for those who don't, I decided a while back to take advantage of the color bleed-through that often occurs when using alcohol markers.  Instead of bemoaning the mess on the back, I turn the page and use whatever color shows through to create a second piece of art.  When life hands you lemons, you should make lemonade.  When it hands you marker bleed-through, you should make bleedthrumanades, lol.

I used Spectrum Noir alcohol markers on the front of the page.  The color was bright, but not brilliant.  The color dried quickly, which makes it harder to avoid streaks.  There are methods to do that (circular motions, layers, etc), but I like the texture that streaks give, so I just left them.

There was very little color bleedthrough.  About 10% or less.  I was using brand new markers, very juicy, so this is very good.  Except for a bleedthrumanade, lol.  The challenge is to use whatever the paper gives you, so I had to think a bit for this one.

On the front, I used Micron Pigma Black .08 and .02 to add Zentangle®-Inspired patterns, including a new one--Background #7 of my Steampunk Series.  The pattern steps can be found at the bottom of this post.

I added additional color using Sakura Gellyroll pens in Copper, Gold, Silver and white Pentel Sunburst gel pen.

Suspension Bridge

For the back of the page, I switched to a Micron Pigma brush pen in Sepia.  I drew auras around the patches of color, and then added patterns in the spaces between.

Twilight Meadow

The tangle pattern Background #7 can be varied easily by spacing the circles differently or by changing the type of striping.

These tangle pattern steps were drawn in one of Geneviève Crabe's Tangle Organizers.

Tomorrow I'll show you some pages I've done with colored pencils; Pitt Big Brushes and metallic gellyrolls, and the back of another bleedthrumanade.

Day 1, Day 3, Day 4 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Links to patterns Doodle 28-33

Ana Navas has posted steps to her patterns:

Cosmos-Doodle 28
Dicentra-Doodle 29
Trapaeolum-Doodle 30
Cleome-Doodle 31
Trollius-Doodle 32
Lavandula-Doodle 33

Link: Giveaway at the Pen Addict Blog

The Pen Addict Blog - Staedtler Triplus Mobile Office Set + Rhodia Pad Giveaway!

Review of the Stillman & Birn Delta Series Sketchbook-Day 1

Recently I won a Stillman & Birn Delta Series Sketchbook, and!  I've had the hardest time stopping myself from creating in it, and settling down to write the review.

I'm reviewing the Delta Series sketchbook 7x7 in.  Please take note of that.  Stillman & Birn has an Alpha, Beta, Delta and Epsilon series, and each has different paper, so if you are interested in this particular sketchbook, you'll be looking for a Delta.

Because I have sooo many pieces I want to share, I'm doing this review a bit differently.  Instead of bogging you down with tons of art all at once, I'm going to post some of it each day this week.

But first, the Specs:

Stillman & Birn Delta Series Sketchbook Archival Quality Extra Heavy Weight Paper
Color: Ivory
Weight: 180 lb - 270 gsm
Surface: Sheffield roughness 360 SU. Internal and surface sized. Superior wet and tear strength.
No. of Sheets-25
Size: 7 x 7 in 0 - 17.8 x 17.8 cm
Archival: Alpha cellulose content 87%

Suitable for precision erasing, complies with international standards of responsible forestry. Extra heavy weight binders board.  Bound in the United States.

The informational leaf wrapped around the cover implies that the Delta series is suitable for pen, pencil, pastel, marker and paint.  I set out to prove it.

To start with, I chose Neopastel IIs, a wax, water-soluable pastel.  This first picture shows the neopastel dry, and it shows the texture of the paper.  I was tempted to just leave this as is, but Neopastel color does rub off if you don't wet it, so...

I used a water brush to blend the color.  The trees and shadow were drawn with an American Craft Precision pen, which is a good pen to use over waxy materials because it doesn't clog easily.

Tomorrow, I'll show you a Bleedthrumanade* done using alcohol markers.

Day 2Day 3Day 4

(*Got lemons? Make lemonade.  Got Marker bleedthru?  Make bleedthrumanade!)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

New Tangle 'Audience' & Mary Vogel Lozinak/Viva Las Vegastamps! Blog Hop!

This blog hop will run May 26 & May 27, and you are invited to join.  Go to (insert link) if you have a project that uses Mary Vogel Lozinak stamps and add your blog post URL to the linky setup.

There will be prizes!!!
7 - $10 coupons to be given away to random comments on seven different blogs.
1 - $25 coupon given randomly to one person who links a project up!
and 1 - $25 coupon to a random comment on the VLVS! blog 

So go enjoy the multitude of projects and comment on as many as you can to increase your chances of winning.  

Beautiful art, tips & techniques, and the chance to win prizes!  Ya know ya wanna hop!

My first project for the hop is an 8x8 drawing of a 3-Ring Circus with 3 Mary Vogel Lozinak stamps.

Clairefontaine Paper 8x8 (cut from Carnet de Voyage Travel album)
Micron Pigma in Black .01, .08 & Sepia .01
Memories Black inkpad
Viva Las Vegastamps!:
--Wheeley Cat-Item -18371 Plate 1401
--Wheeley Rabbit-Item 18377 Plate 1401
--Elephant on Ball-Item 18374 Plate 1401
Copic Sketch Markers:
--BG11 Cool Shadow
--BV20 Dull Lavender
--E33 Sand
--E11 Barely Beige
--E13 Light Suntan
--Y11 Pale Yellow
Blick Studio marker-- Light Maize
PrismaColor Verithin Color Pencils:
--Dahlia Purple
--Canary Yellow
--Warm Grey
--Poppy Red
--Parma Violet
Tangle patterns (patterns drawn step-by-step using some or all of the method called Zentangle®)
--Puf by Carole Ohl
--Keeko Official tangle pattern
--Striping Official tangle pattern
--ThisAWay (this has been submitted for Sandy Steen Bartholomew's next book and the steps are not yet available)
--Audience (see instructions below)

I stamped my images on the paper using Memories ink.

The Copics & Blick Studio markers were used to color the page.  Cool Shadow and Dull Lavender for the audience, the Pale Yellow & Light Maize for the spotlights and blended the other colors together for the floor and back wall.

I used the Black Micron for the patterns on the floor, going darkest at the bottom to try for the feel of shadows coming from the other side of the ring.  I used the sepia Micron on the audience to add to the feeling of dull shadows.  I also drew very faint lines through the entire audience for the same reason.

The stamped images were colored with the Verithins.  Ultramarine and Poppy Red were used on the outfits and vehicles for all three performers. The elephant was done in Dahlia Purple, Parma Violet and Ultramarine; Canary Yellow and Poppy Red for the cat and the rabbit was shaded with Ultramarine and Poppy Red for the ears.

I layered the walls and ring floor with Poppy Red and Ultramarine to dull some areas, and increase the sense of brightness in the spotlights.

Normally, with Zentangle® the patterns are the focus--the everything, and they are seldom used to represent a specific object.  Here I have used patterns for texture, and I used the Audience pattern to quickly create my background audience.  Definitely not traditional, but definitely Zentangle® Inspired.

My second project was the result of noodling around trying out a few things.

Viva Las Vegastamps!:
--Bird Background Item -18364 Plate 1400
--Flower Background-Item 18369 Plate 1401
--Ranger Archival Black
--Tim Holtz Distress Vintage Photo
PrismaColor Verithin Color Pencils:
--Canary Yellow
--Poppy Red
--Crimson Red
--Terra Cotta
--Peacock Blue
Tim Holtz Distress Markers:
--Spiced Marmalade
--Broken China
--Weathered Wood
Micron Pigma Black
Miracle Tape
Stillman & Birn Delta Series Sketchbook 7x7 inch
A copy of the 1945 issue of the Seabee's Carryall
A scanned copy from one page of the Carryall

Tangle patterns
--Pea-Nuckle by Molly Hollibaugh
--Bales Official tangle pattern
The other patterns I did without following any specific pattern steps.

This project came about because I found an old issue of a newsletter, The Carryall, that my father received while in the Seabee's in 1945.  All about Iwo Jima, it's an interesting document, but I eyed the discoloration and vintage typewritten print and wondered if it would work as a background (you know you're a crafter

After scanning a page and printing it on everyday printer paper, I chose the Bird & Flower background stamps to use because they had nice open spaces.  I cut the images out and colored them with the Verithin color pencils. I taped them into my Stillman & Birn sketchbook.

I colored the sketchbook page with the Distress Markers and added tangle patterns with the Micron pen.  As with the first project, the tangle patterns were used more for texture than as the focus of the piece.

My third project was the result of midnight madness.  I wasn't able to sleep one night and decided to create.  You never know what might happen in cases like these.
Viva Las Vegastamps!:
Memories Black Inkpad
M.Graham Watercolor Paints
--Azo Yellow
--Phthalo Blue
--Quinacridone Rose
Stillman & Birn Sketchbook
Pieces of plastic cling wrap
American Craft Precision Pen .08

I'd had previously prepared a watercolor background by placing enough pieces plastic cling wrap on the sketchbook page, and scrunching them so there were lots of folds.  Then I loaded my brush with very watery paint, inserted the brush tip at one of the openings and let the paint run down under the wrap.  I repeated this, changing color often until the whole page was colored.  

I squished the wrap to increase the folds, and as the paint dried it was darker where the wrap trapped the color.

When my insomnia hit, I use the Sun background in another journal, intending to color it.  There was a lot of ink on the stamp, and I decided to see what it would look like on my watercolor abstract.  

I stamped twice.  The second image was way too fuzzy, so I darkened areas with the Precision Pen, and then added some stripes, and squirkling  to integrate stamped image and background.

It's an odd piece, but I like it.  

I hope you've enjoyed the projects I made using Mary Vogel Lozinak's stamps.  I certainly enjoyed creating them.  Don't forget to leave a comment, and then please continue to hop!

You can find out who else is in the hop at the Viva Las Vegastamps! blog.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Link to tangle pattern Croon

The steps to CZT Margaret Bremner's tangle pattern Croon have been posted at Tanglepatterns. com.

Link: Zendala Dare #7

CZT Erin Koetz Olson has posted her Zendala Dare for the week!

Unplaining a Mini-book Cover with Mary Vogel Lozinak Stamps

Don't forget!  Tomorrow the Viva Las Vegastamps! blog hop featuring Mary Vogel Lozinak stamps begins!  If you've done any projects with her stamps, you are invited to post it on your blog, and join in!  

Check out the details here.

I found this cute little mini-book at a thrift store for a dollar.  It's a 3x4 inch hardbound book and, of course, I had to have it.  Had to!

The covers seemed a bit plain to me so I pulled out a few of my Mary Vogel Lozinak stamps and made them unplain  (not a word? It is now, lol).

Stamps used:

Odd -Item 18329 Plate 1384
Weird-Item 18318 Plate 1384
Has anybody seen my head?-Item 18317 Plate 1384
Headless Unicycle Juggler-Item 18303 Plate 1384
Plumed Bird On Box-Item 18307 Plate 1384

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Link: The importance of Strings

Linda Farmer at has posted an article about strings.  If you tangle, be sure to read because she's set up some new resources for us. If you don't tangle--be sure to read, because you probably should be, lol!

The importance of Strings

New Tangle pattern K-Nynjy from CZT Karen Sickels

CZT Karen Sickels gave me permission to post her new tangle pattern K-Nynjy.

Karen resides in Boston, and you can find her contact information at the official Zentangle® site.

500/1001 Followers Giveaway! (Now closed)

I promised a giveaway to thank you all for helping me reach 500 followers on this blog, and 1001 followers on Twitter.  Here it is and Thank you all for being my followers!!

I'm trying Rafflecopter to run the giveaway this time around.  Instead of trying to figure out the rules, you just do what Rafflecopter asks.  I'm also including the option to get extra entries!  (Oh, and I had intended to include the pretty bag with butterflies that is in the corner, but then I saw that the corner had been ripped somehow.  Ah well.  I'll just have to upcycle it!)

If you have any trouble entering, email me at LifeImitatesDoodles [at] gmail [dot] com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 21, 2012

My stamps are now available for pre-order!

Pre-Order Plates O' Rubber from Viva Las Vegastamps!  These pre-orders are fantastic deals at the worst of times, and this is the best of times, because some of the plates have MY stamps on them! (cover your ears--SQUEEEEEE!)

My stamps are on plates 1423, 1424, 1425, 1426 and 1427 (but not all the images on the plate are mine).  Some of them are huge!  And I love the mandalas on plate 1427--not my drawings, but beautiful!

If you click on the title, you'll be taken to the order page.  There you can click on the image to see a larger version of the plate.

Be sure to check out the other plates too, though.  There are some great new images from Mary Vogel Lozinak, and some new steampunk & vintage images as well.

The plates are unmounted rubber (so you have to cut them out yourself), and when they are actually in stock, they'll cost $21.95 (which is still a great deal).  The individual stamps will cost more, especially if you buy them mounted.

Link to tangle pattern Unme

CZT Debra Castaldi's Zentangle® pattern Unme has been posted at

New tangle pattern DuBloop, Grunge paper and the Popcorn Tub

So how did this popcorn tub from Dollar Tree transform from red & white stripes to a cool Steampunk ensemblage?  Read on!
Viva Las Vegastamps! :
Plastic Popcorn Tub
12x12 sheet Tim Holtz Grunge Paper 
Ranger Archival Inkpad Black
Tim Holtz Distress Markers:Black Soot, Rusty Hinge, Dried Marigold, Wild Honey, Tumbled Glass, Scattered Straw and Shabby Shutters
Miracle Tape 1 inch
Miracle Sheet
Black Sharpie pen

Recently, I watched a live-show with Leslierahye and she did an awesome cover-up on aluminum cans.  It inspired me to eye these plastic popcorn tubs that come 2-for-$1 at Dollar Tree. 

I'd been wanting to try out the Ideaology Grunge Paper.  It's strange stuff.  It looks like cardboard, and feels like leather.  It's flexible the way a piece of leather would be.  I was curious to see how well it would work using stamps and Tim Holtz Distress Markers.  

Ideas collided, and my steampunk popcorn tub was reborn as a pen-holder!

The steps:
1. Trace the side of the tub four times and cut out the pieces.
2. Stamp the images, choosing a crittur and an assortment of steampunk gears for each side.  
3. Color each piece with Distress markers, blending the colors with a waterbrush. (Note: I think the grunge paper is too rough for a fabric tip, so I used the hard plastic tip.)
4. Add tangles using the Black Soot Distress Marker.  Pick out details on the stamped images with the black marker so they'll be more 3D, and so the black of the inkpad and the black of the pens will work together.
5. Place the scalloped edge of each piece onto the sticky side of a Miracle sheet and cut the tape to fit the scallops.
6. Place strips of the 1-inch Miracle tape on the other three sides of each piece.
7. Pull the backing off the Miracle tape and stick the pieces onto the popcorn tub.
8. Black out any gaps at the corners using the black Sharpie on both the inside and the outside of the tub. 

Okay.  I admit it!  I grabbed the wrong stamp for this side, and ended up stamping a steampunk pig upside down.  Lol!  You just can't go wrong with steampunk pigs!

Tangle Pattern DuBloop

Note: For those unfamiliar with Zentangle or Steampunk, please check out this post for more information.

I created steps to a tangle pattern for use with this project.  The names for tangle patterns are meant for reference, and aren't supposed to bring an image to mind.  I thought this looked a bit like a doubled up loop, so DuBloop it is!

Patterns Used
My patterns: Woggle, Background #2,
Official tangle patterns: Beeline, Bales, Knightsbridge, Striping
Tangles by others: Sandra Steen Bartholmew's “Coop” pattern, from her book, “Yoga for Your Brain-steps not available online.

If you like tangle patterns that are loopy and swirly, check out Sue's Tangle trips and see what Certified Zentangle® Teacher, Sue Jacobs has come up with.

Be sure to to visit the Viva Las Vegastamps! blog for more projects, promotions and monthly challenges.  They change often, so keep an eye out for something new.  And if you haven't already received your free grab bag of rubber stamps, consider posting the Viva Las Vegastamps! widget on your sidebar.  The code and instructions can be found on the left sidebar of the blog.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Buncha Bleedthrumanade bookmarks

I recently entered a Steampunk ATC swap, and for extras I made everyone a bookmark.

I used my Copic markers so there was bleed-thru, but not a whole lot, so on the backs I did a variation of the tangle pattern Sez, one of the original tangle patterns.  I outlined each colored spot and then kept adding 'auras' around it.  I'm a bit disappointed with the scans--they didn't show the bits of color very well.

Rhodia Journal Swap, Page 5, Round 4

Translation: Mind your grammar.  It's Yeehaw when you talk about yourself.  It's Wheehaw when you talk about us.  And it's Heehaw when you talk about others.

Mom, can I have the piece with the flower?

No, Boo.  You can't eat your towel now.  It's for dinner.

Hat is my favorite picnic lunch.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Oh my!  Yesterday I noticed that I had 1001 followers on Twitter (up to 1007 today).  Today I discovered that I had exactly 500 followers on this blog.

Okay.  It's going to take me a few days to put something together, but there will be a giveaway.

I only have 218 friends on Facebook and only 53 on Wordpress (which is pretty much just the backup blog for this one because some people have trouble with  blogger).   I can see where I need to work.

For people who follow my blog--if you want to find me on Facebook or Twitter, I'm Sandra Strait on Facebook and Molossus1 on Twitter.  I'll do another giveaway when I reach 300 on Facebook.  Just  because I love seeing those numbers grow!  Who says I'm lousy at math, lol?  and my icon is this drawing.

New tangle pattern Fweel

 Jennifer Zuorro Van Pelt shares the steps to her new tangle pattern Fweel!

Today's round-up of Zentangle links and articles of interest

Tangle Patterns
The link to Molly Hollibaugh's Pea-nuckle has been added at

Suzanne McNeil has posted the steps to her tangle patterns Soup Bowls.

Shirl at Simply Stamping with Shirl is having another giveaway!  She's an incredibly generous person, so I know her Surprise Blog Candy is going to be awesome!  Giveaway end May 27.

Free printable butterflies for Facebook Fans from Blockhead Paper Arts.

Posts of interest
Viva Las Vegastamps! will have a giveaway for a Free Pound of unmounted Rubber Stamps when they hit 100 followers on Networked Blogs.  Read about it here.

Viva Las Vegastamps is now on Twitter!

The European Paper Company now has a Penmanship & Calligraphy Series of articles.

Blick Art Materials has a post on Extending the Life of Your Copic Markers.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New tangle patterns,tutorials and prompts

Since I'm on vacation, I'm going to do my posts this week as round-ups.

New tangles
Owl Loving April - 'Owl Post'
CZT® Norma Burnell  'Chainlea'
Linda Rea 'Hole in the wall'
Official Zentangle Newsletter featuring Molly Hollibaugh's'Pea-nuckle'

Patty Meijer's ZIA Journal Prompt #20 "Self-Love" Quilt " 
Laura Harms' Weekly Challenge #70: "Colour me Sepia"

Tutorials/Articles of interest

Love to stamp with Viva Las Vegastamps! images? Join their Facebook group 'For the Love of Stampo'
and share your latest and greatest VLVS! creations : 

Masutake Recycles Spaghetti Sauce Jar Moroccan Lanterns

Miraculous Mosquito's The Ultimate Doodling Playlist!

Daisy Yellow's Rhodia Journal Swap #4 pages

JetPens blog-Enter to win a $50 JetPens Gift Certificate! Ends May 17.

Lucky Dip blog-Enter to win a Stationery Bundle.Ends May 17.

Kathy's Double K Krafts-Enter to win a Boxer and Envelobox Creator Bundle with Advanced Techniques DVD. Ends on May 22.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Seven of my drawings will become stamps!!!

Viva Las Vegastamps! has accepted seven of my drawings to be turned into stamps.  *hops with excitement*

I posted one earlier this week--these are the other six.  They're a bit of a mixed bag because I wasn't sure what would work.  The creation process will start this week, so the plates will probably be available in a few weeks.  It could be awhile before the individual stamps will be available.

Friday, May 11, 2012

I don't think I'm seeing all the posts I should be seeing

Lately, I feel as though I'm missing out on posts from blogs that I used to see in Google Reader.  A while back, they made some changes and it may be that some of the blogs I was following aren't showing up any more.

I'm not ignoring anyone, and I really try to find all the new patterns that crop up.  So, if I've missed patterns you've posted lately, where I used to catch them all the time, please email me at LifeImitatesDoodles [at] gmail [dot] com and let me know.

And if I never found your patterns in the first place, please holler at me at well.  The more the merrier, that's my philosophy.

Having said that--I'm going visiting next week and may have internet problems, so if I don't respond immediately, or if I disappear for a few days that's why.

Link: Steamed up over the Steampunk Frenzy

Wondering what the deal is with Steampunk?  Cindy Angiel ponders the question and shows us her interpretation in her Steampunk Frenzy post.

Geneviève Crabe's Weekly Roundup

Geneviève Crabe's Weekly Roundup of Zentangle patterns and articles of interest.

Link to tangle pattern Buttercup

Want to hop around in circles?

Linda Farmer has posted a link to the steps to Buttercup, one of Sandy Steen Bartholomew's patterns.  When I did my review of Sandy's Tangled Fashionista, Sandy gave me permission to draw up the steps and it is my review that Linda has linked up to.  So if you follow the link, you'll go to, and if you follow her link you'll come back to my blog--just a different post.!

Feels kind of strange, lol.  But is well worth hopping to, and spending some time at.  Lots of tangle patterns, lots of tutorials--it's really a cool site.  So why not hop in circles?  A little dizzyness never hurts!

Link: Chance to win original artwork

Stephanie Smith, aka Biffybeans, is having a giveaway.  Head over to her blog for a chance to win one of her original artworks.

Link: Freebie Digi Image mini-bundle!

Mommy-and-me-creations and MelonHeadz Illustrating are offering a mini- bundle of free digi images.

Link to tangle pattern Shing

CZT Margaret Bremner has posted steps to her new tangle pattern Shing.

Link to new tangle pattern LinQ

CZT Lara Williams has posted steps to her tangle pattern LinQ.

Aiming for texture with Stillman & Birn

Recently I won a Stillman and Birn Delta Series Notebook.  I plan to review it, but some travel and a few other commitments to take care of before I do.

Meanwhile I thought I'd share my first foray with the journal.

I'd seen this video -Stamping Techniques - Faux Metal (Two Peas In A Bucket)--and was struck with the idea that an embossed Faux Metal piece would add incredible texture to an art journal page.

I used black cardstock, and Stampendous Aged Silver Embossing Powder and used one of the Mary Vogel Lozinak stamps from Viva Las Vegastamps! - Flower Background 3 1/4 x 6 1/2 Item 18369 Plate 1401.

You have to move fast in the last step of the embossing process, and I dropped my stamp.  It's a large one, so I ended up only getting part of the stamp embossed.  That was okay though.  I was aiming for texture, and I got it.  I flexed it a bit to get cracks, and I ripped the edges to show more of the black cardstock, then I used 1 inch wide Miracle Tape to tape it into my Stillman & Birn's notebook.

This Stillman & Birn has a thick watercolor paper in it, but the tooth is smooth enough that I felt safe using fabric-tipped markers/pens.  Pitt Big Brushes are waterproof, so I used Cold Grey III and Skyblue to draw marbling and blend in the edges of the embossed piece.

Tim Holtz Distress Markers are NOT waterproof--they are designed to used for watercolor effects.  I colored in Victorian Velvet around the edges of the embossed work and along the marbled lines I'd added.  Then I used a water brush to spread the color until the whole page was colored.

I used an American Craft Precision Pen .01 to add some tangle patterns, and a Pentel White Gel pen to add a 'silvery' cast in a few places.

The paper held up, with no buckling or dimpling, to the weight of the embossed piece and the wet media.  There was a little pilling with the Distress Marker, but I've had that happen when I've used those markers, so it wasn't the paper.

I'll be using this technique again, though I think I'll go a bit smaller with the embossing!

Rhodia Journal Swap, Page 4, Round 4.

Rhodia Journal Swap, Page 4, Round 4.

I had all sorts of cute little sayings in mind when I thought up this character, and now I can't remember any of them.  I decided I need to move on, mindful of the time.  I may come back and add in more.  Maybe when my coffeepot gets fixed.  I really need my coffee!

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

You can see what the other 12 swappers are doing in their journals at the Rhodia Journal Swap blog on Tumblr.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Link to tangle pattern Sculptlar

Jeannine Schoonaert has posted steps to her tangle pattern Sculptlar.  It is similar to the pattern I posted earlier, Smokestack,  and probably easier to do.  The loops in these patterns aren't the same, but notice how we both use a 'pole' to wrap our pattern around, and how the lines begin and end at the pole--the lines 'line' up.  

Link: Blended Paper Backgrounds

Scraps, at Gauche Alchemy, has posted a tutorial showing a cool transfer technique using Gesso and Mod Podge.

Link to tangle pattern Flubber Ducky

Linda Selymes has posted steps to her tangle pattern Flubber Ducky.

New tangle pattern Smokestack & The Cookie Bookie Notebook

Those of you who have followed my blog for a while are familiar with the Daycraft Cookie Bookie Notebook.  I reviewed it just about a year ago.  It's one of my favorite notebooks, and I've wanted to buy more from their line of products, but they have been difficult to find, even online.

Yesterday, I received an email from Daycraft letting me know two things--they have launched a new website that offers their products with free worldwide shipping and the Cookie Bookie notebook will soon be available in more colors! 

I'm ecstatic!

All the items are priced in Hong Kong Dollars (HKD), but if you google Currency Conversion you should be able to get a close approximation of the price in your own currency.

One of the reasons I love my Cookie Bookie is the rich orange color of the pages--it is light enough that you get a clear line with black ink pens, yet it's dark enough that white gel pens almost glow.  I can't wait to see what other colors become available!

To honor this occasion, I decided to share the pattern steps that I had created for use with my recent 3D drawing of the Titanic.  That drawing ended up going in a different direction than I had originally planned, and I saved the pattern for a later time.  (Please note that I turn my Zentangle® around as I draw, so the pattern is shown on its side in the drawing above.

I'm going to rate this pattern as difficult, because I think many people will struggle trying to get the loops perfect.  When they try this the first time, they may well look at the result in disgust and give up.  I hope that doesn't happen for too many.  With many patterns, (as it is with life) you need to fail at it a time or two before you can get it right.  

Tips that might help:  Go slow.  Relax and don't worry about perfection. Before starting each step, look at where the lines ended in the previous step, and use them as a guide.  In my drawing above, I darkened in the centers.  You can use this to even out your loops.  Even after you get the pattern down, it helps to practice it a few times on scrap paper before using it in a Zentangle®.  This is because you develop a rhythm when it you draw it, and practice helps get the rhythm going.

Ginger Horse #ZentangleInspiredArt #FountainPen #PenAndInk

You know how sometimes a work just fights you while you're trying to draw it?  I had an idea tickling my brain, a desire to combine styl...