Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Steampunk Ball

This is the piece that is included in the new issue of Just Steampunk Vol II.  There's a lott of really cool work in that magazine!

Link to tangle pattern EyeAye

The step out to Lori Hamilton's new tangle pattern EyeAye has been posted.

Link to tangle pattern Waft

The step out to Beth Snoderly's tangle pattern Waft has been posted at

Link to patterns Zigster & Clover Swag

Cindy Angiel has posted the step outs to her patterns Zigster & Clover Swag!

New tangle pattern ZinnTardy

A friend, Teresa Zinn Tardy, asked me to deconstruct a pattern into a step-out, which I've done here.  I'm calling it ZinnTardy!  It was a complex pattern with lots of points and small curves, so I rounded it out and am afraid I've lost some of what made the pattern unique.  But, even with the rounding out, it takes eight steps to complete.  If I'd kept all the zigs and zags it would have taken twenty, lol!  I hope Teresa likes it any way.

If you find yourself having a problem try drawing in some pencil guidelines (which I hope you  can see here).  Draw an X from corner to corner, and then a to bisect the square into four.  At step 5, use these lines to help decide placement of your elements.  As you learn the pattern, you shouldn't need the pencil lines.

There is lots of room for variation.  If you find you haven't left yourself room for all the steps, leave some of them out. Fill in some of the areas but not others. Change the shape of the elements.  Go crazy with your shading--you can get truly different effects just by changing the shading!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Link to Shaky - new tangle from Deena Perlstein CZT

Link to Shaky - new tangle from Deena Perlstein CZT!

Weehah! Two magazines featuring my work!

Oh! I'm dancing a happy jig! There were two magazines in the mail today! 

I knew my work (a collaboration with DeeDee Catron) would be on the inside of the RubberStampMadness, but I didn't know I'd made page 100 of the Just Steampunk Volume 2! Haven't had time to scour the issue yet, but I also saw work from fellow Viva Las Vegastamps! design team members Lea CiociSusan M. Brown, and Lyneen Jesse, as well as from Terri Sproul, Joe Rotella and Edie Cournoyer.  

What a rush!

Link to tangle pattern Bubble Bobble Bloop

CZT Janee Mackugler's has posted the step out to her tangle pattern Bubble Bobble Bloop.

Link to LineWeaving Pattern Worksheets for Radar Crown & Pladzy

Link to LineWeaving Pattern Worksheets for Radar Crown & Pladzy

Laura Harms' Weekly Challenge #93 & new official tangle Bunzo

Laura Harms' Weekly Challenge #93 --also includes the new official tangle Bunzo!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Review: The Joy of Zentangle

Fox Chapel has published a compilation book, 'Joy of Zentangle', which incorporates portions of previous Zentangle books that were written by Suzanne McNeill, CZT®, Sandy Steen Bartholomew, CZT, and Marie Browning, CZT.

Compilation book--what does that mean?

Well, it means that if you already own Zentangle books written by the above authors, you may have some of the articles and tangles that are published in this book. The content of this book was taken from: Zentangle Basics, Zentangle 2 thru 8, Zen Mandalas, Inspired by Zentangle Fabric Arts Quilting Embroidery, Totally Tangles, Yoga for Your Brain, Zentangle for Kidz, and Time to Tangle with Colors.

Should you buy this book? Well, maybe.

Pros: If you are new to  Zentangle, this is would be a nice starter book, and cheaper than buying all the other books.  Even if you do own 1 or 2 books, you might want a 'sampler' of tangles and writing by more than one author, this would be a good book.
If you own the other books, but want something handy for carrying around that gives a good variety of tangles, this would be a good book for you.

Cons: If you own several Zentangle books, and are looking for new patterns or new information--this is not the book for you.

There are 107* tangle patterns in this book, but there are many more patterns to be found in  the combined books above, obviously.  The amount you have to spend and your desire to know every pattern under the sun will have to guide your decision.  (NOTE: The book says it has 101 patterns, but they didn't six that were included in some of the introductory chapters.)

(NOTE: The book says it has 101 patterns, but they didn't six that were included in some of the introductory chapters.)

But let me give some more information. Hopefully it will help you determine how much of this book you already own.

This Zentangle-Inspired artwork was done using Crossroads, Lacy Knight's Cross and Etcher--all tangles included in the  Joy of Zentangle.

Cover: Flexible cardstock
No. Pages: 144
Size: 9 x 7.5 inches (22.86 x 19.05 cm)
Binding: Glued

Look and Feel
The Joy of Zentangle is a medium size, not too big and not too small.  It would fit in some purses, though it might be a little heavy for comfort.

The binding is glued, but seems to be well glued--I wouldn't expect pages to pop free easily.  On the other hand, the pages don't lie flat nor would I recommend trying to fold the book in half for easily holding.  You'll need to either hold the book open or weight it down.  Annoying if you are trying to refer to the steps of a tangle while drawing.

The publishers went with a CAS (clean and simple) look for their layouts.  There is a LOT of white space.  The paper isn't too glossy, so if you someone who writes in the margins, this might be a plus.

The tangles are shown with a single block example of the pattern and then the steps to create the pattern.  No completed examples are shown.  Personally, I find I prefer a completed example, because often it easy to complete one round of a pattern, but more difficult to do rows of it.  A complete example can help show how to continue past the first block.

Quotes from various CZTs, tips, symbolism, and exercises are salted throughout the book.  These blurbs are placed on the page with no relation to what else is on the page, and no example.  For instance, the exercise BIG explains, in essence, that you can use one tangle as a string that can be filled with other tangles. The rest of the page is taken up with the steps to the pattern Cootie, which would be a good choice as a string, but otherwise has nothing to do with the blurb.

While Suzanne McNeill, Sandy Steen Bartholomew and Marie Browning are the three contributing authors there are a few tangle patterns from other artists (my own patterns Lacy and Crossroads are included, which is why I was sent a copy of the book).

About the Contributing Authors-author profiles
Dear Reader-Introduction to the book by Publisher Alan Giagnocavo
Zentangle Resources-The CZT network & Using Zentangle
Chapter 1: What is a Zentangle?
Chapter 2: Zentangle Basics-Tools & Your First Zentangle
Chapter 3: Advanced Zentangle Techniques-Shading, Design Tips, Keeping Tangles & Draw from Real Life
Chapter 4: Tangle Directory
Chapter 5: Learn to Draw 101 Tangles
Chapter 6: Traditional Zentangle Gallery
Chapter 7: ZIA Gallery
Chapter 8: Additional Applications-Jewelry, Paper Crafts, Printmaking, 3-D Objects, Fabric

Tangle pattern step-outs
Included in Draw from Life by Sandy Steen Bartholomew: Vine Twist, Uptown, Becki, Apeel and Twiggy).

Official Tangle Patterns: Bales, Beelight, Cadent, Chillon, Cubine, Ennies, Flukes, Hollibaugh,Keeko, Knightsbridge, Nipa, Nzeppel, Printemps, Rick's Paradox, Tagh, W2, Yincut

Patterns from Suzanne McNeill: Asian Fans, Bricks, Bubbles, Cadent Variation, Cheesecloth, Corn Rows, Crescent Moon Variation, Cubism, Daisy Beads, Dandelion Seeds, Droplets, Floating Disks, Flora, Florz Variation, Flying Geese, Footprints, Frond, Gewgle, Growth, Holes, Intersection, Itsy Bitsy, Jonqal Variation,King's Crown, Lettuce Farm, Lollipops, Marbles, Melody, Mixed Signals,Orange Peel, Papyrus, Pinwheels, Printemps Variation, Pyramids, Queen's Crown, Rain Variation, Soup Bowls, Square in Square, Starry Night, Static Variation, Swag, Teardrops, Tufted Leaves, Twilight Zone, Twisted Ribbons, Waves, Web, Whirls

Patterns from Sandy Steen Bartholomew: Adele, Ammon, Buttercup, Chads.Circfleur. Claire, Cootie, Etcher, Flake, Flutter, Flutter Tile, FlutterBi, Jute, Krust, Kuginuki, Mumsy, Popova, Puff-O, Purlbox, Ripple, Sabi, Slurp, Stature, Tuffit, Unagi, Wabi,

Patterns from Marie Browning: Germie, Knight's Cross, Sag, Vernazz

Patterns from other Contributors:
Sandra Strait-CrossRoads, Lacy
Kathy in Atlanta- Kathy's Dilemma
Peggy Shafer-Matt
Molly Hollibaugh-Munchin
Kareann Young-Weave

Link to tangle pattern Demitessel-1

Linda Selymes has posted the step-out for her pattern Demitessel-1.

The winner of Carla Sonheim's 'Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals' is...

The winner of my giveaway-Carla Sonheim's 'Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals'Flexi-Sketch Blank Sketchbook 6 x 6 in,  and two American Craft Precision pens, 1 brown & 1 black is....

Ninna Hellman!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Pegasus Unicorn

While waiting for a real estate agent at my Mom's house, I looked around the yard for inspiration.  Didn't find any cracks in the pavement, but I found some interesting shrubbery.

I highlighted the area where I found my Pegasus Unicorn.  

I ended up waiting a while, and couldn't resist adding a few embellishments.  Wish i hadn't.  I should know better than to try freehanding text!

I used a method found in Carla Sonheim's book Drawing and Painting Imaginary AnimalsGo here to enter my giveaway for a chance to win a copy.

Link to Cindy Angiel's New Pattern Library Toolbox kit

Link to Cindy Angiel's New Pattern Library Toolbox kit

Into Mail Art? Link to Interview with Mail Artist, Miss Thundercat

Link to Interview with Mail Artist, Miss Thundercat

Link to short overview on the Principles of Design

The Lost Principles of Design

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Link to review & giveaway of Genevieve Crabe's Mandala Stencils!

Cindy Angiel has posted a review & giveaway of Genevieve Crabe's Mandala Stencils!

Review of 'Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals

Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals
A Mixed-Media Workshop with Carla Sonheim 

Recently, I was fortunate enough to win a copy of Carla Sonheim's Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals.  I was pretty excited from the moment I heard the book was out--you may have noticed that I've been posting several links to reviews and tutorials about it.  I've never taken one of Carla's classes, but I've seen enough of her work online and heard enough from her students to know she's awesome.  So her book had to be awesome too.

What impressed me was the alignment of her ideas with the philosophy of Zentangle®. The 'no mistakes, go with the flow, joy of creating' feel to her work seemed to me like it was something most tanglers would enjoy, even though her technique uses more realism (in a very imaginary way, lol).

So anyway, on with the review.

Cover: Heavy covered cardboard
No pages: 144
Size: 8.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches


Section 1: Just Messing Around-Sketchbook Play and Other Nonsense
1 Blobs and Sidewalk Crack
2 Photos and Life
3.Memory and Imagination

Each chapter of Section 1 contains three exercises and a mini gallery of examples from various artists.

After reading this section, I was inspired by a pair of dirty socks.  Surely, you can see it?  Obviously, these socks are hiding a ....
......Bactrian Camel!

I was also inspired by a picture that Carla provided of a cracked sidewalk.  She had examples from two other artists.  I immediately saw something much different, so I had to come up with my own interpretation!

I'm working on one of the tutorials now, but it's going to take a while, so you'll have to wait for that!

Section 2: Mixed-Media Projects-Paintings, Artist's Books and Other Fun Stuff
4 Oaxacan Dotted Elephant
5 Imaginary Animals-Abstract Watercolor Starts
6 Junk Mail Creatures Book
7 Watercolor Transfer Animals
8 Doggone It!
9 Animals In Tape
10 Creatures on Wood, Part 1
11 Creatures on Wood, Part II
12 Go Fish!
13.Wrapped and Tied-Fabric Animals

Each chapter of Section 2 contains illustrated tutorials and techniques.

Section 3: Artist's Gallery of Inspiration-Featured Artists
The title of this section pretty much says it all.

The book itself is appealing to look at, with lively illustrations and instructions that are brief enough to keep you moving along, but detailed enough so that you can follow them.  

I love this book.  It might not appeal to someone who is only interested in 'Fine Art', masterpieces created after years of study and practice.  But for those of us who simply want to create, who want to find new ways to discover the world around us--this is a fabulous book.

The only thing that I felt could be improved was the cover material.  The binding is a bit tight, and the book doesn't easily lie flat.  I tried the method of carefully folding the book back.  The binding holds up well, and you can get the book flat for easy reading while you create, but... the cover creases.  A minor point, since I'll probably end up getting paint and glue all over the book anyway, but I like to keep my books as pristine as possible.

If you don't want to wait to see if you win, Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals  can be purchased at Amazon or your local bookstore.

Giveaway Closed!  The winner was Ninna Hellman.
One copy of Carla's book Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals, a Flexi-Sketch Blank Sketchbook 6 x 6 in,  and two American Craft Precision pens, 1 brown & 1 black.

1. Leave a comment.
 2.Include your email or some method so I can contact you if you win. Failure to leave contact info means your entry won't be entered! Enter email addresses in this format: email[at]thisplace[dot]com. 
If you don't want to show your contact info here, email me at LifeImitatesDoodles[at]gmail[dot]com. Please put 'Imaginary Animal Giveaway' in the subject line.

Where: Leave your comment on this post with your contact info (or email the contact info as explained in How).

When: On Sunday, October 28, I'll announce the winner.

Who & Why: I'm giving this stuff away. Disclaimer: I won the book I used for the review. Carla Sonheim and her publisher did NOT ask me to do this review or giveaway.  I just wanted to do it because I thought you would enjoy it. So there, lol.

Good luck!

Link to tangle patterns Gella and Zoose

Poppie_60, aka Lila has posted the step outs to her tangle patterns Gella and Zoose.

Link to Shading Tips from Sue Jacobs CZT

Link to Shading Tips from Sue Jacobs CZT

Monday, October 15, 2012

Laura Harms' Weekly Challenge #91

Laura Harms' Weekly Challenge #91

Link to new tangle pattern Zaturn

CZT Sue Jacobs has posted the step out for her new tangle pattern Zaturn, which she developed to help people learn more about shading!

Margaret Bremner is selling art to help support

Love  Adore the fantastic artwork of Margaret Bremner? Then you should head over to the Enthusiastic Artist and check out Margaret's offer!

Not sure what either is?  Then you NEED to check out Margaret's website and, just for your own good!

Link to tangle pattern Botie

A link to the step out for Elena Hadzijaneva's tangle pattern Botie has been posted at

Link to tangle pattern Rotten Tatters

Linda Rea has posted the step out to her tangle pattern Rotten Tatters.

Links to tangle pattern Curls, Buttons, Bird of Paradise & Paradise Flower

Olga, aka ArtCat86 has posted the step outs to her tangle patterns:

Gruppo Cordenon's Stardream Paper & the Pony Express

My brother's birthday was fast approaching and I still hadn't made a card for him. 

I wanted to do something amusing.  I wanted to use the train tracks stamps that 
Viva Las Vegastamps! had made using my artwork (18990 and 18989 and I also 
I also used stamp 18992, which is NOT from my artwork)

I also wanted to use a piece of Gruppo Cordenon's Stardream Paper.  They sent me some sample books a months ago, for a review of their Plike paper and they included a sample book with other lines as well, including Stardream.  

The Stardream blurb at the Gruppo Cordenon's site reads:
Stardream is a distinctive range of metallic, iridescent and pearlescent colors created expressly for the designer and printer to give an "astral effect" to your work, meeting the more sophisticated trends of color and fashion. Available in 32 colors and 5 stellar dual sided color combinations, Stardream will add another dimension to any project.

This paper is gorgeous!  It has a hard, glimmery surface, slick to the touch, and comes in 38 colors, and three weight sizes.  I had been trying out a few pens and markers on my samples and discovered that white gel pen over cool grey Faber-Castell India ink brush pen made me think of old tin-types--and an idea was hatched.  A silver or gray might have been a better color for what I wanted, but I loved the 'flame' color, and decided to use it for my brother's card.

I tore the edges all around, using distress inkpads to darken them for a roughed look.

I stamped the images with the same inkpads, and then set the card aside for the ink to dry.  On another piece, earlier, I tried to speed up the drying time with a heat gun, and managed to scorch the paper.  You can use heat--just with caution and in short bursts.

Strangely, when I colored the images, the ink from both the gel pen and the india ink pen dried almost immediately.  I found this to be the case with Plike paper also.

I glued the Stardream to a brown cardstock, and used a silver metallic gel pen to write my sentiments.

On the inside the card reads,
"Pony Express has quick delivery, but they don't guarantee good condition."
"Happy Birthday! Hope the card arrived in time."

You can purchase Stardream, Plike and other fine papers at the Gruppo Cordenon Store.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Link to String templates from Judy West

String templates from Judy West.

Alain Guy's new tangle pattern Coffee Beanz

Alain Guy posted the step out to his new tangle pattern Coffee Beenz (name subject to change).  He doesn't have a blog, and since he posted in a group that only members can see, he gave me permission to share it with you on my blog. (edited to remove a blooper moment.  Alain is a manly man, and I went on automatic with all my 'she's in the post, lol)

It's simple, sweet, and fun!

Long-tailed Lamb

I went to Blockheads Paper Arts for a make'n'take last Thursday and, afterwards, I took home the kraft paper that was used to protect the table from the sprays we were using (I misplaced the card I made, lol).

I've also been reading Carla Sonheim's 'Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals'(which I'll be reviewing once I've finished it) and I started looking at the stains on the kraft paper.  I didn't quite use the method Carla teaches, because I drew directly on the paper and turned my blobs into...

...a long-tailed lamb. Couldn't get a very good shot because it's a goodly size piece of paper.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Link to TanglePatterns Shading Mini-Clinic – Part 1

Link to TanglePatterns Shading Mini-Clinic – Part 1

Sandy Steen Bartholomew reviews 'Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals'

Book Review - Carla Sonheim's Newest

Link to Tutorial: Twinkling Stenciled Butterfly

Dion Dior shows you how to paint a beautiful butterfly using Stecnils, Twinkling H2Os, and Frisket.

Link to May Arts Ribbon Giveaway

May Arts is giving away a spool of ribbon.  Hop over to their blog to enter for a chance to win!

Link to 2 new tangle patterns Ollove and Pozeez

Linda Rea has posted steps to her two new tangle pattern Ollove and Pozeez!

Round 09 Page 04-Rhodia Journal Swap

Left side-My rubber stamp resist from the front of this *bleedthrumanade actually provided a better negative space on the back of the page.  The alcohol markers colored the matte medium I used on the front, but kept the color from bleeding through.    

I decided to ignore the boundaries of the color and just draw.

Right-Well, the trees were supposed to be negative space, but I couldn't resist adding some shading.  *sigh* I'm a shading addict.  Complete compulsion, absolute obsession with shading, lol!  Can you find the kitty?  The two birds?

*Bleedthrumanade--Got lemons? Make lemonade.  Got marker bleed-thru? Make bleedthrumanades!  Alcohol markers bleed through most paper and you get color on both the front and the back.  While this bothers most people, I decided to make use of it.  I color one side of the page and draw on it, then turn the page and use the same color for a second drawing--a bleedthrumanade.

See what other the other 12 swappers are doing in their journal at the Rhodia Journal Swap on Tumblr.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Link to tangle pattern Accordion

Suzanne McNeill has posted the steps to her tangle pattern Accordion.

Weekly Challenge #90: String Theory v. XIII

Weekly Challenge #90: String Theory v. XIII

Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper - October 9, 2012

Welcome to the October 9, 2012 edition of carnival of pen, pencil and paper.

Editor's Choice: Articles that weren't submitted but that caught my attention.

Pen Envy- Azizah Asgarali of Gourmet Pens shows us her Daily Carry Pens
Baffled by the bevy of black inks? -Black Bottled Fountain Pen Ink Swabs  from the JetPens Blog


Millie presents The Platinum Plaisir: Better than a Lamy! posted at Planet Millie, saying, "A comparison of the Plaisir and the Lamy."
Rachel Goulet presents Pilot Vanishing Point 2012 LE- Charcoal Marble posted at Ink Nouveau.
Rachel Goulet presents Wed. Review: Stainless Steel Lamy 2000 posted at Ink Nouveau.
Rachel Goulet presents Introducing: Edison Beaumont posted at Ink Nouveau.
Rachel Goulet presents Wed. Review- Lamy Nexx & Nexx M posted at Ink Nouveau.
Rachel Goulet presents Wed. Review- Stipula Etruria Alter Ego posted at Ink Nouveau.
Alex Witte presents W.A. Stark 30 Cal Bolt Action Pen (Cocobolo and Gun Metal) posted at Economy Pens.
Sandra Strait presents Life Imitates Doodles: Review of the Zebra Z-Mulsion EX & Zebra Z-Grip Ballpoint Retractable Pens posted at Life Imitates Doodles.
kate marshall presents So many notebooks posted at Kate's Scrapbook, saying, "Suggested by Sue Strait"
Heather presents Stabilo Point 88 Pens posted at A Penchant for Paper.
Peter Warrior presents Uni-Ball UB-155 Micro Deluxe Review posted at Tiger Pens Blog.
Okami0731 presents Featured Pen - Allian East Meets West Maki-e posted at Whatever.
Cheryl presents Fountain Pen Basics: What essentials do I need with my first fountain pen? posted at Writer's Bloc Blog.
Alex Witte presents Schneider Xtra Hybrid .3 Needle Point Blue posted at Economy Pens.


Azizah Asgarali presents Review: Davis Leatherworks 3.5" x 5.5" Notebook Cover posted at Gourmet Pens.
Jonny presents Smart Blog: Benefits of Writing a Notebook posted at Smart blog, saying, "I'm really glad that you host this carnival."
Jonny presents Smart Blog: 9 Tips to Organise a Notebook posted at Smart blog, saying, "Hi, it's me again. This post of mine goes as a follow-up to the previous post that I submitted."
Travisthetrout presents Monthly Meetings Notebook from Printed Portal posted at Notes in a Book.
Heather presents Thrift Store Journal from Pierre Belvedere posted at A Penchant for Paper, saying, "I found this notebook at a thrift store, of all places, and I was pleasantly surprised by how well it stood up to writing with different pens. I would love to see this brand receive wider recognition."
Alex Witte presents Notice Life Work Stationary Review + Competition Giveaway posted at Economy Pens.

Office Supplies

Aisazia presents Review: Iwako Elephant Eraser posted at Ethereal Voices: Comic Progress Blog.
Sandra Strait presents Life Imitates Doodles: New tangle pattern WW and Review of the Rad and Hungry Rad and Hungry STMT X PERU KIT posted at Life Imitates Doodles.
Cheryl presents Protect Your Precious Pens! posted at Writer's Bloc Blog.

Art Supplies

bonnie jean woolger presents lost and found: shoplet and pilot posted at lost and found.
bonnie jean woolger presents shoplet and zebra posted at lost and found.
Aisazia presents Choosing a Sketchbook posted at Ethereal Voices: Comic Progress Blog.
The Tangled Penguin presents Shading with Copic markers posted at Tangle Patterns and Discussions, saying, "Introduction to shading with Copic markers... my new addiction!!"
Sandra Strait presents New tangle pattern Mortar and Review of Plike paper posted at Life Imitates Doodles, saying, "Plike=plastic + like. Pure cellulose, but with a velvety plastic feel. Long a printer's staple, Plike is fantastic for stamping, drawing and crafting."
Sandra Strait presents Two New Tangle Patterns & Review of the Clairefontaine GraF-it sketchpad posted at Life Imitates Doodles, saying, "Review of the Clairefontaine GraF it sketchpad."


Cheryl presents Ten Tips for Writing Thank You Notes posted at Writer's Bloc Blog, saying, "A thank you note including your fabulous calligraphy and artwork would be truly outstanding! Looking forward to browsing the carnival on your site."
@EuroPaper presents How to Write: Improving Your Cursive Skills posted at The European Paper Company.
@EuroPaper presents How to Write: A Letter of Resignation posted at The European Paper Company.
Rick Villa presents The Symbolism of Color - A Brief Guide | Personalized Stationery Blog - Gifts In 24 posted at Personalized Stationery Blog - Gifts In 24.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of pen, pencil and paper using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Round 09 Page 03-Rhodia Journal Swap

Since another of my favorite things is using rubber stamps that were made based on my artwork, I decided to incorporate that with more subtle use of negative space--so subtle that it almost didn't work as a resist, lol.

The Marvy La Plume markers I used for the *bleedthrumanade on the right colored the matte medium I used for stamping.  I had expected the color to wipe off, but had to use a blender pen to even lighten it.  Lesson learned!  Alcohol markers will color matte medium even though it's a resist for acrylic paints--or is supposed to be!

*Bleedthrumanade--Got lemons? Make lemonade.  Got marker bleed-thru? Make bleedthrumanades!  Alcohol markers bleed through most paper and you get color on both the front and the back.  While this bothers most people, I decided to make use of it.  I color one side of the page and draw on it, then turn the page and use the same color for a second drawing--a bleedthrumanade.

Tomorrow's post will show how I used the same color base from this page to do a completely different piece of Zentangle®-Inspired work.

See what other the other 12 swappers are doing in their journal at the Rhodia Journal Swap on Tumblr.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Round 09 Page 01-Rhodia Journal Swap

One of the things that has always fascinated me in artwork is the use of negative space.  I decided to play with it in various ways for this round of the Rhodia Journal swap.

See what other the other 12 swappers are doing in their journal at the Rhodia Journal Swap on Tumblr.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Calling all articles on Pen, Pencil & Paper

Just another reminder-- I'll be hosting the Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper on October 9th. 

For those of you unfamiliar with the Carnival, it's a once-a-month roundup of articles relating in some way to the topic of Pens, Pencils and Paper.  It's a way for like-minded people to find each other's blogs--you'll find new people to follow and new people will find your blog, if you submit an article or two.

The categories are: Art supplies, miscellaneous, new product news, notebooks, office supplies, pencils, pens.

There is a formal submission form.  If you 've posted anything lately that seems to fit into any of the above categories, please submit them!  I'm looking forward to sending some readers your way!

Link to TanglePatterns String 021

Link to TanglePatterns String 021 at

Zendala Dare #26

Zendala Dare #26 

Link to Day 14 of Carla Sonheim's Book Release Blog Celebration

Link to Day 14 of Carla Sonheim's Book Release Blog Celebration - an introduction to Julie LaPointe and another chance to win a copy of Carla's new book, 'Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals: A Mixed-Media Workshop with Carla Sonheim'.

Friday, October 5, 2012

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

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

Link to tangle refresher 35

What was new in the Zentangle® world a year ago and more? Find out! Link to tangle refresher 35.

Plike paper and more--available online

Gruppo Cordenons  

A while back I wrote a review about Plike paper, a product from Gruppo Cordenons, and I've used it in several projects since.  At that time, the company was in the process of setting their online store, and you can now order Plike (or other paper from their excellent range). 

Prices vary, and some of the papers, such as Plike, require special handling, such as extended drying times for the ink.  But they have such interesting textures and produce such an elegant finished product!

I have other paper sample pamphlets from the company, and I have to apologize to them.  I was busy for a while, and the samples fell out of my view and...well, out of sight, out of mind.  I'll be amending that, and experimenting. I'll be letting you know my results.

If you wish to check out their products, you can find them at the Gruppo Cordenons Fulfillment store.

Beveled bi-fold somewhatty-or-ever

Ah, getting old.  I know there's a name for these beveled pieces, but it escapes me.  Somewhatty-or-ever will have to do for now.

I went to the weekly make'n'take at the local Blockhead Paper Arts store yesterday, and got the chance to play with Goosebumps  texture spray.  We also played with Adirondack color washes and Dylusion Ink spray and stencils and stamps--great fun!

I decided to buy some of the matte version of the Goosebumps because I had the idea of using it to glue Micro Marbles to the page with it-sort of like suspending them in semi-clear gesso.

After I got the piece home, I grabbed a white and a gold gel pen, and an American Craft Precision pen and drew a young lady in the beveled inset, added Zentangle-inspired patterns around the rest.

It's all so shiny that it was difficult to get either a good scan or a good photo.

Then I tangled the outside.  I emphasized the micro marbles by outlining them with the black pen.  It was funny.  The marbles on both sides are the same color.  But on the right I added fewer to Goosebumps Matte spray that was already partially set.  They almost look like a hologram when you see them in the light.

On the left, I added a much thicker layer of the marbles immediately after spraying the Goosebumps.  It's still interesting, but I like the left side better.  I need to experiment with ways to control the marbles better--I'm thinking maybe mixing them in the spray before hand and slathering them on.

I'll let you know!

Blockhead Paper Arts brick & mortar store:

7201 NE Glisan Street Suite C

Portland OR 97213-6369 


Link to Day #13 of Carla Sonheim's Book Release blog Celebration

Today Carla has a tutorial 'Eraser Drawings From a Photo Reference' and a giveaway for a piece of her original art.

Link to Celtic Challenge 8 with Judy West

Link to Celtic Challenge 8 with Judy West

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Link to Blockheads Make N Take - Embossing Part 2

Link to Blockheads Make N Take - Embossing Part 2

The latest rubber stamps based on my artwork are available

The latest rubber stamps based on my artwork are available as single items now.

Jack o' Lanterns Along Fence 3 x 2 3/4

Jack o' Lanterns Along Fence 3 x 2 3/4-Item 18953 Plate 827

Train Track Straight 1 x 2 1/4-Item 18990 Plate 889

(I had to laugh.  My thought when I saw this title was 'they misspelled it' because my last is spelled Strait, lol)

Train Track Bend 1 1/2 x 3

Train Track Bend 1 1/2 x 3-Item 18989 Plate 889

Lots of other fantastic releases as well-93 new stamps for October!

New tangle pattern Class-EE & Review of Suzanne McNeill's Zentangle 101 class

I started tangling since about mid-2009.  And though I've never become a Certified Zentangle®-Teacher (CZT®), I've been knee-deep in Zentangle ever since.  I've created steps for over 280 tangle patterns and I think I'm one of the most prolific tanglers out there.  I'll qualify that-my work is actually Zentangle-Inspired Art rather than traditional Zentangle, but no matter how much I stray, the inspiration that comes from that method is always present.

Despite that, I've never taken a Zentangle class! Until now, anyway.  Part of the reason was that I never found a class available that didn't require travel.  When I saw that Suzanne McNeill was going to be teaching a Zentangle 101 class at the Art & Soul Retreat in Oregon, I was thrilled and signed up immediately.

Did I expect to learn anything new?  Not exactly.  I know most of the basic tangles, but I was curious to see what a class was like, and there is a zest to be found in creating with a group of like-minded souls.  I wanted to experience that with Zentangle. (and if anyone from the class reads this, I'd love to stay in touch!)

I've had people ask what the CZT classes were like, so I decided to do a review on mine.  But I suspect the content changes according to the CZT, the venue, and the length of the class.  Be sure to ask the teacher if you have something specific you are hoping to learn. NOTE: Not every one who teaches Zentangle has taken the Certified Zentangle Teaching course.  That isn't necessarily bad, but what they teach might or might not be traditional Zentangle.  

Cost: $149/$10 kit fee (plus a $50 fee for the Art & Soul Retreat)
Length: One day-09:00 am-04:30 pm
No. of attendees: 30 (I didn't think to count, so this is approximate)
No. of tangles taught: 16 (by my count)
Venue: Red Lion Inn/week-long Art & Soul Retreat
Teacher: Suzanne McNeill, CZT

The blurb from the Art and Soul catalog: 

Learn the basics of Zentangle® - a relaxing form of meditation that uses pattern-making to increase dexterity and focus your mind. No drawing experience necessary (Really!) Zentangle patterns are visually engaging and exciting. Zentangle can be used for meditation, for art journaling, for embellishment and to learn to draw ... it is a great confidence booster too. There is no way to “mess up”!
In this workshop youʼll learn lots of tangles, or patterns, the best ways to shade and hightlight on colored paper, how to tangle on black paper, the best ways to utilize stencils and rubber stamps, fun ways to add color, and get some great ideas on how to incorporate Zentangle into your sketchbooks and other artwork.
NOTE: I am a CZT (Certified Zentangle Teacher) and have permission to teach this method. Besides the basic methods taught, the projects taught are from my own creativity. 
$10 materials fee payable to instructor at beginning of class includes :
 3 Sakura Pigma black pens (Micron 01, Micron 05, Micron 08), soft pencils. Zentangle “tiles”, archival papers, worksheets, etc. Also included is a Handbook sketchbook (you’ll LOVE it!) 
visit: for a YouTube each week
The Class
Suzanne was very generous with her kit.  I know a couple other people who attended other classes (most were not Zentangle classes) and they had to buy $25-$60 worth of supplies above and beyond the cost of the class.   Suzanne charged $10 for her kit, and I know the items came to more than that.  We received a:
Global Arts Handbook 8.75 x 5.5 in. (21.6 x 14 cm)
One piece of Aluminum Embossing Foil w/black spray paint on the back
Faux Steel wool
Embossing stick
4 official Zentangle tiles (3.5 x 3.5 paper tiles)
1 golf pencil
A 5-page instruction manual
2 strips of paper-1 sheet black, 1 sheet white
1 piece scalloped-edged paper
1 sun face print
1 slide frame
Two bookmarks & promotional materials
A plastic folder to keep all of it in!
Suzanne also brought watercolors, brushes, stencils, scissors, glue sticks and hole punches for us to use in the class.
We did five projects over the course of the day and as we did our project she drew each tangle on a large piece of paper that was taped to the wall.  In the spirit of zentangle, there wasn't much instruction.  She drew each step, and we followed.  Emphasis was placed on the 'no mistakes' rule.  There were almost no questions, and conversation was lively so if anyone was frustrated they didn't share it.
After each project, we went to a table at the end of the room and placed all our work side by side.  Suzanne went to each one and showed what made it unique.  There was no emphasis on right or wrong (though she pointed out things that worked really well).  What she talked about was that we all did exactly the same project, the same tangles, yet each and every piece was different.
We started with the tradional tile using tangles Hollibaugh, Printemps, Crescent moon, and Static. (We went into shading later in class-but I'm a shading fanatic, and added my own brand).
For our second tile, Suzanne had us glue the sun face to the tile, and create a Zendala 'Zen' tangling in a mandala circle) round it.  She showed us the steps for tangles Netting, Pillows, Bundles, Jonqual, and Clothesline.  I got frisky and added a tangle of my own, Class-EE, and I'll share the steps to that at the end of the review (waaaaaay down at the very, very end!).
Even though traditional Zentangle is black and white, most people are curious about color.  Suzanne passed out some Prang watercolors and after drawing our tangles we colored them.  The tangles we learned were Shattuck, and Bundles. One of the tangles didn't have a name (but is similar to XYP) and I missed the name of the other, but I think it is Semaphore.
Our fourth project was a little more ambitious (and a little harder to explain, lol).  Part of our kit included two long strips of paper, and a little piece of paper with scalloped edges.  
We folded the black and white strips in half, with the white inside and glued them into a little book.  Suzanne passed out stencils of a rabbit and we drew it on our scalloped paper, and glued it to the inside of the last page (black paper).  Here is where it gets tricky.  We punched holes in the three remaining pages, moving each over so that only part of the rabbit showed.  Then we tangled around each hole--continuing the tangles from beneath and adding new ones as desired.
This project was done in two steps, creating and tangling a stenciled rabbit, punching the holes and gluing things together, creating a little booklet.  We let the glue dry, and finished at the end of the day.
The tangles used on our bunny were Scallops, Rain and Cubine. The two strips of paper were folded in half, with white inside, and the rabbit was glued to inside of the back (black) page.
On the other three pages, we punched large holes (mine was ragged so I cut and made a weird shape of it).  Each hole was moved over a bit so a different part of the rabbit showed through.
At this point, we glued the two strips of paper together and let them set to dry.

After we finished our metal embossing, we ended up the day by tangling around the holes.  The idea was to continue the same same tangles, and add a few others to make the rabbit look different, or even turn it into something else entirely!

There wasn't time in class, but after I got home I used a white gel pen to do some tangling around the hole on the front page.

Although we finished the day with our bunny project, while the booklet was drying we took our metal foil and embossed some tangles.  This process included pressing tangles into the metal-colored side of foil with the wooden stick, then flipping it over, and using the faux metal wool to scrape off some of the black.  Really cool look.

This was a bit more challenging for me.  I've never done it before, and you can't really shade, so I was put a bit more on the same footing as others in the class, who haven't tangled before.  Good!  I like to stay humble!  

Overall thoughts

With 30-some people it's impossible to get the pace right for everyone.  I felt Suzanne did a great job.  A few people were more experienced and expanded on what was being taught (All right.  I admit it--I did show off a bit *blushes*) A few people struggled to finish the projects.  But most sounds of frustration were light-hearted ones, people seemed excited by what they were doing.  Suzanne offered to stay after so people did have a chance to chat or ask questions.

We weren't able to totally complete the bunny project, but someone did ask about shading.  Suzanne showed us a few things and I think otherwise most of us would have finished.  I also think most people were more interested in the shading, knowing they could finish the rabbit at home.

I was a little surprised that there wasn't more about the 'zen' of zentangle.  I had expected a mention or two on breathing or drawing stroke by stroke.  I wasn't disappointed by the lack--I had just expected more.  What I take away from this is that if you are really into that aspect, be sure to ask your teacher if it is an important part of the class.

Although, I enjoyed the metal embossing, I found it painful--you have to work hard to get those tangles done!  Others also mentioned that they were feeling their arthritis.  I know now I won't get into metal embossing! 

At the end of the day, everyone seemed energized, and eager to learn more.  Did I learn anything new about zentangle? Not really, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  The projects were fun.  I  did learn a couple of non-zentangle things. And I made a some new friends.  

Thank you Suzanne, for a fantastic day.  It was more than worth the price for me.

If you are interested in taking a class, keep an eye on local crafting events.  Some Hobby Lobbys, and Michael's have zentangle classes.  There is a list of of CZTs at the official Zentangle site (see link below), and you can look to see if there is a CZT in your area.  Many of them have websites that tell you when they are giving classes.

Be sure to visit Suzanne's blog.  She is a crafter, as well as a CZT and you'll find all sorts of fun things to read.  She usually has the steps to a tangle pattern at the end of each blog entry.


Suzanne McNeill's  blog

During lunch break, inspired by what I'd been doing all morning and by the cardboard sleeve on my coffee cup, I pulled out my trusty Rhodia dotgrid Webbie and did the steps to a tangle.  I did things a bit differently, tearing off some of the sleeve, and using the red gelato paint that I got as part of my Art & Soul swag (separate from Suzanne's kit), I did some collage. Everyone knows that collage is classy, and I was taking a class, so I named the tangle Class-EE!

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...