Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Beautiful Butterfly Tile & Design Team call for Creative Paperclay®

Check out this beautiful butterfly tile created by Gini Cagle using Creative Paperclay® air dry modeling material.

The Design Team Call is out for the next six month's team.  Check it out if you are interested!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

I'm a member of the Viva Las Vegastamps! Design Team!

Hoorah!  My application to the Viva Las Vegastamps! Design Team was accepted, and I am now a member. My first official post will be on April 2.

Meanwhile, I thought I'd share this background I did in my Mead Dayrunner.  It's my on-the-go art journal.  I draw in it when I'm in long lines or waiting at Doctors and Dentists.

I painted over my notes in past pages with metallic blue acrylic paint, then painted my Optical Background stamp with gesso.  I stamped on both pages.  (Note: gesso usually washes off, especially if you wash with soap and water immediately after stamping.  But you may need to pick out dried bits of gesso from the stamp afterward) When the gesso dried, I colored over with the white with colored markers.  Then I inked up my Balloon Airship stamp using a Staz-on Midnight Blue stamp pad.  I stamped on the right page, and the used up the rest of the ink by stamping on the left page.  

I had to take my mother to a Doctor's appointment (and at Kaiser you have to wait for the longest time) so I ended up finishing these pages.  I used a Preppy Fountain Pen with Noodler's Heart of Darkness ink.  I had to be careful not to smear, but the ink dried faster than I thought it would.  To finish, I used a Pentel Sunburst white gel pen to add a few highlights.

Obviously, in this picture, a giant Kraken (sort of a giant squid) has reached out from the oceans and pulled down this poor air balloon!  Now isn't that a cool thing to be drawing during a time that would otherwise be boring as all get out?

Head on over to the Viva Las Vegastamps! blog to find out who else made the team! (and if you haven't already taken advantage, check out the deal on the left sidebar.  You can get a 15 unmounted rubber stamps just for posting the Viva Las Vegastamps! blinkie on your blog!)

Monday, March 19, 2012

One more time!

If all goes well I'll be taking off for Florida early tomorrow morning, so this will probably be my last post for a day or so. 

*crosses fingers and hopes it works out this time*

Duck E-Z Start and Zebra Tape Review

Early this morning (while I was yet in my PJs!), my doorbell rang.  I hid (after all, I was still in my PJs) until I was sure whoever rang was gone, and then ran to see if I had a package.  I did!   Shoplet, one of the leading online office supplies  store, had sent me some goodies for review.

I received:

Duck EZ Start Premium Packaging Tape Package

2 rolls of Duck EZstart tape:1.88 in 60 yd-with Dispenser
1 bonus roll of Duck EZstart tape:1.88 in 30 yd

The dispensers are the same type of design you see with most tape rolls.  No instructions are included, but I just used it the same way I've done other similar dispensers.  It will be easy to replace the tape when this roll has run out--the dispenser, itself, easily snaps and unsnaps from around the roll.  There are two prongs to guide the tape toward the blade and keep the tape from snapping back so you don't have to hunt for the end, or spend hours trying to separate it.  

2 rolls of Duck EZstart tape:1.88 in 55 yd-with Dispenser 

The biggest difference with this dispenser is that it includes a roller.  This did help in running the tape along the box and keeping it smooth.  

Oh!  I am ready for crafting and packing items for mail now!  I received a roll of zebra printed duct tape, and this is DUCT tape, that rubbery tough stuff, not packaging tape.  In the past, Duct tape has been notoriously hard to cut or tear, but this brand is easily torn by hand.  I'm almost hoping one of my pipes will spring a leak so I can repair and admire the fashionable Zebra stripes (that is exaggeration, Universe--please don't grant me leaky pipes!).  

I was just debating how to cover a sketch journal, and it will soon be cool in Black and White striping!

Just recently, I purchased a roll of ReadyPost tape so I conducted a couple of highly scientific comparison tests.  That is, I jiggled and pulled at the plastic dispensers, and stuck my finger to the sticky side of the tape.  I used each dispenser to tape a box.

My conclusions
The Roller dispenser and ReadyPost are about equal in sturdiness.  The dispensers included in the multi-tape package are the most flexible, and probably the easiest to break.  All are thin plastic, though, and I think all would easily snap or fracture.  

The EZstart tape is slightly stickier.  It seemed to cling to my finger longer and part with a louder sound.

I had to restart my box taping with both the non-roller EZstart dispenser and the ReadyPost because I started to get lumps.  The roller dispenser seemed to keep the tape lying flatter. 

My conclusions are highly subjective, and truthfully, I didn't find much difference.  I would be willing to pay more for the roller dispenser and the Zebra stripes. 

Thank you Shoplet, for giving me this opportunity to review your products.  

Link to Tangle Pattern Providence

I'm sending you roundabout to Margaret Bremner's Enthusiastic Artist blog so you can see the lovely examples she's done of CZT Rho Densmore's new tangle pattern Providence.  Margaret has the link to the steps in her post.

Link: Weekly Challenge #63: New Official Tangle "Fengle"

Laura Harms' challenge this week is to use the new official tangle 'Fengle'.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Zentangle Inspired Art Journal Prompt #12

CZT Patty Farrell has posted ZIA Journal Tangle and Writing Prompts #12.

New tangle Pattern WaveWeave and Review of the Moleskine Wine Passions Journal

A few weeks ago I won the European Paper’s Haiku contest .  I received three moleskine journals, and have been enjoying them immensely.  The Moleskine Wine Passions Journal is the last of my prize package to be reviewed. 

It took me a while to decide how I was going to review this journal.  Normally, when I get a notebook, sketchbook, journal—anything with paper—I start drawing.  Even if it has lines or grids or bits embedded in the paper.  But the Passions themed journals are different, and you’ll see what I mean as we go along.

I’ve wanted one of these—any of the Passion Book Series-because I’ve had an idea in mind, for quite some time.  I do drink wine, but what I actually wanted to do was modify the journal for the purposes of my own passion—drawing patterns.

It would be lovely if Moleskine did a blank Passions book for the owner to fill in as they wish, or even better (are you listening, Moleskine?) a Zentangle® or Pattern themed journal.  But since they don’t as yet, I thought I’d just change things a bit.

But it’s a lovely journal on it’s own, so I decided I should show you what it is before, and then give you an idea of the modifications I intend to make.

The Specs:
·         Embossed cover
·         Elastic band
·         3 ribbon place makers
·         double expandable inner pocket
·         Informative pages: wine glossary and measures and conversions.
·         6 themed sections to fill in
·         10 blank pages for notes and thoughts.
·         Adhesive labels for customization
·         Pages: 240 pages (120 leaves)
·         Size: 5 by 8.25 inches (13 x 21 cm)
·         3 sheets of Sticker labels for customization

Look and Feel:
The cover is the standard black Moleskine cover except that it is embossed with wine glasses. Subtle, but cool.  The elastic band is also standard, but there is three ribbon markers-one each in gray, charcoal and black.

The paper is ivory-colored and very thin, but I didn’t get any bleed-through, and there was surprisingly little shadow on the back, even when I used the Caran D’ache Grand Canyon brown and a Lamy Safari fountain pen.  I did get smudging, so drying time is slow when using fountain pen.  No smudging occurred with a Micron Pigma.

The informational pages include:

Two planning pages
Two-page Wine Glossary
Useful Measures and Conversions
An Index with titles and space for you to enter what is on each of the remaining 234 pages.

The journal is broken into tabbed sections.  The sections are:
Sparkling Wines
White Wines
Rose Wines
Red Wines
Fortified – Sweet Wines
Blank for Personal choice

Each section starts with a blank page.  About 2/3 of that page is shaded.
For the rest of the section, each page has space for information, including:
Wine Name
% alcohol
Ideal Pairing
Serving Temperature
Suggested Glass
Wine-tasting-when, where, with, appearance, nose, taste, paired with
Starred Rating

Whew!  This would be great fun for taking along on a wine tour!  What a great way to remember your adventure.

About half the book is filled with tabbed pages that are blank except for lines to divide each page into five sections.    

My Modified Journal:

I haven’t had a chance to do more than a couple of pages but it should be enough to give you the idea. What I wanted wasn't another reference of pattern examples, but a place where I could keep notes about the patterns I'm creating.  I've done so many, and when I go back to some of my older ones, I don't remember where I got the inspiration, or why I chose a certain name.  I doubt I'll be sharing pictures from this--it's for me, when I want to know what I was thinking at the time I did a pattern.  

Also--confession--I sometimes go back to a pattern and can't remember the steps.  I have to rethink it through.  Usually, there are tips I think of when I create one.  It would be nice to have those tips written down, so I could look them up, instead of figuring them out a second time.

I do have much of this information in my Access database, but I like the idea of having it written down.  I doubt I’ll go back and add many of my older patterns just for lack of time, but I’ll probably write up new ones as I create them. 

I’m breaking down my patterns into sections based on the type of pattern.  So far, I’ve decided on Weaves, Grids and Steampunk.

For each section I’ll have information like the title, the artist, where the inspiration came from, tips, information on shading, when it was created.

Really, the sky's the limit--you could personalize one of these Passions journal to your liking.  You could even do both--use the populated section as intended, and make up your own for the blank sections.

Once again, I want to thank the European Paper Company for this prize package.  I've enjoyed every bit of this--from dredging my brain to think up a Haiku to writing up the reviews.  And I'll be enjoying my Moleskine Squared Journal, Volant and Wine Passions Journal for a long time to come!

Link to tangle pattern Phalangez

Danielle Garret has posted steps to her tangle pattern Phalangez.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Link: Negative Painting with Watercolor Tutorial

Brenda Swenson has posted a step-by-step with explanations of one of her beautiful watercolors.  While the techniques to do with washes and letting the paint run are specific to watercolor, the information on negative shapes and color are good for any medium.

New tangle pattern Fengle

The Fengle tangle pattern isn't really new.  You may have seen it used in the zentangles that many of the Certified Zentangle Teachers (CZTs) have been drawing.  But they were the only ones who knew the steps!

The latest edition of the official Zentangle newsletter is out, and include the steps to Fengle. Now we can all play with this pattern.  It's a lovely one, too!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Geneviève Crabe's Weekly Roundup 3/16/12

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

A 'Save' in my handmade journal

I had the oddest problem about a month ago. I have a beautiful sketchbook that I was given for Christmas.  All handmade, right down to the paper and covers.  The paper is thick and smooth and I thought it would be interesting to draw in it with a fountain pen.  I loaded up with Private Reserve Sherwood Forest green ink and started tangling.

Alas!  The ink smeared terribly.  I set the sketchbook aside to let the ink dry.  A day later and the ink still smeared.  A week later--a month later--at least two months later, and the ink was still smearing.  Not a little--a lot.  I can only think there was something in the handmade paper that kept the ink from soaking in.

No way I was just going to leave the page undone, so I needed a 'save'.   I knew I wasn't going to save the drawing I'd already done, so I wanted something to lock that ink in, and let me start over.  As usual, in these cases, I turned to my Faber-Castell Big Brush pens.  Because the tips are so large, you can color large areas easily.  The color is intense, but transparent.  If you use dark colors, you get a hint of the underlying work, but can easily cover it if you wish.

I used a Dark Sepia 175.  The green here is all from the original fountain pen ink.  You can see how it overpowered even that dark brown, and how much it spread!

After covering the entire page, and letting it dry (for the fountain pen ink.  The big brush dried instantly) for a day, I tested.  If I rub hard, I still pick up smudges of green on my skin, but it was workable.  I used a white Pentel Sunburst gel pen to draw my tangles.

I may still get some transference of color to the next page, so I'll probably do another white on dark, but at least I have a half-way decent journal page.

I was supposed to be on a plane heading toward Florida but my mother came down with the flu.  We are rescheduling our flight, so I'm not sure what my schedule will be now.  Life.  Such a bundle of surprises.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Link: New Zendala Sets are now available

You no longer have to be square to use the official zentangle tiles--they now come in round!  The same quality paper cut round.  Perfect for Zendalas!

Check out the facts at

Page 7 1/2-Round 2 Rhodia Journal Swap

I'm not sure why I didn't scan in the other side of the page.    For the last page of each round, we leave half a page for the next person to finish.

I drew sections for the next person to fill in.

This is the last from me for this round, and I won't be doing more for this swap until the beginning of April.

If all goes well, I will be leaving my husband to man the fort and flying off to Florida tomorrow morning.  But I'm taking my mother and as of yesterday evening she wasn't feeling well.  So I'm not sure whether we'll be leaving on time or not.

So I may be here posting tomorrow or I may not, lol.

Round-up of tangle pattern links C-Yeah, Pfauenfedern, Erbluehen

Denyse Jones, CZT:


Simone Bischoff:

Pfauenfedern (Peacock feathers)
Erbluehen  (Blossoming

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Page 7-Round 2 Rhodia Journal Swap

Make sure you don't leave Malted Milkballs lying around.  Underground Trolls love them, and are likely to pay you a visit if they think they can steal them.

The Winner of the Carnet de Voyage Travel Albums is BuzzyBee

Congratulations, BuzzyBee! I've sent you an email.  Please respond directly to that email in order to claim your prize.

I want to thank everyone who entered.  The Carnet de Voyage Travel Albums are beautiful, and I hope all of you are able to enjoy one some day.

Thank you Karen, and Exaclair, for the chance to try out these fantastic travel albums for myself, and to share my joy with others through this giveaway.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Link: Birthday Giveaway at Girl Defying Gravity

Jenn is having a birthday, and to celebrate she's giving away:

  • a box of floral embellishments from Michaels...get your craft on!
  • a $10 Amazon gift card...yay for books!
  • a coffee mug from Pier 1 the bright sunshiny colors
  • a Tarte maracuja divine shine lipgloss...I adore Tarte lip and cheek colors, and this new gloss really is divine!

Link: The Language of Stamps + Free Printable

The European Paper Company has posted an article about the placement of postage stamps on a letter to send an extra message.  There is also free stationery letterhead for downloading.

Link to tangle patterns Choo-lips, Meander & Bobine

Lizzie Mayne has posted steps to three new patterns:

Page 6-Round 2 Rhodia Journal Swap and a Birthday Card

The challenge this month, at the Viva Las Vegastamps Facebook page, is to make a birthday card for their Design Team leader, Terri Sproul.  I won the challenge in January, so I'm not really entering, but I had to join in on the fun of making a card.  I used the sayings Odd-Item 18329 Plate 1384, Bizarre-Item 18331 Plate 1384, Two Heads are Better than One-Item 18321 Plate 1384, and Two Heads Image 'Item 18304 Plate 1384

Monday, March 12, 2012

Pages 3, 4 & 5 from Round 2 of the Rhodia Journal Swap

New from Viva Las Vegastamps

Viva Las Vegastamps will be receiving the new Tim Holtz Distress Markers.  Meanwhile, they are running a Pre-Order special!

Regular Price $119.60

VLVS! Price $89.60

While you are there, check out this cool Card by Joe Morgan-Cats Dancing in the Moonlight.

And there is still time to enter the Monthly challenge for a $25 gift certificate to Viva Las Vegastamps!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Link: Fore-edge Painting

I ju

paperblanks9:21am via HootSuite
Have you heard of fore-edge painting? Basically it's “hidden” or "secret" artwork on a book! See these amazing

The Viva Las Vegas Stamps Design Team Tryouts

There were some amazing projects posted for the Viva Las Vegas Stamps Design Team Tryout--I've got some tough competition!  I'm not sure that I've found everyone, but here are some of the other tryout projects:

Leslie Rahye

Lyneen Jesse

Susan Brown

Amanda Marks

Cheryl Lindsay

Lea Cioci

Edie Cournoyer

And, of course, if you haven't seen it already, my submission: Mine

If anyone who tried out and I've missed sees this and wants to be included, please let me know, and I'll add you in.

Rhodia Journal Swap-Round 2, My First Page

I decided that for the second round of the Rhodia Journal Swap, I'd go back to what is easiest for me, and most representative of my work, Zentangle®-Inspired Art. I've already colored up my seven pages, so they'll be bleedthrumanades, too (got lemons, make lemonade.  Got marker bleed-thru, make bleedthrumanade), but I'm not going to work them up as such.

Florida beckons, and I'll be leaving hubby and home next week, for 14 days of sun and family.  I'm hoping to get as much of this done as possible before then, without rushing it, so hopefully, you'll see lots of Rhodia journal for the next few days.

You can see what the other members of the swap are doing at the Rhodia Journal Swap page on Tumblr.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Problems commenting on my Giveaway?

I've been told that some people are having difficulty leaving comments on my Blog.  Please try later, because Blogger is having sporadic problems.  Let me know if you continue to have problems.

New Tangle Pattern Nolashrim; Review-Carnet de Voyage Travel Album

One lucky winner will be receiving TWO Carnet de Voyage travel albums of his or her own! Giveaway closed 3/13/12.

A few weeks ago I received a package in the mail.  It was totally unexpected, and seeing that it was from Karen at Exaclair, I knew it would be something exciting.  And…oh…it was!

My breath was literally taken away when I discovered the two Carnet de Voyage Travel Albums inside. I headed for the computer to look up more information about them, but couldn’t find a thing.  A few emails later, and a phone call with Karen, and I found out that these were a brand new item, not yet for sale.  I mentioned that I was planning to giveaway one of the albums, and she insisted that I keep both, and she would send one to the winner.

So this giveaway is all from Exaclair!  I’m only hosting, and happy to be doing so.  Thank you, Karen!

I’ve been teasing you with posts, but now it’s time for the complete skinny-

The Carnet de Voyage Travel Album

The Specs:

·         Small-5.8x8,26  in(148 x 210 mm)
·         Large-8.3x11.7 in (21 x 29,7 cm)
·         30 sheets
·         Acid-free paper
·         Color-coordinated double wire coil
·         Clear Acetate cover with watermark & images
·         Paper weight-83 lb. (180 g)
·         Elastic Band (fastened with grommets)
·         Sturdy Cardboard backing
·         Made in France by Clairefontaine

Look and Feel:
The look is marvelous!  The cover has a mix of photos, pattern design and watermarks with a blend of natural, Asian and nautical elements.  All of these are pulled together with an acute color-coordination that is just awesome.  Even the wire coils are chosen with an eye to the color.

Thought was also put into the weight of the se albums.  The paper is heavy enough to be durable and to hold up to most mediums, without being too heavy to carry. 

The paper has some tooth, but isn’t rough.  It’s textured enough for watercolor but smooth enough for pen, and just perfect for color pencil.  The back is somewhat smoother, but still has some tooth.

I colored lightly with a Neocolor II wax pastel and a No. 2 pencil, so you can get a little idea of the texture of the paper (front).
Normally, I don’t care for coil bindings, but found that the spacing on these books was perfect for my hand—I could use them as a rest while working.  Of course, that will differ for people depending on hand size.  The coils are no larger than they need to be for easy turning.   They do make it difficult to color right up to the edges with pen and marker.  With brush, it doesn’t make too much difference.

The punched holes allow the pages to slide a bit more than I like.  I think the paper is sturdy enough to take the stress, but the holes may show wear eventually.


A confession—I’d decided not to use the first page.  The covers are so beautiful that I worried I would ruin the effect. Then, I painted a page in the smaller album, using Nicholson’s Peerless Watercolors.  I was going to put zentangle® patterns down, but then realized I had painted on the first page.  So much for making decisions, lol.  I just wasn’t thinking.  But something must have been going on somewhere in my brain.   While I was painting, more or less randomly, I saw an orange, and I planned to emphasize a still life when I add tangle patterns.  But then I closed the cover….oh my!  I’d painted a huge orange moon, and ripples in the water, and, amazing as that cover was, it became even more amazing.  I wasn’t thinking, but my artistic muse was watching out for me!

Neocolor II-water-soluble wax pastels:
I decided to try out Neocolor II pastels for the first page of the large album.  I wasn’t as happy with the effect, finding it difficult to smooth out the lines.  I think this is more my lack of experience with Neocolor II’s than with the paper.  I haven’t used this product much, and need to learn more.  The cover is still fantastic—I think my lines are used to advantage, but I prefer the more intense color that the Peerless gives.

A second try with the Neocolor II pastels wasn’t much better.  Now, in my own defense—the ocean waves wouldn’t hold still while I was trying to paint them, and my bird model flew off before I even finished the outline.  What’s an artist to do?  I, maybe, tried to get too fancy with a ‘through the window’ effect.   But I did learn that the paper in the Carnet de Voyage will curl with heavy washes. If you weight it down once dry, the curl disappears completely.

The jury is out on using this product with the album.  I’ve had trouble with the Neocolor pastels on other paper, so it could be me that’s the problem, lol. 

Fiber-Tipped Pen:
I used Micron Pigmas .01 & .05 and a Sharpie Fineliner pen (not marker) to draw these two Zentangle®-inspired art (ZIA) works.   If you use a light-hand you can get a broken effect by not pushing down the fibers of the papers.  This is nice for shading effects.  (Tangle Patterns used-Stubs, Cadent Cross, Swaddle, Hi-Cs, Inlay)

 I don’t usually go for a sharp, bold contrast but I wanted to show that you get a clear, crisp line with your pen, so I went for less delicate shading, and more of a wood-cut look to illustrate my new tangle pattern Nolashrim.

A note about the pattern.  The Nolashrim pattern is best done working row by row, in the same manner as if you were weaving.  If you try to draw all the boxes first you’ll have a hard time getting the curved lines to fit in between.  The name—basket rims are commonly done with ‘lashing’, but this pattern was inspired by a basket with a ‘No Lash Rim’.  I just ran those words together. 

Alcohol Markers
I used my Copics to do a Bleedthrumanade, and the color is absolutely brilliant.  People have literally drawn a breath of surprise when they opened the album to this page. 

The amount of bleed-through is about 50%.  I forgot to scan these pages before I started drawing, but I think you can still see the difference in color intensity between the front and back.

I did a ZIA pattern drawing on the front, but I decided to so something quite different with the back. 

Which brings us to…

Mixed Media:
Given the very nature of the album, I feel sure some people will consider using it for art journaling, with collage and various items glued to it.  I decided to do a page that had some weight, and lots of glue.

I had so much fun with this one!

I was inspired by this work from Lyneen Jesse (Note: the blog hop giveaway is now closed).  The Bleedthrumanade I’d created made me think of a cosmic stream, sort of the Gulf Stream of the Cosmos, with tons of intergalactic junk, and I just had this vision of a rather normal-looking dog asking a couple of Steampunk critters what Steampunk was all about.

I stamped some images on blue tissue paper and glued them down.  I crumpled up some of the tissue and used it to simulate waves.  A sharpie marker (not pen) was used for writing, and then I glued on some pieces I’d made with Creative Paperclay®, Delight™, and Amazing Mold Putty.  The last touch was to glue on some lace. 
Normally, you’d do something like this for a book cover, or a canvas, not an interior page, but I wanted to overdo it, and see how the paper fared.

No buckling or dimpling occurred from the glue and there was good adhesion.  The clay items are well and truly stuck.  If you prop the book open so the page stands on its own, there is no droop because of the weight.  I didn’t try gesso, but I’m sure it would do fine. 

I think the only problem that might occur, if you started collaging, or throwing lots of heavy media at the album, would be that the elastic band couldn’t stretch enough to keep the album closed.

Colored Pencil:
The Clairefontaine paper in this album has enough tooth that I knew color pencil would do well, and I was right.  The pencil picks out the texture of the paper nicely.  You'll recognize the drawing from above.  I just turned it a different direction.  I laid down several layers of color with no hint of wax buildup.  I could easily have continued on to achieve more solid colors, but decided to leave this with delicate hues in contrast to the alcohol marker.  You can achieve a wide range of effects on this paper.  

In Conclusion:
I love these albums!  They combine attractive good looks with sturdy capability.  They work well with a variety of mediums. I’ll be traveling myself in a couple of weeks, and you may be sure that I’ll have mine in my carry bag!

The Contest:

   The Prize: One winner will receive two Carnet de Voyage   Travel Albums-one of each size.
   Giveaway closed 3/13/12 .
    The RulesU.S. only.

Comment on this post.  Include an email address in the comment. 
If you are uncomfortable leaving that information in a comment, email it to me at If I don't get an email address, one way or the other, your comment won't be included in the entries.

Oh, and if the winner uses their prize as a sketchbook, Karen would love a photo of their work to be used in a blog post with credit and a link to them.

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...