Yup, this is it. This is all that is left of my original Rainbow Lead Pencil. And I'm still using it! I've nicknamed it "Stubby." That's a dime just underneath it, for size comparison, and below that is a regular mechanical lead pencil.
A friend has been asking about where to find this particular brand. Unfortunately, there is absolutely NO identifying information on the pencil at all. I wrote about my search for its exact twin HERE. It's a long, long post, but if you are very determined to get one of these, reading the entire thing may be somewhat helpful...at least to affirm that I share your frustration. (At the time I wrote that post, last August, I had ordered but not tried the Koh-i-Noor Rainbow Lead pencils. I got them and tried them later, and disliked them. I then ordered what I thought might be a match-to-my-original pencil from Oriental Trading Company, but the ones I received were very dull in color and I ended up discarding those also. Your mileage may vary, of course.)
I still have no dependable information on where to get this brand of Rainbow Lead pencils. If anyone knows, please put the info in the comments! Meanwhile, have a good laugh over "Stubby," my beloved art tool.
To round out my day, I took a few moments tonight to practice some new-to-me tangles and some old favorites. Because I need to get to sleep at a reasonable hour, I had to stop here and not spend any time shading - so this is line-work only. Perhaps some time in the next few days I can add the shading.
This was relaxing to do and I'm hoping it will help me slide gracefully into a good night's sleep.
"Sleep is the best meditation."
-The Dalai Lama
(Jeez, did he really say that?)
Looking at this photo: On the left side is the original plan for this week's Joey Challenge. I loved that she tangled about 1/3 of the tile and left the rest for the participants to work out. Yesterday I posted my first effort --fly-by-night since I was doing the entire thing from memory. Today I tried it again. I'm still not madly in love with my results but that's ok since at least I am tangling...something I haven't had that much time to do lately.
Here's a better look at what I did. Included in this tangle are Paradox, N'Zepple, Tipple, Sampson, and various other random lines and marks I tossed in there, with some graphite shading and then coloring using a Rainbow Pencil.
I may even try a third version of this at some point.
With repetition, the alternate approaches become clear, options open.
The title of today's post is explained at the very end...
Today I had a scheduled tangling date with a friend at a nearby cafe. At the last minute, we switched the time to an earlier hour, so I raced out of the house without the paper on which I'd printed instructions and the visual for a Joey Tangle Challenge I thought would be fun to try. My friend hadn't heard of this particular challenge, so I quickly sketched it out from memory--I didn't even have a Zentangle® tile with me, so I had to guess the approximate size and I free-handed the borders. I thought I'd just show my friend what it was about. But then I decided, why not just tangle on this? And here is the result. Not stellar, but hey, it could be worse!
When I got home, I took an actual tile and placed it on top of my freehand version, and traced around it. That produced the space around the very edge that I filled with triangles. I wasn't too far off!
This was a fun challenge. If you clicked the link above you can see that Joey had actually started us off with the entire large triangle, leaving the rest blank for us to fill in. Have a look at the wide variations that people produce from that one idea (they are on her site above). This incredible number of variations is part of the fun of doing challenges.
After finishing, I of course couldn't leave well enough alone and had to run it thru one of my iPhone apps. Results below. And yes--all I did was take the photo above and run it thru the app, just manipulating it a bit to see what would happen. So much fun.
This made for a lovely break from trying to resolve some of the issues I've run into in executing my latest rug design. So relaxing to sit and tangle.
While at the cafe, I drank a temporary specialty flavored coffee called "Decaf Librarian." They do not normally carry decaf, and that title says it all about what they think of un-caffeinated coffee. It was delicious but still not mild enough for me.
I guess I'm just a coffee wimp.
A tile I created while listening to Molly Hollibaugh's meditative instructions:
While I still have projects to finish from that workshop, I am a bit too tired to tackle them so tonight I just did a freehand mandala using an old purple ball point pen and the Rainbow Lead pencil.
...after which I ran it through the mirror app on my iPhone, so here's the same tile mirrored...
...which reminded me of the old Mae West quote that sometimes
"too much of a good thing can be wonderful."
We all know how this goes--I'm supposed to be doing something else but instead I am doing this.
That's where I started.
And then played with the Mirror App on my iPhone.
...and now, back to what I really should be doing. Which isn't this.
I cranked up the Motown today while alternately standing and sitting to punch the rug, and was it ever fun! (If the above video doesn't play when you click on it, just click on the "view on YouTube button and another window will open and play it. You can listen and read at the same time.)
Martha Reeves (and the Vendellas) was one of my idols back in the day. Then there were all the other great songs...
"Dancing in the Streets," "Rescue Me," "I Heard It On the Grapvine," "R-e-s-p-e-c-t," "Up on the Roof..."
OMG, dance, dance, dance. Even when sitting down. How I miss Motown.
Thus, there will be an odd mix of Motown, assorted dharma talks, meditations, and the very long and wonderful George Eliot book Middlemarch (which I finished listening to a couple of weeks ago) woven into the fibers of this rug.
(Good mojo, I'm thinking.)
Tomorrow is likely to be very rainy and it might feel good to stay home and play with color. I may stay home to dye more yarn. Below are two views of the rug progress, plus a new tangle that I threw in at the very end.
A quick look at the back side of the rug, close up.
And here is the front. I spent 5 hours at the studio today and got a chunk more done. I am slowly moving toward being halfway finished with this very large rug (but am not there yet, not by any means). It's beginning to be hard to move it on the frame.
An experiment with some tangles. I had fun with this last night.
So I've been knitting a blanket while watching tv this winter.
Actually, the pattern says it's a "throw cover."
Perhaps I have been watching too much tv?
Methinks this has gotten a little out of hand. True, I am nearly at the end of the final skein, but I mean...who is this supposed to cover, Godzilla?
I should not complain. It most certainly will cover me, and then some. If only I had made this last winter, with all the intense cold and the ten feet of snow. This winter has been so mild. But since--thanks to global warming--we no longer know what we are going to get, I will definitely be well prepared for anything that next winter brings.
The yarn is, alas, very cheap acrylic. I'm kind of horrified by it; it's not stuff I would normally ever use, but the organic alternatives would have required a billionaire to buy.
I am also having to admit that I am coming to the end of my all-time favorite Rainbow Lead Pencil. I've used it so much that it's just a stub of its former self. Here's a tangle I did with it today:
The above was my first-ever try at Whirlee, and it was quite a challenge. I modified it to fill the page a bit more. Enjoyed doing this. I will be playing with it again, for sure.
And here is one mirrored version.
Below is the tiny Rainbow Lead pencil stub, which will soon be too small to sharpen and which will have to be retired. Sad. I have really had fun with this pencil.
I've mostly been tangling only in my Carole Ohl "Tangle A Day" calendar recently and have been tending towards covering one entire page, rather than using one of the three boxes on each page. Probably a good idea since I'm already over a month behind.
Heading out for a walk in the lovely sunshine; the next few days promise to be stormy. Good weather for making art!
Where the heck did the week go? If I didn't know better, I would say I had zonked out. But, not true--I did a lot of work in the studio. I don't have too much to show for that as there was a lot of unhooking and rehooking.
After getting home, I had some fun with a tangle that was all-new to me: Zonked. Here was my first take on it (and after that picture, you'll see the inevitable fooling around with the images via my iPhone camera apps).
Indeed, perhaps I did zonk out after all...
This was my first try. I decided to try it three different ways in my "Tangle a Day" calendar, using a regular pencil, an 01 Micron Pen, and shaded with the Rainbow Lead Pencil.
A truly wonderful blog on the meditative effects of Zentangle® is HERE, written by Eni Oken on her experience of doing Zonked in a mindful way.
Below are the images I created with the mirror app and the Waterlogue app on my iPhone.
Results of tonight's tangle experiments. All of these are new to me, so this is my first time doing each...just fiddling around. I like all these tangles and am sure I can learn to do them better, but even this much was fun.
On the left: Leafpod as a frame, with Balloya in the middle. In the center: Tamisolo. And on the right: Balloya on its own. All were shaded with the Rainbow Pencil, and I added some graphite shading on the Balloya on the right. Better views of each, and some mirroring fun, are below.
This is what happens when you are away with no tools except the 2 items shown on the left, and one-half piece of light blue paper--and you want to tangle something.
In this case, I didn't even have a graphite pencil for shading, only this stub of a Rainbow Lead Pencil which is fast disappearing on me. So I just worked with what I had.
Lighting in the photo isn't great, but there you have it: a Bic pen plus the Rainbow Lead stub. No regular pencil for shading, and I couldn't even see well in the low light. Tangles are Tripoli and N'Zepple.
And then of course I couldn't stop there, so I mirrored it with the iPhone app (which allowed me to do some color adjustments too).
I'm a textile artist (traditional rug hooking, punch needle rug hooking, and other textile arts), long-time meditator and coach, focused on learning about the interplay of art, creativity, and mindfulness every day.
NEXT INTRO TO ZENTANGLE CLASS:
No immediate group classes scheduled (I'm always open to hearing about a good venue in the Cambridge-Somerville area). I am always happy to teach 1-1 and/or in a small group in your home.
Come and amaze yourself!
SITES TO WATCH:
Insight Meditation Society
Oxford Rug Hooking School
Zentangle: The Official Site
Green Mountain Rug Hooking
Massachusetts Tarot Society
Skillful Meditation Project