New reading glasses with very round frames:
Liking them! I can even see with them.
And next, more round things:
I so enjoyed myself today when I stole some time to tangle. There has been no rug hooking, no rug punching, no punch needle embroidery, no drawing, and no tangling for weeks. In short, an artistic desert for me, and it hasn't been fun.
Likely it will continue for a while longer while I tend to all my piled up obligations. The "obligations" are all voluntary and each by itself is wonderful. But they all have schedules and deadlines and I am scrambling to keep up. Thus, the art is falling behind. I will catch up once I figure out how to coordinate things, but oh, do I miss my various art projects.
And the last round thing for today: HAPPY EQUINOX, as the Wheel of the Year has turned towards Spring (here in the Northern Hemisphere). I'm thinking of all those curving eggs that can be stood on their ends today. Roundness in balance.
Ever had one of those days when you just don't feel quite right? Nothing really wrong--not "coming down with something"--but just not feeling quite like yourself? That would describe me today. And my hands are shaking a bit. Weird. After a morning balancing my checkbook (yes, I actually do that), I allowed myself the pleasure of tangling for a short while. I was really surprised at this result.
I picked 3 brand-new-to-me tangles and tried them out for the first time. Despite my shaky hands.
I like the challenge of taking tangles that I've found and trying to put them together, whether they "go together" naturally or not. This was the result. I wouldn't say I'm in love with this piece but I loved two out of the three tangles and will use them again for sure. I am always amazed by what falls out of the pen. I couldn't have predicted this, and that, of course, is half the fun of tangling.
Yes, another insomnia tile...
...and even that didn't put me to sleep. I had to go back to bed and read for another hour. Three a.m....
“The last refuge of the insomniac is a sense of superiority to the sleeping world.”
― Leonard Cohen
(alas, that is not true for me)
My kind friend (and fellow Zentangle® enthusiast), Susie Ng from Thailand (check out her fabulous, imaginative artwork HERE), just sent me this photo below. She took my single 3-Z tile from my February 22nd post, multiplied it, and manipulated it into this hexagonal mandala. Thank you, Susie! I'm assuming you used Photoshop, which I don't have. Though I keep meaning to look into it. What fun!
What a nice thing to do for a fellow tangler, Susie. You gave me a big chuckle on an otherwise crazy day. Now...I have to look into software that will allow me to do this.
It's an icy rainy day out there, very bleak.
I am amused to notice how much my thoughts have been shaped by this weather. Today was "tax day," the annual ritual when I try to get my income taxes organized and finished. I have utterly failed, despite hours of trying, and it's been very stressful. I finally threw in the towel about an hour ago and allowed myself a short bit of tangling, which helped improve my mood.
Experience tells me I'll get through this and get the darned taxes done eventually. I'm have to get some help, hopefully by mid-week. The weather will improve. So will my mood. Keep on tangling, keep on working, and eventually it will all straighten out.
As the great Alfred E Neuman once said, "Today it takes more brains and effort to make out the income tax form than it does to make the income."
Done on a ten-inch square tan Opus Tile with brown and black Micron 01s, General's colored chalk pencils, white gellyroll pen, and mucho graphite. Completed over several days for the #zenuari2018 project day 20, "Maze." (This is not a maze; it's a labyrinth--they are two different things but often incorrectly used as synonyms.)
It's been that kind of week--labyrinthine. So many twists and turns. We keep walking and we trust we will find our way in to the center and then out again on this challenging journey.
I hope we are in the center now and will soon find our way out to resume our lives.
I am still far from home, helping out my friend who is receiving daily treatments. She is close to the end, however--only three more and she will be done and we will return to our respective homes. A huge complicating factor has been the sudden illness of someone in her family; it certainly has increased the pressure on her to finish here and go home. There is much uncertainty.
And yet, we know we just need to keep walking along on the path before us, and trust we will get where we need to be. In fact, we are already where we need to be, and we just need to remember that.
It took me a few days to do this piece as it's so large. I learned a lot in the doing and will try again for better results.
My friend also tangles and finds it therapeutic as she waits for appointments. She is talented and here is one of her latest efforts, a Zendala done on a tile which she had pre-treated with a Fine-Tec paint gold wash. Isn't this spectacular? (I have her permission to publish this photo)
Those metallic Fine-Tec watercolors are so inspiring.
"A labyrinth is a symbolic journey … but it is a map we can really walk on, blurring the difference between map and world."
— Rebecca Solnit, in Wanderlust: A History of Walking
I am home for just a little more than 24 hours, then will be gone again. Packing cubes have saved my life and are keeping me organized as I make all these trips--thanks and blessings to the friend who introduced me to them. (If you do not know what they are, google them. Fabulous tools.)
"Returning" feels wonderful. And in the tangle below, I was returning to a tile idea that we explored in a workshop late last year; but this time I used different "fillers." I'm not totally crazy about it but it was peaceful to work on and I do like it overall. That's all I ask!
This is another Zenuari2019 tile, for day 19. The prompt was "Hefty Hack." HUH??? I had no idea what that meant. So I went back to the original instructions, which read something like: "Toss some water on a tile. Then take a plastic bag, scrunch it up, and put some watercolors you like directly on the bag. Then take the scrunched-up bag and daub it onto the tile."
Okay...so maybe it was called the "Hefty Hack" because "Hefty" is the name of a type of plastic bag in the USA? But the person who runs Zenuari is Dutch. Perhaps "Hefty" has a different meaning in the Netherlands? Because here in the USA, my only reference for Hefty bags is the VERY large kitchen or garden trash bags. She can't have meant to use one of those on a 3.5" tile.
It was all irrelevant to me, as--because I was away from home when I did this--I had no access to watercolors or plastic bags. I was able to borrow some watercolor pencils from my friend, and after wetting the tile I applied them to the wet spots and tried to move the colors around. It didn't work well but I did end up liking the effect anyway. I'll have to try it again with real watercolors and a small plastic bag.
Oh how I wish we could find a way to truly and effectively recycle plastics. We have completely messed up our planet with them, and we've done it all in less than a hundred years. There must be a way to clean up our mess.
...we aren't having any where I am temporarily living in order to help out a friend. It's winter here but the ground is bare, although in my actual town, 400 miles north, there's plenty of snow.
Nevertheless, the Zenuary2019 project on day 18 had a prompt to tangle something based on a snowflake shape. Since I am way behind on this January challenge (I'll be working on it all thru February), I've just arrived at day 18. I cut out the following shape on some previously-used paper:
...traced around it on a Strathmore tile, and here's the end result:
And here they are side by side.
"There is no better designer than Nature."
"If your heart is broken, make art with the pieces."
Basically no time to write today. My friend is doing well but because of other circumstances (not my story to tell), we are still on the emotional rollercoaster.
My heart is broken by some of what I see of the other patients at the treatment center, especially the sick children. May they all heal, including their parents and caretakers. May all be at peace; may all be well.
It's not my story to tell, so I won't tell it here except to say that it was a roller coaster of a day for the friend I'm helping out. Just crazy--good news one moment, then bad news, then maybe good...oy vey.
It's a very good thing that we both meditate. And a very good thing that we both do Zentangle®. Both practices helped us stay steady throughout the day.
I did two more new-to-me tangles this morning:
I always find that lots of plain linework is a great soother in times of stress. The Twilight tangle was perfect for that.
And now back to meditation...
"Stay in your seat come times of trouble. Its only people who jump off the roller coaster who get hurt. "
Away from home in this very cold midwinter week, I've been doing just a little tangling. And watching a good friend do her weaving. While yet another good friend sent me a wonderful photograph. Below are my latest tangles, my friend's weaving, and my other friend's photo. Enjoy.
Below is my friend's weaving--two "mug rugs" for my coffee cups. Love the patterns and subtle colors she chose, and I feel lucky to have these gifts!
Finally, this wonderful Currier & Ives-type photo taken by a good friend who was out on a walk during a snow squall near our homes last week. Is this not beautiful?
"Silence is true wisdom's best reply."
Experimenting with Mimi Lempart's tangle Mi2, using a thin gold pen (sorry, don't know the name) a friend gave me, plus Pokeroot and Pokeleaf tangles. Colored with Generals Chalk pencils on a black Zentangle® tile. I hope to do more of these experiments when I have time.
Just got back from a week away and we are having our first serious storm of the winter; it's just begun.
Ugh...whatever I ate last night here at the hotel must not have been kind to me; I'm having an "unhappy-camper" stomach experience today. Nothing awful, just uncomfortable, so it's all ginger ale all the time.
The tile on the left was done for Zenuari2019 day 12, and the instructions were, "Grid tangles only," so I used the tangles Stricle and Demi and threw in other random lines.
The day is bright, sunny, and chllly but I am sleepy anyway. I'm away from home helping a friend who truly doesn't need much help We've been having fun tangling. I did the tile above earlier while she was working on something much larger. Lovely to have a companion in art.
When I find myself fading, I close my eyes and realize my friends are my energy. --Anonymous
I have been slowly exhausting my stash of Strathmore tiles, thinking I'd use them for tangle practice because I didn't like them. But they are growing on me. I may have to get more after I finish my current supply. They are a very different surface from the traditional Zentangle® tiles (Fabriano Tiepolo printmaking paper), which I truly love. Much smoother and in a way less forgiving than the Fabriano ones, but I'm learning to like them anyway.
Done for Zenuari2019, "Nametangles," day 10. Meaning, pick your or someone else's initials and then find a tangle for each letter. I chose D and R and picked D'eneh and Roscoe, two tangles I'd never heard of before and never tried--this is my maiden effort. Lots of errors but I don't care...Black Micron01 and graphite on a Strathmore tile.
This tile captures so many reasons why I love tangling:
Two more tangle experiments today. I am saving the textile work for next week when I think I will have more time to focus on it. What I love about both Zentangle® and textile art is the deep inner silence I experience when doing either. Both are highly meditative.
Today I went into that silence with joy and relief. One of the wonders of Zentangle is that it doesn't matter what the outcome is, bad or good, because the process of creating is where the gift lies, and that in itself is enough. Often the outcome is wonderful--a bonus.
Done for the Zenuari2019 project, day 9. "Do a tangle that's new to you." Tangle: Ratoon. I'm not familiar with this one, having done it only once previously. Here is my second try--including errors--done as both a central tangle and as a border. Black Micron 01 and graphite on a Strathmore 3.5" tile.
Tiles from today's work on the Zenuari2019 Project.
Zenuari2019 Project, day 6, "Use a Blind String" (a string you draw with your eyes closed). Micron 01, graphite, General's white chalk pencil. There is no purple on this tile--I ran it through a filter on this website and that's what created the tint. The original tile is black and white with gray graphite.
I titled this post "What Falls Out of the Pen" because whether I like the results or not, what ends up on my tiles always surprises me. As all three of these tiles did.
For a variety of reasons, today was a hard one for me. Really, really hard. I put aside other things and spent the time tangling. A good night's sleep tonight should help as well.
By the time I got to this one, I was truly exhausted. It shows. But that's ok. Practice is always helpful so I'm glad I kept on.
“Sometimes, only one person is missing, and the whole world seems depopulated.”
–Alphonse de Lamartine, Méditations Poétiques
Looks as though the start of 2019 will be choppy for me--I'll be doing some traveling and having visitors when I'm home. Needing something simple and portable to work on, I spotted another Zentangle® challenge run by CZT Anoeska in Holland called "Zenuari" (there is a private Facebook Group with this information) and thought that might do it. I won't be trying to complete every day, given how choppy my schedule is going to be, but I'l join in when I can to keep creative juices flowing.
Here is my first entry, for Day 2, with a "star" theme. I'm playing around with the same tangle from the December 28th post.
When you fall asleep immediately but then wake up at 90 minute intervals until you are wide awake at 3.30 a.m.
"I don't see the point of grumpy people."
Sure enough, I had the thing laminated this afternoon (see yesterday's post for an explanation of "the thing") and then with the help of an x-acto knife and 3 minutes of work, cut a center hole and installed the works.
Voila, a completed Zentangle® Spinner.
As I mentioned yesterday, I'm thinking about wheels/mandalas, etc., of which this is only one.
The big one--the Full Moon--was shining in my bedroom window so brightly last night that I thought she was going to come right through the glass and join me. So I'll be calling this my Full Moon Spinner.
Now if we could all just learn from the quote below...
“You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch.”
― Edgar Mitchell
This week's Solstice (yesterday) caused me to start thinking about wheels, as in the Wheel of the Year and how that wheel is turning once again. I've had wheels on the brain. For example, the Wheel in the tarot (see my previous post on the Wheel of Fortune card HERE), plus I just finished a Zentangle® project that had me creating a wheel, below.
The above wheel is going to grow up to be a "Spinner Board," once its spinner arm is inserted thru the hole in its center. Before I do that, I'm thinking I will need to laminate and back the piece. There are 55 different tangles on the piece, and I'm guessing it's about 9x9". It was fun to do and took twelve days, tangling for about a half hour each day. It's part of Zentangle's Project Pack 04 and all the relevant how-to videos are on YouTube.
In the process of doing this, my already messy desk grew completely out of control, so today I went on a massive cleaning binge. It should be noted that, for me, a "massive cleaning binge" is equivalent to picking up one piece of paper from the floor. I did not get the cleaning gene. I was happily raised in Lower Slobbovia.
But today I swept my large desk clean and forced myself to sort through things and create a semblance of order. It's quite shocking. More work has to be done tomorrow but here is the progress so far. (Wish me luck with maintenance...not a strength either)
Apparently the wheel turned into a Wheel of Progress for me. At least for the next 24 hours.
Happy Solstice to all...
Darn the wheel of the world! Why must it continually turn over? Where is the reverse gear?
I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel.
--Susan B. Anthony
Oh my, another sunny day. They are increasingly rare, and so I treasure them. It's downright cheerful outdoors, though cold. Great to see the sun.
So where's the fog? I did this tile this morning as part of my continuing experiment with incising tiles rather than using pen on them. So it's done only with a stylus, graphite, and after that I used some watercolor pencils to add a bit of color. I thought it came out quite "foggy."
This was done for the final piece of the Gratitangles2018 Project (November) and is the tile for day 30. I am officially done and really enjoyed the month. As I was doing this tangle this morning, I was grateful for whoever invented Gratitangles, and grateful that I had a chance to participate. I hope I can continue this practice of being-grateful-while-tangling. It makes a big difference in mood.
I'm intrigued by experiments with the incision technique and plan to continue them a bit. These truly are experiments. Here is one (below) that didn't work so well. I did this on a Bijou tile (2x2") and used General's Chalk Pencils for color...in order to get the color I had to rub fairly hard and I noticed the wonderful Fabriano Tiepolo paper did NOT like the rubbing. You can see that it was beginning to shred.
I'll put that on in the "No fail, no learn" category and I'm glad I tried it. I have some other ideas that may work better on the Fabriano Tiepolo paper.
This is highly representative of my state of mind. Here we have a tile that covers days 26, 27, and 28 of the Gratitangles Project. I'm almost done.
The tangle Bales (day 26) starts out on the left looking reasonably like itself, but then as it moves over to the right of the tile it's desperately trying to escape. Or spread its wings. Or something. Munchin (day 27), a tangle that is usually free-form and wild, doesn't look much like itself here at all, though it too begins to look like an escapee by the time it gets to the right side of the tile.
This piece went places I couldn't have imagined. It reflects where I've been for a couple of days--very busy and unable to do much creating, so today's work is trying to "spring out of its firm-looking boundaries." Fine with me!
Though busy and l-o-n-g, both days included good things. And yesterday, although I didn't do much creating myself, I spent much of the afternoon visiting old friends who are both incredibly creative. Good conversation and plenty of art-related eye candy made for a lovely day, and inspiration.
Today, it was lovely to stay close to home after so much traveling and allow myself to rest. I could not have predicted the results of this tile, but I'm liking it a lot.
So in keeping with the Gratitangles Project, while I was drawing this today I was feeling grateful for delightful surprises, grateful for old and dear friends, grateful for a good night's sleep, and for the steady sunshine we had all day. And grateful for being an escapee (able to withdraw from regular life on occasion). I don't need to do so often, but when I do, it's nourishing.
The beginning today: I began designing another large rug. It's too early by far to show anything, but I am pleased with the start.
The ending today: After endless rain and then multiple overly-early snowstorms, we finally got all the leaves cleaned up. It took all day. Since I'm focusing on gratitude this month, I want to say how relieved I am that I no longer have to do this myself. Because I live in a condo, someone else does it for me, and of course they have all the right tools & equipment, saving my old bones the effort. Thank you, thank you.
Two small tangled pieces today...
Above is a black Zentangle® 3-Z tile with White Gellyroll pen and White General's Charcoal. The tangle is called XLnt and it's by CZT Jody Genovese (you can find it on tanglepatterns.com). This is my first try at it, and wowza, it was not easy for me to figure out. I like it very much though and think I'll be using it a lot. This was done for the "It's a String Thing #271" Challenge on Adele Bruno's website.
And this one is done on a tiny Bijou tile (2"x2") using Gold Gellyroll pen and A bit of White Gellyroll, with colors by General's Chalk pencils. The tangle in the center is Zenith, and that was our assignment for the Gratitangles Project, day 25. I mixed in a Footlites tangle on either side (same project, day 14). Zenith is a tangle I always mean to use, and rarely do.
While working on these tiles I could not help thinking of things I am grateful for today: For example, safe housing, with great caretakers who moved those leaves efficiently and who also take care of the snow and ice. I'm grateful for the snow tires I had put on my car yesterday. I am grateful that I even HAVE a car and the money for snow tires.
“The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.”
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:
My next Beginning Zentangle® class is not yet scheduled--stay tuned.
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