Koala Zentangle

Floating Gold asked if I could do a Koala-Panda zentangle. I plumped for the koala side of the combination and came up with this. (Click on it to see it larger)

I’m quite fond of him, I have to say! Floating Gold also said she liked him. (I think FG is a she. If not, I apologise.)

As (almost) always, the initial picture isn’t mine – I think this was taken from a photo – but the zentangling part is.



The Fox and the Penguin

No, this is not a new Aesop’s Fable that has been discovered, but rather the two most recent pieces of zentangling that have reached their destinations.

The Rockhopper Penguin fairly flew to his new home – I posted it “economy class” (or, 2nd class post, as I believe it’s more commonly known) on Wednesday, and it arrived Chez Chomeuse the next day. As she is better than I am at taking photos, I direct you to her site to admire the Rockhopper Penguin, or Gorfou Sauteur as it is known in French. I was really quite pleased with how he turned out – and he was quite quick to complete, as penguins have a lovely white front.

Here is a photo of a Rockhopper:

The Fox found his way to Switzerland. He must have trotted fairly quickly, as he arrived the day after Rocky had found his home.

Again, as Bev is better at photos, I direct you to her post, Foxy,Foxy where you can see him in all his glory. I haveto admit that I borrowed his pose from a drawing on t’internet – I’m not actually very talented at drawing, you see – but the zentangling is all my own.

Kezzie, if you’re reading this, you need to let me know your new address. I tried emailing you via your profile page, but I don’t know if that was successful. A copy of Mr Foxy is waiting for you.

I have two zentangles on my list to do, but if you’d like one, please let me know. My list is more organised, and is now written down, so if you’ve previously requested, but not received, a zentangle then ask me again. I have forgotten about it. The speed of production may slow down once chemotherapy starts, as I have no idea how it will affect me, but it might well be good to have something non-energetic but creative to concentrate on.

And here’s a totally unrelated Lol Cat Dog:

Surprise Christmas present!

Well, not quite a surprise, as Mr FD kept telling me it was on its way, but a surprise because I had no idea what it was.

It arrived today (not a Pusheen cat!) and I am delighted!

As the blurb says “365 Days of Art is an inspiring daily journal designed to help you nurture your creativity and develop a love of art” It gives 365 prompts to various art projects to complete:

Day 282: What is in the jars? Pickles?Fruit? Insects? What would you store in these jars?

Day 330: Add flowers to the stalks

It is something else to add to the things to do during my days at home: I do my 15 minute mile, using a Leslie Sansome YouTube video, and then I enter competitions…Really, by the law of averages, I have to win something! My poor friend Cathy is the “Scape Tagger” when it’s a FB competition, when I have to tag someone. She’s been tagged several times today! (Mind you, this pays her back for all of those “Like-and-share” pictures I get from her!!) I try to blog too – you might have noticed an upsurge in blog posts recently! Then I might do some zentangling too, although competition entry took over an hour today: there were lots to enter! It’s practically lunch time (scrambled egg today)

In the afternoon I will maybe continue zentangling, but I will add my 365 Days… to this now. I listen to Pray As You Go, and read another poem from “The Splash of Words”

Mark Oakley spoke to us at the  Vocation Discernment weekend in Budapest during November. He is an inspirational speaker and the book is really interesting. The blurb on Amazon reads: For those who know they enjoy poetry, and those for whom it is just a memory from schooldays, here is a rich feast that enables us to rediscover poetrys power to startle, challenge and reframe our vision. Like throwing a pebble into water, a poem causes a splash of words whose ripples can transform the way we see the world, ourselves and God. The Splash of Words argues that belief in poetry is vital for understanding that God is in the world as poetry is in a poem. It includes 40 poems from contemporary poets, as well as poems from earlier generations. Each is accompanied by a reflection, based on a deep understanding of poets and their art, which explores why poetry is vital to faith and how scripture, liturgy and theology are all poetry in motion.

I would argue that if you think you don’t like poetry this is an excellent book to help you, not understand poetry, but to experience it, to feel it, to grasp the very edges of what the poet is saying.

And usually too, I will read some of my French novel, although I have rather neglected this recently.

As the weather gets better I will try to get outside too for some sunshine (should the sun ever return!!)

So…lunch time now!

PS – We finished watching Line of Duty Series 1 last night! We decided we couldn’t wait. We now have to try not to watch Series 2 till next week. Otherwise, we’ll binge watch and it will all be finished!

Creativity – again!!

As I’m not working at the moment – and probably won’t be for the next few months – I’ve been finding ways to fill up my time…Mostly reading blogs, reading, reading my French novel (slowly), and doing art work.

I’m not like Angry Cat though – I’m relaxed and laid back. As I said, I’ve been finding the concentration necessary for creating Celtic knotwork very good. Here is the latest piece:

 (This is bizarre: I can see the picture on my dashboard, but when I view it as a blog post it’s not there. I’ll try again later. Very odd…)

ETA: A few days later I have added the picture wiuth no problems at all. Hmmm. The ways of computers are strange!!

Circle me, Lord. Keep protection near and danger afar.

Circle me, Lord Keep hope within. Keep doubt without.

Circle me, Lord. Keep light near And darkness afar.

Circle me, Lord. Keep peace within. Keep evil out.

The prayer is by David Adams. I was quite pleased with the design – this is the Meigal Spiral Interlace – although I will admit that my “ribbon” went a bit wobbly, and isn’t the same width throughout. Still, it’s not a bad first attempt! I gave this to Rob and Caireen, my Rector & his wife, for a Burns Night gift; Caireen is Scottish, and Rob is Canadian of Scottish descent, so it seemed appropriate.

The other piece of art work is for a friend’s birthday. He’s a jazz musician, and plays the saxophone:

I never realised how complicated saxophones were!! Because I’d “zentangled” inside the sax, I decided to colour it, using pastels, to make it stand out a little:

I’m reasonably pleased with it. (Though not with my photography! As usual it’s all a bit blurred. I really will have to try to improve!) I’m just wondering whether the bass clef needs to be blackened in to make it stand out more.

It’s a similar design to a zentangle I did for Kezzie way back, and for someone at church too. It’s quite a pleasing design for a musician, with the instruments being changed depending on those  played by the recipient.

The other thing I’ve started doing is “Walk a Mile in 15 Minutes” videos on YouTube – I’m not convinced that I am actually walking the equivalent of a mile, but it’s reasonably engaging, and it gets me moving.

Yesterday I got a bit carried away by the over enthusiastic instructor lady, and thrust my arms skyward, in time to the music, forgetting I still have scars that aren’t healed…My breast was a bit painful last night – particularly where I have a haemotoma formed – so today I didn’t really “pump” my arms as instructed. However I did everything else and in 15 minutes I got a bit breathless, so I assume it’s doing me good.

Celtic Knotwork

A couple of days back, I promised you a “reveal” of what I’ve been spending possibly too much time doing. I’ve been enjoying the creative side of this, but also the mental processes required – measuring, calculating etc.

And so…

the first I tried was this:

That one took me about two hours to do.

Then I went for this design:

I like this, but the circles are too thin. Despite following the instructions on the YouTube video, the design shown on the video was more compact, and the “ribbon” is definitely much thicker on the demonstration piece. I might try this again but with different dimensions. I filled each circle with a different zentangle pattern. Here’s a close-up:

(but of course, with my dodgy photographic skills, it doesn’t show much detail. Try clicking on it; I think it would make it clearer. But then and again, maybe not!)

Finally, yesterday, I worked on this Triskalé pattern:

They’ve all got mistakes in them, but unless you know where to look, I don’t think they are too obvious. All of them are on A4 paper.

Now I’ve created them, I don’t know what to do with them – for me, the pleasure is in the creating, not the keeping. If anyone who is reading this would like one of them I’d be happy to send them to you. Just say in the comments which one you’d like, and if there’s 2 (or more) who would like the same one I’ll either do a draw, or draw another one. I’ll give you a week or two to comment.

Bonne Année! Bonne Santé!

Yes, being in France, I can still wish you Bonne Année in the middle of January. It’s a good excuse as well when the Christmas cards are late!

I was going to share with you what’s been occupying me these past couple of days, but my camera battery has decided it needs recharging NOW so won’t take any photos. But as a “tease” this picture gives some clue as to what has been taking rather too much of my time

This isn’t mine – I’m notquite that talented yet – but I’ve been enjoying myself drawing some Celtic knotwork, using some YouTube tutorials to help. I’ll show you mine tomorrow.

But for now, I thought I’d share with you something one of my students sent me:

7 resolutions for 2018

1. Live more in the present moment

2. Smile a lot, and often

3. Say “stop” to your mind when it is racing (? Not sure of my translation here)

4. Be as positive as possible

5. Celebrate the victories, however small.

6. Abandon stress and anxiety (easier said than done, in some cases!)

7. Make your life nbetter than you have ever dreamed

Yes, okay, they are a bit trite – and, in many situations, easier said than done – but I appreciated the thought.

A lot of bloggers choose a word for the year. I discovered that (I’d forgotten this!!)in January 2017  I’d chosen a phrase for the year “a different way”… I’m not sure it made that much difference, unfortunately!

This year though, I have two words:


With what I’m going through at the moment, both of these words are apposite. Reminding me that I need to have strength, but equally I need to have trust in God.

I have been wondering about ordering myself a Mudlove bracelet with one or both these words on:

Mudlove  is an American company which makes these lovely pottery bracelets and supports the provisionof water in the Central african Republic. As the site says:

Every product you purchase provides 1 week of safe, clean water to someone in need. All of this is made possible through Water for Good and their continual work to transform one of the world’s most neglected countries, the Central African Republic.

Right now, about 663 million people lack access to clean water. That’s more than twice the entire population of the United States! Water is the first step out of extreme poverty. It is estimated that women and children spend 140 million hours each day collecting water. 

Can you imagine going for one week without access to clean water? A week of safe, sanitary water changes things in a big way for entire communities. Women have time for jobs and family care. Children can attend school, avoid preventable diseases, and live longer, happier lives.

What do you think? D’you think I should go for it?