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:

Zentangles – and a piece of advice.

Advice first:

If you have had a tumour removed, and are possibly facing chemotherapy (but it’s not sure) DON’T, for the love of God, and for your own sanity’s sake, read this book:

The descriptions of the chemotherapy that the heroine of the story has to go through will make you shit-scared and very nasty to your husband (who’s only trying to help) however much you tell yourself that the young woman in the story had MUCH worse cancer than you.

And if you’re going to visit someone who has had cancer and faces the (fairly small) possibility of having chemotherapy, don’t lend them this book. It’s not great for the morale. Honestly.

And now, zentangling. (Click on the images to enlarge them)

Comeuse With A Chou said in the comments to my last post: I’ve no idea what zentangling is though (and am now intrigued). Do you have a link to a previous post describing it at all please? 

Well, if I’m honest, I would say zentangling has been around as long as doodling has, but it’s just that some rather canny Americans thought about how it could be used to their advantage, and have rather taken over what one would, in the past, have called doodling. A whole industry has grown out of it.

Rules have been formed, to say what is zentangling, and what isn’t… If I quote from the “official” page tanglepatterns.com

These are the characteristics that define a tangle:
The elemental strokes of a tangle in Zentangle

  1. a tangle is abstract, non-objective (non-representational)
  2. a tangle is non-directional, it has no up or down orientation — there’s no “right side up”
  3. a tangle is usually an overall pattern that grows organically, rather than a single motif. Zentangle is about “the repetition of a stroke, not the repetition of a drawing.“
  4. a tangle is at most 2 or 3 simple strokes — “Usually the number of elemental strokes needed are 3 or less. Often, you only need one or two. By ‘elemental strokes’ we mean a dot, a straight(-ish) line, a curve (like a parenthesis), a reverse curve (like an ‘S’), and an orb or circle.“
  5. a tangle is simple enough to draw without using a pre-printed grid, pencil guidelines or an eraser. “It also has to be done without any underlying pencil structure or preplanned grid.” Inked grids or dots, however, are often part of a tangle.
  6. a tangle never uses rulers, stencils, or any other mechanical construction aids
  7. a tangle is elegant, unique

In my view, this is all a bit of cobblers – it’s making rules where there is no necessity. They say: The Zentangle® Method was designed to remove the thinking, planning, decision-making and other obstacles that often hinder creativity or even prevent people from creating art at all.

But then, by making all these rules about what is/isn’t a zentangle pattern, I feel they are stifling creativity in people all over again!!

So I take no notice of the rules – I should, apparently, be calling my work “Zentangle Inspired Art”, for example, and instead I enjoy creating art, whatever it’s called, and in whatever form. AND (shock!horror!) I use a pencil, a ruler and an eraser to create grids, especially if I’m working on something that’s going to be a gift.

All the examples shown here are mine: the sheep was done for Michelle, from Boulderneigh Farm, I think (she keeps sheep). The cat was one of my very first forays into ZIA, and was designed for a charity Spanish Stray Cats.The chicken was drawn for a blog swap of some sort, for Busy Little Chicken (she’s no longer blogging) and the sunflower was a birthday card for my sister. Finally, the Harry Potter was completed soon after my return from Lines Summer School last year, as several of the teachers were confirmed HP fans. I didn’t send it to anyone, so it’s lying around my study somewhere.

If anyone reading this would like their own personal Zentangle, do let me know in the Comments – I’m always looking for an excuse to start a new one. I’ve done many subjects, including knitting, Celtic crosses, dolphins, fairies… If you want yo see other examples, click on the “tag” title Zentangles and you should find others that I’ve done.

I hope that answers your question, Chomeuse…

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.

A little bit of Christmas crafting

Over on ConfuzzledomBev wrote about making Christmas cards, and apologised for the fact that she mentioned Christmas in September. But as anyone who makes their own Christmas cards knows, the sooner you start, the better.

As I wrote in a comment: I too am producing Christmas cards – and Thanksgiving cards – at the moment because I try to sell them at the annual church Convention (end of October) to raise money for the charity Phone Credit for Refugees. I’ve made about 20 so far, but am going to work on lots more, as I’ve done a piece of ZIA that I’ve photocopied 40 times to put onto cards. What I must remember is that if the Bishop’s secretary asks me if I can handmake 200 cards for the Bishop to send out my answer this year must be “Sorry, no”. I said Yes last year and then spent every weekend, in November – and several evenings – churning out Christmas cards. It rather sucked the joy out of the creative process – although there were two good things that came out of it: 300€ for the charity, and a lot of rejects that I used for my own Christmas cards that year!!

I really MUST remember to say “No” if Sophie asks me – however flattered I am!

But I have made quite a lot of cards using a new piece of ZIA

Having reduced it a little, I then took 40 colour photocopies, and have started to make cards like these:

As you can see they are all fairly simple, and I can put together about 8 of these in an hour. If I can sell them at 2,50€ each, or 10 for 11€ then hopefully I should make a fair few bob for the charity.

I have made some others too – these were using a fold that I saw in one of the many card making magazines that I have bought over the years when I’m in the UK.


Sorry if the photo isn’t very clear – I’m not very good at photographing my cards anyway, and these are in plastic wrapping too, which doesn’t help.

For these I used various papers, embellishments & tags, all purchased at Noz over the years. Cheapskate. I also had to experiment quite a lot to get the square in the right place  – and having finally succeeded I forgot where I wrote the measurements. But I used the ones that weren’t quite right anyway, as you can see:

…and the gold card used on this one came from a chocolate box!

Some others were fairly quick makes, using a Make-Your-Own-Christmas-Cards set (again from Noz – I love that shop!!!) but with a few extra embellishments:

The “vintage” look tag that I used on this one was from a pack of 10 for 50cents! Yes, Noz again!

And for others I just used recycled Christmas cards that we had received:

Those I don’t sell at Convention I can try to sell at Church, and those I don’t sell at Church I can use for my own Christmas cards. Or keep for next year – I still have some of the rejects from the Bishop’s cards to sell (slightly wobbly cutting, or paper which I decided wasn’t appropriate after all!) this year. Why not?

Harry Potter zentangle

When I was at summer school this year, there was a large group of teachers who were die-hard Harry Potter fans. They had grown up with the books, knew which House they belonged to, could quote from the text, had seen the movies several times over, probably owned multiple copies of the books…I caused a shocked silence when I announced that I had stopped reading halfway through the third book because I was bored, and that I had never seen the films.

There was a concerted effort to get Brian (a Polish teacher) and I to lose our HP “virginity” and to watch the films. Unfortunately, they were shown rather too late for me, so I saw HP1, HP 3 and a bit of HP7:1 but that’s all. Brian bought the first book, but wasn’t getting on very well with it (but to be fair, he was reading it in his second language!) but I think he saw more of the films than me.

They insisted I did the sorting hat quiz on t’internet, and I was pronounced a Hufflepuff. I’m not sure what Brian was…

I have to say, the attraction of the films was always Alan Rickman. Although the Snape wig did nothing for him, looks-wise, that voice and those hands..! Sigh. But I wasn’t really gripped by them. Maybe I’ll try to read the books again, to make Olaya, Claire and Gaby happy!

I saw on FB that it was Claire’s birthday a couple of days ago, so, as I was looking for a subject for my next Zentangle, I decided to try a Harry Potter themed one. I looked on t’Internet for inspiration and came across this

which I used to help me create this:

Sorry – bad photo as always!

Not much better…

The original captured Daniel Radcliffe’s profile much better than I have – mine looks as though he’s chewing a wasp, unfortunately – but I still quite like what I’ve done. The plan was to zentangle the face too, but every pattern I tried made it look as though he had really bad eczema or a terrible skin disease! So finally I left it blank.

The “Always” comes from Snape, as he declares that he has always and always will love Lily, Harry’s mother.

There is a terribly sad quote attributed to Alan Rickman (but which apparently he never said. Which is a bit disappointing, but never mind.)

which, of course, did not come true, as he died on January 14th last year. Too young at 69, of cancer.

I may try another variation on this theme. I rather like it.