Monday, August 19, 2013

Zentangle Challenge #132 - Non-Domontangle - Bales

When I first saw this challenge I thought - yuck, I'm too busy this week to this one anyway. Of course when I expressed that to my husband, he gently reminded me that part of the challenges is to do them - even the ones we don't like. Well, as usually happens, I learned A LOT by doing this challenge. I'm particularly interested in the therapeutic applications of Zentangle. About 6 months ago I visited my cousin in Vancouver who has lost the use of her dominant hand because of a stroke. Her therapist was trying to get her to practice writing with her left hand but she was resisting. I tried to show her a couple of tangles, Bales being the first, and both of us ended up being frustrated. What I learned from this exercise is that I should have shown her how to do it, using my own non-dominant hand! Yes, the lines are wobbly and uneven. But I learned that pulling the pen toward me was easier than pushing away, and that if I went too slowly and thoughtfully, my lines were more crooked than if I drew firmly but steadily. And, the more I did, the "easier" it got - not that it was ever "easy". And then I did a bit of shading with my non-dominant hand. It's far from perfect, but I actually quite like what I ended up with. It reminds me an awful lot of when I first tried macrame, and macrame with beads! (It also occurred to me that I probably shouldn't have pushed her to try Zentangle - she has never had any interest in doing any form of art, and was only trying it to please me. This was another gentle reminder (in hindsight) that not everyone will be as interested in learning to tangle as I am...)

Zendala Dare # 70

This my entry for this week's Zendala Dare from Erin at Another great template and I was able to try the new tangle Ciceron - not all together successfully, but definitely a learning experience. Last week several people mentioned that there had been a tutorial or "how to" on how to do balls or orbs and really make them appear 3D. I think it was supposed to have been something from Margaret Bremner... but search as I might, I can't find it. I would really appreciate it if someone could send me a link or prompt me how to find it.... Thanks for viewing, and your comments are always appreciated!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Zentangle Challenge #131 - Monotangle - DEX-teria

This weeks Zentangle Challenge from Laura at is to use the tangle Dex in a monotangle. That's using this tangle and perhaps variations, and only this tangle, in our tile. I like Dex and have used it several times, but as a mono tangle.... not so much. But these challenges are to make us step out of our comfort zone. Actually, I did discover that I had been doing dex wrong anyway, so another plus from this challenge is that I think I have the steps firmly in my mind now. I couldn't decide what to do so ended up with a window into a futuristic Dex city. Don't love this, but there you are. I look carefully at the other entries because I found this one quite a tough challenge. Thanks Laura!

Zendala Dare #69

Another intriguing template from Erin at Toronto's Canadian National Exhibition starts this coming weekend, and portends the ending of the summer. Other signs are the slowing of grass and plant growth in the garden, but also a bounty of vegetables, peaches and corn on the cob. And that is the inspiration for my choice of tangles - purk sort of looks like corn, kuke for the lovely cucumbers, and pepper forms the husks for the corn. Ok, so I'm stretching it, but it was fun doing this dare, as usual. Thanks Erin, and thanks to those of you who look, and extra thanks for those who comment - it's always appreciated.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Zentangle Challenge #130 - UMT - Henna Drum

I LOVE Henna Drum, and have since I first saw it. Saying that, I haven't actually used it much because I find it difficult to work into a tile - somehow the background seems a bit bland and I'm too cautious to use it as an overlay. I decided to try a couple of new tangles; Paris and Navaho... wow, that's a tough one! I'll need to practice it more, and work harder at being careful with the lines. I haven't used Wisket in a long time either. I'm ok with this finished piece (8"x 8"), but don't love it. I can't wait to see how others have done this challenge!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Zendala Dare #67

Another great template from Erin at! I have the 12 year old daughter of a friend staying with me for the week and we've been all over Toronto seeing the sights and taking in events so it's been a wonderful, busy week. She's also been trying her hand at a few tangles and the first one she chose was Bitten, which I've used a couple of times before. Her fresh, sharp eyes caught that I had been doing it wrong! Now that I see how to really do it - I LOVE this pattern and will definitely use it more often. It also reinforced what a wonderful resource is!