Wednesday, February 03, 2016

cotton & thread.

My mom is downright dangerous with her sewing machine. I was kicking back with her in her sewing room (a.k.a. her 'happy place'!) yesterday, and wondered aloud whether a Zentangle tile could successfully be stitched by machine since it's 100% cotton paper. Never one to back down from a creative challenge, she did the loopy border on her sewing machine, and then I tangled the rest.

See how the thread casts a shadow from the sun slanting in through the window? Late afternoon is the prettiest time of day in my studio, when the sunlight illuminates the inhabitants of my fish tank and my meticulously curated dust collection. ;o) 

A few other borders... they didn't make the cut, but still looked pretty cool stitched into the tiles. These patterns might look vaguely familiar to my fellow tangle junkies.

Next I'll see if I can successfully sew two tangled roundies back to back with batting in the middle, and make an ornament out of it... I only have eleven months to make it work! ;o)

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Monday, February 01, 2016


Hi, friends!
Long time no blog.

I'm gonna be honest with you...having a Zentangle facebook page has made me very lazy. I'm not one to make new years' resolutions, but I am recommitting myself to blogging this year. I have a couple big things in the works- one is a whole post on cruffle variations (trying to get it whittled down to fifty-- it's completely ridiculous right now!) and then there's a 2.0 post full of tangle remixes coming down the pike too. I'm excited about what's lumbering forth on the horizon... thank you for hanging in with me. :o)

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Soo, lollywimple. 
Yes, I can hear you shouting 'oh, whatever, that's crescent moon!' To which I say, "look again!'

This pattern is drawn as a ribbon/border. It absolutely can be drawn successfully without the initial pencil strings, but since I like to use it as a foundation to build on, I've left them in all the drawings below so you can see where the pattern started. You'll see why in a minute.

The basic steps:

first, the lollies on a string... o O o (which I will refer to as 'bubbles' from here on out, because I honestly don't know how many times one can read the word 'lolly' in a single blog post without wanting to slap the author). 

...aaaand then, the wimples!... ) ) )

Step 0: optional, but try it this way first. Lay down two parallel pencil lines, relatively close together.  When I draw auras around a shape, I don't like to let them go on and on and get too big (I'm lookin' at you, IX!), because the lines start to get harder to control. The closer together your pencil lines are, the more your auras will behave. 

• Vary the size of the bubbles (and the spaces between them, if you're feeling adventurous) along the entire length of the first pencil string. Repeat with the second, varying the size of the bubbles between the left and right sides, and offsetting them so that none are directly 'across the lane' from another.

• Add one aura to each bubble. Then start adding extra auras, here and there, very randomly. The end result can be very interesting if you don't go in order- or even double up on some before moving on to another one. You start with one on every bubble so you have the width of at least one aura between every bubble to work with later.

NOT closing off the spaces between the bubbles (as I have done below) will give you more options for blending this pattern with others. So consider this the version you would use for a simple border.

A couple more examples of a simple border... 

It's cute... but, very cool things can happen if you *don't* close off those edges! You can see how far the first auras extend past the pencil line- I LOVE irregular edges.

Here's where things start to get a little more interesting...

All those open ends mean bridges to other tangles! Oh, the possibilities! I know Mooka is not the answer to everything....but sometimes it feels like it. ;o)

I probably threw too many different patterns at this one... but I love busy line art with lots to look at, so I went for broke.

A few other examples. I know this post might not seem as straightforward as some other tangle how-tos (more art, less zen for sure) but you can see where I started if you look for the pencil strings. The other stuff just blooms out of the open spaces in between the bubbles. This is why you should always draw your initial string in pencil with Zentangle... open ends are GOOD. You can't build a city with a wall in the way!

This pattern doesn't have to make sense, visually. Continue some lines, close off others... just have fun with it. Shading does wonders, too.

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