In the old days BZ, (You know, Before Zentangle and I suppose it’s AT since then – Anno Tangli) anyway, in the olden days, my stress relief, my major relaxation, was reading. There was a time when, if it was in print, it was grist to the mill and, although I had my favourites, I would give anything a go. As a result, I have read some awful rubbish. My Mum and Dad instilled in me an attitude of “If you start it, you finish it. ” In Mum’s case, it usually meant meals and the moral high ground of a clean plate at teatime. For my Dad it was books, as if it was rude to the authour to start a book and not wade through to the frequently bitter end.
As a result of their attitudes, I have been fortunate enough to develop a taste for vegetables that I didn’t have as a child and am pretty widely read. I can’t do Dickens, though. He needs too many words to say the simplest things and I like to forge ahead with the story. Hence, Steinbeck and Hemingway being among my favourites. I enjoy fiction and non-fiction and am currently re-reading Cosmos, by Carl Sagan. As a not very scientific person, I find the universe scarily fascinating. I mean, it’s big, innit? And Sagan has a conversational style that makes me want to read on, even when my head is too full of facts to take in any more. You wouldn’t believe how many times I pick up the book (Kindle) and re-read the previous chapter in the hope that some of it will have made sense while I was sleeping.
So, at the moment, reading is not so relaxing because I’m self educating.
I decided, a propos nothing, to tidy some cupboards.This usually involves emptying them, finding things I didn’t know I’d lost, and pretty much putting them back a bit straighter than before. In one of them was a largish piece of plastic bubble wrap, which, when I first discovered the invention of bubble wrap, used to give me immense satisfaction popping the bubbles. Being in the middle of the job, I threw the bubble wrap on top of the pile of stuff, probably to throw away, as we have no foreseeable use for it. As I turned back to the cupboard the bubble wrap called to me. It did. Honest. “Pop me.” it said, “Burst my bubbles, you’ll feel better for it.”
Resolutely, I continued with my work but “Ever at my back I hear, yon bubbles calling, “Burst me dear”…” (Apologies to Andrew Marvel.) So I did, I gave in, picked it up and began systematically popping the bubbles. And after a few minutes I realised I had to pop them all. Couldn’t just do a few for old times’ sake, oh no, the whole damn sheet had to go. And I was busy and really shouldn’t have stopped half way through the job, as Distraction is my middle name. (That and Technophobia, as mentioned in previous posts.) And I would have felt just slightly silly if the loved one had happened to look in through the window and seen me there, popping bubble wrap. But I couldn’t put it down until they were all gone.
So popping bubble wrap is no longer relaxing either.
Another form of relaxation was embroidery, blackwork, crewel, longstitch that sort of thing. My walls are covered in stitch pictures made either by me or my Mum but I haven’t actually done any in ages and I have/had a cupboard full of silks and fabrics and accoutrements just waiting to be remembered. The cupboard I was tidying, in fact. There were several unfinished projects and I told myself how little work was needed to complete them and that it was silly to put them away again when they needed so little attention. Truth to tell, the very thought of them made me tense. So I put them back in the cupboard.
Clearly, embroidery is no longer the opiate of choice.
What used to soothe me no longer does. (Hence the drugs don’t work reference, courtesy of the Verve.) And there you have it. I’m going through a dryish patch with the Zentangle at the moment, no projects on the go. (Not true, you bad girl, you have a drawer full of paper and card with half conceived designs. Bad, bad girl, telling lies.) Alright, nothing I feel like doing. What’s wrong with me? Nothing, of course, just not feeling creative for the moment.
I know – I need a holiday!
Thank goodness we’re off into the blue again next week. Needless to say, I won’t be packing embroidery materials or bubble wrap. Will certainly be packing the Kindle. Will I be taking the pens? Well, what do YOU think?
So my next post will be badly in need of proof reading because the combination of foreign WiFi and my cackhanded use of the soft keyboard make for sloppy writing but I will be back next week, world, from wherever I find myself.
Until then, be good, won’t you?
It’s getting worse, if not worserer. As you know, my current recreational fix is Zentangle but, as I said, I’m going through a thin patch at the moment. I’ve done some Christmas cards with a hint of tangle here and there – you can see them scattered throughout this post – but not much else.
Don’t you love this “one over the eight” Christmas Angel? It’s a stamp outline that I’ve coloured and patterned.
I was confident, however, that the Diva Challenge would get me going again. NO. Guest Challenger, Charlotte Carpentier says:
So, this is my proposal to you. Find something to use for a stencil, gather your dye and spray, sponge, Q-Tip, etc. and make yourself a string. Revel in the discovery that different natural dyes, like wine or hibiscus tea, will look different on different papers. Then tangle them. You can even stay inside the lines if you like or go completely outside!
Well, this was the perfect opportunity to use my new Brusho inks, wasn’t it? Couldn’t wait to get started.
Huh! That’s all I’m saying, huh!
Done with an ink pad, sponge dauber and a little doily.
But I will not be defeated. And when I have one that I am actually satisfied with, I WILL post it. So there.
LATER, quite a bit later, in fact.
I did some more water colour backgrounds using the Brusho inks and this is one of them. I saw the darker areas as a bit flowery so that’s what I let them become. The two “poppies” and the sort of dandelion head worked OK but the daisy looks a bit too structured. Nevertheless, for what it’s worth, this is IT. Patterns used; Betweed, Nipa, Diva Dance and a little bit of Pais.