Small steps


I’ve been a bit busy this week so I’m starting the blog post early in case it’s still hectic at the weekend and I don’t have the chance to be ready for Monday. Is this blog starting to rule my life? Well, no but then again maybe.

The loved one is out for the evening for a pint with his old friends from work. A pint. Hah! Anyway, I have the house to myself and am spending the time preparing for a group Zentangle session with the Stitch and Bitch girls tomorrow. Since the group session in Scotland went well using the little books, we are going to do the same again but better organised. I’ve baked a chocolate cake and a Bakewell tart – not pudding – and some frozen yoghurt and a sort of pizza on puff pastry and there will be melon balls too.

I’ll let you know how it goes and will post pictures if I have permission.

Having done, i.e. made, most of my Christmas cards and written about a third of them, I have started wrapping Christmas presents. There are two reasons for this; firstly, we are going away again in two weeks time and I want to have pretty much everything ready before we go so I don’t return to a frantic ten days up to the holiday and, secondly because I have a daughter. In fact, I have two but one lives several hundred miles away. It is the nearer one against whom I guard the presents. As a child, she was the one who searched wardrobes and under beds to discover what the “surprises” were going to be and I suspect she hasn’t changed that much over the years. (We used to have to leave wrapped gifts at my mother’s house because nowhere was safe.) At least if they are wrapped she will only squeeze and shake them to guess what’s inside.

As a result of all this activity, the dining table and floor surrounding it are festooned with paper and ribbon; parcels are piled on chairs and, if I don’t get them done soon and hidden away, we will have to eat out on the garden  – not an inviting prospect in the light of current weather conditions; cold and wet.


Well the Zentangle afternoon was yesterday and we had a lovely time. (Well, I did and the girls all said it was fun and they are normally a pretty truthful bunch, so it suits me to believe them.) I can’t post photos of the books as they are all still works in progress but I’ll see if they let me at a later time. We were so engrossed in the drawing that we almost forgot to eat cake, which I feel is a fairly positive indicator. I thought they were ready for a challenge, so we did Abundies and Cubine, as well as a little refresher on Purk and Nzeppel. We also had a go at Verve and Sandswirl, which they all rather liked.  All in all, it was a lovely afternoon, but, as they are all such good company, that does tend to be the case.


An Edwardian bracelet?
An Edwardian bracelet?

My other daughter sent me a link on Facebook of a drawing someone had done that looked like jewels. I was dumbstruck. (Well, for me, anyway.) I had to find out how it was done.   Ooooooooo. Anyway, I had a go and this is my first attempt.  I feel that I still have a long, long way to go but this was easier than I expected. I used water colour pencils and a white gel pen as well as my trusty Microns. (Sizes 03 and 005)This is the tutorial I found.            



Well, it’s Diva Day and she has reminded us of one of the staple patterns of Zentangle: Hollibaugh.

                    Weekly Challenge #245: “Back to Basics – Hollibaugh”

                   In my opinion, Hollibaugh is one of the foundations of tangling.  

                   It is literally the first tangle i teach when i am sharing zentangle

                   with someone new because it uses the drawing behind method that

                   so many other tangles use as well.

                   You can see step outs of hollibaugh here

                   This type of tangle, in particular, really lends to that complex look

                  that tangling can have, but in reality it is really quite simple.

It looks vaguely tree rooty or perhaps seaweed.
It looks vaguely tree rooty or perhaps seaweed.

This is one of those patterns that is intimidating at first but becomes a favourite with many of us. I thoroughly enjoy doing it and I don’t know why I don’t use it more often than I do. So here is my response this week and I really enjoyed it.

And finally, I received the first of my tile swaps from FB today, all the way from America. (Cue for a song?) Anyway, it reminded me that I haven’t finished, let alone sent, mine. However, the final deadline is January, although I intend to finish and send them before Christmas. I thought you might like to see it :-

My very first swap received.
My very first swap received.

7 thoughts on “Small steps

  1. Great post, Maggie. I’m glad you had a good Zentangle session with friends. It’s something I do here in Andalucia and it’s always really good – and we don’t even have cake! I too was so impressed with the jewels and the tutorial link you posted was most welcome. I agree – they were much easier than I expected to do and I am definitely going to practice. Yours are really lovely.
    Great Hollibaugh – very organic and natural.
    I hope you don’t cut down on the blogging…! Axxx

  2. Your frayed end version of Hollibaugh is very original and I like the light background for a change. You have been busy this week, I hope you have a great time when you are away. It is amazing how much time blogging takes isn’t it. I love reading about what everyone is doing.

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