Self restraint,,,

Christmas gnome No1- There will be more. This one is small and I’m going to do a couple quite a bit bigger to use as door stops over the festive season. Needs a darker coloured nose too.

Quite frankly, I think self restraint is over rated. I mean, why not do what you feel like doing? (Applying all the caveats like – as long as it doesn’t hurt/upset anyone else  and so on.)  So when I see a person in very tight leggings, a T shirt made for someone significantly smaller  (and, let’s face it, younger),  with underwear and fleshy lumpy bits on full display, why do I disapprove? If she’s happy looking like a cross between a duvet and a bouncing castle, why do I want to stand her in front of a mirror, point out the camel toe and shout “I don’t need to see this!”?  But, in spite of the damage it probably does to my blood pressure, I practise restraint and just scream silently.

And in the supermarket, when the people who have no concept of personal space, step backwards into my path and then don’t even respond when I say I’M SORRY, as if it’s my fault, why do I not stare them in the face and express my displeasure forcibly? With a cattle prod, for instance.

The second, and so far nameless aardvark. Any ideas?
My first aardvark – Arnold by name.


I’m an oldish person; a pensioner; a granny. This does not give me the right to greet someone I see EVERY BLOODY WEEK in the same place and proceed to block the aisle, while the four of us – there are always at least four – discuss the weather, our pharmaceutical regime and/or digestive peculiarities, and the price of washing up liquid very loudly because others in the group are hard of hearing and the speaker is hard of thinking AND at the same time, totally ignore their shopping trolleys which are careering off tangentially to damage several other shoppers. So why do other grannies do it?

And a doll for my grandaughter, also as yet unnamed – the doll, not the granddaughter! I think she needs pants – the doll, not the granddaughter!
A lop eared rabbit for the little girl next door. Are the eyes a bit too small? Looks more like Snoopy than a rabbi to me.

I hold doors open for people who don’t say thank you. Why do I do this? I know they won’t say thank you, so why do I expect it?  Well, hope wistfully, really, not really expect.  I do sometimes glare at them and say loudly “You’re welcome” in response to the thanks they haven’t given but that’s going to backfire one day when one of them turns round and biffs me in the chops for being cheeky.

Using Ell-ish as a motif monotangle for the swap.

And then there are the orange painted girls whose make up ends in a thick line around their chins that can be seen from space , with eyebrows that look as if they were designed at the Groucho Marx moustache school of maquillage,  whose not so subtley false eyelashed eyes are glued to their phones and whose 2 inch long fake nails tap tap a constant stream of  badly spelled abbreviations, whilst stepping onto the road in front of moving vehicles. Mine, in fact. I’d run them down and be done with it but I don’t want to get make up on my car.



I wish I could remember the name of this pattern.


They are crossing the road to be with similarly engaged young men, wearing T shirts of four letter words or sexually explicit pictures but with designer labels (on the outside!) so that’s alright then; whose trousers fall at the back below the designer underwear, revealing pale, often spotty, bum cleavages and buttocks  that have me desperately searching on Amazon for branding irons. And when they get together they barely nod an acknowledgement, instead, continuing the phone chat with the person they would, presumably, rather be with.




Mak rah mee. Not entirely happy with this, so I may send a substitute instead.
Another one I can’t remember the name of but it’s from the mother ship.

And that’s why I have trouble when I go into, or even near to, shops that sell craft supplies. I find myself buying just one more pen, or pack of pens, a block of good quality drawing paper, a die for my Big Shot, some glitter glue and water colour pencils;  yarn to add to my already bulging cupboard full and ready to crochet; embroidery thread and canvas; embellishments for card making and books. I mean, you can always see a book you would like the look of, can’t you? It’s their fault really. I’ve used up all my self restraint not killing, or at least maiming, the badly dressed, unthinking, mannerless dolts who all too often cross  my path.

But when I sit down to sew, crochet or draw, I can forgive them all, as I settle into Maggiland, with a cup of tea at my side and enough space cleared on my desk for  a piece of card and a couple of pens; my precarious equilibrium re- calibrates and the world is a better place. Aaaahhhh!

My first attempt at Striping, after seeing Margaret Bremner’s blog and trying it out for myself.
Striping for the monotangle swap – not my best but it’s a reasonable attempt.
And for the zendala swap, using Striping again. Not yet finished and not all the Striping will be black. In fact, I wish I’d used blue on this. However, you never know how it will be until you put the pen down, do you?

And then the Diva Challenge comes around and I am swept away on clouds of inspiration. Or not. We’ll see, we’ll see…



Well this week’s Challenge is to big it up, which is a bit tricky because I’m away on hols in Spain and the biggest piece of card I brought is about post card size. So I decided to big up the pattern instead. I stuck a metaphorical pin in  and found Lenche, by Anita Aspors Westin. I haven’t used it before so it was nice to try something new too.  It’s one I will use again, so thank you Anita for this one.



Running to Catch Up.

It’s a shame the sparkle doesn’t show on this photo, it’s really glimmery on the blue/gray.
The yellow one here is based on one of the prompts in the Little summer project, using Fedr and Crease. I like the mix.
I was going for sunshine and moonlight on these two.
I’m afraid these two are a bit space age and psychedelic, rather than floral and I hadn’t touched a drop.
At least these have a vaguely floral look to them.

Having given myself permission to relax about all the challenges and tasks I set myself, it’s as if a load has been taken off my shoulders, which is soooo silly, since it was me, myself, I who put it there in the first place!

So I’ve caught up on one of the swaps I was doing – which was for July (?!?) The theme was Summer Garden which should have been quite straightforward – but no. I didn’t want to be to representational, so I went for Summer Days/Summer Nights instead. I mean, they are floral-ish, in places but then again, not.

We did two ATC’s for each person on our swap, so I did a Summer Day and a Summer Night for each one. As always with these things, some turn out more to my taste than others but, in the end, I did enjoy it. Oh well, I’ve sent them off to my ever patient swap buddy in the States and that’s that.

The next one to catch up on is to be posted by the end of November, so there’s a chance I may get that done pretty much on time.


We’re going down to Wales to see my daughter and family this weekend, followed by a funeral in Bristol on Monday; babysitting our granddaughter on Tuesday and off to southern Spain to meet some old friends at the end of the week.  Hmmmmm.

I’ve started them and have decided to use this as an opportunity to practise different ways of shading, using pencil, alcohol markers, water colours, coloured pencils and Brusho inks; all in shades of black through to pale gray. For me it’s about getting the grading right. I want definition but not thick,dark lines, if only I can get it just so.

I’ve had a copy of Chris Letourneau’s “Made in the Shade” for quite a while now and I go back to it now and then when I can’t decide where to shade but what I need to improve now is the method. It’s a learning curve, but sometimes that curve is a tad more steep than I would like!

Perseverance is the key here, I think.

Believe it or not, I do have a life outside of tangling and it has been quite busy in its way.

I mentioned a funeral – well I don’t know if it’s the same elsewhere but, when I was child, my parents’ friends were honorary aunts and uncles. As I grew up, I tended to stop using the Auntie/Uncle title  and they became my friends too. Of course, by now they are in their 80’s and 90’s and there are fewer of them than there were and last week the last of my “Aunties” died, aged 85. She had been fading for a while and I’m glad to say we had seen her earlier this year, although she lived several hundred miles away.

Very soon the loved one and I will have to accept that WE are now the older generation. But not yet, not yet.

In addtion, I am up to my eyes in yarn of all colours and thicknesses too. My crochet bug hasn’t faded yet, so I have made amigurumi toys – a rabbit, an aardvark, two unicorns and a doll – two kerchiefs, two scarves and a blanket for Christmas presents – and a Cabbage Patch hat for my granddaughter and then there’s another blanket on the way. Actually, it’s no wonder I haven’t had much time to tangle is it?

And then, of course, it’s the Christmas cards. I’ve decided to cut down on how many hand made cards I’m doing this year. (I say that every year.) But many people do not recognise a difference between homemade (for cheapness) and hand made (for quality and the love invested in them.) I think I may do a sort of production line of similar cards, not yet decided.

And lo! The Challenge came upon us, and glory shone around us and we were…

Well we weren’t sore afraid and that’s a fact.

 Weekly Challenge #340: UMT Wibble by Shawna Martin

The first Monday of each month is a Use My Tangle challenge where the tangle we use is brought to us by ONE of YOU!! You don’t have to be a CZT to submit, but they do have to follow the guidelines etc found here…

This month’s Use My Tangle is called Wibble, by Shawna Martin.  You can see the step outs here

Shawna did not submit this tangle, but i did come across it while doing Inktober Tangles and i loved it and wanted to play with it some more.

DC 340

I wasn’t sure I would get a grip on this pattern at the first attempt but it worked much better than I expected. I’ve added it to the monotangle swap I mentioned above, so it served two purposes. Win win.

At which point I bid you a fond farewell and bid you, as always, be good, world if only good – ish.


Movin’ on Up…

I’ll start with progress from last time – these are some of the completed tiles for my circular tile swap.  I’ll show each with its background and then complete.


And after –

Side one
Side two


The other side of last week’s Diva Challenge tile.
The other side of the previous week’s diva Challenge tile!
Another before –
And after.

So far, so good.

My cousin and his wife came to stay with us for a few days recently and they are a bit old fashioned so I decided to make them a little Christmas garland to hang across the mantelpiece. It will be a set of half a dozen baubles hanging on a string. I haven’t decided yet whether to do paper piecing or Zentangle or a mix of the two. The mean part of me says I should use scraps of pretty papers that have accumulated over the years and not been used. The other side of me keeps looking in craft shop windows and thinking “Ooooooo pretty! Want it!” We’ll see who wins that one.


Well I found a die I’d forgotten I had so I’ve gone down to pretty paper route for a change. These are the central four baubles and there will be one at each end too. They will hang from a string or ribbon and have more embellishments when I get round to it. 

I quite like them so far so I may make some for our house too. (If I finish all the other things I keep wanting to do!)

So then I had a look at the Diva Challenge and decided it was one I would like to do.

This week the challenge is to get into the holiday spirit, or alternatively – to do a fall themed tile.  (To my friends who are into spring right now, feel free to do a spring themed tile if you like)

I had a partly completed piece in the right colours so I decided to complete it – one less on the “to do” pile. I had spilt some Brusho inks onto the card, let it dry, then outlined the shapes it made. Having lost interest at that stage, I put it to one side until a more inspiring time, which is, it seems, now!

DC 339

I’m not sure where I was going with this – autumnal colours and some leaf shapes here and there; a bit of Pokeleaf and Pokeroot and several other tangles but I’m not even sure it is finished yet. It might need some white, perhaps. But, for what it’s worth, my Diva Challenge response is this one.

That’ll do for this week, folks. Until we meet again, be good-ish.