Running to catch up

Life has been very eventful recently, so both the blog and the drawing have slid down the priority list. (I’ve slipped away now and then to draw and relax a little but nothing exciting.) After the visit to Spain mentioned in my recent post, we came home and did Christmas preparations in earnest, as we had another trip planned before all Heaven broke loose. I do like Christmas, although it’s exhausting.

But before that we had another trip away, this time to Gran Canaria. Now we had been there before some years ago and didn’t like it very much, so you may wonder why we decided to go again. Well, it’s the loved one – he does like a bargain and he saw a holiday on offer at a four star , adults only hotel in Playa del Ingles. So, good price, no kids, good price and somewhere we hadn’t been before. Did I mention it was a good price?

Well we won’t go again. The hotel was fine but we just didn’t like the area. Although we do wander about when we’re on holiday, we also sometimes stay around the resort and explore on foot and this is what we decided to do this time. Mistake. Playa del Ingles is not pretty. There are some rather nice looking buildings, mainly hotels and apartments, but there are lots of concrete bunker style shopping areas, many of them with quite a few of the shops and bars boarded up and covered in graffiti. If there is a pretty part, we didn’t find it.


The sea front looks like a shanty town and even the admittedly impressive sand dunes of Maspalomas were a bit underwhelming. Fortunately, we go away a lot, so one less than perfect trip won’t ruin our year but, as I said, we won’t go again. If it had been our one and only holiday of the year, we would have been very disappointed.

I didn’t do much drawing while we were away, as it was windy every day and too cool to sit outside drawing. I did quite a bit of crochet, a scarf/kerchief for a friend’s 70th birthday. 70? How did that happen?

When we got back, it was all hands to the pumps in preparation for the festive season, more of that another time. The house looks and feels so empty after everyone has gone home and the decorations are down. Needed a holiday!

And then I hid myself away in the craft/computer room/ study/spare bedroom and my heart sank. I had signed up for several swaps with the Facebook group,

Zentangle Artist Trading Card Swap

and completed none of them. Suddenly I was overdue and was receiving lovely artwork from all over the world, well mainly US and Canada, and had sent none. It’s amazing how the fun goes out of it when you feel you SHOULD be drawing. No inspiration, no ideas, lost the will to live.

So I trawled Pinterest and emerged two hours later with inspiration bubbling out of my ears and I got cracking straight away. The snowy ones shown above came first and were, perhaps, the hardest. They ended up being much more representational than I would have liked.

And then it was Vintage Winter Ornaments. Well I got the colours right and then I got stuck in to patterning, using only Zentangle Mother Ship patterns. I’d forgotten how many of them there are, and how much fun.  I did the Rumpus one on the plane out to Tenerife in search of some warmth in these poor old bones and I couldn’t get over how it developed from random dots to this 3D flower garland. I was quite impressed with myself.  The bunzo/scena one was fun but less successful. You can’t see the colours on this very well – sort of peach and gray. And then I went for swags of patterns in pale pink, lilac and green, which is not a combination I would normally go for but which did, in this case, work reasonably well.  Just purk, pokeleaf and punzel  and it was a pleasure to revert back to old favourites I haven’t used for a while. 

And then I went for bronze and brown for the mooka one. It’s funny how that pattern haunted me for ages- I just couldn’t get it right, well, to my satisfaction, I should say. And now it’s a favourite and I just love using it. So I kept it simple and added Glossy Accents to the finished piece.  It cost me a fortune in postage but I was working towards a clear conscience and catching up nicely.


Which brings me to this week’s Diva Challenge. For February she is all about hearts, which doesn’t entirely work for me. I mean, hearts are fine but all this Valentine’s stuff is just a way of selling cards, tasteless and useless artefacts and forced red rosebuds that never properly bloom. Do I sound bitter? I’m not. The Loved One is the the Loved One every day of the year, not just on Valentine’s Day and I like to think it goes the same way for him too.


This week’s challenge is a string challenge – still going with my own theme of heart shaped strings this month.  The challenge is to use nested hearts as your string.

As it happens, I’m involved with another swap using black and white tiles so I nested some hearts on that to see what would happen. Not impressed but it’ll do until inspiration strikes…

DC 352

And that’s it for today. We’re off to the sun again soon, although the weather forecast isn’t entirely positive but at least the rain will be warm.

Until next time, world, be good -ish.



3 thoughts on “Running to catch up

  1. Beautiful work Margaret! I love those swap pieces. Try not to stress too much about being behind. Everyone understands when life happens. It looks to me that it will be well worth the wait 😍

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