Back Into the Swing…

Not quite sure what to do with this. Does it need more patterns or is that enough?  Or should I cut it up and use it on cards? For the moment it’s going into a journal, I think.

Up until last week it had been a while since I posted anything, so there’s still a lot to catch up on. We haven’t travelled a lot outside the UK since June, when we went to Bulgaria for a seaside break. It’s not somewhere we’ve been before and I don’t think we’ll go again. To be fair, we barely left the resort, except for a wonderful boat trip across the bay to the nearby town of  Nessebar, which was unbelievably beautiful. For the most part, our hotel was fine, except the staff seemed to be saving their smiles for someone else. It took a week before we got a genuine response.  However, the beach was amazing and the sea was both warm and calm, so we spent hours in it. (One of the reasons for staying close to “home” a lot of the time. )

One of the side streets in Nessebar.
Some of the hand made crafts for sale there.
Looking from our table at lunchtime
My lunch that day . And the loved one had something similar. It cost under $15.00 for the two of us.
The view of Nessebar as we approached on the boat.

We walked a fair bit around the resort and found a couple of nice bars for coffee/snacks/beer, which were staggeringly cheap.  In retrospect I think we would have been happier in an apartment rather than an hotel but who knows?  So why wouldn’t we go back? Because we felt that the place was geared towards a younger, rowdier guest than we are.  (We were staying in Sunny Beach, a purpose built holiday town, not Nessebar, which I think would have suited us better.) I think  we found the place too noisy, both in terms of music and just “normal” conversation. People seemed to lack any concept of personal space and everyone seemed to be shouting at each other. Every conversation seemed to be on the verge of turning into an argument. Perhaps it’s my tolerance levels that need a boost.Better get some tangling done.

The tangling has been on the back burner a lot of the time as I have been trying new, well, new to me, skills. I’ve been continuing my exploration of mixed media and art journalling but am a little discouraged at the moment. Unlike Zentangle, it helps to have an end result in sight and my finished product tends to fall woefully short of my anticipated version. I am disappointed more often than not. The thing is, it’s not enough for me to have tried, I need an end result that satisfies me and most of mine don’t. I know it’s my mental approach that isn’t right but it is how I approach things and that’s that! Discouraged or not, I will keep on for a while yet because every now and then I see signs of improvement.

Over the Summer I have a done a lot of crochet, mainly shawls and toys and this is something I CAN do. I started a bag for use at the beach but then got sidetracked onto a baby blanket for my son’s wife’s brother’s new baby. (Did you keep up with that?) In fact I have done more starting than finishing and really need to get my act together. The crochet does please me because i actually end up with what I pictured at the start.

In addition, I’ve made quite a few cards using the Creations CeeCee methods and this has been a lot of fun. (I’ve got about 15 Christmas cards done so far, just another 3245 to go!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The flowers, stars and baubles are made from card I painted and then cut into shapes.  In fact, they’re made from pages from the failed art journals, which look a lot better cut up than they did as pages! The flowers were done by hand, the baubles and stars on a Big Shot die cutting machine. I’m happy with them because they are hand made but fairly quick to do.

A couple of friends came round one afternoon and we used to same method to make greeting cards to sell for charity and it gave me an idea. I have lots of Zentangle pieces that I could cut up and use like this on cards, which might make me a bit of space in my craft room. Hmmmmm! I’ll let you know how I get on with that at a later date.

dav
In the back garden of the Royal Hop Pole

We did a UK road trip in August, going down first to Tewkesbury and  staying overnight at The Royal Hop Pole, which is where Charles Dickens set part of The Pickwick Papers. It’s absolutely lovely and I would highly recommend it. Tewkesbury itself is a very pretty town, with a lot of old buildings and an abbey too. It’s renowned in UK history as being the site of one of the most decisive battles during the Wars of the Roses and I really enjoyed our visit.  These are some pics of the inside of the Abbey and about the streets of the town.

This ceiling is painted in the colours of the House of York, who won the battle in 14 umpty something.
That Zentangle gets everywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of several examples of Tudor buildings. (Possibly earlier.)
these little alleys between the houses lead to tiny courtyards, many filled with pots of flowers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I said, a lovely place to visit.

Apart from the various swaps I’ve been doing, there hasn’t really been a lot of Zentangle, so I really enjoyed picking up the two Diva Challenges last week and just letting go. I’m hoping this week is just as pleasurable.

LATER

 

And indeed it was. Straight lines.

Weekly Challenge #368: “Straight Lines”
This week i wanted to do something with straight lines.  little straight lines are my go to when i’m feeling stressed out or anxious… and it was a pretty harrowing week.  So i thought for this week’s challenge we could do a Straight Line Only challenge!! these can be quite fun, and there’s different ways to interpret the challenge!

I forgot to mention Fentz, which I used as a string in the middle bit.

I followed Laura’s lead and used a curved string with Baton, Hexonu, Paradox and Irradial.  I can’t say the finished tile is visually particularly satisfying but the process was, so that’s OK.

And so, for now, I’ll say a fond farewell and rember,  be good -ish.

 

 

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Getting to grips with swapping.

Initial D patterns
Initial M patterns
Initial C patterns

Coooeeee! It’s me. Didja miss me? Oh. Right. Well, anyway, here I am again. I’ve been getting behind with my swaps for various FB sites I’m a member of and I decided it was time to be a bit more pro active. The July swap for  Zentangle Artist Trading Card Swap –  https://www.facebook.com/groups/123904037786011/  just trips off the tongue doesn’t it? –  was to send someone an atc using patterns that began with the initial of the recipient’s surname. Corr. At first it was a bit laborious but then I got into it and had a lot of fun. It also got me trying patterns I haven’t used before, which is no bad thing. some of them will go back into the “not bothered” pile but others, like Camreap and Cabana will surface again, I think. Each atc had just a little colour but I got a bit over excited at one point, as you can see.

Initial S patterns
More Initial S patterns, I think
Are these initial L? Already forgotten, sad isn’t it?
White Clover Flower Fairy Vintage Print, c.1927 Cicely Mary Barker Book Plate Illustration
This is the Clover Fairy by said Cicely M Barker and my Grandma said it looked just like me at that age. It needn’t be true but I like the idea. I’ve still got the podgy legs.

I recently joined a fledgling FB group called UK Tanglers (So if you are in the UK, have a look. We’re a friendly bunch and there aren’t many of us as yet.) anyway, we’ve swapped a few starts for each other to finish and some different types of card/paper to draw on and now we’re doing a round robin swap. We’re using  A5 card and each member does a bit then passes it on to the next person on the list to add their bit. I’ve started one and added to two more as they’ve arrived but, and this is soooo typical, I forgot to take photos before I sent them off.

However, I think it’s a nice idea and I’m looking forward to seeing how they all turn out.

 

And the next swap for Zentangle Artist Trading Card Swap is even more exciting …Zentangle fairy houses, no less. Ooooooo this is fun. Since I can’t draw proper Flower Fairies a la Cicely M Barker, I’ve gone for quirky instead.

I know my little houses are pretty derivative but I had a lot of fun doing them and I think I’m going to do a bigger one for my four year old granddaughter, probably as a Christmas gift. Although I tried some with bright colours, I found the more subtle ones felt more comfortable for some reason. (Well, subtle for me anyway.) Anyway I sent them off last week so we’ll see in a couple of weeks how  they are received.  Silly me. I know how they will be received – with pleasure and kinds words, because tanglers are supportive and positive of each other. It’s one of the reasons I love doing it.

So there we are, welcome to Fairyville Parva, full of desirable residences for discerning fay folk.

And then, joy of joys, the Diva is back. Refreshed and renewed by her Summer break, she returned with a couple of back to basics posts and my responses to both of them are here.

Firstly, DC 366 –

Weekly Challenge #366: Back to Basics
I’ve been thinking about what my first back to bizness challenge would be after the summer, and i didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself or on any of you – so this week’s challenge is a Back to Basics challenge – we’re gonna go back to the Zentangle roots.

Black on White, with pencil shading, on a 3.5″ Square
Dots. Border. String.

using simple tangles like HollibaughCrescent MoonKeekoPrintemps.  (follow links for step outs if you don’t know them already)

Dots, frame, string.

So I did my dots in the corners, made a frame, used D and C linked as a string and off I went.  I didn’t try for anything fancy, just quiet concentration and it worked a treat. It isn’t art but it is very satisfying.

And then I moved straight on to DC 367, which is still going back to the fundamentals of Zentangle and using rounding the corners to make a simple but very effective pattern.

Patterns and shading. Neither inspired nor inspiring but good practice nonetheless.

Again, I really enjoyed this and I realise it was because this was all I was doing, no finished product in mind, just one line at a time. Very, very relaxing.

Here’s what the Diva asked us to do

 

Weekly Challenge #367: “Tangle ‘NZEPPEL”
So this week’s challenge is to spend some time with the tangle ‘NZEPPEL and it’s cousin CRAZY ‘NZEPPEL if you like!  I’m trying to ease my way back into the habit of tangling, and this tangle has always been a pretty soothing one for me, that is – once i saw Rick demonstrate it back when i was certified.
The key in the tangle, in my opinion, is to trace the shapes as best you can, only rounding out the corners.  Rick says: imagine squishing a water balloon into a triangle
I tried to draw Nzeppel behind Nzeppel and I think it works reasonably well.
So that’ll do for now. Caught up quite a lot and still got lots to do for next week. So, until then, world, be good -ish.