This is what happens when you watch Disney films with one grandchild and then take another one to the swimming pool. You get an earworm, not of a song, but of Ellen De Wotsit going on, and on, and on…
But the film is funny and the swimming was great fun. It seems our four year old has no fear at all, which raises the grandparental blood pressure on occasion, to be sure.
So in order to come down to earth I decided some tangling was in order. I had a little look through my desk to check if I had any swaps or challenges outstanding and I don’t…Wow! So I wandered around Pinterest for a while, again, then a couple of favourite blogs, Coffee and Creativity being one of them, where Michelle Wynne had mentioned doing the It’s a String Thing challenges. So I thought I’d have a look and maybe go back to the beginning and try them all. Five years of strings, well maybe not.
And then I had an idea, yes, it happens sometimes. Although I have done all my challenges and swaps, I have lots and lots and lots of tiles received from other tanglers all over the world. Some are empty tiles made of unusual or prepared paper/card and some have a start that I will complete. So I’m going to mix the two, where appropriate. In addition, I’ve been preparing pics with Brusho inks, Promarkers and Sharpies and then tangling over the top.
Down the left hand side are some of them awaiting further attention. I’ve done the colours much brighter than my usual choices because the black and white patterning, maybe with shading too, will sober them up a bit. I hope!
We’re off to Kos for a holiday soon and, rather than take a full case just for drawing, which puts the luggage allowance for clothes etc at risk, I’ve done the colouring on some postcard size pieces, ready to do the line work and patterning while we are away. That way I just take a few pens. (And pencils, and erasers, and tortillons and so on.) I do get a lot of pleasure sitting on the balcony overlooking the sea and tangling in the sun. Consequently, I’ve prepared for one a day although I don’t for one moment think I’ll have time to do that much – the sea will beckon seductively and I will give in to its blandishments.
I’ve also done some more toppers for cards and it is my firm intention to actually get on and make the cards when we get back. In fact, I’m thinking of having a stitch and bitch at my house and get the girls doing a production line, matting and layering them into finished products.
Below is the final set of toppers ready to use. My oh my, I do seem to have been busy!
So that’s all until we get back from frivolling our time away. Until then, world, be good, won’t you?
I often think my brain is full, but every time I see something artwise that I haven’t tried, I just have to have a look on Youtube or Ravelry and maybe give it a go. The result is an endless round of unfinished projects and a desk crammed with stuff I may one day need. So tomorrow – you’ll notice I say tomorrow, not today – anyway, so tomorrow, I’m going to finish all my swaps and send them off. I am NOT going to start anything new until that is done.
A friend of mine runs a craft sale to support local charities and I gave her a load of cards I’d made that I knew I wasn’t going to use, plus some crochet bits and pieces. It briefly cleared a space in the craft/computer room. In a rush of enthusiasm – I have a lot of them – I made some more toppers. Toppers, for those of you who don’t make cards, are the focal picture/design/greeting that goes on top of all the fancy layers and embellishments on cards.
So I went on Pinterest to beg, steal or borrow some ideas. I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. I can get lost for hours. And hours. And hours. It’s the same with Youtube. And then, having spent hours looking at other people’s stuff, it goes one of two ways:
Either – I decide never to draw, paint, create ever again because everyone else is so much better than me.
Or – I can’t wait to get started. On everything. All at once.
Recently it has been the latter and these are some of the resultant toppers waiting to be made into cards.
And then I got a bit bug infested, if you see what I mean. But then it was flowers, although none of them would be recognised by a botanist, not a sane one anyway! I don’t claim any of these as my original ideas, by the way, just my interpretation of something better. And if you like them, then obviously it was all my own idea and if you don’t, it was someone else and I was just trying it out.
On each one of these there is a glossy accent, on the lady bird, the apple, the heart and the bee, It helps to create a bit of texture.
By the way, isn’t it odd? Some time ago I decided to stop trying to do the Diva Challenge every week and then she went off sick. (Just a coincidence, I think!) And yet I still check her site every time I open the computer, partly to see if she is OK and partly in case there’s a new Challenge that I might like to try after all. Hope she gets back to normal soon.
So here are some more Zentangle ones:-
UPDATE- Tomorrow has come and guess what, I started something new. So much for good intentions.
I’ll leave it here for now and see you again soon. Until then world, be good. ish.
Have you noticed how often we quote from the Bible or Shakespeare or classical poetry without even thinking about it? I’m not a Christian but my education was and it is deeply ingrained in me, as is Shakespeare. If our schools don’t offer the study of these works any more; the reading of Shakespeare; classic poems,like “Daffodils” or “My Last Duchess”; the learning of certain passages to be able to repeat them pretty much word perfect fifty plus years later, what do they learn instead? The Gruffalo? (Nothing against the Gruffalo, it’s my grandson’s favourite story but…) These oh so useful phrases will drop from the language forever. Not that it has anything to do with what I am going to tell you but my mind wandered that way so I took you with me on a little detour.
Anyway, I have a little tale to tell about that which was lost. I hope you will find it mildly amusing, especially as it is at my expense.
Whenever we go away, which is quite often, I have a range of goodies that I take with me to fend off boredom on flights, in airports, on sunbeds and so on. These include my tablet, my headphones – nice, new, big ones that exclude damn near everything else noisewise – some crochet, a drawing kit and maybe my Kindle or a book. I keep crochet supplies for the journey in a little tote bag that I bought from a shop in Rotherham called Grimm. I love this shop.
So I had bought this tasteful little bag and equipped it with spare hooks, unicorn poo stitch markers (obviously!), a thread cutter, darning needles and some wool. (Yarn if you live across the pond.) I love this bag and its contents, so you can imagine my dismay when we arrived at the airport, went into my hand luggage and there it wasn’t.
I’ll admit it, I panicked. Four and a half hours on a plane is bad enough but with nothing to do! Nooooooooo! Well, somehow I survived the journey, listening to an audio book of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, did the transfer to the hotel and frantically unpacked my case, even though I was certain the little lost bag was not in there. I remembered getting it ready, leaving it out on the bed ready to go in my hand luggage. I phoned my daughter who went to the house to see if I had left it there. No. Must have fallen out in the car on the way to the airport, or, worse still, out of the car and now be lying shivering on an inhospitable patch of tarmac. My heart bled.
“It’ll be in the bottom of your wardrobe.” muttered the Loved One. I didn’t deign to reply.
I knew this meant a whole week without crochet and there were balls of wool (yarn) staring accusingly at me, mutely saying “Why did you bring us if you aren’t going to use us?” And then the Loved One remembered that, wherever you go in Spain – we were in Puerto De La Cruz, Tenerife – you can find a Chinese supermarket that sells everything. I mean everything. Air bed, bath plug, silk flowers, nail polish, cutlery, vegetable steamer, socks…. They were bound to have a crochet hook. We looked on Google Maps and got a bit bewildered but there was a place nearby that looked hopeful.
I slept fitfully that night, dreaming of unicorn poo stitch markers and wondering how to say crochet hook in Spanish.
Uno ganchillo de crochet is how you say it in Spanish, by the way. So, fortified by a 19 course breakfast we began our mission.
Fortunately, it wasn’t too far away and the walk was very pleasant, near the sea and through narrow back streets with palm trees and pretty pastel painted houses. At one point, walking down some steps, I rested my hand on a low wall and a lizard ran over my fingers. Damn near had a heart attack, as did the loved One, who was holding my other hand at the time and couldn’t see why I levitated about four inches with a
He, the lizard, not the Loved One, then posed for the camera like a good ‘un. Sorry if the picture is a bit blurred; my hands were still shaking.
We knew when we were at the right place, as you can see from this picture. It’s a lovely warm climate so why someone thought this house needed a crochet blanket I can’t imagine. (Or the tree across the road from our hotel, for that matter.) But the crochet covered house was across from the place we were looking for. Except it wasn’t. Turned out it was a crafts gallery and sold finished products but not the makings.
The lady therein was eager to help, however, and told me, after a lot of arm waving on both our parts, where to find a merceria. (Haberdashery.) By now faint with thirst, the Loved One suggested a brief respite at a local hostelry – those weren’t his exact words but you get the idea – before continuing our mission. Alcohol being anathema to me, I agreed with some reluctance and even accepted a large beer, just to keep him company, obviously.
Somewhat refreshed, we continued our quest and, after a brief detour round the harbour (very pretty but in the shade so rather too cool to hang about), we headed up a narrow street and there it was.
Ola, senora. Buscando uno ganchillo de crochet. Tienes uno por favor?
Now it’s one thing to have practised asking the question. It helps if you then understand the answer. Fortunately, she was only asking what size I needed and when I looked a bit confused (I’m well practised at looking confused.) she smiled and brought me several to choose from. I bought them all. I also bruised my finger when pointing at some stitch markers because I didn’t realise they were behind glass. Doh!
Triumphant and flushed with success we sought and found a nice restaurant, where we had a tuna salad to celebrate. Well, yes, I believe another beer was involved but that’s not the point.
For the rest of the week I made good use of those hooks, making a hat/mitts/scarf set for my granddaughter as a little extra Christmas present. I also made a Christmas star for the lady in the gallery but forgot to take a pic before giving it to her.
When we got home, having looked under the car at two in the morning when we landed, I spent a lot of time looking in odd places around the house, in the hope of finding my little bag of goodies.
“It’ll be in the bottom of your wardrobe.” muttered the Loved One. I still didn’t deign to reply.
I phoned the hotel we had stayed at the night before our journey. Eventually, determined not to repeat the experience, I made up a new new travel kit of hooks and put them in the suitcase ready for our next trip, sighing for my lost unicorn poo stitch markers.
And at last I gave up hope.
Christmas came and went in a blur of family activities and then we were packing for the next trip. Deciding to take different shoes this trip, I delved into the bottom of my wardrobe.
And there it was, smiling up at me from the old case in which I keep my shoes. Bag, hooks, thread cutter and, yes, unicorn poo stitch markers. Oh happy day!
I didn’t tell the Loved One where I found it, of course.
I haven’t given up on the art work, although I have spread my wings a little and done quite a lot of water colour, sometimes with Zentangle, sometimes without. One of the swaps I did was to make a star using two triangle tiles. Well, making the right size/shape triangles was a challenge in itself but I did it – eventually. And i had major difficulty thinking what to do. In the end, I pretty much went for monotangles, maybe with a little embellishment and the end results were reasonably pleasing, thank goodness.
And there hasn’t been a Diva Challenge for a couple of weeks, which I fear means that all is not well at Casa Diva. I hope she and her family are OK but as a very long distance “friend” I don’t want to intrude by enquiring. fingers crossed for them all.
So that’ll be all for now. Off again into the blue quite soon – crochet stuff already packed, including spares!
Until we meet again, be good, world, be good….. ish.
I started this post a while ago and then got side tracked, so it begins a little out of date but…
It’s the end of an era. After almost four years, I have decided to stop doing the Diva Challenge. I’ve dragged my feet a bit ever since it came back after the Summer break but this week has put me off altogether. I was going to post my response to the Challenge but couldn’t because there was no Linky there to attach to. In the comments there were several mentions of this but I think maybe Laura wants us to use the Zentangle Mosaic App and hashtags and other arcane devices and I can’t. I use a PC, not my phone or tablet and the App can’t be accessed by PC. (I did email Zentangle HQ and check. )
I intend to keep on visiting and will do the Challenges for my own enjoyment if they appeal to me but perhaps not post them any more. We’ll see.
So heyho and off we go to do something else instead. No doubt the change will do me good but I’m a bit sad about it. I’m a member of a couple of swap groups on FB, one of which is a new one called UK Tanglers and, since membership is a bit low at the moment, it isn’t all that active yet. So if any of you want to galvanize it a bit, go for it. I’m behind on my swaps too. To be honest, Tangling has taken a back seat lately, as I’ve done a lot, and I mean a lot, of crochet. For example, this baby blanket for a friend of my daughter.
And a huuuuuge poncho for a close friend who lives in a draughty old house and needs to keep warm in the evenings. And a wrap for another friend in a lovely, soft, silver grey merino wool. A vest for my daughter in law, a hat/scarf. mitts set for my granddaughter, a scarf for my daughter, a shawl for me, (yes, ME!) and a Viking helmet for my son in law. Yup, a Viking helmet. He plays a game called Skyrim (????) and apparently this is what one of the characters wears.
However, I cleared away some of the leftover Christmas crafting stuff in my craft/computer room a couple of days ago, found the details of the swaps I want to catch up on and I think, maybe, I’m getting my Tangle mojo back.
First, a set of ATC’s using recycled materials. These were all made from a page I started for an art media journal, which I gave up on. I’m not patient enough to do all these layers and wait for things to dry and I like to have a clue about the end result instead of the sort of “ooooo, let’s see what happens if we….” because what usually happens is that it goes a nasty brown colour and I have to go back to the beginning, gesso over it and start again.
So I cut in into ATC size pieces, drew on the other side and felt a bit better, as I hadn’t wasted all that lovely water colour card.
Here they are in more detail, with the reverse of some so you can see the original ideas.
There were quite a few ideas so I just did the first thing that came to mind, anything, just to get going again. I did notice that lack of practice has led to wobblier lines and a tendency to rush things. It may take a while to get back into the Zen part of it. (It never has come naturally to me.)
Anyway, I’m going to send them off only when I have all three swaps complete. This is the first, then there’s one using triangular tiles to make a star shape and another using heraldry shield type things. But I am just going for one step ata time, or I’ll over face myself and start displacement activities, like tidying up. (Maybe not that, maybe making a cuppa…)
I’m just going to pop over to see what the Diva is doing, just in case….
And the Linky thing is missing again. Nice Challenge, a “new” pattern called Anthem. I’ll give it a go later, I think.
So I’m calling it a day, for now. Be good, world, you know you want to.
It’s a case of desperately trying to finish things. In terms of the crochet, it’s a shawl, a vest top, a cardigan, a poncho or two, so far. In terms of drawing, it’s Christmas cards. But before I show you what I’ve been working on, I want to acknowledge some lovely swaps I’ve recently received.
And then on to some of mine. I’ve kept them simple but I think they will be OK.
And then a finished card.
These have been fun because they are fairly quick to draw. I’m thinking of doing a bigger piece, a ZIA, for Christmas this year, mainly in black pen but I haven’t decided what yet. I’ll keep you posted.
And so we come to this week’s Diva Challenge:
Weekly Challenge #373: “Non Dominant Tangling!”
Yes, i know! I hear you groaning from the back of the room… but hear me out.
So one of the things i did during my workshop was to have the participants tangle with their non-dominant hand. And because i had them captive in a room, they all did it.
I know that over the almost 8 years that i’ve been blogging, there has been a very strong divide among my readers, those who love this particular challenge, and those who hate it.
No surprises to say that I hate it. I can’t see the point in drawing something that you know from the start will look awful In fact, I nearly didn’t do it. But, you know how it is, you just sneakily give it a try and then you try to make it better and then you give up. For what it’s worth, here it is. But my initial reaction was right…. Waste of time and ink.
And on that happy note I will say farewell and remind you, as always world, be good -ish.
This my new motto, my modus operandi from now on. It began with drawing and the fact that my hand is not always as steady as I would like it to be, especially when drawing auras. I had an afternoon with a couple of friends where we worked with some basic tangles and one lady, a retired maths teacher, was aching to use a ruler so her lines would be straight. Obviously, I slapped her and made her stand in a corner on one leg for half an hour until she had learned her lesson.
“But my lines wobble!” she wailed.
“Mine too.” I replied “But it doesn’t matter. Learn to live with it. More, love how it wobbles. Embrace your wobble.”
And as we collapsed in waves of laughter, a way of life was born. We agreed that drawing and life would be happier if we just learned to embrace the wobble. So I’m going to begin Inktober again, with a bijou tile for each day and a single pattern on each tile. I’ll show you when I’ve caught up. I will of course do other things too. I’ve received a lot of swaps recently and been extremely remiss in acknowledging them, so I’m going to show them to you here and then put a link from my FB site.
First, two from the Geometric Swap on Zentangle ATC
So that salves my conscience to some extent, although there are more but I’ll put them in my next post.
I’m busy with all sorts of stuff at the moment. This includes more crochet as I prepare for Christmas presents for the family. They may not want them but the poor buggers are going to get them anyway. I’ve done a little hippy jacket/cardigan for the youngest; I’ll do another one for her 10 year old half sister; there will be, hopefully, a pretty vest top for my daughter in law and a poncho/sweater for one of my closest friends. The boys are trickier, as I did them all scarves last year. Possibly beanie hats? We’ll see. My daughters are tricky too, as one of them crochets and therefore I feel my offerings may be a bit de trop and I don’t think the other one is all that keen.
As for the loved one, well, what do you give the man who says, “Don’t bother love, I’ve got everything I need, don’t waste your money.” And he means it too! Grrrrr!
However, I have started the next round of Christmas cards, Zentangled baubles on fairly plain mounts. I’ll show you next time.
In the meantime, there is the Diva Challenge. I missed the last one but I happened to be using the tangle she asks for on a gift tag, so I offer it here as my response tot his week’s Challenge.
and that will do for this week. until we meet again, world, be good. ish.
So we had a little trip to the sunshine island of Tenerife. (Again, I know but we like it.) We stayed in an hotel we’ve visited before; did the seafront walks we’ve done before; visited some of the bars we’ve visited before and over ate the food as we have over eaten before. We weren’t there for new and exciting, we were there for familiar and relaxing. Now the hotel is very nice, not glam, not too stylish but spacious, comfortable and nicely placed for the
sea and/or shops.
However, the entertainment on our past visits has varied from dire to excruciating, to the point where it was so bad it was good, if you know what I mean. Although there is something slightly charming about a Spanish singer with a reasonable voice who doesn’t know the words to familiar songs but makes noises that approximate the real thing, it gets a bit wearing and I can’t help feeling that a professional singer should know the words of the songs he sings or sing songs he knows. And then there is the marshmallow singer, who blurs the words, has used rather too much Grecian 2000 and relies on a sideways look, a wink and a grin showing rows of teeth you could project films onto to compensate for musical shortcomings. Or the woman who thinks she is a cross between Adele and Celine Dion but resembles either Hilda Baker in sequins or Margarita Pracatan. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMOWwg_IoAw )
We tend to retreat to our balcony overlooking the pool and have a glass of wine (or two) and a friendly (usually) game of cards.
So we were a bit surprised and definitely pleased on our first night, to be entertained by a guy who really could play the saxophone and, to our uneducated ear, played the right notes in the right order. On the second night it was a guitarist who gave Carlos Santana a good run for his money, much to our delight, and on the third night it was a Beatles tribute act, which we also enjoyed very much. On day 4 it was the in house entertainment team doing songs from the movies, which made up in enthusiasm what it occasionally lacked in musicality and it really was fun.
But it was downhill from there on in. The Queen tribute act was embarrassing, well, they weren’t embarrassed but we were. (He knew the words but failed to find a fair few of the notes.) The Mama Mia show made Pierce Brosnan’s vocal efforts look like Pavarotti and the last night was karaoke. Why do people do this? If you can’t sing, fine, but why get up on stage in front of strangers to prove it and then expect applause? What are we applauding, sheer barefaced audacity? Or gratitude when it stops? So this chap gets up and the music begins for “Delilah”. It was quite a while before it occurred to me that he was actually singing that very song, and when he bawled the words “Why, why, why?” I
was thinking exactly the very same thing.
I suggested I might go up and sing “I Will Survive” and the loved one offered “My Way” but we realised that, although neither of us can sing, to meet the standard we had seen, we would have to sing the two songs simultaneously, with the backing tracking playing “Phantom of the Opera”.
We had an early night instead.
The weather was much hotter than we had expected (29-31 rather than 21-24) , so we curtailed our usually longish walks and returned to spend our time wallowing in the pool in the afternoons. We then retreated to our room, where the loved one lay down pretending he wasn’t having a nap and I did either crochet or some tangling. My crochet was using oddments of wool leftover from other projects and making little hats, mitts and bootees for local hospital neo-natal units for premature babies. This was fun, although getting any two bootees to be the same size was something of a challenge. I also spent quite a bit of time playing what the American crocheters call “yarn Chicken”, where you crochet as fast as you can to get finished before the wool runs out!
I started Inktober with enthusiasm, using Stephanie Jenner’s prompts. My first attempt used three or four tangles but was more a case of getting some practice than achieving an attractive finished product, which is fine, it is what it is. I liked the second one better. And I have a swap using pairs of Bijou tiles and a geometric theme, which was quite a challenge because I only do grid patterns under protest and I couldn’t think what else to do. I’ve done quite a few (as you can see above) because they are in pairs, but I haven’t decided which ones to send yet.
And then there is the Diva Challenge. I think I’ve missed one but this week’s is as follows:-
Weekly Challenge #370: “UMT – Mezzanine by HeidiSue
This month’s Use My Tangle challenge features the tangle Mezzanine by Heidi Sue. It’s so cute, and it makes a great “statement” tangle! You can find the step outs HERE
So I tried it and I think it’s one that will grow on me.
And finally, one of those proud parental moments. When on holiday with us a couple of years ago, my younger daughter saw some novelty bottle openers, took a couple home as souvenirs and asked me to get her some more this time. The thing is, they are bottle openers shaped like a penis, albeit a strangely decorated one. Now I am not by any means a prude, but can you imagine this little chunky old lady toddling into a shop and asking for four penises por favor? The joys of being a mum.
And on that happy note I will say farewell for now. When my embarrassment has faded and the blushes have died down, I will, like the Terminator, be back. Until then, world, be good-ish.