Fast and Furious

No this is not another rant about people who drive too fast and make me furious. It’s more about trying to be fast and ending up being furious because I should have taken my time. It’s my default method with just about everything I do, whether for work or play. Enjoying the process for its own sake is still something I struggle with at times.

However, last week’s Diva Challenge really helped me just get into the process. The pattern was Verve, which is a favourite of mine but it had sort of slipped into my mental background, so to speak. Having done the Challenge, I felt the need to do more, so I had a look through my new journal and found a page with a sort of small, geometric patterned background. Why I didn’t choose something curvy to go with Verve I don’t know but I’m not sorry.

Instead of using a string and filling the spaces with Verve, I drew the little rings that it begins with, as if starting Rumpus, and set off to see where it took me. I coloured and shaded with Promarker pens in colours I thought toned with the paper and I was really pleased with the result. (See? Modest too!)


This is going to be a challenge but I will draw on it, just to see what happens, making sure I don’t use alcohol pens, thus ruining the other side.

The drawback with using alcohol based pens like Promarkers is that they often soak through the paper, an effect I had forgotten, so when I turned to the next page, I discovered that the back of my drawing, which happened to be on a double sided paper, had a character all its own.  To my chagrin, it didn’t end there, as you can see from the picture below. I think I will just join the dots and go on from there!


It had even soaked through onto the page below.

Looking at other people’s responses to the Diva Challenge gives me a lot of pleasure – and ideas – and last week I read Cyndee Pelley’s blog Her take on Verve was lovely but she had also linked to the new video from Zentangle HQ which was a version of Molygon. Reverting to my usual fast and furious, I had a go on the reverse side of the previous one, using the shapes where the ink had soaked through.

Not working so far, although i may go back and give it some welly at a later time.

Bad idea,bad approach, bad result. So I went and had a cup of tea and gave myself a little talking to about one stroke at a time and so on. When I got back to my tangling, I decided that this time I was going to have to go against ZTHQ diktat and use some pencil lines to guide my first attempt at the shape. Naughty, but the first attempt told me that this was not an occasion to throw caution to the winds.

So I made myself a string to guide my Molygons and tried again. It took ages because I was trying to concentrate and I had the video playing onscreen for reference. It’s a very detailed piece, using the Maria method, although very satisfying too.  I used Brusho inks and water colour pencils for the colour and shade and I think I’m going to fill in the background with Printemps or Sandswirl in light grey plus a frame to finish it off. Haven’t given much thought to the patterns for the frame yet.

And soon it will be Diva Day.

In fact, it was yesterday but I didn’t see it until quite late.

Weekly Challenge #356: “What’s in a name?”

That’s right people! It’s a String Theory challenge.  This week’s challenge is to use your name as your string! 🙂 If you don’t want to use your name, or maybe you’re in the witness protection program and you don’t want anyone to know your name, feel free to use any word you like.

Begin with dots and border, then starting from somewhere on the border – write your name in cursive to divide up the tile.  You may have to look at the length of your name, and adjust accordingly.

DC 356

Having eight letters in my name, writing them in my wobbly version of cursive script really wasn’t an option, so I decided on control instead. I divided my tile into boxes and put the letters in them. Sticking with the grid I had made, I chose just one pattern, Measles, by Judith Hopkinson and used it as a frame.  I think the shading helps.



At which point I will say a fond farewell and go and finish my packing. Defeated by the weather, we are off to the Canaries again to warm these old bones. I wonder where people from the Canaries go…

Anyway, that’s it until next time , so be good, world, won’t you? (Well, good-ish.)



Trying Something New-ish

Did this one for a swap a little while ago.

So I followed a link on Facebook the other day and found myself joining another Zentangle oriented group called Zentangle All Around. It has a lot of people doing ZIA’s and they seemed a friendly bunch so I decided to join.

Zentangle All Around is open to anyone who is interested and will follow the rules. We are committed to the exploration of tangle art and its components in a safe and inspirational environment. Basically play nice, be supportive and encouraging of each other, or it’s on the road you will go.

I liked the no nonsense approach and I’ve not been disappointed, enjoying reading the posts and seeing the work. Within a couple of days of joining, one of the Admins put up a sort of competition where she offered things from her Etsy shop, I think, to anyone who wrote a comment saying which one they would like. In for a penny, in for a pound, I told her I’d love one of the hand made journals. It was all names into a hat so I had no expectations but, while we were in Spain, I got a notification saying I’d won one.  I was thrilled out of all proportion to the importance of the event because I never win things, so I was happy as a lark.

I mentioned last time about our less than perfect experience coming home from that trip, but to find a note through the door saying Royal Mail had been unable to deliver a parcel cheered me up no end and they re-delivered the following day. It’s a postcard size journal, ring bound, made up of all sorts of paper and card and I couldn’t wait to get started.

This is from when I was working on the cover of my new sketchbook – journal to be.

The trouble was, I’ve tried journals before and I give up very quickly. I think it’s because, in the past, I’ve treated them as a sort of diary, you know, “what I did today…”. The truth is, what I do today isn’t usually worth recording. I started one a couple of years ago to record my Zentangle “journey” and gave up to avoid dying of embarrassment. I had been writing as though my teacher from junior school would be reading it, all full of good intentions and nicey nicey. In case you haven’t guessed, that is NOT me. Hence, I gave up.

The finished cover, significantly scruffier as you can see.

You may remember, however, that I did the Little summer Project with the Facebook group Zentangle: Tangled and Journaled Too, which is now, alas, extinct.  Over the twelve weeks of July/August/September we did something for a prompt every day, which was both exhilarating and infuriating in about equal measure. But the point is, I did it. So I can do it, if I get the attitude right. (Now where have I heard that before? )

The latest page. I was quite pleased with the lettering, which is not a strong point but the patterning is a bit, as my daughters say “Meh.”

The new journal, therefore, has begun. Very little writing unless I feel like it and no set routine for what or when I use it. In fact, I showed a couple of the pages in a recent post and have done another since then. I’m trying to remember to date each entry and that is one of the two rules. The other is, no matter how bad it is, it stays in. Going fine so far. We’ll see.

The page here being March, I think I’d like to do one for each month, with different styles of lettering each time. there I go again, making rules for myself. Doh!

This blue one is what I did in advance as an example for everyone to refer to.

We had a Stitch and Bitch at my house the other day and there were seven of us sitting around the table making paper decorations based on a Dorian Eng tutorial I saw on You Tube. (Where would I be without You Tube?) If you are interested, here’s where I found it.   We didn’t tangle the card but used patterned paper in three sizes to make a sort of mobile. It was a lot of fun and everyone made a successful finished piece.

And this purple one is the one I did on the day at our Stitch and Bitch group.


They now hang in my craft room window, at least for a while.

Two new-ish things tried and successful so far.  All very positive.

So then we have the Diva Challenge due. Bring it on, Laura, bring it on…



And she didn’t disappoint. This week’d Challenge is to use the tangle pattern Verve, which is one of my all time favourites, I’ve used it for a string on bigger pieces but less often small scale, so when she said on her video that it made a good filler, I decided that’s where I would start.

I searched my new journal for a suitable page, couldn’t find one that shouted out to me so I thought, Dammit, Maggibee, just use the next page and make it work for you. So I did, and here it is. (I wish I’d done a “before” picture, sorry.)

The background paper was lovely but didn’t work too well with pens and water colour because some of the print had a glossy surface. I feel I can do better but IIWII
The colours are brighter than they show up here but it’s too big to scan. (12″x12″) I actually like this one enough to put it on the wall.

So, having run out of Verve,but literally and figuratively, I’ll say a fond farewell and recommend, as always, that you be good-ish until we meet again.