That Which Was Lost…

The outside and the inside match perfectly.

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.

Can you imagine ever wanting to leave this place?
Heaven!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Isn’t he/she beautiful? About 8 or 9 inches long.

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

ladylike scream.

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.

Maybe the nights get cold?

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.

 

a bit lost for words…

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.

Just the scarf at this stage.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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No More Diva Challenges

My first attempt at Zentangle after quite a long break.

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.

Modelled by my daughter. DON’T tell her I put her photo on here, she’ll kill me.

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.

Not the best I’ve done but I took a while to get my juices flowing, so to speak.
And this is the reverse. Funny, I like this better now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a piece of black card I’d punched circles from for another project, so I applied it to an ATC and off we went.

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…)

A monotangle using Finery. I really enjoyed the simplicity of doing this Maybe there’s a lesson to be learned here?

 

The reverse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Side 1
Side 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another one I enjoyed, using Yuma, which is not a pattern I use very often, don’t know why.
And the other side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

A Flurry of Activity

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.

Look at all these from the Blue Swap on Travelling Tangles. I think Beth Detzler is another one determined to keep me busy.
L love these textures from the Blue Swap sent by Gail Jarrard.
I’m looking forward to completing these from Sandy hunter for the Blue Travelling Tangles swap, although I rather like them just as they are.
A start from Helli , with the command… Finish me!
So I did. Trying to use co-ordinating colours as I didn’t have an exact match.
Here is another one from Helli that I finished. I’ve tried to keep the focus on the original pattern by adding a little more but then doing the background in grey.
Jem miller sent me this as a start, with just the central motif, the brown patch on the right and the Finery completed. You can barely see the grey I used to aura but I didn’t want to lose the central area’s emphasis. Not sure i succeeded with this one. Maybe some more definite shading is needed.

And then on to some of mine. I’ve kept them simple but I think they will be OK.

These are waiting to be cut out and mounted on cards for Christmas. I’ve just included a little splash of colour and they will be matted and layered onto coloured card.
A later stage. Mounted on silver and then on very dark green.

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.

 

Embrace Your Wobble

Following the Fairy Houses Swap, I did a little picture for my grandaughter as a little Christmas present. It makes a change from crochet toys.

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

From Linda Deedy for the Geometric swap. Very nice choice of patterns and just look at the precision.
These all came from Helli Higgins in the Geometric Swap and I’ve started the hearts one at the top.
The Fairy House swap from Janet Prouty Morrison. I love the idea of the log being a terrace of little homes.
Another from Linda Deedy, the Fairy House swap and a couple of lovely atc backgrounds to set me thinking.
The Alphabet swap from Deja Cairns. Love the drama of the block colours. It reminds me of the sixties.
From Diana Schreur, for the Alphabet swap. I love the patterns but just look at the gorgeous little envelope she made to protect it in transit.
A gorgeous postcard from Julie Lazarus.
Fabulous depth on that Zenbutton and a reminder on the postcard, not just about belief, but also not to be afraid of leaving space between patterns.

 

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.

 

A minimal amount of Dewd for the border to brighten things up a bit.

and that will do for this week. until we meet again, world, be good. ish.

 

My Way

Hat and mitts

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.

A little sort of helmet

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 )

The not so matching bootees

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.

Some of my “geometric” swaps.

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!

Some more of the geometric ones.
Inktober 1… Mooka, Ginilli, Yah, Fleavy, Pais and Facets

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.

 

 

 

Inktober 2. The same patterns but somehwo I like it better.

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.

 

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.

 

 

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.