August, fly she must…

Another title taken from a song. This time it’s Simon and Garfunkel – April, Come she will… which was on the Bridge Over Troubled Water album. In 1969, when this was released, you couldn’t walk down the corridor in the College house of residence without hearing a track from it drifting under the doors. We learned all the harmonies and tried to play them on guitars, in my case with very little success.  Or was it “die she must”? It’s not the cheeriest of songs I suppose but a pleasure to sing to myself as I come to the end of my Summer Project. I’m on Day 81 of 92 so the end is almost in sight.

July ended with this page, where the prompts were to use hexagons, the colour yellow, our mac n cheese patterns and to rewind to something I had enjoyed. (WE weren’t asked to do them all on one page, it’s just the way it worked out for me on this one.) Amazingly, Mooka, which I once thought was my nemesis, has become a mac n cheese pattern, usually, as here, with Flux and Tipple. I used Nzepple, another of my favourites, for the rewind, as the rounding exercise had been such a pleasure.


And August started a bit dull, at least as far as colour was concerned. The prompts were to use Pokeleaf and Pokeroot together, about which I was a bit unimaginative but had been visiting stately homes, where tapestry and stumpwork abounded, so the rather old fashioned look is what came out.  We were also asked to use the Fragment K15, which I tried three ways, and the pattern Hemp, which is just not my style at all. There was also a prompt using a sort of string that wasn’t a string, which you can see marked Day 66. I like some of the parts of this but it doesn’t make a whole.

The next three prompts I did were to use dots, a circle and do something on “found” paper. I used a dotty background paper from my cardmaking stash and patterned on it with a thick white pen. Unfortunately, the pen couldn’t contain its enthusiasm – or its ink for that matter – and blotted some of the lines. Oh well, it is what it is. I cut the “found” paper from a gift bag and then patterned it with what i think may be a new pattern. Well, not new, but I haven’t seen it before. Anybody recognise it?

Here’s my first version of  it.

Just trying it out on a scrap of paper. The shading makes it.

So I’ve done step outs and given it a neam (Ndulates – my poor attempt at wit.) just in case it does not already exist. Please tell me if I’m wrong. 

So by the middle of August I had to use Fragment E6, which is a fragment of Meer, I think and which I decided to do as simply as possible, just grading up the sizes as I went along. Oh, and turning each fragment 90 degrees to its neighbour.  I then tried a pattern I’m not familiar with -Atorm, so I stuck with the same colour palette and graded sizes idea for that too. The page doesn’t excite me, although I was happy enough with each piece.

I do like the way the Cubine has turned out here.

Another prompt was just to respond to the word Square and I resurrected an idea I did for the Diva Challenge some time ago. I pinched the idea from Mondrian and added just a few square-ish patterns to it. Not original and it didn’t take long, but  I did have fun.

We were then prompted with using sparkles, which I struggle with. It requires a delicacy of touch which I just don’t seem to possess. Anyway, I tried three different ways with sparkles and almost got it right so maybe it just needs more work. Another prompt was to do a tile with as little white space as possible. The diamond shaped one is the result but I decided that the Mooka had a lot of white, so added the bijou tile with something I saw on You Tube as well. The background is my “new” pattern again.

Then I did a ZIA about 6 inches square, using String 89 in the smallest box, although the string has almost disappeared.  The other prompt here was to use tangles Crease and Fedr together. I sort of went for a Rennie Macintosh look and tried very hard to keep that delicate interweaving of lines going. The blue colour is actually sparkiling Gelly Roll but it never shows on camera, does it?

And finally, you will be relieved to see, the prompt was a Splash of colour using black. combined with a random dots “string”. I had a look at a Helen Williams video doing the pattern Well based on a random dot grid. It was a lot of fun, even if it did make my brain hurt at times. I used Gelly Roll Moonlight pens to really contrast with the black and I think it’s fun. Art? No. Fun? Yup, that’ll do for me.

So we come to the Diva Challenge.  This week’s guest blogger is Jeanette Clawson and she asks us to draw a plate or part of a plate.

As I said I love to draw mandalas so when I was in the seminar I was thrilled with the idea of drawing “plates.” Part of my love of mandalas is tied up in my love of china patterns. These plates go beyond just a decorative border and I decorated the whole plate for our challenge today. I drew the strings of all 4 tiles at the same time.

Being me, of course, I did the whole plate on card exactly the size of four tiles. That’s big and took a hell of a lot of filling. I started with a compass and drew in the pencil design, then coloured with Brusho inks. The patterns were shorely, Copada and Purk in the eggy shaped bits. I can never remember the name of the one in the smallest ring. I started off liking it very much, went through a phase of chuck it in the bin, then liked it after all. Oh the emotional roller coaster!

This is rather brighter in real life.

So I’m going to stop there, as I suspect this week may have been a bit of a tangle overdose.  I’ve started writing next week’s post so, until then, world, be good- ish.




Keeping on, keeping on, keeping on…

It’s time to bring you up to date on my Little summer Project for the Facebook page; Zentangle: Tangled & Journaled, Too! I fell behind a fair bit at one point but have now completed July and have started August. Feeling very proud. (And surprised too, if the truth be known.) So here are some of the pages for July.

The prompts for this were to use triangles and Fragment L16, not necessarily together, that’s just how I did it.

I wasn’t unhappy with this one and felt that linking my triangles with Ing worked quite well. However, some of the other pages pleased me a lot less. For example:

The colour prompt here was pink; the string was 169 and we used reticula RA2. Disaster.

This is what the Americans call a hot mess. I nearly didn’t include it in this post, but we learn as much from our mistakes as from our successes so here it is. I drew the String on some pink paper whose surface was very shiny, with the result that my pen slid all over the page. I tried a version of Lisbon Fragment from the Diva Challenge last week and failed dismally so decided to paper piece the fills for the other sections of the string. However, being by this time pretty fed up of the whole thing, instead of admitting that the bin was the best place for it, I glumly cut them out, paying very little attention, so they don’t even fit the spaces properly. (I was sulking, I admit it.) The only success on the whole page is the bijou tile with the reticula on it. Doh!

Lessons learned – try the paper before committing yourself; Know when you are on a loser; don’t keep on out of plain pig headedness.

We used String 157 and the colour green. I wasn’t too happy with this one either, but it’s growing on me.
And the prompts for this page were Fragment H21, Using negative space to make a word and bubbles. (I used a piece of bubble wrap as a stamp and then tangled in or around them.) Again, we didn’t have to use them together, I just fitted them all onto one page.

As you can see, a couple of fairly average pages followed, which met the prompts but were clearly uninspired and then, suddenly, I was on a roll:

I cut out a bird using a Tim Holtz die, patterned and coloured it and  stuck it onto another piece of water colour card, then framed it with a Venetian border. I felt this was much more successful and that perhaps it was worth continuing after all.

We used pattern Venetian and the colour blue, perfs and the prompt word was bird.

So, as you can see, it is a bit up and down but I persevere. I also signed up to do a set of swaps based on the Summer Project and have completed 8 of the 9 so far, plus little decorated envelopes for them to go in. I tried to make them as different as possible, using different prompts from the last few weeks.

Based on Fovine, Betweed and a little pracrice shading.
Using Verve as tha pattern and more shading practice.
The prompt for this was stripes.
I used a fragment to start this off, but can’t remember which one, then some rounding and a bit of colour.
Springkle was my prompt for this, with Stipule and a base that is another pattern whose name I forget.
This is based on a fragment too.
The envelopes so far.

Last week was my friend Suzanne Fluhr and her pattern Aloha, which I really enjoyed doing. To such an extent that I used it for a thank you card.

Mounted on hand made paper that, fortuitously, matched the ink pad used for the edges.

And then there’s The Challenge! Wonder what this week brings.

 Weekly Challenge #329 – “Fragment D-1”

This week’s challenge

My challenge has everything to do with a small FRAGMENT from the Primer by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, a divine fragment (what else?): dee incredible D-1.

This fragment can be used as a filler and on it’s own.
You can choose to arrange a bunch of them with the diagonal line in the same direction, as you can see on the bijou with Zenith on the sides.
You could also play with the direction of the diagonal line, mirror it for example, as you can see on the black bijou.
Combining this fragments with other fragments is another option.
Keep in mind that D-1 can be used on black, white and tan.
And furthermore on a (prestrung) Zendala and in a spiral! Or you could use color.

Now this is a geometric shape, with which I often have problems, mainly because I can’t draw a straight line! So I decided to use it as a string. The obvious thing to do was fill it either with itself or other geometric patterns. Nope. I went for curves and sparkle. The sparkle is a bit of a cheat because it is one of the prompts for the Summer Project and I thought I’d use the one tile for two challenges. Trouble is, although I get sparkles in theory, I don’t do a very good job with them when I try myself. So I used sparkles in three different ways in the hope that one of them would look sparkly.  The photo shows it in my journal, with a bijou I did after watching a Youtube video by a lady called Dawn, who was offering ways round “artist’s block.” It was fun to do and very relaxing.

So, feeling both fulfilled and relaxed, I’ll leave it there for this week. I hope to see you next week, world and, until then, be good -ish.

Welsh Wales 2

This book cover was done by a friend of mine at a session we did at my house.

When last we spoke I was in the not so wilds of Wales, eating a cream tea on Garth Pier in Bangor, overlooking the turbulent  waters of the Menai Straight.  To get home we had a drive of about 170 miles, not on American style freeways but over hill and dale on  a two lane route. We could have found an easier route, well I could, as I’m the navigator on these trips, but where’s the fun in easy?

So we travelled through the northern edges  of Snowdonia and back in time as well. My parents loved this area, as they were hikers and Youth Hostellers for all my childhood. Strangely, at an age when most people were upgrading from hostels to hotels, they bought a tent and expanded their explorations into Europe, which was considered pretty wild and not entirely respectable in middle England in those days. My dad, especially, loved the Welsh hills; he considered any landscape that was flat was no landscape at all, so these wild ancient hills really appealed to him.

And another one by a friend, using the same patterns but a very different result.

So I planned our route home via Bethesda,  Capel Curig, Betys y Coed , Ruthin, out of Wales and home across the Penines, through Congleton, Wildboarclough and Buxton.  I hadn’t visited the Welsh bits in over 40 years and the memories came flooding back. I could hear my plaintive voice, “Are we nearly there yet, Dad?” or “Is it ALL uphill? Don’t they have any flat bits?” and then, with much more excitement, “Can I go and climb on those rocks?” For some reason, climbing on rocky outcrops was much more fun to 12 year old me than walking on paths and lanes through rolling country.

The whole place is a geography/geology lesson unfolding before your eyes, with glacial valleys, tarns (called llyns in Welsh), ribbon lakes and aforementioned rocky outcrops that can be sedimentary, metamorphic or igneous, depending on exactly where you are. And it was beautiful that day we came home, with bright sunshine, a warm wind and scudding clouds; everything in shades of mossy green, mixed greys and vivid blues of sky and the water reflecting it. And, in spite of it now being the school holidays and some of these villages being tourist hotspots, remarkably empty of people. Wonderful.

Wales is an odd country, apart from having a language that uses up all the spare w’s, l’s  and y’s that the rest of the world doesn’t want. It’s not huge in area but, like the rest of the UK, it fits an amazing variety of landscape into a small space and it’s the same with the architecture. Apart from the recent monstrosities of industrial estates, which appear to be inescapable wherever you go, there are little squat cottages huddled into sheltered nooks to avoid the worst of the weather; Victorian double fronted residences with the obligatory monkey puzzle tree in the front garden; medieval castles dotted on crags here and there, crescents of Regency style houses strung out around seaside bays, now mainly converted into hotels, and ancient, I mean really ancient, as in older than Stonehenge, temples or burial sites. I love it.

You may have noticed that there are no photos from this journey. This is because I was too busy checking the map at every turn in the road, of which there were many, to try and take photos and the loved one was clinging to the steering wheel, occasionally with white knuckles and a determined expression on his face.

Since we got home from our adventure, it has not been what you would call quiet. A couple of days after we got back I had a Zentangle session at our house, where some friends and I practised a couple of patterns before using them to decorate the front cover of a notebook. You can see a couple of them further up the page and this is mine


Not on card like the others but directly onto the book cover.

And then there’s the crochet. I finished the two blankies for the twins to be and my daughter gave them to her friends.  Judging from the messages I got back, they were very well received.

Slightly different, to avoid them getting identical gifts.



And then I said I would make one, a bigger one, for my adorable Ben, who is very touchy feely with toys. It’s sitting on the sofa waiting for him to come back from a visit to his Auntie, her dog and her chickens.  I’m hoping he likes it when he gets in. The eyes look a bit startled at the moment  – wait till they see Ben!

This looks a bit dull but the colour is more ginger in real life.









We’re trying to fit a lot in while they are up here, so we have been to the park, had his cousin round to play, and watched a load of films so far.

A family friend who dotes on him is coming to see us tomorrow and on Friday we head for a country park nearby with his three year old cousin too.

In the meantime I continue with the Little Summer Project and some swap tiles I received to complete but have done nothing with so far. And then the Diva Challenge, with its guest blogger,  comes around…

And it’s my friend Suzanne Fluhr, whose blog Boomeresque is well worth a visit. She has invented/deconstructed several patterns and she asks us to use one of them for this week’s Challenge – Aloha. I like this pattern and wonder why I don’t use it more. this time, the tile is serving a dual purpose, as it is going to be the front of a thank you card to some friends of ours we are going to stay with next week. (No doubt I will tell you aaaaalll about it when we get back.) Anyway, here is my take on Aloha, mixed with Henna Drum, which I suspect will not have been an original idea but there you go. And I will finish with that for now. Until we meet again world, be good -ish.

there is metallic gold in places but I can’t get it to show on the photo…

Welsh Wales

I like the way the name of the town is embedded in the gardens.

Now you may think that the above is a tautology but it isn’t, because there is an English Wales too. Near where I was born, there is a small village called Wales, in fact, my dad was born there. Now my parents were keen hikers and Youth Hostellers, so we travelled all over the UK when I was young – not Northern Ireland because ferry costs were prohibitive – and Wales, Welsh Wales, that is, was a favourite of my dad’s because of all the rugged hills and glorious scenery.  So, if we were going for a doctor’s appointment, we went to Wales, but if we were going away for a long weekend, we went to Welsh Wales.

The busy side of Llandudno. A nice old fashioned seaside resort.

Last week, the loved one and I had a brief trip to Welsh Wales, the first time since 1978. We calculated this because it was when we discovered I was pregnant with our first child and we drove down through Wales with irrepressible grins on our faces for days. That’s one part of the experience we chose not to repeat!

This time, we stayed in Llandudno, another old fashioned seaside town, with a pier and a pub converted from an old disused cinema.

The pub we liked.

The hotel was a bit in need of repair but the service and food were good, so it was ok for just a couple of days. There are two seafronts in Llandudno because it is on a peninsular, and they are very different. There is the one lined with hotels and a pier and fairground rides and slot machines and then there is the wild, barren but beautiful bay less than a mile across town. It’s almost schizophrenic.

The end of the peninsular is a huge lump of rock called the Great Orme – I did read why it is called that but have already forgotten! You can walk up it. Ask me if we did, go on, ask me. Well, of course we didn’t.

It’s further than you think.

There’s a cable car, which the loved one took one look at, shook his head and  headed resolutely back to the pub. However, there is also a tram, which he consented to use and which turned out to be absolutely wonderful. Those hills are bloody steep, I can tell you. I would have needed frequent stops for oxygen had we actually tried to walk up and my knees would have given up the ghost if we had tried to walk down.

The tram is 19th century, has very uncomfortable wooden bench seats, which is part of the fun,  and you can see for miles.  There is an awful lot of pleasure to be derived from travelling effortlessly past those unfortunates who have chosen to walk it. They started, you see, smug in the awareness of their own virtue, keeping fit and healthy on foot. No doubt they were counting steps.

They passed awful close.

Noticeably less smug after about half a mile of 1 in 3 slopes, their faces ranged from red to puce, their laboured breathing was audible from 50 yards away and the sweat was showing through their  Lacoste sportswear.  We smiled and waved as we trundled past and no-one said “I told you so.”

At the top there is a cafe, of course, a wildflower garden and a crazy golf. A weird combination but it has a certain charm. The views are spectacular  and, since the day was sunny, we could see up across the mouth of the River Dee to the Mersey estuary and the coast above, in fact, to the same stretch of coast we visited a couple of weeks ago.

There were goats all over the Great Orme and I did keep expecting to hear Julie Andrews trilling along in the background but we were spared that, at least.

To the west is Anglesey and then Ireland, although Ireland is just out of sight. And in between there is the beautiful rugged and mainly unspoilt coast, running down past Conwy, Penmaenmawr and Llanfairfecchan to Bangor just round the corner.

It’s very lovely and, although it was quite hot, there was a gentle breeze to keep it comfortable. We had a lovely time.

The following day, we visited the other bay, the quiet one. At ten in the morning, right in the middle of the school holidays, there were five people on the sand. The sea was Mediterranean blue and the bay was full of little ruffled waves.

You can see the crowds of tourists on this one if you look carefully.

We walked for about half an hour with the sun on our backs and the wind in our faces, before heading back for the car and a trip down the coast to Bangor.

We were a bit disappointed that the road took us through a tunnel under the River Conwy, so we missed seeing the castle, which is a very impressive one, built in the Middle Ages (1283 – 1289) and soaked in history. It’s a Unesco World Heritage site and extremely interesting. Anyway, we missed it so let’s move on, shall we?  We drove along the coast road, with its lovely outlook over the sea to the Menai Straight, which is the stretch of water that separates Wales from the island of Anglesey.

As you drive along you can see across to the island, also very lovely, and Beaumaris Castle stands proudly on the ridge across the water. Another Unesco World Heritage site, it was started rather earlier than Conwy but never finished. It is, however, well worth a visit even now.

The landward end of Garth Pier at Bangor

Entering the town of Bangor, we saw a small sign to the pier and decided to follow it, rather than the town centre, which was likely to be shops and car parks. What a good decision. Free parking! A Victorian pier and cream teas, who could ask for better? The pier is just under half a kilometre long and stretches out over the extremely dangerous waters of the Menai Straight.

Looking across at Anglesey.

The banks on either side are dotted with white houses and cottages, slightly marred by a large-ish block of flats on the Anglesey side. How they got planning permission to build that eyesore is a mystery.

We sat drinking tea and sighing contentedly for about an hour before sauntering back to the car and heading east.

At the very far end of the pier, you can see the ghastly block of flats in the background.

So I did little or no tangling for a few days and was suffering withdrawal symptoms by the time we got back.

I was therefore looking forward to the next Diva Challenge.

This week’s guest blogger is Henrike Bratz from Germany, who offers us her new pattern, Lisbon fragment to try.

As you may have noticed there’s the tangle diva dance in my first “Diva-Challenge”-tile. This pattern has been one of my favorite tangles from the beginning.

So here’s the challenge: Put on some music – best look for a fado playlist and imagine the Diva dancing in Lisbon. Use the “Lisbon fragment” and Diva Dance to create your tile. Add more tangles if you like to and enjoy the moment!

Now I have to admit I had trouble with the step outs for Lisbon Fragment, so didn’t enjoy it very much.however, i do like the look of it and I think it’s worth a bit more study. As for Diva Dance, I never get it looking deliberate; mine always seem a bit messy. So, this week, using an atc, I did as I was challenged but don’t feel it worked too well.

DC 237

Ah well, there’s always next week…

Until then, world, be good -ish.

Eyes Bigger Than…

Two starter tiles from Stephanie Drewa.

In the Dark Ages, or, as my Mum would have said, “When I were a lass…”, if we were greedy, one or other of the grandparents would shake their head and murmur, ” Eeeeh, I don’t know, eyes bigger than your belly, that’s what you have…”  and we would either be refused the extra portion or, with a rueful sigh, it would be served to us with the rider; “And you eat every scrap of that.” They would then watch to see if we actually could eat it all and share knowing glances if we appeared to be struggling. And of course they were often right and I can remember quite a few Sunday teatimes marred by the need to force that piece of cake down, ruining the pleasure of the entire meal, rather than admit defeat.

From Jolanda Baan

And why did we take that little trip down Memory Lane, back to my not so deprived childhood teas in The Old Homestead in Wombwell?  (I kid you not, that was the name of the house my Grandma and Grandad lived in. It was in a terrace of four mock Tudor houses in a mucky pit town and nothing like any homestead I could imagine but that was its name.) Because, all these years later, I still do it and I’ve just done it again. Nowadays it’s less likely to be food, of course – my portion control is still questionable but I can leave what I don’t eat without too much of a guilty conscience and no-one pointing the finger and saying sententiously,  “There are children in Africa who’d be grateful for that.”, which may be true but isn’t helpful.

I didn’t draw this but I saw it on google and it was soooo right.
I think this one is from Rhoda Roy in Canada, but she didn’t put her name on the tile itself and, organisational nitwit that i am, I put it in with a couple of others …

But I still take on more than I can manage in other ways and, in particular, with hobbies. (Not, and indeed, never with housework. Never that! The vacuum cleaner backs away if I open the cupboard because it’s been taught not to talk to strangers.)

And at the moment I am deeply involved in crochet. I am working on:

a blanket for my granddaughter – single bed size. about six inches to go

two toys for a friend of my daughter who is having twins. (The friend, not the daughter.) One almost complete, ready to be stuffed and one not even started. (The toys, not the twins)

a circular waistcoat/jacket for me, which I am going to un-pick back about fifteen rows because I don’t like how sort of frilly it’s getting.

and I have plans for a shawl, another blanket, this one for my grandson, more toys and a cloche hat, also for me, maybe, not sure, I don’t suit hats.

From Mary Dewick in the UK

Then there are the two Zentangle swap groups I’m involved with – Zentangle Artist Trading Cards and Travelling Tangles, both on Facebook. I currently need to draw five tiles on a Summer theme for the former, although it’s a long deadline, so they are on the back burner at the moment.  And I have received tiles, started by other members, which I am to complete and then post the results online. (I’ve scattered them about this post for your delectation and delight.) No deadline on that, and I vacillate between longing to get started and the dread of ruining what they have sent me.

Days 9 and 11 of the journal

And then there’s this bloody journal that I have started with another Facebook group – Zentangle, Tangled and Journalled too. I have committed myself to doing a small tile every day for all of June, July and August, based on prompts they post online each week.

Day 19, a Zendala, not on a Bjou, this one but a proper Zendala size tile.

Now I have the time management skills of a newt, so this is already proving difficult. I notice other people do the tiles, pop them in a journal, or draw tile shapes in said journal, one for each prompt and the job’s a good ‘un. Me? Don’t be daft.  I chose to do Bijou tiles, which are nice and small, and stick them in quite a large book (8″ square, I think) and then decorate the pages around the tiles. So, instead of doing a two inch square every day, I find myself trying to then do a further eight inch square too.   I quickly adapted and put more than one tile on each page but, even so, it’s a lot.

We were supposed to write on text but I’m was an English teacher – it’s tantamount to sacrelige. So I printed off a verse from Leonard Cohen and drew in the spaces. Also not on bijou. I stick to my own rules only as and when I want to!

Don’t get me wrong, nobody makes me do this. There isn’t a Zengauleiter person writing my name calligraphically into a beautifully decorated weighty tome, who carries a big stick  to come round and beat me- one stroke at a time, of course, but I’ve posted online that I will do it, so I sort of have to do it. The loved one says it’s masochism and watches another episode of Last of the Summer wine while I try to draw, crochet, scribble just that bit faster.


Days 10, 11 and 12

Hey ho. Oh, and the Diva Challenge. It’s just one tile once a week but of course I write chapter and verse to go with it, don’t I?  I write like I talk, so, as my friends and family will confirm, once I’ve started, there’s no stopping me. But ,although I no longer do the Challenge religiously every week, it is what prompts me to write and post most weeks, so I’m thankful for it.  Of course, there may be those of you who feel the Diva has, therefore, a lot to answer for!

It’s a guest Challenger each week through the Summer – wonder what the next one will be… Anf it’s Elisa Murphy setting the Challenge.

Finally!  This week’s challenge!  Your challenge this week is to draw a monotangle of “Nzeppel, but it doesn’t stop there.  I challenge you to go beyond the pen and tap into that Zentangley Mindfulness.  Think about when you last felt like you didn’t fit in or think about someone you care about who’s feeling that way right now.  As you draw and watch your tangle grow and evolve notice how your thoughts do too.  Maybe it softens.  Maybe it gives you pause to think things through.  Maybe use the back of your tile to jot down random thoughts. Hopefully you get lost in the relaxed focus of the process.  At the end of the day, that’s what Zentangle is all about.

Well, I love Nzeppel, so this was fun. In fact I’m going to add a border to this atc and send it as one of the swaps at the end of the month.

Plain and simple on a background daubed in muted pink and grey, using Reticula R42 .

And there let it end for this week, world. Until we meet again, be good-ish. (AS I will myself, of course.)

My oh my, it’s still July.

The Angel of The North
I managed to squeeze five days’ prompts onto this one, which helped with the catching up process.

And the journal is still taking over my life. In a good way, mainly. Still, I did catch up and these are some of the pages for July. However, having reduced the pressure a bit, up popped another challenge on the same FB page – “Make and send 9 original atcs, get 9 back. ”  by the end of August. And before I’d given it more than a second’s thought, I’d signed up for it. My Dad would have described me as  “Too daft to laugh at…” and he wouldn’t be wrong, would he?

One of the prompts was “Inspire by…” and we were to produce something inspired by a fellow tangler.

One of the prompts for the Summer Project was “Inspired by…” and we were to produce something inspired by a fellow tangler. I decided on Michele Wynne as my source. I love how she uses colour – see her blog “Coffee and Creativity” I’ve almost caught how she uses coloured backgrounds and then emphasises some areas with more colour or different patterns.

This is the one they used for the page header. Eeeek!

And then Janeeileen, who does most of the admin on the FB page, chose something I had done to be used as the FB page header for that week. It was like getting an Oscar, but better! I’m trying to be modest about it but I had to tell somebody, so it’s you, world, that I get to show off to.  I’d like to be proud but quiet but I really feel like jumping gleefully up and down, shouting, “ME! she chose ME!”          Alright, that’s enough now, I’ve calmed down.

Anyway, I’ve started the atc’s too and that will keep me quiet for a while. Possibly.

I paddled out into the sea to get close to this one. I find them strangely compelling.

On a whim, we went off to the west coast for a couple of days at the weekend. We went to Southport, a seaside resort of the old fashioned sort. There’s a long promenade and a boating lake, Punch and Judy on the pier. And the pier is gigantic, it even has a little noddy train in case it’s too far for you to walk. Couldn’t wait to get on it! And there was live music, very good live music too. It wasn’t the brass band or the Promenade orchestra, it was a group called “The Band With No Name”, playing some cracking good rock music. I could have stayed there all day, if it hadn’t been for the fact that the sun was sooooo hot I was at risk of burning and, as the day had started dull, I was not wearing sun cream. It would have been just too ridiculous to go all over the Med and just go a lightish brown, then burn back in the UK. So we toddled off back to the hotel to get changed for dinner. We went to a nice little Italian called Casa Italia, which was a bit cheesy on the decor; trying to look as if you were sitting out in a courtyard but not. However, the food was good, even if the service was a bit perfunctory and the price of the drinks was appalling. I stuck with Peroni in the end, as the wines were silly prices and there is no guarantee of quality.

I really liked Southport. Of course, if the tide is out you would have to walk about two miles to get your feet wet but we didn’t spend much time on the beach, not when there were so many open air bars! And then, the following day, we went down the coast towards Liverpool to Another Place, by Antony Gormley, the guy who created The Angel of the North. (That’s the picture at the top of the page.) It is the moodiest, most melancholy thing I have ever seen. In fact, there are a hundred of these figures on Crosby Beach. See for more info.

And there are dozens of them, some buried up to their waists in the sand.

And then the Diva Challenge came around again. Guest blogger Jessica Davies gave us her second challenge and it was to use the pattern Peanuckle. I learned it early on in my Zentangle attempts and, like Jessica, dropped it to the bottom of my list. I went back to the original video for a revision session, did my best with it and, although it doesn’t look too bad, I didn’t enjoy it. (Which is why it is squashed into the bottom corner of this atc – I had intended a monotangle in different sizes.  Anyway, that’s it for now, see you again soon, world and, until then, be good – ish.

It’s Still June at Our House

Can I just say, the patchy background was deliberate here. I was going for a sort of shabby/chic look. No, really I was.

At least, it as as far as the journal is concerned, it’s still June. When they post updates and info on the FB page, they call it The Little Summer Project, you know, like Stonehenge was a little Summer project. I missed more than a week while we were away on Crete – wouldn’t have gone if I’d realised! Then we had a week at home and it was the loved one’s birthday on the Saturday. We planned a little garden party but failed to tell him that our youngest daughter, husband and adorable Ben were coming up for a few days. They arrived on the Friday evening and his face when he opened the door and saw Ben grinning up at him was a joy to see. It meant that, instead of the eight people he had expected to see at his party the following day, there were 14, as our son and his wife also turned up unexpectedly on the day, with Isla too.  Thank goodness I always over cater. (I may have had an inkling about it all but HE didn’t.) It did mean, however, that there wasn’t much time for Tangling over that few days too, which put me even further behind.

Reticula for the background,  then using white for one prompt, shading Flukes for another, fragment K2 for another and alphabet for another.

I realise I may be giving the impression that I am not enjoying this project and, of course, it just isn’t true. I’m loving it. The prompts make me think outside the box, especially when they want us to use reticula, which I get but don’t get, if you see what I mean. So it’s a grumble at my own expense because I take on too much and put pressure on myself.


Days 26 and 27, going for simple here.

I see myself as a sort of Zen-athlete, setting myself up to my very own Zenbledon, trying to beat my personal besy.  Anyway, I’m determined to catch up over the next few days, at least so that I am less than a week behind. On the page using Verve, I coloured it with Promarkers, which was not a complete success, as it has dried patchily, which annoys me no end. I think I may add a little white in places as highlights, to make it less obvious.

The final prompts to the end of June are to use a resist of some sort; to create a frame  and to revisit something from the past month you have enjoyed. I don’t suppose the revisit really includes Crete, which is a shame, so I think using fragments of Flux will have to do instead. In fact, I tried all sorts of resists and didn’t like any of them – wax crayons, fabric paint, embossing powders and then I saw one someone had done using a stencil, which she had coloured through and then filled the space with tiny, tiny, I mean reeeeeally tiny tangling and I decided to work on her idea.

I’ve used a Dreamweaver stencil, they really are such good quality, a dauber and  ink pads to create the background. The revisit is indeed a few fragments of Flux dripping down the page and the final one is the frame, coloured with Promarkers and bits of white chalk and pen. So that’s it, June is officially over. Better get on with July.

In the meantime, in the real world where time runs at its proper rate, it’s guest spot at the Diva Challenge…

And it’s Jessica Davies, who wants us to give our hearts, so to speak;

Weekly Challenge #324 “Tangled Heart”

In gratitude and appreciation for all we are and all we give to each other in this community, I invite you to create a tangled heart this week. Let’s show each other the love!

Start with a heart shape as your string and then tangle. I found some cut out hearts and traced those on my tiles for consistency, but do what works for you. Go whimsical with freehand hearts, put one on a tile or many, use color or not, go small with bijou or big with opus, tangle inside or outside the string, stick with the white tile or go black … whatever your heart calls you to do.

So I used a pattern I can’t remember the name of but it’s one that I find both challenging and fun, which seemed appropriate. And I’ll finish on that, as my Summer project calls… Until we meet again, world, be good-ish.