Thursday, March 31, 2011


Balloons????  Polka Dots????  What is it about seeing a group of circles together that instantly makes us think of certain things???  Sometimes circles are just, well, circles!  That's true with the things we draw, along with all the things in our lives.  We tend to put things in categories before we take the time to figure out what they really are.  Is it because we're so busy that we don't take the time, or maybe that we don't care enough to make the effort??  Then of course comes the time when we have a huge mess to organize because we didn't do it all along the way.  I've always been an organized person in my work habits (well until last year anyway), but at home its different.  I'm trying to make myself more organized because I know I'm happier that way.  I think the answer is less stuff!  The more we have the harder it is to keep track of.  So my new method is, if I haven't used it in six months, its gone!  Of course there are things like baby blankets and mementos from the past that are exceptions, but otherwise the stuff that's in drawers that you're "saving" just get rid of it.  You'll feel so much better!  Plus when you feel better you tangle better!  Happy Day!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Outside is such a wonderful place to be!!!  There are flowers and trees and grass.  There are birds and sun and clouds.  There is water and everything below what we can see from the waters' edge.  Yet when the weather is cold we stay inside and look out.  When its nice we stay inside because its too warm out.  So if we do these things, when do we actually get outside and enjoy being a part of what's going on outside our doors?  How do we feel a part of our world if we're always on the inside looking out??  Today I challenge you, regardless of your weather, to go outside and do something (besides just walking to your car or getting the mail).  Even if you sit outside on a bench for 15 minutes - listen and feel - you ARE a part of this wonderful world we live in.  Breathe it in and wrap your arms around it!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mid-week Challenge for week 14

I know I'm a little behind since Laura posted this Mid-week Challenge last Wednesday but better late than never - right???  Today is the first day that I actually feel like myself again!!  It's feels like it's been such a long time but I'm back - yay!!!!  The extra plus is today we even have SUNSHINE!!!!!  I saw the forecast this morning and by the weekend it's supposed to be sunny and in the 60's!!!!  I know they always change the forecast later on in the week, but for a Monday this was a great way to get motivated!  Now I'm starting to see what's really behind the weathermans' forecast.  It's motivation for the whole viewing area!!!  Wow what a responsibility!!!  I thought it was a big enough job trying to encourage and motivate my three sons, but can you imagine the weight of the world THEY must feel????  Makes a mom job seem a little easier.  Today find something sunny in your world and draw about it.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Old and New

Sometimes when you start out doing something you're comfortable with, you end up pushing yourself to a new place.  That's not a bad thing!  If we all stayed right where we were then we would all still be holding crayons with our fists and scribbling on the walls.  We push our kids and grand kids to reach for new things - to try harder.  But sometimes as adults we want to take the easy route and then wonder why we didn't get the results we were hoping for.  Well, no matter what your age, you need to always remember to push yourself.  Whether its with your art, your cooking and housekeeping, your gardening, your exercise, your whatever!  If you don't push yourself you'll never feel like you've accomplished what you know you're capable of.  Today I hope you feel that sense of accomplishment.  Personal satisfaction means so much more when you know how hard you worked for it. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Twirly whirly guy

When I got this tangle finished, it looked to me like there was a guy standing in the middle of it just waiting for his big ears to start spinning and for him to take off.  I'm not sure where he was going, but he was definitely going somewhere.  Maybe just high enough to see what was going on around him.  I would love to know what he saw!  I'm thinking that it was maybe rolling hills of different tangle patterns.  The ones that he liked he hovered over them for awhile before moving on to the next ones.  I know, you're thinking I've really lost my mind now or maybe the fever has returned and I'm just delirious.  Well its neither!  I'm sure there are some that would disagree with that (the lost my mind part) but they'll have to write their own story and since this one is mine, I'm just going to say it sparked almost a cartoon adventure in my head. 

Hope this Saturday finds you doing something you love doing!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Holding On

With the look of the "netting" being held down, I thought of how many times throughout the day we have to hold on or hold down things in our lives.  Sometimes it's things other people say to us or the way they treat us.  Other times it's the results of decisions we've made and have to work through them.  Then there are the things that just "happen" and have to be addressed.  For me this week, its being sick.  It started while on vacation, the day of a surprise party, missed seeing family I hadn't seen in years, rode cross country (well half way) mostly in silence snuggled under a blanket, missed seeing Little Miss Thisorthat for the second week in row, and haven't done much of anything but drink and sleep all week.  After a blanket of 4" of new snow I think we have something new to hold on and get through.  Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

One more day.....

I hope today finds you enjoying some springtime weather.  The bug is making himself at home in my house.  Hope he stays away from yours!!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


When I started on this tangle I had a couple of things that I was going to add to it.  I was going for a "look".  Well, as you've all figured out by now, when you start out with one thing you end up with something else completely different.  Different doesn't mean bad, just not what was planned.  I'm really pleased with the way this turned out but like I said it's way off from the idea I had in my mind going into it.  I think there's a lesson in there somewhere.  Maybe to be more flexible?  Or maybe not to be so hard on myself?  Either way I'm glad I got the end results that I got.

I should also tell you that Mr. Thisorthat and I returned from our road trip last night.  It's so great to sleep in my own bed in my own room - especially when you're sick (I've had the flu since Saturday)!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Rolling Hills

I'm amazed when we drive across our beautiful Country.  Everytime I have gone on a road trip, I've been in awe of the beauty thats all around us, and how different it all is.  It doesn't matter if it's 28 degrees and snowing or if its 105 and the sun is beating down.  The mountains wrap around the highway and you feel like you're apart of something bigger.  Like you got a glimpse of where our Country came from 100's of years ago.  The hills roll along and flow one right after another.  Even through the barren parts of Utah when all there is salt flats and open highways, there is a sense of beauty that you can't find anywhere else.  The rock hills of Wyoming are so close to the highway that if you look really hard you can see rows of indians sitting along the ridge and wonder what happens next.  Even through the deserts of Nevada there is a different kind of beauty that is only found there among the redish colored earth and spike-like bushes everywhere.  There is so much to take in that it's almost too much for the brain to process.  I've been lucky enough to travel to different countries and every place I've ever been has a distinct beauty only known to that part of the world.  I hope wherever you are today, cold, warm, sunny, cloudy, or whatever, that you can see the beauty that is all around you.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring at last!!

Happy Monday but more important HAPPY SPRING!!!!  I have been saving this tangle for a couple of weeks waiting for Spring to arrive.  I found out last night that yesterday was the first day of Spring.  So it's for the second day of Spring.  I hope wherever you are and whatever you're doing that there are flowers popping up everywhere, you have lots of sunshine and you can see that life is ever changing.  Happy day to you!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Down in the hole

When I did this tangle I had no idea what it would mean to me just a few days later.  Today this is how I feel.  Like I'm slipping down into a hole of sickness and don't want to go there and don't know how to get back out!  I've taken all the meds, stayed away from all the people (ever though there was a huge birthday party that I missed yesterday - which was part of the reason for the road trip) eaten to keep up my strength, kept covered up, slept and slept and slept, but still today here we are again!!!!  Tomorrow we hit the road again so I'm hoping I've figured out how to get out of the hole by then.  Happy Sunday to you and I hope you're feeling great!!!  Sick is NOT  good!!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

To all blog followers

To all those who follow my blog daily, let me aplogize for not posting a new picture today.  I have been sick in bed all day with the flu.  Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Easter Bonnet

This is so funny to me!  I did this tangle and then I colored it.  Like normal - you know any other tangle you would do.  Yeah really colored it!!  I uploaded it and for some reason the color faded so badly.  I used my watercolor pencils on it and then blended it.  I have no idea what happened or why the color got so light but regardless of the color (or lack of color) here it is.  I thought it looked like a bunny with a hat on, but Mr. Thisorthat thought it looked like hair being twisted and wrapping down around the back.  I guess even after you do your tangles and put part of yourself in each one, you can see something new and smile, giggle, or laugh out loud at the little things.  I hope today finds you laughing, smiling, AND giggling!!  Enjoy the day!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Endless Highway

Mr. Thisorthat and I have been on a road trip.  Do you know how hard it is to draw different patterns while you're riding in the car???  When you're the passenger and you're looking around while you're going down the road, it's surprising all the things you notice.  The one thing you'll be sure to see is a place where several roads intersect.  That is where I got the idea for this tangle.  Roads that are endless, criss-crossing each other, with other things going on - on all sides of the highway.  I guess no matter where you go or what you're doing, there is always something else going on around you regardless of what you're focusing on.  Take time to step back, wherever you are, and see what else is going on, I think you'll be really surprised!  Enjoy the surprise!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


This tangle is funny to me because originally I thought I would have it sitting upright (rotate it counter clockwise once) and it looked almost like a picture frame to me.  Then I started turning it and Mr. Thisorthat said it looks just like a guy running!  I had never thought of that when I was drawing, but sure enough there he was.  So I had to give him some shoes and the entire tangle took on a different look and feel.  But on a different note, I am finding for those around me there are two types of audiences.  Those that say, "Oh that's just doodling and I do that" which we know is NOT the case (and I'm glad those are few and far between), but then there are others that are kind and encouraging and really take the time to look at each tangle and each pattern and really get it.  I'm am thankful for the second group of people!  I have found them in places I never thought I would.  Of course there's the fam that gushes about everything and usually has something funny to say, but I have found there is a whole group of people who appreciate the work and the results and are so gracious with their comments and words of encouragement.  That has been the best part of my Zentangle journey so far.  So for all of you (in the second group) thank you for your words make my day!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I know - twice in one day right???  Here is my Challenge 13 tangle.  We had to use our non dominate hand for this weeks' challenge and see what we could come up with.  I would like to say that I'm one of those people who can do a pretty good job with my opposite hand but that is not the truth.  I didn't even know how to hold the pen in my right hand!!!  Now I know what little kids feel like - shees!!  I started this tangle out thinking I could have it done in a short amount of time.  In fact, it took me all of last night because I had to concentrate on each stroke and line I made.  I felt so clumsy doing this, but for me it was a good challenge since my right hand just usually hangs off the end of my arm (and shoulder) and doesn't do anything (not even hold my purse for me)!  Enjoy the rest of your day!!


I have been trying to perfect my shading and I like how this piece turned out.  There is also a new pattern I tried from Sandra that I'm not sure I got exactly right.  Sometimes my eyes see something different from my hand.  Or maybe the electron thingys that go from my eyes to my hand are just tired.  Even I get surprised when I see how things turn out sometimes.  I have tangles that I haven't shaded yet, but I almost feel like the shading finishes the piece.  It gives it the depth that you don't see without the shading - like it's calling out to be finished.  I got some new oil pastels so I've been playing around with those.  I really love how some people color theirs' and how great they look but I won't post anything until I perfect it a little more.  I'm such a perfectionist!!  That's such a silly thing to say when you're doing tangles because there is no structure to it so how can anyone be a perfectionist when doing them????  I guess sometimes I forget about the Zen part!!  He!He!!   Have a fabulous day and draw something that makes you smile!! 

Monday, March 14, 2011


This tangle to me represents everything in life that can fall apart.  Sometimes our lives look like everything is in it's place when in fact we hide the fact that we're crumbling in the background.  We have been watching the tv with all the destruction happening in Japan and it's heartbreaking to say the least.  Too many times we let circumstances around us cripple us (which I am so guilty of) and then when we see the horrible and devastating things someone else goes through, then our situation doesn't seem so bad.  Sometimes we have to just hang on even though it feels like our world is off its axis a little.  In the tangle the black balls (or dots) are in different stages of their fall.  I hope today finds you closer to the top than the bottom, but if you're not, trust that first you are not alone, and second that there is hope in finally reaching the bottom so you can begin your climb.  No matter what our situation or circumstance, there is always hope!  May God be with you all today!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

What Happened to the Day??

Oh my GOSH!!!!  First let me say I'm so sorry for getting this up so late!!  I am currently in CA where the time is two hours behind my usual time, and then to add daylight-savings on top of that - I'm so late!!!  This day is going to be over before I get my breakfast eaten!!  I'm still trying to work on some new patterns and yesterday while shopping at the craft store (had to get another drawing book) I was on the lookout for tangle patterns.  You would not BELIEVE the array of patterns you will find if you just pay attention!  They were on planters, on paper, on the floor, on upholstery, cushion covers, on the ceiling, in jewelry, so when I say everywhere I really mean everywhere!!  I'm hoping to get something new to you tomorrow (of  course I had to work on them last night) but sometimes when you're away from home things don't go as planned.  I hope you enjoy your short day today (red faced it looks like mine will be shorter than most of yours).  Spring must be right around the corner now - right????

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Spring Influences

I think the closer we get to Spring the more spring-like my tangles get.  I'm sure there's something Freudian like, but I am so ready to see some color on the ground and some sunshine - more than just 1 or 2 days in a row.  We are on a little trip right now and I thought the weather would be great.  Well, not so much!  Today so far, is overcast and tomorrow is forecasting rain.  Seriously?????  I'm sure there's a lesson in there somewhere about making lemonade out of lemons, or something like that, but I can tell you that after living in the Midwest for awhile, you really grow to appreciate the change in the seasons.  When you're just about sick of one, it's about time for a new one, bringing new things to the surroundings.  I guess like the Bible (and the song) says, there is a time for every season and God knows what that time is.  I guess it's a good thing we're not the ones in charge of THAT.  It would be like bi-polar weather with everyone saying, "I want this today, or no I want it like this".  I'll try to enjoy the wonderful people around me and be thankful that today I have my health and will make my lemonaid.  Happy day to you!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Its a Puzzle!

Last week Little Miss Thissorthat was over and wanted to draw.  Since she's only 4 and doesn't have great control over her motor skills yet, she asked me to help her make a tangle (like grandmas').  So as she gave direction, I drew.  When it was all said and done she said, "its a guy filled with puzzles grandma".  I know, she's so smart!!!!  We tried to choose different patterns but she has a fancy for certain ones.  I know we didn't start out with a plan to make a guy but we added a little here and a little there and before we knew it - there he was!  It's always fun to spend time with her and when we can do something creative she gets SO into it.  Her mom says she's inherited my crafty-ness.  I hope that's true.  I know she does crafts with a lot of people so I'm hoping this is something that stays with her. I hope you have time for your favorite craft today.  Do it just for you!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Three Little Mice

Sometimes when I spend time with Little Miss Thisorthat I am amazed at her perspective on life.  She is so smart and can see through so much and cut to what's real to her.  And you know what, she makes more sense than some adults that I know.  When she saw this tangle she said, "grandma this looks like the carriage that took Cinderella to the ball - you know the one with the pumpkins and the mice?"  Of course I remembered because all my boys watched Cinderella over and over when they were little (even though they probably wouldn't admit it at this point in their lives).  I'm just surprised at the things she remembers - I know she my granddaughter so I think EVERYTHING she says and does is remarkable.  But how can you fault a grandma for adoring her grand kids???  Fairy tales are just that, food for your imagination and isn't that something that we should NEVER outgrow?  I guess that's why even now we draw little patterns on pictures and are so proud of them.  It's our way of staying in touch with our inner self (even though sometimes we don't think it's as important as it really is).  Feed yourself something like a fairy tale and enjoy your day!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Have you ever heard of barley twist?  It's a type or style of furniture that was made back in the day so it's mostly on antique furniture.  Mr. Thisorthat used to go to auctions, buy antiques, refinish or repair them, and sell them.  He fell in love with this style which translates into we had alot of it!  My favorite was a dinette table and chairs that we had.  It was really pretty to look at but not much fun to strip the finish off and refinish it.  The twist really is twisted!  Anyway it's been a long time since we have had this furniture (I think we have one living room chair still) and for some reason this idea just popped into my head to see if I could draw it.  I guess it's not really a tangle per say, but it was a process that I enjoyed.  I wish I could have captured the perspective a little better, but I'm still happy with how it turned out.  I hope today you make time for yourself - even if it's a cup of coffee in the stillness of your own thoughts.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I've been doing so many experiments on my tangles lately that I really felt like I had to get back to something I was comfortable with.  I know you're supposed to get in a zen zone but sometimes its hard to do that when you're trying out new tangles and designs.  Then of  course there's the coloring thing.  If you do choose to color it, how do you do it?  What colors do you put where?  I'm looking forward to Lauras' Challenge this week (even though I haven't done it yet) because the tangle needs to be blue.  That takes all the guessing out and for someone who is like me and is very indecisive at this point in my life, having someone give me a directions is just what I need.  So maybe tomorrow I'll have it up for you to see.  But for today I was happy with the flowers (which are called gingerbee by Sandra Strait) and the puffy thing (we used to call them fairies cuz we would make a wish on them and blow them all over) is Sandras' too.  Of course I don't know what it's called but i really like it.  Hope you're weather is warming up and you have sunshine.

Monday, March 7, 2011

More Photoshop


Well  even though yesterday was our Anniversary (and was very nice by the way), it was also NASCAR!!  Which translated means I had a lot of time to work on my tangles!  After I finished with this one it looked incredibly busy to me so Mr. Thisorthat suggested I add some color to it.  His choices were hot pink and royal blue and red, but after I got them on the tangle, it scared me!!  I thought I should tone down the colors a little, but left the red for him.  I'm still not convinced about the coloring thing, but I do like the way the shading on the black and white part turned out.  Also there was a "booboo" on the original that had to be removed (too bad there's no white out when you're drawing) so there are some benefits I guess.  But I almost miss the finish work time doing the shading because that's when the tangle really comes to life, so I'm not sure this is the way to go or not.  Take a look at both of these and let me know if you have a preference.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

29 Years!!!!

Today is my 29th wedding anniversary.  29 years ago today Mr. Thisorthat and I walked down the isle - it was a Saturday evening and there was snow on the ground.  It seems like it was just a few years back but it has been a lifetime of wonderful memories.  The reason I chose this tangle for today is because of the rose.  It reminds me of the rose from Beauty and the Beast where the rose represents true love.  I was so young (lets see 29 years????? so I must have been 3 or 4 when I married) well in reality I was 21 and hadn't even begun to live life.  God was watching over me when He sent this wonderful man in my life.  We have three wonderful sons, two grand kids (that are FABULOUS), moved cross country twice (and will again before this is over), and had way more happy times than sad.  I can say this man has made all my dreams come true and I'm a very lucky girl to be married to such a wonderful man (and my best friend) for 29 years.  I hope we have another 29 under our belt before this is all said and done.  Happy Anniversary Honey - I love you!!  Thank you for really sharing the best years of my life!!  (I know he's reading this because he's  my greatest supporter)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Under the sea

When I finished this it reminded me of a star fish living under the sea.  Maybe it's the "bubbles" or the shape of the star fish but I like this because it's not too complicated and for me it lived up to the true ZT way - relaxing and breathing and enjoying the process (as well as the outcome in this case).  We could all take a lesson from that on a daily basis and not just when we're sitting down with pen and paper.  It's like when your kids are little and you have very long days that you think will never end and then before you know it their grown with babies of their own and you ask yourself where did the time go???  I don't feel any different, except maybe a little more wiser (and patient) but regardless its gone and sometimes I think I missed out.  Then I look at my boys and see the kind of men they are and I'm so proud.  I wish I could forewarn them about the passage of time but I think my grandma tried to tell me and I was too caught up in parenting that I think I forgot to listen to her.  Oh how I miss her!!!  Whatever your plans are for this day, I hope you can appreciate where you are in your life right now and see how you've grown to get there.  Life really is a journey for all of us.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Look what I did!

I've been playing around on my Photoshop and seeing how it would turn out if I tried to color my tangles that way.  Electronically.  It sounds like cheating a little.  The good thing was if I put color in a place that didn't look so good then I could change it.  I'm still not sure if I even like the color but I'm still experimenting with it.  This was fun experiment for me as I'm trying to get more familiar with my Photoshop program and this gave me an opportunity to do that.  I learned some cool features (like cutting and pasting from one picture to another) that make it worth playing around some more.  I was excited with the outcome (even though I have issues with the colorization thing) but I wanted to share with you.  Have a fabulous weekend!


When I started this tangle I had an idea in mind when I drew the string.  After I got the first part of my idea on the paper, it changed the whole thing.  I did this about two weeks ago and have been staring at it since then.  I feel like it needs something else but I can't figure out what.  So like so many tangles, you start out with one thing and end up with another.  I'm just not sure if this one has ended or if it's just stuck for now.  It's a good metaphore for me because even when I think I know what I'm doing, I feel stuck and then feel like I need to reflect before I make any more decisions.  Sometimes that's not the most popular thing to do (it really annoys Mr. Thisorthat) but if you're going to be totally true to yourself, it's what you've got to do.  Have wonderful Friday and notice how much lighter it's becoming in the evening.  I think that means Spring is getting close!!! 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

So much talent!

I was looking through patterns over the weekend, and noticed that Sandra (molossus, whose life imitates doodles) has a TON of them!!  I didn't actually count them but there were SO many of them.  It amazes me how she can come up with all of her ideas, puts them to paper, and still makes them all look so easy. She makes everyone feel like "hey I can do that".   When I see what she's done I have one of those "duh" moments and think I should have come up with that.  Even the little animals she makes look so easy.  But the more patterns I looked through, the more I wanted to try them out. I had little scratch pieces of paper everywhere with her stuff on them (some turned out pretty good and some not so good), so I decided to try some out officially and do a page filled with patterns from her.  So all of these patterns on this tangle are from Sandra Strait (except for the bubbles I came up with those by myself - he! he not really cuz I don't know who really invented little circles!)  You will have to take a look at her flickr page if you haven't already because she is one talented lady.  Here's the link if you have time - I promise you won't be disappointed.  (     Sandra has a wonderful imagination and can put that to paper, but she is also humble about her talent, is kind and encouraging of everyone (I have the comments to prove it).  So if you're reading this, thank you Sandra for ALL of the many ways you have helped me and well, all of us!!  The Zentangle community is a warm and welcoming place because people with like interests aren't afraid to reach out to each other.  It's been a wonderful surprise for me (which I was in desperate need for).  Happy day to all of you and share your sparkle someone!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


After I decided this was the tangle I would use today, I rotated it around and around about six times.  I couldn't decide which way I liked it the best.  There are some flowers that I really like and some that were just ok.  When I would rotate it parts that I didn't like really  jumped out and the parts that I did like seemed to fade away.  So this is the way that I finally decided on.  Not because I think it's the best, but because I just couldn't decide.  I had to go with something.  You'll have to take a look (you know turn your head from side to side and then put your laptop on the floor and look down on it) and let me know what you think.  I'm starting to get a little braver with the color but it still scares me.  On this one I could see where the color enhanced certain parts which was really cool.  Sometimes I like the tangle just like it is and I'm afraid I might ruin it by adding color that doesn't look right.  I happen to have one of those (which you probably already guessed) so you can tell me what you think about this one too (it's down below).  Happy day to all and I hope you're having sunshine today.  Hopefully soon I'll be able to say something like nice weather, or a great day outside, you know something along those lines.  I think we (at least in Nebraska) will have to wait a bit longer for that.  So wherever you are, enjoy your day and do something creative just for yourself!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Get Inspired!

If you haven't taken the time to look through the flickr Zentangle photostream, you're really missing out on a lot!  There are some awesome tanglers and even some things you scratch your head and wonder how the human hand could draw such a masterpiece.  I've been struggling with ideas lately so I've been looking for inspiration.  I got this idea from Mariët Dronten's photostream.  She had some patterns I've never seen (but that's not saying much since I've only been doing this since December) and does beautiful work.  I like the idea of this one being a picture instead of just a design, but you should take a look at her work and see what she's done.  There is a poem on Mariët's picture and she has graciously translated it.   It's just lovely.   I hope there's sunshine where you are and today brings you smiles and happy thoughts!