Saturday, April 30, 2011
Mr. Thisorthat and I had a great debate about whether the blocks should be under the canopy or in front of it. Obviously I won (he! he!) but I have to say it's helpful to get someone elses perspective on things (sometimes) because I think like an artist (or maybe I should say creatively) and he thinks very rationally and with a plan. I know we may seem like an odd pair but it's worked for 29 years so we'll keep at it. Then of course there's the whole color or don't color thing but we won't go there today. It has made me see that everyone does not look at the same thing the same way. Everyone has their own interpretation of what they're looking at - which kind of surprises me since we're all looking at the same thing (theoretically)! I've never been a "lets go to the gallery opening" kind of person, but now I understand (from what I've seen on TV :) - like that's real) why people stand and stare at art. I'm starting to realize that everyone really does see something different which is very cool!! I hope you like what you see in your world today!
Friday, April 29, 2011
Soft and fluffy is one of my favorite things! It comes in all sorts of things, but I especially like piling layers of blankets on top of me in the winter (or even Spring when its like this year) and getting all warm and cozy underneath them. I used to have a huge down comforter when Little Miss Thisorthat was just starting to walk and when she was on the bed she would take a step and fall into a mass of puffiness because it was so fluffy she could hardly stand up. Then of course we would laugh and she would try it again! Good times! There are so many memories I have of quilts that I've made and snuggled under, afghans that were made and given to us that we've used for years and years, and even big downy throws given by dear friends - but the one thing that never changes is the comfort that I always get from them. It's almost like some sort of medicine for your soul because no matter what kind of a day you've had, mood you're in or where you are, there's just nothing like a good cozy snuggle under your favorite blankey. You can almost feel the hug coming from inside the blanket and wrapping itself around you. Some things you just can't beat! I hope you have something wonderfully soft and fluffy in your world that makes you smile and I hope it's something you have great memories tied to because we all need a special cozy hug from time to time.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
I started this a couple of months ago with just the ribbon string. The more I looked at it, the more I wasn't sure what to do with it - so I did nothing (but look at it and shake my head). When I ran out of paper over the weekend, I had to resort to finishing projects that were just lingering. When I finished with this it reminded me of our recent road trip. The road wound around through the mountains then the salt flats then we had snow and rain and if I think WAY back I think we had something called sunshine - it was a trip that covered a lot of scenery and elements. So I guess the lesson is - if you have something you've started and can't quite put your finger on how to make it come together, just give it awhile and go back to it with fresh eyes and you might be surprised at the outcome. Besides, who doesn't like surprises - especially when they come from your own creative hand!
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
I grew up listening to Carole King, and one of my favorite albums (you know like a record - I know I'm dating myself) was the Tapestry album and I listened to the title song for hours and hours. It always struck me as an odd song (I've never been very good at metaphors) but I do feel like our life really is like layers and layers of beautiful tapestry. Like the song says, "an everlasting vision and ever changing views". Over the course of our lives we stretch and grow and as a result of that our views change. We think that we have our lives all figured out and then something happens that pulls the rug out from under us and before you know it - we're in a new place growing in a different direction - and that's hard!! Even though it's scary and can be intimidating, I like that we don't always know what's ahead for us (and I'm a person who doesn't like change). There is some comfort in knowing that things won't always turn out like we've planned (and boy am I a planner) because even though we hate to admit this, if we knew what was waiting down the road for us tomorrow, we probably would make different choices today. But because of all the layers in our lives (the things we've gone through before), we have the resources to grow and change with confidence. The comfort we find in our own tapestry today will make for a more beautiful one tomorrow.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
I ran into a little delema this week - I RAN OUT OF JOURNAL PAPER!!! I know you're asking yourself how could THAT have happened?? I don't know!! I had a stack of journals but they ended up being all completed ones. I guess I thought they were the empty ones, but when I went to look for a new one - nope!!!! Aparently I'm keeping Strathmore in business (along with the rest of you tanglers). I was so glad to see Lauras' Challenge this week had a dark background since all I had to get started on was black paper. Whew did I luck out!!! After my trip to Blick (and thank goodness for sales) I am back in business!!! Who would have ever thought having pens and papers would become so vital to everyday life??!! What a great (tangling) day this will be!!!
Monday, April 25, 2011
Since the saying goes "April showers bring May flowers", I think we're going to have a bumper crop of flowers this year!!! April has been a wet and cold month but I see next week (the first week of May) that we're suppose to have sunny days in the 60-70's and did I mention SUN!!! I don't know how your weather has been, but I know I'm ready to get on with some Springtime weather. I even bought seeds to plant with Little Miss Thisorthat when she comes over later this week. As I look through Flickr I see more and more floral patterns popping up, so I think we're in the full throngs of Spring (it just isn't acting like it here). I love when the sun is shining and feels warm to your face, the sky is blue with white puffy clouds, when the flowers grow and the birds are chirping, when someone (not me but SOMEONE at my house) mows and the grass smells so fresh, and when the squirrels are running around everywhere - its wonderful!! I hope you're having a fabulous springtime day and are finding ways to enjoy each day!
Sunday, April 24, 2011
When I first finished this tangle and stepped back to look at it, and it screamed out "COLOR ME"!!! Even though it's not a specific type of flower (because I'm not THAT creative) I decided to give it an Easter feel since Easter was right around the corner. Now that I look at it, I don't know that it even resembles Easter (since it doesn't look anything like an Easter Lily) but I like it anyway. Who said you have to use only Easter Lily's at Easter anyway?? One of my kids brought me flowers for our Easter gathering yesterday and there were roses, carnations, daisy's, some green stemy things (I don't think that's the official name - but it could be) and they were as wonderful as any Easter Lily I've seen. I love the color and the texture of the different flowers and especially the smell. Mmmmmmm - how do flowers smell so good???? Anyway, whatever you're doing on this awesome Easter day, I hope you inhale it all and enjoy whatever it is you do. Please take time out of your festivities to remember why we celebrate Easter! Lovely day to you all!!!
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Staying in the lines is hard sometimes!! Saying that, I suppose it depends on what the lines are. In some cases the lines are drawings we make (and those lines are REALLY hard to stay in sometimes - he he!) and other times the lines are surrounding our everyday life. We have to decide what we will accept and what we refuse to except, and of course everything in between. But life happens and the lines change which makes for more confusion! I think that's what "thinking outside the box" is all about. Moving your lines. We move our lines all the time even though we don't realize it. Mr. Thisorthat tells me all the time that he hasn't changed, but I can tell you after 30 years together HE HAS!!!! Think about what you would have accepted when you were first married or when you first had kids, and then what you accept now. Way different huh??? The important thing isn't that the lines stay the same or move, the important thing is that you're happy with where the lines are. Today look at where YOUR lines are and smile. I hope they are where you want them to be. If not, take control and move them so you can be happy!!!! After all life it too short to be unhappy!
Friday, April 22, 2011
When there is a string on a paper, it's a total blank slate just crying out for direction. It gives you a chance to start a whole new idea and plan for a fabulous treasure hiding inside (or just wait for it to appear which happens more often in my pieces). I was pleasantly surprised because I initially thought that tangling was tangling. I quickly learned that everyone has their own style and when I'm looking at the fabulous work I'm seeing, and I'm getting pretty good at recognizing each artist by their different styles (which is always fun). I was concerned about that when I first started because I wasn't sure what my style was. Well to be honest, I'm still not entirely sure how you would describe my style of tangling. But after looking at my past work, there are some patterns that have developed (no pun intended). I see that I like flowers, ribbons (honestly who doesn't just adore looking at flowers and ribbons???), and I lean toward rounded edges more than sharp angles in my strings but in my patterns I tend to use more angled and straight lines (as apposed to circular shapes). I have come to realize (and am finally more comfortable with this) but there is no right way or even a better way to do any tangling (or any kind of art form) except to do what comes natural to you and by that I mean be true to yourself. There are so many different options as far as style but experimenting and landing on something that is yours is the best. Don't get me wrong, the journey is fun (and challenging at times) but finding what you like and don't like is the inspiration that keeps you going. Are you finding yourself through your art - whatever kind it is??? I truly want that for you!! Whatever your style is, be true to it, have fun, and don't forget to share it. To all of my fellow tangler and artists pals, I thank you for sharing your work and encouraging my own. Happy Friday to all who are reading my little blog!! :)
Thursday, April 21, 2011
I was really excited about trying some new (well new to me) patterns and that's about all the direction that I had. After I finished I was pleasantly surprised to see "things that people take to the beach" (like on the Family Feud game show??) I could see things popping up all over the place. It makes you wonder if you have hidden ideas in your head that just start to develop once your pen starts working. Well sometimes that might be true, but then there are the other times when you can't pull together an idea no matter how hard you try! It's very nice on the times when things tend to flow - it makes the Zen part easier to Zen-out! Since I WISH I was at the beach instead of being stuck in the nasty Midwest weather we're having, I'll just enjoy the picture. Maybe I'll put some color to it so it REALLY looks like a scene from the beach. Hmmm.......well if I do, I'll be sure to re-post it and let you know. Happy pretend day at the beach my friends!
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Wow this one really was a challenge for me!!!! I had to go and get a picture in my head and I never could get it quite right (you know how THAT goes). I can honestly say I've probably worked on this (the black and white and then the color) for about 10 hours (but Mr. Thisorthat would say much longer). As you can see I even ended up changing one of my patterns because I didn't like the way it looked after I started to color it. I would love to say that this was all done with my creativity in the use of pencils and pens, but I have to say after much frustration and not getting the look I was after, I headed to the computer and used my Photoshop. I'm pretty happy with the results or maybe I just got tired of "fine tuning" it but I can say that I've completed the Challenge set before me and I am victorious!!!! Now I'm going to start working on some of the things that I should have been doing! Happy day to you and I hope you conquer whatever challenge you set out for yourself!
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
My mind works in a very symmetrical way. Maybe it's the perfectionist in me, who knows. But I have to force myself not to balance the all the little things in my life, but then sometimes I can't help myself. In those times I have this internal conflict about how much I can really get away with, without it look odd. For this tangle I decided to just let myself go with it, and then add a few off balance bits when I finished. Of course then I have to decide which way I think it should lay out. (Always something right?) In my mind, when I was drawing, I thought it would go long-ways but then when I finished I thought it should go up and down. I guess there is no right or wrong way but I'm happy with the outcome. I suppose it's like everyday life when you have to make a decision - you take a look at what you have in front of you - ponder it a little - then jump in and make your decision. Today I hope you make the decision to do something really off balance and have fun with whatever ti is!!
Monday, April 18, 2011
Surprise! This is one of the tangles that I've recently colored and I really love this one! I don't know if it's because it kind of looks like Thanksgiving (I'm not really sure why but for me it does) or if it's because it was really fun to color and I still like it (which sometimes I don't) or if it's just the tangle itself, but when I look at this one it looks like it makes sense. I don't know what to call this one but I like looking at it. I guess it could look like a space station of come kind (if there is more that one kind - he! he!). Anyway I'm so excited to share some of these pieces with you so be sure to check back again soon. Hopefully Laura will get her Challenge for this week up and I can do something fun with that too. Make it a great week!!
Sunday, April 17, 2011
It's funny how you can start out with an idea and then by the time you finish your piece, the idea as dwindled and you're not really sure what you've done. I like the patterns in this piece, but for me, something got lost along the way and now it just looks like......a mess. Not really a mess but when you stand back and look at it, it's like "hmmmm wonder what that is"? I wish I had an answer for you. Maybe if I made my strings out of pencil that would make things easier but I did the best I could with the pen. Don't get me wrong, like I said, I like the patterns, but I think the placement could have been a little better. I've been really busy this week working on my shading and I've go a couple of new and (what I think) are really neat pieces coming this week. First up, tomorrow with some awesome color! Happy Sunday and enjoy your day!!
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Friday, April 15, 2011
I've been trying to work on my shading so this time instead of doing all of my shading after I'm satisfied and its all "done" in my mind, I tried shading as I went along. At first I was a little scared because it felt like I was scribbling on a perfectly good piece but then the more I did, I could see it really coming together and I was really pleased with it. I was honestly surprised that I could accomplish this look. After I was finished with that part, I touched it up with a little pencil for some extra shading. Ta-da! A finished product!!! We're having a terrible rain storm today but I hope wherever you are your day is full of sunshine (even if it's just inside your heart)!!
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Well it's pretty obvious that this isn't another version of this weeks' Challenge. I would love to say that I did this in less than 15 minutes, but there's no way!! After I stepped back when I finished the last pattern, I thought I would drag out my watercolor pencils. I was pleased to see (because I don't use them enough to remember) there were several different blue pencils. It was an easy decision because I'm still learning what colors go better together so I used all the different blues. Sometimes I feel like I'm in grade school again trying to figure out what colors go better with other colors and how to blend colors and where to shade. I'm sure I learned that somewhere around third grade. All I can say to that is it was a LONG time ago! It was fun to see how the different colors played out on the paper - some I didn't have to use much pencil to get the color I was looking for, and others I had to use more than I originally thought. I learn something each time I try new things and I guess that's one of the reasons I am head over heals in love love (yes I meant to say it twice) with Zentangles. The creative process is something I look forward to each time I sit down with my pens and journal as I wait for the next great thing to appear. Ha! Ha! Sometimes I really crack myself up!! Of course the next grate thing is all perspective so I'll keep working toward that. All I can say is it gives me great joy and a sense of personal fulfillment when I finish a tangle and I'm pleased with it. I hope today brings you that same sense of accomplishment!
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Interpretation is a funny thing. That's part of what makes Zentangles so appealing. You draw patterns, end up with something, someone else looks at it, sees something completely different - its great!!! I guess that's what art really is anyway right? Everything is subject to our perception. I was really enjoying all the different patterns in this piece, when Little Miss Thisorthat and Mr. Thisorthat said this looked like something you would see in a bowl of fruit salad. I still didn't see it, but after they shared their ideas we all laughed. Laughter is wonderful and if you can do that with those you care the most about, then life is pretty great!! I hope today you can find laughter in something you do. Enjoy the day!!
Saturday, April 9, 2011
I know I've said this before on my blog, but sometimes when my brain is dead (which is more often than I care to admit) and I can't think of any new patterns to draw, I fall back on my favorites. I don't think there's anything wrong with that but the other day when Mr. Thisorthat said they're starting to all look the same, I knew I had a problem! Not that he doesn't pay attention, (because he's really good at that part) but he brought to my attention that I need to be a little more creative in my layouts. I hate to admit, that even for me (sometimes) the finished product looks a little like something from my past. I don't think there's anything wrong with falling into your comfort zone but at the same time we all have so many possibilities at our fingertips that pulling back the layers and exposing that can have an excellent result. Today I challenge you to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new that makes you step back and smile. You might be in for a huge surprise at what you have inside you!!
Friday, April 8, 2011
I was up REALLY late last night (or I should say somewhat early this morning) and I decided it was time to add a little color to the Bouquet that I did last week. Then when I finished that, I had one more Mooka that screamed out for some color too. I'm still working on fine-tuning the Mooka pattern, but it's getting better from my standpoint. It's nice to have something that you can work on and just change a few things (like the color or the layout of the pattern) and have a totally different result - it's pretty neat! I think sometimes we get used to doing things the same way and expect a different result (which I think we all know doesn't work). Today I hope you change something up a little and see how different the results are. Happy Friday!!
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Sometimes when I make a string it turns into something really odd! My tangle starts out with a string that I get all excited about, thinking of what will go into it, and then before I know it I'm stuck! Thats when I have to pull out my old journals to look at patterns (because you don't want the same ones on EVERYTHING) and then onto my computer to look at what other patterns are floating around in internet land. Its times like this when I get my tangle finished that I look at it and sadly nothing jumps out at me. I enjoy the process (which I think is what it's REALLY about anyway) but it doesn't really look like anything in particular. You know, it doesn't have that wow factor that I was so excited about when I put down the string. Maybe its the mood I'm in or what's going on around me, but I'm thinking I should just put my pen down when I'm feeling that way. So today I have to apologize for a just ok picture for you to look at. I've already finished a couple more and will have them for you tomorrow. For today, I hope this is the day that is a WOW day for you!
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Mirror mirror on the wall??? Isn't that what we grew up with? Hopeing the mirror would say we were the fairest one of all??? I think even though we would all like to be as totally selfless as Snow White was, there is a little bit of the Step-mother in us too. After all who doesn't want to be the best at something??? I think we all have attributes that in our way, make us the fairest one of all. Whether its our smile, our eyes, or the way we make our family feel special, or the favorite cookies our kids cheer for when we make them - we all have SOMETHING that makes us the fairest in the land. I think that's what draws me to Zentangles. I look at some tangles and think I could NEVER do something that detailed and then someone will comment on something I've done and say its wonderful (which of course I never feel like - but I'm learning to). We can all learn from each other (in Zentangles AND in life) and isn't that really what its all about??? Sharing our experiences and helping one another grow??? Do something that makes you feel good about yourself today!!
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Sometimes I get so busy searching out new patterns to try and then putting them to paper that never see the light of day, that every once in awhile I feel like I need to do something very basic. For me, this was my back to basic tangle. Some days I want to learn new things but then I'm fearful that (like the Mooka) they don't turn out like I think they should (its all about that darn vision in my head), so it was nice to do something I felt comfortable with. There's something about comfortable that boosts your confidence level and makes you believe that you can do anything. SO after I finished this, I felt a little more qualified to tackle something more challenging. You'll have to wait for that, but for today, I hope you find something to command in your world and give yourself the boost you need to feel better about yourself. You really can do anything you set your mind to - whether its something you're comfortable with or even a new challenge to stretch yourself!! Now go for it and have fun!
Monday, April 4, 2011
I'm not sure what got into me this morning, but after I saw the video on this new pattern, Mooka, (from Laura Harms' I am the Diva website) I thought I would give it a try. It seems like every time I try to make any pattern with a loop in it, it never turns out the way I think it should. So when I decided to give this one a try I was a little skeptical but excited at the same time. Well true to form, it didn't turn out like I thought it should. The video made it look so much easier!! But then I did some shading on it and added some other little things to it and I was happier with it. I'm sure I'll do another tangle this week with this new pattern, but....not today. I think the images inside my head are much more controlled (probably because I'm somewhat of a perfectionist) and I wish the end result was the same. But I guess if everything came out like the vision in my head, then I'd have tons of money and be on an island someplace. Oh to dream!!!! Happy Monday to you and keep on dreaming!!!
Sunday, April 3, 2011
I started this tangle and thought I would just add a new pattern as I started from the top and worked down. It seemed like it was more difficult than I thought it would be. It seems like the patterns all started to look alike. Maybe my mind was feeling a little square that day - he! he! Who knows. Then after I got it finished I could see someone leaning over the top of it and dropping little disks like they did on the Plunko game from The Price is Right. I don't know if they even play that game anymore because it's been YEARS since I've seen it. Back to the Bob Barker days. Anyway this was interesting to me how it ended up. Another one of those, you don't know what you're ending up with until it's done, tangles. I hope whatever you're doing today, it ends up being a fabulous day for you!!
Saturday, April 2, 2011
How can you go wrong with hearts, ribbons, and flowers? Those are some of my most favorite things. Of course if you visit my blog very often you probably have figured it out already. I love finding new ways to do the ribbons without always putting a pattern on them. The flowers will probably end up in color (then I'll post it again for you) but there's something about the black and white (or gray scale) look that really appeals to me. It looks....natural???? Well as natural as you can get when you're just using a pen and pencil. I think the greatest (or one of the greatest anyway) about Zentangles is that each tangle is your own. It reflects what you're feeling, where you are in your head, and what comes out on the paper is all yours. Even if you're using a pattern from someone else, no one else is combining the same patterns in the same way. It's your own masterpiece. Take ownership of your work and be proud of it, it's all you and it's fabulous!!!
Friday, April 1, 2011
Ready? Are you ready?? Ready for what the day holds? Ready for the weekend? Ready for all the things that are coming your way that you're not planning for?? We make plans and get things ready for what we think is coming, but then there are the days when we're blind-sided. When things come out of nowhere! Then what?? Were we really ready for anything?? Not usually, at least when we can't see what's ahead of us. So I guess the question would be how do you prepare for something that you really don't know is coming??? Man I wish I had THAT answer. I guess that's when it's time to trust yourself, those around you, and God for His guidance in our lives. Hard things to do and much easier to say! For me - I'm there right now and it's not a fun place. I think tangling can be a lifesaver - like a rope that's keeping you tied to something you can control when life puts you in a place where there doesn't seem like there is any. Today is full of opportunities - even if you don't want them - they are waiting for you. Draw something and find what you're ready for - even if its a little thing - you're ready for it!