Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Challenge 24 - String Theory II

Even though this week the challenge was similar to last weeks, I always like trying to give dimension to straight pieces, so those are always fun challenges for me.  Sometimes it works out great and I'm really pleased and then there are other times when I scratch my head and think "what was I thinking when I did that?"  This piece as it turned has both elements in it.  I used to get upset when things didn't turn out like I thought they should, but I'm starting to have a more layed back attitude about it.  Maybe I'm finally getting the zen out of the Zentangle.  Today I hope you find some zen to help make it an awesome day!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Where's the vacation?

I must need a vacation really bad!!!  It seems like everywhere I turn I'm seeing vacation themed things.  I see vacation wear when I get dressed (probably because I've worn them on a trip before), I hear airplanes and wish I was on one going to some wonderful place, and now that last couple of drawings I've made make me think of some sort of vacation destination.  I have vacation on the brain!  This one looks like a floating island with a huge palm tree in the middle.  There are obstacles standing in front (like always) hiding all of the exciting things going on there, but you can only imagine (the sound of live calypso music being played, feeling the cool crystal clear turquoise ocean as you relax and play in it, laying under an umbrella listening to the water rush back and forth on the shore, enjoying a fruity drink with, of course, an umbrella in it, and there's so much more).  See I told you I need a vacation!!  Since today is our Memorial Day Holiday, I hope you can not only remember the sacrifice our soldiers (past, present, and future) have and will make for us, but make today a little bit of a vacation in your world - wherever you are!  Be safe and enjoy!!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Long Legs

I was watching television the other night and there was a guy singing - the first thing that came to mind (besides what a great voice he has) was my gosh he's got long legs (I know what you're thinking and that's not the case)!!!  When I drew my string it was a little out of proportion but it was a fun way to start.  I guess when they say to keep your eyes open because you can see patterns everywhere - they aren't kidding!!  Enjoy your Memorial Day Sunday!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Smooth and Deep

No matter how hard I try to create angles in my pieces, I usually end up with nice rounded curves.  I don't know if my pen likes the flow of the curved lines when I'm making my strings or if in the back of my mind I like to fill rounded pieces better.  I like to think I can get more depth out of the curved pieces.  Shading has become something that I love playing with.  I am surprised at how different some pieces look after the shading has changed them and given them depth and dimension.  And to think it all comes from a flat surface.  Who would have thought???  I hope today you have a day full of dimension and depth - enjoy a fabulous Saturday!

Friday, May 27, 2011

New Things

This tangle has two new patterns in it.  The first is Spam (by Sandra Strait - Molossus who says Life Imitates Doodles) which is at the top and Chain Reaction (by LeeAnn - LeeAnn's Zentangleing Fun) and that's at the bottom.  This is another piece that I worked on during the MANY hours of computer clean up that is still ongoing.  It's fun to try new things and I'm not one that likes to practice much (too impatient) so when I try a new pattern it's usually the first time I've done it.  Sometimes I like the way they turn out and other times - well, they need more work.  With this being the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend I hope you get to try some new things out for your holiday weekend.  Just wing it like I do with my new patterns and you'll have a wonderful time - whether they turn out just like you want or maybe you should have planned a little more!  Either way enjoy and be safe!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Antivirus Day

The last two days have been "antivirus day" for me.  As I told you before I am NOT a computer person but one of our laptops had an expired antivirus- simple fix right???  Not so much!!!!  We had changed to a different antivirus company (BIG mistake) and somehow it corrupted a file (a Microsoft file no less - and they are HARD to get ahold of) so we went back to the old company.  They were totally awesome and (lucky for me and not so lucky for them) when I bought the new program I also purchased the 24/7 support.  YAY - first time THAT'S paid off!!!  After spending six hours trying to fix it myself, I broke down and called them, then they spent three hours on the phone with me (thank goodness for speaker phones) and still couldn't get it right.  I had to call again yesterday morning and spent another almost three hours with them only to find out I had to contact Microsoft (to fix the corrupt file) and then call them back - whew!!!  It took the rest of the day yesterday (and I still never got ahold of them) so I'm getting ready to start on it again, but even though I'm still in the process, I'm getting some tangling done while I'm waiting.  WOO HOO!!  So be prepared and ALWAYS have your pen and paper handy!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Challenge 23 - String Therory

This week the challenge from Laura Harms is to see what we can all do with the same string.  My first step was to print off the string - which didn't go so well.  It printed on an 8-1/2 X 11 paper which meant it was HUGE!!!!  So it became obvious (to save printer paper and ink) I was going to have to redraw it and what better way to keep it than to redraw it onto my journal?  That way I don't have to wonder where I've put the tile.  I know - I should probably organize my tiles but since it's not on the immediate "to do" list, it's probably not going to happen anytime soon.  Besides I love my journals and do most of my work there.   So moving on - after I got the string drawn, I was sort of stuck!  I went to Laura's website (I am the Diva) to see what the masses were doing.  I am always awestruck at the creativity others are so generous to share.  Each piece was awesome in it's own right.   So with some ideas and inspiration, away I went - and this is the result!  It was a fun challenge and the results are all so similar but still so different!  No matter if you're doing what others are doing or if you're marching to your own drummer on this Wednesday - have fun doing it!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


The final NASA space mission is underway and being a child from the 60's (yes there I go again dating myself) the space program has been around.  I remember watching the Apollo missions when they first started, I remember the Challenger explosion in 1986 (I recorded it on the VCR and later (a total accident) taped another show over it - which Mr. Thisorthat likes to remind me of when they show it on tv) and now this last trip - how awesome!!  What a ride NASA has shared with us!!  When we think of all the ways that society has changed over our lifetime, how far our space program has come and all of the progress that has been made - well its simply amazing to me - and I'm not a si-fi person at all!  But in this case you do have to give credit where it's due.   I hope today you have an amazing adventure of your own!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Comfy Cozy

I started this piece with LeeAnns (ledenzer from flckr) new Star-Fanleaf pattern and from there it took on a life of its own and was cascading downward before I knew it.  It was lending itself toward things that I love - like big comfy quilts, strings of beads, flowers and such.  I did a rendition of Neil Burleys (GSDM from flckr) Swags pattern, which I really like too.  I'm always looking for ways to create depth and dimension in my pieces because that's one of the things that draws me to the work of others.  I think it makes each piece more interesting, so that's always in the back of my mind. 

On a different note, I have friends that live in Joplin, MO (where the tornado hit last night) and the devastation to property is hard to watch, but the shock to their citizens is unimaginable.  Please keep these resilient and strong people in your thoughts and prayers as they begin to rebuild their lives!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Fancy Dress

Like most little girls, I used to dream about wearing big full dresses like Scarlet O'hara (really because I wanted to dress up for Rhett Butler) (oops did I just date myself????) which I guess is the reason Little Miss Thisorthat always wants to play dress up and a spinning dress is a must!  It was not a far stretch when I finished this piece that I saw that magnificant dress that I always wanted to wear.  I think I was born in the wrong century!!  Enjoy thinking about little memories that used to put a smile on your face - I hope they still do!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Little Color

I posted this a week or so ago, but decided it needed some color.  So here is a little color to brighten your day!!  Enjoy!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Up or Down?

Sometimes up or down is a choice.  It all depends on what you do with what's in front of you.  It's like a half full or half empty situation.  You can look at things with a positive attitude and take charge of certain situations, or you can be down in the dumps and have no control - just waiver back and forth like a branch blowing in the breeze.  I have to admit that sometimes it's easier to just be like the branch, but then you also have to live with the consequences (which in most cases never turn out so good).  Even though taking a stand and fighting for what you want is hard - you end up being the winner.  The one who can hold your head up and know that you took the upper road and did the right thing.  Fight for yourself and for the things you want and then be proud of yourself for all you do!! 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Feeling Empty

Wow today's blog is hard to write.  I know I told you some old friends lost their youngest daughter in a car accident - yesterday was the funeral.  Two of my sons went to the funeral (it was a 9 hour road trip each way) and they were on their way home when I was working on this tangle.  After talking to them on the phone a couple of times (because I'm a mom and freak out when my kids travel even though they are all adults) I was really glad they made the trip (and so were they).  Our old friends were very happy to see them again and the boys were invited to the church to spend time with the family and catch up.  They said it was the best funeral they had ever been too (not that they have been to many) but it was a happy event with balloons and clapping - a real celebration of this young girls life.  She was a straight A student, was taking college classes (as a Jr.) in hopes to someday become a doctor, was liked by everyone who met her, had the most beautiful smile, loved to play basketball,  and was very active in FCA and in their church. Her parents are comforted by knowing they will see her again - how awesome is that??  I'm sure it doesn't take away from the emptiness they're feeling, but it's great to know God is comforting them and helping them through this horrific time. Sometimes what we think are accidents are really Gods' plans in acction and we need to recognize that - no matter how hard it is. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Childs Play

Every time I see a pinwheel it always reminds me of those pinwheels we used to get as kids that sometimes had little candies in the straw-like handle.  After we ate the candy we would try to put them in the ground and wait for the wind to blow them around - that is of course if we didn't have them blown out of our hands when we would hold them out the window while the car was going down the road.  It's funny how little memories from your childhood pop into your head sometimes.  I hope today you will try to recall a good memory from your childhood and just think on it for a few minutes.  It really does give you a good feeling!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Challenge 22 - A Little Help From My Friends

This week I was able to do my Challenge piece on Monday - YAY!!!!!  Before Mr. Thisorthat left for work, I had him draw out a string for me. It is a fun challenge because it's like meshing two peoples ideas together.  Great concept!  Anyway while I was doing some repair/service work on his computer (I'm not a professional at this but when it isn't working right I'm the go-to person - scary huh?) I had time to do a little here and there and before I knew it - Ta-Da it was done.  It started out strictly as the Challenge but after I got started I remembered that I had told one of my flickr friends I would try the half pinwheel flower from LeeAnn (ledenzer) and so it turned into a piece for Jeanet (Rooike1) as well as the Challenge.  So today my challenge for you is to do something unexpected for someone you care about! 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Where's Spring???

There's been so much rain and cold weather over the last couple of days that I thought maybe something Springy might improve the mood.  We have had, what I call, bi-polar weather this year!  We were running our a/c the first of last week with temperatures in the 90's but then it made an about face and dropped back into the 40's and 50's with lots of clouds and rain and even a few thunderstorms (which as a rule I don't mind as long as the tornado's stay away).  I guess the lesson is to enjoy whatever each day brings because you never know how long it will last.  On that note, (which I wasn't going to go there) let me send a special wish to some old friends who lost their youngest daughter in a car accident over the weekend.  We all tend to think that tomorrow will be just like today, when in fact tomorrow might be more different than we ever imagine.  Hug your kids today and make sure those you love (whether close or far away) know that they are your world!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Craft Project?

When we had our family room cabinets made, Mr. Thisorthat planned to have black mesh inset into the cabinet doors so that his elaborate stereo system (that's inside them) could breath.  He ended up putting some different fabric on there and was somewhat pleased, until Little Miss Thisorthat wanted to play in front of them and kept pushing the fabric through the door.  Not good!  Then for awhile we lived with nothing in the inset (not good from my standpoint).  I was about to have one of my tangles printed for a wedding gift and Mr. Thisorthat thought it would be really cool if we enlarged parts of it and had that put into the cabinet doors.  Can you say "blown away"????  I show him all the pieces that I do and he always says nice things, but to have one of them in the room where we spend the most time (you know where the tv is) stareing at us all the time, I wasn't too sure.  Oh yeah and it's BIG!  When the pictures arrived I have to tell you he got right on the project and glued them to some really thick poster board, cut them, and put them in the doors.  When he got them hung I think we were both blown away.  It's pretty cool and all because Mr. Thisorthat wanted to do a craft project - he he!  Good job honey!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011


I always feel like the tangles with straight lines are more like basic tangles than others.  I don't know why I think that but that's how they feel to me.  Even though the patterns are the same and I miss the curves, tangles like these tend to remind me of the ones I would do when I first started.  I guess I was a little intimidated by the curves.  Now I'm all about the curves and have to make myself do straight lines, so I guess I've evolved.  I still like all of the original patterns I learned but now I can do more with them - on most days.  Some days I like simple and that's where this piece came from.  I hope today you have a basic and simple day - and enjoy the simple things and those around you!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Layers Squared

First let me start off by saying that Blogger wasn't working this morning and so i couldn't put my blog up until now.  Also, for some unknown wierd internet reason, it deleted yesterdays post so I reposted it for you. 

I started this piece out by just putting one square down, and then another and another, then before I knew it the entire piece turned into squares upon squares.  With each square I made I thought what else am I going to do on this piece?  Aparently I was on a roll and it actually created itself.  Sometimes I think that's what Zentangles is really all about.  I'm a planner and I get frustrated when I come to a stopping point on my tangles.  It's nice when they have a mind of their own and I'm just the tool!!  I guess that's ok too but once again I'm reminded that things never finish up like they start out.  You know what they say, :....."even the best layed plans of mice & men, often go astray".  I guess that sort of fits.  Enjoy your Friday!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A rose is a rose

A while back I bought some Pitt markers and rushed home to try them.  Boy was I shocked!  The color was so bright (after everything being black and white tones) and not transparent at all (which you all know how scared of color I can be) so I promply put them away. I was straightening up and organizing my art supplies when I ran across them again and decided to give them another try.  I had some input from my flickr friends about how to use different types of pencils along with the markers (to soften the bright color down a little) and this is the results.  I wish I had put the white pencil down first so I wouldn't have had to drag out my not so reliable gel pen, but this like everything was a lesson and next time I'll know better.  I'm happy enough with the results to give the markers a try on another piece. I do have to say the markers were very easy to use and having the brush tip they allowed me to do very fine work as well as getting some bolder color with thicker lines.  I don't have alot of different colors (eight I think) but it should be enough to practice with.  If you have any thoughts that might help me, feel free to share them.  I love hearing what little secrets you've come up with!  Well, whatever you're doing today, throw yourself into it and you never know what the result will be.  Enjoy the day!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Pattern - Rouleau

If you haven't seen this new pattern by Sara Mitchell then you have to check it out!  Obviously I liked it and couldn't get enough of it.  It's an easy pattern to make but you can still put a lot of detail into it - which sometimes I like.  I have to say that I prefer the top piece over the bottom (ha ha the top one IS over the bottom) as I have started to play with my shading some.  On the top piece I added some black Prismacolor pencil to the outlining which gave it a different look.  I'm not sure if you can see it on the screen, but in person it really pops!  I'm really used to softer shading but I'm trying out some new things.  Wait until you see what I have for you tomorrow! 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Challenge 21 - OOF (Out of Focus)

Yay I did it!!!!  I made up my mind that I was going to do the Challenge this week (mainly because I felt like it had been weeks since I had done one when in fact I just missed one week)  For some reason I just couldn't wrap my head around the Royal Wedding Challenge so I guess last week I wasn't up for the Challenge (sad face).  I started this piece last night and thought I was on a roll - when I realized that I had made squares instead of diamonds (which meant they didn't line up right).  When I had the squares down the lines didn't work out so instead of starting over (and wasting paper) I went for the big black background (after putting down a lot of black ink) and started on the white.  I have a white charcoal pencil, a white watercolor pencil, a white Prismacolor pencil, a white Sharpee paint pen (that just drips big ugly spots on the paper), a couple of white gel pens. a white chalk pen, and of couple of white Pen-Touch pens - all of which have their own good points but none that I'm in love with.  I guess that's the reason I really don't like doing things on black paper.  Oh well, I guess this is another batch of lemonade (you know making lemonade out of lemons??).  Make your own lemonade today with whatever comes your way.

Ok after I posted this it really does look "out of focus" - he! he!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Yay No Calorie Breakfast!!!

Today I had bacon and eggs for breakfast and yes it really was calorie free!!  Ok I have to tell you that I didn't actually eat the bacon and eggs - I drew it!  Sandra Strait has a new pattern that she calls "bacon and eggs" and I just had to give it a try.  And what's not better than starting your day out with a new tangle and a new pattern!  I'm sure you can tell from my picture above which pattern is the "bacon and egg" pattern (ok upper left if you're confused).  Today's Challenge is a new pattern too so I'll have to get on that.  Rick and Maria never stop!  I have to tell you that the Royal Wedding Challenge from last week proved to get the best of me and I didn't do one.  First one I've missed since I started participating in them, but after seeing all of the fabulous pieces that were being done I couldn't think of anything that I felt would measure up.  If you haven't seen them you can go to Laura Harms' website and check out Challenge 20 - there is some totally awesome pieces there!  My freehand drawing isn't very good (just my opinion) but I'm excited about this weeks'.  I've actually practiced a little on the new pattern this morning so either later today or tomorrow I'll have a new Challenge piece to post.  New patterns are wonderful - they're like a new experience in life - which is why sometimes they work out and sometimes they - well - not so much! Sometimes you just have to practice until you get it right!   I hope your Monday is full of challenges that you can hurdle with no problems!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day to everyone!

Today is Mother's Day and it's a special day we set aside to celebrate our Mothers.  We live in a non traditional world these days and being a mother doesn't just mean you're a woman with children.  Sometimes the mother roll is taken by a father or a neighbor or a relative you're close with.  There are women who don't have children of their own (should husbands count?) but are there for friends, nieces, nephews, and others.  This is really a day that we remember how lucky we are to have those special people in our lives - that care about us, that look out for us, that have our back, and don't ask for anything in return.  The roll of a mother is very important so whether you're a traditional mother or a non-traditional mother, I hope today you know you mean the world to someone special in your life!  Happy Mother's Day my friends!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

What's inside?

I did this tangle a while back and those of you who look at my Flickr photostream will recognize it I'm sure.  It was even featured on Explore (which is part of Flickr that randomly selects pieces and displays them) before I ever knew what Explore was!  I was totally thrilled when my Flickr friends started congratulating me for having this piece selected on Explore (especially when I had no idea what they were talking about at first).  I have to admit that it made me a little silly inside and proud that something I've drawn was selected.  It was a feel good moment for sure!!  Since then I've had two others chosen so there's been three all together.  It still makes me feel good and as always the Flickr comments are so encouraging!!  With all the layers on this piece it left me with a question of what's really on the inside of the big circle?  Of course everyone has their own imagination so the possibilities are endless.  Maybe we're all a little like that too.  Pulling back the layers and finding the surprise on the inside of ourselves - the person that we really are meant to be.  Sometimes it's still a surprise even when we get to that layer but nevertheless, it's us - we all have that part.  Some people have already experienced various struggles and overwhelming good times pealing their layers back, while there are others who are still on that road longing to get to the end and even wondering if they will ever get there.  No matter where you are with your journey, there is a beautifully talented and awesome person beneath all the layers!  I just know it!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

I'm so excited its Friday!!!  Today Little Miss Thisorthat and I get to have some wonderful "girl time" after she gets back from school.  Somes our little girl is very outgoing and is totally full of herself, but I'm finding the older she gets (and the more aware of her surroundings) sometimes she's a little shy.  At first I was a little worried about it but then I realized that we're all like that.  There are times when I am more outgoing than others and sometimes I just want to be left alone.  It's no wonder that the little people in our lives are the same way. Sometimes we forget they're not only little versions of ourself but little sponges absorbing everything life is throwing at them.  It's a wonder we grew up normal (ha ha whatever that is!) when we're such emotional people!  Whether you're having a save the world day or a sit back and enjoy the sunshine day, enjoy it only like you can!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Still no Challenge

Still no Challenge!  I've been admiring all of the outstanding pieces for the Challenge this week and every time I think I'm getting somewhere, the piece takes a turn and becomes something that doesn't resemble the Challenge at all.  How does that happen?  Do you think someplace in the back of my head that I can't come up with an idea for the Challenge or maybe I'm just not into it this week.  Nah that's not it because I LOVE Laura's weekly Challenges.  I think I'm a little intimidated at what I've seen.  I do a pretty good job at abstract but I'm not so sure about making something that is supposed to resemble something.  Today I'm hoping to make another attempt.  Whatever today brings, I hope it turns out like you want it to.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Home at last!

I decided to show you the two best pieces I did while traveling.  I keep forgetting that trying to ride in the car while drawing is almost ridicules.  As you can see, there is no such thing as a straight line - even those that are supposed to be straight!  Between the wind blowing the car around, the traffic (I'm a victim to the weaving in and out of traffic) and the worst is the horrible roads, it's a wonder that I even managed to get anything that resembled a completed piece.  I have to admit that most of the shading I did when we were stopped.  Life seems to be that way too - overcoming obstacles to get to your final goal.  Today I hope you reach whatever goals you have set for yourself.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Work - work - work!

This is my new favorite tool belt!  If I had a job that needed one - this would be perfect!  I have had lots of jobs in my life but never one that required I wear a tool belt.  Of course thinking back. I probably could have used one when I was raising my kids!  Now why didn't I think of that back then???  I could have strapped my tool belt on (over my robe because no one with kids gets dressed at a decent hour) and filled it the Kleenex, band aids, wipes, scissors, sponges, tweezers, 409, Windex for sure, safety pins, needle and thread, maybe a rag and a dust pan too, but don't forget the snack pouch!!  Fruit snacks, cookies, marshmallows, Cheerios, crackers, juice, all sorts of things that kids like to "drop" on the floor.  Now that I think about it, what a fabulous idea that is!!!  I should market something like this!!!  Even now I think I could use one!  You know for pens, erasers, pencils, Kleenex, wipes, and the occasional snacks.  Funny how the two aren't that different!!  If you run across an cute little tool belt that would work, just let me know.  I could start a trend!  Enjoy your day and get lots done!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Down the slide

This week has started off great - ROAD TRIP!!!  This will be just a short trip but none the less any time I get to go on a road trip I'm excited!  This has special meaning because TOTAM is interviewing for his dream job and Mr. Thisorthat and I are taking him.  I'm hoping that he will "slide" right into this job and start the job he's worked on for the past three years.  Please say a prayer for him and hold him in your thoughts as he has had too many disappointments in his endeavor.  We have sunshine on our journey so I hope wherever you are, you do as well!  Happy thoughts!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Looking like Spring

I have to tell you what just happened.  It scared me to death and I almost had a huge panic attack, but then I thought of something and ended up laughing.  I was sitting in my chair with my laptop (getting ready to type this) when I looked down at the arm of my chair (which is like an overstuffed chair) and there was a SPIDER climbing up the arm and was almost to the top of it!!  If I haven't mentioned this before I HATE BUGS!!!!!!!  I felt my heart start racing as I quickly put my laptop on the floor and jumped up.  Of course no one else was around so I was going to have to deal with this on my own (yes this is the time when you get to say "it's just a little bug and you're bigger than it is", or "it's more scared of you than you are of it" - which obviously wasn't true because he was not acting scared of me at all).  I looked around for something to smash him with (still panicking of course for fear he would get away and come back "and get me" later), but I didn't want to just hit him fearing he would fall back into the chair again.  I finally found a piece of paper (by Mr. Thisorthats' chair) and smashed it - hoping he would not raise all eight of his arms and hold back the paper to prove he was going to win this battle.  In the end - I won!!  Then it hit me - "along came a spider and sat down beside her" and I knew exactly why Miss Muffet high-tailed it away from the spider.  Even though I felt a little silly at this point, I still had to laugh!!  And yes, you can laugh at me too!!  :)  I guess that's what Springs brings when it comes - along with the pretty flowers it brings BUGS!!!