Sunday, July 31, 2011


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I did it!

The roads are a little smoother where we are, or our load is so heavy we can't feel the roughness. Either way I managed to complete a drawing. Yay!!! Hope your day is awesome!
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Travel Day

Not sure if I will have time to post today. Started our road trip. Happy trails!
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Saturday, July 30, 2011

You just never know

I got a new cell phone a couple a weeks ago and it has apps and does TONS more than my other phone.  It was a hard change for me because I LOVED my other phone, but it was time.  So the new phone has a game on it (which drains your battery down super fast) but I don't play very often.  Last night I was looking at the screen behind the game and there was this awesome page of paisleys that I couldn't stop looking at.  Partially because it was purple too!  So I played the game down to where most of the background was showing and tried to examine it closely.  This is my rendition of it, but I add-libbed most of it.  Winging things is my favorite way of doing anything!  So I guess the lesson is you just never know when you'll run across something you can get inspiration from. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Not quite the Challenge

I started out thinking I would practice some of the challenge patterns and before I knew it this is what developed.  I guess it could be considered a Challenge piece, but since I added an extra pattern,  in my "follow the rules" kind of thinking ( I really need to think outside the box more with my tangles) I don't consider this a real Challenge piece, but it was fun.  I added the outside color only because it looked a little plain.  I'm hoping that while on our upcoming road trip, I'll be able to spend a little more time with my pen and paper.  I've really missed not having the time to draw without feeling pressured to get other things done.  Whew life!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bee's everywhere

Happy Thursdays!!  The bees are enjoying the fruit and flowers of the summer.  Hope you're enjoying yours!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Challenge 32 - Zentangles is for Everyone

I've had trouble with my internet the last couple of days and had to eventually replace the router.  Got it working for my computer but I've been working on Mr. Thisorthats.  Still a process!  I guess I'm telling you that because I made a promise to myself the first of the year that I would post to my blog (which I had never blogged before) everyday.  Even days when I was too sick to get out of bed I managed to write a little.  So I'm a little disappointed in myself.  BUT I was able to get this weeks' challenge piece done while I was waiting for computers to do things.  These are patterns I've seen but haven't used too often.  It's good to get ideas and I love the Challenges!

Monday, July 25, 2011

What's ahead?

You would think that after all the Challenges we've done on strings lately, I would just scribble one down and get with it.  Not true in most cases.  I'm kind of a rebel (just ask my mom).  So just because you're supposed to put down a string first, doesn't mean I will.  More often than not, I like to find a pattern in my head that I want to start with (or one that I've recently seen and want to try) and I usually start there.  Sometimes I will draw a small string after that or I'll just keep adding patterns one right next to the other until I'm satisfied with it.  This piece I just kept adding and adding and before I knew it the page was full.  That's when I knew it was time to stop - duh right!  So let today be full of the things you enjoy so when evening comes you will be satisfied with the how it turned out.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I dropped the ball!!

I'm so mad at myself!!!  I have been super busy lately and haven't had much time to tangle.  Yesterday was the first day this year that I haven't posted anything on my blog!  Why you ask - because I didn't have anything to post!!  I was working on something in the morning, but then had to pick up the house and leave since we were showing the house.  Before I knew it the day was over and I didn't make it back to what I wanted to do.  So now I'm trying to work on a couple of pieces at a time hoping that won't happen again!  GEEZ!!!!  Sometimes I feel like all my pieces are looking the same, so I'm looking through old journals and trying to get some refreshing inspiration.  Here's to picking the ball up and taking care of business!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

The walls are everywhere

Walls come in all shapes and sizes.  There are walls that seem to "jump" in front of us and we have to figure out how to go around.  There are walls that we put up to protect ourselves (sometimes knowingly and other times not).  Some walls we put up intentionally and others just seem to appear.  Almost like some sort of an unconscious form of self preservation.  It's easy to take down the walls we know are there, but most of the time they sneak up on us and we don't realize they're even there and it often takes someone else to point out they are. Regardless of how or why the walls got there, they're a pain and are a process to get through.  I hope today finds you on the other side of whatever walls have been in your path!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Challenge 31 - Fairyland

I tried to tell you that I had cupcakes on the brain.  I saw these wonderful little cupcake houses (online somewhere but I can't remember where) so when I had to come up with a fairy garden idea, my mind when right back to those adorable little cupcake houses.  I sort of went from there but I can only imagine what endearing little fairy's live there.  I have to admit that I've never drawn a fairy, so I went with drawing their houses instead of trying to add one (and messing up the whole piece).  I love fairy's but artistically they are too close to something real and my brain will not let my hand make something that's supposed to be real.  You can understand that - right?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


There is a program that was introduced to the Zentangle world called "The Scribbler" and it's so cool!  This is somewhat of a small sample of how Scribbler works but I wanted to play it safe on the first go round.  I have to admit that I've played around with it but never actually saved anything.  Mainly because it wasn't viewer ready - it was really just cool scribbling.  This obviously was more thought out.  Since I had it on my computer, I decided to color it with Photoshop instead of printing, coloring it, reloading it back onto the computer and THEN showing it to you.  It was a fun thing to do and you should all try it!  Let me know if you do because I love looking at the work of others!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Going nowhere

Sometimes the world is spinning and you're not sure where you fit in.  The universe is a huge place and we all have our own "corner of the world".  There are times when we search for that corner and can't seem to find it, but trust me friends, it's there.  Sometimes it just takes a little longer to see what's really been right in front of you all along.  Our lives are full of journeys and the awesome part is the destination.  When we arrive to the place we've been searching for, the rewards are greater than expected.  Trust yourself - even when you don't feel like you can.  You're an awesome person and so many people care about you, so keep walking until the smile on your face is real.

Monday, July 18, 2011

What a view

I was raised a California girl!  From the time I was three I lived in CA where we enjoyed the water, the mountains, the snow (when we wanted to), camping, hiking, drives in the wine country, shopping trips to San Francisco and all the fresh fruit you could imagine.  BUT for the last almost 20 years, my husband and our kids have lived in the mid-west (where my family is actually from).  We go back to CA three or four times a year to visit family there and we usually drive.  I have to say the trips are much easier since our kids are grown and it's just the two of us traveling.  The sites in our country are amazing but I have to say my favorite trips are the short trips we take throughout the center of our country.  There has never been a trip where the scenery has disappointed me.  The rolling hills, the trees, the manicured landscapes, the lakes (and ponds), and the architecture of the buildings in the small towns and the big cities is amazing.  Green has never looked as green as it does here.  As I sit looking out the back windows, I see pine trees and maple trees (and other trees I have no idea what they are) form a canopy over our backyard and I  feel like I'm in Lake Tahoe.  Man I love our country!!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

All negatives aren't bad

This is the negative of yesterdays' tangle.  I have been doing some playing in Photoshop to see what other affects I can get without making any changes to the tangle itself.  I was pleasantly surprised with these results because the original was done with color, and the colors changed, which I wasn't expecting.  The shading that was done with the graphite pencil actually added a glow to the negative.  More unexpected results.  I really like the black paper look but I've struggled with finding a white pen that I love working with.  This method could be a quicker solution, plus you have two pieces when you're done.  Well I guess you have two pieces of work either way.  You never know when you'll be surprised by something you think you know the ins and outs of.  Hoping for a great surprise in your world today!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Trying something new

I got some new metallic gel pens for Little Miss Thisorthat (she's becoming quite the little artist with her pad and pen) but before she got here, I HAD to try to them out!  Either I don't know what the metallic is suppose to look like or it's not showing up because I can never see any metallic when I use them.  As you know, I don't usually use pens to color with because I usually like to fade it in and out, but this time I thought I would give it a shot.  I don't know if its the ruffles or the flowers or what, but I'm please at how it turned out.  I hope your day turns out to be something you can be pleased with also!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cupcakes on the brain

I have cupcakes on the brain right now!  On my upcoming trip we've planned a Cupcakes & Cocktails party.  The guys are going to be judging the cupcakes and us girls are trying to come up with some new awesome cupcake recipes. I'm making two different kinds but I'm stummped on the second one.  The first one is a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter filling and frosting, drizzled with hot fudge.  They are melt in your mouth delicious!  The recipe is from Jessica at How Sweet Eats and if you have never read her blog you should check it out - she's awesome!  I want to make a lemon cream cheese filled cupcake but I'm struggling with the frosting.  If you have any ideas feel free to pass them along.  Anyway after I finished this I had to add color because cupcakes are never just plain!  Happy friday!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Above the Sea

I've been thinking about my upcoming vacation and was wishing there was a huge boat and lots of water in my future - BUT I'll be thrilled to death to see family I haven't seen in a while.  We have such a great time catching up and making new memories.  You just can't beat family!!!  I'll even squeeze in a wedding while I'm out there.  I'm so excited!!!!  Of  course when you think about water vacations (which is where my mind is today), you have to add color because that's part of the attraction.  It's like a five sense vacation :).  The beautiful colors, the feel of the breezes and the warm water, the smell of awesome food, and the sounds of the soothing music and the perfect stillness that sooths your soul.  Vacations are awesome!!!  I hope you have a day full of all the things you love!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Less Shading

Sometimes after I have finished a tangle and start to shade it, the shading seems to almost overwhelm the picture.  Other people looking at it might not see it that way, but it's different when you're the one doing the drawing because you know (in theory) what you want it to look like.  But for me, like holding a death grip on my pen, I get heavy handed with my graphite pencil.  I thought today I would see how I like the softer shading.  I've decided I don't have a preference!  So I'm either indecisive or I just like ALL my work (which we know isn't the truth)!  But either way it's nice to do something that doesn't look like everything else that I do.  Try to change up something you normally do and see how you like the results.  You never know what you'll find.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Challenge 30 - String V - Initialize Block

I know right???  Two days in a row with two different challenge pieces for the same challenge!  Who would have thought??  I guess that proves it's easier to tangle my own initials than it is to come up with something else.  At least that's what I'm telling myself.  Ok, after making that statement which sounded pretty good (in my head) until I re-read it - I'll retract it a little.  I had to work on the block letters a lot longer than I did the cursive one.  If I would have had a stencil or even tried using double pencils it might have gone much faster, but instead (because I use don't use a pencil for my strings but probably should) I attempted them a couple of times before I was happy with them.  The perfectionist in me never fails to show it's ugly head.  Sometimes the challenge isn't completing the project,  but the steps you have to take to get you there.  Take the time to enjoy whatever it is you're doing today - it will make you feel like you've accomplished more.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Challenge 30 - String V - Initialize

This week's Challenge is right up my alley!!!  Anyway who has seen my recent work knows that I am totally into initials right now.  Christina Vanderlist (who must have been reading my mind) is the guest challenge maker this week (I'm sure there's a more sophisticated title but that's all I could come up with right now) and since I didn't have anything to post this morning, I thought I could whip out the Challenge piece.  It took me a little longer than I had planned (like everything always does) but I enjoyed it and now that I've finished it, and I've taken the pressure of myself, and maybe I will try one with block letters.  I don't do well with block letters so that would be a challenge all on its own.  Anyway, thanks to Christina and I hope you can have a productive day!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Sometimes half circles are better than full circles.  They give you a different perspective and sometimes give you the illusion there is more going on than there really is.  That seems to be the essence of a lot of Zentangles.  The illusion of depth and dimension, and the tricks it can play on your brain by what your eyes see.  That's what makes drawing them so much fun, because you can create things that aren't there - or are they????  Enjoy the mystery of all today holds for you!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Pieces and parts

Sometimes even when I draw a string, it seems like there is no real pattern but instead just small pieces (or parts) of a pattern.  Almost like a sampler.  When I finished this piece, that's what it reminded me of.  Just a glimpse of some patterns.  But even though there is just small samples of the patterns, they come together and make a tangle.  I hope today, whatever you end up doing, at the end of the day you feel like everything has come together for you. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

More letters

I was doing some more experimenting with letters as my string when I came up with this.  Instead of keeping the letters straight, I turned the paper and added another letter, but this time I used the same letter.  Can you tell what it is????  It's an "L" in case you needed the answer.  I'm afraid my creativity is suffering from lack of use so when I get the time to draw, I have to really work at finding a pattern that I like.  I long for the days when I had the time to search and experiment with all the patterns I see!!  Back when the patterns seem to come so easily.  Where are those days??????  Oh well, I hope today you can experiment on something and be please with the outcome!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I was so surprised!  As I worked on this piece last night somehow this bird appeared - right in the middle of this drawing!  I don't even know how to draw a bird!!!!  How did that happen????  Tangling is easy (and so relaxing) because nothing has to look like anything, but to draw something that's suppose to look like something that's real - well, that's not what I do.  I guess there's a lesson in there somewhere,  but for now, I'm just going to enjoy it (because it actually looks like a bird huh?).  I hope you have an awesome surprise waiting for you today - you just never know.....

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

More Initials

Since we're talking about strings this week (with another string Challenge) it's amazing how important strings can be.  It's the first step to starting a new tangle, but I have to admit that sometimes (being the stubborn rebel I can be sometimes) I don't start with a string, but I start drawing a pattern and then add to it as I go.  But when I can't decide what pattern to start with, the string becomes even more important.  I guess I'm lucky I have a last name that I can pretty up and get inspiration from.  So today I've picked Mr. Thisorthat initials to add my fancy touch to.   I think when it was finished he was pleased with it, but thought it looked some of those wild and crazy hats we all saw from the royal wedding.  Maybe if I add color to it that would change.  Hmmmmm?   Make today a day of unexpected surprises! 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Challenge 29 - String IV

This week the Challenge was to take an item with a weighted end and let the string drop around it.  Because yesterday was a pretty lazy day around here, I used my camera's USB cord that connected it to computer.  I tried to draw the "line" but since it was a cord it was a little more difficult than I thought it would be.  Nothing unusual that I made it harder on myself than I needed to but when it was all said and done, even though the string moved a little after I snapped the picture of it, I sort of like this piece.  I think I like the string challenges (which I wasn't too sure when we first started doing them) and congrats to Sue Jacobs for coming up with a great string idea!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day!!!

Taking a Stand

When we were kids we always knew where the line between right and wrong was.  We knew how far we could push our parents (which wasn't very far) and we understood there would be consequences if we crossed over the clearly defined (and sometimes unspoken) boundaries.  But the older I've gotten and experienced things with my own kids, the lines seems to have blurred - not only for kids but for the parents who once knew where those lines were.  How did that change?  As I walk through stores I (far too often) see kids yelling (and even hitting) at their parents while they appear to stand there stunned but apparently familiar with this type of behavior.  There is bullying all over the news and stories of even parents being involved.  How can that be????  When I was growing up the parents acted like adults and were the authoritative roll model.  I would NEVER have found my mom arguing (online (which hadn't been invented yet) or in person) with anyone.  She had way to much dignity and knew what was right and what wasn't.  One of the things our country was founded on was freedom of speech, but on this fourth of July holiday, lets try to remember that if we want the quality of life we grew up with, where the lines between right and wrong are clearly defined, then we all need to step up to the plate and do our part - like OUR parents did.  Love your families and enjoy all that this Independence Day stands for!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

In all directions

The older I get the more I see how life cycles.  It's really so much like the Cat Stevens song, "Father and Son".  When our kids are young they are our world and when they grow up, they have their own world, which sad to say, doesn't revolve around us anymore because they've made their way.  I'm so lucky that up until this point, we are very close to all of our kids.  I hope that never changes!!  This tangle reminds me of that because it seems like we're all going in so many different directions, but the center of it all, we still come together - and that's what really counts in our crazy busy lives!  I hope you're enjoying those closest to your heart!!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

More Tripoli

I felt my my first tripoli piece lacked in structure (because my brain thinks like that) so I've been playing around with the pattern a little more.  I think I like it better when it's not the main pattern, even though there is a lot of it in this piece.  Laura was sure a smart girl when she came up with the weekly challenge, because for a lot of different reasons, they are all challenging!  Hope you're day is easy-going for you and totally non-challenging!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Challenge 28 - Trip to Tripoli

I really look forward to the weekly Challenge and early Monday morning I start looking for it and trying to plan what I'm going to do with it.  In all reality I would love to sit down and draw it then post it right then and there - way before noon every monday - BUT that isn't happening!!  It seems for me lately, the challenge is actually getting the Challenge done before the deadline!!  I trying to figure out how my world got so busy that I don't have hardly any time to tangle.  I can tell you that I don't like it!!!!  So here it is Friday morning (of the forth of July weekend by the way) and Mr. Thisorthat and Little Miss Thisorthat are still sleeping (a miracle in itself) so I'm  FINALLY posting my weekly Challenge.  FINALLY!!!!