Wednesday, 10 January 2018

a touch of blue

Around this time last year I blogged about my recent festive tangling project.  I'd chosen a handful of tiles and tools in a limit palette and worked with nothing but those over the Christmas and New Year period.  I really enjoyed limiting my parameters and have repeated the process a number of times throughout the year.

I decided to do the same this year, but limited things even further.  I had a small stack of bright white tiles of pastel paper, my usual tangling kit (pen, pencil, tortillion) and then added one extra - a Koh I Noor Polycolor pencil in Cobalt Blue that I'd bought as a single, but hadn't yet used!

The only other rule was that I wouldn't spend time looking up patterns, challenges etc.  It was just me and my imagination, away from screens and sketchbooks - drawing whatever came to mind.


And the results were quite surprising at times!  Tiles started to form that seemed a bit of a departure from my usual style, but in a most pleasing way.  Now for a little journey through the tiles - I've tried to label tangles where I can!

Drawings and Arukas and also a few bands of nothing I can name!


Tiny Toodles on a Florz-type grid with Baton filling the gaps.

Swirls of something like Snag,
cradling Fluxecho and two stretched Cruffle.

Flux surrounding Dex, dropping into Cubine.

Locas tipped with Springkly with Florz between.

A band of Kuziem, some auraed Toodles and Printemps.

So that's my tangle activity for the past couple of weeks.  Time now to dive into the new year, with all the colours and twists and turns, highlights and shades that it will bring!

Friday, 22 December 2017

farewell for now

It's time for my last post for the year.  I've been to all sorts of places tanglewise this year - plenty of new adventures and old favourites.  And what better way to end than a fusion of the two.

This tile has been sitting quietly on my Leftovers Pile since Adele's 95th String Thing Challenge - way back in the summer of 2015.  Who knows why I got no further than I did.  Who knows what waylaid or distracted me or stole my time.

Forgotten but not gone

But the hint of the frame that I'd started to draw on that square of repurposed packaging seemed a perfect place to lay a section of new official tangle Rumpus.  A touch of festive colours, a touch of white chalk, some graphite and a few dots of silver paint and there it is.

This one asked to be viewed at an angle!

Summer meets winter, old meets new, forgotten meets newly found.  As this year nudges up to the next thanks for sharing it with me, and until the next one, take care.

Monday, 20 November 2017

burning bright

I'm finding myself increasingly drawn to working on series of tiles.  There is something both comforting and inspiring about having a fix set of variables - pen, paper, colours - and then nothing but the tangles need to change.  I find that limiting choices makes me more inventive.

I've done this a couple of times before - working in grey, honey and green - but this time I grabbed a frightfully bright orange paper and wondered if I could tame it into elegance.

Orange pastel paper / black ink / white gel / white pencil / pale green brush pen / graphite

And I think I did.  The subtle hints of green help to break up the orange.  And then of course I dabbled with the new official technique of Tranzending.  To be honest I wasn't too sure I liked the look of it when I first saw it.  It looked like a way to 'mess up' an otherwise appealing tile.  But then I played about, adding a little hint here and there and it started to make more sense.  As you can see through the course of these 4 tiles I got more adventurous, using a larger and more complicated section of Tranzending each time.  It takes a bit of thought in my mind, to work out how it can be brought in to compliment rather than obscure what's already there.  But I think it's an interesting way to add another dimension to our tiles.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

all the leaves are brown

This week the Diva asked us to work big. For me one of the joys of Zentangle is its small size, but I thought I'd allow myself to grow at least a centimetre here, a millimetre there.

I worked on a piece of khadi paper - a rather uneven surface but a pleasant change to work a rectangle rather than a square. This piece measures 11 x 16 cm. I decided to work all in colour, using Faber Castell Pitt Pens in sepia, sanguine and orange. I used two sizes, a 0.3mm and a jumbo 0.7mm!

I expected to find that the thicker pens felt uncontrollable, but in some ways they were more manageable, and less liable to show my wobbles, especially on the bumpy paper.


I had a moment when I'd finished the three stems of Aloha when I wanted to stop, leave the paper with nothing but this delicious minimalism. And perhaps I'll revisit this design, and stop a little sooner, but for now I carried on.

I added an orange Printemps background, which I then coloured over with Distress Ink (Frayed Burlap). Some shading with sympathetic coloured pencils and graphite, a few white highlights and there it is.   True to the rules of Zentangle I turned it round once I'd finished, to view from all directions and far preferred it upside down!


A snapshot of autumn. The last leaves are still clinging to our trees, maybe later than usual this year, but one committed wind and they'll be gone.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

half way between here and there

I haven't tangled much of late.  I've been busy with other things - mostly a 6 week creative writing course that I'm coming to the end of.  I've loved it, but I've missed the other things I love too, including and especially tangling!

I'm having a couple of weeks downtime starting now, but after that I hope to be back with more regular posts.  I have plans to play with a few tangled ideas during my downtime. 

Tangles used - Vega / Mooka / sort of Fescu

But before I go.  A farewell-for-now tile that I made this morning, prompted by the Diva's invitation to try white on black.  I find it so hard to make something that I'm happy with, but I'm persevering, and every time it gets a little bit better.  I think the thickness of the white gel pen after the Micron is the shock, so I'm very much looking forward to these thinner Gelly Rolls hitting the UK shores - no sign of them just yet...

Friday, 8 September 2017

I don't know why I dream this way

Today I want to introduce you to my latest tangle.  It's been haunting me for quite a while, popping up in bits and pieces on many of my tiles.

You can see - bands of it running through my twisted rope string tile -
it edges Batumber on my grey tile - I use it to create a simple but
favoured fill for Dreamcatcher, and it was the perfect choice to finish
a Travelling Tangle sent to me by Elena Greer

For a long time I thought it wasn't really enough in itself to class as a tangle.  It has so many tangle-relatives, which it shares less or more characteristics with.  To mind come Isochor, Indyrella, Barberpole, Marasu, Sugarcane, Starcrossed, Ticking and Kristillis - I'm sure you can think of more?  All of these tangles particularly appeal to me, and all rely on those repeated curved lines for detail.  But each has a particular initial shape which defines it and the detail lines are almost an afterthought.  I wondered what would happen if the lines became the star of the show, and the structure merely the framework to hold them...

And so Clob was born.  Clob because the little lines work best for me when I draw them as I would a CLOsed Bracket!  Of course the name might not suit you if you prefer to draw open brackets instead!



I find the repetition of the Clob line so relaxing.  Shading is so simple - you just pop a line of pencil into the valleys and smooth it out a bit, making it as dark or light as you like.  And suddenly the tangle is transformed - it really seems to shine, and jump out from the paper.



There are so many variations possible, depending on how you lay your initial lines.  Parallel or not, straight or curving or spiral, closer together, far apart, laid over each other, or with gaps between.  You can even embellish within the little brackets.  And of course it plays well with other tangles.

White on black - always the trickiest combination for me. 
Clob accompanied by Flux.



Renaissance tangling - Clob dances with Henna Drum and Cat-Kin.

Call it washed-out or call it dreamy?  Blue and purple tones
give a soft look to Clob with big bright Printemps.

Last but not least the simple elegance of black and white.
  Abukas with bands of Clob and a handful of Fescu.

Perhaps by now you can see why I think those little shiny lines deserve a tangle and a name all to themselves?    I hope you have fun playing with Clob and I'd love, as always, to see your results.

[Hopefully this pattern doesn't replicate any existing tangle I might have missed, in name or appearance, but please let me know if it does.]

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

stones in my pockets

Much of my recent tangling has taken place within a journal, thanks to being caught up in the Tangled and Journaled Facebook group and their Little Summer Project.  I've enjoyed following the prompts and working within a journal has been a new, challenging and only infrequently frustrating process.  That particular project has come to an end, so I'm looking forward to getting back to work on some loose tiles.

The first of which was a tile for this week's Diva prompt - a guest post by Jane Reiter who invites us to tangle with the wonder of Petoskey stones held in mind.  I did, but perhaps they rattled around a bit too much, because their influence was a little lost by the end!  I pencilled a light hexagonal grid and then added a 6 sectioned variation of Moonpie.

Coloured pastel paper / sepia Micron pen /
brown, white and graphie pencil shading

Until I have something more current to share with you, I'll offer you a set of green tiles I finished a couple of months ago - companion pieces to the grey and honey tiles I posted way back in May.

Green pastel paper / green Copic ink / green Inktense pencil / white pencil and gel pen / graphite


I've also had the thrill of being involved in another Mosaik Project - where I sent this tile to Annette -



which she then turned into wonders like this -


only far more fabulous as her mosaics also involved the work of 28 other tanglers.  Follow the button to see the results and go on, join in with the next one when it is announced at the end of October!