Monday, September 30, 2013

"It's a String Thing" #7 Tiles

Happy Monday to you - time for some Minouche monotangle results.

I must thank this week's participants for sending in their treasures - and from distant shores at that.  There are submissions this week from many states as well as from South Africa and England. 

My grandmother was fond of saying that music was the universal language.  I think that Zentangle® is earning that reputation one tile at a time!

This first tile is from Caitlin Elliott:
There are many delightful details in Caitlin's work:  the varied line thickness, the curved lines that indicate a shadow, and the countless fine lines in the center.  Just beautiful!

This is from Sue Agnew:


Sue came up with some very pleasing variations of Minouche.  She used different grid sizes, wonderful line work, and left the center blank - a dramatic effect!

This submission was signed from Ragged Ray:
Amazingly, this tangler is self taught.  Look at this pretty pattern work.  The use of a smaller grid on the string line, the 'mini Minouche', the aura on both sides, and the added shadow make it appear lace-like.  What a delightful tile!

Brenda Urbanik sent in this:
See how she used the tangle in the middle section, isolated a bit of it, and used it in either corner - a clever idea!  The darker squares vary in size on the opposite corners add a nice touch, as does the way the pattern is pushed to the edges of the tile.  Very nice!

Mindy sent in this lovely tile:
She wrote, "As I drew this tile, Minouche's whiskers appeared among the flower petals of Matisses's garden.  How fun!"
How fun and how poetic, Mindy. 
With line direction, thin and thickness, shading, and white space, Mindy added depth, dimension, and so much loveliness in this one place.  Gorgeous!

Deanna Spence sent this 'feast for the eyes':
Just look at all of those tangles.  They should make Nathalie Marinoff, CZT, the creator of Minouche very happy and proud.  Deanna's use of contrast (light and dark, dense and airy, bold and light) enhances the tile's pleasing design.  So, so pretty!

This is Joan Delony's tile:
Joan's center string section really grabs the eye and sends it off into the other sections, doesn't it?  Her takes on Minouche work so well together.  The darkened horizontal section - pictured on the top of her tile - adds a really nice touch.  Wonderful work!

Sue Jacobs submitted the tile of honor this week:
Isn't this lovely?
Sue really took this challenge in many different directions.  Not only did she create very pleasing pattern variations, her lines are simple and elegant and her use of color made this tile a stand out.  I have a little something coming in the mail for you, Sue.

And now a confession of sorts...Sue won me over this time.
When people ask me if I ever use color when working on tiles, my answer is always that I am a purist when it comes to Zentangle.  My use of color comes in ZIA pieces, but not on tiles.

Through Sue's piece, I can see how color can be used so beautifully on a tile.  Thank you, Sue!

Many thanks to the talented tanglers (are there any other kind?) for your tile treasures this week. 

From your accompanying notes, I learned that the process brings confidence to try new things, challenges to face and conquer, peace of mind, and comfort for the heart. 

Thank you for encouraging countless others, myself included, with your artwork. 

Many thanks to:
Nathalie Marinoff, CZT for Minouche
Hope Martin and Linda Farmer, CZT for String 008

Friday, September 27, 2013

ZIA and Palm Pods

Those of you who live in tropical regions know that palm pods have many decorative uses.  If you are not familiar with them, a 'google image search' will quickly show you their varied uses.

This beautiful ZIA palm pod was painted by Kathryn Crane-Thielen.

Kathryn is a painter in the Decorative Art field.  She received her training and certification under Ann Kingslan, MDA in Omaha, Nebraska.  Her focus is mainly oil and acrylic painting. 

Just last month, Kathryn came to one of my Zentangle® classes - a bit reluctantly she later admitted.   She was not sure if it would not prove interesting or useful.  Happily,  she caught the 'bug' and has since been using Zentangle in her painting, especially in her beautiful scroll work.

Along with these photos Kathryn wrote: 
I cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed your class and I have gone onto the Linda Farmer sites.  You really have given me inspiration in another way of seeing...It is so relaxing...
On a recent trip to a thrift shop where she often finds treasures to paint, Kathryn found this palm pod.  Pleased with its shape and possibilities she explains the particulars of her project:
Zentangle came to mind with the primitive look of the pod and the tangling could fill the shoe floor of the pod.
The pod was finished with a stain and varnish, so I sanded it and started at the top and worked down to the bottom with the tangle.  I referenced tangles from our class and created some along the way; it just flowed along.
I used a #0 liner with Americana acrylic off white paint, shaded certain areas with a Burnt Umber and hightlighted some areas in gold to make the design stand out more.  It just flowed from the top to bottom and created something that will not be seen anywhere in the world.
I use Minwax Polyurethene varnish on all of my work, up to 4 coats or more, sanding between for a nice smooth finish.
Kathryn donated her finished piece to a charity auction event. 

I appreciate her story for many reasons:  Kathry's love of painting, her reluctance to embrace Zentangle and how it surprised and inspired her, how she integrated tangles into her painting, her artistry and creativeness, and her kindheartedness. 

Thank you Kathryn for inspiring the rest of us!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Floatfest Revisited

After my second post about the fabulous Floatfest by CZT® Carole Ohl, I was asked to post more details about how I carried the pattern from one tile to the next.  I'll review the making of this collage with a few more details to answer this.

This is what the finished four tiles looked like together:

By Adele Bruno, CZT® 
To begin, I placed the four tiles together and drew the inner circular string line to insure the design would match up when all the tiles were complete.

From there, I tangled the top left tile (pictured above).  When layering the arcs, I drew them going off the edge of the tile on both sides. 

Once that tile was complete, I placed it side-by-side with the next one (top right) and then continued the arcs(left to right) from the center most row and worked upward.  I ran the arcs off the tile on the right side - in the same manner as before.

I repeated that process for the third tile (bottom right).

The process for the fourth tile was just a bit different.  In order to have a uniform flow to the tangle, I lined the tile up with both neighboring tiles before continuing the pattern.

Visit my earlier posts - Fun with Floatfest and Floatfest Revisited - for more details on the pattern variations.

Thank you for asking and if you come up with your own variations on this tangle - send them to me and I may use them in a future post.

Tangle on!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

It's a Wonderful Wednesday

On August 1, just eight weeks ago tomorrow, I pressed the publish button and joined the blogging world.  With little concept of the impact, I hoped to get about three hundred pageviews per week.  That seemed reasonable.  

I hoped to celebrate Tickled to Tangle reaching 10,000 pageviews by early next summer. It seemed at the time an attainable but distant goal.

With many thanks to you, happy tanglers all over the world, to Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas at Zentangle, Genevieve Crabe at Tangle Harmony and her weekly Zentangle Round-Up, Linda Farmer and Tangle Patterns, and many others - I am humbled and grateful to say that this blog now has well over 10,000 pageviews!

by Adele Bruno, CZT      Celebrating 10,000 Pageviews 

Thank you from the bottom of my tangled heart!  Here's to 100,000 and beyond!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

"It's a String Thing" #7

It's Tuesday - your good news day!

This week's challenge is a FUN one - something slightly different.  It begins with String 08 from Linda Farmer's Tangle Patterns, submitted by Hope Martin.  This is what it looks like:

In honor of Hope, we will use the tangle Minouche by CZT® Nathalie Marinoff.  It stood out for two reasons:
1.  Both of Hope's initials - H and M - can be found in the word Minouche.
2.  It is a new tangle - just published on Tangle Patterns, September 18. 

As an added challenge, use only Minouche and create a monotangle.  

To refresh - a monotangle is a completed Zentagle® piece using one pattern.  (The term monotangle is credited to Laura Harms, CZT of .) 

You may use variations of the same pattern.  Nathalie illustrates a few in her step-out found on Tangle Patterns.  You may also vary the size and orientation of your dot grid for added interest. 

While at first glance this challenge may seem limited - it really is full of possibilities!

To recap: 
Use String 08 from Tangle Patterns
Use the only the pattern Minouche by Nathalie Marinoff, CZT

If this is your first visit, welcome!  If you are new to Zentangle®, welcome! 

This exercise is for beginner and seasoned tanglers alike.  Use it as an excuse to keep up with your art work, take time for yourself, learn new patterns, share your get the idea! 

 Here are the (Not so) Official Guidelines:
     * Challenges are posted on Tuesdays.          
     *Use the string posted for the week and patterns that begin    
                  with the letter(s) indicated                 
     *Work must be completed on Zentangle tiles or on your 3.5" x 3.5" paper      
     * Submit a photo of your tile saved as jpg or         
                  scan your tile (300 dpi) and save as a jpg    
     *Email your jpg file as an attachment to -    
     *Entries are to be submitted by Saturday evenings.     
     *Photos and 'Best of Show' are posted on Mondays.       

Send in your photos - you never know who you will inspire!

I look forward to your emails. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

"It's a String Thing" #6 Tiles

Happy Monday to everyone, and Happy Fall!  These tiles are sure to make you smile. 

The first two were sent in by Carolyn Russell who was featured in my August 8th post

Talk about adventuresome - Carolyn and her friend left their husbands behind and set out on a three week motorcycle trip.  Now that lends a whole new meaning to a 'Girl's Get-a-way'.  By the time she sent these tiles from a hotel somewhere in Ohio last Wednesday, they had already been through 13 states with more road ahead of them.  Imagine!

Here is what Carolyn wrote about this next tile:
"As we ride over country roads I see tent worms making their home in the occasional trees.  As I started this one Betweed reminded me of those tents built miraculously and stretched between the branches. The Barberpole turned into the builders."
Safe travels, Carolyn and thank you for the beautiful tiles.

Cheryl Rotnem sent in this pretty pink-accented tangle:
I spy Sandy Bartholomew's Bauer, Ballot, and Bannah in Cheryl's tile - layered and shaded nicely with a sense of depth.  Very nice!

Brenda Urbanik said she appreciated this challenge because she only knew one of the patterns "that fit the bill".  Her tile is proof that she is a fast learner! 

Her Baton is nicely detailed and notice how she finished Bales - a really special touch.  As an added bonus, she wrote about completing this tile on her blog called Infinite Possibilities.  Take time to visit her site, especially if you enjoy card making - her work is exquisite. 
Sue Jacobs wrote, "Lots of  fun tangles with 'Ba' Thanks for the idea!"  And lots of tangles is what she used - isn't it lovely?
Sue's neat, clean lines along with her use of shading and pattern choice make this one of my favorite tiles.  Sue featured her tile on her blog last week, be sure to take a look.   Thank you Sue!

Jackie Becker wrote,
"Here is my latest attempt. My tastes lean toward minimalist so you can imagine I feel like this one is a bit too crazy. But, it was fun nonetheless."

Yes, this is FUN!  And proof that Zentangle® magic unfolds one stroke at a time.  There is a pleasant mixture of curved and straight lines here - very nicely done!

Sue Agnew wrote, "This is fun because it gets me out of my comfort zone. I really really tried this week to transcend my need for edges, but I ended up with two things that wanted to go behind each other (the partial "squares" of Bales/Batch and the lines of Baton). I finally had to end some of the Baton lines so they could overlap forward of the partial squares."

Sue ended up with a gorgeous tile and as she noted, using the Baton to push into the Bales softened the edges just so.  Note how she varied the curved lines on Bales and the added sparkle - just beautiful!

There are two tiles this week to single out for honors.  The first one is from Mindy:
Mindy has worked her magic again, this time using bold contrast, highlights and shading, and varying curves and widths in her tangle patterns.  The result is magical and mesmerizing.  Thank you Mindy.

 The next honoree is Caitlin Elliott. Every look at her tile reveals more and more detail:
Take Caitlin's Bales for example:  She used aura and then darkened in the corners to add an entirely new look to the tangle - just marvelous!  Thank you Caitlin for sharing your beautiful work.

I have a little something coming in the mail for Mindy and Caitlin.

Many thanks to the creative minds behind the tangles used in this week's challenge (with apologies to anyone I may have overlooked):

Bales - Zentangle
Barberpole  and Basketweave - Suzanne McNeill, CZT
Bateek - Linda Farmer, CZT
Baton - Carole Ohl
Ballot, Bambu, Bannah, Bauer - Sandy Bartholomew, CZT

Thank you to all the talented tanglers for sending in your works of art. I know that you have inspired countless readers.  Check back tomorrow for
"It's a String Thing" #7 !

Friday, September 20, 2013


A new take on a not-so-old theme:

A few weeks ago, I posted a new tangle pattern called Bud.  Since then it has proven to be one of the more popular pages on my blog.  (In case you missed the step-out for it, click here to see my earlier posts.)   

My friend Sindy has taken quite a liking to it.  While in a doctor's waiting room, she tangled Bud on the back of a notebook and sent me this photo:

I just loved it and asked her right away if I could post it.  The aura she added to Bud makes it very soft - a bit like the effect Featherfall has.

Sindy inspired me to play with the pattern even more.  What I came up with was a shortened version of Bud that I call Budlite .  You can see that it begins the same as Bud, but instead of spiraling and dipping down to a point before coming up into another one, Budlite spirals and comes up into one point.  It's easy to add a sparkle to it, too.  Budlite (I'm getting thirsty!) looks like this:

In this tile, I used Budlite along the string line and tangled from there:
As it happened, I hosted an open studio - Time to Tangle - yesterday afternoon and when I showed the lovely ladies in attendance my step-out for Budlite, one of them said she had seen a similar pattern.  We looked it up, and sure enough CZT® Christina Vandervlist posted a pattern named Leau on her blog a few years ago. 

At first, I wasn't sure what to do.  To post or not to post, that was the question:)  
I was reminded of a Zentangle® newsletter published May where Rick Roberts addressed the resemblance of the pattern Schway to a similar one - and I was reassured. As he said, there are bound to be very closely related tangle patterns, especially as more and more are published. 

There are subtle differences in our patterns and in the step-outs for Bud and Leau, but non-the-less it is interesting and heartening to know that creative minds think alike! 


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tangle a mailbox?!

I go way back with mailboxes.  It all started with an idea to distinguish our mailbox from the neighbors' in the cookie cutter neighborhood we lived in as newlyweds.  That particular one was rusted to the post and I stood outside with my supplies and painted it roadside.

We moved not long afterward, and soon the collection began...

My devoted husband - when I first asked him to pick up a mailbox for me at the store - replied,
"Don't we already have one?" 
I smiled. He brought one home.

Over the years, I've decorated dozens of mailboxes.  We change them out with the seasons, holidays, and important family milestones.  Our neighbors have come to anticipate a new box and will remind us if we haven't switched one out for some time.

My Halloween mailbox, after a twenty year run, is just too rusty to use again this year.  My inspiration for painting a new one came from watching Suzanne McNeill's video on tangling pumpkins and the back cover of Sandy Bartholomew's Totally Tangled.  Instead of tangling a real pumpkin, I thought to paint one instead and to incorporate Sandy's web and spider idea.

Here is a  photo diary of how I painted the mailbox, just in case you get the bug to do one yourself!

The particulars:

First I tape two pieces of copy paper together to fit the length of the mailbox.  The 8.5" height is perfect for the space.


Then I sketch my design out in pencil like so:

Once I am satisfied with the design, I outline the drawing in a Sharpie marker. 

Next, I flip the paper over and scribble with a soft pencil over the lines of my art work - it's homemade carbon paper :)

When that is finished, I position the paper on the mailbox and use a few pieces of tape to secure it.

I use a mechanical pencil and trace the design on each side of the box.  The goal is to get a nice, single lined pattern on the mailbox like this:

And then the fun begins!  I use acrylic paint and apply thin coats.  The first thin coat is important, because the next one will grab onto it and begin a nice build up.  Since the mailbox is glossy, the acrylic paint does scrape off easily.  I use my fingernail to make any corrections on edges.  Here is the box with one coat of paint:

And here it is with three coats of paint:

Once the painting is complete, I use a medium Sharpie PAINT marker to outline the images and add the thicker lines.  Once that is finished I use a fine Sharpie PAINT marker to add details and begin tangling.  Ohhh! So much fun!

But alas, I have a confession to make.  Once I started to tangle the pumpkins, I didn't look up until they were complete.  I was in that 'zen mode' and didn't take pictures of the progress! 

With apologies for missing in-between steps - here is our new mailbox, tangled and ready for Halloween:

For added durability, I use a matte acrylic spray finish over the painted areas - two or three light coats with time to dry between sprays.

Last weekend, my husband announced that he was going to Home Depot.
I asked him to pick up a mailbox. 
His reply: "How many?"
I smiled.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

For Nina

There are people in life who are a privilege to know.  They inspire and encourage and motivate others around them merely by their presence.

And then there are times when those same rare souls do the same - and more - as they face an illness that robs them of this precious life.

On September 7, our friend Nina passed away after a nearly six year battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease).

Nina loved.  Nina was loved.  And as St. Paul said, that is the greatest of gifts.

She knew joy in this life through the love of her devoted husband and children.

Nina knew peace in this life because of her faith. 

She had a special love of the rosary - a cherished gift to those she left behind.

Adele Bruno, CZT

May Nina, and all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in Peace.  
Tile details:  3.5" x 3.5" Zentangle® tile, Micron 01, and Sally Hanson Teal Steel nail polish.  The nail polish gave the letter "N" a raised and shiny finish not visible in the scan above.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

"It's a Stirng Thing" #6

Tuesday is your good news day!

This week's challenge begins with String 007 from Linda Farmer's Tangle Patterns created by Mirjam Baart from Holland.

In Mirjam's honor we will use tangle patterns that begin with the letters 'Ba' (Bales, Baton, etc.).   That will narrow the field just a bit.  With fewer choices we can spend some time really getting to know the patterns - let's see how it goes!

If this is your first visit, welcome!  If you are new to Zentangle®, welcome! 

This exercise is for beginner and seasoned tanglers alike.  Use it as an excuse to keep up with your art work, take time for yourself, learn new patterns, share your get the idea! 

 Here are the (Not so) Official Guidelines:
     * Challenges are posted on Tuesdays.          
     *Use the string posted for the week and patterns that begin    
                  with the letter(s) indicated                 
     *Work must be completed on Zentangle tiles or on your 3.5" x 3.5" paper      
     * Submit a photo of your tile saved as jpg or         
                  scan your tile (300 dpi) and save as a jpg    
     *Email your jpg file as an attachment to -    
     *Entries are to be submitted by Saturday evenings.     
     *Photos and 'Best of Show' are posted on Mondays.       

Send in your photos - you never know who you will inspire!

I look forward to your emails. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

"It's a String Thing" #5 Tiles

The tiles sent in this week are just beautiful.  The challenge included tangle patterns that begin with the letter "H".  There was a wide variety to choose from and it was interesting to see that Hurry was used in most every entry.

The first tile arrived from Brenda Urbanik - yes, last week's honoree! 

Brenda's clean crisp lines make this so pleasing to look at.  Notice too, how she incorporates the Hollibaugh lines into her Hibred.  Brenda wrote that she wasn't quite sure what to do with "those loops".  It seems that she worked them out just fine - such a very pretty piece!

The second tile is from our friend Mindy.  Mindy's work is like fresh air, easy to take in and it just fills the spirit.
Her use of Hollibaugh anchors the outside area, it's dense and dark and flows nicely through the Hibred to the wispy Henna Drum.  Her shading makes her lines and patterns dance - very elegant.

Sue Agnew graced the challenge with two tiles and they are as different as they are pretty:
Notice how she followed the string line with Heartvine  and tangled Hurry behind that - very impressive. 
 Of this tile, Sue wrote, "Whew ... don't know what possessed me to do Henna Drum so small or so closely packed. I'm exhausted."   Peacefully exhausted, I'm sure - it's the Zentangle way;)

Deanna Spence has been very busy!  She sent in this piece and used a larger space to tangle.  Her details are wonderful.  The shading on her Hollibaugh adds great dimension.  Deanna used light and dark lines in Hypnotic and that added a nice touch to the tangle - along with that wonderful scalloped edge that she darkened.

CZT Sue Jacobs sent in this pretty tile.  Sue said that she, "loves making alphabet soup."  And I see from her blog that when she uses tangles that begin with certain letters - like this string challenge - she refers to it as alphabet soup :)  You can see Sue's beautiful blog here:  Sue's Tangled Trips
Sue's HiCs look very elegant.  Hurry looks as if it was layered over Hypnotic and Heartvine appears to spiral down through HiCs
A special shout out to Ann Hathaway, fellow CZT Seminar X-er (a new word!)...for sending in the tile of honor this week. 

Ann wrote, "Hypnotic looks a lot like Striping when you color in the bands like that, and I love Striping, so it's all good!"  Ann gave that tangle a whole new look didn't she?  If you look closely you can see the grid, but it is 'absorbed' by the darkening and highlighting on the curves.  The variation she used with Hurry and how she kept that flowing is very impressive. 
You can visit Ann on her blog:  Deep Magic Tangles.
I have a 'little something' to put in the mail for you Ann, congratulations!

Many thanks to the creative minds behind the tangles used in "It's a String Thing" #5:
Heartvine by Lori Howe
Heartrope by Bunny Wright
Henna Drum by Jane MacKugler, CZT
Hibred - Zentangle
Hi Cs by Anita Roby-Lavery, CZT
Hollibaugh - Molly, Zentangle
Huggins - Zentangle
Hurry - Zentangle
Hypnotic by Elena Hadzijaneva

Coming tomorrow:  "It's a String Thing" #6.  I can't wait to see what creativity this week brings!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Floatfest Revisited

After finishing my post about Carole Ohl's pattern Floatfest last week, something magical happened when I put my finished tiles on the kitchen table.  I did a double take because the centers of each pattern when put side by side looked like half a circle. 

This made me think...

What if I took four tiles and used a string line like this:

And what if I tangled each of the four tiles in different variations of Floatfest like this...
and this...

and this...

and this...

And what if I put these four tiles together so that their centers formed a circle like this....

Ooooooh!  I'm having way too much fun!  The possibilities are endless aren't they?!