Monday, February 17, 2014

"It's a String Thing" #27 Tiles

In keeping with the quilt-like graphics for the Winter Olympics, this week's challenge used a string line that divided the tile into nine square sections.  There were nine tangle patterns to choose from - as few as one or as many as nine could be used.  Let's take a look!  

Vicky Brison said that she "branded" her quilt with the Olympic rings -

She also mentioned that it was difficult to get good definition to her patterns in the small spaces.  She managed very well though.  Her Efilys anchors the four corners and the double Eke makes a great border.
It's also impressive that she colored the rings in correctly - how many times have you looked at that logo and remembered the color order?!

Cathy Cusson used her snow days (again!) to tangle -

She said that she liked this string and most of the tangles she used with "varying degrees of comfort."  She added, "It's windy and snowy here and my quilt got caught blowing in the breeze."  Isn't that fun?!

When Joan Delony submitted this with a few words about not having a good 'vibe' with it and closed by adding that she had a second tile coming -

She was more pleased with her second tile -

A few days later, she wrote this note -
I couldn't stand it! I kept thinking about the challenge and the tangle patterns. A patchwork quilt is a group of fabrics where the designs and colors are alternated with a third fabric in the center. So I had to create that just to feel satisfied. I "stitched" my pieces together with Eke!
Choose the tile out of the 3 you want to post. Thanks.

How could I choose?!  Her tiles illustrate a process that many of us can relate to - especially when she mentioned that she "just couldn't stand it!"...all in a very positive way, of course!

Cheryl Anne Day-Swallow wrote - 
What a blessing to watch the Olympics and work on Challenge number 27.
I choose to use one of Jennifer Hohensteiners variations on Exis. And Embellish by Molossus, but instead of flowers in the center, I included snowflakes. The gray color is actually silver but it did not show up well. 
What a great ZIA piece - and a nice keepsake to remember these winter games.  It's beautiful.

Ragged Ray wrote this about her experience tangling -
Attached is my tile for this week's challenge. It was fun to have a very straight and regular string for a change. I liked the quilt idea and didn't want to lose that in my finished piece. I also really liked the repeated shape in Eye-wa and wanted to carry that further. And also I liked the black and white extremes in Eye-wa and Equerre. Perhaps it was no surprise that with so much hope and intention going into the tile it didn't quite live up to expectation. Once I'd finished the initial drawing the tangles all jarred with one another! But then something happened - I went in heavy with my shading - really piling the pencil on - and seemingly by magic it all came together.

Yes, it did come together beautifully.  See how she used Eke and Echoism to create similar shapes?  She also completed another tile and posted it here on her blog along with a lovely write-up.

Fellow Britt Jenna Wheatman had a similar experience with her challenge - 

Jenna writes -
Here is this weeks entry, boy was this out of my comfort zone. I like to try and make tangles flow and create combined variations but taking your inspiration of patchwork from the winter Olympics I tried to recapture this, as I have been glued to the tv since it started. It is most likely the most colourful tile i have ever created using spectrum noir pens. I can't say I got into the zentangle flow with this tile as it felt awkward to do but I was pleasantly suprised by the end outcome.
And there again is the encouraging theme - continue on in your tangling, follow the steps, and in the end the magic unfolds!

Jenna used a lovely variety of patterns and the added 'stitching' and color make for a gorgeous tile.

CZT Anna Houston said that she was only inspired to use two of the suggested tangles this week - 

She added that she "kind of liked it anyways."  A checkerboard of Efilys and Emingle topped off with a bit of aura, stipple, and shading - it's fabulous!

Sue Jacobs penciled her string line onto a Zendala tile - 

She writes -
I decided to use this string on a zendala tile to see what would happen. Once I had that in I decided to go with symmetry and balance so that's why I choose a tangle that had a lot of darks, Equerre versus Echoism, that was lighter and airier. The ennies in the middle seemed to balance it out.
What a great idea - not only for the balance she describes, but also the curve of her string line combined with the shading of Echoism - beautiful!

Robin Grosland said that most of these patterns were unfamiliar to her - 

She also added that it was "fun to get to know them better."  What a treat for us that she did!

See how she used Eke to aura Echoism?  And in Equerre she tangled Eye-wa and Eke?  Thank you Robin for those ideas - I know what I'll be doing this afternoon!

Sue Agnew said that she used the 'Puf' technique on some of Emingle -

The result is an "interesting striped triangle effect."  Another wonderful idea!

Look closely at her middle row to see what she means. She struck diagonal lines from the center of each Emingle to the outside corners and the result really is magical.

As if that wasn't clever enough - check out Eke in the center square where she 'signed' her name :)

Charlotte Carpentier said that after she laid out Eke and Elifys, she "couldn't figure out what to do" with what she had, so she "just went with two of the tangles."
She added, "I think I like it."  What's not to love about this?!

Charlotte used brown to aura Efilys for a pretty accent.  The aura gives depth and movement to the tangle.  The double Eke - like Vicky's - with the darkened loops and shading adds the perfect border.

Ingrid Coventon writes - "My tile turned out to be a very simple one, but in all it’s simplicity I loved to do it." 
Ingrid darkened the very center of Emingle and by shading it on a diagonal made it very eye-catching.

In all its simplicity, it is beautiful.

Annemarie sent along her tile for the week with a note that it is also posted here on her blog.

She used a pleasant mix of tangle patterns, adding darkened spaces to them for balance.  The triangular 'starting points' in Emingle are a really nice touch.

Annie Taylor lives in a remote part of Spain - with no television.  She said that she looked on the internet to reference the "lovely quilty banners used at the Winter Olympics."  She described them as "really gorgeous" - and they are.

She went on to say -
I enjoyed playing this one really straight and just using each tangle in a different segment of the string. Quite a few of the tangles were new to me, though I've always had a soft spot for Efilys...

I'm not a quilter but if I was I'd love to make a Zentangle one! I'm sure there are some clever people out there who have made one already.
In addition to her lovely tangles, Annie's shading and highlights finish them off beautifully.

Lonett A described her process this way - 
For my tile I used the tangles Efilys, Eke, Ennies (without bubbles) and Equerre.
First I had to familiarize myself with 6 new tangles. Currently I knew Echoism and Ennies only. At first sight I liked Efilys and Equerre very much.
But Eke appeared not interesting for me at first. But after practice I realized that Eke is a lovely tangle. Especially I like to use it as a small ribbon or border.
Therefore I like your weekly challenge very much. I learn new tangles which I wouldn´t use usually.
And that is very heartwarming because it is all part of the goal for these challenges - to learn tangles that you might not otherwise - and hopefully become so comfortable with them that they become part of your repertoire.

Ingrid used an overlapping of Efilys for a very creative focal point - and each one is tangled just a bit differently.  She also used Efilys in the center of Ennies.  More fun for the rest of us to try!

Jackie Becker chose just two tangles for her tile as well...

...with wonderful results!

She said that Ennies got lost with the darkened Equerre in the four corners. To remedy that, she darkened in the border of Ennies and achieved the balance she was looking for - isn't it lovely?

Here is Amy Curtis' creation - 

She writes, "Here is my tangle for this week! I just received an order I placed on Amazon for some pearlescent paints, and I really enjoyed adding them to this tangle. I love the way it "pops".

It really does!  Another very clever detail in Amy's work is the Efilys that emerges from the center section.

Sharyn Penna's tile is another example of blended tangles -
She managed what looks like a mix of Eye-wa, Eke, and Emingle - love it!  The Ennies in the middle of Efilys is another one that will fill my afternoon :)

CZT  Brenda Urbanik said that the heat in her part of South Africa has been 'unbearable' - if we could only spread a little bit of that around to our friends up north!

Brenda - along with her tile - described her challenge with string lines.  She said that she "never seems to listen to the string" and wonders if that is a "bad thing."  Absolutely not.  Strings are simply suggestions - pure and simple.  There is no obligation attached to a string :)

As she tangled, this is how her tangles meshed...

And this is how she ended her note -

I have to own up and admit that I normally erase any visible string lines from my tiles (it's the OCD in me), but I decided to leave it in this time as a reminder to myself that I don't allow the string to limit the places my pen wants to explore.

Thank you, Brenda for that priceless gift of a thought.  A sentiment that all tanglers can take to leave yourself  'open to the places that your pen wants to explore.'

Tricia Faraone sent in this captivating tile - 

She gave Ennies an elegance to make us all sit up and take notice.  Is it the way she aura-ed both sides of the border, added detail in each, shaded beautifully, accented with delicate scrolls?  It must be all of the above!  It is striking.

Tricia's tile is also posted here on her blog.

CZT Jacque Solomon sent in her tile just in time -

She said that it was "loads of fun."  It looks like it was - a very happy tile indeed!  A very warm welcome to you, Jacque.

A N D the tile set aside for honors this week belongs to 
CZT Diana Schreur.  Congratulations, Diana!

Along with "Greetz from the Netherlands" Diana wrote:
 At first I didn't want to participate, because I just don't like the string. It is to geometric for me. I love curvy lines and strings. But then I saw what tangles we could use, and there was Echoism, one of my favorites. So I was hooked. I had to participate. And with the first echoisme on my tile I was surprised about how it turned and I was glad that I participated. Thanks for taking my by my hand, to step out of my comfort zone!
Her Echoism is lovely and lace-y, aura-ed just so, and it fills in the spaces of her string line in such an imaginative way.  She managed to blend Ennies as a fluid, graceful compliment to her main tangle and that little bit of shading makes a big impact.

Diana's note is encouraging too - such a good example of what happens when you 'go out of your comfort zone' and try new things - especially in Zentangle as that is when, more often than not, MAGIC happens!

Diana posted her tile here on her blog as well.

Congratulations, Diana.  I will be sending you a little something in the mail to commemorate the day.

My heartfelt thanks to the talented tanglers for sharing their beautiful artwork -as well as their inspiring thoughts - with us this week.

Many thanks to the creative minds behind the string and tangle patterns used in "It's a String Thing" #27:

String 033 by Esther Episzczek pictured with permission from Linda Farmer

Echo by Sue Clark, CZT  

Efilys by Sandra Strait

5 official Zentangle® patterns:

Equerre - by Genevieve Crabe, CZT 

ENJOY the Olympics and stop in tomorrow for "It's a String Thing" #28!


  1. A great selection of tiles. Favourites for me this time were Sue Jacobs zendala - it really bulges out of the page toward me. Tricia Faraone's tile was beautiful - I could look at it for a long long time. It's so organic and comforting. And respect to Brenda Urbanik for not erasing those pencil lines but also for the wonderful shape of her finished design - so powerful with so much white space left on the tile!

  2. Yes! And as always RR, beautifully stated!