Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Real Life Strings by Sindy P, CZT

A very biased book review, if I may...

Since last June, when Sindy P first attended one of my Zentangle® basics classes, we have become fast friends and creative sounding boards for each other.

When she asked to meet for coffee last September to discuss how her two interests - Zentangle and photography meshed into one fabulous idea, we both knew something special was to come of it.

The idea was that photographs could be used as string lines when tangling - how fun!

With unparalleled energy and determination, Sindy compiled a gorgeous collection of her photographs from around the world and in her words "made them as tangle-friendly as possible".  

The result is her innovative new book Real Life Strings.  Hot off the press and ready for fellow tangle enthusiasts.

Real Life Strings by Sindy P, CZT - Cover photo
Sindy organized her book into four to five page sections that begin with a collage of her photographs, where they were taken, and a short note of explanation.  Each section's photographs are then presented on single pages, cropped and adjusted meticulously by Sindy to make them as inviting as possible to tangle. She knew they were 'book ready' when they made her hand "itchy to pick up a Micron and tangle!"

Here is the happy author presenting her book to a class for the first time -

Author Sindy P, CZT

The journey to publishing Real Life Strings has been a long and glorious ride.  Sindy researched, consulted, worked tirelessly, and in the process has become quite the ambassador for the Zentangle method.

I must confess that even though I followed the book from idea to print, it wasn't until I actually picked up REAL LIFE STRINGS and began to use it as Sindy intended,  that I really came to appreciate - and absolutely love - her project fully.

Early this week, in anticipation of waiting in several doctor's offices, I packed a big bag with tangled projects and supplies including Real Life Strings.  When I pulled into the first appointment in the wee hours of the morning, too fatigued to carry a big bag, I grabbed Sindy's book and a Micron and left the rest behind in the car.

I sat in the waiting area of the doctor's office and happily found the experience of using her book to be everything she intended.

From my use of her book that day - and since - I not only wholeheartedly recommend
Real Life Strings because my friend wrote it, I wholeheartedly recommend this book because it is....

CAPTIVATING - the photographs and the locations where they were taken
INVITING - the cover is thickly, lusciously laminated
CHUNKY - at 6 1/2" x 5 1/2 " and at just a smidgen over 1/2" thick - it has a great feel!
TANGLE READY - with the string lines already determined through the photographs, the only thing left to do is tangle away
MICRON FRIENDLY - the heavyweight paper is perfect for tangling
PORTABLE - it fits neatly in a purse, in your hand, in your glove compartment, any where
STURDY - the thick red spiral binding along with the laminated cover, prove to be all that is needed for support when tangling a page, no other surface necessary!
VERSATILE - pages can either remain intact or removed for gifting or framing
FUN - above all it is FUN - absolute FUN to play with

This is the first page I tangled - also one of my favorite photos in the book -

Tangeled page from Real Life Strings, by Sindy P, CZT - Adele Bruno, CZT
The fact that this picture featured a lady bug on Sindy's rear view mirror, and because we often refer to Crescent Moon as lady bugs, I chose to use Crescent Moon in the white space.  As Sindy suggests in the beginning of her book, I used a white Gelly Roll pen in the darker spaces.

It was wonderfully helpful to have the picture collage to refer to after I finished my tangles - another of Sindy's thoughtful details.  I could compare what the photograph looked like before I began tangling to when I was through. (top right)
Copyrighted image used with permission from Sindy P, CZT

In no time, I completed two more...

This light fixture in Berkley, California, screamed for Fassett -
Tangeled page from Real Life Strings, by Sindy P, CZT - Adele Bruno, CZT

and this bridge detail in Central Park, New York, was flattered to be bedecked with Mooka -

Tangeled page from Real Life Strings, by Sindy P, CZT - Adele Bruno, CZT

Sindy's book is available for purchase at Real Life Strings.  Order one - you'll love it!

You can contact her at

AND she has a Facebook page set up for tanglers to send in photos of their finished pages -    It will be exciting to see what other tanglers do with the pages.  

Next week the "It's a String Thing" #30 will feature a page from Sindy's book - so check back on Tuesday to see which one!!

In conclusion, while my book review my be biased (as my subtitle suggests), it is non-the-less true and honest and I wholeheartedly recommend it to my fellow tangle enthusiasts!


  1. I do hope I remember to check on Tuesday! This sounds like a fun and really different idea. It would be great if you could arrange a give-away for a copy, but I have no idea what you could ask people to do!

    1. Yes! Thank you for your note. There is a book give-away for the "It's a String Thing" #30 challenge. The details will be in next Tuesday's post - so exciting!

  2. This is a very intriguing idea; I can't wait to try it next week. I'm going to look at the Real Life Strings page now, and then I'll start looking through my photographs.

  3. Wow - that's an amazing idea. Well done to Sindy for thinking it and seeing it through to fruition. Proof too that the Zentangle process kick-starts all sort of parallel creativity!

  4. I think Sindy came up with an awesome idea here and it's wonderful that she connected Zentangle back to just Life really. I'm seriously wondering what it's going to cost me to have one shipped overseas! I'll ask her. Looking forward to next week though!

    1. Thanks, Brenda! What country are you in? Just sent 2 to different parts of Canada.