Monday, March 17, 2014

"It's a String Thing" #31 Tiles

Top o' the mornin' to you!..or afternoon, or evening!
This week's challenge brought a collection of the happiest of St. Patrick's Day inspired tangled art.  We used my shamrock string line and  Lucky pattern along with Zentangle® co-founder, Rick Robert's Paradox in honor of his birthday last week.

Most of you wrote that you couldn't wait to see what other people did with this challenge - well, just like a pot of gold at the rainbow's end - here are this week's treasures:

Colette Horsburgh  from England said that at first she wasn't sure she could tangle Lucky but once she got started she "really got into the Zen part of it and just kinda drifted off."

Her Lucky makes a lovely bold back drop.  What a nice touch to use Paradox in a smaller section of the larger string, too.

A warm welcome to Claudia from Switzerland.  This is her first entry - and if I'm not mistaken, the first from Switzerland!

She used Lucky as a background as well, darkening in just the stem of the clover.  She used Paradox through the larger sections of the string line with a gorgeous green shading.  Claudia also posted her tile here on her blog.

Joan Delony, a fellow Floridian, tried many variations of these tangles and said that it was "interesting to see the differences in the overall tiles based on where the tangle pattern was drawn in the string."  First she filled in with Paradox
Then with variations of Lucky -

And lastly, pointing out that she found it difficult to use Paradox with this string line, she completed this with only Lucky.
It is so pretty and so delicate.  Thank you Joan, for walking us through your progression of tiles.

Catherine Wells from England sent in her first tile for the challenge - welcome to you! 
She dotted her string line and the grid for Lucky - what a nice effect!  She continued her dots inside Lucky and used larger ones in the 'stem' of the string line.  She filled in her background spaces with a pretty Paradox.

Jenna Wheatman, also from England, said that she studied the string line "for ages" before she tangled, but then it "just clicked and was fun to draw."

This IS fun to look at as well!  So many wonderful details - and how very clever to use Paradox as she did and then pop Lucky in here and there.  She added elegant enhancements in dots, lines, and shading.

Germany's Henrike Bratz said she was surprised at how colorful her tile turned out, "but the Irish colours green and orange had to be in it."

It's a happy colorful tile.  She used three wonderful variations of Lucky.  Notice, too, how her background is one large swirl of Paradox shaded with orange.

UK's Ragged Ray said that this time 'round she "went with whatever the pen felt like doing - and it seemed to want to lift Lucky out of its grid."  She added, "I ended up with them getting smaller and smaller - I think they could have gone on forever but I had to stop myself!"

She pre-colored the tile to "bring in a bit more of the Emerald Isle spirit" pointing out that she had seen other tanglers do that.  Yes, we do learn from one another!

This is masterful - both in the balance of patterns and in the use of bold and light spaces.  

I don't think she will mind if I mention here - and quite proudly! - that one of the latest tangle patterns published on TanglePatterns is her lovely, lacy Snag.  You can click here to see it.   Congratulations!

Angela Carstensen (Caroona) from Germany said that she has followed my blog for a while and this is the first time she found "courage to take part."  Welcome!

She noted that Paradox "clicked" with her and this was her first time working with Lucky.  Both tangles are beautiful.  By aura-ing the string line, Angela created a space to have Paradox flow through.  She creates depth and roundness with her shading - the individual parts of Lucky and the whole of the string line.
She also posted her tile here on her blog.

Sharyn Penna returns with a happy tile - and note:
...Sure and beggorah tis a fine day fer a shamrock! My tile shows Lucky bedecked with Mooka, of course. I added an extra petal to the clover string for added luck and used Paradox as if the petals were two-sided....
I added a few shades of green prismacolors and a blender pencil (a first for me). Another fun strung challenge! Shamrock on!"
And Shamrock on she did!  Sharyn spread her love of Mooka giving Lucky an elegant feel.  The added petal was just the right touch for the day!

Lonett A writes from Germany to say that she "had much fun with this 'Lucky' challenge."
She included lovely variations of Lucky.  Her Paradox placement is especially pretty - as is her shading!

Floridian Cheryl Anne Day-Swallow writes:
I used your cute pattern, Lucky, for the framing/border.
I used the Paradox in honor of Rick for my background.
I titled this piece, The Luck of the Irish.
Oh, this is beautiful!  Is it the use of the patterns, the colors, the colorful shading... It must be all of the above!

Cathy Cusson said that she loves how the challenges "provide these opportunities for us to stretch our thinking!"  
She used Lucky and Paradox within her string line and then used aura to fill in the spaces - another great idea!

CZT Sue Jacobs from Illinois, used her beautifully hand colored paper for her piece -
Sue said that she loves Paradox and wrote, "it's fun to see how I can make it work within unusual shapes. I enjoyed working with 'Lucky' too."  It is a very happy St. Patrick's Day tile!

From Australia, Lila Popcheff sent in her first entry - and a very warm welcome to you, Lila.

She's taken a different spin on the challenge by using Lanie, Lacy, Lava Juice and Lukiline -

The patterns compliment each other very well though and the green makes it very festive.

Annemarie sends happy St. Patrick's Day greetings from the Netherlands -

This is exciting to see.  Annemarie used three large variations of Lucky in the string line 'petals' - Lucky within Lucky, if you will.  She filled in her spaces with Paradox and shaded to give it dimension and sense of movement - lovely!
She also posted her tile here on her blog.

The Netherland's Ingrid Coventon used Paradox in a similar way -

- and accomplished yet another look with the idea.  She also thickened her string line, defining the spaces for a fill of Lucky,  giving the impression that the area is raised from the paper.

From Spain Annie Taylor writes -
I always try to use the string and the tangles you suggest and had various combinations of shamrock string with Paradox and Lucky as the background...or vice versa. It looks very busy to me but I have enjoyed doing it - 
A Happy Patrick's Day to all those who celebrate it. I am happy to celebrate whatever the occasion.
There is so much wonderfulness here to take in - Annie used Lucky and Paradox and added Aquafleur and Diva Dance all topped with just a bit o'color - so nice!

Judy Wanner, my dear friend and mentor from my hometown in Pennsylvania sent in her first tile - 

She writes:
It is too busy for my taste but I wanted to tangle your name. Thus A - Aquafleur and Angel Fish, D - Drupe (a wonky one), E - Echoism, L,- Lucky, and another E - Euca. Why you ask? Well because you are my lucky!!
My Paradox sends Rick best wishes on his 60th. Oh to be 60 again!
I won't even pretend to be anything else but excited - and humbled at the same time!  Thank you, Judy.

Rhonda Koplin, who writes from Georgia, said that after several attempts to use Lucky in small spaces, she gave up.  But look what she came up with! - 
She also used  a touch of 'rixty' to honor Rick's 60th!  It is very impressive.

Sue Agnew writes from Arizona that some times she likes the effect created when the penciled lines are erased.  She says:
 I had intended to leave the square outline and put Paradox-es in all the empty spaces, but then I decided to go with a "less is more" approach.

This is striking in its simplicity.  It has a sense of depth to it and perspective, too - and of course, sparkle.

Celeste Hickey said that she went "a little Paradox crazy" (smile) with her first tile -

And she explored Lucky on her second one.  She managed to use quite a few variations.  It is nice to see how the string line disappears in her first picture and is prominent in the second one.

From Australia, Kylie Vit said that she loved my 'Lucky' string -

She used the string line as one large tangle of Lucky - adding a sweet touch of detail.  Paradox comes alive as her background with great shading and darkened centers.
She posted her tile here on her blog as well.

From France, Juul Gendreau writes that she is a self-taught tangler, having discovered Zentangle through my blog.  (It is so good to be able to spread the joy!)
And look what she has done with it!  Using paper she had on hand, and a ball point pen, she created this.  Her Lucky is lovely and her Paradox pops off the page.  Well done, Juul.

From Pennsylvania, here is yet another treat - this one from my talented nephew Aaron:
Aaron aura-ed the string line and left the space open.  His Lucky variation is wonderful and his shading of Paradox is perfect.  If I sound like a proud aunt, I am :)

CZT Brenda Urbanik from South Africa created this festive tile -

Her Lucky has a Cruffle-like finish - what a wonderful idea.  She used a light, airy Paradox and the added  color is beautiful.

Audrie Wiesenfelder from Arizona worked on several versions for this challenge and walks us through some of her thought process:
I don't know where to start about this String Thing. For one thing, your string was/is just beautiful on it's own. The first thing I did was to fill it with Paradox, and then I didn't know what to do next; it seemed perfect as is. Very flowing and lyrical.

And then she adds, "So I left it and went on to try another, adding your Lucky pattern to it this time."

And again, "Then I even tried one reversing the tangles:"

And on, and on, and on. Each one gave me an idea for another one. My work spaces are strewn with tiles, and sketches in my sketchbook. Will it ever end?
Audrie ended by saying that she had to close because it was time to get some sleep.  I'm sure many of us can relate to her process - and certainly to a work space strewn with tiles!

Her first tile does stand out as lyrical and flowing, just as she described it - and her shading is to be complimented too!

Audrie also posted her tiles here on her pretty purple blog.

Peggy Kohrmann used one large Paradox tangle for her background too, and then shaded it to give it depth.  She wrote, "After looking at all your Lucky choices I chose to do a different variation for each portion."

She did just that and then in the center of each added a little Lucky surprise.  She also used a bit of Aquafleur and even added some sparkle - nicely done.

A N D now.....after all of that delicious, St. Patrick's Day inspired, tangled goodness....
the tile set aside for honors this week was submitted by
Joyce Evans from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada...


Joyce incorporates details in this tile that stand out as unique and inspired.
Paradox here, with rounded edges, detail lines, swirls, shading, and a touch of color (Derwent watercolour pencil crayons, she said), has a life of its own...just amazing.
Notice how the grid lines from Lucky continue on past the filled in pattern - yummy details.
Ahh, and look what she did with the initial string line - she shaded around it - a soft, wonderful touch.

Congratulations, Joyce.  I have a little something coming in the mail for you to commemorate the day.

One more happy thought before I close -

Anneke from the Netherlands sent this sweet surprise - (The 'How-to" is posted here on her blog.)

It is my lucky day!!    Thank you Anneke and thank you so very much to all of you who sent in the lovely artwork for this week's challenge.

Stop back tomorrow for "It's a String Thing" #32!! 


  1. Stunning collection of St Patrick's Day Shamrocks. Really enjoyed looking at them all. (And it doesn't matter a bit that you've moved me to France - I LOVE France!!) Axxx

  2. And just like that, I moved you back again! My apologies for the mix-up :)

  3. Heaps more entries this week. Love, love, love them all. Creative interpretation is a wonderful thing.

  4. Adele, you are an amazing person for providing these challenges and then finding all these lovely things to say about the results. But then I have to say they really all are gorgeous. And it's fascinating how vastly different they come out from just one string and two patterns. And thank you to all who participated for inspiring me. There is so much I can learn from looking at your tiles. Can't wait for the next challenge!

  5. What a lovely bunch of ideas and tiles that came from this challenge...very inspiring! I am looking forward to seeing what the next challenge is and thank you for your kind words and including my awkward first attempt at "it's a string thing"!

  6. A wild and wonderful selection as always. My favourites this week - Angela's dark beauty, Annemarie's which looks like it's dancing, Sue's which looks like a brooch I could wear, and Joyce, a very deserving winner.

    It was great to see Aaron's too. There don't seem as many male tanglers and I love it when I see their creations, as they tend (I don't mean to generalise here) to have a distinct style. Quite angular and precise.

  7. What a wonderful assortment, there are so many I feel like they need to be in a book dedicated to St. Patricks Day! Such beautiful work and so many different ideas to explore for the future!