Monday, May 5, 2014

"It's a String Thing" #38 Tiles

Yesterday - May 4th - marked Linda Farmer's 4 years of wonderful work on her website TanglePatterns.  This week's challenge was a tribute to her as we used my straight and angular string line shaped like a number 4 and 4 tangle patterns.  The results are worthy of a celebration ~

Angela Carstensen wrote -
I love Aquafleur and Aura-Leah. AA's felt very natural to me, it was a bit like signing my name over an over again, very meditative. But at first I was not sure how to incorporate Axlexa. When I eventually put it in the background I had to put more black accents into the AA's and use lots and lots of shading. But now I am happy I did this the way I did, because usually with Aquafleur I leave the background white and sometimes it is nice to go the untrodden path, you know? Nice things lurk there.
Nice things do lurk there...
Angela has a wonderful solution for those of you who have commented that Aquafleur is "too dark" of a tangle to use.  
She also posted her tile here on her blog.

Joan Delony said that she "couldn't help it...the tangles just came out in flowers!"
 - lovely flowers!  For all of us who love tangled gardens - Joan has a tile full of beautiful ideas.

Robin Grosland said - 
I started this tile fully intending to use the whole string and all four patterns. But as everyone probably knows by now, the art we create doesn't always follow our plan. It takes its own direction.
I ended up using just the upper right portion of the string and three patterns, none of which I'd used before. And this day on this tile Axlexa didn't want to be circular. It felt like it need to be amoeba shaped and have minimal aura (just one outside and one inside). All in all, my tile turned out very simple, but I like it.
This art does take on a life of its own and that Robin's tile is proof that it is a good thing!

A warm welcome to Ken Zutter who sent in his first submission - 

His tangles seem to be supported by the thick, dark lines of Aa's in the center - it is a beautiful piece.  Ken also posted it here on his blog.

Kia Richardson wrote, "I liked working on this string. I got to use some of my favourite tangles - Atorm, Arnia, Assunta and A's. Thank you for the opportunity to tangle as part of a community."
Her comment is heartwarming.  This is a community and it is wonderful to feel that as we learn from each other.

Victoria is teaching us all a bit of Russian as she posts her work on her blog too.  She said that this was her first time drawing Alexis.  She described it as a merry pattern and she could not bring herself to stop.  
That is a great description.

Another comment of hers will bring a smile.  She said that Aa's was "hard to go - did not want to get a job anywhere."  We can all relate to that with one pattern or another, can we not?!
With sparkle, she brought Aura-Leah and Aquafleur to life.

CZT Anna Houston used a light touch with her patterns - 

She wrote - 
Once again, a real challenge for me. I definitely went out of my comfort zone and left a lot of white space. I'm not real fond of aquafleur, likely because it doesn't come easily to me and there is so much ink involved. All said and done tho, I'm pretty happy with this result.
It is beautiful - especially her AA string line with the added curls, darkened lines, and shading.

Marvelous Mindy is back this week -

So many lovely details here, but her use of AA's is just gorgeous as well as her shading on Axlexa.

Mindy signed her note as we all could... "Zentangly yours"  We can all use that :)

Audrie Weisenfelder wrote -
Here's my String Thing for this week. The minute I saw the string, and that Aquafleur was one of the tangles to be used, I knew just how I was going to start. I didn't think I was going to use all of the patterns; probably just Aquafleur and Aura Leah. But in true Zentangle fashion, after I finished the Aquafleur portion, the rest just followed; first Axlexa, then AA's (how could I not include my own initial?) and lastly: Aura Leah. 

AA's in Aquafleur - Fabulous!  Audrie also posted her tile here on her pretty purple blog along with a few other variations.  

Although its creator, Sal, said that she found "working to constraints quite hard" - this tile turned out to be a very happy one.
Aquafleur is lightened with highlights and Aqua Leah is weighted with a darkened background, just to name a few of the pretty details.

LonettA said - 
For my tile I used all four tangles. Especially I love Aquafleur, Axlexa and AA´s because of the possibilities for variations.
If I saw the string I had immediately the idea of “a tile on a tile”. And here is it!
There is so much tangled goodness here!  The mirrored AA's, the AA's borders, the shading, the Aquafleur-ed AA's - it is simply full of amazing details.

LonettA also posted her tile here on her blog.

Annie Taylor wrote - 
Enjoyed this one very much - a couple of new tangles to learn (Axlaxa and AAs) together with two of my favourites, (Aquafleur and Aura-Leah).
I just drew the string and the rest drew itself! Very Zen. It looks a bit to me as though the 3 Aquafleurs are peering over a wall!
Four great years - Tangle Patterns is one of my most visited sites and I do so appreciate all the work Linda puts in. It's nice to recognise that here.
The "wall" effect is wonderful.  Minimalist and marvelous!!

Kylie Vitnell said that after this challenge, she now loves the pattern AA's

She created quite a lovely new look for the tangle by stacking it on end.  It is fascinating that with the added dots and shading, Kylie created lines of oval shapes. She also posted her pretty piece here on her blog.

A very warm welcome to Leslie Dauer-Creek.  She, too, said that she "especially loved learning and using the AA's pattern."
And here is yet another look for  the beloved AA's.  Leslie tangled rows of them and added aura - what a wonderful idea for such a versatile tangle!  

Rachel Godbee said that she loved all of the tangles this week...
"...this weeks entry, loved all the tangles except Aquafleur, can't get the hang out it and it's very heavy, no Zen for me with it.

... with the exception of Aquafleur.  She said it was too "heavy".   (Angela's example above would help with that.)  At the same time, she lent a very light touch to the remaining tangles - especially AA's with lovely details.

Cheryl Anne Day-Swallow named this piece Sweet Little Whale.  She wrote - 
Aguafleur was used for the spray of the whale
Aura Leah was used to create the 3 small fish
Axlexa was used to create the sun
AA’s was used to create the waves
as I was working with the sweet little whale, I thought of this. 
The sweet little whale in the sea
is swimming around happy and free
she’d be happier if her and her friends
could Zentangle around the bend.

That is precious!  AND imaginative!  The fishes and the sun and the waves and the whale, oh my!

Ragged Ray, as only she can, wrote this eloquent description of her tile -

This week's challenge was a delight to do. But then Aquafleur is always welcome - it seems to wrap around me just as well as it does any shape it encounters! This time I let it wrap the straight sections of the string - in a way I think of as a 'Rick Wrap' because of his example on the official blog! Axlexa is a great new addition - plenty of potential to meet different tangling needs - it reminds me of tambourines! Aura Leah did something fairly unusual for me - it went it's own way, adding curved areas to an otherwise very straight edged string! And as for my 'stiff upper lip' AA's - I wonder if anyone not in the know would realise that tangle started as a simple capital letter?!
Thanks for another week of tangled marvels!

Yes to all of the above - especially her comment about AA's - could it have started with a simple capital letter?!  Of note are the added lines in the white space of Aquafleur and the occasional darkened lines of Axlexa - wonderful!

Cathy Cusson said that she is dealing with severe storms and tornadoes.  She tangled in hopes of getting some relief from the stress that creates - 
Not sure of how effective it was, she non-the-less turned out a terrific tile.  Cathy stacked AA's as well for a lace-like look.  She also added some Baton behind her Axlexa - a nice contrast of straight and curved line.

Sherrill Herron said that she tried to do "something different with AA's" - 

She created a trellis of AA's!  She also tangled a diamond look to the pattern.  Her lines behind Aura-Leah look as though they've broken away from Axlexa very playfully.

Cheryl Rotnem said, "Love Aquafluer and Axlexa and Double AA's were new to me."
The AA's are dancing and the touch of red is lovely - especially the light detail lines in Aquafleur.

Charlotte Carpentier said that her "glitter pen attacked again!" - 
It was a friendly attack for sure.  Charlotte used AA's to embellish her light spaces of Aquafleur - make note of that idea!  She also posted her work here on her blog.

Melanie R said that she "almost didn't tangle at all this week" due to her heavy work load.  She added, "So glad I took the time to tangle. I feel at peace now! =)"
She called her piece "The Pond" -
A peaceful pond it is and teeming with life - oodles of aura, even AA lined aura, curves, and lovely stipple.  Just marvelous!

Annemarie said that she had a "hard time combining these tangles, but as there are no mistakes in zentangle, here is my entry."  That is the spirit!

And that is a beautiful blue tile.  AA's run well along a string line.  She also posted her tile here on her blog.

A very warm, spring welcome to Jocelyne Pigeon-Bernier from Quebec.

She mentioned in her note that she had a bit of trouble with Aquafluer, yet she tangled it nicely.  She stacked rows of AA's as others did and then darkened them in for still another take on the tangle.  Note her detail on Aqua-Leah and shading on Axlexa - wonderful touches.

Manja's note read, "Es war wieder sehr interessant!"
Yes, it was very interesting again! (If I have that correct...)
Manja's tangles 'grew' from each corner and she left a bit of wonderful white space.  Her two rows of smaller AA's are capped off with a large lovely one and the shading is splendid.  Manja also posted her tile here on her blog.

Ingrid Coventen wrote -
Ooh, I had so much fun drawing this week. I love aquafleur and aura-leah. Once I start drawing I can’t stop. I love organic tangle patterns so much. Maybe I took too much freedom for my own interpretation of this week’s challenge and I hope you don’t mind...Happy with the results,

Talk about FUN!  Ingrid's idea to add a heart on each A - and a red one at that - is LOVE-ly.  She used it as an accent and as a border. Notice how she added white (Gelly Roll pen?) to the darker lines of Aquafleur.  In both tiles the tangles move and mingle and delight.  

Susan Green's comment is more like an invitation:
"Aas opens up the whole alphabet to use for borders and special enhancements. What fun!"
To all the tangle pattern designers reading this - a call to come up with more letter based tangles :)  Work up your ideas and send them in to Linda at TanglePatterns.  Susan started something with her comment!
In the meantime, she has made Aura Leah look very fancy by adding an outline of AA's.

Melissa Lemmons wrote, "At first I was at a loss for how to incorporate the angular string with the flowy tangle patterns, but I love the way this piece came out."

Yes, it is superb.  Tanglers who love the garden theme will especially appreciate Linda's use of her tangles.  They grow from her Aquafleur base so beautifully - a wonderful idea.

Juul Gendreau said that she prefers more geometric forms and so "loved the string line this week."
She took an interesting approach to it, too.  Juul made her tangles wrap around her ornate string line.  She included fabulous variations of AA's - even ones that seem to dance!  Note her detailed line work.

She ended her note with wishes for all of us - "Amitiés à tout le monde!"

Catherine Wells said, " ever I found this really difficult and I will be completely in awe when I look at all of the other entries submitted to the challenge."

It is a really pretty tile.  The weight of her lines and patterns is uniform and that makes her shading stand out.  The way she used Aura Leah emerging from a center point with the added lines and dots make it look flower-like.  Think of how beautifully that could turn into a butterfly.  So well done!

Jane Glotzer wrote:
Here is my submission for this week. Wow! After last week's curvy, swirly, loopy string, this week's angular pointy-ness was really a mind bender!
I ended up with a "duo-tangle" just using AuraLeah and the new Axlexa. I did a flowery-type variation, which I thought worked with the leafy-ness of AuraLeah.
I absolutely love Aquafleur, but have not really played with it enough to be able to use it in a piece to my satisfaction. I know, I know, it's about the journey, but some of us artists still have the perfectionism curse--:)
I do like how this turned out--how the rectangular section is jutting into the kind of looks like a pretty little carpet. Also, I've been admiring Maria Thomas' chip-like signature, so I came up with one, too. (I usually sign my mosaic work "jane" but I thought I'd try something new for Zentangle.)

It is everything she described.  The other special touches to note are the wonderful dark spaces and the fabulous shading along the edges.

Lucy Banta seemed to cultivate a garden as well...

There is a lot of tangled happiness here - especially in how her lines from Aura Leah are shared with AA's.

Jackie Becker returns!  She said -
It's been quite awhile since I've been able to look at doing zentangle stuff. I was determined to give this week's string thing a try. I think Aquafleur was more of a challenge than I needed for this week. But, it sure felt good to have pen in hand.
Jackie used Aura-Leah along her string line.  It flows so nicely that it takes a second look to even notice that.  Axlexa and Aquafleur compliment each other very well.

Deanna Spence created a similar string line - and she and Jackie literally live across the country from each other - Florida and Washington State respectively!  It is so much fun when that happens.
Deanna darkened her entire background for a dramatic look.  See how she added aura to some Aura Leah and not others - fabulous idea!

An aside, if you will...
I write my Monday posts and feature the tiles in the order that I receive them via email.   On a rare occasion something magical like happens - like this...after Jackie and Deanna tangled their string lines in a similar way, Sharyn Penna from Massachusetts sent her tile.

She began with a similar string idea AND darkened in her background - you have to love that!
Of her tiles she wrote:
An organic first. I've seen some really beautiful tiles...was this something I could pull off?
I wasn't fond of the bumpy art paper I used, and when I finished drawing the patterns I Then I played with shading. Better, but still left me flat. Decided to go for broke and filled in the background. This was a huge transformation. I used a white pen to replace the tendrills in the AAs ... I turned that pattern into something that looks like a pansies.
My second tiles was just a practice using AAs in different ways. Using the same string from this week'sprompt there's a mountain with Aquafleur, another with Mooka, the sun is Tripoli inspired with a surround of the long and short of AAs. The water at the base has overlapping rows on a curve. The lone AA on the right was my attempt to create a bird to cover a misplaced pen mark. AAs has so many personalities!

This challenge alone has created many more fans of AA's and Sharyn has created even more with her work.
Her first tile is just incredible.  It would make for a fabulous fabric design.

Sindy P said that this is proof she is not allergic to black space like she is to white space on a tile:)


She used a Gelly Roll pen on black paper and made her tangles look illuminated.  Note her Aura Leah vine, and AA's bordering Axlexa - so pretty.

Brenda Urbanik said that she loved "all the tangles that were chosen."  She said she hoped she "did them justice."  That was an understatement -

Brenda has so many lovely details here - the purfs and AA's in Aquafleur, the auras of Axlexa, the darkening of lines in Aura Leah, and the just right touch of brown.  She also posted it here on her wonderful blog.

Vicky Brison said, "Adele...loving the challenges lately...some of my favorite tangles
and a few newbies to bend!"

Vicky's AA's really stands out.  She used a double line of them along two parts of the string line.  She added darker stripes - with sparkle - and then aura-ed along the entire pattern.  What a brilliant idea and great look!

Jeanna Wheatman wrote -
Here is this weeks entry. My intention was to use the string to really make the 4 stand out but it did not work. I was unhappy about the centre of where my tangles met so I added a centre using axlexa to make it 3D as I had not used it on the tile. I have really come to love aqua fleur but my pens are starting to run out so it does not pop like usual. I used aa's to make the centres of aura leaf. I had lots of fun creating different tiles but this one is my favourite.

Once again, Jenna wows with her ability to mingle tangles.  Beautifully drawn tangles beautifully morphed together - signature Jenna!  
She mentioned that she has been doing some stenciling in a unique way.  To see what her inspired ZIA art is all about, along with her other fabulous work, check it out here on her blog.

And now, after all of that delicious tangled goodness...the tile set aside for honors this week was created by
Lily Moon of Hungary!

Of this, she simply wrote, "Here is my response to your weekly challenge:  It's a String Thing" #38."

Lily filled her tile with some extra-ordinary touches and just a bit of color to make Axlexa pop off the page. The heavy anchor of Aquafleur plays well against the fine lines of Aura Leah and Axlexa.  Add to that, her shading and bits of white and Lily has presented a wonderful work of art.

Congratulations, Lily.   I have a little something coming in the mail for you.

Many thanks to the talented tanglers who sent in their artwork for the rest of us to learn from and enjoy.

Special thanks to the creative minds behind the challenge this week -

Aquafleur - an official Zentangle® pattern
Aura Leah by Carla duPreez
Axlexa - a new pattern by "It's a String Thing" contributor Henrike Bratz
AA's by Judy Murphy

Stop by tomorrow for "It's a String Thing" #39!


  1. What a great series of tiles! It´s really amazing! So many wonderful and different tiles! All tanglers were very creative and it´s a real pleasure to take a look at all!
    Thank you, Adele, for making it possible for us to be part in this wonderful creative community!

  2. Oh, wow, thank you so much Adele, your words honors me :) Congratulations for all tanglers, here is a fantastic series of tiles again. :)

  3. Wonderful tiles have emerged again in your great action, love Adele!
    Have a nice evening, * Manja *

  4. I keep browsing back through these tiles - and finding some new delight every time. Including - Anna's hovering AA string line, Ingrid's Aquafleur, Juul's fine line work, and LonettA's tile on a tile idea, which I've just seen again, and realised I've unintentionally borrowed for my entry for next week!