Monday, June 16, 2014

"It's a String Thing" #44 Tiles

This week's challenge featured four tangles that artists had a lot of fun with.
It is a day for the "It's a String Thing" history books as well because two regular contributors - Joan Delony, who I have had the privilege to teach, and Charlotte Carpentier - are at the CZT Seminar in Providence, Rhode Island this week - imagine that!

Let's take a look ~

This is my tile ~
I began with Navaho and intended to fill in much of the other areas with N'Zeppel - one of my all time favorites.  A strange thing happened though.   After I drew the down strokes of the grid, I liked  the airy feel of them - very outer space like - so I left them as they were.   
I love when that happens, being surprised by a line and following its lead...

Joan Delony, just before leaving for the CZT seminar this week - wrote:
I love to work with N'Zeppel since you showed me how to draw it. Neuron is one of my favorite background patterns. I used Navaho in the string (and yes, I meant them to be off kilter). The two patterns play nicely together, I think. Instead of gray, I added a bit of color to Neuron to distinguish it a little more. It's simple, but I like it.

 Navaho on the string line was a novel idea.  Great details include:  the pretty purple, dots of Neuron on the lines instead of the intersections, and the large N'Zeppel.  Congratulations on the tile and the CZT certification!

The second email was also from Joan with this note, "I divided Neuron up a bit more and added more black. This looks better."

Jocelyne Pigeon-Bernier from Quebec said that her husband preferred this view of her tile because "it looked like a rocket :-)" - and so it does!  N'Zeppel was a new tangle for her and she really liked it.

Jocelyn's Navaho is delightfully dark and her shading is superb.

Cathy Cusson wrote~
...This week's challenge used one of my very favorites - n'zeppel. I love that tangle and use it a lot! I also could find myself falling in love with Navaho. That one has a lot of interesting possibilities. I was playing around with the watercolors for something else and decided to "go green" for this challenge.

Cathy used N'Zeppel in the circles of Nipa.  That is a fabulous idea!

Lily Moon sent in this tile and she posted it here on her blog as well ~

 White on black N'Zeppel provides a strong compliment to the lighter tangles.  Note how she darkened in the lines of Navaho.

Henrike Bratz sent "sunny greetings from the Baltic Sea" along with her tiles.  She added~
I did some exercises with 'NZeppel in my sketchbook about two weeks ago. 'NZeppel is one of my favorite patterns.
Maybe therefore the comeout of my string thing 44 is a monotangle :)

This is a treat to see Henrike's notebook sketches of N'Zeppel and then see her tile.  It is a marvelous monotagle.

Melanie R titled her piece the "Puffed Zeppelin" ~

She also posted it here on her blog.  True to Melanie's sophisticated style, this tile is full of delightful detail - in line and shading and tangle variations and light and dark spaces.  It is stunning.

From Ragged Ray ~
Great tangle selection as usual. I liked Nahavo a lot - but couldn't get it to bend in quite the way I hoped - I hoping someone else will so I can see how they did it. So I've put it on the back burner for now!

Whenever I draw Nipa the lines start to straighten out, so I went with that from the start. I then carried the lines through to use as the Neuron divisions. And had fun with the free-form N'Zeppel - shading one half of it like I did in Riverstones (see what's happening, each week you're teaching us so much without meaning to!). The Diva Challenge involved beads this week - and a few seem to have rolled onto this tile!

I love the look of these tangles together - I see old fields from the sky - divided and some ploughed - or a close up under a microscope, of skin or hair or cells.

What a gift with words and imagery she has!  The darkened spaces in N'Zeppel draw instant attention and then the lovely line work follows.  Note how she made the dots of Neuron into beads - that is a fabulous detail.

Carmela sent in this pretty tile and posted it here on her blog, too ~

She said that she was in "zen modus" and "forgot the time to make dinner".  Can't we all relate to that?!
Carmela also said that she is "always surprised by the outcome" and that is a tangle truism, for certain.

Kia said ~
I thought this one was too crowded until I made the tiny triangle at the top the same pattern, Neutron, as at the bottom (although it/s a bit difficult to see in the picture). That little space seemed to unify the tangle. They are all "N" tangles and I had to use Ninja Stars because it is one of my favourites.

Linda Bladen sent this note with her tile ~
I really enjoyed doing this as they’re all tangles which I’ve not used before and the final result was begging me to use some colour and I love colouring :) Found ‘Nzeppel a little tricky so needed some practice. Neuron completely changed with the dashes of colour and that could well become a regular go-to tangle for me now.
Neuron came to life with her colors as well as her shading, note how she shaded by every solid space in the tangle.  Her shading throughout really adds dimension and softness to the tangles.  Linda also posted her tile here on her blog.

From Lila Popcheff ~

Bold and beautiful comes to mind - in line, color, and shading.  She added swirls, dots, and color to Nipa and made it come alive.

A very warm welcome to K Bish.  She said that she has been tangling for some time now, but this is her first submission to a challenge - hooray for her!  She called her tile "Hidden Treasure" ~

~ and a treasure it is.  She used shading instead of lines to define her string line.  She also created an N'Zeppel that seems to float on the tile.

Cheryl Anne Day-Swallow calls her piece this week, Fish Tale ~

She said, "The body of the fish was created by using N’Zeppel & Navaho
the water was created using Nipa."

That is a clever tile and one very happy fish.   Here is her poem:
A single fish, was swimming up stream
He got lost at sea and started to scream
No one heard his cry, so he turned himself around
He swam right into Nipa waters, there he would abound
He loved it so much, now he’s telling others
Don’t leave home without your Zentangle brothers
What a treat!

Marni Shumacher said, "This week I used the string as the gridlines for N'Zeppel. This made blob-like shapes that I then filled in with the other tangles. Threw in some shading and added some width to my string lines."

And that made for great results - especially the "blob-like" shapes that she created and then filled in.

Jane Glotzer wrote ~
I loved this one--I didn't know it when I started, but it turned out it gave me the opportunity to do a piece with hardly any ink...this is most definitely the least inky one I have ever done!

Started with N'zeppel, a totally fun tangle with lots of possibilities--but again, the first time I ever did so little "coloring-in"--I tried just using a pencil/blender for some fill and ended up loving the look, so I moved on to Navaho (which I had to learn for the challenge.) I really liked one of the under/over variations, so I put that in, and again, ended up loving the lighter look--just a little shading in there added so much depth. I also tried to use different orientations for the two grids. Used the remaining two N tangles, Nipa and Neuron, in the centers, and that's where I got to put in a bit of blackness for a bit of contrast, but not too much--the least inky and the most pencilly--:) Always good to try something new! 
Wishes to all the dads in your life, and out there in the Zentangle world, for a very happy father's day!
 It is light and airy and lovely!

Victoria wrote ~
I send you my zentangle on assignment this week. It so happened that I combined with the task of drawing blog
I am the diva - Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT ®) - Weekly Challenge # 171: "Beads of Courage". I hope that this can be done?
In the week we with younger daughter were drawing with watercolors. Then got these colored blots on paper.
Later they turned into a colored background, as well as in beads and balls.
Loved the tangle pattern set in this task: lines themselves passed from one pattern to another, and smoothly fit into the string.
I enjoyed the process of drawing! Thank you!
 Yes, certainly the combination of challenges can be done!  This is most amazing.  The flow of the tangles, the blots turned tangles, and the black here and there that anchors the patterns.  Note the edges of Navaho as corners - very nice!
Victoria also posted her work here on her blog.

Sharyn Penna said ~
This week's prompt ... grids ... I clench my teeth ... but that's part of the challenge...I need to get past my aversion to straight lines and grids.
I tried two versions of Navaho...the left side with an 005 micron the right with the grid in pencil...I like the penciled grid better when the pattern is very busy. Nzeppel brought relief from working with straight lines. Shading was the soothing finish.
 Sharyn's tile is tremendous, as is her description of tangling it.  Shading is truly a soothing finish - great words.

Along with wishes for a "great and sunny weekend", Ingrid Coventon sent her tile -

She wrote ~
Hereby my tile # 44 for this week’s challenge.
Tangle pattern Navaho was new to me, but what a very interesting and versatile pattern. Very fun to play with. I started drawing the tile like it was presented. ( with A in the under corner right), but after I finished drawing the tile, I preferred the tile to be turned (with B in the upper corner left). With some fantasy you will see something that looks like a fish or a zeppelin.
Have a great and sunny weekend.
And Ingrid is the third artist to mention either fish or zeppelin - what a coincidence.  Her shading is proof that a tangle can be transformed as a result of it.

Juul sent in this tile ~
 She carried cleverly created a woven string line and carried the curves of it into the neighboring tangles.  The variety of line thickness adds great interest.

A very warm welcome to Donna Flynn who sent in her first entry ~
She said that she added "Peerless watercolor to give it some oomph."   And oomph it has! - along with terrific tangles.

Lucy Banta sent in her tile and posted it on her blog as well ~
And look, it's another fish - how fun!
Lucy said, "Another fun selection of tangle patterns and string. Although I didn't start out thinking it looked like a fish, as I added tangles, it turned into one! :)"
That is amazing.  Lucy managed to morph Navaho and Neuron as well and the shading of her circles is sublime.

CZT Cheryl Rotnem said, "I really enjoyed this one. I could feel the zen in it! Actually enjoyed Nipa, usually I don't do it well."

She did "do it well" and shaded it just so.  Cheryl used brown Micron which always works so well with N'Zeppel.

Annemarie returns with this lovely tile ~

 She also posted it here on her blog which she titled "44 + 44 = a great pair".  That is fun and so is her work.  The mostly straight lines of Neuron give it a new look and play well against the rounded N'Zeppel and Nipa.

Holly Dodson said, "This one didn't want to end. As I was finishing the border, some of the spheres escaped!"  What a happy thought that the tangle had a life of its own...
Lots of spheres and tangled in various patterns - great energy there!

Charlotte Carpentier is at the CZT seminar this week, too!  Her note was very exciting:
Started this string in Florida, worked on it in the airport in Atlanta, and finished it in Providence. So excited to be here!

What an absolute treat to think that she tangled this en route to the seminar.  Her enthusiasm and inspiration shine through - lovely layers of fabulous patterns.  N'Zeppel took on yet another new life the way she darkened the spaces around the orbs - just gorgeous!

Jenna Wheatman sent this note and tile ~
Here is this weeks entry. This has turned out very different for me, I used navaho to blend into nippa as well as using nzeppel to fill in navaho. Neuron is fitted in the background which I tried to add contrast with shading. It has turned out a bit busy for me but it was a good relaxing half hour having a play, both neuron and navaho were new to me.

There is so much to look at here - Nipa that turns into Navaho that is filled with N'Zeppel - so creative!  And the lines of Neuron seem to keep pace with the flow of Nipa and vice versa.  Add that all up and throw in superb shading and you have a Jenna Masterpiece!

Peggy Kohrmann wrote this of her tile ~
I really liked these patterns and enjoyed the string as well. I'm calling this one "Blast Off" as Nipa became
Planets and space and a space ship appeared as I finished

Fish, rockets, outer space - we are like minds, are we not?!
Peggy's tight grid patterns play well with the larger free form tangles and shading makes them pop.

In her email, Peggy also wrote that since joining "It's a String Thing" in February, she has learned 73 tangle patterns.  That is amazing and I hope it encourages more readers to join in!

A very warm welcome to Caroline Moore.  She said she is new to tangling and this is her first entry ~
What a great way to start!  Caroline worked her nicely shaded N'Zeppel and Navaho on small grids and as a result Neuron and Nipa stand out.  The dots are a nice detail, too.

This is is fabulous news - Caren Mlot, creator of Navaho - sent in a gorgeous green tile ~

Caren wrote, "I’ve attached my entry to this week’s string thing. I saw that my pattern Navaho was one of the tangles, so I had to participate! Thanks for choosing to use it."

Caren used three versions of her pattern and left some breathing room in the middle space. She also posted a few pictures of her tile here on her blog.

Navaho is a treat for the rest of us to use and have fun with - thank you, Caren.

Brenda Urbanik said that she just didn't like the look of the tangles together but  "decided to tangle N'Zeppel and Neuron together, they at least looked like they belonged together!"

That is a novel idea - and one we can all use.  The brown, black, and white of her tangles shine on the Renaissance tile.

And now, the tile from honors this week was created by
Robin Grosland.  Congratulations, Robin!

She wrote ~
This one came together so quickly and I really like the results. I used a Neuron grid over the top of the original string (string 044). Then I worked to stay true to both.
I added extra weight to the original string line to bring it out more because I really like it. The patterns were used in spaces created by the original string but within the framework of the Neuron grid. So each of the petals of the original string have Navaho in them, but it starts and bends and curves along with the Neuron grid. Nipa in the center does the same, although I let N'Zeppel in the surrounding parts fit those spaces a little less true to the Neuron grid. I used a heavier pen for N'Zeppel to bring it out a bit, too. Then I shaded several of the Neuron spaces to bring extra attention to that aspect, even though the "squares" of Neuron spread into multiple patterns. Then a little extra shading around the inside of the petal pieces for just a little more pop!
This is one of my favorites!
 To be privy to Robin's description of her drawing of it is such a treat and the tile is beautiful, just beautiful.
She also posted it here on her blog.

I'll be sending a little something in the mail to you, Robin.

Many thanks to the talented tanglers for sending in your tiles this week. 

Thank you to the creative minds behind the string and tangles used in the challenge -

Anne Marks via Linda Farmer for TanglePatterns String 044
Neuron by Beth Snoderly
Navaho by CZT Caren Mlot
and two official Zentangle® patterns

Stop back tomorrow for "It's a String Thing" #45!


  1. Hi Adele,
    Sorry I didn't make it in time for the deadline but here is my tangle challenge. Thanks for hosting, I hope to find the time to complete more of your challenges throughout the summer!
    ~ joey ~

  2. Oh-oh-oh ... How much color work this time! Very beautiful and interesting. And so inspiring creative approach participants! Thank you for getting pleasure!

  3. Highlights for me this week - Henrike's elegant monotangle (so many new ideas for N'Zeppel), Lila allowing us to see a design through N'Zeppel, Victoria's blots, Charlotte's delicious colouring, and all those little fishes that appeared!