Monday, June 30, 2014

"It's a String Thing" #46 Tiles

It was a royal treat this week to be able to use a string line and tangles created by CZT Sue Jacobs.  I think she will be most pleased by the results, the comments and compliments on her tangles, and the applications of them to her string line.  Let's take a look ~

Lily Moon used a beautiful blend of Coil, Vigne, and Plaited ~
Shading and white hightlights shine on her Renaissance tile.  Lily also posted it here on her blog.

Carmela said that she loved the "round forms and choice of patterns" this week.  She used Sue's tangles: Vigne, Jilly, Coil and LoobyLoo.

Note the free floating Looby Loo - how fun!  Carmela also posted her tile here on her blog.

Colette Horsburgh said, "This one was fun. I looked on Sue Jacob's website and found a bunch more tangles ..."  

I spy a lovely rendering of Zhostovo Border and Ace along with Vigne.  

Cathy Cusson said that as much as she likes Jilli, it gave her "a fit."  Fit, or not, she managed lovely waves of Jilli with a touch of blue.  Add to that her aura-ed Vigne and wonderful white space, and you have a masterpiece ~

Chrissie Murphy's comments included:
Absolutely every tangle pattern I have used in this tile is a first! I have never used them before, so I was sooooo out of my comfort zone...As I was working on the tile I tried to get a sense of how Sue felt when she put the patterns together. They are concise patterns, giving you a firm starting place and a clear finish. I like that, they are very definitive. 

The dark spheres of Coil give the tangle a striking appearance.

Ragged Ray said that it was a treat to work with Sue's string and tangles.  She added that the sign of a great tangle for her is one that "takes a bit of practice."  She found Sue's patterns fit that bill.  She added:
As for my tile - I'm finding myself drawn to hooking one tangle onto another - it helps it all come together perhaps? Coil - lovely, addictive, I could draw it everywhere! And Looby Loo - so much potential for adding a bit of lightness. My Bumps isn't quite as bumpy as I'd like it to be - another area for more practice.
I think my finished tile looks like the pitch for a whole new sport - perhaps one where people have to hit those hanging diamonds? I'm not a fan of football - I wish Zentangle was our national sport instead!

So much beauty in one small space.  Those black diamonds are captivating, the tangles loop around each other, and the thought of a national sport of Zentangle is priceless.

Sal quipped that she is "still working on restraint!"

And that is simply, simply gorgeous.

K. Bish said ~
First off, what a great challenge this week. And thank you for the intro to Sue Jacob's body of Tangles... What a treat!
My tangle is called "Celebration #1"
For my tangle I chose to use the tangles listed on Sue's blog- many are not listed on the Tangle Patterns site... Under Sue's name anyway.
The patterns I chose are:
Elements of Square Dance in
and finally... Ace.
Like I said it was a very fun tangle for me, much lighter than I usually work.
I'm going to have a lot of fun with Coil in the future.
Her Ditto in the center is beautifully shaded.  She echoes many tanglers compliments of Coil.

Jocelyne Pigeon-Bernier said that she "had a lot of fun drawing this tangle".  She added that she "let her imaginations run free" without being held to the string lines.

Ah, the magical effects of tangling!  The single Plaited pieces and the black dots of Coil are spectacular.

Cheryl Anne Day-Swallow did it again - a treasure of a tile accompanied with an original poem.
She said~
Vigne was used to create the border area
Jilli was used to create the candy
Bumps was used to create the corners of the border area 
I call this piece Candy. 
This piece of candy was sitting on the counter
Had a big problem, with a human encounter
The candy was unwrapped and put on my tongue
It tasted real good, but now its all gone.
Fortunately for us, it is still here to soak up and enjoy!

Kia said, "I found this one quite challenging because all the tangles except for Coil are new to me. Nevertheless. as well as being challenging, it was educational and enjoyable."

Kia rose to the challenge of learning the tangles as they are beautifully presented in her tile.  She also posted it here on her blog.

Caroline Moore's note brought a smile.  She said, "I made the mistake of opening this challenge just before bed the other night, and had a terrible time sleeping because I just wanted to get started!! Haha. Great challenge!"

We can all relate to that sentiment!  Caroline drew a single Looby Loo in the middle of her tile, added dots and shading to her other tangles and the result is fabulous.

Melanie R. called her piece, "Lilias Grey".  She posted it here on her blog along with the link to a random name generator that is very interesting...

She added, "Thank you again for your excellent blog and your wonderful challenges!"

It is Melanie that the word "excellent" should be associated with.  Her touch of pink adds to the lace like, feminine feel of her tile.  It is exquisite.

Lucy Banta said that she kept the "design on the light and airy side."

The auras of Looby Loo add to the lightness as does the pretty border of Vigne.  Lucy posted her tile here on her blog, too.

Sharyn Penna's note read:
Busy dare life get in the way of tangling! When I finally sat down to play, I had so much fun! Sue Jacobs' Coil video was very helpful detailing the orbs and shading...I still need more practice on that. I have to say though, Plaited was easier than I thought...I didn't clench my teeth once with the straight lines. This String Thing prompt was a great way to end a challenging week. 

Note how Sharyn used rounded lines on the curves of Plaited in one area and 'v' shaped ones on another.
Vigne inside Coil - now that is a fabulous idea!

CZT Joan Delony said, "I enjoyed tangling this. The results were surprising as I was thinking of something else while working on this tile."

It proved to be a delightful distraction, for sure.  Note that her penciled border line is visible and at the same time, a natural part of her tangle.  The center line of Vigne is beautiful with Joan's added perfs, Knightsbridge, and aura.

CZT Charlotte Carpentier described her tile and a helpful tip ~
In keeping with my blue on toned tan, I submit to you what looks like a blue deft plate pattern. It kept making me laugh. Earlier this week, I biggified tangles for another piece I was working on, this one seemed to go in the opposite direction.
Something else I learned this week. You can make a really cool pearl effect by circling inside with graphite, blending it in, then using the Zenstone almost as a blending tool.

That is a "cool pearl effect", thank you for that.  All of her special touches - aura around Vigne, blue Bumps, depth of shading -  make the tangles shine.

Peggy Kohrmann
I've been on vacation and enjoyed the opportunity to learn seven new tangles!!!!! This week was fun and a party atmosphere. The airy, light borders were my favorite and that became my focus. A bit of Vigne, LaBel, and a bunch of Coil still made it open. Bump was the choice for the middle...

Love the comment about the party atmosphere as well as the light and airy description of Sue's border tanlge patterns.  Note how Peggy added the dark shading and thick line to Coil.

Sara from Switzerland called this her "4 Elements ZIA" ~

She asked, "Can you spot them? There are also Ants and Ladybugs :) This is what I like while tangling all the associations and thoughts [that come] up!"
Earth, water, air, fire...with ants and ladybugs and deep color- what a gorgeous ZIA!   Sara also posted it here on her blog.

Henrike sent her tile along with greetings from the Baltic Sea ~

And this brings the sea and its waves to mind.  The darkened Coil and the lightness of Vigne are lovely.

Jenna Wheatman wrote:
Its tennis fever over here in the UK with Wimbledon and its getting close to the Commonwealth games in Scotland which some of the girls i compete against have qualified for, so lots of fun distractions at the moment.
Here is this weeks string thing challenge. I did try plaited but could not get it to flow with the other tangles and I need much more practice. I liked bumps but decided to just use Vigne and coil.

While it may be, as Jenna says "just Vigne and Coil" - it is JUST beautiful.  The two big black balls of Coil complete with sparkle, are striking.  Her variations of Vigne , shaded just so, are gracefully rendered.

AND now, the tile selected for honors this week was created by~
Ingrid Coventon of the Netherlands~

Ingrid Coventon is another Coil and Vigne fan. She wrote~
Coil was new to me but I love it so much. I had a lot of zen"fun" learning and drawing it. And of course there was no doubt I had to draw Vigne. I so so love this tangle. It is one of my most favourite tangles, but I lost sight of it a bit. So thank you to bring it to my mind again.
Ingrid's simple, yet delightfully detailed tangles are so pleasing to the eye and the darkened Bumps and Vigne provide great contrast to her white space.  

CONGRATULATIONS, Ingrid!  I have a little something coming in the mail for you.

Many thanks to the talented tanglers who submitted their treasures this week.

Thank you to Sue Jacobs via Linda Farmer for String 040.   
And a very special thank you to Sue Jacobs for her creative cache of tangle patterns.

Stop by tomorrow for "It's a String Thing" #47 - 
a special one for the Fourth of July!   

Friday, June 27, 2014

More Tangled Lighting

Last March I posted a few pictures of the nightlight I tangled for my grandson.  Click here just in case you missed it )

The little lights are still available at IKEA and I've stocked my pantry with them.
You just never know when you need a little tangled gift for a special someone, right?!

Well, the most recent special someone came in the form of my girlfriend's granddaughter and this is her tangled light ~

ZIA Light by Adele Bruno, CZT

A Sukura Identi-Pen worked very well on the plastic and was very durable, once dried.

Try tangling a lamp or lamp shade - it really brings life to an otherwise plain surface.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tips for Tangling Plaited

This week's "It's a String Thing" features a string line and tangles by CZT Sue Jacobs.  Click here for all of the delightful details.

Sue's pretty patterns are listed on TanglePatterns and there are even more on her blog, Sue's tangle trips. Learning Plaited proved to be a bit of a challenge, so I have written up some tips for tangling it.

I arrived at this step out after reading through Sue's directions and working through my own take on the tangle.

A shout out to one of the newest CZTs and "my favorite student" Carolyn Russell for the terms smile and frown to describe the direction of curved lines.  Thank you, Carolyn.

Read through Sue's step out and mine, you may find one more helpful than the other.  

In any case, do give it a try!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

Somewhere is cyberspace last week, an email from "It's a String Thing" regular contributor Juul, got lost.
By the time she resent it, the results were already posted.  

But all is not lost, because Juul's tile is the accompanying art work for today's words of wisdom ~

Anyone who says 
you can't see a thought
simply doesn't know art.
                                                             ~W.A. Reynolds

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

"It's a String Thing" #46

It's Tuesday, your good news day!

The mentions of the World Cup from tanglers yesterday sent me on a search for a more rounded string line for this week's challenge and here it is ~

Copyrighted image used with permission from
 It was created by CZT Sue Jacobs of Sue's tangle trips.  Sue has seven tangle patterns to her name on Linda Farmer's site, so we are doing something a little different this week.

In honor of Sue, we are going to use only her tangles.  You can find them on TanglePatterns under Tangles by Artist - her tab is suej.  Or you can click here for the direct link.

Use as few or as many as you wish.

Simply pencil your string line onto your tile and tangle away!

Here are the (Not so) Official Guidelines: 
* Challenges are posted on Tuesdays.
*Use the string posted for the week and patterns that begin or contain the letter(s) indicated
* Submit a photo of your tile saved as jpg or scan your tile (300 dpi or higher) and save as a jpg
*Email your jpg file as an attachment to -
*Entries are to be submitted by Saturday evenings.
*Photos and 'Best of Show' are posted on Mondays.

Send in your photos - you will encourage and inspire fellow Zentangle® enthusiasts all over the world.

PLEASE NOTE: I will add a link to your blog or web site with your tile photo, upon request. The site specific URL must accompany your request.

I look forward to your emails.

Monday, June 23, 2014

"It's a String Thing" #45 Tiles

Congratulations to all the new CZTs from Seminar 14 and those just finishing up at Seminar 15!

This week's string was straight lined and geometric.  For the most part, tanglers said that they were able to have a lot of fun while tangling through the challenge.  Let's take a look ~

Jocelyn Pigeion-Bernier, however, said that she found this one "difficult" with the given string and tangles.
Difficult, but not impossible as she illustrates here.  Shading and dots are lovely details.

Joey van Oort wrote ~
I am excited that I actually finished this challenge before the deadline...Thanks for continuing to inspire us, I hope to be participating more this summer!
It is impressive and exciting to see her submission because Joey is a busy blogger herself.  Click here to see her happy blog. Diva Dance looks especially festive in color.

Cathy Cusson sent this note and tile ~
Great string! Great tangles! Wow! You really picked a winner this week! Seriously, I love all the tangles you chose. I wasn't sure how to work doodleo in to such a grid looking string at first, but then it sort of all fell together... 
It really did fall together.  Diva Dance corners and alternating spaces for line detail in Dex are wonderful ideas.  

Sharyn Penna said - 
Funny that Dex was part of this week's prompt...I kept thinking of Dex while drawing Navaho last week.
Here's my "slant" on this week's prompt...I decided to really play up the diagonals. I added a metallic gold pencil with a bit of green highlights to Dex and Doodleedoo, although it photos in a shade of brown. There's very little added shading.
Her 'slant' is a very clever take and beautifully executed.

Ragged Ray said ~
A great string, but somehow I struggled a bit to make the tangles gel this week. I think I find the tangles with lots of black and white contrast can make the tile look a bit flat? Perhaps if I tried drawing them larger there would be more scope for shading... who knows. Dooleedo was a great one to learn - love the one line back and forth of it - a great alternative to Flux for meandering across the paper. I like to draw my Dex with a hollow centre - it lightens it a bit and allows for a bit of tweaking if it isn't that straight! I demonstrated the 'no mistakes' rule this week by messing up on the right hand side but covering it with a dark branch of Dooleedo. Another colonial style tile - perhaps a bar in old Bombay - can you taste the gin and tonic?
 Yes, that makes me thirsty!  Several things stand out here.  First,  Doodleedo springs from the middle.  Then Diva Dance finds its way into other tangles and her take on Dex is fabulous.   She also created Doodledo Bronx Cheer - very clever!

A very warm welcome to Sara from Switzerland - how exciting!

Sara, by changing the angle of her grid lines, created the illusion of depth.  Shading and her fine lines in Doodledo are wonderful.  Sara posted her tile here on her blog as well.

Carmela said that she found this one difficult - "too much squares", she said...
There are many squares, but just look how nicely they turned out.   She used a circle and a square variation of Demi - very good compliments.  Her tile is posted here on her blog as well.

CZT Sue Jacobs said that she wasn't sure about the string at first, but then quickly realized "how it worked perfectly with the grid tangles."  She "got into the 'zen' of tangling with no problem"!
The Diva Dance corners and frame and see how she left a white space around Doodledo?  The square grid tangles are balanced so well with the free form Diva Dance.  Just lovely.  Sue also posted her tile here on her blog.

CZT Margaret Bremner wrote ~
This one was interesting with all the square grid, diagonal lines, just black and white elements. I can't decide if this looks more like a nice place to sit in a public aquarium, or Moses' burning bush!

What great visuals!  And what a wonderful tile.  Margaret gave Diamonds and Squares an entirely new look with her alternating dark, light, and lines spaces - and see how Diva Dance oozes into its space?  When Margaret shades it is very much like a baker adding icing to a cake - marvelous.

Cheryl Anne Day-Swallow wrote, "The inter part of the kite was created using Dex
The flowers leaves were created using Dooledo."

Flowers from Doodledo is an ingenious use of the tangle as is her color choice for Dex.   Cheryl again graced her tile with a creative poem:
A square kite, flying high, for all to see,
Flew right by, you and me
Just to show us, just how cool Zentangling can be

Annemarie said, "Thanks for another great challenge. I really enjoyed making this tile with mainly new tangles."
She alternated the square and round centers of Demi and varied Dex and Diamonds and Squares, carrying one into the other.  See the 'bud' of Pokeroot springing from Doodledo?  Annemarie posted her tile here on her blog, too.

Freshly minted CZT, Joan Delony - yes, the creator of the string this week - sent this note:
This is not my best work---especially with this string. In my defense, I am working on the road :). Driving through Maine is beautiful. Diva Dance reminds me of the rocky shore and beautiful ocean. Demi is like all the beautiful, huge, New England homes along the shore. Doodeloo(can't remember the spelling) reminds me of the gorgeous purple stalk like flowers everywhere!
Thank you for honoring me by using the string I designed. I can't wait to see the wonderful creations everyone else submits.
BTW; CZT training was absolutely awesome. Anyone interested in Zentangle should really try to go. It is well worth it.

Great thoughts, great tile, and especially wonderful sentiments about the Seminar.  Congratulations, Joan.

Lily Moon sent her "solution" to the weekly challenge ~

Many details to note, especially the aura-ing of Doodledo, the red dots of Diamonds and Squares, and the dramatic white space that compliments Dex so very well.   Lily also posted this on here on her blog.

Ingrid Coventon was a bit uncertain about her tile.  She said, "After finishing I discovered that a focuspoint in this tile is missing. Therefore, looking at this tile doesn't feel comfortable and keeps the eye wandering."

Yet, this is an example that while it may be desired, it is not necessary to have a focus point.  Just to tangle for the sake of doing it and being surprised by the outcome is part of the joy of it all.  So thank you, Ingrid, for sending your tile along for us to enjoy.

Annie Taylor wrote ~
Not sure it was a good idea to do it whilst watching the football though.....I kept getting distracted and not in a good way!

However, I will add it to the pile for good measure. The rather wonky grids are deliberate, honestly!

It looks like football was a distraction and an inspiration - wonky grids, and all!  Note the lovely lines in Doodledo.  Annie also posted her tile here on her blog.

Sal's growing tile is next ~
She wrote, "I’m practicing restraint as I think that I have a tendency to overtangle!"  Hmmmmm, is there such a thing I wonder?
This is so beautifully simplistic with just two tangles and a gorgeous growth of green.

Melanie Ringler said that she calls her piece "The Blue Room" ~
It is a Beautiful Blue Room at that.  I read about her tile on her blog and found out that it was inspired by a home renovation project - how fun.  Melanie varied her grid size and orientation and topped them with a 'vine' of Doodledo, using both versions of the tangle.

Sue Agnew wrote -
Dex is one of my very favorite tangles, always has been ... so it was really tempting to do a Dex monotangle ... but I decided to stretch a little bit and add in some others. I did "play it safe" and stick to the grids, though. It's very calming to draw all those little lines!
That brings a smile, doesn't it?  Grid lines that disappear and dark spaces that turn to lined ones with just a pop of Diva Dance in the middle - so much fun in one little space!

Linda Bladen sent a newsy note -
Here is my entry for this week's challenge.
This week I seem to have been busy every day with very little tangle time. I picked up and put down the challenge a number of times as I couldn’t seem to come up with an idea for where to start to use the tangles.
Anyway on Thursday I spent most of the day behind the driver’s wheel and whilst travelling through the beautiful countryside on the edge of the Peak District I found myself imagining how I could do the challenge. I saw the light as it were.
Because apart from Dooleedo all the tangles are grid based and at first I struggled to see how they could work together. The light came on when I thought about only using one or perhaps two of them. In the end I merged a little bit of Demi into Diamonds & Squares. The flag shape must have come from watching too much World Cup football (the less said about that the better now though from an England perspective!!).

This is inspired - the merging of the two tangles with Doodledo in the foreground and shaded just so.

CZT Kate Aherns wrote ~
This week the string was a very straight-line string, and a challenge as I normally go for ones that are a bit curvier.
Lots of grid based tangles here, and unless I morph them, curve them, or do something so I don’t have to be really even, they are not really my favorites. I like the more organic ones better. That being said it was good for me to have to figure out using them in this straight and grid like string.

This is strangely soothing to study - the bold blocks make a wall and window for the curvier tangles.  It is mesmerizing - well done!  Kate posted it here on her blog as well.  

Holly Dodson supplies us with the WOW factor this week ~

How very unique!  Holly darkened the string line and then added spheres of patterns that change where string lines pass through - fun, fun, fun!

Caroline Moore said this was a "Fun one!" ~

It brings a smile, too.  The hearts in Diva Dance and added curls to Doodledo are very FUN.  

Jane Glotzer wrote ~
Boy, so many grids in so many square spaces...I used 4 out of the 5 suggested patterns, but finding room for one more proved elusive--:) Diamonds and Squares just could not make it in...
I really do love working on these challenges each week because it gives me the opportunity to explore old favorite tangles, but even more importantly, to find new patterns to play with. I had learned Dooleedo a while ago, but never did much with it, but how fun...and even Diva Dance, which I know many Zentangle artists use quite a bit, was not one that initially drew me, but I like very much how it came out.
Notice how she alternated the direction of Demi and gave it that 'V' - very nice.

 Sherrill Herron sent along her tile with wishes for a blessed week ~
She said that tangling has gotten her "juices flowing" to do her quilt work.  It is wonderful how tangling carries over into other creative ventures.

Suzanne Wilka wrote ~
Fun string this week - as soon as I saw the string I saw it as a woodburned piece. Dooleedo is one of my favorite tangles but it took a bit of exploration as to how I would work it in with all the other straight line tangles.

As someone who loved our woodburning set as a child - and bought one for my children, I would agree:)
The dark border is striking as is the variation of browns.

Deanna Spence sent in this tile ~
Dex on an angle with a grid for shading - great idea.  And using Diva Dance in Doodledo is so clever!

Colette Horsburg said she had fun with this too ~
Note how she added line detail and dots to Doodledo to create a new variation.

Fresh out of Seminar 14, brand new CZT Charlotte Carpentier sent in her tile ~
She said that she splashed a bit of color on this after concentrating on basics at the seminar.  She added:
Cool thing I learned from my step-daughter...the gold and silver lined Gelly Roll pens are really versatile. if you use them on straight lines, or even if you fill a little, you can go back in with an eraser (gasp, yes, I have one) and it will take off the gold or silver and leave whatever other color the pen was behind. Makes for some cool highlights, although I am not sure they showed up good with my little pearls here.
What a great tip - and tile.  Thank you and congratulations, Charlotte!

Jackie Becker wrote ~
It took me awhile to decide. I wasn't sure I wanted to submit this one as I wasn't happy with the small border. But, it was fun to bring diva dance out from behind demi. Happy summer to everyone.

The border words really well with the larger grid beside it.  And yes, Diva Dance emerging from the tangles is really pretty, especially shaded like that - beautiful!

Just as I was wrapping up this post, Joan Delony sent another tile.  She said that she had some time while waiting for a tour bus on her trip ~
Doodledo through the whole tile is lovely!

A N D now....the tile for honors this week was sent in by
Lucy Banta from New Jersey ~

Lucy's tile has a delightful Doodledo border -

It is wispy and serves as a perfect frame for her pretty tangles and shading.
Lucy also posted it here on her new blog.


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

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 -

Joan Delony, CZT via Linda Farmer at TanglePatterns for String 108

Diva Dance
Dex - official Zentangle® patterns
Demi by Genevieve Crabe
Diamonds & Squares by Deanne Stewart-Mills
Dooledo by Ksenija Vojisavlijevic

Stop back on tomorrow for "It's a String Thing" #46!