Thursday, April 30, 2015

Tips for Tangling Lanie

This week's "It's a String Thing" includes my tangle Lanie - click here for all of the delightful details.

I chose it for two reasons:  it is a favorite of my readers and this week marks our daughter Elena's birthday for whom the pattern is named :)

Here is a fresh step out with some additional "Tips for Tangling" Lanie ~


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

"It's a String Thing" #90

It's Tuesday, your good news day!

This week we begin with TanglePatterns String 090 by Carlyn Koesters ~

Copyrighted image used with permission from

We will pair it with three fun-to-draw tangles:

Garlic Clove by Jacquelien Bredenoord
Laced by Mary Elizabeth Martin, CZT
and my pattern

Step outs for the patterns can be found by clicking their names above, or by visiting TanglePatterns.

Use as many or as few as you'd like.

Simply pencil the string line onto your tile and tangle away!  Keep in mind that string lines are suggestions and let the patterns lead the way.

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: It is not necessary for you to have a blog or website to participate.

If you do have a blog or website, I will add a link upon request.  
Please include the site specific URL. 

I look forward to your emails.

Monday, April 27, 2015

"It's a String Thing" #89 Tiles

In honor of Queen Elizabeth's 89th birthday, we used TanglePatterns String 89 and three patterns that bring royalty to mind.

The results are truly "fit for a queen."  Let's take a look ~

The first tile arrived from Lily Moon, last week's honoree ~

Tangled Tidbits -
*corners of Queen's Crown
*stunning shading
*sparkled dark stripes of Jeewels

From Sarah Antoinette, a "Corgi lover", and here on her blog ~

Tangled Tidbits -
*splendid curves for Knightsbridge
*pretty variation of Jemz in the center
*golden Jeewels

From Joanne Hawes  ~
...Knightsbridge is the only one I've used before. I should have practiced them before tangling but I didn't I think my jemz need a little work, but over all I'm happy with the tile. Also glad to be back...

Tangled Tidbits -
*dark centers of Jeewels
*wavy lines of Knightsbridge
*grand white space

From Suzanne Moshier, and here on her blog ~
My Queen’s Crown made the four corners look like doilies.

Tangled Tidbits -
*great shading
*rows of Jeewels
*large corners of Jemz

From Sandra in Germany ~
this challenge was really great - I loved the Patterns String 089! I will certainly use it again I think :-)
I also liked the different patterns.
The tile is on my blog too.
Tangled Tidbits -
*singular Queen's Crown corners
*weighted outer lines of Jeewels
*Tipple accents

From Bhamathi Pai ~
I find these challenges a fun way to learn great patterns. This week I've used Jems, Knightsbridge, Queen's Crown. I have used Knightsbridge before but other 3 were new to me. I managed to tangle Jems and Queen'sCrown but I still need to practice Jeweels. I also need to work on my shading skills..
Link to my blog

Tangled Tidbits -
*crisp lines
*Jemz in Queen's Crown
*aura for Queen's Crown

From Talia Maynard~
Here's my attempt at a regal tangle. I can't believe I'm British and I didn't even know it was old Queenie's birthday!! Many happy returns, Mam.
I couldn't resist throwing a royal reference in this one. I hope you like it.

Tangled Tidbits -
*marvelous monogram
*waves of Knightsbridge
*diamond drops for Queen's Crown

From Beth Broadway ~
I enjoyed this week's challenge, although my knightsbridge got a little wacky.
Looking forward to seeing everyone's submissions.
Tangled Tidbits -
*Queen's Crown lined Jeewels sections
*small and larger Jemz
*nice movement of Knightbridge

From Carmela with "lovely greets"~
Thanks for this beautiful Queenly challenge.
I loved it and enjoyed the tangling on this tile.
Really Zen and surprising enough i was very pleased with my endresult. i hope you to.
@ my blog

Tangled Tidbits -
*awesome aura
*double Queen's Crown
*stippled aura for Queen's Crown

From Cheryl Stocks ~
Thank you for this week's challenge. As always, there's a little creative stretching going on in addition to tangles and patterns that I've not met before. My intention was to channel some royal energy as a tribute to the Queen. Alas, as I was working on this, it seemed more like the chess game in "Alice in Wonderland." I chose to honor a less is more ethic before the queen could say, "Off with her head."
It's posted so far on my flickr page .
Tangled Tidbits - 
*wonderful comments :)
*superb shading
*Jemz morphs into Knightsbridge

From Emily Shelton and here on her blog ~
I really liked how this turned out. Thanks so much for the challenge and the tips on Knights Bridge. Can’t wait to try a more dynamic variation of KB than I used here.

Tangled Tidbits ~
*added detail lines on the orbs of Queen's Crown
*singular Jemz
*halo of Jeewels

From Kath G. ~
I wanted to use regal purple for my tangle, but unfortunately, the ink looks black. Fun challenge, however.
Tangled Tidbits -
*a very regal purple
*curves of Queen's Crown
*nice borders of Jeewels and Jemz

From Annemarie ~
Wow, I like this week's String Thing so much and had a really good time creating it.
I will probably use this string again because it's quite inspiring. I 'had' to put Knightsbridge in the corners and did two of them just wilt a pencil because it would have become too dark. I think the Jewels in the middle is just right and because of the name I wanted it to be blue. I took a Sakura Gelly Roll Metallic pen for it. Such a pity you can't see that in the scan.

Tangled Tidbits - 
*curves for Knightsbridge
*dark and lighter shaded versions of Knightsbridge
*centerpiece of Jeewels with elongated blue side diamonds

From Ilse Lukken ~
Thanks for this Royal challenge! Plenty of birthdays to celebrate, as you can also read at my blog

Tangled Tidbits -
*super swirls of Knightsbridge
*circular Queen's Crown
*wonderful shading

From Magdalene Lee~
Last week I was too busy to do any tangling, but I'm back with this week's tile. Jemz and Jeewels were both tangles that I thought would be difficult to do, but they were surprisingly simple to master. Looking at my past tiles, I'm surprised to see I've never done Knightsbridge. And here I've always thought of it as a go-to easy tangle!
I've put the tile on my blog.

Tangled Tidbits -
*fabulous sections of tangles
*two variations of  a Jeewels and Knightsbridge combination
*sensational shading

A very warm welcome to Kylie Dinning.  She wrote ~
I have recently begun to tangle and just discovered your challenge this evening and decided to give it a go.
I accidently coloured one of the circles in Jemz but like how it turned out anyway.
And Jeewels is one of my new favourites!

Tangled Tidbits -
*great variation of Jemz with darkened center circles
*wonderful depth to Knightsbridge
*bands of Jeewels

Another warm welcome to newcomer Sidney Kapinos.  She wrote ~
...I attended my first basic Zentangle class in November 2014. Naturally I'm hooked!
I have been enjoying your blog, and find your work very inspirational. I especially love Lanie! Thanks for the wonderful tangles and tips.
Also, I've been wanting to get my "feet wet" by participating in a challenge. So, without further ado, attached is my entry for It's a String Thing #89.
Looking forward to seeing the results from this weeks challenge.

Tangled Tidbits - 
*fabulous contrast with curved and straight-lined Knightsbridge
*a touch of Queen's Crown
*nice shading of Jemz

Here is a warm welcome (the third in a row!) for Bobbie Witt who wrote ~
Here is my very first entry! I’m nervous about it; but I think it came out ok.
I love doing your challenges they are self-teaching me in so many ways!

Tangled Tidbits - 
*beautiful black center sections around Knightsbridge
*a criss-cross of Jeewels
*corner concentrations of Jemz

Would you believe four new submissions in a row?!  A very warm welcome to Tabby Barnett from Kentucky.  She wrote ~
Greetings from a chilly but sunny Hazard, KY! First of all I would like to say Thank You for your awesome challenges. This is the first time that I have had the pleasure of participating as I am fairly new to Zentangle and just discovered your challenge last week. Oh what a challenge it was, I definitely struggled with this one. I know it's definitely not one of the best tiles you'll receive, but it was fun to do! I'm excited to see what my fellow tanglers come up with. 
Tangled Tidbits - 
*neat lines
*shaded shadows of Queen's Crown
*splendid depth of shading for Jemz

From CZT Lucy Banta ~
Loved this week's royal challenge! Thank you Adele, have a great weekend.
[on my blog]
Tangled Tidbits - 
*furls of Knightsbridge
*a cross of Jeewels
*rich shading

From CZT Judy Wanner ~

Tangled Tidbits -
*great movement and depth in Knightsbridge
*opposing corners of black and white with just a peek of Queen's Crown
*super sparkle and shading

From Betsy Gentry ~
I loved this string and am symmetrical by nature so challenged myself to not end up with a tile of symmetry. Did I succeed? I love borders so started there and as usual the pen and lines took me over. I took my lines for a that! Such freedom. And why is coloring in solid Black ink so enjoyable??
Thank you for providing us with an opportunity to escape each week!

Tangled Tidbits - 
*a FABULOUS question - why is coloring in solid black ink so enjoyable?!  Tangling with a black pen takes much of the decision making away that artwork in color presents and therefore makes the method more relaxing - more Zentangle® magic.
*an aura-ed Jeewels border
*great variations of Knightsbridge
*lovely shading

From Jane Glotzer ~
In honor of Queen piece this week is some royal fun--:)
I started with my wonky Knightsbridge in the background...and decided to use lots and lots of lines for the darkened squares (love that new micron!!) which I'm pretty pleased with. Filled those circle shapes with tons of overlapping Jeewels...every time I darkened the little half circles, they became birds! A touch of Queen's crown at the top and a little shading...Happy Birthday, M'Lady!!
Tangled Tidbits -
*four and twenty black birds perhaps?!
*lots and lots of lovely lines
*great shading
*super succession of dots for Queen's Crown

From Ingrid Coventon who said that she "loved the string and tangle patterns" ~

Tangled Tidbits -
*bold black and white spaces
*plump black and sparkled orbs of Queen's Crown
*curved corners of Knightsbridge

A very warm welcome to the fifth newcomer this week, Erica Sher from Ottowa, Cananda ~
Tangled Tidbits -
*wispy lines to accent a lighter Knightsbridge
*Queen's Crown that auras inward
*pretty variation of Jeewels

From Donna Symons ~
This one took a lot of thinking and sketchbook time.
Knightsbridge was never a favorite but after looking at
 Maragret Bremner s tutorial and Tips on Tangling
I realized the challenge and potential of this basic
tangle.The facets of the precious gems in the
Crown Jewels collection came to mind!
I enjoyed this very much. Thank you!
Tangled Tidbits - 
*fabulous curves for Knightsbridge
*overlapping Jeewels
*nice shading

A very warm welcome to Mary from Baltimore, Maryland - our sixth new member.  She said that she "enjoyed drawing this tangle a lot, and combined Knightsbridge and Jemz in one pattern."

Tangled Tidbits-
*delightfully detailed tangles
*layers of Jemz, Knightsbridge, and Jeewels for each corner
*grand shading

From Christina Luis ~
Here is my entry for the week. I've also posted the tiles on my blog.

Tangled Tidbits - 
*sparkled Knightsbridge
*intricately tangled Jeewels and Jemz
*wonderful variations of Queen's Crown

From Daniel Lamothe~
Ah, so much fun! I normally have something in mind when I start tangling - a string I want to use, a tangle I want to use, a surface I want to use, or in the case of this challenge, how I want to use a particular tangle within the string. All of that flew out of the window. Queen's Crown along one of the arcs seemed logical, so even though I would've preferred something a little less obvious, there it was. Jemz got tucked into the corner, and Knightsbridge and Jeewels played Hollibaugh. Fill the third arc with more Knightsbridge, add some shading and suddenly everything's fallen into place! I wish more of my tangling was like this, spontaneous and a pleasant surprise once I finish and look at the big picture for the first time. Thanks so much for all your effort into putting together this wonderful challenge!

Tangled Tidbits-
*an enthusiastic write up of a wonderful tangle experience
*curved and sparkled Knightsbridge
*great shading

From Susan Szathmary~
I tried three different compositions - this is my favorite one. I'm looking forward to see what others came up with!
Tangled Tidbits -
*wavy lined grid for Knightsbridge
*shading add great depth
*nice border of Jeewels and center of Jemz
*pleasant symmetry
*stark black and white contrast

From Lori Byerly ~
What a fun way to celebrate her Majesty's birthday. :) I had no idea there were so many royal patterns.
You may also see my tile here.

Tangled Tidbits ~
*elongated curves of Queen's Crown
*singular Jemz 
*just a touch of Jeewelz
*lovely shading

From Sharyn Penna ~
So much fun with this week's prompt... the patterns are bolder than usual for me, but it's good to step out of the comfort zone. Thank you for a bold change of pace. 

Tangled Tidbits - 
*bold and beautiful tangles
*diamond grid for Knightsbridge
*aura of a wonderfully tangled Jeewels
*repeated dots of Queen's Crown

From Susan Theron ~
I had to put a lot of thought into this one deciding where to put what. At the end I enjoyed this tremendously and are satisfied with the result.
Thanks again for your challenges. It helps me to think out of the box.
Tangled Tidbits - 
*wonderful feeling of depth
*Queen's Crown tangled from the center outward in four fabulous variations
*super sparkle and shading

From Jodi ~
I had something a little more free-flowing in mind but this is close enough. Thanks for the gem-filled royal theme, it was lots of fun!
Tangled Tidbits - 
*inventive variations of the tangles
*Jemz of red and green
*great shading

From Felicity Strohfeldt ~
Challenge 89 was really challenging. Where to start and what to do? All seemed impossible and then yesterday after many “thinks and some practise”, here it is! 5 tiles in 1! And even with its own story to go with it.
This came to mind: Once upon a time there was a Queen who wore the Queen’s Crown (righthand bottom corner), but was under the thumb of the domineering Knight (same corner), guardian of the towering Knightsbridge (middle). He ordered the Queen to imprison her beautiful stepdaughter, the future wearer of the Queen’s Crown, in an auraed tower (Righthand top corner) for fear that she should demand to inherit the empire and all its dazzling Jemz protected by by the crowning rays of the Sun (lefthand top corner). Through the years the beautiful princess prayed that her best friend Jeewels (lefthand bottom corner) would come and save her, but no one dared to cross over the the towering Knightsbridge. Sudddenly Jeewels had a a magical idea: He would conjure up three strings of fierce-looking jeewel birds and with himself in the middle of this strange flock, they would fly over Knighsbridge safely, rescue the beautiful princess and fly on to Jeewels’s home and live happily ever after. The End. Also on my blog Just a bit of fantasy to match each tangler’s “fantastic” submission this week.

Tangled Tidbits -
*I love a good fairy tale, don't you?!
*Jemz and Jeewels abound
*splendid variations of the tangles

Cathy Cusson said that she decided her tangles "needed some color" ~
Tangled Tidbits - 
*circular Knightsbridge
*rows and rows of Jeewels

From Joya ~
...Jemz and Queen's Crown were new to me and I decided not to use Jeewels as a border-pattern as I usually did but as a space-filling pattern in the middle. King's Crown is such an easy pattern with lots of potential to tangle around with it, I like it :)
Tangled Tidbits -
*gorgeous tangles, wonderfully shaded
*Queen's Crown center and string lines
*pleasing mix of light and dark space

From Donna Flynn ~
This one was very enjoyable! I added lots of gold, although it's not easily captured by the camera. Sorry this is so late!

Tangled Tidbits - 
*regal colors
*sparkled Knightsbridge
*matching lined sections of Jeewels and the aura of Queen's Crown

From K. Bish - "A Royal Exchange: ~

Tangled Tidbits - 
*diagonal Knightsbrigde center
*curves of Jeewels
*nicely shaded Jemz

After a relaxing early afternoon of tangling,  here is my tile ~

Tangled Tidbits - 
*furled Knightsbridge
*Jeewels caps for Knightsbridge
*aura-ed Queen's Crown

And now the tile for honors this week was sent in by Carol Bourret~

Carol wrote ~
Phew! I think I might be able to do this. I'm the first to admit that it would appear I have not followed your "string" suggestion, but I really did start off that way! And, yes, I did add a bit of Onomato to create more jewels. Having not ever submitted a drawing before, I'm just happy I got this far. Thank you so much for your wonderful website! This was fun, and I hope to do many more.

Tangled Tidbits -
*creative use of the string line and tangles
*elegant lines of Queen's Crown
*shaded centers of Jemz
*morphed Jemz and Jeewels

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

Carol's tile marks the seventh first-time submission this week - wonderful news!

Thank you to everyone for sending in your beautiful tiles this week and celebrating Queen Elizabeth's birthday so royally.

Many thanks to the creative minds behind the string and tangles we used ~

TanglePatterns String 089 by Beth Snoderly 
Jeewels by Livia Chua
Jemz by Margaret Bremner, CZT
Knightsbridge by Maria Thomas   
Queen's Crown by Suzanne McNeill, CZT

Check back Tuesday afternoon for "It's a String Thing" #90!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Thursday's Class

This morning at the Art House (pictured above), I hosted another wonderful group for a Zentangle® Basics Class.  Eager learners, fabulous company, and now talented tanglers, created these masterpieces ~

Thank you Karen, Judy, Adriene, Victoria, Doris, Kathy, and Karen for such a lovely class.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

The following is something I posted in October of 2013.  For some reason this quote has been playing on a continuous loop in my head today, so here it is once more...

In an open studio last week, a fellow tangler mentioned the late painter Paul Klee and this quote of his:  "Drawing is taking a line for a walk."  

For the past week I've mulled over this happy thought and played with possibilities to illustrate it.  

I chose the idea of using a continuous line, taking it for a 'walk' wherever it might lead. 

At first I wrote the words on a single line but could not go back to dot the 'i's' and cross the 't' without picking up my pen.  After a few variations, I found that when I stacked the words on three lines, the loops added above those letters could do the trick.  

I fully intended to finish the words and end my line with Mooka, but a curious thing happened - I thought of walking our dog... and there she is!

Illustration by Adele Bruno, CZT

Which leads me to another quote of Paul Klee's:
"An active line on a walk, moving freely, without a goal.  A walk for a walk's sake."
Take a line on a walk today - you may be surprised where it takes you.
Have a wonderful Wednesday!