Thursday, April 28, 2016

To Tangle a Table Top...

Last Wednesday, I posted a photograph of my tangled table top.

Here are the details of the project, just in case a similar wish is on your "To Do" List...

Before I begin, I must say that the best part of this project was the fact that my friend Kathryn Crane-Thielen, CZT found, bought, sanded, painted, and sent the table along to me via our fellow CZT Carolyn Russell.  Kathryn knew I was looking for a round table to tangle for the upcoming art show.

Kathryn is a very accomplished decorative painter, with an eye for furniture ripe for transformation and she certainly found it in this piece.

This is what the table looked like before Kathryn worked her magic -

The cast iron base has lovely scroll work and the top is a three foot circle of solid wood.

Once prepped, Kathryn sprayed a fresh coat of black to freshen up the base and applied a pure white latex (flat finish) to the top.

As for a design, I decided to recreate one of the pre-strung Zendalas included in the round tin kit from Zentangle®.  (Click here to view)  I find these templates wonderful for all types of projects.

I chose an even sectioned Zendala instead of an odd one.  It proved to be much easier to divide the space into halves, fourths, eighths, etc.

Once I found the approximate center of the table, I marked the initial eight points by using a yard stick and lightly penciling first a cross, then an 'X' through the mid point.    From there I drew the first petal from the midpoint to one of the outer points.  In order to have the center sections uniform, using tracing paper and a pencil, I traced that petal and repeated it around the table seven more times ~

On a recommendation from Tracey Lyon, CZT, I decided to tangle the table with the new Sharpie Extreme markers.  They come with a fade-resistant promise. (I'm holding them to it :)

I added aura and curls to transform the petals into Maria Thomas' Fengle pattern.  
Next, I added Tipple to fill in the Fengle.  I must admit that this was a tedious process.  The 'zen' escaped me at times - mostly because I was anxious to move on to other tangles.

Once I finished half of the Tipple, I branched out into the next area, just to satisfy my curiosity ~

You may notice a few pens in the photographs.  The felt nibs of the Sharpies wore away against the wood as I worked.  Initially the tips made finer lines and then slowly became wider with use.  This required adjustments with the pressure of my strokes  - heavier with a fresh marker and lighter as I tangled on.  When a marker line began to taper or skip, I opened a fresh one.  By the time the table was complete, I used a total of 20 markers.  

With the center completed, I outlined the next sections of the Zendala, divided them into smaller triangles, and added Rick Robert's Paradox.

A "creative opportunity" presented itself when I added Paradox to a section before I divided it into smaller triangles.  The result was a much larger Paradox.  Thankfully, working in even sections proved just the ticket.  Moving forward, I alternated between two larger and two smaller sections around the Zendala.

The tips of the design were finished off with Lynn Mead's Fassett, with Fengle's Tipple in each middle triangle.
The two tangles blended beautifully together.  Here is a close up ~

I repeated the Fengle curl at the tip of each of the eight outer points along with a bit of Tipple.
From there, I added a border of Zenith by Maria Thomas.  I absolutely love how this tangle builds.  Here is a close up of the first few steps

Once Zenith was complete, I took a longer than usual break from the project.  I wasn't quite sure if it was finished or not - or how to finish it...

I decided to add CZT Amy Brody's Paisley Boa (much like Flux) and larger perfs to soften the sharp inner angels.

It was difficult to find a definitive answer from friends on what type of varnish to use on a Sharpie covered, painted surface.  Everyone agreed that spray varnishes, if not used carefully, cause the marker to bleed.  In an effort to cut down on that possibility, I set out to find a brush-on finish.

I painted and tangled a scrap piece of wood and tried numerous finishes.  I was surprised and disappointed to find that a water based polyurethane caused the marker lines to blur.

Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane, Clear Semi-Gloss used carefully worked very well.
With a foam brush, I
*applied very thin coats
*wiped the brush with a paper towel after every three or four strokes to clean the bit of built up marker and to keep it from graying the white paint
 *was always careful not to puddle the varnish or the marker lines would smear.

Each of the four varnished coats dried for eight to twelve hours.  I then lightly sanded with a 220 grit paper, cleaned off the dust, and repeated the process.

Again, having Kathryn prep the table made a huge difference.  From start to finish, working a few hours a day, it took me about a week to complete.

Once more...
The Before                                                                     ...and After


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

Just as the bird sings
 or the butterfly soars, 
because it is his natural characteristic, 
so the artist works.   

                                                                                                             ~Alma Gluck

Stained Glass Birds created by Joan Delony, CZT

In preparation of the upcoming Tickled To Tangle Art Show, my friend Joan Delony, CZT brought over her stained glass contributions.

When Joan unwrapped the whimsical black and white bird pictured above, I fell in love.

She tangled my Lanie pattern on the body of the bird, accented it with Cubine, and dressed her in red boots.  The caption reads, "Wine a Little" - what's not to love?!

She is pictured above with two others that make up my growing collection.  To visit Joan's blog and view more of her birds, click here.  (A red "Store" tab will appear on the top left.)

My little flock is perched on the tangled table that is the subject of tomorrow's post.
I'll detail the process of completing it, so do check back tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

"It's a String Thing" #142

It's Tuesday, your good news day!

This week, we are concentrating on two tangles by Maria Thomas, Zentangle® co-founder and doing something just a bit different for a string.

Let's begin with the tangles:

This is a curious mix of Hollibaugh and aura.  You can see from Maria's examples that the tangle is very versatile.

The link will take you a TanglePatterns page.  There are two other references to explore - a video by Sue Jacobs, CZT and an incredible post by Margaret Bremner, CZT.

As for the string, you will create it by tangling Quib first.
Begin with two dots, placed on opposite ends of your tile, in any direction you prefer.
They can be diagonal, north and south, east and west - just so they are on opposite ends of the tile.

By doing so, you will divide your tile into sections using Quib as your string - great fun!

You have the option to tangle more Quib, or use Echoism to complete your tile.

I do realize this is more free form than usual - but let's stretch our creative muscles a bit and give it a go.  Can you even imagine the diverse cache of tiles on Monday's post?!

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.  WHEN YOU SIGN YOUR NAME, PLEASE INCLUDE WHERE YOU LIVE.  

PLEASE NOTE: It is not necessary for you to have a blog or website to participate. 
In order to eligible for the drawing, you must send in your completed tile.

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 25, 2016

"It's a String Thing" #141 Tiles

This week we gave a nod to Queen Elizabeth II in honor of her ninetieth birthday.

We tangled a string inspired by the number ninety along with some very royal tangles.  The tiles below feature a gold crown, royal purple, a cathedral window, a touch of the British flag, a royal cup and saucer, and even a commemorative coin.
It is a celebration fit for a queen.

And speaking of queens - I am enjoying a visit to see my grandchildren this week.  I am concentrating all of my time on "Gramma" things and didn't want to delay posting these festive tiles, so they are here sans my usual Tangled Tidbits.  Thank you in advance for understanding.

And now, let the celebration begin!

The first tile arrived from smgg (Taiwan) and on her Instagram ~
Have a nice day!!!

From Ilse (The Netherlands) and here on her blog ~
I wish you a happy Royal party with all those Royal tiles :-)
Here's my entry for this week.

From Sarah (Michigan) ~
I imagine the queen having all of her wonderful garden parties at the palace all throughout spring and summer. I watched a documentary about it last year.
I think of the paths, the perennial border, and all the azaleas and rhododendrons. I won't hold my breath for an invite though!
I've been under the weather and I got carried away with color but I love mixing it and shading it all into a big fantastic mess.
Thank goodness for the string! It saved my tile!

From Joke Leussenkamp (The Netherlands) ~
It was very hard for me to become friends with Ma-XIII. So in the end, after practices, I improvised on that tangle.
The Queens crown I draw inside/outside with a slightly curved baton and in the other a jewel.
Tangle love and greetings from The Netherlands,

From Alyona (Toronto, Canada) ~
This challenge was a fun. After finishing I noticed that along with a royal theme I've got an Easter egg as well. :)

From Joanne Faherty (Bedfordshire, United Kingdom) ~
Here's my entry this week. I like the new tangle ma-x111 :) although I did struggle a little creating the alternate spots at the beginning.They had trouble being I the right place for the line step more practice needed on making seed (?) diamond grids
My 5 year old daughter went to school yesterday in red white and blue to celebrate the queens 90th birthday . She came home with the special commemorative coin, so I thought you might like to see it too, given this weeks string thing .
I have to say she looks amazing for a 90y.o I hope that I can still do all the things she can when I'm that age, except maybe run the country id be no good at that .

From Ragged Ray (United Kingdom) ~
A cloudy Friday in West Sussex, looking like Spring has changed its mind again. Here is my tile - and I have to admit that I was thinking less about the Queen birthday and more about the death of Prince while I tangled. Hence the purple! Only little bits of MA-XIII and basic Queen's Crown - but lots of Baton as I love that tangle. As well as small sized filler, I've bigified it in the background and tried to create a sense of shape with my shading (more successfully in the top right area).

From Yvette Grasset (France) ~
I just finished making the zentagles, I love c is great fun, and very creative,
I explain my drawings which I frankly have fun and relaxed. Adele thank you for these lovely shares.
Here is the married queen of the day
The groom and her dress with veil, uncorted bordered by Queens crown, filled with peas and baton. Her hairstyle with: Pauline pigtail- The train with max-xii. The bottom of the dress with stick-lined Queens crown. Flowers: citrus, cack, Pauline pigtail.
The church central window with citrus, organs where does the music of Queen entered the day with stick, above the two stained glass flower with Iza, bottom of the window of the church with max-Xii. COLUMN decorated with queens crown. Wall of the church with teenos.
There you go ! I forget're two because I know their names. And I put the fun in a window frame with the computer.
If you know a free software or sites to be able to translate my American texts tell me, I find only in English.
I do all of you and all my friends. have a good weekend and a wonderful week

From Karen L (Canberra, Australia) and here on her blog ~
Here’s my tile for this week. Another interesting set of Tangles to use. I appreciated your step-outs for Queen’s Crown. Your step outs are always helpful. Lately I’ve been playing around with pre-colouring my tiles using water colour paints ad you’ll see on my tile.
I’ve updated my blog to include a couple of galleries, one is specifically for IAST challenges.

From Jessie Plouffe (Connecticut) ~
Here is my tile for this week. Baton has always confused me, but I
like how it came out here. I also started MA-XII incorrectly, but
decided to just go with it :)

From Tina Kirchhübel (Germany) ~
Thank you again for this wonderful challenge this week. I especially enjoyed tangling MA-XIII because there are so much possibilities of variation for this pattern.
Greetings from Germany

From Sandra (Germany) and here on her blog ~
thanks for this royal challenge ;-) I enjoyed it very much!
Here is my tile for the Queen ;-)

From Adri van Wyk (South Africa) ~
This weeks challenge was a real challenge to me. I did 4 different tiles but decide to sent this one. Thanks Adele.

From Anita A Westin (Dalarna, Sweden) and here on her blog ~
Here comes my entry. I have recently started a blog!

From Karin (Germany) ~
this is my entry to no. 141
The “90” seemes to be quite blank when I had finished the tile. So this time I added a little colour
The pattern “MA XIII” on top of the tile has a little mistake but I think I saved it…

From Gesine Pless-Petig (Germany) ~
I really enjoyed playing around with MA-XIII and its variations, so there was not much room left for Queen’s Crown. Still, I hope the touch of gold will underline the royal nature of this tangle ;-)

From Tabitha, CZT (Quebec, Canada) ~
Here's my tile for this weeks challenge. It didn't turn out at all how I thought, but isn't that the way of it? Lol

From Sabine (Germany) and here on her blog ~
here is my royal tangle. I have added gems. Thank you for sharing "Tips for Tangling a royal tangle", I have had much inspiration and fun with them.
Greatings from rainy and cold Germany

From Kate (United Kingdom) ~
Two "Happy Birthday your majesty" tangles from me, couldn't decide which
I prefer - the second one I think. Loved Baton but wasn't sure that I'd
be able to fit it into the circle shapes, but when I gave it a try it
spiralled in nicely!

From Linda Goncalves (Pennsylvaia) ~
I thought MA XIII was a challenge but I enjoyed working with all
three. This was a fun tangle.

From Lucy Banta, CZT (New Jersey) and here on her blog ~

From midori, CZT (Florida) ~
daydreaming with a pen on a tile... i almost felt, i was on a maritime voyage on a 16th c. elizabethan galleon amidst the ocean waves. funny how 'queens crown' & 'baton' under the spell of tangleation, morphed into its own element. the same for 'ma-xiii.' perhaps, my inattention to directions...

From Sue Agnew (Tucson, Arizona) ~
I think the theme this week is "tangles that turn into other tangles."
When I was playing with filling in the triangular spaces in MA-XIII, I realized I was filling them in like the underside of the Queen's Crown scallops, and saw the similarity in this tangle. It's easier to see when you're actually tangling, but in each square, if you draw an upward curving line from the left corner to the center and then a downward curving line to the right corner, that's like the scalloped line of Queen's Crown. So I did half of the MA-XIIIs that way (the other half I just played with 'cause why not sparkle if the opportunity presents itself).
Baton always confuses me, so I decided to scallop the circles and use Footlites instead (which I justified by it also being a Carole Ohl tangle). Then I realized that made the circles the obvious spot to use Queen's Crown, as you hinted in your Tips for Tangling last week. So THEN when I was filling in the inside of Queen's Crown it kept reminding me of Crescent Moon, so I went with it.
(I scanned the tile diagonally so you could see I did use the string ... I just skewed it a little so MA-XIII could fit the shape of the tile better.)

P.S. All this stuff about Queen Elizabeth reminded me that former mother-in-law ... gave me three [bone china cup-and-saucers], one of which is this one (I think she chose it because my mother was Canadian and in fact my middle name is Elizabeth after you-know-who).

From Allison Durno (Richmond Hill, Ontario) ~
Fun challenge this week!
The Queen's ninetieth! That's fun! I chose to use the king's crown tangle as a border and then I filled in the background with Baton. I used MA-XIII to fill in my "9" and "0", but when I finished with it it seemed my square needed a bit more sparkle, so what is more royal than to use some purple! So I used a sparkly purple gel pen for the "9" and a magenta gel pen for the "0". Thanks for the inspiration!

From Jane Glotzer (Boulder, Colorado) ~
A fun challenge this week...I thought right away I would be adding some royal purple in honor of the queen (and it's one of my favorite colors) and it ended up being in honor of the Prince, too...:(
MA-XII is fabulous--lots of ways to play with it--all the various pieces and parts--tangleations galore! Baton is a fun filler that I had kind of forgotten about, so thanks for the reminder there. And I played around a bit with the Queen's Crown (it's a jester's cap too!!) Added purple, ink and colored pencil, a touch of shading and cute! Busier than what I've been doing lately, and look! no symmetry...but I love it--:)

From Becky Welty (North Carolina) ~
In honor of the Queen's birthday, I decided to color my tile purple. Happy Birthday!

From Robin (Nevada) ~
Here is my submission for this week’s challenge. Thank you for the posting the tips for tangling Queen’s Crown, it helped! I drew the beginnings of the pattern down along the bottom, but then started playing with the negative space instead. I started the Baton in the upper right and then just kept going around and behind the inverse of Queen’s Crown. This was trippy but fun!

From Marla Mendenhall (Long Beach, California) ~
My sister and I were quite young when, in 1959, four years after she ascended the throne, Queen Elizabeth II made a grand tour of all the British commonwealths. Across the river from Detroit, Michigan to Windsor, Ontario, Canada we went, to stay at my grandmother's house, a stones throw from the main avenue down which the Queen's procession passed by. And we stood onGrandma's porch, shouting and waving British and Canadian flags, and thus I began a lifelong love affair with the Royal family. To this day, I still have newspaper clippings in a scrapbook from that visit, the subsequent birth of her children, and other momentous occasions for which Grandma saved the articles. Yellowed, worn thin at the creases, but still beloved and fondly remembered. God save the Queen.
And what would the Queen's Crown be without a jewel, right? Fun challenge!

From Susan Theron (Velddrif, South Africa) and here on my blog ~

From Felicity Strohfeldt (South Africa) ~
This week challenge was a lovely idea to honour a the most famous, regal lady ever, Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. String 90 did it. I have used Queen’s Crown before and find it a very versatile tangle and to me it was a given to use it in the circular section of the string. MA-XIII slotted in well in the coronet centres, and then I decided to dabble in some gems – after all what is a crown without luscious jewels. The verdict is still out on this decision. This left Baton and I hope I wasn’t too predictable. Anyhow thank you Suzanne, Carole and Chantal for your beautiful Zentangle Patterns. As always Adele you came up with winner Challenge. Thanks you for getting me going again!

From Sharyn Penna (Massachusetts) ~
What's not to love about this week's prompt?! A royal celebration, a queen's crown, baton representing the scepter and MAXIII representing the royal gardens. Cheers to the Royal birthday girl ... And many more!

From Talia Maynard (United Kingdom) ~

Thank you to the creative minds behind the tangles used this week along with my string ~

Queen's Crown by Suzanne McNeill, CZT

Baton by Carole Ohl, CZT

MA-XIII by Chantal Florin

Many thanks to everyone who joined in the the royal celebration this week.  

Check back tomorrow - Tuesday - for"It's a String Thing" #142!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Tips for Tangling a Royal Tangle

As promised...

I hope you find this helpful.    It will be exciting to see what tanglers come up with for
IAST #141.

Please do join in - we all learn from each other.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

At a round table,
every seat is the head place.   
                                                                                              ~German Proverb

Aerial view of my Tangled Table Top (36" round) by Adele Bruno, CZT

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

"It's a String Thing" #141

It's Tuesday, your good news day!

In celebration of Queen Elizabeth II's 90th birthday this week, we will tangle away with a royal theme.  Don't you just love a party?

We begin with a string that is actually the number 90 (I know, I know, so clever, isn't it?!) ~

IAST #141 by Adele Bruno, CZT

The tangles for the challenge include ~

Queen's Crown by Suzanne McNeill, CZT
The link to Suzanne's step out is no longer operable on TanglePatterns, but the tangle is easy enough to recreate.  
A similar (unnamed) tangle is pictured in Sandy Bartholomew's Totally Tangled on page 51.  

I drew this border on a poster I use in my classes.  It was inspired by Sandy's work ~
I will post Tips for Tangling this royal tangle on Thursday - stay tuned! (Alliteration makes me smile.)

Baton by Carole Ohl, CZT
This is a bit of a stretch for the theme...but it's long been a favorite.

MA-XIII by Chantal Florin
The newest entry on TanglePatterns, the tangle and the photos that accompany it are regal.

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.  WHEN YOU SIGN YOUR NAME, PLEASE INCLUDE WHERE YOU LIVE.  

PLEASE NOTE: It is not necessary for you to have a blog or website to participate. 
In order to eligible for the drawing, you must send in your completed tile.

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.