Thursday, August 27, 2015

Debut of my Frames for Zentangle® Tiles

"Ready or not, here I come!"

Remember playing tag as a child and yelling those words after a long count with your head down, eyes covered?

That is how I feel today.   
I've spent time with my head buried in setting up a website and eCommerce store to sell my frames.
I'm looking up now, a bit foggy from the concentrated effort, and ready to yell, "Ready or not..."
 - half to myself and half to whomever will listen :).

Below, I've included a picture of my three frames together, the story of how they came to be, and  my new website information.  

First the finished project -
Tickled to Tangle Frames by Adele Bruno, CZT
Next, in an effort to inspire others to follow through on their idea(s), here is my story~

As it turns out, it is more than just a story of how an idea turned into a reality.  It is a story that illustrates what anyone can do with an idea:  pay attention to it, believe in it, nurture it, share it, and watch it grow into a reality.

Early in my tangling experience I realized that the commercial market for frames did not support the size of the 3.5" square Zentangle® tiles or the Zendala tiles.   On occasion, I could find one at a craft store, but not the quality I was looking for.  

Determined to design a better alternative, I concentrated on these main points ~

*custom size
*quality material
*ease of use

Quality was paramount to my design.   I sent my initial drawings to my brother Dave and he made the first prototypes from a gorgeous, heavy gauge steel.   He took my sketches and turned them into something I could hold, feel, and admire.  It was permission to pursue the next step, not to mention the affirmation of having someone else believe in my idea.  Because of that, I am forever indebted to him.

Since, on any given day, I tangle multiple tiles, the ease in changing out a display was another consideration.   (When I attended the CZT 10, Molly said that her mother, Zentangle co founder Maria Thomas could tangle up to 15 tiles a day.  I aspire to do that!)  If the frames were made of a quality, magnetic steel, this would be an easy solution.  The right magnets could compliment the artwork they held up for display.

The first ones I ordered were just the right size and shape, but were humorously strong. When I tried to attach a tile to my frame with one, it flew out of my fingers with such a force that it left an imprint in the tile - lesson learned :). 

This is the winning  magnet - a black nickel plated rare earth neodymium magnet.  It has a pull of just over a pound - perfect for the job and very pretty.

As the details of design and production needed to be decided,  I had the good fortune of meeting Joanne Fink of Zenspriations®.  That sentence reads lightly, but I do mean "the good fortune". Joanne is a generous soul and she delights in connecting creative minds.  In a meeting with her and her very knowledgeable assistant, Dawn, and through their questioning, I was able to formulate and focus my business and manufacturing plan.  

Determined to have the frames made locally, and through a lead from Joanne, I found a metal fabricator here in Orlando.  Lessons on the properties and finishes of steel followed, decisions were made, and over the course of a few months, through some trial and error, the frames became a reality.

In late January of this year, my friend Sindy went with me to pick up the freshly coated masterpieces. What a blessing it was to have her there, we were like two giddy school girls on a playground.  

The frames were dangling from hooks along rungs of large wheeled racks.  The deep black matte finish was baked onto the steel and these huge racks were wheeled into a large oven.
This is a photo of me with the shop's owner, Dave, as we inspected the goods ~

It was quite a sight to behold.

In order for the frames to hang on these racks, a small hole had to be drilled into each base.  

That lead to the next step - finishing off the frame with a signature charm.  This was another learning experience spread over a few more months.  I spent countless hours on Google and YouTube learning about jewelry making and stamping.  Eventually, I found Steel Stamps, Inc. and with the help of my daughter Nancy, firmed up my logo art work and ordered a die cut stamping tool.
With hammer in hand, I pounded out the logo charms, added a touch of black to accentuate the logo, and adhered one to the base of each frame.

Sindy ceremoniously purchased the first frame.  She signed only the $5 bill and joked that I might need the $20 to reinvest - and she was right!  

Over the past few months, I have sold more in my classes.  Debbie bought the first Zendala frame ~ 

My friend Tracey Lyon, CZT bought the first Four Tile frame - so exciting!

Lori Byerly was awarded one in a random drawing from entrants of "It's a String Thing" #100 - The Zentennial.  In an email she wrote, " It is a lovely frame display. All my friends were taken with it and hinted about future Christmas gifts."  She also pictured it on her blog.  

The reviews from other purchasers have been as complimentary.

I am happy to announce that my new website is ready: 

It is still a work in progress, but you can find my frames by clicking the SHOP! tab on the top of the main page.

Initially, I am able to fulfill orders from the forty-eight contiguous states.
As an introductory bonus, there is one flat rate for shipping.

Please stop by and take a look.   "Tag you're it!"

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

        We need to find God,
        and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness.
        God is the friend of silence.
        See how nature - trees, flowers, grass - grow in silence; 
        see the stars, the moon and the sun,
        how they move in silence...
        We need silence to be able to touch souls.
                                                                                                              ~Mother Teresa

Adele Bruno, CZT

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

"It's a String Thing" #107

It's Tuesday, your good news day!

On this day, seventy-six years ago, the movie The Wizard of Oz debuted in the United States.  

Let's tangle the yellow brick road together this week and begin with 

TanglePatterns String 111 by CZT Maria Vennekens ~

Copyrighted image used with permission by TanglePatterns

With a combination of new and not-so-new, the patterns we will use are:

Zenith by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas - their newest tangle
Pixioze by CZT Margaret Bremner - her latest tangle
Ann from my very first blog post

Step outs for the patterns can be found by clicking their names.

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. WHEN YOU SIGN YOUR NAME, FEEL FREE TO  INCLUDE YOUR STATE/COUNTRY. 

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, August 24, 2015

"It's a String Thing" #106 Tiles

This week we had fun with a lovely string by Lily Moon, Asian Fans by Suzanne McNeill, CZT (click here to view my Tips for Tangling) and my Bud and Budlite.

The tiles are just lovely and I must say that I feel like a proud mother to see the beautiful bursts of Bud and Budlite.  Let's take a look ~

The first tile arrived from Sarah at hungrycorgistudio ~
I enjoyed the string and it was able to lean itself to the tangles required really well. Great organic feel with the choices in tangles and a Chinese Fan design deserved a jade green tile. :)
Tangled Tidbits - 
*inside aura of Bud
*fine detail lines of Asian Fans
*variation of line weight

This is my tile ~
I set out to highlight Bud and Budlite, but Asian Fans won the day.  I found it very relaxing to draw.

From Jessie Plouffe (Connecticut) ~
Happy birthday, Bud! Here is my tile for this week's challenge. The
middle section of the string for Bud perfectly, so I put a large Bud
with auras in that section. I used two variations of Asian Fans on
opposite sides, and then Bud and Bud Lite on the other set of opposite

Tangled Tidbits -
*rounded, petal-like edges of Asian Fans
*sparkled center spirals of Budlite
*wonderful shading, including the shaded inside aura of Bud

From Anita A Westin (Sweden)~
This is so strange. I started with the string 107. And I couldn´t help placing Bud in the middle. It was just made for it. I Went on and landed in the Diva Challenge this week. It just happened. But I enjoyed it very much and I am very pleased with Bud as a solitaire in the middle! Thank you for a really nice challenge!
Tangled Tidbits - 
*great blending of the two challenges
*Asian Fans tucked under the center Bud
*marvelous morphing of patterns

From Shelley Aubrey (California) ~
Hi. I just discovered your blog a few days ago. I love it! So, needless to say, this is my first attempt at a tangle challenge. I debated whether to send it in or not, but finally decided to just go for it. I probably should have waited for the Asian Fan tips on Thursday, but I was too excited to get to it. I really enjoyed doing the Asian Fans, but I'm looking forward to the tips, for next time.

Tangled Tidbits -
*deep black background for lengthy Budlites
*stems for Budlite meld with Asian Fans
*perfs along the string lines

From Roslyn Elliott ~
Well, school started and my little pre-k's have really kept me busy! But I'm back! Here is my challenge.
Tangled Tidbits -
*Tipple and stipple
*shaded lines of Asian Fans
*layered Budlite gives it a Mooka feel

From Marla Mendenhall (California) ~
Adele, great string, great patterns (although I struggled with Asian Fans until I made it my own) and even found a way to give you an extra shout-out with a bit of Lanie and Iza. I'm so pleased with it I don't even want to play with another concept, but it has caused some consternation here at home ...
Oscar: Can you believe she is only drawing one tile for the challenge this week?
Finley: Oh no she isn't.
Oscar: I'm serious as a blocked air-hose.
Finley: Well, I'm not complaining. Our tank's finally clean, although the cats are drinking out of it again. Do you think she's alright?
Oscar: If she's not, it's her own fault for eating my cousin last night.
Finley: You are so not related to salmon.
Oscar: I could be a salmon.
Finley: Yeah, and I'm a shark. Try selling that one to someone who swims outside our ceramic castle, okay? Only an idiot would-
Growler: Bark.
Finley: See? My point exactly.
Tangled Tidbits -
*what a lively menagerie Melody must have :)
*Budlite bedazzled with Tipple
*a lovely Lanie touch for Asian Fans
*elegant shading

From Sandra (Germany) ~
... I liked the string (I rotated it, but you can find it ;-)) and I love the patterns Bud and Budlite :-) I will try them again!
In my blog 
Tangled Tidbits -
*wonderful orientation of the string
*dark perfs along the border, free floating and sparkled as well
*shading add depth

From Ilse Lukken (The Netherlands) ~
Sometimes, challenges don't fit me... Let's say I'm not a fan of Asian Fans (left and right om my tile) and, well... somehow this influenced my whole tile. It didn't feel very zen...
These things happen, never mind, I posted it on my blog anyway :-)

Tangled Tidbits - 
*zen or no zen, the result is beautiful
*thick lines of Asian Fans are repeated in the center Bud
*one Budlite for each corner of the middle string sections

From Juul (France) ~
I liked Bud and Budlite. I just couldn't think of how to shadow them. So I used a little bit of the sepia coloured micron pen ...
Tangled Tidbits -
*great use of Sepia
*pretty blend of Budlite to the right and left of center
*beautiful morphing of Bud and Asian Fans

From Tina Kirchhübel (Germany) ~
This week's challenge was really made for me. When I saw the string and the patterns I had immediately in mind where I want to draw each pattern and I am really satisfied with the result.
My tile you can also find on my blog 
Tangled Tidbits -
*the tile reflects the sentiments!
*Budlite string lines with added aura
*super shading

From Beth Gaughan (NC) ~
Happy birthday to your son! (We call our son Bud or Buddy too.)
Tangled Tidbits -
*Asian Fan side sections
*Budlite accents for Bud centers
*shading adds depth to the large center Bud

From Ragged Ray (UK)~
Not for the first time while tangling I started thinking about wallpaper - but for the first time ever I asked myself why - and suddenly I remembered a long told story in my family. As a teenager my aunt was a gifted artist, and apparently she designed some wallpaper based on a piece of classical music (The Polovtsian Dances by Borodin for those in the know!). Sadly the gift and the design were lost over time but perhaps a little of her lives on in me when I tangle!
I think perhaps I got so swept away by my thoughts that my tangling suffered. Budlite is so easy to draw - such a natural shape for the pen to make - but I got sloppy. But no mistakes hey!
Tangled Tidbits - 
*a lovely connection of family artists (your aunt lives on in you)
*light double lines of Asian Fans
*rows of overlapping Budlite with shaded background

From Jennifer Sparrow
Thanks for the challenge, Adele! Happy Belated Birthday to Louie!
Using Bud and Budlite for the first time taught me something about myself and my struggles with proprioception, even in drawing! (For more details, see my blog post.) This will help me to slow down even more, especially with the spirals!)

Tangled Tidbits -
*wonderful white space
*blending of Bud and Budlite
*light feel for Asian Fans

From Karin (Germany) ~
this is my entry to this week´s challenge.
Congratulations to your son Louie!

Tangled Tidbits - 
*perf outlined Budlite
*beautiful Budlite flower with aura and shading
*dark lines of Asian Fans compliment the lighter tangles

A very warm welcome to Linda Hoyt (Arizona) ~
Thank you for your weekly contest. This is my first time participating and I really enjoyed what the challenge brought out of me. I just started tangling in June...

Tangled Tidbits - 
*Budlite cluster with shading and aura
*Bud in the waves of Asian Fans (love that!)
*two Budlite in the center string section

From Simone ~
This week´s challenge is to tangle the Patterns Asian Fans, Bud aud Budlite.
Again, three new patterns for me to try.
Thank you , Adele, for the lesson how to draw Asian Fans, so I tried it as you suggested. The Budlite and Bud are very nice with a little practice...
The string of this week is very nice as well.
Tangled Tidbits - 
*wonderful variations of Bud and Budlite
*detailed curves of Asian Fans
*grand aura and shading in lower center section

From Linda (UK) ~
Three more new tangles for me this week. I really enjoyed playing with Bud and Budlite and will use them again soon.

Tangled Tidbits -
*an arc of Asian Fans and Bud
*sprigs of Budlite
*stunning center of Bud complete with perfs

From Deb Jacob (Wisconsin) ~
Good Morning Adele, thanks for the challenge, loved the string &the tangles. 
Tangled Tidbits - 
*Asian Fans with perfs for lines
*swatch of Bud and Budlite
*highlights and shading compliment the tangles

From Anna Houston, CZT ~
Hi Adele. Here is this week's tile in honor of your son's birthday. I hope I did these tangles justice! 

Tangled Tidbits -
*the tangles are served well :)
*full springs of Budlite - love the layers
*perfs for Asian Fans
*all beautifully shaded

From Ingrid (The Netherlands) ~
Congratulations with your son Louie's birthday. What a handsome young man he is!.
I like the Asian Fans pattern very much and your tangling tips were very helpfull.
I keep wondering why drawing equal wavy lines is so difficult. At least I have a difficulty drawing them.
Loved to draw "Budlite Flowers".

Tangled Tidbits - 
*just beautiful Budlite flowers
*neat waves of Asian Fans
*large center of Bud with rounded aura

From Audrie Weisenfelder (Arizona) ~
Here's my response to Challenge #106. Unfortunately, I did it before reading your Tips for Tangling Asian Fans. So mine aren't as precise as they could be. But I'm otherwise happy with the result. It was a fun challenge to do.
It can be found on my blog, Purple Butterfly
Tangled Tidbits - 
*great waves of Asian Fans
*Bud and Budlite string lines
*center Bud with thicker lines, shading and aura

From Jane Glotzer (Colorado) ~
I kept this one pretty simple...did the Asian Fan variations first, kind of knowing that center space would be left white (ish)...I kept the fans very simple too, just wanting a slight suggestion of the how the bottom turned out looking like a road! Had fun playing with your Bud and Budlite, but once again, went with pretty basic variations. Simple shading, too. And, guess what? I have a son with an August 18th birthday too!! He just turned 26, so a little older than Bud, but what a nice connection--:)
A very happy birthday to your son, too - what a happy coincidence! 
Tangled Tidbits -
*contrasting Bud and Budlight
*large single Asian Fan does resemble a road, an inviting path
*nicely shaded

From  Linda Goncalves (Pennsylvania) ~
What an amazing son you have! I loved the videos. Because of watching
them, I thought I should have
a " no problem" attitude about making Asian Fan be the border. I must
say it was not obvious to me but eventually it fell in place. Happy
Birthday Louie!
Tangled Tidbits - 
*Asian Fan border comes to pointed corners
*Budlite blooms
*a wavy Bud center

A very warm welcome to Midori, CZT (Florida) ~
i discovered zentangle just this late spring...
with only 4 tangled tiles to my name, the last minute, without any hesitation, i took the big plunge and attended the czt seminar this early summer
i am, FOREVER, grateful for the impromptu chance...
and, now as a rookie czt, i have my very first student...ME!
thank you for creating this wonderful venue!
here is my first tangle submission to 'tickled to tangle' (or anywhere).
there is so much to admire, to process, to aspire and to continue tangling.
Tangled Tidbits -
*congratulations on becoming a CZT and welcome
*seashell like Budlite
*curved stems for Budlite sprigs

From Donna (Pennsylvania) ~
Really enjoyed this weeks challenge.All came together effortlessly, especially when I remembered "when in doubt ..aura "
advise from a wise soul.Thank you for all you do!
Tnagled Tidbits -
*fantastic advice and great aura
*Keeko in Bud
*darkened aura triangular shapes

From Jenny Hopkins (Australia) ~
Okkkaaaaaaayy ... I am not really sure what I ended up with this week. It is a bit of a jumble - but it's the process that matters, right? I enjoyed the tangles, although I had to work hard to stop the little musician inside me from turning all of the Budlites into treble clefs. Would treble clefs have made the tile sound any better?
Thank you for another great challenge and happy birthday, Louie.

Tangled Tidbits - 
*dancing stars of Bud complete with shadows
*sparkled and elongated Budlite
* Asian Fans wave through the center Bud

From Michele Wynne ~
Thanks for another challenging challenge. Asian Fans gave me some trouble, even after the terrific tutorial (that bit about the wavy lines spot on), but I persevered. Love Bud and Budlight. There's some Lily Moon inspiration in here with the white dots on the black. More on the blog.

Tangled Tidbits - 
*delicate Asian Fans
*gorgeous variations of Bud and Budlite - weighted lines and white dots
*superb shading

From Talia Maynard (UK) ~
Here's my tile for IAST 106. I really enjoyed this one. Lots of opportunity for bold lines and black and white space.
I particularly enjoyed drawing Bud and Budlite. Both are very pretty and versatile tangles.
Tangled Tidbits - 
*wavy lines of Asian Fans smooth out along the string line
*rows of Budlite in alternating directions with aura and a bit of shading
*large and lovely center Bud

From Felicity (South Africa) ~
 As you can see I’ve daisies on the brain! And your Bud and Budlite spoke to me. “Flowers of Spring! Let’s do it! ‘No Problem’.” A la your Bud. Budlite just had to light up the scene and so “he” is the centre of attention. Asian Fan created a flowing background, yet seem to pop a bit and take on a fanning role to keep the “daisies” cool. All in all I enjoyed this challenge and the lovely patterns. Also on my blog

Tangled Tidbits -
*softly shaded tangles
*delightfully detailed patterns
*Budlite string lines and blossoms

From Cathy Cusson ~
This week got very hectic with the first full week back with kiddos. I wasn’t sure what to do at first but this tree just started coming together - out of nowhere. I really like how sometimes tangling can give you such pleasant surprises.

Tangled Tidbits -
*the tangles have wonderful movement
*beautiful balance of white and black space
*nestling Buds

From Sharyn Penna (Massachusetts) ~
Serendipity happened! I was practicing Bud the other evening ... tried to place the design side-by-side but my curves kept going in the opposite direction. I took a breath and looked at my work and thought ... No mistakes ... this design wants to be a peacock feather. I put away the journal, grabbed a tile and it all came together.
Tangled Tidbits - 
*a new life for Bud - the feathers are gorgeous
*variation in line thickness
*a whisper of Bud in the center

From Elisa (France) ~
This week I could not resist using a touch of color: I often associate red with anything asian and the Bud and Budlite patterns reminded me of flowers, thus this usage of red in addition to the classic black. I also added a bit of silver, to bring some shine.
Tangled Tidbits -
*Bud center and string lines with dark centers and aura
*alternating black and red Asian Fans
*stippled background for Budlite

From Rose O'Keeffe (Ireland) ~
... I really liked all 3 tangles but struggled a bit with Budlite and struggled with how to put them together in that string.
H'm in time. Have a lovely week y'all :-)
Tangled Tidbits - 
*deep dark background accents the tangles
*sparkled heart center of the large Bud
*Crescent Moon-like look for Asian Fans

A very warm welcome to Nancy Sass (Virginia) ~

Tangled Tidbits -
*use of Beadline is very complimentary
*large single Bud with weighted lines
*a bevy of Budlite

And now, the tile for honors this week was sent in by TanglePatterns String 107 creator,
Lily Moon from Hungary!

She wrote ~
Dear Adele.
first of all thank you for choosing my string. You honored me.
And now here's my tile for your weekly challenge:

Tangled Tidbits -
*black and white alternating rows tangled beautifully with Bud and Budlite
*dots add a dainty touch
*Asian Fans spins with the addition of the zigzag details and shading

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

Many thanks to Lily and Suzanne for the wonderful material to tangle with this week.
Thank you all for the inspiring artwork, the compliments on my patterns, and good wishes for Louie on his birthday.  I am one grateful host!

Stop by Tuesday afternoon for "It's a String Thing" #107!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Tips for Tangling Asian Fans

Asian Fans, a tangle by CZT Susanne McNeill, is one of the three patterns used in this week's "It's a String Thing" (click here for the delightful details).  As promised, here are my notes and tips for tangling this pattern ~

When exploring this tangle, the advice of a teacher from my time at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh kept coming to mind.   He maintained that if we (his students) drew a line - curved, looped, wavy, or the like - across a page and then drew another immediately on top of the first, both lines would be eerily similar.

To revisit this idea and without explaining the purpose of my little experiment, I asked my son Louie and daughter Isabella to relax their hand, begin at a point, and draw a curvy line.  I instructed them to immediately draw another on top, beginning at the same point.

We laughed at the results.

This is Louie's ~

 This is Isabella's ~
These are mine ~

Give it a try - it's a remarkable phenomena.

What does this have to do with tangling Asian Fans you may be wondering...

Well, when I initially drew the pattern, I followed Suzanne's step out:  draw a curved line, double the line, draw another curved line, double it, and so on...

It was difficult to follow the curve of the previous lines when adding additional ones.

Then I remembered my teacher's advice and suddenly the tangle began to flow.

I drew all of the curved lines at once and then went back and doubled them.  This kept the natural flow and curve of my lines more uniform and certainly more relaxing to draw.

With this in mind, here are my Tips for Tangling Asian Fans ~

Once I played with the tangle a bit more, another idea surfaced and I tried it out on my tile for this week's challenge.

I began on a curved section of the string, drew all of the lines first, then doubled them, leaving a bit of sparkle as I darkened them in.  After that I connected the crests and valleys with lines instead of dots.

From there I drew the zigzag lines, first in one row ~

 and then in the other.

 Next I added the detail lines in one direction ~

 and then in the other ~

 and so on...

 until it was complete.

I do hope this helps you give the tangle a try.  If you really like it, and I think you will, give the challenge a try this week too :)