Tuesday, 12 September 2017

A return to tangle challenges

It's been a few weeks since I've posted on my blog or completed any Zentangle Challenges. I have been doing some drawing but nothing worth showing online. I also been commenting on other blogs although I do visit from time to time.

I guess I'm having another period where my Zentangle mojo falls. Experience tells me that I'll get it back.

Spring is here in SE Australia so the bloom trees are in full flower and spring bulbs are filling the air with scent. It was even warm enough for me to wear shorts for the first time in months. But the Snowy Mountains have been in blizzard conditions on and off for the past two weeks. It's the best ski season in over 15 years. Naturally we are going down again this weekend, our 4th (and last) ski day for the season. 

Diva #332 - square strings

I got my inspiration for this tile from a tile I've appreciated in the Zentangle Mosaic App. The original tile was posted by Arva in Germany in April this year.

Made by Joey

Joey's challenge is to continue to create a mosaic. I haven't been keeping up with this but challenged myself to get up-to-date today. Not sure that was wise as I can see where I was getting tired and sloppy. Here's my tile and my partial mosaic anyway.

Unlike Joey, I'm creating my tiles as individual tiles then seeing how they all fit later. It will be interesting to see the outcome of everyone's work.


As regular visitors would know, I've gone a bit crazy for skiing this season. I'm thoroughly enjoying the time with my husband and son, and the new strength and fitness I have in my body.

Last trip was only 10 days ago. We skied from 8.30am to 3.30pm with only one 20 minute break. Any sitting down during the day was on chair lifts. We did 27 runs, travelling nearly 25km downhill. Most of the runs were intermediate and we got to take BoyBoy on parts of the mountain we used to ski on before he was born. At the end of the day BoyBoy (who does NO exercise whatsoever) had enough energy left for a snow ball fight with me. I gave as I good as I got, while The Husband tried to be invisible. 

That was to be our last trip but a major blizzard arrived the next day, lasted several days and laid over 1.2 m of new snow over the resorts. We are going back this weekend. 

Here's my beautiful BoyBoy at the bottom of Pretty Valley. Snow is so deep that the lifts are having to be dug out.

Have a great week and thanks for dropping by,

Miss L

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Tangle challenges

Another good week with lots of interesting things happening. Last Thursday I went on an out door ed trip. Photos and story below. Saturday night The Husband and I went out to see one of my all time favourite artists - Pete Murray. 

Pete Murray is a rock guitarist. His lyrics are often highly personal and moving. I listen to him often when I draw and when I'm at work and need to concentrate. His music is also good singalong material. 

Saturday night's concert was the best I've seen and heard him perform. Brought tears to my eyes on several occasions. A highlight was when Pete puts the lights down, only on him, and had the audience singing with him. A simple, heart-felt chorus followed by lots of na na, na na na na na etc (which is part of the song). Truly beautiful moment.

Diva #330 - Tangle Plates

Lucky I bought some blue pens recently. They suited this challenge perfectly. I think there was a reference to Delft ware last week or the week before? Anyway, I took my inspiration from Delft.

Here's my 'tile'. Like Jeanette, I included Shattuck on each tile.

Made by Joey

This is a sequence of challenges that will form a mosaic. Here's my tile.

Other drawing

There's an art competition for students at my school. The theme is Time. I've chosen to enter. I've created an Opus tile in a spiral shape to represent a time vortex. Later when it's dry, I'll add a little Tardis from Dr Who as well. (Dr Who is a long running BBC series featuring a central character, Dr Who, who is a time lord). My second entry is only partially completed. Here's my Opus tile: Time Vortex 1

Outdoor Education

Last week I got to be a supervising teacher on a day trip to Wee Jasper Caves. Had a fantastic day. Started the day off with abseiling. I have abseiled in the past so headed straight for the longer of the two abseils. The one pictured is about 20 to 25m high. I did it twice. Loved it, loved it. Also did the 12m abseil followed by rock climbing back up. Hated the climb - it scared me far more than either abseil - but did it anyway.

This photo is of one of the students, just after I'd completed my first abseil.

After lunch my group of students went caving. This was adventure caving - mud, dirt, ropes, headlamps only, tight squeezes, rock climbing, sliding on your back to get through small tunnels. I was pretty scared - ok, terrified - for much of it but did enjoy the experience overall.  

Speaking of 'overall(s)', here's me and my white overalls after I got out of the cave. 

The students were fantastic - supportive of each other and encouraging me when I was feeling vulnerable.

Great day. Love being fit and strong enough to do these things.

Have a great week and thanks for dropping by. 

Miss L

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Tangle challenges and other good things

Life is pretty fine at the moment. Work is wonderful. Love my students, love the opportunities to be a leader in my workplace and love the friendships I'm building. 

Our bathroom renovations are done. Very, very pleased with the work. Very, very pleased to have two functioning bathrooms again.

Everyone is happy, healthy and enjoying life. Even the dog is happy as I'm taking him out walking more often. (Walking the dog is normally what the Husband does but his working hours have been long so Milo hasn't been getting as many walks.)

Diva challenge #329 - Fragment D-1

I had a real Zen period as I was drawing this tile. Had some good music on and I was totally absorbed in the tile. Who needs to meditate when you can Tangle?

I did my next tile later in the day. Just as Zen.

Made by Joey

This is first of a 9 part ensemble project. Our first tile had to feature Africa Artist. This will be an interesting series I think.

Other drawing

I've been doing lots over the last few weeks. Here's just two. The first is another Opus tile with Zen Gems. This time I used less shading and shaded as I went to see if that made it possible to finish the tile within a reasonable time ie before I got bored. It worked. 

The tile is heavily influenced by a tile made by Shelly Beauchamp which she posted on the Zentangle App. I had it up on my iPad as I drew.

The second tile I'm showing is a Dingbatz style tile. This style is something that has come up on the App in the Kitchen Table Tangle series.

Ski season - yay!

It's peak ski season here. I live a good few hours drive away so it takes a bit of effort and organisation to get there. We drive part way there the night before, ski all day then drive all the way home. 

We went skiing again last weekend. The weather was terrible. Rain, snow, high winds, low visibility. Within just two hours of skiing we were wet. After four hours of skiing we were freezing, tired and thoroughly wet. Ski gear is great but cannot withstand hours of rain. The rain did stop for a while but then it snowed. The snow was OK except when the winds blasted it into our faces. Four hours in and we had to stop.

For the first time we got the GoPro to work properly. Below are some stills from it taken while I was wearing it. You can see that visibility was terrible. Poor visibility makes skiing dangerous as you can't see the shape of the snow. 

The second photo is BoyBoy (18) and on the left and the Husband (50) on the right taking our first break of the day, two hours into our ski. 

Highlights of the day were the joy of being on the slopes with my two favourite men. So, so special to share this love of skiing with these guys. We tackled a number of intermediate runs and some easier runs that we new to us. Great day. Pity the weather was so bad but it is peak snow season in the alps. Got to have bad weather sometimes. 

The place we ski'd was where I first learnt to ski over 30 years ago. It holds a special place, especially since those are the slopes where BoyBoy learnt to ski last year. 

I found myself getting quite emotional rewatching the video. I love my son and husband. I love spending this time with them. I truly, deeply love the place I was skiing in. And I'm so damn proud of myself for being able to do this. Breast cancer survivor of 10.5 years and counting. Yay me.

That's all for this week. Thanks for dropping by. Thanks for your comments, thoughts and prayers. 

Miss L

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Tangle challenges

Winter continues in this part of the world. For Canberra that means freezing nights and cold, clear days. For The Husband, BoyBoy and myself it also means skiing.

It's a bit of an effort to get to the snow. We drive to a town nearby ski fields the night before, ski all day then drive home that afternoon/evening. Recovery day is the Sunday.

BoyBoy only learnt to ski last year. This year he was at the same level as the Husband and myself. It was a great day. Perfect weather, perfect snow conditions. We got away from the crowds and had a blast. I got my rhythm back early, so it was just a fantastic feeling making turns, and gliding down the slopes. All that strength and fitness work that I've been doing this year paid off big time.

Hopefully we'll get another couple of days in over the next month. Ski season is short here.

Diva #327 - Diva Dancing in Lisbon

This tangle was new to me. I do like the story behind the design. My own 'tile' story is that we have added Mexican Talavera tiles to our bathroom. The Talavera tile design and process date back to the Spanish conquest of the Americas. We already have some of these tiles in our house - kitchen splash back, and highlights in our hallway and entry floors.

Here are some of the tiles in place on the side of our bath.

Here are my two Diva tiles.

Made by Joey

This week's challenge is to use a variation of Tropicana. I used both the variation and the original.

Other drawing

This first ZIA is me trying to be restrained. 

The second is an Opus tile, still incomplete, that I started working on when I got back from drawing with Shelly Beauchamp. The hold up here is the shading. I know that shading will make it look better but it is taking sooooo long to do. May not get around to finishing it. I still like the design though.

Have a great week and thanks for dropping by.

Miss L

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Tangle challenges

Thanks for all the comments and positive feedback on my blog and my drawing. Your comments make my day. It's nice that people enjoy photos of my silly cat Arthur. He is a wonder. 

We have two cats. The other is Luna. She is very much my daughter Moo's cat in personality and person preference: aloof to most people but friendly to a select few. Luna selects me occasionally. 

Diva #326 - How do I fit in?

This week's challenge was to use 'Nzeppel AND think about a time in our lives where we didn't fit in.

I drew two tiles for this challenge. The first is about a time when I didn't fit in, no matter how I tried. It was a difficult time in my life. I found it difficult to draw the tile too. The first part, the part representing myself, was OK to draw. Measured, careful, keeping myself in the box, within the lines. But then the parts representing where I was working was much harder. My take offs and landings were not clean and my lines wobbled. Shading was something I did quickly to get the tile done.

The second tile is about where I am now.  The tile speaks for itself.

A message to anyone who doesn't fit into their workplace or home place - do the work to get yourself out of there. It is sooooooo worth it to be free.

Made by Joey - #175 - Naida

This was a finish my tangle challenge featuring Naida. I added Diva Dance, Golven and Sandswirl.

More photos from Tasmania

Needed to finish this post on a happy note so I've put some photos I took at Trowunna Wildlife Park. The kangaroos were very tame. Guests were given bags of food for them so we could get close. I see kangaroos most days of the week but never get tired of seeing them or being close. 

Have a great week and thanks for dropping by.

Miss L

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Tangle challenges

This week I'm back at work after the school holidays, back at the gym after a break, back at home with only one bathroom. The main bathroom may be finished in the next week or two. It's looking good. Would really, really like it to be finished though.

I have been drawing but the tile is a very detailed Opus tile that I don't want to rush. It will be ready next week.

Diva #325 - Peanuckle

Guest blogger Jessica encouraged us to love the Peanuckle. Sorry, Jess, but Peanuckle and I are not made for each other at all. 

I tried twice and in a notebook but it just doesn't feel comfortable or look good when I draw it.

Here are my tiles anyway.

Kitty pic

This is Arthur getting involved as I do some lesson prep today. Wish he would choose more convenient times for a cuddle and attention. It's very hard to type with a cat on the keyboard.

Have a great week and thanks for dropping by.

Miss L

Friday, 14 July 2017

Tangle adventures

I've titled this week's post as Tangle Adventures as my tangling took me over 1,000km to Tasmania and a day and a half tangling with the magnificent Michele Beauchamp. This was my 3rd visit to her and she was as wonderful and inspiring as always.

I was actually in Tasmania for an English and Literacy Teachers conference. I attended that for 2 and and a half days in Hobart, then skipped the last day, drove north to Launceston for some drawing with Michele. After my time with Michele I headed west for a couple of days being a tourist.

I completed all my tangle challenges sitting by the fire in a cottage in Deloraine, which is small farming and creative town in Northern Tasmania.

Diva #324 - hearts

I did a couple of tiles. Here they are. The second one draws heavily on what I practiced with Michele.

Made by Joey #173 - twisted rope string

Some influence from MB being felt here too.

Drawing with Michele Beauchamp CZT

Michele and I started with a couple of warm up tiles and some chat. The chat is a vital part of the experience, for me anyway. By the middle of the second day though the chat stops as we both concentrate on our tiles. This too is a vital part - the sharing of the Zen of Zentangle. 

Here are the warm up tiles. I particularly wanted to learn how Michele creates those wonderful, shining, 3D bands. No metallic pens in sight! And I also needed a refresher on gems. The secret there is a lot more layers of colour than I'd realised.

After the warm up tiles we moved on to our renaissance Opus tiles. I think I need to order some tan Opus - they really take colour, as well as white and shade. 

Trowunna Wildlife Park

I visited this park once before and thought I'd drop in for half an hour or so, just to see some Devils. Ended up spending over 2 hours there and only left as I had other things to do before it got too dark.

The fur on the devils is about as soft and dense as that of a puppy. Feel very lucky to get up close to these animals.

The wombat in the photo is Wattle. At (only) 16kg and 18 months old, she is not full grown yet. 

Have a great week. Find a CZT and spend a day or two with them. And thanks for dropping by my blog.

Miss L