Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Diva #252 and Australia Day?

Diva Challenge #252

This week's challenge is to use a Tangle as a string.

For my first tile I used Purk as the string and then filled each globe with an offical Zentangle Tangle. I'm pleased with the outcome and with the process. Before tackling it I reviewed the online instructions for drawing Purk and ended up listening to Rick explain what Zentangle was all about.  I recommend re-focusing on this when you get stuck or too caught up in mastering every new Tangle that comes out.

The outcome shows how far my drawing skills have come in the 18 months that I've been Tangling. While drawing, I concentrated on the each Tangle, stroke by stroke, line by line. Just as Rick explained in his YouTube clip.

My next tile is a bit different. It uses Tripoli as the string, and then Afterglo, Tripoli, Cruffle and Wired. I added the colours red, yellow and black to acknowledge the significance of today in Australia. The colours are from the Aboriginal Flag.

I'll show you my tile first then I'll explain a bit about today.

Australia Day?

Today is the 26th January. It is Australia's national day, Australia Day.  It's a national public holiday in here, commemorating the founding on 26 January 1788 of the colony of New South Wales.

When the British settled in this land, they declared that the land was terra nullius - as unowned land. That edict effectively striped the Aboriginal people of their rights to the land, despite them living here for over 40,000 years.

For Aborigines today is known as Invasion Day.

This is a topic that dominates our news and discourse - on and offline - around this time and particularly today. 

Even Google has bought into the subject. The logo is only viewable to Australian internet users. I've copied here though. Here's a link to more information about today's logo.

I'll leave it up to you to read further about this topic.


I've been Zen-swimming. This is a term I thought of yesterday while I was doing laps of my local pool.

Yesterday I swam 2.5km (50 laps), and managed 1.2km of freestyle without needing to break into a different stroke.

I was chatting to a fellow swimmer and he asked how I managed to go so far. My answer is that I focus on my breath.

For lap after lap I count my breaths. That means I count to either 2 or 4 many, many times. This is very much like Zentangle where you concentrate on each stroke and not on the outcome. I concentrate on each stroke and breath, and don't pay much attention to the laps I'm yet to complete.

If I thought about the distance too much before I started, I'd never get beyond the 1km mark. By breaking my swimming up into blocks, and into blocks within blocks, I have increased my distance markedly over the couple of weeks that I've been back lap swimming.

That too is very like Zentangle. How often have you looked at someone's completed tile or ZIA and thought to yourself 'I could never achieve that'? They did it line by line. 

So much writing and deep thinking today! Back to school tomorrow so my drawing and blogging will slow down for a bit until I get into a new routine.

Thanks for visiting. Please leave a comment so I know you've passed by.

Miss L

Friday, 22 January 2016

IAST #128 - Paradox and Hypnotic

This week's IAST features a Tangle I've been using for a long time - Paradox - and one that is new to me - Hypnotic.

Today I completed 3 tiles for this challenge. The weather here today suits drawing. It is far too hot to be outside. Even with the air con going, it was still hot, sticky and unpleasant. Just the sort of day to either do nothing, watch lots of TV or draw. I did a bit of all three.

Here's my first tile. I decided to use a black tile and keep it minimalistic.

And my next adds a touch of colour and a touch of Knightsbridge.

My final tile is my favourite. I think I've managed to achieve a 3D effect without too much shading.

As always, comments are welcome and will be posted once I've moderated them.


Miss L

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Diva #251 - Moebius Syndrome

This week's Diva challenge is about recognising people connected to Moebius Syndrome. The challenge was to use the MSAD logo as our string and to feature the colour purple.

The Diva provided a downloadable string to use. I chose to draw mine instead as a challenge to myself.

In her blog, the Diva mentions the weather she is experiencing in Canada - minus 35 to 40 degrees C. I cannot imagine being that cold and I cannot imagine how people go about their daily lives in those temperatures. 

For instance, how do you go to the Mall? What do you do with all your outer layers while you shop? What keeps your car from freezing? How do you stay safe on roads that surely must be covered in ice? And what do children do during break times at school? 

The weather in Canberra could not be further from Canada's. Here we are getting 30 degree plus days where it is too hot do much outside. No clouds, no wind, just baking sun. 

I've been swimming laps in the morning (got up to 1.8km yesterday) and walking with the Husband and the dog in the late evenings. During the day I'm still doing the big clean and chuck, watching trash TV (thank you Netflix and Apple TV), playing with the cats, and drawing. 

Anyway ...

Here's my first tile. It is a Monotangle of Printemps.

And my next continues with Printemps and adds a background of Emingle. The file in Printemps and the lines in Emingle have been done in purple pen, although it doesn't look like it.

My final tile features Tipple, Ahh, Diva Dance and Tripoli with a background of Keeko. The moebius strip is all in purple pen.

Keeping track of Tangles

Last week I asked fellow Tanglers how they keep track of the Tangles they know. Thanks for all the comments. It seems we all struggle with this task.

At the moment I'm trialling a new method, which coincides with the release of Tangle Guide 2016, by Linda Farmer at TanglePatterns.com.

All I've done is printed the booklet and highlighted all the Tangles I think I know. I can then flip through the book to see what Tangles I've used. I keep the booklet in a soft folder with plastic sleeves.

I used the book to create a tile using random Tangles. My kids gave me letters to use and I went from there.  

Here's the tile I ended up with. It uses W2, Huggins, Flux and Florz. The string is #184.

A moment of indulgence

Regular readers of my blog know that I love animals and that I've recently welcomed a new kitten to our family.

Here's a sign we've put on the toilet door. 

If let loose in the toilet, Arthur will drag the whole roll of toilet paper off and play in it. But he only does this in the kids' toilet and not in our ensuite. Who knows why.

Happy Tangling.

Miss L

Friday, 15 January 2016

IAST #127

Here's my attempt at this week's IAST challenge.

I chose not use all the Tangles suggested as I wasn't confident that I could pull that off. Besides, I am running out of time to get this one submitted.

Hope you like it. 

Miss L

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Tales of the unexpected

I have just returned from a short break to the coast.

Take a look at the image below. What do you think it is?

Find the answer to this by visiting my new page 'Travel to: Jervis Bay'. You will need scroll down a bit to see more photos of this weird critter.

Miss L

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Diva #250 - Back to Basics

This week's challenge from the Diva is about going back to the basics of Zentangle. A white tile, black pen, shading, and paying attention to the process and not the outcome.

The challenge is quite timely. If you read my blog last week you'd know that I've been struggling with too much information, too many Tangles, too many ideas.

This morning I have the house to myself. The Husband is at work, Moo is also at work, while BoyBoy is still asleep - he is a teenager and he loves his sleep!

For my first tile I started with one of the first strings I learnt - the basic Z - and a couple of my early favourite Tangles - Crescent Moon, Holibaugh and Flux. I then went a stylish by adding Zinger to link the Holibaugh.

My next tile was more random and unplanned. I used favourite Tangles - Knightsbridge, Shattuck, Verdigogh and too much Printemps. Have to remind myself that less is more.

My final tile this morning took me right back to basics by using my Zentangle Starter Kit and the dice in it to select the Tangles. The string also came from the book in this kit. Tangles are: Purk, Scoodle, Bales and Mist.

I think I achieved the Diva's objective this morning. I did focus on the process and kept to the origins of Zentangle. A key indicator of this is that I let two cups of tea grow cold as I was so engrossed in my drawing.

My last image for this morning is inspired by a post by the Yorkshire Tortoise. She posted an image of her work space. Here's mine, complete with half-drunk cold tea. What is missing is the sound track. This morning I listened to Garret Kato then Pete Murray. 

Garret was the support act for Pete Murray recently. Both play acoustic guitar. Smooth, chilled out music to help keep out distracting noise and thoughts.

New features of my blog

I've been updating the design and content of my blog creating some Pages. Pages are limited to pets and travel to Lord Howe Island. Later I'll add more travel places, food pages and the Tangle that I've been working on and hope to submit to TanglePatterns soon.  I'm also regularly adding content to the pages that I've started. 


A quick note about comments this week. I love getting comments. Please keep commenting. However, I moderate all comments before posting them as I prefer to keep control over what appears on my blog. 

There's going to be a delay in moderating this week as I'm about to go down the coast with Moo for a couple of days. While there I will be having a break from the internet.

Have a good week.

Miss L

Friday, 8 January 2016

It's a string thing #126 - updated


Adele sent out an alternate step out for Pop Cloud this morning. Thanks for that Adele. 

Here's what I drew after getting Adele's email. I'm much happier with this one than my first.

I let Pop Cloud become the string, instead of forcing Pop Cloud into a string. I then kept Phroz very simple by using the internal string become the guidelines. 4Fun was then able to fun and relaxed by being an informal border around Pop Cloud. 

I'm now off to the National Gallery to see an exhibition by Australian Impressionist Artist Tom Roberts. 


Miss L

This week's IAST challenge uses a string like a star burst, then the Tangles Phroz, Pop Cloud and 4Fun.

I really, really struggled with this string and this combination of Tangles. Firstly, my idea of forming the outline of the string with Pop Cloud didn't work because it just wouldn't go where I wanted it to. Then I found putting Phroz into a tiny space looked messy and bad.

My solution was to go big by using artist's acrylic paper instead of a Zentangle Tile. I then tried to create the effect of looking inside something but that didn't work terribly well either.

Here it is anyway. I will try this combination again later.

What I've been doing this week

  • lots of spring cleaning and reorganising parts of the house.
  • taking books to Lifeline, which is a local charity that I support. The Lifeline Book Fair raises tens of thousands of dollars are year to support its mental health/ suicide prevention phone service. 
  • catching up with friends
  • this morning I swam 1.5km. The other day I did 1km. By the end of next week I'll be back to swimming 2kms a session. 
  • a lot of surfing the internet looking at Zentangle websites
  • teaching my kitten that it is not OK to chew my fingers.

Have a good week.

Miss L

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Diva #249

This week's challenge celebrates 5 years of the Diva Challenges. Well done Laura. I admire your commitment to this art form and to the Zentangle community.

I started working on my first tile this morning. I used red as a celebration - happy 5th birthday. The idea for the layout came from a tile I saw on the Instagram page of akseona. Her work is beautiful - check it out.

My second tile is more sedate and reflects the weather here. It has been raining solidly all day today, it rained most of yesterday and we are in for more rain for the rest of the week. We desperately need the rain, so I'm feeling kind of mellow and relaxed, hence the green in the frame.

A question for Tanglers: how do you keep track of the Tangles you know?

An issue that I'm struggling with is how to keep track of the Tangles I know and am learning. How do others keep up?

I know that many of us participate in different challenges each week. I'm also assuming that most of us subscribe to the TanglePatterns updates. 

There are so many Tangles out there, how do people learn new Tangles, keep track of old and new Tangles, and then decide which Tangles to use in their non-challenge drawing?

I'm getting so overwhelmed by this at the moment that it is affecting my ability to just sit and draw. 

Below is a new Tangle for me called Eddy-per. I think I found it in a weekly TanglePatterns update but not sure.

What else is going on in the world of Miss L

  • Helping Moo purchase her new double bed from IKEA, and the reorganising the study to accomodate her old single bed. BoyBoy is doing a great job of helping her build it.
  • Continuing to do a major spring clean in summer.
  • Enjoying playing with Arthur, the new kitten.
  • Enjoying Luna re-discovering the joy of play, which she lost when Dobby died a few months ago (Luna, Dobby and Arthur are all cats and all named after Harry Potter characters).
  • Continuing to watch old seasons of The Good Wife
  • Continuing to watch Longmire on Netflix with the Husband and BoyBoy.
  • Enjoying catching up with friends.
  • Trying to get back into the habit of Tangling each day.
  • Trying to get back into the habit of exercising regularly.
  • Listing to music that I got for Christmas while I draw and clean.
Have a great week.

Miss L

Friday, 1 January 2016

IAST #125/ Meet Arthur

It's a new year (how original to say that!). The busy-ness of December is finally over and I can slow down. That means getting back to drawing regularly and participating in online challenges.

This week's IAST uses string 125 and the Tangles Bubbles, Sprocket and Tipple. Tipple is the only one I've used before.

Here are my two attempts.

Meet the newest member of the L family

Yesterday was New Year's eve. I celebrated by getting us a kitten. 

The kitten is called Arthur. We got him from the RSPCA which is our local animal welfare and rescue organisation. We wanted a calm kitten who likes a cuddle yet who will be active and play. I think we succeeded. Arthur is sitting on my lap as I type this and has finally stopped trying to play with my hands or get both hands patting him - for now. 

Here's a couple of photos.

We named him Arthur after the character Arthur Weasley in the Harry Potter novels. Our older cat is Luna (Lovegood) while the recently deceased cat was Dobby (the house elf). Arthur doesn't have red hair like the Weasley family in the novels because Dobby was a ginger and we couldn't bear to be reminded of him with another ginger cat, plus it would be disrespectful to his memory.

If I ruled the world, I would live in a zoo and make pets of all the animals. Luckily for the animals and the world that I don't rule it. I'll make do with my two cats, one dog, several tropical fish, frogs in the pond and by admiring animals in their natural environments.

Happy New Year to all. Best wishes, best health.

Miss L