Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Tangle challenges

Today is the last day of school holidays. Even though I've been teaching for over 10 years, I'm still nervous the day before term starts. I'm ready for the term, I'm looking forward to working with the kids, I like my new school, I have some fun technology to play with, but I'm still nervous.

There's always that little voice of doubt that asks: have you prepared enough? Do you really know what you are doing?

These holidays have been very different. Started off with a technology conference for a couple of days, then a few days of cleaning out the garage and doing a lot of gardening and tidying up. A few days on my own bushwalking, horse riding and driving, a few days sick with hives (ended up in Emergency one night, the itch was so bad), a few days doing school work, more gardening and a few visits to the gym in amongst it all. 

Diva #313 - Earth Day

I started this tile last night, before the Diva released her challenge. I think it fits. It was one of those times where I started with a vague idea and then kept adding to the tile, very much in the Zen moment of it all.

It's on A4 card, with metallic gel blue pen, some Zen Gems (where have they gone this year?),  lots of Poke Root and Flux.

Made by Joey

We are up to the letter Q. For this challenge I used Q-Belle, with Quare and Queen's Crown. I tried to add gold-ish coloured pencils for some colour but that didn't work out so well.

Looking forward to finishing the alphabet challenges so I can get out of the diary that I've been using. The paper is soft and hard to work with. But I set myself a goal of completing them all in this diary so complete them  I will.


I've been a regular at my local gym for the past months. Recently I started working with a personal trainer, Nick. While my weight is stable and not going down, my strength and fitness have been increasing to an extent I didn't think possible.

Here is my favourite piece of gym equipment. It's a sled.

What you do is push the sled from one end of the grass carpet to the other. One direction you push using the vertical poles, which is the easiest way. Then on the return you push using the low horizontal bars. It works your legs and butt very hard, as well as all those upper body muscles you didn't know you had.

I started out barely being able to push 20kg. Now I'm up to 50kg. Nick has dared me to push him. I reckon I could do that in a month or two, or maybe three.  Seeing progress makes me try even harder. Loving it.

Have a great week and thanks for dropping by. Your support and encouragement does make a difference.

Miss L

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Zentangle challenges

Hi all. Thanks for all the positive feedback I've been getting lately. I truly appreciate the comments, feedback and support.

At the moment I'm sick with the worst case of hives I've ever experienced. I'm doped to the eyeballs on antihistamines, steroids and tiredness. 

Diva challenge #312 - coffee, tea or me

This week's challenge was to use a stain or spill as a string. The spills in both tiles are mist sprays applied to water spills.

First tile is Crazy Huggins, Frunky and Bubbles. Tip for creating Crazy Huggins - complete each Hug before drawing the dots for the next Hug. This helped me ensure each Hug went the right way and that I had the right amount and placement of the dots.

Second tile is a tangellation of Zenith, with Printemps and Florz.

Made by Joey

This week's letter was P. Very hard to choose with P tangles - Printemps, Paradox, Pixioze, Ponio, Poke Leaf or Poke Root?

I kept it simple with the featured Pea-Fea (new to me), Prestwood (which I found on Ilse's tile and is new to me), plus Pixioze and Printemps.

Other drawing

I was very productive over the Easter. We filled a massive skip with rubbish and I completed several Opus tiles. The first tile is a combination of Dingbatz (you need the Zentangle Mosaic to see the video for these) and some striped flowers that Michele Beauchamp has been using in her work lately.

Travelling Solo

I've been away for most of the last week travelling on my own. I stayed in a little town called Jindabyne which is the gateway town to the Snowy Mountains. 

Snow gums and storm clouds, Charlotte's Pass

Riding my new friend, Boofhead the horse.

Autumn colour, Thredbo River.

Have a good week.

Miss L

Thursday, 13 April 2017

This week's tangling

This week I've been trawling the net and have found a tangle library that I've not come across before. The site is  http://pattern-collections.com/. Only a couple of days later Joey sent us to this website for a pattern.

This lead me to wondering what tangle library/collection sites people use. The only one I use is http://tanglepatterns.com/  but I have stumbled across others. The tangles on tanglepatterns.com seem closer to Rick and Maria's definition of a tangle than the tangles I've found on these other sites. The next question is does it matter so long as you are not selling your work and using the Zentangle name?

Your thoughts and experiences?

Diva #311 - circle square string theory

I could have played with this theme for ages. Here's my first tile, using Pepper, Dex and Box Spirals.

My next includes Bales, Tipple, Ponio, Dex and Florz, with a little gel pen which hasn't come out in the photo.

Made by Joey

My Made by Joey tile is about the letter O and uses O2, Onion Drops and Omen. The colour comes from 3 different Mist sprays (orange, fairy floss and yellow). I found the base line for Onion Drops was much harder to draw than it looked on the step-out. Time for some practice I think.

Other drawing

Here's an Opus tile that I worked on over a couple of days recently. Tangles used include Enchanted (which I found on pattern-collections.com), Squill, Golven, Tripoli, Rixty, Mooka, Marasu, and a tangellation of Zander. The latter Tanglation is one that Michele Beauchamp CZT uses quite a bit and which she taught me a couple of years ago. The colours are Denim and Green Mist Spray.

Other stuff

I've working with a personal trainer at my local gym. He pushes me hard in a good way. As a result of that I'm getting noticeably stronger and fitter. Pity the cancer fatigue still kicks in. C/F just pays a visit whenever it thinks I'm forgetting that I am and always will be a cancer survivor. Time past diagnosis doesn't change that fact.

This week I attended a two day Google Apps for Education conference. It was brilliant and I came away with so many ideas. Need to take some time to play with some of the Apps I learnt about to see how I can use them with my students. Would never have thought my technology skills would get to this level.

This weekend is Easter so I have The Husband home and not at work for 4 days.  Waiting for us out the front of the house is a large skip/hopper. We will fill it with junk from the garage, the yard and inside the house.  Looking forward to a massive de-clutter.

Have a great week and thanks for dropping by.

Miss L

Tuesday, 4 April 2017


After a month or so of losing my Zentangle mojo I'm now in a better place for drawing. I'm trying to just go with the flow a bit more - draw what I want, when I want or not draw if I don't want. That means going back to the original tangles from the Mother Ship while still playing around with some of the new tangles that appear on challenges.

In this week's Zentangle Apprentice class I'm showing the students Paradox and Mooka. I remember learning Mooka from Shelly Beauchamp CZT. I couldn't get this one on my own and needed a teacher to guide me. Now it feels so natural for my pen to flow into those shapes. And with Paradox, I'm still amazed at the wonderful patterns that emerge from such a simple technique.

Other happenings in the world of Miss L

  • still waiting for our bathroom renovations to start
  • feeling the results of having a personal trainer. Nick pushes me hard which spurs me onto to push myself even harder. I loved feeling smashed at the end of a circuit session. 
  • Autumn has arrived. Cold nights and cool days already. 
  • School holidays are nearly here, which means I've been at my new school for one term. Very happy at my new place - the students, the staff, even the built environment are all good.

Diva Challenge - #310 - Frunky

This is a new tangle for me. I had fun playing around with it this morning. I suspect this one will creep into my work without deliberate thought as it combines elements of other tangles I already use.

My first tile is my disaster tile which I didn't finish. The tile got too crowded, my take-offs and landings were bad and my pen was running out and becoming scratchy.

Here's a revised version. Simpler, cleaner and with a new pen.

Couldn't resist doing another tile.

Made by Joey

Tangles include Natti, Narwal and 'Nzeppel. It's been a while since I last tried to draw Narwal. I'm happy with what I drew today. It's worth revisiting tangles from the past because, with increased experience and skill, you might be better at drawing them now. 

Other drawing

Thanks for leaving comments and for dropping by.

Miss L

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Tangle challenges

The last couple of weeks I've commented about how I've been struggling with motivation for drawing and for participating in challenges. Thanks for all the encouragement I've received and the 'me too's from other Tanglers. Your words and thoughts have made a difference.

Diva #309 - Noom

I did my first tile this morning before looking at anyone else's work, which is unusual for me. I usually have a browse before drawing. My tile is Noom with a touch of Poke Leaf. These Pokes are inspired by some work I saw on the Zentangle App and are much softer and longer stemmed than I usually draw them.

I worked on a second tile after checking out the work of some other Tanglers. Does anyone recognise their work in this tile of mine? I've added Fracas, which always works nicely on a brown tile.

After seeing this image on screen, I've added more shading and highlights. I wanted the Fracas to appear to be deeper in the tile. 

Made by Joey

This week the feature Tangle was Mi2. I remember seeing this one in my first Zentangle book a couple of years ago and not being able to understand it. My reaction on seeing it in this week's challenge was to think that I couldn't do it. However, much has changed in the 3 years that I've been Tangling. That shouldn't be a surprise but it was. Here's my Monotangle.

Other drawing

I'm continuing to experiment with abstract shapes and colour. This week my shapes were inspired by the cut outs of Henri Matisse. Tangles used include my MacNCheese Tangles of Mooka and Tripoli, as well as Aquafleur, B'tweed and my first attempts at Noom. 


Canberra likes to call itself the Bush Capital. It is a name that suits. This morning on my way home from the gym (a 2 minute drive) I had to give way to 4 kangaroos who were just mooching across the road near the top of my street. People around here a used to having to do this.

My school is now the home of 3 possums - 2 adults and a joey. My school has over 1,700 students and well over 100 staff. It's a busy place, yet this family have decided they like it. Here's photo I took recently. The tree is near one of the busier school gates. The animals were low enough for me to reach up and touch them. I didn't but I was sooooo tempted. 

Finally, here's Arthur not getting enough cuddles while I'm trying to complete today's tiles.

Thanks for dropping by. 

Miss L

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Tangling this week

I've been a having an odd relationship with Zentangle lately. Not enjoying the constraints of tangle challenges and not doing much independent drawing either.

Thanks for comments last week. I do see the value of challenges and I do enjoy the connection with Tanglers around the world. Yet sometimes the desire just isn't there. This week's Diva, however, was a timely reminder of why I Tangles and what I like most about it.

Diva #308 - MacNCheese

This week's challenge was all about those go-to Tangles we use without having to think. The Tangles that appear on the tile even when we are focusing on other Tangles. I realised that most of my go-to Tangles are Offical ones. My work wouldn't feel like mine if there wasn't some Flux, Printemps, Mooka, Shattuck, Tripoli or Bunzo, somewhere. Rixty, Hollibaugh, Fengle, Purk, Squill, Florz.

Today's tiles are both variations of the same string. One was a false start which I went back to and continued after nearly tossing in the bin.

Made by Joey

This week the letter was L and the feature Tangle was Lee Lee. I added Land Girlz, Lollywimple variation, and Lenche. I've been doing this challenge in a journal which is made with hand made paper. Boy am I getting sick of this paper. It tears, doesn't blend, needs a very light touch, bleeds even with Micron pens and gets wet too quickly when I add colour.  I will persist. It would drive me crazy to change now and leave the series in the book incomplete.

Other drawing

I'm continuing to experiment with coloured shapes and a background of detailed Tangles. Tangles used were Tropicana, Shattuck, Odee, Bunzo and Pixioze. These ZIAs take me hours to complete over about a week. It's all about the process, the Zen of getting lost in each line.

Thanks for dropping by.

Miss L

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Tangle challenges

A question for visitors to this blog: how useful do you find online challenges? What do you do when you have a run of feeling uninspired by them? 

I normally look forward to the various online challenges I participate in. Until recently, I haven't missed a Made by Joey for months, and I've been a regular Diva participant for over 2 years. I've backed off It's a String Thing lately because I don't use strings that often anymore - I find them too restrictive - and there is a time factor involved. I can't do everything all the time.

Lately, however, it's been a real effort to take part. Not sure why or what to think. 

This week I've only made two tiles and both for Made by Joey.

Here's last week's J, which I completed last night. I've used Jelly roll, Jax and Jelly Legs.

Tonight I tackled K. I used Kiss, Keeko, Kitl and Lollywimple. The last one doesn't start with a K but none of the other K tangles suited so I chose one using the last initial of my name, L.

The last IAST challenge I did was something I am quite proud of. I used an Opus tile and experimented with the tangles and with the Mist colours.

Other drawing

This tile was an experiment with deep, intense colours. I had my Vibrant Colour Shading book by Eni Oken with me, my grey Copic markers and my Derwent Inktense pencils. Here's the result. The size is A4. Tangles used were MySwing, Quabog, Mooka and Tripoli.

A weekend away

Last weekend was a long weekend in Canberra. As I don't work Tuesdays it was extra long for me. The Husband also took the Tuesday off.

We spent the weekend at Jervis Bay - my 3rd visit in 4 months and my 5th since January last year. Each time we go we stay somewhere different but all within easy reach of the beach.

Here's my portable art studio. I loved the wooden floors throughout the house, and the big windows that overlooked lush gardens at the front and back. Getting lots of ideas for my dream house that I hope to own one day in the area.

We took Milo the Dog with us. He had such fun last time that we had to bring him along again. The poor boy has arthritis in one of his back legs and he gets tired more easily, not that he would admit to either. 

Here he is at one of the dog beaches. He loves being in the water, running on the sand, chasing tennis balls in the surf and swimming. He is one happy, happy dog boy.

Have a great week and thanks for dropping by.

Miss L

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Tickle to Tangle IAST #186

I normally add my IAST tiles to my Diva and Made by Joey posts. But this week I decided to be different.

The challenge was based on the theme of Pi.

Here's my tile - an Opus one today - before I added shading, highlights and more intense colour.

Here's the finished tile.

The colours, other than white (white wax pencil and white gel pen) and grey are all Kaiser Mist sprays in a range of colours. 

Here's how I coloured my tile.

Step 1: I painted the Pi string on the tile with plain water and I sprayed several colours onto baking paper.

Step 2: I placed the baking paper onto the tile and rubbed it, focussing on the pre-wet parts of the tile.

Step 3: I carefully lifted the baking paper off. You can see the Pi shape emerging.

Step 4: I took off the excess paint with a paper towel.

Step 5: I Tangled the tile.

Step 6: I intensified some of the Tangles by using a combination of a paint brush dipped into the Mist bottle and a paint brush dipped into a water and Mist mix. That helped to blend the colours. And then added shade and highlights. 

Hours of work which I'm very pleased with - the process and the outcome.


Miss L

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Tangle challenges March

Not much drawing going on this week. The weekend was relatively cool so that meant The Husband and I could get out into the garden and get some much needed maintenance done.

Here's a photo of Arthur supervising us emptying the two giant compost bins. We've ended up with well over 1 cubic metre of compost to spread around the garden and another couple of cubic metres of partially decomposed material that might turn into usable compost in a few months.

Diva challenge

This week it was a duotangle of Marasu and Molygon. Marasu is a tangle I use sometimes and quite like. Molygon, however, is a shape I'm not comfortable with and can never seem to get right.

Here's my first, unfinished attempt. Not good. 

I had another go tonight, which is a a couple of days later. This one I like a lot.

My third tile I started last night and finished this evening. I went back to the step outs and tried to follow the examples more closely. Not very original but sometimes that's what it takes to get a tangle working.

Made by Joey

The feature tangle this week was Icanthis. I added Ilana and Inapod. This week I kept the colour palette muted.

Have a great week.

Miss L