Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Zentangle challenges

Hi. It's the last week of school here. Lots going on at school, lots of very stressed teachers and kids craving the long school holidays. The heat has arrived, with temps around the mid 30s this week and next.

Today my son graduated high school. He is now looking for working, probably as a carpenter as that was his best subject this year by a long way. We now have no children at school, it's just me, teaching English to high school kids.

I'm taking a couple of days holiday on my own next week. The place I've booked is only minutes walk from a beach. During those days I will be walking on the beach, swimming in the beach, sitting on the headland looking at the beach, then reading, drawing and sleeping. 

Thanks for visiting my blog this year. Thanks for commenting. 

Diva #345 - happy holidays


The Diva asked us to be inspired by the holidays for our tile. I took that idea and added it to the 12 Days of Zentangle Day One challenge.

My Diva tile used the 12 Days concept - a border deep within the tile, a Z string, Hollibaugh, Crescent Moon, Printemps and a grid Tangle. My border space was in the shape of a Christmas tree. 



Here's Moo and the Husband choosing our tree last weekend. Having a live tree and having the house smell of pine tree is a tradition in our family. Notice the dry grass and how hot it looks. We got there early before it got too hot and before the flies came out. Flies in Australia in summer - hate them but have to live with it.



12 Days of Zentangle Day One


Trying to keep up with these challenges. I'm posting my tiles on the Zentangle Mosaic.


Other drawing


I spent hours working on this piece recently. It is A3 sized. The coloured leaves are inspired by a downloadable design on the Sakura website. There's a video that goes with it, explaining how to blend watercolour paints.

I made a photocopy of the artwork and gave it to my Deputy Principal. She's going to hang it in her office.  It made her happy.



Health and fitness


I had my last personal training session for the year yesterday. My present to my trainer, Mean Man, was to do a very difficult type of push up. He was impressed and surprised. He then proceeded to give me super hard exercises to do, and didn't expect me to be able to do them. He was speechless when I did them so well that he needed to increase the weights. The weights we use are kettle bells and free weights - lots of fun and lots of variations. Love it.

I started training with Mean Man in Feb this year. I did not expect to become as strong as I am now, or to love the gym as much as I do. I get so much satisfaction out of smashing out circuits that Mean Man has created for me. Love seeing and feeling the improvement. I have abs of steel. Yay me.


Happy and safe holidays.

Karen



Thursday, 7 December 2017

Zentangle challenges

Not much drawing going on this week for various reasons: time, tiredness, Christmas shopping. 

Before I get to my Diva tile, I was wondering if anyone has noticed that the number of participants in the Diva challenges has been decreasing? A year ago she was getting over 100 entries each week but now she is down to about 40 or so.

Anyone know why this is so? Where are people getting their challenge fixes from or is the Zentangle community moving away from weekly challenges?

For myself, I used regularly visit people's blogs and comment on their tiles, particularly Diva challenge tiles. This year I changed schools and other life matters changed too, leaving me less head space to comment and visit. 

Thoughts?

Diva challenge #344 - Afterglo


My tile is based on something I saw on the Zentangle App Mosaic. The colour was created using Faber-Castell water colour pencils.


Here's a version using Mooka instead of Afterglo.



Cats and Kittens


A work colleague is foster mum to some kittens. They can't be left alone all day so she and her partner are taking turns bringing them into work. They are just 4 weeks old and sooooo cute. I am NOT taking one home.


Here's Arthur wanting attention.



Have a great week and thanks for dropping by.

Karen



Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Zentangle this week

Hi, thanks for visiting. I'm typing this with one hand and one finger. See the story below.

This week my son finished high school/college. Now it's up to him to apply for work as an apprentice. My days of being the mum of school children are now over. 

My daughter got accepted into Honours for next year. This adds another year to her Arts Degree and should help her employment prospects. 

The Husband continues to work ridiculously long hours at a job he loves. 

And for me, only a couple of weeks left of my first year at my new school. It's been a wonderful year but am ready for the summer holidays to come along.

Diva challenge #343: Dewd


I've seen this tangle in the Project Pack series but hadn't got around to trying it. Today was my first attempt. My first includes Ilana and Cadent while my second adds Flux and Printemps. Currently enjoying using white on black.





Other drawing


Over the weekend I spent hours creating my biggest ZIA piece yet. It measures 60 x15 cm. The piece was designed to fit at the end of a bookshelf in my bedroom. The patchwork style backing is made from scrapbooking paper that I cut up and stuck on thick cardboard. The tangles are mostly official tangles from Rick and Maria. I find myself using their tangles more than any others. I also used the Zentangle Primer for inspiration (the name plate page) as well as Opus tiles I've created while working with Shelly Beauchamp.




My hand


Last night I was cutting up some herbs to finish off a pasta dish when I cut my finger. I managed to cut a chunk off. Lots of blood, lots of pain and the beginnings of shock so BoyBoy took me to hospital. Spent today surprisingly worn out from the experience - too tired to even watch TV. Effects of shock maybe? It was a bad cut. 

I did the Diva challenge with some difficulty, with my head not working causing as much difficulty as the hand. Here's me trying to draw.



Bloc Haus


Yesterday BoyBoy spent some quality time together at the bouldering centre. Climbing without ropes is so much fun. 

All my gym work is paying off. Stronger upper body and more confidence in what I can push myself to do. My personal trainer is very proud of me.



BoyBoy is so much stronger (and lighter) than me.


Have a great week and thanks for dropping by.

Karen (aka The Creative Miss L)








Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Tangling this week

This week I've been continuing to play around with the new Zentangle Project Pack. I've been posting my tiles on the Zentangle Mosaic App.

Yesterday I went for my annual cancer scans - chest x-ray, mammogram and ultrasound. I got the all clear, as I hoped and expected. Come early January it will be 11 years since diagnosis. These scans don't get easier, I'm just more practiced at dealing with the stress. 


Diva #342 - duo tangle - Paradox and Bunzo


I love doing duo tangle challenges. I did one tile before I went browsing the work of other people. Mmm. Lots of ideas. Here are my second and third tiles. The third shows how much I'm enjoying white on black at the moment. 

I tried to do similar strings to see how the two tiles would look together. Same same but different?





Zentangle Project Pack


This is tile I created after doing a few of the activities in the pack. The central tangle is just a spiral of orbs with auras. The ribbon is a tangleation of Bales.


Another rock concert


Readers of this blog would notice that I've been seeing lots of bands and other artists lately. Last Friday was probably the best of the lot this year.

The Husband and I saw Midnight Oil at an outdoor concert in Sydney.  This was the final concert in their world tour, finishing in Sydney which is where they started playing together in the late 70s. While the band members are all in their 60s, they play with the energy of much younger men. Powerful stuff. Loved just being there, and the chance to not be stuck in a seat behaving ourselves. 

There were about 22,000 people all dancing and singing (shouting?) and getting into the music. It's pretty incredible experience to be in a crowd that big all joined in screaming out the words to songs we've grown up with/ grown old with. 

Before the support bands came on we had time to sit on the grass and enjoy a meal while getting in some people watching. Here's some photos.

24+ years together and he's still the best looking boy in the crowd.


Have a great week and thanks for dropping by. Your comments brighten my day.

Karen 






Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Tangle challenges

It's been a big week here. It's nearing the end of the school year so there lots of marking and school reports to do. Also a few annual medical appointments to get to etc. Busy, busy.

This week my daughter, Moo, had her final exam for her Arts Degree. Waiting to hear whether she's been accepted into the Honours program for next year. And my son, BoyBoy finished his final year of high school. His next step is to find an apprenticeship in a metal-based business. He'll do that while continuing his studies in ceramics in his own time. 

Big changes ahead for both kids and therefore for both parents. Future looks good for all of us.

Diva #341 - Go big or go home


I love that phrase. It is commonly used in Australia as well as, obviously, Canada and the US.

I chose to use an A5 sheet with Sharpie markers and some Inktense coloured pencils. My tangles are two variations of Bales joined with Hollibaugh and what was meant to be 'Nzeppel but it didn't turn out that way.



Zentangle Project Pack 01 


Not sure when Zentangle released this pack of goodies but it was in their online shop when I recently ordered more tiles so bought a Project Pack too. The videos for the pack were released on the weekend.

Since then, I've been madly tangling and posting my artwork on the Zentangle App, as have lots of other people.

You don't need the Project Pack to watch or complete the videos.  As you can see in my Diva tile, I used the Bales videos 1 and 2 in that tile and the pack certainly did not come with Sharpies. 

Here's two of my tiles.







More drawing


Following from the Diva's go big theme, I finished another Opus tile this week. I'm continuing to incorporate Bijouisms into these tiles. I'm finding it to be a very calming series of tiles. For those of you yet to try an Opus tile, they offer a different experience to the usual Zentangle tiles - more space for more tangles, more flow, more freedom and more space for your creativity to take flight. For me, they are an essential part of the Zentangle experience.



Ru Paul and my love of Drag


There is an English saying which is "Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt" (see more here). This week I saw another drag show and bought the T-shirt.

The drag queen was Bianca del Rio (look her up) and she is a comedienne. Her humour is nasty and very, very funny. Plus she always looks amazing. Here's me 'modelling' the T-shirt when I got home. The connection to Ru Paul is that Bianca won Ru Paul's Drag Race a few years ago. 




Have a great week and thanks for dropping by.

Miss L








Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Tangle challenges

Diva #340 - Wibble


I've seen this Tangle before but couldn't make sense of it until I watched The Diva draw it. And how lovely is it to watch Laura draw while she chats about her drawing and her family? When talking about the recent snow fall, she said that it wasn't too cold yet, only minus 17. Not too cold? I cannot imagine what that cold would feel like. But then I guess northern hemisphere people can't imagine what our  summers are like, with days typically above 30 and heat waves of 35+.

Here's my tile. Somehow I managed to draw the inside swirl in one almost continuous line. 



Joey's challenge #190 - 3D cube string and Metal Plating


This one was fun. Will have to remember to use it again.


Bijou-isms


The Zentangle blog has lots of references to Bijou and his words of wisdom to help us use the Zentangle method properly. I have these words pinned to the noticeboard at my drawing desk.

Recently I was struggling with an inability to stay focussed. I had trouble sitting still, and in doing only one task at a time for long enough to get things done. Sitting at my desk I read some of the Bijou-isms and decided to create a tile featuring some.

I've finished one Opus tile and have almost completed a second. Here's my first. The process of creating this tile made a significant difference to my ability to focus and concentrate over the following days. It was almost like pressing the reset button in my brain.



Other goings on


My son's college (Year 11 and 12) had their annual art exhibition yesterday. My son had several pieces on show, including this one. The object is a ceramic vessel made using coils. The vessel is about 40cm tall. So proud of my Boy.


Last weekend Moo and I travelled up to Sydney to see a drag show. The show featured Drag Queens that have been on Ru Paul's Drag Race. Ru Paul's Drag Race is becoming very popular in Australia and the Queens regularly perform here. 

The performer pictured below is Alaska (season 5 runner up and All Stars season 2 winner). Next week we see Bianca Del Rio in Canberra. Look her up - she is fabulous!

Here's Alaska.



Have a great week and get into some Bijou.

Miss L







Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Tangle challenges

This week has been the quiet before the storm and the storm has just hit - end of year marking, reports and planning for next year.  Two classes sat tests today, and the reports data base opened, so it's busy, busy for the next few weeks.

Yesterday I took advantage of the quiet to do lots of exercise. First a session with my personal trainer then my son and I went to an indoor bouldering centre. Bouldering is rock climbing without ropes and with less height. 

Here's my favourite photo - me crashing after trying to do a hard move. I'm grinning like a mad thing. Loved it. Proud of myself for now having the strength to do these types of things. There's more photos on my post from yesterday.



Diva #339 - Hallow/Autumn


I live in Australia and it is spring here. My house is filled with the perfume of our mandarine tree which is covered in blossoms. My inspiration for my first tile came from this tree. 



Here's the tree itself. 


Couldn't resist trying my hand at Gourdeous. Haven't used this tangle for a long time.


Made by Joey #189


Joey is continuing with 3D shapes. Here's my tile.


Sakura Website


The Sakura website is a pretty interesting place to visit and to find inspiration. There is a section called 'Zenspirations". I found a project there combining water colours and Tangles to create a universe. This project was much harder than it looked. Fun though. Here's my best.



Zen in the Mail


Got home from bouldering with BoyBoy to find this on my doorstep. Very excited to have my supplies re-stocked. 


Have a great week and thanks for stopping by.

Miss L



Fitness freak

This is not a post about Zentangle. Or travel. It's about me getting and being fit.

Recently I went to an indoor rock climbing wall with my son, BoyBoy. For the first time in many, many years I actually climbed instead of just belaying (holding the rope) for someone else, usually BoyBoy.

Then I found out about a new(ish) bouldering centre. Bouldering is rock climbing but without ropes and with less height. Yesterday BoyBoy and I gave it a try. The centre is called Bloc Haus.

Earlier that day I had a session with my personal trainer, Mean Man, at my local gym. Mean Man (I hope you like your pseudonym Mean Man - I never use real names on my blog). I've been seeing Mean Man (MM) for over 6 months for strength and fitness training. As usual, the circuit killed me. There's no point going if it doesn't but boy do those circuits hurt! I swear at MM a lot but he only laughs. He knows I'll have this circuit down by the time I see him the next fortnight.

Anyway, I'd already had a hard session before I went rock climbing/ bouldering.

Here are some photos. I know I look fat and out of shape but at least I was there and giving it a red hot go. The other women there at the time were at least half my age and the oldest of the men was at least 20 years my junior. I may be lumpy but there are muscles under that flab.

The photos feature either myself or BoyBoy.














Go me. 

Miss L



Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Tangle challenges

Today got off to an interesting start. I drive a Mini Cooper S and I took it to the Mini dealership to get serviced. I was given a courtesy car to drive. I was expecting something old, cheap, functional to drive. Instead the courtesy car was a BMW.

For those not into cars, the courtesy car would be worth much, much more than my Mini to buy new.  It was a nice car to drive, even just for the morning.

Diva #338 - white on black


White on black is about my least favourite combination for drawing. I tried though, using a black art journal that I have barely ever used. Here are my tiles.




Made by Joey #188 - Frunky


Frunky is a tangle I like to use but forget that it exists unless prompted in a challenge.


Zentangle Inspired Art


I've been playing around with a new set of water colour pencils, trying to get a 3D effect from colour blending. I used a variation of Mooka for my shapes.





Have a great week and thanks for dropping by.

Miss L