Monday, December 12, 2011

Giveaway from a.Amelia handmade at Sew, Mama, Sew!!

As is evident by my lack of posting the past few months, I have shifted focus from Zentangle to sewing.  I have had quite a bit of fun with it and have opened up shop on Etsy to sell my custom accessories.  Today I am holding my very first giveaway via Sew, Mama, Sew!  I am working on a blog for a.Amelia handmade, but in the meantime I'll use this one.

Entering is simple.  Just leave a comment below telling me what features you would like to see in a custom-made tech sleeve, and what device you would be using it for (Kindle, iPad, Nook, iPod, etc.).  Also, head on over to my Facebook page and "like" it, then let me know you did for an extra entry.  Be sure to leave your email address if you are a no reply user.

The prize is one of my new water-resistant, zip-top e-reader sleeves, which fit Kindle, Kindle Fire, Nook, and Sony Reader, among others.  It's made from a great Amy Butler laminated cotton, lined with canvas, and features a middle layer of fleece batting for extra cushioning.  Pretty fun and fabulous!

(E-reader and light not included)

One entry per person per method.  Entries will be accepted until 5pm PST on Friday, December 16th.  A winner will be drawn randomly on December 17th and notified via email.  If winner cannot be contacted within 24 hours, the next person in line gets a chance!

Be sure to head on over to Sew, Mama, Sew and enter the hundreds of other fabulous giveaways!

Congrats to lucky number 45! Hope you enjoy your new case!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Challenge #41: Opus and Jonqal

The challenge from The Diva this week was to create a tile using only the tangles Opus and Jonqal.  These challenges can really stretch me out of my comfort zone! I don't usually use either of those tangles, Opus because I don't feel like I can get the curves to look quite right, and Jonqal because it is a little too simple for my taste.  Putting both together this week was definitely a challenge, but I love the result!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pinwheels for Peace: Challenge #40

Oops, looks like I missed last week's challenge.  The beginning-of-school-year sickness struck one of the kids with strep, so we were a bit off kilter all week.

In honor of the International Day of Peace, this week's Diva's Challenge was to tangle a pinwheel--either in 2D or 3D.  I took the easy way out and stuck with 2D, but I love the result!

For more info about Pinwheels for Peace, head on over here.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Paradox: A Study

This week Diva's Challenge was to create a Zentangle® tile using only Paradox.  This tangle is so much fun but can take awhile to "perfect."  At the CZT training, Rick Roberts demonstrated his method of doing it, and it was great practice!  It took watching someone else doing it for me to "get" it.

Here is a link to the official pattern steps:

A few tips:
-Turn your tile after each line you draw, and always turn it in the same direction.
-Don't worry if your lines aren't perfectly straight.  It will all turn out just fine in the end.
-Make your lines in the same direction (for me, it's easier to start at the small end and push the pen away from me toward the larger side.
-Experiment with different shapes...this works with squares, pentagons, etc.

I actually managed to make two tiles this week, and it's only Wednesday!

This first one started out with a square in the middle and 3 triangles on each side of the square.  When paradox-ing the triangles, I alternated the direction of the clockwise, one counter-clockwise, etc.

I remembered to take a pic of the string on my second tile before tangling it:

Here's the after.  All sections were done in the same direction.

Now for something fun:  my kids love that I have my Zentangle® supplies back in their spot on the end table, and love to look at my "drawings." My 5-year-old daughter asked to do a tile of her own, so I tried teaching her Paradox.  If she can do it, anyone can for sure!  She created the string on her own and had a little help with the tangle.  After the second section of her tile, she seemed to get the hang of it and only needed help figuring out where to end her lines.  She's really proud of her final result!  And we may have accidentally discovered a new nightly ritual.  Between adjusting to long days in kindergarten and her daddy being away, we have had quite a whiny week.  This project helped her focus on something and gave us a much calmer atmosphere for the evening.  Guess she will be making her first appearance in the challenge!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Challenge #37

This week's challenge was to use only tangles that involve a grid. I love using grids, because they take even more thought and drawing skill out of patterns yet still allow for everyone's results to be unique. I did this tile with the intent of creating a second, but that never happened. Guess I should just be glad that I was able to complete two challenges in a row!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Challenge #36

I finally managed to complete a Diva's Chalkenge tile in time to post it! It has been quite awhile. This week's chalkenge was to use the new tangle Assunta. I forgot how much I like exploring new patterns. This one was really easy and has tons of variations. I think my favorite in this tile is on the far right.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Coming back, I promise!

With our move in June and then the flurry of activity that comes with fitting in as much as possible into the Alaskan summer, I have not had much chance to tangle!  I hope (no, I WILL) pick back up with the Diva's Challenges this week.  With winter coming (fall has already begun here in Homer!) we will be turning more toward indoor activity to keep us occupied.  I need to create a portfolio so I can try to offer classes through one of our local art centers (of which there are actually two, in this small town!).  I am looking forward to spreading the love of Zentangle® in our little artsy town.

Thanks to everyone who has been keeping up with us during this "time out."  You can see outdoor summer adventures here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Diva's Challenge #23

This week's challenge was to tangle a string that The Diva gave. It was so much fun, as coming up with a string is often the most difficult part for me. I may even do a second tile if I find the time!

This was the original string:

Sunday, May 22, 2011

We will return to our regularly-scheduled programming...

...after my family gets through our 5300-mile move!  I haven't been able to finish up my posts about the CZT training or the steps for my pattern that I came up with there as we are living in a bit of chaos right now!  I promise to get everything up to date as soon as I can (which will be after the movers finally empty my house out and all I am left with is my Zentangle supplies, clothing, and a 16-day road trip).  I do need to say that I am so excited to be an official CZT...and after the training seminar, I am seeing potential tangles everywhere.  Even while mowing the lawn (1.3 acres on a riding mower!) I felt like I was making auras around the boulders and trees in our yard with the blades.  Rick and Maria may have created a monster.  I'm sure I'm not the only one...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

CZT Training Day 2

Today flew by! In the morning, Rick and Maria gave us their version of a beginner's Zentangle class so that we could get a feel of how our own workshops should run. No matter how many times I take one of these classess, I am always amazed at how differently the students complete their tiles when given the same instruction. We of course put them together in a mosaic at the end (photo below).

The first part of the afternoon was spent discussing the business aspects of being a CZT, and then came the fun part--learning the tangles! It is amazing to watch Rick and Maria work.  They are just so fast! We made it through five tangles with the promise of more to come tomorrow.

Of course there was homework as well.  The training is held in a huge house built in the 1800s. We were to choose from the myriad of patterns found on nearly every surface and try to break one down into a tangle that is simple to teach. I chose some beautiful molding on the dining room ceiling.  Below is a photo of the ceiling and my resulting tangle, which I am calling Din-din.  I will post the steps after I return home.

Sorry the photos are showing up out of order, but I am blogging from my phone and can't figure out how to change it!

Friday, May 13, 2011

CZT Training Day 1

I realized today that I can blog directly from my phone, so I am going to post from the CZT training this weekend, partly so I don't forget the important things later.

This is the last seminar that is going to be held in Whitinsville, MA. Future classes will be in Providence. I am so glad I made it into this class! The town itself is in a very beautiful area of the state, with many lakes and hilly vistas. We familiarized ourselves with the grounds of the retreat center this afternoon and enjoyed the first very sunny and warm day of the month. After dinner, we walked a few blocks to Rick and Maria's home, which was chock full of all things Zentangle. There were so many works of art to enjoy in their home studio and gallery that I chose to take it all in rather than try to get photos. I did take a couple (below ) of a fabulous table overflowing with Zentangle tiles done by Maria and Rick dating back to 2004, where I spent much of my time filing away new ideas to try out later.

Tomorrow promises to be packed with everything Zentangle!

Diva's Challenge #21

I am preparing to go to the CZT training in MA this afternoon, but I can't resist trying out a new tangle. I love is a great base for endless variations.  This is my entry for the Diva's challenge this week.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Why These Tangles Are Traveling

So, have you wondered the meaning behind the name of this "Traveling Tangles" blog?  Well, we are a Coast Guard family.  We move around the country.  And when I say around the country, I mean it!  We're originally from Florida, but have been stationed in Kodiak, Alaska, Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, and currently in southeastern Connecticut.  My blog posts (and Diva's Challenge submissions) have been lacking lately because we are on the verge of another move, this time 5300 miles away to Homer, Alaska!  The movers arrive to pack us out in 2 weeks, so we are a little crazed right now.  Fortunately, I am attending the CZT(Certified Zentangle Teacher) training before we move on, so I'll be sure to fill you in on all of the fantastic details of the weekend seminar.  It really is great timing, and will hopefully be a great stress reliever.  Our military lifestyle is one of the big reasons that I am becoming a CZT.  Not only is it something I love to do, but once I am certified to teach, I will have a portable means of income.

So forgive me if there aren't many posts to this blog in the next month or two, but you can follow us on our cross-country adventure if you wish.  That's right, we are driving to Alaska from Connecticut.  With two kids (ages 5 and 3) and a yellow lab who happens to be an Alaskan Native.  We will be blogging our journey here.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Embossing Project Complete

I promised photos of the finished product, so here they are!  I really love how it turned out.  Adding just a little bit of color completely changes the look, but to me it still seems to preserve the overall Zentangle idea of simplicity.  Adding black on the flat area around the design really makes the embossed portion stand out.  I think this will be the first in a series!

Diva's Challenge #18: Eggs!

Fitting for Easter week, The Diva's challenge was eggs.  I didn't get a chance to work on the challenge until Thursday this week.  I wanted to tangle an elaborate egg design, but I also didn't want the task to add more stress to my already busy week.  Simplicity won out, and I like the result.  I must be playing too much Angry Birds on my phone in my spare time, though, because my husband took one look at my tile and said it looked like something straight out of the game.  I hope to work on a more complex egg if I get some uninterrupted free time, but as we are in the middle of preparing for a big move it may not be possible!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Fifteen Minute Challenge

This week's challenge from The Diva was to complete a Zentangle tile in 15 minutes.  The premise behind using the small 3.5" square tiles for Zentangles is to be able to complete them quickly without feeling like you have to fill up too much space.  I have never timed myself before to see how long it takes me to complete one, but after this week's challenge I do know this:  it is not 15 minutes!  After taking my first Zentangle class, I promptly went out and bought a drawing pad that was a bit larger.  After working with more space for a few weeks, I went back to the tiles and found them much easier to complete.  Now I think of larger designs as multiple tiles put together rather than making them on one large piece of paper.

That said, here is my first 15-minute tile.  Watching the clock was so stressful for me!  It is definitely not complete.  I usually leave my shading for last, and this tile has none and looks unfinished.

I'm not sure if I cheated on the next one by thinking it through a bit more before I started, but I found a few lessons learned as I went along.
-Simplify tangles and leave out any "unimportant" elements that still give the same impact (as with the Onomato lacking the second bubbly border).
-Use fewer tangles, and repeat them...or "zoom in" and enlarge a tangle or two to quickly fill space.
-Leave white space--it's okay!

 Just for kicks, here is a new project I am working on, embossing tangles on metal sheeting.  This one needs some color added to define it a bit more.  It includes Blooming Butter and Featherfall.  After I finish and mat it, I will post another photo.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Diva's Challenge #16

This week's challenge from The Diva was to use the new Zentangle pattern Mooka.  You can find the instructions for drawing the pattern here.  It is a very fun, flowy tangle to draw and a great space filler.  The best part about it is that it is really a one-step tangle.  No grids, no straight lines.  I found it taking on a mind of its own!

I found some inspiration for using Mooka in the pattern on my new, springy bag (bought to remind me that it is, in fact, spring even if it is 40 degrees outside and the trees are still without leaves!).

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Curves Only and Great Mail

This week's challenge from The Diva was to use only curved lines.  My favorite!  I had so much fun with this one...much better than last week.  I have done two tiles so far and may do some more this weekend on my train ride to NYC to run the MORE Magazine Women's Half Marathon in Central Park (yay!).  It will be a great way to calm my nerves, as this is only the second time I have run a half-marathon.

I also got some important mail this acceptance letter for the May Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT) seminar.  The envelope was addressed so beautifully that I really hated to open it.  For those of you who don't know, Maria, the co-creator of Zentangle, is a world-renowned calligrapher.  I think it's pretty obvious who wrote this:

I am so excited to attend the training, as I'm sure that is just a tiny taste of what's to come!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Diva's Challenge #14

I am a bit behind as I have just recently discovered this, but each Monday a new Zentangle challenge is posted here.  You can also find it with the button to the right.  I know I need to work out of my regular "box," so I tried this week's challenge.  It was to use only straight lines.  I like designs made up of straight lines, so I thought it would be a piece of cake.  Wrong.  I started 4 different tiles and only finished two of them.  I discovered that while I like tangles with straight lines, I do not like starting with strings that are straight.  (For more information on what I mean by tangles and strings, go here.)  Here are my finished tiles.  I will post the unfinished ones as well, as soon as I work on them a bit more.  

Friday, March 18, 2011

Beyond Paper

I have never been an artist.  Crafty, yes.  But able to draw more than stick figure people and mystery animals (is that a dog or an elephant?) for my kids, not so much.  That's why I love is simple to do yet has a beautiful and complex result.  So far I haven't ventured much beyond the traditional paper and black pen method, but last night I went to the monthly Artini Hour at the Mystic Arts Center and the topic was metal embossing.  The metal piece we were given was a 4-inch square, so I immediately knew I had to try tangling it.  When I finished, I actually felt like something of an artist for the first time.  A trip to the craft store is in order for the weekend to further my experiment with new media.

Patterns used: Ixorus, Zander


After the first Zentangle class that I took, I was eager to learn more, so I of course turned to the internet.  I found plenty of fantastic info and a whole community of people who love "tangling" too.  After posting photos of my work on my personal Facebook page, I have had many friends from near and far want to learn more.  With this blog I hope to provide other newbies with a list of my favorite resources.  All of my creations are posted in the Flickr Zentangle group under my user name "christyjn."  See the links to the right.