Sunday, 15 January 2017

Diva Challenge 293 - Happy New Year and UMT - plus String Thing 179

Hello and a Happy New Year to tanglers the world over. Here in sunny Spain I am noticing that more people are getting into Zentangle, which is great. Maria Perez-Tovar is a CZT based in Madrid and is spreading the word officially there with fantastic results from her classes. I love seeing how quickly people grasp the concept and start flying with it.

And here in my little corner of the world, Alcala la Real, I have been holding weekly classes since October for a women's association. At first, we weren't sure if people would want to commit to two hours every week but the numbers have increased over the months and after the Christmas break of three consecutive Fridays without a gathering, our first class last week was both a joyful occasion and - it's true - a huge relief for some of those who are clearly more addicted than others! So be sure, if anyone visits Spain and is within striking distance of our little and very beautiful town, please drop in for a Friday evening's tangling, won't you?
I would dearly love to do the official course in Rhode Island but we struggle sometimes to make ends meet anyway and live a quiet life in the country with our three children (all of whom we hope we can put through University) so for now, I glean my knowledge and information from the wonderful people who share their experience on the internet. Not least Laura and Adele - whose challenges I have been taking part in for several years. It's been a bit sporadic recently due to my increased workload, but I am so grateful for the community of people that I have been able to follow through their commitment to offering us a weekly challenge.

This week on the Diva's Challenge, it's Use My Tangle week and we had the lovely Orbs-la-Dee by Anneke van Dam. I have always like the look of this one but never actually used it so that was a good start to the new year - I enjoyed it very much. My tile has a bit of a sea theme, I think. (And why is it that the scanner never reproduces all the shading???)

Likewise, I have  had the time to do Adele's Tickled to Tangle challenge this week too. And not just once, but twice. She gave us this loopy string and the tangles Dust Bunny, Betweed and Curl.
I did one version and enjoyed the process so much that I thought I'd do a second. Just shows how very different you can make one string and three tangles turn out!

This one wanted the string the right

And this one has the string upside down. Love Curl, can you tell?

Thanks for popping by - I will be taking advantage of a little extra time today to look at what others have done with the challenge this week. Happy New Year. I think we can safely say it will be an 'interesting' one....

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Diva Challenge 293....

Well hello again! Long time no post. I have been tangling and have even done some of the challenges, but finding the opportunity to post has been difficult. Anyway, glad to report all is well here and I will try to check out some of the wonderful art that is shared through the Diva's Challenge.

I was sorry to hear that Laura was having a tough time but glad to see the lovely photos of her boys and to read that she tackles her problems in such a great, instinctive and energetic way. Power to you, Laura. Axxx

Our challenge this week was to use Keeko, which is one of my favourite 'border' tangles but it doesn't often take centre stage. I used a 'string' that I find is really comforting and very good for beginners to create a little work of art for themselves. Good fun to do. And Keeko is really such a wonderful tangle and deserves a bit of the spotlight from time to time!

I am going to just post a few more of my recent tangles - as much for posterity as anything else. Been enjoying doing some of these just for myself.

A couple of Purk, Shell, Cubine and Vega variations using the same string but in a different arrangement.

And a monotangle of Garlic Cloves - which I LOVED doing!

So, all well in my sunny neck of the woods. I do wish I could say the same for everyone...for the world seems to have gone quite mad recently. 
For too many, life is a constant struggle for survival. We've already seen the popular vote in the UK to leave Europe - with the overwhelming majority voting to do so because of immigration. And last week, we saw a rich and powerful nation elect a ....well, I don't have a word. Trump will do. (It means 'fart' in English). Immigration also the key factor. In the USA. Ho hum. 

Keep on tangling. 


Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Diva Challenge 286 - Straight to it

This is just what I needed this week, Laura. Thank you for a 'straightforward' challenge.
This week - just use straight lines. No nice softening curves. B-rad thought Laura's tile looked 'angry' and a bit frustrated because Laura likes to use nice curves and it was quite difficult for her to stick to straight lines.

I actually needed to something that needed no artistic involvement. I needed straight lines and deep Zen. I've begun teaching again - not after a long, hazy, relaxing summer - after a couple of quiet weeks. All summer, I've been teaching intensive English classes and it's been...well, intensive! My present to myself for all the extra work has been to get a new car! Not a bad payoff, but something we've needed for quite some time. I'm very happy with it apart from I seem to have put my sacroiliac joint out of place - not used to a manual gear change - and being reminded that I once broke my left kneecap. Sigh. However, I love driving and I love my new car. Perhaps it's time for a new body!!

Straight lines - no need to engage brain too much. And a lot of Zen to be gained.
I used C-Wing, Yincut, Fassett and my own, Skwirl - which I promise is only straight lines, but with the shading, creates the impression of circles.

Thank you Laura.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Diva Challenge 284 - Monotangle to Tripoli

Tripoli - one of my all time favourite tangles, and the 'tri' part means three, then here are three of my own Tripoli monotangles. This is Laura's challenge this week on I am the Diva - how could I resist?

The first is one that I did when Holly Atwater did the guest blog for the Diva. It was an 'audio' tangle, where I followed her instructions - only at the beginning, I didn't know I was drawing Tripoli and made all my inner triangles different sizes. I was delighted with the result! Still's a personal favourite.

My second one I am not so pleased with. I made a sort of Tripoli as my tangle,  and then filled it with Tripolis. It didn't work out quite as well as I'd hoped, but here is it - as sort of Tripoli Pizza!

And then because it really IS one of my favourites, a simple one to compensate for the very busy pizza one - I enjoyed doing this one and am happy with the effect.

Thanks Laura. Off to see what delights await me on the blogs of those who took the challenge this week.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Diva Challenge 276 - Space Truckin' - Moving Tangles

Yay! I can do this one. It is ages since I took part in a challenge (feels like it, anyway) on account of  being incredibly busy and buzzing around from one place to another. Well, when I saw the Diva's Challenge for this week - I was prepared without even knowing it.

Tangle whilst on the move, she said. And for once, this week, I've stopped moving! I'm still busy but definitely less so. However, last week, I was busy flying back to the UK and happily tangling as I did so.

This month has been truly awful for so many reasons around the world. I didn't have time to respond to guest blogger, Suzanne Fluhr, last week and tangle for peace but my heart wishes that we could do something to bring some to those parts that are suffering right now. I can't remember feeling such deep sorrow and pessimism about the world since I was a young teenager and troubled by dreams and genuine fears that we were heading towards a nuclear war. Sigh. Zentangle is wonderful but I'm not convinced it can change the world's problems. And it seems that many places are hell bent on making them worse.

Stop, stop. I actually had a wonderful time in the UK and was so relieved to discover that people were still kind, caring, fun and friendly in the places I visited even if there has been evidence to the opposite effect in other places recently.

Before my visit to England, a friend had asked if her niece could visit for a few days as a birthday treat - to learn some Zentangle from me. She's a brave young woman with some chronic health problems that affect her ability to work full or part time. I'm delighted to say she took to it like a duck to water and even better, has gone home and produced some lovely pieces and has begun to share it with some of the young children that she looks after! Well done, Rachel! Here are some of her practice pieces:


And she's going from strength to strength. Hopefully joining in this challenge before too much longer!

So, here is my moving tangle. Done high above ground on a very smooth flight. Enjoyed every second of it, although I didn't quite get the 'beady one' (couldn't remember the name) right from memory! Also includes Fescu, Crescent Moon, Pokeroot, Flukes, Meringue and Tripoli.

Thanks so much for popping by. Hope to see you around again soon as I rejoin the Zentangle community during the quieter summer months.
And if anyone could jog my memory about the beady one, I will check it so that I can do it properly in future. Thanks! Axxx

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Diva Challenge 276 - Duotangle with Drupe and Pokeroot

I saw the Diva's Challenge early on Monday and poddled off  (I do that sometimes) to have a go. I enjoyed it very much indeed and popped it on Facebook, which I don't always do. It's a busy time for me as I prepare my students for their English exams in just a couple of weeks. I'm trying very hard not to absorb all their stress! I wasn't absolutely sure I'd have time to post on my blog...but...I did.

I popped back just now to the Diva's blog to check out the number of the challenge and read Laura's very touching words on the sad, sad loss of a friend. So sorry, Laura - she sounds such a wonderful person and someone who has been an incredible support to you over the past few years. I hope this lovely tangling community can do its best to help you through the pain as I know so many people will be sending love and hugs and special thoughts to you at this time.

Here is my contribution to the challenge this week.

Chunky, plump Pokeroots over a Drupy background. Lots of shading, lots of fun.
And more hugs to Laura.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Diva Challenge 266

The Diva has some gorgeous pictures on her blog this week, of her boys doing lovely creative things. And at the same time, she manages to inspire a larger host of people across the world. That deserves some big appreciation. Thank you Laura - you are most appreciated!

As this is the first Monday of the month - and the 1st Monday of May no less, when workers of the world unite - it's the Use My Tangle challenge. We have Henrike Bratz's Cruz, which I have used before as it's such a focussing tangle with lovely depth. I'm heavily into practising Eni Oken's Ruutz at the moment, so here you have my attempt at these two together. I haven't exactly deconstructed Cruz, but I've separated the elements a bit for some contrast.

Very much enjoyed this challenge - thanks again, Laura!

And whilst we're here, I'll share my entry for last week's It's a String Thing - another tile I really enjoyed doing. We've had a little break from work and school this week, so it's been nice to have time to tangle. I may have overdone this one a! Quib with Echoism..echoism...echoism....echoism

Thank you so much for popping by! Axxx