Saturday, 28 December 2013

It's a String Thing #20

Adele over on Tickled to Tangle creates a String Thing challenge every week. This week, we had a rather geometric-looking string and tangles 'Aah' and 'Afterglo' to work with.


I know it could have been done better but I quite like the overall effect and am very curious to see what others have done with the string. Do pop onto Adele's blog to check out sometime on the 30th or 31st if she gets chance to post. 

Despite us having a lovely Christmas both as a family and with friends, I think I am still in a state of shock and disbelief about Darwin's death and find myself wondering whether it must all be some awful sick joke - and that he will come back to us again.  He won't, I know that, and yes, life goes on pretty much as usual. 

It's helped to sit and Zentangle and I did these two yesterday after doing the String Thing - first opportunity I've had in a while - and I really enjoyed the concentration and calm it produced in me. I used to create a frame around them and, in the second one, to change the tone of colour from black ink to the purple shades you see.

Well, I wish everyone a wonderful start to the New Year. May 2014 begin rather better than 2013 has ended for us too....

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Zendala Dare #84 - for Darwin

It's with a very heavy heart that I post this Zendala Dare from Erin at The Bright Owl. I was so pleased to see a new dare from her so near to Christmas and with all her own commitments to manage. Thank you Erin.

However, something happened two days ago that has thrown our Christmas from a happy time to a very sad one. Our delightful, darling shaggy dog, Darwin - who was only two and half years old - nipped out of the gate and went for a wander on his own. He didn't come back after the usual twenty minutes or so. We live in a tiny, quiet village where we have nothing to worry about at all. But after a couple of hours, we were worried and went out on foot to look for him. To no avail.

Then, just as we'd set off in the car, we were flagged down by a neighbour who was obviously distressed. Our sweetheart dog was dead in his garden, drowned in the pool. We can't think how this happened but it hurts us all dreadfully.

I have to write about it. Partly because life must go on and as we had learnt to live with him, now we must learn to live without him - and blogging is part of my life too. I couldn't possible post without mentioning him. He was, without doubt, a daft bundle of happy dogness and we were blessed to have rescued such a delightful puppy and had him with us. Sadly, just not long enough. I've posted some photos on my other blog 'Being Here' - pop over and give him a kindly pat, won't you?

My Dare this week is rather heavy - full of shading and shadow - but the hearts in the middle are full of love for my lovely Darwin.

We are all trying to be brave and have a Happy Christmas. I hope everyone else enjoys their Christmas and has a very good start to the New Year.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Zendala Dare #83

I was delighted to see that Erin had been able to give us another Zendala Dare over on The Bright Owl despite having a really busy time - THANK YOU!! I did miss it last week but absolutely understand you have many more priorities than feeding addicts like me...but my little heart rose when I saw your latest post in my Blog Roll.

And I've had such fun that I've done all three blank templates again - each one very different from the last.

I am hopeless with colour but ran numbers one and three through's photo editing site to add a cool blue colour, the theme being a chilly one this week. It was hard to think what cold felt like today, as we were bathed in glorious sunshine for yet another day. But you will see in my last Zendala that I've used a lot of 'Mist' which reminds me of Yorkshire!

It took me a while to get started as all I could see were Christmas Puds in the template....

I used the 'Cooler' effect on Be Funky for this one.

This one is in its original state - no colours and not too chilly.

My last attempt definitely feels chillier to me. 

Hope you like them - I loved this challenge and really enjoyed completing it. It was well worth waiting for. I'm off now to see what others have done with this one.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

The HAPPY MERRY Diva Challenge #148

Laura's last Diva Challenge of 2013 asked us to tangle what Christmas means to us. I was initially overwhelmed and overfaced by all that it means to me but woke up this morning thinking just one word : Family.

I wanted to do a white on red tangle and started out fine...until my one and only white pen ran out! I've run the finished version through BeFunky to try and bring the colour out a bit more but the contrast just isn't there.

Still, my family is without doubt in the middle of Christmas for me and we are all set to have good old time, on our own this year, in our new house.

Idea taken from Rainbow Elephant
I include here some of the ZIA Christmas cards, that I have posted previously but it seems appropriate to put them up again as we get close to the festivities.

My snowladen Christmas tree on the left was inspired by a lovely set done last year by Rainbow Elephant (link in photo caption) - I love the heaviness of this and the simplicity of the concept and it looks lovely with added gold and silver accents.

This 'Betweed' star I drew on a flight from England back to Spain. In 'real life' it sparkles beautifully with silver accents - shame they don't show up on my scanned version....

On the left, the simplest of all Christmas trees - garlands, a star and a big pot!

And on the right, two little tangled trees.

And some 'Cruffle' ornaments.

Best wishes to everyone who stops by - hope you have just the Christmas you want. (I know what I want for Christmas - some new pens!)

Saturday, 7 December 2013

It's a sort of String Thing

Every week, Adele Bruno, over on Tickled to Tangle sets a challenge based on a string and one or more specified tangles. It's a great challenge and I've really enjoyed doing them since I found her blog and joined in.

This week, I erred from the path a little. I did a tile that stuck to the brief - which was to use Mooka and Moving Day on a particular string. I loved the effects of the two tangles but wished I'd arranged them a bit differently.

This is my first take and the one I've submitted to Adele: I did it quickly and instinctively and was fairly happy with it when I finished it.
However, in my head, I was trying to tell a story with this one. It's fairly faithful to the original string, though I added that straight line in the bottom section after I'd finished - the intention was to break up the large expanse. If I'd given the whole thing more thought, I'd have arranged the sections differently but I have had little time this week. The story was meant to convey a comparison between an old and shabby house and a new and shiny one - suggested by the Moving Day tangle...(Or the other way round!)

I didn't quite do that - so sat up rather late one night and rearranged the order of the tangles. I still haven't captured the 'old/new' feel I wanted to get and my 'step' isn't right. Oh, and I had to turn the tile 90 degrees because it just didn't look right. Oh dear - what a lot of excuses!! This was a tile where I knew what I wanted to see but couldn't achieve it on the paper. And I need to learn from this. I love Zentangle because it works for me as a 'non' artist. I need to go with the flow and then I tend to like what I've done. If I try to plan ahead and deliver a final result, I'm always disappointed. 

What I did do, though, was to run my drawing through Be Funky, which allows you to add effects and I rather like this 'distressed' version with a frame. All's well that ends well! I'd love to know if this happens any of you when you Zentangle - do you plan and know before you start or do you just go wherever you are taken?

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Weekly Challenge #147 from I am the Diva

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

This week, Laura's challenge over on I am the Diva was to include one of her own tangles - Boo *Kee - an incredibly versatile and yet very simple tangle that immediately brought to mind snowballs,(Laura's own submission) snowmen (Ledenzer's glorious take) and other jolly things.

I was tempted to go very geometrical but then saw that Kailey had beaten me to (and probably at) it! So I thought about pearls ...and then saw that Debra and Dawn had both offered some beautiful pearls. I'm not going to link to every single entry but I really enjoyed looking at what everyone else has done this week - I so often feel very inspired by what I see (and yet must confess, I also feel very small!) and Boo*Kee is obviously a real winner!

I am beginning to feel a little Christmassy too so here is my take...baubles...
Thanks for looking.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Zendala Dare #82

Well, circles it was this week! Erin, at The Bright Owl did a lovely Zendala to start us off - and used the tangle I would have chose myself...Jetties. I didn't want to copy but at first, couldn't think how to do something really different.

Hence my first tile - my circles remind me of little Ninjas!

Great fun to do - I'm rather fond of circles and enjoyed the very simple but effect 'Dust Rabbits' that form my background.
And then, in a flash of inspiration (possibly) I saw all those circles as little buttons that needed joining together with ribbon.  Once I'd threaded all my buttons, I was tempted to start colouring the background but resisted as I like the starkness of this Zendala. I often go overboard in filling in every last bit of white.

This was an exercise in self-control. It could be better but I'm leaving it just as it is....