Monday, 31 March 2014

My tangled town

Where I live, we have an impressive Moorish Castle looking down on our town. It harks back to the 8th century and has an interesting past. Perched on a hill, it commands amazing views towards the glorious Sierra Nevada in Granada,  the vast olive groves of Jaen and the mountians and plains of Cordoba. It is truly iconic and an irresistible tangle magnet.

These are a couple that I've done recently.

They won't be the last!! Alcala la Real and its castle, La Mota. I love it!

 Pay us a visit sometime or visit this little video that shows you more of its glory.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

String Thing 33

On Monday, Adele Bruno will post all the entries in the weekly 'String Thing' Challenge. Usually, I spend a bit of time doing these as it's an opportunity to learn one or more new tangles.
This week, I was in a dreadful rush but wanted to take part.

It was a lovely string - and Adele gave us some very nice tangles to work with - some of which were new to me, but which I know I will use again and again.

Japan Diamond by CZT Laura Liu
and three official Zentangle® patterns:
Diva Dance
W2    and

I had just about 20 minutes to complete the task today and enjoyed a very Zen 20 minutes at that. Nothing fancy, just one of the patterns in each of the section, with a little colour to hint at the Spring that is now springing! I think I will probably have a go at another version before the end of the weekend...

Don't forget to pop over to Adele's and see what everyone else has come up with at some point on Monday!

Friday, 28 March 2014

Spiral Out - Diva Challenge #160

You might think, as I was the incredibly lucky winner of a stunning set of ''Spiral' cards by Michele Beauchamp (aka Shelly Beach) in her recent giveaway, that I might have had enough inspiration to create my own stunning spirals as part of this week's Diva Challenge. (Wasn't that a very, very long sentence....spiralling around and around....must be catching!)

And the answer is that - whilst I studied my beautiful gift and made copies of some of Shelly's trademark tangles - I simply couldn't recreate anything like the elegant ones she does. Beyond my skills and abilities. But I did my best and really enjoyed this challenge. For a little while I was tempted to use Hollibaugh to create a huge ball of 'string' - as String Theory came into Laura's description of the challenge - but I resisted!

My first attempt was a tangled spiral surrounded by the ever-wonderful 'Printemps'.

As always, I really enjoyed the process but was less impressed with the final result. It's OK but not quite how I would have liked it to be....but..the process was great fun and that's what matters.

I wanted to do something a bit different, so had another go this morning. I quite like this one and the process was absolutely as Zen as it gets!!

I used just three tangles - Aura Leah, Beedz and Florz with a spiral variation, rather than the usual square.

I can see I have managed to incorporate some hair, which must be on my scanner - must get that sorted!!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend - off to check out what other wonderful tangles have been spiralling out and keeping going this week.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

For my sister

In her new home - Pear Tree Farm.

Such a pleasure to do this. I hope she likes it!

Do you think she will?

Saturday, 22 March 2014

String Thing 32

This week, Adele - on Tickled to Tangle - gave us a challenge that I found quite difficult. I didn't warm to any of the tangles...though the names might have had something to do with that! I mean, 'Warped Eggs', 'Worms' and 'Warts and Wobbles' are not the most elegant choices for the names of tangles!

However, this is not Adele's fault! She gave us a string that was simple, straight forward and uncomplicated - a 'back to basics' she called it.

....and so it was.

Our patterns were all beginning with 'W' - and could include those in the following list:

Warangaie - Sandra Strait
Warble - a Zentangle® pattern
Warped Eggs - Livia Chua
Warts and Wobbles - Cindy Straight
Wired - Suzanne McNeill, CZT
Wirly Bird - Cathy Clifford
Worms - Carolyn

I used all the tangles and have since used 'Worms' again as it can actually look very elegant - particularly in white on black. I didn't make as much of it as I would have liked on my submission but we live and learn. Indeed, it was Annemarie over on Anne's Tangle Blog who made me feel I should send my tile to Adele, even though I didn't like it very much. The pleasure is seeing all the submissions together on Monday (evening for me) and enjoying the similarities, differences and variations.

So here is mine:

Hope you'll visit Adele on Monday or Tuesday to see all the entries.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Adele Bruno's 'String Thing' Challenge #31

Tomorrow, Monday 17th March, is St Patrick's Day and when Adele set her challenge last week on Tickled to Tangle, it was timed to coincide with this event. It's also the week when Rick Roberts, the co-founder of Zentangle, reaches his 60th birthday - Happy Birthday Rick!

So what could be more appropriate than using a String she created - in a Shamrock shape - and to use Paradox (for Rick) and her own tangle, Lucky?

I gave it my best shot - three times! But as ever, sometimes, it just doesn't work how you imagine it might....
I missed last week's challenge due to being dissatisfied with what I'd done and I didn't want to do the same this week....So - Happy St Patrick's Day to everyone who celebrates it and thanks to Adele for issuing such challenging challenges!!

(I do believe I overdid the shading a tad.....! And quite a few other things too!)

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Diva Challenge #158

Ooh, a duotangle challenge this week from Laura - on I am the Diva - using the fantastic Diva Dance troupe and Crescent Moons.

I had two attempts - the first didn't quite hit the spot but here it is:

The second, I have fallen quite in love with - mainly because it doesn't look like anything I've ever done before (apart from the one above....!) Just a feeling!

Thank you so much, Laura - I not only enjoyed doing this challenge, but loved watching the video of you doing a tile that was posted with Challenge #100. It was wonderful!

Looking forward to seeing all the other entries!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

I am the Diva Challenge #157 - UMT Charlie

Another new tangle to try this week, thanks to Laura's idea on I am the Diva for Challenge number 157. And the new tangle was from Erin - whom I know and love from The Bright Owl - so it had to be good!

And it's a very striking tangle indeed and stands pretty well on its own as a monotangle. I chose to do it as a dramatic background to the new tangle, Tropicana, that I've fallen in love with. (From Art Lady Kate - see stepouts here.)

Tropicana, backed by Charlie and surrounded by Ditto. Simples!

Then, having just got the children back to school after sort of mini half-term, which is a first for Spanish schools (fiesta days coinciding with a weekend and an extra day thrown in) - I found I had a little hour to spare so I did another tile, trying out a tangle that I think I might have created all by myself! (So exciting but do tell me if this exists elsewhere.)

I saw it in a shop window and took a snap so I could detangle it. I have called it 'Lamota' - because here in Alcala la Real, we have a beautiful castle on the hill, called 'La Mota' and I wanted to link my tangle to that. It is a series of linked stars based on a line grid and can be seen in my second tile on the bottom right hand side, just above Crescent Moon.

Charlie, Ditto, Florz, Lamota and Crescent Moon

Here it is in stepouts.

I am still a little undecided how to shade it for the best effect but if you give it a go and let me know what you think, it would be a great help!

Hope you like it!

Thanks again for dropping by!

Monday, 3 March 2014

Zendala Dare #93...Snowflakes and structure

After a week without a Zendala, I was almost frantic to get my hands on The Bright Owl's latest post - thank you Erin! As always, she offered a beautiful template to tangle and suggested we think 'Snowflake'.

I looked and looked and thought and thought. And then I made my snowflake attempt.

It is a very simple design where I tried to make the diamond shapes as three dimensional as possible so they looked like ice-crystals. I don't know if these are actual Zentangle patterns or not...anyone know? Then I did lines of Jitterz in between to create a 'frosty' feel. I rather like how the centre turned out too - accidentally!

I was desperate to do another Zendala and decided to forget the snowflake theme as I was sure I couldn't do another that I would like as much. This Zendala had such a structural look to it that I decided to focus on that aspect - and I really enjoyed myself, working quite late into the night with it! A real Zen experience and such a fulfilling feeling when looked at the end result. I tried out the new tangle from Art Lady Kate, Tropicana - what a great tangle! I wished I'd used it all the way round actually but it was too late - I'd done the alternate spaces first....I will try and list all the tangles I used - it seemed to be a lot!!

Fassett, Tropicana, Flux, Echoism, Paradox, Banderole, Florz,
a variation on Ditto and disguised as diamonds, Cubine

I am very happy with this Zendala - not especially for how it looks but for the intense pleasure I had in doing it. Once again, I am so glad I found Zentangle and the lovely people who do it - for the sharing and time given to provide such great information, tutorials, ideas and support. THANK YOU!