Zentangle Pattern from a Dog Bed

It seems like everywhere I look these days I see Zentangle pattern possibilities. My parents had a dog bed with a pattern in the cover that was easy to deconstruct.

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The first tile I made using the idea was a round coaster….and some old gel pens. The pens skipped but I decided that the skips simply made the pattern look more unique – maybe like part of the lines had deteriorated with age or usage.

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The second tile was on my iPad. I didn’t worry about make octagon shapes. It’s surprising how little variations make the pattern look so different.

I’ll always think of this pattern as ‘dog bed’!

Zentangle® - June 2019

I had a lot of tiles to choose from in June….it was the usual challenge to limit myself to 30 – June having only 30 days.

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I did a series of tiles with the phicops pattern for the whole tile – using it like a string for other patterns. All of these were physical tiles.

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And then there were all the others – the black tiles are digital (iPad)…which shows that about half my picks for June were digital…half physical.

I’ll be doing a several road trips in July. It will be an adventure in Zentangle-on-the-go. I anticipate that I’ll create tiles at the beginning or end of the day….unless there is a substantial storm and I stop to wait it out.

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Springfield Art Museum

When my daughter and I traveled to Springfield, Missouri in early June, most of our time was spent on logistics for her to move there at the end of June. We took a break and walked through the Springfield Art Museum. It was well worth the time spent.

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Two pieces had strong associations for me: a Nick Cave Soundsuit that reminded me of a wookie

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And the fountain in the courtyard that reminded me of a much smaller fountain that my mother has in her garden (the swirl of shapes that channel the water from the top of the fountain to where it spills into the pool).

I got a little sidetracked with the flowers growing near the fountain too.

Another Nick Cave piece was thought provoking. One of the benefits of walking through a museum that allows pictures (without flash and staying far enough back) is photographing the write up about the piece too.

I noted the butterfly at first glance of the crazy quilt that was made in the 1880s of satin, silk, and velvet…with appliques. The quilt was a bit of whimsy from a time very different than our own…a product of a hours of work with a beautiful result. Happiness coming through this creation – then to now.

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Zentangle® - May 2019

May was a busy month…but I made time to keep my Zentangle-a-day plan and did more than one on some days. 18 of the 31 tiles I picked for May were made on the iPad.  My favorites are still the black background with white ‘ink’.

There were some with a different color background or ink.

Toward the end of the month I started experimenting with complex loopy strings and mixed patterns that made some different looking tiles than my usual.

Switching away from the digital tiles - I am still enjoying the 3-inch round coasters. I did a lot of experimenting with the phicops pattern in May.

I made very few square tiles. I will probably be making more in June in preparation for my first ‘class’ as a CZT to dry run the module I will do with summer campers during the counselor training in mid-June.

I’ve been making small tiles (2” squares, Bijou size) with single patterns that I will use as prompts when I’m teaching…or to help select patterns for my own tiles.

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As usual – looking back at the Zentangle tiles I produced in May is very satisfying. It’s awesome to see all of them collected together…realizing I made all them…savoring them again.

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Zentangle® - April 2019

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At the beginning of April, I was in the Certified Zentangle Trainer class…creating tiles as we learned best strategies for teaching others the Zentangle® Method. The tiles were put into a journal with corners like were used for pictures in old scrapbooks. My two favorite tiles that I did during the class were the ‘creature’ tile and the triangular tile (the different tile shape and color).

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I didn’t include the tiles from class in my 30 picks for April (I averaged over 3 tiles for each day of April…so had a challenge to pick just 30 for this blog post!). I’ve grouped them into 2 groups below:

The tiles I made on the iPad. I keep returned to black background and white ‘ink’ – even though I sometimes am in the mood for color…change up a little…temporarily.

The big experiment of the month was some round coasters I ordered from Amazon (here). They are 3-inch rounds rather than 4.5-inch that we did in class (and I found overwhelmingly large). The coasters are a good thickness and texture for Zentangle. I’ve used two pens: the Pigman Pen 05 (used for younger students…which I will have in summer campers this summer) and the Sharpie Ultra Fine (lots of colors). At some point I might experiment with a sealer and use them as coasters!

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Zentangle® - March 2019

I made some physical tiles this month since I am going to class in March where all the work will be with Micron 01 pens and card stock tiles. I felt like I needed to reacquaint myself with the feel of the pen and paper. It’s been almost a year since I started using the iPad and Apple Pencil…and once I made the change – I didn’t look back. Until now. Here are 6 tiles that I made the old-fashioned way – reacquainting myself with pen and pencil and tile.

Of course – I still enjoyed creating iPad and Apple Pencil Zentangle tiles as well. I like the black tiles and white lines. I appreciated the shading I could do with the Procreate app too; color matched to the ink…a lot more flexible that the graphite pencil and tortillon. Note that one tile in this group is only half done --- it is one to come back to sometime…and finish the other half!

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Zentangle® - February 2019

Only 28 days in February; I had a lot of tiles to choose from to pick the 28 in the mosaic below. I’ve continued to be more experimental during the month –

  • With and without a frame.

  • Starting with a string or not. There are times I like to start with something in the center or off to the side and then just let the tile evolve from that start.

  • Picking a pattern from the tanglepatterns.com or finding inspiration in other sources (this month it was basketry books and early 1900s architecture/home decoration…art deco). Many times, a portion of the tile is just auras or other ‘filler’ of blank space.

  • The ‘screen’ filler has become one of my favorites although I also have experimented with the ‘screen’ as a grid.

  • Black tiles with white ‘ink’ for lines and shading is my favorite on the iPad but I switch to a color or overlay a color periodically just to be different.

I’ll be creating some physical tiles in March to prepare for my upcoming CZT (Certified Zentangle Teacher) training that will happen in late March; going back to traditional paper and pens will be quite a change for me.

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Zentangle® - January 2019

January 2019 was a big month for creating Zentangle tiles. I was working my way through the Zentangle Primer Volume 1 (Kindle Edition) that was recommended as prework for the class I will go to in late March. I enjoyed the exercises that I completed on my iPad with the Apple Pencil but going back to the traditional light-colored tile and black ink…drawing a frame and string, initialing, and shading. It was a burst of change – some new patterns, going outside the frame, overlaying patterns on previously completed tiles (the black tiles in this group). I selected 20 of the tiles I made while working my way through the primer to display below….going beyond the 31 for the month.

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Now for the 31 for January. The ones done after the primer tiles all have a frame. I like the white shading that I can do within the Procreate software…after some practice. I probably will revert to frameless soon but will continue to use the shading.

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Zentangle® - December 2018

“Thirty days has September, April, June and November…all the rest have 31 save February…” – so there are 31 tiles for December.

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My favorite is one that looks a little like Christmas confetti (with snowy auras). And digital confetti pieces are not damaging long-lived plastic debris in the environment. All for the good.

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I also tried again making a Zentangle in a busy airport terminal as I waited on my flight home from Texas – with more success than in November. I was much more relaxed on the flight as well.

I probably skewed toward Christmas related colors more frequently in December


But not completely. There was a string of cloudy rainy days that just called for some yellow patterns on the black tiles….and there were two that really did brighten an otherwise dreary day.

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

3 Free eBooks – December 2018

I always am challenged to pick just three books from the eBooks I’ve found during the month. There is a lot of variety in my selections this month….from archeology to typewriter art to a story book. Enjoy!

Savill, Mervyn. Pre-Inca Art and Culture. London: Macgibbon & Kee. 1960. Available at Internet Archive here. There are many books that are from the Archaeology Survey of India that are now available on Internet Archive. This one is from 1960. Some of the art looks very exotic but these three busts of rulers look very human indeed.

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Riddell, Alan. Typewriter Art. London Magazine Editions. 1975. Available Internet Archive here. I can remember making banners on continuous feed printers in the 1970s! I don’t think I ever made anything as elaborate as this cityscape, but this book brought back the memory.

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Olfers, Sibylee von. The Story of the Root-Children. 1906. The English version was published by Floris Books, Edinburgh in 1990 and the 5th impression is available from Internet Archive here. The illustrations are interesting. Wikipedia has a short biography of the author. She was a German art teacher and nun that created her picture books for her younger sister in the early 1900s. I wish all of her books were available on Internet Archive…even if they were the German editions…since I am most interested in her illustrations.

Zentangle® - November 2018

Lots of colors – tiles and pens. At the end of the month I reverted to black tiles. I think I like the dark background the best.

The travel during November did not impact my tile creation; carrying the iPad and Apple pencil are very easy. I experimented creating a tile on the flight to New Mexico after I realized that Bluetooth connections were permitted on the plane. Creating the tile was not as Zen as I like; full planes are too crowded and often bumpy. The tile did not make it into my top 30 tiles for November.

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Zentangle® - October 2018

I found myself creating theme sequences with colors in October. I selected 31 tiles (one for each day) and all the themes are represented although I had quite a few more tiles that 31 to choose from. The iPad makes it much easier to create tiles with a lot of variability without worrying about using up favorite pen colors or not having the color of tile I want with me.

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The first theme was rich red ink on black background. My favorite of the set is one what has more background showing than usual. It reminds me of a brocade pattern.

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Black on white…how can it get simpler. My favorite was made with a string created with 3 overlaid cursive G’s.

The next theme was white tiles with black designs that were finished with color – or colors. My favorite is probably the red and black one.

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I switched to black tiles again…white design and aqua/turquoise finishing color. The theme was short lived.

I decided to use the color first and then finish in white. My favorite is one that include orange and then white.

I went back to single color on black tiles for the grand finale of the month. The theme will continue into the early part of November.

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Gleanings of the Week Ending October 13, 2018

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Free Technology for Teachers: Frostbite Theater - 87 Science Experiment Video Lessons – Short videos…fun for more than just students!

Sunflower pollen has medicinal, protective effects on bees -- ScienceDaily – Sunflowers – a nice addition to pollinator gardens.

Research forecasts US among top nations to suffer economic damage from climate change -- ScienceDaily – The study found that the top 3 countries with the most to lose from climate change are the US, India and Saudi Arabia. China is in the top 5.

Do MoCA and Other Cognitive Screening Tests Work? | Berkeley Wellness – A short article that introduces some terminology….but not very satisfying. This is not an area where medical intervention has made great strides – unfortunately for an aging population.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Birds in Flight – National Geographic Blog – Birds in motion…a photographic challenge.

BBC - Future - Do we really live longer than our ancestors? – Life expectancy has increased because more of our species are making it to old age; life span has not changed much at all through history. The emperor Augustus lived to be 75 in the 1st century (his wife live to 86 or 87 years) and Japan’s Empress Suiko lived to be 74 in the 6th century. Cicero’s wife lived to be 103.

Prehistoric art hints at lost Indian civilisation - BBC News and An Unknown Ancient Civilization in India Carved This Rock Art | Smart News | Smithsonian – The same story from two sources. The first one is more detailed.

The Seven Cs of Education | What's Next: Top Trends – 2 items: the 7 Cs and the nature of creative thinking.

Secondary forests have short lifespans: Most don't last long enough to provide habitat for many forest species -- ScienceDaily – Making large scale commitment on reforestation requires long-term vision….and that appears to be lacking. The study was done in Costa Rica.

Infographic: Light Pollution Threatens Species | The Scientist Magazine® - It not just birds and bats….light pollution impacts a lot of organisms…including us (not the last item on the list ‘desynchronization’).

Zentangle® - September 2018

…”30 days has September”…  so I’ve selected 30 Zentangle tiles to feature from the ones I made during last month.

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I’m presenting then in the order they were created – Starting with the blue that was part of the series at the end of August.

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Then there were yellow ones. I think I chose yellow to help brighten all the rainy days we were having.

Then it was pink and purple. I was thinking about the very short time in my daughter’s life when that color combination was her favorite. It did not survive early elementary school. I made a new template to go back to square tiles. I prefer them to the rectangle.

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I changed to orange thinking ahead to the fall.

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And then found my way back to yellow when we finally got sunny hours for several days in a row.

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Zentangle® - August 2018

31 days – 31 Zentangles. I always enjoy the segment of my day that I am creative and centered….producing something that I find visually appealing. Once I started using the iPad with Apple Pencil, I haven’t created a single tile with paper and pens. I am digital all the way these days.

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I started out the month with a tile continuing the burnt orange on black series from July.

Then I switched to white on black.

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Bright green was the next series.

And then it was back to turquoise on black. The color combination is probably my favorite.

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Later in the month is started experimenting with a rectangle rather than square tile. I was surprised that it felt so different. I’m still working to acclimate myself to it!

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Zentangle® - July 2018

31 Zentangle tiles for July. I am posting the tiles in the order they were produced although this is only about half of the total. I averaged slightly over 2 tiles per day. I used the same ‘ink’ color for a series before moving to the next color. I have discovered that I almost always prefer a black background.

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The butterscotch series was the first

Then Pepto-Bismol pink.

Red was the next series.

Here is one that I used the software to change the background color. It makes quite a difference.

The lemon series was full of mythical flowers and many-segment bugs.

The green series was made from my summer office – looking out at a wall of wet green forest.

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The purple series includes some experimentation with simple patterns that I could share with summer campers. It was a short activity during the full rain photo shoot at Mt Pleasant for the older group of campers.

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The last series in a slightly burnt orange. I don’t necessarily start out thinking of plant images but I’ve noticed that a lot of my tiles turn out that way!

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Zentangle® - June 2018

I enjoyed using light blue brush color this month…particularly with black background; the color dominates 21 of the 30 tiles I selected from the tiles I created in June. I’m still pleased with my iPad (and Procreate app) for creating tiles…no need to worry about running out of ink like happens with a physical pen! I experimented a little with different backgrounds but came back again and again to the black. It’s may favorite (maybe) because it is still new for me; I didn’t have light colored pens or black card stock easily available when I was making physical tiles.

The other 9 tiles I made simply for variety. I thought I would create more tiles with two or more brush colors this month but was too intent on the Zen to make a big change like that; many of the June tiles were created in the scant quiet moments in Carrollton – to make a calm space and time from the jumble of emotional and physical challenges of being at my best to help my mother in the hospital, in rehab and at home after she broke her hip. As this post is published, I will be on my way home and she is about ready for outpatient PT!

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Zentangle® - May 2018

It was challenging to pick 31 Zentangle tiles (one per day) out of the 75 I created in May. They were all created using the Procreate app on my still-new Apple iPad (6th Generation) Wi-Fi and Apple Pencil ( I first started using it in April).

I’ve noticed several things about my choices this month: I seldom choose a white background. Only 3 of the 31 used a white background.

I experimented with different colors of background…lots of variety: 6 tiles and 6 different background colors.

My favorite background color – for May – was black with 22 of the 31 tiles started out with that choice. There are a few that used more than one line color. Could that be the trend for June? Maybe.

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

iPad Adventure – Part 1

Way back in the late 1970s, my husband and I used an Apple II when we were graduate students. I’ve used other kinds of PCs and tablets since, but my husband bought a new iPad recently and encouraged me to try it and the Apple pencil to make a Zentangle. This was my first attempt – not something I will save in any collection.

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It will take some practice to get proficient but the technology is enticing….I made the leap. My husband ordered a case for me and we went to Best Buy to buy the device (two purchases: the iPad (6th Generation) Wi-Fi and Pencil). I made a place set up in my office to charge it.

I am pleasantly surprised that the apps I use all the time were easy to install and use on the iPad:

  • Firefox (Set up with bookmarks synced with my PC. I’m already reading some Internet Archive books on the iPad)
  • Email and calendar synced with my other devices
  • Kindle for reading
  • Our Groceries for sharing shopping lists with my family
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I ordered a sleeve for the pencil and found an old gel pen case my daughter bought years ago that holds the pencil and cables neatly coiled for when I’m ‘on the move.’

I also ordered a case for a stylus although I’m not sure how frequently I will use it; using a stylus does reduce the fingerprint density on the screen. The pencil will fit in it without the sleeve, but I like the feel of the sleeve when I’m drawing; the pencil will probably be in the sleeve all the time.

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My learning curve over the next month or so will be use learn to use Procreate, the app I’ve chosen to use for Zentangles, and I’ve started looking through the User Guide for the device/operating system.

Gleanings of the Week Ending February 24, 2018

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

#ColorOurCollections & Europeana Colouring Book | Europeana Blog – I’d rather draw my own Zentangles rather starting with an existing picture. For those who want images already on the page - here is a free downloadable coloring book of historical images.

Top 25: Wild Birds on the Edge – National Geographic Blog – Endangered birds….many factors causing stressing these birds…no quick fix.

Explore Thurston Lava Tube At Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park By Flashlight  and The Nature Conservancy Transfers 222 Acres To Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park  - Reminded how much I enjoyed our trip to the big Island (and the national park there) a few years ago.

11 Chocolate Desserts That Are Totally Healthy – Dark chocolate…it’s wonderful that it is also good for you too – in moderation.

Long-term economic impact of cover crops: 29-year study finds cover crops offer benefits with no-till cotton systems -- ScienceDaily – Decreasing soil erosion….always a good thing.

Artists envisioned the future of work, and the results are pure fantasy - MIT Technology Review – What do you think? Some of these are (somewhat) logical extensions of existing technology and jobs.

Why Are You Seeing Robins in Winter? – Cool Green Science – I didn’t see any robins at my birdbath this winter, but we don’t have trees with berries that might be food for them. I did see some robins at Mt. Pleasant yesterday…a small group…and wondered if the warm weather we had earlier in the week (in the 70s) is bringing them in larger numbers to our area.

Saving a Crown Jewel – National Geographic – We spent some time at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge last November when we were at the Rio Grand Valley Birding Festival See my post here). The short video is worth watching. The wall that is being built through the refuge (destroying the refuge) is the proof of concept for the wall that some in our country want to build. It’s very sad.

BBC - Future - An effortless way to improve your memory – After reading this, I wondered if creating a Zentangle tile has the effect of a short rest period for me. I’ve noticed that it is easier for me to learn new material if I include breaks to make tiles!

Creative Ways to Boost Creativity – How many of these just come naturally to you?