Zentangle® in the Transom Window

In my September 1st blog post, I talked about the large Zentangle I was making on window film…and then forgot to include the photos of the segments taken before it was huge (from right to left). So here they are now –

My husband helped me attach the window film to the transom window above the French doors in our breakfast area. I cleaned the window thoroughly before wetting it a little then positioning the plastic film and using a shower Squeegee to smooth out the air bubbles. The matte white film with Zentangle patterns is very effective at making our dinner table less sunny! I wish I would have thought of doing this sooner. If I get tired of the patterns…I can take it down and make another.

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This is prompting me to think about what I might do with window film for Christmas.  Right now I’m thinking: red Sharpie for the patterns and the same type window film….for the narrow windows on either side of my front door.

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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.

New Laptop…Rearranged Office

August was a big tech purchase month for me….I bought a new laptop and monitor. My old laptop was going to run out its 4-year warranty in mid-September and I used the Labor Day sales as my excuse to buy the new one a few weeks early. I ended up buying the new and improved version of my old laptop – a Dell XPS 13. The new model (9380) has double the RAM and SSD size…more processors. It is the same size as the old one. I bought a Dell Business Thunderbolt Dock TB16 to make it easier to get everything attached to the laptop via one plug (the thunderbolt). I also got a bigger and better monitor – a Dell UltraSharp 27 Monitor (UP2716D); I’ve graduated from one monitor to two in my home office. It took me very little time to get software installed and my files copied from the old laptop.

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I used the interruption of the new laptop to rearrange my office. I’ve been using the same office furniture for about 25 years (since we moved to our current house). At first the furniture was 3 pieces attached to each other. About 5 years ago I detached the longer table. Now they are all independent. The corner piece is my computer work area complete with Swopper chair (bouncing so I am never sedentary for long at the computer), two monitors, the laptop on the far fight, my phone in a metal bowl under the monitors….a lamp in the background. I’m experimenting with a scarf at the front to protect the edge of the table….after 25 years the finish is worn.

There is a window to my right….with a view of trees. My office is the room with the best view in this house

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Behind me is a long table where I work on major Zentangle projects like the transom window film. There is another lamp there and a charging station for items like the iPad and pencil. I have a narrow-shelved case to sort materials for projects.

I’ve enjoyed my home office from the beginning…but the new arrangement hones it for the things I do now rather than when I was in the thick of my career.

Zentangle® - August 2019

The August Zentangles included a lot of variety. I collected up 31 to demonstrate. There are nine general tiles created on the  iPad (black background usually with white ‘ink’ created using Procreate and an Apple Pencil).

Three general tiles are on card stock using a Sharpie Ultra Fine pen.

Everything else has something different for my ‘norm.’ I found a pad of black paper left over from my daughter’s teen age years (over 10 years ago). I drew 3.5 inch squares on the tiles and made tangle patterns using metallic gel pens. The silver shows up the best. I’ll be gradually using up the rest of the pad this fall.

The butterfly tiles I had left from the activity are 2 of the 31 tiles this month.

And then there are the feather themed tiles I made preparing for the activity with summer campers and guiding the Zentangle class.

Last but not least – I tangled a long rectangle of window film for a transom window over the French door in our breakfast area. I used Sharpie Fine Point pen on slightly pebbled mist film. The photographs below are segments before it was hung. This project is -by far – my biggest Zentangle to date!

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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.

Summer Camp Volunteering- Week 4

The theme for last week’s Howard Count Conservancy’s summer camps was ‘Friends in Flight – Bees, Birds, Bats.’ For the activity at Mt Pleasant – I added ‘Butterflies’ to the Friends in Flight list – playing a Monarch Migration game (instructions here) with each of the three groups. The numbered and laminated cards were taped to colorful cones and mug box dice were used for the cards that needed them. The route of cones was set up on the bricked path in the Honors Garden because the grass was so wet everywhere.

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All the campers discovered that there are a lot of hazards along with way during migration….and most played the game about 3 times. We tallied the successful and unsuccessful migrations…with the unsuccessful being slightly ahead!

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At Belmont, I started the Zentangle® session with a discussion of blue jays and their feathers using some pictures.

Then the two groups of campers made mono-tangles with a feather-like pattern. For the first group (skewed toward the older in the 5-12 years old range), I used 3” square coasters and a finer point pen than they had used before. The younger group used Apprentice tiles and the Sharpie ultra-fine pens. Some, but not all, of the campers had been in the previous Zentangle sessions. Overall – it was an impressive week!

It was the last week of summer camp. I’ll take a little break – but am already looking forward to the fall field trips ramping up soon.

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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.

Summer Camp Volunteering- Week 3

The theme for last week’s Howard Count Conservancy’s summer camps was ‘Water Wizards.’ The campers at both Mt. Pleasant and Belmont made terrific water themed Zentangles®! I started out the sessions by briefly talking about the water cycle…how water moves on our planet and in the atmosphere….honed for the 5-12 years old campers. I projected a simple diagram of the water cycle from the NASA website….and then used the same set up to enable the campers to see how I drew some water themed patterns on pale blue cardstock (using the camera on the iPad which was hooked to a projector).

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There were three groups at Mt. Pleasant. They all enjoyed frogs eggs and tadpoles, raindrops making ripples in a pond, mist….and clouds. The youngest group made rainbows! I used 4.5-inch squares for the youngest group (last of the group of 3 mosaics below); the other two used 3.5-inch squares.

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At Belmont, the session was on a hot afternoon and the campers appreciated the time to cool off inside. I took a picture of the room before the campers arrived – the cool and calm before a flurry of activity.

After a short discussion of the water cycle, the room was filled with very focused campers making Zentangle patterns. One of the counselors came in and commented about how quiet the room was. It wasn’t silent exactly…everyone was just busy. The first mosaic were made by the older group and are 3.5-inch squares…and some that finished early made mini-tiles on 2-inch squares. The younger group used the larger 4.5-inch tiles. Both groups enjoyed frog eggs and tadpoles, cattails (or seaweed), raindrops into a pond, and mist.

Each week I do Zentangles, there are a few campers from prior weeks that know the Zentangle basics…and others that are new. All are keen to learn some patterns and are tickled with the tiles they create. There’s always a crowd around the mosaic at the end.

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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.

Summer Camp Volunteering – week 2

The theme for last week’s Howard Count Conservancy’s summer camps was ‘Fantastic Beasts.’ I spent a morning at Mt. Pleasant and the next morning at Belmont. At Mt. Pleasant there were three groups of campers….45 minutes for each. I used the dinosaur and mammal track rock found at NASA Goddard (saw it back when I was in the HOLLIE program) to initiate the conversation about extinct animals and fossils. There were some fossil shells from Calvert Cliffs and some of the campers had been there to explore themselves. I had on my ammonite shaped earrings too.

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Then for some action: Two pans of water, a measuring tape and white board. A person put one foot into each pan (shoes on) and then stepped out and walked normally. The measurement team (usually two campers) measured heal print to heal print to determine the walking stride length. We measured the walking stride of the tallest and shortest in each group (and then everyone else because everyone wanted to know their stride length…or game it and take extra-long steps!). In the oldest group of campers, we measured the running stride (heel first and on toes). It was a great activity to further explore what information can be gleaned from tracks.

We transitioned into evidence of animals living today with some whelk shells and egg cases found on a beach. Some campers were surprised that the whelks were animals that still live in the ocean along the east coast of the US.

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One of the junior counselors had participated in a dinosaur dig in Montana…and shared some pictures for her adventure with the campers.

It was a busy 45 minutes!

At Belmont, there were two groups of campers making Zentangle® tiles. I introduced the session using the NASA Goddard rock, the welk shells and my ammonite earrings….and then showed them patterns for beasts. The first group (younger) made octopus/jelly fish and tracks. The second group experimented with an ammonite type pattern, tracks and shells. The theropod tracks were the most popular. Many made some big therapod tracks and then some small ones (moms with babies). A variation from one camper: a therapod track….then a blank area where the therapod flew….then more tracks. One camper made mammal tracks. Both groups enjoyed adding colors after they made their patterns with the black Sharpie ultrafine pens.

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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 2019

There was quite a lot of variation on the Zentangle front in July. There was a challenge on the long road trip days and then being very busy the rest of the time. Some days there was plenty of time to make several tiles…other days were too short to do anything other than on the critical path to get my daughter moved to Missouri! In the end – I still had a lot of tiles to choose from to come up with 31 tiles for July. The normal variation is seen in this first group made on the iPad with the Apple Pencil using the Procreate App. I found the iPad the easiest to work with at the end of a long day of driving.

I started experimenting with some square paper coasters for tiles early in the month.

There was also a series that were created with a spiral string then a single pattern….all on the iPad.

The most different tiles the samples I made using the butterfly tiles I used with the summer campers last week. It was fun experimenting with the shape and working with symmetry.

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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.

Ten Little Celebrations – July 2019

July 2019 was a busy month with two weeks of the months a way from home and volunteering. We’re in the thick of summer!

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4th of July. There is the holiday celebrated with fireworks and food and family early in the month. I was in Texas rather than at home.

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Yellow-Crowned Night Heron. It’s thrilling to see a heron that I don’t see all that often…a serendipity sighting during a hike to celebrate.

Easy drive through Arkansas. I celebrated that the road through Arkansas on my way back to Maryland from Texas was a lot better than I expected – good road, no construction, no accidents.

Marigolds. I savored the flowers available for cutting when I go to pick up my CSA share every week. Marigolds are among my favorites….but the sunflowers and amaranth and zinnas are good too.

Pittsburgh to Springfield MO in a day. It was a long drive with my husband and I caravanning. We both celebrated when we arrived – tired but otherwise unscathed.

At home again. After being away for 2 weeks (not concurrently) I had several days celebrating just being at home again.

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Prius Prime. I celebrated my car that has excellent range and is easy to drive. It still feels a little new and it’s 2.5 years old! These recent road trips have added quite a few miles.

Surviving a very hot Wings of Fancy shift. I celebrated that having something cold at each break (grapes, popsicle, Gatorade) and drinking lots of water enabled me to be fine at the end of the shift….and even relaxed in my air conditioned car on the way home.

Summer campers making butterfly Zentangles. Celebrating sharing an activity with campers….enjoying their creations as much as they did.

Toad under the oak tree. There is a toad that is making its home in the day lily forest under the oak tree. I celebrated that our yard is providing suitable habitat (there was a very small black rat snake there too…which I am choosing to celebrate too…but I didn’t take time to get a picture).

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Zentangle® Butterflies at Summer Camp

I enjoyed making Zentangle butterflies with about 70 Howard County Conservancy summer campers last week. They were in 5 groups and 2 locations. The first three groups were done outdoors on picnic tables set up with blotter papers and pen/pencil in holders to keep them from rolling away. There was a little breeze, but the pen/pencil holder had just enough weight to keep everything in place.

I attached my sample butterflies to a plant hook and a pad of paper to use for pattern demonstration on an easel. This was the calm before the first group of campers arrived.

The campers overall were ages 5-12. The oldest of the three groups came first…the youngest were last. I presented different patterns to each group as we talked about butterfly body parts and symmetry. The campers were focused and were very creative both with the patterns (and making up their own) as well as adding color. I took a picture of the creations from each group (click on the image below to see a larger version).

The following day, I did two groups at the second location. This time I was indoors and used the projection technique with the iPad camera (that I had used during my session with the camp counselors back in early June) to demonstrate the patterns. The youngest group came first followed by the older group.  I corralled the butterflies for a picture at the end of each session (although one was missing from the older group and I ended up taking that picture later).

Overall, I was pleased with these sessions and I am getting better as a CZT as I gain experience. For example – the blotter papers get used for additional artwork rather than just blotter papers and then the next camper comments on what is on their blotter! The different age groups have different types of challenges which I will get better at detecting…but they all produced beautiful and interesting Zentangle butterflies!

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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 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.

Ten Little Celebrations – June 2019

There was a lot going on in June – the last of the spring field trip season with Howard County Conservancy, the Wings of Fancy shifts, helping my daughter move from Pennsylvania to Missouri….and there were a lot of little celebrations along the way.

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Springfield Art Museum – The first visit to a museum is always the best…because everything is new. This one was no exception….and it was free!

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Luna moth – Finding a Luna Moth at a rest stop in Missouri was the high point of a long day of driving toward home. I celebrated that it was there….and that it was a pleasant surprise in an unexpected place.

First week of CSA – I am always thrilled to get the fresh produce from the Gorman Farm Community Supported Agriculture. Every meal I prepare with the CSA veggies is a celebration.

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Frogs at Mt Pleasant – Finding the frogs in the small pond is like working a puzzle…you look carefully and finally see….and celebrate. I celebrated along with my hiking groups of elementary aged students too.

Perfect field trip weather at Belmont – I was braced for June field trips to be overly hot…but the weather for all of them at Belmont was near perfect. The pre-schoolers at Belmont celebrated being outdoors and I did too.

My summer office – I moved my home office to a room that doesn’t get direct sun in the afternoon (so doesn’t heat up) and celebrated that the new location provided a better vantage point to the bird feeder while I am working at my computer.

Kombucha – My new food find of the month was mint lemonade kombucha from Wegmans. I didn’t drink the whole bottle all at once…wanted to savor it so I had about 1/3 each day for 3 days. Yummy! I might not get it every week…maybe only for a celebration.

1st monarch butterfly and caterpillar sighting of the year – I celebrated a Monarch butterfly on some milkweed at Brookside Gardens and then a Monarch caterpillar on another milkweed nearby. It’s always a milestone for the butterflies to make it Maryland and start laying eggs. The milkweed is blooming and sweet…plenty of food for the caterpillars.

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1st Zentangle® class is history – I celebrated leading my first Zentangle class…and the tiles created by the students.

Fledglings – I celebrated seeing several fledglings come to our birdfeeder over the past few weeks: downy woodpecker, titmouse, Carolina chickadee, and catbird. Our maple tree seems to be a popular place for many of these birds….or maybe they just come through that tree from the forest and return to the forest the same way.

3 Free eBooks – June 2019

There was quite a variety of books to pick from in my book list for this month…difficult to pick just three. I realized that I have started gleaning from my book list for other posts beyond this monthly one. I feature the botanical books in a separate post and I’ve started collecting images to use for Zentangle pattern prompts (i.e. images that are easily decomposed into patterns and used to create Zentangle tiles) which I will probably become blog posts occasionally too!

Pennell, Joseph; Pennell, Elizabeth Robbins. Two pilgrims’ progress; from fair Florence to the eternal city of Rome. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company. 1899. Available on Internet Archive here. This husband and wife team travelled between Florence and Rome on an odd ‘bicycle built for two.’ He was the artist and she was the writer. I enjoyed their other books available online too.

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Jammes, Andre; Sobieszek, Robert A.; White, Minor. French Primitive Photography. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art. 1969. Available on Internet Archive here. A little history not only of photography but for the subjects of the photographers as well. There are quite a few images from Egypt in the mid-1800s of famous monuments before the sand was moved from the lower portions…or had just been removed.

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Perkins, Lucy Fitch. The Belgian Twins. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. 1917. Available on Internet Archive here. The author wrote a whole series of books about twins from around the world between 1911 and 1934. Evidently, she interviewed someone that had grown up in each country to gain understanding of children’s lives there. She also incorporated aspects of history; World War I was woven into this book about Belgium published in 1917 and the book about French twins published in 1918. Many of the books are available on Internet Archive. The sketch type illustrations are the aspect of these books I enjoyed the most.

Leading a Zentangle® Class

I applied what I learned at the Certified Zentangle Trainer class (taken back in April) with a group of summer camp counselors last week…a prelude to working with the summer campers in a few weeks. The counselors were in their pre-camp training session. Most of the camp with be outdoor activities but on very rainy or hot days….creating Zentangle tiles can be a great option.

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I prepared for the session by developing a method to project my work on a screen (iPad on a tripod, Camera app, connector to allow display of the iPad screen on any projector/screen via HDMI cable) and making folded paper ‘trays’ to keep the pencil and pen together (not rolling around the table).

I also made variations of the tile I would coach them to make during the first session.

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The session with the camp counselors took a little over 30 minutes in all….and look what they created! Now one took an after lunch nap…they were all too focused on creating the patterns on their tile.

I am always impressed by class mosaics…how every tile expresses the individuality of the person that created it.

After the session we had a feedback session and agreed that the apprentice tiles (4.5 inches square) should be used for the younger campers….that the smaller ones (3.5 inches square) might appeal to the older campers that want to create tiles with more detail. Allowing more than 30 minutes would be good too!

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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 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.

3 Free eBooks – April 2019

All three picks for this month are groups of items rather than just one – two magazines and the last one a series of volumes from the late 1700s of plants and animals. So many freely available books…so little time!

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Shadowland (magazine). New York City: M. P. Publishing Company from 1919 – 1923. Most issues available from Internet Archive here. Shadowland was an American monthly magazine about art, dance, and film. I particularly enjoyed the covers by A. M. Hopfmuller. The sample image I choose to include with this post was one that reminded me of a Zentangle pattern….a very stylized ‘tree.’

Sunset (magazine). San Francisco: Southern Pacific Company. Issues from May 1898 – 1923 from Hathi Trust here. The magazine has morphed many times and continued to be published after these fully available online issues (expired copyright); check the Wikipedia info here for the history. I have perused the issues to 1904 so far. I was intrigued by the picture of oil production in Los Angeles from the year one of my grandfathers was born.

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Shaw, George. The naturalists' miscellany : or Coloured figures of natural objects. London: Nodder & Co. 1789. 24 volumes available from Internet Archive here. The sample image I am including for these books is a cecropia moth; I’ll be starting my volunteering at the Wings of Fancy exhibit at Brookside Gardens soon and hope we have cecropia caterpillars again this year!

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Ten Little Celebrations – April 2019

April has been a busy month – only at home for a week out of the month and not all at the same time. There was plenty to celebrate with spring in full swing and the travel to see it in different places.

Certified Zentangle® Trainer (CZT) class. There were so many perspectives of the CZT class to celebrate: the beauty of the creations everyone was making, the conversations, the food…the challenge of being a student…the Zen.

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Train ride home. I don’t go many places where taking the train is feasible…but the CZT class was one of them. I celebrated the low stress hours going home…a fitting finale to the class.

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4th and 5th grade field trips. The early April field trips happened with great weather and the students enjoying being outdoors to learn about the Patapsco heritage (land, water, and rocks) and BioBlitz. It’s always inspiring to see their curiosity and enthusiasm --- celebrating a spring field trip.


Getting to Dallas. I had to travel to Dallas quickly and it was easier than a thought it would be. And I celebrated that I was less stressed by the rapid change in plans (maybe the Zentangle class providing an added benefit.

Spring days. Noticing the rapidly developing blossoms of spring is fodder for many celebrations – oxalis is probably one of my favorites right now. It blooms when the sun is shining!

Rainy day (spent indoors). After busy days – having a rainy day spent indoors is something to celebrate…with homemade soup for lunch!

Josey Ranch Pocket Prairie. A little bit of prairie – carefully tended by volunteers – in a Dallas suburb! Right now it is a celebration of spring wildflowers.

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Cedar waxwings. Birds are migrating and there are serendipity sightings of birds that don’t stay around the area long. I celebrated seeing a small flock of cedar waxwings last week.

Botanical reminders of my grandmother. Many flowers in my parents’ Carrollton yard were planted by my grandmother…good memories to celebrate.

Home again. Providence, Rhode Island to home to Carrollton, Texas to home to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and Smith Island to home. I like to travel…but coming home is celebratory too.

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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® Paradox and ‘Paradout’

Paradox is one of the Zentangle® patterns that is straight lines inside a shape; the link is to the Tanglepatterns site that includes links to illustrated instructions plus variations that have been developed over the years. Paradox can be drawn without lifting the pen and what emerges is often surprising: curved lines and metapatterns – particularly when multiple paradox patterns or used. I recently started making a pattern that is like Paradox (starting at a point of the shape as the bottom of a v, drawing a line to complete the V until another line is encountered…then repeat until the shape is filled) except it is

  • Made outside a shape (either closed or open) and

  • It is curves instead of straight lines and

  • I haven’t noticed any metapatterns although it does have a dimensional quality.

Sometimes I combine it as a frame for a Paradox series…but it works as a frame for other patterns as well. It can also be used to fill spaces with irregular curves as well.

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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.

A Student Again

The paper coasters and pencils in my room at the Biltmore Providence had the slogan ‘we are all students’ and it fit the week for me. I loved being a student. The middle two days (of the 4 day class) were intense and I was very ready to sleep by the end of the day. I woke up at my usual early time each day and saw the sunrise from the hotel room.

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Over the course of the class, we created 24 Zentangle® tiles which eventually were attached inside our student journal.

My favorite tile creation of the week was a voice guided Zentangle meditation – not just the tile itself (I like all the tiles I create) but the way it was done. There was none of the usual visual demonstration of the pattern. It requires a lot more descriptive language from the instructor…and good listening skills from the students. I’m not confident that all patterns could be learned in this kind of session – but it was very easy to slip into meditation with this presentation of the Zentangle Method. The mosaic we made afterward (a tile from each student created during the voice guided session) had even more variety than other tiles from the class.

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Here is the one I created. I photographed it after I retrieved it from the mosaic and put it into my journal.

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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.