Friday, December 12, 2014

On the Upswing

Where's the time go? WOW!
The time vampires have really made inroads into my house. Some traveling kept me from home, but then catching the mightiest of flu bugs really leveled me for a few days. I'm feeling better, but whatever this is, you DON'T want to get it.
I'll just stay over here.
I'm playing catch-up in so many ways. And holiday decorating? Baking? Greetings? Are you kidding me?!
As they say in the land of my birth, "Fuggedabboudit!" More on that later.
I'll start with some random "stuff," then move along to some holiday inspired artwork.
First up, a random number selected string with an emphasis on water-related tangles:
Fifty Percent Chance of Rain

Next up, a design I doodled en route to Philadelphia. I had a little note pad stashed and this is what I did. I was going to leave it for the next passenger, but I left another instead.

The object was to visit sleeping man's parents as they are 88 and infirm. Better now than later was the mantra. Got to see his sister and his brothers and their wives and adult children. We spent some time revisiting areas of our youth that I've not seen in, ahem, 35 or even more years. Nothing looked familiar; it was very disconcerting.  And EVERYONE looked and sounded like extras from "The Jersey Shore" reality show. 
When did THAT happen?
Then this germ kicked in and I might as well have been on Mars.
A friend suggested taking Oscillococcinum by Boiron to combat this thing and WOW! This stuff is amazing. 

Now that I'm back home for a bit, I feel almost my normally deranged self again, ready to tackle some of those challenges that have piled up, and they all seem holiday related. 
This week's IAST:
And last:
And if you do the Diva Challenge, too, you're having fun with Arukas. Maybe? I don't know yet if it behaves well with others. This was my first and so far, only, stab at the new tangle.

Last but least of the yuletide artwork, my twinchie for "Santa." 

There's still my Inchie to do from Monday (and I know already that I'm a little left of center on that one, per usual) and a couple Monday Mandalas to do before, well, another Monday comes along! And I want to thank everyone who commented on my Malibu Ken post; I guess I gave a lot of people something to chuckle about!

Tomorrow's forecast says, "Fifty percent chance of rain!" Funny, that!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Malibu Ken

Miss me?
I hope you enjoyed your holiday, if you're in the States celebrating Thanksgiving. If you're elsewhere, and everyone, I hope you are enjoying whatever holidays you wish. Mine included a visit from the paramedics. I am grateful for the persons who had the foresight to dial 911 and for the wonderful folks who attended to my health.
Lucky you, I'm back to my normal and pretty demented self. I say that as I really went on a limb with the Diva's challenge today. The guest post host went all girlie and asked for doll-inspired art and all I could think of was Malibu Ken. While I know where my Barbies are packed, I just did a little research and found some really awesome examples of hideous Ken clothes. And a real-life human Malibu Ken on Twitter.

That was entertaining, wasn't it? I know you looked.

[12.02.14: I really think he's on tumBLr or whatever that is. I'm sure you'll find him if you're really looking...!]

I used the fabrics of those clothes as inspiration and String 008 from
Mod Cloth
I also finally did LAST week's Diva challenge:
Yuma Grid

The Inchie for the week is Xenon. I learned that it glows blue under certain conditions. Once upon a time I knew Chemistry, but this was new information for me, so I doctored up some plain type:

And for the Twinchie, for Advent, I found this great photograph on Ski Australia:

I love lights, I wish I could keep them up all year. The challenge is that all of mine have been packed away for almost three years and I suspect this will approximate the mess I'll be getting into next week! I did not take the photograph, and cannot claim ownership of it. I just think it's funny. 

Tis the season to celebrate the LIGHT! 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Fresh Snow

While most of the States have had incredible cold and massive amounts of snow, we've been spared all of that here in the desert. Which is good as I'm not good at all that (that's why I moved from New England). But there's still something to be said for that first, sparkly snow that makes everything look like it's sprinkled with jewels. (I love to drive up to Flagstaff, see snow and turn around and plop into the jacuzzi by dinner).
Why I say all this is it's what came to mind working on the IAST 68 today.

Fresh Snow

I've also been having some fun with Krishna's Mandala Monday. Here's my first response for MM004 and another one for MM003:

I'm working on more as I can print a bunch of them at a time. I'm not really happy drawing on basic printer paper, but I can work out ideas and just all around have a good time.

Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone! And when I'm all done our festivities, come back for my recipe for turkey sandwiches. My daughter can't wait--she doesn't mind that she's not going to be here for the big bird tomorrow. Word of warming: it is NOT dietetic. 

And if you're looking for something "interesting," check out the blog of the "World's Best Twinchies" scoped on Flickr. I dont' know how I found it, but I've gone back to look for inspiration and lo! and behold! Three of mine are on there. How weird is that?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Embracing the...Gratitude

This week's Zentangle challenges could not have come from more polar opposites, but I've already begun to appreciate from whence they came and to wither they may goest.
The Diva lined up guest posts this month to concentrate on her family; much better time spent than managing the likes of all us tangly people. This week's really threw me for a loop and at first I was going to pass on it, but then I thought why should this one get the better of me? Elisa Murphy created the challenge to use our non-dominant hand to complete the task, or as she referred to it as, "Embrace the Yuck." While I'm not quite feeling the love yet, I did get a feel for why I really don't use my left hand and perhaps I should give it a better chance.
Diva Challenge 194

I used the random string generator at and it selected 098, which was a good start and Nipa had to naturally go in as it's already pretty jiggy. I won't get rich off the likes of this, but it was a good lesson in creativity. It's not terrible yucky. (segue to: that's what we call some Chinese food, instead of teriyaki...even though we really, really like it.).
The other challenge, IAST 67 used string 070 and just drawing that out was giving me fits (yes, I could just print the template, but where's the fun in that?). I had pondered the contents in my sleep so I was good to go this morning. And here enters unconditional love. I have surrounded myself--the "c"--with my significant other and my two children.
Thanks for Three People
It's not the prettiest exhibition of true love ever created, but what it represents to me goes beyond gratitude and so much joy, it brings me to tears. (and a segue to yesterday's post...)
With many thanks to you for taking the time to view my work and for the occasional comment. I appreciate you telling me what you like (or don't) so that I can add it to my body of knowledge.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

It's a Stretch

If I had scoped out the Inchie for this week in advance, I may have saved the one I did a couple weeks ago. The word prompt is "weapon." Alas, I used my pistol a couple posts back [click here to rewind]. I scratched my head for a minute and asked myself what is my chief weaponry? And what came back out my grey matter is this form of subterfuge. It may not save me in battle, but it depends on the opponent, I guess, and what the fight is all about.

My friend Corinne suggested something else that totally confounds men: a BRA. Although I don't seem to have that problem, it gives me a lot of ideas to work with.
The twinchie word this week is "magic." Back in college, I had to write a paper on a level of Hell as described by Dante in his "Inferno." I drew a very intense image to accompany the essay with a wizard's hand holding a crystal ball and a fiery Earth within. It won me a lot of brownie points and the professor asked to save my work. I've been meaning to recreate it ever since. For now, this will have to do:
Be sure to check out the Inchie responses this week, which will certainly lead you to some very talented artists and their work. That's where I'm headed now!


Do any of you crazy people remember a cartoon on Sesame Street with Margaret; she ran around saying, "M. M. M. M. M. M. M."
No? Then, I'm sure that I'm a LOT older than you are. If you DO, lie about your age, please?!
Well, that's what's bouncing around in my head while I've been working on some mandala challenges. Krishna of Her Sketches blog took up the challenge of creating weekly templates from which to draw. Here are a few from the first two weeks and then my response to this week's MM3.

 Okay, this one I indulged in a little Photoshop action, including dropping in a full moon!
This one reminds me of a lotus flower
Check out Krishna's blog and see what she and others are doing and join in the fun. I've been having my share; don't want you to miss out!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

All the Posts fit to Print. Maybe

Thank you so much to all you tangly and artistic people around the globe who have been leaving some sparkling comments in this space. I can't tell you how wonderful you all make me feel. And a special thanks to Zoe, who seems to share a peculiar and twisted mind!

It's been a crazy busy week. First, I helped out with a photo session at Aqua-Tots Swim School (North Phoenix) Sunday. That's a cool thing I help with, being part-owner, mostly for post-processing of the images. Keeps my hands busy. Alas,keeps me away from my doodles.

It's a lot of fun, really.

Then my daughter wanted to try some wine. She's a recent graduate into adulthood, so it's a rite of passage, I guess. And there are some decent wines to drink here in the desert. Really! We ventured to Oak Creek Winery in Page Springs. Seeing her face crunch up was priceless! We know she doesn't like dry sherry, that's for sure! Lunch was in Cottonwood at the Tavern Grille. They keep "Plungerhead" available, and that's a good thing. It's the official wine of plumbers everywhere!

In between all that I've been trying to keep up with this week's challenges. So, here goes!
First up, "wheat" at EIM:

Health and Happiness
The first one is utilizing folk patterns from One Zentangle a Day, Day 41. The second is a pattern in Zentangle 8. 
Next, the Diva Challenge. I chose String 109 by David Rae at and I think I followed all the instructions (which can be found here).
I got very frustrated with the IAST, for whatever reason. It could be trying to do it when I really should be sleeping. I was kind of fighting with the string, which I thought should be an "e," to go with the theme there. Thus, my contribution for this week's IAST is a modified string to make an "e." (My daughter regularly just signs, "e," lower case like e.e.cummings, so I'll get back to this another day) With all due respect for Anne Marks who created the original string--
Lastly the twinchie thing. The word of the week is "home." I really wanted to paste this up with lots of glitter, but that just didn't happen. Like the "e," I'll get back to that!
That pretty much covers what I've accomplished so far this week. There's some oddball stuff, but I'm just going to launch those to my Flickr feed as they don't need much explanation. Back to the photo processing....Have a brilliant day!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Post Number 50

What fun I've been having creating mini-masterpieces of art--inchies, twinchies, Zentangles--paper, paint, markers and glue have been my almost constant companions for the past three months. (And a strong smattering of yarn, but that story will still have to wait!). And to share my efforts with a new-found community of friends who are AMAZINGLY talented.
One of the talents I've "met" is Adele Bruno at Tickled to Tangle. She posts challenges of strings with a prereq list of tangles and boy! Challenging!
I had fun with this weeks IAST. At first glance I was intimidated by the three tangles chosen; they seemed so dissimilar. But once I got going, they all played together nicely.
Last week I was the first to respond with my spider web, so I freaked when I saw my art as the lead-in to her post of responses! How cool is that?
There's a huge collection of tangly people that visit the Diva, who has created a fabulous weekly challenge. And that's how I found Mandala Monday by Krishna. This is her first of what I hope are many, as I like working in the round and the concept of mandala. This is my first response:

I thank these talented and committed individuals that are putting in a lot of effort to help all of us create a huge body of work. Sometime I hope I can return the favor, perhaps throw out a challenge of my own?
Thanks for checking out my art. Be sure to see how others have responded!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Onomato Pea Yeah!

This week has been one long, strange stream of consciousness. It's hard to jump in and find where it all started, but see if you can follow some of my reasoning.
I started the weekend working on Paizel. it's kind of a paisley pattern on Day 31 of my, ah, of "One Zentangle a Day." I keep trying to get through that book! It is a fabulous reference on zentangly things, but I'd be broke if I tried all the different media. Thus, I'm trying to stick to the methods, not the materials. This is a square using "paizel:"
On one of the other days, the direction was to mix up the strings a little bit to bring fresh air to my style. I woke up that day telling myself that I hadn't used "Hollibaugh" in a while (ever have days like that?!), so I knew that was a prerequisite for that day's tangling. So I scribbled a string that had straight lines, sharp angles as well as curves and drew in the "hollibaugh" on some of the string lines. This is what I accomplished on Sunday:
I carried over the B'tweed from last week and got a very art deco feel for this one. I like how the "Onomato" gives the piece contrast and movement. I looked at it and thought that part looks like peas-in-a-pod, and then it hit me: onomato-pea-yah...ononmatopoeia. It was like I figured out a joke someone told me months ago and I finally got the punch line. [And THAT lent itself to my twinchie for "fire" as a VERB on yesterday's post]
Then I woke up Monday morning to the Diva Challenge for the week with guest artist Cris Letourneau. Her illustration of her tangle "Seton" had lots of onomato in peapods. (Another book I'm using for Zentangle, #9 by Suzanne McNeill has other patterns quite similar to Seton--Poin and Quartered). I immediately saw the pattern as a string (gotta bring some fresh air to my style!) and wanted a very high-contrast result. Since onomato gave me a lot of contrast, I was going for more.
That's how my teenie art brain traveled through the past week. WOW! What a ride! Now to get back to my regularly scheduled life. But before I do, I'll be checking out some of the great artwork in response to this week's Diva Challenge. You should too!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Two Weeks of Inchies

Somehow, the easier the subject matter, the tougher it gets to wrap my head around it. The Inchie word last week was "vegetable." How hard could that be? Making a living won out, so I passed on it until today. Doing a little de-cluttering of my to-do list.
For the vegetable, I chose to take a photograph of the last harvest from my garden. While other Arizona gardeners are gearing up for a fine season of cool vegetables, I have to put mine to rest. Shade and gophers are my enemies. Thus, these hot, hot, hot! peppers!
This week's inchie is "violet." I saw that another artist chose a perfect little violet  from her house and this is mine. It's a houseplant I acquired with my house and it likes to be outside, surviving through the heat of an Arizona summer. Every part of it is purple. I found a seed company calling it "Purple Heart," while the botanical name is Tradescantia pallida. What a mouthful for a tiny little flower:
OK, those weren't so hard, right?! Well, then there's the twinchies. I went a little farther afield with these. Last week was "pumpkin." Follow me here...there's pumpkin and then there's...
Oh, boy! That's a stretch, huh?! 
This week it's "fire." Right this minute I think a cozy blanket, coffee, a good book and some logs burning in a fireplace would make a great combination (We're having a bit of a chill here in AZ today and I'll be dipped if I turn on the heat!). But that's not what my teenie art brain had in mind at all. I've had onomatopoeia on my mind (that'll be my next post...but I'm getting ahead of myself), so this roughly translated into:
I think gets me all caught up on these things. Until next week....
Check out all the inchie ladies; they are a diverse crew with talents that spread the galaxy. Beads, thread, paper, paint, oh, my!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Creepy Crawlie

This week's It's a String Thing was to use a string that looks like candy corn and a particular set of patterns that spell out C-O-R-N. Well, I got right to it! I mean, who doesn't like candy corn? As I was drawing, it got a creepy look to it and when the 'NZeppel went in (WHAT in the WORLD is an 'NZeppel anyway?!), I knew I wasn't going to be done without a spider. Over to the free stuff at and lo! and behold!
Creepy crawliness like this:
I'll have to revisit the pattern selection another time, when it's not Spooktember, and try some of the other tangles that are on the list but I pass by. Until then: BOO!
Try your own hand at the String Thing and be sure to check all the fun choices next week after Adele collects the responses. It's amazing what all those tangly people do!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Betwixt and Betweed Challenge

The challenge from the Diva this week is to just use the pattern "B'tweed." Immediately I figured it would be a zendala on a bar coaster. I'm itching to drop random acts of bar coasters, but only have a few so far. I'm fairly certain that bar coasters and Zen don't really mix, philosophically speaking, but I like working in the round.
The examples of official Zentangles for b'tweed all show the pebbly 'tipple' pattern, so even though this is supposed to be a monotangle, I've included some orbs. Actually, a lot of little bubbles.

The mandala is to be for focus and the object of the designs is to return focus to the center; I think this succeeds in that manner. I look forward to dropping this one into the environment and to see where it goes!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Now, Run!

This week at Tickled to Tangle, Adele is up to IAST 63. The objective this week was to play with a group of "Q" patterns and string 066. Until now, I've not touched a pattern that starts with the letter 'q,' so this was all new to me, although the one which looks like ribbons could have been taken right out of my science notebooks in high school. (Doodles, anyone? It's supposed to help with concentration and I'm sure that's what I was doing!) This combination quickly filled up 8 pages, and not all are fit for human consumption. Here are the ones I deem worthy of publishing:

I bought these really loud running shoes the other day and I was going to fill in the rest--besides fuchsia laces, the shoes themselves are neon yellow with an N'zeppel pattern, but I didn't want to disturb Sleeping Man to get them when I was drawing this, so it's just the ties. 

And while it's still October and pink ribbons everywhere, I doodled more ribbons. Then I looked at the string differently and saw some really big buttons!

This last one has nothing to do with the other three, but while I was learning some new patterns and searching, I just arbitrarily selected a string, 128 by Margaret Bremner and found a fun pattern called Bridgen by Daved Levitan to work with. Add some Hypnotiq style auras and Black Perlz... Until the challlenges for this week start up again tomorrow! 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Shadow Play

The Inchie and Twinchie challenges this week came together kind of simultaneously. The EIM for the week was umbra, which after careful research I learned has to do with eclipses and refers to the deepest, darkest shadow created by the planets. To the best of my thinking, that would be pretty black, right? I went in search of magazine pages with black, which are hard to come by (printers hate all black as it uses all four colors of ink and a lot of it). But, I found a square inch and went old school. Not the most creative angle, but....

And then I was going to draw some leaves for the Twinchie, because everything is so GREEN (which is highly unusual here in the desert southwest any time of year!) when I realized that the olive trees were casting these really cool shadows onto my sketchbook, so I took a photo, instead. (and it kind of shows up behind my inchie image, too)

Is that bizarre, or what?

We did have an eclipse, a 40 percent solar eclipse, yesterday, but I couldn't tell. We certainly wouldn't see an umbra from here, anyway! Be sure to check out the creative ladies at EIM. I'm really glad that next week's inchie is 'vegetable.' I know what that is!

I Could Have Been Lost!

This past week I was invited out for a Girl's Day. Some shopping and some vino were the order of the day, plus some errands as I was going into the Really Big City. The first thing I did was check Google Maps to see where I was going as I was the designated driver. I like maps, real maps, to get a feel for directions, rather than relying on GPS. I plugged in the address of where we were headed and zoomed in to get the cross streets. The resulting paper had very little information on it, and the streets illegible, but it was useful to doodle on! (NOTHING is safe anymore!) The highways made a fine string to draw actual highways. HA!

Imagine, if you will, that I live one square over and four square up and my target was nestled in the middle of the Printemps pattern. BTW, I got around town without a hitch, all the errands knocked off the list, some shopping accomplished and the ladies did a fine job of 'lunching.'

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Breast Cancer Awareness Zentangle

The Diva Challenge this week was to honor the memory of the Diva's grandmother or others affected by breast cancer. The aura of Breast Cancer has hung around me since I was in college. I've had a couple scares and been through some surgeries that, thankfully, only found benign masses. One, the size of a golf ball, was particularly scary, painful and full of anxiety for way too long. My mom and my daughter have had similar situations.
But that compares none to having cancer of any sort. It doesn't run in my family (although, there are a host of other choices that afflict us: diabetes, heart conditions, MS...), but I've had to become vigilant because of my particular medical history. And I can't eat chocolate. But, I digress.
My siren call is: I avoid mammograms and I believe they are onerous. Every time, I have to also have ultrasounds and believe everyone should skip the mammos and go straight to this method. They are less painful and more reliable. And cheaper, about ten percent of the 'cost' of mammos here in the States. (And while I'm at it, a big kudos to the folks at John C Lincoln for fabulous care and talents!)
OK, that's my story. Now, here's my drawing (I just happened to be at Arizona Art Supply yesterday and I was able to pick up some pink Sakura pens. Woohoo! An excuse to buy more art stuff! I don't get there often, but I like to support the local, independent art community):

I was going with a floral theme initially as I believe I'd rather have flowers now than when I'm gone, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. It kind of got lost while I was doodling, but the thought is still there.
Everybody should be mindful of the potential for breast cancer, men as well as women. And everybody should have a boobie buddy. Isn't that more fun, anyway?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Yuma V2

I didn't want to be accused of cheesing out and using one response for two different challenges this week, thus I revisited Yuma and Uncorked again. Yuma was on my mind early this morning as I wanted to try my hand at a more straightforward approach to the tangle. (At 1AM MST I really could be doing other things!) Here's a much more traditional ZIA for the Diva Challenge:

Be sure to see what all the other tangly people did with Yuma, starting with the Diva herself! And thanks so much for all the wonderful comments on my first attempt. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Teenie Challenges

The Inchie challenge this week was a toughie. It took some time to work my teenie brain around "ungual." Go ahead, look it up.
Now, wasn't that fun? I knew there were unguates, but not the particulars of the trait.
I was going to go with a picture of my very own toes, but I'm in between mani-pedis. (Yeah, right!). Then I was going to go with a horseshoe. A horse is an unguant by definition and to be a functional animal, he needs shoes. So, I Googled horseshoes and I had to go with this, as I am, by definition, a photographer:

That's Horseshoe Bend, Page, Arizona. Beautiful spot and it should be on anyone's list of to-dos here in the States. The Colorado River winds around that massive rock structure and will bypass it all together in, oh, about 10,000 years.

Then over at the mostly defunct Twinchie challenge, the word to work with was "quotes."  Here's two:

Check out what all the ladies are doing at Every Inchie Monday, as for some reason, it's an all Girl's club. Multi-talented all and from all over the planet. I applaud their efforts from my little corner of Arizona.