Tuesday, April 28, 2015

This is NOT a Maze

My most gracious thanks go out to you all who dropped by this past week. Those who left comments, did so delightfully. I'm am grateful that you spent the time to visit with me and I am humbled that what I said resonated with so many and how I said it was deeply appreciated.
I savor those thoughts.
I guess I've raised the bar to that which I must achieve. Forgive me if occasionally I just walk under it.
Hopefully today is not one of those days.
I got my creative juices going by checking in at EIM. The word of the week is "shell," (and there's this crazy coincidence with my research for "Royal"). I drew a zinchie, my official response, then I went on to drawing a twinchie using the pattern, "Sanibelle."

Zinchies--I'm up to 111!
Undersea 2.0
I thought I'd try using some sea shell stickers I have laying about, but they were much too big for an inchie. So i gathered some magazine elements and a shell sticker for a different twinchie:

Ce n'est pas un coquillage
This is not a sea shell
I felt I was channeling Rene Magritte just ever so much and then I got lost looking at some of his work, some serious paintings in the surrealist manner....In that vein, "This is not a seashell," just a representation of one. It can't be a seashell if it's hanging on my refrigerator!

Since I was working this through on Sunday in anticipation of EIM, I was amused when the Diva put forth a challenge for a labyrinth on Monday.

This is not a maze. (We did those at Twobytwo, silly. That is soooo last week).

There's a labyrinth not far from here. Every once in a while I think I'll go and actually "do" it. It sits all nicely groomed, like a zen garden and the path is marked with rocks. The thing of it is, it sits about 50 feet/15 meters, if that, from the road. There's traffic buzzing by at 50 mph/80 kmh.
I can't figure where to park my car.
I never stop. I hardly slow down. (Metaphor for life, yes?)
So, I wanted to channel the concept, to be mindful of the process, to slow down and "be" in the labyrinth.

It was an admirable attempt, and certainly deserves another try. I managed to focus and pay attention to what I was doing, working from the outside in and back out again. That's something!

Meanwhile, my to-do list expanded to include the It's New to Me challenge, since the letter of the week is D and I found the pattern DL Labyrinth that I must try out. Plus, (shameless self-promotion alert!) I have to get back to working on "Royal." Please join in on the fun, won't you?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Take Care of Amanda

It's Earth Day 2015.

I've been working on an article on compost in my head for a long while. (It's been a longer while since I've been a journalist and what's worse, I have no set deadline). I have been applauded or accused of being a compost queen for years. Since moving to Arizona, I have moved my compost heaps three times (Try explaining THAT to a mover!). I currently have two bins and a heap of leaves just piled up.
I think it's the easiest thing on the planet to do to help take care of it. But that's just me. I'm crazy like that.

There's a song from Genesis called "Land of Confusion." Written by guitarist Mike Rutherford, the chorus is hard not to associate with today:

This is the world we live in
And these are the hands we're given
Use them and let's start trying
To make it a place worth living in.

If you have a spare five minutes, check out the video. It's cold war era and the puppets are kind of creepy. I had to go to the Wikipedia page to figure out all the allusions and all those characters.

I took the Earth Day Footprint Quiz. I failed miserably, but it was assuming things such as my commute would be by car, instead of taking public/mass transportation (while I commute by fuzzy slippers to my desk. Besides, I'm "out there," so to speak) and it doesn't take into account that I'm growing enough citrus for about thirty people, thus adding back into the global footprint. It does say quite clearly that as Americans we enjoy a lot of benefits that a far majority do not, such as clean water and we have electricity available 24/7. It gives me pause.

I've also been following the Reduce Footprints blog. Every Wednesday there's a new challenge to do just that. This month has been about caring for the soil, right up my alley.

A different way to take care of Mother Earth is to promote her care. And that's where Amanda comes in. You can read that explanation on the Diva's challenge this week.

(I've always wondered why our moon doesn't have a cool name like all the other planets moons..It's just a moon. If the earth can be called Amanda...).
Whole World in His Hand
(on recycled paperboard, natch)
That didn't turn out quite as I imagined, but I thought I got my left hand pretty good, including my knobby, arthritic thumb.
I was without my computer all weekend (GASP!), but I did have my phone where I saw a new string on Tanglepatterns.com. Had to do this one:

Flower Fell on the Ground
I wanted to try my hand at Man-O-Man, but the scale was all wrong for this. So I went with only one tile on the tile, instead of the mosaic pattern.
I also tackled the EIM on recycled paper. The word this week is "octopus."

In an Octopus' Garden
Sing along now!
And lest you think I've been forgetting to do my zinchies...!

Recycled printer paper & paperboard

Notice I worked on those pesky triangly patterns, and I think I got them pretty well squared away (Triangles squared!? HA!). I still have the zinchies just in a box. I sooooo need to organize them somehow!

I thank all of you who have interacted with me through this blog. I appreciate all the comments and I attempt to respond to each and every one (sometimes it takes me a bit, but I think I'm all caught up!). And I REALLY appreciate the intrepid artists who are tackling or are interested in my own art challenge blog, Two by Two.  Be sure to check out the amazing artwork on all of these blogs and entertain the notion to try them yourself.

Meanwhile, I'll be working on IAST 89, a fitting tribute to the Queen....

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Well that's just Peachy!

It's kind of cool here today. Tied a record of 89 two days ago; now it's barely 70. If you're on the coast, that would be splendid weather. However, here in Arizona, it's chilly. Mind you,  my blood thinned out years ago, so at 60 I require a hat and mittens. And coffee. (What a great idea!)
I'm moving slowly getting into various art challenges...had to perform the mental gymnastics required to file our annual income taxes. I wish it were more, "This is how much you earned. This is how much you owe." But it's not. 
Tedium thus reigns supreme. 
First up, EIM. The word of the week is "gecko." You just had to know where I was going with this one! (My apologies to friends outside of the United States who may not be familiar with Nigel. He's the official spokesman for GEICO, aka the Government Employees Insurance Company. I'm not sure why an Australian lizard markets American insurance, but there you have it). 

The next thing I worked on was IAST. It was all about 8 and 88. I finally cracked a Canson drawing pad in light grey. I thought I might be able to use a white gel pen, but I was mistaken; the paper is too light-colored for that. 

I do like the paper, however; it's a nice, dense weight at 250g and a lovely neutral grey.
Then I broke out a new Sharpie (yay!) for the Diva, same paper. I just used a circle stencil, which ended up looking like little fireflies floating around.

In between all these things, I've been dealing with the delivery of a large package that arrived looking like an elephant sat on it. I can't believe the shippers just dropped it and ran, other than I'm sure they didn't want to incur my wrath firsthand. Which may have something to do with what I've created so far for TwobyTwo:

(When people ask me how I am, my usual response is, "Peachy." My reasoning is I'm warm and fuzzy, right? In this context, "peachy" means something quite the opposite). 
I was also trying to channel my inner Georgia O'Keefe and chose to create a digital rendition of a Sonya rose, my favorites (it's peach color, of course).

Thanks to you who have come to visit; I appreciate you taking the time. Thanks to the talented individuals who have spent their time and energies creating patterns and putting forth the call for art. You all keep me sane! 

Thursday, April 9, 2015


Rattling through some challenges today, not doing too much else (laundry, weeding..nothing much! A lot of laundry.). To get going with the Diva's, I started with some zinchies to get some patterns and some brain power going:

Then I felt comfortable going forth with the challenge to use "Fanz." I can't decide which end is up, so I've kept it how I drew it in my journal, but I think it could work any which way.

I kind of like it; I haven't drawn many "traditional" Zentangles lately so I feel out of practice. The string was very twisted up, so I'm surprised there's any semblance of order in it.

Then it was off to the String Thing challenge for the week. I kind of just dove right in, but I turned my string 45 degrees, then ended up turning the whole thing upside-down:

I also added to my zinchie collection by way of some other challenges. The Knyt pattern goes along with EIM. And the quilt patterns go along with It's New to Me. (I'm going to have to sign up for Pinterest just to access Suzi's great pattern boards. Wah!). 
And as promised, I put together a collage for the TwobyTwo:

Have an A-mazing week! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Simply A-Maze-Ing

Over the weekend I worked on some challenge pieces. The first one was for last week's IAST 86. Adele Bruno created an egg-shaped string which I drew on a bar coaster. I drew some other lines which made it more global. I realized that a couple of the patterns for the challenge were more complex than I originally thought, so I tackled them with zinchies (En guard! Take that!). See the "Well" patterns below and perhaps you'll see what I mean.
Well, they look complicated.
Then I went back to my coaster and this is what happened to my Easter egg:

And that was BEFORE I put something cold and refreshing on the coaster. (Actually, I'm not going to be using it; I'll throw it back into the wild and see if anyone catches it).

The inchie for the week is "knitting." I've been trying to knit a scarf for my daughter for about a year. It's a lovely yarn and a simple enough pattern, but it requires circular needles and starting with only three stitches! Talk about twisted up! So, i went and knit an inch using a deep ocean blue:

Purl, Actually
My official response to the Two by Two challenge this time is mostly just the pattern, "Amaze." I hope to play with scissors and paste later and try a collage, but for now:

And here's a batch of Zinchies:

Go ahead, try those "Well" patterns and tell me how that worked out for you. Even better, try "Myko." Deceptively simple, it's simply devious. When you try more than one, it gets VERY interesting!
Thank you for stopping by and for all your kindnesses. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

In Flux

I'm tired.
A quick trip to Las Vegas will do it every time. New York may be the city that never sleeps, but Vegas, baby, really does not want you to. Ever. You never know what time of day it is and even so, the Strip doesn't wake up until I'm ready for some shut-eye. It was perfect weather for a road trip in the convertible, sit by the pool with some frosty adult beverages and generally not feel guilty about chores at home not being done.
Still, I squeezed in a couple challenges. The word for the week at Every Inchie Monday is "oak." I recalled that there was a tangle that had to do with oak and a String Thing challenge that I had drawn. A quick review of that brought me to "Oke," my EIM response and the rest of this weeks zinchies:

A lot of these patterns are new ones I found on Tanglepatterns.com, The oddball here is a pattern from the new Victoria's Secret Sport catalog that I reproduced. (If you know me, I have a hate-hate relationship with triangly patterns, so that unto itself was a personal challenge of sorts). If you pick up the magazine, you'll see some interesting tangling in the wild, so to speak. 
The other challenge I've tackled so far this week is the Diva's. Laura requested we give the pattern "Flux" a workout. I may be squarely in good company preferring one way of drawing it over another, but I started with a bar coaster for Rolling Rock beer. The reverse side asks to Show the world--#HowWeRoll and "CREATE SOMETHING." So, I did! 

Be sure to ROLL over to all the wicked talent at these art challenge sites. I'll be headed that way soon. And thanks so much for taking the time to check out my responses. I know your time is valuable; that you chose to spend some of that on me is incredible.