Thursday, September 29, 2016

You Can't Take it With You

This past weekend was a birthday celebration, even if we started celebrating it as soon as the calendar flipped to September. There may have been some wine involved, as well as pizza and some Chinese take-out and popcorn and....I got a "free" chocolate chip cookie--one of those humongous skillet things with ice cream and fudge sauce--but I didn't have to worry about it going to waste as my kids plowed through it for me (I don't do chocolate, long story...).

I did laundry and yoga in equal measure. Painted my fingernails with a pink sparkle polish that makes me smile. I had to take care of some internet business with Yahoo! having some difficulties.  I didn't have to cook much, but for some reason there were still plenty of dishes to clean. My daughter gave me flowers and a chance to paint some more and my son gave me a chance to buy some new clothes. The love of my life bestowed upon me all of his abilities--and he has many--as we work on the on-going home improvements. The spa doesn't look so hot, but it is fully operational. That's hot!

I slept, I ate, I played. And I am blessed. Truly, what more could I ask for?

 A new mind set.

I am determined not to become one of those hoarder cat ladies and I'm on a tear to get rid of "stuff" I'm just hanging on to. If it doesn't make me happy, out it goes! (Goodwill and others are reaping the benefits. Can't just throw it away, right?)

I had a very nice briefcase. Black alligator. Stylish. And totally useless. I could get a notebook in it, a pencil or two and NOTHING ELSE! Out it went! I have to wonder if anyone can make use of it.

Which brings me to the EIM word for the week: briefcase. Anyone ever make use of the Windows program?

Me, neither.

I think I did better with the Zentangly things.

The Diva, to use only straight lines:

Straighten Up

And the IAST:

Catch a Rising Star

That's what I have to offer this week. Thanks for stopping by.
Have a brilliant day!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

To Infinity and Beyond!

Since Life as we know it can be weird and coincidental, it really was no surprise that the EIM and the 2X2 had similar themes this week. For the TwobyTwo, the word was "Astronomy."
Since life gets really weird sometimes, I recently received some mail that fit perfectly. 

We're particularly fond of Pluto, even if it was downgraded from full planet status; it was at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff that Pluto's existence was first revealed in 1930. Last year, the New Horizon satellite took close-ups of Pluto before leaving the Solar System and the observatory was in celebration mode all year. (The plastic bead is meant to represent the satellite. Do you think that works? I'm not so sure and haven't committed to it yet!)

The stamp arrived on mail last week for a different celebration. According to my dad's calculations, I'm going to be 37. I could live with that!

Over at the EIM, the word is "Infinity." I had nowhere else to go with this one. I pasted Buzz on a photo of the M33, the Triangulum Galaxy. If you're a geek like me, APOD is one of my favorite blogs, care of NASA, from whence I found the galaxy photograph.

Over at the Diva, the challenge was to step back, relax and just do the tangle. I stepped into the zone slowly. I gathered some "real" art supplies for a change (Faber Castell Pitt Manga markers and Strathmore paper instead of my usual journal and Sharpies), as part of the intent of Zentangle is to honor the method as well as the materials; to place value on the process and the result.
To experience unmitigated JOY!
I said some prayers to Rick and Maria, the founders of all things Zentangle and to Laura, the Diva herself. You know? To instill a feeling of gratefulness. I added Jean next to my list as she was the first CZT I found on-line and how I found the Diva and the EIM. Naturally, I then prayed for Trillian, the leader of the EIM and the entire pack that tackles teenie artworks on a weekly basis. Then back to all the creatives I've met through Laura.

Oh! My heart is full to overflowing!

I poured a cuppa, cleared my desk and was instantly derailed by the antique cuckoo clock that was recently resurrected. The ticking drives me BATTY! (I won't start about the midnight cuckoos)! 
Deep breath. 
I asked the Universe for healing that comes with FOCUS. 
I drew the most complicated string I've ever done because that's the way it wanted to be and the tangles filled the spaces and the world slipped away for just ever so long. 

Then I reproduced that string and did it the old-fashioned way, for me anyway. Just me and my Sharpie (two, actually, as one was destined for the great Dustbin in the Sky).

I drew it in this orientation:

But, when I was done I rotated it and much prefer this direction:

I "do" this with "Knightsbridge"--checkerboard in Zentanglese-- often JFF*, but this was the first time I restrained myself from filling in EVERY. LAST. CORNER.

It had reached its "enough-ness." 

Since you were so kind to stop by, I've posted the string in all its glory on the G2H page. Should you decide to use it, show me your handiwork--I'd love to see it!-- and be so kind to link it back to the page where you found it. 

Thank you for visiting. I hope you have a brilliant day! 

* Just for Fun

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Up in the Sky

In a funny little vignette where life met art this week, a clerk at Wal-Mart asked me, "What is UP?" Among the choices he offered were the ceiling and the sky. My response was, "Superman."
His reaction and that of my son (who I'm sure was wishing he was anywhere else than in my company at that moment) was, in unison, "Okaaaaaay."

I had already posted my photograph for the EIM--and thanks to all who ventured to my Flickr to see what I did earlier this week!--and was working on some other ideas. There are many ideas for "sky," aren't there?

Look! Up in the sky! It's Superman!
I also have the photo I took, one of the Aurora Borealis that I didn't, and a little drawing of trees at sunrise. I have only seen the Aurora once from my home in Massachusetts when it was particularly active, but it wasn't very photogenic. It still was a sight to see.

When I was in college, I would make these drawings of little trees and color in a very delicate sky.  I forgot all about them until I started thinking about ideas for "sky." I don't have any to show you, but I made this new one. I sold a few once upon a time; they must be worth millions by now.

All right, moving right along....

For the Diva, it was a monotangle of Tripoli. I feel about Tripoli the way I do about purple and petunias and purple petunias. If you dropped by last week, you know all about that. So, I attempted to make amends with all of that all at once.

Then I made this sampler. I keep this journal page as a reference.

For the IAST, I also drew two; one traditional, one not-so-much.

That is Faber Castell sepia pens on a light tan Canson paper with purple and lilac Crayola pencils. While you know by now that I generally stay away from purple, it is THE color to go to when working with brown. Something magical happens between those two colours. (Same thing applies to violet eye shadow or mascara and brown eyes. You'll see. If that is too far outside your comfort zone, try navy blue).

Thanks for stopping by and seeing what I've been up to. Follow the links to check out all the other talented artists who follow these challenge blogs. Or try your own hand in it!

And before you go, one last "sky:"

Maybe all your sunrises be Tequila sunny!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Of Petunias and Mice and Things

I have a funny story about a boatload of purple petunias and ex-in-laws. I just never really found it funny.

When they were planning a visit, my ex informed me his mother really loved purple petunias. As we were spiffing up the place, I potted up tons of them to decorate the porch and the patios. She had no idea what they were, was not much impressed by the flowers or the effort and barely spent any time outside enjoying the gardens.

You may really like purple or petunias, but I fall squarely into the camp that finds purple overwhelming and petunias a lot of trouble.

And all that applies to certain people, too.

All of which came to mind when "petunia" popped up for the word at EIM:

This week, it's "Mice."

The word for the week at the 2 x 2 is "jewel." The toughest part of this black-on-black drawing  of a scarab beetle was making it all show up.

I kept the black paper out for the Diva this week, a focus on "Centre Square."

That's fluorescent gel pen with free-form squares.

And finally posting last week's:

That's coffee splotched on there.

I did last week's IAST, too:

The combination of "Fengle" and "Shattuck" naturally lent itself to a starfish and sealife. I was transported to Dunedin, Florida; a glorious trip to the Gulf Coast a few years ago and watching the sunset from the seashell strewn beach.

For this week, it was a hurricane for inspiration. While my relatives were battling what was left of Hermine, we had Newton. And aftershocks from an earthquake. And a fire. Nothing major,  mind you, but it was getting a little too exciting there for a bit.

Speaking of excitement, this was drawn while waiting in the ER with my daughter for test results. It appears she is the epitome of good health except for some stress-related symptoms. We think she'll be better when she stops eating In-and-Out burgers at 2 AM. (Or, as we found ourselves at Denny's afterwards for Grand Slam breakfasts in the wee hours. It was good. But we are tired).

 Lastly, as I had threatened previously, the finished poem to water for that 2 x 2:

There's a joke in our household about arroyos or desert streams. New River is so new they forgot the water! Arroyos are dry river beds until it rains (And then, watch out!). So, I just HAD to add the "just add water" part. Along with glitter, fabric paint and an antique rhinestone. I can't say if it's an improvement or not; I sure used a bunch of different materials.

Thanks for visiting. I hope you enjoy what I share with you. Please take a moment to check out the other artists that tackle these challenges and perhaps? Try your hand at drawing, collage, zentangle or whatever intrigues you. Especially the TwobyTwobyTuesday! Next time it's "astronomy."

While you ponder the stars (or next year's total eclipse of the sun here in the States!), I wish you the "just right" amount of excitement and a brilliant day! c