Thursday, April 18, 2019

Square grid reticulae, and then some

There are so, so, many, many tangles based on a simple square grid. This is a wonderful way to begin because it gives a basic structure to work within, even beyond the string lines. To change it a bit, there are interesting things you can do to a square grid that give it a different character, and make it less recognizable as a grid.

Idea #1 - CURVY
One possibility is to leave the straight lines behind and do the grid with curvy lines. Here are some examples.
Tangles: Cubine, Eye-Wa, Florz, Juke
Tangles: Beadlines, Jemz, Knightsbridge, Pearlz
Fragments: A3, and the 'Lisbon fragment'
Idea #2 - SHAVED
Shave off alternating sides of the squares, like this:

Here's a tile with four examples. Sometimes it looks like tightly woven bands - like W2 without the black square 'holes'.
I like to fill in the strips so the intersections of the original grid are not obvious. That means black, or something with a black background. Here's an example of a grid with curvy lines, and solid black with Pearlz filling the shaved areas.
You can add detail to the shaved-off slices (as above), or the remains of the square, or even both.

Another way to add variety and interest to a square grid is to vary the width of the stripes. Alternate a wide stripe with a narrow stripe, gradually change the widths, or be random.
Irregular Beelight, Florz, and something I made up, I think.
Irregular Flukes, Zonked in the corners.
There is a grid with offset large and small squares. It definitely takes some concentration to set up, but it's not too difficult and it's fun to work with. I used it in the tail of the peacock here.
Check out BrixBox from Anneke van Dam. Anneke's steps for setting up this grid pattern are well done and rather than reinventing the wheel I'll let you go to her blog to see it, as well as some lovely examples of ways to fill this grid pattern.
Tangles: Cubine, Knightsbridge, Zewm
Have fun!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Blind strings & tangles as strings

BLIND STRING: I often like to do what I call a 'blind string' - a string drawn with my eyes closed. It gives me some interesting and unexpected sections to work with. A challenge! Usually, once I open my eyes I'll add a few more pencil lines to complete sections.

TANGLE AS STRING: We tend to think of a tangle or fragment in only that context, but that design can also be used larger, as a string. You can see my post about using fragments as strings here.

All of the tiles in this post begin with a blind string based on a tangle.

I started with a string of Apacore, then added other tangles. And more apple seeds.
Tangles: Double Double, Fife, and Pearlz with an Apacore string.
Cirqital is easy to identify, even with the addition of all the other tangles.
Tangles: Pearlz, Seljuk, and Zonked in a Cirqital string
This time it's Icantoo (which may be hard to identify in this finished tile!), to which I added smaller Icantoos.
Tangles: Icantoo, Pearlz, Tipple
Here are two where I remembered to take a picture of the string before I tangled it. (Yay me!) First, MySwing as the string, and second using Mooka.
Tangles: Bunzo, CrescentMoon, Gewgle, and Pearlz on a MySwing string

Choose a tangle, close your eyes, and be bold!

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Double Double - a new tangle!

Tangles: Double Double, Fassett, Pearlz, Tipple
With Sue Jacob's brilliant tri-shape string.
There's a quilt pattern called Double Wedding Rings with a single layer of rings - essentially the front set of rings in this tangle. But I chose the name because of coffee and being Canadian. The Urban Dictionary describes Double Double as "A Canadian term used to describe how you take your coffee - two teaspoons of sugar and two creams." Depending on the size of the cup I may even go triple triple!

Here is the tangle all by itself. As with several other tangles the gray tone is rather important.

Like most square grid tangles this one is based on a simple 'fragment'.

As a fairly regular pattern it can be used to good effect in the background.
Tangles: Double Double, Fassett 
Of course, any square grid can be curved, and here's Double Double in a very curvy space.
Tangles: Double Double, Paizel, Pearlz, Tipple

Make yourself a cup of coffee (however you enjoy it) and give Double Double a try. Or two.
(I hate to support Amazon but if you
really want this mug you can buy it there.)
BTW: It's getting harder and harder to keep track of tangles and names. If this pattern has been presented elsewhere, or if the name has been used already, please let me know!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

7-circuit labyrinth

During the decade-plus that I focused on mandalas, one thing I investigated was labyrinths. So, of course, one page in my Book had to be a labyrinth. I chose a 7-circuit one as they are simple to construct and way easier to skew to fit a space than the Chartres variety!

I had done two pages intended to be cling-wrap patterns, but this paper doesn't seem to like that idea at all! I had two rather unappealing pages so I decided to use them for subject matter I want to include.

This is the beginning wash with the penciled lines of a labyrinth.

I expanded the labyrinth design to fill a wider space, and to work with some of the lines in the wash. Then I outlined it in copper ink.

I drew the dividing lines of the labyrinth and tangled the background.

A few more details, and shading with various colors of pencil, and here is the finished page.
If you're interested in labyrinths I've done a couple of other posts about them here and here.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Cubine and Fassett: peeking through

Cubine and Fassett are two tangles that appear to offer a hole, passage, or window.
  • Cubine is an 'official' tangle, from Zentangle. Step-outs are here.
  • Fassett is a tangle form Lynn Mead, CZT. Step-outs are here.
Each of these got a page in my Book.
I began this page with a large Chebucto across the page, then continued with Cubine elsewhere.
Originally I had thought to do some triangle-based tangles in some sections,
but I realized that it would detract from the effect of the tangle.
These 'holes' offer an opportunity to peek through at something on the other side. The windows need to be large enough to house another tangle (or whatever).

Here's a simple example of Cubine, looking at stars. I've given each square a two-sided 'front'; I think this gives the squares a little more substance.
Here's an example using a variety of shapes (suggested by my string) and sort-of-Hollibaugh through the holes.
And here's a tile I just finished with overlapping Cubine, and Morse running through and behind.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Mongolian roofs

My husband and I spent a year living on the southern edge of the Gobi desert in Inner Mongolia in China. I enjoyed the chance to get to know Mongolian culture and fell in love with the roofs!

Traditional Mongolian nomadic houses are called gers (yurt is a Russian word). They are round, made of thick felt, with domed roofs, no windows, and a large wooden door and frame. The roofs (also felt) are often decorated in blue and white, reminiscent of the clouds and huge sky of the Mongolian grasslands.
A small ger.
While we lived there I came up with some designs closely based on what I was seeing around me. Here are some colored pencil drawings I did when we were in China.

As a memory of that part of my life I did a Mongolian roof in my Book. It's a real challenge for me to leave everything so very simple! I always want to do more embellishing. I used gold ink in the central circle and one of the perimeter rings, and attempted to simulate grass by using a scribble technique in green.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

For now

I have a short but complicated history with the phrase "for now".

Having inherited a four-level house and all its contents, plus things from another household - and we already had our own household! - we're constantly trying to decrease the amount of Stuff we have and I eventually became very irritated by how often I heard myself say "for now".
"We'll keep it for now."
"Let's leave it there for now."
"Put it downstairs for now."
"Leave it upstairs for now."
"It can go in the garage for now."
It seemed we weren't making any decisions and were keeping all the Stuff! It made me very cranky.

Then one day it struck me that everything is 'for now'. Nothing is forever. Everything changes. And that's fine. The phrase now reminds me of the impermanence of things. And that's good.

Because of its importance to me, I did a page in my Book with the phrase, using a stencil for the letters.
It's kind of the same philosophy as "This, too, shall pass." I think I'll do that phrase on another page.