Sunday, April 20, 2014

Retreat to Paradise

I apologize, my posts have been a little sparse recently. March was a brain fog month and things that needed planning weren't gelling. I've been preoccupied with planning and now travelling.

Some time ago I was contacted by Jo-Ellen Mathews in Florida who had noticed that, in the class information on my blog, I wrote, “I’m willing to travel.” She wanted to know how far!

She invited me to give a day-long workshop at the Retreat to Paradise art and zentangle event in early April. She asked if I would focus on zentangle-inspired mandalas - two of my big loves, so that would be no problem. Of course I said “Yes!”
Travelling from snowy and blowy Saskatoon I was delighted by the southern veranda look of the white rocking chairs in parts of the Charlotte airport, and the bird-of-paradise carpets at the Melbourne airport. This part of Florida in April... truly paradise.
I was also thrilled with the view from my 3rd floor balcony. I left the door open slightly overnight so I could
hear the surf crashing. It was wonderful!
On Saturday I was to do three zentangle-inspired mandala projects with 26 wonderful and enthusiastic people. However, because of issues with humidity and drying time, we moved a watercolor preparation session for the Sunday class to Saturday, and I completed my session on Sunday.
My view from the instructors' desk. Yes, there were chocolates!
In my classes we started with a small, freehand mandala on a square tile (3.5"), then did a looped-string lotus (or star) on a zendala tile (4.5"), and finally a cut paper stencil mandala design (11"), progressing from small to larger and from directed to mostly free-choice.
On the left is our first project. This is Alice Hendon's re-do at home to see if she could remember how to do the middle. In the centre are many of the looped-string lotuses in which people were free to use color if they chose. And on the right is Holly Williams' completed cut-paper stencil mandala. All fabulous!
Teachers plus:
Meredith Yuhas, PhD and CZT taught on Friday and showed everyone how to draw a tangled garden and a tangled underwater scene.
Cherryl Moote, CZT and paper-worker extraordinaire, taught mainly on Sunday. She makes books and does origami and helped us make two books to tangle in.
Myself and Jo-Ellen Matthews, CZT, the very friendly, very organized, and very energetic planner of the event.
Teachers and organizers with the paparazzi. :)  I felt like a celebrity!
One of the little projects we did was to tangle a clam shell. Here's mine.
One evening we were treated to an wonderful concert by Holly Williams (who was attending the weekend) and her husband Tim Macomber. They play the hammered dulcimer and electric mandolin, respectively. The Celtic music was both lively and ethereal. You can hear a little of their music here. Yes, I bought a CD. I'll play it sometimes during my zentangle classes.
Jo-Ellen and her husband volunteer with the local sea turtle rescue group and
we artists tangled a surf board to be auctioned at a fund-raising event.

This seems to be a year for travel for me! At the end of April I'll be in Maine at Tangle U doing a three-hour session on Sacred Geometry and an hour of Hollibaugh on Steroids. In mid-June I'll be going to the 14th CZT training seminar in Rhode Island to do an evening about mandalas. My husband and I have planned an Alaska cruise in August, and will perhaps visit somewhere else in December. It's wonderful!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Faking a leaky pen

I while ago I had my first encounter with a leaky Micron pen. It turned out rather well (see this post) and I wanted to do more in that vein, but I had trouble making the pen leak adequately for my needs. :)

I have some Staedtler Calligraph Duo pens which have both a broad and a narrow end, and found that I could use this calligraphy pen in a rather sloppy manner and get a very similar effect to the leaky pen.

Below, you can see the heavier black of the calligraphy pen, mainly around the edges. The 'messy' marks are an interesting counterpoint to the delicacy of zentangle tangles.
Tangles thus far: Dex, Dust Bunny, Florz, Flukes,
Knightsbridge, Palrevo, Pearlz, Printemps, Zewm

Here is a lotus on a zendala tile. The 'fake leaky pen' work is mainly in the background behind the petals. I've 'neatened up' quite a few of the rough edges.
"Lotus Spin" (c) Margaret Bremner 2014
Tangles: Pearlz, Shattuck, Tortuca variation, Unyun

I also have a red pen of the same sort so I tried that too. I quite like this little piece and called it "Red Square".  :)  I mounted it on canvas, painted the border and sides red, and it found a new home at a recent exhibition.
"Red Square" (c) Margaret Bremner 2014
Tangles: Black Pearlz, Diva Dance, Finery, Flukes, Lamar,
Pearlz, Printemps, Shattuck, Tagh, Zewm

The Staedtler pens also come in blue and green, so I may have more fun in store!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Tangled icosahedrons

I've been away for a bit. I was invited to teach a day of zentangle and mandalas at the three-day Retreat to Paradise in Florida. I went a few days early and thoroughly enjoyed the beach, the warm weather, all meals prepared, and the sound of the surf pounding outside my balcony door! I arrived home Monday at 10 p.m. and Tuesday evening a little group gathered to finish our tangled icosahedrons.

An icosahedron is a 20-sided shape. Four of us got together to make some. We had a good start the first evening and decided we'd finish tangling them at home and come together again to fold them and glue them together. One person decided to cut out the shape first and work on the back of the template so as not to have the triangle division lines.

Two views of the final products! Unfortunately, the one at the back is a little fuzzy. We added heavy thread so the shaped could be hung.

You can see another tangled 3-D shape I made here.

Go ahead, try this at home:

You can find an 8.5"x14" template here. I had the photocopy shop increase it to 11"x17".
Ideally it should be printed on heavy paper or card stock. You want it to be sturdy but also to fold easily.
You'll need glue that will dry quickly and not buckle. Many liquid scrapbook glues with a fine tip nozzle are good this way ( have Elmer's and Scotch, both good). The last few tabs you glue will be tricky; be forewarned.

Have fun!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Spiral out

The Diva's challenge this week is to use a spiral as the string. One of the challenges of a spiral string is that it's one long space, no divisions.

CZT Amy Broady's tangle Paisley Boa is currently one of my favorites, fast becoming a 'go to' tangle. I drew Paisley Boa all along my spiral, which made a nice series of divisions. Then I filled each droplet shape with various things. The spiral was getting lost so I added white along the lines defining it to bring it back into focus.

This is done on a tan tile with brown, sepia and white inks, white charcoal pencil, and brown colored pencils. It was fun.  Wish I had time to do more but I've had a little too much on my plate recently! Maybe later.
Tangles: Paisley Boa plus: Crescent Moon variation,
Cruffle, Ennies, Flux, Paizel, Phuds, Tipple

Monday, March 24, 2014

Missing U

Or: "I need to learn to read the instructions first"

Tangle U 2014! Late April! I'm going! I'm going to teach about Sacred Geometry and Hollibaugh on Steroids! I'm going to have great fun and learn lots! It starts a month from today!

Tangle U is an event for CZTs where we can meet others, learn a bunch of nifty things and try out ideas. There is going to be a tile swap called Missing U among those of us who are able to go and those who can't attend this year. "Missing U" - very cool idea. I got to work.
Then I got out the information to find out where to send them. Oh.
The theme is not "Missing U". The theme is OCEAN!!! Margaret, you nincompoop.
Well, more fun in store! Oceans. Blue and green. Blue and purple. Wavy tangles. Sparkles.
I charged ahead!
Tangles used in some or all of the above:
Black Pearlz, C-scape, Diva Dance, Dust Bunny, Lamar,
Msst, Opus, Paisley Boa, Paushalöv, Printemps,
Snaylz, Tipple, Wud (and a variation)

Back to the information. Oh.
I only need one. Or maybe two. Oh well, an extra one for the organizer! Full speed ahead!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Recent tile-size ZIAs

Oh yes... more little houses!
Tangles: Crezn't, Dex, Dust Bunny, Florz, Flukes,
Knightsbridge, Palrevo, Printemps, Zewm
Not much zentangle here, except for Printemps.

I had done a border on this one, and knew it would be a tree, but it sat around half-finished for quite a while waiting for inspiration. It was worth the wait. I decided to do the tree in colored pencil - which I love - and the blue night sky and the little birds. I'm calling it "I Sing Your Praises".
Tangles: Chebucto, Crescent Moon, Crossview,
Cruze, Diva Dance, Elven, Posh, Wud

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Elders' ATCs

Janet, one of my students who does zentangle-y projects with several residents at a seniors home here in Saskatoon, asked if I'd be interested in trading zentangle ATCs with her group. Of course I said, "Sure!" Here's what they sent me:
These were done by Nina (with a bit of color) and Dorothy, both 90 years old young.
Jay and Betty, both age 89, created these two.
The two at the top were done by Thelma and Edith,
younger participants who didn't give their ages. ;)
The bottom one is from Nina, the daughter of one of the group.