Sunday, September 10, 2017

IAST #211 and Diva Challenge #332

IAST #211 was a bit of a doozy. I didn't know where to start or what to do! I even tried googling fairy tale lettering for "inspiration" but nothing really appealed to me. 

So I went on a wing with a tangle that I have been meaning to try out but never got around to doing, Cudad! Which I found on CZT Sandy Steen Bartholomew's Tangle Cards, Totally Tangled Edition

When I was doing the tile I kept thinking about La Perla in Puerto Rico (I had the good fortune to visit Puerto Rico many years ago and OMG I miss the food there) which you can see in the Despacito video:

The cards were one of my first few purchases after I started zentangle. I read the reviews and a lot of people were complaining about the quality of the cards - but seriously for the price that you can get them on they are a relative steal! So many beautiful and unique tangles (that I understand to have been CZT Sandy's own tangles)! With clear step by step instructions! And not to mention a few of what I would call "tips and tricks" cards (like how to shade etc). 

I bought all three editions of the Tangle Cards: Totally Tangled Edition, Kids Edition (if you look really close you can spot a Pingline penguin in the tile which I got from the the Kids Edition Tangle Cards... I wasn't able to add as much detail as I would have liked due to the size but hey! He's there!), and Original Edition. I've currently stored them in trading card folders but as and when needed I take out what I need and slip them into my sketchbook or whatever I happen to be carrying - save on me having to risk exceeding my mobile data limit fewor the month! 

But for the sake of any would be purchasers... how does it compare to the Tangle Deck

Well the Tangle Decks are relatively more expensive and are admittedly printed on better quality paper. I find that the Tangle Decks capture many more Zentangle HQ and more "traditional" looking tangles. 

CZT Sandy's Tangle Cards however are a bit more "out of the box", sharing many unique original tangles, more so that the Zentangle HQ tangles. Many of her tangles appeal to me for being a bit more "cartoony". The paper quality may not be great but it doesn't detract from the actual content of the cards. If you're up for something a bit more "cartoony" or a bit more whimsical, you might enjoy the Tangle Cards as well. 

Just don't make me choose between the two!

I also did my Diva Challenge #332 tile with my Tangle Cards!

(I love zentangling in a comfy cafe)


I did mostly with tangles from the Tangle Cards. Quite different from my other tiles I think, but I like it! 

Monday, September 4, 2017

Sunig 2017

In my spare time, I play a little bit of pool. I took up the sport relatively late in life and aren't very good... to make up for it, I do try to show support for the younger players who train under the same coach. 

Am pleased to inform that the two schools that my coach swept both champion and 1st runner-up places in annual inter-school tournament over the weekend. Congratulations guys! 

To commemorate the occasion... 

cruffle - another new tangle tried!


[as a side thought... does this count as visual journaling? hmmmm....]

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Sharing the love! Guest Diva Challenge #331 and IAST #210

Last Friday I have an interesting evening with the bestie! I have been trying to infect her with the Zentangle bug but she's not really been prepared to take the dive and take CZT Mabel's Zentangle 101 class... but she did want to give it a go. So I prepared a kit and after dinner last Friday, we sat down and tangled! This was her first tile.

 knightsbridge.flux.pokeleaf.crescent moon
Maybe next year I will take the CZT course!
This week's Guest Diva Challenge #331 was awesome! Petoskey stones are clear examples of the wonders of nature and what I would refer to as small blessings in Life.
For some reason, the images of the stones appealed to the science geek in me (sadly my profession does not involve sciency things) and for inexplicable reasons, reminded me of the agar bacterial flowers (at least that's what I called them) that we "cultured" in petri dishes during science class in secondary / high school. Now, I mean this in the best way - I honestly think that the bacterial flowers are beautiful in their own way. Like these:

Thus inspired, I used Amoeba and Widgets (2 tangles that I have been dying to use) to create my own Petoskey stone inspired petri dish.
(I love zentangling in a public place... :))

I really loved the outcome! It took quite a bit of work drawing out all the individual fragments and adding shading and highlights to each but I think it was well worth it!

...kinda reminds me of the Amoeba Boys! (I know... my age may be showing...)

In case you are wondering what the pink thing is, it's my new Zentangle on the go kit! I needed to wash my old Scooby-Doo one, so I made two more!

I've also completed by contribution for IAST #210.


I don't think I've ever used so many tangles in a single tile!

I also played around with tiles that erm.... don't really fill up the whole tile? I do need some more practice though =( Does anyone have any pointers :/?


Saturday, August 26, 2017

Trying out lots of new tangles!

First and foremost! My contribution to the latest Guest Diva Challenge #330!

I wasn't quite sure what the challenge was but I believe it was to do a quarter "plate" tile.

I tried to use some new tangles so as to expand my "working dictionary of tangles". In particular the new tangles here are Copada and Cindyer.  I've never really seen anyone use Cindyer but it looked quite cute to me =).

Another new tangle that I've tried was one of  what I call "feature tangles" - tangles that are of unique shape that oft can't really fit into most generic strings but end up being there as over/underlying "features"... like Waybop, Drawings, Purk and Aquafleur, just to name a few.

Last weekend "featured" Fengle (what I actually chose from my trusty Tangle Deck!)!

Fengle is awesome. Like flowers but also like fireworks but also like starfish! So I wanted to keep it simple with a few tipple bubbles and some printemp shells  and tadah! I have been trying to force myself to do some tiles that aren't so "cluttered"  and am hoping this one hit the mark! 

Last weekend, I also had an unexpected zentangle visitor!


Does anyone else see the hidden dinosaur? New tangles I tried in this tile were Zenith and Abukas (which is a new tangle shared generously here!)! Did I mention I love dinosaurs? ๐Ÿ˜† 

This however, I wasn't quite so pleased at =(. It was my submission for the IAST # 208 birthday string. I really was stumped by this string! But am glad that I managed to persevere and complete the tile! [In any case, Happy Celebration๐ŸŽˆ๐ŸŽŠ๐ŸŽ‰, Adele @ Tickled to Tangle, and thanks for all the challenges!๐Ÿ™Œ] 

++ edit++

I'd also like to share my IAST #209 contribution which I am very proud of - a monotangle of the new Zentangle HQ release, Spoken.

I don't I've ever done so much pencil work in a single tile... but it was worth it. I'm loving the outcome.

Monday, August 14, 2017

New pens! And Guest Diva Challenge #329!

Testing out more new pens๐Ÿ˜€!

I took advantage of the National Day promotions that tonnes of local shops have been having to get my hands on more materials to play with!

This Bijou sized tile was done with a Cool Grey Copic Multiliner (there was15% off Copic Multiliners and Copic Multiliner Sets๐Ÿ˜†)

I've always been interested in finding out what happens when you tangle in grey! Couldn't really decide if I liked the "all grey" effect so I tried it in Renaissance style as well with a black Uni Pin Fine Line (another new procurement - a local stationary store was having 15% store wide๐Ÿ˜‚) on coloured Strathmore paper that I cut to the size of a Bijou tile. 

I quite like the way the Renaissance tile looks with grey ๐Ÿ’• - it feels like a lovely cool lazy weekend to me. I wish Sakura made grey Microns... However they don't and at this juncture, for greys I may be limited to  Copic Multiliners which irritatingly are not available singularly (locally at least) ๐Ÿ˜• but are sold in packs of 4 pens in varying sizes [but it appears that Jetpens does sell them individually, for those who may be interested๐Ÿ˜‹].

And of course I didn't stop there with my new grey Copics because along came the Guest Diva Challenge #329 - Fragment D1. This week's challenge was a doozy ๐Ÿ˜ต. I've never seen the Fragment D1 before and worse! No matter how much I googled, I couldn't find any instructions๐Ÿ˜ฑ! So I winged it๐Ÿฅ.

I drew all kinds of configurations using the trusty Sakura Micron, and "embellished" with my new Copic grey multiliners (in both cool and warm grey - yes they only have 2 shades of grey - not 50 ๐Ÿ˜€) as well as a Sakura Micron 005. I did a lot of fine lines but I don't think the grey lines seem to scan / photograph well ๐Ÿ˜•.

I swear I spotted a wolf / cooyote ๐Ÿบ and a racoon. Can you? [hint: see left bottom corner sections - you might need to squint a little๐Ÿ˜†] 


I think of all the tiles I'm sharing in this post, this is my favourite๐Ÿ˜. I did this in my new Staedler Pigment Liner which thus far is the most comparable to the traditional Sakura Micron๐Ÿ’–. The pen and the ink was smooth and it didn't leave indentations in the paper like the Copic Multiliner๐Ÿ’—. It is however slightly more expensive than the Sakura Micron, though not prohibitively/inhibitively so.  I need to do more testing with this pen!

I also tried the Uni Pin Fine Line that I used in the Marasu Bijou tile on a full sized tile.


Tried a few new tangles together with the new pen - Dragonair, Leaflet and Well. I picked up the first 2 tangles from the Great Zentangle Book which I bought after reading this review from Sandra Strait

I quite liked the book as each tangle was clearly credited and explained in the usually step by step format with some examples of step outs and tangleations but somehow I was expecting a little bit more (not quite sure why or what though...) One thing that got to me somehow though was the the step by step steps were not necessarily in the same orientation, which confused me somewhat (me with my little pea brain)๐Ÿ˜ง. 

The last tangle I picked up from the Tangle Deck my Lynn Mead. At this juncture I really must say... I love my Tangle Deck Family๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–. I was a birthday gift and it has to be the best Zentangle resource I own and was definitely the highlight of my birthday this year. Convenient, beautiful cards with clear instructions. If there is a Tangle Deck 3 I would definitely brave the unfavourable currency exchange rates and incredibly expensive postage to get at it!๐Ÿ˜ 

*ahem* back to the pen... The Uni Pin Fine Line's nib somehow felt "directional"๐Ÿ˜ฉ. I had a few experiences where the pen hesitates and produces an uneven dotted line when I changed directions. It is a little bit scratchy and leaves indentations in the paper (though this could again be because the pen is new). A cheaper alternative to Sakura Microns though in this instance, I think I'd rather stick with the Micron. 

Last and definitely not least, this was my submission for the IAST Challenge #207 - a monotangle in Cross-Ur-Heart. I used a black Copic Multiliner (to see if it was still scratchy - it was but to a lesser extent so it may be a new pen thing...) with some coloured Sakura Microns and Gelly Rolls for pizzazz... This is the first time I tried this tangle and I don't think I did too bad a job. Not quite sure how to incorporate it into a tile but I guess if I love it enough I will find a way! 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Guest Diva Challenge # 328 and Weekend adventures with CZT Mabel!

Another awesome Diva Challenge! This time by guest diva Suzanne Fluhr!

This week we are challenge to take on ALOHA... which, for someone from a tropical climate reminds me greatly of the beautiful Heliconia...

(photo credit from Wikipedia)

But I digress!

This is my contribution for Diva Challenge #328! I actually used the string from the last IAST challenge (I did't manage to get it done in time)

I was going for a more dramatic look (having been inspired by my recent classes with CZT Mabel - read more below!) Oodles of tangles in this tile: 'Nzeppel, Aloha (can you spot the Aloha?), Sandswirl, Purk, Cadent, Indyrella, Drawings, Knightsbridge and Laced.
Am particularly pleased with this tile for many reasons:
  • I tried new "tools" - whilst I normally go with the Sakura  Micron and Sakura Gelly Roll, I tried the Copic Multiliner and a white Pilot Choose (and a pencil of course). I quite enjoyed using both pens. I thought the Multiliner was good for zentanling and the Pilot Choose was nice for details (the Sakura Gelly Roll is a bit fat for drawing I think...)
  • This is my first go with Aloha, and Laced (can you spot the Aloha and Laced?)
  • I played a lot with the "over and under" Hollybough effect =)
  • Indyrella is a new tangle I learnt with CZT Mabel 2 weekends back and Drawings...
  • Ah Drawings, my old nemesis! We meet again! Drawings is another tangle that I had been struggling with... and eventually I caved and asked CZT Mabel for help... I think it's starting to shape up! Thank you CZT Mabel!
++ edit: on further consideration, as a "side comment" the Copic Multiliner seems to have a "harder tip" so it leaves indentations that can be seen on the reverse side of the sheet - whilst this could be attributed to my pen pressure, I do not have this issue on the same paper with Sakura Microns. 

Thanks to CZT Mabel, I also had the best back to back weekends that I've had in a loooong time! Two consecutive Saturdays of classes with CZT Mabel and her team at Heartistry! Who could ask for more! If only every weekend could be this good.

The weekend before was Zentangling Zendalas.

Other than teaching not one but 2 kinds of Zendala methods, CZT Mabel also encouraged us to try the "dramatic" look of white on black on a white tile - the effect of which I loved!! Think you can see why I'm suddenly inspired to try a more dramatic look...

And last weekend was CityScape with Zentangles.

Just in time for National Day (which is like the USA's Independence Day)! HAPPY NATIONAL DAY!!!! =)
And as an added bonus, an awesome urban sketcher, Pocholo, popped by and did a quick sketch of us in class! SCORE!

There's always something new and inspiring @ Heartistry. Blessed I am to have met CZT Mabel!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Lisbon Fragments (Guest Diva Challenge #327) and IAST#205

This was my submission for the latest It's a String Thing Challenge #205.

I think it was meant to be a sun ๐ŸŒžbut I decided to start with an Aquafleur (I'm liking this tangle greatly at the moment) and finish it with Shattuck (one of the recommended tangles of the week). 

I was contemplating using more tangles in the tile ๐Ÿ˜ต but was overcome with a need to stop overthinking and overcomplicating things and just enjoy and appreciate simple beauties ๐ŸŒผ - now that I've written it down perhaps I should apply that to life as well! Hidden life lesson in zentangle #472๐Ÿ˜‚!  

As I was tangling I felt like the curves of the shattuck reminded me of clouds ⛅ which lead to blue colouring pencils being brandished.  

Along the way however I did discover a problem. My Prismacolour blending pencil seems to pick up and smudge the Sakura micron ink ๐Ÿ˜ญ. I ended up using a lighter blue to blend. It didn't work a well as a blending pencil but it would have better than black patches๐Ÿ˜•! Does anyone else have this problem? If it helps I was using a Canson Art Inspiration Sketchbook. 

Another project I've been working on for a while was a bookmark for someone I needed to thank. This was the first time I worked on a zentangle knowing that it was a gift ๐ŸŽto be given away. I've given away tangled gift tags before that that isn't really quite the same as giving away a piece as the gift itself (at least that's what I thought).

It was UBER STRESSFUL๐Ÿ˜ฑ! I was so afraid that it would come out ugly or that I would screw up...๐Ÿ˜ฉ I was like hesitating at everything!

After about 2 weeks of work, this is what the eventual bookmark turned out like.  
I used some of my favourite tangles and added a small zen gem (I'm still trying to practice my gems - I think it improves my light source appreciation... I hope). I'm kinda worried she doesn't like it.  ๐Ÿ˜•

And last but definitely not least, my contribution for Guest Diva Henrike's Challenge # 327 - Lisbon Fragments.

When I first saw the tangle, I immediately thought of local Peranakan tiles. There are many kinds of Peranakan tiles but the most "classic" one to me involves green grids, light blue backgrounds and pink flowers ๐ŸŒท(usually roses) - like this

(Disclaimer: I just googled the image - I do not have the pleasure of having such tiles in my home!) 

I tried my best!

Done with Sakura Microns in black, blue, pink and green, with a splash of sakura coloured Copic multiliner as well as a pink coloured pencil, I tried my best ๐Ÿ’ชto make the beautiful (and complicated) Lisbon fragments work with some Fluxecho (which I have been dying to try by the way๐Ÿ˜€) and some Trentwith roses.

I had an interesting battle with Trenthwith. I had a vague idea of the tangle but for the heck of me I couldn't remember the exact look and/or the name! I had to backtrack to one of my previous tiles, which I shared here, to kind of reverse engineer where I got the tangle from! Maybe I should start labelling the tangles used in a tile... ๐Ÿ˜ฃ

I didn't want to go too much into colour but I did want some colour in the hopes of having some smidgen of the beauty of a peranakan tile - I'm quite happy with the eventual outcome but am not sure if it looks incomplete this way๐Ÿ˜ต.  What do you think? 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Guest Diva Challenge # 326

It's all about fitting in? I guess fitting in was never really my thing. Didn't really do what everyone else was doing -  just did my own thing. Considering I was making fine lace in my twenties and now am doing zentangle in my thirties (I had no lace and have no zentangle buddies who are in my age group ๐Ÿ˜‘)... 

Here's my 'nzeppel monotangle ๐Ÿ˜€can you tell that I heart rainbows? ๐Ÿ˜‚ Done with a black sakura micron and my new collection of Staedler Triplus Fineliners and the trusty colour pencils. I've been very into working with colour recently I've realised, even my last black and white piece was infiltrated by coloured gems. 

I know I know... the purist in me is also screaming that Staedler Fineliners are water based and hence not archival with a tendency to fade... ๐Ÿ˜ฉI blame magpie tendencies! They were so colourful! I couldn't help myself! ๐Ÿ˜ต

Talking about rainbows and fitting in, the fraternal unit invited me to go with her for a free guided tour of an exhibit at the local art gallery featuring artist Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow. Interestingly enough, Yayoi Kusama suffered from psychological disorders and credits art for her having remained alive to date. Her pieces tend to feature repetitive patterns (sound familiar?) particularly dots and nets (although her explanation on dots and nets was that her hallucinations featured dots and nets and she was inspired by them). She finds comfort in flower and pumpkins so they are also a recurring theme in her work. 

She has various paintings, installations and photographs on exhibition. Here's a couple snapshots I took at the exhibition last night. Enjoy!

Friday, July 21, 2017

It's a String Thing #204

Something borrowed and something blue๐Ÿ˜ฏ.

I must admit to having being intimidated by the complicated string that was put up for the challenge but *breathes deeply* the engines got revving and off we go๐Ÿš€!

The something borrowed was easy. Since I have no tangles of my own ALL my tangles were borrowed (purk, stripling, lazy eights, 'nzeppel, finery, flux, tipple, lichen, fife, 'dillo - wow that's a lot of tangles I just realised๐Ÿ˜) but the something blue๐Ÿ˜•? The suggestion was bluebonnets but it wasn't quite calling to me, so I went for blue gems ๐Ÿ’Ž(I needed practice on on my gems anyway).

I felt like doing something more nature-y๐ŸŒฟ, more organic... ๐ŸŒธ so I TRIED (see the emphasis) to use tangles that were a little more organicky (?). 
Not quite sure if I hit the feel I wanted but I'm quite pleased with the way it turned out. I still think I need way more practice๐Ÿ’ช on my gems - either that or I need to abandon my inexpensive Faber Castel colour pencils and go more upmarket - oh wow I swear I felt my wallet cringe. 

Also sharing some other of my recent tiles:

I wanted to do a little bit more practice on peanuckle after the last Diva challenge when I did my little mush-house ๐Ÿ„. And I wanted to finally use waybop (which I had hunkered down on a few posts back) on a tile. I was surprised at the way florz interacted to create almost a radial like web effect  - I swear it wasn't intentional! But hey! That's the magic ๐ŸŽฉand wonder๐ŸŽ‡ of zentangle!  

Monday, July 17, 2017

Mush! - It's a String Thing Challenge #203 and Diva Challenge #325

This was my submission for It's A String Thing # 203.

They wanted something old and something new so I went with Marasu - a tangle that I had recently learnt from CZT Mabel , and Hamail - which I had never tackled before (I confess to having "cheated" ๐Ÿ˜”- I went to to search for radial tangles to fit the feel that I wanted to achieve and I found Hamail which was perfect for what I wanted). I tried to go for a yin yang Zen feeling - did I get it down?๐Ÿ˜… 

Starting with the String Thing Challenge, it appears that the last few days were meant for new things and new adventures ๐Ÿ˜€! 

I tried my hand at auraknot - a tangle that has intimated me and taunted me from afar! I was too chicken ๐Ÿ”to take up the challenge, but I finally did๐Ÿ—! 

Whilst on the "new adventure" train, I wanted to try something different with one of my rainbow tiles๐ŸŒˆ.

So I set to work and then promptly got stumped at how to complete it ๐Ÿ˜“ But the cosmos ๐ŸŒŒ has its way of making things work out and TADAH ๐ŸŽ‰ this week's Diva Challenge was the answer! 

But wait! Peanuckle? Another one of those scary monster tangles? Wasn't one this week more than enough! Oh man oh man oh man... but I NEEDED to finish this tile๐Ÿ’ช!

So I did.  

I tried my best on Peanuckle.  Think it came out a bit too straight and unpeanutty(?)  but I do think it completed my roofing quite nicely. All in all I'm pretty stoked with how this tile turned out๐Ÿ‘ป.  Nine tangles were used to create this little mush-house (as opposed to a mush-room geddit geddit๐Ÿ˜). 

Peanuckle was perfect in that it gave the contrast that I was looking for without completely obscuring the colours of the rainbow tile ๐ŸŒˆ - Guest Diva Jessica must have used her super secret "zentangle-senses" to detect my problems, discretely giving me the "answer" in the form of her Guest Diva Challenge so as not to expose her secret zentangle superhero identity! Oops ๐Ÿ˜ณ did I just give it all away? 

๐Ÿ˜€Thanks for the rescue now-not-so-secret zentangle superhero Guest Diva Jessica (oh wow that's a mouthful)! 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Guest Diva Challenge #324 - all purked up!

I'm so pleased that I managed to get my It's A String Thing Challenge #202 submission in in time and I'm strangely and surprisingly proud to have my tile featured in the post (although I think all submissions get featured but that's besides the point!๐Ÿ˜‚). Thank you!

This week, I decided to practice my Purk (or what I lovingly refer to as alien eggs ๐Ÿ˜€). So with another rainbow tile ๐ŸŒˆ (I love me my rainbow tiles ๐ŸŒˆ - you can check out the beginnings of the home made rainbow tile ๐ŸŒˆ adventure here)... 

I love ๐Ÿ’–my rainbow tiles๐ŸŒˆ!

I did me some alien eggs ๐Ÿ‘ฝ...

I usually fill in my tiles quite densely but for some reason I decided to leave these "open" - I think I was too busy enjoying the colour splash๐ŸŽจ! It's really a different experience tangling on rainbow tiles and I strongly recommend that everyone shoulder try it at least once๐Ÿ‘! It's quite easy to make them tiles ๐Ÿ˜!

I still think I need a lot of work on my Purk, which leads me to this week's Diva Challenge that has me all purked up (pun intended)!

I started small with a Bijou sized pink tile with black and pink microns. I accidentally drew the heart off centre ๐Ÿ˜• and "corrected" it with tipple. 

Then I decided to go big! With multicoloured microns!

Am all purked out! ๐Ÿ˜ณ