Sign of Life

Dear all,

it’s been some time since my last post. Unfortunately, work has had me in a firm grip since the start of the year and February & March were especially intense, thus the long time without any post. I did tangle a bit here and there but mostly I was simply too tired to work on the Diva Challenges or even publish some posts that I had already written in January (and which are still waiting to be published). However, I think that these extreme times are over and that there’ll be more life in the near future.

Here are a few works I tangled since the last post that I like a lot:

ATC abstract
Tangles used: Ruutz, Black Pearlz, Printemps, Fassett, Hamail, Wheelz

ATC bumblebee
Tangles used: Ginili, Shattuck

These ATCs I tangled for a swap with a friend over at the German ATC website kakao-karten.de. Actually, only the first ATC was for our swap, the second one was a birthday gift and the first work I used my Finetec colours with. You see the shiny golden Ginili there? The gold was done with one of my Finetecs which are about the same as the Kuretake Gansai Tambi many tanglers are already using. I bought a set at the beginning of the year and I LOVE them! Here’s a picture where you can see their shininess a little better:
ATC bumblebee-shininess

Tangling on top is a little hard sometimes since the colour seems to clutter the tip of the Micron a bit, but with a little patience it works just fine. I also think that it’s a perfect match with my latest favourite pattern, Ginili. Isn’t it a wonderful pattern?

big one gardening tangles
Tangles used: Ansu, Fescu, Garlic Cloves, Ginili, Onamato, Pozer, Tipple, Zinger

This next piece I did for my mother’s birthday. My sister and I gave her a trip to Berlin this year since the International Garden Exhibition will be in Berlin this year. The picture is part of our gift certificate (that’s why there’s a lot of empty space at the top). I like the picture overall, although Zinger looks a little blocky here. But I guess it’s ok since I was a little under time pressure and finished it at 3am on the morning I had to send it over to my sister to finish it. 😀 I really like Garlic Cloves here, it’s a great pattern to use for “gardening textures”. The background was done with watercolours. I then tangled on that background and shaded with Polychromos coloured pencils. Shading was a lot of fun here!

tile 4 fun
Tangles used: Auraknot, Ginili, Hollibaugh, Printemps, Zedbra

My latest piece is a traditional tile and I really love how it turned out! It all started with Auraknot, then Ginili joined in and the challenge was to connect both of them. But Hollibaugh (here with dark and bright “strands”), some smaller Auraknots and Printemps did a good job here, I think. Shading the small Auraknots was a challenge though. But if it’s larger, it doesn’t get any easier, too, and I guess I tend to “overshade” it. I’ll have to do some research how everyone else is shading it! It’s always great to see how others are shading or tangling a particular tangle.

You might have noticed that I didn’t scan the tile as I usually do and post a cropped picture. The reason is that I bought a roll cutter which creates a lovely deckle edge. I SO, SO love it! My scanner, however, is not nearly as thrilled as I am and crops the picture as it thinks is best – without the deckle edges.. That’s why I bought a small easel (like many other tangles already did before me) and will have to post the tiles like this in the future if I want to keep the edges. But maybe you think that’s an improvement? Let me know what you think, I’d love to know! 🙂

That’s it for today, I hope to see you here again soon!

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Inktober 2016 – Day 1

intital fir the letter "i"nktober is here! Inktober (if you’ve never heard of it click here) was such fun that I wanted to try it again. Last year’s theme were Zentangle-inspired portraits. If you want to check them out, click on the tag “inktober” at the end of this post. I really enjoyed the bijou format last year since it lead to some really cool results and can be finished pretty quickly which is important since I have so many things on my mind.

I decided to continue with the bijous this year, too, for the very same reasons (at least I hope there’ll be some cool results). Since I’m usually easy at a loss for what to draw after a few days, I wanted to have a theme again. I didn’t have to think very long for what to do: I’ll be doing initals this year. Yes, maybe it’s not the most spectacular thing there is, but I thought it would be pretty cool to tangle something during Inktober that I can continue to use in this blog. Yep, that’s right: From now on the first letter in each post will be a tangled initial. I think that’ll look pretty cool! (and maybe I’ll learn how to scan colours well, too.^^; )

For the first day of Inktober I tangled two letters, the “I” (with Ansu and Sand Swirl) at the beginning of this post and this “N”:
initial for the letter "N"

 

 

 

 
Tangles used: ING, Printemps, Diva Dance

I definitely want to use colour reguarly for the initals to practice my use of colour. This is something I shy at doing.

The next post might not be tomorrow. Although I strife to tangle daily during Inktober. I found posting on a daily basis last year to be stressful and it was one reason why I stopped last year. This year, I’ll collect my contributions for a few days before posting again. Hope to see you then!

Please leave me a comment if you’re playing, too! I’d love to see your contributions for Inktober. 🙂

My first Zentangle swap on Facebook!

One reason why it was so quiet here lately (apart from sickness and a busy private life) was that I was working on something big. Not big in the sense of dimensions – although this is on my bucket list, too – but big in numbers. In February, I was accepted into the “Square One: Swap One“-group on Facebook, a large and very active group of tanglers from all around the world. Each month one member hosts a swap and each swap has a special theme chosen by the host. After having seen so many great pictures and posts over the years in other tangler’s blogs proudly presenting their share of the great artwork everybody contributed, I was dying to participate, too. That’s why I jumped right into my first swap there which was the group’s 8th swap. The swap theme was “Hearts & Flowers” and the rules were to use either a heart or flower tangle (or both) on each card and tangle in traditional black & white plus red as a highlight colour (optional). I’m currently sweating a bit because I just re-read the rules for the first time in a few weeks and I think I confused the heart&flower theme – I thought a string in the shape of a heart was ok, too….. Please cross your fingers that my 2 cards without flowery tangles and without a heart-shaped tangle will be accepted…..

Although I was a bit scared of producing a (for me) whopping number of eight cards in 4 weeks, I signed up. Today, 1 day before the deadline, I was finally able to finish my cards and even tangle one for the host. Since the quality of the picture I put on Facebook was so bad, I decided to quickly post some better quality scans here. That’s what I came up with:

124_Frühlingsherzen
Tangles: Printemps

125_Geschenk von Herzen
Tangles: Ahh, CO2, Cruffle, Cyme, Join, Printemps

126_Sunshine of my Love
Tangles: Amoeba, Diva Dance (Rock’n’Roll-Version), Hypnotic, Printemps

127_Joinflower
Tangles: Fission, Join, Meer (tangleation)

128_Ein Pott Zinger
Tangles: Cracked, Luv-A, Zinger

129_Bubblestar
Tangles: Join, ‘Nzeppel

130_Halfhearted
Tangles: Flux, Pokeroot, Printemps, Tipple, Zedbra

130_Herzturm
Tangles: Hypnotic (mixed with Knightsbridge), Knightsbridge, Nekton, ‘Nzeppel (grid-based)

131_Odd flower out
Tangles: Printemps, Tipple, Zenbuds, Zinger

Hope you like them! I’ll post my return cards as soon as they arrive from the USA. Can’t wait to see where my cards will be going to! 🙂

Diva Challenge #254: Valentangles

“Let your love shine in….”

“All you need is love…”

“How deep is your love?”

There are SO many songs about this “crazy little thing called love” and their popularity reaches a peak this week: It’s Valentine’s Day! No wonder the Diva took up this theme and made a challenge out of it: “Create a tile or piece with a Valentine’s Day Flair”. And there are some absolutely gorgeous and love-filled contributions this week, do check them out! (preferrably after reading this post and many leaving a like or a comment 😉 ) I also want to thank everybody who came over here for the last challenge and left a like or even a comment. It’s such a nice feeling to know that there are people out there who appreciate what you’re doing! 🙂

My tile is somewhat typical and not very inventive. However, I love how it turned out (Join is such a lovely pattern!) even though the illusion of depth didn’t turn out exactly as I hoped it would. But to me it looks good and I hope for you, too!

DC-254_Valentangles
Tangles used: Crescent Moon (heart tangleation), Join, Tipple

I’m not sure, though, that I’ll be tangling a lot more with red. I love the combination of black, white and red SO much but red is so hard to scan! This picture is pretty good now, but it took me quite a few tries to get it up this way…
Join took a bit to practise since I haven’t used it for a long time but I’m really happy how it turned out now. Oh, and I used TanglePatterns String 41 for this tile (I love it, might be doing some more tiles with this string). I’m SO bad at strings so I’m very glad that there’s a resource like that out there.

Enjoy the weekend, have a wonderful Valentine’s Day with all your loved ones and see you next week for a new Diva Challenge!

Find your Zen in January: Zenuari Challenge

“Another challenge? Can she never get enough of that?? Can’t she finish a thing before she plunges head first into something new AGAIN?!” – That’s probably what you’re thinking right now. But no, I won’t join Anoeska’s Zenuari Challenge this year, I already have a lot to handle here! 🙂 However, I didn’t want to keep this from all of you who haven’t heard about it yet and might be interested to join it.

So what is this Zenuari Challenge? CZT Anoeska from the Netherlands started the challenge in January 2015 after an unvoluntarily Zentangle-free December. I guess everyone knows this problem: Lots of preparations for the Holidays, parties with family, friends and colleagues, looking for presents, etc. That’s how it all began a little over a year ago. For each day in January, she prepared a little challenge for herself and shared it on Instagram and on her blog. The challenge soon got quite popular and upon request, Anoeska put up another challenge in 2016.

If you want to take a look at (and maybe jump in) Zenuary 2016, you can find the daily challenges in Anoeska’s original post of the challenge. You can also check out all the great contributions for the challenge on Instgram searching for the hashtag #zenuari.

If you’re already playing, please feel free to post the link to your blog in the comments! I’d love to see what you came up with so far and maybe leave a comment or two. 🙂  Same goes for everybody who decides to join the challenge for the last few days.

Diva Challenge #246: Save the Trees!

Theoretically, I didn’t have the time for this week’s challenge (I urgently have to tangle the new blog header for winter!), but this week’s challenge really spoke to me so I HAD to squeeze it in before doing other stuff.

The challenge #246 was issued by India’s first CZT, Dilip Patel, who asked us to choose only one tangle of our liking and to tangle a tree with it. I decided to tangle an ATC and chose Diva Dance for my tangle because I love it and think it’s a great tangle for creating bark and foliage alike. However, I’m not sure if my contribution ist really a monotangle because I drew the city in the background.. But I do hope it counts.

119_Save the Trees

Tangles used: Diva Dance (and tangleation)

This ATC was drawn with Sakura Pigma Mikrons in Black, Blue and Green as well as Faber-Castell Polychromos coloured pencils.

Hope you like this week’s contribution! 🙂

Inktober 2015 – An Overview

Inktober was such fun! I really like drawing on a daily basis (for as long as I had the time) and simply loved to follow on Twitter what everyone else did for this wonderful challenge. Unfortunately, I only made it to day 17 of Inktober, I simply couldn’t keep it up any longer. However, this is a lot more than I thought I could do, so I’m still happy and I definitely want to try again next year!

Here I have the overview on all the Bijou tiles with all the Zentangle-inspired drawings I did last month. Although it is strictly speaking only halfway done it’s still a great thing to look at! Which one is your favourite?

Inktober 2015_Übersicht_klein

I have so many favourites that it would be faster to tell you which ones I didn’t like. But I won’t do that. Inktober is not about critizising but about developing good habits and maybe even seeing some progress in your work. And I’m really satisfied with this last point!

Inktober – Day #16

I was THIS far away from throwing the half-finished piece away since there were just SO many mistakes in the dwarfe’s anatomy… But since I’m so tired and wanted o have the drawing finished already, I just pushed through. I hope I made the background eye-catching enough to distract you from the mistakes.. ^^; Can’t really say I like the dwarf, but I do like the tangled rock in the background (it was supposed to look like the entrance to a tunnel or cave). I tried to make the tonal value darker towards the centre of the tile. Is that noticeable..? See for yourself, here’s my bijou tile for Inktober 16th:

inktober-16

Tangles used: Betweed, Knightsbridge, Munchin, Paradox, River, Tipple, Zedbra

I love the transition between Paradox and Betweed. In a bigger space I can also imagine a “tidier” and really cool transition between Knightsbridge and Zedbra (one of my favourite tangles).

For the next days, I’d like to avoid:

a) men

b) men’s anatomy

c) drawing hands

Let’s see if I can manage to get around all that..

Inktober – Day #15

This is day 15 of Inktober and I’m still in, yay! Now that I’ve come so far I don’t think I’ll drop out now (unless something big happens, but let’s not hope for this). I put all the bijous I’ve drawn next to each other and it’s a magnificient mosaic so far. I won’t post it until the very last day of Inktober, so please wait only a little longer – I’m sure you won’t regret it. 🙂  Today’s portrait takes the idea of tattoos a little further – although you can’t see any here. For me, tattoos and punkers go hand in hand – and of course, the punker has to wear a leather jacket – hello stereotypes… ^^;  Maybe that’s why my brain made me draw a punker from the string I drew this morning? Anyways, here’s my cliché-ridden punker:
inktober-15

Tangles used: Hypnotic, Lightning Bolt, Tipple

I’m already looking forward to seeing what tomorrow’s “person of the day” will be! 🙂

Inktober – Day #14

The end of the second week of Inktober is here. Wow, two weeks of drawing and tangling on a daily basis! I’m really proud I made it to this point, but I’m quite sad that this project needs all the time I can spare at the moment and that other articles I want to write and other projects like tangling through “One Zentangle a Day” by Beckah Krahula will have to wait until November.. Maybe I can treat Inktober as a warm-up to what will come?

Today I have the third male character in a row, which is another thing I’d never thought would happen before I started Inktober. Men are not my specialty (as you can deduct from this guy’s anatomy…), but it is a welcome change! How do you like my Djinn?

IMG_0002

Tangles used: Ahh, Auraknot, Cruffle, Hollibaugh, Hypnotic, Something unnamed

When I had inked the Djinn, I thought that some tattoos would look good on him – tangled tattoos, of course. Finding the “right” ones was a bit harder this time. Auraknot and Hypnotic were easy, the rest was hard. This chain of spiky circles was an invention of mine since I couldn’t find anything that fit here for my taste. I’m not sure if I will name it or play a bit longer with it. What is your opinion?

I also thought about “violating” my black&white colour scheme here and give him a golden earring. But I think that some things simply should stay as they are and black&white  (and a little grey) are quite enough right now.

Inktober – Day #13

The string of today’s Zentangle-inspired Bijou tile for Inktober was a hard one, again.. It took me at least five or six tries to finally get something I could work with. Sometimes the drawing got too small and detailed, sometimes I had the impression it’s the same shape that I’ve already erased like 100 times before this month. Here’s something new: second guy in a row for Inktober:

Inktober-13

Tangles used: Cadent, Cruffle, Paradox, Points and Curves, Tipple

To me it’s incredible that I haven’t used one of my favourite tangles yet for Inktober: Paradox. It is not only simple and easy to draw, but comes with just SO many ways to modify and to use it – I love it. If you haven’t yet read Margaret Bremner’s brilliant article “And then some… Paradox”, then I think now is the time to do so (she wrote even more “And then some…”-articles which are ALL great and a must-read for every Zentangle enthusiast).

Then I remebered something I wrote in this blog about tangle transitions and combinations and mixed some Cruffle into Tipple. Looks nice. Then I tried a tangle I’ve never used before: Points and Curves. It has a nice optical illusion and is easy to draw, I might use it again in the near future. Cadent I added because I then had circles, squares (or something similar) and triangles – I liked this idea a lot.

Inktober – Day #12

Isn’t a snotty-nosed prince the first thing you think about when it comes to Inktober 12th? No? Well… maybe you can/will/want to reconsider after meeting him:

inktober-12

Tangles used: CO2, Cruffle, Knightsbridge, Pixioze

Apart from my recent favourite CO2, I like Knightsbridge best here. Doesn’t it look as if his hat was coming out of the picture? It is a lovely effect that I really want to play with more. But I don’t really know any more tangles with this effect – do you?

Inktober – Day #11

New day, new Inktober drawing! I still didn’t get to draw anything für the “Zentangle a Day”-project.. or this week’s Diva Challenge… But let’s be positive that I can get around to do it (or at least one of them) today. I somehow have the feeling that the drawings for Inktober are getting a little harder. Of course, I don’t want any repetitions since that would be boring, but my method for drawing the basics of these little bijou tiles seems to run into a dead end.

You ask how I’m doing it? Well, it is actually quite simple and similar to some of the first few steps of the original Zentangle method:

  1. I put a dot in each corner and then connect the dots to get my frame.
  2. Then I start from the bottom line and draw a squiggly line up and down again (that’s something like Zentangle so far).
  3. Now I look at the shape and think about what this looks like:
    • Is it a female or male shape?
    • In which direction does the person look?
    • Is that the hair or do I have to add a shape for hair (or a hat 😉 )?

    And so on. Sometimes it is very easy and I see something in my “string” (that’s what in Zentangle this squiggly line is called) immediately, but recently the strings look either quite similar to something I’ve drawn before, or I just can’t see anything in it – and erase it (the dirty word in Zentangle! ;-D) and start again until I see something.

  4. Then I modify the squiggly line to my needs and start inking and tangling – that’s it.

Looks a little like divination with tea leaves, doesn’t it? Maybe my third eye has gotten tired? *g* I don’t know. I guess I’ll have to think of something to freshen this “technique” up a bit. I already used a geometric shape in the middle of the tile once and tried to draw my squiggly line from the top. But I wasn’t THAT excited about the result. Do you have an idea?

Today’s drawing is a… little different than the ones before. The person portrayed today didn’t want to be recognised and put a mask over his head (please, no comments on anatomical (in)correctness here.. I know that this is not quite correct anatomically..). So here’s the Frog(wo)man:

Inktober 2015-11

Tangles used: Msst, Lotus Pods, Pokeroot

As for the tangles, this was a very easy one: I immediately knew which tangles I wanted to use for the Frog(wo)man. But what might be striking you if you’ve followed my Inktober drawings so far: No CO2 today! But tomorrow is another chance to use it. 🙂

Tomorrow I’m off to work again, too. I sincerely hope that Inktober won’t keep me awake for so long like last week.. I’m happy I hung in there, bu it definitely was exhausting.

Inktober – Day #10

Finally a drawing for Inktober that I can post on the same day it was drawn (and “supposed” to be drawn) without falling asleep doing so, yay! I hope you like my Zentangle-inspired “Elvis”:

inktober 10

Tangles used: CO2 (what else! XD), Diva Dance, Tipple

Do you remember being in a concert and the lights are very low and the band/singer starts to sing a live song and everywhere lighters (in the good ol’ days) or smartphones (like at the last concert I went to) were held into the air? Well, that’s what I had in mind with “Elvis” here. And what would have made a better way to draw the lights than CO2? I also thing Tipple works really great as sequins. As for the breast hair: Sorry to all fans, I just couldn’t resist… 😀

(Hope to) See you tomorrow for Inktober 11th!

Inktober – Day #9

Another late post for Inktober. I as simply too tired to post this yesterday after drawing it late in the night. This is yesterday’s Zentangle-inspired portrait:

inktober-9

Tangles used: CO2, Beadlines, Hollibaugh, Msst, Reticulated, Triangles

I wonder how many more uses of CO2 I can find! 😀  This time I used pencil shading again because I thought that the softer shading would be more appropriate for the young lady. I think it was a good decision.

But thanks to the weekend I’m positive that I’m back to the normal rhythm of posting it on the same day. At least for two days.