Nihon no Zentanguru

Time flies by, the wedding is over and finally I’ve got some more time to devote to Zentangle – although I already started tangling again in the last weeks before the wedding for obvious tangling reasons: stress relief! I haven’t finished anything but just took my time to tangle some here and there and it worked like a charm. Although I must say that I’ve been so tired recently that pretty much anything made me zoom out…

Now I still have some wedding-related things to do, but I said I wanted to start posting again here in August and here I am! Actually I wanted to start with some artwork, but today I stumbled upon a post by Anya Lothrop CZT on her German blog and I just had to write about it here. The post was about her recent trip to Japan and the state of Zentangle in this intriguing country. Even if you don’t know any German, do visit! The pictures are very nice. 🙂 I myself am a big fan of Japan and have been there only last year on a nearly four week vacation. Well, vacation isn’t quite the correct term, since both my now-husband and I went there to study Go, an ancient board game both of us really enjoy (studying Go is fun most of the times but it can be tiresome and feel like work, too).

Of course, I also enjoyed shopping – not for clothes since that wouldn’t be any fun for me but for art supplies. And that’s where Zentangle comes in. When I went to the epic Tokyu Hands in Shinsaibashi, Osaka which was my favourite store during the trip, I found a small but select Zentangle corner there:

Zentangle supplies
I have no idea what the colourful kendama is doing there in the middle if the Zentangle supplies!

Zentangle books close-up
And a close-up of the books – I assume you are familiar with the original versions of these books? Isn’t it amazing how different they look?

I was really thrilled to find Zentangle in Japan! I was even tempted to buy a book but instead bought some more light-weighted art-supplies. I was hoping that I might go back to Japan again soon and I though that by then I’d have a larger selection to choose from – of course the weight of my luggage at this point in time was NO reason at all for my decision… 😉

What about you? Have you already found Zentangle books or supplies in your vacation abroad? If so, I’d love to read about it!

Diva Challenge #265 – Stripes (little sign of life)

Finally a new post.. I’ve been so busy lately with work and other… endeavours that I hardly had time left to tangle since I last wrote. I’m still very much into tangling and into this blog, but most of the time I’m tired and not really in the mood to write here. But that’s nothing that will go on forever so please bear with me here and do come back from time to time. 🙂

I finally managed to tangle a tile for this weeks (whohooo!) Diva Challenge on stripes. I actually wanted to do something with stars and stripes (was that a silly joke? 😉 ), but weaving suddenly was much more interesting so that’s how this tile came to be:

DC-265_Stripes
Tangles used: ING, Join, Meer, Onamato, Printemps, Zedbra

It incorporates tangles that have been with me on my tangling journey for quite some time (Meer is such a tangle) or which I really like a lot (Zedbra, Join, ING (although I don’t use it very much, I have no idea why) and Printemps) or which just happened to pop up (Onamato and Barberpole). I really enjoyed this one although I enjoyed the tangling much more than shading it (shading is not my favourite part of tangling at the moment).

Now I’m off to.. yeah, sleep. But tomorrow I’m going to enjoy all those wonderful stripes that have been entered for the weekly challenge. Have you already tangled your contribution for this week’s challenge? If so, I hope you had a good time, too!

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! 🙂

My new Toy: Zentangle Mosaic App

Dear all,

I’m so sorry that it’s been so quiet lately. A cold and an extremely busy private life laft hardly any time to tangle in the last few weeks, I wasn’t able to complete any Diva Challenges or even complete 1 tile in the last few weeks… This week and the one to come will definitely be very busy, too, but I have high hopes for the time after that.. Please bear with me.

I just wanted to leave a “quick” note (oh my, these quick notes really grow fast!) her so you know this blog isn’t dead and that there’ll be new stuff kinda soon. And to tell you that I have a new toy: The brand new Zentangle Mosaic app, an official app released by Zentangle HQ! It was released in the Google Play Store (and in the Apple iTunes App Store) only 4 days ago and I stumbled upon it today already, what a coincidence! I downloaded it right away and it looks very pretty indeed! You can do lots of things there and I haven’t tried out or figured out all of them yet. But for a first quick evaluation I’d say it is very similar to Instagram or Pinterest: You upload your own art or someone else’s art (you have to have this person’s permission), you can appreciate somebody’s art or the whole artist, leave comments, exchange private messanges. You can organise all the artwork by creating “mosaics” (similar to pinboards on Pinterest) and by using hashtags for tangles and other occasions (e.g. for a CZT’s course).

Here’s what the Zentangle HQ wrote about the app.

Here are a few screenshots I took from my smartphone to give you an idea of how it looks:

menu
Here’s the menu – you get the idea of how much you can do here. Still have to try a few things out. 🙂

waterfall-1
One example for the waterfall

waterfall-2
Another example for the waterfall

tile
This is the detailed view of the first tile I uploaded into the app

My first impression of this app is that it has a very nice user interface although all those options are a little overwhelming. You will need some time to really get used to it (I still haven’t worked out how to add my artwork to the waterfall ^^; ). The “waterfall” is especially nice as every X seconds a tile or artwork is replayed by another (you can choose how fast you want to have them changed). Of course, you cann also scroll down.
The tagging is very useful to find exactly what you need – however, this will only work well if everyone plays along so I’d advise you to check out the recommendations by Zentangle HQ.
The artwork in the app is absolutely gorgeous. What I have seen so far is original artwork from Zentangle HQ (haven’t seen any of it yet published before) and CZTs, I haven’t seen any non-CZT artwork yet but since this is a brand new app with 100-500 downloads yet (according to Google Play store). The private messaging function is great and I do hope very much that group messaging or some kind or forums will be added.

I’ll add a more thorough review when I had the time to play some more with this app.

If you are interested in purchasing a subscription and are as ignorant as to how a yearly subscription is paid for as I was, here are a few warning words: If you want to pay with a gift card, do NOT (!!) enter the code before you are asked to during the subscription process for this app. Do better than me. I first cashed the gift card then continued to buy the subscription which led to me having to pay the subscription in another way and having 35€ to spend on the Google Play Store. And I have no idea how to spend so much there… Well, but I’m happy if you don’t fall fo this. And I hope it helps, if you cannot pay with gift cards at all, please let me know!

What do YOU think about this nifty new app? Feel free to leave me a comment here or drop me a message in Mosaic if you’re active there!

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!

New page on the blog: Diva Challenges

It’s gotten a bit quiet here lately but rest assured that my motivation is still in very good condition. However, a cold and life in general knocked me out a bit and left little time for tangling. I hope to be back soon with lots of new stuff and I hope you’ll be back so read it, too.

For today I only have a short announcement: There’s a new page here on the blog! I created a page specially for the Diva challenges. It’s meant as some kind of overview and I’ll include all the challenges I finished so far. Of course you can still search for the posts by clicking on the category “Diva Challenge”, but I thought it might get messy over time with old and new challenges mixing up. I’m also currently filling a flickr album with my contributions. However, these won’t be in the original order and appear as I finish them (at least that’s how it will be for now). I’ll include the link to flickr as soon as there’s 25 pictures or something like that so it will be worth paying the album a visit.

I hope you like the new page! If you do, please let me know. I’m thinking about doing something similar for the “One Zentangle a Day”-project, too (which I AM working on still although I haven’t uploaded anything in quite some time).

Now I’ll go back to “work” – this week’s Diva Challenge is waiting! 🙂

Have a nice evening and keep on tangling!

Diva Challenge #253: New Tangle: Molygon

First of all I want to thank everyone who visited last time and even left a comment. I’m always so happy to read them! 🙂

This week’s Diva Challenge, to use the new official tangle Molygon, came as no surprise since the Zentangle HQ released it only a few days ago. I had lots of fun experimenting with it recently, it’s almost like it is alive and snaking and curling its way all over the paper. And it’s very versatile, too. Although I guessed correctly what the new challenge would be, I’m very late this time “thanks” to a cold I caught last weekend which knocked me out for most of the week. At least I was able to look at alle the other contributions to this weeks challenge and believe me: There’s some REALLY awesome artwork there! Stephanie from Everything is Art shared a pictured from her sketchbook where she illustrated some of the fillings she cam up with. One of them immediately reminded me of citrus fruit slices. So.. I took up this idea from Stephanie’s sketchbook (thank you for sharing, Stephanie!) and this is how it turned out:

DC-253_Molygon
Tangles used: Knightsbridge, Molygon

Be sure to check out the awesome artwork of tanglers from all around the world for this weeks challenge, too!

Playground: MOLYGON, the New Official Tangle

If you already know the blog of Margaret Bremner, then you also know she has a few posts on tangles called “… and then some” where she looks at one specific tangle and plays around with it: tangleations, combinations with other tangles, different fillings, you name it. I love those posts: you find out so many new and interesting techniques and other things and they have plenty of eye candy. My new category Playground is supposed to be similar: It’s a post in which I show you what my results of playing around with a tangle are. I don’t think I’m nearly as good or creative as Margaret Bremner is, but I had lots of fun playing and I do hope you enjoy this new category! I’ll start off with the latest official tangle, Molygon, which was officially presented here. If you already did some research on Molygon yourself, too, and want to share your results, please feel free to add the direct link to your post/picture in the comments.

TIPPS for Tangling Molygon

1. At the Zentangle meeting in Berlin earlier this month, CZT Sabrina gave us the clue to pay attention to the gaps between the “croissants” or “bananas” oder “half-moons” or whatever you want to call the shape. And the circles and “snakes” does look somewhat nicer with even gaps, don’t you think? Don’t forget to turn your tile when you’re going around in a circle! It makes everything much easier.

molygon-1
I think uneven gaps may also give interesting results, but for now, even gaps give it a smoother look.

 

2. However, why always so stiff an orderly? What about a space without circles or snakes filled irregularly with bananas gone wild?

molygon-2

I do like this wild side of Molygon, too.

EDIT: Annette from CREA(R)TIVES let me know that this is actually another tangle released in 2014 by Hsin-ya Hsu. It goes by the name of Rocco and you can find it here.

 

3. In the newsletter, Zentangle HQ gave a hint about the best lenght of the next adjacent “banana”. This was an eye opener for me because that is what I had most trouble figuring out. According to Zentangle HQ (as well es tested and verified by me) the ideal length for a new banana is about half the length of the one before. Ok, that’s kind of hard to explain (and maybe understand), but I hope the picture will illustrate this better:

molygon-3a

After a few rounds you do get the feeling that you cannot go all the way around, but about half is a good way to decide how far to go. Also try to keep the upper curve of your banana about the same shape all the time when you’re going around in a circle. That way, it gets a very harmonic look and the last banana will fit perfectly.

4. If you increase the length, though, you end up with growing shapes while a shorter length will resul in smaller shapes. Also drawing “thin” and “fat” bananas will give it a different look:

molygon-3

5. Up to you is also if you prefere Molygon to have sharp or soft cone ends (is that the right name..?). I prefer sharp ones for drawing but both look good.

molygon-4

6. The last hint is about the circles. Did you notice that the circles seem to turn around a specific centre point? If you mark it down with a dot or simply visualise it for yourself, those circles will be really nice. You can either choose a round center point or an oval one. An oval center will result in a somewhat “flat” circle. And together with Molygon‘s curved shapes, some nice filling or shading, Molygon will become very 3D indeed. If it helps you, you can use your pencil to draw a circle or an oval where all the tips meet. I marked the circles in the next picture with a red pen so you can see it better:

molygon-5a

 

These are the clues that I learned from other sources or found out while practising Molygon. Now let’s have some more fun with it!

 

PLAYING with Molygon

1. Vary the size of the bananas. Ok this will happen almost automatically, but you can use this consciously to achieve some really cool 3D effects:

molygon-6
When you’re going over and under, I wouldn’t draw in the bananas that are going under – it looks quite confusing. It might work if you fill all the bananas black but..

2. Use large bananas to connect two circles. Doesn’ it look almost like a bicycle? You might also like to let a “snake” branch out.

molygon-7

3. When you’re going round in circles, try to turn right & left. Even more than with Diva Dance, changing the direction of your circle or turning your snakes this way adds interest to your piece. What’s your go-to direction? I’m a leftie and I automatically tend to go clockwise. 🙂

molygon-8

4. Use Molygon as a border. Molygon makes a nice, dynamic border, too. Changing the direction of every second banana, maybe adding an aura all around, makes a very fancy border, too.

molygon-9

5. Modify the shape of the bananas. The basic idea is still the same, of course, but adding a circle or making the shape (partially) more angular, or anything else you might think of, will give Molygon an interesting new look, too.

molygon-10-1

molygon-10-2

6. Then, of course, the most obvious thing: fillings! Molygon is one of those tangles that really lends itself to filling it with patterns and and other tangles:

molygon-11

Of course, you might also want to fill in the gaps between the bananas – it now looks a liiiittle bit like Narwal, don’t you think..?

molygon-12

And while you’re at it: you might shade Molygon or shade below it to create a floating, 3D-effect. Shading below the bananas works especially well when you go for the wild Molygon:

molygon-5

 

Last but not least I have some tiles I did with Molygon:

2016_0131_Molygon-bijou-1
Bijou with a Molygon-monotangle

2016_0131_Molygon-bijou-2
Another bijou with a Molygon-monotangle

2016_0131_Molygon-KaKAO
ATC with a Molygon-monotangle

2016_0131_Molygon-tile
Tangles used: Molygon, Shattuck

Diva Challenge #252: A tangled inception

This week’s Diva Challenge was such fun: “String Theory: Tangle within a tangle… it’s like inception… but with tangles” – which means: Choose a tangle, enlarge it and use it as your string. The Diva here referred to the film Inception, which I know and like, too. As somebody who always has had some issues with strings (no fantasy or luck here..), this is like a dream come true. This is what I came up with this week:

DC-252_Tangle as a string
Tangles used: AHH, Beadlines, CO2, Cruffle, Mooka, Printemps, Tipple (some with auras), Triangles

My string was Cruffle, one of my favourite tangles (even though I don’t use it very much these days) and yes, I used a glass for the big circle. Small circles are fine, but such a big one…? Nah… I thought about a strong difference in value for each half of Cruffle, to give it a “Yin and Yang”-quality. I didn’t really succeed there, but I still look the result. Might have gone over the top a little bit with all the Mooka and Printemps, but… it looked so empty without them. And I like it. Since that workshop with Michele Beauchamp, Mooka and  I really have become friends. 🙂

I’d have loved to tangle more than this one tile, but this week my time is a bit more limited than last week. However, all the other tiles already postet are so inspiring and  make me really want to use these kinds of strings again in the future. It’s a great idea! If you want to see what everyone else came up with, click here to go to the Diva’s post.

Diva Challenge #4: Starry Eyed Surprise

Another belated Diva-Challenge! Originally, I wanted to pick something from a little later on the list. However, this challenge caught my eye and when I read how this challenge came to be, I had to to it asap. For this challenge Laura showed us the tattoes she and her husband got for their 5th wedding anniversary: stars. That’s why she wanted us to incorporate stars into our works. Not only the challenge itself (stars!) is great but also the reason behind it.

And because of that and since the challenge was such fun to do, I tangled two tiles:

DC-004_Starry-Eyed-Surprise-1
Tangles used: Arukas, Auraknot, Fengle, Quipple

I’m really satisfied with this tile and so happy now that I finished it. I love Arukas, but when the parallel curved lines get wonky or not perfectly parallel, I tend to put it away with my other “I’ll finish that someday for sure. Definitely.”-works (some months ago, I even might have thrown the unfinished piece away). But by now I hve learned that this imperfection is not a bad thing at all and that after shading at the latest everything looks astonishingly… cool. Like this one. And I did my first (black and white) gem! Hope you like it. 🙂 And I hope that someday I’ll discover the secret of where to put Arukas’ “arms” to get an (about) even thickness with each one of them.

DC-004_Starry-Eyed-Surprise-2
Tangles used: Hypnotic, Knightsbidge, Lotus Pods, Quipple

When I put away the first, unfinished tile, I started this one right away with a few stars strewn upon the tile and a few curvy, diagonal lines. I wanted the stars to “pop out” of a dark sky and I darkened and darkened Hypnotic (originally there was very little Knightsbridge involved, it kept growing bigger) further until I was satisfied. I definitely do like the contrast! I read about the black background in a great blogpost this week (tht’s when I read it, I’m not sure if it was written recently or not) which I unfortunately forgot to bookmark. I looked for it everywhere but I couldn’t find it again.. ;-( So if you wrote about how you had to become comfortable with white space first and then started to use black backgrounds or now where to look for, then PLEASE leave me the link in the comments! It was a really good post..

Diva Challenge #251: Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day

Yay, another week has passed and another Diva Challenge is here! It was nice to tangle on something else (I’m working on the next day from “One Zentangle a Day”) and to do the first ever Diva Challenge back from 2011 and number 3 (as well as another one I’ll upload next week), but it can’t compete with a new Diva Challenge. Although… this week’s challenge doens’t come as a really big surprise when you’ve followed or played in the challenge for some time (ok, a few years).

This week, the Diva asked us to tangle something that takes up the theme Moebius Syndrome, since today, 24th of January, will be the Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day. If you don’t know what the Moebius Syndrome is or why Laura gave us this challenge, I suggest you look at her post for this challenge for an explanation. If you want the short version: Laura’s second son, Artoo, was diagnosed with Moebius Syndrome after his birth and since then, Laura has always kept us updated about the highs and lows of this happy little fellow’s life. As far as I know, this is an annual challenge, so it’s not all brand-new. But still important and interesting! This is my tile:

DC-251_Moebius-Syndrome
Tangles used: AHH, Oke, Onamato, Raindotty, Tootle

I really had to refrain from looking at the things people postet in the last few years. I wanted to do something special, but, as Laura put it in her challenge #250 and as many other tanglers commented, too many choices make it harder to decide on anything at all. But since I wanted to incorporate more colour into my tiles, I decided to go for purple this week and use some watercolour – Dioxazine Violet sure likes to run a lot wet in wet and it gave a few interesting foms indeed! For a little contrast I added Indian Yellow here and there, as well as some golden gel pen and some darker shadows in coloured pencil later. When I thought about which tangles to use, I came up with an idea. Have you worked it already? Yes? No?

Well I took the letters from Laura’s son Artoo, who was diagnosed with the Moebius Syndrome, and chose the tangles based on his name:
AHH, Raindotty, Tootle, Oke, Onamato.
Incorporating all these tangles I hardly ever use (save AHH and Oke) into one tile with the task to use the Moebius Syndrome’s logo as a string was quite hard actually – did you know that there are only comparatively few tangles that have a name starting with an “O”? nd they are not among those taht I frequently use or prefer… But I loved the idea of Artoo being in the tile. The overall design is not a really innovative idea, but I like it!

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.

The Diva Challenge #3: Eyes Wide Shut

I still have to tangle the tile for this week’s challenge, so here’s the next part of my “Diva Challenge”-challenge for now. If you haven’t read it yet: I’ll tangle myself all through the old challenges Laura Harms, the Diva, ever issued, starting with 2010/2011. This is only the second challenge from that period, if you want you can read the first part here.

The challenge #3 (yep, I skipped #2 for now) was to draw your string with your eyes closed. Honestly, I underestimated what weird stuff might happen here. Of course I forgot to take a picture of my string, but it looked something like this:

DC-003_Eyes-wide-shut_string

Not a great many areas fit for tangling, hunh? Well… that’s why I ignored most of it and just had some fun. Never forget that the string is only a suggestion! ;-P This is the result:

DC-003_Eyes-wide-shut
Tangles used: Crescent Moon, Fescu, Hibred, Hollibaugh, Quipple and Zinger

Crescent Moon really creeps up quite often.. which is interesting because although I do like the effect, I’m not especially fond of this tangle. Which doesn’t mean I don’t like it. It sounds rather complicated and it actually IS.

On this tile I like the distribution of the values, it’s quite interesting I think. And I like the depth created by Crescent Moon and Hollibaugh together.

All in all the challenge was interesting. However, for the future I definitely prefer to draw my string with my eyes wide open.

The “Diva Challenge”-Challenge: Diva Challenge #1: Simplicity

The next Diva Challenge is still several days away… And I’m a bit of withdrawal symptoms. What could I do..? Ok, I COULD continue with my other project, One Zentangle a Day, but I came to like the Diva challenges so I thought about how great it would be to have a book someday containing all my contributions to ALL Diva challenges there are. Imagine that, wouldn’t that be great?? I’m sure some of you have the same plans, maybe some very few of you are even already there? I’m aware of that this is a very longterm project me being as slow as I am (it’s a miracle I had the last Diva Challenge up on a tuesday, having tangled TWO tiles).

I’m actually doubting myself I can do it, but.. I can always try! However, the question is where to start when you are almost 250 challenges behind? Well, I decided to start from the beginning. I definitely don’t want to do the challenges in numeric order, that’s pretty.. boring I think. And it puts more pressure on me: “First I have to tangle the contribution for challenge 1, although right now I’d LOVE to tangle something for challenge 10! Oh well…” This usually leads to me stopping whatever I wanted to do in the first place – maybe you know that from your own experience? Instead, I’ll choose whatever challenge appeals to me the most at that very moment. However, having lots of choices usually leads to using a lot of your time and energy to decide where to start in the first place. Because of that, I decided to limit my choice a little: I’ll do the first year first. Then second year. And so on. 52 challenges (or less with the Christmas break), step by step. At least, that’s the plan and it sounds a lot more doable.

I started with Diva Challenge #1: Simplicity – which is nothing I’m good at. But this is a challenge, right? I thought about simplicity in Zentangle and came to this conclusion: What could be even more simple than using only one of the basic strokes for an entire tile? And only one tangle, too? What comes next if you think it about in this way is easy: A monotangle using Paradox:

DC-001_Simplicity-1
Tangles used: Paradox

I was pretty proud that I came up with this idea, but when I was falling asleep that night I thought “Still rather complicated, hunh?” That’s why I did a second, much simpler, tile:

DC-001_Simplicity-2
Tangles used: Paradox (shadow towards the center)

Much better! However, I wondered, what would it look like if I shaded it differently..? I mean, simple doesn’t have to mean that it is a oneway street, don’t you think? That’s how these two tiles came into being:

DC-001_Simplicity-3
Tangles used: Paradox (shading each “step” of the Paradox “staircase”)

DC-001_Simplicity-4
Tangles used: Paradox (shading the edges of the swirl)

How many Diva Challenges have you already completed? And how did you collect/organise your contributions? I’d love to read about it!

Zentangle-Meeting in Berlin

As you may know by now, I’m an ATC addict and a regular on the German ATC site kakao-karten.de. When I became an active member there, I came to love the regular meetings where people from the same city (sometimes plus a few artists coming from near and far) would gather, draw together, get to know the face behind the nickname and of course EAT (eating is a very important part in every KaKAO (=German abbreviation of ATC) meeting). I was always a little sad that there were no such meetings among tanglers, only (paid) courses with CZTs. Well, the biggest problem probably is that there is no place like forums etc. to meet digitally and organise such events. That’s why I was really happy to read the invitation for a Zentangle meeting organized by Berlin’s CZT Sabrina Stein and registered a friend (and tangler) and myself immediately for this event, which took place last Sunday.

We had lots of fun talking to and tangling with all the artists who came along – some as far as Würzburg (which, if you’re not familiar with German cities, is in the very south of Germany, while Berlin is in the north-east). Sabrina and her familiy and friends had prepared lots of food and drinks as well as a few surprises: a really big “tile” for everyone to tangle on and a brand-new official tangle called Molygon, which everyone was encouraged to try out. At first I wasn’t really impressed, but then I tried it and… oh my gosh, it’s great! Here is my very first try of Molygon on an Apprentice tile:

2016_0110_Apprentice

My friend tried it out, too, and included some colour and extra patterns (my “bananas” were too small for that):

2016_0110_Neujahrsempfang_von Franzi

Molygon is so much fun and I’ll definitely try out some more stuff with this tangle and post it here as soon (or a little after) the tangle was officially presented.

I had so much fun tangling that I forgot to take pictures until half the people had already gone home… sorry! Here are a few:

2016_0110_Zentangle-Neujahrsempfang
Our unfinished work

2016_0110_Zentangle-Neujahrsempfang-2
Some of the courses that our host offers

You can find more pictures in Sabrina’s blog post.

When we left, Sabrina even had a little gift for everyone: A little paperbag with some candy and one of each of the official tiles (minus the Apprentice tile) there is: a “classic” white tiles in 3,5″, a black tile of the same size, a Bijou tile, a 3,5″ Renaissance tile and a Zendala tile. Althoug I love all the tiles, the Renaissance tile was the highlight for me because I never had one to tangle before. I’m really looking forward to it!

I want to say thank you, Sabrina as well as your family and friends who made this meeting possible, it was a lovely afternoon! Just like everybody says you can’t do a CZT certification course online and online courses aren’t as good as offline courses, Facebook, blogs and the like are just not the same as gathering physically in one place to talk an’ tangle.