Thursday, November 29, 2012


Hey, tanglers! This post covers three things:

1. Weekly Challenge #97: String Theory v. XX- 'No Strings Attached'
This one involves drawing a tangle without a starter string, which I have not bothered to shade because I hate it. I know what went wrong... because when I get going with all the chaotic stringy stuff boinging out of every nook and cranny, it makes it dang near impossible to add more patterns onto what I've already drawn. The ladybug barely made it out alive.

2. Weekly Challenge #96: New Official Tangle: Zinger (same tile as above... it did get marginally better upon adding a few of these).


3. my contribution to fellow CZT Dilip Patel's Ganesha collection. He's trying to round up a hundred of them and I do believe he's got less than ten to go. They're all so different and interesting to look at... you can go here to see.

One more thing...

The time has come for me to stop being lazy and separate my personal and Zentangle facebook lives... so I've added a page that will be exclusively Zentangle so those who have added me through this blog and the CZT forum will actually see Zentangle-related posts, and not just the jokes and ridiculously cute kittens that all my IRL friends must constantly endure.

You can find my new page at
Big thanks to all who have already liked the page. :o)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

tangles of suburbia.

Thought y'all would be interested to see a write-up in a local magazine about Zentangle, from a city just north of Dallas.

Short, but compelling... kinda makes me want to find a CZT and take a class.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Weekly Challenge #95: "Mickey"


I haven't loved a weekly challenge this much since the one where we had to illustrate (in tangles) the part of the world in which we live. If this was a Disney challenge instead of a Mickey challenge, I expect a lot of us would have burned right past Mickey and come to a screeching halt in front of Tangled. hee.

Straight to it, then.

✿ Top left- the life preservers from Steamboat Willie.
✿ Left Mickey- bunzo-esque pattern, reminiscent of the tail of the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland.
✿ Middle- a new pattern (no name yet) I've been playing with that just happens to resemble Mickey's shoes.
✿ Bottom right- a variation of unbatz, modified a little to look like the flower in Minnie's hat.
✿ Right Mickey- a pattern introduced to me by my stepsister (also unnamed thus far... though it looks like a bunch of smurfs sat on a photocopier).

And while we're on the subject of Mickey...
Here's one really good reason to visit Disney World.
Really REALLY good.

In case you were wondering what he looks like, here's a picture of my wonderful husband.
He's a looker, is he not?

And here's some fine art to make you giggle. We took the Disney animation studio tour on the day one of the animators was teaching the tourists how to draw Donald Duck.



We laughed 'til we cried when we looked at these later...

Although it may have been because we delirious from drinking these mysterious (and potentially radioactive) cocktails.

(meet Julie)

Have a good week!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

first time for everything.

I LOVE artsy group projects. I love to be around other creative people who inspire me. People who spark new thoughts and ideas... people who are a lot like me, and yet so different than me that there is no end to their interestingness. 

I started this blog in March of this year, shortly after my exhilarated return home from CZT 8 in February. Prestrung zendalas were brand new and unreleased right up until seminar started, so they were met with a great deal of enthusiasm. My first group project as a CZT was to release one set of zendalas out into the wild and then blog 'em upon their return. *counts months on fingers*  Well... better late than never.

This took me forever to finish. You can see why. I didn't know anything about mandalas. I thought it was way too busy and chaotic to be pretty, because I didn't realize it was common to repeat patterns in different sections. Didn't even occur to me.

Fortunately, everybody else that was in on this project knew better! Caren used the same tile I did, and you can see how much more 'together' it looks with the pattern repetition around the tile. 

Caren Mlot • South Carolina

Cheryl Cianci • Connecticut

Elaine Huffman • Massachusetts

Meredith Yuhas • Connecticut

Amy Broady • Tennessee

Ellen Darby • Ohio

Ellen Gozeling • Netherlands

Joyce Block • Wisconsin

Sandhya Manne • Texas

Carolyn Boettner • Wisconsin

While we're on the subject of round things... here are a few mini-dalas I was funning around with a while back. They're three inches across. I found them to be much more challenging than smooth-edged circles because I felt like I needed to start on the outside to get the border right and then work inward. I suppose if I had used pencil guides, I still could have started in the middle. Hmm...I'll have to play around with them a little more. 

I would love to see a random grouping of these on a black background in a simple frame, like lily pads drifting on a pond.

I have seen so many incredibly great zendalas since they were first released, including several from Sandhya Manne and Suzanne McNeill, who just released a book called Zentangle 7: Inspiring Circles, Zendalas, & Shapes. I attended a watercolor zendala workshop with Suzanne during Angie Vangalis' CZT marketing retreat a couple of months ago. All of us had fun... some of us had wine. Hilarity ensued. That's all I'm sayin'.


Maybe I just have it on the brain because I'm wearing snow boots with my nightshirt right now (don't ask, it's boring), but for those anticipating winter and counting down the days 'til Christmas... you definitely will not regret clicking here.

Monday, November 05, 2012

UMT Challenges 85 (Copada) & 94 (Socc)

I'm combining two weekly challenges here 'cause I haven't done any in a couple of months. Both are from 'use my tangle' challenges. If you don't know what those are, you:

A) are really missing out.
B) should go here immediately to check it out.
C) should really consider sharing that awesome new tangle pattern you've been keeping under wraps. Blog it with the steps to draw it, give it a goofy name, and link it up. It's cake.

Sooo, the challenge. Here's my version of Copada (thank you Margaret Bremner) and Socc (ditto Erin Olsen). Erin also does the Weekly Zendala challenge. I haven't done one of those yet, but it's on my bucket list.

In addition to catching up on all Diva challenges I've missed, I've been smurfing around with a new series of tangles by combining existing patterns into new ones. You can jump to my last blog post, Tangle Remix Vol. I, here. If you leave me a challenge in the comment field on that page, I'll attempt it and post it on that page. Sometimes the results are great and sometimes they're what could only be described (politely) as a hot mess... buuut, I'm having a really great time :oD

Thanks for visiting sandyland!

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Tangle Remix, Vol. I + PUFFLE

I work best when I'm (properly caffeinated and) avoiding something else I should be doing. Yesterday, this room was a disaster. Major upheaval going on in here. I've got at least a couple of hours of work left to do in it, so naturally, I'm diving into something I would rather be doing, and avoiding the mess altogether. There's just something about procrastination that gets my creativity crankin'. 

This is a really rewarding artistic exercise for me, taking tangle patterns I already know and kneading/squishing them into something new. The mission: pick two patterns, adopt at least one element from each, and make a new pattern out of the pieces. Like a lot of things I post on my blog, these tangle patterns were more of an exercise in creativity than relaxation. As far as true Zentangle patterns go, these variations are probably not repetitive enough to get fully submerged in the zen. I dunno... maybe I could still lose myself in them for a while. Or if all else fails, I'm pretty sure I could just lose myself in this room. God knows I haven't seen my desk in weeks. 

Pardon the randomness of the pattern layouts; this post has been in the making for a looong time. 


Tangle remix no. 1:
Eylet & Ribbon (Lori Howe) & 
Crescent Moon (Zentangle)

Tangle remix no. 2:
Assunta (Zentangle) &
Paizel (Angie Vangalis, CZT)

Tangle remix no. 3:
Huggins (Zentangle) &
Hypnotic (Elena Hadzijaneva)

Tangle remix no. 4:
Afterglo (Carole Ohl, CZT) & 
Cadent (Zentangle)

Tangle remix no. 5:
Assunta (Zentangle) & 
Paradox (Zentangle)

Tangle remix no. 6:
W2 (Zentangle) & 
Dansk (Margaret Bremner)

Author's note: As much as I love the above remix, it's not technically correct. 
You can go here to see what Dansk is *supposed* to look like. 

Tangle remix no. 7:
Fleuri (Genevieve Crabe) & 
Veezley (mine)

Tangle remix no. 8: 
Indy-Rella (Zentangle) &
Joy (Joyce Block, CZT)

Tangle remix no. 9:
Sanibelle (Tricia Faraone) & 
Mumsy (Sandy Steen Bartholomew)

And last but not least...Tangle remix no. 10, my FAVE: 
The basic shape/flow of Prestwood, aura'ed to the nth degree like Cruffle. I love this pattern because it's curvy and flowy, and has natural shading even before the pencil comes along. All of those converging lines naturally darken the parts that would be shaded anyway. Wiiin.

The official how-to:

Some tips for a perfect Puffle:

• Begin and end every inner aura at the same point within each section, down in the 'valley' where all the lines converge.

• Sometimes closing the shapes all the way makes that first outline skew a little bit too far in one direction or another. A couple of 'lobes' can always be added to the next section to compensate, as you can see in the examples above.

• When you draw that first continuous outline, close the loops as much as possible. The more open that space is, the harder it is to add in the auras so they look right:

• As with Cruffle, the step that most determines whether your pattern will look right is the FIRST loop inside the initial outline (shown below in pink). If there is an evenly-spaced gap between the first outline and that first loop all the way around the curve, the rest of the pattern will look fine. Getting that first aura right is like using auto-tune for this tangle (only with less cheating!). Notice that the middles (the last stroke) are not even or perfect, but it doesn't matter because that gap in between the initial outline and the first aura within it are evenly spaced.

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Here are my responses to the challenges you left me in the comments:

Virginia's was a tough one... I faked it. :oD

And here we have Mooka on a stick.

This is me reporting live from my couch... sorry this isn't scanned in like it should be. Been sick the last few days, and my camera phone was just so much closer than my scanner. 

(I'm on antibiotics, and they make me lazy.)

Thanks for posting these challenges for me... they were really fun!

Here's an updated version of Purk vs. Squid WITH pencil guides... Purk looks infinitely better when you're working within a shape and not just drawing it freeform (like the one above).

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come visit me here!