Diva Challenge #181: “Water”

Wow, this has been a long week! I’m starting graduate school in 2 weeks, and we just had orientation! Also, my husband’s in Germany for work, so I’m “kitten-mommying” on my own for 11 days. Right now, they’re chasing each other all over the apartment, and I have to stop every 15 minutes to referee their play-wrestling. However, I did make the time to make 2 tiles for this week’s Diva Challenge.
I loved this week’s Diva Challenge, which was to create something inspired by water. I decided to play around with a technique of watercolor shading with Gelly roll pens. I felt like the shimmery colors of the metallic and Stardust pens were very “watery.”
In my first tile, I used tangles that remind me of water, or that seem in some way to be aquatic, in this case Aquafleur, Squid, and Quabog. When I finished and showed it to my husband, he said it looked like how water makes you feel, which I thought was a lovely way to describe it.

My first watery tile:


In my second tile, I used Oke, which isn’t a tangle I immediately think of as watery, but when I shaded it with the dark green Gelly roll, and added Printemps as a background, it made me think of a fallen leaf floating on a pond or creek.


I’ve been loving seeing all the other things people came up with for this challenge. Everyone’s been so creative, and it seems to have really encouraged people to experiment and try different techniques. I can’t wait to see next week’s challenge!


Diva Challenge #180: UMT–MacDee

Hi everyone!

So this week’s Diva Challenge was to use the tangle MacDee. When I first took a look at this tangle I really didn’t feel like I was going to be able to do much with it. Most of the tangles I tend to use have at least some curved or organic element to them, and this one is all straight lines. In the first one I did, I tried to incorporate some organic elements, and use MacDee as a background. I wasn’t thrilled by it, but I thought that might just be my reaction to the tangle, so I put it aside and went on with my week.

My first try at MacDee

My first try at MacDee

However, when I was about to start my post today I decided to give it another go. I used browns and sepias, and curved lines, and came up with something I liked a lot better.

My second try at MacDee

My second try at MacDee

How did you guys feel about this tangle? Are there particular tangles you feel don’t work for you? What do you do when you run across them?

Enjoy life!

Diva Challenge #179: “Bijouterie”

Hi guys! Before I get on to this week’s challenge, I wanted to take a minute to share with you the newest member of our cat family:


Her name is Calliope (we call her Callie for short), and she’s an absolute sweetheart. Unfortunately, she also has the cat equivalent of a cold, and so she has to be quarantined in our bedroom until she recovers. As I write this, she seems to be exploring whether our clock-radio is edible. Meanwhile, Daphne, our other kitten, is having older-sibling angst and getting very cranky about the “new baby.”

Now, on to the Diva Challenge!

This week’s challenge was to use the new Bijou tiles (or something similar). I actually picked up a few of these tiles a couple weeks ago, but it took this challenge to get me to actually try them. I ended up doing three: two achromatic and one brown. I feel like they take a bit of getting used to, and certain tangles are harder to do on these tiles. In particular, the more intricate and “background-y” tangles, like Fife, OoF, and Well (to name a few) are harder to do well on the Bijou tiles. But I like that they force me to simplify, and I’m definitely sticking some in my “on the go” Zentangle kit.

Here’s what I came up with:



And here’s a picture of the first one I ever did, which I took while playing around with the filters on my phone.


How do you guys feel about the Bijou tiles? Like ’em, love ’em? On the fence?

Have a wonderful week!

New Project: Found Poetry

Recently, I’ve been experimenting with a new art form, found poetry. Basically, you take a piece of text, and then excerpt words from it to create a poem. In my case, I’ve been using tangles to create the poems from a page of text. Here are two I did last week, using an editorial from the New York Times as the base text:



Here’s the text of the two poems:

My Rain
In name
conduct and find
without destroying the foundation
An early incarnation
of the idea, of the powers
perhaps nobody was wrong, crude, and poor
myth persists
Myths arise

Another myth
drastically different
asymmetries exist
acts of creativity and feats of logic
a new myth
the myth of mirror
the key is the key
performing, simulating,
has been to understand
language, imitation, empathy
is an intense experience
older myths

Creating these has been a fun experience, and I’m definitely going to do more. I love to read, and I majored in English, so it was really great to have an opportunity to combine Zentangle with my love of words. I definitely recommend giving it a try!

Diva Challenge #178

Wow, this has been a busy week, artistically speaking. I’m starting school at the end of August, so I’ve been spinning, dyeing, making jewelry, creating tangled found poetry, and trying to fit as much into the free time I have left. šŸ™‚
And, of course, I’ve been playing with the kitten! She keeps trying to climb a floor lamp in our apartment, to get at the lampshade, but she can’t both climb and bat at it, so then she sits on the sofa and looks up at it, and then mews at me, as though to say: “Mom, make it closer!” Having a kitten is fun, and soon, we’re going to have a second for her to play with! (Pictures coming as soon as the new kitten does)

However, I did have time to go on a long bike ride to the Garfield Conservatory here in Chicago. It was so beautiful! Here are some pictures of some of my favorite plants:






and, of course, a picture of me and my favorite person:


But, all of that didn’t mean I didn’t make time for the last Diva Challenge, which was to use your initials to do a Duotangle. When I saw that challenge, I was momentarily stymied–I have 4 initials (THAS), and I didn’t want to do a “Quadrotangle,” (is that even a word?)

So I did 2, one with my first and last initials (TS), and one with the initials of my middle names (HA):

T(ruffles) +S(prigs)


H(ollibaugh) + A(rtoo)


Have a beautiful week!

My first tangle: Krish

This tangle was inspired by a piece of mixed media artwork I saw in a gallery on a rainy day in Winter Harbor, Maine. I didn’t have paper or pencil with me, so I spent a really long time staring at the artwork, and trying to commit the image to memory. Unfortunately, my attempt to commit the artist’s name to memory was less successful. I think it was something like Chris, or Christopher, so in honor of the artist whose work inspired it, I’m naming the tangle Krish, or, in other words, Chris-ish.

Here are the stepouts:


And here are two tiles using it, demonstrating two different ways to shade it:



Have a lovely day!

Diva Challenge Catch-up, and Big News!

Wow, time flies, and I suddenly looked at the calendar and realized I’ve gotten behind on my postings. But things have been a bit crazy here, with driving home from Maine after our summer vacation, unpacking, recovering, and our biggest news–adopting a kitten!

Here she is cuddling with my husband:


Her name is Daphne, and neither words nor pictures can really capture how adorable she is. She’s clambering all over me purring as I type (or try to type)

Anyway, that’s all gotten in the way of my keeping up with my posts, so I’m catching up by posting last week’s challenge and this week’s in a single post. So here goes:

Diva Challenge #176: BYOB

I painted two tiles for this challenge, one for each of my favorite pick-me-ups:


and Tea


With the coffee one, I used a paintbrush to spatter the tile, and the stain ended up as texture, which I really liked. With the tea tile, I dripped tea from the teabag, and ended up with these fun splotches, which just said “jellyfish” to me. I really had fun with this challenge, and I’m definitely tempted to try it again.

Diva Challenge #177: “Truffles

I really wasn’t sure whether I was going to like Truffles or not, but in the end I got into it. This is what I came up with:


I figured that while I was trying out someone else’s new tangle, I might take the tangle that I just created for a test drive, so I used it as a background.
If anyone’s interested in it, I’ll be posting the step-outs soon.

Have a great week, everyone!

Update: I’ve now posted the steps for my new tangle, which I’m calling Krish. You can find them here