Monday, March 11, 2013

Weekly Challenge #109

Happy Monday everyone!
First of all, as always - a few house keeping items:

  • If you're NEW here (and there've been a lot of new additions to the party!) I'm working on creating some tutorials to help you out.  You can click on the links above or:  See "Getting Started"  and "Tutorials
  • To see all the past weekly challenges - click the tabs above
  • Please grab the button for the Weekly Challenge (on the right  sidebar) to display on your blogs! share the fun!
  • The limit of submissions to the slideshow is TWO, but please feel free to post as many as you like to your blogs.  I will take the first two presented to each challenge.
As some of you know, i have suffered on and off from depression and anxiety, and Zentangle has been a real key in helping me keep some semblance of sanity.

It has been a very troubling winter for me.
  1. Winter is never easy, especially when it's not unheard of for it to be -40C (-40F) for any given amount of time.  
  2. We tend to never leave the house unless we absolutely have to.  
  3. Driving conditions can be serious and in many cases hazardous to our health.  
  4. The sun rises around 8 am and then sets again around 4:30 pm, so there's limited sunlight, which we all know is crucial for those who suffer from depression.

Add to this; children in enclosed spaces, preschool, daycare, collecting and sharing germs - inevitably leading to illness... I don't like to be a germophobe, but for my special family - germs often mean serious illness, what is sniffle to one child can quite quickly, and easily, become pneumonia for mine.  Artoo is not even 2.5 years old and has had pneumonia more than 6 times.

I feel the pressure of being a mom, and a wife, and a home maker, and a professional, and an artist, and a friend, and a blogger... and i have a hard time with reliability.  To clarify, i have a hard time dealing with the uncertainty of my kids' health and how, by result of this, i can be sometimes unreliable.  When friends or family invite us to functions or gatherings, my response is always the same.  "I'll be there, unless i'm not."

and that's about all i can do.

i'm not sure why i'm venting... complaining... bitching... sharing all this with you, except that you're my family now, so you get to be a part of this.  :)

Everyone of you is responsible for talking me down of my self inflicted ledge of the past few days.  I want to say thank you for that.  I worry about a lot of things.  You helped me realize that, yeah, i do give a challenge each week - but that my blog is more than that.  And that's something for me to hold on to.

I feel, on the whole, so much better than i did a few days ago - and thank you for making me feel like this was a safe place to share those feelings.  I don't want to make anyone feel uncomfortable, it's really not my intent.  there will be no pursuing TMs (it was written a bit tongue in cheek in my post - a)it's not really realistic b)who can afford lawyers? Not this lady).  I'm going to stick around and continue my challenges in MY OWN WAY as long as i'm able and as long as it continues to make me feel all warm and gooey inside. 

you certainly all helped with that last part.

Anyway, Onwards and upwards, right?

here's a few photos from the last couple of weeks. i feel like i've sort of fallen off the life story train. ;)

I took a road trip with my brother and my mom and dad to Calgary a few weeks ago - to go to my cousin's wedding:

Me and the beautiful bride, my cousin Melissa - i used to teach her voice lessons when she was 12!

Seeing as B-rad stayed home with the kiddos, my girlfriend Christine was my date.
She was a hoot.

This is me and my mom's mom (it was my dad's mom who passed away)
i haven't seen her since Artoo was a wee babe.

Artoo - not so wee anymore.

I love my family, they are so funny.  This is a shot of my aunt and uncle - and my dad, hiding behind the couch...
Kilroy was here.

Chewie - also getting so big... he likes this 'pointy hair' picture.

Colouring some Adventure Time in the kitchen

Sometimes, i find pictures like this on my phone.

this boy loves chocolate pudding.

so that sorta brings us up to speed, by pictures.  lol.

oh - another thing that happened this week - back in January i entered a contest on facebook to win a complete makeover and glamour shot... and i won.  The makeover was on Saturday.
Hair Make up and Photo by Blissful Hair and Make up

Weekly Challenge #109: "Zentangle Quest"
A few weeks ago, Maria Thomas posted a really neat blog post about a new technique or method of using tangles.  You can read about the technique and the photo that inspired it here.

Maria says:
In this exercise, you start with random parallel lines indicating inner and outer folds or curves, add in the banding (in wide aura style, resonant with static). Then, enhance those bands (or not) with tangles you already know and love.
this photo belongs to Maria Thomas
Maria goes on to show many amazing examples of this technique on the Zentangle blog

Rick and Maria have yet to come up with a name for this particular technique - so if one of you has an idea of what to call it leave your suggestions in the comments.  Maria tells me that she just may have a "goody" for whoever comes up with a name they like.

It's important in this technique, to make sure that your 'stripe' lines are parallel to really achieve the look of bands coming around the bars. *if you want to see an example of what i mean by that - check out the top two 'bands' in my tile and you can see where one section the lines were not parallel*  Also, i found that when shading, if you put your darkest line immediately to ONE side of your verticle bar and then smudge out, it helps to create that illusion of 3D.
questing for the best name for this technique!!

My tile is an example of 'no mistakes' in Zentangle - i picked up a sepia pen, instead of a black pen, and decided to just go with it after making my first initial lines in brown.  Seeing as i was already 'out of the box' i decided to try using my water soluble graphite as my shading pencil, which i've done before, but i'd never actually activated it with water before.  I have mixed feelings about these mixed results... but that's part of the fun.  I definitely see some potential though, perhaps i'll experiment in the future...

Have fun!
If you have a blog, add the site-specific URL where your tile is posted to the linkey machine below! Don't forget to link back here so that others can join in the fun! (if you don't know how to find this, you can see my half assed tutorial here)

Also,  please feel free to come back often and visit the links of those people on the linkey machine - don't forget to leave a comment or feedback, everyone loves feedback. ;)

If you don't have a blog but still want to participate, you can email your tile to me and i will post it here. (See the contact tab above for my email address).  The deadline for each weekly challenge is Saturday night so that i can round everyone up by Sunday. What this means is that i will stop adding tiles to the slideshow on Sunday. You're still more than welcome to do the challenges and add your name to the linkey machine.
I will be more diligent with the linkey machine - by editing out the ones that don't work, the doubles, the links that lead to nowhere, the links that go just to blog home pages (this is why we need those site specific urls), and the spam. And there is some spam.  PLEASE do not put your *home* page in the linkey machine... please? for me??


  1. Great photos this week Laura and your makeover, WOW, how wonderful, I can't think of a more deserving person. I love the photo of Artoo and the chocolate pudding and Chewie taking his own photo, beautiful memories!!

    Now for the Challenge, Can I be the first to put forward a name to the technique - Scantling!!

  2. Laura, I love your makeover shot. What fun!

    I can't wait to play with this week's challenge today. In keeping with the naming of tangle enhancements and techniques, which tend to be more literal than pattern names, I think this should be called Speedbumps. :-)

    I would also like to add that I love your challenges and hearing about the trials and joys of your life. I am a mom, and I know how insane life can be. I hope you never feel pressured to put up a challenge when life is too overwhelming. We love you, and we'll wait for you! If the process is too stressful for you, that defeats the purpose, doesn't it?

    I've had a crazy few weeks, and your challenge #108 was the one that got me out of my rut. I had barely tangled in a few weeks and felt completely lost. I sat down to work on a calendar page with last week's UMT challenge, and I found myself again. I don't even care that it was late. It was important for me to get back on the tangling horse and to find my inner peace again. Thank you for helping me do that with your wonderful challenge.

  3. Winter can still be awful, even in the sunniest of places. We moved to the San Francisco Bay Area of California last summer and this winter has still been hard, even though the temperatures rarely get below 50F (during the day) and we have light quite a bit longer than you...I still get those winter blahs. It wasn't as bad as it's been in years past but it still wasn't fun.

    And trust me, I totally understand the not wanting to be a germophobe but having to be one anyway. A simple cold can land Little Man (almost 2.5 years) in the hospital. Luckily, as he's gotten older, those hospital visits have become less frequent. We haven't had to go since moving to California (8 months)...came close once but didn't end up having to go. It's awful. And of course other kids don't quiet get it. ::sigh::

  4. Laura, your tile is fabulous! So happy it is Monday and that you are here for us! Thank you!

  5. ditto tp what everyone else said,
    Plus a great BIG THANK YOU.
    I so appreciate this oasis in the storm of life

    how about ROLLER DERBY for the new technique?

  6. When I saw this pattern it reminded me of a stage set I once sang in for the Verdi opera Don Carlos. It was really only long poles and we had to find our way around and through them. They were literally "poles apart" and I rather like the pun for this pattern, which I'm about to draw on the 15th in my ongoing series of "bits n pieces".
    Whatever is decided, I shall call it POLES APART! :-)

  7. This is my first time posting here - let me know if I'm incorrect. I would call the zent Pipe and Wire. I like the sepia and the shading. Enjoying your blog and all the contributors. Lori W at Art Camp for Women

  8. Laura...I myself need drugs to be normal. If it weren't for my psychiatrist...I don't know if I would have lived through 2012. I love your challenges. PLEASE continue to do them...and know that help some of us get through 2013. :-)

  9. Thank you once again for sharing your sweet life with us. I look forward to seeing your posts and pictures. I did think of a name for the tangle....Jacob's Ladder came right to mind.

  10. Spikey Chewie rocks and what's not to love about puddin' face Artoo...But the glammed up Laura? Now that is sensational! You go girl!

  11. Traci was having trouble posting so she emailed me:

    I cannot get my comment to post regarding the new technique. I LOVE IT!!
    I think it should be called Bendzzen.
    Thanks for your site. It's AWESOME!
    You're so inspiring.
    Have a great day!

  12. I'm so glad that you're feeling better. You just keep on doing what makes you feel good and know that we are all loving what you do!

  13. I forgot to type "and appreciating what you do"!

  14. How do I submit challanges? I do not have a blog.

    1. Suzanne, you can email me your tile. My email address is in the "Contact" tab at the top of the blog. :D

  15. I like Speedbumps, Roller Derby and Poles Apart. Nice!

    But, I have some ideas of my own. I think of honoring Nancy Sampson who loves Zentangle, used to work there, gave Maria the photo that inspired this, and is in very poor health. She also gave us the tangle Sampson.

    So, how about Nancy's Stripes or Fancy Nancy?

    1. I really like this idea. I think Fancy Nancy would be great.

  16. I think a fitting name for this technique might be "blip". We all have them and refer to them as "blips in the road". Sometimes they are small and sometimes they are huge. We just continue to try to conquer them, "one stroke at a time".

  17. Your makeover pic is a real stunner... I love all the color. I think Maria's technique should be called bandypoling, 'cause the tangles are stretched like bands over the 'poles'. I'm assuming (since it's a technique and not an actual tangle) that it shouldn't have a tangly kind of name... but I guess if she does I'll shorten it to 'bandypole'.

  18. Love your new do!!!

    How about 'coll ums' for a name?

  19. This pattern container is really cool. I love the dimension it gives to a tile. My try for a name for it would be Polar. I think of it like a tangle between polar opposites. Thanks for another great challenge!

  20. Love this process I think that instead of 'drawing behind' like we do with hollibough, it is 'drawing around'. Didn't read all of the comments so this may already be posted. Thanks Laura.

  21. idea for a name for Maria's "technique".
    I called it "Illusion" on my blog and everyone has commented that I should submit that as a name for it.
    It is actually not a "tangle" but more of a string or as someone said a "container" for tangles. I think that is why she didn't name it herself. But I do think it deserves a title of some sort for organizational purposes.

  22. Love this new technique--have been fascinated since seeing it on the Blog, so thank you Diva for the timely challenge!! Your challenges inspire such amazing work and sharing by a diverse group of artists across the globe. Zentangle has done nothing less than change how I see the world. I look forward to CZT seminar in October of this year. I am grateful for you and all of the other CZT's who so willingly share so much of their work and give me such inspiration every single day. Heartfelt thanks for all that you do.

  23. Hmm I guess my second name didn't post. In addition to Speedbumps, I also think Bumpers could work. :). One thing to consider is how it will be used in a sentence. For enhancements, we might say, "Now let's add some sparkle by...." I think this technique is similar to Dewdrop so the name should be more literal.

    Laura, have you done a Dewdrop challenge? That's one technique that has been on my back burner.

  24. Sorry for the extra post. My iPad gets hung on on blog posts and sometimes doesn't let me edit.

    We could also go in a different direction and call it Croquet since it looks a little like the wickets/hoops.

  25. Another set of great family photo's, Laura. I am so glad you were selected for a make-over. I must have been a lot of fun and you look fantastic! I love your tile and this new technique. My name suggestion would be "Nancy's Italiano" (like Rick's Paradox and Kathy's dilemma).

    1. should say *It* must have been a lot of fun.

  26. Name suggestion - "Bandangle" - simple and to the point...
    Not happy with my tile but hey ho I guess you have to start somewhere!
    Love your family pics, Laura, and as for your makeover: wow! Foxy, sexy lady ;)

  27. I've been lurking around the challenges for over a month and I finally dived in this week. I love the challenge!
    Spring is almost here in our area, but I totally understand how stress can mess with our mood, keep using Zentangle to relax and hopefully things improve for you soon.

  28. Okay, more name ideas. Since this is not really a new tangle, rather an enhancement or technique, and still thinking of Nancy, how about Striping à la Nancy? or Striping Alanancy? or just Alanancy?

  29. So many great entries and new names for this technique. I guess I'll throw one in the ring: Arcatangle. It is very architectural to me. I didn't master it, but like I said in my post no one else will have a tile like mine :-)

  30. I left a comment on Maria & Rich's site. I called this new Zentangle "Bandoozle". Laura you look so great in your hair and make up photo! What fun. It looks like you had a great time on your trip, too.

  31. Maria Vennekens suggests: Pillaring as the name for this technique.

  32. Thanks for the update on you and yours. Thank you for naming your challenges, you are not alone. Speaking for myself, I am with you. And one more thank you for creating a community.

  33. so fun using this technique - lots of names come to mind -

    Flyover - always like seeing the earth's undulations when up in the air

    Fundulatus - adding the "f" to the Latin for undulate - since it's so fun do use

    Crimpling - because it adds a nice wrinkle to any Zentangle

    Last ones - scrunch or pleating - reminds me of folds that appear when you add gathers to fabric.

    1. Alternate spelling suggested by a friend - fundulattice

  34. Great technique, loved using it. Thank you so much for this challenge, it is stretching my creativity (in a gentle way) which can only be good.

    I love the name in the post from Tinkered Art that is from the latin - Fundulatus - can't think of one myself.

  35. My first posting to the Diva challenge!

  36. And both Ann and I have our challenge tiles on the same post.

  37. Wow, this one scared me to death when I first saw it, so my first tile is almost exactly the same string as Maria's demo. My second, though, I'm kind of excited about. This was a big stretch for me Laura.. Thank you so much for dragging me out of my comfy box. lol

  38. Well, "Bandangle" kept screaming my name, but Mrs. Wibbs beat me to that one. Then I thought something about pillars, and someone cmmeted that already. Sigh, great minds think alike.

    "Fandangle" comes to mind because it does sort of fan out.
    "Piping" The more I
    look, the more it reminds me of pipework or columns.

    So many ideas for such a fun technique!

  39. Sighhhhhh...the writer in me, purveyor of words, didn't stop in the post above. I can't pos here from my iPhone, so thse ideas have been swelling in me. Many many more flit around, and I just have to share because maybe others get the same feling that I do from this.

    Hopping. Wrinkling. Warping (like fabric twisting, maybe that's inspired by watching Star Trek recently). Pucker. Scrunching. Crimping. Banding. Speed-bumping. Hop-skip-jumping.

    I especially like that last one. :) And warping; I like Star Trek.


  40. Laura, thank you for doing this challenge. Even though I have viewed and admired all the beautiful art pieces, this is my first time ! I really enjoyed this challenge and love your blog and the photos of your wonderful family.

  41. I think a neat name for it might be 'ruffle' or 'ruffling' since it almost looks like the way you fold fabric back and forth to make a ruffle in sewing.

  42. It took me a while, but now I thrown my in. I really liked this one.


tangle me some zen, baby!!