Monday, July 7, 2014

Day 1 of CZT15 and Weekly Challenge #175

Okay, so - i'm back from my trip to Providence.  And in 2 weeks i'll be heading back to the East Coast - for the Moebius Syndrome Conference in Bethsheda, Maryland.  So i do have a couple of guest posts lined up - but today WILL be a UMT.... but bear with me cuz i have a lot to say first.  (if you want to skip this and straight to the challenge at the bottom, you can... it's okay)

I got up Bright and early on Sunday morning for my flight.  For an International flight you need to arrive at the airport 2 hours before your flight - so i got up at 3 am to be at the airport for 4 am for my flight at 6 am.

It was at this exact moment as i was taking an airport selfie, that i realized that my first leg of the journey was only to Toronto, so i didn't need to get up so early, i could have gotten up at 4 to be at the airport at 5.... d'oh.  

I went to check my bag, and the lady at the counter tells me that my bag is small enough and light enough that i can probably take it as a carry on, so i decided that's a good idea - but i had to open it up to take all of my liquids out for security.   After security, as i was putting everything back into my suitcase, i was chatting with a couple from Minneapolis about how early it was and how badly i needed a cup of coffee... then i cheerfully got up to walk away - and spilled the contents of my luggage all over the floor of airport security.  nice.  the gentleman said: "i'd offer to help you, but i don't think that's very appropriate" ....uh... no.  So, everyone saw my underpants.  it was good times.  

i'm not awesome at flying, so i created this tile as the plane took off.  i'm okay once we're in the air, but take off and landing are not my favourite.
It did the trick

so long, Canada!
 I had a few hours layover in Toronto, and when i landed in Boston - Maria had told me that they'd send me a car to bring me to Providence.  However, the number that the car people gave Maria was wrong, so the number she gave me to call my ride did not work... and i only panicked a little... i thought, i'll just look up the number for the limo service online... except i was in the depths of the Boston Airport and had no wifi... so, eventually i thought - i'll just walk to where the limos are, and hang out there and see if anyone shows up from my limo service.

Luckily, my ride showed up!

I was so stupidly excited that they had a sign with my name on it, i asked my driver (Sandi) if i could take a picture of it... i warned her that i was a blogger first... She didn't even bat an eye.  She was cool. 

when you're a blogger, you take a lot of selfies
 Sandi was very delightful!  you don't see a lot of ladies in the limo game, so she informed me.  She was super fun, and she got me to the Hotel Providence in 57 minutes!

OH MY GOSH. The Hotel Providence is beautiful.   I only had my phone with me, not my big camera, and i kept forgetting to take pictures of things!!  Luckily, there's the internet.


When i checked in, the concierge said: "you're in suite 726! That's my favourite room in the hotel!" and then gave me my room key... y'know those plastic room keys?
Isn't this the coolest thing ever??
In the lobby some Zentangle folk were handing out name tags and goody bags... so i walked up and they asked for my name... "Laura Harms" to which they replied: "It's YOU!"  and i replied back: "It's ME!"  then - before i had a chance to go upstairs, though, i found Maria and gave her a big hug!! it was so nice to see her in person again - after four years.   It was just barely 6pm and they were starting dinner, BBQ Burgers, so i thought i would run upstairs to my room to get settled and maybe have a quick shower before coming down for dinner.  So up i went...  

The Edgar Allen Poe Suite?? SWEET!

OH my GAWD.  this room was beautiful.  
Some Bedside Poe, for light bedtime reading.
 everything was wonderful! I sat on the couch and looked through my bag and saw the agenda, which had me speaking on Tuesday night.... Maria told me that they had not announced that i was coming.  I had on my blog and on my Facebook page, but they didn't on the off chance something happened and i couldn't make it.  She said that people were just arriving and discovering i would be there!  Crazy.

Shower time - so, i got undressed and was about to step into the shower when i saw this door to a closet and i thought - i'll just put my suitcase in here so it's out of the way.... and i opened the door... and suddenly an alarm went off, scaring the sh*t out of me!  i panicked, the alarm was so loud.... and it seemed to be going off all over the hotel... WHAT DID I DO!!!!

Finally, i small voice of reason whispered to me: "Laura, if there's an alarm coming from your room, someone will eventually come TO your room.... so put some damn clothes on!!" so, imagine this beautiful room, with me in it... buck nekkid, hopping around trying to put some clothes back on so i'd be halfways decent should someone come bust down my door because i had somehow tripped this alarm by opening a closet door....

and the alarm kept ringing... so i called the front desk, and someone picked up right away and said: "Yes, Ms. Harms, is there a problem with your room?"

and i frantically replied back: "I'm so sorry, i don't know what i did, but i opened a door or something and suddenly this alarm went off, and i don't know how to shut it off and i'm sooo sooo sorry"

Y'know that thing when you can tell that the person on the other side of the phone is trying hard not to laugh.... that.

she said: "No, Ms. Harms, you didn't do anything wrong, the BBQ outside set off the fire alarm and so we have to wait for the Fire Department to come check it out before we can turn it off."

me: "Really?? So i didn't do it?"
her: "No, Ms. Harms, enjoy your night."

i felt so dumb.  but totally hilarious, right?

in the end i decided to skip the shower and go down for supper before they stopped BBQing.

By this time, most of the people were out on the patio enjoying their meals... so i went to the food table to gather my burger fixins and chatted with a nice lady.... who recognized me right away, and grabbed my arm and said: "You're the Diva!" to which i replied "Yes?"

Her name is Connie and she said she was a fan.  It's so weird to have fans! :)  She was the first person to ask for, and receive, my autograph.   A sweet lady! HI CONNIE!!
Me and Connie!
 At dinner i sat with Connie, and another woman named Candyce (Hi!) who is an art teacher, and a woman named Hannah who came all the way from the U.K. (Hiya Hannah!)

After dinner, Rick and Maria were going to be signing their books - but before that began, Maria wanted to take me upstairs and show me the Zentangle Store and the Student Gallery.  So much has changed since i went to be Certified at CZT #3, but one of the biggest things is the store.  When i was certified they only had white square tiles.... now there white zendalas, black tiles, black zendalas, white and black Artist Trading Cards, and Renaissance tiles and zendalas... and........ ;)

One of the most humbling things, for me, was how many people brought and displayed their Weekly Challenges pieces!!  It was just so touching, especially since most of them didn't even know i was coming.

Here's Tina, from Switzerland, showing her Challenge pieces

It was also very humbling to hear people tell me that they were there at the CZT training because of my blog.  I am so very grateful to have such amazing readers.

I couldn't stay up any longer, and as i already have a signed copy of Rick and Maria's book, i decided to turn in early - and went upstairs to my room to call my boys and say good night.

I thought this pillow on the bed was very fitting,
 considering i was soon to be a Public Speaker...
 After my long and crazy day, i had a long hot bath, and then relaxed in style.

It would have been the perfect end to the night.  But it was the end of PRIDE week... and across the street somewhere there was some kind of crazy Drag Queen contest happening, with some pretty horrible karaoke renditions of Celine Dion, and some other song i'd never heard of which sounded a lot like a tonedeaf cat, playing a broken violin. And it was Sooooo LOUD!!   I'm not sure when i fell asleep, but i'm sure they were still going by 1am.

Anyway, that's Day one, but i'll leave you there for now and we'll get on to this week's challenge!

Weekly Challenge #175: "UMT - Crux by Henrike Bratz"
Today's UMT Challenge is brought to us by Henrike Bratz!  The challenge is to try out her tangle, in whatever way you like, it does not have to be a monotangle.

I was pretty excited to try this tangle.  It's definitely built off of Bales, which i love, and there is just so much room for variation and tangleation!!  It does take a bit more focus, which i also love, because challenging tangles are fun too.

For those of you who don't know, the first Monday of the month, is a UMT Challenge (Use My Tangle), where the challenge is to learn and use a tangle created by one of you! It's awesome for me, because i don't have time to try all the new tangles i see on the web on a regular basis. This challenge makes sure i'm at least learning ONE new tangle a month... 
if you have a tangle you'd like to submit, please follow this link for the guidelines for submissions. Each month's tangle is chosen at random 

here's mine:
mine's a monotangle - but yours doesn't have to be. 

You can see the step outs for Crux here on Henrike's blog, along with some great tangleations to enjoy!

Have a great day!
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 put it in the slideshow. (send submissions to: weeklychallenge at[not gmail, just mail]. I just ask that you put in the subject line: Challenge # ________ 
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. - although to be honest the deadline is pretty forgiving.
 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. Oh my gosh Laura, how much fun! I would call your beautiful airplane tile " queasy." I love the dotted waves. You have many fans. I am one of them.

  2. I can't stop smiling about your story of underwear and setting an alarm. Thanks for giving me so much fun this afternoon!!!
    Your tile is beautiful Laura, I only wonder if teh challenge is to do a monotangle or not.

    1. Hi Ann, i'm glad you enjoyed it! :D
      You do not have to do a monotangle, i did - because my tile is kinda....small....

  3. LOVED hearing about the first stages of your Providential fun-and-games... and remembering what a fab time I had last year at czt11. A totally elegant and inspirational experience.

  4. Laura, your first night was awesome! We ere in the courtyard when all the trucks and firefighters pulled up. It was a fun trip. Meeting you was a highlight.

    1. Between the fire alarm, the fire trucks, the church bells and the drag show/karaoke, the first night was a little LOUD, but SO FUN! I loved reading your account of your first day. :) :)

    2. Pat, at least you got to see the firefighters... were they cute??

      Katie C - it was definitely an experience. ;)

  5. Laura, I enjoyed your first day of travel (suitcase) and your arrival to Providence. The alarm story is so funny. You are so pretty and photogenic and loved by many of us. Can't wait to read about the rest of your trip.

  6. I love your first day report in Providence, Laura. Terrific pictures and your report is so much fun to read. You rock.

  7. Well, I'm going to give it a go with the challenge! Your blog of the first day brings so many good memories back. Love the photos. . . and the blog!

  8. Loved your story, I was eating dinner when the fire trucks pulled up. I am sure if there had been a video of you, you would have won the $10,000! I have never submitted anything for the challenge, but I will give it a try.

    1. Hey Sharon,
      it was definitely ridiculous. At least i laughed about it. :)

  9. Laura, All I can say about your travel experiences(??) (misadventures??) is: Laura, Laura, Laura....tsk, tsk. Anyway, I hope and pretty much know you had fun there in Providence. Just successfully got on the Linkey Machine for this week. Let me know what you think of it.

    from Duane.

  10. Hi Laura,

    Great post about the first day and hope you'll tell us more.

  11. Didn't there used to be a way to view all the tiles submitted for the challenge as a slideshow, or am I making that up...I swear I used to see them go by as a slideshow rather than having to go to each person's blog. If this is still possible, can someone clue me in on how to make it happen? Thanks. -M

  12. Laura, it's good to see you back!! But I am so glad for you that you got away and enjoyed yourself at CZT 15! Everytime I see some post about the CZT it just makes me want to go, all the more!!!! I WILL GO THERE, I WILL!!!! (That's my secret montra I do to keep it a positive and realistic event) Hopefully by the time I do go, you'll make another guest appearance! :0) Hope Artoo is feeling better and that Chewie had an awesome bday! My oldest just had a bday too! Your guest posters were awesome too. Thanks for keeping us all busy!! :0) Share Humanity :0)

  13. Lucky you to be able to go to the CZT training again. I'm so glad you were able to do that and I wish I could have heard you speak. Any chance you'll share a bit of that with us? (I wish that Rick and Maria would video special guests and post them on the CZT only site for the rest of us.)

  14. Sounds like you had a great time. Looking forward to hearing more.

  15. My time in Providence was great, but not quite as eventful as yours. Reading about it was entertaining. Sounds like for a while "Murphy" was lurking around. Glad it did not spoil your trip. Looking forward to hearing more about it. Do not know if I will ever have the opportunity to go back.

  16. What lovely memories and special time you had in Providence. It certainly was a wonderful treat.

  17. First time posting here... only discovered the art of Zentangle a couple of weeks ago. Have linked to Flickr - hope that's OK?

  18. Just hopped over to your blog from our CZT #15 site and was smilin' as once again I saw the photo from Sunday night. Loved the fact that I actually met you and we could get to know each other better as we chatted over dinner with Candayce and Hannah. SSSooo great reading about the fire alarm story and imagining how it all went down. You're too funny...also, amazing, inspiring, creative, courageous.

  19. Hi Laura. The tile you tangled at the airport is gorgeous! (I have trouble concentrating in public places - how do you do it?) Anyway, it was very entertaining to read about day 1 in Providence and I look forward to reading the continuation.

  20. Oh Laura! You are making my feet itch. I decided it was way too expensive for me to go to a CZT seminar all the way from Australia. When I saw your pictures, and what fun you had. Even though Im 73 there's still life in the old girl yet!!

  21. Hey Laura,
    I envy your for getting to go there again! Wish I could have come!! :-)
    Btw.: The pattern Crux was created by one of my students!! :-D

  22. Really fun new tangle to try and VERY funny story!! It made me laugh... a lot!! :) Thanks. Look forward to hearing about your other adventures.

  23. Thanks so much for sharing your hilarious stories about your trip with us! Love all the pictures too! Looking forward to hearing about more of your adventure to the CZT seminar. Dreaming of going back someday.

  24. Laura, love your CZT 15 story, way to start your experience with a bang of "blare"! It brings me back to my CZT 6 training, fond memories... Look forward to hearing and seeing more. Thanks for all you do for Zentangle Ms. Diva.

  25. Love the fire alarm story.
    I was at Session 15 and had breakfast with you and my daughter Julie. What a treat to meet you.

  26. I was just reading the great info about your trip! Sounds so fun!

    I can't put any pictures on my blog lately, it won't let me, sooo I am stuck! Trying to get it to work. Fun looking at everyone's tangles!

  27. Ms. Diva, all the time I worked in PVD I never had as much "fun" as you had in one day's time. Wish I had Zentangle then--twenty years ago--to pass time at the airport. But this is now and I am seeing so much talent and creativity, it's incredibly inspiring. Look forward to more!

  28. You do see life, don't you? Can't wait for the next episode! As for this challenge, I enjoyed it because it's not "my type" of tangle, so I had to step out of my comfort zone and it's good to do that sometimes, even if I'm not entirely happy with the result.

  29. This is too funny! I hope you had a great stay!

  30. Loved your story about your adventures and travels to CZT 15, I was there a week before. I fell in love with Providence! And of course the seminar was amazing. I did not fall in love with Crux, grid patterns always stump me. I definitely had to slow down....

    Minette Riordan, Ph.D.

    Helping women to align their spiritual and financial success.
    Take a free Sacred Money Archetype Asessment now

  31. I was behind but I'm caught up now! You've been so busy, but looks like fun!!!


tangle me some zen, baby!!