Monday, January 11, 2016

Weekly Challenge #250

Good morning everyone!! Here's what's going on at Casa Diva

Artoo was so happy to be back in school this week! They even planted some seeds for a class room garden!   Chewie was not as excited to go back to school and every day is a battle... and he's only seven.  Heaven help me when he becomes a teenager. lol. 

I'm beginning my fourth year of Mandala work with Julie Gibbons - some of you may have taken her 5 Days of Mandala Magic over the holiday.  And i've been searching for a sketchbook i like to begin this year - and as i couldn't find the one i wanted, i decided to try my hand at making my own. 

It's 12"x12" of Canson Mixed media paper, and the cut offs to make it
square gave me enough paper to make a little 6"x6" journal as well.  
I've always been interested in book binding, and this was my first try at coptic stitching.  Here's hoping i get better with time.

Speaking of getting better with time....
Last year i made a goal to run 250KM over the course of the year, and i met my goal just shy of New Years Eve.  So - with the New Year i decided on a new goal of 366KM (Because it's a leap year) i think that's about 277miles, but don't quote me on that.

barely alive
A few girlfriends and I are trying this 1KMaDay bizness togehter and I've really been enjoying the running, even though i huff and puff and almost blow the house down.  It's hard, but i feel like - i'll only get better with time.  I'll be running the 10K at the Sask Marathon again this year, and also the 10K Mogathon.... so i better get my butt in gear.  It sure is nice to have the support of my ladies, though.

 Lastly, Friday was my main squeeze B-rad's 36th Birthday!  He celebrated Friday night by taking Chewie to a Junior League Hockey Game with some friends,

best seats!
then Saturday was spent taking down the Christmas tree (late, i know!) and playing video games and then takeout from our favourite Vietnamese place and a particular Frozen Cake that he wanted, that i had to go to two different stores to find.

i would have gone to three stores.
it was delicious
Weekly Challenge #250: "Bringing it Back to the Old School"
I became a CZT in May 2010.  I was in the third ever training seminar, and since then Zentangle has exploded.  There are white and black and tan tiles, there are square tiles, round tiles, big tiles, and tiny tiles, you can use gelly rolls and coloured pens, coloured pencils, watercolour....

Over Christmas my facebook feed exploded with the most gorgeous tiles full of coloured gems and beautiful colour coordinated zendalas, and they are all stunning.


Truth bomb.

i find it all overwhelming sometimes.

I *want* to spend so much time learning how to use the hoard of coloured pencils i have all over my house, i *want* to eventually step up my Renaissance Tile game and get better at mid tone.  I *want* to try out every new technique i see.  But i can't to everything.

Sometimes, it stresses me out to think of all the things i should be *TRYING*.  Don't get me wrong, i love looking at everything people are doing.  the creativity of people amazes me.  But sometimes.  Sometimes i think of that simpler time when zentangle was one size.  One pen.  One Pencil.  One Ceremony.

Part of the reason that i fell in love with tangling in the first place was that it took away those obstacles that prevented me from starting.  The elegance of limitations, as Rick would say.

When i begin a tile for a challenge, now i think: "What size should i use? What colour? What pen? What shape?" and i often find myself skipping over that ceremony of zentangle that helped me find my calm space.

So.  This week's challenge is for us to go back to the roots of this Zentangle thing.

This week challenge is to create a piece on a WHITE 3.5" square tile, with a Black pen and pencil for shading.  To take the time to slow down and enjoy the process.  Enjoy the feel of the pen on the paper.  Create a string, and maybe use 4 or 5 tangles you really enjoy.

don't think about composition.  don't think about how you want it to look in the end.  Just put your pen to paper and begin and enjoy the process.  after all.  It's ABOUT the process.  Not the product.
my finished tile
i have to admit - i struggled with this challenge myself.  I found myself sitting there, pen hovering over the tile, wondering "Which tangle would look the best here" and i shook my head and thought: "That's not the point.  you're over thinking.  pick a tangle and go."
i also really had to hold myself back from using my grey fabrico marker for shading.  I didn't realize how much i've come to rely on that tool.

So.  here it is.  I have to say that i'm not a HUGE fan of how it looks, but i AM a huge fan of how *i feel*

Have a wonderful week everyone.

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 have a blog or host your images on line (like on Flickr or Picassa or Pinterest), 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. ;)


  1. Oh, I soooooo agree with you. I do try to stay in the real Zentangle style, but am also trying some new things. I love this 'back to basic'. challenge of yours!!!! Thanks!!!!!

  2. This is just the challenge for me, my New Years resolution was to slow down and use the Zentangle Ceremony more, thanks Laura.

  3. I love this Back-to-Basic challenge! I will try to stay with it. The tile you presented here is wonderful!

  4. Good challenge for lots of us! That's why I try to do the weekly FB Square One: Purely Zentangle challenges too. It's good to stay grounded. to find white tiles...

  5. Yay, thanks for this challenge! Being a relative newbie (I started in November 2015), looking at all the advanced ZIAs is a little overwhelming for me, too. I still love the simplicity of a regular ol' tile in black and white. :)

    Also, my 36th birthday was Friday, too! I'm honored to share it with B-rad. LOL

  6. Thanks, I needed that! I've gotten away from Zentangle because of seeing all the other amazing stuff that people do, my inner critic says that mine will never be that good, that creative, that know! Want to get back to BREATHE and NO MISTAKES :)

  7. There is something very appealing about getting back to basics.

  8. I enjoyed it a lot. It was very freeing and relaxing, but so nice to be involved in each tangle. Thanks! Sarah.

  9. "...back to the roots"... I like this challenge... only doing with fun! Thank you, Astrid

  10. I just bought the 2016 edition of "Tangle guide" from Inside is an article about tangling. It fits to your challenge. You may read it here:

    Follow the rules mentioned in this article ... and you're tangling.

    Don't follow the rules ... and your just drawing beautiful pictures.

    Great idea for this challenge. Thank you.

  11. This is a great challenge. I really enjoyed the process this time without a lot of thinking about compositions and patterns. I just used some basic patterns that I like and that are easy to draw. Thank you for this challenge.

  12. Dear DIVA, thank you for that challenge! You are absolutely right , I started with some pens one year ago and now I have lots of pencils and pens , different types, different colours... It is fun to use them, but I often cannot decide what to use. And mostly I am not focussed on tangling but on the result. And sometimes I am not satisfied with the result. This is the perfectionism which is definitely NOT the target of Zentangle.
    Thank you very much that you pointed it out and reminded us!

    Could you please remove link Nr.12, I have posted it by mistake, it is a wrong link. Thank you very much!

  13. My Google URL is:
    I also challenged myself to go "back to the basics" when I did my 100th tile last week, so you can see it at the above URL. Thanks for checking it out!

  14. Thanks Laura for all your challenges. As you say black and white is great and so powerful

  15. I agree with you about being overwhelmed by all the amazing new techniques out there. It was very calming to just sit and use black and white.

  16. What a relief to go simple and basic. The genesis of Zentangle was elegant simplicity. Also simple, buying the birthday cake instead of slaving in the kitchen. Can you reveal what it was, since it was so good?

  17. Thank you very much for all your challenges especially for this one, Laura! I couldn't have put it better myself!

  18. Congratulations Laura on 250 challenges.
    Love this challenge because it brings us back to where it all started. It was fun to make basic tiles relaxing, Thanks!

  19. This is it! I don´t need that voice in me that tells me that what I do ain´t good enough! Thanks to you Laura. I´ll try to keep this in mind....

  20. I can only be the 21st echo of all that has been said by our fellow Tanglers about what a wonderful challenge this was and how good it is to return to basics. Thank you Laura. When my foul mood kicks in and the winds blow from Judgement, Angry, Craving and Suffering, this exercise is, for me, the fastest way to quiet my mind, if only for a brief few moments.

    Did I say thank you? Well, thank you and thank you all my fellow Tanglers for your Tangles, thoughts and insights.

  21. Thanks for taking away the stress od decision making, Laura, what a pleasure this was.

  22. Loved getting back to where I need to be! And I would like to say that, although I don't comment on every post, I very much enjoy looking at each and every post that has been entered. Thank you for the eye candy everyone!

  23. Ahhh!! I feel so relief that I am not the only one that feel bombarded by gems, shading styles, colouring and so on...
    Last Week I just posted this idea on my FB Page (, using pictures from a book.
    It is a bit of cheating, but I go with the flow of the shapes on the patterns and I don't think about the finished piece, it is very relaxing, but this is only another way of exercising.
    For me but 3.5" tiles are the best; then my A5 notebook where I am allow to make some mistakes.

  24. Really enjoyed the challenge this week - a perfect way to unwind from a busy day - thank you!

  25. Really enjoyed the challenge this week - a perfect way to unwind from a busy day - thank you!

  26. Today I used a string from No 51. Because of that, Vitruvius popped up. That is a pattern I hated when I first learned it. Now I hate it a little but love it more. things like this happens when I go back to old school! It makes me feel good!

  27. Congratulations on the 250th challenge, Laura!!

    I definitely enjoyed the challenge! And it was a challenge. I needed a second tile because I focused too much on the outcome when I did the first one. Not that I'd complain to "have" to tangle one more... *g*

  28. Thanks for the reminder to keep the Zen in our tangling!

  29. Hmmmm.... LOVE this concept! Why didn't I think of it? Oh wait!! LOVE LOVE LOVE you to pieces! Mwah!! Oh yes...Happy Five Years! Thanks for being my inspiration! AND when will I be seeing you again?

  30. This challenge is so very timely and so very needed! I was beginning to feel like the "basics" were being forgotten and lost. I'll echo what a lot of others have already said. The "new stuff" is great fun, but the basics are zen!

  31. Thanks so much for this challenge. I still have lots to learn. Looking at tiles can make a newbie feel inadequate. I've learned there is more to a pencil than wood and lead. It might even contain charcoal! Here's to happy smudging!

  32. Thank you so much for this wonderful challenge! I enjoyed it so much. I also think too much about the result tile and the patterns I combine sometimes and so this was the right challenge for me :-)

  33. Ring the bells! The Basics. Yes! Thank you for this challenge, I too am often overwhelmed with new, additions to our beloved Zentangle. I try them all, and embrace a few. It is the basics that brought me here, however, and it is the basics that I find the most peace. Thank you, DearDiva.

  34. Hi Laura,
    Joey here from joey's weekly tangle challenge and you have totally summed up what I've been going through as well! Lately I haven't completed my own challenges due to overthinking how I'm going to draw them and with which supplies.
    Are we busy Moms? Ya sure, but that shouldn't stop us from taking time to breath, draw and let that creative energy flow. It's about enjoying the journey not overthinking how we're going to get there.
    Thanks for your honesty, it's taken a load off my shoulders knowing I'm not the only one that has felt this way!
    ~ joey ~

  35. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have stepped back a little from tangling because I was starting to feel overwhelmed by the choices and the push (from myself mostly!) to produce beautiful pieces. I stopped by with the idea that I would just do the challenge, not worry about how it looked, or what anybody else said. Lo and behold, your challenge was absolutely perfect for my state of mind. Thank you for expressing what I've been thinking. I haven't done my tile yet, but I am looking forward to it!

  36. Thank you! I love trying the new ZIA beautiful techniques but I am teaching the basic class next week and in preparation have been practicing the basics. That's what ZENTANGLE is. There is nothing wrong with the techniques that have extended from the method but the Zentangle method is all about the Zen.

    1. I FINALLY got my tiles posted! Thanks again!

  37. This was a fun challenge and reminding me of why I started tangling. Thanks

  38. Hi Laura, thank you for your interesting challenges. I'm new to Zentangle and draw already some challenges. Now I would like to join also yours. Your theme for # 250 is great. But since I'm a beginner I draw until now only with black pen and shadows. So I have not to go back to the roots, I'm still there *smile* I hope to get some feedback from exprienced artists
    Greetings from Switzerland


tangle me some zen, baby!!