Monday, September 19, 2016

Weekly Challenge #285

Happy Monday everyone.

I feel as though it's been a really busy week for me, but as i looked back over my photos this week, i barely took any.  So, i suppose i really have been busy!

I'm still easing Artoo into spending all day at school, including lunch.  I am there to assist the EA to make sure he's safe, because one of the things about Moebius Syndrome is that eating is a safety hazard for him.
my handsome lunch date
 Artoo had his first solo day last wednesday, and he did really well, and so we're planning to "Phase me out" over the next couple of weeks, however his teacher did ask if i'd like to volunteer in the classroom a few times a month, so i'll be doing that too.

This handsome man loves his green bowtie
 Chewie is a bit harder to snap a photo of, these days, what with being 8 years old and all. But Artoo still calls out: "Take a picture of this!!" when he's playing.
playing at the playground
There are still a few gorgeous fall days left, but nights are colder now... and i know what's coming... i'm not going to say it, though cuz i don't want to jinx it.

Weekly Challenge #285: "Relax, bro."
So, it came up in discussion in the CZT facebook page last week -  fellow CZT, Kelly Barone,  asked the question whether or not our work looked different when doing it for the sole purpose of relaxation.

And it seemed that the majority of those who replied agreed that the tangling they did for personal use was a lot different than what they maybe showed on their blogs or pages or in their classes.

I know that this is the case for myself.  My blog is my 'workplace' (albiet an upaid workplace) where i am working, developing a brand, developing a style... and each week when i sit down to write my challenge and do my tile - there's a lot of work that goes into it.  Not only am i creating a challenge, and then working within that challenge, i'm also thinking about composition and balance (some weeks more than others) and i'm thinking about how my tile can come together in one go.  There's definitely some planning - again more some weeks than others.

And i started noticing that in the past couple of weeks, i'm finding myself tense as i tangle, and i'm clenching my teeth, and i'm totally not zen.

So, when Kelly brought it up in the group it has stuck with me and i've been thinking about it all week.

what if....

what if we showed that not every tile we made was carefully planned out, and thought about.
what if we picked up a tile and rolled our shoulders, took some deep breaths and took a few minutes for ourselves to find that place of zen.
what if we didn't concern ourselves with what tangles goes with what?
what if we didn't think about composition, or drama, or how many likes we'd get on instagram or facebook?
what if we did it solely for ourselves, whatever that means to you.

what if we allowed ourselves the luxury of dancing like no one was watching... but with a pen and a tile?

And so, this week's challenge is to consciously make a space for ourselves and tangle like no one's watching.

light a candle
turn on the zen flutes, or the death metal, or the polkas, or saturate yourselves in silence - whatever moves you to particularly bliss out.

grab a warm cup of tea (or put red wine in a tea cup... no judgement)
i'm not gonna lie, it's wine. 

really appreciate the pull of your pen on the tile, and tangle whatever comes to mind.  the first one you think of.  Don't over think it, just do it.  and smile, and breathe, and appreciate where you are and that you're giving this gift to yourself.

If you're feeling brave, post your private work.

Sometimes that's hard to do.  Sometimes, for me at least, these types of tiles are super raw and emotional and intensely personal, but they aren't always aesthetically pleasing.

So.  i'm posting mine.  But don't feel obligated.

If you want to share any thoughts or personal experiences you had this week in the comments, please feel free to do so.
Some of the things i noticed while i did this was that i used a few tangles that i NEVER ever use on my challenge pieces, because i'm not very good at them - because a wonky tile i suck at is not part of my 'style' that i'm trying to portray here... it was definitely freeing not to over think my tile, to just DO and to just go where my pen took me.

Also, i was pretty relaxed and didn't need to unclench my jaw at all.   Don't get me wrong, i enjoy the pieces i do for the other week's challenges, but this was a totally different mindset.  Just pure creation for the sake of creation.

Also, i noticed that i used a lot of busy fine line tangles.  and i really took my time with diva dance, and for fun i tried to see how close i could get some of the lines together without them actually touching - and i had to go VERY slow to do it.

I hope you give this a try this week!

let me know how it goes.
Have a great week!

And if you're on the Zentangle Mosaic App, - i'm @iamthediva - come on by and follow me, and i'm using hashtags on the app for each of my weekly challenges.  So if you're game - use the hashtag #DC285 (Diva Challenge #285) for your tile this week!  You can also search in the app for people's contributions to the challenge by clicking on the hashtag from inside the app, or using the search function.  

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. You are so right, Laura. Sometimes I just race around, like most of us, and don't seem to do Zentangle just for myself anymore. I will make some quiet time for myself and do just that. I like what you came up with.

    1. thanks Jean! i hope you enjoy your relaxing time!

  2. Thanks Laura. I started tangling for relaxation. I have been awestruck (and intimidated) by the gorgeous tiles generated by this challenge. It is comforting to know that there is WORK involved. I will now be happy with more zen and less perfection.

    1. Definitely work involved. for sure.
      I'm glad you found some comfort in that! enjoy your zen!!

  3. It was great to be able to just "do" Zentangle today, than to worry about a particular pattern or direction to take. Thanks for all the work you put into creating the weekly challenges for us tangly people. Cheryl

    1. i felt the same way.
      You're welcome, it's my pleasure.

  4. As you may know, I always put my first attempt online, like it or not, beautiful,or not. I do not always start by taking time to relax, so that is what I will certainly do now. Thanks for this GREAT challenge!!!!

    1. Yeah, i ALWAYS post my first attempt. It was one of the things i decided on when i started this challenge, what, almost six years ago (!?) - it's great so always show my first attempt sometimes they're not that pretty, but sometimes stressful knowing that the first shot is the one i'm posting. I hope you have fun with the challenge.

  5. Great challenge and an excellent reminder for me to RELAX and just put pen to paper. Lovely!

  6. I definitely want to try this and definitely NEED to this week too. Thanks for the reminder Laura.

    1. Definitely needed to try it and wow was it hard :)

  7. Loved, loved, LOVED this challenge! What a treat to return to the fundamentals of Zentangle. Thank you. :)

  8. After a couple weeks of "Cricket Brain" it was great to find the zen again. Thanks!

  9. I love that you did this as it makes me feel better. I know there are those rough tiles, but, it is nice to know that you and others are willing to post those! My thought is that you can't lose the ZEN and sometimes we feel we have to be perfect!

  10. Most time I am tangling for myself, it is what keeps me sane these days with my husband in memory care. It is my escape! Fun to carve some time out to tangle though.

  11. Thank´s Laura for this challenge. It was exactly what I needed today! More comments in my blog!

  12. Great tile and challenge Laura. Loved it!

  13. This was just the perfect "challenge" for me today! I really enjoyed it. Thank you. And of course he loves that bow tie, it is AWESOME!

  14. I enjoyed this challenge very much. Thank you for always surprising challenges!

  15. Kristen Kostelnik KillipsSeptember 21, 2016 at 7:53 AM

    Thank you so much for making this week's challenge about getting back to the ZEN part! I have been struggling with this mightily the last few weeks. I have had virtually no time to do just this and THIS is what it is all about, for me anyway.

  16. Thank you for the reminder to follow the advice we give our students - time to grab a tile and breathe!

  17. Thanks for the reminder of getting back to the basics:) Felt it was very therapeutic and personally much needed. Also, I am so excited, I just got a shiny new shipment of tiles... Feeling refreshed, relaxed and ready to tangle some more:) Appreciate all the time and energy you put into these weekly challenges. Thank you!

  18. Thanks for your gorgeous idea :-) Gudrun S.

  19. A wonderful challenge this week. It's been a rather stressful week. I finally got to this last night and it's just what I needed. Thank you for your wonderful challenges

  20. Perfect timing, Laura! In the past few months, much of my time has been focused on creating and teaching new classes rather than tangling. I now realize that it's when I'm tangling a lot that I come up with ideas for classes. It always comes back to connecting with that inner creativity through the 8 steps, doesn't it? Your challenges always inspire me, as they tend to be more open-ended than others. Thank you.


tangle me some zen, baby!!