27 January 2011

A shady mug shot!

Yes, I'm milking the 'mug' pun for all it's worth! [grin]  

Here are the final photographs of my ZIA (Zentangle Inspired Art) mug for Laura's Weekly Challenge this week, using the new tangle, Ixorus

Another photo collage of the completed mug.
The (now shaded) insert unfurled.
Close up 1 (showing Ixorus) – before shading
Close up 1 (showing Ixorus) – after shading
Thank you everyone, for the lovely comments and compliments about my mug this week... what a supportive, uplifting community to belong to! 

I am sure the friendship, sharing and generosity of spirit in the world of Zentangle® traces directly back to Maria and Rick's wonderful, 'open hearts' philosophies.  (Not being a writer, I can't think of a better way to word the concept... but I'm sure you all know what I mean).

And thank you to Laura Harms, in particular, for knitting us all together with a myriad of interwebbed (pun intended) threads linking us across the globe.  Even beyond the world of tangles, the wellspring of support for Artoo this week has been Really Very Special.  And some of that magical 'knitting together' will be happening for him inside those spiffy casts he's wearing too, I'm sure. There's certainly a lot of good karma coming back your way from all those bonds of tangly friendship you've been instrumental in creating.

For those of you who asked where to buy 'photograph insert' coffee mugs, I have included a number of USA ('State side') links in the comments section below yesterdays posting. For other areas, a Google search on 'photo insert coffee mug' will lead you in the right direction.
Close up 2 – before shading
Close up 2 – after shading
Yes... suddenly Tasmania, Australia ('isolated, not isolating') doesn't seem quite so far away from all the rest of you.  Down under 'Downunder' is only a keyboard and screen away from each of you. I'm feeling positively girl next doorish. [smile]

I know we've all discovered new tangle buddies, friends, blogs, inspiration, and Community beyond expectation.  (If we could map the connections visually... wow, that would be fun.  Anyone else out there with too much time on their hands who'd like to give it a go?!)

Okay... before I get too carried away...

This 'Wanted' poster is just for Fun (and perhaps because I have too much time on my hands?).  If you enjoy the effect, you can easily create your own, by uploading your photographs at Photofunia (free and fun).  (I did further edit mine in Photoshop slightly, to change the text.)

"Anything is possible, one stroke at a time."™ – It's a LIFE sentence!
Just time for one last photo before I log off (blog off?) for the week.

This is my 'Starry Eyed Surprise' tile (unposted previously, from the challenge in Week 4).  I wasn't happy with it for the longest time.  It still doesn't look particularly Zen to me.  Perhaps even the opposite? I don't know.

So, although it was drawn on an original Zentangle® tile, I'm going to think of it as ZIA (Zentangle Inspired Art).  It seems to be the week for ZIA this week. [smiles]
Starry Eyed Surprise, ZIA
(on 3.5" square tile using black & red Pigma Microns)

It's a mug's game!

A very quick blog entry tonight (for the origin of this post's title, read here).  For Laura's Weekly Challenge, both Mel (Lone Creature) and I drew (tangled) coffee mugs. (Travel coffee mugs: a sheet of paper - shown unrolled below - is inserted inside the outer, clear plastic mug cover.)  So, for a change, I did ZIA (Zentangle Inspired Art) for this Challenge, instead of a traditional Zentangle.

My new coffee mug - every side (finished, shaded pics tomorrow).
I started mine Tuesday (yesterday)... and have only – so far – taken photographs of it *prior* to shading.  But I wanted to share it with you all straight away. I'm really pleased with how it's turned out!  Today I finished all the shading, and I'll post that tomorrow, if I can find some spare blogging time.  

Section of my tangled mug showing Ixorus and an Ixorus tangleation.
Thanks, Laura, for yet another fun challenge.  
The entire tangled insert unrolled.
And I love Ixorus. Betweed may be finally going to take a back seat to this new love affair. You will see that I've used both basic Ixorus and also one of the tangleations* based on the structure of Ixorus - also seen on the Zentangle newsletter.

* "tan-gle-a-tion  (tan-gəl-shən)  noun 1. A noticeable variation of an existing tangle" ← from Zentangle newsletter

Some close-ups of each section of the mug (you can click on any of the photographs below to see larger versions):

Very much looking forward to using my mug out and about.  I suspect it will become a great conversation starter!
Kit's new favourite mug.
Happy Tangling!

16 January 2011

Shades of (very subtle) grey

Kit's 2011 Calendar - January (so far)...

I made a fun discovery regarding shading, while playing with Nzeppel on my 2011 Tangle Calendar... which, of course, I'm going to tell you all about!


I like to use rolled paper tortillons to push my pencil shading around the paper. Tortillons have a firm tip that I find doesn’t need to be sharpened or reshaped as often as the paper stumps I've used in the past, and they’re so cheap I buy them one gross (144) at a time on eBay. The tortillons I buy are quite short, so I mount them in a pencil extender for more comfortable use. (I have used Amazon links for each of these items, so that you can see an image for each tool, but there are heaps of these items on eBay, and the latest Zentangle® kit I ordered came with a rolled paper tortillon in it.)

2011 Calendar: 

I have started a ‘one square a day’ tangle calendar this year, inspired by AC's beautiful calendar. I bought a lovely blank calendar, to which I add one tangle a day (my one and only New Year’s resolution for 2011). Mine is a blank, acid free "Keep a Memory" Do-it-yourself calendar. But, if you'd like a lovely, Zentangle inspired, blank calendar of your own, there is still one of these beauties left (at time of posting) from Open Seed Arts on Etsy!

Now, as they say in children's books, "on with the story…"

Shading Trick: 

On the 2nd of January, I decided to do a square of Nzeppel. When I had finished my tangle, I wanted to add a very light and floaty effect for such a small space, so I was loath to add too much pencil shading, which may have resulted in too much grey and too little contrast. So, as I was thinking about what to do next, I dabbed at the page with my tortillon ...a Eureka moment!!

The tortillon left a delicate, soft, light-grey shading mark on the page – just by dabbing it directly on to the paper (no pencil)!

I shaded the rest of Nzeppel using the same technique – and was very happy with the result.

There was enough graphite sitting on the end of the rolled paper tip of the tortillon to leave a lovely delicate shading and, when it began to fade away to nothing, I just ‘topped it up’ by running the tortillon tip along my pencil tip a couple of times. 

Initially, I suspected this would work best on the super smooth paper of the calendar… but I tried it on a Zentangle tile and it worked very nicely there too!

Thanks to Linda Farmer for encouraging me to tell this little story -
I would recommend all tanglers to read the tanglepatterns.com article about shading!
You can find more brilliant examples and shading suggestions at Mel's blog: Lone Creature.  Check it out to explore the differences between blending (or not), pencils of different softness, shading with white on dark cardstock/paper, shading using your Micron, and how to provide a sense of depth, shape, and 'outline' without using outlines at all. 

Phine has posted some great visual examples of shading techniques here. Check it out!

And yet more shading fun here at stART's blog - I'm going to find my Copic markers and give it a go!

08 January 2011

Eyes Wide Shut

Yikes, I'm running late with my post for this week's challenge from I am the Diva!

This challenge was to draw our string with our eyes closed (*a string is the term for the pencil line that cuts up the tile into sections). There is already a fantastic slide show up on Laura's blog of the results - go take a look!

As for my attempt at this challenge:
  1. At our weekly Tuesday Tanglers' get together (coffee, desserts and tangling - what could be better?!), Melissa made sure I kept my eyes shut (while, unsuccessfully at times) trying to keep the pencil on my tile.

  2. My string!
  3. I forgot to take a photograph until after I'd added my first tangle, but you can clearly see my string in this photo. It was quite angular (which didn't surprise me), but also quite interesting (which did).

  4. As well as drawing my string with my eyes shut, I decided, in the spirit of the challenge, to use only tangles that I had never used before (without practising them first!). Tangles with my 'experience' eyes shut [grin].  There are two exceptions to this - and I'll explain the reasons as I go.

  5. So I started off with Margaret Bremner's Lilypads. (Hmm... I clearly need a little more practice with that one.) I thought this corner looked overly dark and heavy (too much pond, not enough lilypads), so I added a few white 'pond bubble' dots to the surface to break up the black (see next photo).
    Still with an empty centre!

    Tool note: I used a Sharpie Poster Paint, Extra Fine Point white marker for this - another tool I had never used before (because I didn't have my Dr. Ph. Marten's Bleed Proof White with me).  The Sharpie Poster Paint is a water-based opaque paint, water- and fade- resistant, and acid-free. It is beautifully opaque, but I would suggest that people don't add it over the top of their Pigma Micron until it is well dry, as it has a tendency to 'bleed' (or 'feather') otherwise.

  6. Then, from the top left corner and working around the tile clockwise in toward the centre, you'll see Carole Ohl's Coaster, Zentangle's Cirquital, Nancy Pinke's Facet, Criss and Cross from Suzanne McNeill's recent blog posting, and (one of the two tangles I've used previously) Melissa Hughes' Hatchpatch (be sure to check out her other tangle inventions while you're there - her pencasts are just brilliant!). 

    I used Hatchpatch (though I have used it before) in celebration of its publication on Linda's tanglepatterns.com this week!

  7. Then, after Lilypads, you can see Carole Ohl's Lots-a-dots, which I very much enjoyed doing. A tangle that particularly comes to life after shading.
  8. After I had finished Facet, I added some of Mary Elizabeth Martin's Laced (the other tangle I have used previously), because I wanted to draw everything together a little better... to give the whole design a more cohesive feel to it. I can't explain it any better than that - a lot of my design decisions are instinctual, not theoretical!
The empty centre still had me stumped, so I left it until the next day. Again, I wanted to give the tile a more 'united' feel - so I decided to fill the centre (all those small sections) with Zentangle's Drupe. This gives (I hope) the eye a central 'anchor' to rest on.  Finally, I couldn't quite resist the urge to put myself in the tile... you can see me peeping out from behind all the tangles... just my eye (wide open this time!).

And here is the finished tile! 
Thank you, Laura, once again for a fun challenge. 
I can't wait for the next instalment!

    07 January 2011

    Pay it forward, 2011... (short note)

    If you head on over to my Facebook page there's a fun give away that a bunch of FB artists are participating in at the moment. 

    I've still got some places left for my give aways — both on the Dreamscribe Designs Facebook page and on my personal Facebook page.
    If you already 'like' Dreamscribe Designs on FB, the permalink is here.
    And, if you're a personal FB friend, the permalink on my personal page is here.
    If not either... that can easily be remedied. ☺

    If you wish to participate in this fun, non-reciprocal (at least not back to me) art exchange, you will need to send me a postal address.  But, since it's going to be a (surprise, surprise) Zentangle - it is entirely envelope deliverable, so you can send me your work address if you would prefer.

    Addresses should be sent to my email address: dreamscribe[dot]zentangle[at]gmail[dot]com

    New blog post coming tomorrow with "Eyes Wide Shut" challenge tile.....