Monday, July 6, 2015

Zensdays: Summertime Color

This summer the diva, Laura Harms, is taking a break to spend some quality time with her young family and has turned over the responsibility of challenges to a others. So if you would like to follow her blog this summer click HERE to see what you may have to opportunity to attempt in the way of interesting Zentangle creations. This week, Jen Crutchfield CZT, has challenged us to add color to our work. Her creation was done on white paper in red/white/blue inks but she is open to seeing how we interpret the challenge. Wayne and I are each using a watercolor paper which our daughter rendered hombré-style watercolor washes onto. As you can see I went a little wild and it was a great practice session working with the tangle pattern Mooka. Not every line as I wanted them but it was Zen and that's what this one was all about today.

Wayne's creation this week is also done on one of our daughter's watercolor wash papers, but he used Sakura's Moonlight set of gel pens (38716). The colors he used were hot pink, purple and the color that looks blue (to me anyway) was actually teal...then he used a white gel pen on the Akoya tangle beads for highlights.

We were relaxing for the weekend at my Mum's home and here are a few pix of Wayne icing his knee and tangling on the back of an envelope. I find his creations all over the place done often on envelopes. BTW he said today his knee is feeling better.

Wayne working a grid based pattern.

Mom with pal: Sir Gawain and BTW when you order from you are directed to the website she created on her own. Pretty great for someone almost 80. Yay!

Bachelor Buttons and the twenty-four  fruit trees in the background which she nurtures for a bountiful harvest in the late summer.

They have had an extremely hot spell in Eastern Oregon and the peaches will be ripening a lot sooner than usual.

The English Walnut tree has been dropping nuts and foliage into the lawn and Wayne has had the fun (yes he does actually enjoy it...or says so anyway) of helping with mowing the lawn on Mom's riding mower while here. When we aren't here she does it herself.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Zensdays...a bit tardy this week

So this week has been wilder than last week and I am finally getting around to doing my post for the Diva's challenge

Our daughter is visiting and she did this gradation or wash with watercolors for me to tangle.

This week the challenge is UMT (which stands for 'use my tangle') and Laura randomly chose Alice Hendon's tangle called, All Boxed Up. And on Alice's site she had done a wash of color with a very simple showing of her tangle. I loved it...well, you know how I am about color....soooo I really wanted to give it a go. But I didn't have time to play as much as I wanted, so Liz (daughter) did this pretty coloration on a watercolor paper that comes in a spiral pad by Strathmore and had just been taking up room in my stash. Then I attempted without much practice this new tangle. Not so bad if you don't look too closely. AND Liz and I had a great time collaborating, so you can't go wrong with that experience.

So now I am off to see what everyone else has been up to...looking forward to seeing some beautiful work.

I may not have time to visit everyone and leave comments this week, because of my company and commitments. But hopefully soon. By the computer has locked me out of commenting on Flickr and Pinterest. It keeps telling me I need to update, so eventually I'll be back on track, but maybe not until later this summer.

Here is my creation....with no shading, but I don't feel that every tangle I do needs that finished shaded look. I have a great idea for making it into a card, so although it's not totally finished yet it will eventually end up in someone's mailbox as a card.

Click HERE to see Wayne's creation for this week's Diva challenge.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Zensdays: Challenges....last week of May!

I'm off to a sluggish start this week on challenges. But I have my diva challenge done and will add more if I get them done. This week Laura had an interesting idea. Only use tangles with straight lines which I thought was a very clever challenge. Because there are oodles of straight lined tangles that if you take notice really have a curvy look to them just depending on how those lines come together. Paradox which I used as a border around Weben is one of those tangles. I have to admit I didn't put my thinking cap on to go down that road even more, but rather I wanted to try a new tangle (hence Weben) and then I vowed that my next opportunity I would utilize a tangle that I love to work with (hence Paradox). Paradox is done with all straight lines and this week I did the "columns" variety rather than the fans application of Paradox. I don't really make a habit of looking at the other challenge postings on the diva's site until after I post my challenge, but I am thinking this time around it will be fascinating to see what others have done. So follow the link above and see what's happening there and do give it a go and join if you get the chance. Everyone seems to be so supportive, so if you don't get the chance to tangle this week at least leave a comment or two for those who like some encouragement. (Which BTW is most of us!)

Also if you want an interesting read this week, stop by the Toula Boula site... Becky Robertson has some very thoughtful insights on her Monday's Muse regarding creating. As a teacher I am always interested in knowing how others approach creating and the perception of perfection and how to deal with our own and our student's creative vicissitudes. This is week four of her Love Notes challenge and an opportunity to make a card for someone you care about. I hope to have the time to do a birthday card for a friend!

If you would like to view Wayne's diva challenge click HERE to view his Flickr site with his latest creation.

I told Sarah at that each time I see her blog I remember years of pleasure with our corgis.

Our daughter is visiting this weekend and she just turned 31 this month! In honor of her visit I am posting a pix of her with her Corgi (one year old).

She is now pregnant and we are looking forward to years of fun with grandchildren and maybe even more Corgis in our lives.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

One Step Cloisonné

This technique is called one step cloisonné and is really quite simple to do. The feather stencil  (LG760) is paste-embossed the regular embossing paste (DEP) onto a decorative paper. Then when it is dry the clean stencil was repostioned onto the feather and it was stenciled with aqua pigment ink. Leaving the feather stencil in position the spiral dots stencil (LX 7029) was positioned on top of the aqua feather and stenciled with varying colors of purple pigment inks. (Remove the stencil at this time.) The advantage of the pigment ink is that is stays wet for awhile so now the Deep Impressions embossing powder was sprinkled on top and heated with a heat gun. Be sure to leave the paper flat and not hold it at an angle because thicker powders like this can slide while you are heating them and slip onto the paper. Repeat the process with the Hello stencil (LS96). The feather and the hello are nice and shiny and thick on this beautiful background can see the shininess, especially on the shaft of the feather and the hello. Fun to do and lots of kudos from friends who receive this beauty in the mail.

All of the linked items are from the site.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Winners for the Showers of Showers: April Challenge it looks as if we missed posting the random winner for Showers of Showers/April Challenge. 


Our winner for April is Leanne S. #3 

and this month we are also choosing a commenter: 

that winner is Burning Rubber

Please choose a Dreamweaver stencil and email me your snail mail address at and we will get those off to you poste-haste!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Zensday's New Challenges

I'm posting this for two different challenges. The Diane Clancy challenge for S-T-U of the ABCs challenge. 

I used Starmap, Ticking and Undling...the three together make a window on the universe with the Undling as flowing curtains and the Ticking as an unraveling valance over the Starmap.

I also made this do double duty for the diva's #218 challenge of "White on Black". I used a Sakura white gel helps if you use a lighter pressure and keep moving, or the ink tends to puddle or blur. I used 80# card stock which is a black linen that I happened to have on hand. The diva, Laura Harms, is giving us the choice of doing the white on black or the opportunity to do a ZIA with a found object. Would love to do something with that, but not sure when I'll have might not happen until next week. The tangles used were: Starmap, Ticking and Undling. Go to to find the step-by-step instructions from the creators of these patterns.

Also Becky Robertson at Toula Boula is giving a challenge to make a card for someone you love and post it on her Monday's Muse. This month her Monday's Muse is called "Love Notes". Click HERE if you are interested in knowing more, she has a beautiful website and blogs regularly, she often posts to the diva's challenges and has some interesting information on this that and the other, an enjoyable read because she really writes well. The card can be made with altered art, fine art, stencils, rubber stamps or pretty much any medium you want to use as long as it's a card for someone you care about. Mine is for a friend who's been going through a difficult time. The "friend" tag was done with shrink plastic. The daisy stencil (LL548) was done with the double glitter technique and the raindrops stencil (LJ905) was paste-embossed with pearlescent embossing paste (DPP) on top of acetate then adhered over the top of the glittered card. If you are interested in the Double Glitter technique email me at and I will send you the instructions in a pdf format. The links for where to find the stencils in this paragraph go to my Mom's website

Hoping you have a wonderful time tangling and stamping and stenciling this week! Would love to hear your comments. Wayne just finished his post for the diva's challenge #218, so here is his Flikr link.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

P-Q-R Challenge for DC

Finally getting around to doing my alphabet challenge this week for Diane Clancy and Zandypant's weekly challenge. This week was PQR and I used Popsicles (the poppies), Quib (the greenery) and Riverstones.

I used a combination of coloring materials and when I do that it's always a learning experience. "Always be willing to try something new" is my motto and of course when you do that there are bound to be a few glitches. I think the part that is the hardest when applying color on top of the black ink is that it can make your ink a bit muddy, so I had to go over some areas a second time. I was using bristol board and it does pretty well with the watercolor pencils and accepting moisture, but if you get too rambunctious there can be issues....mine were a couple of overworked areas, but lessons learned and hopefully more patience will be in my future attempts. If I did the Riverstone tangle again I would make the stones more oval so they don't look quite so much like the tangle called Tipple. So that is what I learned. But one of the reasons I have been enjoying this particular challenge is that I can control what I do for tangles and I wanted to be pushed to try some different ones. So there you have it. 

If you want to see Wayne's P-Q-R alphabet click HERE. Just took a peek at it myself and am amazed. I am also planning on doing Toula Boula's card challenge for a loved one, so stop back later if you get the chance, and take time to see her blog and join the fun if you get the chance. Still haven't had the chance to try the tangles Static for Daniel's challenge, but I am still hoping to have time to try it. Thanks much for your encouraging comments.

A question for you that love color. Which watercolor pencils do you have and which do you like the best. I'd love to get some more of the Ink-tense, but they are pretty saturated pigment-wise. Love to have your feedback.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Thursday's Dream Schemes: The Frugal Frigate

This card by Laura Drahozal, who has been on the Dreamweaver Stencils design team since it's beginnings, reminded me of a wonderful Emily Dickenson poem that often pops into my head whenever I hear or see the word "Frigate" (of course an old fashioned word for ship). Here's her poem:

There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry-

This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll
How frugal is the chariot
That bears the human soul

Reading has always been a wonderful escape for me and this poem says it all, doesn't it? Imagining and creating is very similar in my life, it really puts the mind in a relaxed state and the process doesn't cost a dime, pretty inexpensive therapy. 

Since I love this creation so much I asked my mom if she would offer the Frigate stencil and the Mermaid rubber stamp as a kit with some quality polyshrink plastic. The mermaid is of course much larger than you see on this piece of shrinkie. She did add a piece of shrink plastic to the kit that is high quality. I had  purchased some at a local big box store recently and it was horrendous and shrunk in a very uneven wonky way. So she has added a piece that is much better and worth using. Go to her Stencil with Style site if you are interested in the discounted kit. If you would like the step-by-step instructions HERE is a link to Laura Drahozal's post  from a few weeks ago. Beautiful job Laura!

Just a quick note to let you know that Wayne and I will be teaching a Sten-tangle class at the Cracker Jack Store in Redlands CA on Wednesday, June 3 at 5:30-7:30PM.  Contact the store for more details if you are interested in taking the class: 909 793 2200.

This quatrafoil stencil (LX7010) design was paste-embossed onto black paper with silver embossing paste (DSP) and then after it was dry Wayne used a variety of patterns and a micron pen to sten-tangle the image. Wayne is a certified Zentangle Teacher and I always learn a lot when I co-teach with him. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Zensdays: Dex and Bonzo = 35

This week the diva's challenge is a duo-tangle using Dex and Bunzo. (I realize I spelled it wrong in my title, but won't fix it because it will mess with the URL for the linky tool...oops.)  Read Laura Harm's post and join the fun on her blog. Yes, she chose two tangles which symbolize her 35th birthday. Hope you have the best ever Laura... I remember those 30s as being some of the most fun with my young daughter. And you certainly have a blessed family to celebrate life with, thanks for sharing their ups and downs with us. Glad Artoo is better.

I have never done Bunzo or Dex before.  If you are interested in giving them a try go to to learn the easy step-by-step techniques. It was very fun, but the straight lines in the smaller Dex squares were a bit exasperating to me. Putting the design at an angle made me relax more and ignore the equal and straight syndrome. I couldn't resist adding color...I think I have the attitude that if I am not quite sure what to do then maybe throwing some color on it will make me happy and sure enough I felt better after playing with color.  I used LePlume markers because they were what was on hand. Then shaded with the Inktense watercolor pencils by Derwent. 

Sunday I also joined Daniel's Tangle-ation Vocation challenge using Mooka and am posting it again to encourage others to join his challenge. This week he is putting forth the challenge for the tangle Static, which I probably won't get around to until later this week. But I will give it a try. I have to admit that doing more challenges is getting me into trying more tangles.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Submissions: MNO-Challenge and Mooka Challenge

Ah....last week was busy and I am just now getting my ABC challenge done. I worked on it this weekend and we were doing MNO last week. Better late than never is my motto:M is for MUMSY (which I thought was perfect for Mother's Day), N is for NAVAHO which seemed to make a nice background and OVY had such a nice feel for a unique "ribbon" for my card. I am also entering this card in a challenge by Becky at her ToulaBoula blog. She is encouraging a "card" and I thought my MUMSY creation looked like a gift package and perfect creation for a card, so there you have it. 

I used the Inktense watercolor pencils by Derwent, (mostly on the Mumsy flower) which I like but am a novice at using them seems like there are never enough colors (we have 24). On the background I used the LePlume pens...I love the tips on these they are so easy to get into tiny places where you want fine fine detail. Again not enough colors, but I guess that is one thing you just build with time or you purchase a large set. I like having a case or some way of storing them, so it is always tempting to get the case for them. On the OVY I mostly used Prisma Color pencils because it had the colors I wanted. I would like more colors, but would like to have another try at a different brand. If anyone has tried the Prisma Pencils and uses something else as well, I would love to hear your thoughts on what you like and why. Here is my piece M-N-O creation and I am reposting the piece I did with Mooka from Daniel's Tangle Corner challenge...this young man is in his teens and loves to tangle so I think it's nice to join when I can. Love it when younger people take the initiative to be not only creative but promote it as well. Yeah! Daniel!

Mooka with Tipple colored with Inktense watercolor pencils.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

ZENSDAYS: May the fourth be with you...zen challenges!

Well it's the first Monday of the month challenge with Laura Harms (the diva) and highly recommend that you go to her site to get the full impact of her first week in May challenge. The first Monday is always a UMT (use my tangle) challenge...where she randomly chooses someone's tangle and this month the tangle is "Brella" by Bunny Wright a CZT from Canada. May is famous in Laura's household because they all love the Star Wars movies and seeing her tangle creation which is a wonderful ZIA by Laura is truly a must do. Today Wayne's Brella tangle is Star Wars themed as well....go to his Flickr site to enjoy his fun creation. I have to admit that in 1977 when the first Star Wars movie came out Wayne and I were going to college in the Chattanooga Tennessee area and had no clue how that movie would change the sci-fi movie arena.  As you can tell by my ZIA above, I just went down my own road and did loads of variations on Brella and only a couple of them were true to the original be sure if you want to know more visit for the step-by-step instructions. I used the LJ811 grid stencil to trace 16 of the squares and then started playing. Well, that is how it went down, I let my pens and colors dictate the end result. I used my Prisma Color Pencils on some of them, and the Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils on others...there's a learning curve there and I haven't reached the comfort zone yet, but had fun and that's more important to me than stressing about whether or not something was perfect. 

I am also doing the ABC challenge for a few weeks with Diane Clancy and Carolien (Zandipants). This week is JKL and the above tile is done with Jujubeedze, Knightsbridge and Laced.

Before the end of the week I hope to participate in Daniel's Tangle-ation Vocation and this week his challenge is MOOKA! I made Wayne try to guess which tangle Daniel had put forth as a challenge and one of my clues was..."a tangle I have never tried"...I actually am very excited to give it a go! Come back to see if I get it done.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Showers of Thanks and Showers of Creativity!

Birds on Bare Branches Stencil LG733

So it's the last day that the Dream it UP team is posting with me and that my blog is home to the team. But good things are in store for them as some of them continue on with the Stampendous team. Pam will be in touch and telling you all about how it will work. They have invited me to post with them if I want and of course I know that will  happen occasionally too. Wayne and I will continue to stencil and Zentangle and post weekly as much as possible...maybe even two or three times a week if the mood moves us.

I of course want to take time to thank all of the wonderful designers who helped me get started. Deborah March was our first leader and I learned so much from her. Pam joined the team and later headed or should I say "herded" this group of wonderful designers ever since. Thank you so much Pam for being that creative influence in all of our lives. Hope you are feeling better as I know you have had many struggles with a recent car accident...we are sending energy your way every day.

Today I am posting one of the first cards I did with a memorable technique called "Double Glitter". This is one of the first posts I ever did and if you would like to know how the card was HERE to know the step-by-step process of this technique from that post. These birds remind me of all the colorful personalities that have come together to make this team and blog work. Many of you have let me use your creations on my blog because running this business has meant that sometimes I have not had very much time to create. It has been fun to see your wonderful creativity shine each week. This is also a  thank you to those who I've considered honorary members and have mailed or emailed me your card creations and instructions for posting. My heartfelt appreciation also to those of you who have dropped by weekly to support stenciling technique...kudos to you all for making us part of your weekly routine. Thanks for your showers of creative spirit that has enriched my life.

The past few years I have also been supported by Stencil with Style owner, Shirley Parlin, who continues to sell each and every Dreamweaver Stencils product. (Also known as "Mom" to me). This is a bit of an early Mother's Day tribute, but want her to know she is the best and always the most supportive force in my life. Thanks Mom! If anyone needs that hard to find stencil, she can probably still find it for you. In fact she sells some of my favorite Stampendous stamps and products as well.

Also, Stampendous now has a Dreamweaver Stencils YouTube site and many instructional videos are there showing you how to do the many many stencil techniques that are available with the varied products they now sell.

Be sure to stop by and see what the team is showering you with this week!  

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Zensdays: Labyrinths Challenge Dedicated to Iona

This has been I wild week of Zentangle goodness. So many challenges and I still want to do something for Daniel's pokeroot challenge. He is a teenager who has embraced Zentangle and even has a weekly challenge on his blog. Stop by to support him if you get the chance. A most amazing young man and quite the tangler. Click HERE to visit his site. And here is my answer to the pokeroot challenge...with a few cockles and mussels and a smattering of paradox as well:

Well, I am going to let you read Laura Harms' (the diva) challenge to us this week. It is quite a thought provoking idea for a zentangle challenge, I am still reading and learning more and more about labyrinths. Here is what she has to say: 

I've been taking a year long course on Mandalas with the amazing Scottish beauty Julie Gibbons, this is my third year exploring the Great Round of Mandala with her.  And it just so happens that Stage Three (which corresponds with the month of March) involves labyrinths.  I've been thinking about tangling a labyrinth ever since. 

I had wondered how well a labyrinth would translate into a Zentangle challenge, and then in my online travels i found a website which said:

A labyrinth is not a maze. Mazes are puzzles, designed to vex the mind, but labyrinths are contemplative designs, designed to focus the mind.  (source)

and i thought, that sounds much like tangling to me!  So i gave it a go. 

So take time to go to her site to see her creation, and see what others have been doing as well. You might even be inspired to join the fun.

My labyrinth shape is dedicated to a very dedicated commenter, Iona/Gail. The reason? She is from Norway and so is the labyrinth inspiration I have chosen today. Finnmark Norway. Besides Iona is very lovely about stopping by and cheering on the Dreamweaver Dream it UP team each Thursday. Thanks Iona! Have you been to Finnmark to see the labyrinths, Iona? Makes me want to stop by sometime to see these amazing stone structures. I know that sounds a bit simplistic, but who knows, I may travel to Norway yet. I've wanted to see Norway ever since I saw the "Song of Norway" when I was in high school. A  biographical movie about Edvard Grieg. And Wow! what fabulous scenery! 

I actually did two labyrinth creations...the second one that I worked on I am actually showing first as that is the one I like the most. The first one I worked on was a lot of practice at shading and trying to make the path clear. And I have never done N'Zeppel (the background tangle on each one) and I clearly need to work on that some more. "Practice makes progress" is my motto. So I am planning on using this tangle more often because I really did enjoy the results. Also if you want to see a most amazing labyrinth created by the Wayne-meister go to his Flickr site to see his take on this challenge. He never ceases to amaze me...

The tangles used for this Finnmark Norway labyrinth are:




My first try at the labyrinth string.

Tangles used:




I also joined Diane Clancy and Carolien's challenge for their next in the alphabet series..."G  H I": The tangles I used are Grass Border, Hibred and Ixorus. Black card stock with a white gel pen and Ixorus was shaded with a white Prisma Color pencil.

One more tangle honor of my design team! This is the last month I will be officially posting with the Dream it UP team. I have been invited to post if I want but Stampendous will be taking a much bigger administrative role in organizing the team and putting it all together for a cohesive mix of their team and the Dream it Up designers. Thanks ladies for all you have done. This next tangle post was done by Louise Healy, a designer from the Chicago area who has been dedicated to stenciling and teaching everything and anything that you can do with Dreamweaver Stencils, including tangling. And she has been on the team from it's inception. This card front is one she tangled a couple years ago and it is so wonderful...thanks Louise for all your  support for our team over the years. Pam and I have appreciated your consistent work and dedication to the team. Thanks again for all the wonderful Zentangle ZIA pieces you've contributed.

The beauty of this is hard to see ...because it is done in 3-D. Louise tangled the rolling hills stencil (LJ910)  and then photo copied it, colored it with inks, pens etc. and then cut the pieces out and popped them up with foam tape. It really reminds me of the heartland of our country ...maybe even Illinois, where Louise is from or South Dakota (my old stomping grounds).

I hope you'll continue to pop by and see what is done with stencils and connect to see where the Stampendous team  is headed as well. Come by tomorrow for the Showers of Showers could win a stencil of your own choosing.

Blog Archive