Sunday, July 23, 2017

Beans, Bears, and Peanuckles... oh my!

Oh my… weeks sure do go by quickly! Here’s a super quick look at the highlights… 

I enjoy messing around with recipes and adding my own little twists. This week I wanted to use the last half of the bag of Royal Corona beans I had left from my last Rancho Gordo purchase. (Rancho Gordo is a purveyor of Heirloom beans… each variety that I have tried has been AMAZING! Definitely not your grocery store dried bean.) The Royal Cordona is a HUGE bean that is so yummy and creamy once cooked. I initially used this recipe (with minor adjustments) when I cooked a batch a couple of months ago. Now it was time to relook at the recipe and make a few changes that I had made note of the last time I made it, plus use some extra ingredients I had in the fridge. It’s fairly quick to put together… especially if you have an Instant Pot to cook the beans in! (I posted my version of the recipe in my recipe box for easy printing.) It was a FANTASTIC meal!

Shrimp with White Beans, Sausage, & Arugula

About mid week I got VERY HAPPY mail… I finally received my “reward” for a Kickstarter that I supported… BEARS vs. BABIES!!! I backed another fabulous game a couple of years ago by the same creators, called Exploding Kittens. I know this new game is going to be a big hit too. I coerced Norm to play a round with me, and even on the very first try it was a blast. I’m looking forward to playing in a couple of days with both of my daughters when they’re home for a brief visit! 

Fun in progress!

I was hoping to work on a LOT more art than I actually got to this week… but at least I took some time to work on the Diva Challenge #325 by guest blogger, Jessica Davies. She challenged us to play with the tangle, Peanuckle, by Molly Hollibaugh. This is a tangle that I have only used a couple of times, and I wanted to explore using it a bit differently than I had previously. I really enjoyed "Peanuckling aRound" with this exercise… Thank you, Jessica!

Diva Challenge #325, "Peanuckling aRound"

I used a Tombow Mono Drawing Pen for this tile that I received from Tombow to test. WOW! I used the 01 and boy did I love the feel of the tip as it tickled the tile... easily transitioning from very fine to slightly bolder lines as you can see in the texture of my tile. The pen weight felt a little lighter in my hand than the Micron. The ink is a deep black, and dries quickly to avoid smudging and streaking. The ink flowed steadily and it made it easy to achieve crisp, precise lines. I really like that the top of the pen (the cap) has the nib size embossed on it. I'll still be able to quickly see the size at a glance, even after months of use. I've always loved my Microns and Copic MultiLiners... now there is a NEW pen to add to the group of favorites!

I’m looking forward to the week ahead! I hope that your week brings you happy moments and time to create.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Catching up and finally back to art…

It’s been an interesting past few months… I’ve done some traveling to Tangle U in Florida plus additional time to explore and visit Norm’s mom, a family vacation at an amazing ranch in Arizona, and Southern Utah while my dad had surgery. We also moved our youngest daughter to a new place to live while at college, and dealt with a scary health situation that my husband had. Norm is still recovering, and hopefully he will be completely healed soon. 

Needless to say, besides the Tangle U portion (WHICH WAS AWESOME) of my traveling, I haven’t had a lot of time to create. The past couple of weeks I’ve been starting to steal bits of time here and there and it. feels. so. good! Here are some photos from some of these adventures… (I promise there is art in this post... just scroll quickly past these photos!)

Lovely location of this year's Tangle U
We enjoyed staying here!
A beautiful sunset to welcome us
Wonderful dinner out in Naples... Stone Crab!!!
Alligators near the road in the Everglades. HUGE!!
Lovely time together with relatives.
Celebrating Norm's birthday and enjoying dim sum.
Seeing a Perfect Circle at the Hollywood Bowl.
Family vacation in Arizona
We had such a wonderful time together!
Leila bravely holding the DEAD rattlesnake!
Cami and roommates
They're so much fun to be around!
Weekend in Santa Barbara. Celebrate Leila's birthday and see Boston at the Santa Barbara Bowl.
I love the scenery of my hometown. Southern Utah.
Lovely morning walk with my mom.
Another walk to see the petroglyphs...
They always leave me in awe...
More than a thousand years old. 
My furry son, Clark, turns 7.
Norm's poor leg... Blood infection/cellulitis. Definitely. not. fun. 

You made it! Now time for the art!

Last week I had the opportunity to perform my civic duty and wait ALL day at the courthouse to see if I would be called as a juror. I was prepared… I brought my sketchbook and pens/pencils. It was a lovely day! Uninterrupted art time is a pretty rare commodity! I played with Eni Oken’s technique for twisted ropes for the first time. I LOVED it! Twisty ropes are so organic. I enjoyed adding some mooka weaving in and out of it.

This week’s diva challenge #324 by guest blogger, Jessica Davies, is “Tangled Hearts.” I decided to explore the twisted ropes a bit more with a very loose heart shape and some additional mooka vines. I thought about my journey as I worked on this tile… about how your heart guides you in the direction you should take, yet many times you have distractions or pretty shiny things that mislead you towards a path that may direct you away from the truth of your heart. This is my “hearts journey," a reminder to focus on my path and stay true to my self/heart.

"Hearts Journey" Diva Challenge 324

My Inner Light girl has been patiently waiting for me to finish her for months. I was stuck for awhile as I considered how I could express/paint her inner glow and show her values/goals/mantras. I think I was a little afraid of finishing it and it not being what I had visualized in my mind. I finally forced myself past that barrier and started gluing the dimensional pieces down and added additional layers of color/shading/details… and then it happened… I had that moment when I looked at it and said… it’s done. Here she is preparing for her photo shoot in my lightbox. 

It’s wonderful to be back in this space, inspired by so many, and creating art.

Saturday, March 25, 2017


This week's diva challenge 308 is all about your comfort zone... your "Mac n Cheese" of tangling. I did a lot of tangling this week as I prepared to teach an Introduction to Zentangle® class after taking about a year break mainly due to surgeries. 

I thought about what tile I might want to use as my submission, and decided that what meant the most to me this week is the art I created for each student who attended class. I enjoy creating a tile for each person, and tend to choose my comfort tangles to adorn them. Each one is drawn with love and welcome in every stroke. 

It meant more than I could have imagined to teach again... to get into that comfort of sharing such an amazing method with others. My heart filled with light and joy. I am so grateful. 

Thank you for visiting! I hope you have a wonderful and inspiring, art filled day! 

Thursday, March 16, 2017


The diva challenge 307 this week has to be one of the most adorably taught tangles... EVER! Indy and Mazzy (7 and 5 years old) showed us how to draw, "Zingo." I smiled the entire time as I watched them create their tile. Such confidence and poise... so inspiring. I went classic Zentangle® with my submission, using a white tile/micron 01/pencil. I did add some light tangling to the background and a few details with the graphite left on my tortillon. In honor of Indy and Mazzy's amazing teaching style and lovely imagining,  I am titling this piece, "Gumdrops & Fairy Wings."

Diva Challenge 307 : Zingo : "Gumdrops & Fairy Wings"

Thank you for taking the time to visit! I hope you have a wonderful, art filled day!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Jewels of the Sea

This week's diva challenge 306 was posted on 3/06! I find that ever so AWESOME! The challenge was to use Lily Moon's pattern, Amphora. This was my first opportunity to draw this lovely tangle... as I experimented with it I realized I wanted to emphasize the feeling of the sea that it gave to me. I selected a tan tile and decided to use sea colors, blue and gray for my ink. Instead of using the first line of the pattern with the diamonds I started with circles to feel more like pearls/jewels to go with my sea theme. As I tangled, my mind wandered to a magical place under the sea where:

The sea waves 
and rolled
gathering and
mother of pearl
a gift.  

This tile is titled, "Jewels of the Sea." 

"Jewels of the Sea"
"Jewels of the Sea" side angle view

Thank you for stopping by for a visit today... It's always nice to have guests. Please be so kind as to leave a comment, I'll be sure to pop on over and return the favor! Have an amazing, art filled day! 

Friday, March 3, 2017


Another fun week of creating for the Diva Challenge 305. The challenge this week is to use the tangles marasu and molygon... both are official tangles. I haven't played with marasu since attending seminar to become a CZT a few years ago and have explored molygon just a couple of times so it was fun to ponder how I would approach this challenge. I decided to use marasu as my string with molygon following the shape and growing as it went along. I filled each fragment of molygon with marasu details. As I turned the tile when complete to view it from all four sides I came upon the view that you see below... it reminded me of a frond preparing to "unfurl," hence the title. I adore the thought of these tangles combining and reaching for the light, growing together. I feel like each of these challenges guides me as I unfurl... reaching and growing in my zentangle and art practice.

Diva Challenge 305 : Marasu/Molygon : "Unfurl"

Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit! I would appreciate it ever so much if you left a comment... it's always fun to have guests. Next time I'll have to remember to leave out the tea and cookies. Have a wonderful, art filled day!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Mixed heART...

I've been busy working on a mixed media piece for the past week or so... I'm putting lots of thoughts and intention into it as I incorporate several ideas/prompts/goals for the coming year. Here are a few progress shots as I work on my Inner Light girl... 

I just cut out these suns and spirals that I drew and they were resting while I contemplate placing and how I will paint and add my words to them. I loved how she looked in the sun and shadows so I had to take a photo... it almost captures the glow that I'm trying to create and have emanate from her. I still have quite a bit to do: more layering in the hair, shading, highlights, etc.

I couldn't let the week go by without participating in the diva challenge 304. This week the tangle to use is the new tangle from Zentangle® "waybop." Well... it happens that I used this tangle for my valentangle last week! I wanted to try something a bit different so decided to test out starting with the seeds of the tangle, MI2, in graph format versus the circle start of waybop. I then started connecting the lines in a combination of Huggins/MI2 style. As a throwback to my tile last week it seemed right to add a lone heART. I loved the simple line art once again, so decided to just add rounding and shading. Rounding always brings such a calm, zen feeling. It was another very enjoyable challenge! This piece is titled, "heART link."

Diva Challenge 304 Waybop : "heART link"

Thanks so much for visiting... and especially to all those who kindly leave a comment. I will be sure to leave a comment back... I know how much I enjoy receiving them, and once I complete my tile for the week, I start viewing and commenting on submissions. I strive for 5 to 10 a day. 😊 Who doesn't love a kind word?! 

I hope you have a wonderful, art filled week!

Monday, February 13, 2017

heARTfully twined...

Valentine's Day is TOMORROW and today's Diva Challenge 303 is to create a "Valentangle" to give your loved one. This meant I better get to it TODAY! I kept it simple... I used two color pens (red and grey) to try out a new to me tangle, Way Bop. Recently, Lynn Mead wrote a love-ly piece and included a step out to Way Bop with hearts. When I read the challenge I knew it was the perfect opportunity to give this a try. I liked the simplicity of the tangle as is, so just added a touch of watercolor for shading. It was fun to take advantage of the 3Z tiles shape to accent the hearts. I'm looking forward to giving this tile to my sweetheart. 

Diva Challenge 303 : "heARTfully twined"

Thank you for visiting... and for kindly leaving a comment.  I will be sure to leave a comment back... I know how much I enjoy receiving them, and once I complete my tile for the week, I start viewing and commenting on submissions. I strive for 5 to 10 a day. :) Who doesn't love a kind word?!

I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day with your loved ones! 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Shells and Paint

It's been a fun art week so far! 

I was thrilled to try a semi new tangle to me in the Diva Challenge this week. It's the 302nd challenge... the tangle to use is called, "Hamadox" by Diana Schruer, CZT. It's a mix between the tangles Paradox (which I've used) and Hamail (which I hadn't used previously). First off... I adore Paradox and then when I started playing with the "Hamail" way of finishing off a fragment of Paradox... well, it was LOVE! It has such a wonderful finished edge... brilliant, Diana! While experimenting with the tangle I decided to start with a block of Paradox and then finish with that Hamail element... Hamadox! Also in my experimenting I wanted to highlight the individual elements that are created within the group. I did this by drawing with three pens; black, grey, and brown. It was fun to see the outcome. This piece is titled, "Nestled Shells." (The border was created with a leaky pen a few weeks ago... I set aside the tile and came across it when starting this project. I like the contrast it provided.)

#dc302 "Nestled Shells"

A couple of days ago I completed some art in my inspiration art journal. I challenged myself to JUST START PAINTING... no pre sketch or pencil AT ALL! I also used a very limited palette of colors and worked with acrylics. I have to admit that I was a little sweaty taking that first paint stroke... but it all ended up okay. Nothing bad happened, AND I learned some things that will help me for my next project. 

Here are my bullet journal pages for this project. I enjoy taking a photo or a small copy of art projects I complete and adding the photo to my journal. I wanted to capture the inclusion quote so I created a mini book to add... I use clear photo corners to keep it flat to the page when not being looked at. 

Here's another example of how I attach photos/copies into my journal. The 3Z tile in this photo is just attached at the bottom... the top is held shut with a photo corner, so you can just slide it out to view the notes underneath. It's a lot of fun to see photos of projects within the pages. It also helps me to remember what I used/liked/would try differently. 

I had an exciting Flickr event happen after posting last week's Diva Challenge to my account. The next morning I was surprised that I was getting LOTS of notifications. It prompted me to look at the Flickr page... I found that my photo was featured in their Explore section. YAY! I was very excited! Here's the screen shot. 

Thank you so much for visiting. Comments are always welcome and SOOOOO appreciated! 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Dancing with Paradox...

I was soooo excited when I saw that the 301st diva challenge this week was a duo tangle : paradox and diva dance. Over the weekend I had viewed the new "Kitchen Tangles" video by Rick and Maria. Rick was using these same two tangles... It was mesmerizing! The challenge gave me another reason to give the intertwining between these two beautiful tangles a try. It. was. so. much. fun! I enjoyed using a 3Z tile and titled this piece, "Dance of Shells."

diva challenge 301 : "Dance of Shells"

Last week I showed part of the page I was working on while going through the Zentangle Primer. I decided to finish the page by adding individual "tiles" of the tangles used. My husband gave me the nicest compliment later when he noticed the sketchbook open at my desk and asked about it. He thought my page was part of the printed book! So. sweet! I guess I'll have to keep him around! :)

Zentangle Primer exercise in new Zentangle sketchbook.
I have so many projects lined up this week... my fingers are itching to get to them! Thank you so much for taking the time to visit... I'd love if you left me a comment! Each one is appreciated! 

Friday, January 27, 2017


WOW! A huge congratulatory shout out to Laura (the diva) for her 300th Zentangle® challenge! It is wonderful that this momentous occasion also landed during the week that she focuses on a tile to bring awareness to Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day, which is observed during this week. Purple is the color for MSAD so I decided to incorporate it into my tile. Please visit her blog here, to read all about it and her very special son. I've named this tile after Laura's son, Artoo. 
Diva Challenge #300 Moebius Syndrome Awareness : "Artoo"

I got back to basics this week with the lovely new book from headquarters... Zentangle Primer. I plan on working through the book along with the Zentangle : Tangled & Journaled Too FaceBook group. Here's my first tile from the book. I am doing all of the exercises in this sketchbook. I think it will be a great reference that I could use in future classes. 

Zentangle Primer : Tile 1 : #zp1tile1
Thank you so much for taking the time to visit... I'd love if you left me a comment! I treasure each one! 

Monday, January 23, 2017

More Inspiration...

Yesterday I completed a mixed media piece inspired by Inspiration Wednesday, one of Donna Downey's wonderful art exploration workshops. 

I enjoyed creating a couple of stencils using my Silhouette Cameo. I then used modeling paste to add dimension. My favorite part of this project is the paintbrush that I attached with wire to the page. It has very special meaning to me... it was one of my grandpa's brushes. He was an amazing person and artist that I so admired and aspire to be like. I included the words "inspiration 2017" on the brush. 

As an aside I looked up the Sketchbook Skool daily prompt for the day and saw that it was... aspiration. It was definitely a serendipitous moment! 

I appreciate all who visit, and am always grateful for any comments. Have a wonderful, art filled day!

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