Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Double Challenge & Tangley Nails

Okay... So I admit it... I am cheating... I am combining the Diva's Challenge #176 and #177 in this entry. Weekly Challenge #176 : BYOB, was to spill your beverage of choice over your tile, and then tangle. I prepped my tile... and then it sat... and sat... and I ran out of time. Then it was time for Weekly Challenge #177 : "Truffle by Caroline Broady, CZT" which was to include Caroline's tangle in your entry. 

It's funny, I struggled looking at my spilled and splotted coffee, not certain how I wanted to begin (which is why it sat a week!)... and then as soon as I sat down and played around with truffle a little, deconstructing and separating it out, I knew exactly what to do with my tile. It's funny how things happen like that. I loved seeing Caroline's inspiration wallpaper and that guided me in drawing a few tangleations as separate sections... eventually becoming a prehistoric looking plant surviving an afternoon storm. (I couldn't help but think of this one resembling something... so Zentangle® Inspired Art!) 

Zentangle® Inspired Art : Weekly Challenge #176 & #177 : "Afternoon Storm"
"Afternoon Storm"

And now... Tangley Nails...

A couple of weeks ago my Mom called me to tell me about this AWESOME nail product that she thought I would love... I could upload my own art (WHHHAAATTT???!!!) and have  custom nail wraps made! I looked into it right away. PERFECT! (...imagining teaching class with super, cute, tangley nails... YESSSS!) I started looking through all the designs available, over 300!! I thought I'd start putting my favorites in the shopping cart... Oh. my. I put A LOT in my cart. I then decided I loved this product so much I was just going to jump right in and become a consultant! I signed up that night. (My sister is a consultant, so it was an even easier decision!) 

The girls and I had so much fun applying our nail wraps when they arrived a few days later! I wish I had taken a photo of them applying them... it was a blast! It was fun to see how we all three ended up with totally different manicures using the same 4 sheets of designs! (Another Zentangle similarity!) I absolutely LOVE that these nail wraps are non-toxic, latex free, last 2 weeks on fingers, 4 weeks on toes, can remove without harsh chemicals, doesn't damage your nails, no dry time, easy to apply, can get 3 or 4 manicures/pedicures from each sheet, etc... but mostly... I love being able to have fun, elegant, trendy, romantic, or whatever mood I'm in nails... I feel like it's another fun way to express my personality. How great is that?! 

I have been having so much fun with my Jamberry Nails. I obviously had to do some Zentangle Inspired Nails! (I think this is official terminology!) ;) 

Tangley Nails
Zentangle Inspired NAILS!!!
If you like you can check out the amazing designs yourself at my store. Nails wraps are buy three, get one free! (excluding collegiate/sorority/create-your-own.) I haven't designed my own yet... but it won't be long! Thanks again Mom and Harmony for this fun introduction! 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

An Illuminating Challenge and a Completed Project

First things first... 

This week's diva challenge #175 : UMT Crux by Henrike Bratz. This was my first opportunity to draw Crux. Wow! I LOVE it! It's such a gorgeous pattern with so many tangleations possible. I started by drawing the basic pattern in my sketchbook... 

Mystery tangle made with first attempt... and then Eureka! 
Oops! I realized I made too many diagonal lines so that practice became some other tangle! I started again and realized where I ventured off on my own. :) There we go... Much better! I then started experimenting with the pattern transitioning from small to large to small again. I also wanted it to start escaping it's grid...

Rough sketch as I played with Crux...
I looked at the rough sketch I made and decided this was the path I wanted to take with my tile this week. I loved how the design resembled some sort of lantern... Probably a fairy lantern... This means it needed a little fairy dust, prismacolor pencils! I haven't used color much in my Zentangle® Inspired Art, it was fun to incorporate a little layer of color here. I was ready to create my tile! Here is my entry...

Zentangle® Inspired Art : Weekly Challenge #175 : UMT Crux : "Illumination"
Diva's Weekly Challenge #175 : UMT Crux : "Illumination"
The process was illuminating! So I named this tile, "Illumination." Perfect in more ways than one... I think the little fairies were happy too! 

Now about my FINALLY completed project...

I feel so lucky... I was asked to create some art for the back of a business card for one of my very favorite yoga instructors. (I am a HUGE Bikram Yoga fan! It changed my life! More on that another time!) Sachie has been an inspiration and encouraging to me throughout the past two years since I first began my practice. I felt like at one point most of my major break-throughs in class were due to her corrections and supportive words. (I do love, and learn tons from ALL the instructors at the studio!! Each one has taught me something very important.) 

One day, prior to class, I shared my excitement with Sachie about attending the then upcoming Certified Zentangle® Teacher Seminar (my previous post was about this AWESOME experience). She asked what Zentangle was... I described this wonderful meditative art method and showed her a few pictures of the art I had created. She loved it and asked if I would create something for her. I felt honored. I was so happy to finally be in the position to maybe give her back a little for all she has done for me. 

I really wanted her design to be something meaningful and special to her. I asked her to think about any pattern or image that was important to her. Later that day I received a text with some photos. Here is one of the photos...

I used this kimono as inspiration for the birds
and cherry blossoms...
The kimonos were ones that Sachie's mother (she passed many years ago...) had made especially for her for her coming-of-age day. She told me that her family loved those birds. She also said that the OBI (belt) was purchased on a special trip with her grandmother to Kyoto. She asked if I could include some elements of these into the design.

I knew immediately that I would include the bird, which reminded me of a phoenix. I also felt like it was fitting for her additionally as a hot yoga teacher... We are constantly "rising from the ashes." (You definitely feel like you have combusted into a fire ball during some classes!) I also loved the flowers which resembled cherry blossoms and decided to include that element also. 

Here are the initial sketches from my little traveling sketchbook...

Kimono Bird
Initial sketch of the bird...
Sketch studies of cherry blossoms...
After drawing the birds and cherry blossoms, I froze... I had to figure out how I could add my tangles without overcoming these elements. I had ideas and I could visualize what I wanted it to look like, yet I was anxious about adding them to the piece. As Sachie had told me to "take my time," I procrastinated... and procrastinated... and procrastinated... (you get the idea). I was partially distracted by getting ready for the CZT 15 Seminar. (OKAY... I know this is another excuse!) I had to set myself a deadline. I decided upon returning from seminar, my deadline to show her the finished piece would be the next class that Sachie taught in the morning. That date was July 3rd. So... July 2nd... (funny how that works, right?!) I got right to work and finished it. YAY!!!! (Yes... I was up VERY late!!) Here it is...

Zentangle® Inspired Art : Art for Sachie
Finished art for the back of Sachie's business card...
Thursday morning I showed Sachie... I am thrilled, she absolutely LOVED it! Yippee! I am very happy with how it all came together. I feel like I was able to represent her in a very artful way. (I also acknowledge that I must set deadlines for myself...) :)

I'd love to hear from you... please leave a comment. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A Challenge and a CZT Adventure...

WARNING!!!! This post is exceptionally long, BUT, I had to post my diva challenge piece AND talk about attending the AWESOME CZT Seminar 15 in Providence (plus a few days in Boston)! Hang in there... get a cup of coffee and maybe a cookie, or if it just seems like too much, just take a look at the photos! :)

Let's start with the fabulous diva's weekly challenge: Weekly Challenge #174 : Superimposing Strings (via guest challenge creator Aimee Belair, CZT) As it is the 4th of July this week, I decided to take it in a patriotic direction. I drew a star string and then waving stripes as the superimposed string. So without a lot of additional fanfare here is my entry for this challenge... (I have to hurry to get to the knitty gritty of this post!!)

Zentangle® : Weekly Challenge #174 : Superimposing Strings : "Stars & Stripes"
Diva's Weekly Challenge #174 : Superimposing Strings : "Stars & Stripes"

Okay... now for the adventure! The girls and I flew out on a red eye from Los Angeles to Boston.  We were pretty bleary eyed (sleeping on a plane is not easy) when we arrived at 6:00 am, but extremely excited to explore Boston for a few days. We arrived at our hotel to find out no rooms were available, they were sold out the night before so the likelihood of having an early check in was pretty slim. We were happy that they took our bags, so at least we wouldn't have to drag them around town!  We stayed at the Omni Parker House hotel. It is in a great central location for walking all around the city. One of the employees directed us to a great little place called, The Paramount, for breakfast. Delicious! We then ventured over to the Boston Public Gardens... 

The Boston Public Gardens are gorgeous!
So beautiful... But... we... were... so... tired... Took a few photos and then found benches to take naps on. It was pretty funny. We felt like homeless travelers. We were VERY grateful the weather was beautiful. 

I took this picture of Leila napping on the next bench...
Still so tired at lunch that Cami kept falling asleep while eating...
Just a cool shot I got while walking near Faneuil Hall.
We did so much sight seeing in Boston, and this first day in particular felt like the longest day EVER! We would glance at the time and be surprised by how early in the day it still was. I guess that is what happens when you don't sleep and then embark on a day full of activities! We had such a great time! Here are a few of my favorite photos from the first few days. (I am trying not to overwhelm with details that are exciting to me, but may be boring to anyone else!) The girls and I all enjoyed our time in Boston very much! What a beautiful, vibrant, fun city!

The clouds reflection on this building were spectacular!
I love all the beautiful brownstones...
Selfie!! Girls and I taking the escalator at the Prudential Building.
Leila takes a photo of us with her fancy GoPro.
I LOVED the Boston Public Library!
Took this picture of Cami (and Leila) here... The light was awesome!
I have sooooo many more photos, but don't want to overwhelm... So I will regretfully stop with the Boston photos here. Maybe I'll add more at a later time to Flickr... hmmm...

On Sunday, we rented a car and headed to our much anticipated destination... Providence, Rhode Island. Home for the next five days while we attended the 15th Certified Zentangle® Teacher Seminar. 

What an awesome way to be welcomed!!
Oh my... I don't quite know how to fully express how absolutely wonderful this experience was. I was expecting it to be great... It completely surpassed my expectations. This time that I shared with my girls is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received. (Thank you, honey, for sending us on this trip!) Leila and Cami enjoyed themselves so much that everyday after a full day of class we would return to the room and they would continue to tangle until nearly midnight (and after). I also realized that my seventeen year old was hardly ever on her phone!!! It's a MIRACLE!!! 
The other seminar participants we met were so kind, and all amazing artists. (Special shout out to Connie Souza... We sat with her everyday and she is so sweet and so VERY talented!) 
The girls and I with the amazing and oh-so-kind Connie...
The Zentangle family of Rick, Maria, Molly, Martha, Sue, Jane, etc. (everyone!) are the absolute nicest, most inspirational, generous, and good people you can ever imagine meeting. 

We LOVE selfies! Especially when they include Rick & Maria...
...and Maria... again...
...and Molly!!!
The attention they paid to every tiny detail to make this experience special for all was absolutely incredible. Their presentation skills are awesome. We enjoyed... Every. Single. Second.
It is lunch break, but we keep on tangling!
White on Black Tile : I now LOVE working on the black tiles!
My first Renaissance tile... LOVE IT! Can't wait to do more!

One of the evenings we had a special speaker, someone I had been looking VERY forward to meeting, Laura Harms. The famous lady (diva) behind

Well... of course we have a selfie with THE diva!!
She spoke of her Zentangle journey. It was a beautiful speech... touching, funny, inspirational, and even included a little song and dance! She received a standing ovation. It was very well deserved. The girls and I made a point to make sure we took a "selfie" with her. So fun! She was also so kind to write a little note to my dad, who has completed EVERY diva challenge (and he just started tangling in the fall 2013!) It was such a thoughtful thing for her to do... Thank you again, Laura!

Isn't she soooo cute! Posing with the note for my dad!
It's official! Newly minted CZTs!!!
I am holding myself back to not go on, and on, and on, into the tiniest detail about all of these experiences...  I'll sum it up as truly one of the best trips, EVER... and I will treasure the memories always... especially the time spent with my super bright, super talented, super beautiful, and all-around-super girls! 

I love you girls!
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