Thursday, December 31, 2015

Endings and a New Beginning

Oh my... it is crazy how VERY quickly this year flew by. I am so grateful for all the blessings my family and I had throughout the year.  It was a wonderful year and I am excited about what is ahead in 2016! I have lots of plans/ideas/goals and am excited about working on them. So... what are a few of them?


More Zentangle® Audio Meditations in 2016!!!! (What has been holding me up? I need to find a better way to host before I add more audios... It is costing me WAY too much money. So this will be one of the first things I will need to research.)

Weekly Blog Post (It will be fun to see a weekly recap of art I've worked on and any adventures!)

Challenge Participation (These will be recapped in the Weekly Blog Post. I LOVE participating in challenges... it inspires me to see outside my little box and to try something new.) 

Yoga Practice (I have practiced Bikram Yoga since March 31, 2012. I have 919 under my belt... So I am excited to hit 1000(!), most likely by my 4 year anniversary date! On January 4th I will begin participation in a 60 day challenge that the studio is putting on. It is always fun to work towards a goal with others. I normally practice every day that I am in town and take a break if we are away for weekend or something... I will be challenged right away because we will be away for a few days during the time period. This means I'll have to practice in another studio. That will be another thing that makes me step outside my box!) 

Be Mindful in ALL that I do (It is too easy to get lost in multi-tasking, etc. I want to step back... and enjoy the moment I am in... this will mean learning to limit easy distractions... like my phone, social media, etc.)

I think that's enough for now! I want to end this year's blog with a few pictures from an Introduction to Zentangle class I taught a few weeks ago to 27 BRILLIANT YouTube engineers! I had a blast preparing and teaching this seminar. It did add some crazy busyness at Christmas time, but I am so happy that I did it. I feel so fortunate and blessed to have the opportunity to share the beautiful mindful meditation of Zentangle with others. 

Name art created for each student.
I absolutely ADORE creating an "experience" at each class I teach. It makes me so happy to see my students enter the classroom and see that they each have lovely, personalized art just for them. It took me MANY days to finish all 27 pieces... it was a lot of work, BUT I had hours and hours of my own meditation and enjoyment in the process. I needed it! It had been awhile since I forced myself to sit at my art desk and create. 

The gorgeous sunrise the day of the workshop!
The morning of the workshop I took a little walk along the beach... This is the SPECTACULAR way the day began!

Entry to class!
Display of my art and supplies.
Name art for each student ready to be picked up!
Room set up... An easel at each seat to display art.
All set up and ready for students to arrive!
Yay! They're here...
... and more here ...
Time to add their tiles to the mosaic!
Finished art!
Inspiring art done by all!
A few things struck me as I taught this particular class... The engineers set their phones aside and were silent AND engrossed in the process as they drew each tangle. They were so excited to view their art next to all the other art created by their peers. They took so. many. pictures. :)  The moment that meant the most to me was when I heard one student say, "I really AM an artist," as he left at the end of the workshop. Mission. Accomplished. 

Once again... I am so grateful for this past year and I look forward to a fantastic year ahead. I wish you all a very happy, healthy, prosperous, AND art filled New Year!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Audio Zentangle® Meditation #3, the Diva, and a New Weekly Focus

It has been such a busy time here... I meant to create this meditation last week and I obviously just didn't get to it. So many exciting things are about to happen. We'll be taking Cami to visit a couple of  college campuses so she can decide where she will go in the fall, AND I'll soon be off to attend Tangle U! Both are VERY exciting events! (Tangle U is a jam-packed event of Zentangle fun for CZTs.) New meditation later in this post!! ...wait for it... :)

I taught a "Dewdrops & Tangle Enhancers" class at the end of March. One of my students (soon to be a CZT! Yippee!) told me that she had shared my first audio meditation with her book club. Four of the participants had NEVER had any experience with Zentangle before... she showed me the photo... my heart was thrilled! THEY ALL CREATED BEAUTIFUL ZENTANGLE ART! No visual prompts were necessary. :) Thank you so much, Bonnie, for sharing this with me. (As to not give away the pattern to anyone who hasn't completed the meditation, I am not posting the photo here... However you can click this to see the photo! No peeking, if you haven't tried it yet!)

The Diva Challenge #211 this week is to use the tangle pattern, Flux. I created this tile using a brush pen, and shaded by smearing the ink slightly with a water brush. (Laura... I'm sending lots of healing thoughts Artoo's way. xo)

Diva Challenge #211 : Flux : Brush Pen Practice

I have begun to participate in a new weekly tangle focus. It is a video site created and maintained by CZT, Jane Dickinson, called Video Tangle. She curates daily Zentangle videos and produces weekly video slideshows focusing on that week's tangle. Last week's tangle was Munchin... here is my submission. (You can view all the lovely art submitted for this tangle on the video here.) It is fun to see your art in a video and the site has LOTS of great reference material! You'll have to check it out! 

Zentangle® : Munchin
Munchin Focus Tile

So... now for the next installment of my Audio Zentangle Meditations. Here is the third one!

You will need the following:
Bijou Tile (2 inches by 2 inches) or Original Tile
Micron 01 pen
Tortillion or Stump
A nice quiet place and about 20 minutes

I would LOVE to read comments from all those who participate. If you would like, please post a photo of your tile on your blog/flickr/instagram, etc. and post the link in your comment. This will allow others to view your version of the mindful meditation challenge. It's so much fun to see everyone's artistic interpretation! DON'T PEEK UNTIL YOU COMPLETE THE CHALLENGE! NO CHEATING!!  (Already finished?! You can see my version here.)

Here are the links to the first two:

It seems that quite a few people have been listening to my Audio Meditations... (This makes me VERY happy!) I received notice from the audio hosting site that I had surpassed allowable traffic for my free account, and must upgrade to keep content available. So now I have a "Professional" account, which is the next level. Of course, there was an annual fee. I would love any help to defray this cost that anyone is willing or able to provide. You can find a contribution button in the side bar... Thank you SOOO much to any who would like to help out once in awhile. Any amount is greatly appreciated.

Thank you for visiting! I adore seeing who's dropped by... please leave me a little note! :)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

St. Patty's Challenge & CHAMPIONS

It's an exciting week! Cami performs at the USA Dance Nationals. The competition began on Friday. It is so wonderful to watch her dance... the proud mama always gets a tear in her eye. Friday night was the award show for the afternoon performances. Cami had tears of joy as their team won Champions (1st place) in the Small Dance category. This is such a great accomplishment for the team. Cami was excited as she is a senior and it's her last competition, she got a backpack that says "USA Dance Nationals CHAMPION" on it, she got a nice heavy medallion... and she accomplished this with her friends. Cami's comment a little later was, "I LOVE to win!" I agree, Cami... I. agree. 

USA Dance Nationals 1
Champions Trophy for Small Dance

USA Dance Nationals 2
The entire dance team...

USA Dance Nationals 3
Four of the nine who competed in the winning dance. 

A wonderful side benefit of attending these competitions is that there is a LOT of waiting time in between performances. Luckily our hotel is just across the street from the convention center. So... in between performances Leila and I would head back to the hotel (did I mention how AWESOME it is that Leila joined me for this?! Double. fun. weekend!) so that she could work, and I could draw. This means I had time to do the diva challenge! YAY! This week's challenge is #209 "St. Patty's." You were to use green somehow in your piece. That could mean colored paper, pen, paint... I decided to use some "green" that I had in my wallet. 

Zentangle® Inspired Art : Weekly Challenge #209 : St. Patty's
Weekly Challenge #209 : St. Patty's

Wish Cami good luck on the rest of this weekend's competition! I'm so happy that I have this opportunity to watch her dance AND spend time with both of my daughters (also time to draw!). Thank you to all who stop by for a visit (leave me a comment if you have a chance, please)! 

P.S. Have you tried out the Audio Zentangle® Meditations yet?! The first one is here.  Here is the second one.    I'll be creating the third one soon. 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Zentangle Audio Meditation #2 and a little Jonqal

It has been a beautiful weekend. Temperatures in the 80's... We've spent the afternoon floating in the pool and relaxing. A wonderful little preview of summer. I feel spoiled!

I spent part of the afternoon (not while floating in the pool) finishing up this tile from the "Shades of Gray" Zentangle® class I taught late last month. It was such a wonderful class. I wish I had remembered to take photos of the tiles. Everyone created such beautiful art! (Hopefully at the next Beyond the Basics class I can photograph the tiles from this class, if everyone remembers to bring their tiles back!) We spent a portion of the class working on a variety of shading techniques.! I wanted to demonstrate what a HUGE difference shading can make to a tangle. You can make one pattern look like something completely different all with where you lay down your graphite or add a sparkle (highlight). This tile is an example of one of the tangles (Jonqal) we worked on in this class. It shows the tangle unshaded, and shaded two different ways. Isn’t it amazing to see the difference?!  There are sooo many ways to shade this! Jonqal was a tangle that gave me that AH...HA... moment in shading when I first started tangling. I held back my tile at arm's length after adding shading, and realized that the combination of sparkles and shading had created an illusion of a coil on a striped background... it BLEW MY MIND!! I was hooked on experimenting with shading from that moment! 

Zentangle® Inspired Art : Jonqual : Shading Class
Jonqual : 3 ways

It has been way too long since I've had a chance to participate in the Diva Challenge...  This week's challenge #208 is to use the tangles Cubine and Poke Root. You can see all the details of the challenge here. I am so happy to have a piece to submit. Thanks, Laura, for another fabulous challenge! I had!

Zentangle® Inspired Art : Weekly Challenge #208 DuoTangle Cubine & Poke Root : "Reflections"
Diva Challenge #208 : Cubine & Poke Root : "Reflections"

I have had such a lovely, kind response to my first Zentangle Audio Meditation Challenge. I appreciate all those kind Zentangle enthusiasts who have left me comments here, on Facebook, or emailed me. Each message was treasured. Thank you! 

So... let's try it again! Here is the SECOND Zentangle Audio Meditation Challenge. (Didn't have a chance to try the FIRST one? It's here!) You will need the following:

Bijou Tile (2 inch by 2 inch paper tile) 
or original Zentangle (3 1/2 inch by 3 1/2 inch) tile, if you prefer
Micron 01 pen
Pencil (HB or softer)
Tortillion or Stump for blending
....and a nice quiet place :)

This challenge will take approximately 25 minutes. Please remember that you can pause the audio at any time if you need a little longer to complete the instructions.  Listen... and draw... there are no mistakes. 

I would love to read comments from all those who participate. If you would like, please post a photo of your tile on your blog/instagram/flickr, etc. and post the link in your comment. This will allow others to view your version of the challenge. It's so much fun to see everyone's artistic interpretation! DON'T PEEK UNTIL YOU COMPLETE THE CHALLENGE! NO CHEATING!    {Finished? You can see mine here.}
Thank you again for stopping by for a little relaxed focus... Enjoy!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Tangleation and an Audio Meditation

This week Cami and I taught a Beyond the Basics Zentangle class, Tangleation Exploration. It was a blast! We explored many versions of Cadent in this class. (A special shout out to Margaret Bremner for her oh-so-wonderful ...and then some series! Thanks!) We were so busy working tangle after tangle that the two hours went by in a flash, and class had to end! 

Lots of Cadent Variations! 
I was disappointed that we didn't have time to work through a traditional tile in class. I woke up in the middle of the night with an idea... What if I sent my students a "bonus" with my wrap up email? The bonus of an audio meditation for a bijou tile. I became very excited about this! I decided to give it a try.

I had fun figuring out how I was going to do the audio, and creating it. I have been wanting to try this since being led through an audio meditation by Molly Hollibaugh at CZT Seminar last year. I sent the finished audio to my daughter. She and her boyfriend gave it a try and sent me the results... So. Awesome.  It made me think... I wonder if I can add this to my blog... a little fun for all! It would be so cool to see everyone's interpretation, especially as they won't have a preconceived notion of what tangle they are creating... you just listen... and draw... there are NO MISTAKES. So... let's give it a try!

Get ready! Grab a bijou tile (or 2 inches by 2 inches square tile), micron 01 pen, pencil, and tortillon (or stump, or q-tip for blending). Find a nice quiet place, and take the next 10 to 15 minutes to listen, and create... one stroke at a time.

(If you are on a mobile device you may need to click "Watch on Vimeo" to play.)

When you finish your tile please take a photo and add it to your blog/flickr/instagram etc. Then comment here and include the link in your comment so I (and all who have completed the challenge... no cheating... don't look before you do it!) can check it out! I would like to post a new audio meditation every few weeks. We'll see how you like it and go from there!

I hope you participate! I can't wait to see the results and hear what you think! 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Zentangle® Inspired Nail Art

Another version of my art... ready to be showcased on my fingernails!

I initially signed up to be an Independent Consultant for Jamberry Nails because I was oh-so-excited about creating designs with my own art, plus I LOVED all the existing designs. (They also last so much longer than traditional polish!) I finally had a chance to play around with the Nail Art Studio, AND my design was approved today! Yippee!! I'll be able to order my own Zentangle Inspired Art nail wraps! (Want some of these for your own? Contact me!)

I'm already imagining pairing these with a nice sparkly red...

Zentangle® Inspired Art Nail Wraps : Diva Dance
My Diva Dance Nail Wraps! 
UPDATE: (02/21/15 I received the wraps earlier this week! I am thrilled with how they turned out! Here they are in the packaging...)

Zentangle® Inspired Art Nail Wraps : Diva Dance (packaged)
They arrived! So excited to put these on!
Thank you to all who always leave me such lovely comments... I appreciate each one! 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Today is a BIG day... My baby is EIGHTEEN!!! How did this happen so very quickly?! 

I am so VERY proud of Cami! She is a constant inspiration to me... She is witty, smart, a talented performer and artist, generous, thoughtful, level headed, sweet and sassy, tough, determined, fun-to-be-around, a great friend, a good listener, gorgeous... and I just can't believe that she's my daughter. I'm so lucky.

6 months old and crawling! (Walking at 9 months!) Feels like yesterday...
Nearly 18 years later...
This past weekend was the first competition of the season for the high school dance team Cami is on... It was so much fun to watch her perform. I love seeing the joy with which she moves across the floor. She and the team did GREAT! Here are some shots from her solo...

Competition Solo #3
Leaping into her first solo of the competition season...
Competition Solo #2
Love those lines!
Competion Solo #1
Another lovely leap...
and stretch...
Such a performer!
Cami... I love you more than words could ever express. I know that whatever you decide to do in your life, you will accomplish it with determination and grace. I couldn't be more proud.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A Blustery Day...

As I drove home from yoga, I admired all the leaves blowing around in front of me. Yellow, oranges, and reds moving around in unison... It was beautiful. I wished it was possible to sketch while I drove, alas, probably not a very good idea. :)

After pulling into the driveway and getting out of the car,  I found this gorgeous leaf on the driveway. I immediately knew that this would be my object to sketch for the colored pencil assignment in Koosje Koene "klass" this week. My reminder of a lovely "Blustery Day."

Sketchbook : Week 2 : Colored Pencil : "Blustery Day"
"Blustery Day" {Colored Pencil} SBS Week 2

I so appreciate your comments! Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Sketchbook Beginnings to Draw & Feel

I started a new venture this week... Sketchbook Skool! It's my goal to complete all three courses (kourses) this year. I started out with "Beginnings." The artist teacher for this week is Danny Gregory. Oh. My. It is so inspiring to watch him draw, peek inside his art journals, and just plain listen to him talk about art. I am so happy I decided to add this to the things I want to accomplish this year. (I definitely have an art filled year planned between Zentangle®, Sketchbook Skool, and continuing work on my calligraphy!) 

One of the assignments this week was called "Draw & Feel." You were to find something that had meaning for you and sketch it. You were encouraged to try the technique that Danny shared. This was to begin with a watercolor wash, then "eyeball" the shape of your item and use gouache to create the shape of it (basically painting it before drawing it), and THEN you would use pen to outline draw over the shape you painted and add in the details. The rule for this exercise was no pencil sketching allowed! Just start drawing with the pen. There was a time when this would have paralyzed me... What?! NO PENCIL??? But that was before I started creating Zentangle art. It's made me comfortable to just pick up a pen and draw. I knew any "mistake" would just be an opportunity to be creative.

It took me a couple of days (okay... I did have other things going on!) to figure out what I would draw... I was stuck, I wanted to choose something that had meaning to me. Then one day I was speaking to Cami in her room, I looked at her walls, and I knew! Worn out pointe shoes line the top of her walls... It was perfect! I borrowed a pair. I was set... and then... I had to get over that freezing of putting the first mark in my new Sketchbook Skool sketchbook. Why is this so hard?! I took a deep breath and went for it! 

One of Cami's MANY pairs of worn out pointe shoes!
I decided to try the technique that Danny demonstrated. I began with the watercolor wash, realized I didn't have any gouache so I subbed acrylic paint. A couple of coats gave me the opaqueness I was looking for. I really like this technique! It was fascinating! After giving my page plenty of time to dry I picked up my trusty micron and began drawing the outline of the pointe shoe. I was very surprised by how closely my "eyeballed" shape ended up matching the drawn shape. I filled in the details of the shoes and then used watercolor to shade. 

Beginnings... Watercolor wash and a quick acrylic paint shape study.

Working on watercolor shading...

I decided I wanted to have my journaling "dance" across the page. I used a piece of scratch paper to test out what I wanted to write and how I could make it flow to fit all the prose and the sketch. 

Sketchbook : Week 1 : Draw & Feel : Pointe Shoes
Complete! Cami's Pointe Shoes : Determination
I am so excited about keeping an ongoing sketchbook for the very first time (one that actually documents my life, the important and not-so-important things, an art journal sketchbook)! Danny... thank you for taking me on this journey. The whole process, as well as the finished art stirred up lots of emotions. I am so grateful.

Although it took me a long time to finish this assignment... I enjoyed every. single. moment. 

I so appreciate all who stop by and visit... I LOVE when you leave me a comment! Thanks so much!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Celebrating a Fresh New (Studio) Year

Okay... I have to start this post with saying that my family was tired of my art supplies over running the house... The latest place they had overtaken was the dining room table. That was where I would do my tangling and drawing. The reason? My studio was a... MESSSSSS!!! It was overwhelming to me and I just had no idea where to start. Plus, I just couldn't imagine drawing at the same desk as my computer, too distracting. So... how to fix this terrible situation? 

Before (Honestly, this is a cleaned up before... Norm threatened to call Hoarders on me.)
Instead of complaining, my thoughtful husband, gifted me a newly organized art studio/office for my birthday!! He measured off my small room to see what we could fit in it. He created detailed schematics and researched, checked to see what I envisioned, and researched again. 

The scaled to size plan that Norm made... (He's pretty awesome!)
We took everything OUT of my office and gifted all existing furniture to my eldest daughter who had just moved into a larger apartment with her boyfriend. They kindly agreed to take it all! The only furniture item that remained was a book shelf. Leila was also very excited to inherit art supplies that I frankly had TOO much of (I know... blasphemy... but I truly needed to get rid of some stuff). 

All the boxes arrive... My studio condensed!
Norm ever so patiently helped me go through MOUNDS of stuff and put together ALL of the furniture that he purchased from IKEA. I am so thrilled with how it has all turned out! I love that I am starting the New Year with an organized space that will accommodate all my projects! I will no longer have to pack up the dining room and hide my drawing stuff when we have guests! YIPPEE!! I have two desks... one for computer/sewing/silhouette and the other dedicated to drawing/art.

Art Studio (7)
The panoramic shot...
Art Studio (1)
Little treasures and quilt corner
Art Studio (2)
Right side of office
Art Studio (3)
Drawing desk with lanterns
Art Studio (4)
View from my art desk
Art Studio (5)
Computer/Sewing/Silhouette desk and printer corner
Art Studio (6)
Bookshelf and closet view
Art Studio (8)
Looking into studio from doorway
Leila added a wonderful gift to my birthday studio by completing a wall garden that she created out of a pallet. She painted it, created plant shelves, and planted it with my favorite... succulents! Now as I sit at my drawing desk in front of the window, I have a lovely view of the thoughtful beautiful, garden she created for me! 

Pallet Garden
LOVE my new succulent garden!
Cami completed this awesome birthday with a certificate she created that stated she will join me at a Bikram Yoga class... (I ALWAYS bug her about this! She joined me for a couple of weeks one summer before heading off to Joffrey Ballet School... now she's afraid of the heat!) It made me very happy!

You have to love the, "USE IT WISELY!"

My talented mom made me the cutest ornaments of Clark and our angel, Walter, for my birthday! I had them on the tree but will keep them in my office until next Christmas time. I was really spoiled as you can see! 

I am so grateful for my supportive family! Thank you for helping me find a way to better organize all my supplies... I LOVE my new studio! I feel like it's waiting with open arms every time I walk past the door. 

I'm looking forward to creating a lot of art and teaching more Zentangle® classes this year. It's wonderful to start the New Year with a fresh space. I'll also be participating this year in a couple of art journaling projects and will look forward to posting more about that soon. I hope your New Year is filled with health, happiness, and lots of art! 

A special thank you to all who take the time to leave me comments... I so appreciate it!
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