Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Diva Challenge-Stripes and Memories of Maine

This week's Diva Challenge was to use stripes as a string. I can't think of anything more 'stripey' than Hollybaugh so I used that as my 'template'. Fun! Thanks Laura for another great challenge!

I just got back from a couple of weeks in Maine and am having a hard time adjusting to 'real life' back here in Wisconsin. I love spending time with my Mum so much that it's always a week or two of the 'I-Miss-My-Mommy' blues when I get home. And this time around I have more to miss! I connected with my birth siblings this spring. I have four new sisters and a new brother! I got to meet up with two sisters, Doris and Dina and a brother, Dan, for lunch while I was home. They are all warm, funny, smart, caring folks and I'm so glad that fate (or as I like to call her, Shelly) brought us together. 

As an adopted kid, I didn't look or act like anyone in my family. It was kind of mind blowing to see baby pics of all of us and see that I look just like them! And we all have the same weird sense of humor, and we all love art. Doris does lovely pen and ink drawings, and Dan and Dina paint beautifully. It was an overwhelming, surreal, but awesome experience. I may have come to the game late, but they are stuck with me now! I also got to meet two nieces, Amy and Rebekka who are just as sweet and welcoming as their respective moms!

My Aunt and Uncle from California, and their children and spouses were all at the camp on Lake Mattawamkeag. I haven't seen my cousin, Mike, in years. It was a bittersweet reunion as they were all home to say goodbye to the camp. My Aunt and Uncle are selling it and closing that chapter on all of our lives. How lucky are we to have someplace that we'll miss so much? Millions of memories.

Mum and I got up to our usual trouble and then some. We  kayaked a bit. We went to the coast one day. Walked the Rockland Breakwater and Lincolnville Beach. We went to Shin Pond because I couldn't remember ever being there before. What a beautiful drive!  It's at the north end of Baxter State Park. There are cabins there and a little store right on the pond. Absolutely gorgeous!

We spent some time porch sittin', visiting with friends and playing Rummakub. I don't so much 'play' as it turns out, as let Mum monkeystomp me over and over! We don't have to do anything special. I love just spending quiet time with Mum. Although she will tell you, with me around, it's rarely quiet! I think she needed a full week's detox after I left!

So now it's time to settle get back in the swing of the Midwest. Lots of big plans for this autumn to look forward to! Onward and upward!

Monday, August 04, 2014

A Garden for Bijou

I LOVE this week's Diva Challenge! The good folks over at Zentangle have rolled out an adorable new mascot and new mini tiles that are the cutest things ever!

This is Bijou.
(Picture shamelessly stolen from the Zentangle website.)

His new Zentangle tiles have his picture on the back and inspirational sayings and are only 2" by 2"! Room enough for exquisite, teeny tangles only! You can read all about Bijou and his tiles here.   I have A LOT going on this week and  didn't think that I would have time to do the challenge but since it was to create a tangle in a 2"x 2" space, I couldn't resist. I love little Bijou so much that I made him a garden to rest in! 

I hope he likes it as much as I like him!  Thanks for the great challenge, Diva! Adieu for now Bijou!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Winter Project

During the winter, when the days are short and bitter cold, I put a largish sheet of paper on my kitchen table and doodle away at it off and on when I have time; kind of like you folks that always have a jigsaw puzzle going. This winter's project got 'bumped' several times in the priority list but I finally finished the design and inking last night. Hmmm. End of July finish date...not exactly a winter project any more, huh?

There is still a lot of shading in my future, but the the main part of it is complete. Maybe I will tuck it away and let the shading be my NEXT winter project. It's coming faster than you think!
It's one third of a sheet of large poster paper.  Sort of a 'bell pull' shape. 
I like the dangles on the bottom.

Closer of top half.
Don't know why the top looks crooked. It's really not. Must be the angle of the camera

 Closer of bottom half. It's not crooked either. 

I've a mind to stabilize the back and then roll the top and bottom around dowels for display...not sure yet, but it looks like I have another whole winter to think about it!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Diva Challenge: Truffle

Let me start right up front by apologizing for my entry this week. I had the day from H-E-Hockey-Sticks yesterday with a migraine. I had no business attempting the challenge last night, but I did. And I promised myself I would always put forth my first effort for better or for worse. Turns was worse.

The challenge was to use 'Truffle' in a tangle. Truffle reminds me of dandelion blossoms so  that's the direction I took. It's muddled and sloppy but here it is.

I hereby solemnly swear to never to doodle under the influence of  a headache or it's medications again. 

PS: The 'bombs' dropping from the sky are supposed to be dandelion seeds. I'm going back to bed.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Diva Challenge and The Madison Zentangle Expo

This week's Diva Challenge was to be inspired by your favorite drink, in whatever form that took. One of my favorite drinks is a cherry French soda, a coffee house specialty that has cherry soda and half and half so I decided to use a hand died pink tile background and tangle it with red pen, and white Jelly roll and shaded it with red colored pencil. Ouila! Cherry French Soda!

Where did the hand dyed pink tile come from you ask? Why I dyed it myownself at a class at The Zentangle Expo this weekend !   It was held at The Monona Terrace Convention Center on Lake Monona in Madison. It was an overcast day but there still was an amazing view! 
 There was a gallery of beautiful work from the teachers and attendees.

 You'll want to biggify those. Beautiful, beautiful pieces!

And I took 5 classes; Using Watercolors, Hand Dying Backgrounds, Shading, and Zentangling on objects.  Here are some seashells that the teacher did. She is a calligrapher as well. 

 I can't wait to do some of my own and leave them on the beach face down for others to find!
The last class was called The Master Class- each of the Certified Zentangle Teachers for the weekend got up and gave a tip, trick or pattern. It was awesome. The entire weekend was! I was very impressed at the organization and professionalism. I learned a lot! Now I'm counting down the days until next 's Expo!

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Diva Challenge: Crux and Molly The Hedge Warrior

Business first. I haven't done a Diva Challenge in a while so I settled down last night to tackle this week's UMT (Use My Tangle). The entire tile is one tangle pattern called 'Crux'. It's so versatile and there are so many variations that 20 people could sit down and do it and get 20 results. Just pop on over the Diva's post and check out all of the entries at the bottom of the entry. Diversity at its finest!

I'm happy with the 3D effect I was able to achieve with the tips and tricks I learned at my last class with Katie Butler. I'm looking forward to playing with them lots more. 

We are the proud owners of a new electric hedge clipper at our house. This is a very good thing because after the past three weeks of heat, humidity and rain, it was beginning to look like a jungle out there. 

The WhateverThisIs growing by the steps was oozing over making the Big Doggie scared to come out of the house.
The dreaded lilac had grown up over the windows and the air conditioner again! I love lilacs, but that is not the place for that one; too small a space. 

So we drew straws and I got to be the Hedge Master. Those without opposable thumbs laughed and laughed. I put the new trimmers together. Screws, safety guard and handles were involved and went out Thursday night to tackle the hedge monsters. No electrical cord provided. WTH?!?!? So we piled in the car and went to Farm and Fleet and got a cord. By this time it's dark so the whole deal will have to wait until tomorrow. I vow to get out there early as it's supposed to be hot.

I go out the next morning at 8:00 (out of respect for our neighbors, as I was raring to go at 6:00). On the way to the garage to get the trimmer, I notice that the leaf lettuce has gotten way out of hand, so I cut that and put it in a big bag to take out to the farm. Since it was breakfast time for the animals, I decided to take it out right away. ADD at it's finest.  By the time I get back it's hotter out there but I'm still fairly enthusiastic. I fire up the trimmer and tackle the step-eating shrub. Up one side. Cool! Up the other side. Nice! One long cut across the front and silence. I'd cut my own extension cord. Damn. 

Back in the car and over to Farm and Fleet only to find that they are closed for the 4th. Down to ACE hardware where I find a new cord...for $5 more than they have them at F&F. Damn. Get back home and now it's blazing hot. I plug in the new cord, fire it up and ...nothing. Down to the basement to check the fuse box, flip the switch, back up the stairs and out to the garden and ...nothing. Damn. 

Finally I decide to give up the entire enterprise until later in the afternoon when the sun is on the other side of the house and the garden is shaded. During the afternoon, I try to turn on the downstairs bathroom light and discover that it won't come out so I know I've missed a circuit breaker. Back down to the basement I go and switch it over. 

After supper I go back out and start again.  This time everything goes swimmingly. I remember to lay down the plastic table cloth to catch the clippings. I remember to plug my cord into the outlet BEHIND me so I won't cut it again, and off I go. Although things have been going well, by the time I get to the dreaded lilac,  I'm hot, sweaty and tired and losing enthusiasm fast. I whack away at the bush, whittling it down to a more reasonable size.  I even hack a branch that's about 3/4 inch in diameter and marvel that the trimmers can handle something that big. Then it's time to go around behind and cut the back. I hate that part, there's no room back there, it's right next to my neighbor's fence and  and I can't see what I'm doing but I plunge in anyway. Remember that branch that I, just 30 seconds ago, marveled at? Yep. Impaled myself on it, but good. 

So, to review, now I'm hot, sweaty, tired, injured and TICKED. I start swinging the weed whacker wildly yelling, 'DIE!!!!' until I wear myself out and have to stop. It's quiet. I turn around to see my neighbor standing over me on his doorstep looking concerned. 

"I hate this lilac." I state quietly. 
"I would seem so." He replies before trundling off to his garage.
But despite all of the trials and tribulations, I fought the foliage and aside from one minor flesh wound, I won!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Wild Ride

To say that the last week has been a wild ride would be a vast understatement. I reconnected with my birth family and found out that I have a whole slew of sisters and a brother, who have welcomed me with open arms. It's been an overwhelming, wonderful, roller-coaster ride putting all of the little pieces of the story together.

With the good comes the bad. A tornado hit just up the street from our house. We didn't get any damage, but have been picking up tiles, insulation and pulverized dry wall (tornado loogies) all week, It's been crazy weather with storm after storm and we've had 3 tornado warnings so far, flooding, mudslides. Wheeee! So far no one has been seriously hurt, just a lot of property damage and things can be replaced. 

I was playing with Knightsbridge the other night and came up with some new tangle patterns. At least I think they're new. I have't seen them anywhere before. They are really 'variations' on Kightsbridge but I named then anyway The tiles are quick and dirty with little to no shading in most places.  But I wanted to see what it looked like to use the new patterns. I think there is a lot of possiblity there. Possibilities that it's obvious I didn't explore with these tiles! :-)




Feel free to use and enjoy! Have a great weekend!