Thursday, March 05, 2015

Marbling Paper with Nail Polish

There has been a video going around Facebook about marbling paper with nail polish. I only saw it once and couldn't find it again, but it looked like just the thing I like to try; something that could be cool or a horrendous, messy disaster, so with no clear instructions but the ones I remembered, I got right on it. 

The plastic container is one of those that deli meat comes in and is the perfect size for Artist Trading Card-sized pieces of paper or smaller. Do not use container that you want to use for anything else ever again. It will have scridlings of polish on it when you're done. 

Fill it about half full of water. I found some old nail polish and I mean OLD. It was all separated and stuff but still quite liquid when I shook it up. It needs to be on the runny side so you can make drops on the water. . I think if you had some chunky drier stuff you could add a couple of drops of nail polish remover to loosen it up and it would still be fine. 

Drop some nail polish on the water in the container. The first couple of drops are going to all but disappear, but as it starts to set and form a film on the water, you can darken it and then add the other colors. This must be done fairly quickly as it sets up fast. You can leave it like it is or stir it about with a toothpick (not vigorously or it becomes a ball in the middle) . You can also poke it around with your finger. It works, but I would advise against it since I am still picking marbley polish off my fingernails. 

Lay your paper (I used official Zentangle Artist Trading Cards ) on the water and push straight down. This is done quickly but steadily. Some of the polish wraps around the back, but I didn't worry about that. 

I pulled the card straight back up and turned it over and put it on a paper towel on a baking rack over newspaper to dry. The top one in the picture below was my first one and my favorite. It had the least amount of polish on the water, you could barely see the green and purple.  Also it's perfect to draw on because it doesn't feel like slippery, glossy polish like the ones with more on them. In the future, less is more. 

Before you dunk another one, run a piece of scrap paper over the surface of the water and the edges of the container to pick up any extra polish floating around. 

This picture is inexplicably upside down, but  it gives you an idea of what can be done. I really like the bottom two and think they could be tangled easily. But then again, I also think the bottom right one looks like an abstract rooster, so I really can't be trusted. The other ones would make good accent pieces for cards or scrap booking. 

Would I try it again? Yes, with the less is more approach since I intend to tangle them. I also think you could use a bigger container for larger tiles, but I'm not sure it would work for anything much bigger than 3"x5" or 5"x7" because the amount of time it would take you to cover the surface of the water with polish would allow it to really set and I'm not sure it would stick to the paper that well. But that is an experiment for another day. 

Please let me know if you've tried this and what you thought. Also I would love any tips or tricks because I just winged it. Happy Marbling!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Diva's Weekly Challenge: Year of the Goat

This week's Diva Challenge is to do a tile, in the style of your choosing, to celebrate Chinese New Year on Thursday.  This year is the Year of the Goat, or the Year of The Sheep, depending on who you ask.  I love both goats and sheep but I can draw a better sheep so that's the one I picked. Throw in a couple of Chinese Lanterns among the tangles and it didn't take me long. Especially since it's only artist trading card size. Fun!

It was good to work on a smaller sized piece since I have been working on a 3' by 2' piece for a couple of weeks now.  I got a hugantic piece of beautiful rice paper and laid it on the kitchen table.  You know how some people have a table with a jigsaw puzzle going all the time?  Same concept only no puzzle, just a big piece of paper to doodle a way at when I have a few (or a lot) of minutes to spare. Doesn't look that big in the pic, but it seems huge compared to the stuff I usually work on which can be as small as 1.5" square! There is no rhyme or reason, I just doodle whatever I like, whenever I like, where ever I like and hope it all gels together in the end.  

One side has some vines and lady bugs...

The other has some Sanibel leaves and weird flowers.  I am thinking about putting bare branches in that big circle, like silhouettes against a full moon, but I haven't decided yet. 

There's Widgets in a grid, ticket stubs in a row and stuff going everywhere. Even I don't know how it's going to turn out!

I'm really liking the free flow concept, but the rice paper sure isn't easy to draw on. It seems to have some kind of sizing or waxy coating that makes the pens skip (probably a good thing or it would suck ink up like a sponge, and the pieces of veggie matter rip your pen nibs up. It's gorgeous paper but not for this project. Were I to do it over, I would have purchased a piece the same size, but a natural or ecru, cold press, watercolor paper since I'm using white,brown, and red in addition to black. Anyway, live and learn, and it's just for fun anyway.  It's helping to keep the cabin fever at bay a little. I tend to zone out when I doodle. It's a good thing or I'd be climbing the bell tower by now without it. Spring can't come too soon!

What are you doing to 'wait it out' for spring?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Tropical Therapy

Is was a cold and blustery day here in Madison
High winds causing white out conditions from the skiff of snow we got last night and -30 wind chill factors.

I had to be out and about in it because I had an oil change appt. at 9AM. It was nearly impossible to get out of bed as I lay listening to the wind howl outside. So I decided that since I was going to be halfway to it anyway, I would drop into Olbrich Gardens for a little mid-winter tropical therapy.

The parking lot was chock-a-block full when I got there at 10AM and I almost turned the car around and headed right back home since the best available space was quite a distance from the door, but I sucked it up and went in anyway. Come to find out, the reason that it was so crowded was that there was a fine arts craft show going on! I spent a few minutes looking at all of the pretties; pottery, weaving, paintings and jewelry before I went into the conservatory. BONUS!!!

When I went to get a ticket to go inside, I found out that it was FREE before noon today! BONUS BONUS! I ditched my winter jacket, scarf, hat and gloves, and stepped through the doors. The first lung-full of air relaxed me instantly; warm, damp, green...delicious.  Everywhere you looked there was lushness...

And color...

And more color....


And soothing calm...

And the sweet sounds of birds...

And the soothing, trickling water

 I spent over an hour wandering around, sitting on various benches and standing on the bridges by the water with my eyes closed enjoying the sounds. It was a magical remedy for the winter blues!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Diva Challenge 202: Chebucto vs Copada

This weeks Diva Challenge was a duo tangle. Laura gave us two tangle patterns: Chebucto vs. Copada, both by one of my favorite CZT's, Margaret Bremner. If you click on the pattern names it will take you to her website where she does the step-outs. I vaguely remember trying Chebucto before but not Copada so it was fun to do two patterns that I was unfamiliar with.  The tile turned out a little busy but I had fun with it anyway.

I've had good  news lately. On Monday I won first prize at the Promega Art Show with 'Ghost In The Barn:

It came with a cash prize and then I sold the drawing the same day! Cool! 

I also attended the Wisconsin Zentangle Artist Coalition meeting last Saturday. We had a great meeting; lots of tips, tricks and beautiful work to see. It's great to network with other like-minded artists. It also makes you realize how far you have to go when you see some of the beautiful work that others are putting out there. I know that Zentangle itself is about the process and not the end result but...DANG... there was some amazing talent in that room!  I am looking forward to WiZAC growing and evolving. There are lots of neat plans in the works, the Expo, retreats, future meetings, etc. So all in all it has been a week full of tangley goodness! Tangle on!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

SQUEE! Diva's 200th Challenge!

I can't believe the Diva has offered us up 200 challenges! I have done them all, some of them after the fact and unposted, but they are all in my portfolio. I love these challenges. I love to create them, but the best part is seeing how so many people, given the same instructions, can come up with so many different interpretations. It's amazing!

I also enjoy Laura's blog. She has the cutest kidlets EVAH, and she takes us through the journey of her days with humor and style.  So HAPPY 200th Laura! Thanks so much for everything you do! We Love ya!
Happy 200th with Nzepple!

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Diva Challenge #199-Hitched

Haven't been doodling much lately. The Diva took a couple of weeks off of challenges, the holidays were busy and we've been playing copious amounts of Qwirkle in the evenings (I am SO addicted to that game) so I have good excuses! :-) Decided to take a few minutes and do the challenge this week which was to use the tangle 'hitched', which is the design that goes through the middle.  I liked it and had been wanting to try the twig one in the upper left too.  It was fun to kick back with a pen again.

The holidays have been wonderful. We didn't have any snow until a couple of days ago and for the most part the weather was temperate so I got lots of walking and sunshine in-especially on the Christmas weekend itself. The tables have turned now and it's below zero with wind chills WAY below zero, but it's par for the course in Wisconsin in January, I discovered a system of walking trails in the field and woods by my house and am kind of hoping for some snow to try snowshoeing on them!

One of my favorite gifts this Christmas was a bullet blender, I've been having lots of fun playing 'let's see if it will blend this and what it tastes like' for the last week. I'm in love! This morning's smoothie is pear, strawberry, blueberry, walnut and yogurt. Yum! I made one with spinach, carrot, apple, cuties and cucumber the other morning and it was fabulous as well. Awful healthy though.  Might try pepperoni pizza, a doughnut and Sierra Mist next.

Happy New Year to you all!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Diva's Challenge: KISS

This week's Diva Challenge was right up my alley! During the busy hustle-bustle of the holidays, Laura encouraged us to just Keep It Simple for our tile this week. This was left open to interpretation as to whether you would  do a simple string, or some of the more simple tangles. I decided, no strings, no deciding which pattern would go best where. I would just do a tile of a new tangle I had seen and wanted to try (Cirque by Chris Gerstner). No sting. One Tangle Pattern. Simple.

It is about as far away from an 'official' Zentangle as you can get and it's not much of a looker but it sure was relaxing, just when I needed it most. Apparently I was so relaxed that I fell asleep taking the picture and so it's all crookedy!  I aim to go back in at a later date and fill in the background but for now, it's...well...simple!

Sincere thanks to Laura for another amazing challenge. This one really hit the spot at this time of year. Thanks for the pleasant 30 minutes away from my mind monkeys!