Saturday, July 12, 2014

When you want to sing along .....

I'm sharing this video by Kristin Andreassan because it is just so, so much fun. I discovered this via an online friend and artist, Sara Mincy, and we watched it soooo many times.

We now own the album this song comes from, Kiss Me Hello, and we know all the words by heart. It's a really great singing in the car kind of a song.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Austin Kleon says that we should Steal Like an Artist. That's just what I've been doing this week as I've been a little bit stuck for inspiration but really wanting to keep my regular Zentangle practice going strong.

I've sought out inspiration from fellow Certified Zentangle Teachers and mimicked tiles that they've shared. Just by taking a look at what they've done, it's possible to decide what the border and string must have been, at least approximately. Those elements are always just suggestions anyway.

Next I take a look at the tangle patterns they've used and decide if I'm going to use them. Usually, I will because that's one primary reason I choose a tile to copy; because I need to practice some tangles that I might not normally choose to practice regularly. Of course, I do tend to deviate if there's one that I just really don't want to draw at the moment or I think it just doesn't fit my tile. And of course, there's always the moment when you just need to draw your favorite tangle. This is a meditative practice, after all.

The first tile I copied was by Kathe Berthold. Hers first, then mine.

And the second was by Kierstan Betancourt. Kierstan's below, then mine.

I like this exercise because it's just another example of how everyone's tile will be unique, even after being given the same instructions. And it reminds me of my favorite part of every Zentangle class, when everyone's tiles are put together to form an amazing mosaic.

Thanks so much ladies, for sharing your tiles and for your inspiration! Hopefully I can do the same!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Diva Challenge #174

The Diva Challenge #174 was to use superimposing strings. Here's my tile with strings only.

And after about 28 minutes (I decided to time myself to see how long it really takes me to make a completed tile), here is the tile without shading.

After about 5 minutes of shading, below. I'm really trying to be more aggressive with my shading because I just haven't yet felt that it was "right" when it was finished. Since there is no right/wrong that's not quite the right word but you get the point.

I decided it needed something more at the top so added some Hollibaugh, below.

For a completely totally finished tile in approximately 40 minutes. So there you have it.

Today is also the day I began the Zentangle tile gallery in the dining room, with tiles by everyone in my family and one by Maria Thomas for good measure.

Friday, June 20, 2014


I'm not sure what I want to share this week. There's just so much. I went to Seminar in Providence, Rhode Island at the beginning of this week to be certified as a Zentangle Teacher. I really did not know exactly what to expect since I didn't know anyone personally who has gone through the experience, nor did I already know anyone who would be there.

One conclusion is that this was the most generous conference/seminar experience I have ever had. (Yes, of course I paid for the experience, yet) The hotel accommodations were exceptional (well done  Hotel Providence!), the food was fantastic at every single meal, and the tools, supplies, and resources that were shared with us were well beyond what I would normally expect to receive.

Even beyond that, by the second day it was clear that not only were Rick and Maria there to teach us to draw in a Zentangle way, and to teach us how to teach, but it truly felt like they were welcoming each one of us into their family. That's the only way I can explain the level of generosity and kindness with which they share.

I've spent the two days since arriving home in a bit of a bubble, not sharing too much all at once with Jon because I felt like if I shared too much all at once, the bubble would pop, and the experience would vanish. Now that I've started sharing I realize that the bubble won't vanish but it will grow to encompass everyone with whom I'm able to share Zentangle.

I think that's going to be enough sharing for now. I'm better for having gone and I'm looking forward to sharing what I've learned with others and learning more about Zentangle along the way. Classes coming soon!

(click on the images to see them larger)

Friday, April 25, 2014


It's your weekly #ZenFriday post along with the Diva Challenge #164 this week. The challenge was to take inspiration from the earth for Earth Day. This tile started out roundish with some latitude-ish and longitude-ish lines and went completely awry from there. Isn't that just always the way.

I've also found this week that I really wanted to fill up that entire tile. Not sure what that was about but there you have it.

Please feel free to leave your own link in the comments for ZenFriday. I'll look forward to visiting.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Bellaboo's Discovery Center

Tucked away in the northwestern corner of Indiana, there is a wonderful play place called Bellaboo's. It's designed specifically for kids aged 9 and younger to explore, play, and discover. One of my very favorite things about Bellaboo's is that all of the play areas are sized perfectly for the kids. So much of the time kids have to deal with living in a world that is too big for them. Everything at Bellaboo's is just right. 

We had a chance during spring break to take my Sarah and niece, Aly, to Bellaboo's for the afternoon.  These girls wore us out. We were there over four hours. The girls ability and endurance to play literally outlasted mine and Jon's endurance to help and to watch them enjoy themselves. The grown-ups called uncle.

Our girls favorite spaces were the Dino Dig (pictured above) and the Jungle Gym. We also spent a considerable amount of time in the Pretend Village and the Art Studio. I'm not sure exactly how they count the different areas since some of them can be divided into smaller areas, but there are over 10 different areas for kids to learn while they are playing. Most of the areas are self directed, but there's even a Children's Cooking area where the kids gather to learn about cooking and good nutrition. This area especially is such a great example of exceptional design.

The Bellaboo's Staff stands in the sunken kitchen area (complete with all the appliances and storage facilities we all wish we had in our own kitchens). Meanwhile the kids are all seated on these adorable kid size seats. The whole set up makes serving the kids, interacting with them, and cleaning up simple and fun.

I really can't tell you enough about how much fun the girls had on our Bellaboo's adventure. Sarah even fell asleep on the way home and I can't remember the last time that happened.

I hope you'll enter to win your own family 4-pack of tickets to Bellaboo's Discovery Center. Our tickets were graciously provided by Bellaboo's so we could check it out and let you know how much we loved it! You can check out their website to get an idea of where they're located in the Lake County Parks System.

They have a whole week's worth of activities planned for Earth Week April 21-27th. They're also hosting a Northwest Indiana Preschool Fair this Thursday April 24th from 5:30-7:30pm. If you're in the northwest Indiana area, you might want to seriously consider checking out the registrations for summer camps at Bellaboo's. Your kids will have great adventures every day! 

The giveaway will run now until April 27th. We'll notify the winner on April 28th (and update this post to reflect the winner as well). I surely hope you'll enter and let us know how much fun you have when you visit! 

Friday, April 18, 2014


This week I've discovered (or perhaps remembered) that I really enjoy doing "slow" things. Or more correctly, doing things slowly. 

I really like to spend big chunks of time tangling. I really like to take walks through our neighborhood slowly. I actually like to cook and serve dinner, when I can do it calmly and slowly. 

My new goal is to do more of the things that I have to do and want to do in a "slow" way. 

I hope that you'll join in on the ZenFriday fun by leaving a comment and/or a link in the comments to your own ZenFriday post. It can be a blog post, or a picture on Flickr or Instagram. Whatever. Just share with us all how you approach ZenFriday. 

Here's my Zentangle tile for this ZenFriday.  Have a great weekend everyone and please share your link!