Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Upcoming Winter Classes

How are your holidays going? Hopefully, you've been spending lots of fun times with your favorite people. I had the opportunity for time with my family at my mother's house this Christmas, including hugs from the little ones and holding and playing with our newest member. These times just don't come often enough.
I got an indirect nudge from the other Zentangle Teachers on Facebook recently and realized that I was behind scheduling new classes. So, I have updated my schedule and look forward to getting back together with my wonderful students and meeting new ones. I am going to try to branch out a little this year as well to teach through some local institutions. Zentangle is something I love to share with others.
Check out my Classes tab at the top of the page for upcoming times/dates. I am always open to offering an extra day for classes that my students may not be able to make, as long as I have at least two students. I teach at my home, which has turned out to be much quieter than other class sites I've used (and I have coffee or tea). Call for location. Hope to see you soon.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Zentangle Ornaments Classes This Week

My students and I had such a good time tangling ornaments last year, I decided to do another class this year. I've ended up with two classes for next week: Monday, November 9 and Wednesday, November 11, both from 9:30 am - 12:30 pm. All materials will be provided.
We'll be using the iDenti Pens. I've found that they are much easier to work with on satin ornaments than Sharpies because they dry almost instantly and don't smear. This is going to be fun and I also look forward to using up some of these ornaments. I still have room, so if you're interested in attending, you can email me at:
Here are some pictures of the ornaments that were done last year.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Imaging Opus

I have been playing with some of the Opus Zentangle Tiles that I purchased a while back. They can be a little daunting when starting on one because of their size, but once started, open up hours of tangling fun.
I was curious about using the Cricut machine to add the "strings" on one in order to do a ZIA (Zentangle Inspired Art). ZIA's don't need to stick as strictly to the usual tangling rules and are not, I guess, officially Zentangle due to incorporating more realistic elements. But, they're ultra fun and just add to the whole Zen experience for me.
I found that, using a fairly sticky mat and setting the Cricut on drawing instead of cutting, I can run the Opus tiles through the Cricut Explore and let it draw the images or words. I am just not great at lettering myself,  despite many attempts at this. It is etched into my memory that one of my art professors in college gave me a "C" on my lettering class because I had "improved so much."
One of my favorite set of words in my cartridges is the "Attitude of Gratitude" lettering and one of Ann Grasso's Mandala stencils. It goes along so well with one of the concepts of Zentangle in which we remind our students and ourselves to appreciate what we are experiencing during a session. I have almost finished this tile and may add color to it afterward.
I added one other image, one of the ladies from the Art Nouveau cartridge. I used colored pencils to this and was not all that happy with the result, I would like to see it a little smoother. Any suggestions? The tiles are the same hand molded paper that the smaller tiles consist of, so are a little toothy. The colored pencils seems to float a little on the surface.
Anyway, I have added the imaged tiles to my etsy shop, tangledmoons, and will consider a discount for CZT's if interested. Message me before ordering, please. I could also work with you on getting your Opus tiles imaged if that would also work better.
If you haven't tried the Opus tiles, give it a chance. Just imagine the fun of a small tile about nine times more fun! I think these would be great for one of those all day classes that I see discussed on some of the forums.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

New Tangle: Trellis

I recently purchased the book, A Method For Creative Design by Adolfo Best-Maugard. This is full of fun exercises using simple strokes, such as straight lines, swirls, and circles. I was playing with a few of these the other night when this tangle surfaced. I'm calling it Trellis since it reminds me of a garden trellis. If this is a copy of someone else's tangle, let me note that this is only by accident. I'd love to know, however. I'm sharing the step-out here:

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Tangles® to Die-Cut For

I have been crafting since I could smear glue on paper and scribble across a page with my favorite crayons. My parents were both great at producing hand-made items and it came naturally to me with such wonderful role-models. Many of our clothes growing up were hand-made by my mother and then by myself. As I've added to my repertoire of arts/crafts over the years, some have blended into the others, both enhancing one another and jostling for my time and space in the studio. Some have stayed, and some went the way of the extra drawer space in the attic.
I made baskets for years, learning first from my mother, an award-winning basketmaker, and from other teachers from the North Carolina Basketweaver's Association. I still have more baskets of mine and others than I have room or need for, but the weaving itself has been left. Weaving traditional basket materials is rough on one's hands, especially the nails, so I tend now to just admire
what other crafters do. I still love the twill patterns, though and have been working on breaking them down into tangles.
A few years ago, I took up scrapbooking. It is more challenging than it looks, coordinating patterns in paper, colors and borders, not to mention making sure these added embellishments enhance rather than distract from cherished photos. The cutting tools that are used in this craft are fascinating to me, especially the die-cut machines.
One of the new tools I have come across is the round border punch system by Martha Stewart. A starter set is needed, but is used for all circle border punches. These make beautiful mandala-like circles. I've been combining them with the four-in-one and now the eight-in-one mandala stencil sets from Ann Grasso. I'm showing three here that I'm working on. Why three at once, instead of one at a time?
I find that if I work on an area of a mandala and put it down to dry, my results are better. I tend to work on one area at a time for one mandala and then switch to another. It doesn't break my focus, just switches it for a few minutes.
I will be posting the hummingbird die-cut again later as well. I'm not sure that I want all of the videos taking up space on the blog again, so I may give it it's own page and just post the code to view them on Vimeo.
There are other patterns available through the Cricut Design Space library which I subscribe to. A lot of the flower patterns are very mandala-ish and other embellishments would make lovely stencils for tiles or mandalas.
The Cricut is capable of cutting thin paper to basswood, so I will have artist papers that can be cut and shaped. Some of the beautiful gray Stonehenge papers that came with my eight-in-one package from Ann may be next.
Please give feedback or chime in if you have used die-cuts as part of your Zentangle® ZIA's®. I'd love to see what you're working on.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Re-purposed Pink Poinsettia Painting

I finished the sketchbook pink poinsettia, re-purposing it from just a sketchy One-Stroke painting to a fully-tangled picture. This was so much fun and totally transformed a sketch I was ready to toss. I decided to leave the background tangles black and white rather than try to coordinate the colors and possibly compete with the subtle variations in the painting.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tangling on Paint

One of the ideas behind the name of this blog, Tangled Moons, is the use of Zentangle®
with the many craft venues that I love. The many moons represent all crafts, arts, etc. I've used tangles® on greeting cards, scrapbook pages and holiday ornaments to name a few. I haven't figured out how to apply them to knitting or crochet yet, but I'm sure someone somewhere will figure this out eventually. 
One of the crafts I have lost over the years has been One Stroke Painting. I learned this from Donna Dewberry, the originator of the painting style, and her students and became certified (1992?). I've come across some painting pieces, painting scribbles to be more exact, that were left in a sketch pad and debated over whether to toss them or re-purpose them in some way. I wasn't thrilled with either one, but did like the colors in them. 
The first is a pink poinsettia which is done in acrylic paints. Could it be tangled with pens? I tried a Sakura Microperm 01 first and it worked for a while, then I switched to an IDenti Pen, also by Sakura. The IDenti Pen works better, although adding a broader stroke even with the finer point. This seems kind of a reverse of what we usually do: tangle, then color in, or randomly color the background, then tangle over it.
In any case, I'm having fun with the results. My next project will be the second page of small white flowers. I may even add more color to the background of these painting rejects. Who knows, maybe they'll metamorph into ZIA's with a little added shading. Any feedback on how to use colored pencils to shade acrylic paint?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

New Tangle: Into the Eye

As a former basket maker, I'm still intrigued by a lot of the patterns used in this craft. One of my favorite baskets was the egg basket, which always started with a God's Eye weave to hold the basic frame together. I have played with this pattern to break it down into a tangle pattern. I'm sharing it with my readers. Have fun and feel free to send in your tiles using this pattern.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Scrapping the Tangles

I started a scrapbook for my Zentangle experiences just after coming back from the Certification Seminar in 2013. I chose a brown paper-covered scrapbook so that I could embellish the cover. This has been a kind of start-and-stop project, but I'm feeling the need to go ahead and complete it. The brown paper is perfect for Renaissance tangling. It takes the Sakura pens quite well without bleeding and holds the powder from the Zenstone pencils and white charcoal pencils well, but will let you smudge a little, too. I'm working larger than usual to cover it, since it holds 12" x 12" pages. The front cover is close to finished and the back is started, but on hold until the cover is done. I'm planning to use either a modpodge finish or an acrylic spray when done.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! It's late and I've slept most of the day from a bad, clinging cold and just general fatigue from the work week. I've resisted taking cold medicine today and am not any worse than the other days this week when I did. This must mean (fingers crossed) that I'm finally on the mend. Our Maltipoo tore his toenail last Sunday, of course, not on a weekday, and I spent last Sunday evening waiting for this to be surgically removed at the emergency vet clinic one town away. Tomorrow is his last antibiotic pill day, last day with the large floppy blue collar that keeps him away from his sore foot and his birthday, so celebrations for him and us. I've spent two days home watching him, Henry's spent two days and the regular vet had his company for two. All in all, a long week. I'm really looking forward to some normalcy next week. 
I still have two video segments to share for the hummingbird. I hope everyone who has visited has enjoyed them. I have a new project in mind, but am waiting until I get through with that project first. 
My sweet Hubby has gone to the store for carrots to make chicken soup for us tomorrow and then it's feet up and watching some tube before turning in.
I have squeezed in some valentine tangles this week on die-cut watercolor paper, very subtle color, mostly black and white. My valentine to everyone. Happy Day.

Sunday, January 18, 2015


A very Happy New Year and Welcome to my new readers! I have been blogging since 2007 with my other blog, Crafterdays, still ongoing. I love crafts, so when I discovered Zentangle®
a few years ago, it was inevitable that I would go to the Certification Seminar with Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, the founders of Zentangle. Our seminar was November 11-13, 2013. We ended on the 13th, we were the 13th group CZT's and it was the year 2013. We felt extremely lucky, however. I did something I never thought of doing before - I signed up for a roommate that I had never met! I am so glad I did. I met so many wonderful people and had automatic friends to spend time with. I highly recommend this to anyone attending alone.

I have been fortunate to teach for the last year through our local Arts Council. I have again met so many students who have fallen in love with the peace as well as the creativity that comes from tangling.

For the past few months, I've been learning to do craft classes online through Shirley Pando and Jeri Parks. I've learned so much from these ladies. I have been rethinking, though, exactly what I'd like to do with this knowledge. Do I want to do traditional online Zentangle classes aimed at those who live too far from any CZT's? Do I want to do various crafts along with Zentangle or in combination? This would be my preference due to my interest in scrapbooking, gourd design, multimedia art, etc. I also love to do my fiber arts - spinning, weaving, knitting and crochet.The websites have proven too cumbersome and I am learning now to make the videos I love to do and transfer them onto DVD's for home use. I can sell them through etsy without having to maintain websites on my own.

I think what made up my mind was realizing that my own tangling had taken a backseat to the online class production. Those of you who have never produced your own videos for the web have no idea the time consumed. Each video must be in the right format and must be hosted by an outside site unless you're giving it away for free such as on YouTube and unless it's under a certain size.  So, from Adobe Premiere Elements to Format Factory to Vimeo to my class site. As I said, time consuming.
There is also an incredible amount of sharing within the Zentangle community. I'd like to give back some of what has been shared with me. I will be posting some short tutorials as well as new tangles and maybe an occastional challenge. My wish to do online classes will be pursued through offering packaged classes through my etsy shop, Tangled Moons. My good friend and fellow teacher, Kathy Capen, has agreed to test drive the Hummingbird Class on her own. My sister, Rheta Russell, who has never done Zentangle before, did the lessons with me and did very well. When I get their feedback to post, I will offer these classes as well as others.

I received a Cricut Explore from my mother as a birthday gift last May. The possibilities of combining the Explore and Zentangle has been fun! There are some beautiful images to cut out draw with gel pens from this machine. I know that Zentangle in its purity is nonrepresentational and unplanned. I love just sitting down to a blank tile and drawing patterns until it's filled. I've also enjoyed participating in Ben Kwok's Facebook page where people use his wonderfully beautiful templates, mostly of animals, to embellish with tangles. So, why not do the same thing with Cricut images?