Monday, April 18, 2016

Spring string fling

It's spring here in my hemisphere, and the Diva's challenge this week is to use a spring shape as the string on a zentangle tile. It turns out to be quite a fun string, sometimes barely recognizable.

In the first piece I did I actually outlined the spring so it would remain visible. I added flowers in some corners (a variation of the tangle Deelish) for more of a spring feel.
Tangles: Crescent Moon, Coaster, Deelish (partial), Prestwood, Tipple
Next I wanted to disguise the curvy string, so I used a very angular tangle. I chose Ing, so (inadvertently) this is a spring string fling with Ing. :)
Tangles: Ing, Tipple, and a big spiral
I decided I should try one in color. I used Koi coloring brush pens, which are really fun and give lovely colors, but they're not lightfast so this one will be kept in a box. Because the Kois are not lightfast I also used some other non-archival pens, Recollections from Michaels. This has two spring strings, going in opposite directions. I only used two tangles; of course they're Printemps and Snaylz!

Next, a Renaissance tile. At one point I thought this was going to become Paisley shapes, but I turned the paper and suddenly it looked like something else. As I was putting copper/gold foil on another piece of art I thought why not add some here, too. It was a bit much and I toned it down with acrylic paint. Here, just beginning to sprout in spring... "Magic Beans" !
Tangles: Bunzo, Printemps (with sparkle), Tipple
Elements of Crescent Moon and Hibred

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Fassett, and more

I have liked CZT Lynn Mead's tangle Fassett since I first encountered it. It is simple to do, is based on triangle shapes, and once shaded has a lovely 3D aspect. See the step-outs here on

On Monday I had done a string of nested triangles, some overlapping. Fassett seemed a good choice of tangle, and it was interesting working with the overlaps. This is the tile that resulted.
Tangles: Fassett, Beadlines, Munchin.
THEN I read the Diva's challenge and discovered that the challenge this week is Fassett! I'm feeling rather prescient. I did another tile intending to be a simpler Fassett, but it had its own ideas.
Tangles: Fassett, Knase, Beadlines, and elements of
Crescent Moon, Gneiss, and Cubine.
Then, in my effort to use tan tiles more often, I did this one. I used Sue Clark's tri-shape string idea. When I shaded it I tried to make the three shapes remain evident.
Tangles: Fassett, and elements of Zonked
Lynn also has two related tangles, Fassettoo and Phroz. Fassettoo, instead of drawing the inner triangles, has dove-tailed corners like Hibred. I wanted to try both these variations of Fassett. First, Fassettoo:
Tangles: Fassettoo, Fassett, Pearlz, Knase,
and elements of Zonked
I wanted to try Phroz on a blue stained tile (for the frosty, icy, crystally thing, you know). I suggest you check out Lynn's step-outs for Phroz here, because what I ended up with is a poor representation of the tangle! It's supposed to have 6-pointed stars (like snowflakes, you know) but I accidentally added an extra line going across and ended up with 8-pointed stars. I also added extra points in most of the inner triangle spaces - which I rather like but it's not part of Phroz. I intend to try it again, taking more care to have proper, 6-pointed snowflakes.
Tangles: Phroz-not, Beadlines, and a few Pearlz
Thanks, Lynn, for three enchanting tangles!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Stacked Bijou challenge

This week the Diva's guest challenger, CZT Jane Reiter, proposes something quite out of the ordinary! She calls it a "stacked bijou challenge" and you can get the details here on the DivaCZT's blog.

I didn't like the idea of the increasing low relief of using layers of mat board so I layered paper, in some cases nesting one paper into the next one.

I used seven layers of papers, and I might even add another. Still thinking about that, but I wanted to post what I'd done before Saturday!
These are the layers, beginning with the Bijou (twinchie) in the center:
1. Bijou tile, white
Blue and pink wash; blue and white ink; blue and pink colored pencils
2. Standard tile, Renaissance (tan)
Blue wash; blue, turquoise, brown, sepia inks; brown, blue, white colored pencils
3.  Zendala tile, white, almost finished but disliked
I cut four rounded edges and added a lot of pink/orange color, then stuck the four pieces to the edges of the Renaissance tile.
4. Hand-marbelled paper
(on dark brown paper)
No, I didn't do the marbelling; I bought a few sheets from another artist a few years ago.
I used a brown pen to draw Auras in the shapes of the marbelling.
5. Canson drawing paper
(in a stunning gorgeous blue!)
It had a few black lines on it and I worked them into the design.
I also used a little metalic blue ink, gray ink, and white pencil.
6. Patterned scrapbooking paper
Off-white with an ochre colored design. I added a wobbly brown line all around.
7. Stonehenge drawing paper, 'Kraft' brown
Brown and sepia inks; brown, pink, white colored pencils; a touch of white ink.

The blue wash on the Renaissance tile was my least favorite while I was working on it, but now I think it's my preferred section. Just for interest's sake, here's a detail of one corner.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Paisley salvage

I had done a few tiles with paisley designs thinking that I would arrange four of them into one work. Should I add color? Sparkle? How to arrange them? They sat on my desk for months. And months. I decided they'd had their chance and it was time to reincarnate them as ATCs.

I sliced the edges off the four cards leaving me four 2.5"x3.5" ATCs. Then I added color to them all.

I was left with the four trimmed edges and decided to use them for more ATCs. I glued them to the sides of four black ATC cards. Then I had lots of fun adding other elements: patterned washi tape, holographic ribbon, a red gem star, black gem curlicues, white ink, metallic ink, little pearls, glittery white embellishment tape, and the hummingbird from a chocolate wrapper.

I have a hard time throwing out artwork that's just not satisfactory. Often, when I'm not happy with a final piece of work, I turn it into bookmarks or ATCs.
Some of these may find themselves in a swap at We Love to Tangle this June, in Calgary.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Shattuck monotangles

Another monotangle challenge from the DivaCZT!
Shattuck has thin lines between bands of the tangle and for some reason I decided that two-pencil strings would be ideal for this challenge. I haven't used a two-pencil string in quite some time, so this was interesting.

I prefer Shattuck with rounded shapes and with the two sides matched to create a fan shape, so all my tiles are like that. This first tile is fairly basic Shattuck.

I like doing a series of tiles with the same tangle. It makes me think about the tangle, get a little bored, and come up with variations. This tile includes some very large Shattuck elements in two corners, as well as a variation that just happened: I quite like it, with two sides of the fan shape filled in and the adjacent fan shapes left empty.

I signed the next tile in one direction, then decided I prefered it otherwise. Shattuck is also very interesting 'sideways'.
Finally, still smitten with the challenge to include a metallic element I went to my box of tricks and found a brassy 'O' which fit nicely into a space at the bottom. Here's my "what-were-you-smoking?!" variation of Shattuck. :)

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Oooh shiny!

The Diva has a guest challenger this week, CZT Amy Broady. Her challenge is to "make your tangled work shine! Or gleam. Or glint. ... include a METALLIC feature in your tangled art this week. It could be bold or subtle, a major feature, or a finishing touch."

When I first read that challenge I thought, "Well, this could take me for quite a ride!" I often add little doodads to my artwork, and shiny things... well!

The first thing I found was a dark copper-y spiral. I have no idea where it came from, but I like
d it and popped it into my box of nifty things that could be useful in art projects. :)

I liked the shape and traced it a few times onto a Zentangle Renaissance tile, then drew the tangles, intending to put the metal spiral in one of the empty spaces. When I finished, I liked it better without the metal! It sat on my desk while I started another tile with some buttons. At some point I glanced at this tile and the metal spiral had jiggled into place at the bottom and I really liked it! It got glued.
Tangles: Crescent Moon, Ennies, Pearlz, Tipple and Auras
Three buttons, also from my box of nifty things. They are actually more gold colored. As they sat angled on the paper I was struck by the shadows cast by the strong sunlight, so I traced some of the shadows as well as the flat round form of the larger button.
Tangles: Cubine (with a front), Knightsbridge, Tipple,
elements of Crescent Moon, and Auras
Next out of the box of nifty things were three aluminum spirals. I switched to a black tile and used a black metallic pen - which is really more of a dark gray. I used a Very Pale Gray pencil to add the highlights, and a black Glaze pen on the star points to bring up the black. It's not my favorite.
Tangles: Arukas, and a spiral.
In amongst some other things I found a single butterfly sticker on holographic paper. Metal-like at least. And I got to use some colored pens which I wanted to do. I also used some metallic and glitter pens - which don't show up well - as well as colored pencils and a pink wash.
Tangles: Dust Bunny, Floo, Flux, Knightsbridge, Knightspeak,
Opus, Paizel, Sanibelle, Tipple, and Tweety.
Not metallic, but still shiny - some gems. Now before you get all impressed, let me say that the gems are actually (fake) gems, a peel-and-stick scrapbook item, not me drawing super-duper jewels. I just stuck it down and worked out from there.
Tangles: 'dillo, Florz, Pearlz, Tipple
This was LOTS OF FUN Amy! Thanks for the challenge.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

How "Turkish Tiles" came to be

Sometimes you just have to take a chance.

I had great expectations for this Opus tile, but I just didn't like it once it was finished.
But darn it all! I'd put a lot of time and work into it! No way I was going to just throw it out, and I already have too many ATCs to trade. Surely I could do something with it.

I'd had the idea of Turkish and Iranian mosques, with their columns and stripes and geometric patterns, but the parts hadn't come together as I had hoped. I realized that I needed a different vision for it, and decided that maybe it needed to become less cluttered by mixing it up a bit more.

I trimmed a quarter inch off all sides, leaving me with a 10" square, easily divided into 25 two inch squares. Here are all the "twinchies":

I painted a 12" canvas white and then decided how I would arrange the little squares. There were a few with doorways and I decided to place those along the bottom. The sides of the canvas were then painted mottled turquoise and blues, which turned out really nicely.
"Turkish Tiles" (c) 2016 Margaret Bremner
12" square; pen-and-ink, colored pencil, acrylic paint
I didn't like the tiny difference of level between the canvas and the paper, and I thought it should be glossy because of the "tiles" idea. I used a self-levelling epoxy varnish and it now looks as if there's a sheet of glass on top! I painted gloss varnish on the sides to tie them in with the glossy surface.