Saturday, September 28, 2013

Works in progress

My weekly zentangle challenge. The challenge this week was circles vs squares. This was fun and easy and Phil says "WOW!" He wants to use it for an album cover :)  Jeremy started on one, but got distracted and never finished. So maybe he'll join me again for next week.

Next up in my projects this week. A crochet project all for me!  Most of my crochet goes to other people. One of those funny things. I crochet a lot, but hardly have anything crocheted of my own. So I found this hook case on pinterest. It's a free pattern on Ravelry and I'm loving  the way this is made. All in one piece, no sewing together.  I'm adding a couple more pockets than the pattern has and making a few a bit bigger for my bigger hooks.  I finished the inner part this morning and you can see several hooks have already found their way in. working on the outside tonight!

I'm also working on using up some denim fabric I was given. Have been wanting to do some hotpads for stocking stuffers and found some cute patterns for little microwave hot pads on pinterest. Not actually using a pattern, just making up my own as I go. That's a lot of pinterest stuff I see. I use the idea to make my own or mash a couple of things together. Best of both worlds!
I still need to get heavy terry cloth for the insulating layer and some bias tape cut to bind it all together, but I think they'll be cute when they are finished.

Monday, September 16, 2013


I've recently discovered Zentangles... or rediscovered... this was what my mom did to help us keep quiet and calm during church. She would draw a loopy figure on a piece of paper and then handed it to me to fill in each space with a different design. It was a great way to occupy your hands yet still be able to listen to the sermon. I've found myself often, through the years, grabbing a piece of paper and a pen to doodle and listen. I've never really thought of myself as a doodler. You know there are some people who just always have drawings/ fantastic, amazing doodles in the margins of everything! I was never one of those. My doodling consisted of either the exercise mentioned above or if I didn't have plain paper, go through the text (on a church bulletin) and fill in all the circles - o,p,a,e,d,b, etc.. Not super exciting stuff.
My 2 older kids are now 9 & 6 and I recently, needing something to help them sit quietly, pulled out some paper and pens and introduced them to my mom's old "game."  In a rare moment of quiet, I googled doodling and came across zentangles. It's a "thing" now. You can be a certified teacher. You can go on retreats and seminars to learn all about it. You can by zentangle kits and books. WOW! I'm hooked all over again.
So, what's so great about this Zentangle thing?

1. Small format - They use a small "tile", about 1/4 of letter paper. This smaller size is much easier to tackle in a shorter amount of time. It's also not quite so overwhelming!
2. Official tangles - Zentangles has about 120 "official tangles." This very nice website Tangle has hundreds of patterns.  These are designs that are simple to draw, simple to teach and don't require any "predrawing." The cool thing here, especially for me, is all these designs that are shown step by step how to draw and then you can go from there and play with it and make it your own or use it as it is.

 I love this because my repertoire was pretty small. I had stripes, staight, wavy, zigzag, thick and thin. I could go wild and do plaid! Then there were polkadots and spirals and checkerboard. Throw in some flowers and maybe some leaves, but that's about it for me. So I'm really loving seeing all these beautiful designs that I can learn and play with.

3. Community - Since this is a "thing" now there are people all over the world doing zentangles and sharing with each other and doing cool things with it, like decorating shoes and wooden bowls!
This is my first finished tangle!

I was finishing up my drawing for this weekly challenge and my 6 yr old son sat down beside and said "I want to do that too!" I let him pick out a paper and handed him my pen and showed him how to draw one of the patterns, then another and another. He finished his own tile pretty quickly and added color to it. He's very proud of his artwork and I am too. We also really enjoyed Mom & Son time! I'm definitely going to have to make this a regular date!

Jeremy's very colorful first tangle!