Friday, April 22, 2011


I am ashamed to say that I keep forgetting about Easter this week. I love Easter - the part about rebirth, renewal, second chances all that stuff... and Peeps. I admit I love those little squishy marshmallow critters too.  Take a look at the blog "Radmegan - In Words and Pictures"- she has THE cutest needle-felted peeps. A great way to avoid the calories but still soak in the cuteness. She has them for sale on her Etsy site too.

It seems so much happens in a single week, heck, a single day - that I often only blog "in my head". Seriously, I walk around writing posts and thinking of links and then can't seem to get to the computer what with one thing and another. I started this post yesterday and planned to write about Rosa, the little girl in town who was hit by a truck while riding her bike. She wasn't wearing a helmet, and she actually hit the truck. But everytime I started to write, something came up. By last night, I couldn't bear thinking about it anymore and I also realized that the last time I wrote my feelings about a death, I actually lost a (still-living) friend. Yep, I was "unfriended" on Facebook for expressing my own thoughts on suicide. So, I will suppress my thoughts this time. In honor of Rosa, AND the poor guy driving the truck, here is an amazingly "uplifting" video I found on SwissMiss (a fantastic design blog).

And today, of all days, I keep reminding myself that people are basically good. It is really easy to get caught up in the flood of grief and sadness - not just for these really awful accidents, but the everyday snafus, annoyances, and plain old yuck. We forget to celebrate our own achievements because we don't want to seem selfish. We forget to hug our kids because we are pissed that they made a mess or ignored our commands. We don't notice the hardworking daffodil buds pushing through the moldy piles of leaves we have to rake up, if only we had some time to do yard work...

Whether or not you are religious or spiritual or cynical... this is as good a weekend as any to pay attention to the possibilities around you. Shake off your old skin, open a window, revive an old project, dig up your optimism, eat a cupcake and ENJOY it. Second chances. What can you make out of your lemons? Come on people - we are supposed to be CREATIVE! Put down the sh@t sandwich and make yourself a new snack. (If you need your butt kicked into gear, check out Marie's site.)

Trust me, I'm just as cranky and gloomy as the rest of the world, when need be, and I don't walk around whistling and looking for silver linings... but I am TRYING to pay attention. So, I leave you with an example.

Yesterday, the sun was shining, but the whole town was oozing sadness because of Rosa's memorial service to be held that night. There was even a news van stationed in front of town hall. And the wind was blowing so hard stuff was flying around Main Street. As I trudged back home, the wind flying down the mountain was so strong, I actually had to turn my back to it in order to breathe! As I turned, my eye was caught by some extreme tree damage to a neighbor's property. Big branches down. My cranky brain said "Bummer of a clean up job. I wonder why they haven't gotten started yet." But as I started to turn back into the wind, my artist's eye discovered WHY they hadn't cleaned up yet. (No, not baby birds! That's way too cute!) This neighbor had seen the possibilities in the destruction and "carved" them out! And if the annoying, cold wind hadn't forced me to turn around, I wouldn't have ever known that this neighbor was creative and had a sense of humor!

Saturday, April 2, 2011


I ran away this past week to actually get some work done. Saying that feels so... ironic. I have three studio spaces... more or less... two of which have been featured in STUDIOS magazine. And yet, when I really need to work on something- like a new book (YES!)- I have to run away in order to concentrate. And then, guess where I work? Yup. Spread out all over the bed and the floor. I am hoping this bit of information, although kind of depressing to me, will be encouraging to those of you who are fantasizing about someday having a real studio. And I hope this is also a kick in the butt to those of you (us!) who use the lack of studio space as an excuse NOT to get things done. Space is important, but lack of distractions is even more so.

Since I am not ready to tell you about this new project (I am really having fun with it though!!) I will fill this post with some wonderful work I have received from other tanglers. Onward!

Merlin and Serena by Fabi
You say I may be your first customer in Buenos Aires, and I tell you, you are my first American teacher. And maybe one day a good friend of mine, I feel. I found a strange (and strong) coincidence with you again: I always start and do lots of things, so I keep on saying "I don´t know what shall I be when I grow up!" I send you a photo of my work in 3D. As there is no easy translation for zentangles and so, I call it Dibujo Zen (Zen Drawing) ...  Posting my work on your blog again? Of course, I would be pleased and honoured ! By the way, the cats' names are Merlin and Serena (means calm). They are both in love! I've got some other little animals such as these, I can show you some other day. We'll keep in touch, I hope. Hugs,

Zentangle by Bookboy
Attached is a scan of a Zentangle I completed yesterday (3/7/11). It was my first time to use many of these tangles - Jetties, Avreel, and your two (can't remember the names right now). I love the woven one. Yoga for Your Brain was worth it for just that pattern! This was done on a Zentangle tile, going all the way to the edge.
[note: the tangles here are:  Jonqal, Avreal, Jetties, Zander, and my two, Krust and Jute]

Zentangle by Les Boumans
Dear Sandy,
This was my very first Tangle. The yellow bits on the right are in fact golden, and the few very white bits on the left are in fact silver. I didn’t use a string at this point I didn’t know what a string was:-)))) It was in the 2nd week of December 2010 and so I felt a bit Christmassy LOL.
Kindest regards to you, yet again, 
Les Boumans : )

Sherry's First Zentangle
Your new book is wonderful!   When I got my copy of Yoga for Your Brain I couldn’t put it down.  I now make a point to ZenTangle every night.  Keep up the GREAT work!!!!!  You’re a blessing and we are blessed to have you.
I have attached the first ZenTangle I tried.  Not the best but not bad. Congrats!
Rita's wood-burned "Doodle" gourds
Rita's gourd
Hi Sandy
Your Yoga book arrived in the mail today - I'm not sure what I expected but it is great! I posted the first try at tangling - on a gourd with my woodburner - then did one on paper with the woodburner (usually have no problem woodburning on paper but this stock was dreadful and that one took hours and hours - if I got paid by the hour that would have been one extremely expensive card! ...
 I love the section you have done on shading ... well now - that alone is worth the price of the book!!!  I can't believe it actually made sense to me the first time I read thru.  Cheers - Rita (Magic Kiwi)
Rita's pyrography on paper
Sandy,  The little swirls aren't anything new, one of them is a cross hatch design, one is made up of upside down V's, and the other one is bunches of tiny dots.  I didn't do it in the traditional zentangle cards, or with the "string" separating the space.  I actually was doodling this on an envelope.
with much thanks
Julie's worm tangles
Trish Wain (back of page)
Dear Sandy,  My tangling approach is a bit different. I started doodling with color markers just making and filling in shapes. It bled through the paper but I really liked the way the back side looked sooo..... I did my black ink tangling on the back side (photo#2). I noticed a cat looking critter emerging from the design so I went with it and added the tail and two legs. I call it "Acorn the Cosmic Kitty".  This really is so much fun and I'd almost forgotten how much I use to enjoy the freestyle of doodling. My next mission is to apply it to fabric and use it in making my cloth art dolls and creatures. By the way, I love your Munnys. Thanks for such a great book. Your friend, Trisha Wain ( 
"Acorn the Cosmic Kitty" by Trish Wain

Cathy Helmer

Hi, Sandy. Glad you like the doll. Feel free to post on your blog. All of the black you see on the doll was tangled with a fabric marker. The original fabric was 2 shades of orange, the lighter orange making up the heart or leaf design. I used the contrasting colors as the string. I pretty much sell what I make at one show a year and at a local gallery. I do make beaded art dolls (not zentangled). Cathy Helmers
Julie's foil frame
 Hello.. My name is Julie Walker ... I own a bead store here in Kettering, Ohio and am by trade a jewelry designer. (I have added your art form to my talents!! hahaha)... You know how things just call to you when your supposed to do something with it! I wanted to do something that no one else is doing so, I began "tangling" picture matte frames. I did one in the silver foil by using an empty pencil and  the others are just tangles! I am having way too much fun and it is difficult when I do have free time to choose between my love of beads and  my love of tangling! So, thanks for sharing! This truly has changed my life and helped me be less critical about my work. Sincerely, Julie Walker, The Bead Cage


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