Thursday, July 28, 2011

I've Got Books!

 Is Mega Munny shy? No? Perhaps she is engrossed in reading her very OWN COPY of my NEW BOOK?!!!!!

No... I think she is hiding from that angelic looking child star. You are thinking: "But that little girl looks so sweet..." WRONG! That is Lilah Amaret - the diabolically clever creator of the Lilah Bean minions! She wears a pink sundress and a Cheshire smile to distract us from the fact that she is holding (paper) fire on the cover of the book. No wonder Meg is afraid of her!

It is amazing what you can glean from a single photo... (besides the devious nature of my child)... the fire comes from a Klutz kit of paper doll horses (just behind Meg)... and on the table just behind - what's that?! Crayons?! And a stack of brand new AlphaTangle posters? Oh-oh, not a good situation. Yes, those are the two tables in my classroom and they are covered with STUFF. So, now you know, my child is just like her cartoon character, I have way too many projects going on at once, no time or space to teach classes (although I do have one this weekend*), and I don't get anything accomplished when that little cherub is in the studio with me.

All I wanted was a sweet publicity photo of her with the book. Honestly, is that too much to ask?

PS - I HAVE BOOKS!!! Yah! Get them here:  and if you are a CZT, you can purchase them to resell to your students.

* I have an eraser carving class on Saturday at Wingdoodle from 12-3. Call the shop at 603-456-3515 if you'd like more info and to sign up.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Contest! Bring it!

I know! I know! I know what we'll do as a contest to celebrate the new book! (And thanks for all your ideas!)

Take a look at this army of Bots on the Sharpie Marker blog.

I want an army of MINIONS! 
That's right, send in the Lilah Beans!

So, if you want to play (and win stuff), here are the rules:

It can be made out of anything that will stand up - cardboard, fabric, domino, fome-cor, polymer clay, shrink plastic... anything that won't rot or smell.

• The finished piece must be 6 inches or smaller.

• Sign the back!

• The Lilah Beans will not be returned (They become my property. I mean, really, how can I take over the world if my minions are constantly taking vacations to visit family!?)

• If you send a SASE (that's a self-addressed STAMPED envelope) with your LB, I will send you a little treat just for entering.

• Be sure to include your NAME, mailing address, and any online link (blog, website) you might want me to shamelessly promote on my blog.

• GRAND PRIZE (MY absolute favorite entry) will win an official Zentangle kit and ZT for Kidz! book

• PEOPLE's CHOICE (that's you guys' choice) will win an assortment of Zentangle supplies ... and ZT for Kidz! book

• VARIOUS OTHER PRIZES (I'll decide the categories after I see what you all send!) will include ZT stuff...and ZT for Kidz! books

• Winners will also be featured on the site.

• DEADLINE: August 10th, 2011

• So start training those little jelly beans. Whip them into shape and march them off to:

Beez Ink Studio
PO Box 359
Warner, NH 03278

• PS Originality counts!! (That, and great hair...)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Zentangle® for Kidz! The Movie

Well..."The Trailer" is more like it. My brother, Dave Steen, animated my sketches. My son, Alex - yes, the kid in the book - wrote, played and recorded the music. And my daughter, Lilah, (the other kid in the book) created the original Lilah Beans. We refer to them as the Minions. The Lilah Beans, not my children. I think Alex's music goes perfectly with the jumping little bouncy movements of the Lilah Beans. I admit that Alex and I would both like to learn more about animation - particularly stop-motion paper animation - so that we could animate more of this book. In color. And larger. If you view this film on YouTube, it is larger and slightly better quality.

Friday, July 15, 2011


To celebrate the new book (it's almost here!), Linda Farmer (over at TanglePatterns) and I want to have a contest. Yah! Free stuff! BUT... what's the contest? Something involving talent, or completely random? Just for kids? Everybody? Books as prizes, of course... What would be the coolest contest and the best prizes? Tell me! I can handle it. :-)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Value of Books

On Wednesdays, at Mill Brook Gallery, there will be talks by the Children's book illustrators who are in the current show (I'll be on August 10th - and I will keep reminding you all!) Today was Ilene Richard. After showing all us kids how to design a character, she passed out paper and markers and we gave it a go. Then we got to stand up and talk about our new creation. Yes! I got to show mine too! Here's a picture that Pam Tarbell took with Ilene holding my picture while I explain how the cat works in a diner... (I was so hungry!) It was fun!

And speaking of books. Anyone who has been looking for Totally Tangled
 on Amazon recently may have been shocked to see what they are selling for:

The one that says $458.26, was only $100-something yesterday. I mean, what a deal!? Wingdoodle, my store, listed the regular priced one - but who are these people selling it for $400 or $50 or, even $38.50? Are they kidding? I've heard some of these dealers use algorithmic software (or something like that) that automatically sets their price based on what the other dealers are selling the books at. And another rumor... says that these dealers don't even HAVE the books and they charge so much so that they can BUY the book from another dealer, if they get a sale, and then mark the price up to resell. WAAAAAY too complicated, I think.

I'm just saying... if you feel the overwhelming need to spend over $100 for one of my books - send the money directly to ME! I'll even sign your book. And for $400, I'll send the new Kidz Book AND a small KID! ;-D

PS - Hang in there - all the books should be available again next week (at regular prices).

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Illustration Show Opening

I know you are wondering how the Illustrators' Show went on Thursday, right? It was amazing! There were so many gorgeous pieces. If you have not been, there is still time - it runs through August and this is a great excuse to see Mill Brook Gallery too. Judy Moffat has some great shots of the art and the artists on her blog. Here are some shots of the opening taken by my mother and my friend, Laurie Strysko. For some reason they took lots of pics of ME and not many of artwork. What's that about? ;-D

My mom with Harvey Keye from NH to Do Magazine
Signing books. That's one of my pieces on the wall!



Oooh - look! A kid!
The lower level gallery.

It's nice to have some loyal followers.
Mary and Dan Watts come to all my book signings. Yah!

Pam Tarbell (gallery owner) with two of the artists - Ilene Richards and Denise Ortakales
Will Harney and my mom, and Will's book.

Another reason to visit the gallery! A life-size woolly mammoth, made from STICKS!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

How to Draw a Zentangle® Poster

To help promote the new book, and make some teachers happy... I have a new poster on Zazzle. It is the page "How to Draw a Zentangle" which includes the steps for the "Lilah Bean" tangle as well. Teachers have been asking for instructional posters for their classrooms to inspire the kids. Also, Zazzle is offering a special, today only, for 60% off all posters! Be sure to enter the code: ZBDAYPOSTERS in the promo code box at checkout.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Tangle - ETCHER

Hi Sandy,
I have purchased your book, YOGA for Your BRAIN. It has provided many helpful hints and challenges for my tangles. Thank You for this. I do have a problem with your illustration of the tangle, ETCHER. Is there a more simplified way how to do it. I have tried a few times and seem to get lost. Any further hints?
Joe D. in Philly

Perhaps there is.

But I believe that anything worth doing is worth OVERdoing. Although, to prove my point to my sister (that there IS a difference between being a perfectionist - I am not- and a bit obsessive-compulsive - I admit it)... I have drawn out all the steps for Etcher... in detail. However, I left in lots of little blops and squidgies. And, of course, I didn't film it!

Here we go!


Draw columns in pencil if you need them.

Draw triangles pointing left and right.

Just like the ones on the remote control.

Next column, reverse direction.

Nose to nose and back to back. Erase pencil.

Add a "V" below each back-to-back pair.
Go slowly. Back-to-back? Add a "V"...

Next, the "noses" connect straight down.

Noses drip down... (see note below*)

Draw a "Y" in each "Y" section.

Looking cool!
With pencil, shade right or left sections.

Add a bit of shading at overlaps.

Smudge shading.
Try coloring the triangles black!
I love the way it looks like an MC Escher drawing (hence the name!) * The ninth image is "Y-Knot" by Molly Hollibaugh. At that point, if you add shading, the tangle looks like woven ribbons. Isn't it amazing how adding a few more lines turns it from a soft material to a hard, squarish one? Another interesting bit of trivia is that Molly and I came up with our versions at the same time, independently. She based hers on a soy sauce dish at a Japanese restaurant. Mine came from a kimono pattern. What are the chances?

One last tip - if you are having a lot of trouble... getting lost in the lines... try coloring the triangles black in the very beginning. Then you can focus on the girders instead. But, wouldn't it be mind blowing to add tangles BEHIND the girders!? Hmmm....

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Zentangle® for Kidz! Website

I have spent the past week setting up a new website for the soon-to-be-released Zentangle for Kidz! book. It's looking good and I will keep adding stuff to it. I plan to add some projects and info about the characters in the book (me and my kids! Yes, we are all characters.) If you do Zentangle with kids and have some ingenious ideas you'd like to share on the site, PLEASE contact me. I am an idea junkie and I am SURE that I am not alone. Kids, too. I want to hear from you folks too!

If you click HERE, you can get on my mailing list so any new posts on the site will come right to your emailbox. And I do have a Facebook page for the book too. I'm not on Facebook everyday, but it is a great way to ask questions and upload your own (your kids') artwork!

I just posted about our experience on the 4th of July - tangling a tablecloth with Lilah Beans! My daughter reveals the origins of the Beans...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

I have a bunch of Zentangle® pieces in this show which opens on Thursday (July 7th). There are two larger, framed pieces all the way down to matted giclee prints. I did three new, smaller pieces in the past two weeks, just for this show.

If you are in the area, please come see the show! Mill Brook gallery is a very unusual place, just outside of the city (Concord, NH). It is a Sculpture Garden as well. The Opening Reception is this coming Thursday, from 5-8. And my special day - booksigning and Zentangle demo-stuff, will be on August 10th at 1pm.

The other artists are also muy fantastico - I am actually honored and rather intimidated to be in the same show with them!  If you have kids - bring them to all the free events! (Or leave them home and come by yourself, so you can really enjoy it all!) And if you have friends ;-D please share this post with them - this is my first MAJOR show (and I REALLY, REALLY want to sell something!!) :-)


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