Monday, August 29, 2011

Tangle Homework

In July, I got this email:

Fox Chapel has a new stock of your "Yoga..." book, and mine have arrived. Just wanted to share what I did re page 31 of the book. Still having trouble getting out of the box and page 32 is sending me into YIKES territory. Thankfully I'm not (yet) teaching that.
Anyway, thanks for letting me share. Ooops! I got so carried away I forgot to light the sabbath candles. Sorry I didn't have more chance to chat with you at CZT#6, maybe another time.
-Anita Roby-Lavery

(Anita is a CZT and teaches Zentangle® in Western Pennsylvania. You can contact her at

You may be wondering what exactly was on page 31? WHAT!? You don't have a copy of Yoga for Your Brain? Oh, fine, I'll tell you... wait, I have to go look... (just kidding). Page 31 shows how to draw Bales and a super-twisty version called Quip, but it also offers an "Exercise." "Fill an entire page with variations on Bales." Anita came up with some wonderful variations! Bales is one of my favorite tangles simply because it is SO versatile.

Page 32, which terrifies Anita, is a bigger challenge. This one combines different tangles to create crazy new variations. It's a TANGLE MASH-UP!!

Has anyone tried that? I'd love to see what monster tangles you have created. Or, for the more timid ;-D I'd love to see your Bales varieties. Post your art on your blog and put a link in the comments below. If you don't have a blog or flickr site, you can email me a jpeg (beezink at and I'll post it for you.


  1. Since I like to be the best role model possible for my students, I did my homework. I hope you like it, and can't wait to see my fellow tanglers creations. Blessings!

  2. Very nice! Isn't it fascinating how adding patterns to the center space, actually changes the shape of the whole tangle? What I mean is... the top version looks like a flower, right? You see the individual petals and read it like a cross shape. But the bottom tangles have flowers (very cool!) inside the space and you start to see the design more as a filled circle, rather than a cross. Does that make sense? The stripey Bales are a variation I haven't tried, too.

  3. Thank you for your kind words. I've always admired Maurice C. Escher's works, and this exercise reminds me of his Metamorphosis series. Thanks for challenging your readers to think out of the box.

  4. Sandy, I have been only drawing zentangles for 3 weeks and have I think I have a Tangle Obsession! I took your Bales challenge, wrote about it and posted a picture in my blog Hope you enjoy what I came up with. I'm loving your Yoga for your Brain book too. Shipped out here in the Saskatchewan prairies via Amazon. Hmmm, I think I will go try to turn the wheat in the field beside the house into a tangle, maybe come up with a challenge of my own! L

  5. Thanks for the nice review! And your Bales Homework is lovely - it looks rather like a blanket, I think. You have discovered why this is such a great tangle for giving people confidence to create their own patterns. Once you start, the variations are endless! [Note: try to see Lori's post.]

  6. she did a really nice job of it, very subtle transitions in places make "strings" out of the same pattern - very inspiring
    thanks for posting it.
    Ruby Opaltones

  7. Bales is the pattern of the week on my blog this week.

    My tiles are simple but I find bales so much fun to discover new ways to draw it. There's always another shape hiding inside of each square on the grid.


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