Friday, June 29, 2012

Why Zentangle is Done in Pen...

A little while back, my son Alex (age 14) took a plane trip to visit his grandparents in California. To entertain himself, he decided to do a Zentangle (I'm SO proud!). Since he did not have a Micron pen, but he DID have a pencil in his pocket (he ALWAYS has a pencil in his pocket - I know, I do his laundry) - he did the entire Zentangle in pencil.

This is 8.5"x11".
Alex's Zentangle includes his own tangle "Eddies", the juicy drops swimming around on the right.
Ok - so you are waiting to find out WHY Zentangles are done in pen? Maybe this photo will explain it best... this is the side of Alex's hand when he finished this piece!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

End of the Trail

I chose the nature hike again today for my last hike. I figured I'd keep it relatively easy so I could still have enough energy after lunch to go kayaking. Woo, I'm such the Fit Chic! But I was quickly put in my place by the Death Race. Yes, DEATH. No, I did not take part, but it was grueling away at the start of our trail. People actually pay to be part of a race that aims to wear you down to the nub both physically and mentally. As we passed another trail opening, there was a girl just coming down a steep hill carrying a very full pack and an enormous... stump. She looked like a zombie. We learned that, this part of the multi-day, no sleep allowed, challenge... was to carry a log up a mile and a half very steep trail, then back down to this field where they had to split the log with an axe. Right.

So we had a lovely stroll along a babbling brook while a hundred people had their spirits broken a few miles away. We saw more red newts, frogs, horses and goats. And a few interesting trail signs!

After lunch we kayaked on a beautiful lake with loons and many sunken trees. The damage from hurricane Irene is still visible everywhere. We had passed some little houses that were folded in half and quite obviously not in the right location (like piled onto of boulders!) and here on the lake, it seemed odd to see tree stumps sticking out of the center of the lake. It was glorious to float and look at the amazing mountains. It made me a little sad too since it looked quite a bit like the lake near my little cottage that I am trying to sell.

I spent the afternoon floating on a pool noodle and wondering how I might find a pool to play in when I get home. Sigh, it was a lovely day. It is very hard to imagine going home tomorrow.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Hike 3

It figures that yesterday, when I decided to take a break from hiking, the group saw a black bear! Erg! So today I hoped to see something interesting too. We did see butterflies- many sitting right on the road. A little red newt. And two squashed frogs. Do those count?

We walked along a beautiful, babbling brook that still showed signs of the devastation from the hurricane last August. I think we walked almost five miles today. Seriously, we should have caps where we can put gold star badges! And maybe some feathers too.

I had my first experience with reflexology after dinner (I've become obsessed with cheese- I'll order any entree if the description includes cheese!). Reflexology is basically a really intense, detailed foot and hand massage. There are interesting connections to various parts of the body from the different parts of our feet. It felt really nice and relaxing. When I stood up to leave, I almost walked into the wall. Very relaxing.

As I walked through the lounge, I was distracted by the ladies who were trying to set up FaceTime on their iPads so I ran upstairs to get mine too. Anyone walking through must have thought we were insane... We were all sitting there, video conferencing, with the others around the same table! The voices were looping back through each iPad- it was very funny! Then we all had to outdo each other with who had the oddest apps, ooh and aah over cute photos of kids and pets and then we stayed up too late giving each other advice. All in all, a big girls' slumber party!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Worth the Climb

Today, I am most proud of taking a risk during the hike this morning. I had chosen the easier level but ended up with two other ladies at the head of the pack (we were an artist, a divorce lawyer and a gallery owner). Our guide coaxed us into going up a different path and I agreed. We climbed up over tree roots, up over moss and rocks... "up" being the keyword. The lawyer and the guide would wait for us and we two artists would arrive at each spot breathless and soaked with sweat. When we reached the top of the mountain, my companion lay down on the moss. I thought she was dead. But WOW the view was worth the climb! (the photos don't do it justice- I only included them to prove I was there). On the way down we cut through an ancient cemetery (in the middle of nowhere). The rest of the original group had given up on their walk and we had to pick them up in the van. I was amazed at myself. I did it. And I enjoyed it. Yeah me. Another gold star?

Oh- and I ate tofu. :-/

I am learning that, besides hiking, my two most likely exercises to continue when I get home are: talking and laughing. They may or may not involve pool noodles and balance balls. Don't believe me? What muscles do you think get used the most while trying to stand ON a pool noodle while doing leg lifts (in the water)? Leg muscles? Nope. Definitely works your "core"! A whole bunch of middle aged ladies flipping' into the water or straddling their noodles is WICKED funny! You'd work your core too if you saw it!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Shake it

I'm having so much fun, I forgot to take photos!

I just returned from the weirdest impromptu dance party. We entered the dark, freezing cold exercise tent giggling hysterically. A bunch of forty and fifty year old teenage women. I seriously think I have burned more calories today just laughing! At one point we were all trying to figure out the moves to "Thriller", by watching a video on YouTube on someone's iPhone- but it was sideways so we all had our heads tilted and our hands out like zombies... Very authentic. A good thing that just about everyone else had gone to bed!

Here are some of the new things I learned today: qi jong, circuit training, spinning (with a bike- not yarn!), fit ball, water aerobics, how to purée kale, how to make a green smoothie (yes, it looks like puke), that everybody has a story, that divorced women should spend a year being completely selfish (or at least travel the world) before they even THINK about dating, that those tattooed, cross-trainer, wonder women that I was intimidated by? They are incredibly cool people - and very real.

Here are some of the new things I have eaten: tilapia, quinoa, hemp protein powder, goat cheese, stuffed peppers, frozen banana pudding, chia seeds, kombucha (sp?), and green smoothies.

I'm thinking I need a gold star chart!

But before you all start thinking I've lost my mind- I normally hate veggies and exercise and eat like a five year old- I'll reassure you that I still dislike vegetables and I'm having lustful fantasies about pastries. And salt. Not together though!

Here are two things that might be of use to you if you also suck at taking care of yourself: kale is a dark green leafy vegetable that has more calcium than milk and tons and tons of all that healthy stuff you really hate to eat. If you throw some in a blender with some pineapple, apple juice, strawberries... Whatever you like... And then drink it... You will be happy and healthy and don't have to eat any other rabbit food. And chia seeds have more omega-3 than any other food on the planet and when soaked in water for an hour and added to a smoothie- they have no taste! Yes, that's a good thing! I wouldn't want to add fish oil to a smoothie. Blah. And if all else fails, you can always make a chia pet.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What was I thinking?!

I survived hike number one! I don't think I would have called this walk "beginner" but I am really glad I didn't go on the intermediate hike! There were plenty of hills to keep me challenged... And panting. Although I'm not as out of shape as I had thought. Probably due to all the lifting and moving I had been doing last week in my studios.

There are some really pretty vistas, but when we stopped (to catch our breath) at a lake, The Pogue, we saw a bunch of really cute turtles on a log. Only one wasn't camera shy...

Right now I am exhausted. Many of the others have gone off to exercise ($&@/:!?). I think I'll head to a cooking class. I think I can survive the hikes... But I'm not at all sure about all the veggies... And no snacks! Ahh! At the end of this hike, we went into Woodstock, and many of us headed straight to a cafe. Oh that chai latte was so good! :-)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Last Day of Shipping Sale

Just a quick reminder that Thursday is the last day to take advantage of the Free Shipping Sale. I will be putting the shop in Vacation Mode until I come back on the 18th.

Well, technically, I'm not leaving until Monday, but I am going to try and move as much of my studio and all the product, etc. this weekend before I go. Wish me luck. If you live nearby, I wouldn't mind some help carrying STUFF down the stairs!

Also, this weekend is the dance recital at the Kearsarge Regional High School - 5:30pm on Saturday night and 1:00pm on Sunday. They are doing "Alice in Wonderland" and all the music is the Beatles. Yes, weird. My son, Alex, is dancing as the Mad Hatter. I think he gets to twirl swords again. Yea! Oh, right, they are called "batons" - but they sure do LOOK like swords!!

Anyway, SALE... Here is a re-post of the important info:

For all US orders from now until June 7th, enter the super-secret code: SHIPFREE (So clever!) during checkout at and you will get free shipping, no matter how large or small your order is. [Sorry - this does NOT apply to international orders or to wholesale orders]. 

NOTE: The code... SHIPFREE needs to be entered into the PROMO CODE box during checkout in order to get free shipping. Also, this offer is only good on U.S. RETAIL orders. Thanks. :-)

What are you doing still here? GO! Shop. Now... Click Me!

Friday, June 1, 2012

My Shop and I Are Both Taking a Vacation (But Not Together!)

Let the angels sing - I'm taking a vacation.
Yes - a real vacation. Not a pretend one, where I actually work on a book or teach a class while ignoring the ocean 100 feet away from me. This time, I am going somewhere away from the water (to the mountains) and doing something that is completely out of my comfort zone (hiking). I cannot remember the last time I had a real vacation. Adventures to the Middle East don't count. And that was three years ago anyway. The last time I tried to take this vacation, the entire state of Vermont floated away. It's back now. And dry. So I'll try this again.

I'm going to enjoy the great outdoors, get my creaky, out-of-shape body moving again, let someone else feed me healthy food and... I'm not planning to spend much time in cyber-space. So that means I will be putting my Etsy shop on Vacation Mode for the week or so that I am gone. The shop will be closed from June 8th until the 18th so please plan ahead if you need books or Zentangle® supplies. CZTs this mean you too!

To make up for being inaccessible - and also to try and generate some money to PAY for my little vacation - I wanted to have a SALE. Unfortunately, I am not allowed to discount any actual Zentangle products. So I will do a SHIPPING SALE! Genius, right? OK, don't answer that.
Here's the scoop:

For all US orders from now until June 7th, enter the super-secret code: SHIPFREE (So clever!) during checkout at and you will get free shipping, no matter how large or small your order is. [Sorry - this does NOT apply to international orders or to wholesale orders]. 

NOTE: The code... SHIPFREE needs to be entered into the PROMO CODE box during checkout in order to get free shipping. Also, this offer is only good on U.S. RETAIL orders. Thanks. :-)

Also, I am in the process of moving my studio, so I have tons of extra products and items from the now closed Wingdoodle store. If you place an order over $100 (by June 7th) and mention this bribery... er... awesome deal - in a note with your order, I'll add something (or some things) extra to your order. You can tell me if you prefer something Tangle-y, Artsy, or Toy-ish. And THIS part of the deal, DOES apply to international and wholesale orders. Yeah! :-)

What are you doing still here? GO! Shop. Now... Click Me!


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