Sunday, 21 October 2012

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

I am the Diva challenge #83 - Duo tangle Assunta/Mooka

I was scared witless by Laura's challenge this week over at I am the Diva!   We were only allowed to use two tangles - Assunta and Mooka, both of which are quite tricky to master.  Oh well - in for a penny, in for a pound, as we say over here in the UK!  I was determined to have a go, whether or not I could do it well.

I decided to "biggify" Assunta, and do a wild Mooka within it.  The whole thing turned out much bigger than I usually do, at around 11" x 8.5".  I used watercolours to brighten it up a bit, and I must say I like it quite a lot!

Here's the result - thanks for looking and please leave me a comment - I love it when people talk to me as otherwise I get quite lonely!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

I am the Diva Challenge #82 - UMT v.VII: Brayd

This week the challenge provided by Laura at I am the Diva was to create a tile or ZIA using Shelly Beauch's lovely tangle Brayd.

I've never drawn Brayd before so I had to really concentrate - but I was very pleased with the result.  For the "hair" inside Brayd I drew Beadlines in a pale grey fineliner pen, and other tangles I used were Dustbunny, Tipple, Mooka, Fishnet (sort of!) and Bluebonnets* - at least I think that's what you'd call those lovely leaves I seem to draw more of than anything else.  Like I always do, I used Faber-Castell Pitt artist pens in shades of grey to shade and to add a little bit of colour to this one I used Kuretake 'Brushables' pens. 

*Update:  I just found out that the leafy shapes are not Bluebonnets but an official tangle called Flux (note to self - revise tangles and their proper names)!

Thank you Laura for this great challenge, and thank you Shelly for creating Brayd for us!  (and thank you also to anybody who feels like commenting.)

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Goodbye Denise

My sister died peacefully yesterday, August 4th, with our brother at her side and the rest of her family not far away.

She will now be in the loving arms of her devoted husband Roy, who passed away in 2002, and one thing I know for certain - Denise had a hard life in many ways but boy was she loved by that wonderful man.

Goodbye Denise, my big sister, my friend.  Our relationship was not always easy, but we both knew how much we loved each other and we were able to share a loving moment just a few days ago when nothing else mattered but that.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Sad times

I wish I could be more upbeat but life has taken a sad turn for my family this last few weeks.  Firstly my sister was diagnosed with lung cancer, which has spread to other parts of her body including her brain.  As she already had COPD this was the worst news we could have had, and after collapsing with a blood sugar spike she is now in hospital 600 miles away from where I live, trying to gain enough strength to undergo radiotherapy and chemotherapy.  I made the journey to see her a few days ago and we had a lovely quiet time together when we were able to say the things we needed to say to each other.  I was lucky to be able to do this, as I know many people don't get that chance, and for that I will always be grateful.

I notice that both this week's "I am the Diva" and the "Zendala Dare" weekly challenges are dedicated to fighting this awful disease, so I will try to find enough time and motivation to participate, however if I don't manage to fit them in, please forgive me.

My other sad news is that our beloved 14 year old tom cat Gus died this week from congestive heart failure, which he had been fighting for several months.  He was such a lovely-natured, affectionate cat, and we are going to miss him so much.

Gorgeous Gus at the prime of his life.
Goodbye Gus, our old friend.  You were a brilliant boy and we'll never forget you.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Exciting news - my new sketchbooks are coming!

I've been working on some quilted linen sketchbook kits especially for Zentangle artists, and after some trial and error the first one is now completed!  Here's a sneaky preview of the sort of thing I'll soon be offering for sale on

The book itself is a quality Winsor & Newton watercolour-grade sketchbook containing 50 sturdy double sided pages.  I've made a removable cover from Japanese linen, lined with 100% cotton Osnaburg fabric.  On the front I've mounted a quilted panel of natural linen onto which I've sewn my own zentangle design using free-motion machine embroidery.  The back of the book has a pocket which holds the Zentangle kit, comprising of an HB pencil with eraser, two Sakura Micron pens in sizes 01 and 02, a mini set of watercolour paints and an artist's quality size 2 paintbrush - everything a Zentangle artist-on-the-go could want. 

I'd love to hear any comments you might have, or suggestions as to how I could improve this kit!

Front of sketchbook
Back of sketchbook
Contents of kit
 Thanks for looking!

Saturday, 28 July 2012

I am the Diva challenge #80 - Mi2! Mi2!

This week Laura at I am the Diva set us the challenge of creating a tile or ZIA using the tangle Mi2.

I was really pleased about this as I love Mi2, although I've only drawn it once, and then only to practice it, not draw it "properly"!  Thank you Laura for this great challenge!

I decided to concentrate on the negative spaces, which I thought looked not only like seeds, but leaves - so that's what they became, and I decided to make the whole ZIA a big leaf.  And then I realised that I have an almost obsessive need to "tie up the loose ends" I took that literally and did exactly that around the edges, with my own little knot tangle, as yet un-named and un-published*.

* Update:  I've just noticed that there is already an official tangle called Pendrils, which is very similar to this one, so I cannot call it my own after all.  Never mind - I'm sure I'll come up with something original one day!

I just had to use my beloved watercolours of course, and polka dots, which I adore.  I hope you like my ode to a leaf.