I have been participating in the weekly challenge presented by Laura on her I Am The Diva Zentangle-centric blog for a few weeks now. This week I submitted my entry of my posted Backbone ZIA through Waft, Three Ways. I appreciate all of the great (really great) comments, some of which inspired more tangling. Now I have a second submission for this week.

To refresh your memory, this week’s theme from The Diva is The Diva’s Weekly Challenge #156: “Curvy Gridlock” and is Laura’s answer to a participant who wrote that she can’t draw a straight line.

The Diva throws straight lines out the window and I did as well, in my latest drawing, as I focused on bending my grid-based patterns to conform to their containers. I call the result Escence, intentionally misspelled as in fluorescence rather than as in essence because of the highlights I added with three Crayola Twistables fluorescent pencils.

The images below were shot under black light. Unlike this week’s earlier monotangle, this piece is rich with a variety of patterns on my usual 8-1/2″ x 11″ sketch paper. I usually only tangle a portion of the page, but Escence pushes past any margins to the absolute edges of the page.


Black light capture of my ZIA, Escence. Click the image to view larger image. (Must see to appreciate.)

I am super happy with the outcome. What do you think?

Waft, Three Ways

Short but sweet today…

The Diva’s Weekly Challenge #156: “Curvy Gridlock”.  Today’s theme is Laura’s answer to a participant who wrote that she can’t draw a straight line. The Diva throws straight lines out the window.

My response, Backbone,  monotangles the Waft pattern three different ways onto a geometrically curvy string of my own creation. The string itself kinda resembles the interlocking vertebrae of a spine,  thus the title of my tangle. I thought the wavy pattern was an interesting contrast to the sure-straight ideal backbone condition.


Submission for The Diva's Weekly Challenge #156: "Curvy Gridlock"

I am happy, I think, with the outcome. What do you think?

Whitespace, Architecturally Inspired Zen

The Diva has presented another weekly challenge, and this one is right up my alley!

I have been a huge admirer of Frank Lloyd Wright, architect (1867-1959), and Piet Mondrian, artist (1872-1944), for as long as I have been able to appreciate architecture and art. The brilliance of both men is evident in the simplicity and beauty of their works. If any two men are responsible for any artistic ambition I have ever had, I would say that these men are those two. I could go on about my admiration of these men, but I am afraid I would fail miserably, understating the significance of their contributions to each of their respective fields.

As something like a tribute to these men, I have been thinking about recreating some of their abstract designs for use as strings for my Zentangle-inspired creations. (I have already created one or two ZIAs using strings inspired by abstract art from the 1920s and 30s). The moment I read this week’s challenge, I knew that I would be incorporating Neoplasticism, Art Nouveau, Prairie or what has become commonly referred to as Art Deco style into the string, as each style lends itself freely to the concept of whitespace, which is this week’s challenge:

Try leaving a big open white space in your piece this week! (sic)

You would think that with all of the fanfare over the works of Wright and Mondrian in this post I might have the decency to create a string from the works of one of these two men, but that would actually make sense, so I didn’t do that. My string for this challenge submission is derived from a stained glass window inspired by the window designs of Frank Lloyd Wright and adapted to accommodate a touch of ZIA with an abundance of whitespace.

Having said that, I suppose the only thing left is to reveal my response to the challenge… So, here it is: Wrightspace


The Diva's Weekly Challenge #155

The window design from which I created my string features the primary colors red, yellow and blue plus the secondary color green. I would have liked to have imitated the exact color placement in my tangles, but I wasn’t able to find a suitable yellow (one that would display the tangles in bold, vivid color), so I substituted the secondary color violet for the model’s yellow. I created a single instance of select tangles in the small areas of the string using pens in colors corresponding to the solidly colored in areas of the model image. (Where the model design shows a solid red square I created a singular red tangle. So on for blue, etc..) For the larger areas I repeated tangles to create patterns, in corresponding colors, using the same scale as the small areas.

So… What do you think of it?

Where Does It Come From? Where Does It Go?

I haven’t posted any jewelry-related news in quite a while. There hasn’t been any jewelry-related news to post, it seems, in a very long time.

Early last fall I had production surge that grew out of an idea for a new collection of jewelry (mostly necklaces) and a sense of urgency about the impending holiday shopping season. During the first week of November I designed and produced more pieces of jewelry than I had made all year. Two weeks before Thanksgiving I should have been giving the new pieces to My Sweetheart for pictures that I could post in my Etsy shop, but I let one unexpected conversation sink the entire mission instead.

The conversation started with “oh, honey! You made all of this? This is really good! This should be in stores, honey!” which led to a light bulb moment of “my dear friend has a very successful (whateverkinda) business and she’s just expanded that to include a fabulous boutique, but she doesn’t have anything like this… She needs some of this, honey.” Without much contribution from my side, the matter of a consignment deal seemed to be all but settled in the final comments “when I talk to her tonight, honey, I will tell her that she needs to do this. It will be good for both of you. Don’t worry, she’ll listen to me. You’ll be in the store by Monday. Consider it done.”

Of course I didn’t consider it done… But I did consider it a possibility and I expected to meet this “dear friend” within a day or two to explore compatibility between her boutique and my jewelry. In the meantime, I realized that my jewelry was not “consignment-ready” and needed quite a bit of work to make it so. To that end, I halted production of new pieces and turned my attention to expanding my consignment agreement knowledge base, pricing my pieces for consignment and creating informative and branded packaging with detailed descriptions for each piece. I was so busy for the first few days that I was grateful that the shop owner hadn’t been able to schedule a meeting. Once I got a handle on situation, though, with real production momentum diverted, the pressure from the countdown to Black Friday threatened to squash me as I waited each day for the introduction.

I realized on Monday, two days before Thanksgiving (My Sweetheart and I celebrate the holiday on Wednesday, in honor of our Diggity Dog) that the introduction wasn’t coming. I realized on Tuesday that I couldn’t make up for the days lost and have my Etsy shop ready for the two most important days in the retail industry. I felt completely defeated by my own foolishness and I crowned that defeat by forfeiting the entire holiday season. Inspiration to make new pieces packed up and vacated, taking the motivation to post the pieces already made in tow. Even interest in traffic through my Etsy shop had absconded.

That’s where jewelry-related news slumped, fell and died. I haven’t had an inkling of inspiration toward making jewelry since November. I have tried to force the creative urge, but the only results produced by that force, so far, have manifested as doodles, drawings and sketches… (Zentangle, anyone?) None of them have had any relation to jewelry. So that’s been a bummer.

And then…


This happened, out of nowhere.

{Sidenote: I know, I know… The photos aren’t great, but one of my major downfalls is the idea that I have lodged in my head that tells me I can only post photos if they look (mostly) professional. Perfection is far too elusive for my spur-of-the-moment skillset, which means most of what I make never gets published. That mindset sucks and I am actively trying to defeat it.}

I don’t have any idea from where the inspiration for either of these bracelets (or the drive to build them) came to me, but it came on like gangbusters and I made them both in a single sitting this morning. I have a feeling that I will even manage to post them to Etsy soon.

Does your creativity go through dry spells? What does it take to quench your creative thirst and inspire you to continue (or resume) creating? I hope you will share in the comments.