Archive for the ‘ATC’ Category

Even more Swap love. Now with Doodle-Tut adoration.

I have even more swappage to share today. (Swappage is a technical “Opal” term by the way. /ahem)

The first swappage is for Swap-Bot. Of course.  It’s for the Pure Zen Zentangle 3.5 Square Swap. I’ve been participating in something like this for awhile now. I really enjoy getting down and just doing a simple black and white tangle.

The first one came out just “fine. We’re allowed to use grey markers for shading so I tried to use that to my advantage. I’m fairly happy with how it came out.

The Jester's Court

I ran into a stumbling block with the second one. A big ol’ mess of a mistake as a matter of fact. I checked with my partner to make sure it would be okay if I blacked out my boo-boo with a black marker and then draw over it with a white pen.

Lucky for me she’s fine with that!

Reef Life

I think I actually like that one better then the first one. Hrm.

The next swap is for the Yahoo group “Zentangled Inspired Art“.  The theme for this swap is eyes and lucky for me Doodletuts has a tutorial out this week on how to draw eyes!



Like I said yesterday, art isn’t always pretty. It seems a lot of my art isn’t always pretty.

I’m okay with that though! I know it’s not going to be popular, but like the button on the sidebar says,

I refuse to stop doing what I love just because it isn’t popular.

I sing that loud. I sing that clear. I sing it every day. :)

So maybe I find acceptance, maybe I don’t. I’m okay with that too. I think it’s all about accepting yourself. That’s what should come first.

If self-doubt creeps in and believe me, it creeps in(!!!) I always have this guy who loves me unconditionally.


How can I not love him back?

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Messy stuff!

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. Swap-bot is love. Love in art. Love in the challenge. I may not keep what I make, but it’s not what I make that I enjoy. It’s that I enjoy the process.

When I create a lot of my art, it’s not a peaceful thing. It’s an urgent need. It’s a mess that needs to be cleaned up. It’s a burning in my brain. Rice Freeman-Zachary said it best in this post on her blog. Basically, creating art isn’t always pretty.

Enough of my rambles! Onto the messy stuff!

I joined a swap called Ephemera Dragon ATC. The qualifiers  for this swap are:

  • A piece of ephemera – music sheet, map, dictionary page, newspaper, leaflet, catalogue, matchbook, ticket stubs, clean food wrappers etc.
  • A Dragon – it can be a picture or embellishment (button, sticker, charm etc). Dragons from all regions and legends are welcome, except ‘cute’ types. Dragons are magestic, so let’s honour that.

I had newspaper! Aged newspaper! I had dragon charms! I had everything I needed to make this ATC! See?

The Makings of the Ephemera Dragon ATC

So I got to work. I had every intention of taking progress shots as I went along for The Artistic Biker, but like I said, burning in the brain! Burning!

All my good intentions flew out thew window. Before I knew it, a couple hours had passed and I was done.

Finished Ephemera + Dragon ATC

I couldn’t leave the newspaper as it was. I just had to add some color, so I used some of Tim Holtz’s Distress Stain. I added some dimension to the digital image, provided by Herculiz on Etsy, by adding some foam tape.

It looked lonely all by itself, so I cheated and framed it with some tissue tape. Again with the Tim Holtz. You all know what fangirl I am with him. I used more Distress Stain to give it the red color.

Finally, I used an eyelet and a brad to attach the dragon charm. I got the dragon charm a long time ago from a business which has, sadly enough, been long out of business.  I wish it weren’t so. :(

Here’s another shot. I hope you can see more of the 3D effect with the little inchie.

Oooh. 3D!

It’s not too prevalent, but it’s still there. I didn’t want to have it overwhelm the charm.

This ATC is really not my usual style of artwork. I think it’s because of this that I love it all the more. In fact, of all the swaps I’ve done, I’m going to have a hard time letting this one go the most.  The beauty of doing my own art is that I can always make myself something similar though!

Also, of all the swaps I’ve done? This one has been one of the most challenging as it’s really made me step out of my box of pen to paper.  Thus, it’s made it one of the most enjoyable ones as well.

Hopefully, it’s opened my eyes to using a new medium for my own particular brand of artwork.

So thank you Swap-Bot! For all you’ve offered me and all you do! I’m a huge fangirl and will hopefully remain one for a long time to come. :)

One last bit of news. If you noticed my mention of The Artistic Biker, he’s offered to show my work on his weekly show. How exciting is that? So if you have a chance, tune in on Thursday from 6-8pm U. S. Central Time. :)

Happy Wednesday, everyone! The joie de vivre is vibrating all around!

Foggy Monday, Disgruntled Monkey.

It was a hectic weekend! Today I find myself recovering, tired of body and foggy headed. I do want to maintain my blog schedule, so I’m making an effort to be as coherent as possible!  Please do excuse me if I end up going into nonsensical rambles.  :D

Over on Swap-Bot, (gosh I blog about them a lot!) I’m into the fifth installment of the Nightmares and Fairy Tales ATC: Open Medium Swap. I adore this group and this swap. You never know what you’re going to get! The possibilities are endless.

This time around I decided to do a fairy. My first try was a complete disaster.

"Tearful Twilight"

I used a rubber stamp for her face. The rest was done with a variety of pens that are too many to enumerate.

Like I said, I intended to draw a fairy but I ended up with something more elvish in nature. I was so disgusted with how that turned out, I decided to do another. I wanted a fairy dammit!

"Wood Nymph"

That time around was a little better, but I still wasn’t  happy. I suppose if I were completely happy I’d have no goals left for me to attain. It’s always good to strive for something better, no?

I also did a quickie mixed media, collage, tanglish type ATC.


“Idyllic Fairytale”

Again, I’m not too happy with that one either. It feels like it’s been forever since I’ve really tangled something so I’m rather rusty. They do say that practice makes perfect! If I can’t be perfect, I can at least be better, eh?

Besides, it’s like what Roy Goodman said:

“Remember that happiness is a way of travel, not a destination.”

It’s all about the process! Process not product. That was often the debate when I was a knitter.

Speaking of knitting, I have knitting fever. More on that later. Right now I have a cuddly Quincy waiting for me!

Happy Monday, peoples. It is nearly done. Thank heavens.


Humid Days, Late nights

The southern winds are blowing through the islands bringing vog and humidity galore. So while I love the stormy skies, the humidity is something I could definitely live without.

view from my bedroom

I’ve been huddling in my bedroom, cranking up the air conditioner up high so my Fibromyalgia doesn’t flare up. Unfortunately the only real relief that I seem to get is late at night when things really cool down.

That’s okay though! Art isn’t on a schedule!

In fact, I work better at night. Especially when I’m trying to depict such things as Hades and the river Styx. Y’see I joined a swap on Swap-Bot for the group Nightmares & Fairy Tales called “Otherworlds ATC Series #1″ and the first of the set is to depict “Hades”.

My first try didn’t work out so good.

"Modern Hades"

I tried using a rubber stamped image and ended up with a boy in a hoodie. Not a world. Not a world at all.


So try and try again.


I still had a hard time getting away from the image of the man “Hades” so I decided to go with it. Only I added a “ferry” and a bit of a river.  Of course I had to add some tormented souls.

What would an underworld be without some tormented souls? :P

I really hope my partner likes these. I worked hard on them. I struggled with the concept and with the effort to NOT Zentangle them. For some reason, I couldn’t envision any tangles in these ATC’s.

I did need to tangle the next project as I switched gears from the Underworld to butterflies of all things.

I did add a small, dark, twisty thing to the butterfly. I’m not sure if anyone can spot it. If you can, leave a comment. I’m not going to say what it is just yet.

“Where in the tangle is the dark twisty thing?” :P

I think I need to add more to the tile. Maybe some flowers. Only when I look at it, all I hear is that Rolling Stones song “Paint It Black”.

That can’t be good.

Maybe I should listen to something other then Three Days Grace when I work on pretty things like butterflies.


In the meantime, Quincy’s trying to seduce me with his wily wiles.


I have to make art, Quincy. I will not be seduced.


Happy Tuesday, people. Today is  a new day!

(How’s that for a cliche?)

The Lone Tangler

Last night I got together with a few of my friends. They’re all knitters! Not a single tangler amongst them! Luckily, they still valued my company. Although I was a bit glum over the fact that no one took up my offer of teaching them how to tangle.


My depressed state of mind seems to be evident in our group photo taken with Acornbud’s iPhone.

From left to right: Barbrara, Barb aka Acornbud, me, and Dayna.

Barbara is my second mother and Dayna is my little sister. In other words, we’re not related by blood. It doesn’t matter though, we’re still as close as family can be.

I suppose that makes Barb my auntie? :D

While they knitted, I worked on a tile.

That tile is headed to whoever my partner will be in the swap Alphabet Zentangle [G, H] on Swap-B0t. It’s another swap in a series where you only use patterns starting with a specific letter. As you might have guessed, this particular swap is for the letters ‘G’ and ‘H’.

For the background I used Inkssentials Distress Stains. I really like how you can cover large ares with this handy dandy product.

Joy of joys! For the rest of the colors, I used my new watercolor pencils!

Yes! They came! I wasted no time in using them either! :D

I also worked on an ATC for the same swap.

I mainly worked on the drawing aspect while I was at the coffee shop and then I added the color when I got home. Needless to say, I’m having a blast with my new pencils!

In fact, when I woke up at 2:30am this morning (!!!) I finished up a tangle I was doing in my journal and played around even more with them.


That particular tangle reminds me of a fish swimming against the current. At least that’s what I see.  The great thing about abstract art is that everyone may come away with a different perspective. :)

Now I’m going to take my tired self off to bed to get some rest. Waking up at 2:30AM is ridiculous. Utterly insane if you ask me.

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Dragonflies and Swaps! (Lotsa Photos!)

Remember that poor bracelet that had to have emergency care? I finished it last night!

This baby wraps around my wrist three times and also makes a comfortable necklace.

I used another dragonfly button for the clasp.

Did you notice I mixed my metals? I hardly ever do that. I credit that to dearest Megan.

The leather cord I used is called “Distressed Brown.” Speaking of brown, brown and turquoise was the theme for one of the swaps I’m in over at Zentangle Inspired Art.

Another swap I’m in is called “Floral Paisley.”

I much prefer the on the right to the one on the left. The one on the left is just too carnival for me.

I also joined a traditional tile swap.

For the bottom tile, I used a very little bit of pencil but mostly I used a grey marker to shade.

For the last show and tell of swappie tangles, I joined a swap on Swap-Bot that required you use patterns that start with the letters ‘E’ and ‘F’.

Finally, there are no kitty photos. There is a picture of some flowers blooming out on my lanai. I thought that some of you might appreciate it.

Let’s just hope I don’t kill this one off.

On that note, I hope you’re having a happy Tuesday everyone! :D

Swaps and Challenges

Hi! Long time no see! I’m still alive and kicking, as you can see.

My time has been absorbed with Zentangling and by what’s in this:

That’s my new Kindle cover and I’ve been reading voraciously. Before the Kindle, I had a hard time keeping a paperback open because of my Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Forget about hardbacks. I haven’t really been able to really read for at least a year or two. Since I got my Kindle I’ve read at least five or six books! To put that into perspective, I got it in February. :-o

I guess I’m making up for lost time!

What am I reading? A bit of Shirley Rousseau Murpy and John Burdett. I love the Joe Grey books. That tom cat has got it going on! As for Burdett? He’s a master at his craft. Bangkok comes alive with his words.

As for the zentangling? I’m in a couple of fun swaps. One of them is called “Tentacle Themed Bookmark”. Here’s what I came up with.

I call it “Cthulu In Abstract” and it was really fun to make.

Another fun swap I’m in is actually a series. Right now it’s on its third round. It’s an open themed interpretation of Nightmares and Fairy Tales. If you recall the last time I posted, which was forever ago, the ATC card had a Fairy Tale topic. This time around I chose a darker subject.

I call it “Thirst”.  Pretty dark, huh?

How about something lighter?

A ZT blogger has been doing weekly challenges. I haven’t been keeping up, but I manged to combine two in one tile. The two challenges are #11 -Monotangle and #12 – Something Blue.

This is the first time I was able to use my INKtense Watercolor Pencils. I have to say I really enjoy using them. I plan to use them much more in the future. Especially since I just received the book “Time To Tangle In Color“.

That book is chock full of inspiration. It makes me want to run out and buy a bunch of new supplies too. Tsk tsk. That just won’t do. Especially since my All-In-One just broke and I had to buy a new one.

That’s why some of these are photos taken with my camera. That’s why they’re of a pretty poor quality. It’s pretty frustrating. I didn’t realize how important it was to me to share my work with my Zentangle group on Flickr until I lost my scanner. I’m trying to get the hang of taking decent photos of paper with my camera, but it’s tricky.

Hopefully my new All-In-One will get here sooner rather then later. I also hope the new scanner will be of a better quality then my old one. One can hope.

There has been no knitting. There has been no spinning. There has been no embroidering. I hurt my shoulder. Don’t ask me how, I have no idea. Drawing and reading have been the only occupations left to me. I’m perfectly happy with those  to keep me busy though, so I have no complaints! I’ve been really hyper-focused on the Zentangling anyway.

Happy Fat Tuesday, everyone! Go dance in the street. ;-)

Out of the Black

I have all these song titles running through my head for the title of this post like “Paint it Black” and “Blackhole Sun”, but we really don’t want to go there. Why the angsty song titles? Mainly because I’ve reached the black of the Panda. It’s sucking my soul.

( Also, because I just like that kind of music. :P )

So what do I do? Do I work on the pansies? No. Do I work on the March birthday gift? No.

I drop the embroidery for another hobby. Not a new one, just one that I’ve mostly left on the wayside. It’s mostly one that I’ve neglected to mention.  Zentangling!

I’ve still been tangling now and again for Swap-Bot commitments.  Here’s an ATC card that I did for a swap for the group Nightmares & Fairy Tales recently.

Fae Power

ATC’s are nice and small. Quick and easy. Instant gratification projects.

Lost in the blackhole that was the Panda of Doom, I needed instant gratification. ATC to the rescue!

Cameo of a Mermaid

Back in the rhythm again, I moved onto a 3.5″x3.5″ tile for yet another swap. This is supposed to be green, but my photo editor screwed with the color.

Lines and Dots

I think the above looks much better in person. Blown up, it looks all out of proportion. Blech!

Now my feet are properly drenched, so I moved on to one of my favorite mediums, 6″x6″ Bristol Smooth. (My favorite would be Bristol Vellum.)  Can you spy the spies?

Watching You

I feel I can get a lot more detail on a larger surface. I also feel I have more freedom. Freedom  to what I have no idea, but I do know it’s more of a challenge.  I do like to be challenged. At the same time, the size of the paper leaves enough of a light at the end of the tunnel for me to be happy.

The largest Zentangle I’ve ever done is 9″x12″ and I do plan on doing more of that size. Just not right away. I have too many intensive long-term projects as it is.

For right now, I’d like to operate on cruise control. :)

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I’ll be taking photos of the Panda as soon as I can stomach the sight of it!