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My very own Tangled Toms

redux [ri-duhks] adj. brought back; resurgent: the Victorian era redux.

Forgive the little detour, but I have big info to share.  So…who knew you could look up a word on and actually HEAR the correct pronunciation???  I just discovered this nifty little feature as I was double checking the definition of “redux.”  Call me a nerd, but I am so excited about this!  It doesn’t take much.

Now on to my subject for today.  I finally finished my own Tangled Toms!  You may notice a touch of the new official Zentangle tangle Springkle on one of them if you look closely – contact your favorite CZT to learn this one. These were done with a Pentel Gel Roller for Fabric.  Several of my fellow CZT’s recommended this pen highly for tangling on fabric and I wanted to give it a try.  The ink does flow very smoothly – I think it has to do with the hard tip on the pen.  The Sakura Identipen I used for Maggie’s Toms is more like a felt tip.  I’m not sure the lines are any sharper, but curved lines seem to be easier to achieve with this pen.  My only complaint – I ran out of ink about halfway through the second shoe.  I will admit to having bigger feet than my granddaughter and there are a lot of solid tangles on mine, but I was a little put out since I had to order another pen and wait for delivery.  Overall, I like both pens and will likely use both depending on the surface.  I would, however, recommend the Sakura pen for kids since they seem to use even more ink than I do and a lot of Maggie’s friends are raring to get tangling on their own Toms.  And I am off to listen to some more tricky pronunciations…

Side view of my Tangled Toms


“A man’s face is his autobiography.  A woman’s face is her work of fiction.”  ~Oscar Wilde

The perfect quote for what I am sharing today.  I saw a cute idea on YouTube for a Sephora-inspired make-up brush holder while searching for the best way to clean make-up brushes.  You see, I have LOTS of make-up brushes.  Two of everything to be more specific.  Since I travel a lot, I have a set that stays home and one that’s always packed and ready to go.  I loved this idea for my at-home brushes, but the container was way too small.  Trolling the floral aisles at Michael’s yielded a nice, long oval glass holder that seemed to fit the bill.  Of course, I had to tangle it up a little bit.  While I am pleased with the final result, I would make a few changes if I tackled tangling on clear glass again.  Of course, that doesn’t change the function, so I still achieved my end goal.

Tips and Tricks:

  • The pen I used was a Sharpie Oil Based Marker – Extra Fine Point – Gold.  I really wanted the extra fine point and had great luck with the oil-based Sharpies on my file cabinet seen here.  If I were to do this again, I would choose black instead of gold.  As you can see from the photos, the metallic is difficult to see on the clear glass with the filler I used.
  • Be sure to clean the glass well before starting and either wear soft cloth gloves or wipe often to ensure the ink adheres well.
  • Slow and steady wins the race.  Working on such a slick surface requires slow strokes to allow the ink to flow properly.  Trying to go too fast will give patchy results in your lines.
  • Work away from the lines you just drew.  Left-handers, like me, are used to working this way as we often drag our hand through the ink.  But it’s worth a reminder anyway.  As it is oil-based and you want to lay a thick layer of color, this type of ink takes a bit of time to dry.  Patience, patience.
  • Strong lighting is essential.  It also helps to hold the glass at an angle to minimize glare.
  • Line the container with a towel or cloth.  This helps to create a “color” background to work against.  Also, without it, you can become very distracted with the tangling on the other side of the container once you work around to the other side.

Have some fun – remember there are no mistakes with Zentangle!


Tangled Toms

Easter Fun Facts

Americans spend approximately 2 billion dollars on Easter candy each year.

Each Easter, approximately ninety million chocolate Easter bunnies are sold in the U. S.

For more Easter trivia and tons of other interesting tidbits visit Critical Thinking

Finding a few Easter gifts that are not candy can be a real challenge.  There are those mandatory treats that MUST arrive at my house on Easter morning.  First and foremost is the biggest hollow chocolate bunny to be found for Katrina.  She nibbles a little on Easter and then puts it in the freezer to snack on throughout the year.  This has been going on since she was a little kid, disgusting, but true.  For Kristi it’s all about the Peeps.  She’s a bit of a purist – only the yellow chicks will do.  These days she doesn’t eat very many, but I found a three pack of chocolate dipped Peeps.  We’ll see how she likes them.  To be on the safe side, I visited the Just Born website and ordered her a T-shirt and Peep socks.  She loves wearing crazy socks with her scrubs, so these will be a hit.  My new son-in-law, Jacob, loves all things sour.  Big bags of Sour Patch bunnies will be waiting for him.  Kim loves that old classic, Reese’s Peanut Butter eggs.  Robin’s Egg Whoppers run a close second for him as well.

Jack just loves it all – he’s the easiest.  No searching high and low for exactly the right bunny for him.  A basket full of sugar makes him happy.  Throw in a few Wimpy Kid things and he’s good to go.   Maggie, however, flirted with disaster this year and almost ended up with an empty basket.

After playing board games for a while last night, both kids announced quite loudly that they would be going to bed since the Easter Bunny would be coming soon.  Maggie tiptoed back into the family room and tells us “Just so we’re clear, I don’t believe in the Easter Bunny anymore, but I don’t want Jack to know.”  Ah the sophistication of being 12 years old.  “Do you remember what I told Katrina?” I ask.  “OH!  ‘If you don’t believe, you don’t receive.’  I BELIEVE!!”

Months ago, I bought a pair of white Toms to tangle for a class.  I got her size, since she has been pestering her Mom for a pair for quite some time. They were always intended to be her Easter gift.  She has been eyeballing those shoes, lusting after them.  She even advised me that purple ink would be the very best look for the tangles.  I’m sure those Tangled Toms were uppermost in her mind when she ditched her 12-year old arrogance and became a believer again, at least for this year.

About Tangling the Toms: I just used the stitching on the shoes as my string – it lends itself very well to section off the shoe.  The purple ink was done with a Sakura Identi-Pen.  The ink is waterproof, good for fabric and the pen has two points.  Shading was accomplished with a Fabrico dual marker in #181 cool gray.  The brush end works really well for shading on fabric.

“The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won’t.”  Henry Ward Beecher

Two things to remember about squirrels from the website A Squirrel Place:

  1. A squirrel’s brain is about the size of a walnut.
  2. When a squirrel senses danger, its first instinct is to stand motionless.

One of my colleagues arrived home from our week-long meeting to discover her home had been invaded by a squirrel.  The critter had ample time to enjoy the luxurious digs.  Convincing him to leave wasn’t easy and he took a dip in the pool for good measure before conceding defeat.  I got a great laugh out of the story and was reminded of my own squirrel tale.

It was a lazy Sunday morning of movies with my daughter, Katrina.  During silences in the dialogue, I kept hearing scratching noises coming from our fireplace.  We had birds get in there in the past and I thought that might be the case again.  The fireplace was equipped with glass doors, thank God, so I could see inside, but the “guest” couldn’t get out.  We both inspected from every angle, but only the gas log was to be seen inside.  “Mom, you are imagining things.” she huffs as she heads upstairs for a nap.

Later that afternoon, I’m hearing noises again, but this time I spy some movement in the back corner – a squirrel, a really big squirrel!  How on earth am I going to get this thing out without getting bitten?  Since my husband is gone, I make a quick call to my neighbor.  He arrives with pillowcase and wire coat hanger in hand.  The plan is for him to poke the squirrel with the hanger, open the doors and me to catch him in the pillowcase.  I don’t much like this plan, but it doesn’t work anyway – reference fact number 2 above.  After about an hour, the squirrel is now quite angry, chattering loudly and not budging from his corner.  Animal control is not open on Sunday, but a call to the local police dispatches an officer at my house.  The two men confer and decide to try more of the same, unsuccessfully.  The cop sits down to think and lament that we can’t just shoot it.  In the meantime, I manage to find someone with expertise willing to come out on Sunday for a hefty fee.  I am just about to agree when Cop #2 arrives.  He heard the news on his radio and couldn’t believe it was true.  He assures me HE can get the thing out, don’t pay the expert.  Said expert overhears this boast, laughs and tells me to call him back if I need him.  Now my daughter has come out of her lair upstairs and begins to video the entire event with her cell phone.  Cop #2 retrieves a “grabber” from his patrol car and the three men now confer around my fireplace to develop a plan.  Having a brain bigger than a walnut, I open all the doors to the outside and close all the interior doors in the house just in case the squirrel has other ideas about that pillowcase.  Just as I complete my round, there is huge commotion and much shouting in my living room.  Mr. Squirrel made a break for it, exploding out of the fireplace and crossing the room in one leap.  He made a complete circuit of the house at a top speed, finally zigzagged out the door, sooty footprints marking his path of escape.

Needless to say, the three men were full of pride having successfully evicted the squirrel.  I don’t think they ever realized how ridiculous the whole thing really was, but I did and Katrina had it recorded!  We very considerately wait for them to leave before taking a look at what she captured.  What a disappointment!  We see the three men gathered around the fireplace, then I hear my daughter’s voice “Oh ^&*$!!!!” and then nothing but the ceiling.  “Well, he surprised me when he jumped out at me!”  So we have no video documentation, but a heck of a good story.  I’ll leave it to you to decide who won the battle of the brains.

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