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“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” ~ Albert Einstein

A few days ago, I got a note from Kelley at TangleUntangled telling me she had nominated my blog for the One Lovely Blog Award.  What a lovely thing to do!  Kelley is a newly minted CZT and has a very lovely blog herself.  A part of being nominated is to share 7 facts about myself and nominate 10 other blogs.  Ten is a big number, but once I reflected on it, kind of small too.  I don’t follow a ton of blogs though my list is much longer than ten.  It was like choosing one child over another since I really love the blogs I do follow.  So, here we go:

7 Facts about Kathy:

  1. I am left handed but have a thinking style that is a blend of both right and left brain.  That makes me unique in the world of interior design.  I have no patience for “dithering” over miniscule nuances – pick one already and move on!
  2. I skipped a grade in school and finished high-school at age sixteen.
  3. I waited until I was 32 years old to go to college for the first time because I was afraid I couldn’t do it.  I earned both degrees with Summa Cum Laude honors.
  4. My English professor at LSU tried to get me change my major to English, but writing was pure torture for me.  Getting beat up in design critiques was much easier.
  5. I love writing my blog because I get to choose the subject and ramble at will.
  6. My black Cairn terrier was my “dream dog.”  He is named Howie Long, for obvious reasons.  He’s a good looking hunk of a dog.

    Howie Long, my handsome hunk of a dog

  7. I am an introvert working in the world of sales and cannot remember names, faces or numbers.  Really.

Now for my 10 Lovely Blog nominees in alphabetical order:

  1. Beez in the Belfry – Sandy is the author of my favorite Zentangle book, Yoga for the Brain.  Sandy writes and I read/buy.  I love that her latest effort, The Tangles of Kells, is an ebook that can live on my iPad.
  2. Enthusiastic Artist – Margaret Bremner has a wonderful way of outlining process and helping her readers to understand how she achieves such amazing art.  Her interview explaining Zentangle is a must read and I share it often.
  3. I am the diva – Certified Zentangle Teacher – Laura invites you into her life and manages to make sure all the tanglers out there get their weekly Diva Challenge fix.  She is a truly amazing young woman and an inspiration to me every time I read her blog whether I get to the challenge or not.
  4. Life Imitates Doodles – Sandy Strait may not be a CZT, but believe me, she is a powerhouse for the art form.  There’s always something good on her blog ranging from new tangles to meticulous product reviews.
  5. Open Seed Arts – I was introduced to Carole’s amazing talent when my friend, Karen, gave me her 2011 calendar as a Christmas gift.  I absolutely love her drawing style – and according to Karen, she’s a rock star beader too!
  6. Sue’s Tangle Trips – Sue Jacobs is so inspiring and shares her knowledge freely.  I have learned and grown as an artist from Sue and her blog.
  7. Tangled Ink Art – Sue Clark’s blog is another feast for the eyes and mind.
  8. TangleUntangled – Kelley’s blog is new, but I have enjoyed every post so far, plus she honored me with one of her ten nominations.  Thanks Kelley.
  9. The Bright Owl – Erin has been rolling out Zendala Dares for quite a while.  She does an amazing job of coming up with Zendala templates and shares them with her readers.  Erin takes the mystery out of working in the round and offers those who struggle with strings a little break every week.

10. WeaveABead – My friend Karen is an amazing bead artist and I love seeing what she’s working on now that I don’t get to see her every day.

Now on to the one big OOPS!  I was really impresses with Margaret’s post Mo’Auraknot.  My wheels were turning when I saw what she did with Sandy Strait’s tangle Exinside and mixing it up with Auraknot.  What I ended up with bears little resemblance to the inspiration, what I had in my head or Sandy’s tangle.  I thought it was time to work on black and plunged in without ever drawing Exinside at all.  First, I find drawing on black with white a real challenge, but hey, I’m pushing my limits.  It was clear by step 3 that I had made a serious misjudgment on scale here.  So, practicing what I preach to all my students, I kept on going.  No mistakes –  make the best of what you have at the moment – just like life.  No do-overs.  So I am sharing this OOPS that really isn’t at all.  I’m pleased with the end result.  Some of my best work has begun with something that went awry and I just kept on fixing it.  That’s one of the most profound aspects of Zentangle.  Think about it the next time you have a tile, or a life event, that you think is an OOPS!

Cleanliness is next to impossible.  ~Author Unknown

Most of the people of Louisiana have begun the process of putting homes, businesses and lives back together.  Hurricane Isaac really seemed to take his own sweet time passing through, creating torrential rains, flash floods and general misery as he inched across the state.  I say misery because there are still homes without electricity and that’s not pleasant with 100% humidity.  Many have generators for just such an eventuality (one of those lessons we learn) but the price of fuel these days make it expensive to keep the fridge, freezer and a fan or two operating.

Road closures, cancelled flights and flash floods caused me some aggravation as I was scheduled to attend a CZT Retreat in Dallas this Labor Day weekend.  After more than three hours on the road to travel a grand total of ten miles (with more than sixty left) I admitted defeat and began the long process of trying to go back home.  Flash floods had closed several roads on the way back home along with the only open route to the airport.  I was looking forward to meeting so many of the CZT’s in other certification classes and feeding off the collective creativity of these talented ladies.  They did some amazing stuff.  Here’s hoping there is another retreat in the near future – maybe after hurricane season?  On the positive side, I did get to enjoy watching my LSU Tigers win their first game of the season.  Coach Miles had invited my granddaughter to attend his radio show and I got to share her excitement on Thursday night.  The two seem to have developed a mutual admiration society after he heard her story and saw her dance at a fundraiser for the OLOL Children’s Hospital.

We were quite lucky with no real damage and only intermittent loss of electricity thanks to the fact that our power lines are underground.  My house was a total mess from all the extra people and I am still trying to figure out how my floors got so filthy.  I spent all day Sunday putting things in order and cleaning floors so I could relax on Labor Day and enjoy some tangle time.  I have been following a new blog, The Bright Owl.  Erin has been posting some really nice challenges using Zendalas though I haven’t taken up the challenge till this week.  She even shares the templates – how nice is that?  I took some time today to play with her latest challenge template.  I had a couple of ideas, so why not do two?  One was completed on a regular tile (with very subtle watercolor background) and the other on a Zendala tile.  If you are looking for some inspiration, scoot on over to The Bright Owl and take a look at some of the amazing work there.

My mother-in-law’s first Zentangle. She only has use of her left hand after suffering a stroke several years ago.

“How long a minute is, depends on which side of the bathroom door you’re on. “ ~Zall’s Second Law

The past few days have been filled with preparations in advance of Hurricane Isaac.  We have been through many storms and have learned a few lessons over the years.  A big aha for me with Hurricane Andrew was the purpose behind filling the bathtubs with water.  I always did it because you are supposed to do that, but never knew why.  I knew I wouldn’t drink any water from the bathtub no matter how clean it was.   It’s not for drinking, it’s for flushing!  When the power goes out it can affect the power to the pumps that bring water to the house.  Thank goodness Andrew brought a lot of rain because two bathtubs for a family with three women doesn’t last very long.  We ended up capturing the rain in garbage cans to “keep the waters flowing.”  My family was the envy of the neighborhood after about three days.

One of the first priorities for my husband and his sister is to get his mom out of harm’s way.  She lives in a nursing home in a coastal area of the state that is vulnerable to flooding.  We make a point of getting her early and bringing her north to the Baton Rouge area.  Since my home is friendlier for her wheelchair, it makes sense to have her stay with us.  She had a stroke about 6 years ago and has no use of her right side, but likes to stay busy.  I’ve been doing laundry – you don’t want dirty clothes when the power goes – and she has been folding for me today.  Slow going, but she gets the job done.

Chores and prep are finished and now we wait.  It’s a bit surreal, waiting for a hurricane.   Time seems to stop, but you are on edge watching and waiting.  Perfect conditions to enjoy a little tangle time.  I have been working on some pumpkins I will be sharing later.  My mother-in-law has been fascinated with the Zentangle process as she has watched the transformation of these discount store pumpkins.  This evening she told me she thought she would like to give it a try.  “I like that you can’t make mistakes.”  We used regular cardstock and a Sharpie pen.  I demonstrated and then held her paper as she tangled away.  In the end she decided it didn’t look anything like what I showed her, but she loves it.  Seventy-plus years old, working with only with her non-dominant hand and still ready for a challenge, I’m always impressed by her spirit.  So I share with you her first Zentangle, created while we wait for Isaac, in the hope you will be inspired to try something new.

This is a page from my sketchbook when I was practicing the tangle “Mooka” Notice the difference in line quality when I changed from an very old to new pen.

“I like pens. My writing is so amazing there’s never a need to erase.” Todd Barry

One of the things I hold sacred when practicing Zentangle is the use of the very best tools possible.  High quality paper or Zentangle tiles and particularly my Sakura Micron pen.  You are worth it and so is your art.

To be fair, I have been a fan of Sakura pens for many years. I learned about these pens when I took a class from watercolorist, Judi Betts.  As many of my followers are aware, I like to add a little watercolor to my tiles from time to time. This may be done before or after I have done all my tangling.  Since the ink in my Sakuras is waterproof, I have the freedom and flexibility to follow my watercolor whim whenever it strikes.  As with most high quality pens, these are not the least expensive on the market but I can attest that they last for a very, very long time.

You can get better performance and longer life from these pens by ALWAYS storing the pen flat.  The pen has a sort of sponge inside and the ink is gravity fed to the tip.  Storing the pen vertically can pull the ink down quickly and you may find a capful (or handful) of ink when you open your pen.  There is nothing wrong with the pen; the problem is in the storage.  This can sometimes happen when tangling on a plane.  The pen will “drop” ink.  I think it must be the change in pressure.  To be sure, this doesn’t happen very often.  I tangle a lot when flying and have only had this happen once in about three years.  (See if you can find where this happened to me while working on one of the tiles for this 9-tile ensemble set.  Remember, no mistakes, we work from where we are.)

The other is to take care of the tip.  The finer the tip of the pen, the easier it is to damage if you have a heavy hand.  A close look into the end of the tip reveals it is a very fine tube.  This makes perfect sense when you remember the gravity fed ink.  Try to remember to hold your pen more upright and use a very light, deliberate touch when making your strokes – almost tickling the paper.  This helps enhance the “Zen” of Zentangle as well as extending the life of your pen.

Even if you follow all this advice, there will come a time when your pen really does run out of ink.  You will notice scratchy lines and some skipping – sometimes I like the look, but not always.  There is a way to get a little more mileage out of your Sakura pen.  Rick shared this tip with us in my first CZT training and I recently found myself in desperate need of just a little more purple ink for my Sakura Identi-Pen to finish a pair of Tangled Toms.  It works with both the microns and the Identi-Pen.  Below are step-by-step instructions.  I hope these tips and tricks prove useful and long live YOUR Sakura pens too!

 

Something new from CZT IX

It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts.  ~K.T. Jong

So…the shoulder injury didn’t respond to those less aggressive treatments and surgery was in order.  I could have opted for doing nothing and settled for extremely limited movement of my left arm, but since my left hand is my dominant (drawing) hand, surgery it was about four weeks ago.  I am pleased to say, my surgery was a complete success.  Physical therapy is ongoing, but the 3 weeks of 6-8 hours a day in a CPM machine are now over.  For those unfamiliar (as I was before) your arm is strapped into this machine and is automatically stretched up and out to increasing degrees.  Kind of like exaggerated waving.  Not much drawing going on, lots of reading and thinking and waayy too much TV.  Luckily, I was sprung about 4 days before the CZT Retreat in Providence, RI!!

There was no obvious reason for me to attend a seminar to be certified to teach Zentangle, I already have that certification.  It was a question I was asked many times by the “newbies” attending the seminar.  For me it was about touching base with what drew me to Zentangle.  Rick, Maria and Molly are such positive and enthusiastic presenters/teachers.  It was nice to be the student again.  I also got to meet so many wonderful new friends (now CZT’s) from all over the world.  I can’t begin to explain the energy and sense of renewal that comes with spending three full days with a group like ours.  I took some moments to “pick” Rick’s brain about how he draws Assunta.  I like the tangle, but I struggle with it.  He shared a few subtleties that really helped – maybe I’ll use it more often than just for Diva Challenges or Maria’s birthday.  Since our last day was her birthday, we gifted her with tiles using Assunta and celebrated with cupcakes.

Now that I’m back home, I have been taking time to finish all those tiles started at the seminar.  There were so many with the beginnings of tangles to learn techniques, tangle combinations a little outside the box and just half completed because we were moving on to something else.  Maria taught a cute little frame that I will definitely use over and over.  I’m showing the tile and a digital version with my wedding pic in it.  You will likely recognize a “new” friend in these tiles.  Be looking for the instructions in an upcoming Zentangle newsletter or if you can’t wait, find a CZT IX and take a class.  While I didn’t take very many pictures, my tiles serve as my memories for this wonderful time in Providence.  I hope you enjoy…

Cinderella is proof that a new pair of shoes can change your life

It has come to my attention recently that many of my followers have been coveting a pair of Tangled Tom’s.  More surprising to me is that they have no desire to tangle the shoes themselves.  This seems to be mostly gentlemen wanting to gift a pair to the many princesses in their lives – wives, girlfriends, daughters, granddaughters…

If you find yourself a member of this group or if you just aren’t crafty, I have an offer for you.  I will be happy to tangle a pair of Tom’s for you.  Remember, each pair is unique – while you can request specific tangles you may want – the final product will always be “one of a kind.”  The lighter colors of Tom’s work best – white or off-white.  I have three colors of  permanent ink to choose from – purple, black and blue.  Base price (includes the cost of the shoes) is $100, payable in advance.

Please send me an email at klsredmond@eatel.net  with “Tangled Toms” in the subject line for more information or to place an order.

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A few things to know about Louisiana: 

  • Possums sleep in the middle of the road with their feet in the air. 
  • There are 5,000 types of snakes, and 4,998 live in Louisiana. 
  • There are 10,000 types of spiders. All 10,000 live in Louisiana, plus  a couple that nobody has seen before.
  • Squirrels will eat anything.
  • Unknown critters love to dig holes under tomato plants. 
  • Raccoons will test your crop of melons and let you know when they are ripe. 
  • If it grows, it sticks; if it crawls, it bites. 
  • A tractor is NOT an all-terrain vehicle. They do get stuck.  
  • Onced and Twiced are words.  
  • It is not a shopping cart, it is a buggy. 
  • Fire ants consider you their picnic.
  • People actually grow and eat okra.
  • “Fixinto” is one word.  
  • There ain’t no such thing as “lunch.” There’s “dinner” and then there’s “supper.”  
  • Sweet tea is appropriate for all meals, and you start drinking it when you’re two.  
  • Backwards and forwards” means, “I know everything about you.” 
  • “Jeet?” is actually a phrase meaning “Did you eat?”  
  • You don’t have to wear a watch because it doesn’t matter what time it is, you work until you’re done or it’s too dark to see.  

From: www.spicycajun.com

For the Diva Challenge this week, Laura Harms asked for representations of the place we live.  Gumbo, the swamp and sugar cane all come to mind for my home, south Louisiana.  This made my tile pretty easy to accomplish.  I also think of the crazy culture down here – maybe it’s the humidity (we blame everything on the humidity.)  Take a look at www.spicycajun.com for some more fun stuff about life down here and a few great jokes too.

I have also decided to share my gumbo inspired tangle: Okra.  Bon Apetit, y’all!

 

 

“Sometimes I think my life would make a great TV movie.  It even has the part where they say, ‘Stand by. We are experiencing temporary difficulties.’ “~Robert Brault

 

 

My Zentangle habit has been on standby for quite some time due to a shoulder injury that just refuses to cooperate with modern medicine.  I have been busy booking some fun things for myself to do in the meantime.  Hope springs eternal and my shoulder has till August to get with the program.  I’ll be attending the upcoming CZT Workshop in Providence, RI with Rick and Maria.  I can’t wait to spend some time with them and the next class of CZT’s.  About a week later, I’ll be hanging out in Dallas for a long weekend with fellow CZT’s sharing knowledge and ideas at a workshop hosted by CZT Angie Vangalis.  I’ve also contracted with LSU to teach two Zentangle classes for their Leisure Class program in October.

 

With all that coming up, I’ve decided to work through the pain and get back to tangling.  You might say I’ve augmented my ongoing physical therapy.  It takes me a long time and I’m working at larger scales (experiencing vision problems too) but I’m happy to have my Sakura pen in my left hand – tangling away on this week’s Diva Challenge.

 

Laura Harms challenged us to use the tangle Cadent this week.  While it doesn’t have to be a monotangle effort, there is something to be gained when you push the tangle as far as you can go on a single piece.  I really like Cadent.  It appeals to the orderly piece of my brain with its grid-like organization, with a little twist of whimsy in the curved line connections.  I struggle with tangleations on this one though.  I think it’s because I like the tangle so much just as it is.  For my challenge, I decided to see what would happen if I used Cadent “in the round” with circles as my strings.  This little deviation made a big difference as I began to think about how I would change each iteration and a technique I will use again when I find myself on standby.

 

My very own Tangled Toms

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

Forgive the little detour, but I have big info to share.  So…who knew you could look up a word on dictionary.com 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!

                            

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