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“Fear stops a lot of people. Fear of failure, of the unknown, of risk.  And it masks itself as procrastination.”  Lisa Anderson

Week 1 and 2

I’ve been absent from my blog for a very long time.  Many upheavals in our home life over the past couple of years has sidelined my “writing muse.”  To quote John Lennon “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” I’m happy to say we have adjusted to the changes, embraced them and are looking forward to a great year ahead for our family.

Our once empty nest is now pretty full. Our two teenaged grandchildren now live with us and are thriving.  Said children come with pets, so we are now up to five dogs in the house.  Yes, five – three mini-schnauzers and two cairn terriers.  For long time followers who remember our bride, she gifted us with a new granddaughter in May!  A new baby after a 14-year gap – we are so excited.  After nearly forty years in his chosen industry, my husband found his dream job and loves what he does.

As for me, I’ve changed job titles a couple of times, but still work for the same great company.  I logged a lot of travel miles for them last year and it looks like more of the same for 2016.  I’ve been teaching around my local area. Sadly, my studio, The Wren’s Nest, was a casualty of the personal upheavals. It now shares space with my work office, but I still think of it as the Wren’s Nest.  I still speak regularly as an advocate for safe driving and spoke to my granddaughter’s classmates recently about the impacts of distracted driving.  My latest new adventure is to sign on as a consultant for Rodan+Fields.  I’ve used their skin care for quite a while and it’s the best ever for specific skin concerns and anti aging.  My face went from super dry with cystic acne breakouts to completely foundation free in about 6 months.  I’d love to have you as a preferred customer or business partner.  Take a look.

Through it all, I have been tangling – how else would I relax?  Last year, a group of CZT’s decided to select a word of the year.  The idea was to create a journal for 2015 guided by our word and the prompts posted by the group each week.  My word was and still is, FEARLESS, thus the quote for today’s post. When I saw that quote as I was trying to find my word, it resonated with me and I knew that was it.  So many times, when you really look at why you can’t seem to move forward, the very heart of the situation is fear. The journal languishes unfinished, but the word remains with me.  I would encourage you to find your own word and follow where it leads you

Thank you all for waiting out my dry spell and I hope you enjoy some of the work I’ve done while I’ve been living life outside the plan.


“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!

“There are no such things as limits to growth, because there are no limits to the human capacity for intelligence, imagination, and wonder” Ronald Reagan

Limitations have been on my mind a little since I barreled right into one of my own this weekend.  A few years ago, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  I have learned to manage it and I rarely have a really bad flare-up anymore, especially since I began Zentangle.  But, I got careless, let a few things slide and got a wake up call from my body on Saturday.

Feeling much better, I took some time today to watch the movie Soul Surfer with my granddaughter.  This young woman, Bethany Hamilton, loses her arm in a shark attack, yet goes on to become a pro surfer.  Amazingly, she was back in the water only a few weeks after the attack.  Her determination and spirit proved to be more powerful than the loss of her arm.  She found a way to overcome the limitation and achieve her dream.  By the same token, I see my eleven year old granddaughter captivated by this story, when her own is pretty inspiring.  Within two weeks of emergency brain surgery for what should have been a fatal head injury, she was back at school, adamantly refusing home schooling suggested by the psychologist in the hospital.  About half of her skull was replaced with titanium and an unforseen effect of the brain injury was a hypersensitivity to sound.  Few environments are noisier than a middle school classroom. Each day, you could see the toll it took on her physically. Worried about how it was affecting her, I voiced my concern.  The answer she gave was: “Kacki, I can’t make the world shut up just because the noise bothers me.” Soon she found a way around it.  Ear plugs.  She slowly acclimated herself to the noise with them – first both, then one, then none.  Once again, an incredibly determined little girl with the heart of a lion finding a way to overcome a limitation.

When you take the time to look at people who amaze and inspire, there is often a limitation that provided the catalyst for moving beyond those limits to something much better than they would have accomplished before.  I know that is true with interior design.  So often, many of the most amazing interiors are born from the very real limits of budget, space, time, resource, etc.  The limits that form the basis of Zentangle serve the same purpose.  Each tile is small, 3.5″ square.  You draw a border and a string, then tangle in the spaces using a black pen. There are no erasers.  These limits are the power of Zentangle.  The average person isn’t intimidated by that tiny tile.  It takes away the pressure to be creative.  But as each person grows with the art form, the limits get pushed aside and creativity begins to grow.  Soon, the person who “can’t draw a straight line” is producing very beautiful artwork.  Limitations give us a goal to strive for and ultimately an obstacle to overcome with our own brand of creativity, intelligence and imagination.

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